Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Merry (Belated) Christmas Y'all

....or Solstice, or Kwanzaa, or any other thing you do or don't celebrate. And a very belated happy Hanukkah to my Jewish friends. (Did I cover everything?)


Christmas was fun, if not hectic. My two little rug rats got tons of loot from Mister's parents and the aunts and uncles. We did a lot of driving, between home-Mister's parents' house-my mom's house and then home again for two days. Now we are back at Mister's parents' place, "house sitting" (read: taking over their huge {to us} comfy, well appointed country house while they are visiting the other set of kids/grandkids in New Orleans) and will be staying through New Years.

I am too tired from taking the late shift last night with a teething baby to come up with much of a post of any consequence, but all is ok over here.

We are all fighting a slight stomach bug which I am hoping will be history in time for us to celebrate on New Years Eve. I am making another attempt at hosting a get-together, so let's hope it's not a fail like Thanksgiving.

I got a special "gift" on Christmas: The return of Aunt Flo. Pretty much exactly one month after my surgery/loss. It gave me a moment of pause. It felt odd, my body moving on so quickly, not missing a beat. I don't know, just sort of weird in a way I can't really articulate right now. Especially since I know from blood work that I still had (a very small amount of) HcG in my system two weeks after the surgery.

Speaking of the surgery, my big incision site is really really sore all of a sudden. Is this normal? Is it just scar tissue forming, or should I be worried? I really really don't want to drive back to my hometown to go see the doc. But I also don't want to let things go... as we all know where that got me last time! Well, I'll keep you posted. I will also try and come up with my Year End/New Years blog post. 2010 was an incredible year!

Love to you all.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Follow Up, and Other Ramblings

Last week I got in to see my own Dr. Wunnerful. *sigh* Have I ever mentioned how much I love him?

The first thing he said to me was, "Well, that was a shock, huh?"

So he explained to me that I most likely had some scar tissue from my C-section, which caused the ectopic. And, that this is one of the risks of C-section.

This would have been good information to have had before Mister and I threw caution to the wind, and (amazingly, shockingly) got me knocked up again. Maybe, had I known that ectopic was a risk (even if a slight one) I might have been on the look-out. I might have taken my symptoms more seriously. I might have gone to the doctor sooner. I might have saved my tube.

But of course, since Dr. Wunnerful was out of town the weekend my water broke and I went into labor (a week before my scheduled C-section, which he would have performed), another doctor performed my C-section. Ironically, that was Dr. G., the same doctor I used to see when I first started down the path of trying to figure out why I couldn't conceive. The same doctor that performed my D&C in 2006 after our loss. The same doctor who looked at my labs and told me 'everything was normal' even though the RE looked at the same labs and told me later, my FSH was high. She is also the same doctor who pooh-poohed me when I brought up endometriosis.

Thankfully, my gut told me, when it was time to go back in 2008 for a check up after a failed IUI, I decided to switch doctors. And I've been with Dr. Wunnerful ever since. Dr. Wunnerful who did NOT pooh-pooh my thoughts on endo, who performed a lap....after which I conceived my daughter.

I often think, 'if only I had switched doctors sooner.....?!?' but I can't go there.

However, after my C-section, performed by Dr. G. (again, ironically, almost exactly 4 years to the day after she performed my D&C) I was required to see HER for my follow-up check up 6 weeks later. During my follow up I was asked what form of birth control I would be using. I had to laugh. The thought of birth control, after 6 years or so of not being able to conceive, just seemed silly. So I asked, 'is there any risk, or concern, if I should become pregnant, after my C-section?'

Her answer?

No. You'll be fine.

No mention of the risk, no matter how slight, of scar tissue or possible ectopic.

Not that anyone could have necessarily seen this coming.

And, with my history with Dr. G., she probably figured my baby Grace was a fluke, and future pregnancy was not likely anyway.

Who knows.

But I can't go there. I get too angry.

So, back to the present.

Dr. Wunnerful said, 'Well, you probably want to know about the condition of the other tube.'
As if he were reading my mind. Yes.

To make a long story short, he is recommending doing another lap procedure, during which he'll do another dye test to check the flow of the other tube, right before we decide to try again.

Wait, what, hold up...So, Frenchie, does this mean you ARE going to try again?

At first we were unsure. We were very happy with our two, and figured, what are the odds I could get pregnant again? We would just 'see what happened' and would be happy either way. Then, when this ectopic happened, when I learned there was a baby inside me, that I would not be able to was like everything crystallized. Our 'what-will-be-will-be' attitude shifted, and we knew: we will try again.

