Post # 1
It has been a LONG time since I have been on these boards but since all the lovely ladies were so helpful back then I am returning now.
My SO and I returned from our amazing vacation and found out that I am indeed pregnant (my cycle is often irregular, especially when traveling so I didn’t think much of it for the month and a half we were gone) We are excited, we were already in the process of buying a house and are not going to change that, but here I am in the middle of bush Alaska with a million questions and no midwife, womens health clinic, or any options other than a hospital which only takes white people on an emergancy basis. I called the closest birthing center (1200 miles away) and they said I am okay on my own for a while but should fly down towards the middle / end of the pregnancy for all the routine check ups / exams etc…..
My question for you lovely mama bees is:
I think I am about 4 weeks pregnant now, should I wait all the way to the 16 week mark and buy a plane ticket to go to my first appointment? or is it super important that I go to the scary hospital first at the 8 week mark for a physical exam like they say. Keep in mind that our hospital/insurance would only take me if I went to the emergancy room which can be $$$
any thoughts at all are always appreciated
Post # 3
@globalmargaret: Man, idk but I can’t believe those are your only options!! Make sure you start taking prenatals, wish I had more advice.
Post # 4
@globalmargaret: Congrats! Are there any other women in your town/area you can ask? Any doctors or nurses that could do a home birth?
Given those options, I’d probably consider relocating for the last trimester. Being alone is scary. For prenatal, I’d ask the birthing center for advice.
Post # 5
As for your questions, here are my thoughts:
– you don’t really need an exam at 8 weeks. Usually the first appt during pregnancy is just to talk about the dos and don’ts, and to draw blood and whatnot. Nothing too earth-shattering and certainly not worth a plane ticket
– Sometimes they will do a dating ultrasound in the 8-10 week range but this also is not really critical and not worth a plane ticket or bajillions of dollars
– If you wanted to do the more thorough screening for Down Syndrome, that happens at the 12-13 week mark. But if you’re low risk, you probably don’t need that either
– You SHOULD either buy or rent a Doppler so that you can listen to the heartbeat at home. This will reassure you as you wait for doctor visits! I rented a hospital grade one and was able to detect the heartbeat at around 10 weeks. Some people can hear it as early as 7 weeks with the doppler I rented
– Get some books and read up! I recommend Penny Simkin’s “Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn” to start out. it’s very thorough and you’ll feel like an expert after reading it.
I think that if everything else is healthy, waiting til 16 weeks should be fine. Just get that Doppler so you don’t drive yourself crazy wondering what’s going on in there. Good luck!!
Post # 6
@globalmargaret: preferably youd confirm that its a viable pregnancy and not ectopic etc so i would go at around 8-10weeks
saying that, if you don’t want to just get some prenatal vitamins (or at least folic acid) and find a doctor if you have any bleeding
edit – the checkup would be at the hospital or birthing centre im confused
Post # 7
@globalmargaret: If it helps you to know this, I have an 8 week appointment, but it’s just informational, giving family genetic history, and learning about what to expect in the coming weeks/months – no exam or ultrasound for DS screening til 10-12 weeks. I would probably plan on finding a place to stay close to the birth center within the last month or so.
Post # 8
The appt would be at the birthing center with a midwife if I chose to fly down at 16 weeks like they said, that just seems so long to wait though for some reason. Our town had a midwife until last year she moved and we never got a replacement. Most women in town leave for thier last month to give birth, any apparently pre-natal care is minimal due to the cost, I will keep asking around for options though and I just ordered some pre-natal vitamins from amazon, can’t wait for them to come in. Thank you ladies!
Post # 9
@globalmargaret: Does your HMO have a nurseline that you can call with questions or for information? If not, you can always call the Nurseline in the Yukon. It won’t be toll free to call the Yukon, but it will give you access to a Registered Nurse 24 hours per day.
Post # 10
@globalmargaret: where in the bush are u? I live in Wasilla and could ask around. Are you a trooper’s wife?
Post # 11
@globalmargaret: I didnt see a dr. until 14 weeks for insurance reasons. If you’re healthy and you feel healthy… with no pain, you will be fine. Eat well, get lots of sleep, stay hydrated, and take prenatals.
Post # 12
If you aren’t sure how many weeks you are- which sounds the case in an irregular cycle, an 8 week exam will be helpful to ensure that you are not further along than you think. Lots of people mistake spotting for a period.
a simple thing you can do is try and feel for a fundus by pressing on you tummy deeply (but not painfully) where you bladder is. ( You will need an emopty bladder) If you can feel your uterus – you are more likely greater than twelve weeks or having twins 🙂 this is normally an examination done by a doctor- so don’t rely to heavily on what you find.
Post # 13
@globalmargaret: I’m in Alaska, too, but not in the bush. First, congrats to you- so exciting! I am 11 weeks pregnant and have not yet seen a doctor, although I will see a midwife next week. I know it is nerve wracking, but I would wait until 16 weeks unless it is really stressing you out. Can you order a pregnancy book online, or on a Kindle? I’ve liked Mayo Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy. There really isn’t much to do during the first trimester except take your prenatal vitamin. Not to be morbid (I know this is blunt) but if you are going to have a miscarriage, well, you’re going to have one and going to a doctor won’t change that or stop it from happening. Anyways, are there any other pregnant women or women that have had babies that could take you under their wing? I have some friends/contacts in the bush that I could potentially get you in touch with. You could private message me your location if you want to. Good luck to you and congrats on your pregnancy!
Post # 14
@globalmargaret: Wow. First, congratulations! I’m mostly curious about where you live. Are you in an actual town? How many people live there? Are there any medical services at all, like primary care offices outside of the hospital you mentioned?
So will you have to move somewhere else for the last month? Where will you live? Sorry so many questions and no help. 🙂
Post # 15
Is there a nurse in town you can see for care? I think that would be better then nothing. Id be really nervous about not getting at least a dating scan (8-10w) since you are irregular, a 20w anatomy scan, and then I’d be moving close to a hospital for the last 2-3ms.
OH! I just thought of something! You should check into “virtual maternity care”. It consists of online chats with a provider and all supplies are sent to you so you do all the tests like blood pressure, doppler, and finger pricks. If you could find something like that I think you’d be ok. Maybe start by calling your health insurance provider and seeing what options are available/if they know how to get you into a program like that.
Post # 16
Also, while seaching about this I found some scientific articles that were headed by Alaska Native Medical Center http://www.anmc.org/hospital-services/MCH/ to care for women in remote places. If you contact them they might know where to find you resources for care.