Friday, December 08, 2006

Doctor's appointment

We had our regularly scheduled doctor's appointment today. Everything is just fine with me and the baby.

All the ultrasound results came back completely normal.
My blood pressure is 112/64
Baby's heartrate is 140ish (manually calculated)
Belly growth is 20cm (which corresponds with 20 weeks - how cool!)
Placenta is at the back of the uterine wall (which may make it easier for Karen to feel baby's kicks).

I really like our doctor. She has a wonderful smile and good bedside manner. However today she slightly freaked me out.

If you recall from many posts ago, I've been having pain in my ribs on my left side. An upper abdomen ultrasound and complete blood work didn't reveal any problems.

So for now, we are labeling this pain as costochondritis. On a good day, this just amounts to a feeling like a stitch in my side but in my ribs. On a bad day, it feels like my friggin ribs are being pulled apart and broken. There is no treatment except anti-inflammatories or steroids, neither of which is viable while I'm pregnant. So mostly I just grin and bear it and get on with my day-to-day stuff.

But this week I developed a new sensation - a pulling or tugging feeling in the center of my body in the space between my belly button and my sternum. It feels very much like a pulled tendon or muscle or like some unknown internal organ was bulging forward in the middle of my body. I mentioned this to the doctor today and she just smiled at me and said that this is normal because of how the uterus is expanding and all the organs start to get smushed.

Now I realize this is true. I've read about it and it makes sense. The rational Wendy knows all this.

But COME ON! Palpate my abdomen for goodness sake!! Reassure me that the pulled-muscle feeling isn't my stomach or intestines getting ready to burst through like some freaky aliens. Palpate my abdomen and let me say, "Ouch!" when you poke at it and you say, "Poor baby but you'll be just fine".

Don't just smile with your sweet darling smile-- you might irritate the hormonal woman on your table.

And then there is the inevitable let-down as you leave the doctor's office. Because somehow, totally unrealistically, you expect the doctor to say that you are the most incredible pregnant woman on the face of the Earth. And that your baby is beautiful and perfect in every way. And because you are so very special they want to see you once a week simply to praise you.

Instead, you are told that everything is "normal" and we'll see you a month from now.


Deep Sigh.

(Please tell me I'm not alone in the after office-visit let down phase).



Anonymous said...

You are not alone. I'm ready to ditch my OB/Gyn. I'm not kidding. She's got one more visit (next week Wed) to actually EXAMINE me before I switch practices. She's never measured my fundal height and asks "any questions?" as she's turned to leave the room.

I think some doctors forget how vulnerable pregnant women feel. It's easy to be rational and say "it’s normal" until you have another life growing inside of you that is completely unseen and totally dependant on you. Even with the background I have, I still panic at every twinge.

Sheesh, I’m probably not helping you feel much better, am I?

Anonymous said...

Let me tell you something else that may surprise you...after you actually deliver your lovely baby and have your six week checkup...they tell you "see ya, here's your hat, what's your hurry, return in a year for your pap smear" and that's it! This relationship you've developed with this person, this event you've experienced with this person, it's over. Just. Like. That. I was devastated. Weird, I know buuuttt, there you have it.

Anonymous said...

You are so funny! Hormones can make you feel so out of control emotionally! But you're doctor is not doing her job. I get so frustrated by the healthcare industry. It's so sad that doctors are rewarded (paid) by how little time they spend with their patients. It's those few doctors that are so hard to find that actually don't care about the money and spend as much time with their patients as necessary. I'm on your side Wendy! You have every right to tell your doctor, look, I want you to check this out! You are the patient, their customer, and you should have your needs addressed every visit. Guess you hit a hot button in me. Hang in there girls!

Wendy and Karen said...

Wow, looks like a struck a nerve I didn't mean to strike with this post. I appreciate everyone's support and certainly believe that if anyone isn't satisfied with their doctor they should take steps to find someone better suited to their needs.

However, I really am very satisfied with my doctor and she has listened to my ailments and has tried to assure me that everything is fine and normal.

But, you know how it is when the hormones are raging. What was intended to be a light-hearted joke at my own self comes across like I'm unhappy with my doctor and that was not my intention.

But it's lovely to know that when I need reassurance my blogger friends are there. Thank you! - Wendy

Ethan Barry's Momma said...

I'm so glad that you and Kylie are doing so well. I understand what you mean about the post-appt. let down. I totally loved my OB, but I would wait for what seemed like forever to get to that every four week appt., and then it would be over in a flash. It's almost like you want a parade or fire works every time you go in to mark the least that's how I felt. :) Take care of you and your biscuit.