How to Get Induced: A Moral Dilemma

40 weeks is a long time to wait for a baby. In my head if he didn’t come a couple of weeks early then he would at least arrive promptly on his due date, labour conveniently starting right when I would usually get up for work. I’d enjoy a much needed lie in while Katie contracted away quietly before we headed off to hospital. There’d be a few more hours of contractions that might be considered painful to mere mortals but would barely break a sweat for a powerhouse of womaninity like my wife.

After his gracious and timely emergence, his fresh face glowing and glistening in the afternoon sunshine, I would place him at my wife’s breast, The Circle of Life would somehow start playing softly in the background and we’d enter a new age of joyous, harmonious family life together.

What I hadn’t prepared for was sailing right past the 40 week mark without so much as a false labour or even a Braxton Hicks. Nearly a week overdue he continues to stay put, gleefully kicking the ever living shit out of my wife from the inside out. I suppose it’s her fault for cultivating such a hospitable womb for him. He’s not even been born and she’s already spoiling him. At this point it feels like she’s been pregnant for so long that I can’t remember anything different. Part of me genuinely believes this is life now; she’ll be pregnant forever. She’ll carry him internally into adulthood by which time technology will have advanced to the point that he’ll be able to get a job and live his entire life via some kind of video link from her uterus.

Raspberry leaf tea, hot curries, sex, walking, jumping, bouncing, and a literal gallon of pineapple juice later and he still won’t budge. Time to call in the big guns. Medical intervention is most definitely required at this point. That is why yesterday she went to the midwife for what is delightfully referred to as a “stretch and sweep”, which as far as I can tell is a very firm and vigorous NHS-administered fingering.

Katie had heard horrendous stories from her friends about this procedure and that it can be very painful, but apparently it wasn’t that big of a deal. Her friends obviously aren’t used to the goliath rocket-dong she is.

Anyway, we’re yet to see if the clinical finger-banging will get baby moving. What I really think she needs is a proper doctor-supervised intravenous dose of baby-inducing drugs. Which she was so God damn close to getting yesterday I could almost smell the amniotic fluid!

After receiving her medical muffin’ buffin’ and presumably the craving for a post-coital cigarette had worn off, the midwife went through the usual routine of testing her urine and measuring her bump. Urine tested fine, but the bump (and therefore the baby) didn’t appear to have grown for 2 weeks. Alarm bells instantly went off and the midwife called the hospital to try and get her booked in for an immediate scan. Was this it? Had she carried the baby for 41 weeks only to lose him? This did not sound good.

Within an hour we were sitting in the hospital consultant led unit and Katie had a number of sensors strapped to her belly and a little machine printing out a live chart. They also got her to press a button every time he kicked. They’d already asked us if the baby’s movements had been normal. He had been doing the minimum of 10 kicks every 2 hours but he had been moving less than normal recently. A concerned look on her face, the doctor left us in the monitoring bay.

I’m not really convinced the results at the end of the monitoring period were reflective of the baby’s normal movements, as he seemed to take quite a disliking to one of the sensors bearing down on him and spent the entire time trying to elbow it out of the way. Either way, we were sent upstairs for a scan and then sent back down to the consultant led unit to wait for nearly 2 hours for the doctor’s opinion of what was going on, and whether they’d send us home or begin the induction process.

After the first hour we realised we still had our notes folder with us, and that in order to be seen you had to hand it in at the department reception. We were essentially just hanging around in a hospital department that no one knew we were even in. Brilliant. Another hour later and a doctor finally came to see us who looked so young and timid she’d be better off at home building Lego Friends than in a career that involves taking people’s lives into her hands.

She informed us (in the corridor!) that she had read our notes, and that everything seemed to be “ok”. The baby measurements didn’t quite tally up, but he was a decent size. She didn’t seem that convinced though. She chewed on her pen as she re-read through the notes, clearly wondering what the next step was. “Please, just induce this little bastard out of her,” I kept thinking. I knew Katie was thinking the same thing. We both waited with baited breath. It was then we were presented with a bit of a moral dilemma.

“So, are you happy with the baby’s movements?”

This is something we kept getting asked, and was obviously a major factor in deciding whether everything was ok or not. As she asked, my wife and I both realised this would be the deciding factor of whether we would be sent home, potentially for another week, with no baby, or whether they would keep us in and chemically purge the little fucker out.

Katie and I looked at each other. Was it right to lie and say we were concerned our baby wasn’t moving enough so that we got to meet him sooner? Overall, Katie wasn’t concerned that he wasn’t moving enough. If anything she was concerned he was moving too much. An in-utero sedative might be a good next step if they weren’t going to induce him.

