First trimester screening starts with a hiccup, we cannot find the offices in the new gigantic hospital complex. After my hubby Mark and I wander around for 10 minutes, I have to phone the offices from outside the entrance of the hospital to ask directions, 2 minutes later we make it there no problems. The offices are different to the usual one we use downstairs and after we arrive and start filling out the medical forms I catch on that this is a specialist women health and pregnancy clinic. They ask about conception – natural or assisted, A lot of sub-questions regarding IVF treatment of which I not familiar with and questions of gestation of previous pregnancies, losses and babies born. I fill them all out and hand them over the counter. Mark and I sit and wait to be called in, these offices are so new and bright and you can see the city scape from the this fourth floor as well. Very nice view from the waiting room, I can see why they moved from the older building.
We are called in by a petite and sweet looking lady, she smiles as we follow her through to the ultrasound room. The room is darkened slightly and is very cosy and serene. It dawns on me immediately that I have seen this lady before; and I know exactly where. The morning we were told Claudia had died we were escorted over the other side of the hospital to have the more detailed ultrasounds taken and were ushered into a private waiting room a long way from the main hospital and seen to quickly by two very nice ultrasound ladies who did their jobs while I cried my heart up.
This very sweet looking lady was one of the technicians from that day. It clicks that when I handed my notes into reception as well that they did ask if I had been here before, I said no, I don’t think so, and the receptionist “Yes I had; but a while ago” and didn’t say anymore.
We have our 12 week screening test done, and as typical with all our children they do not perform to camera, Bubs was wiggling and giggling happily but after a while finally stayed in a good enough position to take all the important measurements. We are given some snapshots and a 3D scan of our little bean looking like a seasoned skydiver, arms up in exhilaration. Must be like flying in there!
After, we are asked to take a seat in the waiting room so we can take the paperwork with us. We sit again in the waiting room and I comment to Mark about the familiarity of the technician, he though as well that she look familiar but was not so sure, saying we were both pretty stressed that day so he could not be certain. My name is called again by a pleasant and petite middle-aged lady with short smart hair, I look at Mark and we both know that this is the second lady who attended us when we came in less than a year ago, no doubt about it, they definitely had us on their records. She gives us all our results and everything looks great, which is fabulous news and always a relief to hear even when you expect nothing to be wrong.
At both our 8 week and 12 week ultrasounds we had been privileged enough to get to hear our new little beans heartbeat, always so nice to hear, and now when we go to see our regular doctor at 13 weeks she gives me another scan in her office; just because she can. We had decided to continue with our previous obstetrics doctor, even though she was on a holiday in another country when Claudia was stillborn and we were attended to by another very capable and very well-respected doctor in the same facility, we ultimately went back to who had seen us for the entirety of Claudia’s pregnancy.
It was difficult going back to her office, but this time not overwhelming. We had had to go back into her offices a few months after Claudia’s death for a maternal check up and basically a de-brief of what had happened and what to do from then on. At that time it was quite hard to do so. Seeing all the maternity patients with big bellies or with tired eyes and little babies. Mark and I barely made it through. Just another tough day to add to the rough time we had been having. But this time I was not apprehensive about going and although while I was sitting in the waiting room a did take a couple of deep breaths overall it was just a routine doctors visit.
My mind did wander a little and I thought to myself it would be just as likely that she would do the ultrasound and tell me it was all gone, either the pregnancy was lost or there was no baby in there at all, it was all a dream. I had to consciously take my mind elsewhere, there is no need to presume the worst and let my mind wander into fairy land, just a couple more deep breaths and some clarity returned swiftly, thankfully.
As we go in to see our doctor she was quick to ask how we were going, more specifically how we are feeling about this new pregnancy and how we are coping with Claudia’s death. I tell her the truth that actually I believe we are doing fine. Yes; there was a bit of the butterflies returning again but this is an entirely different pregnancy now and we were happy to be pregnant, which is exactly the truth.
The visit is not overly long, in-fact it is quite short and sweet, she takes the time to ask us if we have questions regarding anything that has or will happen, but my response if that it is still early in this pregnancy and my only goal at the moment is to let this baby keep growing and stay pregnant and that takes time.
She outlines the plan for me in terms of doctors visits and I am told that once I get past 20 or so weeks they will schedule me in for more regular visit than would usually be required and I can come in anytime I wish for an ultrasound if I find I need that reassurance. The schedule looks like I’m to come in every two weeks, then every week after 30 weeks, I ask if that is to do with any medical concerns after having a stillbirth and she said no it is more a safety net to help me cope with the possible stresses that await.
Ahh, I realise they are more booked as potential “mental health appointments” than anything and I let the doctor know that I do not anticipate I will need so many appointment. I’m fully aware that there will be times when my feelings and emotions may override common sense, just like out in the waiting room five minutes ago, but I am counting on a good deal of common sense to quell those emotions as well.
However everyone’s different with their approach to things and I tell Mark as we make our way out that I know it will be difficult especially later on, but I hope that I wont be excessively worried about things. I can’t anticipate the future but I do hope that my mental compasity stays within a reasonable boundary throughout the entire pregnancy.
I smile to myself as we walk through the car park on the way out after the visit; I was still relieved to see bub wiggling around on the ultrasound though and I suspect I will enjoy that feeling throughout the entire pregnancy.