Monday, December 24, 2007

XMas with the LMNs

Christmas is important in our house. Which means it's important to me and its important to Mama. (H can take it or leave it.)

Before I came on the scene, Christmas (and giving presents) was so important to Mama that she would command H to do out, buy himself a present, and then give it to her. She would then wrap it (she loved to fold) and give it to him on Christmas. He was rarely suprised, but would always act so. (H is a good son).

Now that I'm here... Well, there is serious suprises, but Mama stil does all the wrapping. I've learned to put Mama's shopping off as long as possible, because Mama will not rememeber what she bought. Or that she bought. Or that it's Christmas. But I digress.

This weekend, we went Christmas shopping (as in, Mama shopped for H). The last time we stepped into a mall was Black Friday; we are just GLUTTONS for punishment, I tell you. H insisted that we go to a mall far into the 'burbs, thinking that it would be bigger, better stocked and less filled with people. (He was right).

Mama and I picked a series of clothing out for H. Mama's taste for H is... let's go with adventurous. I steered her away from a green-and-white striped sweater, and a few things that were pink. I also steered her away from underwear, which is all she ever EVER wants to buy for him when we go shoping for him.

I have no idea what has stuck in her head that she feels compelled to buy him boxer short after boxer short, but H currently has approximately 30 pair, so his butt is covered, thank you very much. (And if you're thinking, "DARN that's a lot of panties," let's just say it took me a while before I learned to STEER the Mama away from buying undies...)

The day after our intrepid mall trip, we went to the supermarket. This is a bit of a treat for Mama; usually, we go alone (and leave her with the Home Care Attendant). Mama, for whatever reason, loves our local grocery store. She will change her clothes and put on makeup (and in fact, insist upon it) if we tell her she is going.

So Sunday, we prepared to go. And H, being a wee bit overprotective, prepares to come along and drive.

"NO!" says Mama sharply, when I talk to H about accompanying us in front of her. "He should not come."

This was a suprise. "Why not?" I ask. Mama looks a bit lost as she searches for a response.

"He spends too much money!" Well, not exactly the truth, but H was content to stay home and watch football.

As I said, Mama loooooooooves the market. She loves to explore and to dawdle and to touch and sniff and chat. H is very task-oriented; when he goes shopping, he has no time for her extra curricular activities. I am, of course, far more indulgent. (Mama should get one of those shirts that reads "IF H says no, ask NICA"). Not that I will let her buy three three bags of O.reo.s that MYSTERIOUSLY made their way into our shopping cart. ("I don't know how they got there! I didn't put them in! Must be robbers." Uh huh). But we'll usually have a conversation about things, where H will just say no.

Anyway. I can't think of a catchy wrap up, so I'll just say enjoy your holiday. And may Santa bring you everything you desire, and anything you need.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Good Morning

The people upstairs were yelling, thumping (moving furniture?), playing music and laughing (?) this morning. So much so that they woke me at 4:30AM in the morning.


Good morning.


They continued until shortly after 6:00AM, which is usually when my alarm goes off and I start rousing the household.


I'm a wee bit tired.


I got Mama up this morning, as usual. She showers first, then me. I usually wait until she starts to dress to start my ablutions, and when I'm very lucky, H is awake and keeps her chatting (and focused) throughout the process.

Today I was not lucky.

Mama wandered in to the bathroom while I was showering.

"NIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIICA!"

"Yes, Mama?" I reply, sticking my head through the curtain.

She looks at me, having lost her thought (this is common). "I didn't know you were here." She looks a bit closer. "You're naked!"

Um, well, one usually is while showering...

She looked lost a moment longer. Then gestured to the toilet. "Do you mind if I keep you company?" She sat and chatted through the curtain until I finished.

Calling encouragements and HELPFUL suggestions along the way. ("Don't forget to clean you culo! It gets stinky!")

I miss privacy...

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

My OB Gave Me Cookies

My OB gave me cookies.

No reason. Someone had sent a tin of cookies to her for the holiday season, and in my OB's incredibly perky R.ache.l R.a.y-like manner, she said, "Hey! you want some COOKIES?"

So don't tell H, but I ate one.

Oh, and the exam went well.

It took the nurse FOREVER to find a heartbeat (H theorized Scrappy was providing cover) but find a heartbeat we did. And everything was pronounced fine and well and in good shape.

H immediately, being a mature man of 41 years on the planet, jumped up and down and danced and yelled in a VERY loud voice "TOLD YOU SO! TOLD YOU SO! TOLD YOU SO!"

The doctor and the nurse were both in the room for this performance and VERY impressed with my husband's, let's say, joie de vivre. Yikes.

***TMI ALERT!***
I did have (and do have) a constant discharge. It is neither bloody nor smelly, but I mentioned it to my OB. She took a sample and ran it over to the lab to check out while I waited. While I waited. (and I only waited 20 minutes). Have I mentioned that I LOVE my OB?
**TMI OVER***

H was surprised that no one sonogram-ed us. He's still spoiled by the RE, I think. He tried very hard, and in his most charming way, to have someone, somehow let us get a peek in there. No go.

We have to wait three weeks -- and in three weeks it's the big ANATOMY SCAN. This is where they'll do a check for heart, development, I don't even know what else. (They explained, I just... well, I was in overload).

As for Mama (because what post would be complete without a Mama update), she will now tell ANYONE who asks (and several who don't) that she has placed her ear on my belly and heard kicking. It's a big fat lie, but I roll with it. But -- here's the eerie fun part -- the part of my belly she swears she's heard kicking (just under my ribs, around my heart) is a place where I have a chronic numb-tingle-pain sensation. Which the doctor says is caused my movement. Like kicking.

Coincidence?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Update

I have to pat Mama down in the morning now. Pat down, as in frisk, as in check for weapons.

Yeah. Mama's packing heat again.

See, she's taking apples to school. And she doesn't like to eat apples with a peel, so she takes a knife to peel the apple. A big, huge, sharp knife. (She favors our boning knife).

As I've mentioned before, Mama's daycare does not like when she brings in weapons. NOT AT ALL. The administrator called us, panicked, last night. Luckily, unlike last time, the knife was discovered while Mama was sitting quietly peeling her apple.

So. Now we search her in the morning. An incredibly tricky measure, to do so without offending her. Or tickling her.

In other news, I have a doctor's appointment today. I am, of course, terrified. My terrific OB thought that I was in good enough shape to go four weeks between appointments. If I had my druthers, I'd probably have daily check ups. But.

There's nothing that I can point to that makes me scared -- no terrible pain or horrible discharge that gives me fear. But I am plagued by the thought that I am not this lucky, I am not this blessed, I am not going to get what I want, and any minute now the bubble will burst.

So. We'll see how the day goes.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

So I got into a bit of a thing with a friend of mine last week.

She was wondering WHY I just wasn't "rolling with it." WHY since now I am p., I am still terrified.

Not only has she been p., she was one of those who got so without trying. So while, being a friend, she learned the terms and the acronyms and the procedures, she's not quite there.

So. So she said a few things that were a little thoughtless (she thought them funny) and I got upset (I was deadly serious) and we sniffed and tiffed for a while and finally, last night, had it out.

"It's like I have post traumatic stress disorder," I said, "although I know that sounds insane."

She paused for a moment. "No," she replied. "That makes sense to me."

It's, perhaps, too big a term for what I'm going through. But. It sure as heck FEELS right. I even looked it up on W.iki.pedi.a. And it seemed to fit.

"P.osttraumati.c S.tres.s D.isorde.r (P.TS.D) is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened," reads W.iki.pedi.a.

Too big, but just right, all at the same time.

"So when will it be over? When will I relax? When will I stop worrying?"

She thought about it a moment.

"Shortly before you die..."

(yikes).

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Telling Mama: The Update

So we told Mama (or Nona, as she will eventually be called.) And she took the news extremely well.

And she is still happy and excited and over the moon at the prospect of a new member of the family.

BUT.

Mama no longer has a sense of time passing. If she takes a nap in the day, or if she just hasn't thought about something in a while, or if she just wants something to happen... she'll speed up time.

So we told Mama about a week or two we were pregnant, right?

"Is he kicking? Is he kicking? I want to feel him kick!" says Mama. Okay, I'm due in 6.5 months... kicking starts when? Closer to the end, right? So nooooooooo there is no kicking.

"I WANT TO FEEL HIM KICK." Logic is lost on her.

Another frequent conversation is that she's like the baby for Christmas. By Christmas. So he can enjoy the tree and decorations et al.

"Um, Mama, I'm not having the baby until June..."

"HURRY UP! I want my baby by Christmas."

"Mama, you'll have t talk to GOD because I don't know how to HURRY this UP..."

Every time, I break it down and explain. And she nods as if she understands, and I think she may for a bit. But I always ALWAYS get the question again.



Also, Mama has started to refer to my baby as HER baby.

"Mama, this baby is mine.."

"I know. But you give him to me, yes?"

"NO!"

And she laughs. "You will give him to me when he needs a new diaper."

This is going to be an adventure.

My Husband Was Right

A few days (weeks?) back, I mentioned the my husband had no confidence in my OB. She only sees patients once a week, her front desk staff make it impossible to get ahold of her, and she's in practice all by her lonesome. So in case of emergency... you're screwed.

So H talked me into seeing a High Risk OB that my RE recommended. I love this office. I love my doctor. My husband was right.

I don't know about you, but I've had bad experiences with OB/GYNs. BAD BAD BAD. When I met my old doctor, the fact that she was nice and chatty and supportive was great. Freaking awesome.

But as nice as she was, my new doctor know more. Which is so cool. Let me show you...

Nica: I'm having all this weird pain and tenderness (starts to gesture)
Old Doctor: Yeah, that's normal. Don't worry about it (makes dismissive wave gesture with hand)

Versus...

