Monday, October 15, 2007

Mr Tickle

For those of your reading outside HK, or those who have not had children inside HK, the whole process of having a child here is strangely absent of midwives. Having had a sister and sister in-law who are either on or about to get their second child I have heard stories of the supremacy of midwives and the largely redundant role of men in white coats.

However, HK is the city which is almost entirely designed for everyone to make money and no more so is this true when you have a baby. As a result, the whole process is being taken care of by my obstetrician, Dr D. He does all my antenatal checks and will deliver my baby at a hospital of my choice (you pay for everything but at least get what you pay for in terms of a doctor on call pretty much 24 hours a day and a nice private room - I am hanging out for a facial and getting my nails done during the labour but have yet to find this clause in my health insurance).

Dr D was recommended to me by two friends who between them have had 4 babies delivered by Dr D. He is atypical of most practioners here in that he is deeply pragmatic and doesn't put up with any silly fads or nonsense. I adore him because he tells it like it is, and has a distinctly British sense of humour - sarcasm in the extreme. When I was about 12 weeks gone I had a panic after reading in a book that I was not supposed to get my heart rate too high (I had been dragon boat racing the previous weekend). Without even looking up from the notes he was making he said "oh, they did those tests on mice. You don't look much like a mouse to me so I wouldn't worry about it". It was the perfect response.

He doesn't seem to take too many patients anymore, he doesn't really need to and seems to prefer giving a lot of attention to fewer people, so you can always get an appointment or get hold of him. However, with his experience and care and attention also comes a few quirks. I will admit that, at 70ish, going to see him is a bit like going to see ones Dad - he has the same kind of cheeky, naughty side to him that your Dad gets once he retires.

So, to my experience last week. I was having a check up and lying on my back on the table, top pulled up and pants pulled down a bit so he could give the bump her scan and check on the size of all the stuff inside me. I am horribly ticklish so giggled as he poked and prodded. He looked at me, a little concerned, so I told him I was very ticklish. He promptly dug his fingers into my sides, causing me to curl up (bump allowing) in fits of giggles. Then, with an evil grin on his face said "Sorry, I can't resist doing that when I know someone is ticklish". He chuckled to himself and continued to poke, prod and scan.

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