I woke up with the residue of a really shitty dream; right at the part where I was lifting my son’s limp toddler body out of the water he has somehow fallen into. I was in full panic; it had seemed so realistic, his skin so cold and strange feeling, like the current had shut off.

I had breakfast with my husband, who was kind of goofy and cheerful. He cooked for me and we had coffee before he left. Then I was getting diapers changed and finding socks for six feet and putting everyone into kid cloths and jackets, trying to remember to bring my purse and paperwork and money for the co-pay. I put on a black T-shirt and my eye of Horace necklace (for protection), took some Rescue Remedy, strapped the monkeys into their car seats and headed over to Jen’s.

Jen was already awake with her two kids, and ready to add mine to the mix (BLESS HER). We smoked like schoolgirls in her fabulous colorful kitchen, drinking coffee and trying not to talk about my stupid appointment (which is what I have been calling it, my stupid appointment).

Soon enough it was time for me to sneak away and drive to Grove City, which I am unfamiliar with, to talk to a stranger about peering into my cervical canal to see if we can’t just scoop out those naughty bad girl cells that seem to alarm everybody. I was early because I was afraid of getting lost (and sure enough, oh, look the sign I just drove under says that 71S has just become 70E – Tada!!) and I ended up detouring through downtown Columbus and making my way back to 71N only to find that exit closed.

In any case I still arrived early. And then it was a full two hours before I got to actually see the doctor. By that time I had worked up a nice panic attack, sitting there in the little room, which was at least decorated with lavender impressionistic pears and decent artwork. Above the exam table there was a purple wire mobile with three tiny pregnant figures, frozen in various dance positions, all smiling. That helped some. My regular doctor is a man, and as sweet as he is there is a certain something missing, a kind of absence of understanding. I can not help wondering what he thinks of vaginas, after seeing an endless parade of them, day after day, screening them for various ailments. After awhile does vagina = pathology? I want a woman to do the LEEP, if it is necessary at all. One doctor raised a “pre-cancerous” red flag about five years ago, and now they are all waving it. I have even had second opinions. And I don’t know why this scares me so much. After all, I once squatted in my living room and gave birth after being awake for three straight days. I twice trusted my body enough to know that I could manage the labor and delivery without medications or machines. But the idea of spreading my legs for a stranger with a knife, no matter how sterile, no matter how precise, well-intentioned or common the procedure, well, that just fucks me all up.

As if the sixteen acres of rubble on the back of my mind is not enough. As if the fucked up conversation I had with Jay’s mom about how she doesn’t think she and I get along well enough because I am not her real daughter (just in law), as if it isn’t enough that I can not look at an American flag without involuntarily blubbering, as if it is not enough that my mother dissed me AGAIN and that my father came walking up sheepishly the day after the whole fucking thing came crashing down and said, “I did not expect you to still be here”, during a very awkward hug. No “Hey, wow, how great it is to see you, check out those cherubic grandkids of mine, how the heck are you, hasn’t it been like eight months or something since we even talked to each other?” Instead they waited until they thought I had left town, and never called. Just when I was thinking to myself, dang this mom thing is really hard, maybe I have been unduly harsh toward my mother, maybe she did the best she could, maybe I will see her when I am on vacation and this time it will be ok. I wanted to ask her about my birth, about her health, about why her mom had to have a hysterectomy. I want to know what lovely landmine I have inherited. Instead now I have a deep distrust in my own body, a sad feeling about the world and a bad feeling that my parents hate me and they don’t even know why. I hope getting scooped out helps something. That they arrange my cast away bits in some kind of quantifiable way and pronounce me regular. Like a bomb squad, infiltrating micro-terrorist cells with science and logic and making it all good again.