Last night I tossed and turned like it was the night before Christmas. All I could think about was that the day of our first doctor’s visit was finally coming, and was it morning yet, and could I possibly start getting up to get ready??? Then sunlight, sweet, sweet sunlight…began to filter in the room. I was awake for a good fifteen minutes before our alarm went off, snuggling with the cats. I had even taken my usual morning shower the night before so my routine was a lot faster. I spent the time between waking up and arriving at the doctor’s office squawking, jumping up and down, asking hubby if he was “soooo” excited, and just in general being spaztastic.
So, my doctor delivers out of what is considered by many the best hospital for deliveries in the metro area. So it might come as a surprise to many that I am a little nervous about delivering out of there. The c-section rate, for one, is really high — hovering around 30% or so…but I think that may be common for any of the hospitals around here now. I also don’t think they’re very open to the idea of natural childbirth. Now don’t get me wrong…I think you have the right to have whateeeever kind of childbirth experience you want — and I am not saying I will never say I want an epidural, but at this point I am thinking I want to to try go it au naturel. Will they support that? I’m just not sure if that’s the vibe I get.
We arrive at the office and go to the first waiting room, where we sign in and are given a first trimester pregnancy journal. This already makes me nervous because I feel like (even though I have taken three home tests) nothing has been confirmed yet, and dammit, if you give me a journal then I will be even more sad if you tell me I’m not really pregnant!
Then we go to the second waiting room. I pee in a cup and fill out another form.
Then we go to a side room, my blood pressure is taken, and I am weighed. By the way, their scale always puts me a pound or two over what I weigh myself at home. Hrmph. But anyways…
Then we go to a third waiting room.
I am not kidding you. This is a baby factory, folks. By this point, hubby can’t really believe that we are in a third waiting room, and we are gawking at the sheer amount of items on the end tables and walls that were obviously put there by pharmaceutical salespeople (although I’m sure that’s common in just about any doctor’s office.)
Finally we are taken into an exam room, where a nurse starts flipping through a booklet of information for us, talking a million miles a minute. “Now this is the form you fill out and send to the hospital by 20 weeks so they can get you registered this is your Cliff’s Notes-like book for pregnancy this is your packet that shows you everything you can and cannot eat, take, do if you have questions about sex, exercise, diet just look in here and the doctor will be in soon.”
Whoa…what are we doing at today’s appointment? I ask.
A pelvic exam, she says, along with three other run-on sentences before running out of the exam room. I guess they want me to read through that book and not really ask them the questions I brought in? Sure feels like that, anyway. Also, no one has even said hello to my husband since we arrived.
The nurse leaves, and I put a cloth wrap around my now naked bottom half (this feels slightly awkward with my husband sitting in the chair next to me, although I do have a changing area.) Then we wait again, and we joke about how this is really the FOURTH waiting room, and how hubby should take his pants off and put a cloth around his bottom half for when the doctor walks in. That really cracks me up.
She is the one saving grace of this practice. She is friendly, and sincere, and shakes both of our hands and congratulates us. She’s the first person who has introduced herself to my husband or made him feel welcome all morning. I finally break in and ask the question I’ve been wanting to ask all morning as people have handed us booklets and talked about my due date (still estimated at February 9):
“Did you confirm it?”
“Oh, yes, yes, yes! You’re pregnant.”
She then goes through her spiel, and she definitely lets us ask questions, but the answers feel kind of stock. Like…they are open to natural childbirth, but “really don’t have many people wanting that anymore.” She also tells me they will let me go only seven days past my due date before inducing, and that they require continuous fetal monitoring. I also learn that she or one of the other eight doctors in the practice could deliver me, but that I won’t have an opportunity to meet the other docs, largely because many of them practice out of other locations.
I am then given a quick pelvic exam with hubby in the room (slightly awkward, but no biggie…most awkward part was when the nurse started explaining to me another pamphlet about genetic testing I can have done at 12 weeks and how if I want it I need to get preapproval from my insurance company now…all while the doc’s fingers are…well, you know.)
Doc says my uterus feels larger, like it should, but that it feels I may even be a little farther along than I originally thought. Now that would be interesting, although I can’t imagine it would be by much. We schedule my ultrasound for next Tuesday and she says we will know much more exactly then.
So now I have another day to look forward to…next Tuesday. Not too far away, I think, and I am happy for that. But I also start to wonder why this baby factory didn’t just schedule my first appointment around the first ultrasound? More visits=more money for them? I don’t want to sound jaded, but it seemed to me they are running a highly efficient business and that is their top priority.
We may be looking into another practice at another local hospital that seems to be more open to natural childbirth and less interventions. I think we will explore a midwife practice. We are not ready yet to say we are definitely making a switch but I will say we are highly likely to be exploring our options and then we will reassess again.
What were your experiences with a midwifery or a traditional hospital birth?Did any of you decide to switch providers after feeling like just a number on a form or a cow in a herd?