• Marcie

    you look great. I have to say that when I read this I cringed through the whole thing. With my two daughters, being checked for me, was worse than the actual delivery. Oh my god, my legs are crossed just thinking about it.

  • Auntie KK

    I read your blog all the time and just now realized that you + my sister are due on the exact same day! I knew it was close, but it’s the very same day! Now it’s like a race to the finish line! She’s having her second girl too. I read your blog in the morning then hear the same description from her day later in the day on the phone haha!

    Wishing you health + good luck to you and your baby and Anne and my next niece!

  • http://www.zznemo08.blogspot.com/ imzzmimi

    Oooooohhhhh…this post had me clenching my own lady parts and warding off flashbacks! Checking my cervix never bothered me but after I delivered the twins my OB had to reach into my !!!!UTERUS!!!! to remove a bit of placenta that wouldn’t come out on its own–i didn’t have an epidural ladies. Awful, awful, awful. I would labor and deliver a hundred times over before going through that again.

    Good to remember anytime i get into madly wondering what it would be like to have “just one more”.

    Good luck with no. 2 Dooce!

  • ImmortalityLTD

    I’m sure it’s apples and oranges, but when you mentioned the size of the doctor’s fingers it totally reminded my of my first (and thus far only) prostate exam. I now refer to the physician as “Dr. Gorilla-fingers”.

    It hurts now even to think about it. I could so never be gay.

  • http://www.meltingmama.net beth

    “Scratching the underside of your brain through your vagina” is EXACTLY how it feels. Right on the money there.

  • hippittee

    RT@ #229 IMZZMIMI — good luck with no 2* — lol

    best of luck with the next 10-23 days…hope not-maria makes a quick and (relatively) painless entry into your lives!

    *obviously, I have the mind of a 12 year old!

  • Anonymous

    I’m going to go anonymous for this one because I just found out two weeks ago that I’m 6 weeks pregnant with number two. YIPPEE! Is how I’ve felt since seeing that second line. Ecstatic.

    But now you’re reminding me of all those things that happen toward the end. I remember this finger in the cervix thing and the fact that my doctor didn’t warn me about it first. You’re already lying there with your feet up, half naked and cold and BAM! She inserts a finger in there to check on dilation and to loosen things up, “move things along!”

    It’s really, really quite painful. Any even slight thought that remained about having a “natural” childbirth (sans the epidural) went completely out the window. I can’t imagine going through all that cervical expansion without an epidural.

  • Molly

    You look gorgeous. Is it creepy that I’m excited for you? And this post has (possibly irrationally) made me resolve to have a midwife whenever I get pregnant, not because they won’t scratch my brain from underneath as well, but because I at least want them to be all huggy-feely before and after and spout a lot of empowering-women’s-bodies nonsense at me.

  • Shaun

    My wife is pregnant, or we are, or something. We’ve decided to try for a no-intervention birth, which is admittedly not the mainstream thing to do, and not for everyone, and other PC things to say.
    What always amazes me and sometimes pisses me off is the way perfect strangers believe they have every right to tell you what you should do with YOUR body and YOUR baby. I’m gonna get cramps in my bird finger. And it’s not even my belly people are walking up to rub. WTF?

  • Jayme

    I just had my 36 week appointment a few days ago (this is my first) and I really wasn’t expecting the “exam” to be as painful as it was. At first I thought it was all right but all of sudden it was 100 times worse than the speculum scraping fun that comes yearly. But she told me I was 1-2 cm dilated and 70% effaced and that the baby was low. This gave me hope for an early delivery. Especially when the crampy contractions started happening the next day. But they’ve been completely random. So maybe I’m in this for the full month I’ve got left. :(

    I love that you’re just a few weeks ahead of me and I can come to your site and “take notes”. All my younger sister can do (she has two kids) is tease me about all the pain and suffering to come and how happy she is to see my fat belly.

  • Penelope

    @192 “I’ll take all my kiddies post-utero” made me spit coffee through my nose on to the screen. Thanks for that.:D

    Heather, you look amazing and happy and glowy and wonderful.

    All my best wishes,

    p.s. I guess women really love to share their horror stories don’t they? I’ll keep mine to myself thank you.

