Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The tricky thing about choosing your preferred Obstetrician ...

Sometimes there's just no way to say it but to say it straight.

When we first knew we were expecting -- you know, like, after the first 3 pee-on-a-stick tests to be really really sure -- the first question that came to mind was... so hey, on which episode did it take flight? Haha. Oh trust me... the doctor will want to know this too, to try to pin out your estimated due date. Well, more accurately, they will ask when your last day of menses is. So if you screw that up and forget when, then your EDD will be messed up a bit too. 

And then there are the other more pressing questions like... Do we go see a doctor right away? Which doctor do we go to and which clinic or hospital? Are we going to stick with the same doctor till we go into labor or do we get him/her to recommend us a better option?

I supposed nobody can blame first timers. In fact, you should be asking all these questions and find the answers because the things you read in Google search these days can either be right or more opinion-based than the actual thing. So it is a very good idea to get an expert's opinions.

Peek-a-boo! At 32 weeks... Pic courtesy of daddy.

Now back to the question of choosing the right doctor. 'Right' means to me that the doctor provides all the information and care that I expect from a doctor, and offers information instead of asking if i have any other questions. New mommies sometimes don't really know how to deal with "Do you have any questions you want to ask me?"

When asked the first time, of course I was ready with my sets of questions of things I feel I need to know in case my doctor didn't tell me right away. Standard first-time-appointment questions that every new mommy felt obliged to ask. But as we progress, I felt there were less and less questions and I wasn't sure I covered every ground or if I missed anything I'm supposed to know but didn't or were afraid to ask, in case you know, I'd look stupid if I were supposed to know the answer to that but didn't.

Sometimes there are some embarrassing concerns some women feel more comfortable discussing with a lady doctor than a male doctor. And sometimes there are moments you'd feel like the lady doctor takes you being a woman for granted and expects you to learn these things as you go along like every other woman before you because perhaps that would be the best lesson.

And sometimes some male doctors are more understanding and more sympathetic to your plight than you ever thought possible, because you know... they're male. What would they know about giving birth other than what they're being taught in medical schools, right? Which brings to mind, what makes a man suddenly decide to be an obstetrician or a gynecologist in the first place? Baffling thought, like wonders of the universe known only to the man himself.

I started out picking a lady doctor blindly from a list of few other lady doctors from this private hospital. Not knowing much about her other than what her reviews in blogs said about her. Which is not bad either. In fact, the reviews were right.

She is nice, friendly, crack jokes once in a while to put us both at ease. We were fine with her in the beginning, in fact, we thought we would stick by her till the time comes. But as we moved along month by month, I found that the more she asked me if I have any questions at the end of every consultation, I found like, there it was... that feeling like I should know something or ask something advance, but what the heck it is I can't put a finger on it. Like, there must be something missing.

And then, like a cue from heaven, she decided to take a 1-month leave to go overseas for a personal religious trip. So what was I to do but find a replacement doctor until she comes back. Picking another doctor blindly is something I found inconvenient and a little troublesome considering HEY THERE'S A LOT I DON'T KNOW ALREADY AND NOW I HAVE TO START ALL OVER AGAIN? 

Of course I didn't say that out loud. Ever the lady I must be. *smirk*

There you go. Tricky, isn't it. But like a good Christian, I prayed about this too for God to show me something... some sign... that perhaps I had missed in the first place. Some wisdom and discernment sure is tacky at a moment like this.

That being said, we met this other male obstetrician last week and whoa... Halleluiah! In the space of a few minutes, he was answering all the questions I didn't even need to ask and didn't even know I should already be asking! Like, hey, he can read my mind! Of course, this was after the few minutes of getting over my background check just to get it right even though most of my history is right there on the ante-natal card. Doctor's own policy, he said.

Even when doing the ultrasound scan, he was so patient and gentle. There are some merits on him that I found amazing and thought to myself "Imagine if my doctor didn't conveniently go on a prolong holiday, I would never have discovered you!"

His secretary was also much much nicer (but all of them were nice there). By the way, I asked the missy "Is it ok if I change doctor? Is she going to be offended? Is this going to create problem among them? Is it unethical of me?" She convinced me it is okay and in her own words "You're the one who's going into that labour ward. Your comfort is what matters. Besides, people do it all the time."

Some signs huh?

It's like going shopping, sometimes you like what you're paying for but eventually you will feel like you need something more. So then like it or not, you need to go shopping again and maybe make a change here and there, by trial and error. So what do I look for when choosing my preferred doctor?

