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for those avoiding ultrasounds: I guess this time I dont have a choice, right?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I'm seeing a midwife for my prenatal care, but she is state liscensed so Im required to see a regular dr. twice during my pregnancy. I will be having my midwife use the fetoscope, but right now Its pretty early on in the pregnancy. as far as both of us know, all doctors around here use doppler ultrasound, to listen to the heartbeat. I'm really uncomfortable with this, but at the same time I dont really think I can say no. I'm going to the dr. my midwife recommended (in a few days), and Im just not looking forward to it at all. I guess if I want to have a midwife attend my birth I have no choice but to go through with this, right? As wrong as it seems to be forced into doing something I dont want to do..
post #2 of 17
I can't imagine that you wouldn't be able to decline anything you don't want. The regulations don't say that you have to allow the Dr. to do whatever they want, but only that you consult with them twice, correct? You may get grief from them, but you should certainly be able to decline the Doppler if you don't want it.
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
last time I declined a routine ultrasound the dr. refused to continue seeing me. I cant imagine this doctor would be okay with NOT listening to the heartbeat. since basically, thats all he does anyway. Im afraid I would get more than just grief, but kicked out. I dont think there are any drs that would agree to check me out without using one. Its more than just a consultation, he actually has the power to refuse to allow me to have a homebirth if he is not comfortable giving the okay.
the power seems to be in the hands of the doctors unfortunately. (unless I want to do the birth at home unattended..)
post #4 of 17
It wouldn't hurt to try and say no... the worst he could do is pressure you to do it anyways. I am sorry that you are in this position!

Big Momma
post #5 of 17
Why wouldn't you be able to say no? Hearing the baby's HB at this point in pregnancy really has no bearing on your eligibility for homebirth. I would imagine she/he is going to be more concerned with your BP and your medical history. If you are uncomfortable with it, speak with your MW ahead of time and see if she can call the doc and discuss it. When I practiced at a B.C. in florida, at least half of our clients never had ultrasounds, and they had no problem getting clearance. Granted, most of them were fine with a doppler, but I can't imagine any reason why you couldn't wait and have the doc use the fetoscope if he feels he needs to hear the HB her/himself.

Another option is to have a visual ultrasound instead of an audio doppler- you get much less exposure that way, especially if you make it super quick. If the doctor stonewalls you and won't clear you otherwise, I would go with the u/s over the doppler if you are worried about exposure.
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
my midwife already sounded pretty sure about the fact that there was nothing I could do to avoid it. I really hope I will be able to say no, Im going to be so nervous waiting for this appointment. I really wish I didnt care, it would make things so much easier.
post #7 of 17
After telling the doctor that you very much want to avoid the use of doppler and ultrasound, if he gives you any grief can you politely ask him to explain exactly what he, you, and your baby will gain by checking for a heartbeat this early in the pregnancy? Is it that this doctor will not believe that you're pregnant otherwise? There are other ways to check for that! I don't know how far along you are, but all you're asking this doctor to do is wait until ~24 weeks and he can listen to the heartbeat as much as wants with a fetoscope. You're not refusing standard care, you're simply delaying a currently useless (in my opinion) part of the exam until later.

Best of luck at your appointment! Please try to relax in the meantime. You may be surprised and find this doctor is more reasonable than your last one. And in case it makes you feel better, you CAN refuse anything you don't want to do. Maybe you'll feel more relaxed if you mentally approach it from that angle? Then all you need to do is gently guide the doctor toward agreeing with you.
post #8 of 17
My MW uses a doppler but she always asks if we would like to listen or not and it's up to me. I would try telling the doctor that you're not concerned about hearing the heartbeat and you're ok with waiting until it can be picked up with the fetoscope. I don't really see why it would be an issue, they will be able to pick it up eventually, it's not like you will go into labour and they still won't know if baby has a heartbeat or not. I'd explain it like that, be confident about your choice and see what happens.
post #9 of 17
You can say no and let the doctor know that you've decided to go with the fetoscope.
post #10 of 17
I'm confused- does the doctor want to do an ultrasound, or listen with a doppler? If he wants an ultrasound, maybe he would be willing to wait until later in the pregnancy? I can kind of understand, from a back up OBs perspective, why he would want an ultrasound on record- CYA kind of thing if you end up transferring.

If he just wants to use a doppler for the heartbeat, well then that is just ridiculous and there is no reason at all he cannot use a fetoscope. Just stall on the app't until you are far enough along to hear the HB, and bring a fetoscope with you!

phathui5- it is not as easy as just saying no if it means he will refuse to clear her for a homebirth.

Also, I do not want to make light of your concerns, but one benefit of an ultrasound in early pregnancy is a clear EDD. If you have any doubts about your date of conception, an early ultrasound can help decrease your risk of being induced for "post dates." However, I 100% support every woman's right to choose her own care, and it sucks that you feel you are being backed into a corner.
post #11 of 17
i don't do ultrasounds unless medically necessary (for religious reasons but it's never even come up why.) i've had no problems refusing although my doc would beg at every appointment but we both pretty much acknowledged he wanted to do them mainly for his own entertainment ("but it's so neat!) and probably for billing reasons.
post #12 of 17
I said no to a lot of things at my four doctor's appointments! Some she fought me on (ultrasound being one of them), but it wasn't too hard. I did okay use of the doppler to listen to the heartbeat, but I would only do it at the doctor's office or with the midwife. Could you get a heartbeat from your midwife right before you see the doctor, then if the doctor doesn't have a fetascope, you can just tell her what the number is?

