So I went in for my annual visit to my OBGYN. The disclaimer here is that she is wonderful and I adore her, so clearly, throughout this post I am the one who has no clue.
I switched doctors a while back at the suggestion of a friend. I was in the process of firing all of my male doctors for various reasons and I wanted a female OBGYN. I got pregnant almost right away so it was like, nice-to-meet-you and by the way now you are taking care of two of us. Some might say our relationship was a bit rushed. Nonetheless, I’m back for a basic annual visit. I’m exhausted. I am about three weeks into sleep training my seven month old baby. Did I mention that I’m exhausted?
She comes in and of course asks how I am doing. I mindlessly say how tired I am and that I’m starting to feel old. I can hear myself blab on about something related to tendonitis and carpel tunnel, how my baby won’t sleep and that I’m so tired. It was sort of like an “outer body” experience as I felt like I had no control of what was coming out of my mouth. Considering what I said later during the visit, I clearly didn’t. As I’m blabbing on I watch as she nods and gives me an assuring look as though she understands what I am going through. I realize at that moment that I’m complaining to my doctor who is also a mother of two small children who probably delivered fourteen babies during the night, hasn’t slept since Wednesday, and I’m her 36th patient of the day. She, by the way, also looks amazingly beautiful. Really Melanie? Tendonitis?? I need to stop talking.
I get it together enough to ask about possible methods of birth control. Until we officially, formally, finally end our life as a baby-making couple we need something in the interim. When you are married with two children, condoms are just awful. It’s different when you are having sex at 25. Most men are just so thrilled to actually be there, they are willing to slip on a ziploc lined with burlap if it means they get to do it. But when you’ve been married for eight years and have two kids it’s just not worth it. Who wants to wear a garbage bag while having sex with your wife? It’s a total drag.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like we are having a ton of sex but clearly, it only takes once. At the same time it’s not like when I went in for my eight week post-baby appointment when the nurse asked me what form of birth control we were using and I laughed out loud and said, “Um, not having sex!” As if I had any interest in sex eight weeks after I gave birth.
Speaking of, you know there is a reason why doctors tell you not to have sex at least six weeks after giving birth and it’s not for the reasons you think. It has nothing to do with anything physical or medical! No – the reason they tell you not to have sex so soon is to save your marriage. It’s true! There is absolutely zero reason why your spouse should have any glimpse into the physical aftermath of childbirth. With the tube-sock style granny panties you’re wearing to hold up the fourteen hospital-grade maxi pads for the eight week-long period you are having there is no reason for anyone to see what’s happening Downtown Julie Brown. As if the brown, wrinkled belly isn’t enough, I’m sure peeling Dermabond (if you had a C-Section) will really send the message, of sex! sex! sex! To save marriages and keep everyone’s self-respect in one piece, we do not have sex sooner than eight weeks after childbirth. Follow the doctor’s orders!
So back to my appointment. She, like all good doctors want their patients to think carefully about doing anything irreversible when it comes to fertility. It’s a big decision. I get it. I think. During my exam she says, “I want you to be sure before you do anything permanent.” I crane my neck over my knees. “I just want you to be sure that you don’t want anymore children.” Sure? I’m not sure. Well, I thought I was sure! What do you mean, sure? How can I be sure? I’m not even sure I remember where I parked my car. I’m certain I’m not sure that I have this gown on correctly. I can’t possibly be sure about something like this. I can be pretty sure, or mostly sure. Just not sure, sure. I think. I’m sure. Yes. Sure.
In reality, yes of course we are sure. I know that we are very happy with our family and we want to provide as much as possible to each child, therefore two is plenty. Having one of each also helps us know that this is the right decision. I have my daughter. She is the girl. I have no room in my heart for another girl. That spot is already filled with the girl. She is so smart and funny. She is certainly a daddy’s girl but she talks to her mommy about her friends and fears. I could not possibly love another child more. I have my son. He is the boy. And I mean that in every sense of the word. At almost eight months old he already touches his bird and giggles. My love for him goes beyond the boundaries of my soul. It would be physically impossible to love another boy. No way. So unless there is a third option out there that I don’t know about, these two chickens are it for me!
I can only blame it on the exhaustion and maybe the tendonitis but I blurted out that I didn’t want another, making three children, which would mean, well, (you can probably guess where I am going with this) I didn’t want to make my son the middle child. Strike up the band ladies and gentlemen because you can imagine what my doctor said. Yes, that is correct, she is a middle child. Why did I even say that?? What possessed me to say that out loud?? Even if it is how I feel no one else cares!
It would be one thing if I made this offensive statement to someone while talking over dinner or drinks. No, I say this while I’m flat on my back with my who-ha in the air during an exam. Really? How the hell do I recover from that? There are no words. I cannot possibly back my way out of the fact that I said I didn’t want to make my baby boy a middle child to none other than a middle child who, of course, turned out amazingly well. Remember? Working doctor? Two small children? Goes without sleep for seven to ten days? And then there is me, the youngest of two complaining of stiff wrists.
Of course I laughed and said I didn’t mean anything by it….sure. I’m sure she has heard worse. I’m sure of that! I thought about it on the way home and I assured myself that there is no way I am the only one to make an ass out of myself on the table. Is it just me? Impossible. I rest assured knowing that as a mother I am in good company. I would argue that as mothers we are all, at some point in every day, really tired. Our multi-tasking brains occasionally are overloaded and we end up saying really stupid things. For me it was in my doctor’s office which is a relatively soft place to fall. So for the man I was on a date with many years ago who asked me if people often think I am a lesbian, I can only assume that in another life he was a very, very tired mother.