Friday, October 28, 2005

Timing is everything

I haven't seen anyone else post about this, so I will. It has been stewing since last night.

Brooke Shields is expecting #2.

Lucky 40yo, so she is.

The article states, "Shields has played Roxie Hart in the long-running Broadway revival of Chicago since Sept. 9 and is set to continue in the role until Oct. 30."

This means that she entered the gig pregnant.

This means that, knowing that she had the gig, that she did not undergo extensive ART this time to get pregnant. Roxie is a strenuous role in a strenuous production. It's not that pregnant women aren't strong, but, jeeeez, they sure tend to be nauseated and generally unwilling to jump around and dance in the early stages of being knocked up.

It isn't the sort of thing a pregnancy-seeking ART patient would want to have on her ART calendar.

To Do:
  • Shoot up
  • IVF
  • 2 Week Wait
  • (Rinse and Repeat?)
  • Play Roxie Hart
  • Announce as the 2nd Pink Line Emerges
No, I don't think so.

I found an announcement article about it last evening, b/c I'd followed a thread saying it's been rumored that she and her husband are planning to adopt, in part, to keep PPD at bay. I don't think her pregnancy would have been as hard for me to swallow if I'd have read about it first. Prefacing it with the adoption angle made it tougher to read. Can't explain that.

But, I suppose, congrats to Brooke and Chris. You give hope to infertiles and depressives everywhere.

Besides, I can't wait to hear what Tom Cruise says about it, now that they're in a baby race and now that Kate is a Xenu follower, who will never fall prey to something so ridiculous and contrived as PPD.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Feel me up, baby!

Does your man constantly take inventory?

Mine does.

When we meet out at a restaurant or when I come over to his place, he always lays his hand mid-back to see if he can figure which bra I'm wearing. Sometimes he'll query, "Leopard?"

He also goes low, to the small of my back, to discern thong, bikini, or granny.

He tries to be smooth and inconspicuous about his curiosity, but he fails. I'm onto him.

It could just be a crude male thing.

Or it could be a wise divining rod to quickly test the waters, to gauge the mood up front for the evening via lingerie.

Or it could be like shaking a present. You know you're going to get it anyway, but it's fun to try to guess what's inside.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Patrick's tail, errr, tale

Ever thought the words ass cancer would be synonymous with splitting a gut... as in laughing and shaking the desk hard enough that the cat fusses at you?

Read this Bad News Hughes new classic. It is the closest parallel I've ever read to a guy going through the riggers of IVF.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Tits, hooters, boobs, boulders, melons, breasts, and ice cream cones

...not to mention jugs, tatas, and bazongas.

Now look what went and happened while I was gone this weekend. I have to put on another Public Service Announcement show.

[Please understand and support 'verbally' your understanding of the bravery involved in this difficult and quite revealing post. BRAVERY!]

Someone came here searching for perky titties.

Let me assure you that this is not the proper residence to find perky titties.

Once in HS on an everything but 4th-base-fling, I was told I had the most pert breasts he'd ever seen.


The guy was a jerk, but I treasure that part.


I've had a breast post brewing for a while, say five months. My wounds about the subject were re-opened in June. I was putzing around, I believe, starting from a post at Truth in Cosmetic Surgery Blog. So many people want bigger breasts. Or, like my sister, want (get) breast reduction. Me, I just want them to point the right direction, sorta upwards would be nice. I guess I'd like a lift.

P sent me a funny t-shirt picture recently. Across the chest it read:
Please tell your boobs to quit staring at my eyes.
Despite the fact that he, lovestruck fool, actually likes my package, I emailed him back:
Whatdya mean? Mine stare at your penis.
So the scoop is out. I have awful breasts. The once pert ice cream cone (picture the cone attached horizontally to the chest) boobies now have the C-cup cones facing south.

I look like one of those topless starving African women in National Geographic. Except I'm fat now.

