(with Kate Glynn, mama of 2) I’ve gotta be honest, this interview started off a little rough-but we quickly got back on solid ground (you’ll see what I mean).
Kate Glynn is a mama who knows what she wants and is pretty candid and straight to the point about it. But with the birth of her first baby, she found herself being railroaded by her doctor and didn’t trust her own instincts to switch doctors- stat. Kate also shares the big changes she made for her second pregnancy, how she went about it & why the decisions mattered so much. You’ll be drawn to her candor and honesty of this interview (oh and the fact Kate is in a bathrobe!).
1. the Kate coined term “instinctual ick” and why you need to pay attention to it.
2. what you can do if you feel like you’re with the wrong healthcare provider
4. how to know if you’ve found the right one.
Who is Kate Glynn?
Kate Glynn is the mama of two precious kiddos, former Navy pilot & currently studies Public Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. She grew up in Yokohama, Japan and is married to her fabulous hubby, Pat.
Kate knew the moment Keegan was conceived. The (e’hem), morning after the fact, she rolled over and told her husband that she was pregnant (despite being on the pill), and they were having a boy. [private Premium Membership|Gift-Premium Membership|Coaching|Vault]
Watch the Interview (Download MP3)
Kate Glynn-Choosing the Right Healthcare Provider is CRUCIAL
one mama explains why
Sarah Blight: Hi, this is Sarah Blight with Your Baby Booty Interviews, where we chat with real people who have real experiences, so that you can have real takeaways to accompany you on your journey to becoming a mom. So, are you sure that you’re with the right healthcare provider? Or maybe you’re checking into it. How do you know you’re with the right one? Well today, we are going to be chatting with Kate Glynn. She is the mom of two kids and she has something to say about this topic. So, thank you, Kate, for joining us today. So, tell us, why is it important for women to carefully choose their doctor or their midwife?
Kate Glynn: [0:00:39][Speaking in Japanese]
Sarah Blight: Um, Kate, I thought we were—I thought you were—you spoke—you don’t speak English?
Kate Glynn: Oh! You want them in English?
Sarah Blight: [Laughter] That would be awesome. [Laughter] Okay, let’s do this again, okay, let’s review—okay.
Kate Glynn: Reset.
Sarah Blight: So, Kate, tell us why is it important for women to choose and carefully choose the right healthcare provider for them?
Kate Glynn: Well, I mean, I think there are literally few things that are more intimate than having a baby, right? I mean, this is a person who you’re going to see at least once a month for the next year of your life. This is the person who you need to trust completely, and I think also because in childbirth, um, it’s so important to advocate for yourself, that I think having someone that can hear you and is willing to listen, is like super, super important.
Sarah Blight: Okay. Um, I want to know—the reason, obviously, we’re talking to you is cause I feel like you probably have a thing or two to say in any language [Laughter] about this topic. Why was it important for you to choose the right person?
Kate Glynn: So, my personal experience was actually with my first kid, I really didn’t. Um, I had—you know, my insurance provider said, “Okay, here’s a doctor” and I took that name and I went and—I actually, immediately had that little voice in my head going, “This is not the right person” and I didn’t listen. Um, primarily because I didn’t want to go through the hassle of talking to the insurance, changing doctors, blah, blah, blah—and I kind of dragged my feet and dragged my feet and before I knew it, we had done the twenty- week ultrasound, and then at that point it just seemed like too much…
Sarah Blight: Too late.
Kate Glynn: And I’m just sticking with her.
Sarah Blight: Mm-hmm.
Kate Glynn: But I really—it’s something that I, like, regret to this day. Um, specifically what happened, we confirmed the pregnancy at about 6 weeks, and at 6 weeks she said, “Okay, so we’re going to induce you at 38 weeks”.
Sarah Blight: Hm.
Kate Glynn: My reaction exactly, and I said, “Why?”
Sarah Blight: Mm-hmm.
Kate Glynn: And she goes, “Oh, well, it’s better that way” and I said, “Okay, why? Like, is there something wrong with the shape of my pelvis, am I going to have a really big kid? Like, what are you not telling me?” You know, she goes, “No, no, no! Everything’s fine. It’s just better that way.” And I said, “No, I’m going—you’re not inducing me, I’m going to go full term. Whenever the baby’s ready, the baby’s going to come out” and we went back and forth and back and forth and she just sort of like, “It will be fine, it will be fine” and I—it seemed like she was very used to patients who were going to be, you know, “Oh yes doctor! Whatever you say, doctor!” And, I was not that patient, there was instantly this sort of bad vibe…
Sarah Blight: Mm-hmm.
