Thursday, 24 March 2016

Rumer's Story, part 11

Start of our new life


Thursday 18th June 2015
25 weeks pregnant

On Thursday, we got a taster of the life that was in store for us. Of exactly how busy our life was about to become.

We had decided to go to Berlin via ferry and train rather than flying, so we were taking the train to Harwich from Liverpool Street that evening, then the night ferry to Hook of Holland, and in the morning, the train to Berlin via Amsterdam. I think that when we made the bookings we'd imagined a slow Thursday, but of course it had now filled up with appointments.

We had an appointment with the Steeple team midwives (the high-risk midwife team) at 9am, followed by a general antenatal class which started at 9.30 (we'd realised this was going to be tight!) until 1pm, then some sort of lunch before an appointment with Khushi Holloway, the consultant midwife. Then dinner and catching the train.

In the morning, we'd had a plan to take the train to central London, drop our luggage at the left luggage place and wander up to the hospital in a leisurely fashion, picking up a coffee on the way. But, of course, we got up late, got scatty and decided to take a taxi, asking the driver to drop us off at the station. It was a lovely sunny day and the traffic was horrific. It got later and later, and we ended up getting the taxi to drop us off at the hospital.

We had to rush in with our suitcases and up in the lifts to the antenatal clinic where we were directed to the waiting room, and we waited and waited. Eventually, I knocked on the door of the Steeple team office and was told that they hadn't known we were waiting. Still, all's well that ends well. We had a good discussion with Zainab, the midwife in charge of the Steeple team. She was very supportive of us, but felt that our current midwife team would be able to give us better midwifery care; however, she was happy for them to liaise with the Steeple Team about the high-risk stuff. She gave us details of an antenatal class for parents expecting babies with heart defects and said we could let them know if we wanted to come along. We'd begun to explore the idea of a c-section if our baby was alive at the start of labour (to avoid the risk of stillbirth) and she was supportive of that, telling us that another woman in the hospital had chosen a similar approach. She also kindly let us leave our cases in her team's office while we went to the antenatal class.

We went to the antenatal class run by a midwife called Billy. It was a fairly standard antenatal class. We came in late and sat at the front, which of course is where the remaining seats were. Fortunately for Chris, who hates interactive class activities, the only such activities were passing round some items and doing a massage. The massage was actually quite nice (for me, anyway). The class finished and we decided to go and get lunch outside on the grass - it was such a lovely day - before heading up to the midwife-led birth centre to meet Khushi.

Lunch outside

We went up and waited in the reception, and Khushi turned up and said hello and took us through to one of the birthing rooms to meet. She was clearly making an effort to be kind and listen to us, even though I got the impression that our request for a c-section if we didn't have a stillbirth would not be her first choice. I found her more intimidating than Chris did, but generally it was a fine appointment (see appointment notes below). She was open to what we wanted. Gave us her contact details. Was willing to explore the idea of a home stillbirth, and happy to consider how we would manage this, but of course we'd need to meet again to discuss it further. We arranged a follow-up appointment.

After that, we had to go and pick up our cases from the Steeple Team and head off to get some food - we'd planned to drop our cases off at Liverpool Street first. We were running later than we'd hoped, so we got a taxi to Liverpool Street, dropped the cases off and headed out to get some food. We also had plans to pick up some baby name books after dinner.


These proved harder to find that we'd thought, but eventually we located a Waterstones and found two books to take with us. We headed back, picked up our cases, found the platform and made it onto the train in time. We were off to Berlin.


Appointment notes
Consultant midwife appointment notes, page 1
Page 1
Consultant midwife appointment notes, page 2
Page 2

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