For those that are new to this, much like myself, the question you ask after all this excitement and all these positive tests is…now what?
I texted my sister-in-law (who’d just recently given birth to our nephew, Owen) if she knew any good OBGYN’s in the area. “I need to go for my annual,” I lied. The doctor I had always seen was located in the area I grew up and I knew if (“if”) I was pregnant, I couldn’t drive that far each time I had an appointment, much less if I were in labor.
I made the call that day to this new office. Unfortunately, the school I teach in is open-concept…therefore there are no walls and it makes it impossible to have discreet phone calls. I took it outside and put the woman on speaker so I could read off our insurance information to her. Regrettably, a pre-school class was walking from the portables to the cafeteria at the exact moment she says, “Is this your first pregnancy?” Oh my god, I thought, as 12 little pairs of eyes stared my way. “Yes,” I hissed as I took her off speaker.
By the next Monday, Jimmy and I were sitting in the waiting room of the gynecologist. I began to wonder if Jimmy had ever pictured himself in a room with framed ovaries hanging on the wall and a 3D sculpture of the woman’s reproductive system on a table.
This appointment was going to be what they called a “confirmation appointment.” Basically, where the doctors confirm that I was pregnant and then proceed to discuss what the near future will look like, as well as what to expect and next appointments.
When we were called back, things operated pretty much as normal. My vitals were taken, I was weighed and I had to pee in a cup…but this time instead of putting it in the little window of the bathroom to send it off to the lab, I was told to carry my cup down the hallway to our room.
What are you supposed to do when you pass someone in a hallway while carrying your own pee? Smile?
Anyway, a woman came in to talk with us about symptoms I’d experienced so far and get an idea about how far along I might be. Then, she took a tear dropper of my urine and dropped it on the tiniest pregnancy test I’ve ever seen. She told me to undress my bottom half and she left.
Jimmy was in the chair next to the counter and snuck a peek at the test. “Oh man…those lines are even darker than the ones,” he laughed.
We waited and waited and waited, until finally, Lisa, our nurse, came in with a plastic bag in hand.
“Alright! So, this little bag contains papers of what you need to know and look out for in the coming weeks. I also included a few prenatal vitamin samples and you can decide which are easiest on your stomach and tell me next week what to write you a prescription for. These pink ones are my favorite.”
She held up this little circular grid and flipped it around and said, “Based on your chart, I’m going to guess you’re about 6 weeks along. We’ll get a better idea with the ultrasound next week and your blood test you’ll get today.”
At this point, I’m pretty sure I looked like a deer in headlights, however I don’t think Lisa noticed.
She sat on the stool with wheels and made her way over to me. She began to get the stirrups out, and told me what every woman dreads….”Scoot all the way down to the bottom!”
There are many things you don’t think about on your wedding day. You say your vows and promise “in sickness and in health,” but there are things they don’t prepare you for…like your husband sitting in on a gynecological appointment with your feet up in stirrups. I truly think Jimmy is scarred for life after seeing some of the tools us girls have become real familiar with over the years. At this moment, all I could do was giggle with my face in my hands while it was Jimmy’s turn to look like a deer in headlights.
“I’m just checking your cervix now,” Lisa said cheerfully. “Long and closed, that’s good!”
What does that even mean? I thought.
Thankfully, I was able to sit up and Lisa continued with things to expect, what to look out for and how my diet may need to change.
She took a breath, looked at the both of us, and said, “Do you have any questions?”
I looked at Jimmy and Jimmy looked at me. I had prepared a whole list of questions leading up to this appointment, but looking at them in the moment, they seemed pretty silly. (I literally wrote down the question Can I wear a belt?)
God bless Lisa. She sat through and listened to (and laughed at) all of my questions, and Jimmy also asked a few. When we wrapped up there, I went to the lab to get my blood drawn and was told I’d be given a call if anything was wrong. If nothing was wrong, I wouldn’t be called (although, I’m the kind of person who would love a call regardless…).
We went to check out and Lisa stopped by to give us that little plastic baggy. In silence, Jimmy and I made our way to the car, feeling overwhelmed and exhausted.
I will not forget Jimmy turning to me and saying, “Okay…I just gotta say. They didn’t even say ‘You’re pregnant’ or ‘Congratulations,’ or anything I thought would happen. They literally just handed us this little baggy like we went to the freaking dentist.”
I bust out laughing because it’s true. This wasn’t what I had pictured. And I certainly wonder if a gynecological exam was something Jimmy had pictured out of the appointment either.