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Sunday, May 31, 2009

This is me. There's a freak show going on in my brain.

I spend a lot of time walking the streets, people watching.

I watch people, okay?

I'm a Peeping Tom that's just right there in the open, walking to work. I'm Blues, butt watcher, boob leerer, clothing critic.

I'll dissect your fashion statement in a millisecond in my mind.

My gaze used to favor the young and beautiful, the slender, the sleek, the strong, the dolled-up. My eyes preferred the ones subconsciously offering breeding services to members of the opposite sex through impressive and accentuated hip to waist ratios, through strong family-protecting arms, through voluptuous baby-feedable breasts highlighted by the appropriate push-up equipment, through clothing displaying a certain level of social status and ability to financially support offspring. My glance lingered upon those that fit the very precise and limited beauty mould that our culture has decided deserves a double take.

Pretty people, yup.

But lately, I find that my eyes linger over the motherly.

I see women, their pouchy abdomens attesting to the children they have carried. I see their less than perky boobs that finally became entirely utilitarian, after years of oblique glances stolen, peripheral staring, and a lot of fuss. They have finally passed the phase of alimentary purposefulness. I see some of them in their mom jeans that highlight what happens to the female bodies...afterwards. And I know they would never trade their children for their old bodies.

I see a young mother extend an arm backwards, pinky jutted out while she looks sternly at a small child walking behind her, encouraging the child to take her hand. I hear the child say, "Mamá" and the woman answers, "Que?", exasperated, as if tired of all the questions. And I wonder, does she take it for granted in that moment? Being a mom?

I canvas their faces for proof of age. Are they older than me? Are they younger than me? Maybe they are older but have just had some work done. Shit, she must be old. I wonder what kind of wrinkle cream she uses. She can't be younger, is she??? Fuck, she's younger. Did they have to get fertility treatment? Did they adopt? Or did they try to get pregnant on their honeymoon and wham bam, it worked?

I look at Luisito and I think...what if? What if we can't, babe? Okay, so we adopt, we know this, but I wanted you and me, you know, we wanted...we wanted to do this. I wanted the baby to have your eyelashes and your nose and your thighs. Can we swing this if we can't? Can we deal with this level of disappointment? If we add this to everything we've been through will there be a giant surplus of bullshite? Will we implode?

And I feel a fear in my belly, a fear that my assumption of being able to snap my fingers and have children whenever I wanted might be being challenged. With every period now, I think, Hmmm. Okay, I guess not this month. No biggie.

"How long did it take you to get pregnant?" I quiz my sister, my sister in law, my friends.

"Oh a few months."

"We just stopped taking birth control to see what would happen."

But I feel menstrual pain like I never have before. The last time it kept me up the whole night. My periods are irregular now and fucked up and long. Things....they don't feel right.

"Acude inmediatamente al ginecologo". Go immediately to the gynecologist, my general practitioner told me, not knowing he was gonna scare the bloody life out of me by saying it with such urgency.

So I went to the gynecologist the next day and with clammy ass hands and trembling legs, and trying to act all, "No this ain't weird that my junk is all up in the air, yo. No, not at ALL. I'm cool", I mounted the handy stir-ups and offered my crotch up to the lovely phallic probe of truth, all the while chanting to myself:

Be thankful you have health insurance
Be thankful you have health insurance
Be thankful you have health insurance.

Ooof. This isn't supposed to hurt. I'm not supposed to be freakin' THE. FUCK. OUT. right now.

The doctor stared at the ultrasound and informed me that all my junk looked perfectamente normal.

Oh yeah, doc? Well, then why did you schedule me for a pelvic MRI? Then why did you make me do all those blood tests that made my arms go numb and my blood pressure drop and my lips turn blue?

Be thankful you have health insurance
Be thankful you have health insurance
Be thankful you have health insurance.

I can't find the words to express the anxiety I'm feeling. Truth be told, I have serious issues with hypochondria, and anything medical-related makes me want to either faint or barf, but I can't shake this. Because I don't know that I can deal with more disappointment (centered around myself) right now. And I'm just fucking scared that something is wrong with me.

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flutter May 31, 2009 at 2:03 PM  

I can't give you any words to make you feel better, but I will say this. If you ever need an ear, you know where to find me

Denise May 31, 2009 at 2:29 PM  

I'm sorry, Blue, that's a crap space to be in, and I can't think of any words of comfort. Hope things work out in the end.