But, when? Right now, the timing is crap. We have so much work to do with Handsome Man. He really needs my full attention right now. We are still trying to wade through this diagnosis--and to find the best treatment(s) for him. We are dealing with issues of extreme impulsivity, opposition, hyperactivity, rage, and frustration. I am trying to forge through the red tape of the Board of Education, to get him a much-needed one-on-one assessment in the classroom, so we can see if we qualify for assistance. If we do not get this soon, I don't know if he will be able to continue at his preschool. Most days I feel exasperated, stressed, tired and spread too thin. Add to this I am trying to care for an 8 month old...and, well, now is just not a good time to add to our family.

So when?

In a perfect world, we'd wait a year at least. After which, hopefully, Handsome Man will be doing better, and by the time the baby came, he'd be going into Kindergarten. And by that same time Grace would be about ready for preschool. Hopefully by then things would be a little less crazy around here.

But. Time is not necessarily on my side, either. I turn 39 in a couple of months. And, after that, I'm staring down the barrel at 40. I know plenty of women have babies after 40, but let's be honest, there's no guarantee. Plus we don't know how long it would take with my one tube.

Dr. Wunnerful told me not to start trying for at least two months, to give my body time to heal. I feel like 6 months sounds like a better time frame. Physically. I am not ready for any more activity in my pelvic region right now. I need time to rest, get my energy levels back up, eat right, take my vitamins, take care of myself.

So, in 6 months or so, Mister and I will reevaluate where we are with the baby thing. Mister thinks I am about bat-shit crazy for wanting to go under the knife again. I told him I would do anything to prevent having another ectopic. If, in 6 months, we are ready to start trying, I'll go have the lap, and see what the status is with my remaining tube. In the meantime, I've got a lot of work to do being a mom to the two children that are here now. And to mother myself a bit, when I can find the time.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

How Sweet!

Thank you, Maria, from Mission: Fertile Soul, for bestowing me this lovely bloggy award.

So now I am trusted with the task of giving the award to five bloggers who I love to read, who's blogs have that 'something extra', that little spark, that keeps me coming back.

So here are my five picks:

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Thankful, Not Bitter

Thank you, my bloggy sisters, for sitting with me as I let out my pain and frustration. I am sad and feel a loss, even though I only knew for a short while I was pregnant.

But. Though in pain (both physically and emotionally) on that Thanksgiving Day, I was, and am, incredibly thankful for what life has given me this year.

-My two beautiful children.
-The joyful and transformative experience of being pregnant, and the safe delivery of my Grace.
-The health and well being of my family.
-My husband's new job, which is fulfilling him professionally, and is supporting us during these difficult financial times.
- A husband who works very hard, and who supports me (financially and emotionally) through my transition to full-time motherhood.
-My two real-life best friends who are REAL friends to me. They have held me up and supported me through so much this year, and celebrated with me too.

...and thankful that I have a stubborn husband who insisted on taking me to the emergency room rather than wait it out. Who knows what would have happened if I had ignored it any longer? I am thankful to be here to be with my family.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

How I Spent My Thanksgiving Holiday

....recovering from emergency surgery.



We were out of town, staying at Mister's parents' house. They were traveling, so we were there alone. The plan was to spend the week there relaxing, and to also host the Thanksgiving feast for my family and some friends. I was excitedly preparing to co-cook a meal for about 12 people.

Then, in the wee hours of Wednesday morning (the day before Thanksgiving) I woke up to go to the bathroom.

....the rest of this gets sort of icky, so if you don't want to hear about it, leave now....

I was having some cramping....and I thought, 'finally, my period.' I had been expecting it for a week or so. But, no, no period. But pain. Lots and lots of pain. Like some one was stabbing me in the stomach and the groin, and twisting the knife around. I started seeing stars. I almost fell off the toilet. I made it back to the bed and told Mister, 'something is wrong.'

I had been having a sort of nagging pain on my right side for some time. I thought maybe it was a cyst...I figured I'd go have it checked after the holiday. Now, with this extreme pain, I figured I must be having an appendicitis.

When I got to the ER they had me pee in a cup.

Then the doctor told me, I was pregnant.

How?!?!? I had had sex exactly one time in the past two months, and had gotten my period that month. Since my period I NOT had any, ANY activity. So I knew two things: I must be pretty far along, and, something was wrong.

Still, while I waited for the ultrasound tech to come get me, my mind went wild: where will we put the second crib? We'll have to rearrange our storage so we can remove the second set of closets in Grace's room and make some room there. Oh my God, they are going to be so close in age! Will it be a boy or a girl? How will Handsome Man handle it....and so on.

I marveled at how it could be possible that I, a card-carrying Infertile, could now say, "Wow, he just looks and me and I get pregnant!" A saying that I had heard from women so many times over the years, and had made me want to vomit every time. Now here I was, the world's most fertile Infertile. Things like that just don't happen to a girl like me....

