I divorced my husband during the third year of obstetric residency, which was a second residency. My daughter and I hardly missed him by then. He never made it to her school functions, recitals, science fairs, ever. But, I think that was just him. He found time for things he wanted, like on the phone and hanging out rehashing the political garbage of residency with his “family” of residents. He was rarely home when he was there. He was chronically exhausted, mean, and self-focused. He became obsessed with malpractice issues and how to keep everyone from getting his money. I started the first residency “with him” and my focus was appreciating him when he was there, not bitching like I heard so many wives. Our lives were on hold all of the time … at age fourteen his daughter doesn’t know him and doesn’t want to. Nothing is more sad or tragic. I know it would be that way either way. The system of training, indoctrination, and expectations beyond what is humane is the cause. Why do people go along with it … and lose their loved ones/families? It is so unnecessary .. it is about control of money and litigation. He went from being disturbed about the way women and babies were treated and wanting to get a journalist to cover it in his first year, to becoming shut-down and numb so he would become stuck in the financial obligations that keep them there.The reasons that I feel surgery wasn’t for me drew along very similar concerns. Having a family, who doesn’t want you home, being completely consumed by your job and having nothing to do with people outside of the hospital are absurd events that many residents go through when entering demanding fields. To me, it’s just not worth it. I feel, and hopefully will always feel this way, is that there is no failure more complete and absolute than to fail as a parent.
If the system would allow real midwifery, the load of the care needed could be divided between doctor, nurse, and midwife. A midwife is glad to be a woman’s primary caregiver and be there throughout, which is really important emotional support. Doctors have to be in the office doing monthly exams, available for surgery and births night and day. It’s crazy-making for everyone except the hospital coffers. If nurses and midwives helped play a part in the care of pregnant women, it would be acceptable for the doctor to just show up at the last minute, do the medical deeds and move on.
Of what service is the current system to women? They are forced to accept only the care of an OB, that when all is said and done is so inadequate and minimal. The tragedy from my perspective is seeing a man turn into someone so nasty to women. Why do we expect them to be all to everyone … so that end up tragically giving such poor quality to all?
Sunday, February 3, 2008
A comment on OB/GYN really hit the nail on the head for me. From Agraphia: