Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Too much medicine robbed the magic

Here's a slightly more "medical" update on my previous post It's a boy!!!

At week 21, our little boy is estimated to measure about 23cm and weigh about 375gr. The EDD (estimated delivery date) remains the same and all that was measured was within the normal ranges.

The heart activity and rhythm, veins, lungs, stomach, cord, fetal movements and amniotic liquid are all "normal". My placenta is a little low (actually my report says "There is placenta previa, we advise to check the placental position at 34 weeks" ) but hopefully this will correct itself by the third trimester and I will not have to have a C-section. (I really, really do not want a C-section! Enough ops and scars thank-you! ) On the up side, they also typed "IUGR and preeclampsia are very unlikely to occur in this pregnancy." Well that's a relief!

All ok, right? But you know what? The fact is that I read all of this -except the placenta previa bit which I asked about while we were there- on our report once we got home. Although we had been looking forward to the organ screening, we walked out of the examination feeling really let down and actually worried. Nothing at all like the elation we felt each time we went to "the movies" as we used to call the monthly ultra-sound checks we had in Izmir when we "visited" Emma.

I have heard women say they wanted to give birth at home because they felt the medical environment and/or medical professionals overshadowed the natural and or human aspect of giving birth. While I am NOT considering having the baby at home (as far as I am concerned, it would be an unnecessary risk) I have to say that I do feel a little robbed of the magic by the medical and administrative requirements and modus operandi this time around. And this is despite the fact that there are no medical grounds for specific medical treatment or scrutiny.

In Turkey while pregnant with Emma we were a lot more relaxed and although examinations were thorough we somehow had more fun and looked at the "human" aspect of the pregnancy and baby more (like whose nose she might have inherited and how tall she would be). Our Obgyn would totally participate in this and indeed lead the way. Never were we asked to sign papers such as the ones we have had to sign here telling us about limited accuracy of medical tests or the risks of malformation. And this is despite the fact that in Turkey I was considered to be an old woman pregnant for the first time at the age of 33!

Here, prior to examinations we are asked to sign forms attesting our understanding that the examination/ultra-sound cannot guarantee 100% accuracy and telling us that approximately 5% of all pregnancies result in babies with undetected issues. Well, that really puts you in an optimistic and relaxed mood before seeing your baby doesn't it?

On one occasion, I have felt like we were present during the ultra-sound merely because we had to be, with the baby being inside me and all... On Monday, while carrying out the organ screening the doctor
didn't systematically address us with explanations about what he was measuring or checking but rather was focused on dictating the data to his assistant who was typing it all up. I really felt nervous when he scrolled over the heart in total silence... breaking it only to dictate abbreviations followed by numbers until I asked: Is everything ok? and we were finally told "everything appears to be normal".

Then after we had paid and received our report he shook our hands and said "Enjoy your pregnancy" - yeah...I really felt like he had helped contribute to that!

Today I had an appointment with my Obgyn and thankfully she was reassuring telling my more about placenta previa (apparently present in about 5% of pregnancies at the time of delivery) and encouraging me not to worry about it saying it would probably move up as the baby and uterus grow upwards. We actually had a proper conversation. Well, that's more like it.

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