Dickter Doctor Appointment

Today was my first prenatal doctor appointment with my old OBGYN who, I'm not particularly fond of but thanks to insurance shenanigans, kind of have to deal with.

I'm pretty laid-back when it comes to doctors. I've never switched, changed or complained. I'm the opposite of a hypochondriac. I'm anti prescription meds for the most part and believe I can cure myself from home with far better results when/if I'm sick or damaged. I haven't seen my OB since Archer was born, mainly because I hated the way he handled the birth and everything else. Some examples of why:

1. During the pushing stage of childbirth Doc told me that I was making too much noise.

"You're too loud. You don't need to be making that much noise when you push," he said to me, one of the few things I remember during Archer's birth because I wanted to kick his face off.

So, yeah, here's a man who shushed me during childbirth.

2. I said I didn't want an episiotomy. I got one anyway. And that shit took a year to heal.

3. Archer's circumcision was improperly performed after Doc boasted of his "circumcisions being the greatest in all the land." This turned into a huge dramatic horror-fest that I won't go into but you can read about here.

Plain and simple I hated this man for a good year before thinking that maybe I was just overreacting. Maybe dude was perfectly kosher and I was just being dramatic.

Regardless, after doing my research as to whether or not I was able to change OBs, I found, much to my frustration (and confusion) that changing OBs would mean changing medical groups entirely which would mean changing Archer's pediatrician who I love and want to marry. So I thought, "fuck it, I'll just deal with Dr. Dickfarm. See what happens...."

So I made an appointment with my old doc and today, showed up for my first prenatal exam.

The first thing my doctor said upon greeting me in my paper vest and socks? "You're a lot thinner this time, aren't you?"

"Actually, I'm the exact same weight I started at my last pregnancy."

"Hm. I remember you being bigger."

"Maybe because I gained 70 pounds with my last pregnancy?"

"No. I mean before."

"Oh... Kay?"

"Hmmm... Let's see. Only seven weeks pregnant? Ha, ha, ha, well aren't you eager..."


"You're only seven weeks pregnant."


"Why don't you come back in your second trimester...."

So that was it. No getting to hear the heartbeat. (My doctor LITERALLY rolled his eyes when I asked.) No nothing. Just a few condescending words about how fat he remembered me being and how premature I was to book an appointment with my doctor at only seven weeks along. Fuck, dude. My bad!

Doc referred me for blood work and an ultrasound.* The first of two he will allow me to have. (With Archer I had to go to one of those strip-mall ultrasound places because I wanted to know the sex before the birth and my doctor wouldn't refer me to a technician more than twice. That was his rule.)

Honestly, I have no idea what to do at this point. I feel sick about it, really. I want to have a good childbearing experience this time with a doctor who doesn't make me feel like an idiot at every turn. I also don't want to lose our pediatrician who I adore. So I'm caught between a Dick and a hard place.

Has anyone had any experience with this kind of situation? Am I just being hyper-sensitive? Any and all advice would be much appreciated.


*Thursday morning. Stay tuned.


Anonymous | 2:05 PM

I feel for you. I was in a similar situation and just took one for the team. I figured my kids will deal more/longer with the pediatrician that we love than with the ob that I loathe. It sucked. Off topic, but I am eagerly awaiting your book & book tour!

Molly | 2:11 PM

Fuck a bunch of that, Rebecca. I fired my first OB because she told me that I would gain 100 lbs and have a miserable pregnancy, that because I was a type I diabetic the fetus probably wasn't even viable, that I would have to switch insulin (from a newer insulin that worked better to an older, unreliable insulin) because she didn't know anything about what I was currently using, and thought it might be pig insulin (um, no, it's not, but thanks for keeping up with your CME, lady.) Turned out she didn't deliver babies because she'd been sued so many times. I wouldn't meet the OB who would deliver me until I was in labor.

No thanks. I left her office in tears and went shopping for a new OB, found a great practice where I was encouraged, supported, and had a healthy full-term 7 lb. 13 oz. boy. I didn't gain 100 lbs. or die of kidney failure at 6 months, or any of the other dire predictions she made.

Rules about how many times he'll refer you for an ultrasound? Yeah, give Doc Dick the boot. Your pregnancy isn't about his convenience.

Anonymous | 2:13 PM

Get a new OBGYN!!! This sounds like a nightmare. Really not worth it. You might find a similarly wonderful pediatrician in the new group, and this is shit that you should NOT tolerate (and in fact deserves a formal complaint to some review board or another, in my opinion). There is much, much better OB care out there!!

mrsgreen | 2:20 PM

Do NOT stay with this doctor. He sounds truly horrible. Your insurance company sounds like a real bitch if he is the only OBGYN choice in order for you to keep your current pediatrician. Something about that sounds really wrong. I'd keep asking questions. Just a final thought - have you thought about seeing a midwife that delivers in a hospital? The care you will get seems to be exponentially higher than some OBGYN's and does not limit your ability to have an epidural or feel the safety of delivering in a hospital. I'm expecting any day now with my second, and have been seeing a fantastic group of midwives (as I did for my first), and really couldn't be happier.

Anonymous | 2:28 PM

Please find another OB. I know you don't want to change peditricians but please do not let that stop you from seeking an OB you are comfortable with.

I stayed with my orginal OB for my 2nd pregnancy. He kept blowing me off every time I came in with a question. My delivery was horrible because the baby had gotten too big for the utertus. It was a nightmare experience. I wish I listened to my gut and changed but the insurance was a nightmare so I just stayed. I think things would have turned out so much differently.

Anonymous | 2:38 PM

I would absolutely NOT trust a doctor like that with my lady parts! Childbirth is a huge event in a woman's life and doesn't need to be mocked and degraded by doctor like that.

And as far as your/Archer's experience with circumcision, you say doctors have moved away from humanness and caring yet you were asking them to cut off a piece if your son's genitalia. Wouldn't you expect less caring from someone who performs that service?

Anonymous | 2:41 PM

Please! Leave this OBGYN - he sounds absolutely wretched. He should shut the heck up about labour-volume until he physically delivers a baby out of his tender-bits! There is no excuse for his actions with your last pregancy - an episiotomy without consent and a botched circumcision are reasons enough, but his awful bedside manner tops it! It might be considered a little "granola" by some, but have you considered a midwife? Generally speaking they are anti-episiotomoy and anti-extraneous-interventions... perhaps worth looking into.

