During the pregnancy that produced the Wonderbaby, I became accustomed very quickly to the never-ending – and wholly ignoble – prodding and poking that attends being pregnant. How much time can one woman spend on her back on an examination table with her feet shoved into stirrups and someone’s hand up her hoo-ha? Quite a lot, actually. And you learn very quickly to not complain, because, hey, they’re just looking after you and the baby. So. You just lay back and try to think of anything other than how it is humanly possible for one gloved hand to fit all the way up there. And you try to be grateful. Because – have I said this already? – they’re just taking care of you and the baby.
This time around, I’m finding it more difficult to be blah-zay about the transvaginal examinations – and, if I might add, the incessant demand for blood (we’d just like you to go back to the lab AGAIN, for just a few more blood tests, all right? NO. NO. NOT ALL RIGHT). Maybe it’s because I’m less anxious about the mechanics of this pregnancy – I know that he’s in there, and if they can hear his heart beating, isn’t that good enough? – that I have a lower tolerance level for these investigative violations of my person. Maybe it’s because I’ve gone through enough – once they’ve stuck a big-assed needle through your belly to determine whether or not your baby is facing severe disabilities, you’re pretty much done – and that I believe, accordingly, somewhere deep down, that I’m already well paid up on my pregnancy-discomfort dues. Or maybe I’ve just become a bigger baby in the time since Wonderbaby was born. Whatever the case, I’m having trouble hacking the medical side of pregnancy this time around. So much so that I almost passed out twice yesterday – once during one of those deeply unpleasant transvaginal probes, and once during the umpteenth round of bloodletting.
Which, you know, doesn’t do much for my maternal self-esteem, nor for my sense of myself as a functioning grown-up (especially not when the lab-technicians/blood-letters get all finger-waggy on me for going dizzy on them without warning. Like I know when I’m about to fall over. Please. If I knew, I wouldn’t do it.) I tell myself that I’m just that much less worried about this pregnancy, especially since the events of early winter, and that I consequently feel less supportive of continual probing investigations into the pregnancy. But in my more truthful moments, I think that I’ve been worn down by motherhood and pregnancy-while-parenting-a-toddler and I am therefore just that much more sensitive, which is to say, much more intensely wussy.
It’s just that, you know, I don’t want anyone else poking at me or prodding me or making me feel dizzy, whether by sticking needles in me or by running around my legs in tiny little circles screeching wheeeeeeee I go round-and-round I go round-and-round wheeeee! I’m quite full up on that already, thanks. And while the little person doing round-and-round is adorable, the white-coated doctors and surgical-glove wearing lab technicians are not, so there’s no pay-off.
Just let me hear the heartbeat, then give me some chocolate and send me home to put my feet up. Oh, yeah – and stop sticking your hands up my nether regions. Unless you really are going to pony up with that chocolate. Then we can talk.