Monday, October 15, 2007

Remembering lost little ones

http://www.october15th.com

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day is to promote Support, Education and Awareness for grieving parents nationwide (and worldwide).
Too many families grieve in silence, sometimes never coming to terms with their loss. Our goal is to help others relate to our loss, know what to say, do or not say, not do and to help families live with their loss, not "get over" their loss.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Your complaint is duly noted. Now please inform somebody who can DO something about it.

I am annoyed. More than a little, too. I am tired of people accusing the wrong group of people for the ills of the public school students. On an almost daily basis (on message boards, with parents, with general people) I find myself explaining again and again how little control the school have over anything anymore. The principal has very little to do with these decisions you despise. The teachers have even less to do with it. Hell, I'm lucky they still let me do anything. Pretty soon they'll start handing me lesson plans (and everybody else) and saying here it is, now teach this. I can hear you out there too. You're laughing because you think I'm kidding. I'm NOT.

What are these battles about you ask? Here are some examples: A mother is angry because hse gets a form letter from the principal of her child's school informing her that a vacation is not an excused absence, parents asking me if we HAVE to fill out the required paperwork because their chid is not meeting a standard at this point in the year, people talking about how all teachers think learning only happens in a classroom, people complaining that their child has to much homework, people complaining that their child doesn't know basic skills like multiplication... the list goes on. Do you know what all of these things come back to? It's not the teachers or in most cases even the principals. We have standards that we need to meet and those standards come from the state and federal government (you know, No Child Left Behind?). Everything we do goes back to trying to meet those standards and pass the tests that the powers that be set down for us.

We don't get a say in what the test says. In most cases we can't even SEE the test EVER. We don't get a say in what the kids learn, or how fast they learn it. We are required to cover a set amount of material in a set amount of time. If the kids don't get it, I'm sorry but we have to move on. The name of the game is exposure. Why do you think we have elementary school teachers trying to instill the concepts of algebra instead of multiplication tables. They don't test the multiplication tables. They test the algebra. If your school wants money, if you want to keep your job, those test scores better sparkle. If the kids don't actually learn anything, well, we're sorry but that no longer seems to be the point of education.

Are these exceptioanlly gifted teachers out there who can do all of this? I'm sure there are. There's a Bill Gates in every profession. Does that mean that we can all do it? And does that gifted teacher really follow the rules? If you've ever seen Dangerous Minds (the movie) then you've seen one of the examples of an exceptionally gifted and dedicated teacher. Did you know that she doesn't actually teach the curriculum for her given grade level in her classroom? That's right - if her state decided to start testing her students on that curriculum they might not pass. Did they learn? I'm sure they learn a lot from her. The state wouldn't agree though. Problem is, most of us don't have that kind of leeway. Could I take the science curriculum and teach it in a radically different way? You bet I could, but I wouldn't be able to cover all the topics that the kids are tested on and my ass would be in BIG trouble. With a whole lot of people, including my colleagues who wouldn't get a bonus check for meeting the standards the state set for us.

So, here's the point of my rant. If you're reading this and you're unhappy with something your school has done in the form of instruction, form letters or general other things then please gripe to somebody who can DO something about it. That person would be a congressman or senator for your state or your state's education department. Talk to them. They make the bloody rules. Not me.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

The big peach one


sleeping utu
Originally uploaded by Malkavian513
Last but not least is Utu. Asleep. This picture doesn't show how much fur he can shed (in about 3 seconds flat he can shed an entire cat's worth).

An annoyed princess


annoyed princess
Originally uploaded by Malkavian513
She can be adorable and cuddly. This is the "You are annoying the princess" look.

Kittie Pictures


ossie
Originally uploaded by Malkavian513
This picture is so awesome, I had to share. So, I figured I'd add one picture of each kittie, since they don't get enough time. This is Ossie, who looks to cute for words in this picture.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Adventures in lizards and cats


So the little guy above is known as a 5 lined skink. They are the most common lizard in the eastern US. They're fast, small and like to eat crickets. And I have firsthand knowledge of all of this. How you ask?
Chris was away last week at the manager's meeting (and got me a CSI shirt, which rocks!) and of course while he was gone we had an adventure.
I came home Monday to find Ossie staring at the top of the window. This isn't new behavior for him and I just assumed that there was a fly buzzing around up there. I ignored him and turned on Ellen because she had Daniel Radcliffe (aka Harry Potter) on. So I'm watching Dan and Ellen and all of a sudden there's a ruckus behind the tv. What on Earth? I wonder to myself... So I went to go look (fortunately, Ellen and Dan had just finished and gone to commercial) and Ossie is losing his mind. At first it looks like he's trying to get nothing... and then suddenly that little lizard darts across a wire. And Ossie goes after it. And then Utu decides he's going to try too. Let me tell you that these lizards fit in the damndest places!
Now, my husband has a thing for electronics. He loves them almost as much as his wife (possibly more, but I digress). We have a Bose surround sound with a huge tv, a Playstation, XBox 360 and the cable box connected with thousands of wires. All of a suddent he tv goes blank, the sound shuts off and there's still 2 cats and a lizard going crazy. Ok, first things first! Catch the lizard (which I managed to do). Once he was safely contained in a Ziploc container, I moved on the more important things - the tv! It took an hour, a phone call to our friend Matt and a lot of dust removal but finally we had the tv fixed. All of this over a lizard.
The lizard was subsequently released to the yard, a little freaked out but no worse for wear. The cats were extremely disappointed that I let their toy go.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Another doctor's visit

My hysterosonogram was today and we saw exactly what we expected to see. Nothing. It's all perfectly normal. So now all we can do is keep trying and wait. If my cycles becaome irregular again then we'll do more drugs. Otherwise, we're to try for 6 months and see what happens. Oh, and should I get pregnant she wants to see me a little sooner, I think to get a baseline cervical length. So... yeah, back to waiting.

Friday, August 31, 2007

August was a quiet month

With that thought, I decided that I'd scribble down some thoughts. Just cause. I am sometimes amazed at the power of simple things. How music can complement your mood or totally change it. How talking to friends can cheer you up. How wondering about people who you don't talk to anymore can consume your thoughts. And actually, that last one has been on my mind the past couple of days.

I had a really large group of friends at one point when I lived in Rhode Island. These people were people that I truly thought would always be there. Certainly some of them were there when I needed somebody. Perhaps, that was their purpose. And yet I still wonder some days. I still think about where they might be, might be doing. They don't seem to wonder about me though, and that makes me question things. What was the relationship really about?

I tried to look some of them up on blogs, but they were all either friends only or there was nothing current there (like posts that were from 3 and 4 years ago). Common sense would say that I should see if there's contact info somewhere, or that I should ask to added as a friend. So why don't I? I think it's mostly the nagging feeling that these are people who made no effort to maintain a friendship when I was only an hour away. What would they really be willing to do at this distance?

Maybe I'm being lazy, but part of me feels like I'm not a hard person to find. If a person wanted to find me then they could, easily. But there's been no effort made on the other side and perhaps I feel a bit slighted. It could be time to let go of the thought that these were people that really mattered.

Then on the other side there are people who do reach out. In fact, most of those people make an effort over several hundred miles and that really means something. In some cases, I can still carry on a conversation even though it's been years since we talked last. This gives me hope.

There are two months left to this year before a new one begins (according to the pagan calendar) and 4 months left to the year, according to the regular calendar. In all cases, a new start is needed. Maybe what I really need to do is make sure that all those chapters are ended before new ones open up.

Or quite possibly, I need a nap. :P

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Gah!

You know what waiting does? It gives your brain every chance to come up with any and every possible scenario from now until fifty years from now. I have far to active an imagination.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Oh, so this is normal?

My body has decided (all on its own) that it would like to function normally (so far. this could, of course, change at any moment). I am quite happy as well as largely shocked. How it came to this discovery, we may never know. My only hope is that this trend continues.

I'll be waiting to see how long normal holds out, and if it continues for the next 14 or so days then there may yet be sanity in my life. That would be novel.

The tarot reading I did earlier had Death as the present conditions card. No, that doesn't mean I'm going to die. Death represents new beginnings. My outcome card was The Moon. That's interpreted as the completion of a cycle. It would be stellar if that meant that I am starting a new cycle of life. Hopefully this cycle doesn't suck as much. Of course, there's also Halloween in a couple of months. Nothing like a celebration of the dead and new beginnings for starting over, right?

Work tomorrow. My joyous, wonderful summer is over. Upside, I now have a room of my own, for sure, no sharing or anything. Downside, new school, again. More of that starting over joy.

It's bloody brilliant I tell you! (FYI, Stardust rocks - go see it).

