Saturday, December 30, 2006

Family is so great. From a distance.

Somewhere, deep inside, I'm screaming.

We have family visiting. Specifically, my MIL.

I like her but she's making me nuts. And not in that shiny-happy giggling nuts way. The screaming inside way.

Oh yeah....

It all started yesterday with the food battles. See, my stepson has been diagnosed as ADHD and he's a bit overmedicated so he's not maintaining his weight well*.. and that makes Grandma concerned. So much so that detective Grandma was scrutinizing his prescription bottles for any potential irregularities, and muttering about lawsuits and pediatricians. Anyhow, Grandma's also on a quest to cram as much food as she can into the boy. So yesterday when T asked if he could have some of my cinnamon bread, Grandma gave me the evil eye when I said no. And then she offered to take him to the store to buy some bread of his own. Like I don't have a pantry full of kid-friendly stuff already.

Insert huge belabored sigh here. Maybe even an eyeroll or two.

I'm not a wicked stepmom, really.

But my cinnamon bread is no-extra-sugar whole-grain bread. It's a bit expensive, hard to find and one of the few 'treats' I allow myself. The stepson won't eat any bread that's not lily-white and cardboard-y. So he's not getting my special bread. Yeah, I know, it's petty... but for the love of God, leave my stuff alone. I tried telling him he wouldn't like it, he protested that he looooooves cinnamon bread, and I still said no. Grandma's evil eye got even more evil.

Currently, she's opening the toy I just told my three-year-old he couldn't have right now because it's got a bajillion small pieces and I don't want to deal with them first thing in the morning.

And that annoying twitch at the corner of my eye is returning.

Speaking of the three-year-old, I'm pretty sure that she thinks he's undersupervised and underdisciplined.

Because, you know, after three years of having him up my butt 24/7, I'm attempting to teach him some sort of independent playing. In other words, if he's having one of his rare moments of hanging out and happily playing alone, I'm not going to stop him. Unless he's guaranteed to give himself bodily harm, I'm not stepping in.

Which means that if he's jumping off his toy box without jumping onto broken glass, I'm letting him. If he desires privacy in the bathroom, I'm not going to break down the door because it's locked. Nor am I going to panic, lest he drown himself in the bathroom sink. MIL stands outside the door "the door is locked. Rachel, he's locked himself in there. can't he get hurt? can you open it?"

Holy fuck - the kid's locked himself in to get some peace and quiet, leave him be.**

This morning, the evil eye stayed away right up until breakfast.. when the ten-year-old expressed hunger and I said "well, you know where the cereal is".

Is it unreasonable to expect a ten-year-old to fix his own cereal?

Apparently so.

Did I mention I'm making them feed themselves today because I spent ALL day cooking our 'holiday meal' yesterday?

And then - God forbid - the three-year-old wanted the same cereal that his brother had. I started to turn him down, and the eye got super evil... so the boy got a bowl of coco@ puffs that I knew he wouldn't eat. Because, you know, he doesn't eat those. Especially not when he's already eaten breakfast.

Half an hour later, as the puffs were flying around the breakfast table (uneaten on account of they're 'yucky'), I refrained from asking Gma if she was going to pick up the straying food that G had so desperately needed.

Eh, well, the eye twitch is attractive. It goes nicely with my irritation-induced hives.

*that's a whole 'nother issue and since i try not to publicly disparage his mother's decisions, I'll leave it be for now. suffice to say i'm not thrilled but I have learned that neither a stepparent nor a father has any say in anything unless it's in agreement with the mother's decision. least that's what the pediatrician tells us.

**little-known fact about G - he's got some sensory issues and gets overstimulated easily. when he's in full melt-down mode, he often puts himself in the bathroom or in his room, so he can de-stim himself and calm down. knocking on the door and asking him questions prolongs that process, and is not helpful to anyone involved... i don't think this is so hard to understand, but apparently it is. just leave the poor kid alone and he'll come out when he's ready.

