Friday, August 8, 2014

Late Night Thoughts

Sometimes, being happy is terrifying.

I don't say that to diminish some of the awful things that happen in the world.  There is always "worse," as in the kind that people tell themselves they could be going through when dealing with something truly awful such as an illness, a death, or abuse.

But the fear that creeps up when things are going so well, when you question what lies around the bend to bring you back to earth, and know that nobody ever really has everything go well without something going badly somewhere, can be paralyzing.

I am not an optimist, clearly, but I'm also not one of those people who dwells on what could happen.  I don't constantly worry about money or health.  But sometimes, like tonight, something triggers that part of my brain that I've learned to ignore as much as possible for sanity.  In this case, it was reading a Reader's Digest story (and maybe a little bit of off-kilter hormones).

I read about the Swiffer Couple, Lee and Morty Kaufman, who are in their nineties.  They make me smile and laugh...and desperately want to have my husband around at that age.

You see, things are good right now.  No, not perfect, but I'm content.  The two of us are happy with each other, money is tight but manageable, the kids are wonderful, we're expecting our fourth baby (the one we had only ever daydreamed about when having trouble staying pregnant), and stress levels are generally low.  And that simple story of a happy couple who have had each other for nearly 50 years, who still love each other and take care of each other at an age that some people never reach sent me into that dark part of my brain.

We aren't getting any younger.  What if someone gets sick?  What if something goes horribly wrong with our lives?  What if I lost my husband?  I realized that I'm TOO happy -- I'm in a place in my life that I would be destroyed if Chris were gone tomorrow.  There are times that I know I would be able to be strong for my children and survive such a thing, but that's not where I am right now; I would truly fall apart.

Hell, I know I shouldn't be thinking about this stuff.  I know many people have these ebbs and flows in their lives where their reactions to something unexpected and devastating would be different than at other points in their lives.  But tonight, when I should be sleeping and not thinking, I did think about it and I fell apart.  I needed to be closer to my husband, who was snoring away on the opposite side of our bed, separated from me by my Great Wall of Pillows that appears when I'm pregnant.  Sniffling with tears I couldn't stop, I pushed the pillows out of the way and snuggled up to him.  He woke up and looked confused (of course), then asked me what was wrong.  I blubbered that I wasn't really sure but I needed him and he laughed and pulled me closer.

And because things are so good right now, that was all I needed.  Just a squeeze and a kiss and an understanding smile to pull me back.  Which is the point of all of this; I want that be what I need and have for as long as possible.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Santa has been evicted, and someone else is about to get notice, too.

Normally, we get Christmas decorations down about a week or so after the New Year, allowing trees to stay up with a Super Bowl deadline.  We're jolly people and all that crap.

This year, within 48 hours of Santa's departure, all of his baubles were gone, too.

I'm dead serious when I state that the husband and I haven't had Christmas trees down before February in, oh, the near decade we've been together.  They're just so pretty and twinkly...and time consuming and depressing to take down!  So the Big Game has become our end-point, if only because we really needed to give ourselves one.

But shit's about to get real here.  Christmas Day also happened to coincide with gestation week #37.  Yup, a holiday baby.  I'd ask what we were thinking, but honestly, we weren't when we were just trying to get and stay pregnant, dammit!

Timing wasn't a consideration.  And in true V-family fashion, this kid ruined Christmas.

My nesting kicked in 3rd trimester, which in my case means cooking and Excel spreadsheets. Lots of baking and to-do lists as long as I am tall (which, in my defense, isn't THAT tall...).  Unfortunately, my husband's nesting instincts didn't kick in until, oh, December 15th.  So all hell broke loose when he finally realized, um, we're about to have a demanding, smelly, albeit adorable new person shacking up with us.

Shopping barely got done because hauling my massive self around Pittsburgh has become exhausting.  (Dear Amazon.  THANK YOU.)  I couldn't have cared less if the inside decorations were put up as long as the outside was festive enough to compete with the neighbors (we lucked out in that, of the two closest, one was having roof construction and the other had a death in the standards were lower than usual).  The stupid shelf elf wound up doing a lot of boring stuff, if he remembered to move at all.  And both real trees kept falling down.  That was fun.  But we had 85+ dozen cookies to share with friends and family eat all by ourselves!  I have my priorities perfectly straight.

Anyway.  Christmas fell way down the list.  We pulled it off enough to not scar the kids with memories of "The Darkest Holiday Season," but the two of us were completely over it by 12/26.  Probably before that, but we're great actors.

