Listeria hysteria: a little knowledge is a dangerous thing

Last week I convinced myself I’d contracted Listeria.

I’d been trying to do too many things at once in the kitchen and found myself using the same knife to cut some cake that I’d earlier used to open a packet of frozen pork. I realised what I’d done AFTER I’d eaten the cake. Of course.

I’m normally super super careful about hygiene; I’ve become something of a germ-a-phobe since I got pregnant. I wash my hands three thousand times a day and make my husband do the same (he does this begrudgingly whilst muttering under his breath). So I couldn’t believe that I’d used the same pork contaminated knife to slice my freshly baked cake.

I immediately jumped on google to assess the risk factor. If there’s one piece of advice I can give you, it’s to NEVER GOOGLE ANYTHING HEALTH RELATED!!!! If I could round up all the fear-mongering authors of online health articles and give them a kick up the ass I would happily do so.

Within half an hour of reading about listeria, I’d decided I’d contracted it and put our baby at huge risk. Cue a hysterical phone call to one of the nurses at my OB clinic. She asked me if I had any symptoms, I hadn’t but I’d read that some people can contract it and be unaware. I came away from the call feeling as panic-stricken as I had before.

In the end, I went into my OB clinic which is what I should have done in the first place. My OB assured me that listeria is very rare and he’d never seen any cases of it and that it wasn’t even associated with pork. I could have saved myself a lot of tears and panic if I had just asked my OB for advice instead of turning to Google! I still asked for a blood test just to be completely sure; the results came back normal :)

If you’re ever genuinely worried about anything pregnancy related, please just book an appointment with your OB. There’s a reason medical training takes years and years. There’s a reason why medical students spend a fortune on study books rather than hopping online to do their studying. A little knowledge gathered from Google can be a dangerous thing.

The roller coaster

Now, I’ve heard from quite a few of my mummy friends that the first three months are the most challenging; the tears, the tantrums, the sleepless nights…

To me, they sounded like a pretty accurate summary of my first trimester! They were, of course, referring to the first few months with a newborn but I could relate.

Don’t get me wrong, finding out I was pregnant was one of the happiest days of my life. When I saw that one life-changing word ‘Pregnant’ unequivocally displayed in the test window, I was elated.

Then I discovered Google. And shortly after, the nerve inducing tests at the OB clinic; first they measured my hcg and progesterone levels. Twice. To make sure the pregnancy was viable they said. Cue the first of many freak outs…

Now, I’m a natural-born worrier. I could take it to the Olympics and bring back gold. There are, however, some women who sail through pregnancy without a care; the type you see on the front of pregnancy magazines, looking serene. And of course some of those women are faking it.

I decided to start this blog to share an honest account of the highs and lows I’ve experienced on the rollercoaster that is pregnancy. It will hopefully reassure other nervous nellies out there that you’re not alone, that there’s no right or wrong thing to feel, and occasionally to make you smile!