Gynecologists always seemed like the anti-dentists to me. If you ever find yourself in need of dental work, shoot out a Facebook query and I bet you’ll get 10 recommendations in five minutes. But if you need a good gyno, don’t hold your breath. So when we women actually find a doc who doesn’t make our skin crawl, we loyally latch on.
I think I got lucky. Dr. G is young enough to still seem enthusiastic about his job and patients, but older than me – which, for whatever psychologically bizarre reason, makes me feel more secure. Throughout my pregnancy he was a calming force who understood my aversion to having metal things placed inside of me and went ahead in the gentlest manner possible. When he discovered my baby had an enlarged abdomen (which turned out to be nothing at all), he took the time to explain to me what it could be and what it certainly was not (like that she swallowed her twin – no joke, I actually said that out loud). Besides my husband and I, he was the first person on earth to hear our little K’s heartbeat – how can you deny such intimacy?
He even convinced me that my fear of pain probably wasn’t a good enough reason to have an elective C-section. If you think that’s not at least a tiny bit commendable, read this New York Times article about the nation’s burgeoning C-section rates: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/24/health/24birth.html
So yes, I grew fond of Dr. G and looked forward to seeing him every month and then every two weeks. And then, the day before my due date and the day of what I hoped was my last ob gyn appointment, I got a call from Dr. G’s receptionist.
“Dr. G will be out of the country this weekend. Can we reschedule your appointment?”
Um, no? Unless he was meeting with a team of insanely intelligent oncologists in some serious place like Geneva, this was completely unacceptable. I pictured him tanning in Ibiza — before that I didn’t even realize he had legs beneath that white coat — and my hormonal self became more hormonal. I calmly explained to the receptionist that I was giving birth any moment. I asked to meet with one of Dr. G’s colleagues instead.
I felt like a five-year-old whose best friend had chosen to play with a cuter, more interesting girl at the playground that day.
To make a long story short, Dr. G was not there for the birth of K – and many women have told me the same thing happened to them. And although I can’t remember the name of the doctor who was there, he got the job done and that’s all that really counts.