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Because I've nothing really new to post (and I'm a bit bored), so some word association (snagged from another blog)

A
Always: remember to call my mom
Average: uh, no I'm not
Annoyance: cats waking me up far to early...
Age: 30
Available: until school starts again and then I have to go work

B
Best Friends: Chris, Kate, Rique
Beer: Guiness might be nice, or a Sam Adams
Birthday: Dec. 26
Boast: I keep secrets (very well, I might add)

C
Crush: Matt Damon and Jamie McMurray (yes, I know they're both famous. What's your point?)
Car: 94 Honda Accord (I love it)
Candy: York Patties
Cry: not much in recent days, but I have been known to, yes.

D
Days: counting them (for numerous things)
Dream: plenty, but only a couple have actually come true so far
Dare: I'm not real big on those
Drug: metformin and advair

E
Easy: cooking is easy
Eggs: doesn't really matter
Email: I can be bad about replying but I like getting them
Envy: those women who get pregnant looking at men

F
Flavors: lime, mint, lobster, peas (not all at once though)
Favorites: books, movies, thunderstorms
Flaws: perfectionism (oh yes, it's a flaw, trust me)
Finicky: depends on what we're discussing

G
Grateful: I have Chris, my mom and dad, 3 brothers and a sister plus a sister-in-;aw and a brother-in-law and a rather large extended family, all of whom love me.
Gifts: I like giving them
Gum: yuck
Gross: cat barf

H
Hair: brown and rather defiant
Height: 5'2"
Happiest: if I had my family nearby - all of them
Hate: drama

I
Ice Cream: oh... something high in calories
Instrument: saxophone
Idols: Don't have one anymore, I don't think
Independence: Am I? Yes.

J
Jewelry: a wedding ring and a watch when I remember it
Jail: somewhere I never want to go
Jenga: that movie was awful
Jammies: are comfy.

K
Kids: Yes, I'd like a few
Karaoke: I don't sing in public
Kiss: my husband, quite often thanks.

L
Longest: month ever
Love: is wonderful
Life: precious
Lost: no, I don't think I am... (am I?)

M
Milk: 1%
Miss: my boys
Movies: Stardust was very good
Memory: I have lots of those

N
Nails: I bite them
No: I don't like that word
Name: Christy
Never: lose hope

O
Ordinary: my life
One phobia: falling
Office: Don't have one. It's called a classroom.

P
Primal urge: Um.....?
Personality: Mine? I don't know. Pretty good, I guess.
Pain: fades with time

Q
Quick or Slow: Quiick would be nice, thanks
Quest: why are we here?

R
Reason to cry: my boys
Reality TV: sucks, quite frankly, except for Hell's Kitchen... Add Gordon Ramsay to the crush list.
Rage: I've experienced it
Regret: You know what? None so far.

S
Song: Nothing in particular
Season: Fall
Shoes: I need new sneakers
Silly: a cat with all 4 feet in the air

T
Time you woke: Today? 8:30
Time now: 10:14 pm
Taste: Well, I'll try almost anything once (note I said ALMOST anything)

U
Undress: to take a shower usually
Unpredictable: life
Unfortunate: That Harry Potter is done
Unforgettable: Several nights with people

V
Vegetables: peas, corn, spinach (when cooked right)
Virgin: not for awhile now
Vacation: That would be nice
Voice: Is fine, except when there are 25 kids yelling over me

W
Worst Habit: biting my nails
Wish: for time to slow down some days
Waste: I try not to
Wander: I've wandered quite far

X
X-Rated: only sometimes
X-Rays: only a few in my life (and hopefully no more)
X-Men: Rogue is cool
X-marks the spot: So where's the map?

Y
Yes: Is that an answer to my question?
Yellow: Sunflowers
Yearn: some answers would be nice

Z
Zoo Animal: do penguins count? if not, tigers.
Zodiac: capricorn or dragon depending on the zodiac
Zzzz: I think I'll go read for awhile first (current read, The Bourne Supremacy. Good so far)

Saturday, August 4, 2007

17P (or treating preterm labor with shots!)

So, I was digging around online, trying to find information on the progesterone that my doctor mentioned at my last visit. Apparently, it is vastly different from the progesterone that is used in early pregnancy to prevent miscarriage due to low progesterone. And there are a LOT of studies being done on this drug to see how effective it is, if it might be useful during first pregnancies, etc. Here's what I know now.

Alpha-hydroxy- progesterone caproate (17P for short), can help prevent cervical changes (specifically cervical shortening, also known as effacing, which is typically the step before dilation) when given weekly starting between 16 and 20 weeks gestation. The drug is given through an injection (although nobody mentions where... hip, arm, leg, what?). P17 also helps to relax the uterine muscles, which is also a factor in preterm labor. There was a study done by the NIH where women with previous preterm births got weekly injections and the risk was decreased by 35% (not bad!). The most recent studies, however, seem to indicate that the decrease isn't seen with multiples, only singletons.

If you want to find this stuff online, it's apparently marketed under the brand name Gestiva (I had a little more luck with that than with the chemical name).

So what this tells me is if I can manage a singleton pregnancy, we have a very good chance of carrying the baby to term (or really, really close) without a cerclage. If we get twins again, it's probably going to require a cerclage.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

July 31, 4 weeks, 1 day

I am enormously glad that July is almost over. I'd really like for it to go away and act as if it never happened. Unfortunately, it will continue to happen, once every 12 months until they decide to change the calendar (which, I'll admit is not very likely). These have to be the worst 4 weeks of my life... that's topping a lot.

I will say that even with all the horrible-ness (yes, I'm making up words, deal with it) Chris and I are closer than before. That can't be all bad. It's not the way I would have wanted to figure out how much we're there for each other. There have to be better ways for that to happen. I'm looking for the good things (I'm trying here, honestly).

New job, new month (yay for August even if I do have to go back to work)... well, that would be perfect (can we get new baby in there somewhere?).

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Doctor's visit

So, the official diagnosis is "Um.... we're not really sure." Obviously, the effect was pre-term labor, however the actual cause is up for debate and could have been one of several things. I'll outline them:

1. Incompetent cervix - this is what I heard in the hosptial, but I was told today that it is actually probably NOT the cause. Typically, an IC happens over time, as the baby(ies) grow. So, it's likely that somebody would have noted something in a previous appt. The other thing that makes them suspect otherwise is the speed at which the situation progressed. At 11 am, my cervix was only 50% effaced (or so) and the cramping was mild, highly irregular and very spaced out (by hours), by 4 pm, it was pretty much 100% effaced and was having actual contractions about 30 minutes apart (that's an estimate, they were never actually timed). By 5pm I was also 3cm dialated and in the span of roughly an hour I went from 3cm to 10 cm. This is not, apparently, a typical pattern for an IC. However, my cervix will be closely watched in all subsequent pregnancies and if there's any sign of effacing, then we'll go to a cerclage. It's also possible that we could go to a cerclage at my request, especially if I have another set of twins.

2. The number of eggs implanted was 4. It's possible that this set me up for an early labor, since my body may not have realized that two of them stopped growing, or just the hormone levels were off. How that could have gone unnoticed is beyond me, since they took lots of blood, but they hadn't taken blood in quite some time, so that could be it.

3. On that note, it could be a progesterone issue. Even if it's not, progesterone shots have been known to help reduce preterm labor, so we could try that as well.

4. There could be some defect or anomaly within my uterus. To rule out this possibility, I'm having a hysterosonogram on September 5th. The goal here is to look for any polyps or fibroids in the uterus or any abnormalities of the uterus itself. Essentially, it's an ultrasound, and they fill the uterus with fluid to get a look at the inside.

Yeah, quite a list, huh? We can also throw in that I'm Rh negative, so will need rhogam for future pregnancies (cause there's no way Chris is going near a doctor to find out what his blood type is, so we're assuming he's positive).

So the current treatment is kind of complicated now. First and foremost, we want to minimize the chance of my conceiving multiples (since obviously that's a problem). I am clearly sensitive to clomid, and while that doesn't mean we won't use it, it does mean we'll go about this a different way. Step one is waiting to see what my body does. It's possible that my body may "fix" itself to some extent. I'm also going back on the metformin (850mg 2x per day). Apparently, the longer you're on it, the better your body reacts to it. She wants me to be on it for about six months to see exactly what my body is going to do. If after six months, my body is still having irregular cycles, then we can try Letrozole. This drug is similar to clomid but less potent. There's also only one dose of it, so unlike the clomid we wouldn't have to mess around with figuring out which dose works. It would either work, or it wouldn't. If the Letrozole doesn't work then we could go back to the clomid.

