When Swim Lessons and Botox Collide

Most of the time Tiny 1 spends his time doing things like this:

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I passionately love this about him. I walk into his room after “quiet time” (otherwise known as my nap time but he thinks it’s when I solve world problems) and find him jabbering on about why he’s going to sell off this “naughty company”, making up songs, turning his room into cities with places like “cooky playground” or just painting himself.

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He entertains me immensely, especially after a nice session to myself of lunch, quick snooze and SVU reruns while folding the endless laundry.

This little 4-year-old of mine is a delight and a joy, until he has to try something new that is not his idea. For example, swimming lessons. I signed him up because I love him dearly and he must know how to be safe in the water. He must. He took private lessons last summer and screamed the entire time. It was fine because no one had to share this experience with me and the teacher was also a mother. THIS year I thought I had invested enough in his initial water safety and signed up for a more reasonably priced group lesson at the YMCA. He didn’t want to go but we discussed it before hand and he knew what to expect. He threw somewhat of a fit the first day and then was fine. The disaster struck when he got a new teacher.

Back story; I’m not 30 anymore. I like to look, shall we say, fresh like I just stepped out of a pilates class with glowing skin on a Lifetime movie. I do not look my freshest these days as I have developed hormonal acne. Fun stuff, said no one EVER. When I discussed both the acne and weight gain this year with my OBGYN, he told me that if I planned on eating each day, I should also plan on exercising each day. I was hoping he would say there was an obvious hormonal imbalance and he had a magic solution that would not only fix my discussed problems but also increase my hair volume. Nope. The second doctor I saw was the dermatologist to fix the hormonal acne. While I was there, I saw he was running a Botox special. I decided to go for it in a quest for that fresh look. I looked like this 48 hours later.

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I share this because it all coincided with the change in swim coaches. The day of the switch of coaches, I worked out ahead of time using the free child care the Y offers because I had chosen to eat that day. I had already complained (because that’s what I do) about the lack of sufficient air circulation in the cardio room but they didn’t particularly care. So I not only had a giant black eye but I was a hot, sweaty mess from the humid, non circulating air post workout. I gathered Tiny 1 from the nursery and took him to the pool for lessons. He arrived, saw there was a new teacher and promptly began the biggest tantrum I have ever experienced with him. He was wearing a tiny European swim suit (the only adorable part of the story), and started running away from the pool while I yelled, “NO RUNNING NEAR THE POOL.” While I attempted to contain him mid run, he yelled he would only swim with his old coach, threw himself on the ground and screamed to the point where other parents were staring and surely wondering if there was something intrinsically wrong with us as Tiny was screaming and I had the giant black eye and looked like a sweaty maniac hissing at my son to “follow instructions” and “no Disneyland if you don’t get in the water.” In all fairness, I also would have been wondering this as a spectator. We exited the pool for a calm down period, for both of us, and he went back up afterwards and sat but did not participate. After the lesson, he spent the afternoon in his room. In theory this is punishment, but he learned he could turn his curtains into a hammock, fit completely behind his closet drawers and wrote a note of apology to his swim coach for his behavior, which we laminated with it being a swim class atmosphere.

He loves swimming again. We have discussed moving up levels means new teachers and perhaps we can meet them ahead of time.

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My black eye has healed and I wear a bit of lip gloss to work out so I can look somewhat pulled together should the need arise again. I can’t change his intensity but I can control mine. His intensity is one of my favorite parts about him and I will take that bad for all that good. I don’t really have a plan yet for the future, but I’m working on that. I know he will work on it with me. Chances are, I will receive a detailed map on the physical steps to take to make the problem disappear post quiet time. He’s just that kid.

 

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Is It Crossing the Line?

