I had my first prenatal appointment around 10 weeks and was thankful my doctor’s office allowed my husband to come with me. They checked my weight and blood pressure, answered some questions we had and listened for the heartbeat. They had no concerns and it was so exciting getting to hear the heartbeat together, especially since I had an ultrasound appointment later that day that my husband wasn’t allowed to attend with me. Prior to getting pregnant I had spoken with my doctor’s office about partners being allowed to go to ultrasounds and was told none of their other patients reported having to go alone. I assume they either just didn’t mention it to their doctor or the policy changed from the time I asked to the time I went in for my first ultrasound. As I sat in the waiting room for the ultrasound technician to be ready for me, I felt robbed of an experience. I always imagined going to the ultrasound appointment with my husband and holding his hand while we got to see our baby for the first time. Instead, all he got to see were a couple of pictures she printed off for me.
I always imagined going to the ultrasound appointment with my husband and holding his hand while we got to see our baby for the first time.
Since then I have had two additional prenatal appointments and my anatomy scan. My husband was allowed to come with me to the prenatal appointments, but not the anatomy scan, which was a huge disappointment once again. We had decided early on that we wanted to find out the gender but since my husband wasn’t allowed to go we had the ultrasound technician put the gender in an envelope and opened it at home together. Although I was grateful we at least got to do that together, I really wish my husband could have been there to see our baby.
Now as I write this I am about 30 weeks pregnant and I can honestly say this has been one of the loneliest experiences of my life. I feel like I have been let down by the healthcare system, not only by not being allowed to have my husband with me at the ultrasounds, but also the lack of appointments. From what I’ve read online you normally have one appointment a month from the start of pregnancy until 28 weeks, two times a month from 28-36 weeks and once a week in the last four weeks of pregnancy. I have had three since the beginning of pregnancy. I assume if my pregnancy was high-risk I would have been seen more often but it still would have been nice to even have a couple of virtual appointments to have them ask how I was doing and give me another chance to ask questions. I have reached out a few times via email or phone to ask questions but I felt like I was annoying them each time, although I don’t believe this was intentional. I didn’t even find out my baby was in the vertex position at the time of my anatomy scan until a few weeks later and it was mentioned to me in passing. For all I know there is other information discovered during the anatomy scan that I wasn’t told about as well, as I don’t even know what I should be asking. This is my first pregnancy and I feel like I have been left mostly to my own device to figure out what I should/shouldn’t be doing to have a safe and healthy pregnancy, and what is/isn’t normal.
Now as I write this I am about 30 weeks pregnant and I can honestly say this has been one of the loneliest experiences of my life. I feel like I have been let down by the healthcare system, not only by not being allowed to have my husband with me at the ultrasounds, but also the lack of appointments.
On top of that, I have also felt completely isolated from my family and friends. I have barely seen anyone since I found out I was getting pregnant in order to keep me and my baby safe, and while I know I am doing the right thing, it’s left me feeling very lonely. Sure we have phone calls, text messages and video calls but it’s just not quite the same as visiting with someone in person. At this point I haven’t even had a baby shower yet and while we are planning on doing a drive-by baby shower in a few weeks once it’s a little warmer, it will look nothing like the baby shower I envision in my head. There will be no hugging. There will be no baby shower games. There will only be a brief hello from six feet apart.
And I know some people who read this might think I’m being a cry baby because “you chose to get pregnant right now, what did you expect?” Well, at the very least, I think we can all agree that everyone deserves good prenatal care and support, even during a pandemic.