Someone please tell me why you can get nitrous oxide for something as simple as getting your teeth cleaned, but removing a chunk or two of flesh from my endometrium doesn’t warrant so much as a Tylenol. Seriously?
I had 2 biopsies almost 10 days ago and I’m still involuntarily crossing my legs when I see anything that vaguely reminds me of a speculum. Shudder.
My internal monologue picks and scratches compulsively at any moment of silence I ever hoped to have. I hear a nagging deep within—a voice thickly smearing guilt between the cracks of my next steps.
But here’s the truth.
I am so done with all the pokes and prods. I’m so done with the tests.. and they haven’t even really started.
I still have 2 lab requisitions sitting in my purse. One is for a sonohysterogram, and another promises some more blood work. I have no idea what could be left to test for. And I am beyond caring.
I was supposed to call the clinic on Day 1 of my cycle to book the sonohysterogram. I never did. I was supposed to go to the hospital to get my other bloodwork done. I didn’t do that either. I can’t bring myself to go.
I think I need a break. I just want to enjoy my life for a while. Enjoy my daughter. Do some creative work that I can sink my teeth into and feel good about. Take care of my health and nurture my soul.
So why do I feel like the bad guy?
With all this in my back pocket, I walked up to Hubs with what I hoped was a casual air.
“I’m not going to do any more tests right now.” I blurted it a little too loud; maybe a tad too forceful. It definitely wasn’t my best ice-breaker.
“Ok..” Hubs went to put his arm around me but then seemed to reconsider. His hand hovered in mid-air.
“I don’t want..I just don’t want.. to think about it. For a while.”
“Ok. I am totally ok with that.” Yet somehow he looked hurt and I instantly hated myself. I could see all the questions in his eyes. ‘Are you ok? Are we ok? Do you still want kids? Do you still love me? Are you unhappy with our marriage? What’s a ‘while’?..’
But he didn’t say any of those things. It just all seemed to hang there. Neither of us moved. The faucet dripped noisily.
“Ok then.” I said.
“Ok.” He echoed.
We both stood for a moment more, wondering if the other was bluffing.
And then we went about pretending that everything was just the way we wanted it.
Turns out that of all the tests, this one is the hardest.
I would gladly roll up my sleeve and get 50 vials taken, than have my relationship stressed.
I know it’s normal. Tons of couples feel the strain of fertility issues. For some people it becomes a deal-breaker, but on the flipside lots of marriages grow stronger because this particular issue forces some serious introspection and communication.
I’m still healing—physically, mentally, emotionally—and I may be for longer than I care to admit. I can’t just ‘snap out of it’ and move on like last year never happened. I certainly can’t paste on a smile and pretend that planning our kitchen renovation is going to make everything all better. I have to stick to what is right for me and my family, and that is a very scary road when it feels like it’s leading away from everything you both thought you knew.
Hubs is healing too even though he has a harder time recognizing that he’s even going through anything. But I see it. I see the strain. I see the awkward shift of his dreams on the everyday level as he tries to roll with the punches.
It’s tough, but we’re in it together. Love right now means brave faces, pursed lips, awkward silences, and faith that everything will turn out the way it’s meant.
Now, where do I get that nitrous?
The last time I was at Winterlude I was 8 weeks pregnant. I would lose the baby 3 weeks later.
I’m not dwelling on this, I promise. It’s just the way it is. It’s a small thought that worms its way matter-of-factly into my brain. It’s just there. What can I say? It’s a part of the way I measure reality.
I just saw Christian Marclay's The Clock at the National Gallery of Ottawa. It was amazing. A 24-hour-film that is in fact a clock in and of itself.. comprised of thousands of film snippets, it edits together its own unique narrative as well as an actual visual reference to every minute on the clockface. It literally—or rather cinematically—tells time. And yet it’s hard to describe. It’s an experience. You are watching time go by and loving every minute. I only got to see over an hour before I had to leave for my next incredible Winterlude meet up. But I loved it. It made an indelible impression.
I loved the seeing the past, present, and future meld together in every moment. I loved seeing an acute nod to Zeitgeist with every movement of the second hand. I loved trying to identify every single movie that they used to construct this amazingly organic, timepiece. And it’s not the first thing that has inspired me to become fixated on the notion that time is the ultimate human compulsion.
As a culture we need to know how long it’s been, how old we are, how long we have, and how much longer we need to hang in there. We need to believe that ‘someday’ everything will be ok. That ‘sometime’ we’ll have what we’ve set our sights on. We need to embrace the belief that 'older is wiser'. That things get better with age. That somehow time grants us amnesty—we know better than those people who are doing stupid things, even if they’re the same stupid things that we secretly yearn to do.
Everyone has a unit of measurement. An ‘it’s been ‘x’ since…’ and I have my own too.
My brain has a built-in clock that measures from the anniversary of both miscarriages. I can’t seem to help it. In another reality, today I would have a 4 month old baby. In still another, I would be about 28 weeks along right now.
I pause throughout the day to think of just how different my life would be. How happy my husband would be; our parents. I would be so very settled into motherhood by now. Baby Girl would be a doting big sister.
No matter how happy I am, that’s just something I can’t help but bring with me into the future.
There will never be a moment where I don’t know the ages of the babies I lost.
Of my Almost Children.
Just remember—no matter what,
Halfback, Quarterback, Sexy back.
This is my last lesson to you, Grasshopper. It's a 2-prong attack and it's all about your heart and junk. (No, actually your junk. You'll see.)
1. How to Keep a Heart-On
There’s no such thing as ‘we’re not doing anything for V-day ‘ this year. You may think there is, but there isn’t. The absolute bare minimum (in my humble opinion) for any festive calendar date is a card. Said card should not be in its shopping bag with the receipt tucked inside. I mean properly signed, and sealed. With your wife’s name written on the envelope.
If you feel stifled by what you think is a materialistic soul-sucking aspect of the day, remember that February is also the Heart & Stroke Foundation’s Heart Month.
You don’t have to spend hours racking your brain over gifts—just spend 5 minutes taking this online risk assessment (your gift to yourself), and then take the money that you’d spend on roses, cinnamon hearts and wine, and donate it here.
You’ll be helping save 1 in 3 Canadians who die of heart attack and stroke, and reducing the risk of the number 1 killer of women.
That's like being a superhero.
2. The Lingerie Touchdown
In theory, lingerie is a fun V-day gift that can throw a bit of spark into any relationship. Just beware that as frilly and lacey as it can get, skivvies can be equally volatile. Dads, in all likelihood, you’re not going to get the night of steamy porn sex you have looping through your head in exchange for the racy little number you picked out for your wife to model. You may just end up with a bewildered half-cringe of a smile, an ‘Aww, thanks Honey,’ and the onset of a sudden migraine or yeast infection.
Don’t get me wrong. It could be the sexiest piece of underwear in the world.
But after a night of putting the kids down, being randomly covered with poop and/or puke and/or any manner of food from dinner antics—not to mention not having had a shower in a couple days or having had a chance to shave her legs in months—it might not be first instinct to wiggle into that pair of crotchless panties *shudder* and put on a show. Just saying.
Instead? Make a date of it.
Take her to a great upscale, fun lingerie store like Secrets From Your Sister, where she can actually get a proper bra fitting, try on some saucy pieces, and play some potentially risqué peek-a-boo with you through the change-room curtain. Mummy gets child-free time being pampered and will likely leave with something more functional than a pair of garters, and Daddy gets a peepshow along with some MVP points.
Now throw on some Isaac Hayes and make me proud.
Happy Valentine's Day and Stay Positive,
xo Coach Kat