Monday, January 14, 2008

First OB/GYN Appointment

I love my OB's office.

This is something that didn't happen overnight. To recap my history with OBs:

1) My first OB might have been okay. I actually never met him. But when I started bleeding heavily and called the on-call doctor, it happened to be him. He was nice enough (if businesslike) and told me that there was nothing that could be done if I was losing the baby that early. He told me to come in the next day for a HCG blood test. The number came back at 26, which of course for six weeks pregnant was abysmal. His nurse told me that I "wasn't even pregnant," which confused me and devalued my feelings. I her asked for loss support and was flat out told it was for women that had later term losses. Next!

2) My second OB started out all right. She was a little cold at my follow up appointment, but I figured it might be a good counter-balance to my tendency to freak out. However, when she told me that it was my fault that I kept having miscarriages (well, my fault for testing so early and finding out that I was pregnant and then miscarrying), I knew it was time to move on. This post goes into more detail about our final appointment together. Let's just say that I need someone with a level head and some compassion. Next!

3) If you have been following my blog for some time, you might know that my RE is a great doctor, one of the best in the area. She teaches at the University of Washington, which has a great medical school. She is a nice enough person, but at times, her bedside manner leaves something to be desired. Things have gotten better since we started the IVF cycle, but the cynical part of me really resents the fact that we had to get to the "big leagues" (and spend the big dollars) to get to see the softer side of her, but I also don't look a gift horse in the mouth.

To be honest, I have always wondered if perhaps it is me, not the medical professionals, that are lacking. I mean, come on, it's not their fault that I miscarry. Maybe it's not them that lack the bedside manner that I need, perhaps I need too much. Perhaps because of my bad experiences, I want someone to blame, and they are an easy scapegoat. However, one of the great things about doctors is that there are a lot of 'em, so I had the luxury of continuing to look for one that at least seemed able to handle my issues, if nothing else.

When I went to Dr. S's for the first time last fall, I was eight weeks pregnant with Gummy Bear. When the nurse, K, took my history, she shared her own personal story of several miscarriages before her healthy son was born. I knew I had found a soul sister.

When we went in for the ultrasound that showed Gummy Bear had died, she seemed to take it as personally as we did. She gave me the biggest hugs and was always there for us. When I called the following Monday to schedule the D&C after a second high level ultrasound confirmed that the baby had died, she said that she had been praying for a miracle for us all weekend. I knew it came from her heart.

Dr. S also seems to be a kind man, just the sort of person that I would love to bring our baby into the world. He is the perfect combination of matter-of-fact (I am hysterical enough for both of us, thank you very much) and compassionate. He struck just the right chord of empathy for what we had been through and positive thinking for the future in our follow-up appointment. He also went to medical school with my RE, so it's good that they have a decent relationship with each other and don't mind "sharing" me for the first trimester. All of this combined to let me know that I had found my OB.

The day after we got our positive beta, I called to get in with Dr. S. I knew it was early, but his schedule fills quickly. Turns out that it was a good thing that I called. He wasn't taking new patients. I was very disappointed, but asked if he or K could refer us to someone else. When K saw that it was me, she made an exception, and they took me on as a patient and even worked me into the schedule earlier than they normally see OB patients.

Today was my "intake" appointment, which is basically just the background stuff and some basic blood work. K was amazing, as usual. She told me that she was concerned about any anxiety that I might have and said that anytime I needed to hear the heartbeat or "take a peek" to ease my fears, just to call her. She even offered an ultrasound today, but we are going in for the ultrasound tomorrow with Dr. M, and my husband wasn't there. It made me feel great to have her support. She gave me a big hug and told me that she had been waiting for this day for a long time and was so excited for us. K said that she feels it is a "sisterhood," those of us that have had losses and that we need to stick together. Talk about somebody who gets it!

I feel good today. I was starving this morning and ate breakfast with no problem. I can't take the Zofran on workdays as I drive constantly for my job, so it freaks me out a little that I feel so . . . normal. I actually don't feel pregnant at all today. But I haven't had a speck of spotting, so I am just hoping that it's one of those good pregnancy days that normal women would embrace.

One more sleep until the ultrasound. It is scheduled for 2:30 PST tomorrow. I will be 7 weeks, 2 days. Praying for the best. . .


Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you love your OB! That's a huge hurdle for lots of people it seems. Praying for more good news tomorrow!

Tracy said...

Your post, and especially the info about K, filled my heart with warm, happy fuzzies. I'm so glad you've found that level of support - how cool!

I'm so lucky. My OB is also my OBGYN, so I've been going to him for 5 years. His nurse practitioner, Amy, did both of our IUIs and has really been a rock for me, too. He's also friends with my RE (my OB is an infertility specialist, as well, just doesn't do the hardcore stuff), so it's been an easy transition back and forth as I need stuff.

Anyway, I'm glad you found a great place to take care of you for the next 8 months or so.


Laura said...

K sounds amazing! And how nice that she offered peaks whenever you want!

Can't wait to hear the good news tomorrow!

Fertilize Me said...

yeah FOR GREAT caregivers. Good luck tomorrow - glad its been a good day

Maria said...

What an amazing nurse. Her interactions with you brought tears to my eyes. I'll be praying for you tomorrow. Just one more sleep.

moosk said...

i'm so glad you've found a great ob... it's like finding a needle in a haystack!

you have very good reasons to stay positive this time around! i'm right there with you! i can't believe you resisted the opportunity to peek... you must be feeling strong! i'm thinking good thoughts for ya tomorrow!

Searching said...

GL with the U/S! I'm excited for you!!! I am SO GLAD you have that nurse. Sometimes I feel like God puts me in an exact spot at an exact time for a specific purpose, a certain patient, a family that I am meant to help for whatever reason. I believe God brought you and K together too. I am so thankful you found this OB. I'm sorry you had to go through the morons to get there. Banish those thoughts about it being you. It most certainly is not- it is the docs you saw first that are idiots. They DO lack bedside manner and it has nothing to do with you.

Kathy V said...

I am thrilled for you that you had a good appointment and that you have a sisterhood of support there. I want an update about the ultrasound as soon as you can.