Tuesday, April 24, 2007

NOW I can get moving

I hate it when Husband is right....he's such a lousy, graceless winner...gloats, just shows off in general. Eash enough when you've got a 50/50 shot of getting it right.. So, yes, you've guessed it.....it's a girl!

OK, so the sonographer said that it was a 90% certainty. She's sitting breech right now, with her feet tucked up under her, and really low, but it basically boiled down to an absence of boy parts. We weren't able to get the classic three lines. She pointed out that since I would most likely get more U/S due to near certainty of GD, once she turns a bit more, there should be a better opportunity to confirm it 100%. So there you have it-we get one of each.

She looks a lot like Son did at this point. I'll have to pull out his ultrasound pics to compare, but looking at the screen, it looked very familiar. She's (!) still measuring about two days ahead, and is estimated to weigh in at 10 oz. All of the structures look good, amniotic volume is right smack dab in the mid-range of normal, and everything in the brain in fine. Since my diagnosis is "advanced maternal age" (ugh, I'm only 35!), they went on to re-calculate our Down's risk-it's now up to something like 1:9000-10,000 from the 1:8400 based on the first trimester screen. Basically, I've got the risk of a teenager. My OB should get a kick out of that when he gets the report.

I also got a little reassurance as to why I'm not feeling a whole lot of movement. My placenta is anterior (in the front) so that is absorbing most of the motion. It's up high, so no worries about previa, and my cerivc is long and tight. So, all in all a good baby appointment...but then again any appointment that doesn't require me to get on a scale is a good appointment!

Bring on the pink! (Which, by the way, I already have. Having a K*hls accessible during a lunch hour is bad...especially when they have things on sale.)

Monday, April 23, 2007

Just a littly antsy

Tomorrow is the BIG ultrasound. I'm nervous. I really have no reason to be. Our first trimester screen came back about as good as can be. No more spotting or scary symptoms. I've recently had a growth spurt, which isn't related to pigging out, since I've been sticking to the whole diabetic restrictions thing.

I'm just a little worried that I may end up being one of those unsuspecting types that has something really bad happen, or be revealed. I haven't really felt this baby move yet, and I'm getting a bit nervous. Little things here and there, but it can be weeks between jabs. I got a small kick or punch on Saturday morning after I brought Son to bed with us, but nothing since then. By this time with Son, the movement was readily identifiable, and somewhat regular. At 19w1d with a second pregnancy, I really thought that I would be feeling more. Everything that I read and hear tells me that I should. The what-ifs are swirling in my head, and I'm doing my best to hold them at bay. After what felt like a never-ending weekend, I'm overly tired, so that isn't helping my defenses too much either. There are days where being a type A analytical type can REALLY work against you.

Part of the paranoia may be self-induced, and I recognize that . It seems as though the worlds of infertility and loss are intertwined, and a lot of the people that I read on a regular basis have struggled with both. I think of Catherine being right about where I was when she lost Travis. I keep telling myself that this type of thing really doesn't happen that often, its just that those have gone through those tragedies are more prevelant in the areas that I tend to frequent online. However, there was one point in their lives where they thought that something like that would never happen to them. Then their lives changed forever.

I'm worried about the gender determination as well. As romantic as it may be not to find out, the practical side of me needs to know, to prepare, from both a physical sense (yes, the purple and pink butterflies instead of the train bedding) and to emotionally bond a bit more. I really haven't done that yet. I would be OK with anything, really. If a boy, how nice for Son to have brother, since those bonds can be pretty special. However, since this is most likely the last time we do this, I will never get a daughter to do all of the girly stuff (which, although extremely out of practice, I can do pretty darn well). If a girl, the fear of creating yet another in the long line of screwed up mother-daughter relationships that run in my family. Sadness that Son won't have a brother. Yep, I'm a real ray of sunshine.

Ultrasound is tomorrow morning at 9am. I've got to drink 16 oz half an hour prior to the appointment. Oh the joy. Please let everything be OK. Please.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Back to your regular programming.....

OK, so my vent yesterday was a bit out of character. I'm not usually that fearless when expressing disdain for the current administration. Put it this way....if actually given a choice, I would rather have a philandering, yet politically savvy and intelligent leader (hey, I recognize that Bill wasn't a saint, but the world was a better place when he had an active role in it. FDR and JFK are in the same boat) than a privileged moron. UGH. I do have a political science degree after all.


