“That was social services” I say to my husband. He flips.
He is outraged and also scared. There’s something else too, He sees this as an insult. Something is implied about us.
“They should know we’re not that kind of people”
I never get this attitude. What are “that kind of people.”? If child protection procedures apply to one person they apply to everyone. But now is not the time for that argument. We’re about to have a much worse one.
I tell him not to worry, it can all be cleared up. He accuses me of complacency. We “discuss” how best to deal with the situation. I think a letter should sort it. He thinks we should go to the midwives and demand to know what is going on.
In other words, in the words we actually use: He thinks I am a weak person who puts my own discomfort at conflict ahead of our baby’s welfare and will end up getting him taken into care. I think he’s a crazy bam who wants to kick off at midwives which will get the baby taken into care.
We stand facing each other and shouting. This is terrible. We never argue. Later on my husband will tell me that while this argument was going on he felt like “everything was falling apart.”
We make up enough to concentrate on the issue at hand and go to the library to photocopy medical records and write a covering letter. We fax it from the library fax machine. The librarian makes small talk so I explain what the letter is all about in a self depreciating “oh-dear-look-at-the-mess-I've-got-myself-into” sort of a way. The librarian is horrified and scared on our behalf. She lets us off the price of the fax because “it’s an emergency.”
We go outside and the implications of her reaction hit me along with the cold air. I didn't think I was being complacent up until now, but perhaps I have been. This is obviously a very serious situation. I agree we need to talk to the midwives. Yes, Now. But, politely.
We press on to the health centre and both the receptionist and the midwife are shocked and scared for us. The receptionist comments on my measured tone. “If it was me I’d be pure raging” I understand my husband’s point of view more and more. I do seem complacent. I’m not though, honestly. I'm only trying to appear calm because it seems the best way to deal with it.
Well, its not, he points out. I'm not the official person with the headed paper any more. I can’t afford to be calm and just expect to be listened to. I'm just an ordinary mum with no power and I need to find an official person to advocate for me.
Turns out the midwife doesn't mind taking this role at all. She will call social services straight away and let them know I've been to all my appointments. Her efficient reaction again worries me. As we leave I think:
“Bloody hell. Everyone in this city is scared of these people”