During my first pregnancy, I got regular checkups from my in-network provider, a group medical practice, as well as from a midwife. The visits with the various doctors at the practice were punctuated with uncomfortable silences and long looks. Finally, when I was about four months along, one of them said hesitantly, “Well, I don’t know if anybody has raised this as a concern, but you’re . . . well, you’re obese.”
What I wanted to say was, “Gosh, I never knew that! No wonder my clothes have to be so big! Thank you for clearing up this mystery, doctor!” What I said was, “Yes, I’m aware of that.”
“Well, we were worried that you would get upset if we raised the subject.”
“No, that’s fine.”
So she went down the laundry list of Awful Awful Things, such as blood pressure (always normal), blood sugar (ditto), hauling around the baby weight on overstressed joints (I told her that my weight had actually gone down just before I conceived), and so on and so on and doobie doobie doobie. She started looking a little unnerved as the fat lady just sat there giving assorted variations of, “Yes, I know, and as you can see from my chart, I’m perfectly okay.”
So on the next visit, another member of the practice flipped through the last doctor’s notes and said, “I see that you’ve been made aware of our concerns about your obesity.” I nodded and smiled and he went on to tell me solemnly that I was so fat inside (or as he put it, I had so much “excess tissue”) that I could never have a baby without medical assistance, so my planned homebirth would just have to be canceled, and he looked forward to working with me if I got him on rotation in the labor and delivery suite at the hospital.
And I took a copy of his notes to the midwife, who–gasp, shock–did an internal exam and said that Doctor Doom was full of shit. I had a good set of abs under my flab due to the crunches I had been doing faithfully for years, I had a classic gynecoid pelvis, my tissue health was excellent (I had been taking high-powered vitamins recommended by my midwife and eating well), and she even had me do a Kegel around her fingers to prove that I did not have a flabby incompetent twat. In her opinion, I was not likely to have a problem even if my baby was twins.
I had that baby at home, after a four and a half hour labor. In fact, I had all of my babies at home. They’re fine, I’m fine, and Doctor Doom has never retracted his ridiculous assertion. Not that I see him for anything if I have a choice!
I live in a midwife-unfriendly state and I don’t want to cause her any trouble, even indirectly. So just sign me,
Big Fat Mama of Three