Friday, October 31, 2008

Goodbye, Chickadee.

My darling loved little baby:

We found out today that you are not going to be with us much longer. It looks like you stopped developing some time ago and that my body is now figuring it out.

There were so many things I wanted to do with you, to teach you and show you. There were so many things I wanted you to experience, that you never will.

I know logically that this is not because of anything I did or didn't do, that you just stopped growing. I keep going over everything I did, everything I ate, everything I drank, wondering if I could have done something differently.

Dearest Chickadee, I hope that somewhere you exist and you know that you were so wanted and so loved. I hope that during the short time you were with me that you felt those things and that your precious soul is somewhere out there, and is at peace.

I wish I knew why. I wish I could make things different. I wish you could be here with me now. Your daddy and I loved you so much, and we are so broken hearted right now.

I keep staring at this, not wanting to end this last letter, not wanting to let you go, to somehow make it not real. I ache for you already. Part of me has known for a long time that you were gone, and I'm sorry I didn't do more to enjoy the time we had together.

I love you, my poor, sweet baby, and I always will.

With so much love, sadness, heartache -

Your Mama and Daddy.

Levels are too low.

I'm trying not to cry. They are in normal ranges, but not where they should be for this point in my pregnancy.

I'm going for an ultrasound in an hour.

I'm not expecting to see a thriving Chickadee. I'm expecting to see the only picture of Chickadee we'll ever see.

I suppose there are miracles out there, but I'm doubtful we'll be having one.

Will update later. I feel brokenhearted right now.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Letter to Chickadee, Week 9

Dearest Chickadee,

Well, hello, my little grape/olive-sized parasite! We made it to 9 weeks and the next appointment, but this past week was a rough ride, wasn't it? I'm glad to report that things seemed good at the appointment this afternoon, though I was disappointed we couldn't hear your heart beating away. We definitely heard Mama's though, so if you can hear anything, that's gotta be it.

You are about an inch long and you finally look more human than reptilian, but I gotta be honest, honey. Your head is about as big as the rest of you right now. Your facial features are more defined, and your eyes are fused shut now. Your ears are there, and and so are most of your tiny organs. Your kidney and liver are working now and soon you'll be getting skin and bones. I'm not surprised we couldn't hear your tiny heart beating, since you are so tiny, but I think we may have figured out where you are hiding in there, which is pretty neat. I hope so. I keep envisioning you there now, just hanging out on the left side of my uterus.

Things are ok. I was getting pretty upset early in the week, and concerned, afraid that we might lose you. But now, I feel a lot more peaceful. I have every reason to believe you are growing well in me and I hope that the blood work tomorrow supports that. Otherwise, we might be going in for your first photography session sooner than we would like to do.

Well, we 'took' you to your first Spurs game last night - what did you think? Ok, I know the Spurs weren't at their best, and they did lose, but it's ok, Chickadee. I think this season is going to be a decent one after all. Exciting anyway. I'm so excited to enjoy this season with you, chatting away while you kick me and react to good and bad plays. Who knows? If we're very lucky, you'll be born in time to see them when their fifth championship! You may be a good luck charm, little one. I hope so, on so many levels.

My morning sickness isn't so bad anymore, which I'm grateful for. I see that you like McDonald's, and I'm not surprised the advertising is getting to you; I understand that can happen young. But seriously, honey, it's not good for you or me, and we need to maybe avoid it for awhile. Though Mama could totally go for a Bacon, Egg and Cheese Biscuit. YUM. I'm sure you'll love them, but I intend to wait a bit before we test that theory.

Well darling, I'm still getting tired early on, and I'm going to wrap up so I can work on your blanket. I think you'll like it. It's a lovely soft yarn, and it's a pretty silvery-blue color. I can't wait until it's done and I can wrap you up inside it.

Keep growing and stay healthy, little one.

We love you so much already,

Mama and Daddy

Midwife Appointment Update

This was posted in about four other places, and is no different than what wa posted there; so skip away if you've already read this.

No heartbeat on the doppler, booo!

It was pretty tame otherwise. Peed in a cup and the student got a funky reading on the glucose, but threw the urine out so I had to pee in a cup again. It's fortunate I'm peeing nearly every hour now, so it wasn't a big issue. Urine clear and fine.

B/P was normal. I told her at home it had been reading really low, and she was surprised that it was so much higher. I think it's just the office setting (I was shaking from nerves in the bathroom), honestly. My home monitor may be off, but it's right on when DH takes it. She said her big concern is it being high, and since it's not, she's not concerned. Just continue monitoring at home.

We talked about the spotting and she said she was a little concerned that I had more last night, but what I was describing was just something to monitor, since it has been really light and has consistently gone away. She talked about sending me for an u/s if we couldn't find the heartbeat. Then she and the student each tried for about 20 minutes to find the heartbeat, but no luck. We could hear mine really well, lol - my h/b was REALLY fast and loud. She said I had good blood supply to the uterus. Both she and the student paused at the same point on the left side - oddly, where I've had the most cramps, and I'm fairly certain that is the side I ovulated on - and thought they heard something for an instant, but then nothing. She did say that she could feel my uterus just at the top of the pubic bone, so we are right Blair. She said it's just too early.

We talked about our options, and decided to take blood for an HCG check and see where the levels are. If they are over a threshold number, she'll draw again next week and I'll go back in two weeks or so to try again for a h/b. If the numbers seem low, then she's going to send me for a u/s, hopefully tomorrow. She expects the bloodwork back by noon, possibly first thing (she's rushing it). She said the fact that I have a plethora of symptoms is a positive thing and that my ute is enlarged is a good thing. She said my blood supply is clearly increased, and she was able to draw on the first try (she had to stick me 5 times last visit to get the blood for the early tests).

All in all, I feel pretty good. I'm disappointed we couldn't hear anything, but was totally prepared for that. I feel that the blood draw is going to come back just fine, so I'm hoping to avoid the u/s. I don't know why, but I just feel really peaceful about everything.