1. One who offers the information instead of asking if I have any questions.
2. One who is patient, gentle and understanding.
3. Soft-spoken and always make an effort to make me feel comfortable.
4. Address all the embarrassing concerns to my face, without batting an eye, and make sure it's important that I get it right
5. Address my husband like an equal, because he is an essential element in this picture
6. Not too serious, knows when to joke, and when to keep it real
7. Is not to busy or have too many patients otherwise you just have to wait in long queues
8. Read all the reviews about the doctor, Google is a good source. And also ask the other nurses.
9. Has that generally trustworthy 'confidante' face.
10. Makes you feel like you can trust him/her with your life... and your baby's.

That being said, it's decided. The heck with it, I am changing doctor.

Generic colours for the lil one...

P/s: By the way, in case you're wondering, me and baby check in at Normah Medical Specialist every month. Among many personal reasons why we decide to go there and not to a government clinic/hospital, the only one reason I can tell you is that it is only a few minutes away from home.

P/s again: And no, we do not want to know the sex of the baby. We even pre-warned the doctors not to tell us even if they knew. So will it affect shopping for baby stuff? Nah... In the olden days, our parents got by just fine.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Week 30 and counting...

I really have no inspiration lately. It's almost the end of September and time is running out.

On another note, I am in my 30th week. And the lil one is fast gaining momentum in there and I'm beginning to feel the weight of it on my physique. Especially my hips and shoulder. There has been movement in my belly more regular than before, and getting stronger and persistent each time. Not sure if it's scary or just me being excited and clueless at the same time.

But I supposed all new mothers feel the same way. We just have to follow our gut instinct and go with the flow, wherever it may lead. Some readings do help though. And advice from the elderly. Plus a lot of moral and emotional support from the daddy.

With roughly 10 or less more weeks to go before this life-altering miracle is about to take place, there are still some puzzles we have yet to find answers for. But is slowly discovering them one by one. This I believe, is one of those 'trial and error' journey every couple must face together in order to make it really work. Like my mom said, there is no wrong or right in how you prefer to bring up a baby in this world, there is only faith and love and a lot of going by what your heart says.

Well, I cannot say I'm not a little bit overwhelmed by this, but I must say I am pretty much thrilled and affected by it. Every time my husband says he is nervous, I tell him "if you're nervous, imagine how I feel..."... me the one who'll be doing the labour stuff etc. Haha. And then he calmed down.

By the way ... look at all those ultrasound scans! I don't know about you but it always take me a few minutes to digest all that movements and dots and heartbeats to be able to make out what I'm actually looking at. And finally when I'm able to figure out which one is the head, the spine, the legs, the hands... the doctor moved to another region. It's like a blurry screen, or maybe it's just me. Haha.

Sometimes when I look at those black and white shot of the little stranger in me, I get reminded that no matter what and how many wrongs I've done in my past, I must've done something right to deserve all these. Every morning when I wake up and look at my mirror, I thank God that I am alive and well, and is soon gonna be a mommy!

 Taped on the dressing mirror, for an everyday wake-up call... :)

Ok enough about baby otter before I bore you all with further details... =) Why do I feel like I'm beginning to sound melancholy lately in my postings?

Anyway... Although I supposed no first-time parents are a genius in this subject, I wonder how other couples go through their first pregnancy... Care to share? :-)
Have a good weekend everyone!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

How to give your sayang that surprise 5 minutes show ...

[Note: This is a reminisce post on OttersBigDay. Or #Throwback moment, if you will...]

And to quote Mr Benjamin Mee (Matt Damon) in the movie We Bought A Zoo: "You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it."

How to give your sayang that surprise 5 minutes show:
1. Prepare mentally in advance the song you plan to sing.
2. Learn the chords and forget flourish, focus on the majors.
3. Practice. And memorize the lyrics.
4. Make sure the manicurist clip your nails short but pretty on the left hand. Long nails prevent grip.
5. Inform the Band discreetly to prepare an acoustic guitar in advance but keep it out of sight.
6. Don't let your partner know about it.
7. On D-Day, you can still back out if you feel like it. But try not to think too much about stage fright.
8. Find an opportunity for your show. And let the MC in on it.
9. Throw caution to the wind, go on stage and just do your thing the way you practiced it.
10. Remember, all you need is that 20 seconds of insane courage... and a lifetime of NOT Regretting You Didnt Do It.

And so I did! I really didn't care if I didn't know how to sing, didn't have a good voice, blew the chords all over the place, stepped on my gown, made a fool of myself... because the whole time Matt Damon was in my mind giving me that silent encouragement.

And now I shall tell my unborn baby (at press time) how the daddy was invited on stage to hold my phone with the Googled lyrics because mommy was a little overwhelmed to be alone on stage. Love!

Ok Happy Wednesday Everybody!! 

P/s: By the way, the song was 'It's Your Love' originally sang by She Moves. I'd like to believe I did the Tim McGraw version though.  Here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AJ4i4S_fP8