In case you’ve been wondering, I’m still thoroughly dissatisfied with my prenatal care situation.
I really, really wanted a midwife.
But I let fear stop me.
Because the wooshing noise was back and I was getting mysterious itchy rashes and I had internists talking to me about brain surgery.
But the itching has gone away and so has the wooshing noise, my optic nerves are back to normal, and it is way too late to find a midwife.
So I’m stuck with the OB who clearly wonders why she’s stuck with me, too. I can tell she is pretty uninterested in my case. She glanced over my history, asked me to make sure with the opthamologist that my intracranial pressure was low enough that it would be safe enough to push, and that was it.
My OB appointments don’t feel… like real prenatal appointments somehow.
Part of that is because the OB shares an office with several other specialists all of whom do completely different things. One is an oncologist, and she’s the only one whose specialty is actually listed on the door, so basically I attend my prenatals in a clinic which advertises ONCOLOGY.
The waiting room is very fancy. It doesn’t have that public-healthcare feel that other doctor offices have. But it’s also very generic so that all the specalists are equally accommodated. It’s the only doctor’s office I have ever been in that has NOTHING MEDICAL hanging on the walls. No informational posters, nothing.
Nor is there anything baby-related. My previous prenatal care clinic had corkboards filled with photos of babies they had delivered. Even my family doctor has black and white photos of Korean babies looking all artsy and charming.
Not this place.
This is what I see when I sit down to wait for my OB appointment:
Does that seem normal to you?
There isn’t even a little corner for children to play at. You know, the obligatory pile of worn out Golden Books and that ubiquitous wooden bead maze that you find in every single doctor’s office EXCEPT THIS ONE.
The only, the ONLY THING in the entire place that suggests “prenatal care” is the key to the bathroom, which has a teething ring hanging off of it.
Even the receptionist is generic. While I sit waiting for my prenatal, she is busy calling patient after patient for one of the other doctors, advising them to get fleet enemas before their appointment the next day. When I called to ask if I should be concerned about my liver hurting or craving cardboard she had no advice for me and told me that if I was concerned I should see my family doctor.
The OB is only actually there two days a week and those days seem to fluctuate wildly.
Clearly there would be no point in calling with questions about contractions, etc.
As for the OB herself, she’s… fine.
She’s young, friendly, and she seems relatively caring. But she doesn’t seem particularly INTERESTED.
She puts me on a scale, takes my blood pressure (it seems weird not to have a nurse doing these things before she comes in, but she doesn’t seem to have a nurse), measures my fundal height, and puts the doppler on me, and then asks if I have any questions.
I have lots of questions but I don’t actually think there’s any point in asking them.
She’s made it clear to me that there’s a good chance she won’t be the one actually delivering the baby. I get whatever OB is on call that day in the hospital. Could be her, could be someone else. But hey, they’ll have access to her notes, so there’s that.
So is there any point in asking questions like, “can we delay cutting of the cord? Will I be allowed to have skin to skin right away when the baby is born? Would it be possible to attempt a breast crawl, because I think that would be really cool to see”?
I was also expecting her to check my cervix at my 38 week appointment, because I’m pretty sure my doctor did when I was pregnant with Owl. But maybe I’m wrong. Anyway, she didn’t. I guess she will this week at my 39 week?
This is all so not what I want.
After Owl’s heavily-interventioned birth, I want to experience something different. I want to go into a natural labour. I want my baby to be delivered by the person who provided my care, so I could have a sort of continuity. I want support during labour, because last time I just kept getting sent home to suffer through contractions with no real help. That being said, I also want to labour at home for as long as possible, because being in the hospital sucks.
Well, I can only have some of these things, if any.
I can still hope for a natural labour, although the OB likes to induce at 41 weeks, so I’m on the clock.
I can try to labour at home for as long as possible, and just kind of help myself through it (I mean, yes, PH and possibly my mother might be there to hold my hand but my mother only ever had one labour and that was in a hospital on a pitocin drip and that is still more labour than PH has ever experienced). I’ve been reading on recognizing signs of true labour, when to go to the hospital etc. My big goal is to only have to go ONCE. No more back-and-forth half hour drives over speed bumps while painfully contracting. NO MORE PLEASE.
That’s about all I can do, really.
I’m trying hard to focus on the positives.
For example, I’ve been having some mentrual-like cramping pains lately. I didn’t get that feeling until after the prostaglandin gel last time, so maybe my body might actually be preparing for a real labour?
I’m also negative for group B strep this time, which means I don’t have to get put on IV for penicillin the moment my waters break.
I’m also less scared of labour this time round. I’ve survived it before, and dangit, I’ll survive it again.
And, of course, most important of all, the baby seems ok. My diabetes is mostly under control, with insulin. She’s now only measuring two weeks too big instead of three, so that’s an improvement. She moves a lot still. All important things.
Cross your fingers for me. I have two weeks to get this thing going on my own, without an induction.