I just don’t get it

Rachel Inbar tagged everyone who doesn’t have a whale tail. As I wear skirts, and as those skirts have become somewhat baggy lately* threatening to pants myself at every turn, I consider myself tagged.

I should probably mention that I am home sick from work and feel like shit, so this might be a tad bitchier than originally intended.

I don’t get…

Why all the horrors of menstruation, sex and reproduction are taught in schools with nary a word on cervical mucus or infertility. I’m not suggesting kids need a full lesson on IVF and IUI. I know that even if 1 in 4 couples need help conceiving, that’s still the minority – but would it hurt to mention it? I don’t expect a fifth grader to come home and help with the PIO shots. But it might be nice to explain that sometimes men and women aren’t normal. It isn’t normal to have cramps so bad that you lay in bed and sob – it might be endometriosis and a doctor might be able to help you. It isn’t normal to bleed so much when you have your period that you faint – or even if it is normal, your doctor needs to know. And it isn’t normal for healthy men and women to wait so long to have a healthy baby. I spent a decade scared my vagina had a flu because all this weird goo came out every month. I learned a whole lot about the male anatomy that has never really helped me (I had to memorize it for Bio in high school) but no one ever mentioned cervical mucus.

Why so few medications and treatments are available for women who are really sick in early pregnancy. I know pregnant women are incredibly difficult to test medications for – I get that. I really do. I know no one wants to see a repeat of thalidomide. But when people vomit so violently and regularly for any other reason, medical science finds a way to get them relief. No one expects someone to tolerate those symptoms – even when they are really sick (for example, during chemo). But the same symptoms are considered part of having a baby for some very unlucky women. And frankly, I think that’s bullshit and I challenge the pharmaceutical companies to do better.

Why half the people you meet in life insist they had it worse than you. Half of the time, when I tell someone we were treated for infertility and that I’m pregnant and sick, I get the same stories. Oh yes – we had it really hard – we had to take Clomid, wait six months, etc. Oh yes – I had morning sickness worse than anyone – I once had to leave the table in a restaurant and barely made it to the bathroom! And what’s worse is, when you tell them how bad it really was/is, they still fail to see the light. We waited four and a half years. I have lost 25 pounds. I am nearing 12 weeks, and baby, it ain’t getting better. Different, but not better. There are tons of women out there who went through a helluva lot more than I did, but I would never think of equating my story with theirs or belittling their experience as a way of commiserating. It just doesn’t help.

Why we’re making so much less money in Israel and yet we’re happier and doing better financially. Okay, so it doesn’t go that way for a lot of new olim. But we could have never lived in the States on what we’re making here and yet, we’re doing just fine. And I don’t think most of it has to do with the change in cost of living. Some things are cheaper, but others are more expensive. I think that as a couple we have fundamentally changed.

Why someone rubbed my belly yesterday. You see, I’m not showing yet. I’m showing less now than before I got pregnant because, well, there’s a heckuva lot less of me to show. So if you rub my belly right now, you’re not really rubbing the baby. You’re rubbing a recently smaller roll of fat somewhere between my belly button and my pubic hair (umm – weird). If you push really hard, which I’m not recommending, you might manage to feel an ovary. But that squishy feeling? Yeah, that’s just gas. And if you do it again, I may fart at you and not feel bad about it.

Why women who plan on breastfeeding don’t have a heavy-duty double electric suckomatic breast pump in their house when the baby(ies) come(s) home. Or why women wait a couple weeks while it’s going poorly before they get one. I have no doubt that I’m missing something here. But, wouldn’t it just be easier to rent or buy the contraption so that you can start pumping right away? Wouldn’t it help your chances of success, if that’s something that’s really important to you? Can anyone explain this to me? I’m planning on renting before I even deliver. I want to be prepared if things don’t go well. Am I wasting my time? Is there a reason you can’t start pumping as soon as your milk comes in? Isn’t that like four days after you give birth? Does frozen breast milk have a shelf life? Even if you don’t want to use bottles right away, wouldn’t it help your supply. Clearly, I’m missing something here and advice is welcome.

Why my ability to handle problems in life is directly proportional to the amount of shit on my plate at any given time. I want to be uber-efficient all the time. Not just at the worst of times.

Why I get all klempy about the dreams I’m having. Okay, that’s probably hormones. But I keep having dreams that we have a little son, who’s about three years old. For some reason, he tends to walk in on him Ima and Tatty kissing in the kitchen (which is set in this big old grand American Manor house – it’s a dream, remember?) while Ima is making cake. For those of you who know me IRL, this is pretty much my dream come true (though I am totally willing to change the dwelling to match where we live now). It’s always a short, sweet dream (where I’m wearing flannel PJ bottoms and a t-shirt – I have excellent fashion sense even in my subconscious) and it makes me happy inside. A happy couple, hinting at a normal sex life, with a down-to-Earth flannel-wearing domestic goddess in a beautiful home with a healthy, happy kid. But yes, sometimes I shed a little tear. It’s weird. Speaking of which…

Why after waiting so long to get pregnant, August seems so very close. I am going on 12 weeks pregnant. Depending on whom you ask, that’s the end of the first trimester (myself, I’m going with 13 weeks). Now, I admit, the first four weeks are the relative equivalent of writing your name on the SAT test – you get points right off the start. But that still means almost eight weeks have passed since I “fell” pregnant (love that completely convoluted term – “Ooh, you didn’t hear? She tripped on a hike and fell pregnant.”). And it went by really fast – which is shocking considering how frequently I thought I was heaving up my inner organs. Imagine how quickly the time will pass when my body stops eating my muscles for protein! I’m hoping the trend continues, since it’s looking more likely everyday that I’m going to be “heavy with child” (another gem) in the middle of the Israeli summer. Note to self: In future, cycle only from late July to early September.

