Wednesday, May 30, 2012

On Pregnancy

As my pregnancy is coming to an end I thought I would share my thoughts on the whole matter. I have alot of thoughts about my experince and realize that every pregnancy is different. For me as an only child with a small family and circle of friends I didn’t have alot of exposure to people who had been or were pregnant. So most of my information came from me looking it up. I had bought What to expect when expecting, and I also signed up to Both were truly invaluable to me and without them I would have probably had alot of anxiety attacks! Also to include in my education about pregnancy and becoming a parent we attended the public health pre-natal classes. I found these a huge waste of time. All of the information was not new as I had read them from the other sources. Also any of the things I thought I would want to learn were never covered. For example; how to swaddle a baby, not even touched, neither was changing a diaper or bathing a baby. Even the simple task of heating a bottle should I decide to not breastfeed isn't covered. We did get books that cover some of that, but it was definitely not what I thought it would be.

I experienced quite a few of the “symptoms” of pregnancy. My first trimester was laden with fatigue and nausea, and while I wasn’t sick every day I didn’t have any sort of appetite. The only thing that helped the nausea was Gatorade. It helped alot. And I really never knew what fatigue was until I was pregnant. I have anemia and thought it would be like that, but it was worse. I came home every day and napped and was in bed by 9 almost every night. After the nausea subsided I felt better, I also had my energy back. But then I was plagued by a cold and my nose was stuffed up for a month straight I think. While this is a symptom for some women I was worried it may also be allergies. But it passed as well. Also during that time I had leg cramps at night. I would wake up through the night and stretch and my calves would spasm, really not fun! I have also experience heart burn off and on and Tums at times have been my best friend. I have also had very vivid dreams, some good and some bad, but all very real and very memorable. There of course is also the less talked about symptoms; hemmroids, fluid retention, leaking breasts, constipation, urinary stress incontence. I could probably look at the list and have had all of the symptoms for at least a small stretch of my pregnancy. Which is why in the end the books where so helpful, so I knew that these things were normal and didn’t go into the doctor for every little thing.

That brings me to my time spend in the health care system. I love my family doctor, she listens and takes her time, but I also almost never have to wait long for her, and almost always could get an early morning appointment. As usual when I first got pregnant we did blood work and I was to see her every month, she would see me and ask if I had any questions then do her exam. At 18 weeks I went for the usual ultrasound. That experience wasn’t too bad. I had an early appointment and was in and out fairly early. I also went for maternal blood work, which was done at the IWK. Let me tell you all my tests/blood work that was done at the IWK lab was horrid. I was there early every time and we waited for at least an hour every time, usually without a seat. How they except pregnant women to stand that long, plus have little kids around waiting that long I don’t know. They need to do something about that system, make a bigger waiting room or have separate sections for women and children. Shortly after my week 18 ultrasound my doctor needed to pass me off to a doctor that deals with pregnant women and babies. I am really not sure why this had to happen, I think it is about the type of insurance doctors carry for what they can do. So I was referred to the Perinatal Center at the IWK. Worst choice ever! I have not gotten in and out of there in less than an hour. And while I have been assigned a doctor there have been 3 occasions where I was seen by a different one. Also what is done to be there is no different than at my doctors office, and it isn’t even the doctor that looks at me! Also as you get further along in your pregnancy you need to see the doctor more often, so after going monthly for 5 months it becomes bi-weekly and finally weekly. How people do this while working the whole time I don’t know, because I was out of sick time/appointment time by 7 months. And nothing ever changes, you wait, you register, you wait, you get weighed, you wait, you get a room, you wait, the RN comes and does the exam (BP, babies heart rate and measures your belly), you wait, the doctor is in for a matter of minuets and you leave. For the past 4 weeks I have been going weekly and I really don’t see the need. The whole process seems to be a waste of money and time, for one doctors appointment I see 4 different people. It’s crazy really…

While that stuff seemed mostly negative being pregnant does have good points. Feeling the baby kick around inside is very cool. Also now that I am ready to burst I can feel the little bum and legs and feet sometimes, which is also really cool. Of course there was getting the baby room ready, that was super fun and I can’t wait for a baby to be in it, right now the only one that uses it is the cat! Also it has brought a different element to my relationship with Dean. I just know he will be a great father and it has also shown me how much he cares for me. He has been there since the very first time I thought I was going to throw up, encouraging me to eat well, and rubbing my back, holding my hair. Holding me when my emotions got the better of me, and putting up with all my complaints.

All that said I am very excited to meet this baby and see what labour and delivery have to offer. I am sure that will have a whole host of thoughts going with it and hope to post about it too. For now I sit and wait for signs of contractions and baby arrival!!


  1. I loved this post Holly. :) I'm so excited to meet Baby Anderson!!!

  2. How they except pregnant women to stand that long, plus have little kids around waiting that long

  3. i agree, the perinatal ctr (and IWK lab..) are both horrid. HORRID. new space is definitely needed, but where??

  4. Just a little sidenote-when you have the baby-you can attend classes (or they had them here, anyways) in the hospital-that show you how to give your baby a bath, and the nurses are more than willing to help you swaddle or learn how to do that, or answer any other questions you may have.
    I'm one of those women that lOVED being pregnant. Loved. I had many of the things you listed-horrible calf spasms, heartburn and nausea for months on end with baby #2, sleepless, restless nights, horrible stretch marks etc etc etc. Never the less-I loved it. THe biggest lesson I can impart in terms of labour, as well as having a new baby at home...or being a Mom in general open to ANYTHING happening. Things don't always go as we "expect" and then we're disappointed. Be open to things all go awry-and recognize that it's all a miracle no matter what. Good luck!

  5. We did get books that cover some of that, but it was definitely not what I thought it would be.