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National Demand an Apology Day

This week, Ginni Thomas, the wife of Clarence Thomas, called Anita Hill (yes, the Anita Hill) and left what may be the most obnoxious voice mail of all time.

Good morning, Anita Hill, it’s Ginni Thomas. I just wanted to reach across the airwaves and the years and ask you to consider something. I would love you to consider an apology sometime and some full explanation of why you did what you did with my husband. So give it some thought and certainly pray about this and come to understand why you did what you did. OK, have a good day.

Obnoxious and unbelievable, yes, and Anita Hill certainly doesn’t owe the Thomas Family an apology (perhaps the other way around?), but there are plenty of people who should feel sorry out there, and people are missing an opportunity here to demand their own apologies.  I have a long list of people I’ll be calling this weekend at 7 am on a Sunday (because isn’t that when everyone calls people to request an apology?), but I’d like to kick it off by demanding an apology from my first gynecologist who told me my concerns were entirely in my head.  Next, I’ll be tracking down that fellow teacher who told me I was going straight to hell for doing fertility treatments.  And I’d like to complete that set with a little phone call to the technician doing my HSG who hissed at me that it didn’t hurt that much when I gasped an obscenity.

So the phone lines are open and people are anxiously awaiting to hear how much they need to apologize to you.  Who are you calling first?


1 Guera! { 10.21.10 at 7:24 am }

I will call the entire office of a former gynecologist and demand an apology for completely blowing me off when I called to report I was having “stabbing” pains in my stomach that had me doubled over in the shower and that were completely unlike any cramps I had every had before. I was told to “take four advil” instead of two. (after all these years of downing four advil at a time I am sure my kidneys will be demanding their own separate apology). Later a new gynecologist took my pain seriously, performed surgery and discovered what two doctors have now called “one of the worst cases of endo” they’ve ever seen.
I’ll be waiting by the phone….

2 Shelli { 10.21.10 at 8:02 am }

Let’s see… if I start at 7am on Sunday I *may* finish making my apology demands sometime around 7PM.

The list is that long, and yes, I am that bitter.

3 Tally { 10.21.10 at 8:23 am }

My first RE owes me and my husband a huge apology for refusing to treat me because I was too fat for his comfort, and for informing me of this as I was miscarrying for the fourth time.

He can also apologize to our newborn daughter while he’s at it. He was so wrong.

4 Rachel { 10.21.10 at 8:39 am }

The first (male) gynecologist who consulted with my primary care provider on my case of pelvic pain, listening patiently to me and believing every word I said…until I mentioned being on an anti-depressant. Then, abruptly, he said it was all in my head.

And that’s just the beginning…

5 BigP's Heather { 10.21.10 at 8:45 am }

The gyno who said I was depressed and put me on anti-depressants instead of mono-phase birth control pills like I asked. The gyno after that who refused to change my birth control pills. My current gyno who tried (but not sure he really listened to me because he eventually waved a white flag and I went running back to my RE) when I had polyps but just kept trying different birth control to attempt to stop the bleeding…

6 unaffected { 10.21.10 at 8:55 am }

I would like to call my friend A, who when I told her excitedly in the bathroom of a seedy bar 3 years ago that my husband and I were trying to conceive, she flipped out at me. Screaming drunkenly in my face that I cannot dare get pregnant before her, I left the bathroom in tears. We never spoke of that moment again.

But here I am, 3 years later. No baby, no explanations. No apology.

7 Devon { 10.21.10 at 9:15 am }

I’d like to demand an apology from the gyno I was seeing when my husband and I had been trying to have a baby for about a year, at my annual I addressed my concerns and he said “you are young, just keep trying” “don’t worry so much”. I prompty found a new doctor who did a little bloodwork and found I had high fsh, that wonderful woman referred me to the fertility clinic not long after that. So maybe for me his nonchalance about my situation is what prompted me to change doctors…so maybe my request for an apology is also a Thank You!

I’d also like to demand an apology from a friend of mine who a month after she got married called me (of all people) and cried because she wanted to be pregnant SO bad…I asked her if she’d ovulated and she said “i don’t know” I asked her when her period was due and she said in a week. She called me a few days later to tell me she was pregnant. Ugh. I was a couple months away from starting and ED cycle at the time. Grrrr.

