My Very Own 'Arab Spring'

06/08/2012 17:26 BST | Updated 06/10/2012 10:12 BST

The continuing trials and tribulations of an accidental mother

Five weeks accidentally pregnant - Once again at the hospital I lay prone on a bed, my legs hung in stirrups with a blanket covering my modesty. The doctor was in a buoyant mood. It turned out his native Libya, much like my body, was undergoing revolution.

Gaddafi had been overthrown whilst my own Interloper, christened, Against All Odds by the Irish nurse, was firmly taking root.

Time had been called on the despot coil and its removal was imminent.

Under rule of the tyrant IUD, my womb stripped of all life potential had been left barren for years. However, finally and unpredictably (for much like the Arab Spring, no one could have foreseen such a chain of events), the natural order of womanhood had gained precedence.

The doctor's eyes shone. Here was a man who loved both his job and home country. He had already booked tickets to Libya see his family. "At last," he sighed and snapping on the rubber latex gloves he bent down to dispose of my own dictator. "Relax," he said, "Relax, that's it."

This copper contraption didn't have a chance against the might of the cold steel clamp. It knew its time was nigh and sought refuge at the border of my womb, to be precise, the neck of the cervix. Most considerate, I thought. Yet, despite the bloodshed caused over the years, it had served its purpose and a part of me harboured a modicum of affection for it (or as an Irish anti abortionist might put it - "Shure didn't I get away with murder!").

One, two, three, and the culprit was extracted. The doctor, victorious, held it up: "there you are, here it is."

Perhaps, I should have asked for it as evidence, as proof of, in case, well, just in case someone aka, 'The Ex' cast aspersions that this pregnancy was somehow calculated on my part. Perhaps I could sue the coil company and henceforth all childcare costs would be met by compensation for the coil having failed to do its job.

It was slight and bloodied held aloft between the doctor's fingers. It was discarded, tossed aside to make way for new life. The latex gloves were peeled off and I was left behind the green curtain to pull up my pants and jeans.

I reappeared on the other side, a person as opposed to a patient, and could finally look the doctor in the eye. It was still early days, still touch and go on all fronts. It was still more a bean than a being. There was a high chance of miscarriage. "You understand?" the doctor said. I nodded. This life potential was in the hands of fate.

I was out of the fire but not out of the pan.


What's up Doc?

The fifth week of pregnancy and things are getting complicated. This is when the baby's brain, spinal cord, heart and other organs begin to form. The blastocyst is now officially an embryo. Made of three layers, the top layer or ectoderm, will give rise to your baby's outermost layer of skin, central and peripheral nervous systems, eyes, inner ear, and many connective tissues. The middle layer of cells or mesoderm, will develop a heart and a primitive circulatory system. This layer of cells will also serve as the foundation for the bones, muscles, kidneys and much of the reproductive system. The third or inner layer of cells, the endoderm, will become a simple tube lined with mucous membranes. The lungs, intestines and bladder will develop here. All this is happening in something that is about the size of the tip of a pen.