Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Doctor with Issues

I took a little pole on Facebook last night - just to see if I was being hyper-sensitive about an issue that I've been having with my obstetrician. Don't get me wrong... I like her... and I think she's a great doctor. Certainly if someone was going to do surgery on me - she's one that I'd choose... and she has, so I'm pretty confident in that. I just wonder if she'd be someone that I could deal with "coaching me" through a vagnial delivery... Sometimes, her bedside manner leaves a little bit to be desired.

In all fairness - I have to say that my primary care doctor is the opposite extreme - he has the best bedside manner of any doctor I've ever known... so I might just be a little spoiled by the fact that he's the doctor I see 99% of the time.

Back to Dr. S... she's really nice, but I sometimes think that she's got ADD... or at the very least she's not listening to me. I know that some people - probably most - blow smoke when they talk to their doctor's about things going on with their bodies. Especially weight gain or things of a similar nature... sure it's easy to try to build yourself up and look for an easier solution to the problem than the hard work it takes to lose weight or whatever. I get it - I really do... TRUST me... as a weight loss surgery patient - I spent a LOT of years in that boat.
One thing I've learned over the last - almost 3 years - since my surgery... is that I'm not afraid of those conversations anymore - do I still hate them, absolutely! They just don't scare me anymore though - I don't dread going to the doctor (or I didn't before getting pregnant) and getting weighed. Probably because with Dr. W (my primary doc) I can talk with him on a real level about what's going on and he'll give valid suggestions - knowing that it's a very difficult struggle.

Dr. S on the other hand is not that way - I've tried to talk to her about how I am NOT eating with the mindset of "I'm eating for two" or an army... I'm not even really able to eat too terribly much at one time - I just eat about every 2-3 hours. Sometimes is it a cookie that is not necessary - sure... but that shouldn't account for the amount of weight gain I'm experiencing. Yesterday, John even tried to explain it to her - and she didn't harp on it quite as much... but she still mentioned it and told me to watch it.

Watch it do what? Continue on with whatever it's going to do?

Should I workout - probably, but ya'll I just can't. By the time I've worked a full day, gotten James home, spent a little time with my family, cooked/eaten dinner, gotten James ready for bed, worked in a little tiny bit of sleep for myself, gotten up for a night-time feeding with my growing boy... there's nothing left - in terms of time or energy. And when I say nothing... I mean you could sit me in a padded cell and watch me drool - because there is literally nothing left in my body that can even move.

So, anyway - I digressed a bit... because I was getting around to talking about another issue that keeps repeating itself with Dr. S.

Since my first appointment - she's been pretty set on the fact that I'm going to be a c-section delivery. Pretty much every conversation is centered around that, but oddly when you push her on it - in terms of asking what the point in taking a childbirth class would be if you're having a c-section... she will then backtrack and tell me not to give up on a vaginal delivery. UGH! Make up your mind - because if it's going to be a c-section... that's fine with me - I just don't want to waste any time away from James on an evening or weekend taking a class that won't matter to me in the end.

**Edited to add - I am an insulin dependent diabetic while pregnant - it's not technically called gestational diabetes since I had a history of it before my weight loss surgery... but that is a factor in the prediction that Tyler will be a big boy upon delivery time.

On top of that - every time we go in for our monthly visits... she asks me about tying my tubes. It's sort of subtle, because she'll frame it in terms of me letting her know if that's what I want... but every time it shocks me. I've tried to ask if it's medically necessary - and tried to figure out if she's recommending it... but I can't decide what the deal is. I mean there I am - pregnant for the first time and every single time I see the doctor - she brings this up. Sup with that?!

We'd like to have a third child someday - hopefully a girl... of course not anytime in the next year... (Geez, can you imagine?!) But, we don't consider ourselves done with James & Tyler... one more would make us happy. That being said - mean who is to say that I could be blessed with another miracle pregnancy? No one, only time will tell if that's in God's plan for us... so certainly we'd be open to adopting another child if that was the route that we felt we were being led... but am I of the mindset of cutting off the opportunity for God to do his magic again? Not on your life. The only reason that would be okay with me at this point in my life would be if it were a life and death situation.

I was glad to see that of my friends that responded last night - almost everyone thought it was odd. That makes me feel so much better about being sensitive when asked... and not understanding why it would even come up. I guess maybe in her own way - she's just trying to be efficient and means nothing by it, but she's dealing with pregnant women... and she KNOWS my history. She submitted my story to TLC to be on a television show for crying out loud...

What do you guys think? What would you say in my shoes?


  1. If I had to imagine things from the doc's perspective, I would say that she's just trying to prepare you for all possible outcomes in terms of delivery. There is a greater chance of you having a complication that requires a c-section, so she is probably wanting to make sure that you are prepared for that possibility. And since there's always a chance that things can go off without a hitch, she wants you to have the childbirth class so that you're prepared for a vag delivery. I would say take the class even if you knew you were having a c-section. The classes are helpful about teaching when to know you're really in labor, and most classes even have a session about breastfeeding.

  2. Heather is completely right!

    Furthermore, the Dr. can't predict yet how large the baby will become inside. If you become gestational diabetic (hopefully not!) that will probably result in a C-section, because they can't let the baby get too big.

    Don't let the questions get to you. I can't tell you how many times they asked me what number pregnancy I was on. It was my 2nd pregnancy, but first birth because I miscarried -- but it was painful to have to answer the question a hundred times.

