To question my obstetrician's decisions?

(42 Posts)
NeedCurtains Fri 13-Sep-13 11:55:16

Due to have baby no 2 in few months, and have booked, like last time, a private obstetrician in a private wing.

Same dr delivered previous baby. birth ended in forceps and a very battered baby. I blocked the memory out for four years, but it is all coming back now.

We've booked the same consultant again, but as I think more about my son's birth, I feel maybe my labour was mismanaged (syntocinon, not being allowed to be mobile, epidural, theatre, failed ventouse, forceps), which lead to my son being so stuck.

My partner, however, feels our dr potentially saved our child's life in a difficult birth.

We have spoken to this dr about my concerns. He suggested some steps we could go through this time (finding ways to make me more mobile 'if possible', proceeding to c-section sooner if issues arise) but was detached and didn't seem to really be 'hearing' me. My partner pointed out that you are unlikely to get a 'touchy-feely' response from an obstetrician, and he is right. But that has just made me think that I should go down the independent midwife route instead (but with a hospital birth), as they would provide the emotional support I need.

I've met a team of independent midwives who are happy to be at my birth (obviously in a doula capacity once we get to hospital) and really understand my issues surrounding the previous birth. They are warm, kind and would provide the hand-holding I feel I need this time. My heart says this is what I need. However, my partner says he will support me, but he can't pretend to be happy with the decision. And I can't completely discount that.

I really wish someone could make this difficult decision for me, but I know it is mine to make. Any input would be great though.

HavantGuard Fri 13-Sep-13 12:07:56

Your partner was frightened, probably thought they might lose you or your baby and was deeply relieved that you came through this. In your DP's eyes the doctor saved you. As they were an observer what they don't see is that the problems along the way could have been caused or worsened by the treatment you were given.

It must be terrifying to watch helpless as the person you love is struggling and not be able to do anything to help. It might be a good idea to remind them that you will be in a hospital and that the medical options are still there if you need them. It matters that your partner is concerned, but you are the one giving birth. It's your anxiety that can stall labour. Your fear that can raise the baby's blood pressure. Being supported and feeling listened to is important. An obstetrician should be a lot better at listening to patients than this. Reassuring patients is a big part of heir job.

Can they offer a mobile (walking) epidural?

HavantGuard Fri 13-Sep-13 12:10:35

Thinking about it, I'm not really sure exactly what your DP's problem is with you having midwives around in a doula capacity. Do they feel that you're saying they aren't enough to support you?

NeedCurtains Fri 13-Sep-13 12:35:58

Thanks so much for your reply
He hasn't got a problem with midwives, more my plan to give birth in an NHS hospital and not under a private consultant

They say they can offer a mobile epidural but my experience last time was that they preferred to have me not mobile, I think because I was being closely monitored. Obviously if I didn't need continuous monitoring this time, that might be different

SaucyJack Fri 13-Sep-13 12:38:38

Why are you using the same doctor again if you feel (probably quite reasonably) that he bodged your first birth?

SaucyJack Fri 13-Sep-13 12:41:52

Sorry, missed your most recent post.

I would get your husband to read up on complications leading from over medicalization of normal childbirth.

It sounds like he has no faith in the natural body processes and would rather pay to make simple situation as convoluted as possible. SAeems like madness to me.

NeedCurtains Fri 13-Sep-13 12:52:11

Possibly jack, possibly

There are reasons he made the decisions he did (too long and complicated to go into) but he certainly has a case for acting as he did. I suppose I fall somewhere in the middle of the whole natural vs
medical birth debate, so I'm not anti intervention and know it has it's place but yes I do feel things could have been managed differently

I do think it seems like madness to be doing this again though. I've always believed that you don't do the same thing twice and expect different results, and yet here I am

Minifingers Fri 13-Sep-13 12:54:28

What's important to you? Your husbands feelings? Having a straightforward birth? You are just as likely to come home with a well baby with NHS care and a private midwife as you are with private obstetric care. But you are more likely to have an uncomplicated birth with a midwife in attendance than with a doctor managing the birth - there is acres of evidence for this.