Kate Glynn: ness, and then sure enough, I was convinced that I had, like, you know, gotten my point through. And I had said if I go past 41 weeks, then we can start talking about induction, but never before that. Um, and then at my 37 week appointment, I went in and she said, “Okay, so I, um, scheduled an induction for you next Wednesday. So check yourself into the hospital on Tuesday night” and I said, “Whoa! Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa! No, no, no!” and so we went around and around again. Um, and, my son ended up being 5 days late, and in the meantime actually, 33 weeks I had—she had put me on, what do they call it, on, it’s like alternate bed rest or modified bed rest, modified—um, because I was 80% effaced and 30% dilated at 33 weeks, and so she had said, “You know, premature labor, bed rest” you know, first time mom, I was like, “Oh god! You know, this is—don’t have a [0:04:22][pre-need?] did the—gained the 65 pounds during the pregnancy.
Sarah Blight: Yeah.
Kate Glynn: Mostly in that 7 weeks.
Sarah Blight: Wow.
Kate Glynn: And then my son was 5 days late, he was perfectly healthy, ended up having an emergency C-section because he had the cord wrapped around his neck three times. Um, she was not there, it was the attending, like on call, who ended up delivering, and when she—when I saw her—he was born on a Saturday, and when I saw her again on Monday morning on round, she said, “I told you, you should have induced at 38 weeks. If you had listened to me, this wouldn’t have happened.”
Sarah Blight: Oh my gosh.
Kate Glynn: And I remember thinking, if I did not have 15 staples in my abdomen right now, I would be coming across the bed at you.
Sarah Blight: Yeah.
Kate Glynn: Like how dare you? You know.
Sarah Blight: Yeah. So even as a first time mom, having never gone through it before, you kn—like, you knew what you wanted, so why didn’t you want to be induced at 38 weeks? Why was that important to you?
Kate Glynn: So—I guess my fundamental belief is that—I think, you know, modern medicine has been fantastic, and obviously there are a lot of, you know, pregnancies that would not make it without intervention, but if everything is going normally as—I sort of, like—I kind of knew, you know. I said we had this gut feeling that everything was okay.
Sarah Blight: Uh-huh.
Kate Glynn: I really believe in, like, minimal intervention.
Sarah Blight: Uh-hmm.
Kate Glynn: Does that make sense?
Sarah Blight: Yup.
Kate Glynn: Um, yeah—it in a strange way, like same reason I buy organic, like why fix it if it’s not broken.
Sarah Blight: Right.
Kate Glynn: You know, um, I really have, like, faith in my body and faith in women’s body in general, and certainly there are situations in which medical intervention is absolutely necessary, and I think, you know, the C- section was absolutely necessary, you know. I don’t think my son would have survived without it. With that said, I think there’s this huge culture right now of making women afraid of childbirth and afraid of pregnancy and treating it almost like a disease, and I think that just takes away from the whole experience and anything’s a really negative… negative.
Sarah Blight: Okay, so let’s go to baby number 2, because you have two kids.
Kate Glynn: Yes.
Sarah Blight: I don’t—I can’t remember if I mentioned that in the intro or not, because I was just floored by your Japanese, amazing language skills, and by the fact you’re in a bathrobe right now, sipping tea, and you just look like a lady of leisure, which I know you’re not, so this is like your moment, so I’m like—I love it. Um, so with baby number two, what was different? What did you learn from experience one that you were like, okay, I’m not doing that again.
Kate Glynn: So, I was much more careful about selecting a doctor. When I got pregnant with Fiona, with number two, um—so I was in Corpus Christi, Texas—which I think is where your baby was born, too. Um, and…
Sarah Blight: He was born in Austin, but…
Kate Glynn: Oh he was born in Austin.
Sarah Blight: The same state. [Laughter]
Kate Glynn: So, in Corpus Christi, there was this—there was very, very little choice. There were no birthing centers, there were no, um, there’s one practicing midwife, but no physician back up. She only did home births with no physician back- up, so I just felt like, my limits are verily constricted, but having my first son, I had met a lactation consultant/ Dula, and so I really used her. When I got pregnant with number 2, I called her and said, “Okay, I want a doctor who’s going to let me V back”, which was hard to find anyway…
Sarah Blight: Which means vaginal birth after Cesarean, for those of you who don’t know—okay.
Kate Glynn: Um, I wanted a doctor who was going to support my no meds, you know, minimal intervention stands, and I knew that was going to be hard to come by, so I really leaned on her to find somebody? Um, I got very lucky. She introduced me to this wonderful female doctor who had a—actually, her son was, I think, a month older than mine, so we had children around the same age, she as fantastic, but during the first visit she said, “I’m sorry, I can’t deliver your baby” I was like, “Oh.” And because she was pregnant too, and she was due 8 weeks before I was.
