In one word?  PATHETIC.
September 15, 2009

I should probably preface this entire story by telling you UP FRONT that the idea of having a postpartum check-up has panicked me for weeks.  WEEKS.  And when I say “panicked,” I don’t mean that thinking about a hand shoved up my vagina made me mildly uncomfortable.

I mean PANICKED.  In bold font and capital letters.  The mere thought of my doctor poking his latex-clad fingers at my cervix has brought me to tears.  I feel like birth was enough discomfort to last me, I don’t know, a century.

Still, last week, I entrusted my daughter to her aunt while I drove myself to that blasted, inevitable postpartum check-up.

And there I proceeded to not just FREAK THE FUCK OUT, but also turn into a chicken shit.  That’s me: chicken shit extraordinaire.  The doctor came into the room and we talked about things like my boobies and how they’re feeling so much better now that the mastitis has cleared up and I was, get this, TOTALLY NORMAL.

Two minutes later, he invited the nurse into the room.  She prepared the speculum and the swabs and those damned latex gloves on a tray.  He invited me to scoot my pretty little butt to the end of the chair and he asked me to spread my legs.  She came to my side and grabbed my hand.

And then I vomited.

No, really.  I puked.  There was vomit everywhere – all over the nurse and the speculum tray and the stirrups and the doctor’s iPhone.  It would have been comical if it weren’t so, well, NOT.  I mean, when is the last time I puked like that in five different directions at once?  Elementary school?

After I was finished puking, the doctor looked up from between my legs and said, UM, how about we try this again next week, WHEN YOU’RE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF VALIUM?

So while you’re reading this, I just want you to know that my husband is driving me to a medical office where a doctor is going to wiggle his fingers in my birth canal while I am too drugged to give a damn.  Because APPARENTLY, my middle name should have been Wuss.


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  1. By Heidi on September 15, 2009

    I don’t get what you are so upset about? Didn’t you have these types of checkups your WHOLE PREGNANCY? And isn’t giving birth much worse? What are you so riled up over?

  2. By beyond on September 15, 2009

    oh no. sounds like post-birthing vaginal trauma. poor you!

  3. By on September 15, 2009

    I TOTALLY understand. I had my postpartum appointment 2 weeks ago. (My doc did the post check at 4 weeks.) I was terrified. Just the thought of it was horrifying. But, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Your doctor knows you went through a lot, and will be gentle. Thankfully you have a great husband to go with you! Good luck. I hope that it goes well! Besides, now it will be over and behind you :)  Thats a big positive to focus on!

  4. By Jinxy @ Jinxyisms on September 15, 2009

    I’m very sorry that you were so upset but really I laughed so hard when I read this.

    I hope todays goes better.

  5. By Sarah A. Schlothan Christensen on September 15, 2009

    Heidi - It’s totally irrational, and I can’t explain it.  The thought of having sex doesn’t terrify me, but the thought of the exam does.  As for he pregnancy, though, no I did not have them.  I had two exams during the entire pregnancy.  During delivery, I kicked the doctor who tried to examine me for admission, which is why they gave me morphine.  To calm me down and slow things up so that I wouldn’t deliver before admission was possible.

  6. By Stephanie on September 15, 2009

    My first appointment was an absolute mess. I had mastitis at the time, so I was already disoriented, and then I brought Jazz with me. We had to walk to the bus in the rain, twice, and I was crying by the time we got there because I didn’t know what was wrong with me (didn’t know about the mastitis yet). When they did the exam, I was holding Jasper on my stomach and I just started sobbing. Ugggh. I hate that memory.

  7. By Katelyn on September 15, 2009

    I was ok for my post-partum appointment.  And last year’s girly check-up, but this year, for some reason I am dreading this year, ugh!  Sorry you were so ill at ease, hope it goes better today!

  8. By Elizabeth Mackey on September 15, 2009

    You poor girl :( I just went to the doctor and I was terrified! I have the classic white coat syndrome. My blood pressure was through the roof, and I ended up bawling when the doctor brought up my hip problem. She must have thought I was a spaz!! I totally get how you feel, maybe I need valium when I go in. They can never get an accurate blood pressure on me , and my face is always as red as a fricken tomato!! I HATE GOING TO THE DOCTOR!!!!!!!

  9. By Heidi on September 15, 2009

    Well, that is definitely an entertaining story! I’m sorry that happened to you!

