Warning: TMI alert!!! If boob talk makes you queasy or embarrassed, skip ahead to Doctor...
Okay, so I'm weaning, right? It's been about five days. I had gotten Lolo down to nursing only a couple of times a day anyway, so I figured that since she was so content with the bottle, best just to make a clean break so as not to confuse her (or my bod). So, there were those couple of days where I was all homonal-y and stuff. But then, Thursday night, when I took off my boulder holder to go to bed, I noticed that I had a knot. Well, I have big boulders, so I figured it was just supply backing up and that it would all soon be over.
Friday morning I woke up and saw a wet spot. I hemmed and hawed about the baby peeing on our bed (which I'll remind you, is also our COUCH). I put on my clothes, got to work on the day's bread, dipe cleanup, etc. etc. It wasn't until later, when I went to take my shower and took my holder off again that I notice the HUGE dry rings right around where the ahems are. Leakage, folks. Leakage. I griped about the baby leaking on the bed, but I'd bet money it was my girls who leaked.
ALSO, after the holder is off, I look in the mirror and can SEE... GINORMOUS lumps in my boulders. My eyes about popped out of my head. I thought about it and remembered how bad my boobs had hurt all day but figured it had something to do with Lolo rolling over and mashing one of them that morning. Nope. Folks, those boulders were full of ROCKS. And there's nothing I can do about them. If I pump it out, my boobs think that I need more and will oblige. If I mash 'em down, it hurts like hell and smells like, gulp, CHEESE (been there, done it, bought and burned the tee-shirt). Nothing to do but grit my teeth and bear it. Bear the fact that I am destined to have all three of my children climb on me and badger the hell out of the one spot on my body that is in gut-wrenching pain. Bear the fact that my husband--who is naturally a klutz--will find every way possible to run into my boulders at ever possible turn. *sigh*
What's worse is that later at the doc's office, while he's doing the electrocardiographgram (whatevah), he's MASHING down on my biggest, rockiest boulder as I wince in pain and leak all over the exam table. How do you like THAT?!?
So, as most of you'll remember, I have a stupid heart murmur. Well, that's what the doctor told me and said I'd need to see the cardiologist to get an electrocardiograph/gram (whatevah) to prove that the murmur is "innocent" and that I won't collapse while doing the half marathon, only then would he give me my coveted certificate saying I can race, right?
As you'll remember, I hate going to the doctor. My last visit relieved me a little because I saw some progress: Toys in the waiting room to appease youngsters, separate little partition behind which I could undress/dress without his watchful eyes, etc.
I'll skip the part about how I walked up and down the street fifty times in order to FIND this cardiologist's office because just because it says "50" on one side of the street does NOT mean that "51" will be the address directly across the street. Cuz I went down to "50", crossed the street and found myself at...ding, ding, ding... BONG... "67"!!! WTF? Let's skip the part where I'm walking up and down the street screaming into my cell phone because Sam is condescending to me on the other end. Let's just fast forward to the part where I ring the doorbell and the receptionist shows me to the waiting room.
The cardiologue ushers me into his office and bids me sit. I mentally roll my eyes because I really hate this, let-me-get-to-know-you part of the visit. I'm sure many of you would like the personal attention, but I, PERSONALLY, would rather he smile, hook me up to a machine, take a read-out and hand me a note. To me, it's like buying cigarettes or stamps or something. Lay the money down, get the goods, get the heck out of dodge. No such luck.
He asks me all about me and my training goals and what not. After fifteen minutes of small talk, he leads me into the exam room part of his office.
"I'll let you go ahead and strip down to your underwear," he says.
I'm about to ask if he's sure he wants me to release my leaky boulders (see above section under TMI for explanation, IF you have the stomach/balls), but I remember that he IS a heart doctor and my boobs DO cover my heart (well, one boob does anyway). I strip down as he walks around me, throwing more small talk at me and hooking up wires and such. The funny part is, I should be all timid and embarrassed, but I'm not. I'm gabbing right back at him while carefully folding my clothes and setting them on a chair. Anyone else see that as strange? I stand on the scale... OH CRAP!!! I just remembered that I forgot to weigh in at the Biggest Loser... CRAP, OH CRAP, OH CRAP... I'll be right back... Whew... I hope they'll take it late. Anyhoo, so he weighs me and to me it's an okay number because it's less than I weighed when I got here, even though I've been maintaining for about three weeks. But I know, to him, I'm a fatty.
"Do you know your height?"
"Not in centimeters," I say with a chuckle.
He frowns, "In inches?"
"Five-four. Five feet, four inches."
"Blah blah blah centimeters," he says. (I probably should have paid more attention to that, but now I've rediscovered my nudity.)
He does his cardiology voodoo on me, hooking me up, making lots of beeps, printing out slippery little papers with lines on 'em. He listens with a steth and says that he hears a murmur but that it doesn't sound bad. He says that he thinks my heart is just a little more "tonique" than the average heart. He turns me to one side, rearranges my bod and then turns off the lights.
What? No foreplay? I try to stifle my snicker.
Out of nowhere, there's gel and then a probe-y thing-y that's sliding around on my chest. I'm SO used to this having had four babies, yo, but he's pushing down on my leaky boulder. I wince.
"It's full of milk."
"Mm-hmm," with nonchalance. He continues to press it down and I know that has to have SOME kind of effect on his read out because I'm one full-body tense muscle.
After a few minutes, he says, "Your heart is perfectly normal." Pause. "Yes." Pause. "Mm-hmm."
