Only 4 months left and I will have my little daughter in my arms. So real and so surreal.
At 22 weeks, I had my anatomy ultrasound and everything was ok! This was a kind of milestone, it is always so nice to hear that your baby is developing well and doesn’t have 12 fingers ;-)… The gynaecologist told me to do some regular tests that they do here and I went home.
Then, actually, the whole ‘medical circus’ started again. Not feeling so well on the night of the visit, I had really low blood pressure and I felt tired and was not thinking so clearly, so I let myself be prescribed some tests and went to the lab. One of them was a urine culture and the other one a tampone vaginale.
In the urine culture, they found too much protein, and two weeks later, it had even risen. And in the tampone vaginale they found staphylococcus bacteria. Therefore, my gynaecologist prescribed antibiotics.
My alarms bells started to ring:
- ‘I don’t want to take antibiotics when I’m pregnant!’
- ‘What does it mean to have too much protein in my urine, what are the risks?!?’
So I started an online research, called my friends and started to compare the Dutch approach with the Italian one … I found out that in this stage of pregnancy in the Netherlands they do not even do these tests. 🙂
Meanwhile I had already tested my urine again and also had to do a 24-hour proteinuria test … There were still traces of protein in my urine but a low quantity. My gynaecologist asked me to test my urine a couple of times a week and my blood pressure every day.
I also found out that in the Netherlands they don’t even give antibiotics, the bacteria could come back, no guarantee, and the risk of early birth isn’t even scientifically proven.
But what did this do to me? I actually got a bit stressed about these tests and not knowing how I had to interpret the test, even being convinced my baby was doing well didn’t make me a relaxed pregnant mother at that moment…
Once again it became clear to me that especially here in Italy there is a vibrant culture of fear. Doctors often prescribe a lot of tests so they think or hope they can be sure that nothing can go wrong, but even worse, they feel that they are responsible and they do not want to take any risks. Moreover, I think my gynaecologist also likes me to do these tests because he thinks I will feel more relaxed when being checked like this. Besides that there is the protocol, which prescribes which tests to do during pregnancy.
But I didn’t feel relaxed, it cost me time to sort out what to do and to choose what to do. And I felt responsible for the unborn baby in my belly …
At that time, my resistance was very low so I thought if I took antibiotics as well, it would get even worse. I just need to eat healthy, relax and try to get enough sleep. (Which isn’t always easy with a 2.5 year- old running around and waking up at night ;-)).. I read a lot of research, and some researchers are also suggesting that antibiotics can have effects on the developing skeleton of the baby, can cause premature birth, asthma etc. etc … Enough to be afraid of!
But I don’t want to live my pregnancy and life in fear! I only wanted to use my common sense. Which told me: if not necessary, do not take antibiotics, take care of yourself and believe that your body can resolve things by itself as well.
Moreover the protein: ‘You don’t have high blood pressure and the protein found in your urine isn’t so much, so don’t worry about preeclampsia. Just live healthy, relax, enjoy your pregnancy and for god’s sake do not test your urine and blood pressure every day ;-)!
Talking with friends I found out that my approach to this kind of thing is neither alternative nor conventional. I am always trying to get best out of both. I fully believe that the evolution of the ‘regular’ medical world brought us many good things but I also realise that a scientific study only highlights one part of an often much bigger picture. And I really think that the pharmaceutical world has too much power, and we often cannot be sure that medicines are really well tested and that we know all the effects and side effects.
The alternative medical world has brought many other ways to take care of ourselves and is in general based on the self-healing ability of our body, with use or non-use of natural medicines.
But how to find your way through the forest of medicines? 😉
I really believe in using your common sense and intuition! Use your brain but only to make decisions in the moment, explore, and then connect to your body! Try to feel ‘in the here and now’ what your common sense tells you and what your body tells you. How can you (re-)find your confidence from inside? What would really help you and what would only be a relief of symptoms for a short period?
For now I wish you a really nice day! I am so curious about your experiences. Have you ever been in these kinds of situations, pregnant or not? How did or do your react? I would love to hear your comments and stories! Please share them with me!