Pregnant in Mexico: The First Trimester (and start of the second)

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It was a Sunday afternoon when I took the test.  We had bought it two days prior, but I just didn’t feel pregnant, and using the test felt like wasting money.  It was nearly 200 pesos, which is a big chunk of change for me.  I gave in after watching the movie “We Need to Talk About Kevin” which left me terrified at the thought of motherhood; I needed to know what fate awaited me.

I read the directions as best as I could–my Spanish is still leaving something to be desired–and took the test.  Instantly there were two pink lines, but one was very, very faint.  I called my husband into the bathroom.  He looked at the test, confused.  He then grabbed the directions and headed to the couch.  Each word was read slowly and carefully, his finger tracking his place.  After several minutes he looked up at me.  “Oh, you are pregnant.”  He looked like he was in quite a bit of shock.  The movie was replaying in my mind.

Soon I began my internet research and was assured that, yes, even a faint pink line is a pink line and that, yes, I was in fact pregnant.  Doubt still lingered because I simply did not feel pregnant.  I was tired, but that was pretty much it.  I was going to take a blood test; they are easily available here.  I could just walk into the laboratory and ask for one.  They are about the same price as the at home test I took.  Instead, I decided to save the money and go straight for the doctor.

I first attempted to schedule with a doctor my co-worker had used.  I had my bilingual friend call, schedule the appointment, and then drive me there on the day of.  When we arrived, the office was closed.  We called and called and called without an answer.  Finally, we went to the hospital next door and had them call the doctor directly.  My appointment had been scheduled for the one day the office was closed each week.  The doctor was not apologetic for this and said that it would be weeks before I could be rescheduled.

We decided to try a different doctor and she was able to see me within a week.  I am happy with the switch.  Her office is small, welcoming, and rarely backed up.  Thus far, we have never been in the waiting room with another patient.  I get an ultrasound at each visit and get pictures printed to take home.  The office emphasizes natural births and sells items such as slings and cloth diapers.

The first part of each appointment involves sitting in the doctor’s actual office space, which is fully separate from the exam room.  She asks plenty of questions, explains what is going on at that stage of the pregnancy, and reviews my symptoms.  We then move to the exam room where she does the ultrasound.  So far, there has not been an actual examination, strictly ultrasounds.  We then go back to the office, I ask any questions I have, she writes any prescriptions needed, and orders whatever tests she feels are necessary.

As with most doctors I have had experience with here in Mexico, she prescribes a ton of medication.  My first visit she wrote a prescription for five different medications.  They included the expected items such as folic acid and a pill to take in case I had any bleeding.  However, she also wanted me to take a pill for nausea that I was not experiencing as well as a powerful antibiotic for a bladder infection that she decided I had without any testing in advance.  I made the decision to only get the medications I felt I needed and hold off on the others.  On my second visit I was once again prescribed antibiotics, this time for a sinus infection I had no symptoms of.  At this visit, she also pushed genetic testing which is only available in DF, which I refused.

Overall, I am feeling very positive about my experiences.  Though it is clear to me that my positive pregnancy experience is contingent on my ability to advocate for myself, I do not think that this would be much different back home.

My next visit is in a little over a week.  At this point I will be asking more questions and setting up my hospital visit.  And, maybe, I will find out the sex of the baby.

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