Tuesday, 6 March 2012

"Down There"

During my pregnancy, I noticed that women in the UK seem to be much more uncomfortable with the idea of pelvic exams than Americans.  I mean, not that anyone really likes a pelvic... but Americans have them annually in most cases.  Here in England, pap smears are only every 3 years.  During my pregnancy, I never once had to take my pants off-  until my water broke.  Some of the women in my aqua aerobics class were expressing concern about having to have a pelvic when they went into labor.  This struck me as funny.  I mean, they know that having a baby means pushing a person out of their vagina, right?  It's a little late to be precious about it in my opinion...

But, during my labor experience, I found that this attitude definitely continued.  By the time I was ready to get going in the delivery room (full TMI birth story to come), I wasn't too concerned about my modesty.  I mean I was getting ready to squeeze a child out in front of these midwives.  They were going to see stuff eventually.  They've seen lots of other's people's goodies before and they'll see plenty more to come.  The midwives were very nice, but seemed to think I was a modest flower.  Maybe that's part of their training, and I'm sure many women appreciate that approach.  I simply found it funny!  

After I'd given birth and was ready to take a shower, the midwife asked if I had a robe or something that I wanted.  I guess she thought I'd want to cover up to walk the 10 feet to the bathroom in front of my husband.  I was fine doing it naked.  He's seen it before.  In fact, he just watched me push our baby out of it.

After I moved to the post natal ward, the midwives made the rounds checking on us.  My room on the ward consisted of 4 bays separated by curtains, so there was some privacy, but you could hear everything going on around.  As my stay continued, I noticed that the midwives continued with their modest approach.  I heard women asked if everything was ok "down there"- accompanied by a vague hand gesture, raised eyebrows, and hushed tone.  Why are these medical professionals unable to say the word "vagina"?  

When we were being discharged, a midwife was going through all the official talking points.  My favorite one included that the post-birth period is a highly fertile one.  She advised us to be careful if we were "feeling romantic" and to use birth control.  Ross and I found this hilarious.  (Aside from the exceedingly humorous notion of being in any mood to have sex immediately after getting home!)

Ross declared that if he were a midwife, he'd have fun using a different euphemism every time.  And so, we've been on a euphemism kick.  Ross has been asking me about my "down there" in various ways.  So far, we've had my "attached veranda", "underwear filler", "family vault", "lady town" and many others.

Do you prefer when medical professionals use technical words or euphemism?  
Bonus points for best "down there" euphemism!

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