I've been MIA again this past week, though I do have a great excuse... Riley brought home a horrible head cold that hit our house like a ton of bricks. She got the hacking cough and runny nose, while I got the cough and lost my voice. We've been battling this for almost a week, though it hit it's peak over the weekend and kept us house-bound the entire day Saturday and half of Sunday. I won't complain too much, as it was relaxing just laying on the couch and watching movie after movie. The only bummer is that I can't take anything for my cold!
Speaking of pregnancy, let me tell you a little bit about what it's like to be pregnant here in India. How can I put this delicately? Um... it's not fun. Let me rephrase that. If you've never been pregnant in the United States or in any other country that practices 1st world medicine, than you may not be as disappointed as I am. However, I had two very positive, clean, above-par experiences both in New Jersey with Riley and in Muscat, Oman with Sheridan, and here I cringe every time I have to go to the doctor.
The Consulate recommended an OB/GYN who does have experience training in the United States, but after my very first appointment it was obvious that she has little experience with high risk ladies. What do I mean by high risk? Thyroid issues, several miscarriages, several surgeries/procedures, complications from one of the surgeries that affected fertility, vein issues, advanced maternal age (yup that's what they call me) and a bevy of medications to maintain the pregnancy, all of which are documented with the never-ending amount of blood work that I've had done over the past year, along with the protocol from the OB/GYN I saw this past summer.
On my first visit to see her, I presented her with copies of everything, and explained my previous two years drama. Before even examining me she told me that I should stop taking all of my medication, and that everything is "fine." Really? She hadn't even done as much as take my blood pressure, and she know that I'm fine? With an entire waiting room outside filled with ladies who are concerned that they need to eat saffron to ensure that their babies are light skinned, she's now a clairvoyant who can look at me and tell I'm just "fine." With a population of over 1 billion people, an abundance of freaky disabilities, a high infant mortality rate, malnutrition, and her entire idea of prenatal care is to tell me "relax" and I'm "fine." Clearly we're not starting out on the right foot.
In my 8 or so appointments I've had with her or her staff members, they have yet to follow any of the ACOG (American College of OB/GYN's). No blood work has been done, none of the obligatory blood pressure or urine tests, no baseline exams. While the waiting room is relatively clean, you don't even want me to begin explaining what the bathrooms are like - or how I had to roll up my pants today when I had to go. Or better yet, how they use one plastic sheet on the table for everyone in the ultrasound room. They don't change them - or even flip them over! Or the smells... and how there's no air conditioning... and the pregnant nose is an overly sensitive nose. I'm always on the verge of gagging on the odors. On my last visit I got so upset that I had several choice words for her, the incompetence, the way she runs her practice, and then stormed out of the office... though not before noticing this sign and snapping a photo (thankfully I had my camera with me). It was all too fitting for that moment.
In a city of over 7 million people, I'm sure there has to be at least one other doctor who I can trust. We'll see... In the meantime, it's a good thing that we didn't want to find out the sex of the baby. Obviously they wouldn't even tell me if we wanted to know!