I’m Pregnant And Not In Love (With My OB)
Our resident advice-giver-outer Jenny True provides shouty, full-hearted answers to your niggling questions about pregnancy and parenthood in her column What The Actual. Warning: This is not a f*cking baby-and-me singalong, this is about yelling into the cosmos and actually hearing something back, sometimes in the form of an all-caps swear. Jenny isn't an ~expert~, but she has a lot of experience being outraged on your behalf. To submit your questions to Jenny, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am 30 weeks pregnant and I feel just ever so unexcited about my OB-GYN. He is qualified, and confident, and mostly the wait time isn't too bad, but I guess I just don't feel entirely like he knows my pregnancy, or is open to answering all my questions? I mean he answers them, but I always feel like maybe I'm crazy and annoying for asking them. Now the baby is bigger, I want to know how she's doing in there, but he has so far waved me off when I ask about baby positioning and movement and all that. It's getting really late to transfer, but I feel like I should love my OB more. Should I try to find a different practice?
Pregnant and not in love
YOUR OB IS A JACKASS. GET A NEW ONE NOW NOW NOW.
If you were in a shitty relationship, would you stay because otherwise it would seem like all that time was wasted, you're too tired to start over, and at least the soul-sucking dissatisfaction is familiar?
I STAYED. REPEATEDLY. GUESS WHAT I WANT MY THIRTIES BACK BUT I CAN'T HAVE THEM.
Here is a list of things I've put up with because of laziness, poor boundaries, or a misguided sense of needing to be polite:
1. A starting salary of $28,000.
2. A boyfriend sipping from a fifth of whiskey in the passenger seat of my car (to be fair I screamed at him about open container laws, but it still took me another year to break up with him)
3. A therapist answering her cell phone during our appointments NO I'M NOT KIDDING.
4. A doctor declining to prescribe Valium and instead emailing me meditation podcasts (OK MAYBE SHE WAS BEING RESPONSIBLE BUT STILL I THOUGHT WE WERE HAVING A NATIONAL EPIDEMIC OF OVERMEDICATION WHERE'S MY SHARE).
5. "Friends" offering to let me cat-sit for free because obviously living out of a duffel bag in their big fancy house in a different city for three weeks would be preferable to me living in my own one-bedroom apartment NOT. THERE'S A CERTAIN BRAND OF "GENEROSITY" RICH PEOPLE OFFER THAT IS NOT GENEROSITY BUT IN FACT A WAY TO FEED THEIR SELF-IMAGE.
6. Someone bringing a bottle of Barefoot wine to a dinner party I LIVE IN CALIFORNIA, FUCKING NAPA VALLEY IS HALF AN HOUR AWAY IF YOU'RE BENDING OVER IN THE WINE AISLE YOU'RE LOOKING AT THE WRONG SHELF.
THIS IS ALL TO SAY THAAAAAT my first OB was a jackass. I didn't understand this at first, because I didn't understand what appointments with an OB were supposed to be like. I'd never been pregnant, and because I was weeks away from being able to feel the baby, and I didn't look pregnant, I didn't feel the right to claim pregnancy. I felt like I was acting. ISN'T THAT FUCKED UP. I also felt that, since I could have a miscarriage at any time, I shouldn't make a big deal about being pregnant, since it could just cease to be, and then maybe I'd be embarrassed about having made a big deal about it. YOU'VE COME A LONG WAY BABY AND ALSO MAYBE IN SOME WAYS YOU HAVEN'T.
The truth was, as a first-time "geriatric" mom, I had a lot of concerns (I MAY HAVE COME TO OUR FIRST APPOINTMENT WITH A PRINTOUT OF 23 QUESTIONS). But this fucking OB talked fast, acted annoyed at my questions, and sped through our appointments. Worse, when I emailed her to follow up, she answered me incompletely. I was constantly turning to my husband on the couch at night to say that my OB didn't seem to have read my emails before responding to them.
At first I made excuses (OF THE "MAYBE IT'S ME" VARIETY). The worst was that her demeanor compounded my sense that me being pregnant somehow wasn't important. THIS IS PROBABLY RELATED TO MY CHILDHOOD BUT IT COULD ALSO BE BECAUSE OF THE PATRIARCHY SO PERHAPS IT'S SHORTSIGHTED TO BLAME MY PARENTS FOR EVERYTHING. I couldn't get my head around the fact that something so personal was, at the same time, the most pedestrian of biological functions. All in all, I stuck with that OB for four months until finally deciding FUCK THIS I OWE THAT BITCH NOTHING, and I collected recommendations and switched to a new OB without saying goodbye. And guess what: My new OB spent so much time answering my questions that she routinely made other people wait. IF YOU WERE IN THE WAITING ROOM I'M SORRY BUT REALLY I'M NOT SORRY.
Fetal positioning can be an indication of whether you might need a c-section, and movement can indicate fetal health, so your OB needs to answer every one of your questions thoroughly or take a very long walk off a very short f*cking pier. And you'd rather get a new OB at 30 weeks than deal with a jackass during the final weeks of your third trimester, when everything hurts and even strangers comment on how fat you are, and you don't want a jackass attending your delivery, where you'll be butt naked on a hospital bed vomiting linguine into a compost bag and gushing amniotic fluid out of your vagina (if you didn't already know). Switch YESTERDAY. YOU GOT THIS.
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