After a pause that felt like a lifetime and several glances back and forth between Katie and me, honesty prevailed. She told her she wasn’t concerned. Lying felt like bad karma, somehow. The doctor glanced through the notes again, probably distracted the first 2 times by the ever-present thought of the semi-constructed Heartlake High School Playset waiting for her at home. As expected, she decided to send us on our merry way.

So, the boy is still in there, an estimated 7 lbs and 12 ounces, kicking away, slightly less often, but harder than ever. The wait for baby continues.

 

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Pregnancy Etiquette – twelve things you should NOT say to a pregnant woman.

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As my own pregnancy is coming to an end and little man cub is due any day now, I cant help but feel relieved that I wont have to stop myself round-housing people in the face. (Yes. I can still roundhouse at 9 months pregnant.)

 Everyone is excited about a new baby on the way – friends, family, neighbours and of course random people who feel the need to shoe horn their way into your personal life and make comments on your ‘situation’.

 After the initial fun of telling people who asked when I was due that I wasn’t pregnant (when I was clearly 6 months pregnant) wore off, I found myself getting more and more fed up with people’s desire to comment and inadvertently and unintentionally, offend.

 Here is a list of ACTUAL comments received by my pregnant friends and myself. I am sure you will agree my restraint has been outstanding…

 “Congratulations. Was it planned?” 

Did you plan on being a snide-y a-hole today? 

“Wow, you are getting big now!” 

 Thanks. There is only another 20 more weeks to go – I am aiming to go the full ‘Shamu’ by the end.

 “I didn’t recognise you!” 

 Pointing in someone’s face is rude at the best of times, let alone when the finger is being circled and looks judge-y. 

 “You look exhausted” 

 Yes, I am exhausted. I am still working full time, dealing with fuck-wits like you and growing a human. 

 “You don’t have much room left in those” 

Thank you for drawing my attention to my dungarees. I had forgotten I was pregnant and expanding and you pointing out that my baggiest most comfortable clothing item is soon to be defunct, has really made my day.

 “Still eating?

 It’s a friggin’ buffet. Of course I’m still eating and I’m not going to stop until the last sausage roll has gone.

 “How are you? Tired? Oh, you wait!” 

I’m fully aware that I will be soon having less sleep. but that does not mean I am not tired now. I play pillow jenga every night trying to get comfortable and pee at least 17 times before 3am. 

“When I gave birth I tore front to back”

 Thank you for enabling me to imagine your destroyed and mangled vagina.

 “Ah, you have the pregnant waddle now, It’s your thighs rubbing together. 

 No. Just, no. You cruel bastard. 

 “Have you thought of any names? Oh. I don’t like it.” 

Oh you don’t like it? Shit. What do you like? Let me make sure YOU are happy with the name of my future child. You are THAT important to me. 

 “Are you sure it’s not twins?”

No, it’s not twins. But it is one giant baby that is so huge that he will have to live in my uterus forever, for I will never be able to push it out of my tiny she-bits. Thanks for noticing. 

“Don’t worry, the weight will drop right off you!”

 What if it doesn’t? That is a sure fire way to put a shit ton of pressure on a new mum to get back into shape. It also means that when I’m caught eating my fourth cream cake that I will feel judged. Most probably and ironically, by people much larger than me. 

 If you know someone who is creating a life force in their uterus, spare a thought for their feelings and just tell them they are doing a good job. Then buy them ice cream and walk away. 

12 Ways Men and Women See Pregnancy Differently

Finding Out You’ve Conceived

WOMAN: “I’m going to be a Mummy!”

MAN: “Good work, dick and balls!”

First Scan 

WOMAN: *sobbing* “Our baby is so beautiful!”

MAN: “It looks like a weird chicken nugget.”

Finding Out it’s a Boy

MAN: “Boom!!!”

WOMAN: “Awww! He is going to be the most considerate and thoughtful man in the world. And he is going to love his mother more than he’ll love any other woman.  Ever!

Finding Out it’s a Girl

WOMAN: “Awww! Shopping trips, girl chats, teaching her to be a strong, assertive, independent woman.”

MAN: *to male sonographer* “Get your filthy fucking hands off my daughter!

Body Changes

WOMAN: “Oh, God! I have never been this fat in my life! I’m a hideous gargantuan mess and might as well put a deposit on a fucking mobility scooter right now!”

MAN: “Boobs.”

