***Disclaimer: this blogpost is a gross generalisation based on my own experiences that I’ve had with specialists and is in no way meant to offend or put down anyone that I do or don’t know in these professions (except maybe the doctors I’m specifically ranting and raving about – hehe)***
So, I’ve been thinking about it and I’m so over seeing specialists! I don’t know when my problem started. I don’t know if it’s just me. I don’t know if I’ve just had the luck of the draw and chosen the wrong gynae/doctor/paed each and every time. But I’m seriously OVER it. Not only are they
seriously slightly overpriced, but in a lot of the cases, I feel like these people’s jobs involves a lot of trial and error. Before you think that I’m being over the top, let me put these comments in context of what I’ve experienced with various specialists over the last few months…
Let’s start here. This is really where my problems started. And I really did feel alone. I felt like the only person who went through this. Years later and after reading other people’s blogposts, I realised that I wasn’t the only one…So prior to falling pregnant with Ethan, I had been to the gynae a few times. Different ones so it wasn’t like I had a specific gynae that I saw annually or whatever (that’s probably where the problem lies!). A month before I fell pregnant with Ethan, I had serious stomach issues and so my GP recommended that I go to a gynae for scans. Wanting to rule out anything serious, I called around and tried to get the first available gynae at our “usual” hospital and that’s how I ended up seeing Dr S. On meeting him at first, I had absolutely no issues with him. I didn’t love him, but I didn’t dislike him either. And so a month later, when I found out that I was pregnant, I decided just to stick with him. Apart from the fact that he was seriously squint (this really did bother my husband!), he was fine. Not much of a bedside manner but I didn’t feel the need to have somebody molly coddling me anyway. The hubster felt like he was practical and to the point, and so we stayed with him. The first appointment or two were okay. I think we were more focused on checking that all was okay with our little baby and so we weren’t really worried about the doctor, but once Ethan started moving and I wasn’t so petrified of something going wrong, the focus turned more to the actual gynae. When he first told me I’d picked up too much weight…without even asking what I was eating…that got my back up. Of course it did – there is no way to tell a pregnant woman nicely that she’s getting fat too quickly! Anyway, to fast forward, by month 8, I walked out of his rooms extremely upset and crying like somebody had died. I actually can’t even remember what made me so upset. I vaguely remember him never wanting to commit to anything, always giving me round about answers and never even attempting to put me at ease about anything that I was concerned about. I called my mother and she suggested I just hang in there as moving gynaes at that late stage was probably not the best idea. And so I did just that – I hung in there until he delivered our first born. The last straw for me was when Ethan was born weighing a whopping 4.28kgs and he commented on how it was a good thing that he’d done a caesar as there was no way that I would have been able to deliver such a big baby…this after having told me a few weeks before that a natural labour had nothing to do with the size of the baby and that he’d had a patient deliver a 5.3kg baby without a problem so we mustn’t worry too much about baby’s size??!!! I almost punched him square in the face there and then. Luckily he left almost immediately and boy was I glad to see the back of him!
Needless to say, when I fell pregnant with Riley, there was no way in hell that I was going back to him. I’m not sure why I didn’t go to the gynae that I had visited for my annual checkup in between the two pregnancies, but I went to somebody highly recommended from a friend of a friend instead. Our first visit for the initial scan went fine. He didn’t have a fantastic bedside manner, but he was nice enough and both the hubster and I left feeling comfortable that we’d stick with him for the remainder of the pregnancy. Visit two wasn’t the greatest but baby was healthy and that’s all that mattered. He suggested we see a foetal specialist (I hear that all gynaes are now suggesting this?!) even though nothing was wrong. I confirmed with him that we wouldn’t be pressured into seeing him i.e. that it was completely our choice and he said that it was. And so, deciding not to go and see the foetal specialist, our next visit (which technically would have only been with the specialist had we gone there) was with the same gynae. Let’s just say that I left feeling terrible. I was beside myself. The hubster picked me up as he shot back to work after us waiting for 45minutes to see him and so he had missed the scan. He wasn’t there to hear Dr A make the most inappropriate comments all centered around the fact that we hadn’t gone to the foetal specialist. When he sent me for the usual bloods at that stage of the pregnancy, he said he’d exclude the down syndrome test and when I asked why – he actually had the audacity to tell me that considering that I hadn’t wanted to go to the specialist, he assumed that that wouldn’t matter so he thought it pointless checking for it. The digs that he made during the appointment were so totally unnecessary and out of line. I barely made it to the car before I had a complete meltdown. Of course, the hubster thought that there was something wrong with baby and when I eventually calmed down enough to explain the full story, he was so angry that he wanted to go up to the office and give Dr A a piece of his own mind there and then. Needless to say, that was that doctor over and done with.
Next was Dr F. Referred to me by a friend who works at the hospital. A real gem. Great bedside manner and what impressed me most was that he didn’t even bother asking why I’d left the previous gynae. He asked me who he was, noted it, and that was it which I found very professional. When I saw Dr A for the first time, I recall him asking why I hadn’t gone back to Dr S who delivered Ethan, and when I explained what had happened, he happily put him completely down which I thought seriously unprofessional! Dr F was Dutch, had a lovely gentle demeanour and was very informative and quite fine with the fact that we hadn’t wanted to see the foetal specialist. I had three or four appointments with him, and every time, I was happy! On the fourth visit, he informed us that he had made the decision to stop practising out of “our” hospital. He gave us two other hospitals as options for delivery, but we weren’t happy with either. The first one was totally run down and while it has a really good rep, I didn’t feel comfortable being there for three nights. The second was under a different medical group and so our medical aid would only have covered 80% of the medical costs. No brainer unfortunately because in this day and age, who really has extra money laying around??? And so we changed gynaes…yet again!
This time, I went to the gynae who had been doing my annual checkups. I had about three of four appointments with him and was happy for the most part. At that late stage, I really didn’t have much of a choice. At the last appointment, he told me how we were going have to just wait until baby came along because he couldn’t be sure when I’d go into labour…this after having already discussed (at the first visit!) that he could only do a caesar because my first pregnancy ended up in a caesar. I had to remind him at the last appointment that we were scheduled for the caesar the following week and that I’d already booked the bed and everything. Needless to say, my mother was not impressed at all and she was right. I know he probably sees hundreds of patients (okay, maybe not hundreds but you get my drift) but the least he could have done was read my file prior to my appointment or even while I was there. The fact that he was unaware at 9months that I was having a caesar is beyond me. Anyway, I bit my teeth and said goodbye full well knowing that I’d see him in theatre the following week and that would be the end of that! The only thing that totally threw me (right there in the theatre nogal) was that my gynae called in the same Dr A who was so ugly to me a few months previously to operate with him. I have no idea why. When I had Ethan, there was no second gynae operating! And it definitely wasn’t something he purposely did to rattle or upset me as he had no idea that I’d been to Dr A previously. I’d only told him about Dr F, his “predecessor” 🙂 🙂 🙂
Anyhoo, I guess all’s well that ends well…that’s my gynae story! My annual visit will just be at whoever’s available I guess. But if I ever have another baby, I hope that I don’t have to go through this palava again!!!