Monday, September 10, 2012

Having a Baby Abroad (part six): Appointment Schedule,

Previously on "Having a Baby Abroad:" Brigid was labeled "high risk" and was ushered to meetings with multiple obstetricians and hematologists...

Guess what? I'm not high-risk! We went back for an in-person appointment with the hematologist at the Royal Infirmary, who had thoughtfully decided to re-test my bloods after my original results had been borderline. This time they were well into the normal range, and with my mom's DVT being more likely related to chemotherapy and various surgeries, it was determined that I'm not genetically predisposed to blood clots. The doctor wrote a letter officially discharging me from the high risk centre, and I was able to skip happily back to the community midwives.

I've got to say I was shocked how pleased I was to not have to go back to the hospital. I mean, the hospital was modern, sleek, and clean, but just being there -- even in Labor & Delivery -- reminded me of all that can go wrong, rather than all that usually goes right.

On that note, several of you have asked about what goes on at my appointments, how many I've had, how often they are, what tests were run etc. At every appointment, they check your urine, blood pressure, hands/feet for signs of swelling, and discuss how you're feeling, offering advice, clarification, or referrals for physical therapy should you be having major back or joint pains. I'm fortunate enough to have had a smooth pregnancy, so there's no need for the weekly check-your-dilation appointments that my US counterparts seem to be having. Anyway...

Here are the particular appointments I had. You can always call for more appointments if anything is wrong, but we've been very lucky:

8-10 weeks: Booking Appointment. Approximately one hour. Blood tests and medical history taken. Discussed whether we wanted hospital or home birth (don't have to decide then and there).

12 weeks: Ultrasound. Optional NT scan and bloodwork for genetic/chromosomal disorders. They run some magic logarithms based on age, BMI, and various other things, and let you know results in a week. If your results require further testing or you are particularly worried, you can discuss amniocentesis and other tests.

16 weeks: Midwife. Listen to the heartbeat for the first time.

20 weeks: Ultrasound -- fetal anomaly scan.

22 weeks: Midwife. Blood pressure, heartbeat, measure the bump.

28 weeks: Midwife. More bloodwork taken to test for various things like iron, blood sugar, etc. Blood pressure, heartbeat, measure the bump.

32 weeks: Midwife. Blood pressure, heartbeat, measure the bump.

36 weeks: Midwife. Blood pressure, heartbeat, measure the bump.

38 weeks: Midwife. Blood pressure, heartbeat, measure the bump.

40 weeks: Midwife. Blood pressure, heartbeat, measure the bump. Optional membrane sweep.

41 weeks: Midwife. Blood pressure, heartbeat, measure the bump. Optional membrane sweep. Discuss or schedule induction at 42 weeks.

One more shocking fact:
-The medical office is closed for a bank holiday on my would-be 41week appointment, so at my 40 week checkup, the midwife offered to COME TO OUR HOUSE later this week to check on us. She'll be here Thursday morning, and I already want to make her cookies. Seriously. I mean, she didn't want me to have to wait too long past 41 weeks, so she's making a house call!


  1. Hi I recently started following your blog as I'm going to be moving to the Edinburgh area within the next couple of months (fingers crossed). I'm Canadian but have been living in Malta for the past 2 1/2 years with my husband. He's been in Edinburgh since April now and so i'm at the point where i'm getting some things ready to ship, making sure I have all my paperwork together to apply for me EEA family permit, figuring out how to get our dog there too etc. blah blah blah lol.

    ANYWAYS- I just wanted to say that I've really enjoyed reading through your posts even the prego related ones although I'm not pregnant and we arent planning on having a baby quite yet. I'm pretty sure when we do though we'll be in Scotland since we plan to stay there so I've found all this stuff quite informative (for future ref haha) :o)

    1. So exciting! I'm curious to hear your thoughts once you get here, having experienced the Canadian system. Good luck with the move -- so many details, I understand. Feel free to email me if you've got questions, though with your husband already here, i imagine you've got the lay of the land:)