Oh, two other things. I've lost 5 pounds by their scale (8 by my home scale), which is not a bad thing, since I'm so overweight, and she solved our insurance dilemma by offering not to file a claim until January. This way we only pay one deductible after all. That's a HUGE weight off my mind. Maybe now I can buy a new bathtub. ; )

The Spurs Are My Life, My Ass is a Map of the Aegean Sea and other misc. news.

Ok, not really. It's not that desperate a situation at all. But the Spurs do play an important role in my life. I'm a really big, very active fan, as is DH. It's one of the hobbies we enjoy together, so we make an effort to watch most of the games and to talk about the NBA and what's happening. I chat during the games and cheer them on and DH and I analyze and quarrel and we love it.

So you can imagine my joy when the season opens, as it did last night.

Sadly, we lost, but it was a close game and there were a lot of positives to take away from it. The energy was much higher than it normally is at the beginning, it appears that the Spurs (primarily Tim Duncan and Tony Parker) understand they are going to have to step up much earlier on and fill in the gap that is left by Manu Ginobili as he recovers. It also appears that they are aware of how tough this will be and how difficult it will be to get all gears clicking with so many new faces. I was pleased with what I saw last night, even if it didn't result in a W.

BTW, the hack-a-big, fat tub of lard known as Shaq in the first 5 minutes and the subsequent thumbs up from Pop? One of my all-time favorite Spurs moments now.

I need to print out a schedule and put it up on my cube.

So, my ass. My entire, rather large, left ass cheek is covered in very dark purple bruises of varying sizes. There are a fair number of blue and green bruises as well. All from the fall in the shower on Tuesday, of course. I showed my DH, because husbands are legally required to look at such things and make inappropriate comments and my husband did not disappoint.

His remark? You guessed it. "Damn, that's awful. But hey! That's sort of cool. Your ass looks like a map of the Aegean Sea! You know, with all the Greek islands and shit?" Thanks, honey.

I apparently damaged my left arm as well, which shouldn't be surprising considering the damage to my ass, but it didn't start hurting until Wednesday, so I was surprised. Some sort of deep tissue bruise. I couldn't fully raise or bend the arm and trying to do something simple like open a door was excruciatingly painful. It just got more and more stiff and by the end of the day I couldn't even take my shirt off without assistance.

So Dh wrapped it up in a heating pad and oh dear Lord did that help. It still aches and I don't have full motion back, but it's so much better now. He still had to help with my bra. Sigh.

The tub is still holey. The goal is to patch, at least temporarily, the holes this weekend. Cross your fingers for me.


In other news, my next appointment is this afternoon. I find that I am nervous but far less nervous than I was at the beginning of the week. Spotting continues randomly - very light, brown to pink, only when I wipe, and then disappears. I'm no longer worried about miscarriage; there are simply too many symptoms and positive signs to be terribly worried about that, but I do find it annoying.

My blood pressure has continued to be ok - so no big worries there. I don't have a log, and I naturally left the cuff/monitor at home, so I hope she takes my word for it. We'll see how the office reading goes. I weigh 315 average at home (undressed) which is 7 pounds down from the last office visit (my scale agreed with theirs afterwards). But naturally, I get dressed, step on the scale at home and it's 320. I am shocked my clothes weigh that much, but I can't imagine I gained a ton of weight since last night.

The coolest thing is that I can feel my uterus now. I wasn't sure that was it, but I've been feeling this heavy feeling in my low abdomen for a week or two now, and I tried feeling for the uterus, just above my pubic bone (since it should be starting to grow up and out of the pelvic cavity now) and I thought I felt it. Then I had doubt. Last night I made DH do it and he could totally feel it. It was awesome. He pointed out the top of it, where is stopped and started and said that it was like a tennis ball in there. Hee! I feel so much better now, because it wasn't just me! That's a really positive sign that things are proceeding well, imo. That, taken with the pregnancy symptoms make me much more comfortable about things.

Jackie will try to hear a h/b and I'm beginning to be hopeful. I'm going to try hard not to be disappointed or panicky if she can't hear anything, but she sounds so confident and I know where my uterus is now, so I find myself really hoping. We'll see later. If not this week, then probably soon.

A letter to Chickadee (9 weeks today!!!) and an update to follow later today.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Why shaving is a bad idea.

Let's be honest. Shaving your legs is sort of dumb. I mean, it takes effort, they get prickly, they get itchy, razor burn is a hazard, and they dry out more quickly, and just an all around UGH. My confession? I only ever shave to the knee and DH deals.

Well, last week, I felt tired and lazy and rushed, so I didn't shave for pretty the whole week. But I'm ingrained with smooth calves rubbish, so I figured I'd go ahead and shave this morning. It was a hassle. A hassle which led to bad things happening.

Got the right leg done with little problem, though I was already tired of shaving when it was finished.

Moved on the left leg and that's when It happened. My right leg, which is supporting me, starts to slide and down I go. I managed to twist, and grab for something, so what actually hit the tub was my ass. I wrenched my shoulder and some body part went flying through the wall of tub to create a bowl sized hole in the side of my bathtub.

Please understand, it's very old and already weak and cracked and was destined for replacement. Later. When we could afford it. Which is not now. There are a lot of reasons why, but the biggest issue is that we are dealing with a space that is too narrow for modern one pieces, and honestly, for most modern showers. The spaces now are 60-72 inches, and ours is 57.5 inches. And when we replace the tub, we will also have to replace the flooring, and possibly also the toilets (because it should be done when the floor is done to avoid replacing portions of the floor later). And note, this is what is simply necessary, not the cosmetic changes we also want to make.

I lost my shit. Between the pain, the new fear for the baby (even if I didn't hit my stomach, dude, I fell down hard), and the now entirely necessary fix that we entirely cannot afford, I just lay where I fell and cried. I sobbed until Dh came to help me up, I sobbed while I finished shaving that damned left leg, and while I washed the conditioner out of my hair and soaped up. I cried while I dried off. I sobbed while I got dressed and wondered if I should stay home with my feet up, given that I was now having cramps.

The cramps went away and there was no spotting, thank God (I went to the bathroom every 15 minutes for a couple of hours there). My ass is bruised pretty badly and my shoulder hurts. I've been told that there ways to patch it - ugly, but serviceable, which is fine by me and good news, as far as I am concerned. I don't care how it looks - we just shower in there. And it's still going to be replaced, when we have the money to buy a new tub and/or pay for the labor in cash.

