April 5, 2011

Pap, Baby Sadness, Geek Love

May I impose upon your time and squeeze from you a moment of sympathy? Because my pap test, which I left 6 months overdue because of phone phobia -slash- scheduling hopelessness, and then had a HORRIBLE conversation with a receptionist that led to me making the appointment with a doctor other than the one I wanted, as if I didn't PLENTY dread the appointment already---THAT same appointment led to a test that had "insufficient cells for analysis" and I have to have A DO-OVER PAP TEST. I am not even kidding. And, as the doctor I didn't want (who turned out to be okay, but THAT IS NOT EVEN THE POINT) said, I "do not seem like a woman who has five children." That is, THIS IS A VERY UNCOMFORTABLE TEST FOR SOMEONE WHO HAS HAD ONLY C-SECTIONS.

Thank you. I appreciate your sympathy/pity. Thank you. Yes. Keep it coming. Thank you so much.

Speaking of that general area of the body, I have had Baby Sadness today, a particularly bad spike of it. I told Paul that it seemed pretty dim that just when I would feel like I couldn't manage/appreciate the five I had, and just as I wished we could flash-forward five years and be done with some of this crap, that I would be plagued by Baby Cravings. And Paul said no, it made sense to him: that when our current children were being all smelly and unpleasant and disobedient, it seemed appropriate I would crave a nice fresh newborn. (His eyes were kind of damp too, I'll note. He's not as crazy about the newborn stage as I am, but he is very fond of the Post-Newborn Baby stage.)

I'm so grateful that some of you are expecting babies. It helps so much. I know that some people, when experiencing Baby Sadness, resent pregnant people----but I, probably because I have FIVE CHILDREN OMG THAT IS TOO MANY CHILDREN FOR RESENTMENT IN ANY FORM, feel comforted: it gives me a feeling of "There will still be new babies and new-baby happiness and new-baby excitement, even if they are not MY babies."

Speaking of whatever we were speaking of and how it applies to this next topic, I don't know which of you recommended the book Geek Love, but whoever it was did a really short review along the lines of "I can't even describe this book but it blew my mind and you should read it." That is how I feel about it as well. I can't even describe it---or at least, not without totally misleading you. It blew my mind.



I finished reading it the day before yesterday, so I'm far enough away from it to safely say I really, really liked it. And yet---it is the sort of book I would be reluctant to recommend. It reminded me of when Paul and I watched the movie Up with my parents, and all four of us were first all weepy (okay, TWO of us were weepy), and then we were all WTF?? and then we were laughing, and then back to WTF?? and so on. We had NO IDEA where that movie was going. Same with Geek Love: it had computer-geek font on the cover and computer-geek orangey-yellow on the cover, but IT IS NOT ABOUT THE COMPUTER KIND OF GEEK. And I don't even know if I recommend it to you or not. I leave it as the reviewer I read left it, which was basically, "I can't even describe this book, just read it." [Edited to add: Okay, this is interesting. We have documentation (comments section) that this post from Hilarity in Shoes is what caused me to add the book to my library list. And yet, that's not the review I'm thinking of.]

59 comments:

C_Girl said...

Did you get Geek Love from me??? I LOVED that book and I will be so happy if I sparked your love of it too. (http://www.hilarity-in-shoes.com/2011/02/02/all-time-favorite-books/)

I would also like a baby. Now.

CARRIE said...

Hells bells! Pap smears suck but especially do-overs.

I keep waiting to have baby pangs, but my baby is only 18 months old, and he's still nursing. And I've decided that he may never get a haircut to look like a little boy instead of a baby.

Perhaps if I ever let go of his babyness I might get a pang.

Katy said...

At 23 weeks with twins, I'm pretty sure I would trade places with you if I could. I want KIDS, but man oh man is getting them a pain. What's worse is that pregnancy is fastest way to get them.

OK, I'm sorry. Whining complete.

Lisa said...

oh dear, that super sucks. I too am a procrastinator of the getting poked in the lady bits. It would suck donkey balls to have to go back again. I'm sorry that happened and send lots of sympathy your way.

I miss new babies. I also miss sleeping through the night.

