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What to expect and questions!(23 Posts)
So, I'm getting over the shock of finding out I'm pregnant at 39. I had various in-depth fertility investigation over 6 years with my x-h and though no problems were found, I concluded it was never going to happen for me (especially as he got someone else pregnant - hence our split).
I'm now living with my Partner of over a year and we just discovered I'm 4-5 weeks pregnant. (2-3 weeks on Clear Blue for conception.)
I've just had my first Doctors appointment and found it to be pretty short and sweet though I don't suppose there is much they can do at this point!
I need to have a dating scan as unfortunately I wasn't really monitoring my cycle very closely, it took us both a while to figure out I was a bit late. Can anyone tell me what this involved?
I'm also surprised I'm expected to chose the hospital I want prior to my first Midwife appointment, is that usual? What should I be looking for? (Royal Berkshire, Frimley or Wexham Park.)
Lastly, and please don't flame me, I'm a smoker, I've immediately cut down drastically, but I can see a struggle ahead of me. When I asked the Doctor about this all he could say was STOP. They cannot recommend nicotine replacement for fear of something happening to the baby and them being sued. Is that right? Is that really all the support I can expect from the NSH with this? I realise stopping immediately with will power is best, but if I am struggling where is the help?
Any help or advice appreciated. I'm a Mumsnetter but have NC for the maternity forums. Hope that's ok.
If you smoke your baby smokes, you have a choice, it does not. I smoked intermittently through my life but never whilst pregnant, I just couldn't. Perhaps hypnotherapy might help if you really can't?
The community midwife may well be associated with the hospital hence the choice. You'll see them between 7-10 weeks and a scan at 12 weeks unless they book earlier.
Firstly congratulations - even when you are trying it can come as a shock so give your self to get used to it!
Your dating scan is essentially the 12 week scan which most people talk about. Many people don't tell others until after this scan as the first 12 weeks can be the most risky. You'll probably have this at the hospital - the reason you've been asked to choose a hospital is because these appointments (scans and any consultant appointments you may need) will be held at the hospital and it's easier to have them in one place so that your records are there.
It doesn't actually mean you have to give birth there as you will be given most of your notes which you keep during your pregnancy, so in theory you can give birth wherever you turn up on the day!
This scan is very simple, you'll be asked to turn up with a full bladder as it makes the foetus much easier to see. It is on this scan that they will be able to take measurements of the foetus and therefore give you your due date - it is this date they will go by for your whole pregnancy, so you last monthly period date doesn't early matter! They will also check a number of other measurements to check that everything is developing nicely.
They will also be able to test for Downs Sydrome and othe congenital abnormalities (although not everything) if you like - more information on this will be provided by your midwife.
I grew up in the area in the middle of the hospitals that you talk of, and whilst I have no experience, I believe that Frimley Park has a great reputation for birth. I would go to the hospital websites as they will be able to offer. For example, I live 5mins from our local hospital but they are only midwife led and therefore if I wanted an epidural or if something went wrong that would require a c section I would be ambulanced to another - so we have chosen to go straight to the other one so that I'm already there!!
With regards to the smoking, you know you need to stop which is the first step, you know that it's wrong and will harm your baby, but I understand the difficulty in stopping the addiction. The nHS does have a Stop Smoking helpline which can offer help specifically for pregnant woman:
Hope this helps a bit and good luck with your pregnancy!
Aw congratulations! How exciting (and scary no doubt) for you
My gp appoint was very short, basically handed me a leaflet and told me to phone for booking appoint with mw.
I never had a dating scan but i sure someone will come along soon to fill you in. But will be an ultra-sound to check size I would imagine.
I'm in Scotland and didn't have a choice of hospitals in first instance. I would assume it's so you can get the ball rolling with appointments. From what I've read on this forum, if not happy with choice further down the line you CAN change it.
As for smoking. I have no advice being a non-smoker but my OH is and he's trying trying to quit. All I can say is good luck. Take it one day at a time. You'll get there I'm sure
Ps did have 12week scan but thinking that you meant one within next couple of weeks. My brain is getting muddled now (34 weeks and counting)
Yes they want to do a dating scan asap prior to my 12 week.
Thank you for the advice so far, and for not flaming.
I guess you get all the paperwork etc at the Midwife appointment?
Congrats! If you have an early scan so that they can determine how far along you are this will either be an abdominal scan or an internal scan. Likely to be both if they can't get a good view on the abdominal. Internal scan is a probe that they put a condom on, it sounds worse than it is, and as long as you relax it shouldn't be uncomfortable, just slightly undignified like having a smear
I was a casual smoker, and had just been in holiday when I found out which had me smoking every day. I didn't touch one after I found out I was pregnant. For me it was easier as aside from the holiday I only smoked a couple of times a week if drinking.
