What’s Going On: Part III

It felt very cart before the horse, but I did a lot of research to find a great OB’s office. I had a wonderful experience in Florida with the doctors and nurses that guided me through my pregnancy with W. They were kind, fun, and honest. It was the kind of place where I could bring Millie to every appointment. It was special. I was lucky.

When I found an OB here I did lots of online research to look for any, “STAY AWAY FROM HERE” notes and was pleased that every review of the doctor I found was A+.

I went to this OB’s office last friday. I was about ten minutes early as I figured there would be paperwork to fill out. The woman at the front desk told me to have a seat, that I could begin to fill out my paperwork when it was 1pm. AKA when my appointment time was. So I sat in the hot pink lobby for ten minutes and began to pour sweat. A few minutes after one I was summoned back to the front desk and given a clip board with only three lines to fill out.

Twenty minutes after one a nurse stuck her head out of a side door and called my name.

{NOTE: I have zero issues about time. I have never known an OB’s office to run on schedule so no points were deducted for the time I was called back. I would consider that typical.}

I followed the nurse back to a room and she gestured to a chair instructing me to sit. She then heaved a big sigh, plonked a clipboard onto the exam table and started rattling off a series of questions:

NURSE: When was your last period?
Me: are you asking for my due date?
NURSE: Date. Of. Your. Last. Period.
Me: Hold on – I need to do some math so I can give you the correct date. I had an embryo transfer.
Me: Ok, to get the correct due date you need to use September 19th
NURSE: Is that the date of your last period?
Me: uh. Yes.

She then continued with asking me how many times I had been pregnant. I told her about my four pregnancies. She told me ectopic doesn’t count as a pregnancy and “what is a chemical?” She amended my answer to two pregnancies (including my current one).

It was at this point that I realized that the nurse had not once made eye contact with me.

The rest of the question and answer session went about as crappy as you can expect. A big sigh over my being single, another sigh when I told her my height (SERIOUSLY?!!).

I wanted to sob. I felt, for no explainable reason, ashamed.

She grabbed a gown from the cabinets in the room and told me to “get naked quickly” and “get on the exam table”.

Something about the way she said that terrified me. I honestly had a panic moment feeling like she was going to do something TO ME.

She left the room. I got undressed and gowned up. A few minutes later the OB knocked and came into the room.

He seemed fine. He was a fast talker, had LOTS of opinions about the amount of hormones that I was on. He wanted to know if I still had my ovaries because he just couldn’t imagine why I would be on estrogen. He took a moment to look at my chart and then began talking to me about genetic counseling. All of a sudden he was explaining amniocentesis and telling me miscarriage odds for such a procedure, “but if I wanted to be sure that the baby was ok it was the only way to really know”.

Another pause to look at my chart and then, “So I like to schedule C-Sections* a week before due dates. I’ll book you for before lunch so you don’t have to deal with traffic to get here…”

{* Because of the issues with W’s birth I expect to deliver Tartan via C-Section. I have no desire to try for a vaginal birth if that is going to put my or Tartan’s life in danger. My birth plan = I want a live, take home, baby. So I absolutely expect any OB to skip to the chase regarding the exit plan of this pregnancy, but I guess a little gentler discussion about this would have been welcome.}

Honestly at this point I zoned out. My brain was shutting down. My intuition was going into high gear. Not this doctor. Not this office. No. I can not.

He gave me a prescription for prenatal vitamins and a phone number to call if I wanted nuchal testing, but he doubted I would be able to get an appointment for a few months.

I got dressed and went out to the lobby. And then my world spun. The entire lobby was filled with cigarette smoke. I have no idea where it was coming from – but I could SEE it. The smell sent my nausea into overdrive. The doctor came out to the front desk and saw me going green and chuckled, “Oh Fridays are always bad with smoke here.”

I was 3 seconds away from a massive projectile vomit so I ran out of the office. I was sick the rest of the day and into Saturday. I could never go back.

But where was I supposed to go??

I spent the weekend doing research, asking local friends, reading reviews and comments on pregnancy sites and finally found a place that seemed ok. I called them first thing on Monday and the earliest appointment I could get was December 4th. Since I am seeing the clinic (for the final time – YIKES!) next week I feel ok about the wait. With the holiday this week I knew it was unlikely that I would be able to be seen sooner.

The good news is that since I made the appointment two Moms at W’s school have shared with me that they went to this practice and delivered at the hospital associated with it and they had nothing but good things to say.

The interesting hurdle is that since I won’t be seeing an OB until my 11th week that I might have a tricky time getting a nuchal scan scheduled in the window that I would need it. The OB’s office can’t write me a scrip for the scan until they see me and that might be pushing it. I have called my nurse at the fertility clinic to see if she is able to write such a scrip and we will see what advice she has.

I really hate how awful this experience has made me feel. I like to think that I am not hard to please when it comes to medical care. You don’t have to be Suzy Sunshine, you don’t need to be prompt, you don’t even need to be an expert in infertility – but I guess I do draw the line at kindness. I need that. I really do.

Hopefully this new office will be just the ticket.


  1. I’m still stuck on the smoke part. Where the hell was it coming from, and why did that seem to be totally A-OK with the doctor?

    I’m glad you got the hell out of there. I am a big believer on gut instincts when it comes to doctor’s offices, especially when it comes to children (or expected children).

    Assholes. I just felt the need to say that.

  2. I am so so sorry. That OB and his office should be ashamed of themselves. I never understand how some doctors (and their offices) can have no compassion. I’m proud of you for making it through the appointment. I’m sure I would have had a full blown panic attack.