Friday, December 29, 2006

I'm a rotten person. Have i mentioned that before? I'm also adjusting to a new keyboard, so ignore any and all typos - I'm fixing 'em as fast as I can but the little fuckers keep sneaking in anyway.

But back to the rotten person thing.

Friend of mine got knocked up this week. Well, ok, about two weeks ago, but she found out this week.

For the first time in a long time, I was really, truly happy for someone else's pregnancy. Only happy.

Because, you see, she needed IUI.

And that makes all the difference.

I get so freaking excited about someone I know who struggles and turns up pregnant, but can't seem to muster up that same excitement for someone who just blindly, optimistically does the deed and gets a positive a few weeks later.

Only that makes no sense - I've gotten knocked up three times in my life. All three of those involved s-e-x. Sure, two of them involved drugs (metformin & met/letrozole, respectively), and this last one involved several IUI's, but I'm not sure it counts as needing IUI to get pregnant when you manage it on the month your IUI was cancelled, ya know?

Either way, I have a bias. If you get pregnant easily, I may be happy for you... but I will probably have some other feelings banging around in my head. If you struggle, I will be ecstatic. Pure, plain happiness. It's been this way for a while - I thought it would be different now, but it's not.

You can take the girl out of infertility, but you can't take the infertility out of the girl.

So to speak.

More on that soon, but we've got a houseful and I don't have time to do it justice right now.

In other news, I'm still reading blogs. I'm having a hard time finding time to comment on what I'm reading, but I'm out there and so many in blogland are on my mind. The good news is scarce lately, it seems, and I'm hoping that with the new year coming, 2006 will vanish for so many.. I know the scars of the year will still remain, but my wish for 2007 is that the wounds will sting less, and the news will be better.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

holding my breath...

G was never a cooperative fetus. When we wanted to monitor him, he'd scoot out of the way of the ultrasound, or the monitors, or anything else in his way. I had to give up underwire bras because he'd kick the wires if they touched my belly (and as amusing as it is to randomly have a boob bouncing up and down, it was also distracting, particularly in public or at work). The only thing he cooperated in was the gender ultrasound, and I have since learned that was not cooperation as much as it was his penchant for nudity, and for showing off his proudest parts... a penchant which persists to this day, much to my embarassment. And the mailman's. And the neighbors'. I hear that G is very much like B as a child, and I know that he's very much like my stepson, so I figured this lack of cooperation was just what I could expect from our kids.

I was totally unprepared for RiceCake to be accommodating today.

See, as much as I've tried not to worry, ever since the ER-ultrasound that measured Rice three days behind, I've been concerned.

For the past two weeks, I've been repeating a growth mantra to the belly. For the last week, we've been bargaining. I knew that the one thing that would make me feel better was to be either on target or slightly ahead... so I've been telling RC that if I could please, please, please just see a 10w1d baby I'd be happy. I'm 'officially' 9w6d, and I figured that two extra days isn't an unreasonable request.

Believe it or not: Rice's measurements were exactly 10w1d. I would have cried but I was too busy grinning like a fool.

I was concerned before the ultrasound because I've got a bit of a fever, and I had some seriously tender spots on my abdomen. Since I'm uber-optimistic, I was immediately convinced I had some sort of uterine infection (why think something benign when you can worry about a serious condition?).

Nope... turns out that I'm a bit sick (hence the fever) and the abdominal tenderness was cured with a trip to the bathroom. Who knew constipation hurt? Who knew you could even get constipated on metformin? And who else would worry that much about it?

So yeah, again, all my worst fears were not confirmed. And I am ever so grateful for that.

I know we're not out of the woods. I know there's a long way to go yet... but damn, it's nice to breathe again.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Feeling better...

well, worse actually, but it's making me feel better. (no need to figure that out, I know I'm f'd in the head)

I took a nap (fastest way to pass the time) and woke up terribly nauseous. Seems I can only have one symptom at a time, and today it's nausea. Probably I should have been expecting that, but I wasn't.