But see? This is what happens when we allow vanity to get the better of us. We hurt ourselves and cost ourselves money. I told DH he'll have to live with hairy legs for the rest of his life, because the next fall might send me and the tub down into the kitchen.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Oh ye of little faith.

That's me.

I have very little faith these days. I'm not just talking about religious faith, which is its own separate issue, but just a belief in the inherent positivity of events. Which is funny, because I do sort of believe that everything works out for the best in the end. The above? "All will be well and all will be well and all manner of things will be well" - I do believe that.

But conciously agreeing with that statement and actively turning loose things to whatever - God, the universe, fate, karma (for me, it's God) - I really suck at that. I never really learned how to do it.

So when I'm faced with the situation of this weekend, and I glance down and there is color on the toilet paper, I flip the fuck out. My mind starts spinning and while one rational portion is calmly repeating the very logical information I already know about light spotting, the rest of me is in total freak out mode and pessimism takes over and I become a blubbering, sobbing, mass of terrified jello.

And since then, I've been on a roller coaster of highs and belief that all is well and lows and belief that it's all over. Why I can't stay calm, why I can't be level-headed and rational - I have no idea. But I can't. I just quake and moan with fear.

In the end, the spotting was light and went away. Never got darker or heavier or worse. Cramps died down too. Nausea picked up and was bad. I have nearly every pregnancy symptom under the sun and yet I'm so deathly afraid of Thursday and my appointment with the mw and hearing things aren't ok.

I really don't like this at all. At. All. But neither do I know how to unwind myself and climb back down to reality and sanity.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Letter to Chickadee, Week 8

Darling Chickadee,

Whew! We made it another week, and just one more month will have us out of the first trimester. So far, there are 2 months behind us, and we're starting on month three. You are growing so quickly, it's most easily measured by days right now, which astounds me. That you are growing inside me and I barely know it, that in a few weeks I will be able to feel you more weeks, and that a short time after that you will be a separate, live human to grow up with your own thoughts, hopes and dreams and future. How amazing! It takes my breath away when I think about it.

This week, your fingers and toes are becoming defined, you are getting longer and straighter, and your tail should be gone by the end of the week! Your brain is sending off brain waves - what are you thinking about in there? Your liver and your kidneys and your tiny lungs (which are more like fish lungs than what will be there in a few months) are all working and your little heart (which is one of the biggest parts of your body right now!) is pumping away, sending blood circulating. You have eyelids and your ears are forming right now. I wonder if you'll get your Daddy's pretty ears or if you'll get your poor uncle Mishka's ears. Well, as long as you don't shave your head like he does, it'll probably be ok. Did you know your eyes already have color? I wonder what color they'll be - apparently the odds are on green, but I secretly hope you get your mama's blue-gray eyes. But not my eyesight, darling one!

By now, you are eating off my meals - and I am less nauseous. So maybe our little talk last week helped? Or maybe you just like brownies! I'm feeling more bloated and heavy, and sometimes, when I lay down, I think I can begin to feel my uterus growing, just the edge of it. Next week, Mama is going to see Jackie again and she'll feel for you and your house and maybe show me where I should be feeling for you. And she'll try to hear your little heart-beat thumping away. I know it's early, but I've been feeling sort of anxious, so if you don't mind cooperating a little, and moving into a good position for that, I would love to hear you, little Chickadee. It's going to be a long time before I get to see you and I really just want some reassurance (besides the constant fatigue and sleepiness, the frequent urination, the ever present gas, the crazy emotions and food issues) that you are in there!

Daddy and I are doing ok. Jo-jo will definitely love having a 'brother or sister' to bark at and play with. He may seem a little scary, but he is just going to adore you! I can't wait to see you toddle around playing with him. You'll have to watch the stuff you drop though - he considers it fair game. Dad and I are thinking about your daycare options, and believe me. I don't want to leave in daycare at all. I'm still hoping we can convince Grandma Sweetie to come take care of you. Try hard to be really cute and adorable - that should help!

As always, darling little one, your daddy and I already love you so much. We can't wait to meet you and see what sort of person you will be. Hopefully the brownie addiction won't make you too wired or anything. Keep growing and growing darling one, and we'll hope to hear you soon.

Love you to pieces,
Mama and Daddy

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Disappearing symptoms and my weekly freakout.

Feel free to skim on to the end or the next blog, this is going to be a paranoia filled whiny rant. I would apologize in advance, but why? I have to get this shit out of my head somewhere.

I know symptoms come and go. I know that there are a variety of causes for symptoms and how we experience pregnancy symptoms. I know that rest means I don't experience symptoms as acutely and I feel better and have more energy. I know that hormone levels and fluctuations play an important role in the severity of symptoms. I know that having passed the 6 week mark and hovering on the 8 week mark means that my chances of a pregnancy that makes it through are now around 95% mark. In two more weeks they'll be at the 98% mark. Those are good odds and good numbers.

I've had a lot of symptoms, and some quite badly. I've been exhausted, I get more tired easily, I feel more sleepy throughout the day. My breasts have been sore, terribly sore, painful, achey, have visibly grown and my nipples have gotten visibly bigger and more prominent. I've had terrible food aversions, gagging, dog nose, nausea, bad nausea, crippling nausea and dry heaving. I've had frequent urination, and less frequent urination. Constipation that's come and gone. I've had points of being an emotional wreck. I've also been ridiculously gassy, resulting in belching and farting that would make a frat boy proud.

That's a lot of stuff. I haven't had any spotting. My cervix was soft and low and closed. I haven't had any severe cramping, abdominal pain, back pain, shoulder pain. Basically - all the warning signs? I've had none of them.

Does any of that help at all when I'm having a day like today? Not at all. All I can think is that I haven't had to get up in the last two nights to pee. And I haven't been nauseated in two days. Well, I've had a few waves of it and gagged a few times, but nothing major. Not crippling like before. Despite going to bed a little late, I feel less tired and sleepy. My boobs only hurt if I massage them or poke the nipple. I haven't really had any cramping. Aren't you supposed to cramp? I mean, you uterus gets 1000x bigger. Cramping is normal. I reassure anxious women everday that it's normal to cramp. So is the reverse true? That it can be normal not to cramp?

