Monday, December 10, 2007
I saw my GP the other day so that she could tweak my meds 'cause my blood pressure is still too high. First, instead of just increasing my dosage, she switched my blood pressure meds because she didn't think the one I was taking was safe for a breastfeeding mom. No problem, it's not like it was really working for me anyway, right?
Then, she started in on my zoloft. I believe her exact words were "you do realize that your baby is getting that, too, right?" .. in this tone of voice like I was being selfish for needlessly exposing my baby to medication.
Pardon my language, but what the fuck?
I had just finished telling her that my OB prescribed the zoloft for postpartum depression... so she knew that (a) this was something the OB prescribed (and presumably they should know about lactation) and (b) I have postpartum depression.
She didn't ask me about the severity of my PPD (not very), or if I had discussed the risk vs. benefit with the OB (I had), just snapped off that little remark.
It scares me to think that some day this ass-hat might make the same judgmental comment to a mom who is suffering from severe PPD, who hasn't done the research to confirm that her medication is safe.. who decides to stop taking necessary meds based on one nasty GP who seems to think that PPD isn't worth treating. Or maybe it was the breastfeeding that she thought should go, rather than the treatment. Either way, her information was inaccurate.
I've complained about her, and I hope that someone in her chain of command can educate her. She is, after all, a military GP.. statistically speaking, military wives are more likely to suffer from PPD. She should already know how this works.
Friday, November 30, 2007
I am so ready for him to come home.
I'm having such a hard time with the holidays this year. Mel had a great post the other day about the emotional minefield of Christmas during IF. Or rather, the emotional minefield of IF during Christmas... so true. It's a tough time of year whenever your family isn't complete... or is complete (enough) but isn't together.
Tonight, G was marveling at the neighborhood lights. He thought the lights meant that it was Christmas.
No, not yet. People put their lights out early because they're excited that Christmas will be here in a few weeks.
.. and then he asked why we didn't have any lights outside our house.
Because, sweet boy, that's your dad's thing*.
And maybe because your mom is not all that excited.
It's a huge reminder of everything that B's missing.
For the first few months, I just didn't think about what B was missing. I couldn't think about it.
.. and he couldn't think about anything else.
He has missed PB's first smile, laugh, and her first tears. G's first day of pre-k, that sweet and indefinable moment where he pulled out his independence and stood on his own as just one of the big kids, and the everyday moments of two little ones learning how siblings interact.
G started pre-k the day before T'giving. I emailed B lots of pictures, and happily reported that no one had cried.
He emailed me back with just two words "except me".
That's what I think of every time someone tells me that it must be hard having him gone... yeah, it's hard - but it's nothing compared to what he's going through.
_ _ _
ok, I wrote all that last week, with the intention of actually finishing it. I had sorta even planned on working in the point I actually sat down to write - which was that B & I had that always-fun 'state of the union' discussion re: family planning... and I've been trying to write about it ever since. Twice I've sat down to work through it in my mind and my keyboard.. and twice I managed to write an entire post without once mentioning the actual subject I'd intended to discuss.
Obviously it's not an easy thing for me to think through (else I'd have written the #$^&! post and published it and been done already) .. so .. maybe next time?
* Usually we have enough lights strung around the front yard to qualify us for the Hall of Shame.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
So G started pre-k last week (better late than never, right?) word of advice - if you attempt to enroll your child in pre-k, and said child marches to his own drummer, and the pre-k even breathes the words "wait list", just find a new school.
It is exceedingly difficult to teach a nonconformist to conform... and once you're three months into the school year and all the other kids already know the rules and ropes, the honeymoon period is over and conformity is expected.
It's been a fun week... G's starting to get the hang of some things, but he does still like to do it his own way. His homework* yesterday was to write the letter "d" .. he was ok with that, but he didn't want to write it on the line.. and when he asked why he had to write it on the line and the best answer I could come up with was "because that's what they said to do", I figured screw 'em, he's four. And if he wants to write his d's sideways and under the line, so be it. This week, we're working on why a nap mat isn't a wrestling mat - surely where he writes his 'd' is small stuff in comparison. Besides, I like that he has his own opinions and questions the status quo. Tonight, while picking the d's out in the book we were reading, he pointed to a 'p'. I dutifully pointed out that it was a 'p' and not a 'd'.. and G flipped the book over to show me that it was, indeed, a 'd', I just had to look at it a little differently.
.. and after all, isn't that one of the reasons I wanted to be a parent? To learn to see the world in a different way, through my child's eyes?
Rock on, my free-thinking little man..
*yes, homework! in pre-k! wtf??
Friday, November 16, 2007
.. and he cannot imagine why I haven't been jumping up and down with eager excitement, breathlessly emailing him those numbers.
So tonight, I decide to bite the bullet, and
Do you know they make tape measures that only go up to 36"??
Yeah. And I own one of them.
It's going to take some serious retail therapy to get over this. Or maybe cupcakes... which, I admit, may be part of the problem.
I can't believe that when I finally gathered up the courage to confront my
I am simply too much woman for that
Oh hell, it's not that I expected to be under 36" anywhere. It's just the idea.
I've outgrown a tape measure (!!)
Saturday, November 10, 2007
I found this nifty link in a friend's myspace blog the other day:
Upload kid-pics and parent-pics and it will tell you which parent the kid resembles more*.
So, it was fun to play with, but it got me thinking... the physical stuff is pretty easy: G inherited my grandfather's eye color and B's everything else, P'Bean got the sweet little double chin I had as a babe,** her father's blue eyes and long toes... it's fun looking at parts and picking out who got what from whom...
.. but that always leads me to wonder which child inherited what bad genes from us, too.
Some of it I know already, some of it I just worry about. G inherited my quirky mindset, my tendency to worry too much and his Dad's ADHD. I worry that he's inherited the double whopper of B's dyslexia, but that's one that will have to wait unless/until he's old enough to sit still and learn his letters. They tell me that his speech delays will cause him problems with reading anyway, so it could be a moot point.. my bright child will likely struggle in school.
Because of the things he's inherited from us.
P'Bean is still largely unknown. She's just too little for me to know yet. I worry that she'll struggle with PCOS, or high blood pressure, or some other problem that will creep up when she's an adult. Something I gave her.
.. if I hadn't spent so much time worrying about my genetics, and wondering if our IF was a cosmic hint not to have children, I probably wouldn't even be having these thoughts.
.. and ya know, whatever their struggles, difficuties or genetic quirks, I wouldn't change either of them. I adore them just the way they are.
~edited to remove photo~
*I make absolutely no claims on its accuracy, as it said my stepson looks more like me than his dad.
**truth: I had a triple chin. P'Bean only has a double chin, but it's chunky enough that I have to floss her neck at bath-time.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
That said.... here's what I was thinking about today. It's a bit stream of consciousness. so forgive me if it jumps around - that IS really how my mind works.
I read a lot of blogs. The majority of them are IF blogs, but there are a sprinkling of other genres in my bloglines. Today I read an interesting commentary on the latest Duggary addition, written by a woman who is a diehard childfree. You think the IF community has fun stuff to say about the Dugg*rs? You should check out what the CF community has to say.
At any rate, the blog got me to thinking about overpopulation. First I thought "at the rate that IF is spreading, I don't think we need to worry about overpopulation.. we need to worry about extinction" (hey, I'm allowed to get all melodramatic and extremist in my own mind). .. from there, unbidden, the following thought skittered across my consciousness "nah... we won't go extinct - plenty of uberfertile crack ho's and morons out there, they'll make up for the infertiles".
.. and then I realized - holy shit... IF doesn't affect the ignorant and just plain stupid*. Every single IF woman I know is intelligent and articulate. I spent a few moments debating with myself whether or not that was because the majority of the IF community that I 'know' is in the blogosphere. Initially I thought perhaps that was because bloggers tend to be articulate and intelligent, but I threw out that theory when I remembered reading a few (non-IF) blogs that have been written by the truly dense. So I concluded that bloggers in general aren't more intelligent than the average population... just that IF bloggers seem to be.** Interestingly, the same holds true for those who are childfree.
So here we have two growing subsects of the population who are experiencing subfertility, either by choice or by sheer bad luck... while the lower rungs on the food chain are experiencing what seems to be a population explosion.
Does this bode well for the future of mankind?
Clearly, Darwin had it backwards.
*Seriously... do you know any morons who are infertile?
**lest I sound all egotistical, no, I'm not including myself in that generalization. Lord knows I can be a giant doofus in real life.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Well, no, PB was a week old when he left, so he was there when she was born...