  • K

    I have been trying to articulately describe what it feels like to have a cervical check (I gave birth to my first about a year ago) and lo and behold…here it is.

    It SUCKS.

    Good luck and congrats on this new addition!

  • tonya

    This post took me back eight years to the time my doctor stripped my membranes. I was approaching my due date with my first child, and she did not tell me what she was doing, let alone ASK if it was ok. It was terribly painful, and it was not until later when my registered nurse aunt told me what had happened that I understood. To this day, I could bitch-slap that doctor if I saw her. I went into my second pregnancy determined that there was no way in hell my membranes would ever be stripped again. I don’t knnow if that’s what happened in your visit or not, but I do know it happens a lot, and I am apalled that such a practice happens all over the country every day with unsuspecting women basically being tortured for no good reason. Babies’ll come when they’re ready.

  • Reenie

    Dear Dooce:
    Even if you have 13 days to go, don’t fret. I saw on MSN today that it’s national doughnut day. Really. Treat yourself. I am, and I’m not even pregnant. Snap.

  • http://www.mybottlesup.com nic @mybottlesup

    your boobs look killer. for being 38 weeks, you look amazing and make me want to get pregnant again… now.

    best of luck with these last few days/weeks/etc…

  • http://www.lillyslife.com lilly

    Oh God, thanks for the memories! Instant flashbacks. Is there such a thing as PTSD from labour – I have it still all these years later. So glad Jon has strong fingers. He needs to look after them for the next 10 days as I’m sure you’ll be hanging onto them tight again. Happy times ahead with another beautiful girl – Leta must be so excited!

  • myra

    Lucky bitch. And I say that with all love. At 41 weeks, I was locked up tighter than Fort Knox. 24 hours of Pitocin only got me to 3 cm.

    Best of luck and here’s hopin’ your mucus plug makes an appearance soon! :)

  • http://www.twosheep.com/blog June

    Good luck, my dear! We are all rooting for you and waiting for happy news when you and Not-Maria (and of course Jon and Leta) are on the other side.

    Cervical checks are no fun indeed. Sorry for the ouches!

    Re the brain scratching – I can sort of laugh about it now, but when I was in labor a year ago, I could have sworn there was a moment when not 1 but 2 grown men had their hands inside my bajingo, all the way up to their elbows, as they repeatedly tried and failed to attach a scalp monitor.

  • http://frettingthesmallstuff.typepad.com andrea

    When the doctor did said exam on my due date and told me that I was as closed up as Fort Knox, kicking the doctor right then in the face seemed like it would have been a very good idea.

  • Leslie

    i went to the dr around 38 weeks in the morning, they checked me said i was a 1 and close to 100% effaced. That afternoon I was standing in the UPS store and my water broke. Maybe the same will happen for you….good luck no matter when it happens.

  • Mari

    Well said, Morgan, well said:

    192. Morgan said:
    Yay for the option to adopt children! I have determined that women who go the pregnancy route and then tell everyone, as they hold their little shriveled slimey child in their arms and say, with gleaming eyes, “that was the most important experience of my life!” those women are really just experiencing Stockholm Syndrome with this child who has kidnapped their body and life. They are blocking out all the horrors you described so beautifully here.
    Well you can’t fool me Stockholm ladies! I’ll take all my kiddies post-utero, thank you very much!!!

  • http://www.hopefulloser.com hopefulloser

    We’re watching the same TV.

  • rachael

    i’ve enjoyed looking at your growing belly over the past few months. after you have your baby, i think that you should take weekly pictures of your shrinking stomach and post them here :)

    what do you think?

  • C

    Although I love coming to read Dooce.com on a regular basis and I often laugh out loud at some of the things that you share with us Heather, I’m a little perturbed by how much pregnancy is being turned into a horror story here. Pregnancy is not an illness. Damn I remember climbing ladders to decorate a few weeks before my son was born, I wasn’t disabled, I was pregnant.

    I’m also curious as to why there appears so much medical intervention in the U.S… unless there is a problem with the pregnancy, why is it necessary to visit the OBGYN every week? If I remember correctly I only had to visit my Midwife every 4 weeks.

