Thoughts on becoming a dad for the second time
Last week we visited Dr G for Wendy (and Zee’s) 13 week scan. Ordinarily a 90 minute wait (from appointment time) to see a Doctor would have me absolutely seething, but in the case of a Gynae, I guess births are always unexpected – and so I arrive at each appointment with my laptop, prepared for a wait. If it were a GP that kept me waiting that long, I’d move to a more organised GP! But with a gynae, you keep thinking that if it were ‘our’ birth or emergency that made him late, we really wouldn’t want Dr G rushing to get back to his appointments at the office! And so I arrive mentally and practically (laptop fully charged) prepared for a wait.
When we got there we were about number five in the queue of expectant parents waiting to see the Doc. Today the receptionist is in a much better mood than last time, and I feel slightly bad for having nicknamed her “Attila the Hun” because of her (then) very brusque handling of anxious mums’ calls for appointments or pregnancy advice. She still has to turn down two hopeful new patients in the time we’re there, making me feel quite special for already being a patient of Dr G (“Sorry my Darling, Doctor’s first opening for new patients is in February. No, you heard right the first time, I said February”). Someone else disputes that she has to pay the hefty fee for a scan today (“But I paid for a scan last time”), but receptionist “AtH” efficiently points her to the schedule of fees handed out at that first consultation, which clearly sets out exactly what has to be paid when, and silences the complainant with an experienced firmness.
Eventually Wendy is called (after an initial false start an hour ago – as there was another patient in the queue ahead of us also called Wendy). I slam my laptop closed, half way through drafting an email and follow Wendy into Dr G’s office. Entering I make eye contact, smile and greet Dr G confidently (this time I’m determined to be more than the third wheel) and he returns my greeting (progress!) I also have a few questions lined up – so he will have to talk to me J
He goes through Wendy’s blood tests taken at the last appointment – no issues there. Then it’s off to the next room for a scan. This time the scan is much longer than the first one, and there is Zee – right in front of my eyes – dancing Gangnam style – Arms and legs going wild (and the tears of wonder and joy well up in my eyes.) Okay, to be honest it could have been the Macarena, or even the YMCA – but whatever the music, Zee was definitely getting down in a big way – and let me tell you he or she has rhythm! With all that Boogying, Dr G has to make several attempts to freeze his ultrasound machine and to get the measurements that he needs – but he’s clearly dealt with dancing babies before, and he tells us that Zee’s “Crown to Rump” length is 6.7cm. He also measures a tiny neural tube at the top of Zee’s spine (which if too wide can be an indicator of the possibility of developmental abnormalities) and then turns up the volume so we can hear little Zee’s heart beat. Tears well up in my eyes again. It’s the most glorious sound in the world, “boom bitty boom, boom bitty boom, boom bitty boom”. Zee’s heart rate is a healthy 154bpm (especially good after all that dancing I think!).
We go back through to Doc’s office and he tells us that he will be requesting a variety of screening tests for Wendy – which results will be further indicators of any abnormalities – but he tells us that based on what he’s seen and measured so far (Zee’s neural tube measurement and nasal bone formation was fine) – we have nothing to worry about. Then we’re out to the nurse to draw Wendy’s blood (which she does quicker than I can fill in the details on the form for the laboratory!), and out to Receptionist “AtH” to swipe that credit card like a hot knife through butter.
So to any dad or future dad who may wondering whether he really should go, or if it’s worth the time to go with to these gynae appointments, I say that you should do absolutely everything you can to get there. Because you’ll be seriously missing out if you don’t!
This article was first posted on www.mommymatters.co.za