And then, the ultrasound. A pregnancy measuring 8 weeks. Alive. Not in my uterus.

Within an hour the OB doctor on call arrived and I was taken into surgery.

When I awoke I was shivering and shaking and all alone. Mister had taken the kids back to the house (at my urging) to get some sleep. When he came to pick me up he told me the doctor had called him after the surgery to let him know how it went. He tried to save the fallopian tube, he said, but it was too destroyed. And there was a lot of internal bleeding.

Physically, I am healing. It was not a delicate procedure like my other laparoscopy (which was performed by doctor Wunnerful). I look like I have been in a knife fight. Let's just say bikinis are no longer part of my future.

Emotionally, I have run the gamut of emotions. I know there was no possible way to save an ectopic pregnancy. But the word 'alive' keeps ringing in my ears. There was a baby there. And now there is not.

And I am short a tube.

I am mad at myself for not going to the doctor sooner for the pain. Seriously, had I had any reason to actually think I *might* be pregnant, I would have taken a HPT. I would have gone in right away. Maybe my tube could have been saved. I won't ever know, and I guess it doesn't matter now.

Needless to say, I didn't host Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Drive By (Complete with Bullets)

  • On Wednesday my little Gracie turned 7 months old. Holy heck! Time is flying
  • She is now crawling and sitting up on her own, eating solids.
  • On 10/10/10 I did my last wedding for my business.
  • Since I've had Handsome Man home full time since last March and really been hands-on with him, my gut has been telling me that something more than 'typical' 3-year-old boy behavior was at I took him to a child psychologist recently to have him evaluated.
  • He was diagnosed with severe ADHD and ODD
  • Now I know I am not crazy, but still trying to figure out what to do next.
  • Our crazy do-it-urself-home renovations are still on-going. Presently: the bathroom.
  • Total Chaos.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I Will Post Again, I Swear....

And I've got lots to talk about. (If anyone is still checking in, that is).

In the meantime, a few pics.

Monday, August 30, 2010


(August 27, 2009)
The first thing I remember was a woman looking into my eyes and saying, "You're going to be fine." I was confused. I didn't know where I was or what was going on, but usually when someone is telling you everything is going to be okay, it means something is really wrong.

I looked down at my hands. Blood. I felt my forehead, looked at my hand--more blood. Again, "You're fine. Every thing's going to be okay." I looked down at my feet. I was barefoot. My right ankle was the size of a small cantaloupe. I remember thinking, "Oh, this is not good." But where was I? I looked around. The hot, bright, mid-day sun shone down on everything. Blinding. I was on the side of the road. My logic started working. I realized I'd been in a car accident.

The woman was talking to me again. "I found your purse, and your phone. I got them out of the car. Is there someone I can call for you?" I must have given him my husband's name. She stepped away, and came back a few minutes later. I spoke to ____, he is on his way. A female police officer was asking me questions. Accusingly, "Were you on the phone when you had the accident?" I was sure I hadn't been, and yet, I couldn't remember anything. The other woman jumped in. I think she looked through my iP.hone and saw that there were no incoming/outgoing calls within the past couple of hours. I couldn't have been on the phone.

Then the lady came back to my side. Something dawned on me. I looked into her eyes. I said, "I'm pregnant."

"You're going to be ok!"

I remember her telling me, "It must be a girl, then. I have two daughters, and I can tell you, only a girl would do this to you."

Obviously, she was trying to make me feel better, diffuse the situation.

Police officer stepped away and got on her walkie talkie.

Police officer came back and said, "The Ambulance is on its way."

Someone asked me about the car seat in the back of my car. Where is your child? Fear choked me, then I remembered quickly: He was safe at daycare.

The woman, again trying to distract me, asked me about my child. How old? Boy or girl? Handsome Man's face floated in my mind. In that moment I wanted to hold him more than anything, but was so glad he was no where near all of this.

We waited. The sun beat down. Oddly I felt no pain. I looked again at my ankle, how could I not be feeling this?

The EMT's arrived.

Strangely, I remember thinking how cute the young EMT was.

He asked me,
"What day is it?"
I guessed. I got it wrong.
"Do you know where you are?"
I told him I was on hwy x.
I was actually on hwy z.
I had no memory of being on hwy z.
Then, "Ma'am, are you pregnant?"

I looked into his eyes. I felt so strange, like I had just woken up from a dream. Like maybe I was still in a dream. I had dreamed many, many times of being pregnant, only to awake and realize I was not. Suddenly, I wasn't sure any more. I felt stupid. I didn't want to say I was pregnant only to realize I wasn't. To be a joke: pathetic.

