I am 18 weeks this week. This is my third pregnancy. My first 2 children were born at home, with the same midwife.
For the first time I am experiencing typical, mainstream health care for pregnant women. I am seeing hospital based midwives for my prenatal care, and I plan to birth at home with my original midwife (long story as to why.)
I have been seeing this practice since 14 weeks. I have had 4 appointments already! The first was the typical first appointment with all of the collecting of history, labs, etc... you would expect. The second was a dating ultrasound, I did not feel it was necessary (my dates were solid, no chance of being wrong) but I had been measuring ahead and we wanted to rule out twins (nope, just 1). Then I had a very hostile 3rd appointment which was suppose to be a get your lab results in person appointment but turned into a need to get more labs. And then yesterdays 4th appointment to go over those labs, which turned into a need for more labs.
It all of the testing and labs that I want to talk about.
First, every single lab and test I have been through has come back normal. Completely normal.
I am STD free (these were run 2 times for some reason, the second time by the awful midwife who did seem surprised to see that the first set had come back negative.)
My blood and all of the antibodies and Rh factors and whatever else are all normal. My blood pressure has been steady and normal.
My weight has been fine. I actually lost a few pounds and have yet to catch back up.The midwives are all very happy about this and have told me I do not need to gain anything, that weight loss is good (this will be significant in a minute.)
My urine has been steady. I have had protein and keytones present, dark urine color, but all 3 labs came back totally normal. Each of these appointments have been first thing in the morning after some early morning morning sickness and some night time dehydration as a result. I let them know that I have always had protein present in my urine, for both of my previous pregnancies and even when not pregnant. My GP and original midwife have let me know this is to be expected because of my health history (I've had mono and scarlet fever.)
All 3 of the different tests that have been done already for diabetes have come back normal, not even in the pre-diabetes range.
The baby looks and sounds good. Completely normal and growing well as far as they can see. I have only had my belly palpated once, at that first visit to get a fundal height, which was never measured with a tape, just estimated. The only actual baby check done has been with a doppler and a sonogram.
I have had my thyroid and progesterone tested twice (and 2 times before that this pregnancy with my GP.) These are of great concern to me. I have hypothyroidism so i know to stay on top of that. And I had scary low progesterone levels, causing all kinds of issues and I have been supplementing to keep my levels up.
So here is the problem:
Despite ever single lab coming back normal, one midwife is hell bent on diagnosing me with gestational diabetes because my first baby, 8 years ago, was 10 pounds. She said I must be diabetic because I had a big baby. It does not matter that she was 3 weeks over due, it does not matter that my 2nd baby was average sized, it does not matter that my maternal history is full of big babies, it does not matter that all of my blood work says I'm not diabetic. She is convinced I am going to develop it and I must have had it before (not according to the labs either time!)
Another midwife is concerned about all of the keytones and protein in my urine and thinks I'm headed for PIH, despite steady, normal range blood pressure) and PreE. This is the same midwife that thinks it's good that I have lost weight and not regained. Ummmm, keytones are present in the urine when the body is burning fat and when a pregnant woman is not eating enough calories!
All three midwives are not concerned about my thyroid levels creeping up and my progesterone being at the absolute minimum normal level according to the lab ranges. I have been told to stop supplementing by all 3 and that my progesterone looks good, is not on the low side, I should not worry.
Not one person has asked my what I eat and how much. Not one person has asked me what I drink and how much.
It is clear to me that I am being treated by a system that looks at me through a statistical filter. The only thing that matters are labs. I am seen as broken waiting to be fixed. If the standard labs don't find anything that the person assumes is there, then it's time to order another test to look harder for it. There is no expectation of health and well being. There is no assumption that pregnancy is normal until proved otherwise. There is no effort being made to look into the reasons for why a thing is the way it is, just tests and quick fixes.
I am so thankful to have my homebirth midwife on board. We go over all of the labs, talk about the results, look for explanations as to why something seems off and work together to treat the underlying cause. I need to drink more water. I need to eat more frequently, and more calories. I will be a little more diligent it taking supplements and eating foods rich in natural sources of those elements that may be missing from my diet. I will keep taking the progesterone. I will go back to my GP if my thyroid keeps creeping up to get my medication adjusted. I will keep measuring my belly myself and feeling those reassuring kicks to know my baby is alive and thriving.