The chaotic yet hilarious ongoings of my brain at my first trip back to the OBGYN after a traumatic experience with my previous doctor.
"Hello, can I please have a to-go container for my pho."
"Sure, how was everything?"
Goddess, you are about to have someone look at your vagina.
"So good, thanks."
Racing to my car juggling 2 books I did not even touch while stuffing delicious bits of spicy noodles, shrimp, and vegetables down my throat I kick myself for stopping for lunch. I can not be late to this appointment. I need this referral for medicaid to cover my pelvic PT.
"Play with my pussy but don't play with my emotions..."
Doja Cat gets cut off by the ring of my phone.
For the love of all that is holy please be about a job.
"Hey (deadname) it looks like you didn't sign your lease. Do you remember doing it?"
"Ummm, I don't know. I apologize for the GPS in the background. I'm on the way to the doctor's office right now (to get my vagina looked at). Can I check and call you back in a few hours?"
I have got to pee as soon at I get into that office. Pat yo self on the back, boo, for pre-checking in online.
"Mam, (Fuck, seriously?) do you need help?"
Des Moines, IA has only one LGBTQIA+ clinic, and it's open Tuesday evenings (a day and time in which I have to work). The next closest clinic with a staff fully trained in gender affirming services is 131 miles away.
A very kind and very oblivious hospital volunteer leads me down the hall while explaining there's a closer place to park for my next visit, and that they've gotten over 10,000 steps in for the week already.
Follow the mechanical lift thingy the humans call an elevator to get your vagina looked at.
I walk in and there are families.
Some children with two parents.
Some children with no parents.
And some adults with no children.
When will my little ones be peering at strangers as I sit in a waiting room?
"Hello, what's your name?"
The receptionist click, click, clicks and says, "okay, we have you down."
Thank god I'm in the system with the correct name! Thank you, receptionist, for the hookup days before.
“persistent and intentional refusal to use a transgender individual’s preferred name and pronoun and insistence on using those corresponding to the individual’s sex assigned at birth constitutes illegal sex discrimination if such conduct is sufficiently serious to create a hostile environment.”
-ACA Section 1557
"Can I go pee real quick?"
"Sure, then we'll get you set up for the sonogram."
Oh, shit! They are really going to be looking at MY VAGINA. I thought that was just a saying like, "it's raining cats and dogs." Nope, you knew Goddess. You just didn't want to think about it....accept you did. All the time.
First they weighed me.
Good god, I need to stop eating so much B-Bop's and crab rangoons.
As I get undressed I regret everything. Like not taking a shower, and deciding to feed my craving for spicy Vietnamese soup right after laborious work instead of going home and changing my underwear.
Thank goodness the sonographer turned off the lights.
We talk about the difficulties of finding work after college as they probe and press into my innards. The tender spots I let no one go these days.
Oof, yep. That's my vaginal wall crying. Remember your exercises and relax.
vaginismus / vag·i·nis·mus /ˌvajəˈnizməs/ n
NOUN: painful spasmodic contraction of the vagina in response to physical contact or pressure (especially in sexual intercourse).
Google (no seriously, Google it.)
Next the doctor's room.
Pictures cover the walls of happy families with their babies. As I enviously look at smiling, mostly White families, I get my blood pressure checked. And then I see you.
A unique name, everyone I've ever introduced you to stumbles to pronounce, under a new born's peaceful face.
Weren't we supposed to be doing this together?
I flashback to the image of my mother sobbing in bed, the covers pulled so tightly to her chest. "Why isn't he here? He was supposed to protect me!" I have no answer. I'm 15.
We were planning on asking my uncle to be a donor, or maybe your brother. Green Bean was going to have your eyes and my whatever...just as long as they had your eyes.
No, fuck that. I got this. THIS is for me. I'm doing this for Green Bean. I am not alone and can be a single parent. So I turn away from that beautiful smiling baby with your name printed under it's sleepy eyes, and look elsewhere.
Oh my god! Did these people name their child after a gun!?
The doctor introduces themselves with their pronouns and asks mine.
I've been asked this maybe 3 times since moving back to Iowa. As a state we need to do better in expanding our language and behaviors around race, gender, sex, and pretty much everything. But please, let's never stop saying things like "ope," or "cool beans," and "okie dokie."
"Are you sexually active?"
"Do you want to get tested today?"
"Well, you are due for a pap..."
Congrats, dude! Another person is going to go inside of your vagina!
"Do you have pain with them?"
"Yes... but I'll do it. I need the referral to go see a PT my sex therapist recommended."
"Mind if I ask why you are in sex therapy?"
"I have some... past trauma...," I say as I look everywhere but her face.
Fuck all these pictures of happy families!
"That's good to know. I'll make it quick and painless."
And it was.
"Do you have any questions for me?"
"Well...um...I want to have children..."
"Okay, I'll get you some prenatal vitamin samples and test your (this, that, and the other) levels."
"Well...no...not right away I just want to make sure...I'm healthy enough..."
Do not cry right now, dude!
"Your womb looks great, and your cysts are gone. There is one very, very small one left."
You did it! I did it! I released those unfertilized little dudes that were clinging on so hard to me. I released pain, people, and behaviors that I was clinging so hard to.
As I wait in the lab room the older person who kindly made space for me in line so I could talk to the receptionist says to their partner, "there they go talking about Trump again." Everyone looks at the TV.
Their partner says nothing. Just breathes through the tubes attached to their nose. The parent across from us holding on to their child in a wheelchair says nothing.
I hold on to my goodie bag.
I released a lot last year.