Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Better?

New look for a new year. :)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Broken Blog

So, a few weeks ago, there was a catastrophe in rockmama serverland. Although I feel lucky that some of my other on-line endeavors survived at ALL, Prawn Cocktail (Soon to become Seafood Cocktail) has been a bit borked ever since as all of the images were stored on the unfortunately deceased hard drive. So, until I come up with a better design, this rather minimalist approach will have to do.

26 weeks and all seems to be well. I had my swine flu jab without incident; although I determinedly sought the "safe" vaccine from at least 6 different sources, I was rather crossly denied at every turn. "If you're not allergic to eggs, tough toenails," was pretty much the stock response. However, today my sister-in- law (who visits the same doctor at the same surgery, is only 3 weeks ahead of me in pregnancy and isn't allergic to eggs either) informed me that she was offered it without even asking, but PLEASE DON'T GET ME STARTED because lord knows my acid reflux is already about as bad as it can possibly be bar me helping it along with the consumption of fizzy drinks, spicy food and the contents of a car battery.

Squid is wriggly more than not. The Prawn was a fairly lazy womb dweller, often necessitating the deployment of the Prawn Detection Device (my home doppler) to make sure that she was still ticking along nicely in there. The Squid leaves no illusions as to her status with frequent jabs to my already delicate stomach and bladder at all hours of the day and night. Since the Prawn has been anything BUT lazy on the outside, perhaps The Squid will be a more relaxed and chilled out soul once in the world.

The Prawn, of late, has become a rather hellacious toddler, which, I'm lead to believe is what toddlers are meant to do, although when taking a screaming, kicking wildcat into her room for the 4th time in one day, you can't help but feel that maybe you are Doing Something Wrong. She has, however, been quite sweet about the pregnancy. (not quite sweet enough not to act up in public, but still.) She talks to Squid through my belly button.

"Hello baby! Is it comfy in there?"

She also likes to prod her father's belly and inform him that while mummy has a baby in her belly, he merely has biscuits.

I don't have any illusions about the Prawn grasping the concept of what "being a big sister" or "having a baby" actually MEAN at this point. The baby is an abstract, very different from the screaming, wrinkled little person that will be coming to stay FOREVER AND EVER at the end of March, right near her birthday. (It is completely possible that Squid and Prawn could SHARE a birthday, which might cause rumpuses later on in life.) I hope that she will accept the arrival with good grace, although, at the moment, virtually NOTHING she does is with good grace, so I'm not holding my breath. Perhaps more calm will descend the closer to 3 she gets. Or perhaps not.

Our first step toward our big move across the ocean has finally been taken; we have submitted our preliminary paperwork to get Mr. DD a green card. It is slightly dis-spiriting to see the excruciatingly slow "now serving" ticker on the website of the embassy, but knowing that our petition is finally in the system is a relief. We hope the interview process won't be utterly terrifying. I must soon start thinking about making an appointment to get the same process underway for the Prawn (more straightforward, since, as my offspring, she's entitled to US citizenship) so I can have some idea of how long it will take for the Squid.

Further updates as event warrant!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Abu el Banat

After our last disastrously long wait at the hospital, both the Rock Star and I arrived with something to do this morning.

It’s a hideous autumn day here; alternating cold rain with bursts of sunshine, leading the unsuspecting out into the world sans umbrellas only to tip down on them again seconds later. After managing to aggressively pursue and capture one of the hospital’s elusive parking spaces, we splashed through the parking lot to the ante-natal clinic.

The outside of the clinic is always vaguely depressing due to the number of smokers (some of whom are even more depressingly pregnant) standing outside despite numerous signs in and around the hospital complex that reiterate the “HEY, THIS IS A MEDICAL FACILITY, DUMBASS, YOU CAN’T LIGHT UP HERE” message. So after running the gauntlet, we settled down into the waiting room, wondering if besides entertainment, we should have also thought to bring a camp stove and sleeping bags.

However, I’d not even had a chance to make it through the quotes in the preface of my novel before we were called back, more than making up for our marathon wait of a few weeks ago.

Our scan technician was an African gentleman with a positively bewildering accent. I always feel awful asking people with thick accents to repeat themselves, as it always feels more like a failing on MY part than anything else, but the simple phrase, “Do you have anything you’d like to ask me?” took a grand total of 4 repetitions to filter through into either mine or the Rock Star’s brains.

The scan went very well. All looks normal, which IS of course the most important thing. But of course, we were also kind of dying to know the gender.

One of our favorite TV shows of all time is The West Wing and The Rock Star has had this little monologue running through his head from the moment the scan technician opened his mouth to let us know the verdict.

PRESIDENT BARTLET
You know, 15 years ago, we took a trip to Egypt, all five of us, saw the
pyramids and Luxor, then headed up into the Sinai. We had a guide, a
Bedouin man, who called me “Abu el Banat.” Whenever we’d meet another
Bedouin, he’d introduce me as “Abu el Banat.” The Bedouin would laugh
and laugh and then offer me a cup of tea. And I’d go and pay them for
the tea, and they wouldn’t let me. “Abu el Banat” means “father of
daughters.” They thought the tea was the least they could do.

So, another girl for the Potahousehold. We’re looking forward to telling the Prawn the news, although my guess is that she’ll be like, “Sister! Great! Can I watch Dora now?” The reality of “competition” in the house probably won’t quite set in until the Squid is ensconced within our 4 walls. She is too young yet to understand that at the very least, she’ll get to do everything first, which will bug the living daylights out of Squid.

“She gets to wear make up! She gets to stay up later! She gets to wear a low cut dress! (don’t count on it) WHY CAN’T I??”

Of course, as with any scan that concludes that a fetus is a girl, we’ll still keep an open mind in case of hidden boyparts that might suddenly appear at birth.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Listening Skills

Since we have already somewhat touched upon the subject of pregnancy rage, I will simply begin with this thought in mind and leave it up to you, dear reader, to imagine what I may or may not be feeling at this moment.

The Rock Star has been working his pants off on a particular work project with a deadline of 2 pm today for some time. Unfortunately, other projects got in the way and he spent this weekend feeling a bit like a small thundercloud and having to work mornings before the Prawn woke up and evenings after she'd gone to bed. (Of course, on Saturday night, she staged an "I don't want to go to bed" type protest, depriving him of further working time.) All things being what they were, The Rock Star was one big ball of stress come this morning.

And now we rewind briefly to a midwife appointment that I attended last Wednesday.

Perhaps when we were first married, The Rock Star and I might have toyed around with the idea of a bigger family. I liked the idea of three children. However, as it became apparent that we wouldn't be able to start our family for some time due to fiscal concerns, we decided that two was probably a more reasonable number. This has been our thinking for at least 6 or 7 years now. So, one of the questions I had prepared for my midwife was the question of a tubal ligation, since I will most likely be having an elective caesarian this time around due to the manner of the Prawn's arrival. This is a decision that I don't really feel like debating with anybody. Do I wish they hadn't cut me open the first time? Yes. Do I want them to cut me open again? No. Do I think it's the best option for the baby? No. But do I need someone who lives on the other side of the ocean to come and look after my daughter during the birth? Yes. Do I trust my body to do something that it BLATANTLY wasn't going to do the first time around despite three days of labor? No way. So, as far as I'm concerned, that's the end of my debate.