Lynn | 2:55 PM

Your OB is an asshole!! Try squeezing his balls and ask him to pipe down when he yells.
He shouldn't have rolled his eyes over the heartbeat thing but he did because it's simply way to soon to hear the heartbeat.
And about the ultrasound at 7 wks be prepared to see a tic tac with a flicker in it and a very round balloon-like structure next to it(it's the yolk sac) and if you're not absolutely sure of your last period be prepared to not see even that much if you're say only 5 wks along. (I work as an ultrasound tech and am used to people freaking out when we can't yet see the fetal pole because their dates are off and its just to soon to see anything but the gestational sac)
And like the other commenters-are there any Midwives in the group? They are really awesome.

nashvegas | 3:10 PM

Leave. That. Prick. Now.
Your pregnancy/labor/childbirth are way too precious to leave in the hands of such an uncaring asshat.
Is there another OB in the group that you can switch to?
I know you love your pediatrician - I base my group coverage selection at work on whether or not my son's ped is on "the list" - but maybe you can get him or her to recommend someone in a different group with an acceptable OB. Maybe you could switch back to the old ped after you give birth.

kittenpie | 3:20 PM

That's shitty, Rebecca. The man is an ass. But then again, if you're really stuck, at least you only have to deal with him for a while, and the ped will be around for a long time coming. Maybe you can keep your visits to less frequent, which sounds like it would suit him fine, anyhow. Shit, I had about eleventy hundred ultrasounds last time.


There's only ONE OB for my healthgroup. Don't you love insurance? We don't have benefits so we pay an arm and three legs a month for a group with ONE Ob and ONE pedia. I'm thinking maybe you're right. Maybe switch groups and switch back postpartum... Hmmmm.

Felicia | 3:28 PM

I would switch and switch back like you said. That is crappy, you shoul like and trust your ob! He is bringing yoour child into the world. Man I would have yelled at him for telling me to be quiet! Dude that is so wrong. Could you try a midwife? Seriously, find a new doc, that is so wrong the way he treated you.

Good Luck

Anonymous | 3:36 PM

I am de-lurking, Hi!, from up here in Canada so I don't really have a good handle on how things work with private health care. That said, you must have some options - if you aren't anti-midwife you could probably get your insurance to pay for it, they are much, much cheaper than doctor births.

Oh, good luck, really.

Indigo Children | 3:38 PM

Every woman (person) deserves respect from her doctor. This is your experience; get someone who is willing to listen to you.

You might want to read Giving Birth by Catherine Taylor. Buy it used at Amazon. I did a post on it in the beginning of my pregnancy: http://bodhibaby.blogspot.com/2006/07/with-woman-she-says-we-had-our-first.html

I had a condescending ass**** with my first pregnancy, so I interviewed Certified Nurse Midwives for my second.

Research it and see what you think.

My insurance originally told me that they would pay zilch, but because of the way she billed or something, they ended up paying their part (which was not much).

We decided that it was worth it and paid $200-$300.00 per visit until we had it paid off; the whole thing cost under $4000.00.

A midwife will not only see you during pregnancy and after, she will also do your yearly exams.

My midwife's office was cozy, and warm with soft robes instead of paper gowns for exams; she explained everything and let me create the entire experience. She also had hospital and doctor back up.

There are midwives who deliver in the hospital-- check in your area-- as well as birth centers and at home.

Your doctor does sound like a dick, and you (we all) deserve better.

Good luck.

Anonymous | 3:41 PM

Well, you could try not having maternity insurance and paying out of pocket. Hey, I tried that and it only cost me $20,000 in medical bills and about 100 anxiety attacks.

Green | 3:49 PM

I hate your doctor on many levels. How healthy of a kid is Archer? Switch to a different insurance, ask your pediatrician to suggest someone in the new insurance, and after you have this second kid, switch back to the old pediatrician.

Anonymous | 4:05 PM

get a new OB!!!!!!!!!!! Do you have an HMO? we do, and we all have different medical (IPA) groups. I am in one IPA specifically because the OB I like is a part of it, my kids are in one IPA group, and my hubby is in a different one so he can go to a Dr. close to our house. Call your insurance! I am pretty sure you most HMOs don't require you to all belong to the same group. I HATED my OB when I was pregnant with Caleb. He made me cry numerous times. This time I loved my OB practice. They rocked. And my pregnancy and birth was so much better this time around.

Anonymous | 4:20 PM

Oh UGH! I so feel you. I had a bad experience last time, too. Also this time around I had to change doctors mid-stream because of husband changing jobs and insurance and all that and I wouldn't wish that process on ANYONE. You're not too far along that changing would be a big deal yet, so if you can DO IT NOW! Don't wait until you are 28 weeks along, like when I had to make the switch. What a pain in the ass!

But my advice is to just pick ANYONE else in your medical group. He can't be the only OB in the whole group. I understand not being able to switch your groups because you don't want to lose an awesome Ped., but there's gotta be another option.

Keeping my fingers crossed for ya!

k.thedoula | 4:27 PM

Go see 'The Business of Being Born' and then stop being part of the problem.
No one deserves to be treated like that.
*note, heartbeat would not really be audible until 11+ weeks.
GET A MIDWIFE and get thee to the Brewers Diet site.... pre-eclampsia can be thwarted! Please. Please!
Midwives cost a fraction of a 'hospital birth'.

Anonymous | 4:27 PM

Really, Rebecca? This is horrifying to me. Do whatever you can to switch. If it was that bad with a relatively routine pregnancy and delivery, imagine how bad it might be if (god forbid) there are any complications? Switch, and switch quickly. I beg you! And please let us know what happens, because I'm going to be wringing my hands about it until I know.

Anonymous | 4:32 PM

Call your insurance company and tell theme everything. And then ask them for a referral to an out of network provider. You should not have to choose between your own health and your child's kick ass pediatrician.

tricia | 4:35 PM

you could go to a midwife. even if your insurance won't cover it they usually are not as expensive and will probably work something out with you. mid wives and birthing clinics seem to really care about the experience their patience gets as opposed to just getting the money. you can count me in for payment on one visit consider it my baby gift. no one should have to deal with an asshole like that. just a thought.