New Doctor: (Starting the conversation) Have you had any weird pain or tenderness?
Nica: Um... yeah.
New Doctor: Where? (watches as I gesture) Okay if you have it here, or if you have it here, that's normal and nothing to worry about. If you have it from here to here, that could be a contraction and i want you to call me immediately. Okay? We have someone from the practice available 24/7.
Nica: Okay.
New Doctor: Now. Are you still experiencing morning sickness, vomiting, anything like that?
Nica: Um... no.
New Doctor: Yeah, that's normal. But I bet it's freaking you out, right?

Okay, I'm going to stop there. But you get the picture. H and i feel as though we were in good hands, that we truly had... I don't want to say a "partner" in the pregnancy, but... like the pregnancy equivalent of a wedding planner. Or a Personal tour guide. Or something. You know?

So YES my husband was right. But don't tell him that I said so, because he's already got a big enough head about this.

:)

Monday, November 26, 2007

T-Giving Fun Fact: What Your Turkey and I Have in Common

I heard this on the news, and dug around to confirm:

"The domesticated turkey's broad-breasted varieties are typically produced by artificial insemination to avoid injury of the hens by the much larger toms and because the physical changes resulting in broad (double) breasts have also rendered most males incapable of natural mating."

(Courtesy of N.P.R. and W.ikipedi.a)

Heh.

The Baby House

Saturday night, we told Nona. (Thursday was the too-late dinner, Friday we went shopping, but after Saturday's dinner was just right).

Becasue I had much (too much) to think about it, I decided that H should tell his mother. Quietly, intimately. Maybe with me not even in the room? (Out of house? In a different neighborhood? Not that I'm nervous, mind you...) After all, he was an only child, and they had lived together/been each other's family for three and a half decades before I waltzed in.

H considered it, said he'd tell her, but that I had to be there.

So Saturday, he handed over a copy of the sonogram that I'd photocopied.

"Do you know what this is?" H asked.

"It's a picture."

"Do you know what of?" he continued. She squinted a bit.

"A cat?"

"No...." H pointed to a bump on the picture. "That's the nose."

"A mouse?"

"Um... maybe you should get your glasses?"

"I don't need my glasses! Just tell me what the picture's of!"

"It's a baby. It's my baby, Nica's and mine. We're going to have a baby."

From there she grew quiet, promising to babysit, to change diapers, to sit on the floor and play with the baby ("assuming that the floor is clean enough to sit on" she tossed in).

Finally she said, "I don't know who answered my prayer, but finally my prayers have been answered."

Which I thought was sweet and typical Mama. (Um. Nona). I'm pregnant, but it's due to her prayers.

She wanted to know who the godparents would be, and didn't like our choices. Godparents, in her opinion, should be the wealthiest, most powerful people we know. She asked us to reconsider.

Then came the curveball:

"If the baby is a girl, she will be Maria Luisa. If the baby is a boy, he will be Jose Luis."

The godparent question was anticipated. Having to fight with my mother-in-law about what we were naming the baby was not. H and I just looked at each other, shocked and amused.

"If it's a girl, we want to name her after you," I interjected. She shook her head.

"I have not had a lucky life; I would not want the child to share my name and my unlucky life."

Well.

The next morning, when I was waking her up for her shower, I showed her my belly. (I'm showing, but have to see my naked tum-tum to tell. With clothing, I just look fat.) I asked her if she remembered what H said, showing her my belly.

"It's the Baby House!" she screamed, delighted. She looked at me. "Do you know what he is doing right now?" She threw herself into a fetal position, diving back into bed and throwing her hands over her eyes. "He is like this, right now!"

Completely insane, completely Mama, completely charming and totally unexpected.

T-Holiday round up

We ended telling Nona on Saturday. Thursday, we didn't eat until 9:30 at night, so when we finished we were too tired to tell her.

The reason we ate so late was that H cooked Thanksgiving. To be honest, he usually gets home before I do and everyday dinner cooking usually falls to him. But Thanksgiving -- well, that's all me.

Still, he saw them cook a turkey on A.merica's T.est K.itchen and decided that it would be "easy" to do the meal. And I knew that my job needed someone to babysit it on the holiday, so I took him up on the offer. (I even printed out recipes and a shopping list).

So H decides to sleep in on Thanksgiving. Because that's what you do. (I routinely am up at 5:00 or 6:00, but that's my way). And when he woke up, he watched the parade for a while, played a video game or two, checked out the football game. (I may watch TV from the small screen in the kitchen, but only the big screen in the living room would work for him).

So around 2:00PM, H decides that he's going to go to the GROCERY STORE. Because he hasn't gone yet. (In his defense, I didn't get the list finished until Tuesday.) And H was SURPRISED that some of the items on his list weren't there.

About 5:00PM, I get home. And find that the turkey is JUST ABOUT READY to go into the oven. Apparently, there was some trouble with the "easy" Thanksgiving dinner.

Finally, we eat. (H gave us a false alarm, as he had not remembered that the turkey needed to "rest" for a half hour.) "Can I have mashed potatoes?" I ask. "Nope, didn't make them," replied H. "Not enough time."

"Um, cranberry dressing?" Nope. Also a big negative on pies of any sort. We did have the dressing, which was okay but weird (and very unattractive-looking). And some butternut puree that was supposed to be a soup.

But the turkey was wonderful, and I didn't have to cook and clean up (only clean up), so I liked it!

Perhaps next year, we'll do it together...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

We Tell Mama (er NONA) Tomorrow

Yes, that's right.

We haven't told Mama (um, now NONA yet).

We've told a few other people, but not made any big announcements. And we didn't tell her, well, because we weren't sure if she'd be jealous, and we didn't want her asking about it if things went wrong.

But, on Friday I will be 12 weeks, which everyone says is the hurdle. So. We're telling her.

If I don't sound excited, well. I'm a bit nervous. I'd wanted to wait.

Nona's going into a psych eval in 2 weeks, brought about by her hitting me and saying "I kill your baby." Mind you, her care facility does not care so much that she's hitting me, just that she's hitting. They are afraid that she will strike out at someone else. I replied, "only if the someone else is possibly producing a grandchild" but they are still making us go.

I'd wanted to wait until after her eval to tell her, perhaps asking a shrink for advice, but H is bursting to tell her. And we've been doing a lot of talking about what her role will be "when we have a baby." Trying to help her visualize what it will be like for her. And I really don't think... but. But.

But we're going to tell her, because I'm 12 weeks. (Or will be). We want to start talking about continuing the family. Because it feels like a lie not to tell her.

I am guardedly hopeful that the psych facility (which is said to have all this wonderful dementia experience) will have some THERAPY for her, as everyone thus far has just been talking about PILLS. But for the most part, H and I are very scared about the evaluation. Like, somehow that they will say she's a danger to herself and put her on zombie-making drugs and submit her to electro shock therapy, or (my husband's worst fear) take her away from us.

H was so stressed he yelled at me last week. "It's because of your calling," he said, that all of this was happening.

"So sorry," I replied. "Next time, I'll stand there and just get hit. And not try to defend the welfare of your child."

He apologized. We're both scared.

So!

I've photocopied the sonogram picture (I want to be able to give her something she can keep) and will talk to H about how (exactly) we plan to spring it on the new grandmother-to-be.

This should be interesting.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Scan Went Fine

I went to the Doctor's office yesterday, but didn't see the Doctor.

Okay, recap: I did switch to a "high risk" OB. More importantly (to me), she's also part of practice, which means if she's unavailable, someone is.

The new doctor's practice has a sonogra.m room, and that's where I had my appointment. My over-the-belly sonogram was administered by a nurse, so we asked about the brown stuff. Her opinion was that it was more leakage from the extra fetal sac (Scrappy). (Spunketta looked good, which was a big relief).

Being that I am 11.5 weeks, I had to HAD TO (I was told repeatedly) have a scan to look for D.ow.n's S.yndrom.e. So that was yesterday.

The nurse measured the neck, or tried to, but Spunketta was NOT complying. Thus, Nurse had to JAB the stick into my stomach. Hard. Repeatedly. Did I mention I had a full bladder during this?

I whimpered a bit, and the nurse apologized, explaining, "I need her to move!" (We don't really know if it's a girl yet.)

Initial tests (ie, neck measurement) looks good. Spunketta moved a bit (H swore that she waved to him) and the Nurse said we were right on track.

I see the actual doctor in a week.

So far, so good.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Thankful Stuffing

This Thanksgiving (Thursday, November 22) will be notable for the little LMN family.

We'll be alone.

And we'll be trying, once again, to duplicate Nona/Mama's famous wild r.ice c.hestnut c.ranberry stuffing.

My brother, I may have mentioned, also lives in NYC. He wants very little to do with us, however, so it's almost like he lives far away. We only see him for big holidays. (My birthday does not count as a big holiday, although some years I get a phone call.)

My father always comes up for Thanksgiving. Some years, it was just he and I for turkey. This Turkey day, Brother has made other plans. A friend of his is getting married, and he's going to be traveling on T-day.

My father was still willing to come (just for me!) but I talked him into re-scheduling. Into coming up a little later when he could see both Brother and I. So the Big Family Holiday was been re-scheduled until mid-December.

So this Thursday, it's just us. And the stuffing.

Thanksgiving is kind of a big holiday for H and I. It's the first holiday we celebrated as a family. It's the first time my family met his family (which is to say, Nona/Mama). Last year, it was when we'd planned on telling everyone we were p (except we didn't last that long). And, probably most importantly, its the first holiday I brought back for H.

See, when H's mother got sick, life kind of stopped. Celebrating holidays was always Nona's passion. She'd cook a large and sumptuous meal (H tells me over and over again what a good cook she was) and decorate the house and all that. When she couldn't do it anymore, it didn't get done. (She was one of those cooks who simply remembered instructions and ingredients. She didn't have written recipes).

