a monkey wrench can still, and often, get tossed into the mix. (I've never gotten that figure of speech right--is it a monkey thrown in with a wrench??)
Anyway, last week's doctor appointment was the quintessential monkey wrench. I'd like to use another term, but try not to use that kind of "adult" language in my blog. The way I describe it to the Hubs (along with some inventive explicitives) is that I feel like I was dropped on my head. At 31 weeks, I figured I was reaching the end, which is unnerving in both a terrifying and exhilarating way. Things were in place. I've been rather zen, actually. Really. I have moments of "O.M.G. I haven't cleaned the windowsills and there is DUST" (AKA: nesting psychosis), but I've been calm for the most part. Then, last week's doctor appointment happened and after my doctor since before I got pregnant decides to give me the weight talk. I didn't get a chance (nor was I prepared) to point to my poor, unbelievably swollen Shrek feet and legs and claim some reprieve, which by the way, I've mentioned before and had brushed off as normal since my blood pressure is great and I don't have swelling anywhere else. I didn't have a chance because my doctor, who had mentioned nothing of weight concern at any prior appointment--in fact, the extent of my visits with her had been to listen to the heartbeat, ask if I have any questions, and pat me on my little head...hindsight=20/20--then tells me she's leaving at the end of February.
I'm due March 3rd.
She offered no assistance in transferring my care to one of the other doctors. Actually, she said if I wanted to stay there, I could. Her tone didn't exactly make her sound confident in the practice. (She's the second doctor to leave since I got pregnant.) She then told me there was a good chance I'd deliver before she leaves and she probably wouldn't let me get to my due date.
Umm, what? There has been absolutely no medical reasoning presented to me for delivering early. Should a medical reason present itself, then yes, I'll be agreeable to what is recommended at that point. My blood pressure has always been good, labs have been good, and Kaelyn's measured right on track. I kind of felt like I was being squeezed into her schedule before she left.
This did not sit well. Other things from my care that I had let go--you know, being "zen" and all--also started to not sit well with me. Here I am, pregnant and evidently hormonal (which explains the crying episodes that would stir up out of nowhere that day and the next), feeling like I've been dropped as a patient and having no guidance from the doctor I trusted to make me feel at ease.
First lesson: Take charge of your medical care.
Leaving it at: "Well, I should still see you at your next appointment at least" was not good enough. That's right, she didn't even reassure me that I was going to be taken care of. Here let me introduce you to the other doctors. Nope. It was a "yeah, I'm leaving. I can try to deliver you before I leave. Otherwise you're on your own." I couldn't even get an appointment with her in 2 weeks like I was supposed to. She had vacation time and afternoons off. I had gone ahead and set something up, but it was with the nurse practitioner (who I loved, by the way, but that's beside the point).
I decided to take control and find a new doctor in a practice I felt comfortable with. As soon as I got access to a computer, I pulled up our insurance to check the provider directory and research who the highly-recommended doctors were in our area who still delivered at the same hospital. I ended up with a list of 4 names. All with high-accolades and glowing reviews from patients. I finally figured out that they were all at the same facility. I debated about which one to request an appointment with and finally concluded that it really didn't matter. It would just be whoever was on call to deliver me, more than likely, and if they all are that wonderful, then I couldn't really go wrong. I called and spoke to a very understanding and sweet receptionist who got me in this afternoon to see the founding doctor of the practice. She actually offered me an appointment last Thursday, which I would have loved to have taken, but my good coworker had the day off and my other coworker is on "leave."
I had to practically battle the other office to get my records after being told it's a 14-day waiting period. Um, the doctor is leaving, I am almost 32 weeks pregnant, and I'm having to transfer care to another practice because she left very little confidence in me that I should stay with you and you're telling me you need 14 days to release my records? I didn't say that, but now that I think about it, I should have. One rush fee later and I have my records in time for the appointment.
I'm hoping this appointment gives me some reassurance and puts me at ease a bit. I'm definitely going to tell her about my experience at my other doctor's office. I definitely want to make sure there's no surprises that I can prevent and be sure we're on the same page. I'm not a total control freak patient, after all, with a 30 page birth plan detailing everything from being sure Yanni music is played at such a volume to having the room set at 71.2 degrees. (The Hubs would get that list of demands anyway. hehe I kid.)
My preferences are pretty simple. Unless there is a medical reason to deliver sooner than my due date, I want to go into labor naturally. I have heard horrible things about Pitocin and other induction meds and how they intensify contractions. I'd rather avoid that scenario. Also, because I don't want an extended recovery time, I don't want a c-section unless necessary. My maternity leave time is precious to me.
That's it. I'm going to see how it goes during labor otherwise. If I feel like I can go without an epidural, I will, but if I think it's in my best interest to get some rest and the epi is the only way to get that, I will ask for the anesthesiologist...and likely kiss his/her feet.
I want a healthy baby and I want to be a healthy momma at the end of the delivery. That's all.
I've been reminded that most of labor and delivery is the nurses. During our hospital tour, they reassured us that the doctors get updates constantly, but that it's the nurses who take care of you through it all. That makes me feel better because I've liked everyone we've met at the hospital. I feel comfortable there. In the end, I won't care what doctor walks in 30 seconds before I deliver.
Oh and some intense Shrek feet banishment procedures ("Be gone evil spirits!") have left me with semi-normal looking ankles and feet. Even my legs seem to have released a lot of fluid. My feet have a little water built up after a morning of my sedentary work lifestyle, but nothing like they were as recently as last week. This small victory involved: constant elevation of legs at work, downing a minimum of 120 oz of water a day, elevating feet at home for several hours each night, switching to non-binding socks (AKA: The Hubs's socks) as mine no longer fit, Epsom salt soaks for the legs and feet, cold compresses. I'm interested to see if this makes a difference on the scale today too. Even if it doesn't, I'm watching what I eat more (though the gyro was at the request of the 4 lb fetus...little girl needs her protein), cutting out a lot of sugar, basically all my bread-type carbs are whole wheat, etc. and really, I can't do anything about that number. If I'm hungry, I'll eat and there are definitely days when I'm not terribly hungry and days when nothing seems to make the hunger go away. It is what it is. Everyone's body responds differently to pregnancy, there's a lot of hormones at play (and apparently they do more than cause major chin acne), and I know some of my food choices could have been better, but I haven't eaten horribly. Kaelyn's healthy and that's all that matters. My issue with the number is more ego than anything and the fear of how Jillian Michaels will seriously kick my butt after delivery/recovery.
So I'm going to make up my list of questions to go over with the new doctor. I think I'll like her. Think good thoughts. In any case, I'll get home a little early (but have to make a stop for a couple essentials) so maybe I'll sneak in a nap. After last night and my inability to get comfortable and with my back feeling how it does, resting with the heating pad pressed against my lower spine sounds simply marvelous.