People who sit around the house all day with the shades drawn. I got 10 hours of sleep last night, but I think the bean is having a growth spurt. I woke up today at about 10:30. Called in sick to work earlier this morning. Ate half a pizza (as in a commercial, jumbo pizza) at around 12:30. And then slept until 5. I could have cried when I woke up. I hate the idea of a whole day gone with nothing accomplished. I didn’t even get to clean something in the house, which usually makes me feel a bit better. I don’t know how so many people do it day in and day out without succumbing to depression. Kids or not, this would drive me crazy. It’s been one of the worst side effects of being sick for the last few weeks – cabin fever.

As a bonus, I also don’t get people who wear layer upon layer of clothing in an attempt to appear modest, or specifically, to out-modest others. Baby, a cult by any other name still doesn’t smell sweet. Cut the crap and get back to tradition.

And I tag anyone who is cycling right now!

* When you lose a lot of weight and don’t want to buy new clothes, binder clips go a long way toward cinching the waist on the tents you previously called skirts.


11 responses to “I just don’t get it

  1. I just don’t get…. Why it took so long for us to find you. But we’re very glad we did.

  2. I wasn’t told about C.M. but I was told that discharge is normal. Since the sex ed class I had was taught from a leaflet given out by a pad company, they said that women should wear pantiliners all month to absorb discharge. The only mention of tampons was that they’re not suitable for teens and cause TSS.

    People like to outdo you because then they can feel sorry for themselves. When I was in 7th grade, I caught myself telling someone I almost died of pneumonia (I’m not sure I even knew I was sick, and I certainly wasn’t hospitalized), and I remember thinking it’s a bizarre thing, wanting to have it worse somehow. I’ve never heard of someone cracking a rib from barfing… so I think you win this round. I bet you’d give up the gold ribbon if you could give up the nausea with it.

    If all goes perfectly, you don’t need a pump. The women who don’t buy/rent one in advance are optimists.

    As to why the woman rubbed your belly. She obviously is a masochist and wanted you to punch her in the nose.

    Sweet dream. I’ve been known to cry at soup commercials, so don’t ask me 🙂

  3. I appreciate your honesty and glad to find you, since you obviously found me! (us)!
    I look forward to catching up more on your blog!

  4. I appreciate the honesty of your blog. Glad to hear there’s more of us thinking on the same page. Thanks for commenting so that I could find you (since you already found us!)

  5. Scary thing is, I’ve had three google search results in the last week for “morning sickness vomit broken rib.” I am not alone. And I know so many people who had it worse than I did.

  6. I am not sure, but I think I thought that a woman ovulated sometime during her cycle and then that the egg sat there in the uterus waiting for a sperm to approach it until it fell out when a woman got her period.

    As for rubbing your belly, it must be an issue with boundaries. I mean, would this person walk up to a lady whose hair looked silky-soft in the supermarket and start touching it?

    I totally agree about meds in pregnancy and I’d include childbirth in that too. The choices are too few…

    I’m so glad that August seems close, because right now March seems far to me. (No, I’m still not ready.)

    And lastly, you *did* accomplish something today. You grew your baby AND ate pizza 🙂 (hopefully you also gave your body a better chance at recovery)… oh, and you wrote a nice long blog post – definitely a welcome change 🙂

  7. I don’t get most of that stuff too.

    Rachel-weirdly enough, people DO sometimes approach people with remarkable hair and start touching it. My sister has flaming red hair, and has put up with this for most of her life.

  8. I almost started tearing up when I read the description of your dream.

    In terms of the whole competitive thing–have never been pregnant, but I can tell you that, between your blog and listening to a couple of my friends describe what they have been going through, I think I have been cured of any maternal urgings.



  9. “As for rubbing your belly, it must be an issue with boundaries. I mean, would this person walk up to a lady whose hair looked silky-soft in the supermarket and start touching it?”

    I am so doing that to the next belly rubber.

  10. The rest I don’t know, but bfing I do know. Don’t bother getting a pump immediately unless you are going to work right away. If you have a maternity leave worth anything, you don’t need a pump.

    You need to establish your supply by nursing the baby. A healthy full-term baby is much better at extracting milk from your breasts than a pump is. And if you are fortunate enough to have a good supply, you *don’t* want it to exceed the baby’s needs. Believe me, you really don’t–that’s a good way to get mastitis.

    At first, you and the baby are a perfect dyad. A pump is just an unwelcome third party.

    If you need to build up a cache for the freezer, go ahead and wait until the baby is at least 6 weeks old and your supply is steady.

  11. As a biology teacher, my students do sometimes ask questions about infertility… more along the lines of “why can’t some people get pregnant right away?” Last year, I found myself listing some of the things (PCOS… male factor… all the things that we were dealing with right then) and then I saw these worried looks on the girls’ faces. I stopped then and there because they’re in ninth grade! Why should they have to worry about having kids at such a young age? I didn’t want to destroy their innocence and optimism.

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