Wednesday, October 31, 2007

My day so far...

Woke up.
Felt Myles move.
Smiled.
Showered.
Bought donuts.
Came to work.
Got irritated by client request(s).
Ate donuts.
Didn't feel baby Myles move.
Freaked out.
Went home and got doppler.
Felt baby Myles move.
Cried.
Came back to work.
Tried to appease client(s).
Walked down to Hardees for lunch.
Laughed with big burly contractor at his "The Saints Go Marching In" ringtone.
Discovered a double cheeseburger, instead of the single I paid for, in my to-go bag.

How's your day been?

(Should I add a category of posts? Something like "f***ed-up mental state" maybe?)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Kindergarten madness

I am a reasonable person. (I am! Stop laughing!) And I have tried to follow all the rules and not "rock the boat." But my patience is wearing thin with this kindergarten business. But I think I may just reach my breaking point soon. And whether it is hormonally induced or not, I simply do not care.

Let's recap...
~There is no time to take off your recess clothes before lunch...you must wear them while eating.
~A note must be on file in order to pick your child up from school...but you have to keep sending an additional one every morning until the school finally catches on.
~You must actually set foot IN the gym in order for your child to be released to you (Unless you're a man, then you can do whatever you like...And please don't expect the teacher to know where your child is if you are a few minutes late).
~An "art shirt" is required, though nobody tells you this until AFTER your child attends his first art class without one.

And then there are the additions from this past week...

A form is sent home asking parents to sign up to volunteer for different jobs at the three planned parties during the year (Halloween, Christmas, and Valentine's). I signed the form and indicated that I would be available for whatever job at whatever party...no preference. The Halloween party was scheduled for Friday the 26th and I still hadn't heard anything. So on Tuesday the 23rd, I inquired and was told that the teacher assigns all the volunteers to one group out of the three and if I hadn't heard anything about this one, I would be involved in one of the other ones. Because they, "really don't need 26 parents at one event."

I get the logic. What I don't get is the total lack of respect for the parent volunteers. Is it so much to ask, since she has obviously already done the assignment part of things, to just let us know which group we'll be in? so maybe we can plan ahead?

But then, planning ahead is apparently not her strong suit, as illustrated by today's note sent home with my child. Please send in a 1 lb. coffee can or round oatmeal container and please send in this container on November 1, 2007.

Do you see that date?!?! That is THURSDAY! TWO DAYS FROM TODAY! I do not HAVE a 1lb coffee can or round oatmeal container! ARRRGGGHHH!!!!!!!! (Luckily, my parents live pretty close to daycare and my father is going to rescue me on this one and offer up one of the coffee cans he's been storing stuff in on his workbench...thanks Dad...you're my hero!)

And yes, the wait-in-the-gym power-play is still in full force...on the days the teacher is there anyway. Apparently some days she leaves early and leaves her children in the care of another teacher or an aide. I have NO problems picking up my kid on those days. He sees me, the monitor smiles at us, and we leave. On those days, whether he meets me at the door of the gym or not is a non-issue. But on the days the teacher remains...my entire parental body must be IN the gym or she will point downward and tell MY child to sit back down in his place and wait until my ever-growing-hugeness enters the gym (imagine a sit command directed at a dog...yeah...like that). And then she will look at me with that look...self satisfaction and smugness. (Never fear, my response is equally adult...I ignore her completely).

I can't wait for Parent-Teacher conferences on November 13th. We're going to have such a nice chat!

Another day, another appointment

As if you couldn't guess by yesterdays oh-so-cheerful post, I had another OB appointment this morning. Everything looks fine. Everything always looks fine. We're 'so glad this is so hum-drum-boring." If I didn't know my own history, I would think I was making it all up and I really was a normal woman (Is it me, or do I sound a bit like Pinocchio there..."I wish I was a real boy?" I think I need to reduce my daily Disney intake.).

I just need to keep the pre-appointment freakouts at bay for 26 more days...but I'm running out of distractions that work. The doubting chorus is too loud to drown out these days. I can't concentrate on much other than keeping track of the last time I tested my blood sugar, the last time I ate, and the last time I felt Myles move. So I'm watching a lot of television, crocheting on multiple projects (I promise an update soon), shopping for gifts for friends and secret pals, shopping for baby, and hanging out with my guys and my animals (and trying not to be too cranky with them).

Speaking of cranky, I feel like maybe I should issue an apology to any friends and family I have offended or irritated recently. I'm sorry. No excuses. I'm just sorry.

A friend emailed me today and I found myself nodding vigorously and saying, "Yeah...that's exactly it!"
I know I can't possibly put my mind, heart, and body in your place, but to the best of my ability I think I would probably, best case scenario, be mentally shutting down right about now and waiting in some way for it all to be over, to breathe again.

I'm waiting for it all to be over...one way or another. So I shut down until then and just wait. I have all these thoughts and feelings swirling around that make no sense without context...and I simply can't provide the context for them right now. It's easier to just mentally shut down and wait. At first I thought it was laziness. But now I realize it's just self-preservation.

