Showing posts with label Doctors and Hospitals.
Showing posts with label Doctors and Hospitals.

Friday, February 10, 2012

A Tour of the Birthing Center at Good Samaritan Hospital (Suffern, NY)

offers maternity floor tours on the first Sunday of every month, so my husband and I took the opportunity last weekend to check out where we'll be having our next little munchkin in 12ish weeks. It was really nice to get acquainted with the place on the one-hour tour and to be able to ask a Good Sam nurse all our questions. And seeing all the sweet little babies in the nursery brought a tear to my eye--I can't wait until Spring!

The Waiting Area

The USB Family Birthing Center is on the 5th floor of the hospital. Entering the reception/waiting area from the elevators, you feel like perhaps you're walking into a hotel lobby. The room is dominated by a large dark-wood desk in the middle, which is surrounded by various comfy seating areas for waiting families. Behind the desk are couches and a bookshelf and a child-sized table and chairs to occupy the little ones. To the right and left of the elevator bank are bathrooms and also cute alcove-type waiting areas with TVs that offer a more private place for families.

Aside from looking really nice, the waiting room seems like it will be a safe and easy place for, if necessary, grandpa/whoever to keep Andrew occupied when I'm in labor. This has been one of my major concerns being pregnant with our second, so I was relieved when I walked into the waiting room.

The Labor and Delivery Rooms

I was impressed by the delivery rooms mainly because they are big! When I gave birth to Andrew at LIJ in New Hyde Park, there was barely enough room for one guest chair in addition to the hospital bed. Good Sam's rooms are spacious and have showers for a laboring mother's comfort. We were told that some rooms and some showers are even bigger than others, so be sure to ask for one of the bigger showers if you plan to go without an epidural. Some rooms even have beautiful views of the mountains outside your window (I think my view out of the LIJ windows was of a construction site!)

After you give birth, you'll probably remain in the L&D room for another hour or two, so its really nice to have such a large and comfortable space in which waiting family members can visit, if you so choose. The nurse leading the hospital tour told us that there are no set visiting hours when it comes to the L&D side of the maternity floor--but be aware that only two people can stay with you in the room when you are laboring.

The Postpartum Rooms

A great thing about Good Sam's birthing center is that you will most likely have a private recovery room--unless the hospital is incredibly busy that day. The postpartum rooms aren't huge or gorgeously appointed, but they seem comfortable. They have a hospital bed, shelves/storage for your clothes, a TV, a sleeper chair for dad/partner, a private bathroom and shower with a shower seat (awesome) and enough room for baby to room in, visitors to sit around, and a toddler to entertain himself without running amok through the hospital floor.

Overall, I felt really good after the tour. I feel like baby and I will be in good hands and Andrew won't feel scared or destroy the place when he comes to visit. Also, the nurse expressed that the hospital is very pro-breastfeeding, which is nice. They won't even give your little one formula without you signing off on it--unless, of course, there is a medical reason that necessitates it. They also have great security measures like most maternity wards, which means baby will be wearing plenty of ID bands and an electronic bracelet that prevents anybody from abducting him/her.

Another awesome thing--the parking lot at Good Sam rocks! You can valet park or just self park for free just a short walk away from the hospital entrance. This is nothing like having to pay for parking in a 3+ level parking garage halfway across the universe from the entrance at LIJ!

So, we'll see what I think about the hospital once I actually deliver there! I'll be sure to post a birth story and "notes from the inside" come April or May. Until then, take a tour if you're expecting to deliver at Good Sam and let me know what you think! Just go to the fifth floor birthing center at 10:50am the first Sunday of the month for a tour--no registration necessary.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Doctor Review: Ramapo Valley OB/GYN (Pomona, NY)

Shame on me! Did I never post a review of ? You may know by now how fickle (er... picky) I am when choosing doctors, so I'm astounded I haven't chronicled my Rockland OB search for you the way I did when I was in Queens!

Well--surprise surprise--I did have my reservations about Ramapo Valley OB/GYN when I first started seeing them back in August. I had my 8-week prenatal appointment with the practice's only male doctor, , and he rubbed me the wrong way (Figuratively. Eewwww.) He made some off-putting small talk about my age and loudly reprimanded Andrew for touching the door handle (I'm not a fan of strangers shouting at my son for stupid reasons.) He also didn't ask me my medical history at that appointment and later barked angrily at me when I called the emergency line during a weekend with bad stomach pain, which, busy doctor or not, made me think less of him.

