Archive for the ‘TMI’ Category

Lavender and Milk

November 14, 2009

Tonight my breast wept tears of milk into the warm bathwater.  V. weaned herself two weeks ago – just stopped taking the breast.  The last time I nursed her was on a park bench with fallen leaves littering the ground around us.  She was sleepy, and the sky was cool and gray.  My parents and husband waited nearby for us to finish, looking at the little metal labels naming the shrubs and trees.

I was glad she stopped on her own, glad I didn’t have to force the issue.  My mother crushed hot peppers and dabbed them on her nipples to wean my little sister, who says she can still taste the bitter flavor of betrayal on her tongue.

I didn’t really know I was sad, too, until tonight.

When I got my period on Monday, my breasts started to feel tender and sore.  It felt like first trimester sensitivity.  I warded off my toddler’s elbows and knees as best I could, each bump more painful than the last.  Finally this afternoon I did some serious prodding and poking and felt a familiar hard lump near the left nipple – plugged ducts!  What?!  So, resignedly, I dusted off the Medela pump and waited until she fell asleep.


But first, first I need a glass of wine, and a warm lavender bath.  I ran on caffeine all day today and I need to unwind.  I get out the hand towel, the cream-colored candle that says “Peace” on one side, the New Yorker my husband picked up for me at Barnes & Noble.  I pour lavender bath salts into the the steaming water and ease myself in.  He comes in and sits on the toilet for a minute – “so you need some me time?” – then goes out to watch football on his laptop.  “I just need to relax,” I say.

I turn over on one side so that my left breast is completely submerged.  Again I start to probe and prod, and then to squeeze and massage.  It hurts.  I can clearly feel the “string of beads” the websites describe, hard and painful to the touch.  But it’s a good hurt.  Geez, they’re everywhere.  My intention is to loosen everything up as much as possible before I go to pump.  The mental image of the plastic mechanical contrivance, with its mindless pulsating hum, comes into my mind, and I think how much more pleasant this is, watching the steam rise in the light of the candle.  I soon realize that I’m staring at the word “Peace,” and, to my faint surprise, that is what I feel.  Peace.

I squeeze again, and, to even more surprise, see a white cloud of milk burst into the clear water.  This can only be good, right?  So I keep squeezing.  I think, absurdly, of James Herriot’s books about hardened Yorkshire Dales farmers doing just this with their cows – stripping the milk from the udders to keep them healthy.  But, I reason, this is something only I can do for myself.  Nobody else is going to do it for me.  So I squeeze again.  And, even more absurdly, the moment begins to feel holy.  It’s perfectly quiet, and I am alone.  My mind and spirit become quiet, and there is only the release of the pain and pressure of stagnant milk in my breasts.  It feels like my breast is crying tears of milk into the warm water.  I didn’t feel sad about weaning – but I guess apparently my body did.  And this is the sadness working its way out to where it won’t hurt anymore.

(And I didn’t even have to use the pump, after all.)



November 14, 2009

Hm, Tara may be onto something.  This is my 6th period post-partum, but it’s been the most hormonal so far.  Sore breasts, bloaty, low back cramps, the works.  And I suspect that the day V. quit nursing was the day I ovulated, so I’m wondering if there’s a connection there? 

Actually I just discovered today that I have a plugged duct on the left side!!!  Boooo!  I thought it was just hormonal soreness but apparently it’s more than that.  I guess I’ll just have to break out the pump again with a hot compress and hope that works.  What!!!

On the other hand, we just bought tix to see U2 next summer with a bunch of T’s cousins!  Who knows if we’ll actually make it to the concert or not (what with possibly being in ALBANIA and all) but if we can… we have tickets!

Don’t Scare Me Like That…

February 8, 2008

All is well. But I had a heck of a scare this morning. When I got to my office, I went to the bathroom, where I absent-mindedly checked the TP (as always) after wiping. And saw blood. I stared at it in terrified incomprehension. My first thought was, do I have a cut or lesion down there? Because it was a bright red smear. And then I remembered that I had used the same TP to blow my nose (BEFORE I peed!). It was just a winter-weather nasal-dryness little blot of nose-blood.

Damn, woman. Don’t do that to yourself.

Euphemistic (now with *MORE* boring details!)

September 23, 2007

So after about a week of poking, prodding, and general obsessing, “the twins” (think beer commercial) are finally feeling just a little sore-ish. And big-ish. PMS…? (*so I’ve noticed that soreness increases through the day, starting with next-to-nothing in the morning. Interesting.) BBT is still high – and definitely higher than last month, when it hung just over the coverline at 97.7 for the longest time; now it’s at 98.1 most mornings. Interesting. Well, interesting to me anyway.

*I also had a bit of crying jag this afternoon while walking to campus on a gorgeous clear, sunny day. I was thinking about my late brother-in-law and feeling very sad. He would have really enjoyed exploring the gorges around here.

Just in case, I’m still steering clear of the grog, etc. FWIW. Not going to POAS until Thursday, or at all if AF shows up by then.

