I must say, I don’t consider myself to be a rulebreaker, but having said that I do tend to pretty much do things the way I want to do them and dislike being told what to do. I am overweight and despite thinking that I would lose weight before I had a baby it didn’t turn out that way and there I was, pregnant at 17 stone. I was immediately classed as high risk, for the weight and as I have an underactive thyroid which can lead to growth problems in the baby if not correctly managed, and placed under Consultant-led care. In one way I was happy with this as it meant that during the pregnancy we had four scans, the last only a week before our baby was born, so saw him a lot before he was born, but in other ways being classed as high-risk was extremely annoying as I was poked and prodded and had blood taken to excess!
I was first told that I would definitely get gestational diabetes – this was pretty early on – so had to go for a glucose tolerance test which, in itself was not bad, but was totally normal and I never did get gestational diabetes. I was then told that pre-eclampsia in a woman of my size was a given, I would probably have to be admitted to hospital at the end of my pregnancy. I never got pre-eclampsia and was never admitted to hospital. Then I was told a woman of my size would probably need a caesarian, so an appointment with the anaesthetist about this. I delivered naturally with labour starting at 9am and baby making an appearance at about 4.30pm – no caesarian.
Don’t get me wrong, I was pleased that we were taken care of but what grated on me was the assumption that I would have all these conditions and need all this special treatment and, as a first time mum, it was a concern – these people know what they’re talking about, right? In general I would agree and at least listen to the advice, but it grated on me shortly after the birth and still grates on me now, especially when having my second baby and with a ‘clean sheet’ as it were for problem-free pregnancy and natural labour I was told pretty much the same things.
Oh dear, this sounds a bit like a rant now, but it’s really not – I have the greatest respect for the medical staff I dealt with and for the good advice I was given, but the assumptions that were made about the course of my pregnancy and the birth of my son, purely based on my weight were dead wrong and quite frightening if I hadn’t been so uppity at being told all this! Ah well – everything turned out fine, see?
One Born Every Minute is on Wednesday nights at 9pm on Channel 4 and available to watch online at www.channel4.com/lifebegins
Read more stories on this topic on the Netmums Blog.