8 Melody { 10.21.10 at 9:26 am }

My ex’s ex-girlfriend who showed up at gay pride with a baby in a wagon one month before my first IVF (after a year and a half of IUIs) and told me that getting pregnant using a sperm donor was easy and that she could tell me how to do it if I wanted.

9 a { 10.21.10 at 9:30 am }

I think I’ll have to start with my family and inlaws, who delight in disrespecting my wishes…and then are surprised when this makes me angry. Then there are my coworkers, but that story is too long to go into. Then there’s that gynecologist who, among her myriad other failings, charged me the $50 pregnancy copay in my 12th week and then refused to refund it when I had had enough of her snotty attitude and switched to a competent doctor. Also, see: History of pregnancy loss. And I’d like my $50 too. Shit, that woman owes me a lot of apologies. I’m gonna stop before I get irritated all over again.

10 Marisa { 10.21.10 at 9:41 am }

I’d have to say the guys at my old office who made it a point to make all of the ladies who were married and of childbearing age to feel less than a person by commenting on their committment to the company because of their dealing with children related situations (this ranged from m/cs, to pregnancy to picking up kids from day care). They owe a lot of ladies a lot of apologies!

11 It is what it is { 10.21.10 at 10:09 am }

Let’s see:
-the orthopedic surgeon who told me, at age 11, after I’d spent 9 months in a waist-to-toe leg cast, that I’d likely never run again;
-my old OB (and that refers to both his age AND his being long ago), who, when I was 38 and having recurrent miscarriages, told me to “just keep trying”;
-the radiologist, who, upon reviewing my pelvic MRI in person with us, told my husband and I, in reference to my fibroid filled uterus, “you will never carry a baby, but your ovaries look great! Hire a surrogate” (and he owes an apology to my 3 1/2 yr old son born from MY uterus).
-anyone else, EVER, who told me I couldn’t do something that I most certainly could/would. With my will, there is a way.

12 Mrs. Gamgee { 10.21.10 at 10:46 am }

Oh, there are many… but I think this year I will focus on the RE who told me that ‘there never was a real baby’ when I was miscarrying due to a blighted ovum (for the second time in less than six months) and that he could ‘get it taken care of’ for me that afternoon.

13 Dora { 10.21.10 at 10:47 am }

What is it with HSG techs? I would like an apology from the young tech (looked like a teenager to me) who couldn’t get past my cervix. He kept twisting and pinching me with the speculum, trying over and over, while the nurse in the room gave him dirty looks, until he FINALLY told her she could get the more experienced tech. Who got the catheter past my cervix in about 3 seconds.

14 Sarah { 10.21.10 at 10:56 am }

Hmmm, I will be demanding an apology from the obgyn who told me that all I had were ovarian cysts and “most women don’t even feel them”, the other obgyn who did a shitty job during my first surgery for “the worst endo she’d ever seen”, then told me that the reason my endo came back the next year was that I refused to take the crazy drugs that made me a complete lunatic (yes, it’s MY fault, thank you dr.). Then, I would call the gynecological oncologist who went in and removed my ovary without touching any of the endo at all and then told me I was “all fixed now”.
I think I’ll just stick with the endo-related apologies at this time – I don’t have the time or the energy to start with any others…

15 Cece { 10.21.10 at 11:14 am }

Just one for me. Aaron’s brother who didn’t come to our daughter’s funeral.

16 loribeth { 10.21.10 at 11:19 am }

Loving this post & all the comments. ; )

I’d like an apology from my family dr. Much as I love him, was it really wise to shrug off the concerns of a woman in her late 30s who’d been ttc for 2+ years with a “don’t worry, it will happen”?

I’d like an apology from all the drs who, after I was diagnosed with a bicornuate uterus 10 weeks into my pregnancy (& spotting), told me it would have no affect on my pregnancy, or on my ability to conceive in the future.

