An Open Apology to my Gynecologist

Film - Knocked Up

I never really lost the baby weight from my first child ten years ago. Ten years ago, I was twenty-five. My breasts were still high and my stomach was still flat. I thought I had the most perfect nipples. I didn’t ever want to be naked in front of anyone, but if I was forced to undress in front of someone other than my husband, I was proud of my perfect skin and cute belly button. Fast forward ten years and getting the plus sign on the pee stick instantly filled me with dread. In that moment, I realized that my ob/gyn was going to see me naked (again). Only this time, my breasts wouldn’t be so high and my stomach was more floppy than flat.  I immediately wondered when I last had a pap smear. Did they do those when you were pregnant? (the answer is yes). If so, it had been a whopping ten years since I had been to my gynecologist.  And I knew I would not be able to hide my stretch marks or my belly fat in all my pregnant glory.

As a labor and delivery nurse, I can’t remember a single vagina I’ve ever seen…and I’ve seen my fair share. So the healthcare provider in me says they don’t care what you look like. They’ve seen everything all before. But no matter how much I try to convince myself that it’s just another day in the office for you, I still anxiously await my appointment. I will soak in a steaming hot bath for longer than any logical amount of time in an attempt to ward off any vagina-ness. As a labor and delivery nurse, I know what can come out of there, I just don’t want anything coming out of mine.  I will pray on the drive over that I do not have a single sexually transmitted infection, even though I was negative ten years ago and the only thing my husband seems to hide from me are his Amazon orders. But just to keep things real, I don’t really know how I dodged that bullet anyway. I will (kind of) shave down there with the intention of making it look as “natural” as possible. Like, I don’t want you to think I’m trying to be eighteen, but I don’t want you to think there’s any kind of 80’s over growth down there either.  I will put on my best bra, the one that’s the least too tight and isn’t as tired from one-too-many washes. But just so we’re clear, I have to be poked in the side-boob before buying a new bra because my daughter is going through jeans like they’re not $35 a pair.  So I’m sorry that my best bra isn’t really all that great.  I will not have sex with my husband for a whole week before my appointment because…well, that’s just gross. And as I lay there on the exam table I will ramble on and on about nothing at all in an attempt to distract you from my vagina that is 1 foot in front of your face. So I just want to take this opportunity to say I’m sorry.  I’m sorry that you see me once every decade, and only when I’m knocked up.  I’m sorry that I’m talking about my dog and my daughter and my dishwasher all in one sentence, and I’m sorry that you’re probably trying to dodge my discomfort.  I’m sorry if it’s patchy down there, and I’m sorry if it smells like I bathed in Dove soap. I’m sorry that my thighs touch and I’m sorry for any cellulite and I’m sorry if I concentrated so hard on shaving down there that I forgot to shave any other part of my body :/

gyno 2

But from one exhausted, overweight, aging mother to another —-please know that I’m embarrassed of the stretch marks and the extra weight and even my poor vagina (just for being a vagina!).  Be kind to me. Be gentle. Continue to let me ramble on and on about whatever and I will continue to try be the best neurotic patient you have.  And even though it will probably be years after my pregnancy before I see you again, thank you for making all of this seem normal.

Until my next delivery ❤ (or yours) 😉


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9 replies

  1. yep, feel the same way


  2. Soooooo are you pregnant??? If so, CONGRATULATIONS!!!


  3. Lol. At 10’cm while pushing without an epidural in all the pain, all I had at the back of my mind was please no pee or poo. Its nice to knoe health care professionals also have the same “concerns” about their vaginas 🙂


    • I know it’s not the standard of care anymore, but the prescribed enema that use to accompany all early labor and inductions at the hospital where I worked had a couple of very positive benefits. Yes it is a little uncomfortable, but evacuating the lower bowel helps insure that there will be a poopless delivery AND IF there is an episiotomy it will be a couple days before having the next BM. It can also serve to stimulate labor if the patient is already in labor. I’d request one if I were doing it again.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It really made no difference and in some moms made it worse. The whole enema so you won’t poop while delivering is mostly myth. It only contributes to a stigma that should not be a thing as it can be damaging to a woman in labor. I try to explain it is not a big deal but I have actually had some women have to push an extra hour because they were so afraid of pooping…Really??


  4. It’s nice for a lot of women to see this and know they aren’t alone in these thoughts, but I wish women didn’t always feel so ashamed and apologetic about their bodies.

    Liked by 1 person

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