Wednesday, September 30, 2009


This is another question-regarding-Adelay post. Maybe I should eventually delete these so she doesn't think she was my main source of worry as a child?!

Anyways, it's about preschool. To do or not to do, basically. All summer long, people have been ASKING and ASKING us if she's in preschool yet, and assuring us that she's going to be so behind if we don't get on it and get her in a good school! And I'm all, "She's still only three, you know." Which... won't be true as of Saturday, but it was true when I was saying it! Is preschool considered mandatory now for school preparation?

I've always planned to put her in some kind of preschool program next year, when she's five, because our school doesn't offer half day kindergarten and I feel that going from being with Eli and me all day to being at school all day would be kind of a big transition without some stepping stone in between. But does she need to start it now? (For the record, she can't start kindergarten until she's almost six due to her birthday. In this state you have to have turned five by August first to start when you're five.)

I know that a lot of kids start preschool around three or four, but for most of them isn't that because they were in daycare already anyways, and at that age it automatically transitions over to a preschool program? If she's here with me (FOR FREE, I might add) and reading books, going to the park, coloring pictures and practicing letters with Jim and painting and all that stuff, is it really necessary to take her somewhere else and PAY someone else to do that stuff?

I'm kind of gathering that the main concern is socialization and structure, more than perhaps actual education, but in my opinion she's getting plenty of that, as well. She goes to Sunday school once a week, and now sometimes on Wednesday nights too. She goes to the Y childcare program whenever I work out, she's taking dance class this year, we go to the playground pretty frequently, and she sees her cousins quite a bit. She doesn't seem to me to be antisocial or to be having any problems relating to others, sharing, listening to other adults, etc. I watch her through the windows at the childcare and at her dance class, and she seems to be responding well to her peers and taking instruction from her teachers just as well as the other kids.

I guess our decision is pretty much made for this year, and I'm just kind of looking for validation. However, I know sometimes as a parent your kid seems fine to YOU, but you're not seeing things objectively. I certainly don't want her to be behind or at a disadvantage in any way. On the other hand, it's kind of too late for this year anyways, and also, TEH MONEY, geez, especially when there's no reason to pay for childcare since I'm here.

Do you guys think preschool is necessary at this age, or that she'll be behind in some way if we hold off another year?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

One Step Back

Okay, here's a post that, while not exactly upbeat or inspirational, is at least not downright depressing. We're moving in the right direction!

I have a question for you about potty training regression. Addy has been fully potty trained since the end of January this year. Granted, this was late in the game (three years and four months old before she was really good to go) but once she was trained, she was golden- she even stays dry at night.

But all of the sudden, the last couple of weeks, she's either having some kind of forgetfulness issue or a laziness issue, because almost every day we're dealing with at least one accident. Not the I-just-soaked-the-couch-cushion kind of accident, but more the I-waited-way-too-long-to-get-myself-to-the-potty-and-now-I'm-peeing-on-the-bathroom-rug-while-wailing-in-panic kind. And last night, to put the cherry on the sundae, she DID wet the bed. The entire bed: comforter, top sheet, fitted sheet, mattress protector and mattress pad. And of course herself. She woke me up at six forty five to inform me that she needed a bath.

What is going ON? I totally get the occasional bed wetting thing; I know lots of kids her age are still wetting the bed every night, so I'm hardly upset about that, though it would certainly be easier if she had been wearing a Pull-Up! But the daytime stuff is really throwing me. I guess I just need to make her go every couple of hours whether she thinks she needs to or not, huh? It's just weird that for quite a while she was pretty much an independent potty-er, and now all the sudden she's needing all this prompting or else she doesn't make it in time. Is that normal? (For the record, she'll be four on Saturday.)

