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.
“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
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
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
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!