Thursday, February 28, 2013

Well, I'm glad I fired them!

I had my first check-up with Deb, my home birth midwife.  Everything went well!  I was measuring spot on, the baby's heart rate was good, and I spent an hour talking to a health professional for the first time in my life.  It was brilliant!  I also learned a lot about supplements and herbs...and I had always thought that I was so educated!

At the time of my appointment, the OBGYN office still hadn't sent over my file.  I got a call when they finally did.  It went a little something like this:

Deb: So, did the doctors explain your condition?
Me: Well, they mention I had  a low lying placenta but that they weren't worried about it.
Deb: Oh yeah, that's moved and that's fine, but you have something called circumvallate placenta.  I can't believe they didn't tell you!
Me: Nope, never mentioned it.
Deb: Okay, I'm going to need to refer you to a perinatologist, because this is a major concern - I can't believe they didn't tell you?!?!!

(This is why I'm not a script writer)

Anyway, apparently the doctors saw something weird on both of my ultrasounds, but failed to mention it to me.  Circumvallate placenta (CVP) can cause some huge problems in pregnancy, from pre-term labor to miscarriage to placental abruption.  I'm out of the woods for a miscarriage, and I haven't had any bleeding or severe pain, so Deb's gut instinct is that the doctors didn't know what they were looking at.  The referral is just to get a clear diagnosis.  However, if I do have this disease then I think my chances of home birth are gone.

I'm glad my midwife is referring me to a specialist, and quite frankly I'm pissed that my first doctors never did.  What if I had a miscarriage, or had hemorrhaged and died?  I'm hoping that there's nothing actually wrong with me, because my greatest fear is a hospital birth.  And, if I end up being high risk, it will probably be a c-section.  Next to losing the baby, a c-section would be a nightmare.  I'm angry and frustrated and worried.  Every little twinge has me wondering if I'm losing the baby, and every BH contraction makes me think I"m in pre-term labor.  I need to get out of my own head!

The perinatologists should be calling soon to set up an appointment...I was hoping that they would call yesterday, but no such luck.  Fingers crossed that they call today!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Switching providers at 24 weeks

At my last check-up at the OB-GYN practice I had been using, the midwife I was primarily working with told me that she wouldn't be there for my delivery.

"Vacation?" I asked.  She shook her head.  No, not vacation - she was leaving the practice.
"Why?  Where are you going?"  She explained that she was leaving to work at a more midwife friendly hospital.  More midwife friendly?  I immediately started asking question.

The practice I had been using consisted of four midwives and two OB-GYNs.  I knew that there was a chance that "my' midwife might not attend my delivery.  However, once she was leaving, she felt that she could be more candid about the practices of the hospital I would be delivering in.  It sounded very much like the last hospital I delivered in - quick to administer Pitocin to speed up labor, more than happy to give you an epidural, making you lay in bed while they monitor the (unnaturally strong because of Pit) contractions, use of forceps, and other red-flags.  I left that appointment feeling defeated.  I am strong, and well-educated about patients rights.  I could very well fight to have the birth that I want, but why should I?  Why should I have to check and double check that my rights aren't being violated?  Shouldn't I have some say?  Having a child is not an illness - it's a perfectly natural thing that doesn't need to be medicated or messed with!

I told J that enough was enough - I wanted a home birth!  I wanted one to begin with, but always figured it would be too expensive, or the midwives wouldn't travel out as far as we are.  Well, there was only one way to find out!  I started emailing people, and finally got the name of a local midwife, Deb.  We emailed back and forth a bit, and after having to reschedule because of an ice storm, we met for a consultation.

Her office is a bit of a drive for us (about an hour) but it's cute and cozy!  I fell in love with her almost instantly!  We were scheduled for a half hour, but ended up staying a full hour!  She had great answers for all of our questions, and we discovered that it's cheaper to have a home birth, even though she doesn't take insurance.  As soon as we got in the car, I looked at J and said "So, we're doing this, right??"  He agreed.

Now, I just have to have my files transferred to her office, and go on my merry way.  I'm super excited that I'll be able to have a peaceful birth, in my own home, without the stress of doctors, nurses, IVs, machines, fluorescent lights and hospital smells.

I can't wait to meet our newest little girl!!!