What happens when you're 37, almost infertile, in a new relationship and you go and get pregnant by accident? Find out in Sarah's weekly column: Up the Duff Without a Paddle.
It happened! It finally happened. The Apprentice Final. And wasn't it just ace?
I mean my first midwife appointment has finally happened. After the first one was cancelled, after waiting what already felt like an eternity, the second one went to plan. In fact, the midwife arrived at the appointment before I did, and given that it was at my house that was quite an achievement.
She's German, blonde and called Stephanie. And don't ask me why I told you those things in that order, or at all actually. She didn't seem to notice that the house was spotless or that I have great taste in classical music – or at least the one classical CD that I own was playing – and instead was more interested in smiling at me and helping me feel good, and rather clever, about being pregnant.
Honestly, I swear, she's the first health professional to be warm, congratulatory and genuinely supportive since finding out that me, the world's least fertile 37-year-old, is having a baby. Even the Dutch guy that sold us the pregnancy test in Amsterdam was more interested in me personally than the first batch of nurses and doctors I saw in England. I know, I know, call me an egotist. If you dare. The pregnancy rages haven't totally eased off.Stephanie explained how the midwife appointments would work (once every four weeks, then once every two weeks, and finally right at the end once a week), and that I would see one of three midwives who work in a travelling trio. It will definitely be one of those midwives that delivers the baby. Only, as Stephanie said (and that's going to be my new most-used phrase I reckon), midwives don't deliver babies, they just catch them.
Stephanie said (you see?) that she's going on leave for a few months, back to Germany, from September, so she definitely won't be catching our baby unless I develop a supersonic projectile delivery technique. I'm disappointed about that. I was wondering whether a touch of German efficiency would have been quite humorous in labour, to exploit a stereotype, but more seriously, as I think I want a water birth at home, and to give birth touchy-feely stylee, I'd rather like to bond with the same midwife from the start. Might need to address this. Mums I know are suggesting I should.
Another surprise during the appointment was the vast number of questions that my boyfriend had. When did he stock those up? He really wanted to talk, and probe and write notes. It was quite funny at one point when we realised he was answering pretty much all the same medical questions that were being directed at me. It probably wouldn't matter, for example, that he might have a small pelvis or that his sisters gave birth early and he'd like to breastfeed. He doesn't even have any sisters. Or breasts.
It was all done in the hour, including fresh coffee and ginger biscuits (Stephanie said she'd have a coffee, thank you, but no biscuits), a failed attempt to take blood when my veins collapsed, well, two of them did at least, and another appointment was made. There was no listening to the baby's heartbeat as apparently you can't do that until 19 weeks. Stephanie said that if she listened and couldn't hear it she'd have to take me to hospital, and so they don't listen at this appointment, because they know it's OK.
Stephanie said that the placenta grows to be the size of a plate. I'm hoping she means a sideplate, like the one with eyes pictured above (don't ask), and not the posh Conran Shop pasta plates I own which are the size of a car wheel. That would be way too much to eat.
Read more of Sarah's columns here.
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