I just returned from my latest OB appointment, and am feeling rather ambivalent and frustrated by the whole thing. We spent a bit of time chatting about what to expect when labor and delivery comes around (in only 13 weeks. Yikes!), and I am just not feeling right about it. Part of it is that I've never clicked with this doctor; she's great, but I always seem to clam up around her, and she isn't very proactive, either. I'm also very scared of having a C-section (which I've heard is somewhere around 25 percent at this hospital) and am not feeling very reassured that she would do everything she could to prevent it. I would love to do things as naturally as possible, although I still haven't decided if I want an epidural yet or not.
At the same time, I'm not sure I want to go try to find another OB or a midwife in the area, mainly since I have no idea where to start the search, and I don't want to have to go way out of my way to go to the doctor. One great thing about my doctor is the convenience of her being just down the street. I also feel like it might be a mistake to switch this late in the game, for something I might just be irrationally panicking about. It didn't help that we mainly focused on what would happen if things went wrong.
I know it's not the end of the world if I do end up with a C-section or other complications, and I know that could happen with any care I get, and really, in the end, I just hope the baby is healthy. But I know I will really regret my decision if things don't go well with the doctor I have now. Anyway, I've got lots to think about.
*Update* Thanks so much for the kind advice! My thoughts were very rambly, since I wrote the post right after my visit and my emotions were running high. Here is what I do know after talking with my doctor yesterday.
C-sections: As I mentioned before, the C-section rate at this hospital is around 25 percent. While I don't know my doctor's personal philosophy on C-sections, I do know that she would perform one if the baby is breech, large (9-10 lbs or more), or if I fail to progress. Even if I had a better understanding of her thoughts, it probably won't matter, as she is in a practice with about 7 other physicians, and the chance of her being the one to deliver me are actually very small.
Epidurals: She mentioned to me that the epidural rate at the hospital is 95 percent, so they probably don't accommodate well to women who don't receive one. I asked her what I could expect if I didn't get one, and she mentioned that I would still have to have an IV and a fetal monitor, thus limiting my movement. I also know that I would have to be on my back when pushing.
Episiotomy: While my doctor doesn't routinely perform them herself, she said that she does them sometimes if it appears tearing will be bad. She mentioned that other doctors in her practice routinely perform them, and I would have to let them know beforehand that I don't want one. I mentioned to her that I'd like to avoid it if possible, and she just kind of laughed and said that it really was hard to prevent tearing. (This comment is what really frustrated me.)
While I don't know my doctor's opinion on some things, like induction, or what happens to the baby after birth, etc, I feel like I have a decent idea what to expect. If I stay with her and everything runs smoothly, then that would be wonderful. When I said above that I felt my fears were irrational, it wasn't that I was worried from not knowing what to expect, but more because I'm worried things won't go smoothly when they could have if I had a more natural delivery.
Oh, and by the way.
I did a little research and found an OB/midwife practice right down the street. So my convenience rational is shot. It's a little farther walk from home, but closer to work. I haven't contacted them, but from the snippet on their website, they mentioned their philosophy on labor and delivery: letting labor occur naturally and only intervening when necessary. They are there to make labor go as smoothly and as comfortably as possible, and have a variety of ways to do that (and they do epidurals if I go that route.) Plus, they deliver in two of the best hospitals in the Texas Medical Center, so if an emergency does arise, I would still have wonderful care.
I'm still on the fence about the whole thing, but I'm going to give myself the weekend to think and pray about it with my hubby.