Remember last week, when I regaled you all with the embarrassing tale of discovering I was sitting in my gynecologist’s house? Well, his lovely wife (and my writing buddy) agreed to post today to tell her side of the story. So everybody give a great big bloggy welcome to Amanda, the Brave OB’s Wife.
I’ve had my share of strange moments, but being the wife of a doctor can sometimes tip the weirdness scale.
I live in a smallish city of about 70,000 people, and my husband happens to be an Ob/Gyn in one of the largest practices in town. Also, I am a co-organizer for a group of moms that averages about a hundred members at any given time. When I think about it, I live an unusual life. I’m married to a man who not only gets up close and personal with me at home, but who also does so (legally, I might add) with many other women in town—some of whom happen to be my friends!
You might be thinking, “Yikes! How can she live with that knowledge?!?”
Well, honestly, I didn’t really think about it…until now.
Thanks. Thanks a lot for that.
The truth is I’ve known my husband since before he became a doctor, back when we met in college in 19-Something-Something. Our first conversation inevitably led to why we were there in the first place, and he told me about his dream of becoming a physician. It wasn’t until we were married and he was doing his rotation years of medical school that he decided to try the field of obstetrics and gynecology. And, honestly, it didn’t seem that weird to me at all.
He’s always been a quiet, thoughtful, and caring guy with a wicked sense of humor and a brilliance that just blows me away. The fact that he had all the makings of a great doctor was a given, but when he told me he had helped deliver a baby for the first time, the light in his eyes told me he’d found his true calling.
Throughout his years in residency, I watched him come home exhausted after a 36-hour shift at the hospital, only to sleep roughly eight hours (or less) and go back in to do it all over again the next morning. There was really no time for me to think about exactly what he was doing at work, especially when I was working in an office full-time myself, and then, when I became a full-time stay-at-home-mom.
His job eventually became just as clinical for me as it was, and still is, for him.
So, what’s the strangest moment I’ve experienced while being married to an Ob/Gyn? For me, it was when I crossed over the line from being just his wife to being his wife and his patient.
Our first son, who is now four-years-old, was born while my husband was in residency. Although he participated fully in the pregnancy, from doing the very first ultrasound of the tiny embryo to discovering the fetus was breech at 30 weeks (I was his guinea pig for practicing his ultrasound skills), my husband did not deliver our baby. He wanted to concentrate on becoming a new father, and he did so brilliantly, even when he had to stand back, hold my hand, and watch as someone else cut me open to get our firstborn out safely.
Actually, he didn’t so much as stand back as he watched the entire C-section unfold on the other side of the curtain from my head. I joked with him that if he fainted while my Ob made the first cut, he was definitely in the wrong line of work.
Flash-forward almost three and a half years later. My husband finished residency and found a job practicing with five other Ob/Gyns in our home state. We decided that it was time to have another baby. I was already a patient in his practice, but I’d been seeing the Nurse Practitioner for my annual visits. We both knew that once I got pregnant, there was the likelihood I would be seeing him in the office as, not only my supportive husband, but also as one of the five Obs who would be caring for me during the next nine months. And, sometimes, he did see me on the other side of the stirrups.
Those were probably some of the weirdest moments of our marriage. I’d walk into the office and do the normal pregnancy-related stuff before going back to his personal space to say a quick hello to him. Then, a nurse would check me in and take me to the exam room. I’d nervously sit on the edge of the exam table waiting until I saw him again, but this time in his white lab coat with my chart under his arm and a smile on his face.
It got even weirder when, towards the end of my pregnancy, he had to start checking me for cervical changes. You can imagine the conversations we had. “Okay, I’m going to put my hand up your vagina to check to see if you’ve changed at all. Oh, and by the way, if you’re going to the store later, I need more deodorant…”
It eventually got easier, and when I actually went into labor, I didn’t really care that it was my husband who was checking my cervix every few hours, because at that point, all I wanted was to get it over with. Our second child wasn’t delivered by him, either. From the very beginning, his co-workers knew where he wanted to be come D-day. He was able to play the role of daddy once again, and he stood by, held my hand, and watched for the second time as one of his colleagues cut me open in order to deliver our now four-month-old son safely into this world.
So, while it might be a bit strange for me to meet a new mom and find out my husband had at some point seen her during her pregnancy and/or delivered her baby, I’ve learned to take it all in stride. It’s what he does, after all. And, when I hear that the woman had a fabulous experience overall, I can’t help but feel proud of the man I married.
See, I told you she was cool. And by the way? If you have any questions you’ve always wanted to ask your OB’s wife but never could, voice ’em now! She’s promised to come back and write some more if we want her to!