Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Northern Pregnancy

Being pregnant in the north leaves a lot to be desired....like not being able to crush late night McDonald's cravings. Or not knowing when your prenatal appointments are going to be until the day before or the morning of your appointment, or keeping your pregnancy any kind of secret for the first 3 months. However there are few things that have been extremely pleasant about it, such as just walking into the health centre whenever I feel like it and harassing some of my favourite nurses and getting immediate care. I had the pleasure of doing a few of my appointments down south last month and was totally confused when I walked into what seemed like a pre-waiting waiting room. My simple northern brain almost had a melt down of confusion when a nice lady informed me I had to take a ticket (like the kind you take at the deli counter to see who's next) and wait. So in that respect it's so much nicer just walking right into my local health centre and yelling out "Yo Nurse such in such, I need this done or this to talk to you about", with out having to advance through a plethora of waiting rooms.

I would have to say the most disruptive part about being a pregnant lady living in the north is that my community only has a health centre, meaning I have to hike it out of town to deliver. All pregnant ladies must leave their communities and family's behind and head over to the larger communities that have hospitals, in my case I would have to go to Iqaluit. I must leave my community an ENTIRE MONTH before my due date and and would potentially live in Iqaluit, alone. What makes this seem even more appealing is that they call this time period confinement. How delightful.

Well there is no way that I'm going to live by myself for over an entire month, especially in my last month of pregnancy. Who is going to give me back rubs? We have made the choice that I will leave the north 6 weeks before the due date and live down south with my family. This will be extremely hard being away from Nathan, but at least in this situation I will be with my family and not sitting alone in empty Iqaluit hotel room for an entire month. My heart really does go out to all the ladies in Nunavut that have to go through this, they must be hard core mommas. Granted some of them have family or friends living in the big city, a lot of them are all by themselves.

Since I'm leaving 6 weeks before and such a distance away Nathan is at risk of missing the birth more so then if I was staying in Iqaluit, but this is a chance we are willing to take. At least if I do go into early labor, I will have my sister-in-law, mother-in law and mother. We also had to get special permission to make sure that Nathan could get time off preceding the due date so we would have a better chance of him being there. Now at this point all we can do is hope, hope that I don't go into early labor and have to get medi-vacd out of the community or hope that nothing goes wrong with the pregnancy and also have to get medi-vacd out. And if all goes well, we have to hope that Nathan will indeed make the birth. But that's a ways off and there is no sense in spending time worrying about something you can't control. Like many things in the north, you just have to ride the wave.

In other news, I weighed myself today on my bathroom scale. I have been warned not to do this, but curiosity got the better of me and I was horribly shocked for it. I won't be doing that again unless I need to cure the hiccups or something. Here is a photo of me back in Nunavut, as you can see two large icebergs in the distance (these are the ones Matt over at M&M Dorset Newbies has been out shooting). I'm 22 weeks along here and if you think I'm not freezing my butt off because I'm in a t-shirt, your wrong. It's all of 5 degrees right now, I just took my coat off for the belly factor in the photo.


Rob, Tina and the boys said...

You look awesome, and best of all... NO FLIP FLOPS!

Matt, Kara and Hunter said...

Belly looks awesome! Boobs are getting huge! heheheh

Over here I only have to go into Whitehorse 2 weeks early. But since I was 10 days early with Hunter I bet they will send me in early. Blah.

Megan said...

You look great. I agree that the confinement sucks.

Indigo said...

I got a pretty big kick out of the "Yo nurse so and so.........."

One of my more outgoing colleagues response to that particular greeting is: "yo, b.....(choose your favourite B word here), who pissed in your cornflakes?"

Good luck with that one!!!!

Mongoose said...

Yeah, it's pretty bizarre how there is almost nothing you can do to get appropriate psychiatric care, but they'll drop everything for prenatal care that evidence-based studies show has no real effect except making the mother feel good.

Some times the north is so backwards.

Fawn said...

We'll keep our fingers crossed for you that Nathan will be able to make it!

I've heard that in some of the smaller Nunavut communities, using traditional midwives (like someone's grandma) isn't unheard of. As a person who works in midwifery advocacy, I find the situation in Nunavut so intriguing -- the only jurisdiction where midwifery services are funded but not (yet) regulated!

jen said...

lol Indigo, that's not exactly what I was going for in terms of sounding like I was going to piss in someone's corn flakes. I was just trying to point out that I could usually ask someone a question and get an answer without having to find my way through a fortress.

Your right Mongoose, getting psychiatric care up north is hard to come by for sure. But I don't know about all prenatal check ups being there just to make me feel good. For example, finding out my blood pressure if I have high blood pressure or where the placenta is sitting through ultrasound can all be useful information in helping me not die. I think there are many factors that are very important in prenatal care, but your right there are many stupid "tests" as well that are completely pointless. However the "check to make sure I'm not going to die" tests are important. So no I don't completely agree that they are doing all this just to make me feel good lol.

I think another factor in there being better prenatal care up here, is that most of the tests are pretty standard and most nurses can handle them (like taking blood). Where as one very specialized nurse is needed(who isn't always available up here) to get psych care.

Fawn, I have heard of some midwives in a few other communities, but none here. I feel a midwife could be good idea, if there is a back up plan in place. However living here I'm a minimum of 2 hours away from a hospital and that's if it's not foggy or a blizzard and the plane can land. I personally will be of much sounder mind in a hospital with a wonderful Epidural and lots and lots of doctors.

allmycke said...

Jen - 4 days before my son was born, I weighed in at a hefty 85 kgs. That was close to 30 kgs more than what I weighed before pregnancy and what I weigh now. I was like a beached whale!
You look absolutely fabulous!
(Fomerly at "Life after AC")

Matthew and Michele said...

You look great Jen. Sorry we missed the get together over the weekend. Hope Erin and Josh made it out okay.

Thanks for the shout out. I have been trying to get out on a boat to get some good close photos of them. So far no luck.


Aida said...

you look great! i was sent out 3.5 weeks before my due date, more of a commotion really since it was the end of the year, christmas, blah blah blah. I was lucky since Ben was 2 weeks early!

Hope Nathan will make it to the birth, never know since i heard most 1st pregnancies are always overdue.

Christina said...

Awwww...you look great...wish I was closer! Miss you guys!

lindsay Niedzielski said...

I agree with you about the not so great pre-natal care...with Hanna I was so glad that I had been pregnant down south once before because our nurses didn't seem to know what to do and I had to tell them what tests I needed etc. However, I do believe that we had a couple of duds for a while there, and our regular nurse is back, who I would trust with my life!!! I waited till 3 weeks before my due date, and i was stressed for the last couple weeks at every little feeling thinking I was going into labor, so you will probably be happy with your 6 week deicision. And i'm sure Nathan will make it - I was 5 days overdue with my first. Anyways, you're looking great!!!!