by Roger Marwood MSc FRCOG
Roger is a consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist. He has 40 years experience working in a busy NHS hospitals in West London and has personally supervised around 20 000 pregnancies and countless deliveries. He is also a Senior Lecturer in Obstetrics and Gynaecology in Imperial College, where he is an acclaimed and popular teacher.
Life is full of surprises
and so too, of course, is Pregnancy. For many couples , getting there can be an ordeal, a mystery or, for almost half of all women, an unplanned and an unpredicted surprise.
Once the initial shock of that first positive test has settled, you begin to find that you are on a journey that contains many unpredictables. A rollercoaster ride that you may not have planned, and it may be taking off in a seemingly random and uncertain way. It can be scary, and all the books , magazine articles , websites and unsolicited advice from best mates and mothers may not help.
After 40 years of looking after pregnant women, I continue to be amazed at the capacity of the stronger sex to cope with the uncertainties thrown up ( sometimes literally!), by what is supposed to be the most natural event.
It might be helpful to look at the 5 Unpredictables in some sort of order. It may help you develop a coping strategy and have a plan B and maybe even a Plan C for each phase.
1. The Pregnancy
How is your pregnancy going? Is it good or bad? Are you loving it or hating it?
Are you suffering from Nausea, vomiting, pains, bleeding. Worrying that you are going to have a miscarriage? Do you have Heartburn, haemorrhoids, are you getting heavy and short of breath? Have Varicose veins and stretch marks appeared? Doe your pelvis feel like it is falling apart. Are you freaking out, thinking “OMG I’ve changed my mind! Why am I doing this?”
OR are you gliding blissfully through three trimesters, glowing, with perfect skin, your body, apart from a neat bump, seemingly untouched by events and full of optimism and confidence?
Do you know what? It’s in the lap of the gods. You can be the world’s fittest woman and still get preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, pelvic symphysis dysfunction and placenta praevia, or all 4, for no good reason. Likewise you can have an awful journey on the road to getting pregnant and just sail through things as soon as you get your positive test. There is often no rhyme nor reason.
So be prepared for what ” nature” has in store. Make sure you have good antenatal care and, of course ( a little plug here) some decent antenatal classes, like ours!