One woman commented that she definitely wouldn't want to birth while her husband was deployed and said something along the lines of "I'd never let him do that" .. by 'that' I'm assuming she meant knock her up at a bad time.. hahaha.**
Ohhh yeah.. I love that stuff. Good ole Family Planning.
Remember that discussion?
I know I shouldn't get offended when people say things like that. Nobody knows better than I do that PB's birth could have been timed better... but I also know that the alternative could be not having Bean. If we'd decided that last October would produce an unbearable due date (and you know that discussion was on the table), then I wouldn't have Bean. I might have someone else, but it wouldn't be Bean. I might not have anyone at all. I am starting to believe that early fall has some sort of mythical fertility-enhancing properties for B.. so skipping the 'undesirable due date' cycles might just have meant missing our chance last year.
So when this discussion comes up, I want to stand up and scream that we're not stupid, or careless, we knew that getting pregnant in late October would mean that our baby would be born right before he left, but we just couldn't take a chance on skipping that cycle and missing our opportunity. And hey, thanks for reminding me how sucktastic it is that B only knows his daughter through pictures and emails. Or that PB knows her father's voice on the phone, but not the feel of his arms holding her, or the smell of his chest as she snuggles up there for a nap. Fan-freaking-tastic reminder.
Just before we were called back to talk to the B, another wife arrived carrying a baby approximately Bean's size. So... are you infertile also or just careless/stupid? I was so tempted.
.. and then there's the "ohh.. you have your boy and girl, how perfect". Yep, we think they're perfect also. We'd think they were perfect no matter what. It's no secret that I wanted Bean to be a girl... but it's also no secret that I'd have been thrilled if Bean were a boy.
There is often some asshat who assumes that G really wanted a brother (he did not, he was hoping for a sister from the beginning) and tells G that sisters can be fun, too. It's pretty common for this to prompt G to explain that he has a sister AND a brother. Recently one particularly ass-hat-ish person informed me that I needed another so we'd have two boys and two girls. W..T..F..?
That was seriously way more insulting than all the other 'next one' comments put together.
Just the thought of having another child some day is an emotional minefield. One that I'm certainly not prepared to discuss with a tactless stranger in the grocery line.. assuming, of course that I even knew how I felt about it. The farthest we've gotten at that discussion so far is the debate over whether we need birth control until we figure out what we're doing some day.
It is such a relief to be content. Years of charting, months of time being broken into two-week increments, so very many emotional highs and lows.. I like where I am now. Very much.
I guess that's my whole point. All the comments that point out to me that (they think) I should regret the timing of my Bean's birth, or the comments that imply that I'd be less happy with a boy-Bean, or even the people who think I should be looking ahead and thinking about 'the next' .. they make me realize more than ever that I'm at peace with circumstances, content where I am, and yes, downright happy about it. I know what it took to get to this place in my life and it is so wonderful to be able to really enjoy just being here.
*there's nothing that'll make a hormonal chick cry like watching an I-miss-my-daddy four year old get to see his dad and play a little paper scissors rock when they're thousands of miles apart.
**ohhh, she was such a new wife. veteran wives know that not all deployments are planned and that no matter when you 'plan' to give birth, underways happen, too.. so if you want to make sure that your military hubby is home for a birth, better wait til shore duty.. and even then, you gotta hope that an IA deployment doesn't pull him away for parts unknown. In short, there IS no planning for when he's home, just planning and hoping he'll be home then.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
I was at the grocery store the other day.. as I was wrangling the kids through the aisles, we happened to wander down the beer aisle*... and passed a man who was perusing the beer.. It made me remember the days when a friday evening trip to the grocery was to pick up beer and cigarettes... ahh.. nostalgia!
Not this particular Friday night, no sirree. I had a cart full of junk food. G & I had had a Very Bad Day and I wanted to celebrate the end of that Very Bad Day with a chocolate chip cookies, popcorn and various forms of junk food. Only since we didn't have any chooclate chip cookies (or chocolate chips to make 'em!), or popcorn OR junk food, we had to run to the store. So as I wheeled my whiny charges past the beer man, I contemplated the differences between a beer-soaked Friday night, and a Friday night where G & I will get hopped up on grape soda and potato chips.
And then I loaded the kids, and the sugar, into the minivan and headed home, singing along to the 'retro' 80s night on the radio.
Part of me misses the beer nights.
Most of me enjoys my grape soda and cookies.
But it does make me feel old.
This feeling like a grown-up, it's pretty new. I know that technically, parenthood makes you grow up.** And I did kinda grow up after having G. I did, after all, give up tequila shots and dancing on tables after his birth, so that's something, right?
But I still didn't really feel like a grown-up.
Somehow, that part happened some time after Princess Bean was born. I have no idea why, what changed that made me suddenly feel older than my years. I'll have to think on that part, and get back to you. For now, I'm going to go crank the oldies station and headbang along to a little retro 80's music, ok?
*what kind of grocery store puts the popcorn in the beer aisle? we spent 20 minutes wandering around before we found popcorn. I guess that's what I get for going to an unfamiliar grocery store. And being old.
**well.. it should, at least
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
That's really high up on my list of ass-hat comments... but I confess, over the last few weeks, I've thought it more than once.. I was thinking it about myself (I'm not that big of an ass-hat that I'd justify it for anyone else), but still..
I've spent a lot of time thinking about my health, and feeling pretty old. The way-too-young resident at the emergency room a few weeks ago made the comment "wow, you've got a pretty interesting medical history" .. I hadn't really thought about it before then. I had just finished listing my chronic conditions, and allergies... there's a few of each of those, and it seems like with each year I age, I'm getting a little more added on to my list.
It didn't help that when I was talking to my mom, she commented that I'm on a lot of the same meds that my dad is on, or has been on. He's an overweight diabetic in his 50s, I'm a reasonably healthy not-too-overweight in my early 30s... and we're taking the same medications. He keeps a list of all his medications because there's too many to remember. If I were actually taking everything they prescribed for me* I'd need a list too. Damn.
On the bright side, my blood pressure has returned to normal. If you define normal as prehypertensive, that is. I can get my systolic number into normal range, but my diastolic is stubborn. I should be thrilled about that. The downside to that is that it's high-normal on medication. My doc, he wasn't kidding about wanting me on blood pressure meds long-term. At my visit the other day, he renewed my prescription for the next three months, and suggested I see a cardiologist. Ya know, when the doc starts throwing out terms like "cardiologist", I start getting depressed.
And then yesterday I watched one too many TV shows where otherwise healthy (and young!) people suddenly dropped dead from rare but serious complications of blood pressure. Listen to Dr. G lecture about how high blood pressure is a silent killer, often with no symptoms, and you too can question your mortality.
So it made me wonder for a short minute if perhaps the reason I had difficulty getting pregnant was because my body wasn't sure if could handle gestating the Bean... and then I looked at her, my sweet princess, and realized.. I wouldn't change it for the world. My docs aren't concerned for my health, they're looking at all this as manageable, no serious consequences. Probably, I should just appreciate what I've got, and stop worrying that every ache or twinge anywhere near my chest is a heart attack waiting to happen.
Hey, I wouldn't be me if I didn't worry endlessly, and for no reason...
Coming soon: More musings on my elderly status, complete with my thoughts on how it feels to be that woman who listens to the oldies station while tooling around town running grown-up errands in a minivan.
*I'm not advocating skipping necessary prescriptions. I just got sick of taking a dozen pills, and I was questioning just how many chemicals I wanted Princess Bean ingesting with her breastmilk. So I ditched the ones I no longer needed.
Friday, August 03, 2007
Hey, I'm totally not one of those slave-driving ute-bosses. Mine gets time off for bad behavior (courtesy of the anovulatory pcos cycles), and even with that, it negotiated an agreement where it only has to put in pregnancy-induced overtime every few years and then gets a year off afterwards (we call that the "lactational amenorrhea treaty").
You'd think it would treat me better, under the circumstances.
The Duggars use and abuse the ute, forcing it into gestation every other year or so, with barely a break in between.. and yet, it's still there practically jumping up and down waiting to be wrestled into service again.
Some day I'll figure out how they're doing it.
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Friday, July 20, 2007
Actually, feeling a lot better than I was last night (for some odd reason, I have a 12-24 hour adjustment period before new ideas or decisions feel ok to me).
