Monday, December 31, 2007

Things are Good

Things are good. I wish I could write more, and I wish I could blame the lack of writing on the holidays or the newborn. The truth is that I am having trouble reconciling the way I feel with the way things are. I feel like I've been through some trauma and I'm not quite done with it yet, but the only traces of anything bad are the almost-healed IV spots on my arms and the hospital bills. Isaac is up to 9 lbs. and eating like a pro. Natalie is loving her new baby brother. We had a great holiday- It was the Christmas in which we learned that the "Mega" in the Dora Mega Tent is not a figure of speach.

When I try to go any deeper than that, what I say all seems overly sugar coated or so far in the opposite direction that it misses the part where we had a happy ending. I'm workng on writing Isaac's birth story in hope of sorting through it all, and in the meantime I suspect this blog will be limited to cute pictures and links. So enjoy the pictures, make a new year's resolution you have no intention of keeping, and pour yourself an extra glass of whatever you are drinking at midnight tonight for me.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Homecoming- Wordless Wednesday

Because I just don't know what to say...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Five Things...

…I wish I knew then, or that I didn’t know now…

1 - It’s a good idea to ask your pediatrician (while you are pregnant) what level of NICU babies he or she will see, and who she defers to for the higher levels. Then it’s a good idea to find out about/meet that person so you don’t end up with a doctor that you CAN’T STAND.

2- The pediatric community has a love/hate relationship with breastfeeding. They all agree it’s best, but if they can’t weigh, measure and quantify it, they don’t know what to do.

3- Every nurse has a different idea about how everything should be done with a baby. My hospital has 12 hour shifts, and the nurses work 2 or 3 a week. That means there are 5-7 different nurses every week, assuming that the same nurses take your baby each time they are on duty - which they don’t.

4 - It’s important to ask the nurses to do what you want. There are many things they can and will do upon request, but they won’t always offer. Sometimes it is because they just don’t want to do it, but usually it’s because this is every day them and they forget that it’s new to you and you might not know how everything is supposed to work.

5 - 65 mL looks like a whole lot of milk, but it is possible for a 7 lb baby to suck it down in 15 minutes - when he is ready to do it.

*Also, I added “pumping milk while going through a drive-thru” to my list of lactation experiences today. I was totally covered up, but the attendant did look a little surprised at the blanket piled up in my lap. Still, this is Houston and it was under 60 degrees today, so I’m sure she just assumed that my heater was broken.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Isaac is here!

Baby Isaac came yesterday at 8:50 a.m. He weighed a remarkable 7lb 4 oz at 35 weeks gestation, and he's doing well. He was on an oxygen hood for half a day or so but is breathing room air now. He has a IV for feeding, and the main problem for now is that I was on magnesium sulfate for almost a week prior to birth to keep him in there. He is having trouble getting it out of his system now, and he can't be fed until that is clear.

I just miss him now- it was only him and me here in the hospital room for 9 days, and now we are separated. I can see him as much as I want, but I have to be back in my room for all the post-op care etc. and it's just not enough. We don't really have a great idea about when he will be able to go home, but we are hoping for early next week.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Quick update for now-

Saturday I found myself in the L&D ward at the hospital. Everything is "fine" right now, before I get started with the story.

It turns out that I have had a partial placental abruption that is now stabilized, and I am on hospital bedrest for the duration of the pregnancy, which will be one more week maximum. Baby's heartrate and movements are good, so all the experts agree that the best thing is to keep him in a little bit longer. The ultrasounds show him at a good weight, and I had a full course of steroids to help with his lung development, so the outlook is good. I have read and heard so many stories of women who lost thier precious babies this way, so I feel extremely blessed to be sitting here listening to the swooshing heartbeat on the monitor and feeling his familiar acrobatics in my belly.

Thanks for all the encouragement sent my way!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Passing the Torch

Sorry - I'll add the photos in later....

This year marked the 10th Thanksgiving that I have spent visiting my husband’s extended family for the holiday dinner. They live all around town, and for holidays, they traditionally gather at one aunt’s house. I remember Thanksgivings with 50 people crowded into the impromptu dining room/hall, with the heads of the families seated at the formal dining table and the rest of us happily squeezed into tables and chairs borrowed from the funeral home where one of the uncles worked. I remember when there was only one “great grandchild” and several great grandparents, and I remember the last year that my husband’s grandad, the true family patriarch, was there. That year all the grandkids (our generation) got to sit at the formal table with him.
For me, this year marked the passage of time more than any of the past years have. This year there were 8 great grandkids plus 3 more from one of the many adopted family branches that have merged in. It was the first year that the last of the great grandparents was not in good enough health to come. It was the second year since the first of our parents’ generation has passed away, but the first that his wife decided not to come alone. The past 12 months were much harder on my generation than any that I can remember, and it showed in the gathering. It was quieter, calmer, and smaller than any holiday I remember celebrating there.
When we were younger, we, the grandkids, would collect around the pool table upstairs after dinner while the older women sat in the hall or around the kitchen and the older men sat in the living room around football or car racing or whatever was on. This year, a few of the guys still found the spirit for pool…
but mostly our generation found ourselves amongst our parents, sharing in the chatter and pie. As though they heard the unspoken call that they were now the grandkids and we were the parents, some of our kids collected around the new game table that “Uncle Sean” put up for them earlier in the afternoon.
Remarkably, all of this did not make me feel old or depressed - it just made me feel right somehow. I am an adult. I have a house, a car, a job, a beautiful family, peace with God. I’ve got my own set of problems and my own ways to handle them. It felt good to know that we are all marching along with time and not being left behind or getting stuck in the past. It was a comfort to witness the unavoidable changes that come in life cast against the backdrop of familiarity- to know that we are charting our own course through life, but there are harbors to return to where we can mark our progress, find security, and know that the tethers of history and family still anchor us together.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Baby Updates - 6 Weeks to Go

I went to the doc today and got all checked out. My feet are officially too puffy for any normal work-type shoes, but thank goodness for crocs. Especially these, which I am in love with. They are like puffy clouds for my feet to travel around in. Natalie even has a pair to match. My doctor thought it was downright hilarious that I was wearing the same shoes as him, although his were the regular not fuzzy kind. So…I am as easily distractible in print as I am in real life. What the heck was I trying to say here? Diastolic blood pressure was higher than it has been but still in the range of normal, and everything else was on track. They hooked me up to the maternal-fetal monitor for a mini-NST in the office, and baby was cooperative, kicking all over the place so they could get a good reading. Again, everything looks good. We are still on track for a Dec 31 delivery. My doctor scheduled his vacation for the 21-26, so he will be back in time for my day.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Belly Talk

ALL from yesterday 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.:

“Wow, look at your ankles”

“Haven’t you had that baby yet?”

“You are never going to make it until December.”

“Boy, you really are sticking out there.”

“Haven’t you figured out how that happens?”

And my personal favorite: “At least we don’t look like her” [after passing two ladies talking about how they were going to eat too much when they try to quit smoking for the Great American Smoke-out today]

And to be fair, as I was walking to my car in the garage, my new best friend whose name I don’t know told me: “You look so cute, you really handle your pregnancies well.”

Everyone, take note – that is what you are supposed to say to a big giant pregnant lady that you don’t know when you bump into her in the garage. Either that or just run away before she steals your purse looking for food.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Is this like the Pink Elephants on Parade?

This is too much for me. I need to share. I am still trying to process the humor.

