Wait, do gynecologist appointments ever leave you feeling like it’s “gone good”?
This story makes T1 screaming mad. Nobody insults his birth experience and gets away with it.
I had some concerns about the way my tear from the birth was healing, so I decided to go see an OB/GYN to make sure everything was healing properly. For, even though I love my midwife and crazy natural ways, I have no problem admitting that doctors really know what they are talking about when it comes to certain areas. Also I wanted a new prescription for birth control pills because we are so not ready to be like some friends we know who conceived their first baby 6 weeks after baby #1 made an appearance. Also because the thought of experiencing menstrual cramps on a monthly basis once again sounds rather awful and I want to start suppressing my period again. Giving birth? Not so bad compared to the thought of enduring the same pains, over, and over, with no super cute reward popping out at the end.
So to the point of this post. I called around to several different offices trying to find someone who would accept a new patient in a timely manner because I was worried about waiting too long to have the tear inspected. I had several receptionists who couldn’t seem to grasp what I wanted, because I was a person saying I just gave birth but that I was a new patient. Shouldn’t I have my own OB/GYN to go to? Was there some juicy story to be told about how I hated my provider and wanted to switch after the birth experience? Nope, no juicy story, just crazy old me and my home-birth-in-a-tub-of-water ways.
“Yes, I said home birth. I had a home birth and I tore and I would like someone to take a look at the tear. No, I cannot wait 6 weeks for an appointment, I need to see someone soon. See them for what? My tear in my perineum. I tore when I as giving birth to my baby. Also I want birth control. They only appointment you have is 6 weeks? Why are we still having this conversation then?”
I was finally able to find someone in my area who could get me in within the next two weeks, and crossed my fingers that the experience would be a good one. What would the doctor think about my home birth? Would he judge me for it?
He judged me. Actually he didn’t just judge me, he lectured me. Luckily it wasn’t a lecture delivered straight into my hoo-hoo with my feet up in beach themed sock covered stirrups, but it was a lecture nonetheless. Complete with dramatic eye roll at the use of a midwife. Granted he seemed like a really nice guy and I liked his jovial attitude but COME ON, what is the use of telling me what a bad idea a home birth is when I’m holding a baby delivered from a successful home birth in my arms?
Oh, my favorite part by far was when he lifted the sheet and looked at my goods and remarked, “Wow, you look remarkably good for someone who gave birth 6 weeks ago.” Who’s rolling their eyes now? My midwife that’s who. [Edited to add: My tear looks great and I shouldn't have any problems. Just a bit of stinging whenever I pee, but he said that's normal.]
But I digress from the reason I wanted to write this post.
During this little lecture, what did I, one of the most educated mamas on birth you probably know, do? I giggled. I giggled a lot and after my appointment I realized that I probably made myself look like an immature idiot who chose to birth at home because she saw a documentary about birth outside the hospital and thought it looked trendy and cool. Someone who chose home birth because of a desire for twinkle lights. Where is the girl who has stored away links on episiotomy rates, the safety of home birth, c-section rates across the country, the myth of the big baby, and so much more? She must have slept in that day, because giggly, polite, nincompoop Jenna showed up at the doctor’s office in her place.
I realized that I reacted this way because I was dealing with an authority figure. Instead of stating my case and showing him that I had made an informed decision I tried to be polite. I should have stood up to his condescending remarks and let him know that I don’t make my decisions based on anecdotal evidence. Next week when I go back in for my follow-up appointment will I speak my mind? Probably not. Because the certificates and awards on his wall intimidated me into silence, something I’ll likely be kicking myself about next time as well.
Can you think of a time when you’ve stood up for your beliefs in the presence of an authority figure? How did you manage to do it without becoming a giggly nincompoop like me?