Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Divided

I stand corrected.  

According to this guy, a certain world champion is taking time off to "recharge her life force.”  Sounds exactly like what I do every morning.  It’s called coffee, dark roast, about 20 ounces.  Leaves me beaming with life force until about 3 pm when I’m ready to fall asleep at my desk.  But never fear, that’s when a rush of cortisol jolts me awake as my child wakes up from his nap wailing because he just realized he’s knee deep in his own crap in a dark room with the door closed. 

Again.

Moving on - you’ve probably seen all of those sh*t ____ say videos lately.  I’ve been trying to put together a Shit Parents Say.  Working really hard on it.  Here’s what I’ve come up with so far…

No.

NO.

NO NO NO NO NO.

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

NO!

So that’s going well.

Right now I’m having one of those days in parenting where if the gypsies showed up at my door, I’d push him towards them and say: YOURS, FREE.  It’s just a phase, right?  The throwing food all over the place, eventually they stop doing that.  Don’t they?  The dog is thinking this is the best phase ever.  I’m thinking I need to get knee pads.  I spend most of my day on the floor cleaning things up.  And I didn’t realize how much I did that until my child began imitating me.  He goes to the cabinet under the sink.  Gets out the spray bottle of wood floor cleaner.  Grabs a rag and….cleans.  ON HIS HANDS AND KNEES!  At first it was cute.  Now it’s got me thinking…

He’s watching me.  Closely.  And he’ll do what I do and when he outrgrows speaking alien, he will say what I say.

My biggest fear?  That he thinks his name is Hold On, Wait A Minute, I’ll Be Right Back.  Why are we so busy?  Are all mothers this way?  Feeling like you’re pulled in so many different directions that unless you’re kid is strapped in the carseat behind you, you’re never going in the same direction? 

On days like this, when I fight existential struggles of motherhood in my head as well as clean up the 249283th Cheerio off the floor, I like to escape.  Being that it’s winter, there’s few places to escape around here but one of our favorites is the library.  One of my favorite things to do at the library to relieve a little disgruntled pressure is to bring my child into the adult section.  At our library, the adult section takes up an entire floor. I wheel my stroller through the doors and immediately notice the signs that say Please turn off your cell phone.  I look at my child.

He doesn’t have an off button.

Secretly I smile about this.  First I wheel him through the CD section.  While I look at CDs, he flings them out of the drawers.  Then I wheel him by the books just within reach so he can pull a few off the shelf.  Then, if it’s been a really bad day, I wheel him through the quiet study section which coincides with just about the time he decides to announce to me – and the library – LOUDLY – that HE DOESN’T WANT TO BE THERE.

At that point, my mission is complete and I go downstairs to the children’s section and let him play with the water fountain for an hour.

Anyhow, I’m not pregnant.

Thank you for the vote of confidence in my ovaries but I’m convinced I may have left one alongside the Queen K in October.  You think I’m kidding. I thought so too until I made that joke to Dr. Nuts who said “well, I suppose with the decreased blood flow for hours it could happen.”

Holy shit, Nuts, I was just kidding?  Chalk that up as one more potential casualty of Kona – along with my race flats (deceased), the skin on my lower back (still have the tan line from Kona 2007) and the second toenail on my right foot (gone – still has not come back).  

I paid to do this to myself? 

The other day, I got a phone call.

Angela?

No, this is Elizabeth.

Angela, we got your test results back from this morning.  Your prolactin is normal, so is your TSH but you’re going to need a hysterosonogram and a biopsy.  We’ll have your ovarian reserve back in 7 days.

So much for HIPPA?

The good news is that I’m not Angela.  The bad news is that I was waiting for test results.  The other day, I had some bloodwork done with my RE.  If you don’t know what an RE is and you are over 34 and planning to have children, look it up.  You might need one.  Once you hit your 35th year, the quality of your eggs goes from shelf life to expired – quick.  Safe to say if you get within 10 feet of me, I might smell sulfuric. 

Rotten eggs.

