Me: V, when will you learn how to put on your vest and pants by yourself?
V: When I’m forty.
Me: V, when will you learn how to put on your vest and pants by yourself?
V: When I’m forty.
I’ve mentioned once or twice in previous posts that I had some issues at the beginning of my pregnancy.
I wasn’t ready to share before, but I guess I am now…
I found out we were expecting a couple of days after Christmas day. Although I was super excited, I was a bit nervous as LagosDad and I were booked to go to Bali from Dubai on January 1st for ten days. It’s a really, really long flight and I knew we’d be on our feet and very busy while we were there, and everyone always says not to fly long haul in your first trimester, etc. We talked about it a little bit – Should we go? Should we not? But we decided we’d just go for it – everything was already booked and paid for.
We went back to Dubai on the 10th and were meant to leave for Lagos on the 12th night/13th morning. I was exhausted after the very long flights. On the 11th I went for a mani and pedi with my mum. I didn’t want to go because I was so tired – but I knew I wouldn’t get another chance and I desperately needed one.
We were on our way home from the salon when I started feeling… damp. I was pretty sure I was bleeding. That was confirmed once we got home and it was quite heavy. I was six weeks and six days pregnant at that time.
I was a mess. And poor V – he wouldn’t leave my side as he was afraid I’d disappear again – didn’t know what was going on.
My sister made a few calls and advised us to go to A&E at Medcare Hospital. She stepped in and took over V – he was very happy to go to the mall with her (thank God).
I went with my mum and LagosDad. I didn’t have to wait too long before I was seen. The doctor was very nice – she calmed me down quite quickly. She told me it was a threatened miscarriage, but that there were a number of positive signs that indicated that the baby would be ok. She gave me some medication, an injection and told me to wait and have an ultrasound (The sonographer said baby was fine – but that he could see some bleeding). She also made an appointment for me to see a specialist towards the end of the following week.
The bleeding subsided over the next few days – but it didn’t stop.
I was nervous about my appointment with the specialist (at the same hospital) – I didn’t know what she was going to say. I was scared the baby wasn’t ‘there’ any more. She did a scan, saw what was going on and said the bleeding was due to either a. a hematoma or b. a vanishing twin. But the heartbeat of the ‘remaining’ fetus was strong. She also told me that this had absolutely nothing to do with flying, which was a relief.
I was so glad the baby was ok and would be ok. I had to Google ‘vanishing twin’ on my way home and then I wasn’t sure how I felt. I didn’t know how to feel. I cried a bit when I told LagosDad what she’d said (he’d gone back to Lagos already). I felt loss. But then I thought it was wrong for me to feel that way when I didn’t even know that there could have been a twin.
She told me to come back the following week and she would know for certain. She also said the bleeding would stop in the next few days.
I have to admit – that although I knew it wasn’t possible, I kind of hoped that when I went back the next week she’d do a scan and tell me there were still two babies and two strong heartbeats and that she’d made a mistake. It was futile I know. A waste of time and energy – but I still hoped.
When I went back a week later, the doctor was able to confirm that the bleeding was definitely due to a vanishing twin.
I think I realised at that time that I should just be grateful. Very, very grateful that at least the one baby was ok. It had taken us so long (again) to get pregnant – at least we were getting the baby we wanted.
Does that make sense?
Does it sound selfish?
Mmmm… I’m not really sure how to end this – so I’ll leave it at that.
You know me – you know I like to have a good whinge now and then.
Well, now is one of those times! Sorry – it’s going to be a long one!
When I was expecting V, I chose my ob/gyn based on the fact that the clinic was right next to school. It meant I was able to go straight for my appointments after the school day and then head home. I had been to this clinic several times prior to being pregnant – when LagosDad and I were doing all our fertility tests, etc. So I was happy to go back there.
On the other hand, my parents and in-laws, and LagosDad actually, didn’t want anyone to know about the pregnancy until I was in my 2nd trimester. So if no one is meant to know you’re pregnant, how are you meant to ask advice on which doctor to see?
Anyway, so I made my choice and was quite happy. I went there at about 7 or 8 weeks to have a blood test to confirm. Then the doctor saw me at 10 weeks for an ultrasound. At 13 weeks I was referred to Crestview Radiology Ltd for my nuchal scan and I had to go back there for my 20 week anomaly scan. The clinic didn’t have the staff or expertise or machinery or whatever else to do it in-house. And that was fine.
Before 13 weeks I had to pay each time I saw the doctor. The consultation, the blood test, the scan – all was charged separately.
