Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Not the Post I Had Planned

I have a few things I have been thinking about and meaning to post about, but yesterday's OB appointment was so awful I'm venting about that instead. First things first, the baby is fine. And now, the rest of the story:

I'm 28 weeks, so this appointment I was scheduled to drink the sugar drink, have my blood tests and receive my Rogam shot (my blood type is negative). Everything started out fine. I did my weigh-in and blood pressure, gulped down the orange drink, and waited for my OB to come. I go to a practice with four OB's, and I have no attachment to any one in particular, so I just see whoever is available at the time. This time it was the male OB, and he was fine last time, so I was expecting a smooth visit. He asked if I had any questions, listened to the baby's heartbeat, and then got out his tape measure. After measuring, he stepped back and said,
"Well, you're not huge."

This is true. I've been short since the day I was born and have never been described as huge in my life. Then he asked when I go back to the high-risk doctor for my next check-up. I tell him 31 weeks. He replied,

"Good, because if you weren't going already I would need you to schedule another appointment."

What?!? Of course, I asked what the problem was, and he informed me that my uterus is now measuring smaller than it should be. At the last appointment it was right on track, so this is a change. Then he asked me one of those questions that can only scare the pants off any expecting mom,

"So, have you felt the baby move at all lately?"

Now, having just heard the baby's heartbeat I know that he is currently alive, and I have felt him move lately, so I say yes and repeat that my measurements were fine at the 20 week ultrasound and 24 week uterine measurement. In desperation I offer up that I was a small baby. He said,

"Ok, then everything is probably fine."

Super. Probably fine. I asked again if he was sure, and he reassured me again, something about ultrasounds being more accurate than tape measures. I brought up the whole "remember my last pregnancy" thing, and he said that SRPS had been ruled out. I answered that yes, they say that, and he agreed,

"They are sure, although it's true they can't be 100%."

I went back to the waiting room to sit while the orange drink sugared up my blood.

I had a book, and I tried to read, but the words were swimming in front of my eyes. I checked my calendar. My next high risk appointment was not for three weeks. Three weeks. Three weeks of wondering if everything really was fine. Of worrying every time the baby sleeps and isn't rolling or kicking. Of not know what exactly might be wrong.

I thought about my options. My high risk doctor is awesome. He is so compassionate and has fit me in quickly before. I could call and see if my appointment could be moved up, but it still might be a long wait. Also, it might be too early to check my placenta, so I might need another referral. I thought over whether I was being irrational, or unreasonable, or whether I just needed to stick it out. I prayed for wisdom, and peace. I realized that there was no reason to put myself and my family through three weeks of wondering, because, after all, this is why we pay for medical insurance. I went to reception and choked out a request to see the doctor. I could barely even talk I was so upset. I was able to go back and speak to a nurse, and then the doctor, and he agreed that I shouldn't have to wait, and since they had an ultrasound machine in office he would just check things out. I was so thankful (and also a bit indignant that he would say all those scary things and not offer to ultrasound in the first place since it was clearly so easy).

Ten minutes later the mystery of my too small uterus was revealed: the baby has decided to hang out in a very odd position. Apparently he is completely horizontal. This explains why I am not poking out much, but have the girth of a hippo. Seriously, I am w-i-d-e. It also explains how the baby manages to use my bladder as a punching bag day and night. In good news, he is above average for estimated weight and his bones continue to measure exactly on target.

I finished up my blood draw and shots...and had yet another opportunity to explain the whole "children without pregnancy" miracle to a nurse. She was very interested in the adoption process though, so it was fine.

I left the appointment very shaken. I know that doctors have to deliver hard news to patients often, and that this likely leaves them a little calloused, but seriously? I can't speak from the viewpoint of a "normal" pregnancy, but I really doubt that any mother would feel comfortable leaving an appointment with that kind of doubt hanging over her, and much less one who has been in my situation. Is it really so hard to anticipate that telling me that something might be wrong, especially in relation to the baby's size, would bother me or cause me to worry?

Needless to say, when I scheduled next month's visit I opted for a different doctor.


Rachel said...

I am so glad everything is ok!

B. Wilson said...

I'm so relieved that the baby is fine and that you were so indignant to request an ultrasound. And surely that you'll be seeing another doctor.

Ever since we lost Andrew, I will only see 1 of the 4 in our practice. The others just don't appear to advocate for me enough. And having lost a child already, I can't take that risk. A transverse baby... what a funny position, little guy! So glad to hear all appears to be well.