Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Dry Heaves

I had dry heaves for the first time this pregnancy this morning. I would rate it below actual vomiting and higher than just plain nausea. Took me by suprize. Been very tired all day and really feel like I could vomit at any moment. Good thing I had a preggo pop left otherwise I am almost certain I would have puked walking the dogs tonight. Also feeling very weepy tonight thinking about Lucky. I’ve been doing pretty good in that regard. I think maybe because we have an appointment for her second treatment tomorrow. Since she seems to be feeling and acting normal, it has been somewhat easy to think that everything is going to be okay or that nothing is really wrong. Then, the reality of another treatment comes up making me really sad all over. Nothing will ever be as bad as the initial shock though.

My quad screen results are in, but I don’t have them yet. They were supposed to be faxed to Dr. D’s office, but when I called I was told they didn’t get them so I called back and asked that they get re-faxed. I have an appointment with Dr. D (ultrasound) tomorrow and hopefully I will get the quad screen results then. Hopefully, the baby is still alive and will cooperate so that Dr. D can finish seing what he needs to and I can find out the gender.

Off to go lay down. Did I mention how tired I am today? Had dinner with my mom and I just wanted to lay down in the booth and go to sleep. I may have to move to maternity ware soon. I’m back to not wanting ANYTHING to touch my belly. Maybe it just seems worse today because I feel sick.

Monday, March 28, 2005

It is “my” decision

There are so many things that I really should be doing, but hell, as I found out recently, life is short and I am going to blog first! Just because I want to.

In talking to friends and family about Lucky and moving forward with treatment, almost every single one of them brought up the cost. It was a reminder to me that in cases like this I am glad that I am single and the only person that has to agree on how I spend my money is me. I earned it. No one else has a say in it. So, I won’t get my house painted this year. It won’t be the first or even the second time I have pushed this off. I am used to my multi-colored walls by now that I have “tested” paint colors on. So, I won’t get a few trees removed like I have been thinking about/wanting to. So, maybe I won’t get my wooden floor that buckled in all the rains this winter repaired right now.

My mom started lecture me on pet insurance. As I politely told her, last time I researched it, pet insurance would not cover this or most other treatments. Typically, at least the last time I checked (so maybe it has changed) it only covered routing office visits and shots.

I had lunch with a good friend. We actually met through our dogs when Lucky was a puppy about 7 or 8 years ago. She basically told me I was a fool for spending the money without a guaranteed outcome and that I should “save” the money for when the baby is born because, as I will find out, I will need it then. I was surprised that she was so judgmental and so against it. She usually isn’t like that. I guess in her mind, I should just let Lucky die. She backed off when I started crying and told her that I just couldn’t let Lucky go without a fight. I couldn’t loose her in 3 months or worse have her live a few months longer and not be able to be there for her as she is dying because I am in the hospital with a new baby.

I have been told that I “can get another dog”, while it won’t be Lucky, it will help. I have tried to explain that I trust implicitly the dogs I have with a baby/young child. I have spent years and years training these dogs as they have trained me. I can leave a plate of food on the ground or coffee table and KNOW that my dogs will leave it alone. I KNOW a child can walk around with food in his/her hand or drop it and my dogs will leave it alone unless I tell them they can have it. I don’t have the time or energy right now to train a new puppy. While I could get a rescue, they will also need to be acclimated to the family and I could not trust that dog without knowing its history. No matter how well trained it is, I would still need to train it to my standards. Pets, in my opinion, are a big responsibility. I don’t take that responsibility lightly.

I want 2 children. If all goes as planned with this pregnancy and I get a real live child in August, I want to start weaning the child and have a fluid u/s to make sure that my fibroids didn’t return in February 2006 (about 6 months after birth ) so that I can begin trying for the second one around April/May 2006 (a year from now). What can I say, I have a strong program/project management background. Now that I have had pets, I can’t imagine not having one, but I don’t think it would be fair to bring in a new dog to the family over the next few years. I have been told that when I get lonely enough, I will change my mind. Maybe I will. Likely, I would not get another dog until the kids are starting/about to start school. I would probably get a cat instead.

I haven’t done an internet search or looked up Lymphoma in dogs. I almost did, but I am not sure that I can take it right now. The only information I have right now is the information I have received from the vets. But, let me tell you, it sounds like a horrible way to die. The Oncologist said that she would become tired and lethargic. Her body would just start shutting down. She may have trouble breathing because the lymph nodes in her throat get so big they start cutting off her air supply. How could anyone just watch this happen? I can’t, especially so late in my pregnancy or when I have just delivered. My dog is too important to me. If she has to die and I have any control over the matter, I want it to be when I have the time to give her the love and attention she deserves when she is feeling at her worst.

The Oncologist said that with the treatment I am going with, 25% of the dogs will go into remission and stay that way, ultimately dying of other causes; 25% will not respond to the treatment at all; 50% will go into remission for a time and then come out again, some more quickly than others. While there is not cure, maybe, just maybe, the treatment will work for Lucky.

It’s funny. I read an article in one of the many doctor’s offices I was in last week about how families spend their money and if it was spent on the things they valued. It talked about how money doesn’t buy happiness and that rich people can be unhappy and poor people happy. The article’s premise was that the determining factor about happiness or not was if money was spent on items that were considered valuable to the family. It made me think about where I was spending my money. I am happy to say that it has been on items that are valuable to me. I spent 2K for medication for my IVF cycle that got cancelled, but ultimately resulted in my current pregnancy. It was worth every penny. How could I not spend 2K to see if it will keep my dog alive?