Enter me, NOT a good cook, but liking the holiday. I forced H to have his first-ever birthday party (since he was in grade school). I foisted turkey and tablecloths and a sit-down extravaganza on him.

And his only demand was Mama's stuffing.

He described it in such detail: the w.ild rice, the c.hestnuts, the c.ranberry. Oh, how he waxed poetic abut the c.ranberry in the stuffing. I was raised by a woman who, when she cooked Thanksgiving, put the c.ranberry straight from the can onto the table. And when I asked what it was for, no one knew.

I am NOT a good cook, but I love my husband, and he loves the stuffing, so I gave it a shot. The first year's stuffing was a disaster. The second wasn't much better. By the third, I'd taken a break from the Sacred Stuffing, and tried something with cornbread and sausage. The fourth, my Brother and Wife wanted to cook. The fifth, we had no stuffing whatsoever.

Call it nostalgia, call it INSANITY, call it what you will. This year, we're trying again.

In preparation, I spent hours searching the web for likely recipes. I then g.oogle.d up a bunch of photos of the ingredients and brought Nona to the computer.

She resisted telling me the recipe, as she has every year. (One year, she came into the kitchen an hour after we'd finished eating and announced I'M READY TO MAKE THE STUFFING! And I was ready to let her).

"But Nona," (as we try to call her now), "I need to know what to get you at the grocery store. Do you need c.hestnuts," I ask, bringing up a picture of c.hestnuts. Yes! and yes to c.hicken broth, wild r.ice, s.hallots, m.ushrooms and g.arlic. No to s.herry ("Only bad cooks use s.herry, Nica").

Any finally, H's favorite ingredient, c.ranberry.

Nona makes such a face. "No!" she yells, firmly. "No c.ranberry."

Um, what? This must be the Alzheimer's. Or something. Right?

H is behind us, and comes into the conversation. They talk hurriedly and heatedly in Spanish, too quick for me to handle.

He smiles sheepishly. "Oops. No c.ranberry..." (Apparently, she'd sprinkle a few on top as decoration. And here, I'd been cooking them in all these years.)

Memory is a tricky thing.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Mas Sangre

More blood showed up on Thursday.

Luckily (?) I had Thursday and Friday off. So I immediately went on bedrest and am hoping for the best.

H thinks this is just the vanishing twin (Scrappy) doing a bit more vanishing.

I'm just tired of bleeding.

Doctor's appointment on Monday. We'll see how it goes.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Playing House

I don't know if I've ever mentioned it, but we live in a one-bedroom apartment.

Me, H and Mama. It's tight.

We took a corner of the living room and put walls up. And WHAMMO we've got a New York Style bedroom. Anywhere else on earth, you'd probably call it a CLOSET. (And you'd be right).

So, a few weeks back, when we were pregnant with twins, we looked around our not so large apartment and freaked. Where were we going to put everyone? Was there such a thing as bunk cribs?

H had a line on a house for sale -- reasonably priced, "handicap accessible" and a half mile away from where his very best friend in all the world lives.

So we called the Realtor.

This Friday, she called back. (Apparently, the real estate market must be doing much better to take so long to return a phone call).

H and I discussed it, and decided WHAT THE HECK and went to see it.

First, and in my opinion most important, it was not actually "handicap accessible." They did have an incredibly high ramp in lieu of stairs at the back entrance, but it's grade was far too steep to legally be considered "accessible." (Or, frankly, safe to walk down in winter). And while the bathroom had a "grab bar" installed... that's all it had. Even though the former resident of the house was in a wheelchair, the bathroom was not wheelchair accessible. And even though Mama (er, Nona) does not need a wheelchair accessible shower stall, she's pretty darned close.

Second, the place was tiny. And there was almost no yard. And it hadn't been renovated in 30 years. And the plumbing was old. And the wiring was old. And the floors were scarred. And the kitchen cabinets were deteriorating. And.

And as I began adding up in my head what it would cost to make this place livable, and where we were going to put what...

My suburban dream just died.

Just to add salt in the wound, we stopped by H's BFF's house on the way home. Large, luxurious laws. 3 bedrooms plus a full living room, dining room, playroom and office. Two car garage. Full laundry room.

I want to live there...

Anyway, currently the plan is to have Spunketta in our room for the first few months, and then move her out to her own corner of the living room after that. (My living room is fastly shrinking). We figure we can wait a year. Or two.

Have I mentioned that I am jealous of all y'all that have laundry rooms?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Husband vs Obstetrician

H does not like by OB.

Well, he likes her. As a person. But. He has serious concerns.

She only has office hours one day a week. If we have an emergency, how can we contact her? H asks. Where will she be? And if we try to contact her -- oh her PHONES. When I plan on calling the OB's office, I plan on spending a half an hour. AT LEAST. And I don't always get through. If there was an emergency... yeah, you know. Could we get through?

And the WAIT. I showed up ontime to the appointment -- fifteen minutes early. And waited an hour to be put into a room. And then the nurse took me for blood. Which made me wait for another hour. I have a 5:00PM appointment with my OB. I didn't lay eyes on her until 7:15PM.

There are other OB's in her office space, they don't share a practice with her. So if there was an emergency, there's no one who could back her up.

Finally, she has limited equipment. She has the wand-sonogram that we all so well. But the "other" sonogram, the one that goes on your tum tum? She doesn't have one of those. (Completely freaks H out). Am I wrong to expect my OB should have one? Has all the high tech toys from my RE hopelessly spoiled me?

So now, to get a sonogram, I have to make an appointment with a hospital an hour and a half from my house.

What do you think -- should I switch? Or am I spoiled?

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Things I Think About

Mama has decided that if (and at this stage, we're still saying IF) she ever becomes a grandmother, she would like to be called Nona. It's Italian; she's not Italian, but coming from Argentina, she was raised with a heavy Italian influence in the population. (We're planning n telling her after 12 weeks/first trimester, when everyone agrees the risk goes way, way d0wn).

Nona (as I will now try to call her) got married when she was 39. She got pregnant soon after, giving birth when she was 40. I will give birth when I am 41. (H will be 42). While there's a lovely symmetry in that, there's also the realization that in 40 years *I* might be the one with the little room in the corner while Spunketta and spouse take care of me.

Still on Mama/Nona -- a while back I mentioned that all my washclothes have disappeared. I don't know what she did with them, but I know she did something. This morning, I discover all of her socks have disappeared. All of them.

I buy her those bulk packs you get at C.ost.Co. Fifteen or 20 pairs of socks at a time. In all different colors (of course!) since Nona cannot STAND neutrals. Oh, except black. She'd dress as a goth if I'd let her. (Can you imagine? An 81-year-old goth chick?)

Anyway. Washclothes I can almost understand. Maybe you put them in your purse, your pocket, whatever.

Socks?

What are the undiscovered other uses for socks?

So this weekend, I will spend money we do not have for things she wil not keep.

(I may even splurge and get myself a secret washcloth to hide away).

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Syndrome of a Down

The scan yesterday went fine. During previous scans, Spunketta had never seemed to move much. My OB has a completely different scanner than my RE -- it seemed older and smaller. I don't know if it was the different machine or the stage of development, but DAMN was she moving yesterday.

H, being H, decided she was dancing and mimiced her moves. In the exam room. In front of my OB. (I kind of thought she looked pissed, but that's me).

Scrappy is still there, albeit slightly smaller. My OB called it "vanishing twin syndrome" and said all sorts of nice, comforting things. Like that I didn't have to worry about miscarriage so much and the like.

The scary part (because there HAD to be a scary part, didn't there?) was when the doctor asked about SCREENING. And recommended (strongly) that we see a genetics counselor. And discuss... possibilities.

Essentially, she was asking us if we were prepared to terminate if Spunketta has problems. (Very nicely, she sais this, but.)

Wow.

Of all the things I worried about, that was never one. Birth defects? Never gave them a thought. I always kind of figured that getting pregnant (and staying pregnant) was the finish line.

Wow wow wow.

I am, of course, high risk for all sorts of badness due to my advanced maternal age and whatnot. Of course, high rish means 2%. And all the tests that are available are risky in and of themselves. And may not be, what's the word. Because I still may be carrying remnants of Scrappy, the results would be thrown off.

H's response to all this is "God wouldn't do this to us. He knows we're at capacity."

Hmm. Never heard of the Almighty having a quota system before...

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

32 Thank Yous

Lest I forget...

Thank you to all who commented on my second to last post. To know that my little Scrappy was known by that many people, was mourned by that many people, was involved in the lives of that many people (however briefly) is salve to a mother's broken heart.

Thank you.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Best of Times, Worst of Times

So.

One of the problems with not posting in a while is that so much happens. And I think to myself, where to start? How to tell? What to do?

I hope that you all had a good Halloween. I think that Halloween is a tough holiday for us IFers. I know it is for me. It was on Halloween that I decided, that my husband and I decided, that we really, really wanted to try for a child. It wasn't an automatic decision for us. He had Mama, and I was (am?) an abused child. But we saw this toddler running around dressed as a dinosaur, and we knew. We knew we wanted to take care of and nuture something, of someone, and have it be filled with hope. Not the sadness that we get with Mama.

This year, I saw the little ones in their costumes (my absolute favorites being the two little boys dressed as firemen who were running around the firehouse down the street). And I laughed at their cuteness and I giggled at their antics. And I smiled, thinking next year... And then I cried. Cried for the one who didn't make it.

On a side and Mama note: Mama has no impulse control, and if she sees a big bowl of candy, SHE'LL EAT IT. So in the past, we've been the house that gives out pretzel bags and "healthy" snacks. This year, I bought "gummy body part" candies in the shape of severed fingers and bloody eyeballs. The thought was that the kids would like them, but Mama would not find them appealing.