I'm paranoid. I'm paranoid that the symptoms are disappearing and that I am not really pregnant with a live baby. That the baby is not developing correctly and that I'm going to have a miscarriage. I feel like I walk around disconnected from the baby because I'm so freaked out over potentially losing it. I want to cry right now, I feel so afraid and alone. Why can't I just enjoy this time, whatever time I have with Chickadee? Why do I analyze all the signs and symptoms and am only happy when I'm completely miserable? I'm so worried right now.

It's just so frustrating, and I find myself getting angry with myself over this constant war I seem to wage internally. I really hate this part of things. I want to be bigger and feel more secure. Will I ever feel secure? I know that reading a story recently about missed miscarriages and how the symptoms slowly disappeared and the mom just knew even when everyone told her otherwise, I know that freaked me out and is hanging over me. I know that my boobs will be sore again and that I will feel icky again and that already I feel tired today and that my concentration is shit and that my dog nose is in place and that I am not drinking enough water, blah blah blah.

Bottom line. I feel scared. I want reassurance, there is none to be had. I'm tired of sounding whiny and pathetic, but I feel whiny and pathetic. And terrified. Utterly terrified.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Pregnancy Brain.

I always sort of laughed this one off.

Boy was I wrong. It does exist and it's sad. So very sad. It's what happens when the baby starts parasitically eating your brain. Mmmm, yummy mummy brain. . .

Here are some recent examples of pregnancy brain in my life:

- I nearly forgot to wash the conditioner out of my hair the other day. Fortunately I noticed prior to stepping out of the shower.

- A week ago, I shaved one leg. Not the other.

- I've forgotten to pay two bills this month. Oops.

- I've gotten lost mid-sentence and forgotten what the hell I was talking about.

- I stepped into the shower today with my underwear still on, and I forgot to soap up while in there.

I am amazing. I understand now what happened to my mother and why she can't always speak in coherent full sentences. It's my fault. I did that to her when I was a mere embryo/fetus. And now Chickadee wreaks revenge on behalf of her eaten brain.

One month ago.

Four weeks ago, or roughly a month, I woke up to a great big temp spike and a desire to pee in a cup. Two negative tests later, I still had proof of the temp spike, and a thought that no, this was the month, and a faint line showed up on the FRER.

I can't believe that a full month has gone by and that I am now here about to end the second month of my pregnancy. It's unreal to me sometimes. There was so much fear early on, so many worries. It's not that there are less worries, but the fear began to fade away and I don't hold my breath everytime I go to the bathroom and I don't frantically search for some symptoms to reassure me. I feel less scared and way more grateful when I'm not incapacitated by nausea and exhaustion. I feel more connected to the little blueberry sized baby swimming inside me, and I feel less like I'm blocking myself away from it and fear of pain.

Things are moving so quickly, and yet, not nearly quickly enough. I was so desperate to be out of the first trimester, that I don't remember ever thinking I would see 7 weeks or 8 weeks, and here I am in my eighth week, moving along. It's unbelievable to think I'll be in my ninth week starting Thursday. And the following week is my second appointment, when Jackie will listen for a heartbeat. It'll likely be too early to hear with the doppler, but I'm still sort of excited to try.

Nearly everyone knows, except my friends in real life and Jason's family - though since he told his best friend yesterday, it's becoming imperative to tell his sister at least. I'm feeling excited about the future, and a little anxious. Ever since the stuff came up with Mom and her hesitation about coming out here, I've been more nervous, but talking it through helped me realize that we will be ok, whatever happens. Everything will be ok, in the end.

And I think that's the theme I'm settling into, as I settle into this pregnancy. Everything will be ok in the end. It's sort of funny, really - my mom was only just finding out now that she was pregnant with me, and I've already known about Chickadee for a month. Crazy how times have changed.

For now, I'm trying to relax, deal with m/s as it comes up and begin to enjoy the holiday season. This was always my favorite time of year, from October through December - well, tied with spring, anyways! And what a glorious year this is going to be for us. Truly. So much to celebrate together with family this year.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Letter to Chickadee, 7 weeks.

Darling Chickadee,

Today I am 7 weeks pregnant, which means we're still going strong! Is it wrong if I tell you I was surprised to hit this point? Everything seems to be going terrifically. No spotting, mild cramping, symptoms abounding, including the dreaded morning sickness. Nothing terrible, but look, little one - you and I need to have a little talk about how this whole eating thing works. I don't like nausea, but I like the idea that pregnancy is progressing well, so I can deal with it. But, the thing is, sweetheart, I do not appreciate your sending waves of nausea while I am eating. Yuck! You'll understand when you are older.

Right now, you are about the size of a blueberry, which means you've gotten noticeably bigger. Your house is getting bigger too - supposedly, my uterus is already about twice the size as when we got started on this little adventure. Too bad other things don't work that way - like bank accounts or houses! But jokes aside, little one, some things do work that way in real life, and they are the important things - like love. Love will always grow, so that there is enough. Hope will always grow too, and so will joy spread.

I hope for you that you get to know those things, and I hope also that you experience some of the bitterness and pain of life - not because I want you to suffer or because I want bad things to happen. It's precisely the opposite, my darling. I wish I could protect you forever from all the pain and hurt in the world. But, that is a part of life, and one I would wish you to experience, so you can contrast and appreciate the richness and sweetness that exist everyday around us and know how fully and well you are loved by us, but more than that, by God.

Chickadee, sweet thing, your daddy and I are well and hopeful for you. I feel fear sometimes, not knowing if you are growing well, and I wish I could see you or feel you. But I know everyday that you are in there, and everyday I feel more connected and in love with you. Continue to grow, little one, and know that we love you now and always.

Praying for you and loving you,
Mama and Daddy

PS - We both still feel that you are a girl. Boy, we might get a shock. We're going to be thrilled either way!

Monday, October 13, 2008

And just like that, it's gone!

Almost the blink of an eye.

