What to Do *Update*

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.

beth's signature


  1. flacius1551 said...
    You shouldn't deliver with a doctor who makes you uncomfortable, but at the same time, if you are not asking her questions that you need the answer to, you are not giving her the opportunity to demonstrate that you could feel comfortable with her. E.g., what is the percentage of C-sections that she performs among her deliveries? This is hardly an unreasonable question to ask. Have you told her that you want to do everything you can to avoid a C-section?
    beth@thenaturalmommy said...
    I agree that you should be asking questions, but if your personalities are just clashing, then I think it best you should try to find another doctor, or better yet, A MIDWIFE. :-) Because if you're stressed/uncomfortable around her now, it's very possible that her presence may hinder you laboring process. You don't need anyone stressing you out while you're pushing!

    It's hard to know with your first one what you want, or what you believe is best for you and your laboring process. But I think it helps with finding a doctor to know ahead of time what you want. I didn't know what I wanted with Olivia, and ended up with a doctor who did things I know NOW that I never want again. (She didn't explain to me how painful induction was before she recommended it, and she didn't tell me she's one of the rare doctors who still performs episiotomies regularly.)

    So I'd try (and I know it's hard, b/c you've never given birth before) to put some of your beliefs you have right now down on paper, bring them to your current doctor, and see what she has to say about them. If she's just not clicking with your beliefs and feelings, then PLEASE find another. It's better switching late than using a doctor who doesn't share your beliefs and may do things you'll regret later.
    Beth said...
    Thanks for the wonderful advice! I think it's helping me put my thoughts in order. I just updated the post to hash everything out better and make it clearer.
    Susan said...
    A 25% cesarean rate is alarming, but that is a national rate, so it's not that unusual for your hospital, sadly. (And on a similar note, in response to The Other Beth ;-D, most doctors perform episiotimies regularly, from what I've read?).

    But all that to say, I'd first not recommend spending your whole last trimester scrambling from one doctor/midwife to another, and then to another, and another. I don't think it's that weird to make a thoughtful switch in the last trimester, though. And trust me, it really does make a difference to have a doctor/midwife who holds a similar philosophy. I moved mid-pregnancy and met my new group of midwives when I was 20 weeks along, and I don't feel like that put me at a disadvantage. Some of the midwives (there were 4) I met several weeks later, in fact.

    Hey, is there a birth center in your area? I had a great experience birthing in one here in CT. http://www.birthcenters.org/ Aren't you in TX? There are a lot of choices in TX on that site. I drove 45 minutes to my birth center, and it was worth every minute of that drive.
    Minister Mamie L. Pack said...
    Stay encouraged. From the time that I became pregnant with my third son, my doctors and nurses expected him not to make it. With each appointment, they would try to comfort me in preparation that I would miscarry. I knew that God had spoken a Word to me that my son would live. No matter what they said, I held on to what God said. I even had 4 preterm labor incidents in which the last one left me in the hospital for a month. Then they had to do an emergency c-section because he quit moving. Again, the nurses were preparing me for the worst. But God gave me a new doctor at the last minute and he was a blessing. My third son was born a month early with no complications and I was able to go home after a couple of days in the hospital. This was my first c-section after having 2 naturally. Trust God and He will guide you regardless to how things seem to others.

    Minister Mamie L. Pack
    Susan said...
    Oh, one thought I had is that you can drastically reduce your chance of a c-section due to "failure to progress" simply by not checking into the hospital too early on. Also, as a word of comfort, one reason for the spike in the c-section rate (besides impatient doctors) is the alarming increase of obesity in the U.S., so part of that statistic doesn't apply to you :-).
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