Son has been in prime form lately. He's covering new ground almost daily, and how this kid loves to be outside! On Sunday afternoon, after his nap, he happily chased around Yellow Dog for a good half hour. Now, the fact that she really had no idea that he was doing it was inconsequential. He just loves watching her, hearing her bark with her mouth full (she only really barks when she has a toy in her mouth-usually a very effective mute), and just saying her name, over and over. She wandered off to our neighbor's yard to investigate something that caught her nose, and Son followed, yelling her name like he wanted her to come back. Good luck kid, she doesn't listen to me when the nose gets involved. Ah the joys of a hunting dog. He still likes to observe from afar, since the front end of Yellow Dog involves that big, wet, pink thing (get your minds out from wherever they are!!) that gets all over his face and it usually almost knocks him over. When she gets too close, he just raises up his hands to protect his face. Not the best thing to do, but I can't get him to stop. He will go and pet her if I can manage to keep her head busy. I hope that they can find a way to hang out together without him being scared. She'll be seven this fall. We probably only have 3-4 years left with her. One of the sucky things about having larger dogs.

He's also trying to string together 2-3 words at a time, although not all of it is comprehensible. He's babbling almost constantly, and pointing out just about everything. He's so much fun to try to talk to now. I just have to remember to keep a straight face when he's explaining something in his own language. It's sure important to him. He's pointing out "airpanes" on our way home at night, and pointed out a school bus to me this morning. The cat has a new name which is along the lines of "reow." C the psycho cat has always been VERY vocal, and she doesn't have a polite meow, so Son's "reow" covers it. However, we can't quite get him to say cat or kitty-all pictures or images of cats are "reow." Oh, and cows? They're dogs. Hopefully my SIL in Iowa will have a calf this year so he can meet a proper cow. He's town kid, that's all I can say.

As he is out exploring, I try to commit as much as I can to memory, since I never seem to have a camera with me. When we were outside last weekend, Son was very intrigued by the lattice that we have around our deck. The deck is about five feet off the ground, so in order to conceal the junk, er, yard supplies and tools that are chucked under there, we put up some lattice so our poor neighbors wouldn't have to look at it any more. He got up on his tiptoes, and peered through the holes just to see what was under there. It would have been such a cute picture! I guess that it is high time that I wrest the uber-expensive camera that we just bought from Husband's hands and start to use it myself. Husband has this rather high opinion of himself that he is some great photographer, and that I just can't handle the new camera. Puh-leeze. He also forgets that I helped to finance the acquisition of the beast, so he may need some reminding. I just want to catch the candid moments when Son the ham doesn't know that I have a camera.

I've prattled on long enough-I really need to get it in gear and get some work done. I've been very de-motivated lately, and it's going to come and smack me soon if I don't get a hold of it. Sometimes having to be a grownup sucks.

Monday, April 16, 2007

There are no words

An unconfirmed 33 dead at Virginia Tech, and our president releases this statement:

"The president believes that there is a right for people to bear arms, but that all laws must be followed," spokeswoman Dana Perino said

You have GOT to be FUCKING KIDDING ME. Kids, I have a locked, large gun safe in my home. My husband hunts. He follows the law. George the brilliant figured out that maybe, just maybe, shooting up a dorm and then two hours (!!) later a classroom might be against the law. Gee, ya think? C'mon George, after what Cheney did, do you think that you could come up with something a bit more compassionate, a bit more thoughtful? Oh, I forgot, your advisors (you know, the ones that have brain activity) didn't get to scrub this for you before you stuck your foot so far into your mouth that it is emerging from your ass.

Parents are having to face their worst nightmare today-the children that they sent off to college, that they had to let go of to grow up-won't get to finish growing up. Won't get to walk across the stage and get that diploma, or even go to the cafeteria tonight. And all that George can say is that there is a "right for people to bear arms." For once my bleeding heart liberal self won't be quiet. It's time for the conservative, left-wing, NRA nutjobs to recognize that this society cannot handle open access to firearms, particularly of an automatic variety. No matter what you tell me, automatic weapons have no place in in recreational use. Law enforcement, the military. You know, people who may come under fire from those hostile to what they stand for. Unless the deer or ducks can start shooting back, no way that you should be able to buy one of these things at Joe's Ammo World. This section of the constitution is an anachronism, and needs to be exposed for what it is. Will guns be obtained illegally? Yep, as long as there is a criminal and violent element of our society, they will be. However, how about reducing the opportunity. Get them out of the gun shops so they don't get stolen. Nail the arms dealers, even the black ops ones. How much more do we have to suffer through before it sinks in that the current rules just aren't working?

