What? An American OB/GYN?!

I think I have given ample impression thus far that the local Navy clinic is, uh, let’s go with “dinky.” The “doctor” I’ve been seeing, CDR B, is actually a general-practice nurse practitioner. There are two options for specialty medical care for us military and dependents here: local Japanese specialist partnerships (where I’ve been getting my ultrasounds done), or the periodic cycling-through of visiting American specialists from the Navy hospital at the big base in Japan, which is about 1200 km away. (Admit it, Japan is bigger than you thought.)

Ironical side note. There is a medical doctor stationed aboard all Navy ships the size of Hubs’s, and his ship’s current Doc happens to be an OB. But he only sees ship’s company (whether for OB issues, or on-the-job trauma, or dysentery/venereal disease contracted during port visits, or whatnot), and meanwhile they can’t keep an OB at the clinic itself. Logistics… sigh…

Anyhow, the roaming Navy OB/GYN is here this week, so the clinic called to tell me to come in and see him. Dr. S, a young, awkward, slightly twitchy guy.. Nice enough though. Nothing happened at this morning’s appointment, as expected. I don’t think either one of us was quite sure what I was doing there. He asked repeatedly what questions I had for him, and eventually said, since I’m not planning to go up to the Navy hospital for delivery, that today was more or less just a counseling session. He had my record and we went over my history, and he launched into a long discourse on preterm labor, and about how we could consider cerclages or progesterone injections if I was worried about preterm labor this time — but it sounded like the membrane rupture in pregnancy #1 wasn’t a result of preterm labor, actually. So, um, thanks Doc? Thank you for casting that cloud of doubt across my existing tendency toward worrying. But no, I’m not electing to do either one unnecessarily, and nobody has suggested any necessity. Nor even mentioned either procedure to me before today (though of course I have seen them in books and blogs). I think Dr. S eventually realized he might be getting carried away and that no, I hadn’t been worried about these things until he brought them up, and that conversation abruptly stopped with a parting ‘Mostly let’s just see about keeping that blood pressure down and make sure you get your Rhogam shot and just be aware of signs of preterm labor.’

(I appreciate the Japanese doctors, for the total lack of panic. Almost to a fault, in that I’m not completely certain they would even tell me if there were a problem…)

After that the discussion kept skirting around all the ways the base clinic is lacking. He asked why I was on Aldomet now for my blood pressure when I’d taken Labetalol last time, since the latter is newer (newer = better, duh) and one tends to get similar results with lower dosages. Apparently I was the first person to tell him that the clinic pharmacy here only offers the one option. Also, some of the lab tests that I thought had been done were missing from my file. He went to double-check with the records office, and found the chlamydia/gonorrhea test but not the HIV test, so I get to be pricked yet again. Plus the quad screening results are not back yet, two weeks later, because the sample has to go all the way to California and back.

I will say this: I can definitely see why newborn triplets were cause to get our first set of orders here cancelled.

I had heard a rumor that the clinic is in possession of an ultrasound machine, and yep, confirmed that. An itty-bitty-screen, mobile type ultrasound machine, but they do have one. Dr. S wheeled it out to check the heartbeat, declared I have a posterior placenta (which he said is a good thing), and tried for a couple of minutes to get a glimpse of the girl/boy parts. That was kind of him, but then he didn’t want to conjecture from the four-inch screen. At one point he almost guessed: “I would probably say…… hmmmm…. I can’t tell.” Oh well. A couple more weeks for that, hopefully.

I remain grateful that doctor’s appointments, like everything else, are still so dull. Also, that I’m at 18w1d and not leaking amniotic fluid. That makes me happy.

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