25 Aug 2016

I am pregnant. What’s next? Every pregnancy test will tell you go to your doctor and check that. But it is a bit tough to decide when. Especially in Ireland. We wanted to check if everything was fine. If you will obviously go on the very next day once you tested you will not see much. Neither will your doctor. Well it is a huge pleasure to see few dots floating inside you or, more professional, gestational sac, but you will never know what is going to happen next. I hold on for about 3 weeks. And suddenly I had huge heartburn and so many emotions inside me. It is not a big deal especially on January stuck on the edge between happiness and sadness. It is bloody windy and even if you will catch those few rays of sunshine it will not build up proper level of vitamin D in your body. Figure it out yourself and be brave to survive this winter depression. In April should be better.
We went to gynaecologist. You can go to gp obviously, but it is quite rare you will find there usg scan to see your little life. As I have never chosen family gp, simply I weren’t sick in Ireland we decided to go to Polish specialist. I need to mention there is a huge difference in treating a pregnant women in Poland and in Ireland. I have never been pregnant in Poland so I am not the best judge, but I really do like Irish thinking.
First that should be normal you going to gp even without any scans, tests etc. Filling up all necessary papers, which your doctor will send to HSE. And then you need to wait. Up to 12 weeks no one will do anything for you. You do your work, live as usual and that is the time when you are not protected as an employee. If you will loose your baby that would it be what probably supposed to happen. In that case you will find help in hospital, you might have some time off at your work and most of people will emphatically understand. But nobody in your first pregnancy will struggle to save it.
My first appointment was like in Poland. I had a scan, we saw and heard little beating heart. That was crucial. 6 week’s pregnancy, heart was beating, baby was definitely there. Time to wait for 12 weeks. And suddenly we were offered care of gp, who is just next door. Ok, why not? But that was like a clever machine, which we did not even push to move. And all about money, thankfully not very mine. I did not have better option at that time, so humbly we accepted the help. But I did not want to make my pregnancy Polish-Irish affair as I just wanted to trust in those methods, which are on daily basis here, where I live. Am I happy with my gp? I do not know. I feel usually a bit ignored, but I think it is just the way how the person treats patients.
I chose hospital that was the closest and did not even know much about it. I filled up all maternity patient forms and I was waiting for first letter, which would invite me for my first antenatal visit.
I was a bit afraid, how can I know all medical pregnant glossary. I just had a tiny baby in my tummy. But everyone was very helpful. If you will consider how many women come to the hospital every day for all visits you will be surprised that queues do not last long even if you have a feeling like a small cog in factory of babies. Does not matter if you will decide for public care, which is entitled for free to you, private or semi-private. Even on public every single time I knew I would get what I would need to.
First visit is a long procedure. The first point and first person who calmed me down was extremely nice guy who could not read my surname and checked me in. I got nice present like every woman did: a magazine about pregnancy and maternity, tons of leaflets and big smile with “good luck”. Then pee. Get use to it! Not only because you are pregnant and you just need to. You check in and then every time grab a small urine container for quick test. Second point was a midwife. She had to write down details about me, my husband and my family health. And that is the point when you need to know a bit of medical words. But do not worry, if you don’t, she will explain. Nobody was standing at me, I had as much time as I should have. Gave all even the most intimate for me details just to protect my baby and have a good care. After this personal interview my chart started to look like diary. There was two things to do – blood test to check my blood type and rubella antibodies and dating scan, which sometimes might be on different day. That is quite important to stick to the time, which was booked for your scan. Blood test will be done anyway afterwards, but usg department is usually busy that any delay may cause you will not be in. Check in first and then wait for your name. For me is the most stressful part, because I never know how they will read it. Usually it is just Marta and a grimace on face. Yeap! My turn. And that was magical. It was not only small pulsating non-heart shaped heart, it was a baby. Tiny one was about 10 cm, moving, floating duckling. So small all the movements were just hidden. That was the one of the most beautiful and touching moments for myself so my husband.

But purpose of that scan was to confirm due date. So here it is, day zero: 22nd of September.
Quick blood tests and check out, when in a small booklet you will get a note when you should come for the second visit.
All necessities were done. I was not examined down there as the Irish perspective is: pregnancy is not a disease. If you do not have any symptoms that something is wrong why anyone should check your vagina? Pregnancy is a part of life. You do not need to quit your job or take a sick just because you are pregnant. And I do know what I am saying, as I spent my pregnancy up to 8 and half months working on full time.

After first appointment I told my employer I was pregnant and could not believe how many good words I heard, how happy everyone was and how my environment became helpful. I wish all of you could have same experience and I believe that is normal here. My baby became a kicking part of my team and that was just great when I felt my daily activities bounced my belly to calm sleep.

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