WRONG. I came home to find her shoving several fingers in her mouth, exclaiming, "they're lemon! I like them!" Next year, it's back to pretzels. If only so I don't have to see THAT again.

So. I didn't mention lots of things in my last post. Like, how even though I'm still, to use a medical phrase, "touch and go," I've been released to my 'regular' ob-gyn. Surreal. I have my first appointment on Tuesday night, so. I'm not anticipating it, I'm not dreading it. I'm just hoping more stuff doesn't go wrong.

I so want to get a fetal doppler monitor. Can anyone recommend a good place to pick one up?

The RE kept congratulating me which, no suprise, made me cry. My husband said that it's as though Spunketta has her own little angel, looking out for her. He's sweet and poetic like that. I immediately thought of an A.fterlif.e episode, where a boy was tormented by the ghost of a brother that didn't make it. I'm not so sweet and poetic.

My stomach/abdomen is growing. ("That's not the baby," says H, "that's fat." Nice). It's also exceptionally tender. As in, I cannot bear to have any sort of weight on it. This is something that I've not heard associated with pregnancy, but who knows. I can't worry anymore, there's no space in my heart, in my brain, in my soul.

I'm in limbo until week 12.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Today I Saw One Heartbeat

Spunketta measures 8W3D and has a heartbeat so furious I could see it. Clearly.

Scrappy has not grown. In a week.

Scrappy has no heartbeat.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Odds and Ends

First, while G.andh.i is revered outside of India, inside of India he's not so popular. He is the fellow that allowed (? may not be the right word ?) Pakistan to secede. (This was explained to me by an Indian co-worker who wanted to know what the heck I was doing with G.andh.i and P.hotoSho.p.

Second, I pulled my head out of my ute long enough to try to take care of some stuff for Mama on Friday. When H talked to the Doctor/Nurse about the hitting, the nurse recommended talking to a social worker. USELESS. Still, H's talk about the hitting had not made it through to Mama's chart so THAT got rectified.

There is something... CHILLING (I can think of no better word) about when one is speaking with a HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL (ie, the social worker) and everything coming out of HCP's mouth is YOU NEED TO GIVE HER MORE DRUGS. I'm thinking, DUDE! Come ON! There's got to be something else, right?

Wrong.

Third, ***TMI warning! TMI Warning!*** almost as soon as I wrote "and the bleeding has stopped" the BROWN STUFF started to attack. It continues and continues and continues. One of the doctors said expressly, "I'm not concerned about the brown stuff, only the red stuff." So, I suppose, I shouldn't be concerned. Except OH MY LORD there's a lot of it.

Fourth, I went to my acupuncturist on Friday and told her the whole sad story. She stuck needles in "to stop the bleeding" and mixed up a new and TRULY EVIL concoction for me to drink. (Mostly ginseng and deer antler, I was told). Twice a day. My Accu is concerned that my blood and chi are being depleted. The first time I tried the new brew I threw up. The second time, I held my nose and got it all down. And then threw up. The third time, I added two tablespoons of honey, held my nose and it stuck.

Fifth, H and I have started a new tradition of going to church. Alone -- just he and I, as if it was a date. In the past, we've taken Mama along. Not always the best of ideas. Mama has a tendency to dance (if she decides she likes the music) and call out to the children (if they're cute) and generally act as if she's any place BUT in a house of worship. This Sunday, we were down on our knees, begging God please for the health of our children. Both our children.

Sixth, my next scan is scheduled for tomorrow. It's with the young doc, who I know I can bully into measuring "Twin B," better known as Scrappy. You may recall that my last doctor refused to even look at Scrappy. He kept emphasizing the good one. And, while I see the logic, well, I don't. I want to know about all my children.

Wish me luck.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

My Dream Last Night/This Morning

We interrupt this obsession with my bleeding to bring you a rough approximation of my dream last night.Not meant to offend, and hoping it makes you giggle a bit.

Namaste!

PS. I seem to have stopped bleeding completely. Not even brown bits.

Back From The Scan

Spunketta is measuring 7 weeks, 6 days, or four days bigger than she was on Tuesday. (If you try really, really hard, you can kind of make out her eyes).

Scrappy, the doctor didn't even bother to measure. I asked him to, but the doctor declined. Said he wasn't going to. Said a word that sounded like papyrus or paprika and basically said we should hope that Scrappy stays where he is and just doesn't do any damage.

I'm going to hope Scrappy rebounds, I replied to the doctor, actually using the nickname. Doctor said nothing, but mentioned that Scrappy seems to be hemorrhaging internally.

Next scan on Tuesday.

Update (Be Warned)

I'm going to go into a little bit of detail about the bleeding etc., so if you're squeamish, skip down a few paragraphs.

To the rest of you, hi. How are you? Me? Well, I'm still bleeding. The blood is now a mix. A little brown and clotty, a little red. The red blood is now completely stretchy and seems to be in a mucus or something. It's mega-stretchy. I don't know what it means.

And for added anxiety, I woke up this morning to cervical contractions. I don't know how long they lasted; I was having a dream about (no kidding) Gandhi in Las Vegas. The only image of the dream I can recall is Gandhi being flanked by two showgirls. I don't know if that's somehow symbolic of something (other than my screwed up mind).

H wants to call the clinic (again) and see about getting in today for another scan. I don't know that it's worth it. The doc said last time there was nothing they could do. So all that can happen is... what?

We called the emergency service already, but I guess we lacked true panic in our voices as they didn't even connect us with the on-call doctor.

I feel dead inside.

I should mention, I had been suffering from the all-time worst morning sickness ever. In fact, if you notice the gap in posting (between the Twins announcement and the blood) it was because all that was going through my mind was how wretched I felt. And, frankly, I thought that would have been tacky. Looking a gift horse in the mouth kind of thing.

I have no symptoms now. Last week, I couldn't get down the breakfast cereal that I am munching now. Last week, I couldn't fit into the bra that I am wearing now.

I haven't been to work since I woke up to blood on Tuesday. I am dressed for work now. But I don't know what I am going to do.

My husband has been g.ooglin.g non-stop. He's trying to figure out what's going on, what to call it, what causes it, and how to fix it. He's a fix-it kind of fellow.

We're not giving up. I don't know what the hell that means, really. But I keep telling myself, "I'm not losing this pregnancy." Over and over and over, in my most stern voice.

Please, God.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

50% Chance

I am, right now, bleeding.

Bleeding into a maxi pad that I bought special yesterday. Bleeding.

And if this pregnancy is going to survive, I need to stop bleeding.

Since yesterday, the bleeding has lightened, lessened, tapered off.

But.

I still bleed, bleed bright red. Minimal cramping but blood, blood, blood.

Yesterday, I called in sick to work, called the on-call doctor and went running to my clinic. H was convinced the entire time that it would be something benign. The on call doctor on the phone was convinced it was fine. (Something about bleeding with no cramps not being scary).

Whatever. When the RE at the clinic inserted the wand, I shut my eyes. Tight. H was there and the universe never gives him bad news.

But.

A week ago (or so) we had two, perfectly nice round sacs. Yesterday, we had one round sac and one that was decidedly flat. The flat one still had a heartbeat (that seemed to surprise the doctor) and though I had much blood and "tissue" the sac still was, okay, let me search for the word. Um. Um. I don't remember it. But the sac, while flat, did not appear to be compromised.

Also, in the good news category, (and this is one small freaking category) my cervix is closed. "If it was wide open," said doctor, "there'd be no chance. But closed is good."

Still, the doctor did not give flat sac a good chance of survival. And what's worse, if flat sac decides to spontaneously abort, he may take his sibling with him.

So.

I have a 50% chance that flat sac will rebound from this. He was measuring at exactly the same rate as sibling; 7w2d.

I have a 50% chance that flat sac will quietly cease without causing harm to the other.

I have a 50% chance that I will lose everything.

My husband has a vision that he's holding in his head. Ten years from now, when we're sitting around the table at Thanksgiving, him. myself, and our two children. These two children. And H is telling flat sac the story of how much he worried us. And how much of a scrapper that he was, that he pulled through.

This has caused flat sac to actually get his own nickname -- Scrappy. (We've always called the pregnancy "Spunketta," for really inane reasons.) When we found out we had twins, we didn't immediately have a second nickname.

Now we do.

So world, meet Scrappy and Spunketta.

And Scrappy, stop bleeding.

Everybody else, please tell me that Scrappy's flattening and the blood could be some stupid coincidence. That sacs don't need to be round to survive.

Something.

Help.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

One of our sacs has collapsed

Nothing to do but wait and see.

No punchline. Just blood.

Blood. Lots of it. Bright red and it won't stop.

Waiting for H to get out of the shower and get dressed so we can run to the RE clinic.

Talked to the on call doctor. She said if I had severe cramping, she'd be worried, but I don't (only minimal cramping) so she's not.

Well, that's one of us.

H keeps trying to hold me but I keep trying not to cry.

Lots of blood. On my third pad. Had to break out my old m.axi p.ads. Looks like I'll have to buy more.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Couple Things

My husband was a little stressed last night. (Okay, so was I, but I've been whining about it for the past few days. H's stress -- this is new).

He stayed up all night (ALL NIGHT) watching movies and freaking out. He asked me oddly detailed questions. Where was I born? How long did I live there? How did I come to be born in that particular place? What was going on in my parents lives at the time?

I have to admit -- I know the answers to the questions counterparts. Having so much Mama exposure, I know when my husband was conceived (on my in-laws honeymoon), where he was conceived (Mexico or Vermont) and what was going on in their lives. I know that Mama HATED being pregnant ("very uncomfortable") and hated giving birth SO MUCH that she decided H would be an only child.