We all make choices. My cousin’s alma mater has made it to the final 4 for basketball this year. She called and said that they are trying to get tickets and want to take the whole family. What she will spend doing this will probably be as much, if not more, than the cost of Lucky’s treatment. Personally, spending that much for a game or a trip is not important to me. It isn’t something I would probably ever do with my money. But if it is important to them, they have the money, and it will make them happy, great!

I started this post thinking I would talk about being single and the pro’s and con’s, but it turned into something else entirely. I guess this was on the top of my mind and needed to be said more. I’ll have to save that topic for another day.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

What a week

I have so many thoughts rattling around in my brain that I am not quite sure where to start and if I can get them out in any logical, coherent manner. I am up in the middle of the night again. I can’t speak for the pre-pregnancy era, but post pregnancy I have noticed that me being up in the middle of the night correlates to having a BM in the middle of the night. If I just have to pee, no problem. I’m back to sleep quickly. If not, I’m up for awhile. Sigh.

Monday was a horrible day. I couldn’t stop crying from the shock of hearing how sick Lucky is and that I will likely loose her. I took her back to the vet for x-rays to see if her internal lymph nodes were swollen. They didn’t appear to be. Then, I came home crawled in bed sobbing for awhile while trying to uselessly take a nap. The vet called back with the x-ray results and options. I set up appointments with the Radiologist for Tuesday and the Oncologist for Wednesday. And, took the dogs to the beach. I used a whole roll of film mostly taking pictures of Lucky having a great time. On the way home, I stopped by the vets to pick up the x-rays and referral reports for both the upcoming appointments.

Tuesday I tried to catch up on work and left early take Lucky to the Radiologist for an ultrasound and a biopsy of her liver and spleen to see if the cancer had invaded those organs yet. I was a tad annoyed because when I made the appointment I specifically asked how long it took to get the results back and whether I would get them back in time for the Oncologist appointment because they had a morning and an afternoon appointment available. I was told it didn’t matter, but when I talked to the dr. she said it would take 24 hours. If I would have taken the early appointment, I could have had them back in time. I would have had to re-arrange about 4 meetings for work to take the early appointment, but would have done it.

Wednesday I had my staff meeting with my team and left for the Oncologist and made it back several hours later about 15 min. late for my boss’s staff meeting. I talked to the Oncologist about pro’s and con’s and chances of survival. I started Lucky on a round of chemotherapy right then. For the record, I have decided to only refer to this as “the treatment” and not “Chemo” because saying or typing the words Chemo makes me sad and seem negative. The treatment, even if it is longer, sounds more positive and hopeful. That afternoon, I found out that they did find cancer cells in both the liver and the spleen. This makes her cancer early Stage 4 (since the cells are present, but the u/s didn't show them to be swollen). Stage 3 would have been better, but the treatment is the same for either Stage 3 or 4.

Thursday I tried to play catch up again at work and am still woefully behind, but left early again for a Chiropractor appointment for me. Dr. Dan is still terrific, but I wasn’t so ready to lure him into bed this month. I came home, walked the dogs, and crashed at 7:30 pm. I slept for 10 hours only waking up every few hours to pee.

Friday was a holiday for work and had planned to work anyway to catch up, but decided to wash the dogs instead. Shadow had waded in some murky water when I took them to the beach on Monday and stunk to high heaven. I gave her a quick bath on Monday night after I gagged and vomited in my flower bed when she passed me getting out of the car, but she still stank and I didn’t want to be around her. After that, I broke down and actually vacuumed the floors in the entire house. It had gotten so bad with me and the dogs tracking in mud that I couldn’t even stand to walk around without socks and slippers/shoes. I had my second OB appointment around lunchtime and left late thinking traffic wouldn’t be bad. WRONG. Managed to get there within 5 min. of my appointment time. The nurse said my blood pressure was a bit high 130/80. I didn’t bother to tell her what a shitty week I had or being stressed about the traffic. I hope that was the cause. Dr. P did an heartbeat check and the baby is still alive. My quad screen results weren’t in yet.

Saturday I took the dogs on a nice hike, did a little work work, fell asleep for 90 min., then hung out in my back yard reading and cuddling/playing with the dogs all afternoon. I got my fountain working. It was a nice sunny warm, but not hot day. I can’t even tell you how sick of cloudy skys and rain I am. In the evening, the neighbor boy (he is 4) came over and played (marbles, piano, marbles, bubbles, putting his feet in the pool, bubbles). He has started coming over every few weeks when he is bored at home and his parents are pre-occupied with something else. After he left, I had dinner, read a bit more, took a bath, tried to read some more and finally gave up and turned off the light at 9:15 pm.

It was a sad, emotional week all in all. The thing is that Lucky doesn’t realize that she is sick. Even after the treatment, she is just fine. Her stool has been a bit soft since then, but basically she is her same normal self. She was getting upset because I was upset. I decided that I didn’t want that. If I only have a little bit of time left with her, I don’t want her worrying about me. I want her happy. So, basically, life is going on and I am going to try to make in mostly normal except for the weekly treatments. I have been a little easier on her than I would have been if I didn’t know her time was limited. The other day when I wanted to walk straight for a shorter walk and she wanted to go right for a longer walk. I gave in. On Friday when we were resting while hiking, I was sitting on a rock and she came up and wanted so “sit” on my lap (she thinks she is a 60 lb lap dog), I let her even though her muddy paws got me all dirty and wet. Yesterday, when we were out in the back yard and she was up in the flower bed barking at the neighbor dogs and squirrels, I didn’t yell at her (like I have for her whole life) to get out of the flower bed. There will be plenty of time for flowers to grow there later.

