Well, I suppose it’s actually the tale of 5 doctors. I’ve lived in the area for 6 years and still feel curiously unsettled and disconnected in some ways. I still seem to be bumbling around trying to find things that I associate with being ‘settled’ in a new location. For instance, I don’t have a dentist or OB/Gyn that I like. It’s not for lack of trying. Since I haven’t had any ongoing issues, I essentially get one chance a year to try someone new. If I hate them, I have to wait till the next year. I’ve been trying different Ob/Gyn practices every year and had thought I had found one I liked but now I’m not so sure.

The one doctor I liked, lets call her Dr. A – she’s South Asian, runs her practice out of this old rambling house, has receptionists that are really sweet and caring and when I went to her was very good at listening to me and talking to me about any concerns I might have had. I have friends who go to her and swear by her, but both of them have had C-sections. Now the cons – she is 45 minutes away from me, and delivers at a hospital that is 45 minutes from us. Since she is the only doctor in her practice her schedule is a little unpredictable – She is always late, it is always at least an hour long wait before she will see me. I went to her for my first visit yesterday and her nurse was just one of those completely spacey people who then decides to get annoyed with you when she forgets something.

The doctor was also more forgetful than I remember. First, she seemed annoyed that I hadn’t called her the minute I found out I was pregnant – I had to remind her that I had and she had sent me to get blood tests done. But more importantly when I told her that I was mildly anemic and that my primary care doctor had diagnosed me with thalassemia minor she kept insisting that I need to eat more iron. After I explained to her that no amount of iron was going to matter she finally backed off. This concerns me – she shouldn’t need me to tell her this. Then I asked her what she does if her patients go into labour and she isn’t available. She explained that she is available M-F but on the weekends she works with a group of doctors who will cover for her, but I will never meet those doctors during the course of the pregnancy.

That’s more than a 25% chance that I will be delivered by someone I have never even met. I would prefer a vaginal birth, but I’m not one of those people whose going into this thinking it has to be my way. I understand that things might happen and I will have to change my plans, but I would rather not stack the deck in favour of a C-section. It seems to me that with a doctor who only works M-F both of us are more likely to choose the predictability of a C-section. I know myself, if you tell me when I’m a gazillion weeks pregnant that we can either schedule an induction for this friday or wait and see if I’ll make it through the weekend, guess which one I’ll pick. Finally, she did a pelvic exam that really hurt. She was not gentle with the speculum and I don’t know what she did while taking cultures but I had some bleeding. It’s all fine now, but really, let’s not do that again. Sigh. Time to find a new doctor.

So, we move onto the good Drs. B. It’s a practice of 4 doctors. Everyone I have ever met who goes to this practice raves about it, but they are all acquaintances. They have all had vaginal births.  The practice is 10 minutes from work and 15 minutes from home.  They deliver at a hospital that is about 20 minutes from home and work.  The cons – The receptionists are all quite cranky and sound annoyed all the time.  I would rotate through and see every one of the 4 doctors. When you go into labor you get whichever of the 4 is on call. I’m a bit of a crank and it takes me a while to get used to new people so this didn’t seem like the way to go.

I scheduled an appointment just to see if I would like them and then they informed me that I would be getting an ultrasound when I came in.  Of course, I was hooked then! And I have to say I did like the practice.  Clean, efficient, on time.  It just felt right.  I asked about their preference for c-sections/vaginal births and as a practice they really do prefer vaginal births.  They turn down people who want elective C-sections.  Which sucks if you want one, but if you’re like me and want a practice that is less oriented towards C-sections it’s great.  I met one of the doctors and really liked her.  She seemed knowledgeable, I didn’t have to explain thalassemia to her.  She didn’t give me any grief about my weight – told me to do what I could but to remember that the 15 lb recommended weight gain for obese women was probably unrealistic.   This is all well and good, but what if I don’t like the other 3 doctors?  What if I get cranky about not having the same doctor throughout?

What to do, what to do… And honestly, my mental exhaustion is kicking in.  I just don’t want to think about this anymore.  I have a habit of trying to make the best decision ever and now there is a part of me that’s saying ‘just do what’s good enough’.  It seems like a strange point in my life to allow my perfectionist side to take a break – you would think I’d be all over this.  Anyway, at this point I’m uneasily leaning towards practice B.  Lets hope that’s not a bad decision.

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