I’d like an apology from my RE who (among other things), only AFTER several cycles of clomid & three IUIs with injectables (all failed), decided he wanted to see the DVD of my HSG to determine whether I really had a bicornuate uterus (!) & make a lukewarm offer to do surgery… and who, when I called in hysterics, thinking that I was having a heart attack & wondering if it was a side effect from the fertility drugs, basically told me it wasn’t their problem.

And the “friend” whose response to the news of my daughter’s stillbirth (granted, I did take her by surprise) was to babble on about how I’d really had a pretty easy life so far… and who, the last time I saw her, expected me to listen to her talk about her daughter’s pregnancy loss & all the stuff she’s going through. Hello — like I don’t know all this already??

I could go on & on (there’s a few people from the playground I’d like to hear apologies from too…!) but I think I’ll stop now…! ; )

17 Erin { 10.21.10 at 11:21 am }

LOL. I will be calling the dentist who threw down his drill while filling my 9-year-old’s cavity and said he was a bad kid for not sitting still and bad kids come from bad parents. …Yeah, I will be calling him and asking for an apology because I will NEVER forget that day, ever.

18 PaleMother { 10.21.10 at 12:12 pm }

OMG. What a great idea. Who knew you could do this?

If I start writing these I might never stop. But nevermind me, I am so angry for everyone here that I’m having fantasies of a torch-and-pitchfork bearing mob of us working our way through this list.

PS. Ginny Thomas is like … the Martian leader of a personality disordered cult. She reminds me of my MIL, who honestly believes after behaving abusively that she is the victim. She once demanded an apology from me after I defied her (dysfuntional, In-What-Reality?) demands with the kind of pouty lip extension that I expect from babies and toddlers (you know, when it’s still more or less involuntary and not an affectation). I have never seen anything so damn creepy as a full grown sixty-something making that face in all seriousness while scolding me for not doing her rediculous bidding. Shudder.

I remember listening to the whole Thomas hearing on NPR. It made a very deep impression on me. I would like to believe that justice isn’t so … subjective. The hint that it might be … at the level of the highest court … is a bit … destabilizing to me.

19 Kir { 10.21.10 at 12:31 pm }

um, maybe all the people who told me that “Getting pregnant is so easy” from a very early age…they all owe me an apology and about $30,000.

I have some people that I’d like to apologize to me, but it’s not worth it now, water under the bridge and all that.

Mrs Thomas is a lunatic. Seriously , lady, what are yu thinking?

20 Laura { 10.21.10 at 1:27 pm }

Happy ICLW!

I’ll be calling the doctor who told me my daughter’s Celiac disease was just a virus, and that over a month of 8 times a day diarrhea in a 3 month old was “not that big a deal”.

21 Keiko { 10.21.10 at 1:30 pm }

My primary care physician who told me that I wasn’t having periods because I was “stressed out” and “fat.” Huh, if she had ever bothered to do bloodwork, perhaps I would have been diagnosed with premature ovarian insufficiency instead of premature ovarian failure.

Also, from my 7th grade Social Studies teacher, for letting me and about 20 other students believe that walking over open grates on the sidewalk will give you TB. No joke. (In all seriousness, I know this isn’t true but it’s become a superstitious habit now. I’ve spoken with at least 4 other people from that class who STILL don’t walk over grates because of that class.)

22 Lisa Lurker { 10.21.10 at 1:40 pm }

Great post. The comments make me sad. How is it that these drs get to practice and make all this money without knowing Jack?
In my opinion, I have a life long list of people who owe me an apology, from my own previous adoptive parents all the way through to some of my REs. Good luck with that though.

23 Devon { 10.21.10 at 1:40 pm }

Came back to see everyone’s demands 😉 And am astonished ( not really) at the # of a**holes, in the world! But really some of you really do deserve an apology, I’ll never understand how people can treat eachother so badly. But to CeCe, how awful that he didn’t come. I guess for some people who don’t know what to say or do the only option is to do nothing.

24 Hannah { 10.21.10 at 1:52 pm }

This is Crazy.lol The 1st Person I’ll call on my list is my 1st OB, who told me- that Maybe my Husband had Hidden his SA Results!!! Crazy Lady!!! .( Because I did not recieve the results in the mail that she sent)All that on top of getting news that we had a major Male Factor on top of my PCOS:/ Not a good day! I demand a Apology!