Needless to say, I made sure that all of my appointments after the first were made with the other doctors at the practice, , , and --and am I glad for that! I've seen each one of these women for appointments since August and they are really just superb. They are sweet and thorough and have not made any discouraging comments about my steadily-creeping-up weight (hurrah!) I was actually really touched when, at my last appointment, Dr. Flapan genuinely smiled when she located my little one's heartbeat with the doppler monitor--you can just tell she really enjoys her job. (Check out their linked names above for their bios on the practice's website.)

Also awesome: They deliver at Good Samaritan hospital, which is my preference. The office staff is nice and I've waited 10-15 minutes for all but maybe two of my appointments. An ultrasound tech comes right to the office so you can combine ultrasound and standard appointments. And there is also a Quest diagnostics located just across the parking lot for any test you need done.

The negatives: Sometimes there is very little parking to be found (its a hopping little medical plaza!) and I find their office hours impossible to remember. Also, they made me do some take-36棋牌 blood kit where I had to prick own my finger--not cool! With my first pregnancy, I had this test done by a technician at Quest but Ramapo OB/GYN insisted on the take-36棋牌. Maybe its standard to do a take-36棋牌 test now, but my fingers were not happy with my hack job!

So, overall I'm pleased for now with Ramapo OB/GYN and PRAYING that Dr. Batista, Flapan or Panoff will be on-call to deliver the baby this Spring! Here's the practice info if you're interested in giving them a go yourself. Good luck ladies!

Ramapo Valley OB/GYN
974 Route 45, Suite 100 (first floor; door is on the left)
Pomona, NY 10970
T: 845-354-1113
Hours: Mon 9-4 Tues 1-8 Wed 10-6 Thu closed Fri 9-4

They also have a Monroe office:
Suite 17 Shoprite Plaza
Monroe, NY 10950
T: 845-782-9449
Hours: Mon 9-4 Tues 1-8 Wed 10-4 Thu closed Fri 9-4

Friday, August 5, 2011

Dr. William Greenberg at Pomona Pediatrics (Pomona, NY)

Andrew had his 18-month check-up last week and we were finally able to check out  after going to Clarkstown Pediatrics a couple months earlier. We had a relatively nice experience there, and I'm pretty sure it is indeed the practice we will stay with... I'm really just still mourning the fact the we can no longer go to the amazing Dr. Paul in Queens!

That said, the office staff at Pomona Pediatrics was very friendly and we were acknowledged as soon as we entered. Our nurse was super nice and made accommodations for squirmy Andrew (he was allowed to sit on the scale rather than stand and she marked his height on a piece of paper rather than making him lay down on the table.)  And Andrew really like Dr. Greenberg (complete bio ).

While a little bit stern seeming at first, Dr. Greenberg actually joked a lot with Andrew and put him at ease. I was particularly amused when he "listened" to Andrew's Mickey Mouse doll with his stethoscope and said "I hope you have good insurance for this one!"

Dr. Greenberg also took the time to answer my questions and go over baby safety tips with me, and he reassured me that, come time to give Andrew more vaccinations, I would be able to hold him in my arms rather than go through the trauma that was trying to restrain him at Clarkstown Peds. He also mentioned that, while they do take temperatures rectally for kids Andrew's age, they were looking into getting a head-scan thermometer that would be less invasive (please get on that soon, people!)

The few negatives that I saw were that the nurse did not take Andrew's temperature and that the waiting area is in dire need of new seating (the seats are ripping apart). Also, there are a bunch of very large, somewhat-cobweb-y stuffed animals hanging from the ceiling. But, while I found them a bit creepy, Andrew was beside himself with happiness looking at the huge Dora, Minnie Mouse, Elmo, etc. hanging above him (I guess the office staff knows best... but please get up there with a duster!)

Also, upon leaving, we were not ask to schedule to next appointment and I just find it frustrating that both Clarkstown and Pomona Peds dropped the ball on this. Regardless, we'll be returning to Dr. Greenberg for our next appointment when Andrew turns two in January. I'll be sure to keep you posted with a follow up review!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Dr. Brian Quinn and Clarkstown Pediatrics in Stony Point

Warning--this is long!

First, let me say that I sincerely miss Dr. Paul in Glendale, NY (reviewed HERE). Dr. Paul is the sweetest, most knowledgeable pediatrician that we have ever come across. He once saved the life of a choking newborn in his waiting room by sucking the mucus from his mouth and nose with his own mouth! You don't find doctor's like him every day.