The possibility of failure...of another dead baby...became very real to me the other day when someone made an off-handed comment about how things would "work out" for me "this time." I wanted to scream, "You don't know that!" And suddenly the thoughts I had so neatly pushed away came flooding in. I was back in that place...making that phone call to my mom, riding in the car to the hospital with my Dad driving and Steve crying in the seat behind me, hugging my Sam and telling him his brother couldn't come home to live with us, hiding at work so I didn't have to face the looks...it's all there.

Next Wednesday is another ultrasound and NST. Then there are two appointments after that...and November 25th is the confirmed date to "push the eject button early"(yeah, my OB is a laugh riot). I try to imagine that day. I hope for that day. Because that other day...the one from two years ago...

I can't do that again.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Dead baby soundtrack

Someone (I'm sorry, I can't remember who), posted about the incessant chorus that plays in the background ALL.THE.TIME.

Mine is here...non-stop...singing...taunting...

32 weeks
just four more
you think you'll make it?
another day closer
Alex died at 35 weeks
what makes you think you'll get that precious extra week?
what makes you think this will work?
a living baby?
you're not that special
you only have dead babies now
dead babies
dead babies
dead babies


It's got a terrible tune, and you just can't dance to it.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Thank you!

My dear friend, Shinny, sent me this, along with a note to Myles.

Thank you Shinny! I'm working on something special for you. I hope to have it done (and actually shipped) before baby girl arrives.

My other dear friend, Cynthia, sent me a dozen candy roses (I haven't unwrapped one yet...they MIGHT be chocolate), with a lovely note letting me know that she's with me to the end.

It's so strange how the smallest things can make you smile and cry at the same time. I NEVER imagined I would find the kind of friends I have along this journey. Where there was nothing but darkness there is love and happiness and friendship. Thank you for the gifts...but more importantly...thank you for being my friends...my support.

Do you really want to see me cry?

-------------------------------------------
You know what you shouldn't encounter just before having your blood pressure taken and submitting to a non-stress test?

STRESS

Ah-ha! Okie dokie!

So then, dear nurse, you should not look at me with your darn chipper smile (while I'm hefting my fat ass onto the scale) and ask, "So why are we doing these non-stress tests for you?"**
-------------------------------------------
It also occurs to me that there is something "wrong" about laying on an exam table, strapped to a fetal heart monitor, trying to pay attention to the movements of the living baby inside your belly...while explaining your dead baby history to your nurse.
-------------------------------------------
I appreciate the fact that everyone assumes that pregnancy and babies are a happy topic. I really do.

And I appreciate that my son's soccer coach was making polite chit-chat with us. I really do.

I am just SO glad she coyly suggested that we will "need a girl next" at this time in my life. Because if it had been a couple months ago, I probably would have burst into tears on her and made her feel really bad.
-------------------------------------------
"When is the baby due?"

"Well...December 22nd, but we're planning a c/s for November 25th."

"Oh really? That's awfully early. Any reason?"

(Thinking to myself: No, we just threw a dart at a calendar and that's what we came up with. For God's sake, nurse, read my freaking chart!)

"I grow big babies and we're hoping to avoid any more freak infections like those that killed my last two babies."

"Oh...ok."

(Thinking to myself: So glad you approve.)
-------------------------------------------
"When is the baby due?"

"November 25th," I lied.

I just didn't want to explain.
-------------------------------------------
My explanation to opposing counsel...
"Well, I have a c-section planned for November 25th, and I won't be back before the first of the new year, no matter what, so we'll have to schedule for sometime after that."

No matter what? My brain is permanently warped.
-------------------------------------------
Sam: "I hope Baby Myles doesn't have breathing problems like me."

(Thinking to myself: As long as he's breathing.)
-------------------------------------------
***Everything is good. Hemoglobin A1C = 5.3 (anything less than 6 is good). Weight = no way would I share that publicly. Baby Myles decided to take our non-stress test time as an opportunity to flip over. Freaky. That's the only way I can describe it. Next appointment Tuesday, October 30th.
-------------------------------------------

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

We all have some explaining to do

I learned a very important lesson this morning. It never hurts to ask your five-year-old the questions that are in your head. In fact, I would encourage it.

Last year, Sam was invited to a pirate-themed birthday party. Against my better judgment, I bowed to mommy guilt and bought him a foam pirate sword so that he could fully participate. You see, I have never been one to like weapons play. We have a couple super-soakers and a bug-sucking gun, but that's about it as far as toys that in any way resemble weapons (oh, and the light sabre a friend gave me...yes, I'm a nerd). We don't watch television with violence in it when Sam is in the room. In fact, before attending the pirate party, we had to explain what a pirate was.

So I was more than a bit disturbed this morning when I was ironing my shirt for work and I see Sam charge into the bedroom, wielding the sword, and proclaiming, "He slices...he dices..."