Thanks for the comments. It definitely IS a victory that I've carried this baby to term. A year ago, I'd have given a limb to be in this position. I'd have volunteered for the section (and offered up the limb at the same time - save my insurance a little $$ in anesthesia costs) just for the privilege of being full-term.. looking at it that way, this really isn't the end of the world. It's small stuff. I can handle small stuff.
marie-baguette... the timing of this birth is tricky. I have at most 5 more days. My doctor doesn't allow anything past 41 weeks. I'm not comfortable waiting that long. Ordinarily, I'd be all about waiting til babe's ready, and letting things take their natural course, but I do have other things that need consideration at this point. We have very few days left before B leaves. I will be on my own with a newborn and a super-active 4-year-old. Knowing that I already have a high chance of a repeat cesarean, I just don't think the potential benefit of cooking RiceCake for an extra few days balances out the risk of not having time to recover before that. I wish things were different.. but they're not. I have to do what I can with the options I've got... and unfortunately, given the time restrictions placed on me by my doctors, and the fact that this babe appears to be in no hurry to be born, it's not so much a question of if we will evict him or her, but when.
.. and dd... I heart you. Reading your comment made me realize that this isn't about perfection, or what I want, it's about finding that peace with what is... and about understanding that each scary piece of the puzzle is just that - one piece.. and I need to take each one individually and deal with it on its own. That's something I struggle with in so many areas - all the little stuff overwhelms me until I can't see that I'm taking many tiny things and making them into one giant thing that is bigger, and scarier than it ever should be.
p.s.. you coulda just given me a swift kick in the arse, you know - I'm pretty sure I deserve it after last night's whine-fest... but you didn't. I'm going to remember that next time you're thinking you're not a kind person...
Importantly, I am at peace with the decisions we made today.
.. and speaking of those decisions... we're going in for an induction tomorrow. I know that inducing reduces my chances for a vag birth, but I'm ok with that. I've dealt with the little emotions, and while I'm still apprehensive about the possibilities, I'm determined to take it one day at a time. If I need to, I can handle one hour, or even one minute at a time... and I'm going to worry about things if they come up, rather than pre-handling all my angst at once. I don't expect I'll be totally successful at that (since, you know, worrying just in case is sort of a hobby of mine), but I'll just keep trying til I get it right... if I can be half as stubborn as the babe I'm baking, it shouldn't be so hard.
It looks like I'll be asking to schedule a c-section at that appointment.
I can't even really express how upset I am about this. It seems like such a stupid thing to be upset about.. carrying a baby to term (and beyond) is hardly a bad thing, right?
... but it feels like my body has failed me.
I couldn't get this babe in there without help, and now I can't get him/her out on my own.
I've said all along that my biggest fear was having a cesarean just before B deploys. If I wait any longer, that will be exactly what happens.
Nobody ever promised me life would be fair.
Nobody ever promised me that reproduction, birth or parenthood would be easy.
So why does it bother me to find out that it's not?
... and in the middle of the night, when my house is quiet and it's just me sitting here with my thoughts, I can admit this - I'm scared to death of dealing with all this on my own. I've had a lot of time to prepare, but I'm just not ready for B to leave. Admitting that we need to make this decision now means admitting that he really is going.
I can do this.
Monday, June 25, 2007
Not for the usual reasons, tho.
So far, things have been very uneventful, fortunately.
I never did get morning sickness, or boobs too sore to breathe on, and even the third-trimester aches and pains have been pretty bearable...
.. but the closer I get to my due date, the more I wish I had some v@lium. Or something.
So I panicked again this morning.
Rice really wasn't moving.
Which shouldn't surprise me - this babe is not a morning person lately, and rarely moves between breakfast and lunch.
.. but I still totally freaked.
I was thisclose to going in to get checked out (no sh!t, I even had G dressed and we were on our way to the neighbor's to see if he could hang there for a couple of hours) when Rice got hiccups and I felt a little better. But only a little.
I'm still on edge. I'm ok when the babe is active and moving, but every time there's a lull in that pattern, I start to worry again.
.. which is why I can't wait until s/he is born. I just can't handle much more pregnancy.
I really, truly wanted to be able to relax and enjoy this time, but that's so much harder than I expected.
I wanted to be able to be 'normal' and prepare and plan and go nuts over tiny little clothes and things.. but every time I buy something or make something for this babe, I get paranoid all over again. Yesterday I went shopping for a few last-minute things. Today I woke up convinced I might not need any of them. It sucks, and it's exhausting trying to talk myself out of being scared.
I had to step away from Dr Google, and now the 'net is not my friend. It's filled with scary stories and possibilities and improbable things for me to worry about.
I just want to be done. I want to be able to hold my babe in my arms, and see that she's ok, and know that if I'm worried, reassurance is just a few breaths away, rather than the interminable amount of time it takes me to try and interpret a heart rate on a doppler... because just hearing it isn't enough any more - I need to hear if there are the right amount of accels, if they coincide with movement, and if things sound the same as they have yesterday, and the day before, and the day before.
.. and I have weeks of this stretching ahead of me. Only a few weeks, but even those weeks seem long. I have stopped taking things day by day and have started looking at them hour by hour. When it it particularly rough, it is minute by minute. Each new minute can bring with it new worries...
I can get through this, I will get through this... but I do not think it will be easy.
What I need to do is step back.. stop overanalyzing, and just do what I can to be busy enough that my mind is not worrying.
.. and to do that, I need to step back from my blog. I know it seems like I already have, because I have certainly not been posting as much the last few months.. but the truth is, it's not the posting as much as the publishing that's been difficult for me. I have put my thoughts down often, and stopped just shy of clicking that publish button.
I blog to work out the problems and issues in my mind so that they won't take over my life. Now that I've reached the point where the time I spend blogging serves just to reinforce my fears, it's time for a break.
See you in a few weeks...
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
I hung up with the clinic and called the hospital's patient advocate, who promised to look into it and get back with me.
Got a call back this afternoon from the clinic's head scheduler, who had miraculously created an appointment tomorrow at 9AM.
It's earlier than I wanted - I'm supposed to go next week, not this week... but I'll take what I can get.
The even bigger miracle was that when I called the hospital day care, they had a slot open for tomorrow morning... I can actually get my beta strep test without G's prying eyes checking out my cervix.
Now that, my friends, makes for a good day.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
I couldn't figure out why... until I realized the date.
Today would have been the 14th birthday of my first niece.
Tomorrow marks the 14th anniversary of her death.
I'm glad I remembered... although it makes me sad to think about her, I would be more sad to think that I forgot about her.
Uh-huh. That's why I've been on hold for the last 12 minutes?
I would never have thought that making a doctors' appointment would be so nerve-wracking. I've been calling since last week, and the earliest appointment they had last I checked (well, last I actually had a person on the line to speak with) was July 10.
I'm usually pretty flexible with this kind of stuff, but I'm getting a little fed up here. I can't exactly wait til July 10th. I'm kind of hoping to actually give birth before then. Or right around then.
Still on hold.. 15 minutes and counting...
Lots of people complain about military medicine. Mostly, I don't have a problem with it. I like it, even. I haven't ever been denied coverage for anything (forced to jump through a few hoops maybe, but that happens with a lot of insurance companies), I've never had a doctor who was dangerously incompetent, and only a few minor issues with attitudes... but this is really tweaking my last nerve.
18 minutes... finally got someone on the line.. and there are no appointments until July 11.
Is it too late to switch to a different doctor?
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Why is it that the only time IF rates nationwide headlines, it's in that "freak of nature" sense? You know, where everyone reads it and thinks "that's so unnatural" .. because let's face it, gestating six IS unnatural.
I find this frustrating, to say the least.
When we went through our IUI's, the word 'sextuplets' came up a lot... my friends, my family, they're ALL familiar with the whole fertility-drugs-produce-multiples... they didn't seem to understand that most women have ONE baby. 'Cause, you know, when I got knocked up with RiceCake, it didn't make the news. There was no headline screaming about how femar@ helped us make ONE baby. When Rice is born, there will be no frenzied media interviews, no website set up for donations, no controversy about whether or not B & I 'played God' or took a big risk with our lives, or our child's life.
I lost count of the number of times I reassured my loved ones that we weren't trying for half a dozen, that we were, in fact, actively working to prevent that sort of thing. That it would be irresponsible medical care if my doctor didn't keep tabs on my follicles and if I didn't follow his advice about when to try and when not to try... because that's what I think when I hear about 5 or 6 or 7 babies born at once - someone screwed up. That's not an outcome that should ever happen.
