Up The Duff Without A Paddle - The Hotly Anticipated First Midwife Appointment

04/06/2009 09:25 | Updated 22 May 2015

After an amazing 12-week scan last week, in which we discovered that there is indeed a baby in there, and not a carbohydrate mountain, and that said baby was doing fine and dandy, I moved on to getting excited about my booking appointment with the midwife.

In case you don't know what a booking appointment is, it's the first session with your midwife, or another health professional, in which they tell you how clever you are to get pregnant, pat you on the head, reveal that labour is indeed totally painless (despite what that spoilsport report says) and child rearing a walk in the park (with a Bugaboo Bee it seems, if you live in Dulwich). Oh, and they give you lots of useful info about what to expect during your pregnancy and do a few tests. I was soooo looking forward to my appointment.

With the exception of the scan, the only contact I've had with health professional types up until this point is a rather rubbish appointment with a nurse at my GP's surgery to confirm the pregnancy.

She looked at me as if to say "well, what do you want me to do about it then?" before telling me that the only options she could help with were a referral to the midwives or a termination. "Right, that will be a referral, then, and thanks for the support," I said, or wish I'd said.

I waited ages for a letter from the midwives in my area. I know from the hordes of Bugaboo Bee-pushing mums around here that it is Baby Central. Couples move here to have children, because we have green spaces, good primary schools and we're near Kings College Hospital, which has a good maternity set-up. The result is that resources are massively overloaded. Finally the letter came (photocopied and not at all personal), and the appointment was 9.30am last Thursday, at our house.

I don't know what happened to me on that Thursday, what on earth I was thinking, but I was up at the crack of dawn frantically cleaning the house, putting flowers in vases, hiding the empty wine bottles (not mine), and instructing the other half on what to wear.

At 9.20am I even put Chopin on the CD player!

I guess I felt I was about to meet the woman who just might deliver my baby, and already I wanted her to think of me as a fit and able mum, with a classical CD collection (I have one Chopin CD). The boyf and I sat nervously as the clock ticked to 9.30am, first on the sofa and then around the dining table. Should we have paper and pen, or not? Should we get the kettle on? Do we have any biscuits to offer her? Fruit!! Where's the fruit display?! Aaaaaaaaagh.

Anyway, she didn't show. We waited an agonising 45 minutes before daring to call her - we'd heard that midwives encourage you to only call in an emergency. She was still with another mum during a delivery and wouldn't be able to make it. Bums.

Two good things came out of the experience. Firstly, it was a warning sign of how easy it could be to get totally paranoid about whether other people think I could be a good mum or not. Note to self: try harder not to give a monkeys. Secondly, the house got a good clean.

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