I was happy to realize that I have no regrets with the time that I have had with my dogs. I don’t have any “if onlys”. On Monday when I was still in shock and coming to terms with the news, I was thinking about how I could make her life better for the time she had left. I realized that I had wanted to take the dogs to the beach, but had been putting it off because I was too busy and tired lately. So I did it then. I realized that I hadn’t “played” with Lucky quite as much as I used too since I was pregnant. When we come home from being out, or I come home, or someone comes over, Lucky gets one of her toys in her mouth and wants to play (chase is her game). I have decided to be a bit better about that. Other than that, my dogs have a great life. They are well fed, well exercised, and well loved. I hope the treatments work and can put her into remission, at least for a little while. If not, I know that I have given her the best life she could have had. I’m still sad, but coming to terms with it.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Lucky has Lymphoma

I can barely stop crying. Without treatment she has 2 – 3 months to live. With treatment, maybe 6 months to 2/3 years. Without additional testing, they don’t know the grade or how wide spread. She needs an X-ray to see if the internal Lymph nodes are affect and testing of her liver and spleen. Then, a referral to a specialist. I can’t remember what kind.

Dr. C says that we don’t really know if we caught it early because I just had her in a few weeks ago and her lymph nodes weren’t swollen then because they can go up and down within days.

Treatment is estimated at $2K up for a 3 month period. There are no guarantees that this will put her in remission. The chemo could be oral drugs or injections. Some dogs tolerate this well and some don’t.

I am still in shock and have taken today as a vacation day.

Whenever I think of my family, Lucky is always a part of that. Me walking the baby and the dog that is what I picture. The baby growing up as Lucky grows old, that is what I picture. I can’t even imagine life without her. She is the best dog in the whole wide world. She is so happy and playful and good with people, especially children. We just met up with her friend Joey on the trail today and they had a grand old time playing. How can she be so sick?

Shadow is 14 and slowing down. I have mentally prepared myself as much as possible for her not living much longer. I never imagined my time with Lucky would be cut short.

I am not sure if it fair to her or not, but I think I need to at least try one round of treatment and if that doesn’t work, deal with the consequences. I love her so much, I can’t just let her go yet with out a little fight. I just can’t.

I just love her so much.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Hip Hip Hurray for Lazy Sunday’s

I almost had plans, but they got cancelled at the last minute. So, I have not a darn thing that I HAVE to do today. I love days like this. They are so rare. Now, all I need is to not obsess over Lucky and whether she is okay or not. There was a mix up at the vet clinic. I asked to be called with her test results on my cell phone since I knew that I would be gone most of the day and didn’t want to miss the call, but the Dr. must not have gotten that note and called me on my home phone. I didn’t get the message until about 3:50 pm and called the clinic right away because they close at 4 pm on Saturday’s. They must have turned the out of office greeting on early or my clocks were behind and I didn’t get to talk to anyone. Now, I am just worrying, but trying not to panic. Dr. C just said she got the results and to call her back. This tells me that they were not normal, because in the past, if it was normal, she said so in the message. I keep telling myself it can’t be anything too bad, right? Lucky isn’t acting like she is sick. She still wants to play and hike and get into trouble. Ugh, first thing Monday, I will find out. I hate waiting. I should have checked my messages earlier, but it just didn’t occur to me.

My yearly review went just fine. Actually, better than I expected it would. I could write tons about that, but think I will go lay down and be lazy instead.

I finished reading this book last night and it just pisses me off when books aren’t ended very well. This author spent 500 pages setting everything up and then rushed through the ending that isn’t even plausible. I hate that. This is the second book I have read recently that didn’t have a good ending. The other one wasn’t really bad, I just didn’t understand it. This one was just plain bad. It was not plausible and after all that work, I just felt the author didn’t know how to end it so made up some stupid implausible ending. Sigh. Maybe I will just stick to t.v for awhile. Okay, probably not.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Poor Lucky

She had ANOTHER trip to the vet this morning. If anyone is counting, this is the 3rd trip this month. The reason: Eye Infection. She was in last week (visit #2) for routine shots that they couldn’t give during visit #1 because she had an abscess in her paw and required 10 days of antibiotics. It hasn’t been her month. However, I just hope that is the least of her/our problems. While she was in today, Dr. C noticed that all of her lymph nodes were swollen and did a biopsy on 3 of them. She saw abnormal cells and is sending them to a pathologist for further analysis. We are also doing a full blood/urine work-up. Dr. C mentioned the “C” word. Got me kind of scared, but I am trying not to get myself worked up until we get the test results back.


One of these days, I am going to write a whole post on how pregnancy does make you forgetful. Case in point, on my ttc/pregnancy calendar I wrote that I have an apt. with Dr. P today (OB) and next Friday with Dr. D (Perinatalogist). However, on my work calendar, I have next Friday for Dr. P and the Thurs. after that (3/31) with Dr. D. I freaked out because if I did have an appointment today it would be right at the same time as my annual performance review with my boss. This would not be a good thing. Luckily, I called and it really is next week. Too many dr. appointments for me and Lucky to keep straight right now.

I am a little worried about my annual performance review. This is the first one with this boss. I have only reported to her since last May. She lives/works in Texas and I live/work in California. She is a regional manager with a lot of responsibility and I only have limited interactions with her. I guess it shouldn’t be too bad since I have gotten 2 bonuses this year, a recognition dinner, and I will still be reporting to her effective 4/1 with more responsibility. If she really thought I was doing a crappy job, I am sure I would have been organized out of a job and never seen anything extra. Still, my last boss I reported to for at least 7 years and I knew what to expect. I am sure that it will be fine, but…I guess I wouldn’t be normal if I didn’t worry just a bit, right?