We have a tooth issue. I am aware that this will be an anthill and not a mountain in terms of parenting, but it is where we are, and I am enjoying this small, small moment. My T is 4 and 3/4. He had 8 teeth by 8 months. The average first tooth bursts through at 7 months. Our dentist said he has advanced tooth development; I pray this influences his brain but not puberty. Dear Lord, please not advanced puberty. I still have vivid images of the story of an advanced cousin in his daddy’s Cadillac at age 13….no, not advanced puberty in this house. Anyhow, his first tooth became loose at age 3.5. It was so unusual that he had his first x-rays at this early age and all those big ole adult teeth were right there, waiting patiently to rear their jagged heads.

Preschool was an adjustment for my little man. His teachers rarely got to see him in his full glory as he was busy watching and not talking. During snack time mid school year, his first tooth fell. When I picked him up, he saw me and burst into tears—inconsolable, preschool angst ridden tears. Selfishly, I panicked for a moment worried that his teachers would think I was abusing him, but I quickly realized this was not about me and was a parenting moment.

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He settled down at home and definitely wanted the tooth fairy to come, but he did NOT want the creepy tiny flying thing visiting his room while he slept. I get it. It makes sense. A tooth fairy???? Come on history.

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His second tooth is loose. His favorite 2 foods that give him complete, unadultered child joy are king crab legs and corn on the cob. His first loose tooth lost its last leg while eating the corn on the cob. Now, he will not eat it. In fact, he will not bite anything with his front teeth. He is terrified of the second tooth biting the dust. Watching him eat is not a treat. The length he will go to avoid anything touching the tooth is somewhat fascinating, but I do believe that proper table manners are important and he is appearing a savage with the tooth issue. I have explained both gently and with a slight amount of frustration that he will lose it. There is nothing he can do to stop the progression of teeth. Since he is so clearly my child, I understand all of these fears about growing and getting bigger/older, and I have not been able to help him calm his terror of losing teeth. The tooth is starting to turn a color that no one would put in a giant box of crayons and it sticks out at an angle that, were it a limb, would be cast in a pleasant neon shade. This tiny tooth needs to go.

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I am not allowed to touch it. This wonderfully tactile child who could be worn on my body like a silk scarf will not allow me to come near it. I have offered to PAY him to let me see how loose it is. He locks down iron jaws when I come near it. I recently had an idea that seems brilliant, yet perhaps crosses the line. For the past 2 nights, I have gone in when he is completely asleep and wiggled the little brown tooth to encourage its exit into a little box where I, as his mother, will keep it safe and cry over it when he hits his delayed puberty.

Is this wrong?

A Change of Attitude

Summer break is here. The tiny one is out of school. We all (well not sweet Daddy) sleep in a little later and have our days completely free. We have zero plans in general, with a bit of swimming thrown in later on in the summer. It is both daunting and exhilarating. Tiny 1 is against plans. He inherited this from me. I shun planning in general. He shuns planning AND clothing. He likes to be free to work. He told me last week he had too much work to do to go to a party because his work would probably take him all day. Knowing him, I have not signed him up for any camps. I have gone back and forth on this decision, but he’s at his happiest working in his backyard.

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Knowing his tinier brother, I have ordered a gate for the yard. This adorable, little blonde meatball is a menace.
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Summer just started and I found myself yelling at everyone on Monday, rolling my eyes, threatening and basically being a rotten human, not just a rotten mother. They were naughty, but they are 4 and 21 months, not adults. I thought to myself that the summer was going to be awful and I should find something for them to do, for someone else to watch them sometimes. I went to bed that night and could not sleep. I felt so ashamed. I have 2 tiny, wonderful boys and their moods revolve around mine. If I am naughty, they will of COURSE be naughty. I spent a long time reflecting upon the challenge given to me this summer and the gift of these boys. My original plan was to savor their tiny selves and I was failing, audibly. I decided I needed to change my attitude, something I had been commanding my oldest child to do that day. I prayed that I could do it. I asked for help, and I thought of how much I loved open summer days when I was little.

Guess what? I’m on day 2 of pure bliss. There was a giant temper tantrum in Target yesterday where I ran into so many people I knew, including someone I have been trying to integrate into my friend circle. I was calm and kind. I kept focusing on my attitude change. I was punched in the eye by the tiny meatball and I was again calm and kind–and put him in bed. Attitude change is my motto on refrain.