Friday, September 25, 2009

This Day Needs A Do Over

I'm doing a garage sale tomorrow with a bunch of other people, and I am so relieved to have yet another project to think about instead of the other THING that is always in the back of my mind. And I know, I said before that I'm trying to actually FEEL my feelings instead of distracting myself from them, but sometimes I just need a damn break from all that feeling. Painting the living room (I also did a hallway earlier this week to match the living room) and getting the kids' pictures taken? Those were mainly done because I knew I needed to plan for mental breaks in the weeks following the miscarriage.

Sometimes you just get tired of feeling unhappy. I mean, that sounds so stupid and obvious. But there it is. Sometimes I'll be crying and think wearily, "Oh just STOP. What is the point anymore?" But once it's started, it's hard to force it down, something which always infuriates me.

Last night, I enjoyed my usual Thursday night ritual of drinking wine, eating junk food and watching NBC comedy shows, and then we went to bed. Happily. I mean, everything was fine; I wasn't feeling even remotely sad. But then as soon as I fell asleep I dreamed I was pregnant. It was like some kind of gauzy maternity photo shoot: I was blissfully happy, smiling and cradling my belly. Then I woke up and, after a few seconds of continued blissfulness, remembered that there was no baby inside me. It felt like actual, physical pain, that realization. I curled up around my stupid, empty belly and cried uncontrollably. I was barely even awake, and maybe that's what made me less coherent and more emotional, but I felt like I couldn't have stopped sobbing to save my life. I'm pretty sure I cried myself to sleep, and it felt like it took all night.

I look like a train wreck this morning: face puffy and blotchy, eyes bloodshot. I look like a hungover drunk. There aren't enough fun, distracting projects in the world to shake this feeling. My face is too tired to smile. And all through the grocery store this morning, Addy would point and yell in excitement, every time she saw a carseat in someone else's cart, "Look Mom! Look at the cute little baby!"

But tomorrow will be better.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Oh, Sweet Irony!

So today I got called by the OB's office, telling me that the doctor wanted me to come in to discuss the results of my most recent hcg level check. I of course panicked, thinking that a: I was somehow accidentally PREGNANT AGAIN already and had brain damaged my unborn child by taking all that Cytotec or b: (more likely) my levels were still not dropping sufficiently and I had to have a d and c after all, which at this point would just be the suck, quite frankly.

Fortunately it was neither; my levels have tapered off further still, though are still high enough that my body considers me to be, technically, pregnant. The doctor's just concerned at how long it's taking- it's been a month now since the embryo ceased to be viable. Or since my tiny baby died. However you want to look at it. I've now tried Cytotec three different times to hurry the process along, and all it's done the last two times is make me horrendously sick, which was also concerning. Apparently the doctor's never heard of it doing that to anyone. Uh, even though nausea, vomiting and diarrhea are listed on the drug's website as side effects! Whatever. Just my luck, I suppose.

She said that we could do a d and c, but she'd still prefer not to, and I agreed. Just wait it out some more. It's gotta end soon, right? I'm just awfully sick of getting blood drawn, but at least I get to give it another two weeks before the next one. Let my poor right vein rest up a little.

Anyways, the doctor had to duck out of the exam room momentarily to get some paperwork, so I was idly viewing my chart, which had been left up on the computer screen. Aside from all the depressing information with which I am all too familiar, I noticed that I was listed as Status: Incomplete. I actually laughed out loud when I saw that. Incomplete. Yes. That pretty much sums it up.

I still believe that our family is incomplete. Maybe we're in a hiatus, a resting period while these two grow up a little more, but I feel strongly that their are more children in our future. Someway, somehow.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Weekend Stuff

Hmm, that unbelievably tedious post didn't seem to elicit a lot of comments there! I can't believe you all have better things to do than log in to tell me, "Yes, Sarah, that IS a nice shade of light brown/tan you have chosen there!"

Anywhays, I'm basically just typing without direction right now in order to stop my fingers from picking up a SEVENTH square of delicious, delicious cold pizza and cramming it into my mouth, which still thinks it's hungry even though its attached food receptacle is telling it that IT IS FULL. I used to think it was so gross that people ate cold pizza. And then I, um, ate some cold pizza. It is very nice. It's also the only thing stopping Eli from being a little ball of furious misery tonight. Well, that and today's third screening of Cars.

