Thursday, 15 March 2007

Pétales fermées

A while ago, I said I'd talk more about the post-natal physical therapy. Assumingly it is done to avoid prolapse and urinary incontinence but we all know the truth : to get back into sex. Come on! We're in France, the country that uses naked women in its yogurt ads!

So, 6 weeks after giving birth, I went to the pharmacy with my prescription for a "probe vaginale" and was slightly embarrassed when I was handed a USB key with a dildo attached to the end.

My first appointment at the midwife's was interesting - she manually tested my vaginal muscles, giving a catchy name to each set : pétale, ascenseur, pont levé...who knew there were so many muscles in there! At some point during the manual exam, Suzanne decided she was hungry. The midwife didn't flinch or remove her hand - she reached over, handed me the baby, and I fed her, right there as I "closed the pétale".

The next appointment began with a manual exam and then it was time for the probe. The midwife hooked it up to the computer and told me that I was to close the doors to the ascenseur and close all the pétales while I lifted the pont levé. I should try to follow the line on the screen as closely as possible. I had 10 sessions like this, sometimes standing, sometimes lying down. And there was always a moment where the midwife did some serious multi-tasking - bouncing Suzanne on her knee as she made sure my pétales were fermées! Even I couldn't multi-task like that (although my husband would probably say that I don't multi-task as well as I think I do)!

I am thankful - in some instances - that this country is so sexual. Sex just permeates in everything here. I am glad that women are appreciated (usually), that my husband gives me compliments, that there are so many different types of yogurt... I am also glad that my hemoroids are gone and that I don't pee when I sneeze.


Papadelesdeux said...

OK, I really don't want to get into all this "pétales" stuff... way out of my field of expertise... but you seem to have turned off the comments on your driver's license post.

The stories everyone can tell... I flew back to the US, made the agonizing trip to my old state of Kentucky, humbled myself before my Mother to use her address, and exchanged my California license for a Kentucky license, just to be able to exchange the same for the French license. Why you can exchange Kentucky and not California - go figure.

Frankly the thought of taking the driving test here just scared the shit out me. Parden my French. When I arrived in France I had a vocabulary of about 3 French words and after the first year I could ALMOST use them in a sentance. Driver's Test - no f..g way.

You have the right to be EXTRA PROUD!

Thanks for stopping by deuxbydeux.

Oh, the baby stories you are going to be able to tell. :))))

Pardon My French said...

I haven't read the rest of your blog yet, but I have been trying to gear myself up to write about this very topic on mine. It came up in our post-natale themed birth prep class, and was not at all what I was expecting to cover that day. My very awesome, unafraid midwife whipped one of those probes out of her handbag and passed it around while I tried to act adult and keep the giggles under control. It was just so unexpected, with the wires dangling and all.

Now at least I know some of the vocabulary beforehand, because there have been some misinterpretations on my part as to what she has said. Fun times all around when you're pregnant in a foreign country, though.

MM said...

Hahahaha I'm am having my reeducation classes a way it is actually kind of fun...concentrating on getting between the a very strange way...but yeah hopefully it works...only in france!

Reb said...

MM, it does work. If it didn't, I'd still have hemoroids...

Deb said...

Oh that sounds like fun! Can't wait until I start!

And you are so right...France is synonymous with sex. ;o)

Anonymous said...

this is a hilarious post, as are so many of your whussup with the french posts. also very robust and insightful, thank you. i've linked to this one and to your post on the french girlfriend drought. fascinating.

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