My RE is like a coach for my hormones and ovaries.  He comes up with a plan to make sure everything is doing what it needs to do.  Given some problems I’ve had in the past, the RE suggested some tests if we wanted to expand our family.  The purpose of the tests were to see if I “lost” anything after having Max.  Lost something?  Like what?  Some estrogen, a fallopian tube?  Please don’t tell the doctor that in between having Max and now not only did I get two years older, but I also did an Ironman.  Who knows what I could have lost out there.  Two toenails.  A few years off my life.  My marbles.  Maybe a dozen or so eggs.

Now, I went to an RE before I got pregnant with Max.  Max wasn’t drug-induced but he was drug-supported.  You need progesterone to sustain a pregnancy.  With Max, my progesterone kept dropping so I started supplementing.  Shot a 1.5 inch nightly needle of progesterone into alternating butt cheeks for 12 weeks straight.  Love is when your husband agrees to do this to you.  Love is not returned when you suggest you give him the shot so he can get a better idea of the pain involved and the side effects. 

I thought it was a fair trade.

The other day I went in for another meeting with the RE.  The babysitter was not available.  Which meant I had to bring my son.  Parental nightmare – bringing your child to an adult appointment.  The only thing worse would be bringing him to the hair salon.  I’d jerk out of the seat so many times I’d probably end up with a 75 dollar mutt cut.  That’s why I only go to the hairdresser at night.  But the RE doesn’t have night hours so it was 9:30 in the morning.

You’d think an office that predominantly exists to help people make children would be a little more child friendly.  As in – not have about 200 magazines stacked on every single table.  Instant child magnet.  That which is neatly stacked MUST BE KNOCKED DOWN WITH GREAT FORCE!  And he did.  That is how I spent half the time waiting on the floor picking things up.

We waited 30 minutes in the front office only to be escorted to the doctor’s office to wait another 30 minutes.  At least in the front office he had about 300 more square feet to run crazy around.  Once confined in the doctor’s office, he became instantly obsessed with a plastic model of the female reproductive system.  Part of me wanted to grab it off the doctor’s desk and let my kid run around with a set of plastic ovaries.  The doctor would have walked in, I would have said your fault for leaving it on the desk.  But I didn’t let him have it.  Instead I let him eat his snack which he threw all over the floor which is how YET AGAIN I was on the floor picking up things. 

70 minutes after my appointment, the doctor comes in.  Moments earlier, my child was commando crawling under the doctor’s desk, screaming.  The moment the doctor walks in, Max is seated in my lap like he is the most perfect child in the world.  Listening to the doctor talk about reproduction like it was a lullaby.  The doctor calls him cute, darling.  I’m thinking – I’ve spent 70 minutes entertaining him with a leather couch, a bag of Cheerios and reading him a People magazine.  This is Demi Moore, she’s crazy.  He lost the cute factor about 68 minutes ago.  

The RE’s plan of action for me?  Testing for everything.  It’s a list so long that it makes me wonder how any of us can be here, healthy.  How did we get so lucky?  With so many things that can go wrong, it seems truly amazing when anything in reproduction goes right.

The doctor leaves to write up my 3-page action plan (can it be uploaded into Training Peaks – please?), in the meantime Max knocks over a giant bongo drum, feigns interest in looking out the window when only he wanted to grab the blinds wildly, knocks over two frames on a table until finally I tell the nurse that I’ll be in the waiting room because my kid is LOSING IT.  Her reply?  “The doctor will be back in a minute, are you sure you can’t wait?”

If you see an 18-month old running down the hall carrying a plastic set of ovaries, I’m not going after him. 

I told myself I wouldn’t change who I am or what I do while we go through this process of testing en route to trying to expand our family -  wherever it may lead.  I signed up for races.  I am most definitely training.  But at the same time, it’s hard to have one foot in the world of TTC and the other in the world of triathlon.  I want to be competitive, fast, fit!  But I also want to be a mother again.  When I start thinking too hard about this I feel an overwhelming combination of emotions which makes me want to do like Max does when I catch him walking around with something he’s not supposed to have (ie., the cheese grater):

Throw my up arms, drop everything and run the other way. 

