An Open Letter to my old OBGYN

Dear OBGYN,

I came to you and told you I was nervous that there was something wrong. I told you that I was afraid to have it labelled as infertility because my insurance didn’t cover it. I tried to keep my chin from quivering as you asked your questions and then said, “It doesn’t sound or look like anything is abnormal, you are young, you have time.”

You then make me second guess myself, but then I think if it’s not working now when I am young why should I wait? I voice this to you and you reassure me, “The only symptom of infertility you have is that you haven’t gotten pregnant. How long has it been again?”

Even though I already told you it had been 18 months, I tell you again. You draw your breath in, say well I guess I can order a few tests to rule out a couple of things. I pack up my things, you tell me to have sex… like I didn’t know that’s how it worked.

I left feeling humiliated. Just because I married young and still have traces of being newly independent doesn’t mean that I don’t know how this process is supposed to work.

I am still trying to navigate how I go about bringing in extra help to accomplish our goal of starting a family, and it felt like you didn’t have anything to offer me except a $1200 bill for one blood test and one ultrasound. Yes, you heard me $1200. And guess what, I found that down the road another doctor (one that comes highly recommended) does that same procedure for $90 and includes two additional tests.

One in eight couples experience infertility of some form, I would expect that family doctors and OBGYNs would be prepared to have a conversation with their patients with a statistic that high. I know as a doctor that you are probably skeptical of what patients say. As Dr. House said, “Everybody lies.” But I didn’t need a doctor to second guess my motives for starting a family at my age, I didn’t need a doctor to tell me there is nothing to worry about, I didn’t need a doctor to tell me I should just lose weight,  I didn’t need a doctor to tell me to just give it time. Those are all things I told myself and tried to do over the 18 months before I came to see you, and now at this point I want to get something done.

So my dear OBGYN, thank you for second guessing me and stunting my opportunities to proceed in my fertility process for another year and a half. Thank you.

 

10 thoughts on “An Open Letter to my old OBGYN

  1. I understand this conversation oh too well. Unfortunately, I think that many doctors are ill-prepared to deal with infertility and forget that it is just as much a disease of the body, as it is of the mind. Instead of using compassion for the deep emotions we are experiencing, we are treated as a science experiment or just shrugged off. I am sorry you had to go through this, but glad that you found a new doctor who will hopefully treat you with dignity and care.

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    1. Is it bad to say, it’s nice to hear that I am not the only one who has dealt with this? Makes me feel like less of an anomaly, I guess, even though I wouldn’t wish this experience on anybody else.
      My new doctor is extremely wonderful, glad I finally found the courage to be in control.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Kiersten,

    I haven’t dealt with this exactly but I did have an OBGYN who would not return my calls when I was having some pretty serious medical problems. It is very frustrating. I ended up switching and I love my new one. Praying for you on your journey!

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  3. I echo this. I met with an OBGYN after nearly two years of unsuccessfully trying to conceive naturally (I was brand new to the city/state where I now live, too, so chose a provider just by online reviews). She was aggressively unhelpful. She told me to try for another few months and come back. I did that. When I returned she opted to give me an HSG, after which she reported that I had a tilted uterus and needed to see an RE. While I would have ended up seeing an RE anyway, but when I had a second HSG there I was informed that I DIDN’T have a tilted uterus and she’d misread my results.

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    1. That was how I came to find my old OBGYN too! I just moved to Chicago and the church I go to sent me a “Welcome to Chicago” packet with helpful information. That OBGYN was recommended in that packet and she happened to be in-network, so I figured what could go wrong? Well that’s the last time I go that route.
      Sorry to had to go through that experience!

      Liked by 1 person

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