Saturday was awful again. Woke up feeling ill. Huddled miserably on the couch, feeling nauseous, getting up a ridiculous number of times to pee. Bah. Our chairs arrived, yay! I then huddled less miserably on the glorious new comfy beautiful I am in love with it chair.

Finally ate a chicken breast with cheese - the most substantial item yet and felt well enough to try for some TexMex that sounded good in theory. Hit up the Adobe and got spinach enchiladas, shrimp nachos and sopapillas. Split the nachos, ate some chips and salsa, ate half the sopapillas and half the enchiladas and felt ok. Queasy, but ok.

Next day was better. I had learned from the previous day's experience that going ahead and eating was probably preferable, and left me not feeling so weak. So we went out for brunch and I downed a bagel with cream cheese and a cup of tomato soup. The soup was sort of meh - I'll stick with broccoli cheese there, as I've been underwhelmed by the others I've tried. We then picked up my emergency m/s kit - lemon drops, SeaBands (more in a moment), Preggie (gag me) pop drops, saltines, diet ginger ale and 7up.

I felt ok for much of Sunday. Wore the SeaBands - they are hideous. If you aren't familiar, they are terry cloth wrist bands that have a round plastic button that you center on the acu-pressure point for nausea and it provides some relief from morning or sea sickness. I'm pleased to say that they did help me; didn't take it away 100%, but made me feel I could function. I couldn't wear them all the time - they started to hurt after a few hours and I took them off. I could definitely feel a difference between wearing them and not wearing them. I was much more comfortable with them on.

I had a massage Sunday with my guy and was sad to learn he changed his schedule. I did find out that his new schedule includes going until 6 pm on weekdays, so that was a plus. I will only have to leave a little early once a month to continue seeing him every other week. Yay! I need to schedule the next one, and will have to start scheduling prenatals soon, since laying on my stomach (well, boobs) is beginning to be uncomfortable. But it was a nice massage and only a little nausea.

I stopped at the other side of that shopping center where Mr. Magic Hands is located and popped into Motherhood Maternity (I avoided JC Penney's though, which I think shows great restraint, given that I like their plus size maternity clothes best). I bought some m/s drops and browsed, and found a cute shirt and pair of mat jeans in my size on clearance and got both for $20 each - which if you know anything about Motherhood's overly inflated prices means you know it was a sweet deal. I will probably buy one more pair of mat jeans, since I can't wear jeans at work (sob), but I'll get Duo Maternity, I expect. I'll need to invest in two or three pairs of work pants in the not too distant future. I tried on the jeans when I got home and they are BLISSFUL. I'd wear them full time if I could. No annoying buttons digging in at the wrong places, just wonderful, glorious elastic. The only real issue is that because of where the jean part started, I felt a constant need to pull them up, but meh, I can deal (says the nearly 7 wk pregnant woman).

Today, the morning sickness was mostly a non-issue, which surprised me. Sucking on a lemon drop helped with the first wave. Gritting my teeth, setting down my hamburger helped with the second strong wave. Munching throughout the day helped some, as did the ginger ale. It's weird. I don't want to feel like I did last Friday, where it was somewhat crippling, but nor do I want to not have any - that makes me paranoid. I suppose the vague queasiness I had today when I moved around or ate should be sufficient. Had more waves of it when I got home and feel very bloated today.

The fun new symptom today was about light-headedness. It wasn't disorientation or dizziness exactly, or sleepiness, but like a weird combination that made me feel dreamy or loopy. Very odd feeling to have, really. If it happens again or for any sustainable amount of time, I'll call the midwife again (I tried, but got no answer and didn't have her cell number on me). But I'm sure it wasn't low blood sugar or dehydration. Low blood pressure would be amusing, given that she was concerned with how high it was (it's been reading low at home monitoring).

That's it for the day. Boring, I know. I'll spend some time tomorrow talking about my baby projects and my darling, wonderful, supportive husband, who deserves a world of credit for everything he's doing to support me right now.

*** Edited to add the update I know you were dying for :

A really bad attack of nausea hit shortly after posting. It did not subside until I put on the yellow SeaBands (make me want to Sweat to the Oldies) and ate some saltines and drank some diet 7up. Why diet? It's more carbonated than regular and not as syrupy, so it helps settle the stomach. Ugh. Tossing dinner back and forth. Should try to eat some but really not feeling the vegetable lasagna. But I need to eat it before it goes bad. But I don't want it. I may venture out for egg drop soup. That seems fairly benign. . .

Friday, October 10, 2008

Hello, my friend, hello.

My friend morning sickness that is.

Of course, we all know all about the misnomer and that morning sickness can strike at any time or last all day. Morning sickness is one of the cliches of pregnancy.

Well, it's made it's appearance, and by all views seems content to settle in.

I've had some waves of nausea throughout, but this past week it's gotten a lot worse. Coming more frequently, staying longer. Ugh. No vomitting so far, but today it wasn't for want of trying. And I hate vomitting. It's among my worst fears. I hate being so out of control of my body and the hideous feeling of throwing up. I shudder to think of it.

Today started well - a good night's sleep, feeling ok. Not nauseated, even a littel bit. Since the plan for food for the day was more spinach broccoli soup and vegetable lasagna, I decided that since I felt so well, eggs and turkey sausage were clearly the ways to go. I couldn't have been more wrong, as I realized half-way through the piece of toast with egg on it. I choked it down anyway, hoping the turkey sausage I so adore would save me. The first piece tasted lovely, but I had to choke it down too, and could only manage a bit of the second piece. Jason ate the third. I felt sick to my stomach for the next two hours, though sipping on some orange juice and water helped. I even managed to eat a small cinnamon roll at my training with more orange juice (and I think the extra food helped).

But then lunchtime came and the worst feeling of all - hunger mingling with nausea. I knew I had to eat, but eating sounded so repugnant. Especially when I think of what we had. I asked Dh to bring me something more bland - in this case, a more adult oriented version of Lunchables - real cheese and slightly less processed meat. It went down fine and I felt better. Foolish, foolish me.

