After almost a month of chasing the Women’s Health Clinic for an antenatal appointment, I finally have one! Just under two months before I’m due to give birth, it will be the first time I have a checkup whilst I have been pregnant.
It will be the first time they check my weight, the fundal height, and even assess the baby’s heartbeat. This is in Sydney, Australia, where some of the greatest health care can be found!
If you consider that these appointments are only fairly new when it comes to looking at the history of pregnancy, it isn’t really anything unheard of. Pregnant women didn’t go through any of the numerous tests that we go through today a hundred years ago… so that thought should bring some comfort and reassurance right?
But it doesn’t, completely… I’m still scared!
Previously I’ve given birth to a baby seven weeks early. If they have given me an appointment only seven weeks prior to my due date – will I even get assessed prior to the birth of this baby?
Only Two Appointments
So far over the duration of this pregnancy I’ve had two telephone appointments with my GP. One was to get a pregnancy blood test referral, the other for a morphology scan. That’s the extent of it.
I know that with the risk of COVID-19 still very present this must be what the medical professionals consider to be the safest of options – but is it really?
What about gestational diabetes which I’ve had for my last few pregnancies? Am I not supposed to feel concerned about that because in 2020 all that anyone needs to fear is the coronavirus?
Should women have simply avoided pregnancy altogether this year?
I am completely confused! How are all these various tests considered to be so incredibly vital previously, yet now they are completely irrelevant?
How do they know if the baby is truly alright? Is it just a matter of praying for the best?
To say I am unnerved is an understatement! And my GP doesn’t specialise in pregnancy – I can tell that from the way, even though he is an incredible doctor, he hasn’t picked up on a major problem with my blood test report.
What Should I Do?
What is a pregnant mother supposed to do in the year 2020? Assess herself? Take her own measurements? Pray to all above that everything works out and that she is able to bring home a live healthy baby?
This being baby number eight does not make my fear or worry any less, no one is ever guaranteed a living, breathing tiny miracle at the end of pregnancy no matter what.
Perhaps this is my fear, the comparison of how lightly pregnancy is taken in 2020 compared with the way it was similarly handled 100 years ago, when outcomes for mothers and babies weren’t so good.
Slipping Through The Cracks
Besides this fact, if you aren’t actually looking at a patient, if you aren’t physically assessing them, how do you know if they are alright not just physically but mentally? First time pregnancies are a whirlwind of emotions. And I hope those mothers are being looked after adequately.
This year is so full of uncertainty. But I know that does not strip us of our belief in one’s self. Our ability to overcome any obstacles life throws our way, to succeed. And it doesn’t hurt to read up, research what brings us the most fear – not just via an odd scary Google search result, but old school textbooks.
Listen To Your Body!
Knowledge has always been power, it has the ability to lessen the fear of things we don’t understand, and no one knows your body as well as what you do. Even if this year sees pregnant mothers go through pregnancy without adequate assessments, if we actually invest time and care into our own bodies, our chances of getting through any situation with a wonderful outcome are high.
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