Saturday, March 5, 2011

FINALLY!!!! (in which I vent a little)

I FINALLY have an OB!!! I'm happy and relieved. Especially since I'm already 24 weeks along today (which means I'm in my 6th Month...I think. I forget months and think in terms of weeks during pregnancy, since that's how it goes!) This has been an ongoing challenge for me, something I've been fighting for since the beginning, so I feel frustrated and unsure. Indifferent and cranky. Satisfied and pleased.

I've joked to family about how I'll "try not to be bitter" when I see the Obstetrician at the end of the month, but I really don't think I am. Even though I do feel that I have every right to be. See, soon after I found out I was pregnant, I requested a referral to this specific OB from my own doctor, since I had seen her during my pregnancy with Rhys. I am a High Risk Pregnancy and knew that I'd just likely end up needing to see a specialist anyways, so why not skip the "middle man" at the Maternity Clinic and get the care I needed? However, I hadn't heard anything from them yet and I was nearing the end of my first trimester, so I brought it up to the doctor's receptionist again, to which they called around and found out that this OB didn't want to see me. She wanted me to go through the Mat Clinic first. *roll eyes* Whatever for? You'd think she'd like how I asked for her and wanted her to be my doctor!

So I asked for a different OB at a different hospital. Knowing how I have a tendency to not go full term, I may as well go straight to the hospital with the great NICU (where Bryn was born at 33w) However, I find out that they want me to go through the Mat Clinic first as well, until that doctor says I'm "high risk". Are you kidding me? I already am! I began this pregnancy that way! Once you're "high risk" in one pregnancy, you're considered it for the next ones too!!! Sheesh. So no skipping the "middle man". I begrudgingly went to the Maternity Clinic. I didn't even care who saw me, I was only interested in getting the appointments over and getting them to refer me. But even that wasn't going to happen easily!

I even tried to get a Midwife. I really wanted a specialist who was interested in ME and the baby, who would give me the time of day, who would talk to me and go over concerns I'd had and would let the whole pregnancy feel "natural" and beautiful, instead of tiring and heavy, as it's been for me before. Like a midwife would do. I looked up online for midwives in the area, checked out the ones that had delivering abilities at the hospitals I wanted, and even asked friends for opinions. But that didn't work out well for me in the end either, as they won't take on High Risk Pregnancies; which I understand, but also felt bummed about.

What was it going to take to get a specialist to care for me and the baby????

To say that the first 16 weeks weren't stressful would be a lie. I was so stressed and so upset and worried and paranoid and angry and frustrated! I was trying to be proactive but I felt I wasn't being taken seriously, and it was difficult. To say that in the past 6 months I have been preoccupied by this whole issue would be downplaying it. I haven't been able to concentrate on anything else other than this problem, much to the faltering of my business and my family. *sigh*

But then things picked up.

After they fell apart, that is.

I had high blood pressure. And when I say "high", I mean really high. As in not good high. As in I needed to be seen by a team of specialists out at BC Women's Hospital that deals only in high BP during pregnancy. This team takes on only special cases, those that are pre-eclampsia and IUGR. I was freaking out when I learned that! I was told by many not to worry and to not get too far ahead of myself, but well, what else was I to do but look online for more information??? I know, I know, some people would say that is a bad idea, but I'd rather be informed at the options and choices and solutions than to not have a clue going into something. Of course, that also only made me convinced that not only was I pre-e, but I was one of those rare cases of pre-e that show up really early, even though it typically only does in late term. I had convinced myself that this pregnancy was doomed and I'd be on bed rest and maybe hospitalized and spent much of my time praying that we'd make it to a reasonable stage of the pregnancy for viability. (which I am very close to now, thankfully)

I walked into the EMMA clinic with apprehension and concern, and left with assurance and hope. After an ultrasound, detailed past history, medical knowledge (not mine of course, the team of doctors) consistent BP checks, some medication, and a lot of appointments it was determined that my hypertension was pre-existing. What a shock that was to me. It wasn't even an option that popped into my head! Sure, it was a possibility on every site I looked up, but I hadn't even considered it. I've never had high blood pressure. Never. How could this be something I entered the pregnancy with? What an idea! But this all was detected at 14 weeks, so it was the most obvious suggestion.

I was not at high risk for pre-e! HOORAY! In fact, they assessed me at only a 30% chance of it becoming that! What a relief! But what another surprise I had when, at my appointment, the doctor I was seeing "kicked me out" of the EMMA Clinic!!! It was a good thing, indeed, but also something I wasn't expecting! Instead, I was to be followed by the Internal Medicine Doctor, who deals with hypertension outside of pregnancy from now on.

I see Dr M every two weeks, and we check my blood pressure and go over any issues that I may have and we discuss medication (currently I am not on any as my blood pressure is great!) and she sends me for lab work. Lots of lab work. I have my urine checked and whatever else they look at in my blood (lol) and things are being regulated. I go out to Vancouver so often, I am used to it and I enjoy it! I love this doctor and her intern doctor (at least, I think that's who she is. Or she's doing her practicum, I'm not too sure. I don't understand it all. But she's a doctor and I like her a lot too!) and I feel good and secure and happy. I feel that things are being taken care of.

But then I forget that this woman is taking care of ME. She's *my* doctor, and I still don't have a "baby doctor". I hadn't even seen my own doctor at the maternity clinic in two months, when he said he'd put a referral in to an OB for me just after Christmas, and I hadn't heard from that doctor either. So when that reality set in again, it was frustrating. Granted, things were going well, and I was being monitored on a regular basis, and the baby was growing and I could feel constant kicking, so in that aspect I didn't need to be too concerned. But I was annoyed at feeling discarded. When I finally did get in to the Mat Clinic again, I was feeling so let down over the whole issue that I just didn't *care* anymore. I wasn't going to fight or push or anything. I'll just take the first specialist they'll give me.

So I'm going to see the OB that I requested back in October.

Yeah. The one that didn't want to see me. I feel I have a "right" to be bitter over it all, and in some ways I am. But in more ways, I also feel relieved and resigned about the whole thing. I was starting to think that maybe I didn't even need a doctor, that I'd done this all before and would go in to the hospital I wanted to deliver at when I felt I needed to! After all, no doctor has actually even delivered any of my children, they'd all been too late or left the room for unusual reasons when I'd been fully dialated! But then I don't want to become "that kind of mom"...the one who self-diagnoses and then finds herself in trouble later on.

So when I see this doctor at the end of the month, I'll do my best to accept her type of care and her insight into my High Risk-edness, and to not try to mess it up. I'll also try real hard not too let my mind get ahead of itself and to think up issues that aren't happening. I've had too many sleepless nights because of paranoia of early leaking, and of constant checking and questioning myself. After all, maybe things will be okay. Maybe I won't even *need* this OB. Maybe it will all turn out for naught. Wouldn't that be a blessing? I am trying to convince myself that I won't have any baby issues, even though past history tells me otherwise. One thing I do believe already is that every pregnancy is different.

Isn't that the truth!


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