I guess if you’ve read my posts before (thank you fabulous people!) you’ll know quite a bit about Hannah and our life by now….but I’ve hardly mentioned what happened before she came along, have I?
Well, aside from the birds and bee’s thing happening – I’ll spare you that, you’re welcome! – Hannah’s daddy and I happily skipped off (actually, I waddled) to a series of parent-craft classes; in which we were to learn everything there was to know about babies and childbirth and whatnot.
We didn’t learn everything, that’s for sure! But, nevertheless, it was interesting.
In one of the sessions, prospective new mums and dads were split into respective gender groups and invited to scribble down on a flipchart their ‘expectations’ of impending parenthood. Hannah’s daddy returned from his session pretty rattled and on the drive back home, he told me why. It seemed the consensus of his group was that ‘as long as the baby was healthy’ then the dads weren’t really that bothered about anything else….other than ensuring their kid supported the same football team!
“But what if the baby isn’t healthy?” Hannah’s daddy asked…whilst, undoubtedly looking grumpy (he’s good at that!). “Would you love it any less?”. Apparently no-one answered and I bet a pin could probably be heard dropping somewhere. He’d put a ‘bit of a downer’ on the groups conviviality (he’s got the knack of doing that too!). So, needless to say, he became a bit of an outcast after that.
(Btw, just giving you a heads up, I’ll be exploring this comment in my next post)
I too have heard many people making that comment and, at some point, I probably did too. Like the rest of the group, we thought we had nothing to worry about. Little did we know what was ahead for our miracle baby! My pregnancy was pretty great, aside from a few niggles here and there, albeit with raging anaemia later. All the scans (I had a few extra…being a ‘geriatric mother’ – thanks for the label NHS! *shakes fist*) were allegedly absolutely fine. How they could’ve missed what they did baffles me…but that’s another story. All I’ll say on the matter now is ‘should’ve gone to specsavers!’.
Anyway, life was looking pretty rosy for us…or so we thought.
We watched (wide eyed) the demonstration of the toy baby being stuffed through the plastic pelvis and then the obligatory DVD of a woman giving birth…where many of the prospective mothers turn 50 shades of green (not grey!) and Dads giggle a bit and mutter witticisms.
…and then we all had juice and biscuits. How very British!
At a later session, you find us all gathered at the hospital, awaiting “The Tour” and we’re all a bit giddy by this point. Reality is setting in. Gulp!
I suspect the midwife would’ve made a rather excellent Estate Agent (Realtor – for my lovely chums across the pond “Hello!” *waves vigorously*) as the first stop was the brand spanking new, multi million pound birthing ‘suite’. Oh, it was all very posh and lovely (and clean!)…and BIG…and sparkly…and it was clear that, from what the midwife was saying, this would be THE place to have your baby…if you were lucky.
There was even access to a (free!) TV so that dads could watch the football. How thoughtful.
I suspect we all assumed we’d be in there, when the time came.
We then huddled around some scratched, insipid looking swing doors. “So, mums and dads, here’s the central delivery suite” she bellowed jovially, perhaps attempting to distract us from hearing the screams of agony (or “GIVE ME ALL THE DRUGS YOU’VE GOT” or ”DON’T EVER COME NEAR ME AGAIN!!”) threatening to resonate through the other side of the doors.
“Knowing my luck, I’ll end up in there” I said to Hannah’s daddy, gesturing backwards towards a tired looking cupboard door.
Oh how we laughed. Then!
We were then guided down the corridor to the final stop – SCBU (The Special Care Baby Unit).
“…and that’s where some babies have to go if they’re poorly”. Silence ensued. If this’d been a Western, you’d have seen tumbleweed rolling down the corridor.
And that was that. Nothing else was said on the matter. So we all got into our cars and drove home.
Fast forward several weeks later and I’m in hospital, cranking my TENS machine up to the max. I’d been ‘checked out’ the previous day after bleeding, but discharged a couple of hours later and advised (firmly) that baby was definitely not coming any time soon and to return if the bleeding got worse.
Obviously, it got worse immediately on returning home! *sigh*
The car engine hadn’t even had time to cool down before we did an ‘about turn’. Several hours later, my waters had broken (whilst watching Big Brother Live – I was bored, everyone was sleeping!) and Hannah had done a bit of a dirty protest in-utero, so I was stuffed in a wheelchair and whisked away. “Oooh! Are we off to the birthing suite?” I asked the nursing auxillary in the lift (elevator). “Oh no” she said apathetically. “Delivery”. Great. Typical. Just my sodding luck, as always! No sparkly ‘flagship’ birthing suite for me, then.
And whilst the room wasn’t exactly the broom cupboard, it really wasn’t far off resembling one!
This place could never be mistaken for The Portland Hospital and I certainly wouldn’t be offered canapes and champagne post childbirth! Still, it was free. So perhaps I ought not to complain.
However, the bars on the tired looking window (I kid you not!) didn’t particularly help set the ambience and, at one point, there were six of us in that room and despite me having ‘centre stage’ (so to speak) it was a bit of a tight squeeze.
So after a relatively easy birth – I’ll spare you that too, you’re welcome – the fancy lavender room spray Hannah’s daddy squirted in my face (he didn’t read the label, he thought it’d relax me! *rolls eyes*) helped take my mind off what was going on for a while, lots of gas and air (love, love, LOVE that stuff!) and Hannah’s daddy moaning about his back hurting whilst holding my leg up in the air (Oh, we had words!!!) our tiny, vulnerable, bundle of scrumptiousness quietly arrived…and was subsequently whisked off to an incubator in SCBU….which was a bit of a shocker (total understatement!).
…and then, well, you probably know quite a bit about the rest already.
…erm…aside from the bit about me thinking Hannah was dead. Not nice.
…oh, and the maternity unit fire alarms going off most of the night – I discharged myself the following morning!
…and holding onto Hannahs daddy whilst taking a first post childbirth wee because I feared all of my internal organs would fall down the loo. Probably TMI there, huh? Apologies.
…and startling the lady at the checkout in M&S food hall the following day as I waddled forth to pay, tentatively (with stitches), looking like a zombie with pasty face and bloodshot eyes.
I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried!
So, I guess that’s all for now, my lovelies.
Ah, well, not quite. You see there’s this very special awards thingy that I’d really appreciate nominations for. Here’s the link:
If you’d like to vote for My Kid Loves Broccoli, just pick whichever category you feel is apt for the blog….we probably fit ‘The truth about SEND” and maybe, if you’ve found my posts funny “SEND with a side dish of humour”. You can even vote in several categories if you want…and then it takes a couple of clicks and Bobs your Uncle! 🙂
Thanks (as always) for stopping by.
Until next time
This post is dedicated to Leila, the student midwife who delivered Hannah ❤ and to the lady in M&S!
p.s. Expectant mummies (and daddies)…if you’re reading this, PLEASE don’t get all paranoid about your baby and start googling stuff – you’ll scare yourself silly. Enjoy your pregnancy. Whilst we didn’t know what was to come, our case is rare. Very rare. xx