Just Write

[Oops – this was supposed to publish Saturday, but apparently I saved it as a draft instead…still not gonna proofread, though, so let me know if anything is particularly unintelligible, please and thank you.]

Yet again it’s been ages since I sat in front of a new post screen to write anything other than a letter to Ike; unfortunately, what brings me back again fits my past pattern pretty well. As much as part of me would prefer to let it all go unwritten, the rest of me knows better – this infertility bullshit, my own experiences with RPL, is what prompted me to start writing so many years ago (I think my first post was almost eight years ago, but verifying that can wait for now), so it would be incomplete at best and dishonest at worst to gloss over or omit my latest round, complete with a brand-new-to-me variation: ectopic (probably, anyway?). I am in the car, just starting a long ride home after a week’s vacation, so this is sure to be poorly organized and probably a less than complete account of the whole mess, but my intention is to JUST WRITE.

So much of this pattern is ridiculously predictable for me at this point: not trying/not preventing. At my last annual appointment with my OB, I asked whether I should presume that I would need the same elaborate pharmaceutical cocktail if/when we wanted to try again. He basically said it was up to me, that sometimes it is possible that a successful pregnancy can in some way reset things, so if we wanted to try without all the meds first, feel free. I wouldn’t say I felt very free about it, but I was both hopeful and skeptical that it could be so simple a second time around. Way too scared to actually TRY, as usual, but willing enough to be semi-oblivious and know conceiving was at least possible, timing-wise, especially as it happened mid-Aprilish. Come the beginning of May, I was suspicious, hopeful, terrified to actually test. I was probably four or five days late when I finally did, on a Saturday morning. Clear positive, no squinting required.

Next part of the pattern: the end begins pretty much before the pee’s even dry on the stick. I’d tried to go on about my day as usual, pretending hoping to be self-convincing that it’ll all be fine, so it’s fine, JUST BE FINE. Mike and I even had a conversation about age gaps and another crib versus not converting Ike’s to a toddler bed (not that he ever slept in it, frankly). Stuff we never even pretend to think about for the most part, let alone talk hopefully about. I dared to be pleased that this was the next to last cycle that would have allowed me to escape the AMA label.

Dumb, dumb, dumb.

Mike got ready and left for work, Ike woke up and we took our time getting ready for a story-time event at the library, stopping first to meet a friend at a local garden center to pick up tomato and pepper plants. I made it through the stories at the library, but as I was chatting with a few other moms afterward, I had the feeling that I ought to hit the restroom and either confirm my fear or calm my paranoia, hoping for the latter…but finding evidence of the former, of course. Of fucking course. Nothing emergency-level, but clearly more than spotting.

We leave. I ought to have taken Ike home for lunch and a nap, but Mike is still at work and I really don’t want to be alone with my thoughts, so we go to my friend’s house to pick up the plants she hauled for us, and end up just staying for the afternoon. Ike skips his nap in favor of way too much Daniel Tiger and Super Why on Netflix; I send my OB an email to request an order for a Monday beta and crack a beer. That sounds foolish, I know, because it could have just been “normal” bleeding, right? Except, you know, the pattern.

On Monday my beta is 100 even. Two days later (they wanted to wait a week but I said please, no, this is not my first – nor third for, that matter – rodeo) it was down to 63. Seems like a(nother) simple chemical. I go ahead and make a follow-up appointment with my OB. Clearly I may as well go ahead and collect all the prescriptions, then take my time filling them and deciding when to actually put them to use. I am thinking I should try to enjoy the summer and maybe we’ll go for it in the fall, or even wait until winter depending how antsy and anxious (the pattern) I feel. One week later my beta’s down to 17. Seems like a nice steady drop, and the bleeding has already stopped; per the pattern I’ve had pretty minimal pain. Nobody called or emailed me to say they’d ordered another test, and I didn’t assume they had*, my f/u appointment scheduled – meaning I didn’t have another beta drawn for…almost three weeks? Shit. At my appointment I asked all my questions about whether it was worth repeating any blood work (for causes, hoping we might see a reason to eliminate even one of the meds I took for my pregnancy with Ike – not likely); he wrote me scripts for met, clo.mid, pred.nisone, and a folate complex for MTHFR, formulated at a compounding pharmacy (not sure if that test result can vary much over time or not, but I was negative a few years ago); he also ordered a test to check my vitamin D levels, and oh yeah, let’s go ahead and check beta hCG one last time…since that order’s still in the system and all.