    It worries me that women are having their individual power and choices taken away from them when it comes to pregnancy and childbirth. We’ve been giving birth for thousands of years naturally, without intervention, yet now we’re been reduced to a helpless position of being dependent upon other people to guide us through this natural process while being pumped fall of drugs.

    If I had my time again, I would have taken more control of my sons birthing process instead of having that epidural, because damn, having that made my birthing process twice as long and twice as difficult.

    Do I have a point to this comment? Nah, I think that I am just rambling *lol*

  • katomicbomb

    I’m glad someone finally said what I was thinking: “Why am I the only one who reads this stuff and WANTS to be preggers??” My boyfriend thought he was getting a reprieve on babies by dating someone 11 years his junior. Poor man, was he ever wrong. Best wishes and all that, especially to Jon’s fingers.

  • Kris

    Heather, I just forwarded your post to my husband because I had the same exam this week and there’s just not enough ways to describe “the check” so that a man gets even the slightest gist of the experience.
    I was lucky in that I had been sitting on the exam table for 45 minutes before I saw my doctor, so I had the time to watch my ankles and knees swell and turn purple. By the time I was told to “scoot down,” I was so sweaty and uncomfortable that I took most of the wax paper with me.

    Thanks for your post. I feel like you’re my backup when I’m being labeled as hormonal and overexaggerated (see? I’m not the only one!). Can’t wait to keep reading, but I’m going to throw in a “go get ‘em, tiger” just in case Not Maria makes an early appearance.

  • Cate

    Has anyone else figured out the name pattern?

    Heather, I, Jon, K, Leta, M, Not Maria!

  • http://www.millatimes.com Milla

    this site is becoming exceedingly good birth control. shivers.

  • http://laurenfromtexas.com Lauren From Texas


    Making my husband stay far far away from me for at least 5 more years. NO TOUCHING WHATSOEVER.

    You still look beautiful though! How does she do it? :)

  • Gretchen

    The toilet would make a better post. Hope you get there soon, tho!

    And, yeah, when are they gonna find a less barbaric way to measure a cervix? What did they do before? Grunt and throw rocks at it?

  • Jessica

    I just have to say, you’re 4 weeks ahead of me and it’s been great to have someone to warn me about everything. All through my pregnancy it’s been crazy how much stuff no one ever told me or warned me about and it’s been much more miserable than I expected. Now you’re coming to my rescue again, since I’ve heard all about cervical checks, but not once did anyone bother to mention that they hurt like the dickens. Now I’ll be prepared. Thanks once again.

  • http://photo.fexblog.com Allie

    You’re enormous! And still wonderfully lovely.

    I’d send you some love in the form of sugar free chocolate mousse (I’m diabetic) from Massachusetts, but I don’t think it would make it.

    Godspeed, Heather.

  • http://www.notanonlychild.com Amy

    That is quite a reality check for someone 15 weeks pregnant and just starting to hit the smooth road after the first trimester nightmare. I am no longer thinking, phew, I can handle this pregnancy now! It’s more like, holy shit, give me back the first trimester, November is WAY TOO SOON.

  • Janet

    But check out those huge boobs. Not that *I* care about such things. Just saying: should be some consolation for all this other trouble you are having to go through.

    Best wishes, Heather!

  • Adrienne

    Well the good news is that today is National Donut Day so you can get a free powdered donut or twenty in order to help the next 13 waddling days go by!

  • sleepypasture

    I agree with Milla. Yikes.

  • http://deartucker.blogspot.com Carrie

    I remember being excited for my first cervical dilation exam. Once I had the exam and I couldn’t get my son to come out soon enough… That and the post delivery were definitely the worst.

  • Fred

    Your latest post reminded me of a male similarity I experienced. I know – not even close in feminine discomfort, imposition, and inconvenience, but still, the following might offer a knowing smirk or two. I was writing a friend of a recent doc visit:

    “all I can say is foul, foul, filth, foul, filth, foul, foul, filth! I finally made it to real old man status! It appears that something in my internals is/was/may have decided to fail. The, ummm, prost…thingy. I had to go to the doctor place to be checked for possible prostatis. I don’t mind the aging bit, but I do mind the getting old part.

