Tuesday, August 22, 2006

First Midwife Appointment

...was yesterday morning. It wasn't in fact a REAL appointment, nothing physical involved. It was more of a chat to introduce, for the midwife (Shirley, in this case) to explain their philosophy and share how the clinic works. Of course, she gave me the shortened version based on the fact that I already have some experience (3, to be exact a.k.a. my sister's 3 girls) with the midwifery clinic.

Shirley and I discussed my crazy heart-shaped uterus. She has had many clients with uterine anomolies and just had a woman deliver her 3rd child with a bicornuate uterus. The woman had to have a c-section for her 1st and 3rd child but delivered naturally for the 2nd. I told her that my family doctor had already sent in a referral to an OB/GYN in Brampton. Of course, I haven't heard from this doctor yet. But that's probably a good thing based on the fact that I've now learned that this particular doctor does not like nor does he cooperate to work with the midwives. He is old and very stuck in his ways and therefore very quick to intervene with medical interventions rather than first using some more natural methods. He is quick to perform a c-section and does not believe in VBAC (Vaginal birth after caesarean). This was the thing back in the day but isn't necessarily the practice now, as many mothers are able to deliver naturally after having a c-section based upon their individual circumstances. She informed me that it was absolutely my choice, that the doctor I was referred to is certainly a wonderful doctor and caregiver who is very cautious. But given the choice, I feel that he is not the one for me. I choose to stick with the midwives and they will in turn consult when needed with an OB who is cooperative with their clinic and practices. After all, I am at quite a high risk of needing a c-section and we have to make sure to do what's best for the baby and for myself. I am so confident in the care the midwives give and am happy they will be the ones to take care of me pre- and post-natally even if I do require surgery during birth.

We also had a discussion about genetic testing. This is a simple blood test and an ultrasound performed at 11 weeks. The results determine possible predisposition to certain birth defects such as downs syndrome. The results can give a false reading. It may come back negative and you still have a baby with "problems" OR it could be a positive in which case they want you to continue with further genetic counselling and diagnostic testing such as CVS or amniocentesis. Here's my opinion on the matter: I advised the midwife that I would NOT be undergoing genetic testing. My reasons? First of all, the test can be false meaning a whole lot of stress if you get a positive result. But most of all, EVEN IF I DID get a positive result I absolutely refuse to have further invasive testing. The most popular seems to be the amnio (which takes a sample of the amniotic fluid surrounding the baby). In my research, I have found that there is between a 0.5 - 1% chance of having a miscarriage after this procedure, a risk I would not be willing to take. Thirdly, let's just say I did have the amnio and it WAS determined that our baby had some sort of "defect" (there is a possibility that these results could still be wrong, by the way, it happened to a friends friend causing her much unnecessary stress), the next question presented to me would be "would you like to abort?" and the answer to this would be an adamant NEGATIVE. And therefore, I do not believe this is the right route for me and will not even being the process of genetic testing. I will take my chances and pray that God chooses to give me a healthy and happy baby. And if not, then I pray He gives us the strength as a family to cope.

In the way of general ultrasounds, I will have one at about 18 weeks. If all is well, this would probably be my one and only ultrasound (not counting the one I had at 6 weeks during my trip to the hospital). Jamie and I have discussed finding out the sex but I really don't want to know at all. It feels like I'd be ruining the surprise. Jamie, on the other hand, is a bit of a nosy-boots so this decision may still be open to some discussion.

And how I am feeling? Physically, I'm pretty good although I have a cold right now. Just had my first pregnancy migraine, haven't had one for a while so I hope this is the last one for long while. Emotionally, (I talked to Christa about this yesterday) I'm feeling very unattractive. My skin and hair always feels oily, I'm breaking out like CRAZY, I'm too tired to care about actually doing my hair so it's ALWAYS up in a twist or a granny bun or a ponytail or a knot of some sort. And I guess I should just suck it up cause I hear that in a couple more months I'll be feeling VERY frustrated with the fact that I'm too big to fit into my regular clothes but will feel too ridiculous to wear maternity clothes since I won't really be showing enough for people to really tell I'm pregnant. This could be quite a rollercoaster ride.

But in all seriousness, despite the doctor visits and the worries over my weird uterus, despite the breakouts and the tiredness, the headaches, or whatever....I am lucky, what I am going through is NOTHING compared to many women and I feel SO VERY BLESSED. I am blessed to have a wonderfully supportive husband as well as family and friends, I am blessed to have gotten pregnant quickly, I am blessed to be in a good health, I am blessed to live in a country where prenatal care is so readily available, I am blessed to feel the changes going on in my body as a new life is growing. I am blessed! God is good!


Quirky Christa said...

I agree with you on the genetic testing. I also think you're doing well in trying to stay positive that yes you are having a good pregnancy right now and it could be worse. I know there are things aggravating you but you just have to make the best of it.

dafrhug said...

I agree with the genetic testing too - I would never in a million years abort a child because it wasn't "perfect". I was faced with the option too because of my family history but I wouldn't even consider it. God will only give you what you can handle.

I don't know if I would want the greasy hair like you or have the wire hair that I had when I was prego. lol. I just end up cutting all mine off.

Stephanie said...

My friends and I have discussed the "triple screen" blood test at length. I agree that it causes unnecessary worry for the mom and really doesn`t give definite answers either way. My friend had it done just to satisfy her doctors request. I know of a girl who came back with a + result, doctor told her to go home and make a "decision". Turns out they forgot to take into account that she is a Type 1 diabetic and her baby was born perfectly healthy