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Last year I turned the big 3.0 and got married - I thought that was my milestone year. As it turns out, 2009 quickly overshadowed 2008 when my husband and I found out we were pregnant. I'm going to be experiencing everything for the first time as a woman and an expectant mother which is why I'm calling this my year of firsts. I'm senior editor for Marie Claire South Africa.

Monday, February 16, 2009

finding a gynae

It's not easy finding a gynae. Any woman can tell you that. Even if you're not pregnant, all the recommended gynaes are booked for months in advance - I mean let's face it... when a woman finally decides she needs to see a gynae, it's usually a semi-emergency. Either she has a persistent bladder infection, worrying discharge, an alarming breast lump... the list is endless. So when you need to see one, you need to see one now!

Women, I think, are also divided into two categories - those who are only comfortable seeing female gynaes; and those who prefer male gynaes. Why on earth would you prefer a male gynae? Why on earth would a male want to become a gynae in the first place? Me, I was a female-only type woman until recently.

The first GP my hubby and I went to see to find out whether we were really pregnant was a woman. She was so awkward. We were both trying to ask her questions and we could barely get a straight answer from her. She rattled on about things I completely forgot about all why starring at a spot on the wall... weird. The first thing she told us is that we needed to find a gynae as soon as possible. Fair enough. But this is the same woman who'd done my pap smears for the last two years and who'd treated a bladder infection I had when I first started seeing her... I couldn't figure out why she was being so nervous.

I started asking around for a gynae that one of my friends and colleagues could recommend and all of them gave me male names. Hell no! But after two weeks of fruitless searching, I finally acquiesced. Surely a male couldn't be that bad. Well, the doctor I booked turned out to have been born in nineteen voetsek! He didn't even do an internal exam and proceeded to make me feel embarrassed about the 61kg I weighed. 'You can't be that heavy,' he said when I told him my age. Then he insisted we get on the scale (fair enough) and gave a low whistle. 
When he spoke to us about the pregnancy, he didn't seem congratulatory, excited, well-meaning or that he cared... Now correct me if I'm wrong but I would imagine that anyone who specialises in births is at least passionate about their work and the people they deal with every day. This was our first meeting, first impressions are important, and he was talking to us as if he was reciting words from an encyclopaedia. I felt uninspired and he made us feel like idiots when we asked questions answering with phrases like, 'Well in the many centuries women have been giving birth...' Patronising! 

Now it didn't dawn on me until the second appointment that I wasn't comfortable with this man - or his loud, abrasive PA - for that matter. I logged onto a site called www.pampers.co.za at the suggestion of a friend of mine, and asked women in the chat room whether they could recommend a good OBGyn. It took exactly 20 minutes for them to reply, and for me to chat to the doctor's friendly and patient PA and make an appointment. Come our next appointment we shall see...

You see the picture at top of what my sausage looks like now if we were looking at a biology diagram? I have scans but am still figuring out how to post them - seems a picture clipping isn't recognised as an image on blogger.com


  1. hahahhaa, I had my first visit to the gynae (read: devils spawn) not so long ago. It was a man, and I've decided I'm never visiting one ever again...the world survived without them forever...I don't need one...do I?

    Plus, after reading about the first trimester is it? I think I'd rather employ myself a 'carrier' so I won't have to go through what sounds like an extremely awkward period in a woman's life. Plus I'm a shorty...I imagine its easy to carry the extra load when you are a taller being

  2. Devil's spawn! hehehe! I'm giving the male species one more go and if this one doesn't rock my world, I'm giving up on them too. So it all falls on Dr Blaauwhof...
    A carrier? As in a surrogate? Hmm... I don't think I would be able to handle the jealousy. Watching another woman going through the motions of what is seemingly an awful time but really the most amazing of your life.
    Thanks for the visit.