I kept thinking, “Oh man, I wonder if they’re going to give me a something-or-other to at least to cover up.” Oh no, a pap smear with a midwife is way different than your average OB/GYN pap smear. If only my sociology professor could see me squirm now.
In college, a weird conversation came up in a sociology class discussion regarding modesty and social behavior in the world of woman’s health care – the dreaded Pap Smear. The professor asked the girls in the class to think about their behavior in the exam room. He asked, “Do you cover up your underwear?” Mind = blown because he was right. What’s the point of hiding something that covers up what your doctor’s face is all up in anyway?
Flash forward a 3.9 GPA in Sociology 101 and two surprise pregnancies later, here I am disrobing in front of the student midwife and midwife, who was entertaining Humnoy during all this. Society primed me to feel so awkward because, holy shit, I totally did hide my underwear in my yoga pants. What I was just exposed to threw everything I knew out the window about well-woman care and my body.
The differences between the Old Pap vs. the New Pap:
Stage 1: Instructions
Nurse tells you to be naked from your bottoms and put on the paper skirt and wait for the doctor to come in.
Midwife tells you to take your bottoms off.
Stage 2: Disrobing
You take your bottoms off and hide your underwear.
Midwife just chills in the room as you hide your underwear.
Stage 3: Pre-exam
Doctor knocks on door to make sure you’re ready.
Midwife totally carries on a conversation with you as you swing your vaj around to lay down.
Stage 4: Preparation
Doctor tells you to have your ass hang off the edge of the exam table and spread eagle.
Midwife tells you to touch your heels together and bring your knees apart (No stirrups necessary!)
Stage 5: Exam
Doctor tells you to relax and prepare for the speculum.
Midwife asks you to do kegels as she’s feeling around up in there as you try not to fart or do something worse. Speculum is still involved, no way getting around that.
Stage 6: Wrap-up
Doctor wraps up the session and leaves you to get dressed. You leave.
Midwife wraps up the session with extra information as you sit with your bare ass on the exam table nodding your head like an anxious puppy.
I don’t think I could have ever been prepared for such a new experience. I mean, I’m totally okay with it since they’re going to see me naked anyway but, damn, sociology really messed me up.