In the meantime, we can try if we want to (there's no physical reason to not try). Obviously, we don't know if we'd have any luck and I need to wait to have a period first (although it's possible to ovulate before the first period returns, it's also just as likely that I won't) and then... then we wait. So, unless lightning strikes or divine intervention occurs (and when in my life have I EVER been that lucky?) we're stuck waiting for awhile. That sucks. And that's all I have to say about that.

Pace across room, turn, repeat

I'm going to the doctor today. I am anxious, afraid, nauseated, somewhat sad, afraid (did I mention that?), nervous and (oddly enough) relieved. Part of me is glad this day is here, because I was beginning to think that time was stopping and the day would never arrive. The rest of me is gravely concerned over the things that she can (and can't) tell me. I have a million and one what-if's again. I wish I had Chris, Kate or my mom to come with me too. Those are the three people that I think would be a really good support right now (not that I don't love the rest of you, but there's a unique aspect to this and I really need somebody who knows me inside and out and those are the 3 people who I think qualify at this point in my life). I have 2 hours to go...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Missing them

Today seems to be a day when I miss the boys. And I'm not in tears over it, but I have this very heavy heart and I keep taking these deep breaths that sound more like sighs. It's a little strange that there doesn't seem to be any particular reason for it today. I guess that's just how it'll be for the rest of my life. There will just be days...

It's hard to think about losing your child. Children are supposed to live longer than their parents, not die as infants. It makes me wonder how those who have lost more than one child manage to go on (probably the same way I keep going, although in much more pain). I also can't begin to understand how a parent could kill their child. This isn't to say that women with post-partum depression are evil, but rather I can't ever imagine being in a place where the death of my child would be a good thing. I would rather die myself first. That's probably the one thing I can't get about PPD. Where the rational comes from that killing your child is the best possible way out, as opposed to killing yourself. Maybe it's one of those things that unless you've been there you can't understand.

What has been truly aggravating as of late are the women who see fit to complain about their pregnancy. How uncomfortable they are, how hot they are, how big they are, how they wish it was all just over. There are certainly sympathies in there - the woman who has been throwing up since day 1 and is in the hospital. That has to be hard. But I would trade with any of them (and I hate throwing up) to be in their situation. I would happily be hot and big and uncomfortable. Those women don't realize how lucky they are.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Of patience and decisions

Two weeks seems like both a very long time and a very short time. It's interesting that time can move in two completely different ways like that. And, of course, there are decisions that I need to make. Cause life would not decide to be easy ever (heh, why would it?). And then there are the two strange occurences....

So number one starts with tomorrow. I'm going to an interview tomorrow at a high school north of us. This would be the second time I've changed jobs within a few months. This wasn't my original plan... but there are reasons. Originally, I had no choice to change jobs. The job I had at North was going to be gone as of the summer, since the new school is finally opening. Plus the hour commute was just really long and difficult. I hadn't realized just how far until I was doing it. When I was offered the job I have now, I was under the impression that I wouldn't have to teach Earth Science. And then I got Earth Science and lots of it, with no sign of relief. I can't explain to you how much I hate freshman. They're to much like middle schoolers. This new job is offering me Biology. Not perfect, but a BIG improvement. My hesitation is that were I still pregnant, I wouldn't be changing jobs. Part of that is probably because most people won't hire a woman who's obviously pregnant (it's illegal, but that's never stopped anybody yet). Part of my dislike may well also just be uncomfortable with new surroundings. Be that as it may, I'm in a position where I don't really feel comfortable with the people I work with and a lot of them aren't even people I really know. So the idea of going in to work in a month and having to explain to all these people about what happened, well let's just say it's not appealing. The idea of starting over fresh, so to speak, is nice. I don't have to tell anybody that I don't want to tell. This seems like a giant cop out to me, like running away. But as several people have pointed out to me, this isn't about proving emotional strength. It's just difficult to seperate the two at this point (the emotion and the rational).

Of course, I face the same thing again on Friday. I've been teaching a test prep class. It's easy, once a week for 2 hours. Currently, it's also paying $35/hour (that may be changing, but I'm not going to worry about that right now). The Friday after 4th of July we had off and I took last Friday off as well but this upcoming Friday I need to go back. This is a daunting idea, but one that must be done. Kind of a similar situation as above, but a different situation. I'm really hoping that nobody says anything. Or that the director said something to the students last week. Anything that saves me from having to say something.

I think that part of the problem is that I tend to be private. This loss is incredibly personal and I don't tend to be an incredibly open person with people that I don't know real well. I don't know if this is something that most people feel or if it's just the quietness in me dominating (or protecting). In a lot of ways, even the pregnancy was personal. I didn't say anything to people until I had to (and obviously by the end, it was quite obvious but I still wasn't saying anything) and I was quiet even when I did tell people things. Unless they were close (or a doctor), they weren't getting details. So that same feeling is taking over now, except that people tend to be nosy about things like this. So I'm getting anxious about having to say anything.

So, about the strange occurences. Both of these things can likely be explained away easily, but they still surprised me. The first one has to do with the birdfeeder we have. There's a family of cardinals that has been living in the woods behind our house, although for the past month or so I haven't seen the Mommy, the Daddy or the babies. Today though, they all showed up. The babies are looking all grown up with mostly red feathers (so they're boys, ironically enough) and some of the baby feathers still muting the red. They're going to be very pretty. The fact that the cardinals had two baby boys just kind of stuck with me today. It's good to know that they're both doing well. I was wondering if the boys didn't send me the babies just to let me know they're ok.

The second odd moment today was in the boys' room. The cloth cubes are all filled up with stuff that makes them rather heavy, espcially the one on the bottom which has all the little pajama/onesies that I had bought. This morning that cube was pulled out, about half way. But there was no sign of cats - no pulls in the fabric or signs of cat fur. I mean... I guess they could have pulled it out without leaving a trace, but that's very unlike the cats. So, I'm guessing it was the cats, but I've got no proof of that (and no other ideas about how it could have happened that can be proven by any earthly beings).

Next Tuesday, I go to my OB for a post-partum checkup and she'll (hopefully) answer all my questions, or the ones that can be answered at any rate. I've got a list of questions written down. High on the list is when we'll be able to try again. I'm betting that the answer is going to be October/November ish. I don't like that answer, but as she controls the clomid rx we kinda have no options. It's probably for the best, medically, but it makes me uncomfortable. I need to be patient, I suppose. I'm not the most patient person. But before stressing, I need to patient and see what she says. There's that word again...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I think I'm losing my sanity

That assumes I was sane to begin with, I guess. And we all know that I'm not. My house is getting cleaner by the day. The rooms I've cleaned are likely cleaner than they've been since we moved in (that was in October, I think). I realized today that for 5 months I was resting and nothing got cleaned. So I started cleaning. Or maybe I just started trying to occupy my mind with something that didn't involve the boys or this feeling that I'm going to end up some crazy lady with 100 cats in her house. I have 2 vastly different emotions going on at once (which is likely the cause of my slipping sanity). At this rate, my bathroom floors will be able to be eaten off of.

I want time to move forward. I feel like I'm sitting here and time isn't moving. Like this day will never end, ever and I'll be stuck at this point in my life forever and then suddenly, one day I'll be 80 and my life will be over but I'll have never moved forward. I think that the primary emotion I have right now is anger (not that the sadness is gone, but it's being overwhelmed, I think). The problem is who to be angry at. There isn't really anybody to be mad at. Everybody did what they thought was the best at the point in time we were at. So the anger has no real outlet and it sits. Hence the cleaning.

I feel like everybody is moving past me. More and more people end up pregnant with their baby and soon I'll be the only one left. Everybody else will be having playdates and I'll be... pretending that I'm ok? Acting like I don't care and it doesn't really matter because we can do things without worrying about a babysitter?

Envious. I know that's on the list too. I envy the people who will never worry about losing their baby. I know that I'll spend every minute holding my breath while other people just go on about their life and never worry about anything. I feel like I'm doing that now, actually. I'm holding my breath and waiting, wondering when I'm going to get more horrible news. Wondering when... lots of wondering...

I feel like that sense of peace and joy that I found is gone. I finally felt like I was getting what I wanted, that my life was moving forward and everything was going to be ok. Now, I wonder if anything will ever be ok again. And my mind keeps drifting to this one thought - in about a month, I have to go back to a job that I don't like, people that I don't really know and answer a million questions about what happened and have to relive this entire experience over and over again for people who don't know me and just want their curiosity satisfied. I don't feel like I have the strength to handle that, yet I have no choice. I have to go back. Part of me just wants to print out a little business card that says "I lost my babies. No, I don't want to talk about it. Please don't ask me any questions." and then just hand that out to everybody. Except that would be rude. The world will expect me to answer all their prying questions ("what happened? why? are you ok? i'm sorry. you can try again, you know. you're still so young...). I hate every single one of those damn questions or statements. "Are you ok?" is probably the dumbest (yeah you moron I'm great. I'm thrilled that my babies died.) and "I'm sorry" is probably the lamest (that's the I don't know what to say, but I'll say I'm sorry cause it makes it seem like I care and I don't feel guilty).

