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 kind of scary, and all the books , magazine articles , websites and friendly 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.
At the risk of possibly unsettling a few nervous would be mothers, it might be helpful to look at some of the 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.
Here’s the five:-
ONE – The Pregnancy
Good or bad?
Nausea, vomiting, pains, bleeding. Am I going to miscarry?
Varicose veins, stretch marks, black lines, pelvis falling apart. OMG I’ve changed my mind! Why am I doing this?
Or do I glide blissfully through three trimesters glowing with perfect skin, body seemingly untouched by events and full of optimism and confidence.
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.
So be prepared for what ” nature” has in store. Have good antenatal care and, of course ( a little plug here) some decent antenatal classes!