“No tight clothes, no high heels, no nail polish, no eating outside, no keeping relations with husband…” These were the doctor’s orders upon pronouncing me pregnant.
It took me 30 seconds to realise that ‘keeping relations’ meant having sex. It felt odd…why would an obstetrician need a euphemism for sex? Wasn’t that the core of his business (the fact that people had to have sex to get pregnant, so that he could deliver the babies and make money)? Why then, would he speak of it like it was a four-letter word?
Even after repeated visits, he flinched from the use of the word and I found it amusing.
Okay, I convinced myself. Clearly, he was old school and it would take a lot for him to say the word. I dare not ask him about alcohol, or late night partying or driving to work (which I still do, as the drivers I encountered nearly drove me to premature labour with their idiocies). He might just have turned blue and look aghast at my irreverent self.
I did muster the guts to ask him about yoga though. Thought he would approve. On second thoughts, he wouldn’t, if he just came to my Iyengar Yoga class and watched me hanging off ropes, balancing head-stands and hand-stands with panache. He declared without a twitch on his face, “Nothing for three months. Now just go home and rest!”
“Rest? But I feel good.. and I have a job!…” I manage to get the words out.
“Okay, take it easy then,” he said with a tone of resignation.
It’s been 29 weeks and I have done everything but take it easy.
The sonologist was another one who could come out tops in the I-will-not-smile contest. “First pregnancy?” he asked, with a raised eyebrow. What was unstated is, “Why have you taken so bloody long?”
I feel like telling him, “It took me so long to find a man worth making a baby with, I just couldn’t help it…” Or something like, “You know I have made so many, I have lost count…”
Instead I grin sheepishly and say a meek yes. I don’t think my humour would do down too well with his steely, clinical exterior.
He then divulges his goodies on a screen. “Okay here is the baby’s spine, this is the head.. blah blah…” It all looks like a blur to me, but I say, “O, how nice..!”
Think about it. Having a baby is closest to a fun time you can have with a doctor. You could laugh off cholesterol disorders, or piles or obesity or stuff like that, but seriously, being pregnant is the only time you need not ‘feel like a patient’. Rather like someone who has undertaken a mission and needs a facilitator.
Why then, do women in obstetrician waiting rooms look like they don’t have a bone of humour in their bodies? How then, are they thinking happy thoughts to make happy babies?