So, that was dumb, too. It was back up to 65, and then two days later only down to 52. Because it was so early on, my levels had never been anywhere near high enough for an ultrasound to be of any use, my OB was thinking ectopic. Methotrexate for me. Whee. I will save my rant on the logistics of that whole fucking fiasco for next time. Three days after the shots my beta was 7, and on Ike’s birthday it was < 5.

I am going to call that the end for now, lest I wear out my thumbs or find some reason not to post this at all. It’s a timeline of sorts, at least. I’ll try to come back and rant/reason again soon. I hope this finds anyone still reading well.

* NOT per the pattern

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One Year

I wanted to put this up again, as I am thinking today especially of Mo and Nadav and Baby-lon 5, and of Marwil and Samuel, and of Anna and her little one, and of all babylost mamas.
I am still angry that your lives are not now as they were once imagined, and I promise to never, ever forget your children.  There are times that I feel so very guilty for having been lucky.  I wish that there were something, anything, that I could do that would actually help make it better.  Instead, I abide with you, always.

Newtown

It’s now Sunday evening Monday morning, and I’m still having a hard time grasping what happened in Connecticut on Friday.  I saw some headlines via Facebook on Friday morning shortly before we headed into our lunchtime holiday party, and remained fairly glued to my phone throughout, hoping that the initially reported numbers of dead children would be some kind of mathematical fuckup, a false accounting, anything that would make that final number go down, not up by one or two more in the end.  I tried to not think about it and participate in the silly reindeer games during the party, but laughing and enjoying myself felt so horribly wrong.  I desperately wanted to just get up, walk out to the parking lot, and drive to my mom’s house and hold Ike. When I got there a few hours later, she hadn’t even heard the news yet.  I didn’t want to tell her.

I have tried to avoid the news, at least televised – I definitely do not want to see small children trying to explain what they had seen.  I don’t have anything brilliantly insightful to say about it.  It’s horrifying. No explanation could possibly be satisfying.  I don’t know that there is anything we can do to truly prevent all recurrences, but I also don’t think that we should live in fear of something you can never see coming anyway.  I am just trying to enjoy my child, every second that I have the opportunity.  I don’t know what else I can do, other than hold on tight, and still know that I’ll have to let go at times as well.  I am thankful that Ike is still way too young to need an explanation from us.  How can you explain the incomprehensible?

I have seen references a hundred times this weekend – look for the helpers.  There are bad people that do bad things, but most people are helpers.  Thanks, Mister Rogers, for helping us remember that.

Now that we can all breathe again….

Managed to not lose the sticker included with my absentee ballot. WINNING.

I used to write a fair amount about politics, back in the day.  Then, for a long time, I really did not care much.  I was way too preoccupied with anxiety and depression over not knowing whether we’d ever get to bring home a baby, and trying not to acknowledge even to myself that I WANTED to bring home a baby someday.  So it waxes and wanes, my political fervor, I suppose.  But I wanted to quickly touch on one aspect that ties into this blog – the title.  My blogger blog went through several different names, but nothing ever really seemed to click and feel just right.  So for a long while, it was titled simply ‘Undecided,’ and it stayed that way for what felt like an eternity, as I sunk deeper and deeper into apathy, not really caring about much other than making it back to my couch at the end of the day to stare at the TV and try to not think about the subject that was all I could ever really think about.  Then came the 2008 election season, and along with it, Ms. Sarah Palin.  I am about as liberal/libertarian as they come, I think, but I must circle back around and offer sincere gratitude to John McCain for choosing her as his running mate, because it PISSED ME OFF how pandering and condescending and frankly just ignorant the whole thing was.  It made me realize, OH!  I CAN HAZ FEELINGS!  ABOUT STUFF! IN THE WORLD!  And I began to care again, to be less stuck in my head, in the never-ending internal dialogue that I rarely dared to even voice aloud.  Granted, this was all after my very first miscarriage, and I had varying reactions after each subsequent one, but during that campaign I decided that ‘Undecided’ was the very last thing that my blog should be named.  Still lacking any creativity or willingness to commit to tying any one specific word or phrase to my own life’s chronicles (what can I say, I hate to be defined.  Too constricting.), I simply changed it to ‘Not Undecided.’  It stayed that way long enough that I eventually started seeing the phrase turn up in my keywords/search terms, so I figured it had better stay that way, so that anyone looking for it without a bookmark could find it again. And so here we are.

