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Letters of Thanks to Dr. Wonderful - leave them here

Dr. Wonderful,

Since working with you, I have found a new joy in birth, midwifery. I find that when I have to bring a client in to the hospital or when they have to see you during the pregnancy, I am absolutely confident that they are getting the best care any woman could ever have.

Your kindness, your gentleness, your - dare I say - love for the women you serve radiates from your name, your face and your voice. That you touch women, hold them, weep with them goes beyond any dream of what I could hope a physician to be. That you genuinely believe in women is apparent and echoes through everything you do and say. You really are a midwife in OB's clothing. Why can't we have the majority of OB's like you, Dr. Wonderful? Why can't the others "get" that they are the ones in the wrong and you are the one in the right?

I hear through the grapevine that doctors are getting more and more pissed at your growing, fawning clients. I hear they are unhappy that you spend so much time with your clients, that you are so personal with them, that you don't have the proper OB boundaries. I am here to tell you women LOVE what you offer and to please, please don't let them beat you down. Please don't let them make you change. Please don't let your heart harden because of the partriarchal bullshit they try to throw all over you. YOU are right. THEY are wrong. YOUR style of midwifery... er, obstetrics... is phenomenal, beautiful, tremendous. Your style should be the model for all the others. If the others want fawning clients, let them melt the steel around their hearts first.

I hear that after this last birth, you were being accused of doing homebirths. Uh, that they were accusingly asking you if you were doing homebirths. Like it is some illegal crime. I pray their mean spirits don't dampen your generous one. I hope you don't push us midwives away because of the stupidity of the people you work with. If you need us to say something different when we see you in the hospital, then just let me know, please. I never want to make things hard for you. That you are openly kind to all people, midwives included, is one major reason so many clients flock to you. Most hospital staff are so cold, if not out-and-out hostile, to midwives, it scares them to see a doctor speak kindly to us. It's another ploy of manipulation to maintain the status quo. Our clients have to contend with that every day of the year! I'm sorry they are playing the same game with you. I pray that you don't pull away because of their cruel stupidity.

I can't thank you enough, so I am opening this space to let others thank you, too. You need to know how much we love you, how we wish we could clone you, how important you are in ALL of our lives - even the women and babies who will never know your hands or voice. Through my pictures and writing A Birth Unfolds... and the pictures here and here, women can know you better than they probably know their own OB's. Images speak volumes.

Thank you for everything. I am always in your service.

Barbara E. Herrera, LM, CPM

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Reader Comments (12)

Dear Dr. Wonderful,
Although I have never met you, I have referred several friends to you and all have reported back with absolute "fawning." You truly are Dr. WONDERFUL and if only all OBs we're more like you, women who birth in hospitals could have far more positive experiences. Next time I give birth it will be in my own home, God willing, but if I we're to birth in a hospital, I would go to no other OB but you. I agree with Barb, do not let your peers harden your heart or change your ways!

December 8, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterLynnSofia

Add to it that I wish I could spend time training with him to remember not to turn into one of the bastards, and to see how to do it right.

December 9, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterThe MSILF

I had the misfortune of believing a "midwife" would be present and aware with me at the birth of my first daughter. What unfolded was an unpleasant series of events culminating in a (likely) unnecessary c-section. At one point this "midwife" (I shudder to label her such) told my mother that the reason my labor had stalled was probably because I expected the birth to be as fast as my mother's 6 births had been, so was feeling too competitive. In reality, she had just failed to notice the (obvious in retrospect) signs of the baby being malpositioned. That the best parts of labor were when the "midwife" disappeared and was not in the room should tell you what the experience was like.

With my second child, I sought out and thought I had found a VBAC friendly OB. At 36.5 weeks, however, she called me on the phone literally ranting about my decision to decline prenatal Rhogam. Among other things, she said had she known I planned to have a tubal ligation after this child she would have pressed for a repeat c-section w/tl because "they're both operations anyway". As for my decison about the Rhogam, she told me it made her wonder if I would risk my unborn baby's life by insisting on VBAC even if something was going wrong and reminded me that I "couldn't" (her words) birth my first baby naturally. I fired her on the spot, but her words left me shaking.

And at 36.5 weeks, in post-Katrina New Orleans no less (where only 3 hospitals were even delivering babies), I had no idea if I could find any OB to take me on at all, much less one who would honor my desire for a VBAC.

I was blessed to find my own Dr. Wonderful who honored all my wishes, including my desire to stay at home for most (if not -- shhhhh -- all) of the labor. That my mom, an RN, would be with me and my dear friend "Barbwife" would be my (*ahem*) "doula" made her comfortable enough to let me know that "if you come to the hospital, please try to get here before you're pushing".

Turns out we needed to transfer due to an extremely short umbilical cord. My Dr. Wonderful had to use midforceps to get baby down and into position, but I got my VBAC! I know that almost any other doc would have cut me the moment I arrived at the hospital. But she was confident, respectful and supportive throughout. I will love her always for that.

