- The continuing diary of an accidental mother - Week 36
It was to be our last meeting, the final check-up with my midwife. The chosen pronoun belies the reality. It was a polygamous liaison. Over the past nine months of appointments, I hadn't seen the same midwife once. Pushed into the position of pregnancy slut - hopes for an actual relationship scuppered early on. It was never anything more than a one 'meet' stand.
A date would be set, I'd turn up on time, a urine sample in one hand and bulging folder of notes in the other - only to wait and wait until fearing I had been stood up - finally my name would be called. Eureka... and I would be ushered down a corridor into a room where she or indeed he would be - ready to give me a complete service.
I hate hospitals, they are full sick people. Pregnancy should not qualify as an illness. So there I was on the last lap only four weeks to go, sample bottle warm in hand, "Well hello and who do we have here?"
I was bored of these meetings, bored of being patronised, of the rigmarole - the midwife began with the following question, "How are your movements?"
"Regular," I replied.
She looked puzzled then said "Your baby's movements? Is the baby still moving?" The baby was in fine foetal fettle and stirred beneath my skin, tickled my bladder and sometimes gave me a big kick. The last scan confirmed all was good, the baby had a big head. There I'd been hoping to sneeze it out.
My pulse was taken, blood pressure normal, belly examined and measured.
"Everything else ok?" asked the midwife.
"Fine," I replied, "Though there was a little show."
When I say show, I wasn't talking musical, tragedy or romantic comedy. There was evidence of the cervix softening - for those not in the know, look it up. This is where pregnancy begins to get messy and a little bit eughh.
I knew I shouldn't have said anything. She wanted me to go up to triage to have a quick examination.
"Agh but I'm sure it's fine," I say, "Isn't it normal at this stage of the game?"
"Let us doctors and midwifes be the judge of that." She wrote out a form and commanded me to go. The thought of an internal on the fifth floor was gag inducing. Now had it been on the second or first floor... I didn't bother and rebelled against the system. I knew my own body better than some stranger midwife who had met me for five minutes. I knew there was nothing to worry about; this pregnancy bar its unusual beginnings has gone swimmingly - quite literally.
Every day began with a half hour splash. At this stage all the elastic had snapped in my swimsuit. A member of a hotel club pool, what it lacked in size it made up for in privacy. It was not unusual to be the sole occupant swimmer. I loved the luxury and the weightless wonder of it all, the bob, bob, bump buoyancy.
Beyond the bump lay life but not as I knew it. My interests were fast narrowing, my focus family centric. Boy Wonder was sitting his 13plus and the Glam Rocker, round and about during the week, was away every weekend.
Bar some aches and minor swelling, I had nothing to complain about. I say nothing... of course there was my elder son's imminent bar mitzvah weekend with near on 150 guests expected. According to my records the Interloper was due two days after the event - as long as the baby was punctual all would be fine. This was an occasion I could not miss. Come hell or high labour - the show must go on.