Monday, 1 February 2010

Humour in every situation?

There haven't been many horrible events in my life. I am pretty much the luckiest woman in the world (at least in my view).

OK, so every now and then there's been the odd hiccough that has caused me to wobble slightly on this low beam of life. Once or twice I've even had to put my foot down for balance before readjusting the waistline of my jeans, taking a deep breath, straightening my hair and carrying on.

So... the miscarriage issue. I've spoken about it with family and friends, sometimes when all I've wanted to do is crawl into a hole and cry until the tears have dried up, I've read about other people's experiences, I've cried in the dark with my husband's arms around me, I've kept a sort of diary to act as an outlet for my emotions and I've blogged about it.

I've also found humour in a difficult situation.

That doesn't make me a callous person. I'm sure I can't be the only person on earth that tries to maintain a sense of humour (albeit sometimes restrained and kept carefully in check by the realms of decency and decorum) no matter the situation. While I always respect the power of other people's emotions and the need to pander to 'the right thing to do' I think I use my humour as a kind of coping mechanism. And a very effective one it has proved to be thus far.

The four and half hours spent at the hospital on Christmas Eve were some of the longest of my life. My husband and my marvellous Mum were with me and shared these hours, along with some of the comic moments hidden therein. It must be the writer in me that notices things, finds humour in them, develops them in a secret word laboratory in my brain and stores them for consideration at a later date.

Even before I was seen by nurse or doctor my brain was hunting out ways of making the unplanned and enormously unwelcome hospital trip a little more palatable. I started off by watching my fellow inhabitants of the waiting room, thanking all things good that I wasn't in as bad shape as they were. I needed the loo and got all but there (try not to picture me literally hovering in a state of readiness) before realising they'd probably want a urine sample so having to instruct my body, rather hastily, that there had been a last second change of plan... pelvic muscles to the rescue! All good practice.

So, having given said sample and had my blood pressure taken, the next few hours passed without much incident. I mean, once I'd been taken through to the 'cubicles' we were simply hemmed in with enormously fetching disposable curtains and left like battery chickens to await the arrival of a doctor.

There were various comings and going throughout this time which kept me and my faithful companions entertained (sometimes in a good way, sometimes in a gruelling way) but eventually our doctor arrived. Maybe it's a sign of my age, but it is incredibly disconcerting when, in your hour(s) of need and nerves, the doctor assigned to you looks no more than, and I exaggerate not, 12 years old! My pint-sized nephew of a handful of years would compare favourably with this doctor in an 'I can reach further up the wall than you can' head to head! She could barely reach up to me as I lay (yes, lay) on my surprisingly comfortable trolley, and she certainly didn't seem one hundred per cent comfortable in her 'bedside manner' routine.

My heart did go out to her however, when she obviously thought she was breaking some unexpected news about my miscarriage. While my heart hammered at the speed of the Starlight Express within me and tears welled up in my rose-tinted eyes, I still found myself thinking how uncomfortable she looked telling me I was no longer pregnant. Rabbit in headlights move aside... she was more of a gremlin (the cute one, before midnight) caught in the act of raiding the kitchen for a midnight feast.

The way she went about my 'after care' made me slightly worried that she was totally unsure about what to do next. She kept disappearing from sight, handling the curtain around my trolley like it was a precious, fragile metal, tip-toeing around in her Skechers' Shape-up trainers (which incidentally look more like orthopedic shoes... just me?), making surreptitious phone calls as if appealling to some kind of reference source... all confidence inducing merits in a doctor I find!?

Finally I was asked by Dr Diminutive to produce another urine sample. She wanted to see my pregnancy test 'with her own eyes' apparently. So I went, plastic pot in hand, to find a toilet and do as I was bade. When I found a toilet (a quest in itself) my mind was reeling with the events of the evening, the feelings of stupidity alluded to in my earlier blog entry, the disappointment of my situation and the tiny stature of my 'doctor' that, before I knew it, I had used the toilet for its utility but had forgotten to store any in my pot!

Long moments passed as I tried to work out my next steps. Such a straightforward task made infinitely complicated by mere emotions! It was with a heavy but somewhat giggling heart that I padded back to my trolley, resplendent in my hospital gown and socks, to tell Mum and hubby of my slight cock up. "We only need a tiny bit," offered one of the nurses, trying to be helpful. "Really, I used it all up without realising," came my weak and somewhat embarrassed reply.

Half an hour and several cups of water later I managed to deliver and was thus sent home to settle into Christmas. My arrival behind my own front door brought the inevitable fall of the game face and the onset of tears but, without a bitter outlook, that Christmas Eve in the hospital is one I shall never forget.

For both good and bad reasons.

Potential Mummy B