July 9, 2007

I forgot to mention in the previous post that while it was more than a little thrilling to get an ultrasound so early and confirm there is a real living baby in there (well, I guess it could have been a blob of bean-shaped Silly Putty, I suppose there’s no real way to be certain) it came at a very high cost: I had to also get a pelvic exam. From an intern. A female intern, thank god, but she was MY AGE. Or possibly younger—she certainly had nicer skin, probably from being around lubricant all day.

I know it shouldn’t really matter who is wedging a freezing cold speculum in my hinterlands, as long as they’re qualified and have a decent bedside manner, but still. Awkward. I like a comfortable age buffer between me and my stirrup partner, is all I’m saying.

Is it weird to be told you’re going to have a Pap smear, and immediately panic because you didn’t know ahead of time? I had this feeling like I should have spruced up the place, maybe put a little welcome mat out in front. Because during that cringeworthy moment when they get you all spread-eagle and yoink that light over to get a better look—all I can think is, where’s an airbrusher when you need one. If ever there was a time for a selective real-life Gaussian blur, it’s when someone’s aiming a bright light at your embarrassed naked vagina, that’s when.

Also, am I the only dork who breaks out in nervous hyena giggles during a breast exam? It’s not the boob handling that gets me, it’s the part where they briefly root in your armpit. Every time I sternly tell myself I am NOT going to laugh, and every time I crack up like a sixth grader in astronomy class (Uranus, huh huh huh huh). “Ticklish?” the Youthful Intern asked.

“HAR!” I replied, suavely.

The best part was how my doctor came in during the exam, and proceeded to have a totally chatty conversation with me while I was lying there on my back with my southern exposure all, you know, exposed. The doctor’s going, “So! Did you get that tan around here or were you on vacation?” and at the same time the intern’s got half her arm and possibly also a lacrosse racket up my lady parts.

The visit was basically fraught with humiliation right from the get-go, when they first called me in and a nurse presented me with two cups and a Byzantine set of instructions: “I’ll need approximately this much urine in this cup, and then if you can stop the stream, wipe with this, and resume urinating into this cup, and then I’ll need about this much.” Yeah, just TRY not to pee on yourself when you’re dutifully following those steps—you can wash all you want, but the fact remains that you peed on your own hand, jesus, it was all warm.

In summary: ultrasound = good, remainder of appointment = somewhat lacking in the personal dignity department.

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Pete
Pete
14 years ago

:-)

angela
14 years ago

OMG. I got an IUD a couple months ago and aside from the worst pain I’ve ever experienced, they went through 2 IUDs because the first one FELL OUT of my vagina, and the second time around they had to call in every available nurse to take a gander at my bits and pieces and discuss at length before 3 different people attempted to fit that sucker in. I hate my uterus.

On the plus side, I did have a heads up. I need to know if I’m gonna be prodded so I can mentally prepare. And maybe do a little grooming. It’s only polite.

Cari
Cari
14 years ago

Ah pregnancy. Not only does the entire world know that you totally had sex, strangers (doctors, at least) prod at your girlie bits and shine lights at them then grope you and root in your armpits. It’s hard to maintain your dignity when you are mentally prepared, but to have it sprung on you like that is just mean.
Did you have to have the “internal” ultrasound too? That was so not my favorite, but seeing that little frog-baby and hearing that swish-swish heart beat made up for it all.

Melanie
14 years ago

Wait, after babies, don’t we lose all shame? You are so lucky that you’ve kept your dignity. Now, I lie there and chat with my doctor about MY MOM while she’s got her lacrosse racket up there. Because she knows my mom and all. I have no shame anymore. It’s like a jungle down there, and I’m always surprised when they don’t call for a machete to hack through it. And maybe one of those explorer hats, for safety, because there could be monkeys or poisonous snakes or something. I think it’s lucky I’m only having one kid, or else I would stop wearing pants out of the house.

oregoncoastgirl
oregoncoastgirl
14 years ago

hinterland. heh!

Liz
Liz
14 years ago

well, I guess it could have been a blob of bean-shaped Silly Putty, I suppose there’s no real way to be certain

Schrodinger’s Box?

Oh, the shame I feel. :(

heather
heather
14 years ago

man. i had my annual the other day, and my doctor was wearing prada and her make-up was perfect and i just felt like i should have dressed up or something, you know? also, there is simply no way to be graceful at that moment. none.

Sarah
14 years ago

I would totally have needed to be warned ahead of time. I *hate* when docs spring things on you like that! Like, it’s all rote to them, they do this everyday after all, but dude; we don’t!! Have some empathy, people!

