The Part You Throw Away (blackdreams) wrote in highriskcrunchy,
The Part You Throw Away
blackdreams
highriskcrunchy

2nd Child, High Risk for Pre-existing High BP

Anyone still here?
I've been searching for somewhere where I could talk to people like me, better yet, people who prefer things natural, having to deal with having a high risk pregnancy.

I found out I was 10 weeks pregnant March 6th. (I already have a 7 year old) So it was a surprise. With my Son, I had a natural birth with a midwife, and everything went fairly well.
This time, I'm forced to see an OB (specialist). I was so upset hearing that news. I tried arguing maybe I don't really have high BP, every time I've had it taken (which since I gave birth in 2004 was twice in the last 6 months due to sickness) it was high, probably because I just hate hospitals, and I was freaking out when I did come in. I NEVER go to the hospital unless something is seriously wrong. But, it didn't matter. Now I'm sitting there upset, and filling with the fear that an OB will just take over my body with invasive tests, and at the end possibly just cut me open, or induce me or whatever else they feel like.

So I had my 1st OB appointment.....I hated it. Right away she wanted to put me on BP meds, without letting me try to lower it naturally with some supplements first. I believe she said "Yeah I don't know anything about that. You have to take the meds." Oh, thanks so much. "Are there side effects" she says"Well, all medication has side effects. If you followed that rule, no one would ever take anything" I said, "Yeah....that's why I never take anything." I meant that. I use herbs, not pills. So she said "Well, I have to look it up (the medication she wanted me to take)." I'm thinking, you have to look it up? You're a high Risk Specialist? Shouldn't you just KNOW this? So she turns the screen to me with a list of medical terms I have no idea what they mean - like I'm supposed to understand this. That was her way of assuring me. Seriously. She sent in a prescription anyway.

We drove home. I was waiting to decide if I wanted the meds, trying to think a way out of it. When I got home an old high school friend IMed me asking why I'm High Risk. I wasn't announcing it on Facebook, but she must have seen me mention it in conversation to my cousin. So we started talking. She was telling me about how she lost her daughter when she had preclampsia. I won't go into it, but her Dr. didn't seem it was necessary to take any extra precautions, and her baby died after it was born. I didn't know this story. I thought she had just had a miscarriage. So it was a big eye-opener for me. It really put my situation in perspective. Suddenly me hating Doctors, and not wanting this medication seemed silly. So I went and picked it up.

In the when morning I took my first pill at 8 am. By 9:30, I was hit by feeling hyper and jittery, my hands started shaking so bad. Then My scalp felt tingly, my mouth feeling dry. I called my Doctor and had to leave a freaking MESSAGE. Luckily, these side effect started to subside around 9:50, and I felt better by 10. But before calling, I looked up my medication, because all I was told for side effects was DROWSINESS and DIZZINESS. Not Jitters and hyperness or otherwise. So as I look up this medication, the first 5 where talking about how this medication hasn't been tested much on human pregnancies (after I was assured it was very safe) and can cause a multitude of Birth defects. Now I'm left here thinking "What have I done?"

Later that day, I was told to come back in to the hospital, I had to see the other OB on call, and he took the time to listen to me, gave me alternatives, and took me off my current meds and gave me safer ones with little to no side effects on the baby and minimal to me, with a slow release. So I felt much better.

So that's my story if anyone is reading.
Anyone else feel like without a midwife, you've lost all control of your own choices? How do you deal with all the testing, and interventions. and my biggest question - how do you deal with being told they want to induce you early? When I asked my Doctor why, she just answered with "That's just what we do" (Yeah she's REAL awesome at answering my questions)