She let me know that yes, that is an option, but that I needed to bring my husband to the consultant's appointment today so that they could be sure that both of us were on the same page.

This was one of those statements that completely went in one ear and out the other until I set foot outside the surgery when Pregnancy Rage caused an enormous mental pile up causing me to go, "HANG ON JUST ONE DAMN MINUTE HERE....if I want to be in control of my fertility, I have to ASK PERMISSION from my partner?"

Self Control sits in a much smaller office since Pregnancy Rage took over the company. It nervously put it's finger on the little buzzer.

"Erm....really? It's not that big a deal. A little...um...ignorant, but probably not worth getting...erm...too worked up about since we know that our partner is totally on board the no more babies train?"

"WHEN I WANT YOUR OPINION, I'LL ASK FOR IT!" roared Rage.

"Yep, yep, okay, that's fine..." Self Control conceded.

"GO GET ME A DOUGHNUT!"

"Yep, that's cool, I'm going...."

So, the situation this morning stood this way. The Rock Star desperately needed to work but I was of the equal belief (as was he) that he needed to accompany me to the appointment to validate a choice that I'm OBVIOUSLY NOT QUALIFIED TO MAKE ON MY OWN. Our only consolation, the 11am appointment wouldn't last long and we'd be back to the office so that he could get on with things.

Around about the time the little hand was between the 11 and the 12 the big hand was on the everloving 9, both of us were starting to get a little stressed out. By the time the traitorous clock informed us that it was in fact 12.40, I kind of thought about calling the nearby Psych ward for the Rock Star, who looked like he might ACTUALLY burst into tears at any moment.

Of course, spending all of that quality time in the waiting room, we got to observe all kinds of domestic and familial drama, the chiefest being a 16 year old who'd come in for an early emergency scan who's mother loudly informed the entire waiting room (on the pretext of informing her daughter) that if anyone gave her the eye for being the youngest person in the waiting room that we could all "just shove it." and then proceeded to use extremely colorful language while leafing through a redecorating magazine (who would have thought that different kinds of wall paper would have required so many different uses of the F word?) despite the presence of a good number of children. Stroppy daughter then began complaining loudly about having to pee (despite the necessity of a full bladder for a scan) and I spent a good 15 minutes watching the rolling of eyeballs around the room as well as the sigh of relief that went up when she was finally called back. I then got the giggles inappropriately thinking of Mom from Futurama, the supposedly sweet industrialist, zipping up her old lady suit and informing her advisers, "I'm off to some charity BS for knocked-up teenage sluts!" (I'm terribly sorry. It was a very, very difficult morning and my brain doesn't know from appropriate anymore. I'm listening to Rage Against the Machine at the moment, so all is lost.)

For any of you not acquainted with my previous experience of baby birthing at this particular hospital, let's just wrap up a whole week into a neat little parcel; it blew. It both blew and sucked, making a mockery of physics. (If anyone is bound and determined to read at least the sanitized version of events, it's in the archives under March 2007) At the time, when I wrote my "birth story", I think I put it this way:

To say that my birth plan went out the window is a colossal understatement. My birth plan tied sheets together, went out the window, caught a cab to the airport and spent the weekend losing money at The Sahara and getting hammered on free cocktails.

With the benefit of sober reflection nearly 2.5 years later, I can honest say that probably 60% of all that went wrong was just bad luck and couldn't have been avoided. However, the remaining 40% comprised a significant portion of the stuff that was the MOST mentally scarring. It was because of this 40% that have made me think long and hard about the birth of the Squid and exactly want I DO and DON'T want to happen. I am not the 17 year old girl in the waiting room. I am a woman and a mother who knows what's best for her and her family based on past experience, research and circumstances. To be treated as such is not, I think, an unreasonable expectation.

But, my NHS trust always has ways of surprising me. "However low the bar is, don't worry, WE'LL SET IT LOWER!"

I like to be fair to people. My consultant was not a bad person. Nor was she a bad doctor. But she clearly had the idea that I needed hand holding or coddling and that I probably hadn't really thought anything through very carefully.

Exhibit A: The c-section I had three major points.

a. I have had a previous caesarian.

b. We need my parents to look after our daughter and obviously they need to know WHEN to come.

c. Being 12 days past my due date and after 3 days in hospital with more drugs pumping through my body than were found in Janis Joplin's autopsy, my body did NOT want to give birth naturally. If you think I'm going through that again, I could do with whatever you're smoking.

What she responded with: "I understand that you might have had a difficult time last time around, but we don't like to do Caeserians for purely social reasons."

Pregnancy Rage was in the middle of taking an axe to the door "Shining" style when Self Control pressed the panic button.

"EXCUSE ME, LADY?" Rage screamed through the now splintered door. "WERE YOU EVEN LISTENING TO WHAT I JUST SAID? SOCIAL REASONS? SERIOUSLY?" Luckily, the watertight door between offices slammed to the ground and Self Control breathed a small squeak of relief to hear only muffled thumps coming from the other side.

Exhibit B: The tubal ligation I had only one major point.

a. WE DON'T WANT ANY MORE CHILDREN. EVER. PERIOD. We've been married for 10 years and this has always been our plan since we began to think about a family seriously. I'm not 24. I'm 34. This is my fifth pregnancy. I'm done. Finito. Finished. Two kids.

What she responded with: "Well, tubal ligation is very PERMANENT and not easily reversible. I appreciate that this is your plan, but circumstances can change. I don't want to comment on your social situation in any way, but there are much less invasive forms of birth control."

A faint blowtorch line was beginning to appear on the watertight door and Self Control reached into her desk drawer, hands trembling, for the tranquilizer darts as she could just begin to hear,

"I'M SORRY, DID I NOT JUST MAKE MYSELF FUCKING CRYSTAL CLEAR ON THE POINT THAT WE DON'T WANT ANY MORE CHILDREN? I'VE HAD TEN FUCKING YEARS TO THINK ABOUT THIS! I DIDN'T JUST WAKE UP THIS MORNING AND DECIDE OVER A CUP OF TEA AND CHEERIOS TO GET MY TUBES TIED!"

At this point, I made one last ditch effort to impress NICELY upon this well meaning woman how indescribably awful my previous birth experience had been and how I needed some form of control over my situation this time around, but as I feared, I became a blubbering mess, as I always do when I try to talk about The Prawn's birth, thereby eliminating any credibility I may have had as a mother-to-be not to be messed with.

I could almost hear Rage calling me the most awful names.

One of the worst features of the antenatal unit at our hospital is that it's in a port-a-cabin outside, so nothing is really designed for privacy, thereby forcing me to endure listening to the phone call that she placed in her next door office to the hospital's "Afterthought" service, politely explaining to them in nice terms that she had a very nice, but confused lady who needed to "talk to someone" in order to "process previous birth issues". The Rock Star (who suddenly realized that his presence at this appointment was, in fact, entirely unnecessary) and I contented ourselves by waving middle fingers at the closed door and giggling with insane disbelief.