Miserably Fri 13-Sep-13 12:56:06

You absolutely can plan the birth and care you want, regardless of your husband's wishes. He ought to be far more supportive of your choices to be honest and not trying to manipulate the matter by planting seeds of doubt in your head about how he "won't be happy". That is not supportive at all.

adagio Fri 13-Sep-13 12:56:06

damn wrote a long post and lost it sad

Summary - read up, get informed, I liked Ina May Gaskin books personally I felt very empowered and felt I knew my facts a lot more after reading her stuff.

Make whichever choice will make you and keep you more relaxed.

FWIW I was more scared of the epidural needle than of the potential childbirth pain. I had a TENS and birthing pool and was one of the lucky ones - quick, easy delivery. The stitches after were the worst bit.

good luck whatever you decide
flowers

greenfolder Fri 13-Sep-13 12:59:06

go and find a different consultant who will listen to what you want. If you are paying for this service, it should be with someone you have confidence in.

you don't really know the reasons for complications last time- i had similar complications with no.3 after 2 normal deliveries. my consultant did a complete debrief with me. I was happy that every decision they had taken was sound and it was a number of factors that produced the outcome. If i had gone on to have another I would have had the same consultant in a heartbeat- but she did say that she would recommend cs next time. This was NHS. If i had the dosh I would have gone private for comfort reasons so you should be able to find a solution

minionmansion Fri 13-Sep-13 12:59:50

What sort of birth would you like and what are your concerns?

What are your partner's reasons for choosing private over NHS care?

Impossible to say from the info' you have given as to whether the birth was mismanaged.

nickelbabe Fri 13-Sep-13 13:00:38

i think you need to find another consultant.

If it does turn out that the management of your birth led to unnecessary interventions, then you will find it a lot harder to relax for this birth.

nickelbabe Fri 13-Sep-13 13:02:29

btw, the NHS is just as capable, if not more so, to give you the birth you want.

and less likely to go down medical routes when not properly necessary

Why not get a different obstetrician? There's no way I'd use him if I were you - in labour you need someone you trust.

Would your obstetrician let you have an independent MW as a birth partner?

I'd go down the MW route. Or find another obstetrician. Don't pay for the same one twice if he ballsed up. That tiny bit of doubt will grow as you get closer to labour second time around (been there, albeit different issues).

nickelbabe Fri 13-Sep-13 13:03:51

oh, and one last thing.

when our husband gives birth, he can make those decisions.
until then, it's your body, go for the care and birth you want.

eurochick Fri 13-Sep-13 13:06:23

Surely one of the main benefits of private healthcare is that it gives you choice? I wouldn't go back to someone in whom I did not have full confidence.

LurcioLovesFrankie Fri 13-Sep-13 13:06:38

My NHS consultant was lovely - he talked to me as an intelligent human being, gave me the relevant facts, explained clearly, together with his assessment of the statistical risks of the various options (with reasons for his assessment) and encouraged me to make my own decision.

If your consultant isn't listening, I'd second everyone else on the thread saying "use a different consultant."

HPsauceonbaconbuttiesmmm Fri 13-Sep-13 13:08:48

Is the expense of doing both too much?

Definitely wouldn't go back to the same doctor though. Not because he made any errors, none of us can know that, but because you don't have confidence in him to make the right choices. Have a look for another provider and make it somewhere that can provide cordless monitoring so you can be up and moving even if your baby needs monitoring.

Also, I know it's a bit too hippy for some but I used natal hypnotherapy for both my births and would heartily recommend. And I'm a very non hippy, highly sceptical type person!

I do think your DH deserves a say too, it's his baby and if, god forbid, complications arise, you don't want to be in a position where he will blame you. Get him to read the evidence, and meet him half way if you can. I believe you can have private care just for the birth, so maybe IM up to the birth and during, but give birth in a well-resourced private hospital?

NeedCurtains Fri 13-Sep-13 14:14:25

Reason for intervention, put very simply, was that I was overdue, an older mother,, baby had been shown to be on the large size (although actually was just 8.5lbs!) and finally some meconium when waters broke on arrival at hospital, which my consultant explained would require them to speed up labour with drugs if I hadn't dilated beyond 3cm in a given amount of time, think it was an hour. We begged him to give us a bit more time but he insisted on intervening with syntocinon early

I have considered having an IM as a birth partner alongside him, but I think their practices will be at odds and the last thing I want is tension/arguing in the delivery room. I feel an NHS birth is more in tune with the birth I want, which is:

Calm, ideally no pain relief but not ruling it out, mobile, left to my own devices as much as is helpful, but given advice on best positions and pushing effectively (I was just told 'push push push' last time, and I'm sure there was more they could have said!)

