Friday, March 31, 2006
I feel like a teenager trying to endure the 2ww to see if there'll be any consequences to the back-seat-of-the-car incident.
I'm telling myself that I went for a whole year timing everything perfectly with no results and there is no reason to think that, if I did ovulate recently, there will be any consequences to it. Besides, today is only CD8 and it's highly unlikely to ovulate on CD7. Isn't it? Well, FF does show some charts in the gallery ovulating that early. They don't say how many.
So I'll be holding my breath to see what my temp does tomorrow morning. It could just be that my temps haven't gotten back in sync. We'll see.
Thursday, March 30, 2006
I talked to a friend today and she commented on the weather: "Doesn't a day like today just give you hope?" I've been reflecting on that and I have to agree. As I watch the little squirrels run around my yard and see the birds on the tree and hear the kids next door squeal as they play, yes, it does give me hope. Which is a dangerous thing. Sometimes I think I'd be a better person if I could just squelch the hope. At least, I would stay on a more even keel.
But I've never succeeded in actually doing it. Despite my best efforts, a few days after the start of a cycle I start feeling hope rise up in me that this is going to be the cycle and it's actually going to produce a live baby. How can I continue to think this way given the fact that 2 out of 3 pregnancies have not resulted in live babies and 10 out of the 13 cycles I've charted on FertilityFriend have not produced a pregnancy at all. Those are pretty grim statistics.
And yet I hope. I guess that's what makes me human.
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
I'm still back and forth on doing the Clomid this very next cycle. I know there is a limit to the number of times most docs will do Clomid and, although I don't think it very likely they'll find something on the HSG, if they did then that would be a wasted cycle as far as the Clomid goes. But some days I'd really, really like to increase my chances of twins and that's why I am leaning towards doing the Clomid this first time. I hate having to make these kinds of decisions!
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
I'm into my latest spring cleaning project. Getting the paperwork out for my tax audit got me thinking about all the paperwork we have regarding income taxes. I started doing some research to see how long I needed to keep all that junk. I found one website that said keep as much as you can as long as you can. That's probably pretty good advice. But I'm also reasonably certain that we won't be needing John's 1984 income tax return and W-2 statement. So I've decided to keep all the paper records I've got for 10 years. After that I'll keep only scanned copies of the return and some of the supporting statements. I don't think the IRS can reasonably audit you after about 6 years so these electronic copies will be mostly for posterities' sake. I figure someday G will get a kick out of seeing her Dad's very first income tax return where he brought home just a little over $14,000 working for IBM and got a whopping $800 refund.
Monday, March 27, 2006
After my first miscarriage, we talked and she said she wanted to wait until her son was at least 3 to get pregnant again. We haven't really talked about it since then.
You know where this is going, don't you? She emails me today to say that she isn't having a formal birthday party for her son because she is 8 weeks pregnant. I suppose it was nice of her not to tell me that when she was here for G's party and I was having my second m/c (which she knew).
I have so many conflicting emotions. On the one hand I'm happy for her because, of course, I wouldn't wish my situation on anyone. On the other hand, I almost wish she hadn't told me about it at all. I just don't want to deal with it right now. I don't want to deal with someone else being happy when it should be me. There; I've said it: in all its childish glory.
This email came on the heals of going to the dentist this morning. The staff all knows us there and they knew I was pregnant because the dentist wanted to do some fillings so I had to ask him about the effect on pregnancy. I decided to go in today and get it over with and of course everyone had to come by with congratulations. I should have worn a big sign: NOT PREGNANT. My dentist and his wife endured 10 years of infertility treatments before finally adopting. You'd think he'd be one to know what to say. But no; I had to endure the story about another patient who had 4 miscarriages and finally had beautiful healthly child. He says that those m/c were for a reason and she's happy with what she got. I'll leave analysis of that for another day.
Then of course I had to go for my weekly bloodwork. And of course I'm still bleeding.
The good side to this day is that J took G for the day and I got to run all my errands this morning. Part of that included a trip to the Whole Foods store. I could spend hours in their produce section. Today I limited myself to half and hour there and half an hour on the bulk aisle. Stocked up on lots of beans and grains. Another stop was by Target to buy a wok. I'm serious about eating healthier! I say as I sit here and munch a cookie....
Today was definitely a "ducky" day and tonight definitely calls for that second glass of wine.
Sunday, March 26, 2006
So, the biggest news in my smallish town of about 15,000 is that the new Super W*l-M*rt just opened. 24/7, closed only on Christmas Day I think. My neice informs me that it is the biggest W*l-M*rt in Ohio, 3rd largest in the nation, and 9th largest in the World. How oh how did we get the dubious distinction of containing it? The behemoth consists of 206,000 square feet after abondoning their paltry 74,000 square foot building across the road.
It's not that I'm against progress. This W*l-M*rt is only the first of many large retail stores that will open here in the near future and I'm glad to see the area growing. I knew when we moved here that it will eventually become a suburb of Columbus. I'm hoping that more people will mean better funded schools and more job opportunities for myself when that day comes.
I also don't necessarily have a problem with big-box retailers. Target is one of my favorite places in the world to shop and I will be glad to see this town get one eventually.
What I do have a big problem with is W*l-M*rt. When I first started typing this post, I was going to make it a comprehensive reference on the evils of the chain. But there's plenty of people out there who have done that much more succintly than me. If you're interested, just google why is walmart bad and you will have plenty of reading material. Basically, they are the worst of the worst in how they treat their employees, their suppliers, and even (in my own humble opinion) their customers.
