‘IF’ I was Aware

By definition, an anecdote is relatively brief. I’m not adept at brevity, but I’ll give it a go.

Many, many moons ago, before I became Mrs. Sparring Partner (and maybe for the first couple of years after I became Mrs. S.P.), I had this recurring “female issue” that made me avoid having sex. First I was dealing with periods that lasted a good week/week and a half – and I’m using the term “good” loosely here – and just when I thought things were finally normalizing, I would get this…OK, I have to whisper here…discharge for a couple of days. It was usually clear, but alarmingly copious.

I never sought a physician’s advice. And while occasionally I would get a little crampy, it was towards the sides and not uterine-centered. It didn’t accompany any other symptoms that I would have chalked up to a potential yeast infection, but it made me avoid intimacy for fear of spreading some kind of funk to SP. I would wear panty-liners for a couple of days and then finally, it’d go away on its own just as quickly as it’d shown up.

Now, if you’re infertile and you’ve tried, or are currently trying to have a baby, go back and read through that and diagnose my “problem”.

I’ll wait.

>.<

^-^

O_o

Did you figure it out? It wasn’t until I stumbled across blogs after our first miscarriage and into our first IUI with an RE that I realized that what I was experiencing was none other than EWCM. That’s Egg White Cervical Mucus for those who have stuck around this long after I mentioned “discharge” and “funk”, which is indicative to ovulation. EWCM is indicative to ovulation, not discharge and funk. Just to clarify. Those side pangs? Ovaries getting ready to fire one off. It’s out of embarrassment of what my body was actually designed to do that we didn’t end up “accidentally” pregnant before we were ready.

The reason I shared that with you is because I honestly think that trying to make people aware of infertility via National Infertility Awareness Week, April 26-30th, is akin to bolting the stable door after the horses have been stolen.

I would rather have been made more aware of my body’s fertility BEFORE it had been lost. While one in six couples will experience infertility, it means that five in six will remain fertile, BUT do those five couples have a clue at what that even means? We’ve all been in the middle of discussions with our friends who have no idea how long their cycle is; or who have never known when CD1 was. The mistake of mentioning luteal phases to these friends results in sideways looks as if you’ve COME from the moon. Five in six couples have no idea how morphology, motility and concentration are parameters used in determining sperm’s health.

WHY??

The understanding…no, the AWARENESS…of infertility can only come with educating one’s self on FERtility. Because I eventually learned what EWCM was, I now understand that its virtual nonexistence means that I’m most certainly peri-menopausal. If more women were made aware of how long their cycles were; or were aware of the signs of ovulation; or men were aware of their concentrations by taking a simple test that usually costs less than $100, don’t you think that’s more meaningful to all six of those couples? Becoming aware of fertility also can go a long ways in recognizing those first hints of when something might be amiss. Hell, it might even help the five couples understand more of what that one unfortunate couple is experiencing physically and even emotionally.

NIAW lasts for one week. That gives all of us the chance to make Fertility Awareness count for the other 51 weeks of the year; consequently making that one week more significant and relevant. Maybe some day, only one of 10 couples will be affected; or one of 15 couples. I dare to dream it for my children’s sake.

Scramble

So long, Siobhan. You have talent but that screeching turns off the average viewer. I’m an average viewer, but don’t blame me. I’m not that much of an AI fan to actually vote.

Have you tuned into LOGO TV? OMG! You must. RuPaul’s Drag Race is the epitome of a trainwreck…that is if trainwrecks put bedazzled vags to shame, wear six inch long false eyelashes, and don penis-tucking tights (say that 3 times really fast: penistuckingtightspenistuckingtightspenistuckingtights!).

My husband accused me of holding a grudge. Moi? Oh you mean because I was grumbling about how Stalking Ex-coworker is sending her two oldest to the same daycare as Doodicus, even though I haven’t worked with her in over a year? Even though she blabbed about my pregnancies with other employees via my blog posts? Even though she told other people about my blog. No, I don’t hold a grudge. I just don’t like her. Never have. Never will.

Aitch is sick. No, she isn’t. Yes, she is! NO, she isn’t!

Found a job!!

Kidding.

I took an archery lesson. Apparently I’m good. I’d be interested in joining the club if it wasn’t for the fact that a basic compound bow is anywhere between $400-$1,000.

Consequently, I have a now healing blister on my index finger and my driving finger (named for when it seems to always make an appearance). But I’m going to suck it up because I think finger guards are for pussies. Yes, I know. Finger guards are really for fingers. I couldn’t even imagine how you would get one on a pussy.

Trippin’

I still haven’t booked my flight for Boston, but I’ll probably get it done here in the next week or two. I was just talking about the trip again to Sparring Partner last night and how I was going to see some bloggerS. “What do you mean, ‘bloggerS’? I thought you were going out to meet up with one from Ireland.”

“Scotland,” I corrected, “and since I’m going by myself, I figured I’d have time to meet several from the area.” So there, I thought in my head, and stuck out my tongue. In my head.

