Tuesday, 10 November 2009

St Thomas here we come

For those who check in every so often to Big Beluga, you will know that I have just spent a week in London on a "shopping trip". For those who know me well at all, the idea of me going on a shopping trip is one that I would like the idea of, but not something that I would normally fork out 800 dollars to go and spoil myself with. And in fact, it was not just a shopping trip. I went back to have an amniocentesis test done at a private clinic where I could be sure that the practitioner's cock-up rate was low.

I cloaked my trip in lies about having a shopping trip and visiting my sister who was having her baby.
I didn't want the news of this pregnancy to come out three days before the arrival of my sister's first, much waited for child. But I had to go this week in order to be within the time limits for this test (which is up to 20 weeks of your pregnancy), because the week afterwards, my husband was on a business trip to Moscow for five days. Super nanny is very nice, but we cannot leave all our children in her care while we are both out of the country.

I did the test (which was pretty unpleasant, but I survived and so did baby), and also visited a couple of places where I could possibly have the baby next year when it arrives.

I can hardly describe the sense of security I felt being seen by a proper consultant at the St Thomas Landsell Suite maternity unit near Waterloo station. He seemed so nice, has so many letters after his name, has many many years of experience, works in several of the cleanest, best practice hospitals in London. The staff in the unit are lovely (I have been there to visit a friend when she had had a baby before, and then also, they were utterly fantastic). They are classic no nonsense nurses and midwives: sensible but friendly and pleasant and extremely professional. And english-speaking too, working in an environment that I can understand, with a system that is vaguely familiar. The relief I felt, sitting in the waiting room of a place that smells like a hospital, where there is obviously a good system in operation, and where everyone seems to know what they are talking about was extraordinary.

And it made me think that for the six or seven weeks disruption that it will cause our family next year if I do go away, I would much, much, much rather have the baby somewhere like that, than try to stay at home and be absolutely bricking myself with worry about everything.

It may not be London which is only convenient for one of my sisters and we may need more help than that (she has a full time job which interferes terribly with being on hand 24 hours a day to be my helper! ha ha). But somewhere in the UK. There is still lots to work out, but I am sure we will get there.


  1. Rock and roll at St Thomas's. Don't forget that view too - watching the sunset rise over the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben is quite something when you've just given birth. If not there, hope you find somewhere just as sane and antiseptic.

  2. I'm sure it will all work out ... like you say - there is a lot to consider, but feeling comfortable and happy about the birth is much more important :-)