Clarabella said...

It is the kind of "geek" one might see at a carnival? Because that sounds AWESOME.
I am sorry you had to have a PAP do-over. That is awful & that Dr. should have to endure something similarly humiliating and painful. Gah.

Dr. Maureen said...

I read that in high school! I, too, expected computer geeks. I didn't really like it that much; perhaps I was too young? But I was definitely not the one who recommended it. I just never met anyone else who had read it before, at least, not that I was aware of. I don't require book lists from all of my friends and acquaintances, after all.

Marie Green said...

I'm sorry, but WHA? You have to go back IN for ANOTHER pap? Um, NO. That's wrong on so many levels and I totally think you deserve to have a big ol' hissy fit. No, really. Throw something. Scream. Demand that Paul have a do-over vasectomy.

I'm glad that you're happy about upcoming babies. Would you like to come visit when I have a fresh newborn? I... I'm not actually joking there.

I'm reading that book. I mean, I don't have it YET, but I WILL have it soon. I'll get back to you on what I think...

Bibliomama said...

The pap thing (yeah, sorry, totally sucks) reminds me of a really tasteless comment my dad made about one of my friends - tasteless but funny. I need some time to decide if I can tell it to you and not have you block me from your blog.

I'm kind of glad (I guess) that I didn't go on having babies thinking at some point the baby sadness would stop, since clearly it doesn't stop even at FIVE. And I love non-book-reviews like that. I will totally read it. And my friend and I made the same 'loved it - not sure who I'd recommend it to' comment about Shaun of the Dead.

lifeofadoctorswife said...

No. No no no. That is not good.

And I am sending double sympathy because of the dealing with the receptionist. I find that doctors' office receptionists in particular seem to be either very helpful and kind or very cold and (seemingly) purposefully UNhelpful. Nothing in between. (Obviously this is a gross over generalization. But STILL.) Am sympathetic.

Arwen said...

YUCK on the pap-smear repeat. All that ordeal! I would be big-time annoyed.

And Baby Sadness is no fun either. I've only ever had it pre-having-children (2.5yrs of subfertility. fun!) but that was bad enough. And I at least had the promise of probable future babies to get me through it! I love your attitude about other babies. I wish I lived near you and could share my imminent twins with you, because I suffer through the newborn stage and tolerate the infant stage and really just feel like I'm marking time until my kids are 18 months are so. And I doubt the whole thing is going to be EASIER with twins. Yikes.

Hope tomorrow is better!

Caitlin said...

Uuuggghh. I have had to do the do-over pap before. You deserve all the sympathy AND a rather large box of soothing, medicating See's chocolates.

(The only upside was that I got to explain my rage/tantrum at the Do Over to my husband. Seeing the look of horror on his face when I explained the entire procedure (MASCARA WAND! EGADS!) from start to finish did feel a little victorious SLASH satisfying.) (Up next, psychological study on why I feel better after passing along my feelings of being tortured.)

And at this time I would also like to remind you of Niestle 2.0: This version will be an upgrade (Don't worry Niestle 1.0, 'upgrade' doesn't mean 'better'!) because s/he will be close enough for LENGTHY SNUGGLING.

Jen said...

A do-over pap? I have never heard such a thing! I am so very sorry. Yuck.

I, uh, am not a happy-for-others-having-babies type. I need to think more like you. I know a few people having them soon and I AM happy for them but then I start thinking about it and I get so green with envy. And you know what type it is? NAMING envy. Which is ridiculous but there it is.

d e v a n said...

Sympathy coming at you. That sucks.

Jenny Grace said...

Pretty sure it was me. Because I was like, "I don't know how to describe this but it is NOT computer geeks and um...it's super disturbing. But....good? I dunno. Read it."

Sarah said...

I can't even imagine how uncomfortable you must get, because I have had three vaginal births and still get all clenchy and needing-the-deep-breathing to endure a Pap.
Sorry. Ugh. And also about the baby thing, yes indeed. I think Paul's explanation makes total sense.

Barb @ getupandplay said...

It drives me crazy when invasive medical procedures need to be redone or when the medical personnel are not compassionate. I mean, hello!

