I have talked a lot about encounters with doctors and clinics on this blog. We have experienced everything from the mildly annoying to the truly bad, but never have we had something happen quite like this! So, buckle in, and meet a seriously horrible gynaecologist…
Different from the last scan in the UZ, this was a doctor who comes highly recommended, one I was hoping to have for the rest of this pregnancy, so I was feeling optimistic when we walked into the hospital!
I was wrong to be…
We are directed to chairs, and told to wait.
I take two pee breaks before it’s our turn, and by the time the doctor FINALLY shows herself, I am expecting her to be as special as she is rumoured to be!
We shuffle into her office, where she is on the phone and ignores us entirely, so we wait around for a bit until she pays attention to us.
When she is done with the phone call, we say hello and I start my usual ‘I can speak Dutch, but my partner is British, so would it be possible to speak in English?’ request.
She asks me in Dutch, “Any past surgeries?”
I assume that she didn’t hear me the first time, so I say “No, but can we speak in English please?”
“Well, ‘operation’ is a word she’ll understand, isn’t it?” The doctor proceeds in Dutch.
I am too taken aback to argue, but whoa… I can understand not being confident enough in English to speak it (although every doctor we have ever encountered in Belgium has been), but there is no reason to be that snappy about it!
“No nausea.” The doctor says.
She’s about to write that down, when I interrupt her and says, “Actually, I’ve been ill for months.”
She doesn’t comment any further.
“Are you married? Living together?” She looks at us. “Are you even a couple?”
What??? Never mind that I introduced Jo as my partner to begin with, that’s just terribly rude. Does she ask straight couples this question as well? We say that yes, we are a couple, and she writes some things down.
We had booked this appointment so we could have a scan but also so we could get the NIPT test (a genetic blood test). So I remind her that we are scheduled for that test today as well.
The doctor informs us that because we were waiting so long to see her we’re now too late in the day to do the NIPT test. Then she starts on a rant, “This test costs 300eur to the government and you’re being charged nothing, all to know whether you’re getting a Down’s – (she actually used a much worse word than that) – baby, how is that a thing…”
At this point I am sitting there flabbergasted.
It never occurred to me that we would get shamed about wanting a test we had already scheduled to have, one that is standard these days, by a doctor! Never mind that she made it so we couldn’t actually get the test.
I mention that we had been waiting for her for a very long time, so we could easily have done the test earlier.
She disagrees, “No, no point in doing it before the scan, if something is wrong with the baby on the scan now then a blood test would be a waste, wouldn’t it?”
I’m really stunned hearing her say that. If something is wrong with my baby a test would be ‘a waste’? What the hell!
She instructs me to go lie down for the scan, so I go ahead and do that, but I am feeling so uneasy it barely registers to me that it is happening. My head is ringing with ‘Should I fight her on any of the things she’s just said? Or just be quiet and hope we can leave soon?’
The sonogram machine is turned on, and luckily our baby pops up on the screen straight away.
Our little Sunshine is moving, squirming around, waving their arms and legs. It’s definitely a lively, happy little one in there, which is an immense relief, I am so happy to see it.
The baby is also turning and repeatedly trying to get away from the probe, which is hilarious!
But the atmosphere is deadly silent. The doctor says nothing, then mumbles “well formed nostril bones” and “right size for gestational age”.
She takes some pictures of the scan and that’s it.
I’m done, the scan is over.
It was lovely to see the baby, but I can barely feel the joy of it with this doctor. There’s no smile from her, no sign of her being happy at all that there is a healthy little one in there.
“Any more questions?”
I quickly say no so we can go.
We take our forms, and leave.
Jo and I walk out of the hospital in a gloomy mood. It feels like we got bad news, even though we didn’t. It’s hard to shake the doctor’s bizarre behaviour.
It’s not over yet though. When we get home and actually look at what she has given us, we realise that:
-The doctor has given me blood work stickers so I can come back to the hospital another day for the NIPT test. Only what she gave me are the wrong ones, they have someone else’s medical information on it. So now I know every medical detail of a stranger, and need to jump through some more hoops to get this damn test.
-She has written down Jo’s name somewhere in an empty margin in my pregnancy booklet (there wasn’t even a question about a partner there, she just asked that for no reason!) and misspelled it. And worse, she has written ‘SINGLE’ next to my name.
I am FURIOUS. Not only has she withheld medical care, she has made it even more difficult for me to get this test. AND she has written down I don’t have a partner on medical forms, meaning that if I would give birth in that hospital, she has just handily stripped Jo of any rights.
I am not having my baby with this woman, I am never stepping foot in her office again!!!