I answered H's questions to the best of my ability, but to be honest -- he wasn't really in aplce to hear my answers. He was mostly just freaking out. ALL NIGHT LONG.

So by the time we arrive at the RE's office, he's completely out of his head. Loopy. Without sleep. Buggy.

Niiiiiiiiice.

The RE sees me right quick. I don't even have time to fully disrobe before they're knocking on my door. I have to explain that my husband knocked into the goop on the wand (did I mention he was loopy?) and they quickly switch to a clean sheath.

Couple things discussed....

First, RE said it's okay to put a cold pack on my stomach "for a few minutes" but didn't recommend doing it for an extended period of time.

Second, RE said that Mama's punching probably did no damage but that I "should not engage in fighting with her." I'm sorry, HELLO? Insert your favorite M.atri.x karate fight scene here, only it's a duel between Mama (155 lbs, 5 foot 3, 81 years, dyed red hair and a WALKER) and ME. Engage in fighting with her? HELLO? What the heck he thinks goes on in my house?

Third, the fact that no one has prescribed pre-natals to me is not a big deal.

Why is it not a big deal?

(Because all that's really important is a women's multi and the folic.)

Hmm. Anything else?

Oh, yeah.

TWINS.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Is It Okay...

Is it okay to put a cold pack on my hopefully p belly?

Because it feels better.

But it's scaring my husband, so I thought I'd check...

Abby Normal

I have such a longing for normalcy these days. (And normalcy is damned elusive).

H met with the Mama's doctor and the day care director yesterday. I offered to take the day off of work and go with them, but H refused. I tried to sit down with H and go over all our concerns (the hitting, the belligerence, etc.) but H resisted. UNTIL. Until two minutes before his meeting, when he calls me at work and asks, "Okay, what are the problems again?"

Nice.

Anyway, they recommended a social worker, H told me. What's the social worker going to do? I asked H. He wasn't sure. Who's the social worker working for? He wasn't sure. Why did they recommend a social worker? He wasn't sure.

Next time, I definitely coming with to the appointment.

We have not had the best of luck with social workers. Before M.edic.ai.d, when we still dealt mainly with the D.epart.men.t of A.gin.g, we had a DoA social worker in our house every six months. And every six months we had to surrender bank statements, utility bills, phone bills, you name it. We kept having to prove that we were poor enough to not be billed for Mama in her various programs. (And even then, they billed us).

And every six months, the DoA social worker would tell me Mama would be better off if I quit my job and dedicated myself to her care.

If I've never mentioned, I'm the breadwinner for this family. And I have been for the bulk of our marriage. So I can't even dream of quitting my job, much as I'd like to.

So that was Tuesday.

H says he'll call the social worker today, and see what she has to say. Perhaps she knows of wonderful programs that will revolutionize Mama's behavior. Perhaps she will lecture us on how we bad we are at caregiving. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.

Tomorrow is Thursday.

Tomorrow is my scan.

Tomorrow scares the SPIT out of me.

I keep thinking if I was a normal woman would have more hope than I do. Which is not to say that I am hope-less, or any such. But I am guardedly hopeful. (And let me tell you, it's a 24-hour guard).

Is this going to happen?

And how are we going to swing it?

Monday, October 15, 2007

I Remember

Even though I currently have a positive, I remember.

Even though I'm farther along than I've ever been before, I remember.

october15th.com

(Even though blogger won't let me upload a picture, I remember).

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Achy, Bloaty, Tired and Stupid

I hurt. I'm tired. I'm cold. And aliens are eating my brain.

In other words, according to my husband, everything is going well.

But mostly, I am still so very, very scared.

That's perfectly natural, says my husband.

I have to wait a week for the scan. A week. I could have gone in any time after tomorrow. Well, anytime on a weekday. So I could have made the appointment on Monday! A mere... (hang on, math is hard) FOUR days from now! As opposed to SEVEN!

Aargh.

I know. I am a big whiny wimp. But I hurt (my back kills me, especially at night). And I'm tired. (I'm asleep by 9:30PM, no question). And I'm cold (all the freaking time). And aliens are eating my brain. (I am so finding it hard to function. I'm absent-minded, forgetful, and some other symptoms I probably can't remember. Seriously, I am probably going to have to tell my boss next week, as my current medical conditition is impacting my job performance.)

Assuming all goes well next Thursday.

H does not join me in my second-guessing about scheduling the appointment earlier. In fact, he thinks the delay is a good thing. "Further away, further developed," he says. LIKE HE KNOWS.

I keep wondering what the Doc will be looking for. Just a sac? Or a fetal pole? And what does a fetal pole look like? Is it like a stripper pole? I keep imagining a baby hanging on a metal pole by his ankles. Is that wrong?

Have I mentioned aliens are eating my brain?

H keeps mentioning how "loopy" I am. "And getting crazier by the day," he adds. He also mentions that he thinks "the girls" are getting bigger every day. (He likes that part).

Me, I'm just scared. Nver been this far, and keep wondering: how far do I get to go?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

And We're Back.

Got back from vacation Sunday night. Went back to work Monday morning. Monday, as we were were getting ready, H and I would catch each other's eye and say "this is so surreal." Because it was.

I wouldn't say my vacation was GREAT, but it was emotionally intense. (I had to check into a hospital on Tuesday to have my blood done.) The vaca was planned before I was sure of the math on the cycle. I kept hoping my cycle would last a bit longer and my bedrest would correspond with the vacation, but it all worked out okay.

Down to business.

Thank you, a million times thank you, for your reassuring words about no damage done. I go in for a scan next week (the 18th) and I will mention the punching. In the meantime, I now have an arm in front of me when I deal with Mama.

For those of you who posted (and for those of you who thought it, but didn't post) Mama is not nursing home eligible. Yup. That's right. The US government does not think that she is sick enough to warrant 24-hour care, and/or a nursing home. We're not saints or martyrs. We checked. She's "not sick enough."

Please note: there are a million "assisted living" and such facilities out there. But we'd have to pay for that. Two to three thousand dollars a month. But M.edi.cai.d won't kick in because she doesn't "need it." Now, if she keeps PUNCHING, and behaves inappropriately with children, THEN we may a new point to argue. But currently, no.

H made an appointment with her doctor next Tuesday. I offered to take off work and go with, but H didn't want me along. You almost have to feel sorry for H's boss -- on Tuesday, H is coming in late because of Mama, and on Thursday, H is coming in late because of me.

In other news, H is convinced I'm starting to show. Mama, I think, agrees with him, as she was QUITE aggressive about telling me HOW FAT I was this morning. (She tried to take my morning oatmeal away from me, telling me to have just toast. Because I need to lose weight, she says.)

So.

I'm incredibly nervous abut the scan. Largely because I'VE NEVER BEEN THIS FAR BEFORE and I don't know what to expect. I always ALWAYS thought this cycle was going to be the "dry run," just to get everyone used to me in my new clinic. I never EVER expected to be this far.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Mama hit my stomach as hard as she could and said "I kill it!"

So.

Vacation could be going a little better.

The timeshare that we're staying in, that we have stayed in before, that has never had an issue helping to take care of Mama, NOW has issues taking care of Mama. Hey, we BOUGHT the thing with the guarantee that their would be "activity counselors" and the like that we could leave her with for a few hours and not feel like crap. But this year, they've decided it's beyond their scope. One "fun0l0gist" in general made a point of lecturing me a few times about what a bad person I was to leave Mama with them.

Nice.

My mind is completely consumed with THAT little event, since I am having the damnedest time wrapping my brain around Mama's attack of me.

Okay, context: Has she ever hit me before? Yes. Has she ever hit my stomach before? Yes. Does she know we're possibly p? Maybe. (We've been talking about it in code, because she does not keep secrets and we are not yet ready to tell the world). Has she ever punched my tummy saying "I kill it" and/or "I kill your baby" before? Yes.

Is it frequent? No. Maybe once a week she acts up. Is she strong? Yes. I've been bruised by some encounters. Could I take her? Yes. Probably. She is a short, fat, sturdy woman who is not afraid to fight.

Could she cause damage?

I don't know. If, say, an average eight-year-old rams into your newly implanted belly, does that cause damage?

Seriously. This is a question. Does anyone know?

Because. Because right now, I am scared of my mother-in-law. Scared of my mother-in-law.

It happened yesterday. She hit me once, hard as she could, in the belly. I was stunned. Shocked. I went cold. I froze.

She laughed. Said "I kill it!" and hit me again.

I jumped out of the way, still IN SHOCK and turned to H.

"Please tell her that she can't hit my belly anymore." I felt cold, dead, scared, remote. You know what I mean?

H completely FREAKED OUT.

He yelled, and Mama denied everything. She hadn't hit me, she would never hit me, I was lying. The volume (and the mood) escalated and H finally tapped her cheek (think a "hey wake up!" level of tap).

And even though it was the most benign of taps (there was no noise, it left no mark, etc.) it freaked me out. H later explained it was how Mama's father used to discipline her when she was young, and he'd hoped to connect to some primal memory.

But we both felt sick about the whole thing.

We sat out on the terrace for a while, in calling distance of Mama but having the illusion of distance.

And tried to figure out what we are going to do.

We have considered adoption, but. But. We were always wary to do that with Mama. We have a friend who has a little sister. The little sister is 12 and morbidly obese. And Mama ALWAYS says "she is fat." I try to keep them away from each other when we have family get togethers.

For that matter, Mama is always telling ME that I am fat. A week does not go by that she hasn't told me at least once if not daily that I am fat. And that she is skinny. Mind you, she's got 20 pounds on me and I'm a half-foot taller. But *I'm* fat. (Funny bit amidst the stress: Mama went to the doctors, and he weighed her. And he read the amount on the scale and she blinked, turned and looked at him. "Your scale is broken," she told him. "I weight 98 pounds.")