Wha...? Where did that come from? And is it wrong that I immediately finished the thought in my head with, "He juliennes?" I clearly need to stop watching so much television. But I digress...

Without thinking, I jumped right in with both feet and asked, "He what? What did you say?"

He repeated the offending phrase while looking oh-so-sure of himself.

I couldn't help myself and I asked, "What exactly are you slicing and dicing?"

"I don't know."

"Are you slicing and dicing vegetables?" I asked, knowing full well the answer was not going to make this any easier.

"No."

"Well then what are you slicing and dicing?"

"I don't know...I don't even know what that means...slicing and dicing. Besides, Jonathan says it all the time."

Ah-ha! Here we go! Fasten your seatbelts and keep your arms and legs inside the ride until it comes to a complete and full stop.

What followed was a conversation about a long long time ago how there were no laws and no policemen and no jails...how everyone carried a sword...and when someone did something you didn't like or did you wrong, you would hurt them with a sword. So when we're talking slicing and dicing, we're talking about people. And you know what that means. The discussion of death and its permanence...of baby brothers who don't come back...ever.

And my son, in that moment, showed me how much I need to learn about parenting...how much my words shape his understanding of the world...how much I need to find a new way for myself and for him. He said, "Yeah, but what would happen if I stabbed a cloud with my sword? Baby Alex and Baby Travis would come back then, right?"

Heaven. I have previously taken the easy way out and explained heaven in a way that his little brain could not possibly comprehend (a fact that should seem painfully obvious since the poor kid is having trouble understanding rhyming and opposites...heaven?!?!...am I freaking stupid?!?!). It's time for something more. In ten seconds or less, I had to try to undo the damage I had done with my lazy parenting. I'm not sure I did it well at all. But Sam put the sword down. And he knows that it's better to ask what something means before you go around repeating it. He knows more than I do, apparently.

Friday, October 19, 2007

I love you, Grandpa

The man who was my (biological) paternal grandfather died when I was small. I don't consciously remember him except in the photographs of his very serious face and the stories my mom told me about how I, as a baby, found him so fascinating that I would stare at him, unblinking, for hours. He was, by all accounts, a difficult man to understand and love.

I suppose that is why it always struck me as somehow poetic that my grandmother then married someone who, I have to imagine, was my biological paternal grandfather's polar opposite. My grandpa. He has always been my grandpa...as long as I can remember. Even though the greeting cards were always signed, "Mahlon and Ruby," I always referred to them as grandpa and grandma. And today I learned that my grandpa is gone.

Family with blood connections could not have been closer and more loved than this family created by marriage. A fact that he prided himself on. A fact that he stated directly to me that Christmas visit when I was pregnant with Samuel when he held my hand and whispered to me, in confidence, "I consider them all my children...and you all my grandchildren...regardless of how it happened to come about."

He was the life of any party...able to laugh and make everyone else laugh. That's what I will remember the most...his laughter...his smile...that spirit that made everyone like him no matter where we went. He flirted with waitresses...no...he flirted with every woman he ever met...in a charming and endearing way that made everyone want to be around him. He could meet a person and consider him or her a friend in less than ten minutes. And he ALWAYS saw the value of new friends.

I think I was about 10 years old when we went on a family vacation out west. We road a bicycle built for two, my grandpa and me. And we were late everywhere we went because he always had time to stop to talk to new people...to tell a story...to play a trick...to offer a bit of advice. Not overbearing and not condescending...just friendly.

He love to explore new places. Places you have never heard of...and places you've only heard of in books but never imagined actually visiting. If something struck his interest, he would head in that direction and not be satisfied until he had figured out the who's and why's and what's. Where in the heck IS Wall Drug? Grandpa could tell you. I remember when the fuel pump went out on the truck at the top of a mountain and Grandpa drove it BACKWARDS down the mountain to the nearest service station (and then drove it back up so he could see what he was there to see...he would NOT be deterred).

He collected pens. It started out as a collection from each of the fifty states in the Union and developed into a pen collection from every interesting place he visited (and from most of the interesting people he had met along the way). At last count, I think he had several hundred pens.

He was the kind of grandpa who would visit you once a year and make you feel as if you had never missed a day apart. He couldn't use the telephone because he was so hard of hearing and he never wore his hearing aids...but yet he ALWAYS knew what was going on with the family. He was a farmer...and his home and his family were important.

He loved to play games. Every Christmas, once the dinner dishes were washed and the wrapping paper carnage was burning in the fireplace of the old farmhouse, he would call us all together for a rousing game of UNO. Young and old...as many as we could fit around the kitchen table...we would play cards and tell stories and laugh and eat leftovers. The games would often stretch into the night until someone was declared the ultimate winner or too many of us became too bleary-eyed and could not see the cards properly (or just outright fell asleep sitting in place).