    As my beloved OBGYN explained to me, "Unfortunately we live in a litiginous state." It requires them to do things, say things and ask questions they might not ordinarily, but do so to cover their themselves and their liability. She also expressed that it saddens her they have to practice that way because it negates a small amount of the joy seeing a Women through the process of child birth. I hurt for her. :(

    Hang in there... I know you say you have nothing left at the end of the day (and I completely believe you!) but make sure you make your health a priority, somewhere -- for you, for James, for your Husband and for Tyler!

  3. How frustrating!!! I am having a hard time with my family doctor right now. It's like you said I feel like he thinks he knows my story before he even comes into the room. I too had an amazing doctor with an excellent bedside manner who passed away a few years ago. I swear he ruined us for all other doctors. I have an appointment this Friday and I have decided I'm going to ask him to not talk until I can get everything out that I want to tell him (not in a mean way). I'm hoping that maybe this will work because if not I'm thinking of looking for another doctor :( I'm wondering if this tactic might also work for you. What is the reason she thinks you will have to have a c-section? I have had 3 and also had big babies. Childbirth classes would be completely worthless if you were having one. I'll let you know what my doctor's reaction is after I see him on Friday and in the meantime I will be praying for you!!!

  4. Besides, knowing you two you'd get your tubes tied, adopt a baby girl, AND end up somehow mysteriously and miraculously pregnant with triplet girls at the same time!! ha!

  5. Your post is actually along the same lines as something I myself have been processing over the past few days.

    I gave birth to my baby girl two weeks ago tomorrow, via c-section. The entire pregnancy was flawless, right up until the very end when the doctor thought she was too big. She ended up being quite small, and for that reason they decided to induce.

    Nonetheless... throughout my prenatal care, the pregnancy was so good that I never once felt I was receiving any personal treatment. My appts were very much in and out with little if any time to build any good rapport with any of the docs in my OB office.

    At the time of delivery...c-section...the doctor who did the surgery was simply matter-of-fact, impersonal, not very warm or affectionate toward my needs/fears/desires. I was scared out of my mind, but I felt that I was being viewed as just another number; you know, just another pregnant woman with a baby that needs to come out.

    Aspects of this actually cause me to feel that I was robbed in some way. I suppose that may seem silly to some, considering that the end result was a healthy, precious baby girl. But had the doctors been more personal, more warm, more willing to build a relationship with me then I believe it would've made an even bigger impact on my pregnancy and the end result of their providing me care, the c-section.

    I know this doesn't quite relate to your post... a year or two ago, my primary doctor (who I love) said to me, "at your age, you need to have your babies and get an IUD!" We'd been trying to have that baby she was referring to, unsuccessfully. I suppose she didn't know that. But hearing her advise me to get an IUD in the midst of trying to get pregnant, well, that was hard to swallow...

    I suppose doctors are just so used to seeing "all kinds", and experiencing different levels of cooperation in their patients that it's too easy for them to treat us as "routine" rather than as "individual". And in my experiences with my OBs, had I been treated more like an individual, it truly would've made a world of difference as I reflect on the 9 months of care I received from them.

    My thoughts probably offer you little if any valuable input, but you inspired me to share, so thanks!

  6. If I were to put all that I want to put in this comment form, it would never get published!

    I felt like I was treated rather coolly throughout my pregnancy by my OBs. You know, just another routine pregnant woman to treat and follow up with... On the day of delivery (c-section, emergency) the delivering doctor was most impersonal and not at all the source of comfort that I needed her to be. I felt like I was another number, not another human experiencing the greatest event of her life...

    I suppose doctors see it all, and experience varying levels of cooperation out of their patients that it's too easy for them to let their practice and beside manner fall along the lines of "routine" rather than "relationship". I think in terms of OB care however, and especially with first time moms, that if they would be willing to form that relationship and really show moms that we have their full support and undivided attention, it would ease a lot of angst and fears regarding labor, delivery, and the ensuing motherhood.

    While trying to get pregnant, my primary doctor (whom I love) advised me to "have the babies I'm going to have, and then get an IUD". I was somewhat taken aback, but I think she was trying to offer what she considered to be practical advice that I should consider. Now two weeks out from a c-section, I do want another child, to experience another pregnancy, and to give birth all over again. I suppose the next time, I'll know what to expect from prenatal care and busy OBs!

  7. oops, I'm sorry... I didn't realize both comments posted. Feel free to delete the latter of my two! What a goof!

  8. Hi Kim, I've been following your blog for some time now and really, really enjoy reading it!! I got to your blog through Knitten Kittens- who has been a support and resouce for me through my Bypass surgery. I had surgery in Nov.2008.
    Anyway, I'm 54 and have 2 beautiful children. My daughter is 24 and a teacher and my son is 22 and in college. So here are a few thoughts for you about this topic..
    1) My Ob-GYN WOULD NOT tie my tubes when I had my C-Section (both babies) because her point was, "just suppose something happened to your child and you wanted to have more" couldn't ...she told me never, ever would she do both procedures at the same time ....Both are major events in a woman's life. After my son Greg was born I knew that was it for me and I did ask about tieing my tubes ... But she never brought it up...
    And about the weight gain? Sit back and relax ..."it is what it is" and you and John both know what, when and how you eat ....So off to work now but hang in there....I luv your blog and hope to start one myself very soon. take care, Susan Sisk, Maryland

  9. Love this post, as always. :-)

    If you're concerned about her bedside manner in the vaginal birth scenario, maybe a doula would be a worthwhile investment?

    I've never been pregnant, so definitely not the voice of experience talking here....just throwing it out there in case, like me, you'd never heard of them before. :-)


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