One of the most stressful things I went through last year was finding a good obstetrician. I know, I know you’re wondering how that could possibly be stressful. But when you lose one baby after another and NO ONE is advocating for you and your health, you really begin to lose hope and the loneliness from the losses cuts even deeper.
I went through 4 OBs before I met my current one. I won’t tell you about each of them but I will share my worst experiences to give you an idea of what I dealt with. I had one tell me I needed a D&C immediately but it would need to be done in office and since my insurance didn’t cover in office procedures I’d have to pay $850 in cash. Um…no. I had another tell me he didn’t need to run any tests on me and the reason I had 3 miscarriages was because he wasn’t my doctor.
Play God much?
Now you understand why I was so frustrated and stressed out.
Shortly after Christopher and I got married, I was added to his insurance plan. I was getting nowhere with my insurance company and he was with Kaiser so we thought let’s give them a try. What appealed to me about Kaiser was that I had choices. If I wasn’t happy with a doctor, I can easily switch – no questions asked. I was determined to find an OB I liked and trusted even if it meant I had to go through their entire roster of OBGYNs. I could even go through their roster of midwives if I wanted to. Fortunately it never came down to this because the first OB, Dr. K, was like a dream come true.
My first appointment with Dr. K was supposed to be us discussing my medical history and to figure out what we need to do before we started trying again so we don’t go through another loss. That appointment never happened. Technically. The night before I was to meet Dr. K, I found out I was pregnant (fun fact: I found out on my birthday).
Yes, I was very excited to be pregnant again but I was even more freaked out. This pregnancy was a complete surprise to us. We wanted to wait until the end of Fall to start trying again. We were in the middle of planning our honeymoon and other trips and we wanted to do it all before another baby came into our lives. Life never goes as planned, does it?
Dr. K sensed my fear and nervousness so he sat with me and we talked for awhile. He listened carefully as I told him about my losses and all we had gone through in the last year. He immediately ordered 25 different blood tests and told me he would look at all possibilities and causes. And he did. Eventually all my blood tests came back normal. I was perfectly healthy, apparently. And so far, so was the baby.
Baby Lance at 5 weeks, 3 days. His heart rate was 122bpm.
During my first trimester, Dr. K had me come in for weekly ultrasounds to make sure the pregnancy was viable and it wasn’t ectopic. Some weeks I went in to see him 2 or 3 times because I was spotting a lot. I remember one time I apologized for bothering him so much and when he responded I knew I found the doctor I was looking for. He said:
Don’t apologize. I’m here to make sure you and your baby are doing well physically AND emotionally. If you are stressed out and worried, that’s not good for the baby so we have to make sure everything is ok and you’re in a good state of mind.
And he has kept his word. On Mother’s Day we rushed to Urgent Care because I was bleeding. When we arrived back home 6 hours later, I received a call from Dr. K. He somehow heard I was in Urgent Care so he looked over the notes from the doctor on call and reviewed my ultrasound and wanted to call to make sure I was ok and to confirm that yes, the baby was doing well. We were shocked to hear from him but just hearing him tell us everything was ok made us feel even better.
Now that I’m in my 2nd trimester, I’ve been getting monthly ultrasounds and when I hit my 3rd tri I’ll be getting bi-weekly then weekly ultrasounds. I know I couldn’t have made it through my 1st trimester without Dr. K’s care and support. I appreciate his kindness and understanding and Christopher loves that he spends time to explain everything thoroughly. We never feel rushed during our appointments and we also like his calm, friendly demeanor. He’s pretty much a hero in our home.
We saw Dr. K again this morning for my monthly check-up (I’m 24+ weeks now) and I had a whole list of questions from vaccinations (for myself and those who will be around our Baby) to my birth plan. He explained EVERYTHING as well as different options we have and what he feels would be best for me based on how my pregnancy has been progressing. OB visits used to be so stressful, emotional, and filled with anxiety and now we get excited about them. Christopher was even singing and humming this morning because he was “happy I’m going to see my boy”.
It feels amazing to finally have a doctor who just CARES. It’s not only him, though. His staff has been so patient and wonderful. In fact, all of Kaiser has been. I’m considered very high risk because I’m 37 years old and I have a history of multiple losses and everyone at Kaiser has been attentive and sensitive to our needs and emotions. I’m so grateful to have found medical professionals I can finally trust and rely on. They’ve really contributed to me having a happy and healthy pregnancy so far despite my internal fears and struggles with the past.
I’m sharing this with you because having a good OB is extremely important when you’re pregnant. I’ve had to learn this the hard way and believe me when I say it makes a huge difference. Trust your gut and your instincts and always get a 2nd or 3rd opinion if you need to. If it was my first miscarriage and that jerk of an OB told me I had to pay cash for the D&C, I probably would have done it because I wouldn’t know any better. Always be your own advocate first and foremost and find a doctor who will respect you as a patient and especially as a woman. It can make all the difference in the word for you and especially your baby.
P.S. This post may sound like it is, but it is not sponsored by Kaiser. haha
P.P.S. If you’re looking for a new OB, Dr. K’s office is in the DTLA location and I’ll be happy to send you his info. You can contact me here.