He came down with a sudden cold yesterday just HOURS after being a perfect angel at ye olde cheesy children's photo studio, where I had spontaneously dragged the kids in a fit of optimism that, for once, turned out to be well-founded. They were both lovely, about a katrillion times better behaved than the last time I was struck with the seasonal compulsion to pay a stranger to capture their precious childhood memories. (Memories of, y'know, being stuffed into matching outfits and awkwardly posed back-to-back.)

And speaking of memory-worthy situations ("And the grand prize for Worst Segue Attempt goes to Semidesperate Housewife!") last night Addy was out on the deck playing with one of the balloons left over from my birthday party when, inevitably, it slipped from her fingers and floated away. She burst into such piteous, heartbroken sobs, you would have thought she'd been grievously injured or watched her best friend die or something. "My balloon!" she wailed in genuine grief, huge tears racing down her cheeks. "It's gone! I lost my balloon into the sky!"

I held her and tried to comfort her, but it ended up being her own little self-soothing talk therapy that settled her down. In between hiccuping sobs, she would murmur, kind of to herself, "The balloon is ok? It's with the clouds? It's playing with them?" And I would say yes, that's exactly where it was. "And it is all fine up there, with the clouds?" Yes, the balloon is fine. "Maybe it can see me?" Yes, I suppose it could, I told her. "And I will have another balloon someday, maybe for my birthday?" she inquired, still crying. I assured that indeed she could have another one soon.

"And now tell me, 'Don't worry Adelay, it's ok, your little balloon is all fine," she instructed shakily. I did as told. "And now sing a song that is like, 'Hush little Addy, don't you cry, 'cause soon you will have another balloon...'" she specified. So I made up a song to the tune of "Hush Little Baby." But then it was the weirdest thing. I could barely sing it because I was crying too. And in my head, I was singing to myself, but not really about a balloon at all.

Friday, September 18, 2009

A Dozen Pictures. No, Really- A Dozen

Eli's birthday cake, Cars themed, decorated as usual by my mom. I always defer to the master.

Eli very seriously- almost threateningly- enjoying said cake.

But still not as much as he enjoyed one of his umpteenth tiny cars.

Outside at my parents' house, preparing to attempt a family photo while my older sister was home. Enjoy the random hand visible on the left slice of the picture.

This was as good as it got. And it took fifteen minutes.

Addy posing inside one of the storage ottomans later that day. About ten seconds after this photo she had dissolved into tears, convinced she was stuck inside the tiny box forever.

Blowing out my candles at my surprise party on Wednesday. It was really a lovely night, even though I was still kind of (really) sick from the Cytotec. And everything looked really festive. Bonus: the kids have been entertained by those balloons for the last two days straight.

The remains of the cake by the next day. And, uh, some of the guests didn't even have any cake.

This has nothing to do with anything, but LOOK at the adorable ensemble my Mom got Adelay to wear for her upcoming birthday!

I mean, the purse is a CAKE, people! A CAKE!

And here are some shots of the living room's new coat of paint. I have chosen to highlight the corners, as the walls used to be two different colors: kind of a pinky-brown on the longer walls and cream on the shorter walls. I liked the idea, I really did, but I think in the end I like the one color all the way around better. The room feels a little more open.

(And Rachel, I know you're going to think it's horribly boring. Basically the color of oatmeal with maybe a teaspoon of honey stirred in. But what can I say- oatmeal is comforting.)

On The Mend

I'm going to do a picture post soon (which will include pictures of the SURPRISE BIRTHDAY PARTY my husband and family orchestrated for me!) as soon as I get motivated enough to walk ALL the way to the kitchen to get the camera. In the meantime, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who is frequently updating their blog, and apologize for not commenting much. I also apologize for not doing much with my blog other than to use it as an emotional dumping ground. But I figure that's what it's there for, sometimes. I just don't want you all thinking I am feeling nothing but moody and reflective these days, and that when not openly sobbing I am sitting in a chair staring wistfully out the window while Sarah Mclachlan plays in the background.

