Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Midwife Vs. Doctor

I woke up this morning after a bunch of terrible dreams, feeling all headachy, stuffed up, and generally like crap. I’ve been really stressing out about which way I’m going to go with the remainder of my medical care for this pregnancy and I just don’t know which way to take it. I realize that it’s not the most important decision in the world – in the end of it all, I’m going to have an amazing little baby. But I kind of feel like the knowledge and help that gets me there counts for something, doesn’t it?

Originally, my GP referred me to the Lions Gate Maternity clinic. That clinic has five women doctors running it, and throughout your appointments you meet all of them. Once the day of delivery comes, you have a 20% chance of each one of these women delivering. They are all really nice, knowledgeable, and helpful with my questions. Even when Toby went with me, he was impressed with how thorough and helpful the doctor was. So far, I’ve been reasonably happy with them and my one and only qualm is truly not knowing who will be there at delivery. The thing with doctors is that you never get their full attention, and you never have one person from the start to the finish of your labour. Nurses are in and out; changing shifts and helping others. The fact that I’d have to fill in every incoming person on my needs and wants wasn’t exactly an ideal situation for me.

About nine weeks into my pregnancy, my sister-in-law told me about the midwife who delivered her daughter, and she had absolutely wonderful things to say. I really trust her child-rearing/raising opinions, and along with the extensive research I did about midwifery it really sounded like a great route. The appointments are longer, and they really focused on you and getting you truly prepared for labour in the most natural and pain-free way. Not only that, but the midwife is with you throughout the whole labour, which I really, really like. I feel like I should have an ally there for me, rather than a string of people coming in and out. We really weighed the pros and cons of both situations, and this particular midwife seemed like the way to go. Not only that, but their practice is really well known and received on the north shore, so every person I talked to had positive things to say about these particular midwives. I had a long chat with one of them prior to making my first appointment, and that talk really left me feeling with a positive attitude about moving over there.

My first appointment was made, and everything was fine – and then they put me in touch with their receptionist. She’s the woman who basically handles everything to do with the Midwives, and essentially the point person when it comes to getting in touch with them. We got off on the wrong foot, because after making it explicitly clear that I work business hours and would like either early morning or late afternoon appointments, she sent me my entire set of appointments from now until delivery, and they were all scheduled for eleven am. I can understand if some of them don’t fit into my schedule, but every single one? Also, if the clinic, with tons more patients can work itself into my schedule, I’m sure a tiny practice can too. It was pretty clear that she just wasn’t listening, and every email I received in return had a crappy, snippy comment. In the latest annoyingness, I inquired about my blood work. I have to get the second round of a particular blood work done this week, and it’s pretty time-sensitive. I asked her whether I needed a new requisition, or if she could send me info about where to send it instead of the clinic. No proper answer. I asked her about whether my files would be there be the time my first appointment rolled around, and she sent back an email saying that she thought I’d already asked my questions of the midwives. WTF? I can’t get a hold of the midwives if it’s not though her. So, if she cannot answer my question, then she needs to direct it to the appropriate place. The last straw was her telling me to contact the other clinic and ask them to send my stuff over, if I wanted it there before my first appointment. I’ve changed dentists before, and I know that the new place asks for the old files. Why should I have to do it?

Bottom line: I’m getting realty annoyed with the whole thing. I realize that she’s JUST the receptionist, BUT… She’s the link to the midwife, and obviously a shitty one at that. What if I go into labour and she neglects to contact the right people and I have my baby in an elevator? That would be so horrible! I don’t want to have the baby in an elevator! I just don’t want some bad-attitude lady making things more difficult for me when everything was fine to begin with.

So now I’m really unsure with what to do. I don’t want stress associated with my baby-having, and I hadn’t had stress until I started dealing with this lady. So, do I stay with the doctor or continue with the midwives with the hopes that their goodness outweighs the receptionists’ annoyingness and incompetence?

1 comment:

  1. Tell the midwives about the receptionist. It's possible they'll do something about her.