Sunday 19th June was a big day in our church calendar – it was our annual Sunday School Children’s Day, only this year we were trying something a little different. We were having an all age inclusive family service, part of which involved the whole church completing a craft together. It was mega – we had 80+ year old men drawing around their hands to make handprint flags of all the countries in the world! (For a country Presbyterian church this was out of their comfort zone a little!!) I was going to use these handprints to make the Olympic rings for our Summer Holiday Bible Club; each member of the congregation would take one hand home and stick it up somewhere to remind them to pray for the kids at club, I would take the other handprint home to make the rings, which would remind the kids that the church is praying for them. Little did I know how significant this would all become in the months that followed. God always has a purpose.
I came home from church on a bit of a high. I was excited about what God was doing in our church. I felt Him very near and I was, as a good friend would say, “pumped!!” We were having dinner and after a while I said to Ben, “I don’t think I’ve felt baby move today.” We put it down to just a busy morning and me not really having time to think, but something within me was uneasy. I couldn’t finish dinner. I wanted to feel baby move. I went to have a lie down in the bedroom. I thought ‘I’ll feel them then, the midwives tell you to lie down for a good hour and see then if there’s movement’. So that’s what I did. I lay in the quiet, fully concentrating on my bump, I lay on my right, then on my left. But nothing.
I felt panicky but thought I was just over reacting. I knew if I phoned the midwives they’d probably ask if I’d drank a fizzy drink, or some ice cold water. So I tried that next. I drank a large glass of icy water, a can of diet coke and ate 2 Polly pineapple ice lollies. All while lying in my quiet bedroom, not risking any distraction. But, alas there was still no movement. I felt sick to my stomach.
I said to Ben, “there’s something wrong, we need to phone the midwives”. Now. I have great respect for midwives I really, really do. I truly mean it when i say they do an amazing job. But over my 5 pregnancies I have always had to convince them I needed to be seen. I’ve always felt initially fobbed off, or not taken seriously. And this time was no different.
” Are you sure you haven’t felt baby move at all today?”
“Maybe they’re sleeping, do you know its pattern of movements?”
“Maybe you should have a lie down for a while, its maybe that you’ve just been so busy”
“Have you had a glass of ice cold water? Sometimes that can get them moving.”
“Normally we’d say you should feel”….
I can’t remember what figures she quoted then, but I just rather firmly said, ” My baby HAS NOT moved all day. The last I remember feeling them move was around 930pm last night. I would like to be seen. I will be there in about 20 minutes.”
I threw things into a bag while we were waiting on the babysitter. And from that moment on, my life spun out of control…and to be honest continues to do so…..