... when pregnant.
"Bwoah," said my midwife. "Bwoah!"
Bwoah is not really top of my list of things I want to hear from healthcare professionals during the course of a pregnancy. Normal I like. Normal is good. As in -
"Yes, pet, I know you think you look like a beached whale but actually you don't. You're a bit tubbier but that's normal."
"Don't worry, dear, a total lack of morning sickness is not an indication that your baby has stopped growing, it just means that you were lucky. It's unusual, but normal."
"Well, Mrs Gingerbread, I'm not sure if a newly-discovered love of wiener sausages actually counts as a symptom, but if you are eating three or four a day, then it might. It's a bit weird, but still normal."
This is all very nice.
However, whilst I am perched upon an uncomfortable doctor's stool, watching the midwife looking through my latest test results, including the high-tech scan that was carried out for the nuchal fold* (it came back - thank goodness - normal. How I love that word!), she cast her eye down the baby's measurements, including its head diameter and the length of the baby from crown to rump.
"Bwoah!" she said in delight. "That's one big baby!"
I felt the cold finger of fear tickle the back of my neck. Yes, Baby Gingerbread measured a twelve on a scale of one to ten for normal measurement in his development stage. This ordinarily would be good news - who does not like a bonny baby? - but the person in charge of the baby's exit is experiencing a sense of trepidation. The father of this monster baby is quite proud - our baby is going to be the best baby ever and beat all other punier babies in terms of length, breadth and girth. (And, by the way, the ultrasound scan also saw Baby Gingerbread flailing his arms about. We were told that what looked like thumb sucking was a purely random thing, but Mr Gingerbread and I have decided that we have a genius in utero, one already capable of complex hand movements, unlike the other afore-mentioned punier babies in its age segment. Competitive, much?)
"Don't worry," said the midwife. "The growth rate might slow as the baby develops. It's more than likely that you'll have a perfectly normal-sized baby."
Hmmm. Not sure I believed her, but I allowed myself feel comforted.
So there you go, readers. And thank you all for your kind words about the impending Gingerbread expansion. I will take your advice and do what so many of you suggested - ignore everyone's advice and do what feels right to me. Tomorrow we'll be back to our usual programming and proceed with all things crafty.
* If, like me up to 13.5 weeks ago, your knowledge of babies extends to polite smiles when they're handed to you and sighs of relief when you hand them back, you probably don't know what a nuchal fold test is. No worries. Rather than read a book on pregnancy, I rely on my midwife to inform me on a need-to-know basis: pregnancy in bite-sized chunks. One such chunk was the recommendation to have a very high-quality scan done that measures the amount of fluid in the baby's neck fold. This allows doctors to determine the likelihood of the child having some chromosomal defect. The chances of this happening are relatively slim (though, being an ancient mother - 37, gasp, - they are statistically higher. Some people - like my husband - presume these things happen to everyone else; other people - like me - assume that they will be hit by a random thunderbolt of fate. As it happens, everything was ... well, normal.