Tag Archives: OB

Annoyed, flabbergasted, huh?

So I guess my instincts about calling my OB’s office back up were dead on. Turns out the guy isn’t as homebirth friendly as I thought.

I called up this afternoon to see if I could schedule an appointment and get an NST done only to be given the “homebirths are dangerous” speech and be urged to drop in at the county hospital to be induced.

Umm. No thanks.

I’m really not worried. Actually, maybe this worries some of you, but I kind of feel relieved to not have an OB breathing down my neck about my due dates and all that.

I guess I feel more confused than anything. I was VERY upfront from the beginning with this OB about my plan to homebirth and the fact that I had Bean at home. He told me that he was perfectly fine with my plan and that patients should do what makes them comfortable. He even told me he was fine with being my backup. So I’m not sure where the extreme shift in position on his part happened.

So where does that leave us? Well today I’ve done a lot of walking (two miles at the park this morning). I’ve had copious amounts of the “bloody show” and I’ve had sporadic contractions on and off since yesterday. My midwife thinks there is a very good possibility that I will have this baby by the end of the week.

Also, she thinks the whole due dates/fertility chart thing could be completely inaccurate anyway because I was still nursing Bean and I can’t even remember if she was still sleeping through the night at that point.

I guess it all goes back to whether or not I have trust in my body and whether or not I truly believe that pregnancy is a normal thing that happens to the female body.

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Filed under Pregnancy and Birth

20 weeks (give or take)

So even though I’m still in my pajamas and might actually stay that way today (it’s my birthday, I’m allowed), I figured I couldn’t let another week go by without documenting this pregnancy at least a little.

A few pictures from this morning:

Few things…

I don’t know how my tummy and this baby are growing considering I’ve only gained one pound (net). But they are. Neither my midwife or my OB are worried about it. But I still can’t help wondering where the heck that tummy comes from. It’s got to weigh something, right?

Umm, my hair. Does anyone else out there feel like their hair COMPLETELY morphs when they are pregnant? I mean yes, there is the more/thicker phenomenon that is usually attributed prenatal vitamins, but I honestly haven’t been that great about taking them and I am still experiencing it so I don’t really know if the vitamins are what causes it. What I’m talking about though is completely different texture and volume. I now have tons of random little hairs I find in my head that are so kinked up that you would swear that it isn’t possible for them to grow from my head. It is completely frizzy and poofy, but still oily and flat by the end of the day. I always blow dry my hair after a shower which makes it stay pretty straight, but now when I do that it really doesn’t seem to help. An hour later my hair is wavy in some parts (especially by the nape of my neck) and straight in others (like on top). So yesterday I tried to scrunch it with product and not fight the wave/curl, but I really hate my hair feeling all crunchy and weighed down by tons of product. Plus, a few hours later I still had the same partially straight/curly/wavey thing going on and it still looked bad. I just don’t know what to do with it. Spending tons of time in front of a mirror with a straightening iron just isn’t practical for me and I really don’t want to fry my hair that much anyway. If you have easy beauty secrets to share, please do so.

The boy thing. Honestly, I’m over it. I was over it the next day when I saw my doctor. I was definitely over it Saturday night when we walked through the mall and window shopped boy clothes. Besides, when you read stuff like this, it really puts things into perspective. A healthy baby is all that really matters, right?

So yeah, saw my doctor again the day after the ultrasound and seriously again I have to just praise how cool and laid back he is! Still nothing was said about the midwife homebirth thing. I brought up some things from my last appointment with our midwife and he talked about them with me completely cool and calm just like he was would when working with any other medical professional. I can’t tell you how many times my other OB full on sneered when I brought up something my midwife said during Bean’s pregnancy.

The main thing we talked about was hyperthyroidism again. At my last blood draw that my midwife did, my TSH levels were a little on the abnormal side. She said that when she looked into it that basically since I’m not experiencing any symptoms of hyperthyroidism that it is up to me whether I want to go on medication for it and whether the risks of the medication really outweight the benefits of it. Last time around my OB just said I really need to be put on medication and didn’t give me much insight or options into it. Well, if you’ve read this blog for long you know that after giving birth I found out that the medication I was on could cause Bean to have hypothyroidism. She had to get her blood drawn once a month for the first six months of her life and she is supposed to get subsequent screenings for it every single year for the rest of her life. Looking back, I don’t know that the medication really did all that much for me last pregnancy and if I had known about the blood draws for Bean I probably wouldn’t have taken it.

So anyway, I gave my doctor copies of my labs and we talked about what my midwife said and the results.

“Well your results aren’t really that glaring to me. Actually your T3 and T4 levels, which are more active and a better indicator have gone down since the first blood draw she did. So that is really encouraging for me. Experiencing the amount of nausea, vomiting and weight loss that you did can really mess with your thyroid levels. Were you still feeling sick at this last draw?”

“Yes.”

“OK. Well then that could be the reason for the levels on here. I think we should redraw in two weeks and see where you are at. Since you are feeling much better they might be back to normal. You don’t feel hot or like your heart is racing? I mean other than how this heat can induce?”

“No, I don’t have any symptoms like that. It’s funny, I’ve completely adjusted to the weather here after only a few months. My friends in Bakersfield are so excited this week that it is cooled off there in the 80s and I’m over here complaining about it.”

“Yeah, this heat can make anyone feel like they have hyperthyroidism. Anyway, like I said your levels really aren’t that glaring to me. I’ll check with an endocrinologist and see what they have to say, but I don’t think you need to go on medication and I completely understand your concerns about not wanting to subject your new baby to blood draws. I’m sure that is not fun.”

With regards to the ultrasound and screening test…

“Well I talked to the perinatologist this morning and he said there were no markers for Downs Syndrome and that the baby is measuring behind what your LMP says it should be.”

“Right. Just like I thought because I have longer cycles and ovulate later than most women.”

“But he said everything looks good. Now, since the measuring dates are so far off what we could do is contact the state and ask them to recalculate your numbers based on the dates of the new measurements. I don’t know if they’d actually do that though. Or we could redraw and send them off again. But honestly if he says there are no markers I’m comfortable with that and don’t see any reason to act if you are not concerned.”

“I’m not concerned and I’m really not interested in participating in another test with them.”

“Yeah, I think that is a good decision. The ultrasound and your history give us no reasons for concern.”

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Filed under Family, Pregnancy and Birth

They do exist.

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 thatĀ 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.

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Filed under Pregnancy and Birth