After 13 weeks we paid about N120000 ($750) that included all appointments, medication, scans and antenatal classes every other week until week 32. At 31 weeks I collected my ‘Fit-to-fly’ letter and left for London.
The only problem I had throughout all this was the waiting times. It didn’t matter what time I made my appointment for (usually afternoon because I was at school until 2pm), I always had to wait about an hour to be seen. ALWAYS. It didn’t bother me too much at that time because I wasn’t rushing to do anything. Work was done for the day. I didn’t have a kid to rush home to or to pick up from nursery. Nothing.
Now this time round… I came back to Lagos from Dubai at 9 weeks. We delayed a couple of weeks because I’d had some bleeding and was advised to see a specialist before travelling (more on this at another time). So we came back mid-week and a couple of days later I started bleeding again.
I panicked and called a friend and asked her who I should go see. I had kind of mentally decided that I wouldn’t go back to my previous ob/gyn as I’d initially only chosen him because he was near school. My friend recommended another doctor. I called his clinic and couldn’t get an appointment for two weeks! Not knowing what to do, I called my first clinic and they told me if I came right away they’d let me see the doctor before the 1st appointment of the day (10am).
I went there and was kind of glad to be there. I know the layout, how it works, etc. It sounds silly – but the ‘not-knowing’ about things worries me!
I waited an hour before seeing the Dr. After all the initial paperwork stuff – DoB, LMP, EDD, etc. I showed him the reports I’d brought with me from Dubai – including ultrasound pictures (which the Dr in Dubai told me were necessary so that any other Dr could see what had happened). He did an ultrasound. Everything was fine. He gave me a picture and told me to ‘add it to my photo album’. Then I had a blood test and he told me to book in for my nuchal scan and to see him again in four weeks.
I paid for the consultation, the ultrasound and the blood test. Altogether, it came to about N36000 ($220), I think. I don’t remember, exactly.
A few days later I received an email from another doctor at the clinic asking me to call them as they had my blood test results and weren’t able to get in touch with me. I realised that I’d changed my phone number around the time of V’s first birthday and hadn’t updated my records. Anyway, so I called them and everything was fine. I explained to the doctor that my phone number had changed and I could I update my records while speaking with her. She said to just wait until the next time I came in (for my nuchal scan).
When I booked my nuchal scan, they told me it could only be done on a Tuesday as they had someone who came in to do it and that I would have to pay N35000 ($215) I was surprised that they didn’t refer me to Crestview again, but it had been four years and things do change! So I was booked in on February 18th at 6pm. It was the only (and last one of the day) slot left.
I couldn’t wait for this day to come round – it was only after this scan that we were going to start telling people that we were expecting!
So – come the 18th and LagosDad left work early to come and pick me up. We arrived at the clinic and I was told, ‘Oh – didn’t anyone contact you? We’ve had to move some of the scans until tomorrow because there were too many booked for today.’ They then went on about how my phone number wasn’t working. Yes, true. But if they could email before, why couldn’t they do it again? They gave us an option of two times – either one was fine with me, but LagosDad had meetings all day and had to move his schedule around. We took the 1.30pm appointment. I was so disappointed.
We went back the next day in plenty of time. And we waited and waited and waited. It was 4pm before we were seen. Why did we have to wait so long? LagosDad kept complaining and the receptionist kept apologising. When we finally saw the sonographer he also apologised. I think he arrived late from wherever he was before. In fact, I know this is true. LagosDad saw him arrive when he popped out for a cigarette. I didn’t particularly like him very much. It irritated me that he kept leaning his arm on my leg while doing the ultrasound. But anyway, at least everything was ok. He booked me in for my anomaly scan for April right then and gave me the first appointment of the day (10am) so that I wouldn’t have to wait. One of the doctors called me the next day to apologise. I appreciated that.
At my booking-in appointment I paid N20000 ($100). I thought this was a booking-in fee so I didn’t question it. I couldn’t (and still can’t) remember how the payments worked last time. A different doctor saw me this time (after I waited an hour) and I went through all the same questions I’d gone through at 9 weeks. Previous pregnancies, LMP, EDD, etc. etc. etc. Didn’t he look at my file? He gave me some iron pills, calcium pills and some anti-malaria medication and told me to come back in four weeks.
