Friday, April 27, 2007

I am Full of Potato Salad

After weeks (and weeks and weeks) of some serious morning sickness, nausea and generally crappy feelings, my appetite is back. And hearing the heart beat, I'm not worried that it's due to some really bad reasons. Instead, I think I have turned a corner. And come smack dab into the middle of a food laden kitchen.

I just had lunch with colleagues as an end of the year celebration, and I hate three, count 'em *3*, helpings of highly mustard-y potato salad.

I am now full.

I'm also wearing maternity clothes for the first time today. I don't really need them because I'm not so stuffed in my clothing that I need that sort of expansion. But my belly is poking out and these clothes actually hide it a bit with the high-waisted could-be-in- style-but-she-looks-fat versus I-think-that's-a-maternity-top. Trust me, I'm looking fat, not pg right now.

Hmmmm. I wonder if the potato salad had anything to do with it?

I don't really care. I'm just glad not to be repulsed by every single morsel of food I see right now. Let that belly fill with tater salad!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Skip to the Loo, My Darling

Today's NY Times has an article today listing supposed reasons why Prince William broke up with his "commoner" girlfriend. The main reason hypothesized is that his girlfriend's mother asked "where the toilet was" instead of "where the bathroom was." Apparently, "toilet" is such an offensive word to the upper class that the queen was very offended and William and Kate broke up.

It's bad enough to go through a public breakup, but to have international papers talking about the manners and class of one's family is one of the stupidist things I've ever heard.

Besides, I woudn't have said "Where's the toilet?" No way. One could never be sure if that might offend someone.

I definitely would have said "Where's the fucking toilet?"

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

What a Difference a Day Makes

Actually, two days.

This morning, before I started working, I hopped on the bed with the Doppler Monitor (which sounds a lot kinkier than it really is) to see if I could find the baby's heartbeat again. Within minutes, I heard it strong, clear and fast. I couldn't count it because I didn't have a watch. But I could tell it was a lot faster than mine.

Tonight, when Dave came home, I was able to find it again, pretty easily. And together we counted up that the heartbeat was between 168 and 180.

Do you have any idea how relieved I am and how reassurng that heartbeat is? I didn't have any idea how anxious I was until I could let myself feel relieved by that sound. I don't plan on using it every night to check the baby's heartbeat. But after two miscarriages, the sound of that clicky-clicky-clicky-clicky is one of most relaxing quick paced sounds I've ever heard.

On to the Anita School of Parenting

Daddy: Conor, put on your clothes. You can't go to school in your pajamas.
Conor: Nooooooooooooooooooooo.
Mommy (opting per usual for the easy way out): Let him wear his pajamas.
Daddy: He needs to at least wear his jeans. He can wear his pajama top.
Mommy: He should wear his pajamas to school. If all the other kids laugh at him, he won't want to wear his pajamas to school again. (I have no doubt I picked up that advice from John Rosemond, and I'm sure you know I'm not his biggest fan)
Daddy (looking at Mommy and counting up the dollars spent on counseling for their poor son later): He's going to wear his jeans.

Yeah. Thank God(dess) Conor has Dave in his life. Otherwise, it's possible he'd how up at school buck naked if that's the fight we were having.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Weeds and Beats

I agree with Barbie2B's comment yesterday that weeding can be so addictive. As both my neighbor and I headed out of the house last weekend, we agreed that mindless work with instant gratification is a very fun chore indeed.

As for the asparagus, yes, an asparagus bed lasts for about 20 years. You plant it one year. Let it grow untouched the next. And then starting the 3rd year, you have fresh, young, tender asparagus shooting out the ground out at you. I never knew asparagus was this sweet. Also, once the crop has ended, you get pretty asparagus ferns for the rest of the summer which make a nice border around a house or some such thing.

And in more baby relevant news, the fetal heart monitor arrived a day early and OF COURSE, I ripped open the box and lay down flat to hear what I could hear. Which first scared me. I could easily pick up a heartbeat, but it was very slow---only 100 bpm. This is not a good heartbeat of a fetus at this age.

Then I realized it was my own fool heart beat in my stomach. (This was verified by the sample sounds on one of the fetal monitor sites I found).

Still, I couldn't find the baby's. Yes, Ema wrote at exactly the moment that I was starting to search that it is still early to hear a heart beat at 9 weeks 5 days. And even more so, with my tilted uterus, it's going to take longer than it ought to anyway.

HOWEVER, after dinner and with a full bladder and about 20 minutes of searching, I did hear something. I only heard it for a few seconds and I lost it when I shouted to Dave that I had found it. But it wasn't my heartbeat and it wasn't my tummy gurgling. It was a very fast but soft clapping. And I really do believe it was the little peanut inside waving.

I couldn't find it again, but I think it's still too early. But I did hear something and it's hard to make up a sound like that.


Monday, April 23, 2007

Smelly Belly Full of Jelly

Actually, I am planning on talking about my belly and not the nickname I give my son's belly right before I start kissing, snorting, and eating on it.