I think the rudest of these is "You can try again. You're still so young." statement. This is typically said by people who are roughly 10 years older than me and seem to think that my children are replaceable. It's also common with people who assume that I am younger than my 30 years, because "You don't look 30!" (really asshole? I feel 30, so shut the hell up.). Like it matters how damn old I am. People assume that we just accidently ended up pregnant and we'll try again tomorrow and then have another baby without any problem. Here's a suggestion - don't assume anything. In fact, the absolute best statement that I've heard from people who've not ever been through this is "I don't know what to say." because it's the truth. It's honest. It's not trying to make that person feel better. It's not assuming anything. It's acknowledging that they don't know anything about how I feel right now and that they aren't going to try and act like they do. Trust me, should you ever meet somebody who's going through this, tell them that.

It's back

I have that same horrible, awful feeling again that I'll never have any kids.

Actually, I think it's worse now.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Blah...

Today, in a few hours, officially marks the birth of my boys. I had trouble sleeping last night. I wouldn't be surprised to have trouble sleeping tonight. Last night I spent hours laying in bed, going over moments in my head. It was literally like "at this time last week, I had the cramps that I thought would go away. what if I'd gone to the hosptial now, instead of waiting?" and on, and on, and on. Eventually I fell asleep and then I'd wake up to go to the bathroom and I'd have to start all over again. I keep looking at the clock... I know that I'm counting down the hours and minutes in my head (5 hours to go, until Liam was born). It's... hard. I don't want to do it. I keep telling myself not to do it. And then I do it again. Time moves so strangely now. Some moments I don't know where they went and other moments drag on like they'll never end.

I've also found it interesting (or something like that) that I have no desire to chat with people online about trying anymore. While we were trying for the boys, it seemed that chatting with other people kept me sane. Now... all of their concerns seem so silly. I've read across a few different threads, and with the exception of one board, there isn't anywhere I want to talk about trying. Maybe I just can't relate to people who've been trying for 2 months and cry when they discover they aren't pregnant. Or the people who test 15 times a day, even though they got a negative the first time. Maybe that'll change with time.

I also wish people would quit telling me that I can't replace Liam and Conner by being pregnant again. I KNOW that. I think it's annoying that anybody could even think that I'm trying to replace them. They aren't replaceable. They're my babies. Am I supposed to sit here and just cry and hope for several months that I could have them back? I can't have them back. I am acutely aware of the fact that I can't have them back. Why is it so wrong that we want to have children. Are people just that uncomfortable with the idea of losing a child that they think that wanting to try again means I want a replacement for my boys? I find it somewhat ironic to that most of the people telling me that I'm rushing myself (like they'd know) also have children that are alive. I'm not looking at the world through their glasses.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Random chatter

It's probably not real commonly known (well, I sure didn't know) that sadness like this is actually a physical thing. I mean, obviously there's a huge emotional part there. But there is this physical pain that goes along with it. Maybe pain is a bad word choice. But it's harder to breathe, joints ache (mostly, my back but I've also had other pains in my knees), and there are moments when my heart physically feels heavier. I doubt it actually is, it just feels that way.

I also have these wonderfully conflicting emotions (hear the sarcasm here?). I've wanted to have children forever (it seems that way, anyhow). We certainly worked long enough to have the boys. And yes, it did sometimes feel like work. And I have the boys, in a sense. Nobody can take away the fact that I am a mommy. But... I don't have them. The rest of the world sees a person with no children. Not that I really care what anybody else thinks, but in a sense I don't have any children. It's a strange thing to try and understand. How can I want to get pregnant again (like NOW!) and still recognize that I have children (which IS what I wanted)? Maybe this doesn't make sense to anybody else. Whatever else you might say, DO NOT tell me that I shouldn't worry about it. Because I'm going to, for awhile anyway.

I decided today that I also needed to put anything that could potentially get barfed on or otherwise destroyed by a cat needed to get put away. This included several things that were not specifically for the boys (like a car window shade I had bought) and a few things I had bought for them (like the Eeyore and Pooh stuffed animals). And part of me didn't really want to put them away, like they were just for another baby because they weren't (although they will, obviously, get passed down). I felt somewhat horrible for "hiding" these things. That wasn't my intention, but I think that's what it ends up looking like.

And of course, I am one of those people who worries. There's no real explanation for why I do, but I do. Maybe it's partially being a person who abhores things being totally outside of their control. Actually, it's probably largely a result of that, but I digress. My worries are compounding. I am terrified that it'll take us another year or more to conceive another child. Now, this worry seems silly since the clomid clearly worked (heck, it worked on the first try, so what does that tell you?) and chances are that it will work again (why wouldn't it?) but the worrier in me... well... yeah. And then there's the worry I have of how well the clomid works. Remember the first ultrasound showed 4 sacs, although only two actual babies. So, I fully expect another set of twins (or worse). The thought of a cerclage scares the hell out of me (but may be the best choice, depending on the situation) especially since one of the potential problems is that it could inadvertantly cause preterm labor (wouldn't that be bloody brilliant?). I'd probably also rather take drugs, but I don't think that's the first choice that's used. That's one of those ask the doctor questions. As to why I'd rather the drugs... probably just because it doesn't require somebody trying to sew my cervix shut (charming thought, huh?) but then again, if it means my baby's (babies'?) life, I'd likely walk through heaven and hell. Scratch that, I know I would.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

The little things

Baby steps. That's how I've been getting through my days. It seems to be working, although I don't think I'll be starting a cheer anytime soon. We've gotten some flowers (which are beautiful) and lots of people just letting us know that they're thinking of us. It's nice to know. It's not the way I'd have opted to find this out though.

There are still little things... You know those things. The ones that make you stop unexpectedly and cry, mourning what's lost. I think those are the hardest because they come out of nowhere. One moment you'll be fine and the next the world is wondering what's wrong. But I've made it this far. I'm willing to bet I'll make it a little further. There are still plenty of things that are making me wonder what steps to take next in my life. Maybe I've just reevaluated what's truly important.

Surprisingly, the boys' room doesn't upset me yet. It's actually kind of comforting. Maybe that's where their spirits ended up. Maybe that will change. Eventually it will become a room for another little one, I imagine. Maybe that will change my feelings about the room. That's one of those wait and see things. I don't think I'll know until I actually get there. But that all goes back to the baby steps.

Right now, it's hour by hour. Eventually, I'm sure I'll get back to day by day. I know for sure that every night for the rest of my life I'll say goodnight to my little angels before I go to sleep.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

My little angels

My little boys were so tiny and precious. I need to get some of this out. Writing seems like it might help.

Liam and Conner...much loved by their mommy and daddy, born 7/2/07. They're perfect. What else can I say? There aren't any 2 babies more loved. They could have been anything. They get to be angels.

There are a million what ifs going through my head. What if I went to the hospital sooner? What if I rested more? Drank more water? Did I miss something? Did I eat something bad?

My job for the first nine months was to just keep them safe. My heart is breaking because I couldn't do that. I got them all to myself for 5 months. I got to see pictures. I heard their little hearts beat. I would do anything for a chance to do it all again. I would give up the rest of my life if they could just have theirs. This pain is terrible.

I got to hold them both. I kissed them both. I told them mommy loved them.

Now I have to go on. Without them.

Liam, Conner, mommy loves you. She always will.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Halfway (aka 20 weeks)

14o days to go, officially 5 months. So what does the doctor's visit reveal? Well, both babies sound good (nice heartbeats, one was a little pumped, maybe cause I'd just eaten but he was going nuts in there). I've gained 18 pounds, so I have 6 more pounds to go and I'll have my 24 pounds at 24 weeks. My uterus, however, is very stretched out. It measures at 31 weeks, with the top tip sitting just beneath my diaphragm. This easily explains why taking a deep breath is difficult. Apparently, they decided to grow up first and then out. It can't go up any further, really, so the only direction left is outward. This ought to be interesting, eh?

