Tiny Dancer

8 May

As a highly anxious and panicky person when it comes to anything medical, there is one day on the baby calendar that has left me in a state of both utter excitement and total fear. A rather mixed bag of emotions by anyone’s standards. No wonder I’m a nervous wreck.

Now I know that this anxiety is irrational and that if something is going to be wrong then no amount of worrying about it before hand is going to change it, but sometimes I simply can’t help it. And sometimes, ok, most of the time, I will fret. A LOT. This is greatly exacerbated if what I’m worrying about involves me, a hospital, a scan of my insides and the potential to find something wrong with me or my baby.

Yes ladies and gents, its 12 week scan day. Or as I like to call it, ‘the-day-I-really-want-everything-to-be-ok-more-than-I-ever-have-in-my-life’.  My appointment is at 9.20am, I’m awake at 6.30am. It takes 20 minutes to get to the hospital from my house. Lovely, only 3 hours for my illogical brain to go into crazy lady overdrive. And it does.

Firstly I’m convinced there isn’t actually a baby in there and that it’s all a figment of my imagination. I’m convinced they’re going to do the scan, turn to me and ask why on earth I thought I was pregnant. That I am in fact menopausal and that’s why I no longer have periods. I know I’m 33, but this does happen. I’ve read it in Woman’s Own.

Secondly and what is causing me the greatest distress is that there is going to be something wrong with my baby. This terrifies me, because all I want to do is protect my little jelly bean. But is it any wonder I’m worried? Looking through all my ‘new mum’ booklets and pamphlets I’m bombarded by page after page of what could be wrong when all I want to read is ‘don’t worry neurotic one, all will be fine’. I know one has to be prepared, but for me, it’s simply one more thing to spend hours on the internet fretting over.

Thirdly I’m positive the scan is going to detect something wrong with me. I have visions of the sonographer calling in doctors as she has ‘found some sort of grey mass she’s not sure about’. Ridiculous? Not in my mind. In my crazy lady head it’s a foregone conclusion. And this does happen. I’ve read it in Woman’s Own.

So, I’ve relayed all of this to hubby by 7.45am and he looks exhausted. Poor man, he just wanted to eat his toast. Now he’s about to lose his dying wife and her phantom pregnancy.

We finally leave home and head to the hospital. The antenatal suite is down a long corridor and up a flight of stairs. This involves walking past a lot of ill people, which does nothing for my nerves. I nod hello at them. Well, may as well start the pleasantries, we’ll be sharing a ward come 10am.

As we enter the suite, my heart is racing. I expect to be waiting for ages, but we’re taken straight in and I’m asked to lie on the bed. Oh my god, this is all happening so quickly, what happened to NHS waiting times? When I go for a blood test I’m normally waiting an hour. I thought I’d have time to compose myself and calm my breathing, but clearly not. If it wasn’t for my amazing husband’s reassuring face and the cold shock of the gel on my stomach I swear I’d be having a panic attack.

And then something astonishing happens. Something so wonderful I’m not sure I can find the words to describe it. Our baby appears on the screen. Our beautiful, perfect, child (who only looks a little bit like an alien) is in the room with us. We can hear the heart beat, we can see him / her moving around. Actually I’m pretty convinced baby is going to be a dancer given the moves she was busting out. I’m so proud. My baby is headed for a career on the stage. I knew it!

After about 2 minutes I can’t help myself. ‘Is everything ok? Does everything seem as it should?’. ‘Oh yes’, she says ‘you have a textbook baby’. My relief is palpable. I can breathe again. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. And maybe that’s why they don’t tell you about it beforehand. Some surprises are best left until the day.

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