It's a minute-by-minute thing. Honestly, when I told that ER doc a week ago that I thought I needed a little something to help me get through this mentally, he should not have blown me off.

I may get out of this with a baby, but I'm starting to seriously doubt I'll get out of it with my sanity intact.

.. and now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to sniff some hot dogs and see if I can improve my mood a bit more by vomiting.*

*ok, probably not, but it's an option.

I've decided...

All fertility-challenged pregnant patients should have weekly ultrasounds. No matter what.

I can make it about a week without panicking but that's it.

So yeah, today's not a good day. No special reason (unless you count the fluctuating boob-soreness which today is registering about an 0.5 on a scale of 1-10), I'm just freaking out because I can. Oh yeah, and I've got a bit of a headache lurking in the corners of my brain, which wouldn't be problematic for anyone but me because the return of the ever-present headaches occurred shortly before my miscarriage. And (err.) my constipation's gone. So either I'm getting sick, which is possible, or I should freak out. Or not, it could just be paranoia.

And I don't have another appointment until next freaking TUESDAY. Yeah, I know, it's only five more days, but they're five LONG days.

I can make it, I'm sure I can*. Two good ultrasounds behind me, both with a strong heartbeat. That should reassure me.. and truthfully, it's the one reason I'm not in a full-on panic right now. Well, that and the fact that last time my boobs stopped hurting, it didn't mean anything.

I still wish I could be normal and say "hey, I feel better today. how cool!" instead of "omg, I feel better today - what's wrong??!"

I wish I were far enough along that a doppler would give me reassurance, but I'm afraid to use one because I'm afraid I wouldn't find anything and then I'd be MORE freaked out.

Five. More. Days.

*mostly because I have no choice - I refuse to freak out (again). It's only five more days.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I'm so boring...

I'm still staying pretty busy here, which is nice, but which doesn't leave me much time to blog, or comment on other blogs (although I am still reading!) ..

We're closing in on my next ultrasound (less than a week to go!), and naturally, that's sparking some panic over here. I wish I could go into this with just happy, shiny thoughts, positive that all will be well, that the ultrasound will be one more opportunity to see RiceCake and his beautiful beating heart, but I am scared.

Looks like I'll be going this one alone... save for G, who may have to go with me.* So it better be good news, 'cause not only will I not have anyone there to give me support, I'll have to hold it together for the little man. I'm still holding out hope that B will be able to make it at the last minute, but I'm definitely not counting on it.

I've been skipping the Google consults, which has made a HUGE difference in my equilibrium. Without Dr Google to freak me out, I'm ignorant of statistics, or bad-news stories, or rare one-in-a-million complications that I am sure will materialize in my life. It's kinda nice.

I've been optimistically reading a message board for moms due in July, and, as expected, they're very different from me. There's one or two who feel the need to get all doom and gloom and point out reality to the otherwise-blissfully-ignorant moms-to-be, but for the most part, they're all picking out names and comparing baby gear and discussing labor options.

I am nowhere near that point. I still can't even tell people we're expecting.

I realized how much I've changed this year when I found the list of questions I had for my doctor at what should have been my first OB appointment this spring. I threw it out. None of it really matters to me now - if I make it past the upcoming ultrasound, I'll have plenty of time to debate the merits of a planned section or a VBAC. I'm not even bringing it up now. The fact that I not only thought it out, but wrote it down last time seems incredibly arrogant.

.. and yet, normal. I miss that normal.

I keep saying "after my next ultrasound", but now I'm thinking more like "out of the first trimester", or maybe even "out of the womb" before I'll feel 'safe'.

*but it's just a regular OB and not the RE, so dammit, I refuse to feel guilty.

Saturday, December 09, 2006


Not much worth taking the time to type out here. Still paranoid, still slowly working through that.

In other news, my nephew was born this past week.

I apparently still have issues with that, since I was peeved about that announcement call. It interrupted a rare moment alone with my husband. I'd like to say it was the interruption rather than the news that irked me, but no... I just didn't want to hear one more damn thing about my sister's pregnancy.

