Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Pregnancy Journey: My Covid-19 Swab Test Experience at St. Luke's Medical Center QC

Being pregnant during a pandemic could be a blessing and a curse. Though I enjoyed the break I got from the two-month lockdown and skipping the grueling daily commute to and from the office, there are just too many changes and new normal to keep up with. From prenatal check-ups to giving birth, that makes the whole pregnancy journey became not as bright and happy, especially for first-time moms like me. And one of the things I dreaded the most is the hospital policy of pregnant women having swab test prior to giving birth. Hearing and reading about how stressful the experience could be made me worried. But to my surprise, it was actually not that bad thanks to the efficient team behind St. Luke's Medical Center Quezon City's drive-thru team. 

Hello, Covid-19 Swab Test!

My pregnancy journey has been relatively smooth throughout the whole 36 weeks. Though there were minor dizzy spells, weird cravings, and back pains, I never encountered anything serious or problematic. I'm so thankful too as the last thing I want to do is go to the hospital for a series of laboratory tests. My OB-GYNE visits (outside the hospital) alone was enough to make me paranoid. (I refuse to take the lift and climb up five flights of stairs every time I have an appointment.)

I had my first internal exam during my last doctor's appointment and found out that Sam's already low, but not yet engaged. Given her position, we might be seeing our little one earlier than 40 weeks and my doctor requested that I take my swab test a week earlier than planned.

I quickly had one of our staff call St. Luke's Medical Center Quezon City to schedule me on Monday, September 28, for a drive-thru swab test. And it went smoother than expected. The person on the line simply asked if I have an OB request form and when I would like to schedule my swab test. 

I got a call from the medical team a few hours later confirming my contact details and sent me an email with additional information as well as forms I need to accomplish prior to having my slot confirmed.

I sent the forms the next day and I got an email and SMS confirmation a couple of hours later. And I was all set!

It was too good to be true, or so I thought. I was expecting things to be chaotic during the swab test day. Again, I was proven wrong.

I arrived at St. Luke's 20 minutes before my appointment. I was quickly assisted by the guard on duty and ushered to the parking area. We parked our car by the swab test area and one of the nurses on duty approached me within three minutes. I was asked to confirm the details I mentioned in my Case Investigation Form (CIF) which is basically a Covid-19 exposure questionnaire. After a few checks here and there, she left.

She went back a minute later with two long Q-Tips and briefly explained how she'll collect the samples. She even shared how I'll feel when she gets samples from my mouth and nose. She also handed me my swab test receipt for documentation. (Note: Moms who will give birth at St. Luke's and with OB request form do not have to pay for the swab test.)

And we were done in a minute or less! (The nose swab was a bit uncomfortable, though not painful.)

I was told that results will be out in 24 to 48 hours and will be up on St. Luke's ehub. And I got it in less than 24 hours! Result: Negative! :)

Now, the real countdown begins. Wish me and Sam luck!

First photo credit: Shutterstock

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