  10. By aimee @ smilingmama on September 15, 2009

    I vote for valium becomming STANDARD PROCEDURE for the post partum check-up! (And, guess what? I’m quite certain that isn’t the first time a doctor and nurse have been puked on! Don’t worry about it!)

  11. By on September 15, 2009

    I don’t have kids yet but I will tell you this: I am not afraid of labor & delivery. I AM terrified for: the 1st time I poo after having a baby. Soooo…I don’t think your fear is irrational or weird. Puking is intense but everyone’s body responds differently to those kinds of situations. Just because you experienced the pain of having baby doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to be afraid or nervous about potentially painful situations. Especially when they concern your nani. :)

  12. By kbreints on September 15, 2009

    Really? You went through LABOR and you were scared for the post pardum check up? I am sorry!! Does not sound good…

  13. By on September 15, 2009

    p.s. Darn it all Stephanie - yet another instance when I could have been helpful. I think a HUG would have been in order there.

  14. By Alias Mother on September 15, 2009

    Oh my dear, that’s some serious PTSD.  And hormones.  I always console myself when I humiliate myself at the doctor’s that I can’t be the first to have done this, right?  RIGHT?

    You weren’t the first.  I guarantee it.

  15. By Megan on September 15, 2009

    Yea, thanks for that!  Nothin’ like reading that story as I eat breakfast!  But, my god, why must they do that exam AGAIN?  So soon?  What is the purpose?  Wouldn’t you KNOW if something was amiss?  GOOD LUCK!

  16. By Dianna on September 15, 2009

    That’s just another one of those reasons why I’m not having a child. I hate going to the doctor and dread it for literally months before I have to go. I just don’t understand why to get birth control pills they need to do that. I mean, I’m with the same person, always have been, and don’t intend to change that. Anyways, I totally understand your fear. Hope it goes well today.

  17. By Brianne on September 15, 2009

    Oh no! I was pretty much in a panic too. I just thought it was going to hurt so bad because of what went on down there. Luckily it did not. And luckily I did not puke!
    Sorry you went through that but hey Valium sounds good.

  18. By Sarah on September 15, 2009

    Oh you poor dear!  Mine is next week, and I have to admit, I’m rather nervous in regards to it as well…although, to me, sex scares the hell out of me as well!

  19. By Monica on September 15, 2009

    Oh no!  I’ll admit I LOL’d at your post, but I still feel really, really bad for you and your doctor’s iphone. 

    My first birth totally changed the way I felt about things going in my vagina.  In fact, I switched to using the Diva cup because I couldn’t bear the idea of sticking a dry wad of bleached cotton up there once a month. 

    Birth does weird things to a woman.

  20. By Stephanie on September 15, 2009

    don’t be so hard on yourself… i wasn’t thinking about my post-natal checkup after i had my daughter 3 years ago… but when I had it, it hurt SO MUCH that the doctor had to reschedule it for me as well.. (I was crying on the table).

    so now, having gone through that experience once in my life, i too will probably act very similar to how you did…

    most people don’t know how awful it is until they’ve been through it.. *HUGS*

  21. By Jaye @ canadian-mom.ca on September 15, 2009

    Oh my. I hope today was better. xo

  22. By Mrs. Sitcom on September 15, 2009

    Oh. MY. GOD.

    That is one of the funniest, and most horrifying posts of all time—I feel SO badly for you, don’t blame you, and at the same time want to high-five you for covering so much ground with the vomit. 

    And, just like Katelyn, I was completely petrified for my girly appointment two years ago—for no reason at all.  Every other year, I sail right through, but a couple of times I’ve been out of my head with anxiety.

    Also, thanks for the laugh today and I hope this appointment was GREAT!!

  23. By erin on September 15, 2009

    Yeah, I was terrified too.  Though I did not puke on the doc.  It was not as awful as I thought it would be, but then again I did not have the trauma of shoving TK out through there either.  (Though the doc did “palpate” - isn’t that the fancy word for PUSH AS HARD AS YOU CAN? - my uterus, and I was like, Hello, did you not know that I was CUT OPEN, are you too blind to see the bright red scar?)  I had to bring TK because I didn’t have anyone watch her.  I sat her carrier on the chair next to me, so she was practically eye level when I was laying down, and just kept my eyes on her and cooed at her the whole time.  That made it a little more bearable at least.

