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Where to give birth? (sorry for long post)

(23 Posts)
pep124 Fri 02-Sep-11 11:27:42

I'm seven weeks pregnant, and it's all completely unplanned and a total shock. For various reasons, I haven't even been able to tell my (new) boyfriend yet (he lives abroad and uncontactable at the moment), and obviously don't want to tell anyone before him, so am all on my own...
I had an appointment with the GP last night and it was awful and I ended up sobbing in the car after (hormones!) and just wanted some advice.
The appointment started off badly as I did a urine test two weeks ago but somehow it got lost in the system and the GP basically accused me of lying about it. Then he said it said on my notes that I was in for 'pregnancy/mole' (I have a strange mole, and as my mum has had skin cancer wanted to get it checked out) and he proceeded to tell me that I shouldn't have booked in for two things as referring me for pregnancy takes 10 mins on it's own (I didn't know! I've never been pregnant before - surely the receptionist should have told me when I booked the appt?) so really I should have booked two appointments.
Anyway he then told me he was referring me to my local hospital (which is pretty rubbish) as I'd be giving birth there. I said - pretty timidly - that I thought I was able to choose hospitals, or whether to have it at home or a midwifery centre or wherever. He got really aggressive and said in theory I could but I had to tell him there and then, and couldn't change my mind. I said I hadn't even really thought about it - being only 7 weeks - but would like to be able to think about it, but obviously didn't want to miss out on being referred to a midwife. He then started going on about how he was believing me that I was pregnant ('I am choosing to believe what you say, I don't have to') when he could insist on doing the urnine test again (THAT THEY LOST!) which would mean I wouldn't be referred for another two weeks by the time that came back, and that by the time I got an appt I could have missed my 12 week scan blah blah. So I ended up panicking and saying I would give birth at another local-ish hospital that a friend gave birth in and said was really good. He really wasn't happy about it - it's almost as if he gets paid for referring me to his local hospital! He also then said in a curt fashion that I'm more likely to get cancer because of my mum (thanks for breaking it to me so delicately) and said he'd refer me to hospital about that too.
BUT I'm not even sure I want to give birth in the hospital I chose under pressure - I haven't researched it at all or given it any real thought. Can I change my mind (I asked and he said I couldn't) or is that it, I have to give birth there now? How are you meant to decide these things? If you've had a baby before how did you choose, and do you have any advice?
I'm just really disappointd that I was forced into a decision I've been told I can't undo from a point of complete ignorance by some rude old man who just wanted me to do as I was being told without questioning it....


TopazMortmain Fri 02-Sep-11 11:46:36

No advice re hospital I'm afraid as I live abroad but I'd a) complain about this doctor and b) get a new one angry

He sounds utterly unprofessional

Smallstuff Fri 02-Sep-11 11:52:50

How awful. First thing to do is change GP!
And no you do not have to make this decision now. the GP practice should have community midwives attached to it whom will run your care for you. In fact it is no longer necessary to see a doctor to 'prove' you are pregnant you can ask to see a midwife straight away. The receptionist should have told you this IMO.
Lots of fa tors will influence where you ultimately give birth, your preference, where you live, how low risk your pregnancy is etc. Nothing should be decided at this early stage unless you were already thought os as high risk which as a first timer (?) can't have been determined yet.
Get in front of a midwife and they can put your mind at ease.

yummymango Fri 02-Sep-11 11:59:54

Sounds like a horrible doctor.

As far as I know (not sure if this changes by region) you can have your baby where you want, and change your mind when you want. Try not to worry too much because you seriously have loads of time to make a decision and your doctor should have made you aware of that.

My doctor asked me where I 'thought' I would have the baby as they need to refer you somewhere to get on the midwives books. I chose the nearest as it made sense for us, but I don't think it would be a problem if I wanted to change my mind. And then at the booking appointment (the first time you see the midwife) they will ask you about whether you want a home birth, midwife led unit or whatever.

