Saturday, August 13, 2011


Have you ever had an experience that left you a little bit annoyed when it originally happened, but then the more you think about it the more pissed off you got?

That's where I'm at right now. PISSED!

I told you about our fun trip to L&D on Thursday, and left you with the knowledge that I was waiting for my Dr. to follow up with me to give me further instruction. So, let's pick up where we left off shall we? Perhaps with a bit more detail?

When I called and left the message for my Dr. I was told that it was his night to stay late in the office and it was likely that he wouldn't get to returning phone calls until after office hours. I told the nurse that was fine. I had no problem with that. Well, I waited until 11 pm, but he never called. That night was awful. I continued to have mild contractions every few minutes that were making me so sick to my stomach that I could neither sleep or concentrate on anything else. The contractions themselves weren't really painful, just uncomfortable at times - pretty much the exact same as they were during our time in L&D earlier in the day. As soon as the office opened the next morning, I called. The nurse explained that my Dr. was out of the office and that out of 10 providers there was only ONE there that day, and that he was overbooked and in no way could take my call or see me. When the nurse asked what sort of issue I was having I explained; Still having mild contractions every 2-3 minutes apart, and horrible nausea. I told her that pretty much nothing had changed since I left labor and delivery. I told her that I didn't need to go back to the hospital, but I was wanting to talk to one of the doctors so that I knew the warning signs for when I DID need to go back. Since I was already having contractions closer together than the 5 minutes apart that you would "normally" go to the hospital, I was at a loss. I have no idea what I'm doing! And since this same nurse had sent me to the hospital originally, and told me that because I was wanting to attempt a VBAC my Dr. wanted me to go get checked if "there (was) any tightening or contraction-like feeling at all", it made it even harder now that I was sent home while having regular contractions. I was just looking for instructions since I wasn't given any when I left the hospital. Period.

She asked me a bit of history, and then proceeded to get all intense and scary. She looked up my chart, and when she saw that I had a previous child by c/s for "failure to progress", she freaked. She told me that I needed to go back to L&D because contractions 2-3 minutes apart are just "too close". She asked me if I was willing to do a c-section today. When I told her "no", she told me "then I'm not even going to page Dr.___, since the only reason I would be calling is to ask him to do the cesarean." She then asked me to hold while she went to consult the Dr. that was in the office. When she came back she repeated that I needed to go back to the hospital. "Now is not the time to be holding out for a VBAC just because you don't want a c-section. You need to think about your baby. "We don't want her to go into distress. She will be stressed enough just going through the birth process." Every time I told her that I didn't feel like anything had changed since I was at the hospital she'd say "yes, but today is a new day, and those contractions are just too close." She told me that she had had 3 c-sections. After the first she just wasn't willing to "risk it." When I asked her why, if they were too close did they send me home in the first place, she changed the subject.

I just about lost it. Are you freaking kidding me?!?! First of all, these contractions are just about worthy of a laugh. Barely strong enough to be felt, and obviously not strong enough to be changing my cervix at all or they would have kept me at the hospital. My only real complaint about them is the nausea that they are causing. Miss E had been fine and was keeping with all of her normal patterns of movement and sleep times, all the way down to when she gets the hiccups.

By the time I hung up the phone, I was in tears. She made it sound like I had to go to the hospital and if nothing had changed, I had to have a c-section. She made me feel selfish for wanting to wait, and stupid for believing that nothing was wrong and like I was risking EJ's life by being hesitant.

As we were about to walk out the door, my phone rang. It was my Dr..

He sounded so annoyed that it made me feel guilty. I hadn't even expected him to call. I'm not sure if the nurse ended up paging him, or if he was just then getting around to returning my call from the day before. I explained to him what had happened at labor and delivery the day before, what was currently happening, and then what the nurse had said. He told me that the longer I stayed home, the better my chance of a VBAC. "The less intervention, the better." He said with the contractions they way there were, he wasn't worried. "It could be Monday" he said. As long as I didn't go passed 41 weeks, I was fine. He told me that the nurse I spoke to was "kind of a dweeb", and that I was fine to stay home as long as I felt the baby was fine, and that I didn't feel any significant changes.

That was all I needed. I was so relieved that I ended up hanging up, and going to bed. I slept until 3:30 pm. I'm not sorry.

But now, here I am getting more and more pissed. He was soooo annoyed on the phone with me. He made me feel better with what he was saying, but so embarrassed to have needed him in the first place. Like I was calling just to bother him. Okay, I get it. I know that he had a busy day the day before, and he told me when he called that he was on-call for the entire practice, but still. I changed providers at 21 weeks so that I could have a Dr. that was more accessible. I have NEVER called or paged him before this. I am not one of those patients that calls everyday with a new issue, and I have pretty much been grateful for every single moment of this pregnancy and tried my very best not to complain about ANYTHING. The only thing that I have even brought up to him is the swelling in my legs and only because a) The swelling is very much uneven and my left leg is twice the size of my right (and that's saying something!) and b) I can barely walk by the end of the day. They get so big that the bottom of my feet round to the point that my toes don't touch the ground. Seriously. It's gross, and it HURTS! There I said it. Not everything has been wonderful, but I have done my best to ignore the bad parts. I am pissed that he treated me like such an inconvenience. My whole conversation with him was less than 5 minutes. Really, is that so much to ask?

And the nurse... oh, the nurse. What a freaking joke. I can understand her concern if there had been more to what was going on. If the contractions were more painful, or if my water had broken. If I had a fever, or if Miss E wasn't active. But nothing like that was happening. I was in the EXACT SAME SITUATION that I had been in when the nurses in L&D (and I'm assuming my Dr. since I'm pretty sure he had to give the okay to release me) had deemed safe enough for me to go home the day before. I just wanted some reassurance, and to know what to watch for for "real" labor. I know that this is something I can't play around with. Even though the risk is minimal, there is a risk of uterine rupture because of my prior c/s. If that happens the result is NEVER good. So why was it so hard to just get some simple information? It was my understanding that that is EXACTLY why we go to Dr.'s in the first place!

UGH! I have an appointment on Monday and I'm not sure what I'm going to do. I feel bitchy enough to walk in there and rip into the Dr., but at the same time, I'm not sure it's the best time to piss him off, ya know? As far as the nurse goes, I will be speaking to the office/nursing supervisor. Her behavior was simply uncalled for. Just because she was so willing to have a c-section 3 times does not mean that it is right for everyone. If it comes down to that for me - then fine, but I at least want to TRY to avoid it.

How would you hand this situation? Would you let it go, or would you feel comfortable approaching the subject with the Dr.?

Chances are, I'll cool off before my appointment, but this is how I'm feeling now and boy, do I feel better getting it all out. If you made it this far - thank you. I know it was a long, jumbled post.

1 comment:

One Day said...

How utterly frustrating...and maddening! I would love to say that I'd march into the office, find that nurse, and...well, I can't say that I would do anything too worth applause. I hate that we're so dependent on not only our doctors but the office staff to be accessible. It makes it nearly impossible to really say what we want to say sometimes.

I'm glad that your doctor was a voice of reason for you. And I'm glad that you got your answer!

I hope that these "contractions" turn into CONTRACTIONS and start moving you along really soon. And I hope the nausea isn't too horrible!!! I'm thinking about you. If I were you, I'd mention something innocently to the doctor about how you were/are really confused about this and you felt a little overlooked maybe. And def say something to the nursing supervisor so that no one else gets the third degree about waiting for a VBAC- ugh!!!