So, the upshot of the interview- Sorry we gave you a c-section the first time, but no, you probably can't have another one because you don't have a good enough reason. Neither can you have a tubal ligation because you obviously haven't grasped what "never having any more kids" means. Oh, and finding care for your existing kid? Well, that's your problem.

Self Control is sleeping with one eye open.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Updates

So, where were we?

Ah yes. The Squid.

17 weeks today and all is going well. I had an appointment today with a very jolly midwife (who I wish I got to see ALL the time) who pronounced everything normal and above board. The Squid co-operated with the doppler, reassuring us that he/she is still jiving away in his/her uterine squat. In 3 weeks, we go in for the anomaly scan at which point hopefully we'll figure out if we have to buy a whole heap of clothes that aren't pink. I also have a consultant's appointment next week in which to discuss birth options (since the Prawn was a c-section) and also future contraceptive plans. (Tie those puppies off while you're in there!)

In other news, the Prawn spent Saturday running her father back and forth to the toilet and at one point, while seated on the throne, she began singing a lusty chorus of "Rule Britannia" (a natural potty song, I think you'll agree) which just about had Mr. DD paralytic on the floor with laughter. It made me sad to think that my mother-in-law (who, if there was a merciful deity, would NOT still be alive and suffering from CJD) was not about to see this, because I believe she would also have just about wet her knickers on the spot. ( No doubt, if my mother-in-law was about, the Prawn would already know a LOT of other songs, not all of them fit for polite company.)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Squid


14 weeks and all seems to be well.

The Squid (as this little bugger shall be known) seems to be doing his/her uterine thing. Little wiggles are detectable now, if I'm sitting or lying just the right way and I found the little escape artist's heartbeat for the first time just 15 minutes ago with my Home Sanity Saving Kit (My doppler) although, unlike the Prawn, who was happy to sit still while being poked and prodded, The Squid seems to like his/her personal space and will wriggle away from the magic pointy wand.

Mr. DD and I have been speculating as to the gender of The Squid since the 13 week scan went well. Although there's no scientific basis, since this pregnancy has already been vastly different, I'm beginning to be convinced that The Squid possesses a dingle dangle. Of course, I was convinced that the Prawn was a boy and THAT assumption cost me five quid to a friend who was equally certain she was a girl.

Six more weeks to wait and wonder!

UPDATE!

Just got the Nuchal Translucency test results and the Squid is decidedly LOW RISK for Downs. The Prawn was high risk, (1 in 230) so I was dreading the worry again, but the Squid is 1 in 8900. Go sqiddy!

Monday, September 14, 2009

So.

I was bleeding.

A lot.

It was red.

Did I mention that there was a lot?

I was escorted this morning to Waiting Room C at the hospital. I've been in it before, so I knew the way. While I'm glad this waiting room exists, it sucks. It's at the back of the antenatal unit, far away from pregnant bellies, but it' s tiny, and cold. It's the room for the early pregnancy unit where they also tend to put women who's scans won't be showing them anything to be happy about.

They finally did call my name and while waiting for the scan tech, I thought, "By the end of today, this is all going to be over. I can have a good cry tonight and then try to figure out what to do next." I was told in A&E on Saturday that they could book me in for an immediate D&C following the scan if need be. So I came totally prepared with pajamas, socks, pads and two books.

So imagine my absolute fucking shock when the technician turned the monitor my way.

"So, okay, here's your baby, and here's the heartbeat..."

Excuse me, the what?

Despite the copious red blood, despite everything...still there. My cervix is closed, the placenta is firmly attached and NOT covering my cervix, so she basically had no explanation for the blood other than "Sometimes women bleed during pregnancy." Of course, this has certainly not been the case for me. Some women may bleed during pregnancy, but I sure as hell haven't been one of them. If I see blood, RED blood, it's always been game over.

The NT scan, luckily, is booked for Thursday, so I'll have some more reassurance later in the week.

The scan put me at 12.5 weeks. This is my fifth pregnancy, but only my second ever second trimester.

I can't say how sorry I am for the roller coaster ride. From now on, I shall keep my mouth firmly shut in the event of any more scary shit until I know one way or the other. Thank you all so much for riding it with me.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Fuck the universe right in the ear.

I am official done with this reproducing shit.

On the way to hospital again.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Speechless

Okay, first things first.

9w 3d and we have a really little jumping bean with fingers and everything. I have finally gathered the courage to register with the midwife. Roll on, end of the first trimester.

Secondly.

I received a bill yesterday from Dr. BTG that had apparently been rejected by my insurance company. Hoping it was a mistake, I phoned them up only to be told by an Eastern European customer care operative that their "policy regarding fertility matters" had changed rather recently and my claims were now NOT covered. I commented on how nice it was to tell me this when I first sent them a letter detailing my treatment back in July. I could almost audibly hear the woman on the phone shrug her shoulders.

So, we were now responsible for £900 pounds of doctor's bills. I had a good old cry, upsetting the Prawn in the process, until Mr. DD pointed out that it was only money and we could probably take care of that amount in 3 or 4 months with careful budgeting. He is always right.

So, I had my final appointment with Dr. BTG this morning. The scan went very well and then, as we were leaving, I told him that the remainder of the bills needed to be forwarded to us rather than the insurance company.

"Oh, don't worry about that," he said, waving his hand dismissively, "just pay me in champagne."

We laughed.

"I'm serious,"
he said, "say...two bottles per visit, six in total?"

Then I nearly cried. Instead of owing £900, we were now only responsible for approximately £200 quid in champagne. (We WILL be getting the good stuff!)

Today was a Good Day.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Hmmmm...

So, I had an appointment on for a scan this morning.

I was expecting the worst.

But there was a heartbeat.

I can't count chickens, as I have seen a heartbeat before and had things go wrong, but it's better than a kick in the teeth.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

I haven't quite figured out how to leave the house yet. In other words, it always feels a little weird to be a sane person who realizes that they're going crazy.

Dr. BTG was trying to be optimistic. "Don't worry." he said. "Come back in two weeks." Forums, after all, are filled with "I didn't see the HB at 6 weeks, but it was there at 8!" happy endings, but I'm guessing that in two weeks, I'm not going to need another sonogram to tell me what's happening because....well, it's me, isn't it?

There's some tightening. And cramping. And the nausea. (Did I mention that I feel atrociously ill?) But no blood. Really, body? You're REALLY going to drag this out?

But of course, it's the limbo that's the worst. Until I get the results of the blood test that should tell me conclusively what's going on, I'm just kind of waiting it out.

The Mr thinks we should give it a rest for a while. Get back on the happy pills for a while. Get back into exercise. Be able to enjoy our Prawn and the rest of the summer worry free. I think I may be inclined to agree. It's just trying to get past the worry of having all of the baby stuff taken care of by the time we leave these shores and suddenly find that anything medical shoots up in price by 300%. I worry about my age. I worry about the widening age gap between a second sibling and the Prawn. I worry about money. I worry about how many more miscarriages I can endure both physically and emotionally.