The last few years were not kind to grandpa. He suffered a series of strokes that left his personality a mere shadow of what it had been. The things I loved about him were slowly replaced with the characteristics common to those with advancing Alzheimer's. And I will admit that I did not visit since the Christmas when he said some hurtful things to me. Not because I was angry with him for saying them, but because I know he didn't mean them. I know that was not him speaking...not really. And selfishly I just could not stand to have any more of my happy memories of him replaced with anything different. And though I feel like I'm making excuses, I knew that my fragile emotions could not handle anything else than love and happiness. I wanted him to always remain as I remembered him...I wanted to remember my grandpa. So I stayed away and did not have the chance to say goodbye. I am a coward in that regard, but I do not regret it now...because I can remember and smile. I think grandpa would have approved of that.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Baby likes you better on your left side

Did you ever notice that doctors, especially OB's, say some pretty strange things to you when you're visiting their office? Are they trying to be cute? Funny? What? Because, quite frankly, I find it annoying. But I'm hormonal and bitchy, so what do I know?

This wasn't my doctor, but another doctor in the practice who just came in to "check on me" during my NST. I suspect she was checking on me because my non-stress test today was not good when lying on my back. Duh. But that was the result of dealing with a nurse I have never dealt with before who obviously did not know my history (or how much I actually know about pregnancy gone haywire). So after 15 minutes of not much, I was unceremoniously rolled to my left side (which is no small task these days) and monitored for another 20 minutes. Necessitating a "check" by a doctor (just in case there was bad news, I'm guessing). Dr. A declared the strip another TOB (thing of beauty).

Baby Myles has most definitely flipped positions. I could hear him moving all around on the monitor but couldn't feel much of anything. I'm thinking breech presentation facing my back. Guess it doesn't matter, since he's not coming out the old-fashioned way anyway.

Which leads to the big announcement. If the hospital lab confirms they can process samples on that day, we are planning for amnio and delivery on Sunday, November 25th. Yes, it's a Sunday. Yes, it's the Sunday after Thanksgiving. So there is a good possibility the lab will say, "hell no." We shall see. It has to be done sometime around the holiday, because Dr. A will be unavailable the week after. He's still technically in the military and is signed up for close quarters combat training. He seemed really excited about it. (Boys!)

Welcome to the world Piglet!!!

Weighing in at 8lbs and 1oz and measuring 21 1/2 inches long...with a full head of dark hair and huge feet (according to his Aunt Lizzie).

Congratulations Laura!!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Moms...please help!

I'm still very much a first-time mom with Samuel. There are things that happen that I fake my way through and think, "Hey, I did pretty good with that one." Then there are things that happen that I am completely and totally stumped on. I fake my way through and think, "Did I do that right?" So I need your thoughts on this (hypothetical) situation...

At daycare, your child and his friend are caught deliberately spitting on another friend...reducing her to tears. While child has been in trouble for misbehaving before, this is the first time child has deliberately been blatantly cruel to another child (that you know of), and the "ganging up" aspect is particularly troublesome to you, especially when all three children have been, up to this point, good friends.

What do you do (besides freak out that your child has become a bad seed and quietly cry yourself to sleep at night)?

What they don't tell you about subsequent pregnancy after loss(es)

~That it will f*** up your mind and leave you unable to think about anything but the last time you felt baby move. Seriously. Work, hobbies, television...you will not comprehend a thing. You will read the same paragraph a thousand times...ask people to repeat things...find yourself watching a television program and realize you have no idea what is happening (thank heavens for DVRs). Take "pregnancy brain" and multiply it by a million. It's awful. And if you're a Type A, like me, it will drive you mad that you have spent an entire day looking at your blank computer screen and have basically accomplished nothing.

~That you will have deep dark irrational fears about losing everyone you love and being left completely alone. That you will actually contemplate how you will continue your life without those people you love. That you will make an effort to say "I love you" because you don't ever want to have the regret of not having said it.

~That with every twinge, sore throat, and sniffle, you will sense impending doom. That you will have to remind yourself that most babies live and sometimes a cold is just a cold. That it is really unnecessary to change clothes three times a day and/or wash your hands and body a hundred times each day.

~That you will be more tired than you have ever been in your life and a good night's sleep without nightmares is a GOOD thing...not some harbinger of bad news. In fact, you may find yourself yelling at the top of your lungs at those signs you used to take such comfort in. Make sure, when the tears come, that you are not driving a car.

~That other people have moved on. That while it is a very real and present danger to you, your losses are things of the past that have no bearing on today for almost everyone you know. It is an immediate thought for you every single second of the day (except when you distract yourself enough to push it down). But that other people will often need to be reminded and it can take a toll on your patience and your understanding.

~That there is happiness to be found in being pregnant, but it probably won't be the same as you had before...and you have to accept that.

Thanks...but

Apparently, all I need to do is complain about him, drink some city water, and spend an hour on all fours (thanks Sarah...I totally forgot about trying that), for Myles to take pity on his mama and move around. I swear I will never never never again complain about him being up too high in my ribs. I'd rather not breathe than not poop any day.

