Today was my annual lady exam. You know, the charming annual visit to the OB/GYN. Now that Darling and I are not makin' the babies anymore, she's really just my GYN. It's a tongue-tripping adjustment. For years she was my OB, now she's just my GYN - what is it I've heard other women calling them? - Gyno? I'll try to make that adjustment. It'll take some practice.
Anyway, today reminded me of where I've been, where we have been as a family, and how much we've experienced. My Dr.'s been my OB - see? there I go again. One more time. She's been my GYNO for almost eight years. I love her. She delivered Middle One, walked with us through two miscarriages and pregnancy with Little One. We're been through a lot together. She shepherded Darling and I through more than we could have imagined eight years ago. Pulling into the medical center's parking garage brought up more memories than I anticipated.
It wasn't even the memories, really. It was reflection. It was parking in the back row of the garage, far from the door, that caught my attention. Parking as close as humanly possible did not apply today. I'm not pregnant and don't have the crumbling-hip feeling that comes with late pregnancy. I wasn't rushing to get upstairs to pee in the cup, desperate to use the facilities because someone was sitting on my bladder. My feet didn't hurt. My back didn't hurt. I wasn't cursing (in my head) at the able-bodied person who bogarted the closer parking spot while I was forced to waddle from the back, sciatica making every step an exercise in verbal restraint. I wasn't counting down the days until I had a baby in arms or until I mistakenly believed I'd get a decent night's sleep.
I also wasn't dreading going in for an ultrasound that I knew would confirm that the horror of the previous evening was the loss of our baby. I wasn't going in, hoping beyond hope, that the ultrasound of the new baby in my belly would be perfectly healthy and make it to a full-term delivery. I wasn't walking back to my car crushed and angry about having to have a second D&C two weeks after my last D&C because my uterus - the same uterus that didn't bother to protect the baby I just lost - didn't behave as it should. I wasn't walking back to my car, holding on to the same camel's pack worth of new pregnancy pamphlets, samples, and calendars, wondering if this - pregnancy number six - would result in a healthy, full-term baby. I wasn't willing myself to trust in the Lord with whom I was viciously angry.
I wasn't doing any of that. I parked in the back. I got out of my vehicle quite comfortably, emitting no accidental bodily noises. My shoes fit. My clothes fit. I didn't have to rush to pee in the cup. The appointment went like clockwork, we talked about menopause and when it might happen. I got a clean bill of health and a promise for the results of my pap smear. I paid and walked back outside. I smiled at a new mom with her infant in the car. We chatted briefly and I thought how sweet those early days were, how much life and loss I've lived, and how thankful I am to be where I am.
It was a really good day.