Friday, August 29, 2008

Are You There, Percocet? It's Me, Sarah.

All went well with the d and c. We even got into the operating room ahead of schedule, by some miracle, and the most (physically) uncomfortable part of the whole ordeal was the IV placement and blood taking. In the end I opted for heavy sedation rather than general anesthesia, thanks in no small part to my pre-op nurse, who, upon hearing my offhand comment that I was feeling a little tense, replied, "Well, sure! I would be too, if they were going to put me under! I mean, when you're a nurse, when you know the things we know..." And then she SHOOK HER HEAD GRIMLY! Way to instill confidence in the medical process, Nurse Ratchet.

Let me just say, though, that was SOME heavy sedation. I remember absolutely nothing beyond my questioning the nurse, "Is that stuff in the IV going in already? I feel a little weird..." The next thing I knew I was back in my room, and abruptly began sobbing when I remembered what I had just woken up from. Then the nurse arrived, and I stopped crying, had some toast and Sprite, and slowly began to feel normal again.

Actually, I am now feeling remarkably cheerful, thanks to many little graces, not the least of which, I am sure, is the cocktail of pharmaceuticals currently in my veins.

Firstly, a massage gift certificate, complete with an offer for babysitting, from my perfect, thoughtful friend Jess (and completely incidentally, I have in my lifetime had THREE best friends named Jessica. I now tend to instinctively trust that someone named Jessica will be thoughtful and funny and loyal. Thoughts?)

Secondly, the fact that my house is pretty darn clean despite the flurry of the last few days. This is because my SIL and, of course, Jess, took turns babysitting my kids pretty much all day Wednesday so that I could get the pre-party scrubbing and fussing over and done with before the procedure. My mom offered to do it FOR me, but I quickly reminded her that I much prefer to do my own cleaning. Also, for me, there is no better therapy for conflicted emotions and frayed nerves than the smell of cleaning products wafting through my house.

Thirdly, my mom and MIL. Our family, I think, could not survive without them. My mom picked the kids up around ten this morning, and until about seven o' clock tonight, which is when I finally woke up and felt normal again, I could relax and trust that they were happy and cared for. They even got baths! And when I DID awake, and stumble out of my room to get hugs and kisses from my babies, there was waiting for me a perfect chicken casserole from my MIL, the kind with Velveeta, cream of mushroom, and French's onions baked to a crisp on top. This isn't always my kind of thing, but when you're feeling wobbly and pathetic, there are few things more comforting than a good casserole. Er, hotdish. Sorry, Tessie.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Resigned. Also, Drunk (Ha Ha, Just Kidding! Kind Of!)

After lots of waffling, I ended up calling the doctor's office first thing this morning and begging for another blood draw, just to reassure me that my hcg hadn't, like, leveled off or somehow gone back up or something. I knew this was a remote possibility at best, but I had to know. You can't go in for a procedure like that unless you're completely at rest in your mind, I think.

The doctor got the results rushed, and she called me this afternoon and said that my levels have slowed their descent a bit, but they're still going in the opposite direction that a healthy pregnancy would be. I said in a tiny voice, "But if they're slowing down, does that mean maybe...?" And she said, very kindly, that no, it just meant my hormones were taking their sweet time getting the message to my body to abort, and that if I let things go naturally she guessed it would be another two to four weeks before I'd lose the pregnancy on my own. She was very very kind. I just want to emphasize that. She kept saying things like, "You don't have to do anything at all yet if you're not ready."

But I think I am, now. I just want it done with, so that we can start moving on. My mind is finally coming to grips with the fact that, despite my sore breasts and my fatigue and my irritability, there is in fact no baby causing these symptoms. Just a cruel trick of nature, urging my uterus to cling to something that is no longer there.

So. I will see you on the other side, my friends. After I enjoy this rum and coke, which I've been craving for three solid weeks. (There's always a silver lining, I guess.) Thank you again for all your advise, which was very helpful. I had been planning not to get put out, just ask for a sedative, but after reading some of the comments I think I'm going with general anesthesia. I don't know if I want to be aware of the whole process, anyways, painful or not.