Too much stress and worry today. Okay, deep breath, deep breath. Think Calm Blue Ocean. Maybe I should actually put the pregnancy yoga DVD in the machine and use it today. And/or call my acupuncturist and try to get in for a visit tomorrow. Good plan.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

On sin and guilt…a light hearted story

Being the good Catholic girl that I am (or not), I feel the need to proclaim my sin/guilt to the world. As I type this, I am drinking a caffeinated Diet Dr. Pepper. I can’t even remember the last time I had caffeine. I think it was sometime this summer just after the miscarriage. I slept well last night falling asleep by 8:30 pm and waking at 6 am, except for waking up at 1:30 am starving and with a stuffy nose; going to the bathroom (#1); blowing my nose; drinking a glass of milk; taking the Costco/Kirkland equivalent of Benadryl; blowing my nose again; vomiting; going to the bathroom (#2); blowing my nose again; and was back to sleep shortly after 2 am. However, today, I am just so tired I can’t even work. I just keep thinking I want to crawl back in bed and sleep more. I have been craving caffeine on and off for few weeks. I actually went so far as to bring a can of soda in from the garage fridge to the house fridge last week, but opted for water or other non-caffeine drinks instead. I may regret it later, but it sure tastes good! I wonder if this means I am finally become more comfortable with the pregnancy being a happy ever after story.

Back to the vomiting, it was more like the hurling early in my pregnancy where you have repeated vomit incidents/expulsions making up one vomit episode. This is unlike my puking on the neighbors lawn a few weeks ago while walking the dogs which were a 1:1 vomit incident = vomit episode. The odd thing about last nights “episode” was that I had just drank a glass of milk and taken a Benadryl, but the milk and Benadryl never game up. I vomited up clear liquid/flem for the first 4 or 5 explosions. Then, I vomited up what looked like a (very, very) few curdles of sour milk and blood mixed with the flem for the next few. Anyone think I should be concerned with vomiting up blood? Anyone? The thing is that when I was blowing my nose, it was bloody snot. I’m thinking that this is what caused it and I shouldn’t really worry about it and I’m not, but feeling guilty thinking I should be.

On a less graphic and maybe more inspiring note, I put in the CD Rom of my u/s yesterday and it does continues play. I can just watch it and watch it and watch it if I want. I found this a good distraction/entertainment during some of the longer, less exciting business meetings I was in yesterday. I showed my mom before we left for dinner. She didn’t seem that interested when I showed her, probably because she couldn’t really tell what she was looking at, but when my sister met up with us at dinner the first thing she told her was “I got to see a picture of the baby…on the computer”. My sister was like WTF until I explained about the u/s being on CD Rom. Her comment was “Oh, they have gotten so much more technically advanced these days”. Ah, family!

The caffeine was good while it lasted, but now it is gone. I guess it is back to work for me. I’m still feeling like I should climb back in bed for the rest of the day, but maybe I will perk up soon.

p.s. My nose is still runny with bloody snot. And, I am thrilled to be going into 3.5 hours of back to back meetings. Hope I can stay awake. I may have to start back up the kid and try to decipher more of the ultrasound.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Baby is alive and well

All is well. Baby is measuring about 2w ahead. I brought my VHS and got this ultrasound added. I also got 3 very cool pictures, 2 of which are 4d and a CD of the u/s. The baby was in breach position and face down so we didn’t get to see the gender or the details of the heart. The baby turned his/her face at the last minute so we did get to see that and Dr. D said all looks good. I go back in 2 weeks for another u/s. Yeah!

I had a nice talk with a genetics counselor. We talked about triple screen vs. quad screen. The genetics counselor said the quad screen did reduce the false positive and was 8 – 10% more accurate that the triple screen. This was less that what I read on the internet, but still high enough that I will likely do it even if I have to pay out of pocket for it. We also talked about amnio and what it really tested for. Dr. D’s complication rate it 1/300. The national average is 1/200. What I didn’t know is that, this rate is for any type of complication such as leakage, etc. and not necessarily a miscarriage rate which is presumably lower. I need to deicide in the next few weeks, like probably my next visit whether or not I am going to do it or not. Still leaning towards not, but open to the possibility.

I need to have blood drawn within the next day or so for the triple or quad screen so I can have those results by the next u/s. I have my next OB appointment a week from Friday. And, next L2 u/s is in just over 2 weeks. I love this extra monitoring. I really do. Too bad it won’t keep up for the rest of the pregnancy, but maybe by then I will be able to feel the baby and get daily positive reinforcement.

Today is a good day.

Monday, March 14, 2005

I’m back and better than ever

I have been taking a much needed break. I didn’t even walk into the computer room this weekend. In fact, if you saw me or spoke to me this weekend, you were one of the privileged few. I don’t think I talked to one non-SMC person the whole weekend.

Saturday, I attended a local SMC meeting. It was a large group this month and they are always so much fun. I ended up getting home much later than planned. Then, I went into major hibernate mode. I had an official “lay about” for the rest of the weekend. Only left the house to walk the dogs. I moved from room to room laying on my bed, the bed in one of my spare rooms, the couch, etc. I don’t think I even turned on the T.V. I went into the land of fiction and fantasy, reading a murder mystery and starting on a family epic. It was great.

I woke up this morning feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Okay, so I’m back to feeling tired now, but it was good while it lasted, and I am sure the Peanut M&M’s I had for breakfast didn’t help.

I know I have mentioned this is in other places, but I am not sure that I have here, on my blog. March 15th was the due date for my miscarriage this summer. While I am thrilled that I am currently pregnant and in the second trimester for this pregnancy, it has been hard thinking about what might have been/could have been and that I would be almost at the end of this journey, if only….

