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Friday, March 02, 2012

Citizen Me: Life Happens

Not long after the Blackpool evening we were invited to dinner at Beryl and Derek's house, which was also a bed and breakfast hotel. They entertained friends in the bar of their hotel and evenings in their company were always great fun and there were always other people for us to meet as well. This particular evening there was a couple around our age. She was very attractive and had quite an odd personality. Beryl had warned us that she could also be very unpredictable -- and had a reputation for being psychic! I can't remember her name but let's say it was Miranda.

Well a few weeks later one of the other women who had been there that night was at our house for tea and during a very amiable chat, she leaned over to me and said something like, "Did Beryl tell you what  Miranda told her about you?"

I was quite taken aback -- as it hadn't occurred to me that Miranda had taken any real notice of me. "Nooo," I said, a bit apprehensively.

"Miranda told Beryl that you were definitely pregnant! Are you really?"

Well you could have knocked me over with a feather, because not only was I not pregnant but as far as The Man and I were concerned we had already four children between us and we were not planning to have any more. "Absolutely not -- no more for us!"

Now Beryl and Derek were the most darling couple in all the world, but this story went around to everybody! The Man and I were quite stunned in a way -- and quite relieved that Miranda was wrong, too.

Six weeks later though, it was a different story!!! I've never seen Miranda again and I'd never seen her before ... "And therefore as a stranger give it welcome; There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio Broad; Than are dreamt of in your philosophy." (Thank you Hamlet, thank you Shakespeare!) Let me tell you it's is quite a shock when someone tells you you are pregnant before you are!!!

The period of my pregnancy coincided with the most difficult period during our marriage. As I was no spring chicken it meant that we decided to have an amniocentesis. I was convinced that at last I would have a girl, but I wanted to be prepared in case it was a boy. Good decision!

The amniocentesis was traumatic -- the doctor who was a woman could not find the fluid and it went on and on for over half an hour and then when they said they were going to do it again I got hysterical -- I don't think The Man has ever before or since seen me in such a state! An the doctor was not only inept she started telling me off!!! Anyway, another appointment with my Consultant this time. Mr. Wilson had a very fine reputation as a doctor but terrified the sisters, nurses and even Matron, but was always very sweet with me. Anyway, there I was once again on the table, but this time only Mr. Wilson and an assistant, not a whole platoon of people like the time before. I got ready and grimaced waiting for the procedure to begin and within 5 minutes he said, 'You can stop grimacing and holding your breath now -- it's over!'

As the pregnancy progressed I began to suffer sever bouts of tunnel vision. This problem was always solved by lying down and having a nap. It happened once when I was waiting to see Mr. Wilson about two months before my due date. I am still not sure what the problem was, but I think my blood pressure was soaring. As I was waiting for Mr. Wilson to come in to see me I heard him on the phone. He was telling the person on the other end that he needed a bed that day for a patient. Then he gave her name. It was me!! I hadn't even seen him yet! So I ended up in the hospital ward for a week with maybe 10 other expectant mothers. I was told I needed a rest. It was one of the most fun weeks in terms of camaraderie I've ever experienced -- we all relaxed and laughed a lot!

Pregnancy aside, there was something else going on during all this. The Man decided that he needed to do something to improve our financial situation and that the way to do this was to buy an investment property that we could live in as well. He found a place that we both decided would be viable, but would be very demanding as there would be serious renovation involved. Somehow, The Man, was able to convince the Bank Manager to agree. The place we found had 7 bedsits/flatlets and the income would pay the mortgage off in 10 years! In 1983 this kind of property was much cheaper than it is today! Even so a lot was at stake and a lot of hard work for The Man lay ahead...

On March 17, 1983 we exchanged contracts, on 20 May 1983 our boy, Robert was born and by the end of the summer we went 'where angels fear to tread' and with three boys, moved into a house, under renovation!

The right side of the detached house
The Investment for Our Future

21 comments:

  1. What a drama to find out you're pregnant before you actually are...but what a lovely surprise eh? I don't know if I would have been as kind to your first incompetent Doc...a smack around the chops would have worked well in my mind.
    Your house looks stunning...is that before the renovations? Goodness what does it look like now? I'm jealous...
    Smiles - A.

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  2. A huge house.. a lot to renovate and a lot to keep up! You still live there? And do you let out rooms? And did you pay off the morgage?

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    1. It's lovely to have you visit my blog, Nana. I certainly do enjoy yours! We paid off that mortgage in 1993! What was seven bedsits/flatlets all sharing a bathroom is now 4 self-contained flats. Stay tuned for where we live now!!

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  3. This was all undoubtedly unnerving at the time but you seem to have weathered things nicely. I've heard it said and it always makes me smile: If you want to make God laugh, make plans.

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    1. I think God laughed out loud -- a lot!!

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  4. That is scary when you are told you are pregnant when you don't know it yourself!!! Robert will be 20 next year, time flies when you are having fun with renovations :) Presumably all turned out well. Have a great weekend Diane

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    1. Robert will in fact be 30 next year! Hope your weekend is sunnier than ours! :-(

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  5. Life doesn't just happen, Broad, it all happens at once! I bet you gave all psychical a wide berth after that! Glad it all worked out for you after such a stressful time. The house is very Southport. :-)

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    1. PS I meant 'psychics'. Bother Chrome's autocorrect....

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    2. You know, the thing was I didn't know at the time she was a psychic! Indeed the house is very Southport!

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  6. Isn't it funny where life takes us. Never where we thought we'd be. The baby we thought we would never have, our third daughter, ended up to be just who we needed in our lives!
    God bless you and yours.
    Barb

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    1. He proved to be a very special blessing indeed -- and still is!

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  7. Ah, I had a child in my late thirties, and a miracle he was. I too needed all kinds of tests, but not the bed-rest you required. Life is never what you think it will be.

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    1. This third child was not an easy one to carry, but worth every second of the trouble! Life is never what you expect and treasures beyond our dreams, too.

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  8. My goodness, that is strange about Miranda! Glad that even though you were no spring chicken, you were young enough to cope and come out of all this the other side. HOpe the house worked out well. Next instalment?

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    1. The story of the house will continue! And that chicken is definitely an 'old hen' now!

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  9. I can't imagine the stress of being treated by an incompetent doctor when you are so far from "home." You and The Man had quite a spirit of adventure! I loved English bed and breakfasts when I traveled (40 years ago) and our hosts were always cheerful and gracious. I always wondered whether the guests were equally gracious. (Fodder for another post?)

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    1. That was the worst medical experience of my life! I've not had a huge amount of experience with B&B's but enough to say that our success with them is a definite 'mixed'. In all cases, however, our hosts have been very nice and they all knew how to fix an excellent breakfast!

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  10. Dear Broad,
    You've really captured my attention! I so want to hear more about your investment and if/how it paid off. And I love the imagine of you and the other women in the hospital ward talking, chatting, giggling. Delightful.

    Peace.

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    1. We did, indeed, have a great time! I don't know how others might feel about their experiences in NHS hospitals, but in those days they still had 'matron' and since she is no longer there everything has gone downhill.

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Receiving comments is a joy and I thank you all for taking the trouble and showing your interest. Makes me feel all gooey and stuff!