Post # 1
We’re still currently looking for a doctor that we’d be happy with. Unforunately, we’ve not found that yet. Our last doctor asked me to do an hCG test which, in hindsight, I realized is completely unnecessary.
The thing is, ideally, they’d want your numbers to double as this likely means pregnancy is progressing healthy. However, what if the numbers don’t? It’s not like there is a solution to it. If there is a possible chance of miscarriage, there is nothing they can do to stop it, so why even bother knowing the numbers? I believe it only causes undue stress and you’re only a couple weeks shy of getting your first prenatal visit. It’s like they only give you Plan A, but no Plan B to follow it up.
I also don’t know if my numbers have completely doubled. The second time I was supposed to get my blood drawn, the technician(s) botched it. They were ill-prepared – didn’t have a stress ball and no butterfly needles. They couldn’t find my vein and tried using a bigger needle on my inner arm, but were unsuccessful, so they tried to draw from my hand. It was painful and I passed out. I always do fine during blood draws, but maybe this has something to do with pregnancy? I’m not sure. But we decided to forgo with it. My mother and mother-in-law have not had this test done and they recommended me not to do it anymore.
Anyyway, what should moms-to-be expect during my first prenatal visit?
Post # 2
They hopefully arent just checking your HCG. They should be checking a lot of things in your first blood draws such as blood type, hep a & c, iron, progesterone, std screens, vitamin d etc. The HCG will tell doctors if your pregnancy is progressing well and if they need to do further investigation to double check if it everything is ok & the pregnancy is where it is supposed to be. In Ectopic pregnancies HCG increases at a slow rate and is unusually low so they need to check how fast your rates are increasing to ensure everything is going well. Progesterone being too low can cause miscarriages which is something they can fix if caught early. I don’t think it is a good idea to be skipping tests the doctor has ordered as there are many reasons they need to look at things.
I am sorry about your blood test experience though, it sounds awful.. Hopefully there is somewhere else you can get further tests done.
In my first vists my doctor orders a triple and full blood draw (3 seperate tests, 2 days apart), urine test, organises and books all of my ultrasounds and also dicusses tests like the downsyndrome screening test. I acutally decided to do the harmoney test so we organised that but unfortunately I had a missed miscarriage before I got that far. Good luck!
Post # 3
My first prenatal was last week. No ultrasound as the doctor said it was too early to hear a heartbeat So we scheduled one for four weeks later. She went through family history and available genetic tests. During the visit, I had a urine test, Pap smear and blood work done for a variety of issues. I was called back to the to see the doctor after the tests as there was an issue wiTh my thyroid. My thyroid is apparently sluggish and will require medication to bring it into safe range for pregnancy.
Post # 4
jb129: It sounds like maybe you’d prefer seeing a midwife? They are pretty hands-off and see pregnancy as a normal condition, whiile still providing a high level of care. They just beleive that interventions (especially during birth) should be done only as needed, not routinely. I saw a group of midwives during my pregnancy and loved it. My first appointment was at 11 weeks and they took blood, did a physical exam, took vitals, and we heard our baby’s heart beat for the first time with the Doppler. Best of luck to you!
Post # 5
My first visit at 8 weeks was an ultrasound and pelvic exam/pap smear. Along with reviewing history, discussing how the practice operates, etc. Reviewed genetic testing options and then was sent to the lab to get my blood drawn For various things.
Post # 6
How far along are you jb129: ?
I went to my doctor to confirm pregnancy at 6 weeks, they had me pee in a cup and gave me info. I asked about the tests cause I kept seeeing them on here, and my doctor said they only do them if you are high risk. I think they do have some sort of shot to give people to try and keep the pregnency from miscarriage (but I am not sure). Anyway then I found a midwife group (my PP does not do babies) and i had my first appointment at 8 weeks. There I filled out paperwork, peed in cup, got a ton of info and they did an ultrasound for dating (although I don’t think they do that with everyone but I asked for one). Then they took some blood vials (like 4) to do all the screenings to make sure you are healthy (iron levels, no stds, etc.).
So if you were before 8 weeks it may look different than after. If you are after I feel like the hcg thing is silly, they should have just done ultrasound.
Post # 7
RabbitBride: Re blood vials, do they poke you once to get all 4 vials? Or do they poke you 4 times? I think I was traumatized the last time by those ill-prepared techs.
