so, this happened

I had an OBGYN appointment today* and this happened.


conveniently labeled to avoid confusion

I go to a high-risk OB clinic (supposedly the best in the state, which I am repeating to myself like a mantra these days. Best in the state. Best in the state. That means nothing can go wrong, yes? Wait, don’t answer that.) in the nearest smallish city. Because it’s a clinic, I see a different doctor each time, and I won’t really have any control over which one of them does my C-section when the time comes. Mostly I am OK with this.

But today?

Maybe I shouldn’t have been weirded out by this, but the more I think about it the less comfortable I am. Please tell me if I’ve gone off the deep end in feeling grumbly about this appointment.

The doctor (whom I’d never seen before) came in and asked me if I could feel the baby moving yet. I said no, and he said “Good! It’s too early. I was just asking that to test you. If you’d said yes I would have known you were making it up.” At the time I laughed, but now I’m just pissed off at the assumption (even in humor) that a pregnant woman’s perceptions of her own bodily sensations are up for mocking, questioning, and pre-emptively disbelieving.

He had me lie on the table, and then addressed my husband. “Are you responsible for this?” High-larious, dude.

He showed my husband how to use his hands to feel for my fundus, which was kind of cool, I must admit, and I tried to get him to show me once we got home but I couldn’t find it. Once they had found it, the doctor whipped out a pen and started drawing on my belly. (See Fig. 1.)

He outlined my uterus (and labeled it “uterus” in his inscrutable doctor’s handwriting) with a ballpoint pen. On my belly. During my appointment. While addressing only my husband.

Was I even fucking there?

I mean, seriously, does this sound OK to you? I know I have kind of a thin skin, and it’s true that Hormones are making me Feel Things lately, but the whole thing felt very dehumanizing to me. And if I’m not totally manufacturing my dudgeon, should I call the clinic?**

I think probably the best course of action is just to hope that (a) I don’t have to see that doctor again, and (b) his actual, you know, clinical skills far surpass his sense of humor.

* Today? Yesterday? Who can say when I’m blogging at 4:30 in the morning?

** And tell them what? “Excuse me, but the doctor drew on my belly and it made me uncomfortable?” Even I know that sounds loony.


14 responses to “so, this happened

  1. Well, if that is his way or humouring his patients…in some ways, he is awful!

    First of all, with my second kid, I felt her move at 9 weeks pregnancy. So yeah, one can feel the baby that early…and he is a doc, so he should know.

    Secondly, I can’t digest it at all, that he ‘drew’ on your belly. What the hell? And, its your skin, not drawing sheets…jeeeebeeee! Your concern is valid!

  2. Not pregnant here, not thin skinned or easily offended but…you need to report this Dr. That is not okay! I worked in a hospital for years and, the only time you draw on a person’s skin is pre-surgery to note the body part. For a Dr. to just randomly draw on your skin like that is bizarre and highly inappropriate. You won’t sound loony at all, he’s the loony one!

  3. And tell them what? “Excuse me, but the doctor drew on my belly and it made me uncomfortable?” Even I know that sounds loony.

    Actually, that sounds pretty reasonable to me. If it didn’t have anything to do with your care (e.g., “X marks the spot for shots”), then what business did he have drawing on you without your consent? I’m pretty relaxed about things, and even I think that I’d be a bit bothered by a doctor doing that to me, especially if he wasn’t talking to me but to someone else.

    Do you know in advance which person you’ll see at an appointment (e.g., when you make an appointment)? If so, then maybe you ask to not be scheduled with that person if possible.

  4. Um, ew. That guy sounds like a creep. Yeah, I would definitely try to avoid him in the future. And when you call to complain about him, maybe mention that he treated you like an easel instead of a person.

  5. I would have felt the same way… What a douche! What does he know anyways… He’s a man! Next time, dont be shy to CONFRONT what is happening with the idiot. Speak up! Just politely say… “Was drawing on me completely necessary?” or “Should I leave the room, while the 2 of you discuss what’s going on inside MY body?” Bring what you are thinking to the forefront and don’t feel bad about it… After all, YOU are the one who is pregnant! Don’t feel shy about your feelings… You wont in the heat of labour, so why now?

  6. Looks like I am in the minority here, but I think that what this doctor did in drawing on your belly was his odd, ham-handed way of trying to make your husband feel more involved. Not sure it would’ve bothered me, but I’m weird, and very little bothers me, so I am by no means saying I think that you shouldn’t have felt bothered.

    I think you need to feel comfortable with your healthcare provider(s), so if he made you uncomfortable, you should bring it up, either with him or with someone who can communicate it to him.

  7. SAY WHAT?!?! Come again? He drew on you? Yea… I’d be pissed.

  8. Nope NOT okay. I’d refuse to see him again. I can only imagine what he’ll write on you if he does your c-section. And seriously, if he treats all his patients like this it won’t be the first complaint they’ve fielded about him.

  9. LOL!!!! I know I’m sorry….funny though when I saw the picture!!! Ummm it’s a little strange. Actually, I had a doctor who would constantly tell me “you can’t feel the baby yet” when I had just started to feel her and it pissed me off enough (coupled with another rude comment) to switch to his associate and just pray he wouldn’t be on call if I went into labor because I had permanently labeled him a douchebag. This pregnancy, my current doctor didn’t even make me see dr.douchebag on the doctor rounding they usually do to introduce patients to every doctor because she knew his nickname. 🙂 Break up with him and since they’re the best, just go to his partner instead!

  10. Yeah, I think that’s pretty horrible. And while it may have been his ham handed attempt at bedside manner, it would certainly be a service for him to find out its objectionable. I think I would probably write a letter, perhaps after calling to find out where it needed to go. I couldnt’ trust myself to be coherent over the phone. And while I understand you don’t have control over who will deliver your fetus (though, actually, since it will be scheduled, you may have SOME choice, as in “on Tuesdays, Dr. ASSHOLE delivers, on Wednesdays, Dr. Totally Adequate delivers, etc.) it seems like it should be possible to avoid someone who has treated you in a way that you found unacceptable. And as for what to say, you’ve already written most of it!

    Also, fuck you, jerkwad, for making a good lady uncomfortable during an important moment in her life.

  11. pregnancy insomnia is no fun. I hope you can find yourself sleeping at 4:30am from here on out (or at least until little ginger and lime is here).
    That OB is whacked. And misogynistic. I hope that Bunny is on to something here, with her suggestion that you could schedule your c-section according to whose on call that day.

  12. What the? How the? I don’t even know what to say! What a douche-canoe!

  13. There are so many things inappropriate about this! Absolutly find out who the clinic manager is and let them know that you felt uncomfortable! I hope that yougot a big hug after this appitment and don’t have to see him anymore!

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