Friday, August 31, 2012

I Fought the Tub and the Tub Won

This is a classic "Rosey" story that I was asked many times in the past to republish.  I am now retelling this story for friends who heard it the first time, as well as you who have not.  You have to promise should you meet me in public, no winking, no  Nada.  Nothing.  In deference to my WOW friends - here's your MONITOR WARNING!!  Drinking may be hazardous to your computer.  This story contains PERSONAL information TMI in fact, as well as information about infertility, the marriage bed and downright slap your knee hilarity.

I was around age 39 when one of my best friends had a baby.  I got all caught up with the loveliness of those infant months.  There had been new advances in the treatment of PCOS - Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, that made me hopeful that perhaps, just maybe, we might conceive a child without fertility drugs.  I talked it over with my husband, despite misgivings on having a baby at his ripe age of 41, he agreed to "make an effort".  lol

As shocking as it may seem to some of you who easily got pregnant  just THINKING ;) about sex..those of us who struggle with infertility have to WORK at getting pregnant.  It meant taking temps first thing in the morning before we dashed to the toilet with a full bladder.  It meant charts, scheduled sex, checking body fluids, and keeping track of what your female body was doing. And more sex.  The facts of life are that while sperm can live up to 4 days in a comfortable environment, the ovum (egg) generally starts losing viability after 12 hours.  By 24 hours after ovulation, the ovum is history.  If you are trying to get pregnant, it is easier to make sure there are plenty of "swimmers in the pool", than it is to watch for ovulation and hope to have sex in that 12 hour window. So this generally means scheduled sex every other day.  Oh joy.

It was on an early spring morning when the alarm went off that I dutifully stuck the thermometer in my mouth and waited for it's digital beep to tell me I was done.  I pulled it out and blinked several times at the thermometer,  the temp was low.  It was really low.

I groaned.  My husband rolled over and asked,"What's wrong."
"My temp," I answered him with the early morning croak, "it's really low."
Then he groaned.  "How low?"  he asked.
"Very low" I answered.
Another groan issued forth from his side of the bed.  "So you're telling me that instead of 20 minutes more of snoozing we have to have sex.  AGAIN?"

I took no offense, I was pretty much on the same page.  The idea of having to get all charged up and ready for sex was just not on my list of priorities for that morning.  You who are scratching their heads, not understanding the significance of the morning temp I will explain in brief terms.

In your early cycle, your estrogen is in control.  Your temp stays lower in those first 14 days or so.  Immediately before ovulation, your baseline morning temp is usually at it's lowest.  Immediately following ovulation, the ruptured follicle begins to manufacture Progesterone.  Progesterone rapidly raises your body temp dramatically usually a full degree or more. If you understand human reproduction, you know sexual intercourse and ejaculation is necessary to create life.  Even when you didn't wanna.  You haffta or you lose another full month.

I sat up in bed, yawned and slipped on my slippers.   I grumpily told Mr. Rosey that I would "go check my cervix, and if it was high, we could skip the morning sex".  So I shuffled off to the bathroom.

Now I need to explain that our home was a 1900's style cottage.  I thought it was adorable, but there were issues.  It was small and it was built before plumbing was INSIDE the home.  All our plumbing had been retrofitted.  Which is fancy words for...they stuck in wherever they could make it work sometime after it was built.  Because the home was not BUILT with a bathroom, the back porch had been closed in and made into one.  Now picture how wide a normal porch is.  Now imagine putting a tub, a sink, a toilet, a space heater, and a water heater into a room that was approximately 4 x 8 inside.  They put the skinniest tub we had ever seen before into that room along the 8 foot side.  On the opposite 8 foot wall there was a toilet crammed into the corner, a gas heater sat on the floor to keep the pipes warm and a sink nearly directly above.  You could literally, (God strike me with lightning should I be lyin') literally sit on the toilet taking care of your morning business, soak your feet and wash your hands all at the same time.  Most people made use of the toilet by sitting sideways, otherwise you had to rest your feet in the tub.  We are talking tiny spaces people!

So I was in the bathroom, which you remember used to be a back porch and was accessed through my son's bedroom.  Yes, you had to walk through his room to use the bathroom, which is why we did not choose that for OUR bedroom. You could also go through the kitchen, through the "laundry room" and to the bathroom from a door on that side.  Most of the time, we went through the son's bedroom.

"Egg white cervical mucous"

For clarification for you fertile Myrtles, when you are ovulating, your cervix opens slightly and drops low into the vagina.  It's God's design for giving sperm the best chance to reaching the golden egg.  At the same time, the cervix creates it's own fluids.  Normally it's a sticky whitish discharge that we commonly know as "feminine discharge."  Lovely, yes I am wrinkling my nose as well.  But at ovulation, this cervical fluid gets runny.  It turns clear and takes on more of an egg white characteristic, which when you think of it, makes sense....ovulating an egg, egg white?  Okay maybe not.

To check your cervical fluid requires you to get up close and personal with your insides.  Usually one uses the longest finger they have and inserts it into their vagina.  You touch your own cervix and if it's high and firm, you are not ovulating.  You can go back to bed.  If you feel a softness similar to your pursed lips and easily reached, then you maybe ovulating soon. You check the consistency of your cervical fluids.  If you have drippy mucous, with a softer cervix, you must go and make whoopee.

(FYI, pregnancy hormones turn that soft cervix becomes soft like an earlobe.)

As you can imagine, when your default body shape is already rather round, the process of touching your own cervix is not as easy as it sounds.  It requires nearly folding oneself in half, head hanging down and the arm wrapped around and snaking up the vagina to reach the cervix.  If I had not been already been addle brained from the need for sleep, I would have immediately concluded that MY cervix was high and out of reach so no further investigation was necessary.  But alas, I was addled.  When I didn't reach the cervix, I bent even further down and reached further to find the elusive cervix.

