Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Baby Talk: When You Don't Feel Comfortable with Your OB GYN

Now, first things first, I'm not an overly difficult person.  But I've discovered that when it comes to my baby, I'm not going to mess around.  This post is probably more of a rant.  But it does have a point.  I promise.

Hubby met me for my appointment yesterday, which turned out to be a really good thing.  I peed in a cup, they checked my weight, checked my blood pressure, and the nurse asked me a bunch of questions.

Then we sat in the room for what felt like forever.  At this point, even though I'd already had my first appointment, I still hadn't met the doctor, who is actually just a nurse practitioner.  Which I, personally, don't have a problem with.    

You see, I don't have insurance.  But I am a part of a Christian Co-Op that I love.  Technically speaking, that makes me a self-pay patient even though most, if not all, of my costs will be covered.  Well, this lady was the only one who would accept self-pay patients in the little city where Hubby and I work - which means convenience.  And I had a good feeling because she was the only woman anyways - and for some reason I just feel better about having a female OB.  ;)

Well, it turns out that it wasn't the best choice.  My appointment lasted about 10 minutes though we were there for an hour.  And I really didn't feel much better.  But for some reason it didn't bother me much.  I do remember as I was headed to the hospital for blood-work that I thought I should talk to Hubby about how he felt about the appointment.  That should have been a red flag for me...

Well, turns out that I didn't have to bring it up, because Hubby was livid.  He felt like the appointment was a complete waste of time.  And mentioned a few other things when he called me as he was leaving work...  Looking back, I see much more of what he did.  I guess I just chose to ignore it since I thought she was our only option.

She thought it was my first appointment (which means she didn't look at the chart very well).  And she didn't shake my hand or really do anything to introduce herself.  Which isn't a huge deal, but it still bothered me.  She walked in and said, "well, do you have any questions?"  At first I wasn't really sure what she meant since we hadn't talked about anything.  But then I realized that was pretty much all she intended to do - no listening for a heartbeat, no exam...  I finally mentioned that we were looking for answers.  She told me what the ER doctor told me.  Period.  So I mentioned that I thought it could be low progesterone.  Hubby was mad that I was the one that had to bring this up.  She did say we could have them checked.  Then she told me I needed to be on bed rest.  "For how long?"  She shrugged.  I finally got a more definitive answer after fishing for a bit.  That was the end of the appointment.  I didn't feel heard.  Or that she was concerned for my feelings at all.  While I know my issues can be "normal," I also know they can be a sign of something bigger...and I wanted to be sure that Baby 1.0 was okay.

After a lot of discussion last night and this morning, we decided it was best to seek out a new OB GYN, one that was actually an OB so I would constantly be dealing with a doctor.  It was a hard decision to make.  Because even though the hospital and doctor's office would be closer to home - it would make it more difficult for Hubby to be at appointments and ultrasounds since it was the opposite direction of work.  But, I know people who have been to these doctor's and I feel much better already having made the decision.

So this is where it gets really good.  I called this morning (9:30ish) to see if my blood-work was in (the lab tech said it would be in no later than end of day yesterday).  It wasn't.  So I asked them to fax my information to my new doctor.  They need me to sign a waiver - which is difficult since the office is over a half an hour away and I'm on bed rest.  So I asked them to fax it to the church knowing that Dad (also my pastor) was coming over later in the afternoon.

He came over around 4 and asked about my blood-work.  Turns out he hadn't gotten the fax.  So I called again.  This is the conversation:

Me: This is Brianna Sherman - did my blood work come in?
Nurse: No I don't think so.
Me: The lab tech told me they should have been in at end of day yesterday.
Nurse: Let me go check.

----Long Wait----  Talked to Dad about some church stuff....

Doctor (aka Nurse Practitioner): What was it that you were needing Brianna (pronounced wrong)?
Me: I was wondering if my blood-work was in? 
Doctor: Yes, its here.  Your progesterone levels are fine.
Me: Okay and...
Doctor: (interrupting) Are you transferring?
Me: Yes
Doctor: Where?
Me: Name of Practice
Doctor: Okay, I'll send these over there.
Me: But I haven't signed the waiver they were supposed to fax.  Was it sent?
Doctor: Yes, they were having trouble getting the fax to go through.
Me: Then why didn't anyone call me?
Doctor: What do you mean?
Me: If the fax didn't go through, why didn't anyone call me to let me know?
Doctor: We have no way of knowing if a fax goes through or not.
Me: Isn't that what you just told me happened?
Doctor: They told me your husband was coming to pick your information up.
Me: I was told he wasn't allowed.
Doctor: Is he on your forms?
Me: I think so.
Doctor: It's HIPPA.
Me: Yes, I know what HIPPA is.  I worked in a hospital for awhile.  Yes, if you are talking about the HIPPA forms, I did list him on that paperwork.  So can he come pick that up?
Doctor: Well I don't know if he is on the paperwork.
Me: He is.  What time do you close? He can come tonight.
Doctor: We won't have time to gather everything up.
Me: Alright, well I'm going to call and have them fax it again tomorrow.  What were my HCG levels?
Doctor: Your progesterone levels are fine.
Me: And my HCG levels were...
Doctor: Fine.
Me: What was the number?
Doctor: Oh, 77,000.

