Pregnancy has had a few humorous moments. A few. . .
One thing I was pretty committed to prior to getting pregnant was having a midwife deliver the baby. Hey, I’m pretty pro-physician (my self-hatred is directed more towards my thin hair and fat rolls than my career) but my experiences in various labor and delivery settings had convinced me that having a midwife on the other end of the vagina was preferable to a doctor.
Midwives, however, skew a bit more, um, shall we say, “hippy-dippy” than doctors do. Oh, it’s all a spectrum for both options but let’s be honest, how many MDs do you know that recommend moon-drops for pregnancy insomnia? I say this not to mock the midwives; it’s what drew me to that philosophy in the first place. It’s just that sometimes I find it kind of amusing.
I brought BH along for the first visit, a fairly routine session where you go through a list of diseases which hopefully don’t run in your family and you talk a little about how you’re feeling and was this planned and yada, yada, yada.
And there is the exam. Again, pretty standard. A quick check-up, some swabs, a smear and you’re ready to go.
I have the benefit of prior experience with these sorts of exams on both a personal and a professional level. No one finds stirrups particularly comfortable, but neither do I find them overly angst inducing.
After concluding the question and answer portion of our time together, our young, fresh-faced midwife, Katie, smiled and said, “Well, let’s just do the physical and then we’ll be all set. We don’t have gowns here for you. Instead, we have Dignity Duds. Here’s the bottom piece, here’s the top. Crack the door when you’re done and I’ll be right back in.”
Wait, what? Moon drops and tea-tree oil I can handle but no standard-issue, ass-baring, thinner-than-toilet-paper gown? Are you crazy? BH sat, there, looking quizzically at me. Clearly he doesn’t participate in a lot of gynecologic exams, because the Dignity Duds weren’t fazing him.
I picked up the yards of faded calico Katie had left on the exam table and held them up. The one-size-fits-all philosophy was in play and the designer of these garments decided to leave plenty of room for the larger end of the continuum. The drawstring helped to cinch a few of the extra inches at the waist but the overall impression was still a bit like a clown suit. A clown suit for a very, very fat clown.
The top piece was equally proportioned, the edges of the arm holes coming about to my waist and the neckline gaping around my collarbone.
Moxie, you might be saying, these sound like pajamas. What’s the big deal? Well, here’s where the dignity portion comes in. These duds were specifically designed for these exams, which meant that they had some specials features.
Such as a strategically placed hole in the inseam of the pants, meant to help facilitate the pelvic exam.
And a flap over the chest, aiding in the breast exam.
So there I was, covered in yards and yards of washed out blue fabric, with chilly bits thanks to the ventilation system, and my husband looking at me as if he was puzzled how he’d ever made a baby with me in the first place.
Bye-bye dignity. Nice to know you.