Thursday, July 26, 2007

To Full Term

I have been reading the book "To Full Term" by Darci Klein and I have been in tears over her losses many times. I am roughly in the middle of it.
However I am also filled with extreme anger at what I read.
Look, I do not mean to sound offensive. I do not mean to play the game "my country is better than yours" or whatever.. but I DO come from a different culture with different practices and views... and what I read about Mrs. Klein's OB care is simply... horrendous!

I cannot believe women in the US are offered ONE U/S at 20 weeks. ONE!
In their whole pregnancy... only one.
I cannot believe the things she writes. I mean, apparently they are quite true... just not for Greece.

I wonder this: if she had paid a doctor to do ultrasounds, would they?
My friends from the US and the UK tell me you have to get some kind of referral or permission to be seen... This is just silly! Over here we just call and make an appointment. Yes we pay for it but its not much.

Sersiously I cannot wrap my mind around what this woman went through.
I had dozens of ultrasounds and after my 20th week when things got tough with John, I had one a week, sometimes two a week.
I was under CONSTANT care. I chose my doctors carefully. I paid them $10,000 in the end, yes (and insurance paid back $6000 in cash) but I have BOTH my boys here, nice and healthy and John only spend a short while in the NICU mostly because of his IUGR.
And she lost her twins... they refused to test her!
Over here after a 2nd loss you are tested. Period... for everything. Including thrombophillias.
Over here there is no guessing and arguing over research. You don't see a different doctor every time. You have ONE doctor. And he is not "on call" and if you are lucky you get him to deliver. You call, he comes. Night or day. Whoever was your doctor will deliver you. Period.

I read about what she says, and I know this to be true from other ladies in the US I know, and it makes my skin crawl. I love the US, I just can't wrap my brain around the health system.
And she writes with a certainty and finality that this is how it is... and it needs to change and it doesn't. And I feel like I have to mail her to let her know that its not like that everywhere. Babies are saved daily over here.

To give you an example: when I was 23 weeks along, it was August. My doctor had told me he was going away for a few days with his wife and son. I was stable (I was his most high risk case) and he left an able doctor familiar with my case behind.
I wake up one morning and I am in terrible pain. I freak out. My cervix is pinching I have BH contractions.
I call my doc on his cell, during his vacation. He finds the other doctors (my own is miles and miles away in Cyprus) and they are delivering.
So he gets me another doctor in another hospital and my SIL drives me there and he does an ultrasound to make sure I am ok.
I mean a whole operation was set just to make sure I was ok. And I was. Cody had pushed John against my intestines and he had lodged his elbow in my cervix...

I delivered a baby alive and mostly well... had I been in the US I would have lost him.
I wouldn't have had my ultrasounds to check on his dying placenta or my expert doctors who knew what to do...

Do you know that we have 4 IVF centers in Athens alone? And that women from all over Europe and Australia (and other parts of the world I imagine) come here to get IVF?
And the cost... I hear about waiting lists and huge costs... seriously its not that expensive over here.

I just wanted to get this off my chest. I feel so frustrated when I read about her losses and her idiot doctors. She says they weren't measuring her cervix. I was at no risk for IC and I got a measurement EVERY SIGNLE TIME for the duration.

So sad... really... so sad.