So far, I've had my 24 hour urine test and my first blood draw. God knows what else I have yet to go through.
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I have pre-existing blood pressure problems and am 31 weeks with my 3rd child, I can really relate to a lot of what you are saying, the best advice I can offer is learn everything you can about your blood pressure, invest in a monitor so you can track it at home and write down what days and times of day you test and bring them in to show the doctor, if there isn't really a problem you wont need medication. I need a lot of medication and have had to increase my doses many times over the course of this pregnancy, the fetal stress test they did last week shows that despite everything my baby is growing well and isn't adversely affected by the medication or the hypertension. My last pregnancy/birth was a natural midwife assisted birth and as an aspiring midwife myself I really wanted that for this pregnancy as well but unfortunately that's not the case for me this time, high risk OB's exist for a reason, some of us need them and it's been a difficult journey for me to accept that, especially coming from a place of believing pregnancy and birth are normal and not medical crisis. If you wanna talk to someone who's been through it feel free to message me. I hope everything turns out well for you and your baby *hugs*
I did already get the medication. They didn't give me much choice, and especially after hearing about my friend losing her daughter due to negligence. She told me "I didn't get all the extra testing or medication from my Doctor, so you're lucky they are taking the extra precautions. You should really take that medication. If I had that, I bet my daughter would still be a live." How heartbreaking is that?
I'll still be a pain in my Doctor's ass. I'll still ask millions of questions, and challenge their opinions. But I'm more willing to do what I need to. My Dad is sending me a BP monitor. Not that I asked, he was just concerned and thought it would help. So even though I'm already medicated. I am on the safest most mild medication on the lowest dose, so if my BP dips below normal, then we'll know they were wrong.
I do miss having a midwife so bad though. But the other part of the story that I left out is - we were planning to move before we even found out I was pregnant. We moved to Madison 6 years ago, and we have nothing left holding us here, plus I miss my family. So we're moving back to where we came from this Summer. So even if I only like one of my 2 OBs, at least I know I won't be giving birth here. So I'll be very choosey when I move back home. And who knows, maybe I'll find a midwife who will feel comfortable seeing me if I get my BP under control and keep away from Gestational Diabetes, and all my tests keep coming back with good results.

I'm really glad I found this community! Thanks for the help and words of encouragement!
I hope you've got the opportunity to continue your care with the second OB you saw and drop the first.

I dealt with it by asking a lot of questions. I came to every appointment prepared with questions, having read the journal articles, and generally staying up to date and on top of things. I chose my care provider carefully-I picked one who works with midwives-in fact, midwives, NPs and PAs do the majority of care in the practice so that he (the doctor) was used to the midwifery model of care. Some of my routine prenatal care was done by the midwives (I was in the situation where pregnancy was risky, more so for the baby than for me, but labor and birth weren't unusually risky,) and one of the midwives I saw described my OB as "a midwife in disguise."

I made it clear from the beginning that I was aiming for a low intervention, unmedicated birth and chose a doctor who was on board with that. I hired a doula-I think she was key in helping the end of pregnancy go as best as it could...and she and I have both described the birth as "The best it could have been under the circumstances." As the discussion came up, I also made it clear that I'd consent to interventions if there was a medical indication they were a good choice, and that included induction-I wasn't going to do it "just because." If that meant additional monitoring near the end of pregnancy, that was okay with me.

It's important to be your own best advocate without being adversarial. Sometimes that's hard. Ask a lot of questions. Get someone else to advocate for you if needed. Develop a good relationship with your provider, so that when it comes down to the end, you know you're getting accurate, honest assessment of what's going on.

It's more work to get the hands off experience that you get with many midwives, but with some work, you can find the right balance between the medical support that your pregnancy needs along with the low intervention care that you want.