The Natural Way

I just finished reading a highly-recommended (although somewhat out-dated) book called Birth After Cesarean that I expected to convey the medical facts about repeat cesarean vs. VBAC risks and benefits. Although the summary of the book was up-front in revealing that the author had reached a strong pro-VBAC conclusion, I was surprised to find just how heavily-laced with bias the book really was. Basically, it compared the risks of infection and surgical complications to the risk of uterine rupture and came to the conclusion that the risk of uterine rupture in VBAC is statistically comparable to the risks associated with cesarean... so it’s not reasonable to consider the risks significant because VBAC is just fundamentally "better."

My thoughts on this book are probably affected by my own emotional bias against VBAC in general after feeling like the unrepresented minority that is run over by this whole debate. I can’t even begin to list the times I have been criticized not only for my decision to have a repeat c-section, but for having the first one – mostly by people who had no idea what they were talking about. Since the extremely high c-section rate is decried in headline after headline, most people understand that VBAC is safe for most mothers and I guess they think they are helping me out by telling me about it.

I didn’t have a choice about my fist cesarean. It didn’t happen because my labor stalled, because my doctors were too impatient to let nature take its course. Yes, I was induced. Yes, I labored on pitocin for the better part of a whole day. Yes, the decision to operate was based on the fact that I was no closer to having a baby at the end of this process than at the beginning. Unlike the scenarios that are always detailed in these pro-VBAC articles and books, I didn’t have a choice – or at least not what I considered a rational choice. I had to have the baby then and there or risk my blood pressure going even farther into the zone of life-threatening to me and my child. There was simply no more time to give. The induction was my doctor’s best effort at giving me a chance to avoid a c-section, not his desire for a more convenient schedule. It didn’t work, so the c-section was the next-best choice we had.

There are plenty of women out there just like me. For us, the benefits of “the birthing experience” and the chance to be “an active participant” in labor are not realistic concerns compared to the reality of knowing that our own bodies just didn’t hold up to the demands of pregnancy and labor for reasons beyond our control. I agree that any surgery should be avoided if possible, and I’m happy for the moms who can weigh these factors and make the decision to go for it. I’m just not one of them.

The bottom line – I am choosing an “elective repeat cesarean” for Baby #2 at the recommendation of a doctor that I trust very much, not at the whim of a broken medical system. I am choosing this because:

1 – 1% risk is too much for me. Other sources say the risk of rupture is 4/1000. Either way, I am the person who will spend an hour making sure the carseat is properly installed before driving 3 blocks in the neighborhood. I am not the person who looks at a 1/250 risk and believes it won’t happen to me. Also, I remember childbirth and I remember how rarely anyone came to check on me, even though I was high-risk. I have no illusions that my VBAC would be “closely monitored” for signs of uterine rupture or any other complication.

2 – I believe, based on what I have studied and what I know about this pregnancy, that a scheduled c-section gives me the best chance of avoiding a repeat of the somewhat traumatic birth and recovery that I experienced last time. I have been fearful my entire pregnancy because of the complications of baby #1. With #1, my blood pressure was so high after delivery that I had to be put on magnesium sulfate, and as a result, I don’t remember the first 24 hours or so after the delivery. There aren’t any statistics that can change how I feel about having no memory of the first time I held my child.

I know that cesarean is not 100% safe. I’m not going into this without an element of fear at undergoing major surgery. I know the recovery is more difficult. I am informed. Sometimes I think I am overly informed, but I can’t shake the feeling that the whole story – the part of it that I fit into - is still not being told.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Oh just play with your food then least it's not trying to kill you. Or maybe it is, but that's for another day.

I’m crazy busy and it’s going to stay that way for at least another week. I do think that we will get one step closer to having a nursery for baby this weekend, and I’m excited about that. Still- I did have time to run across this:

Someone should be in prison for a long time for this. In fact, if Martha Stewart has to go to prison for talking about stocks or whatever – admittedly, I don’t understand the market well enough to even talk about this – I think at least 3 or 4 people should be in jail a LONG TIME for selling a toy that contains the date rape drug.

And another topic –

Christina Aguilera is having a baby, possibly the same day as I am having Isaac. I just hope she doesn’t name it Zolten or Princess Tiami, because then the play-dates will just be akward.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Party Time

Natalie’s birthday party was on Saturday, and it was a blast – I think. I managed to get myself stung by a wasp about an hour before the big event. I’ve never been stung by anything flying before, and my mom has the “rush her to the hospital” level of reaction, so I didn’t know what to expect. I did get stung by a poisonous caterpillar once, and the white part of my eyes puffed up over the colored part…

...So I decided to take the biggest recommended dose of benadryl and hope for the best. I figured that me being a groggy medicine head at the party was better than me missing the party for a trip to the urgent care place. I ended up with just a little red blotch where the bite was and nothing more, but I was pretty much out of it for the party. No problem though – there was plenty of fun had by all.

There was jumping:

There was swinging:

There was deeply contemplative regard for the cake:

The grown-ups even got in on the fun:

There were a couple of un-authorized photos that included giant preggie mom that surely would not have been allowed if I had been in possession of my full mental capacity:

Natalie’s evaluation of the day – “I had a party at the gymnastics and I went on the mountain. I was three but now I’m two again and I’m going to have another party at the gymnastics and then I’ll be three.” I think that means she liked it.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


I am so disappointed by Halloween. I don't really enjoy the ghouls and spooks, but I love the community feeling of the day and the fun of getting to dress up and pretend to be something extra fun. I also love that people stop pretending they don't like to eat candy and instead go door to door begging for it - not to mention shamelessly shoveling pounds of it into their shopping carts at the stores to get ready.

Yesterday was just no fun. Natalie was already hopped up when I picked her up from school from the cupcakes, cookies, and popsicles that they apparently ate continuously from 11:00 on. As much as I want to have fun on Halloween, I just couldn't bring myself to put any more sugar into my child who was literally smiling at me through clenched teeth while her eyes bugged out of her vibrating head. I had to be the mean mom that put the candy up until after dinner.

Natalie is afraid of the Halloween aisle at CVS, so trick or treating was out this year. I had a commitment with some ladies who have lost children at my church, so I left Nat in the care of hubby, who went with her to Mimi and Poppy's house for dinner and to greet the trick or treaters. Apparently none of them noticed that Natalie was about to blow up, because they gave her some whoppers - which promptly resulted in her vomiting all over herself, her costume, and the dinner she wasn't eating. To hear my husband tell the story, she was still trying to get more whoppers into her mouth as they hauled her off to the bathtub.

By the time I got home, around 7:45, the teenagers had taken over. I had to drive through a mass of teens dressed in costumes that covered as little of their bodies as possible, all standing in the middle of the road taking pictures of themselves kissing or climbing on each other. Then I had to pass the "Scream" guy riding in the back of a convertible, cruising the neighborhood at 10 miles an hour, presumably making sure that any kids who wanted to do any actual trick-or-treating were too intimidated to come out.

All of this to come home and find that in our absence, someone had smashed our jack-o-lantern to bits and left the top on our doorstep like some kind of mob threat.

Last year we went through 5 bags of candy before having to turn off our light and go to bed. We saw all the cute little ones, all the grade-schoolers who were blooming with pride in their cosutumes and filled with the excitement of the night. I even enjoyed the teens who dressed up and came to the door for candy. What happened? I sure miss the old Halloween.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Not Bluetooth Compatible

We really do our best talking at bedtime in our house.