It has also occured to me that I'm going to have 2 boys. Now, I have brothers. I have seen firsthand what happens when boys get bored. Heck, even when they're not bored things get... interesting. Some highlights include: setting a washcloth on fire (at 8 in the morning), throwing pennies around the bedroom, resulting in one penny falling between a nightlight and where it was plugged in (causing the plugs to be seperated from the nightlight itself, left inside the outlet), putting army men into the microwave just to see what would happen, and general cuts, scrapes, bruises and broken bones. And this is just what ONE boy managed to do, by himself. So I'll have 2, working together at the exact same age (and likely thinking the same things). What exactly did I do to deserve this?? Somebody save me, please!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

19 weeks


19 weeks
Originally uploaded by Malkavian513
I am growing a watermelon, apparently. At any rate, at least I don't look lumpy anymore. Oh and if this works then I figured out how to blog from flickr - so yay!
Edit - suh-weet! it works!!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Conner and Liam

The ultrasound tech swears that they're both boys (one of them, I think it's hard to tell, but she says he's a boy, and she has far more experience doing this than I do), so it's 2 boys (um... yeah, not real sure what to do with them yet, since I always figured one of them was a girl but I'm sure it'll be good - less drama, right?). Their heartbeats are both at 185, as of yesterday and one of them is estimated at a whopping 8 ounces, the other is 9 ounces. That means that both of them are bigger than what the books and websites say they should be at 18 weeks. This is good, since it means they're both growing well. I'll put up pictures from the new ultrasound later.

Friday, June 8, 2007

17 weeks

Your baby weighs about 5 ounces now, and he's around 5 inches long — about the size of a large onion. He can move his joints, and his skeleton — until now rubbery cartilage — is starting to harden to bone. His sense of hearing is also developing. The umbilical cord, his lifeline to the placenta, is growing stronger and thicker.

I don't really like the comparison to an onion, but I guess that it helps with understanding the size. But still... an onion?

Saturday, June 2, 2007

16 weeks (and 10 pounds in 4 weeks)

I've gained 10 pounds since my last doctor's visit. This makes everybody happy. My only thought is how long it'll take to get all this weight off... All I can say is that these two little beans had better appreciate all the effort that mommy is going through!

At 4 1/2 inches long (head to bottom) and 3 1/2 ounces, your baby is about the size of an avocado. In the next three weeks, she'll go through a tremendous growth spurt, though, doubling her weight and adding inches to her length. Her lower limbs are much more developed now. Her head is more erect than it has been, and her eyes have moved toward the front of her head. Your baby's ears are close to their final position, too. Some of her more advanced body systems are working, including her circulatory system and urinary tract. Her heart is now pumping about 25 quarts of blood each day, circulating her total blood volume through her body many times. (By the end of your pregnancy, this will increase to about 190 quarts.) The patterning of her scalp has begun, though her hair isn't recognizable yet. Although closed, her eyes are moving (slowly), and she's even started growing toenails.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

coupons

Yeah, if anybody spots baby type coupons (diapers, baby wipes, pacifiers, whatever else) I would really like to have them. Actually... if you have anything else you don't want, I'd probably take those too, but mostly diapers (please - I'm begging here. Diapers are EXPENSIVE!!!!)

Friday, May 25, 2007

15 weeks

Ummm... when did this happen? How did I get to 15 weeks pregnant? I feel like I've lost a couple of months somewhere.

At around 4 inches long, crown to rump, your baby now weighs about 2 1/2 ounces. He's busy inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid, which will help develop the air sacs in his lungs. His legs are growing longer than his arms now, and he can move all his joints and limbs. That means his hands are more functional, too. Sweat glands are appearing, and although his eyelids are fused shut, he can sense light. If you shine a flashlight at your tummy, he's likely to move away from the beam. There's not much for your baby to taste at this point, but his taste buds are beginning to form. And if you have an ultrasound, you may be able to find out whether your baby's a boy or girl! (Don't be disappointed if it remains a mystery, though. Nailing down the sex depends somewhat on how clear the picture is and the position of your baby during the ultrasound; he may be curled or turned in such a way as to keep you in suspense.)

Friday, May 18, 2007

14 weeks (182 days to go)

Head to bottom, your baby's 3 1/2 inches long — about the length of a lemon — and weighs about 1 1/2 ounces. Her body's growing faster than her head, which now sits upon a more well-defined neck. By the end of this week, her arms will have lengthened and will be in proportion to the rest of her body. (Her legs still have some growing to do, though.) She's starting to develop an ultra-fine, downy covering of hair all over her body (called lanugo). Her liver starts secreting bile this week, a sign that it's already functioning properly, and her spleen starts contributing to the production of red blood cells. She's also producing and discharging urine into the amniotic fluid, a normal process that she'll keep up until birth. You still can't feel your baby's movements, but her hands and feet (which are now half an inch long) are more flexible and active. Thanks to brain impulses, her little facial muscles are getting a workout as she squints, frowns, and grimaces. She can grasp now, too, and she may be able to suck her thumb.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

13 weeks

Your belly may soon be big enough to announce to the world that you're expecting, but your baby is still tiny. In fact, he's only about 3 inches long crown to rump — roughly the size of a jumbo shrimp — and weighs just about an ounce. Despite the small proportions, there's a fully formed baby inside your womb now. Much more proportional than it was a few weeks ago, his head is now only about a third the size of his body. His tiny, unique fingerprints are already in place. His kidneys and urinary tract are functional, and he's starting to urinate out the amniotic fluid he's been swallowing. As you start your second trimester, most of your baby's critical development will be completed, and your odds of miscarriage will drop considerably.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

New pictures

I have pictures up now of the room decorating that I've done so far. My Snoopy border rocks - and I put it up by myself. I don't recommend doing that. EVER. I'm far to perfectionistic to allow help though. Besides we only have 1 ladder (and 10 foot ceilings) so it's not like Chris could have done much anyway. You can also see our stoarge cubes, which I love. They're cute and the little cloth drawers are neat. (http://flickr.com/photos/cmorley/)

Yes, I realize that the room is blue and it looks like we're having boys. We don't know what we're having, but there was no way I was painting the room pink, even if they're both girls. And really, green or yellow? Yuck. Blue is pretty and besides that the color is called Blue's Bubbles. If Blue can be a girl (think Blue's Clues), then any girls I have can have a blue room. And it does look like the same shade of blue that Blue is, so I like it.

Monday, May 7, 2007

New stuff YOU want to know

Flickr will let you print photos from online now! What does this mean to you? Well, if you want to print any of my pictures (and some of you may well want to now or eventually...) you need to go to flickr.com and set up an account. Then you want me to add you as family or friends, because quite frankly, I don't want the whole world to be able to print my pictures (and really who can blame me?). Once you're added you'll be able to go to pictures and print sets of them which you can either have mailed to you at home or you can pick up at Target. According to the site you do have to pay via credit card though - I think that's true even if you want to pick them up at Target.

FYI, my photo site is under the name Malkavian513. I don't know if you can search for cmorley and find it. Alternatively, you can just let me know what you set up as a screen name in flickr and I can invite you into my friends and family list. Signing up is free, so you don't have to actually pay anything until you want pictures.

Friday, May 4, 2007

12 week update and an OB visit

Your baby's hit the 2-inch mark (about the size of a lime) and weighs half an ounce. Her face is beginning to look more human. Her eyes, which started out on the sides of her head, have moved closer together on her face, and her ears are near their final positions on the sides of her head. Your baby's intestines, which have grown so rapidly that they protrude into the umbilical cord, will start to move into her abdominal cavity about now. Her kidneys are secreting urine into her bladder. Her nerve cells have been multiplying rapidly, and synapses (neurological pathways in the brain) are forming. Your baby may have acquired more reflexes by now, including sucking, and she'll even squirm if you prod your abdomen, though you still won't be able to feel her movement for several weeks.

So that's the baby update on the growth front. The OB appointment showed to babies with great heartbeats - Baby A had a hr of 167 and Baby B had a hr of 178. My blood pressure is still nice and low (yay for 112/70). However, I need to gain more weight. In 12 weeks, I've gained 2 pounds. By 24 weeks, I should have gained 24 pounds total. So, in 12 weeks I need to gain about 22 pounds. Except that I'm eating all the time. I thought I had gained at least 5 pounds. I need recipes that are high protein. So if you have a good recipe with a lot of calories in it, please email it to me! Apparently, I need it (who ever thought I'd be trying to GAIN weight!?) Worry not about the babies though. They're highly effective little parasites. :)

Friday, April 27, 2007

The 11 week update

Your fig-sized baby is now fully formed — measuring 1 1/2 inches long and weighing in at a quarter of an ounce. His skin is still transparent, allowing many of his blood vessels to show through. Some of his bones are beginning to harden, and tiny toothbuds are starting to appear under his gums. His fingers and toes have separated, and he may soon be able to open and close his fists. He's already busy kicking and stretching, and his tiny movements are so fluid they look like water ballet. These movements will increase as his body grows and becomes more developed and functional. As his diaphragm develops, your tiny tenant may also start to get the hiccups. Because he's still so small, though, you won't feel any of his workouts or intrauterine gulps until sometime between weeks 16 and 20.