I've been thinking about my life at the moment like a patch of scorched earth. Every time green shoots of renewal start to poke through the surface, another fucking rain of fire just come out of the sky.

I'm just talking here, people, I don't know where I'm going with this.

Update:

Got a call from Dr. BTG saying all looked well with bloods. Slightly low on progesterone, but wants me to go back to shots.

So, still have no idea. Still waiting for answers.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Monday, July 27, 2009

All Hail Captain Overreaction

Okay, in my defense, since when have I ever seen blood and everything has been okay?

So...actually still pregnant. I know, right? I'm batting 1 for 5 at the moment, and I know I certainly can't count on number 5. I have an appointment with Dr. Bow Tie Guy a week from today to see what might be able to be done to improve the odds of an actual baby resulting from this. According to the epic blood test that I had a while back, I'm slightly low in two proteins that are essential, but Dr. BTG didn't think they were causing my problems. So....I guess we'll see.

We're keeping very quiet at the mo (except, of course for posting it publicly on this blog) as sis-in-law is also pregnant at the mo. I know that she was worried about telling me the news (I would have been to if I'd been in her shoes) and don't want to make it any more awkward for her should everything go pear shaped again. I want her to feel like she can talk to me and share her happiness, even if it DOES suck for me, cause she's awesome and we're family.

Thanks to all of you who commented on the last post; I know you've all been following my story for a while, as I've been following yours. It means a lot to me that you're all cheering me on.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

If my body belonged to someone else, I would be plotting revenge.

I would be trying to figure out how to break into her house. How to deface her blog. How to hurt her even a fraction as much as she'd hurt me.

Two words.

Chemical pregnancy.

I despise my body.

Friday, July 17, 2009

More Than a Feeling

Just to show that I'm not all doom and gloom...

Mr. DD is, at present, participating in the annual Pepper Show which he's been involved with for a number of years. Every night for some time now, after we get home, he kisses the Prawn goodnight and tells her that "daddy is going to play guitar", so I thought it was probably time she got to SEE him do it. Last night was the final dress rehearsal, so Prawn and I went along.

A two year old has about as much ability to sit still as a giraffe has to be inconspicuous, so my hopes for staying were not high. However, I was to be astonished.

The Prawn was enthralled. Enraptured. Utterly attentive. Completely and totally thrilled. AND HAPPY TO STAY IN HER SEAT FOR 45 MINUTES WITHOUT THE ASSISTANCE OF SESAME STREET.

She jigged. She bounced. She clapped and waved her arms. She totally moshed out to Boston. She shouted "YAY! ANOTHER ONE!" after every number. I cannot even begin to tell you how thrilled I was that she enjoyed herself so very much. My kid already likes live music! And she's only two!

I must admit to being filled with heady thoughts of summer festivals in the future, my little headbanger dancing like a wild monkey. :)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

OMG. WTF.

There are some moments when you worry about your mouth hanging open for so long, there's a good possibility of drooling on your own shirt. Today was one of those days.

Many moons ago, I waxed lyrical about the mother of mine and Mr. DD's goddaughter, who is practically a baby herself at 23 (this is not to say that there are not perfectly mature 23 year olds out there, but when I was 23, I thought that running naked across a soccer field at 3 am made me REALLY COOL, so maybe that just puts the whole issue to rest right there.) and one of those people who honestly just reacts to stimulus rather than thinking deeply into anything. This is not to say that she is a bad person. She is a young person who has had a very, very easy ride and will continue to do so.

I took the Prawn over to play with said goddaughter who is a little over half a year older than she is. While they were in a bedroom wrecking havoc, The Barmaid and I chatted about not particularly challenging issues, but finally we did come round to "so, you guys thinking of having another one?"

"Well," I said, "I actually WAS pregnant earlier this year, but I miscarried in March. I went to the hospital for a surgical option."

"Oh my god!" she said, leaning in conspiritorially, "Surgery is so WEIRD! I've had two abortions since I've been with *insert name of current boyfriend*!"

The thing is, I would have expected to become enraged or emotional at this idea that somehow having a surgical solution to a miscarriage and oh, HAVING A FUCKING ABORTION were in any way similar, but somehow, it really just washed right over me. It was rather like hearing a two year old say the word "cocksucker" because they figured out how to use the remote and had been watching "Die Hard" for the last few hours. I knew that it honestly didn't occur to her that this might be in some way an innapropriate comparison to make.

"Oh." I said. "Did you skip a pill or something?"

"No. We just weren't using anything."

THEY JUST WEREN'T USING ANYTHING, FOLKS. YOU HEARD IT HERE.

I need a drink.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Familiar Territory

Been a while since I posted.

Have been a bit down recently about the whole miscarriage thing. I don't know if I didn't have time AT the time to process much or if I thought it shouldn't bug me because I already have a kid or what, but I'm finding it hard to look at pregnant bellies again.

It's hard, with secondary infertility, to feel that you have the right to complain at all. I mean, you already HAVE the one thing that so many other people would give their right arm for: a happy, healthy child. It feels GREEDY to be sad; to long for another baby.

While at home in the States recently, an old high school friend stopped by to visit. We got pregnant within a few weeks of each other. I knew it would be hard to see her, but didn't really feel like I was close enough with her to say, "Hey, you know you're awesome and all, but I think it might be a little difficult for me at the mo." So, along she came, big belly and all.

And it sucked. I hope it didn't come through in my demeanor exactly how much it sucked, but it did.

Some of our best friends Blighty-side are also expecting again; after a long battle to conceive, I might add. (She suffers from PCOS) I know we need to get together with them, but at the moment, I don't know how to get through the evening.

I need permission to feel sad. From someone. Anyone.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

She Gets Cookies for Dinner

Prawn: “Daddy has a big mouth!”

Mr. DD: “Well that’s not very nice is it? How would you like it if I said you had a big bum?”

Prawn: “BIG BUM!”

Mr. DD: “Does Prawn have a big bum?”

*Prawn sticks bum up in the air*

Prawn: “YES!”

Mr. DD: “I see. Does daddy have a big bum?”

Prawn: “YES! Daddy big bum!”

Mr. DD: “Right. What about mummy? Does mummy have a big bum?”

Prawn: ” uhhhhhhhhh … ”

Prawn: ” ummm … NOPE. Mummy SMALL bum”

My child is only 2 and knows when to tell the right kind of lie.

The Street

I’ve having one of those sunrise/sunset moments at present. The Prawn has discovered Sesame Street.

And when I say discovered, what I actually mean is, lives, breathes and eats The Street. There is not a moment of the day when she does not wish to be worshiping at the feet of St. Elmo. (And not the 80’s brat pack feature, although one might say that the unchanging nature of Rob Lowes good looks might have a slightly holy bent to it.) We only have about 7 episodes ranging from newer (probably 2007 or so) to older (late 90’s, judging by the “computer” episode where Telly Monster shows you how to load a floppy disk into a machine that takes up 3/4ths of the desk that it’s sitting on.) so needless to say the Rock Star and I are frantically trying to get our hands on more so that we don’t want to commit suicide.

