Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Story of Rhona and the Burmese GP, Sonograms and Blood Tests.

Quacks, Blood Tests and Sonograms!

Week of Pregnancy: 13/14 – Apparently we were a week behind according to our sonographer J
Fruit to Fetus Comparison: size of Lemon – approx 47g – and still growing! (Approx 10cm from head to toe)
Cravings: Nothing. I don’t want to eat. (Who are you and what have you done with Rhona?!)
Aversions: Meh – just don’t want to eat.
Husband’s excitement metre: Upping the scale – especially with the sonogram!

So this week’s excitement started with me getting a lot fatter all at once, and not from eating (although later it was from eating...)! Now my fat jeans won’t fit unless I tuck them under the ‘bump’ that is forming. Also, boobs are freaking massive. Justin somehow does not mind this new happening, however I find myself running into things and knocking things off tables at chest height where before I would have squeezed past with an inch to spare. Damn you hormones! 

Secondly, we are about to complete the first trimester, which ultimately means much less risk of miscarriage. Of course, this is awesome, but doesn’t stop me worrying. For a while I think ‘maybe I’m just getting fat and the baby isn’t really there anymore’ – from previous experience, miscarriages can be rather uneventful and it scares me how silent and unnoticed they can go for a while. But, as I’ve had no symptoms of miscarriage or anything else ‘wrong’, I choose to try and stay positive and not worry. Worrying makes you stress, and stress is not good for many reasons. 

I promise myself I will eat healthily over the school holidays. This does nto start well as we have fish and chips for dinner on Thursday, Thai for dinner on Friday (damned social obligations!! Haha), and (I’m ashamed to say) fish and chips again on Sunday. This is horrific. I blame the weather and my exhaustion, and conveniently leave out my laziness and the fact I don’t really want to cook.
Apart from my horrible diet (IT WILL GET BETTER! I SWEAR! Look, I’m getting out the dried apricots and walnuts!) a couple more exciting and frustrating things have occurred over the last week.


But I’ll get to that in a minute. First, the story of Rhona (NOT A RACIST!) and the Burmese GP. 

In order to see my obstetrician, I need to get a referral from the GP... so I make an appointment and toddle down to the practice on Thursday morning in my spare. 

I wait 50 minutes past my appointment time, am still not taken in, and tell the receptionist that I have to go back to school to, you know, do my job. Kind of understandable - these things can happen.

She makes me an appointment for 4pm, and I promise to return.

*Skip day of teaching wherein we find we have to move everything out of our rooms for painting and flooring by the next morning... but that’s another story*

At 4pm I toddle back to the GP, who only makes me wait 40 minutes this time (Score!!) he is a very nice man who happens to have a very thick Burmese accent that I find hard to understand sometimes (awkward!). He then proceeds to tell me I am a) 22 weeks pregnant , b) maybe I will need a blood test.

Sigh. This will be harder than first thought.

I politely tell him ‘No – I’m around 12 weeks pregnant – here’s my ultrasound from 6 weeks, and that was 6 weeks ago’
Dr: “It’s very small”.
Me: “WHAT? They didn’t say anything about it being small!”
Dr: “It’s very small for 12 weeks”.
Me: Sigh... That’s because it’s 6 weeks at the time of the ultrasound.
Dr: “Ah. Well then it’s fine.”
I quietly try not to blow him up with my mind.

Secondly, as I explain to him, I will not only need a NUCHAL SONOGRAM, but I will also need a NUCHAL BLOOD TEST. (Nuchal tests discern things like possibility of Down’s Syndrome and other chromosomal abnormalities quite early in the pregnancy – Justin and I both decided we want to know anything and everything as early as we can.)
Dr says that is fine, happily writes me a referral to my Obstetrician, referral for blood test and sonogram. Whew! Mission complete. (Though on my referral form he does put 22 weeks, and some other incorrect things)

Disclaimer: Not many GP’s – and perhaps not this one either – are complete imbeciles. Perhaps it was the language gap, perhaps he’d just had a long day, but he pretty much screwed up everything he possibly could. Please note – he is a lovely guy and I’m sure he’s done wonderful things for many people. Just not me.

Also Justin told me I was being racist because he was Burmese. I told him I didn’t feel comfortable with him, not because he was from another country or I couldn't understand him all the time, but because he seemed rather incompetent. We agree to disagree. I decide to see the other Burmese doctor next time, as perhaps he will be a lot better.

SO! Skip several days to ULTRASOUND DAY!!! WOO!
Got blood test on Friday morning (easily! Apparently being pregnant makes it easy to find my veins – one jab and six vials later I am a little less blood-filled.)
And go in to get my Nuchal sonogram, husband by my side.
After a 6 hour drive we toddle in to the radiology clinic looking a little bedraggled - less like Sunshine Coast Chic and more like Biloela Hick (PS: Biloelians are not hicks, just to clarify, we simply dress very differently to the Sunshine Coasters in their boutique slacks and fifty dollar thongs) and check in. She asks for my blood results, and I hand them over.

Bronwyn the lovely receptionist: Are these your only blood results?
Me: Yeeees... (confused)
Bronwyn: Hmm... well, your doctor has ordered you first trimester bloods, rather than nuchal. I can’t do the nuchal scan.
Me: WHAT? (Actually do try to blow up GP with my mind)
Bronwyn: Wait – let’s call him and see if I can get a referral for another blood test – you can go next door – and then we can do the sonogram.
Me: (Pretending to be calm) Sounds great. Thanks so much for your help.

I give Justin the ‘I told you I wasn’t being racist, that GP really is a Quack’ look. He rolls his eyes as a gesture of surrender (or at least that’s what I make of it).

Bronwyn: Also, he hasn’t ordered you a nuchal scan, he’s ordered you a vascular and uterine ultrasound.
Me: What are they?
Bronwyn: For veins and uterus. Not pregnancy.
Me: (Plotting GP's murder) Okay... So where does this leave us?

Bronwyn agrees we can still get the ultrasound done. I jump for joy inwardly, as I am rather tired at this point and all these ‘bad omens’ are not pointing toward a good ultrasound. My superstitious side sometimes gets out of control, if I’m completely honest.Thank God they don't allow black cats into the radiology clinic.

GP sends through form, I get another blood test (whoopee?!) and we go in for the ultrasound.
All the screw ups, the waiting, the blood tests and the stress are worth it. 

We see little Mini-Muffin looking like an actual person – not an alien – and he/she is moving around like a little jumping bean!


I have a little cry and Justin squeezes my hand tightly, though he swears he didn’t tear up at the sight of our 14 week old unborn child. Too early to find out the sex, but our lovely radiologist tells us he/she looks healthy, good size (for 14 weeks! Woops! A week behind!) and very unlikely any abnormalities. 

Mini-Muffin jumps for joy, rests his/her head on hand, pushes up against the side of my uterus with his/her little legs to stretch out. I think it has Justin’s nose, but he disagrees. 

For 20 minutes I couldn’t take my eyes of the screen. I laughed a lot, which didn’t help and made the poor thing jiggle around like it was on a rollercoaster, but it was just amazing.
Here is the little face that made everything worth it:

Rhonie xxx

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