And the nurses at his office were so amazing--particularly Yissenia and Chris in Glendale. Andrew loved them and he loved Dr. Paul--and so did my husband and I! I don't think we're ever going to get over not have him as our pediatrician anymore!

That said, we tried out the Stony Point office of  yesterday and my unease with them made me miss Dr. Paul so much more. From the moment I called up Clarkstown Peds' appointment line and it took 20 rings for an automated message to answer, I became a bit wary. After deciphering what button I needed to press for appointments, I was passed over to the billing department to have my insurance verified. Nobody picked up in billing, so I left a message and received a callback and verification a half-hour later (not bad at all.) Finally, I was passed back to the appointments desk where I was set up with an appointment with Dr. Brian Quinn in Stony Point for the very next morning.

We arrived early for our appointment so that I could fill out the required paperwork, but when I walked into the office, the receptionist did not even look up to acknowledge me because she was on the phone. After 15 minutes of waiting and Andrew playing with the decent-enough toys in the waiting room, I walked up to the desk again to see if maybe I needed to sign in. After finding no sign-in form and not getting a word from the receptionist, I just grabbed a clipboard that had some forms on it and started filling it in. Finally, after maybe another 10 minutes, the receptionist hung up the phone and gave me some forms to fill out.

We were ushered into the examination room by a sweet nurse named Patty. She weighed and measured Andrew (I think she measured him wrongly, though, because they have a free-standing ruler rather than one connected to the table and she recorded him shorter than he was a month ago). Then she informed me that they take all temperatures rectally up until the age of 3!! What? They can't use the ear thermometer like most other doctors? Andrew is super strong now--I wanna see her try to get a rectal thermometer into Andrew's behind when he's kicking you in the face at 2 1/2. So strange.

Dr. Quinn came in and he was nice. (His full bio and picture are .) He checked Andrew out, was very kind and sweet to him, answered my questions, and when we met in his office after Andrew's vaccinations, he printed up helpful articles on biting and sleeping through the night for me. What I found strange, though, was that he gave the OK for Andrew to get 3 vaccinations even though he had a cold. I should have listened to my inner mommy instincts because my poor little boy now has a fever. (Dr. Paul would have never given him that many shots in a row and not even one shot if he was sick!)

I think maybe the most terrible part for me was that a nurse or nurse-practitioner (I'm not sure--I didn't catch her name) came in to administer the vaccines and she literally had me lying on Andrew to keep him still as he thrashed about crying and she jabbed the needles into his leg. It was heartbreaking! He has never reacted this way to a shot before, and I understand that maybe he was under more duress because he was in a new office, but it still gave me a negative feeling in my stomach.

Finally, on my way out of the office, I tried to book Andrew's 18-month appointment in two-months time so that I didn't have to call the automated system. The receptionist said "Oh, I don't have that schedule up yet, so just call us in a week." Um, I've made appointments as far as 6 months out at other offices...  I just didn't get it...

The bottom line: I have friends who go to doctors at Clarkstown Ped's other offices in New City and Nanuet, and they swear they are great, but I am going to try another practice all together. Maybe because I was spoiled by having Dr. Paul, but I really prefer a practice that is much smaller. I want a person, not a machine to answer my phone calls. I want a doctor and staff that will remember my son--and it is hard to do that when you have a million patients.

Is this too much to ask? I don't know... but I'll keep you posted, as always, on my search. If any of you Rockland Moms and Dads out there have recommendations, please let me know!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Cord Blood Banking - Public or Private?

My husband and I thought long and hard about whether or not to store Andrew's cord blood in a private bank like CBR or Viacord. We just couldn't afford the high collection and storage fees, but it seemed that private banking was SO important--shouldn't we try to find the money somehow?

We finally decided to bank publicly. In the end, it seemed to us that private cord blood banking was really just a money-making endeavor... and it looks like the reporters at ABC's World News have come to the same conclusion!

Last week the program uncovered a lot of decieptful practices at the private banks including claiming erroneously to be able to cure many diseases with a child's own cord blood, paying doctors for collecting from their patients (against American Medical Association guidelines), and employing parents (essentially actors) to encourage other parents to privately bank.

Click to check out World News' multi-part investigation.

What these private banks aren't telling most patients is that a child cannot use his own cord blood to treat many diseases as that disease is in his DNA, making his own blood unusable. And, what's more, if you donate to a public program such as the , as we did, you can retrieve your donated cord blood for free if it hasn't been used already!

