Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Internal matters. Literally.

It was a lovely sunny day, I'd just gobbled down mighty lunch and made my way back to my desk. Since working (Booooo!) was totally not an option out came my trusted Google reader and thus the blog wander began.

There I was, blissfully giggling my way through Xboxes uterine musings involving Dutch no-nonsense approach to the privacy of ones privates, when it happened.

I had another Foreigner Moment. Meaning - whoa, just remembered how differently things really work here and back on (Ex)Home Ground.

And those a bit wary of all things vaginal should stop reading now. OK. And if you do decide to stay with me - no whingeing. You've been warned.

As Sir Sprouts birth was looming closer my lovely mild-mannered Gentleman Doctor started to gently prepare me.

"You see, Foreigner," he said soothingly, "I would need to do an internal examination about a week before the due date, just to see how things are going down there." (you'd swear he almost blushed at "down there" point.) "Now, it's not really pleasant and a lot of women are afraid of it but it doesn't hurt and I wouldn't get too worried if I was you."

I was about 37 weeks pregnant, huge, drowsy and with very delayed reactions, otherwise I would have probably blessed him with fairly chavy "What da fuck are ya talkin' about??"

As it was, I only mastered a muted "Hrmmpphh!?" and never really thought about it any further.

Until the next appointment when he politely asked me to remove my knickers after a scan. Before I could even reach my hand down there (it takes a bit of effort if you have to navigate around a belly of monstrous proportions) he made a magician-like swift move and I was covered with cellular blanket from my bump down to my toes and curtains were drawn in front of apprehensive-looking Ultimate Other Half.

It didn't really make the knicker-removal operation any smoother but somehow I managed it without knocking off the blanket. It still puzzled me why the cover was needed as it would surely be taken off for the examination itself.

It wasn't. My doctor inserted his gloved hand under the blanket, skillfully located my vagina and performed a feather-gentle probing-around all the while giving a live commentary accompanied by numerous apologies for discomfort and intrusion of privacy and whatnot.

I got off the table in mild shock.

Why, you ask. Surely the doctor was as delicate and tactful and the experience was anything else than nasty?

Well, herein lays the issue. You see, in Ireland most women won't get an internal before they're in labor and some give birth getting away without it altogether.

Not so on Home Ground.

You get internal examination if they SUSPECT you're pregnant.
You get it if they don't think you are.
You get it every single time you darken the door of gynecologist.
It's quite surprising really that dentists don't perform internals.

I was 15 when all the girls of our class had to go to the gynecologist, as a part of overall medical assessment.

To speed things up the doctor had one girl stripping "from waist" as she was performing examination on the other. The stirruped high chair was facing the bloody door. There was no feathery touch or talking through the process involved.

"Relax!" she barked and shoved next instrument in. It was usually something metal, big, slightly sharp and stone cold. "What did I tell you - relax!"

As you might imagine, relaxing was quite out of question, especially for 15-year olds with no experiences of any intrusive activity in the neither regions to start with.

For years I harbored distrust and deep desire to run and hide as soon as I saw a sign "Gynecologist" on the door. Not all of them were so bad though and eventually I DID learn to relax all the relevant muscles which made the yearly visits that much less stressful.

I only see the blessing side now though, when another doctor at the hospital pales and hides her/his eyes half-whispering "We need to do an internal". It's so easy for me to just whisk off my pants, plonk on my back, spread the knees wide, put the hands behind my head and relax.

"Bring it on!"


Xbox4NappyRash said...

I love you way you said he 'skillfully located my vagina'

If he gets credit for finding it with 'a gloved hand', I deserve a bloody medal.

Funny. Stomach turning, but funny.

Thriftcriminal said...

Odd, bloody hell, traumatizing 15 year olds sounds really, just, well wrong. No matter what way I look at it. Shiver.

Foreigner by Default said...

xbox - well, since I had some trouble getting my knickers off without having the flippin blanket in twist I kinda considered the blind method of neithers location quite impressing. I guess you gave me an entirely new angle here, damn you!

Oh well, you've earned your medals.

Thriftcriminal - Oh we did a lot more than shivered, believe me.
Anyway - the whole thing has not destroyed me and therefore has made me stronger.

Hope it was the case for all the other girls as well.

Xbox4NappyRash said...

'an entire new angle'...

bloody hell, I must have a word with your hubby, if what I think is normal is an entirely new angle, we maybe called in the reproductive specialists a tad too soon...

Foreigner by Default said...

xbox - well, as a tip - our antics do not usually involve rubber gloves OR cellular blanket.

But feel free to consult The Ultimate Other Half, you can contact him through http://inanerambings.blogspot.com/

You can do some male bonding or however you call it! :p

Veronica said...

I laughed so hard at this. Thank goodness that here (Oz) they only do an internal when you are in actual labour or think you might be.

English Mum said...

My, but I bet that doctor's an ace in the sack though... sorry, Hubby's away and I'm ...er... never mind x

Foreigner by Default said...

EM - I'll be happy to oblige you with the contact details of his surgery. All you need to do is to convince him you're about to go into labor in a week or so and you WILL get an internal.

Anonymous said...

and when actually in labour will they herd a bus full of trainees through the room 'to take a peek'? That happened both times to me. I did almost ask if they could get my good side for any photos but in that position I wasn't sure where that might be!!!

X Box - you really do have a relaxed attitude to female 'down belows' don't you?

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