One issue that really haunts me about W*l-M*rt is a subject that is currently near and dear to my heart: health insurance. The average national wage of W*l-M*rt employees is $10.11. One site I found said that family coverage is $218/month. Considerng that most employees are limited to about 30 hours of work per week, that's a pretty significant percentage of pay. And, to add insult to injury, their coverage caps out at paying $1000/year. There's no way that the vast majority of W*l-M*rt employees could even consider any kind of fertility treatments.
Well, I've ranted enough. I'll step down from the soapbox now. I'm telling all my friends that I have no plans to set foot in the new W*l-M*rt. This statement draws horrified, unbelieving looks from most of them. But it makes them stop and think. And that's all I'm asking: that you just take a moment to pause and consider.
Saturday, March 25, 2006
Thanks for the inputs on vegetarian cookbooks. I'll check out all of them. I also plan to do some research and buy a wok sometime soon as that's something I've always wanted. I'm worried that it might not work so well on a flat top (ceramic) stove. If anyone's got any input on that, please speak up!
I stopped at the library today and every single one of the cookbooks I had on reserve had shown up. There were 8 or 10 of them! Of course, cookbooks are never small. Poor G had to walk to the car because, even though I had a shoulder bag, there was no way I could carry 100 pounds of cookbooks and 30 pounds of G. I'm looking forward to some light reading today.
My daughter has a very uncanny ability to know when my SIL/her pediatrician is leaving town. I think twice in her life she's gotten sick with a fever and both times it was when SIL was out of town. Yesterday was the third time. She woke up sick from her nap and it was a long afternoon/evening. Thank the Universe for Motrin and Tylenol because they knocked out her fever pretty good and when Mommy finally figured out that drinking a half a cup of milk in 2 seconds flat is enough to make anyone barf, she was feeling much better. She slept all night and is going for a marathon nap today. Lots of time to read cookbooks.
Friday, March 24, 2006
Problem right now is that I have no willpower! There was a time when I could easily drop 5 pounds in a short period of time just by portion control. But this is a very stubborn bit of weight this time around it seems. I am willing to admit, too, that part of me is probably still dealing with some grief issues and just trying to deal with this whole infertility thing. But that's an excuse and I know it.
I've never been much of a cook. I've also always liked eating out. When G was born I knew I had to get better in the kitchen because 1. she needs to grow up with healthy attitudes about food and 2. we can't afford to eat out like we could on two incomes. For a long time now I've fallen back on the recipes I grew up with. Most of them are ground meat based casseroles because that's what my Mom cooked. Even though I buy organic meat, I still just don't feel right about eating so much of it.
So I'm trying to make a switch to a less-meat diet. I can't say that I'm going completely vegetarian because I just enjoy a really good steak too much to ever do that. And I certainly couldn't go vegan (without dairy). I've got a slew of vegetarian cookbooks on reserve at the library and I just finished a copy of Vegetarian times. I even copied a few recipes out of it. Does it count that the first one I'm going to try is for scones???!
Anyway, if anyone has any good meat-less recipes that are easy to cook, please pass them along. Or any recommendations for good cookbooks.
Gotta go check on those scones!
If any of you were intriqued with the idea of cloth pads and were thinking about trying them out, here's the perfect opportunity. I just got an email from Perfect Pads and they are having a shipping special:
I for one am SO glad it's finally spring, so it feels like a good time for a sale, don't you think? :-) I know you love our $3 flat rate shipping sale, so Happy Spring! :-) From now until 11:59 PM Pacific Time on Sunday March 28, all orders to US addresses placed in the Perfect Pads shopping cart will be charged only $3 for shipping, regardless of how big the order is.
So, the more you buy, the more you save. Use Special Code SPRING to get this deal - just do your shopping, and when you check out enter coupon code SPRING, you'll only be charged $3 for shipping.
I may buy a few extra myself!
In fertility news, I'm still spotting. I've been doing some research into the cost of Clomid and Progesterone. It looks like drugstore.com has good prices on both but I worry about the timing of actually getting them. So for the first month I may just go with a local pharmacy. I hate that you can't easily check prices on this kind of stuff.
Thursday, March 23, 2006
On the drug front, it looks like neither Clomid nor progesterone are covered. Anyone have an idea on the cost of these?
I really wanted to be closely monitored on the Clomid to make sure it is helping me but I think that those ultrasounds won't be covered since it is infertility "treatment" and not diagnostic. At $300+ a pop, I am rethinking that. I still have some research to do to see what other kind of monitoring is available. My insurance will cover most bloodwork at 100% so maybe there are options there.
I feel like I've got big black financial clouds hanging over my head. How much does one spend in the pursuit of having a baby? Then there's the whole income tax audit issue. Not to mention the very real possibility that J could still lose his job in the near future. I can only hope that his company can hold on long enough for me to get the HSG out of the way and get pregnant, since pregnancy, by law, cannot be considered a preexisting condition. On the other hand, he's got some contacts with a company that I'm sure has very good insurance coverage that would probably cover infertility. Well, I'm still holding out hope that I'll do the HSG and have an all clear and get pregnant right away with a healthy baby. Like I've said before, a girl can hope, can't she?!
The nurse from SIL's office called the other day and told me my numbers from Monday. I knew in the back of my mind I should go right then and write it down but I didn't. So when I finally extracted myself from playing with the Little Miss, I was suddenly brain blank and I could not for the life of me remember the number. So I dreamed up 81. It sounded pretty good.