Sounds cold, eh? Well, it is.. but it's honest, and that's all I'm concerned about here.

For whatever reason, my mother thinks I'm interested. I got the full report on the maybe-it's-labor from last week... all freaking evening, I got real-time reports until I finally told her that I really wasn't interested in the play-by-play. I'm sure that part of this is irritation with my sister - she never did call me. Her entire pregnancy, not one phone call. I guess it really is just that icky discussing pregnancy with the fertility-challenged. Sadly, that's not the only reason I'm irritated.

Since I'm being honest, I'll tell you this - the main reason I'm irritated is because I can't handle pregnancy talk this week. I don't want to hear about it, see it, or so much as think it. This is THE week where I want no pregnancy talk, or reminders, or anything. I want to stay busy, and muddle through the next couple of weeks til my ultrasound.

... but since I'm not still trying to get pregnant, my mother thinks I'm totally over all those infertile feelings and the sadness about my miscarriage. Because, you know, I've moved on.

Which is the hardest damn thing to explain to someone. It doesn't go away. No matter what. It gets easier, I've been down this road before (well, the mom-after-IF part, not the mom-after-miscarriage road), and it gets easier... but it doesn't go away. I can't forget the reality that not all pregnancies turn into babies. I can't forget that I'm still in a tenuous position. Everyone else, of course, has moved past that. They're excited and happy and looking ahead. They're talking about names, and shopping and preparing.

Me, I'm talking about just getting through the next few weeks.

And Mom, I'm happy for S. Really, I am.. but all the talk of weekly ultrasounds, and how big baby's gotten, and the endless discussions on her bloodwork just remind me that I've got a long way to go. Let me be selfish for a little while because it's protecting me. Let me not talk about pregnancy, or doctors or labor. Just for now.

I'm trying desperately to move on, but I'm in the midst of a week that's pulling me back, dragging me kicking and screaming to a time I just want to forget. Today, I am 8 weeks and 3 days. I only made it to 8 weeks and 4 days last pregnancy. I feel like I'm passing a major milestone here - and while I'm heartened by the fact that I do feel like I will pass it, I still feel like it's a roadblock that will take effort to climb.

Looking ahead, I'm happy that I'm almost past this week.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

I am ashamed... admit this, but it will better illustrate my paranoia.

And oh yeah, before you read, everything's ok. I know mid-way through this, it's not going to sound so good, but I'll spare you the mental rollercoaster and just say this: RiceCake, he's still in there. His flicker is still flickering at a good pace.

So... My boobs stopped hurting this morning. Yesterday, they were barely-sore, by noon today I had to squeeze them (hard) to get even a mild discomfort.

I so totally panicked. Called the parents, asked if G could hang out because I wanted to get checked out. Which, of course, panicked the 'rents. Just goes to show that no matter how old your kids are, they can still make your heart stop. Kind of like RiceCake did to me today.

I spent five hours sitting in the waiting room with all sorts of non-emergencies (including one loud cell-phone talker who informed her caller - and the entire waiting room - that she was there because her daughter was throwing up, and her son had the runs. I shudder to think how many germs I may have picked up, but hey - if I get some stomach flu, I'll call it morning sickness and be reassured)

When they finally called me back, I tearfully recounted my two weeks of various aches and uterine pains, culminating in the weekend-of-no-boob-pain, and they agree I need an exam and an ultrasound.

Sweet Jesus, this is what I'm talking about!

Only, this is the very-same hospital where I learned about fetal demise and miscarriage this past spring, so I'm a bit on edge. Maybe even more than just a bit.

The exam went ok - my ute is tender, but hell I knew that before they started poking.. and hey, those ovarian cysts, they still hurt when smushed. Imagine that.

Then comes the moment of truth - the ultrasound.

