It was Wednesday 20th September. I was expecting my first baby on Friday 13th October. As if that date wasn't bad enough, it also happens to be the birthday of Margaret Thatcher and Edwina Currie and everyone in my family had girls which was a bit of a worry but I did know first babies are nearly always late.
I went to the hospital ante natal unit that morning - just for a routine check up, but they decided they would have me in on 1st October to induce the baby as he/she appeared to be a big un. I was quite happy about that. At least now I could start planning, buy the baby things etc.
That afternoon I went to my regular Wednesday afternoon ante natal class. Of all the bizarre things I have ever done in my life, they are right up there. That afternoon we got to practice 'pushing'. I was obviously a little over enthusiastic because much to my mortification, as I pushed I felt a dribble 'down below'. "Sod it!" Amidst all the indignities of late pregnancy, I had thus far avoided incontinence - until it appeared that moment - AND to make matters worse I was wearing white trousers. I excused myself from the exercise and tried to make my huge self inconspicuous for the rest of the class.
Home and I was knackered. I had a bit of a lie down, but was still bothered by the dribbling 'down below'. Some hours later I decided to investigate somewhat closer and collected a sample (something women are quite skilled at by the 8th month of pregnancy). *Thinks* "Hummm....my wee doesn't look like that." I rang the hospital and was a bit put out to be told I had better come in and see them. As I was driving there I remember wondering if I would be back home in time to see a particularly promising episode of Brookside which was on at 8.00pm that night.
I never did get to see Brookside. Although I wasn't in labour I had developed a leak. Nothing dramatic which is what I always assumed happened when your waters broke, but a slow leak. Nevertheless, as the midwife informed me after the most cursory of examinations, I couldn't go home as I was going to have a baby in the next 48 hours. And far from being prepared I didn't even have so much as a toothbrush with me, let alone anything for a baby.
But have a baby I did. Just before midnight the following day. And I bucked the family trend and had a boy. 8lbs 6ozs so I guess he would have pretty big if I had gone to my dates, but he was long - 58 cms long, hence the leak - poor child hadn't got room to stretch and basically put his foot through his too cosy accommodation. And tomorrow my baby is old enough to vote. And today he is 6 foot 4 inches long.
I have seen this week in blog land that Ally, who became pregnant towards the very end of an assessment to adopt a child, and also Salvadore have both had baby boys this week. I wish them the happiness my son has given me, but warn them that in 18 years time they too will be wondering as I am now, "How on earth did that happen so fast?"
Tootling - War memorial in Danesmoor Recent Yorkshire Pudding posts have looked out to the world beyond my obscure little life, looked out to matters that concern me ...
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