This morning the nice nurse from the OB's office called. She sad she just wanted to make sure that everything was resolved from my bleeding issues last week. She mentioned that they got my numbers from Monday - 64. Even better than I thought. Although I'm still having light bleeding off and on which makes my heart stop every time I see it. Is it too much to ask to have a pregnancy with absolutely, positively NO bleeding?
I spent a while last night with some light reading: my insurance coverage book. Lorem recently recommended the book How to be a Successful Fertility Patient, mainly for the chapter on dealing with insurance companies. I haven't made it through the book yet - I'm still working my way through the insurance chapter. But it looks like it's got some good, relavant information. Anyway, my insurance specifically excludes coverage for infertility but under their list of specific inclusions, it lists "Infertility Diagnostic Testing". Which sounds like J's sperm analysis should have been covered. The book recommends calling or writing the insurance company to obtain information (in writing) about specific coverages. So that's my task today: to find out specifically what diagnostic testing they'll pay for.
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Okay, I'll admit it: I do. G wanted to go to the library tonight but she did NOT want to put her stockings back on and she already had her sandals on. So we went. She didn't complain about the cold; she didn't even get goosebumps. She definitely has her father's internal thermometer.
Yes, I am one of "those" mothers that dresses her child poorly in public. I admit it. Remember me when you are trying to decide if it's worth it to fight with your toddler on whether to wear the stockings or not.
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Got a letter in the mail today from the City of Columbus Ohio Income Tax Division. Yes, I'm being audited. Seems that even though they never sent me any forms the 4 years I lived there, they can audit me. They can even do it for a year in which I had not set foot in Ohio except to visit. I don't think I'll end up owing them money because the company I worked for was based in another town. But just gathering 5 years worth of income tax info is a pain. The last 2 years I have used an aviation tax specialist who gives me PDF copies of the return on disc. That feature alone is worth it when being audited I think. This will be my first audit. I hope I pass.
J and I had a good knock down drag out fight yesterday. Seems like we have to have them every few months to get all the bile out of our systems. It amazes me that two people who have been married almost 10 years can sometimes fail so miserably to communicate. The short of it is that he was waiting for me and I was waiting for him. We were both waiting for each other to be ready to leave and go to the Y yesterday. This went on for almost an hour before I finally lost it. Then we yelled accusations for a while. Then everything was okay. Well, okay, I sulked the rest of the day and J let me have the afternoon "off" to go on a scrapbook shopping spree at JoAnn's while G napped. Then everything was okay although my pin money is $40 less today. But I got some great stuff to keep me busy while it's snowing outside!
Monday, March 20, 2006
Sunday, March 19, 2006
My Dad I can get along with just fine. We can spend hours in companionable silence and then have a conversation, then go back to silence.
My Mom is a talk-a-holic. And it's her subject matter that drives me insane. Her number 1 topic is her health problems (and believe me, she has enough to keep you entertained for days). Second most favorite topic is other people's health problems. This one is fed by all those "prayer requests" at church. And her third favorite topic is people who have died macabre or morbid deaths.
Telling you a story once is just not enough for my Mom. She usually has to work through her repertoire about once a day. Which is okay (while utterly boring) for health issues. But if she tells me one more time about a recent grisly murder I'll scream.
So they are leaving about 4am tomorrow to start the long drive home. And, while I hate to see them go for their granddaughter's sake, I will not miss any more recitations of Mom's heart attack or dental work.
Saturday, March 18, 2006
On the one hand, I really want to feel happy for these women. Who knows that they haven't had losses in the past? Who knows that they haven't struggled for years to be finally carrying this precious burden.
On the other hand, I just can't bear to look at them. It just reminds me of all the hopes I've lost and it sucks. I don't know if I can ever enjoy looking at pregnant women again. I don't even know if I'll ever enjoy looking at myself pregnant again.
Did anyone think to tell Mr. Universe that infertility and loss royally suck?
Friday, March 17, 2006
So I guess we are back to waiting. I'll go in Tuesday and get another beta and keep hoping against hope that it is going down faster. I am still having light spotting.
Thursday, March 16, 2006
About an hour later, just when I was beginning to think I'd been forgotten, she called back. She was still trying to track down my bloodwork results but she had talked to Dr. OB who wanted to assure me that I should not worry. I can't tell you how good that made me feel. She promised to call back as soon as she got my numbers and showed them to Dr. OB.
About an hour after that, she called me back. She hadn't been able to talk to Dr. OB, but she did have my numbers from Monday: 180. That's a halving time of 350 hours. Way way way up from the previous week's 60 hours. I'm afraid to calculate it out. At this rate, I may have a baby in 2008.
So, I'm still waiting to hear back from C as to what Dr. OB wants me to do. The good news is that my cramping is pretty much gone (maybe from the Advil) and mostly today it's been very light/spotting and mostly dark red, almost brown in color.
What I am afraid of now is retained tissue. I had so hoped to avoid a D&C and I am so afraid that she is waiting to call me this evening to discuss just that.
So here I sit, waiting. That seems to be my persistant state these days.
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Anyway, It's been 18 days since my m/c started and 12 days since the m/c bleeding stopped. Everything I've read said it can't possibly be a period until you've gone 21 days without bleeding. I suppose it could be retained tissue, but you'd think my hormone levels would be higher and not dropping faster than they did after the D&C.
Damn. It feels like a roller coaster that goes up and down every hour. Higher and lower each time. I just want to get off. I just want to be normal.