"I don't know....I'm not sure!"

The woman told me she was going to call my husband again. She stepped away. She came back to me and said, "Honey, I spoke to ____. You are pregnant."

I started crying. Joy, like finding out my dreams had come true all over again, and then, gut wrenching fear for the fragile life inside of me.

EMT said, "Okay, we are going to take you to the nearest trauma center. How do you feel about taking a helicopter ride?"

They landed the helicopter in a field across the highway and rolled me out into the field. Aboard the helicopter, the female EMT said she was going to give me something for the pain. I refused..."I'm pregnant. I'm pregnant." I kept repeating. She told me the drugs would not hurt my baby. I still refused. I think I told her, "It is a miracle I'm even pregnant. I can't risk it."

They had to cut off my clothes. She told me she was going to check 'down there' to see if I was bleeding. She told me, no blood. That's good. Do you have any cramps? No. I felt nothing.

Then suddenly, it dawned on me. I was in a car accident--with another car. What about the other driver. Were they ok? I started to freak out. She told me, "They are going to another hospital by ambulance. I think everybody is ok. We'll ask when we get you to the hospital."

At the hospital: Rolled off the helicopter. I must have been on the roof. EMT gave my vitals, and said, "Six weeks pregnant. Very concerned about the baby. Refused meds." A nurse looked at me and said, "I'm MaryAnn. I'm going to be with you the whole time."

I was rolled in to the emergency room, and off of the EMT's gurney onto the hospital gurney. For the first time I was aware of the pain. I looked at my right arm. My elbow throbbed. I couldn't move it.I was sure it was broken. The doctor used an ultrasound to see if there was any internal bleeding. He moved the Doppler over my lower abdomen. Silence. At six weeks, not much was clear. He spoke to the nurse in hushed tones. He could see the pregnancy in my uterus, but could not detect the heartbeat. I closed my eyes and sent up a silent prayer: "Please God, don't let this be The Worst Day of My Life."

It was determined that I had no internal bleeding, so I was moved into another room. Again rolled onto another bed. Again, more pain. Tests were ordered. MaryAnn stayed with me. She was my advocate: She ensured I had a double layer of lead aprons over my pelvis each time they used the the x-ray machine. And, when I went in to the cat-scan machine to check my brain, she stayed with me, reassuring me, your pelvis is no where near the machine, just your head and neck are in. She ordered a pelvic ultrasound from labor and delivery. We had to wait for them to come down with the portable machine. She waited with me. We talked about my family. My son. My husband. And, why it was such a miracle that I was pregnant. Pretty soon more and more people were (nurses, techs) were in on the story. When the ladies arrived from L & D with the portable machine, MaryAnn held my hand while they inserted the dildo-cam. There was a palpable holding-of-breath in the room while they looked around for the heartbeat. Everyone stared at the screen. Then, there it was: A little flickering light. MaryAnn said, "We have cardiac activity!!" Then she told me, "Call your husband!"

On the phone, my husband was trying to stay calm. He was on his way, but it would take him about two hours to the hospital way up north where I had been taken, from his office in the City. "There's a heartbeat," I said. I could hear him exhale. "There is?" He asked. "Yes, the Baby is alive."

MaryAnn cleaned up my face. Tiny shards of glass were removed from my skin. I asked her to wipe out my mouth with a cloth, as it was full of grit from the exploded air bag. I wasn't allowed to have any water yet until the blood tests were done. The doctor stitched up the cut on my head above my right eye. I knew I would have a scar, but I didn't care. My baby had a heartbeat. Despite the pain I was feeling, I was floating on air.

Remarkably, no bones were broken. My legs were useless. Both legs were black and blue from feet to knees. My pelvis had absorbed so much energy from the impact and was so sore I couldn't stand, even if I could have put weight on my ankle. For many weeks the back spasms I endured were terrible. Especially since I couldn't take any of the "good" drugs due to the pregnancy. But, little by little, I got better. Pretty soon I could walk without the crutches, and with the help of my chiropractor, and physical therapy, within three months I was back to normal. I still have a stiff ankle. I probably won't be taking up marathon running as a hobby. I imagine when I'm older, I'll be able to tell when it's about to rain, because, "my ankle is acting up."

The other driver and his wife were not badly hurt. He had some cracked ribs, and she suffered from a very bruised knee from hitting the dashboard. It filled with fluid and had to be drained, but an MRI revealed no torn ligaments or cartilage.

There were definitely angels on the highway with us all that day.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Happy Friday the 13th: A Pee Stick Story

Not one to be too terribly superstitious, Friday the 13th never really creeps me out. And today is a special day to me for another reason: Exactly one year ago today, I found out I was pregnant.

