Up until now my visits to see Dr D have been all rather normal, fun even. We have our little routine whereby he checks me out, cracks a joke, complains about the hideous overcrowding in HK hospitals due to the volume of mothers coming from mainland China to have their babies here, prods and pokes, tells me I am doing well and sends me on my way.
The whole process has been mercifully free of icky stuff. Other than an injection in my bum, one blood test, and the plastic car jack (ladies who have pap smears will know to what I refer), it's all been quite straight forward. I have been particularly impressed by the lack of giving "samples". It would appear that along with being able to keep babies alive after 28 weeks, medical science has given us the far more important, to my mind, invention of a small stick of card upon which one pees to have your pee checked for glucose, or hormones or something (I have actually never asked what it is for). This makes the whole process surprisingly acceptable - no danger of spillage, no need to carry a warm pot of pee back through reception to the nurse. It is quick, discrete, and very 21st century.
Until today. I went to see Dr D and was horrified to be handed a small plastic pot by the receptionist rather than the usual strip of card. Aghast I asked what she had given this to me for. The receptionist, looking at me as if I was mad (with hindsight it was a bit of a stupid question when presented with a pot clearly designed to hold pee) and told me that now I was late in my pregnancy they request a pot for a more accurate test. I stood there looking at it with shock. The one and only time I have ever had to do this before had been in the comfort of my own home and with the aid of a large jug. This was a tiny pot, that I had to pee into with accuracy - missing the pot was too horrible to contemplate as I had ducked out of work for half an hour - via a part of me that has been completely obscured by the bump for the last few weeks, in a public loo.
I stomped off to the loo. Selected one far away from the door (I had enough performance anxiety as it was without needing to worry about anyone hearing me) and got on with it. In the end, I admit, I was very proud. Completely accurate aim and not a hint of spillage. I have mastered the technique at the first go.
I later had blood taken (I faint at the sight of needles) and it was brought home to me that if I feel a sense of indignity at having to pee in a small plastic pot or having a few mils of blood taken then the labour will give me post traumatic stress. As if I wasn't scared enough of the whole process anyway.
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