If you’ve read Bean’s birth story, you know I didn’t have the greatest experience with the OB community. Perhaps I brought it a bit on myself by going into appointments guns ablazin’ after reading a lot of research. However, even prior to my last OB and being pregnant, I didn’t have the best experience with those guys (and I say those guys because it really is a very male dominated profession).
So, when I found out I was pregnant again I just felt like there was no way I’d ever go see another OB. I love my midwife. She gave me a level of care that was far beyond what I could have ever hoped for. For about half a minute I thought about trying to find another midwife that was local, but I already had this relationship established. Plus, she has had patients as far north as Fresno which is the same distance away as we are from her. I didn’t want to have to go through trying to find someone else. I wanted her. So that’s the decision I made.
From the outset of this pregnancy it seemed like there was really no reason to question that decision. I was having absolutely no problems. This pregnancy was a cake walk compared to when I was pregnant with Bean. I didn’t even have morning sickness for quite sometime. My labs showed no signs of hyperthyroidism. I was doing great, eating great and feeling great. I was very excited that this time I was going to have a pregnancy, labor and delivery that was as intervention free as possible.
Well, then things changed a bit. I started having morning sickness and while not as bad as it was with Bean, it was still miserable. I was managing though. I started taking some over-the-counter medications that have been known to help with the morning sickness. I started avoiding foods like tomatoes and anything spicey that would give me severe heartburn and indigestion. I was doing OK. I was still eating regular meals. For the most part I wasn’t throwing up multiple times a day or even every day.
The nausea has been getting worse though and I haven’t been gaining weight. Actually, I lost all the weight that I put on the first few weeks of the first trimester and then some. I currently weigh less than my lowest point with Bean. Stephen has had to work from home a couple days because of the way I was feeling.
Unfortunately, there isn’t anything that my midwife can do about this except tell me to go to the hospital for some IVs if I get particularly dehydrated. Which is what things nearly came to last night. I couldn’t keep anything down for several hours. Plus my wretching did something to my esaphagus. It felt like I had a lump in my throat and chest like when you swallow a pill and it gets stuck halfway down. Anything I tried to eat after that felt like sandpaper grinding its way down to my stomach. I was finally able to get some medicine in me that calmed things down a bit, but did nothing for the nausea. Then once that kicked in I could only manage tiny sips of water the rest of the night. This morning when I woke up I could not see any of my veins which is what happens when I get dehydrated. I was pretty worried.
Not only was I worried about the fact that I was dehydrated, I was worried about Bean and what this meant for her and my breastmilk, I was worried about if we had to go to the hospital and the questions and rude remarks we might get about my seeing a midwife (not just any midwife mind you, one that is two hours away). I was not looking forward to being told that I just needed to eat crackers first thing in the morning to feel better. I was not looking forward to a lot of things.
The fact that my morning sickness has been getting worse and not better this late in the pregnancy doesn’t exactly go over well with me. I mean last time I was really sick in the beginning (like started feeling it a mere 5 days after conception) and then it tapered off around 14 weeks. This time I didn’t even start feeling bad until about 8 or 9 weeks. At over 15 weeks pregnant, I’m starting to wonder if it is going to just keep getting worse or if it will be over with soon. And, if it does keep getting worse, what the heck am I going to do then? Make a bunch of trips to the ER? Doesn’t sound like fun, as I mentioned above.
Awhile ago a friend of mine here had recommended an OB to me, but with my never-seeing-an-OB-again attitude, I sort of just filed it away in the back of my mind. This morning I couldn’t do that though, not when I knew that I was seriously dehydrated.
So I called their office soon after they opened. I explained my situation in full. That I had been seeing a midwife and planning a homebirth. That I had HG last time around and it was starting to seem like that’s the way things were heading. That my midwife was in Bakersfield and there wasn’t really much she could do for me in this situation. That I really didn’t want to wind up in the ER. The receptionist was warm and friendly. She made no comment about how far along I was without having seen an OB. She made no comment about my choice to see a midwife. She got me an appointment for this afternoon.
I started feeling much better as the day wore on. I kept down water, a smoothie and a sandwich. Instead of rejoicing in this though, I was thinking, “Just great. Of course I start feeling better hours before I’m supposed to see the doctor.” Then I just kept worrying about the appointment and getting nervous as the time drew near. Playing out conversations that were yet to be in my head. Trying to make my decisions sound completely reasonable and not like those of a crazy hippie woman.
I was so pleased to discover that all of my worrying was completely unnecessary. When I got to the office, I was the only one there. It definitely didn’t have that cattle feel that my last OB’s office did. The nurses were friendly, cooing at Bean. They knew who I was immediately. Went over the paperwork with me. Never made a single disparaging remark about the midwife thing at all. When I told them I was still unsure about whether I really wanted to transfer care to the doctor or continue seeing my midwife they were completely fine with that. Even when I went back there was still no other patients waiting in the office. I didn’t feel like I was being rushed through despite having only been given this appointment a few hours prior.
Then the doctor came in. He was so awesome. We went over my concerns and my medical history with regard to pregnancy. I explained the situation with the midwife and he didn’t balk or try to talk me out of my decision or anything like that. He agreed to give me a prescription for some stronger nausea medicine. If the prescription worked then that would be great, if not we’d talk about other options, other medications and possibly home or hospital IV care. But he didn’t think it would come to that. He just thinks I need something a little more potent than the OTC meds I was taking. He said after we were done treating my problem I could still choose to give birth at home with my midwife as planned or he would be happy to deliver me at the local hospital here. It was a complete relief.
I mean really, there is SO MUCH antimosity in the medical community between midwives and OBs. Maybe you think I’m blowing this out of proportion or you don’t believe me, but there is. I’ve experienced it first hand and I know many others who have as well. So to see an OB that is willing to treat my one problem and then let me continue as I choose in the birth I want is really amazing and refreshing to me.
I called my midwife afterwards and told her all about the appointment. She was so glad I had such a good experience and also thinks it is good for me to have this local backup plan.
The more I think about it, the more I think I’ll likely continue to see this doctor. It would be nice to have a backup plan in case my birth doesn’t go the way I hope. I mean if I am going to have an OB at my birth, I want the one that says stuff like this:
“I’m really hands off. I’ll give you your options and let you make a decision.”
“If you are in labor and your body is contracting naturally, there is no reason for me to augment that with pitocin to try and speed things up. Your body is going to do what it was created to do. Not every labor fits an arbitrary preset time clock.”
And I know from my friend’s birth story in which she had a 63 hour labor that ended in a completely natural birth, that these aren’t mere words. That this is stuff he actually believes in and practices. It really is just so refreshing to find someone like this. I seriously wouldn’t be surprised if he oversees some homebirth midwives on the side. His attitude is completely amazing. I am so happy to have found such a wonderful doctor here locally.