Friday, September 29, 2006

Week 13 Update

I've heard that many pregnant women develop little crushes on their obstetricians. Prior to an appointment, they groom, and preen, and shave significantly more surface area than normal, if you catch my drift.

I am not one of them. Don't get me wrong; my obstetrician, thus far, is great. He's kind and smart and sweet, and is perfectly good-looking. I'd be thrilled to be a member of his fan club. It's just that, these days, "grooming" for me consists of brushing my teeth after I throw up (which I still do, although it's not nearly as bad as it was before Week 12) and "preening" consists of locating a pair of pants that I can button at least 90% of the way and that was NOT pulled from the hamper.

However, there is one thing for which I could kiss him, or at least show up for an appointment wearing a little mascara.

On two separate occasions, he has spared me a transvaginal ultrasound.

For the uninitiated, a transvaginal ultrasound is the ultrasound procedure that is favored in early pregnancy.

You know how, in movies, the newly-pregnant heroine delicately lifts up her rose-colored Cynthia Rowley blouse to reveal a perfectly rounded, hairless, lineless, markless baby bump, and the ultrasound technician applies a tiny bit of sparkling-clear gel, complete with animated twinkles, to her navel, and barely touches her skin with the ultrasound wand, and then a flawless image of the adorable baby within appears on a screen? That's about as realistic as her wacky, non-trust-fund-film-student neighbor living solo in a three-bedroom Manhattan apartment furnished by Design Within Reach.

What really happens is quite different. Mignon said it best. I've quoted her before, and I'll quote her again: a transvaginal ultrasound consists of "a huge white rod shoved up your 'gina."

But wait, there' s more! It's not as if they just put it in and leave it alone. They have to jam it in and move it around, pressing it against your ovaries, bladder, etc. It's like they're looking for Jimmy Hoffa in there. You know how unpleasant it is to go to the dentist and get your mouth poked around with a mirror? Oh, honey!

So, when I showed up at the OB a few weeks ago and he said, "We're going to try to see if we can get an image from your stomach first, because you've been through enough," I don't think an embrace would have been entirely out of order.

Today, I entered the ultrasound room, and saw the white paper drape and the rod all condomed and lubed up, and I trembled a little. One of the assistants asked me to take off my clothing from the waist down, that we were going to do a transvaginal, and I trembled a little, and then the OB said, "No, that's ok, we can do it from the stomach."

As indicated in some of my earlier posts, this nice, 'gina-sparing man is not the first doctor who has seen me during this pregnancy. There are all different types of people in the world, and all different types of doctors, and we, as patients, deserve the best we can get. Making this change was one of the best things that I could have done for myself during this sensitive time.

Are you being treated as well as you should be by your doctor, however competent and/or "brilliant" he or she may be? If not, perhaps it's time for an "affair."


Anonymous TB said...

My first ultrasound at six weeks was transvag. Not fun. And Jeff was in the room so it was especially weird.
Today when we were on our way to ultrasound #2, we were talking about that first one. Jeff was asking me to compare his, er, size to the wand. I looked at him incredulously and he was like, "ot the LENGTH! That thing was like two feet long."
No shit honey.
Today's ultrasound I am happy to say was the regular kind and honestly I think it was more uncomfortable due to the fact that they require a full bladder and then they go pressing around with pretty strong pressure right on top of said full bladder. Also not good.

10:04 PM  
Blogger Tits McGee said...

I hear you. Transvaginal ultrasound = yuck.

But hooray for good OBs and midwives! Sometimes they can be hard to find, but, as you said, they are worth seeking out. We all deserve the best.

12:38 AM  
Anonymous mamatulip said...

Yeah, the transvag is about as much fun as a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

This kills me, because it's pretty much how I went about things when I was pregnant with Julia:

It's just that, these days, "grooming" for me consists of brushing my teeth after I throw up (which I still do, although it's not nearly as bad as it was before Week 12) and "preening" consists of locating a pair of pants that I can button at least 90% of the way and that was NOT pulled from the hamper.

3:01 PM  
Blogger Mignon said...

My last OB was a spitting image of the mom from One Day at a Time. She was earthy and interesting and perfect. Now she retired and I have to move on. First I'll go through the 8 steps of grief (9, 12 - is it a prime number? whatever - I'm so sad).

I'm so glad you found this kind, understanding man. I think sometimes male OBs have a special bedside manner because they don't have that "I've been there, I did it, you can do it if you just suck it up" attitude. Then there are those like your previous OB-slash-devil-spawn...

11:37 PM  
Blogger Tink said...

"It's like they're looking for Jimmy Hoffa in there." Oh crap. NOW you've done it. The one place they haven't looked yet. And so it starts...

4:26 PM  
Blogger Shana said...

I run a website, Babes in Blogland, that lists ttc, expecting, and parenting bloggers to help us all find one another. I've added your site to the blogroll. If you need me to correct any information or if you would like for me to remove the link, please let me know.

Thank you and congratulations.

1:18 AM  

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