I embellish. To be truthful, I’m fairly happy to sit down with the Prawn and watch Sesame Street as it still features a lot of the fun, grainy clips that I remember from my childhood. The trippy 12 song, with the latest disco beats and just-about- post LSD era animations of a pinball traveling through national landmarks came up almost immediately. And how great is it to see that at least half of the original cast is STILL PLUGGING AWAY after 32 years? And that all of the muppets finally sound the way they did before Jim Henson went ot the big, googly-eyed felt pile in the sky? (Big kudos to Eric Jacobson and Steve Whitmeyer) While all of this was incredibly exciting to me, the Prawn just wanted to know when Elmo was coming back.

It’s my belief that someone should study the whole Elmo phoenominon. Until last week, the Prawn had never seen Elmo. Never heard of Elmo. But the moment she was introduced, it was love at little, furry, red monster sight. I’m not really sure how to feel about Elmo, especially the “Elmo’s World” segments which are generally pretty inane, but there’s obviously something about him which causes immediate crack brain in children. (I actually think the biggest surprise about Elmo for me was the person who voices him. I was pretty sure it was a woman for a long time, but it turns out it’s an enormous black guy called Kevin Clash who does some directing on the show as well.) So how does he do it? Subliminal messages? Rays from space? Whatever it is, I wish he was sharing, because if I could hold the Prawn’s attention like that, I’d have it made.

But anyway, it’s all a little surreal to be watching a show that I watched as a child with all the same characters 30 years later with my own little girl on my lap.

ONE! ONE HAPPY MEMORY! TWO! TWO HAPPY MEMORIES! THREE! THREE HAPPY MEMORIES. AH AH AH!

Monday, April 06, 2009

Why, if I were not married to Mr. DD, I would seriously try to woo Mr. BTG

So, can I just say that I love my specialist?

I've had a couple of weeks to process and am started to feel a little normalized, although my new normal probably includes about 8 pounds that I put on while I was pregnant. I have no doubt that my Wii Fit will mock me when I step back on the balance board this evening.

I wrote a long letter to Mr. BTG last week detailing my unfortunate experience and was enormously pleased to get a prompt response.

So, not only is he going to do the basic "let's find out if there's an easy solution to this" testing, but is going to try to get me referred to St. Mary's recurring miscarriage clinic in London, which is one of the best units in the country. While he's not entirely sure that I fit the criteria, he's going to do his darndest to get them to see me.

"We WILL win. I promise you." he ended his letter.

I TOTALLY believe him.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Long Story: Cherry Blossom

When I was about 10 or 11, my mother, myself and my late and sainted Great Aunt Myrtle (sainted not only due to the fact that she was the nicest lady that you’d ever want to meet, but because she was married for a rather long time to my “uncle” Charles; he of the terrible driving, mouth like a sailor and teller of inappropriate stories.) traveled to Kansas for the wedding of one of my cousins. We were put up in the house of a generous friend of the family and all bunked in the same room.

After an hour or two on the first night of our stay, it became clear to my mother and I that dear, sainted Aunt Myrtle snored like a congested Army cadet sleeping off a week long hangover after shore leave. To combat this aural assault, my mother turned on the air conditioner and returned to a few hours of slumber. However, this method turned out not the be foolproof, as Aunt Myrtle was delicate of composition, awakened to a chill in the air and rose to turn off the unit. Of course, this cycle was repeated many times a night and all of us returned to Maryland happy to have witnessed the wedding, but even happier to get a good night’s sleep. (All I can say is that Uncle Charles must have been deaf as well as crazy.)

It was this trip that I recalled as I tried to catch a few winks on the hospital ward on Sunday night, while both of my ward mates did their best impression of bunged up hippopotimi.

This was not the blog entry I wanted to write this week.

Since the last pregnancy went so well, we figured that my body had probably sussed out this whole baby-building thing, so I decided to be as Zen as possible and hopefully all would be well.

I’d be forgiven for being optimistic when, last Thursday, I finally reached the magic 12 week mark without incident. Saturday was the Prawn’s birthday, we had friends coming to celebrate, life was good.

But then, on Friday, there was blood.

After a rather predictably useless visit to A&E that night that yielded little more than a bad bruise due to an over enthusiastic medical student’s blood taking attempt, my fears of the worst had to be put aside in order to put the finishing touches on 48 pink and yellow cupcakes.

In the grand scheme of things, the one mercy that I was afforded over the weekend, was that the day of the party, I was able to be wholly there for my daughter and even managed to have a great time with family and friends even though I knew that I was probably staring down the inevitable. The Prawn’s ecstatic face when she noticed that we’d decked the ceiling with helium balloons was reason enough to be cheerful. Being able to watch her hugging and kissing her godsister and the two of them laughing like a pair of loons while playing together…fantastic.

However, on Sunday, it was pretty apparent that all was about to go pear shaped, so back to the hospital we went.

Our first point of contact was the most uninterested Ukranian medical foot soldier who could not have been more unhappy about working the Sunday night sports injury/domestic violence shift. (Seriously, guys, you’re REALLY wanting to go to the emergency room because you tripped while playing football and have a bit of a swelling on your ankle? SUCK IT UP, BUTTERCUP; USE AN ICE PACK.) It’s no bloody wonder, really, judging by the state of of my fellow A&E patients. However, unlike most of them, I was admitted after actually being able to see a doctor that specialized in, oh, what was actually wrong with me. (As relieved at I was to see an OBGYN, I am still suffering from her efforts to insert a canula in my hand; I am the proud owner of a 3 inch long bruise running down my arm. Both she and Mr DD were alarmed at the small, red fountain that erupted.)

My previous experience on a hospital ward during the week that I had the Prawn loomed large in my mind as I was wheeled up to where they stashed gyn patients. (Anyone who’s able bodied who has been stuck in a wheelchair will tell you that this is a vaguely humiliating experience.) However, the wing that I was escorted to was newer, cleaner and by FAR more comfortable than Labor and Delivery. (My guess is that since L&D is a constant revolving door of a place, it can never been quite as well looked after. ) I quietly slipped into the dignity-stripping hospital issue nightgown, tearfully said goodnight to Mr. DD, and after giving up on getting something to eat (I hadn’t had anything since 3 in the afternoon) tried to catch as much sleep as humanly possible between the nocturnal apnea antics of my two ward mates.

Morning on the wards starts at 6. As it was likely I was going to be offered surgery sometime that day, my chart was stamped with a large “DO NOT FEED THE ANIMALS” sign, guaranteeing an entire day of a mouth that tasted like the underside of a city bus. I had little to do but wait for the scan that was scheduled for 8.30 that would inevitably show me what I already knew to be true, so I passed the time dozing while listening to the two other ladies (who had obviously been on the ward for some days) complaining about the time it took to get their pain medication.

