Sick of the heat

My DH says he thinks the heat has been less the last few days, but I’m definitely feeling it more. Maybe the humidity is up? I’ve been feeling ill whenever I’m not in air conditioning (which we don’t have at home, although a fan directly pointed at my head from no more than two feet away does help).

I actually went to the office today, which does have a/c. The journeys either way were rather brutal, though. I and a colleague go in by taxi two days a week, and since the regular drivers are paid a flat rate per journey, they tend to go pretty fast. Between the heat, the humidity, and the motion, I was decidedly queasy by the time we arrived this morning, and then on the way home the walk was atrocious. (We get picked up and dropped off at a central point in walking distance from both my and my colleague’s homes.) Since the gym was barely out of my way home (the other side of the main road) I ended up going in, enjoying their *cold* a/c, and having a shower and changing into some of the clean clothes I’d left there. I didn’t feel up to actually exercising, but I felt so much better the rest of the way home that it was definitely worthwhile.

I’m lucky, I’ve always thought, that I really don’t get morning sickness (in both of the previous two pregnancies I’ve had one incident of real nausea, right at the end of the first trimester, so I suppose that’s due in the next fortnight or so), but as with seasickness, sometimes the queasiness can go on for ages, when a good vomit should clear the head, at least temporarily. Oh well, so long as I can keep cool I’m sure I’ll be fine.

I’m due to see the high-risk doctor tomorrow morning, so I might bring this up. I’ll be interested to see what this doctor says. I won’t be impressed if I get brushed off, certainly.

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Birth Priorities

It’s a long way off, but here they are, definitely in descending order of importance.

  1. I don’t die.
  2. Baby doesn’t die.
  3. *Everything* gets fully explained to me at every point.
  4. We’re both healthy.
  5. Time to bond and initiate breastfeeding directly after birth.
  6. DH and doula with me as much as I want them.
  7. No-one takes offence if I want to be alone at any point.
  8. Avoid ICU.
  9. No separation between me and baby after birth.
  10. Avoid Caesarean section.
  11. Contact with my daughters during labour and any/all hospital time.
  12. *I* choose the position of the bed, however I’m using it. (Sitting/lying on it, or leaning against it.)
  13. No epidural.
  14. Avoid induction.
  15. Not stuck on bed during labour or birth.
  16. I choose my birth position.
  17. Mobility as I want it and feel up to.
  18. Allow labour to begin naturally.
  19. Food and drink I want, when I want them.
  20. Funny, light-hearted books with nothing to do with birth, motherhood, health, etc.

 

I would love a home birth, but it’s not something I feel safe enough to hope for, let alone organise. I can’t face the disappointment of things not going as I want, again. That’s why I’m making this priority list. I want everything on this list, and just because I don’t get something higher doesn’t mean everything else can be discounted, but it does give me various points to potentially count as success, even if I don’t get to have it all.

This list may well change over the next few months (I’m sure there are things I’ve left off), but here’s the starter version.

 

Two steps forward, one step back

I did a lot of traipsing about in the sun today, but was definitely reminded of how much more effective it is to speak to the administrative staff in the clinics, rather than the central call centre staff for the medical insurance network.

First appointment was the really frustrating one – I turned up on time for my appointment with the new ob/gyn, to find out that it had actually been set for yesterday (when I told them I couldn’t do) and that she is only in two days a week, and Thursday isn’t one of them. I did get to print out my blood test results (although I could have done that later, too), but it was still annoying. The receptionist there was sympathetic, though, and after suggesting generally making appointments online, if I have trouble with the call centre, made me one in person for next Tuesday.

Then in the afternoon it was my first ultrasound, which went well. (There was a quiet but not-so-nice incident before it, among some of the other people waiting, but that isn’t the topic of this blog, even though it does keep playing on my mind. Let’s just say that politics and racism should not be issues in the ultrasound queue.) There was a definite (single) foetus, with a heartbeat and a head, and at 2cm long, on track for 9 weeks precisely, which fits the probable date of my last period. (Forgot to write that down at the time.)

So now I have to believe it, I suppose!