I actually joked around with my midwife saying I was going to deny everything at my next dr. appointment because I was so annoyed. No - you cannot weigh me. No - you a may not take my bp. No, I will not pee in a cup!
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
sorry for any confusion. the ultrasound incident I was referring to was actually from my first pregnancy. I caved in to dopplers and a visual ultrasound during my first pregnancy and I still regret that.

I would like to avoid both ultrasound and use of the doppler, and I dont know which one the doctor will want to use, but either way I would want to decline.
I dont believe the Dr. has a fetoscope in his possession (but I will ask), and I do not have one either. I wish I did now but dont have enough time to bring one even if he did happen to know how to use one.
getting a heartbeat from the midwife before the dr wouldnt really work because the appointment is early in the morning and they are 2 hours away from eachother. maybe I'm just making excuses, I dont know.
I have an anxiety disorder and freeze up any time I go to the dr. I become unable to defend my beliefs and just become one of those "yes ma'am yes sir." types and dont show how upset they are making me. then as soon as I leave the appointment I usually start crying. SO not looking forward to this! If I wanted to deal with doctors, I wouldnt be seeing a midwife!
but thanks for all your input ladies, I appreciate the support. The appointment snuck on me, its already tomorrow.
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by mariekitt24 View Post
sorry for any confusion. the ultrasound incident I was referring to was actually from my first pregnancy. I caved in to dopplers and a visual ultrasound during my first pregnancy and I still regret that.

I would like to avoid both ultrasound and use of the doppler, and I dont know which one the doctor will want to use, but either way I would want to decline.
I dont believe the Dr. has a fetoscope in his possession (but I will ask), and I do not have one either. I wish I did now but dont have enough time to bring one even if he did happen to know how to use one.
getting a heartbeat from the midwife before the dr wouldnt really work because the appointment is early in the morning and they are 2 hours away from eachother. maybe I'm just making excuses, I dont know.
I have an anxiety disorder and freeze up any time I go to the dr. I become unable to defend my beliefs and just become one of those "yes ma'am yes sir." types and dont show how upset they are making me. then as soon as I leave the appointment I usually start crying. SO not looking forward to this! If I wanted to deal with doctors, I wouldnt be seeing a midwife!
but thanks for all your input ladies, I appreciate the support. The appointment snuck on me, its already tomorrow.
I'm sorry to hear you're so worried. I find it admirable that you are advocating for the care you want for yourself and your baby.

TBH, I have no idea how the licensing works in your state- I would suspect, tho, that your MW is telling you the truth (altho it seems rather an odd situation). Like another PP said, tho, you ALWAYS can decline. That said, the doc can also decline to treat you in a non-emergent case (as you know from prior experience, it sounds like). This time- If the choice is btwn MW care and limited US/doppler, might you be able to frame it as choosing one undesirable procedure so you might have a greater outcome?

I know you said the appt was tomorrow, but if you happen to postpone it, perhaps call around other MWs or find others in your area in the same situation to see what they have done? I'm sure you're not the only one who's ever been stuck in this crappy position.

Also, you mentioned doctor's office anxiety, something I used to have a problem with... can you take someone (preferable vocal ) w/ you to the appt as your advocate?

Best of luck.
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by mariekitt24 View Post
I'm seeing a midwife for my prenatal care, but she is state liscensed so Im required to see a regular dr. twice during my pregnancy. I will be having my midwife use the fetoscope, but right now Its pretty early on in the pregnancy. as far as both of us know, all doctors around here use doppler ultrasound, to listen to the heartbeat. I'm really uncomfortable with this, but at the same time I dont really think I can say no. I'm going to the dr. my midwife recommended (in a few days), and Im just not looking forward to it at all. I guess if I want to have a midwife attend my birth I have no choice but to go through with this, right? As wrong as it seems to be forced into doing something I dont want to do..
You need to find out what the actual laws are in your state. However, I can't imagine anyone could force you into an ultrasound.
post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by mariekitt24 View Post
sorry for any confusion. the ultrasound incident I was referring to was actually from my first pregnancy. I caved in to dopplers and a visual ultrasound during my first pregnancy and I still regret that.

I would like to avoid both ultrasound and use of the doppler, and I dont know which one the doctor will want to use, but either way I would want to decline.
I dont believe the Dr. has a fetoscope in his possession (but I will ask), and I do not have one either. I wish I did now but dont have enough time to bring one even if he did happen to know how to use one.
getting a heartbeat from the midwife before the dr wouldnt really work because the appointment is early in the morning and they are 2 hours away from eachother. maybe I'm just making excuses, I dont know.
I have an anxiety disorder and freeze up any time I go to the dr. I become unable to defend my beliefs and just become one of those "yes ma'am yes sir." types and dont show how upset they are making me. then as soon as I leave the appointment I usually start crying. SO not looking forward to this! If I wanted to deal with doctors, I wouldnt be seeing a midwife!
but thanks for all your input ladies, I appreciate the support. The appointment snuck on me, its already tomorrow.
Drs. definitely know how to use fetoscopes. Also, there are good doctors out there who embrace midwifery and natural care. Hopefully your midwife has chosen to work w/ one of those. My first delivery was via my male pediatrician, and he knew all of the techniques employed by midwives & was very gentle and compassionate.
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
for those curious how it went: I wish I had thought to order my own fetoscope to bring with to the appointment ahead of time. He would have been willing to use one but didn't have one around. I called my midwife just to confirm with her what I actually HAD to get done because the dr was really willing to be flexible, but as it turns out (according to her licensing requirements) I couldn't decline anything. So I had to let him use the doppler, but I asked him to do so as quickly as possible. I am sad that it had to happen, and worry for my baby. but at least I know for my 2nd appointment at the end of the pregnancy I can come prepared so I wont have to have the doppler used again.
thanks again for all your input, it means a lot.
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