Friday, February 3, 2012

The One Where I Am Once Again Enlightened to My Opression

Not that I haven't been down this road a MILLION times before, but I had to have the "talk" with my OB on Wed. Here's how it went (slightly paraphrased, but not much cuz I'm still riled):

Dr: "I know I've asked you this before, but I just wanted to make sure.... you are NOT interested in a tubal ligation, right?"
Me: "That's correct."
Dr: "Is this because of a religious thing, or????"
Me: "You could say it stems from that."
Dr: "Because you can go to your priest or minister and tell them it's for medical reasons, and then we can do it."
Me: "If a Catholic priest is giving "permission" for things that the Catholic CHurch teaches are ALWAYS morally wrong, then he's a liar and a really bad Catholic, to boot. Priests are people, they are imperfect. That's why I always verify my facts with the source I know to be correct."
Dr: "OK, it's just that this is sooooo dangerous."
Me:" Let me ask you this... Have I come across as uneducated, ignorant, or fanatical in any way during this entire pregnancy? Have I not asked some very educated questions and discussed things with you calmly and rationally?"
Dr: "Oh, yes! Yes! You're very competent!"
Me: "Have I also not made it clear that my husband and I totally understand the risks involved and that WE stand the most to lose if something goes wrong?"
Dr: "Yes."
Me: "And, knowing all of these things about me and knowing that I know how frightening this can be, don't you think that if I disagreed with Natural Law and the teachings of my faith OR if I felt there was a loophole somewhere, I would be exploring it? Wouldn't I be the FIRST to try that? It just so happens that I AGREE with the reason for "why not". I understand that you are concerned for my physical health, but I have to be worried about so much more than just that."
Dr: "OK, OK. It's just that, by law, I'm required to ask."
Me: "Really? By LAW? I've had other health care providers that never asked, so either they were skirting the law or that's not really true."
Dr: "Well, what I mean is that you'd have to make that decision NOW, legally, and not wait any longer."
Me: "Well, that's a completely different thing, isn't it? And, I think I was pretty clear back in September when I said that it was something I would never, under ANY circumstances consider. There are very few things in life that I can say are 100% no-going-back-on decisions, but this is one of them. Sorry that the law made us waste your time like this." (I did say this with a wink and a grin, but still...).

This is a conversation that I've had in several other pregnancies with various providers (OBs and NPs). To me, it represents how stereotyping happens even in the most professional of circles (maybe ESPECIALLY there) and how even when you present yourself as lucid, well-informed, easy-to-dialogue-with, and reasonable, people STILL cannot use one iota of their imagination to try and understand what you are saying.

And, I was wearing make-up and nice clothes, too!

*This is for my good buddy, Dwija!


  1. Oh my goodness...this stuff gets my blood boiling...however, you handled it with grace and poise. Awesome responses!!!

  2. I don't think my flushed face was showing much grace and poise! Thank you, though. It's sad that I've come up with all the "reasoning" only because so many healthcare professionals feel the need to "set me straight".

  3. Wow, that is one thing that would irk me. I'm currently trying to get pregnant with a little medical help and the doctor said something like,"I hope to see you in a couple of months for prenatal visits.". I told him that I would be seeing a midwife then for a home birth and right away it was
    " That's so dangerous; you really shouldn't do that; I would have thought someone trying to become a nurse would have seen all the risk in that". I just told hi. That I understood the minimal risks and hope that if I would need his care after seeing a midwife, he wouldn't hold that against me.

    I think your doctor's problem is that he just can't understand why anyone in their right mind would "want" more than two. It's an attitude that children are a burden, not a blessing.

  4. Yeah, homebirth makes you a real nut, right? ;-)

    Unfortunately, not only is the attitude of "children are a burden" prevalent among most OBs, but it's the overwhelming attitude of most people in our society. So, when these medical professionals run up against someone like you or I and they think they have us pigeon-holed, we go and mess up their whole view of the world.

    I'm OK with being difficult. ;-)

  5. It's unfortunate that we have to "educate" these professionals! I am so blessed that our OB is a Catholic pro-life dr that takes his faith seriously. Although he now is telling me that after all these losses it would be OK if I wanted to abstain during the fertile time. But, I guess that is better than telling me to have a tubal! Sorry , you had to go through that conversation.

  6. Wow, you are good. I have never been harassed like that, but only had 5 babies so far and been blessed to have more pro-life-ish doctors, though not perfect. Actually my last doctor was the oldest of 6 and she was encouraging me to go for another! LOVE your blog title. :)

  7. Believe me when I say, pro-life Maternal-Fetal doctors are virtually non-existent --- and I live in a VERY big metropolitan area with a lot of choices. I am certain that they look at my birth history, number of children, and age and go right to, "Why would this lady even WANT any more kids??". Unfortunately, that attitude runs rampant in our society and is extremely pervasive.
    We are EXTREMELY blessed to have a very pro-life family practitioner, however, and it's something my husband and I thank God for on a daily basis.
    I'm glad you like the blog title; I like to be truthful! ;-)
    And, as for having 5 already... go on with your bad self!!! :)

  8. Brilliant!! It's great that you had worked out in your mind what to say! I was caught on the hop by a paediatrician who was booked to prepare us for exactly what was going to happen at my very sick baby's delivery. 1st thing he said-"Do you have any other children?" "yes this is our sixth" "Oh! THAT was careless!!"'And...was THIS one planned?" !!!!!!!!
    I was completely taken aback especially when I knew the next words out of his mouth were going to be warnings that the baby may die!! It was the first apt I didn't cry the whole way home-I was so LIVID!!!
    (btw baby is 2 now & doing great)