2nd on my List Would be to a ignorant student nurse who I over heard tell another nurse after my HSG- I don’t know WHY she is trying to have a baby and she’s so young! (good thing I was too drugged at the time to responed) I wouldn’t have been nice, after ttc over 2 yrs at that point, and loads of heart ache. She needed to learn some TACT!

And my list could go on..lol

Happy ICLW!

25 The Barreness { 10.21.10 at 1:55 pm }

I love this idea:
* the woman who visited my art show about our infertility, who told me I did something HORRIBLE in this life or a past life to deserve our infertility.
* the ER doc and a list of doctors afterwards who suggested I get a hysterectomy because it would be easier, then treating me for fibroids and cysts
* Ultrasound techs….
* ultrasound readers
and my high school French teacher who told my parents, that I desereved the F- she gave me for my work and my efforts.

I have learned believing in myself is the most powerful weapon against these people. They are bullies, use your Kryptonite.
((hugs to you all))

26 Rachel { 10.21.10 at 2:04 pm }

The nurse practitioner who told me I’d never get pregnant, and if I did, it would kill me.

The same NP who ignored my husband and his questions during that same visit.

The “friend” who posted on her blog that she’s currently pregnant with a child she “doesn’t want at all and wishes she could give to someone who does.”

The obgyn who claimed to “specialize” in IF but didn’t really know what she was doing.

27 HereWeGoAJen { 10.21.10 at 3:12 pm }

My ex-friend, who never did anything nice for me and I am so nice that I didn’t notice that she never did anything nice until it was over and then I got mad retroactively. (My husband admitted afterward that he bought birthday and Christmas presents for me and let her give them to me.)

28 Mrs. X { 10.21.10 at 3:23 pm }

All of the politicians who have robo-called me in the last week. It is getting damn old!

29 Tara { 10.21.10 at 4:07 pm }

Where do I start, lol?!?!

I’d like an apology from the receptionist at one clinic who told me I should be looking for a husband rather than a donor!!

Then I’d like one from the family member (who I don’t speak to any more) who told me to suck it up when i was greiving my miscarriage.

I could go on…

30 Krissi { 10.21.10 at 4:58 pm }

I would personally lika an apology from all the people who asked me if my twins “were natural?” That comment was extremely offensive and asked many times when my they were first born. I hate the assumption that just because I did treatments my children are somehow “un-natural!?!?”

31 Jen { 10.21.10 at 5:58 pm }

How about an apology from my RE who said my best friend was a bad donor in the middle of the cycle right in front of her (hormones raging anyone?)…guess my baby boy proves that wrong! lol.

32 Jennifer { 10.21.10 at 6:40 pm }

LOL! Awesome post! Wow…where to begin. Maybe I’ll call my ex and demand he apologize for leaving me with $37,000 worth of gambling debt. With that money I could have paid for 2 IVF’s at my RE’s office.

33 Mrs. D { 10.21.10 at 7:13 pm }

AWESOME post, Mel.

I would like my I’m-not-really-even-sure-I-can-call-her-a-friend-anymore “friend”, J, to apologize for not inviting me to her daughter’s birthday party. I heard through my other friends (who ARE invited because they actually HAVE kids) that she didn’t think I would have fun since the birthday party is at a kids’ play gym. She told my other friends that she feels I am starting to not relate to our group of girlfriends anymore, who are actually mothers, and she’s not sure how much she really needs to communicate with me anymore.

Felt like a knife in my gut. Apologize, J, apologize.

34 Michelle { 10.21.10 at 7:20 pm }

I will be calling POS, a former coworker, who came into my office on Friday (October 15, 2010) after everyone else left and told me “Your services are no longer needed. Pack up your things and leave.” POS was not my boss; however, when I called HR (which happens to be a friend of POS) to ask if he had the authority and if this was coming from my boss, he told me that he had not spoken to my boss, but he was sure that POS would not have overstepped his bounds.

