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?


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.



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.


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.


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?"


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.


(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!


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.)


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!"


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.


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 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.


Tuesday, October 02, 2007


Vacation's going well...