Two years ago, I found myself in a scary and exciting position. My husband and I were pregnant with our first child! I was over the moon, but it was scary to be in another country (I’m American and I lived in Canada at the time), far from family and my usual OBGYN. First, let me say, I LOVE my OB/GYN at home. She has talked to me about my weight, but always in a positive and helpful way. She understands that I am currently healthy and my being overweight does not mean that I’m about to break down an die at any minute. Her concerns about my weight are founded, but always delivered with respect and sensitivity, and never over done. After what I went through with the Canadian OB/GYN, i feel endlessly lucky to have my American doctor.
So, first of all, it’s very hard to research doctors up here. The way the system works is, the GP or family doctor refers you. You can tell them who you want, but if you don’t know any doctors, you get the luck of the draw. I was not so lucky. I was referred to a doctor, let’s call her Doctor Meanie-Pants. Because I was American, without OHIP (the state sponsored insurance), I had to pay out of pocket for every visit, the delivery, everything. Okay, that’s fine. But when you paid as much as I did…you should be treated like a costumer. All I got for my money was emotional abuse. On the first visit Dr. Meanie-Pants turned to me and said, “You are obese.” Jeez. Thanks, lady. I didn’t know. I rolled my eyes and bit my tongue. I was used to this, after all. Every time I’ve had to see a doctor that I didn’t already know, I got the same song an dance. Yes. I’m fat. I know. Now, can you please treat me.
I never felt comfortable with this woman. She was obsessed with my weight. I gained almost no weight for the entire 4 months she saw me. I was watching what I was eating, and the baby was burning a lot of calories. Given that I was large to begin with, I didn’t need to gain much. But she seemed to think I was “cheating” the scale or something. How could such a big fat, fatty possibly be pregnant and not be blowing up like a balloon?
It was durning one of her weight tirades that she proceeded to inform me that, at the next appointment we’d be doing my Gestational Diabetes test, but that she was certain I would have it. “As overweight as you are, it’s a certainty,” she said. I smiled brightly at her the next appointment when it turned out I did NOT have GD. Two appointments later she sat me down and told me that she was referring me to a specialist because she couldn’t risk her medical license with a possible American lawsuit. Because “since I don’t take care of myself” complications in the delivery are almost certain. Incidentally, I DID have complications…that had nothing to do with my weight, and it was a good thing I didn’t have this incompetent fat hater delivering me when it happened. I have no doubt my son would have died in the time it would have taken her to lecture me about me weight on the delivery table.