Cheryl | 4:35 PM

I switched medical practices because I hated my last OB. He, too, shushed me. The fucking bastard. Anyway. I found another pediatrician that I actually want to marry more than our last one. And I love my new OB (who is a family doctor who specializes in OB... it's nice because she only has a dozen preggers at one time, not sixty). I had the option of having her be my son's pediatrician as well, but I stuck with an asthma specialist I got a lot of recommendations for. Everyone's happy, and I'm glad I made the change.

Anonymous | 4:37 PM

I'm in Canada so things are a little different, but not that different. Btw, I'm the same as you wrt the anti-hypochondriac and being told to be quiet during childbirth (though it was a nurse, but still).

I'm 9 weeks pregnant. I went to my doctor almost 5 weeks ago and asked for bloodwork (for preggers and other things) to be done. I haven't been able to get an appointment with him since then.

Today I practically begged my daughters doctor (who I'm a little in love with too) during her checkup, to take me as a patient. Thankfully he agreed, I'd been calling dozens of doctors offices and no one was taking new patients - his included.

I don't think you are overreacting. If you *were* a hypochondriac I'd say maybe, but I don't think you are.

Anonymous | 4:38 PM

Delurking here to say I'm sorry about your experience. My delivery OB was such an ass- during the 3 1/2 hour pushing phase, he whipped out the forceps to scare me to push harder. And then threatened me an episiotomy or push for 20 min more. UGH. However, I am in one of those "mega" large practices with like 15 doctors, so I'm just going to switch within practices. Can you do that? It's a tough place to be in.

Blog Antagonist | 4:49 PM

There is no way I would go through pregnancy and childbirth with a doctor who had that kind of attitude. I'm a former doula, and I've seen more times than I care to. There's just no reason for it.

But look on the bright side...you live in California, so you have TONS of choices.

1. Consider a freestanding birthcenter. You get top notch care and obstetrical backup, in a homey environment that is condusive to natural childbirth.

2. GET A DOULA. She can educate you and help you advocate for yourself. There is no way a doula would have allowed a doctor to perform an episiotomy against a client's wishes.

3. Consider homebirth. I know, it's a scary thought, but it's actually safer in many ways.

Also, here is some reading you should do.

"The Thinking Woman's Guide To A Better Childbirth" by Henci Goer

"The Birth That's Right For You: A Doctor and a Doula Help You Choose and Customize the Best Birth Option to Fit Your Needs" by Amen Ness, Lisa Gould Rubin, and Jackie Frederick Berner

"Gentle Birth Choices" by Barbara Harper and Suzanne Arms

And just for fun, read "Spiritual Midwifery" by Ina Mae Gaskin. It's a hoot, but has some really sound advice.

I have a ton more reading suggestions if you like. Let me know if I can help at all. I'm always happy to talk about pregnancy and birth. I miss being in the biz.

Anonymous | 4:50 PM

Wow. What a cock. Sorry,that just slipped out... I don't know if you are in a financial position where you can afford to pay for an OB/Midwife out of pocket but maybe it's something to consider. I just think that being pregnant should be a wonderful, glorious time in your life and while there can be many stresses, too, the last place you want that stress is with your practitioner--someone you should feel trusting of and is supportive of you. I am always amazed when I hear similar stories of horrendous bedside manners in the health care field. It's abhorrent that we are forced into a position to take such abuse during the most tender and sensitive times in our life. I'm so sorry, you deserve better. Again, what a cock.

Anonymous | 4:55 PM

I'm going to jump on the bandwagon with a lot of others that left comments suggesting a nurse midwife. Maybe you can't switch to a different OB/GYN but you could switch to a nurse midwife for prenatal care.

That's the only option I was able to dream up.

Sonja Streuber, PMP(R), SSBB | 5:12 PM

Discuss this with Archer's pediatrician--does s/he have a colleague with a good bedside manner whom s/he could recommend? If so, could s/he help you figure out how this could work with/ without your insurance?

There's always a way, and the best strategy is to enlist another doctor to help you figure it out.

Norm | 5:14 PM

Perhaps someone said this already, but call your insurance company. Complain. Officially. Get an exception to the policy so you can see another doc and be covered. Good luck.

hannah m | 5:14 PM

I think others already said this, but see if you can be in a different medical group than Archer. That way he can keep the great pedi and you can have a different OB. For the love of Pete, get yourself a new OB. You + baby deserve so much more.
( I had midwives and had to jump through HMO hoops to make it happen, but I looked forward to every prenatal visit because it was like having coffee with a friend. Seriously. I wish that for you, too!)

Anonymous | 5:21 PM

ooooh charlotte what great advice!!! talking to archer's doctor is fabulous! i left some long post before but somehow i erased it- it said the same as everyone else. he's a dick. leave him. early prenatal care is vital- i can't believe he told to you shouldn't be there. jump ship NOW.~jjlibra

Danielle | 5:59 PM

Didn't read all the comments and am probably just echoing what others have said...

Get another OB.

See if you can interview a pediatrician that Archer would have to switch to. Maybe you can find another great pediatrician *and* get a better OB. Although it will suck to switch pediatricians, you deserve a postitive experience!

Say it with me. You deserve a positive pregnancy and delivery and should expect no less from your OB....

Good luck!

Kelly | 6:19 PM

I'm in SD or else I would recommend my incredible office!!!
First of all- 7 weeks isn't too early so that doc can suck my toe.
Second- with my first doc, the experience wasn't great. He would introduce himself each time I saw him because he never remembered me. He wasn't friendly or warm AT ALL. Luckily he was on vaca when I delivered and the on call doc was awesome even though he was a complete stranger.
I changed docs for this pregnancy and it is a WORLD of difference. They care. They take time with me. They never act rushed. They come in knowing my name and my son's name if he is with me. I am SO glad I changed even though the insurance part of it was a pain.
I also understand having a great pediatrician though also. What about a birth center with midwives? Your insurance only allows you to see one doctor in your med group? They should at least allow you to see a woman doc. If it were me, I'd switch. Oh I mean...I did switch. Good luck though.


Holy shit, you guys are awesome! I feel so empowered! FUCK that Cocktor in the Ay-nus! Going to figure out a way...

I'm pretty sure because Archer and I are on the same plan we have to share groups. And yes, I've my OB is the ONLY OB in my medical group but I have the option of changing groups through insurance. It was Archer's doc that was keeping me with my current group but he's a healthy kid and there's a good chance he'll only need to see the doctor for his three year check-up now that flu season is over. Hmm..