I'm about to look up to see if he's on the cell phone or something because I have no idea who he thinks he's talking to. He presses down harder.
"Can you pinch your nose and blow hard as if to clear your ears?"
I got to pinch my nose.
"No, wait until I tell you." Pause. "Okay, now."
He does this several times and then starts tinkering around with the machine.
I'm beginning to wonder if he has changed his mind about the "normality" of my heart when he asks, "So, you don't scuba dive?"
I shake my head no.
"Hmmm..." He's back on the phone?
I close my eyes and try to relax. I really want him to tell me all is fine. That I can do my half marathon. That I'm "all-go" for training for my full, because I've been kind of holding back cuz every time I start to run, I picture myself lying face-down in a random puddle on the running track having collapsed, no one finding my dying body until it's too late to revive me... (Have you picked up on the fact that I'm a LEEEETLE dramatic?)
Suddenly, he says, "Yep. I see it. You have a blah blah blah."
"A blah blah blah. It's an anomalie. But it's congenital and completely benign."
I mentally wipe my brow and do a little happy dance. Yep, all in my head.
"The only activity I wouldn't suggest you do is scuba diving with bottles."
"Well, I can't clear my ears even in the swimming pool, so I think we're safe there."
"Good. If you decide to do scuba, you'll need to do further testing, but as for a half marathon, you're all good."
So, Houston, there is NO LONGER A PROBLEM and all systems are go. I'll see you in January where I'm gonna eat your marathon for breakfast!!! That is, IF, I can get through this damn plantar fasciitis crap... Hell, I'll CRAWL the damn marathon if I have to...
After waiting three weeks for the bank to send me my new debit card (because they had already sent me my PIN), Sam calls them (why, you ask, did he wait THREE WEEKS?... awwww, the fact that you still ask is really cute... I've stopped asking... I'm numb to it now... I asked him to call that first week, but he often walks away from me while I talk, must be a common cultural practice on his planet of PASSIVE AGRESSIVE!!!!) and they tell him that we must pick up the card in person. That means that we're going to Haute-Savoie.
So, I say, "Man, I was planning on making rosemary-olive oil bread tomorrow."
And Sam says, "Go ahead. Make it and we'll take it with us."
But what he doesn't realize is that in order for me to make it and have it ready in time to go to the market the next morning, I'll have to get up at 4:30am.
Guess what time I got up? 2:30am... Lolo woke up and wouldn't be consoled. So, after I got her fed and quieted, I went ahead and mixed the dry ingredients together and set my alarm for 4:30. Needless to say, I made the bread and it was pretty and yummy-smelling and of course not as perfect as I had wanted, but it was bread and it would pass.
He wanted to... and he tried to... but I INSISTED... I will NOT skip going to the Saturday morning market. Okay, so, I agreed to send him this time because I can see the logic in one adult being faster than two adults and three kids, but still, someone must go and support the little organic farmer guys while at the same time securing the week's provisions. It still took him TWO HOURS to do it by himself (I'd bet money that he spent the first hour of that 1) getting lost and 2) parking). Either way, I have 70 Euros worth of fresh, organic loot in my kitchen, ready for me to freeze, can and dry!!!
So, we throw the kids in the van and rush our way to Haute-Savoie only to find that the bank will be open another hour and a half by the time we get there (Sam pushed the speed limit because he was sure they'd close at 11:30 and he sucked me into his paranoia... again, you ask why he didn't call or go online to see the banks operating hours? all I can do is shrug and raise my eyebrows... these are life's mysterious questions, folks... I wish I had an answer... I also wish I didn't have to stand by and let him handle all this but, alas, though I am fluent face to face, I don't speak French on the phone...something about needing to read lips and see expressions and lack of knowledge of phone protocol and whatnot).
I'll admit, it was a good thing we were early cuz I had to stand in line forEver. And in the end, though I was worried about having to do it myself (don't ask me why... I survived a WHOLE YEAR in this gods forsaken country by myself and didn't spontaneously combust... I don't know WHEN I became so dependent *shrug*), it was quick and painless once I got to a teller.
And then, at Pepe's house, I unveiled the bread. For some reason, two hours in the car wrapped up in a tea towel had taken the sparkly aura off of it, somehow. It wasn't pretty anymore. Especially sitting next to the bakery bread they had in their bread box. And then when Sam cut into it, the crust wasn't crusty enough and the innards weren't fluffy enough and the taste wasn't tasty enough, so I said, "Well, that bread's no good. Sorry."
But then, at lunch, Pepe said, "This is damn good bread!!! Who the hell said it wasn't good?"
I blushed, but I did my little mental happy dance again.
Tell me, folks. Tell me why I care. Is it that I want their approval because I want them to think I'm doing a great job of taking care of their baby boy? Do I think that making bread (or cooking well in general) means that I am somehow more womanly and more deserving? Do I think that my making bread is equated with somehow "providing for my progeny" or something? Probably. Whatever it was, I did my little happy dance. I basked in the approval, no matter how caveman-esque the delivery. I drank it up and licked my fingers. I felt victorious!!!
And then tonight, as I looked down at my plate of fresh tomatoes, drizzled with olive oil, a splash of lemon, a pinch of salt a couple of chopped leaves of fresh basil... As I sopped it up with the remains of my rosemary-olive oil bread, I felt really connected to the Earth. How's that for corny? As I drank my organic red wine and watched my kids gobble up their pesto-covered pasta, I smiled and felt all Mother Earthy and crap like that. *sigh*
The drama... Right?