I grew up teased by none other than my mother and younger sister. They called my boobs ice cream cones, the sugar cone variety. My mother had big, saggy, heavy breasts that made her bra straps dig into her shoulders and my sister grew to have large, round melons she later had reduced, paid for by insurance b/c they mangled her 95 lb frame. Ma and sis would often come up and poke me on the sternum just b/c there wasn't much more than skin there. My otherwise tiny sister had so much breast flesh that the skin over her sternum had a vertical crease much like the very top of a butt crack. Bony sternum and all, I preferred mine, b/c I mistakenly thought they would be perky longer and less trouble down the road.

The fall happened when I was about 30 during my course of 6 months of depo lupron for endo, followed by 12 months of depo provera, followed by another 12+ months of no menses on bcps. It wracked my body, aged me, added 30ish lbs, and made the cones descend in a major way. And they made me feel unattractive, too. Double, well, triple whammy.

Aside from expensive surgery, the only thing I could do was accept them. Combine their direction with my flattened nipples and my breasts were less than sexual objects. Pumping for 7 months, b/c J would not breastfeed from said flattened nipples (few are actually inverted, contrary to popular opinion), corrected them to where they will generally, but not perfectly, pooch outward and semi-correctly when squeezed, rather than retreating due to the binding adhesions.

Hear that you women having trouble with breastfeeding due to flattened or inverted nipples!!! Pump for months and they will correct themselves if the baby isn't a voractious eater [and painfully yanks them out like my finicky kid would not] and isn't doing the correcting for you!!!! No Lactation Consultant will tell you this b/c they are fucking clueless!!!!

(Visit this surgeon's website for before/after pictures of surgically corrected nipples.)

As an additional aside, while I was trying to get J to breastfeed unsuccessfully, I read everything I could, to include the LLL "classic" The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. I am not providing a link b/c the book is hooey. I fucking ordered the book and looked up flattened/inverted nipples. They less than a paragraph to it. I was casually told that they must occur b/c the woman must be lacking in enough breast play with her husband in the bedroom. A woman does something (or not, actually) to deserve this deformity! This load of crap haunted me. According to the author, I guess I should have started breast play before puberty, b/c, fucktard LLL, this was the fucked up way I was born! Just like my mother before me!

Further as I come clean overall about breasts, I feel the same way about the recommended wearing of stupid flying saucer discs providing gentle pressure to the nips to try to correct them. Honey, they need Hoovers to pull them out, not yeast-infecting sweat-causing breast shells. [Evidently LLL has come out with the Evert-It Nipple Enhancer in the last 8 years. Doesn't look too effective, tho - a glorified syringe? They also seem to have come to realize that breast shells, the wearing of essentially a jock cup in your bra (yeah, I used to knock on them just the way J and his team mates knock on their cups now), is less than desirable, so they came up with the equally ineffective Soft Shell Breast Shells for Inverted Nipples. Oh, the bullshit advances in breastfeeding technology!]

There was some good news, tho. My breasts, after giving up the painful yet useful pump, finally became sexual objects when the nips revealed their sensitive selves. Wow! Nips that stick out feel/respond a hell of a lot better than those too shy to be coaxed out. Wow! Nips with personality. Wow! Nips that could actually stick into the mouth the next baby and not retreat when suckled! Wow!

Obviously that last part has been a very painful part of SIF. I worked so hard on the nips to make them functional to breastfeed the next baby. [tears] This is a tough SIF side effect that I haven't brought up here before. Tough.

Breasts a big deal to me? Without a doubt, yes.

Add to that the fact that I have not one, but the coveted two, accessory nipples (mine are faint like the bottom pic - supposedly one in 18 of us have a 3rd one) and I am over the top on the Deformed Mammaries Scale.

  • saggy tube socks
  • flattened nipples
  • accessory nipples

Lucky freak, yes I am. At least the accessories didn't present themselves when I was pregnant or breastfeeding; I was expecting balloons on my abdomen like a nursing dog.

When I see cute pancake breasts/nips, I cringe. When I see ones that actually curve upwards, I want to cry.