Also, I'm hoping to be in a better financial situation closer to the birth and would LOVE a midwife and/or doula. The strike took its toll on our household so right now, it's not in the cards (or our pockets) to afford such a luxury but I'm optimistic for soon.

Regardless, I'm going to find a new doctor, even if it means temporarily pulling Archer from his. Because you're right. I don't deserve to be treated like an asshole. Especially by an asshole.


Anonymous | 6:27 PM

Are you SHITTING ME??? I know how it is to want your pediatrician, I totally love mine, too. He wears bow ties. I lurve him. Anyway, the OB? Tell him to kiss your "thinner this time around" ass. Rebecca, I don't know you personally but I have had two kids delivered by two different OB's..one great and one an ass sucking abcess. I won't waste your time or bile telling you about the ass sucker and the misery he turned our pregnancy and delivery into. Change OB's. No matter what you have to do, you'll be so glad you did. My second OB was a laid back, wool sock and Birkenstock (sp?) wearing woman who LOVED women, babies and every bit of her job and boy did it show in everything she did for us. She advised about dula services, midwives in her group, nursing classes..she was so happy to be there and I've never forgotten how genuine and warm she was. Leave the beav hater. Have your whole pregnancy and delivery supported by caring, warm people, they're out there!!

Blue Peacock | 6:28 PM

Wow. I really think you should change your obstetrician! That is really odd about having to completely change your insurance if you want to change OBs... if that is the case, I wonder if Archer's pediatrician will accept your new insurance?

I know it seems like a hassle, but when I was pregnant, I wasn't thrilled with my OB but I thought, "Oh what the hell. It's too much of a pain to change... it should be fine." Well, you know what? To this day I regret that decision I made. I switched OBs soon after the birth of my son.

Good luck with whatever decision you make!

KaritaG | 6:53 PM

I've had some horrible experiences with my former HMO, but this tops all of them. What. A. Cock. How do people like that get THAT job? Switch ASAP. Run. And even if you don't want to stay within the group or even stay with that insurance, write a letter and complain, officially. Something. "The People In Charge" need to know how this guy is treating his f-ing PATIENTS. Sheesh. I mean, that's his f-ing job.

Anonymous | 6:54 PM

While your OB sounds like an idiot, (and only an idiot would mandate an inflexible 2 ultrasounds per patient per pregnancy!!) he's probably right about not being able to hear the heartbeat at 7 weeks. It's rather sketchy at that point, even with a transvaginal probe. We couldn't hear this baby's heartbeat even with the transvaginal probe until 9 or 10 weeks, and they didn't even try with the hand-held doppler until 12 weeks. And certainly he didn't need to be condescending about it.

I wish I could send you my OB, he's been wonderful through 2 miscarriages and this latest pregnancy.

Unless a good murdering rage helps you get through labor pains, you should find another OB. One that isn't a little dick.

KaritaG | 6:56 PM

Sorry, didn't mean to use so much pseudo-profanity. I got carried away. Jerky doctors piss me off.

edie & ella | 7:18 PM

Sorry that your doctor is such a loser -- being an RN I know that there are way too many of them out there. You should be a jerk to him -- give him a taste of his own medicine. Does he have another doctor in his office or maybe a midwife that you can switch to?? good luck samantha

Anonymous | 7:59 PM

Although I did not have a doula I looked into it before my son's birth and there are many doulas 'in training' who will not be so expensive. ( I would think it would be the same with midwives? not sure) We could not afford the $600 one time fee for a very experienced doula but I wish I had had one. Just Googlge doula and you will find websites where you can find one (or your local Yoga studio, one that offers pre and post natal classes is a great networking place for such people!)

I'm a new reader of your blog(s). I have a 19 month old son and have been struggling with getting back to my writing. You've been very inspiring and I have confidence I can do it now - so thank you!!

toyfoto | 8:10 PM

I gotta say, this is making my head spin. If you change practices for obstetrics you have to change for pediatrics?

To tell you the truth, I've NEVER heard of that connection in practices!

I changed groinocologists when the dickwad I saw -- head of the deparment at a hospital to be exact -- left me waiting in a paper gown for a half an hour while he called his broker on the phone outside the exam room. Fuck that noise.

A guy that treated me like that would have a strongly worded letter to his superior, The guy must answer to someone, right?

Meemo | 8:58 PM

What a crappy situation to be in. This is such an important time for you, and you deserve better. For my first 2 pregnancies, I saw the nurse practitioner the whole time and only saw the doctor at delivery, which was for all of 10 minutes since the nurses do most of the hard work. Nothing against the doctor but I just felt much more comfortable with her. Is that an option? And I thought the pediatrician did the circumsision.

I'm on my third and my new OB wouldn't even schedule me until I was 10-12 weeks along. It was torture waiting.

Good luck. You need and deserve so much more.

CarmelizedMe | 10:25 PM

Hi Rebecca. I'm jumping on the bandwagon and urging you to bail on that doctor. Birth is already pretty stressful and intense, I would imagine, and having to be worried about whether or not some asshole is going to cut your genitals without your consent is something you really shouldn't have to worry about (not to mention completely atrocious).

If you're comfortable with the idea, I also would recommend a midwife (obviously not from my own experience of giving birth, but from growing up and from my mom's). My mom had the same midwife for both her pregnancies. She chose a midwife because she went into the hospital she was thinking of delivering in and it sounded fine until they got to the end of their spiel and said that although the woman would be consulted, the doctor would make the final decision for what was best for her and the baby. She thought "Hell no; my body, my pregnancy. I'll make those decisions, thanks." and found Bonnie. I was born at home. My mom did actually have an episiotomy, but she fully consented to it, and it was only done when necessary, and hers was done well and it healed quickly.

When my mom had my sister, she and our midwife went to the hospital because my sister was right-side up inside my mom's uterus instead of upside-down, with her head looking up instead of her chin tucked down and my mom needed a C-section. Although the doctor still "delivered" the baby (I always think that's such a weird term because babies aren't, like, parcels), my mom said having her midwife there really helped. They had wanted to hook her up to a catheter right away, and our midwife was like "Uh, no, she can still walk around and pee right now, and if she wants to go to the showers or get something to eat, then that's fine." All-in-all, having her midwife there was really great even though she wasn't birthing my sister, because she could still be an advocate in that stressful situation and help make sure that the way the birth happened was the way my mom was comfortable with it happening.

