Well, I don’t think the baby sprinkle actually jinxed me, but yesterday pretty much sucked. (By the way, the baby sprinkle was a ton of fun and it was great getting to chat with my friends and family! So that part was at amazing . . .) The not so amazing part was when I met with my doctor yesterday, and he started using fear-based tactics to try to get me to go along with his delivery policies. I was shocked and a little stunned because I didn’t think he was that kind of doctor. I was wrong. Now I’ve got to figure out if I should agree to his policies or switch doctors and be more comfortable . . .
So what happened is . . . Since I am at the ripe old age of 37, the doctor’s policy is to induce all AMA (Advanced Maternal Age) patients at the 39th week gestation. I pushed back a little and asked him about waiting until the 40th week before I was induced. His response was to say that there is a “significant” increase in the risk of fetal deaths once a woman (beyond the age of 35) goes beyond the 39th week. I asked him what the risk factor was, and that’s when things started to go south. He basically responded with, “Does it matter?” His point of view was that it doesn’t matter if the significant risk was a value of 1 (which it turns out that approx. 1 out of a 1,000 women will have a fetal death between the ages of 30-35, and the number jumps to 2 out of a 1000 for women between the ages of 35-40 – According to a study in 2006 by Haavablen et al.). His position is that wouldn’t it be better to reduce that risk? And I don’t disagree with him. I always think that it is better to have a healthy, living baby in your arms at the end of the day. My big concern was that inducing has a higher risk of leading to a C-Section (which according to the doctor and some studies I saw on-line is actually not true) and that I didn’t want to repeat the birthing experience I had with my son. Being induced was horrible. The pain went from tolerable to ‘oh my god give me any drug on the planet’ in a matter of 30 minutes, and I felt immense pressure from my doctor to do invasive procedures to hurry my delivery along. Although I am happy to say I delivered a healthy baby with my first son – I still feel a sense of wrongness when I think back to my experience. And it all started with the doctor’s insistence to be induced.
So for me personally, I would rather not be induced this second go around if I can get away with it. (And to be fair it’s not like I was asking to never be induced, I was asking to delay inducement for one week until the normal 40 weeks gestation for cripes sakes!) But I totally understand that there are situations where it is medically necessary to be induced or have a planned or emergency C-section. And in those situations, I am a willing and ready participant – because I agree with the doctor that at the end of the day the main goal is the deliver a happy, healthy baby (experience be damned!) But if it’s not medically necessary to be induced at 39 weeks and I can have one more week to go into labor naturally, I’m all for it. The doctor finally admitted that he didn’t know what the “significant” risk factor actually was and agreed to get back to me with the number. Sadly, I think he felt disrespected by my questions, which causes me some concerns. In my opinion, it is never wrong to ask questions – especially when it comes to one of the most important events in your life.
But the clencher for me was when the doctor said that if I chose to wait until the 40th week before being induced, that he would write big notes in my file on how waiting was against his medical advice and not his recommendation. Although I understand that he is trying to protect himself from any sort of litigation, I also took his statement to be some sort of weird threat. He was basically saying that he wouldn’t be held responsible for the delivery and health of my child by the 40th week of gestation. I’m not sure that is someone I want delivering my child into the world. So I’m really conflicted. My doctor made me feel uncomfortable, and I honestly don’t know what the best path is . . .
And to make it even better . . . Before I spoke with the doctor I had a follow-up sonogram to check out the baby’s heart, which thankfully looked great. The not so great part was that the sonogram also showed some sort of tissue between the placenta and cervix. I didn’t really think much of it, but apparently it warrants monitoring and I have to go back in 4 weeks to see if it has moved out of the way. The doctor mentioned that having tissue there could be hazardous, but he also indicated that we would have to wait for the follow-up sonogram to be sure. I heard him mention “potential vasa previa” to the nurse, but I didn’t think much of it until I decided to google it later that night. So . . . vasa previa is bad. It creates serious problems for the baby, has a high mortality rate if not detected early, typically causes hospitalization for the mom by week 32, and is a mandatory C-section around the 35th week. WTF!?! I thought I was in bad shape because my doctor made me feel uncomfortable, but this would be a worst case scenario. It would also make my argument with the doctor on when to be induced a mute point. So, in an attempt not to lose my marbles, I am going to assume that I don’t have vasa previa until proven otherwise . . . because I really, really don’t think I could handle it right now. 😦
So I’m in this weird position of waiting around for my next sonogram (because if I switch practices now, who knows if they will schedule a sonogram to take a look at the mysterious tissue hanging around my cervix) and trying to figure out what to do. Assuming that I don’t have vasa previa, (oh god, please don’t let me have vasa previa!) I could simply accept an induction at 39 weeks (which a large part of me just wants to do because it is the easiest course of action) or I could do what makes me the most comfortable and find a new ob-gyn that doesn’t have the same inducement policy. I don’t know. And to think that I was hoping for an uneventful pregnancy . . . *shaking head*