Thursday, 17 March 2011

A trip to the consultant - amid cuts and a funding crisis

Heading towards 20 weeks pregnant and the next round of appointments begin. This week it was the consultant and a scan to look forward to. I am quite relaxed about medical matters as I know I will be fine, but please don't let me hear about the medical details.

Seeing the consultant was strange as she read out the highlights of my last pregnancy and birth - there was lots of teeth sucking and tutting and the occasional pitying glance. As the Hubster says,  I am an admin case. After planning a home birth I got pre-eclampsia and ended up by having a C-section (and every step was subject to its own drama) . I remember a consultant coming around to see me a few days after the Pickle was born to see if I was alright, particularly in light of my earlier hopes for a 'natural birth'. I think she was marginally surprised that I was so focused on my view that the birth was a total success, as I had a healthy beautiful baby - so we spent the next twenty minutes giggling at the comic misfortunes that had beset her as a new Mum!

So this time around I am going to be closely monitored. From about 34 weeks I need to have my blood pressure monitored (stern look over the top of the consultant's spectacles) at least weekly. I am not automatically schedules for a C-section, but the consultant assures me that there is nothing natural about a natural birth as we should have been born with zips down our fronts to allow for really easy delivery....make of that what you will.

When I do go into labour I have to go straight to hospital, none of the usual being set away for 12 hours. Then I have to be continuously monitored. That is where the plan may present there are six midwives for twenty Mums in labour and the consultant it concerned about the future. I thought that the government had repeated their commitment to increasing midwife numbers but any hope on that front was very gloomily laid to rest. Best case statistics for successful VBAC births are 70% but at the RBH Hospital it is only 40% and things are unlikely to improve.

Just as I was leaving she noticed that I am over forty. More teeth sucking - and another an earlier appointment is needed. At my great age the risk of still birth is greatly increased if we allow Beanie to go over term. So I'm booked in to see them again at 39 weeks to see where we go from there.

How do I feel? Obviously concerned for Beanie (that is my job) but somehow I know I will be okay. I sincrely wish their were more midwives, and would feel much more comfortable if I thought that the consultant could guarantee me the midwife support that she feels that I need. But, I'm lucky and I'll be okay - what ever obstacles come our way.


  1. Awww we called Miss M the bean at first, then the plum, and then plum-bob (I know, weird). Sounds like Beanie's mum has a good head on her shoulders and will look after him/her just fine. Take care.


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