Mama- So, it really bothers you that I keep calling baby Isaac "Zacky" in my head?

Hubby- Yes, I hate the name "Zack." His name is not going to be Zack. If you have to call him Zack, then we have to have a new name.

Mama - OK, I can deal with that. How about "zacky poo baby boo?"

Hubby- Ha. Ha. I guess there really aren't too many good nicknames for Isaac.

Mama- Well, we thought that about Natalie, too.

Hubby- Awww. Our little Natterbeetle. Hey, he can be iBaby!

Mama - He is not an electronic device!

Hubby- [now ignoring the Mama and talking only to the "iBump"] Hey there little iBaby! It's your daddy! My little iBaby.....

I do not like where this is going, people.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Then & Now

Natalie’s first fall pictures posted last month here. I can’t get over loving pictures of kids and pumpkins. I really love them.
Last fall at the pumpkin patch:
This year at the pumpkin patch:

It's amazing what 12 months can do with a pumpkin.

Baby Einstein

As Mama to a preschooler, I have learned that people judge your child continuously. It’s not enough to judge the accomplishments of adults, to make others feel small for their decisions about what is important in life, to convince one another that we aren’t pretty no matter what we look like.
When they are unborn babies, children are apparently judged by how pretty they make their mommies look, as if they have some control over that. As newborns, it’s all about how well they sleep. As toddlers, babies are called “so smart” and praised for how well they can walk, run, jump, etc. Next, it’s how well they can or can’t speak. I am guessing that when they get to school, the kids who don’t sleep, run, jump, or talk too much are the ones judged “smart.“ I might sound like a bitter mother whose child has been slighted by lack of some ability, but really I’m just a mom who is overly aware of what people say about my kid. Natalie has been called “very smart” most of her life. I always tell her how proud I am of her and that she is my genius, but I confess that I have spent even more time down-playing her achievements to others because of my own aversion to the competitiveness of childhood.
I'm starting to think maybe I have been overcompensating a litte too much, and that I owe her a little more limelite. So, I’m going to put her latest accomplishment right out there for all The Internets to see how proud I really am of my little smartie. Last weekend, she totally surprised us all by writing her name on the sidewalk- proof below: (photo editing by Picnik- thanks Jenny)

And wasn’t it nice of her to write in chalk so I could take a digital picture and properly display it, rather than using a sheet of paper that I would inevitably have to shove in her baby “book” (read: shoebox) with the last 18 months of stuff I haven’t gotten around to preserving yet? Smart and considerate. Who could ask for more?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Baby Update - 10 weeks and counting

For those who know me in real life and read this blog for baby updates, and to the pre-ecclampsia survivors who are getting me through this pregnancy with prayer and support – I went to the doctor today and got a little scare. He was worried from the feel of things in my belly that baby wasn’t growing as he should. I know this is a common road bump in pregnancy, but I’m a worry wart and it freaked me out. He re-checked my blood pressure ( 128/ 68 – normal), reviewed the urine test stuff (no protein – excellent), took a good look at my feet and hands (puffy), and sent me for an ultrasound. After a long wait, the ultrasound revealed that baby is in fact not small at all. He is actually measuring 2 weeks ahead of schedule. My doctor isn’t worried about him being too big, so I’m reassured. The ultrasound tech also pointed out that our little big man has quite a bit of hair on his little big head.

Isaac - I can't wait to meet you, but please stay in there for a couple more months!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Potter Publicity

I have to be honest - I do not like this one bit. To me, it says one thing if you write something like that into the story and create the character that way. It says something different if you decide to hold a press conference and make a statement that you know is going to stir up folks.

You know that if she had written that into the story people, there are plenty of people would have thought twice about buying the book - but coming out with it afterward is only going to drum up publicity. It's just low, in my opinion.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Now Playing at the

Porn and slasher flicks, apparently.

This is the news?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

A cord of 3 strands is not easily broken

Baby Isaac had his baby shower this weekend, and I am just really touched by the girls who gave it for him. I’ve known all these ladies for about 4 years, and they have been through “it all” with me. When I met them, they were all struggling quietly and alone with infertility. I came along as a newly engaged kid, and they welcomed me into their group with open arms. Eventually, everyone’s private struggles were brought into the light, and we prayed and cried for one another. After 4 months of marriage, I showed up one night unable to hold back the tears after finding out I was pregnant. I didn’t want to be pregnant – it’s not that I didn’t want kids, but I wasn’t ready for it. These loving women who spent so much of their hearts yearning for babies of their own not only bothered to go after my true feelings about my own pregnancy, but they supported and encouraged me through what must have seemed like the most selfish problem a person could have. When my pregnancy was rougher than expected, they were there with strength that I didn't have and meals Iwould have otherwise just gone without.

Ladies, you are awesome, and I can’t contain my joy that we were all able to celebrate Isaac’s coming birth together as mothers. Yes, they are all mothers now. Through in-vitro fertilization, overseas adoption, and just plain unexplained miracles, God has given them all children of their own.

Melinda – You are the person who knows how to make food into a meal and a house into a home. When I met you, I was intimidated by your “perfect” housekeeping skills, but now I know that everything you do is not to impress others but to share what you have with them.

Jessica – You have the biggest heart of anyone I have ever known. You might think that you don’t express it that well, but you don’t have to speak to let your heart be known because it is a part of everything you do. Your faith and your unwillingness to compromise your principles are inspiring.

Sonia – You are so honest. I love the way you make us all feel normal for being the way we are. I love the way you would do anything or go anywhere for a friend. You are a dear friend and one of the strongest women I know.

Thank you, precious friends, for sharing motherhood and your hearts with me.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Chicken Soup for the Infant Cold

The big headline today on CNN was that drug makers are pulling cold medicines for babies from retail shelves until the medical community can make up its mind about them. Apparently, if you mega-overdose your child on cold medicine, your child can be harmed. What I don’t get is that they are only pulling the ones marketed for infants and leaving the ones that don’t specifically say “Infant” on the packaging. In case you haven’t purchased OTC cold medicine for a baby, they all say “Consult your physician” for dosage under 2 years. Even Children’s Tylenol says that. All I can think is that if you were willing to give your baby drugs that had no recommended dosage for your baby’s age without calling your doctor to find out how much to give them because it said “Infant” on the label, I doubt you are going to have a problem doing the same thing with a drug that says “Children’s” on the label instead, especially if there are no “Infant” drugs on the shelf to make you suspect that “Children’s” does not include infants.

Meanwhile, the esteemed Dr. Sanjay Gupta, physician to the media masses, is advising that “parents of sick infants can use vaporizers or hydrators, saline nose drops, rubber nose bulbs, and chicken soup” to cure their children instead of the OTC medicines. I don’t know about your kid, but Natalie just loved it when I loaded her bottle with chicken soup.

Update - since people keep finding me by searching for "Infant cold," I'm adding some actual information here. If you are looking for what to give your child for his cold or dosing children's medicine, I recommend that you ask Dr. Sears.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Again with the Fat Comments?

OK- Enough. ENOUGH!

Today in the bathroom, a co-worker that has been here for all of two weeks started a chat with me by asking when the baby is due. I answered (Jan 8), making this the longest conversation we have ever shared. She looked at me with a raised eyebrow and said "Only one baby?" I answered her and could have gotten over that part, but she felt compelled to follow up with "Well, hopefully you won't get too much bigger."

Who says these things?

