Ok, so first off, this is the post that if you are an immediate member of my family, you may not wish to read. Particularly if you are my mother-in-law, especially if you are my father-in-law, and if you’re a work colleague then definitely pass on this one to save all our blushes. Delete now, go make yourself a cuppa, perhaps treat yourself to a biscuit, and see if there’s anything good on TV. Trust me, you don’t want to read this post. Ok, you gone? Right, then I’ll proceed…
Regular readers of this blog will know that I am expecting baby number two any day now, literally. But what you won’t know is that there is something that’s been on my mind for almost as long as the 9-months I’ve been pregnant and making a decision on it has never been more pressing, so – dear reader – I need your help and advice. No, it’s not the VBAC vs. C-Section conundrum, nor the should I have all the drugs or forego them question, nor even the hot-topic matter of breastfeeding (but yes, I want/hope to, if I can, so fingers crossed). No, in fact, it is ummm a leeetle bit embarrassing, so I’m just going to come right out and say it… ahem… brace yourselves…
When it comes to preparing for birth, what’s the ummm ‘etiquette’ on ummmm, one’s ‘lady garden’: phew, I said it, feels so good to say it out loud. Okay, discuss:
Here’s the thing – last time around, when preggers with Allegra, I had thought this one through ahead of time, for I guess I was that kind of girl back in those days. On the whole, at that point, I was a “waxer” and when I found out I was pregnant, I then spent the subsequent 9-months diligently visiting my beauty salon of choice to partake in regular “maintenance” of the “area” to ensure that come the birth, I was presentable down below. Why this mattered/matters to me I can’t entirely explain. I recognise that for midwives and assorted others you end up presenting your “va-jay-jay” to in all matters relating to pregnancy and birth, how your “cave of wonders” looks is probably low on the list of priorities, but it was just something I felt the need to ummm, take care of, in the circumstances.
On that occasion, I ended up having an emergency c-section, and despite my (medically approved) drug-addled state, I remember thinking at the time how glad I was that my “birth cannon” was ready for surgery, i.e. there was no need for anyone to come at me with a Bic razor to “prep the area”. Ouch. After all, let’s face it, we’ve all experienced the burn and the prickliness of a shave to the nether regions and it ain’t pleasant and that’s before you factor in that these are medical not beauty professionals, and I doubt they’re down there with a can of shaving foam and a Gillette Venus Breeze Razor with built in shave gel bars (other razors available in all good stores).
But since then, I’ve been too much of a wimp to go back into the beauty salon and resume my waxing regime. Not least because I was nervous of hot wax over a c-section scar (fears of it being waxed open filled my mind, rationally or irrationally) and so I made do with a bit of Veet here and a bit of tactical abandonment there: well, after all, without a midwife or doctor to show off my “tunnel of love” to, and with a child and a busy job filling my every waking hour, I dunno, it just slipped down my list of priorities and languished somewhere on my to-do list below finding a way to remove yoghurt from the sofa cushions without lifting off the colour and keeping on top of the laundry basket. I figured as long as I avoided the somewhat unforgivable “pant beard” look then I could go about my business without the need for any further excessive tending and grooming to the area. My “Brazilian” years firmly behind me and my “Vajazzle” days having never (and not likely) had a chance to begin.
But, here I am, about to give birth – although I know not yet via what means – and the matter of the “bearded clam”* is on my mind. Again, let me say, I realise that in the big scheme of things, it really isn’t that important, but aside from the fact that there could be a whole host of people seeing it in the next week or so (actually in the next month or so, I recall those post hospital at home midwife/health visitor “pop ins” where I had to drop my kecks at the dining room table to have my stitches examined… is it just me or is that a weird place to be standing Pooh Bear style, naked from the waist down, while a virtual stranger stares intently at your “flange”?!), what concerns me are the following words – written on the “Information for Women Planning to have a Baby by Caesarean Section” leaflet that I was given by the hospital this week:
“Your blood pressure, pulse and temperature will be checked and if you haven’t done so already your bikini area will be shaved in preparation for the operation.”
The blood pressure, pulse, and temperature checks I’m cool with. The idea of someone crudely coming at said “bikini area” to “shave me in preparation” makes me shudder. They’re not going to do it well are they? They’re not going to take their time and be careful. I’m not suggesting they’ll go at me all Sweeney Todd or anything, but a slap-dash approach is a distinct possibility and I don’t want to have to deal with the aftermath of that on top of the inevitable post c-section soreness that’ll already be on the agenda.
Clearly I’m not really in a position to do much “lawn mowing” myself at the moment, my bump is of a size where I’ve not been able to view my “front bottom” all that clearly for some time and if I were to go by touch and feel alone, who knows what disaster could result?! I’m also not of the school of thought that this is one of those matters where I need to get the OH involved: he’s an accountant, not a beauty expert, he’s good at maths and spreadsheets, not knowing how hot the wax should be and what direction to rip it off in.
So, my thoughts turn to booking myself into a beauty salon and getting a professional on the case, but will that also be awkward and embarrassing – I kind of pity the poor therapist who suddenly ends up with me on the bed, as she tries to tidy up my hitherto (for the last couple of years anyway) neglected “vertical smile”. Will it even be physically possible?! I’m not exactly that bendable and flexible at the moment, so there’ll be no way I can pull my heel up to my ear or perform any other such potentially necessary acrobatics often required on these occasions.
And if I do go for the professional waxing option, should I go for a mere tidy up (concentrated on the area where they’ll be making the incision)? or should I go Brazilian? or would the Hollywood be the best option in the circumstances – but then will the medical professionals ponder whether I’m some sort of amateur adult film actress, having said that, one look at me beyond my “cha-cha” and they’ll know I’m not, but you don’t want them thinking they’re operating on some sort of slattern now do you?!
I was doing a little research online on the matter – as you do – and came across a discussion forum debating this very issue, where one contributor suggested: “Cornrows. That will keep it neat and tidy, enhance the impression that you are someone who looks after herself, and avoid the discomfort of post-natal stubble.” Arguably a little Katie Price circa 2004, but not necessarily a bad shout…
Argh, what to do?!? I need help! So tell me… what would you do? Or, if you’re willing to share… what DID you do? I’m running out of time to get my “whispering eye”** in order!
*yes, I googled “slang words for vagina” in a bid to pepper this post with some alternative ways to describe the “area” – please feel free to add any additional terms you might prefer to use in the comments box (no, that’s not a euphemism, I really am just talking about the comments box).
**this is one of my particular favourites heh heh, I’m also quite fond of the ‘bearded clam’ descriptor … I feel I’ve learnt a whole new vocabulary in the writing and research of this post!
PS. If you are an immediate member of my family, a work colleague, or someone else who knows me well and ignored my advice not to read this somewhat personal post, then let’s just be British and never speak of it and that’ll be best for all involved. I thank you.