Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Dear O.b.: Please check the Garden of Eden at the delivery room door

Friday I saw my obstetrician for the third and last time before I make it to the delivery room. An hour wait for a five-minute checkup (My pregnancy is a medical breeze, for which I am neverendingly thankful). Here's all you need to know:

Dr. Rush* : Any complaints?
Me: Nothing serious, some back pain and a little swelling (as I hoisted myself onto the exam table)
Dr. Rush: Well, that's what you get for being naughty in the Garden of Eden. You have to suffer through monthly periods and the pain of childbirth, all because your kind couldn't follow instructions.

WOW! My KIND? What kind is that now? The 'kind' with breasts? The 'kind' with wombs? The 'kind' that can bear children?!? I was too slow gathering my thoughts for a comeback, but what I should have said if I could have gotten my thoughts together in time was "Whatever the reason, I'd rather keep God out of the delivery room." or something of the sort.

I'm not uncomfortable with physicians who attend church or synagogue or mosque or who follow their own breed of spirituality. I'm uncomfortable when they bring their beliefs to work, and then vocalize them. His comments, however snide, didn't even offend me much - I understand that small-town living comes with plenty of downsides as well as perks, one of them being the stubborn-held view that everyone believes in God - the Christian kind - but I'm outraged on behalf of the next woman who climbs onto his examination table who doesn't believe in the Garden of Eden, who carries a whole other set of beliefs altogether.

And just what did his remark add to our appointment? I complained of back pain - he could have followed up with a question or two to find out how bad, and to consider if it was caused by something other than being pregnant. Instead, he stunned me into silence and I was too tongue tied to ask him about side sleeping (do I HAVE to?) before he had packed up my chart and was out the door.

My own firmly-held belief is that pregnancy and child birth are pretty damn awesome - I mean, hello! I'm growing a whole 'nother BRAIN here! And what other mammal on this great planet doesn't experience pain during childbirth?

Dr. Rush is an educated man. I would hope he has more explanation for how delivery works than brushing it off as penance for something one gal may or may not have done some six to eight thousand years ago.

Besides, I don't even like apples.

*Name has been changed to protect privacy, though after this particular encounter I'm thinking of changing it again, to Dr. Inconsiderate, or maybe Dr. Guilt, or even Dr. Religious Imbecile. Is professionalism too much to ask of my physicians?

No comments: