Babe: Two years and eleven months outside
Babeling: Six months inside

We now have a new reason for not letting me use the birth centre. The registrar I saw today said she was not particularly bothered by my having a retained placenta last time, but did not like the babeling being on the fifth centile.

Every time I have a scan, which is every four weeks now, they say ‘the baby is on the fifth centile,’ (growth curve) and I say ‘that’s within the normal range, right?’ And they say, ‘yes, it’s small, but it’s normal.’

The registrar, on the other hand, said ‘It’s on the lower limit of normal. So it’s either just a healthy, small baby, or the placenta may not be functioning properly – in which case we will have to monitor it throughout labour.’

In other words, they want to connect me to a horrible machine which in my imagination is several times bigger than me with flashing lights and curly green wires coming out of it and necessitates me being strapped rigidly to a stainless steel trolley while scientists observe me impassively through plate glass, and so on. I don’t know why they can’t leave the babeling in peace on his fifth centile, where he’s growing nicely.

The babe was small – she was six and a half pounds at birth, nearly two weeks after the due date, and the average these days is eight and a half. I reckon I just do small babies. Nothing wrong with that, surely. They’re cuter, and easier to push out.