You have GOT to be kidding me

Just got back from my OB’s (a monitoring appointment) where she said, I swear to GOD, “I don’t think we’ve ever talked about it—are you wanting a vaginal birth or a C-section?”

Stunner #2: “Because of everything you’ve gone through to get here, I would want to induce you at week 40…I wouldn’t want you to go to week 41.” When we talked about the first day of week 41 being the cut off.

I can’t even describe to you how shocked I was about the first question. Really? Really??? I don’t think we’ve ever talked about it? Vaginal or C-section? What the hell! And then going back on what we agreed upon as the point at which an induction would be scheduled? Is this level of forgetfulness normal?

I did not engage past saying, “Vaginal,” and then just not saying anything about her second comment. I feel bad about it—where was my voice?—but I was literally speechless. She was rushing around, and out the door, and I was left, tongue-tied and confused. It took me a while before it hit me how fucked up that was. I wish I’d been quicker on my feet.

I don’t understand. It had seemed we were totally on the same page for so long. And nothing is going wrong with baby—strong heartbeat, excellent movement, happy baby, happy mama. He is head down, facing my spine. My blood pressure is beautiful. Everything is fine.

I’ll be 37 weeks—full-term—on Thursday. I have to somehow figure out how to feel comfortable with her after this interaction. I have typed out my birth preferences and I’ll give them to her at my next appointment.

If there is no medical reason for induction, you can be introducing more problems and risks by inducing than by letting baby come on his own. I thought we’d had a lengthy conversation about exactly this. She’d even said the thing about boy’s lungs needing plenty of time to develop and wanting me to go into labor on my own.

I guess the most important thing to remember is that no one can force anything upon me. And if she is forgetful, flighty, and flakey, then I just have to deal with that and keep accurate records of what was said and agreed upon and for what reasons. I was totally unprepared to be in self-advocacy mode today—there was no reason for me to even be thinking along those lines—and I feel guilty about that, like I failed myself by not speaking up in the moment. But even if I had, maybe she just would have forgotten what was said anyway!



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  1. Yikes! I remember having a weird convo with my OB with my first baby during the 37 week appointment where she was telling me that C section would be something I need since the baby hadn’t dropped (mind you he was head down!). I FREAKED out. WTF? C-section talk at 37 weeks?

    Anyway, I had a vaginal delivery (induced) at 41 weeks and 5 days. Sometimes I think OBs think too surgically (and maybe are trying to plan their lives as well. Induction and scheduled C-sections help them with this)

    Advocate! Speak up!

    Oh, and as soon as that 37 week appointment finished, I was on the phone with my acupuncturist to begin twice weekly sessions to get that baby moving down!

    Argh! So frustrating! Of course all you want is a baby born alive! However, no need to rush if medically sound, right?

  2. AndiePants

     /  November 10, 2014

    This enrages me on your behalf. Are you kidding me? I’m so sorry you weren’t prepared for this (because you shouldn’t have had to be!!) and hope that you can get to a space where you feel comfortable communicating just how bat shit crazy your doc is for having these conversations with you at 36 weeks! I also just read an article about some of these things, and the author was emphatic that you can (and should, if necessary) change care providers as late in the game as is necessary.
    Ugh. I’m so sorry. Sending you strength and courage and mama bear ferocity!

  3. Mercedes

     /  November 10, 2014

    I can relate to this SO MUCH.
    I have been a silent reader of your blog for the past few months, but I’ve never commented before. After struggling with infertility for many years, I finally got pregnant this year through IVF and I am at the same stage you are (my due date is December 2nd!). In the past few appointments, my OB started suggesting that I should have a scheduled elective c-section, even this has been an entirely normal pregnancy, with absolutely no complications. When I try to push for reasons, he gives me the most annoying bullshit. Something along the lines of “since you were not able to conceive naturally, there is no point of pushing for a natural delivery”. WHAT!? That makes absolutely NO sense. Of course I told him that. So he gave me other reasons, very similar to what they told you: “after all you’ve gone through, at your age (38) we don’t want to run ANY risks”. When I push back asking “so that means a c-section is less risky for the baby than a vaginal delivery?”, he has never given me a straight answer. It is beyond frustrating. And I really don’t know what to do. I’ve spoken to other OBs and apparently, it is a common practice where I live (Buenos Aires, Argentina) to deliver IVF babies through scheduled c-sections. This does not seem to be the case elsewhere (like in the USA). But I was not able to find reasonable medical explanations for this.

    One part of me tells me I should trust this guy (he is a very prestigious OB in the best practice in the country) and have an uncomplicated fast c-section. After all, all I want is to have a healthy baby in my arms. But there’s another part of me that wants to run screaming at this idea. I want some normality so bad, after all it took to conceive, that giving up on the vaginal birth experience just doesn’t make any sense. SIGH.

