15 weeks: New hospital, new clinic, no previa, and thriving baby

It has been only three weeks since my last u/s, and I guess I have been going around with low-level worry more than I allowed myself to consciously recognize. An uptick of worry in recent days, and a need to see and hear my baby. Today, I got my wish!

Allow me to go in order:

New hospital

Last Sunday, DH and I went to Huntington Hospital to do the tour…only to find out that my pregnancy-shrunken brain cells had gotten it wrong. What I had in fact found online was the time and date for a tour of a hospital in California that goes by the same name. Which would explain why we were looking for “Pasadena Parking Lot” and an auditorium that does not exist in LI.

Pasadena. Yeah.

The information-desk woman was amused and said that many-a pregnant woman has made the same mistake—by which she meant one other pregnant lady, a couple of years ago. She encouraged us to go upstairs and see if anyone would show us around anyway.

Turns out this was the best mistake I’ve made in a long time.

The lovely nurses were very understanding and obliging and seemed delighted to give me a private tour. They told me that they were all friends and hung out together outside of work, with the doctors. They laughed and smiled a lot. They cooed over the love-chemistry between DH & me. I felt like I’d arrived inside the warm nest of a bundle of mother hens. They “snuck” me into places that I wasn’t really supposed to be so that they could give me the full tour. They showed me the monitors and even a sample of what my contraction read-out might look like. They asked about me, my family, my life. And they recommended I go see Dr. G (below) which was the perfect suggestion.

Here are the reasons I like Huntington Hospital better than Southside:

  • HH allows an unlimited number of visitors, and they can visit me whenever I want them to visit.
  • It was bright, cheerful, clean, and modern.
  • They are committed to keeping mother and baby together as much as possible, no matter what special circumstances arise.
  • If I need a C-section, the room is a very short ride down the hallway from the labor and delivery rooms—no elevators, and certainly no unit changes.
  • It is a 20 min (not 40 min) drive away from our home.
  • I LOVED every single nurse I met. Staff are friends, and friendly, and motherly.
  • They have a portable baby monitor that moves with me as I move around the room, during labor.
  • They have showers in the L & D rooms (maybe not every room, but at least a few—I really want a shower-room).
  • I get to recover for at least an hour with my baby in the L & D room before they move us to the recovery section.
  • DH can stay the night with me in the recovery section, in a sleeper chair, even if I have a shared room.
  • Private (single-occupancy) recovery rooms are $325 a night, and there are 4 of them.
  • The overall feng shui of the maternity unit has much more flow, light, and air than does the one at Southside.
  • There are pretty expanses of trees all around, which can be seen through the windows.
  • They stressed that they will follow my birth plan, will not push epidurals or other interventions, and as long as nothing is wrong with the baby, they will place him or her on my chest immediately for skin-to-skin contact.
  • If I want my mom, or anyone else in addition to DH, to come in during labor, that is fine by them.

There’s more, but that’s the major stuff. HH is the clear winner, and I’m so glad I checked it out.

New clinic

Now, I’ve complained about my current clinic, but I need to be clear: they have actually been much more good than “bad.” And not even bad, really—just not what I’m looking for. Not a good fit for me right now. My crazy pregnancy history and TLC needs have made me quite picky. My current clinic is large, slick, state-of-the-art, and very reliable. They are, most of the time, friendly, too. And Dr. McKenna is one of the best doctors I’ve ever had, ever. And I will never forget how Janine (nurse) went above and beyond to sort out my Lov.enox situation recently. I’m bringing her a thank-you card. Angel woman.

But it’s a big practice. And there are communication problems. Inner-staff tensions. A couple of really unfriendly staff members I’ve been unfortunate enough to get for a couple of appointments. And when I call, I get routed to voicemail every time, and if I can’t pick up the return call for some reason, I might get to play voicemail-tag with them for a long time. Not ideal someone with RPL.

So I went to a new clinic today. A clinic associated with Huntington Hospital, and that the mother hens there recommended I check out.