And thank you all for your...ummm...(helpful?)...suggestions. While I appreciate the thought, it's a bit more complicated. And rather than discuss the personal nature of my hoo-ha and the germs that reside within (not to mention making Steve turn another ten shades of red), I will just say that things will remain chaste and pure until this babe is born kicking and screaming (and then for whatever recovery period is necessary).

I am feeling better today. Now I need to find some breakfast. My stomach has been growling at me since 4am. I guess the tank is empty. Hallelujah!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Warning: Ungrateful pregnancy whine ahead

I thought I had something to complain about before. HA! hahahahahahah! HA! HA! HA!

Oh you sweet naive (stupid stupid stupid) pregnancy lady of a mere two months ago. How you were fooled!

NOW...NOW you have something to complain about!

And let me preface this by saying that I will do anything and everything to bring Baby Myles home alive...happy and healthy.

But MY GOD! This transverse position in my belly is killing me! I am going to split down the middle! I know he's not coming out the traditional way, but would it be too much to ask for him to find a head-down position in there anyway? (and, oh my God, I just about typed, "would it kill him to find a head-down position in there?" and had to rephrase it...ack!)

My intestines are squished and PAINFUL, under what I can only assume is his big old noggin. If I eat anything, his head sits in the way and I get...for lack of a better description...all backed up in there! My bladder feels bruised. My Lovenox bruises have bruises from being kicked at way down low (and trust me, I TRIED to put them in places where I thought he couldn't get to...which was hilarious to witness, I'm sure).

I had left lower intestinal issues Saturday night and Sunday during the day, which led to me walking funny, which led to me having right lower hip pain yesterday and today. Add the pressure of him on both hips due to his position (I imagine him standing between my hips, hands up over his head on one side and feet planted on the other, basically prying me apart like a wishbone)...and I am just sore and cranky. And no, I can't take a warm bath because of my infection weirdness. Must not introduce any foreign germs into the promised land (and yes, that means I'm also cranky because I've been...um...without...for what seems like a VERY LONG time).

This baby has turned himself all around and is facing down and back...which means I don't feel most of his movements unless my hand is actually resting on my belly. I'm not a big belly rubber, so this annoys me too. And it made for a very exciting freak out when I used the doppler this morning and heard silence. I found it...on the opposite side of my belly from where I'm used to finding it...and down low instead of up high. Yeah. Funny.

So...if I stand on my head, will it move him into a more comfortable position? I can deal with almost anything. But the pain is starting to piss me off.

(I promise I will follow this up with a wonderfully-moving-sappy-fuzzy-bunny post about how I long to hold this baby in my arms and all the dreams I have for him...as soon as I can sit long enough without crying).

Monday, October 15, 2007

October 15, 2007



Today I reflect on what might have been, as I remember our lost babies, Alex and Travis.

Today I hope for the future in what I dream for our boys, Samuel and Myles.

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day, 2007.

Congratulations Sarah!!!

Still no name...but good news, nonetheless!

Congratulations to Sarah and Steve on the arrival of your baby boy! We are so so happy for you!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Baby stuff (as requested)

Bedding/nursery decoration

Infant carrier

Stroller

Bouncy seat

Swing (version with plug-in)

Cute little onesie that says, "Mommy's wakeup call"

Waterproof changing pads

White long-sleeve onesies

Cloth diapers for burp cloths

Little Brother onesie

Gymboree spree


Small diaper bag

~Bear bath sponge (a gift from Shinny...thank you sweetie!)
~Extra wide baby gate (Perfect doggy gate to contain the herd)
~Jumperoo (I got a great deal on Amazon.com...with free shipping)
~Breastpump
~Lansinoh
~Playtex drop-ins bottles & liners

Things I still need/want:
~Baby K'tan
~Mobile to match nursery/bedding set
~Fisher Price Ocean Wonders Aquarium
~Glider & ottoman (Of course, I'm kidding. I'll probably get this one.
~Playard
~Nursing bras
~Flannel pajama pants (for me)

Dear Secret Pal

If you're still trying to find something for me...I would LOVE LOVE LOVE this pattern.

And no, subtlety is not my strong suit.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Bad Daddy

So I have to give equal time to my husband's parenting (mis)adventures...because they make me giggle.

Yesterday, Steve forgot to make Sam a lunch for daycare. This packing a lunch thing is relatively new for us, as Sam's daycare used to provide meals every day, no charge. Now, you have to decide which days you want your child to buy lunch from them, and prepay two dollars per meal for the entire month. Yesterday was not a day Sam had prepaid for. And though neither of us could remember the exact policy, we were SURE Sam would not go hungry for the day (as was our consensus on the telephone when I discovered Sam's empty lunchbox on the kitchen counter early in the morning).