Sarah Blight: Oh, wow.
Kate Glynn: So, fair enough, she recommended her partner in her practice, who was also her personal OB.
Sarah Blight: Okay.
Kate Glynn: Who was a guy, which I was not used to at all—I had always thought I would have a female OB, but his name was doctor Wilder, and he, as far as I’m concerned, best thing since sliced bread. Like, most amazing, great doctor and just very—I was so comfortable talking to him about what was important to me and sort of—not only was I able to advocate for myself, but I knew that if I said something, he was also going to advocate for me. Does that make sense? Like he was on my side, he was the one telling the hospital, “Yes, she can disconnect from the monitors and walk around, because that’s what she wants”, you know? HE was such an amazing ally, it was a completely different experience.
Sarah Blight: So did you feel like he asked you what was important, or—I mean, did you feel like, you know, it seems like obviously he was different, just from the fact he didn’t really assert himself into your care. When he…
Kate Glynn: And I think that’s exactly it. I think he was much more willing, um- almost like a therapist, you know, he sort of was willing to like step back and let me talk and then mold the experience to what I needed it to be. Um, while my first OB with my son was very much, “This is how I do it and you shall do it my way or otherwise” kind of thing? Yeah.
Sarah Blight: So, how was that…
Kate Glynn: So very, very different vibe.
Sarah Blight: So that experience, how did that translate into your childbirth experience? What did that feel like?
Kate Glynn: So empowering. I mean, it was really—it was really good. He was very calming, and he, um, you know—for example, everyone said this statistic for a lot of people, I’ve heard this statistic that if you’re V- backing, there’s a, you know—it’s, you’re twice as likely to experience uterine rupture, right? I was like, “Okay” so I—yeah, I said I was okay, so I really wanted V- Back, but is this true? He was, “Yes, it’s true! It goes up from 0.4 to 0.8%”
Sarah Blight: [Laughter]
Kate Glynn: You know? He was very, like, matter of fact. He was the guy who told me, if you’re going to give up either caffeine or alcohol during pregnancy, give up caffeine, because a glass of wine once a week isn’t going to hurt the baby. But if you get into a cycle of needing caffeine now, when you’re breastfeeding a newborn, you’re sure as heck going to need it. The baby’s going to get it through your breast milk, and the baby’s never going to sleep. So if you’re [0:10:15][Phonetic], cut out caffeine.
Sarah Blight: Hmm.
Kate Glynn: No, he just seemed to be this very, like, common sense, very chill guy.
Sarah Blight: And he seems like, I mean, you seem like a confident, no- nonsense, let’s cut straight to the point, so it seems like that would really vibe; that would really work for you.
Kate Glynn: It was really good. And I think- my absolute favorite thing about him—which was also a complete contrast from my first experience, was that this was a doctor who was—he was comfortable with the idea that I had done a lot of research and I wasn’t a moron, you know? Despite the fact that I’m not an MD, if I asked questions, you know, with like a scientific slant to it, you know, he wasn’t like, “Oh, you silly little girl”. He would actually engage with me seriously and he wouldn’t water down answers. Um, and he would like—he would actually talk in very excited, like medical terms, assuming I would understand it. And if I didn’t, I would ask a question. And that—sort of like, not being patronized, was really nice.
Sarah Blight: So it seems like he treated you like a partner in this whole process, like you’re…
Kate Glynn: Yeah, that’s exactly the way that I describe it, yeah.
Sarah Blight: Like you’re working together, you’re both wanting the same things, which definitely would seem a lot more gratifying to anybody in any kind of an experience, whether you’re birthing a baby or, you know, changing a tire, you know? I mean, it seems like that would be a good thing.
Kate Glynn: Yup.
Sarah Blight: Um, so you said you realized kind of that you had chosen the wrong doctor from day 1 with your first child. Um, what can women do if they’re kind of in your shoes right now and what advice would you give them if they’re like, I know that feeling, cause if you feel that feeling—even if you have the question in your head, you know, then obviously there’s something in you that’s like, this isn’t quite the right one for me.
Kate Glynn: I would say trust your instincts, and that’s really what I didn’t do. I had this like little instinctual “ick” and I didn’t follow it, and I so regret that. Um, So, I think, you know, trust your instincts, and also, you know, before you—if you have—if you can, before you go to that first OB appointment, do some research, you know? Figure out, um… it turns out when I was choosing my second OB, there were actually a lot of doctors who are willing to be interviewed before I selected them. Um, and I think I interviewed four, before I stumbled on this fantastic pair.