When I visited her a year after baby was born, she proudly announced to all of her office staff "this is one of my VBAC babies!!!"

When I read Barbwife's stories and saw her pictures of the births she's attended with you, Dr. Wonderful, it is clear that you are in that same select, beautiful, blessed group of OBs who believe in a woman's ability and right to birth as they choose. And the latest delivery (face presentation) shows your amazing compassion and support for women who truly need surgical intervention.

Keep the faith, Dr. Wonderful. Your mamas and babies love you. And that's all that matters!!!!!

Barb in New Orleans

December 9, 2007 | Unregistered Commenternolabarb

Oh please let him know that his influence was instrumental in my baby's birth in Overland Park Kansas. I saw that birth on your page with the mom that had an OP baby, and it made me have the courage to sit up when the heart decel was not changing. I knew the next step if baby didn't change heart tones was probably water breaking (and with this baby that would have meant a c-section as she had meconium) or a c-section soon after. Because he encouraged the patient to get up and move, I got up. I had an abusive nurse, and ended up pushing for too long, and on my back too much. But that one moment, I think I gave my baby much needed oxygen all because of how he treated a woman with an OP baby. He needs to write a book, get on Oprah or something, and change obstetrics, really.


December 9, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Dr. Wonderful, I have not had the privilege of being attended by you, but I say wholeheartedly that I wish all OBs (and indeed, more midwives!) were like you! If only they shared your passion for gently guiding women through such a transcendent moment in their lives instead of roughly shoving them along, maybe hospital birth wouldn't be such a terrifying prospect...and maybe birth, as a whole, could begin to be seen as something to respect and wonder at, not something to fear and control. Even though we've never met and probably never will, you have my love, for being a true diamond in the rough. Thank you for all that you do!

December 9, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJill

Dear Dr. Wonderful,

I am writing in the hopes that someone will direct you to this blog, and you will know the support you have from all of us...

I was not under your care for either of my births, but have since chosen you for my regular OB/GYN needs. I made this choice because of all the wonderful things I'd heard about you.

My personal experience as your patient has taught me that the praise you receive in the community is an understatement! You are without a doubt the most caring and compassionate doctor I have ever had - in any specialty. You truly listen to your patients, and treat us each as individuals with unique needs.

As I was singing your praises to a friend of mine recently, she asked me - if I'd had you for a doctor the first time around, would I have sought out midwifery and home birth for my second child? She calls it "going down the granola path." :-) I told her that if I'd had your incredible care all along, I'd have never known there was such a need for women to seek out "alternative" methods. If all doctors and hospitals understood women and childbirth the way you do, the world would turn much more smoothly.

Your willingness to work with midwives, and to respect the choices birthing women make is so greatly appreciated.

I look forward to calling you my doctor for years to come. Thank you so much for choosing to be a doctor, and for realizing there is so much more to your profession than prescriptions and insurance billing.

December 10, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSDCulinarian

Dear Dr. Wonderful,
I am one of your "fawning" patients. I have never met a doctor more attentive, knowledgeable, and loving than you - you are ONE OF A KIND! You had faith in me and my body even with my diabetes. You spent time with me, getting to know me, educating me. There is no better doctor in the world. Thanks for all you do - you really are amazing.

December 11, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterKoszo

Dear Dr. Wonderful,

I do not live near you as I live in the Midwest, and that makes me sad. I would love to attend a birth with you and witness the caring and respect that you show the women you attend. I can only imagine what a gift you are to you patients. Please continue to "educate" your colleagues on the humane and loving way to practice!

December 11, 2007 | Unregistered Commentermamasara

Dear Dr. Wonderful,

Although the only things I know of you are what I have read here, I know you are the kind of doctor I hope to be in a few years. You give me hope for my own future. Thank you for all you do.

Pre-med Student at OSU

December 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterCatie

Dr. Wonderful,

I think I have a crush on you, and I've never even met you. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for being who you are in a medical world that is not likely to appreciate it. It's the families whose lives you change. Not the hospital staff.

Blessings to you and your continued wonderfulness.

December 14, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Dear Doctor Wonderful,

I wish you had been my OB for my first two births. Train wrecks that I managed to walk away from with an intact uterus and live babies...barely.

We need more like you. You should be the standard, not the exception.

THANK YOU from the bottom of this future midwife and home birthing woman's heart for doing and being all you are.

December 19, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterCNH

Dear Dr. Wonderful,

The pictures don't lie - you are an amazing doctor and it is a lucky woman indeed who finds herself laboring on your watch. Thank you for showing us the respect and care that we deserve and yet so seldom receive.

I salute you.

p.s. Any chance I can convince you to move to Tulsa? ;-)

January 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKris

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