Before Baby Genius was born, we tried to find him a pediatrician with little luck. During my pregnancy and for the first year of his life, we have a form of state insurance that limits us greatly in our choices of medical care. We were told by our midwife that once in the hospital, we would be given a list of the pediatricians who take our insurance in our town. Since we were delivering at a hospital in a different town, we were to use the hospitalist (the house pediatricians) there and then would have Baby Genius’ new doctor check him out a day or two after we came home.
Well, in the hospital, no one seemed to have this list, and by the day we were heading home, we were still without a pediatrician. At this point, the hospitalist on duty came in, gave us a referral form, told us we were seeing Dr. X at Clinic X, and that was that. We were so happy that the decision was made and that we didn’t have to worry about it anymore.
The next day, when we visited the clinic where Dr. X practices, we were not so happy. The waiting room was the size of a large closet, and it was full of migrant workers and their children. I had to fill out forms vowing that we lived in a structure with running water and heat and not a cardboard box or abandoned vehicle. J waited outside with our three-day-old boy, and I, in my painful postpartum state, stayed in to fill out forms and to hear the call for our son. There were people coughing and sneezing all over the place, and we were certain our son was going to contract something rare and deadly.
Once we were called in, a very large German nurse was apalled that we would dare wait outside with our child. I was in tears; J was livid. It was awful. But then we met the doctor. He was a youngish guy–maybe in his late thirties or early forties–and he was very cheerful. He spoke equally to both of us, knowing immediately that we were a couple. He even corrected himself when he assumed my egg was used in the creation of Baby Genius. We were still reeling from the humiliation and fear brought on by the waiting room/nurse experience, but the doctor eased the sting a bit. On top of his inclsiveness of us as BG’s parents, his seeming effectiveness as a physician, and his good bedside manner with the baby, he was very pro-breastfeeding and seemed very much in line with the sort of doctor we would have chosen ourselves.
Baby Genius has been back to see his doctor a few times. Each time, one of us waits outside with the baby while the other waits in the waiting room, hand sanitizer at the ready. It has been working out, and the doctor remains a good fit for us despite his horrific location. (We really would move to a different physician if we had the option just because this place is so very much a place we don’t want to visit.)
And then today, he became an even better doctor. I was at our local market gathering some ingredients for dinner, and I spotted this man who looked familiar. I soon realized it was our son’s doctor, and as I looked over at him again, I realized there was another man behind him–with him. And then I looked again, and it was unmistakable: the other man was clearly the doctor’s slightly older significant other. Yes, our Baby Genius has himself a gay pediatrician, and for some reason, I’m pleased as punch.