Friday, September 28, 2012

9 Quick Takes Friday- Because 7 Just Wasn't Enough...

--- 1 ---


I survived today’s OB appointment without smacking anyone upside the head. That’s something.

I think I’ll spend the next six weeks praying fervently that my doctor is available when I go in for our birthing day. Or I'll hope that no one else from his practice is able to make it into the hospital before I have the baby.

I saw one of my doctor’s office partners today just so I could “get to know” everybody before the big day. My reaction to the meeting is mixed. On the one hand I am incredibly grateful that I was randomly assigned to my doctor. On the other hand I might throw something at the guy I saw today if he walked into my room while I was having the baby.

--- 2 ---

Before the appointment I sat in the waiting room, listening to someone in the back speak discouragingly about breast feeding to a mom who had delivered 24 hours earlier. She offered the young woman a huge supply of Similac and spoke about how some babies just hate breastfeeding. Problems with breastfeeding had never been mentioned. Another woman who apparently worked in the office was brought up in a disparaging tone because she “had never even bought formula during the first year.” This was apparently some sort of mortal offense.

 I went back for my sonogram and a pleasant technician showed me the baby’s various parts.

I watched as the baby’s head repeatedly measured in at 37 weeks 5 days (I’m 33 weeks 5 days). She estimated a size of 9 lbs at 40 weeks after all the computation together put the baby at around 6 ½ lbs and 35 and a half weeks.

My favorite news was that the baby had flipped around and moved into a good position for a natural birth. Score one for the “breech baby script” I’d listened to all week (because I would feel him start to turn and wiggle each time I listened!).

 Then it was time to meet the doctor. Or at least sit in the waiting room for a while longer.

--- 3 ---

In the waiting room an inquisitive young woman quizzed me on the pregnancy, gasping in horror when I answered that I didn’t plan on an epidural, and informing me that she had no idea how any mother could handle three children.

 I felt my smile beginning to become strained towards the end of the conversation and was thankful that her limited English meant that she couldn’t express quite as fully as she seemed to want to what she thought of an unmedicated birth.

I took a deep breath and re-read the birth script in my hypno-babies book about imagining a bubble around myself to keep out any negative thoughts. Which was really fortunate, because I was going to need it for the conversation with my doctor’s office partner.

--- 4 ---

When I saw the doctor in the hallway, with an information packet on VBACs, I had a sinking feeling. I’m not sure exactly why, since he seemed rather friendly.

After knitting for a few minutes he strolled into the room. And the fun began. You know, if a doctor told me that he was discouraging me from attempting a VBAC because he was worried about my health, I would be willing to listen to what he had to say. Lecturing me on the frequency of malpractice lawsuits in the US as a way to discourage me will quite simply annoy me.

Telling me that in your thirty plus years of experience as an OB you’ve never seen a uterine rupture during a VBAC, but that a lot of people sue… also isn’t going to bring about a major change of opinion in this area.  And it doesn't make me feel that you really care about what's best for your patients...

--- 5 ---

Then things got really fun.

I explained that I felt the risk of possible repeat c-sections was also something that should be looked at (which my own doctor said was perfectly reasonable and should be taken into account).
I added that because of my religious beliefs I wouldn’t be using artificial contraception (by the way, I had checked the box for Catholic at the top of my information paper).

With an obnoxious smirk Dr. Charming asked “Exactly what religion would that be?”

“We’re Catholic.” I told him.

“Well… Lot’s of Catholics find ways around that.”

“We’re practicing Catholics.” I said adamantly.

“There’s always the rhythm method.” He said.

Oh I'm sorry, I don't feel like having my body sliced up against the national recommendations, because it's more convenient to an insurance company somewhere... because there is something that does work to prevent pregnancy (I did correct him and say "NFP is very effective, but...").

I don't know.  The fact that methods of avoiding pregnancy are available, doesn't seem to me to require that I make a choice that could create a "serious" reason, if I don't need to.  I can understand a woman not undertaking a VBA2C.  But I also don't think I'm obligated to undergo major abdominal surgery because it's more convenient to schedule and easier to explain to an insurer if something goes wrong (and there was a list of the many risks of repeat c-sections... and they're every bit as scary as the VBAC list).

A few minutes later he made a comment indicating that he was Catholic (or at least raised Catholic, since he said that basically everyone in the country he was from was Catholic). Then with a voice dripping with condescension he began talking about the Muslim women he sees who believe “Allah will provide.”

Would this appointment ever end?

--- 6 ---

Then talked turned to how “dysfunctional” women’s uteruses became after five babies.

Apparently at five they just break down and become hysterical and can’t be counted on.

You just don’t know.

They might spit the baby out “like that” or they might just be worn out old bags and rupture. You never can tell.

I think that it was at this point that I began taking mental notes for a blog post...