I can’t even imagine how hard it would be if I was still trying to conceive again. I know that would be much, much worse.

I have also been struggling with the fact that pregnancy isn’t what I expected it to be. I expected it to be better. I’m not talking about the physical aspects. Truth be told, I miss the 1st Tri symptoms (as sick as that may sound) and have thought on more than one occasion this last week that I don’t even feel pregnant. During my little break, I realized that symptoms are still there, but they are more subtle and a bit harder to see.

I expected the emotional aspects of pregnancy to be better. That I would be happier, more positive. Just…Just….Just more. I decided to go down the ttc path, instead of adoption, because I wanted to experience the miracle of pregnancy and the thrill of having a baby growing inside of me. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy, but…I am also more negative and worried than I care to be. This is very unusual and hard for me. I am a happy, optimistic, positive person usually. This is the first situation I can ever remember where I have struggled with negativity. The thing is, you can’t MAKE yourself be positive or optimistic. At least, I am not finding that to be the case. I have tried. I really have. I think I have come to terms with the fact that my feeling are my feelings. They aren’t what I was expecting during pregnancy, but they are valid and they are real and they are mine.

I have been feeling bad because friends and family are starting to ask me about a baby shower and want to start planning one for me. They don’t seem to understand when I respond that I am not sure that I want one. They want me to be happier and more optimistic. I can’t be that person right now. I just can’t. Maybe I will change my mind as things get closer, but I can’t even think about that now. I can’t make those plans only to have it not work out.

I just need to take it in smaller steps, smaller milestones.

I think I mentioned that I recently read someplace (can’t remember where) that pregnancy is not a promise, it is a hope. This sentiment really struck me. I think it is something I will remember and always keep with me. I am hopeful that it will be okay. I don’t have ANY reason to think that it will not. I have too much scar tissue (so to speak) from the ttc process and my miscarriage this summer. I have read and heard too many stories about things going really bad and the person not taking home a baby in the end. Some of these stories are very close to home like a good friend of mine who lost her first child during pre-term labor and her second child in the NICU after 10 days. I know too much at this point. Sometimes, I think the real miracle is that anyone ever has a baby and that things ever work out okay. I know that the majority of the time, it does work out, but there are no guarantees. I can live with that unknown. I just can’t be all Pollyanna and positive.

So, tomorrow, on my “first” due date, bright and early, I will see the Perinatalogist and hope that my “second” baby is still alive and well. I will hope that I get to move on to the next step, the next milestone. I am going to accept that it is normal and acceptable for me to have dead baby thoughts and worry until then. I am not going to fight it anymore.

I am who I am and pregnancy is not what I thought it would be. I don’t have to be positive and happy all the time. I also want to thank all of my SMC friends that I have been able to share either face to face at our meeting or through other means, for allowing me to verbalize my thoughts as I have tried to work through my issues and fears and worries these last few days. I just felt so much better about being me after the SMC meeting on Saturday (and private phone calls before and after that event this last week) for all of the little comments and support and camaraderie. For not expecting me to be “glowing” and “ecstatic”. For letting me be me. I especially appreciate it since the women who were the most supportive are still trying to conceive and would probably give just about anything to be where I am.

Even though I am just posting about this now, I am actually in a calm, peaceful state at the moment. I am not really worried about tomorrow. It took me awhile, but I have come to terms with the fact that the news could be good, bad, or neutral. I have spent the last few days pondering and processing and thinking about this when I wasn’t in the land of fiction. I think I have everything worked out for now in my own mind. I think that probably everything will be fine. I hope that this is true.

On a side note, I still have not decided definitively on amnio. I am leaning towards no, but am open to changing my mind tomorrow during or after my dr. visit. I just can’t imagine terminating in any situation, but would love to have the information. If it were 100% risk free, I would go for it no questions asked. I just know that if I did it and I did have a miscarriage as a result, I would regret it for the rest of my life. I try to live my life so that I have no regrets.

I’m back. I’m less crabby and more at peace.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Feeling Crabby

I’m feeling crabby and I feel like complaining. In general, I am (or at least I THINK I am) an easy going, positive person. I am not usually one to complain. The most negative I ever remember being, over the long haul, is actually with this pregnancy and whether it will ultimately work out. Over the last day or two, I have come to the conclusion that I must have turned a corner. I have come to realize that I am starting to expect that everything will be okay. I know that, in theory, things can go terribly wrong at any time, but it seems more theoretical at the moment. I find this scary.

I have managed to gain almost 4 – 5 lbs the last few days bringing me back to my pre-pregnancy weight. This pisses me off. I was hoping not to be here for at least another month. I have been eating shitty junk all week. I need to be better. It is just so much harder now that the morning sickness/nausea have gone. The thought of unhealthy food those first few months was just so unappealing; it was easy to eat healthy. I want to give the baby the proper nutrients. I don’t want to get gestational diabetes. I don’t want to have such a large child that I am forced into c-section. I am just finding it REALLY hard this week.

I’m tired. Everyone who has told me that I would feel energetic in the second trimester is a LIAR. I don’t. I’m not the sleepy, can’t do anything else, but lay down tired like the first tri, but I am not full of energy either. Everything seems to be such an effort. I wake up groggy and have to force myself up and out of bed, which is very unusual for me. Walking/hiking the dogs is just such an effort right now. I don’t really want to do anything or see anyone (okay, this is a slight exaggeration, but not a total one), but I seem to have stuff going on every day.

