Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Ah, The Joys of Womanhood

WARNING:  This post is basically all about periods and the things that can go wrong with girl parts and the things you have to do to fix them, so if you are a guy, you probably won't want to read it.  Also, I may talk about shitting myself.  I don't know if that's a deterrent or a draw, I don't know what you're in to.  Not here to judge.

Anyway.  I am a lucky lady with a condition called endometriosis, which is fairly common and occurs when the cells from the lining of your uterus grow other places and cause all kinds of problems.  I'd go into details but I don't want to and besides, I've come to the conclusion that the medical profession doesn't know how to deal with it anyway.  I've had years of treatments, two surgeries, hormone replacement therapy that turned me into a meaner, weepier version of Satan, and periods that leave me exhausted, puking, and in horrible pain for weeks.

I suppose I'm lucky-a lot of women who have it have a difficult time conceiving, if they can at all.  When I told my gynecologist Ben and I were going to start trying, she referred me to a fertility specialist right away, and started throwing around words like Clomid, IVF, etc.  I asked her what our chances were if we just gave it the ol' college try, and she said, I quote, "I guess I've seen stranger things happen."

Exactly a week later I was holding a positive pregnancy test.  I don't think she understood the kind of fertile Irish stock I come from.

In reality it wasn't that easy-Ben and I hadn't been trying for six years, but we hadn't been "not" trying either, so Henry was just a stroke of luck.  Pregnancy sometimes cures endometriosis, but not for me.  If anything, it's gotten worse.  So we were at the point where we were looking at another kid (if I could even have one) or a hysterectomy, when I started reading about a new surgery, one that didn't just burn off scar tissue that could be seen, but cut down to healthy tissue so new scarring doesn't grow back.  Turns out a specialist in Richmond actually does the surgery, and I was able to get in with her.

So I'm scheduled for a surgery Friday, and I'm a little freaked out.  I'm really hoping it helps but part of me is scared that it won't, and I'll be out of options.  Part of me is scared that I'll wake up and they'll tell me that while they were in there they found something horrible, like cancer, or my twin that I partially digested in the womb.  And part of me is scared that I'll die, even though the chances of that are very slim.  As a mom, my worst fear is something happening to my kid, but second is something happening to ME, and not being able to be there for him when he needs me to be.  I think about how much time I've put into raising him already, but if something happened to me now, he wouldn't even remember me.  That freaks me out.  I also think about Ben, and what he'd do without me, and how quickly he'd be scoring sympathy strange.

On to lighter topics.  I know I'll be ok, and hopefully this will end the sixteen years of steadily worsening pain I've had, and I can get my life back on track.  I'm tired of being tired and hurting.  Tomorrow I'm going to get up and go for a run, then go to yoga, and then start my surgery prep.  Since there's a good chance the endo has grown through my intestines or bowels, I get to do a bowel prep, which is a really nice way of saying "you get to drink salt water and shit so much you'll be passing food you haven't eaten yet."  So if you're looking for me tomorrow, I'll be holed up in the bathroom, catching up on my 30 Rock episodes, and being really glad I don't have to go through this at work.

Seriously, I can barely pee in my work bathroom.  I can't imagine having to deal with the constant explosion my pharmacist pretty much confirmed would happen.  When she was recommending one of the solutions, she said "Don't get anything that's a flavor you like, because after this, you won't ever want it again."

Hey, at least this might put me ahead in my weight loss challenges.....

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Fuck yeah, Porno PTA Mom!

I'm up too late on a Friday night, fighting a week-long stretch of insomnia.  I thought I'd use this time to catch up on my 30 Rocks, because we no longer have cable and I'd like to be smug and hipster about that, but it's just because we're cheap.

So I'm up at one in the morning watching the new season on Hulu, and the following advertisement happens.  Try to picture it, I just may not be able to put it into words.

White background. Model, in all white clothes, ridiculously high heels, struts down a hallway, holding a whisk.  She walks past podiums holding Betty Crocker cake mix boxes.  These boxes explode in vibrant red and blue.  The model crushes two eggs in her bare hands, with no regard to where the shells land.  All throughout the ad, sultry music plays and she clearly is in control of this domestic situation.  The last line of the ad:  "DOMINATE THAT PTA BAKE SALE".   And then in whispered tones "theeverydaycollectionbytarget".

It's not good enough that you're in shape.

It's not good enough that you're stylish.

It's not good enough that you're dressed and made up like someone who goes out to clubs at 11pm and IS EXCITED ABOUT IT.

Now you have to be the best mom at the PTA by using a Betty Crocker cake mix.

As if that would even compete in this age of organic, hand milled everything where no matter what you do, some mom has done it better, has milled her own wheat, or some sort of freak non-wheat because gluten is evil, and has used the self-generated energy from her house to concoct level 5 vegan cupcakes (the kind that doesn't cast a shadow, if you're not a Simpsons fan this may not make sense, but trust me, it's a hilarious pop culture reference).

My distress about this ad, which repeated every time there was a break in my show, is not about my inability to cook, or my lack of time to mill my own non-gluten grain, or whatever.  The root of my distress is that I have extensive education in marketing and business.  And that lets me know that if this ad exists, it's because market research was done and an opportunity was identified and seized.

That opportunity was based on the inadequacy that all moms feel.  We're not good enough because we haven't lost the weight, because we aren't made up and dressed up every day, because we don't have baked goods every day, because, as usual, women compete against each other for no good reason at all.  When we really should be leaning on one another, even if we don't agree on everything.  I don't care if you breastfeed til your kid is five and try to feed them organic everything and use cloth diapers and I happened to just catch my kid eating a goldfish cracker he found in my own bedsheets from a snack he had at least two days ago (hint-he still ate it).

I'm done trying to top other moms and I'm done supporting organizations that capitalize on my own feelings of inadequacy as a parent and as a mom.  So as hard as it is to say, fuck you, Target.  We're all doing our best, even if we do it in yoga pants, old sneakers, no makeup, and the reassurance that our kids really don't give a shit what baked goods we bring to the bake sale as long as we love them.  I'm better than you and I'm better than fitting into a cookie-cutter image of a parent that was identified by....who again?

Oh yeah, and I can make cupcakes from scratch, when I feel like it.  Which is mostly never.