Well, here I am pregnant again! A bit of a surprise but a lovely surprise. After getting over the 'I can't believe it' and the shocked reactions of other people, I have started to really look forward to the joy of another child. I am also relishing the thought of feeling a baby moving around inside me and of breastfeeding - which I enjoyed so much. I am also looking forward to the amazing experience of giving birth again (with a little trepidation to be truly honest - it is a powerful and extremely physical experience and each one is different).
I am now 16 weeks and have just been in touch with a midwife for the first time. You do get more laid back, after all what is the hurry? I am not having any routine scans nor blood tests so there is no deadline. I am relatively healthy and not in poverty; I don't smoke and don't have premature or low birth weight babies; I do not have a history of complications. All of which means the chance of needing any help is minute.
I have not seen a gp either. There is no need to see a doctor - you can go straight to a midwife. (UK government made that very clear in 2004 - giving all trusts the obligation of publicising contact details for women to make direct contact with a midwife.) All they do is write a letter to the midwife anyway. Some do a few general health checks. The worst they can do is use their ignorance and prejudice to put the frighteners up you. It is not unknown for gps to advise against home births in often graphic persuasive language even though the national advisory body, NICE, recommends all women having straightforward pregnancies should be told that having a home birth reduces their chance of having a caesarean.
To me it seems a waste of a gp appointment - let someone else who needs the appointment more have it. I did not see a gp last time. My community midwife who was ignorant of the situation, wouldn't take a direct referral from me, so I wrote to my gp and he referred me on.
This time I wrote to the head of midwifery at the local hospital and asked for a midwife to be assigned to me as I did not want any care from my local community midwife (not the same as last time). some of my friends had complained about her in the past and I had heard some less than favourable reports, so I have no faith or trust in her. This was sorted out within days and I have been given a named midwife who will do all my antenatal check ups at home.
So now it is all steam ahead towards baby number 5! At least I don't have to hold my stomach in anymore!!