Yeah, something like this but in a tub, not
quite so white and there were no heels involved.
At that moment, the last poor distressed plastic hinge of the family toilet seat broke free with a groan (we'd been "toilet surfing" for a week) and I was flung head and shoulders first into that skinniest tub ever made.  The racket was tremendous.  I took a precious few seconds to take stock of my situation and my surroundings.  My head and shoulders were wedged in the bottom of the tub sideways, it was rather like trying to stand on your shoulders.   The back of my head was on the bottom of the tub, my chin had forced against my sternum.  My own mammarys and flopped upside my head and cradled my face ever so gently.  I couldn't breath from the pressure of standing on my neck and shoulders.

My feet were on flip side, meaning sticking straight up flailing around trying to find something to prop against.  My bare butt was in the air, my underwear twisted around one leg (I have no idea how I did that.)  But horrors, I realized my finger was still stuck was stuck in my hooha.  I tried to retract aforementioned finger, but my wrist was at such an angle to my body that the finger wanted to pull backwards, which HURT.  So I stopped that attempt.

A tentative knock sounded from the son's side of the door.  "Mom, is that you?  Are you okay?"

It's very difficult to sound nonchalant when your head is stuck in a tub, your butt is in the air, your legs are waving around with a mind of their own, your finger is stuck where it was and your 11 year old son is on the other side of the door.

Wheezing from the pressure on my lungs, I gasped out "Oh, I'm fine son.  I just made a lot of ...noise.  Everything is fine.  Could you uh...go get your father, I might need his assistance for a minute."  I managed to wheeze my answer, but I could hear him still breathing against the crack in the door.

I struggled in the tub.  My arms were stuck between my body and the walls of the skinniest tub ever, and I could not budge them.  I couldn't bring them forward, or backward and until I could move my arms I could not unbend my wrist, so I could get "unstuck".  I suppose in wiggling around I was creating more unseemly noises which further concerned my son.

"Mom!  Are you sure you are okay?  You are making strange noises!"  He rattled the door knob.

"Son!  Do NOT open that door. DO NOT OPEN THAT DOOR!  I'm fine!  Just go tell your dad to come in here."  He continued to rattle the door, "You locked the door mom!"

Yes and thank you Jesus for that last minute thought, or my son would have barged into to "rescue" me and then been forced to burn his eyeballs out after he saw what no son should ever see....his mom wedged upside down with her finger stuck in her hooha.

Fruitlessly I continued to struggle against the sides of the stupid tub.  In trying to find some place for my feet to rest, I knocked something into the floor that made additional racket.  The son stopped fiddling with the door and ran yelling from the room, "Dad come quick.  Mom keeps falling in the bathroom."

I rolled my eyes at his words, my eyes were all that could move as the weight of my airborne backside and legs were wedging me tighter into into the corner of the tub and forcing my chin tighter into my chestbone.  Soon Mr. Rosey was knocking at the door, "Honey are you okay?  James said you fell."

Gritting my teeth to try to move my jaw, as I knew if I did not answer, he would break down the door and my 11 year old son would be tight on his heels, so I ground out the answer.

"I'm fine.  Just fine.  Had a little mishap.  Need your help."  I gasped and wheezed.  Mr. Rosey tried the door knob.  "The door is locked," he called to me.  Again with genius' observations? What was with the men in my home?  Again, I had to hiss, "Go the the kitchen side and DON'T allow the boy to follow you in!"

I continued to wiggle around, succeeded only in knocking something else off the stand at the end of the tub.  It's clatter caused those heavy footsteps to hasten their way through the house.  Meanwhile the boy continued to rattle the door knob on his side and I prayed that unlike anything else in this home, that it would continue to work properly.  I heard my husband making his way through the kitchen door to the "laundry" room.  I imagined shaking my head, (imagined because I could not move it) knowing full well once he got a glimpse of me stuck in that tub - I was not going to live this one down.

He thrust open the door to the bathroom, while exclaiming "What in the world has hap..."

The sight that greeted him stopped him cold in the middle of his sentence and his stride.  His eyes bulged and his mouth hung open as he looked at me wedged in the tub, my legs in the air.  I saw the change come over his face into that stupid grin of pure he drawled out, "aww honey... you started without me."

We did NOT have another child.


  1. All i could do was laugh Rosie... sorry. And shake my head... only you! Lol. Meeshia

    1. I concur. Only me. However I'm not really sure of that. Maybe I'm the only one who is willing to admit to it. lol

  2. BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!! I have my head...combined with guffaws if laughter...and tears. I don't know that I could be this brave and share like you have but this is one for the "fertility" books! Thank you for making me smile and laugh out loud once again. And you know...thank you for the reminded that having babies is not easy for many women. I am one of those that got preggo pretty quickly...4 in 7 years and no losses. Then, God knew that was all we could handle or need since the babies stop comin'. I need to express my thankfulness more and pray for more for those who have not. Still chuckling as I type.

  3. Too funny! :) Lauren,

  4. I laughed the hardest I have laughed in a long time. You are very courageous for sharing this story. Thanks for bringing tears to my eyes!

  5. You are too funny!! I need to share this with my daughter, now pregant with her first baby, who also struggles with PCOS. Priceless!!

  6. WOW, just...WOW!!! hahahahaha!! this was absolutely HILARIOUS!! thank you for sharing!! lol :)

  7. Thank you! I needed that laugh! Love you, dear Rosie!

  8. Heavens, girl! You kill me over and over. Boy, all those hula hoops that some of us have to go through (for nothing) that most people didn't even know existed. Thanks for a lighter look at the pitfalls, er, should I say tubfalls. :)