Good luck with this, and CONGRATULATIONS!!!! (since I haven't said that yet)

L | 12:33 AM

Just to make you feel a little bit better - the situation with doctors, etc. is much worse in the UK :)

Also, would you mind writing about circumcision and why you chose to have it done for Archer?

Anonymous | 2:32 AM

He sounds like a dinosaur. You should never be told how to act in childbirth or have an episiotomy forced on you. No way!

How about trying a midwifery practice? There really is no need at all for an OBGYN for most women. Midwives have far lower rates of episiotomy, too, lower tearing and c-section rates, and higher Apgar scores for babies. You could have a home birth or if that's not for you, you could go to a birthing center attached to a hospital.

I started out very pro-epidural and was sure I would want an OB etc. Then... I read a few things. I recommend 'Ina May's Guide to Childbirth' and 'Birthing from Within' if you're interested in having more say in what happens for you this time around.

Anonymous | 5:37 AM

Yikes, what a dick! Does the new group plan cover Archer's ped? Usually group plans offer several doctors you can select from...are you positive that there is no other doctor that you can see while staying on the same group plan? Or does your current group plan cover any midwives and birthing centers?

Since you are asking for assvice, I would recommend that you do everything possible to get the hell out of Dickland. That is, if you want a more positive birth experience this time around. You are more likely to get a repeat if you stick with Dick. A friend of mine had a horrible experience with her OB during her first trimester and I urged her to switch. She finally did and couldn't believe how much of a difference it made during her pregnancy and birth-she felt more confidence and had a better relationship with her new OB. In the end, she had a wonderful birth experience that she would do again in a heartbeat.

Good luck!

Anonymous | 5:39 AM

Rebecca, I've been reading your blog for a long time. You are too good to let this Dr. Dick happen to you! I'm glad to hear everyone's support and that you're going to find someone else. It's also so encouraging to hear so many readers suggesting a midwife...I've been considering that myself. Good luck!

GoMommy | 6:22 AM

GET A NEW DOCTOR!!! You should not have to be verbally abused during your pregnancy. Dr's are people and some people have no tact. Are there other OB/GYN's in that group?

E's Mom | 6:24 AM

I would totally leave that creep. He doesn't sound like a *good* doctor, never mind a *nice* one! I am a nurse and I've seen patients who put up with a doctor who has a sh***y bedside manner he/she is freaking amazing at what they do- that's cool. But this guy sounds like a train wreck. I'd run far and fast. Yeah, the downside is losing Archer's ped, but I bet you'll find someone awesome elsewhere- I tend to think peds are a special bunch- they choose to deal with sick kids and their neurotic parents (self included here!). Good luck- you deserve the BEST.

Anonymous | 6:29 AM

What the HELL?

I wonder if it would be feasible for you to look into a midwife/doula/something to at least supplement this douche bag.

I don't know if you'd have to pay for it out of pocket, but it might be worth it.

Anonymous | 7:49 AM

Think about filing a complaint too. I know it might not seem like it will have much effect, but if he was a jerk to you, he probably was a jerk to other patients too. Although the chances are slim someone up top with actually care or do anything, if they get enough little notes about Dr. Dickwad. You know the saying - it takes a village... to expose an A-hole.

Anonymous | 8:00 AM

i scrolled through and saw the mention of a midwife/doula. i think that would be your best bet to "supplement" this doctor if you have to stick with him.

i used one with my last pregnancy and felt much more comfortable knowing i had someone to look out for me. i was able to be much more relaxed and calm knowing that the doctor wasn't going to go against any of my wishes.

best of luck!


Anonymous | 8:07 AM

I would run FAST! What an asshole for a Doctor! Switch now, while the next 7 months are about you, then after switch back so Archer and new baby can have the one you love. XOXO Oh and CONGRATS (I hope you have a girl)!!

Anonymous | 8:16 AM

if you can't switch because of insurance i'd write a formal letter to the insurance company of your complaints AND research how to report this jack ass to the AMA. I know how hard it is to find the time right now but i wish i'd done it. I've been through 7, yes SEVEN OBs since giving birth to my 1st son 3 years ago because i was sick of taking crap and ended up giving birth to my second son with a doc i wasn't crazy about either.

Lisa Dunick | 8:55 AM

Get.Out.Now. There are a lot of wonderful peds out there-- but pregnancy and labor and delivery shouldn't be handled by dicks. You should see if your plan or group has any midwives-- mine had midwives practicing in the same office and they were WONDERFUL- woman centered, family centered. I got the birth I wanted, even though NOTHING went according to plan. And really, anyone still doing episiotomies is just barbaric--most of the recent medical literature says they're unnecessary and possibly harmful. Run now- Ask Archer's ped. for a referral and go find someone who will take care of you.

Anonymous | 9:14 AM

I don't know if someone already said this, but can you check with the pediatrician and see what other insurance they accept? And then take that insurance's list and find another OB that you can be happy with, and that will treat you with a bit of respect?

And just a note, how in GOD'S NAME is that man still in practice? How can such an unsympathetic piece of trash still have patients? Can you lodge a formal complaint somewhere? It's not just a poor bedside manner, but a lack of interest in proper prenatal care. I wasn't thrilled when my OB couldn't find my daughter's heartbeat at 10 weeks with the external ultrasound wand and I knew an internal ultrasound would find it fast, but my doc wanted to wait a week and try again with the external wand. It was an anxious week to be sure. But while I was a bit pissed that they didn't just break out the better equipment I sort of understood too that I didn't have any other worrisome symptoms and it was probably just a matter of my being extra padded to begin with and my doctor didn't want to come out and say, "Because you're in the obese category, we can't hear through the fat tissue yet." She refrained from hurting my feelings even if she did leave me worrying a little more than I'd have liked. And I still ended up loving her to pieces, especially at the end when she really listened to my desires for the birth and guided me without trampling over my birth plan.

You cannot put yourself through that again. I'm sure your ped accepts more than your current kind of insurance, so maybe switching to another of the ped's insurance groups will open the doors to a ped you will be comfortable with and will help you keep your dignity as much as possible. But that jerk has got to go.

Anonymous | 9:20 AM

"I'm sure your ped accepts more than your current kind of insurance, so maybe switching to another of the ped's insurance groups will open the doors to a ped you will be comfortable with and will help you keep your dignity as much as possible."

I meant to say that switching to another of the ped's insurance groups will open the door to an OB you can be comfortable with. Sheesh.

J | 9:51 AM

Oh, that's just terrible. I would definitely find a way to change - now. You'll have to spend so much time with that man, why make your pregnancy any more stressful than it will be.

I'm in a kind of different boat. I lurve my primary OB. However, he's in a group of 6 other a-holes who I really don't like. They range from tolerable to dicktor. I've decided that after this one, I'm just going to have to find a new doc - whose company I can stand.

Good luck! Viva la Revolucion!

Anonymous | 9:54 AM

Can you switch to a new OB, new pediatrician, and then after you deliver, switch back to the pediatrician you like? I know it wouldn't be convenient, but I can't imagine going to an OB you dislike that much. Or, can you change to a new OB, keep seeing the pediatrician you like while you're pregnant, and just pay out of pocket for the visit or two that might happen in that time period? What a horrible position to be in. I fired my OB when pregnant with DD #1, I know it's not an easy decision, but well worth it. My original OB compared a vaginal ultrasound probe to a dildo. He told me I'd have to abort my baby because of a possible exposure to toxoplasmosis. He expressed to us(while we were happily pregnant after years of trying) that he didn't understand why anyone would want more than one child. He wanted me to describe my sex life to him, including any fantasies I might have. He was definitely a horrible, horrible doctor. Good luck in your journey. What a difficult decision.

Anonymous | 10:16 AM

Delurking for this...

Can you see a family practice doc for your first two trimesters? Where I live, FP's will see a woman up to 30 weeks. You can get all the prenatal stuff, ultrasounds, etc from them, and then see the OB for the final stretch. Most FP's won't deliver b/c of malpractice insurance craziness, but they will do the prenatal visits (usually gladly).

Green | 10:18 AM

Since you said the strike has hit your family, I have another idea on the money issue. If you're into the whole midwife concept, can you ask family if, instead of giving you baby presents, they'll give you money towards affording a midwife?

I don't know how presents are done in your family, but in mine that's totally something that could be done. Just yesterday I asked my brother if he wants me to buy him lemon peelers and shit off his registry or just give him a check (he wants the money).

Anonymous | 10:20 AM

I agree with the others who say to get a midwife. Midwives aren't even listed in my insurance's list of health care providers, so I had to call and ask, and the answer was yes. Thank god because not only could I not even get in with the obgyn's with good reputations around here, but my midwife has been warm, wonderful, caring and respectful. I would be a mess dealing with any less! I agree with Mrs. Green - something seems wrong - keep asking questions and looking at alternatives until you find something that works for you!

karengreeners | 10:44 AM

No, no, no, no, no. You deserve soooo much better than that. EVERY woman deserves better than that. Please get a midwife. Please, please, please.

Anonymous | 11:58 AM

Like what other folks have mentioned, you should switch to someone else...there must be a way. This guy sounds like bad news. I too would recommend a midwife. Sometimes, they have certified nurse-midwives that work out of OBGYN's offices or the women's health area of the hospital. Since they're working with OBGYNs then sometimes the service is billed to your insurance under the Dr.'s name and not the midwife, which could mean that your insurance would still pay. I hope things work out!

Stimey | 11:59 AM

Any chance you could go into labor when he's on vacation?

Christina | 12:51 PM

Did your doctor go to the Dr. House med school? Sheesh, with treatment like that, you must feel like nothing more than a uterus to him.

I agree with the others. Get another doctor or midwife - someone who will listen and respect your feelings, and someone who will allow you to have a birth plan.

I'm still shocked that you requested no episiotomy and got one anyway. This guy is an old-school ass who thinks he's god's presence on earth. A doctor can be an important part of a birth, but he's not the only one who knows what's best.

I had one of the best doctor teams for my second birth. My doctor was fully supportive of my VBAC, and when I went into labor, her partner came in and was just as supportive and honored my birth plan without question.

Don't let that doctor bully you - you're strong and can take charge of your own pregnancy. There are things that are out of our hands - like pregnancy complications - but a normally progressing pregnancy gives you the opportunity to make your own choices.

Anonymous | 12:57 PM

It's already been said but you so need to get a different OB. You deserve to enjoy your pregnancy, labor, AND your delivery. Of course, you'll enjoy that new bundle of joy once it arrives but you can't let this guy's jackassery fuck up your healthy pregnancy.

Are you sure you can't keep the same plan and find a different OB that they cover? It seems that there should be more than only one OB, especially one that sounds like he must be older than Methuselah. Or surely there's another group plan you can switch to that cover Archer's ped.

Seriously, find a new OB and send a letter of complaint. Let that SOB know he's a prick and why you are leaving. Your happiness during pregnancy is so much more important than this idiot seems to think it is.

Good luck!

Anonymous | 1:43 PM

Ok I am agreeing with everyone else, find someone you feel comfortable with. But just one added comment....Most insurance companies restrict to only two ultrasounds unless there is a medical reason for more than that. Some doctor's have their own machines and tech's and will do them more often as part of a routine visit and to track the baby's progress.

Gina | 1:47 PM

Maybe because I am in Utah there are a lot more OB options, but I wouldn't tolerate any of the crap you just described. That sucks you have no other option within your current network. I would be screaming bloody murder over ALL this. Can you at least report his behavior to the clinic?

Anonymous | 2:06 PM

Please get an new doctor and then make it a point to tell this toolshed why you're firing him. He's doubtlessly the kind of man who gets a paper cut and hollers for morphine PLUS he has a jealous hatred for pregnant women. It's all very Freudian. I won't go into it, but trust me, guys like this are a dime a dozen and they're usually either cops or OB/GYNs. They gravitate to authority. And uniforms.
As for circumcision? Would you consider bypassing it? I know you will if you have a girl but if it's another boy there's no reason to slice off his foreskin, providing you're not going for the whole moyle and bris thing.
My son isn't circumcized and it's not a problem. (I was going to write. 'it's no biggie!' ha ha ha!) It's not like he and my husband ever stood around and compared penisus; at least not that I ever heard about.

