Monday, June 9, 2008

Breaking It Down

OK. I've been seriously debating on whether to go public with this post.

In fact, if you feel you want to read it, I'd get through it fast before I change my mind and take it down.

It's personal.

Wildly personal.

Well... it's not something I'm unwilling to share,% but I very much don't want certain reactions.

I don't want pity.

I don't want fuss.

I don't want platitudes.

Any person who tells me they hope I'm feeling better or that they know what I'm going through or gives some version of the bright side or uses the term "so sorry" or talks about adoption gets banned for life.

Don't test me on this one. I'm deadly serious.

[SUMMARY: Pretty high maintenance for such a little thing.]

I didn't tell eBeth (the SIL) because I knew how she'd fuss. And I knew she'd mean well and I'd have to pretend to appreciate it and I'd really want to snap and maybe cry. So I told Brother and let him pass it on with strict instructions not to fuss.

I didn't broadcast it here or on eVites received or to my co-workers§ or anywhere else. I've been loath to even mention it after the fact unless someone asks me to do heavy lifting or something else that I just can't do right now.

Like button my jeans, which I also can't do right now.

[SUMMARY: Holy fucking cats this is difficult.]

Last Tuesday I had a tubal ligation.

Through some uncharacteristically meaningful exchange with a new doctor, we found I have homogeneous Factor 5. Plus some other words I don't remember. It means I'm hypercoagulant and I get it from both sides of my family.

Because of this, they took my birth control pills away. Which sucked.

Because of this, as my doctor put it, "Your birth control options are really unattractive."

Because of this, I'm not to get pregnant. Between my age and my congenital blood thing, I'd be really likely to have a lung embolism and die.

I don't particularly want to die.

So I decided to get spayed.


Now, I'm nearly 41. Intellectually, I had come to grips with the idea that the odds of me having a baby were really, really slim. Kate Moss slim. MacBook Air slim. But slim and none are still two different maths.

Especially when I see certain people having babies well beyond their expiration dates.

The boss and his wife had their twins when they were 45.

Annie had hers at 40? 41?

Connie had my little datesake at 40-ish.

I knew I didn't want to be a 65-year-old room mother, but I also knew if the opportunity presented itself, I wouldn't turn it down.

So... breath of hope.

[SUMMARY: There are levels of delusion. I'm happy to hit them all.]

Being told flat out not to have kids was like hitting a brick wall head-first. It jarred. It hurt. It took my breath away.

I have little doubt I would have awakened childless the morning of my 50th birthday# with a twitch and a sigh and a shrug and my AARP card would arrive so at least I'd have that to look forward to.

Attrition through apathy: not heroic, but painless.

But being told "no" sets off all kinds of angst. And rebellion. I'm pretty sure the thought flitted through my head last Saturday morning that if I could get a good fuck in with The Boy, I might put myself in a position to play roulette with my poor little body.

Don't think I wouldn't have. Fraught with danger as that scenario is, I'd have done it.

Don't judge. My conscience went a hundred different paths over the last couple of weeks, but ultimately I made the "right" choice.

[SUMMARY: Right is a wholly subjective term.]

The surgery itself was pretty pleasant. All the doctors and nurses were really, really nice.††

General anaesthesia kicks ass.

I had no post-anaesthesia nausea and my enormous tolerance for pain served me well.

They gave me apple juice and animal crackers when I was awake.

I got to take my space blanket home with me.


I'm bloated as hell and feel like I have to pee all the time, only not really -- just that horrible pressure you feel when you really have to pee and every time you go over a speed bump or hit a pothole you groan from the pressure of it all.

My stomach is a most festive array of bruises. One incision in my belly button turned the area just below my belly button a confetti of yellow, purple, blue and green. The incision just above my pubic bone has turned the whole range of my belly from hip bone to hip bone the purple the USDA uses to stamp meat. Dark. Solid. Purple.

Cat for Scale is bewildered that he can't do the kitty dance on my stomach every time I sit or lie down.

I'm unusually tired and I'm sleeping all the way through the night, which is really unusual for me. Generally, I get up at least once or twice every night for just a few minutes.‡‡

But mostly I'm kinda sad.

Intellectually, I knew.

In my heart, I still wanted.

[SUMMARY: And I want my mommy in the worst way.]

Despite all the preamble here, I just decided I wanted to let you know.

Now go hug your kids and think of happy things.

And DON'T fuss.

FOOTNOTE (crossed): Unlike, apparently, my sex life, which I trumpet from the roofs as it happens. But then, my sex life tends to be amusing, confusing and sporadic, so it's just kinda funny.

%FOOTNOTE (percented): Woo-hoo! Way to back-pedal!

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): eBeth is not like the rest of us. She believes in fussing and niceties and near-pathological apologising. How she ended up in this viper's nest we call family, I'm not sure, but maybe some genetic tendency will soften up the gene pool.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): Except on a need-to-know basis. Between you and me, it didn't really help, 'cause I told my boss a month ago and continued to remind him every time he'd say, "That first week of June is going to get hairy. We'll have people flying all over the place. How's your schedule at St. Mary's?"

"Well, I'm having surgery on Tuesday, so that may put a dent in your plans for me."

*long pause*


"Probably not next week but the week after, I'll need you in Laramie's offices to go through the files..."

"I'm having surgery Tuesday."

*long pause*


"Next week is going to be hell week. I may need you to go to Grand Junction to help Dan with the EnCana stuff..."

"Seriously. I'm still having surgery Tuesday. I will be completely unavailable Tuesday and maybe for much of the rest of the week. Don't schedule me for anything."

*long pause*

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): I confess my jeans are buttoned today. I'm wearing an old pair of size 18 jeans and I can button those. Imagine my joy. Why did nobody tell me I'd be retaining water like the Hoover Dam?

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): Probably still fertile in the strictest sense, since that's how we roll in this family. Except probably eBeth. She's different, you know.

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): And lord knows what I said before I came out of the anaesthetic. Two minutes after I was conscious, the recovery nurse told me I was the easiest tubal ligation she'd ever worked with. "You're just so funny and nice... it's been a pleasure having you here." Seriously. I hadn't said two words I remembered to her.

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): I wouldn't even get up, except that any time I wake up, I have to pee. If I didn't eat or drink anything for three days, I'd still have to pee every time I woke up.

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