Hi, I'm about 28 weeks pregnant now and at first was having trouble with finding a place I would be comfortable delivering since I'm away from home (Texas). After carefully researching and visiting several hospitals I've decided that I like the Kensington Wing at the Chelsea and Westminster Hopsital. There is only one doctor who still has admission rights at the time I'm due and is still available. Dr. Hazem el Rafaey. I have never heard of anyone else who has used him and am a little anxious since the two times I have met him he's told me to consider having an elective c-section...
My mother who is also an obgyn in the States refuses to ever discuss c-section, but since I'm not delivering at home with her next to me she's even more closed off to the discussion of labor and delivery. She's sulking. Hopefully she'll get over it soon.
Anyway, his medical reasoning behind an elective c-section is based on three things:
1. I have Stills Disease which is like Junior Rheumatoid Arthiritis, but causes instability in my body temperature. I average about 2 fevers a day, and since I got pregnant I was told by my doctors at home to avoid all nsaids/fever reducers and anything else I was on prior the pregnancy. 2. I've gained a crazy amount of weight (about 6/7 stones) I'm totalling at about 15 stones these days. I have never been this heavy. 3. My blood pressure is unstable. Sometimes low, sometimes borderlining on high sometimes, but has never actually been high.
So I'm wondering if anyone has experience with him? has heard of him?
He however is suggesting I see a Rheumatologist to keep watch over my Stills Disease while I live in the UK...which my NHS gp and other private consultant have told me is unnecessary. But no one has suggested bloodwork to check to see the status of my Stills.
In the states, I'm always under the care of a Rheumatologist. Which does comfort me a little but I'm still weary of the idea of an elective c-section. My ideal plan was to give birth vaginally with an epidural.
Another consultant I have been seeing for my scans has suggested that he's willing to deliver me the way I'd like but that the chances of an emergency c section were higher, and he will only deliver my baby at the Portland. But this other consultant never considers my current condition (stills) and doesn't think twice about my massive weight gain.
The Portland is great for the outpatient stuff, but I'm not even comfortable thinking about other people giving birth there. I know it's a great place and people have come out fine, the birthing rooms themselves just scare me.
Sorry for the long post, but the only other person I can talk about this is my husband and he seems to think c-sections are better because thats how he was delivered.
Message for Eandz (and other Moms familiar with Dr. Hazem El-Refaey):
I have read on this blog that you have chosen Dr. Hazem El-Refaey as your consultant and also the doctor who will be delivering your baby. I am not sure when is (was?) your due date so I am wondering how is it going for you so far? I am now looking for references for this doctor and any information would be most appreciated! As yourself, I could not get the doctors that my friends had because I am due around Easter and it is only Hazem who was available.
Could you please tell me how was your experience with him so far? Was he always available for you? Have you decided on C-section in the end?
Many thanks for your help, and I hope everything is well with you and your baby!
Hi Vkoala - Hazem was brilliant in managing the crisis which arised from complicated delivery, calm and informative. I found the Kensington Wing and their midwife led service much better than Portland. Good luck with your baby!
Hazem is a fantastic obstetrician - he has delivered my 2 sons within the last 18 months and on both occasions has been great. He was also very supportive when I suffered a miscarriage at 10 weeks. I would definitely recommend him and I will definitely go back to him for my next if we decide to have 3, no doubt about it!
Hazem decided to induce me 3 days after my due date in my first pregnancy - it proved to be a great decision and the labour was straightforward and fairly easy. 2nd time around the baby got stuck and it ended in an emergency c-section. Hazem kept calm throughout and made the right decision at exactly the right time, having tried to give me the opportunity to do it natually. My husband and I appreciated his professionalism and guidance on both occasions, however it was his intuition and quick decision making 2nd time around that really made us appreciate that we were in the best hands. I have seriously been impressed with my neat scar and quick recovery too!
Also for anyone considering Hazem El-Refaey and looking for an up-to-date review - he delivered my baby just over two weeks ago at the Kensington Wing, and I had a very good experience with him.
I have found him calm and sensible, and I like the way he treats things routinely rather than everything being a big deal ("If this happens, we manage like this because of that, if that happens we do this"). I did not want to in any way "manage" the pregnancy myself, or be particularly involved in decisions, as this is not my area, so I more or less handed over to him just saying that I would strongly prefer to avoid a Caesarean, and then I went along with what he said. The baby was induced at 40 weeks and I had a fast and straightforward labour. He does not make a fuss about things but he is thorough: I have very severe myopia which can apparently make it more likely that an eye will bleed at some stage during labour, so he told me to go and get reviewed by my ophthalmologist, which I was due for anyway, so that aspect was covered and we knew it was safe to go to vaginal delivery from that point of view. Also, I was able to have most of my antenatal appointments on a Saturday (at the Portland) which was a tremendous help, so if you are working during the day and studying in the evening, and things are hard during the week, this is a real boon. And as with all private care you have access to the doctor when you need help - I had a very easy pregnancy but at one point a few weeks before the birth I had a serious stomach upset and it was good to be able to just run it past him and make sure that it was not early labour.
Re the Kensington Wing, I felt it was really good - the midwives are attentive and helpful, and the atmosphere is warm and kind, and I felt looked after. Nobody rushes you to do anything, you get any help you need - I needed help to shower afterwards, I wanted a teapot of tea made with my own decaf teabag etc. - people have time to do these things for you. Having your own room is good, especially when you have your husband visiting and you can sit together, it's quiet, you can spend time together undisturbed. My husband said that it was the best money he ever spent, that he felt that it was a gentle way of doing it, and when it is the baby's time he would pay for her to give birth like that as well if her husband doesn't. It's also very natural-birthy and one is helped to start breastfeeding if one wants to do that. I was also very happy with the anaesthetist who did my epidural analgesia - very gentle and patient, and when the epidural did not work on one side the first time, she kept spraying me with cold stuff and asking if it felt colder here than there, and when I was incoherent with pain and couldn't say one way or another she made the decision to do it again, and that worked fine. She also kept popping in afterwards and the following morning to see how it was wearing off and how I was feeling.
So I can really recommend both the obstetrician and the unit.