  24. By Laura on September 15, 2009

    OMG, you poor thing. It really isn’t that bad. Mine didn’t even hurt. I mean it was uncomfortable for a second, but good grief, you made it through birth! Nothing to be worked up over.

  25. By on September 15, 2009

    Oh my God, I can’t claim to relate to the post-partum thing, but you have every right to feel totally wigged out.  I hate the annual pelvic exam with a passion, and then they always want to know why on earth my blood pressure is so high.  I’m FREAKED out!  Raised blood pressure is a normal response.  This the the flight part of fight-or flight, and it’s all I can do to suck it up.  So just DON’T harass me about my blood pressure!  So the vomiting:  I think you scored major points for the team.  Hope today went better, though.

  26. By gretchen from lifenut on September 15, 2009

    Wow! I am so sorry that happened to you. I can’t identify with feeling that anxious about it, but who am I to judge? 

    I was always much more nervous about the sex after baby, mainly the first few times after my vaginal deliveries—-especially since breastfeeding hormones interfere with, uh, the juices.

    But then it all got back to normal, or there’d be no little brothers and sisters, right?

  27. By Veronica on September 15, 2009

    Uhm, here is a confession. I haven’t had my post partum check after Isaac’s birth. He’s 8 months old.

    Even though I KNOW that it will be fine and that sex doesn’t hurt and I’m all healed. Even though I KNOW there won’t be a repeat of the last speculum check I had (25 weeks pregnant, infection, starting to go into pre-term labour, rough doctor), I still haven’t been.

    It’s bad.

  28. By Elly on September 15, 2009

    Wow! Hope that when it does do down, it doesn’t freak out as much . . . perhaps in this case the anticipation is worse than the act? Fingers crossed!

  29. By Rebecca on September 15, 2009

    I don’t think you’re pathetic or a wuss.  I don’t think this story is funny or silly.  I think it’s sad, and worrisome.

    I think you’re suffering from the effects of a traumatic birth.  You didn’t post all the details of your birth story, and you said you were very satisfied or something like that…but from your comment above and in reply to my comment on one of your earlier posts….it sounds like you worked really hard laboring at home, then rushed to the hospital (the ER, no less), then all hell broke loose because OMG, you were HAVING A BABY, AND THE PAPERWORK WASN’T FILLED OUT!  I understand the concerns about hemorrhage and tearing, so the doctors wanting to slow down your labor, but didn’t those things happen anyway? 

    It basically sounds like they drugged you to make your body conform to The Way Things Should Happen in A Hospital Birth.  And then even after an epidural you still had a lot of pain (which is not that uncommon, but you don’t hear that from most people—they don’t want to admit that after giving in to an epi they didn’t want, or after raving about how much they were going to love it, it didn’t even work well).  Anyway, all of that adds up to a big fat traumatic birth, in my mind at least. And it’s OKAY to feel traumatized.

    But this isn’t about my mind, it’s about yours.  If I were you, though, I’d listen to my body—when it pukes all over the doctor, maybe it’s saying “Let’s work through these issues.“  And maybe also, “Let’s find a gentler, more holistic care provider.“

  30. By Sarah A. Schlothan Christensen on September 15, 2009

    Rebecca - Although there are arguably a million reasons for The Puking Incident of 2009, I think that “irrational,“ is probably the best description.  I can say without reservation that I do not think I had a traumatic birth.

    The reasons that I did not post my birth story are twofold: a) it isn’t that interesting, and b) I feel that it is, in great part, my daughter’s story and not my own.

    To be honest, I’ve always been a bit squeamish about the annual lady exam, and I think what happened here is that I just took “a bit squeamish” to a new level.  I don’t know why - I never even feel it and it’s hardly uncomfortable.  So I just classify it as an irrational fear, the way some people are afraid of spiders or dust bunnies or clowns.  I really do think it was just an irrational fear that didn’t go well for the doctor or his iPhone.

  31. By Tabitha (From Single to Married) on September 16, 2009

    You poor thing!  At least the doctor was cool about it and offered to give you the good stuff.  :)

  32. By Trenches of Mommyhood on September 21, 2009

    THAT is a good one!  I seriously think you could win a “most embarrassing” contest. 

    (Was it chunky puke, or liquid?)


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