Friday, October 31, 2008

The Battle of 33 Weeks

My wife finally relented and allowed the midwife office to schedule her for a sonogram. So Wednesday morning we dutifully showed up at the hospital imaging suite for our (completely unnecessary) 33 week sonogram. All did not go as planned.

After waiting for 30 minutes, we overheard the imaging secretary on the phone with our midwife office requesting our records be faxed over. At this point I'm completely done, we've got our 2 y/o with us and we've just heard that we're going to wait at least another 15 minutes for our chart to show. I went to the window and let the secretary know that we're just going to go on to our midwife appointment, and that we won't be having a sonogram today. Of course the sono-tech just 'happens' to be standing right there also, (shouldn't she be back doing sonograms so that her patients won't have to wait 30 minutes?)

She tells us that since my wife has a previa (she doesn't) it's "REALLY IMPORTANT" that we monitor her placenta. Not in the mood at this point (SHE DOESN'T HAVE A PREVIA,) I just tell her we'll take that up with the ordering practitioner, and we head to the midwife office.

Before the midwife makes it into the room, my wife has convinced me to let her talk first, probably a good idea.

The midwife comes in and immediately starts in on my wife, won't let her get a word in edgewise. I'm biting my tongue but after the midwife starts laying the guilt trip on my wife and my wife is about to start crying, I had had enough. ENOUGH.

I will spare you the grisly details, but I will tell you that I kept my head and my voice even and low, (much to my wife's utter shock.)

When I was done the midwife pulls the oldest trick in the book, "if you're not comfortable maybe you should find another provider."

To which I replied that, "no, we'd just like the provider we've chosen to start collaborating with us, and to start thinking about our baby first, rather than trying minimize her own risk."


I remind her that my wife and I are both well-educated health care professionals, and we only expect from her what we'd expect from ourselves in the same situation.

More silence.

Finally she relents, making us promise that if we experience symptoms that we'll seek treatment right away. (As if we'd have done any less!?!?) And then wanted us to acknowledge that without the sonogram now, if my wife starts bleeding, she couldn't control the outcome as well. (Uh....what? How?) So we acknowledge that.

Then all was right in the world as she happily prattled on about their routine come delivery time.


I just don't understand why it has to be a battle!?!


  1. Wow, I thought midwives would care more about client concerns than that. I would much rather be a patient advocate than someone who's consumed with covering her own behind. My gosh, you guys are at 33 weeks, I know a lot can still go wrong, but since the situation is pretty much "so far so good" the midwife should not be giving you so much grief!! You are wonderful for sticking up for your wife like that. My Brian, as much as I love him and he loves me, sometimes puts the "authority figure"'s opinion over mine, his significant other. So good job! :)

  2. Now that I'm feeling better, thought I'd stop by.

    That midwife sounds like one I used to work with eons ago when I was in the Air Force. The witches certainly do come out of the woodwork for Halloween, now don't they!?

    Like Andrea said, good for you for sticking up for your wife! Sorry you had to be put through the ringer like that. It's bad enough to sit there waiting...and waiting..., then you had to suffer through the witch's wrath.

    Oh, and thanks again for stopping by and cheering me on!


  3. Thanks for the kind words. I'm positive she wasn't trying to be ugly to us--we probably just rocked her world--I'm sure it's a rarity that patients turn down sonograms. And which of us doesn't get a little testy when someone acts unexpectedly and turns us on our ear?

    I do think that she took our refusal to follow her recommendations personally and just assumed that we didn't trust her. She did bring that up--to which I replied that trust is a two way street meaning she has to trust that we're going to act as we feel is in the best interest of baby Liam. Even if that means respectfully declining her recommendations.

    Sonograms are like continuous fetal monitoring--for all these years we've just assumed there is no harm to baby--and the benefits seemed to so clearly outweigh the risks that collectively we haven't definitively researched the possible side effects. I've been reading some troubling preliminary research findings that suggest at a cellular level sonograms may not be quite as benign as we've always assumed. So, if they're not necessary, I'd prefer we didn't have them at this point.

    Now, to be fair, I didn't share my concerns with the midwife. But to me, the fact that we'd rather not have them without a clear indication should be enough.

  4. You are an amazing husband, and you handled it beautifully. I had a pretty nasty nurse with my first child and my OB with my last child had the worst bed side manner. Sometime people in health care treat you like an idiot with no feelings.

    Wanted to stop by and say thanks for the comment. My Sister's Keeper was another one that made me cry. Did you read 19 Minutes? Another one by the same author I LOVED!

    Good luck with everything on your plate!