Friday, April 20, 2007

For the curious

One belly, 10 weeks in...

http://flickr.com/photos/cmorley/

They're officially fetuses... er.... feti??

I've no idea what the plural of fetus is... however they both are, as of today. I guess 10 weeks is a magic number since all their organs are developed now and all they really have to do now is GROW!

This is the beginning of the so-called fetal period, a time when the tissues and organs in her body rapidly grow and mature. Her vital organs — the liver, kidney, intestines, brain, and lungs — are now in place and starting to function (although they'll continue to develop throughout your pregnancy). Her liver continues to make blood cells, and the yolk sac, which previously supplied these cells, is no longer needed and begins to disappear.

During the next three weeks, your baby's length will more than double to nearly 3 inches. Her head is proportionately smaller now than it was a few weeks ago, but it's still almost half the length of her entire body. Her forehead temporarily bulges with her developing brain and sits high on her head; it will later recede to give her a more human appearance. Each day, more minute details — including tiny fingernails, toenails, and peach-fuzz hair — start to appear on her body. Her fingers are now completely separated; her arms bend at the elbow and curve slightly; her hands are flexed at the wrist and meet over her heart; her legs are lengthening; and her feet may be long enough to meet in front of her body. She is busily swallowing amniotic fluid and kicking her legs.If you could take a peek at your baby this week, you'd be able to clearly see the outline of her spine through her parchment-thin skin. Spinal nerves are beginning to stretch out from her spinal cord.

Also, I seem to have a belly. I attribute this to the fact that, in a normal pregnancy the uterus should be about the size of a grapefruit. So with more than one in there, I would assume that the uterus would be bigger. I have not yet gained any weight though... Possibly a pound, as it's kind of difficult to tell on the scale. My eternal hope is that I won't end up at the same weight after I have the babies, which would get me a little lighter than my current standard weight.

I want brownies. That is all (love you all!).

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Baby Registry

In the hopes that we'll get some of the more expensive things gifted to us there is now a baby registry at Babies R Us. It's under my name and Chris' name so it should be easy to find. Obviously everything is gender neutral since we don't know if they're boys, girls or both. But then again, when you're talking about things like cribs and car seats there aren't really gender differences.

Monday, April 16, 2007

9 week update x2

Your new resident is nearly an inch long — barely the size of a grape — and weighs just a fraction of an ounce, but he's poised for rapid weight gain now that his basic physical structure is in place. He's also starting to look more and more human. His embryonic "tail" is now completely gone and his body parts — including organs, muscles, and nerves — are kicking into gear.His eyelids are fused shut and won't open until 27 weeks. He has earlobes, and by week's end, the inner workings of his ears will be complete. His upper lip is fully formed, too, and his mouth, nose, and nostrils are more distinct. The tips of his fingers are slightly enlarged where his touch pads are developing. All major joints — his shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees, and ankles — are working, enabling your baby to move his limbs. As for his heart, it has divided into four chambers now, and the valves have started to develop. External sex organs are there, but won't be distinguishable as male or female for another few weeks.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

8 week update

I'll have to find information soon on how having the twins will affect their development. Meanwhile, at 8 weeks, they're getting bigger...

Your baby is now 5/8 of an inch long, about the size of a kidney bean. She's constantly moving and shifting, although you won't be able to feel these womb wiggles for several weeks yet. Her embryonic tail is disappearing, and her eyelids practically cover her eyes. Still slightly webbed, her fingers and toes are growing longer. Her arms have lengthened, too, and her hands are now flexed at the wrist and meet over her heart. Her knee joints have formed, and her feet may be long enough to meet in front of her body. With her trunk straightening out, her head is more erect. Breathing tubes extend from her throat to the branches of her developing lungs. The nerve cells in her brain are also branching out to connect with one another, forming primitive neural pathways. Though you may be daydreaming about your baby as one gender or another, the external genitals still haven't developed enough to reveal whether you're having a boy or a girl.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Pictures

Flickr and blogger don't play nice (probably because flickr is a yahoo thing and blogger is a google thing), so here's the link to the three ultrasound pictures.
http://flickr.com/photos/cmorley/

:) - FYI tomorrow is 8 weeks, or 2 months!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

A two for one deal!

I had my first OB appointment today. I didn't think that we'd do an ultrasound, but it turns out that they have one in the office. Dr. Vuong wanted to see how many babies there were because of the clomid. Clomid, apparently is THE wonder drug - because I'm carrying twins. I actually started with quads, but two of them were reabsorbed. The tech and my OB said that the babies's hearts probably didn't start to beat when the other two did. Which explains the bouts of bleeding.

The other two, however, are happily attached to me with good strong heartbeats - one at 188 bpm (beats per minute) and the other at 177 bpm. I have ultrasound pics that I'll put up soon. But I wanted to share! :)

Thursday, March 29, 2007

I think I'm nauseous

I can't eat. I managed a bowl of cereal but nothing else is getting into my stomach anytime soon. Tomorrow will be 7 weeks. I'm not sure if that feels like a long time or not. At any rate, by this point my little one is something like this.

Your baby still appears to have a small tail (actually, it's an extension of his tailbone), which will disappear in the next few weeks. But that's the only thing getting smaller. Now almost half an inch long — roughly the size of a raspberry — he has elbow joints and distinct, slightly webbed fingers and toes. In his oversized head, both hemispheres of his brain are developing. His teeth and the inside of his mouth are forming, and his ears continue to develop. Eyelid folds partially cover his tiny peepers, which already have some color, and the tip of that nose you'll be tweaking someday is emerging. His skin is paper-thin and his veins are clearly visible.

Your little one also has an appendix and a pancreas, which will eventually produce the hormone insulin to aid in digestion. His liver is busy producing red blood cells, and a loop of your baby's growing intestines is bulging into his umbilical cord, which now has distinct blood vessels to carry oxygen and nutrients to and from his tiny body. You can't feel his gyrations yet, but your baby is like a little jumping bean, moving in fits and starts around his watery home.

Monday, March 26, 2007

I habe a cold...

Oh yes, a nasty little cold (and the title is what I sound like when I say that). And do you know what it says on the back of every package of cold medication known to man? If you are pregnant, consult a doctor before use. And do you know how many doctors are available between Saturday morning and Sunday night? Yup, zero. So now what? I suffer, very slowly and painfully all weekend with the happy knowledge that Monday morning I can call and talk to a nurse and find out what I can take to at least make my nose stop running.

And then I wake up Monday morning, feeling much better. In fact my nose has stopped running (there's an occasioanl bout of sniffles) and I'm left with a cough that tells me this isn't totally gone. But I no longer need any medicine for it.

I hate viruses.

Friday, March 23, 2007

6 weeks along...

Your baby's heart is growing and dividing into the right and left chambers. But the most exciting part is that her tiny heart is now beating (at a speedy 100 to 130 beats a minute) and pumping blood throughout her body. The cells that will make up all of your baby's body parts and systems are dividing furiously as her body begins to take shape. Right now she's about the size of a small lentil bean (4 to 5 millimeters across).

If you could see through your uterine wall, you'd find an overlarge head and dark spots where your baby's eyes and nostrils will be. Shallow pits on the sides of her head mark her developing ears, and her arms and legs appear as protruding buds. Her hands and feet look like paddles, with thick webbing between the developing digits, but her fingers and toes will soon become more distinct. Below the opening that will later be your baby's mouth, there are small folds where her neck and lower jaw will eventually develop. (Inside, her tongue and vocal cords are just beginning to form.) Your baby's intestines are developing, and tiny breathing passages are beginning to appear where her lungs will be. She's also starting to build muscle fibers and, halfway through this week, she'll likely start moving her tiny limbs.

This is one cool picture: http://www.babycenter.com/general/fetaldevelopment/pregnancy/1498210.html?scid=mbtw_preg07:20070319:0:0:0

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Easy food

This place is great: http://dreamdinners.com/main.php?static=index. You order the meals you want to make online and then you schedule a time to go in a put the meals together. So you spend 1-2 hours assembling meals and putting them into ready to freeze containers. They give you cooking instructions and then you take everything home. It's not bad. Food's pretty good anyway and I got 5 meals out of it on the introductory special. If you don't like coming home from work and cooking you might want to give this a try (if there's one near you, of course).

FYI, 5 weeks and 4 days today.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Tomorrow is 5 weeks...

How your baby's growing: Deep in your uterus your embryo is growing at a furious pace. At this point he's about the size of a sesame seed, and he looks more like a tiny tadpole than a human. He's now made up of three layers — the ectoderm, mesoderm, and endoderm — that will later form his organs and tissues. The cells are forming for his major organs, including his kidneys and liver, and his neural tube is beginning to develop. This neural tube — from which your baby's brain, spinal cord, nerves, and backbone will sprout — develops in the top layer, called the ectoderm. This layer will also give rise to his skin, hair, nails, mammary and sweat glands, and tooth enamel. His heart and circulatory system begin to form in the middle layer, or mesoderm. (This week, in fact, his tiny heart begins to divide into chambers and beat and pump blood.) The mesoderm will also form your baby's muscles, cartilage, bone, and subcutaneous (under skin) tissue. The third layer, or endoderm, will house his lungs, intestines, and rudimentary urinary system, as well as his thyroid, liver, and pancreas. In the meantime, the primitive placenta and umbilical cord, which deliver nourishment and oxygen to your baby, are already on the job.

Link to developmental picture (which I'm assuming works): http://www.babycenter.com/general/1498209

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Ooohhh...

I may have to talk Chris into getting me this: http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2267435&cp=&sr=1&f=Taxonomy%2FTRUS%2F2254197&origkw=pillow&kw=pillow&parentPage=search or something similar. It looks so comfy (and it has slipcovers so it doesn't have to be white). Of course, the cats would probably try and steal it... but I know how to win with the cats (I'm bigger and I can pick them up).

Almost 5 weeks.... (4 weeks, 4 days) I wish I could figure out how to get one of my tickers to post on the page of the blog. That would be easier, but it won't let me. Anybody know how to convince it to let me?

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Week 4

The ball of cells -- now called an embryo -- growing inside your uterus is the size of an apple seed. It's divided into three layers that will later form organs and tissues. Low on the sides of the head are two folds of tissue that will become the ears. The neural tube -- from which the brain, backbone, and spinal cord and nerves will sprout -- develops in the top layer. The heart and the circulatory system begin to appear in the middle layer. The third layer starts to house the lungs, intestines, and beginnings of the urinary system. In the meantime, the early version of the placenta, the chorionic villi, and the umbilical cord, which delivers nourishment and oxygen to your baby, are already working.

http://www.babycenter.com/general/1498208.html (I don't know if this will work or not... it works on my computer, but that may be because I'm logged in. Let me know if it doesn't work or asks you to log in.)

Saturday, March 10, 2007

More food...

I am always hungry. I'm gonna end up gaining a million pounds or something. Jeez, this is awful. I mean, it's great at the same time but I wish food wasn't my primary thought all day long.

4 weeks, 1 day today. :)

Thursday, March 8, 2007

At almost 4 weeks, I have the following symptoms (oh fun!)

- constant hunger (well, almost constant)
- a runny nose
- some insomnia
- impending nausea
- fatigue (how that and insomnia go together, I don't know)

It's good. As of today, there are 253 days left until our baby gets here.

Monday, March 5, 2007

The goal of this blog has changed a bit...

since I've just gotten a positive pregnancy test. I'll have to schedule it with my doctor to confirm, of course but I'm just thrilled. Now, I'm all nervous too but I'm sooo excited!

So, I guess this will become my baby blog now. *glee*

Friday, February 23, 2007

A Message of Love

Feel free to read my message. If it means something to you then I'm glad that you get some hope from it. The lovely woman who has this gift has a blog here: http://amris-messagesoflove.blogspot.com/

Out of darkness and despair can come new joy, profound hope, and an enlightened state.

But only if the human turns to a greater love for God.It is interesting, however, that up til now, the humans have been putting the chicken before the egg. (humor) You see, the human leaders claim that adversity turns people back to God, that this is the intent of adversity, in fact.

Such is not the case. Human, you are free to turn from God. It is an honored choice. You are honored and revered, even if you turn from God.

God is not less loving than you are. God does not seek your love by tormenting you! God does not seek your love by torturing you! Let it never be so!

Are the dark times a test? Yes. But not of your love. Not of God's love for you. You are answering the single most important question in the universe every single time that you face pain of any kind in your life.

What question? "Will life seek God if God seems absent, or will life embrace the darkness?"

Over and over again, time after time, you have answered the question. Every single time, you have sought God. You have withstood everything that has been sent to you, and you have loved God.

And you have been sorely tested. You have been wounded in unimagineable ways. You have walked paths where darkness lurked all around you.

Not once, not a single time, have you failed the test. We watch you in awe. We cannot even imagine what you have experienced, because you are the Human. Human experience is unique in all the reality of existance. It is remarkable, unfathomable to us.

We walk among you, and we serve you. We support you. We are always, eternally, near you. There are hosts of angels who stand around the Earth at all times. We outnumber you by so many that you do not have a number in your vocabulary for it.

This is what kind of service the humans command. This is the level of your power, the importance and grandness of your choice. There is amazement and wonder here. You are "the talk of the town," and have been for many centuries of your time.

And you, human. Dear one. Beloved. Honored and revered worker. Every single time, you have held onto hope. You have embraced the gifts of God. You have turned from the darkness, shunning it. You have honored and loved God.

Did you think this was unnoticed?? How could that be possible? It is the single most important question in all of existance!

And you have answered it correctly. Every. Single. Time.

You are dearly loved, and more.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Starting over again

Well, 50mg of clomid was a bust. Now I get 100mg to see if that will work. I'm also going to take it a day earlier than my doctor said to. The difference between 2-6 and 3-7 should be minimal. There's also some evidence to suggest that the earlier in your cycle you take the clomid the more follicles you will produce, hence further increasing the risk of multiples. This concept is odd and rather difficult for me to wrap my head around.

On the one hand, all I want is a baby. If taking clomid a little earlier presents a higher chance for an egg to be produced and fertilized and implant then that's a good thing. But the flip side of this is that I have no idea how many follicles I'll end up producing. I could get triplets or quadruplets or some number bigger than that. That's a rather unnerving thought. Not that I'd complain. I mean I don't plan on having all my children in one shot but if that's the way it goes, then so be it. I'm kinda working with fate on this. Fate hasn't really wanted to cooperate yet.

So here we are at cd2 of cycle #14, over a year after we started this journey. We're no closer to being parents then when we started, unfortunately. This never seems to get easier either. My favorite grocery store has this wonderful display when you walk in of Winnie the Pooh books. It's one of those things where you buy a new book each week. My first thought was that they were cute. My second was that I still don't have any kids to buy them for. I walk through Borders and look at the kids books and all the cute titles and I'm reminded that I have nobody to read them too. I've wondered walking through Walmart if I'll ever need any of the cute little baby outfits that they have. I see an article about baby seats and sigh knowing that right now it doesn't matter.

I've been trying very hard to not let this take over my life. Yet at the same time, I'm constantly reminded that I'm 30 and that most women who are 30 are mothers or on their way to being moms. Somehow that dream isn't being allowed to me. That makes me both sad and angry. I've tried very hard to be a good person. I have a stable life and could take care of a child. I have plenty of love to share. We have enough money to take care of a child. But fate seems to want to deny me. I wonder if it took me to long to find a father and if I should have just gotten pregnant with somebody along the way. But I was being smart, everybody told me. You have to wait until everything is perfect and you have a home and a husband and everything is all set in your life. So great, I followed the party line. I get nothing. It doesn't seem fair.

As awful as this sounds there are days when I'm incredibly angry reading the ttc boards I'm on because there are women who are upset they can't have a second, third or fourth child. While I'm totally sure that they feel their families are incomplete and that must hurt I think that this hurt is different. They have the one thing I can't seem to get and may never know. That makes me feel totally broken. The one thing my body is designed for it won't do and I'm not even sure it can. There are no answers, there's no comfort there. It's very lonely to be the woman who will never have grandchildren. I wonder sometimes what life would be like at 60 if I never have children. All I feel is lonely.

One of the worst things is that as you get older people start to wonder why you don't have kids. What do you tell them? That you couldn't? That you don't want any? I've met people who don't want kids. I don't like most of them. They're selfish people, typically - not to say that all people who don't want kids are selfish, just the ones I've met.

I don't know where I'm going with this... I just needed to vent some, I guess. That and I'm starting to run out of options. It's difficult to start to see the end of a tunnel and know that the journey may not end where you want. I don't know what steps to take next. I don't know where to get the money to take that step, whatever it might be.

Friday, February 2, 2007

So why DO you vax?

I've found MDC to be a fairly interesting place and full of lots of information. It is somewhere that has an abundance of AP information. Now, I'm a huge supporter of Dr. Sears and his ideas on AP. I love the ideas and his writing style (something hugely important to me is a person's writing style - I will avoid certain author's because of it, but I digress). Unfortunately, like anywhere on the www you get people who are fanatic about things. That goes for every area. It's a "my way is the ONLY way and if you don't do this you're a horrible, awful parent and person!" mentality. One of the boards the really bothers me is the vaccination board, which is ardently anti-vax. As in no child should be vaccinated for anything, ever because vaccinations are toxic, horrible things that kill people and anyway they don't work so why bother exposing your child to toxic chemicals.