At this moment, assuming the bleeding doesn't get worse or anything, my plan is to call the OB first thing tomorrow and let her know about the bleeding and also see what my hormone levels were on Monday. Maybe they can shed some light on things. Maybe they can point me to the exit sign to get off this hellish ride.
The other reason I'm hoping the OB's office will call is that I want to ask them about going ahead with the Clomid as soon as I start this cycle. I thought a lot about it and I decided that since the chances of conception after an HSG are boosted, I'd like to throw as much at this next cycle as I possibly can. The OB said previously that she uses Clomid to boost progesterone plus I'll be on progesterone supplements. And I can't deny that the added possibility of multiples appeals to me at this point. I would like to have 3 kids but I don't think we'll be riding this particular roller coaster again. Worst case, I do the Clomid and they find something wrong during the HSG. But if not, then I'll be ready.
My parents arrive in town this evening. They are driving here all the way from Houston. My Mom always was a nervous flier but after 9/11 she announced she would never fly again. Never. Ever. Not even to see her granddaughter. Which puts me in somewhat of a dilema. Travelling with a toddler is way harder than I ever expected it would be and I don't have plans of doing it again anytime soon. On the other hand, the 2 day drive is really hard on them. My Dad is 76 and my Mom is 68. Mom has lots of health problems (overweight, heart disease). Dad is pretty fit but neither of them need to be in a car that long. I've talked to them before about maybe moving up here but they're really not interested. And I don't push because they have a good social network down there and they're happy. This is why I don't want G to be an only child. I have 100% of the burden of my parents. And, while it's a burden I accept gladly and without complaint, it still causes me some sleepless nights. Whenever my phone rings and I see it's their number, my head immediately starts spinning about how to work out the details of getting on the next plane to Houston. Thank goodness it's never come to that but someday it will.
So anyway, they arrive tonight and will stay with us almost a week. J got off work yesterday and promptly headed to Salt Lake for some skiing. His excuse is that our friend out there is really depressed over his recently failed marriage and needs some support. Okay, I'll buy that. My Mom can be really annoying sometimes :-) We get along okay but by the end of their visit I will be glad to see them go.
That's life today in Smalltown USA. Exciting as hell.
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
The Rule is that you take the best picture you like from the first page of Google Images results.
1. The city and state of the town you grew up, no quotation marks.
2. The town where you currently reside.
The county courthouse
3. Your name, first and last, but again, no quotes.
I bought these on amazon some months back and posted a review about them!
4. Your grandmother's name.
Ruby Smith. I thought this was funny (a Smith Woodhouse Ruby port) because my Granny probably never touched a drop of alcohol in her life!
5. Your favorite food.
I could live on cheese enchiladas; just not from Cha-Cha's!
6. Your favorite drink.
That would have to be red wine!
7. Your favorite smell.
This one might be a bit raunchy, but I typed in "clean" and this was definitely the best picture!
I promise you: the fires of hell were no match for the burning I endured after spraying this stuff on the raw skin that was my finger.
The good news is that about 3 minutes later I could no longer feel the finger. I probably burned off all the nerves.
But it worked.
Now that I've given you a good laugh, I'll bitch about my reproductive state. [gross disclaimer] I had a big blob of eggwhite CM today that was definitely tinged pink. I am also midly crampy today. I keep telling myself that it's just my body trying to get itself back in sync. It is just so frustrating to feel like I am *still* dealing with the m/c. Well, hopefully tomorrow I will get my HCG levels back and hopefully they are still going down at the rate they were last week. I can only hope.
Monday, March 13, 2006
First off, a little terminology
There are basically 4 types of cloth diapers, ordered from least to most easy to use and also cheapest to most expensive:
- Prefolds, also called "Chinese prefolds". If you are of an age where your mother cloth diapered you, these are probably what she used and they are probably what you think of when you think of cloth diapering. They are rectangular and have extra padding in the middle. You fold them up a certain way, pin them, and put a plastic cover on over them. They run $20-$30 per dozen plus the price of covers which vary widely.
- Pocket dipes. The most popular brand of these is probably Fuzzi Bunz. They are fleece diapers that have the back cut out to make a "pocket" where you can stuff in extra linings. These usually close with snaps or velcro and they usually require a cover. I see on the Fuzzi Bunz site now though that they are making a version with a built-in waterproof outer layer that doesn't require a cover. Brand new, they will run you about $15.
- Fitted dipes. These diapers are shaped like a disposable and usually close with snaps or velcro. They require a cover.
- All-in-ones (AIOs). The cadillacs of cloth diapers. These are basically a fitted dipe with a built-in waterproof on the outside. Kushies are my favorite brand and new ones will run you about $10 each.
What's the best option to use?
Hard to say as it's rather a personal preference. Some people swear by prefolds. I personally was never able to get the darn thing folded right. I have about 2 dozen prefolds and I swear by them only for wiping up puke and stuff like that.
Other people will swear up and down by Fuzzi Bunz. I will admit, the new ones with the waterproof cover look great. They are fleece whereas the AIOs tend to be cotten. I personally didn't like the idea of stuffing in the liner. Also, my daughter for some reason cannot tolerate fleece: it gives her a terrible diaper rash.
My diaper stash consists mainly of Kushies AIOs with some Bumkins (very similar to Kushies; cute designs; new cost around $15). I also have a fair number of Kushies fitted diapers and a good stash of covers. I bought some Fuzzi Bunz in my research stage and they are really cute but, like I said above, I thought stuffing the inserts would be too much work. Plus, the Kushies are cheaper so I was able to buy more for my money.