I am a bit worried about antenatal ward, as our local hospital has a particularly bad rep, but hopefully with an IM, I could be discharged sooner

NeedCurtains Fri 13-Sep-13 14:16:38

Oh and above all, I need someone around me to be kind. DH is lovely but practical and not terribly tactile! And the staff at my last birth were kind of the same. I need someone who I won't feel silly crying in front of and who will hold my hand!

Dogonabeanbag Fri 13-Sep-13 14:25:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

3MenAndMe Fri 13-Sep-13 14:39:45

Don't waste your money for --hopeless and overpaid--dr and go with your instinct.You need somebody, as you described who is going to look after you and be your advocate during labour and delivery and doula or midwife might be the best choice...
Sorry, but your hubby sounds like mine and feels that drs know best...not..
Good luck
..

EssexGurl Fri 13-Sep-13 14:43:06

Personally, I had a difficult first birth (although not as bad as yours) and it did put me off having a second. However, when second was born it was at a different hospital. The original hospital had closed down but I would not have gone there. The second experience was completely different. I could not have had same hospital, same consultant. But that is me.

We are very vulnerable during labour and need people with us on our side. If for you that is the independent midwife/doula route, as well as your DH, then IMHO I do think you should do that. But it needs to be a joint decision with you and your DH.

Do not be put off by horror stories about NHS maternity units. My second, lovely experience was at Queens, Romford which has had very bad headlines. I loved it and came away in a much better physical and emotional place than after my first.

Can you visit the unit with your DH? Most units allow visits and it might help you make a more informed decision?

Pobblewhohasnotoes Fri 13-Sep-13 14:46:55

What's wrong with NHS care? I gave birth in St Thomas' home from home unit ( pool, able to go in the bath, move around etc). My midwife was great. Plus they have the back up of a very good NICU. And we got our own room.

Pickle131 Fri 13-Sep-13 15:01:00

At my hospital there is a brusque, arrogant obstetrician and an extremely compassionate one. Can you get a second opinion before ruling out a consultant led delivery? Mine believes complicated deliveries are safest with an obstetrician rather than a midwife.

nickelbabe Fri 13-Sep-13 15:03:36

he can't by law insist on something you don't agree with. you get the final say

It's not safer to induce a woman who is already in labour just because of meconium. yes, closer monitoring and keeping an eye on the baby (in case he breathes it in), but not induction.

and I agree with Poodle - NHS is brilliant.

could you get a friend to act as your birth partner instead? it sounds like your DH trusted the medics over your own instincts and it's hard to insist on your wishes if your birth partner isn't supporting you.

PS - i was overdue, older woman, and I had a homebirth with little interference, and although I had to have an episiotomy, it would have been much more interfered if i had been in hospital.

nickelbabe Fri 13-Sep-13 15:05:29

Pobble even... sorry Pobble blush

MissStrawberry Fri 13-Sep-13 15:12:38

Is it a situation where this man saved your baby but only after he had messed up first?

If you do go down the independent midwife route, be very very careful with your research. We booked one and it was an absolute nightmare plus she put my baby's life at risk. Back with the NHS they had serious words with the IM. I was not impressed to see her lauded on a programme last year.

That is obviously just one experience but please be more careful than we were.

Good luck.

Miserably Fri 13-Sep-13 15:16:47

I do think your DH deserves a say too, it's his baby and if, god forbid, complications arise, you don't want to be in a position where he will blame you.

No decent human being would behave in such a way, surely.

curlew Fri 13-Sep-13 15:17:37

I was an overdue (7 days) older woman (42) with a big baby (10lb6). None of these things means that interventions are inevitable or even likely.

Sack your consultant and find another one. And if you have a midwife led unit near you, go and have a look at that. And it sounds as if, whatever you do, a doula would be perfect for you.

NeedCurtains Fri 13-Sep-13 15:20:07

missstrawberry I think I saw the programme you're referring to. I want an independent midwife but not a home birth - I guess this is so I have someone there advocating for me alone and looking after me if the staff are under-resourced (someone with medical knowledge) but am very much in the safety of a hospital environment

I have just spoken to my local NHS hospital and have an appointment with midwife and hopefully will get to look round.

stubbornstains Fri 13-Sep-13 15:30:53

Everything I have ever heard leads me to believe that if the shit hits the fan, you are better off with the NHS, as they collectively have way more experience and facilities to deal with it.

