Saturday, August 4, 2012

Pregnancy Week 33 and 3 Days: The Blood Test and Mood Swings

I just had gone through one of those epic queues in the hospital where I had to queue for almost 4 hours this morning in order to have my 10 minutes monthly consultation with my Gynae. Everything about today's Gynae visit seemed go wrong since morning, i.e. (1) My husband could not send me to the hospital because he was too sick to leave his bed. I hated it when he could not make it to the antenatal visits with me to check on our baby's development together. But what to do? When the man is sick, he is sick. I had to see my Gynae alone. (2) When I arrived to the hospital, I accidentally dropped my water bottle on the floor, the plastic bottle cap broke into pieces and I flooded the hospital's waiting room with my drinking water. Yes, everyone's eyes were on me. (3) The hospital registration counter somehow didn't register my name for the Gynae's check-up so my name didn't appear in today's patient list. Luckily, the Gynae's nurse got this problem fixed after my long explanation. (4) My Gynae had to deliver two babies this morning alone. This contributed to the super long waiting hour I guess.

Moving on, once I have checked my name in to the nurse's station, I was directed to go the hospital's laboratory to do the Full Blood Count (FCB) test as scheduled. The laboratory guy drew blood from my left arm in less than 5 minutes and asked me to go back queueing to see my Gynae.

My husband who felt slightly better at noon got up from his bed and drove to the hospital to see a general physician for his throat infection and then, join me to see my Gynae. Say, about 4 hours later since I first registered my name in the hospital this morning, the nurse finally called my name and we got to see my Gynae.

The first thing my Gynae discussed when she saw us was the results of my FBC test. It looks like my haemoglobin (HB) is kind of below the normal rate which exposes me risks such as difficulties in pushing during labour as I'd be running out of energy pretty quickly and excessive bleeding post delivery. To correct this, she prescribed me with supplements for iron deficiency for a month to increase my HB at least by 1. I have to stop taking my pregnancy multivitamins for the time being.

Next, I told my Gynae how I felt in the past month. I told her that my baby's hiccups few times in a day are actually quite annoying for me to feel but she said hiccups are signs of a healthy baby. Also, I mentioned that in this third trisemester, my pregnancy has given me serious mood swings (again), constipation and occasional menstrual-like cramps which are actually Braxton Hicks contractions. She said Braxton Hicks contractions at this stage are normal and gave me fibre solution to ease my constipation.

After the brief consultation, the moment that my husband and I waited for arrived. We saw our baby again via the ultrasound scan. My Gynae did a top to bottom 2D ultrasound checks on my baby; measuring her head circumference, checking her eyes, nose, hands, heart, abdomen, legs and genital area. Based on her ultrasound scans today, my baby's head has partially dropped into my pelvis. It's earlier than I thought but my Gynae assured me that there is nothing to worry about it. First babies generally descend into their mothers' pelvis faster.

My baby was sleeping when we checked her with the ultrasound scan. My Gynae had difficulties in getting good angles to show us her face via the 3D ultrasound scan as my baby was sleeping and using my placenta as her pillow. That means her face was partially covered with my placenta. In addition, as the baby grows bigger in the uterus, seemingly it's harder for the Gynae or sonographer to get good view of the baby's face via the 3D ultrasound scan.

Here are some of the baby's 3D shots that we managed to take home today.

 See how she uses my placenta as her pillow when she sleeps?

My baby girl at 33 weeks and 3 days: She looks more like me now?
Baby weight: 2.2 kg.

Before we left the Gynae's office, my Gynae talked about the mood swings issues that I have experienced lately. She said mood swings are actually common happenings for pregnant women after they hit their 30th week gestation period and the emotional upheavals may continue until two weeks after the baby's delivery. My Gynae advised my husband to be extra patient with me because these days I might not be able to control my emotional roller-coaster very well. However, she emphasized that it is best if I could identify the triggers of my recent mood swings. For example, what makes me angry and sad? Is it because I didn't get enough attention from my husband? Is it because I didn't manage to eat some food that I wanted to eat? Or is it because I could not see some people that I want to meet, considering that I am pretty much a loner in Malaysia?

Whilst I was scratching my head to give at least one excuse to my Gynae, my husband pointed out that perhaps I get the mood swings partially because I am anxious about the post-natal confinement that I would have to perform soon. My husband knows that I am against the strict traditional Chinese confinement practices but somehow the older generation family members would make me go through these painful practices after I give birth, no matter what. My Gynae told us that I should not worry about confinement too much and in fact, I should be able to enjoy it. I don't have to follow those ridiculous old-fashioned confinement practices that don't leave me with much benefit. For instance, if the elderly forces me to eat the same certain food for a period of time, then it's my husband's duty to feed me with other food when the elderly is asleep at night. I should keep on eating vegetables and fruit during confinement. I can and should bathe and wash my hair as often as I could for the sake of good hygiene. I can drink normal water too instead of drinking only red date tea for 30-40 days. Honestly, now I feel so much better and relieved after my Gynae gave me a green light to not stringently obey the traditional confinement rules.

My next visit to my Gynae is exactly two weeks from now and I hope my overall health and mood would improve by then. As for my pregnancy weight, I have gained 13 kg in total by now. I only put on 1 kg extra in the past month and my Gynae said it is not much for a pregnant woman in her third tri-semester.

Doctor bills: RM 133 (for the Gynae's consultation fee, urine and blood laboratory tests, fibre solutions and iron supplements capsules).

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