Mercedes' sixth month

Mercedes at 6monthsI could hardly believe my eyes as I scanned the pages of my local newspaper. The maternity ward where I was booked in to have my baby was closing exactly one month before I was due! How could this be happening? I had chosen the hospital based on a list of important criteria which included proximity to our home, reputation, familiarity (I had Ava there and most of my sisters had their babies there) and atmosphere. But now all that careful planning was out the window. I took along a truckload of questions to my next antenatal appointment with the midwives.

As it turned out, the maternity ward was being closed for about a year while asbestos removal and renovation was carried out (probably a good idea to get us out of there, I guess). And during that time we would all be transferred to another local, but much smaller, hospital. My list of pros and cons had many positives, such as all the midwives and staff would also be transferring so I would still see the same familiar faces. And my planned C-section would remain the same, including the obstetrician performing the operation. The hospital was also closer to our home and in a familiar part of town.

However my biggest concern remained over-crowding. I had chosen to have our baby through the public system as I couldn’t see any reason why we needed to pay thousands for the same outcome. I had a very positive public experience with Ava and have had an uncomplicated pregnancy, so we figured public would be fine. But now I’m starting to question the strength of that argument. The option of having a room to myself, with the alternative prospect of sharing with six other women and screaming babies, was looking like it would be worth paying for! Of course my husband failed to see the problem of sharing a room with several other post-labour women and their babies. “You might make some nice new friends,” he suggested. “It’s only for a couple of days,” he added. And when he saw his arguments were failing to win me over he did what he always does in tricky situations – joked. “Well, they may have to bring in bunk beds to ensure everyone has a bed!” Not funny! my withering look said.

Well, there’s not a lot I can do about the situation, other than daily prayers the venture will be postponed, not a ridiculous thought considering the government’s ability to meet deadlines.

My bad news this month was tempered with some great news. My mum and dad were travelling up from Tasmania for the birth of the baby. I was thrilled to know I would have my mum around to help in those early days as she had been with Ava.

As I entered my 28th week, I was scheduled for a glucose test in which we have to drink an overly sweet drink (much like cordial without the water) and then sit around for an hour and have a blood test to see how the glucose is taken into our system. The test is designed to identify if a pregnant woman has developed gestational diabetes. I did my test at the same time as two other mothers-to-be. One of the mums was only young (in her early 20s) and already had a 10 month old baby. My quick calculations revealed she would be having the second at the same time her first was turning one! It put my five-year-gap well and truly into perspective!

And now for my embarrassing moment of the month (it seems I’m destined to have at least one per month). I popped into my local Coles to pick up a few items for dinner. My first mistake was to still be wearing wedges in week 27! My second mistake was to rush around too fast on those notoriously slippery floors. You can probably see where I’m heading with this. I was in the lolly aisle (!!) and one of my wedges slipped out from under me. In my attempt to prevent falling on my belly, I fell forward four great leaping lunges until I came to rest on one knee and one out-stretched hand. It did not look like much of a fall (for all the dramatics) but when I stood it was clear I had done some damage to my pubic bone/ligament area. A nice lady, thankfully the only one to witness my embarrassment, offered to help me stand. But as I went to take a step I was stopped by a piercing pain. I was still several aisles and half a car park away from the humiliation-free safety of my car and I could barely take a step. I took a deep breath and with each step made a valiant effort not to cry out in pain. It turned out I had only stretched my ligaments in my attempt to prevent myself falling and after a few days of relentless complaining was back to my old self. That weekend I retired my wedges to the back of the cupboard and bought a very sensible pair of ballet flats!

One of the things I’m consumed with this month is choosing a name for our baby girl. We have a list of favourites but none of them are wowing us at the moment and I’m determined not to have a nameless baby, even for one minute. Name books and Internet sites have only muddied the waters and added to our confusion. We now have two lists; the real, written one and an imagined one. Just about everyday Ava comes to me with a new name. In the early days they were suggestions such as rainbow and fairy. Now she has moved on to adding the names of all her favourite teachers. Miss Jess from kindy has got a look in as has Miss Chelsea from ballet and Mandy from swimming. In a bid to make her feel part of the process, I always tell her we’ll put her suggestions “on the list.” But with no real contenders at this stage, I’m afraid the newest addition to our family may end up being Rainbow Chelsea Maguire!

By the end of the month I have reached week 30 and can see the end in sight…even if I can no longer see my feet!

Here's my story but we'd love to hear yours too. Please write to us with any comments about our new pregnancy blog or write your own and send it to us. Motherinc is always keen to hear your story and we'll select the best each month to post on our site.