I can't imagine what those parents, brother, sisters, friends, and teachers are going through tonight. OK, for all of you conservatives and other gun rights types, please put yourself into the shoes of the 99 people that have been impacted today. The 66 parents, the 33 victims. Hold your kids and lock up your guns. Say a prayer that your absolute refusal to acknowledge this alleged "right" to bear arms is a historical throwback and not applicable to the society that we currently inhabit doesn't ever impact your children, your community, your very sense of safety and security.

Please God, help them through the nights and days to come. This cross just seems a bit too big.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

I think that I finally get it

This pregnancy has been vastly different from my first with Son. With Son, I measured every day along I was, and there never was a question of where I was. With this one, as I've documented, I actually forgot and was over a week off!!

With this one, I've been struggling since the beginning to really understand that "hey stupid" you're pregnant. There's going to be a newborn in your house again. It just didn't seem to sink in. This fact strikes me as so strange. This baby is as wanted as Son was, but since it didn't entail the seemingly endless, desperate, highly emotional years of cycles, including ultrasound after ultrasound, and multiple, expensive trips to the pharmacy in Minneapolis, it just didn't seem real. The other part that makes my denial even more non-sensical is that the physical symptoms with this one have been more in the forefront. I was a lot more sick, and the nausea hung on until almost 14 weeks. While it still rears its ugly head when I get too hungry or tired, for the most part it is gone. The on-going insomnia, the relentless fatigue. While I had them with Son, neither were at the level that they have been with this one (gee, I really need to come up with a nickname here....).

Maybe its just the infertile in me saying that this shouldn't have happened so easy this time, that I didn't suffer enough. Or maybe its just that I have so much more going on in my life that I just don't have the time to be as introspective and observant as I was with Son. So, being a good Catholic, I tend to feel guilty that I'm not giving this baby his/her due. Like I'm not as engaged.

However, lately things seem to have changed a little. I'm feeling a lot better (wow, never thought that I would get to that point even a few weeks ago) so maybe I have some more emotional resources to bring to bear on this. I'm sleeping again, although Black Dog has been banished out to the garage in his crate at night. I hate to do it, but everyone in the Chronicle household has been sleeping better because of it. The other piece is that I'm finally feeling pregnant. My maternity pants fit. I've got some of the familiar aches and pains. I'm hungry again (hooray! or uh-oh...). I think that I felt movement a couple of days ago. Oh, and well, things are popping out everywhere. I don't have a bump, this is a full blown belly (mostly still jelly, but the dimensions look right). I've outgrown my biggest bras. Yep, there's something going on in there.

So, here I sit, with the realization that we have another baby coming. I'm actually getting antsy for our level II that is in less than two weeks. I'm even looking forward to September. Maybe I'm finally getting it.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

OK, no more cheetos before bed...I mean it

Weird, weird dream last night/early this morning/sometime after potty break #2.

I'm in a place that I recognize as home, but it's not where I grew up. My mom is there, and for some reason when I get there, I'm told by dream extras that my baby is waiting for me, and that it's probably time to nurse. At some level, I do understand that I'm still pregnant.

I'm walking into the room where this baby is, and I look at my mom and ask her how this could be my baby, since I wasn't aware that the one that I am currently carrying is #3. She avoids the question (at least that part is true to life), and hands me a baby. Usually in my dreams I don't see distinct faces, but I usually sense who I am dealing with. In this instance, I can see the face of a six month old baby, that is a dead-ringer for Son, but that I also recognize as a girl. At that point, I accept that this is my child, but still question why I don't remember any of it.

We then flash to walking through the sacristy of the church on my college campus, and my mom confesses that the baby is hers (for some reason, she is in her mid 40s in this dream, even though she is now in her mid 50s now, but I'm the same age...oy). She was afraid to tell me that she had another baby. I ask her how, since I know that she had her tubes tied when I was a kid. No answer, then I woke up.

OK, now what the hell did that all mean? The gender issue doesn't surprise me-Husband has been insisting that this one is a girl, because, I kid you not, "you've been crazier with this one, and that's only possible if two women are involved." But the whole issue with my mom? You got me.

I remember thinking as a kid that my parent were still young even after my brother was born, so why didn't they have more? (My brother and I are six years apart, and after all of the begging that I did to get a sibling, I got a brother, when I specifically asked for a girl.) I also distinctly remember when I presume that my mom had her tubes tied. I was probably around 9, and everyone was rushing around cleaning up in preparation for mom to be out of commission. I knew that something big was up, but no one would tell me what was going on. I was scared, and sat in my room and cried. I also remember driving to the town where the hospital was to pick her up, and not being able to bring her home. I think that she had a bad reaction to the anesthesia, and bursting into tears, yelling at my Dad that yes, there was something very wrong, and why wouldn't he tell me anything?

