I may have passed the statute of limitations on this story, but unless I tell it you're not going to appreciate what I mean when I say I haven't stopped blowing my nose since April.
Besides, April in baby-time is, like, yesterday.
So. Because I am totally changed and recovered, I can tell you my Confessions of a Mouth Breather:
I have never been able to breathe properly through my nose. Every so often, like on a cold day or, weirdly, on an airplane, both pathways would clear and I'd get a few minutes of uninhibited nasal breathing. But most of the time it was like sucking air through a straw that's been chewed and flattened. And knotted.
I thought maybe I just wasn't trying hard enough, like my nose was a lazy muscle and needed a stricter regimen of exercise. Before bed, lying flat on my back, I'd concentrate on long slow breaths through my nose. Inevitably I'd get that panicky feeling of NOT ENOUGH AIR in my lungs and would give up entirely, resigned to another night of dry mouth.
I was extremely self-conscious about it: ashamed of sounding perpetually nasal, chewing with my mouth slightly open, snoring. But I didn't think there was anything I could do about it, so it just got added to the list of Things That Make Me Different (below "hate onions" and "cry in front of the mirror").
Oh, the things you normal people take for granted! Keeping your lips gently pressed together at all times while you breathe!
And I probably would have gone on like this all my life, not knowing it was only structural and could be changed.
Then one day the lovely woman who facilitated the mama's group I went to in Milwaukee told us she'd be out for surgery & recovery the following week. When she got back she told us all about it: she had never been able to breathe through her nose, she said. She'd had sinus surgery; now it was fixed.
I tell you what, I know I'm prone to exaggerating, but damn. A light positively dawned on my head. Aimed at my nose.
Of course, right at that moment, I was very newly pregnant with Isla, so surgery for me would not be an option for another 81/2 months. BUT. Just knowing that there was the option of one day breathing through my nose, and not to mention the fact that we had health insurance through Jason's post-doc that would cover the procedure, was a light at the end of a very long nasal tunnel.
(keep reading here)