That conversation was all I needed to know we made the right decision.  There is also the fact that I really don't know what my due date is or exactly how many weeks along I am.  They can't use my last cycle because I'm super irregular.  But even with an ultrasound - no one has thought to discuss this with me.  So I just base it off of the fertility app I used before we got pregnant.  We really needed someone who would make us feel more at ease and less like an intrusion.

With all of this being said, I think it is essential to feel comfortable with your doctor, especially one who will be dealing with your pregnancy and delivery.  If you aren't comfortable, make a change.  You have that right.  And I'm glad one or two people made sure I knew that going into this.  Which is why I'm telling you.  While the situation isn't as ideal as we had hoped, with Hubby's work being about an hour away from the hospital and office, we feel much better knowing that Baby 1.0's incubating period will be in better hands.  
Have you ever switched doctors because you were uncomfortable?


  1. yikes!! so glad you're going to make a change! what a whirlwind of nonsense from that office!!
    shouldn't you be able to tell them the first day of your last period to find out the approx due date? when i was charting and got preg with E, i googled a due date calculator and it gave me a date (which was 1 day off what the doc told me). she came 8 days early.
    i don't like the receptionist at my doc's office... she is very grouchy! but the rest of the people are nice, thank goodness!! our local hospital is closing their maternity ward so now we'll have to go to DuBois to deliver (if that ever happens again!). thank goodness it wasn't in DuBois before or D would've been born in the car! She came THAT fast! haha!

    good luck at your new doctor!!!

  2. My cycles are tremendously irregular - anywhere from 22 - 42 days in length. So my last period wouldn't be accurate. But the book you gave me showed me how to calculate my due date and the example was the exact same date as our situation, so it couldn't have been easier to figure out that way. I just have never discussed it with anyone in the medical profession...

    And I remember reading your post about D and thinking - holy man! that was fast! haha.

  3. I can't imagine having to stick with someone who sends you around in circles, isn't kind to you, etc. It's always sad to hear pregnant ladies aren't always treated with the best of care.

    1. To be fair, my options are still very limited. But over all, I'm pleasantly happy where we are at. Hubby felt 10 million times better after our first appointment at the new place. My only hesitation now is that 2 doctors left the practice and things are a little more hectic than I would like. But I like the 2 doctors that are left enough to stick it out.

  4. It's so important that you feel comfortable with your doctor. I'm a vet, so I get really irritated when human doctors are so cold.
    When I was first diagnosed with Lupus, the rheumatologist I was referred to was an older man with absolutely NO bedside manner. Firstly, he assumed that because I was a vet student I had already googled everything about Lupus and didn't bother to tell me ANYTHING about the disease or what to expect. Umm, I'm sorry, I thought YOU were my doctor, aren't you supposed to be educating me? (FYI Lupus in dogs is VERY different than in people). Secondly, as I was describing my pain symptoms and how I was worried that my symptoms didn't match with the typical Lupus patient, he proceeded to tell me that my pain symptoms were psychosomatic (translation: I'm imagining them). And it that isn't bad enough, when he recommended that I started taking hydroxychloroquine for Lupus, he couldn't answer my question about whether the drug was safe for women who were pregnant or if it had the potential to cause a miscarriage. He said it didn't matter because my lupus was more likely to cause a miscarriage than the medication. As someone who cares VERY deeply about the sanctity of life, and who choose her birth control method based on whether there was ANY potential to cause a miscarriage, I just couldn't believe how unkind his was.
    I was able to transfer to a new doctor who was awesome, but when my insurance had to change I had to go back to his office, so I just stopped seeing a rheumatologist. Now my insurance is different again, and I will be seeing a nurse practitioner in a different clinic, so I hope she is more understanding.

    1. I just don't get how doctors like that ever succeed! Sorry to hear about your experience - especially when it comes to the miscarriage thing - that's a HUGE deal!! I hope your experience with this new lady goes well!! I will be praying!


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