Thursday, June 29, 2006

Well, Yes...

This is from a few weeks ago, but the sentiment still rings true:

My "corner" gas station, which according to MSN, is in the upper half of expensive gas in the city, nevertheless amuses me with its signboard, not its prices.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Who Loves Bedrest?

This kid:

Eli. He's in love with bedrest. All day he's like, "Are we really getting on the bed again? This is SO awesome, mama! How come we don't do it all the time? Are you going to do it again tomorrow? This totally RULES! I mean, this ROCKS MY WORLD. Wait, wait, don't get up! Don't get up! Oh? You're just going to the bathroom? Okay then. Oh! What's that?? Is that some chicken my other mama brought to you? Did you know I love chicken? Oh my God. I've died and gone to Eli-heaven. In the bed all day, snuggling, and you're going to let me eat this piece of chicken too? You are totally the best! Can we do this every day from now on? How come we never did this before? Oh-purr-purr-purr.... love... this...."

Whereas me, not such a fan. I've read a lot so far. Three books, four magazines, numerous websites, played backgammon against the computer so much I may have gotten sick of it, something I didn't really think was possible. I've nearly spent $1,000,000 on iTunes, but so far have managed to only spend two bucks (Beast of Burden, Rolling Stones and 3Rs, Jack Johnson [and can anyone explain why I like this song from the freaking Curious George soundtrack so damn much?? It goes through my head all day. Reduce, resuse, recycle! Because three is a magic number! Arg!]). We have food coming in from all quarters, which is great because to say Partner was stressed about doing the shopping and cooking is an understatement. Visitors come by. My mother is braving her fear of the expressway to come see me tomorrow. (We just need her to bring a third and maybe a fourth so we could play some Mah Jong.)

I can't tell you how much the positive stories have helped. I'm intermittently spotting now so hopefully I'll be all healed up by the time we go in again on Sunday (Sunday!).

I guess I'm back to my book and the cat. He probably misses already.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Back To Bed

I detest bed rest. It's boring as all get out. I end up watching too much television, and that makes me depressed to boot.

I suppose I'll be your go-to person the World Cup, but my dreams of going to the Commonwealth Club Sunday to eat a full English and root for England (!!) over Ecuador have been dashed. (And okay, Go Aussies while we're at it. Partner and I have actually cried over some Socceroo goals.)

I'm bleeding alright, and the ultrasound proves it. Dr. BusyBusyBusy calls it a retro-chorionic tear. Other stuff on the web refers to it as a subchorionic tear (or hematoma or hemorrhage, but that's damn scary word.) I can't quite figure out why it happens though, and the why is always the question for me. There's a line in Dylan Thomas's A Child's Christmas in Wales that nails it. He's talking about presents and refers to "books that told us everything about wasps, except why."

Dr. BBB's explanation was that this is fairly common in patients who use donor eggs. He estimates up to 50% of donor egg patients will get this. (Donor eggs? Um, they aren't donors, they're PARTNER'S!) His further explanation was that of that 50%, 85% of cases will resolve themselves and 15% of them will result in miscarriage. There's nothing to do, he told me, other than go home, rest, and don't do much of anything until I see him again. This could resolve itself in days or months. Or never. Or whatever. I'll know, he said, if I am miscarrying because there will be "tissue" involved. Fuck. That tissue is Cricket.

And the good news is that Cricket's little heart is still going strong. And good Lord! That Cricket is a-growin'! Two more millimeters since Tuesday, which is right on target. It's a little scary to see the tear, however. The retrochorionic tear is where the chorion separates from the uterine wall. On the ultrasound, you can see the blood pulsing around in there, which leads me to think this bleeding might get much worse before it gets better. Because damnit, it's going to get better. I lost Little Rice, I'm not losing Cricket too.

I just have to continue to take it "easy" until July 2 when we see him again. I'm going to hope that I can visualize healing there so much that it actually happens. (What a hippie-dippie dork I am, but if you want to try and do this too, I won't stop you.) I don't know anything about complications further on the pregnancy, which hopefully is just going to go on and on, and this won't bother it. I don't know if the tear could get bigger. Or if the tear could just go away. (Placenta, heal thyself!) I don't know much, but in some ways, that could be better.

Wait! Did you believe that I could think for a minute that ignorance is bliss? Not on your life. If you're a bettin' person, you could put all your chips down on that at some point this evening I'll be logging on the University of Michigan medical library and doing some searches. If I'm in bed anyway, I might as well continue trying to complete my web-fellowship in reproductive endocrinology.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

But I Thought They Were Over the Horizon...

The sharks that is.

Remember how sick of them I was?

This morning when I woke up, it was dark and stormy, but it felt very cuddle-ful in bed. I looked at Partner and said, "I'm pregnant."

Why in the world would I try to call out the jinxes like that? Now my mother says the world really does not work on jinx principles, but do you believe her?

I'm bleeding. Or spotting. Or whatever. It's bright red, which by now we all know is the scariest color out there. Dr. BusyBusyBusy has me resting for today, drinking many fluids, and coming to see him tomorrow at 12:30. Even if everything is okay, being scared shitless, which I am right now, for 21 hours and 30 minutes cannot be good for me. I'm terrified to pee because I can't stand seeing the toilet paper.

Bright freaking red. Attracts sharks, dontcha know?

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

In Which the Sharks Linger on the Horizon and Then Go Away But Their Spirit Still Lingers

I have the most faboo and interesting blog. In my head. I swear to you, I've been writing every day but I just haven't made it to the computer to get it out on the screen. I've written about fathers, family, selling the house, building the next house, my classes, this kid in my belly-- You name it, I've had a post.

But at the same time, I've been battling off this depression and feelings of fear about the kid, aka "Cricket." I was so sick and tired last week, I burst into tears on Tuesday night before my class because Partner could not find a Tim Hortons for me. I really wanted some tea. Then I posted about my sickness, and all the comments helped put me at ease, but then I wondered why I needed so much assurance? It's like I have no brain lately. I called the RE office, who told me to call my PCP if I was really worried. Um, I guess I called you because I was really worried? I let the whole thing go, monitored my fever which never went above 101, and got better fairly quickly. I have the remnants of the cold (you know what I mean), but I feel like a new woman. However, soon after being sick like that, I was convinced that Cricket was gone.

The cats, who had not been walking on my stomach since right after the transfer, were suddenly all over me again. Was it animal intuition?

Then Friday morning I got sick. I guess it was the kid saying, "Don't doubt me now, Mama!" I somehow thought I was going to get through this without having the throwing up too. I guess the animals really don't know jack either. They must have just been in a phase.

I mostly get my morning sickness in the evening and usually eating a Saltine cures it up fast, but not last night. We were coming home from class, and I had a coughing fit, which triggered the nausea to a greater degree and I told Partner I thought I was going to be sick. It was a vague feeling, but I went looking through the truck anyway for a receptacle. One small sandwich bag with a Saltine left in it. It came in handy, although between retches I had to try and indicate to Partner she should roll up the windows and put on the a/c because other drivers at the red light we were stopped at thought I was pretty interesting. I was pretty self conscious. We live in a college town, and happened to be right by the stadium. In my head, other people were imagining me as a drunk co-ed throwing up after imbibing too much. Of course, I could be flattering myself that anyone really would like I was a co-ed.

And let's just say, I really wish there were some opaque sandwich bags. And that's all we'll say about that topic now.

Today was the eight week ultrasound, and it couldn't have come at a better time. The kid was still there, much bigger than last time-- about 1.6 centimeters. There's a head and some little arm and leg like things. I was almost positive they were going to kick us out today, but I get to go back at least two more times before they make me leave! Dr. BusyBusyBusy does not like to use the Doppler in the first trimester, and pretty much I respect that decision, so we haven't heard the heart yet, but we can see it. I could have watched for hours. But don't forget he's busy! So we were in and out. The next appointment we get to discuss "weaning" from the meds. I'm not ready to wean.

The only thing I'm not totally ready to discuss is the perinatologist he's recommending. But this is brewing and percolating and simmering and all those other cooking metaphors one uses to indicate that you're grappling with something difficult and hard to think about. This is where I can still see the shadows of the phantom sharks in the water. And I'm ready to be done with sharks now.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Sharks Are Swimming

In little less than two days, I've gone from exuberantly happy and full of hope to downright depressorama.