So. Why is she doing this? Either she thinks that I am fat, and this is acceptable teasing, or she realizes that there may be a new member of the household and she's not sure how she feels about it. Let's face it, Mama is currently the center of our lives. Any sibling would act up with the thought of a rival.

But.

But when it's not a child, but is someone child-like, how do you handle it? How do we?

We've played around with her drugs enough to know that drugs are not the answer. That said, I still think the best thing to do is to go to her doctor and tell him everything. (That would mean that Mama's doctor would know before my father. Modern life is funny...) Perhaps there is SOMETHING that he can recommend. If not drugs, then a therapy of some kind? Her doctor is associated with her day care center (they're all part of the same facility) so maybe there's something there that someone recommends?

I'm completely overwhelmed. THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE A HAPPY TIME. Okay, a guardedly happy time, but still HAPPY. We're supposed to be celebrating. We're supposed to be sharing secret looks and grins.

Please, someone tell me that she can't do any damage. That she hasn't done any damage.

Please.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

2351

Vacation's going well...

Friday, September 28, 2007

420

i.am.freaking.out.

If Mama sees someone sick, she decides she's ill. We've taken to lying to her when one of us has the sniffles.

What's she going to do when she finds this out?

For this and other reasons, we've decided not to mention or talk about it until 7 weeks,. Heartbeat, you know, assuming all goes well.

And that's another thing.

Assuming.

Assuming all goes well.

I know all too well, from personal experience and from all of you, what can go wrong.

Damn.

DAMN.

My mind is ALL OVER THE PLACE. How am I going to haul Mama around, now that I can't life more than ten pounds. (I had to life her out of the tub last IVF cycle. The cycle that didn't work). WHERE can I find a wheelchair with a sidecar? (Seriously. Anyone have a clue?)

Assuming that all goes well.

Assuming.

Mama's already asked me tonight if I was pregnant. (She asks frequently; it's not unusual). I said "No, Mama," and H freaked. I can't really blame him.

Mama has punched me in the stomach before, hard as she could (and she's a strong little elf). How's she going to react to this? (She's done it playfully, saying, "I kill your baby" and "I don't want your baby").

I am thisclose to getting her, like, a b.aby.aliv.e doll or such to see how she reacts. (She's treated stuffed animals in her domain very badly in the past).

Then there's the whole what happens if I have to go to the hospital in the middle of the night thing. Who will take care of Mama? My brother is a turd; I doubt this will be the moment he steps up and helps. And our friends are either (a) not close enough to tap for this, (b) too involved with their own lives, or (c) not someone we'd trust with Mama. (One fella in H's fantasy f.oot.ball league said he'd like to take Mama out and get her drunk and/or high, as her day to day logic, he says, is similiar to his when he is drunk and/or high. He has volunteered to take care of Mama, but oh hell no.)

I'm already saying I'll need a c-section, so we can schedule it and have someone take care of Mama. (Assuming. AAGW.)

My husband thinks I'm crazy, thinks everything will work itself out.

Huh!

I have to take another Beta on Tuesday.

When I am on vacation.

Anyone know where I can get a Beta done in A.tlanti.c C.it.y?

I know sane people, or people without Mamas, would be dancing with joy at this number.

But I'm scared sh*tless.

Not only do I have to worry about everything that can go wrong with gestation and all, I have to worry about the Mama.

(I'll be better after the second beta. Promise.)

Today I Test

Tomorrow, we leave on vacation. So if I don't post for a while after today, don't worry. It just means our vacation share doesn't have wireless.

So.

So H went with me to get tested this morning. We get off the subway, and the street is awash with firefighters, police, ambulances. The street and half the block was cordoned off.

Omens, anyone?


So the New York thing is to ignore celebrities when you see them.

Never more so when you see them in the waiting room of your RE.

Dang. I felt kind of sorry for her. And I hoped that other people either didn't recognize her or gave her her space.

So.

So, I knew, in the back of my mind, that it was prolly only going to be blood-taking. But. I was kid of hoping there would be some kind of SOMETHING that would tell me... SOMETHING.

And there wasn't.

Still, perhaps it was for the best. My husband was in sensory overload. And I know that even good news can go bad.

So.

So now I get to wait.

The RE's office is calling H again. In the notes, they know they're supposed to, but they invariably call my cell. Or the house. Even thought they know they aren't to. Apparently, I am quite the anomaly in RE land.

So.

How are you?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

All About Pee

Sunday, as you may recall, I POAS'd.

It did not go well. I think it was pretty apparent to all involved.

So Monday, when I got up to do it again, H intervened.

Now, I want to set the stage. We live in a modest-sized apartment. We have a modest-sized bedroom. And we have a teeny tiny hallway to the bedroom door.

And I make H actually, ahem, baptize the tests.

Sunday I had been in the room when he did it, and we got a negative. Monday, I resolved to pee in a cup, set it aside and let H insert stick at his leisure.

Except.

Except when I got up (announcing my intentions) H scrambled from the bed. Ran in front of me. And blocked the bedroom door.

"No," he said. "No tests today."

I was a little it surprised. Shocked. And full of pee. (I don't know about you, but *I* wake up with a full bladder. ALWAYS).

"What do you mean, no?"

"No," H reiterated. "It's too soon. It'll be a negative and it may not be valid. No tests today."

I would have argued but the floor was cold and the bladder was full.

You win this round, Arch-Enemy of POAS...

Tuesday morning came, and and we'd overslept. H turned off the alarm. I awoke with a bursting bladder and ran to the restroom. H was right behind me, urging me to hurry. He implored me so passionately that it wasn't until after that I realized I hadn't, ahem, saved any to test.

"OMG!" I cried, agitated. I explained to him what I had wanted to do (and what I had forgotten) and he wasn't upset.

He wasn't upset at all.

In fact, he was smiling.

You win THAT round, too, Mr. Evil Anti-POAS Man...

Wednesday morning, I woke up, eyes clear and mindful of purpose.

"I'm going to POAS today," I announced.

"It's too soon," says H.

"No, it's NOT," I say. I may get a faint response, but I will probably get some response. Assuming..." my voice trailed away, "Assuming I'm positive."

"Well," replied H, still nestled in bed. "Do what you want. I'm going back to sleep."

But. But. But I'm too scared to do this one my own. C'mon, please...

"No," H repeats, his tone final.

Crap. One more round to the Villain of Verification.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

What's Different?

I have to thank my husband.

I keep torturing dear H, asking him "was I like this the last time?" This being my second IVF, you know.

Did I have these JABBING pains last time? Were my mammaries so mighty? Did I have to pee this often?

He'll say yes, or no, and usually follow up with some vivid anecdote. "Don't you remember we were walking on the street in Palerm0 (a neighborhood in Buen0s Aires) and you bent over in pain?"

I, almost always, do not remember. What I remember was getting the positive, being told it was negative, having it double for consistently for a few days... then getting on a plane... then being told by my regular OB-GYN that the pregnancy stopped after a week.

The rest pales.

But I don't want to think about that cycle. I want to think about this cycle. I want to think about WHAT'S DIFFERENT.

Now, I should mention my diet is radically different. (No sugar. No caffeine. Lots of greens). That my vitamin/supplement regime is different (multi-vitamin, folic acid, aspirin, and an assortment of other wacky supplements). And my clinic is different.

But.

The most important thing that's different this cycle is YOU. Yes, YOU. I owe YOU. Anytime you want to come to NYC and hang out, call me. I owe YOU, more than I can ever repay.

I owe YOU for your advice, for your knowledge, for your kind words and just for being here. I OWE YOU BIG TIME.

I owe YOU because I know if I'm successful or not so successful, you'll be there with me. With words of encouragement that I am never quite sure I deserve.

I don't know how the hell I am ever going to pay you back.

Mama and the Toothbrush

My MIL used to have a toothbrush.

Well, okay, she still has a toothbrush. But she used to have a special, fancy electric one. Sonic-something-something. You know the ones I mean? One that whiiiiiiiiirred and needed batteries.

And BOY did that thing need batteries. Once a week, if not MORE often, we needed to replace the batteries.

Now, Mama loved the thing. LOVED it. Carried it with her wherever she went. Slept with the thing next to her bed. Wrapped it in toilet paper or tissue paper to "protect" it.

And we figured, well, she must be accidentally turning it on when she carries it in her pocketbook. She is using the thing to polish rocks. There must be some REASON why it ate bateries so.

Then, one day, we had a bad thing happen. Mama had, shall we say, a mishap. She was fine, some property was damaged, and we resolved to check in on her a bit more aggressively.

So one night, when my husband still worked nights, I checked on her in her room. I heard a strange noise, and was puzzled by it.

"Mama, do you hear that noise?"

"Noooo," said Mama, snuggled in her bed, covers up to her chin with only her face showing.

I still heard a noise.

In fact it was a whiiiiiiiiirr.

"Mama, are you sure you don't hear a noise?"

"Noooooo," she said again, and then thought about it.

"Wait! I think it's THIS!" she cried...

...and threw back her covers to reveal her electric toothbrush nestled between her thighs.

Um.

Um.

"Do you want to borrow it Nica? It feels good!"

Um.

Um.

Yeah, so Mama doesn't have an electric toothbrush anymore. (H couldn't handle it).

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

High School Drama

In high school, I was in love with this fella. Let's call him Carl (not his name, in case I *had* to mention).

And I loved Carl. Looooooooved him. And though we went out for only a few months, I spent the bulk of high school (and part of college) being in love with Carl.

We did the "friend" thing after we broke up, which (for me) was a thinly veiled attempt to stick close enough to him so that he could fall back in love with me. It didn't work; we never got back together. There was a moment in which we might have, but then Maria showed up and they dated for the rest of high school.

