Following the birth of my oldest daughter I learned I could no longer take birth control pills since they posed a potential health risk due to a blood clotting abnormality I have. I carry a recessive gene for this disorder, which means that I am unlikely to ever suffer from any afflictions with the exception of not being able to take medication that contains synthetic hormones. At the time this fascinating information was brought to my attention, I had not yet met my reproductive quota but was not quite ready to pop out another one of the suckers. My loving husband said condoms took away from the experience. I told him so did pregnant wives. He whined. I caved. I talked to my gyno. He suggested a diaphragm. I said okay.
I naively assumed this nifty, baby blocking, piece of latex was something they had readily available like the “morning after pill” that is so popular with teenagers and stressed out moms who succumb to 5 minutes of guilty pleasure while their newborn twins are sleeping. Wrong. I soon learned that a diaphragm requires an entirely separate appointment because the doctor has to measure, repeat M-E-A-S-U-R-E, your love tunnel to find the appropriate size for optimum effectiveness and then and only then, will a prescription be written. OMG. I told Mike that we were just going to revert back to the old “pull and pray” method that seemingly worked like a charm in high school. However, HE (the one who abhors the use of male prophylactics) told me it was “no big deal”. You hope pal, you hope, was all I could think (head shake).
By the time I arrived at my gyno’s office to have my baby maker assessed, I had worked myself into a panic. I was sitting on the table in a paper nightgown, staring restlessly at the door, my mind racing. Okay Erin, you did have a c-section so you have that going for you. But you have been doing it for awhile, a loooooooooong while, unbeknownst to your mother. Also, don’t forget you have Mormon lineage and vaginas have evolved out of necessity to accommodate multiple litters. Did you consider that they might have to special order a diaphragm for you from China because your ying-yang might exceed American standards? I wonder if they make glow-in-the-dark? Do they use a protractor and a compass? Erin, get back on track. What if you have the world’s biggest vagina and you end up in a medical journal?
I was starring at a poster of dilating cervixes on the wall, wondering which one I most resembled, when the nurse practitioner came in on one of those scooter things because she just had knee surgery. She rolled on up to my vagina and peered in. She then poked her head around my leg and handed me a “practice” diaphragm and instructed me to go ahead and “try it in” and then proceeded to motor around to the other side of the curtain to give me some privacy.
I sat there uncomfortably tossing the thing back and forth trying to figure out exactly how it was supposed to work and wishing I had paid attention when I was taking sex education in 9th grade. I was holding it against my face pretending I had an eye patch, when I nonchalantly asked the nurse through the curtain if “I uh, appeared to be of average variety since she was in the vag biz and all?” She started laughing and crashed her scooter into the wall.
I never really got an answer out of the broad but I can say that my “diaphragm experience” will be starting kindergarten next year. I also signed multiple waivers, releasing my gyno of any potential malpractice suits if he would please put me back on the pill. He agreed. XO