- Gef, the Talking Mongoose

Shel | 2:07 PM

first off: congrats!

second: you are putting your life and the life of your unborn child in the hands of this person. you need someone you trust and that isn't a nazi. find a new doc pronto.

gwendomama | 2:20 PM

i would definitely have grabbed for his delicate parts if he had shushed me, dammit! one nurse told me to make lower noises (i guess i was kind of screeching while pushing)...lower!!! LOWER! she screamed....

"YES!!! BEAUTIFUL!!! LIKE THAT!!"she praised me.

i loved her.


You guys are super awesome helpful. I'm getting to the bottom of this now. Changing plans, trying to find a midwife covered by insurance. I'll blog about it all later when I get this shit sorted.

Re: circumcision. It's a family matter for us and next time around we would def have a mohel perform the procedure (and do a full-on bris) ... We're raising Archer Jewish and it's a lot more complicated than just "looking like his dad"... Personally, I would rather not circumcise but like I said, it's a family decision and I really don't want to go into it any more than that. Appreciate everyone's concern, though and totally respect the anti-circ folks. Word.

Again, thank you. It's unreal how many people have had dickfarms for doctors. Makes me want to punch some face in.

Actorgirl | 5:05 PM

No, you are NOT overreacting. This is absolutely ridiculous behaviour on the part of a doctor. Is there seriously no way you can get a new OB/GYN without changing your child's pediatrician? That just sucks, but I have to tell you, I think after your description of this visit (he thinks it's too early to come at almost TWO MONTHS? Unbelievable!), it would be the last time I would set foot in that office.

I have been through three GYNs in the last five or six years... this last one, I LOVE. She is kind, she actually LISTENS, and she is willing to do what I ask... basically, she treats me like a human being. You deserve that, too.

Anonymous | 8:33 PM

You are not being sensitive- CHANGE. You deserve a beautiful birth that a great doc or midwife can help you to have. Please change- then change back to get back to the ped. you like. I had my baby boy at home, and it was BEAUTIFUL.

Anonymous | 9:47 PM

hey, im a new reader and loving your blog. i really appreciate your honesty and tolerance. lovely!

now, dr dick:
it is inappropriate in so many ways to have a doctor comment on your body size - in a "body beautiful" kind of way. get the hell away from this doctor. you're having a baby! this is a wonderful time!

good luck with the insurance - i have heard that if there's no one listed, you can choose whomever you want and they have to cover it. grapevine news.

i had a midwife team and loved it. had both of my kids at home.

whatever you do, get AWAY from this guy. he is a prick.

- sarahkp

Anonymous | 10:16 PM



that doc is all talk, no cock.
speaking of cocks, how's archer's circ?

you have the shortest memory of all time, rebecca. call the pediatrician. tell him your problem. see if he/she has any ideas or recommendations for staying within the group, but losing the assjockey.

get your head on. fuck that asshole. this is the next year of MY life we are talking about, and i'm not going to spend it listening to how this anal probe fucked you again.

fire him. but not before you print out this, and the fucked circ-job post you made about him and give that to him with his "your fired, dr. dickholio"


Maria | 8:16 AM

Is there any way to go the midwife or CNM route?

Anonymous | 8:31 AM

Of course you should change if you can, but the world is not always a perfect place. I'm going to go out on a completely different limb here. This is my last-ditch-can't-escape-the-hell-or-afford-an-alternative advice, to be used in an emergency.

Stand up to the motherfucker. He says he remembers you bigger? Then say, Hm. I remembered you as thinner. He says you're eager to get into the doctor at seven weeks? Say that when you called for the appointment, you weren't told to wait--they got you right in, and if his policy is different--that he should be seeing patients later, then he needs to educate his staff as such. Don't take his bullshit!

And read up on malpractice/breach of ethics violations. Don't hesitate to write him up if necessary. He might be walking a fine line between "bad bedside manner" and "booted out of the AMA". But know your legal rights. Maybe drop a line like, Are you sure those comments are appropriate?

If all else fails and you can't change soon, see if you can take a girlfriend with you to the appointments--even if it means having her in the room while he looks at your lady business. If he asks why the friend is there, say, "Oh she's my chaperone,"--that's the term my OBs have used for the nurse who comes in while they do exams. It'll make him think twice about what he says if you've got a witness there. And make sure you pick a friend who'll help you be your badass self.

I might suggest having Hal there, but it might be more empowering if it's a female friend--the last thing you want is for him to talk to Hal like you're not even in the room.

Don't take this shit lying down. I don't want you to feel like you'll be setting yourself up for substandard treatment if you stand up to him, but let him know (if you are indeed truly stuck) that you'll be taking action if necessary.

B | 8:50 AM

WOW! I don't know if you will get to reading this and it sounds like you have a plan after skimming through your comments but I just did this. (Stuck with a doc I wasn't pleased with for a second pregnancy). I am very much in your situation. My husband and I are both self employed so I fully understand your insurance woes. I did exactly what your last anon. commenter suggested. I sucked it up and fought back. I didn't hesitate to correct my doctor. If we disagreed on care I armed myself with research made my own decisions regarding my maternal care and stuck to my guns. Even if it meant repeating myself 100 times and crying in my car once I left the office. It is NOT EASY and it totally stressed me the fuck out so I give you that warning but you can stand up to that prick.

HUGS! And I hope the ultrasound goes well today!

Anonymous | 9:39 AM

Hey I loved green's idea ... have someone set up a "midwife fund" instead of a baby shower this time around. Love it!!!


This makes me so angry I want to cry, or punch something. Or both.

The episiotomy adn botched circ are reason enough to dump this doc--"childbirth expierience" aside, this is your BODY, and your child's body, and FUCK anyone who's going to hurt you or make you feel like shit. Now I'm all pissed off on your behalf. Seriously, what the hell is wrong with this man?

I'd contribute to the GGC midwfe fund in a heartbeat.

Kat | 10:13 AM

You know, some doctors have a horrible bedside manner, but are terrific doctors, and some just suck at life. You have the later apparently. I'd dump his ass. Is there another OB at his practice so that you don't have to uproot your entire medical life? I guess I don't understand why you can't choose your own OB and still keep Archer's ped?

Have you looked into getting a midwife? I don't have children of my own yet - but that is definitely a direction that I would like to go in. I love that it makes the childbearing process more personal.

BTW - I'm a long time reader, and I have yet to wish you congratulations!!!!

