A few months back, now, when we were beginning to look for an obigen (how I’m electing to say the acronym “OB-GYN”), we were really at a loss. I don’t know the first thing about doctors, one of the reasons why I rarely go to one. I can’t even tell you the name of the last doctor I went to see. In fact, I can’t even tell you why I went to last see one. My lovely wife is better educated in the medical field. You know, the finer touches like finding one, paying one, dealing with insurance, picking up prescriptions. I don’t know the first part of it.
Neither of us had any clue how to look for an obigen, though. Going through a shortlist (like, seriously, it was a short list) of suggestions, we settled on a name. Her name I can’t even recall at this point simply because our relationship lasted only one visit. She was located out on this canyon land out north of town. It was a beautiful adobe that was overlooking Amarillo. The road up to it was unpaved and hell on a Honda and parking was terrible. It was the kinda place that was full of turquoise and smells like a sharp patchouli. I thought it might be one of those places where Rikki Lake might come to drop her baby into a kiddie pool in the lobby. I was thinking I was going to walk in hearing Dr. Jeffrey Thompson ambient recordings and see a bunch of nurses named “River” and “Moon” hovering around in floating dresses. When we walked in, it was like any other office that was converted out of a living space–which is essentially what it was. Curtains hid cubbies in the wall. The living area was now a humble lobby with an incredible view. The formal dining area was the receiving area now where a receptionist sat behind a desk full of papers and folders.
From there, the whole experience went downhill. When we met the obigen, she was factual, but emotionally cold. She didn’t even acknowledge me. She didn’t console my lovely wife who was absolutely freaking out over the first visit to the doctor. By the time we hit the main road on the way back from the baby ranch, we had conceded that we were back on the doctor hunt.
At this stage in the game, however, finding an available doctor would prove challenging. My lovely wife was cold-calling at a frantic pace. I was scouring websites for reviews, recommendations. All of our efforts were met with no resolve. Peculiarly, many receptionists were telling us that we were simply too far into the pregnancy to be admitted. Firstly, some had told us that we weren’t far along enough and others were saying we were too far along. You’d think that if you were too far along, you’d be admitted immediately. Instead, you’re rejected. Funny how that works.
We got a recommendation for a doctor named Dr. Miles Davis. I thought, that on the strength of the name alone, we move forward with him. We did some research and felt comfortable pursuing him. And, when we discovered he had openings, we slid in. The first visit was nerve-racking considering our first experience. When we entered, it was a small but humble office space. The staff was nice. They had some great reading in the lobby. I read that Tiffany Amber Thiessen was pregnant and had a solitary black hair grow out of her belly button. Ew.
It can’t compete with the “hairy bagel,” though. And, no, this isn’t my hairy bagel. This is the Google hairy bagel.
When we met Miles, he immediately put us at ease. Confident, quiet and oozed of experience. He was factual, but polite. Stern…stern, but fair. He wasn’t easily rattled. Smiled when appropriate. Gameface otherwise. I liked him. He liked my shoes.
My role at the office (and any man’s role, really) is to stay out of the way. Find a corner, a magazine (to thumb through to help pass the awkwardness of your lovely wife being inspected) and wait patiently. You’re not there just to be supportive. You need to listen. Be aware of what’s going on, but if you’re gonna ask a question, raise your hand. Your lovely wife doesn’t have to, but you should. Don’t speak out of turn. Only respond when you’re looked at. I discovered the order of worship only after a clumsy run in Dr. Miles.
I’ve always had a hard time just keeping my mouth shut. I’m stupid that way. I just don’t know when silence is appropriate. There’s a lot of people that don’t know how to shut up. I’m much more tuned to it now. I see it everywhere I go. Just shut up.
It was our second visit. I was still getting used to his demeanor. I liked him, but like anyone who is touching all over your lovely wife, you wish you could interview him. Get familiar with this credentials. Know how he takes coffee. Discover how well trained he is in trench warfare and hand-to-hand combat. Important stuff. Before he enters the room, I’m in the corner…awkwardly crunched in the chair that’s made for someone half my size. When I’m sitting in that room, it’s about the only time I small-talk my lovely wife. I can only use two words at a time. It’s a idiot zone for me. Like Wal-Mart. I can’t think clearly.
When Miles walks in he smiles, whirls around to put his clipboard down on the counter behind him, writes a few things down and checks his watch, records the time. He spins back around to my lovely wife and asks, “So, how are we doing?” Now, he’s asking my lovely wife how we are doing. When your obigen asks this question, guys, the “we” is your lovely wife and the baby. But like a total tool, I blurt out like a seal bark, “We’re fine!” My lovely wife glances across the room at me with a nervous smirk. Miles doesn’t even look at me. He pauses and then continues the questioning with my lovely wife. I cower in the chair and shut up.
After a successful but short visit (Miles doesn’t belabor the process, he’s thorough but succinct. He’s not going to waste any of your time or his. At the conclusion of the appointment, I wait for Miles to raise to his feet from his stool and I fire up to my feet excitedly and shoot up to Miles with my hand extended for a handshake. He glances at me, looks down to my hand and then turns toward my lovely wife and walks towards her, shakes her hand first and then pivots around towards me and shakes my hand. That deserves a Zack Morris time out.
I’m blessed to be pretty responsive to non-verbal communication. I think that Miles realized that. He just needed to son me real quick and put me in my place. And boy did he. There’s now an unspoken understanding between the two of us. This show is not about me. It’s about Miles and my lovely wife. As it should be. I know they say, “She’s not pregnant, you all are both pregnant.” No, she’s pregnant and I’m the supporting cast. I’m not suggesting to men to fold your arms and say, “Nah, I’m not getting in the way. This ain’t about me.” It is about you, but realize that it’s not solely about you. 90% her and 10% you. My brother suggested that might be a little generous for the man. But either way, you need 100% to make it work. Not 9o% or 95%. While you might only be 10%, it’s an important 10%.
Miles is a stern man. Stern but fair. But I couldn’t be happier that he’s our doctor. I know my role in this. When Miles looks at you and non-verbally says, “You’ve already done your damage, son. Now sit in the corner,” you do what the man says. That’s why he gets paid the big bucks.