17 posts categorized "OB/GYN"

Progesterone Levels & Pregnancy

October 05, 2012

An urbanMamas recently emailed:

I have a question and wonder if any urbanMamas already know the answer. I have heard, anecdotally, that some doctors and midwives want to check a woman's progesterone levels as soon as she finds out she's pregnant so she can get on hormonal support if necessary. Other offices don't want to see her until 7-10 weeks in. I just found out I'm pregnant (yay!) after a previous early miscarriage, and I think I'd like to find a doctor/midwife who would be willing to see me now and get some bloodwork done to test hormone levels. I'm not sure how to find that person though! Does anyone know - who is willing to test progesterone early in pregnancy in Portland?

Periods: Are we afraid to talk about it?

September 30, 2011

I've been using homemade cloth pads for the past few years (ever since that experiment with cup-style products), and I've noticed that I have a very much heightened sense of when my period is arriving, and exactly how heavy my flow is every day of my period. Moderate differences are very obvious when your absorbency is all based on cotton, not those high-tech absorbers in today's tampons and pads. While it's often inconvenient, and always a little messy, I feel somehow better without having what is essentially a stopper in my lady parts.

I have one day that's very heavy, one day that's somewhat heavy, and a few days of trickle. That heavy day is bad enough that I think about my period all the time. I try not to do anything on these days; if I have to, I often use tampons or the Softcup (I picked up a few free samples at Blogher -- the company rebranded and relaunched the product emphasizing ability to swim, do sports and have sex with the cup in; it doesn't seem a very mom-focused marketing campaign) because I pretty much have to be close to home to use cloth pads. Luckily, I'm there a lot.

So when I was invited to sit in on a conference call about heavy periods, I thought it would be interesting to hear what the PR firm arranging the event was pitching. I wasn't sure: what is the definition of heavy period? (Going through more than one pad an hour is, I think, the definition; the woman on the call representing heavy period sufferers says hers was far worse.) The belief of the PR firm arranging these calls is that women are afraid to talk about their periods, and that they are even timid about bringing up such complaints to their doctors.

I had to wonder, is this true for you? I've talked about my period to several close friends over the years, and I also chat about it (very superficially) with the teenage cross country runners I coach. It also seems that, every month, one of my kids barges in the bathroom when I'm changing a pad or wiping blood; I have to have the talk again each time. (I now say, for the record: "every month mama's body gets ready to have a baby. If there is no baby, the stuff that would have helped the baby grow gets sent out.")

Continue reading "Periods: Are we afraid to talk about it?" »

Home births: On the rise, and safer?

August 02, 2011

I've desired a home birth from afar since I was pregnant with my second son, Truman. There was no way I was going to convince anyone of that after I suffered a partial placental abruption in week 23, especially as an attempted VBAC, and sure enough, I ended up with a cesarean, taking home births (at least in my husband's opinion) forever off the table. (Monroe, my third, was a VBAC in the hospital.)

flickr / eyeliam

Whether or not I have another baby and try to convince the interested parties in the sensibility of such a birth, I'm still head over heels in love. I've had several friends who birthed at home; my neighbor did, and so did a friend whose basement birthing room (next to the laundry machine) I ooh-ed and ahh-ed over, wishing. Home births are on the rise in the U.S., up 20% between 2004 and 2008, and not just because of the romance or (as I heard someone say on the radio) the "feminist machoism" -- there are a lot of us without insurance, and home births are just far cheaper. A midwife's services for a home birth are usually around $2,500 to $3,000 for the whole pregnancy and delivery; we all know that hospital births, without private insurance, can top $12,000 for a simple dilate-and-push procedure.

Today on Here & Now, I listened to a midwife whose statistics gave me a thrill. Detractors bring up the scary what-if scenarios, but according to these numbers, of 100 home births 88 were successfully accomplished at home, with 12 going to the hospital; and nine of these only requiring very minor medical intervention once they arrived, with only three of 100 being emergencies. This sounds extremely safe to me; I doubt the statistics of in-hospital births could compare to such a low intervention rate.

