I had no reason not to expect a healthy, enjoyable pregnancy. I was considered to be “prime” age for carrying a baby – young, even, at 25. I had no health issues, no family history of difficult pregnancy or delivery, and I was at the doctor for regular appointments from the time two blue lines appeared.
So when I left work for a routine doctor’s appointment in my sixth month, I wasn’t expecting any problems or issues. Except that was exactly what we got. The doctor weighed me and asked – in the gentle way one asks a pregnant woman – if I felt “swollen.” Yes, of course I felt swollen. I had a human growing inside of me! But I soon discovered he meant something else.
He took my blood pressure, and then he left the room, and came back with another cuff and took it again. The nurse returned with my urine test. The conspiratorial side chatter made what came next unsurprising. “Jeni, does your partner work during the day? Can you call him?” And then in a blur I was shuffled out the door; my husband was told to go straight to the hospital. Once there, I didn’t leave again for six weeks. In fact, I didn’t get off my left side in a bed again until the day my daughter was born almost two months later. I was officially on bedrest. My blood pressure was out of control – all of a sudden – and who plans for this stuff? Pre-eclampsia was not something I even bothered to read about in my What to Expect book.
For the next two months I had around the clock medical monitoring including blood pressure, fetal stress testing, ultrasounds and blood tests to measure and monitor growth. Luckily, the majority of the health issues I faced were not passed on to my new baby – but some things did arise. She had pretty severe jaundice and was so hard to rouse for feedings that her weight gain was protractedly slow and hard-earned (mostly through tears – hers and mine.)
Because she was born 3.5 weeks early, I had to strictly monitor intake – and output (no one said motherhood was glamourous)! All of a sudden, I went from mom-to-be to mom-who-fills-in-poop-charts.
Keeping track of things like her weight and head circumference filled paper notebooks. I had sticky notes and notes on scraps of doctor’s office stationery, all so I could keep track of new developments to take home for our records.
What I wouldn’t have done for an app to hold and store all this info! And really, even the healthiest of new babies require parents to keep accurate and easily found health records (who here hasn’t failed to find for their yellow, paper immunization record when trying to recall when baby #2 had their last tetanus shot?).
Because a lot of info was coming at me from different sources (doctors, nurses, lactation consultants, etc.) holding all the measurements and weights in my head was exhausting. But, in the spirit of “if I knew then what I know now,” I’m thrilled that new parents have a better way: TELUS Health.
TELUS is committed to improving the lives of Canadians through the power of technology. TELUS Health is a big part of that with user-friendly digital tools for Canadian parents, like its new TELUS Baby Health app. Once you download it, you’ll find it as indispensable as travel wipes. This personal health record for your baby keeps track of development milestones and health markers in a way none of my hand-made-colour-coded-pencil-crayon charts could ever have. And it’s portable, so you can access it from anywhere – on vacation, when back to work, and when seeing a new doctor (unlike that desktop spreadsheet I know some of you use). Plus, it’s a great way to connect with your healthcare provider at visits. When you haven’t slept in what seems like 3 weeks and your brain is in autopilot mode, the TELUS Baby Health app stores all of your information so you can turn it on and instantly be reminded of all the questions you wanted to ask.
Honestly, the journal I kept with my first baby is hysterical to read now in all its analog glory! New (and second time!) moms can now have all the info they need handy from babyhood onwards, reducing new-mom stress load by storing all your info in one place on your smartphone or tablet. Plus, it’s loaded with educational articles for reassurance when you need an instant “been-there-done-that” voice in your ear, instead of the nagging voice that always points to the MOST TERRIBLE POSSIBILITY.
Being a parent takes a lot of organization and stick-handling to stay on top of your game, and even if your pregnancy and first days are a completely smooth transition for your family, having one more thing taken care of goes a long way towards reducing all the “stuff” you need to remember. And what’s more important than your baby’s health?
Technology is what helped ensure my health and the health of my baby were properly monitored during my last few scary weeks of pregnancy – but that was all the machinery and “things that go PING!” in the hospital. Once I was home, it was analog all the way on my little lists and notebooks. Having technology at my fingertips for the baby days, like a personal health record, could have been hugely beneficial for me as a new mom, especially when navigating the sometimes-confusing world of baby’s first health issues.
Just wait until you discover how great technology makes your life when you see the magic powers of a tablet when you have a wriggly toddler at their first haircut…
Did you know that TELUS is working with The Baby Box Co.? Baby Box is a global initiative to equip parents with the vital education and resources needed to give babies a healthy and equitable start in life.
New and expecting parents can complete the Baby Box University to receive their free TELUS-branded Baby box, which comes with products and resources for new parents including valuable information on the TELUS Baby Health app to ensure babies have a healthy start from day one… Check it out at Baby Box University to get your free kit!