Friday, November 03, 2006

Day 212 - The Answering Machine

Mum to be here.

Went to the midwife for my regular appointment this morning. I've got to go again in 3 weeks which will put me in my 35th week. We did all the normal testing of wee (fine), poking baby and listening to her heart beat (fine) and blood pressure check (also fine). I also got the result of my routine bloods and glucose tolerance thingie and this as also all fine. So a normal visit all things considered???

Well, things were ticking along nicely until just before I was due to leave. A student midwife had been running the appointment under the supervision of one of the two community midwives. The student asked who had written the remarks encouraging a hospital delivery on my notes and was told by the community midwife that this had been a consultant at the hospital who was not keen on home births. Being a student she was curious to know why I had been referred for a consultant appointment in the first place (which as it happens was because the hospital midwife who saw me when I had my first scan was worried about an illness I had had in 1994!!! - my own community midwives were amazed!). Without checking my notes or waiting for me to answer the student, the community midwife turned to me and said ' did they refer you because you are a bigger lady'?

That was exactly how she phrased it - 'a bigger lady'!!

Now to put this into some sort of context I am not Kate Moss and have never had any notions that I was but at the same time at my heaviest before pregnancy I wore dress size 14-16 depending on the garment (size 12-14 for our American readers). I've never exactly considered myself to fit into the 'bigger lady' category.

I've always been very sensitive about my weight and have never responded well to such comments. Now when you are in your last trimester and already feel something like a beached whale, know you still have some weeks to go and wonder if you will ever be able to wear anything nice again, the last thing you want is someone pointing out your size. I started to get upset and basically wound up the appointment as quickly as I could and just ran out of the office and started crying. (bloomin hormones!). I got outside and phoned the lovely Dad to Be who, as usual, was his kind and understanding self and cheered me up as best he could (best hubbie a girl could ask for!).

I went off for a cup of tea with the in-laws and when I got home there was a phone message on the machine from the community midwife saying that she was worried about me and thought she might have done something to offend me and could I call her on her mobile. I returned the call and told her that the comment had upset me and she apologised for offending me.

It isn't a big deal in the long run and I know she didn't mean anything by it but it was an unfortunate thing to say, especially as the reason for the consultant appointment was clearly written on my notes and had nothing to do with my weight. I know I am very sensitive on this issue and obviously the racing hormones don't help but I was very surprised at this whole thing. I would have thought that not making remarks about size to pregnant women (unless there were a medical issue that needed to be addressed) was what they learnt on the first day at midwife School????????

Anyway apology accepted. We need to get on because afterall this lady is one of two people who could eventually see parts of me that even I haven't seen and delivery my baby! I think that a cup of tea and some costume drama (I have a real thing for Jane Austen adaptations) will cheer me up.


  1. How awful. Fortunately, you and Dad to Be sound like the kind of people who can quickly put something like this in some perspective and move along. That's not to say that you weren't right to linger just long enough to express yourself to her, just to say that you've got a good sense of yourself and that you are smart and sensitive enough to know what's most important. And you've got a great man to cheer you up and keep you company. Perfect qualities for excellent parents.

  2. Obviously she missed the queue when tact, diplomacy and indeed eyesight were given out!

    I am sure it was just a thoughtless comment and it probably never occurred to her that it would offend you. Good for you that you told her what was what on the phone though as it will hopefully make her think twice before saying it to another woman.

    You were gorgeous before, are gorgeous now and will be gorgeous afterwards as well!


  3. Has that woman ever been pregnant?
    Doesnt she realize that no matter how big or small you are before being pregnant--when you are actually pregnant, you feel huge no matter what???

    I'm proud of you for (1) actually telling her what she said that was offensive & (2) letting it go.
    Good job!