In the waiting room

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  • Published 20070803
  • ISBN: 9780733321269
  • Extent: 264 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm)

TANYA SITS AT the side of the couch, her head resting on her hand. She smiles when I say “hello”, but her two-year old daughter has been sick with a cold and Tanya’s caught it. A headache and a blocked nose add to the usual discomforts of pregnancy, but she’s made an effort for the appointment: immaculately dressed in silver hip-hop pants, dark hair tied back, clear olive skin delicately made up. Carol Dorn, the midwife, guides her to the scales and then sits her down to take her blood pressure.

We all turn at the sound of small footsteps pounding down the hall. A toddler appears at the doorway, followed by a cry of, “Ryan! Wait for me!” then a tall woman pushing a pram who takes a seat on the couch next to Tanya. Joanne tries to restrain Ryan from pushing his pram into the computer desk while she listens to Carol. The midwife explains that it’s time to test for gestational diabetes, and hands her a sugar drink which I know from experience tastes foul. Joanne swallows it but her focus isn’t on the baby inside her, nor on Ryan, who is intensifying his efforts to crash test the pram.

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