Friday, January 28, 2011

Birth Control for Dummies

Went for a follow-up appointment with my orthopedic doc yesterday. Can't remember if I've brought you all along for any of the craptastic ride, but I broke my foot in July while...drumroll, please...walking at the mall. Because I'm me, and this kind of stupid stuff happens to me.

Anyway, I broke my tibial sesamoid bone, one of two tiny, pea-sized bones under your big toe that, if I'm understanding it correctly, keep your big toe sort of anchored so it doesn't start veering off to the wrong side. Also? It is the worst bone in the body to break, because there's almost no blood flow to that area. I was in a boot for several months and finally got an orthotic (too sexy) in December, so at least I can now wear matching shoes, even if the insert only fits into my big shoes, like these.

So after initially being told by one surgeon in town that it would require surgery -- total removal of the bone in question -- I went in December for a consult with a new ortho who works with types like athletes and dancers and is at the top of his game. He said we could probably heal it with more time and the use of a bone growth stimulator, this ultrasound machine I hook my foot up to once or twice (if I'm being good) a day.

Yesterday, I went for a follow-up. The bad news is there's still a fracture, though it is markedly improved from my last x-ray. The good news is he thinks we're almost there and confirmed I won't need surgery. But what was really memorable was the exchange I had with the x-ray technician before she took the images.

She asked me if I could be pregnant. And hilarity ensued.

She asked specifically if there was "any way" I could be pregnant. Now I can be a pretty literal person, so when you ask me a question like that I'm going to answer it literally. I told her I could not rule it out 100%. She looked at me, serious and concerned. It probably didn't help that this doctor, who sees both adults and pediatric patients, is at the Children's hospital here, so they don't encounter this gray area in the realm of pregnancy and fertility area often.

Well then we can't do the x-ray, she said. I said I definitely didn't think I was. I explained that I had fertility problems and that the chances were like .000000001, but that I'd had a period at the beginning of the month so I couldn't say with full certainty that there was no chance at all, which, after all, was the question she had just asked me. Then I got philosophical: I said, isn't there always a chance? and she said, no, not if someone is on birth control pills.

It was a surreal, nuts-and-bolts, conception-101 type conversation that sort of creeped me out.

Ultimately, after she -- clearly irritated -- brought someone else in, we all decided that I would have the x-rays, they would just double cover my girl parts with the lead aprons, just in case. Which was fine with me, because we know I'm not preggers, people. I mean, I have not forgotten about the past several years. But seriously? If it were ever going to happen on its own, you know this would be the month, the month I had the foot x-rays, so I could spend the next 9.5 months imagining the two-headed baby that would emerge from my ute to keep H company as his sibling.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Snow Daze

More snow? Seriously? I grew up in New England and I have to say the whole old-man-winter thing never really got to me until the last couple of years. I am getting old for this. For boots and hats and coats and gloves and ice melt, shovels and snow plows. Add all the gear usually required to tote a baby anywhere, as a baseline, and my brain is about to explode.

I need a warm weather vacation. Going to do some research as soon as I finish typing.

Also, the wintery weather makes me a slug. All I want to do is sleep. I changed the sheets on my bed this morning, and as soon as I was done I could not resist the lure of that crispy, newly made bed while H had his nap. When H started cooing and half crying only 30 minutes later I silently prayed he'd fall back to sleep. No go.

There's no one I'd rather be trapped in the house with than my gleeful little rascal. But still -- being trapped in the house at all? Is a little crazy-making for me.

What are your housebound-by-snow-with-almost-toddler coping strategies?

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Twelfth Month

So I'm afraid to say anything. Really afraid. I mean at that point, my superstitious mind warns, why not go grab a black cat and a ladder and open an umbrella inside. But let's just say I'm no longer on antibiotics and I'm not in the bathroom all day long, either. I would say things are still sorting themselves out in there, but overall I'm better. Whew. Big whew.

