Friday, February 10, 2012

I'm Snobby and Mad

When I found out I was pregnant, I sought out the best medical professional to assist me through the pregnancy.  I got referrals, I researched doctor's background and credentials.  I called and spoke with their staff secretaries to get "a feel" for the office.  In the end, I chose the head of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Utah.  Pretty, pretty, pretty prestigious.
I put my snob badge on and attended my first appointment.
And, boy.  I knew I arrived.
Spa music played in a dimly lit room.  Water features lined the walls to help each pregnant woman reach tranquility.  They had oodles of magazines.  And not just lame old Parenting and WebMD magazines.  They had People, Rolling Stones, Glamour, Oprah,Cosmo.  All the best smut.  A woman brought around a cart with your choice of 5 different juices, and any snack you could think of.  Oreos, graham crackers, Goldfish, Pretzels, Fruit snacks, Chippies.  I was in heaven.  I thought to myself, "I wonder where they hide the personal masseuse?"  And as if my thoughts had been read, out walked a strong (but kind) looking Swedish woman.  Obviously, their masseuse.


It wasn't that nice.  Not even close.  They do have a fish tank... which is sorta like a water feature.  And their receptionists are way above par.  And they do offer snacks and juice if you wait more than 10 minutes.  That's really what sold me.  That and all the excellent references I got on my doctor.


I live in Utah.  You know, Land of the Pioneers, Polygamy, and Midwives.

I, personally, have no ill feelings in my heart towards midwives.  I find them to be caring, helpful, and sensitive women.  Although, most seem to lean a little towards the hippie side.  You know, flowy skirts.  Tie dye scrunchies at the end of their braids.  Station wagons.  Knock-off Birkenstocks.  Using a midwife to deliver a baby is not my thing.  A round of applause to the women who do use midwives- it's your personal call.

... so... at my first appointment with my medically trained doctor, I am introduced to her staff.  A few Nurse Practitioners.  A swarm of nurses (to do the weighing and pee-pee sample).  And 2 midwives.  Rita and Laurel.  I think they probably changed their names to that after they decided to become midwives.  I have to admit I was shocked.  Midwives?  Here?  In the hospital?  In a really fancy schmancy hospital?  Don't they go to your house and apply rice packs to your back or something?
It gave me an unsettled feeling.
My first appointment I met with the doctor.  Whom I instantly bonded with and knew this would be a good pregnancy.
2nd appointment... the midwife came in. 
I know I started out with a bad attitude.  I KNOW!  But that doesn't make me change it now does it?
She asked all the normal questions.  How I was feeling... if I had any concerns... blah blah blah.  I answered her questions but couldn't help thinking "Even if something WAS wrong... what would YOU do about it?  You're not even a real doctor."

Yeah... the bad attitude just gets worse and worse.

When I was scheduling my next appointment I told the receptionist I'd rather not see the midwife again.
She asked if something had happened.
"Did she meet your needs?"
"Did she offend you?"
The receptionist honestly seemed puzzled.  So I filled her in.
"I would just prefer a real medical professional."
"I can assure you our entire staff is medically trained..."

Here I cut her off.

"It's a personal preference."
No one can argue with that one.  The receptionist kindly obliged me.
I left feeling better.  At least I would get the treatment I was paying for from now on.

Or so I thought.

Yesterday, I went.  I had to wait forever.  Forever being 55 minutes.  Which is a long time to do nothing.  And I could tell they were swamped.  So even though I wanted to let out long, airy, irritated sighs... I contented myself by crossing my legs and keeping one eyebrow up really really high while I stared at the TV refusing to make eye contact with anyone.  That'll show 'em.
I went back did the usual him-haw and my nurse said, "It'll be just 3 minutes and the doctor will be in."
3 minutes later the nurse poked her head in.  "The doctor is running behind.  You can wait and see her in half  hour?  Or one of our midwives can assist you."


I had Koley at a sitter (for the first time.. like ever.)  I didn't want to be late picking him up.  "I'll see the midwife."

