OB Woes

15 Oct

As my first pregnancy draws to a close, I’ve found that I’ve learned a lot about myself and what I TRULY need in a health care provider. 

I have had my current OB/GYN for over seven years and was always adamant about how much I loved her. In fact, I would choose my insurance based on whether or not she was in network and followed her from her original location 5 minutes from my house, down to Berkeley (which is NOT always an easy commute!)  She was the only doctor in the practice so I knew that I would always be seeing her.  She was always so reassuring when I came in for my annual appointments, knowing that I was prone to anxiety. The nurse who works at the front desk is so nice that she feels like an old friend.

When it came time to get pregnant, she knew that I was concerned about my ability to conceive. However, she was always extremely positive that we could get it done without a lot of medical intervention and trips to the Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE).  I was always doubtful, but she focused on starting out as low tech as possible and then moving on from there. In the end, when I did get pregnant (naturally no less), I was grateful for this course of action.

The beginning of my pregnancy was relatively uneventful. I had a bit of high blood pressure, however after she made me check it regularly through the week, it was determined to be “white coat syndrome”. (This was my first clue that this OB was data driven – i.e. getting more data in order to figure out what to do next.) After awhile, I got used to going to the doctor and my blood pressure began to check out normally. The OB was also ok with us not doing the first trimester screen, which was nice.

My first clue that something was different about this OB was the fact that once I hit 28 weeks and had to do the glucose screening, I was relegated to doing a 2 hour Glucose Tolerance Test where if you fail you fail. I had never heard of this since pretty much EVERYONE I knew would take the 1 hour test and then if there was a failure they would take the 3 hour test which it seemed like most everyone passed. The doctor said the 2 hour test was the “new standard”. (Looking back, I think that just means more stringent since it is recommended by the Diabetes Association.)

After taking the test and ultimately being diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes, I now saw where my data driven OB started going. There would be more doctor appointments and more tests. Now I am all for being careful, but with most of my glucose numbers totally under control, I thought that she would be a little more lax. I mean the restrictions I was under seemed even more stringent then for a pregnant diabetic!  Uh…no… No cheating allowed or there would be consequences of a large baby and lots of other complications I’m not even going to mention.

Then a few weeks later, my baby is measuring too small… Now we have to do a whole new set of tests and ultrasounds to prove that the placenta is working ok. Seriously??? I follow a diet to prevent a big baby, now my baby is too small. All of this information, data and worst case scenarios are not good for the pessimistic, anxiety driven pregnant women such as myself. 

Then last week when we started talking seriously about labor, she started talking about how I would need continuous fetal monitoring because of the diabetes.  This would mean I would either have to use the wireless fetal monitor (which doesn’t always work) or be connected to the monitor and have as much range of motion as the wires would allow. Not exactly what I was looking to hear. Although I’m not planning on having a completely unmedicated birth, I did have a goal of how far I would like to get before asking for meds. To do this, I anticipate wanting to move around and even get into the shower which I find so incredibly relaxing normally (can’t say how I’ll actually feel once labor starts though..). It feels like my options are just more limited all because of one diagnosis. 

I understand that she is just being super cautious. Even the perinatologist said they were being overly cautious. And I want to have a healthy baby, so I’m all for being cautious. However, I think that all of this could have been presented in a much less stressful manner.  

I never thought I would be one to say that I would like things to be “less medical”, but in this case I think that probably the stress of the 2nd half of my pregnancy was worse than the original diagnosis.

So I’ve been thinking that if I am lucky enough to experience a 2nd pregnancy, that I just may want to switch doctors and maybe even look into finding a midwife. Problem is I still want to deliver at a hospital and I’m not sure if a midwife will even take me as a patient because I’m likely going to be deemed high risk from the beginning because of my gestational diabetes diagnosis.  

Luckily I have some time before I have to make this decisions, but I’m grateful for all this experience has taught me. It will definitely come in handy, not only if I pick another OB/midwife, but when dealing with my primary care physician and pediatrician. 

Have any of you had a similar experience with any of your doctors? How have you dealt with it?





One Response to “OB Woes”

  1. amyc83 October 15, 2012 at 11:31 am #

    Oh I’m so sorry you’ve had to go through all of this. I hope everything works out for the best!

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