Monday, my supervisor didn’t have a clue what had happened. Neither my boss, HR, or POS informed her that I had been let go. She had to find out from another coworker who overheard POS let me go.

You can read all about it at my blog.


35 Michelle { 10.21.10 at 7:22 pm }

I would call POS, a former coworker, who fired me last week because I had jury duty. That’s right he was a COWORKER. Not my boss.

36 Battynurse { 10.21.10 at 7:55 pm }

Oh wow, that could be a long ass list.
I think the top of my list my be the doc/med student who did my first ever pelvic exam. Picture me with severe cramping, massive bleeding (they of course wouldn’t believe that it was impossible I was pregnant) and a dumb as doctor putting the speculum in (which hurt like hell) and then walking off and leaving me there for a good 5+ minutes. Seriously wanted to kill her.

37 Toni { 10.21.10 at 10:01 pm }

First of all…hilarious. Secondly, seriously, what the hell was she thinking? I mean really?

Thirdly, it will be my former gynecologist for A. informing me that my lack of periods was because I was a late bloomer and refusing to accept it could be something else and B. for still refusing to believe I could actually have a real reproductive issue after 12 years with him, several months of missed cycles at a time, and a diagnosis of PCOS from an RE, AND having the gull to say after reporting that AF had arrived due to an induction from provera (after countless rounds of provera with him and it never doing more than sparking one cycle) “that I should now get regular periods from here on out.” Two years later, I’m still waiting for that magical fix to kick in. Jackass.

38 Geochick { 10.21.10 at 11:45 pm }

Ooh, I wanna’ play!
1. The high school teachers who discouraged me from becoming an engineer because my match scores were average.
2. The “friend” who told me I could get a surrogate in India when we were just beginning to figure out we were having problems.
3. Every dumbass who has told me I’ll get pregnant after we adopt. As if having a baby in the house is “relaxing”.

39 m. { 10.22.10 at 6:38 am }

I don’t want words. I want justice. I want my daughters back. I want a lot more but I don’t want you to think less of me for typing it here.

40 @jencull (Jen) { 10.22.10 at 7:23 am }

People can be incredibly rude and insensitive at times. I would ring the midwife who called me a baby as they stitched up my grade 3 tear after giving birth to my son, without anyone once telling me what was going on and they got narky when I asked them to keep me informed or warn me when they were about to do something. gggrrr.

Get dialing girl and best of luck:) Jen (visiting from ICLW)

41 Autie Mom Kate { 10.22.10 at 11:16 pm }

What a cleansing idea! I have a short list, but thanks for opening this up for venting!

My ML, who baked a homemade birthday cake for each of 2 grown sons but not for my autistic 5YO–whose birthday was the same week–and then invited us all over for a birthday celebration (that did not include said 5YO).

His first grade teacher and SpEd coordinator who looked at the DH and me and told us that he was behind his same age typical peers, and that was OK because that’s what autistic children do: they just keep falling farther and farther behind, and there’s nothing you can do except love him.

And the foul creep who wrote me an anonymous but hand-addressed letter to tell me that my “defective child” was my responsibility, not the taxpayers’ and that he doesn’t deserve covered intervention therapies.

Having vented that, I also need to thank them a la Christina Aguilera: being the insensitive, heartless, cruel, thoughtless individuals they were made me the fighter I am. My son WILL graduate from high school with his class. He WILL have a happy, fulfilling, meaningful and dignified life. Their callousness made work a little bit harder, made me that much wiser, and I will do what I can to help him reach his full potential and make the road a little easier for other families affected by autism. Thanks so much for this!

42 Sushigirl { 10.23.10 at 4:19 am }

Oooh, I could be here all day…

Top of the list at the moment is my so-called friend who knew all about our fertility problems; when she found out we’d had a miscarriage following IVF she didn’t bother to get in touch or acknowledge it in any way. That hurt.

43 gingerandlime { 10.23.10 at 8:57 am }

Let’s see…I’ll start with the gynecologist my mother took me to when I was a teenager, who told me my cramps were normal. Then I’ll move on to the gynecologists I saw throughout my twenties, all of whom told me the same thing.

