Sarah had to see a male Doctor - always a interesting story!
It's been another busy week for me. I feel like I haven't stopped for ages and now I've got a cold so I'm currently writing this from my sickbed and very grateful that you can still use Vicks Vaporub when you're pregnant.
On Friday I had an appointment with my midwife. Just a normal 25 week check up but it had rolled into 26 weeks. I had a different woman this time but again she was absolutely lovely and again I forgot to take in a sample for her. I'd been really looking forward to this check up as I still hadn't heard the heartbeat of my little one and been told at the hospital it would be at this appointment. So I sat there patiently, going over my latest ailments with her (still piles, thrush and acid reflux if you're wondering) when my sister called to see how it went I took the call and apologised to the midwife and explained I was excited as I'm supposed to hear the heartbeat today, "oh are you?" she says "we'd better get on with it then". I lay down on the bed and even though I felt the baby moving that morning I was still a bit nervous that they wouldn't find a heartbeat. I'd been told by a friend that if the heartbeat sounds like a gallop then it's a girl and if it's a train then it's a boy and also that it's very emotional and that I would cry.
So I lay back and she put the microphone against my stomach and a fast thumping sound filled the room. "Is that it?" I asked, "yes" she said and I concentrated to try work out what it sounded like. It's sounded like a gallop, and I was elated, then it sort of sounded like a train, then a gallop, then a train. Then I couldn't work out what it sounded like, so I came up with the conclusion it was horses running on a train and I was giving birth to a hermaphrodite and that would at least make life interesting. The midwife thought it sounded like a gallop. I was concentrating so hard on the horses and trains that I didn't find it that emotional and I didn't cry.
The midwife took my blood pressure which was up a little bit, but nothing to worry about, and insisted I see the doctor about the reflux, piles & thrush so I booked in for the Monday and headed back to work.
I called my sister from the car to tell her about the heartbeat. When I told her I started to cry.
After another busy weekend I was back to the doctor on the Monday. When I booked the appointment I went for the first available one and it turned out to be a male doctor. I never usually see a male doctor, I will always wait for the female one but unfortunately so do lots of people so the wait is longer and as it's only reflux, piles & thrush which are all bog standard problems I thought it wouldn't hurt this once to just say it to a man and get on with it.
When I checked in the receptionist asked if it was Ok if the session was filmed. I was a bit confused and she explained it was a relatively new doctor so they filmed their appointments to watch and see where they can improve. I thought about the reflux, piles and thrush and then thought about helping someone out and said that was fine as long as no examinations were filmed. I had visions of my piles being on Embarrassing Bodies and although I'm keen to share I do have a line. So I felt a bit proud that I'd done a nice thing for a stranger and I went in to see the doctor.
I'm an idiot. Why I let him film me I do not know. Although nothing untoward happened I should have realised when they said "new doctor" that they would want to cover everything. So when I explained what was wrong and I'd been sent by the midwife I suddenly had to go over every bloody bout of heartburn I'd ever had, what caused it, what cured it, how it felt different to now. The same with the piles and the same with the thrush. So while I'm explaining to the male doctor that it's hard for me to gauge exactly how much, for want of a better word, discharge I'm getting due to the fact that I'm wearing incontinence pads on a daily basis it's all being caught on a camcorder placed on a tripod in the corner of the room. I left there with 3 prescriptions for medicines and a healthy helping of humiliation to go with it!!
Yesterday was the first of my NCT classes. I'd decided I'd go as it's a good way to meet other expectant mums in the area and everyone I know that has done it has really enjoyed the experience. It's a 6 week Antenatal course with a follow up after the babies have been born. It's also a 2 minute walk from my house, result! My sister insisted that she come with me, I said she didn't have to, that I could do it on my own but she wanted to come and I'm so so glad she did. It was all couples and if I'd gone on my own I would have hated it as I would have stuck out like a sore thumb. I'm determined that being a single parent isnt going to be an issue for me or for my baby and I'm convinced that there is no stigma attached and most of the time there isn't (I can't tell you how many women tell me how jealous they are of my situation) however every now and then you get a bit caught out, and this was one of the occasions. I felt different to everyone else there, I felt that I did stick out like a sore thumb but thankfully my sister was there to support me and we basically did the same thing we always do when we're in situations where we feel awkward, we laughed and joked, and tried to turn on the charm, be as jolly as we could be and took the micky out of each other. I don't know if it worked, or if we just drew more attention to ourselves but at least we did it and I didn't stay at home being too ashamed of my single status to face anyone. There seemed to be some really nice women there and most people seemed about my age which I wasn't expecting and it was ok. We sat about and talked about what worried us about giving birth and again I noticed that my attitude is a bit too laid back where the actual birth is concerned, I haven't even given a second thought to pain relief really, and I'm stupidly not worried about what I'll do when the baby gets here either. One woman had been measuring the temperature in the nursery for 2 weeks as it felt too cold for a baby, that was a shock as I haven't even started on the nursery but some of these couples had completed theirs and were measuring the temperature. I felt like the worst contestant on the Krypton Factor.
Apart from my ridiculous laid back/head in the sand attitude I also noticed I'm a bit of a hippy. All I wanted to know about was the dangers of having the baby in the bed with me (when I got the dog I lasted 3 days before I caved and got him on the bed with me, I'll like the baby more so I reckon it'll be 2 before its out the Moses basket and in the bed), the benefits of water births and when I saw the pregnancy yoga leaflet I snatched at it quicker than the Maryland cookies that were on offer. I'll be wanting to have the baby out in the fields surrounded by nature next!
All in all though, it was a good thing to go to the NCT, it was nice to talk to other people that didn't already have children and were experiencing it for the first time rather than established mothers who want to tell you their horror stories and how hard it all is (bleeding nipples, 30 stitches, emergency C sections and so on) and I'm looking forward to going back next week as I'm finding out loads. I'm really hoping my sister comes with me again as I do need to have someone there with me as it can be overwhelming and they do exercises for the couples which we couldn't do as we were giggling too much and when they advised that the best way to keep your labour going was to get your partner to tweak your nipples to release the oxytocin I realised that even though I'm determined that me or the baby won't suffer due to being one-parent family there are some things that I just can't do on my own and family can't help me with, but I'll do my best and I'm filled with optimism.