There is no publicity for my kinda IF treatment, or my kinda results, even though, in my RE's words, this was "an absolute perfect outcome - a single intrauterine pregnancy".*
I am not who the public thinks of when they think of fertility drugs, or IUI.
They think of the women who have birthed four or five or six babies at once.
Because that is the face the media has put to infertility.
That is not the norm.
I'm awful sick of the assumption that everyone who undergoes fertility treatment is playing reproductive roulette. On one of those trainwreck documentaries that I can't seem to turn off, the father of yet another oversized brood stated "any time someone uses infertility treatment, they have to expect multiples" .. or something along those lines... Dude... no... maybe they have to be willing to accept the possibility, but they don't have to expect it. (yeah, that guy was another "here's your clomid, call me in a month" parent)
.. and I don't see it changing any time soon.
*that was his assessment at my first ultrasound. He was immensely pleased. So was I.
Friday, June 08, 2007
.. on the other hand, I'm swelling up like one of those bloated dinosaurs that G likes so much, and my blood pressue is 'a little high', which means there is still a chance that things will go balls-up like they did with G, and Rice will be born early, which likely means a c-section for me.
So.. in the ultimate passive-aggressive approach to birth, I'm letting the fates decide. If I need an induction, we'll skip the formalities and break out the scalpel. If not, I'll go with the V*BAC.
Oh yeah, nothing like letting my ambivalence take center stage in my medical care!!
... after the appointment, B & I headed over to my parents' house to check on The Boy... finding him happily scouring the back yard for "roller-bugs", we headed out to the movies. We checked out the latest in the ever-growing line of Pirates movies (yeah, you know the one I mean), which wasn't half as bad as I was expecting... save for the ending, which I hated. I don't want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't seen it and wants to, but it's pretty safe to say it's not a good thing to watch when you're an over-emotional hormonal chickie with a hubby who's deploying in less than two months. Apparently pirates are close enough to sailors when it comes to my knee-jerk tear reaction at seeing them sail away.
.. last but definitely not least, a small thing I noticed while at my OB appointment:
They're undergoing massive renovations there, and in the midst of the construction I saw a tiny sign that advised all patients that the RE clinic was moving. In just a short while, they will no longer be located in the OB clinic. Although I'm sure that logically, sharing office space with obstetrics made sense to some ass-hat, I always thought it was highly insensitive that the RE waiting room was filled with pregnancy and babies. It's about time someone corrected that... Maybe a steady parade of women will gather some odd looks down in the urology clinic, but it's a damn sight better than taking the walk of shame past all those #$%! bellies after a failed cycle. Better to be seen in urology, and outed as an Infertile than spend 15 minutes sitting in the OB waiting room blinking back tears... it's a small step, but so important, I think.
*which should not be surprising as I have yet to speak to anyone with the initials "MD" after their name - since I was released from the RE clinic, I've been seeing nurses. Just nurses. Some would call this military medicine at its finest, but hey - no skin off my back. It's oddly reassuring that things have been so uneventful thus far that I haven't rated an appointment with the big paychecks yet. I'm wondering if I can stretch this a little further and have this be the first pregnancy I've ever heard of where the first doctoral appearance is at delivery. I bet I can.
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
You'd think this would be a no-brainer.. when the doc asks, I should just say "healthy" and leave it at that, huh?
Only, they want ME to decide if I want a planned c-section or if I want to attempt the famed V*BAC. Before Friday. At the end of this appiointment, I will either have committed to attempting the V*B, or I will have scheduled a repeat cesarean.
Most people I know have really strong feelings one way or another, and knew from the moment of conception (if not before) exactly what typs of birth they wanted.
Me, I'm still walkin' to the beat of that different drummer. OK, fine, if you want to get technical, I'm wafflin' to the beat of that different drummer.
Before Rice was conceived, I was all kinds of gung-ho about the idea of a vag birth. I didn't ever-ever-ever want to be cut open again. The very idea of a repeat section was enough to make me wrinkle my nose.
Pretty easy to be an idealist when it's all theoretical, eh?
Now, I'm not so sure.
I'll be honest. I'm afraid of the V*B. I'm not afraid of the pain (seriously - I went through a hellish section recovery with no drugs after the first 36 hours. I think I can handle the pain. even without the epidural*.. there are plenty of other drugs out there).
I'm afraid of failure. Again.
I'll spare you the details, but G was birthed by my doc in an emergency cesarean, after a failed induction.
Oh yes, I failed at birthing. After, you know, I'd spent a couple years failing at conceiving. I gave my girly bits a mental high-five for coming through for me yet again.
I don't really want to go through that again... and in my wonky logic, choosing a repeat section means I'm in control - it's not a failure of my body, it's a decision of my mind. And I trust my mind ever-so-much more than my body.
See, that makes sense, right? Somehow in my mind, it's better to choose the worse option than to attempt the better one and have the decision forced on me if my bits are uncooperative again.. and choosing a section would make it oodles easier to plan. Given our timing, and B's deployment, and the need to make arrangements for the kids, it makes sense to me. I could guarantee that I'd have a minimum of two weeks' recovery before B leaves, and both G & my stepson would be prepared in advance, knowing exactly which day they'd be spending with the g'parents... not to mention the g'parents would know exactly when to take off work.
.. and yet... I remember the recovery from G's birth**.
I want to remember Rice's first few weeks, not have them obscured in a fog of pain and tears. I want to be able to pick up my child without wincing. I want to be able to walk across the room to gaze at my sleeping babe without having to decide if it's really worth the effort. I won't have the luxury of having B here to pick up the slack if my recovery takes weeks again, and I will have to be able to keep up with G.
Therein lies the problem. If I decide to try labor and a vag birth, I have the chance of escaping the section, but I risk feeling like I've failed again. If I choose the cesarean, then I guarantee the more difficult physical recovery, but it comes with an easier mental recovery.
.. and through it all, the little voice in my head reminds me that my body might not fail again. That I'll regret not taking the chance. That I am not the same person I was four years ago, and HOW Rice is birthed will not be as important to me as it was then. That I can accept whatever method is used because the end result is more important.
That little voice has the ring of truth to it... and I suppose that's all I need to know to make this decision.
*long story short, that whole uterine rupture thing has me freaked.I mean, if i have an epidural and can't feel a thing, it's theoretically possible that I'd be able to rupture and not notice, right? I'm pretty sure I don't want that. I know it's super-rare, but I am so not one to tempt fate with my girly bits... so if I go the vag route, I'd want to do it epi-free.
**standard disclaimer: my section recovery was not typical.. instead of the usual up and walking around within hours or days, I was hobbling like my g'ma for weeks. I wasn't allowed to leave the house for over two weeks, except for doctors' appointments (which were three-times-a-week for the first month), and I wasn't allowed to drive a car for six weeks... it was months before I could lift anything heavier than my little G without pain, and those are months I don't have NOW...
Saturday, June 02, 2007
Instead, I'm considering smacking him upside the head. He's a pretty easy target, being all sick and pathetic.
Why? You ask.... he touched my thermostat.
And no, I don't mean that in some euphemistic, inappropriate way. I mean he turned my air conditioning OFF.
He started complaining it was cold in the house a few minutes after he got home.
Which sorta tweaked my irritation radar - he's not the first to comment that it's arctic. F'ing lightweights - it's set on 72... no ice crystals forming anywhere.
But he's sick. And I was feeling a bit of pity for that.
So I got him a blanket, and opened a window next to the couch so he wouldn't freeze to death... and then I went to make dinner.
Somehow, while he was watching a movie with G, and while I was cooking, he found the time to turn my a/c OFF without properly notifying me. Or improperly notifying me for that matter.
Surely, that is grounds for a pounding. Isn't it?
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Somehow, nothing I write is coming together in the right way... I get hopelessly lost in a tangent, or it's too baby-related, or something... but I want to update.
I'm getting more and more uncomfortable by the day. I'm addicted to tums. My back is imploding. I think I have some stretch marks starting... and I'm thrilled to death with all of it.
My mom suggested I start cocoa buttering my belly to prevent the impending stretch marks from worsening and all I could think was no way - I've earned these fuckers and I want 'em.
Clearly, I am not right.
And I don't care.
I could live without the bitchiness, or the inability to be outside for more than 10 minutes without overheating, but all the other 'normal' pregnancy things are exciting to me.
Foot in my ribs? Holy shite, there's a foot IN ME!!
Painful foot in my ribs? Holy shite, that babe's growing! Actually growing!
Sore back? Check it out - my belly's grown and it's making my spine curve in funny ways!! Because Holy Shite, I've made it to the third trimester!!
