Monday, November 17, 2008

Dr. Fabulous is Leaving

I had my monthly prenatal visit last week, and at the end of the visit (which was very good overall, apart from hearing that I gained SIX POUNDS last month--and the holidays haven't even arrived yet), Dr. Fabulous announced that as of January 1st, she will be leaving Froedtert Hospital for another practice. She will be seeing patients at a clinic on the north side of Milwaukee and her obstetric patients will deliver at Community Memorial Hospital waaaaaaaaaaaaaay up in Menomonee Falls. She told me that I could either choose to follow her to the new clinic and deliver in Menomonee Falls, or I could choose to stay with the practice at Froedtert and she would refer me to one of her current partners. And then I laid down on the floor, wrapped myself around Dr. Fabulous' ankles, and began to wail, "Noooooooooooo!! Please don't go!!!!!" Aaron was so embarrassed that he had to leave the room. Also, security had to be called.

Seriously, though, I love my doctor. After having a horrible experience with an equally horrible doctor earlier this year, I was so excited to find my current obstetrician. She is caring, compassionate, competent, available, and willing to spend as much time with me as I need her to each and every visit. She remembers little details about our lives and she makes me feel as if I am her only patient, even though I know she has more than a full schedule of preggos. Finding a good doctor like her has been a challenge, and now that I have found her, I don't really want to let her go.

However, delivering at Froedtert has some distinct advantages and I feel very torn between staying with Dr. Fabulous and having to travel a bit or staying at Froedtert and gambling on a new obstetrician. Froedtert is one of the top hospitals in the state and every interaction I have had with anyone in the OB/GYN department, from the receptionists to the nurses, has been positive. There is a good chance I would find another very good doctor at Froedtert. Also, the Birth Center at Froedtert is located immediately adjacent to Childrens' Hospital of Wisconsin, which is one of the top pediatric medical facilities in the nation, so if something was to go wrong with our baby, we would have access to some of the best medical care around. And, there is the proximity factor--Froedtert is a fifteen-minute drive from our house, while the hospital in Menomonee Falls is a thirty-minute drive in the best of circumstances.

That last point is pretty weak--we all know that when I do go in to labor, I'm going to be in labor for more than thirty minutes. I'm just saying Froedtert is closer...just sayin'.

The one drawback to delivering at Froedtert is that Froedtert is a teaching hospital, and to be seen at the OB/GYN clinic, patients have to sign a waiver that basically states that we understand that there is a good chance our primary OB's won't deliver us--there is a really good chance a medical student will deliver our babies. While I'm not against the idea of a student delivering our baby, delivering in Menomonee Falls would seem to increase my chances of actually having Dr. Fabulous at the delivery, and that is appealing to me. I was very fortunate to have a close relationship with the obstetrician who delivered Grace, and I would love to have the same experience while delivering our son.

So, we're still deciding what to do--do we stick with a doctor that trust and really like, or do we change horses in midstream in order to deliver at Froedtert?


Carrie said...

Well, after giving birth to Nutmeg at a teaching hospital, I vowed to never, never do that again. A resident cut an episiotomy that ended up as a 4th-degree tear, and my mother, a seasoned L&D nurse, told me that at first the resident was going to use the cord-cutting scissors to cut it. I feel that being able to have the person you want attending you is of upmost importance, because no matter what you write on your birth plan, if you're not working with someone who knows you and has personally given you their word to honor it, it will be ignored. And if you don't like the way things are going, you'll feel more comfortable speaking up to a doctor you know than a resident you don't know.

Actually, I also wouldn't want to be at a high-level hospital like Froedert that is geared toward dealing with emergencies and serious cases. Then again, I'm giving birth either at home or at a birth center this time around, so you can see I'm not a hospital fan in general. Tried it twice, ain't going back.

As for the drive, you never know with second babies. If Pebbles hadn't been posterior, we NEVER would have made a 30-minute drive.

Sara said...

Ah, to be able to deliver at a birth center--after having pregnancy induced hypertension with Grace, I have to be seen and delivered by a board-certified obstetrician. :-(

Sarah said...

I am delurking (hi--another Milwaukee area mom) to say that I didn't love Community. I had my third baby this September. My first two were at St. Joe's. We moved from Mil. to Cedarburg between kid 2 and 3.

I had heard very nice things about Community. And so I picked a new OB-GYN when we started trying for #3 who (only) delivered there. And she was terrific. But I was not thrilled with our nurses or our hospital stay--yes I saw her during the delivery, but then not again until day 3.

The teaching hospital (St Joe's is too) thing never bothered me. I dunno, not shy with doctors, I guess. If you want more details for your pro/con debate, I'd be glad to help.

Sara said...

Sarah--Yeah, I would love to hear more on your thoughts about delivering at Community if you're willing to share!! Thanks for the comment!!