I had womb ache today. It wasn’t very painful. I dismissed it.
About 2 hours later I was sitting in a meeting when I felt something go whoosh. A pop of liquid in my knickers. Then another one. I excused myself and went to the toilet and found a frightening amount of blood gushing out of me.
I am, by nature, a crier. I am continually one mean shop assistant away from a full-blown snotty, bleary sob-fest. I didn’t hold back this time, believe me. I wept uncontrollably on the walk back to my office. My co-workers ended their conference call in alarm on my return. They gathered around, filled with concern and care.
I tried to call my midwife. Voicemail. I tried to call my GP. Closed for lunch. I rang the Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit. The angel midwives told me to get there in about an hour and they would scan me.
My boss took us home: me, my Mum and my Mum’s foldy bike that she rides to work. My Dad was there to meet us, full of hugs.
I live in the best place in the world. My road is a little hub. A wonderful community of friends and friendly neighbours all live within a 2 minute walk from my front door. Every day I’m thankful for that. Today, as I got out of the car, one of my best friends was passing my house with her little baby. She gave me an enormous hug and offered to pick up Ava from Nursery. This woman has a 3 year old and a 6 week old. She’s a saint.
We went to the hospital. I was seen immediately. The midwife took me into the gloom of the sonography room and said quietly ‘I think I’ll just turn the monitor towards me for the first bit’.
Sometimes these moments last an eternity. I remember when we found out that Iris had died. I felt like I was looking at that monitor for hours. Desperately searching for that flicker.
Not today: ‘It’s fine’. Immediately.
It was fine. She turned the screen towards us and we saw that longed-for flicker. ‘It’s showing off for you’ she said, as the baby wriggled and kicked and flailed it’s little arms around: ‘that’s a good strong heartbeat’.
I have a ‘bleed’ the size of my little fingernail. A tiny tear. The blood looks dramatic, but apparently it’s nothing to worry about.
My Dad says that it’s a good reminder to be fatalistic about the whole thing. He thinks we need to be prepared that it might go wrong in order to retain some kind of emotional resilience. I think differently. I think I’m going to keep on hoping. I’m going to believe that it will all continue to be just fine.
I know we can cope if the worst happens; but I don’t think I could survive another six months of tenterhooks and panic.