I made sure that I booked the first appointment of the day (10am) for my next appointment. And yet, I still had to wait an hour to be seen. I just don’t get it?? I wasn’t asked to pay anything this time and thought since I’d paid at my booking-in appointment they would ask me for a lump sum, or for payment at week 32 or something. The doctor didn’t do an ultrasound – he just used the doppler thingy. This was the appointment where I told the doctor about my pain, by the way. He told me to book an appointment to see him in four weeks. I was disappointed that he didn’t do an ultrasound, but then thought it was a good thing that I’d at least heard the heartbeat.
When I went to book my next appointment, the receptionist told me that the anomaly scan would no longer be there, but at another clinic nearby. She said someone would call me the day before with the address and directions, etc.
It was about two or three weeks later when I started panicking about not feeling any movement – so I took myself off to Crestview and had a scan. The receptionist asked me what kind of scan I wanted – I told her I just wanted to check everything was ok. She said that would be N10000 ($50). They were quick and efficient. I was happy.
On Tuesday I went for my anomaly scan. The clinic sent me a text message the night before (at midnight) giving me the address and directions. We got there five minutes late (no thanks to LagosDad). As soon as we arrived the security turned on the generator. Clue number 1 that no one was there.
This clinic was brand new (it’s been open since February)- and it was totally empty except for one nurse. She asked if I’d been referred from XX clinic, I said, ‘yes’. She took all my details (even though they already had them all on file). She wrote everything down on the tiniest scrap of paper and then took my blood pressure. We then waited about 40 minutes for the sonographer to show up. He hadn’t arrived yet.
When he did arrive, he went upstairs to set up. When we followed he started asking me all the same questions again. I figured this was because all my details were on his computer, which the nurse was trying to start up and he was trying to waste a bit of time. Then she couldn’t find my file.
He told me the scan wouldn’t take long – probably only five minutes. I looked at him and said, ‘Only five minutes?’ I was a bit annoyed. I’d waited so bloody long and he wanted to take only five minutes? For an anomaly scan? I don’t think so. He realised this and said, ‘But you know, it could take longer. Maybe five minutes or maybe one hour. It depends on what I find.’ He then went on to drag everything out – repeating himself and just generally wasting more time. I was not impressed. There were no air conditioners on anywhere – apart from in the waiting area, and I found the sonographer to be disorganised and a little unprofessional. He did that whole leaning his arm on my leg thing again!
We said goodbye when they finally finished and went downstairs. We said goodbye to the nurse at the desk as well and left. No one asked for any payment and I didn’t ask if I was meant to pay.
Maybe this doesn’t sound all that irritating to you. Maybe you’re thinking, ‘What’s she complaining about?’ But it’s all annoyed me. But yesterday is what annoyed me more than anything else. Maybe it was just the icing on the cake. I was ready to have a full on tantrum.
I had a 10am appointment at the clinic. The cashier asked me to pay N20000 ($100). I paid and then asked her what I was paying for. She said that I have to pay N20000 each time I want to see the doctor. I told her that when I was coming to the clinic before I paid a lump sum at the beginning and why didn’t I do that now? She said, ‘Oh. It’s because you’re nearly at the end.’ Am I? Really? I told her I was only 21 weeks. She said, ‘Ok, would you like to pay the N120000 then?’ I told her no, I didn’t. But I wanted to know why it was never an option. Why didn’t anyone mention it to me before or give me the choice?
To be honest, I think I’ve spent less this way. But I’m wondering if I’ve received the same quality of care I would have if I’d have paid the lump sum.
I had my vitals taken and then waited an hour to see the doctor. I walked in and saw my file on his desk. And he always inputs everything in his computer while talking to me. Or is he actually on Facebook or playing Solitaire? He asked me when my last menstrual period was and then picked up his calendar to calculate how many weeks I am. SERIOUSLY?? ISN’T ANYONE READING MY FILE??? HOW MANY TIMES WILL HE ASK ME THE SAME QUESTION WHEN THE ANSWER IS RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM??? No bloody wonder my blood pressure was elevated! He asked if I had any complaints. *snort* Told him of the pain again and said I felt like I was being ripped apart. He told me to buy a pelvic support belt. Finally – advice! I asked him if I would find one easily and he said, ‘Probably not.’ Great. Thanks. Again – no ultrasound – just the doppler. I was out in five minutes and made an appointment for four weeks’ time.
I realised that he wasn’t doing any ultrasounds because I’d not paid that N120k.
But you know what – and LagosDad agreed – I’m not going back there again. In four weeks – or whenver I feel like it, I’ll go to Crestview, pay half the amount, wait half the time and get better service.
There’s only another couple of appointments to go until I leave for London, anyway.
And I can’t wait.
