The Great Thai Birth Excape


Some wee updates in the world of me….

I finally got off my butt and took myself to the new hospital I was planning on attending since we graduated from the city clinic. I was quite keen to get a flu jab as small, snotty children had been sneezing and coughing on me since school started again. There’s nothing quite like the cornucopia of illness housed in an international school after everyone returns from places far and wide following a holiday.

We didn’t book an appointment as mostly it doesn’t matter if you have one or not, you will be seen approximately 1.5 hours after you arrive in a medical establishment, regardless. When WW explained to the nurses at the counter what we were looking for I could immediately see we were on to a loser. A took a few details, disappeared for a moment and returned, stating that I needed to wait until I was 4-5 months gone.

The decision to get a flu vaccination was a bit angsty for me already. I haven’t put anything but prescription vitamins, 4 tylenol and food in my body for 4 months. I’ve cut caffeine (apart from what is hiding in the occasional chocolate bar), alcohol and back pain meds completely out.  I am proud of this turnaround and would like to continue the green-hippy-yogi-completely–not-me reign.

Then several books and a few internet articles strongly advised me to get the flu jab.  Before I went I stupidly read what other women had written about it on pregnancy forums. If you have never had the horror-filled experience of a pregnancy forum I strongly advise you to stay away. For every pregnancy symptom/issue you are worried about there will be a plethora of women with awful stories of miscarriage and still birth. So I was a tad tense about deciding to get the jab already and these nurses pushed me over the edge.

I have never read anything about being advised to wait until the 4th or 5th month for this. If it’s not safe until then, is it actually safe? Why did my last doctor tell me it was fine after the 12th week?

This and the slowly building dread surrounding the birthing process in Thailand finally got me and I had a wee pregnancy hormone related cry. Oh dear, and this is very early in the Thai hospital game.

Every culture has its own way of going about the birthing process and I, of course, believe that mine is the best. The prospect of doing one of the scariest and most difficult things I’ll ever have to do in a country where I have zero faith in the medical community’s method of birthing and am faced with mega cultural disagreements and language barriers was causing panic and I’m only 3 months in.

So I had my little cry and then I got proactive. First I found some cheap(ish) direct flights from BKK to London with BA. A little research told me they allowed women to fly until 4 weeks from their due date if they had a letter from their doctor saying it is OK. A couple of consultations with my calendars showed me that 4 weeks from my due date was the first week of my summer holidays. So I fired off a few emails requesting the last week of term off and lodging from my parents. I’m still waiting on the OK from my boss but fingers crossed it should be fine. Then I just have to worry about cooking a healthy little one without any problems, and keeping them tightly in there until at least 3 weeks before I’m due.

A 12 hour flight when 8 months pregnant and dealing with London, transferring airports and flying to deepest, darkest Scotland, then trying not to drive my parents completely around the twist while we stay with them for 2 months…could be interesting but GAWD it makes me feel sooo much better that I hopefully will have an option other than staying here.

In other news I continue to be a noxious, gas filled, farting machine. I am now on a strict 2-hourly eating schedule and feel horribly nauseous if I wait much longer than that. I’m still struggling with the healthy eating a little. It’s not that I’m eating particularly unhealthily but, with the sheer quantity of food I am consuming I am quickly packing on the pounds. Also, thanks for pointing out my rapid weight gain, dear colleagues, it’s really helpful.

I read that I’m supposed to gain 12.5 kilos during my pregnancy, which made me feel a little better…until I read that I will gain most of this after the 20th week. Here I am at the 15th, having already gained 4 kilos. But then I was curious and used one of those BMI calculators on the NHS website and it would me I’m still in the ‘normal’ range, even at my current weight.  I wish I could switch off and just enjoy my changing body but after an adulthood of carefully watching my weight it’s a little difficult to deal with the rapidly expanding tummy and the boobs that just wont.quit.growing.

With my ballooning belly I have also been experiencing some twinges and twangs of discomfort. It’s not very painful but is a little concerning, even though a Dr Google assured me it is round ligament growing pains. Which is unusual for Dr Google, possibly the first time I’ve searched for something and not had 20 more sinister possibilities suggested to me.

A couple of days after the round ligament pain, my hand started bothering me. I thought it was too many hours on stumbleupon or checking for news on twitter. As it got worse I checked with Dr Google and she thinks I have carpal tunnel syndrome. She informed me that this is common during pregnancy with up 60% of women experiencing it. She told me I was at increased risk if I was pregnant (check), had a slipped disc or spinal problems (check), if I was gaining a lot of weight (check), if I was retaining fluid (check) and if my boobs had gotten a lot bigger (check).  I woke up with morning with a mangled claw hand which ‘should improve 2-3 months after pregnancy’.  On the plus side it fits with the ‘Pirates’ topic I’m doing with the 1st graders.  Arggg, walk the plank or me hook’ll get ye! (PS when I try to do pirate accents it comes out thick Glaswegian, much to my colleagues amusement)

I can’t type anymore with my hook right now so I’ll bid you good day and wave my old lady hand,

Take care and tootles


10 thoughts on “The Great Thai Birth Excape

  1. This is interesting to hear that the hospitals in Thailand aren’t good for pregnancy. When I’ve had to go in for routine things, I have been sooo impressed with the efficiency, care, and service in the hospitals in Thailand… Much better than what I’ve experienced in the US.

    • Depends on the hospital, problem and staff you are dealing with. It can be a mixed bag, just like anywhere. They often over medicate and order unnecessary tests or leap to surgery too soon. They are all businesses at the end of the day.

    • That’s good. Everytime a little kids sneeze spittle hits me I feel like donning a hospital face mask. As it is I am running the risk of developing OCD with all the hand washing and sanitizing.

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