I hurt. My knees hurt. My back hurts. I’m still waking up at night because my back hurts. I read that I must start to train myself now at 16w to sleep on my left side and that laying flat on your back is a no-no at this point going forward because you can hurt the baby. I think it can cut of the air supply and the baby can asphyxiate, or something like that. I should probably go look that up again. Normally, I sleep on my left side anyway, but I keep waking up sleeping on my back because it is hurting and that is what I do when my back hurts. Now, just so you don’t feel too sorry for me, I doesn’t hurt enough that I have actually taken Tylenol or anything. It isn’t debilitating, just annoying and nagging.

I can’t seem to get anything concrete accomplished. There are a few things at work that really need to get done. They are important (not critical) and past due, but I can’t seem to care enough to actually do them.

I need to due my taxes and will actually get money back, but even this is not enough to motivate me. The thought of it is too overwhelming. Plus, there are questions I have around my medical expenses for last year like can I claim everything I spent even if services weren’t rendered. I ended up overpaying on my first two cycles because of the billed vs. allowed amount and, I think, I may still have a credit. Since I paid it last year, can I claim it on last years taxes. On the flip side, I saw the dentist (remember that infection I had in December during my cycle), but didn’t pay my portion until this month. Do I claim that on this years taxes? Plus, I think I would like to have a nanny the first year after the baby is born, but have heard that I need to “take out” employment tax, etc. This just seems too complicated. It is not as if I actually DO my own taxes. Heavens no, I pay an accountant to do that because I actually despise even thinking about it (can you tell), but I still need to pull things together for him.

I still have not sent back that fetal heart monitor. I still have not bought a 2005 calendar. I still have not redeemed the gift card I received for Christmas for new hiking boots and walking shoes. I need toner for my printer. I really need these things. Every day, I think about how much I need to take care of this stuff. Every day, it still does not get done.

My cousin IM’d me to tell me how much she misses me and how she has tried to get a hold of me everyday. Like I don’t know this. She has called. She has email. She has IM’d. Now, I both love and like my cousin. But this just annoyed the shit out of me. I actually responded and told her that I did get all of her attempts but that work has been busy and I have been tired. She told me that she knows this, but just misses me and hopes that everything is well. Then she went on to complain about her work, her kids, her life. I just haven’t been in the mood for this.

My mom came over for dinner. Yes, it is Wednesday again. She was nice enough to do my dishes for me, again. When she was done, she came in to my office to tell me that she had done that for me and that she STILL remembers being pregnant. I did thank her. I guess I could have been a bit more grateful, but…it just annoyed me as well. I didn’t ask her to do it. I’m glad that I don’t have to, but…did I mention that I am feeling a bit cranky?

The election was okay yesterday. I have decided, once again, that I really don’t like the Inspector (worker in charge) very much and she was actually the nicest she has ever been. She is just a bit too bossy for me. The type of bossy where she wants everyone else to do the work and she just supervises. I hate that. I ended up working/helping out more than usual because 2 out of the 4 scheduled workers didn’t show up. It was slow enough that 2 of them could have done it, but they did need breaks for dinner and lunch because you need at least 2 workers at all times. After lunch she brings back her male “house guest” to help, but he was so incompetent that the only job we could give him was to hand out and take the ballots. I could probably go on for awhile about this topic, but I will stop now. It really wasn’t that bad, just annoying. And, I was just tired and not in the mood.

My web browser seems to be missing an important .dll and I keep getting messages that it is not there and do I want to continue. Yes. Do I want to send Microsoft a notification of the error? No. Why don’t they ask me if I want them to automatically fix the damn problem so I don’t get the stupid message any more?

Hmm. I am sure that I could find more to whine and complain about while I am at it, but I guess I will spare us all and call it quits.

Really, things aren’t THAT bad. Just one of those days.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Bought and Paid For

My garage is the polling place for my precinct. Too tired to tell the story about how that came about tonight, but I have been doing this for 6+ years now. Tomorrow is a Los Angeles City Election. We are voting for Mayor, City Council, and a few other things that I need to review after I find and dust off my sample ballot. I have no excuse for not voting no matter how small or few items on the ballot. No time to research the issues just doesn’t cut it in my book so I had better get on it.

The inspector and poll workers can change from time to time, but surprisingly there are quite a few repeats for my location. I think one of the big draws is that I always make a nice dinner for the workers so they don’t have to worry about rushing out to get something since dinner time is always the busiest time. Chicken Enchiladas are on the menu for tomorrow. (If any Pasadena SMC’ers are checking in, get your taste buds ready because I made several batches and plan to take one to our meeting next week!)

Anyway, the current inspector likes to get everything set up the night before. For City Elections, they use cardboard voting booths that you just recycle afterwards. As we were setting up, she commented that it was too bad that I didn’t have kids because they get a kick out of using them for forts, etc. once the election (tomorrow) and run off (May) are done. I agreed and told her that I have saved them for my cousins’ kids for when they visit in the summer, but that if things go well, I would have a kid to use them by the end of the year. She stopped what she was doing and said “What?” I think trying to figure out if she heard me right. LOL. I said, I’m 4 months pregnant and if all goes well, I should have a kid by the end of the year. She said, “Are congratulations in order?” I responded by saying that I am very happy and it was a planned pregnancy…the first time I was able to use “my line”. It didn’t stop her cold, like I hoped it would, and she went on to ask if there was a father in the picture. I hesitated briefly because one of the neighbor boys who is in Jr. High School came over the help set up and I wasn’t sure I wanted to get into it in front of him, plus I was a bit disappointed that my explanation didn’t stop her from more questions. I guess my hesitation was enough time to for her to think and she comes back with, “ahh, bought and paid for?” I just started laughing.