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Today, we have been building with boxes in our courtyard. We woke up with a mission! We drove around looking for free boxes and then bought a few. Their little eyes sparkled with joy and their faces were colored orange with fake cheese from chips. They’ve eaten primarily junk food and we have been having a marvelous time. They each got to choose a paint roller at Home Depot. The meatball kept throwing both rollers out of the cart, severely upsetting his brother who chose his with such care and would never behave in such a manner, but I could see the humor in it and told him to just sit on them so the meatball could not get to them. I gave the little naughty blonde more Doritos to sidetrack him. He snuck 4 lollipops while I wasn’t watching. It’s summer. I’m cool with it with my new attitude.

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We got home and planned, arranged, rearranged, cut and taped the boxes. My tinies chose a tall wardrobe box to be a house with a tunnel connecting to an apartment. An empty plant container is a chimney. After nap, the painting began.

Daddy came home early and was somewhat caught off guard, but the excitement pulled him into the fun while I went for a quick workout. We couldn’t get Tiny 1 to come inside until his stomach forced him. He painted the outside of his work and then started the inside. Tomorrow he plans to draw and hang pictures for the inside. His pride is palpable. Tiny 2 ate a popsicle after painting for a while. It was a glorious day.

It is hard to be patient sometimes. It is REALLY hard to manage big feelings, but it is my job. I signed up for it. It was worth it today. I pray I remain the adult and keep up the attitude change. Summer is full of possibilities with an empty schedule. “It is well with my soul.”

 

A Dozen Years

I have been married for a dozen years on June 10th. I keep reflecting on this. I like the sound of it more than the sound of 12 years. I think it is the materialist in me. A dozen eggs, a dozen necklaces, a dozen doughnuts….mmmm. Like a dozen eggs, a couple of years have been cracked and (emotionally) discarded, but most of them have made wonderful food for the soul. I am happy. I am sated. I look forward with joy in my marriage. I know that a dozen years later, I am still beloved to him, as he is to me.

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My husband and I met in high school. Adolescence threw me two giant curve balls otherwise known as breasts and I went from an A cup to a D cup in one year. This is NOT the stuff dreams are made of for a young girl, despite how it may sound. There was a traumatic bra buying incident where my mother learned that she could fit her head inside the cup of my bra. I loved that woman madly, but my 14-year-old humor had not evolved enough for that joke.

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I reference my gigantic adolescent boobs because they are responsible for meeting my husband. Any and every 16-year-old boy is interested in advanced female physical development and we started dating. Any adult can tell you this is not enough to sustain a relationship and 4 weeks later it was over because he fell deeply in love with my dearest friend. I loved her far more than I liked him and we all moved on in high school. By that I mean that I detested him but still loved her.

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Fast forward 10 years and a meeting as adults. I lived in Manhattan and he lived in Chicago. He found my email address we became really good friends. His humor got me. His humor! Our locations dictated that our friendship had to come first and I am forever grateful for this. Without a physical connection, we learned so much about each other. I went through a quarter life crisis and he was my rock, my sounding board and my greatest cheerleader. To this day, he is my greatest cheerleader. His belief in my abilities lifts my heart and I pray he never finds out I am not as talented as he believes.

We have had times when we did not really like one another. We have had times when a bit of the faith in love was lost. There was a year I was really mad and did not know how to get passed it. There were a few years where we were broken together trying to start a family.

In all of that, we had faith and perseverance because of our foundation. That friendship forged on a landline phone grounded us. Our knowledge and love of what was deep down inside has sustained our marriage. I love him and depend on his love returned. He is the best father for our two boys. I pinch myself when I think about what he does for our family. A lot of it he does because that is who he is as a man, but I know there is quite a bit in it because he loves me. That makes me swoon just as it did a dozen years ago saying “I do.”

A few years ago he asked me why I had chosen to get a breast reduction. I felt like he was speaking a different language. I looked at him and said it was because they were miserable, always in the way and probably would be to my waist by now. He said, “They were the coolest thing ever.”

