Post # 1
I want to tell you what happened at my gyno appt that happened about a week ago. Let me start with a quick background. I’m 36 right now. My Fiance is younger than me. We are getting married in 2012 (April) but may make it earlier since we have not commited on a date yet. We both do not have any children. Do we want children? We may want one, but we are in no way, shape or form ready to start. 1). We want to spend more time with each other, we are not living with each other, we need to look for a place this year 2). Fiance started a new career in 2010, I’m trying to get out of my industry because it’s just gone BAD 3). We are not financially ready. 4). We are just not ready!
My OB/GYN is great… or so I thought. I started seeing her in 2003/04. She had helped with so many health issues not related to her speciality. She was always calm & willing to listen. She also was probably at the start of her career. Since I had some other health problems/surgeries, I had not seen her since 2006. I FINALLY went and had my annual exam and to my surprise, the appointment went very different than I anticpated. After filling out an intense 4 pages, sitting with the nurse for 20 mins while she asked me all the same questions again that I had already filled out along with some really time wasters (do you wear your seat belt?)… I finally saw the doctor. I wanted to ask her to go over with me some possible pregnancy questions for the future because I was just engaged. Before I even got a chance, the nurse already told her I was engaged (from the 100 questions I was asked) and she came in and said “Well you need to have a baby now”. “You don’t have much time”. “How about when you’re 37”. (I’m getting really uncomfortable at this point, but still said that we are not ready, Fiance had a career change, I’m in a bad occupation, we are not living together yet, and we’re not married yet!! Not that there is anything wrong with having a baby prior to marriage, we just want to be married first). I told her that I wasn’t comfortable with it until a few years which puts me at getting pregnant at 39/40 if we decide to. She was not happy with it at all. REALLY?!?!? I understand conceiving is harder at that age and I understand pregnancy would be more difficult. But I can’t help the way that I feel. I felt like my excitement for our engagement/wedding/future had be momentarliy taken away from me and I began to feel sad/depressed and really didn’t go into it with the Fiance. I considered switching doctors… it was like she was completely different and was in and out of the room very quickly. I can wait a year and see her again… but right now, I’m just feeling down. Bees, have you ever had a difficult situation like this?
(Btw, I’m completely healthy now and more than capable to have a baby. My health history does not change anything).
Post # 3
The questions they asked you are standard – i’ve been asked the seatbelt question by them a million times. Especially since they had not seen you in over 4 years, they are totally just trying to make sure your file is complete and up to date.
While I think the way she told you not to wait was less than stellar, she’s absolutely correct in what she said. Your risks for complications and birth defects go through the roof in those 5 years between 35-40. It may not be what you want to hear, and it obviously doesn’t mean you will have those problems, but it’s a harsh reality. It’s a bummer that your personal circumstances didn’t align with your less risky time frame for child bearing. Just educate yourself on the trade-offs and sit tight. I honestly don’t think you’re going to find a doctor who will tell you otherwise, but you may find a doctor that has a softer way of delivering the news.
Post # 4
i haven’t had this issue, but it’s wrong for the doctor to make you feel that way. plenty of women have babies at age 40! i think she should have said something like, “the older you get, the more risk you have, but anything is possible”. obviously you should be “aware” of things, but she shouldn’t make you feel like you HAVE to have a baby now, especially if you’re not ready!
Post # 5
- Wedding: March 2010 - Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay
who tells someone to have a baby? that’s just weird. i understand and support that she wanted to make you aware of increasing complications with age, but she was really bad in her delivery. she was *assuming* that you wanted a baby, which i find very judgmental.
Post # 6
@crayfish: I’m not waiting to hear that there are no risks, I definately am very well aware of all my risks. I’m just never been approached like that. I felt like I never got a word in and it was just a number game of 37 vs 39 and she was out of the room. That’s not how any doctors appointment should go, IMO.
@meggyo: I agree, it was wrong. I shouldn’t leave in tears. I understand that I am “older”. However, take 10mins and sit me in your office so we can talk especially when I’m not even clothed, in a gown, and you’re preforming an exam on me. Not really at all how I expected it. I felt like they took sooo long to go through all these questions with me and I never got my an opportunity. In the past, my doctor would always come in prior to my changing into a gown, so we could talk.
Post # 7
@misspug: Thank you! I’m seriously in tears right now that you know where I’m coming from. I felt like it was a crazy whirlwind of an appointment and odd. I never said “We want a baby!”. She didn’t even know how old I was, she’s like “Have it at 37”. I was like “That’s 6 months away”. I didn’t even get a chance to tell her that we would also consider adopting because the Fiance and I are open that that as well. But right now, we are not ready for a baby and don’t know if we will be for sure. We have so many other things ahead of us right now. Oh my, I just don’t know what to say. I KNEW my appointment would consist of going over risks, ect. But I never ever thought this would be how it would go.
Post # 8
I’m so sorry about your experience. What a jerk! Can you get a recommendation from a friend possibly? Maybe there is a much better doctor nearby? I definitely wouldn’t see her again!
Post # 9
I had my gyno, when i was 20, tell me that if i didn’t have a baby in the next couple of years, i’d have a LOT of trouble having one. I was 20, still in college, not even engaged, and my now-husband was in Iraq. He basically shrugged and said, “i’m just telling you like i see it”. I saw a new doctor shortly after and she told me that old man was ludicrous and not to worry at all. She didn’t approach it very tactfully.
