It is a truth quite universal, I’ve found, in my three years as a parent. New moms love going to certain doctor’s appointments (particularly the dentist because they get to lie down and rest the whole time).
Before parenthood, a gal may have put off scheduling that yearly exam. And I’ve quite often heard women more advanced in age complain about having to go get their boobs pressed between an uncomfortable machine (for a mammogram). Being weighed and scrutinized and examined and having to take time away from your busy schedule for somewhat uncomfortable examination procedures is not always the stuff of fantasy.
But new moms, in particular, are in a very special time of life – a time during which they realize that a half an hour of being alone, out of the house, and doing something different from the usual routine is actually quite exciting, or perhaps relaxing, and sometimes quite reassuring, too.
It’s just that life changes dramatically and quickly once you have another tiny person or two (or more…) to care for around the clock, or even just for part of the day. The day isn’t about taking care of yourself and doing your own thing, like, ever, unless you make a really special and concentrated effort – or have a doctor’s appointment.
If you’re a parent, too, perhaps you can empathize with these 15 things moms secretly kind of love about seeing the gyno.
15 Solitude At Last
What some moms truly cherish about going to the OB/GYN – and, let’s be honest, about any situation they may serendipitously find themselves in – is having just a few minutes alone.
Sometimes it’s ten minutes, sometimes it’s like 3-5, but it’s always a wonderful, peaceful break.
It’s that little glorious window between when the nurse has taken you back to the examination room and the doctor comes to actually conduct the appointment. Sure, you’ve had to pee in a cup, have your blood pressure taken and your pulse checked. You may have needed to fill out some paperwork and wait around longer than you expected (after showing up early, you might add…) to be seen for your visit, but then, you’ve arrived.
Some of us just sit and stare at the wall in silent meditation. Others occupy ourselves with devices, books, and mags.
But for many of us, it’s the first time we’ve been alone for five minutes in quite some time, and we don’t take it for granted.
14 Being The Center Of Attention
Perhaps before children, you were able to gaze into your partner’s eyes and talk honestly and excitedly about your hopes, feelings, and dreams. All of his attention was focused on you, and he took each word that fell from your lips to heart.
After having a baby or two, it can be more like a few complaints erupting from each partner’s mouth as they scramble to put together something edible for dinner.
Once the kids are in bed, it may be the only “relaxing” or “alone” or “adult” time both momma and daddy get in the entire 24-hour period, and they may jump at the chance to zone out in front of the TV or stare at their phones for 40 minutes rather than have focused and meaningful convos.
Each parent is always doing at least one other task while sort of listening to what the other is saying.
So when a mom sits in that examination room and a professional, polite human looks her in the eye and considers carefully every word she says, it can be really, really nice.
13 Sit-Down Screen Time
I know it’s sort of a problem. I know that our culture has been forever changed – maybe not exactly for the better…
But we all have them, and we all love them dearly: our phones. And we love to have the opportunity, whether in the waiting room or while chillin’ in the examination room waiting for the doctor, to sit and silently stare at them.
And because this is one of the rare times our kids are with the hubs, grandma, or the sitter, we finally get to do it uninterrupted. We’re like, sure, why not read three silly articles about celebrities and their babies? Don’t mind if I do scroll mindlessly through a listicle about loving life at the OB/GYN!
It’s entertaining, and it’s always right there at our fingertips, and now, for a sweet few minutes, we get to sit and enjoy it.
12 A Prone Position
I have to wonder if a nurse has ever checked a patient into her examination room and then the doctor has come in to do the exam only to find the patient sleeping soundly on the examination table. If the patient is a parent, I’d say the likelihood is quite high.
And I actually asked my dental hygienist about this, and he said that patients had fallen asleep while having their teeth cleaned before. Dude, I bet they were moms or dads.
You know when you lie back on the exam table, either to wait for the doctor to come in, have a breast exam, or for the Pap test to be completed (or if you’re pregnant, to have that belly examined or an ultrasound done)? For many moms, this totally counts as a nap, and they’ll totally take it.
