What a strange world we live in! Standing in line at the grocery store today, the clerk asked me when I was due. When I told her, she responded, "Oh my goodness! Are you dilated yet?"
How do you respond to that one? "I'm a 9 and about to drop this baby on your floor. Do you mind?" One of the things that I enjoy most about the nurse-midwives I see is that the state of my cervix is considered personal information. It's not standard procedure to repeatedly subject their patients to an uncomfortable and invasive exam: you only have to be checked if you want to be.
Last week a misinformed and slightly obnoxious nurse insisted that I undress for my appointment since I was 39 weeks along. (Fortunately, I was supplied with a drape, unlike in France...) My girls were with me, so it was definitely awkward explaining to them why Mommy was taking her pants off. To make matters worse, the midwife happened to be accompanied by a medical student who looked like he was going to pass out from embarrassment. Fortunately, this midwife (who happens to be a man) asked me if I really wanted to be checked. When I told him "absolutely not," he responded with the following words of wisdom: "Don't ever take your clothes off just because somebody tells you to."
In French, the word for midwife is "sagefemme," which literally means wise woman. Fortunately, there are some wise men in this world too.