Midwestern Jews are not meant to run. That's because we're klutzy and uncoordinated. Case in point: I have broken one particular toe twice inside three months. And since I'm a perpetual overachiever, this time I broke it so badly that they have a special name for it: oblique disjointed fracture. This means I did such a phenomenal job that not only did I break it clean through, I dislocated and twisted it. New heights of extremism achieved successfully. Score.
A quick aside: It's important to note that when the 27 year old emergency room orthopedist tells you that he needs to forcibly push your toe from its current perpendicular placement to the more traditional direction, do not demand that after 8 years in school he should be able to come up with a better recommendation. They don't like that.
One more: When you show up to the ER with a toe that is completely and totally out of whack, they shove Oxycontin into your mouth (with a syringe!) faster than you can blink. Just sayin.
Upon arrival, I was nestled quickly into a wheelchair and escorted to the registration desk, while everyone stared at the crying cougar wannabe (pardon the lycra. I was wearing my pilates clothes. I didn't plan on anyone seeing me) in the corner.
Yes, broken bones hurt, even given that I was an Oxycontin virgin and should have been ecstatic. Why the extended sobbing?
Back the truck up a few weeks.
I have 3 kids. My youngest is almost 4 and I'm 39. In most sane places, that means too young to be old, too old to be young, and closing up the child-producing shop.
We've been considering shutting down the fruitful multiplication for a few years now, but I can't bring myself to make the final decision. Never the one to grab other peoples' infants and coo, the last 3 years have turned me into a Baby Groper.
Throw him my way.
I'll bounce and sway and calm and feed. But adding one to our bunch? That would bring the grand total to 4 (and we'd be outnumbered in a major way - I mean, they could literally double-up on us) and I can't bring myself to do that either. So I am comfortable here, in my I-might-be-done-but-don't-get-rid-of-the-baby-clothes purgatory.
After commiseration with several friends at a similar point in life, I begrudgingly went in last week for an IUD consultation. I know, IUDs aren't supposed to be a big deal. They're temporary. They're removable. But considering I'm very particular about what goes in there, and we're talking foreign objects, pain, potentially hormones - add that to the purgatory and you wind up with an emotional hot mess.
Flash forward to the ER. The last time I was in the ER, I was in labor.
And the time before that.
And the time before that.
Even though on the third go-round, when I had an appointment for a planned C-section, my youngest appeared 3 weeks early, in the middle of my oldest's Chanukah party (try doing the horah with 5 year olds, mid- contraction. It ain't pretty.)
Thus, emergency rooms trigger thoughts of birth. And here I was, facing an emergency room with the very real probability that I will never be in labor again.
Another quick aside: If you find yourself facing a similar situation, do not mumble about IUDs in between sobs. Your husband will become alarmed that the Oxy took over, and begin to panic.
So here I was, having a druggy, weepy come-to-Jesus moment in the ER. Enhanced by all the lycra. Fearful of the pain but tenfold more fearful of making the wrong choice. Can I really run a company, stay in shape, bring up three well adjusted, functional kids and add another? What if I just wait in pergatory long enough so that the option is simply removed from me? An IUD seems like a decision. And just like my Doogie Howser orthopedist, I found it hard to trust.
On the way home, percoset prescription in hand, I say to my darling husband "Honey, I think we're done having kids." And he grins. And says "It's OK. You can change your mind again tomorrow."