“You’ll be seeing a medical student. You can leave your urine sample now.”
It’s a teaching hospital, and as the saying goes, this is not my first rodeo. I fully expect to see medical students (or have them see me) occasionally. I once had a newbie ask if my infant had been complaining of muscle pain or headaches. To which I responded, “He doesn’t speak or have control of his limbs, yet, so…” A doctor entered the room and finished my answer, “No. We don’t ask that of babies.” I’m a mom and a teacher. I wanted to put a reassuring hand on the student’s shoulder, but my baby was wailing, so I just smiled a smile that I hoped said, “No problem. It’ll get easier.”
When the door to the exam room opened this time, I was ready for the clipboard and the questions. I was not ready for this guy, this guy who was a close second in the running for one of the McSteamy or McDreamy characters on Grey’s Anatomy. Oh. Good.
“I just have a few questions,” he smiled.
“Great,” I answered, my voice rising several octaves. Get a hold of yourself.
It’s not that he was tall, dark and handsome with a flawless complexion and adorable smile that made my pulse quicken. It wasn’t that he told me I seemed to be “looking good and doing well”–observations he made because I was able to stand up from my chair and hoist myself onto the exam table without help. It wasn’t even that he confirmed I’m Strep B positive again–whatever, discussions about bacteria partying in the land down under is practically a first date conversation for some people…probably. Those weren’t the reasons my heart beat a little faster when he rested the stethoscope against my chest (I’m sure had I turned that stethoscope on him that my radiant 9-month pregnant form would have had the same effect on him…obvi).
No. It wasn’t those things. It was that I knew in a few short minutes, this dreamy, bright-eyed medical student would come face to…face is not the right word here…face to hooha. I hoped he wasn’t a virgin…not the kind of virgin who hadn’t had a romp in the sack…a virgin to nine-month pregnant lady parts…nine-month pregnant lady parts preparing to push a fourth human being into the world. I’m sure he read about the increase in blood volume in pregnant women. Certainly someone told him that things might look a bit different, that it’s not only the abdomen that swells to something unrecognizable. Surely someone prepared him.
I mean it’s not that I know for sure what my not-so delicate flower looks like these days. I haven’t seen it for weeks. But I have a hunch it wouldn’t inspire poetry.
I talk too much when I’m nervous, so when the doctor came in and told me to let my knees fall “all the way open,” I motioned to the med student in the corner of the room, “Have you ever done one of these before?” Cripes. “Checked someone’s cervix, I mean?”
At least my embarrassing chatter forced some of that extra blood into my cheeks.
“We can close the curtain,” the doctor answered.
I nervously laughed, “No. No. I just don’t want to traumatize anyone.” Seriously, Em. Shut up.
It was true, though. I didn’t want to be single-handedly or single-vagedly (it’s shocking this is not a word) responsible for changing the course of this man’s career. I hoped this seraphic med student hadn’t glossed over the pictures in his anatomy books and was only now seeing for the first time in high definition the miracle of a woman’s body preparing for childbirth.
I also hoped the doctor’s body was a shield and that the third year medical student saw nothing except my freshly shorn knees.
“Almost 4,” the doctor smiled.
I sat up trying not to look like an upside-down turtle trying to right herself.
Everyone left the room.
I wrestled with my pants and waddled to the reception desk.
While I scheduled my last prenatal visit, I hoped that somewhere down the hall a young medical student wasn’t canceling the rest of his.