Thursday, April 7, 2011

No More Questions, Please

Today has been stressful.  We are talking seriously stressful.  It all revolves around the fact that I had a normal 36 week checkup today.  Nothing major happened and the appointment went fine as far as checking the baby and me out.  The stress is due to the fact that The Big One is out of school, and had to go with me today.  That was a mistake.  As a point of advice for all women in the future, do not take a 7 to 8 year old curious and intelligent child with you to an OB exam, unless you are fully prepared to explain everything.  I was not.  Therefore, I thought I was being tortured.

It all started at check in.  As normal, I was told to leave "a sample" in the rest room on the right.  Those of you who have been there know they mean a urine sample.  Upon hearing the word sample, though, my children picture our Sunday morning ritual Costco runs, which they have even dubbed "sample days" with things on tray for them to try.  They certainly wouldn't want to try what gets left on trays here, though.
I think The Big One has been there once before, but this time, instead of just freaking out about it, she began to question the process, and why I was doing it.  There in began my stress.  The questions weren't superficial. This child is old enough to really think things through and come up with some good ones.  She questioned the handling practice for the urine, wondering how they test it, what they test for, and so much more.  I have no idea how many questions I got ask in the restroom, but I certainly felt grilled before I got her out of there.

Then, came the appointment.  I'm not sure who decides on the decor for an OB/GYN's exam rooms either, but I would like to have words with them about now.
Today, I think the person who puts all those diagrams out, and posters on the wall was trying to send me straight to Labor and Delivery.  I'm just glad that they took my blood pressure the moment we got in there, not after sitting there, waiting for the practitioner for ten minutes.  I'm sure my numbers went up significantly.
First of all, the posters in there show everything, and I mean everything, that they possibly can. To make it even better, they are all labelled with the correct names for parts.  I got quizzed on each and every part that she could get to.  "Mom, what are mammary glands?" is not a question that I was prepared for with a 7 year old.   Of course, she wasn't too thrilled with the answer, which she found to be incredibly disgusting, either.  It wasn't disgusting enough, though, to discourage more questions.  When we got to the uterus, which we have talked about, she really got grossed out.  The thing is, and I will confess a little misleading on my part here, she hadn't connected, up to this point, the uterus with the vagina.  Every time she asks me about where the baby will come out, I can point the the big scar running down my belly, because on me that is where the baby comes out.  Just like with The Little One, they are going to do a high vertical incision that starts at my belly button and goes up.  There is no va-jay-jay necessary in the way that I deliver.  Never has been with this being my third c-section.  While I am totally truthful with her, I am also not giving her any more information than is necessary.  So, the vagina and the uteris don't need to be connected in her world.  The poster, though, threw all that out the window.
She actually ask "Wait.  So your uterus is connected to your who-ha?", our chosen label for that lovely part.
I paused for a moment, then simply confirmed that.  She was freaked out.  I think that opened an entire world of possibilities for her that she didn't even want open.
I think the part that really got to her, was when I used the word "vagina"  we don't use that word on a regular basis.  You see, not only did I have to bring them today, but unbeknownst to me, it was time for my group B strep test.  Again, if you have been there, you know, but in case you don't, they have to check for a certain bacteria, group b strep, that is commonly found in the vagina.  If you have it, they have to take certain measures when you have the baby vaginally.  As I walked in, and the medical assistant began to lay those things out, I objected, noting that my vagina was not going to be utilized in this delivery.  I told her, as I looked at The Girls, that I would much rather not do that.  She went to ask, and of course, they came back with a guilt laden answer for me.  They would prefer to do the test because if I happen to go into labor naturally, and have the baby, they wouldn't know whether or not she needed the extra measures, and they would be forced to give it to her, whether she really needed it or not.  So, I, the sucker that I am, agreed.
As The Big One is going through all of her other questions, I started undressing from the waist down.  She freaked.  Ask me what I was doing, and I explained that the nurse practitioner I was seeing was going to do a quick test.  I beat around that bush as long as I possible could before I finally just had to answer, "she is going to do the test on my vagina."  That was it.  She had enough.  She actually sat down and shut her mouth for a minute.  I think that sent even her over the edge, where I already was.  Of course, once she was able to shove that far, far down somewhere, she saw something else on the poster that attracted her attention.
I'm not even sure what else she ask.  I think my ears were bleeding too much to hear anything else.  Those had to be the longest few minutes of my life.
Thankfully, the practitioner came in, checked me out, and things were good to go pretty quickly.
I only got one more question, as I was getting dressed.  She noticed the leaves embossed onto the ceiling tiles and ask what they were for.  All I could think to answer at that point was "To give us something to stare at while they are examining us", but I knew that would only start more questions.  In stead, I just said "To be pretty.  Now move" and we, thankfully, left.
So, to the person who chooses what to put up on the walls in exam rooms, I ask you to be more considerate.  Put those things somewhere easily accessible, but not in plain view.  Please.  Please.  I beg you.  I don't think I could take another, more in depth round of questions.