I kind of love that the awful teenager still resides just a little bit inside the body of the most beloved man. Cheers Patrick, to us and a dozen years!

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Into the Woods of Motherhood

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Lisa Helmi Johanson and Anthony Chatmon II as Little Red and the Wolf

My favorite musical is “Into the Woods” by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine. I had the fortune of playing Little Red in high school and also wrote my college paper about how Sondheim had taken bits of music history (Wagner’s leitmotifs being my favorite) and wove it throughout the score. He also wove all the major fairy tales we learned as children into one big, dark and intriguing tale.

My mother’s day gift was to see the national tour of Fiasco’s staging of Into The Woods at the Ahmanson Theater. My darling husband surprised me with 4th row seats (swoon) and I was skeptic but excited about the production. They had scaled it down visually and made it more abstract in appearance. The characters sat in chairs around the stage and played instruments when they were not active on the stage. I thought it could be awful and perhaps my favorite, over the top, musical would be ruined.

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It was wonderful. Without the big production to sidetrack my senses, I focused on the story more than I ever had. It was the first time I had viewed the show since becoming a mother, and really a true adult. If you haven’t seen it, the story is that all of the characters have a big wish for life. They have to venture into the woods (a metaphor for life) to try and “get their wish”. By the end of the first act, they each achieve that wish. The second act is about what happens when your wish isn’t everything you thought it would be. Sound familiar?

I desperately wanted at least 2 children. We had fertility problems. This is a major theme in the musical. I could identify…. I saw the Baker and his wife confused about how to care for a baby once their dream was realized. This hit home with me. My tiny T is a handful with big dreams and feelings these days and I struggle with how to firmly yet kindly manage his wishes and desires. I have been working on how to mother him and feeling inadequate about my progress. I felt so invigorated after seeing my favorite show through fresh, time travelled eyes. My least favorite song in the show has always been “Children Will Listen.” I did not see how it fit with the story. I thought it was a pretty song woven in for beauty’s sake. This time, it brought tears to my eyes. How could I not have understood before? The entire show is about how to navigate through the woods of life and whether you choose the good, bad, easy or hard path. What can be more relevant in that plot line than guiding a child?

Today for mother’s day, I am going to reflect upon these lyrics. I have already lost my temper when my tiny boy refused to sit through church. I could have been gentler. I could have focused on the gift and card he made me and gave me with such a glow in his eyes. I could have let it go instead of telling him how frustrated I was. Because they always listen and they feel so deeply.

Thank you dear husband for that beautiful gift. I will share the lyrics with you mamas out there who may need the same reminder I did.

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CHILDREN WILL LISTEN

How do you say to your child in the night?
Nothing’s all black, but then nothing’s all white
How do you say it will all be all right
When you know that it might not be true?
What do you do?

Careful the things you say
Children will listen
Careful the things you do
Children will see and learn
Children may not obey, but children will listen
Children will look to you for which way to turn

To learn what to be
Careful before you say “Listen to me”
Children will listen
Careful the wish you make
Wishes are children
Careful the path they take
Wishes come true, not free

Careful the spell you cast
Not just on children
Sometimes a spell may last
Past what you can see
And turn against you
Careful the tale you tell
That is the spell
Children will listen

How do you say to a child who’s in flight
“Don’t slip away and I won’t hold so tight”
What can you say that no matter how slight
Won’t be misunderstood.
What do you leave to your child when you’re dead?
Only whatever you put in it’s head
Things that your mother and father had said
Which were left to them too

Careful what you say
Children will listen
Careful you do them too
Children will see
And learn
Guide them, but step away

Children will glisten
Tamper with what is true
And children will turn
If just to be free
Careful before you say
“Listen to me”
Children will listen

***I pulled pictures off the web from the Fiasco Tour’s Website. Some of the characters and cast have rotated roles or out of the show, but it gives you an idea of the feel of the show.