Since Mr DD had to drop The Prawn off at nursery around 8, making the scan at 8.30 was always going to be a bit of an ask, but when I realized that I was about to be wheeled down to the antenatal wing by myself, I couldn’t help but feel slightly desperate. The feeling of desperation increased when I and my unnecessary chariot were left by the reception desk to watch a parade of endlessly pregnant bellies and beaming mothers walk through for their appointments. Luckily, one of the receptionists showed an ounce of common sense and wheeled me back to a waiting room that was obviously reserved for appointments such as mine, far away from the main waiting room, where I don’t mind saying that I finally completely lost my shit. The scan technicians kindly delayed for 10 minutes in the hope that Mr DD would be able to make it, but when it became apparent that I was holding everything up, I let them know that it was fine to go ahead.

It’s one thing to know something in your gut, but it’s quite another to have it graphically confirmed. Although I was technically 12 weeks pregnant, the fetus had stopped growing at 8 weeks. Since the bleeding had taken so long to start, the diagnosis was: missed miscarriage. The scan technician was very sympathetic, but apparently, in cases such as this, a diagnosis has to be confirmed by a senior technician, so I was left alone in the room, shivering and covered with ultrasound goo with a junior nurse who had no clue what to say to me. Not that I blame her; what in the hell DO you say to someone who’s just seen a dead baby? So, she fell back on what most people do: “Where’s your accent from?”, which turned into, “Oh, from near Washington DC, huh?” which, even MORE oddly turned into, “Is that where Natasha Richardson was from?”

“ARE YOU SERIOUS WITH THAT? DO YOU THINK I WANT TO TALK ABOUT A CELEBRITY WHO DIED BECAUSE SHE WAS TOO DUMB TO WEAR A HELMET WHILE PARTICIPATING IN A SNOWSPORT RIGHT NOW?”
I wanted to shout. But of course, I didn’t and said something along the lines of, “No, she lived in New York. That was a real shame.”

Lucky for me, the door opened at that moment and Mr DD appeared with the senior technician, which was an enormous relief. The senior tech confirmed her junior’s findings and I was sent back up to the ward to wait for a doctor to discuss my options.

Stoke Mandeville is not immune to basic NHS problems, the two biggest of them, in my view are understaffing and bad communication. Suffice to say that it was about 2 hours before the doctor came to see me and then I was pretty much forgotten about until around 3 when the Rock Star finally cornered a nurse and asked her politely, but firmly if she could please find out what in the name of holy hell was going on. I was now going on 24 hours of food and water deprivation (although I’d been given a saline drip to keep me hydrated, this did nothing for my Bus Mouth) and was starting to feel woozy. Not only that, but the Prawn’s going-home time was approaching and we, as of yet, had no idea how we were going to get her.

FINALLY, at 4 pm, a trolley arrived to take me down to the theatre. When faced with the prospect of surgery, it’s natural to think PAST it, but when actually confronted with it, lying on a gurney in the ante-room of the operating room, panic kicks in a little bit. Especially when the first person you see coming out of the theatre is a large man, sucking on a lollipop, covered in tattoos and dressed in scrubs. My moment of predjudice was an odd one; how am I, who have no fewer than 6 tattoos myself, to justify a feeling of dread upon discovering that this be-inked individual is the “master of surgery”? (Meaning, I think that he is responsible for everything and everyone in the theatre being exactly where they should be.) I suppose, when you’re about to trust your anethesthtised body to perfect strangers, that you crave gravitas, which, sadly, tattoos do not always convey. However, he was extremely competant, despite my reservations regarding the sanitary nature of eating sweets in a sterile environment.

The anesthetist was undoubtedly my favorite character of the experience; a rather short and camp character, he winked at me as he began preparing syringes and asked sympatheticly how long I’d been waiting.

“I was admitted last night.”
I told him, welling up a little.

“Oh, you poor lamb! Such a long wait!”
he said, patting my shoulder, “Let’s get you a gin and tonic.”

I’ve been under the influence of anesthetic a good many times and recognised the feeling as he administered what I termed, “the good stuff.” He laughed. “Yes, that was the good stuff. Nighty night, my love.”

The dose must have been relatively light. I’ve always struggled to fight through the fog of anesthetic while post op nurses cajole me to open my eyes. But this time, when I heard the mention of a cup of tea, I was wide awake. Although I’m notoriously picky about tea, the cup of hospital issue overstewed brown water tasted like the nectar of heaven after over 26 hours with no food or drink.

I was released at around 9.30pm.

It’s kind of hard to describe the feeling upon returning home. The relief that I’d felt in the hospital to have everything over and done with gave way to sadness a bit. Two days ago, I’d been pregnant. Now I’m not.

A family member who’s also experienced pregnancy loss wrote to me of her disappointment during one spring season, when wild thing start to bloom. “How can I grieve so much over a zygote smaller than a cherry blossom?” she said, “But I think of those little lost potentials every cherry blossom season.”

It’s this that is most distressing during pregnancy loss; the loss of potential. There is little anyone can do upon seeing two bright lines on a pregnancy test but begin to imagine the change in their lives that will be caused by a life to come and what that small bright spark might bring. When the bright spark is gone, the loss of it’s promise is as devastating as the physical loss to the body.

Everything that I know tells me that this was most likely bad luck. Our bodies have a good sense of self-preservation and know not to waste energy on a pregnancy that will not result in a healthy baby, but it’s hard to want to thank your body for what feels like an act of biological treason. It’s difficult to learn to like yourself again.

But all of you guys know all of this far too well.

Despite my experience, I am optimistic and grateful. I have a supremely amazing and beautiful daughter and a partner who I can rely on unconditionally. We are healthy. We are solvent. We will try again.

We have much to look forward to.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Just a quick one..

I was admitted to the hospital on Sunday night for a "surgical solution" to be performed yesterday afternoon. There were no problems and so far, no pain. Given the choice between this and a "natural" miscarriage, (which I've experienced twice before and found to be drawn out, painful and traumatic) I'd go for the surgical option any day.

Yeah, it blows. Both Mr. DD and I are really sad, but there's parenting to be done, so we're trying to keep it together as best we can.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The End

It is the day of the Prawn's second birthday, and unfortunately, I believe that my pregnancy is over.

My body has a hell of a way of timing things. I was 12 weeks on Thursday and had dared hope that all would be well. But now there is blood. And there are cramps. And I have a party for 16 people to host this afternoon.

Any good thoughts that you can spare my way would be much appreciated.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Monday, March 09, 2009

The Birth Story (For Reals This Time)

I've been having some nigglings recently as the Prawn's second birthday approaches. The feeling in the air is the same as it was two years ago or something; the smell of spring. And it's stirred up an uncomfortableness that I've been having a hard time shaking.

The Prawn and I have been occasionally watching baby shows on Discovery Home and Health. I try not to traumatize her with "Home Birth Diaries" as this particular show often involves a lot of unmedicated screaming. (WHICH IS TOTALLY FINE, HOME BIRTH ADVOCATES, but I think it might kind of scare the crap out of my toddler.) However, there are a few that show much calmer births which don't seem to phase her at all. ("Baby coming out of mummy! Hello, baby!")

I've been looking at these natural births (both medicated and unmedicated) in envy recently and realized that the source of my discomfort has been stemming from my really quite shitty birth experience. It seems ungrateful, really, to class a birth experience as totally shitty since both the Prawn and I got to come home in one piece (albeit, I had a whopping great stitched up hole in my belly) but it's occurred to me more and more lately that a lot of the problems I had (and sometimes still have) relating to my daughter probably had their seeds in her birth.

