When I was deciding on a doctor a few years ago, I decided I wanted a small practice. One where I felt the doctor(s) would know me as me and not me as chart number 125 B. I found a practice with a doctor I really like. What you see is what you get, she is straight forward yet personable.
When I got pregnant this time, I really felt she was as invested in this pregnancy as we are. She has taken every precaution possible. We have had numerous conversations about different courses of action, when they may happen, why or why not. While nobody has a crystal ball, I feel she has armed me to know what to expect and have an educated opinion in my care. So many doctors will only talk about the here and now and not give plausible scenarios of what the future may hold.
With twins and my pregnancy history, I was classified as high risk. While I still have my primary doctor, I also see a specialty maternal-fetal group. That group is made up of 6 doctors. Those doctors rotate and from day to day I never know who I will see. Over my nearly 6 weeks on hospital bed rest, I have learned the differences in each of those doctors. One is very dry, one is almost overly optimistic, one never seems 100% sure of what she is saying, one lacks any bed side manner, and one is full of information. The doctor full of information is by far my favorite of the group.
As I approached 28 weeks, one of the specialist suggested I get the second round of steroids. I knew from my conversations with my primary doctor that I can only have 2 rounds, the first dose was given to me just shy of 24 weeks. I also knew they are most effective when given within 48-72 hours of delivery, and that after 2 weeks most effectiveness has worn off. I questioned why he thought I needed them, he replied there so many unknowns, it is better to have them than not have them. I told him I wanted to wait a few days. Really I wanted to talk to my doctor who happened to be off that weekend. Later that evening, “new doctor” (she recently joined my primary doctors practice) stopped by to see me. I asked her opinion, she said she agreed, I should have the shot. At this point, I felt maybe there was something they weren’t telling me, something that would indicate I might have these babies sooner rather than later.
The following day, baby B decided to give me a scare. Typically, both babies are incredibly active, but baby B decided he didn’t feel much like moving about. In retrospect, we all have lazy days, but when an active baby becomes inactive rightfully it is cause for concern. I spoke to another specialist who told me she wanted me on continuous monitoring to be sure there was no dip in his heart rate. While we were talking I asked her opinion on the steroid. She didn’t feel it was time yet, even with the now decreased activity. The score is now 2-1 in favor of the steroid. I am still not ready to get it as I have not gotten the opinion of the one doctor I trust most.
The next day baby B was back to his normal active self.
The following Monday, yet another specialist stopped by just to check in. She had read the progress notes and before I even had to ask said she was not in favor of giving me the steroid shot. She wanted to see a reason to justify it. 2-2.
That evening my doctor finally stopped by. We talked for a while. She was less than pleased that nobody called her when baby B was “napping” all day. I told her about the debate over the steroid. She said she no, not yet. She listed off 10 quick thinks she is watching for to determine when it would be time to administer the shot.
The following Thursday, the babies scans were just okay at best. My favorite doctor from the maternal-fetal group came in to discuss the scan results. Before he left, I told him I had been taking a poll since the talk of the steroid first came up. He laughed knowing I had heard varying opinions. He agreed it was not time yet. 2-4 no steroids for me.
It has now been 9 days since the topic first came up. The steroid is only effective for about 14 days. Moral of the story, follow your gut with your medical care. Educate yourself so you can have an informed opinion, and don’t be afraid to get a second opinion or in my case a 6th opinion .