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Monday, November 3, 2014

Pregnancy Appointments In Ireland

Hi Dolls,

I'm currently 37 weeks and 4 days pregnant with my first child. My pregnancy has been pretty 'normal' and healthy throughout. I've had normal blood pressure and nothing abnormal with any tests. I've had extreme anxiety and worry about my antenatal appointments each time I go because I don't know what to expect! So I want to do a brief overview of the appointments I had and what happened during each one. So here goes:

I visited my GP who confirmed I was pregnant and he completes a form in order to notify the local maternity hospital that you need an appointment. I received a letter in the post about a week later with an appointment time and date. 

Early Pregnancy Scan - this is done at the 12 week mark to establish an estimated due date. I also had an appointment in the hospital with a midwife to go through all those lovely questions about my health history and family history. I was asked about medication I was currently on or on in the past (it is handy to have this information written down if you don't remember the name) or like me and pull out an old pill packet out of your purse (the midwife thought this was quite hilarious). The scan and the midwife questions are both normally booked on the same day but mine were two different days as the scan clinic was closed for my original appointment.

During my scan appointment it was determined I was only 8/9 weeks pregnant and had to have another scan done at 12 weeks again. I was hoping I'd be told I was further along than I was but that didn't happen (typical!).

In Ireland the public scheme for maternity care is your seen by both midwifes and your GP. So every second appointment is with one or the other.

I had appointments ever 4 weeks. The GP appointment (for me) consisted of providing a urine sample, my blood pressure was checked, I was asked did I| feel OK, did I have any questions or worries or concerns and then I lay down and my GP came in to feel and slightly push down into my stomach in order to feel the size of the baby. The nurse then checks the heart beat with a little machine, I did get a little nervous but the machine takes some time to pick up the heat beat - it depends on what way the baby is laying and moving etc.

At 20 weeks (so on 3rd July) you have another midwife appointment. This appointment, you provide a urine sample, are seen by a doctor who does a quick scan to check the fluid around the baby and the regular checks of blood pressure and the regular examination. This time you also provide a blood sample. 

4 weeks later I had another GP appointment and every 2 weeks from then until my next midwife appointment, At approximately 22/24 weeks pregnant I started to get an extreme pain in my right side (where my love handle or muffin top or whatever its actually called). So, this pain varied and sometimes became so intense I'd stand still because moving was so unbearable, there are times I'd break down and cry from the unbearable pain and even when my partner would try to help me walk I just couldn't do it. I still have no idea what caused it. I mentioned it at appointments and my urine was checked to check for any kidney problems and all was clear so it was put down to normal pregnancy body changes - HELL NO! That's not possible! It was crazy pain! I could imagine labour being easier than that pain! It was difficult to breathe and move, luckily it didn't occur too much when I was at work so I could handle it how I wanted at home or in privacy (handling being breathing crazy and huffing and puffing the pain away!). 

In Ireland, you are required to do a glucose tolerance test (GTT) if your BMI is above a certain amount then this test is done to check for diabetes in pregnancy. So I did this test on 2nd September at my GP's office, you basically fast from 10pm the night before, provide a blood sample in the morning, drink 420ml of lucozade (fast like a shot!) and then for 2 hours you chill and relax either in the waiting area or at home and 2 hours after the first blood sample is provided you provide another. Due to all the craziness of blood test lab drama in Cork then my test results or samples were lost in transit or something and I had to redo the test at 32 weeks :(

My next midwife appointment was on 25th September, I thought this was sooo far out from my last midwife appointment but seeing the nurse/GP in between was the only thing keeping me sane because I want to go too long without being checked. I had a GP appointment 2 weeks after this, same old appointment.

Since this appointment I've been seen by the GP every 2 weeks between hospital appointments. These are all standard examinations with testing urine etc. No more blood tests were given (except for an extra sample at 32 weeks aking with the GTT tests). My last 2 appointments in the hospital were both very quick, scans of the bump to check fluid and heart beat, urine sample tested, blood pressure and any questions and out the door ;)

My next appointment is this Friday with the nurse/GP and then at 40 weeks in the hospital to determine if fluid and baby is ok, an induction date is given! Eeeep! It's so close now it's scary! I'm sorry this post is a bit scattered, I had planned to have it a little cleaner with dates etc but my hospital file is in the car in case of  emergency (as it is the main requirement to have on you at all times!) and so I can't exactly remember dates but I hope this gives a good enough over view of what happens.

For some they get examined internally 'down below' if there is any concerns or low fluid or whatever but I haven't had that yet and think it will only occur at the 40 week mark! I'll keep you updated!

Lots of Love

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