“Your Baby Has Holes in Her Heart” As Shared By the Worst Pediatric Cardiologist EVER

It was about 7AM, an otherwise acceptable time to wake a gal up, unless she had just spent the entire day before laboring and expelling the cutest almost 10-pound baby girl (along with some other stuff…). I had been looking forward to the first comfortable stomach sleep in almost 8 months, and was happily sawing logs for a total of three hours when the door to my hospital room swung open.

The pediatrician.

These docs have people to see, places to go–I get it. But with zero warning and little rest, I had a hard time keeping up with the conversation.

Doc: Good morning! I’m here to examine the baby.

Me, scrambling to slap my glasses on my face: Blerg, blah (clears throat), ok.

The exam seems to be taking a long time, but I barely know my own name at this point, so I don’t think much of it. Finally, the lovely doctor looks at me and says:

I think your baby girl has a heart murmur.

Me: Mmm hmm. And that’s just, like, a sound the heart makes?

I’m suuuper smart when I’m tired.

Doc: Actually, it’s a small hole—

I’ve no idea what she said after that because HOLE IN YOUR BABY’S HEART pretty much drained me of the ability to retain information.

This kind soul of a medical professional understood my fear; she soothed my worries by using words like “echocardiogram,” and then packed up my newborn for “noninvasive testing.” She left the room with my baby, promising a visit from the pediatric cardiologist who would go over the test results with me.

Not gonna worry until I have to. Stay calm. Breathe. Brush teeth because DAYUM.

Later that day, my gal pal and in-laws were visiting when there was a knock at the door. Normally, whomever is on the other side of the hospital door waits to hear “Come in” before bursting in, lest he catch the patient in the middle of her first postpartum poo (AKA: the fourth stage of childbirth) or applying ointment to her aching silver dollar sized nipples. But not today.

The door opens and in walks Satan.

Okay, maybe not Satan Satan, but Satan nonetheless. Stay with me.

Rather than asking for privacy, Doctor Douche says nary a word and simply stares at my friend and in-laws. His eyes are saying, “Get the eff out,” but he is much too important to waste words on us.

The room clears, all except a robe-clad me and my precious baby. And Doctor Dickface.

He saunters over to the baby’s bassinet, whips out his stethoscope and listens. Flips her over, and listens some more. The way he’s manhandling my child is enough to make me rip my IV out of my hand and strangle him with it.  Finally, he has decided I am worthy of eye contact:

Dr. Dipshit: Yep, your baby has holes in her heart.

Me: I’m sorry? HoleS? Plural?

Dr.: Are you in the medical field?

Me: What? No. I’m a teacher.

Dr.: Oh! I’m on the Board of blahblahblah and we host a blahblahblah every year right here in the city. I think you would really enjoy it; you should attend blahblahblah.

What I’m thinking: I will kill you.

What I say: Umm…ok. So, my baby has holeS in her heart?

He proceeds to explain the condition in medical terms that I do not understand because, as was previously mentioned, I am NOT in the medical field. I feel like I’m talking to Charlie Brown’s teacher instead of a pediatric cardiologist: “Wawawawawa Wawawa Wawawawawawa,” except I imagine Charlie’s teacher is inherently more compassionate because she works with children all day.

Oh, wait.

My blood is boiling. My face is burning with anger, and I know my cheeks are flush. Before I lose all of my shit, I ask him:

Should I be concerned?

His eyes sparkle then. I want to believe it’s because he is about to tell me I have nothing to worry about, but I quickly learn that it’s because I have opened the door for his favorite game: speaking in riddles.

Dr. Dumbass: I am so concerned that I don’t want to see her again.

Me: That doesn’t make any sense to me. Should I be concerned? YES or NO?

So, I lose a little bit of my shit, but it proves worth it. The answer I had been hoping for–I have nothing to worry about–finally passes the lips of this haughty SOB of a “professional.”

Almost a month later and I still do not understand why that doctor felt the need to purposely frighten me. To intentionally lead me to believe there could be something horribly wrong with my newborn. Anyone with a single brain cell knows that a mother who has recently given birth is two things: exhausted and hormonal, which is a well-known recipe for an I Will Cut You pie, but apparently this waste of a pediatric cardiologist never got that memo.

Granted, he could be very good at what he does. Anyone who is in the business of saving babies is A-OK in my book, but this dude’s bedside manner certainly left a lot to be desired. He was cruel and arrogant. Why he wouldn’t lead with the fact that my child’s body will heal itself within a few months is beyond me. Did he want to be a superhero, rescuing a mother from her fear? Does he enjoy watching women writhe in emotional uncertainty and pain? Whatever the case, Dr. DookieFace will always be on My List. Also on my list? A few ex-boyfriends, drivers who don’t know the difference between a stop sign and a yield sign, and Hitler.