An hour later the worst attack hit and I literally ran to the bathroom to hover over the toilet heaving and breathing deeply alternately for ten minutes before I decided it wasn't happening after all and I went back to work to concentrate on not vomitting. Good times. The walk to the car was sucky, but the drive was ok. I got home and hit up the morning sickness prevention kit my good friend thoughtfully made for me, and the candied ginger made me gag, so I opted for the sour candy balls. And what do you know? They worked! I could even think of dinner! Though not the vegetable lasagna - that is too much. I'm opting for a small salad and rice and chicken. Bland, bland, bland. I will try to drink some vegetable juice later for extra variety of vegetables, but . . . we'll see.

I'm sipping it down with a nice chilled real ginger brewed ale, and you know what? I've come to the realization that I don't like ginger. I thought I did, but since I found out I'm pregnant, the smell of ginger has been jumping out at me and it's horrifying and stomach turning and I don't care for the taste either. Ew.

I'm trying to stay positive about this all though - morning sickness can be a good sign. Morning sickness equates to a lower risk of miscarriage and I've sort of been hoping for it as a reassuring sign. Sucky as it is, mind. It's supposedly partially a result of the hormones being so high and the body trying to adjust and blah blah fishcakes. It's hard to remember this is a good thing, but I'm trying to be positive. So far everything has been just about text book, so that's good. But . . . ugh.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Letter to Chickadee: 6 weeks

Darling Chickadee,

I am now 6 weeks pregnant, which makes you 4 weeks old. I've thought about doing this before now, but I haven't. You already know I think about you every day and talk to you every day. Can you hear my voice yet? Does your soul recognize mine?

According to what I've read, you are currently the size of a lentil bean or a sweet pea. I'm amazed that in the nearly three weeks since we found out you were on the way just how much you've grown. From a microscopic ball of cells to something I could pick up with my fingers. How amazing you are! I still have trouble believing you are in there sometimes.

Your little heart should have started beating in the last few days, and already, just 28 days after you were conceived, you should have blood flowing through your veins. Your eyes and nostrils are forming, and I wonder whether you'll get your Daddy's eyes or mine, and we both hope you get my nose (though I expect we'll see). Already, your ears are beginning to form and little buds have appeared where your arms and legs will be in just a couple of weeks.

I can't wait to see you wave to me and to feel you kick me. I can't wait to count your fingers and toes and kiss the tip of your nose. Everyday, I grow a little less afraid of losing you early and I enjoy more this time we have together. I really have begun to feel like you are settling in with me for a nice long visit.

Daddy and I were so excited to find out you were coming. Already, even though you are only as big as a sweet pea, we love you so much. We have so many hopes for you and dreams for your life. Right now, as I type, Daddy and I are watching the Spurs play the Rockets in a pre-season game. We can't wait to take you to a game and to teach you all about basketball. We might even let you watch the Rockets some, but remember, honey, you'll always be a Spurs fan first.

Little Chickadee, I think about you nearly all the time. I wonder so much about you - what you'll look like, whether you are a boy or girl (right now, I think girl, btw and so does Daddy). I wonder if you'll have your daddy's sense of humor or your mother's love of reading. I wonder what you will be like and what you'll want to do in life. There is so much I want to show you - how seeds grow into beautiful flowers, how peaceful it is to sit near a window on a rainy day, the beauty of a full moon. So snuggle in, dear Chickie, and get comfortable. Grow well. We'll be seeing you soon.

Lots of love,

Mama and Daddy

Monday, October 6, 2008

This pregnancy update is brought to you by the letters W, T, and F!

As in Whisky.Tango.Foxtrot.

This is not a big deal. This is barely a minor blip. Compared to morning sickness (which is still vague nausea that passes relatively quickly) or the blood pressure concerns (which I'll post about tomorrow) or the frequent urination (which is hella annoying) (dear lord, did I just type hella? heaven help me) - this is a teeny, tiny non-event.

Nevertheless, it had me scratching my head in wonder.

So, my one nearly constant symptom has been my boobs. They hurt. They're tender. They ache. They are heavier and bigger and the right one is now visibly bigger than the left one. With the exception of that last point, none of this is unexpected or even particularly unwelcome (since I like having some sort of symptom).

What did send me reeling was the discovery I made last night. Allow me to set the stage for you. It was getting late, but I was wide awake. I decided to divert myself and chillax (oh, god, I just did it again. what, did I get stuck in the mid-late 90's bro?) by taking the laptop upstairs, stretching out and reading a story. Great. I laid on my stomach until that became uncomfortable, and then sat up and set the laptop on my lap. I was prepared for sleepy-time, and therefore topless (because I cannot stand having something on me), and I noticed something that simultaneously fascinated and horrified me.

My right nipple has gotten visibly larger.

Now, this is not entirely unexpected. I was told at my last breast exam that I had flat nipples, which pose additional challenges to breastfeeding. I mentioned it to my mom, who informed me that prior to her pregnancy with me, she too had flat nipples, but they grew out during pregnancy and she had no trouble breastfeeding. So I sort of figured with all the other changes, this would also happen. But I vaguely thought it would happen 'later' - some time later, when 'those things' happen.

Prior to 6 weeks was a bit of a rude shock. As was the fact that it only has happened on the right side. I'm sure the other nipple will come along, but I feel a bit lopsided already.

Naturally, DH has taken this opportunity to offer to weight my left bra cup so that I do not walk around in circles.

He has no idea how close he came to death with that comment.

Which is funny, because he normally is right on top of this stuff. He's cottoned on to the fact that when I am in the midst of a hysterical, on the verge of tears, emotional breakdown/freak out/mood swing, it's frequently related to a need to eat. Once he feeds me, I am rational and sane again. So now he's taken to protectively throwing food at me, much as one would a tempramental and hungry lion. He urges me to keep food near me at all times, so as to preserve his own arm, since I can go from complete disinterest in food to FEED ME NOW OR BE EATEN YOURSELF in about 10 seconds. Which is totally crazy, by the way, but true.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

How I told my mother that her daughter was getting laid successfully.

So, my mom is one of my best friends. I love her most in the world next to my husband. I couldn't imagine not telling her right away. Of course, the fact that she has to decide about moving here to care for our children makes a difference as well.