Hours later and I am still laughing. I may have to use that line just because I think it is so funny!!

Friday, March 04, 2005

Dr. Dan

I saw Dr. Dan today. He is my chiropractor. I haven’t seen him since early to mid November because late November/early December was filled with my cycle and then worrying about miscarrying. Then, my RE didn’t recommend me seeing him as a precaution. I was worried and tired enough that I took that advice and hadn’t scheduled anything. Dr. Dan’s assistant called a month or so ago to see how I was doing since I hadn’t been in so long. I told them about my pregnancy and that my dr. didn’t recommend it. They were thrilled for me, was glad that all was okay, and understood.

I don’t think I have mentioned this, but my back has really been bothering me lately. I sit in front of a computer and am on the phone all day. My posture isn’t great and I tend to hold stress into my shoulders. Work has been more stressful lately. Before pregnancy, I would lift weights a few times a week in a short routine developed by Dr. Dan to strengthen, tone, and keep my upper body in alignment. While at the gym, I would also do some basic back stretches. All of that has gone by the way side and it has taken its toll in my back. The last week or so I haven’t been sleeping as well due to the back pain and have gotten more headaches than I can remember and I knew it was because of my back and neck being out of alignment and too tight. I tried to do some home stretching, which helped a little, but I let things get too far gone. I went to see my acupuncturist and she gave me a treatment and a massage, which felt great and helped a little, but not enough. Finally, I called Dr. Dan’s office earlier in the week and asked if he thought treatment would cause a problem for the pregnancy and if he could just do an upper body adjustment, since my RE specifically said lower body ones could cause problems. He said an adjustment and massage would be good and cause no problem for the pregnancy. I really trust his opinion and scheduled an appointment.

It was so great to see him. He said today that his son was now 9 and I started seeing him when his son was 3 or 4. What is that, about 6 + years? He was so cute, after congratulating me and getting caught up, he casually mentions “so, in all the years you have been coming here, I didn’t know you were married.” I assured him that I wasn’t and that this was a solo venture. The first thing he said to this was, “that’s terrific, you will make a great mother.” Have I mentioned yet that I love this man? He went on to say that he got into a great debate with Tracy, his old assistant, about it and she kept insisting that I was and he was insisting that I wasn’t. He told me that I had mentioned my dogs, and cousins, and sisters, and work, but no husband. I really had to laugh that so much speculation and discussion went into it. I’m still laughing as I sit here typing.

Yes, I love Dr. Dan. Not in a I want to marry him kind of way, but in a he is the most intelligent man that I think I have ever met kind of way; in a he has improved the quality of my life kind of way. A few years ago, two months in a row, my hip was out of alignment. He asked me what was going on and what I had been up to. We reviewed my last two months and he figured out that all of the traveling I was doing for work and hauling my laptop and work bag over my shoulder was causing the problem. He recommended moving to a backpack carrying case for the laptop. My hip hasn’t been out of alignment since. This is just one very small example of improvements that he has helped me make in my life over the years.

Dr. Dan used to be a professional body builder and still lifts weights. I think he has even been in a movie or two. He is a great father who shares custody of his son 50/50. You can tell he clearly adores and has fun with his son. He struggles with his weight (as do I) and has been on every diet known to man and still struggles. This endears him even more to me. I wouldn’t want to marry him, but he does have many, many qualities I find attractive in a man. He said the happiest time in his life was when he and his wife brought his son home from the hospital and how much better of a person he was because of his son. How can you NOT love a man like that?

Now that we are clear that I am not looking for life long commitment with the guy, I think he is a hottie and I would sleep with him in a minute if he ever initiated. If his skills in the sack are anything like his masseuse skills, he has got to be a great lover. If I weren’t so afraid of making a fool out of myself and worried about loosing a terrific chiropractor who gives the best massages I have ever had (his butt massage is indescribable), I would make the move myself. Even if he did have any interest, which I find doubtful; his integrity would never let him get intimate with a patient. Hmm, but a girl can dream and imagine.

Anyway, I am back on track with seeing Dr. Dan and my middle back was so tight, he couldn’t really even adjust. And, I will try to be better about doing my stretches. He has a little special pad with a cut out for the belly all ready for later in the pregnancy when it gets uncomfortable to lay on my tummy. It wasn’t today, but my left boob really was squashed and I may use it next time just for that reason to see if that would help.

As much as I loved the visit and trust Dr. Dan, I am back to worrying about miscarriage. Not the general idea, it can still happen worry, but the I will regret it for the rest of my life if something happens in a few days from now, really deep down worry.

It is funny, the whole situation reminded me again of how much of my miscarriage this summer that I have blocked from my memory. I remember that I had a visit to Dr. Dan sometime before I had the miscarriage. I have never told anyone IRL this, but I was really worried that might have caused it. I suppressed and even forgot the entire thing until my visit today. At the time, I never asked Dr. N, because I knew that I just couldn’t take the answer if it was yes. I never told Dr. Dan last time that I was pregnant. It was so early that I wasn’t really telling anyone yet. Today, while I was in, Dr. Dan was explaining that adjustments were safe at any time during pregnancy and up until delivery, but since things were still attaching during the first 3 months, he would not recommend it in a case of reoccurring pregnancy loss until at least the fourth month. It brought all the old, suppressed worry back in force. Intellectually, I know that it was unlikely to be the cause and even if it was, I didn’t know what I didn’t know at the time, and feeling guilty now is pointless. But, I am more unreasonably worried than I have been in awhile about miscarriage. Yes, I have been a bit crampy today, but not any more so than I have on other occasions during this pregnancy. I hold onto the fact that it is probable that I would have vomited again on my walk tonight had I not thought to suck on a preggo pop as I had earlier in my pregnancy to avoid my lawn puking fear (turned reality).