Yeah, you get the idea.
And I'm not right. But I still don't care... because dammit, I've made it this far.
Monday, May 21, 2007
Warning - Totally baby-related posting.
I did a few baby things this weekend.
Item #1 - I hit the yard sales, looking for tiny clothes to supplement the few things I had. Or at least the few things I thought I had.
Item #2 - I got out the smallish box labeled "baby clothes: preemie, newborn 0-3 months" that I had carefully packed away after G finally put on a few pounds.
Totally shoulda done that in reverse order.
In my memory, that smallish box contained mostly blue stuff, with an occasional gender-neutral item thrown in here or there... and maybe one newborn gown. Since, you know, I didn't like gowns til after G was born, and only bought boy-appropriate clothing 'cause we knew what his plumbing looked like before I even started shopping.
So.. when I was yard sale-ing, I bought a bunch of newborn gowns (gender neutral) and small, neutral outfits... and yeah, a few more frilly pink things I totally couldn't resist.
... and then I unpacked the box, which was far larger than expected, and discovered that when G was small, he wore a LOT of neutral outfits. And many more gowns than I realized. Not to mention, outfits that small, you can pack a buttload of 'em into one not-so-smallish box. Holy shit, that newborn sleep-deprived amnesia is a very real thing. Apparently, I had no idea what my child wore his first few months.. or how much of it I actually had.
Poor Rice... will be wearing many, many gowns. Even if he-or-she decides to dirty a gown an hour, we'll still be set for at least a day. And as for gender-neutral, I swear, I didn't realize that G wore so much green, orange, yellow & white. Even the little blue-and-white sleeper with the cute little bunny feet is way more feminine than I remembered. And I remembered it being pretty feminine - we used to call it G's Ralphie suit.
I found two outfits that are clearly 'boy'.
I have bought one onesie that's pretty boyish.
And at least half a dozen dresses now.
I am definitely hoping that Rice doesn't have outdoor plumbing, so to speak. That fabulous denim jumper with the little ladybugs and ruffled butt-cover will look a bit funny on a boy. Even if it IS blue, and fits my criteria for 'gender-neutral'. I mean, really, since it's both a dress (girly) AND blue (boyish), the two balance each other out and create a seriously neutral outfit, right?
OK, who else is thinking that maybe I shoulda found out the gender at that last ultrasound??
.. and let me repeat - holy shit.. less than 8 weeks to go.
Friday, May 18, 2007
I decided yesterday that we'd have chicken & dumplings tonight. It's one of my comfort foods, one that I love no matter how often I've had it, and one that I'll decide to make at the slightest provocation. The mere mention of chicken is usually enough for me to drag out the big pot and start boiling some water.
I was on the phone with a friend and she was talking about chicken, how she doesn't like it... and I got a sudden craving for dumplings.
So I'm thinking about her as I'm cooking... and thinking about her makes me think about fertility. Because she talks about it a lot.
I guess you'd call her a habitual miscarry-er. Sorry, I just can't use the phrase 'habitual aborter' however medically correct it may be. She's had a couple of ectopics, and a few miscarriages. She has no idea why. She's never had any testing done... and now that she's engaged to a man who does not want (more*) children, she is facing the prospect of a life without ever having those answers, or having a child.
Which, I guess, is her prerogative. Even if I don't understand it, it's not my decision.
But it does bother me. Especially since I can see how much it bothers her.
She's the best example of the passive approach to infertility that I know. I'm talking about the women (or men, tho I've not met any of those) who are profoundly affected by an inability to conceive or carry, but who are unwilling to walk the path of testing and treatment. Not unable, but unwilling.
Since I'm pretty wide-open about our fertility, I hear a lot of stories from the women I know. Some of them want information on where to go, what options are open or just how to deal with the frustration and emotion. I'm all about that.
.. and yet, I get a ton of The Others, too.
The ones who want a shoulder to cry on when they're not pregnant, or someone to understand their pain... despite the fact that they're unwilling to actually do anything to change their situation, or despite the fact that they've voluntarily placed themselves in a situation that is not going to change. Ever.
I can cry for months with the woman who's taking a break from treatment because of a deployment, a cyst or just plain exhaustion. I will gladly hold the hand of a friend or stranger who is frustrated that testing moves so slowly, or produces no answers. I can be there forever for a person whose infertility is unexplained and untreatable... but I have a hard time relating to the woman who is disappointed month after month, but has no plans to even try to move ahead and do something. Even if that something isn't a treatment I would have chosen.. even if that something is just a firm belief in a higher power who will assist when it's time... or an alternative approach that differs from my choices. Or a resolve to move on to a new phase in life, one that doesn't involve reproduction. At least that something I can understand.
Sitting back and doing nothing, with no plans to ever do anything.. that's the something I don't understand. I can't understand, no matter how much I try. It's not even a something, it's a nothing.
How do you deal with the friend whose approach is a nothing? How do you bite your tongue and be supportive when what you really want to do is start belting out suggestions? I haven't found that happy medium yet. For now, I'm taking a passive approach of my own, steering the conversation towards easier topics.
And making my chicken n' dumplings...
*he has four already, from previous relationships.
Thursday, May 03, 2007
I was actually excited about that. Iron is a normal pregnant supplement for a normal pregnancy... and besides, anything that can explain and counteract the crushing exhaustion I've been feeling, that's just a bonus.
So, I've been waiting for the whole constipation thing to kick in. I mean, that's a normal side effect and I've been waiting.
My constipation, it never showed up. I did, however notice increasing bathroom trips in the last few days, kinda like when I was on met*formin at first. When my intestines started waking me up with their wailing, I started to worry.
I mean, constipation, that's normal... but this? That's about as opposite from constipation as you can get. Literally. Maybe I'm some medical freak. Maybe I have some serious disease that makes iron react differently. Maybe the iron isn't being absorbed and I'm actually making myself worse.
So... I checked with my Dr Google and discovered that my particular supplement has a built-in stool softener. Just in case.
What. The. Hell?
We're going to talk about this at next week's appointment, but until then I'm actively seeking ways to make myself constipated.
Because it's all about being normal... and self-induced constipation, that's definitely normal in some parallel universe.
Monday, April 30, 2007
G has this friend, 'Junior'.
Junior is a pain. I know that sounds harsh to say about a three-year-old, but he is. He's kind of a bully, and G usually gets the brunt of that, while Junior's mom is oblivious til G gets fed up and retaliates, sending Junior running to his mom.. and all of a sudden then she notices the boys are fighting.
Naturally, they're 'just being boys', oh how cute.
Cute, my arse.
I have severely limited the amount of time the boys play together. G is not allowed to play with Junior any more unless I'm around to head off problems. I refuse to encourage him to fight (although B's suggestion is that if G just thwaps the hell out of Junior a time or two, maybe he'll quit getting picked on), and I refuse to parent someone else's child - i.e., I'm not going to step in until it's MY child being aggressive, save for removing G from the situation... so my best solution so far has been to closely monitor their time together and end the play date when G starts getting upset or aggressive.
Problem is, G has come away from this with a sense that being kept from his friend is punishment. This morning, he asked to play with Junior, and I told him that today wasn't a good day... naturally, I got the pathetic-boy look, a couple tears and a promise that he'd be good.
How on earth do I communicate that HE is not the main problem? I'm not a totally oblivious parent, I know that G is not entirely innocent, but he's reactive, not instigative.* He also doesn't fight with any other child he interacts with, which leads me to believe that I have a fairly normal kid on the aggression scale.
I have searched for other little boys his age in the area, thinking that if we could replace the problem friend, life would be easier.
I have not found any.
I know that when pre-k starts next year, G will have more child interaction, but for now, he gets his speech class (which consists of G and one younger child who is nearly nonverbal, and apparently completely uninteresting to my son), and his heavily supervised play dates with Junior.
.. that's the only reason I have not completely ceased contact with Junior.
For the life of me, I can't understand why G would WANT this friendship, but he does.
.. and for the life of him, he can't understand why I am turning down potential play dates, when in actuality, it's because I can't stand the thought of dealing with Junior... particularly when I know that whatever happens, G will end up being the one disciplined, and Junior will get a pat on the head and a 'boys will be boys' speech.
*G has been known to taunt Junior... like, Junior will get mad and throw a toy at G. If he does not connect, G will triumphantly crow "HA! You missed!" .. and then come running to me when Junior decides that it's easier and more painful to punch G. So yeah, he's not innocent.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
I actually thought I'd make it out of the second trimester without that major freakout.
