Sunday, July 15, 2007

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Mad as a fish

Top bloke and previously pregnant bloke Trevor and now proud owner of a gorgeous baby girl sidled up to me: "Don't worry mate. You think pregnancy makes 'em mad. Wait 'til she pops."


Friday, July 13, 2007

...and pregnant bloke will be no more

Of our NCT Gang of Six, we are now the last couple waiting to pop, with the arrival for T&T of their beautiful Lauren. The tontine sweepstake seems a distant joke and somehow irrelevant (assuming I get round to handing over the £60 that I have already spent!).

At 40 weeks plus five days, every twinge, twitch and twang is a harbinger of contractions...and pregnant bloke will be no more.

Hurry up and wait

Phew! What to expect when you go to a big, ugly hospital: to wait for a looooong time.

We called up the hospital yesterday evening, and the duty midwife asked P to come in for a check up. We arrived at around 18:00. It took around two hours to be seen - bear in mind that they were expecting us. The midwifery team appears to have no system at all apart from word-of mouth to let the duty midwife know what's happening. Lots of unsubtle pressure from several worried pregnant blokes finally produced action.

The midwife we saw was excellent (Marlene from The Seychelles), and recommended a check by the registrar. Cue a delay of more than four hours waiting for the doc. Once again, the individuals (registrar and senior registrar) were excellent, and once again they seem to have little or no system - people simply roll up and wander off, or faff about looking for missing or mislaid notes. I wonder how much time NHS staff spend simply looking for things, each other or waiting?

At about midnight, almost six hours since we turned up, the senior registrar admitted P to a ward for overnight observation. And guess what? Yup, this was the only time we had not brought the hospital bag with us. D'Oh!

Lessons to be learned: bring a book, bring the hospital bag, be prepared to wait.

The only other conclusion I draw is that the NHS is chronically lacking in management. My experience has been that the staff *never* do what they said they would do when they said they would do it. They *always* have an excuse or find someone or something to blame - and it really is a blame culture. Is the NHS the last bastion of "muddle-through management"?

At the end of all this, P was prescribed some medication, promised before noon today. At around 14:00 we gave up waiting, and the midwives gave up chasing the hospital pharmacy, asking me to call back later and come to the ward to collect it. The prescription is still nowhere to be found. What a surprise.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Show & Tell

One of the key stages in preparing for giving birth: P has had a 'show.' In pregnant bloke terms, the snotty bung that seals up the workings has, er, fallen out.

Put another way, it's the cork from the barrel, the toad in the hole, the finger in the dyke. Or possibly not that last one...

We're off to the hosp to have it all checked out.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


No baby yet at 40 weeks +3. If there is no sign of action, then the next stage is a 'sweep.' The midwife described giving a sweep as "basically, sticking my fingers up and fiddling about a bit." (I paraphrase here for brevity, you understand.)

Pic from the bizarrely good, where Sweep is very much second fiddle to the more glamorous (and paradoxically much yellower) Sooty.

PS Checkout for toonhound's claim to fame.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Latest addition: Edward Arthur

Latest addition, Edward Arthur weighing in at 7lb 15oz (about 3.3kg in French silver), which leaves just two in the tontine: P and T. No sign of movement from either remaining mum-to-be as yet.

Monday, July 09, 2007

If I had thought of it earlier... D'oh!

Following news that number four out of six has gone into labour, we're down to just two pregnant blokes, Self and T, waiting, waiting, waiting. Recent text exchanges between the two of us:

Self to T: "News? I think we're having a teenager."

T to Self: "At least yr only a day or two late, a week+ is getting embarrassing!"

T has a much jollier turn of phrase than I (see what I mean?). If I had thought of it earlier, I could have given all the pregnant blokes blogin access to liven things up. D'oh!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Curry, pineapple, sex and Scorsese

Report flooding in from other pregnant blokes T and M: "Nada here. Curry, pineapple, champagne, sex, a Scorsese thriller, vigorous gardening = nothing" and "Nothing happening this end!"

(Martin Scorsese also directed "The King of Comedy." No-one is perfect.)

Saturday, July 07, 2007

It's quiet, too damned quiet...

They're dropping like flies: Molly and Neve today, to add to Luke. Three of the six in the NCT group are now babyfied, with PP, E and T to go....

It's quiet, too damned quiet... (Which should be from "The Cruel Sea," but isn't.)