Well, I feel violated.
As I approach the finish line of what I’m confident is a 3 year pregnancy, I’m starting to realize I have no idea what I’m in for.
I’m also realizing that I may have an 8th grade level understanding of my reproductive system. I thought I understood all the parts, the process and how they all work together, but as my doctor dove right in arm deep, I felt like someone who just discovered a secret room in a house she owned for 33 years.
Where the hell is she going? And, HOLY CRAP THAT HURTS.
I feel a little betrayed no one warned me about cervix checks. I know they’re not that big of a deal, but would it hurt a sister to be like, “Hey, towards the end of your pregnancy, your doctor is going to enter you like she’s trying to get a wedding ring out of a garbage disposal. Good luck.”
I completely forgot I was getting my cervix checked the first time. Once the nurse told me to undress from the waist down, I got a touch of anxiety like I was back in college and realized I had to take a test and forgot to study. Not that I needed to take a warm bath and lay out rose petals from the door to my tissue paper covered exam table, but I would have at least tried to not sweat so much during my morning errands.
“I wanna freshen up a bit,” I told my husband while wrapped in a tissue paper blanket. “Go in the top drawer, I think that’s where they keep baby wipes.”
“I just told you, I want to freshen up a bit.”
“That’s ridiculous, you’re showered.”
All the sudden, what was simply a casual request as we waited, started to become a high risk situation. She could come in at any moment and catch us in the weird act of doing something suspicious with their last, dried up baby wipe. If I was going to do this, I had to commit. Suddenly, my adrenaline kicked in. There wasn't time to argue, so I whispered in my “I mean business” tone, “I’ve been sweaty all morning and it’s a baby making inferno in there, give me the damn baby wipe!” I hissed.
Rob started to fumble with the drawers, now totally panicked like we were robbing the place.
“The top drawer!” I stress whispered again. “The top drawer!”
Finally he found them (in the top drawer, thank you very much) and looked at me wild-eyed. “There’s only one wipe left and it’s dry! Just forget about it, she’s a doctor, she won’t even notice!” We were both aggressively whispering at this point, acting like crazy people.
“Wet it in the sink,” I said as he stared at me blankly. “The sink, right behind you! Wet it now!”
“This is total insanity,” he mumbled as he turned on the sink to wet the baby wipe. “Here!” He tossed it to me like a hot potato.
I gave myself a freshening up, haphazard and panicked, like I was trying to destroy evidence before the cops busted in. I knew the whole situation was way over the top and it was all entirely unnecessary, but I was already so whipped up in the moment I had no choice but to give it my all.
“Here!” I said, handing the wipe back.
“I’m not touching that!” he said, retreating to the corner of the room. “Here,” he stepped on the lever for the biohazard trash can, “throw it in there!”
I heard my doctor’s voice right outside our room. Adrenaline took me to a new height and I launched the wet baby wipe towards the biohazard trash can, missed by at least 2 feet where it splattered on the wall and slowly streaked down to the ground.
“Damn it, Anna!” Rob hissed. He was taking on the body language of a man whose lover just made him an unwilling accomplice to a crime.
“Put it in the trash!” I barked.
“Put in the trash!” We heard the obligatory knock that occurs before she opens the door and we both shot a look at each other. Rob reached over to the wipe, threw it in the trash then wiped his hands on his pants like he was covered in poison.
“Hello you two!” my joyful doctor greeted us as she entered the room. Rob pretended to be fiddling with a 2008 Good Housekeeping magazine and we both tried to act real cool.
After a round of questions and chatting, it was time for my exam. I laid back and we continued to chit chat about Christmas shopping.
“I decided to order everything online,” my doc casually continued, then slid right in without skipping a beat. No warning, no nothing, “It’s just easier that way, I don't have to mess with the crowds.”
How can she be talking so casually right now? How can she keep going up into my body? Doesn’t it end?
“Wow, that hurts. Yep, that hurts. Holy crap that hurts,” I kept chanting.
“I’m sorry,” she said, giving me a look of empathy while still going up until she tickled my eyeballs. “I’m checking now to see if I can locate her head. Yep, there’s the top of it.”
The thought of her touching my baby's head blew my mind. How can that be? Then I started to think about what that must have been like for my baby Lucy. One minute you’re straight chillin’ in your liquid home when something, out of no where, touches your head. I imagine her reaction was something like this:
Thankfully, she was done shortly after and encouraged me that I was already 2 cm dilated.
“We’re off to a great start!” she said, snapping off her glove.
“So, that's about as painful as this is going to get, right?” I asked nervously, still shocked it actually hurt that bad. She shot me a “Oh, silly you!” look and then asked if we had any more questions.
The adrenaline of Baby Wipe Gate wiped us both out, so we wrapped it up and left buzzing on the news our baby will be here soon.
A couple weeks later, it was time for another check. I wasn’t going to be taken by surprise again - I was prepared this time. I felt presentable and respectable for another woman to lube up and enter my no man’s land, leaving me brimming with confidence.
We took care of all the customary questions and updates first, then it was time. I took some deep breaths and it didn’t hurt as bad, but I didn’t want her lounging around in there either.
“3 centimeters! And your cervix is very thin. She could come at any time!”
Wow. And there you have it. She could come at any time.
I realize I truly have no idea what I’m in for. My guess is a routine cervix check is like a pin prick compared to what's coming and I’m starting to wish I took a freaking Lamaze class.
But, ready or not, she’s coming anyway. I’ll let y’all know when she does. Wish me luck.
If you liked this post, you may like Anna's My Birth Plan: With Lots of Questions and Side Notes Sprinkled with Pure Panic