11 P Is For Privacy
I get one chance a day to urinate alone. It’s at the end of the night, after we’ve brushed our teeth, and long after the babes are both in bed. My husband heads upstairs to pick out his clothes and cycling stuff for the next day, and I – get this – shut the door to the bathroom and go pee.
I have a toddler and a crawling baby. I don’t remember the last time I peed alone in daylight hours without a crowd happily watching. And I do have to smile and laugh to look down and see my sweet little cuties smiling up at me, gathered about like it’s the main event at the county fair. It cracks me up.
But I know that moms worldwide also feel a bit relieved when there are no children around to avoid knocking over as you turn or bend to wipe. We like to be able to go in there and do our thing and finish without being so distracted by babies that we forgot why we came in.
Even if it’s into that tiny plastic cup, it can be just grand to go number-one alone.
10 Being On That Lonesome Road
I marvel at how quickly and efficiently I complete errands when I (so, so rarely) leave the house alone. There’s no loading and unloading of fussy, hungry, or needing to be changed children. There’s no needing to worry constantly about someone putting something gross and / or dangerous in their or their sister’s mouth.
There’s just me, my thoughts, and the open road. Well, the road to the grocery store or a doctor’s appointment, usually.
If like me, going to the gyno is one of the few outings that you make at least sometimes completely on your own, and you kind of love it, well then I totally get it.
Going somewhere by yourself once you’re a mom can be such a treat, no matter where it is that you’re headed.
9 Getting Into Intimate Questions
“How are you feeling?”
When was the last time someone asked you that? Maybe, like, in month 4 or 5 of pregnancy?
And even if you have been asked this wondrous question, when was the last time anyone seemed to actually completely listen to or care about your response – like it was their job to do so?
Probably at your last doctor’s appointment, which for many women is their annual visit to the gyno.
Moms spend a LOT of time and energy making sure others feel well. We jump through hoops and climb mountains and neglect our own health and wellness and, if we’re perfectly honest, sanity in order to make sure the kids and the hubs are comfortable and healthy and pleased. We do it every day. We do it without break. When we’re supposed to be sitting and relaxing, we’re worrying about it or thinking about it.
So yeah, it’s really great when someone asks a mom how she’s feeling.
8 Proof Of Progress
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I try to be really, really careful in my approach to this topic, because I think there is waaay too much emphasis put on it on a very large (entertainment industry, social media…) and very small (the way we talk about ourselves and about others in everyday life) scale.
The topic I’m referring to is weight, shape, and size, which can quickly and easily become an obsession in a world where it feels like it’s supposed to be at times.
Let’s resist the temptation to base a person’s value on their appearance in any way. People are whole packages, beautiful combinations of their backgrounds, intelligence, emotions, and so much more.
With that being said, I know that if you’re doing your best to feel fit and healthy, it can help to track your weight, and that it can be fulfilling to step on that scale at your yearly OB/GYN appointment and see that you’re on track with your goals. Here’s to a healthy, balanced lifestyle, and good for you!
7 Looking In Silence
Okay, so every gynecologist I’ve ever been to is also an obstetrician. And this means that not only do you often see pregnant ladies in the waiting room – you also often see magnetic or cork boards in the examination rooms with pictures of tiny, cute, funny newborn babies.
There’s one specialist where I live who almost every pregnant gal goes to for a fancy-schmancy 20-week ultrasound to find out the gender of the baby and screen for any problems, and this guy had not just babies but lots of pictures of multiples on his wall. There were celebrities posing with triplets, strollers full of quadruplets, and twins by the dozens.
And moms that we are, we really do enjoy (and can’t even help but to go ahead and do it) looking at babies.
We might marvel at their cuteness, laugh at their funny expressions, or sit smugly pondering how much cuter our own kids are than any of the others featured in the birth announcements that the doctor has received and displayed.
6 Cooling Things Down
Is it just me, or do you like always find yourself feeling hot?
First, there’s being pregnant, then there’s nursing, which both mean feeling warmer in general as well as straight-up hot and sweaty sometimes when breastfeeding or dealing with a screaming child.
