For almost three months now, I’ve been incapable of writing. Legitimately incapable. I sit down at my computer, open up a blank Word document, and…crickets. I wanted so badly to be able to do it, but just couldn’t. Like Nicolas Cage and acting. But today, I finally decided to put pen to paper (finger to keyboard?) and just go with it. I mean, if Gigli can be a thing, why can’t this blog post? So excuse me while I brush off the cobwebs and apply some WD-40 to this rusted entry…renovations are now underway.
So let’s catch up, shall we? Where were we last? It’s hard to keep track with all that’s gone on this past quarter of a year. That’s the thing they don’t tell you about having children…something is always bound to go wrong. When I was young and naive, I always thought that I’d give birth under normal circumstances and raise a perpetually healthy child. I couldn’t foresee at the time just how many illnesses, mishaps, and roadblocks lie just around the corner. Like Brooke’s head in infancy, for instance. Sure, you may be envious of how much my daughter slept in her early months, but all that time on her back led to the development of Plagiocephaly. Not so bad that she needed a helmet, mind you, but enough to make her head so flat that Trump would never be able to call it a 10. In the months that followed, she’d go on to contract Paronychia (twice), Impetigo, and Hand Foot and Mouth Disease. And to put the cherry (read: eye patch) on top of the cake, she was then diagnosed with Strabismus Exotropia, which I can only assume was my comeuppance for previously making a Stuart Scott joke. Karma is real, folks. So in the interest of concision, I will limit this post to the two main happenings of the past three months: namely, weaning from breastfeeding and my latest pregnancy scare.
My second go-round with breastfeeding was an eye-opening experience that came with a host of pros and cons. The good part? Realizing that it didn’t have to be so utterly painful. That every infant doesn’t treat your nipples like rodents and their mouths like a mouse trap. The bad? Weaning. And not because my daughter had a hard time with it. To the contrary, she actually took the transition surprisingly well. So what was the problem, you ask? Well, let me paint you a picture…
Imagine that you’ve been living in a 3 bedroom house all of your life. Nothing extravagant, but better than some of the apartments you’ve seen others reside in. Then one day, someone comes along and gives you a 10 bedroom mansion on the water. The stately architecture is a sight to behold, and the pantry is always full. The pillows and sheets are like a trillion thread count, the garage is overflowing with Bentleys, and the faucets only emit Cristal. Life has never been better, and you can’t even begin to grasp your good fortune. Only, after two years, someone comes and rips the house right out from underneath you (something about eminent domain?), and you’re forced to return to your 3 bedroom house with your Mazda Miata and spend your days looking up cosmetic house-enhancement surgery.
That’s what it’s like to go from pregnant/breastfeeding boobs to not.
I’ll never forget the first day I realized the horror that had been bestowed upon me. I was getting ready to leave the house and thought that a bra might be in order, so I grabbed the one I’d worn every day for the two years prior and maneuvered it onto my body. And while I’d like to think of myself as a positive, optimistic person, that cup was most definitely not half-full. I screeched in horror, much to the dismay of my husband, who came running to my side. When he asked what was wrong, I told him through mock tears that my dried-up boobs now resembled the testicular sac of a dog post-neutering. So he proceeded to give my deflated mammaries a once-over, and then he said this: that my new boobs were cute. I repeat, cute. Like they were a f*cking pound puppy that he was considering adopting. Sarah Palin gives better endorsements.
On the plus side, I could have fared much worse. Some people emerge from the journey of breastfeeding with their nipples looking down at their feet like a teenage boy whose mom just found his weed. Not mine. Mine have kept their chin held high; making confident, steady eye contact. Like, they would totally ace the job interview. For an entry level job…but still. You gotta start (or, in my case, end) somewhere.
