Some people dread going to their OB-GYN. I can understand why, what with having to put on those awkward open-to-the-front gowns, the massive amount of goop you deal with after an exam, and, oh yeah, having your vagina examined. I don't dread it at all, though. In fact, I love visiting my OB-GYN because she is a wonderful human being who brought my two precious boys into this world. Come to think of it, there are a number of things I've forgotten to thank my OB for, and all these years later.
I know I thanked my OB-GYN for expertly getting my boys out of my body and delivering them safely into my arms during both of my deliveries. However, I also know I never thanked her for all the other little things she did to make me feel comfortable in her office and in all the months leading up to the "big day," like when she didn't make me feel like a weirdo for never wanting to know my weight during my pregnancy. I know I never thanked her for the big thing she did, too, like when she was the first person to diagnose my postpartum depression. That was a life-changing moment for me. She named the thing that I (and the people in my life) had been unable to name, even though it was so obvious. From that point on, I was able to do something about it and get help. I can't imagine what I would have done without her noticing the signs of postpartum depression, and that is truly a testament to how she had taken the time and energy to really know me as a person throughout our time together leading up to my delivery.
So while I think it's pretty understandable to forget to give your OB-GYN a genuine thank you when you're in the throes of pregnancy, labor and delivery, and postpartum life, it's time I do (and publicly, I might add). So, shout out to my incredible OB for all the big and little things she did, like the following:
Thank You For Respecting The Fact That I Never Wanted To Know My Weight
During our first meeting, I made it clear to my OB-GYN that I had a history of disordered eating, and preferred to not know my weight at any point during my pregnancy. All I needed to know, I told her, was if at any point my weight crossed into some kind of "danger zone" and at risk of being unhealthy for me or my baby. I never needed to remind her of this again, and she never let a number slip.
Thank You For Not Making A Big Deal Out Of That Really Embarrassing Thing That Happened During A Prenatal Checkup
Late into my pregnancy and at one of my appointments, I was lying on the examination table for one of our regular examination things. At this point in the game, and as a super pregnant lady, I was pretty used to the poking and prodding. In fact, I would even go so far as to say I was generally at ease with your doctor doing whatever down there. I'm particularly good at playing "the patient," in that if someone asks me to do something, I do it.
So when I heard my OB say, "just press a little bit" while her finger was in my vaginal canal, I interpreted that as meaning that I should be the one doing the pressing. So I summoned my kegel muscles and pressed, basically clamping down around her finger with my vaginal walls. "Oh, not you!" she said, with a laugh, and then expertly and professionally moved on like this happens all the time (maybe it does?) and did her thing. What she meant, I realized, was that she was going to be pressing down on me with her finger. Duh. I was red with shame, but she didn't even blink.
Thank You For Never Judging Me About My Diet
First and second trimesters were pretty gnarly when it came to Vomit Town, and the only things I could muster an appetite for were carb-filled goodies like mac and cheese, plain pizza, and cheese sandwiches. I worried that one day I'd walk into my OB-GYN's office and she'd tell me I have to lay off all the starches and carbs and, instead, choose an all-vegetable, high protein diet.
Thankfully, that never happened. I received a kind high-five from my doctor for my pizza eating, and for that I am grateful.
Thank You For Being There When I Went Into Labor
The day I went into labor wasn't ideal, like, for her. She had planned to be sailing with her own young children. It was a beautiful September day, with blue skies and warm (but not too warm) weather, and I still feel bad about having torn her away from time with her own kids to be there for me. I'm sure I could have easily been cared for by one of the other three doctors in her practice, but she insisted on coming back for me and taking care of me herself.
Thank You For Being Chill AF During My C-Section
I was freaking out during the latter part of my surgery. Like, losing it, especially after the baby was out and my husband and the baby had left and I was being stitched back up. My OB-GYN kept on reassuring me everything was A-OK, and that I was doing great. She never wavered in sending me confident, badass vibes, and even though I felt like I was falling apart, I am grateful that she made me feel I was in expert hands.
Thank You For My Now-Barely-There C-Section Scar
The first few weeks after my surgery, I never thought I would ever look at my incision with anything more than disgust. However, now, I kind of like it. It is thin, faded, and even kind of cute. It hides right above my bikini line, unnoticeable even in the most revealing of bikini bottoms. She even cut open into it to retrieve my second son, and it still healed beautifully.
Thank You For Really Trying To See My Birth Plan Through
We had worked really hard to try to prevent a c-section birth with my first son. First, when my son hadn't turned by the week babies tend to turn upside down, she scheduled me for a procedure to have him manually turned from Breech position (called a "Version"). In the hospital, during labor, there were several scares, including a very low heart rate from the baby, early on in my labor. Throughout those scares, though, my OB-GYN held fast to our plan to delay the c-section as long as possible, until there really was no other choice (which I was on board with).
Thank You For Being Appropriately Bummed For Me When I Got Diagnosed With Prenatal Diabetes
When it was confirmed that I had prenatal diabetes, my OB-GYN spoke to me for the better part of an hour, answering all my questions and agreeing with me about how much it sucked that I now had to monitor the one joy I was getting from being pregnant which was mostly guilt-free daily ice cream runs, a never-ending supply of cut watermelon, and gallons of sweet tea.
Thank You For Noticing I Had Postpartum Depression
For the first weeks of my first sons life, I was deeply depressed. My hormone levels dropped insanely quickly, leaving me droopy, lethargic, and sad. I thought it was just the new way of life for me, especially with the lack of sleep, and what I was essentially experiencing was a normal state of being post-childbirth.
However, when I went in for a checkup and within a few minutes of chatting with me, my OB-GYN noticed something was off with me. "You've lost your light," she said, looking at my face. "You were so full of light during your whole pregnancy, but now it's just gone." Then she asked me a series of questions that doctors use to note symptoms of postpartum depression, and I had nearly all of them. Thanks to that diagnosis, I was able to seek help and get better. It was life changing.