Steve walked Sam into daycare and explained to Miss T that he had forgotten to pack Sam a lunch and would she please see that he was taken care of at mealtime. No problem. Well, apparently, our overly dramatic son decided to use mealtime as his stage. When lunchtime rolled around, he burst into tears and approached Miss J with, "Miss J...(sob)...my Daddy didn't pack me a lunch today...(sob)...will you please feed me something for lunch?"

I swear, that kid is going to win an Academy Award some day!

The sensitivity is horrifying

NC had her D&C yesterday...and came into work today. Since she didn't know she was pregnant...she "wasn't really attached" to the idea...and seems to be doing ok (she was laughing because she said it felt like they were all waiting for her to fall apart and she just didn't feel like she needed to). I hope that isn't just denial talking.

She had unusual bleeding for the last day and a half and that's why she went to the doctor. When they did the ultrasound to "check things out," they discovered she was 11 weeks pregnant but there was no fetal activity. On the advice of her doctor, she opted for the D&C rather than wait it out because she was bleeding so badly.

First, they put her in L&D where she could hear all the happy baby sounds. Though they did put her off in "the room they use for these things."

Then, they did her admission paperwork and asked the standard questions, "How many pregnancies?" This is her second. "And do you have any living children?" Yes, she has a beautiful daughter. And do you know what the response was each time (bar none)? "Oh good!" As if having a living child at home was some sort of remedy for losing this pregnancy.

Then, her D&C was scheduled for 1pm. But was pushed back to 3pm. Her doctor oh-so-openly explained that they had to move her because another woman delivered (healthy) twins at 1pm and they needed the operating room. Nice, huh?

In their defense, they did give her all the literature on pregnancy loss and offered the services of a priest (it's a Catholic hospital). But STILL. For as often as miscarriage occurs, you would think they would somehow be BETTER at this.

I'm glad she felt like she could talk to me. But at the same time, I hate being the go-to gal in these things.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Sometimes I hate email

I was late logging into my office email this morning. When I did, this is what I found...

NC just called in. She has to have surgery today - she was apparently pregnant and must have a D&C now. She was upset and I couldn't/wouldn't ask for details. She said she might be in tomorrow - - I told her to just take care of herself, don't worry about it.

Sometimes I hate email.

Simply beautiful

Check out his MySpace page, where Craig Cardiff has his original song, Smallest Wingless, that was written for Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep infant bereavement photography.

We closed the curtains...
and held each other...

...and cried.

We said hello at the same time we said goodbye.


Thank you to Craig, for this simply beautiful gift. We are honored that you care enough to lend your talents to those of us who understand your lyrics too well.

The longest six minutes

8:29am
He didn't move on the way to work.
He normally shakes to the music on the radio
when I play it too loud.
And he's not moving now.
Isn't the morning dance about now?

8:31am
Sitting in the bathroom...crying...begging, "Please move."
Pressing shaking fingers into my belly.
Did I feel something
or was that my imagination?

8:32am
Drinking hot coffee and ice cold water.
You have to wake up.
I can't do this again.

8:33am
Unzipping pants and rubbing clammy skin.
I can't trust myself to know anything anymore.
I should have dopplered before I came to work
but I'm sure I felt something in the shower.
Or did I?

8:35am
Wake up...(jiggle)...wake up...(push)...wake up!
A slow slide across my belly.
My cautious smile.
A kick behind my belly button.
I'm sorry I woke you up.
But you have to learn...
you can't scare mommy like that.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

TOB

Surgeon speak for "Thing of Beauty." That was our non-stress test today...a thing of beauty.

So why can't I just go with that and feel some sort of reassurance? Something other than impending doom?

Because I went shopping. Surely the universe can't handle all that optimism from me.

And I'm 29w3d. So close, yet so far.

And we have buried two babies who were perfect things of beauty until they weren't.

I think it's going to take more than a TOB to overcome this feeling...this fresh wave of grief.

Maybe some ice cream...

Monday, October 08, 2007

Genius, I tell you!

Standing in Baby Depot, looking at pregnancy items (maternity belts, snuggle pillows, etc.), my son sees "the pregnancy wedge" and says, "You should buy me one of those as a ramp for my Lightning McQueen."

Always thinking outside of the box, I tell ya. I'm so proud.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Half a leap of faith

We went shopping.

Infant carrier - check
Stroller - check
Baby's First Christmas outfit - check
Bouncy seat - check
Swing -check
Cute little blue argyle sleep sac - check
Sleep positioner - check
Baby bath sponges - check
Cute little onesie that says, "Mommy's wakeup call" - check
Waterproof changing pads - check
White long-sleeve onesies - check
Cloth diapers for burp cloths - check

Nothing is to be removed from boxes or un-tagged.

But it's here.
In our house.
Waiting.

With all this hope floating around I feel slightly nauseous.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Some things are normal

I haven't been to a high school football game in 17 years! YEARS, people! SEVENTEEN of them!

So what is drawing me in after all this time? My son, of course. He wants to see a real football game. And since I did such a crappy job getting him to a real baseball game this year (and it is too late and therefore too expensive to go now), I think this is a decent deal.

