During the 36th week of my pregnancy, we had to move to Chennai due to pressing personal reasons. Following the advice of a distant relative, we started seeing Dr Prema Krishnaswami who consults in Isabel hospital and has her own clinic in Mylapore. We had a very bitter experience with her.
My pregnancy had been smooth all along. The scan results were perfectly ok and the baby was growing fine. When we started consulting Dr prema, she said that the baby had a condition called IUGR (intra uterine growth retardation) – In lay man’s terms it meant that the baby was too small for its gestational age. Read about IUGR on the internet and you will see that it can lead to several complications and can even endanger the life of the baby.
We were extremely shocked and distressed. After the next scan in the following week, she said that the IUGR condition was still present. She also said that a normal delivery was unlikely due to this, and that I had to undergo a C-section one week before my due date. Not only this, I had to get admitted 3 days before the C section, during which time she would "administer oxygen and monitor the IUGR". She also mentioned that if necessary the baby can be kept in the NICU or even sent to Child trust hospital for special care. (very well planned indeed!!!) We were too shocked to question her at that point in time, so we fixed a date for the Csection and came back home. You can imagine what my family went through during the next few days.I was stuggling not to go into a depression myself and make things worse for me and my baby. But something kept irking us. Why a C section? Why administer oxygen? How did the baby’s growth suddenly become restricted? I started researching extensively on the internet, talking to people but did not get any answer. Almost everyone advised us to take a second opinion. A friend of mine had a colleague who was consulting Dr Mala Vijayakrishnan of Vijaya hospital and was very satisfied with her,. The very next day we saw Dr Mala, and showed her all the reports. I was advised another scan (by this time I was at 38 weeks). To our relief and joy, they said that there was nothing to worry. "There is no IUGR, nothing, your baby is absolutely fine!!" – these were the exact words!!
Yes, the baby’s abdomen circumference was a little low for its gestational age, but certainly not low enough to be called IUGR. Infact the fetus already weighed 2.66 kg and anything above 2.5kg cannot even be termed as low birth weight. They also assured me that a C section would not be done unless it becomes unavoidable. Needless to say, I stopped going to Prema and stuck to Vijaya hospital.
I had a normal delivery one day before my due date – a healthy baby! We’ll always be grateful to Dr Mala and her team at Vijaya hospital for this.
And as for Dr Prema, we realized later that she was once a very renowned and famous doctor. But for the past 10 years or so, she was known to goof up deliveries. Also her C section rate was very high compared to other doctors. I can’t even begin to imagine what might have happened if we had continued consulting her. Even if she did deliver the baby alright, she might have put the baby through numerous tests and monitoring in the NICU, me through an unnecessary C section, my entire family through immense stress, and ofcourse charged us a foot and an arm for all of this!