Posted by: birdsandsquirrels | July 21, 2009

my 16 week appointment

The day before I left for my trip, I had an appointment with my obstetrician. I’m posting this here just so I have a record of it. I’m 17 1/2 weeks now, but at the time, I was 16 weeks.

The appointment went okay. I’m still not thrilled with my doctor, so I think it’s really time to make an appointment with someone else. I’ve heard good things about two other doctors in his practice, but would it be awkward to switch within the office? There are 16 doctors in the practice. How would that even work? What if the old doctor ended up delivering me because he happened to be on call (a 1/16 chance)? Would he resent my switching and treat me differently? The office he is a part of is new and fancy and they have great ultrasound machines and are in a beautiful building. Do I call up and ask if I can have a consultation with another doctor within the practice? Does insurance cover that or would I pay out of pocket, and how much would that cost? I don’t mind paying to have a brief visit to see if I would like another doctor, but are we talking several hundred dollars here?

The good news is I haven’t gained any weight at 16 weeks. My blood pressure is fine. I did get to hear the baby’s heartbeat with the doppler – it was 152. He says I am measuring on target. He agreed to refer me to a dietitian for help with maintaining a healthy vegetarian diet during the pregnancy.

He kind of pooh-pooed my other concerns though. About a week ago I started having awful pain in my lower back, hips, and tailbone. About ten years ago, I fell really hard on my ass while snowboarding one icy day. I don’t know if I technically broke it, because at the time, I didn’t have health insurance, and there was nothing that they could do for it anyway, so I never got xrays. It took a good 6 months to heal, and it was excruciating, but I really haven’t had any problems with it since. Until now.

S and I went for a walk the weekend before last, and I started noticing that when I was walking fast, my tailbone area and to the left was really hurting. It continued to hurt, and several days later, I called my OB’s office. My doctor wasn’t in, but the doctor on call had the nurse call me back and said it was probably my uterus growing and putting pressure on my pelvis, and the pelvis loosening up due to relaxin. She offered to refer me to a physical therapist, and I jumped at the chance. I need to exercise, and if I can’t even walk moderately fast without pain, I am going to gain boatloads of weight and be completely out of shape. I went for my first physical therapy appointment the day before my OB appointment, and the woman was amazing. It turns out she went to my RE too, to conceive her daughter. We commiserated about that and she evaluated me and showed me some stretches I can do to help. I’m going back to her next week.

So when I bring up the tailbone issue to my doctor at the appointment, he shrugs his shoulders and says there’s nothing we can do, you just have to live with it. No mention of physical therapy (which I’m already doing because the backup doctor referred me!). He goes on to tell me that yeah, some women break their tailbones again during labor, but  they usually recover in 4-6 months. And some can’t deliver vaginally if the tailbone healed funny, but they don’t know that until you try to deliver. Oh great. So now I’m all terrified that I’m going to have problems with a vaginal delivery, or that I’ll break the damn thing again while pushing. It already hurts like a bitch now.

I cannot imagine going through the excruciating pain of a broken tailbone while caring for an infant. If you have ever hurt your tailbone badly and it took many months to heal, you know exactly what I’m talking about. How do you nurse a baby if sitting down is the most agonizing position? Stairs are absolute misery, and we have 3 levels to our house. Going to the bathroom (the sitting down on the toilet part) is awful. Car rides are torture, and bumps in the road bring tears of pain to your eyes. The pain I am in now is nothing compared to that. Right now, sitting for long periods is uncomfortable, and walking long distances or walking quickly hurts. But I remember that agony from ten years ago, and I’m worried. Look at me, always finding something to worry and obsess about.

The other thing that pissed me off is that he is gone on vacation in 4 weeks, when we would normally have my next appointment and when the anatomy ultrasound was going to be scheduled. Instead of letting me come in a week early, he decided to push the appointment to 5 weeks. So now I have to wait an extra week for the ultrasound. I won’t get my ultrasound until I am 21 weeks. We have decided to find out the sex of the baby, so this additional wait is frustrating. At first, I wanted it to be a surprise and S wanted to find out, but lately I’ve been realizing that I really do want to know. I love surprises, and I’ve always thought I would want it to be a surprise to the very end. Now that we could find out basically any time now, I really want to know. And, of course, I really want the reassurance that the baby is healthy. In the back of my mind, I worry that the baby is missing something important, like kidneys or a brain, or that the intestines are growing outside the body. I’ve watched too many birth shows on Discovery health in the past. I don’t watch them anymore, but between the things I’ve read about on blogs and the crap I’ve seen on Birth Day and Maternity Ward, I have plenty to keep my imagination worrying until we get the anatomy scan.



  1. I think go for it and have a consult with another dr. in the practice. If he’s a professional, it shouldn’t matter to him and he probably won’t even notice. Don’t worry about what will happen if he delivers you either, again, a professional shouldn’t let any personal feeling interfere with your care. And definitely find someone that will ease your worries about the tailbone thing. I had a similar experience with a skateboard and it was a god six months until I stopped pining for a hemo-donut.

    I would be that ins would cover new consults too, but talk to your clinic’s ins person, they should know.

    I won’t be getting my anatomy scan until 21 weeks either. It would be nice to know the gender sooner, but if there is a problem with the baby, they should have a better chance of seeing it at a later date, so it may be a plus.

  2. The more I am thinking about your doctor, the more mad I get. So would he just let you go into labor without checking your tailbone, and then you can have That on top of a c-section?

    Maybe you could kill two birds with one stone and schedule the ultrasound with a different doctor. My second opinion( previous ob did not think we were infertile and should try for three years instead of the two we already had.) was covered.

  3. I’m saying, let’s saddle up the unicorn and kick some butt.

  4. I’m no expert, but it sounds like your OB has lost his spark for the job. Try out the others you’ve heard good things and cross your fingers that this one is off the clock when you get to the hospital.

    I’ve heard stories about broken tailbones (my dad’s wife recently told me it happened to her with her two kids), but please try to reduce your worry about that. It’s a rare occurrence and, unfortunately, unpreventable.

    Glad your PT was good and you were able to connect with her on other levels!

  5. Dude, I love my Rainbow Lights! I get mine at walgreens of all places.

    Yeah, the unicorn thing was from a comment I left on Celia’s blog.

  6. You should absolutely schedule an appt with another doc in the practice while yours is gone! If you like him/her, ask the nurse if you can switch doctors at the end fot he appointment. Then it’ll all be done by the time the other doc comes back! And by the time your baby is born, the old doc will have seen lots of patients and delivered lots of babies, so even if you get him for the birth he’s not going to be worried that you switched early on.

    I’m glad your trip went ok! Get lots of sleep this week!

  7. i think that seeing another doc may be worthwhile. you want to be able to enjoy your appointments, you know? i actually think that waiting a week for the anatomy scan is better than doing it early. i think that they will be able to see more, and you can get a clearer idea of what’s going on. having said that, you know me….i hate to wait. 🙂

    sorry about the tailbone 😦

  8. I’d change doctors. He sounds too insenstive to be tolerated.
    Have you considered going to an osteopath? I have tailbone issues, and they are able to do amazing things with tailbones. They can work on them from the outside or the inside. Outside takes longer and hurts more, but isn’t as uhhh…well weird, but the interal adjustment is faster and super effecitve. Sometimes it isn’t so much that it was broken, but that it was healed to one side or another. If you coxsyx and sacro illiac joints are out of place or very rigid, they can’t move the litle bit that htye need to be able to make walking comfortable.

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