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The Real Poop

What's the difference between a priest and an obstetrician?

The priest puts a little hope in your soul and an obstetrician puts a little soap in your hole.

Obstetricians make babies. Not the way God makes babies and no, not the way a man and a woman make babies. And no, not the way the stork makes babies, so stop asking so many questions.

Okay, try this: Women make babies, obstetricians deliver them. Obstetricians are doctors who see female patients and female patients have a whole set of organs men don't have like ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterii (yes, that's the actual term*). Sure, men have a small part to play, but once the bun is in the oven, the heavy lifting is women's work.

*No it's not.

The second Preggy learns she's pregnant, she assembles the troops and puts them all on speed dial. You're right after the father, her mother, her best friend, her sister wives, and her publicity agent.

You and Preggy will be seeing a lot of each other for nine months. There will be a lot of poking and prodding, and none of it quite as much fun (at least for the patient) as the poking and prodding that made this all possible. Pregnancy test, initial prenatal visit, lab work, PAP test, ultrasound, genetic screening, a Quad screen test (no, this is not for Toddlers and Tiaras), a glucose challenge test (no, not a Sugar Babies-eating competition), hemoglobin check, pelvic exam (yup, Elvis the Pelvis is still in the building), a Group B Strep test, some more exams, and then a baby comes out.

From the first snap of the latex gloves to the spanking of the blood-covered, screaming, pooping, peeing little miracle (not to mention the mother), you, as her obstetrician, will be right there, tending to the little baby bun, making sure she comes out just right.

And speaking of turkey basters, babies have become very popular with non-traditional would-be families. Same sex couples want children and they've been pretty creative in their quest. Do-it-yourselfers have used the "turkey baster" approach to artificial insemination, but the success rate is lousy. Bringing a child to life for a gay or lesbian couple (or any infertile couple) means you can join the "Baby, I Was Born This Way" family sing-a-longs. Keep the kitchen utensils for the holidays.

On the other hand, there are some women who don't want to be or shouldn't be pregnant. Abortion is a dark side of your practice and terminating unwanted or medically unsafe pregnancies is a procedure you'll need to learn. Your decision to provide abortions or not is a big one.

Most of all, you'll be dealing with a lot of smiling, happy people. You'll be delivering a bundle of good news. There's a reason they're called expectant mothers and fathers—they can't wait for that moment of crowning achievement: the birth of a baby.

Before you serve up the good news, you've got to know your way around the oven. You've got to learn how to groom the womb. How to knock on the front door of the Y.

Men's bodies are pretty straightforward. The trip from the brain to the penis is a straight shot. A rest stop is located in the stomach. The trip through a woman's body requires an atlas, a compass, a slide rule, a protractor, a clock, a stopwatch, departure and arrival times, weather conditions, a thermometer, and some tissues.

Working south of the border can be delicate business, so you'll need to be empathetic and trustworthy. You can't just barge in and start hitting stuff with a rubber hammer. You'll need a lot of lubricant, a sturdy set of stirrups, and a warm speculum first.

If you're thinking of becoming an obstetrician because of all the touchy-feely stuff, hang on. You'll get over it when you see the stuff you'll be touching and feeling. Sure, breast exams are a couple of the perks you'll have, but you'll also be going to some very dark places and a woman doesn't usually let you go there without a few dates and a lot of complaining about her ex.

So there's the care and kneading of breasts, vaginas, ovaries, fallopian tubes, vulvae, and all kinds of secretions and fluids. If you decide to really plunge in and go deeper (metaphorically speaking), you could end up in genetic research, fertility treatments, endocrinology, or gynecological oncology.

Female patients don't seem to have a gender preference for the doctors who check into their wombs with a view, so men and women are both likely to get in (to the field, sheesh!).

So if you're the type who just doesn't have a way with the ladies, here's all you need to do to get into a gal's pants.

First, school and lots of it. Hopefully your parents hatched a golden egg when you were born. If not, say hello to your new life partner, student loans.

Keep in mind that only an obstetrician will ever experience the following, er, vagina dialogue:

You: Well, your labs came back and you have a growth.

Patient: Oh, doctor, I'm so happy!

Welcome to Mamapalooza.

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