(I never did change the url to reflect the title, though.  I have often thought that it should be ‘hard to MAKE a human,’ rather than ‘hard to be human,’ but again, I kind of like the built-in history reflection, even if I’m the only one who can recognize it.)

So, while I am not Obama’s biggest fan (looooooong way to go on civil liberties, civil rights, drug policy, the whole not killing innocent people thing, etc., etc.), I am deeply, deeply relieved to not be entering a Mittens presidency, for I firmly believe that it would be a far scarier thing than what we have now, which I will continue to critique (though not always here, I’m sure).  Shudder.  I think that’s all I need to say about that.

(Except also, YAY for the huge advances made in the Senate and House races, as well as ballot initiatives for marriage equality and legalization.  YAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!)

Term

Not sure what to say here.  Full term is amazing to me, but it’s not quite a live baby in one’s arms, you know?  Still an awful lot to accomplish, even setting aside that the nursery’s not finished and there is still plenty in the house that needs cleaning and organizing.  Like, childbirth, for instance.  Can’t really overlook that part, can I?

I’m sort of concerned that my brain still hasn’t made the connection between pregnancy and parenthood. I’ve yet to have any crazy baby-related dreams (that I can recall, anyway – no telling what fun my brain is managing to hide from my waking self, I suppose).  I am still in complete awe feeling his movements and watching my belly bulge and roll.  I’m of course excited to meet him, but am still having a hard time actually visualizing myself as the mother of a newborn, actually doing the mothering.  Isn’t that…abnormal, for this stage of a pregnancy?  I feel like I should be feeling a lot more confident about all of this by now.  

I guess all I can keep doing is one thing at a time.  NST was fine again this morning.  BP up a bit, but still normal (people were being supreme idiots in the parking garage, so I blame that).  Ultrasound/BPP is in about an hour.  Fingers crossed that they give me a weight estimate.  I don’t know why it’s annoying me so that they haven’t been telling me, because I know that it’s just an estimate and that it can be off by a couple pounds in either direction, but…I guess I am still searching for something to make this feel REAL. It’s as if it’s still all too good to be true.  I’ve been so lucky with this pregnancy.  Spotting at the beginning was scary, as was that first ultrasound that seemed so very close to being a blighted ovum.  But since then, it’s been amazingly…normal.  Nausea in the first and early second trimesters, but I was so grateful for it.  I haven’t had any of the classic discomforts of later pregnancy, really.  No back pain, only minor swelling if I don’t keep up on the water intake, very little heartburn…it just seems like I’ve had it way too easy, as if some other shoe is about to drop.  I hate to think that way, but I don’t seem to be able to help it.  After having the very idea of getting anywhere near this far taken away so many times, it’s somehow surreal to be here, full term.  So close.

(37w0d)

Words Half Eaten

Just a quick post to say that while the gems such as, “Should I get him a shirt that says, Now that I’m safe, I’m Pro-Choice?” did continue, so did his generosity.  He left his grill and pretty much replaced the patio furniture he took back with him, so I really cannot complain too much.  Of course I’d prefer that he not try to buy affection/gratitude that way, and just not be so obnoxious to begin with, but overall it was much less painful than I expected, and for that I am very grateful.  I guess he did go back on some meds, not that it is really any of my business, let alone yours – this blog is really probably not anonymous enough for me to be posting stuff like this about my family, so I may should come back soon and just delete that post below, and perhaps this one as well, since apparently Blogger still won’t let us password protect individual posts (am I missing something?  anyone?).  But for now, I’ll just say that all’s well that ends well, and this past weekend was very busy and fun.  I’m exhausted and stressed about the mountains of baby stuff that still needs organizing, and all the cleaning that still waits for me underneath all the organizing, and the thank you notes from the first shower still to be written and mailed, but it’s truly the kind of stress and exhaustion that continues to confirm that we really have so much to be grateful for.