Personal Comfort Counts

I moved to Los Angeles to attend the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. I was determined to make the most of my education and my first order of business was to get an internship for fashion week. I chose my favorite brands and went to the showrooms representing the brands to inquire about employment. I was very fortunate to land an internship with my favorite denim brand. As an added bonus, a hot new pant designer was also showing there for fashion week. My job was to bring coffee, water, snacks, etc to the buyers while modeling the jeans. I worked with another intern who was a very tiny, hip skater girl from Long Beach. The day that the Nordstrom buyers were coming through was the day it all went to sh*t for me. The new pant designer felt too much attention was being given to the denim line and instructed me to put on his pants. He threw his trendiest pair in a sample size at me. I was a FULL size bigger. I really did not have a choice. I squeezed myself into pinstripe, flesh colored cargo pants with back pockets that are best described as pig nose pockets. It was a travesty. I had to walk around pretending to be peppy and hip while saying things like, “Aren’t these just amazing?” “Yes, I am so comfortable. I HAVE to have these.” All the while, skater girl looks unbelievably cute in my favorite jeans. I was certain my career was over. Nordstrom and every other buyer coming through would remember me as the girl who clearly has ZERO fashion sense. Why would anyone hire me? I might as well quit school before it starts and move home.

I did not quit school and I learned something from the experience. I swore I would never make anyone feel as ugly as I felt that day, and to my knowledge I have not. I have legitimately fit hundreds of regular women for fashion shows and I altered whatever made them feel ugly so that they would shine in front of other people. It was possibly the best lesson I learned while in school. This lesson applies to my personal life too. My tiny one hates clothes. Hates ‘em. I have drawers of darling, expensive outfits and all he’s interested in is how soft are his underpants. Oh, and shoes. He really likes shoes. We have a deal that I let him run naked whenever he wants at home and he does not fight me getting dressed when we leave home. It works for us. He has the rest of his life to wear clothes. We live in Southern California. You really do not need clothes. His current shoe obsession is with glow in the dark Native shoes. Being a stellar parent, I forgot to pack shoes for him and my mom bought him his beloved shoes in lime green. (no boring colors for this beautiful boy) We discovered by accident that they also glow! Native shoes come in a million colors, are very water friendly and slip on and off. No laces or Velcro to slow a wild child down. My favorite style is the Jefferson. At $32-42, they aren’t the cheapest shoes, but they are rugged and stylish. They are hands down the perfect summer shoe for boys or girls. My naked boy now chases fireflies at night with his glowing shoes. I should probably just get him a loincloth to go with it—if he was comfortable with it.

 

My preferred brick and mortar or online Native resources: Nordstrom, Nordstrom.com, Amazon.com, Zappos.com

 

Charlie Brown

The Tiny One is 3. He is marvelous and a total stink pot these days. We have been talking about rhyming words. He has also been watching Charlie Brown. I finally deleted the Great Pumpkin episode when I could not take it even one more time. Lovely Rudolph and feisty Frosty have been recorded, but he will have none of it. I think it is because of all the naughtiness in Charlie Brown. How scandalous they speak to his little ears. I told him I would delete all of them if I heard him using the bad words he hears. If he needs to say the words, he can do so alone in his room. Who am I to judge? I love bad words. Anyhoo, he is a clever stink pot. Instead of using the word blockhead, he uses frockhead. There is that rhyming lesson. Lately it has been shortened to frock, than fock. On my honor, the only time I have said the F bomb in front of him was at 4 in the morning when he refused to sleep and he was only 50% awake. It comes from bloody Charlie Brown. My husband was unaware of the rhyming and called out from his home office/nursery, “Are you hearing this?” I yelled back from the other room while Tiny 2 was attached to my tribal breasts for the 18th hour of the day, “Yes. He’s saying frockhead. He thinks he’s fooling us.” To which husband corrected me that it was now fock. Well, fock. I do not have the energy to deal with this one. I am too tired. All I want is to magically win the lottery without playing it and for my children to sleep for 10 hours. Neither one appears to be a possibility.