At some point (I don't remember when) Carl and I were having a phone conversation. "I fought so hard for you," I remember saying. I don't remember any sort of context. I just remember Carl's response.

"No you didn't," Carl said. "You may think you did, but you didn't."

I am not a fighter. I am a quitter. I suppose its why Carl and I never got together again, even though I knew him before, during and after Maria. I lost count of how many girlfriends I knew him through. I always loved him, and I never did anything about it.

IF is hard (duh). 2ww are super hard (super DUH). But I am feeling especially... what's the word? Crappy. Vulnerable. Weird. Weak. Desperate. Despondent. Hopeless. Pensive. Ponderous. CRAPPY. I am feeling especially (pick a word) because I don't fight. I don't fight WELL. I (feel as though I) have rarely fought for something and won. (Do we need to revisit the job fiasco?) I'm not a winner. (The fact that my husband picked me continues to amaze me.)

I have never wanted anything as much as I want this baby. I want to have a child with my husband. I want her to have his eyes and is hair and my eyebrows and freckles. I want her to have my husband's sense of courage and his artistic ability and overall sense of fearlessness. I want this more than I have ever wanted anyone or anything in my entire life.

And I haven't the slightest idea how to fight for it.

Forgot and Forgetting

As I blogged earlier, I forgot my acupuncture appointment this weekend (the only one I could manage without taking off work. The bad part of having an acupuncturist at home, not work).

Yesterday, I forgot to take my morning pills. (Including my synthr0id).

This morning, I forgot my intention my POAS. (Which, frankly, made my husband very happy. He still thinks it's too early).

What is UP with me?

Monday, September 24, 2007

We Interrupt this 2WW...

Mama comes up to me yesterday.

She hugs me tight, and looks up at me, her face all serious.

"Nica," she asks me, "I don't remember -- when's the last time I had sex?"

Um. (Did I mention my husband is RIGHT THERE?)

Um.

"Mama, I think you only had it once -- when you made H."

Mama looks at H carefully.

"Maybe you're right..." Then she turns her face so H cannot see her expression.

And scrunches up her face.

And giggles.

And pulls my ear down to whisper...

"I have sex LOTS MORE after that..."

It's th Pr0gester0ne

My breasts are huge.
(it's the pr0gester0ne).

My breasts are tender.
(it's the pr0gester0ne).

I'm urinating frequently.
(It's all the water I've been drinking)

and the urine smells funky
(it's the pr0gester0ne).

The past few days, I've felt jabbing pains on the left side of my lower abdomen.
(it's indigestion).

And now I have a dull ache in the same place.
(must have pulled a muscle).

And I was sooo dizzy yesterday
(it's the pr0gester0ne).

And I got soooo nauseous last night.
(it's the pr0gester0ne).

And I am going insane...
(it's the pr0gester0ne).

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Today, I Have No Hope

I can't imagine going through IF without getting depressed. And I don't just mean the "I feel down today" depression. I mean the "it's hard to function" depression.

Or maybe it's just me.

I fell asleep yesterday, and slept through my acupuncture appointment. And then, when I woke up, I forgot that I'd had one.

And when I remembered, I freaked.

What kind of IF'er am I to abandon the practices I truly believe will help get me pregnant? How could I forget? How could I not be more organized?

It went down from there.

H didn't seem what the big deal was about, but to be honest, he rarely does. If this cycle doesn't work, there's always the next! he says. What's the big deal?

Ow.

I stuck lavender massage oil under my nose, listened to my affirmations and hoped it would be enough. H actually contributed a rub-down, but he was angry at me, and frankly it was physically painful.

I cried for a bit, but as I said, H had no idea why.

I'd made the decision earlier to start peeing on a stick. I will try every day until my official Beta on Friday. In keeping with my "I Am The World's Biggest Chicken" title, I peed in a cup and then woke my husband from a sound sleep to put said urine on a stick.

It was negative (no big surprise). I know it's much too early.

But.

I wanted hope.

Friday, September 21, 2007

First, you wait. And then you wait some more...

I have a RL friend that I've kept up to date on my fertility trial.

I have carefully trained her; at first, she was one of the "relax, it'll happen" crowd. No more. Through months of slow and careful education, as well as a tirade or two, she is now fairly versed in the ways of IF. (She even knows to call it "IF").

But.

Yesterday, she texted me, "Okay, what's next?"

I called her back and said, "Now I have to wait."

"Wait? Why? Can't they tell? Why can't they tell?" She was incredibly frustrated.

And I laughed.

And I explained the 2ww.

"Well, THAT sucks."

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I Miss Washcloths (and other laments)

I miss washcloths. I do. You know, those little towels you take into the shower to clean yourself?

Mama loves washcloths. LOVES them. And, slowly but surely, they have been disappearing. I can only assume that she puts them in her purse and then loses/discards them someplace else. Either that or the washcloths hated it here and have been tunneling their way to freedom. I'll prolly never know.

I am jealous of every single one of you with a laundry room. Or a laundry SPACE. Or, at least, a washing machine in your house. Yes, I am the green-eyed monster. You people, who can do laundry whenever the whim strikes you, whenever you chose, you folks who are devil-may-care with your Maytags and what not. When Mama has wet her bed or somehow dirtied herself, OH I am so jealous of you all...

I am jealous of your people who only have to pick up after yourselves. And even (a bit) of you who have t pick up after yourself and your spouse. Because I'm guessing (and I could be wrong) that your partner can be induced to help out (of only the smallest bit). And I'm further guessing that you and your spouse don't accidentally leave the tops off of permanent markers and then ALSO accidentally drag said markers against the wall, thereby ruing the paint job. I am jealous of you, too.

I am jealous of people who live in houses where things don't break. Well, in houses where you don't have to run the assumption that things are going to break. I'm jealous of houses where they can put out their good plates, their favorite mug, their fancy elephant-shaped teapots, their knickknacks without fear.

And I'm jealous of all the folks who don't have the laundry room, DO have the soiled linens, DO have to pick up after more than themselves, DO have to deal with drawing on the wall, DO have to child-proof their homes ...but have are doing it for actual children. So all these actions get wrapped in hope, not in demise. Not in deterioration.

How many more days on my 2ww?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Pineapple and Progesterone

So. I show up early. As in, 40 minutes early. H was late. As in, 20 minutes late.

That was a fun hour.

I hid (yes, HID) in deli while I listened to funny podcasts and sipped from my ginormous bottle of water.

We were taken to the back room right away. The nurse showed me to a changing room where I was to take off all my clothes and change into a gown. H tried to go in and "help" me. MY how the nurse objected to THAT. (It was funny, really).

They waited until we were gowned up and on the table. THEN they wanted to talk about embryos.

Turns out that SEVEN eggs fertilized. But one had some serious issues, so they tossed it (without asking!). Of the remaining six, two were okay, two were "eh" and two they said were "slow."

They wanted me to put back four. So much so that they'd gone ahead and AH'd them (even the so-so ones). They expected me to dispose the final two.

But I couldn't. So I transferred all six.

I'll be honest -- they were surprised. But when I asked them if I had a chance for multiples, they said no. The doctor said, bluntly, she thought I'd be lucky to get a singleton.

So yeah. Six.

I came home and did my progesterone. And ate pineapple.

And now I wait.

Monday, September 17, 2007

The DUMBEST decision that I have ever made...

...was to come to work today.

I am BEYOND useless this morning.

Transfer is this afternoon. It's all I can think about. People are doing the traditional Monday morning rituals. You know. "What did you do this weekend?"

I'm sooo tempted to respond, "Had 14 eggs ripped out of my ovaries. You?"

But I don't.

I just should have taken the day...

SIX

Grade unknown.

We got a call yesterday afternoon, just someone checking in. H and I were at an open house in the neighborhood. He mouthed to me who was on the phone and I went nuts. I flew around the apartment, looking for a pen and for paper, and scrawlwd notes that I then THREW at H.

Can you imagine what the poor real estate agent thought?

So, yeah. Six. SIX. More than four that I had last time, less than 3,125,676. But who's counting.

They are NOT going to discuss grades, etc. with us until we get there this afternoon. Whoever made the call flat-out didn't know.

So now we almost know.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

But HOW MANY?

My clinic was supposed to call me the day AFTER retrieval and set up a time for me to come back and get implanted.

They didn't.

They were also supposed to call me with my "fertilization results."

Ditto on the didn't.

AAAAAAAAAaaaaargh!

After my third or eighteenth freakout meltdown, H called them yesterday. I left the house before he made the call, because I am a big chicken. Cluck, cluck.

This ended in a classic New York moment -- my husband hanging out the window calling out my name at the top of his lungs. (And yes, I had my cell phone. But where's the fun in that?)

So I implant on Monday.

And how many? I asked. What grade? What shape are they in? How many cells?

Um... replies H. I don't know.

AAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaargh.

Not that it matters, I tell myself. Not that it really impacts anything. I mean, it is what it is. Right? Knowing NOW isn't going to make it any easier (or harder) tomorrow.

(Anyone buying this?)

So H and I had a couple talks that we may not have needed to have. How many are we putting back? How many is too many? We do not want to reduce, but we had to talk about that, too.

WATCH. I'll have only one embie to put back.

Breathe.

Okay.

Until tomorrow...

Saturday, September 15, 2007

9 or 14

...depending on who you ask.

When I was being wheeled out of the OR, I was told 9. When I was getting my departing instructions, I was told 14.

So I'm COMPLETELY confused.

As you all probably know, we're to get the call today to tell us how many halved and quartered and what have you.

But WHO'S NERVOUS.

I was late taking my Medr0l, which I'm taking in case they have to do assisted hatching. (Do you think this matters?)