Or at least I think I’m going to meet up with more than the two I originally intended to get together with. When I first blogged about the trip, I replied to some emails that said they would like to get together, but only heard back from one. What kind of teases are you people from New England?? I need to know if I’m shaving my legs for this trip or not so if you want to hook up, get a hold of me!

Here’s what I know: flying out the 16th of June and returning the 20th. Just in time to get home and find the gorgeous 10-year anniversary band I’ve been eyeballing for 3 years. Actually, it’s more realistic for me to find no laundry done; the children sleeping on the couch where Sparring Partner let them pass out after a sugar high and some NASCAR watching; and two gallons of milk sitting in the garage where they were forgotten once brought home from the grocery store the day before.

So…I will need the warm memories of coffee, cake, and alcohol consumption from Boston to keep me from murdering my husband in those first crucial 48 hours home. I am free the entire time so if you really do wish get together (and oh, how I wish it!), let’s make some tentative plans. Pick your favorite spots of locale and I’ll bring my camera. Email me at thismamasaid (at) gmail (dot) com.

A (God)Blessit! Event

My son’s First Holy Communion was this past weekend. We did get him a gift (a crucifix that he himself picked out that probably cost me an arm and half a leg but have no idea since I had a sizeable credit at the jewelry store and didn’t ask). We did put him in a suit, complete with an adult tie I had altered to his size because all the children’s’ ties I could find locally sucked. We did have a party where notably absent was his Godmother *, but present were a couple of friends of my SIL who happened to be in town so my SIL invited them along…uh…sure…I guess they can join you even though they don’t know Doodicus from a stain on the floor.

Actually, the entirety of the weekend seemed to be consumed by this one 90 minute event because Saturday the school scheduled full dress rehearsal and pictures at 8:30 a.m. Yes, in the morning. Thank you baby Jesus for letting me go through this the first time with a boy. My friend, a hairdresser, had at least two girls scheduled prior to dress rehearsal to get their hair done up. Before 8:30 a.m.! (Note to self: really talk up the wonders of a pixie cut to my daughter in six years.)

Of course, I was running slightly behind Saturday morning because I couldn’t find his dress shoes that I had bought months ago and stored somewhere safe so I was driving hell bent for leather into town. Just as I was coming around the bend, my soccer-mom senses started tingling, but it was too late. The city cop already had his patrol car in gear waiting for me to pass. I swore. (Yes, I said Fuck. Out loud. While my son was in the backseat on his way to his 1st Holy Communion dress rehearsal, wearing a tie and suit. A memory to be sure.)

Since I was barely running on time, thanks to my Mario Andretti tendencies, I wasn’t going to let a speeding ticket put me behind. My exit was coming up. I turned down the street. Cop just then turns on his lights. I continue down the street to my next turn. I turn, and turn again. I pull into the rear parking lot of the church – still with the patrol car following patiently behind. I threw the van into park, told my son to run up to where they were supposed to meet; handed him his jacket for his suit; and instructed him to RUN! because goddammit! I just ignored a cop trying to pull me over to get him there on time!

It was wishful thinking on my part to hope for a warning. While my ticket was $132, it could have been considerably worse because:

1)      I was speeding in a construction zone (63 in a 50);

2)      I didn’t have my registration on me **;

3)      And my tags were expired **

Sparring Partner was pissed. Also, I’ve had to complete several forms in my various job applications about the status of my driver’s license, which has been accident and ticket free for years. So now that’s been shot to shit.

The thing is, we weren’t THAT late. It’s not like they would have told him he couldn’t participate. Totally not worth it. That $132 would have certainly been better spent on a botox treatment or my trip to Boston or some new shoes.

When was your last traffic ticket and what did you do to “earn” it?

* I wasn’t planning on this post being about traffic violations, but more about the Godmother situation, but that’ll wait.

** Sparring Partner had earlier in the week taken the registration out of my car to take to the County Treasurer to get my new tags. The new tags and the registration were at home.

Then You Should’ve Put A Ring On It

I saw on the MSN front page that Sandra Bullock was spotted not wearing her wedding ring. My first and only thought was, “So??”

I haven’t consistently worn my wedding bands in years. I’ll slip it on for special occasions but when I get home, it comes off – if I can get it off. In fact, I wore it Sunday for Doodicus’s 1st Communion and had been unable to get it off since then. This morning after running cold water over my hand and lathering it up with some soap, it finally and painfully, cleared my knuckle.

It’s not that I don’t love my ring. I do. I picked it out myself. A simple platinum band with a circle of gold embedded into the ridge. A very sparkly, round solitaire tops the setting. Up until I got pregnant with Doodicus, I never took it off, not even when working in the garden. Because, hello? It’s a diamond! And platinum! If those two combined couldn’t take a little soil, then what would be the point? But towards the end of my first pregnancy, I removed it. I didn’t want to have it cut off in a worst case scenario.

And then I had this itty bitty baby around who I would slice and dice just with my fingernail, so I left my cheese-grating diamond in the jewelry box until the kid’s skin could toughen up a bit. After I while, I just didn’t notice it missing. Soon the only time I gave it much thought was when I was out with Doodicus as a baby at Target or WalMart knowing someone was probably making assumptions about my situation once seeing my ringless hand.