Thank you for the book recommendation- I love new books but I don't like reading them cold, I'm often disappointed.

Also, I am expecting my second and get to find out the gender in just two weeks! Thank you for being excited for the new babies coming into the world.

Doing my best said...

I'm so sorry! I am having the baby-sadness too, despite my 5. That is wonderful that you are able to enjoy other people's baby excitement! Hopefully there will be enough baby excitement around you to see you through until your own baby sadness comes down to a bearable level.

Karen L said...

Pap do-over is wrong, wrong, wrong. Baby sadness is sad, sad, sad. I definitely sympathise on both counts. Is it totally bizarre that I've almost got baby sadness while I'm pregnant with my third, knowing that this will be the last one? When my first was about 3 months old, I already wanted grand-children! Just think: with 5 children, you have a great chance at lots of grandchildren all spaced out, possibly over decades! That would be AWESOME.

Glad to hear that baby news makes you happy, though. I'll probably even be writing you for baby name ideas. And I think it might also please you to know that my leading contender right now is John.

Cayt said...

The cover I've seen in the book shop near me is this one: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Geek-Love-Abacus-Books-Katherine/dp/0349100861 which I think emphasises that it's not the computer kind of geek. I've picked it up and put it back many times, it's good to know that it's worth reading. I will put it in my reading-for-pleasure-queue.

beyond said...

i'm sorry you're feeling down today.
i'm expecting my first and am glad that you can share baby-excitement, baby-joy. and in my case maybe you'll also share some baby-anxiety? because i'm happy and terrified, at times i'm happily terrified...
and UGH pap tests! a do-over pap must be UGH ten times over.

Michelle said...

So sorry about the pap do-over. So not fair! The book sounds interesting, I'm going to have to look for it.

Nik-Nak said...

My insurance agent showed me pictures of his newborn baby girl yesterday. I think he got mad be cause right in the middle of his gloating I had to tell him to "stop, seriously. You re going to give me baby pangs and it is too soon for that".

So I fear I will be one of those people who are resentful towards pregnant women when it is time to stop having children in our household.

Swistle said...

C_Girl- YES. I see myself IN YOUR COMMENTS SECTION. That's when I added it to my library list! But...now, what is is the other review I must be remembering, the "Too weird to explain, just read it" one?

Swistle said...

Clarabella- YES IT IS.

Swistle said...

Marie Green- Ha ha! And I'd be one of those awful guests that spent all my time hogging the baby!

Swistle said...

Bibliomama- TELL.

Swistle said...

Jen- OH, I DO sometimes get naming envy! In fact, sometimes it's what sets off a fit of baby sadness: I'll hear a name and really really like it, and then think tragically "I'LL NEVER GET TO USE IT."

Swistle said...

Jenny Grace- THAT sounds like what I'm remembering!

jen (melty) said...

Random: The graphic designer in me is running around screaming and throwing stuff, that they'd use a computer font and design for a book that was not about that kind of geek! Get your damn symbolism right and don't just play off on the "geek" word! Just because it looks cool doesn't mean it's appropriate! And here I sit, unemployed. Sigh.

Oh, and sorry about your repeat pap. I have never heard of that happening to anyone. Hopefully it goes smoother but I'd consider maybe a different practice that's more sympathetic humm? :)

Swistle said...

Karen L.- Ha ha, yes! I totally get that "pre-nostalgia baby sadness" thing while pregnant! And while the baby is a newborn, I'm thinking "WAAAAAH, SOON THIS WILL BE OVER!!" I'm definitely hoping that the grandchild stage helps with this.

YAY FOR JOHN!! It's a GREAT name!

Swistle said...

Cayt- Holy crow, that is an...ARRESTING cover.

Swistle said...

Beyond- YES, it's SO SCARY! And you can't see what's going on in there! And I'd thought the "Maybe this is a terrible idea" feeling would be exclusive to the first pregnancy, but actually I felt it each time. ...Er, I'm not sure this is HELPFUL, per se.

sitting on the mood swing at the playground said...

So sorry about the pap do-over...I've had that happen a couple of times.

