I know some of these things are going to seem nitpicky, and under other circumstances, I wouldn’t bother with them. But rather than try to make this super interesting by trying to decide what’s important and what mundane, I’m just going to tell you what happened. So here it is…
I got there. I filled out paperwork. I wasn’t sure what to think when the paperwork asked me question like “What is the nature of my problem? How long have I had this problem? Is there pain associated with this problem?” I think you get the idea. I’m filling out paperwork for a pregnancy and nowhere did I answer questions like “When was the date of your last menstrual cycle? When is the estimated date of conception? When is your projected due date?” Oh, wait. I’m not supposed to know these things, right? Heaven forbid I know what my due date is before the almighty doctor gets out his magical wheel or gives me an ultrasound. (See what I mean about being nitpicky, but things like this drive me crazy!)
While I was waiting, I heard the receptionist (Or is it a nurse? I don’t know.) on the phone with a lady saying, “I know you’re getting big, but the hospital isn’t scheduling any more inductions this week.” Okay, I know I don’t know the whole story here, but I’m still amazed that people ask for inductions! I could go on about this, but I won’t.
So after waiting over an hour in the waiting room, I finally get back to the exam room. They weigh me, but I’m not sure why since they didn’t take any vitals. The nurse gets out her magical due date wheel and calculates my due date. Then she says, “So you just want to get Dr. Miller’s opinion on homebirth, and ask him to be your back up doctor.” This is where I started to suspect things were not going to go as well as I hoped. I didn’t get that degree in Literature for nothing; I know foreshadowing when I see it.
By the time Dr. Miller comes in, I have been waiting over an hour and a half. There are a few pleasantries like “Where does my husband work, What does he do,” etc. He asks a few medical questions like “Am I taking prenatal vitamins?, Was my last birth full term?, Who’s taking care of me?” Then he asked me why I want a home birth. This is the part where I’m kicking myself now, because my answer was total crap. I don’t know why I was surprised that he asked me that. I don’t know why I didn’t give him a better answer. Honestly, I don’t think many people have asked me why. Most people who have known me more than five minutes can figure it out. So I told him that my first birth didn’t go the way I wanted. They didn’t follow my wishes. And of course he gave me the classic OB line, “But it was a good outcome, right?” Yes, nobody died. That’s the rubric by which I measure everything, of course. Seriously, Dr. Miller should be the poster child for “typical bad OB that you always hear about.” I also mention that I don’t like hospitals. So he counters, “What will you do if you get appendicitis?” A little dumbfounded as to how you can compare having a baby to appendicitis (and I speak from experience here, my mom almost died from a ruptured appendix), I told him that I would of course go to the hospital.
So at this point, I’m feeling like I’ve just been presented with a pop quiz, and I’m failing miserably. This is when he looks at my chart (not at me) and says, “Well, I’m sorry but if you want me to help you with a home birth, I’m going to have to decline. I don’t think they’re safe.”
I’m going to leave off here for tonight. But let me just make a quick commentary on what I’ve written so far. Even though, I can already tell that this man would not, under any circumstances other than a life or death situation, be the doctor I chose to help me with anything, I respect his right to make his decision. It is how he handled telling me his decision that I have a problem with. More in Part 3.