I was so excited on Monday to have my first appointment with the OB-GYN.
Until then, we had weekly appointments with the specialist.
It was bittersweet saying goodbye but I felt good knowing that I had had the best possible pre-natal care that included top-knotch ultra-sound technology.
Even still, I was beyond thrilled to get to know my new provider and really get this pregnancy started!
I chose the provider based on the fact that the practice was comprised of one obstetrician and two midwives.
Having a mid-wife was important to me because I wanted someone who would be as excited as I was and support ME through the pregnancy, instead of treating me as if pregnancy was some disease that required medical intervention.
After an insane, only people people who work with children in the weeks before Christmas can understand, crazy kind of Monday, I rushed to the office to meet P-Daddy, who was waiting calmly and patiently in the waiting room.
With about 10 other people.
And their offspring.
I mentally made a note not to be judgmental even though 3 of the children were scaling the furniture, others had clearly been waiting for more than a half-hour, and I’m pretty sure the line for WIC was across the hall.
I’m just an observer by trade.
I was still giddy after 20 minutes of paperwork and another 25 minutes of waiting.
My heart leapt when we were finally called.
We were shuffled to a tiny, cramped, and sterile room with nary a piece of ultrasound equipment in sight.
It had the allure of a PAP smear circa 1950.
The technician asked the standard questions, changed my pregnancy dates to get the computer data to “line up” and handed me a scratchy robe and informed me I needed to remove all my clothing.
What the duck?
I came here for an ultrasound by a hippy-dippy, crunchy granola eating mid-wife that didn’t require the removal of my pants and a super awkward de-robing in front of someone who isn’t even allowed to witness the transition from work clothes to jammies.
AND WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING WITH THAT SPECULUM?
When the mid-wife finally came in to greet me and my naked self….oh, hang on.
She didn’t greet anybody.
She walked herself in and began perfunctorily typing away at the computer.
Nice to meet you.
My name is Shana.
I’m sitting here naked on this table, covered in what can only be described as pink cardboard paper, trying to avoid contact with my husband, and you can’t even plaster a fake smile on your face and say hello?
Or perhaps congratulations?
At this point, you should be under the assumption that this is my very first baby appointment ever in my whole life but you haven’t even bothered to look at me and ask me a direct question.
I answered more standard, non-eye contact requiring questions.
Then she made general assumptions about our conception based on my history with a reproductive endocrinologist.
No, I interjected.
She looked puzzled.
It was spontaneous?
Planned spontaneity, I suppose.
I was being seen for endometriosis.
But you didn’t bother to ask.
And I imagine that would be important information to have to determine the level of risk and status of the pregnancy.
She proceeded with more medical questions.
Do you have a history of mental illness?
I have a history of depression.
Were you ever on anti-depressants? How do you feel now?
I stopped taking anti-depressants 10 years ago. I haven’t had symptoms of depression for years. I feel, um, not depressed.
Well, we recommend you see a therapist.
Because some women experience depression and postpartum depression, we recommend that you establish a relationship with a therapist.
I am a therapist.
Oh. You should still schedule at least one appointment.
I think I’m educated enough to understand when to reach out for help for my symptoms and I’m doubly sure my husband, whom you haven’t acknowledged thus far, would have my ass in a shrink’s office faster than a fat kid eats cake if there was even one inkling that I was struggling to function. But thank you for undermining my ability to have even an iota of self-awareness. Perhaps you’d be less inclined to give me your robotic recommendation if you’d take ANY time to get to know me?
Then the appointment proceeded as a standard gynecological appointment.
She didn’t explain anything she was doing.
Not even when she started using the doppler to listen for the heartbeat.
The doppler she used wasn’t even of that caliber. There wasn’t even a screen.
She searched for the heartbeat for a few minutes.
Then contritely told me she couldn’t find it, but she would try again in a few minutes.
Her only “reassuring” comment was that some babies are “active” and hard to find.
Listen, bitch-wife, you better thank the Lord above that I have had the Cadillac of care for the last 12 weeks and haven been able to see and measure this little plum’s heartbeat for the past month and a half, and am confident that the Peanut is just trying to get as far, far away from you as possible.
Just like Mom and Dad should be doing.
She got the doppler back out and located the heartbeat but I was too defeated to feel excited.
And overwhelming sense of disappointment washed over me.
Maybe my expectations were too high.
Maybe my hormones were getting the best of me.
Or maybe you simply suck as mid-wife.
I’m sorry your office is so clearly unorganized and understaffed. And I’m sorry you made the not so intelligent decision to move from what could only have been the ghetto of Baltimore to one of the poorest cities in the state of Delaware. I’m sorry you’re so cold and miserable and perhaps I should be referring you to some really great mental health agencies, but I expected more out of you.
I expected you to smile.
I expected you to get excited for our first appointment.
I expected explanations for everything you were doing and everything that would happen in the future.
I expected you to at least fake it even if you felt none of those things.
I just expected more.
At home, I unleashed all the frustration that had been accumulating during the appointment.
After my husband consoled me, and my sister listened and empowered me in the way that only sisters can, I made the decision to find another provider.
I was not going to “endure” these next 6-7 months.
I was going to be excited about them and I was going to find a provider that would be at least half as I excited as I am.
Or at least pretend to be.
Today marks 13 weeks!
Sadly there are no pictures to see but if you listen really carefully, you can hear Me, P-Daddy, and PB breathe a collective sigh of relief that we (hopefully) never have to go through that again!
And that sign, purchased from Target, is going right over PB’s crib!