PotteringAlong Fri 02-Sep-11 12:14:49

He sounds like a twat. Sorry, but he does. You can
Absolutely change your mind - I was asked at my booking in appointment where I might like to but she made it clear that I could alter / be referred elsewhere at any point if I wanted to or needed to. As yummymango said, at that point it was that I
Needed to have a place on the system but not set in stone.

Have you got a midwife appointment? Your booking in will last for about an hour and she'll go through all options then with you.

Congratulations on your pregnancy smile when does your BF come home?

Nanny01 Fri 02-Sep-11 12:42:05

What a bully, I believe you can give birth where you want to with in reason. I have chosen to have a home birth but should I choose to change my mind I can just go to the hospital.

pep124 Fri 02-Sep-11 12:46:15

Thanks everyone. Haven't got a midwife appointment yet - he basically made me leave and said he'd do a referral letter after I'd left, and I asked how long it would take and he just grunted 'depends', so no idea when it will be. It's horrible to just feel so out of control. I also asked what would happen with the mole referral and he just told me to wait for a letter - so have no idea what the process will be for that either. Just feel totally out of control, and as a 36 year old independent woman with a good job I'm not used to it!
Hopefully I'll get an appt with this other hospital midwifery team soon - although I'm out of their official catchment area I think so I don't know if that affects anything...
Potteringalong: BF back from his current trek in south america next weekend - but as I said he lives abroad (dubai). He's a pilot so over the last couple of months has been over with work pretty much every weekend, but he hasn't got any UK trips in September at all, so I think I'm going to have to tell him over the phone. He's suggested we meet somewhere midway for a few days so we can see each other in september, but I think he's going to go nuts about it (it's v.early days for us, he's a widower poor guy and it's only just one year since his wife passed, and he doesn't want children - this truly was an accident against all the odds) so I think I should tell him sooner rather than later. I knew before he went off on holiday but thought (rightly or wrongly) that it would be better to let him have, and enjoy, his holiday before breaking the news to him - he's had such a rough year he needed a break. Feel totally guilty that this happened, even though I really don't know how it did - don't think I was more than 12 hours late with any of my pills, and surely at my age it should be tricky(ish) to get pregnant?! So wish me luck with telling him - suspect once I have I really will be left alone to deal with all this! And if I am I know I'll cope - just all seems rather daunting...
Thanks for all the advice x

voodoomunkee Fri 02-Sep-11 12:52:20

Like someone else said up the thread it is dependent on a lot of factors! I've already chosen one place then hated it. So ive changed. Am 30 weeks now. I still have an option to choose a homebirth if I wish or to stay at current hospital etc. Ignore your totally unhelpful idiotic doctor and get thee to a mw appointment! Nothings set in stone. Concentrate on looking after yourself and don't give this a second thought!

speculationisrife Fri 02-Sep-11 13:09:34

Great advice here - and I absolutely echo every word Smallstuff says. I wanted to post though, just to empathise, as I had an almost identical experience to you (uncannily so, in fact - you don't live in SE London, do you?), three years ago with my first pregnancy. I was 8 weeks pregnant and the doctor was a cretin - he was rude, patronising and I ended up hysterical. I had had 'dealings' with him before, so actually went into the appointment with my DH - who said no matter what I had said to him (DH) afterwards, he was glad he'd witnessed this doctor's behaviour as he wouldn't have believed any medical professional could behave in that way. The doctor was about 70 and had absolutely no clue about pregnant women in 2008 - he even asked me if I was 'still working'!

I changed doctors the following day.

Anyway, congratulations on your pregnancy, and good luck with everything. Make sure you get the support you need in RL - I'm sure all will come good in the end. In the meantime you'll get loads of support here - so keep talking if you want to. x

nannyl Fri 02-Sep-11 13:35:19


Poor you. as everyone else said
1) change GP..... how dare he be so rude / insensitive
2) yes you can change hospitals / midwives etc etc when ever you like..... (even in labour you can change your mind if you wish.)

why not have a think about where you would like to have your baby (bearing in mind you can change your mind as many times as you like wink) and call them directly to book in?

