Today was my first appointment with my neouvola. You may recall from my prior post about my first doctor appointment that a neovula is a nurse midwife and provides a majority of the pre-natal care in the public health setting. My appointment lasted about an hour and fifteen minutes while we reviewed all of my previous medical records and she took my vitals.
I spoke to my neovula last week to make the appointment. Neovulas do their own scheduling and you can only call them between 12:00 and 1:00. If you miss the 12:00 - 1:00 window, call back tomorrow. If the phone is busy when you call, hang up and call back. We spoke for a few minutes and her English is pretty good. I was most impressed that today she had printed a lot of materials specifically for me in English. The materials were related to the foods I should not eat, a hospital tour we can take in English, and other pregnancy related info. I think it says a lot that she took the time to do all of that.
WARNING!!The next part of this post contains some info that anyone who has ever been pregnant can relate to. For everyone else, it may be more info than you want to know, in general, or about me! Proceed with caution!
The part that I find the most odd, and a bit disconcerting is that for each visit, I will be responsible for doing the following and then giving her the results at the beginning of the appointment. 1) Weighing myself -- OK, I can handle that, it's in kilograms, but I can read numbers! 2) Taking my own blood pressure -- OK, I guess I can use that arm machine, too, but still not as comfortable with that as I am with a scale. And considering today when she did it, the first time she got an error message, this does not increase my confidence level! 3) Taking, and more importantly reading, my own urine test -- Put the little stick in the cup and if the boxes are this color, then it's normal, if they are that color, or that color, or that other color, then it isn't. If the test results aren't normal, put your name on the little cup and leave it sit there (with the other little cups that don't have lids - ewww!!) and go get her.
I do all of the above in the bathroom at the center and write it on a sticky note. Really, a sticky note? I would think at least there would be a form, but nope, a sticky note. Today she had me do the urine test, but told me don't worry about the results because she was going to lunch and since she is sending me to the hospital tomorrow for a bigger set of lab work, we'd just wait to see what those said. Of course, the little box wasn't the color it was supposed to be. Sigh. Guess I'll wait til tomorrow to take the test again. The test I am having to take tomorrow - syphilis. Again, really, syphilis? They test every pregnant woman in Finland for Hep B, HIV (pronounced "hive" as in bee "hive") and syphilis. In the US, I think Hep B and HIV are standard and of course, my results for those were negative. But, since I haven't been tested for "the syph", I have to go get tested for it, and since I am there, let's test for the other two again while we are at it!
And then the urine test . . . I was sent home with a specimen cup, a small plastic syringe, two vials and paper instructions. You have heard of do it yourself pregnancy test, this is do it yourself urine test. And instruction number one, you have to wait between 4 - 6 hours since you last urinated. A pregnant lady waiting 4 - 6 hours? Are you kidding me??!! That is a challenge in and of itself.
So, tomorrow will prove to be another exciting day. Drive Mike to the office, drive home (second time solo driving), take test (do not screw up test as I have only one test kit), get self and urine specimens to hospital where the lab is (do you drive with urine specimens and hope to not spill? Do you take urine specimens on the bus? -- ewww!!!), and get self to work (drive). And oh yeah, it's supposed to rain.
Welcome to healthcare in the public system, and the not so glamorous side of pregnancy!