Well. Painful is such a relative term, isn't it?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Thank you all so very much for all your comments. I didn't even know I HAD forty-some readers! I feel humbled that so many people are, in some small way, sharing and carrying my sadness with me. It helps more than you know.

And now I need some more help, this time in the form of advise. At first I was all set to have the d and c, be done with it, and move on. Today, I'm feeling less certain. I called the office back to get my EXACT numbers and see just how much my hcg had dropped. It went from 3,000-something to 2,000-something in the course of four days. The doctor said this was a drastic enough drop that she felt sure there wasn't a chance of this being a viable pregnancy. Does that sound right to you guys? Is that a pretty big drop? Because I remember with my last miscarriage my hcg had gone down to 150 before I started bleeding.

Also, even if she's right and there's definitely no chance of this pregnancy continuing, should I maybe just let nature take its course? I'm really dreading the process of miscarrying on my own, but I also don't want to go through any surgery, no matter how minor, nor do I want to be put under anesthesia unnecessarily. And, not to be mercenary, but there is also the cost of our deductible to consider.

On the other hand, I know that often (such as was the case with my last m/c) even if your body expels the pregnancy on its own, there is often tissue or blood left in your uterus and they end up having to do a d and c anyways later on. So should I just get it over with now? And how long until I feel back to normal- I don't want to be dragging around on pain pills at Eli's party, but neither do I want to be doubled over with contractions caused by a natural miscarriage.

Sigh. It's really a bunch of crap that I have to make this decision on top of the general shittiness of realizing that for two weeks my body has only been pretending to be pregnant.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Sorry it's been so long. I was in Canada over the weekend, on an impromptu girls' weekend with my MIL, SIL, niece, aunt in law, and Adelay. It was really fun; we stayed in my MIl's family cottage on Lake Huron and enjoyed the secluded beach area. Then when it got dark we would have popcorn and watch girly movies until everyone crashed from the long days of playing in the water. I wished we could have stayed longer.


This morning I had an ultrasound. A gestational dating ultrasound, to be exact. I got a positive pregnancy test about two weeks ago, but since I conceived while I was breastfeeding, they wanted to check on the dates. I should have been seven weeks along today, according to my last period, but what we saw this morning was just a tiny, empty gestational sac, measuring at five weeks. Also, my hormone levels from my initial blood draw weren't where they should have been. They tried to be optimistic, to reassure us that maybe my dates were way off and that I was, in fact, just barely five weeks and it was too early to see an embryo, but I knew as soon as I heard the ultrasound tech's voice.

They did a second blood draw this morning, and called me with the results this afternoon. I was down on my knees, viciously scrubbing behind the toilet to keep my emotions at bay, as they told me that my hcg levels had dropped instead of doubled, and that it seemed I had experienced a missed miscarriage. I could schedule a D and C, or wait to see what happened. I opted for the D and C, since Eli's first birthday party is Sunday. I don't want to risk having to be in the middle of a miscarriage as I cut the cake and take pictures, you know? So I'll go in Friday, and the "products of conception" will be removed. So neat and tidy.

It could have been worse. This is my second miscarriage, but at least both times I never even saw a heartbeat, let alone an embryo. Things always seem to fail very early on. It should be somewhat less wrenching this way. A failed pregnancy, rather than a lost baby. Medically speaking, anyways. But for me, there is always the baby. Looking at the two lines on the positive test, what I see is tiny whorls of dark newborn hair, the fragile, ruddy newborn skin, the tiny bowed legs all curled in their hospital swaddling blanket. What I feel is the weight of its head cradled in my elbow.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

And Furthermore

I realized today, belatedly, that I left out two other, very significant milestones in our little family. Firstly, there is the fact that this very week we are in the process of purchasing a minivan- how is this upon us already?!- and there is also the absolutely wrenching conclusion that the pattern of over a week now appears no longer to be just a phase, but a fact: Addy has given up napping.

