Ah Rachel, it's so true I remember all of those thoughts.
I remember being told that everyone would be hovering around my nether regions, and thinking,
"Surely no, and no, I won't be comfortable with that at all!" But when the day comes, I really didn't care. If having another nurse stick her hand up to her elbow in me was going to make the baby come faster I was perfectly okay with that. (By the way, when it comes to internal exams not all nurses are created equal.) Of course my birth was so long that there were several shift changes during the process, so a lot of everyone was down there. And you know what, I still don't care.
I'm glad that you actually saw some realistic pictures and diagrams. I don't think that anything I saw I actually saw in a book was realistic.
I have two favorites:
1. A book with very graphic diagrams, the cover actually had sperm intersecting with an egg in the 'o' on the cover, (you would think that they would save that for page four, but no, on the cover) had several cross-sections of pregnant women. In the first few months all the internal organs were present and then gradually as the belly got bigger and the baby took up more space, the intestines completely disappeared. I showed this to a friend of mine and said,
"Where do the intestines go?" His response,
"Based on this, you don't have any."
2. The diagrams in What Not To Do When You're Expecting, every single one of them had that silly bucolic smile on their face, like pregnancy was the most peaceful and fun thing that they could think of doing. During exercising: silly grin. Pelvic tilts: silly grin. Nursing: silly grin. Emergency birthing at home: silly grin. Excuse me? If I was having an emergency birth at home, was giving birth on my own bed with my legs propped up, spread eagle on chairs, and the only person around to help was my husband I WOULDN'T BE SMILING!!! I love my husband, but he's a doctor of education, not medicine.
Anyway Rachel, the diagrams are frightening and mostly they lie. You will have more medical professionals looking at your vagina then you ever thought possible and you know what, they don't care, they see 'em all day long. Let's just say when the fat lady does sing, people looking at your privates will be the last thing on your mind. That I can guarantee.