Then the treatments started and I gained weight. Everywhere. Once on, I wouldn’t have to use the dexterity of other fingers to keep the diamond pointed up as it no longer slid around. It became harder and harder to take it off and then I just stopped putting it on unless it was for those special occasions. Once I got pregnant with Aitch and blew up like a puffer fish (it was so bad, the top of my feet would bear the imprints of the holes of my crocs after wearing them), and the swelling resulted in that horrible carpal tunnel, I couldn’t even fit the ring on past the first knuckle.

No one has asked me where my ring is. Even Sparring Partner hasn’t noticed its absence. Who still looks at another woman’s wedding ring, or lack thereof? With Hollywood I would think it plays even a lesser role in a marriage than it ever has since it seems “old-fashioned” and “traditional”, which are not what I consider Hollywood, and certainly not part of an infamous actor’s daily wardrobe, especially if she’s doing any shooting.

If they want to splash that info all over the web, can they back it up by saying she hasn’t been spotted WITHOUT it for the entirety of their marriage up to this point? Maybe she’s feeling a little bloated. Maybe she was planting some flowers. Maybe she’s having it cleaned. Whatever the reason, to make assumptions about why the lack of wedding ring is ridiculous and pointless. Now if she was sported out shopping and carrying Jesse James’ severed head by his thinning hair, dripping blood all over her Louboutin pumps? Well then, paparazzi, you just might have a story there. Probably a whole lot less judgment, too!

Do you wear your wedding ring? Do you notice when others aren’t?

The Truth Heals

Let’s hop in the way-back machine and take a look at this past Friday. Not really “way-back” but that sounds better than “not-so-far-back”.

Text to husband: “Lunch?”

Text from husband (paraphrasing): “Sure. Might be late. Middle of project.”

Cool!

“Ding” Neighbor office-mate’s IM: “Lunch?” She sits right next to me and I notice it’s from other neighboring office-mate. Both are literally within arm’s length from where I sit.

Neighbor (#1) office-mate’s IM reply: “Sure! Where?”

I’m all what the fuck? Why not just pass a note back and forth behind my back. That would be SO less obvious. I get it. You didn’t want to invite me to lunch. Whatever. Fuckers.

They leave, all together. I’m alone in the office waiting for Sparring Partner to let me know when it’s OK to join him for lunch. Soon, he calls, “What do you want for lunch?” I figured he was going to go to the place I picked and order for me since it takes a while for me to get there from where I work. I tell him and then leave.

I get to place and he’s not there. I call him. “Where are you?”

“On the bridge on 1st Street, half-way to Place of Work. Where are you?”

“I’m at Lunch Place!”

Mass confusion over the fact that we were not clear in our plans: his being the plan to BRING  me lunch, and mine being the plan to MEET him for lunch.

Rejection from office mates + botched lunch plans = me crying in my car in front of Lunch Place.

Minutes later, Sparring Parnter pulls up to Lunch Place and I get out of van, intent to take the food back inside and eat. SP wants me to sit in his car and eat. I don’t want to eat my soup and salad in his stupid car! I want to sit at a table! I cry some more. Wild gesticulating outside his car outside Lunch Place (aka – Losing My Shit).

“What is your problem?” SP asks (paraphrasing).

“No one likes me!” I answer (paraphrasing). More crying. “I don’t want to eat in your car! I want to sit down at a table!” more gesturing, more crying, more over-reacting.

“Do you know how stupid that will look for us to walk back into Lunch Place with our to-go bags?” SP reasons – illogically.

“Who gives a shit how it looks! I’m sorry if I’m an embarrassment to you!” (Yeah. That came out of left-field, didn’t it?)

I take my food, get in my car, and drive back to work. On the way, I pull over into an empty parking lot and eat my soup that I didn’t want to eat in a car with my husband. I’m an asshole.

Get back to work. Put untouched salad in fridge. Pitiful text messages back and forth between SP and myself. Me still feeling sorry for myself because I’m an outsider at work because I’m not “one of them” and how my friends from my 10 year job make me realize I’m not “one of them” either.

Finally, a sobering text message from Sparring Partner (not paraphrased):

“I was there for you when u got fired and still want to kick Ex-boss’s ass. So don’t go there. The people you work around don’t know you. And it sounds like they’re all up in themselves. I on the other hand want to know you. That doesn’t mean across a chat thread or what-not. I plan on sitting on the porch 40-some years from now looking at what WE did. Not how many people read your blog. They DON’T know you like you think. You share your tragedy in common and that sucks that it is that bringing you closer together.”

And the balloon of fury and outrage and indignation and selfishness deflated in a rush of expelled breath and suddenly I was calm again and only a single thought – a revelation – to contemplate.

He’s right.

Chameleon

See this little cutie-patootie?

She can be an asshole.

Daycare has provided her many wonderful and new experiences. Like what? Like this:

Saying, “Don’t that!”

Scream.

Pull hair. Hard.

Slap.

Scream.

Wait…did I already mention that? Well, it bears repeating since she can do it repeatedly and in ever increasing crescendo and octave.

I’m exhausted.