Dating isn't easy, which probably comes as a shock to literally no one. I spent a good portion of my late teens and twenties casually dating (and sometimes, seriously) and I can tell you that it can be exhausting. The anxious first dates, the disappointments, the heartbreak; I mean, there's only so much a human being can take. Then, one day, I met my partner, and dating didn't seem so exhausting anymore. A year later, I was looking for OB-GYNs, and realized that finding your OB-GYN is harder than finding your partner, and way harder than dating in general. I mean, I had done the leg work in the romantic relationship department, but that was nothing compared to finding someone that I was comfortable with, and who I trusted, to help me bring my baby into the world.
My partner and I had time to get to know another, learn about one another, and trust one another. We didn't have to worry about "rushing" anything, because we honestly had all the time in the world. We could casually meet for a drink or a light dinner and talk and laugh and there was no pressure. I can't say the same about meeting OB-GYNs. I was definitely under a deadline; there were no drinks offered; I didn't get to eat a nice meal in the process; I definitely had to be completely open and honest about my past (medically, of course). Because I had a high-risk twin pregnancy, I had to meet with specialists and a team of doctors and nurses and it was far more overwhelming than any first date I had ever been on. I mean, I would take a blind date over meeting with another neonatal specialist.
Then again, dating definitely helped me deal with the process. Finding an OB-GYN and finding a romantic partner are similar in so many different ways, so my bad dates (in the end) helped me find someone that I could trust with my, and my baby's life. So, if you're in the middle of finding your own OB-GYN, know that your past dates (even the crappy ones) were somehow easier and, as a result, will help you find someone that works best for you.
When You're Dating, There Isn't A Deadline Looming
When I was dating, I didn't really have a "deadline" in mind, where I just absolutely had to be in some sort of romantic relationship. I didn't have to worry about a specific date in which I just "had to have" someone with me.
Yeah, that's not the same with an OB-GYN. I had to find one in a specific amount of time, because, you know, a kid was going to be arriving in 40 or more weeks. That's a lot of pressure, you guys.
It's Much Easier To Just "Swipe Right"
For better or worse, I dated in the age of apps and online dating and social media. In fact, my partner and I "met" on Twitter, before meeting up at a bar. I was able to feel somewhat safe when getting to know someone, because there was distance between us. If I wasn't interested, I didn't have to deal with any face-to-face confrontation.
I didn't have that ability when finding an OB-GYN. In order to really get to know them and see if they were someone I would feel comfortable relying on during labor and delivery, I had to meet them in person. Ugh.
Dating Usually Comes With A Few Drinks (Or At Least A Fancy Dinner)
When I was dating my partner and the father of my son, we would frequent bars and restaurants and brunches. I mean, that's arguably one of the best parts about dating, right? The food and the drinks and the adventures. The venue of our dates constantly changed, and every time we went out felt like the first time because we were exploring our city, together.
You can only go to so many doctor's offices before you start to feel like they're all the same. I mean, it's boring. I'm not offered a beverage and they don't give me food and I'm still sitting there across from a relative stranger, having to answer a bunch of personal questions about myself. Dating is, without a doubt, much more fun.
Talking About Your Vagina Isn't An Absolute Necessity
To each their own, I always say, but I didn't really talk about my vagina on any kind of first date. Or second date. Not really even on a third date, now that I think about it. It just wasn't a topic of conversation when getting to know another person.
I can't say the same for the first few meetings I had with a few OB-GYNs. Vagina talk was somewhat of a necessity, and that can be a bit awkward when you're conversing with someone you just met three minutes ago.
You Can't Cancel On Your OB-GYN
I don't know about you, but I like having the ability to back out of plans, even if it's last minute and (sorry) even if it's a little bit rude. What can I say? Sometimes just sitting on my couch by myself is better than getting dressed up to go to dinner. Thankfully, when I was dating my partner he understood (as he liked his personal space and "me time," too) so canceling wasn't a big deal and we just rescheduled.
You can't necessarily do that with an OB-GYN. Whether you're still looking for someone or you've found your OB-GYN finally, you have to show up when you're supposed to. There's no backing out, my friends.
You Feel Vulnerable Immediately (Especially If This Is Your First Baby)
Dating can be a very difficult, vulnerable experience, sure, but it's definitely not as vulnerable as finding an OB-GYN. Trusting someone with your feelings is one thing, but trusting someone with your baby (and your health) is another. I would take a broken heart over an OB-GYN messing up my labor and delivery to the point something horrific happened, any day.
You Don't Talk About Your Medical History On A First Date
I don't tell a first date about the seven surgeries I've had on my right knee, or the time I had a urinary tract infection when I was in high school. I definitely don't mention endometriosis and I don't tell them what I'm allergic to. Yes, eventually my partner did find out about all of those things, but we eased into my medical history, you know?
I discussed my medical history with my OB-GYN during our first meeting. So, you know, there was no "easing in."
Your OB-GYN Will Make Medical Decisions For You, If Necessary...
To be fair, before my labor really got going, I notarized a will and gave my partner permission to make medical decisions for me (we're not married) in the event that I wouldn't be able to. However, that was after knowing him for two years.
My OB-GYN would be making snap judgments for me, and my baby, and I barely knew her. That's a lot of responsibility to give someone I barely know, and it can be scary when you sit and think about how much power they truly have over your labor and delivery experience.
...And They'll Literally Hold Your Heart In Their Hands
I love my partner very much, and finding him was in so many ways scary, as it didn't take me long to realize that I cared about him and, well, that made me vulnerable. He could leave or do something that would leave me heartbroken, and I would have to be the one to pick up the pieces (you know, like normal romantic relationships).
My OB-GYN, however, was literally going to hold my heart in her hands. She was going to help me birth my son and when he came out of my body, she would be the one to hold him and place him on my chest. My heart would exit my body and take his first breaths and cry and knowing my OB-GYN would be holding be holding that brand new heart was, well, overwhelming. I mean, talk about trusting another human being. Suddenly, dating seemed like a freakin' cake walk.