Even though most of us have given birth a time or two and have been poked and prodded and laid out on display for several to see I'd venture to guess that most of you, like me, dread your annual exam. I feel most comfortable with female doctors so I see one of three each year. One of them delivered my oldest child and one of them delivered my youngest. I started going to them almost 12 years ago and on my first appointment the doctor brought in an intern named Helga. I was nervous but it was just another female in the room. Then when I was in labor with my first child and ready to push they brought in three interns to observe her delivery. I had just turned 22 and the interns were two males and one female all of which were my age. The whole time I was pushing, one of the male interns kept clapping and cheering for me and in the midst of pushing I actual found that quite humorous because a complete stranger was cheering for me as if I was running a marathon or something.
Years went by and I never had another intern, at least not until my last annual exam which was last November. Even though I've had three children I still hate the dreaded gynecological exam. I make sure I'm physically prepared to be viewed in such a manner and head off to my appointment. The nurse took me back to the examining room and asked me the usual questions, then she gave be a gown and an over sized napkin and said, "Please undress and tie the gown in the front." They used to have me tie the gown in the back but I suppose tying it in the front gave better access for the breast exam. I put on my gown and tried to wrap the smaller than I remembered napkin around my lower half. I chalked the decrease in napkin size up to budget cuts.
I sat and waited patiently and in walked the doctor. She was the one who delivered my oldest child and I was happy to see her. She shook my hand and asked how I was doing and then, gasp, in walked a man! "This is Todd and he's a student intern, I hope you don't mind if he observes today," she said. I thought, student intern are you kidding me? He was at least in his early forties, he had salt and pepper hair and he was very good looking. It was just my luck that this man would decide to better himself and now I have to bare my nether regions to him.
After a few more pleasantries came the dreaded words, "Please scoot forward and put your legs up." She moved the hot lamp closer to me and sat down. I can't believe how warm those lamps are and how close they get them to you. If you ever smell burning hair I guarantee your lamp is too close! The whole time she's examining me she's asking about my weekend or if we took the kids on a summer vacation. I politely tried to converse with her but the whole time I was thinking, I can't believe she brought George Clooney into observe me! I was mortified but in a few minutes the exam was over and I sat up. She asked if I had any concerns or questions and I did not so I shook both of their hands and they left the room. I breathed a sigh of relief that THAT was over for yet another year!
No matter how much I dread it I just keep telling myself that it is the responsible thing to do as an adult and as a mother. It's preventative medicine and it's worth the terribly uncomfortable few minutes out of my life to be examined. I will say though, I hope I can go another ten years without an intern, specifically a male one!
"Too many OB/GYN’s aren’t able to practice their love with women all across the country."
— George W. Bush
— George W. Bush