04 October 2007

"Yeah, You and Everybody Else"

This post is a part of a special one-day event, hosted by Brillig and Butrfly:

My first, and only other experience with the doctor in this story, was on a regular visit - long before any of my pregnancies. While I lay on my back in the chair, feet in the stir-ups, he flirted incessantly with the nurse, barely even noticing that I was there. It was at that point that I decided never to see him again. Too bad he still worked there six years later.

My pregnancy with Matilda was a walk in the park. I looked cute (even at nine months you couldn't tell I was pregnant from the back), felt great (except for the first few months where I felt a little seasick) and had tons of energy (again, after the first few months).

My labor and delivery took place in the small local hospital - only four birthing rooms. I had the most amazing midwife, who knew exactly what to do and say at the exact right moment to help me remember to breathe and push and all of that other fun stuff that you don't expect to forget, but then you do.

And just like the entire nine months that preceded it, it was a smooth as a birth could be, which is why, when I found out we were going to have a second child, I told everyone I was pregnant right away. Matilda was about 18 months old and I thought the timing was perfect, we were so excited to tell everyone, and tell we did.

But then, at week seven, I started having some cramping and some bleeding. That worst-case scenario handbook for expectant mothers (What To Expect When You're Expecting) said that I was miscarrying. I wasn't sure, so I waited, but it didn't stop. So I called my midwife.

Only she wasn't there. It was a Saturday and the doctor took my call and answered my questions, he said we should wait and see, not to panic yet. I asked if I should go to the ER, but he said that there wasn't much they could do except give me pain meds. I said I'd wait.

Sunday was worse. I knew that it was all wrong, but I didn't know what to do about it. So I called again. I'm not usually a very emotional person, but my body was completely out of my control, I was barely able to stop crying long enough to dial the number. When he answered, he sounded annoyed. Through my sobs, I was able to get out, "Hi, um, this is Nell, I called yesterday..."

"Yeah," he snapped, "You and everybody else. You're gonna have to tell me why you called."

His words jolted me. "What?"

"What's this about?"

When I was finally able to choke out my explanation, he did soften a little. But the initial
rudeness with which he had taken my call was shocking.

I finished my miscarriage at home and went to see my midwife the next day who listened patiently to my story and said all the right things.

I've since heard so many stories about this doctor that I can't relate them all here. He's made jokes about episiotomies with a wife's husband, while she is in labor. He took a family vacation while one of his patients was a week over due, and didn't even let her know he wouldn't be there. He's showed up after the birth of children he's meant to be delivering and done more unnecessary C-sections than I can count. Men like this shouldn't be allowed anywhere near the field of women's health.

For those who don't know, I did have another successful pregnancy just a few months later. Her name is Freya, she's almost three.


Butrfly Garden said...

Oooh, rude doctors make me FURIOUS! When is a call on a weekend ever going to be a GOOD thing? And to say you're calling back should have indicated that the problem had worsened in his mind - not the time to be selfish.

The doctor that was on shift when Bella passed was the rudest MF'r I've ever met in my life. He was half the reason I chose to go home that night and when I went in to deliver, I BEGGED the nurses to get me past his shift before she came. We did and I got the NICEST OB I've ever met in my life to deliver her. A man still, but a very kind, patient and educated man. :)

www.nolanotes.com said...

Talk about your bedside manner! You are right--he has no place in women's medicine.

Brillig said...

Oh, disgusting. SO infuriating! How dare he talk to you like that? I just can't begin to fathom how a man who obviously has no respect or interest in women and their feelings would feel compelled to be a part of their most sacred and important moments. ICK!!!

Maureen said...

So sorry to hear about your miscarriage.... I too experienced this before my daughter was born. I still remember a few comments made in the ER that I really shouldn't have heard.

Sucks that some physicians forget we are people with feelings ...

Jen said...

Oh my god, that's horrible! I'm so sorry you had to deal with someone like that during such a rough time. (He sounds like the ER doc I came across this week.) Some people should not be allowed to work with the public.

Cathy said...

Horrible. And cruel.

I'm so sorry.

andi said...

That is horrible. I'm sorry.

Jennifer aka Binky Bitch said...

Grrr, this story pisses me off! I seriously can't read another one of these or I'm going to be in a very bad mood (again).

And I'm sorry about your miscarriage. How terrible to be treated like that during a scary and heartbreaking time.

The Rotten Correspondent said...

People like that should choose a career that never puts them in contact with another human being EVER.

Especially a human being in pain.

Jo Beaufoix said...

Nell that is awful.
What a vile man, and I'm so sorry you went through such a sad and scary experience.

Doctors sometimes need a little more training in social skills and, well, humanity sometimes don't they.