Yeah, sometimes I laugh at myself.
I noticed yesterday that Rice was moving a lot less than usual.
I figured it was just an off day... until it happened again today.
For future reference, do not Google ANYTHING about fetal movement - the 'net is full of horror stories.
So I ended up going into L&D for monitoring this afternoon. I figured I'd go in, get checked out and be sent on my way with a pat on the head and some veiled references to paranoia.
.. until Rice's first NST made the nurse ask the resident if she was happy with the results. Her actual words were somewhere along the lines of "I'm not happy with this".
Oh yes, those are the kinds of things I want to hear.
NST #2 was given after I choked down some juice and cookies to try and wake up the babe. Apparently that worked because the test looked good after I ate. The ultrasound showed adequate amounts of amniotic fluid (no, I didn't ask for specifics, I'm neurotic enough without numbers to Google) and an awake babe who was bouncing around just fine. Coupling that with the strong heartbeat throughout the NST, they determined things still look good and sent me home with a strong suggestion that I get my gest diabetes test done ASAP, (since Rice seemed to be really affected by what I ate) and that I spend a little more time making sure I'm eating often enough, and drinking enough water... and the advice that kick counts, tho recommended after 28 weeks, are not very accurate for another month... since that particular warning was accompanied with that familiar she's paranoid tone of voice, I was sufficiently reassured and able to drive myself home.
Tho I didn't get new ultrasound pictures, I am pretty sure I saw some genitals. Probably I should have not looked once they determined that the best pocket of fluid to measure was located directly between her legs, and while the doctor quickly adjusted the view when I gasped "is that a girl?!" swearing that he had not, indeed, noticed genitalia, I'll be a bit surprised if Rice emerges with a need for blue booties. My half-a-second glimpse isn't enough for me to go buy pink paint (particularly since Rice will share a room with G, who may not want a pink bedroom), and there's still an element of surprise as I ask myself "did I really see that?", so it's all good. And, you know, I'm not an expert and maybe I missed something. That's enough for me to keep wondering, which is how I want it.
I also got a quick lesson in how to read the NST printout when the nurse walked in on me scrutinizing the little graph while debating if it was reassuring or scary. At least I know what they're looking for now, and kind of how to tell if it's there.
.. I have plans to go do my GTT tomorrow, and until further notice will again be limiting my sugar and sticking more closely to my diet, just in case. As much as I like my sugar and my junk food, sitting in that little room with all the little monitors and wires, I realized just how much I do not want to meet Rice yet... and more importantly, I do not want to meet a Rice that is unhealthy because I like ice cream a bit too much. I'm still feeling a bit exhausted emotionally, and I'm sure that I'll be paying extra-close attention to baby-movement for the next few days *ha - who am I kidding - months*, but overall things are still ok tonight.
Monday, April 23, 2007
I just checked my stats for the first time in ages and found these little gems from people who I am quite sure discovered that my blog was not, indeed, the font of knowledge regarding their specific queries:
third trimester ultrasound shows short femur and humorous - why yes, when you're freaking out, it helps to find something humorous. Pretty sure that wasn't what you were looking for, tho.
bouncing boob - can you imagine searching for something vaguely porn-ish and stumbling on The Grail? yeah... bet you were disappointed, too.
quiver full minded site: blogspot.com - oh my. I'm not what you're looking for, either, am I? Sure, my mind is full.. usually with fluff and nonsense, but it's generally full. My quiver? Not so full. My mindset? Not so quiverful either. I am quite sure there are a zillion quiverful blogs out there, and yet... mine merited this search.
shopping and organizing - heh. ok, this one made me laugh so hard I snorted. If you look in the dictionary, my picture is about as far from 'shopping and organizing' as it gets. I suck royally at both.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Nothing's new, or changed, or anything like that... which leaves me with two choices: either wait til I have something actual to say, or bang out a superbly boring post about nothing.
Neither is an appealing choice, but I'm going with the latter.
I'm trying desperately to focus on the future here instead of worrying about the present - only three months to go til I can worry about a babe in my arms instead of a babe in my belly. Somehow, I think it will be easier to worry about the babe in my arms since I can, you know, actually look at him/her and be reassured rather than debate if it's been long enough since my last kick that I need to break out the doppler.
I'm still having a hard time with the reality that this may, indeed, lead to a babe in my arms. Relatively soon.
And I'm having lots of trouble doing the usual preparing-for-baby rituals.
We haven't picked out a name.
I have barely bought anything, nor do I feel like I should be shopping.
I have yet to send for my records from my old OB so that my current one can actually discuss birth options with me.
I have not even thought about signing up for birthing classes.
.. and so I worry - am I subconsciously trying to tell myself something by NOT preparing for Rice's arrival?
Am I in denial because admitting that I am, indeed, getting closer also means that B's deployment date is looming as well?
Or am I just scared to death that overplanning would be jinxing myself?
I did arrange for G to stay with my parents whenever little RiceCake debuts... but that was a 10-second conversation, hardly a massive amount of planning... something along the lines of "Hey, ma, it's ok if G stays with you when Rice is born, right?" yes, I do call the baby Rice in my real life
.. and as for overplanning, I think I can explain away all the rest of my not-planning.
The name thing.. we've got a name. We may even use it. We didn't find anything else that was appealing, so it's a frontrunner by default. Having scoured two separate baby books and finding very few names we actually liked, we sort of figured that it's this one or nothing. Re-reading the books in case I missed something... well, that sounds pretty boring, doesn't it?
So I haven't bought much.. I don't need much. I bought the few big items I wanted to replace, but the fact is, I saved everything that was G's as a babe.. so the only shopping I'll need to do is if Rice does indeed turn out to be a girl... then I'll need clothes that aren't blue... since all I need at this point are gender-specific items... there's no desire to shop.
As for the records and birth options... I'm ambivalent about birth choices. I have so many conflicting emotions about V*BAC vs planned section, it's no surprise that I'm passively procrastinating by not requesting my records. I suspect this subject will be a blog-post of its own in the future, so I'll leave out all the reasoning here.
.. which brings me to the birthing classes. I dutifully signed up for those during my pregnancy with G.. and it was a total waste of money. We made it to ONE class. By the time the second class rolled around, I was three floors above it, on the maternity ward, holding my newborn. Throw in the fact that B is not going to be consistently around to take a class with me, and even if he were, he hardly paid attention to the one class we attended (his only input on the subject of helping me relax in labor was "baby, just get an epidural, you'll feel better") .. and you'll see why I'm not chomping at the bit and buying new publicly-presentable pillow cases for the much-anticipated class. I have thought about attending solo, but I don't think I'd learn anything useful. I (briefly) considered asking a friend or relative to come with me, but that sort of implies I want them as a labor coach... which I do not*. I am not a person who believes that a birth should involve a standing-room-only crowd.. or any kind of crowd. I know it works for some, but for me, I just want to be left alone. B knows this, which is why my labor with G involved him watching a baseball game, and taking a nap. I can think of several people I'd allow in to view a cesarean, but very, very few that I'd invite to a vaginal birth. Judging by hospital policy (liberal visitation during labor/vag birth and only one person allowed in for a section), I've got that ass-backwards from the popular opinion, but I'm often ass-backwards from popular opinion, and birth is no time to start conforming, right?
So.. really, my birth ambivalence isn't really ambivalent. It's practical, given the situation.
All the little preparing-for-baby things that most people do, aren't really necessary here. At least not yet.
I am very anxious to get everything set up for Rice's arrival.. but it's just too early. I have three months to go... so assembling a crib, and setting up the car seat, organizing the baby clothes or even packing a hospital bag.. all of that seems premature. I will get it all done, just not now.
.. and yes, admitting that July is getting closer IS admitting that B will be leaving. I'd be in denial if I didn't admit that Rice's birth and B's deployment are all tied in together in my mind. I'm sure that contributes in its own way.
*I've given this a lot of thought while debating what to do if B is out to sea during the Blessed Event.. the one person who I would like with me is my sister.. which may seem strange given our current relationship. Probably I should blog this out because it's complex.. will do that in the future... at any rate, it's not a feasible option to have her with me, or I'd ask.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
I'm chalking this one up to allergies and throwing up the white flag. I can't win this war without medication, and I'm still not comfortable with that, so... I anticipate many days of stuffy noses and sniffles. On the bright side, if I generally look sick all the time, people will avoid me and I won't have to deal with the horror of having a stranger pet my stomach.