Whether you get a sympathetic midwife or not seems to be a bit of a lottery (when DS was born, the ones I had were competent but not particularly pleasant)- maybe it's a doula you want, for the caring aspect?

SuperStrength Fri 13-Sep-13 15:34:46

I wouldn't have anyone involved in my care who doesn't communicate well with me. Not least as very well paid private obstetrician. I'm sure the hospital concerned would be interested in managing out anyone who doesn't understand how to communicate well with their fee paying customers. He doesn't deserve your custom. Just knowing i had to deal with this person again wouldn't put me in the right frame of mind to labour peacefully.

It sounds as though you have quite a few options open to you.
1\ Same hospital, different obstetrician
2\ Different private hospital & therefore different ob
3\ NHS hospital
4\ NHS hospital + doula or independant midwife

I'm sure that there is a compromise here that balances your concerns with your husbands concerns.

Best of luck :-)

MrsWedgeAntilles Fri 13-Sep-13 15:39:44

I haven't read the whole thread but something in your OP really struck me:
My partner pointed out that you are unlikely to get a 'touchy-feely' response from an obstetrician. Why not?
This is what the Francis report in the aftermath of Stafford is all about. Its no longer acceptable practice to deliver medical care without compassion. Why would you pay some one who isn't listening to your needs mega bucks to look after you at one of the most vulnerable time of your life?
I'd be looking for an other Obs if I were you.

NeedCurtains Fri 13-Sep-13 16:11:54

Some great advice here, thank you
Feeling a lot better about trusting my instincts

fridgealwaysfull Fri 13-Sep-13 16:49:48

Trust your instincts, you are the one giving birth. The last thing you want is to be in labour and worried/scared that you've made the wrong decision

thebody Fri 13-Sep-13 16:55:56

hi op just wanted to point out that know 2 births are the same. my dc1 was back to back and I had forceps and trauma.

ds 2 was quick easy and I can honestly say I have had worse period pains.

good luck in your decision.

Loa Fri 13-Sep-13 17:03:34

I have just spoken to my local NHS hospital and have an appointment with midwife and hopefully will get to look round.

Good start, also look round to see what other private obstetrician you could use.

If your not happy with the NHS has to offer - and IME it can be very patchy - brilliant to not very good - there is no reason to buy services that are not what you want.

I was going to say why not get a doula rather than an inedpendent midwife as the hospital midwife will be in charge but either a doula or the independent midwife will be an advocate for you, the midwife you get in hosptial should also be an advocate for you. I think involving an obstetrician in a normal pregancy would make it more likely to end in intervention, however if you feel more confident with an obstetrician then you have to do what feels right for you. There are a lot of decisions which you need to make, someone up thread mentioned ina may gaskin, if you have time for a good book birth matters is a fantastic read about the medicalisation of child birth in america, spiritual midwifery has some amazing birth stories which can really give you confidence. Good luck whatever you decide to do smile

minionmansion Fri 13-Sep-13 20:12:31

Looking at the local NHS hospital sounds like a good idea.

In my opinion, as a doctor, if thing go wrong, you are safer with NHS care. I don't think there is any major advantage of private care over NHS so personally think of it as a total waste of money.
However, there are people for whom £10,000 is a drop in the ocean and therefore choose to have a personal Obstetrician whom they can have on hand and on the end of a phone for any minor queries, which would normally go through a midwife. They get their hand held a lot more than would be available in the NHS, more frequent appointments, scans, etc. Then, of course, you get the trimmings like the large private room, the champagne to celebrate, etc. Fair enough if you have a preference for that but it won't guarantee you are more natural birth nor a safer birth which seems to be what you would like.

The chances of a straightforward, quicker delivery are much higher with your second child so try not to worry to much.

KaFayOLay Fri 13-Sep-13 21:33:00

My boss and his wife have 4 children. First 3 born in private medical care. Last one NHS. She felt her last birth was by far the best even though none of them were problematic. She wishes she'd saved her money!

Good luck with whatever you decide.

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