The doctor powers up the machine, and shows me my uterus.... which is totally f'ing empty. Yeah, this is the part where I lost it. Oh. My. God. Not again. I think I said that three or four times. The doc keeps telling me that it's not a great machine, don't start worrying yet blah, blah, blah... and all I can see is NOTHING on the screen. So she keeps digging away with the dildocam and finally asks me if maybe, just maybe, my uterus is tilted back.

Uhhh... yeah. Is that relevant?

So she jams the cam a bit deeper and suddenly... there is RiceCake in all his smudgy gray glory. I see a tiny, bright-white flicker in the middle, just for a second before he disappears again (because dammit, I sat up to get a better look and she lost him. Again. But at least this time she knew where to find him).

He's measuring behind by 3 days, which worried me til I realized that the measurement was done by a resident who couldn't actually find my f'ing uterus and probably is not so accurate (and, she assured me, due to the limitations of their u/s machine, they don't even start to worry unless he's measuring a week or more behind). Oh, and my gestational sac as measuring two-and-a-half weeks ahead. So.. yeah, something funky going on with the measuring. She was able to get RiceCake's heartrate, which clocked in at a respectable 186 bpm... a bit high, but again, I'm calling that 'user error'. I was able to see that he was flickering faster than last week, and that's good enough for me.

They diagnosed me as "pregnant",* gave me the list of scary things to watch out for that would require a return trip (as if I wouldn't come back for less than that... come on) and told me to eat more - apparently the one abnormality they discovered involved ketones in my urine... Things could be so, so very much worse.

*holyhell, i used the actual word.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Alrighty then...

I just want to nominate this one as my all-time (so far) strangest google hit:

does alcohol prevent radioaction

What... the.. hell..?
You know, I was fully expecting to be afraid... but today's pushing my limits for paranoia.

My breasts are barely sore today and it's freaking me out. I'm really nauseous, but I'm pretty sure that's because I'm just that afraid.

This is so not fair - I worked really hard to get to this point and I can't just relax and enjoy it. I have to freak out at the smallest sign that maybe something's gone wrong.

.. and I'm back to that paranoid can't-breathe feeling.

When does that go away?

Friday, December 01, 2006

I have class. Truly.

And I thought B'Spears was bad.

But that's not what I'm here to talk about.

Prenatal class yesterday. Rather large waste of my time, although I did learn two new things:

(1) I will not be getting an ultrasound nearly early enough to pacify my psychosis.
(2) I will be getting one at my next appointment, Dec 19

The hospital where my clinic is located has an interesting way of doing things. All new OB patients are enrolled in this class prior to their first appointment, whether they are newly pregnant or just transferring in. As a result of that, there was a girl who was enrolled for this class who is due......... next week.

She got out of attending the class.

I did not.

I sat through the entire thing although I started to squirm (a lot) when they got about halfway through the "what to expect at your appointment" lecture. Because, dammit, sitting there listening to what might/will happen at my thirty-six week appointment felt awfully like tempting the fates.

I filled out reams of paperwork including the required psychological pre-screen which included such true/false questions as "I find myself worrying ALL the time" and "I am often unrealistically afraid".

Oh yeah, I so totally failed that test. The nurse-instructor made sure to emphasize to me that there is a social worker affiliated with the clinic who will be available to speak with me at any point.

Puh-lease, there's ultrasound techs also, but I don't see them lining up to soothe my paranoia... and dammit, they're the ones who I want to see.

She mentioned the nutritionist also, and it took all my willpower not to blurt out "jackass". Real mature, me. Hey, I'd have done that cough-jackass-cough thing. Oh wait, that's probably less mature, huh?

I didn't get my appointment date til the very end of (the two-freaking-hour) class, and by then I had to pee so badly that it didn't occur to me until after I left that December 19 is not a great time for my next ultrasound. As I was sprinting towards a bathroom I realized (as any truly psychotic fertility-challenged would) oh shit - that could make for one rotten Christmas if things go badly.

I still haven't gotten the hang of this optimism thing.

Maybe after the next ultrasound ... ?