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Pregnancy Appointments & Anxiety! First time mum(13 Posts)
This is my first time posting and I am so sorry if its very long or a little dramatic!
My DH and I decided to start trying for a baby in March, however I only had my first period after coming off the pill last month in May. We were expecting things to take a few months but we have found out that we are now 2-3 weeks pregnant, which for some reason came as quite the shock!
I am majorly confused about counting a pregnancy from 1st day of my last period, which makes me 2 weeks futher along than I can logistically be, is that the norm?!
My main (and if I'm truthful all consuming) anxiety is that I have had to self refer to the maternity dept at my local hospital, but I have no idea when they will ask to see me other than that Google tells me 8-14 weeks. I am so so worried that I will be living my life on cloud 9 and that something could be wrong or that it may be an eptopic pregnancy etc and I would have no idea for weeks to come until I am seen I am so worried that something could be wrong or that I could do something wrong that I just didn't realise about.
Just to add another aspect in, I have a condition with my spine in which I have always been told that I shouldn't give birth naturally, and of course my GP has agreed I should stop all medications but with no replacements at this time until the hospital contact me re pregnancy, so this is adding in another thing for me to get in a tizz over!
I have never really been an anxious person so I am absolutely shocked that I am being like this!
Can anyone give me some advise or let me know when they usually contact you regarding first appointments etc? I'm definitely letting myself get a little too stressed...
I'm a FTM and was very confused by the dating too. Basically, there are 2 weeks added on at the begin as pregnancy is technically counted from when that months cycle starts....the egg being released etc. So, on the day you actually conceive, you are already 2 weeks pregnant.....when you miss a period, you are 1 month pregnant.
Appointment wise, early pregnancy was a surprise to me as, to put it bluntly, it seems no one actually cares that much about your pregnancy until you are over 8 weeks! I was shocked I didn't need to see a GP and that someone didn't actually want to confirm the pregnancy. Instead, I was told to self refer to my local midwife for a booking in appointment (which ended up being between 9 and 10 weeks). This was pre-covid so was a face to face appt but I understand some are now bring done by telephone. It's OK though as this appointment is just to go through all your medical history and make a decision if you will continue to be looked after by the midwives or if you will need to see a consultant (this is highly likely if you have a spine condition).
The decision to be midwife or consultant led will then have a bearing on the rest of your pregnancy in relation to appointments and extra scans. The standard in the uk is a dating scan between 11 and 14 weeks then an anomoly scan between 18 and 21 weeks. Some women choose to pay for extra, private scans but this is entirely personal choice and not essential.
If you have problems like severe pain, bleeding etc before your booking in appt around 8 weeks, there is A&E or something called an EPU (early pregnancy unit). They can arrange early scans and medical treatment if required.
Hope that helps x
Just to add on the the previous poster, who has given you a great overview (and is correct booking appointments are currently over the phone normally between 8-10 weeks, and then after your dating scan you'll have the physical parts - bloods, urine tests, height/weight checked) and that the early days you are pretty much left to wait around.
Unless you are in pain, or bleeding heavily, I would just assume the best and that everything is developing as it should. Relax and try to enjoy the pregnancy, in a few weeks you may start noticing symptoms which are less easy to enjoy so just take each day as it comes.
For info and advice, check the NHS website for what foods to avoid in pregnancy and avoid googling this question as you'll get advice from other countries that has different food standards to the UK.
You can download apps that will tell you what you may experience each week of pregnancy, I've found these useful to read through.
The only other advice I can think of is start taking folic acid and vit d if you aren't doing so already.
Your midwife will talk you through a lot of stuff during your booking appointment, but write down any questions you have up til that point otherwise you may forget on the day!
Congratulations and wishing you all the best in this pregnancy.
First of all congratulations! I know it can be overwhelming at first, but do try your best to not panic.
Yes it is completely normal to count from the first day of your last period, this is how your estimated due date is calculated until you have your 12 week scan which gives a more accurate time scale (but generally isn’t too far off, mine was only 2 days ahead of what I thought I was). So technically for around the first 2 weeks of your pregnancy you are not actually pregnant.
Now everywhere will be Slightly different in how they operate, for example I have community midwifes who I actually met at 5 weeks but this because in my area they offer a much more personal service which you don’t get everywhere. A lot of women won’t be seen until around the 8 week mark which is referred to as the booking in appointment. This is generally a fairly long appointment which they will go over your background including medical history and they will start to fill in your maternity notes. Although I first met my midwife at 5 weeks, my booking in appointment was done at 8 weeks and they contacted me about a weeks before you book me in.
