Friday, June 29, 2007

Greetings From Michigan

Yes, only 4 days after we returned home from vacation, I hopped on a plane and headed to a work conference in Michigan.

And for the worst landing of an airplane I can ever remember. It was a horrible thunder storm in Detroit (indeed, many of my colleague also flying Northwest still cannot make it to the conference because of the cancelled flights!). And let me tell you, except for the happy ending of not crashing, that was the scariest landing in a storm, or even ever, that I've had! Roll to the right, shake, shake, shake; roll to the left, shake, shake, shake, roll to the right, shake, shake, shake. Tuck head between seatmate's shoulder and seat, whimper, whimper, whimper.

Some dude out there is still thinking who was that curly haired wimp busting in on my seat territory right when we all thought we were about to die?!

Notwithstanding, the conference is excellent and by far one of the best ones I've been to in a while. I am a very interdisciplinary researcher and I'm finally surrounded by all the other folks doing my sort of research. (that's not as common as you'd think it would be)

And I do miss my boys. Though, I admit, sleeping single in a king size bed....diagonally....has its positive points!

And leisurely going for a run, having breakfast, getting dressed and blogging instead of chasing a little one around the house to get dressed, again, has its appeal.

Still can't wait to get back. I do miss my snickerdoodle and my snuggle muffin. (Now go retch; it's appropriate!)

Sunday, June 24, 2007

More on Mom Jeans

I was grocery shopping today, when a Mom approached me.

"I want to ask you a strange question," she said, her teenage daughter stayed in the background, mortified that her mother was speaking, much less to a stranger.

"Ok," I replied.

"Where did you get those jean shorts? I bought some 4 years ago, and I just can't find any to replace them! I love them!"

Her daughter is now wishing she could melt into the floor because not only is her Mom a) talking, b) to a stranger, but also c) asking where she can buy some Mom jeans.

"Kohls," I smiled and answered wondering if I should tell her just what type of jeans these are and that she really, really shouldn't buy any if she wants to maintain any credibility with her daughter.

How do I know these are Mom jeans? I raised my shirt and asked Dave to spot my belly button. It was not visible. That's the sign of Mom jeans.

Also, if you think I'm going to post a picture of my ginourmous boo-tay in a pair of Mom jeans on the internets for the world to see, you need to cut back on the amount of vodka you're drinking before noon! :-)

Friday, June 22, 2007

My Momness

Yes, I do realize that we are still within spitting distance of Father's Day and on this vacation, we have officially declared this as Father's Week, which unfortunately does NOT mean Dave does everything, but instead, we dance around him singing his praises as the best Daddy in our little family. Although I'd like to point out that we might do this on a regular occassion more than other families, this is still Father's Week, and there you go.

However, this is my blog. And now we shall discuss some recent Mom-moments in my own life. Actually, I should call them Mama-moments because 1) I'm southern and that's what we call the maternal ones in our families and 2) I've just graduates from Mommy to Mama around here and I'm pretty excited.

So what are my Mama-moments? First, Conor is going poopie in the pottie and I am So Proud. We've made great strides in pottie training-dom of late. Something just "clicked" in Conor's head and he decided he was ready for underwear at school and has focused very hard on only peeing on the potty. Yes, we've had a few accidents, but for the most part, he's, ahem, hit the target. Yes! Standing pee-pees! Making bubbles! And yes, even further, trees in our back yard have been involved and thank God, the neighbors do not appear to mind. Or at least, they have not verbalized their minding. To us. Although that one time I ran out of the house with a naked Conor at 7:30 pm so he could pee on a tree because he was refusing to pee in the potty might have been a wee bit too much.

Anyhoo, poopie in the potty has been a lot harder. Literally. So we bought some magical medicine (prune) juice when we got to the beach and have had some fantastic success down here. We've also learned that there has to be privacy involved with poopie on the potty, which was a bit of a surprise since we have had no privacy on the potty since Conor learned to walk. Potty is a bit of a spectator sport around here what with the cat, the dog, the 2 year old and bathrooms doors that don't lock much close well enough for a cat not to be able to push them open. So finding out that the door Must Be Closed for our little man to poop was shocking. Of course, as soon as the event is accomplished, we hear a tiny "I DID it!!!!" and we must enter in, clap our hands, and do the poopie dance of joy.

Of course, poopie on the potty is more of a life changing event for Conor not for me. What makes this a Mama-moment for me is how proud I am of him. Actually, how I beamed at my little guy's major accomplishment. The self-pride on his face just floors me. It becomes to my own pride in the pride of himself. It doesn't matter if he had just learned to tie his own shoe and showed that much pride over what he did: I would be just as over the moon in seeing him be happy in himself.

My other recent Mama-moment is much less glamorous. We were walking along some shops here and I saw some cute girl walking by in her fashionable low cut short-shorts. And then it hit me why I have looked for so long and have fallen in massive love with my new clothes from Kohls that I bought last week. They are mom-jeans. Actually, mom-shorts. But the essential feature is the same: the waist is at the waist. They are loose in the belly and the booty. Not only do I wear Mom-jeans. I like them. They feel more comfortable. I am old. I am old and I wear Mom-jeans.

Mama-moments for me.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Hey Y'All

Conversation while driving 5 hours* to the beach:

"I can't wait until the kids** are older and I can stay in my wood working shop for a couple of hours."

"With them?"

"Without them!"

Happy Father's Day, indeed.

*This is normally a 3 1/2 to 4 hour trip sans children. But considering it took us 3 hours to go 90 miles, we actually did make good time.

**Yes, we are seriously moving quickly down the adoption path, at least mentally. For the first time in 2 years, we know we're going to have another child.

Well, howdy from Myrtle Beach. I thought I'd have more time to blog dozens of witty entries, but we've been too busy having fun. Of course, that doesn't stop my panic attacks at 4 am of all the work I have to do, but I grasp onto that tiny sliver of meditation zen I still have left and believe it will all work out.

So, apart from being "on board" with adoption at this stage---as in, chickens are on board with breakfast, pigs are committed---we have other baby news. The OB called about 30 minutes before we left on Friday. Knowing that Friday is his surgery day, I was happy he worked in this call for me.

There is/was nothing wrong. There is nothing wrong with me as far as the bloodclotting and auto-immune issues they checked for. (There's plenty wrong in other aspects!) And there was nothing wrong with the baby, chromosonally. And I would like to officially point out that I TOLD YOU SO. (Imagine how much fun it is to be married to me!!!)

I have to repeat that: I knew it. I told everybody that this was supposed to be my perfectly normal baby. Yet there is still nothing in my belly right now. On the one hand, I am validated. On the other, I am so sad that I will not have my baby girl and there's no way to keep this from happening again. (Yes, girl. I said that before, too.) There was one abnormality: the too-fast heartrate. But we'll never know what that means.

And in all honesty, I may never get pg again. We're going down this adoption path. Do you have any idea how relieving it is to KNOW we're going to have another child? Pregnancy, at best, is: maybe. Pregnancy when dealing with infertility and multiple miscarriages is without a doubt: maybe, maybe not. Adoption is a sure thing. Even if the first adoption match falls through and the mother or father changes his/her mind. Eventually, there is still a baby in your arms.

Do you have any idea what that means to me right now?

Time to get back to vacation.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Adoption Support Meeting

We went to our first adoption support group meeting last night.

And we learned a very important fact from the pediatrian giving the talk:

Apparently, Benardyl and Dramamine are the same thing. And Benadryl is much cheaper.

Who knew?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Exhibit A in the Miscarriage Freak Show

So, ummm, yeah.

I probably need to explain the motivation behind yesterday's first post. I have no doubt that folks out there might think I'm a big fat freak for taking multiple pregnancy tests after receiving a positive one. And, I suppose, if you wait until you are actually "late" to take one and you end up with two screaming pink or blue lines, then there really is no reason to take more than one. You just call up the doc and get that confirmation visit.

But if you are like other people, (*ahem*, me), and use the First Response Early Result (FRER) tests that can pick up even the faintest of pregnancy hormones revealing a line that you have to verify with a partner that it (the line, not the partner) even exists and isn't in your imagination, then yes, you might take another test the next day, hoping to see another, darker line. And when you take that test and see only a slightly darker line which is still not clearly obvious then you might take ANOTHER test the next day hoping to see that clear positive line. And you might not go to the doctor for verification because 1) it's the weekend and 2) the FRERs are much more sensitive pee sticks than what the doctor has so the test at the doctor's office might still show up negative and you're not evne using first morning urine (FMU) and you don't want the doctor to say "You're an idiot; you're not pregnant. You're not even late yet!! How do you know you're pregnant when you are only 11 days past ovulation?" and then you have to fight him/her for a blood test.


We weren't supposed to get pregnant this month so soon after the D&E. We didn't try to get pregnant this month. However, call us as stupid as teenagers in highschool, we forgot to use birthcontrol this month.

That's not true. We didn't even think of using birth control this month. But after two years of TTC, I don't even think about birth control anymore. But I know my body pretty well and afterwards I could tell I was in the very fertile stage around ovulation. I tried to tell the doctor, but the nurse was not amused and said "DON'T GET PREGNANT THIS MONTH!" I tried to explain that we weren't trying to get pg this month, but, ummm, you know.

Nonetheless, guess what?


And then guess what?

I could tell by the second day's test results that the news was not ultimately going to be good. By day 4 of testing (Monday), we were back down to almost negative. I say "almost" because there was still a light of thousand suns line there. But after 4 days of testing, we should have been able to spot that line in the twilight.

So. Apparently, we do not have a problem getting pregnant. I did not waste all that birthcontrol in my 20's. But I am miscarrying freak. My eggs suck.

We have now been pregnant at least 5 times in the last two years. (There are possibly two more chem pgs, but they were only positive for one day, not multiple days; so it's possible those were evaporation lines. But I don't think so). We've only had 3 clinically recognized pregnancies, but really, we've had 5 (or 7!) chances in the last 23 months, not counting the of 4 months we weren't trying because we were already pregnant.

When I look at it that way, things certainly do not look promising for us to have another bio child.

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Sorpanos

I thought it was brilliant.

Yes, both Dave and I stared at the screen thinking out loud "Did the cable just go out? You have GOT to be kidding me!" Dave was the first to figure out it was actually over.

I think the ending means one of two things:

1) Tony died and was whacked by the guy going to the bathroom.

2) Life just goes on. Tony is always going to be paranoid, looking at everyone as possible assassigns. The kids are going to stay in the family business (they both sold out). And Carmella is never going to leave.

But it doesn't matter does it? Aren't the best books you've ever read the ones where you have several ending options to choose from and you really don't know which one is "true?" None are true. All are true.

I thought the ending of that series was brilliant.

Who else thought their cable went out?

Joyous Naïvete

A friend of mine just found out she is pregnant.

Hooray for her!

She took the first test Saturday morning, with a glorious BFP. This morning, I asked her if she had taken the second one.

She responded that she hadn't and she didn't really know why she should.

Why, indeed.

I really don't think she was saying that to be cruel. I honestly think that with her first pregnancy she has no idea what perils are out there. And most likely, she never will.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Paris Hilton

*Should go back to jail and serve out her sentence

*Should be allowed to serve out her sentence at home due to her mental health issues

*Is a waste of this earth's oxygen and thus, with her every exhale contributes to excessive carbon dioxide and increased global warming.


Thursday, June 07, 2007

Getting Paranoid

In the weeks after our m/c and our trip to the infertility clinic, we heard more than enough stories on NPR on the ills of society when older women give birth.

Today's Diane Rehm's show is on the evil's of adoption.

Either someone is following my life WAAAAAAY too closely or I'm on the "cutting" edge of what is wrong with this world.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

So Where Are We Now?

Apparently, "we" (in the royal sense) are getting it back together. As in we are finally getting back in gear. I really didn't realize how out of gear I was until I started trying to move forward again. I'm finally meeting my work commitments. I'm finally starting to exercise again. I'm finally not drinking nearly as much wine as I was.

Oh, yes. The wine. Well, I'm not worried about that. My therapist said.... Hmmmm. I guess I had better explain that one. About the middle of the last pregnancy (only 6 weeks in!), I started freaking out that things were not going to work out well. So I called a friend who has also had multiple miscarriages and got the name of her therapist, a woman who specializes in infertility. (If you live in the area, email me and I'll share her name) We have been getting along well, and really, after that one freak out, I have "graduated" to seeing her when I feel I need to as opposed to every week or every other hour.

IRONICALLY, the session three days before before the baby died focused on "letting it go" and trusting the pregnancy would be ok and putting it on the back burner while I got on with the rest of my life. Even more ironically is the acupuncture session before the baby died again focused on "letting it go" and believing it would all be ok. I should have pointed out to everyone that the "it" in that phrase referred to my worries and not my baby, eh?

Ironical indeed.

So, anyhoo, at my last session, when my therapist asked how I was doing ("Great! How are you?"), I said that I was enjoying my wine of late. She pointed out that it was ok and that I could consider the wine as medicine and not to worry too much about it. And if I did, we could switch to Xanax. Ironically (again!), after she said that, I stopped drinking as much wine. I'm not sure whether it was simply the permission to drink wine and not feel guilty about it or whether I simply don't need that medicine as much any more. But I'm not drinking wine as medicine any more.

You do know the phrase: "W(h)ine: noun or a verb, you choose" don't you?

Well, now you do.

So I'm doing better. That doesn't mean I don't still miss my baby-to-be. On my drive in to work this morning, I was patting my belly and telling my baby how much I missed her. (No, I don't know it was a girl. I just think so)

But we're moving forward. And part of that move forward is a pretty serious start down the path towards domestic adoption. We had considered international adoption before, but I'm not sure that's the right path for us. So we are now seriously looking at domestic adoption. We're going to a support group meeting next week and we've contacted a consultant and are considering her services.

We feel very lucky about some other events that have happened in our lives recently that I don't want to share here because I don't want to break confidences. (Others don't always want to share intimate details of their lives on this blog, oddly enough) But we have just found some unexpected support in this process that I am so grateful for and shocked by that I stop, drop my jaw, and thank God(dess).

I feel really good that we are on the right path, wherever this path takes us. I am sure it's going to lead to a baby and I'm very excited about that.

Oh! And the skin problem? Excema. It doesn't have anything to do with miscarriages, as far as I can tell. But it does have to do with crappy skin and stress. So it has to do with me. At some point, I have to tell you about this dermatologist I see. I have never met anyone in my life who is so painfully awkward in interpersonal interactions. He is the definition of geek when geek wasn't good. Every time I see him, I want to say "Dude! It's ok. Relax. I'm not going to hurt you." Really. If we could video tape our awkward doctors and compare them, he would win as the more self-concious, uncomfortable doctor in the world.

Friday, June 01, 2007

More Beauty

I forgot to add in my earlier post that this morning we had to take the Subaru in to figure out why the check engine light was flashing. (A bad thing, BTW) Dave had already fixed it, actually, but we were having our mechanic give it a once over, anyway.

As we were leaving the parking lot, one of the creeping crud spots on my face started to itch. So I scratched it, just as the mechanic said a cheery Good M0rning! to me.

So I waved back to him and saw, leaving my fingertips and drifting in the morning sun across the parking lot, a rather large flake of my skin. I inadvertently flung my own skin at our mechanic.


And Your Little Dog, Too

In addition to the recent miscarriage, I've developed a creeping crud on my head and neck. It's lovely, I can assure you. It started with an itchy, dry, largely flaking scalp about 2 months into the pregnancy, moved on to a big red itchy patch on my neck and now I have three dime size incursions from my scalp onto my face. Again, beautiful. And I'm calling my dermatologist right now.

Then, last week, I noticed a slight limp from Patches when he got up from watching me meditate. (It's a spectator sport for the animals around here) Then, over the weekend, when playing with Dave, Patches couldn't even put his weight on one leg. We felt his legs and paws and found a golf ball size swelling on what we thought was his knee (it turned out to be his ankle; dogs legs are not as straightforward as ours).

We raised our fists to the sky and said, Duncan? The Baby? And now the DOG!? This is CRUEL! You are not playing very nicely right now and we're going to start complaining. To a higher authority. The INTERNET will NOT BE AMUSED if our dog has cancer. You'll be in big trouble then!!

So on Tuesday, right after we took Conor to the pediatrician for meds for his second bout of croup this year, we took Patches to the vet. And thank God, it's simply a doggie version of a strained Achilles tendon. No running for Patches for a whole week. Yes! Stop a collie from running just like you stop the tide from coming in.

He's doing better now, and I think the swelling has gone down a little bit.

Truly, that would have been the last straw.