Today, for example, I went to the gym, to a coffeehouse (with the kids!) and then took them to our local Children's Garden, which is basically heaven on earth this time of year. I smiled the whole time. Except maybe for when I had to explain to the daycare ladies at the Y where we had been the last month or so. "I've been sick," I replied briefly, not feeling inclined to explain that first I had been pregnant, i.e. exhausted and nauseous, and then I had been, well, sick, I guess in a manner of speaking. Cytotec is no picnic (especially THREE ROUNDS of it.)

As far as updates on that mess, I still might have to have a d and c, apparently, but we're keeping our fingers crossed. The last round of Cytotec did absolutely nothing that it was supposed to, and just made me violently sick to my stomach for two days. So they had me stop it, and checked my blood levels to see if the hcg was finally going down. If it wasn't, I was going to have the d and c today. Fortunately it was down enough to give me some wiggle room, so we're going to keep an eye on the blood levels next week and just hope that my body will at some point get its act together and do its job. If not, I still might be heading to ye olde outpatient care next Friday to have the doctor do it for me. But here's hoping.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Little Stuff That Feels Big

-My OB's office is painted almost exactly the same color as our living room used to be painted. I loved that color for a long time. Now it makes me feel claustrophobic and barfy. I am so relieved that it is gone, gone, gone. I just wish I could convince the doctors to repaint their office, too, so that I could stop feeling that way every time I walk in.

-Relatedly, I forgot how much I hate painting and how bad I am at it. I ruin clothes every time I paint. I end up with drips here and there no matter how slowly and carefully I roll. Paint bleeds onto trim no matter how painstakingly I tape it. I never want to paint anything ever again. For a year or so. (It was still worth it, though.)

-I am breaking out all over. My shoulders and back, even. My hormones are messed up right now, obviously, so I know my complexion will settle down eventually. But currently, nothing is working to control it and I can't even think about trying to cover it with makeup because then my skin goes even crazier in reaction to the concealer.

-My sister is leaving for school Thursday and I am seriously sad about it. My kids will miss her so much. I will miss her so much. My brother in law is leaving that day, too, just when we were all getting used to him being around again. And I'm sad. (Not that you should arrange your lives and education schedules around my feelings, guys. Obviously. I'll just miss you.)

-Jim got me season five of The Office as an early birthday gift last week, and while I am thrilled to complete my collection and while I am still a loyal fan and all, I have to say that he was totally right last year when he observed that the show was getting weaker every season. With the exception of the "Baby Shower" episode, I don't think I laughed out loud much at all. AND I just ended up getting depressed when I watched the last episode today- the one in which Pam and Jim find out that they're unexpectedly pregnant. I wanted to snap at their glowing little faces, "Don't get all excited just yet, kids. That doesn't mean you're actually having a baby."

There are days when I'm dealing with things better than others.

On the other hand, I feel so in love with my kids right now. You know that feeling you get, walking into their bedrooms when they're still fresh and newborn, and you see them looking up at you and you just... feel like it's Christmas morning? It's happening again for me, every time they smile at me, every time I watch them cuddling together. Every time Eli buries his face in my neck and shoves his thumb in his mouth, and every time Addy squeezes me tight and says, "You're my favorite Mommy." And while I wouldn't exchange the baby I lost for this feeling of wonder at the babies I have, it's still a pretty great consolation prize.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

State Of The Union

Guess I've been a little quiet this past week. I've been keeping myself busy with, as usual, family stuff- birthday party/Labor Day party, and then my older sister was in town from Charleston for a few days. It was really good to see her, and for her to reconnect with the kids. I'll try to post some pictures of that soon... And pictures of Eli's birthday party. And pictures of the new paint job in the living room.

