Even after I was certain I was pregnant, I put off seeing the doctor. My excuses were silly: I’m too busy; it will take too long to find a new doctor because my current MD doesn’t deliver babies anymore; I can’t figure out how my insurance will cover this. Pretty ridiculous, since it seemed clear that my “condition” was progressing full boar.
Finally, I asked myself, what is my problem? Why can’t I get this done?
After some soul-searching, I determined that it wasn’t any of these likely culprits:
*Finding a doctor – really, that’s not too hard, thanks to the Internet (duh).
*Insurance complexities – while these are *not* at all fun (a topic for another day, perhaps), I knew we’d figure it out.
*Getting poked and prodded (and worse) at the doctor’s office – nah, I’ve been through it twice now, and I was due for a checkup anyway.
*Cutting the denial and accepting this pregnancy as a reality – aha, now we were getting somewhere.
But that wasn’t exactly it. There was a particular reason I didn’t want to talk to the doctor, and it had to do with this question, which both the nurse practitioner and the doctor would ask me on separate occasions:
“Is this a planned pregnancy?”
I knew the question was coming and I agonized over whether to lie, nodding and smiling, or to tell the truth. To tell the truth I would have to consider the truth, and ask myself all sorts of uncomfortable questions: How could I let this happen? I’m a smart girl – I have a Master’s degree! It’s not like I don’t know what works and what doesn’t when you don’t want to get pregnant.
I have the same reaction when someone asks me, “How are you doing? Are you excited?” Honestly, I am. But as I answer my thoughts are a whirlwind. I’m wondering if this person ever heard me say we weren’t going to have any more kids, and do I need to explain why we have apparently changed our minds?
In the end, I told the truth, grinning and blushing, my mind racing with explanations. But (surprise!) the nurse and doctor did not demand to know why an educated woman with a good job and health insurance in a developed country would not avail herself of one of many effective birth control options. They asked only one follow-on question: “Do you want this baby?” That one was easy: “Absolutely.” And then their reaction was much the same as my friends’: to celebrate with me and share my joy. Nobody wanted or needed me to explain myself any more than that.
So I guess I just needed to explain myself to myself, to calm down that thought tornado.
(But sharing it with the world didn’t seem like a bad idea, either, so here I am.)