Still trying to sort out my visit with the OB. I think it’s important to separate all the feelings I have after this meeting.
I feel elated at having been told that someone is actually going to go out of their way to take care of me and make sure I’m treated well, and satisfaction at hearing a doctor say that patients’ rights are unequivocally paramount. My understanding is that this is extremely rare in US obstetrics – maybe all of medicine – and I feel lucky that this doctor is in my area.
I also know that if the culture of the hospital respected patient rights so well, he wouldn’t have felt it necessary to give me his cell number, and it gives me anxiety knowing that I could still be mistreated. One of the pitfalls of hospital birth, whether planned or not, is the large number of unknown people involved in any given birthing situation; each of those people is a wild card.
I also can’t help but be angry at the “specialness” of my special treatment because it should have been available to me the first time. This kind of respect should be the status quo and not just the province of people traumatized and determined not to let it happen again, not to mention people with the privilege and resources to engage in these conversations. Even though I now personally feel protected, it’s the exception that proves the rule. Most women giving birth in this country, and in the world, don’t have the privilege of basic human rights – which should be the status quo and not a privilege.