And now we wait.  Because everyone forgets how miserable these last few weeks are, between the anticipation and the planning and the uncertainty of when the little one is going to grace us with its presence.  But Mama has had it, and so has her bladder.  I've never in my life looked forward to February, but this just might be the year that Christmas was cut short AND the ugliest month of the year was celebrated.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I'm Only Dancing

A comment posted to my previous post made me realize that the past month has gone by, I survived it, and while I'm moving on and making plans and living life, nobody else realizes is.  Anyone who stumbles upon my blog would think I'm still wallowing and going through that horrible weekend on a constant basis.

So, what has happened?  Most importantly, my little guy turned 3 that same weekend.  I had a post ready and was waiting until I added pictures, but it was lost as time slipped by and I healed.  I retro-posted it, so someday in the future I can hopefully forget what else was happening in my life that weekend and just  remember his birthday and him at this age.

I did have the D&C and cried the moment I woke out of anesthesia, and that was pretty much it.  I had a few moments of depression the next week or two -- visiting the specialist in the OB department at THE hospital to have babies around here, with moms there for their follow-ups with their newborns; visiting my doc for my follow-up, with a new mom breastfeeding next to me while we waited...I was that crazy crying woman sitting with all of you, now you know why (I did leave the room so as to not make them all uncomfortable) -- but most of that was hormonal and not rational sadness (I can't be the only one who recognizes the difference) and I'm fine now.

I actually need to call today to see if our genetic testing is complete.  I fear there will be no answers.  I fear everything will be normal.  I'm not sure any answer will be okay with me, though, so I'll probably cry and move on from that, as well.

My doctor told us we can try again right away.  She is one of the school of thought that if my body is ready, it may happen, and if it isn't, it won't.  No further healing is necessary, except perhaps emotional.  So we tried, and we wait, and unlike every other time, I am in no hurry to test.  I would happily live in ignorance, if I could, and realize 12 weeks from now that my period is 3 months late.  The joy and fun of the process is gone and replaced by a whole bunch of unnecessary worry.  Unnecessary only because I have zero control over any of it.

So life has continued, as it always does.  Soccer and t-ball have begun.  Dance will soon end.  Summer will come and we will fill the pool.  And I will stay on the ride to see what's over the next hill...even if I do anticipate those peaks and valleys, and hope for something specific. 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Isaac is 3

My husband is a cuddler.  I am not.  I actually kind of hate cuddling.  I don't like being touched and, perhaps, there's a sensory disorder there waiting to be diagnosed because touching for more than about the length of a short hug makes my skin crawl.  I do not spoon in bed.  I have trouble snuggling on the sofa watching a romantic movie.  Chris settles for my foot touching his leg as we sleep and the occasional head on his shoulder.  Avery's like me in this sense, if a bit less pathological about it, happily settling for a hug when she feels like it and a smooch if she gets a scrape.

Isaac needs held.  He has since he was born.  "Cry it out" was never an option, as he would rather have made himself sick crying than get tired to fall asleep.  Worse, after one go of that, I felt awful about it and never tried it again.  I found various baby slings and harnesses and he was attached to either Chris or I until he decided it was fun to walk.  But even then he checks in, by crawling on our laps, giving a hug and kiss, then merrily getting back on his way.

His need for physical affection is probably equal to my natural disdain for it.  And yet, since he's mine and I made him and he's perfect, I magically got over my discomfort.  He could sit with me for hours (and has) and sleep on my arm as it falls asleep when I need to be doing a million other things; some long-hidden gene activates and I am content.

Isaac means "he will laugh."  It's amazing to me how the name we picked months before he was born fits him so perfectly.  He's such a wonderful, happy little boy.  I'm happy just to see his smiling face, never mind what is going on in my life that he couldn't possibly understand.  He is silly without really trying, yet knows exactly how to make others laugh when he wants to be the center of attention.

Isaac is my baby.  Yes, he's actually my youngest, but even when he grows up, even if he becomes a big brother someday, even if I had 10 more kids and he actually wound up being one of my oldest children, he would still be my baby.

Happy birthday, little man.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Second Verse, Same as the First

Or, in this case, the fourth.

Another miscarriage.  This one discovered at 9 1/2 weeks.  The baby was only measuring 7 weeks and there wasn't a heartbeat.

First of all, I need to find a much better doctor in the Pittsburgh area.  I know mine are respected, but when a woman has had multiple miscarriages, you don't blow her off when there isn't a heartbeat at 6 weeks, telling her it's normal.  You follow up to make her feel better, because her fears are completely founded.  You especially follow up when, also at that ultrasound, a subchorionic hematoma was discovered, in order to make sure that it's reabsorbing, not simply telling the patient that "most disappear; I'm sure yours is already gone"  Yup, it was. Along with my baby.

I have a D&C scheduled on Monday, providing nothing happens over the weekend.  I must "request" that my doctor send the recovered tissue (sorry, I have to dissociate...) for pathology and genetics.  If my body does finally figure out what the hell it was supposed to do over a week ago in the next few days, the only way for me to get that testing is if I recover that tissue myself.  Not. Going. To. Happen.

I'm an emotional wreck, obviously.  My poor husband is upset, too, and doesn't know what to do or say.  He's been wonderful, telling our family and taking over much of the child-rearing duties while I wallow in my misery.

I still have pregnancy symptoms, which seems completely unfair.  I've heard that those may stay for up to a week after the D&C.

I thank God that we hadn't told the kids yet.  We were going to tell them today, after my first appointment.  I had to request the ultrasound (I still wouldn't have known, otherwise...).  I can't imagine telling the kids and then explaining what happened.

So now, like many people who have been trying to get pregnant without success, all I can do is try to figure out my "next step."  I know I should be dealing with this first, but if I don't look ahead, I'll truly fall apart.  I need to know that there is a reason for this.  And while I'm terrified of trying again and losing again, I'm also desperate to try again in order to make this loss (and the last one) "mean" something.  I wouldn't have Avery without my first m/c; I wouldn't have Isaac without my second.  So, I'm attempting to take it one day at a hour at a time....

It's so hard to do when I want my results cradled in my arms right now.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Senior Moments

I am truly amazed at the things I completely forgot about my pregnancies with Ave and Isaac that have reared their ugly heads this time around.  Maybe it's just a evolutionary-based coping mechanism that keeps us reproducing, but how in the WORLD did I block these things out?

1. Nausea  I was really lucky with Avery and only got a little queasy here and there.  I only think I truly threw up maybe twice with her?  It was much worse with Isaac.  But can it really be so much more horrible this time that I'm this unprepared?  I'll only be 8 weeks on Monday and other than some mild nausea before this week, things have been pretty clear.  But starting last weekend and getting progressively worse,  all I do is fight my disgust with all things food and anything with ANY odor.  For instance, onions in any form, normally a food I have in everything I cook, make me leave the room.  Eggs?  No way.  Cereal?  Instant trip to the bathroom.  Coffee?  Lucky if I make it through half a cup (thereby creating a caffeine ban that I never bothered with before; my doc said as long as I stick to two cups per day, we're good....I can barely smell it now).  Besides some crackers and ginger ale, I never really needed anything to help me through the "morning" sickness.  This time, I'm desperately searching the internet for solutions and chowing down on candied ginger and lemon drops.  The pregnancy message boards, which I have found myself perusing like a first-time-mom, also gave me the good news that it doesn't usually hit its worst point until 10 weeks.

The breakfast of (queasy) champions
2. Cravings And yet, there are those weird cravings that pop up early on that seem to fly in the face of what should make my nausea go away.  Basically, anything spicy, sour, and salty really get my salivary glands going.  Yesterday, Chris made jalapeno cornbread and gave me a slice of jalapeno from our canning stash.  I've been able to think of nothing but those jalapenos since.  Salty condiments, like A1 or Heinz Ketchup (specifically the balsamic one, lately) or Frank's Red Hot?  Yes please...on everything.  And pickles.  But this time, only the Mt. Olive Baby Kosher Dills will do.  It's a taste and texture thing, much to the chagrin of my husband, who looks longingly at the homemade jars still sitting on the shelf.  Oddly enough, while the nausea mimics (and exceeds) what I went through with Isaac, the cravings are exactly what I wanted with Avery.  Since we're not finding out the gender this time, I thought I'd at least be able to count on some old wives' tales to point me to the answer.  No dice.

3. Headaches and Illness  Oh, the headaches.  As soon as I got the first one, like a PTSD flashback, I began remembering the migraine-like pains of my previous pregnancies.  Crap.  And what are my solutions to these headaches typically?  Excedrin Migraine and ibuprofen.  Both off-limits.  THEN I caught Isaac's cold.  I usually have a better immunity than this, so I looked it up and apparently women's immunity goes down the crapper when pregnant.  Once again, I'm left to deal with it without any of my go-to remedies (hot totties, anyone?).

4. Exhaustion AND Sleeplessness  WTF?  How is this one fair?  I remembered the exhaustion, actually. It was one of my first clues with both kids.  But not being able to sleep or get comfortable at night?  Completely forgot about that.  I already have 4 pillows (and a husband, in a double bed...boy does THAT need to change; I mean getting a bigger bed, not kicking the husband out), including a body pillow, trying to prop me up in semi-comfortable positions, as my already-crappy hips loosen up even more and my corpus luteum cyst causes weird, inescapable aches.  Then the headache kicks in.  Ugh.  This only gets worse.  I keep forcing the kids to take naps, even though neither really needs them anymore, so I can attempt to catch up on an hour or so of z's.

5. Bloating We are attempting to wait until 14 weeks before telling family and friends that we're expecting.  But between water retention, bloat, and loosening ligaments, that's going to be damn near impossible.  I haven't gained any weight, but my pants are tight and my stomach looks awful.  Just crossing my fingers and counting on the big shirts and inattentive relatives to get me through 6 more weeks...

All that said, I really don't want to complain.  I'm so thrilled to have made it this far and am willing to let all of it get much worse if it means a healthy baby.  But wouldn't it be so much more fun for everyone if I wasn't so sick and tired all the time?

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Important Events

Things have been jumpin' on the old homestead!

First, and most importantly, Shamrock Shakes are back at McDonald's!  Minty-vanilla goodness in January?  Seems a tad early, but this little addict will not be complaining about that.

Heavenly and disgusting, all in one....similar to a McRib in that way.

Hubby got a new job and is making the switch.  The pay is better, the insurance cost is worse.  The hours are better, the benefits are weak.  The job security has improved, but the company is MUCH smaller than where he is now, so I'm not sure if it's really any different.  He'll work from home 95% of the time, so he won't have two hours of commuting each day and he'll be able to help with the kids' school pickups/dropoffs, which give me a little bit more flexibility.  I'm trying to be a supportive wife, and I'm happy that he's happy, but I'm worried and don't do well with change and I'm more than a little bitter that he can find another job while he has one already and I can't even find a suitable part-time position.  He'll also be making occasional trips to LA.  We'll be testing those old mommy skills without Daddy as a buffer, now won't we?

Also, we had another two funerals that I should have attended.  During my TWW.  I'm just way too superstitious over this (I know, it's dumb...can't help it).  That takes us up to 5 funerals in 3 months and a total of 3 miscarriages after attending funerals pregnant.  The plan was to pretend I was sick so I didn't have to go, then we ALL actually got sick.  Karma's a bitch.

I signed Avery up for Kindergarten and am freaking the freak out.  Not at all ready for my baby girl to be starting "real" school.  Dude, I remember Kindergarten.  But I know she's ready and excited.  Her pre-K teacher really takes K-readiness seriously and told us at her conference that Ave's one of the few kids she's actually recommending as ready to make the move.  I just wish she didn't have her father's outgoing personality (total sarcasm; did you catch it?).  The kid doesn't talk until she is 100% comfortable with the people around her.  She just absorbs information.  And that, apparently, is what Daddy did, too.  You know, the guy that easily could have been the kid with the public, newsworthy freak-out at school and left after his Junior year because  he hated everyone and everything there?  So cross your fingers for an awesome teacher that pulls this little girl out of her shell.  Because, honest-to-god, if I don't actually tell her she MUST talk to people, she won't.  Sigh.

Hmm, what else?  The weather has been fantastic.  I love warm post-Christmas winters, except for all the mud.  High of 54 on the last day of January?  I'll take it!

Oh, yeah.  There's this, too!

You didn't think I'd put this first, did you?  So far, everything looks good.  The first positive was on 11 DPO (I couldn't wait any longer) and each subsequent test got darker.  I refused to call my doctor's office until I was late, so that was a long, rough weekend.  My blood test was unbelievably easy (I'm finding that phlebotomist and keeping her), and my HCG number was 443 at 14 DPO, which is slightly higher than average, but still within normal ranges.  I'll go back tomorrow to make sure my doubling time is appropriate. So all is as it should be for the time being.  I refuse to complain about nausea and aches and pains because I know those are better than the alternative I've been dealing with.

I'm certainly being kept on my toes this month!  If only I could get a nap in somewhere.