Finally, World News reports that "the likelihood of matching cord blood for most children in a public bank is greater than 90 percent." So, unless you already have a child with a disease who needs a siblings cord blood--and of course, a match isn't guaranteed--the investigation cites public banking as the best option for the majority of families.

I say, put those thousands of dollars you save on cord blood banking into a college savings account for your little one. Maybe if enough of us say no to private banking, these companies will stop preying on the fear and uncertainty of new parents.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I have to rave about our pediatrician, (aka Apostolis Tsoumpariotis). He is just the best! Besides being super kind, he is also incredibly patient with my husband and I and spends quality time with us and our son at each appointment, always finishing up by answering our questions and reviewing Andrew's development charts on the computer. And yet, we never have a long wait--must be magic!

He's also available via phone whenever you need him. We've already called him with a number of silly questions, but he never makes you feel stupid or as if you've disturbed him. I really appreciate that.

Maybe most importantly, Dr. Paul practices what he preaches--he has young kids himself and recommends for his patients what he does for his own children. Yet, he would never force you to do/not to do something that you have your heart set on like, for example, if you want to do a delayed vaccination schedule, which he doesn't really recommend. (Unless, you want to do something dangerous like have your kids wrestle alligators... he'd recommend you NOT do that, of course!)

If I had to say something bad, it would just be about his office in Glendale which is not stroller friendly (you walk down a flight of steps) and does not have separate well and sick waiting rooms.

In short, we love Dr. Paul! And, many other folks do too as notes he is the winner of the Patient's Choice Award for 2008 and 2009!

Dr. Paul'sinfo:

Glendale Pediatrics PC
7309 Myrtle Ave
Glendale, NY 11385
(718) 821-4200
*Call the office number for info about the Astoria office, which we haven't visited. :)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Hospital Newborn Photos

One thing I forgot to mention in my birth story ( & ) was that I wasn't offered hospital photos of my baby after giving birth at LIJ. While I wouldn't have necessarily ordered a huge photo package, I would have loved to have been given the option!

I can't blame this on the hospital though, as it seems that the outside photographer, , didn't visit with everyone. When I logged onto the hospital's (a cool concept, because you can send curious relatives to the site) it seemed they skipped whole days at the hospital. Annoying.

Luckily, my family is camera-happy so we have lots of photos of Andrew in his first hours, but if you want a formal hospital photo wherever you give birth, you may need to ask. Perhaps have you significant other remind you to ask for the photographer or write the request down in a birth plan and bring it with you. I know I wasn't thinking about anything but getting to know my baby and the whole thing just slipped my mind!

Some photos from when Andrew as brand-spanking new:


Monday, March 8, 2010

Part 2 of Andrew's Birth Story

Continuing on! Sorry if I left anything out... this story was just getting too long and out of hand!

When the time finally came to push, our delivery room at LIJ burst into full medical TV show mode! The table was raised high, bright overhead lights were put on at the foot of the bed, and the room was filled with 2 nurses, 2 residents, and, eventually, Dr.'s Charnes and Kanarek's covering doctor, Dr. Sturim.

Without going into too much detail, I pushed for 22 literally breath-taking minutes and out came Andrew at 12:02 am! He was 7 lbs 2 oz--a far cry from Dr. Charnes' 9 lb estimate--and had red hair. They placed the baby on my chest, my husband cut his umbilical chord, and then the nurses whisked him to a nearby table to clean him up, weigh him, and take his footprints (you get a copy of the footprints when you leave). Meanwhile, Dr. Sturim took care of delivering the placenta and sewing me up--thank God for the epidural!

Dr. Sturim was super nice, but it was my nurse, Jillian, who really supported me the whole way through. She was the one who held my hand earlier while the epidural was inserted and coached me and my husband through the actual delivery. She was AMAZING. She also tried to bend the hospital rule which allowed only two delivery room visitors so that my dad could come in to see the baby, but was stopped by her (evil) supervisor. I was a bit sad, but Jillian made sure to wheel the baby past my dad on his way to the nursery.

So, after spending an hour alone with Andrew before he went to the nursery, nurse Jillian came by to clean me up and prepare me for transfer to the postpartum ward. Oh how I missed Jillian after that! I felt a little bit lost in postpartum--a nurse swung by immediately to show me where and how to use the bathroom and to ask if I needed pain medication, of course, but after that it was my roommate who basically showed me where to find diapers, extra pads, the dinner menu, etc.