I've been doing a lot of thinking about sibling relationships lately, so maybe that is the trigger. Maybe it was the snack of apple juice and Cheetos-I don't want to hear it, at least I ate something. Just very, very strange.

What a difference a couple of hours makes

My usual disdain for anitbiotics (mainly the size of the pills and what they end up doing to my digestive tract) has been obliterated. After just two days of the Z-pack, I feel a ton better. Almost makes me think that I haven't had allergies after all, just recurrent sinus infections. Hmmmmm.

Anyway, while the insomnia is still rearing it's head, I did manage to piece together two stints of over two hours last night. The amount of improvement that I feel today is tantamount to that first time that a newborn goes for more three hours at a pop at night. Still a little bleary, but more seems right with the world. Even though we had snow last night. Yes, in April. I do live in Minnesota after all. Winter doesn't give up entirely until at least the end of May. It ended up to just be a dusting, which is less than the 2 inches that were predicted. However, my parents, who live about 200 miles north of us, had 8 inches on the ground at 4PM yesterday. Dad jinxed it I'm sure, since he's been fiddling with the boats for the past couple of weeks.

Regardless, I'm hoping that tonight will even be better. Let's see if I can put together three or more hours. Sure would be nice.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

hack, hack, and hack

All I have to say is that with the way this pregnancy has been going, I had better have a kid that sleeps through the night before 11 months. That's all I'm asking. The basis for my demand? I am now 16w2d, and I think I can count the number of good days on one hand. I am so ready to be done with this. C'mon, where is that second trimester rebound?

Just to be clear, I am about to gripe. A lot. I suppose that I should add in the normal disclaimer that seems to be required by all infertiles, you know, that I do appreciate this pregnancy, blah, blah. I do, but right now, I'm not enjoying the ride a whole lot.

For the past couple of weeks, sleep has been a very scare commodity for me, and I know that it is adversely affecting just about everything. I'm overly tired, stressed out that I am so damn tired, which in turn causes my morning sickness/overall disdain for food to skyrocket. This probably isn't as big of a deal was would be for a non-fat person, but Husband is now getting on my case that I'm not eating enough, with the strong undertone that he thinks that I'm hurting the baby. What he fails to understand is that I'm eating as much as I can handle, which I have to admit, isn't all that much. In my defense, I haven't lost weight (except for the same pound that I keep bouncing up and down). I don't have any of those keytone strips that are still good, so I don't know if I'm burning any fat or not. My hunch is no. I have my OB appointment on Friday, so we'll see what she says. I know that Husband is going to raise the issue. I really don't think that it is a big deal. Clinically, I'm obese, and no weight movement at 16 weeks really is no big deal. Now, if we're at 28 weeks and nothing has moved, then maybe we'll have to talk.

Another factor that isn't helping with the whole lack of sleep is that I've been nursing this nagging cough for the past couple of weeks. It gets worse at night, and I wake up with coughing fits that I can't get under control. A couple of times they have gotten so bad that I've vomited, which is no fun either. (Damn, I need those calories!) So, combine the coughing fits with the fact that I'm still getting up 2-3 times a night to go to the bathroom, and I'm lucky if I can string together more than an hour or two at a pop. Oh, and the kicker? Once I go back to bed, I can't fall back asleep. Yes folks, insomnia! Usually after 1-2 hours of this, with my mind running a million miles a minute, I get up and promptly fall asleep on the couch. Husband, well, he's pretty much oblivious to this. He keeps trying to get me to bed earlier, but I've almost developed a "thing" about our bed. That I almost dread going to bed because it just causes more agony. It might be time to rearrange the bedroom and see where that gets us.

Ok, so I've covered sick and tired. Next stop, and pardon me Mr. Osbourne, but everyone on the crazy train! OK, so in my misguided belief that the cough and congestion was allergy related, I finally caved in after a horrible night to try to take some Benadr*l. I thought that hey, it should knock me out, and I'll actually be able to function in the morning. The first night, I just took one, and while it helped with the cough, the improvement wasn't that great. Being ever the scientist, I decided that I would try two and see what happened. The first night-only up once. A miracle cure! Second night, not as good, but tolerable. Third night, I was considering whether Husband should take me to a psych ward. I would sleep for 30 minutes, wake up with a pounding heart and breathing fast, and with such undirected anxiety that I had to get up out of bed and pace. My mind was racing, and no matter what I did, I couldn't shut it off. Finally, around 3:30 I fell asleep in the chair out in the living room, only to be woke up by Husband going downstairs to let the dogs out. He commands me to bed.

