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Saturday, 30 July 2016

Knocked up...now what? Pregnancy Tests

So you've managed to get yourself pregnant, at least you think you are, but now what...

Firstly, congratulations!!! Secondly, don't panic! Thirdly, if all you can think about is having a drink to calm your nerves then go ahead (I won't tell anyone). Fourthly, are you sure you are pregnant? Have you pee'd on a stick? Have you pee'd on an English stick or a Thai stick? Have you had a blood test to confirm?

Lets start talking about the practicalities.

Pregnancy tests

Urine Tests

Average Pee Sticks are available in all Pharmacies.

My experience is that Boots tend to only stock their own brand and one called "Exact Pregnancy Test" whilst you may find a different selection in more local pharmacies.

But the problem with Thai tests are that they are not as sensitive as you can get back home. There is no such thing as "First Response" here.

Brand Sensitivity Cost (THB)
Exact over 25mlU/ml 120
Boots over 25mlU/ml 120
Check Tru (Ovulation and Pregnancy test) over 20mlU/ml 270
First Response over 6.3mlU/ml Not available in Thailand

So you will have to wait a little longer to be sure, or you can easily get a blood test done at any health clinic. 

Blood Tests

It is as simple as walking in, asking for a blood test to confirm your hcg levels and within a few hours they will email you the results.

I have used:

RSU at 571, RSU Tower, Sukhumvit Soi 31.
They charge THB 900 per test (in 2015)

Wellness Clinic at Interchange Building, Asoke. 
They charge THB 600 per test (in 2016)

You can also get an HCG test done at any of the hospitals, but they will likely charge you minimum THB1,000 plus doctors consultation time.

If you are are using an independent clinic before you choose your antenatal provider then you may also need some help and reassurance on understanding HCG tests. I used this website to help understand the basics. http://www.babymed.com/tools/hcg-calculator

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Oh how I laughed

Yesterday I found myself sniggering at what would normally be quite upsetting.

Yet again, oh yes, yet again, I was asked by a Thai colleague if I had "ever thought about having children". It was phrased as if I was almost too old, too past it, too tired to have children now.

Fortunately I was facing away at the time, focussing on making the photocopier work, I say fortunate because it might've been very hard to explain, and stifle, the strange smirk that came over my face. After a moment of brief reflection the usual ache briefly came over me, with the usual tear in my eye, but instead I laughed, laughed out loud, because to be quite frank I am at the end of my tether with ill conceived and tactless dialogues about my apparent inability to bear my husband a child.

I laughed out loud because it was a nervous, but satisfying, reaction. It quickly blew away the tears in my eyes and enabled me to quickly turn to face my attacker. Who looked startled by my reaction. She asked why I was laughing, and I was honest. I told her I was laughing because I had been asked that by Thai people many times. She quickly seemed able to judge that my reaction was not necessarily meant to be warming, and she apologised. I laughed again and told her no need to apologise. I did her the honour of telling her that my husband and I had not had luck so far, so that she could successfully report back to her friends and colleagues with a suitable amount of gossip about the farang.

She bid me the usual Thai niceties, telling me that it will happen when the time is right, and that it has not happened because the time must have been wrong. Yeah, yeah, any woman or man that has suffered a miscarriage has heard that many times. Instead why don't Thai people try to empathise with other peoples feelings, other peoples cultures, listen and learn from other peoples experiences. They carry on blindly believing that their cultural sensitivities are the most pronounced and therefore most rewarding and deserving, and the be quite frank....its laughable.

So from now on I am going to laugh every time a Thai stranger asks why I do not have children.