Friday, November 18, 2011

A trip down memory lane

We’ve been watching Coupling lately and some episodes are about pregnancy and birth and all the little shocks you go through during your first time pregnancy. It brought me down the memory lane. 

We were quite young and ignorant of most things concerning pregnancies in general and births in particular. We were students and couldn’t afford any prenatal classes. We lived far away from most of our family and could therefore continue our blissfully ignorant existence too, until hard earned experience killed our naïve ignorance…

5 weeks into the pregnancy I went through an emergency surgery as one of my ovary tubes exploded into smithereens. (This is a story of its own for another time). Obviously I survived and I didn’t lose the baby either. Otherwise I was in my opinion quite fit and had a healthy pregnancy. Except from an annoying heartburn, I didn’t suffer from any of the usual pregnancy ailments.

The doctors didn’t quite agree. I had twice as many appointments as other pregnant women and at the end of the pregnancy I wondered if I should perhaps just change my address to my doctor’s office. They were worried about all kinds of things due to the surgery, among other things they worried that the surgery scar would tear open. It didn’t. 

Hubby was terrified they’d accidentally cut off limbs during the surgery. I tried to tell him that at the time of the surgery the little microscopic pea that was to become our daughter didn’t have any arms or legs to be cut off, but to no avail. Even after we’d had seen the ultrasound pictures on the screen where our daughter quite clearly had all limbs intact, he was convinced she’d be born with half an arm or leg missing. She didn’t.

6 weeks before term I started bleeding during intercourse. In our blissful ignorance it never dawned on us that having sex while pregnant could be a potential problem late in the pregnancy. We were young with a healthy sex drive and had humped away as usual up until this point – having a lot of creative fun making room for a growing tummy. The fun stopped abruptly, that’s for sure. I experienced no pain, so I wasn’t too worried that something terrible had happened and I argued vigilantly for us to do nothing, but just wait and see. I didn't particularly feel like explaining myself to strangers about the whats and whys and hows...

Hubby disagreed just as vigilantly, of course, he was now convinced he was going to lose both his wife and unborn child. I have to admit that I was more terrified of having to explain what had happened and more to the point, how it had happened, than of anything being wrong with the baby and I downright refused to go to the ER unless he agreed to come with me and do all the talking. We argued back and forth and in the end he agreed to come with me and help me explain. 

Then came the problem with transportation. We didn’t have a car and we didn’t really have the extra money for a cab. After another round of arguing, we decided to call on our friend, Axel whose girlfriend had a pimped up hot pink bubble convertible. It took a lot of stuttering, shifting of legs, kicking at invisible dust and a lot of blushing, giggling and mentally dying to explain our need and then a lot of promising that, no, I wasn’t bleeding that much and wouldn’t mess out the car. And no, I wasn’t going to give birth in the car either, etc and so on. 

Finally we arrived at the hospital. I had completely made up my mind about not needing to see any doctor at all by now, but Axel and Runar unceremoniously picked me up and hauled me inside and told the receptionist that I was bleeding and needed immediate medical treatment as I was 6 weeks from term.  I was secretly planning on sneaking out of there, but hubby knows me too well, or my plans were written all over my face, because they placed me between them on the waiting bench and kept a firm hold of me until it was my turn. 

Some nurse came to get me and Hubby; the dastardly Judas, promptly proclaimed that he would just sit there on the bench and wait with Axel and before I knew it I stood there in the examination room alone, with 4 nurses and a doctor wanting to know what had made me start bleeding and how.

Oh, how I wanted to crawl into myself and just disappear. All my telltale signs made it pretty obvious, I think. Regardless they had me tell it in details and before I was done every single person there – somehow, even more medical personnel came in and insisted on taking part of ‘examining’ me while I was agonizingly stumbling through my explanation – was giggling and/or laughing uncontrollably and quite frankly showed little to no professionalism.

My embarrassment had by now mostly turned to indignation and when I stomped my foot and shouted: “It’s not funny!” the doctor shooed most of the extra people out while working hard at controlling her own mirth. 

I was examined, tests were taken and the doctor told me that the bleeding was due to a burst vessel and that nothing was wrong with the baby. She continued with telling me that while it was healthy and good to have sex during a pregnancy and that I should consider myself lucky that my partner and I had such a good relationship blah, blah, blah, she as a medical expert sadly had to absolutely forbid me to have sex for the next two weeks as having sex late in the pregnancy could start the birth prematurely. And that I wouldn’t want that, but that when I only had 3 weeks left to my term and I could fuck(I swear she used this word) all I liked. Then she laughed, hugged me and sent me out. 

I stomped out of the hospital as fast as I could get my overgrown stomach to move with hubby and Axel trailing after me while laughingly trying to make me repeat what I told the doctors and what they told me. I seem to recall some gruesome threats of horrible deaths that would happen to them if they didn't shut the f@$k up!

As if this wasn’t enough, a report of this …incident was sent to my regular doctor – who happened to be an older highly religious and righteous man -  and I had to not only explain myself one more time, I had to sit and listen to him lecturing me about proper and healthy behavior while pregnant. I had 4 weeks left of it. I’d say he was a bit late in trying to get me to change my sinful, evil ways… 

So to all you pregnant people out there, sex during pregnancy is safe and apparently good for you, but not during the last(second last?) part of the pregnancy, so unless you enjoy having to explain yourself to doctors and nurses while dying of mortal shame, just refrain from having intercourse during that time. 

Have a wonderful weekend

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