Monday, October 8, 2007

I'm not done talking about boobs

Now that I have your attention…

Last month I wrote a marginally dissenting opinion on the Facebook issue, and I still haven’t spent the time to find out more about what they did or didn’t do, so I’m not talking about that anymore. I have spent time reading other people’s blog entries on this topic, and I am really moved by the level of controversy that is out there over breastfeeding. The argument that gets me the most is over whether nursing is sexual or not. I have a strong opinion on that one, so I’m diving into the pit here.

Breastfeeding is sexual.

Just to be clear, I do not feel sexually aroused by breastfeeding my child, by watching someone breastfeed, or by looking at pictures of breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding is not kinky or lustful, and it is not obscene. Kinky and lustful are part of sex, but they are not all of sex. If you think breastfeeding is not sexual, I will not claim that you have an incorrect view of breastfeeding. I would claim that you are taking a sadly limited view of sex.

Any woman who has been in a healthy sexual relationship can attest that physical intimacy (in and of itself, apart from the orgasm or whatever else) is a part of sexual satisfaction for a woman. Breastfeeding is physically intimate. Breastfeeding a child produces chemical and emotional responses in a woman that help her feel attached and close to her child in much the same way that sex makes her feel attached and close to her husband. The problem is that most of us have not been in a healthy sexual relationship, and even if we have, we are carrying the scars of past abuse. Last week, so many people wrote to Stop the Abuse. It is astounding how many people have been touched by abuse, and this should give us a clue as to why breastfeeding makes so many upset. It’s not an excuse - but you can’t solve a problem without a full understanding of the causes. Even aside from abusive relationships with others, we live in a world where nearly everyone has an unhealthy relationship with her own body. We worship and sacrifice our own bodies everyday.

The bottom line is that breastfeeding cannot be separated from the aspects of woman that make her WOMAN, and that has something and everything to do with sex. It is no more obscene than a beautiful dress that showcases a lovely feminine body and no less intimate than a husband and wife’s wedding kiss.

Bring Your Fetus to Work Day

I remember this feeling from my first pregnancy, but I thought it came later on. So, I'm just sitting here at my desk, and there is totally a baby squirming around in my lap, and nobody seems to think it is odd. OK, I know the baby isn't born yet, and it's not like he requires my attention like a "born" baby would, but he's still just RIGHT THERE in my lap - and I'm at work just going about my business like everything is normal. And I think I just set the record for run-on, bad-grammatical-structure sentences (so here's one more.) Did I mention that my husband studied print journalism in college and actually corrects people for misusing "your" and "you're" in their text messages?

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Bring out the Good

There hasn't been much to say lately- the creativity and introspection have just not been flowing. The doctor checked me out, and I'm doing well. I still have to stop myself from adding "for now" to that sentence.

Our A/C was broken all weekend, and I think I'm still sweating from that. I've been so crabby that I yelled at my poor daughter for throwing a fit (as in, let me just yell at you about how you are yelling and that will surely teach you to stop yelling), I criticized my husband for wanting to take a day of work to work on house projects (again, what?), and the first thought through my mind this morning when I saw a co-worker who is relocating to another office area was "Today's the last day I'm going to have to see you first thing in the morning," (and I actually like the guy.) I am just a big ole crab these days. In an effort to be more positive, here is a post about an organization that I think is doing good in the world:

Top Five Reasons that Operation Christmas Child, by Samaritan’s Purse, is a charity that I look forward to supporting every holiday season:

5. I get to go shopping and I don’t have to bring any more “stuff” into my house.

4. Buying Christmas presents for kids is more fun in October when I haven’t already spent my entire Christmas budget

3. I can turn a shoebox into a treasure chest without feeling like a dork.

2. I don't have to think about how noisy or annoying a toy might be before I buy it.

1. In all seriousness, I get to do something that impacts a child’s life, and I don’t have to just send off a check and wonder how it was spent.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Little Things

Jenny at The Bloggess had a great idea for a contest to bring out people’s pictures that unintentionally captured the treasures of life – at least that what’s I took it for. If you clicked from her blog and just want to see my entry, scroll to the end. It’s the last one in the post….but I will cast one of those chain-mail curses on you if you do that.

Like many moms, my favorite subject for photos is my child. I have taken more pictures of her than I can count, and I won’t delete any of them even if they come out totally blurry. I love taking pictures that capture elements of her babyhood that come and go so quickly.

Some of them are physical appearance, like her baby toes…

Her mismatched eyes…

Her roly-poly baby thighs (already vanished away and replaced with new little miniature gymnast legs)…

Some of them catch parts of her personality, like the teenager that lives inside my preschooler…

Or the way she hates having her toenails trimmed (2 years later, she still manages to get that exact same look on her face, even though the face is so different)…

And then there is my other baby, who was so displaced at first that she had to resort to dolls to find a good lap to sit in… (picture also known as "IM IN UR CRIBZ, STEALIN YOUR RAGGEDY LUVZ")

But my very favorite picture of Natalie is one that I took about 7 months ago and haven’t gotten tired of looking at yet. I have it up at work and at home, and it fascinates me, encourages me, and sometimes brings a happy tear to my eye even though I have seen it a million times. This is one of those shots I took holding the camera at arms length, blindly attempting to get myself and Natalie in the frame. I had been trying to get a photo of her for an Easter card, and then we just started playing. She was all smiles, so I decided to humor my husband and try to get a picture of us together. There aren’t many of those because I am incapable of keeping my eyes open in a picture. I was just snapping and snapping, and Natalie did something that made me laugh. I don’t remember what it was, but I remember the feeling it gave me. I gave her a little kiss and accidentally managed to capture the moment:

I love this picture because it is a picture of my baby’s happy love face. For me, it captures the magic of the way she looks when she is happy and she still thinks that I am somehow responsible for making her feel that way. This one picture captures so many expressions of love – her dreamy-closed eyes, her thoughtless smile, her hands drawn up in a moment of surprise. I even love that it shows the little red splotches she gets on her chin from drooling all the time because every mom knows that you can’t separate baby love from drool.

This picture represents all the reasons that motherhood is worth it and that I am putting myself through the *ahem* joys *cough* of pregnancy again. Maybe I should look at it more often.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Fear

The Fear is back. I went about a month without worrying about this baby, about whether he would be here healthy and whole and in his full time. Last night and Friday night and now this morning, I have pain under my rib cage, and I am familiar with this kind of pain. It is the pain that the nurses tell you is heartburn if you call them after hours, but that heartburn medication doesn’t help. Last time I believed them and told myself to toughen up – pregnant women get heartburn. Now I know better. Now I know that it could be heartburn and nothing else, or it could be another sign of my best pregnancy friend, pre-eclampsia. It is power and it is a curse. Since I know better, I will not just take the nurses’ word as gospel. I will ask for tests; I will see the doctor. Since I know better, I will not be able to go through the day like everything is fine until I know for sure that everything is fine. I will spend hours fearing what is probably, in all honesty, heartburn, imagining that it could be the first sign that my precious son is not OK.

Speaking of my precious son, his name is Isaac Bernhard. Isaac means laughter, and Bernhard is his daddy’s name. We weren’t 100% sold on the name, but once Natalie adopted it and began telling everyone that her brother’s name is Isaac, we felt committed.