I know we have a lot of home birthers here in Portland; does anyone know if there have been statistics kept on such things here? If you've wanted a home birth, how did it go -- both the negotiations and the actual birth?

Recommendations for twin delivery?

March 31, 2009

Do you have some recommendations for obstetricians, birthing centers, or hospitals for a twin delivery?  An urbanMama emails:

I am 21 weeks and just found out we have having twins!  Originally we were working with excellent midwives at Andaluz Waterbirth Center when we thought we were only having one baby.  Now that there is two and more risk factors we are reconsidering our birthing options.  We are exploring options right now and would love any advice.  We still prefer to work with a doctor who would be supportive of a natural twin pregnancy or with as minimal intervention as possible.  Also, looking for doctors who have low ceasaren rates for twin births.  I think Providence and Legacy are in network for us so if anyone knows of good doctors at either place we would love to hear your input.

Feedback on Laurelhurst Women's Clinic?

March 19, 2009

We have had several requests from expecting mamas of late, so please continue to be generous with sharing your experiences of your health professionals and facilities.  An urbanMama emails:

I'm wondering if anyone has worked with or knows of Renee Beninger CNM at Laurelhurst Women's Clinic at Providence Medical Center.  I am pregnant with my first child, and I like how her practice works, but I can't find any information on her or the Laurelhurst Medical Clinic in the urbanMama comments. Unlike OHSU, PMCC, and Legacy where I'd rotate through the on-staff midwives and take whoever is on duty when I go into labor, she would work with me throughout my pregnancy and catch the baby. I like the idea of having an on-going relationship with my midwife and know that she will be there when I'm in labor, so this appeals to me.  Because of my insurance, though, I need to work with a CNM in a hospital. Any insights?

Providence's St. Vincents vs. Legacy's Good Sam

March 17, 2009

With one of us urbanMamas recently having another new babe (at Providence's St. V's) and with another one of us urbanMamas expecting again, deliveries are in the forefront of our minds.  We all know that first-hand experience can be oh-so helpful when making some choices, so an urbanMama is wondering if you have thoughts to share on Providence's St. Vincent's Hospital and/or Legacy's Good Samaritan.  Have you delivered there?  Have positive or negative feedback to share?

We've lived in Portland for just a couple of years now. When we first moved here, based on the wonderful reviews from others on this site, I chose Dr. Jenna Murray as my new OBGYN. I've only seen Dr. Murray for a couple of annuals so far but have been very happy with her. Now we are considering a second child and I am re-evaluating my OBGYN and affiliated hospital choice as we have since moved close to Providence St. Vincents and the offices of Women's Healthcare Associates. A friend gave me a glowing recommendation for one of the new docs there (Dr. Garvie-Loveland), and I know there are a few other highly recommended doctors in the practice. So, while I feel like I've gotten a good sense of the doctor issue, I'm now wondering about the hospital choice. Am I better off switching to St. Vincents and WHA due to the convenience factor or is there a good reason to stick with Dr. Murray and Legacy Good Sam? Any feedback anyone could offer on one hospital versus the other in terms of how nice the hospitals are, quality of care, rooms, etc.? FWIW, this second child would either be a VBAC or another c-section.

Comments on Legacy Meridian Park?

March 12, 2009

We all know how helpful it is to hear first-hand experiences.  An urbanMama recently emailed:

My family recently moved to Lake Oswego and the closest hospital is Legacy Meridian Park in Tualatin.  Have you given birth there?  I would love to know:

  1. how you liked the hospital and staff?

  2. if you had/have a doctor that you absolutely love - name?

  3. do they have a post delivery "mom's group"?

Portland Birthing Center Recommendations

March 01, 2008

Although we have had some recommendations of Midwives & Birthing Centers and for Natural Hospital Births, we can always use more.  Carly is looking for any of your experiences to share:

My husband and I will be moving to Portland soon and are expecting our first baby in July. I am hoping to get a recommendation for a good birthing center in the Portland area. I saw the thread about natural hospital births, but I am specifically hoping to find a non-hospital birth center. I found the Andaluz Waterbirth Center and Natural Childbirth and Family Clinic online, but not sure if they are good, or if there are others in the area that I haven't discovered yet.