Sizes vary widely by brand. Kushies has 3 different sizes:
- Newborn up to 10#. I have a handful of these but I wouldn't really recommend them unless you get a good price. Depending on your baby's size, you may or may not even use them and then maybe for only a few weeks. They do look really cute though and you will get a lot of comments on them! My advice is to use disposables until the next size.
- Infant 10-22#. This is where the bulk of you diapering will be and I would suggest buying as many as possible. The Little Miss is average size and she wore these up until around 20 months.
- Toddler 22+#. Depending on when you decide to potty train, these may or may not be useful. What I personally found is that not too long after she went into this size, the diaper changes got to be more of a chore and a fight. After a while it was just easier to use a disposie so she could stay in them 3 or 4 hours rather than 1-2 with the cloth.
This is always the big question: How hard are they to clean?? When I first started using cloth, I did all the recommended things: I rinsed them off in the toilet, I presoaked them, I boraxed them, and I line dried them. After a while reality set in! Now I use throw-away liners to catch the poop and then I just throw them in the dry diaper pail. When wash-time comes along I just dump the whole thing in the washer and run it through a sanitary cycle. I will say that my front-loading washer does a hell of a job getting them clean - much better than the top loader and with less wear on the diapers. Then I throw them in the dryer on the very lowest heat setting. The heat in the dryer will ruin your waterproof outer layer faster than anything. I will usually put them in the dryer and let them sit overnight. Then I go through and hang up the ones that are still wet. Line drying them in the sun will take care of most stains but staining has never been a big problem for me.
The key to making laundry easy is to have a big stash. When my daughter was in cloth exclusively, I only washed one load of diapers every 5-6 days.
How Many to buy?
It kind of depends on how often you want to do laundry. With cloth, plan on changing the diaper every 2 hours or so during the day.
Where to buy?
I did all of my buying on ebay. Probably 75% of the diapers I bought were used. I'd get them home, run them through the washer, and they were ready to go. If you go this route, just read the descriptions and ask questions about staining and also about how good the velcro is. I bought all my cloth diapers on ebay for less than $1000. Obviously if you are only planning to have 1 child, cloth diapers are not going to be financially rewarding. But if you have 2 or more kids, they will easily pay for themselves.
If you want to buy brand new, there are a plethora of sites out there that sell them. Just google "cloth diapers" or something similar and start researching the best prices.
What about nighttime?
For a couple of months I experimented with nighttime options but I never found something that didn't have me changing clothes and sheets halfway through the night. In the end I decided to use a disposable at night and never regreted that decision.
The last word
These days my Little Miss is in disposies almost exclusively. Diaper changes every 2 hours are just not feasible with a toddler in my mind! I will sometimes pull out a cloth diaper in the morning when her night diaper is full but I know she's going to poop soon. I am also recently using them more in the afternoon to see if I can get her more used to the feeling of wetness as a prelude to potty training.
I hope someone finds this information helpful. When I tell people I cloth diaper, I get and have gotten many disparaging remarks. Most are from people who have misconceptions about how easy it is to do and they have no clue as to the wealth of options offered these days. Those options didn't exist even 10 year ago probably. I do not regret for one second my decision to cloth diaper and I hope more people will investigate it as an alternative. If anyone has any questions please don't hesitate to ask. Just don't ask me to count the diapers in my stash! Most of them are in boxes with all the baby stuff and I am just not ready to go there!
This is a week that holds a lot of memories for me. It was the week that my innocence was taken away and my belief that things always work out was crushed for good. Curiously enough, right now I don't feel the need for tears. Right now I just want to get on with things. I want this bloodtest that I took this morning to be negative. Even though I know it won't be. I saw my BIL (a former OB) today when I went in for my test and he commiserated with me over my slow dropping numbers. He said that's very unusual for it to take so long. Then he told me to hang in there.
Two years ago today I had a 2 week old baby and horrible bum rash but I think by this point my nipples were finally not hurting when I nursed. It's easy sometimes to dwell on the bad but lately I've been trying to make myself dwell more on the good. Remembering the bad is necessary because I don't ever want to forget my 2 babies who should have been but weren't. But I'll always be grateful for my 1 baby who is.
Sunday, March 12, 2006
By my scientific calculations (!) my HCG should be close to 30 tomorrow and below 15 by the end of the week. So maybe my body will gear up and ovulate by the end of March. You gotta allow a girl to hope.
I had somewhat of a revalation today. I don't want to offend any of my readers that don't have children yet but I need to write it down. Over the last two days I have done much thinking and been deeply affected by the situation of my friend and her son who is showing symptoms of autism. It's made me take a good long look at my own life and my beautiful daughter. Today I went to get Grace up from her nap and she usually greets me jumping up and down in the crib, but today she was still laying down wrapped up in her blanket quietly talking to Elmo. Even when I stood over her crib she just looked up at me. She had a bit of a fever and obviously didn't feel well. She's got a terrible diaper rash and those are never good days at our house. But when I first walked in a saw her there my stomach just about dropped out of me. I wanted to grab her up and shake her and hold her and make sure she was 100% okay. But I realized that I can never be 100% certain that she is okay. She is the greatest, most precious gift of my life but I have no guarantee that that gift will be there tomorrow. Somehow it made me realize that, even if I'm never able to have another child, I have been blessed beyond measure with the one I do have.
I'm not saying that I'm giving up hope of ever having another baby. I will continue to do whatever I possibly can to have another one. But somewhere along the way today, I think I came to terms with it being okay if I don't. I think I'll live.