I was waiting for my period to start so I could call the RE's office to schedule the repeat HSG he was insisting on. I was supposed to have done it the month before, but the insurance clearance didn't come through in time and I had missed the opportunity. I was bummed that not only had I missed that month, but now even though I was going to go ahead with the HSG I would have to wait until the following month to actually start the IUI's.

And, then, my period was late. I'm never late. Early, yes. Late, no.

I was sure that my luck had just gotten worse--that now we were finally going to embark on another round of fertility treatments, and here I was, going into early menopause.

I figured that if I called the RE's office, the first thing they would tell me to do would be to take a home pregnancy test. I figured I'd beat them to the punch, let them know that no, I wasn't pregnant and something was wrong--so please get me in for some bloodwork.

On the way to work, I picked up a home pregnancy test. I felt so stupid doing this. Especially after all those years of buying those pregnancy tests, hoping I would indeed be this time I was sure I wasn't. This was just a formality. I bristled at having to even spend the money.

When I got to work, one of my employees was already there. I got him started on the first set of tasks--we had a big wedding that weekend--and I went down the hall to the bathroom (shared by the whole floor of the building).

As I peed on the stick I literally rolled my eyes. This was so stupid.

As I waited the required 2 minutes, I studied my face in the mirror. Don't be sad when it turns up negative, I told myself. Don't let it ruin your day. This is just a formality. I tried to think about the facial I had scheduled for myself later that day...something to look forward to.

I turned around and picked up the test.

When I saw the big, strong, undeniable PLUS sign, I slid down the wall, onto the floor and stared at it for a good, long time. My hands were shaking. I had to hold my wrist with the other hand to steady the hand holding the pee stick, so I could really see what I was looking at.

Of course later that day I went out and purchased more tests. That night I repeated the test. This time with the type that has two lines. I wanted to do several tests to see if the line kept getting darker, or if it faded. I tried to prepare myself for a chemical pregnancy.

That night I repeated the test. The test line was darker than the control.

Needless to say, it all worked out. I eventually emailed my RE's office and told them I wouldn't be coming in for an HSG. I remembered reading of similar scenarios by other bloggers over the years--urban legends in my mind.

August 13th was good to me last year!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Four Months Old!

My beautiful Grace,Yesterday you turned fournths old. Where has the time gone? It seems like just yesterday, you were still moving around inside of me. Now you are here, and my life is changed forever. I have a daughter, I have you. Handsome Man became a big brother. And our family feels complete. It took a long time, but somehow, despite all the dissapointments, I knew one day I would hold you in my arms. I dreamed of you.

But time went on, days, weeks, months and years, and I started to doubt if I would ever hold you in my arms in this lifetime. If maybe, you were just a dream that was too good to be true. If the love I felt for you was make-believe and I was just torturing myself.

And, then, one day, not on my schedule, but yours.....

You made your presence known.

Not sure if it was too good to be true, I panicked through those first early days of my pregnancy. Every morning I woke up expecting you to be gone. But you stayed. First a flickering light on a monitor told me your heart beat within me, then, eventually, you fluttered inside like a butterfly.

And you grew...

And grew...
And then one day, again, on your own schedule, not mine, you came...

So tiny and perfect, your father held you close to my face and your dark eyes peered at me, as if you were a wise old soul, sizing me up for the first time. Like we'd met somewhere before and you were remembering me, and I, you.

Four months have flown by and you have blossomed from a tiny little fragile newborn (I used to call you 'my little sparrow') to a full-fledged chunky, roly poly, laughing, giggling, gorgeous little girl. Just four months and you are constantly rolling over on your belly every time I put you down and trying to crawl. You don't like your car seat and you squirm and protest every time I put you in it. You are a wonderful sleeper and you let mommy get her beauty rest all through the night (most nights) and I need it! Razzes, peekaboo and any thing that tickles your funny bone make you giggle, which is music to my ears. You study your brother, and I can see you love him already and are trying to memorize his every move so you can catch up with him soon and play.
(Handome Man and Grace--Grace at 2 months old)

You are sweet and friendly and smile at everyone, but for now, you love your Mommy the best. And I love you, my precious, precious little girl. God gave me you, God gave me Grace.

Monday, August 9, 2010

She's Baaaaack!

