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Wednesday, 15 March 2006

light reading


I'm going to request my maternity notes and any other records the hospital may have, mostly out of curiosity and partially so that I can have immediate access to them next time round. In a way, I'm really looking forward to reading through everything to get their "take" on the situation. On the other hand, the thought of reliving the weeks before and after Jack's birth makes my stomach feel a bit funny. Either way, I'm sure one day Jack will find it fascinating to read about his scan measurements and the results of his mother's infinite urine tests. For those of you in the UK, apparently you can get your records free of charge within 40 days of your hospital stay. After that point, you will have to pay a fee (anywhere from £10-£50) to get copies or you can view them at the hospital for free. I believe that they keep your records for something like 25 years.

I was surprised when I didn't get my maternity notes back when I was discharged from hospital. I carried them around with me at all times from around 20 weeks onwards, until they got dog-eared and crinkled from being stuffed in my bag. I took them out periodically to read through my midwife's scribbles and study Jack's scan data. By the time I ended up staying in the hospital, the midwives had to staple extra pages to the back of my notebook. Pages and pages of various people's handwriting filled my book, detailing my visits to the Day Assessment Unit and chronicling my days in hospital. The entries ranged from blood pressure readings to details like "mum feeling weepy today". It's full of things that I've forgotten about, little tidbits that will be important again one day. It's mine and I want it back, dammit.

Or at least I think I want it back. Maybe I'll just keep it in a drawer for a while.

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