On the other hand, how exciting and wonderful to have had a good ultrasound and see those little heart tones a’beating! :) Warms my heart, it really does.

Liz in Australia
Liz in Australia
14 years ago

I’ve had waaaay too many Pap smears (several years of abnormal results meant I was having them every couple of months for a while) to feel much embarrassment at exams any more. But I’m sure it would have been nice to have some warning! Why did you need a pelvic exam? (Ignore me if you like: they’re not routine in ante-natal care here, I’m just curious).

Rae
Rae
14 years ago

Before my first appointment with the lady-bits doctor, a guy friend of mine (whose aunt is an OBGYN) told me that he imagined it was a bit like being probed by an alien. Now, I have to stifle a giggle when they grab the speculum. Granted, the giggling turns into more of a startled “Hork!” when they put it in. But it still keeps me from being nervous.

Rae
Rae
14 years ago

Oh, and I also totally giggle at the breast-exam. Tee-hee!

Donna
Donna
14 years ago

I always wait till just before the doc puts the speculum in and then I tell him wait, I have to go to the happy place, wait a few seconds, and then go ok, you may proceed. My doc laughs his ass off everytime, and it breaks the ice. But breast exams? Worse when you get older I think, cuz if he wanted to, he could pick them up and spin them like pizza dough they are so flabby. And I always feel like what if I’m sweaty in the pit area? That’s gross.
(the things we discuss here? stay here, mmkay? just sayin)

Donna
Donna
14 years ago

And having someone your own age, probably better, only cuz they haven’t had time to develop bad habits.
If you get hit with a surprise pap smear, what you do is say that you have to pee first, and then haul ass to the bathroom and spruce up there. And you’ll probably have to give a sample anyway, so it’s all good. You’ve got baby wipes for Riley right? Keep some for yourself……
What I hate is the gooey feeling afterwards. (I’ll never look at lube again without thinking of it on your bathroom sink though, lol.)

Swistle
14 years ago

So funny.

I always want age difference and a warning, too. And the peeing in a cup thing–jeezers. They’re lucky they get anything in the cup at all.

Eric's Mommy
14 years ago

I remember having to pee in the cup all the time and it is fun when you are 9 months pregnant and can’t even see where you are sticking the cup and then pee all over your hand!
I hate the “exam” I get really nervous.

Amy
Amy
14 years ago

I am ticklish to the point of embarrassment and always end up laughing my head off during my breast exam, rooting in pit or not. However, I know this about myself and tell my doctor every time to be ready for the laughter.

Melanie
Melanie
14 years ago

My regular gyn is not an OB, so for pregnancy I obviously had to see another doctor. For my first appointment with this new doctor they gave me a Pap, even though I had just had one like 3 months prior. My husband was in the room, which at the time freaked me out. Then I get up in the stirrups, he starts the exam, then his phone rings. He excused himself and left the room and now I am in there with a nurse, my husband and all my bits on full display. I almost died. He came back like five minutes later and his wife had a flat or whatever but still. Not right.

g~
g~
14 years ago

Giving birth vaginally cured me of all embarrassment in that regard. I mean, sheesh, it’s like a freakin’ party in there with everyone watching and all of that goo…okay, nevermind. But anyway, I don’t mind the hinterland part because I can’t see their face. It’s the boob stuff that gets me because they’re like, looking at my face. Shame…at least…look away while you’re manhandling my twins. Or let me reciprocate.

Blue
Blue
14 years ago

My doc always engages me in talk about my kids when he’s down there with that damn light and it is appreciated. Hey! Let’s pretend we just ran into each other at the grocery store and are having this wonderful animated conversation!

I want my docs younger than me (which ain’t hard these days) because then they won’t retire on me. The bestest doc I ever had was my OB/GYN and he had the nerve to retire just as I was hitting menopause. You just can’t take me through having two children and then assorted gyney problems and then leave me! Sigh.

I also would never ever have a female gyn…..that’s the ick factor for me, most definitely! Back when I was first married, I had the nurse’s arm up my wazoo trying to fit a diaprhagm. She was embarrassed and I was humiliated. Never again.

M.A.
14 years ago

I have a feisty young OB/GYN whom I believe, but am only guessing, may play for the other team — which is neither here nor there, except during the breast exam because, dammit — all that pinching and prodding and stuff makes the girls at least LOOK like they are enjoying it. I always inwardly cringe (does she think I’m coming ON to her? Good God…)

Also: Cheetos. I have been on a mission since I was old enough to chew to find THE most horrific Cheetos in the world. My testing has shown me that the more offbrand (Spartan Brand Cheezy Corn PUff Snak Delites!), the better. Why? Because more of the organge stuff sticks on your fingers, which only adds to the deliciuosly wicked process of eating them. If you eat enough without licking, you end up with basically an ENTIRE CHEETO on your fingers for the “after glow” licking. So, L, are you a Cheetos snob? Or will any old orange puffy thing do?