Aunt Flo, that is. I knew she was coming because about 2 weeks ago I had the WORST ovulation pain, ever! So, here it is...the first period I've had in a whole year. I feel a little sad, in a weird way. Somehow this feels like it marks the end of a larger cycle. The process of conception, gestation, birth, and the post-partum phase is now officially over. My little Grace is turning 4 months old tomorrow--no longer a newborn, by any stretch. She is getting big, and chunky and active...she's already making those first attempts at moving on her own. Sort of a pilates-style scoot on her belly, with her arms and legs up in the air. Totally hilarious. But, time feels like it is moving way, way too fast for me. Where is the pause button? I know I am going to blink and Grace will be walking, then talking--not a baby anymore. Just look at Handsome Man. No longer a baby or even a toddler...he's all Big Boy. We're almost (finally) potty trained. Today I will go sign him up for preschool. He often says, "No Mommy, I want to do it ALL BY MYSELF." And I know with Grace it will go the same way...I'll turn around one day and my baby will be gone, replaced with a Big Kid. And I know it is as it should be, but, I am so grateful to have both of these little ones, so grateful to be in this moment in time, so grateful to have a baby to hold in my arms...I just want to soak in it for a while longer. The days pass by too fast. And, the return of old Aunt Flo, marking the end of a certain era for me, does make me a little sad. And, in another way, I feel happy, too--happy that my body is doing what it is supposed to--getting on with the business of its monthly cycle. Not missing a beat, moving forward, ready, perhaps, to create another life? Wait, what? Hold the phone...huh? Oh, I don't know, peeps. I'm certainly not ready for another baby right now, I'm way too overwhelmed. And there's no guarantee lightening would strike twice in my uterus. But, I'm just sayin'. It's not like we're going to prevent, per se. When I went in for my 8-week post partum check up, the doctor (the one who delivered Grace, unfortunately, not my Doctor Wunnerful) was all, 'So what form of birth control are you interested in?' I had to laugh. Really? After all I've/we've been through--all the time we spent (or at least I spent) pulling my hair out, wishing I could be like 'everyone else' and just get pregnant--after all the years of that just NOT happening, it was really surreal to be having that discussion. When I told her we would just see what happens she seemed a little amused. Not in a condescending way, probably in a happy way--happy for us that all of a sudden the possibilities were there again. Or maybe that was my own feeling. I don't know. Possibilities are nice. What is also nice, though, is that--I am not really worried anymore. I don't look at my period as a failure. Another month without conception. At least for now my period is a sign that my body is on my side. It's working. I'm 38 and my body still wants to procreate. So, we'll see. By the time I'm really ready for another baby it might truly be too late. I know that's very possible. It's also possible it just won't happen twice. But, that doesn't scare me anymore. The thought of not being able to conceive no longer chokes me and cuts at my heart. My cup runneth over right here, right now, and I am moving forward with a new outlook on life, a new appreciation and sense of gratitude for this body God gave me, and for what I went through these past 5 or 6 years. It was all worth it. Oh, and p.s. if my periods are going to be like this one so far from now on (pain free! What?) the HOORAY!!!!! Thank you body!!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Perfect Moment Monday:Family Ties

A few weeks ago we (Mister, the kids and I) went out to his parents' house for the weekend. They live out in the country about an hour and a half away, and we enjoy visiting. Handsome Man loves to run around in their big back yard, and we all enjoy taking dips in the pool. My in-laws are the type of people that are just very easy to be around. I never feel like I have to be "on my best behavior" or perfect in any way. There are rarely any scheduled events on these lazy weekends; we're free to just do what feels right: take a dip in the pool, a nap, a snack, read a book, go for an outing to one of the many nearby wineries, farms, or drive into town for a movie or shopping. Mostly we just all like being in one another's company. Not many people can say this about their in laws. I know I am lucky.

On our latest visit, I was sitting in the kitchen with my mother in law. She was holding her newest grandchild, Grace, and just marveling at her beauty--(who wouldn't?)--and beaming with love and pride. She was taking in all her features: her gorgeous, long eyelashes (must have gotten those from Mister) her auburn-tinged hair (where did that come from? Maybe from my father?) when my MIL said off-handedly, "well, I just hope for her sake she doesn't get my nose!" I smiled and looked at her for a moment as she continued gazing at Grace--then she looked up at me and met my eyes. Suddenly we both burst into laughter. Of course, Grace won't have her grandmother's nose. Because Mister was adopted.