Soon afterwards, I wrote the rather sanitized version. Long, but pithy enough to play down the serious trauma that I was feeling at the time. The only allusion to the unpleasantness of the whole affair were two sentences.

"Here is where I need to process. Two more days on the wards followed that I would sincerely like to forget about."

Well, I suppose two years is enough processing time.

I think the biggest thing for me was the sheer amount of time that I was left alone, both before and after the birth. I'd always imagined that I'd be able to labor with my husband beside me. This was not the case. I spent the majority of the time while I was having contractions completely by myself. I assumed that I'd be treated gently and with understanding. This was not the case either. Apart from 2 midwives who I had only the briefest time with, without exception, everyone that I dealt with seemed harassed and in no mood to deal with pregnant women. I felt TOTALLY alone.

After 3 days previous spent in labor on the ward, I was hovering on the edge of Bat Country by the time the Prawn showed up; I was THAT exhausted. While most women on the post natal ward had been admitted the night before, by the time the Prawn actually arrived, I was on my 4th night of lots of pain and no sleep. Of course, Mr. DD was ordered off the ward at 10pm, leaving me in the care of more surly midwives who were grievously over extended.

Thursday night (I went into the hospital on Sunday) was undoubtedly the low point of my then 32 years of life. The Prawn wasn't feeding well; my milk hadn't come in and she was positively screaming of hunger, keeping awake the 3 other women and babies on the ward (Don't get me started on the ward system, because my head will literally fall off.) which was yet another source of stress. (It's MY child keeping everyone awake) On a 4 day sleep jag, the walls were literally beginning to melt, so I hobbled down the hallway with the bassinet. I asked a nurse on duty (who was doing nothing but reading a magazine, I assure you) if she could pretty please cup feed the Prawn so that I could literally have 15 minutes of sleep. She said of course, so I went back and collapsed.

Two hours later, I woke up in a panic as the bassinet by my bed was still empty. I padded down the hall to the nurses station only to hear a conversation going on inside.

"She said she was tired."

"Bloody hell, she thinks she's tired now, just wait til she gets this little one home! What the hell does she think she's going to do then, pass her off to someone else?"

I'm not a paranoid person by nature, but even I realized that the two women inside were talking about me, so I walked straight in and have never seen two people come closer to pissing their pants.

The one who'd made the last unpleasant comment brightly said, "Alright love? You feeling better?"

"Give me my daughter." I told her. I wish now that I'd added, "and go straight to hell."

The next morning, during the consultants rounds, I told the doctor in no uncertain terms that if she didn't see fit to release me this afternoon, that I was walking out with my baby and she and everyone else could just sit and spin. Although they weren't happy about releasing a Cesarean patient a day early, (and they were right, too. The night I went home, I suffered a major drop in blood pressure) I think they could see the crazy starting to emerge from cracks in my facade.

As soon as I got in the car, I cried all the way home. I have never been so grateful to leave ANYWHERE in my life.

That covers me. But the Prawn was another matter.

The nature of the Prawn's birth made me feel assaulted by her presence. Watching natural births and even planned Cesarean births has made me realize beyond a shadow of a doubt that I did NOT have the kind of experience that was conducive to bonding with a baby. In the hospital and even for months after, she was a duty; this thing that appeared in my life that I was now responsible for and although I didn't resent her, I also didn't really feel much of anything whatsoever. Mr. DD spent a lot of time with her in those early months while I recuperated and processed and I truly wonder sometimes if that's why she sometimes shuns me now in favor of her father. Ironic, isn't it? Now that I AM head over heels in love with her, she wants little to do with me. While I know that it's a phase that she'll hopefully grow out of, it doesn't hurt any less when she shoves me aside, knowing that it's my own bloody fault.

Unfortunately, should this pregnancy come to term, I will be admitted to the very same hospital on the very same ward. I have experience on my side this time, and also the knowledge that the baby will be born on a specific date. I know that some women who end up with a traumatic Cesarean experience desperately want to experience a natural birth, but I am not one of these women. I don't feel like I "missed" anything. I'm not excited by the idea of a second Cesarean birth, but at least I'll feel ready for it. (although hopefully this time, the blasted epidural will last for the ENTIRETY of the operation.)

The Prawn, has of late, begun to understand what "love" means. Driving her to the indoor playground the other day, she began singing, "I love Mummy!" over and over again and grinning her most brilliant grin.

It almost makes it all go away.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

The Crazy

Yeah. 10 weeks. That's about my limit for my "twig in the stream" approach to this pregnancy.

Much fun was had the first time around with progesterone pessaries. Two little rocket shaped pellets of fun to be inserted straight up the yoo hoo every night before bed. Despite the gagaliciousness of this, it caused little difficulties apart from obsessive hand washing. However, this time around, my IBS has made the importation of these nasty little progesterone bullets a bit of a non-starter. The alternative venue for the pessaries is also a no-go due to my problems with Interstitial Cystitis.

So, after several weeks of this war of guts and waterworks, I slunk back to Dr. BowTieGuy to ask if there was, for the love of god, a better way.

Luckily, there is. I now receive weekly shots directly in the ass. While this doesn't sound ideal, TRUST me when I saw that it is the lesser of 3 evils, despite feeling as though someone has taken an airgun to my hind quarters.

Here is where the crazy comes in.

While taking the pessaries daily, I was aflicted with constant nausea, which sucks, but was at least reassuring. Since the shots began, the nausea has decreased markedly. So I'm left to wonder...am I actually getting enough progesterone? Has the sick gone because it's simply time for it to piss off or is something not happening that should be?

I've been working hard not to think too hard about the fact that I'm pregnant, because I'm secretly hoping that it will suddenly just be 12 weeks and all will be sunshine and rainbows. Well, partly that and partly that I simply don't have TIME to think about it due to a certain Prawn who wants "BOOKS!" or "JUICE!" "RIGHT NOW!". Roughly translated, I don't have quite as much time to puss around. Not reaching for that thing on the top shelf? Screw that. I have a 30 pound toddler to carry around; I do not have the luxury of being a delicate flower like I did in 2006. And also, the news blackout til week 12? TOTALLY freaking inconvenient. Have you ever tried to make an appointment with a midwife over the phone at work and manage NOT to say anything that might be interpreted by your fellow co-workers as pertaining to pregnancy?

But as much as I tried to convince myself that this was going to be a new, no nonsense pregnancy....the crazy still remains.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Prawn Quote of the Day

Me: Darling, shall we pick up your blocks before naptime?

Prawn: (predictably) No!

Me: Come on, sweetpea, you KNOW that we put things away after we're done with them.

Prawn: (even more predictably, considering how close to naptime it is) No way!

Me: WREN....

Prawn: NO WAY DUDE!

You know, that was SO funny when we first taught her that.....

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Now with more whining!

I just wanted to take a second to thank all of you fabulous ladies out there who've come back to comment even though I abandoned this blog for the best part of a year. It's nice to know that even after this long, I'm not just pissing in the wind.

