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distressed after first appt with consultant

(65 Posts)
Lulu57 Mon 04-Jul-11 13:25:38


I've only just become a member... I've been looking on the net if I could get a bit of support as I feel so down in the dumps at the mo...

About 10 days ago, I found out I was pregnant with our second child. We wanted another baby and because of my age, we were thinking it's now or never. I suffered a miscarriage about 18 months ago, I needed a D&C and they discovered a huge fibroid at the time. It was decided to remove this fibroid so as to increase my chances for a future healthy pregnancy. The op went better than expected as my uterus cavity didn't need to be opened and I was told to wait 6 months before trying to conceive again. As it happens, I am now pregnant 15 months after the op, so it all had time to heal well.

I had my first appointment today with the consultant. He got me so upset, I cried for 2 hours afterwards... He basically told me, that because of my age, my weight (BMI is 32) and my op, it was high risk and therefore the hospital I am supposed to have the baby is unlikely to accept me! He also asked whether I realised how increased the risk was that I would give birth to a baby with Down's syndrome... He basically made me feel awful and like a complete idiot for wanting another child. I am fit and healthy and I know that my op I had 15 months ago is not really a problem anymore (only problem is, that I should consider a c-section rather than a natural birth). I realise I am not the youngest and that I carry extra weight, however at a size 16, I find it hard to believe that I am the biggest mum out there?

I have asked to see another consultant as suggested by my midwife who was herself quite myffed by the doctor's comments. I feel so stressed about it all and just so worried now.

Crosshair Mon 04-Jul-11 13:35:21

Im sorry your first consultant appointment was so upsetting, that sounds really rubbish. sad Some doctors seem to have zero compassion and tact.

From reading these forums and others alot of women seem to get a fair bit of stick for having a high BMI with regards to birth choices, treatment ect.

I know its hard but try not to worry too much, enjoy your pregnancy. smile

mopsytop Mon 04-Jul-11 13:35:49

Ugh, that was horrible of him! What right had he to say such things? You will get loads of support on here, so it was a good idea to join. Of course, all of us older mothers have a higher chance of lots of things but a higher chance is still a tiny chance! There was no need to say such a thing to you in such an unsympathetic and horrible way. He sounds like he has the least people skills EVER. I definitely think you should see another consultant. Don't stress about it either, stress isn't good for the baba! Lots of women have successful pregnancies who are a bit over, and so many are a size 16, I wouldn't be too worried. Your midwife sounds nice and supportive, I would listen to her, ignore that first consultant and see a different one.

Hope you feel better soon!

mopsytop Mon 04-Jul-11 13:36:20

older not over! sorry!

kiteflying Mon 04-Jul-11 13:39:47

Never see this person again. In fact, don't see anyone other than a midwife until after your first scan if you need to.
Age and weight does not equal high risk - that is tosh.
My age related risk for Downs was 1 - 32. The 12 week scan was fine and the baby is still thriving. Just don't worry about Downs until you have seen the nuchal (although granted it can be nerve-wracking).
Besides, Downs does not equal an ill baby necessarily. Read a bit more about it before you think of it as a sentence to terminate the baby (I wouldn't, if it were me).
Who does this consultant think he is. Pregnancy should be celebrated. Be very angry and then move on. Don't worry. Little foetuses don't like worry. Believe in your baby. Take deep breaths and tell the baby you believe everything will be fine.

NorthLondonDoulas Mon 04-Jul-11 14:18:28

Oh hun thats sounds utterly awful that you were spoken to that way! One of the biggest problems with having a high BMI is conceiving but hey you have already ticked that box so huge congratulations! Every single pregnancy in the world carries some risk - an incredibly healthy, size10, 20yr old could have a complication! There is absolutly nothing wrong with being a size 16 so dont let him dampen your joy of expecting baby number 2! Being an older mother can increase your chances of downs but that certainly doesn't mean that it will - lots of my ladies have been 1st time mums in their late 40's and have had perfectly healthy bubbas! Take your folic acid, eat healthily, find a new consultant, stay with your midwifery team who sound very supportive and just enjoy your pregnancy, as im sure you will love this cherished baby no matter what! Again huge congratulations, keep your chin up and stay with us all on mumsnet.x.x

Rootatoot Mon 04-Jul-11 14:37:12

Not surprised you were upset! I'm pg with my first at age of 36. I started off low risk but I'm now under consultant led care as I've got high blood pressure (oh and a nice urine infection to add to it this morning!)

