The Chronicles of UNC Health Care, Visit 1

OK. Let me start by sharing the trials I had trying to get my OB to transfer my records to UNC. I had to reschedule 3 times. The first time, Zach faxed my request from his work before the OB opened. We found out a couple of days later, they never got the request! The next time, my OB had indeed received the request (after I faxed it from the church in the middle of the day) but they only send out files once a week - not caring whether I had an appointment that day or not! Finally, I got my appointment - however, they had yet to get my files. My OB had sent them out, but they MAIL them (in this technological day & age...they send them by snail mail!) I had called UNC to reschedule once again because they didn't have my files and this sweet lady assured me that after talking with someone from my OB, they (UNC) *would* have my files that day!

So. I get the directions and off we (my mom, Keaton and I) head off to find UNC Women's Hospital/UNC-Midwives Practice. As we get closer, we can tell this is going to be QUITE an adventure. Just the parking garage is HUGE! There's 2 (my mom saw a 3rd) skywalk from the garage to the hospitals...Yes - hospitals - with an S! And for some dumb reason, I don't think ANY go straight to the Children's/Women's Hospital! (I need to re-check some directions)

We park, figure out which elevator to take to get us to the right sky walk to get us "close" to the hospital. (Am I stressing? You bet!)

We finally get to the Women's Hospital and there's an informational map - nowhere does it mention Midwives Practice. So, we go to the information desk. This nice, little foreign man who barely spoke a lick of English thinks that I'm there for an appointment for Keaton and directs me to the Children's Hospital waiting area...After he walked away, I spoke to someone else at the information desk! I call her 8-Beeper-Lady (as she had about 8 beepers attached to her shirt and looked very official) She looked at me like I had 4 heads and told me to hang on. While she's talking to another lady, the Red Shirts come (these two 12 year old looking girls in official "Information Desk" shirts...why red on UNC's campus???) and when I ask them about the midwives practice, they both look at me like I have 8 heads. I told them to forget it, that 8-Beeper-Lady was helping me. At that point, 8-Beeper-Lady starts yelling across the lobby "GO UP THE ESCALATOR...CLINIC B!!!" I look down at Keaton in his stroller. She continues to yell, "DO YOU HAVE A STROLLER?!" I nodded, "yes" and she yells again, "ELEVATORS ARE AROUND THE CORNER!"

Let me state here that I really needed to um...use the restroom. At my OB's office, I was asked to "give a sample" at each appointment so I was really trying to hold it for said (assumed) sample! But really, my eyes were watering I had to "go" so bad!

We get up the elevator and I see clinic B. It was VERY unlike my OB's office....very un-office like! It was a waiting area, with walk up desks labeled, "Clinic A" and "Clinic B" (and I soon found out, Clinic C). At Clinic B's desk, there was a list of doctors that were there that day and the midwife I was supposed to see was actually on that list (imagine my relief - knowing that I was in the right place!!!)

So as I'm waiting in line to check in and get my paperwork (which I had to arrive 15 minutes early to do!) I start looking for my insurance cards (they always ask for them at my OBs office, I assume I need them here) ...except I can't find my wallet. Not only am I stressing over not having the insurance cards to show this lady...I just drove 45 minutes without a license...where's my credit cards...all my personal info! So now, I'm about in tears. The lady asks for my name and my UNC HealthCare Card...My turn to stare at her like she has 4 heads. I explain it's my first time here and I don't have a card. She said, "Step around the corner to Clinic C and tell them you need your card." Um...sure...So I walk up to the counter at Clinic C and say, "I need my card." The lady asks for my name and she hands me a card with my name, my "Medical Records Number" and a pretty UNC emblem and asks me to step back over to clinic B.

I go back and the lady hands me a form with 8 really random questions on it (I honestly wouldn't be surprised if I have to fill this out every time!) ...meanwhile...I still have to pee.

I tell her that I can't find my insurance cards and she, looking at me like I have 4 heads, said, "Honey, there's a copy in your records...I don't need to see them." Ok, ...where's my license...my credit cards...???

So I go sit down and the nurse comes and calls my name (and all I can think of is, "Finally! I can pee!") She takes me back and takes my blood pressure. I explained that we were in the process of moving and that it would probably be higher than normal due to that. She smiles and says, according to my chart, it's the lowest it's been this entire pregnancy! I get on the scale (thinking I'd weigh 5 pounds less if I could just pee!)