    Unhappily, the white coats poked and probed where no one should journey and discovered absolutely nothing! Nada, zip, zero, zilch! I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but it leaves behind the unexplained symptomatic events. And based on my symptoms, lady doc assumed she’d find a swollen or lumpy prostate. “Nope. Right size and smoooooooth.” Puzzled, she excavated a second time with unimagined intensity, so sure she had missed something from the first digs. “Does this hurt?” No. “Is this uncomfortable? Nope.” I’m sure she loitered downtown for an hour. “Lessee, there’s the prostate, bladder, the heart, lungs, back molars and a thinning pate.”

    Wow! I’m positive she went past the belly button and might have found Jimmy Hoffa and Nixon’s missing 18 minutes of tape had she continued. BTW, I have a femdoc because of some valued advice received from my brother who’s been through all this over and over; two simple but very informative words. “Small fingers!”

    Thanks for sharing your journey in life…keeps us all smiling.

    In the words of that great animated orator, Winnie the Pooh, Have A Happy Everything!


  • http://www.notanonlychild.com Amy

    Also: I am on my third krispy kreme. In case you were wondering. It’s kind of nice to be able to enjoy food again after the horrible first trimester/first two weeks of second trimester crippling nausea. I’ll just keep using krispy kremes to forget everything you just told me!

  • http://www.thephotofather.com Tom

    Why did the doctor that delivered Leta retire a few months afterwards? Was it that bad? Like the scene of one of those movies I can’t watch?

    Don’t ever tell her this information……..

  • http://www.candysticklane.blogspot.com Candy Stick Lane

    You look FABULOUS! Congrats on the progress!
    There is nothing worse than dialation checks – especially during labor – UGH! I always had big rough nurses – of course the voicing of my opinion became much louder and more stern with every child – LOL!

    Im sending dresses for your girls :D I hope to have them in the mail on Monday so they can get there before your new sweets arrives! XO

  • hms


    Now, if it were me, I’d send my husband to the store for hospital snacks.

    Good luck!

  • vee

    yes, i agree with the anon commenter that what most likely occured was your membranes were stripped. when normally checking mere dilation, the fingers are inserted and then spread gently across the diameter. there is no need to go around the circumference in order to measure this. i’ve never heard that this is dangerous but it’s definitely not something i’d want done without my knowledge. my midwife performed the sweep during my last two births but i was already in labor. i don’t find cervical checks or membrane sweeps to be as gruesome as you described, but i’m one of those crazy natural birthers that tends not to think labor hurts until i’m 7cm or in transition.

    also gretchen, what they used to do was leave women alone. like heather noted, these numbers are somewhat meaningless as far as determining when labor will begin or how long it will last.

  • http://www.digitalcatharsis.com the mighty jimbo

    thank god for a penis.

  • http://www.jennkstep.com Jennifer

    You still look so lovely. I never thought I would comment on the skin on another women’s preggie belly, but here goes: even the skin on your belly looks great!

  • Jennifer

    The cervix checks didn’t bother me that much, but the stripping of the membranes in an attempt to bring on labor… dear God. I would rather continue to gestate for another 40 weeks than face that sort of torture again. And the OB who violated me was a woman. I find they are the worst.

  • Jax

    I am so, so excited for you and the birth of your baby. It’s odd to me that I’m this excited, seeing as I’ve never met you, but I’m a big fan and very, very happy for you. Congrats and I hope everything goes well!

  • Coryf

    You look great! Best wishes!

  • http://thischarminglife.blogspot.com Meredith

    I don’t miss those late pregnancy examinations. When I was pregnant with my second, there was a doctor at the hospital who checked me when I had false labor and it was so excruciating that when I went into actual labor a week later I looked right at him and said “You need to stay the hell away from me.”

    You’re positiviely glowing! Good luck…wishing you a smooth delivery!

  • Kerily

    My favorite is that the OB actually warns you. Mine says with a knowing look ‘next appointment, I think that I am going to have to check you’. The ironic thing is that I had no idea what this meant but the mere mention of the ‘check’ sent me into labor for both my kids. I finally figured out that he must have been referring to that horrible experience that the poor labor nurses do to you all the time when you are in labor ‘just need to check you honey’….