But that's the thing: the bonds of love within this family run deeper than DNA. They love their adopted child and their biological children completely and with no preference. The legacy of their love for their child (Mister) will live on through our children, both adopted and and biological. It is not a legacy of chromosomes and genetic traits, it's the legacy of love that matters most.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Breastfeeding Woes, and More Updates

Well, I think I'm about ready to give up. On breastfeeding, that is. Thank you, those of you who sent me the supportive comments. But I think I need to pick my battles, here. When Grace was a tiny newborn, and only required about 2 oz per feeding, when I was only producing about 1 oz, it didn't seem like such a crazy thing to breast feed first, then supplement. She enjoyed being on the breast, and I enjoyed the closeness and experience of breast feeding her (as soon as my nipples stopped hurting so bad) so I really wanted to keep trying. Then, before long, her required intake shot up to 4 oz at a feeding, and now, she can easily hammer back a 6 oz bottle at many of her feedings. Despite my best efforts, I still only produce 1, to maybe 2 oz (max!) at a pumping session. I am trying to pump at least 3 times a day. And, honestly, every time I pump for 30, sometimes 45 minutes, and only come up with 2 0z (on a good day!) it really does nothing more than depress me further. If I pumped 3 times a day (when I can find the time--good gawd!) and got a lucky 2 oz each time, that would only amount to ONE bottle's worth for Grace! However, up until now, she still really enjoyed being on the breast--at certain times of the day, like when she was ready to settle down for a nap. She'd fuss, and pull away from the bottle sometimes, and seek out the breast, and then stop fussing and fall asleep. I was like a human pacifier, with the added perk of having a little bit of milk. But now, when I offer her the breast, she sucks away for a minute and then just gets frustrated. And then I feel horrible. So, at this point, I think I'm trying to keep it up for myself more than for her. I love the feeling of breastfeeding but it is feeling more and more pointless as time goes on. I have a tendency to get mad at my body--you know, like this is just another way my body is revolting against me and failing me. But, I have to pull back at those moments when I get down on myself and remind myself that my body has, actually, done quite a lot for me lately: my body figured out how to conceive this child all on its own (well, my husband was there, but you know what I mean--no injections, no doctors in the room, etc.), and my body carried and nourished this baby for 38 weeks. My baby was born healthy and I enjoyed a fairly uncomplicated and easy pregnancy. And, despite having a c-section, my body bounced back pretty quickly. (And don't hate me but I look pretty good. No one would guess I had a baby 3 months ago. I don't even have any stretch marks!) So, I guess I'll have to cut my body some slack here. I wish I could successfully breast feed. I so felt I missed out on that experience with Handsome Man, too--but here we are. I also woke up this morning with the distinct feeling that I am about to get my period. Ick. One of the many perks I enjoyed with pregnancy was NOT having a period for all those many months. And, I looked forward to delaying its return even longer with breast feeding. It has been a year now since I have suffered through a menstrual cycle. I am not looking forward to seeing that monthly red visitor again. I've also read that for many women, the return of menses reduces their milk supply--so--do I really want to fight this battle with my body any harder? I think it may be time to raise the white flag of surrender here.

All I can say is, thank goodness for formula. Don't report me to Le Leche League. They might string me up for saying that. Grace is thriving and getting chubby and hitting all her milestones, and that's what really matters. (And I keep thinking, what did people in my situation DO before formula? Good grief!)

And, yes, Grace is a healthy, happy little girl. She really is such a GOOD baby. (Not that there are 'bad' babies, but you know what I mean). She has settled into a bit of a routine. Things are not so hectic around here any more. She is sleeping through the night most of the time, and I am getting more (not enough, but more!) sleep. So things are good. Handsome Man still has his moments of jealousy, but for the most part he seems to be feeling more grounded and secure. Those first few weeks were really, really hard. I am not kidding. There were times when I wished I could find a reason to be re-admitted to the hospital with Grace just to get away from him. And to go back to that blissful time of just being with her in our own little cocoon, where I could connect with her, and get my much needed rest. (And 3 good meals a day). (I honestly think that the stress I experienced after coming home from the hospital had an effect on my milk supply, and everything I have read states that stress effects milk supply, but what could I do?) However, now, with lots of love, sometimes "tough love" (there was one point when we had to literally take everything out of his room other than his bed and a dresser until he could get control over throwing his toys and books, etc.--for about 3 weeks!) and attention and work, Handsome Man is back to his (active) adorable, good-natured self. He is more independent now too, and will play in his room with his trains or play outside in the back yard for stretches without "needing" me to be right there with him. So, I am a little more relaxed (relatively) than before. Grace also naps at a long stretch in the afternoon, so that gives me some time to do a few things around the house, or if I'm lucky, relax a bit now and then.

I am still struggling with juggling my responsibilities of working and being a full-time mom. This coming weekend I have two weddings (one is big) and then nothing for the rest of July. Then I have 2 in August, and 2 in October. Then, I'm done for good. (*sigh*). It's hard, but for now I feel it is definitely the right thing for our family. There really is no question. On the weeks when I have weddings to produce, it really throws a wrench into our little family routine, and I am just so exhausted. It's hard. I need to be at home for the next couple of years at least, and that's all there is to that. So I am looking forward to finishing my last wedding and hanging up my clippers, at least for a while.

