Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Fat Discrimination Firsthand

 Originally dated 03/25/2011
Yesterday I had the first half of an integrated screening…basically at 10-12 weeks, they do bloodwork and a sonogram to measure the baby’s neck, and they do it again at 16-18 weeks, and based on averages from all tests, they determine a risk for Downs Syndrome, Neural Tube Defects, etc.
Bloodwork is second nature at this point, so that bit of the test was unremarkable. The sonogram was another story. Up until now, because it was so early in the pregnancy, all the baby viewing had been transvaginal (sorry if that’s TMI lol it’s the truths of pregnancy)…this was the first tummy sonogram. The nurse was SUPER nice, explaining every step, telling me each thing she was measuring, even stopping so I could watch the baby leapfrog around in my uterus (which was SUPER COOL…I can’t wait til I can feel it!)… then she got quiet. Obviously I got worried that she went from being really chatty to totally silent, so I asked if something was wrong…she said she was going to get the doctor to speak to me. I FREAKED.
When the doctor came in, I recognized him right away. I’d dealt with him once before for a sonogram I had done for my ovarian cysts a couple years back…then he walked into the room, did the sonogram and left, never introducing himself. He didn’t introduce himself yesterday either, so let’s call him Dr. Asshole, or Dr. A for short, since I STILL don’t know who the FUCK he is.
Dr. A was extremely rough with that little wand and caused me more pain with it than I thought was possible without actually bludgeoning me with it. He kept muttering and complaining to himself, and my nerves were going a mile a minute. Suddenly he stops and basically yells at me “WHY ARE YOU SO WORRIED?! You know, if you weren’t so fat, you wouldn’t worry so much.”
"Your fatness is making my job very difficult. The baby is not cooperating, but I cannot make it move because you are so fat!"
Now, I know I’m fat. No one needs to remind me. I also get that this guy sees 100 pregnant women a week and might be a bit desensitized to how traumatizing any test having to do with your baby can be, but SERIOUSLY?! How dare he talk to me like that? I have NEVER felt more bullied in my life.
Then he says “I need your help. Move your fat out of the way so I can get to the baby”…Now I didn’t just feel bullied, I felt humiliated. He was making me feel like a horrible mother because of my…weight? I still can’t believe I didn’t deck him or yell at him, which would have been my normal reaction. Instead I internalized and worried so much about the baby that all I could do was take his abuse, which is just what it was. ABUSE. He wouldn’t have said such a thing to a thinner woman if her baby wasn’t cooperating.
He started violently shaking my stomach at this point with the wand, and I had to speak up. “Could you stop that?” I said…”You’re hurting me, and I’m afraid that might hurt the baby”
"Well, I wouldn’t have to do it if you weren’t so fat!"
He decided to have me lay on my side for a bit to give the baby time to move while he went to attend to something else. I LOST my shit crying as soon as he left and starting talking to the baby, asking him/her to PLEASE move for mommy, because I wanted to get us both away from this man as soon as possible. About 5 minutes later, Dr. A came back, and lo and behold, the baby was in perfect position.
All I could do when he announced we were done was stare at him angrily while tears rolled down my cheeks. Then the fucker has the AUDICITY to lecture me about how I shouldn’t worry so much because people who worry have a MENTAL DISABILITY where they “don’t think right” and I have to correct that if I want to be a good parent.
I honestly don’t know what kept me from beating him half to death right then. The desperation to leave that office was actually strongly than my desire to kill this man, if you can believe it.
So yeah. The things I have to deal with as a fat pregnant woman, not because I’m an awful parent, not because my health is causing my baby harm (it’s not, and I have all the tests to prove it) but because of a number on a scale.
And mark my words, if I ever even SEE that man again, I will absolutely lose my shit. What an absolute fucking bastard. As sensitive as pregnant women are, you’d think he’d try to be a little kinder, not throw ALL bedside manner out the window.
So thanks, Dr. Asshole, for turning such a beautiful and exciting moments into literally one of the worst experiences of my life.

Reposted from my personal blog, Plus Size Preggo, where I detailed my pregnancy with my only son.

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