Giving birth especially naturally, puts you in a new club of women who have experienced the worst kind of pain imaginable. I am in no way downplaying those who have gone through C -Section, but truth be told, as my grandmother kept saying, its like comparing sleep and death (yes, that was a direct translation). There is something very raw and surreal about laboring for more than 3 hours and finally pushing your guts out till the baby comes out of your nether regions with a shrill cry that makes that maddening pain you felt only a few minutes ago disappear completely.
That club, is the one of women who have seen it all and can take anything life throws at them. They will often compare life challenges with that experience on that bed writhing in pain. More often than not, they will go like, uri waigua ruo rwa mwana, we, gutikiri kindu woonete (Have you ever experienced birth pains?, then you ain’t seen anything yet.)
If, like me you are well on your way to your third child, you feel like you can actually write a book on, ‘how to give birth naturally like a pro‘. You might have felt like ante-natal visits are now optional as you already know these things.
However, as I came to learn, even when you know everything and can advise other new mothers, pre-natal visits should never be taken for granted. I should however point out at this time that as a mother of 2 already, you need not go to the monthly visits like new mums. Even the doctor will tell you which visits are optional, which procedure are optional and which ones are not.
I started my prenatal visits for our third child in the 3rd month. I had learnt that the blood work tests need to be done within the 1st trimester thus I was able to exercise some flexibility on it.
The 3rd visit was recently when I turned 26 weeks and I was due for an ultrasound. It was also during this visit that I got a tetanus boost jab as well as the routine urine test that ought to be done during every visit to check for gestational diabetes, level of bacteria for any intra-uterine infections among other conditions.
The ultrasound especially when the baby is 26 weeks is important in determining the baby’s head size, bone formation, placenta levels as well as to determine exact expected date of delivery (EDD).
I will be going for my next appointment in November in wait for my EDD in December thus in total I will have done 5 pre-natal visits. I know a lot of women who consider themselves veterans in this whole pregnancy thing due to the fact they are well on their fourth or fifth child but as a friend of mine who is also due with their 3rd baby came to learn, its due to her early pre-natal visit that she was able to know that she had a condition called Placenta Previa. This is a condition that needs to be detected as early as possible to avoid complications.
It is therefore not wise even when you are having your fifth child to ignore the ante-natal visits even when there will be times you go for the visit and later feel as though, that was a waste of time.
We would love to hear your experience during pre-natal visits