I’m a little freaked out that my due date is now less than six weeks away, honestly.  I suppose it’s normal to question everything about my abilities for both labor/birth and motherhood at this point.  I don’t in any way think that I’ll have regrets, of course, but it is still hard to believe this is finally already actually happening. As I was looking at the enormous amounts of gifted baby gear we’ve got to sort through, I realized that I don’t think I’ve actually purchased a single thing for this baby myself.  I wanted to…but I never did.  At this point I probably don’t need to, though of course eventually I’ll buy lots of stuff for him.  But that I haven’t yet, and that I can’t seem to commit to a name, even though we still have the two top candidates, makes me think there is a bigger part of my mind than I’ve realized of late still in some kind of denial that we’re as lucky as we are to be here.  I can somehow both love and hate that it feels too good to be true. 

(34w4d)

First non-stress test plus…STRESS

I had my first non-stress test this morning.  Plenty of movement, no contractions, so that’s all good. Another one next Tuesday, instead of later this week.  Eventually they may be twice a week, but the midwife seemed confused about why I was having them at all (this practice almost rolls their eyes at the low PAPP-A reasoning that’s sort of been grandfathered into my care plan from my previous OB).  She asked if we were doing this because of the two miscarriages…?  I explained the whole PAPP-A thing, but I didn’t even correct her about it actually being four miscarriages, not two.  Is that bad?  I know it’s correct in my chart, so I wasn’t going to get upset that she hadn’t memorized it or anything, and frankly, I was trying to get my blood pressure down…even though they didn’t recheck it after the NST like they said they would.  It was high when the nurse took it before the NST (138/72) – eek.  But no protein in my urine, so I guess…not to worry….yet?  I will check it again later at the pharmacy to be on the safe side.

I’m thinking it was only reading high because Mike peed in my Cheerios this morning with his news that his brother is coming into town the weekend of my shower, May 18-20.  My question of WHY wasn’t really answered, at least not to my satisfaction.  “To help,” ostensibly, but with what is also still undefined. “Whatever needs done at that point” isn’t really doing it for me.  I’m hoping by then to be down to just spring cleaning and organizing tiny clothes and decorating the nursery and prepping diapers.  Is he going to help us take everything out of the kitchen cabinets and clean them?  Call me skeptical.  Organize the linen closet?  Riiiight.  Scrub my toilets and wash the windows?  Hahafuckingha.  “To see Mom” was also mentioned, since she’ll be in town for the shower, too, but their parents were JUST up to visit him and his wife at Easter, so that doesn’t really fly for me either.  There’s some talk about him renting a U-haul to take their stuff back home with him (we stored/used their patio furniture, grill, tools, bicycles, etc., etc. while they lived in an apartment in their last city – new house in new city has more than plenty of room, apparently…goodbye stuff, it was nice having you), so I am confused if an airline ticket has already been purchased or if this was only decided and not acted upon yet….I don’t know, and didn’t ask, but I do know it’s bugging the shit out of me, and right now I don’t even care that it’s quite petty of me to be so bothered by the idea.  He is just plain not good for my equanimity, or rather the scraps of it that I’ve been clinging onto lately.  It comes and goes, alternating with panic about how in the hell we’ll ever get everything done before the baby comes and OMFG if he comes early we’re really screwed.  

I know that’s not true.  I have boobs, and stores and the internet will not cease to exist, so we’d be fine, assuming he doesn’t come TOO soon (like, NICU soon).  It’s just…my dining room is still packed from end to end with random crap that needs sorted and put away and everything needs scrubbed and we STILL need to touch up the paint in the nursery and don’t even get me started on the bathrooms.  I have the nesting itch, but damn if I’m not tired after work, even if I just sit all day.

On the plus side, they (Mike and my dad and a friend) did get the crib and the dresser assembled on Sunday.  It’s pretty cool to walk past and see the crib, even if it’s still in the wrong place in the room and has no mattress in it.  Little by little I am still wrapping my mind around the supposed fact that this pregnancy thing ends in a baby thing.  And that it’s happening for US.  Still feels somewhat surreal. Pleasantly surreal, but surreal all the same.

(31w5d)