Carpe Diem

I am going out tonight for a meal with my colleagues to say good bye to our youngest member of staff, who is leaving work to have a baby in the next month. There has been much excitement around the office about this new life and I wish them well for the future. She already knows that she is expecting a little girl but I expect she is in for a shock, as most of us are, to learn the impact that new life will have on her life and family. Before I can get too excited about this new baby, I need to know that she has arrived safely and that all is well. I had a normal pregnancy, it was only when Joshua was born that we learnt that there were complications etc, so up until that point we had both assumed that we would be bringing a ‘normal’ baby home.

There has been a baby boy born to two members of staff this week at school and at the school fundraiser I had spoken to the father, who was telling me that the baby was already overdue. Again babies being two weeks’ overdue and having to be induced, rings alarm bells with me too, so I was delighted to hear yesterday that both mother and son are doing well.

I do not wish to be the pessimistic voice of doom around pregnancy, but I am inevitably aware that things can go inexplicably wrong, even when, on the face of it, all the pre-birth checks are positive. People will often say that they do not mind what gender of baby they have ” so long as its healthy”, which belies so much, as in our experience, there was nothing more we could have done to keep Joshua safe, as I had a relatively straight forward pregnancy. That is also why I am so averse to home-births as we know how quickly events can go wrong and you need to have the benefit of the best medical equipment at your disposal to give both mother and baby the best chance of a good outcome. I will always regret choosing the more pleasant hospital in our nearest city to have my baby in, as the rougher, older one was where the Special Care unit was based and so it meant that on the first day of his life, Joshua Fred had to be transferred across the city, in an incubator, in an ambulance all on his own to receive the specialist treatment and facilities that he needed. That was an unecessary step, all becuase I was advised against the hospital that had more teenaged mothers, when the key selection criteria should have been having neonatal care on site, but then hindsight is a wonderful thing.

But for now, tonight, I can wish my colleague well and will try my best not to act like a bad fairy, like a beacon of what could go wrong for her. I will raise a glass to both mother and baby as they are about to enter the biggest adventure of their lives.

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