Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Whiny Wednesday: Doctor-Patient Confidentiality August 8, 2012

This post was originally published on November 30, 2011.

I’ve had  a bad back for a couple of weeks now, so I went to a new doctor for the first time. Here’s the conversation we had (roughly) and keep in mind I went in for a bad back:

Dr: Do you have kids?

Me: No.

Dr: Are you married?

Me: (in my head) What the hell does this have to do with anything?)

Me: (out loud) Yes.

Dr: (moments later) Have you had kids?

Me: No.

Dr: Any pregnancies?

Me: No.

I considered explaining my situation, but the guy’s a chiropractor for God’s sake and he has my file right there, so I let it go. A few minutes later I’m standing with my pants around my ankles getting a back x-ray.

X-ray Tech: Are you pregnant?

Me: No.

X-ray Tech: Is there any chance you could be pregnant?

Me: No.

X-ray Tech: When was your last period?

Me: (gives her the date)

Short pause while she does the math.

X-ray Tech: Ok, I’m going to hang a plate in front of you to protect your ovaries.

Me: (in my mind) Don’t waste your time; they’re already fried.)

Me: (out loud) OK.

So, maybe I was a surly patient. I chalk it up to my bad back. But sometimes I don’t feel like explaining why I don’t have children, not even to my doctor.

It’s Whiny Wednesday. I’m cranky about doctors; what’s under your skin this week?

 

Whiny Wednesday: Doctor-Patient Confidentiality November 30, 2011

I’ve had  a bad back for a couple of weeks now, so I went to a new doctor for the first time. Here’s the conversation we had (roughly) and keep in mind I went in for a bad back:

Dr: Do you have kids?

Me: No.

Dr: Are you married?

Me: (in my head) What the hell does this have to do with anything?)

Me: (out loud) Yes.

Dr: (moments later) Have you had kids?

Me: No.

Dr: Any pregnancies?

Me: No.

I considered explaining my situation, but the guy’s a chiropractor for God’s sake and he has my file right there, so I let it go. A few minutes later I’m standing with my pants around my ankles getting a back x-ray.

X-ray Tech: Are you pregnant?

Me: No.

X-ray Tech: Is there any chance you could be pregnant?

Me: No.

X-ray Tech: When was your last period?

Me: (gives her the date)

Short pause while she does the math.

X-ray Tech: Ok, I’m going to hang a plate in front of you to protect your ovaries.

Me: (in my mind) Don’t waste your time; they’re already fried.)

Me: (out loud) OK.

So, maybe I was a surly patient. I chalk it up to my bad back. But sometimes I don’t feel like explaining why I don’t have children, not even to my doctor.

It’s Whiny Wednesday. I’m cranky about doctors; what’s under your skin this week?

 

Going to the Silence February 10, 2011

Pamela posted this Huffington Post article yesterday and I saw it circulating around Facebook, so I’m sure many of you have seen it.

I thought it was a very intelligent and insightful piece and I was so glad the author was talking about infertility as a disease and how it’s something that needs to be talked about and better understood.

Of course, many of the comments just served to prove the author’s point that infertility is misunderstood, that it’s about so much more than selfish reproduction of oneself, and that the mental health aspects are hugely underestimated. If you decide to read the comments, be warned that they are not kind.

I read the article and I read as many of the comments as I could bear, and then I shrank down in my chair and reached for the mouse to close the article. I was upset, but I didn’t have the strength to add to the discussion. I didn’t want to get involved. I just wanted the whole thing to go away and leave me alone.

I’ve been feeling this way all week, which is why my posts have been creeping in mid-morning, instead of at 6:00 a.m. sharp. Because this week, I’m one of those women mentioned in the article who doesn’t want to talk about it. I don’t want to announce my infertility to the world; I don’t want to have to defend myself against people who would rather say something spiteful than engage their brains and think beyond their own little worlds for just a minute. I don’t want to speak up.

Taped to my computer screen is a quote by Amy Goodman. It says, “Go to where the silence is and say something.” It’s the mantra I use to remind myself to push the writing envelope and dare to say something that hasn’t been said before. I try to do that when I write, but it’s uncomfortable and painful, and just plain easier to not do it.

But the quote applies to my infertility too. It’s painful and uncomfortable to talk about it, and it’s so much easier to stay quiet and say nothing. But there is a silence out there and it’s damaging. As long as we stay quiet, the stigma, the misunderstanding, and the hurtful comments will prevail.

I didn’t want to, but I left a comment on the Huffington Post article and I’m reposting the article here. It’s not much, but it’s my way of going to where the silence is and speaking up until we are heard.