Saturday, March 11, 2006
J brought a car to our marriage: a 1991 Isuzu Trooper that looks like a box, sounds like a freight train, is rusting away as we speak, and remarkably still runs. He can't bring himself to part with it. I learned to drive a stick in it so I'm rather attached as well. If you can drive this car, you can drive a stick in anything! Plus if the weather is really icy, you can put it in 4 wheel drive and get where you're going without worrying if you happen to run into something.
The year after we got married, J bought me the car of my dreams: a green Mazda Miata. 2 seater. Topless. It's just beautiful. Or was until my BIL backed into it and dented the back. I suppose we'll get it fixed someday. It's a fun little car to drive around though and we can't come up with any good reason to sell it. Besides, it gets the best gas mileage of all our cars.
Then there's the Nissan Xterra: my workhorse car. We weren't factoring in kids when we bought it though and let me tell you, hefting up a toddler into that carseat is a workout in and of itself. Some days I drive around in the fog of a dream of having a plain ole 4 door sedan. One that gets awesome gas mileage preferrably. This one definitely needs to visit the shop as the gas mileage on it has gone from bad to worse in the last year or so.
So there's my confession. I own 3 cars. Two of which get very bad gas mileage. Shame, shame on me.
Tonight I started watching a DVD of the TV series called Bramwell. It is from 1995 and it looks like something that would air on PBS. Great series! It is about a woman in Victorian England in 1895 whose father allowed her to train as a doctor. A family friend finances starting a clinic in London's East End and the show is all about her struggles not only to treat the working poor of England but also to be accepted as a real doctor. I would highly recommend it. If you do watch it, I would caution that there is a segment at the end of the first disc where a woman dies in a pretty bloody childbirth. It's hard to watch but then again, I needed a good cry. Some of the scenes are pretty gross in my opinion but from the occassional commercials I see, it's nothing worse than stuff on network TV these days. The whole culture of Victorian times fascinates me. Women were assumed to be hysterical and routinely were subjected to hysterectomies to "calm them down". They were not expected to have brains. They were not even supposed to know about the facts of life! How far we have come. Anyway, I watched 3 hours tonight and I'm only halfway through the second of three discs. The cover says it's the complete first season so I'll definitely have to research if there were other seasons. I'm a fan!
Friday, March 10, 2006
Back about 5 years ago I started using cloth pads rather than disposable ones. I don't remember particularly where I first got the interest; probably some random web page I stumbled on while surfing. But it got me doing some research on all those disposable pads almost all of us use.
Most pads are made of paper pulp bleached white with chlorine gas, and the toxic chemicals from this process goes from the factories into the rivers and oceans where it harms all sorts of wildlife, including humans. This is a problem with everything made of paper in our society today. So, just from the ecological point of view, disposable pads are hard on the environment.
Many people say that disposable diapers are bad for the earth because they end up clogging landfills. But what most women don't stop to think about is that the plastic liners that make pads leak-proof are made of the same materials as disposable diapers. Think about how many pads one woman uses in her lifetime and how much that is apt to clog up a landfill. Not to mention the individual wrappings on each pad!
If you are big on saving the earth, you might definitely want to consider using cloth pads. But the biggest selling point I have found is the effect they have on your body. I have personally had 2 friends who had very painful periods every month. I mean, these gals missed work one or more days a month from the cramps. I convinced both of them to give cloth a go and neither has looked back. They both report having much lighter periods, much much lighter cramps and no more missed work. If that isn't a major selling point I don't know what is! I'm still trying to do the research on exactly how the cloth helps in this regard but I seem to remember from earlier research that it possibly has to do with the way the gel in the disposies pulls the stuff out of your body. When there's nothing to pull it out, it just comes out naturally much easier.
Right after the Little Miss was born I was stupid enough to use disposables (after about 3 years in cloth) because the hospital provided them. 2 weeks later I ended up with the most horrid rash. Not a good thing on a post-partum bum!
I think a lot of women just don't realize that an alternative to disposable pads exist. So I thought I would bring it to more people's attention. The brand I started out with is called Many Moons. They have served me well but I wouldn't necessarily recommend them. They are the type that have a liner that you have to fold up and insert into the pad. Not really hard but just a pain when you're doing laundry. I ended up sewing all my liners in just to not have to deal with it. Although I see now that their liners are just one piece that you don't have to fold so that would be a lot better than what I have.
Last year, in anticipation of actually having a baby, I bought some post-partum pads from Pretty Pads and I would definitly recommend them. As my Many Moons pads start to wear out, I will replace them with Pretty Pads. They are an all-in-one design (no liner to fold up) and they are very well.
Some might think that laundering would be a pain. When I first got mine, I soaked them and Boraxed them. But now-days I put them in a plastic bag as I use them and then at the end of my period (which usually only lasts 3-4 days) I throw them all into the washer on the sanitary cycle. So it's really only 1 extra load of laundry a month. Mine are pretty stained but I know they're clean and no one else sees them so it's no big deal. I wore my post-partum ones several times during this last miscarriage and they are fleece-topped and didn't stain at all.
Initial costs will vary depending on what you buy. I think when I originally bought mine I spent less than $100. They can easily pay for themselves in just a few months! I gradually added to my stash so that I can now go my whole period without having to wash. I also have some for night-time use which is nice. Most places say the pads will last 4-6 years. My original ones are going on 5 years and I can't see they will need replacing anytime soon. It helps that I have a large stash but I also wear them every day outside my period for added protection. Even with constant wear, they are holding up great.