In other news, I learned last week that my first cousin (dads are brothers), who is also H's Godmother, has been diagnosed with PCOS, which I find interesting. I guess it doesn't surprise me to think that there may be a genetic component to it. She's hopped on the wagon with Clomid, which I think of sort of as the training bra of IF treatment. I mean, how wonderful it would be if this is it for her, if all she has to do is a couple of rounds of pill popping and hot flashing. But if not, if she's in for more, I am so happy that she has me. She'll have someone to call who's already been down the road. She has a Godson who is living proof that this works. I told her she is going to have a baby, there's no doubt in my mind, it's just a question of how painful and messy it's going to be on the way there. She's going to be a wonderful mother, and I hope it happens soon for her and for the other friends I have in the IF trenches right now. They all deserve the crazy joy of parenthood.

Meanwhile, just trying to stay busy and get out of the house every day despite the massive amounts of snow we have here in the northeast. I finally found H two coats that fit under the straps of his car seat (taking the coat on and off in the car in order to fit him in the seat was driving me seriously bonkers), including this one from LL Bean (I got him the carbon/grass color). Those who know me IRL know that I have a serious coat problem, as in I can't have too many of them, and now it seems I'm applying this to H as well. Not buying a bulky coat for a baby is just one of many lessons this parent learned too late. If anyone has found soft, waterproof boots that work in the snow for a baby H's age, do tell. I ordered a pair last week but they were way too big.

I'm also planning H's first birthday party which, incredibly, is just two weeks away. I don't have the space for a huge shindig so we're just having some family over for snacks and cake, including a smash cake for H. I can't wait to see his face.

I think this has been the most boring post ever, but I just wanted to say I'm still here, I'm seemingly healthy and just enjoying this last month of H's first, amazing year.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Deep & Possibly Incoherent Thoughts

I've really been beside myself about this c-diff thing. As in welcome-to-the-bell-jar depressed.

However. H is now 11 months old. One month left in his first year. And I'll be damned if I'm going to miss this last month because I'm too busy hang wringing and boo-hooing over some bacteria.

It's sad enough watching this first year come to an end. I mean I love watching H grow. I wouldn't trade this opportunity to watch his little self unfold, see his soul emerge. And I look forward to so much -- hearing his little voice talking, watching him walk and run. But it's sad too. I'm mourning the loss of the stages we're leaving behind. The real baby stuff.

Anyway, I'm committed to really trying to be in the moment these next few weeks -- to take snapshots of H at this truly wonderful stage rather than dwell on what we're leaving behind. And hopefully, hopefully, this infection is behind me too.

On another note, talked to my RE today. She'd asked me to check in when I got my period and is very encouraged by how normal it was, since that indicates healthy lining. She threw out the idea of trying to remove the remaining adhesions in the office versus the operating room. I love this idea. She'll give me a cervical block, some valium and some percocet. Sounds pretty fun to me. I mean, not fun as in you'd sign up for it over a day at the spa, but possibly the lesser of two evils.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Clean Slate

Okay, 2011. Bring it.

Woke up this morning, discovered blood. Freaked. Realized was my period. And (if this isn't oversharing, I don't know what is but here goes) things "proceeded" down there more normally than they've been in a month. So all seems to be well with my bodily functions today and I'm taking it as a very good sign that my body somehow knew to deliver a period despite my presumed continued PCOS as well as the extreme stress I've been under.

What a year 2010 was. The year of my baby's birth. A baby I'd come to think might never exist. So that alone cancels out any negatives, of course. Just looking at the year through the lens of new parenthood, it was an exhilarating, terrifying, shocking, joyful ride. I mean, yes, when you have a newborn you're totally flipped out, and I have to say that as Brian Williams did his news year in review last night I didn't even remember half of what he referenced as actually happening. But there are so many moments that I do remember, and they're the kind that stay with you for a very, very long time.

Of course some really crappy things happened to us too. Because the thing is, even when you get what you've been chasing after, even when you have a baby and are supposed to be in a constant state of bliss, life around you doesn't stop moving on. So you get the same roll-of-the-dice odds that something crappy might happen. Like I broke my foot in July and am still wearing a boot today. My husband returned from Japan with a case of campylobacter food poisoning that required his hospitalization. We couldn't sell our house and had to take it off the market. And now this very annoying GI infection. Oh, and my ute was broken by my c-section and requires a second surgery. Not to minimize my own or others' IF-related experiences, but I almost forgot about that one -- it feels like the least of my concerns at the moment.

Anyway. Auld Lang Syne and all that. To the new year. A fresh start. To more good than bad over the next 12 months.

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