A Christmas miracle, and Elvis Has Left the Building

A short entry regarding a Christmas miracle–we have a lighted polar bear that has been a part of our outdoor Christmas decorations since 2004, and it’s our daughter’s favorite decoration.  A couple of years ago I had to pull out the strand containing all the miniature white lights inside it when it short-circuited and burned out all the lights, rewiring it with a new 100-light strand.  I did this after it had been staked in place out front…in freezing weather.   It was worth it to see the smile on her little face.  This year the motor that makes his head look from side to side died.  I plugged it in, all the lights came on, but no movement–nada.  I switched out fuses, manually manipulated the parts, etc.  I darned near cried.  Silly, I know, considering the thing is 9 years old and probably made in China, but it has been a favored centerpiece in our outdoor decor.  I decided to look for a replacement motor, since it’s the standard type that powers most moving decorative items.  With the holidays upon us, my attention was diverted from my search for a while, and that turned out to be a good thing.  On the second night of freezing temperatures, I readied the house for bedtime–started the dishwasher, made the munchkin’s lunch, got the cats squared away in the office, etc.  I walked to the front door with the intention of stepping outside and unplugging the Christmas lights.  I stood in front of the sidelight of the front door as I unlocked the lock and just happened to peer through the glass.  I think I almost scared hubby half to death as I squealed “it’s moving!!!”  Yes, the polar bear’s head was moving back and forth!  It defies logic–you’d think with freezing weather it would make mechanical items MORE difficult to move, not less.  It had been set up for several days and there had been no movement whatsoever.  That night, though, a Christmas miracle occurred.  It has worked perfectly ever since.  Yeah, I know it’s operating on borrowed time given its age, but I think it’s pretty darned cool it’s working.  *Grin*

Now, the following is going to be another description of the road traveled by a middle-aged woman–if you aren’t interested in midlife hormonal adventures, click out now–that’s all there’s left in this post.

I’ve been dealing with traversing the path of peri-menopause, but it really hasn’t been that bad (knock on wood).  Occasional hot flashes, mood swings, dry skin and a touch of thinning hair–not that’s a really big deal for me since I had about two and a half persons’ worth of hair on my head to begin with, lol!  For the last year my cycle has been every 21-24 days, which my doctor assured me was normal.  One can either go shorter or longer, par for the course.

Those that visit here read my boob saga, or as I like to term it 1-800-BAD-BOOB.  I get to go back in six months to see if things are holding steady, or are progressing.  If it’s progressing I’ll opt for a double mastectomy with reconstruction from my own tissue–one of the perks of having a bit of thickening around the middle is you can have a pair of boobs made from your own tissue and forgo the silicone prostheses.  If I just focus on the end result I can bypass a lot of the hysteria and panic that comes in the middle.  You’d think the above is enough to deal with, right?

I’m going along, dealing with day-to-day stuff, taking care of business.  The last week or so my boobs have become so sore I just want to take them off and set them on a table somewhere.  Grumpy?  You bet.  Sore boobs and mood swing combo, at your service.  Bloated, craving all the “bad” stuff you can think of, etc.  Then I start getting nauseous.  Lovely.  Just what I wanted.  Thank you, Mother Nature…bitch.  I was doing okay, cruising along and trying to ignore most of these symptoms until a few days ago.  It was evening, and I was unloading a bunch of clothes from the dryer and pulling the ones out from the washer to shove in there.  Suddenly there’s a weird feeling in my chest, like a bird fluttering its wings.  I finish loading the clothes, thinking a nerve is quivering/jumping.  I start the dryer, walk out of the laundry room and place a hand on my chest.  Uh…that isn’t a nerve jumping…that’s my heartbeat.  It has accelerated to approximately 180 to 200 per minute.  OMG.  My mind starts racing, thinking back…has this ever happened before?  Oh, yeah, it has, right before I found out I was pregna…OMFG!!!!

