“April Lavigne?” By instinct I stood up. I was so used to having my name mispronounced. My mom and I walked up to the nurse holding my medical chart.
“My, uh, my name is actually Avril,” I mumbled. I had gone to the gynecologist a couple times before, and I hated it. (I can’t even imagine how perverted someone would have to be to actually enjoy seeing a gynecologist. I mean, really. Ew.) That being the case, I was awfully nervous about this visit. I only felt a little better because of the fact that my doctor is a woman.
Having Deryck would have made me feel a lot more at ease. But I would have felt like I was being pushy if I made Deryck come to the appointment. The conversation we’d had earlier made it perfectly clear that he had no interest.
“Deryck...my mom is making me see a doctor. You know, for the baby. Do you want to come?”
“Uhm....” Words could never describe the look of confusion on Deryck’s face when I asked the question. “Why?”
“I dunno...you’re its dad. You should be there.”
Deryck made a disgusted face. “You’re going to a gynecologist, right? The guys that, like, stick their arms up every orifice they can reach?”
Fighting back giggles, I replied, “Uhm, no. Just one orifice.”
“Thanks, but no thanks. I have some stuff to do anyways.” Deryck had kissed me and headed home.
So now I was stuck at this scary doctor’s office, following an overweight and slightly creepy-looking nurse, with no one but my mother for comfort. And really, she wasn’t much help. She wasn’t saying a word, just staring me with that “this is your own fault” look on her face.
The nurse handed me a paper gown like the kind hospital patients wear and told me to change into it. “Take off everything else,” she said firmly. Great. First I get to strip, then I get probed. This just keeps getting better and better.
After the nurse left (and my mom, too, who was standing outside the door at my demand), I peeled off all my clothes. The room was made all out of tile, and I felt like I was freezing to death. Even after I reached my arms behind my neck to tie the stubborn string, my back was almost completely exposed.
“You can come back in, Mom,” I sighed. Mom came in looking slightly irritated and closed the door behind her.
Noticing her expression, I looked away and mumbled, “You don’t have to be here, you know. I don’t either.”
“You do have to be here. I just wish you didn’t. If you hadn’t been stupid, we wouldn’t be here.”
“I thought you supported me. Maternal love, blah blah blah.” Mom didn’t answer. In fact, for the rest of the visit, she hardly said a word.
When the doctor first came, everything was pretty boring. She spent almost twenty minutes grilling me about my medical history, and on why I was pregnant at 17 (oh, fun). Then I had to get a Pap smear, which sucked, but I’d had a couple before. Then Dr. Cole said, “Okay, I’m going to send you the lab area, and a technician will come to draw your blood.”
I could feel all the color draining out of my face and sheer terror running through me. “D-do I really have to do that?” I stuttered. I found myself wishing again that Deryck was here with me.
“Yes, you do. Sorry.” Dr. Cole sounded less than sorry.
“I...I really don’t like needles....” I tried to explain to the doctor, but she looked so hurried to get out of there that I dropped it. That was when my mom finally spoke.
“Avril, just go and get it over with.” The words were meant to be comforting, but the tone was so rigid, I couldn’t draw much solace from them.
“Mom...could you come with me?” It was my way of asking for peace. (That, and I was so scared, I didn’t think I could go into it alone.)
I had to sit down and put my arm on this weird armrest while a technician drew my blood. I felt faint and scared out of my mind as I squeezed my mother’s hand. Fortunately, it was over quicker than I had expected. And I got to go home after that, which was good, because I felt a little weak. (Yes, I’m a wimp. I know that one vial of blood isn’t supposed to make you feel like that, but it did me.)
Before we left, I had to see that ugly nurse one more time. She gave me this lecture on not smoking or drinking during pregnancy (there goes my after-school social life), and then gave me this huge stack of pamphlets. I think just the reading material she gave me was enough to have killed an old-growth redwood tree. Even worse, all the brightly-colored pamphlets had names like, “What to Eat When You’re Expecting,” “The Basics of Sonogram,” and, the worst one by far, “Safe Sex During Pregnancy.” My face turned bright red when I accepted that one, but I knew I had to take it. No way either Deryck or me would be able to abstain from sex for seven months.
The last part of the visit was when I scheduled an appointment to get a check-up in four weeks (apparently I was supposed to get an ultrasound then), and the doctor told me when the baby was due. He said on October 17th was the due date. That scared me, because really, October wasn’t that far away. I didn’t have much time to make my decision.
I needed to talk to Deryck.
You guys, I'm so so so sorry about the huge wait.