I wrote this post after my 20 week appointment and ultrasound with the intent of posting it once I had a blog. Then, because I’m crazy and scatterbrained, I forgot all about it until today.
I had my twenty week ultrasound and appointment today. Since this is my second pregnancy go-around in a relatively short amount of time, I remember a lot of what goes on at each visit. The first few I know that they use an internal vaginal ultrasound wand and they perform a PAP smear. Then, it seems like you don’t need to remove your pants again at the office until the very, very end when they start to check your cervix to see if you’re close to labor. The middle appointments are a piece of cake (mmm…cake…) and go like this: Arrive on time. Pay money for something or another. Wait for an hour. Get called back. Get weighed. Go to a room. Have blood pressure taken. Pee in a cup. Answer the nurse’s questions. Wait for thirty minutes. Doctor comes in and asks the same questions the nurse asked. You both listen to the baby’s heartbeat. Doctor says I’ll see you in four weeks.
I am always very considerate before any appointment that includes a peek at my lady parts, and make sure I shave neatly and look well groomed. Does my doctor care? Probably not, but at least I know that he isn’t going home telling his wife about the cavewoman with the jungle bush he had to examine that day. And if he IS, he isn’t talking about me. My husband had NO idea about the amount of prep that goes into gynecological appointments until we started fertility testing. He came into the bathroom while I was showering and asked what was taking so long. I explained that I had to shave my legs, armpits, and nether regions for my appointment. He asked if I planned on bedazzling too. We laughed and laughed as we added on to the outrageous story. I included a neon sign that read Welcome Dr. King! and he recommended rhinestones and glitter glue. It became our inside joke. Before every appointment he would ask if I bedazzled yet. I have to admit that the only time I bother shaving my bikini area during pregnancy is for a pants-free appointment. It is too much hassle any other time. The belly is in the way, I’m too clumsy to stand and too scared of getting stuck to sit down. It is mostly a blind shave and that alone could have dangerous consequences. It’s just too hazardous to attempt unless absolutely necessary. I’m too cheap to get waxed, and besides, ouch! My husband doesn’t even bother mentioning it any more.
This morning when he asked if I bedazzled, I explained that I didn’t have to since all my Hoo-Ha checks were done until much later on. We headed to the office full of excitement, anxious to catch a glimpse of our baby and also find out the sex! After paying and waiting, we got called back and had a great time laughing with the tech while she checked on our babe and assured us he was a healthy boy! I was ready to take my pictures and leave, when she hit me with: “It is now required to check you for preterm labor at the 20 week ultrasound appointment. So, I’ll have you slip off your pants and I’ll be back to check your cervix with the internal ultrasound wand.” She wiped off my belly, handed me a blanket made of tissue, and out she went! Crap! I was NOT prepared! I don’t know when the last time a razor was swept over my vag, but it hasn’t been any time in recent memory. Probably about twelve weeks ago for my last pants off appointment. Awesome. I sadly removed my pants and felt thankful that the lights were pretty dim in the room. Our technician came back in and I scooted down to the end of the table. She performed the ultrasound and politely kept up conversation. She did not comment on my afro. Everything looked great and she said she would update my chart so the doctor would have all the information by the time I was called back to see him, and we said our goodbyes. As I got dressed, I imagined the notes she might make in my chart. “Beware, patient has massive overgrowth.” Or, “Baby will probably need a chainsaw to find his way out.” Maybe, “Hahaha blindsided another one!” and “No welcome sign here.” The list goes on and on. The rest of my appointment was uneventful and I will go back again in four weeks and again in eight weeks. I do not recall having a pants-off check at either the 24 or 28 week appointment, but I’m not leaving it up to chance. My security has been shattered. I will go back to bedazzling before every appointment.
Why can’t they give a head’s up? Each appointment should have a tiny vagina printed next to it if you’ll be taking off your pants. Or they should give you a list at the beginning of your pregnancy that tells you what each appointment entails. I think it is just common courtesy. But, as my friend pointed out, they get what they get if they don’t let you know in advance. Maybe after the onslaught of 70’s bush they will start warning us ahead of time, because I can’t be the only one caught in this predicament.
UPDATE: I did not keep up with the shaving. I have done a full shave maybe twice since then, when we went to the beach.
So, today was my 35 week appointment and I knew that they would have to do a culture for Group B Strep. I spent at least a half hour shaving last night and after one cut in a very sensitive area and a lot of grunting and maneuvering, I did an amazing job. The nurse did my culture and it took fifteen seconds. She didn’t even compliment me. I didn’t expect a medal or anything, but maybe some kind of pat on the back for my effort would have been nice! Oh well, I’m done shaving from now until after delivery. I’m at the point that the embarrassment is less trouble than the work. I may include an apology letter with my thank you card to the doctor after Grant is born, so he knows that I’m aware of the situation and plan to return to my normal well-groomed self after I lose this ginormous belly. Maybe at my six week check-up he’ll have a neon welcome sign again.