Thursday, February 2, 2006


Or - I just wanted to write about something else.

I’m still pregnant, which is good because I really didn’t want a January baby. February just seems so much more pleasant.

This has been an even easier pregnancy this time around. I think I’m just one of those extremely lucky gals. My back pain is here and there, where as last time it was unbearable, and I rarely get heartburn, where as last time I was a veritable fountain of stomach acid. Not pleasant at all and required sleeping upright, which I hated.

Amusingly enough doctors here were concerned again about the smallness of my belly, and despite my reassurances that it was all baby, and it happened last time, I was sent in for another growth scan. Fine by me. So I went in to the hospital on Friday last. Steve came with me; neither of us had seen a 38 week ultrasound image before. Bubble was beautiful. The technician focused in on the little face and we watched the mouth open and close and then a hand shielded the eyes as if Bubble was hiding from us till we went away. And then Steve began to work his magic. First he finds a common ground. Our technician was Australian. His dad has lived in Australia for the past 30 years – Adelaide, we’re hoping to go for a visit one summer soon. He shares this with her. They chat about Australia while she measures the baby’s skull. Then he goes in for the kill. He mentions hospital policy, which prevents revelation of the baby’s sex. She nods. Then he butters her up until she caves. It was her last day at that hospital anyway she said as she moved the wand to the location of Bubble’s sex organs, which the previous technician Nazi had seemed determined to avoid. There was no denying it. Our Bubble is very much a boy! We were overjoyed. One of each. Of course saying that weakened my smile momentarily, but I regained my focus on the baby at hand and not the trouble brewing abroad.

I would honestly have been fine with either, having a boy makes me slightly nervous, and last time around I’d hoped so much for a boy that upon discovering that Audrey was a girl, I felt I’d jinxed myself. So this time I worked very hard not to focus on either, but I had the distinct feeling that it was going to be a girl, though EVERYone else was convinced Bubble was a boy. Shows what I know. The whole rest of the afternoon, I couldn’t keep the smile from my face and every so often I would say out loud, “We’re having a boy.” It was okay, because Steve was doing it too. We were like a child at Christmas who’d just unwrapped the gift he’d wanted most. Of course we’d opened our gift a little early, but it was the uplifting news we, or at least I, needed.

And as for the size of my belly being of concern, well, Bubble is over 7 pounds already. So I explain to them again, oh great holders of medical licenses, tall+thin=small belly. I’ve gained a whopping 35 pounds – there’s definitely a baby in there, people. So doctors reassured, I merely wait for the baby to come now. And if that doesn’t happen, well then I get to make an induction appointment.

But I think I might help nature along because I really want the baby to come this weekend, especially since Audrey made a special request that Bubble come on Sunday. Not Friday, not Saturday but Sunday, which just happens to be 40 weeks exactly. I aim to please. So I’ve been researching natural labor induction methods on the internet. Let me tell you one thing, I surely won’t be going the castor oil route.

I must say, however, that I am pretty nervous about the experience of having a baby in the UK. Everything was so easy with my last L&D, but it’s like a different world here. I was reading in the newspaper about the high rates of new moms dying in the hospital because of hemorrhaging – bad observation on the part of medical staff. And then Mrs. Mogul wrote how just a week or so ago (we have the same due date and she lives here in London) her doctor prescribed her a medication. She filled the prescription, but decided to research the pill online before taking it. Good thing, because it was something that you should specifically not take after 38 weeks. So forgive me if I am a little skeptical of the quality of care one can find in the UK. I’m almost tempted not to get an epidural for fear that a half-wit anesthesiologist might prick me wrong and paralyze me for life. And to top it all off, the maternity ward has visiting hours. Even partners have to leave the hospital at 8. No such rules at the hospital in which I had Audrey. I think you probably don’t get your own room here, which means I will be checking out at the earliest possible moment.

But hey, they have Stonehenge and Big Ben, Parliament and Buckingham Palace. What need have the Brits of quality, reliable medical care?

Okay that’s just the nerves talking.

I'll write more about the other stuff soon, but for now, here's to hoping baby will decide to come real soon.