Is it too much to ask for some reassurance? — The Bump
Military Families

Is it too much to ask for some reassurance?

There are times when I love being a military spouse, sure it's a hard life to live but plenty of good things come to us too. But what I don't love and appreciate is the total lack of response and care from our OB/Perinatal clinic on base. 

I worked in OB/GYN 5 years ago and I know much has changed but most things have not. I find out I'm pregnant and call excitedly to schedule an appt, well after being asked multiple times if I was "sure" I was told that it was hospital policy to wait 40 days after my missed cycle. Okay I can deal with that and actually makes sense in my eyes. So 5 weeks later I go in today for my first OB appt where I was told I'd fill out paperwork, hear my lil blip's heartbeat and possibly have a sono.  I've been waiting weeks for this moment! It's my first pregnancy and all I want is reassurance that everything's okay with my blippy.

Well I went in all happy and left in tears because after an hour wait (typical) all I get to is fill out paperwork and have to schedule another appt in a couple weeks because the patient ahead of me took so much time that the staff had to play catch up.  Very upsetting for a first time mommy who is just asking for a small dose of reassurance.

Anyway that's my rant for the day and yes I'm complaining...just a little bit. ;)  I sincerely hope I caught them on a bad day and my visits from now on will be better.  

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Re: Is it too much to ask for some reassurance?

  • You have choices.  If you don't like the care you are getting (I would give them another chance since you are only 9 weeks and it could have just been an "off" day) you can always switch to Tricare Standard.  Both of my babies were born in a civilian hospital with a very attentive civi OB and I have ZERO regrets. 

    We have PCSed since my children were born but if I were to get pregnant again (I live in Norfolk) there is no way on this earth I would go to the cattle call at Portsmouth.  Standard is a wonderful and inexpensive option that gives you the ability to hand-pick your OB. 

    Married 6/28/03

    Kate ~ 7/3/09 *** Connor ~ 11/11/10

    4 miscarriages: 2007, 2009, 2013, 2014


    No more TTC for us. We are done, and at peace, as a family of 4.

    "Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but – I hope – into a better shape.” — Charles Dickens


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  • I would be upset too if I was told I was going to see my bean and didn't.  I'm really hard headed so I would have demanded that they continue on with my original appt. and not shove me to the side because someone else took longer.  If they have to stay later then oh well, that's what they get paid for.

    I would give it one more chance and if they pull a stunt like that again I'd switch to standard and pick your own doc.

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  • Thank you! I've heard many stories about this base hospital and know I understand everyone else's distress. I'll give them another go but if the same ridiculousness occurs then my blippy and I are out of there. I knew only other spouses would understand so thanks. :)
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  • I have Tricare Standard and am very happy. I have heard great thing about the Naval hospital here and I have heard terrible things...I'm not taking my chances so I go to the OB of my choice. :) GL and you do what's right for you and our LO :)
  • I recommend switching to Tricare standard and chose a civilian OB/GYN. That's so disappointing I would be angry too.
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  • You never know what went on in the appointment(s) ahead of you that put the provider behind. If there was something more complicated than the typical routine visit, a good doctor isn't going to just push the patient out the door to stay on schedule.

    Not that it will make you feel better, but I didn't have my first OB appointment until 11 weeks (we had a mass briefing a few weeks prior), so it's really not that out of the ordinary to wait that long. I feel for you though - I couldn't help but feel disappointed if I was told I would be seen one day, but then had to wait an additional two weeks.

    But like PPs have said, if you are still unhappy after your next visits you always have the option to switch to Tricare Standard.

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  • Not for much, but everything that happened to you could AND HAS happcivilians he civilian world.  

    The timing of your first visit is normal, the Standard of Care Practice is not until the 9-12 week mark. So that is a non issue.

    As for being bumped from your vivid, that totally sucks. But again this could very well happen anywhere, not just military hospitals.  Actually more so at a small practice, where there is only one or two U/S machines vs the mi,tiara clinic where there is access to mores.  To me, that means something BAD. Was happening to someone else...someone NEEDED to use that machines for more that routine care....

    I know that my civilian provider only had two docs, one NP and one ultra sound machine. I had two appoint,eats changed due to both OBs needing to handle their patients labors and/or emergencies.  The NP could only do so much.  

    So give it another chance before you dis-enroll.   

  • And I didn't go Standard becuase I didn't like the MTF, but that where we lived would have me drive past the civilian hospital and go another 10 miles on the very congested road (read 10 miles could take 40 min during rush hour). Given I was working (ish) at the time, it made sense to stay closer.
  • Gizmo, the people who work at the MTF's have families too. DH got home at 7-8 a lot of nights and that was even with rushing people through the clinic. Most MTF's are understaffed. I agree that you deserve an appropriate level of care but you really have to look at both sides.
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  • I find that on Standard at the civilian hospital things seemed to be more organized. I think because they have more resources: they can hire more staff as needed etc. unlike the MTF that you see a small number of people overworked. I always felt I had a great care and a voice to speak up and be heard when I had questions. It was the hands down best medical choice I ever made! 
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  • I totally get wanting reassurance. With my son, I was told that I wouldn't even get an appointment with the OB until 12 weeks. Um, not ok. First of all, I'd had 3 miscarriages before him, and second, what if it was ectopic?? I kind of made a stink and got in there at 8 weeks instead and thankfully everything was just fine.

    This time around I still haven't gotten my OB referral but I'm less concerned since I've been through this before. Plus it's still early. We PCSed since my son was born so I'm not sure how this base handles it vs our last one.

    I'm not wild about how the military handles this stuff. My SIL always tells me not to *** too much because we get virtually free healthcare but at my last OB, I felt like it was definitely subpar care.

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  • I would be upset as well. I actually applied to my referral office to get off base even though Womack was taking new patients. I just had to have a quick letter written stating why I wanted to move off base and it was approved. I was able to stay on tricare prime and I have not paid a penny for this pregnancy even though it has been complicated. I just do not care for Army Hospital care and I wanted to have a more personal experience where I could call and actually talk to someone or get quick appointments. I am really glad I did it!
  • I spent a few days (in between work meetings) calling local OB/GYN offices and asked a bunch of questions.

    When each OB/GYN will see you seems area specific. Where I am it's 8 weeks. Where I had my last OB she would have seen me much sooner since I'd been with her for over 10 years.

    The civilian offices you are at least allowed to call, ask questions, interview, look up medical education, tour hospitals to see which staff seems more competent to you.

    I imagine it's rare (knowing it's bound to happen) that you'll sit in a civilian office for a while before they ask you to leave. They may not always see you right away and the wait time could be 30-60 minutes because they don't rush but I have NEVER been or seen someone asked to reschedule. 

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  • That sounds similar to what happened with my 1st pregnancy at the MTF. I am so sorry that that happened to you :(.

    Just a quick note on something to consider before switching from Prime to Standard. While the choice is up to you and the level of care you think you will be receiving at the MTF, I am not sure about the cost for Standard. I know for a normal hospital birth it should be low to nothing, but not sure what is covered in the event of a pre-term baby. Just wanted to mention it, since for my second pregnancy, our LO was very unexpectedly 9 weeks early and on Prime, it wasn't an issue since we had no costs. I am not sure what the case would have been if we were Standard but the statements what the costs were were astronomical; just something to research before switching. I may be totally off base or maybe someone else knows more about it; just wanted to pass on our experience in case it would help. Good luck with your future appointments and your LO :)


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