Tuesday, February 23, 2010


First, can I tell you how much I HATE dealing with a "regular" ob? I miss the kindness and compassion--and, yes, the handholding--of both Smirky and my perinatologist. I feel like the nurses at the ob's office see so many "normal" fertiles and normal pregnancies that they just get nervous when an uptight infertile with a history of miscarriages calls the office.

But, I'm getting ahead of myself.

After last week's nuchal scan I called my ob's office to ask some follow-up questions about my normal-but-still-higher-than-we'd-really-like translucency measurements. I got transferred to a nurse and explained my situation:

"Hi, I had my nuchal scan yesterday and the translucency measurement was technically in the 'normal' range, but was higher than we'd like, so I'm naturally very nervous. I know that we don't get the full results until my bloodwork comes back, so I'm hoping you can tell me when I could expect the full results."

"What? Well...er...you don't get the full results until your next blood draw at 16 weeks."

"Well, yes, but I know that we get a risk assessment from these tests and I'd like to know what they are. You see, I'm 12 weeks pregnant and understand I can only get a CVS until I'm 13 weeks pregnant, so I really have less than a week to decide whether I want to go that route. And, I don't want to make that decision without the results of this test."

"Let me look for your chart."

Long Pause...

"We don't have any results yet."

"Yes, I didn't expect you would, but my measurement was higher than normal so I'd like to know when you will."

"Higher than normal? Well, I wouldn't worry unless it was lower than normal."


"Yeah. I'm pretty sure that's wrong. Can you direct me to a genetics counselor?"

And that's how I ended up back on the phone with my fabulous perinatologist who both understood my concern and explained lots of helpful options, including the fact that I could call them Tuesday (today) to get the full results and discuss next steps. I heart them.

So, call today I did. Unfortunately, I got a woman on the phone who basically said, well yes, I have your results right here, but I can't GIVE them to you.


She couldn't read me the results but instead had to fax them to my useless Ob. I'm sure there's some horrible privacy law about why they couldn't, but it was bullshit. I'm a person. Who's scared. And on the phone RIGHT NOW. Please just tell me whether I need to worry!!

So, I had to hang up and call my ob. I got another nurse...let's call her nurse snippy.

Me: (I open with the whole backstory above, but I'll spare you.) "So I'm calling to get the results."

Snippy: **SIGH** Hang on...

Snippy: The first part is normal, you'll get the results of the second part and your paperwork later.

Me: "Um...I don't understand what you're saying. Can you please explain it to me? I'm really scared about all of this and really want to understand all of it."

Snippy: *sigh* "The results are normal."

Me: Now on the verge of tears..."Well, can you at least tell me the numbers that go along with it?

She did. And then got off the phone quickly.

I hated her. I mean, I hate to bother your busy important schedule, but I'm scared sh*tless that something is wrong with my baby. A little bit of fucking compassion wouldn't kill you. Bitch.

The bottom line is that it seems like everything is "fine." The risk of the baby having Down's went to 1:710. (My age-related risk is something like 1:365 or 400.) And the risk of the other trisomies was 1:10,000.

So, good news. I will now not be totally assured until...well, until delivery, really, but short of that until my 16 week blooddraw and 18-week anatomy scan. But, I'm glad that my risk didn't trip a "quick get this girl an amnio STAT" radar.


Let's hope no more excitement lies in store for me down the road. I would like to hear "normal" over and over again between now and September. Here's hoping!


Bumble said...

Hooray!! So happy that you got a bit of peace even though the useless tools made you really work for it. Thanks so much for the comment, it was so cool to see it from you! My mail is thesheilabin at gmail dot com in case you wanted it :-)

Life in Eden said...

Arrrgh! (had to get that out)

First, glad the news is overall good.

Second, the behavior of your OBs nurse is completely UNACCEPTABLE! If the practice is going to offer/suggest this early type of screening they MUST be prepared to discuss the results IN A TIMELY MANNER. And that discussion must be WITH A DOCTOR! As one who worked in a medical profession and whose spouse still works in such -- this is simply not okay. If they offer such a test, and you opt to have such a test -- clearly the possibility that you might terminate a trisomy pregnancy exisits (otherwise why have this early screening test). Therefore they have to be available to discuss the results in a meaningful way -- not just "normal."

Ugh. These are the things that give medicine a bad name. Sorry for the rant, it just makes me so mad. I had similar problems with my OB for the twins, although I had a perinatalogist too so that helped lots. Hang in there sweetie!

anna said...

I can totally feel for your frustration. I hate my OB's office- love my OB, but hate her office staff. Do you remember when I got the pre-op instructions instead of the induction instructions for my twins 2 years ago and ended up not eating or drinking the entire day before my induction so that everything was delayed since I was so dehydrated and famished?! Yeah, I'm still not done being angry about that. And the responses from the staff as if God forbid they actually do their jobs and HELP you...geesh! Anyhow, I'm glad that everything looks o.k. so far. Honey, take some deep breaths and know that it'll be fine. The less you have them peak in on your bub and the more you can just trust that everything will be o.k., I'm convinced that the more you both will really be o.k. I'm thinking of you!!!

Nearlydawn said...

I wrote a whole raving rant about Dr's offices not sharing results with their patients, but I erased it, becuase all that really needs to be said is this:

Hey, Ms. Normal!

Great to hear that all is well. I was very concerned for you after your post about the scan results.


Sarah said...

so sorry i'm just now reading this!!! GRRRRRR, how very deeply frustrating, i completely understand your pain and i HATE when they make you feel like that, it is such a shit feeling, on top of the even worse terror of your own, gharrr, it's just awful and miserable and they should have to go to time out. and STAY THERE (as i sometimes like to say for effect).

anyway, have i waited long enough to comment that it's now time for some nice normal 16 week results?? :)