I have many feelings. Materniti21 visit to my not-awesome clinic.

Aack, ladies, this is getting harder and harder. I am having the many feeeeelings. Crying easily. The psych term would be, ahem, labile. 

I went to the clinic again today to get my blood drawn for the Materniti21 test. It’s not indicated, but I am doing it electively, because the most I’ll pay out of pocket is $200 and it is 99% accurate at screening for:

Down’s. Trisomy 18 (Edward’s Syndrome). Trisomy 13 (Patau’s Syndrome). Turner’s Syndrome (X). Klinefelters Syndrome (XXY). Triple X (XXX) and XYY Syndrome.

And the test will also tell me the gender.

So, first of all, the woman drawing my blood was not friendly. It wasn’t just that she was a little unfriendly–she was rude and impatient. I won’t go into the details. But it was bad enough that I almost said something to her. I mean, I was just sitting there, doing whatever she told me to do, and she was acting so awful. It was ridiculous.

Then I went into a room to wait for the NP to see me because I had a quick question. I waited FOREVER. I always have very long wait times there and have sort of come to expect it, but this was absurd. I was feeling sick and exhausted, so I crashed on the table.

When the NP finally came in, she asked if I was okay—because I was lying limply on the table, on my side, like someone’d shot me, I guess—and I explained that I was exhausted and I’d been waiting a long time. She scrunched up her nose and said: “Oh, that’s weird. They just told me you were here a couple of minutes ago. I thought you’d got your bloodwork done and gone home.”

I took a deep breath, trying to decide whether or not I should mention all of the communication problems I have noticed at this clinic so far. I decided not to, because I just wasn’t up for it and wanted to get the hell out of there.

I said, “I just have a quick issue I wanted to discuss. I wanted to let you know that I don’t want to know the gender of my baby yet. So when the clinic gets the Materniti21 results for gender, I’d like you to write down the gender on a piece of paper and put it in an envelope, so I can take the envelope home to Ohio and open it with my family.”

She gave me a quizzical look, and then said, “Well, I can put that in the note today, but I can’t guarantee the note will be read.”

“What?”

She repeated what she said. The exact words. And then just said nothing. When I said nothing, she added: “I would like to be able to tell you that no one will mess up and slip and tell you the gender, but I can’t guarantee that.”

I looked at her, mouth agape.

“Why?” I said slowly.

She said something about the place in the chart where she’d write the note, but that she couldn’t guarantee that everyone would see it and read it. And she didn’t want to guarantee me something based on that fact.

“That’s absurd,” I said, finally. “I’m not asking for something complicated.”

“No, I understand,” she said. I could tell that she was getting uncomfortable. “No one has ever asked me this question before.”

“No other patient has not wanted to know the gender results right away?”

“No.”

“Ohhhkay.” I blinked. “Listen, I have to tell you that I am having uncertain feelings about this clinic. There seem to be a lot of problems with clear communication here.” I then went ahead and mentioned all of the problems I’ve experienced so far. She nodded and nodded. I also told her about the unfriendly blood-draw and the unfriendly ultrasound tech. Tears came to my eyes. I realized that my feelings were really hurt—and also realized that pregnancy hormones were kicking in. I didn’t want it to seem like I was just a crazy pregnant lady, so I sucked it in.

“What I’m asking for should not be a big deal,” I said finally. “You know, I’m not going to be pregnant again. I’ve had six miscarriages, and this pregnancy is it for me. I want to share the special moment of revealing the gender with my family in Ohio. That should not be a problem.”

She said, “I understand. I’ll talk to Andrea.” (I don’t know who Andrea is.) “I’m going to have to do more than write a note. I’m going to have to do something to ensure there is carry-through.”

Oh! What a genius idea! Shouldn’t that be standard???

She was nice and I could tell she was trying to help me, in a limited sort of way, so I thanked her and followed her directions to the lobby and left.