  3. Oh, yes, run away very fast from that OB. I hope the new place will be worlds better. I think we ALL need kindness and compassion in our medical care – after all, we are going through scary shit when we get to the doctor, whether it is having a baby or due to illness. We deserve to go to a place where we are treated with some respect.

    I always think that if the nurses and other staff are rude and uncaring, it must mean that their work environment sucks, which must mean that the doctor is an ass. And who wants a doctor like that? Although I have one doctor that I like where the nurses and staff are all awful and rude, but then he’s the new junior partner and I don’t know whether to hope that he will be able to change things or fear that he will be corrupted and be just like them one day soon.

  4. Wow. So glad you are running like HECK away from that OB and his entire office of cuhray-zay.

    I’ve learned to expect some pushback from nurses and OBs when I have to correct them about my LMP as opposed to my date of conception. The midwives, though, have never given me any grief, and just take my date without comment.

    I totally agree with Sarah that negative nurses and staff means terrible management.

  5. That is HORRIFYING. I can’t believe they got such good marks online. I hope you will do your bit to adjust their online reputation, of only for the sake of someone with less moxie and good sense than you have, who might have felt she had to stay.

    Says me, the poster child for bad-OB Stockholm syndrome.

    I sure hope you find someone excellent; sounds like the bar is set pretty damn low in terms of finding someone “better.” Assholes!

  6. gah. that sounds horrible. here’s hoping the new place is fabulous.

    probably because i was in manhattan, the whole fertility/ivf thing was totally a matter of course with the ob practice i used. they didn’t bat an eyelash. i think half their patients were like me. :)

  7. nycphoenix says:

    wish you can come here i love my ob/gyn and the whole office from receptionists to nurses are dreams

  8. I’m sorry, that really sucks. I had to quit my last GYN because she literally told me that I should relax and I would get pregnant (she just has a feeling about these things) though she completely missed my endo diagnosis and chastised me when I asked if I should be taking progesterone in the luteal phase due to my two chemicals.

    I now am seeing a wonderful lady who I immediately bonded with during my first visit when she told me that she had conceived via ART and that I could have some extra hand-holding when the time comes. Now I just need to get to that next step, so that I will have need of an OB!

  9. SMOKE!? That is puzzling and troubling.

    I am sorry for the terrible experience you had. I hope that the next office and doc are much more kind (and smoke free).

  10. You absolutely need to feel comfortable with your doctor. Some people go so far as to say you should have teensy bit of a crush on him but I’ll allow you ‘feel comfortable’. Good luck with the new one. xx

  11. I am in my first pregnancy and have been truly shocked by the level of care at the OB’s office. They don’t ask basic questions and don’t seem to inquire (or really care) about how I am doing mentally or physically. They don’t follow up with calls or results when they say they will. It is frustrating. I believe they would be competent in a crisis but they certainly don’t excel in routine pregnancy care. I tried out 2 OBs prior to getting pregnant (for routine exams) and was not happy with them. I went to a new office when I got pregnant and was again disappointed. Like you, I tend not to think of myself as high maintenance when it comes to medical care. I have never had an issue with a doctor before (much less 3). Either pregnancy is different or I have a really great PCP (both I think). I truly think a midwife practice would be best for me but they are not popular in my area. I’m sorry you had a bad experience. I hope your new practice works out.

    (btw, I am a long time lurker and am absurdly thrilled that we are pregnant at the same time. I wish you the best of luck in your pregnancy).

  12. Run! And leave them a bad review. What is a chemical? That’s insane. Well, the whole appointment sounds ridiculous. I do not approve of this office.

  13. battynurse says:

    Yup, run like hell from that office. I hope the new doc is better and things go well. I also second the leaving an honest review about the office on whatever site.

  14. Please tell me you’ll be the first to uh, “lower their rating.” How awful, I’m so sorry.

  15. Oh that’s a nightmare! I’m so glad that you’re not going to go back.

  16. You’d think OBs would not do the job if they were not interested in the many and varied methods of conception. I had a similar experience with an OB, and I stayed ’til my 14th week, when the doctor was snide about scheduling my Level 2 ultrasound. What a bitch that woman is!

    Hope the new doctor is much, much better. Word of mouth seems to be the best way to find a doctor. Much luck.

    Smoke…in an OB’s waiting room. Huh.

  17. Wow this place sounds terrible. Go with your gut and get out of there. That nurse sounds like a peach.

  18. awickedrose says:

    What the fuckity fuck is wrong with that bitch?

  19. Holy crap what an absolutely wretched experience! Rude rude rude rude rude and thoughtless people. I’m glad you’re going elsewhere for the rest of your pregnancy.

  20. The nurse was sighing at you and told you to get naked quickly?! Yikes. The doctor sounds like he wasn’t even interested in you being there and would have been fine if you walked out and all he had was your file. And please an OB’s office filled with smoke?! RUN!

  21. I think you live very near me, and I have heard actually amazing thinks about Delaware Valley Women’s Care.

  22. D, I am really proud of you for making the decision not to return. I’m sorry this smoke-filled adventure sucked so hard and that nurse was such a c@#$ (oh yes I did….) but any health care practitioner that elicits feelings of shame from a patient should get a serious rating drop wherever ratings can be found. It’s bullshit. Especially to say anything less than “you are awesome!” to a gorgeous, tall, single mom by choice who has battled through losses and is still standing and proud and beautiful and ready to grow her family again.

  23. Wow, that is a pretty shitty experience. Shame on them. I’m confident the next office will be much better. Kindness isn’t too much to ask for and expect from any health care practitioner. Or any human, for that matter.

  24. Glad you fund a new OB. I think you should write a letter to the doctor and let him know why you did not like his practice.


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