Dear Doctor,These letters are a compilation of letters that have been shared with me from some of my clients' journals. I ask many of the women I work with to start writing... forgiveness letters, truth letters, anger letters, secret letters... healing letters that allow them to be honest about what they are holding in their hearts.
Midwife, Mother, Sister, Husband, Childbirth Care Provider,
Some of these letters make it into the hands of their intended recipients... sometimes not...
I came into your office today. 9:30 am, just like the little card that was mailed to me a month ago said. I was ecstatic when I came in - I have wanted and hoped for this baby since I was a little girl dreaming of being a mommy someday.
The card said 'arrive 5 minutes early for your paperwork'. I got there 10 minutes early. I was so excited, I felt like my face was going to split from excitement. The woman at the desk, perhaps she was having a bad day, but she really didn't need to ignore me like that, or glare at me like that when I couldn't find my insurance card right away... or make me feel chided just because I wanted to share why I was there.
I filled out my paperwork, returned it to the counter, and waited... and waited... and waited. I finally got back to the room 45 minutes after my appointment time. The nurse was nice, but didn't look me in the eyes. She gave me a paper towel and told me to put it on. 'Put it on'? How can you put a paper towel on? Why would I be sitting around in a paper towel anyway? I asked why and she just smiled like she pitied my naivete and said, 'the doctor will be in to see you in a moment'.
I waited, and waited, and waited some more... 20 minutes after that, I finally put my coat on because I was cold, and then you walked in. You chided me for keeping my bra on under the paper towel and made me feel silly before we even got introduced. I have to tell you, it is more than a little intimidating that, on a first meeting, I meet you disrobed and in a paper towel and you meet me in business attire.
Talk about defining expected roles.
Then you gave me your name, opened my file, and read out of it for the rest of the prenatal. Yes, I was pregnant. Yes, I was young. Yes, I wanted 'it'. You recommended considering my options, like me being pregnant and young made me more apt to not want... 'it'.
I said I had questions. You said to make an appointment to talk with the nurse about them. I said I wanted to know your feelings about some pregnancy and birth options. You told me to stop reading my books and, instead, to read your office's packet of information my nurse would give me on my way out.
I was stirruped, felt up, felt around, made greasy, given another paper towel to wipe off with, and out the door you went before I had even put my feet back down out of the stirrups.
I dressed, slower and less enthusiastic this time, and put my purse in my lap. I felt shell-shocked. I waited over an hour for 10 minutes of groping, beratement, and belittlement. I was so excited about this first step toward becoming a parent... and now I just felt like a naked child with their legs spread wide and a goopy bottom who was scolded to be seen and not heard.
I left with my 5 pages of information, which included information on pregnancy control, when I should expect to come back throughout my pregnancy, what constitutes a pregnancy emergency, and a prescription. Nothing about me. Nothing about my wonder, my joy, my baby! Just your expectations of me.
I understand that this is your livelihood, your business, and that you see many women just like me every day.
But this is my life-lihood, this is my future, and I am an individual, not an appointment.
Recommended to Another Practice of Mother-centered Provider