Anonymous May 31, 2009 at 3:20 PM  

Blue, I've on every side of this issue more times than I want to count. Most of the time everything is fine. And when it isn't, you deal. But believe me, I know the anxiety you feel. Keep us posted.

formerly fun May 31, 2009 at 5:13 PM  

Are you guys going to try? I was like this before we started. I had had a lot of sex, some careful some not and hadn't ever gotten preg, then I had an ovary removed because of a giant tumor so I only had one left, plus I was into my thirties--and yes, I am not clinically hypochondriac but pretty close. It was fine, it happened but I bought like 20 pee stick knowing I was going to use them at the drop of a hat. I think so many women go through this, I've had some friends who had a hard time getting pregnant so I knew it could be a possibility.

On another note, your observations of the mothers was sweet. I'm pretty sure there is a mini blue in the cards for you and Luisito.

Rassles May 31, 2009 at 9:30 PM  

I am like, the exact opposite of a hypochondriac. I never think anything is wrong. Fucking great.

Feel better and better and better, pretty pretty pretty please. Because you are just the exact type of person who should breed. I think.

kate June 1, 2009 at 2:01 AM  

Oh Blue, it is a tough place to be. It's really good that everything looks normal so far, and that you will have even more info when all the results come in. Good luck.

I know you didn't ask, but can I recommend FAM (fertility awareness method-- lots of info on the web and in a great book Taking Charge of Your Fertility). It can give you a lot of information about your cycle that can be helpful re: fertility and also general reproductive health issues.

And I suppose it is redundant or maybe even inappropriate to keep saying this, but-- amazing post! You are so good at conveying your observations and experiences (sorry, I can't help noticing these things...)

Xbox4NappyRash June 1, 2009 at 2:19 AM  

Kate's book recommendation is very good actually.

If you're irregular, you probably need some monitoring or at least chart yourself, nail down that pesky ovulation.

Good luck.

The Unbearable Banishment June 1, 2009 at 4:54 AM  

Closer your eyes and take a deep, slow breath. Don’t create a problem before it exists.

I spend a lot of time walking the streets, people watching.I wish I could parlay days like that into some kind of career.

Mongoliangirl June 1, 2009 at 5:02 AM  

The assumption that we will be able to snap our fingers and have children is ALWAYS challenged. Even for those who seem to get pregnant at the drop of a hat.
You are right that looking at this is scary as hell. But so is any beautiful mystery as complicated and yet, simple, as human reproduction.
It is simply amazing and so are you.
Enjoy it my darling.

Gypsy June 1, 2009 at 8:00 AM  

I think the world would be a better place with a little Blues or Luisito or combination of the two wandering around. Best of luck.

P.S. Maybe it's age or something, but my periods have been out of whack for a couple of months. Can you say 43-day cyle? Sigh. {hugs}

Ellie June 1, 2009 at 1:07 PM  

My reactions as they hit me:

(a) She's open to adoption. That's great! It seems so unusual in this day and age that people even consider adoption. I'm adopted so I am a not so objective advocate of it. In fact, I think no one should be able to keep their own babies. There should be a big pool where the little get submitted and extracted ... ok, I don't really think that last bit.

(b) Maybe it's not appropriate to be such an advocate for adoption because the idea of not having her own is clearly distressing. I hope she can have her own.

(c) My periods are getting longer and heavier AND I'm getting pain ... I never used to get pain. What is this shit!

With my thoughts vomited out in your comment box, I now say how cool I think you are (for someone I've never met) and think you and Luisito will be great parents, however it happens.

A Free Man June 1, 2009 at 6:54 PM  

I'm really glad that you're back, because every time I come over here for a read it's a wonderful one.


1. I do sometimes take it for granted.

2. I think it takes as long as it takes. It's different for different people. And you are NEVER ready.

3. I can be a hypochondriac as well. Fun, eh?

Ms. Moon June 1, 2009 at 8:02 PM  

I call myself the world's biggest SILENT hypochondriac. Every day I am dying of a different disease but I never tell anyone and I hardly ever, ever go to the doctor.
I think it's part of an anxiety/depression disorder.
But it sure does make it hard to get to a doctor when you need to.
But you're not alone. I promise you.

Noble Savage June 2, 2009 at 8:15 AM  

Okay, now I'm curious: what, exactly, are the definition of 'mom jeans'? Are they always high-waisted and unfashionable or are they just anything that aren't of the ultra low-rise or skinny variety? I need to know if my jeans are mom jeans, stat!

But really, great post. The bit about mothers and their post-babies bodies is so true, and touching. I second the recommendation for Taking Charge of Your Fertility, it's helped so many women understand their cycles better. Best of luck to you in your baby-making endeavours. You'll be a fantastic mother, no matter how your baby arrives, or when.

