Weight: 70.7kg – steady tharr she blowwws…
Feeling: Very uncertain and upset. Looks like you can’t rely on anybody..
So I didn’t want to wait til tomorrow to post this, because I’m actually going to go meet a client to settle some stuff tomorrow in the morning and won’t be able to get home to write until late in the afternoon.
Can you imagine that I’m still running around at 36 weeks pregnant?! I think I’m kind of Superwoman already.
Not that there aren’t mixed reactions from the people around me.
There are people who EXPECT me to be mobile and running around to meet them and do yoga and exercise… These people ought to be SLAPPED, they’ve obviously never had this much weight of baby on their person before 😛 The other extreme are the people who want me to sit at home and not do anything – which I’m happy to do, to be honest, but I’d probably die of boredom from.
I mean I have to at least get out there and buy myself some lunch right?
Maybe it was a good idea not to post anything over the weekend, today’s post is going to be MASSIVE. I’ve split it up into 4 parts so I can categorise my thoughts…
I need to post about what happened on Monday’s appointment before the feelings run away and I don’t feel as agitated and unnerved as I did then. So brace yourself….
Setting Ourselves Up for the Appointment
So what happened on Monday was that we had a January mummies luncheon at Orchard Central. We gathered to have Peking Duck together!
Now I have been bugging the group for the LONGEST time to seriously go and eat Peking Duck, and let me tell you, the Monday 50% off was too good to resist. So somebody called it in and made a reservation and we showed up for some well-deserved face-stuffing 😀
Needless to say that after a whole weekend of meeting up with friends and eating and really going at food with abandon, I was actually pretty damn confident, not only that my weight would have gone up but that we would see some positive news about the bubs’ growth this week when we went to the doctor’s office right after the makan (eating) session.
We did have a little bit of walking in between reaching Thomson Medical Centre (TMC) (which is where my doctor’s office is) and actually going for the appointment because we kind of signed ourselves up for the TMC tour.
We got a bit side-tracked from our original, unwavering plans of delivering at Mount Alvernia because of this sneaky little flyer that was passed to us at last week’s appointment.
The sneaky flyer told of a SG50 discount and special package for mummies who gave birth at TMC – extra diapers and stuff plus a discount of sorts off the final hospital bill… So, being the kiasu (scared to lose out) Singaporeans that we are, we figured that we would just go for the tour and do a comparison of the rooms and see if everything was all that worth it to jump ship.
It wouldn’t hurt to just take a look anyway right?
Well, I know there are going to be a lot of people who are going to be coming on this blog to find out how the TMC wards did on my ranking list, but in the interest of getting straight to the juicy stuff – which is what happened during the doctor’s visit – I’m just going to cut a long story short.
Single bed wards have honestly not much of a difference in comparison to Mount Alvernia. It’s really more about the “company” a.k.a. the nurses that you’ll have during your stay. The delivery wards are pretty much similar too, save for the fact that of course they showed off the water birthing tub simply because they had one for use.
The suites were quite impressive, but really not that much of a draw to us because we don’t quite need a huge room. All the better to keep visits from nosey relatives down to an absolutely minimum I’d say.
In any case, we wanted to talk to our obgyn as well before making a concrete decision with whom to room in with. We were advised last week that doctor’s fees would be a fair bit more expensive if we requested our doctor to head to a different hospital from where his resident practice is and wanted to make sure that we weren’t being shortchanged in terms of price.
Well, maybe not shortchanged insomuch of the word, but more like… Whether it would be more worth it to just deliver at TMC to save on the 10-20% increase in doctor’s fees.
So right now, the facts are:
– Mount A room charges are CHEAPER than TMC
– TMC has a $100+ waiver on fees for SG50, Mount A doesn’t
– Doc charges 10-20% more at other hospitals other than TMC
– Mount A has awesome nurses and Lactation Consultants.
With that in mind, we were going to ask him about what our doctor’s opinion was and what he would say about things. And so, we headed to the doctor’s office to hear the verdict for the last week.
The Doctor’s Opinion
In order for me to keep on topic, I’m just going to skip the big update on the baby for now and talk more about us deciding which hospital we ended up choosing first.