I come back Monday for a 3-day and Wednesday for a 5-day transfer, said the nurse. I laughed at her. LAUGHED. Do I really think I have a shot at a 5-day transfer? NO. (She looked offended when I laughed, so I apologized and said. "I'm 40 years old. 5-day transfer? C'mon....")

I have to say, by the way, that while in the past I have not been in love with the big infertility factory that is my current RE clinic, they were AWESOME when it came to retrieval. (For me, at least).

They forgot to call H. So I was done with the procedure, done with my 45 minute wait time and done with my instructions and they STILL hadn't called him to, ah, PRODUCE. H was greatly peeved and demanded to see our doctor and be assured that there was not going to be a problem with the additional delay. (He did and he was).

So now we get to wait. again.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I've Been Shot

...and it went WELL. Thanks a MILLION to Bea and WHOEVER put up their videos of intramuscular shots. They helped a bunch. I never even felt it.

YIKES. I know I've said that before but YIKES. I've never had this many possibilities on an IVF cycle before. (I think I have six possible follies. SIX PEOPLE!) I'm starting to get, shhh, come closer because I'm going to whisper... hopeful.

But I can't really be the "h" word, because that will ring all sorts of demons. The ones who feed on, ahem "h". There was a line I read somewhere, and I don't recall the details, but the gist of it was something like "the worst thing is to be in hell with hope." It's better, goes the logic, to be be in hell and resigned to your fate. Not have a thought that it might change.

H thinks I'm NUTS. "Of course this is going to work!" he says. He's already calculating delivery dates and arguing with me about c-section versus a vaginal birth.

(Note: We had this whole crazy conversation about Mama-care with regards to me and um... you know. Like, if I have a problem and have to go to the ER in the middle of the night, WHAT do we do with Mama? H pointed out that I wasn't "p" yet, but I replied that the whole thing was STRESSING ME OUT and I wanted to know what the hell we were going to do. So we figured out a plan...)

I am nuts. Cuckoo. Scared, excited, SCARED.

My procedure is in 11 and a half hours.

Please feel free to pray for me, send me positive energy, sacrifice chickens, say a few rosaries and complete five or six novenas. (I'll do the same for you).

Okay, Breathe. I can do this.

Right?

YIKES

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I Trigger Tonight

I didn't get stats today. But the ones from yesterday:
Lining: 13
Right: 19, 18, 18, 17, 16, 16, 15, 15, 15, 14
Left: 18, 17, 14.

Today they said, "Yup, your retrieval is Friday."

YIKES.

I was prepared for there to be an issue with my dosage

I was prepared to underperform.

I was prepared to have them scrap the cycle half-way through because of something going wrong.

I WAS NOT PREPARED FOR THIS.

Yikes.

One of the lovely nurses from my clinic told me this morning. Reminded me that I needed to give myself another dose of my G0nal-F and Men0pur ASAP. I called H in a panic, and he went running home to mix and bring me drugs. (He has a far more flexible schedule than I do.)

Yikes. YIKES.

I am terrified and I am excited and I am TERRIFIED. I do not want to be the deflated hope balloon at the end of this. I don't want this to fail, I don't want to start thinking it'll work (or that it WON'T) I yi yi yi.

I should mention that, all things considered, this has been the best cycle I've ever had. When I did my IUIs, it was all me. I did the shots, I went with a cup the the RE. When we went to Argentina, H was far more involved, but somewhat distracted. After all, he was surrounded by family who he hadn't seen in a decade.

But this time... this time, it's him and me. We went to IVF orientation a few weeks back, and he made a nuisance of himself. Asking more questions than every other person in the room combined. H was so confident about his medicine mixing and needle skills he gave tips to the couple to our left.

He's shy.

When the drugs came, he personally reviewed and inspected them. This, he had decided, was his domain. When it came time to inject, he was ready. He spread out a clean towel and placed everything out. He was exacting, he was precise, he was lovely. Our instructions said to inject "about an inch" from the navel and so he measured. I've never felt so loved (and so glad to have an extra roll of fat on my belly).

I'm taking my trigger shot in three hours.

H says not to worry. He's been watching online videos on how to give an intramuscular shot.

Unfortunately, the videos were authored by the US Army, so this may not end well. ("Do you have an exit strategy for that needle?")

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Tuesday

I was at work. A different job than I have now, different boss. The Boss was yelling at me for doing exactly what he told me to do. (ever have one of THOSE bosses)?

Then the neighboring cubicle got a phone call from a friend working downtown, and the world forever changed.

I can't (without lots of pain and sobbing) give you the blow-by-blow of my day. I don't want to think of it.

But I can tell you the bits that I remember this year.

That Phil, a 22-year-old who worked for me (I was a manager), called me up sobbing because he didn't know where his mother was. I talked him through her likely locations, and an hour later she came home from work (safe and sound).

That my father called up, demanding that I go find my brother because he couldn't get him on the phone. My father "knew" that I would be okay; it was B. that we had to worry about. (Brother was in Midtown, away from it all).

That I wore a new shirt that day that I'd loved in the store, but was hesitant wearing to work.

That I bought that shirt at a store in the World Trade Center.

That I threw out that shirt and never wore it again.

Six years later, it still hurts.

Monday, September 10, 2007

At First, And Then

I went in for the AM monitoring today.

At first, I was happy.

Stats:
Lining 10.6
Right: 17, 16, 15.5, 15, 15, 12, 12, 10.5
Left: 22, 17.5, 14, 13

YES! I waited for the nurse as this time there were too many for me to write down. "You're doing really well," she told me.

Egg retrieval may happen as early as Thursday. And they definitely want me to come back tomorrow and see.

And I did a happy dance. And I called H and told him to get ready. And then I danced all happy around for the rest of the day.

And then.

And then I caught the date.

And I realized tomorrow is September 11.

And then I was filled with memories of walking home under the cover of fighter jets.

And then.

Where were you on 9/11?

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Cry Baby

This morning, I cannot stop crying.

The thing that is especially crappy, for my husband, is that Sunday is his day "off." Especially during football season. Sunday I am to make myself scarce (and take Mama with me). Sunday he watches TV and calls his friends and checks his computer every two minutes and does not shower.

Ah, male bliss.

Except I am a weepy, clingy mess. I don't quite know my. (Perhaps it is because the Jets are losing?)

Ugh.

H blames the C.etr0tid.e; last night was the first night we added C.etr0tid.e to the mix. What else could it be, he says?

Mama's grasp on reality is slowly but surely ebbing away. This morning Mama told me that she didn't give birth to my husband. (She did). Mama told me that my husband's father had gotten another woman pregnant, and she agreed to raise the child as her own. I've seen my husband's birth certificate, I've seen photos of Mama in the hospital. She gave birth to my husband, no question about it. In fact, it used to be her strongest memory. (She did NOT like labor, let me tell you). And now, in her mind, it's in question.

Crap.

When the mood strikes her, Mama will strike a dramatic pose and intone, "I am a waste. I can do nothing. I should die and leave you alone..." followed by a fluttering of hands. (I'd compare it to a six-year-old trying to emotionally blackmail you. The sentiment is there, but the execution is clumsy). Depending on the context, it will either make me laugh or cry. For instance, when she's trying to get out of chores, it's funny. When she's attempting to do something (sew, crochet, cook) and she can't... it kills me.

Years ago, when we just engaged and blissfully ignorant about IF, my husband would say in response that we needed her. Who would take care of the baby?

Mama would always get excited about the baby, or the hope of one. The baby could sleep in her room, she'd say. The baby should be named after her father. The first child should be a male child, with hair like my husband and eyes like my brother (she loves those blue eyes). For a while, Mama was even passionately praying that I would have triplets, or at least twins. Mama would explain that that way she could "get one." (That I'd have so many, I would let her raise one).

We live in one of those classic New York City apartment buildings that families settle in. So 2F is the cousin of 4K and the grandson of 7L. That kind of thing. And the old ladies of the building congregate with their grandchildren. And Mama sees them, most every day. And Mama wants to be one of them.

And recently, she's given up hope.

Yesterday, when she awoke, we were not there. Later, when we returned, she demanded to know where we'd been.

"At the doctor," I explained, "trying to make a baby." But it's a story she's heard too many times before.

Mama made a dismissive gesture with her hand, and blew a raspberry. "I don't believe you," she said, "You never make a baby."

And then she walked away.

And today, I cannot stop crying.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Cycle Day 6

Updated to show the pictures H took. (We're geeks)
I love my new RE clinic. I love that they are open holidays, weekends, you name it. I love that, in orientation, the nurse made a not of saying "if your ideal egg retrieval day is Christmas, we will have egg retrieval on Christmas." It's a solid up-side of going to a place that is SO FREAKING HUGE.

So I go in today for my "midpoint" check. I'd asked H to cme with me, and to my delighted suprise, he said yes. So we took off for the clinic at dark-thirty, and were there shortly after it opened.

Can I just say: three times I have been there for early morning monitoring moments after it opened, and three times the place has been PACKED. Easily, each time, 10 to 15 women ahead of me. Wow. Wow.

Who was it who mentioned going to an IVF orientation class, and none of the students made eye contact with each other? (Apologies, it was a good comment and I should have made note). The waiting room at my RE clinic is (mostly) like it. Today, I realized it felt like a casting call. As though, somehow, some of the women looked at the others as competition. You know? No sense of camaraderie, no "we're all in this together." More along the lines of "80% lose and is it going to be me or you?"

Maybe it's just a New York thing. (We're a little competive here.)

Anyway, the stats: CD6
Lining: 8
Left: 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 10, 10
Right: 14, 13, 10, 10

We checked (again) and everything seems to be going normal, fine. (I've mentioned my first RE was always concerned about the overachievers, and used to put me on lupr0n. This place's response is "well, it happens. No biggie." Crimeny!)

More later.