I’ve had enough
I never get the TV to myself these days. Usually we’re watching Andy and his Dinosaur Adventures or Nina and the Neurons. Actually – anything on CBeebies is what’s usually on!
Pair that with the fact that LagosDad has been home with a trapped nerve for three days (God help me) – and I’ve had no time to myself.
I don’t know how it happened, but I was lucky enough to be able to choose what I wanted to watch yesterday.
I flicked through the channels and saw that Say Yes To The Dress was on soon. I won’t rave about the show – many think I’m very sad for watching it!
Anyway so before the show started, Toddlers and Tiaras was on.
Have you ever seen it?
I know the show has caused a lot of controversy. I can understand people think it’s an appalling extra-curricular activity for children to partake in. And I think I can see how some parents might enjoy dressing up their daughters every weekend. Like they’re dolls or something. I realise that some mums have other reasons for entering their children in beauty pageants – I just can’t think of any.
So in the episode I watched yesterday there was an eighteen month old who didn’t really know what was going on around her. By the end of the episode her dad was saying, “I think she’s probably a bit tired now. It’s been a long day.” You think?!
There was a three-year-old who, according to one of the judges, “didn’t make enough eye contact”.
And there was a six-year-old who, according to another judge, “had a fake smile”.
At one point, the three-year-old came on stage for her swimwear bit and got distracted by one of her fake nails which was falling off. It bothered her and she didn’t know what to do about it. A judge commented saying the toddler would get marked down for ‘personality’ because of that and the eye contact issue.
The child is THREE Ffs!
I was quite horrified by it all. You can think whatever you want about your own child – but to have people on television saying your child has no personality, moves stiffly, has a fake smile, etc has to be an absolute no-no. No?
I think the worst part for me was watching the awards at the end. The categories were things like “prettiest eyes” and “most beautiful”. Who the f*ck are they to judge on what’s pretty or beautiful? Aren’t all children beautiful?
Is it any wonder that girls are growing up with major body image issues? If you’re exposing your daughters to being judged from the age of eighteen months, what will happen to them when they’re eighteen? How will they see themselves? Is it fair to do that to them?
I did a little more reading about the show, the contestants and their parents. I have to say I was quite shocked by some of what I read.
Some of the things that these kids have to endure: spray tanning, hours of hair and make-up application, eyebrow plucking, eyelash tinting and curling, fake teeth and fake nail applications. And they’re not usually happy about it.
Then I read about one mum who dressed up her toddler as Dolly Parton. Complete with fake boobs and backside.
Another child has a special ‘Go-Go Juice’. It’s part Mountain Dew and part Red Bull. According to the girl’s mother, ‘everybody on the circuit does it’. Well that’s ok then, isn’t it?
One mum made her four-year-old smoke a fake cigarette on stage and another dressed her daughter up like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. You know, like a hooker.
There’s also the mum who waxed her five-year-old’s eyebrows. That’s bloody painful for me as an adult. How would a child cope with pain like that .
I wish people would let their children just be children. Aren’t they growing up too fast as it is?
I know I already told you that I won’t be delivering in Dubai any more. And I know I already told you why I was relieved that we’d be in London instead.
And since I’ve already told you – the fact that I have one more reason that I’m glad I’m not delivering in Dubai any more kind of makes this post a bit useless. But I’m going to tell you anyway!
So – the UAE has passed a new law stating that ALL mothers must breastfeed their children for two years.
Where the mother cannot breastfeed for any reason – a wet nurse will be provided.
When I first saw this news (in February), I read every article I could about it. I was basically looking for whether this law applied to only Emirati women, or if it would include also expats who give birth in the UAE.
Out of all the articles I read – and there were many – there were only two (maximum three) that stated that this applied only to Emiratis. And these articles were US and UK papers. None of the UAE papers said anything about who it applied to.
This scared the crap out of me.
I’ve made no secret about the fact that I did not breastfeed V – he is not any worse for it. And I have no intention of breastfeeding the new baby either.
And I would NOT want a wet nurse!
Should breastfeeding be part of the children’s rights law?
What about a woman’s right to choose what happens to her body?
Anyway, so even though this doesn’t apply to me any more (if it ever did – who knows?), I thought I’d share with you!
According to my weekly BabyCentre emails, I should be able to feel the baby’s movements from about sixteen to twenty weeks. Apparently if it’s a second or subsequent pregnancy, I may have even been able to feel movement from about thirteen weeks.
So my question is – if I’m nineteen weeks, why aren’t I feeling any movement?
