Farewell, Baby Maker

I’m on the other side of one of the hardest medical decisions I’ve ever had to make, and yet as I snuggled with my two kids and husband in the early morning hours, I surprised myself by how content I felt with my family of four. 

I’ve struggled with endometriosis as long as I’ve had a period, but was not diagnosed until I was 18. I still remember that first pelvic exam and the giant speculum the doctor held up for me to see. That’s huge! I marveled. She laughed and then showed me the one used on women who’d already given birth. Oh. 

Surgery #1 was quite successful, as was the second. But the pain kept coming back and when I told my current doctor how much medicine I was taking to control the pain, she said it was time to find a better solution. More shots, different birth control, or a hysterectomy. 

As much as it pained me to go with the hysterectomy, it was the right decision. I didn’t have a party, celebrating the end of periods and hopefully the end of pain. In fact, I cried as I said goodbye to my husband as they wheeled me away to the operating room. I cried because I was nervous. I cried because my baby making days are officially over. 

But it was my choice. I made the decision. No one chose for me. As a woman, this takes pro-choice to a whole new personal level. I made the choice. Just me. 

In the operating room, before the anesthesia took me away to dreamland, my doctor admired my pink cast. I chose pink, I said, because while I couldn’t go to the women’s march and wear a pussy hat, I got a pussy cast instead. Everyone in the room – the two doctors, the nurse anesthetist, the nurse and tech – they were all women. 

You’re my pussy posse! I said. They laughed and said that’s right! And then I drifted off to dreamland. 

The 2017 Reading Challenge Begins

My friend C challenged her Twitter followers to a 50-book reading challenge, and I jumped on board, hoping it gives me the motivation to read outside my usual favorite genres. So far I’ve been successful, but that’s likely because my only appointment television this year has been two reality shows that air on the same night. The reading challenge includes books in categories like a graphic novel, a book you’ve started but never finished, and a book set in your hometown. Let me know if you want to join us!

Here are my January reads so far:

Empty Mansions I’m reading this as an ebook from the library and really need this in print for the pictures. It’s a non-fiction tale about a reclusive heiress who spent the last 20 years of her life in a hospital despite being well enough to live in one of her many palatial mansions. Fascinating! 

Hungry Heart This is the memoir of one of my favorite authors, Jennifer Weiner, and it’s about her life as a mom, an author, and as a “big girl”. It’s lovely and she has an incredible reading voice. 

Vinegar Girl This is my first pick of the modern Shakespeare retellings from beloved authors. Based on Taming of the Shrew, I only sort of liked this book, but I admit the original version is troubling so she could only do so much with the characters. 

The Woman Who Stole My Life I love the Irish author Marian Keyes and this book is yet another good read with complexly crafted female characters. It’s not new, but it was new to me. If you’ve never read her, it’s time to start! 

On the Positive Side

I am trying to be a mature, grateful adult even while staying home with the kids for the fourth snow/ice day in a row, the fourth day of school that was cancelled right after a federal holiday, on the third day of living with a splint and sling. 

I am mostly succeeding, thanks to the world’s most patient husband, a 5-year old who can actually make his own meals when needed, and the kindness of friends who make food, buy coffee and food, and provide their children for my own kids’ afternoon entertainment. 

I am also learning about my limitations: I cannot use a can opener, open the tiny Tupperware box where I store my meds, or do my hair at all. In fact, I am very close to cutting it all off and if my beloved hair stylist agrees, the next time you see me, I might have short hair. 

But! I’m surviving! I discovered these super comfy bralettes from Soma, that while making my boobs into a uni-boob, I can put on myself. P’s kids floss is easy to use one handed. And with enough pillows all around me, I’ve figured out how to sleep mostly through the night. 

Thanks to everyone who has sent their love, advice, and food. ❤️

14 Things I Can’t Do Without a Functioning Right Hand

I fractured my right wrist late yesterday afternoon. We were sledding and on the way back to the car, I slipped on ice and braced my fall with my right hand. 


Talk about pain. Luckily the closest ER was five minutes away and despite the warning sign on the check-in desk that estimated at least a 3-hour wait time, I was seen in a timely manner, probably because my hand and wrist were double than normal size and I almost passed out from pain. 

Thankfully I don’t have to have surgery. Right now I’m wearing a splint and sling and will get a cast later this week. But already, after less than 24 hours, its apparent that the next 4-6 weeks are going to be a challenge. 

