I am twenty weeks pregnant, twenty weeks and four days to be precise. It’s a big benchmark for me. When I was twenty weeks and three days pregnant with Heckle I was standing at the hospital counter preparing to lie and tell the nurse I was twenty-one weeks. It was the start of a very long road.
The counter seemed so tall it made me feel so little, like Alice in Wonderland. The nurse behind the glass was on the phone and I glanced up at a piece of paper pinned to her left.
Less than 21 weeks – general emergency
21 weeks and over – maternity
In my mind general emergency was for miscarriages and maternity was for babies.
The nurse finished the phone call and turned to me. I explained what had happened: how the waves coursed through my body like being in a huge swell at sea in a life raft and the mess beforehand.
‘How many weeks are you?’
‘Ahem, twenty-one.’ I lied.
The baby kicked and moved in my stomach.
‘What’s your due date?’
I did a quick calculation in my head. ‘End of May.’
Gordon and I walked through the maternity delivery suite doors, but the ultrasounds, swabs and prods told us nothing of what had happened. ‘Take it easy,’ they said.
Leaving the hospital, I sat back in the reclined car seat looking up at the tops of the passing trucks and the grey clouds. We were silent. Gordon put some classical music on the radio, unusual for him and I dozed. I had never slept while Gordon was driving before. Something had changed, I just didn’t know how much.
I am doing these fortnightly Belly Reports to remind everyone who can donate blood to do so. Wherever you are, your country needs your blood!
Heckle and I would not be here today without the generosity of the people who donate blood and we are not alone. One in three people will need a blood product some time in their life.
This is the Australian blood bank link, but every country has one.
If you can’t donate blood, you can help this lady who is taking a slightly more active approach to encourage people to donate blood by running a 100 kilometre marathon. For more on her story here is a link to her stint on The Project.