Here I am, naked from the waist down, legs spread, feet in stirrups. Above my head, tacked to the ceiling, is a print of a mother playing hopscotch with her baby. It’s called “Mi Hijo Y Yo” and I guess it’s supposed to make me think tender, maternal thoughts instead of focusing on the fact that there is a doctor perched at the foot of the bed, panning for gold in my uterus.
I’ve been in this position a lot lately. These kinds of examinations are always awkward, and my coping mechanism is to make bad jokes as I lie there. Over the past year that my husband, Matt, and I have been grappling with our fertility issues, there have been many. When my OB/GYN accidentally dropped a dollop of lube on my foot during an ultrasound, I assured her it would now be easier for me to get my socks on. The first time my fertility doctor performed an examination I suggested there may be an old boot up there causing all the problems.
These are the jokes, people.
When Matt is in the room, it’s worse. Together, we are an awful improv duo. And today, at this very moment, we’re throwing quips left and right as our fertility doctor quietly studies the ultrasound. Finally he looks up at us and says very slowly and very calmly, “I think the news today is that there are three babies–two identicals and one fraternal.”
I instantly break out into a sticky sweat and Matt is so shaken that they have to bring a chair in for him. Naturally, we have questions:
“What’s your afternoon looking like? Can you pencil me in for a vasectomy?” Matt asks.
“Do the identical twins look like the ones from ‘The Shining’?” I add.
“This is great,” the nurse says. “You’re going to need a sense of humor.”