LauraH
14 years ago

Ooooh, I hate it, I hate it, I hate it. One would think I would be “over it”, but not so. So very not so. Even though I’ve had the same doctor for over 10 years, she delivered our son and all that jazz. I just had some rather unfortunate “extra appointments” and a “Procedure” and I really think once a year is all we should have to go through after we’re done having kids. My aunt, who is a nurse tells a horribly funny, and also horribly frightening (in the “OH my God, I haven’t ever done that, have I?) story about a women at their office. She came in for “the visit” and excused herself to use the bathroom. She was gone for quite a long time. When the exam commenced, my aunt could tell the doctor was trying very hard to not lose it (i.e. burst into fits of laughter). Because she always tries very hard to focus on the patient’s face to make it less embarassing (ha!) she didn’t see what the amusing factor was. It was, in the words of the doctor, the “worst case of ‘dingleberries'” he had ever seen. Dingleberries being his term for little balled up bits of TP used by a freaked out patient in a fit of panic over the exam. While it’s hilarious, it is definitely what is pretty much foremost in my mind while I sit swinging my little feet up on that big table…in the hopes of appearing nonchalant about it all.

Emma
Emma
14 years ago

Lmao – I’m so glad I’m not the only one who turns into a high-schooler whenever such situations arise.

“HAR!” I replied, suavely.

You are my God.

Joanne
14 years ago

I really feel like after having that first kid, I am unembarassable. I swear to God, the night (and next day) I was in labor with him, if the janitor had come in to check me, I wouldn’t have blinked. It seemed like every person in that hospital had a few fingers up inside me at one point or another. I’m pretty sure they always do a pelvic at your first exam, though – or at least they have for me. I thought they did a pap smear as part of your testing in the beginning and then you don’t have another exam until they’re expecting to feel a head.

JennB
14 years ago

Didn’t you watch Man Versus Wild last Friday? He DRANK his pee!!!! Forget about peeing on the hand… try drinking it for survival. Ugh!

Miss S
14 years ago

It is always nice to put out a welcome mat. And I agree, they should tell you on the phone when you make the appointment, “by the way, tidy of the southern exposure, it will be examined and possibly intruded.”

Christina
14 years ago

My husband went with me to my first appt after we found out I was pregnant. I had to have a pap because it had been awhile. My poor husband walked out VERY dazed and he turned to me and said “do they always carry on casual conversation with you when they do THAT?” I howled for days after that – I never really thought about that way. I guess I was glad for the distraction of talking while someone was well south of the border like THAT. ;)

chrissy
chrissy
14 years ago

I have not one but two OB/GYN stories for you, both regarding a good friend of mine (I swear!)

One time she went in for a pap and her OB, who knew my friend was a nurse, asked her to INSERT HER OWN SPECULUM. (My friend did and said it was no easy feat.)

This same friend went in for another exam (different OB this time) and while her doc was talking to her, she covered her mouth and said apologetically, “I’m so sorry if I have bad breath. I just had tuna for lunch.”
As if!

Renee
14 years ago

Yep. That is funny as shit because I go through the same crap. The worst part? One time an entire GROUP of students was present during the whole thing. I had a crowd down there taking notes and nodding their heads. Lovely. I recommend that to everyone because after that? One doctor, one nurse? NO big fucking deal. ;)

Congrats on the second bean on the way!

warcrygirl
14 years ago

I always feel like a jacked-up used car when I get mine done. Of course, I haven’t had one in three, possibly four years. Yeah, I know. I’m torn between keeping her clean shaven or letting her grow out so the doctor doesn’t think I’m a freak. And if I DO let it grow out how much do I let it grow? A nice 5 o’clock shadow a la Miami Vice or thick enough he’d need a machete to get the speculum in? No wonder it’s been three years.

katie
14 years ago

i cannot stop peeing in the middle. can other people really do this?
also, i also saw man vs wild where he drank his own pee. yuck!!

Andrea
14 years ago

As much as I like to think I’ve lost all modesty after childbirth I still put off making the annual exam appointments. I think it is the small talk while you are spread eagle for the world to see that I just can’t handle.

I would have died if I had to have an on the spot exam, I definitely need time to prepare for these types of things. There is always some amount of grooming that should be done before you have multiple people fooling around down in that region.

