Everything I Need To Know I Learned At The OB/GYN

So, the EZ-tester told us Gabby was pregnant.  I even had her pee on another one just to be sure.  We gave the second test to my mom as a “late birthday gift” when we went to visit my family in Nashville.  She opened the present during lunch at a nice little restaurant outside of town.  While some might think it’s not too sanitary to bring a “peed on” object into a place where folks are dining, we thought it was OK, given the excitement of the moment.  We wrapped it in a plastic baggie to ward off the health department.  Mom was thrilled when she realized what it was.  I mean, it may only cost $3 for the test kit, but not just anybody can pee on the thing and decorate it with the two pink dashes that denote a positive result.  Way to go Gabby!

Even after these two positive tests, I still couldn’t be sure I was going to be a father until the doctor gave the thumbs up.  Sure, we had all of the signs verifying the bun in the oven.”  First was Gabby’s upset stomach.  She felt like, and I quote, “a person with a 24/7 hangover that could only be cured by greasy foods like burgers and tacos.” Second was her chest.  It was growing like some amazing Pamela Anderson claymation movie.  If it had gotten any larger, all subsequent photos of her would have to be wrapped in black plastic, like those magazines on the top shelf at the convenience store. 

The third sign that Gabby was pregnant was the “Sleep-A-Thon.”  It was like she was hibernating.  I get worn out just fashioning a figurine out of Play-Doh.  Here she is making an actual person inside her uterus, and without using hands, no less!  That takes its toll on a person. At any rate, even these unmistakable signs weren’t enough.  We wanted to hear it straight from the doc.

Visiting the “girlie doctor” is an experience.  Upon entering the office, I can tell I’m in a foreign land.  You can almost smell the estrogen.  It’s intimidating, too!  There are a zillion posters on the wall of anatomical parts I can’t define.  I thought I knew some stuff about women’s bodies, but apparently I skipped the advanced class “Anatomy 202: Understanding Ladies’ ‘Toot Toots’ and ‘Hoo-Hees’”.   That goes to show you that my liberal arts education ain’t all it was cracked up to be!  Maybe I would have felt more at home in the doc’s office had I spent more time studying real anatomy books instead of gleaning as much as I could from watching Baywatch reruns on mute. 

I spent the first ten minutes avoiding eye contact by burying my nose in a “Ladies’ Home Journal” dating back to the Reagan Administration.  Apparently, previous patients had walked off with all of the Sport’s Illustrated and Popular Mechanics. 

When we finally got invited back into the bowels of the office, I was hustled off into the exam room while Gabby was ushered into the little cowgirl’s room to pee in a cup.  While I waited, I was treated to more diagrams of women’s parts, and several phone-book-sized manuals on pregnancy.  I noticed there were no manuals for how to take care of the kid once he or she is born.  To the self-centered, untrained male, this seems like a serious question of prioritization.  I mean, the pregnancy is all of 9 months.  A kid will be around for at least 18 years!  There should be entire encyclopedia on the raising of a child!  Who knows, maybe they have those in the pediatrician’s office.  So much to learn.

Gabby made it back to the exam room before I could get too enthralled with the Slim GoodBody mannequin of the reproductive system.  The doctor followed soon after.    I have to say, I really like the doctor.  He’s a really nice guy.  He makes me feel at ease, and doesn’t totally ignore me.  Still, as an inherently competitive, slightly jealous male, it makes me a little nervous to think that he “knows” my wife better than I do.  However, this feeling soon subsides when I realize that he’s the guy that actually has to touch stuff like placenta and amniotic fluid.  It makes me queasy just to clean out the fridge, so this guy’s job sounds like a nightmare to me.

When the exam begins, the doc starts talking about stuff like pelvises and estrogen levels.  He also said something like, “Oh… it’s a good sign! Your cervix is purple.”  Gabby seemed pleased with this news, probably due to the fact that her cervix matched the shirt and socks she was wearing.  I later found out that a purple cervix is a sign of pregnancy.  Who knew?!  Still, I wasn’t going to be fully convinced until I saw a picture of the baby.  I mean, a purple cervix could also be a sign that Gabby’s been eating too many grape-flavored popsicles.

After the initial check-up, the doctor pulled out the sonogram equipment.  He calls it “George.”  The “sonogrammer” (as I call it), is a large probe that would make any man humble.  I guess women are used to gynecologists using all sots of scary/funny equipment, so it didn’t faze Gabby.  This office visit was yet another reminder that it’s good to be a man.

When the doctor turns on the sonogram equipment, the screen that shows the resulting image is a mess of black and white splotches.  I immediately flash back to when I had to take the “ink blot test” as a kid.  From the looks of what I see on the screen, Gabby will soon give birth to a pterodactyl.

Then, the doc says, “Wait… I see something here.”  One area of the screen seems to be flashing pixels of gray and white, then to black.  The doctor points to this moving spot and asks, “See that?”  We nod our agreement.  He continues, “That’s your baby’s heart beating.”

Wow!  I just smiled as big as I think I can smile (which is pretty big for my huge mouth).  Then, this mysterious watery substance started forming in my eyes, and my throat started to tighten.  Here I was, getting all weepy, and Gabby simply turned to me and was smiling.  No tears, just pure joy.  So, I guess I’ll be the emotional parent.  Look out, kid, your dad’s a cryer!