On my way out of the central women’s health clinic, I asked the receptionist (who seemed in a rare good mood, or maybe she just likes having her advice asked, rather than being treated as a pure paper-cruncher) to suggest doctors with specialist knowledge of pre-eclampsia and/or HELLP syndrome. Her response to that was to confirm I was talking about high-risk pregnancy care, and to offer to make me an appointment with a high-risk doctor there, even though I told her I don’t have a referral for that yet.

So I haven’t seen the new regular ob/gyn yet, but I have a proper appointment with her for next week, and with a high-risk one the week after, and both the blood tests and ultrasound out of the way. Of course, I barely got any of the work I’m paid for (hourly) done today, since after all that I was shattered and slept all evening (it’s the middle of the night now, so I’ll go back to bed after I post this), but I’ll make that up.

As much as I could tell as a complete non-specialist, the blood results looked fine. My platelets were good – up at my normal from my platelets donation days. Obviously I’ll let one or both doctors confirm that, but at least there’s nothing I’m panicking about.

Tired and feeling crummy

Been exhausted the past few days, so haven’t worked out again or gone to do my blood tests yet. I actually did go back to the gym on Tuesday evening, on my way home from somewhere with my girls, and showed the older one (since the younger was asleep in the ErgoBaby carrier on my back) the childcare space there, for the next time we go together. From what I’ve seen, and what the staff said, it’s normally packed during the hours it’s open (a few in the morning and evening, whereas the gym is open all day from early to late), but there was amazingly only one sleeping child there right then, so they were happy for her to have a good look at the toys and talk to me. It’s fairly basic babysitting they offer, but it’ll make a change sometimes, and let me get there at times when DH has to get on with other things. We didn’t stay for me to exercise (more than walking around town with two small kids in tow, that is!) though, as it was late and I didn’t have the right clothes.

Then yesterday I didn’t want to go anywhere after getting back from the office, but I didn’t feel right not going to the wedding a family we’re close to were making, so we all went to that, and stayed for the ceremony and the first part of the meal, till the girls were behaving too exhausted (the 3.5yo decided to go for a wander around the hotel – thankfully a friend stopped her going far) so we came home. I actually got a decent night’s sleep last night, but *needed* long naps in the morning and afternoon, and had a terrible stomachache after lunch. I’d eaten so little over the past couple of days that I thought I should have a proper meal, and apparently overdid it.

So this evening I just went on a very short walk locally with a visiting friend. I’ll go down to the gym in the morning and see what I feel up to, and then use their nice showers, I think!

Dissatisfied

DH and I went to a first appointment with a new obstetrician/gynecologist this morning, and were underwhelmed. I got the forms for initial blood tests (plan to do those in the morning) and dating ultrasound (booked for next week), but I’m going to try another doctor. When we started by pointing out we’re pretty scared at the moment, then not asking for details of exactly what happened, or previous medical records, is not a very reassuring precursor to saying that it probably won’t happen again, because it mostly occurs in first pregnancies. Oh, but it didn’t happen in my first pregnancy, so obviously that doesn’t work for me, does it?

Oh yes, and despite saying I probably would need more visits and monitoring of blood pressure than regular, he didn’t take my bp today (hm, perhaps he did notice I was getting extremely stressed at that point and it might not be representative), or suggest going back sooner than six weeks from now, even to the nurse’s station. I wasn’t even comfortable to ask most of my questions, and that’s rather essential, I think. He didn’t even ask/check my weight, for a baseline for pregnancy gain, or as a pre-eclampsia/HELLP risk factor.

About the only vaguely specific thing he did say is that he doesn’t think there’s enough evidence that aspirin helps as a preventative to prescribe it to me.

I should have just insisted on a referral to a high-risk doctor, whatever his opinion, but I stupidly didn’t, so we’ll have to go through all this again. This …annoying person didn’t even put the notes he took onto the computer system (although he was reading previous ones from other doctors), apparently preferring hand-written cards.

I don’t go to a doctor to be treated as a generic pregnant woman. I want to be assessed on *my* history and symptoms, not the general statistics you think you might remember.

Pre-eclampsia (and related conditions) registry

Pre-eclampsia (and related conditions) registry

The Pre-eclampsia Registry is looking for women to share their experiences, to aid research into hypertensive conditions of pregnancy. Mostly those who’ve had pre-e etc, but also others for control. If you have access to your medical records, and/or info on any family members who might have had such conditions, so much the better. I thought it was worth doing.