This post also appeared on www.capecodonline.com/blogs in the opinion section of the Cape Cod Times, a division of Ottaway Newspapers, Inc.
I’d like to take this time to talk about one of the few things I haven’t liked about being an expectant father…the doctor’s appointments. Don’t get me wrong, I love our doctor. He’s personable, direct and he knows what he’s doing. We went through many doctors to find him and he fits the bill. But actually getting to see him — and to see him on time — is nearly impossible.
It doesn’t help that I have a weird hang-up about being on time. I think it stems from my mother, who was ALWAYS late. One year in elementary school when she drove my brother to school, he was late more than 60 times. And did I mention she used to be a bus driver?!!? Oh well, at least it spurred me to always be early or on time. And silly me, that’s how I thought a doctor’s office would operate. Efficiently.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
An OB/GYNs office is a black hole, where time as we normally know it ceases to exist. If your appointment is at 10 a.m., you’re not getting past the front desk until at least 10:20, sometimes later. Then they weigh the mom-to-be, take her blood pressure and write everything down in the chart. Then it’s off to the examination room, and that’s when time really stops. God only knows how long you’ll be in there. The first time we had an appointment our doctor was busy delivering a C-section with complications at Cape Cod Hospital, so everything was backed up. If I had any smarts at all I would’ve just shut my mouth and not said anything, but both of us have to take time off work every time we go and I started to get really irritated after more than an hour passed. That led to my wife getting irritated at me, which is bad because my only real responsibility is to keep her happy and sane.
But what really frosted me was when the doctor came in, listened for the heart beat, asked us if we had any questions and was done in less than five minutes. We waited an hour and a half for a five minute examination!! And it’s the same deal once a month for 5-6 months, then it goes to twice a month at 34 weeks and then weekly from 36 weeks on to the end. I’m thinking about having my mail forwarded there I’ve spent so much time in that office.
But then again, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Not to toot my own horn, but I’ve heard from a lot of women that their husbands almost never go with them to the doctor’s appointments. I think that’s crazy. It never crossed my mind not to go with her. I want to know what’s going on too. After all, the father of an unborn child is really an afterthought in every respect. We cause the pregnancy and really with the exception of running out to Burger King at odd times, that’s the extent of our involvement until birth. So why wouldn’t future dads want to go and learn everything they can at the doc’s office? I know I haven’t missed one and I don’t plan on it.
Just make sure you bring something to read while you’re waiting.