Sunday, June 13, 2010

New Doctor!

Just so everyone knows, 36 weeks is not to late to switch the doctor attending your baby's birth!

James and I have been seeing a local OB and, although a little quirky, we liked him. That was until about 32 weeks when I started asking questions about birthing. I thought my questions were sort of run-of-the-mill. Nothing too out there, mostly things I had read in really common books like What to Expect When You're Expecting. I was a little taken aback by his defensiveness and his use of the phrase, "You can't trust everything you read on Google." After that visit, I talked to James and we had perceived the conversation differently. So, I thought maybe I was making assumptions and should try to be very clear next time I visited the Dr.

The next time I went, James was actually out of town, but I needed to be open and blunt with the Dr about my goals for my baby's birth and for my experience. I told him I was doing Hypnosis for childbirth and asked his thoughts. There was a pause, so I said, "Is that a problem?" He said, yes, he believed that it would be a problem because these programs are typically anti-doctor and anti-nurse. I explained that I didn't feel like there was any anti-doctor sentiment and that I was using hypnosis for pain management. I asked him if he had delivered natural babies and he said he was very supportive of breathing techniques and had seen them work really well. I thought we were moving back into agreement, but then he said he just wanted to make it clear that he was not going to read any detailed instructions I listed or preferences I had for birth. So, then I was totally floored. I thought birth plans were fairly common place. He said he was there to do a job and have the best possible outcome and he knew how to achieve that and would not change his protocol. After another several moments of silence, I thanked him for being honest. He shook my hand and said, "See you next week!"

Well, we went in that next week (last week) and did the appointment and then I told him I had decided to go with another care provider for the birth. You would have thought I slapped him in the face. I thought he might have seen it coming... but he looked genuinely offended. I explained that he was a wonderful doctor and we appreciated the care he has given, but that I have some preferences about birthing that I didn't think he and I agreed on. Well, he shook my hand and flew out of the room.

I feel so guilty! All day, I kept seeing his face right after we told him. I really thought we had a pretty professional relationship and therefore he would see this as not personal. Ugh. James was really helpful in making me see that we need to choose what is best for us. He's right, but I feel pretty bad anyway.

So, moving on, we found a Family Practitioner who has chosen to focus her practice on obstetric care. She has some experience with hypnosis during childbirth and delivers at Utah Valley. I haven't met her yet, but I know she will be more communicative and open to my concerns with "protocol."

Many of you may wonder what concerns I might have about protocol. I'm actually not really so demanding! I just feel like it's one of the most important days of my life and I need my care provider to see that and not see me as part of his 9-5pm job to pay the bills. I believe a rush to intervention in hospitals is unnecessary and that my body and my baby know what to do naturally. For example, my baby will come when she is ready. It's part of protocol to induce one week after my "due date." My Dr made me feel like an idiot that I expressed that if there was no problem with the baby or me, I would feel better allowing me and baby to just let nature take it's course. I would prefer not to chemically create labor. My body already has those chemicals to do that when it's ready. Anyway, as the patient, I think a doctor should be willing to talk to me about these things without looking at me like an uninformed "google reader." In surgery, the Dr can be the boss. But birthing is not an illness, it's an exciting personal experience.

Because the body can require interventions, I feel like I have a right to utilize a hospital and knowledgeable Dr for me and my baby, but I don't have to give up all decision-making to do that. I'm hopeful this new Dr will agree with me!


  1. Ha ha! nice comic. Good for you Malea! I think you should have a doctor who is willing to work with you.

  2. I hope the new doctor works out! Whatever ends up happening it's nice to at least have a caregiver who is willing to let you try what you think would work best. I was in labor with Marie for 26 hours and the nurse started talking about C-section. My midwife told her "No, give her a little longer, she has worked so hard." Lo and behold 2 hours later Marie was born normally! That's what comes from having a practitioner on the same page with you.

  3. Glad you got a new doc & it seems like this could be a really great fit for you! YEAH!

  4. It is clear to me that you and James are informed and well educated expectant parents. How could your Dr. not see that? His loss. Don't feel badly for him. You need the Dr. that agrees with how you want to give birth. It will be good. All good. I love the positive energy concept and I will bring my own positive energy to add to yours. Can't wait to be there!

  5. You made the right decision, Malea! My first OB was just like yours, assuming he was calling all the shots and I was uninformed and ignorant. My second OB was totally different and totally supportive of my decision to do a natural birth. It sounds like it was an awkward situation making the switch, but it's so important to have a doctor that honors your wishes!