First Kicks at 18 Weeks

WOMAN: “Wow! Can you feel it?”

MAN: “No… ”

Kicks at 22 Weeks

WOMAN: “Wow! Can you feel it now?”

MAN: “……….still, no.”

Asking Questions at Antenatal Classes:

WOMAN: “I’m having a natural birth but at what stage, hypothetically, would it be too late for you to pump me full of your strongest morphine?”

MAN: “I assume there will be Wi-Fi?”

Buying Baby’s First Clothes

WOMAN: “This £60 cardigan hand-knitted by blind Himalayan monks will keep him warm during the cold winter months.”

MAN: “I’m buying this Batman cape.”

Mum Starting Maternity Leave

WOMAN: “Finally, some rest.”

MAN: “Finally, cooked dinners and ironed shirts.”

Kicks at 38 Weeks

MAN: “Wow, that is amazing! I can feel his tiny little kicks.”

WOMAN: “He’s literally trying to kick my organs out of my arsehole.”

Hearing You Need a Caesarean

WOMAN: “Oh no, I’m going to take weeks to recover and be scarred for life.”

MAN: “So, doctor, what you’re saying is my wife’s vagina is actually gonna survive this?”

 

Amazon Prime Review & Letter of Complaint

We’ve been using Amazon Prime for nearly a year now, and still absolutely loving it. For me, as someone who really can’t be arsed to go to the shops every time we need a box of fish food or something, it’s been an absolute godsend. For about £70 a year you get unlimited free next day delivery on eligible items. That means we can often place an order in the evening and it can arrive the next morning. Membership also includes access to Amazon Instant Video, which is like a shittier version of Netflix.

Anyway, the reason I’m writing about it is that not only does Amazon obviously stock loads of baby stuff, but they also have a few pretty useful services which are tailored specifically to parents. The first and most basic is an “Add to Baby Wishlist” button, which appears below the normal “Add to Wishlist Button” when you activate it. We’ve used this loads as it turns out when you’re expecting a baby you need to buy more equipment than if embarking on a winter ascension of Mount Everest. So if you can’t afford it yet, or you’re undecided exactly what you want, you can just shove it on the wishlist for later.

You can also set up a profile for each member of your household with their age etc. and this will send you tailored product recommendations. I haven’t done this yet, but may use it once the little cub has been born. These days it’s hard to avoid having advertising rammed down your throat, so if it’s going to happen anyway it might as well be relevant.

Prime members also benefit from a 20% discount on nappies when you sign up to Subscribe and Save. This means you get a regular order delivered to your house for a really good price. All the major brands are available and I think the price works our even cheaper than supermarkets. 10-11p per nappy for Pampers.

So far we’ve bought the vast majority of our baby stuff from Amazon and it’s great knowing you’re getting the best deal you can, you can compare reviews, and instead of traipsing through shops you can do it all on your phone while taking a shit at work.

I do have one gripe though. It started off as a minor thing, but is steadily getting more annoying. Even though I’ve asked them repeatedly, they still consistently fail to deliver things to my allocated ‘safe place’ when I’m not in, opting instead to leave it with my neighbours. Which doesn’t bother me much really, but after having several items a day for weeks on end I think my neighbours were starting to get a bit annoyed.

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Lovely. With this in mind I decided to write a strongly worded e-mail:

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Amazon gave us 2 months extra Prime membership by way of an apology. However, despite the above and subsequent e-mails, their delivery drivers still continue to deliver things to our neighbours. Sorry, guys.

Tiny human is almost here!

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Now that d-day is fast approaching, excitement is certainly building in the Milward household.

There is just 1 week to go until baby M is due to grace us with his presence and with maternity leave underway, I’m completely powerless to to act against my hormones’ wishes, which currently consist solely of tidying and organising like a shrewish 1950s housewife. Skirting boards, oven, bathrooms and of course the absolute car crash that is the spice cupboard. Am certain that the new addition will appreciate all of my efforts…

Does anyone else write things on their to-do-list that they’ve already done, just for the satisfaction of ticking them off?

One of the hardest things about preparing for the newbie, for me at least, has been packing the hospital bag. It feels so final and important, which is why I have packed and unpacked it several times. It is impossible to know what size he is going to be, how many nappies he might need and more importantly, how big will my arse be immediately after giving birth – it is going to shrink back to pre-baby size on the day, right?

Im sure I have forgotten something, but thankfully we don’t live far from the hospital, so will definitely be able to get anything we need short notice.

At least I have the two ‘gin in a tins’, provided by my mother in law. God bless that woman!