Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The W Family Needs a New Family Doctor

My family doctor shares a practice with the doctor who provided my prenatal care during my last pregnancy. This is not an ideal situation for either my family doctor or for myself. It is uncomfortable to access care there - and in truth, it has caused me to avoid accessing care there while I was pregnant. When there was a minor case of bleeding due to a small sub-chorionic hemmorhage during my first trimester, I went to a walk-in clinic instead of seeing my family doctor. Earlier this summer when my daughter managed to get a case of jock itch diaper rash - again I took her to a walk in clinic instead of my family doctor.

So this past week when I took my son for his one week check-up - it was the first time I had seen my family doctor since getting a referral to my OB for this pregnancy.

I have been with my family doctor for nearly 16 years - she's seen me since I was a university freshman. She had nothing to do with what happened during the last pregnancy and, while foreseeable, it is an unfortunate price that must be paid for what happened last time. She has indicated that she will not leave us before a replacement is found - however, it is clear that a replacement is needed.

So the W family is in need of a new family doctor...which in Victoria is a bit of a daunting prospect given that according to the College of Physicians and Surgeons and the Victoria Medical Society say that no family practices in Victoria are currently accepting new patients.

The search begins - hopefully, my family will get lucky and we'll find a family physician that will guide us through the next chapter of our lives as we raise our children and navigate through "middle age". Hopefully, we will be blessed with the same calibre of professional that I had during my pregnancy and birth of my son.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Winning the Birth Lottery

In the afterglow of my son's birth - I have nothing but gratitude and thankfulness about the care I received and I am very happy that I didn't have to leave the country or take out the equivalent of a car loan to get it. My son's birth, far exceeded every expectation that I had, on every account. It was everything and more than I had hoped for when I planned my daughter's birth. In short, I feel a little like a lottery winner on so many accounts - or at least on any account that really matters.

I got the healthy baby - APGARS of 9 and 9.5. There was nothing sweeter to my ears than to hear him cry within moments of being born. My son has 10 fingers and 10 toes. He has good hearing. His blue eyes checked out. He is perfect from pin-pricked heal, to the top of his fair head.

I did not experience labour this time around. There were some Braxton Hicks contractions, there was a softening of the cervix, there was some dilation - but labour held at bay. Thank god labour held at bay.

Pain management exceeded my expectations - I'll be frank, I expected there to be some pain involved - in truth I always kind of thought that instead of the pain of labour that there was the pain of recovery, and that in the grand scheme of things that the two methods (vaginal birth versus caesarean) were kind of 'on par' in this regard. From the time the spinal was placed until now - 4 days post partum, I haven't experienced any pain that has been worse than a bad period cramp. The pain I experienced during my daughter's delivery was unimaginable. The anaesthesiologist worked magic - and I am extremely grateful for his skills. Further - not once did I feel 'out of it' or high, and there is a lot to be said for being able to remain 'sober' during a time like the birth of your child.

I felt involved in my care, every step of the way. I was given plenty of opportunity to ask questions and was told what was going on and what to expect at each step.

I got continuity of care - the OBGYN who provided my prenatal care was the same person who delivered my son. I knew the person who would be delivering my son had delivered hundreds (and likely thousands) of babies before mine. My Dr. Visited me both days I was in hospital after the surgery.

I got a room full of trained experts - a pediatrician, an OBGyn, an anaesthesiologist, residents and nurses - as a result, I knew that if anything were to go wrong, the right person would be there at the right time. I felt safe.

My mood this time around is dramatically improved - I am not in shock over what happened. Reflecting on the experience generates overwhelmingly positive feelings. For the first time since my experience with my daughter's birth, I feel myself again. It would seem in part (at least right now) that the surgical birth of my son might have helped to alleviate some of my psychological issues.

I had no idea just how much my daughter's birth had really impacted me - but perhaps it's a little like having a bad relationship, in that it's hard to understand how bad it really was until you have had a good relationship to compare it to - after all I got a healthy baby out of that deal, an AMAZINGLY wonderful little girl. However, I now understand just how much more was possible from that experience and how many of the negative consequences could have been avoided.

I feel like I've hit the jackpot with my son, I got the healthy baby and I got so much more than I could have hoped for - I am so thankful for my family, friends, readers, therapist, and healthcare providers who supported me through my pregnancy and the birth of my son as without them, it would not have been possible. I got what every woman giving birth deserves, regardless of the mode of delivery chosen.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Everything, According to Plan - One Happy Mother

Just a quick post today...

The csection was yesterday and went exceptionally well - I could not have asked for a better experience, it was truly pleasant to be able to focus on the arrival of my son in the absence of pain.  All of my Dr.s and nurses have done a very good job and so far, the pain of recovery has been managed very well.  Now knowing how pleasant the experience could have been, it would be wonderful if every woman in BC could have access to the same kind of experience if she desired it or at the very least that such access would not be unreasonably withheld.

I am so very thankful to have gotten everything I wanted this time around, I have a healthy baby, I have had exceptional pain management, I have had respectful care, and I had an uneventful delivery and seem to be having an uneventful recovery. I am counting my blessings, knowing how differently things could have gone and tremendously relieved that this time, it was different.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Vancouver - Home away from home until we take the little Mr. home

The newest little W-to-be managed to stay put over the weekend, for which I am most grateful. I'm asking him to stay put just a little while longer (until the elective c-section date), and am trying my best to help him in that regard by staying off of my feet as much as possible. I'm now in Vancouver - so feel as though even if I were to go into labour my chances are good that a csection, or at a minimum an epidural could be secured and I am relieved that the risk of a delivery at Vic General is now eliminated. I relocated myself yesterday (a thousand and one thank-yous to my brother-in-law for use of his North Vancouver condo)

Mr.W and the girl will be joining me later today. I am quite pleased that they are coming sooner than planned as the original plan was for Mr.W to stay in Victoria with the girl until Tuesday (the day before the c-section) and then for the girl to stay with her aunt and uncle in Victoria until we returned home from Vancouver with the newest little W. However, that meant that I would be in Vancouver solo, and should I go into labour - Mr. W might miss out on the arrival of little W, a prospect I wasn't overly happy with, but given the need to care for the toddler, and my desire to avoid a delivery at Victoria General, seemed a neccessary trade-off. It is a trade-off that I am quite happy to be unlikely have to made.

I'm hopeful that little W will wait until Wednesday - surgery has risks and those risks are minimized when it is undertaken in a planned manner (there's a reason why they ask you to fast beforehand).

Now if only I could donate points from my Bishop's score (I calculate that mine is at a 10-11) to some other woman who could really use them as I have no desire to actually go into labour or have a vaginal birth.