'Cause, I also repainted the living room this weekend, including the ceiling, thank you very much. Er, with a lot of help. BUT I chose and purchased paint and did all the prep work and the cleaning up work and the moving of furniture and decor-y stuff and wall art, so. Overall, more time invested, albeit perhaps less actual painting.

I also sorted out all of Eli and Adelay's old clothes, choosing my favorites to keep but paring down the rest for a garage sale next weekend. When your kids have twenty to thirty outfits per season, per size apiece, it gets a little bit IMPOSSIBLE to store them all, even if it was fun to have all those cute clothes to choose from back when they fit. (Note: excess clothing was not a result of my own personal excess, if you know what I'm saying. Just fyi.)

The painting project and the sorting out clothes project were distractions from the unwelcome news on Wednesday that there is still, to quote my OB, "all kinds of junk" remaining in my uterus. This, despite the three days of Cytotec-induced discomfort last week which I thought had surely taken care of all that. The doctor is still very opposed to another D and C since we may try again for a baby at some point, so my options are (and there's going to be a lot of information here, boys, so avert eyes to next paragraph if squeamish): to let nature finish things, which, based on my hormone levels, the number of blood clots still in my uterus and the very light state of my bleeding right now would probably take a month or more; another round of Cytotec, perhaps a little more intensive; or go on the pill for a month, let my body stop bleeding and rest, and then hope that the artificially triggered period would take care of everything remaining from the pregnancy. This would have to be the estrogen-only pill, since I have a clotting issue and am not allowed to be on regular hormonal birth control. I HATE the estrogen-only pill.

So I think I'm going to give the Cytotec another shot, though I'm dreading it. I could have done it this past weekend, but my sister was here, and my mom had offered to help paint, so I put it off. And now my birthday's Wednesday, so I don't want to start it tomorrow either... Maybe next weekend?

Oh wait. During the garage sale? I don't know. Blech. Guess I'll squeeze it in there somewhere. Fun stuff. I just hope it actually finishes the job this time. Then at least we'll have some closure and be able to find a place to go from here. And maybe my body can try to get itself back to normal. Or hopefully better than normal, since my normal seems to be pretty unbalanced, hormonally speaking.

We do have a vague plan for the next months, regarding hormone stuff, and it definitely does not involve any more Clomid or progesterone supplements or mid-cycle ultrasounds or ovulation trigger shots. I just can't take it anymore, and it doesn't seem to be helping anyways. I know it does some of the time, for some people, but at this point we're ready to look into some alternative treatments. And if that doesn't work, well... We'll see. But that's where we are right now.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Sadness 101

I had a check-up today that went pretty well, although my hcg levels are still high enough that the doctor has scheduled an ultrasound for tomorrow, thinking that maybe the miscarriage hasn't completed after all. I hope she's wrong. The last thing I want is another round of Cytotec or a d and c after all. Yuck.

I seem to be going back and forth a lot, physically and emotionally. There have been hours- even days- when I felt relatively fine and normal and have been up doing dishes and picking up toys and giving baths. Business as usual. And there have been times when I was suddenly in a lot of pain again, of one kind or another, and it seems for awhile that nothing will feel normal again. I am trying to accept all this, as I have learned from experience that these cycles are normal and nothing you can really alter or skip past. The only way out is through, as they say.

I think grief is like labor, a little bit: you can tense up and fight it, or try to distract yourself with other things, or panic and scream. You can beg someone to help you or tell them how unfair and unbearable it is. But the only way to effectively help yourself is to relax your body, unclench your fists and breathe into it, even welcome it. There are some things in life you just have to feel.

Which is why I am trying, right now, not to turn away from the pregnant woman in the waiting room or from the stack of tiny newborn clothes I am sorting through for a garage sale. I don't fight the sadness that fills me when I realize I can button my jeans again, or that my chest no longer aches in preparation to feed my baby. It is what it is, and there's no amount of comfort or hope that can erase or really even ease those pains. Of course, there are moments when I have to put sadness aside and function, and it is less a choice than a necessity. What was it Scarlett O'Hara always said? "I'll think about it tomorrow."

