Getting Pregnant With Michelle Tea: "There Is No Way I'm Fitting Into An XS Ever Again."
I come to in the recovery room, facing another recently operated-upon female who is conked out in her bed.
I’m sort of conked out myself -– after I come to, I go back out again, and I finally wake up back in my little room, where Dashiell is sitting in a plastic chair looking at me. I manage to stay awake. A nurse brings me a little tray with some plastic-wrapped crackers and guess what? They are the BEST crackers I have ever eaten in my LIFE. Such salty, flakey, just barely crunchy goodness? Why don’t we eat crackers ALL THE TIME?
“Dashiell,” I say, “Why don’t we eat crackers all the time?”
It’s all I can say because my mouth is swiftly filled with crackers again. I suck all the apple juice from my little juice box til it looks imploded, and turn back to my tray with despair. The crackers are gone! I’ve eaten them all. Dashiell dashes off to get me some more and I can barely stop stuffing my face to allow the nurse to unhook me from my various tubes so I can go home.
I can go home? Just like that? So great, except we don’t have crackers at home, so maybe I want to hang out in my private room for a while.
Dashiell has gotten the scoop from Dr. Wendy -– the mysterious shadow the sonogram spotted in my uterus was in fact an adhesion. They snipped the skin apart and slid an IUD up there. No fibroids, thank goddess! And, guess what an IUD is? Maybe you know but I only found out yesterday, which is three months later in real-life time, because my co-worker Bananas Googled it. It’s a copper wire attached to a string! And this whole time I was imagining some sort of giant disk inside me, like a flying saucer. I don’t know why.
At home Dashiell makes me soup and brings me avocado on rice cakes while I lounge on the couch. It is still pretty early in the day -– the procedure happened so quickly! –- and it feels luxurious and terrible to just be lying on the couch during a WORK DAY! I have hours and hours of this ahead of me!
I’m really excited about it, thinking I’ll just sort of plow through fashion magazines in a dopey haze, but I’m so out of it I just fall asleep on the couch. I wake up in the early evening and have just the tiniest twinge of pain up in my lady bits, and eat some extra-large Ibuprofen.
But really, the pain is wicked minor, and I don’t have to dig into the narcotics they sent me home with at all! This is so great. I’ve learned, as a sober druggie, to not romanticize the Freelapse. It’s actually not fun. I don’t know why I didn’t get this sooner -– if pills were still fun, I wouldn’t be sober, duh –- but chalk it up to the perpetually fucked mind of an addict. That thing that makes me fight and cry and ruined my life –- I want that right? YEEEEAH!
Tali and Bernadine pay and visit and fix us all big bowls of popcorn. It’s like some sort of weird celebration. The next morning I feel pretty much okay but decide to "lie low" and "take it easy," which in my case –- it’s not like I work on the docks –- means sitting at my computer and taking little breaks in between tasks.
During these breaks I browse the Barney’s sale web site, putting items into my "Bag." When I have $7,000 worth of beautiful shit I’m never going to buy, I delete everything.
Then, feeling slightly insane, I buy a pair of Rag and Bone boots that I saw at the Barneys in New York when I was there for Rhonda’s birthday. I promised myself that if they ever went on sale I would buy them, because they are the most beautiful boots I can imagine at this moment –- brown leather, equestrian over-the-knee boots with the smallest, manliest heel and square toe and little "belts" that sort of buckle around the back of the high part that goes over the knee.
And there are no unsightly zippers or anything, just a strip of dark, stretchy meshy material running down the back so you can just pull them on and off.
They are the most handsome, elegant boots in the world and their name is Pearce. While once they were over a thousand dollars, now they are exactly half that, just a little bit more than my rent. It’s been so long since I splurged on something amazing, and now, on the verge of selling all my best clothing, because I bought them when I lived on cigarettes and almonds and I’ll never look that way again, now is a great time to get myself something my fluctuating body will always be able to accommodate. I hit the purchase button and my heart is beating wildly and I feel excited and guilty and happy and sick.
To make up for such a purchase, I start tugging amazing outfits from my closet. The Pendleton x Opening Ceremony jumpsuit. The Vivienne Westwood satin skirt with the weird shark fin. The thin Alice + Olivia dress that was never flattering. The teeny-tiny gray lace tank top my sister gave me, it looks like Peter Pan’s shadow.
It breaks my heart to lug it down to the designer consignment store in the Castro, but my friend Xtina told me to get rid of them, and I trust her. I’ll always be trying to fit into them, but realistically I’m never going to live like I did when I was single. I just didn’t eat. I smoked. Who cared?
Now, I cook for me and Dashiell almost every night. I love making us dinner, eating it together on the couch. We eat cookies in bed. She won’t tell me I "can’t" smoke, because she just doesn’t think about life like that, but if I do she’s told me she won’t kiss me, and she’d be really disappointed and think it was gross. Which is fine. Smoking is for single people. Now that I found Dashiell, I want to live forever.
Add to all this the coming of the baby, and there is no way I’m fitting into an XS ever again. Adieu!
At night, in bed, we discuss my IUD in hushed whispers. What is it? Dashiell thinks there’s a string. She’s afraid to go up there because she thinks she could sort of get tangled up in the string and yank it out. We’re both a little skeeved by the foreign object in my vagine, and we’re both trying not to be.
“Listen,” I say rationally, “This is why women get IUDs. To have sex. So, it’s totally safe and fine to have sex with me while I have one in. So, have sex with me.” Sexy!
Dashiell is unconvinced. “What if I knock it out, or push it in or just move it or dislodge it?”
“You won’t, you won’t! This is what they’re for! Sex.”
We got back and forth like this until I say, “If you don’t fuck me because I’m wearing an IUD I’m going to blog about how you won’t fuck me because I’m wearing an IUD.”
Dashiell gasps. I’ve done the unthinkable, I’ve used the blog as a threat, as manipulative leverage! “You can’t do that,” she says sternly, and I feel terrible.
“I was just kidding,” I lie, and she doesn’t believe me anyway.
“That was really poor form,” she chastises.
“I’m sorry,” I say, feeling like a creep, first for pressuring my girlfriend into having sex with me while there is debris in my uterus, and then for threatening to publicly shame her about it. I’m a monster! We go to sleep, and in the morning I try to make a joke out of it, but Dashiell isn’t quite letting me off the hook.
“I’d never blog about anything that made you uncomfortable,” I promise her.
“I know,” she says. “But you can’t threaten me with the blog.”
“I never will again,” I promise, and we hug, and I don’t.