Dr. F walked into the room, went over the scans I had done the day before then he said “have you thought about your delivery?” I responded with “well, I wanted to see what you thought was best – natural labor process? Induction?…”
He replied with “you need to have a c-section,” I was a little surprised by that answer although I’m not fully sure why it came as such a surprise. I guess partly because I expected him to give me that kind of news at my appointment that I had been to 6 months beforehand. He continued with, “because your heart condition is so rare, there haven’t been enough to go off of. Labor may be too much for you and if it was to be too much – it would be too hard for the doctors to get you back.” I asked when he would like to see it done and he told me thirty-eight weeks would be best so I didn’t go into labor naturally. So, I took that for what it was and went on my way.
It was like the wind got knocked out of me. I silently took it all in – we discussed things further, then I left the appt scheduled my next one and left.
I called my dad and told him the news – he’s always the one that doesn’t worry, or at least is good at hiding the concern in his voice. I told him like it was, he told me all would be fine, that everything was out of our control and we couldn’t control what would happen but that it was going to happen exactly how it was supposed to, there was no reason to worry about something that didn’t need to be worried about. I need to hear that.
Once I hung up with him I called my mom – the one I knew I could cry with. I cried when I told her what the doctor said. I cried that it really wasn’t part of the plan inside my head. I was fine until I told her “they said it would be too hard to get me back if it was too much for my heart.” That’s when the silence took place for a moment, and I could feel the lump in her throat through the phone just like the one I had in mine. There wasn’t a debate on what I was going to do, it was more that it was different in my head. My mom had 3 c-sections and I knew how common they were but I had always gotten the “your mom had c-sections so you could have them too.“ So, honestly, I think the disappointment came mostly from me hoping I could “prove those certain someones wrong” and I’d deliver naturally. Wrong.Our reasons for c-sections were totally different. She has a healthy heart just didn’t dilate with me.
That night I told Ryan when he got home from work. He knew we would have to have a talk about the appointment because I forewarned him but he didn’t really understand what that meant. I just said” I have to have a c-section.” He was a little confused for a moment then I further explained and he agreed that we probably should have seen this coming. I cried – darn hormones. He worried. The phrase “they said it would be too hard to get me back if it was too much for my heart,” in his head like it did mine. But there was nothing up for debate – I knew Ryan needed his wife and A needed her mama – no risks were worth taking.
The next week was my OB appointment, the one that I expected to go smoothly and have an understanding doctor, except I had quite the opposite and I’ve never been so frustrated in my life.
I arrived at the appointment, went through the beginning routine stuff then saw the doctor. She started the appointment by saying, “sounds like your cardiology appointment went a little different than expected.” I explained to her that it was definitely different but there was no objections and that we needed to do what he said so that we could make sure that A had a mama. Instead of the conversation ending there she told me that she felt like like my heart was fine. SHE the OB now thought my HEART was OK contrary to what the CARDIOLOGIST said. As you can imagine, I knew this conversation was going to be nothing less than irritating. She suggested that I labor, because really labor is just like exercise (uh? what?), and that when it got close they could yank A out with forceps and suction. UMMMMMMM…..NO! I told her that I wouldn’t OK forceps and suction at any point what so ever. So, then she said I could labor and then when she was in the birth canal we could do the c-section. I kept telling her, that none of those options were OK with me and as far as I was concerned the only things that would be happening were the things that my cardiologist OK’d, which was strictly a scheduled c-section. She argued with me for about ten minutes or so, telling me what she considered safe. She also told me there was absolutely no way she would be doing a c-section at thirty-eight weeks. Period. The End.
I left that office more frustrated than you can imagine. I learned after researching that afternoon more information on her that she had finished her residency in 2011, so my high risk pregnancy wasn’t probably the safest in her hands. I searched and called doctor after doctor. “We aren’t taking new patients at this time” was the the most common response, over and over again. I felt so defeated, my hands were tied I had zero options. I then called my cardiologist and talked to his assistant, and told her what was going on. I was so upset. They confirmed exactly what I said to my OB, no natural labor. Period. It was too risky. I told them I didn’t care about the 38 weeks or 39 weeks, whichever was fine but it needed to be Dr. F’s decision and he needed to contact her and be more clear in his reasoning, as she clearly wasn’t experienced enough to understand. The assistant actually said to me, “has this doctor of your never been in labor before? It’s much harder on your heart that exercise.” The team of assistance under Dr. F were so understanding but also very worried for me, they had never had such trouble with a doctor, which honestly didn’t make me feel any better. Dr. F sent over a letter stating that he was requiring I have a c-section, zero labor, zero pushing but that he would OK with it being at thirty-nine weeks.
My next appointment with my OB I was less than thrilled to be at and the medical assistant which I loved to pieces told me she was shocked that I was back in the office because she could see in my face at the last appointment that I was so upset. I explained what happened at the last visit and she was in just as much shock and apologized over and over again to me for my doctor’s behavior. She was appalled. It was time for my doctor to come in and she starts the appointment off saying “Dr F said thirty-nine weeks is fine, and we’ll do the c-section. Are you feeling better today about things and doing it at thirty-nine weeks??”
For the LOVE! I was so over this and knew that I had to stick with her for the next couple of weeks so I took a deep breath and finally I very calmly and slowly replied “It was never about the thirty-eight weeks. It was solely about doing things as suggested by the cardiologist, whatever he is comfortable with I am comfortable with.”
She tried to keep this going
which made me want to smack her but I shut it down every time, no more chit-chat, straight business, I was done. Finally the appointment was over. I just had to get over it, but my frustrations with her to the side the best I could and make it through the next appointment and the c-section.
Come back tomorrow for Part 2.