Saturday, 28 May 2011


I am very fortunate in that I work from home, so I can arrange my day to fit in the many appointments that seem to be required. The first one is moving doctors. I am so reluctant to do this (a couple of years ago I broke my finger and went to the local hospital who wouldn't see me because my doctor is miles away. "You have no right to access our health care services," I was told.

At breakfast, MrM tells me to stop whining and meets me later that day at our nearest surgery. I walk in first and a receptionist lowers her half moon glasses to peruse me. "Good morning," I say. No reply. I let out a huge breath, and MrM decides he will handle this before I turn around and leave. (If you haven't gathered at this point, I am hugely impatient! In my defence, I lived in Japan and Canada for a few years; so my expectations of customer service in the UK are constantly unfulfilled!).

The receptionist seems to be happier to deal with MrM, and asks him what his wife's name is. I answer. She checks that this information is correct with MrM....

Finally, she tells MrM that there is an appointment with a GP available for the following day. She asks if 3pm is acceptable. He asks me. I check my diary and say yes. He passes this affirmation onto the receptionist.

So the next day, MrM is busy and asks if I can be trusted to attend my GP appointment on my own. Amazingly, I do. I turn up again at the GP's surgery trying to be discreet (I never like people to know that I am not superhuman and occasionally need to see the doctor). I can hide all I want behind my newspaper but my name comes up on a screen at the front of the waiting room!

I go and see the doctor who stares at me when I enter. I tell him why I'm there. "I think I'm pregnant" I whisper. I think that might be the first time I've used the "p" word....

He stares at me.

And keeps staring.

"I thought I was meant to see the doctor", I add by way of explanation.

He stares a bit more and then finally says: "you don't seem pleased".

"Oh, I am pleased, but I just don't want to get too excited as it might go wrong," I say.

"How far along are you?" he asks, turning to his computer. I lean over to see what website he's on, and notice that he's putting the dates I'm giving him into "google" of all things. He then walks over to the corner of the room, and in pure Dr Spaceman of 30 Rock style, screams like a girl, and screeches; "spider, spider, spider!"

This isn't the reassuring manner I was hoping for. I ask him if he's ok and he asks me to retrieve some pregnancy leaflets from the pile of boxes in his room, before telling me to make an appointment to see the nurse, to ask at reception for a "Bounty pack" and staring at me a bit more as I leave the room.

I do all of these things and the previously foreboding receptionist magically dissolves into smiles when I ask for a Bounty pack. I get it home and it's full of marketing material, so gets put under a pile of baby books that I've currently got out on loan from the library.

The following week, I meet my sis and lil H for lunch and make an effort not to get my wee sample out of my handbag after carrying it around all day. It's like CHristmas as sis gives me a bag that contains a tent (which turns out to be maternity pants), loads of books, cream and other exciting things. Thank you!

Later, I return to the nurse, and as I hand over my wee, make some comment about my ongoing denial. She apparently had the same feelings, so tests it and according to the medical version of the test, I am indeed expecting. I think the fact that I haven't had any morning sickness is part of my denial - but I am grateful that I've escaped it all the same!She takes my blood pressure and is so gentle and reassuring that I feel better.

My next appointment is with the midwife. As I sit down, she asks, "where are you having the baby?". I haven't even thought about this and shout "home, no, hospital, no, home, no, hospital, no, home, no, hospital..." until she makes me stop, saying that it can later be changed.

She then gets out some forms and asks me the following questions:

"Are you Caucasian?"
"Are you pleased?" (here, she writes "pleased")
"Is your husband pleased?" (She writes "pleased" again).
"Are you and your husband related?"
"Do you want a Downs syndrome test" - this is a big question. I thought it was to do with a needle test, but she rolls her eyes and asks me if I haven't read the information they gave me last time.

Again, she takes my blood pressure (which is marginally higher than it was when I came in) and then makes me go to the toilet for a protein test.

I go home and stuff my face with biscuits.....

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