Spring 2014

So here I am between 34 and 35 weeks pregnant, sitting on a bed in the labour suite of the local hospital, legs akimbo and a light being shone up, well, you know where!

After an uncomfortable few minutes I am told my cervix is closed, which is a good sign. I am sent home and told to return the next day for more monitoring and another scan. I am exhausted but the thought of my husband or Mum packing my things prompts me to stay up a little longer and throw together my hospital bag.

The next morning I decide to go into work before my appointment at the hospital. My boss is really understanding and has already told me not to go in but I really don't want to leave them in a mess. I try and creep in but the waddle in my walk and the large bump give me away. I promptly get an almighty bollocking for going in, which looking back is well deserved! I do the bits needed and one of my colleagues, commonly known as my work wife makes me a drink. I'm not sure which is more of a miracle, the fact I am pregnant or that she has made a drink! I feel quite tearful as I leave and my work wife has to turn away as we sniffle our goodbyes.

I decide to make my own way to the hospital on the bus, much to the horror of the office. In the end they insist on taking me and a colleague drops me at the door of the hospital. I didn't intend to go on my own. I ask my Mum to take me but she is busy at home. I don't know if its her way of coping with the situation or if she doesn't know how to react but she starts to give me advice and tips to have the baby early. I tell her it's too early but she doesn't listen and in the end I decide she's probably better off at home. If she comes she will probably drive me round the twist, which won't do me or my blood pressure any favours.

My husband arrives as I walk in, which makes me worry more. He's just started a new job and I'm concerned that the leaving early for antenatal classes, extra scans and appointments aren't making the best of first impressions. When he arrives he reassures me his manager has told him to come with me, but I only let him stay for the scan and send him on his way once I'm hooked up to the monitor again. Its a good job. I am there for the rest of the day hooked up to the machine. They have to get a solid session of full monitoring before I can go home but the baby keeps shuffling away. I text people and make a couple of calls. I read a few magazines and a book. I play games on my kindle. Then I lay there. Bored. Bored beyond belief. Looking out the window. Looking at the ceiling. Looking at the other ladies, hoping to strike up a conversation. They all have company or spend the whole time on the phone. I feel lonely. Terribly, horribly lonely. I start to feel very sorry myself. I start to cry a little. Then a lot. I realise the more I cry the more I move and the more I move the more likely I am to wet myself. Just as I start to pull myself together I get the delightful news that they want to check my cervix again!!

They aren't kidding when they say you lose all your dignity when you have a baby. If you have fertility treatment you have very little dignity by the time you get to pregnancy and my very last inch was slipping away. The experience is made even more eventful when they ask if a student can join in. Here I am again legs in the air, with two midwives, a student midwife and a consultant looking up there. As there's no light over the bed they shine a torch up there. Not any old torch but a large, bright yellow, builders type torch. I think I might be a bit mortified.

Once that little treat is over I am on my way home again and the next couple of weeks continue in the same way. In and out. Extra monitoring. Extra scans back and forth.

When I see my midwife, Angie, again, she looks through my notes and she isn't at all happy. In fact she is close to furious. She tells me they should have given me some sort of plan and not just keep sending me home. She listens and feels my bump. When Angie asks how often baby has moved over the last few twenty-four hours and I tell her less than a dozen she is very concerned.  Angie calls one of the wards and speak to another midwife. She seems to know her and they are quickly in agreement. Something needs to be done and it needs to be done soon. Very soon. I have to get to the hospital in the next hour.

Shit. Ding, ding. Round 15.

At least I've packed my bag.
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