The nurses in postpartum kind of just assumed I knew what to do with a newborn. I thought that they would make sure I knew how to diaper, feed, and bathe Andrew, but you have to be sure to ASK OFTEN for that kind of instruction. Maybe we caught the nurses on a bad night, but my roommate and I felt a bit neglected and my roommate was even told "no" when she asked to be taught how to bathe the baby! Also, we weren't told we couldn't carry our babies into the hall but needed to push them in their bassinets. We were yelled out when we left the room not knowing this... whoops.

They also threw a ton of paperwork at us to fill out and didn't explain much. For example, I was told I needed to watch a video on shaken baby syndrome and fill out a form proving that I had, but nobody would tell me how to watch that video! I was also sent off down the hall to slide Andrew's birth certificate application under a mysterious door... I really was so confused!

Also, on top of being sore like I had run a marathon and unsure about how to take care of a new baby (depsite reading a million books and taking classes), I couldn't figure out how to get the baby to latch on for breastfeeding. The lactation consultant I requested came by and squeezed my nipple really hard, grabbed Andrew by the neck, and shoved him toward my boob, before she finally left saying that we should give it a rest and try again later. Eventually, I just asked the nursery for a bottle of formula because I was afraid Andrew would starve!

Checking out was also a bit of a mess. They wanted me to stay another night, but I opted out of that because I had actually already spent two nights in the hospital (Andrew was born right after midnight.) So, they took FOREVER to get me the forms to leave. They kept forgetting forms and finally, when we could leave, it took forever to get transport.

All that said, my transport was such a nice guy and when he wheeled me out into the sunshine of that unusually balmy January day, I was just overall happy to have a healthy little man and to be healthy myself... and I thank LIJ and my doctors for that.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Andrew's Birth Story & Thoughts on LIJ

As promised, our little boy's birth story, which I'm breaking up into two parts because it is looooooooooong!

On January 14, my husband and I headed to Dr. Charnes' office for an ultrasound to determine the size of our baby. I was 6 days past my due date, and Dr. Charnes found that my amniotic fluid was low and estimated that baby Andrew weighed 9 lbs (yikes!), so off to Long Island Jewish she sent us for an induction. (Dr. Charnes actually said to us during the u/s "Lisa, I think your pregnancy is ending today..." before launching into the explanation, which scared the hell out of us!)

After stopping at 36棋牌 to pick up some last-minute supplies, we drove calmly to the hospital in New Hyde Park. The hospital is undergoing a bit of construction on a new women's center, so we decided to bypass the parking garage for valet parking at the hospital's entrance. The valet cost--like $12--was totally worth it. (Note: Unless you find a spot on the street, you're going to have to pay for parking at the hospital. Annoying, I know.)

The hospital lobby was super crowded, but I was strangely calm and we made our way to the delivery side of the maternity ward, which was thankfully peaceful. I checked in at the nurse's station, saw Dr. Kanarek, who was on-call until later that evening, and was soon set up in a delivery room. Then, Dr. Kanarek did a preliminary exam and he estimated baby to be no bigger than 8 lbs--I was so happy to hear that!

The delivery rooms at the hospital are really small and we only had one visitor's chair. Be sure to ask for another chair if you are going to have two people in the room with you for the long haul. My mom and my husband just rotated, however, since my labor progressed relatively quickly.

Getting hooked up to the antibiotics for Group B Strep and the pitocin was a piece of cake. The nurse inserted the IV super delicately and they slowed down the antibiotic drip when I requested it because my arm was hurting (completely normal with antibiotic). My husband kept an eye on the contraction monitor and about four hours into the induction, I decided to get my epidural. That's when it got a little rough!

The anesthesiologist's assistant came in to take my medical history. After I mentioned some back problems, he launched into a speech about not recommending I get the epidural because I could hurt my back during pushing, not being able to feel when I was in a painful position. Despite him being super stern about it, I decided to go ahead and get the epidural anyway. The insertion was scary, especially because they wouldn't let my husband stay in the room and I kept feeling shooting sensations down my left leg (again, completely normal), but I held onto my amazing nurse Jillian for dear life and soon I was pain free... for awhile!

At this point, I was about 5 centimeters dilated and Dr. Kanarek came in to break my water. I spent the next couple of hours dozing, watching some TV, and flipping over to my side after a scare when baby's heartrate dropped, and about 3 1/2 hours later the returning pain and pressure meant that it was finally time to push!


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Our baby is here!

36棋牌Sorry for the long delay between posts! Our baby boy was born a week after his due date on January 15 via induction and its been both a wonderful a hectic seven weeks getting used to being a first-time mama. Now that the little one is taking semi-regular naps and we have breastfeeding almost down to a science, I hope to resume our regular posting schedule!

