Today I trekked over to QMC again, but this time for a pre-arranged appointment and with much more of a sense of enjoying a little bit of freedom. Ted’s back in his regular nursery hours so BabyDaddy couldn’t come with me but I loaded up my phone with new music and looked forward to the train journey.
I left myself plenty of time as I know how slow I can be when the backache, trapped nerves and pulled muscles kick in, so when the train was delayed outside Nottingham station I wasn’t bothered. I still ended up with plenty of time to get breakfast from Gregg’s, catch a bus to QMC and settle down with a hot chocolate and my book when I got there.
Unfortunately I got a bit upset in the antenatal waiting room as there were just so many breastfeeding posters everywhere and as it was something I knew I needed to talk about with the epilepsy nurses it seemed to sting that little bit more. But I also started to ponder how they know there’s a causal link between lower incidences of osteoporosis, hip fractures and ovarian cysts in women who breastfeed rather than just a correlation. Women are told not to have caffeine for at least the first trimester because of the risk of miscarriage but that’s correlational and probably related more closely to lifestyle and stress. But that’s another post.
Once that had got me worked up I noticed the skin-to-skin posters telling me the first hour was crucial, and then I started feeling guilty and upset about having had to spend the first hour of Ted’s life in theatre away from him.
The lesson I’ve learnt is not to read posters in waiting rooms. (The “don’t remove the hair down there” ones are worth a glance though).
When I eventually saw my consultant – only an hour after my appointment time! – I was surprised to hear that she was happy with the “decisions” I had made for my birth. As far as I’m aware I’ve never been asked to make any.
She told me she thought I was likely to have another big baby but that she also thought I was right to opt for a natural delivery over a caesarean. Although that is the decision I have made (or the assumption, at least) no one has ever talked to me about caesarean being an option.
She told me I was at higher risk of tearing, having had a third degree last time and carrying big babies, but other doctors and midwives have told me I’m at no greater risk than anyone else. I’m not overly concerned and would prefer to tear than to have an episiotomy or a caesarean, but I did feel a little bit like it wouldn’t make much difference if I did have other ideas.
The epilepsy nurse came and spoke to me about my medication, how we’ll manage the dose reduction and how best to breastfeed. She put it in my notes – and the doctor did too – that I’m to stay in for at least three days and gave me strict instructions not to let them rush me out because they’re short of beds. They’re going to visit me and monitor baby to give us the best chance of feeding, and to give me the support and reassurance I need before facing the world as a mother of two.
The consultant asked if I’d like a sweep while I was there and laughed when I said “I’d love one!” as most people aren’t quite so cheerful at the thought. Having believed baby was on his way last week I was just ready to hear what the chances were, whether or not the sweep worked. As it happens the baby is “very very low” and my cervix is “extremely favourable” (is that TMI?) so the sweep was easy to do. She said she’d be very surprised if she has to see me again next week but that she’d give me an open appointment so I could go back if I needed to.
On the way back to the train station (slowly, so slowly!) I got a phone call saying she had changed her mind and wanted to see me next week if I haven’t delivered. Fingers crossed that won’t have to happen but I’m trying very hard not to get too excited.
My brother had a dream last night in which I had the baby tomorrow, he had red hair and I called him Harry. Let’s see how many of those predictions are right…