I have never seen my GP about getting pregnant, and nor has either my GP or midwife done a test to confirm my pregnancy (nor have they seem my +ve ones or anything like that) I booked straight in with my midwife (who has a weekly clinic at my GP surgary) and the first proof anyone got that there was a baby in there, was at my 12 week scan.
(although i had HG and was admittied to hospital at about 8 weeks anyway.... but even then, and when IN hospital on the pre-natal ward, no NHS proffessional had seen proof i was pregnant & nor did the GP who admitted me to hospital with it...)

Try not to let it upset you.

Beesok Fri 02-Sep-11 15:31:17

First of all congrats on your pregnancy!

I echo everyone who posted before me - do not let that rude doctor bully you! Honestly, if I were you I would write a letter of complaint to the practice manager - I don't think people like that should get away with how they treat others. I had a similar situation with my GP practice but not pregnancy related (basically they lost my blood results and then misinformed me about them putting my health at risk at the same time being rude and not even once apologizing for all the visits I had to go back and forth for to sort it out). I got fed up - wrote a reveiw on the NHS choices website for the practice and sent a strong letter to the manager, who to be fair responded promptyl with apologies and arranged a meeting with the senior GP at the practice to go through all my complaints and they resolved them.

Good luck with everything, keep calm and don't stress smile and good luck with the boyfriend smile

ct148 Fri 02-Sep-11 15:53:04

you should definitely complain about him - he sounds awful and completely unprofessional.

on the plus side, most of the pregnant people i've known (myself included) have rarely, if at all, seen their GP. all pregnancy care now seems to be done by midwives. most of the ones i've met have been really nice.

and you definitely dont need to decide right now where you want to give birth - you have loads of time. my midwife discussed all my options with me when she came to see me at home for my booking appointment (I think I may have been about 9 weeks from what I can remember?) And she was more than happy to answer any questions. she made it clear she was just telling me my options and that i had loads of time to decide. my first option choice is a home birth, which we didnt confirm until i was 36 weeks (they wait to see if you will be low risk, that you have had no problems in pregnancy, that your iron levels are good etc etc), 2nd choice for me was midwife led centre which again i dont think they wanted to know about until much later (after my 20 week scan). But even after you have confirmed your preferences as far as i am aware you're more than entitled to change your mind at any time.

if i were you i'd just phone the reception at your surgery and explain that you're pregnant and would like to see a midwife, even if your GP has already sent a referral letter it cant hurt and might get things moving a bit quicker to set your mind at ease.

Good luck with it all!!

homeaway Fri 02-Sep-11 17:23:03

Poor you , change doctors as others have said. Regarding BF I would tell him face to face it is much better than on the phone. He may surprise you and change his mind about having children, just give him space. Try and get a support network around you just in case he is not supportive as you will need help and support . I wish you all the luck in the world and I really hope that it works out for you . Take care.

ClarityMa Fri 02-Sep-11 22:42:28

I'm sure that you can self refer to any hospital you want. Just ring the antenatal clinic sister of the place you wanna go to and ask how to do it.

Oeisha Fri 02-Sep-11 23:06:48

Firstly Congratulations!


1) Change GPs, yuo should have your medical card somewhere, and even if you don't any GP practice can switch you within a couple of days. You can probably book a MW/booking apt the day you ask to join the new practice. Might be worth checking with your local PCT which surgeries are taking on new patients, and explaining why you want to change if they're not forthcoming with a new surgery for you. How do I change GPs info, inc links to PCTs
2) Then complain about the twat you saw to your PCT Complaints Advice. No one should have to go through that. I'd write it down, as, frankly you're right to be upset by the treatment, and at least writing/typing can allow you to step back a bit and look at what you've written.
3) Yes, you have the right to have the birth YOU want, and whilst they may ask you your plans early on, you don't have to start firming things up 'til 25wks, and can change your plans at any point.
4) Most places take a home pg test positive as confirmation of pg. So no idea why they wanted you to do a test, and why they couldn't just do the dip there and then if they did want you to do a pg 7wks you're boud to get a positive regardless of time of day.

