My GP recommended shared care with Royal Hospital for Women, she said they have great services and would be able to handle complexities that may arise (referring to my existing Bipolar I condition, likelihood of pre and post natal depression, history of sexual abuse and my massive phobia of all things child birth related).
She gave me a brochure and i told her i would call them to get some more info before committing.
So I called. The lady at reception was nice but seemed to not know who to put me through to to answer basic questions about the service they provide. I ended up leaving a message on an answering machine.
I called again, got put through to another answering machine. This one got back to me, it was a nurse, and when we spoke, I started with my questions, and got cut off and told she wasn't the right person to be answering these questions and that she would put me through to the right person. I got put through to...wait for it... an answering machine.
I left a message on that answering machine and never heard back.
The following week, I told my GP, and said I was feeling overwhelmed as i knew they provided good services but my experience hadn't been positive so far and i couldn't seem to have a basic discussion with them about what they can do for me. We decided that she would fax them the referrals in any case as we needed to book SOMETHING in asap (i'm due in September, apparently peak season) and i could change the hospital or type of care at a later stage if i wished.
My GP gave me a number to call to book my first appointment.
I called the number, she asked me where I lived, I told her, and she told me I couldn't go there because I live too far away. I said well that's not what my GP said, and that my GP faxed them the referral. She finally found the referral and suddenly i was allowed to go there. We booked in an appointment in the 10-14 week appointment as my GP told me would happen. Then I asked about mental health support services there, asked about a support group that my GP mentioned to me, and any psych support, and she told me i would have to wait until my first appointment to discuss that and i would get referred by the midwife at my first appointment.
The thing is, i am so overwhelmed right now, I need the support now, but i feel like unless i push i just get the door slammed in my face before i hardly open my mouth.
So... I am going to take the time to check out what else is out there. I just find it hard because I am feeling so vulnerable right now and if I have to fight to get what i need, i hate to think of how it will be on D day. I could be over reacting here, maybe nurses are just being nurses, they have to be a certain way to get their job done and cope in their stressful environment. Maybe this is how all hospitals are. I have heard good things about RHFW but i am wary now.
I am going to look up other hospitals. I have private insurance and it's really important to me that i am guaranteed as much as possible a C section, even if i go into labor earlier than my booked C section day. I liked the idea of shared care at RHFW based on the extensive services they provide and that I would get to have heaps of my appointments with my GP who i feel comfortable with. But if i go private, i get to pick my own doctors and not get whoever is on shift that day.
Lots of thinking and research to do!