The worst of it is that I can't get her to stay quietly in her room and read books or play, either. Instead, she stands at the baby gate barring her in, shaking it pitifully and calling over and over, her voice somehow both chirpy and plaintive, "Mama, I AWAKE!" If I let this go on too long, her younger brother one wall away will soon become AWAKE as well, so the past week or so I have spent my afternoons out on the deck, playing with my not even remotely sleepy girl. And you all will understand that when I say playing, I mostly mean sitting on the bench with a book and a glass of water, half-reading and half conversing while Addy whips me up invisible ice cream and pizza and coffee in her playhouse, right?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Times, They Are A-Changin'

It has been a week for milestones in our house. I say this in a whisper, nay, I am mouthing the words, lest I offend the fates and turn my luck again, but Eli has slept through the night the past two evenings. Because he is weaned, which is a bit of a weepy and wistful milestone, as opposed to the marvel of a full night's sleep, which merits cartwheels across the bedroom when I wake up in the morning and realize it's for the FIRST time in seven hours.

I couldn't believe how easy it was (knocking frantically on all wood in knuckle range.) A few nights ago, he woke up fussing, but not full on SCREAMING as is usually the case, so I decided to just lay there and see how it panned out. He fussed a little more, a little more, and had NEARLY broken me when... It stopped. Or I fell back to sleep. Or something. He had been down to only nursing in the middle of the night at that point, but that day was the first time in his life that he went over twenty four hours without needing my breasts! So I decided to roll with it, and lo, the following two nights, he didn't even wake up once. Uncomfortable chestal region aside, I am feelin' goo-ood, my friends.

In other milestone-related news, a heart-rending hair trimming ceremony occurred this morning after Adelay's bath, when I realized her not quite three year old hair was nearly down to her butt. It was getting to be a lot to manage, and was always in her face. It's also not exactly a picnic to wash. I naturally trimmed off more than I meant to in my efforts to "even it out," but before anyone (and by anyone I mean relatives!) faults me, I would like to point out how difficult it is to neatly trim the hair of a child who does not understand the concept of holding her head straight and still. I think it looks adorable, pangs of guilt aside, and she was remarkably excited about the whole thing. She even pranced around the house with her little baggie of baby curls, which I marked as "Addy's First Trim!" and later tucked weepily into her keepsake box.

I'd love to post photographic evidence (and I'd also like to show you pictures from the zoo) but I cannot find the proper cord in the refuse pile that is this desk, so it will have to wait. When dry though, her hair is about to her shoulders now, and kind of flips and curls out. It also looks darn cute in some pigtails, where before it had been getting a little long and straggly (think less corkscrew curls and more frizzy streamers.)

And now for something entirely unrelated but at LEAST as important, I have discovered a method of eating copious amounts of brownie batter without that icky knowledge that you are ingesting quite a bit of raw egg! I've been mixing all the ingredients EXCEPT the eggs first, then spooning out a portion for non baking enjoyment, then proceeding to add the eggs to the remainder. The part left out will be a little bit grainier in texture than regular batter, but fluff in a little coconut and it goes down pretty easy...

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Long Distance

So I was watching some of the Olympic races last night, and it occurred to me that Jim and I, as co parents, are a lot like a sprinter and a marathon runner. Sprinters explode with energy, giving a hundred percent every second that they're on the track, and keep an amazing pace. Marathon runners, on the other hand, must pace themselves. They ration their energy, deciding when to speed up and when to hang back, conserving strength for when they will need it most.

Which parent are you?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Lions and Tigers and Birthing, Oh My!

Huh, I am really being a slacker lately about posting. What can I say... Summer. For the first time I can remember, it is August and I am still not sick of the season. This is a real breakthrough, as I am usually someone who is holed up in the AC pining for crisp autumn air and the advent of sweater season by about July fourth. But this summer hasn't felt unbearably humid, nor have I had to drag around a thirty pound belly following knee surgery as was the case last summer. I've really been having a lot of fun doing the occasional outdoor activity! Go me.

Yesterday, I even took the kids to the zoo for the first time. Well, with my mom and my sister. I wouldn't brave it alone under any circumstances, let's be clear, but with adults outnumbering kids, it wasn't bad at all. Eli was a little fussy, as he's coming off of a high fever last weekend (he has roseola) so we spent a lot of time passing around his twenty one pound bulk between us while pushing an empty stroller. But other than that, they were both amazingly well behaved, and Addy made all the appropriate facial expressions and gestures (jaw dropped in awe! wild pointing!) of a toddler witnessing Nature for the first time. It was gratifying enough to make up for eating overpriced faux nacho cheese product at the zoo cafe for dinner.