The NHS stop smoking service should be able to point you in the right direction, your midwife should also be able to help, so it's worth selecting the hospital and getting your booking in appointment with the midwife arranged.
Good Luck with everything
I've had an internal scan before, but wasn't sure which it would be for the dating scan.
I'm a long term, daily smoker. So I am struggling, but baby is the most important thing. Right, sitting on hands and will contact NHS for support whatever type it may be that I need.
Is there anything else I need to know at this point? I have folic acid. I know what to avoid - 50% of my favourite foods! weep
Have a Google of your trust and pregnancy smoking services, as there should be someone you can access.
I understand GPs can't recommend or prescribe anything. However when I was in the same boat as you - unexpected pregnancy, struggling to entirely quit - I was told that replacements such as nicotine sprays and gums are the least worst option. Obviously just quitting is the best option, but I was told these were preferable to wearing a patch, which provides nicotine all the time. I don't know about vaping.
It's fantastic that you have cut down, well done for that. It's only been a few days so you're doing really well. It's fine for people to say "just stop" but sometimes that is much easier said than done, especially with an unexpected pregnancy where you are still getting your head around the whole thing. Hypnotherapy could be something to consider.
Personally I liked the nicotine spray, as it was a short, sharp hit of nicotine and that seemed to work better for me. I barely used it, maybe 2-3 times a day at most.
But there are specialist pregnancy stop smoking services out there.
There's lots of rubbish floating around about what you can and can't eat by the way, I use this as the guide:
Good luck with stopping smoking!
Thank you very much Thurlow, it's nice to hear from someone who appreciates how difficult it can be.
I didn't bother going through my GP I just self referred myself to the hospital I wanted and got given my booking in appointment a week later where I was just shy of 6 weeks. It took a little while because the mw took blood, a urine sample and asked a load of questions. My first scan was at 11 weeks and that didn't take long at all. You don't have to stick with the first hospital you choose btw you'll just need to arrange a transfer but I think the hospital can help with this.
Obviously the smoking needs to stop and I'm aware of how hard it is! I'm 27 weeks and still sometimes crave the odd one but I'd never forgive myself if something happened. I found the habit hard to break but it's doable and I can smell properly now!
Well done Glitz, thanks for the encouragement.
It is hard, because you have to factor in all the guilt from knowing how bad it is, and guilt can stress you out, and if you're anything like me then feeling stressed makes you want to smoke
Just focus on how well you have done in a few days and take each craving at a time, try and distract yourself with something for half an hour and they often pass. I used to find sucking something very strongly flavoured, even just a very strong mint, could be a good distraction.
Congratulations, what a lovely surprise for you after so long trying!
You can quit smoking, it might be hard but you'll feel so much better - health wise and because you did the best thing for your baby.
I too was surprised to be asked to choose my hospital so early on - with no information!
I think Wexham does a tour of the maternity dept on sundays, the Berks does not but does have lots of info online (i think a virtual tour?). I hear good things about Frimley but never been as it wouldn't suit me.
I initially chose Wexham as it's within my trust area and meant I could have 12 weeks can much more locally. But have changed to Berks as I know more people who have had their babies there and it is easier for my family to get to (we have a DC already so will need childcare help when I go into labour!).
I think you'll find good and bad reviews of any hospital. And most (i think certainly both Wexham and Berks) offer midwife-led units AND regular delivery units. So perhaps go with what is convenient, or visit Wexham asap and see what you think!
Good luck with dating scan - I had one too, internal, nice to see bean and heart beat before 12 weeks!.
Thanks Seriously. Useful to know about the tours. Frimley has some bad memories for me, so I think it might be out just on account of that.
If you are really struggling to stop, get an e cig.
They're not exactly a healthy thing in themselves but they are a trillion times better than actual fags (harm reduction is the name of the game here!)
The reason they ask you to choose the hospital at booking in is that the paperwork is different for each, and they like to have all your info (scans, bloods etc) in one place. You CAN change later on if you like, and they'll catch up the notes.
No personal experience, but the Royal Berks is supposed to be vg with both midwife led bits and consultant care (and Kate Middleton was born there, I hear).
Had a scan at 8w. It was pretty quick (10-15m?). They start with a blob of jelly and an external ultrasound, moving on to dildocam if they can't find the baby. They're looking for placement, size of the embryo and the sac. Seeing a heartbeat at this stage means you have a lower risk of miscarriage as well, which is nice to know!
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