--- 7 ---

“And how much did you gain with the other pregnancies when compared with this one?” He asked. 

Here was a question I could answer and I was certain he’d be pleased with my response.

“I gained over forty lbs with each of my girls. I’ve only gained 20 lbs this time.” I said proudly.

“What, does your husband have you on a strict diet this time?” He responded.

For some reason I don’t think he’ll be up for doctor of the year anytime soon.

--- 8 ---

He did find “one good thing” during the whole appointment.

Despite my two nine lb girls, I don’t have stretch marks. So my skin is stretchy. The other women he’s seen this with are his Somalian patients, who sometimes just “spit babies out” during VBACs. Yup.  So maybe I'd be like that.

The level of respect in the room was just astounding.

When breastfeeding came up I said that I’d accrued a grand total of 42 months… and he warned me not to get arrested for breastfeeding for too long.

He also told me that my doctor was “flexible” about me trying a VBAC, he was “okay with it” but that the doctor I’d be seeing next week wasn’t going to like it at all.

Awesome. I wonder if he’ll be an equally charming and respectful man…

--- 9 ---

One aspect of the appointment surprised me beyond all the others, and made the hour and a half I spent in the office worth it.

As I began to tell Paul about the appointment I was rather surprised. During the entire appointment, I never backed down or became upset. I responded to every comment he made calmly. I continued to ask questions, based on my own research (which clearly annoyed him) and wasn’t flustered, even when he was overwhelmingly condescending (and even when I began to think:  I have to blog about this!).

And that isn’t like me at all. I usually go along with whatever my doctors say, even when my head is screaming that they’re wrong and that the whole thing is ridiculous (and my instincts have tended to be correct).

I can’t help but think that this is a result of the hypno-baby scripts I’ve been listening too, which make me feel very relaxed and confident (especially the bubble script). I’ll definitely be going over them right before my next appointment… when I meet the doctor who’s supposedly actually hostile to VBACs…

Boy do I hope my doctor’s there when I have this baby!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!


  1. That doctor doesn't sound very professional. I am so sorry about that visit. But that's awesome the baby turned and the hypno-baby scripts helped you to remain calm!

  2. I have nothing charitable to say. Sounds like the folks at our army hospital OB/gyn. Stick to your educated guns, Cammie. We're all pulling for you and the little bean.

  3. Umm... I have two comments.

    1. Can I just say misogynist?

    2. I don't think I'd credit the hypo-baby scripts half so much as grace.

  4. You have my sincere empathy, as one who has been there, done that. None of my precious (note:previous) doctors have been THAT blunt and rude, but I knew exactly what they were thinking. Perhaps if enough of us crazy-baby-spitting-uterus-infected-lifelong-nursing-mommas continue our quiet protest, one baby at a time, things will begin to change. Until then, turn your head to the side and let in go in one ear and out the other. And serious consider a lawsuit for emotional abuse. ;-)

  5. I think I'd have murdered them all. I really really wish I could keep my Dr but I really don't think it was practical.

  6. WOW do you have to see him. I bet he will be awful during delivery :/ Why on earth do OB's try to get women to stop having kids when their business depends on it?

  7. All I'll say is he doesn't sound as bad as my first OB. You could tell him that someone who comments on your blog logged 102 months of nursing with two babies. Your 42 months is not all that long, considering that the WHO recommends a minimum of 24 months per baby. What pile of sand has his head been stuck in anyway. Hasn't his practice even heard about the importance of breastfeeding? Oh, and I'm sure my friend with 9 kids, and my friends with 7 and 8 would be interested to know that their wombs would be dysfunctional after 5. My friend with 7 actually had a really, really fast (as in the midwife didn't make it there), delivery with number 6.

  8. Did you ever think of telling your doctor that with Russian roulette a gun only has one bullet to harm you, but coming to his office you think it's just the opposite --- only he seems safe for you and your baby?

  9. Wow... how is it that this guy has ANY patients?! You have got to write this all down in a letter and send it to the practice. Maybe after the baby is born. I think you should send it to him and his colleagues so they can see how horrible he behaves to his patients!

  10. Wow, I have two more doctors to meet in my "pro" v-bac I'm nerous:)

  11. Hi Cam,
    I know that you don't publish anonymous comments any more, but I just wanted to suggest that you consider reporting this physician's behaviour to one of his professional colleges (the ACOG, the AMA, or the state medical association - whichever deals with discipline and sanctions). He is clearly not adhering to the professionalism standards or the practice guidelines of his profession, and should be officially called on it.

    Good luck with the last few weeks of your pregnancy!

    -A Canadian Medical Student (and mom!)

  12. Wow... I am so sorry that you had such a crazy experience! That doctor is really, I'll be nice and Christian here, a nut! Stay strong!


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