Earlier this week, I finally got to watch The Business of Being Born, that documentary Ricki Lake produced about birth and obstetric care in the U.S. It was really interesting, and even though I wasn't fully convinced that a home birth is the way to go, at least for me, it still definitely confirmed in my mind that the basic system of care in place for pregnant women and their babies in this country is totally backwards- it's much more DOCTOR oriented than it is WOMAN oriented, and far too many decisions are made for reasons of legal liability and simple convenience rather than what's truly in the baby and mom's best interest. I don't know what the answer is in every case, but I do know that as women we really have to be proactive about making sure we do our research, look into all options, and really take responsibility and ownership of our own birthing experiences. I would really recommend watching this film if you get a chance; it'll definitely make you think.

And in another paragraph completely absent of a decent segue attempt, I think we are going with a loose "jungle animal" theme for Eli's birthday party. It seems to fit his personality better than any of the other ideas, for, despite his angelic smiles in the portraits of the previous post, he can honestly resemble a wild baby animal sometimes (think screaming howler monkeys.)

Also, I am going to pick up Eli's pictures today, and I still haven't decided which poses I want to get. I think I may just go with the three I had chosen originally ( # 4 and 6, and also another one I forgot to post) and then see what they offer me as a "last minute deal!" You know how they always print up a couple extra of what the photographer thought were cute poses and offer you the whole bunch for an extra twenty bucks or whatever? I'm thinking whatever it is, I'll probably say, "Sure, throw 'em in there!" But I do want to make sure I get one of pose number seven. At first I loved it, but then I thought maybe it was a little... Big or something. Too in your face, and kind of a weird angle. But then I saw it again and was all, "But look at his EYES!" And you all seemed to favor that one, so I'm going back to my initial instinct. If that's not in the last minute batch, I'll just bite the bullet and order it.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful Boy

This is an abundance of riches, here. Help me! I originally chose three poses, stoically and with resolve not to be suckered into unplanned purchases, but now that I can view the whole lot of them online, I am going CRAZY, thinking that surely I need ALL of these. Consider them numbered one through seven, and tell me which YOU would want, if it were you. Also feel sorry for the little handsome: he is running a hundred and three degree fever tonight.

[Edit: Had dream last night that I was hanging out at Swistle's house. Mysteriously, Slynnro was also there, inexplicably speaking in the Texas drawl which she does not in real life posess. Best of all, Swistle revealed to me her kids' REAL NAMES!]

Saturday, August 02, 2008

The Big One

I had Eli's pictures taken at JCPenney's last night, and for that half hour he was the dream child incarnate. He smiled toothily, he tilted his head beguilingly, he batted his eyelashes coyly... Just pretty much hammed it up like some sort of infant royalty who was accustomed to paparazzi adoration on a daily basis. It was very hard, come decision time, to keep from throwing my wallet at the woman and saying, "I'll take an eight by ten of every single pose, thanks very much!"

I had these photos done because the monumental first birthday is approaching, and I wanted to have wallets for the out of town relatives who might deign to make the drive for the party. Kind of a compensatory party favor in exchange for the crazy gas prices.

So about that PARTY though, I need your help. And not just because I am physically incapable of blowing up balloons, although that IS both factual and tragic. No, I am at a loss for a THEME for this little boy's first birthday. With Addy we did Care Bears, as she had displayed a certain preference for them by the time she was a year old. Eli as yet doesn't seem to show a definite and specific interest in any one thing (besides eating) so I'm kind of floundering. Here are some themes I've thought of so far, so please leave your vote, or add a suggestion of your own. (Or, you know, just make fun of me for feeling the impulse to hand out pictures of my son to everyone and to have a big, themed party for a baby. Both are mockable, I acknowledge this.)

So, ideas are:


*Underwater... stuff? Like dolphins and tropical fish? So we'll call the theme "Aquatic."

*Trucks, of course. Yawn. But he does LIKE them.


*Sporty stuff

*Legos. I'm reaching here, I know, but the kid loves him some Duplo blocks.

Any further ideas or suggestions for cake, decor, etc. are welcome!