December 12, 2012

Cuts Like a Knife (this is a doozy of a post)

Hey civilians, want to know how crappy your health care will be once we move to a socialized medical world? Go visit an Army doctor.

While such a broad statement may not be completely fair, in my circumstances right now, I can say that. Let's get into my story of the day...

As we all know, I've moved away from Fort Bliss and am now living with my parents in a town that while it does have an Army post, it's just a training post and doesn't have the big amenities the larger places have. Basically, all that means is that I had to get a referral to see a civilian OB and get to deliver at a normal hospital.
Today, I met with my new doctor for the first time and SERIOUSLY??? I didn't know what I was missing. I had no idea that the level of care that I received today even existed.

Here's what I'm used to...

5 minute long appointments that consist of this same dialog every. single. time.
Nurse (N): Do you have a history of anxiety or depression?
N: Do you have thoughts of killing or hurting yourself or others?
N: Does your husband abuse you mentally or physically?
Blah blah blah. You'll have to answer questions that should be clearly stated in your records every single time you go in there.
Then they'll listen to the babies heartbeat and say, "sounds good". You'll have to ask what the heart rate was and she'll give you somewhat of a range... never an exact number.
The doctor will come in and glance over your charts. She'll ask you if you have any concerns. Then she'll tell you when to come back and your donezo. Make sure you bring a list of questions because you won't remember them when they make you feel so rushed to get the hell out of their office.

Here's what I got today...

The lady at the front desk recognized me immediately. She knew exactly who I was even though I was in there only once... over a week ago.. for a total of 5 minutes tops.
My mom and I walked back when we were called, thinking it was just the nurse, when in reality it was an angel from God telling me she was going to give me an Ultrasound! Just because! She spent so much time with us and even switched it over to 3D occasionally to let us really see him. Of course, he had his hand spread across his face, so we never did see any facial features, but that's not her fault.
Sweet little ear and his arm covering his face
 Next, I had my vitals taken where.... get this... there was a urine sample collected. Do y'all know that I have never once had to pee in a cup while pregnant. I didn't even know that was a thing until a recent conversation with my SIL. When I asked my Army doc about it, she said they figured that was a good way to cut back on costs. Ohh... okay.

Then we met with my saint of a doctor, who probably took up a half hour of his day just talking with me. He cared about what was going on in my life, wanted to know where I came from before getting here. He actually really read those things called records and didn't need to ask me unnecessary questions. He saw that I had a horrific birth with Andrew and when he didn't get enough answers from said records, he put them down and told me to tell him all about it. Then gave me tissues while I cried in his office. Then, and most importantly, he was honest with me.
He told me how likely the complications we had last time were to happen all over again. He told me he wouldn't be comfortable helping us with a natural birth and would, in fact, actually be scared for me and the baby.

He asked me how I would feel about scheduling a C-Section. (Hence the title). And not because he regularly pushes them or because he wants to fit me conveniently into his schedule. But because he took the time to go over our case and wants to help us do what is best of us. And because he saw how anxious I was over the same things happening with Wes. 
Our last hospital wasn't very forthcoming with information about Andrew's birth... I learn something new all the time. What I learned this time, from looking at the records I had to request, was that Andrew was stuck in the birth canal because his shoulder couldn't make it past my pubic bone (sorry I had to use the word pubic, but there was no way around it). And while they let him sit there and try to work it out on his own for an hour, I also had a pretty bad fever. I don't know that it'll ever truly sink in how close we were to losing him. I can't do that with this baby. It's technical term is Shoulder Dystocia and can be deadly for the baby. And if it happens once, it's likely to happen again.
Why did no one tell me about this? And why was this hospital going to let me go through it all over again? Same place, same doctors. Really?

So, C-Section it is for me! We'll get it scheduled at my next appointment, but it looks like it'll be done January 31st. How weird will it be to know when my baby is coming?? I feel like the weight of the world has been lifted off of my shoulders. While a c-sec comes with it's own set of concerns, they are concerns for myself.. not my baby. And that?? The fact that I'm not worried about losing this baby anymore? Is worth it's weight in gold!

I'd love any tips from any of y'all that have had c-sections! Any recovery tips or even just what to expect before/during/after the procedure would be great!
 

16 comments:

Steph said...

I never once took for granted how awesome my doctor was. He was so caring and understanding. I'm not sure I could have dealt a doctor that didn't care.