But i have always had my conversations with my gynecologists during my exam, in my robe. If you want to have a discussion with her, fully clothed, in her office, you need to probably make a separate appointment. I had to do that once, and the doctor was more than willing to meet with my husband and I at the end of his day. Their time is precious and if you schedule for a yearly exam, you probably only got a 15 minute time slot with her. When i make my appointments, i always mention if there are additional things i want to talk about–this way i get more time if it’s more than just an exam. If you don’t like the way she runs her office, i highly suggest getting a new doctor. I had to go through a few before i found one i really like that meshes with me best.
Post # 10
A month ago my new gyno (who I’m not planning on seeing again) said that I either could take the pill he was prescribing or get a hysterectomy pronto, and added sarcastically “don’t you want babies in the future?” When I asked him about what sort of diet I should go on, specifically low carb, he replied with “No duh, you need to diet. It’s like asking me if getting a personal trainer would be beneficial to you. *laugh* You need to work hard at losing weight.” Then I asked him how many grams of carbs I should eat in a day, and he said he didn’t know! I’ve left messages with my GP requesting a referral to another gyno or a Reproductive Endocrinologist. You should look into seeing a different doctor.
Post # 11
While nothing excuses a doctor for having no bedside manner, the hard truth is a lot of them don’t. Personally, if I were in your shoes, I would do some research and ask around and find a doctor that specializes in late in life pregnancies. You’ll find that they are going to be a little more compassionate than what you have experienced.
Post # 12
@Jenn23: I am asking my close girlfriends of recommendations, thanks! 🙂
@ejs4y8: I told my friend what happened and she is 38, and she said her doctor was never like that (she’s never had a baby as well). I would be fine with asking for a seperate appointment, but honestly I’ve seen her 3+ times and this is the first time it ever went like that. Btw, her and the nurse was talking so loud, I could barely get a word in. The nurse said “You need a tetnus, it’s been awhile”. I was like “Okay?”. I said, “Is that something I need to do today??”. She’s like YES, you have insurance!!!! And then my doctor talked about potentionally switching my thyroid hormone medicine around… I was like, it’s perfect!!! My endo and I worked 2 years to get it where it needs to be!! Don’t touch it!! Actually I saw my Endocrinolgist in October and she congratulated me on the engagement and asked me nicely if we were thinking of having a baby and I said we weren’t sure yet and she said so tactfully “Just let me know if you do, we will adjust your meds right away”. Dear doctors, bedside manners + educating the patient = going a long way.
I’m so sorry to hear of your experience, I’m so happy to hear to hear that you switched.
Post # 13
Please, don’t take this the wrong way, but she was telling you the truth. Yes, she has NO bedside manner and the reason I switched from my last gyno was because she was rude as well. But, I think it’s common knowledge that when you get in your late 30s or 40s, it’s pretty hard to even have a baby. It’s a personal choice when or when not to have a baby, but if your career and other circumstances in your life are preventing you at this stage to have a baby, would you have liked her to sugarcoat it or lie to you by telling you that having a baby at 40 is guaranteed and there will be no complications? I would have rather heard the truth, but that’s me. I would def. suggest you find another doctor because if she’s like this now, I can’t imagine her being more sensitive when you are actually pregnant.
Post # 14
@FinallyMarried82: I think I’ve put in this post a couple times that I was well aware of all risks. I never asked for anything sugarcoated. I never asked her to lie and would never want that. I’m well aware… I’m well aware!!! 🙂 But I would never tell a patient to have a baby NOW, without even finding out if they really want one or if they are considering adopting or really what my take on it was. She’s also a GYN. Not everyone has the same views on having a baby. I’m not 100% sure of it. I would much rather wait till we are 100% sure and if it doesn’t happen for us, we’ll look at adoption. I never even got a chance to get that out of my mouth. And I considered the same thing, I have lost interest in having her as my doctor if I ever did have a baby.
Post # 15
@Mrs.Firefly1: i would totally switch doctors! You doesn’t have to say “you need to do it now” instead she could say the risks and complications get exponentially worse so the sooner the better. Huge difference.
My last OB told me that I shouldn’t get the breast cancer genetic test unless I willing to have a preventative double mastectomy. Umm no. I should get the test because my mom and aunt have the gene and then figure out what to do next. I have read tons on the issue and prophylactic surgery is not necessarily the best idea (although it is definitely one option).
I want my doctor to be honest yes, but also open-minded and sensitive at the same time.
Post # 16
i’m sorry to hear about your bad experience. = the information she gave you was definitely very important to hear because the closer you approach the age of 40, the higher the probability of having a child with birth defects is. Chromosomal birth defect (e.g. down syndrome) probabilties at the age of 40, are approximately 1 in 100 and at 45, 1 in 30 — at least that is what I learned in graduate school. The statistics might have changed since then. Non-chromosomal birth defects also increase. This should definitely NOT be a reason to not conceive though! It’s important to know the risks, but it is also important to make choices that are best aligned with your and FI’s future.
Case in point – someone very close to me has 3 children. Two she adopted because she was told she could never conceive. One of these children has autism, a chromosomal birth defect that stunts his growth, and is mentally retarded. Then after the age of 40, she conceived a child and he is completely happy, healthy, and a brilliant child! She loves her children all exactly the same.
The point is, even if you do conceive a child at an older age and the probability doesn’t land in ‘your favor,’ I would guarantee you would still love your child just as much as you would if your child was without any birth defects. Your child would come from you and your Fiance and the love you would have would supersede anything diagnostically wrong with your new addition.
I hope that helps. In the meantime, perhaps consider switching doctors to find one more accommodating to your emotional needs. It’s important to have a doctor that is well-versed and educated, but bed-side manner (in my opinion) is worth just as much.