I finally had enough with TriCare Prime and receiving prenatal treatment at the hospital and switched to Standard to receive civilian care. I had a new appointment four days later with my new doctor. I had seen him before for regular lady stuff, and was delighted to learn he also did OB. I'm already feeling much more relaxed about it.
We moved my due date up a bit (I knew the one the hospital was using was a little off but come hell or high water they don't move dates, all based off of the initial ultrasound), he measured me, called in my anatomy scan, and told me when to come back. And I get to return that week, not the week after! We had a real conversation about food and rules. We talked a little bit about birth and my feelings on it, including my very real anxiety which stems from what I went through with Aaron the first year he was in recovery. The doc really respected that and let me know that within reason, I will be making the choices when it comes to birth. And as for birth, I will not be discussing that publicly because ohmygods the judgement! Sheesh.
I don't think Walter Reed provides bad prenatal care. In fact, I'd love to give birth there. I felt more empowered to speak up there than I do with my current doctor, mainly because I like him so much and the providers seem to change a lot at WR. But it's definitely Tri-Cow, and I am not a bovine on the way to slaughter. I am not just another pregnant dependent. No one is. I feel that a lot of times, I was simultaneously expected to not look things up for myself but also figure them out for myself. I was given a purple pregnancy journal and planner at the beginning and seemed to be expected to just refer to that. I was almost done with my first trimester before I started getting care, and I am thankful I didn't need any first-trimester-only interventions. I would have missed the window entirely.
But the care can be dismissive. They don't seem to pay a lot of attention to a mother's anxiety and just pish-posh any concerns. Someone told a friend to "not bother" with a birth plan! The final straw for me wasn't even prenatal, but ultrasound. A geneticist referred me for an echo-cardiogram and the hospital couldn't see me. I was not given any instructions on what to do next. I actually asked the appointment setter what she expected me to do, and she didn't have anything. I said, "I guess I should just hope I'm okay since I can't be treated!" She wished me luck. So, yeah- done.
The hospital I'll be delivering at is a bit of a drive from where we'll be living then, so I'll have to keep an eye on the weather. The only downside is that the hospital is the only one in the area with a few shared rooms so it can still charge you for the private. It's just enough money for you to think it's doable, but it's not cheap! I hope to get out of there quickly. With having constant care from Aaron and relatives, I think I'll be okay even if there's been surgery. A lot of my friends keep suggesting a longer hospital stay "to rest," but I swear I've lived in one enough to be done for the rest of my life. Hospital anxiety much? I will want to go back to my new apartment, spend time on my expensive mattress, eating delicious heat and bake casseroles, and enjoying my new baby. Or napping on the floor next to the dog. Either way. Better than a hospital. So cheers to choosing my medical care and loving my new doctor!