Tube socks and extra freckle-looking things. That's what I have. The tubes are not quite as wrinkly as the old hag in Something About Mary, but just give me some time.

So, as I was web searching in June, I came across something that rocked my world.

What I have his called a tubular or tuberous breast, not a tube sock. It is a birth defect. It must be genetic, b/c I believe my mother has the same.

Here are some definitions:
Tuberous breasts - A breast deformity where the breast is shaped like a tuberous plant such as a potato. It is a form of constricted breast.
Tubular breasts - A breast deformity where the breast and or nipple areola complex has a tubular or cucumber shape as opposed to the conical shape normally seen in a developing breast. It is a form of constricted breast.
Constricted Breasts - A general category of breast defects that share in common a short distance from the areola to the inframammary crease of the breast. This general category of breast deformities also includes tuberous breasts and tubular breasts.

Here are some descriptions.


  • A patient with a small and tight breast that looks abnormal.
  • Often associated with large areolae that are puffy and protrude.
  • Features of a breast that is not round but narrower from top to bottom and with tight skin especially below the nipple.
And as far as breastfeeding goes, this, below, explains my appearance and my experience of having a hard time having enough milk [I had to pump 45 minutes each time, double pump, miserable]. I disagree, tho, that tubular breasts are caused by a progesterone deficiency. They are congenital. However, if the supposed progesterone deficiency is congenital as well (ha), then maybe I agree.

Tubular hypoplastic breast [I presently resemble the 3rd from the top but with more space between the pair and better symmetry; I've never been so sparce as the one pictured right next to this part of the article.]

There is one exception to the rule about breast size/shape and breastfeeding ability, and that is that some (very few) women have insufficient glandular tissue in their breasts. In other words they simply don't have enough milk producing cells, and these women can then experience milk supply problems. This condition is called breast hypoplasia or hypoplastic breasts.

This kind of breast is underdeveloped (hypoplastic) in terms of the milk glands. They lack normal fullness and may look like 'empty sacks', and may seem bulbous or swollen at the tip. Many times hypoplastic breasts are widely spaced from each other, and narrow at the chest wall. Due to lack of glandular tissue, they have an elongated or tubular form, and often are quite small. The areola can be enlarged.

There may be a significant asymmetry. The breasts don't grow during pregnancy and there is no engorgement when the milk is supposed to come in after giving birth.

Scientists don't yet know for sure the reason for this underdevelopment. One theory is that at least in some women it would be linked to too little progesterone, since progesterone mediates the growth of alveoli (milk making glands).

If you happen to have these tubular hypoplastic (under-developed) breasts, talk to a lactation consultant before giving birth.

And the best news, well, almost, is that these hooters can be fixed! I'll give you a few examples.

I resemble her right breast. With a good surgeon, I could look normal.

She's bigger than I am, but look how beautiful she is now!

To be able to wear cute clothes and go braless in public! To have a positive self image about one thing on my dysmorphic body!

Why, oh, why did I go through 25 years of breast exams and three Lactation Consultants to have to find this out on my own? How hard would it have been for someone to inform me that I have a breast deformity? Why the fuck did no "professional" tell me? It not only affected my self esteem, it affected my ability to feed my son!

Yes, I've known about the accessory nipples since I was 5; a thorough pediatric allergist found them. Yes, I've known about the flattened nipples forever b/c of my mother's experience; one LC told me that I was the 2nd worse case she'd ever seen.

But why nada on the tubular or tuberose breasts? From the links and descriptions, I don't think it is that rare.

For five months now, I've had these print outs next to my bed:
Tuberous Breast Deformity/Modified Mastoplexy
Tubular Breast Deformity/Breast Corrections [I resemble the first and third.]