I am surviving on coffee and cosmetics these days. I wear a splint due to post pregnancy diastasis recti and I use a topical treatment in effort to prevent the post natal hair loss that is most likely coming. This is my appearance reality. Needless to say, I am not at my finest. A dear friend passes along treats from her Birch Box to me. One of the goodies was an spf 15 primer by IPKN New York and it is a life saver. It is the Flash Cream Radiant Primer. I have tried most of the big name primers and have not loved any of them. Either they are too shiny, sparkly or heavy. This gives you the glow I was supposed to have during my pregnancy. It gives me a fresh face with a subtle, healthy looking sheen. It has entered the limited arsenal of I-don’t-want-to-live-without-it. If I cannot commit to wearing makeup during the day, I can always at least commit to this primer. I love it. In my current sleep deprived and outnumbered state, this has made me at least look like a version of my former self.

Prime the face, rhyme with mommy mouth bass
Sleep, don’t make a peep
Tiny, please not whiny
Baby, someday sleep maybe
Love, all the above

AND YOU SHALL STINK NO MORE

Does time sneak away from you? This post has been on my mind for over a YEAR. How does that happen? I can give a million reasons all relating to one giant belly, I mean event, but shame on me for not sharing something of such great importance.

I attended a reunion last year, and in preparation for seeing certain people only once every 10 years, I set goals for myself. Obviously to look as thin, tan and visually put together were goals, but I had a more subtle goal as well. I decided that I would be an avid listener and speak with poise. You know ‘those people’ who always make you feel good and say exactly the right thing? I wanted to be one of them. I promised I would not tell embarrassing stories about my husband or myself (I tend to not have an uncomfortable-for-other-people filter), I would only pepper a bad word in when it was ironic or endearing and I would focus on the feminine and ladylike aspect of my personality. Cue the first night and a very fun informal party….I found myself in the middle of two men who were once truly adorable high school boys, discussing armpit odor. I volunteered my own concern of smelling bad. Seriously, Katie??? I had run a million miles, paid too much money for a fake tan and I discuss body odor at the first opportunity—with enthusiasm I might add. There goes the feminine.

Despite my complete lack of the feminine mystique, I will share my most important non stink helper I have gathered, EVER.  I have tried every deodorant and have stolen my dad’s French spray deodorant, but at some point they have all disappointed me. The natural deodorants do not work and make me think of scratchy fabrics and patchouli. No offense if you like either of those, but those are visions of hell for me; just like a stinky body. I stumbled upon an article that talked about the anti-stink properties of a lemon. A. Simple. Lemon.  I am at home with a toddler who thinks I am perfect no matter what, so I thought I would try it out. It is brilliant. It is simple. It is a 36 hour smell repellent. A few juicy swipes of a lemon slice is the best damn deodorant I have ever used. (Perfectly peppered bad word, no?) Try it. Just do not try it right after shaving. Find me at the next ladylike event and I will tell you why in great detail.

THE WAITING GAME

I could not sleep Saturday night. I had decided I was going to take an at-home pregnancy test Sunday morning and the waiting was getting to me. We had our FET (frozen embryo transfer) October 17th, and like this entire process has been this time around, it did not go off without a hitch. Our first embryo did not make it through the defrost, so we had to thaw a second, leaving us with only 2 precious embryos left. The day after the transfer, I caught a particularly vicious and humbling stomach virus that left me 8 pounds lighter of water. How in the world is a tiny embryo supposed to implant in a water free, roller coaster ridden body? I was heartbroken. It felt as though we had taken every dollar spent and flushed it down the toilet along with all the water I was heaving.

Despite all of this, I had hope. Isn’t it amazing that the basic human response to a situation is still hope for the best? I did not verbalize this, I remained outwardly cautious, but inside I was glowing with hope. This WOULD work. We have been through so much, the month was ideal to start a pregnancy and I am strong enough to handle this. I felt twinges in my body like I did when the Tiny One was busy burrowing into his first home. I rested my hand over my belly in hopes that the precious, growing human would feel my warmth and presence and know all was all right. When the Tiny One would wrestle and accidentally kick my belly, I wondered if that was the beginning of the sibling relationship and it made me smile. I was sure it was going to be a girl.