*Anyway, I’m going out of town for the next 3 days so probably won’t be checking in again until (late) Wednesday night.

Really Boring, mostly on lack of "symptoms."

September 21, 2007

Not sure why I am posting, as I feel like I have nothing to say. It’s just about the waiting right now. Compared to last month, I have basically no soreness at all – just a slightly heightened sensitivity of the nipples. BBT is still high at 11 dpo. That’s about it. There’s no drama, no big emotional “stuff” going on – for the moment (as T. would say, “one-one thunder, two-one thunder” – I think it’s cute that he says one-thunder instead of one-thousand. He’s counting the seconds until my mood changes.)

Waiting and work. Plenty of both right now.

What I’ll do with a BFN depends on which day it falls; if cd1 is on a Sunday, Monday, or Wednesday, then I can try another clomid cycle and we can try for an IUI the second weekend in October (which is a week after my Fall Break). If it falls on a Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, or Saturday, then we’ll be sitting this one out. I’m not sure which one I’d rather, so I guess I’ll want the one I get.

Which could be none of the above. But we’re not going to think about that right now.


September 6, 2007

Is it any coincidence that EWCM starts with “Ew”?

Unequivocal *updated*

August 28, 2007

Thanks, AF, for jerking me around, you stupid cow.

This morning: bbt drops from a steady 97.7 to an unmistakable 97.3. I go to the bathroom and see red. I sit down and start feeling cramps. Six days overdue. Unmistakably here.

I don’t know why I even had hope… I must have read too many fairy tales as a kid. I kept thinking how poetic, how romantic it would be to get knocked up in Bolivia, where T and I met. Going back to a place that holds magic for me in my memory. We walked again through the park where we once kissed until dawn. We walked past the room where he first said “I love you.” And yet, going back there also made me feel so old… in some ways the poignancy of the memories made the intervening years feel all the longer and heavier… the contrast between then and now – then, when I felt inflamed with passion, and now, when when the anxiety for perfect timing turns lovemaking into a high-pressure chore. So that’s the specific loss I am grieving right now: loss of a lovely story. It might seem like it’s not a “real” loss; what could be more ephemeral and unreal than a story? But stories are what life is made of. Or into. Both, I guess.

Anyway, I decided not to call my clinic. This semester I teach on Monday mornings, and I feel like the pressure of trying to do an IUI between 10:30 and 12:00 on a Monday morning would just about kill me. Hopefully I’ll O on or near cd18, which will be a Friday. But really, why should I think that either strategy will work anyway?

*Just had long phone confab with T, who said “if you don’t shoot, you can’t score”: he wants to go for the IUI. So calling the clinic tomorrow. He said he liked Matthew’s post (though I know it stirred some controversy).


June 14, 2007

Dang, it is HOT here. This has put a serious crimp in procreation-aimed activities. Gives a whole new meaning to the word “squelchy”… Plus, we are being hosted in a home with very thin walls…

cd23? When did that happen??

May 22, 2007

Wow, I could even poas tomorrow. BUT – don’t have any of those with me, and won’t. Am not feeling positive about the prospects anyway. What with Uterninus’ Law and all, conceiving the day before mother’s day would be just too “perfect” to be true. Anyway, what with the incredibly squeaky bed in my parent’s house where sound carries incredibly well (you can hear conversations from one end to the other quite clearly), the ambiance was not terribly conducive to the FDMOBMS (Forced Death March of Baby-Making Sex – I think I stole that one from Watson). Technically, it’s possible… by I’m not counting my eggs before they hatch.

I was thinking last night too about the stress on my body this month – not only the high-altitude travelling, but the rougher aspects of it – like an all-night bus trip on unpaved mountain roads. I slept maybe 20 minutes? The next morning though found us relaxing at some lovely under-visited hot springs next to a rushing rocky river, just idyllic. I fell asleep by the pool! Then Sunday – yesterday – we were at Machu Picchu: amazing. It was my fifth visit there, but only the second time climbing the higher peak of Huayna Picchu. Stunning!!! Definitely not for the faint-hearted. Very, very steep stone steps careening up the side of the mountain.

Today is our day off – it’s nice to have a break from our 12 students, although I’ve become quite fond of them for the most part. They’re good kids.

Today is also my dad’s birthday; I gave him hand-knit socks.

Further updates as I have Internet access!

Hide & Seek

April 29, 2007

Who knew Auntie Flo had such a sense of whimsy? Tsk tsk, the old dear. Yesterday when her wee brown dog, Spot, showed up, that icky damp feeling was too distracting, so I put in a tampon. When I took it out in the evening, I saw red in the brown. But today? Nada. Where is she?

More importantly, do I count yesterday as cd1, or do I hang out and wait for an actual flow to manifest? Maybe it doesn’t really matter, since this cycle is a DIY anyway. I’m not even taking OPKs to Peru. What with the high altitude travel and all, I don’t really want to have to think about it.

I was super, super cranky this morning until I actually started writing (at around noon!). As I became immersed in my work I suddenly realized that I was having fun. Awesome.