We couldn't wait to hit the pool. But first, I had to tame the beast that had become my bikini area. I'm usually pretty good about shaving on a regular basis - legs, armpits, the whole gamut - but this tends to go out the window when I'm pregnant. At least the bikini zone does. It's the whole out of sight, out of mind thing. I mean, if I can't see it, how can I be expected to go near it with a razor?
(This will only make sense if you've been pregnant before. If you haven't, it's probably more than a little hard to imagine not being able to see your own vagina. You'll just have to trust me on this one - it's completely impossible.)
Since there was no way I could do things my normal way, I had to come up with a new plan of action that involved the bathroom sink and Liam's step stool. I realized after I started that it would probably help if I had my glasses on, too. You know, so I wouldn't shave off anything important. Unfortunately I'd already lathered up by this point so I had to hobble and drip around the house until I found them. ("Nothing to see here, boys. Just go back to your video games!") I finished the job without causing any permanent damage and was pleasantly surprised at how not hideous I looked in my swimsuit. Plus I felt like I'd really opened up my hips. Personal hygiene and a workout in one. Bonus!
While it felt semi-ridiculous (and dangerous!) balancing one leg on a step stool while twisting my gargantuan torso this way and that, at least I was in the privacy of my own home. Why didn't I come up with this when I was pregnant with Liam?
I had just entered my third trimester and was looking for a new baby doctor. My first OB was fine but I never felt a real connection to her. That and when I mentioned I wanted to at least try natural childbirth she looked at me like, "Not on my watch, Missy!" As my due date grew closer, I found it hard to imagine birthing my baby with her by my side. So I left the practice. I mean, how hard could it be to find a better fit?
As it turned out, hard. Really hard.
First of all, a lot of doctors won't even consider taking a new patient in her 7th month of pregnancy. No matter what. But when that patient also happens to have opinions about things she wants and doesn't want, forget about it. I met with one doctor who seemed very nice and willing to accept me into his practice until I asked about going au natural. "It's my job to ensure a safe and healthy outcome," he explained. "For that reason, I require all my patients to get an epidural. That way, if there are complications, we are already prepared for a cesarean." I was so surprised I burst into tears. I spent the rest of the appointment sobbing, wondering, "What the hell am I going to do now?"
Fortunately, my childbirth education teacher introduced me to a practice of doctors who were much more willing to work with their patients. I called to schedule an appointment and was thrilled to find out that they were accepting new patients and would be willing to take me this late in the game. I felt like this was it: If I didn't make a stellar first impression, I'd be all knocked up with no place to go.
The day before my appointment, I was sitting at work when suddenly it hit me - I was about to introduce my nether regions to somebody new and had no idea what was going on down there. It had been months since I had seen the area first hand but I was willing to bet it was more than a little overgrown and bushly. Not exactly the first impression I was hoping to make.
So I found a salon near my office and called to schedule a bikini wax for lunchtime. A Brazilian bikini wax. Because what says, "Take me, doc! I'll be the patient of your dreams!" like a big ass belly and a naked hoo-ha?
The procedure was painful, yes, but I wasn't nearly as self conscious as I thought I would be. "Hold my knees up and out? Sure. How's this? Oh, you want me up on my hands and knees now? Okaaay. Uh. Oof! Is this *gasp, pant* is this good enough?" It was my (very young) technician's first day on the job and I felt like a mean upper class man hazing the hell out of her. Especially when she finished and innocently asked, "Well? What do you think?" I tried to see what she had done, I really did, but there was just no way. She watched me struggle for a moment and then (reluctantly) asked if I would like to see a mirror. What could I say? Did I want to check myself out with a hand mirror in front of her? No. But I didn't have much of a choice. So I held the mirror between my legs like a pre-teen in a Judy Bloom novel while Miss Teen Bikini Waxer stood by waiting for her tip. I felt so uncomfortable for her I didn't even mention the weird blood blister thing she had given me. I just smiled politely and said things like, "Nice choice on the landing strip."
I may have been dreading my OB/GYN appointment the next day, but spending an hour naked from the waist down in a multitude of compromising positions while some stranger poked and prodded at me, ripping things from my body left me feeling strangely prepared for childbirth. The wax job may have been so-so but the experience was priceless. Nothing I'd want to repeat anytime soon, but priceless nonetheless.