Sunday, 18 January 2015

The GlamourCat Pregnancy Diaries - Pregnancy, The Next Steps

Pregnancy: The Next Steps 

Working Out Your Due Date:
Now you have found out you are pregnant, you have probably told your partner and possibly your parents or siblings. 
The next step you will want to do is find out when you conceived so you can work out your due date. I thought it was interesting to know when we had conceived so you could remember the event and where you were etc. 
Don’t panic about the fact that you never knew you were pregnant up until now and get the guilt trip about drinking and other worries as it is highly unlikely to have affected your baby at this stage.
The due date can easily be worked out by noting when the first day of your last period was. The most accurate guide can be found here on the NHS site: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/due-date-calculator.aspx#close
What shocked me most, was that it worked out my due date a lot closer than I thought. Pregnancy goes from the first day of your last period and the lasts 37 to 42 days until the birth. 
I don’t know why, but I always thought pregnancy was from your missed period. It took a bit of getting used to that I was already about a month and a bit pregnant! Like I said in Chapter 1, pregnancy is very much like the symptoms of a period so I had no idea.

The first thing you need to do when you get a positive pregnancy test is ring your local doctor’s surgery where they will ask you your name, date of birth and when you last had your period to make an appointment with the maternity nurse.
This is a very quick appointment and nothing to worry about, she will just work out your due date based on what I have told you above and then give you three options for your choice of hospital to have your baby. Whatever hospital you pick, you will need to go there for your scans and any other sort of tests that you may need as well as delivering your baby, so think wisely about where you will be comfortable and not just whatever is nearest. 
Do some research and perhaps ask other mums on facebook what their experiences have been like.
You will also get a baby pack with a Claire’s Dairy in it which gives you Argos and Johnson’s Baby vouchers in it- sign up for these and you will get diary alerts in your email inbox telling you what things to look at each week in pregnancy.
The next appointment after your initial GP one will be with a maternity nurse at your chosen hospital. 
Here they ask you so many questions about your medical history and quite a few about your partner, so I would try and bring him to this if you can. If they can't come then find out if they have a history of any diseases, issues or even things like Diabetes so you can answer all the questions as best as you can. 
Mainly the questions will be The Usual Suspects- do you smoke, drink and what is your weight etc… then you won't really have anything until you need your 12 week scan. 
I told them that I had a smear test with bad cells and a Cone Biopsy about 5 years ago and this is exactly the sort of information they want to hear because anything like this could affect your birth so I had to go for more tests regarding this as a precaution. 
Then it is hospital appointments with maternity nurse check ups along the way. 
 I think the NHS is a great system and I do not take it for granted at all. But I do have a rant below that is very tongue in cheek, because as Brits we do not complain about anything and just take everything as it happens. No one explains the patience and sense of humour you may need for the next 8 months of your journey so here it is: 

The Pregnancy Game- you win if you keep your cool with all of the following:

Repeating Information 


EVERY time you go to any appointment whether it’s the hospital or the doctors, you will be asked WHAT IS YOUR NAME? 
Yes even though it’s on your maternity notes and you have said it at reception, and at every given opportunity, they still keep asking your name almost as if they don't believe you. 
The name Catherine Quigley is not so hard I would have thought, but the spelling just throws them and I have had to grit my teeth over the phone phonetically spelling out my name to them because they ‘can’t find me on the system.’
Next you will get asked your birth date. Again and again- not so bad as the name game I found, as I just had to keep saying numbers instead of playing give us a clue for my name game sounds like ‘Wriggley’. 
Then thirdly you will get asked when is your baby due. The third one is a trick, because you tell them what you have been told at your first appointment and then it changes anyway when you have your first scan as yoj usually get a more accurate date so then you have to remember new numbers. 
So count to 10 and say these three things calmly. 
If you lose your patience maybe print some cards out with the information on it and pretend you can’t understand the English language because they can’t at times it seems. 
Even when you have a cervical scan if you need one, in the middle of being legs akimbo with a device up you, they are not shy yo ask you what's your last name again? I wish my last name had a swear word in it. 

Doctor's Receptionists

The computer unfortunately says no alot. The doctor’s and hospital receptionists (some of them, not all of them) are  not the most polite or helpful people you may come across.
My existence I think stopped one drinking her Starbucks coffee once and I got the actual raises eyebrow when I asked a question. Then my appointment was very late so I was doomed. Do not interrupt a magazine reading, coffee drinking receptionist. 
Again, they like to ask you the same questions, like when you have booked your appointment they organised or you have been sent a letter to attend an anti natal appointment check up, then they have the cheek to ask you who you are seeing. I don't know! I've been given this appointment, I've turned up at the right place and time and you are asking me who I should be seeing and what the nurse or doctor's name is? Sorry but do your job and look on the screen and get my name right while you're at it! 
Also new mums haven't got a clue what half of their appointments are, so asking us what we are there for is just downright ridiculous because nothing is explained. Be thankful we are there. We have baby brains and just getting to the appointment is a massive achievement. 
Then you get the receptionists that come back from lunch or answer a telephone in the middle of your waiting or checking in ( patience is mandatory, not to go beserk here, not a virtue) or you get a new receptionist- go ahead and explain everything again and maybe again if they have been distracted by someone else who is rightly asking why their appointment is running so late. 