I am 9 weeks 5 days today, and I have a belly. Honestly, I've had a belly for a while with the extra weight I've been carrying around, but since the stomach flu/sinus infection debacle I'd actually lost about 10 lbs and only gained back 3 or 4. So this belly is not the usually belly I've been trying to camouflage in my clothes. I know it's way too early, but I've had this same belly before particularly during the first miscarriage, which I could link to, but it's too depressing.

For the most part, I'm not freaking out over this pregnancy. I have my moments, but then I meditate and honestly believe that everything is going to be an A-OK, normal, healthy pregnancy. Of course, I cannot help but add, I really do hope so.

Folks, I know I have been letting you down on the ol' blog front. I've been wanting to talk about our adorable son and our (quite literal) hand signals for communicating while he's nursing. (Raise your hand if you had a good nights sleep. Raise your hand if you had dreams. Raise your hand if you want a bagel. Raise your hand if Daddy can eat your toe sausages!!!!!) Yes, a small toddler hand goes up at nearly every one of those commands.

I've wanted to talk about our 250 year old willow oak that was eaten bald by canker worms and we're really concerned if it's going to make it. We just hired a tree guy to fertilize it and we really hope it will live. (We didn't put enough goop on the tree band to stop the easy mistake when an army of worms were going after it).

I want to talk about the amazing asparagus that we're harvesting this year after planting it two years ago and to encourage every single one of you to start your own asparagus bed this year.

I want to talk about my old lady self and how after weeding this weekend, I can still stand up on my sore legs and waddle around the hall. It's PATHETIC how much pain I'm in from weeding.

I've wanted to make every one of those stories witty and clever and highly entertaining. But I am TOO DAMN BUSY. School is out in a few weeks and GOOD LORD it is not soon enough. I am being slapped silly by papers and research and meetings and just every freakin' thing.

So, there. Now you know. And tomorrow my fetal heart rate monitor that I've rented should arrive in the mail and I can have a little bit of relief my hearing this little one's heart when I go to bed at night.

I hope not to take another week before I blog again.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Virginia Tech

We are all stunned here to hear what has happened to VA Tech, a university not too far from here. Last night, students in the club I co-advise were all shocked and upset, some of whom had seriously considered attending VA Tech instead of here. We professors read about what happened and put ourselves in our colleague's shoes there, wondering how we would have reacted and wether we would have survived. I know people there and so far, they are all physically safe if not emotionally and spiritually abused.

The common view around here is "There, but for the grace of God, go we."

(Although I'm not sure I have that sentence grammatically correct.)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

I'm Pregnant

I'm sure you're thinking...."Wait....didn't she already talk about this a couple of weeks ago? Did I miss something in the last few weeks of the measly posting she's been doing??"

Well, for the first time since I got a positive HPT, I am finally convinced that I am pregnant.

Yesterday was my first meeting with the OB nurse, the promotion from Gyn to OB as it were. And the whole time during our meeting when she was talking about this or that, I kept thinking "Well, I could be pregnant, but based on my history, we don't really know for sure."

So when she set up the meeting for my first trimester screening, I mentioned that I thought it would be a good idea if I had another ultrasound to check that there was any reason for me to go to the screening. I know that all the news has been very good thus far, but I had been lead to believe that the news was positive before, too, and it wasn't.

So she scheduled another ultrasound for the afternoon.

And 1 week and 1 day after my last ultrasound, the baby has grown exactly one week and one day. And the heart rate? 170! I was measuring 8 weeks 0 days with a 170 heart rate. At this point, the research I've seen shows that a heart rate over 146 has a 3% miscarriage rate. At 170, I just feel like that's a really good number. I believe, finally, that I am pregnant.

And yes, I did start crying on the table when she told me the heart rate. I was so relieved that everything looks normal. Of course, there could be some abnormalities in the screening, but I don't think so. I think everything is fine and normal. I could be wrong, but I don't think so.

3% is a magic number for me. I use it all the time in teaching about statistics to tell my students that it's the same probability as getting pregnant using birthcontrol pills. So it could happen, but it's unlikely. So having a 3% chance of miscarriage right now is very reassuring to me.

I'm pregnant. And I finally believe it.

In other news, we are slowly adjusting to life without Duncan. Surprisingly, the household member who is taking this the worst is Scarlett, aka Psycho Kitty. She and Duncan spent a lot of time napping together and Duncan was always licking her head (and her butt, but that's another story). When we come home from work now, she's like a little tribble flying across the room to latch on to our heads. Nights are filled with plaintive mews for us to pet her and snuggle with her. I try, but it's a bit annoying. (She has a whiny meow). I gave up long ago the right to any privacy when I go to the bathroom. But now she views me as a captive audience when I go a toilette and fairly assaults me with headbutts, meows and purrs while I'm trying to go about my business.

In all honesty, this is the first time in Scarlett's 14 1/2 years that she has not had a cat companion. And since Patches regards her beyond all cats as an indoor squirrel, he's not going to fill that void in her life. She always wanted to be #1 Kitty, but I don't think she ever meant to be the only cat in the house.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Worm Poop

Spring has sprung around here. The trees are turning green. The dogwoods are busting out in white and the azaelas are countering with their gorgeous pink. Tulips are giving their last hurrah and a whole variety of hostas, spring flowers and ground covers are echoing their own versions of green, pink and white.