Donna
Donna
14 years ago

Katie, you have to learn to stop in the middle, those are the Kegel exercises that you need to do to keep everything tight in there you know?
You’ll thank me when you are old and don’t pee when you sneeze, lol!

breckgirl
14 years ago

I always have to wonder if the doctor notices that I shaved and preened my crotch area for him. Does he appreciate my attempt at having a civilized vaginal zone? Do OB/GYN’s and their nurses get together later and discuss how gross someone’s snatch was, how hairy, how stinky, how “dingleberried?” Are some vaginas more attractive than others? I mean, if all you do all day is look at vaginas (clean, shaved, or otherwise), do you even ever want to have sex when you get home? Is his wife’s special or is it just same old, same old? What if he has an especially attractive patient – does he get turned on or have a special interest in looking at her coochie? These are the things that go through my mind when I am laying there with my thighs flopping to the sides, trying to scoot my ass to the very edge of the table with grace and dignity (“just a little further…a little bit more…”) while my muff is right up in the doctor’s face. Unfortunately, these horrible moments are just part of being a woman. I was thrilled when I found out that I didn’t have to have a pelvic for almost my entire pregnancy. Only one in the beginning, but then a million while you’re in the hospital having the kid!! Oh the joys of motherhood. You should be free and clear now til close to the end. Then, when you can’t even see your nether region anymore, you’ll be wanting it groomed for the big event. Yeah, I will definitely be shaving or waxing my own bush for the C-section this time. Last time (it was an unexpected C) the nurse came in and hacked off the top half of it DRY just prior to going into the OR. My husband was calling me “Half Beard” for like, a YEAR afterward. Congrats again on wee bun – I’m jealous!

Audrey
Audrey
14 years ago

Just remember how much MORE fun the cup-peeing gets towards the end of pregancy when you can barely reach down there and certainly can’t see what you’re doing — let’s talk then about warm pee on your hands!!

stephanie brown
stephanie brown
14 years ago

I had my (ex)boyfriend come in with me for my first pap smear as I was very nervous and would die if my mother had known I was having sex. Most embarassing thing ever? My OB doctor asking him if he wanted to see my cervix because “it’s just right there!” He shrunk into a corner and cried a little I think, lol. No but really, he just kind of politely declined….even after her insisting. This is why planned parenthood should only be used under extreme circumstances! :)

fellowmom
fellowmom
14 years ago

My worst stirrups moment: the doctor asking, “have you lost weight?” Me thinking: AHHHHHH! It’s the one time it’s really better NOT to notice the weight loss, OK?!!! My OB-GYN’s a wonderful, kindly, appropriately age buffered woman, but I didn’t need the “compliment” under the circumstances.

victoria
victoria
14 years ago

The dr. isn’t supposed to come in when you’re half naked & spread eagled. They’re supposed to come in when you’re dressed, introduce themselves & chat a bit, give you a chance to change into the gown, then come back in while you’re upright with the gown on, THEN you lie down & the exam proceeds from there. It sounds like they messed up. The dr. really, really is not supposed to come in when you’re already exposed. That was just rude. Sigh. I have so much righteous indignation to spare.

kristen
kristen
14 years ago

That was some funny shit! You are hilarious

Josh
Josh
14 years ago

Ah yes. Doctors visits are just one of the many many reasons I am happy I’m a man. Of course I guess I have the whole prostate issue to look forward to, but still. Not to mention pregnancy and child birth in general. But at least your doctors are generally pleasant. I somehow always end up with the smart ass doctor who despite eight or so years of higher education, still believes he is not only the first person to inform me that smoking is bad for your health, but also that his condecending Md. quips will somehow inspire me to quit cold turkey and thank him for saving my life. Instead I usually get pissed off and chain smoke all the way home, just for spite. I’d rather thank my mortician dammit.

But yeah, all that stuff you described gives me the shivers. Out of morbid curiosity, have you ever farted whilst on medical display?

Melissa
Melissa
14 years ago

Beautifully written! Is that strange to say given the subject matter?
I hate not being prepared for that. I did find it worse further along in pregnancy, which I’m sure you remember. Painful and trying not to ummmm toot when you are pregnant and someone is down there….ugh!

Glad you got to see your little one’s beating heart…that’s pretty much worth it all. :)

TB
TB
14 years ago

I would not have been able to complete that pee task without getting urine all over myself and probably the toilet seat. In fact, I probably would have just cheated and peed in one cup then poured it into the other one.