I read on another blog of a pre-e survivor where she wrote all the reasons she was thankful to have gone through this disease. I guess this is something that Oprah says to do – to change the way you look at major events in your life. I’m not sure I can really do that 100% until I am through this pregnancy, but I think it is the right idea. Our sermon at church this weekend dealt with the issue of how sometimes the things that happen to you don’t make sense in the 70 or so years of life on earth, but that the truth is that they are always for your ultimate good in the eternal picture. I believe that is true. The verse is Ecclesiastes 3:11 “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” This is very similar to Romans 8:28, but Solomon was more poetic than Paul, and I like his version better. It’s part of the “To every season” passage that most people are familiar with from the song- really beautiful stuff.

So here’s my first stab at it: I am thankful that I had preeclampsia because it has made me treasure my unborn child in a way that I missed out on the first time. With Natalie, I was just pregnant. I didn’t think much about the baby inside or what she would be like. I was young and naïve, and I was excited about having a baby but it just wasn’t real to me. With Isaac, I think about him like a person and I want to get to know him now and take care of him because I don’t take for granted that everything will be perfect when he comes.

And I am thankful of course for my Natalie – for the memories that I have from 2 years ago of her first autumn, getting ready for the holidays while seeing them through the eyes of a child for the first time.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Just Call me Stay-Puff in the Morning, Baby

Yesterday I woke up puffy. I knew it was going to be a super-awesome pregnant day when I put my bare feet on the ground over the edge of my bed and it felt like I had squeezed them into a pair of too-tight shoes. I instinctively made fists and felt that familiar chubbiness of my fingertips being not quite able to curl all the way in to the bottom half of my fingers. The day before, I was fine – this is an overnight thing with me. I had gained 2 pounds since I went to bed, and since I am not a sleepwalker, I knew that the water retention had finally made its appearance. I had little rings around my ankles by 10:00 a.m., and by lunch time I was huffing and puffing to get all my extra self up to the top of the parking garage.

Then, miracle of miracles, I woke up this morning and it was all gone. It’s like maybe the universe decided that since I was FINALLY feeling good in my pregnant body and not believing that every day was just 24 hours closer to some kind pregnancy disaster it needed to send that little warning shot over my ramparts. Like “Hey there – don’t get all cocky and think you can just be a normal pregnant chick. Remember how your dysfunctional body doesn’t do this right? Yeah, it’s still like that.”

So, I’ve taken off my rings and retired my high-heels for the duration, but I’m trying to believe that this was just a one-day thing. I have gone over and over what I did and what I ate the day before, though, and there just aren’t any salt binges or over-exertions to explain it away. I did eat a couple extra pieces of chocolate, so I guess I’ll blame them. Nestle’s, you are officially uninvited from my baby shower. Don’t tell Ghiradelli, she’s still on the list. It’s just the cheap ones that make you sick, right?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

On a lighter note

Mama (to husband who just came home in the middle of the night from playing softball - or maybe it was 9:30, but it’s all the same to me lately because I’d been in bed for at least an hour) : Would you rub my back pleeeeeeze

Hubby: Would you rub my back?

Mama: How am I going to rub your back while you are rubbing my back?

Hubby: I meant after.

Mama: The point is that you rub my back until I fall asleep since you just woke me up.

Hubby: Maybe we could just face each other and reach around.

Mama: If I do that you are going to try to jump my bones.

Hubby: That’s disgusting. I would probably try to have sex with you.

Mama: Nevermind. You clearly aren’t getting the point of this.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Lactivists Unite?

Yesterday I had the much-beloved glucola screen –yea! I hope I passed it this time because failing means a 3-hour glucose tolerance test and fasting.

Yesterday I also heard about Facebook taking down pictures of nursing mommies. I can’t say I am outraged, but I am confused. Before I jump on the Facebook The Oppressor wagon, I’d really like to see the kinds of pictures that they actually took down. Were they the traditional shots of a latched on baby that show some cleavage and not much else? Or were they shots that actually showed mom’s boobs in all their glory and just happened to include a baby about to eat? I can see the need for Facebook to have a generic rule despite the nature of the picture that is something like “no nipples.” I’m just saying that if you have a rule you need to have a rule. The same principle applies in reverse – if you leave up pictures of women in string bikinis that show “everything but” and take down pictures that show the same amount of boobie with a baby instead of a bustier, then you don’t have a leg to stand on in my book.

I breastfed my daughter for a full 27 months of her life. I never had to buy formula, and I never regretted the decision. I breastfed Natalie in my home, in the mall, at the zoo, on an airplane, in the car (in the parking lot), at church, in a movie theater, and probably lots of other places that I can’t remember. I pumped milk at work for 9 months and also pumped in my car (yes, driving), at a wedding, and in many many bathrooms. (As I’m typing this, I am finding that Microsoft does not seem to recognize “breastfed” as a verb and keeps warning me that I am making fragments…) I am really proud of this, and the experience totally transformed the way I feel about my body. I was lucky, and I was never accosted by the boob police in public. I was (I believe) very discreet and never showed more than a flash of breast, and I never tried any very controversial places like a restaurant or grocery store. Oddly enough, the places that I was most uncomfortable were in the homes of friends and family. Those were the places that I was most often banished to a back room away from polite company. I met the most resistance from people that I knew, not from strangers.

The bottom line - in no way shape or form do I consider breastfeeding to be obscene. It doesn’t have anything to do with pornography, and it isn’t indecent exposure. Still, mommies, have some respect for the people around you. I think it’s like changing a diaper in public - it’s natural and you have to do it sometimes, but it’s just polite to make every reasonable effort to keep your little one’s little ones shielded from public view. Take the same measures with your own body is all I’m saying here.

Friday, September 14, 2007

I'm just here for the free tears

Yesterday I saw a professional counselor for the third and final time. I have struggled with my own demons as long as I can remember, and I think I always thought that if I could just make that phone call to get some help, it would come to an end. In August, I had something I can only describe as an anxiety attack that was so severe that I could not drive myself home. Maybe it was the baby on the way, or maybe it was just my time, but I finally got a list of counselors from my insurance company and tried to make an appointment.

The first strike was that I had to call six before I found one who would see me. The others were either not taking new patients, not seeing patients at all, or had moved their offices across town. These phone calls were next to impossible for someone like me to make, and I’d just like to say that the people who answered the phone did not make them any easier.

I finally found one person who would see me. She was the one who had no information on the internet and was unknown to a friend of mine who is also a counselor. I made my appointment for the next week and when the time came, I went. She had no waiting area, so I had the choice of either standing in the hallway outside her office or sitting in the reception area of a busy lending firm that was apparently accustomed to hosting the unstables that come to see the counselor down the hall. She was 20 minutes late to see me, and when she finally appeared, I got the feeling that she was no more thrilled to see me than I was to be there. I told her about the “attack” and that I thought maybe I was finally dealing with the trauma of my first pregnancy. She was not really listening, I don’t think, and just kept telling me that pregnancy got better in the second trimester (I was 19 weeks at the time.) I was there no more than 30 minutes, including filling out some paperwork, before she dismissed me on time despite starting late. She said we would work on relaxation techniques next time and sent me on my way.

The second appointment was a little bit better. We did some “meditation” and all I could do was cry. She asked what was going on, and re-visited the past pregnancy because that was all I could think to talk about. She told me that she thought maybe I was finally dealing with the trauma of my first pregnancy – what a thought. Anyway, at least she was listening.