Of course, this old pregnant lady ain't actually been yet...ask me how I feel about the deal in a few hours after my ass is numb from sitting on a bleacher seat and I am partially deaf from the guy next to me yelling and...

Why am I doing this again?

Oh...right...my son. This should be fun. Right?
-------------------------------------------

It WAS so much fun! The man and woman sitting next to us were very nice and kept us updated on the Cleveland Indians playoff game (the man had a radio earphone in his ear). We ate pepperoni rolls and hot dogs and french fries...and I came home with the worst heartburn that was SO worth it. AND...we WON! Sam is convinced the team listened to him when he yelled, "Get him," or, "Defense," or, "Go (team)!" He's so stinkin' cute, I just can't tell you.

Steve and I shared one haunted moment when a woman sitting a few rows down from us removed a VERY TINY baby from an infant carrier. But we didn't let it ruin it...we stayed in the moment and kept it fun...and happy.

I will be sitting in my cushioned recliner today...with my feet up...nursing some interesting after-effects of sitting on the hard bleachers for a few hours (if we go again, I will definitely be taking a seat cushion to sit on). But even with all that, it was SO worth it to be normal for a while. Where nobody knew us and our "story."

Don't worry your pretty little head

Health providers seem to agree that prenatal counseling is key. But some worry that all those "dos" and "don'ts" can overwhelm expectant moms, leaving them feeling conflicted, guilty and anxious.

This is exactly the kind of crap that makes me want to scream. Are we, as women, so incapable of handling our own health care that it is preferable to be ignorant? Are we weak and immature creatures who need protected? If you are overwhelmed by information about your pregnancy, I can only imagine how overwhelmed you're going to be by actually parenting a child!

But then again, I guess we shouldn't counsel moms and dads about childhood illnesses...we don't want to overwhelm them with information! I bet the insurance industry would love that approach. Or how about developmental milestones? I mean, it's better that they not worry and let little Johnny fall hopelessly behind before they get him some help.

Good grief!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Appointments--the long version

OK...so that last post was supposed to be saved as a draft until I could flush it out. I was on my way to Sam's soccer practice and didn't want to forget any of the relevant details...and apparently hit publish post by mistake. And you, you lovely internets, were so quick to post wonderful, kind and supportive comments that I just couldn't make the post disappear and have you wondering what the heck was going on. So here...now...today...and without further ado...I give you more of the story...in all its glory.

My ultrasound tech, as kind and lovely as she was, made the fatal mistake in the first two minutes upon entering the room. I had to hate her. I WISH WISH WISH they would teach these medical professionals that it is entirely inappropriate to say things to the patient like, "So, you have gestational diabetes, is that why we're having this ultrasound today?" I mean, seriously, look at the damn chart! It's all computerized. One, two, three keystrokes and it's right there! And yes...four pregnancies...this is my fourth...yes...one living child. No...the two dead kids did not die from gestational diabetes.

And then the actual doctor radiographer/ultrasound doctor/whatever you call him comes in, doesn't touch me (only watches while the tech re-does some of the scan for his benefit...which makes me wonder why he didn't just sit in in the first place...), and says, "Baby looks good...right on target...fluid is a little generous...you ARE watching your sugars right?"

Seriously, even after all that we have been through, I have to deal with the fat prejudice again?!?! Yes, I'm fat. Yes, I know about all the complications of gestational diabetes. But guess what? I don't HAVE gestational diabetes. We are monitoring it and I am on the diet so that we can PREVENT it from even being a concern. But my numbers are good. And the two dead babies, in case you're wondering, died from INFECTIONS! Just measure the kid and tell me if we're even possibly on track for an early delivery, ok? (Which nobody ever addressed, but Steve and I figured out on our own after doing the math ourselves while everyone else was so concerned about the freaking non-existent gestational diabetes!)

OK...so not bad. We got cute pictures and Sam behaved through the entire thing. Yes, I bribed him with a trip to Toys R Us...so nominate me for worst mother of the year...I accept my failings. Anyway...in the u/s pics we can see that Baby Myles has a career as a circus acrobat ahead of him (or something equally bendy). He is mainly hanging out with his knees in front of his face and his feet over his head. So the kicks I was feeling near what I thought was his butt are actually kicks near what is his head. huh. Weird kid already.

I then had my first non-stress test for this pregnancy. Not bad, though Myles was decidedly unhappy about being poked and prodded during the ultrasound, so he had curled himself up in a ball that necessitated pushing the monitor into my belly to get good heart sounds (which made him even more unhappy and caused him to flail about in there). It was fun seeing him and listening to him and feeling him wiggle all around. I even smiled a few times during the u/s and the nst.

