When I’m pregnant, I’m a bad patient. Let me give you an example of what I mean. The following is a pretty accurate account of how my prenatal appointments begin.
Beginning of Prenatal Appointment
A nurse enters the room and after checking my vitals, she routinely asks me, “Have you been taking your prenatal vitamins?”
Glancing at me suspiciously, “And, why not?”
“They make me constipated,” I lie. I just don’t like taking them.
“I see. Have you had any alcoholic drinks during this pregnancy?”
Clearing her throat, “How many, would you say, a week?”
“One or two.”
Incredulously, “And do you smoke, too?”
“No, but my grandma did with all 8 of her pregnancies, does that count?”
(Naw, I didn’t really say that; I just thought it. I’m probably going to burn in hell.)
What the Point?
Now why would I say all that–the not taking prenatal vitamins and then willfully drinking a glass of wine during a pregnancy? It’s not that I’m anti-vitamins, for I do think many people benefit from taking them, especially if their diets are lacking certain nutrients. And it’s not that I think everyone should enjoy a glass of wine while pregnant either.
It’s just that for me, not having the one and occasionally enjoying the other make me a happier wife and mother. We do not all have to be the same, for we are all wonderfully different.
As an aside, I did take prenatal vitamins with my first pregnancy, and maybe my second, out of fear. I thought that if I didn’t, my baby would be born without a limb or missing half her brain or something. Well, I’ve had six other children since then without vitamins, and they’re all very normal.
As for drinking a glass of wine, I’m just thankful that some doctors actually see the benefit of this. Again, it’s not that I think it’s for everyone, but for me, one glass here or there has only ever done me good.
The Appointment Goes On
Back at my typical appointment, I further the dismay of everyone when I refuse the DTAP vaccine and the flu shot and regularly skip my appointments, especially at the end, when I’m asked to come in weekly.
Now if I had any real problems or concerns, of course I wouldn’t skip my appointments. But weekly? This is just too much. Not only do I not want to step on their scale one more time, but how can anyone find time for this? No, I have other priorities. If I’m going to take time away from my children, it’s not going to be to sit in a waiting room for an hour. I’m going to have coffee with a friend. Or lunch with my husband. Or anything else, if I can help it.
And that DTAP vaccine? It’s not that I’m against vaccines. It’s that I had that vaccine with my last pregnancy, and I don’t feel comfortable receiving it again in less than two years. So, no.
And the flu shot? I had Influenza A one year while pregnant, and yes, it’s really terrible, but I don’t like putting stuff in my body that’s not absolutely necessary for survival. So again, nope. I’ll take my chances.
But please don’t misunderstand me, if you like receiving shots, that’s just fine with me. For as I said above, we are all wonderfully different and free to choose what works best for us.
My poor doctor though. He puts up with a lot. I guess I’m just a bad patient.