The third was a disaster – late again, and I had no idea what to tell her. The only question she asked me was how my week had been. I couldn’t really think of much to say, so there was silence most of the time. She called me a perfectionist (as in “stop being a perfectionist”) when I explained that I hadn’t been able to clear my mind to do the meditation crap on my own.
I guess I expected her to have some supernatural ability to see that the things I was telling her were just the surface – that I really wanted and needed help with much deeper things. That seems a little unrealistic in retrospect, considering I have 25 years or so experience at convincing people that I am perfectly fine and no one has been able to figure it out yet. Anyway, she didn’t get it either and I don’t see the point of paying her to listen to me ramble about my week when I can do it for free on the internet without getting asinine feedback (or at least without feeling compelled to respond to any of it.)

Friday, September 7, 2007

Gentle nudges

Yesterday was the day from down under. Thing after thing went wrong at work, and the biggest problems were happening in Georgia, where I have no way of fixing them. I am already confused about what my job will look like after the new baby comes, but yesterday another option was thrown into the mix. I am very reluctant to make any decisions now, but my department is restructuring and 4 months is a little too long to bide my time without any job definition, I think. I got so stressed out about it that I put baby Isaac on the waiting list for Natalie’s daycare last night. The first opening they had was for June 1, so I guess I still have some problems there. I’m out of time for writing, so this will all have to wait for another day.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Adventures in Aggieland

First, you have to check this out – people are still crazy.

Second, my family completed the first of 3 consecutive trips to College Station to watch Aggie football live this past weekend. We left the house at 2:30 and made it home at 11:00. It was only in the high 80’s outside, so it was OK as outdoor sports go. Natalie spent all day Friday in anticipation of the event and had to wear her Aggie shirt and suck on only her Aggie pacifier (a.k.a. “plug”). She woke up from her nap and the casual observer may have thought we were going to Mickey Mouse’s Birthday Extravaganza based on her reaction to realizing that it was time to go. I spent a long time wondering why a 2-year-old would be so excited about an hour car ride followed by 2 hours of sitting around a grill followed by 4 hours of staring at a football field followed by another 2 hour car ride (this time with traffic.) On Sunday, even after the reality of the event must have sunken in, she would still only wear Aggie gear and use the Aggie plug. Why? How can this be exciting to her? It occurred to me that maybe this is what cheerleaders look like at 2 and I entered momentary panic. Then, on Sunday night, I was reminded of the secret - the devoted adoration that can only come from a daughter for the daddy that is wrapped completely around her fingers (and who happens to believe that the solar system revolves around Kyle Field).

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Big Mac in the Oven?

Today I am uncomfortable with my body, and I believe it is a crime that people have made me feel this way. Three people in the last 3 days have told me that I look really big for my stage in pregnancy. Maybe I should just post a picture and let the internets vote on my relative pregnant lack of hotness? Or maybe I should NOT encourage the craziness that has lead people to believe it is OK to tell a woman she looks fat if she is pregnant.
And by the way, this should be the 9 months of my life when I am completely exempt from any fat judgment whatsoever- including judgments that I am such a fatty that I have somehow made my unborn child into a giant by proximity

Monday, August 27, 2007

You know, I've never been good at "Keep in Touch"

June, July, August, heck, some stuff happened in there. I just left a lunch with a friend who I haven’t seen in YEARS and after he told me the sagas of love and loss for his family, all I could think of to say was that my parents had some landscaping done. Seriously. And I’m having a boy. Frankly, I don’t know what I am going to do with a boy, but I’m getting one, and everyone seems to think it’s great that I will be completing my Norman Rockwell family portrait. I was actually dreaming of something more like Little Women without the death, but I can think of some good things about having a boy. Is it wrong that I am relieved that Natalie will be my one and only princess and won’t have to share that pet name with a sister? Is it normal to feel depressed that I will have to give away all the little dresses that she wore instead of seeing them again on another little girl? Am I the only person that can’t figure out whether I am happy or sad about this?

Oh! I did find time to read Harry Potter when the new book came out. I’m not sure how I feel about it yet. I meant to re-read the ending, but I haven’t found that time again since. I have way too busy fueling my own anxiety over being pregnant.

When I was pregnant before, I had preeclampsia. There, I said it. If you’ve never known someone who went through that nightmare, read some stories here. My story is not that bad, as these things go. The thing is, I didn’t know I had a problem until I was in the recovery room after delivering my baby and couldn’t hold my head up or stop vomiting. The first 20 weeks of my pregnancy were spent trying to come to terms with being pregnant and having one continuous “threatened miscarriage” because my hormones were out of whack. Then – literally at 4 a.m. on the day after I was released from the hospital for the last time – my dear friend and my husband’s male other half, Russell, was killed in a mugging. The next 10 weeks or so are all a blur in which we tried to come to terms with all that grief and shock. I remember that I felt bad, but it’s difficult to separate depression from normal pregnancy feelings from the unnatural exhaustion caused by preeeclampsia. Then another friend delivered a baby at 26 weeks (she was 2 weeks ahead of me) and he only lived a month. I remember that I couldn’t wear shoes anymore because my feet were so thick that nothing in any size would go on. I know that my OB sent me to a cardiologist and put me on blood pressure medication, but I didn’t understand what it was for. I had complained that my heart felt like it was racing, and so I thought he was trying to help with that. The medicine made me foggy and even more tired, so I thought I was choosing between the racing heart and the foggy feeling, and I chose the racing heart because at least I could drive to work that way. I honestly had no idea that what I had was serious or that I was in any danger of early delivery. I read about pre-e in the pregnancy books. They listed the symptoms and – check, check, double-check- that was me. They didn’t say much that concerned me. I recently read in my old journal that the doctor had recommended that I leave work at 26 weeks, but I think I believed he was just trying to accommodate me because I felt so bad. I thought I was toughing it out and I just needed to get over feeling bad for myself. Then, at just under 37 weeks, I went to my company’s Thanksgiving luncheon and then to my weekly OB appointment. I took work with me. The doctor took my blood pressure, looked at my feet and smiled a very wary, ominous, smile. He said, “Well, you’re going to have this baby tomorrow. You can just go on over to the hospital now, and they will get you started. I will come by and check on you tonight, and we will have induction tomorrow. Maybe you will have labor tonight. You are essentially full term, the baby is big, and there is a chance that if I send you home, you will have a stroke.” He said it very kindly, but just like that. I began to cry right there. He took me to his office, and I remember sitting in his big leather chair calling my family to tell them I was going to the hospital and trying to keep from soaking his telephone. That’s about the last thing I remember clearly from that day.

So, without telling the whole birth story, I basically had 24+ hours of heavily monitored, drug-induced labor that ended in an emergency c-section. My blood pressure was so high after delivery that they put me on magnesium and sent me to a special high-care room. I don’t remember the first day of my child’s life, because that is what magnesium does, and afterward I was so relieved to have it over that I never looked back…until now, of course, when I became curious about whether this was a fluke or something I had to look forward to living again. Now I know that I have a very good chance of developing the same problems because the last time it all started so early in my pregnancy. To be totally honest, I am terrified. Every day, when I feel my heart racing and my shoes pinching, I remember having this feeling before. Things I have long forgotten are becoming clear again, and I am starting to make sense of what happened with the last pregnancy. At the same time, I am making my anxious self nuts worrying about what might happen.

Monday, August 20, 2007

I need a nap

Based on the theme of this blog, you might be temtped to believe that I sleep all the time, or that I am chronically sleep-deprived. I am not. It's just that I think about sleep all the time. If anyone asked me what I want at any given time, there is probably a 60% chance that I would say a nap. It doesn't matter how much or how little I sleep - I always want to sleep more.

