The $3 haircut

Went for the Glucose Tolerance Test yesterday at TMC; so for half a day in the morning I had to go hungry except for the super sweet orange-flavored drink which I had to take to measure glucose level in my blood. I had to endure my husband having his brunch at Maison Kayser, though I did get a couple of bread rolls and a quiche.

My gynae appointment was at 2pm, and I thought I was first in line after lunch. But when we were there shortly before the appointed time, I was told there were 6 or 7 patients before me, and that would be 30 minutes’ wait. So we went for a drink to while away the time. After returning to the clinic 30 minutes later, we were made to wait for another 45 minutes or so before we got to see Loh. By then I was getting a little irritated. Well you know me, when he asked me how I was doing, I didn’t hesitate to tell him my patience was wearing a little thin from waiting so long to see him. He said that whenever I turned up for my appointment, there wouldn’t be enough seats in the waiting area; and pointed to the stack of appointment cards of patients waiting to see him. I asked him if he thought I brought customers to him; he smiled and replied he didn’t know. I told him, “since you’ve so many patients, you should spend some money on a stylist for your haircut.” (My friend, who saw him the day before, told me she nearly burst out laughing when she saw him in this haircut, describing it as a rush job. I’ve seen him in this ugly cut before, with really short fringe.) Loh was however nonchalant, saying, “in this economic climate, must be frugal. So I went for $3 haircut.” My husband and I pointed to the stack of appointment cards, and guess what he said? “The money goes to donation to WP (Workers’ Party).” Yeah right!! Anyway I dunno which is worst, his cheapskate haircut or his just-got-out-of-bed look (when he seriously looked like he forgot to comb his hair).

As expected my glucose tolerance test results came back normal. I told Loh that I actually didn’t have to do the test. But he thinks we should have the assurance because of the risk factors like age and my dad being pre-diabetic. I reminded him that it was me who brought up the test, and he had the cheek to say that he planned to ask me to do it anyway.

Loh did a detailed scan of baby Alex for me after I told him I wanted to know the femur length, cuz I was hoping baby had grown longer legs. Loh measured the abdominal circumference (AC) of baby and found that the measurement is smaller than what it should be at my current almost 29 weeks. He was a little concern and did a couple more scans. He told us that he did the scan on the femur length before he scanned the AC again. This time the AC measurement is as expected. Loh explained the earlier smaller measurement could be due to baby exhaling. My husband quipped Alex was being naughty. I noticed later that the head circumference is more developed, but unfortunately femur length is not as long as I had hoped. I told my husband that baby Alex would be a spitting image of him. My husband thinks that as long as brain development is going well, it doesn’t matter if femur length is average. Anyway most important is baby is developing as expected.

I’ve been a little concerned that I’m still a little underweight, and that might affect the uterus size. But my husband didn’t think there was anything wrong with the latter. He explained to me that uterus volume consists of baby and amniotic fluid, and since Loh had mentioned during last visit that baby size was average and amniotic fluid was ok, I don’t have a problem with the uterus size. Turned out he’s right; Loh confirms it’s ok and there’s a lot of amniotic fluid. He also doesn’t seem concerned with my weight, saying that some people don’t put on weight no matter how much they eat. Besides I’ve normal blood pressure and urine test is fine. So I guess I was worrying about nothing. The only problem right now is that the placenta remains low and we’ve until 37th week to see if it’ll move up.

I wanted to know what Loh thinks of water birth since a colleague told me of it’s advantages, and I’ve also seen video of how it’s done and it’s supposedly more comfortable than normal birth. Guess what his reply was? “I don’t do water birth because I don’t swim.” Ok, I’m sure you can guess he’s rather dismissive of it. Said that the pregnant lady would end up all wrinkled from submerging in the water for a long time, and eventually would still have to get out of the water for the usual birth process. So I asked him for his views on other birth positions like squatting or sitting. He said he’s fine with me indicating my preferences in my birth plan, as long as I can take the pain. But he also added on that the usual position of the woman giving birth on her back has been practiced for donkey years.

Anyway when does our meeting doesn’t include a disagreement? Again we have differing opinion on episiotomy and stitching. He told me there’re two types of muscles seen in Asian women: one that doesn’t split and yet labor drags on as baby has difficulty coming out of birth canal, and the woman ended up calling him for help to perform the episiotomy; the other case being the muscles split in 4 different directions though labor was quick. Either case, he has to stitch up the patient. I told him I’m offering an alternative view that it’s possible there’s no episiotomy and stitching required, since exceptions do exist, and maybe I’m one of the exceptions. So if we have this discussion again, I’ll challenge him to a bet. If I don’t require episiotomy or stitching, he shouldn’t charge me for his fee.

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