I had a c-section. It wasn't bad at all. I guess my only advice would be to get up and walk as soon as you are able to. (I know you will anyway.) Mine took all of 17 minutes, from the first prick of the needle until the time I was stitched up.

I think it's a good idea for you to have one. Since Trey will be gone, you don't need any extra stress. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask.

Hope you and Andrew are doing well!

Charla Welch said...

Last time I saw my doc on post, he didn't recognize me. Asked if I had seen him before. *eye roll*

Ok. Obviously, I have not had a C-section, but Misty did. And She and I share waaaaaaay too much.

The scar takes a long time to heal, as do the muscles that get stitched back together. You will HAVE to be careful and take it easy until the doc gives the go-ahead to work out. Her scar is low on her belly and would tighten up if she tried to do too much. Made it painful to walk. While I was there, we went swimming one day and then walked to the farmers market. I noticed her limping and made her stop and rest for a bit. The more you overdo it, the longer it takes to heal.

Knowing that, I'm very glad you will be with your family for this. You will have his grandparents and aunts and uncles to help you out while you recover from the surgery.

Final bit from me- my mother's doc told her to use a lotion with aloe and vitamin e on her scar from a biopsy. She put the lotion on the scar every day and it is less noticeable and not bothersome now.

JG said...

I'd like to say I'm in shock that Army medicine didn't think to tell you why and how your baby almost died and try and give you information to empower yourself to prevent it happening again...but I'm not. As with all our "freebies" it's always worth the reminder, you get what you pay for. Which is why we always intended to go to Standard as soon as I got pregnant. Don't even want to deal with that.

When it's acute care, it's usually been okay, and this last time when I had a contract PA rather than an actual Army doctor my experience was AMAZING. But those invasive female visits...ugh. Having had a fantastic gyno before going on government healthcare, the contrast was startling. I vaguely remember the days when she sat with me (like actually took the time to even SIT in the exam room and converse) and treated me like someone she cared about, not like just another box to check off to make sure she hit her quota for that day. The last time I was in, I got poked and pricked and she was taking off her gloves and *walking out the door* when I said, "Um, I have a question!" And she very generously gave me all of 2 more minutes. And then, of course, every other time I've gone in, I've seen a different person, so there's no opportunity to build a trusting relationship at all.

I'm so, so glad your experience went well. I can only imagine what a relief it is to have a doctor who cares about you and Wes and cares enough to treat you like an adult and give you all the facts. So wow, that makes it about 6 weeks from now, huh? Can't wait to see his little face!

Jen said...

I am so glad that you are getting such wonderful care! :)

Ashley Gaetano said...

Ha! The first time I went to my new doc I thought they were taking a urine sample because I was a new patient...I was very confused when they asked for another one when I went back! I haven't gotten an ultrasound yet, but they told me I will soon. And get this, I toured the hospital and there was NO ONE there! No having to worry if there is going to be a room for you! I'm so glad you're having a great experience too.

Anyway, I'm so excited to see baby Wes!! Can't wait :}

Kristy said...

I'm so glad to hear that you had a good experience with your new doctor - especially after finding out that your scary situation with Andrew was WAAAY more scary than previously thought! :( No advice for C-section stuff, just lots and lots and lots of prayers for you, Wes and the rest of the family in the coming months! HUUUUGS!

Mel said...

My favorite is that here on Carson they ask you those intake question (about abuse and whatnot) in a cubicle IN THE WAITING ROOM! Because the walls don't go all the way to the ceiling you're stuck answering those questions in what feels like a very exposed space. If I was being abused, I certainly wouldn't feel safe saying so there.

Also, love that you apologized for using "pubic." That's so southern of you. Although I agree that it's an oddly uncomfortable word (even for me, and I don't embarrass easily.)

As with everything else, I am thrilled you finally have a doctor you trust and can put your mind at ease about the possible complications. I will be praying for you come January!

Just Ask Beth said...

God's way of placing you where you need to be.. I am so happy you are having a C section.. So glad you are home to have this baby and Trey will be able to relax as well,

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Jenn said...

I will shout it to anyone that will listen: STANDARD ALL THE WAY! What's scary is that our hospital on post here is ranked so high for military hospitals and YIKES the stories I've heard from friends who've delivered there and received standard care. No way Jose! I'm so glad you have a doctor who truly cares about you and your baby and is willing to take the extra time to make you comfortable and safe. :)

And omg Jan 31 is soooo close!!!

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