Pregnancy ups, emotional downs

This week, last month, summer and autumn have involved a LOT of traumatic events locally, which I haven’t gone into here, as they aren’t the focus of this blog. They have taken my attention, though, which is a lot of why I’ve written so little. I just haven’t had the mental energy to either fret about or enjoy this pregnancy.They also pulled me out of the running and other exercise I was doing in the first trimester (my DH felt it got dangerous to run alone late at night, and asked me not to, and it was too hot during the day, and although I joined the gym, I really didn’t enjoy exercising there very much), and it’s been really hard to keep up my energy levels ever since. I spend a lot of time feeling exhausted.

On the other hand, my medical test results have mostly been good. I did the follow-up ultrasound on the excess amniotic fluid yesterday, and while there is still a tiny bit too much, it’s nowhere near as bad, apparently. The doctor told me to go back in two months (ie right at the end of the pregnancy) so they can see how it looks before the birth. I had actually been wondering if there was an improvement in this, because I’ve been feeling more kicks and other movements, and feeling them more all over.

Also this week I started a series of dental hygiene appointments at the local dental school. A second (of two) year student on a local parenting group asked for patients, and it seems a very good deal – a single cheap price for multiple in depth appointments completely under supervision. I really haven’t had dental care since I moved here, so this would be a good thing. Both my (student) hygienist and her supervisor stressed how important tooth care in pregnancy is, because gingivitis can lead to low birth weight and premature labour. In the health questionnaire at the beginning I was asked about present or previous instances of high blood pressure or liver issues, so mentioned the last pregnancy. I very quickly gave up on trying to tell them about HELLP, and focussed on the pre-eclampsia having led to both, but being fine for now and carefully monitored. In the end they just accepted that and moved on, because it doesn’t seem like either should really be affected by this treatment. I was somewhat bemused that neither of them knew what pre-eclampsia is (let alone HELLP), and only the student (who has two daughters of her own) had even heard the term before. On the one hand, I’m delighted she didn’t need to know, for her sake, but in case she might want further children I hope she at least knows symptoms to get checked out, even if she doesn’t know what they might be from. I have no idea if her supervisor has children or wants to, but same for her if so.

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.