When I had my appointment almost a couple weeks ago, they only tested my hCG levels and confirmed pregnancy. It was the only doctor we could get an appointment with and it was a bit of a shady clinic – in the sense that it was small and they didn’t have complete equipment so there was no ultrasound machine.
The doctor said I was 5-6 weeks.
I’m really scared because I never had symptoms to begin with. The only symptoms I’ve had were sore breasts, but now it has slightly disappeared – still there, but not as painful. I had minor cramps on/off few weeks ago, but I feel “normal” except for constant hunger. No m/s but I don’t have much appetite.
Post # 8
My OB does not see patients until 7-8 weeks. At that point you have a trans vaginal ultrasound, pee in a cup and have a bunch of bloodwork done. I can’t recall exactly what the tests were, but I would assume it was something like a CBC along with STD testing and blood type.
Post # 9
jbb82: when they took the several vials of blood, i believe it was more than 4, they poke you once and just fill up several different colored vials.
Regarding checking your Hcg, its not unneccessary- if they believe that you may not have a viable pregnancy they need to check to see if your Hcg is rising. They need to know in order to treat you, because if a women’s hcg is rising, then she will probably miscarry and they need to keep an eye on her to hlep her through it – meaning they might let it pass on its own OR do a DNC.
If hcg levels are rising they will want to know so they can continue to check on you and see how your pregnancy is progressing.
Post # 10
Daizy914: Thanks for your reply.
Does that mean they check your hCG levels only if they don’t believe you have a viable pregnancy? If so, what would be the reason for them to believe that if they’ve never seen/met you before and all they’ve done to you is this particular blood test?
Post # 11
jbb82: some doctors just do hcg testing to make sure things are progressing, or if you asked for confirmation. It’s not unusual at all.
Post # 12
Maybe you should just find a new doctor? One with a staff that is competent and can explain what they are doing and why. At my OB’s practice they do not routinely check for hcg levels. They would do so for some people (like if you didn’t know when your last period was so they gave you an ultrasound but something looked off) but as a general practice they don’t.
Now, at the first appointment they do take 4-5 vials of blood for different testing (but they only stick you once). These are necessary basic tests for things like HIV, syphillis, blood type, immunity to measles, etc. I think hcg is one of those but they don’t follow up with a second blood draw. There is no reason to do two hcg draws for most women unless they have had trouble staying pregnant (or getting pregnant) or there are specific reasons (like bleeding).
Of course, different offices have different standards. I would say, if you don’t like that office then find a new one.
Post # 13
jbb82: It’s standard in my doctor’s office to have an HcG blood test to confirm pregnancy. In fact, I couldn’t make a prenatal appointment without the HcG test, because they’re not going to waste time meeting with me to discuss pregnancy without confirming I’m pregnant themselves (that is to say, they’re not just going to take my word for it).
I had that blood draw earlier this week, and had my first prenatal appointment today. I had to fill out a lot of paperwork, and they are sending me back for more extensive blood work – as others have mentioned, HIV, syphillis, blood type, immunity to measles, etc.
I’ll have those tests done (with one poke) sometime bewteen now and my first ultrasound at the 8 week mark.
So all-in-all I’ll have needed to get my blood drawn twice (two pokes) before my first US.
I’m sure it differs everywhere though!!
Post # 14
jbb82: i dont think it matters if they have met you before.
Ill explain what happened to me.
I was on vacation when i found out i was pregnant. Got back to the states, POAS, and came back negative. Went to the doc and the blood test was negstive as well. My period never came, and my boobs were hurting, terribly. POAS again, was positive. Blood test came back positive. Made an appt with my OBGYN who would nornally only see me if i was 7 to 8 weeks along but i had no idea how far along i was.
They did a vaginal u/s, and couldnt see anything, and i also discovered i had a retroverted uterus so this made it difficult to see anything.
Tbats when they wanted to do the blood test every 48 hours bc they wanted to see if my pregnancy was progressing. Thankfully it was. Made an appt for 2 weeks after that and we were able to hear the heartbeat! I was about 7 weeks along. My midwife told me that it was too early the first time to see anything givn that i have a retroverted uterus
Post # 15
Daizy914: Right, but your case makes sense though because they’ve not seen anything yet upon performing the transvaginal ultrasound – which then warrants a hcg monitoring.
But that’s great news about the HB! Congrats!