And then we have the worm poop.

The canker worms are HORRIBLE this year despite all the tree banding we did last fall. I've found some on my newspaper, in my hair, on the washing machine and even making webs out the front door. I don't know if it's the warm weather or our mini-drought, but walking outside is crunchy. Shoes are not optional. We could actually hear the worm poop dropping out of the trees on Monday as the canker worms (inch worms really) chewed through all the new spring foliage. So far, our trees are not looking too damaged, but they have got to be everywhere. Hopefully, tonights cold weather will freeze those evil green bugs and show them who is really the boss of tree life. (I have no idea what that means: mother nature? Late spring frosts? Me as I climb the trees and pinch every last one of them to death with my woolen gloves???)

If you don't live in an area infested with canker worms, you have have no idea just how much worm poop can be a natural and substantial part of your life. Really. Worm poop. That is just bizarre.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Good News

We were at a wedding over the weekend and the theme/icon for the wedding was a big, full tree. Since 1) it looked like the tree in my meditations and 2) we were going to have the ultrasound when we came back, I took it as a good sign. I now even have a pretty nice tote bag with this tree on it.

So, the ultrasound was yesterday and the results were good. There is only one in there, which I have to say suprises me (!), but I think that will make life a lot easier! Second, they could see the fetus/embryo through a regular ultrasound and the heartrate was 136. We did end up going up the coochie to get a more accurate measure, but pretty much I was excited we could see the baby and hear the heartbeat from a regular ultrasound. The heart beat at this stage puts us at a 9% miscarriage rate.

I'm not sure exactly when I ovulated--I know the positive OPK but I'm not sure if I ovulated the next day or the next. So based on those estimates, my measurements should either be 7w0d or 6w6d. I ended up measuring 6w6d which I hope is ok. If it is measuring accurately and the heartbeat goes up the average 8 beats per day, then very soon, I should be in a 5% miscarriage rate.

Things look good! I know that and I'm glad and not overly worried in that punch-to-the-gut feeling. However....

Have you had your heart broken before? In that next relationships, aren't you a little bit more cautious even if things are going fantastic? Don't you really want the proof of time before you start daydreaming about a future together? Before you start counting on having a date to the company picnic or even thinking that you can count on someone being there to watch the Sci Fi Marathons with you on Friday nights? (Maybe that was just Dave and me.....)

In any case, I'm glad the news is good and I'm relieved. But I'm not esctatic nor am I 100% positive that everything is going to be ok. (Can I get an amen from any other women who've had a miscarriage before?) I know intellectually that this is really good news. I do, folks! I'm not being a spoil sport. But a 9% miscarriage rate is still not a 0% miscarriage rate, even though it's much, MUCH better than the 75% or the 100% miscarriage rates we had on the last 2 pregnancies. (OK, if I look at it like that, I feel that we are definitely in a much better place)

It's just hard to be naive and gushy with this new relationship when your heart has been broken before. That's all I'm saying. This is a good start to a long term person in my life, but I have to wait just a little bit more and get a few more data points before my heart is completely open to loving this little peanut with everything I've got.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Little Duncan

We had a very sad cat-tragedy last night.

It started about a week ago when Duncan started rolling around on the floor and pushing his legs out. It was clear something was wrong and he couldn't stand up. First we thought it was a seizure, but it didn't fit the google criteria for a seizure. Then we thought it was a little stroke cuz we just did. But within 15 minutes he was all better and we didn't think much more about it.

Then last night I saw him trying to crawl into our hutch and it was obvious his back legs weren't working. Since we'd also found a pee spot in our bedroom and the dining room rug also had a leak, my immediate suspicion was renal failure. By the time we saw him lying in the litter box, Dave had fixed up the cat carrier and whisked him to the emergency vet.

I thought for sure we would spend a bit of money and they would flush him with fluids and everything would be OK.

But instead, it wasn't renal failure. It was a very large bloodclot in his leg that had cut off his blood supply and his feeling. And apparently, he was throwing another clot in his other leg and was beginning to suffer. (Can I point out this this all occurred within about 2 hours!?) The choices were a $1000 treatment in which the vet had never known to be successful or put him to sleep. (Again...THOSE are the options!?!? Wasn't there a middle ground somewhere?? A few days of not really a lot of suffering and a chance to say a proper goodbye?????)

But the clots were not moving, his limbs were getting cold and he was apparently coming into a lot of pain. I understand that he was getting very sick and that losing circulation in one's limbs is never good and that they can't run a catheter into a 16 year old crippled cat and expect everything to come out hunky dory.

But nonetheless, I am very sad. Because Conor was in bed and I was at home, I didn't get to give him one last head scratch before he went to sleep. Dave was there and said it was very peaceful and Duncan apparently seemed ready for it.

But I feel a little robbed of a few more days with Duncan and a chance to say a proper goodbye. Quick partings are very difficult, even if they are with a sweet, if somewhat slow, little cat.