The Inner Monologue of a Cranky Pregnant Woman
I backwards-crawled out of bed nine times between Thursday night and Friday morning. Nine. Times.
Friday morning, as I leave for the clinic at 8:20 AM, I am tired. I kiss Husband’s sleepy head and tell him I’ll be back in an hour – tops.
After an invigorating drive in the morning commute I roll into the parking lot at exactly 8:45 AM, no more inclined to be perky and cheerful. But I know how this will go, I’ve been doing this every week for over a month now, so I waddle in the sliding door and stand by the sign to check in.
There is, apparently, only one desk open on Friday mornings – out of a possible eight. The young woman behind it is talking to, and filling out paperwork for, a gentleman sitting in my seat.
And talking to
And filling out
Why is he here anyway? There is no small child with him. He’s clearly not pregnant. Is he in the right place? This is the VNA, and I have no idea what that stands for, but I’m pretty sure the V is for “vagina.” I’m pretty sure when I started coming here, I didn’t fill out that much paperwork. I’m severely pregnant, and standing in one place is not comfortable. I wish I understood Spanish, because now they have to be talking about the weather or something. What is going on?
He leaves. She can help me now, but she clearly isn’t happy about it.
Don’t even start with me, princess.
Date of birth. Phone number. Address. Here’s a cup to pee in.
Yes, I know where the bathrooms are. I could sleepwalk to the bathrooms in this place.
I leave my little offering to the goddess of excrement in the stainless steel shrine on the wall, and go back to the waiting room.
The waiting room which is otherwise vacant, except for another pregnant woman with her toddler, and a large, unkept, vulgar woman perpetuating every negative stereotype about her gender, income bracket, and ethnic background. Loudly. Very loudly. She is, apparently, waiting for a friend who is seeing a doctor, and is killing her time, and parts of my soul, on the phone. I’m pretty sure my unborn child is learning naughty words in the waiting room at the clinic.
Seriously – why the yelling? And that from an Italian. I understand passionate conversation, but this is just yelling. Yelling and looking around to make sure everyone at the nurses station and in the waiting room can hear her. No one cares that you want to be a sniper in the military. They wouldn’t take you in your condition anyway. Lose 20 pounds? It’s gonna take more than that. Oh your friend invited you to a gay bar in the city. Awesome. Yes, take your mama with you, that’s so hilarious. We’re all giddy at your biting sense of humor.
I know. It’s unforgivable, but I was so tired and so not looking forward to this appointment and she was so loud.
My turn. Weight. Blood pressure. Paper blanket. Awesome.
“Because you’re overdue, she’ll want to check you.”
Overdue according to your best guess. Maybe I should check you. Maybe you’re the ones who are broken.
Butt on the sanitary paper tablecloth, and I wait.
I know she’s out there. I saw her sitting at the desk while the nurse weighed me.
It had been an hour. Not just in the exam room, but it was now 9:40 AM.
My appointment was for AN HOUR ago.
Why do we even make appointments? Why not just take everyone on a first-come-first served schedule? Because the last time I walked into a clinic – eight months ago – I waited about an hour to see a doctor. And I didn’t have to wait half-naked. The facility has only been open for 80 minutes, and you’ve only been seeing patients for an hour. For a half-hour before my appointment time. What could possibly have happend in those opening 30 minutes that put you an hour behind schedule? And if you’re an hour behind schedule, why could I not at least wait with my pants on? Why do you hate my pants?
Husband is texting me, wondering why I’m not home yet.
I hear a gentle knock, but not on my door. A door across the hallway open, and I hear the doctors voice as she enters.
Are you kidding me? I’m going to be here forever. I’m going to go into labor on this sanitary paper tablecloth before I see a doctor. I would lie down and just doze off, except that I’m sure my little blanket would slip away and once the staff remembered why my door is closed they’d come in to find a half-nude, over-due, pregnant ginger passed out on the exam table.
(You’re welcome for that mental picture.)
Quickly, there’s a timid rap on my door.
“Alexis?” it squeaks as it opens.
“Ah! I knew you weren’t Hispanic.”