Last night I was at a welcome dinner for the new senior executive in my department. And we were having drinks. And somehow the topic got around to “birth stories.” Now, before we move on, I was not aware until very recently that there was a name for this. But there is. Thankfully. Because this is one of the most memorable experiences in life, and by that I mean traumatic. Another human is trying to rip you in half, people. You can’t forget it.
So somehow the topic got around to giving birth and the crazy stuff that happens during that time. But why just pick on that moment? Crazy stuff happens when you’re out to dinner with your new boss and people order an alcoholic beverage. Or even when they are just drinking ice tea, like the guy standing next to me.
Anyway, my point is that I got in on this action. And started telling a story about a time before my child was born, when I thought my child was being born four weeks early, and we went to the hospital to find out.
We got to the birthing center around 9 p.m., and I was told to get undressed and put on one of those drafty, over-washed, smashed up hospital gowns and lie down on the bed. Various measuring devices were put on my belly to listen to the baby’s heartbeat and try to determine if I was having an contractions. I was not. So the nurse, just to be sure, did a physical exam. And just to be clear this is a nice doctor way of saying getting fisted. Or just to be crystal clear, she put as much of her hand as possible into my vagina and felt around.
There was nothing unusual going on in there. No party. No crimes being committed. The carbon monoxide detector was not going off. All was well in that small, dark part of the world, except it was now throbbing with pain. Which by the way, the doctors don’t tell you about before it happens. They describe this as pressure. You might feel a bit of pressure. Sure. Gird your loins, someone is going to put something somewhere that it doesn’t normally go and it’s going to hurt like a mo-fo.
But that part was done. And now I could go home, and come back to the hospital when I was actually in labor. So the nurse left, and I started putting on my clothes. And then she came back just as I was putting on my bra.
“Oh sorry!” she said when she noticed that I wasn’t completely dressed. And she started backing out of the room.
“Stop! Come in. You just had your hand in my vagina, it really doesn’t matter if you see me putting on my bra.”
“Yeah, that’s right. We’re BFFs now.”
(Nurses are AWESOME!)
And that is the story I was relaying to one woman, three guys who are thankfully highly comfortable with their masculinity (that’s the best!) and my new boss. So let’s just say I can’t wait to see everyone in the office this morning. Maybe they will ask me how my vagina is doing. (It’s fine. In case you are wondering.) On the plus side, at least I remember telling them this. It would be super awkward to walk in, have someone ask you how your vagina is doing, and have no idea why they are asking. It’s happened. But that’s a whole other story.