Fuck me lads... (Big release of air from my chest). It's 9:15am I'd murder a pint of Murphy's.
The sense of relief I am feeling today as I write this blog is overwhelming. I feel 2 stone lighter.
I'm trying to get my thoughts and emotions in order. I'm at the point where I don't know will I laugh or cry with happiness.
My baby is perfectly fine, healthy, a good weight and it seems to be sporting a serious set of guns already. Definitely an Armstrong! (my surname if you didn't already know).
I've mentioned in previous blogs how my anxiety, stress and nerves were building around the thought of this Anatomy & Anomaly scan. We've been waiting since early September for this scan. It's, as friends of mine who have had kids, refer to as the 'Big One'. It's also the scariest one and even more so when you take up your usual position outside Subway in Wilton.
I'll be on first name terms with the staff by the end of this pregnancy. I'm expecting a Christmas card at the very least.
If you're not aware already gents. This anatomy and anomaly scan happens around the 20 week mark (21 week mark exactly for us). This scan will let you know if there is anything wrong with the baby. In our case we got the good news that the baby is healthy, developing well and all is good. Nothing to worry about. The only thing is the placenta is a bit low, which is common but nothing to be concerned about at this point. We've been booked in for a 32 week scan in the hospital to check that again.
While my wife had the scan I sat in the car waiting. Fidgeting with my hands, thinking of all the scenarios and tapping my foot so hard on the floor that I might be driving Fred Flintstones' car home in a while. Oblivious to what's going on only a couple of hundred feet away from me.
That's the one of the hardest parts of these scans, the not knowing.
I wanted to be there for my wife. I want to support her in anyway I can. If there was bad news, (thankfully again for us it was all good), I want to be there for when she comes out to hug her. That she wouldn't have to be alone straight after getting news like that. Then have to drive home.
I also wanted to be there for me, for my own head. I wouldn't be able to concentrate if I was at home working, so by even driving her to the door I feel like I'm helping, contributing and supporting in some way. I can't go into the hospital but I want to be a part of these scans as much as possible.
As I waited outside, I saw what looked to be another Dad-to-be waiting. We gave each other that head nod. You know the one. Not the down head nod but the Up head nod. It's like saying "Alright lad, this is shit sitting here waiting, hope it all goes well for you".
Amazing what you can get out of a head nod.
What if you received bad news?
But it had me thinking again of all the couples and families that will get bad news. Statistically it's going to happen with the number of women heading into the CUMH on a daily and weekly basis. How difficult would it be to receive bad news like that on your own? On top of that, have to be the one that has to deliver the news to your partner.
I'm a man, (quick fondle to double check), so I'll never know what it really feels like to be given bad news about a baby from the mother's point of view. All I could compare it too is if I was on my own and some told me I had cancer. If a Doctor told me that...My head would be gone. I would not remember a thing he/she said and more than likely I wouldn't remember the drive home.
I don't know how I'd tell my wife firstly. And then I'd have zero information for her then. Just an "eh....he said...eh..."
I imagine it has to be the same for the mother in this situation. The doctor is only doing their job but that woman is going to have so much going on in their head after bad news is delivered, she's not going to hear much after the fact.
I've gotten my head around the fact that I will not be inside CUMH until my wife is labour. I've boxed it off as I can't see them changing anytime soon going off the Governments performance in recent weeks.
But that still doesn't mean I can't be pissed off with the restrictions when I'm sitting outside anxiously. This was a major scan, an important scan and a scan I feel partners should be & have to be there for, for a whole host of reasons.
When my Wife Got into the Car
When the scan was over and my wife walked out, she threw me smile as she opened the car door. It was all I needed, I knew.
I knew everything was ok. This wave of relief hit me, I was welling up. Even with my best efforts of not over-thinking about the scan over the last few weeks, I had built this scan up in my mind (for good reason too). I was being positive throughout that time but to just get that 'thumbs up', 'that smile', 'the all clear'. Whatever you wanna call it, it was just massive.
(Big Exhale again...)
My wife could see the relief on me or leave me...I don't know. She gave me a hug and we looked at more scan pictures, happy & content in the knowledge that the baby is fine and healthy.
I never tire at looking at those scan pictures. Seeing those hands and feet that are making my wife's life a nightmare when she tries to sleep, is truly special. The definition in the images is just crazy and amazing all at the same time.
I didn't think it would be possible for me to be even more excited. I was wrong!
April 2021 can't come quick enough.