I can’t remember when I first felt V move. Why don’t I remember? At the time I’m pretty sure I told myself I’d never forget which week of pregnancy I was in and the date and time, etc!
Sometimes I think I can feel movement – but then I think maybe it’s just hunger pangs (I get a lot of those) or gas.
After stressing about it for a few days, I told LagosDad I was going to have a scan. It was just last week (eighteen weeks) and I hadn’t had a scan since my thirteenth week. Nothing wrong with wanting to make sure, right?
Anyway – so everything is fine. The baby is still there and he’s moving around. And, of course LagosDad told me I was worrying about nothing as usual.
So why can’t I feel it? And when will I feel it?
And why is everything worrying me?
I’m in pain. And I’ve been in pain since my fourteenth week.
I have pain in my pubic area, the tops of my thighs, the base of my back and my backside.
Getting in and out of bed almost kills me. Turning over while in bed is worse. Getting in and out of the car is manageable, but it hurts. Basically – I have to try and avoid any activity where I have to put more pressure on one leg than another. Like getting dressed (I have to sit down to do this). Or going up and down the stairs fifty times a day.
After doing some research online, I gathered that what I have is SPD. I’d never heard about it before, but vaguely remembered a friend saying she had it during her first pregnancy and has it again now, in her second pregnancy.
I had an appointment with my ob/gyn at sixteen weeks. He asked how I was doing. I told him about my aches and pains.
Now he’s not the kind of man who will hold your hand and tell you everything’s going to be ok. He’s not the most ‘personable’ guy – but I knew this about him.
But when he looked at me and said, ‘Well, it’s your second pregnancy, so it’s to be expected. Although sixteen weeks is a bit early to have this kind of pain. You’ll have to just deal with it.’, I was a little disappointed.
No adivce? No dos and don’ts? Just deal with it? No examination or anything?
Now I’m at nineteen weeks. And the pain is ok – bearable on some days. But on others, it’s worse. And I think it will continue to get worse as the baby grows. I’m hobbling around a lot already!
Should I go to my GP? Or am I meant to just grin and bear it?
Before V was born, I did a lot of research on which pushchair to get. I know I’ve written about this whole pushchair thing before – but this has a different point. I promise. Bear with me!
The one I really wanted to buy was the Bugaboo Bee. But after discussing with LagosDad (read after LagosDad said ‘no’),
he we decided that it was too expensive. If we lived in London, or somewhere else where we’d get regular use out of it, then it would have been fine, but alas…
Anyway, so we bought the Mamas & Papas Urbo.
It looks great, doesn’t it? There are a number of irritating things about it though.
1. It can be rear or forward facing, which is a real plus point. However, to fold it down, it needs to be forward facing. That means taking the baby out, turning the seat round and then using BOTH hands to collapse it. What to do with the baby?
2. As mentioned above, you need two hands to fold it down, which is inconvenient.
3. It’s heavy.
4. It’s quite wide when folded.
Anyway – so that’s the one we bought. And it was used very regularly until we came back to Lagos when V was twelve weeks old. After that it wasn’t used again until he was six months old and we went to India and then London. And after that, it wasn’t used until he was eleven months old (for one week) and then at fifteen months.
When V was 27 months, we went to Dubai for the Christmas holiday. I didn’t take the pushchair with us. I figured he was old enough to walk. I, stupidly, didn’t take into account how much walking there is to do in the malls. I also, stupidly, didn’t realise that we don’t really walk anywhere here. Everywhere we go is by car. So he wasn’t (and still isn’t) used to walking for long periods of time.
After having to carry him every five minutes, I went out and bought a cheap, lightweight buggy from Mothercare. I left it in Dubai and we’ve used it each time we’ve gone back.
Now – here’s the important bit. As I wrote before, we’ll be spending the summer and some of autumn in London.
My mum asked me if she should send the buggy (with my sister). I told her I wouldn’t need it, as I have the Urbo (which I’d like to sell so I can buy a new one. So if you know anyone….?). I’d misunderstood her. She was asking if she should send it for V.
I told her not to send it. He won’t need it, will he? He’ll be four in September. Do nearly-four-year-olds use buggies? I’m hoping we’ll be within walking distance of the park/playground. And we’ll be taking the bus or Tube everywhere we go…
Is it frowned upon to have a four-year-old in a buggy? Does it matter if it is? I’ve never seen ‘big children’ in buggies.
Maybe I should get hold of it anyway, in case? For long days out like the zoo?
What do you think?