There are other alternatives of course. There are menstrual cups and there are a variety of organic disposable pads that are much better on your body and the environment.
I'd really encourage you, if you've never given it a second thought, to think about the alternatives the next time you buy a box of disposables (diapers too but I'll save that for another post!). There's a wealth of options out there these days (there were very few choices back when I bought mine) and there are lots of home-based businesses on ebay selling them. You can get enough of a stash to try without investing much money.
It started off with a call to find out my hormone levels. On Monday they were at 251. I had so hoped and believed they were much lower. They are halving about every 60 hours. At that rate, it will be another week or two before they are down. Which means that I most likely did not ovulate this week as I thought although my temp was still up this morning. My body is playing tricks on me and I just hate it.
Then I got an email this morning from a good friend and she says her 2 year old son is showing symptoms of autism. This is the most unbelievably cute blue-eyed, blond-haired child that you can imagine. It is just so unfair that even after you have them they can be taken away from you in some form or fashion. It just makes me so angry that she is having to deal with everything that she is. It sucks.
So, today is definitely one of those "just ducky" kind of days.
Thursday, March 09, 2006
I never dared to hope that I would ovulate this early. If I'm correct and my LP is the usual length, I should start my next cycle the 19th or 20th. That will put the HSG towards the end of March and hopefully the next shot at trying around the first of April. That's assuming that the HSG doesn't turn up anything. I'm not sure how I feel about wanting to find something or not. If we did find something, it might provide some explanations for at least the first m/c. On the other hand, finding something wrong would definitely set us back. My OB mentioned that a possible problem might be scarring from the D&C. I haven't done a lot of research on that just because I don't want to worry about something that might not even be a problem.
Well, enough rambling for one day. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for another higher temp tomorrow. I wasn't able to get ahold of the nurse today to find out my HCG numbers but hopefully I'll find out tomorrow. For the first time in a long time, things are looking up.
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
When I talked about my new BBT yesterday, I forgot to mention one important point: my old BD thermometer measured only in tenths; the new Mabis one measures in hundredths of degrees. That wasn't a big selling feature for me as my temperature shifts are always large enough to detect. But I thought I would mention it to be fair.
Still waiting to get my HCG numbers back. I'll call tomorrow and hopefully find out.
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
I promised a review of my new BBT. The one I got is branded as "Mabis" but it looks like it's also marketed as "Fairhaven Health". The old one I have is a BD brand. The Mabis/Fairhaven one looks to be a good thermometer. My main beef with the BD is that it beeps every few seconds while taking your temp which drives me nuts. The Mabis one only beeps when it's done. The plus about the BD is that it has a backlight which the Mabis does not. For now I'm turning on the light and noting the temp and then turning it back on later to see how well the memory works. So far, flawlessly.
All in all, I'll keep using the Mabis because the beeping of the BD is more annoying to me than not having a backlight. From all my research, I couldn't find a BBT that doesn't beep AND has a backlight. It's as frustrating as trying to find 100% trustworthy contraception when you should be trying to get pregnant.
First off, I must have missed some fundamental lesson in health class as to how to get the damn things on. It seems impossible to roll it down all the way. After about 3 tries we finally got it down far enough. Or so I thought.
Which brings me to the second annoyance: they are not comfortable at all. Maybe we didn't get it on far enough. Or maybe I was just not ready after so long. At any rate, our attempt ended with me in tears and J beside himself to know what to do. He said he didn't trust himself to pull out in time which is what we did after the last miscarriage. I guess he's been neglected too long this time.
So, he is now eagerly praying for ovulation because passing that event is the only way he's going to get any. I'm packaging up all the leftover condoms to send to a friend of mine who I know will use them. I'm done with them.
Sunday, March 05, 2006
Red Eye: Lame lame lame. Did I mention it was lame?
Bewitched: Cute. Good movie to chill with, especially if you grew up watching Elizabeth Montgomery.
The last movie was one I've been dieing to see: Pride and Prejudice. I had my doubts about it because I just couldn't imagine anyone as Mr. Darcy but Colin Firth. All in all though, I think this is my new favorite. Keira Knightly was a very enchanting Elizabeth and Judi Dench stole the show as the Lady Catherine de Bourg. I love this time period and I love the story.
So, give Pride and Prejudice a go, maybe see Bewitched, and please please please, leave Red Eye on the shelf.
I'm still spotting but only just a teeny tiny bit today. I'll get another beta done either tomorrow or Tuesday but it will be later in the week before I can get the results. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'm below 100 now. Last year I stopped spotting when my HCG hit 59. It's probably too much to hope that I could do the HSG at the end of March but maybe early April? My goal is to have a clean basement before my HSG.
Saturday, March 04, 2006
And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall recieve. Matthew 21:22
Which really got me thinking.... When I conceived G, I prayed that we would be blessed with a healthy, happy child. That prayer was answered. When I conceived the second time, I prayed the same thing. That one apparantly did not get answered; at least not as a "yes". When I conceived the third time, I prayed the same thing. Another no.
So..... did I just not believe strongly enough the last two times? The scripture seems rather straightforward to me. Easy enough formula to follow: ask, believe, receive. And it says "all things". Not just some things. So why did the formula yield results the first time but not the second or third time? Is it a one-time formula per type of prayer?
I'm being somewhat tounge in cheek here. On the other hand, it is a valid question, isn't it?