She takes me down a hall and I see the sign "RESTROOM" and I could barely keep myself from running in! She hands my charts to some girl (Spunky, I'll call her) and she says, "Great, room 12." ....but, the bathroom!

So I go to room 12 and have a seat. Spunky comes in a few minutes later and starts asking m questions. I have since figured out that THIS is the paper work I was asked to come in 15 minutes early to complete. I was a little irritated because many of the questions (especially those concerning my first pregnancy could have been answered by taking 5 minutes to look at my chart!)

After that, the midwife (and an intern) come in and they're chit chatting...And Spunky leaves. The midwife starts to ask some questions (that once again, look at my chart, you'll know the answer!) and finally I say, "I'm sorry! I have to go to the bathroom! Do you need a sample?!! I need to go NOW!" They both bust out laughing and tell me no sample is needed and Intern directs me to the restroom.

I come back, VERY relieved (in more ways than one!) That's when Midwife asks me why I switched, especially so late in my pregnancy. I explain how I wasn't getting the support that I needed from my OB for a VBAC. Once again - the look ... I have 4 heads! She said, "You had a section with your first?!" I told her I did. She said, "Wow...We need to get the rest of your records here...." THEY ONLY FAXED MY CURRENT FILES!!!! I could not believe it! So I had to explain all the details leading up to my c-section with Keaton. (I was very glad I had gone to the bathroom as that took awhile!)

So Midwife proceeds to measure my belly (I measure right at 32 weeks) and heartbeat is 140 (for Benjamin!) and he is "definitely" head down...and "very much so" at that!

We talk for a few more minutes and then it's time to check out. I follow the little Tarheel stickers down the hall (proudly!) and schedule my next appointment. According to their "rules" I have to meet with an OB to go over the "risks" associated with a VBAC (I asked the midwife if I was allowed to go over with the dr. the risks of an un-necessary repeat c-section. She laughed super hard and begged me to!...I might!) :)

So, of course, this "extra" appointment caused great confusion for the sweet receptionist. I don't know if she knows WHY she scheduled me an appointment with an OB when I'm seeing the midwives, but she did :)

So now...to find the car. We manage to get back to the correct skywalk, get to the right level and even find the car! I had to let my mom drive back home since I had no idea where my wallet/license was.

After making only one wrong turn (out of the parking deck!) we made it home...and I found my wallet - in the floor board of the back seat ;-)

So, needless to say, I'm stressing over my next appointment in 2 weeks that I'll probably have to make by myself, but, that's OK. I need to get over it! I'm sure it will go fine, but, I'm still stressing :)

stay tuned for more adventures! :)

6 people have shared!:

Angela said...

Oh the joys of health care! You can't make this stuff up!!

ronandwhit said...

I'm a little sad I missed this great adventure :)! I wish I was there to go with you. DON"T STRESS!!! It will be fine. You've been there once, you can do it again! Miss you!

erin blakley said...

wow...that made me tired. and now I have to pee. thanks!

Sherry said...

I was searching for patient reviews of the UNC midwives practice and found your post.

I have to laugh because this is EXACTLY my story! The parking garage, the problems getting records, the having to pee and wondering when I'd get to, the confusion at the information desk and no one knowing the midwives practice! It is too funny that I experienced the exact same thing (I am currently 28 weeks and just now switching to Midwives from my current OB).

I talked about all of this with the midwife I met and they suggested going to their Timberline office (its new). Haven't been there yet but hopefully when I get there it will be much easier!

Z, T, K, B Jones said...

Oh Sherry! I'm so sorry you had the same experience!!! I wouldn't wish it upon my worst enemy!

It has since become so much easier. Since I switched to UNC so "late in the game" I wanted to continue to have my appts. there so I knew exactly how to get to the hospital (my husband has only driven there twice...I'm due this Saturday -8-16-08- So I need to know this drive by heart, lol)

I hope you like the midwives - I've LOVED them so far! And I'm SO looking forward to my upcoming birth and having one of them there! Good luck w/ the rest of your pregnancy!

theresa,jayda&dante said...

I just recently went to UNC and had the same experience. I was so glad to read your post and see that if you stick to your guns you will find midwives that care about the baby and you, not just the $$ that a c section will make. I have only done the 1st "new to nurse' visit, which was weird. No weight, no BP, no temp etc that they normally would do. I have had 2 c sections,1999 & 2001, and really want to do things totally diferent this time. All of your information has helped me so much. Thank you.