Babe: 3 years and 1 month
Babeling: Fully cooked (37 weeks) but due in 3 weeks

Sonographer: The baby’s growth is still down on the bottom on the fifth percentile, but at least it hasn’t dropped below it.

Babymother: Isn’t this the scan where you can estimate the birth weight?

S: Yes, want to hazard a guess?

BM: Oh, I dunno, six and a half pounds?

S: Five pounds one.

BM: That’s tiny!

S: That’s the weight now. By the time of the birth it could be seven pounds.

BM: *&@!2?? (inarticulate astonishment, not swearing – this is a family blog.) But that’s completely normal!

S: Yes…

BM: So a baby can grow along the fifth percentile, and end up at seven pounds?

S: Yes…

BM: So why did the registrars make all this fuss about the fifth percentile? And having me scanned every four weeks?

S: Well, I suppose the average birth weight is eight and a half pounds nowadays.

BM: (self-righteously) Isn’t that because the nation eats really badly?

S: Probably.

BM: *groan* Just as well I didn’t think anything was wrong.

S: I know. I’ve had women in here crying.

I shall stop complaining now, because I’m extremely fortunate to have access to ante-natal care at all. Reading a Medicins Sans Frontieres leaflet the other day kind of put things in perspective: it told the story of a woman finally getting to a hospital after being in the second (pushing) stage of labour for FIVE DAYS. The baby was dead, of course.

I really have not been concerned about the babeling’s size, but when I left the ante-natal unit I was walking on air. It suddenly feels like Christmas is coming.