Your MW sounds sensible and supportive. Follow her advice. See someone else next time and just take each step as it comes. You MIGHT be higher risk but that certainly doesn't mean that you WILL have a downs baby or any other serious problem. Plenty of women over 40 having healthy babies, many of which were also presumably told they were high risk too. All high risk means is that they will keep a closer eye on you, but don't let them worry you unnecessarily.

When is your scan? Just take each step as you go along. Don't dwell on the what ifs, and congratulations!! smile

JamieJay Mon 04-Jul-11 14:44:45

Sorry he was such a pratt, it makes me really angry when medical professionals don't think about the impact of their words - yes there ia a potential for greater risk for women over a certain age or weight and we need to be aware of them but it should be handled in a much better way.

I actually refused to be weighed at my booking in appointment with DD as I knew my weight was higher than ideal (BMI of 32.6) but I was healthy, active and have never been an ideal weight. I had no problems in pregnancy or birth and no one I saw ever commented on my weight based on how I look or any other health indicators.

You sound like you have a sympathetic midwife so stick with her

JamieJay Mon 04-Jul-11 14:46:12

Oh and their reaction to me not agreeing to be weighed - "oh, how we will tell if you need consultant led care or not", if the number on a scale is the only way to tell if you need consultant led care then something is seriously wrong in my optnion!!

faintpositive Mon 04-Jul-11 14:58:31

How old are you....50????

Jeez he was a barrel of laughs wasnt he.

Right here right now i want to say CONGRATULATIONS and ooooh how exciting!!!

So, how old are you, how many weeks are you and when will you be due?????

Oh and where did you plan on having your baby? why would they be reluctant to accept you?/ I dont get it.


Lulu57 Mon 04-Jul-11 15:06:37

Thank you everyone for your supportive and kind words. Makes me feel a bit better :-) I am 39 and I am due end of Feb (please don't let it be the 29th! lol). I am married to a soldier and we are currently based abroad. However, the forces have their own fully equipped hospital here and deliver babies all the time naturally, c-section etc. That consultant wants me to move back to England to have the baby, but that would be a major upheaval for us and I also have to take into account our daughter etc. Funny thing is, before our unit got posted out here, we were told that we'd get better care here than under the NHS... but now this consultant seems to think they couldn't cope with me? Plus, I had never heard of a hospital not wanting to deliver a baby because of the mum's age and/or weight...

Continuum Mon 04-Jul-11 15:41:57

How absolutely obnoxious. Definitely get another consultant. I have a much higher bmi than you, am 36, had a previous c-section and a massive baby. I'm under consultant care but no-one has been critical of me at all. Yes I know my situation isn't ideal but I'm an adult ffs not a child and if someone had spoken to me like I was I would've soon switched too. Although I do find it mildly annoying at the shock each time that my blood pressure is more than healthy! And I am sure they'll be disappointed I don't have gestational diabetes too. Fat doesn't always mean these things will be a problem!!

Trinaluce Mon 04-Jul-11 16:44:27

I have a higher BMI than you and am under consultant care because I had a section with DD. The only thing he's ever said about my BMI is that I need to be checked for gestational diabetes because I'm higher risk. As it turns out, my glucose tolerance is just fine - so he hasn't made anything further of it.

I would suggest you speak to PALS at the consultant's hospital and just let them know you're not happy with how he handled the situation: you don't necessarily need to register a complaint, but you may be the 20th woman he drove to tears that week through sheer insenstivity - if not one of those women tells the hospital, they'll never know he's a bit of a shit.

ALL of the above being said, it may be that you would be better to consider a section, particularly if the next consultant you see advises it as well. It may be that you would be better having this done in another hospital. It may be that the Down's risk is higher for you (as it generally is the older you get). Just because he was an arse and didn't tell you very well, doesn't mean that some of what he said shouldn't at the very least be taken on board. Don't hate me for saying it though >>encouraging emoticon<<

faintpositive Mon 04-Jul-11 19:46:29

aaah i see, you have very limited options dont you.
Is he the only consultant at that centre?
CAn you go back to him?
Surely that is not the only option...going back tot he UK?

stuffthenonsense Mon 04-Jul-11 19:53:45

something i learned with my last baby, when it comes to consultants, do your research, sound a little knowledgable and stand your ground. they tend to not like it at first, but at the end of the day, you both want the same thing, healthy mother, healthy baby, remind him that upsetting a pregnant woman, especially one HE considers to be high risk, is very unprofessional.

my bmi with the last pregnancy was a little higher than yours, my consultant expected me to go through all the tests etc, all proved negative, and AFTERWARDS told me he wasnt worried, he cared for bmis of 50, so mine was ok.

