I’m still processing the appointment, quite honestly. I’m not sure what I went into this appointment expecting, really, but…I mean…it was kind of bizarre at times. And I waited forever to be seen. But I’m not entirely bothered by some of it while some of it leaves me feeling underwhelmed.
My first impression upon walking in was that the waiting room was really small and stuffy without a ton of seating. It felt cramped and a little claustrophobic. I signed in and sat down and waited to be called for my insurance card and ID and then I filled out some paperwork. And we waited. And read magazines. And waited. And played around on our phones. And waited.
And then we waited some more.
My appointment time was 9:30. I think it was nearly 11:00 before we were called back. And then we were only called back to a secondary waiting room and that room, too, was crowded. In fact, most of the place was crowded. The rooms I could see were crowded. The “hallways” were crowded.
The bathroom was across the “hall” from the “lab,” so instead of having the little metal door beside the toilet to leave my “specimen,” I had to exit the bathroom with it and put it on a counter inside the “lab.” I kept thinking “please don’t trip and spill this! Please don’t trip and spill this!”
From everything I could tell, the doctor doesn’t contract with one of the lab companies who places a tech on location for blood draws, so all blood work is drawn by a nurse or someone who perhaps doesn’t do this with the same level of precision as someone who draws blood all day. Quite honestly, that makes me nervous because I’m pretty particular when it comes to my veins.
The scale was old school.
There were kitschy posters on the walls.
I think there was an NST taking place in what doubles as a supply closet.
It felt like it was a zillion degrees in there (though the thermostat said 72).
And then I had to remind myself that none of that was the reason I was there.
Was the space and environment as nice as what I’m used to? No, it certainly wasn’t. Not by a long shot.
But after talking with my mama, I realized I’m tired of going to the OB and paying for the paintings they hang on their walls and white noise machines in every exam room and being treated like a cog in a machine. And that’s one of the things I realized by the physical appearance of the new doctor’s office compared to the old.
Sure, the old office was newer, less “lived-in,” while this place is quite clearly well-loved and lived-in. But the people here listened to me. And when I say “listened” I mean they heard me.
The doctor’s wife did my medical history intake. She shared snippets of stories about how she’s been pregnant 6 times and all of them were different.
When I said I’d come there because I wanted a VBAC, she said I’d come to the right place. That I could guarantee that if he had to cut me, it was because there was no other way. That no matter how often it had inconvenienced them through the years, made them arrive late to personal commitments, her husband treated each patient like a top priority when in labor, even if it was sometimes hard to wrangle him into a room in the office.
And then we waited some more for the doctor to come in, and finally, he did.
He finished asking the medical history questions and we talked about what my labor had been like with Joshua. He tracked down my file from my previous doctor’s office himself. He reviewed every step of this pregnancy commenting on blood work they’d done that had been unnecessary. (Like the screening to determine if I was an IV drug user…uh, no. No I’m not, thanks.)
He double-checked my due date. (It’s still the same.)
He asked if I had any questions and truthfully, I didn’t have any. I always feel inadequate when I don’t have questions.
And then he said things that made my VBACtivist heart flutter.
- His rate of c-section is about 10%.
- Insurance companies must stop dictating how births in this country proceed because the insurance companies aren’t the ones in the trenches.
- It bothers him that hospitals adopt policies that allow for no gray areas in their interpretation of said policies because sometimes those policies aren’t mother and baby friendly.
- He cannot, and would never, guarantee a VBAC. But he does guarantee that options will be exhausted before resorting to a surgical delivery.
He did a quick tummy check and walked me to the check-out counter himself. And that was it. My first appointment was done. I left feeling hungry. And tired from the waiting. And happy to have a doctor who will actually help me try to VBAC this baby without paying lip-service to my wishes.
I’m glad I made this change.