I have escalated procrastination to new, higher altitudes and this blog has been one of the many things to suffer neglect. Also on my abandoned to-do list: washing, cleaning, packing hospital bag, cooking and freezing meals, making a start on the baby book, etc etc.
But I’m still here and still pregnant, with slightly over two weeks until my due date.
We had a little scare last week. I met with the very busy midwife for the first time. We were there for almost an hour trying to bring my previous care into line with the NHS’ requirements. She was very friendly, if somewhat unorganised. I had my second belly examination and quickly saw a cultural difference. Thai people, in general tend to be very gentle in every way. I rarely hear a harsh tone, the pat-downs at the airport are soft to the point of ineffective and the gentle prodding I received at the hospital left me ill prepared for the NHS.
‘Is that your pelvis or still trousers?’
‘Actually, I think that’s my spine!!’
After poor Squirt was manhandled the Midwife announced herself unhappy with my measurements, my belly fibbing that I was only 32 weeks along when , in fact I was 36. She booked me into the hospital for a check with the doctor four days later. She also stressed WW out by announcing his heartbeat was too fast for him to be a boy and maybe we were in for a surprise.
So last Friday was WW’s first eye opening experience of a British hospital. We arrived early and were sent away as they were ‘running a little behind’. When we returned I was immediately plopped into a curtained off area and hooked up to the monitoring machine. The lack of privacy was a little shocking after Thai private hospitals. We listened in silent horror as the woman in the curtain opposite had a little break down as she received bad news about the development of her twins. WW’s eyes almost popped out of her head as we listened to another woman grunt and moan her way through a few contractions (‘She’s not going to give birth in here, is she?!’).
After 45 minutes a harassed nurse reappeared, looked at the readings on the monitor, muttered ‘Damn it!’ and disappeared again without further elaboration. Queue my anxiety levels taking a drastic hike upwards.
After another half an hour or so I was unhooked and then a further 20 mins later I was ejected from the curtained area to the waiting area outside. Another 45 mins later and the frazzled doctor appeared, had a quick chat, abused Squirt and advised an ultrasound. We were told we couldn’t do the ultrasound for another 2 hours. We waited, ate passable food from the cafeteria and then had the ultrasound. Again the differences were quite shocking. I had no idea how far ahead the fancy Thai hospitals were. Without the technician pointing things out on the tiny screen I wouldn’t have been able to tell what anything was, despite that being my 6 or 7th (8/9th?) ultrasound.
Anyway, after about 7 minutes of looking the tech told us she was happy, everything was normal and he was measuring a couple of days fatter than average, so no worries about size, or fluid. She couldn’t give us a definitive weight because the head was buried deep in my pelvis and not going anywhere.
Apparently the head being low, me being tall and my strong stomach muscles (who knew?!) can all contribute to me seeming small, but it was nothing to worry about. Phew.
So after another quick check back with the doctor we were dismissed. 5 hours after our original appointment time. Wow. Wait times or not it was still very reassuring to be in a hospital where I understood everything that was going on and I am happy to be back in the NHS system. Plus we didn’t have to settle a bill on the way out.
So now we’re just waiting. I’ve been feeling a little PMSy the last few days, very light cramps, a little back ache and a difficult to shake grumpiness. I’m really impatient to meet Squirt and get this next bit out of the way. I’m also starting to feel a little stir crazy. Since the first week the weather has been a bit crap so we haven’t been out much. Plus I’ve caught a cold so we haven’t even been strolling around the hills near us. It’s also driving me mad not being able to plan anything because we don’t know when the wee one will be putting in an appearance. Why can’t I use some tracking website to forecast his arrival??
My days pass with a lot of reading and soaking in the tub. I think I’ve read 8 books so far. I’ve also watched countless hours of ‘Come dine with me’ , ‘Deliver me’ and ‘Bringing home baby.’ And I’ve been eating. Mmmm, cake.
I have to battle with two variations of British-ness this coming weekend. My parents and brother are going down south for sibling’s graduation, leaving me 1 week from my due date and without a driver if Squirt decides to put in an appearance. So I have to either face the prospect of making a fuss and calling an ambulance should I go into labour or I could overcome a shyness by introducing myself to the admittedly friendly neighbours, explaining the situation and asking if they’d mind being my emergency lift. I think I’ll just keep my fingers crossed that I avoid sod’s law and make it through the weekend without any developments.
If anyone has a crystal ball/spirit guide/magic wand and would like to tell me when the grand finale will be it would be much appreciated!