Will and I met with the new high risk OB yesterday. I had read some mixed reviews about her bedside manner online and so was a little hesitant, but we really liked her in person. We found her to be warm and funny and uber capable and conscientious, which was great and exactly what we need.
The only awkward moment came when I was starting to give her my history and she asked, "Is this your first?"
And I stumbled around for a bit, unsure if she meant first pregnancy (no), or first child (hopefully, yes). So after hemming and hawing, finally, I said, "I have no children, but this is my fifth pregnancy." And then the awkward moment passed and we discussed what happened with the first four.
She had great questions throughout that made her seem really on the ball. She's the only clinician to inquire whether I had a staging laparotomy with my Hodgkin's diagnosis, for example. Good question. And the answer is luckily, no. But if I had, it would be important to know, because during that procedure they remove the spleen. So she got some extra points for asking.
She said a couple of times as we were discussing my history, "Well, we'll do an ultrasound in a minute and see if we've got a heartbeat," which was fine with me. I'm convinced several times a day that the baby has died. Will, however, thought this was a tad pessimistic. In my book, her cautiousness was justified, and made it even better when she did the ultrasound, pronounced everything perfect, and ultimately stated, "Things look promising. I'm feeling very hopeful about this pregnancy." Really, high risk OB? You're hopeful? Awesome! Especially since you weren't all fake hopeful from the beginning. Love it!
Basically, she said that she and we will just be holding our breaths for the next few weeks and that with every week that passes, my risk of miscarriage drops. She offered me ultrasounds every two weeks to help ease my anxiety. So between her and my RE, I'll be having an ultrasound every week until the CVS, which is scheduled for August 21. She predicts I'll start to feel a lot more confident after that. I hope so.
The only other complicting factor is my health history. The chemotherapy I took for the Hodgkin's can damage the heart muscle in ways that only become apparent during times when the body is stressed (like in, um, pregnancy). So she wants me to see a cardiologist for a baseline workup so that later we can make sure I'm not running into any trouble. Hey, no objections here! Better safe than sorry. I like that she doesn't assume everything will be fine and that she wants to check into things a little further. Since so far, nothing about pregnancy has gone fine, this makes me feel much more secure than a doctor who just issues a blanket, "Don't worry!"
We also asked her lots of questions about what labor and delivery would be like since she's a high risk doctor in an academic medical setting. I'm in this tricky situation of wanting (needing?) some extra monitoring up until the time of birth and then having fantasies of doulas and hypnobirthing and walking in labor and bouncing on birthing balls and delaying or possibly foregoing the epidural, etc. And I realize these two realities may be completely incompatible. Sort of the pregnancy/childbirth equivalent of having your cake and eating it too.
So we asked her about how things are likely to go should we get that far (certain that having the hubris to assume I'll ever get to a delivery room would doom the little embryo immediately. Ugh!). And she rolled with it. Was totally cool about it. And in fact, recommended some doulas and said we can try to avoid interventions like pitocin and AROM, and we'll figure the rest out as we go (Hep-Lock v. IV, continuous v. intermittent monitoring, etc.). Good enough by me for now.
So. Great to begin building a relationship with the new OB.
I actually felt very positive and excited yesterday after meeting her and seeing our Little One again. I realized yesterday as we were waiting, me sitting there and Will pacing around like a madman, that we've never had a good OB appointment before. The two times we've made it this far, the baby was pronounced dead on ultrasound. So this happy visit experience is completely novel to us. So strange to have a smiling doctor and leave the office with a free book and a handful of pamphlets and referrals, and a cool aluminum water bottle to boot.
I'm back to my fearful place today, which doesn't surprise me. These next couple weeks are going to be really tough for Will and me. We lost the first pregnancy after seeing a perfect heartbeat at 8 weeks 3 days...so part of me is convinced that we can't make it past that date. I'm hoping to prove that part of myself wrong. Really, really hoping.