Friday, May 10, 2013

On Processing When it Happens to You

It's really hard to process something when you've been encouraging others to make their way through negative experiences, and then realize the same thing is happening to you. It's an entirely new ballgame, something out of my realm of "dealing with", and has happened so infrequently in my life as a pregnant woman or mother that I have to admit, I don't handle it well at all.

Yesterday I had both a dating ultrasound and a follow-up with the doctor I'm seeing.

I want to preempt this by stating that I badly wanted a midwife. Unfortunately with having to get a different car and needing to move before this baby arrives, on top of still having bills and things to pay off, it will not happen. The nearest in network midwife with my insurance is almost two hours away, and I have messed with the PPO waiver option through my work and I know it is a disaster waiting to happen. We don't have the money - even in payments - to be able to afford a midwife. So I am reluctantly stuck with doctors.

That being said, I also knew my size would be a problem. I figured I would encounter some kind of "fat phobia" in relation to my weight and had more or less prepared myself for a relatively insensitive comment or two. 

So that should prepare you for what I experienced.

When I got there, he went over my previous pregnancies, both of which were augmented with pitocin and involved having an epidural.

"So you'll be having an epidural again this time?"
I shook my head. No, I replied, I would not.

"Can I ask why?"

I frowned. He had my charts - there was no issue with my medical history that indicated a problem. It was just my choice. I shrugged and told him that I hadn't gotten to experience labor before and had no intention of being augmented this time without serious reason. He laughed.

"Well, I'll put natural for now, but I'm sure you'll change your mind later."

Hint number one that something was probably amiss.

He then brought up the flu vaccine - something I've chosen not to have, and haven't given my kids. He explained that he'd like me to have it, and then asked if he could give it to me. It isn't flu season and I don't do the flu shot - so I shook my head and said no thank you.

Again. "Can I ask why not?" He sounded more concerned that time, like by that point he was actually thinking that maybe my reasoning wasn't all that sound.

I explained to him that I just didn't want to. That we don't do the flu shot. That I have no interest in it. He frowned more.

"Well, you don't have to have it right NOW, but I need you to at least consider it," he responded without missing a beat. He went on to explain that there were 'several new studies' that indicated that pregnant women who had the flu shot were safer than those who didn't. I reluctantly agreed to consider it (although I won't be doing it).

And then came the big one.

He brought up my weight again, and advised me that because of it, he's going to be considering me high risk. He said he'd be monitoring me closely and had his intern (whom I had allowed in the room) tick all the reasons off on his fingers why my being obese was a danger to my unborn child. He then advised me - at, according to the ultrasound, exactly six weeks pregnant - that I would likely need a c-section and it was something I would have to keep in mind.

I have, while obese, birthed two other children vaginally, without difficulty. I was stunned. I couldn't think of a single damn reason that my size alone would precipitate a c-section, except physician greed.

So there you go. I am trying now to push all of this negativity out of my head. I have an appointment with another doctor in June and am hoping that, since everybody else seems to love him, I do too. I am hoping that he will consider my needs and desires. Hoping so, so desperately.

Because today, the fat shaming, the doctor bullying, although it wasn't as bad as what many women experience, happened to me. 

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