For five months, I've realized that my defective breasts have a clinical description, one that was withheld from me. [I'll admit that I cried for a couple days in June knowing that I am physically deformed in yet another way. Wounded. I strongly believe that the breast issues and endo are related - tissue in the wrong places b/c of the 'mixed up conductor' theory in embryology. In fact, I believe that all girls/women who show up with an accessory nipple should be considered to have endo. Sure would help out on a lot of IF diagnoses, too.]

For five months, I have contemplated writing this post to let other Google women know that they're not alone. Bravery, I tell ya. Feel free to write and pat me on the back. Anytime.

For five months, I've wanted to say how wonderful it is to be able to Google stuff for myself, how wonderful the Internet it, how wonderful it is to blog and force myself to think about stuff I thought was useless to think about.

For five months, I did not know the following site existed. Performing this PSA dog show and researching more sites, I found this:

Breast Reconstruction for Deformities Unrelated to Cancer Treatment by AMERICAN SOCIETY OF PLASTIC SURGEONS
ASPS Recommended Insurance Coverage Criteria for Third-Party Payers

For reference, the following definition of cosmetic and reconstructive
surgery was adopted by the American Medical Association, June 1989:
Cosmetic surgery is performed to reshape normal structures of the body
in order to improve the patient's appearance and self-esteem.

Reconstructive surgery is performed on abnormal structures of the body,
caused by congenital defects, developmental abnormalities, trauma,
infection, tumors, or disease. It is generally performed to improve
function, but may also be done to approximate a normal appearance.

Anomalies of breast: Code 757.6
■Tubular breast
■Absent breast or nipple (amastia)
■Breast asymmetry
■Breast hypoplasia/micromastia
■Accessory breast or nipple

A variety of reconstruction techniques are available to accommodate a
wide range of breast defects. The technique(s) selected are dependent on
the nature of the defect, the patient's individual circumstances and the
surgeon's judgment. When developing the surgical plan, the surgeon must
correct underlying deficiencies as well as take into consideration the goal
of achieving bilateral symmetry. Depending on the individual patient
circumstances, surgery on the contralateral breast may be necessary to
achieve symmetry. Surgical procedures on the opposite breast may
include reduction mammaplasty and mastopexy with or without


(.) (.) ----------> (*) (*)


See also My popular bosom to understand how many people visit this post daily.

PS: if you've had experience with surgery and tubular breasts (or flattened/inverted nipples) or have been frustrated by this/these defect(s), please speak up about your experience, how you learned your breasts have a diagnosis, how insurance worked for surgery, or why you choose to not have surgery. Be anonymous, if you desire. An awful lot of Googlers will benefit from your response and I would be equally grateful.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

She relaxed, among other things

Good one. MSN at its best.

"I was so stressed! I couldn't help but wonder whether motherhood in my 30s was a bad idea."
Though her ob-gyn tested her for abnormalities, everything was fine. "My doctor reassured me that not getting pregnant right away [aged 33, after 1 year trying] was typical at my age. Hearing those words made me relax instantly." She got pregnant two weeks later -- before all the test results even came back.

I think I must have been taking the wrong approach. I didn't realize that doctor's mere words are conducive to fertility. Generally, they put me off in the other direction, toward stress and anxiety, far, far away from seeking more magical doctor voices.

I never get anything right.

The article goes on to be so misleading that it's painful. To me, anyway. Concerning pregnancy in one's 40s:

Chris Roll, who had twin girls when she was in her late 40s, recalls wanting to shut her eyes at precisely 3:00 every afternoon at work when she was pregnant. "I needed three extra hours of sleep at night, and if I could have taken that nap, I would have!" she admits. Still, Roll was so happy that she didn't care very much -- she had been trying to get pregnant for several years, a fairly common occurrence for a woman in her 40s, when conception is most difficult.
Okay, just before this, the article discusses declining egg quality beginning in the mid 30s, increased chance of miscarriage, then it jumps to a woman who had twins in her late 40s and it just focuses on how tired she was? No donor egg disclaimer in there? Is this fair and responsible reporting? Why write articles like this? It's akin to babbling in order to hear your own voice.

This part gets a big, fat HUH?

