Jay is due for another clinic appointment today. I am starting to feel normal after my surgery and am grateful to feel well enough to go on a shopping trip. It is almost two weeks since I have seen Jay. Not being able to drive has meant that I have been unable to collect her. Dee has picked her up once to come and see me after the operation. It wouldn’t have been good to drive as I have not been feeling all that great.
Now, though, I am feeling fabulous. I am determined to lose weight as I know that my diet is directly related to me needing to have my gall bladder removed. It is hard though, my body craves sugar, like it used to crave wine.
Jay’s tummy is really quite round now. I just want to stroke it all the time. I gently place my hand on her tummy. “Wow, Jay, it’s coming along now.”
“It’s quite active now, I feel butterflies all the time.” I feel a warm glow fill my cheeks. Wow, it’s kicking and is active.
We make our way to the hospital. We talk about the arrival of the baby. “I don’t want to be in any pain, Mum.”
“You don’t have to be Jay. You can have an epidural if you want.”
“How do you bath a baby?” We are now in the waiting room of the Young Women’s Clinic.
“Google it.” You have to love google.
Jay googles “bathing a baby” and we watch a fantastic You Tube video showing how to bath a baby on a dining room table using a baby bath. This is good because Jay and Em’s place only has a shower – no bath. “See,” I say, “anything you need to know, you can You Tube it.”
“Jay!” It is Laura.
We walk into the room and Laura asks how things have been going. Jay admits that money is a real worry for them but they are managing to cope. Gen Y are not very good at doing without.
“OK, you have been booked in for your ultrasound in two weeks time. You will then come back to the clinic two weeks after that.” She hands Jay a card with the time for the ultrasound on it. “Is there anything that has been worrying you?” Jay admits that she is feeling isolated. I ask about any young women’s support groups. We don’t really have any, but your local LGA might have one. I know they don’t. I revisit the idea of starting one in the back of my mind.
“Are there no antenatal classes. That is where I made friends when I was pregnant with the kids.” I say.
“No, they don’t do that any more. There is an antenatal class on a Saturday, which for Jay will be in May, which gives a tour of the birthing unit, the post natal ward and the nursery. It talks about the birth and taking baby home, but that is all.” I am deeply disappointed by this. “There are private ante natal classes available around.” I know Jay could never afford this and I wonder if it will be helpful as I suspect it will be mostly women who are in the 30-plus category.
I cannot believe that in two weeks Jay will be half way. Only 5 months until we get to hold our little bundle of joy. Jay is impatient. She wishes it could happen straight away. I know that sense of impatience, but I am also aware that those 9 months of preparation are so very important.
We head off to the shopping centre close to where Jay lives. Big W are having a baby sale and we go a bit mad putting a whole lot of stuff on lay by – a bouncy chair, some clothes, some toys, nappies. It is fun and it is the most baby-real we have felt since Jay fell pregnant.
We head back to our house. Em has agreed to collect Jay a little later in the day. We have a lovely cup of coffee and sit on the settee chatting about babies. Jay is still deeply concerned about experiencing pain during the birth. We talk about the various pain relief choices. “I want an epidural, but I’m scared of the pain of the injection.” I laugh.
“So, you are afraid of the pain of childbirth, but don’t want the pain relief because you are scared that will hurt too?”
“Yes,” she laughs. “I don’t like injections.”
This is true. Jay has always hated injections. Getting her immunisations done was a nightmare! “Jay, it is your choice. I am willing to bet that when the time comes, they could stick a needle into you the size of big ben as long as it relieved the labour pains.” Jay is not convinced.
Em arrives home to take Jay back to their house. He cradles her tummy. It never fails to warm my heart.
As they drive off, a smile makes its way onto my face. It has been a good day.