Thursday, January 28, 2010
Dr. Joseph Boveri, Sr. was an OBGYN who was very well known in the St. Louis area. My mother, many of her friends, many of my family were patients of his, so when it was my turn to enter womanhood I too became his patient. When I say that he was well known, I mean he was VERY well known. Why? He was a lover of women. He admired the whole being of women, from the amazing reality that their bodies created life to the wealth of compassion and strength that we seem to have. He himself had I believe six children and talked so lovingly of his wife. Italian, stout, brother or father figure with a comforting voice, and a bedside manner that would have you forget that the room was -10 degrees. He was like that trusted friend, that exceptional doctor that would spend 20 minutes with a patient to discuss options...his attitude was if you came to see him you had his attention. That was, unless, there were women in labor. Many times I sat in the waiting room with about 13 other women only to hear him asking for a room number and then watching him sprint out the office door to the causeway that lead to the hospital. We would all moan knowing we would have to reschedule because there was a delivery. We did not mind rescheuduling, not at all. We were moaning because we would not get to see him.
He was incredibly proud of me for choosing adoption. He always had a beautiful smile and warm welcome for me when we came in, asking me all kinds of questions about how I was feeling physically. He would do the exam, talk about nutritien and excercise and then he would ask me to get dressed and meet him in his office. I never waited long, no matter how busy he was, no matter how many women were there, he would meet me in his office after every physical check up. Closing the door, he would spend time asking how I was doing mentally, how I was preparing for the adoption. He asked about her parents, my family, what kind of reactions I was getting from people. He wanted to know that I was doing alright. He knew my mother for a long time and knew how strong I was. He always reassured me that he was proud of me, he believed in me and he would support me in any way he could. He was by far the BEST doctor I have ever had.
After my daughter's birth I was spending time with my daughter. Out of no where, this social worker came into my room, unannounced, and aksed "Are you Kelsey?" I said I was and asked who she was. WIthout answering she took my child from me and put her into the bassinet, then wheeled her into the hall. She called for a nurse to come and get the bassinet. She then came back into the room and told me that I had jepordized my child's future because I had called the parents to tell them their daughter was in the world. (These were the days before cell phones and all the communication so it was impossible to inform the agency on a weekend.) She was a horrible, disrespectful woman and she scared the hell out of me. "Your fault that this adoption will not happen .... That is not your child...You have no rights." These were some of the gems that fell from her mouth. She was disgusted with me, talking to me like I was a criminal. She started to open her briefcase and I was done with her! I picked upt he phone and called the nurses station. Miss Lovesquasher was asking what I was doing. The nurse came into the room and I polietly asked that this vile woman be removed from my room. She was rude as she left, things I will not repeat, but were not very lady like to say the least! I asked the nurse to call my doctor.
When Dr. Boveri came into my room I was a complete mess. I was totally freaking out and he was livid. He told the nurse to please contact the social worker and have her return to my room. He consoled me, apologized and promised that no one else would be in my room without his permission. He was visibly upset and a little flustered. Miss Lovesquasher returned with a smug look on her face. She was sure that the doctor was there to help her do the paperwork that she needed done, but she was in for a surprise. He told her that he did not know who she was but she had no business being in my room. She tried to retort but he quickly shut her up. He asked for her name, her badge number, the name of her supervisor and how long she had been a social worker. She took offense to the last question and asked why he wanted to know. In his ultra cool way, he told her that she obviously needed more training because her behavior and actions were grossly inappropriate. I thought she was going to cry. She was humiliated. He told her that no one was allowed in my room unless he knew about it and when the agency came on Monday, he wanted her there with supervision. He then told her that she had no right to do what she did and abuse of power is not a good quality to have. He then told her to leave.
He stood up for me. He was on my side and wasn't affraid to let people know that he valued me, valued what I was doing for my child. He was a hero that day to someone who felt lost, sad, and unsure of what she was doing. He put himself on the line to stand up and advocate for me as a birth mother. He truly cared that I had quality time with my daughter, even if it was for a short time. He was saying to everyone on that floor, 'Don't look at her any different than you would any other mother. This is her child, her life, her time. So let's leave her be and help her feel good about what she is willing to do.'
He was an incredible man and I am forever grateful that he believed in me. Thank you Doc, you were an angel when I needed it most.