On the plus side, you're less likely to experience morning sickness when you're older [above 40]. "The placenta is smaller and producing fewer hormones, including HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), the one that causes nausea," explains Dr. Niebyl.
Oh, right. One's placenta is smaller, one has less hormones, so one has less nausea! Hurray! Oh, but these are some of the motherfucking reasons one is more prone to miscarriage! Not so hurray, bonehead doctor and writer.

Very mirror-has-two-faces reporting, there.

But I get it now, the byline:
Jessica Brown is a writer who lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Originally published in American Baby magazine, January 2005.

American Baby: the pinnacle source for all pregnancy news attracting the cream of the writing crop for human reproduction and MSN uses it as it if were worthy of reading.


Okay then. Who is fact gathering Jessica Brown?

I could only find one other potential article written by her:

Digital Divide Provides Opportunities for Corporate Spin:How to Win Puff Coverage by Donating ComputersExtra! March/April 2000By Jessica Brown at Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting.

Quite relevant, huh?

Or is she actually a poet?

Or does anyone have access to this spicy Google entry which I doubt is her?
Jessica Brown - In Praise of Good Breeding: Pro-Natalism and Race ...Pro-Natalism and Race in the British Print Media. Jessica Brown ... "Look afterwomen," the writer concludes "and the population will look after itself. of_womens_history/v015/15.3brown.html

I am pretty darn sure she isn't this one: Jessica Brown, Reader in Philosophy in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Bristol.

So who the fuck writes these articles that some people actually read and believe? The magazines go in doctors' offices, so they should have a measure of credibility and thoughtful research. Shouldn't there be some standards, even at American Baby?

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Stuff On My Cat

I may have hidden it too well in my last post, but do go check out the Stuff On My Cat website. It is a favorite mom and son activity around here.

You'll get a chuckle, between seeing what people dream up to put on their cats to the cats' looks of playfulness, indignation, or quiet resignation.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The clay man and his clay dog

The Cricketson household has been eagerly awaiting the release of Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.

When I saw that it got a 94% Fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes, I was ecstatic. This would mean that W&G would live up to our expectations!

P was unfamiliar, but I coaxed him by phone yesterday to come see it with J and I. With the anticipated adult humor, I figured it would be good exposure for him to the witty Britty pair.

I'm actually happy he declined.

This movie doesn't deserve a 94% rating; it is based on their cultish following. The reviewers believed their own buzz.

It deserves more like a 70% rating: Fresh, but not that Fresh. It's left over salad.

This reviewer summed it up for me at RT:
"Wallace and Gromit is clever but rarely funny. It's too quaint, too perfectly fine."--

Yes, clever. Their pest control company is called Anti-Pesto.

Yes, clever. Wallace can't curse in a children's movie, so he exclaims things like, "Hoover Dam!" and "Shiitake Mushrooms!" instead.

Once again, I am embarrassingly in tune with the Ebert & Roeper pair:
"It's slightly amusing and I'd say when it comes out on video or if you catch it on cable, but to rush out to theaters..."--
Richard Roeper, EBERT & ROEPER

It was number one in the box office last week.

Have you seen it? What did you think?

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Pretty amazing

Just saw this via Slate:

Birth Mother Vs. Egg Donor Decision Upheld
By ROSE FRENCH, Associated Press Writer Fri Oct 7,12:39 AM ET

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A woman who gave birth to triplets using donated eggs is
the legal mother of the children even though she has no genetic link to them,
the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

The court's 4-1 ruling upheld decisions by lower courts that awarded parental rights to the birth mother.

Cindy Culpepper and Charles Galiwango were not married when they sought
to have a child by in-vitro fertilization using two anonymously donated eggs,
which were fertilized with Galiwango's sperm. One of the eggs divided, resulting
in triplets.

After the relationship deteriorated, Galiwango challenged the parental
rights of his ex-girlfriend, who gave birth to the children in 2001.

