It all started with me bumping into my childhood friend, who also happened to be pregnant and our pregnancies going pretty parallel, with hardly a difference of two weeks. Suddenly knowing that we have each other for a company, we were relieved. There were so many questions that I wanted to ask… Wanted to ensure that I was doing the right thing… the doctor was doing the right thing… the baby was safe or no… Was I missing out on any tests and so on…
All these are very initial apprehensions; but once you settle into your pregnancy, you come to peace with your self and your journey and then you stop comparing or cross checking. But till then, you need some place to reassure you that you are doing all the right things and not missing out on anything whatsoever….
Following is a compilation of some important observations from my experience :-
1. Choice of Gynaecologist
We were not planning a baby, so we didn’t have a regular gynaecologist who we were already consulting from before. So the minute the news of my pregnancy broke – the first thing was to find the right gynaec. Now how do you know who is the one for you? And we certainly didn’t know! I didn’t have an elder sister who delivered through someone and highly recommended her. Nor did I have a cousin who was a gynaec herself. So we had to wilfully chose someone – rest our future in his or her hands!!
My parents did the wisest thing. Had they left it to me, I would have done a lot of unnecessary research and got really confused about who to go to – obviously you want to chose the best for you and your child. But before I could venture into this mission, they met with our Homeopath doctor, the one who had been treating me since my birth and consulted her as to who should we see. She recommended someone and without any apprehensions, we went to him. Yes I have a male gynaecologist! Little did I know that it meant a lot to a lot of people?
Later when I started discussing with my friend, I realised she had many a parameters before choosing her gynaec…
a) Has to be a woman!
b) Has to have treated some one I know successfully.
c) Has to be mid age – not too young, not too old!
d) Has to be associated with big Hospitals – incase of emergency at the last minute.
e) Her hospital should have a blood bank – incase of excessive loss of blood. (Who thinks of this I don’t know!)
I realised my doctor didn’t fit half her parameters – He was a man, he was old, he had only delivered my doctor’s child but that was also years ago – so no one I knew recently! Though he was associated with big hospitals and where he was planning to operate me did have a blood bank – so that was a saving grace!!
But that led to me thinking what should have been my parameters –
a) Man or woman – anyone who has a pleasant, assuring personality that will give me the confidence of handing over mine and my child’s life in his/her hands.
b) Should be close by to my place or my mother’s place where I am finally going to deliver – so that I can reach them as and when I want or need to.
c) Should be experienced enough to understand me and my pregnancy – age doesn’t matter.
d) What kind of hospital I am still confused – What if I am not the kind who can afford a very expensive treatment? So that is a very personal thing. As far as I am confidant and positive; nothing else in the world will matter – no doctor, no hospital. And if I am negative and fearful; the best of doctors and hospitals may not be able to solve my case.
So relax and believe that you are in the best of hands made for you!! Go with the flow – enjoy your unique little journey!!
Times have changed!! Earlier women would have a dozen pregnancies in their lifetime – most of them would culminate to become kids, some miss the finish line and terminate half way and very rarely there were even still born babies. But it was all a routine – a part of life – not to be given so much attention and care. Nature took care of it. There bodies never demanded anything special, they didn’t know they could bask in the moment – no body gave them any special importance – it was all just another part of life. But now is a very different time. Doctors very openly say that they do not guarantee a second pregnancy these days – there are various reasons for this – change in genetics, pollution, lifestyle, women making different career choices and delaying marriage and child bearing and so on. So a pregnancy these days is a big deal! The body is always in need of special attention and care. Hence, never take your medication for granted. You may be your mother’s daughter with her gifted genes, but you may still not be half as strong as her.
Basic supplements that are given to almost everyone at different stages:
– Various supplements – Iron, Calcium, Folic Acid and Protein in particular.
– Some may need some progesterone doses in the first trimester (especially if they have shown signs of spotting)
– Aspirin to control the BP that is eventually going to shoot up
– Some aid to ease out the bowel movement (Constipation being a common complaint)
There may be cases that may demand extra care and one should listen to the doctor and never ever self prescribe anything.
3. Blood Tests and Ultra Sound Sonography
I doubt if our parents went to do an HIV test when they conceived. But we need to and we should!! There are a couple of other tests to check that there are no unnecessary complications for the child. Also accompanied with them are the basic Sugar and Thyroid tests. Again – one should do them as mandatory to know what they need to take care of. Never to assume that I never had sugar or thyroid and it can never happen to me now. Pregnancy leads to a lot of changes in the body – you may like it or no.
Sonography is a boon!! Never scare away from it. All the myths that the ultra sound waves lead to some side effects are all bull shit – nothing has been proved yet. But what has been seen and experienced time and again is how much it is helpful in today’s times..
Double Marker, Triple Marker Tests:: These are basically to check if there are any chromosomal defects leading to Down Syndrome. And the early diagnosis can help us take some really difficult and crucial decisions. The child will have to suffer all his or her life and we need to decide how much and how far we want to go!! It just prepares you for what is in store and we need to take our own decision.
4. Nausea, morning sickness and vomiting + Body Pain!
Some of us feel nauseated all the time – any smell and taste can trigger the feeling. While some of us may not feel a thing! Some do end up vomiting while some just suffer in the feeling! Some find mornings worse while some find nights difficult. The common thing is – that all this is just a byproduct of pregnancy. All we can do is to identify the triggers and try to avoid them. If you can’t avoid them, accept them! And try and find ways that will help you feel better after the feeling – could be some toffee or some cool drink or just lemon or just ice or may be vanilla ice cream.
Another unpredictable, unavoidable factor is body pain – could be your lower back or your calf muscles or the feet. Some time the legs don’t even pain – they just have this weird sensation – restless leg syndrome. Try to bring some oil and ask someone – mostly your spouse to massage (the best way for him to contribute!!) Remember to not massage too hard – its just for soothing that’s it!
5. Other than all these medical things – Just relax and breathe happily. Embrace your pregnancy and enjoy it. It is going to be the most pleasant phase of your life and you need to love your self, your condition and the future!! All is well! Do not over stress about anything – be it your medical complications or tests or weight or anything at all.
6. Eat Right! You may eat whatever you like – but ensure you take a balanced diet. It is not only important for your body and the baby’s growth but also your mental well being. A filled stomach can solve half the problems in the world. Eat fruits, green veggies and as much protein as you can. Eat at home! Avoid too much spices and roadside food – you do not want that burning acidity regularly or any uncalled for infection.
(The only two fruits to stay away from – Papaya and Pineapple)
7. Do not compare!! Period!! If you can go for regular walks, do not sit back home only because your friend is advised bed rest. Your body is unique and try and keep it as strong as possible. Do not unnecessarily scare yourself and confine yourself to the bed. The more active you remain, the more positive you remain; the more happy vibes will you pass on to the little one inside you. But that doesn’t mean you will take extra strain just to prove a point. Be natural, be true!!
Didn’t have more points to make it a perfect ’10’!!! Cheers!