Hell hath no fury like a mother-to-be scorned. Especially a mother to be finding herself trapped in north Korea, with Dr Kim Jong Un’s obstetric dictatorship again.
Another horrid visit to the horrid obstetrician yesterday. I took my sister along for the ride this time, because she has balls, and you don’t mess with her.
Yesterday I had my usual list of questions. Most of those were not answered. Not adequately anyway. My sister was disgusted by his arrogance & dismissiveness.
I wanted mainly to find out more about why we needed a caesarean, why it was the best course of action, how it would be done, and whether there would be any way of making it our birth still; such as immediate skin to skin contact, the need for gumby to go to a special care nursery, the possibility of having gumby with me in recovery, the likelihood of separation, the type of sedation , the effects of each type on me and on bub.
Instead, I got the scenario list: another bleed (emergency c section under general) if there’s active bleeding , placental abruption (depends on degree but prob the same), waters breaking prematurely (immediate delivery, epidural), intrauterine growth restriction ( immediate delivery, epidural), other problems with my health or gumby’s health ( immediate delivery& epidural), some lighter bleeding (extended hospital stay , delivery later) or scheduled delivery by c section (spinal block,) he doesn’t think now that I will make 38 weeks. He’s aiming for after 32. The funny thing is, I don’t know what’s changed?
When I asked about breast feeding, he just said ‘oh you won’t be able to breast feed. Special care nurseries, baby too premmie to suckle, your (gestational) diabetes means you might be on high insulin doses so you won’t be able to feed’. This was my breaking point this visit. He basically implied that I am being unreasonable having any questions / expectations a normal mother would have, worshipping at the altar of the GREAT OBSTETRICIAN, I should consider myself lucky if I get to take home a healthy baby. The rest is what ifs I shouldn’t even think about in our situation.
What ifs that plague me , 24/7. What ifs that I would like plans in place for, and forewarning, and preparation.
I’m not even clear which hospital I should head for in case of emergency: the public system with its NICU, or my private one ? Even that answer was unclear.
Gumby is looking ok. He is very big for his gestational age (24weeks 4 days)…he’s in the 97th percentile of babies, which may be the diabetes affecting him. But they are always big in our family. Not one under 8lb, (if you exclude Simon , who was born at 26 weeks, just under 1kg, and is now 21). I’m confused, because seeing the endocrinologist on wednesday, he was really happy with my levels and doesn’t yet see a need for insulin! So the two doctors agree to disagree. And my baby suffers from their lack of cooperation.
There is a bit too much amniotic fluid. Just a bit. This may also be the diabetes, and may also be a problem, later.
The placental flow is showing some resistance. This could be a problem measuring this this early, or it could signal the placenta is starting to not do its job, and we could be facing intrauterine growth restriction (& immediate delivery) down the track.
My sister asked him twice “don’t you have anything positive to say?”. He looked surprised. I think he has aspergers. Or maybe a degree of asshole that is somewhere on the autism spectrum. Or his own special spectrum. His reply was “I just did say something positive!” ( after the scenario list). “I think you’re doing really well.”
No “great control on your diet and blood glucose in such a tough situation” (which is what my dietician said, the day before), no “bloody hell I can’t believe you’re 24 weeks and haven’t put on any weight, you’re really getting there”, no “how are you feeling with being stuck at home for 3+ months”…no “hey look here’s your baby and he’s doing well”… He actually didn’t even remember he’d told me not to go back to work. Seriously. Couldn’t I at least qualify as “that bleeding diabetic lecturer old blonde chick whose baby isn’t dead who I’ve told to stay at home”. Couldn’t he even remember that much about me?
I was ok in the office, crying in the coffee shop on the phone to hub-in-boots at 10am, crying in the car park at 10:15, semi holding it together during the day w my sister at home & out at target and the deli , and finally just CRACKED IT at 4pm. I was at cath’s house, and I rang and spoke to one of his midwives.
I told her how unhappy I was, not with his judgements, not with his management, but in his bedside manner. His dismissiveness of my questions, my feeling that I am in a situation without ‘informed consent’ , his lack of understanding of my desire to breast feed, even the comments last visit about pelvic floor exercises. I didn’t swear, I didn’t shout, and I didn’t call him a c—, even though that’s exactly what he is.
She was understanding, said she appreciated me raising the issues with them, said she would tactfully speak to him, and suggested an appointment with their new lactation specialist to get an early breast feeding plan in place. (ummm, why couldn’t he have mentioned that they had a lactation specialist)? She said I may be able to express colustrum before the birth, to give us a head start with tube feeding a premmie gumby. She also said I can lean on the midwives more after each visit, for clarification and explanation. I feel a bit better for having been heard, but still a bit stuck. I feel no one else would touch my case now with a ten foot pole. I told her I’d considered switching to the public system to get away from him , and that I’d experienced better care in public hospitals. She also said I’d be welcome to get a second opinion. I made my dissatisfaction pretty damn clear.
Today I am just tired. Drained. Haven’t even made it out of bed to get breaky, and it’s 10:30. I’m going to do some information gathering. I am ringing the hospital we are booked into. I am ringing the Australian breast feeding association . I am ringing my friend’s wife who is a lactation consultant for advice. I may ring another obstetrician and think about appointments for second opinions, and I may ring the psychologist that’s been recommended in the area, as the stakes are really ratcheting up now, and with them, my anxiety. I am very under control…but I also feel I could spew vitriol for hours about this doctor and this pregnancy. Along with a growing gumby who is just under 1kg, it’s a lot to carry. One comfort I have thought of is that decisions about the care of a premmie gumby will not be his. Decisions about breast feeding will not be his. Once the birth is done , this dickhead is OFF THE TEAM. I can handle (just) him being there and stitching me up. I even trust he’ll do that well. He’s not fucking touching my son. Not once he’s born.
I’m not going to let this bastard get me down . What is important now is staying healthy , staying relaxed, and keeping baby on board for at least
six more five more weeks and two days. I will breast feed. I will make it to 30 weeks. I will continue to eat well, and maintain my glucose . And god help any fuckwit doctor who stands in my way.
Ps the next post will be a happy clothing post, about the enormous haul of clothes we bought off ‘gumtree’, a second hand listing site, which has given us all many hours of fun going through it all. My mum just rang me, buzzing, because just this morning she’s been buying nana knits from the red cross street stall (as if this kid needs more clothes!!). After the docs visit she’s shifted into premmi sized wear. It’s nice to know all of this crap we wade through day after day can also bring with it a lit up joy.