Musings of a Marfan Mom

First Prenatal Visit


I had my first prenatal appointment on Friday. I’ve got mixed feelings about it. I think part of it is just hard because I loved my entire prenatal process with Menininho, and this is so different from that. However, the actual birth and postpartum period were pretty awful, so maybe having a not-as-great prenatal period this time will mean that I get the kind of birth that I want???

I think my biggest beef is that the nurses seem so…patronizing? I don’t know if I’m phrasing this right, but has anyone else felt like once they got pregnant, some people (particularly medical professionals) didn’t see them a whole person anymore? I am NOT talking about the people giving up their seat on the subway for you, or friends inquiring how you’re feeling, or other kind gestures. It’s more of the “there, there little girlie, don’t you worry your pretty little head about anything because your hormones just get you so confuddled that we’ll just make all those big hard decisions for you.” Know what I mean?

So yah…that’s how I sometimes feel like I’m being treated. Like when I got so sick with that stomach bug, and the nurse tried to tell me I just had morning sickness and that SHE’D had it so much worse when pregnant, I should count myself lucky. Or two days later when another nurse, after telling me I probably needed to go to urgent care for dehydration, but that I should drink a lot and call her back to check-in first, called me “cute” for calling to check back in.

Friday was ok. I was there for 2 ½ hours. Things apparently always run behind in the office, but I spent over an hour with the nurse in the consultation room. On one hand, this was pretty cool. When I was pregnant with Menininho, I got a bag of information at my first appointment and that was that. My OB and I never discussed breastfeeding or much about nutrition. This time, the nurse pulled out a folder full of pamphlets and wanted to read through each one. She asked me if I’d breastfed my last child and if I was planning to do it again. GREAT for first time moms! But, um, she was shocked that I knew about breastfeeding and prenatal testing and what foods to avoid, and she wouldn’t allow us to move on from the subjects I already knew about.

And, some of the info she gave me was incorrect. For instance, she wanted me to now that it’s totally ok to go “a couple of days past your due date.” I replied, “If you mean plus or minus a couple of weeks, then yep, totally!” She also INSISTED that it’s not possible to see the baby prior to 10 weeks. I can respect an answer like “no, we don’t give ultrasounds prior to 10 weeks because of time constraints,” but don’t LIE to me.

All I want is to be respected throughout my pregnancy and postpartum period, and to be given accurate information so that I can make informed decisions about what is best for my body and my baby. And I did look into switching doctors, but the entire high-risk practice operates the same way and I can’t leave the hospital.

Thanks for letting me vent! I’m sure my next appointment in a few weeks will be wonderful! I’ll be able to see my baby and discuss all my concerns with the doctor directly.

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  1. I would totally have gone off on the nurse… I had a 15 min. phone convo with my nurse to make sure I was up on the latest go/no go meds and stuff and she put together a new packet for me, asked if I wanted more indepth and was okay with me declining…
    You have way more restraint than me… but I’m lucky that I love the nurses and docs at my O/B’s office. I hope you got some positives from your appointment!


  2. Are you sure you want to go with this doc, or any doc at all?? You’d get so much more respectful, loving holistic care with a midwife. Including not waiting that long. Erg. So glad for you that you’re pregnant though – very exciting!!!


    marfmom Reply:

    Katherine, that might be true, but I’m a very high-risk pregnancy. I have to be at a hospital, with a high-risk OB, and that particular hospital so I have access to their cardiac team. :-)


  3. Sorry things aren’t going how you want! I never really felt like my doctor’s office treated me that way. Of course, my doctor was a super-efficient guy from somewhere in eastern Europe who mostly only said, “You haf quvestions? No ok I see you in two weeks bye,” which I actually prefer, lol (he did answer them when I had them, but usually I didn’t).

    That’s stupid about the ultrasound, though. Kristin and Lindsay both had theirs at 9 weeks, it’s just standard where they go.

    I hope things go better at your next appointment!


  4. In terms of that “we’ll take care of you” feeling from OBs/medical professionals- it seems to happen too often. Have you read ? It’s crazy (and inappropriate) things doctors/nurses/midwives say to pregnant women.


  5. What an interesting post. I was preg. 40 years ago and I bet things have really changed. I found your insight really interesting.


  6. Just a few hints. Don’t schedule your appt first thing in the morning or last thing at night or on a Monday. They are usually more rushed at those times.

    Stand your ground with the doctor and go in with a list of questions written down. He or She will know you mean business.
    A SITS friend


  7. Okay, so I just read Miles’ birth story. Seriously?!? I’m so sorry. That’s just a crazy story. Hopefully your new team will provide you with a better experience.

    Oh, and not that you need tips, I know you are no stranger to doctor visits, but I love sitting on a chair, rather than the exam table, during Q&A. I feel like I’m on level playing field that way. Since I look like I’m roughly half my age, it helps to get me taken seriously.


    marfmom Reply:

    Hahaha yes I do the same thing! I mean, I look apparently twice my age but if I’m on the table I am more likely to be seen as a patient, and in a chair I feel I’m more likely to be seen as a peer.


  8. Dropping in from SITS. CUTE BUMP! I’m jealous. I looked like a heffer from 12 weeks plus. I suppose some women only gain in the tummy and others (like me) gain it EVERYWHERE.

    Anyway, nurses really seem hit or miss. Medical assistants, however, seem horrible from all of my experiences. They’re rude and never seem to have any helpful information. Maybe I’ve just had bad luck.


  9. I used to practice pediatrics (SAHM now) and I heard our nurses say some totally untrue things to patients. Have had it happen to me when I go to the doctor. I usually don’t pull the “You are cracked, I’m a doctor” card until it really gets bad. But, yes, I felt the patronizing comments, too when I was pregnant – I had a terrible pregnancy and was always sick – I think they got tired of me. But still, treat me with some respect and common courtesy! It really isn’t too much to ask.


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