The court said it took into consideration the fact that before the
children were born, the couple intended Culpepper would be their legal

"Recent developments in reproductive technology have caused a tectonic
shift in the realities which underlie our legal conceptions of parenthood," the
court's opinion said.

The decision could apply a broad definition of a parent in later cases
involving nontraditional parents, according to legal scholars.

"In most states, the courts have not looked beyond the biological
connections, marriage or adoption in determining the definition of a parent,"
said Susan Brooks, law professor at Vanderbilt University Law School.

"People who support greater rights for nontraditional parents like gay
couples would be encouraged by an opinion that would define parent more broadly
than simply by marriage, genetics or adoption," she said.

I love that last line: define parent more broadly than simply by marriage, genetics or adoption. I'm sure many of you would agree.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Old school

Remember your toothless grin from the 1st grade?

Well, this site is for looking up old school pictures. I was able to show J his dad as a little kid and that was a real treat for him.

Definitely check it out and get a laugh.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Sometimes I suck as a Mom

Tooth Fairy a la Cartman Posted by Picasa

With J, I am amazingly lucky regarding several things: he is rather naive and can be easily foiled.

For example, at Xmas I muttered (lifelong insomnia means I take meds each night and they can kick in without a lot of notice) to P that he needed to put out the bag of Santa Claus stuff when he got up to pee at 3am, but P didn't hear me in my drug-induced pre-slumber jargon. On Xmas morn, J came to our room and declared, "Santa forgot to come!" Ahhh, what a great way to start the morning. I hustled him out with P distracting him, telling my son that Santa just left them by the door this time b/c P doesn't have a fireplace. (It embarrasses me to lie to my son!)

That snafu followed a similar incident whereby I missed out on a Tooth Fairy opportunity a few months before. I forgot and J got no bucks, the pathetic tooth and baggie remaining beneath his tears-soaked pillow. To my credit, I remembered to do the deed the next night.

Tooth Fairy Mom Posted by Picasa

Thankfully, he swallowed the next one he lost and I just handed him the dollar rather than risk the alternative. The one after that, he lost at his dad's, so I was gloriously off the hook.

Over this past weekend, he quickly developed a very loose tooth; it sort of sped past another semi-loose one he's had for months. He spent Sunday with his dad and I so much wanted the tooth to be gone when I got him back. No such luck.

Loose teeth are a big deal for J in particular. The kid is mighty slow when it comes to teeth. He didn't get his first tooth until he was 11.5 months old. (If you haven't braved such, most kids have a tooth or four by the time they're 6 months old.) I think this made for a much happier baby; he rarely cried b/c he wasn't teething all the time. For his present count, this was only his 5th tooth lost. It has been over six months since the last one came out, so he had no cutie pie gaps anymore.

Nowadays, his friends have all lost the 8 front teeth and are working on the incisors. With him being a year older than many, this is particularly telling. In fact, the dentist was so surprised about J's mouth on Monday, he snatched out J's previous x-rays to make sure there are teeth in there.

B/c I knew my non-risk-taking son would not yank out his own tooth, I loved the timing of the dental check up on Monday afternoon. I was so glad for the opportunity to hand it over to professionals. However, within a minute of us leaving for the dentist, the tooth dropped out on its own. No blood. No pain. Very cooperative, indeed.

Yeah, except it went in a baggie and in a kitchen drawer to be forgotten in the rush to leave for the dentist's. J got up this morning, asking about his tooth. Mean mom that I am, I told him that it's his responsibility to make sure the tooth gets under his pillow.

I wish I could find the cute pillow like this that my sister x-stitched for J. It hangs on the door and would make life easier.

Tooth pillow Posted by Picasa

So when the tooth and baggie resurfaced this evening, I immediately made a twin baggie with a dollar in it and stuffed it in my pocket where it waits.

In closing, I must thank you for reading, keeping me awake and focused, so I can actually do my motherly job properly tonight.

Then I can dream about getting it on with this spirited guy....
Tooth Fairy Freak Posted by Picasa