But it’s not over until sperm meets egg and it sticks, folks.  And for all I know, years of endurance sport have turned my husband’s super swimmers into that guy wearing a surfing wetsuit and doing backstroke in the local sprint triathlon.  This could take awhile.  But don’t tell him that.  Suggesting his former national class swimmers might need water wings is as popular as me suggesting he has hit the age where we might need to start checking for ear hair.

THAT conversation went well.

As I have a foot on both paths all I know is that both of them end in a very good place – either a second child or attainment of a goal on my “bucket list” of sports-related accomplishments.  Yes, I’ve set my sights high for 2012, in many ways.  No matter where I end this year – either in triathlon or in my fat pants (again), I will consider the year a success. 

And if I can get through all of these appointments and tests without having to chase after my child when he darts out of an examining room while I’m wearing nothing but a paper sheet around my waist? 

Definitely a success.

10 comments:

Angela and David said...

I have been exactly where you are - both literally and figuratively. Literally in that same doctors office doing the same wait and getting the three page plan (although without Zach). My testing turned up blocked tubes, which I totally wasn't expecting. I thought I was just going to need more progesterone. Hope everything works out for you guys. The entire process is a nightmare.

And I don't say this to make you feel bad because it's something I never would have known had I not read WAY too many infertility blogs, but REs offices are actually set up to discourage you from bringing your kid because for those women that are there for round 7-8 of IVF or IUI and still don't have a child to show for it, it's really hard to see children in the waiting room.

Liz Waterstraat said...

Yeah - I figured as much. It's just kind of a weird place in general, isn't it? How about the guy in the grey lab coat who ONLY comes to get the guys in the waiting room. How much does he love HIS job!?

CD -Tri-ing Again..... said...

Other things Parents say for your files:

Stop That!!
Put That Down!!
Come Here
I Said, Come HERE!!!
Leave (insert sibling's name) alone!
Close The Door!
Let (insert pet's name) in/out
Feed (insert pet's name)
Put your shoes on
EAT!!!!!!!
For the Love of GOD- EAT!!!!!!

You're in early phases- you'll have a lot more to work with when Max hits 3. Then you'll just want to bash your brains in on a daily basis

cherelli said...

Oh my god. How is it I laugh out loud like at least 3 times (maybe more) per post of yours? I should forward your blog for laughing therapy. Best of luck for whichever camp you find yourself in later this year! (I'm hoping to join you in "fat camp" but if that doesn't pan out you can find me BOPing a triathlon somewhere in 2013.)

Angela and David said...

Yes! It is a crazy place. One of the highlights for me was when Dr. M was elbow deep in my hoo ha putting eggs back busy telling a story to the nurses about an outfit he wore in the 80s that involved overralls and no shirt - everyone was just laughing it up. Go figure - that was the transfer that worked.

Niki said...

This post about having an 18 month child is my life. Why are boys so distructive?! Both of mine are constantly dropping, ripping, spilling, dumping, breaking EVERYTHING just to see what happens. I get that they're just learning, but good god is it exhausting.

And very best wishes on the RE business. We're done having kids for several reasons, but high on the list is that I can't go through all that again. I am forever grateful to everyone at that RE office, but I have no desire to see them again. :o)

Jennifer Harrison said...

I agree, even though it has been 10+ years, the whole process was horrendous. I do not look back on it and miss any part of it - of course. The good news is that Jerome and I got a ton of good laughs out of the "back room" and video player...not even sure what was back there...I never wanted any part of that. I will never forget Jerome's face - but I told Jerome quickly "Oh please....this is the only thing you have to do ...I am sticking myself with needles and putting 1000 things in me...suck it up buttercup."

Hoping it all works out for you all...it will.

I will say - bringing a toddler to the RE office is A VERY brave move....and I love that MAX knew when the DR came in to behave like the perfect child. Kids crack me up.
:)

Pam said...

Good luck, whichever way the year takes you!

Bob Mitera said...

"Don't slug it down"

- said to my brother from my father on a hot July day when my brother slammed a glass of milk in a restaurant. Back then, I think they charged an extra $0.80 for a refill of milk.

My brother and I still laugh about this today. Dad and mom deny all memory of it.

Tory said...

Best of luck with wherever the road takes you!