.. not that I think that would happen - I guess I give off those 'leave me alone' vibes because I have never - ever - had someone touch my belly without asking. I'm talking friends and family asking. Strangers just avoid me. I'm just really friendly-looking apparently.
Rice is still kicking. I've noticed a pattern.. A day or so of serious baby mambo complete with rolls, kicks and jumps ALL day.. and then a day of an occasional kick here and there interspersed with a whole lotta nothing. At least I've gotten wise to the pattern now and am not freaking out every other day.
Well, mostly not freaking out. Wouldn't be me if this were all calm, huh?
I think I invent things to worry about.
I had a horrible dream last night.. I dreamed I got my period. Really heavy for an hour or so and then nothing. In my dream, my friend casually mentioned that maybe I was pregnant since it stopped.. to which I replied "I'm six months pregnant, that's why I'm freaking out!!"
(Oddly, in the dream, the first thought I had when my period started was "I guess it didn't happen this month" .. so even though my subconscious was well aware that I'm six months into this gestational thing, I still had that knee-jerk IF reaction. I don't think that ever goes away..)
To get back to my point, this was the first pregnancy-related nightmare I've had in a while. I had to remind myself that this whole freaking out nightmare worry thing is because I have a doctor's appointment this afternoon. (well, ok, nurse practitioner, I still haven't rated a viewing by an actual doctor)
I detest OB appointments. When I was pregnant with G, I had the worst doom-and-gloom OB practice. They were constantly finding fault with things I did, had the most dire predictions and generally reduced me to tears at least twice a month. They were condescending, and dismissive and just not the kind of office I needed*.
I don't know why I still dread appointments. I really like my NP now. She nicely balances out my worries.. there's something about the way she can tease me about my paranoia that makes me feel like I'm worried about nothing, without making me feel like a total idiot. She'll order random tests just to make me feel better. I dig that. It's exactly what I need... now if I could just get her to understand that it's NOT too early for braxton-hicks, she'd be perfect.
.. but I am still apprehensive about appointments.
Even so, I honestly feel like today will be fine, that things will look good.
*with one exception - the doctor who delivered G, who was absolutely fabulous.. to this day I still think of her as one of the most caring doctors I've ever seen.
Sunday, April 01, 2007
Either that or it's a raging cold that coincidentally gets worse with any exposure to the outside world, and all the pollen contained therein.
..So I'm sniffling and sneezing, coughing and peeing myself (yes, I know that one's not cold-related, but it's still one more irritation I'm blaming on this sickness) .. and I'm fucking miserable.
BUT.. I don't have anything to take.
This afternoon, I set out to find what medications are safe to take during pregnancy.
Had a little trouble with that.
Found a few things that were 'probably safe' but nothing that screamed out 'definitely safe'.
Oh hell... now what?
Well, now I just refuse to take anything.
I think it's an IF side effect. Even the stuff that my friends have been assured is 'safe in pregnancy' is not safe enough for me. It feels like a risk, and any perceived risk is not one I'm willing to take.
I suppose I could call my OB tomorrow and beg for relief.. I could dig up the pregnancy handbook they gave me and look for the list of acceptable meds..
.. but then I'd worry.
Everything makes me worry.
90% of it is baseless worry, but I still can't shake it.
'S ok - a cold can only last so long, right?
I mean, yeah, allergies can last for a while, but wouldn't I get used to them after the first month or three?
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
T.K.O. ...more or less...: no. 370 - Adjective Trap (Corrected Link)
OK.. now that you've all read the article, and we're all on the same page... let me tell you what I thought of it.
For the most part, I agree that "a child is a child" and the goals of parenting don't fundamentally change because of how a child got there... I just think that it's over simplistic to deny that HOW a family was built is going to change HOW that child is raised.
BUT... (you knew that was coming, didn't you?)
I'm sure I've mentioned that I'm a stepmom. When I met B, he had a son, T. And an ex-wife. See, T has TWO parents who love him very much. With Dad's remarriage & Mom's remarriage, T now has an extended parental group that involves four adults... but only two of them are his parents.
I have no problem being called stepmom in this situation. Dropping that label would be disrespectful to the mother that T already has.
I have no problem calling T my stepson.
We do raise the boys differently because they don't share the same parents. I can't treat T & G exactly the same all the time because the boys have different parents, and that means different ideas on parenting. I am easily the least permissive parent out of the entire group.. I'm not going to be more lenient with G, and I'm not going to ask B, the ex or stepdad to become more strict just so that the boys will have identical upbringings.
That makes things work a little differently in my family.
A one-size-fits-all approach to parenting wouldn't work here... and I question if it really works anywhere.
Yes, a family IS a family, but they're not all alike.
In the original article, the author took the stance that parents rely too much on adjectives to determine their child-rearing... that parents of today look to the specific differences when seeking information on how to raise their children. Instead of looking for advice on how to raise a child, they're looking for advice on how to raise a ____ child.
I don't think that's a bad thing.
I grew up with only two parents, only one household, and no concept of how to tackle the differences I've encountered in the five years I've been married to B. I can ask my mom for advice on how to potty-train G, because she's been there and done that... but I'm going to call B's stepmom for advice on how to grit my teeth and allow T freedoms I'm not comfortable with, or how to explain to G why he's not allowed to do the same things his brother was allowed at his age. StepMIL has been there, done that.
I can't give advice to my friend on how to tailor her parenting style to accommodate her son's autism.
I'm also not qualified to advise someone on how to best incorporate an unfamiliar culture into the raising of an internationally adopted child... or to explain to a child what a donor is, and how that affects her.
Is it really wrong to acknowledge differences and to use them to help determine what is 'the right method' to raise our children?
We may all have the same goals - raising healthy, happy, productive adults - but because there are differences in the makeup of our families, we are all taking different approaches.. burying our heads in the sand and insisting that all families are alike and need to be treated exactly the same isn't going to help anyone. The children within the family will still know what makes them different or unique, and they will know if a ready-made parenting philosophy isn't really what they need.
Whether or not I like a label doesn't change reality.
my little footnote disclaimer: As I re-read this to proofread, I realize it sounds like I'm saying that the family's differences need to be paramount, and that all things revolve around them.. which is not my intent. I'm talking about what goes on within a family, not necessarily how that family should present itself to the public.
Friday, March 23, 2007
The current 'official' statement is that the change in deployment date is 'just a rumor' and not happening... one thing I've learned is that in situations like this rumors are usually true, no matter how vehemently they're denied. In fact, the more vehement the denial, the more likely it is to be true. Given the official denial announced to the entire ship by people much higher than my husband, I'm going forward with the thinking that while it's possible B will be here for Rice's birth, it's unlikely unless Rice comes early. (and that's still a very definite possibility)
I spent some time thinking about how I'd cope with this... and I'm ok.
The idea of birthing alone doesn't bother me. I'm not completely alone here. I do have people who could and would support me if I asked... so if I'm birthing solo, it's as much by choice as it is by circumstance... not a problem.
The real problem is having B so out of the loop for information.
When his ship is out, phone communication is all but nonexistant. Email is generally reliable, but sometimes it takes a while.
I can't stand the thought that he'd be the last one to know about his child.
I'm working out a solution to that, while still hoping he'll be here to see for himself. It's still a possibility.
If not, we'll deal with that.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
.. well, at least I was due a week or two prior to the deployment.
No, my due date hasn't changed.
But his deployment date has.
And now I'm due a few weeks after he's scheduled to leave.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
One year ago today, I miscarried.
The day started out badly - I'd already found out the day prior that this was coming, so I woke up with the knowledge that things were bad-bad-bad inside the ole uterus, and I was both heartbroken and vaguely disgusted. I've heard it's a normal reaction, but all I could think was 'there's something dead in me get-it-out-get-it-out-get-it-out!'
That was about all the info that the emergency room had given me. Dead baby. Go home and call your OB to schedule a followup.
No one said a thing about what to expect.. so I carried on with life as usual, waiting.
If by 'life as usual' I mean frantic activity designed to take my mind off of everything, that is.
I was craving life, all things living. I needed to replace the ugly feelings with something hopeful, and beautiful.
We bought plants. Over the course of about two weeks while I grieved heavily, I planted roughly 6 dozen flowers and about a dozen packets of seed. I needed to see that I was able to grow something, even if I hadn't been able to grow that baby.
It is heartwarming to me to see that the flowers I planted last year are still here this year.
I don't think it's coincidental that yesterday all my narcissus broke out in full bloom.