Update: Baby girl is now 4.5 months old and I’m incredibly happy and relieved to report that, at her last check-up, the doctor couldn’t hear either of the murmurs. Whoo hoo!

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  1. WHAT!!! Who is this fool? Give me names and I will gladly put my foot up his ass. Hugs to you Mamma!

    • I should get Dr. Mushro in from Monroeville to take care of this dude :)

      • I want names too. I saw pediatric cardiologists as a kid in the Burgh, and know there are only a handful. Mine have never had a need for one, but I want to be on alley should the need arise!

        Also, first baby stayed up all night the first night. Finally got them to sleep at 8 am. Two minutes layer the pediatrician just walks in, no knock. I say we just got them to sleep for the first time in their life, literally. He shrugs and starts flipping them over and twisting their legs around and all those fun things they do. I wanted to kill him.

  2. Well, he totally sucks. I don’t like that he tried to be “funny.” You should have asked him, “Have you ever pushed a live being out of your hoohah?” But I adore you for all the names you gave him.

  3. “I am so concerned that I don’t want to see her again.” What?! How annoying! I really can’t stand doctors. I’m sure there are some good ones out there somewhere, but I haven’t met one yet :/

    • Right? I had a bad experience with a doc when I delivered my son, but since then (and before then!), all was going so well. It’s a shame people like this exist because it’s really hard to erase the memory and give everyone else the benefit of the doubt. What a weeeeener.

  4. Oh hahaha…the frailty of human life… JK LOLz

    Uh…leave the snark and sarcasm to the humor writers, Doc. And from the sounds of it he might want to pass the fundraising efforts to someone else on “the board” as well. Geez!

  5. Stephanie says:

    I hope that you send a detailed letter to his boss and the head of the hospital. I can’t believe someone would behave in such an unacceptable manner to a new mom! I’d’ve punched him!

    (PS, love your name!

  6. I have come to believe that there are some doctors who really think they are God, and not the nice, all loving God, either. I’m so sorry that you had to go though this!! What a jerk!!

  7. I’m on my way NOW! Why didn’t you call me STAT! I would have whooped some cardio a** right there on the phone. You should have just whacked him in the head with the remote lasso for the TV. LAWD!! That kind of behavior is unacceptable. the. end.

  8. What the…?!! I seriously hope all your friends and family gang up with you to beat the shit out of this guy!!!

  9. I had my doctor tell me my baby’s “soft spot” was closing and I should have her seen by a specialist. She then hands me a prescription that says “cranial x-rays, STAT!” On bit. WTF?? I nearly list my shit in her in the wait room….

  10. GAH! ,When my third was born, the only one who was born not in our hometown, the pediatrician detected a murmur during a routine visit. She said, “It’s probably nothing, but I made him an appointment with a cardiologist. GO NOW!” It scared the shit out of me, but it turned out to be nothing. I’ll never forget the way she said that. Glad the little peanut is okay!

  11. What is UP with the douchebag, dickhead doctors this week??? Yours is worse than mine, because with me, it was just my own health, but to do that to you regarding your newborn? That person needs a swift kick to the dick. SO sorry, mama.

  12. Many times these “specialists or surgeons” are because they have no bedside manner and should never see patients when they are not out, or talk to the parents of patients at all. They should stay in their little specialist rooms. I can’t imagine the emotional roller coaster you had to go threw that day but I think it really is best to send a letter because you had to pay for that jerk. And the more we complain and praise the more we effect an outcome.

  13. Yup, let me at ‘im. No one messes with my Steph. I’m so sorry you had to go through this!

  14. What a psycho! I’ll never understand doctors and teachers who hate people. Why go into that field?

  15. When I went into preterm labor at 25 weeks, the pediatrician said if my baby was born early we would “have to decide if we reanimate her or not.” Great way to help me de-stress! Why don’t we cross that bridge when we get to it and let me focus on calming down and stopping my contractions first, mmkay? You can scare the crap out of me later.

  16. UNBELIEVABLE!!! Seriously. NOT okay. I would find his manager/supervisor/ heads of state or whomever may be higher than his mighty short pedestal and write a scathing letter with all of this in it. How DARE he treat you that way!!

  17. I had just given birth to my daughter and she was laying on the table wrapped in her blanket and I see the nurse just staring at her. I asked if she was ok. She paused and said “I don’t know.” very casually. I felt like grabbing her and saying “Well you better find out. And quick!” She continued to watch her for a few minutes and then said “No, she’s fine.” Very reassuring. Thanks so much. For completely freaking me out. Some people just don’t think.


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