Blues June 2, 2009 at 11:11 AM  

@Flutter - thank you. Same goes, you know.

@Denise - I know, it's just a matter of getting stupid test results back and knowing for sure, but here I wait.

@Hereinfranklin - I know you understand.

@FF - up to now we have just been without stress about it you know, but every month that passes, I start to wonder and with all the changes I'm feeling in my body I'm now starting to worry. Your story makes me feel better though.

@Rassles - I don't even know if it's hypochondria so much as phobia of all things medical and fear that I might have to deal with them. I suppose if I get pregnant I'll have to deal too. No, wait, I'm definitely hypochondriac.

@kate - thanks for the recommendation, seems a pretty popular book. And thanks a lot for your comments on my writing. It usually is for me more about the writing than what I'm actually saying, but in this case, I really am worried so it's both.

@Xbox - Don't I know you deal with it too.

@Unbearable Banishment - you could be one of those guys that watches video monitors to see if anyone's stealing or anything, or in Vegas to see if anyone's cheating. I guess you'd kind of have to pay attention and not stare at people's outfits and butts, though.

@Mongoliangirl - but you look around and see all those fucking people and think, this has to be a piece of cake, right? Not to mention all the years of trying to avoid pregnancy not knowing how difficult it can be to actually get pregnant.

@Gypsy - my cycle lasts like two days. By the time my period is done, I'm already getting it again. WTF?

@Ellie - I've heard that from others too about getting weird periods. What is happening to us? I think I might want to adopt anyway, even if I can conceive.

@Afreeman - but you reflect on your taking-for-grantedness which excuses you for doing it. Imagine those that never reflect on their own taking things for granted.

@Ms. Moon - Hi! I call myself a Google Hypochondriac. All I need is a symptom and ten minutes on google and I'm ready to have an anxiety attack.

@Noble Savage - you don't know?! You must watch:

P.S. I hate ultra low ride jeans. There is nothing pretty about my g-string hanging out or my severe muffin top.

Gwen June 3, 2009 at 9:50 AM  

I know you're freaking out right now, understandably. I think we all have a sense when something isn't right. But keep in mind that stress and anxiety can throw off cycles and hormonal levels. It could be a self-fulfilling prophecy, this worry.

Sometimes when I'm walking with my daughter, I feel eyes upon me. Random people observing this young woman with her "mini-me". In those moments, I feel special. I'm a mom. I do often take that moment for granted, when I put my hand down for her to take. I realize, though, that some people would give anything to have that. I used to let my sister pretend to be Liv's mom. I wanted her to know what it felt like to have those eyes upon you, thinking you're a mom. Is that weird?

Not Afraid to Use It June 3, 2009 at 10:04 PM  

Good lord. I have traveled down this path long enough I ought to have a sign post in my honor. No amount of stories, good or bad, make any of it feel any better.

I can tell you that something that did give me some modicum of control was buying a fertility microscope. They are cheap, they are reusable to infinity, and you can buy them online. Getting serious about one's fertility usually means spending an unspeakable amount of money--this is one way to get around it. Esp. if you are irregular. Shoot me an email and I can tell you more about it. And hugs to you, hon.

ZenMom June 4, 2009 at 7:14 PM  

As the girl who's been known to Google herself into a fit of misdiagnosis, I'd feel a bit hypocritical offering the sound advice of "be patient, be calm" that others have been so kind to offer me in the past. So, I think I'll just say that my thoughts are with you that everything will turn out okay. I hope you'll let us know.

Dirty Pirate Hooker June 5, 2009 at 9:11 AM  

Awwwww, poor Blue. It will happen when it happens. Crappy advice, huh?

I have something to make you feel better though! I posted about my day's humpin' gay's! Just for you!

Emily June 5, 2009 at 4:56 PM  

I was talking with some friends the other day how we've spent all these years praying that we WON'T get pregnant (and being sure every time our periods are so much as 5 minutes late that oh my god, this time I am pregnant, shit shit shit), and then someday we're going to be praying for the exact opposite. Because somewhere along the line we realized that it's not just snapping your fingers and going off the pill and now look, there's a baby...for a lot of people it's months of what you're talking about here. I just hope it all works out for you and Luisito and that in the meantime you can at least enjoy the sex!

Yo Momma June 10, 2009 at 10:01 PM  

I'm late on this but seriously, in my heart of hearts, I think you'll be just fine and I'm hoping you'll be just fine. But even if it isn't - life you know? I really think things turn out for a reason. Whatever the case may be, you'll be up to the challenge.
Def keep us posted!

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