But that wasn’t the most eventful part of the first half of 2016. No, that came a bit later. I had been taking the mini-pill, since I was breastfeeding, and though I had decided to wean, I had a 3-month pack that I figured I’d finish out, before reverting back to the more reliable, estrogen-laced oral contraceptive of my past. Only problem? Unless you take the mini-pill at the exact same time every day, it’s not nearly as effective, and if you miss a pill altogether, you may as well start your baby registry now. All of that was no thang, though, since my husband was also practicing the method of…err…”withdrawal” (I totes sound like a doctor!). So when I forgot to take a pill one night and found myself mid-coitus the following day, I thought nothing of it…until my husband decided that, instead of the “pull and pray,” today was going to be the day that he’d test out the “stay and pray” as an alternative. I was aghast. When I told my husband about my oversight from the day prior, we decided that it may be in our best interest to get the morning-after pill. So we took a regularly scheduled trip to Target (otherwise known as voluntary bankruptcy), and I timidly approached the pharmacy in order to make my purchase. Only, when my husband looked up at the shelf of Plan B and saw the $50 price tag, he swiftly grabbed my arm and led me away from the desk. “50 dollars?! Forget that. I’ll just keep the kid,” he’d said. Because, evidently, children only cost $49.
I’ll spare you the gory details, but suffice it to say, the following day, I had alllll the signs of ovulation, and 6 days later, I was spotting. This was it. Implantation bleeding. After emerging from the bathroom, I told my husband what I had experienced, and…we both started laughing maniacally. I’m not sure if we were experiencing a moment of temporary insanity or what, but we found the whole thing positively hilarious. I mean, how could this be happening? One day of missing my pill, and suddenly my uterus was putting out “Vacancy” signs? Was there an overeager third base coach in my womb, imploring all runners to round the fallopian tube and come home? Or maybe the salesmen from Glengarry Glen Ross had taken up residence in my ovaries and were now instructing my eggs to Always. Be. Closing. And what about my husband’s sperm? I mean, those had to be some insanely determined swimmers. It’s like he had a bunch of mini Michael Phelpses in there. Regardless, I was perplexed. I didn’t consider myself to be pretentious, but it seemed as though my body were intent on playing a uterine game of Keeping up with the Joneses…if the Joneses’ last name were Duggar.
In any event, fast forward about one week and 6 pregnancy tests later, and I was finally satisfied that I was not, indeed, pregnant. But the experience was illuminating, for sure. Instead of being terrified of the proposition of having 3 under 3, we were warmed by the thought of bringing another life into this world. Or maybe my husband was just warmed by the thought of my boobs coming back. Either way, it was then that we decided that a third is likely in our future.
Later that day, I entered the shower, ready for some good old-fashioned cleansing. I lathered my legs from top to bottom in shaving cream, then proceeded to sit on the shower floor, because I no longer possess the stamina to stand for an entire shave sesh. I reached all the way down to shave…well, not my toes, because that’d mean that there was hair there, and that’d be weird. Though let’s be honest, with my Greek, Turkish, Indian, and Italian heritage, not altogether unexpected. You know how most couples match when they decide that they want to disgust the world? Like, they’ll thrown on varying sizes of the same shirt, or dress in similar shades? When my husband is feeling romantic, all he does is grow out his five o’clock shadow, and boom! We both have matching mustaches! We’re like a modern day Sonny and…well, Sonny, because Cher would have been at the esthetician like a good wife. In any event, I’m reaching down to shave my not-toes, and my boobs are pressing up against my thighs, smothering themselves in shaving cream in what has now become a decidedly less-sexy version of Darcy’s whipped cream bikini. Especially since my boobs are now a sad shell of their former selves. Varsity Blues, indeed.
After my shower, I climbed into bed with my husband and enveloped him in my arms; my fingers tracing every square inch of his body, trying to engrain his features into memory. Every last part of him is utter perfection. His eyes are soulful and absolutely breathtaking; boasting shades of gold, green, and brown, depending on the lighting. His shoulders, broad and strong, give way to two perfectly chiseled arms. His legs are firm and steady, despite the scar that pays homage to an accident of his youth, which only further emphasizes intangible traits of strength and perseverance. And while his mind is my favorite I’ve ever encountered, his body is nothing to sneeze at either. It’s the only temple at which I pray. And out of all of his body parts, there is but one that can unequivocally claim its rightful spot atop the throne. After all, it is the body part responsible for giving me my two children. And while I could choose to describe it as ideal, perfect, flawless, indefectible…the only word truly deserving is…