Yes, you guessed it.  I went into a full blown panic and a half.  This thing happened right before I found out I was pregnant with my daughter, and I ended up in the emergency room with it.  Trust me, even I know a heart rate that fast isn’t normal, especially if you haven’t exerted yourself.  My OB/GYN told me it’s actually a quite common occurrence in early pregnancy, kind of like Mother Nature announcing someone has moved in for the next nine months.  When I was pregnant with my daughter I was 34 years old, and was referred to as “advanced maternal age” or “elderly maternal age”.  I’m 47 now…what would they refer to me as now, “cremains of maternal age”?  I know this isn’t logical thinking–hubby had a vasectomy approximately 10 years ago, and I’m as faithful as the night is long–no one has as much kissed me except hubby from the day we met.  Unfortunately peri-menopause symptoms mimic pregnancy symptoms to a T.  Add in the weird racing heartbeat which has only happened to me when I was pregnant, and maybe you can understand my panicked state of mind.  Oh, perhaps I forgot to mention I was late starting my period?  Late, boobs really hurt, bloated, nauseous, irritable, heart racing…all will make you consider possibilities no matter how remote.

What the hell would I do birthing a kid at 48?  How the hell would I tell hubby that at 57 he was going to be a father again???  Obviously if I was pregnant, it would be nothing short of a miracle, and given my faithfulness it would either be hubby’s child, or God’s, and I think I’m as far from qualifying for immaculate conception as a female can possibly get.  My rational mind tries to take over, but the remote possibility keeps screaming to the forefront.  I’m supposed to be dealing with getting silver hair and wrinkle cream, not diapers and breastfeeding!  The more I think about it, the more nauseous I get.

Okay, I realize that the fluttering heartbeat has announced one of two things–either Elvis Has Left the Building (menopause), or someone has taken up residence for nine months.  One is an anticipated path, the other the equivalent of a nuclear bomb, though one I would deal with given the enormity of odds against it.  So, not with a little trepidation, I go to the grocery store and pick up some Instant Breakfast, nose strips for the munchkin, and a pregnancy test.  I cannot find words to express how WRONG it is to do that when you’re 47 years old, but it is what it is.  Thank God for self-checkout.  Just to be on the most accurate side I wait until the following morning to do the test.  Having to wait for that length of time is like watching the time pass on a clock and listening to TICK………TOCK……..TICK……..TOCK.  I accumulated at least four dozen new silver hairs in the process.  I think about how ridiculous I would look at my age walking around pregnant…how I should be looking forward to enjoying winding down and retirement…how bad it would look to have an 18-year-old walk across the stage to receive their high school diploma and have mom be 66 and dad be 75.  Yes, at this point my head exploded.

This morning I got up at 5:25, stumbled into the bathroom and pulled out the test.  Shook my head at how wrong this was, thinking I was 13 years beyond being in this position.  Read the instructions, marveled at how they were exactly the same as 13 years prior.  Did the deed…waited three minutes with lack of oxygen from holding my breath, and…

Oh Thank You Holy God, I’m NOT PREGNANT!!!

Don’t get me wrong–if the good Lord had decided we were to be parents again, and it would have only been by His decision, then we would have dealt with it accordingly–hubby getting exceedingly drunk before having a meltdown and me in the constant mindset of “you’re f***ing kidding me!!!”  Thankfully though He doesn’t have a sadistic sense of humor, and I’m crossing the bridge of menopause.  Can we get a Hallelujah?  All kidding aside, I always wanted another child, but with the complications we experienced with the last pregnancy and hubby almost losing me and the munchkin, he didn’t want to take that chance again.  I understood, but it still was hard.  I try to focus on the blessings, and not on what is missing.  At this point in time, though, I’m too damned old to be growing and caring for a new human being.

I truly believe that fluttering of the heart signaled my end of the road as far as reproduction.  There has been no hint of Mother Nature rearing her head, and I’m okay with that.  It’ll probably end up being a good thing for my boobs–less hormones floating throughout the body to aggravate the cysts, etc.  I’m thankful for what I have…although I would have liked an additional child, Fate had something else planned.

All in all, here’s celebrating the turning of a page in the Book of Life…

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