Babe: 3 years outside
Babeling: 7 months inside

Yet another growth scan this week – apparently they can’t get enough of the babeling at this hospital. The novelty of seeing bits of his insides on TV is wearing off now, although I did spot a very cute pair of feet, crossed at the ankle, somewhere in the region of my right lung. I knew there were feet up there. So the pointy bit that gets all the way down to the top of my left thigh could be an elbow.

Straight after the scan, I had the same conversation that I always have with the registrar (it’s never the same registrar but it’s always the same conversation). The babeling is small but growing steadily so far. They can’t make a decision about me using the birth centre until the last scan, when they will estimate his birth weight, and see if it falls within the normal range.

After a conversation with a friend who had her baby a year ago in the same hospital, giving birth on the labour ward is less attractive than ever. They didn’t have a bed ready for her even when she was ready to start pushing, so she was trapped in a waiting room crammed with expectant grandparents, pacing around in complete agony. Her husband looked into the room they were preparing for her and someone was ‘cleaning’ it by using their feet to wipe the blood off the floor with the bloody sheets they had just taken off the bed. When she did get into the room the midwife trilled cheerily, ‘You have picked a busy time, haven’t you?’ and left her to get on with it unaided.

So I had a brainwave – ‘Can you just reassure me now that if the babeling is the right size according to the next scan, I can use the birth centre?’ I asked. ‘Even with the retained placenta I had last time?’

‘Yes!’ said the registrar, and he wrote it in my notes, with his Special Senior Registrar Initials at the end. Result! (I hope the head midwife honcho at the birth centre is impressed too.)

Then a student midwife started to lead me away for the last round of blood tests. I wish her well in her chosen career, but she looked about sixteen years old, and I just did not feel like providing her with experience in siphoning blood out of people. When it became clear that she intended to extract my blood, rather than taking me to someone who has done it nine billion times before, it was time to say something.

‘By the way, I don’t want to worry you, but the first time I had blood taken I passed out. And had a fit. Oh, and I’ve got really small veins,’ I said chattily as we walked along.

She literally did a U-turn. ‘I’ll go and get Roshina,’ she said. Sensible move. Roshina had done it nine billion times before. I got to lie down, was spoken to soothingly, and generally received five star treatment. (That incident may have taken place fifteen years ago, never to be repeated, but I’m still milking it.) Now hopefully I can save up the rest of my blood for the floor of the birth centre.

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