On Monday, the whole family and I headed into the city so that I could meet with the backup OB for my midwife. Partly, this was a visit so that I could be familiar with the OB just in case of a transfer. But mostly, I was just documenting that I was having prenatal care in Costa Rica so that we will have an easier time getting a birth certificate after the birth.
Initially, I was a bit freaked out about seeing the OB at all. For one thing, I often have confrontations with OBs in the U.S. The last time I saw an OB in the U.S., the doctor and his associated midwife tried to coerce me into having a trans-vaginal ultrasound simply due to the fact that I hadn’t gotten my period in almost 2 years since my last baby was born. Never mind that fact that I was tandem nursing around the clock. I haven’t been to an OB since then.
I was also a little freaked out about the fact that this Costa Rican OB has a 4D ultrasound machine right in his office. True, if I had need of such a machine, it would be very convenient. But mostly, I was very fearful that the OB would try to coerce me into having another sonogram. Most of the docs in the U.S. that I have met seem to have a real need to use their fancy machines as much as possible. My goal this pregnancy was and is to avoid as much sonography as possible, so I was worried.
Evidently, I had no need to worry at all. My experience at the OBs on Monday was totally unexpected. For one thing, the doctor had virtually no staff at all to speak of. When I remarked about it, comparing it to the U.S., we had a good laugh about how much of a waste of money that would be. For another thing, I had absolutely no wait in the office. It was just me, my family, and the doctor. Can you imagine not waiting in an OB office in the U.S.? That would never happen. And finally, this doctor gave me no trouble at all about refusing the sonography. No evil looks or questions over why I might not want the big machine. He just happily pulled out the stethoscope to listen to the baby’s heart. Nice. I can’t imagine an OB in the U.S. doing that either. Do OBs in the U.S. even know how to listen to a fetus without the doppler or electronic fetal monitor? Maybe, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen one do it!
Now I’m just hoping I will have no need to consult the OB again, and that my homebirth goes just as lovely as I imagine. As of Friday, I’ll be 38 weeks along. This birth can’t happen too soon!