I get the baby thing. We only have one child and I was so hoping he would having a sibling but after a long adoption process we knew he would be an only. Now I volunteer to babysit my friends' babies and let them know their little one will be sniffed the whole time in my care.

Geek Love is a favorite of mine. Whenever I try to explain it to people, I watch their eyes kind of glaze over as they take a step back and wonder about our friendship. I remember reading it at Coney Island then lying down on my beach towel. I was nearly asleep when I heard someone yell, "Hey Arturo!" I shot up expecting to see Aqua Boy.

Swistle said...

Jen(Melty)- Did you see the other cover Cayt linked to, above? WHOA.

I would definitely switch, but we're in a one-practice area.

sitting on the mood swing at the playground said...

Oh, I forgot...on the spine of the original edition of Geek Love (and maybe the paperback, I don't know), the Knopf greyhound has five legs.

Erin said...

That is a NIGHTMARE about the doctor. Seriously. I might have nightmares.

I'm sorry about the baby sadness. Knowing this is absolutely, positively Our Last One, I am already feeling pangs of "this is the last time..." kind of thing. Which seems CRAZY, but I can't help it. So I guess what I'm saying is that I sympathize big time.

Hey, you probably only have 15 years or so until you have a grandbaby?

(Not helpful?) (Sorry!)

Nowheymama said...

Well said, Paul.

ccr in MA said...

About the do-over: ow. Ow, ow ow. So sorry! I can sympathize; I haven't had kids, and I am not "built small" if you know what I mean, but apparently my lady parts are petite. My doctor put a note in my record to use the smallest size instruments. Ow! I think he would have scars if I had to have a do-over. Once a year is more than enough!

Christy said...

I read that book in High School! I remember having to distance myself for a couple of days before deciding that I liked it!

And big, fat BOO on the re-do Pap. That's terrible! My husband couldn't fathom the badness when he was present for one of mine (when I was pregnant? I don't remember if it's normal to get one when you're pregnant).

Gretchen said...

At least nobody has told you your cervix is ATROPHIED! That was extremely insulting and I wasn't even 40 yet. I switched clinics after that.

Cherie Beyond said...

I won't say I didn't like Geek Love, but it was definitely one of those books that made me say, "I DO NOT UNDERSTAND MODERN FICTION" and then I went back to Jane Austin or something.

Misty said...

I once had to have a do-over test of some sort because they used the wrong...mascara wand or something and my insurance wouldn't PAY for that particular kind of mascara wand, so unless I wanted to fork out $400 (yes, you heard me) then I would have to come in for a retest.

Suckage.

And I so so so know about the baby want, even though I have a baby! But he is the last one and my doe eyes and sniveling isn't changing the husband's mind. But every time I see the teeny clothes the baby has grown out of, every time I think, you know, we just don't have a place to store that bassinet if it is never going to get used...I hear: http://ow.ly/4ulgV.

And I don't even like country music.

Slim said...

I once had a medical professional say, "Wow, your blood pressure is a lot lower than it was last time . . . . Oh, you were scheduled for a Pap smear then, and you're not today. Guess that explains it." Yes indeed it does. Boo on having to do it again.

One of my favorite people is about to have a baby, and she promises I can hold him as much as I want. Would it be inappropriate to get a signed and notarized document to that effect?

Sam said...

I am so sorry about the do-over pap. I'm thinking this one is one them, no?

I have to speak up about Geek Love: I read it several years ago and can I just say: disturbing. Really disturbing. So people, prepare yourselves. I'm still not sure why it bothered me so much (I definitely couldn't have read it when I had a wee tiny newborn or pregnant) but I read A LOT and generally do not end up with this kind of disturbing content in what I read. Not to be a Debbie Downer - it is a good book in that you think about it for a long time afterward.

Magic27 said...

