An apple a day.
April 10th, 2013
My dear lady friend had her surgery and there were no malignancies! Such a wonderful relief and it looks like both she and Harlow are in the clear for the time being. Recovery should be fairly quick since her surgery was performed by a robot. Yes, a robot. Oh, modern medicine, you’re so crazy.
Speaking of modern medicine, we had our first meeting with the midwives and it went really well. We had an early morning appointment and because Lee Kyle had already agreed to come along, I didn’t think it was necessary to ask Andy to wake early to join us. I picked Lee Kyle up around 8:15 am and we drove through the rain-soaked city till we reached their offices adjacent to Touro Hospital. On the way into the office, Lee Kyle posed an interesting question, “Would you like me to pretend to be your boyfriend?”
I’ll admit I was shocked. I assured him, absolutely not, he was my dear friend and our baby’s birth father but he NEVER had to pretend to be anyone that he wasn’t. He asked, “Aren’t you worried they might judge you?” I explained that I was not paying them to judge me and if they had any issues with our situation or showed even an ounce of disrespect to either of us, we would take our business elsewhere. His question left me with a profound sadness though. I had never even considered what this experience would be like for him, or how he had apprehension about judgment, no doubt due to his life as a gay man. It also angered me when I thought about anyone making this amazing individual pretend to be someone that he isn’t. I’ll admit that my privilege of being a white, (mostly) hetero-sexual woman has left me blissfully ignorant to firsthand experience of the prejudices that gay, bi, and transsexual individuals still face in 2013. I plan to be more empathetic to this and also do my part to reduce any anxiety Lee Kyle or Clint may have considering our baby and other’s perceptions of it.
Thankfully, we didn’t have any issues at our appointment. We met both Cathy and Esther, the two midwives, but our intake was completed by Cathy. I always dread intake procedures that require a family history because mine is so depressingly tragic. Parents? Dead -suicide and complications from Congestive Heart Failure. Siblings? Dead- suicide. There are inevitable questions, which require a story that I always manage to tell without crying. Then, like clockwork I feel awkward because I fear I come across as a heartless bitch. A new experience included talking about my past sexual history at serious length. This wasn’t like the free clinic where they breeze through a standardized questionnaire. When the topic of previous pregnancies arose, I figured it was best to tell the truth. I was pregnant once before. In October of 2006 I was raped by a person who I regarded as a close friend. He also was a co-worker and one of the main contributing factors as to why I left the gentleman’s club business. As if being raped wasn’t a complete nightmare on its own, I ended up pregnant (take that, Todd Akin, you stupid bastard). I did what I knew in my heart was the only choice for me, I terminated the pregnancy. I decided on a medication abortion and took the pills as directed but unfortunately I had an adverse reaction which caused extreme vomiting and diarrhea and I ended up in the ER with severe dehydration. I had a pro-life nurse who expressed her disdain with a catheter. It was an awful experience. The entire horrible experience cost me approximately $3,500.00 and my job (I resigned because I couldn’t stand to be in the same room with my rapist). Still, I wouldn’t change my decision for the world. As they say “It was soooo worth it.”
I haven’t told many people about that dark chapter in my life. In fact, many of my close friends will probably be shocked to read this. Rape carries with it an unhealthy dose of shame. I have worked very hard my entire life to not be pitied or judged by others because of my family circumstances, and therefore have never wanted to add ‘victim’ to a list of defining characteristics. I’m still very uncomfortable talking about the situation, more so than my mother’s murderous finale. Nevertheless, it is an important part of my history when considering how it could affect the psychology behind the pregnancy and birth of my current precious baby. Cathy was kind and empathetic while recording my family and personal history. She asked enough questions to allow her to determine that I wasn’t in need of a sanitarium, while not prodding too much on the touchy subjects. She commented that she was amazed by my resiliency, and that she figured it would help to make me an excellent mother. I’m hoping she’s right.
Lee Kyle was called in to join us after my intake and when Cathy finally met him they hit it off right away based on their mutual love for Project Runway. Our family situation was not only openly accepted by Cathy, but she also made us feel as though we were any other traditional client. I was relieved when Lee Kyle joined us and the mood was immediately lightened by his excited presence. We went over his family history, which seemed free of any strange diseases and then we talked about our expectations and concerns. I am going to *try to have a natural birth. This means I would like to avoid pain relieving medications and an epidural, but I’m also realistic to the fact that I may end up having one or both. Luckily I know a lot of awesome, local mothers who delivered their babies naturally. While it definitely doesn’t sound like a walk in the park, it is something I’m interested in trying. I made certain that it wouldn’t be an issue for both Andy and Lee Kyle to be present at the delivery and they had no problem with that. I mentioned that I also planned to have a doula there so she could instruct them nicely when they needed to keep it down or give me some time alone. Andy wants two doulas, one to support me, and one to support him.
The physical exam that followed our discussion was short and sweet. Everything appeared to be progressing healthily. I made my follow up appointment along with an appointment to have an ultrasound at the beginning of May. Lee Kyle and I had a nice lunch afterwards and then I took him home. He is such a pleasure to be around. I started thinking about this fact and a strange anxiety crept into me. I realized that I have no idea what I dislike about Lee Kyle. With every close friend I have, there is generally one vice or poor characteristic that I have acknowledged and accepted. So and so is a terrible drunk, what’s her name can’t keep a secret to save her life, Mr. Fancy Pants likes to one-up everyone. We all have our ugly side. Mine is probably that I can be quite stubborn and prone to fits of rage. Anyhow, I have no idea what Lee Kyle’s fault is. I know he can’t be that good looking AND perfect. Who knows though, stranger things have happened.