Maybe I'm taking it out of context. In the preceeding verses, Jesus was walking with his disciples when they passed a fig tree. Jesus told the tree to whither and die and it did. The disciples of course, wanted to know how he'd done such a cool magic trick. So he told them:
Jesus said to them in reply, "Amen, I say to you, if you have faith and do not waver, not only will you do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, 'Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,' it will be done. Whatever you ask for in prayer with faith, you will receive.
Best I can figure out, somewhere between my first and second pregnancies, my faith diminished enough that the verse no longer applies to me. Which seems like a double slap in the face to me because how am I supposed to have more faith in God when he keeps doing bad things to me or at least allowing them to happen?
I'm particularly interested in anyone's opinions on this one.
Friday, March 03, 2006
To offset that, I got a new BBT in the mail today. I've had mine for almost 3 years now and I was unable to locate replacement batteries last I looked. I decided to just replace it because it's one that beeps every few seconds while it's taking your temp. I'll write a review about my new one once I've tried it out for a while. I'll probably start back to temping soon. I don't expect it to tell me anything right away but I need to get back in the habit of temping every morning.
I have only light spotting today. I was able to get back on my usual machine at the gym and do my old workout, albeit at level 1 instead of 5. Hopefully by the end of next week I'll be back up to my usual. I'm back to my pre-pregnancy weight but I'd really like to knock off 5 more pounds. The older I get, the harder that seems to be to do. It didn't help that J brought me a box of chocolates to cheer to me up. Thoughtful and appreciated in spirit at least. It would be very heartless of me to not eat it, now wouldn't it?!
I just got back from the Methodist church's annual Rummage Sale. I love those things! I am a yard saler to the very core. Not only can I not bear to shop retail, I can't even shop sales. Although I did make an exception last week. A friend took me to Kohl's to try and get me out and cheer me up and we saw the cutest little bathing suit. We thought it was priced $27. Turns out, it was $27 PER PIECE. Didn't figure that out till they were ringing me up. But I decided to keep it. Very rarely does something jump out at me and I decided I wanted to treat myself. So, normally I shop rummage sales so I can splurge on the ocassional item.
Which brings me to my rant of the day: whining, screaming, crying kids. Now, having my own, I am not nearly so sensitive anymore to this. When it really grates on me though is when it is painfully obvious that the kids are whining, screaming, and crying because they are TIRED. I went to the rummage sale at 2:30pm. I realize that not every kid is on the same nap schedule as mine. But there were half a dozen moms in there that you had to wonder if they even had a nap schedule. Yes, I am very biased and openly critical on this subject. Toddlers and preschoolers can't physically make it all day without rest. Maybe they don't sleep. But they have to rest a while and process all that incredible information they've gleaned during the day. Yes, it's sometimes very inconvenient to have to go straight home so G can nap. But the reward is that when she gets up she is raring to go for another round. So, please Moms: don't subject me or anyone else to your crying, whining, screaming kids when you know good and well that they just need to be home in bed.
Rant ceased. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.
Thursday, March 02, 2006
Many times people will ask how I'm doing. Even (or maybe especially) when my good friends ask this question, I am sometimes at a loss for an answer. I'm existing. Sometimes I'm happy. Sometimes I'm very sad. It's very hard sometimes to see beyond the moment of wanting another child. So how do you answer? Usually I say I'm doing okay or fine. Sometimes, if they catch me at a bad time, I say I'm doing just peachy. Which, to all who know me, means that it is just not a good day to be asking me that question. Now I think I might have a better answer!
I came across a poem the other day by Emily Dickenson. She being one of my favorites, I'm surprised I've never seen this one before. Or maybe I have but it only now has a real significance to me. I've always wanted to name use the name Hope for a girl and my hopes of having that girl (or a boy!) someday make this poem even more special to me:
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,
And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.
I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
On a good note I just finished my taxes. I have federal and state returns done by a CPA who specializes in airline pilot returns. She gets way more out of those per diem numbers than I could ever hope to. The good news is that we are getting refunds from federal, state, and local. Not hefty returns but at least I didn't get the government too big of a tax-free loan and I don't have to pay them anything else for last year.
Speaking of the airline industry, I haven't said much about J's uncertain future in that sector. But if you've been following the news, I imagine you've heard a lot lately about Northwests' bankruptcy and their trying to negotiate a new contract with their pilots. J works for a Northwest feeder, so all that will have a direct bearing on his future career plans. Fortunately for us, his previous career was in computers and he has heard from several past contacts lately wanting to know if he's looking to get back into his old career. I don't think he'd be out of a job for long. What worries me is the whole insurance thing. Our insurance right now is decent although it doesn't cover any infertility treatments. With this m/c though, I'm pretty sure we can get stuff paid for under the heading of recurrent m/c. What I dread is if we have to switch insurance plans midstream. But all that is so nebulous right now and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that nothing is going to happen in the next few months and hopefully we'll get the HSG out of the way. Keeping my fingers crossed...
A while back I sent out an email to everyone who knew about my pregnancy, telling them the bad news. Tonight I got a reply from my BIL. He is such a gem and I truly did not know that a man could provide such comfort about a subject such as this. It made me cry all over again and I really thought I was done with that. Apparantly not.
Tonight I watched a movie called Firefly Dreams. It's a Japanese film with subtitles. The pace is slow but the scenery is beautiful. And the story is beautiful too. It's basically a coming of age story of a teenage city girl who gets sent to the country for the summer and has to take care of an old woman with Alzheimers. If you enjoy the ocassional off-beat movie, I think this one will not disappoint.