Week 10, The Surprise Ultrasound & Advocate Failure
Part 8, Trying for Another Blog Series
I was awake at 1 am last night thinking about this. I need to write it to help me process it. When it initially happened, I actually thought, “I won’t be sharing this on my blog.” But that was embarrassment and shame taking over.
Yesterday I went in for my second prenatal visit at Kaiser. I was scheduled with Dr. Hoover, whom I had never seen before, and I hope to never again. While she did her best to be kind, she seemed totally uninformed and unprofessional. First off, I waited for 45 mins, with my five year old, Anders. Second, I was twice asked what I was there for. Once by the Medical Assistant checking me in, and again by the OB. Dr. Hoover surmised, “I think maybe they wanted to do a full exam on you, where you get completely undressed, but you don’t look ready for that, so maybe you’ll do that next time.” Ok, yeah I’m not ready for that because no one told me to get undressed. But I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to do it at that point either. Then, seeming to not know what to do with me, she started just shooting the shit, asking about my kids and my previous births. After five minutes of that she instructed me to lay back on the table. Not knowing what she was doing, I followed. Then she began pulling the ultrasound machine near, and asking me to expose my belly. I then knew that she was going to do an abdominal ultrasound. I said nothing. The thoughts running through my head were, “what are we doing this for? What the hell? I thought there were only supposed to be three Ultrasounds. Oh well, I’ll get to see the baby again and make sure it’s okay, just go along with it. Anders will get to see the baby. I’ve already done it once, it doesn’t really matter at this point.” All that passed through my head in a matter of about 30 seconds, which was the time I had between knowing and having it actually happen. The baby looked healthy. I could see its arms and legs this time. And it was cool that Anders got to see it.
I got home and told Luc that I had had another Ultrasound and he was immediately alarmed, and kind of upset with me. This only upset me with him: “I didn’t know you cared!” I retorted back. I was less upset about the risk of the Ultrasound to the baby then I was about my lack of backbone. Why did I not say something?! Why did I kowtow in the moment when I needed to stand up?! Why did I just go along with it? (It reminded me of that time in highschool, honestly) This is what I had been trying to prepare myself for. I know there’s a strong chance that I’ll need to advocate for myself and my baby when birthing at Kaiser.
I talked to my client, Dr. Jen about this, fighting against shame and embarrassment telling me to hide it, and it made me feel better to get it out in the open. Dr. Jen said, “yeah, but that’s what we’ve been conditioned our whole lives to do: to trust the medical professionals.” It’s true. And in the split moment, I fell into old habits. I wasn’t prepared. It’s okay. I’m learning.
So at my next appointment, I’ll be meeting with my OB, Dr. Courtney Harper, who was my OB for my last two pregnancies. I’ve had good experiences with her. I need to have a conversation with her about what I want, and what is to be expected. Apparently protocols have changed since I was last pregnant. In the meantime, I’m trying to allow myself some grace. And the disappointment in myself has eased over the last couple of days.
To switch gears, here are a couple of pregnancy symptoms I realized I haven’t written about yet:
1. My dreams. I am having the wildest, most vivid dreams! It’s super fun actually, but they are intense. Like, I’m so deep into them that when I have to wake up it takes me a couple of hours to snap out of it- not usual for me. Usually they are so convoluted and bizarre that I can’t even put words to them, but one that I can describe involved sand portals taking me and my friends to another dimension. Yeah, super cool
2. Glute/Hip Pain. My left hip has been bugging the heck out of me. Now this is totally tennis induced, so I’m not too worried about it yet. It flares up when and for a few days after I play tennis, which is a total bummer, but at least it’s not from daily movement (yet). Acorn Chiropractic has been helping me out with this, big time.
3. Another thing I’ve been dealing with since about week 6 is round ligament pain. Weird that it’s so early right?! Dr. Jen explained that my uterus is growing faster this time around, so it’s pain from that quick expansion- nothing of concern.
On to week 11!