If you've ever cruised around the Internet, anxious to find out what that dull pulling sensation is in your pregnant belly, or whether it's okay to eat bacon, you're likely to open a Pandora's box of alarming information that, if you're like most mamas-to-be, will throw you into a full-blown panic.
Admittedly, I've always been a bit of a cyberchondriac, a problem that only got worse while I was trying to conceive. But after spending the first several weeks of my pregnancy in a state of sleepless anxiety -- thanks to some what-could-happen information I found on the web -- I realized that if I wanted to have a calm, easy pregnancy, I'd need to stop asking the Internet or even friends for answers, and put all of my trust in my doctor.
When my doctor first told us we were having identical twins, my husband and I were too stunned to even ask him what it all meant. So later that day, after the dust had settled, I decided to put my journalism skills to work and read all about carrying multiples. Yeah, that was a mistake. Aside from the general "high risk" information about twin pregnancies, I discovered that identicals come with their own set of possible problems in utero, including some real scary risks if your monozygotic twins (Mo-Mo twins) share an amniotic sac, without a membrane separating them.
Of course, the next morning, I called the doctor's office, anxious to find out if my babies were Mo-Mo twins. My doctor was with a patient, so instead of asking him to call me back (as a smart, reasonable person would), I instead spent the next two weeks reading about Mo-Mo twins online, worried to death about losing them both.
So you can imagine my relief at the next appointment when the ultrasound tech told me that not only was there a membrane between them, but that in her 35 years of doing this, she'd never once seen a case of Mo-Mo twins. Later, my doctor confirmed that they are incredibly rare. I wish I had just spoken to him sooner, rather than lose two weeks of my life to fear!
Right then and there, I made the decision that I was not going to use the Internet as my medical source any longer, no matter how anxious I was to find out if that stretching sensation in my side was normal, or if I should have felt the babies kick by now. When I have a question, I ask my doctor ... only my doctor. As a result, I'm more calm and serene at 5 months pregnant than I have been in my entire life.
Of course if this is your first pregnancy, you're probably hungry for all the information that you can get, so maybe you personally would rather read articles online or call a friend to ask if her legs ever fell asleep. Ultimately though, you're going to have to get your doctor on the phone anyway, and when you do, he or she should be the final word.
If you've chosen a doctor that you like and respect, then you need to trust him or her! If you don't, get a new doctor, one a friend recommends. Because if you're constantly second-guessing what your OB/GYN is telling you, then you're going to spend your entire pregnancy anxious and uneasy, worried that something is wrong or has gone unchecked. And that kind of stress isn't good for you or for your baby.
At the end of the day, there is comfort in having just one man or woman you can call to answer all of your serious or even silly questions. He or she can give you the peace of mind and reassurance that neither the Internet nor your Mom friends really can.
Do you have a doctor whom you trust?
Image via edenpictures/Flickr