i also refused any tests for abnormalities, as i believed a not good result would mean them putting pressure on me to abort, they stopped asking me to take the tests---my own G.P. had been given a 'high risk' for downs, but her child is perfect. i didnt want to have to make a decision like that.

i am now expecting again, have lost heaps of weight but like you am a size 16, think i too might refuse to be weighed.

cookie9 Mon 04-Jul-11 19:59:18

Your consultant sounds an utter prat! As regards Downs yes your age does mean there is a higher risk than someone in their 20s but a lot depends on the nt measurement and bloods. I am 40 and had risk of about 1. In 80 by age but results with nt and bloods came back at 1 in 37,000 so try not to worry.

lovemysleep Mon 04-Jul-11 21:12:20

Op, your consultant is a twat (sorry to be so frank...). I am 39, currently 26 weeks pregnant and my risk of Downs is 1:16000, according to my test results. This was a much better result that when I was pregnant with my DD at 33 - the risk then was 1:2400.
I'm sure that you will be fine x

schmee Mon 04-Jul-11 21:20:21

I can't believe he said that. I'm roughly the same age and BMI as you, and that has never been raised as an issue for me. And to worry you about your Down's risk even before your nuchal scan is insane. Mine was 1:3500 - same as my first pregnancy at 33.

Twat. Forget him, enjoy your pregnancy.

buttonmoon78 Mon 04-Jul-11 21:25:20

What an idiot. I hope you are able to transfer to another dr sharpish. I have a BMI of 31 (pre-pg) and it has never even been mentioned!

RingEir Mon 04-Jul-11 22:48:01

First of all, congratulations on your pregnancy! What great news. It's such a shame that this insensitive pig had to spoil it for you. Try to remember that the chances of anything going wrong are very very small. The vast majority of women have healthy babies no matter what their weight or age is. I will be almost 39 when I give birth in a few weeks and although I had no issues with my weight was told I had a 1:50 chance of the baby having DS. That's a 98% chance that I won't but nevertheless I have been labelled as 'high risk' even though having a DS baby does not imply a complicated birth/pregnancy. They bandy these terms about without any regard for people's feelings, and frankly, without much logic. In your case, the concern about your weight might be in case you develop gestational diabetes, which is very controllable. My SIL had this twice and gave birth to two very healthy babies in her late 30s. Try not to worry and as other posters have said, change dr if you can. You don't want to have to deal with this attitude for the next nine months. And what he said about the hospital not taking you sounds like utter nonsense. Take one step at a time. Tests will show whether you are at risk from anything, and you can cross those bridges as you come to them. Best wishes xx

theonlyhb2 Tue 05-Jul-11 09:01:05

that consultant is a cock. send him a jiffy bag of puke. 39 is not old! jesus! what a twat

Sewmuchtodo Tue 05-Jul-11 11:20:29

I am a little younger than you but have a high BMI. I am 5'6" and a size 16 so hardly in need of XXXL clothing etc!

I am under consultant care as first 2 pregnancies ended in pre-eclampsia and induction, something they have planned for this time. I was also asked to have a glucose tollerance test and when I turned up the midwife looked at me and asked if I was sure they had the figures right!

Regardless of the location there must be more than one consultant, ask to see someone else. You need to feel comfortable and confident with your care and this person is making you feel terrible :-(

Good luck! x

Lulu57 Tue 05-Jul-11 11:32:36

Thank you everyone for your comments. It's comforting. I've got an appt on Thursday with another consultant (he happens to be the boss of the "meany" consultant) so hopefully, I'll be getting some more positiv feedback. I hope to hear what can be done for me and what care is being envisaged, rather than tell me "the hospital is likely to refuse you, consider moving away" etc. Acknowleding the risks is necessary so that plans for the care can be made, but what I got from the first consultant sounded almost like that I might give him additional work and he can't be bothered with it... Will let you posted how I get on on Thursday. Thanks again xx

babyonbord Tue 05-Jul-11 12:52:29

I think the thing is doctors have a job to do, that job requires them to point out all the risks and whether you like it or not your weight and age do come with risks, such as downs, diabetes, pre eclampsia, dvts none of which should be taken lightly It's not his job to candycoat that for you, just make you aware of it, not all doctors have amazing bedside manner unfortunatly but that doesn't mean he doesn't know what he is taking about.

mopsytop Tue 05-Jul-11 13:32:59

babyonboard, I think it was the manner in which he said it. There is a difference between candy coating, as you say, and being downright rude and obnoxious, which this man seems to have been.

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