Rant about medicalization of pregnancy/childbirth

I’m feeling a little frustrated since seeing the fertility doctor again today. We saw him for what I thought would be the final visit, for him to tell me about the dating ultrasound results and give me a due date. But he isn’t ready to hand me over to the midwives yet. I’m still allowed to see the midwives, but he wants to be overlooking my care until 18 weeks. When we saw the midwives last week, they brought up the prenatal genetic screening tests, but they did not pressure us to make a decision that day. When we saw the fertility doctor, he wanted an answer right then and there, and then I was piled up with requisitions and instructions again, just like last time. He told me that my due date was September 2nd, which I knew based on my ovulation day, but then he said that we were 9 weeks pregnant. According to my records, 9 weeks isn’t until Friday. I asked how this could be, since the dating ultrasound and all 7 of my apps, based on a due date of September 2nd, put me at 8 weeks 3 days today. His response was “your apps are wrong”. This doesn’t explain to me how I could have the same due date if he was calculating gestation differently. I just wanted my questions to be respected, and to get actual answers.

I also discovered that I have a small bleed behind the placenta, which shouldn’t be anything to worry about. I have not spotted at all. There is a story behind why this bleed frustrates me. When I first called the clinic to report my home pregnancy test, the nurses tried to put me on 3 drugs sight unseen, before any blood work: synthetic thyroid hormone, progesterone, and baby aspirin. I refused as many as I could without receiving any explanation as to why they were putting me on these. I ended up getting thyroid hormone and baby aspirin taken off my list of drugs to take. After my ultrasound was sent to the clinic, the nurses called me immediately and told me to come off of the baby aspirin. I told them I wasn’t on it, and they said OK good. Apparently it would have made the bleed worse. Thank god I didn’t just blindly follow his reasonless advice.  When I work with the fertility doctor, this pregnancy feels out of my control and unnatural. I wish I hadn’t called the doctor with my positive home pregnancy test. I wish I hadn’t gone on the progesterone. I wish I had just trusted my body and only used the midwives.

Another thing contributing to my out of control feeling today is that my wife is still not prepared to support a home birth. To me, if the pregnancy continues to be low risk and healthy, there will be no other option. I get extreme anxiety in medical settings, and that will only make labor harder. I trust my body to know what to do, and I trust the midwives to guide me. Honestly, unless there is an emergency, good effing luck getting me out of the house and to a hospital on delivery day. I will chain myself to the bed posts in a dramatic act of defiance. I know I will have the final say, because, my body my choice. But I want my wife to trust in my ability to birth a baby safely, and to support me in my own struggle to feel confident in my ability. I know we have a long way to go before we start finalizing a birth plan, so hopefully the midwives can make her feel better about it between now and then. The last thing I want is to have my partner anxious and afraid that something bad is going to happen while I am trying to remain calm and confident. Couples have to stick together on these things…

 

13 thoughts on “Rant about medicalization of pregnancy/childbirth”

  1. Heck yeah. The over medicalization of birth is so infuriating. I had a ton of interventions during my labor and delivery, and having gone the route I did I know that every single one was necessary. I would have always wondered (and likely would have ended up having a c section) had I started out planning a hospital birth. If you ever want to chat about home birth support, or the medical system in general, I’m always up for it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I’m glad you were able to get the necessary interventions but didn’t end up having to get a c section. I know some people prefer the highly medicalized route and/or a guaranteed c section, but if you’re not one of those people, the whole hospital thing can be super scary.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a dumb doctor. You don’t have to have him oversee your pregnancy for another 10 weeks do you? I feel like you should be able to say, thanks but no thanks. They can’t force you to see him can they? Re: birth. Do you have any birthing centers nearby that will allow you to labor to your preferences without any interventions, yet provide medical attention if necessary? Just trying to think of a way to calm your wife’s fears.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We don’t have a birthing centre – that would have been a good option. I am hoping the more we interact with the midwives the more comfortable she will feel… And I don’t know if I can just stop having my test results sent to him… It is probably my choice if I really demand to be transferred early.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You have every right to just not go back to the fertility doctor. If ours tried to say they needed to continue to see us, I was prepared to say “Peace!” You got what you needed from them. Your body is in charge now. Work with your midwives, and if you want, you can see an OBGYN at 10-12 weeks. No problemo.

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    1. As for birthing options, I would just suggest scheduling tours/meetings at all of your options – hospital, birth center, midwife’s office, etc. Maybe getting more info and taking good notes for comparison will help you and your wife feel empowered to make a decision? Also, specifically ask the birth center and midwives if they have any references. Your wife will be able to hear from real live moms how they felt about their births.

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  4. I agree with Caitlin: touring the different spaces might help you and your wife come to a shared decision. I would also recommend sharing some research with your wife on the safety of hospital and home births: home births are just as safe for people birthing for the first time, if all conditions are low risk.

    I’m also with Caitlin on the plan to just ditch the fertility clinic. They tend to apply the same model (based on infertility) to every client, meaning that things become very medical very quickly. I’m unsure why they would even want to see you past 12 weeks (if you’re choosing to do testing): not a lot happens from 12-18 weeks!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. That must be hard for both you and your wife, having different ideas about where you feel comfortable having the birth. My wife and I talked about it a lot, before deciding on a hospital birth (thanks to a family history of CPD and cesareans). I have serious hospital anxiety, but strangely, once we were there it was okay and nothing like I expected it to be. Di ended up having interventions following her induction, but we felt in control and it was a positive experience overall – and nothing like any other hospital experience I’ve had.

    Your wife might feel differently once you meet your midwife and develop your relationship with her. Midwives are cautious; if they think you need to be transferred from a home birth, they’ll let you know. Luckily you’ve got a lot of time to come up with a plan that works for you both!

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    1. I just recently read your birth story. It had me in tears, but not because it was a scary experience with lots of hospital stuff – it was so beautiful how you two stuck together through the whole process, trusting each other and fully supporting each other. When I read stories like that I am reminded that no matter where or how you give birth, the only thing that matters at all in the end is going home with a beautiful healthy baby. So yeah, I am pretty strongly in favour of trying to do this naturally and at home, but I also need to remind myself that if shit goes down and I have to move to a hospital, all that matters is that I will have my wife my by side supporting me, and we will do what ever it takes to have a healthy baby.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think neither Di nor I was particular aware of our surroundings by the time she was in labour – it was some serious focus once things were on a roll. So that probably helped with the hospital part. We were both mostly worried about having a C-section and having to stay in the hospital, but it was nothing like what we had imagined.

        You might want to ask littlerainbowbug for the password to her birth story – it is really amazing, and might be helpful to read, as she planned a home birth but had to move to the hospital.

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  6. If you and your wife haven’t watched the documentary “the business of being born” that would be a good way to ease her into the idea of having a home birth. Also look up any YouTube videos of Ina May Gaskins. There is so much that we need to educate people about when it comes to home births and release that fear that society has put upon us that says we need medical interventions to have a safe birth. It sounds like you already go with your gut, type of personality so keep trusting that and things will fall into place. My wife was completely against home birth, but now she is just as excited as I am to have one. We have known so many woman with amazing birth experiences in the home that after doing our research there was no way we wouldn’t try for a home birth. The statistics are astoundingly in favor of midwives and home births… I’m going to step off my soap box now! Good luck to your family! We always support the woman’s right to chose her method… Your body, your choice 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Actually it was watching the business of being born that brought my wife over to the side of the midwives. So she is converting, slowly but surely. I will definitely check out those other YouTube videos, thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

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