I have vowed to myself not to only select data points that support my paranoia while forgetting other, pregnancy affirming data points. I have vowed not to obsess over the cause of my m/c this summer now that my deepest fear around it has been unsuppressed. I would like to vow that I will not worry about another m/c, but I don’t think I can keep that so I will vow not to obsessively worry unless I start spotting or bleeding sometime this week. And, then of course, I would freak out and demand a live baby check.

I am now looking even more forward to my Level 2 u/s. Thank God that they want me in around 17 w instead of 20. I think the waiting will be even harder now. In the meantime, let’s hope the visit was worth it and my back pains lessen and the headaches stay at bay!

I should create a count down ticker. Eleven days and counting until next live baby check.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Grease and Beef

My icky crampy feeling went away quickly once I had dinner last night. I guess I just needed some grease and some beef in my diet. Mom and I decided to go to Chili’s. I haven’t been there in years. It is not part of our regular restaurant rotation. As I mentioned, I was looking for something different. They had this one pasta dish that I had last time I went years and years ago that I had a taste (No, NOT a CRAVING) for. Unfortunately, it was no longer on the menu. So, grease and beef it was. Mom and I shared an Awesome Blossom and I opted for a hamburger. It hit the spot.

I managed to walk the dogs with the dinner staying in tack. Wow, it was actually quite an uneventful walk after the last few nights.

I was happy to have enough leftovers to have a nice second helping today. Hmm, it was almost as good.

One of these days soon, I really need to make it to the grocery store. Shoot, for that matter, one of these days soon, I really need to empty my dishwasher and water my dying indoor plants. I also should return some of the phone calls that have been coming in that I have missed or been too tired to take. What I will likely do instead is get off the computer, go walk the dogs, open and close my cupboards and fridge several times looking for something desirable to eat, settle on cereal since it is really all I have left (using the last of the milk), read a chapter of this book that is very interesting, before deciding that I can’t keep my eyes open another minute and must fall asleep, wake up in the middle of the night starving and still have nothing to eat, settle on cereal with chocolate milk (using the last of that), hope I fall back asleep, then start all over again tomorrow.

I think tomorrow, I really MUST find the energy to get groceries.

Interesting, as I write this, I realize my life might revolve around food. Hey, a pregnant lady needs to eat at regular intervals you know! Also interesting is that while I may feel like I eat all day long and much more than I used to, I have not gained any weight to speak of. I lost about 6 lbs the first few months and gained back about 2 lbs a few weeks ago and have held within a few pounds depending on how much and what I eat in the middle of the night when I wake up starved, how many bowel movements I have had that day, how much salty food I ate the prior day causing water retention, etc.

What has been my biggest craving over time so far? Oranges. Followed by Orange Juice and Lemonade. Sadly, I have been out of oranges or any citrus type fruit for days. I must get more. I must go to the grocery store. Tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

It happened! Again! With a twist!

I was walking my dogs last night. You can see where this is going, right? We have a couple of set routes we usually take. Lucky’s favorite route and then the others that I convince them to take for variety. Usually, Lucky tries to go on the longest possible route and used to try to pass by the house pretending it wasn’t home to try to get a longer walk. Last night, she was picking a route that would take us almost directly back home. Anyway, I digress. We are walking along on an “off” route. Shadow does her business. I go to pick it up. Gag. Barf. Drat. It is one of the busier streets in the neighborhood. Lucky, who was eating grass during all of this, gets off the grass and barfs. Walks a few steps and barfs again. Both times right on the sidewalk. At least I was considerate enough to barf on the grass. LOL. I thought about trying to pick it up, but decided to not since there was still more in my stomach and I would probably just add to the mess. Oh my! What a sight! I figured out why Lucky wanted a short route. After she got it out of her tummy, she has seemed to feel just fine since and changed directions to have a longer trip.

I got home and had a headache that wouldn’t quit. I decided to take some Tylenol to try to take the edge off. That stayed down about 3 minutes before coming up with the rest of the contents of my stomach. I think this headache was the closest I have ever come to a migraine. I took a warm bath and then climbed in bed. Reading was out. I didn’t want TV. I just laid there in the dark quietly for awhile and it got better. Work was REALLY busy and I was in meetings or one the phone almost the entire day. I guess I just needed some peace and quite.

Switching gears and moving to the here and now, I think I have been doing a good job of not obsessively worrying and keeping my paranoia in check. Currently, I have that icky, crampy, I am about to start my period feeling. It is making me worried. I don’t like it. I don’t mind the being tired, or the vomiting (even on public streets:), or even the almost migraine like headache last night. I don’t like this feeling. No spotting. Yes, I have been checking regularly. If I do, you can bet I will freak and will break down and actually call my OB.

The good news is that I called the Perinatologist that my OB recommended and they wanted to see me at around 17 weeks. Yeah, another ultrasound in two weeks (assuming I don’t need one sooner for the above described situation). The bad news is that I need to decide by then about the amnio. Other not so great news is that I need to reschedule 3 meetings (including my weekly one with my boss) and won’t be able to hike with the dogs that day because the only appointment they had that week was for 8 am. Hey, I will do just about anything for an ultrasound. Except, of course, make up symptoms like feeling icky, crampy, and period like or spotting or something.

Off to dinner with my mom, where I will pretend not to be worried, so she won’t worry. I am actually sick of all the food that I have in the house so I am looking forward to a bit of variety tonight. Ta ta!