I survived another annual trip to the gynecologist yesterday. Do I hear a collective groan? No, it’s not fun being poked in the naughty bits, but I danced out of there one happy woman. My doctor didn’t find any of the terrible things I feared, only a minor malfunction that is easily corrected with medication. Healthy! I should get to keep my unused uterus for another year. All the test results aren’t in, but I feel good.
All this falls into the too much information category, I know, but what I wanted to say was that this doctor does not make me feel weird for not having children or for never having been pregnant. Yes, there are pregnant women and little children in the waiting room. Yes, there are magazines about babies and parenting, but Dr. C. also has The New Yorker and the Atlantic in her rack. She has a few pictures of babies in the examining room but also pictures of butterflies, a marvelous bouquet of flowers, and a quilt, mostly red, with at least a hundred little pictures one could stare at all day.
The forms I had to fill out asked only about my health and my medications, nothing about pregnancies I had or didn’t have. All that information is already in the computer. No need to discuss it.
As for my being, ahem, mature, she smiled and noted that we don’t have to waste time talking about my periods anymore. Hallelujah for that. The focus was on health. Before she even started the exam, we discussed my various concerns. Then, as she quietly checked my breasts, my belly and between my legs, we talked a little about her kids, but more about her work and my exercise and the crazy differences between how men and women behave.
I drive over an hour each way to see Dr. C. in Corvallis, Oregon instead of the local doctors here on the coast. Those doctors, mostly male, struck me as rough, distracted and not interested in anyone who wasn’t having babies. It’s worth it to me to have a doctor who truly cares.
Sometimes our doctor visits add to the pain of childlessness. If that’s happening to you, look for another doctor who can make you feel loved and cared for and just as valuable as the pregnant women in the waiting room.