Continue reading "Portland Birthing Center Recommendations" »

Please Share Birthing Experiences with Kaiser

January 19, 2008

To prepare herself for her experience and to learn more from others, Lisa is wondering if any mamas can share stories of their births through the Kaiser system:

We are planning at delivering at Sunnyside, where they do have midwives, and just finished a new birthing center (our hospital tour is early February), but we are not guaranteed the midwife we are seeing or the ob I've been meeting with the last few months.  Any moms out there who did deliver using Kaiser insurance and can provide some reassurance? This is our first and I want it to be a positive experience!

Support for an upcoming uterine biopsy

October 31, 2007

An urbanMama emailed us recently, seeking support and perspective from other mamas who may have gone through a uterine biopsy:

In a few weeks, I will have a Uterine Biopsy.  I am a pretty tense person by nature and my nerves tend to get the best of me. Going to the dentist for a routine check-up gets me worked up and feels invasive so you can imagine how comfortable I am with this procedure.

The reason I am writing is that I hope other UrbanMamas have some feedback about the procedure itself.  Has anyone had the experience of your cervix not opening easily or being lined up perfectly?  I have two children born vaginally so my understanding is that I should not have any of these unfortunate situations.  But, like I said, it looks like I’m going to freak myself out from now until the time of the procedure so I’m looking for some support. 

Obstetrician: Portland newbie needs recommendation

August 30, 2007

I'm always amazed at the chutzpah it must take to move while you're pregnant! Of course, if you're coming to Portland, it's for a good cause. Alecia is one such gutsy mama, and needs a recommendation for a good OB/GYN on the west side. You all gave us lots of raves and reviews of your fave obstetricians and gynecologists last winter; any new ideas or specific doctors in her neighborhood?

My husband and I are moving from Texas to Hillsboro, Oregon. I will be around 20 weeks when I arrive in November. We have researched Providence Saint Vincent and were wondering if you could recommend some OBGYNs. Obviously some who are reputable. We are also aware of the Women's Healthcare Associates right by this particular hospital. Any suggestions would be wonderful! We are very excited about this big move and want the best doctor for our first baby!

Seeking suggestions for natural hospital birth

April 12, 2007

I do believe we can relate with Erin's predicament, moving to Portland - pregnant!, myself included. So, does anyone have suggestions for Erin:

My husband and I are moving to Portland from San Francisco in 3 weeks and we're expecting our first child in August. I had my doula and birth center lined up down here but with the sudden move up north need to start from scratch while keeping up on my pre-natal appts. I'm interested in opinions on a few areas. I want a natural childbirth but we have to use a hospital because none of the birth centers in Portland are listed in "the network" and we have to use our insurance (United Healthcare) plus we don't know what our living situation will be like when it's time for the baby so a homebirth is out. I'd really like a hospital environment that (1) is comfortable & not so clinical, (2) has low intervention/c-section/episiotomy rates, (3) is open to alternative birthing methods (birth balls, birthing bars, tubs, etc), (4) has in-room birthing (no transfer to a different room after delivery), (5) ideally has midwives on-staff as primary care providers. Any idea on doulas that also have midwife training or midwives that are willing to attend a hospital birth as a doula? I really like the midwife model but am under the impression that midwives in hospitals aren't as attentive and have a slightly different philosophy than out-of-hospital midwives. Also, I'd love to have the benefits of midwife pre and post-natal care. Basically, I want the closest thing to a midwife/birth center experience I can get, only in a hospital.

Do you love your doctor?

