Before I continue with this post I must share with you all that my partner and I haven’t successfully had sex since baby bear was born. We’ve tried a couple of times, almost successfully did the dance with no pants once. But honestly, the whole thing scares me. The birth of baby bear was not traumatic in the slightest (I can see how it would be for some people, I’m even surprised it wasn’t for me but I really am not phased by it at all). But I’ve found trying to do the deed slightly painful (okay, maybe more than slightly but I could have been exaggerating) and yeah I’ve been pretty scared about the whole thing (I don’t know why, I mean I’m obviously no stranger to it) but I digress.
I received a letter from my doctors surgery when baby bear was around 13 weeks old telling me I could now make an appointment to have my smear test carried out. Oh the dread. On the other hand I have honestly been waiting years to have it done. Being sexually active since I was 16 years of age and the fact that cancer kind of runs in my family meant that this is something I’ve wanted done for a long time. Yes the thought of it is unpleasant but what’s even scarier is the fact that anything at all could be going on in my body and I wouldn’t have a clue until I was 25.
I made the appointment when I took bear for his 2nd Jabs at 13 weeks for approximately 3 weeks after then. 3 weeks of stressing and worrying about the process…only slightly, I’ll admit I’ve been rather looking forward to getting it done (no not in a weird way, I just want to make sure everything’s okay in there).
Fast forward to Wednesday. I was sitting in the waiting room, definitely feeling a bit more nervous about it all. ‘Someone’s going to have to go down there and prod around, what if it hurts?’ Was definitely running through my mind. But I was determined to get through it. I’d taken Logi Bear along with me as Alex was home finishing his packing and getting ready for our journey to Scotland, so of course he wanted to get out and have cuddles in the waiting room which was absolutely fine as I really could have done with them there and then. My name then popped up on the screen to let me know it was my turn to see the nurse. Yes my anxiety around it all shot up but I really managed to stay cool and calm, probably for Logi Bear’s sake but it was what I needed.
I went in and sat down next to the nurses desk. I’ve visited this nurse a few times now since having baby bear so I was glad to see a familiar face. Fair enough I see her for Baby Bear’s injections and she did my 6 week post partum check but she’s really lovely and friendly all the same. She explained the procedure and that the swab of cells from my cervix would be sent off for examination to determine any changes which could indicate the start of something going on down there but even most changes are normal and can be treated so they don’t develop into anything else. She told me that after she’d had her children, her cells came back showing a slight change and so she was treated with some medication and all was perfect after that. Thank God she’d told me that, it was good to hear that things will be okay and really reassured me that I would be sorted out straight away and nothing would become of it.
She took me behind a curtain and told me to take off my trousers and underwear and lie on the bed and I could cover myself with one of the large paper towels they had. Once ready, I shouted her over. In that moment I was so glad I’d had a shower and neatened everything up that morning, not that the nurse cares but it definitely made me feel tons better about getting my knickers off for practically a complete stranger. She knew I was tense and a bit nervous so she explained everything again bit by bit and as she was about to do it. I told her I was sorry for being a bit of a wimp, I wouldn’t even let my other half touch me down there as it all still felt a bit tender.
She put some lubrication on the speculum and started to slowly insert it into my vagina. She told me to tell her when to stop or if it all got a bit too much for me. I’ll be honest, it did start to feel a bit delicate just like when Alex & I tried to have intercourse, but she was ever so gentle and slow and so I powered on through it. The nurse kept asking if I was OK with it all, something must have told her how nervous I was haha! When she reached where she needed to with the speculum, she told me she’d have to open it slightly. Gripping the table, I told her that was fine. Honestly, I’ve had similar procedures carried out a few times and they really don’t hurt, I tried to remind myself of that and to stop being such a wimp ha! She stabbed around the inside of my vagina for a couple of seconds and that was that. She removed the speculum and I could get dressed.
When I sat down with her to ask about it all, she reassured me that my anatomy down there was fine and all intact. It was normal that it all felt a bit different since I’d had a baby. I asked her if it could be that I’d worked myself up about it all in a way, and if it was that that was making me feel so tense. Apparently ladies, this is a thing that happens and is perfectly normal. The nurse told me the results wouldn’t take too long to come back and she will let me know if I need to be seen about anything and that was that. I left the room thinking I’d definitely worked myself up over nothing. So honestly, my experience, does not depict what it’s actually like ha!
But I’d highly recommend that as soon as you get that letter, make an appointment straight away. The whole procedure is nothing compared to what could be going on. I’m forever signing petitions to lower the age of smears as it’s something I feel really passionately about. I’d have loved to have started having them when I was younger as just being sexually active makes a whole difference to your body so it’s really important that you can get it done while it’s available.