Consultant Appointment and Inclusive Maternity Services

(Another one from the archives. This was written at 9 weeks pregnant)

Today I had my consultant appointment at the hospital. I was quite confused as to the reason I had been referred. Aside from “High BP, Asthma and previous depression” my notes also stated “current pregnancy by sperm donor” as a reason for referral, which I was a little bit miffed with to say the least.

I also discovered on reading my notes that the midwife hadn’t filled them in completely truthfully. I said “a BP reading that was the high end of normal” and she wrote “BP+++++”. I said “asthma as a child”, she wrote “asthmatic”. I said “depression and PTSD” and she wrote “Severe Depression”. So, I did go in a little annoyed

When we arrived at the hospital, I did the normal urine sample (clear) and BP (normal) and we waited… and waited… and waited… Consultants ALWAYS run late! During our wait, we noticed that the waiting room at maternity services really wasn’t very inclusive at all. Lots of posters of “how dad can help” and “why dads are important”. It seems my local PCT (Primary Care Trust) are very good at being racially inclusive, but not so much when it comes to different families. Everything was a mum and a dad, which I felt really alienated anyone whose family wasn’t made up of mum + dad + baby.

I’ve ordered a few posters about different families from Stonewall, which I am going to talk to my midwife about at the next appointment. It really made me feel like a freak and Amy like a spare part, so it’s definitely something I want to bring up as no one should feel like that regardless of their situation.

Anyway so an hour after our appointment time, we were called in to see the consultant. He was also not sure why “pregnancy by sperm donor” was a reason for referral, but asked some questions anyway. He seemed genuinely interested, which was nice. Not judgey at all. He didn’t mention the asthma or the depression, but when Amy asked if we would be cleared for the birth centre he said “well with high blood pressure…” at which point I almost popped! I said to him “I don’t know whether the midwife was not listening or just ignored me, but I never said I had high BP. I said I once had a reading that was at the high end of normal”. This changed everything. He asked if I’d ever been medicated (no) or had home BP monitoring (no) as he was under the impression that I was on medication! Once I had clarified that there were no meds, no home monitoring and my BP had been normal up to this point in pregnancy, he happily cleared me for birth centre so long as everything stays the same.

The consultant said that because of my BMI (There it is again!) I would need to do the glucose tolerance test at twenty eight weeks and would have to have an extra growth scan at around thirty two weeks. Both things I expected, so these weren’t news to me. HE also gave me that talk about how high BMI means more risk of gestational diabetes and hypertension. I love that they give you this talk, but don’t actually suggest anything that you can do to help. Something else I intend to talk to my midwife about. I know I’m overweight, but it doesn’t necessarily mean anything is going to go wrong. The risk is higher, yes, but it’s still not a certainty. Advice to mitigate those risks would be more helpful than constant reminders of the impending risks. Luckily I’m a fan of google, so I’ve done my own research on how to minimise the risks.

After the appointment I walked down to ultrasound to get my twelve week scan date, as the midwife hadn’t bothered to change my address in the system and my letter had gone to the wrong address. It’s June 19th, when I will be 12+4!

(This was written at 9 weeks pregnant) 

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6 Responses to Consultant Appointment and Inclusive Maternity Services

  1. Geeze, your midwife sounds like a piece of work. Are you stuck with her or can you change?

  2. Oh my goodness – congratulations! So, so pleased for you and Amy on your pregnancy. It would seem your scan was today if my dates are right so I hope it went well and wish you a very uneventful normal blood pressure pregnancy! x

  3. Penny Lane says:

    Hope you can your midwife, you need someone you feel comfortable with. This one doesn’t even listen – great start!

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