Jay has had a couple of twinges in the last 2 weeks. Last Thursday, we go to the pregnancy assessment unit at the hospital for a check up as Jay is in quite a bit of pain. I panic and bundle her into the car straight away.
The pregnancy assessment unit is a fantastic place. It is a unit where women are monitored and a decision is made to admit them or not. It frees up beds in the birthing suite and on the post natal wards. Jay is popped into a reclining chair (all it needs is a massage function and it would be perfect.) I get a hard plastic chair! They listen for Baby C’s heart beat. It is good and strong. They take Jay’s temperature and her blood pressure. They ask some questions which we soon realise are routine questions – have you had any bleeding, any discharge, where is the pain, is it down below, is it all around, any backpain – all signs of early labour. Jay has had twinges and back pain, but nothing else. We assume this is a good thing.
A doctor appears. She is loud, brash, but clearly knows her stuff. “Right, Jay, we are going to need to do a speculum to check the cervix and to see if you have lost any waters.” Jay physically recoils. I hold her hand tightly. We are shown into an examination room. “Right, take off your pants and panties, Jay, and lie back on the bed.”
“Do you want me in with you, Jay?” I ask. She shakes her head. I understand, it is a deeply personal examination. The doctor closes the curtain. “I am just here if you need me,” I say.
“Right, just doing it now. A bit cold.”
“Ow, ow, ow, it hurts.” My heart is breaking.
“Okay, Jay, breathe deeply,” the doctor says, “just breathe.” I don’t think that is helping. “All over, good girl. Okay, good news, the cervix is still closed and your waters are still in tact.” I am relieved. I get a sense that they think we have over reacted. I don’t care.
A week later and we are back at the PAU. Jay has been struggling the last few days with extreme boredom and her back ache has been steadily increasing. I have been putting it down to the fact that she is sitting for so long. Tonight, she is very melancholic and we talk about possibly going to the movies again tomorrow. I am worried because the two times we have been in the last couple of weeks has rendered her with more painful niggles and I am worried that even the small exertion of going to the movies isn’t doing her any good. She is arguing with me when suddenly she winces. “Are you okay?”
“I just feel like the baby’s head is right there. Like someone could just put their hands there and take the baby out.”
I bolt out of my seat, throw some things together and within five minutes we are on the familiar run up to the PAU. When we get there, they do all the normal things that have become common place for us now. This time though, I feel we are being taken a little more seriously and not treated like hysterical women. Em and Tee meet us up at the hospital. They had been given a cot and were busy building it when Jay phoned them. They wanted to surprise her for the weekend.
The obstetrician examines Jay. “What I think has happened is that he has moved and is now lying transversely across you. What you felt is probably him making a big move. We will do an ultrasound to check though.” We move into the ultrasound room at the PAU and again there is Baby C. The doctor is right, Baby C is now lying across Jay. “This is a good thing,” she says. “It means his head isn’t pressing down on the cervix.” We are all relieved.
It occurs to me that this is the first time Tee has seen Baby C. “How does it feel to see your grandchild?” I ask her. She smiles and nods.
“When are you seeing Bec again, Jay?” the doctor asks.
“Tomorrow. I have another ultrasound too.”
Jay and Em kiss goodbye and we make our way home. I am eternally grateful for that unit. They reassure us that we have a place to go to if we are worried about anything.
I settle Jay into bed. Even as a mother-to-be she likes me to tuck her in and kiss her good night. Some things your mom does for you just never lose their value.
As I settle down for the night, snuggling in next to Dee, I wonder what tomorrow will bring. Is it too much to pray that the cervix has not shortened any further and that all is set for a full term pregnancy? One can only have hope, can’t one?