When I was five weeks pregnant, there were several people who asked if I’d chosen an OB yet, to which I laughed. It seemed WAY too early for that, plus, you’re talking to the person who won’t even set out an extra syringe for heparin in fear that she won’t need it in 12 hours. So yeah, no OB.
At six weeks, people asked again, and even started to sound nervous that I hadn’t selected an OB yet. Again, way too early, in my opinion. Remember, I was cramping, spotting, and just knew this was going to end. At six and half weeks, the health unit director sent a list of OBs home with my husband for me to look through. She was starting to get concerned about my lack of OB appointment, and told me as much during several phone calls to check on me.
By seven weeks, the nurses at the fertility clinic had joined in, stressing the importance of choosing an OB, ASAP. Apparently there is a baby boom in Ireland, and again, I was told that the “good” OBs fill up their spaces when women are around five weeks pregnant (they take limited numbers of patients per month). Ridiculous, I thought. Again, I didn’t expect this to last.
Seven weeks came and went and I dutifully looked through the list of OBs, comparing qualifications, education, location, etc. I chose four and went to the health unit (yes, a break from couch rest). I thought that having the health unit call on my behalf might give me a better chance since I was apparently so late into the process.
OB choice #1, hospital choice #1: receptionist was out of town, but we were told he was not taking new patients
OB choice #2, hospital choice #1: not taking new patients
OB choice #3, hospital choice #2: not taking new patients
OB choice #4, hospital choice #2: after some pleading by our health unit director, agreed to take me, even though, you guessed it, he was not taking new patients. Phew, appointment made.
After some additional googling and conversations with more nurses at the fertility clinic when I was there on Monday (yes, now into the eighth week), I decided I wasn’t really comfortable with choice #4, and they recommended I try again for choice #1 or go with another OB (not listed as practicing in Dublin on my list, but apparently is).
On Monday afternoon I called OB choice #1 and had a nice conversation with his receptionist. Unfortunately he will be on holiday for the entire month of July (when I’m due), and therefore can’t take me. However he had two names of other OBs that he thinks highly of (one being the OB I had just been told about earlier that day at the clinic).
And so, I called the new OB, who after being researched, googled, and otherwise cyber stalked, had become my new top choice, AND he delivers at hospital choice #1. His receptionist was very nice, though I got the impression that a lot of people must play the “I’m high risk” card to get into him, so she wanted detailed information of what makes me “high risk” and I had to promise to have the fertility clinic send a detailed referral letter, which they had already offered to do. After listening to just half of what makes me high risk, the receptionist said, “Oh my goodness, you’ve really been through the mill.” She said the doctor was booked, but he would likely find my case “interesting” and “challenging”, so she was going to speak with him and call me back.
An hour later, she called and said that although she was going to have to “redo his schedule”, that he wanted to take me. SIGH OF RELIEF. Anyway, my first OB appointment is in January. Until then I will be followed at the fertility clinic.
Moral of the story: if you plan to get pregnant in Dublin, book your first OB appointment as soon as you get a positive home pregnancy test if you want a particular doctor. Since we aren’t Irish (no local insurance), I’m high risk, and need more care than most, I am going “private” which means the cost of maternity care is about 2/3 the cost of an IVF cycle. GULP. For those using the regular system or going “semi private”, you might want to book your first OB appointment six months before you think you’ll get pregnant. I wish I were joking.