“I'm optimistic.” She said. I am too. I'd been waiting on this appointment for nearly a month after I got the call, but it'd barely registered on my brain as an important task, instead it was just another thing that I needed to check off my to-do list.
I wasn't ignoring the significance, not making myself purposely busy so that I didn't have to think of the implications. I am certain that at 28, I don't have to worry about cervical cancer. After just having a baby, still nursing, and having regular (ahem) alone time with my husband, an abnormal pap just isn't that abnormal in this situation.
I don't mind OB visits all that much even, usually. The doctors are quick, the discomfort fleeting, and then it's wham bam see you next year. But this wasn't a standard visit. This was a biopsy. I hadn't really thought about that till I was sitting in the exam room with just a sheet covering my lower half.
Anyone who's had one knows the deal. The exam was uneventful, except for the name of one of the instruments was “cervical punch” and it works exactly like a hole punch in exactly the place a hole punch should not be. The doc asked me if I felt lightheaded and I actually had to consider if I did. You would think after an emergency C-section and several months of trial-by-fire learning to be a new mom, I would not be fazed by this routine procedure.
At the end, they offered me a basket of the tiniest, thinnest pads I had ever seen. Pads for 12 year olds who weight 75 pounds. I had to line three up in my underwear before I felt moderately safe. Behind me, there was a bright streak of red on the previously spotless bed paper.
On the way home, I felt odd. I tried to sing to C to keep her entertained, but couldn't manage that. I felt exhausted by the time we got in and didn't know why. I was glad C was able to motor around the living room by herself before bed because I don't think I could've played with her otherwise.
That night, I curled up tight in my bed, trying to block out the fact that there was a tiny wound inside me and that's why my insides ached. It didn't matter how much I crossed my legs, the action was still there, it had already occurred, and why was I freaking out about this? It wasn't a big deal god dammit, just go to sleep like a normal person and get over it.
It didn't help that I would have liked some (ahem) alone time with my husband, and continued to want it but was terrified by the idea at the same time. Confusion, anger at myself, fear, anxiety. I didn't sleep well.
“You'll have some light but bright red bleeding for the rest of the day, just to warn you.”
“Of course.” My smile, practiced for years, showed my demeanor as easygoing and calm. “Just like any other fresh wound. Makes perfect sense.”
“Oh.” She sighed as she got up to leave, and shook my hand. “You're so rational.”