I didn’t think the Coronavirus would affect me personally.
COVID-19 has added an overwhelming amount of unanswered questions that are making me stress about the unknown and uncomfortableness that I continuously endure.
Having gone to the doctor this past week for my 20 week appointment – which consisted of an ultrasound and regular check-up – I surely felt the mental agony. I had to go alone. For someone with self diagnosed Separation Anxiety this was going to be a challenge. I was sent an email the day before letting me know my husband wasn’t allowed, I had to wear a mask, and if I felt sick in anyway I would need to reschedule.
I was greeted by a blunt bitch. She told me to sit and wait, that Dr. B. was tied up at the hospital. I explained I was here to see Dr L., my regular gyno. She confirmed my name and told me that Dr. L. wasn’t there today and I would indeed be seeing someone else. Someone I had seen one other time, almost 2 years prior for 15 minutes. Dr. B. doesn’t know me from any other chart. She doesn’t know my personality, my quirks, my regular demeanor. Not to mention that Dr. B. is coming from the HOSPITAL. My sensitivity is now heightened and I pray the front desk had messed something up.
First, I go in for my ultrasound to a woman who barely speaks to me, a different tech than last time. Since we are all wearing uncomfortable masks she doesn’t want to have small talk (which would have eased my tension a bit) because it’s hard to do in these bad breath catchers. I’m in and out in less than 8 minutes with 2 new unexplained sonograms. I’m happy I can at least tell my husband where the head is and what I believe to be arms/hands.
I exit and ask the lady at the front desk (the blunt bitch) if I had to go to a different office to see the new Dr. (they have 3 different offices, so I wanted to be sure I was in the right place). She glares at me and tells me no, that I need to sit and wait and reiterates that Dr. B. is still at the hospital.
Here’s the thing, I don’t actually mind waiting for multiple reasons:
> I understand she’s not there.
> I’m extremely early (about 20 mins at this point).
> I generally don’t mind waiting and assume I will have to at any Dr. appointment I go to.
I sit back down, text friends and try to get comfortable fighting back tears.
If you’ve never been pregnant before or it’s been so long that you don’t remember – the halfway mark (20 weeks) is an important one. They measure the baby (bones and all, you get to see their little faces), check on the uterus and placenta placement, they measure you (from belly button to pelvic bone), you can find out the sex (we chose not to). Overall it should be an exciting exam.
I get called in and they get a urine sample, check my weight and blood pressure. She leaves and the Dr. comes in. It’s Dr. B. First thing she asks is if she’s ever met me before (🙄 – you have time to look at my chart before you come in, maybe take 5 minutes and check it out 🤷🏻♀️). Then checks the heartbeat/rate of the baby, which is strong. Then asks my due date (insert multiple eye blink here) WHAT IN THE ACTUAL FUCK kind of question is that? That is most certainly something you should know if you’re seeing a pregnant patient, IMO. I answer her politely, August 29th and her response: The baby is small.
She proceeds by asking if it’s my first… 👀 Then continues with questions about my first’s size, due date, week he came, etc. When she pulls all of that information together she tells me that it should be ok because the first one was tiny at birth: 6lbs 4oz – small to some, but you tell my ripped vagina that.
She never measures me. Then says to make an appointment for 4 weeks from now via telehealth and walks towards the door. Totaling another 8 minutes.
Thankfully I speak up about having a few questions/concerns – Why didn’t she ask me if I have questions??
Now she gets chummy. She rolls over in her leather bound metal stool with a computer and starts typing away as I start speaking.
Question 1: I’m concerned about COVID-19 and being at work. We just got masks this week but I sit within 4ft of people. Also, it’s hot wearing them for 8 hours straight. What can/should I do?
Answer 1: Tell me about it, we do 12 hour shifts. COVID is not going away. Wear your mask and wash your hands. 3-6 feet is a fine distance.
Question 2: I’m overwhelmed, stressed, and irritable this pregnancy. I cry all the time for no reason. Normally I’m pretty calm and love people, but lately I hate them. (Notice I have to explain how I normally am because again, she doesn’t know me).
Answer 2: Have you had a history of depression?
Her: We can put you on Zoloft.
Me: (Ummmm WHAT???) No thank you. I’m not big on taking unnecessary drugs.
Her: If you feel you need to take something, just call us and we can prescribe that.
Me: Is there anything else I can do?
Her: You can take a B Complex and enjoy the sunshine. (Said with such a direct tone).
I head back to the blunt bitch up front. I tell her I need to make an appointment for 4 weeks from now. She asks if it’s for telehealth, I tell her it is. She tells me the system isn’t setup that far away and I’ll have to call back at the end of the month to reschedule.
OMFG! Pregnancy and memory do not go hand in hand. Completely opposite actually. I leave the stove on, doors open (I don’t mean unlocked I mean wide open), forget what I was just doing…in the middle of doing it.
So what I got out of the appointment is this: my baby is tiny but healthy, I’m apparently depressed because my hormones are getting the best of me, and I learn I am right that I’m easily irritated these days.
Trying to see the positive side, since I usually do have a cherry disposition, and I add a reminder to my calendar to call at the end of the month.
If you’re a Dr. during this extremely difficult time, I thank you for seeing us through this. But please remember to keep your bedside manner somewhat positive, don’t try to relate to us – unless of course you’re pregnant and can, and do not rush us out the door.
Anyone else going through this time while being pregnant? How has it affected you and your family? I’d love to hear from you. Remember we are in this together.