The realtor open house was yesterday. The good news is that fifteen (!!!) realtors came through. This number is huge. Many realtor open houses here have gotten zero realtors. The bad news is that weren't all universally gushing over our house. Whereas before they swooped down upon us, I felt very confident we'd get the house sold. Now I feel dismal. Depressed.

Worse: I'm sick. I mean, I am really really sick. With fluids dripping out of my nose, unasked for. Chest congestion. Burning eyes. Heavy head. And a fever. Which means, of course, I'm freaking out. Should I call the doctor? The last temp I took was 100.5, which isn't a raging fever by any means, but I'm feeling like the dog. And I have to take a test tonight and I can't manage to stay awake to study.

Tell me it's okay I have a fever and nothing bad will happen.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Luck Be a Lady Tonight

Last night Partner was getting something out of her bedside drawer, and happened on a pair of dice that said "Partner's Casino." A relic from a Las Vegas trip. She shook them up in her hand and chanted, "Lucky seven! Lucky seven!" and then proceeded to roll a lucky seven!

"Wow!" I said. "It'd be your night for craps, I guess." Never wanting to be left out, I picked the dice from Partner's Casino and also rolled a lucky seven. What, I ask you, are the odds??

I looked at her suspiciously. "Are those dice weighted?" I asked.

"NO!" she responded with indignation. We settled into our respective reading material and then she just started laughing. She looked at me. "Are those dice weighted, you ask! I'm so sure. Weighted dice. I keep them around just in case I ever have to bet with you about something and then ask if you want to roll dice on it. I'm sure I'll win then, but not now you've sussed out my weighted dice."

Then I had to laugh. Because really, do people really even own weighted dice??

Thursday, June 08, 2006


The house went on the market yesterday.

We have a showing at 8:00 pm tonight.

We're in a high state of panic. We've got less than ten hours since we're to be at frog's for dinner tonight at 6:00.

But keep your fingers crossed. It would be a coup if someone wanted to buy our house.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The Doubter Puts Her Hands in the Wounds

It's okay to tell you now how anxious I was about today. I couldn't write about it too much ahead of time because, well, it was just too scary. The what-ifs were astounding. What if we went and there was nothing? What if we went and there was a yolk sac and no baby? What if there was a problem with a fetal pole? What if there were two? Or, shit, three? What if there were two and one was ectopic and was in the uterus (does this happen ever?)?

I was literally drowning in the what-ifs.

This is probably why I sat in the closet and cried. I kept thinking about Thomas, who didn't believe until, he said, he could put his hands in the wounds. I don't want to be like Thomas. I want to believe in the universe of good things without having to see the proof of them. But I just couldn't bring myself to that point in this cycle, despite the positive signs and beta numbers.

I was more nervous getting on the table today than I was at any point in the whole damn cycle.

Dr. BusyBusyBusy did more to prove his wonderfulness though. He came and asked how I was feeling, then said, "Oh, don't tell me yet, let's just do this first." He got that wand in there very fast, and looked quickly and then took it away. We think he did this because he wanted to see that everything was alright before continuing. But he continued, and we watched, and he pulled in the picture so we could see more clearly.

And it was. Alright! 1.2 mm and we saw the little heart beating away.

And all the doubt in me dried right up. There's a baby inside, and I think it's going to stay.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Story

Okay, okay-- I'll explain the brother posting:

A few months ago, Trista alerted me to this, and told me I was in it. As with many other bloggers who ended up there, I had no clue, and as you might imagine, I was inordinately excited about it. But I didn't want to say anything here because I didn't want to seem like I was bragging about anything. (Now I think this was silly; I was/am excited. I could have told.) So, I told a friend or two who knew about the blog. And then I told Brother K and Brother N. Personally, I don't know that Brother N ever thought of it again (although... if you're here too, N, you should also come out).

When I told Brother K about the book and blog, I did indeed say, "But don't look for my blog and don't read it." I was serious. Really, I was.

Yesterday I told Partner about my post, calling K out of the woodwork, and she said, "Of course he reads your blog. You told him about it."

"But," I protested, "I asked him not to read it."

Her response? "Get real."