Next, the RE who totally missed the submucous fibroid on my HSG and told me there was no reason I couldn’t get pregnant.

Then, I’ll move on to my boss, who, on hearing that I was going to have to miss 4 weeks of work to recover from surgery, proceeded to tell me DAILY about how she was back at work 2 weeks after her C-section.

I work very hard in my life to forgive and not to hold grudges, but I’ve definitely developed a mean streak about these particular issues. I am not proud of this, and it is very likely that these same folks should demand an apology from me for my lack of forgiveness.

44 talltop { 10.24.10 at 1:29 pm }

Love this post!
My one and only is my younger sister who has 3 kids and knows my fertility issues and how much love DH and I have for her kids but still refuses to let us see them or communicate with them regularly. She constantly tells me that her family doesn’t have time for us and I simply don’t understand how hard life is on her because she had 3 healthy, smart beautiful kids that were never planned.

After reading these posts, though, I have to also give a HUGE thanks to both my ob/gyn Dr. M and my RE Dr. F who have ALWAYS been the most supportive people of my situation, are ULTRA professional and brilliant physicians, with TONS of compassion in their heart for their patients.

45 My Bumpy Journey { 10.24.10 at 8:27 pm }

I would like to demand an apology to my recent (EX) ob/gyn for when she refused to listen to the fact that I bleed easy, and even pap smears make me have to use a pad for a day. She did an impromtu in office cervical biopsy, and attempted an endometrial biosy. The pain was horrific, and the bleeding was to the p0int she was calling to see if an OR was open. I will NOT apologize for “scaring” her nurse when I almost passed out, and I will not apologize for bleeding all over her 150$ sneakers. Grrrrr.
I will NO

46 Corey { 10.27.10 at 2:06 pm }

This seems like it might be theraputic and speritualy clensing so I’ll give it a shot.
the following persons owe me a HUGE apology for their supidity, incompitence and just out and out imorality of their actions.

My ex husband(thank god’ he’s an ex) owes me a huge friggin apology for the following:
1. all your LIES since we took our vows, for getting someone else pregnant, for being financially irrisponsible, and lazzy and non-working.
2. you owe me a huge apology for the physical violence you inflicted on me and for the fear of contracting STD’s due to your affair.
3. Your family owes me an appology for KNOWING about your affair and allowing it and don’t even get me started on your mother she’s so brainwashed it is not even funny.
4. for DRAGGING out our divorce for years when our marriage only lasted 10 misrible months.
5. and for RUINING MY CREDIT so now I can’t even afford the IVF that i need. For that you can rot.

My own mother:

For LAUGHING at my current spouse and I with our situation of not being able to get pregnant, then saying you will give us the $$ for IUI then sitting in on the consult and getting some very priviate info. then saying you where NEVER going to fund our trreatment, for that you owe me an appology.

For deciding to go off your meds when you know this is a time that i need to be relaxed and calm I can’t deal with your crap right now mother you need to get back on your meds and stop all this insanity. for that you owe me an apology.

And for trying to disrupt my marriage for that you need to apologyize for that I should just stop talking to you all together. my husband and I are rock solid dispite the venom you spit.

if and when you come back to your old self you owe me a huge apology but i doubt i’ll ever get one.

To the stupid incompitent MD at RSC science Center of NE. You sir should not be allowed to practice medicine. your incopitence about my weight and your lack of even listening to my other symptoms(wich smacked of PCOS) was dispicable. I’d never go there for anything all they want is your money they don’t care about making a womman healthy at all.

To my best friend you owe me an appology for saying over and over how much you hate your two beautiful children. And that the spouse and I should just not have kids or we should just adopt. I remember when you desperately wanted your second child and you took enough clomid to choke a horse and you got pregnant, had a tubal had a tube removed and still got pregnant. I did not say no you should not try because you and your husband where having financial problems with raising just 1 child who was a todler at the time and still desperately needed her mom’s undivided attention. And you need to apologize to your children for allowing them to live in filith you don’t honnor the babies you have and for that you owe me an appology.

Wow you gals are right I do feel better…

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
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