As a scientist, I am somewhat aghast at this POV. Not because I think all vaxes are safe and they should be given willy-nilly. In fact, I think that there are far to many given very early on for things that an infant is probably not likely to contract. That aside, there are a lot of debates on that vax board and one of the most commonly asked topics is why do you vax. Another web group I'm a part of has a lovely woman posting on it who wrote a wonderful succinct reply to this question. With her permission, I am reposting it here.

To preface this a little, it is a common attack point with anti-vaxers that people who are pro-vax (i.e. anybody who would be insane enough to ever vax their child for ANYTHING!) can never provide "a single link" to back up their reasons. Now being a scientist and knowing scientific method backwards and forwards, let me just also point out that basing a decision (especially one that important) on ONE of anything (be it a study, a doctor's opinion, your best friend Sam or whatever) is not the way science works. The more, the better is a scientist's belief and that's true for vax studies as well. But the discussion goes on from there...

I've been thinking about the anti-vaxers' insistence that they depend on science, peer-reviewed studies, etc, and that pro-vaxers "can't provide even one link"of reasons to vax. I think there's a pretty vast misunderstanding of how scientific research happens and is reported. No, there's no ONE study that will convince EVERYONE that vaxing is in our best interests. There are, of course, hundreds -thousands! - of studies on vaccines. Personally, I've been reading about Prevnar recently. There are studies on how well it works, how it should be scheduled, what the effects of it are on children,what the effects of vaxing children are on adults,what the effects of it are on individual communities,what kinds of adverse reactions there are, and so on. Looking at a range of studies, you can get an excellent sense of what the impact of this vaccine is on both an individual and a public health level, andyou can make your choice as to whether you feel it's a positive impact (obviously, that's where I lean, andthat's where most of the medical establishment leans). There isn't ONE study on Prevnar. There's a constellation. For older vaccines, there are galaxies. I'm really not sure, when we're told "Show me just one link!" what we're being asked to prove.

Of course, it helps to be able to comprehend whatyou're reading. For people like Mama In The Boonies, what's going on is simple incomprehension. In the recent thread, she saw something in the package insert for Hib that declared that there were zero serious adverse reactions to the vaccine in one particular age cohort, and somehow was confused enough by the sentence structure to think it was arguing that the number of serious adverse reactions in the overall study group was near 80%. Simple - perhaps willful -misreading.

But there is more complex misreading going on. When researchers write up their findings, they explain their methods, including potential weaknesses of thosemethods and ways in which the data may be flawed. No one writes a study in which they claim 100% confidence in their results. How does that play out when we'retalking about vaccines? Well, say there's a study in which someone is evaluating adverse reactions to the MMR. Perhaps they find 15 people who have grown a third eye in the middle of their foreheads, and they have evidence that this is the result of the MMR. Youare then going to see a section in the study that goes something like this: "Perhaps there are more than 15 people who grew a third eye after the MMR. Here are some ways we may have overlooked third-eye sufferers, or ways in which third-eye sufferers are underreported. On the other hand, perhaps there are fewer than 15 people who grew a third eye after theMMR. Here are some ways this condition could be over-reported or misinterpreted." So, you see whereI'm going with this. Anti-vaxers are going to then EXPLOIT THE INTEGRITY OF THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD by taking the part of the study where the scientist admits that third-eye-sprouting could be underreported, and claiming that as the main conclusion of the article.

Similarly, there is language on package inserts which all medications which have not undergone certain kinds of testing must include. You'll often see anti-vaxers quote something about how this or that vax has not been tested for "carcinogenic, fertility, or mutagenic properties." That doesn't mean they make everyone infertile, gives them cancer, and turns them into blue elephants. It means certain kinds of tests, such as tests on pregnant women, haven't been done. If you look at the prescribing information on many widely accepted drugs, you'll see similar language. So, government regulations which protect us by not allowing drug-makers to make unsubstantiated claims, actually feed paranoia (not that I'm saying those regulations are a bad thing!).

Another reason anti-vaxers feel comfortable claiming the science is on their side is that in the sheer number of studies out there, there are going to be some which support a more skeptical view of vaccines.It's not that those studies do not exist. It's that those studies need to be balanced in the context of the field as a whole. For example, there may well be a study which finds a link between MMR and Third-Eye-Disease. There may also be ten more studies which find no connection. So, what's an anti-vaxer to do? Say, "Hmmm, I'm very concerned about third eyes. Clearly, someone has found evidence for a vax-third-eye link. At the same time, there's evidence against it. I'm not sure. I'm going to look at ALL the studies and see which are most well-designed and conclusive." Or is the anti-vaxer going to say "Well, duh. Vaxes cause third eyes. Ihave a study right here that proves it." The more unfamiliar with science you are, the more likely you are to think that a single study is conclusive -because, you know, it's a STUDY! Wow! (And I speak from personal experience, as a non-science-person who is just beginning to be able to make sense of some of this stuff.)

Finally, we can't ignore that there ARE validcriticisms to be made of vaccine policy, and there ARE legitimate fields of inquiry when it comes to possible problems with vaccines. The problem is, integrity requires that those of who approach the subject without fanaticism will give the other side its due -such as I've done in the preceding sentence! It's very, very rare that anti-vaxers will do the same.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Catching Up

I haven't posted in awhile and since it's now February, I figured an update was in order. I finally ovulated on cd23, which is far later than expected. Currently I'm 6dpo and waiting patiently. See I've only got one test... well technically there are 2 in the box, but whatever. I don't want to waste any tests. I'm going to wait - probably I'll test on the 10th, which is a Saturday. It's right before Valentine's day.

I'm also amused that it's snowing today. Several months ago I had a psychic give me a brief reading and my only real question was when will I get my baby? Trust me, this becomes a very important question after trying for 6 months. Anyway, she said that she felt it would be snowing (she had said November) and I remember laughing. Snow? In North Carolina? Yeah, right. Except there's about an inch outside right now, so clearly she wasn't nuts. Now, clearly it's not November but it is snowing. Today may be the day my little baby decided to make herself at home in my uterus. That would be so wonderful. And I told her so a couple of times today.

Waiting is not the best part of this whole thing, but I'll take what I can get. At least I ovulated, right? I need some lunch. Snow days are such fun.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Suh-weet

I have turned an OPK positive. This means I should ovulate soon. This is a fairly thrilling development. Go me.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Hello? Anybody in there??

I'm at cd10 and I still have nothing to indicate that I may ovulate, despite taking clomid. Everyone I've heard from on the stuff feels stuff going on and I've yet to feel anything. I think at this point I'd even take some cramps. Something, anything to clue me in that this stuff is doing what it's meant to do!

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Ridiculous rantings

Today is day one of adventures in clomid. Yup, day 1 is down. So far, no side effects which is excellent. Hopefully it stays that way and I don't end up a deranged lunatic. That would be bad. My brain, however, is in a sorry state.

At 9:30 I walked into the kitchen and popped my morning drugs: a prenatal, metformin, folic acid and today clomid (and the next four days but I digress).

My silly brain thinks to itself:
Hey, maybe this clomid stuff will actually work!
Heh, yeah, replies I and then we'll have a baby finally - IF it works.
Sure, sure says my brain of course it will.
Why is that, I ask?
Simple, replies my brain. You may get to go to Disney in April and of course, if you're pregnant...
Oh, I think back. No Rock N Roller Coaster or Space Mountain or Expedition Everest or Mission Space...
You got it cheers my brain.
Wait... I muse to myself. Am I really ready for this? A baby?
Bwah?? asks my brain.
Well, I mean I may fianlly get to be a swim coach at the new school. If I'm due in Sept or Oct it'd be tough to do tryouts. I mean, that's cutting it close. Real close.
True, replies my brain.
Plus there's the Disney thing I remind myself. I'd miss my favorite rides... OMFG, I'm trying to get pregnant here. WTF am I thinking???
Whoa, replies my brain, CHILL!
Self repsonds by initiating mild panic attack.

See, interesting huh? Who knew clomid could do all that? In retrospect, I am of course being silly. Besides the fact that it may or may not (and is more likely to not) work it's Disney, duh. It's not going anywhere and I can still do cool stuff like Pirates. And, if it's warm enough maybe sneak a Splash Mountain in there. I mean that's only one drop at the end. And I'd only be a little pregnant (4 months or so, presuming this works this time around).

I have calmed my brain somewhat, but I found myself wondering, is this what happens to a normal person when they find out they've actually conceived? Interesting... I've beaten the curve so I'll (hopefully) have come to peace with it by the time conception actually occurs. Sweet....