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I need advice! (switiching docs at 31 weeks)

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
So you might or might not know we are a military family and are living in Sicily. As a result our birth options are severely limited. When you first move here you are assigned a doctor. Luckily our assigned doctor is amazing. I adore him so I wanted him to do my prenatal care AND deliver the baby as well (he is family practioner).

Everything has been great. I love him, he listens to me, answers my questions and even when I choose to go against his advice and refuse a test or something, he understands and supports my decision. He is a DREAM doctor.

Well, he is PCSing (moving) in July/August. His wife is due around the same time as me. He may or may not be gone for househunting leave, etc. He also has three other women due all in June. There could be a very real chance he may not be here for the delivery. I don't want to continue with him and then have some random doc deliver our baby when it is time. That happened with DS and it was awful. But I don't want to switch. Last appt. I brought up the idea of finding a back-up doc just in case Dr. M couldn't deliver the baby. He thought it was a good idea and mentioned Dr. T who was new to the base and didn't have any patients due for awhile. He said he would talk to him and we would talk at the next appt. (which is this week).

I ran into Dr. T in the emergency room (I volunteer with rape victims and this was a case that had come in) and after we had finished business I talked to him a bit. He said Dr. M had talked to him and that they were going to just switch my care over to Dr. T. Without consulting me! I highly doubt Dr. M would do this but I didn't say anything. I did some more research and I don't think Dr. T is a good doc. Won't listen to your concerns, accidently stripped someones membranes at 34 weeks (what was he checking for anyway!?!?!), etc.

Of course, he is the only one who has the time as a back up doc. So my choices are

a) stay with Dr. M and hope he can deliver the baby... if not take my chances with the on-call docs

b) only agree to have Dr. T as a back-up doc and make sure he understands what I want and don't want and risk the chance of him saying no unless he takes over my care.

b) Just switch over to Dr. T even though I haven't heard good things about him

None of them are great options... but my choices are very limited out here and I just don't know what to do. I am so sad there is a good chance Dr. M won't be able to be the one delivering this baby. Here I thought I might even get a good birth experience at a military hospital!
post #2 of 5
I'd go with option B.

If I were you (ha, famous last words), I would write up your ideas about birth and review them with Dr. T at the next possible opportunity. It sounds like there's a good chance he might be catching your baby.

For example: "It is very important to me to have a private environment in which to birth. That means I would like low lights, soft music, and the ability to walk around and change positions as I feel necessary. I also believe strongly in intermittent monitoring so that I can move freely, and a heplock instead of a continuous iv."

It would make you feel better if this doc knew your preferences well in advance, I would think. I would also strongly advise that your husband be prepared to take a strong stand as your advocate. A simple signal from you would do: for example, a nurse comes in to check you and your water has already broken. A look and a small shake of your head at your husband could tell him that he needs to speak up for you and say no if you are unable to do so at the time. Etc. etc.
post #3 of 5
((hugs)) Gosh, I'm sorry you're going through this. I guess I have to go with b) as well. At least with Dr. T you will have the chance to discuss your preferences. With the on-call docs you might get put in the position of arguing with them during labor, which would SUCK!

Do you have someone strong to advocate for you at the birth? I'd also suggest staying home as long as you can after labor starts to help avoid interventions.

Hope everything works out for the best! :
post #4 of 5
Well, having had an OB who gave good lip service during the prenatals but when it came down to it was really all about what she wanted (and she did everything she wanted and NOTHING I wanted), I'd say to avoid Dr T if you can. There is a possibility he is better than your impression and it might be good to have a couple of appts with him since he's most likely to be the one called if Dr. M isn't around for your birth, but I'd stick with Dr. M for your primary and just create that he will be there for the duration and all will be fabulous
post #5 of 5
I have to agree with what others have said, option b sounds the best of the 3. But, that is so hard when you know who you want to attend you and there is a big possibility they won't be there. Is Dr. T just inexperienced and that is why he isn't the best? Maybe this is a good teaching opportunity for him. I know, we never want to be the teachers while pregnant and in labor...I just want it the way I want it dangit!
So sorry you have to go through this!
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