My little back flowerbed will always remind me of the baby I lost, since that was the area where I spent most of the days, crying and planting, mulching and weeding.. reminding myself that there was still beauty in the world, that life continued and that there were indeed still things that could make me smile... and it is the narcissus planted there that has bloomed.
I transplanted them in the fall, moving from the front flowerbed to my little memorial garden. I wanted something that would bloom and grow at the very time I would most need to see beauty... but privately, in my own back yard, where it's ok to cry when I pull weeds.
When the narcissus has given its show, and returned to dormancy for the year, it will be time for my forsythia to bloom. Echoing the sunny yellow of the narcissus, the forsythia will give me a little more color, and will hold me over until my daylilies begin their bloom.
Somewhere in there, my fairy rose will open its tiny, delicate flowers. That was the last planting of the year - one lone, pitiful rosebush that I put in on the very cusp of winter. I don't know when, or if, it will bloom this year, but it's growing and green this year, faring much better than I expected.
I will have color and beauty in my life and my back yard for nearly half the year, exactly as I'd planned it. Exactly as I so wanted and needed to see last year.
There are two flowers that I started from seed on the very day that I miscarried - my sweet william and my alyssum. Neither has done very well this year, but they are both tenaciously hanging on, reminders that sometimes, hanging on is the best you can do until you are strong enough to thrive and bloom. They have been hanging on since they sprouted, neither growing much nor losing their green over the winter. They are in limbo, waiting for their time. I know how that feels, and I am patient with them, hoping, but not expecting.
I know that there is beauty out there, I have grown it, and I have seen it. Even when it's not coming fast enough for me, it is out there.
I worried that no one but me would remember my terraversary, that my child's few short weeks would fade into obscurity, known to no one but my heart.. but Spring remembered. A late Spring, a late bloom for my narcissus and on the beginning of a painful terraversary, I saw beauty.
It is my terraversary.. and I have already received flowers. Baby has not been forgotten.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
It seems like a great program, bringing all facets of conception (legal, medical & psychological) together in one place.. and then they go and muck it up with this:
"...three-quarters of gay couples pay extra to choose the sex of their
In fact, if you check out the website for this particular clinic, they have an entire section dedicated to the success of their gender-selection program.
I absolutely can't say how much I detest the idea of PGD for gender selection based on personal preference.
There's a time and a place for it. I am not at all opposed to using PGD when there's a medical reason for it.. like, say, if a parent is a known carrier of a fatal genetic disease that only affects one gender.
I'm even ok with other forms of gender-selection - if you wanna try out Shettles, you can have sex standing on your head on the third Wednesday of your cycle* for the rest of your life, if that's what you want and it won't even make me blink.
If you want to pay your clinic to spin your sperm to get the best XY swimmers in the world, have at it.
But don't create otherwise healthy embryos and then destroy them just because of gender.
It's absolutely ok to have a preference for one gender or another.. but I just don't think it's ok to have such an all-consuming preference that the alternative is not even worth giving birth to.
I said a million times in the beginning that I wanted RiceCake to be a girl (and even if I hadn't said it, the tiny row of pink hanging in the closet speaks for itself) ... but I never went into my doctor's appointment, or into my bedroom with the thinking that I would ONLY accept a girl. Hell, I wanted G to be a girl; I've already confessed my disappointment when we saw the little penis on the ultrasound, but I never once thought that it would be better to not have him at all. From the moment of his birth, I have never looked at him and thought "if only... " I don't feel like I got a consolation prize, or a second-rate child because I wanted a daughter... and I can't imagine what it's like to be so single-minded that a (potential) child I helped create isn't worthy because of something so insignificant in the grand scheme of things as gender.
I hate to say that anyone is unworthy of parenthood.. but sometimes I wish it were easy for me to throw out that statement.
*or whatever it is they recommend..
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
I mentioned not too long ago that my own family has seen a sharp decline in successful reproduction in the last generation, and I think I'm starting to notice it in others too.
My uberfertile neighbor came by the other night and started interrogating me about RiceCake. How'd the ultrasound go? Fine. Baby kicking today? Yes. Used the doppler today? Yes.
Started to freak me out a little. It's not unusual for my neighbor to interrogate me 'cause we're actually pretty good friends... but for her to come over somewhere around 8PM for the sole purpose of interrogating me, that's a bit unusual.
In the end, she reluctantly confessed that she was paranoid about me because her friend Tammy had gone in for a routine 18-20 week ultrasound and found our that her baby had died.
My uberfertile neighbor went through the same thing right around the time that I met her, and the pain of rememberance was clearly visible in her eyes as we were talking the other night.
I like to call her uberfertile because getting pregnant was never her problem - she jokes that her husband can look at her and she's pregnant, and the two of them regularly worry that his vasectomy will fail... but the truth of the matter is that she's had her fair share (and then some) of reproductive problems.
I understand why she worries right along with me, and all her other friends, every step of the way.
She's the same friend who held my hand when I miscarried because she'd been there too. More than once.
She introduced me to a third friend of hers who had been through two miscarriages around when I lost mine... so that I'd have a bigger support network to help me sort through my feelings.
She's the same friend that is now holding Tammy's hand while she sorts through her pain.
She's a good friend, and she should never have to see so many women she cares about hurt so much... although she is so empathetic and always knows the right thing to say (and when to just listen), that if anyone has to be that friend, I'm glad it's someone like her.
.. but I still believe that no one should have to bear witness to so much pain.
I worry that miscarriage and stillbirth are becoming more common.
I hope that it's just that my generation is more honest and open, that we've ripped a curtain off of a private pain so that we can better support our sisters when they are in need.
But I worry that we've done that out of necessity because we see so many others who are suffering in ways we know all too well, that we are seeing it more because it is happening more.
I hope that is not true.
.. and if you can today, spare a good thought for my cousin, who is still dealing with her recent loss, or for Tammy who is right in the middle of the worst pain she's ever felt.
Friday, March 02, 2007
The ultrasound went pretty well. I got to see all kinds of cool things, and there was only one measurement that I found a little worrisome (femur length), but even that probably only means Rice will have short legs.. since that's a classic trait found in my entire family, it's not something I'm going to get too worked up about (if I can help it). Especially since the tech said it wasn't such a difference that it was significant.
The one thing I didn't see was the gender. By choice. A choice which many of my friends and family find odd.
Some of them are downright annoying about it. I don't mind being teased a little. It's the ones who are serious that bother me.
If I hear "you really didn't find out?" or "couldn't they just write it down so I could know?" one more time, I'm going to start kicking people.
Here's the thing - this is MY baby and if I don't know, no one's going to know.. except B, and I think he already found out, but since it's his baby too, he's got the right to make that decision.. so long as he doesn't even breathe a whisper of a hint to me.. and he's doing pretty well with that*.
This is a big deal to me.
Because I have honestly reached the point where I don't care what gender Rice is. I always thought when other people said that, it was a little white lie... but the truth is, I don't care. Maybe that will change if I have to pack away the little dresses I've bought, but I don't think it will.
Part of this gender ambivalence is that I really enjoy being G's mom. Before he was born, I wasn't sure I wanted to be a boy-mom. Now that I've had time to really wallow in my son's boyness, I love it.
.. and part of this gender ambivalence is fear.
What if I have a daughter, and she inherits my PCOS?
I read a fascinating discussion on a message board about parents who conceive a child knowing that they had a significant chance of passing on a genetic disease. For the most part, the types of genetic abnormalities being discussed were far more serious than PCOS... but it still made me revisit that same fear.
I know I'm overthinking this - although there's a genetic link to PCOS, there's no clear evidence to say who will get it, and who will not. There's nothing that leads me to believe that the next 25 or 30 years won't bring about enough medical advancements that PCOS will be just a little blip in a medical chart, an anecdote that helps round out the whole picture.
I saw an interview with a doctor who specializes in treating patients with AIDS. He compared AIDS to diabetes, in that it's become a long-term treatable disease. Twenty years ago, it was a death sentence. A fast death sentence. I know that PCOS doesn't have the same funding or public awareness, but if we can take something as serious as AIDS and turn it into a treatable condition, with a decent long-term prognosis, then there's hope for my children.. hope that they'll never have to deal with this particular flavor of heartache.
.. and on that note, check this out:
PCOS Treatment and Awareness Petition
*currently his story is that the tech refused to tell him because I didn't want to know... even though she was aware that I was grudgingly ok with him finding out, and that I left the room specifically for that reason.. and despite the little gleam in his eye when he said that, I'm choosing to believe him. Otherwise I'd be nagging him to let me in on the secret and really, I don't want to know.