Anonymous | 12:13 PM

Oh, also, depending on income level you might qualify for the California programs AIM and Healthy Families.

Anonymous | 12:22 PM

hey girl-
i hope this comment doesn't get sucked away by the internet (most of the ones i leave you do!!)

i love the idea of switching docs for the next year and then switching back. worst case scenario you pay for archers 3 year well child? not the worst thing that could happen all things considered.

while i love the idea of a midwife and a birthing center, et al, in my case (somewhat similar to yours) since my first pregnancy resulted in pre eclampsia and preterm labor etc i'm not really allowed to have any of that- we are borderline 'high-risk' (as far as so far, so good, but won't be too surprised if anything changes) and are also having tons of sonos *with* a perinatologist (since 8 weeks! our ob wanted a baseline and steady track of progress, see if anything changes immediately) and bloodwork. she also sees us every 4 weeks (since 8 weeks along) and will up that shortly. fwiw, we love our ob, and were thrilled with her warmth, caring, professionalism and expertise (which we didn't realize we needed til he time came). so there are great OB's out there.

which isn't to alarm you, but to put your mind at ease in the sense of following your gut- you know how unhappy you were with this guy, and you owe it to yourself and your baby to find someone whom you are comfortable with and will treat you as a partner in the birth of your child, not a waste of his time.

pnuts mama

Anonymous | 12:33 PM

i meant pay for archer to see your ped that you love even if he isn't "covered" by him this time around.

also, i wasn't sure what your case history required as far as the pre-eclampsia entailed if a midwife is in the cards or if, like me, you need the whole OBGYN/perinatologist route as we seem to this time (who knew?)

and we are totally looking into the traditional jewish circumcision route as well b/c even though we are christian, we honor the covenant and researched the hell out of topic and like the trad. way of doing it old school hemi-style vs. lopping the whole thing off by whomever happens to be on call that day. lucky for us our ped is orthodox and happy to do it a week after birth with topical anesthetic, etc.

so since i think most of my comments get deleted i just wanted to let you know i'm thrilled for you and mazel tov and the very best for a happy and healthy pregnancy.

pnuts mama

a. borealis | 1:58 PM

GAK! Although there are already 88 comments and this is TOTALLY OUTING me as a lurker, I've just gotta comment.

AND I'll be saying what everyone else has been saying:

But seriously...

I cannot understand why that OB is even in the business that he is in. It is sick - SICK, I'm telling you. Your alarm and disgust is completely warranted in a situation like this. He is the very definition of a TERRIBLE OB. Shushing during labor??? How DARE he! I'm serious, this man is the very reason why there are rabid homebirthers out there: they don't want to deal with vermin like him. And unfortunately, many have. I'm so sorry, GGC.

What a jackass. Please don't suffer for any reason - make the switch. As many people have said...pregnancy, labor, and delivery are way too precious to be wasted on drivel like him.

The nerve!

Finally, echoing what everyone else has said: FIND A GOOD MIDWIFE, be she CNM or CPM. You will see an entire world - solar system - universe of difference. Pre-natal visits that last 45-minutes to an hour, seeing someone that actually cares about you and the process you are going through, being SUPPORTED during labor instead of shushed.

I quit my OB after 32 weeks the first time around and switched to a CNM at a hospital: first off, I saw a different doc every visit, secondly - the OB I saw at 32 weeks nonchalantly told me that they'd "simply induce me" if the baby got too big, as if it were HER body, not MINE. The second time around, I went with a CPM in a homebirth (currently working on getting it covered by insurance). I must say, that experience even topped my CNM-attended hospital experience. Check out your options - you definitely have them.

Congratulations on your pregnancy! It is an unrivaled life-experience. Don't let a jackass destroy ANY of it for you.

Mom101 | 5:22 AM


So glad you switched, R. Not overreacting in the least. I want to kick him in the face for you.

Anonymous | 12:00 PM

Now I know: if someone should dare to shush (?!?) me during my first birth, I will find it soooo therapeutic to scream at them even louder: "YOU"RE FIRED! LEAVE IMMEDIATELY!".

I'd rather bite off the umbilical myself than let an unappreciative dick -male or female- near me in those sacred moments. Wow. He must be reported, really. It's up to women (or our husbands) to enforce accountability in these cases.

My mother was actually tied down, her arms and legs - in a military hospital, by American 'doctors' and their response was that it was to protect the doctors from any *potential* flailing of limbs - during my birth and I've heard other women from that era, 1965, say it was a standard practice. WTF doesn't even cover THAT.

Kristina | 8:49 PM

Another throwing in a "midwife" hint. Midwives generally are much more concerned for the woman's emotional needs as well as her medical ones...and a CNM's training rival's a doc's.

...and of course, being one, I would suggest looking into getting a doula as well :)

Midwives aren't all anti-hospital, anti-epidural. They're pro-woman, pro-individual. Pro-choice in childbirth.

Anonymous | 11:42 AM

Umm, no, you are definitely not being overly sensitive... this guy is le douche extraordinaire. I hope things start getting easier for you... the last thing you want is more stress. Dicktor is a genius. -_-

By the way, I'm about 5 weeks pregnant and already have an appointment set, so 'eager'? Please! haha

skylana | 10:07 AM
This comment has been removed by the author.
skylana | 10:08 AM

the only advice i have ... midwives, they actually know what they're doing when it comes to anything to do with childbearing.

Knit in the Northwest | 12:13 AM

I HAVE had a horrible experience like that. Get this, when I was trying to get pregnant, my doc (who happened to be the head doc at the hospital) told me that I should try kinky sex. He followed that up by saying "I don't know if your husband likes to lick your bottom, flip you over, and bang you from behind." Now I really truly hate being vulgar like that, but I have to put it out there that OBs (or any docs for that manner) can be really truly big ball-sucking dickheads.

Complain about the mother f-er. I did, and apparently I was like the 22nd to complain. The TWENTY-SECOND?! When did they stop and think they had a problem?! Complain, and do it in writing, so it goes in the bastards file. At least you will have something on him and you can chuckle about it. Oh man, I have to tell you about the doctor that had me caught in the speculum and didn't realize it.... SONOFABITCH.

Knit in the Northwest | 12:16 AM

Oh yeah - if you can afford a midwife they will do the advocating for you, I think. They didn't have those in the Navy for us. Just icky old fat men that liked to look in vaginas.