For now, I have an excuse. I have a 2-year old daughter who is potty training (not that well), a full time job where I work with crazy people masquerading as normal business-folk, and a baby on the way. Sleep is precious and rare, and even when I am in bed with all the stars properly aligned, it just doesn't always come. Did I mention that I have a husband? I do, but since pre-season NFL means that there is football on every single day, and Ti-Vo means that we "don't have to miss a single minute," I might as well have an extra venus fly trap.

So, I wrote some nice posts about a 4 months ago when I set out to start this blog, but I never got around to actually starting it and posting them. I'll put the better ones up as I go along.

Friday, June 8, 2007

My banana has a website

It’s What happened to the pretty blue Chiquita stickers with the curvy little lady on them that I stuck to my forehead as a kid? I’m eating a banana right now, and it has a sticker advertising it’s own website. I usually buy organic bananas, and I don’t think it would be quite in keeping with the lifestyle perception to put a website on an organic banana, but my dear kind hubby went to the store for me this week. In addition to several “all in one pot, just add water” meals, I got advertisement on my bananas. I just don’t know how I feel about that, you know? I am on the internet all day, but there is just something unnatural about websites for produce. It makes me think that my bananas have some sort of technological component to them that is not very appetizing.

On a lighter note, 2 people mistook me for a high-school student yesterday. This used to happen to me all the time, but not so much since I became an overstressed mom. I guess that pregnant glow is working its magic. For reference, I’m going to my 10-yr high school reunion this year, so this is a big compliment to me. If they were hip to the high-school crowd, my shoes would have given me away, though, I have to admit. No high-schooler with a sense of dignity would be caught in Bass sandals. Bass is clearly the choice of the older generation, but hey – I’ll take what I can get. Woo-hoo! I’m getting younger in the eyes of old people!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Sleep. It’s all I can think about. It’s all I want to do. The only reason I’m writing this blog now is because I just finished my lunch and I have a meeting in half an hour that I need to stay awake for. In my finer moments I have actually tried to figure out whether I could quit my job now and just sleep for the next 7 months.

Monday, May 14, 2007

It's a...beating heart

This was the big morning that I returned to my doctor’s office to find out for certain what is going on in my insides…and the news is good. I have a 6-week-old fetus complete with beating heart and nice big yolk sac. I feel really good about this, which is a total turnabout from my last pregnancy, when I was in a perpetual state of disbelief. I’m excited about embarking on this big journey on purpose. I’m looking forward to maternity clothes and decorating a nursery and shopping and eating extra food at Thanksgiving. I’m looking forward to time at home with Natalie and her new little sibling, and to teaching them to get along. I’m not quite to the point of thinking about the sleepless nights and how I’m going to get any rest with a toddler around. Sleep when the baby sleeps isn’t going to work this time, but I feel ready for this.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

No news sucks, and my news sucks more

After an agonizing day of waiting to hear from the doctor’s office on Monday, they finally called me at 5:30 and went through this little circus with the pharmacy because it was suddenly URGENT that I start taking some hormones. Everything was normal in the blood tests except progesterone, so I have to take supplements to keep my body from deciding that I’m not pregnant anymore. This happened with Natalie, too – same sucky song, second sucky verse. This time, I don’t feel like it is working, though. I feel a little increase in the hormonal side effects, but not much, and there is some cramping. Do we really have to talk about this today? I’d rather talk about something else. If you’ve ever taken progesterone, then you know what I’m saying here. If not, then you can just go enjoy your hormonally balanced life.

I don’t have any music, books, or scriptures today. There is no room in here for that stuff right now. I have been reading this week’s issue of TIME magazine, and I was really taken off guard by an article about women becoming suicide bombers. This is becoming a serious issue, apparently, and I am so thankful to live in a world where my husband isn’t going to shame me into blowing myself up and killing people to save his honor. Seriously. It seems that after going deeper into the demographics, most of the women are wives who have been accused of adultery or another crime or unmarried young women who have been told that they were not good enough to marry. Their husbands or families then “give them the option” of becoming bombers to spare their families shame or to avoid prison or stoning. And the reward? They are told they will be the most beautiful of the 72 virgins that await a male martyr in heaven. Nice. The other disturbing statistic is that on average, the women who take this track are better educated, older, and hold a higher social status than the men. The article included a picture of a mother dressed in her bomb gear kissing her toddler son goodbye- with a smile on her face. It was obviously a posed picture, and the background was some propaganda-style posters. This picture has been haunting me. What could drive a mother to leave her children for this fate? I have to believe that that mother had the same love for her children that I do for mine, and I just can’t imagine the forces working in her life to bring it to that end.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Is anybody in there?

Where is Beetlejuice when you need him? Cause I’ve got myself trapped in the world of the not-quite pregnant but definitely suffering the symptoms, and I need some help getting the heck up outta this joint. Beetlejuice probably just deals with the dead, anyway. Maybe I just need Michael Keaton.

At the doctor’s last week, they took my blood, urine, cervical cells, etc. and then asked me why exactly I thought I was pregnant. This is actually one of my greatest doctor fears lived out. I even saved a home pregnancy test for the day before the appointment just to be sure that I was not dreaming this whole thing up. I seriously spent a significant amount of time before the appointment with visions of the lab tech walking into the exam room holing my pee and a stick and saying something like “Lady, your crazy. There’s nothing in that uterus of yours but your own crazy self.” Apparently Wanda Sykes works at my doctor’s office.

That’s not exactly what went down, but I did have a very long ultrasound in which the tech asked me several times whether I was sure about the first day of my last period and did not find what she was looking for. After some time waiting in the consultation room, my doctor came in and told me that he thinks it is most likely that I ovulated late in my cycle, so things are not as far along as they would have thought. However, there could also be some serious problems – ranging from a simple unviable ovum to early miscarriage on down the list to ectopic pregnancy – that could produce the same symptoms. I had to come back for more blood work on Friday and I still have no idea what is actually going on in there. Why don’t they call me? Does that mean everything is just fine in there, or that they have called the men in white coats to come and get me for imagining up a pregnancy? Surely if it was miscarriage or something, they would have called me…right? Could I have imagined up a pregnancy? The thing is, I’m not sure. I took 4 home pregnancy tests that all came out positive. My boobs are sore, my period is now 2 weeks late, and I can’t keep up the energy to get through a day without a nap. Somehow that is not enough to convince me that this is real.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Waiting for Wednesday

…still anxiously awaiting the OB/GYN appointment on Wednesday. I’m having abdominal pain today that is making me run to the restroom every hour or two to verify that I am not bleeding. Never mind the fact that my bowels have been all messed up all day, or the persistent gas. It’s obvious that the pain is in my uterus, people. I naïvely believed that this pregnancy would be less angst-ridden since I did not indulge in bottle after bottle of wine at my childhood-best-friend’s wedding during week 7. (No, I did not know I was pregnant. Non-pregnant people who are not actively trying get pregnant do not know what “implantation bleeding” means. If you ask me, March of Dimes could do some good by educating us folk on that little piece of trivia.) Instead of my own ignorance, the wrath of nature has gotten me this time. I spent the weekend rolled up in bed with a fever from who-knows-what infection that of course stuck me outside business hours and before my first prenatal appointment. I’m sorry, but my neurosis that week 4 seems too early to call the OB/GYN on the on-call line at 3 a.m. on Sunday and be all “You haven’t actually confirmed my pregnancy yet, but my head is on fire!” won that argument. Somehow, I’d rather tough it out than take any chance at hearing, “That’s what the 24-hour urgent care center is for, honey.” In reality, my OB would never say that to me, but I live in fear of being a burdensome patient and I always believe that my next call will be the one where they decide I am too much trouble. Yeah, yeah, I know, I pay them to take care of me - add it to the list. Whatever.