I’m so glad I did!

Dr. G was a very nice, personable man who smiles a lot, likes to chat, and is very understanding of what I’ve gone through and why I need TLC. I came out and told him and the main nurse that I am looking for something smaller and more intimate because I do not want to feel like cattle any longer—that I’ve felt like cattle often over the past three years, and I need a soft touch. I explained that I get very nervous before ultrasounds. That I have had, in the past, anxiety, depression, and PTSD. They were very sympathetic and said that they would do their best to take care of me in the ways that I need. They advertise themselves as a clinic that, “in an era when medicine is increasingly depersonalized and corporate” strives to “maintain the personal touch of a traditional doctor-patient relationship.”

Here are the reasons I’m switching to this clinic:

  • The practice itself is decidedly not state-of-the-art, but it’s also just fine, and it has a homey feel that puts me at ease.
  • The staff work on top of one another, but they laugh a lot and seem to get along wonderfully. Some of the women are older, and very nurturing. All of them take their time with me, chat with me, and I can tell they like me. It’s a nice vibe.
  • The beautiful old white house the practice is in was built in 1928 (!) and used to be the home a pickle farmer, the lands around the house filled with the lush vines of cucumbers.
  • This house is a 5 min drive from my home. Literally 5 minutes.
  • Dr. G was so reassuring. After my ultrasound he said, “The chances of anything going wrong at this point are miniscule.” Miniscule! He knew I needed to hear that.
  • If I go to this clinic, I can deliver my baby at Huntington Hospital for sure.

Those are the main points—you get the gist. I have found my new clinic for the remainder of my pregnancy, yee-ha!

The exam

Now for the fun part.

First off: No previa!!!! Hello prenatal yoga and orgasms!

And last, but certainly not least, little baby looks like a full-fledged space-alien in there, with a space-alien helmet and a perfectly round bubble-shaped body, oh my gawd, I cried and laughed and cried. I was worried. I didn’t realize how worried I was until I got on the table, and the tell-tale signs came back: sweaty palms, queasiness, dizziness. But Dr. G was so casual about the whole thing that it really put me at ease. I saw the heartbeat right away and the tears came. I don’t know what I was thinking. That the heart had stopped? I didn’t really. But my life has taught me that anything can happen, anything at all. I’ve had some idiotic thoughts lately about my breasts getting smaller, and worries about losing constipation. How insane—I spent half of yesterday in bed with a screaming sciatic nerve and awful indigestion and mind-blotting fatigue, and I was still worried. (I think the Lov.enox fiasco triggered some PTSD stuff. Bleh.)

But my little bubble-bellied space alien is grooving away in there, heart beating 169 thumps a minute. I AM IN LOVE.

Last night, I sang my little space alien to sleep with 50s songs like “Stand By Me.” (DH was quietly crying in the background. I love that sap.) Today, we’ve been getting to know each other a little better through a series of small conversations that go something like this:

“This is the woods, little baby. Do you like the woods? It’s pretty here.”

“How do you like this warm bath water? Let’s relax a bit.”

“Got some banana coming down to you, sunshine. And yummy almond milk.”

“You are beautiful, you know that? Just the most beautiful thing I’ve ever encountered. I can’t wait to meet you.”

“Ohhhhhh I love you!”

sweet mama

 

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9 Comments

  1. Oh, I am so glad you found a place you can feel at ease. I’m thrilled to here that all is well!

    Reply
  2. *hear, not here!

    Reply
  3. So excited and happy for you sweetness :) xxx

    Reply
  4. Sounds fabulous. Glad the wee one is thriving!! Yay to personalized medical care.

    Reply
  5. Aww you’re giving me the warm fuzzies with your baby talk. So lovely.

    I know what you mean with the scans… I had them once a week at least toward the end of my pregnancy and even though I could feel babies doing gymnastics in there I still would hold my breath waiting to see the heartbeats.

    Reply
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