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Week 37: The rough patch

A few days ago I went in for my vaginal exam. Normally, the words “vaginal exam” don’t elicit any sort of excitement from me, but I was very eager to get some insight on how things were progressing with my little one. Was my baby breached or head down? Was my cervix thinning yet? I...

image1A few days ago I went in for my vaginal exam. Normally, the words “vaginal exam” don’t elicit any sort of excitement from me, but I was very eager to get some insight on how things were progressing with my little one. Was my baby breached or head down? Was my cervix thinning yet? I couldn’t wait to hear all of the details, never mind the mild discomfort.
In anticipation of this important OB/GYN appointment, I decided I needed to get myself situated down there. I’ve always tried to make sure things were looking their best downstairs before any sort of pap or pelvic exam, and this appointment was no different, but performing the normal maintenance routine was a lot more difficult than I thought. I got in the tub and did my best to shave what I could no longer see under my nine month pregnant belly. Needless to say, it was no easy feat.
I was just wrapping up what I thought was most likely a thorough trim job, when my husband walked into the bathroom. Bewildered and confused, he asked me what the heck I was doing. I explained quite simply that I had to shave in preparation for my vaginal exam. He shook his head, and pointed out that my doctor most likely didn’t care whether or not I shaved. He handed me a towel and insisted on helping me out of the slippery bathtub. As he heaved me up, I asked how things were looking down there. Proceeding with extreme caution, he said it was a bit patchy, which the mirror later confirmed. It’s hard to imagine a time when I’d felt any more helpless and feeble.
The next morning, I headed off to my OB/GYN’s office, patchy nether region and all, but I quickly forgot all about my pruning failure the night before. As the exam commenced, I got some of the answers I was waiting for. My baby girl was already head down, ready to go. My cervix wasn’t thinning quite yet, but it was softening. Things were moving along as they should, right on schedule. Delighted by the recent updates, I listened intently as my doctor outlined the signs of labor and explained that 37 weeks is basically full term. As I reiterated all of this information to my husband on the drive back to work, we both came to the realization that this was it. Our baby could technically come any day now.
These last few weeks have been rough, and I know the remaining three will be rougher still. It doesn’t matter though. I don’t care who hears me grunting every time I bend over to pick something up. I no longer worry about burping in front of my coworkers when the heartburn just won’t quit. I don’t feel bad about asking my husband to help me put on my shoes, or lift me out of the bathtub after I’ve given my downstairs a hack job. I’m OK with all the humility that pregnancy brings because, in the end, it’s all for something so beautiful.

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