But mostly, when possible, I am trying to loosen my shoulders, unclench my fists, and take in whatever emotion happens to be churning. If I start to feel angry about the injustice of this happening three times to us, when I have done all I knew to keep these babies alive and inside me, then I just feel angry for awhile. Often that anger turns inward, at my own body for betraying me, and even this I allow for. If I need to cry- and understand that I am not a person who enjoys crying, and definitely not in front of others- then I try to allow for that instead of swallowing it back. If I hear a sad song and find myself conjuring up images of the baby I had begun to dream of, I don't push them away.

Whether you experience a miscarriage as losing a literal, tiny child, or you prefer to view it as the loss of the hope of a child, it's still goodbye. It's still a wound, a wound that will scab up for a little while and then suddenly be ripped open again by a random image or comment or song lyric. I guess all I can hope is that spirits are like bodies. That often, in the end, the places that have had to heal themselves are the strongest.

Friday, September 04, 2009

For Now

I'll write more later, but I just wanted to thank every one of you for your kind comments. Having a blog is fun when you have happy stuff to say, but it's when things are feeling seriously sucky and unlucky that having this outlet matters the most to me.

We're doing okay around here. Physically things are mostly over with already, with relatively little ordeal, so that was an enormous relief that's probably contributing in large part to our sense of okay-ness. I was really nervous that deciding against the d and c might backfire and lead to a drawn out and miserable experience, or an emergency rush to the ER, but so far my body seems to be doing its thing without complication. It was almost TOO fast- I was expecting a few days to process things before I actually, physically lost the baby- but its mostly a relief to have this part over with.

I definitely have more to say later, but right now we're just trying to spend lots of time together and with Addy and Eli (although, THANK YOU, family who have graciously watched the kids during hours when we needed some alone time.) All I wanted as I sat in the doctor's office, furiously, tearfully awaiting my post-ultrasound consultation, was to hold my two babies and breathe them in. And also to look at their newborn pictures. And breathe them in.

I wanted another one of these so badly. I really did. I really do. But even if that doesn't happen for us again, or it's going to take much longer than we hoped, I am so lucky to have had the chance, twice. No one seems to have figured out how to solve whatever's wrong with me, but somehow, despite my body's craziness, we made those babies up there. And they are still my favorite babies in the whole wide world.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

I don't even know what to say. The baby is gone. There was a baby inside me, making this much worse than the other two miscarriages, when all they saw were empty sacs, but according to the ultrasound today its heart stopped about five days ago. The corpus luteum, which had looked healthy at the five week check, was completely gone. Meaning my body had stopped producing any progesterone at all. I guess the only thing keeping the baby in there was the supplements, but it wasn't enough.

Since I'm taking so much progesterone, though, my body didn't show any symptoms of miscarriage. I'm supposed to stop all the supplements and hopefully miscarry on my own soon, but if not then I'm going to take some drug? And that will make me miscarry. We're trying to avoid doing another d and c since I've already had two, and they're pretty hard on your cervix.

I feel like apologizing to everyone, even though I know, I know, don't be ridiculous, not your fault, etc. But how many times am I going to tell people I'm having a baby when I'n not?

And I'm just sad. Obviously. And also incredibly frustrated with myself for daring to hope in spite of all my common sense, in spite of those early, less-than-great numbers that should have warned me to keep all hope firmly at the door until we saw a heartbeat. I thought I was doing that, but the lump that rose in my throat as soon as I saw the lack of heartbeat on the screen showed me that I had, in fact, been believing that all was well. I was crushed.

So. I feel very overwhelmed thinking about where we go from here. I guess I just shouldn't think for awhile, huh? I definitely don't want to think about the having to miscarry soon part. I'm sure it's horrible to have it happen suddenly and unexpectedly, but I think it might be even worse to be sitting here, right now, anticipating it.