The next post will be a review of my birth experience at Long Island Jewish Hospital in New Hyde Park. Funnily enough, neither Dr. Charnes or Dr. Kanarek were on call to deliver my baby. But, the attending doctor and the LIJ nurses (who did most of the work anyway) were wonderful. The postpartum care, however, left much to be desired...

I'll also write soon about our pediatrician, Dr. Paul, who practices in both Glendale and Astoria. We are super pleased with him and are glad he was suggested to us by a friend (I never did quite get around to interviewing any of the other pediatricians I researched. Oops.)

I'm looking forward to future posts and imparting some of the still-limited mama wisdom I'm gaining. My but the learning curve is steep, but I hope you'll learn along with me!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Our Third, and Final, Birth Prep Class at LIJ

We finished up our Birth Preparation Course at Long Island Jewish with a third and final class on 12/16. In this last class we practiced breathing techniques and watched our 1990s-era birth video, as per usual, but we also ended class by spending a good amount of time talking about baby care... which was great!

I was really glad to have the opportunity to ask nurse Brenda about certain things such as care after circumcision (lots of vaseline), what baby should wear 36棋牌 from the hospital (she recommended a two-piece outfit so that baby's belly button remains uncovered), etc. And, as always, she assured us that we WILL be able to get through labor once the time comes. Oh how I hope she's on-call the day I go in!

All in all, I do believe the birth classes at LIJ are worth the $190 fee. While we didn't make it to the free breastfeeding class yet, we learned a lot in the prep classes that will be specific to our birth experience at LIJ and therefore is not included in any baby books. Also, perhaps most important, my husband was able to learn about labor, delivery and childcare--God knows he will never make it through this own baby care books, regardless of his super sweet intentions!

Now, we wait until our baby boy arrives! I'll be sure to post about our birth experience at LIJ as soon as possible.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Our Second Birth Prep Class at LIJ

We finally got around to going to our second of three birth preparation classes at Long Island Jewish hospital last Wednesday! We had started our class series way back in October, but had to postpone when my husband caught a bad cold (we definitely didn't want to pass any germs along to our fellow classmates.)

We started out the evening by meeting nurse Brenda in the maternity ward at 7pm for a quick tour. She showed us a birthing room, which we thought was nice--private, with a cd player and tv and a bathroom without a shower--but a bit small. She then pointed out the recovery rooms, which seemed bigger and are either private (for $565 per night) or 4-bed (free).

We also swung by the well baby nursery where several adorable babies--including a 9.5-pounder!--were sleeping peacefully. Brenda told us that at LIJ all well babies are taken to the nursery an hour or so after birth for 3 hours of monitoring while mom is transported to recovery across the hall. After their time in the nursery, babies can stay with their moms unless she wants him/her to be returned to the nursery.

After the tour, my husband and I headed to our 7:30pm class where we spent 3o minutes on the floor practicing breathing techniques. This had us laughing but was very helpful none-the-less! I suggest bringing a lot of pillows, however, to keep you and your husband comfortable (sitting on the ground is not fun for my non-flexible bloke.)

After a quick food/bathroom break, we then watched a birth video that explained all of the many possible birth interventions--epidurals, inducement, cesarean sections, etc.

We ended the class with a Q&A session where Brenda really calmed my fears about getting an epidural if I felt I needed one. From Brenda's answers, however, I did have the sneaking suspicion that LIJ is a hospital that prefers its delivering moms to take pain medication. I'm starting to believe that if you want to go natural, your best bet is to find a midwife or a doula to be your advocate on the big day!

In our next class session we'll be going over baby care basics. I'm really looking forward to it and to entering the 36棋牌 stretch of pregnancy. Just under a month to go!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Dr. Jack Kanarek in Forest Hills

I had my 35-week appointment with yesterday (so that I will be acquainted with him if my usual OB, Dr. Charnes, is unable to make my delivery) and I must say that he is superb! His bedside manner is warm and he didn't get angry with me at all for having gained 40 pounds at this point. (He actually said I was right on track.) It also doesn't hurt that he has great Anderson Cooper-esque silver hair!

I really wouldn't mind if Dr. Kanarek ends up in the delivery room with us next month. In fact, if it wasn't so late in the game, I might have switched to Dr. Kanarek as my primary OB--he really struck me as much warmer than his colleague. I do like Dr. Charnes, though, even if she is a bit prickly, and I tend to prefer a female OB/GYN, so I'm just going to count myself lucky that I have two doctors that I like on my side. It was for a while there with my first OB in Manhattan!