My prayer life has deteriorated to the point of futility. One minute, I am convinced that God is telling me that I am having twins (seriously.) The next, I’m sure it’s a miscarriage. The whole “be still” thing is not happening. God – you know what’s going on in there, and I know you will take care of me and the baby, whether she (or they or he) is ever born or not. Please take this worrisome spirit away from me!

Here’s a burning question: Why don’t I want to tell my mother about this? We talk on a daily basis, and life would surely be much easier if I could just tell her what is going on with me. Still, I am convinced that she is not going to be happy. That is something I’m not prepared to take. She only had one child – me – and that was enough for her. Whenever Bernie and I would talk about having another, she would always pull the conversation to how perfect and complete Natalie is. There is something in there related to the unspoken idea that baby number 2 = mommy retirement (albeit temporary) that I know stands in opposition to all mother dearest holds dear. Maybe it’s the fear that she won’t be able to keep up with them? I don’t know. If I knew the answer, I might be able to sleep a few more hours at night. There’s also this nagging suspicion that if I don’t say anything, she won’t either. I half believe that I could show up with a baby one day and she still wouldn’t ask me if I had been pregnant. It’s not that she wouldn’t care or wouldn’t notice, it’s that she might actually be that non-confrontational.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Bleeding for Two

So – you know how sometimes you are pretty sure you know how things are going? This week was one of those times. I thought the biggest part of this week would be Natalie’s transition to a new class a daycare and the potty training. Right? Those are big things. My boss is out of town at work, so the week was all planned out there – no surprises. Wednesday was a blood drive at the office. I woke up Tuesday feeling dizzy – not nauseous, mind you – so I told the blood drive folks that I was tentative on the whole thing. Mid-day, I started my period and began to feel better. I almost always have a migrane or dizzy spell at the appointed time of the month, so I wrote it off. Wednesday, I had a very nice experience with the blood center and gave my pint. I was thinking it would be nice to go home and have a glass of wine in my reduced-tolerance state, since my dieting has limited my intake to non-buzz-inducing quantities. Then it hit me – I was standing at the elevator to go up to my office and I thought the floor was going to meet my chin. I sat myself down in the lobby and my nice co-worker Martha bought me a juice and pretzels. I felt so bad that I went home at 3:00 and crashed. The next time I went to the restroom, I noticed that my period had completely vanished. About an hour later, I thought I might have figured this one out (I’m slow, y’all) and I peed on a stick – a stick that, 3 minutes later, had the faintest hint of a pink plus sign. And now I know that, despite no medical research to prove it, it really is a bad idea to give blood when you’re pregnant.

Today’s book: What to Expect when You’re Expecting (some sadistic mutha), which surprisingly does not have any dire warnings about what can happen if you donate blood during pregnancy. There are warnings against everything from touching cat poop to skydiving, but they seem to think that no one would be stupid enough to save a life while “in a delicate state.”

Today’s music: “Say Won’t You Say” (Jennifer Knapp) Isn’t love amazing? I forgot how to speak – knowing you are near and I am finally free…All my devotion, put into motion by you

Today’s scripture: Then the Lord said to Moses, “The man must die…” (Numbers 15:35a.)
I would love to discuss this verse with people who want to ban certain other people from their churches. I’m sure they have heard the “plank in your own eye” plenty of times. I think this one is more convincing. The significance here is that the man God was talking about was guilty only of collecting wood on the Sabbath – the sin of disobedience. Yet I don’t expect to see any picketers at the local high school waiting to shout hateful things at the teenagers coming out of detention. (AND – I don’t expect anyone who claims to believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God to claim that the kid who cheated on his algebra test has not committed a sin.) Guess what people? In God’s eyes, sin is sin. The good news is that God has already paid the price for all of it - yours, mine, and everyone else’s.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Two steps back?

This week has been slow at work, which means that my brain needs some action. The only notable event of my weekend was being pooped on by poor Natalie. It was worse for her than me. We were reading a musical nursery rhyme book when I smelled a suspicious odor. Assuming that her panties were in control of the situation, I jokingly asked “Natalie, are you pooping on mama?” Then I lifted her off my lap to see an exceptionally large glob of poop had escaped her pants and was now sitting in my lap. Natalie was speechless – which is rare for Natalie. As my husband was carrying her off to the bathroom while I tried to stand up without transferring the glob of stink from my jeans to the carpet, she grabbed onto both his ears and looked him directly in the face. With a worried look in her eyes, she asked him “Daddy, did I poopie on mama?” A tear rolled off her nose before Bernie, desperately trying to stifle hysterics, told her in all seriousness “Yes, but mama will be OK.” If some kind of emotional trauma was the problem with our potty training, this weekend was definitely two steps back.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Hello out there

Welcome, self, to the blogging world. Oh- and you, too – welcome to my corner. I’m Katy, often known as “Katy from Katy” (so no, you’re not as creative as you thought you were, everyone). I’m a wife, mom, full time employee, Christian, and there must have been something else in there at some point – I think I remember having an identity of my own once. Maybe that’s why I’m doing this blogging thing. Maybe I can find me in here again somewhere and introduce myself to a few new and interesting people.

My life is probably just like yours and also not that much like yours in that way that is usually true with people once you get to know them well enough. My daughter is potty training right now, so I spend most of my “free” time doing laundry. I don’t believe that she actually knows when she is about to go, but the people at the daycare think she does. If that’s true, then Natalie is confused about where the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy should be applied. And meanwhile, the people I pay to watch my daughter while I am at work watching her on the webcam so I can afford to pay them (huh?) are running our whole family’s life with their training agenda.

I operate on the principle that God is like the glass sphere to my static ball. Not from the 80’s? Here then. I’m that neon pink part in the middle and He is the big glass case. He keeps all my sparks contained so I’m more brilliant-fire-in-a-kaleidoscope and less lighting-storm-in-my-living-room. Also when the switch is off and I’m just a little lump of carbon or whatever the heck is in there, he’s the thing that keeps people from poking at me and stealing the precious spark that I am storing up for the next time I have some energy flowing though me. If I stay close to God, I can be all I am and not fear self-destruction. If I wander out on my own – well, then I’m on my own. Experience has taught me that I’ve got that pesky self-destruction bug just waiting to pop out the first chance it gets.

Today’s book: The Discipline Book (Dr. Sears), unless you want to count Once Upon a Potty. The goal is to put some actual literature back up there by the end of the year.

Today’s music: “Love Bites” (Def Leopard) sung by the large man who works in a cubicle across the hall from me, because my i-pod is still packed from vacation.

Today’s scripture: Do not go about spreading slander among your people. (Lev. 19:16) Does that mean I can spread it with your people? I am particularly bad this week about spreading my venom about my boss, despite my efforts to come back from vacation with a renewed attitude. Yep, that lasted about two days. And guess what showed up in the chapter of the day today? Yesterday was some stuff about discharges and the “customary uncleanness” of women that was a little tough to read, but today – “Hey you down there! Can I put it any plainer? Cut that crap out!.”