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Lana Citron

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A Small Matter of Life and Death

Posted: 30/08/2012 00:00

- the continuing trails of an accidental mother -

Now 'Nine & a half weeks' pregnant, the only thing in my life comparable to the film was the fridge scene minus a blindfold and Mickey Rourke. Physically I was whacked by tiredness, beset by minor twinges and a constant queasiness quelled only by eating (go figure!).

Due to meet my assigned midwife (assigned my arse - sure I never saw the woman again!) I was already bored of the never ending round of tiresome, tedious appointments encroaching on my everyday work, (i.e. FB-ing and twatter). It felt as if I had been sucked into some do-gooder big brother society. Of course they all meant well, these doctors, nurses and midwifes. Indeed, I had never met so many do-gooders in my life nor for that matter seen such an array of rubber-soled comfort shoes.

Peace on earth may be found in the anti-natal unit of the Royal Free were women of all persuasions, religions, hues gather with nothing on their minds other than to nurture their life-filled bellies.

My midwife was cheery and ushered the Glam Rocker and myself into an overly bright window-less room. An hour's worth of questions were extracted. It was an interrogation of sorts. They were prying, probing, prodding. Who was I? Where was I from? What did I do, believe, eat?
My Jewish paranoia hit in. I had spent a life time pondering the same and there and then was expected to distil all my angst, neurosis and years of Freudian, Jungian, Gestalt therapy into simplistic answers! As if...

Logic dictated to tell them what they wanted to hear...And not get hung up on semantics or context or anything beyond the superficial. I realised they just needed to determine whether I was psychologically sound or clinically insane i.e. my existentialist nightmare come true.

Oblivious to my mental turmoil, the Glam Rocker piped up from time to time. His main concern regarding the baby, focused on food and how to ensure I kept regular. Oh the romance of health. Still, being a man, it wasn't long before his eyes glazed over and a restlessness set in. He needed to do something useful. A task was set and we sent him out into the foyer to pull a ticket from the vending machine for my blood tests. Almost as soon as the door closed behind him, the midwife and her assistant leant in and enquired conspiratorially if there was a history of violent abuse between us.

There was much scope for humour here. "Give us a chance," I declared, "We've only known each other six months!"

The joke fell flat as silence descended and tumbleweed slowly rolled through the door about the room and out again...Not the first time I have misjudged comic timing.

For an excruciating real life death experience might I interest you in The Brodsky Touch, my fifth novel detailing a fictionalised version of my attempt at stand-up comedy. Despite eight years having passed I still have nightmares of that time.

Finally, the questioning ceased. We were released and sent to the blood room to be further drained. By this time, we had been interned more than three hours and still there was the scan to go through. This would be my last visit to the early pregnancy unit, my third scan and for the first time the scanner used was not a physically intrusive one.

The Glam Rocker was keen to attend this scan - previous doubts having abated somewhat... still he needed to see this baby bud for real. In boy speak it was the money shot, i.e. what was the going rate for child support?

He stood behind me nattering to the doctor but instantly fell silent on seeing the shady image on the screen. It resembled a mutating kidney bean.

"Looking good," the doctor declared and indicated the beating heart.
"See," I said to Glam Rocker "I wasn't having you on!"

The Glam Rocker looked from the screen to me, the reality beginning to dawn, we were having a baby.

To Be Continued


Now the foetus is around 2cm long. Its arms and legs continue to grow and move. Eyelids cover the eyes and ears develop. Fingers begin to separate. The foetus can turns its head, curl its toes, open and close its tiny mouth.

 
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