Dr. Charnes and Dr. Kanarek can be reached at:

6905 Yellowstone Blvd
Forest Hills, NY 11375
(718) 544-8400

Oh, and if you go for an appointment at this office, you can check out some truly swanky 36棋牌s a block or two north on 108th and 110th Streets around 69th Ave. I didn't know they made them like that in Queens!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Dr. Stacey Charnes on Epidurals

I had my 33-week appointment with Dr. Charnes last night and she said something to me that I felt I must pass along to Queens mamas who might be considering her as their OB:

I told Dr. Charnes that I wanted to try to go as far as possible without an epidural and she peered at me skeptically and said "I don't recommend that." I explained to her that, of course I would be leaving my options open as most deliveries do not go as planned, but with my history of low blood pressure and low heart rate, I am concerned about the drugs' effect on my body. (I rarely even take over the counter medication--that's how careful with drugs I am.) Her response: there are drugs that can raise your blood pressure back up, so that is not a good reason to go without the epidural.

Well, its not going to be Dr. Charnes' decision once I'm in labor and I will be pretty vocal about that so I'm not too worried. However, if you want a doctor who is going to be completely on-board with an all-natural birth process, you might want to skip Dr. Charnes. As I've mentioned before, she's a good, thorough doctor, but she is not going to make you feel all warm and fuzzy.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pediatrician Search: Dr. Tatyana Ledovsky in Ridgewood

I found another candidate for our pediatrician! (That was quick, huh?) Dr. Tatyana Ledovsky is located in Ridgewood, has 20+ years of experience, and is Board Certified. She is also in the office Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, with a covering doctor on Thursday--sweet!

Her info:

Dr. Tatyana Ledovsky
64 15 Fresh Pond Rd
Ridgewood, NY 11385
(718) 381-9500

We'll be going in for an interview with Dr. Ledovsky in the next week or two, so I will be sure to post an update afterwards. Some key things to ask a pediatrician include:
  1. Who can I call in the event of an after-hours emergency?
  2. If my child is sick, can we come into the office that same day?
  3. Is the pediatrician available by phone for non-urgent questions?
  4. Does the office have separate sick patient and a well patient rooms?
  5. What are the pediatrician's vaccination policies/beliefs? Do they jive with your own?
The Bump actually has a great list of questions to ask .

More on the doctor search soon!

The Pediatrician Search Begins and Dr. Joel E. Hershey is no longer in Queens

According to my pregnancy checklist, its time to start the search for a pediatrician. A great place to start is asking friends for recommendations or you can hop onto your health insurance's website and check out the different options in your area.

Dr. Joel E. Hershey popped up as one of the most promising choices on our insurance website. He has been practicing for 30+ years, is affiliated with LIJ's Schneider Children's hospital, and, best of all, was supposedly within walking distance of our place in Glendale. After a quick call to the office, however, it turns out that the online information for Dr. Hershey is out-of-date and he practices only in Happauge now--that's a good hour away folks!

Its back to the drawing board, then. Aside from great credentials and a welcoming office environment, location is a really important factor for us as we are a one-car family and I'd like the office to be nearby in case of emergency.

I'll be sure to post our hits and misses as we go through the process--I hope my findings will be helpful to you!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Passed My 1-Hour Glucose Tolerance Test!

I just got off the phone with Dr. Charnes' office and I passed by 1-hour glucose tolerance test--hooray!

Taking the test was actually not bad at all. I didn't need to fast for the 1-hour test and the Quest location near me served the sweet orange glucose drink nice and cold (and delicious!) After drinking that down in a minute or two, I spent an hour hanging out in the lobby reading Good Housekeeping until it was time to have my blood drawn. That's it. Test is done.

If you're nervous about whether or not you'll be able to tolerate the glucose drink, you might want to call up your lab and ask if they normally refrigerate or can refrigerate the drink for you. I've heard that drinking down a warm glucose drink is rough!

Just a note: Dr. Charnes' office does not call you with the test results if they come back normal. I didn't know this, so I gave them a call this afternoon. No harm done, but the receptionist did sound the teeniest bit annoyed with me. Whoops!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Our First Birth Preparation Class at LIJ

We attended our first Preparation for Childbirth class last night at Long Island Jewish and it was pretty much what I expected it to be--a mixture of both really great info and a really scary birth video! Our class leader, LIJ nurse Brenda, was great, though, and turned a blind eye to the many groans and giggles coming from the four couples in her class.

