please leave a message and we'll get back to you in about 10 weeks
I rang the surgery today to find out when the midwife will be getting in touch, but it shut early for some reason. The recorded message gave a number for the NHS helpline, so I thought I'd give them a ring and ask them what happens next. A very nice nurse called me back (I'll say it again - hurrah for nurses) and explained that "not a lot will happen for quite some time". Although a midwife will probably get in touch and take my medical history soon, I won't have any tests, scans, or even a check-up until I've reached 14 weeks. She said that the only thing to do at this point is make sure the baby progresses and if I have any difficulties, I should give them a call. Although she was very diplomatic about it, the message that came across was that it's very early days yet and they want to make sure I'm out of the high risk phase before they start any antenatal care.
So I told Paul about this and burst into tears, thinking that I could miscarry at any minute and that's why the NHS don't want to see me. I posted a message to BabyCentre and sent one to Heather asking if this was the norm, which prompted several comforting and informative messages that made me feel a lot better.
I think I have to just simply enjoy being pregnant and let nature take its course. There's nothing I can really do at this point but provide a nice warm comfy room for the little one to snuggle in to, and there's no point in worrying myself into a stupor. This is what I've been daydreaming about for the past year or so, and this is a wonderfully unique experience. It is pretty flippin cool, I have to say. Plus, I should savour the moments I don't spend with my head in a toilet.
**Update: I spoke to a midwife at my surgery (not THE midwife, but anyway) who said I should have my first at home appointment at 10 weeks, and my first scan at 12-14 weeks. After realising that at this point there's not much that can be detected or not much than can be done if something goes wrong, it makes sense not to be poked and prodded until I'm further along. Also, after seeing so many American women panicking about things like beta tests (which checks HCG levels throughout early pregnancy) and how little they actually gained by having early scans (some at 5 weeks!!), I think the way it's done here makes more sense. And will probably give me less to panic about!