Then I drove to a nearby parking lot, called DH, and cried and cried. I told him that I knew I was really emotional and sensitive, but wasn’t what I was asking for completely reasonable? He assured me that it was. He also said that he understood where the clinic is coming from, dealing himself with the vast beurocracy of the VA Hospital system every day and having to depend upon notes for communication. “We received really close attention at Dr. San Roman’s,” he said, “and were made to feel really special. I think we’re just going to have a hard time finding anything like that now.” We talked about how much we like Dr. McKenna and how we’re still going to go to the hospital tour tomorrow and we’ll hold off on making any moves for now.

Anyway. Just wanted to vent. I’m about to go out to a nice fancy-pants dinner with a friend, and perhaps I can take the edge off with a few mocktails.

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14 Comments

  1. oh so sorry girl!! I sure wish I could read your file though as I am anxious to know the gender. tehehehe

    Reply
  2. I don’t know what to say, other than that it’s crazy you have to fight for something so simple. *sigh* Enjoy your time at the dinner!

    Reply
  3. L

     /  May 23, 2014

    Wow! I would be livid… Choosing to not find out the sex right away should not be an unusual request and certainly not one that is difficult to accommodate. When I get pregnant I absolutely do not want to find out the sex and I would be very pissed if this interaction happened to me.

    Reply
  4. That’s crap sweets & I would be pissed. But excited for you to find out boy or girl! XO

    Reply
  5. I don’t think that was an unreasonable request AT ALL. I’ve heard of many people asking the doctor to write the gender on a slip and put in an envelope for later. She was basically just admitting that their communication is horrible, which is what you’ve noticed all along. I would talk with the Dr that you actually like, as he might be able to do more than just the NP. So sorry you have to deal with this!

    Reply
  6. I am sorry that your appt. did not go as planned. Maybe you could suggest some easy like, putting all people who don’t want to know the gender of their baby in red folders. Red meaning, “stop, don’t tell.” Very very simple solution to this issue. Sometimes it takes an outsider to look outside the box. Very annoying to have to come up w/ solutions for highly paid doctors.

    Reply
  7. Clare

     /  May 24, 2014

    I had similar issues when I changed to OB care. I did get great care in the end, but I felt really out of sorts at times and it was down to the way I was treated. I had some pretty dangerous complications, but I felt like my doctors were afraid to be straight with me about it and that they were down-playing things. It just made me MORE anxious about everything. The attitude was like in my delicate condition I shouldn’t be stressed over these matters. But I was really used to getting the straight goods from my fertility clinic. I was always getting bad news lol!! So of course I just ended up doing alllll the googling… And FREAKING out. The only person who was real with me was my high risk OB who is the most awesome doctor ever.

    Reply
  8. That is ridiculous they would be so cavalier about the gender reveal! That is such a personal and special moment, good for you for standing up for yourself!

    Reply
  9. I feel like you just explained my Dr’s office to a T. I am so sorry you are having to deal with that, you shouldn’t have to worry about “Slip Ups”, or wondering if so and so read your chart or not. That is just unacceptable and the standard of care is obviously not up to PAR. I really hope that she heard you loud and clear with your concerns and will do what it takes to meet those standards. Thats what a good OB or Doctor would do, right?! I am excited for you know the gender and will be praying you get the pleasure of finding out with your family!! :) OXOX

    Reply
  10. Wow, that is crazy! I’m so sorry! I guess I take my awesome patient care for granted…

    Reply
  11. Thank you all so much for the support and commiseration! We went to the hospital tour Sat and I felt like it was adequate for sure, but not anything to cling to—so we might be doing some shopping around.

    Reply
  12. Kay

     /  June 17, 2014

    Did you think about amnio?
    I am at ccrm and they are telling me I should do amnio and cvs

    Reply
  13. Kali

     /  July 16, 2014

    Hi Tut,

    I want to do Materniti21 but my insurance won’t cover it. I’ve heard they discount it for those whose insurance won’t cover it, can you tell me how that works?

    Thank you so much.

    Reply

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