I wasn’t going to let this blog become about our pregnancy, more about the journey we have to go through if that makes sense. You wont hear about my mad cravings, my aching limbs or reviews of nappy bags but two things have collided with such force this week that there must be some synchronicity led by a higher being. Or I could have just seen it coming.
Today the new flexible leave entitlements have been announced. I wont go over the lot, I’ll leave that to the great and good here http://www.fatherhoodinstitute.org/2012/parenting-leave-reforms-are-a-lost-opportunity-for-modernisation-says-fi-and-colleagues/
BUT, I do welcome fathers’ new right to time off (unpaid) for two antenatal appointments. So why am I not happy? Well, it just isnt enough.
Last Saturday we drove to Devon to spend time with friends. The older children were with their dad and we were looking forward to doing nothing and being spoilt. By Exeter I had started to bleed and had to tell my partner in the car park at the services. It was quicker to keep on our journey rather than head back home so thats what we did.
Once settled at friends with tea and a radiator to cuddle we called the community midwife team, who as usual were expert and kind and gave us both what we needed to know. We were booked in for a scan for Monday afternoon and I was told to relax, not do a lot and keep in touch.
After a panicky sleepless night we drove back home and sat very still for the whole Sunday. We played our usual game of watching the people in the background of Antiques Roadshow (watch them, they always look angry), he made dinner then washed up. My youngest daughter helped out but soon left him to it, she said he tears in his eyes and didn’t know how to help him. I wondered how often we (meaning us all) walk away from men when faced with their real emotions.
It occurred to us around midnight that he would need to get out of work somehow to attend the scan. We plotted and schemed and came up with no answers. If he went to work for the morning they might not let him leave. In the end he decided that he just wasn’t going in, he was staying at home in the morning and then coming to the scan. Although I never imagined that he would not be there, I think I had ignored how difficult it might be for him to be there. I luxuriate in the pleasure of working for a third sector organisation that believes and practices family friendly working.
After another sleepless night we got up and sat still again. He called work and explained and after a few choice words they gave him emergency leave.
The scan was scary. I had gone through a miscarriage before and kinda knew the drill but this was all new to him. One thing made us equal, we were both as terrified as each other. THe scan showed a heartbeat, a real, fast, healthy heart beat and our baby was still there. I lay in the dark room staring at the screen gripping his hand. I asked if he could see it, the radiographer made some unfunny remark about him not knowing where to look or not being bothered. I couldnt even be bothered glaring at her because our baby was there. It even raised its arm in the air like it was giving us a high five. We cried and laughed and held hands all day.
On Thursday I have a nuchal scan, in the near future I have midwife appointments, more scans, appointments with consultants, parentcraft sessions. If this were 2015 and we had the luxury of two unpaid appointments. which one should he chose? We have already used one!
So we say gawannn.. give us more.