Speaking of pissing and wind... (did you like that segue?) the symptoms of my infestation are becoming slightly more pronounced. The frequent potty trips. The flatulence that can kill. Mr. DD has given me a free pass to let rip whenever without ridicule, but I have no such bargain with the Prawn, who will shout, "MUMMY TOOTED!" and laugh like a howler monkey before I managed to get the obligatory "pardon me" out. (Yep, she got my sense of humor. That's her inheritance; fart jokes)

The nausea is a LOT more pronounced at the moment than it was when I was carrying the Prawn, so I've found myself an avid consumer of Hoops (Spaghetti-O's for our American viewers) as it's the only thing that does NOT in fact make me want to hurl. Here are a list of things that DO make me want to hurl.

a) felt
b) buttons
c) the internet
d) my kitchen
e) my daughter's shampoo
f) everything else

WTF, hormones? What CONCEIVABLE reason could you POSSIBLY have for keeping me away from crafting products, the web and the place where I can get sustenance?

The sudden break from anti-depressants is also proving to be a bit of a trial. My depression has returned in much the same form that it took before I began taking Ciprolex, although I am willing to stick it out and see what happens after the first trimester. The way I feel right now would make the most pernicious Pollyanna into a cold, hard bitch, so I don't know if it's the best time to judge the seriousness of my emotional state.

Today, we had our second visit with Dr. Bow Tie Guy to check on the progress of said blob. The Prawn accompanied us today after much reassurance that while we WERE going to a doctor, it was not a doctor that was going to be touching HER. Despite these reassurances, she clung to Mr. DD for dear life until she became very sure that Dr. BTG had no evil designs in mind, such as trying to listen to her heartbeat or something similarly sinister.

She became much happier in the scanning room when the light was turned off and the Blob (New and Improved! Now with heartbeat!) was located very quickly. "BLOB!" she shouted happily, reducing the attending nurse to a fit of giggles. (and then more somberly, "Docta no poka Wren." which caused me no end of amusement, as it was what I promised her before we came into the building)

So the tale of blob continues! See the drama! Feel the nausea! Stay tuned.

Friday, February 06, 2009

The Old, the New and the Ugly

So. A week of snow. A lot of time to sit indoors and concentrate on the things taking place in my nether regions while being the subject of constant demands for juice, milk, crayons, music, Baby Einstein, lollies and many other things too numerous to list. (Not that I begrudge the Prawn any of these things, but she's gotten to a stage when she believes that things with happen quicker if she repeats herself 457 times in a row.)

6 weeks is still FAR too early to count chickens, but since starting on the progesterone supplements, I'm beginning to be plagued by nausea, which, while hideous, it is a comforting thing, since I experienced it with the Prawn. It is also comforting since I never actually tossed my cookies while pregnant with the Prawn, but just felt rather unpleasantly like I had a bad hangover for 14 weeks.

Also? An Angry. I haz it. The Rage didn't hit me until later in pregnancy with the Prawn, but I seem to have gotten my hate on earlier this time. Maybe it never really left or maybe it has something to do with the fact that, the moment I saw the two lines, I had to quit my SSRI cold turkey which is the thing in the directions printed in bold saying, "FOR THE LOVE OF CHRIST, DO NOT GO OFF THESE THINGS ALL AT ONCE OR THERE IS A VERY REAL POSSIBILITY THAT YOU MIGHT RUN OUT INTO TRAFFIC." So, that's been fun. I checked with my GP to make sure that what I was doing was okay and he seemed to think that it was better safe than sorry, although he DID admit that a lot of drugs were probably okay for preganant women, but not enough research was available on the subject. So, on top of the normal uncontrollable weeping at advertisements on tv, I've got some serious brain chemical hoodoo working against me. It's a party.

There are two new factors this time around; one being a super boisterous Prawn and the other being a shiteous flare up of IBS. It's been pretty much non-existant until about 3 months ago when it decided to turn my bowels into a cramptastic fun zone and my stomach into a bloated nightmare.

I think this is going to be a longer 9 months than the first time around. Still, I'm thankful for this blob and all the mischief that it's causing. Keep on keeping on, little blob.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Good Luck Charm

I'm just trying to remember how all of this works.

I got in for my first consultation with Dr. Bow Tie Guy on Friday. I'm constantly reminded of the disparity between the NHS and private care when I have the pleasure of attending clinics at Dr. Bow Tie Guy's base of operation. A beautiful waiting room with lovely, comfortable couches and a complementary coffee machine with ACTUAL MUGS to drink out of. Oh, and did I mention that the receptionist didn't look as if she wanted to spit on me when I arrived? LUXURY.

Dr. BTG's first questions for me related to my previous experiences in delivering the Prawn. "Normal birth?" he asked. It was lucky for me that I'd finished my coffee in the lobby so that there was no liquid to snort out of my nose in a distainful manner. As I wove my tale of 3 days in and out of labor and hideous internal examinations culminating in an emergency c-section, his brow furrowed.

"Where did this HAPPEN?" he asked.

I told him and he seemed supremely unsurprised. Hooray for the birthplace of my speculative second child!

Then came the moment that had been making me want to throw up since the moment I saw the two pink lines on the pee stick: the scan. I have, at least one other time, found out some of the worst news of my life while lying on my back without any underwear on, so the chance to put myself once again in this position had been making me feel completely nausious.

After parading down the hallway in a bathrobe slightly too short for purpose and exuding the supreme confidence that only someone wearing socks with no trousers can, I got straight back into the all to familiar stirups and held my breath.

So.

Theres a blob. It's the right size. It's where it's supposed to be. So that's going to have to be enough until I get to have another look the next time I'm summoned. I've been supplied with enough progesterone to shove up the tradesmans for the next month and a half, so we'll have to hope that said blob is happy enough in Chez Womb to stick it out.

Today I made myself a talisman. During my pregnancy with the Prawn, I made myself a small silver pendant adorned with a moonstone, meant to represent women, childbirth, etc, etc that I wore for the entire 9 months. However, due to the fact that it kind of cramped my fashion choices (the cord was red; the Chinese luck color. Yes, I'm a total gimp) this time, I've opted for a bracelet. So, me and the blob are all charmed up.

Fingers crossed.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Another ride on the Ferris Wheel

I have to admit...it's been a while. Trying to balance 3 different blogs while simultaneously looking after a todder and running a moderately successful home crafting business have left little time for sitting down and tickling my keyboard. But I'm back for a reason.

In the last few weeks, I've been spending some big money. The first big blow out was on plane fare for the Prawn and myself to visit my parents in September. The other was for a membership at a new indoor snowslope that's opening right down the road.

So, on Saturday night, I discovered that I just wasted about 700 pounds.

That's right. The infamous pee stick came up with double pinks.

I went to my GP this morning for a new referral to Dr. Bow Tie Guy. I feel infinitely more positive about this pregnancy (which was TOTALLY wanted, btw, but came a little earlier than expected) knowing that I'm going to be under his care again and doing his utmost to make sure I get a live, take-home critter at the end of this experience.

Guns at the ready. Here we go again.