I try to sleep, but I wake up scared again. I simply couldn't be alone. I went down to watch TV with him while he got ready for work. I finally calm down (some), go back upstairs, and try to go to sleep. I wake up 45 minutes later, and am absolutely, irrationally, afraid that Husband has left for work, and that I was alone, and that I was having some sort of psychotic break. I ran downstairs, and caught him before he left. I begged him to stay. In all of our years together, him being gone at weird times and me being alone in the house has been a semi-regular event. I usually don't mind, since I can take up all of a king sized bed if allowed. It's one of the curses of him being in an industry that is 24/7/365. However, on that day I just simply could not let him out of the house. I was sure that I wouldn't be able to bear it.

He wasn't too happy with me, and I really don't think that he understood/understands the sheer depth of the fear and anxiety that I had. He stayed home and was able to get one of the major things done that he needed to and emailed in. I tried to stay on the love seat while he worked from the couch, but that was too far for me. I ended up on the couch with him, and finally slept. It was only another 45 minutes, but if I hadn't had that, the day would have been shot. I finally calmed down enough to get ready for work, get Son ready, and be on time for my first meeting of the day. Quite an accomplishment considering that I was in such a state that the thought of sitting alone in my glorified cube/office was scaring me an hour before. After I got to work, the whole night felt like I had literally been in the twilight zone, or a dream.

At the height of everything, the thought crossed my mind that maybe I had finally lost it. That I wasn't just a little depressed, but rather that I had some sort of psychosis happening. The type that changes people forever. That, of course, wound me up even more. What really bothers me is that I was able to see and grasp the idea that there was really something wrong with me. Something that might change me irretrievably.

Husband was convinced that I was just having a reaction to the allergy medication, and made me promise to call my OB to see if this was normal. I think that he may have even thought that I was really losing it. Later on that morning, I was able to get hold of my OB's office, and Dr. Wonderful agreed that while a little on the extreme side, the possibility of the whole episode being caused by the medication was high. Add that to being extremely tired and my other history, he didn't feel like I needed to do anything other than not take it again. I was also instructed to go to my GP and get checked to see if the whole reason behind my taking the medication in the first place was indeed allergies, or a sinus infection run amok. (Which ultimately was the conclusion. Zithromax for the next five days. Yea.)

Unfortunately, my next OB appointment isn't with Dr. Wonderful, so the person that I'm seeing won't really have much insight into who I am and what is going on with me. I've been having mild anxiety attacks in the past couple of weeks, and I'm a little worried that they aren't going to get better. I'm really anxious about giving birth again since I failed so miserable last time, and having to go through the first six weeks with a newborn, a toddler, and a husband that isn't going to do much in way of helping on either front. I'm worried about how this second baby is going to hit our financial bottom line (heavily) and how we're going to manage it, especially if one of the cars gives up the ghost in the next year. I've pretty much given up on the idea of us moving any time soon, but I still have a lot of work to do to get ready for this one. Five months doesn't' seem long enough to save what we need to outfit a room (Son has a convertible crib and a changing table/dresser that he needs to keep), somehow organize and move our home office to somewhere else in the house, recarpet the bedroom (my adopted stray cat and her kittens destroyed it), and save enough to survive on maternity leave where the second six weeks isn't paid. Add that on top of the fact that I haven't had anything resembling "me time" or a break in at least a couple of months, and it may just be that I'm burned out, and being tired is just what is pushing me over the edge. However, I look around me, and lots of people are in the same boat and are doing fine. Why am I such a fragile creature right now?

I also worry that I'm penalizing myself yet again in that I have so much running through my head that I'm not taking the time to appreciate and enjoy what will most likely be my last pregnancy. After I had Son, I made a promise to myself that the next time I would just slow down and try to soak it in, appreciate it for the wonder of it all. Basically, take enough time to be able to remember it. At this point, almost halfway done, and I haven't done any of that. Maybe once I feel a little movement, but I don't think that I have yet. With Son, I was around 18 weeks when I felt the first popcorn pop, so hopefully soon. I'm just struggling to remember that this is real. If I could still fit in my regular clothes, I probably would forget that I'm pregnant.

So, there it is, nutjob and all. I feel a little cleansed to get all of it written down. Hopefully my brain will shut down and let me sleep tonight. I know that everyone around me is hoping that I can.