Anyway, I'm one of those people, which we already knew, since I'm a charter, a homebirther (what you didn't know that? Ha! more to follow later then), an early pee on the stick person . . . I couldn't just call and tell her, I had to have a cute plan.

The plan was to take the last digital we'd so carefully saved and wrap it up with a bib that said "I Love My Grandma" and give it to her along with a card that gave the pertinent details, like the edd.

We had the bib, we bought the card, I peed on the stick, but because I wasn't sure what was happening when, I freaked out about possible leaving the digital test in the car and it overheating and being blank when she went to read it, so I made my dh put back in the hotel room, and we ended up without it. Oh well.

We wrapped the big in obnoxious green tissue paper and shoved it in an obnoxious yellow bag. We had a pretty card with a pearly light orange front with swirlies and stars cut out of it and tiny white print that said 'Congratulations'. The inside was yellow and more white print said 'Time to celebrate!' and around that I wrote 'You're going to be a grandma. EDD June 4, 2009! Love you, CottonSocks and DH'.

So this is the point that I start getting very nervous. Why? No freaking clue. I love my mom and she loves me. It was no secret we were ttc. We'd just talked about ttc when she was in town. She's always supported me and she's always said she would be happy to be a grandmother. Nevertheless, I was getting nervous. What if she had a reaction that I totally did not expect? What if she freaked out? And let's be honest, announcing pregnancy is announcing that your husband is banging you. It's no secret, mind, but it's not a subject I've broached, directly or indirectly, with my mother.

So DH offered to do the talking. And it went like this. We get to her house and the dog goes nuts because he hasn't seen us in two days, which must mean we dies and abandoned him forever and while Grandma is nice and all, she's not us, and OMG! MOMMY AND DADDY ARE HERE! SQUEEE (or in Barky VonSchnauzer's case, RUFFF RUFFF RUFFF RUFFF!)! BLISS, DELIGHT, LOVE, ADORATION! So the bag understandably went unnoticed for awhile. When Mom saw it, she asked what it was. DH took his cue and said, "Mom, this is for you. We really appreciated your coming out and helping us and so we have this little something for you." He hands her the atrocious bag.

She exclaims that it wasn't necessary, and pulls out the card and the bib. She opens the bib first, as I hoped she would. She looks it over, laughs, and says thanks. Dh and I exchange a look. Clearly, she's missed the meaning on this one. Well, that's probably our fault for referring to her as Grandma to the dog. But . . . it's a baby bib. Shouldn't that be obvious? No? Well, the card should clear it up.

Only she just sits there with the card on her lap and chats away to us. We can't tell her to open it without being obvious but the tension is rising. Finally she gets distracted and I subtly point it out to her and she opens it. Finally, we have reached an understanding, as she gasps and looks up and says "Are you serious? Are you kidding me?" At this point, I burst into tears and assure her we aren't kidding and Dh is grinning from ear to ear.

Now Mom is concerned because I am crying. She hesitates and says, "Well, this is happy news, isn't it?" And I start laughing, because it is very happy news and I'm a hormonal mess. She danced on the couch and asked questions and has basically exploded with happiness.

We asked her not to tell anyone, and that lasted all of 5 minutes. We saw her for lunch the next day and she announced that Grandma was so pleased and sent her congratulations. Sigh. Well, I let it go because Grandma isn't exactly young in her early 90s and her health has been fragile, so letting her know another great-grandchild is on the way might cheer her up. I had to draw the line when Mom let slip that she was having lunch with her best friend and was debating whether or not to tell her.

My response was, "How about no? How about we don't tell Best Friend until I tell my own father? I probably won't wait another 9 weeks, but please don't tell anyone else until I tell Dad, ok? I'll let you know as soon as I tell him, all right?" She agreed, when put like that. I'm reminding myself that it is her excitement and enthusiasm and I'm so pleased to hear it. Sometimes I have to try a little harder than others, but I'm so thrilled that she is looking forward to it.

And that is the story. Still trying to figure when and how to tell Dad. I just don't know. . .

Thursday, October 2, 2008

First Appt and breakdown of symptoms

Ok, first things first. I had my first appointment today with my midwife. I've seen her before and was pleased to see her again. I really like her and she is all on board with homebirth. It took 3 hours total, but much of that was taken up in filling out paperwork and waiting.

Paperwork was easy and reassuring. The one negative was that I was honest about my LMP and my conception date and lengthy cycles. She is still dating by LMP, which is 11 days ahead. She agrees with my conception date, and so wrote down both dates, but it annoyed me that she still wrote down the LMP, which puts me due 5.24.09. But I definitely am not that far ahead. And she agrees! So why not just settle on 06.04.09? Well part of it is that she isn't accepting clients in early June because of a planned vacation. So there is a decent chance that if I don't go early, she won't be the person delivering me (booo!), but there is also no point in worrying about that now, so I'm not.

Next appt. is Oct. 30 and she said we may be able to hear the heartbeat - that she can usually find it at 9 weeks (which I will be exactly), but not to get too optimistic, just in case. I do, after all, have a good deal of extra padding, which may make it more difficult. DH is coming just in case.

Other than that, 5 sticks to draw the necessary blood, but won't have to do that again until third tri, so that's a relief. I opted not to seek the HCG levels, because without doing a consecutive draw to check doubling, it doesn't mean much. I guess if something looks off, she'll let me know. I'm a little leery of not having had a pelvic exam done, but then again, it's so early that it wasn't really necessary or likely to yeild much result. Did give a urine sample and get a contract. Bottom line is we will have to pay about $1800 after the deductible, which resets Jan 1 (so we're checking to see if we can post-date our check to avoid paying our deductible twice).

The big issue was my blood pressure. The student midwife took it first and it was crazy, dangerously high - 156/94. Jackie was really concerned and immediately had me lay down and she took it herself. Within two minutes of the first reading, I had a reading completely in the normal range - 136/66. That makes it likely that the student midwife screwed it up, but because I'm overweight, Jackie is being cautious and wants me to take my blood pressure once a week until my next appt. Whatevs.