Sunday brought a negative test. Today has brought a negative test as well. I am waiting for the Tiny One to arise and start his day so we can go confirm this with a blood result. I am aching with sadness, but the funny thing is, even in the reality of what I know to be true, I still have a tiny shred of hope waiting for the final results.

 

The Day of Surgery

 

It is common knowledge that teenagers have no sense of mortality. What I learned last week is that not all adults do either. I know that I will age. I know that I will not live forever. I thank God for my strong and imperfect thighs when I run past someone who is struggling to simply walk. I knew these things but I had not viscerally felt them until last week.

Our in vitro fertilization journey has been very different from the first journey when we had the tiny one. The drugs are different; the time line is a different. The medication made me sicker than I could have imagined. I sobbed uncontrollably from the hormones. I saw the needles being prepared and would sit, shake, and sob all the while knowing they were not that bad. My husband would apologize as he shoved 1 of 3 needles into my belly. I was awake most nights trying to breathe shallowly so I would not vomit. It was not like that last time….

Like last time, I produced a gazillion eggs. I am a hen. I was ridiculously proud of this. They cut short my injections and scheduled my surgery. I bought an US Magazine and looked forward to being in bed because, at my core, I am lazy. They retrieved 24 eggs during surgery. 16 were mature and I happily went to bed. I remembered the last recovery being palatable, so I forced my husband to take our tiny toddler to run at the park after his long and boring morning. They left and I read. I started to not feel great, so I went to get my anti nausea pills, which were no more than 15 feet away. I fell. I could not get up. Please Lord, do not let me vomit. The only thing worse than vomiting would be pooping my pants in public. Ok, let me vomit if it means never pooping my pants in public. I crawled back to bed and called Pat. It got worse.

I never know when it is appropriate to call the doctor so I waited. I could no longer stand up without dizziness and nausea, and pain started spreading all over my torso. I could not sit down, lay on my back, or on my right side. I knew it did not make any sense, but wondered if it was a heart attack. Ok, perhaps now it is ok to call the doctor. My doctor said I needed to come back to his office. I had to kneel in the back of the car because I could not sit and I said things that were not nice at all whenever my husband hit a bump in the road. Really.Not.Nice. The doctor sent me across the street to the hospital where we waited for 7 HOURS to be admitted. This entire time was spent on my left side. They were unable to do a cat scan because I could not lie on my back, even after 3 rounds of intravenous pain meds. I waited 6 more hours to be told that I had fluid and most likely blood in my abdomen from an ovary follicle that failed to clot during my egg retrieval surgery, and now I needed more surgery to fix it. They thought the surgery would take 15 minutes. It took 2 hours. My sweet, precious husband was in a full panic mode waiting to find out anything. He said he was so desperate he asked a maintenance worker if he could find out what was going on in surgery. They removed 2 liters of blood from my abdomen. I could finally rest on my back and sit. It was glorious until a few hours later I was too weak to move at all. I am not sure which situation scared me more. I needed to decide if I would accept a blood transfusion. The people in my life who know me deeply know I am terrified of this. I have irrational fears of diseases and am also a control freak. I had to let go and trust because otherwise I would not be leaving the hospital anytime soon. The beautiful view out my hospital room window of the foothills, bright blue skies, and wide lanes where I could walk and run convinced me just as much as my father’s voice over the phone to embrace the transfusion. I left the next day.

My husband asked me if I thought God was punishing us for being greedy and wanting another child. That probably saddened me the most of anything we had gone through during this procedure. I do not think we were being punished. I, too, lost faith briefly, but looking back, I think a small gift was being in that room with the beautiful view. That was a small nudge to remind me what waited for me outside those walls. Life. Running. Hiking. My family. More time to depend on my body while I am young. And just maybe in a year or so, another baby. Maybe. Hopefully.