I had watched as she calmly said, “ I thank God that I’m pregnant now, and that it was with this clinic. But right now, our relationship has ended. I need to move on.”
My first reaction was, “Better stay! The devil you know is better than the angel you don’t” I felt like it was a big bad world out there (sorry doctors), with everyone trying to take advantage of her, that she should just “manage” this clinic, considering she got her BFP there. After all, a woman is not pregnant forever.
On second thought, I reckoned it didn’t matter. This was her pregnancy and she had the right to change at any moment if she wanted. There was no need to add the stress of having a clinic or doctor she wasn’t comfortable with attend, on top of the stress of being pregnant. There is only so much a pregnant woman can take, and a first timer for that matter.
I totally supported her decision to seek another doctor, whom she was more comfortable with, rather than cringe every time her doctor touched her bump (and there would be many of those) or, worse, needed to do a pelvic examination.
Nkechi did not just arrive at that decision. It was as a result of a combination of factors that were becoming too much for her now pregnant persona. One, and a major factor, was the waiting time at her fertility clinic. Geez!!! It was a total put off. Due to her work schedule, she preferred morning appointments to enable her get to work at noon. But guess what? Oftentimes, she was still at the clinic by the time she should be at work. Nothing she had said or done changed anything. She often wondered how her fellow visitors to the clinic, who had earlier resumption times, managed it.
Thanks to the understanding of her direct boss, who covered for her, Nkechi didn’t lose her job, as that would have been a terrible clog in the wheel of her baby dreams.
Another factor was the attitude of the doctors. It was irritating when she saw different doctors every time she went there, with each one taking time to familiarise themselves with her case, before they attended to her and heard any new complaints of hers. True, the synced their work, but it soon became clear that each one of the doctors had their own side hustle and had no qualms hustling patients of the clinic they were employed in.
So, each time she saw a new doctor, she got propositioned about how they could do the same procedure for her at another clinic, at a slightly cheaper rate. She had listened the first or so time and nicely told them to back off, that if she wanted to have the procedure elsewhere, then she would go seek another clinic by herself. That did not sit well with most of them, and it showed in their new business-like attitude whenever she stepped into their consulting rooms, no more jovial and unnecessary cheer, just the business of the day, which suited Nkechi well, as the less time she spent gisting with the doctors, the earlier she got to work.
But it also came with a side effect. She needed to be well armed knowledge-wise and with questions, because she feared that now that she wasn’t biting their bait, they might not do as much as they should. As she started her cycle properly, she asked to be assigned a doctor, at least someone she could call on any time. At the end of the cycle, everyone was surprised and pleased that it worked for Nkechi.
Even she was surprised that she got a positive pregnancy result, considering all the negative vibes she got from them, and how mechanical things had become in the latter days of her cycle.
That was the moment she made up her mind to end the relationship. Better to get going while the relationship was still sweet. Besides, their rates for antenatal services were cutthroat, at least for her, so after the nine week scan, which detected the heartbeat, and they gave her the go-ahead to move on to regular maternal care, she just moved on literally.
It was a few weeks later that we had that discussion. Nkechi went on to have a great pregnancy and a bouncing baby girl with a full head of hair, that made me go aah and ooh with wonder. And my sisters, THAT is what really counts; a smooth pregnancy, safe delivery and a healthy baby.
While, it’s true that we can form attachment to our doctors, because we don’t want the drama of finding another one we are comfortable with, or we just can be bothered. The reality is, there is no rule that says you cannot change your doctor after getting pregnant, or even at any time during your pregnancy. Once you have that “uh-oh!” feeling about the doctor, the office, the staff, or whatever, and you have a legitimate reason to switch, and then nothing should stop you. Go for it!
However, before you leave, examine your reasons for wanting to change doctors and try to resolve problems first before seeking a new one. Then, if you still need to switch, do it as early as possible in your pregnancy, to ensure your new doctor becomes familiar with you
and your case over the course of your pregnancy.
Never forget thought that this is your body, your baby and you deserve the best.
Join the conversation with any of our TTC and Pregnancy Groups here