So the doc came back to us when we asked him about his fees and he said yeah, sorry about that – it’s all about the travelling and having to leave my office. But we’re going to want to consider the other things that will affect the delivery besides the costs of things because if we deliver in TMC –
1) he’ll be able to get to us much faster if there are any issues upon admission to the delivery wards AND
2) he mentioned that he found the TMC staff a little bit more on-the-ball when it came to jumping to action in the event of anything – in Mount Alvernia they’re a little slower to react to situations which require a bit of action.
Lots of things to think about for sure.
So while we have all that to think about, the doctor took the regular weekly ultrasound of bubby inside my tummy and remember how I was saying that I was so confident that baby grew?
He grew alright. Just that the results didn’t show exactly what we were expecting.
The doctor measures the baby by positioning 2 “X” markers on the 2 sides of an oval shaped shadow on the ultrasound machine and adjusts the thickness of the oval that outlines the shadow in order to get a guesstimate of the size of the oval which could be either baby’s head or torso.
So obviously there’s room for error right?
WELL, when you see an initial reading at 2.3 kilograms and then see the doctor adjust the X markers in a way such that the reading drops down to 2.1kg, you’ll understand precisely how much “room for error” there really is.
I held my tongue while the scan was going on, and let the doctor run the 2nd and 3rd measurement, and saw the measurements dropping significantly down to 2.077kg.
I was fuming.
It was as if he was PURPOSELY trying to make it look as if my baby is small and in danger of needing special attention.
I continued to keep my peace and take it as human error. Same as for the crazy detailed ultrasound lady from last week.
I had my insides swabbed after the ultrasound to check for bacteria, after which I hopped off the table (as best as I could being heavily pregnant anyway) and settled down to hear what else the doctor had to say about this week’s findings and to ask him more questions.
So, as expected he told us that baby is still small *shakes head* and that we need to keep monitoring him. We really didn’t get any new news that changed what we’ve already heard from him in the previous weeks. Make sure baby is gonna keep growing if not we’ll have to induce him to come out.
Some good news though was that the placenta has moved away though, so the doc DID say that a natural birth really looked possible. But he seemed to qualify his happy statements with more contradictory words – “But if something happens, because baby isn’t absorbing, then we’ll have to call it in for a C set ok?”
In addition to what I mentioned earlier about travelling from TMC to Mount A, he continued to also say that I should come in to the hospital as soon as I thought I had contractions because the baby is qualifying us for a high risk pregnancy. And at this point, I was really flabbergasted!
The hubs and I were set to only make a move from home to the hospital when contractions were 3 to 4 minutes apart and 1 minute long. Reading up on things online, the difference between contractions which are 10 minutes apart versus 4 minutes apart could be half a day, and I’m not about to waste my time lying in the labour ward when there’s nothing to do there.
And at this point he said “Why you want to sit at home when you’re in labour! Come in and get monitored!”
At this point I brought up a very big factor that Mount Alvernia charges you delivery ward charges if you happen to be caught up in labour across the midnight mark – meaning you actually have to pay for the partial use of the labour ward on the day that you checked in.
Yeah, it’s NOT included in the delivery package, go figure.
And the doctor is like “nevermind about the charges! Your baby is high risk! You want him monitored don’t you?”
I really don’t get it! WHY would a doctor make good news sound so bad!
The hubs and I had a long (separate from today’s topic) discussion about what his deal was and figured that he just needs to cover his backside against stating ultimatums. But honestly, when it comes to talking to your patients about the health and well-being of their FIRST unborn child, you could use a little tact and discretion to say things in a way that don’t so damn bloody SCARY right?
So having listened to him and thoroughly questioned some of our motives for Natural Birth methods and almost close to just listening to whatever “advice” he threw our way, I decided to just drop a message or 2 to my HypnoBirthing instructor to get her opinion…
Au Naturale OR ELSE..
So I sent a message to my HypnoBirthing friend (henceforth known as my HB friend). And well.. read for yourself.
There’s just as much bedside manner as the doctor had!
What’s wrong with wanting to stick to my doctor but yet be able to go through a natural birth? Why do I IMMEDIATELY need to find a second opinion? Does nobody think about the costs involved with swapping doctors at the last minute any more?
Honestly, all I was asking was, if I wanted to keep doing a natural birth, I’m sure that there would be some scenarios where there would be an exception or that would be considered and emergency right?
