7am. Shaking with nerves. About to embark on first doctor's visit re: baby, armed with chart of all shags, cycles etc. In one hour's time (approx.) will finally discover identity of baby's father.
10.30am. Sit up Britain office. Something has addled Richard Finch's subconscious so that every story he gives me has something to do with babies. Slipped discreetly into morning meeting attempting to conceal giant boobs under desk and recover from trauma of doctor's visit when Finch suddenly bellowed: "Bridget! Babies! I'm thinking the ban on cooing at babies in Halifax hospital. Get me a dozen babies in the studio and a child psychiatrist and we'll coo at half and ignore the others and I'll give 'em marks at the end of the show. Oh, and keep an eye on Blair's speech to see what he says about childcare."
Has he gone psychic? What will he be like when am forced to tell him the truth? Will probably make me do a live piece to camera while; actually giving birth - though if doctor's attitude is anything to go by he will more likely sack me. Visit turned into humiliating telling-off fest.
Hate the way now, if you want to see your actual own doctor you have to make an appointment weeks in advance. I mean, who knows they are going to be ill weeks in advance? Or pregnant, for that matter? Ended up with bloody Dr Rawlings: disapproving witch-woman with pudding bowl fright wig and strange wart/mole on forehead. Unfortunately, last time I had Dr Rawlings it was about five years ago for a morning-after pill and she has clearly formed a rather dim view of me.
"Well you're definitely pregnant," she said, in the I-told-you-so tones of a schoolteacher informing a three-year-old she's finally broken the head off her Barbie doll.
"I know I'm pregnant," I muttered, sulkily kicking the desk and wondering why she didn't get rid of the enormous wart/mole thing. If she was, as she purported to be, a doctor, then surely she could get it done free, or quickly, or even cut it off herself with..."
"Everything all right?" Dr Warthead enquired coldly.
"Fine, fine," I gabbled guiltily, realising I was staring at the wart/mole.
"I was asking what your husband thinks about this. But you seem a little distracted."
"Oh he's delighted. He's my boyfriend, actually." I said, narrowly avoiding adding, "Though actually he's not my boyfriend any more and there's two of him and why don't you get that thing cut off?"
"How pregnant am I?" I ploughed on brightly, as if everything were normal instead of a sociological disaster.
"Well, you should know!"
"Well you're the doctor," I parried.
"When was the date of your last period?"
I handed her the chart. She peered at it.
"I see. And when did you have intercourse."
Intercourse - oh, for heaven's sakes. It's like Americans calling the toilet the "restroom" or "the bathroom" - like they're going to have a bath or a little sleep, rather than a pee.
"There," I said, pointing at my chart.
"Really? Only twice? Most couples of your age are having sex at least two or three times a week,"
"Actually my boyfriend is 105, but very rich," I felt like saying, though managed to hold myself back. Instead I said: "So which of the times do you think I would have got pregnant on?"
"Does it matter?'
"Yes: such a special moment! I want to know which one it is, so I can treasure it."
"Well you can't. It could have been either."
"But surely one date is more likely than the other?"
"Actually Day 10's a bit early and Day 15 is a bit late. Are you sure there wasn't another occasion in between?"
"Quite sure, thank you. So of the two, which one would you go for?"
"No idea. Both equally likely"
"What about the scan?"
"Ten to 13 weeks."
"Will that show when the conception was?"
"Possibly. But frankly, Bridget, I think you're being rather silly about this. There are more important things to focus on."
She ended up fobbing me off with a leaflet called "Things to think about before you're pregnant" which didn't say anything about making sure there's only one father.
Wonder if you can do a DNA test before you actually have the baby? Oh God, cannot believe have got self into such a sordid situation. Feel like a crack whore.
Or one of those people in The News of the World who has got pregnant by her own grandson.
Suddenly realise how you always assume the sort of people you read about doing unthinkable things are entirely different from you.
But in fact, when you are in the thick of something, it is quite easy to get into a situation which other people will find unimaginably disgusting when they find out.
Imagine if you accidentally killed someone in a moment of passion: one split-second changing everything forever, like in Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody".
You're going to be vilified and sent to jail, maybe electrocuted, but you're still the same person underneath, or maybe ... gaah!
Was Freddo, drawing up a chair, leaning forward with a concerned air: "Bridget. Richard wants you to think about the rights of the father."
I panicked. Had Dr Warthead reported me to Richard Finch? Was it Magda? Could Richard Finch be channelling God?
"It's ok, I know," said Freddo creepily, laying a clammy hand on mine "You've been focusing on the baby thing. But Richard's saying: fathers left out in the cold, Daddies dismissed as mere sperm machines."
"But ... but ... why has Richard suddenly ...?"
"Oh," said Freddo coldly. "There's a man from Fathers 4 Justice protesting about fathers' rights on the roof of the Houses of Parliament. You really should keep an eye on the wires, Bridget. It is actually part of your job."
I leaned back, shaking with relief. If God was trying to tell me something, I'd far rather he did it through the national broadcasting media than Richard Finch.
Published: 29 September 2005