Then there’s the hard physical work of chasing after and feeding and changing and cleaning and picking up after babies and children, which is a never-ending cycle full of muscle-building, calorie-burning exercise.
And I live somewhere that has pretty warm (generally considered luxuriously moderate, actually) weather all year-round.
So I loooove air-conditioning. I don’t have it in my own home. It’s not really necessary. I wouldn’t run it all the time around here, because I give a shit about the planet.
But to be honest, I love stepping into the cool, calm, air-conditioned doctor’s office.
It’s the little things…
5 Adult Entertainment
The sound is often very low or muted. The TV is often mounted on one wall or up in a corner where no matter which seat you pick in the waiting room, you kind of have to crane your neck awkwardly or risk appearing to stare at someone else in order to see it.
But it’s still TV, and it’s still something that’s not Sesame Street or cartoons – the same episode, in all likelihood, for the 100th time.
And we’ll take it.
We’ll take closed-captioned HGTV. We’ll watch videos about health and wellness. We kind of like just sitting there and having it on – because it’s adult TV, and it’s otherwise quiet, and it’s very, very rare that we get this opportunity, except for in our yearly (or much more often if we’re currently pregnant) visits to the OB/GYN.
4 Actual Adult Music
I like to expose my kids to all kinds of music. But there is this one CD I got when my oldest was about one year old that we quickly realized had a somewhat magical effect of keeping her calm and happy – and sometimes even inspiring super cute, pint-sized singalongs – in the car.
So we listen to it, like, a lot. And she requests certain tracks be played over and over and over again.
So when I’m finally headed out to do something alone – which is very, very rare – I can barely believe how thrilling it can be to put on the song or station I want to listen to, as loud and as long as I want, without anyone whining at me that they want it changed or requesting food or water or to go to the bathroom.
Heck, I even dig those adult contemporary waiting-room jams once I get to the gyno’s office.
3 Being Assured Everything Is Ok
It’s easy to tell yourself you’ll sort of be forced to worry less and just go with the flow once you have babies, because you quite practically imagine that you won’t have much time, anymore, to sit around and worry, especially about things that are outside of your control.
But if you’re like many moms, you find the time.
You worry while you sing “The Wheels on the Bus.” You worry while you eat dinner. Heck, you sometimes even worry while you sleep. Because you’re a mom, and for whatever reason, that can sort of be what moms tend to do.
In a life lacking the control and assurance we may desperately desire, it’s at least nice to be told at the OB/GYN that everything is OK.
The Pap smear results are normal, the breasts are lump free (but we check that ourselves frequently at home if we’re smart!), and we’re doing A-OK. So at least there’s that.
2 Knowing She's Looking Good
My OB/GYN had been in the business for many, many, many years, and I noticed that he had one of the finer points of bedside manner figured out, and figured out quite well.
Almost every single time I came in, he told me I looked great, that being pregnant suited me, or some variation of these flattering phrases.
And you know what? I bet he said something like this to every single patient he saw every single day. Because who doesn’t like to be told they’re looking good? It certainly makes the experience of going into the doctor better. And a doctor probably feels great that he was able to make a (possibly busy, stressed out, and tired) patient smile and feel a bit lighter, maybe walk out of there with her head a bit higher.
1 A Change In Scenery
My favorite sight in the world is my babies’ angelic, smiling faces looking up at me. They’re beautiful even when they’re fussing or frustrated or sad. They are my joy. They are my everything. And I suspect that many moms out there feel the same, on most days, anyway.
But you know what’s nice, too? Having the chance to be in a place and look, if only for a period of, say, 5 to 30 minutes, at something else.
At the OB/GYN office, I like to look at the pregnant ladies and their partners nervously and excitedly expecting. I like to look at new moms anxiously adjusting blankets over their newborns sleeping obliviously in baby carriers. I like to gaze at the cheesy artwork on the walls, eavesdrop on the receptionists’ conversations, and observe carefully the way the sunlight comes in the window and onto that ficus in the corner.
Because at every other time in my day, I’m periodically looking up to make sure my baby and toddler are doing okay, and a change of scenery never hurt anyone.