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Still Waiting

No results yet from the Jewish disease blood work. I'm getting really anxious for them. And my mom, who's in town from Ann Arbor, Michigan helping me with the logistics and legwork of our minor apartment renovations in our new place (painting, handyman work, buying light fixtures, etc.) before our move next week, is even more anxious. This was made clear at my appointment at the obgyn yesterday.

First, she was thrilled to be at the appointment. She got to hear the baby's heart beat, which was really exciting for her. But she was definitely put off by my doctor. I guess, having lived in New York City for the past 10 years, I've gotten jaded, and I've come to know that I can only expect so much out of my doctors here by way of bedside manner. From what I've found (and I've been to a lot of doctors here), they're pretty much all rushed, they're all abrupt, and they're all not that considerate. There are a few exceptions of course, my primary care doctor and my podiatrist to name two, but you usually have to search high and low here for a doctor who really seems to care about you and takes the time to listen to you. And I actually switched to this obgyn before trying to get pregnant because she was more thoughtful than my last two obgyns — so I can only imagine what my mom would've thought of my current obgyn's predecessors.

Still, my mom (who is a native New Yorker, though you'd never know it by her innate sweetness and warmth), was pretty shocked at how rushed, and unfeeling my doctor was. My mom was concerned that my doctor forgot to tell me the results of my thyroid screen until I asked, and it seemed as though she hadn't even looked at my chart until she walked through the exam room door. And of course, my mom was upset that my doctor didn't seem to think that getting the results of the Jewish disease blood work was that big a deal.

"Oh, those results do take a while," my doctor said.

"But it's been two weeks," I said.

"Hmm. Yeah, they shouldn't take longer than that," she said.

"Do you think this means there might be a problem?" my mom asked.

"No, I wouldn't take the timing as any indication of the result," said my doc.

"So should I call my genetic counselor again to check?" I asked while my mom mouthed to me and pointed at my doctor behind her back, "Tell her to call!"

"Well, we'll get a fax from the hospital when the results are in, so we'll call you when we get that."

So we have no ETA on the results, but other than that, I thought the appointment went okay. My mom, however, did not. She was so upset, in fact, that she actually started to cry as we left the doctor's office.

"What is it, Mom?" I asked, really concerned now.

"I just don't feel like this woman is taking good care of you," she said in a wobbly voice. "I want your doctor to care about you as if you're a real person — not just another task in her day. If her daughter were waiting for those results you can be damn sure she'd call up the hospital right now to find out what was taking so long instead of making her wait until now. Doesn't she realize that these results could determine whether or not you even have this child — and you're already into your second trimester? Does she have no heart?"

"Don't worry, Mom. I'm on top of my medical care. I ask the questions I need to ask, I do my research...I'll be okay."

"I know, but she made us feel rushed from the second she walked in. She just doesn't make me feel confident you're in good hands," my mom said trying to fight back tears. "During both of my pregnancies, I was treated with so much more care and warmth, and I want you to feel that secure."

I thought at first that maybe my mom was overreacting, as she tends to do where I'm concerned (she would fight mountain lions to make sure I was out of harm's way). But as I hugged her on the street outside my doctor's office, trying to calm her down, I understood more than ever what she was feeling: She firmly believes that her most important purpose in life is to make sure that her children are taken care of, just like my most important purpose in life now is to make sure that my baby is taken care of. I'm certainly doing everything in my power to make sure that my baby is okay, and my mom is still doing everything in her power to make sure that her baby (me) is okay. I knew it intellectually before, but yesterday I felt more deeply than ever just how much you can love your child — not to mention your mom.

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