Now the kid claims that I have talked about the blog subsequently, but I don't think I have. That much. I may have mentioned that it flabbergasts me that blog readers hail from all over the world, and how cool I think that is. (And it is-- very cool!) Or I may have mentioned something about the crazy mixed up cd group. I don't know. I can honestly say I just said those things not as enticements to come and read, but just said them.

But now after talking with Partner, Bro K, and reading his comments, I can see the point. I'm not annoyed he's here reading, but I don't know if knowing it will change my internal editor. I'm inclined to think it won't. After all, this is my blog! Read at your own peril! I suppose I've always been aware on some level that loved ones might trip across the site someday whether I mention it or not. (I mean, I did end up finding frog this way. No one told me about her site or even that she blogs, but I found it. And, ahem, read it without telling her for awhile. [Frog and I go to the same church.])

The thing about blogging is that it is a public forum (unless you password protect the blog). I can't get upset about Bro K reading, or anyone else for that matter. I'm pretty sure there are other lurkers here that know me outside of this blog. Some have told me, and others haven't. Never will. Some readers are friends, and others are ex-friends. Others are people who know me, but don't really know me. And others are strangers, and still others were strangers who I now have deep and abiding friendships with. And that's all okay.

As a writer, I've been aware that things one writes may rub people the wrong way. I suppose it's one thing when my poetry or fiction has been edgy, but different when it's the blog. Although I don't know that I've ever really been edgy here. I guess what I'm saying is that when I am writing about me, I write pretty freely. Tell everything. But when I write posts that center on my interaction with other people, particularly family, I try to be mindful of the fact that that person might read this. I'm always honest, but... maybe more politic.

Why, one might ask? Why be more politic? Well, because this the only life I've got. And if you haven't sussed it out yet, family equals number one priority. When I was in high school, and perhaps my freshman year of college, I hadn't quite figured it out. My dad would say to me, "Your friends are your friends until they're not. Your family is your family forever." It's probably not a maxim that would work in every family out there, but it works in mine. My mother and father have fought for every one of us kids at various points in our life. My brothers and I love each other fiercely.

And here's the other thing: we fight in my family. Oh Lord, we've had some doozies. Things I even try to repress-- and we've said dreadful things to each other. But here's the rub-- we've said those things. We haven't written them down, in print, pen, or otherwise. (An evil email or two is excluded.)

I think about the power of writing quite a bit. (Stands to reason; after all I teach bloody English.) For example, the colonists didn't just stand up and say, "We're sick of British tyranny. We're independent now," they wrote it down. I'm not saying that the spoken word isn't powerful-- not at all-- we all know there have been some pretty damn powerful speeches out there. I'm just saying that on the whole, it's easier to forget. It's more informal. So when my family fights, orally, we can forget to some degree the nasty shit we've said to each other. Even though at the time we thought we'd never forget it. And as raging mad as I've been at my mother, father, brothers, or Partner, it's passed. And I'm happier at the end of the day that I haven't written it all down. When we fight, we all get stupid with the crazies.

So at the end of the day, it's okay that Bro K is here. And I did call him immediately after reading his first comment. "Jackass," he said to me, and then we both laughed and laughed. He's very excited about the impending pregnancy. Sometimes I think more than I am right now. (I'm still a wee bit nervous, truth be told.) And we do talk a lot. I could write a lot about him and how totally smart and cool I think he is. One thing I always remember is my gramma telling me how much Bro K loved me. She could see it. I hope she could see how much I love him too. There are scenes I will always see Bro K in that symbolize who he is. I'll tell you one of them, and then you'll probably love him too: When our house was rough framed, but buttoned up (that means all windows in and roof on), my family was here, trooping through the house. We saw a bird, a little sparrow, in the family room. I opened the slider door and hoped the bird would hop out on its own, but it was terrified. It was almost as if you could see its little heart beating. No one, not one of us, me, Partner, my father or mother or Partner's gf would go near it. What if it had West Nile? What if it pecked us? But Bro K walked over to it, talked to it gently, picked it up in his hands, cupping it, and then lofted it gently out the window whereupon the bird sailed away. I cry every time I think about that.

The biggest worry I have about him here and out in the open, is that his witty and highly intelligent comments will woo my readers away from me and on to him. It's probably a moot point since as far as I know, he doesn't have a blog.