Waiting Rooms

You will spend a lot of your time waiting about for your appointments, waiting for your baby to be a certain way so they can even take a scan, filling your bladder so they can take a urine sample and just general appointments. 
The magazines are exciting; Doctor Who from 2002, Scientist weekly and Mac Book for beginners seem to be firm favourites as well as study leaflets asking if you are giving birth in a certain month and would you like to take part in the trial- you get to keep the research for your time. No thanks, I'm very busy waiting here for my late doctor's appointment, I wouldn't do all this voluntarily AGAIN! 
You will also notice mum envy going on. Bumps of all shapes are wandering around, so you tend to look at yours and wonder why it isn't as big if they ate gling for the same scan as you or why another woman is happily sitting with her partner when yours couldn't get the time off work. 
Then there are tears from some people or some showing off their scan pictures to an audience that they have brought to the waiting room, just before you are about to go in for your scan. 
Try and ignore what is going on and everything else in the waiting room because you will work yourself up into a frenzy at all the activity. Keep your mind on drinking from the water machines (as you will need to give urine a lot and for the scan you need a full bladder) - and then nosey through the chapter on PhotoShop made easy because it's better than watching the waiting room antics and distracts you until your name is finally called. 
There is no order as well, because your appointment is at 2.30pm and you have firmly sat down on time, a couple who come in after you may well jump the queue and swan through because they have been told to walk a bit to make their baby lively for their scan, so just  take deep breaths and keep your eyes on the prize. 

Time- Keeping

Every maternity hospital appointment I have had, has never been on time. 
The record is a two hour wait so far. Bring books, mags, snacks, games on your phone on aeroplane mode (Because your not allowed phones anyway) so you can’t check in and say you are in The Hospital Wards of Waiting. 
Get used to looking around at dodgy posters and leaflets in the waiting room. Don't bother asking the doctor's receptionists when or why your appointment is running so late until you get to at east 45 mins as they will just bite your head off and tell you that it will be soon. 
I don't know why they get so annoyed, as you are the one who is worried about your parking that is so expensive in every hospital, you are the one who might be working and have booked the morning or afternoon off work and need to get back in the office and it you who has bothered to get up, drive to the appointment and be on time- if they just said 10.30am instead of 9.30am then believe me it would cause less stress in so many mothers to be! 

Injections

Hate injections? Well you better get used to them and get over your fears because you have a lot. Not every appointment, but at quite a few. It’s really not as bad as you remember from school. Look the other way take a deep breath and when they put the needle in it’s a little sharp like a thorn and then its over and you only feel a little sharp pain again when they take it out. It’s super quick. Make sure they do your right hand if you are driving as it can make your arm a little heavy so changing gears if you have a manual can be a bit tough. 

Bump Badge 

If you are unfortunate enough to have to travel on public transport while you are pregnant, then don't think that anyone will pay a blind bit of notice to your bump as there are far worse IBS sufferers and women who look like men out there with big stomachs that normal travellers won't have a clue you are pregnant or dare not insult you in case they get it wrong. 
The transport badges that say you are pregnant are now tiny but still worth getting one just in case someone might look up from their Metro paper or take their eyes of their Kindle and pity you. 
My advice is get the badge in full view on your coat and then get yourself down to the middle section and huff and puff a lot until someone notices and may then offer you a seat.
 I know there are so many peole that begrudge the pregnant woman on the tube, after all they are tired themselves and have a hard life (I was one of these people) and always offered my seat but then stood up uncomfortably, trying to stand up with a rucksack in my face.
 Just think if you are not pregnant how this poor woman has to carry a bowling ball on her belly which she doesn't want anyone to bash into, has a really sore lower back, has fankles (big fat ankles that are swollen), shoes that barely fit her, a bra that is too tight and enough gas inside her to blow up an army ship, and just think then, okay I'll let her sit down for now because I have the luck to be healthy enough to stand. 
For a Baby On Board badge email babyonboard@tfl.gov.uk


What Is A Trimester?:

When people talk about pregnancy all they ever talk about is weeks and trimesters. I first wondered why didn’t they just tell you what was happening month by month instead, but now I am further along I understand that weeks are more important because so much happens in such a short time that it is better to monitor it like this.

First Trimester
Weeks 1- 12
I call this section Secrets and Sleeping because you don’t tell anyone you are pregnant and you do everything in your power to try and stop laying down and shutting your eyes from sheer tiredness.

Second Trimester
Weeks 13-28
This section for me is called The Werewolf because your body starts changing rapidly and your raging hormones make your uncontrollable in your temperament. It’s not you though, like I said it’s the werewolf.  

Third Trimester
Weeks 29-40
Section Mr Blobby. Remember him being all clumsy, big, wobbly and not making any sense? Well that’s the third trimester for you and all of these will be explained in more detail as the blogs go on.

That's mainly all you need to know until the next couple of blogs. So now you have been warned about what is coming up and you can just take it in your stride because your not the only one who feels irritable about all these things.
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