Woo-hoo!! One good doctor found, one to go…
For the record, I have nothing against doctors in general. I’ll use a prescription when it’s truly necessary. But, my desire in pretty much everything medical is to a) be as natural as possible, b) avoid medication whenever possible, and c) find the root source of a problem, instead of just medicating symptoms. This seems fairly reasonable to me, but is rather rare in doctors.
My old OB, who retired, wasn’t quite a crunchy/natural kind of guy, but at least he understood, respected, and accomodated my desire to be such. The guy I’d found to replace him? Not so much. He was my first OB’s medical partner, and he’s the one who was actually present at Audrey’s birth, which went wonderfully. But, having him be the doctor for all the prenatal care of this pregnancy has been continually problematic. He blew off my concerns, didn’t seem to care about my own desires in taking care of myself, tried to medicate me for herpes (when the thing I had/have turned out to NOT be herpes!), and was already prepping me to be induced, which I do not want to be. (I’m 30 weeks pregnant — he wasn’t pressuring me to be induced NOW, just telling me that, when the time comes, that would be his recommendation, if I went even a couple of days past my EDD.) Plus, that doc’s office staff was surly and disorganized, and appointments took FOREVER, literally up to three hours, and all of them at least two hours…
I went to the new doctor (Dr. Paul McKernan, for anyone in the north-Phoenix area) on Friday. My appointment was for 7:15, and I walked in at 7:05, dismayed to find a full waiting room. But, after I filled out my new patient paperwork, they got me in right away. I was completely done by 8:00, and I didn’t feel either rushed, nor that I had waited too long.
I felt, right off, that we were on the same page — or at least a very similar page.
- He said that upon examination, he could understand how the other doc might have thought it was a “herpetic lesion” but given my history — he said something like, “Given that you’re not in the habit of swinging around biker bars or anything like that…” He gave me an rx for a low-dose steroid cream to use for a week, and some written instructions of how to care for it. For some reason, it made me feel REALLY good that a doctor actually believed that my husband and I are totally faithful to each other, and that an STD was an extreme unlikelihood. I really felt like the previous doc was accusing me and/or my husband of being unfaithful. And, it felt good that Dr. McKernan had a plan of action — an already-made written document that said, “Here’s how to care for yourself.” The other doc’s directions were always so nebulous, like he didn’t really have a plan, ever.
- Dr. McKernan said that, since this is my 5th baby, and since there’s another issue — which I really don’t want to blog about — I’m dealing with, my risk for hemorrage is increased. But, it’s not scary-high or anything, which I was a little afraid of. So, I’ll likely give my own blood as the due date approaches, just so it’ll be handy if anything goes awry. I had tried to bring this up with the other doc, but he blew me off. It feels good to be listened to, and not blown off.
- As a standard practice, I was surprised to learn that Dr. McKernan does NOT give episiotomies. This is important to me. My first three children, my boys, I either tore (doc did not get there fast enough), or got an epi, and recovery from that is… well, uncomfortable. The very reason I had been going to doc #2 was because he worked with me when I was delivering Audrey, and I did not tear or need an epi, and she was 9 lbs., so I know it’s possible. I just didn’t want to have to convince a new doctor of it. And, now, it’s especially important that I do not have either, to avoid further risk of hemmorage/bleeding. So, to hear him say that with all his patients, he basically applies some natural birthing methods (stretching, pressure, lubrication, judicious/minimized pushing) to ease the baby out with no surgical intervention… well, that just made me tear up. I literally started to cry, I was so relieved. And, he has the mother assist with the last couple of pushes, pulling the baby out herself. WOW!! For those of you who haven’t birthed, that might sound scary/weird/gross/whatever. But hearing that just made delight well in my heart, and helps me to eagerly anticipate the birth, even more. (Weirdo that I am, I am REALLY looking forward to the birth of this baby… It’s just the pregnancy that I have to get through!! Pregnancy does not agree with my body.)
- He placed me on, basically, the South Beach Diet. That’s roughly the sort of diet I aim for anyways — lower carbs, high protein, lots of fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains — but now, I’m even more careful about what I eat. So far, I’ve gained 22 lbs, which is the best yet (least amount of weight gain of all my pregnancies), but I still have 10 weeks to go… and gaining the least amount of weight possible from here on out will minimize the impact on my cardiovascular system (especially vericose veins), and hopefully, keep me from having a 10 lb baby. So… I’ve been eating a lot of celery. 🙂 I think, though, that I’m going to have to start keeping track of my carbs. He wants me to keep them around 100 grams per day, and I think I’m probably at 150 or even 200.
- He did say that the “trend” currently is to not let mothers go much past their EDD at all, but he understood that I am motivated to birth naturally, and that I’d rather give birth to an 11 lb baby who is two weeks late than be induced.
So, I’m greatly encouraged.
I feel weird/bad about switching doctors — I’ve never done that before, much less at 30 weeks pregnant — but, it appears that it was the right decision.