My search results returned a resounding "NOPE!".
By now I'd been wearing the same maternity frock for over a month because I never expected the whole pregnancy thing to drag on long enough for me to be incubating a teenager and prising myself into that dress was like trying to pull an elastic stocking over a Space Hopper!
You see, the thing is, I've always been averse to accentuating the baby carrying area via a tourniquet of tight clothes. Frankly, the entire practice of such knocks me sick!
Whatever neurosis is going on with me there has yet to be diagnosed but what I do know is that I want to see the delineation of the post-sex lump just about as much as I want to see the appendage responsible pressing against a restraining wall of lycra!
Anyway, frustration and anger raced through my system faster than a prune and castor oil cocktail and before I knew it, I was dragging everything out of the wardrobe, in a wild rage, before dumping the redundant clump of rags, outside and into the bin.
The deed done I improvised with an outfit and wobbled off for my anti-natal appointment fully aware that if anyone so much as looked at me with even a hint of "Awww...not gone yet?" I'd be the next headline in the local newspaper reading:
'Raging Waddling Woman Exposes Whale-like Bits To Stunned Patients In Doctors Waiting Room'
"I'd only gone along to have my boils lanced" said a tearful Mrs Carbuncle "I never expected to be accosted by Moby Dick".
Anyway, as it happens not a word was uttered and it wasn't long before I was summoned into the consulting room.
"Awww...not gone yet?"
Had the midwife not already have witnessed the monster which lurked beneath the duvet cover I'd slashed armholes into...I'd have gone through with my original response but, for obvious reasons, she was desensitised to such horror and so, I just smiled weakly whilst inwardly emitting a doleful symphony of self-piteous sobs.
"Right, I think this has gone on long enough so, we're going to use a sweep" she joyfully announced.
Surreal images of Dick Van Dyke loping across rooftops belching out "Chim chiminey, Chim chiminey, Chim chim cher-ee" scuttled across my delirious and desperate mind.
And then Ms Midwife went on to explain that all that this would involve was myself, the examination table and a rubber glove.
I'll let you fuse the three components and their usage together but suffice to say I was then sent home with a cheery promise through a beaming smile...
"It's Friday today I'll make you an appointment to see me on Monday but after today's procedure I am absolutely certain you won't need it because you'll have delivered by then"
Well, I was so happy and so positive that I'd be seeing my baby before the weekend was out that I practically skipped all the way home.
Needless to say, there was no skipping when I dragged my lumbering shape all the way back to the clinic Monday morning to be greeted by a surprised Ms Midwife...and yet another rubber glove!
However, further excavations proved equally as unsuccessful and so, much to my relief, later that week I was admitted to the hospital to be induced following a few check ups the night prior to the event.
I'd never stayed overnight in a hospital before and wasn't really sure what to expect.
Certainly what I hadn't anticipated was being woken up in the middle of the night by some heavily pregnant woman dressed in huge brown and yellow polka dot dungarees asking me, through glistening gums spraying spittle like an industrial fire sprinkler and with the aid of a pointy finger "Hey! *prod* Hey! 'ave you seen my teeth?"
I jest ye not! That is exactly what happened!
I returned a quick and disconcerted "No" after which, with knuckles dragging along the floor, she skulked off to her bed without further inquiry.
I spent the rest of the night wondering...
1) If I was the only one she'd approached?
2) If so, why? Was there something about me that screamed 'denture bandit'?
3) If I dozed off, would I wake up to find her menacingly looming over me through the accusingly bitter grimace of clenched gums!
Suffice to say, I didn't sleep after that. Mind you, even if I could have I'm not sure I would have, thanks to the sudden intrusion of an ever-intensifying stomach ache ruthlessly blighting any chance of rest.
And, as a result of the aforementioned 'stomach ache' a few hours on found me prostrate in the labour ward adjacent to the delivery suite from where I could quite clearly hear a series of agonising screams that could only be replicated if ones sole dietary intake consisted of Cacti, hedgehogs, barbed wire and laxatives!
Little did I know at the time that I too would be a participant in that prickly chorus of hell's harmonies later on that evening.
To be continued:
Next Time: Chapter Ten:
'Stand And Deliver'
© Copyright Lynn Gerrard