I was actually really looking forward to meeting my midwife. I’d practically created a fairy godmother persona for her deciding she’d be my pregnancy bestie. The reality was quite different.
I went on my own for this appointment as I didn’t think it was worth my husband taking the afternoon off. Sidebar: while I get to take all my appointments and antenatal classes as part of work time, my husband has to take time off – it’s worth looking into your maternity policy as soon as possible so you know what to expect.
It was really nice to see other expectant mothers at various stages of their pregnancy and as my hospital has been recently refurbished the space is very attractive and doesn’t have that horrible hospital vibe. I didn’t have to wait too long before being called in, which was also a plus point, but unfortunately that was the end of my fairy godmother midwife hybrid fantasy. Although she was really pleasant it felt very much like a business transaction. I had to answer lots of questions about my health while she filled in a little booklet which would become my maternity handbook/purple folder. As I’ve mentioned, my husband and I had a few cheeky cigarettes after we got married and before we knew we were pregnant. Obviously that ended as soon as we found out. At the appointment I had to do a carbon monoxide test and mine came up with a reading of 7. I told my midwife that I didn’t smoke and I was very honest about the last time I had, but she kept repeating that my reading indicated that I was a casual smoker – as if the machine doesn’t lie but I must be! We spoke in circles about this for about 5 minutes until she finally conceded that living in a congested city like London and travelling on the underground can lead to having a higher reading. All my illusions about midwives now firmly crushed, I continued with the “health interview” and in total I think I was in there for about an hour. At the end of which she gave me two “goody” bags and let me know about my first scan date.
Once you’ve met the midwife, you’re required to give a whole load of blood ( 5 vials!!!) so they can rule out every possible disease, which I’ll be honest was a little daunting. I’m not scared of giving blood but I certainly didn’t want to find out at this point in my life that I have some horrible disease.