Recap: Zani and Jake have a wonderful weekend, delighting in their little (big!) secret. Finally, it is time for Zani’s blood test, and Dr Cohen patiently answers their questions.
Jake even asks for a list of obstetricians and midwives in our area. When we get home, he suggests I call them before we make a final decision: “Why don’t you give them a buzz to see who you’ll feel more at ease with?”
“Yeah, a list! But have you looked at the list? Do you have any preferences?”
“Well, Zani, he must be experienced and not too handsome, but other than that the decision’s yours really. You need to feel safe and able to ask a million questions without hesitation.”
A million questions … These words send my mind racing. Wouldn’t it be nice to get into the head of an obstetrician or midwife? What sort of questions would I ask? I immediately grab Jake’s laptop and happen upon Childbirth International’s model for determining caregiver perspective. This is what I learn:
A good match between your own beliefs regarding the birth process and those of your caregiver is key to a satisfying birth experience.
Step 1: Think about what your beliefs are
Step 2: Find out what your caregiver’s beliefs are
Step 3: Gather information with these questions:
Now I know what my doctor (or caregiver) believes!
Step 4: Beliefs of woman do not match beliefs of doctor or caregiver. What next?
OPTION A: Woman compromises on her wishes, OR
OPTION B: Woman finds an alternative caregiver with similar beliefs to hers.
I can scarcely wait for Tuesday afternoon so I can call Dr Cohen’s rooms to get the results of the blood test.
“Hi, Zani, let me just check …” says the receptionist as she flips through my file.
“Aah, yes, here it is. The results were negative.”
“Sorry? What do you mean ‘negative’?”
“Negative. It means you’re not pregnant”.
“Not pregnant? But there must be a mistake. Are you sure you put the right sample in the right envelope? Are you sure you didn’t mix it up like you people always do? How reliable is the lab – do they follow procedures carefully?”
I can feel the steam rising and my blood begins to boil. Short of calling her incompetent and a few other choice names, I demand to speak to Dr Cohen. She is predictably sympathetic and tells me that I could do the test again to be sure, but that it’s very common for woman to fall pregnant without knowing it and just as common to lose a pregnancy in the early weeks.
I hang up the phone, and without a word to anyone grab my bag and race home. Could it just have been a mistake? A big mistake?