Good luck with telling BF. Like others have said, he'll probably be shocked and may need some adjustment time, but meanwhile get the support of your friends and family. We're always here for you too xxx

ZhenXiang Fri 02-Sep-11 23:23:12

Congratulations smile

As others have said I would change GP straight away as you have some GP appointments during your pregnancy and I am sure you will not want to see him again. Also make a complaint.

I didn't have any urine test done by GP either for my current or my last pregnancy, they just took it that I was based on my positive test and booked me in.

With regard to maternity services you can find and compare those in your area through the NHS website see here

You can book directly through the midwives at the hospital of your choice including a home birth if you wish to have one. Then all you do is cancel the booking with the other hospital you don't want to go to.

PinkFondantFancy Sat 03-Sep-11 06:54:20

I was pressured into picking a hospital there and then, but at about 26 weeks ish I went for some hospital tours to check out the facilities and decided to transfer hospital at about 30 weeks. It wasn't a problem.

parya Fri 09-Sep-11 00:00:25

Have you considered going private?? If your husband is abroad do you have an international insurance ?? they do cover maternity??
If yes depends where you live I will strongly suggest going privatly with Mr Carl Chow who works at the portland Hospital as well as Kingston Hospital. My friend came from dubai and had Cigna Int insurance they covered all the cost and postnatal midwifery care which was fantastic.
She delivered under his care at Kingston Hospital and had a very good care. Same consultant and midwife thoughout.

whizzyrocket Fri 09-Sep-11 10:27:13

Congratulations! And try not to worry!

If I were you I would tell someone.. especially as your chap lives abroad. I would let a close friend in on the secret as being unsupported through this could be really tough. It's exciting too so you need someone to be pleased for you and not just have to deal with negative incompetent medical "professionals"! Going with someone to any further appointments could be a good plan as well- two people are less easy to treat badly and intimidate.

Once you have a midwife though you'll probably be ok. I've had two now (about to move so I'll be onto the third in a few weeks) who have both been absolutely lovely, if a little over-worked. I haven't seen my dr at all since I was 5 weeks, so I wouldn't worry about having to deal with him. You'll move on and have reasonable human being to deal with.

If once you have a midwife you want to change hospital, that will be fine. You have to change midwives if the hospital, birthing unit, or house you decide on is outside the area they cover, but again this is no big shakes. I am 32 weeks pregnant and the hospital I plan on using still has no idea I exist!.. don't worry they will in two weeks time when I move and so can book in with the new midwife!

So, in all be flexible, make your own decisions and don't feel pressured, keep chipper, tell someone, and consider writing to complain about that dr.

Oh and good luck with your mole! I too am considering going to the dr about one of mine- it's in my hairline though and I can't help worrying that they'll shave a patch to see what they're doing. Gosh, that's vain! Oh well!

eurochick Fri 09-Sep-11 12:30:44

As others have said, please change doctors asap. This guy sounds like a twat.

I also think you should confide in someone. This is a lot to deal with by yourself. Your partner never need know that he wasn't the first to hear the news if you choose someone discreet!

pep124 Fri 09-Sep-11 22:42:25

Thanks everyone for all your continued support.

Rang the hospital today and turns out that the doctor didn't even refer me, so I'm definitely complaining about him next week. Idiot. But managed to do a self referral with a lovely midwife over the phone so I'm at least in the system.

Bf is back in dubai so told him yesterday over the phone (he's not in the uk again until oct so had no choice) - considering all the circumstances he was totally amazing, he really was. Such a relief to have told him!

Loving this site - would have been lost without everyone's help over the last few weeks so thank you x

knitterati Sat 10-Sep-11 05:41:18

Have been lurking on this thread & pleased to hear things are working out for you Pep! smile

pep124 Sat 10-Sep-11 07:47:55

Oh thanks knitterati! Am so relieved, he was totally amazing - seemed a lot calmer than I was when I found out! x

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