We started off by discussing how far along we were and our greatest birth fears. We then went over some of the discomforts of late pregnancy and what we and our partners could do to alleviate them (massages please!)

We also discussed the three things we all needed to do before we reached 36 weeks:
  1. Pack TWO hospital bags. The first should be a small bag with only the things you will need while in labor--a toothbrush and toothpaste, hair ties, a lollipop to keep your mouth from getting too dry (no tootsie roll pops allowed!), things to occupy you between contractions (an iPod, book, etc.), cell phone, your focal point for Lamaze, etc. The second bag should contain your overnight items and baby's first outfit and should be kept in your car until after delivery.
  2. Find a pediatrician. Ask your friends, OB/GYN, or insurance company for recommendations. You'll want to have a pediatrician before you go into labor so that you can take the baby in for his first checkup soon after.
  3. Get a car seat and learn how to install it properly. LIJ hosts free car seat check-up events. Click for more info. The next sessions are 10/17, 11/8, and 11/14. You can also call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at 888-327-4236 or visit their website to find a certified car seat technician nearby who can help you out.
Following a quick snack and restroom break, we headed back into the classroom to watch the first 20 minutes of a video about childbirth, which scared the pants off of everybody! Our instructor then discussed the signs of labor and had us finish up the class with some deep breathing on our floor mats (you should bring a mat and two pillows).

Next Wed, we are going to take a tour of the maternity ward, which I'm really looking forward to. All of the labor and delievery rooms are private, but the recovery rooms have 2 to 5 beds (unless you want to pay $565 out of pocket per night for a private suite!) You do get to stay in the L&D for at least an hour after birth, though. Also, your baby stays with you 24/7 at LIJ, unless you want to send him to the nursery. I am very pleased about this!

Next week we'll also watch more of that darling video and discuss medical interventions (epidural, c-sections, etc.)

While the class costs a pricey $190 for 3 sessions and a breastfeeding class, I would definitely recommend it if you can't find something cheaper in your area. We had a good experience and while my husband may be a bit more nervous, I"m feeling a bit more at ease! :)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Got My Flu Shot at Walgreens

After my monthly checkup with Dr. Charnes, who did not believe my lame excuse that I wasn't getting too fat, I just had heavier clothes on, I received an email message from work--the hospital we are using ran out of flu vaccines already!! This sent me into a little bit of a panic because, my primary care doctor doesn't know when she's getting any in and a lot of the in-store pharmacies won't have their doses until mid-October. Eek!

So, I called up Walgreens on Eliot Avenue in Middle Village because I've been seeing the TV ads. They too had run out of the normal flu shots, BUT when I explained (calmly--a first for me!) that I was pregnant and frustrated that I couldn't find a shot even though I was considered "high risk," they said they DO have some preservative-free shots left over for pregnant ladies and to come right in!

Queen's mamas, if you are in the same predicament as me, rush on over to Walgreens at 8001 Eliot Ave! The pharmacist tells me that he has about 5 preservative-free vaccines left.

You can also try other Walgreens locations nearby, but be sure call first to make sure they have the vaccine. Click for the store locator.

Good luck and be well!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

More Dr. Austin Chen Problems

Ugh. The best decision I could have made was switching from Dr. Chen to Dr. Charnes, but that doesn't mean that I'm not still dealing with lingering Dr. Chen grief!

About two weeks ago, I filled out the required record transfer forms and faxed the request over to Dr. Chen, but her receptionist (the office consists of only Dr. Chen and the receptionist) soon after left me a phone message questioning the forms.

I tried calling her back for over a week, but, because the receptionist went on vacation, nobody was answering Dr. Chen's phones. Now, my situation wasn't dire (even though Dr. Chen never gave me the results of my NT scan--lame of her--and Dr. Charnes needs it ASAP), but can you imagine if you were having a medical emergency and couldn't reach your doctor because she had no backup for her phones? Dr. Chen wasn't even answering her "super convenient" email address.

In any case, I finally got in touch with the receptionist and she told me that she can give me my records, but only if I come into the office to pick them up. But, what pregnant woman wants to haul her ass down to Chambers Street on a hot day to pick up medical records? Sucks.

Ladies, if you're thinking of using Dr. Chen, I highly advise you to interview her first and trust any bad vibes you're getting. Maybe you'll find out that you like her free-spiritedness, but don't wait as long as I did to figure out that you don't.