Tadpole’s first photograph (head to left of picture)
Yesterday we went to Aberdeen Maternity Hospital for Tadpole’s first scan, which was kind of exciting and very, very surprising! You see, we were expecting a blurry image of something vaguely blobby, with no discernible features. What we got was a pretty good look at something distinctly baby-like!
But let’s start at the beginning…
First off, we got to the Maternity clinic and handed over my appointment card whereupon I was handed some paperwork to give to the nurse. As we were waiting, a woman was called in and her name had every full-bladdered woman in the place desperately crossing her legs ni the hopes of not wetting herself with laughter. The woman’s name was Heidi Ho. We all waited till she was in the doctor’s office before sniggering amongst ourselves and congratulated ourselves on having not shouted out “Hi-de-hi!”* I swear – you couldn’t make this stuff up!
Shortly afterwards, I got called in and asked if I’d brought along a urine sample. I was a bit confused as I had been convinced the Midwife had said I would need a sample at every appointment except the scans as I would need a full bladder. However, I was told they could get the sample after I’d had the scan and, after checking the details on my paperwork were correct, they sent me down to the scan department.
A short wait later and Dale and I were ushered into a darkened room. I hoisted myself up onto the ludicrously high hospital bed and did the “pull your top up and your trousers down so your fat belly shows” act. My trousers were then pulled just a bit further down as, at this stage in pregnancy, Tadpole is very low down in my belly. I then had a couple of paper napkins tucked into my clothes and had some freezing cold gloop squirted onto my quivering belly. Then the fun began.
I never realised how rough they would be with that scanner! They really do prod at you quite firmly in order to move things around till they can get a good view, and that’s exactly what we got! The problem is, Tadpole, it seems, doesn’t like being prodded (but then, who does?!). Every time the scanner was at the head, Tad would curl away from it. Each time the scanner prodded the feet end, Tad would start kicking like a mule (honestly, I have the Karate Kid in there!). The kicking was so violent that I was surprised I couldn’t feel it all going on! I only wish we’d managed to get a picture of Tadpole kicking, because the picture was so clear at that point that we could see toes!
After a bit more prodding and moving around, we had four pictures and the idea that I may have a very small fibroid on my left side, but I was told not to worry about that, as it could very easily smooth out as Tadpole grows and stretches my womb. I figure Dr. Scanner knows what she’s talking about, so I’m choosing to believe her and not worry needlessly over something I can’t control.
Then it was back upstairs to the clinic where I handed over my paperwork once again and was finally able to relieve myself. Have you ever tried to pee into a small sample bottle? If you’re a guy, you might not have a problem with that, but if you’re female and you’re bursting for a pee, you’ll soon discover it’s kind of difficult to aim without getting it everywhere. Fortunately, I managed not to soak the cubicle or myself and promptly stuck the freshly-filled bottle in my pocket.
When I was called into the Nurse’s office, she tested my sample and discovered I had a tiny amount of protein in it (but nothing to worry about), and, despite all the water I manage to put away in a day (I manage my eight glasses easily and often drink several more than that!), I was slightly dehydrated! I was flabbergasted! How on earth I manage to be dehydrated when I practically drink our water cooler dry on a daily basis is beyond me. How much more am I supposed to drink? Is Tadpole really a Frog?
Then I got sent back out to wait to see the doctor who was just adorable. He told me not to worry about the protein or the dehydration, as it really was the tiniest amount and I otherwise seem to be in good health, as well as having excellent blood pressure (high or low blood pressure is a problem I’ve never suffered – I always seem to be spot on!). I asked a few questions that were specific to me, as I’ve been watching a lot of baby and birthing programmes first thing in the morning and they always make me think. For example, I heard the other day that a side effect of an epidural can be a drop in lood pressure. The thing is, when my blood pressure drops, I pass out, therefore, would it be advisable for me to avoid an epidural or would it be OK if I required one? Also, I have a very slight heart murmur – would that affect my ability to use a TENS machine for pain relief? The lovely Doctor said he would get hold of my medical notes from all my 12 years of testing (which has yet to turn up an answer for why I pass out) and review them to see how they would affect me, but that he really couldn’t see a problem at this point. I choose to believe that he’s another professional who knows his business and so I will believe what he says. We’ll find out at my 20-week scan what bearing my medical history will have on my birth options.
And so, that was that. We headed home clutching Tadpole’s first photographs and feeling a little shell-shocked that there really is a baby in there and that I didn’t just misread the test or imagine the whole thing.
And to top it all off, we had our Estimated Due Date revised. We’ve moved from 3 October to 27 September – the day after my birthday. If Tadpole is anything like me, we can expect an early appearance and an extra special birthday gift for me – but we shall have to wait and see!
*Anyone who grew up ni the UK in the 1980s will recognise this as being from a twee sitcom called Hi-de-Hi. A camp leader called Gladys would start each morning by greeting everyone with, “Good morning, Campers! Hi-de-hi!” To which everyone would reply, “Hi-de-ho!”. Yes, it was naff, but the memories stick and that poor woman must have to live with it on a daily basis!