In the past few days, I have been absent from blogging due to being busy with several check-ups. These days left me, more than ever, wishing I could switch to midwifery care and have all my prenatal exams done efficiently, quickly and peacefully, by someone who knows me, cares for me and listens to what I have to say instead of treating me like an idiot.
Unfortunately, independent midwifery is out of reach, financially, for most Israelis. It will continue to be so while the government only funds hospitals where a patient is like a tiny cog in a huge machine.
When I was pregnant with my first child, I already saw how time-consuming it is to always be sent here and there to do this and that examination, not before being sent here and there to get the necessary documents, the vast amount of which often left us fumbling with the net of medical bureaucracy. However, now that I also have a child to take care of, I clearly see how our health system is, with no exaggeration, disruptive to the home life of anyone who doesn't live in close proximity to a hospital or a large health center where all necessary check-ups are available.
My doctor recommended twenty minutes of fetal monitoring three times a week. When I pointed out that in order to accomplish that, I must waste half a day on traveling by bus and back to the nearest city and wait in the blazing heat at the side road (usually with my child in my arms) for an hour or more, all of which is not exactly conductive to the well-being of a heavily pregnant woman, the answer I got was more or less "well, that's your problem."
Yesterday, a doctor told me that if I want to stop being bumped into the "high-risk" and "IUGR" categories, my gestational age must be counted differently. Oh really? What an amazing discovery. Isn't that what I have been saying all along?
I was told in a very patronizing tone that what I must do is lie about the date about my last menstrual period next time I'm asked. Technically this can be a solution, of course, but I somehow find it mind-boggling that I must lie about an actual fact in order to get the hysteria and threats of immediate hospitalization off my back. Why can't doctors simply face the fact that the date of last period does not always correspond with gestational age? After all, I had several ultrasounds done which confirm just that. Oh but wait, no one has an extra minute to waste on listening to your stupid ramblings. So just tweak the facts.
I wish I could give birth and have my post-natal recovery, if not at home, then in a place where my family could all stay together. I didn't mind being in the hospital last time so much, but now, I have a 19-month-old who is not really old enough yet to understand what is happening, and I find it a daunting prospect to have to disappear from her sight almost completely for at least several days.
Admittedly, my hospital of choice is in many ways the best option I could have, and I'm grateful for that. I just can't help but wish that overall, in all the current system, there was a bit less poking and prodding and treating pregnancy like an emergency, and a bit more humility and facing the fact that doctors don't and can't possibly know everything; that unexpected twists and turns do happen, and it is no solution to have a healthy woman become practically a resident of clinics and hospitals for months.
We are all in God's hands, including unborn babes and their mothers, and this knowledge gives me peace.