I look forward to hearing the rest of your story.
I could possibly ask to schedule more with him every time I reschedule. But It seems like the female OB is the "lead" between the two of them. But they do come as a package, they're partners. But as I told another commenter, I left out that I will be moving when I'm about 6 months along this summer, so I won't be giving birth here, which is mainly the only reason I'm not looking elsewhere. And the only reason I chose this OB (female) was because she was recommended by a midwife with my ideals. And while this OB talks like "Mokey" of Fraggle Rock and dresses like a weird Art teacher and calls herself "crunchy". She doesn't listen to me. She hasn't given me options. I don't feel she respects my anxiety, my feelings or my time.
I didn't know there were OBs out there who work WITH midwives. It wasn't mentioned from the nurse I initially saw for an official pregnancy test. She just told me Midwives wouldn't see me in her clinic, and that she doesn't know where one would. So she sent me to this OB, I agreed because it was close by, and she made her sound like someone who would be on my side.
I think even though I know I'm moving, what gets me the most, is when I asked this OB what interventions she saw me needing (I'm not just High BP, I'm overweight), She said, just the usual blood tests, the 24 hour urine test, and the glucose tests. Oh, and INDUCING ME before I go full term. Did you have to do that? You mentioned they wanted to, but is that something you ended up having to do? Initially I just dropped it because I new I wasn't giving birth here anyway. But the more I thought about it, the more it really bothered me. I want my baby to come out when it's ready, not be forced to give birth on a certain day. I go back tomorrow, so I'm going to talk about it this time. I guess I just want to know what medical reason there is for it. Maybe I should look into a doula too when I move. I never got one the first time around because I guess I wasn't really sure what one was in 2004. they just sounded like a person who would be there with me at the time of the birth, but I had my Mother and Husband with me. But my husband was just my boyfriend back then, and he totally shut down and looked terrified the whole time while my Mom held my hand through 42 hours of labor.
::Shrug:: I will for sure follow your advice. I'll keep asking many questions, come more prepared, and if I still really don't feel comfortable in another visit or two, maybe I should look for someone new anyway. Even if I'm not staying here. And looking into a doula may be very worth it. Just having someone on my side might be enough. :)
With the midwife group I had I did feel like I lost a lot of control because my birth did end up being medicalized due to GD. I hated it. I got paranoid and even more anti-medical-system, though I went along with the medical control because it still gave me a chance at the out-of-hospital birth I wanted. There was talk of induction at 40 weeks which made me really upset. Fortunately I went into natural labor at 38.5 weeks and still got to try for a birthing center birth.

Ultimately I realized that most doctors and the midwives who work under them aren't really out to get you and cut you open (or whatever). They just want you to have a positive birthing outcome and they are weighing the risks just like you are...

One saving grace was that I had a doula totally unassociated with the doctor or medical system and I trusted her opinion on what was BS or needed to be done. So when we eventally had a trasnfer to a hospital and a c-section I trusted her opinion that it is what needed to be done-- for reasons totally unrelated to the GD. The baby was really poorly positioned and labor wasn't going anywhere or likely to.

That being said, the first doctor you met with doesn't sound like she has very good communication skills, so maybe you could do better in that regard! I'm glad you found a better OB for your second meeting.

Based on my past experience, I would look for an OB who you could talk well and openly with these things and who would not induce early as a matter of course but only based on actual medical evidence (such as if your blood pressure is at certain paramaters during certain points of the pregnancy). Like if your pregnany is regularly testing higher than X over Y at week Z of pregnancy you both know--and to some degree agree-- that induction is the best option. But it should be the best option because they can give you real reasoning beyond "that is just what we do."

Yeah, there's talk of inducing me at 39 weeks. Why is that? What is the need for that? I am planning to move in the middle of my pregnancy, so I'm not SO worried about it yet, because I might get a provider I like more. Which is why I didn't go into arguing over it or asking questions. But the more I think about it, the more it bothers me.
It's encouraging that you got to go to a Birthing center though! I would love to be able to do that.
It is sounding like a doula is a popular option. And I think it'd make me feel much more comfortable to have someone like-minded on my side. I just hope I can get that covered. I never looked into it before. How do you go about looking for a doula? Just ask at the hospital you go to? I have another appointment tomorrow, maybe I'll ask about it. I doubt I need one right away though, do you look for a doula closer to your due date?
I had to pay for the doula myself, but I thought it was worth it. I googled "doula+city" and there are major websites that come up that are like national databases of doulas (with reviews!) Find your own (as opposed to hospital recommended)... then you know they'll be impartial. Do you live in the U.S.? It might be different in other countries how to find one.

I looked early because they do book up. I think they often just accept 1-2 clients per due date month so as to be unlikely to have 2 clients in labor at the same time.Also this way you can use them as a resource throughout the pregnancy. ( You can contact them and be all "At this appointment my doctor said X....what do you know about that?")

They can be expensive ($500-1000) but you could also find one still studying to be a doula who would give you a cheaper rate.

It may be different with second pregnancies, but ours met with us several times to discuss birthing preferences, answer our questions, etc. Then of course she is there from the very beginning of the labor, through the labor and the hours after when you're recovering and starting breastfeeding. They usually visit again in the next day or two.