And then...the midwife. Now, I generally have nothing against doctors, nurses, midwives, or anybody. Unless, like the ultrasound tech, they start asking questions without even looking at my chart. So this grandmotherly-type woman comes into the exam room and starts with the grandmotherly-type questions. No problem. And then she asks THE question..."Why are you having non-stress tests this early?" Argh! So I tell her, as gently as possible, about my history. I knew the look was coming before I even opened my mouth. But even so, it was kind of funny to see her eyes grow bigger with each word that came out...to see her hands come up and cover her gaping mouth...to see her FINALLY turn to look at the magic computer screen that held all this information. Still no problem. I can deal with it. I'm used to it.

But THEN...then she just made me want to wring her grandmotherly little neck. She scooted her chair across the room and sat, quite literally, within my personal space (think knees touching...hands on mine in my lap...concerned head tilt), and asked, "So how ARE you doing?" OH MY FREAKING HELL! I think she expected me to cry. Instead, I pulled my hands out from under hers, shrugged, and said, "This is an old routine at this point...I'm just taking it one day at a time because I don't have much other choice." I swear, I could see all her idealistic happy-mommy delusions melt away into a puddle right in front of me. I'm seeing the chief OB at the hospital. I've consulted with specialists. I'm high risk times two. I mean, really...what did she expect me to say to her? What should I put in my birth plan? Good grief.

Did I mention that at my last appointment, two weeks ago, my OB mentioned that there was "another like me" on the west side of Cleveland? Yeah...freaks unite! So anyway...as this woman is trying her best to search her brain files for something crunchy granola and heartwarming to say to me, I'm thinking, "Yeah, you've never seen one of us before...get a good look. We're the mommies you don't get to see...we're the mommies you get to pretend don't exist in your world where everyone has happy wonderful flowery birth experiences. Take a GOOD look."

Too much? Maybe. But I realized, in that moment, sitting there with this stranger's knees touching mine, that I am SICK AND TIRED of being silent. Guess what?!?! All that bullshit about pregnancy and childbirth being wonderful, life-affirming experiences? It does us ALL a disservice. It minimizes the vast diversity of experience out there and puts up an almost impossible ideal. Think about it. How many women, after reading all the books and magazines, are completely happy with their "birth experience?" And why? Why are we disappointed? Because there is this ideal out there that we're all supposed to strive for. And anything less is considered some sort of failure (though no one would dare say it, you know the comparisons are being made). It's absolutely ridiculous. Years ago, it was considered a success if nobody died in childbirth. Somewhere along the line, we've been sold a bunch of horse shit that says that's not enough...that we're ENTITLED to a perfect experience. Now I don't know about you, but not much in life is perfect. Why in the world would we think that childbirth, with all its variables, would be perfect?

Sorry...don't get me riled up. :o)

We scheduled eight more appointments...all with Dr. A...none with the midwife (aren't you surprised?). Eight. Count em. Now I really get to freak out. The ultrasound doc reminded me to do my kick counts every day. I laughed at him. One of the nurses asked if I was sleeping ok. I laughed at her. The midwife said it was nice that baby was so reactive. I laughed at her. Funny funny stuff. Eight weeks. Please please please stay alive and come home with us in eight weeks. Please.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

28w3d---Still a boy



Important details:
~Still a boy
~Frank breech
~3lbs 12ozs
~Reactive
~140 baseline
~"Generous" fluid (You are watching your sugars, right?)
~Had to re-tell the story and get the look of horror, fun times
~Midwife doesn't give ANY personal space
~Do I have any questions? About what?
~I talk too much and literally babble when I want to head off the tears.
~Last eight appointments scheduled (hopefully)

Monday, October 01, 2007

Moment of mommy panic

The other day, Sam asked me, "So how does the baby come out of your stomach?"

Uhh...

(complete blank)

I know what I was feeling...but what was I thinking?

Mexican lasagna?

Chili?

Have I lost my mind completely?

The comedy that is my life

I work in the civil division of the county prosecutor's office for my county. My clients include all elected officials, departments, agencies, commissions, boards, etc. One of my main clients is the county Health Department. I represent them in compliance cases...making citizens comply with the Health Code (which includes the solid waste regulation and sewer/plumbing codes).

Saturday's home mail delivery included a letter from the county Health Department informing me that my plumbing permit has expired and my home has not had the required final plumbing inspection as required by the Code.

My first reaction...well that's news to me. One would think that one's contractor would have that inspection done before leaving a job site. Apparently, this is an erroneous belief. The homeowner is actually responsible for said inspection. When I called my contractor and asked if he had had it done, he replied with, "Oh no, no, that's your responsibility." Thanks...it was so nice of you to share that bit of information with me.

My second thought...this department is my client...I am their legal counsel...they couldn't have CALLED me as a courtesy?!?! And, more to the point, if their own legal counsel is unaware of this requirement, how do they/we/I reasonably expect Joe Citizen to have knowledge of said requirement? When I asked this question...I was informed that they COULD give out a handy little reference sheet of requirements when a person applies for a permit, but they don't because it would be too much of a hassle to change, etc., if/when the requirements are changed by a change in the Code.

I have GOT to get out of government work before I lose my mind.