First, you get all my sympathies for the do-over Pap: I, too, am an ace procrastinator of the telephone call-doctory type things and can utterly feel your pain on this one.
Second, whilst I'm very, very happy to send you all the sympathy I can for your baby sadness, I have to admit it's not something I'm familiar with: I loved my daughters when they were babies (obviously), but have NO REGRETS about that time. I am, most definitely, NOT a baby person. I love the ages they are now (9 and almost, almost 7 - 3 weeks today!) and wouldn't go back to before age 4 for anything. But I do sympathise - during the long, unsuccessful trying-for-a-baby stage I felt it and it was horrible. I hope something nice happens to cheer you up.
And, lastly, many thanks for talking about Postcrossing on your blog: I signed up last month, have now sent out 5 cards and received my first one (from India!) today. It's such fun, and makes opening the mail box so much more exciting! It's a wonderful idea! I'm just a little concerned that it might ultimately become a rather expensive habit: it's pretty addictive...
Feel better soon!

Lawyerish said...

TOTAL sympathy on the do-over Pap. That is ridonculous.

And I read "Geek Love" in college for a class, so I know what you mean about it being sort of undescribable. I actually recall it making me feel really uncomfortable. Again, I can't really say why, but even thinking about it gives me an unsettled feeling.

Saly said...

I had to have a re-pap after my 6-week checkup after Liv was born because the cells showed "irritation". I'd just had a damn baby!! There was a plus side though, in that I was able to extend the sabbatical from fulfilling wifely duties for a few more weeks.

Bailey said...

Oooh, Geek Love. In March of 2009, Rebecca Woolf (who writes Girl's Gone Child) started now-defunct twitter book club called Prose Hos, and that was the first book chosen. I was especially excited because parts were set in my city, Portland.

I found it...exactly as you did. Huh? Whoa. Oy. Wow. I liked it too. I recommended it to exactly one person, my mom, who is weird like me.

Lindsay said...

At my last pap, I was told I have a long vagina!!! It was awesome.

Also, my kids are five and seven, and I am having my first baby pangs. I feel they are ridiculous and pray they go away.

Joanne said...

I am sorry about that pap. How I hate it when I have to do something because someone else effed up. I read Geek Love a long time ago, which I only mention because I catch myself, like 15 years later or whatever it is, thinking about those characters. It has stayed with me in a way that few books have. I loved it.

Jenni said...

I recently had my pap smear as well. And I'll see you your "pap do-over" and raise you a "I'm going to need a bigger speculum," (OUCH) because apparently after giving birth to two large-ish children vaginally I have a cavernous vagina. Go me?

ssm said...

Oh, baby sadness, I have it too. My 3 y.o. keeps asking me when we can have a baby because he will "love it so much and take care of it and be the best brother ever.: This is NOT GOOD for my baby sadness.

Superjules said...

Maybe I should comment about your dream post here and pull a complete switcheroo.

I had a dream the other night that I had a baby. For the past couple days I've been feeling like, sigh, I guess I have to learn to live without that baby. That baby who never actually existed in the first place. It's an... odd feeling.

Swistle said...

Superjules- Or maybe you will see that baby later!

Kelsey said...

When I first moved back to Ohio to work I had a doctor that THREE TIMES IN A ROW had to do repeat Paps... I got a new doctor. I'm sorry you have to do that AGAIN - blerg.

I have been having lots of baby sadness too - and I don't at all resent other women being able to have babies. I get a weird mix of happy for them and sad for us...

Laura said...

Dear Sweet, Wise Swistle, thank you so much for recommending Geek Love, or at least suggesting it strongly enough for me to put it on my reading list. I just finished it last night and loved that book so much!

Swistle said...

Laura- Oh, I'm so glad! That book, more than perhaps ANY OTHER, has been SO difficult to know whether to recommend or not! Because I loved it! But...well, you've read it, you know what I mean.

Becky said...

I just picked up Geek Love from the library and read the first 10 pages or so and am VERY INTERESTED to see where it goes. I knew from your review that it wasn't computer geek, but I hadn't read the comments so I didn't know it was circus geek (and I wouldn't have known what that meant even if someone did say it). I kind of want to save it for my pick for book club, but that isn't until next year and so maybe I'll just REREAD it then. Or I'll read it now and think of something else. Either way; thank you for the recommendation!

Swistle said...

Becky- Oh, I hope you'll like it! It is an...ODD...book. Very odd. As it begins, so it intends to go on---and to an even greater extent.