I’ve read in COUNTLESS places that people who have planned on a natural birth are just simply unprepared for the alternative scenario – that they need intervention and medical assistance and because of their insistence to complete a natural birth, either come out of it entirely traumatised and guilty that they weren’t able to achieve a natural birth, or simply just scarred from the whole experience.
Let’s not even talk about the other hypothetical possibility that the baby doesn’t make it out of labour….
I really didn’t know what I was expecting by asking though.
Reassurance? Clinical facts on what to look out for? Perhaps a little encouragement that things will still continue to go well if I just believed?
What I got was a whole load of criticism for not being “true” to the HypnoBirthing beliefs. And let me tell you that it’s hard enough trying to believe that this method of birthing works, let alone with a overbearing instructor breathing down your neck that you aren’t trying hard enough to make it work.
“There is no difference from what I’ve taught you”, “It’s your choice when you want to go to the hospital”, “A second opinion means you may not be categorized as high risk”, “Ultrasounds are only 40% accurate”, “There are NO emergency situations, except for fever and bleeding and only if before 37 weeks.”, “Your doctor is making you scared”, ” You are at risk of induction or augmentation if you stay with this doctor”…..
AND IF YOU THOUGHT THAT WAS BAD?! WORSE STILL YET TO COME.
The fact that I could even gear myself up to saying “Ok, thanks.” is a testament to my good manners and up-bringing that I didn’t just blast her for being so bloody uncaring about my feelings and totally DEVOID OF A SOUL.
WHO DA HELL ARE YOU TO TELL ME THAT I’M NOT DOING THE BEST I CAN FOR MY BABY? WHO ARE YOU TO JUDGE?! AND! You obviously don’t read my blog…
*eyes shooting laser beams to maim and destroy in disgust*
So instead of getting the reassurance that I was desperately looking for, I got more insecurity and a tonne more questions floating around in my head about what we were really going to decide to do when the time comes for the baby to come…
The Final Verdict
At the end of the day, after an emotional breakdown and a pity-fest for myself, I calmed down enough to have a decent conversation with the hubs about what we really needed to do for the best of our baby.
In the end, we figured that we needed to do things the way that we felt was right. And of course with the costs in mind, we felt that choosing Mount A where the staff would be more helpful and the distance was more navigable would be our hospital of choice.
The price difference in choosing TMC really isn’t that much more worth it, we just didn’t have the FEELING that it was the right hospital for us to go to, even considering that I myself was actually born there 30 years ago.
Plus the fact that parking is obviously more awesome there… *ahem* digressing.
But yes, we didn’t want to be frightened by the thought of having to pay a mad amount of money for a second opinion and neither did we want to be worried about a few extra hundred dollars for a better hospital environment for mummy and baby after the delivery.
The doc actually said we could just go ahead and send in pre registration for admission forms to both the hospitals and then see where we felt like turning up to on the actual day itself, so we’ll see how things go with that. We ARE pretty set on just sticking to Mount A since it was our first choice hospital then and looks like it still is now.
In any case, we’re still not going to rush down to the hospital at the first sign of labour, and we are definitely going to be trying our best to keep calm and relaxed so that baby won’t even smell of being distressed. So what’s to worry about choosing a hospital that’s a little further away for our doctor to get to.
Honestly, unless the baby slides out of my uterus, I think we should be able to hold for the 10-15 minutes it’ll take the doctor to come to Mount A from TMC.
Hell, Google Maps says the distance is like… 2.4 km? If the doctor was to run from one hospital to the next, it’ll still be like a maximum of half an hour? I’m sure my labour won’t be over in that short of a time.
In any case, if we were really feeling a little iffy when I start to show signs of being in active labour, I know that the hospitals are both nearby. We could just head down a little bit earlier. Like when contractions are 5 minutes apart as opposed to 4 minutes, and maybe if they are at lengths of 45 seconds as opposed to a minute…
That said, all that’s left now is really to count down to when things HAPPEN.
We’re still hoping that baby stays in for as long as possible. Cross over to the 2015 New Year at the very least so that we can pump him up with Christmas and New Year goodies 🙂 The more I eat the more the chance that the doctor will be a bit more optimistic at our next appointment too.
And if that’s the one thing that I’m looking forward to, it’s feeding my baby and eating with him over the festive holidays 🙂
Ham and Turkey and Roast Beef, OH MY!,