Now on to the promised symptoms:

2ww -

1-7 dpo: Nada. No cramping, no weird senses, no sore boobs, nothing.
8-10 dpo: Higher temps. Cervix softening a bit, a little more creamy discharge. That's about it, apart from the + on 10 dpo.
11 dpo: Sore boobs, more frequent urination. Overwhelming exhaustion (feel asleep at 9:30 with my head on the coffee table).
12 dpo: Headache, sore boobs, more frequent urination. Waves of nausea, dizziness. Overwhelming exhaustion.

Symptoms now:
Starting to have nausea come more frequently and more heavily. Boobs are generally very tender, heavy, achey. Sometimes feels like shards of glass. Exhaustion. Some shortness of breath.

There you have it.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


The boobs, the boobs! They are sore. Not as painful as before, but sore to the touch.

More than that, I am thoroughly exhausted.


Wait for it . . .

Totally nauseated. I felt uninterested in food earlier, but then I felt like I would gnaw DH's arm off if I didn't eat that precise second. I had a fiber bar and some juice but meh. I had some eggs and toast to get some protein, and oh, Lord was it hard to eat.

And now, I'm swallowing back nausea.

Thank you God.

I never thought I'd be so relieved to feel sick to my stomach, especially since it is the feeling I dread most in the world. I hate vomiting. But I told Dh (and I meant it) that I will gladly welcome morning sickness and vomiting if it means I remain pregnant and have a healthy child. I didn't say it would all be in good grace, so I have wiggle room to complain if it gets bad, but for right now? This nausea is so welcome.


So I'd intended to get home and write about our wonderful vacation, our fabulous pictures, and the great story of how I told my mom.

Instead, I woke up in a panic. My boobs aren't agony to touch. They don't feel as tender and heavy and full. It was 7:00. I didn't have to get up to pee in the middle of the night. And I didn't feel tired or exhausted, even though I haven't had enough rest the last few nights. No signs of gas or bloat either.

In other words, I woke feeling that most of my pregnancy symptoms were gone.

Panic set in, and I frantically started grabbing and kneading my boobs, something that would have been horribly painful two days ago. Nope, they definitely didn't hurt like they used to. I went to the bathroom and peed. It wasn't the urgency I'd been feeling. I checked my cervix - it wasn't the very low, spongy soft cervix it was yesterday or the day before. Of course that was at night, and it's lower then. . . I went back to bed to try to fall asleep again, and noticed I didn't feel the same relief cramping I'd been feeling after peeing. Tentatively, I poked my boobs again, and again, they felt perfectly normal.

I felt like I was choking on anxiety. I woke up DH. "Honey, my boobs don't hurt anymore."

"That's great baby," he mumbles, half asleep.

"No! No it's not! And I didn't have to get up in the middle of the night to pee. What does it mean?" Dh is more awake now, and looking slightly afraid of this crazy person that took over his pregnant wife's body and made her symptoms disappear.

He speaks in a tired, calm, soothing, slow voice (like they tell hostage negotiators to use). "Hon, it means your boobs are less sore and you didn't drink anything close to bed."

"But I did!" I wail. "I drank a bottle of water last night after dinner, remember? This is a bad sign isn't it?" He eyes me warily and then pats his side of the bed, and I sit down next to him.

"Honey, you know perfectly well that symptoms can come and go. You know that your boobs are less sore in the morning anyway. You know you aren't having bad cramps or spotting. I know you are anxious, but you need to calm down."

It comes out as a whisper, a pitiful and quiet admission that I've been trying to avoid making. "I'm scared."

He says, "I know."

And that's where we are.

I'm scared today. I'm beyond scared. I'm utterly terrified. All the statistics I know, all the things I know about pregnancy and symptoms and what they mean and don't mean - well all of that means very little in the face of this consuming anxiety that Something.Is.Wrong. I don't have any reason to think that. No earthly reason to feel that, and yet, I am utterly terrified. My mind is doing the mental equivalent of hiding underneath or behind a large piece of furntiure, rocking back and forth, humming tunelessly.

I have wanted to have a positive attitude all along. To appreciate as many symptoms as possible and to stay upbeat despite the agony that has been taking off my bra. To revel in each day of pregnancy, and enjoy each moment that I am given with this baby. I have wanted to be able to say at the end of my pregnancy - whether that is in 35 weeks or 35 days - to say that I had no regrets and I loved that special time with that child.

But thinking that and hoping for it and the crippling fear I feel now are difficult to reconcile. I don't know how to turn the switch off again and just enjoy this. I know that my appointment tomorrow is causing some of this anxiety. I'm afraid she will tell me I'm not pregnant, or that my bloodwork will come back with levels that are really low or off and that this is not a viable pregnancy.

I've never believed in jinxes before, but I worry that I have jinxed things by telling my mom and other people so early. That taking pictures with a sign announcing our pregnancy (though we've got no intention of sending them out until December) has tipped the universe against us or something. Nothing feels wrong with my body - no odd feelings, no unusual aches or pains, no severe cramping, no bleeding or spotting of any kind. I just feel this wave of doom and I am filled with fear.

I've even tried to pray. Now, I believe in God. I consider myself a Christian, and I believe in Christ. The Nicene creed? I believe that. I don't follow tenets as I ought though, because I've been so turned off of organized religion. And I'll admit, I've been angry with God about a few things and that has changed me from someone who used to pray daily to someone who doesn't. But I still feel God in my life and I still believe in Him. So I prayed this morning. And I rememer that I prayed after sex this time. I know, that seems weird and maybe a little icky, and definitely wasn't something I did all the time. It's something I'd forgotten about, honestly. I just remember feeling so full of love and so hopeful near ovulation, that I found myself just saying a little prayer - "Please, God, let this be the one. Please God, give us a child." And now I'm pregnant.

Only I'm filled with fear. I prayed and prayed hard today and things feel a little better. I feel less like I'm drowning in fear and like I can more easily accept that this is going to go according to a plan I can't see. I hate to be all 'God's plan' about it, because I mean that differently than I think a lot of folks do. But I do believe what is in my header - which is what my friend wrote back to me after I emailed her in my panic - and so I'm repeating that over and over and trying hard to remember that in the end, all will be well. And all will be well. And all manner of things will be well.