Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Doctors

Adam took me out to dinner at Buzz's Steakhouse at Kailua beach park last night to celebrate our engagement anniversary. I thought it was terribly sweet that he remembered and made a big deal about it and even said I was the best investment he ever made. We always joke about how he had to work hard to "convince" me we were supposed to be together. Those of you who know us from the beginning and know how many ups and downs we had can understand!

I had yet another doctor's appointment today. I saw the OB/GYN last week for our first prenatal appointment and had about 5 gallons of blood drained out of my arm. Then I had to go get stuck again yesterday to have bloodwork done for my endocrinologist today. The OB doesn't even want to see you when you are pregnant until you are about 8 weeks along! Waiting all that time is torture. And then at the first visit nothing happens. We don't get to hear Papoose's heartbeat until our next appointment at 12 weeks.

The endocrinologist, on the other hand, needs to see you RIGHT AWAY, THIS VERY MINUTE when you are pregnant and (as I am) a cancer patient. I saw him 4 weeks ago, practically as soon as I finished peeing on the sticks, and then saw him again today. As expected, my TSH is going up so I get a higher dose of thyroid hormone to keep my levels suppressed. I can't have anywhere near a normal TSH because it could encourage the growth of tumors if there are any cancerous cells left floating around my body that didn't get zapped by the radioactive iodine.

The first thing my endo did was freak me right the hell out. He asked me when my last scan was (June) - when I took a tracer dose of radioactive iodine - and whether they had told me to wait a while before getting pregnant. WTF?! Uh, I remember when I got a whopping treatment dose of RAI back in 2007 they told me to wait a year before getting pregnant. But I don't remember them saying anything during my scan, althought that doesn't mean they didn't and I just missed it. Well, admittedly I was not really that concerned even when he was making a big deal out of it because the tracer dose is such a small amount that a month or two should be plenty of time to get out of my system. It was about 2 months between my scan and getting knocked up. Heck, even a week or two would probably suffice. That stuff degrades and has a half-life of only about 10 days and anyway it flushes out of your system more and more every time you pee. He called the nuclear medicine people and they were able to confirm that it shouldn't be a problem. Crisis averted.

I'm on my way to get a tour of the birth center at the clinic near our house. Because we are Navy, my initial appointment was at the military hospital, Tripler, which is about a 30 minute drive from our house (less if traffic is good). We can get switched to Castle Medical Center which is close by if we want, so we are going to take a tour and see how we like it. My biggest concern is that I would prefer to have my prenatal care with a midwife instead of a physician, and then have the birth attended by a midwife. And they have a midwife program at Tripler which I was accepted into (they only take a certain number each month). I don't think they have a midwife program at Castle. My reasons for this are numerous and I will probably talk more about them as time goes on, but the biggest is that midwives tend to favor less intervention during pregnancy and birth. They view pregnancy/birth as a natural process, not a medical event. And they are more likely to provide the support needed for a natural birth than a busy doctor. The drawback to Tripler is (obviously) that it is far away, and we'll have to drive there once I go into labor. I'm guessing less stress on the birth day is better!

PS: I put up two pregnancy tickers. I like the one on the right that shows a little 3D baby floating there. I did notice though that the baby looks pretty scary and weird right now. By the end of this week it should look more like a little human and not like an alien anymore!

2 comments:

Chris said...

Midwife? What the heck?

Black Daffodil Films said...

Yeah...I'd opt for the midwife if you want the natural route. Hospitals (and physicians) tend to want to get their patients in and out rather quickly--thus the overuse of drugs to speed up labor.

I delivered Layla at a place 30 minutes away. I think Neil kind of liked being able to drive like a crazy person down the highway--although it wasn't really warranted. I still had 6 hours once we got to the hospital..HA!

I'm looking forward to keeping up with you guys decision!

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