Um, and the doctors who were not willing to be interviewed, I was like, “Well, that’s a sign” you know? So I think, definitely, you know, educate yourself. Um, know what you want. I mean, if you’re a person who wants a doctor who’s going to be very like, “Okay, let’s do pain management, let’s do medication” you know? Then that’s fine. Find the doctor that’s going to fit you. And if you’re like me, and you want the opposite of that, you know, do some research, talk to the dulas, talk to the lactation consultants, you know? Go talk to the [0:12:54][Phonetic] league. All the crunchy, good, older people you can find, and they’re going to have like the local ins to who people are.
Sarah Blight: And that’s a great tip, and I do want to mention the fact that you’re in an active military duty at this point.
Kate Glynn: Mm [Laughter]
Sarah Blight: And so I think a lot of people who are watching, who are maybe kind of in the military system of healthcare really feel like you’re really hemmed in with your choices, and the fact is you’re really not. You still have options, so I did want to make that clear, too. I think it’s important.
Kate Glynn: Definitely, definitely.
Sarah Blight: Um, so how will a woman know if she is with the one, the right doctor or midwife?
Kate Glynn: So, for me it was two- fold. My, um—the pregnancy with my daughter was actually a more complicated pregnancy for me. Thank goodness everything turned out fine, but there were more issues during the pregnancy. And, with everything that was going on, um, I just—I trusted him. It was a very comfortable—I didn’t think he was going to pull the wool over my eyes. I knew if there was something really catastrophically wrong, he was going to tell me. So I had this incredible confidence just in his, like, integrity, you know? That—like you said, that I was a partner, and he wasn’t going to try to, you know, coddle me. Um, and I think the other thing, which was just amazing, was actually look forward to seeing him every month.
Sarah Blight: Hmm.
Kate Glynn: Um, and because of the complications, I actually got to see him every week for 21 [0:14:12][Inaudible], so I actually look forward to it, and I actually almost considered having a third, just so I could be his patient again one more time.
Kate Glynn: Like, I miss Doctor Welder!
Sarah Blight: Now that is really saying something [Laughter]
Kate Glynn: Yeah, it was amazing.
Sarah Blight: So when you were interviewing these other, you know, three candidates, what was it about that kind of process that made you kind of cross them off your list. Was it just another instinctual feeling, or was there kind of red flags that were kind of raise…
Kate Glynn: [0:14:43][Phonetic] an instinctual feeling. Um, a couple of the—actually, well one of them was very simple. She just said she couldn’t really take a new patient at this point, so she was going to have to fob me off on a partner.
Sarah Blight: Okay.
Kate Glynn: You know, that was – so that was an easy one. One was kind of like that instinctual eck, and then if I remember correctly, the third one, I was very tempted, she was a new mom herself, she actually had a pack and play in her office…
Sarah Blight: Uh-hum.
Kate Glynn: Like in her personal office, and I was like, “Okay, this is a person who like—we’re on the same”
Sarah Blight: Yeah.
Kate Glynn: Um, and I was very tempted with that one, um, but she—what’s a good way too say this, we just didn’t quite click? It wasn’t quite that, like, you know…
Sarah Blight: There’s no chemistry there.
Kate Glynn: Yes, yeah. The chemistry was lacking. Um, and I guess that I really think I lucked out in doctor Wilder, cause he was not the person I was usually assigned to, it’s his partner, who is also fantastic. Um, and I think it was easy for me to make the transition because I really, for all the same reasons, I really love my original—her name was Caterbury, and I love Dr. Caterbury, for all the same reasons. And so when she recommended Dr. Wilder, it was like an easy, like, Okay I trust you.
Sarah Blight: Right, right, right—cause she’s trusting her own birth experience to this person…
Kate Glynn: Exactly.
Sarah Blight: So, that’s a huge vote of confidence, right there.
Kate Glynn: Absolutely, absolutely.
Sarah Blight: Cool. Well, I want to say to all the mamas who are watching, um, if you guys have any thoughts or comments about doctors, physicians, midwives, um, this really applies to anyone who could be delivering. Family practice, you know, doctors. Um, anyone who could possibly be delivering your baby, you do have a choice usually, unless you’re like an a really, really, tiny, small crazy town, but, you know, you do have choices, and so, um, I would love to hear—we would love to hear what your thoughts on your experiences here, so please leave this in the comments below this interview. I want to say a special things—I don’t know how to say thank you in Japanese, but if I did, I know how to, like, do this.
Um, so Kate, [0:16:41][glad?] we’re sharing your experiences with us, cause it’s real, it’s authentic, and it’s really helpful, so… Thanks for everybody for watching and we will see you guys next…
[0:16:51] End of Audio