Be aware that being pregnant now is a weird time due to Covid-19, I haven’t seen my midwife face to face since my booking appointment, my other appointments have been on the phone. Scans are still happening as planned, but at present you have to attend these alone. As you are in very early stages it might be this restriction is lifted at your local trust by the time you are 12 weeks.
You should be able to contact the Maternity dept to ask for advice on all your questions about when they are likely to get in contact. If you are concerned about coming off your current meds mention this to them, they should be able to guide you in the right direction. Just because you haven’t met them yet, doesn’t mean you cannot ask them questions.
In regards to your anxiety about not knowing if something is wrong, I think it can be normal to feel like this, but the truth of the matter is that you will not know for sure until your 12 week scan (sooner if you experience a reason to be concerned earlier). Some women like to pay for a private scan before that to give them a bit of reassurance, but ultimately not a lot is known about your baby until that 12 week scan.
To calm your nerves, I highly recommend doing a lot of reading. This really helped me get clued up about what to expect and nothing so far has come as a shock to me when my midwife has mentioned it, as I already knew to expect it. Use the nhs pregnancy website, there is a ton of information on there about you should start to do, what to avoid eating, etc. I also found the Emma’s Diary website incredibly helpful. To start you off, start taking folic acid Immediately if you haven’t already started.
Just be reassured that your feelings are completely valid and not unusual, but information is key!
Thank you both so much for your comprehensive replies, especially regarding the consultant led pregnancy ( I didn't even know that was an option) and to look on the NHS website rather than general Google.
I am so pleased it isn't just me that feels like the hospital aren't too fussed yet and I have actually shed a little tear that I'm not just going crazy.
Thank you both!! ♥️
I think I may call them regarding my medication tomorrow just to ask the question, as my GP didn't really know what to say. I don't want to take any risks so have knocked all meds on the head until I hear otherwise.
I will check out Emma's diary, thanks!
Agree with the details the PP said.
I did my self referral for My midwife appointment. There was a box at the end of the referral which I added to about my medical history. They called me and did my booking appointment at 7weeks, in person (start of COVID), to start me on medication / take me off others. Maybe add about your medication, and your back condition, they may decided to see you sooner and in person, but they may not, as booking appointments are generally after 8 weeks and the first few weeks is limbo. If you do get any bleeding, sharp pains, or major concerns contact your GP.
Congratulations and good luck
Just to add I am Consultant led, at the hospital.
PP have covered it really well!!
I was also surprised and very anxious at the start because it felt like very little support and I had/have no clue as a FTM. I think I've just accepted it for what it is now.
I self referred bur did speak to my GP anyway and asked lots of questions - she has a 1 year old herself and was really helpful and could speak about the hospital she gave birth in.
I found it reassuring to get Harmony tests done privately and get some early reassurances at 10 weeks. It also meant my husband could see at least one scan in person.
All of my midwife appointment's have been over the phone which I've found difficult. They tend to be a checklist of questions and not very personal but not much that can be done about that given the current situation. I try to make a list of questions before each.
Hi OP, have a look to see if your local maternity trust has a Facebook page. Our trust have really stepped up at the minute publishing all sorts or articles, tours, live classes, Q&A sessions with head of midwifery etc.
Hi OP, I just wanted to say that I am also in my first pregnancy, found out very early and will be four weeks on Thursday. I've had a chemical pregnancy before so feeling very anxious and finding myself constantly monitoring myself and how I'm feeling. The wait to a 12 week scan feels incredibly long, doesn't it!
I wanted to let you know that you are not alone in your feelings, reading around it seems it is quite common for us first timers to feel anxious, particularly at this stage. My inbox is open if you'd like a chat or to stay in touch!
It's normal to feel anxious to some degree, especially as a FTM! I had my third two weeks ago and even then my anxiety played havoc with my head.
I have been an anxiety sufferer for quite some years now, not helped in pregnancy by a history of miscarriage. I was absolutely terrIfied that something would be wrong, especially in the early days. I honestly almost nearly didn't go in for my 12 week scan, the anxiety was huge. I was even more worried being an older mum (39) about risks etc.
But as the pregnancy progressed I became a little more confident, especially when I could feel baby move.
I had a home birth which helped with my anxiety massively - I wish I'd have had home births with my first two in retrospect!
But here I am now, baby girl snuggled up next to me and all is OK. I was worried that my high levels of anxiety throughout the pregnancy would have negatively affected her, but she is a very chilled-out little baby so again, I need not have been anxious about that.
As much as you can try to relax (although I know that's far easier said than done!!)
Thank you all so much for your support. I have managed to stop myself getting too carried away, and you really have made me feel so much more normal.
I cant thank you enough ♥️♥️
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