A friend pregnant with her first baby (aw, so innocent and naive!) asked me recently what the routine, monthly OB appointments are like. Boring, they’re boring. Seriously anticlimactic. Here’s the play-by-play for newbies, just so there are no surprises:
1. Sign in while answering the 27 questions the receptionist fires off about your insurance and address that hasn’t changed in 12 years.
2. Sit in a chair about as comfortable as a wooden church pew with tacks. Try to get comfy. It’s gonna be a while!
3. Adamantly avoid any and all eye contact with the gaggle of other patients—except for that one well-meaning grandma who never received the memo that attempts to carry on uncomfortable conversations about trivial topics such as the weather are irritating.
4. Fake interest in the four-year-old copy of Golf Digest (for the rare male visitor) and an issue of Good Housekeeping from May 2014.
5. Mentally play “Who Is Pregnant?” with the waiting-room crowd while trying to kill time. That lady in the corner keeps you guessing.
6. Be grateful you aren’t the poor mama trying to wrangle her clan of four young offspring as she waits for her appointment.
7. Eavesdrop on the ignorant lady taking what should be a very private phone call on speaker phone. Be entertained by her drama for a hot minute. Doesn’t she see the posted sign which clearly reads, “No cellphones”?
8. Aw, look at the adorable couple here for their first prenatal appointment! Hey dude, enjoy watching your wife get her vitals taken and her lady fountain forced open by the archaic torture device known as a speculum. Good times. (If this is you, please allow your significant other to bow out in the future unless it’s a major ultrasound appointment.)
9. Wish you’d brought a snack. You’re starving.
10. Briefly consider tackling that woman consuming the Luna Bar in order to steal the remaining portion. Never mind. It’s the gross flavor with coconut.
11. Play with your iPhone. Screw the “No cell phones” sign! Boredom completely takes over. Seriously, you’ve witnessed like eight people leave and zero go back.
12. Listen to the new chick, who just arrived, loudly complain about the wait time. Bitch, please. You haven’t even had time to read the Golf Digest yet.
13. Yay! Your name was called! Wait, why are you excited to get your lady bits probed by a tube covered in roughly a liter of lube?
14. Step on the scale. Fight to hold back the tears.
15. Cringe at your blood pressure while the nurse shakes her head disapprovingly.
16. Attempt to pee in a cup so tiny an experienced sniper couldn’t hit it. Hope you squeezed enough out. Anticipate doctor lecturing you to drink more water though you feel like you’re drowning on a daily basis.
17. Tell the nurse your estimated due date and day of last menstrual cycle for fifth time that day.
18. Pull shirt up and pants down enough for nurse to search for fetal heart tones on your belly (if past 12 weeks gestation) with the Doppler. Have mini panic attack until she locates it. Desperately try to wipe off that sticky gel though it is a losing battle.
19. Pray this is an appointment that doesn’t require an exam.
20. Well shit…
21. Undress in the exam room that is one of two temperatures: Abominable-Snowman’s-balls cold or Mount-Vesuvius-erupting hot.
22. Balance your half-naked ass on a piece of crunchy sanitary paper laid over a hard metal exam table while wishing you could run away. But now you’re too committed—and naked—so just read birth control posters on the wall to pass the minutes.
24. Wait some more.
25. Wait until you are ready to scream from sheer frustration.
26. Oh, a knock on the door! Let’s get this party started!
27. There’s an intern with the doctor. Crap, he’s younger than you—and gorgeous. Not uncomfortable at all. *sigh*
28. Stare at the not-so-relaxing poster of the mountain stream plastered on the ceiling while the doc swabs your cooter and checks cervical status. Fingers crossed you don’t spot later from exam irritation.
29. Questions, questions, crap, what were your questions for the doctor? Vow to write them down next time. Feel dumb and irresponsible.
30. You may be sent for blood work. Don’t worry. It’s only a freaking gallon of blood.
31. Schedule your next appointment with the receptionist. There’s only one slot available for the rest of eternity.
32. Go home feeling like you need a shower and an iron supplement. Oh, and that aforementioned water.
33. Detour to Burger King. Order onion rings and hope it counts as a veggie serving.
34. Record mental note: Bring book and snack next time. (Don’t worry. You’ll forget.)
35. Repeat in a month or sooner.
Yup, so exciting, right? Right?! Some appointments include extra awesomeness such as diabetes testing or screenings that cause extreme anxiety and a long waiting period for results. Maybe you will get an ultrasound, but unless it’s a special appointment, such as the anatomy scan, don’t count on it. I know, I know—you can’t wait for the next appointment! I know I can! But hey, at least you’re gonna be a mommy, which is truly amazing!