Doctor Merry-go-round

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Last couple of appointments have been pretty interesting.

First, a midwife checkup at House O Babies a week ago Friday. First thing out of the midwife’s mouth was “I want you to have your next appointment with an OB instead of a midwife”. To which I replied that my next appointment was with an OB.

I had scheduled several appointments in advance as I knew that I’d be going every week for a while. So I knew that my next appointment was with an OB/GYN and it was during this meeting that I was to discuss birth options – particularly c-section. Vicky, the midwife, said that I had been discussed during a meeting amongst the midwives and OB/GYNs and because of certain elements, I might want to consider a scheduled c-section.

After my meeting with Vicky, I needed to get a Non stress test. If you don’t know, this involves a recliner and a monitor. The preggo lies calmly on the recliner while the monitor is strapped around her belly monitoring the baby’s heartbeat and activity. My problem is that Spider Monkey is at a weird angle, so the only way the monitor picks up her heartbeat is if you have the monitor on the left side of my belly button at a weird angle. The straps holding the monitor won’t keep it at the exact angle required no matter what we do, so I have to sit and hold it exactly at that spot to pick up her heartbeat. So 40 minutes later, my arm is killing me and I’m about to go crazy.

After this appointment, I picked Moo up at the train station and we drove to his folks house for the weekend. They live about 2-1/2 hours away and I really looked forward to getting out of the house for the weekend. I figured it would be the last time I was more than 30 miles from the house for a while.

We spent a couple of days with them and were gifted with a huge box of onesies and outfits for Spider Monkey. Mom-in-law also had a high chair, a little wagon filled with books and a weenie little chair that’s just the perfect size for a Raggedy Ann and Andy doll to sit. I rested, ate the most awesome watermelon ever and read this book.

Last Tuesday had us back at the Perinatologist. It was the first time since I started going there back in January that I’ve actually seen the perinatologist and not a member of his staff. After a very thorough ultrasound, I met with him. For all that he’s a gruff old fart, I really like him. The baby was now a whopping 7 pounds 15oz. YES, ALMOST EIGHT POUNDS OF BABY and we were only 35 weeks 3 days.

The doctor explained that we were getting to crunch time. He explained again that gestational diabetes causes the placenta to degrade faster and that insulin injections increase the rate of degradation. He also explained that my age added another factor to this rate and that the baby’s size also aggravated the situation. At the current rate of growth, we could have a 12-14 pound baby by my due date. Everything is working the way it needs to and SM looks completely healthy but the risks are mounting.

To this end, he wants to do an amniocentesis during my next appointment to evaluate lung function. If she comes back with good function, we could deliver immediately. The point is to avoid an emergency situation and keep everyone, baby and me, safe.

So with this information and the thoughts of amnios and c-sections in my head, I went back to House O’Babies this past Friday to see who I will now call Dr Asshole.

My blood pressure was a little elevated which upset me because my blood pressure has been so good to this point. Additionally, I’ve had a trace of protein in my urine over the last couple of appointments. I’ve read enough pregnancy blogs and consulted with Dr Google enough to know that these are possible signs of preeclampsia.

Dr Asshole came in and introduced himself to me and then began to freak out about my blood pressure. He pissed me off from the very beginning. He said he hadn’t read any of my chart nor looked at the report that the perinatologist had sent over. He didn’t know that I had gestation diabetes and he also discounted the Perinatologist’s information regarding degradation of the placenta. Then, he tried to make me feel guilty about being pregnant in the first place remarking that because of my weight, I may not tolerate labor and I may not survive a c-section. When I told him that I couldn’t teleport the kid out of my uterus, he just looked worried.

In short, he pissed me off.

I’ve had nothing but good things to say about this practice. I’ve felt very comfortable there. I’ve been praised by every midwife about my control of both my weight and my blood pressure. I’ve felt like I was getting the best care possible until now. Until Dr Asshole walked in.

This asshole, who can’t be over 30 and has only been out of residency for a couple of years decides it’s his job to put the fear of God in me. He didn’t like it one bit when I told him that I respected the opinion of my perinatologist more than his. He also wouldn’t talk more about birth options because “we need to wait and see”.

After this, he wanted to complete the strep b test and a quick cervix check. I almost said “hell no” but decided to go ahead. Surprisingly, he was very gentle and completed the test and the cervix check quickly. My cervix is still shut tight and he said that the baby was head down at -2 or -1 station. Next, he wanted me to go over to Labor and Delivery because he wanted some bloodwork completed immediately to see if I have preeclampsia. While I was there, I could have them do my non-stress test too.

So off to the hospital across the street. I got to triage, stripped down, gave some blood and urine samples, found that I was spotting a little, got the monitor on and held it for 40 minutes because she’s still in a funky position. The monitor showed I was having some pretty strong contractions, but baby was fine. Dr Asshole never mentioned that I might have some spotting after the swab and cervical check, but luckily I assumed as much and mentioned it to my favorite midwife who was on call at the hospital, who confirmed my assumption.

The bloodwork that all came back fine, my blood pressure was lower, the contractions were calmed with a lovely vat of ice water and then I became the recipient of a giant container. A 24 hour urine collection was needed to rule out preeclampsia and I need to go back to House O’Babies on Monday for another check and more bloodwork.

I live in Atlanta and it’s June 30th. In other words, it’s hot as hell and twice as humid. The collection has to remain cool – preferably refrigerated. So as I write this, I’ve got a giant Styrofoam cooler with ice and a container of pee here in my cubicle. My co-workers keep walking by saying, “hey, what’s in the cooler?!? Goodies?!?” to which I reply, “No, you don’t want to know what’s in this cooler”.

So it’s back to House o’Babies today. Off to the perinatologist tomorrow for an amnio and after that? I have no idea. I have to admit, I’m happy with a wait and see attitude. She’s due in less than a month and the longer she stays in, the stronger she’ll be. I really want to bypass NICU and I know even if she’s got good lung function, there’s still a chance that a 36 week baby will spend a day or two in NICU. But at the same time, I don’t want an emergency of any kind.

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