Most of you probably don’t know this. I mean, unless for some reason you found yourself in need of a gynecologist while in France. And in that case, boy were you in for a surprise! *snicker*
You see, here, you’re expected to get completely butt- naked at the gynecologist’s. I’m not kidding. I actually had heard about this (thank god) from reading American books on France. I Googled it and yep, sure enough, you have to put on your birthday suit at the ol’ gyno’s. As you can imagine, as a student here I opted to stalk up on bc pills before leaving the states.
Unfortunately, when it came to my first pregnancy in France, I didn’t have much of a choice. So I made sure to pick a woman gynecologist. No way was I going to show my white puritanical American arse to:
A.- Some strange man.
B. A Frenchman at that
C. a man who voluntarily did ten years of med school so he could look at hoo-hahs all day long. (I’m sorry, but my rose colored glasses are perpetually lost when it comes to this--although I can kind of understand it if the men also do obstetrics and deliver babies for a living- That’s the miracle of life after all!)
They don’t give you anything to cover up with, no robes, no toga sheets, nada. Now to Americans (or maybe just me) this is kind of horrifying.
It took me awhile to prepare mentally. But it turned out by the time the visit was over, being naked was the least of my worries.
My French gynecologist was a little rough around the edges. After shaking my hand and introducing herself, she slipped behind her massive desk and abruptly told me to ‘git naked’. But, you know, in that breezy French way that sounds like they’re asking you if you’d like coffee or tea.
So I did.
Being naked in the middle of an office with a complete stranger was completely surreal at first. But I just did what any normal woman would do and pretended I didn’t notice I was naked. Take my weight naked? Sure! Hop up on the table? Naked? No problem! It’s just like being clothed…but not.
Dr. Optimist then informed me we’d be doing my first ultrasound, afterall, ‘my baby could be dead.’ (her exact words)
Once we finally established that my baby was alive and well, she confirmed I’d already gained too much weight and to lay off the taboulé from here on out.
Yes, she was a real peach.
Be thankful for friendly doctors and medical robes people. They might air out your back side but at least you don’t have to go full-monty with your well known health professionals on a regular basis.
Oh, and have a great weekend!