in the buff

This afternoon Mike and I went to my 12-week appointment. The nurse took my blood pressure but she was obviously more engrossed in her conversation with my husband. She barely blinked my way as she chatted with Mike about teaching and the state of education in Washington. This is the territory that comes with being married to a man who can strike up a conversation with anyone, even if he has a sty in his right eye or if he’s at the front door in a t-shirt and boxers. People are drawn to him and suddenly, even at my own doctor’s appointment, I become a third wheel.

The two wrapped up their yapping and the nurse told me that the doctor would be in shortly. When she stepped out of the room, I noticed that she hadn’t left a gown or one of those table cloth sized paper mats they hand out, like it’s supposed to make me feel better that my vagina is getting examined if there’s a thin layer of fiber blanketing my legs.

“She didn’t leave me a gown!” I exclaimed to Mike. “Should I get a gown on?”

“I would.” He answered.

I found a gown and the paper sheet in one of the examining table drawers and changed clothing.

The doctor arrived and greeted us warmly. She was the same doctor I saw throughout my pregnancy with Nathan, so we updated her on how he was doing and how we were excited to see her again. She went through the requisite questioning about my current pregnancy, asking how I felt and if I was taking the vitamins, etc.

She then asked, “You had a physical at your last appointment, right? A breast exam, too, right?”

“Yeah,” I nodded.

“Hmmm,” she said quizzically. “Because I’m not sure why you’re undressed. We’re only going to hear the baby’s heartbeat today.”

I stammered, “I-I-I DON’T KNOW! I thought the nurse forgot to get me a gown! SHE KEPT TALKING TO MY HUSBAND!” I should have just said, “Because I like to get naked! That’s why I’m here! Because of my chronic nudity! IT’S AN ILLNESS!” or “I only like to feel breeze on one side of my body and this was the solution!”

Mike looked at me and shrugged like, “Yeah, I wasn’t sure why you listened to me. I don’t have a medical degree.”

This not the first time that I have had no idea what to do in a doctor’s office. The first time I had to give a urine sample, I didn’t know there was a small metal cabinet with doors on both sides that I was supposed to leave the cup so the nurse could pick it up on the other side of the wall. I cloaked it in my coat and walked back up to the receptionist like I was harboring good weed and whispered, “Where am I supposed to leave the cup?!?” The look she shot at me was the same one my doctor beamed my way when she wondered why I was naked for no good reason and there this receptionist was, wondering why people with a brain as small as mine are even allowed to have children. She directed me back to the bathroom and that’s where I left my pee and dignity.

But the doctor said it was fine and I didn’t need to leave because I got naked unnecessarily and we could listen to the baby. She smeared the cold goo on my stomach and moved the wand around until the room filled with the rhythmic woosh-woosh-woosh of my baby. MY BABY! The sounds I was afraid weren’t ever going to be found because I hadn’t gained weight and I have worried too much. For a few moments, we listened to those beautiful pacing womb echoes, my tiny little baby kicking, letting us all know that she is in fact very much here, very much alive. And this child is going to have to accept me as his/her mother as silly and dramatic I am. She will know that every layer of my body–from the hairs on my skin to the my cells in my blood–is already in love with this special little being.

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Comments

  1. You are too funny! I am SO glad you got to hear the heartbeat. It’s the best sound in the world!

  2. I am going in for my next prenatal appt in a few weeks. And I have no idea why we didn’t HEAR the baby’s heartbeat. We SAW the baby’s heartbeat at our first appointment. I hope to hear baby’s heartbeat at my next appt.

    Anyhoots, I was not sure if i should have the kids reading over my shoulder while I was reading your blog because of the title. Did they tell you when you can find out the sex of the baby? I’m excited for you Mona 🙂

  3. I was once in a VERY SIMILAR situation, and I opted to NOT change, and the doctor came in, and it turned out I was supposed to. …I’m not sure why I told that story.

  4. What about the pics….lol? Glad everything is going well and you and Mike can have some relief

  5. I love the line about harboring weed.

  6. Yeah – I’m kinda in love with her/him too already.

    Was that creepy? Sorry.

  7. This was hilarious. Doctor’s offices are very confusing. I’ve been in a few questionable moments myself, although miraculously have yet to humiliate myself. All of that pales, though, because BABY HEARTBEAT!

  8. Oh that made me laugh.
    How awesome is it to hear your baby’s heartbeat for the first time. I cried during both my pregnancies when I heard that sound. So wonderfully reassuring.
    I am very happy to hear things are going well for you. Enjoy your pregnancy!

  9. I’m glad things are going well. 🙂

  10. Hooray for the heartbeat!

    And dude, you crack me up.

  11. Yay for a healthy baby!

  12. I totally did THE SAME THING the very first time I had to leave a urine sample. I also filled the cup ridiculously full because there was no line and the lady didn’t tell me they only needed a little bit. Haaaa.

  13. Mona! You have the BEST stories! Hahahaha!

    The weather here is nuts. It’s 9:30 am and we need the lights on in the house to see.The kids are gluing macaroni on paper, they’ll paint over it when it dries, James is playing Guitar Hero, and I’m avoiding all the things I need to do. Hope you have a good weekend.

  14. I remember the first time my wife and I went to the doctor.

    “So you guys are pregnant,” the doctor asked.

    I looked at the doctor then said, “No, only my wife.”

    Don’t know anything about being politically correct.

    Mike
    http://somethingaboutparenting.typepad.com
    Twitter: AboutParenting
    Photo ideas? 100 Portrait Ideas

  15. Wait. SHE? SHE?? You can’t already know it’s a girl, right??

    Regardless. I’m so glad you heard the heartbeat. How reassuring that must have been for you!

  16. That’s funny! I had the opposite happen. The nurse didn’t leave anything and I sat there thinking I needed it, but thinking “oh well”. Then the doctor came in and said “i know no one likes exams but they are a must. Get out of those clothes.” Luckily she stepped out so I could do it and she was nice enough to give me the gown before she went.

  17. This brings me back to all of my pre-natal visit. I was 40 yrs. old with my first pregnancy and I felt like I was young and stupid all over again. Congratulations! This is such an exciting time!

  18. For some reason I was much more idiotic about pregnancy during my second/last go at it. Like I was stunned and my brain was unable to retain any of the information learned during the first pregnancy, I did stuff like this ALL THE TIME.
    I actually dozed off under the paper sheet waiting for the doctor once. My legs totally fell asleep from the knee down.
    BTW, I prefer the little pee portal in the bathroom to carrying the urine cup out into the lobby. I had to do that once for a new-employee drug test. “Hi, everyone, here’s me and my pee.”

    Loved this post!

    http://unicornbutterflies.blogspot.com/2009/05/choose-your-own-adventure.html

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