How do you like to start your week? A morning jog? A latte from
Git ‘n Go Starbucks? Maybe a little boom-chicka-wah-wah? (No, Mom, I didn’t mean that. Of course not.)
Me? I like to start it off with a nice pap smear.
Yup, this morning I visited my favorite OB-GYN for my
triannual annual exam. And a fun time was had by all.
Is there nothing as uncomfortable, ladies? I mean, really. It’s one thing when you’re pregnant. You can focus on the baby. But when you’re not pregnant—and not trying to get pregnant—all the focus is on your womanly parts, which are just there…in all their glory.
Now I should say that if there’s anyone I shouldn’t get embarrassed in front of, it’s Mr. H, my gyno. This 58-year-old has seen me since college. He’s seen me through five pregnancies and three babies. And he has mastered the art of the chit-chat like no other.
But there’s just something about discussing the upcoming Lincoln Half-Marathon and noticing that your boob is totally poking out the opening in the front of the oh-so-lovely gown that makes you feel a little, well, weird. (And by the way, I love how they call it a hospital “gown,” kind of like, “Oh, did you see Emily’s wedding gown? It’s gorgeous!” or “Which designer gown will Angelina Jolie wear to the Oscars this year?”)
And then there’s the whole stirrup/knees in the air/cold metal spreader thingee part of the visit. No more needs to be said about that. Discussing my favorite form of contraception? That’s a treat as well. But this year, a couple of points of discussion were added to my repertoire:
- I have “put on a few pounds” since last visit. Yeeeah. Fully aware of that fact, thank you.
- Mammogram? Since I have no history of breast cancer in the family, I can wait until I’m 40, which is only THREE years away.
- Babies? Are we thinking about a girl? Are we done? Is it time for Husband to get the snip-snip? Okay, I’m 99% sure we’re done, but for some reason, the finality of discussing this with my doctor really got to me. I asked if he thought I was getting too old to have another baby, and he gave me two things to think about.
- At age 35 there is a 1/2 of 1% chance of having a baby with Down’s syndrome. At age 40, the rate jumps to 2%. Granted, the majority of women age 40 do not have a baby with Down’s, but still, it is a significant increase. And then, I was told, I’d have to decide what to do about the pregnancy. OK, I know what I’d do because I don’t support abortion, so then it would just be figuring out how to deal with the special needs. Something to think about…
- What do I want to be doing when I’m 58? Do I want to be attending my child’s high school graduation, or do I want to be thinking about retirement and grandkids? Okay, what if I say I just don’t even want to think about being 58? I’m having a hard enough time swallowing 37!
I know in my head that another baby is not a responsible choice for our family. I mean, I’d have to go off my
“crazy pills”“happy pills”, which would not be good for ANYONE right now. I’d have to deal with even more fatigue and general feelings of crapola due to my pain-in-the-ass thyroid that insists on becoming more needy each year. I’d have a child in high school at the same time I’d have a child just starting kindergarten. And please, can I even manage the household we currently have? NO! Hey, let’s just add MORE laundry to the already toppling-over piles—GREAT idea!
But even though my head knows it would be stupid, silly—even selfish—for me to have another baby, my heart whispers, “Awww, but a wittle baby with wittle tiny hands and wittle tiny feet that you can nibble on…And remember how a baby smells? And remember how a baby grasps your finger and makes you feel like you’re the only two people in the universe? And remember the bond you feel while nursing? Remember? REMEMBER?!“
Yes, I remember. How could I ever forget? I wish I would’ve cherished all those moments even more than I did. Quit worrying about the dirty dishes or how much money we have in our checking account at that moment… Just snuggled and nuzzled and somehow captured that baby fragrance in a bottle to open in 20 years…
I guess my question is—will I EVER feel like I’m done? Will I ever feel that sense of closure? Even if Husband goes under the knife or when I hit “the big change”? Is it normal to feel happy with the children I was blessed with, but sad to know that there will be no new life growing inside this belly? Or am I, as I suspect, just a teensy bit crazy? Really—you can tell me.
This was not a good way to start off my week.