I can’t…

  1. Cut an English muffin
  2. Put peanut butter on said English muffin
  3. Change a diaper
  4. Dress my 2-year old
  5. Dress myself
  6. Put my hair in a ponytail 
  7. Put on makeup
  8. Put the lid on a sippy cup
  9. Write legibly 
  10. Sleep more than 45 minutes at a time 
  11. Pick up my kids
  12. Buckle my kids in their car seats 
  13. Fold clothes
  14. Zip anything without a struggle 

You get the idea. It’s going to be a long month. 

Just Be

Right now, on my coffee table, there is a wooden spoon, a soft toy football, a Playmobil rope and finger monsters, all waiting to either be played with or put away. 

But I’m snuggled under a blanket, about to settle in for the season finale of Younger and the last thing I want to do is clean. 

Yesterday marked day four of constant family togetherness due to “snow” days, only the first of which actually merited the cancellation of school and work. Turns out I go slightly nuts after so much family togetherness and I was delighted to spend today at work combing through court dockets and researching a very specific area of law. It was good to use that part of my brain. 

The spouse took Future President to a birthday party yesterday afternoon and I stayed home with the baby so he could nap before an early family Christmas party. His naps have been erratic lately and I’m hoping and praying this isn’t the beginning of the end of naps for him. 

So while he napped, I did nothing. It was amazing. I didn’t know how much I needed the silence until I sat down on the couch and heard nothing. 

It turns out I needed those four days with my two kids more than they did. They loved their uninterrupted time with me, and while I enjoyed some of it, I am exhausted after hours of moving between trains and cars and Legos and playing “dog” and breaking up fights. I am cut out for two kids, that’s it. After four days of yelling “stop hitting your brother!” and “share!” and “no, you can’t have more candy,” I am feeling very confident that our family is complete. 

Yes, I am sad. But tonight as I packed up baby shoes and baby toys to give away, I felt a growing sense of relief. 

There will always be babies to hold and babies to babysit. There will always be the memories and photos of my own children as babies. And as I tried to stop the baby from throwing a DUPLO at his brother, I thought, will I miss this when they’re grown? 

Time will tell. 

Folding the 2T Clothes

I scheduled my hysterectomy today. 

Those are not words I ever thought I would say, at least not in my late 30s, and yet here I am, in extreme pain daily, fighting to hold it together at work and at home and taking more OTC pain medicine than is probably healthy. 

In two months I will no longer be able to have children, which has been our decision for a while, but the thought that this decision is being taken away from me permanently makes me ache in a way I never thought possible. 

No more babies. My head knows it’s the right decision but my heart is breaking in two. 

Tonight as I was folding clothes, I added the 2T pajamas to the baby’s stack, realizing that the next time he wears those particular pjs would likely be the last. His little belly hangs out a little and the arms are too short. They belong in the giveaway pile already but the finality of the 2T pajamas going to another baby, a baby that isn’t mine, is too much to bear right now. 

A Place at the Table

A few weeks ago on a random Sunday, for no reason at all, instead of making food for the kids, serving it at the island and then eating while standing while the kids sat in bar stools, I decided to make supper and actually eat it together at our dining room table. 

Somehow it had never dawned on me to eat at the dining room table when it was just the four of us. Since moving into our home over a year ago, we’ve only eaten at the dining room table a handful of times and only with guests. 

Granted, the baby’s chair is attached to a bar stool and the kids are usually hungry before we are, so most of the time it makes sense to feed them, and then when they’re finished, G and I eat while they play. 

But now I wonder how we let the good old-fashioned family meal disappear from our lives after having kids. Five years in, there was certainly something magical about all four of us sitting at the table at the same time, eating the same food without any distractions. We actually talked and laughed and even though there was cottage cheese on the tablecloth and the floor by the time dinner was over, I didn’t really mind. 

When I stand at the kitchen counter eating, I don’t enjoy my food and usually it gets cold because I’m distracted by other things like the dishes or a spilled drink or the baby hitting his brother with a serving utensil. But when I’m at the table, the kitchen is too far away to do chores while I eat. 

I know this isn’t revolutionary for most people, but sitting down together for a meal was such a refreshing few moments for my family. 

So we did it again the next week. Hey, look at us, bringing the Sunday family dinner back in style.