And in walks Rita.  Hippie hair a blowing in the wind.  Wearing combat boots and a skirt that didn't even go to her veiny knees.  Not professional.  At all.
I admit I was unfriendly.  I was a big whiney pants baby about it and gave one word answers.
(I cheered up when I heard the heartbeat- it's hard to stay mad after that.)
I didn't even schedule my next appointment on the way out.  I was so angry.
And about what?
I told Ken the whole story and he told me I have issues.  And that I'm a doctor snob.  And my doctor wouldn't have midwives on her staff if she didn't think they were qualified.
Yeah.  I get it.  They are qualified.  And they probably draw in a whole different crowd.  The home-birthers.  The people who want to have their babies in tubs or swimming pools or suspended from the ceiling.  And I say, more power to those people!  They found what works for them.  God bless 'em!

But you know what works for me?  Being cared for by someone with M.D. after their name.  Someone with 25 years of experience and all kinds of plaques and certificates on her office wall.  Having my baby surgically removed from my stomach.  THAT works for me. 

And as a "P.S."  I love hippies.  I love the free-wheelin', loose-spirit bunch of them.  When I am going to go camping or go on vacation.  Or I want to have a sing-a-long with a ukulele.

And I know I stereotype.  A lot.  You don't need to tell me that in my comments.


Poulsen Family said...

I could not agree with you more. If you are paying money to see the doctor, then you should be able to see the DOCTOR.
One of the biggest things I'll miss about living in Idaho, my OB/GYN. Seriously, loved him as a doctor.

Ru said...

Agreed with the above commenter - do you get a discount for seeing the midwife? No. Doctors should remember that patients are also customers. Go find a doctor who understands the concept of an "appointment" time.

Chris Loves Julia said...

I think it is important to have a checklist and find a caregiver that meets your demands and expectations. Mine is simple: Let me have an epidural. I don't want to hear anything else and I don't want to be talked out of it. :)

Julianna said...


When I had oldest, I had a doctor. Except the only time during my entire 32 hour labor did I actually see the doctor was the last 5 minutes when he told me to push one more time. Because the last three hours of pushing I was doing what? exactly?


Youngest was born up here and on a recommendation, I went with Midwives. They sat with me the entire 27 hours. AND conferred with the doctors on staff. For me it was such a good experience, I would never do it again without one.

But again it's personal preference, and here in MA, they have to be a RN and complete two additional years of Midwife specialty training (Giving them 6-7 years total of medical schooling) AND they can lose their licence if they birth a baby out side of a hospital under normal conditions. Not every state is like that, I realize.

I am actually considering becoming a midwife somewhere down the road. You know, in my spare time. :)

Catarina said...

Patty...I'm with you. Demand your doctor already you are not a snob! And I agree with Julia...don't talk me out of my decision not to have an epidural. Let me make my own decision!

SkippyMom said...

I have to agree with you too. It doesn't make you [or me] a snob, nor does it mean you [or I] have issues.

It's MY body and while pregnant MY baby - and I know what works best for me and my child. Don't question me.

Sorry you had to wait so long. I can't remember a doctor appt. where I didn't have to wait - but it should tell you something about the practice you are going to - more of the patients want the doctor than the midwives [who seem to be readily available with nothing to do] You're in good company. :)

Cinderella, the A-Train and Our Little Caboose said...

Like everyone else, I totally agree. If a midwife is who you want to see, you'd schedule an appointment with one!

I actually saw a midwife part way though my pregnancy with Noah because that's who the Army assigned me to. She was really sweet and never once tried to convince me I didn't need an epidural or anything. Part way through she had a midwife student come in to shadow her, and then the student would preform the check up. She would ask me all the routine questions and when we got to the epidural question she seemed put out that I would even consider having one. Then when she asked what we were going to name the baby, I told her (we were thinking Asher at the time) and she responds, "Ah, that's an interesting name...." Gag. I requested to be moved to a different Dr I was so annoyed. With Clare I saw the same OB the whole time and my experience was 10 times better. I will be doing it that way the next time around. Hands down.

Kar said...

Oh, Pats, I would have been pissed, too. I have very, very, very strong feelings about having an MD care for me during my pregnancies and during labor. It was an MD who saved my last two kiddos' lives in the hospital. If you want a different doc, I had a fantastic OBGYN down in Salt Lake. James Petersen. He's an OBGYN and a pediatrician, so I would have the baby with him helping me through that whole process, and then he continued with the care of my babies. It was perfect. And I saw him every single dang time. And he's a good labor coach. You'll find him in the phone book under his name or Foothill Family Clinic. Just if you're looking to shop around. Love you and miss you, Pats!