Control: An appointment recap

15 Apr

I originally just thought I was being paranoid, that I’d read one too many birth blogs, too much Ina May Gaskin and had just joined the unrelenting ranks of birth-activists… but, it’s slowly becoming apparent that my Maternal-Fetal Specialist doesn’t give a damn about me as a human being.  Sure she wants me to succeed in that she wants to keep me and my baby safe and healthy… but she seems to believe that that success can only be had by exerting control over me.

Is it because I’m of a darker complexion in a city that boasts a large number of immigrants from Latin America?  Is it because I’m diabetic and thus medically inferior?  Is it because my chart says “some college”?  Is it because I also need “control”, which I at least admit to because otherwise my anxiety runs wild?  Is it just because she’s used to having that absolute power and fails to remember that with power comes great responsibility – like the discretion to compromise or educate?

I don’t know and I won’t assume, but I do know that visiting Dr. McMFM’s office is never fun or exciting for me.  These visits do not put me at ease – I always walk away feeling like I was just told, “well, it isn’t bad yet, but don’t worry, we’ll catch it when it does get bad,” like I should just submit to the defeatism being imposed upon me.

Dr. V, my awesome OB smiles with her eyes and makes sure to get close and make jokes; Dr. McMFM isn’t like that at all.  Part of it is that she is there basically to run over test results, which are very clinical, so no, she doesn’t get the intimacy… but she also holds back her smile when saying something that should be positive, like she doesn’t want to commit to a positive sentiment in case things go wrong.  For instance, my monitor download last Friday revealed a huge swing in my average numbers, so we upped my insulin at dinner and she cautioned me and I paid attention.  Then today, my numbers were back to where they had been.  I worked really hard to get those numbers and she didn’t even acknowledge that the extra insulin combined with my diligence had paid off.  She just gave me the same script that she usually does, “Well, your average over the last week was X – premeal Y and 2 hours after Z – so we’re just going to keep your dose the same/change your dosages to A.  I want to see you back here in B week(s) for a download/download and ultrasound/download, ultrasound and non-stress test…”

Also today, I was scheduled for the Non-stress test, which I had already had at the OB’s office just yesterday afternoon.  When I had mentioned that it would happen this way and that Dr. V would prefer that I go for regular NSTs at her office at last week’s visit, Dr. McMFM got very authoritarian.  She seemed upset that I would suggest such a thing and told me that I needed to come to her office for one weekly regardless… so, I bit back tears of frustration and practiced some HypnoBabies (bubble of peace/affirmations) and figured she’d understand better at this week’s appointment because I could tell Dr. V what was going on and I’d already have the test and it’d all be kosher… well, it wasn’t.  Suddenly she’s telling me that I should be having these tests twice a week because the results are only good for “about 3 days” so I’d better schedule to see her on a day spaced out from the OB visits for NSTs – WTF lady?  Last week you were telling me once a week?!?! Screw that noise.  I scheduled another NST with her office because I’m trying not to make waves, but basically, I knowingly said I wasn’t able to schedule during any of their open hours next week, so I won’t be there for 10 days and she’s probably going to have another power conniption when I do get there.
Again, screw that noise.  I’ll keep doing my kick counts and going to Dr. Vs and following my eating plan and taking my insulin, but I’m not going to drive myself nuts by being hooked up to a EFM twice a week, just like I’m not going to do the 24-hour urine test.


At least she doesn’t attend births and we know that Dr. V has in the past acted against Dr. McMFM’s recommendations.

P.S. – My husband and I started attending a local, free, and non-hospital affiliated childbirth class this week.  This week’s class included the tidbit that we don’t have to know the numbers on how much weight we’ve gained if we think we’ll be neurotic about it.  As the instructor put it, “Doc, just tell me if I’m doing good or bad…”


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