Melissa
Melissa
14 years ago

Oh side comment….before I was married and had just moved to a new city I had to go for an exam at a new doc’s office. Apparently the normal woman doc wasn’t there and I had a guy, a hot guy, who was maybe a year or two older than me do my pelvic exam and a friggin breast exam.
I, seriously, turned about 8 shades of red and got hives. So embarrassing…

Stephanie
Stephanie
14 years ago

I just about died laughing.

And for Angela, I got an IUD put in on Friday and HOLY HELL! It was definitely the most painful experience of my life! I haven’t had the pleasure of having kids yet, so I’m sure thats worse- but seriously!

JenL
JenL
14 years ago

very funny!

I frequently do breast exams (_professionally_, I am a doctor), and I never mind giggling during the armpit-rooting part. The exam is a little undignified and absurd (but there are worse, believe me…just come see me to complain about your hemorrhoids), and I think laughter kind of lightens the mood. And people often apologize about being sweaty or whatever, but I really don’t care. It’s summer, it’s hot, I wash my hands about 500 times per day. It’s OK. As long as you have bathed sometime in the past week, we’re good, and even if you haven’t I will not make an issue.

I do empathize, though, because I really don’t enjoy the nethers exam either. during training I always made a point when scheduling my appt to specify that I wanted a nurse practioner, not because I distrusted residents, but because I thought that if I had my pap done by someone I knew socially/took call with then I just might die.

Marie Green
14 years ago

“Put a little welcome mat out front” Haa haaa haa haa

m.a.
m.a.
14 years ago

I know we’re probably done with this topic, but I had to comment on my first vaginal ultrasound. For those not in the know (boys), they now have an ultrasound method which is much more thorough than the “cold gel smeared all over the belly” which includes an instrument they instert into Miss Thang which looks alarming like a “personal massager” — the kind you see in the back of magazines. 10 years ago when I was in the midst of having an ovarian torsion (not fun and very painful), after 26 hours of misdiagnosing me (and 8 enemas later), they finally decided a vaginal ultrasound might be in order (duh duh DUH). Well, the gal asked me if (1) I wanted to insert it myself (I’m tellin’ ya, it looks exactly like a vibrator, but not the fun and spanky kind), and (2) if I wanted a condom on it. A CONDOM! I about died. I was in so much pain I believe my words to her were: Please, be my guest.

Amber
14 years ago

Two years ago (yes, I’m very bad, but hear me out) I went to my last pap smear, and it was awful. The doctor was significantly older – she was also a retired army doctor. I’m not sure if that’s relevant, but…

It was rushed, from beginning to end, although I called a week in advance, so I’m sure she was expecting me. I stripped and assumed the position and felt vulnerable as usual, and she…didn’t have a light. So she, after yanking the sheet up and leaving it up, ran out of the room to get one from another exam room, and left the door WIDE open, with my downstairs area facing the busy hallway. Imagine my horror. I yanked the sheet back down, of course, but it was a little late for modesty. Then, after coming back with a proper light, she was far less than gentle throughout the entire sordid process. And the kicker? As she was finishing, in her bigass hurry, she unwound the crank on the speculum AS she pulled it out, and what happened? It SNAPPED closed on my SENSITIVE girl flesh! SNAPPED! CLOSED! I screeched in terror and pain, and she said, quite innocently…”Oh, did I hit a tender spot?”
The fact that I shrieked “YES!” with a red, angry face didn’t even give her pause. She finished up, and it was over, and I was very sore.

And then, two days later, she called to say that she only got a partial swab, and I needed to go back in to get a better one. You can imagine my joy at the thought. I politely declined, insisting that if nothing was wrong with the partial swab, I was probably fine.

I’m way overdue for a pap now, and I can’t say I’m looking forward to the next one.

Michelle
Michelle
14 years ago

Hilarious (as always :)

I was absolutely TERRIFIED about having my very first pap smear but when i finally got the balls to go and have it done, I was offered the choice of a student and nurse/doctor or just the doctor (i chose the latter) She was actually very professional. (perhaps as i am/was very young looking so at 21/22 i still looked 18 and so she probably tried extra hard not to scar me for life?) In Australia or maybe just in Perth they aren’t allowed to use ANY lube at all (apparently it makes the test results invalid?) so all you’re allowed to use is hot or warm water but she did offer to let me put the speculum in myself which I think i’m always going to request as at least there’s no surprised HORK! And then when i leant back in the stirrups i noticed they’d stuck a random selection of pictures cut from magazines of beautiful scenery and animals on the ceiling, probably to help transport you to your ‘happy place’ as the deed was being done ;)

My friend unfortunately was in the room next to me with a student who couldn’t find her ovaries…as it turned out, that was the day that she discovered that she had a back to front uterus!

website
10 years ago

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George
10 years ago

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