This week marks edging over the halfway mark. Tomorrow, we are supposed to go for our rescheduled ultrasound. I have a list of questions that are only slightly confrontational for my doctor. After getting to chapter 3 in Born in the USA, I'm beginning to feel very defensive about my wishes. I thought telling my doctor I was vegetarian was going to be a battle, but I'm a little afraid I'll ask my questions, get the right answers and then end up getting the works (inducement, epidural, cesarean, and supplemented baby). There's a nice little tongue-in-cheek chart in the book that indicates the more assertive a mother is about having a natural birth, the more a doctor is inclined to intrude on the birth and deny that experience. I realize this may not always be the case. However, I keep flashing back to my experience when I told Dr. W my prenatal vitamin didn't have folic acid and gave him the sheet from Dr. Furhman's website explaining why. He dismissed it out of hand and basically ordered me to supplement with folic acid. That wasn't a major battle, but if it indicates how my concerns will be treated, I may be in the market for another doctor soon.
Basically, I'm interested in how he handles deliveries since he's a single doctor practice. I want to know his rate of cesareans vs. vaginal births, whether he uses Cytotec for inducing labor, and how he feels about working with doulas or midwives. I have some concerns about a couple of the local hospital's policies, such as no videotaping in delivery, and no VBAC (vaginal births after cesarean). It seems to indicate an environment that's not very open to natural birthing and is suspicious of lawsuits. After talking with one of P's coworker's wives today at length, I'm beginning to feel like the hospital down the road may be a better fit. They have more versatile birthing rooms, a volunteer doula program, and seem more open to providing customized care based on the patient's wishes. The lady I spoke with today also was using an OB practice that is all female, has three partners, and staffs a midwife and lactation consultant. That alone seems to indicate more flexibility with less invasive methods.
So, step one is going to our appointment tomorrow and talking to Dr. W. Next, we'll tour both hospitals. And, if I really feel the local option we currently plan on using just doesn't make me comfortable, then I'll make an appointment at the practice down the road.