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When you are: January 2010

28 January 2010

[2] VBAC

All pregnancies are different, so we can't answer that. Sorry, what was the question?

That is the standard response to any question we ask of the health service. As we approach the business end of MOTS' pregnancy we're understandably nervous about the same happening again, and don't want a repeat of it. So when MOTS was asked to go and speak to the VBAC midwife I expected propaganda to be rammed down her throat.

And that is why I went along too. But, as I found out, this could not have been further from the truth.

MOTS had an appointment with the obstetrician a few weeks ago, who was there to talk about an elective cut and shut, but she was trying to push MOTS down the VBAC route. A little at odds with the appointment. And in the absence of any notes (they'd gone AWOL, probably on holiday in the Highlands somewhere, after all it is skiing season) the 64 million dollar questions around what exactly happened last time couldn't be answered.

Tuesday's appointment with the VBAC midwife, who you would think would push for VBAC and extol the virtues of it, was well balanced, no opinions given, told MOTS what her options were, listened to her thoughts (which she says are now back to what they were in October), told her that they seem perfectly reasonable, laughed, joked, told us the notes had shown up (along with their holiday photos, some stunning shots of Portree harbour), and was generally but totally impartial and informal. Both of us expected to go in, listen to propaganda based on the NHS trying to achieve targets, and come out with the balance skewed more heavily in favour of a cut & shut. The balance was tipped, true. But the other way. And not based on the virtues, but what we wanted to hear - cold hard facts, likelihoods and possible outcomes. What I think helped MOTS' case was that MOTS got to explain what she wanted from the session, she came across as having thought about the possibilities and what could happen, and what she wanted to do in each scenario. The midwife was supportive of those decisions, and offered extra advice where there would be differences to last time, such as the drip only being tried for a maximum of 4 hours, not the 24 that MOTS was on it first time. What I think helped the midwife's case was that she had read up on the notes ahead of the appointment (and didn't have them with her to refer to, it was all there in her head), knew the score and treated MOTS as an individual.

Oh, and the birth plan? Why do mums fill this in? For no reason other than to get them thinking about the birth, other than that it may as well be a crossword puzzle for what use it is at the actual event. And that's from a midwife!

MOTS seems to be much happier after Tuesday, it went a lot better than could be expected. So we are at this juncture very grateful to the VBAC midwife for her time, and for the community midwife for the referral. There are still a lot of routes that will end in a section, and this is more likely this time, but it's not 100% guaranteed. MOTS is going to give it a shot, and is happier knowing that she won't get the 26 hours of drug induced labour before an emergency caesarean section, that it will be severely restricted. And that puts me at ease too, I don't want to see her go through all that again and end up physically and emotionally drained going into theatre, as this has shown she won't get that far in any scenario.

The surreal part of the morning was going through the labour suite and MOTS not recognising the place. She didn't remember which room she was in, or the theatre, or the lift. I pointed each out to her, even the unmarked room I was ushered into to gown up in. The only bit that seemed different to me was walking down the corridor from maternity to the main drag of the hospital. And only then because I wasn't half asleep with no shoes on!

25 January 2010

Baby's first...Cinema trip.

For only the second time since junior arrived, MOTS and I are going to
the cinema. Johnny Depp was the last person we went to see before
junior arrived, and was also the first we went to see after he arrived
(in the second and third Pirates of the Caribbean instalments). And
some 3 years later we're going to the cinema again. The stars this time
will be Scrat, Sid, Diego.... And, as the wee fella describes their
rather large friend, "elephant in the snow". Ice Age 3, here we come...

21 January 2010

[2] Finish line in sight - but we haven't started yet

We're getting closer, yet still haven't started preparing for the inevitable arrival. I remember going through our Y2K project at work, it was the only project we have ever done that would be implemented to a fixed deadline and to the second at that. Mandatory changes are often "by xx at the latest" which means they can be in earlier, discretionary projects can slip. So which do we fit?

The only one of these three categories we fit into right now is that there is no absolute, so it's not a Y2K. It is sort of mandatory as in it's going to happen and we can't stop it now, but we don't know if the deadline will be met or not. We could be early, we could be late. So it doesn't seem to fit like a project's deadline at all, does it? Apart from all the things that need to be done, the boxes that have to be ticked, the preparation, the actual implementation (albeit with no backout plan!), there are synergies in all but the deadline.

So what about some of those boxes that need to be ticked? What are they? Let's look at some of them shall we?

  • Big ticket items bought: N/R, have them from last time.
  • Nursery decorated: N/R, number 1 has done it already, adding his own flair and style to the Pooh border and the nice mural he's done in crayon.
  • Small ticket items bought: Tick. A few additions, a few replacements, a few loads through the dishwasher.
  • Cute clothes ready: No tick yet. They are in storage still, clean and protected, but will go through the machine again nearer the time.
  • Cot ready: No tick yet. Still on lowest setting, needs raising, needs clean bedding on, currently being used to store bags, bags need removing.
  • Pram ready: No tick yet. Still in pushchair form, needs reverting, linings cleaned, test drive, "MoT".
  • Car seat ready: No tick yet. One piece AWOL needs finding, then needs cleaning. Maybe treat ourselves to a new base unit so we don't have to switch between cars.
  • Names: No tick yet. Shortlists ready, this one won't be finalised until after the shortlisted names are put to a face to check for suitability.

All of this was relevant the first time round, and by now all but the name was in a tick status, or very much in hand. This time there are additional worries. We can look back to August 2006 and see when things kicked off. That was a really unpleasant hour to be driving through to hospital then, even without a young one in tow. This time, there's another one to worry about. It's all well and good having offers of help, but all of this is from friends who also work. So to actually inflict a very lively 3 year old on someone who has to leave to go to work is something very different to having the offers there. And then there's the unfamiliar territory, which he's fine with apart from the enthusiastic exploring - so he'll be a handful to say the least.

We have a weekday daytime plan, we sort of have a weekend plan, and we need to have a serious think about the gaps. If these gaps do get plugged, one thing is certain: I won't be spending much time at the hospital. MOTS has indicated this is not necessarily a bad thing (she did mean it in a positive way, not that she can't stand the thought of me being there - or so I hope), so it my work out OK. But it's that deadline that isn't a deadline that's a real problem. With what is effectively a four week window that's a long time to be on standby, never mind having anyone else on standby for us. I guess this is one downside to not being part of a big Catholic family with numerous brothers and sisters living on the next street. The upside is that we don't have numerous brothers and sisters living on the next street. A double-edged sword if ever there was one.

So here’s hoping for it to start around 07:00 on a Monday morning, time to drop number 1 off at nursery as normal, head through to hospital, home by the tea time pickup. The only preparation that is needed then is to feed the pigs and line them up on the runway ready for take-off.

19 January 2010

Having a giraffe!

Well, the car dealers I have spoken to over the course of the last week are all having a giraffe. As expected, all well below valuation on the Focus, all expecting too much on the replacement. But with no willingness to budge on any price, I've given up. So I'm trying it the hard way instead. Advert on Auto Trader for the Focus, and I'm willing to give Autoebid a try for the replacement. Worth a shot to not get stung by slimy dealers.

09 January 2010

[2] MOTS has started nesting

Sssshhhh! Don't say anything to her, she goes into denial if you mention it - but the nesting HAS started!

Hospital bag has been started, bottles are in the dishwasher, steriliser is out of the box, car seat is altogether in the garage, and she's sweeping the kitchen floor. 9 weeks to go and she's nesting!

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