  4. Forgive me if I’m missing something here, but all of your losses have been first trimester, no? It’s not like you’ve had a previous traumatic birth or late term stillbirth or anything. So I absolutely don’t get this whole “because of everything you’ve gone through” business. I’ve read a few blogs where it seems like OBs just don’t really get that an IVF pregnancy is no different from a regular pregnancy, and they’re automatically classifying IVF moms as “high risk” due to nothing more than the fact that they’ve done IVF. This must have been beyond frustrating!!

  5. wow?! I totally would have been flustered and speechless too!!! At least you will be more prepared at the next appointment for her “forgetfulness.” Sending you hugs sugars! xo

  6. Argh to this, argh. It seems that should be part of the job, keeping track of what the plan has been… flighty and flakey aren’t adjectives you want in an OB! But, you are a superstar at advocating (even if you lost your voice a bit today in flabbergastery, I don’t think you would lose it if it meant an action against your wishes), and you are a superstar at documenting. You can do this! May baby boy’s lungs keep baking and you go until you can’t go no more. :) Much love at this endgame point, my friend!

  7. Working mom of 2

     /  November 11, 2014

    Different perspective…honestly all that matters is a healthy baby. That’ After 6 yrs and 2 m/c that’s ALL I cared about. My 1st was induced at 38w1d due to IUGR (and thank goodness since I had undiagnosed vci and vasa previa–despite multiple high level ultrasounds where the MFM specifically looked for it). 2nd induced at 40w1d. No way my OB would go past that considering what I’d been thru despite the fact that all my nsts were normal.

    Both kids absolutely fine. Induction is not the evil thing some people paint it to be. Please just be grateful once your precious son is here and don’t fall for the “traumatic birth” crap that’s out there.

  8. That’s just…weird. I had a high risk pregnancy AND I’m old as dirt and my OB never gave me a c-section as an option. I guess I got lucky in having an OB who understands that vaginal is best unless a c-section is medically necessary. I suspect some doctors push c-sections because it’s more convenient for THEM.

    As for the induction part of it, I can understand you wanting to avoid it. It CAN makes things more difficult on mom and baby. But I’ve experienced both sides of induction. Both of my babies were induced (the drawback of being an old as dirt mom). The first time was an awful experience, but the second was a piece of cake. Go figure. Hopefully if you do end up being induced you’ll have a good experience.

  9. Kali

     /  November 11, 2014

    I know more than one woman who has requested a C-section and gotten it here in the DC area, so maybe OBs are used to women wanting major surgery without a medical reason. If I’m ever lucky to get that far, I won’t care but I won’t do an elective C-section without a reason. I have a friend who hemorraged during her C-section and was on the table for 5 hours–rare, but hell, rare things happen to me, and as long as there is no medical indication for a C-Section I wouldn’t do it.

    I’m not wedded to a natural birth, this from the girl who in college swore doctors had been running a racket since they abolished midwives and that I would be having a natural birth with a midwife. THAT is not going to happen, but I’m not going to decide on a C-section for no reason.

    On the timing . . . the last time I was pregnant my OB and I discussed that we would not let me go past 39 weeks. There are several reasons and I agree with her–with older moms, the placenta can be less efficient late in pregnancy. Another reason is that I want the baby out before the risk of meconium is high. Delivering AMA moms before 40 weeks is standard with many practices. A friend of mine from my fertility support group was at a practice locally that attracts a lot of women but hat I DON’T like, for many reasons I’ve observed with friends. So this woman had 4 years of struggle, conceived her son, and they let her go to 41 weeks. I was surprised because I’ve read that the risk of meconium aspiration goes up with later deliveries, and I THINK I also read that this is more common with older moms for some reason–not sure abotu the last part. But it was her decision to make with her doctor.

    So they waited past 41 weeks, I don’t remember if she was induced or went into labor, baby went into distress, sudden, emergencu C-section, baby indeed had aspirated meconium. Baby was in ICU for a couple of days, she couldn’t move after her C-section and couldn’t see him.

    I know that if I am blessed to face this choice, if the baby is developed enough, I will ask to be delivered before 40 weeks, however it happens, naturally or induced. I say this because I’ve come to trust my instincts, especially the thoughts that just pop into my head. With this friend, when she told us the doctor said they could wait, I thought “but what about the danger of meconium” and probably a couple of other risks of waiting with older moms popped into my head. The fact that that’s EXACTLY what came to pass validates my instincts for me.

    I am not purporting to tell you what to do. Just sharing the perspective of someone who as a 20-something was totally anti-intervention who has moved as a 40-something aspiring mother to totally-minimize-risks–especially those that I’ve seen freinds face.

  10. I would’ve been very flustered too if I were you. No need to feel guilty for not speaking up. I hope it all gets sorted out. <3


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