November 13, 2006

It's that time of year for me...I need to schedule my annual exam...yippee! :) My new primary care physician suggested that I might want to schedule my annual with an OB/GYN since I do hope to be having another baby soon, and it might be a nice reason to meet him/her before I get pregnant with #2. She recommended two doctors at Women's Healthcare Associates near St. Vincent's, but after calling them today, one cannot see me until May (!) and the other until March...alrighty then. They can get me in to see someone else next week, but from the looks of his picture on the website, he might be just a little too young and cute for me! Seriously, he looks like one of the cycling/skiing/tennis guys that my uPapa hangs out with!

So, I have to ask the uMamas...Do you love your doctor? Why?  If it ends up that the cute guy delivers my next baby, that's fine, but as with most things in life, I find that a strong recommendation from a fellow mama goes a long way. The cute guy ended up delivering Anders when we lived in MA, and we loved him dearly, so I'm not in need of someone old or ugly or female, I just want to feel comfortable that we'll be in good hands. Our insurance is through CIGNA and they seem to work with lots of physicians in town...any recommendations?

Midewife & Birthing Center Recommendations?

July 03, 2006

uMamas - we have another request for your input, suggestions.  Please post them here!

It sounds like some of you have had homebirths and I was wondering if I could get some referrals for midwives.  I had 2 out-of-hospital births (1st at a Birth Center and 2nd at home – same midwife) in the SF Bay Area and don’t really know anyone in the birth community here.  I have a friend who is about 11 weeks pregnant with her 2nd; her 1st is already 5 ½.  She’s struggling with A LOT of vomiting and nausea, so I want to help her out by doing some homework on her behalf.  Her 1st birth was in a hospital, but she’s open to the idea of a homebirth.  She’s also concerned about their financial situation – she doesn’t have any insurance and is not sure that she will qualify for OHP.  Their income is low enough but they have money in the bank from her partner’s inheritance, which they were planning to sink into a new house.  Of course, the idea of buying a new house at the moment is a bit overwhelming.  Anyway…I’d love to hear about some midwives or Birth Centers that you’ve had experience with.  Please feel free to be as detailed as you like – why you liked her, anything you didn’t like, etc. (I love birth stories!)  And I’d really love to hear from anyone who had a hospital birth 1st and then chose to have a homebirth next.  I don’t feel totally qualified to speak about that since I’ve never actually been to a hospital birth.  If you have any advice or experience with the financial challenge, I’d love to hear about that as well.  I know my midwife worked out a trade agreement with us, so if you know anyone who is open to that, let me know.  Thanks for the opportunity to take advantage of this great community!

Good Sam ObGyn?

March 22, 2006

Why is it that when you really love a doctor, and all of the nurses with her clinic, your health plan changes and you have to find a new one? Such is my current dilemma. I'd love to stay with Good Sam in NW, but my favorite doc is no longer in our plan, and out-of-network costs are insane. If anyone has any experience with any of the following doctors, who are at Good Sam and within my family's new health plan, please share!
Laura Korman
Linda Moore
Karen Ogryzlo
Michelle Sang
Robin Barrett
Amy Bruner

Kaiser pediatricians & OB/gyns?

March 06, 2006

Thank you for all your tips on pediatricians and mommy yoga! Molly has a related question:

We have Kaiser; does anyone have a really great pediatrician or n.p. within the Kaiser system? Or, for that matter, a good Kaiser OB/gyn?

OB/GYN Recommendations - VBAC Specialty, NE

February 01, 2006

When I went through my first pregnancy, I loved Dr. Adams (Joe affectionately called her Patch in our off-line conversation), my OB/GYN.  I didn't realize how important it was to have a caring doctor that you could easily confide in and who wouldn't judge your decisions.  She was a good match.  With my second pregnancy, we had switched plans and doctors.  The experience was more impersonal.  But the fact that I had a normal pregnancy previously and encountered no issues during the second, it didn't seem to matter as much.  Whether you're new mama-to-be or new to town, it's good to get recommendations from other moms since real experiences matter!

Here's a question.  A reader is at the early stages of pregnancy and is looking for a good OB/GYN who is able to perform or advise on VBACs and is easy to talk to.  Gender does not matter.  Preference for location is in the NE.  Would you recommend your OB/GYN, or do you have any recommendations?