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Motherhood can be empowering

Thursday, 9 February 2017  | 

 

From eggo to preggo

#3 Why I felt empowered going to my scan alone.

I remember with my first pregnancy, everything was so new, so exciting and there was this need that Greg had to come with me to everything. He had to be there holding my hand, and being sure he was not missing out on anything. He couldn't make one of my routine midwife appointments towards the end of my pregnancy and I remember feeling like it was the end of the world. Second time round being highly preoccupied with a toddler, you take a very different approach to pregnancy. I vaguely know what size fruit the baby is (currently a dragon fruit?! What even is a dragon fruit?!) I won't bothering with Ante Natal classes as in hindsight nothing we learnt actually prepared us for the screaming colicky bundle that created poo namis in public.

I have gone to most midwife appointments when Elijah is at nursery and it does mean Greg is normally at work but I don't feel he is missing out. Having a high risk pregnancy does mean a lot more appointments, scans and consultations at the hospital. Therefore it just is not feasible for Greg to come to all of them. I tend to try and arrange childcare for Elijah as a bored frustrated toddler, and an anxious mum and a packed waiting room are not a recipe for success! As I have mentioned in previous posts and what I will likely go on about for the rest of my life was how bad I have been feeling. Sickness, backache, tiredness the lot right from the get go. I was also slowly expanding which seemed a tad quick in just a few weeks? Then someone dared utter the terrifying words of,' Maybe it's twins'. Me and Greg looked at each other, and my mind was made up. We were getting a private scan before Christmas to see once and for all. Therefore when Greg needed to stay at home with Elijah for our 12 week scan and consultation a few weeks later, I wasn't bothered about going on my own. I wasn't upset, and I declined offers of friends and family coming with me. In fact I was quite looking forward to it. Catching up on some reading (those who have ever had to wait for a consultation after scan will know how long you wait!) and asking the questions I wanted to about the birth without the look of pure horror on Greg's face. When I entered the scan waiting room alone, I got a few looks. I had a flashback to when me and Greg were waiting for my very first scan with Elijah and remember seeing some women on their own and feeling sorry for them. Now, I know the likelihood is they have other children and commitments! I didn't feel ashamed or embarrassed of going on my own, actually the opposite I was empowered.

It could be down to it not being my first rodeo, or that I was rocking my WINGING IT Selfish Mother jumper or that I knew roughly what I was doing and was soon settled into reading a book before my name was called. That wasn't to say I didn't have the normal anxieties that everyone has before a scan. What if they couldn't find the heartbeat? What if I had a missed miscarriage? What if something was wrong. But, after coping with Elijah's CHD diagnosis I knew I could handle what was about to happen. After a fair wait, and observing one woman who had brought her four children and husband in tow (I salute you brave lady) my name was called and in I went. I knew the procedure and selfishly, I was really happy to have some time watching the baby on my own. That's not to say I wouldn't have wanted Greg to be there, but I came out so proud of the little human that was inside me and rushed to buy the pics and send them to everyone. Knowing how excited Elijah and Greg would be when I got home to see the baby. The consultation went as well as it could, I asked my questions and got my answers. My dreams of a MLBU birth were quashed, only the delivery suite for me this time round. Which I know deep down is the safest thing. Other than Elijah's diagnosis, I have a thyroid disease that needs to be managed and last time I needed a blood transfusion post haemorrhage as well. Hence the high risk tag this time.

I enjoyed just sitting in the waiting room watching all the couples who were jittery with excitement for seeing their baby for the first time. The young mums, older mums, and very obvious this is not their first time mums. I never had this confidence with my pregnancy with Elijah, but I felt so comfortable being their on my own, talking to the consultants and midwives and happy I pushed for the answers I wanted. Maybe, because I was due to become a Mum the second time round, I had in fact gained the confidence to deal with what is about to happen. I know exactly what I wanted this time round, maybe it was the knowledge I had, the experience, or hay maybe it was my jumper but all I know was how good I felt coming out of that waiting room on my own. Seems so trivial to some, but to me it was a huge learning curve. I felt ready to take on the world, that's after I find a toilet throw up my Costa breakfast in. AGAIN.