Now the baby is crying, I must go. Have so much to do today it's not even funny.... the list that never quite gets finished is growing and growing!! xoxo

Monday, June 28, 2010

Grace's Birth Story, part two

(I have decided to just write this post in small dribs and drabs because to find the time and the brain power to actually sit down and write out everything in a well thought out post is seeming impossible)

By about 7:00 a.m. or so, Mister and I both agreed to give up on the sleep thing, seeing as we were too excited and, any time now they'd be coming in to start prepping me for surgery. It wasn't a happy, jittery type of excitement, though. It was more of an I-feel-sort-of-numb-because-this-is-all-too-much-to-take-in sort of crazy, weird excitement. I don't know how to explain it. You'd think I'd be freaking PSYCHED. But I was very in-the-moment...which is weird for me. It was very much like, ok, now: I'm having a contraction. It's a little one. Now: I'm feeling calm. Now: I can hear more activity out on the ward. Now: I am thirsty.

Oh yeah, thirsty. Gawd. They wouldn't let me eat or drink anything all night. Off-limits since I was about to have surgery. Ohhhh I was so thirsty, and probably from the combo of the drugs they had given me and my nervousness, and the horrible crying jags of the day before, I was sooo thirsty! I had the Worst taste in my mouth. I was afraid I would knock out the next nurse that got near me with my vaporous halitosis. If only I had known they were going to make me wait till morning for the surgery, I would have chugged a gallon of water on the car ride to the hospital. Guck. So I sneaked a mini Altoid. Shh. Don't tell.

But I digress.

So, as Mister and I were both awake, we decided to get down to the business of picking a name for this child once and for all. And, since Mister is the awesome geek that he is, he already had a spreadsheet going of our top picks. So, he pulled out his laptop and we got to work. We had a short list of girls names, and we agreed then and there on the one we both equally liked, and paired it with a middle name that funnily enough was a family name for both of us (both of our sisters have the same name). It sounded pretty and I liked it. I sort of saw it as just another thing to check off the list (gotta have a name picked out for boy and girl) but not really that critical, because I was SURE I was having a boy. So we agonized over the boys name. We had a much longer list of favorites as well as middle name choices. There were more names that we both equally liked so it made it a bit harder. I really, really liked the name Liam. Also, it is a Celtic (or Gaelic?) version of William, which is my father's middle name (may he rest in peace) and he always went by his middle name any way so--I thought it was nice. And another name we had really liked, though we knew it was a little popular at the moment was Nathaniel. I also love that it means 'Gift from God' as this little miracle that was about to be born surely was. So we chose it for the middle name. Liam Nathaniel.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Grace's Birth Story, part one

April 9th was a very weird day.

It was a Friday--and exactly one week before my scheduled C-section. I had plans to move out of my work studio over the weekend, and then to spend the rest of the following week relaxing and just getting ready for our hospital stay. I was incensed and determined to get the house CLEAN once and for all. I knew I was running out of energy, and time, to get the house somewhat dust and pet-dander free, and somewhat organized before the Big Arrival. And, depressingly, the baby's room was still not finished. I had a lot to do.

But, for some reason, Handsome Man was having one of those days. One of those days where he just haaad to get into everything. It seemed like every stride I made toward getting things clean, at least one new mess was created behind me when I wasn't looking. And I was an emotional wreck. I can see now it must have been my hormones going completely bonkers. But at the time I was just frustrated and despondent (and exhausted) beyond belief and felt that nothing was going right. Toward the end of the day, after Handsome Man had managed to find, and pour out, an entire bottle of bubble solution (someone had given us this as a gift, idiots) all over the carpet I had just vacuumed, I had totally lost it. And I had at least two more hours before Mister made it home from work. I had to call a neighbor friend to come take H.M. for a while because I couldn't stop crying hysterically. I was a complete basket case.

When my friend came over (God bless her) I got in my car and drove down the street, parked it, and just cried my eyes out until I had gotten it all out. (Which took a while). In the meantime Mister made it home and took over--totally puzzled by my state when I came back. He got H.M. to bed, and I decided it would be in my best interest to eat something. Finally, by about ten o'clock, I decided to throw in the towel, put an end to the day, and climb into bed to get some much needed rest.

But as soon as my head hit the pillow, I felt a strange 'twinge' down in my nether regions--sort of like a guitar string popping. And it hurt. Which made me tense up. And when I tensed up, a little bit of pee came out, which was a pretty common occurrence at that point in my pregnancy. I went to the bathroom, and went pee some more, only, it was strange... it just kept trickling out. I went back to the bedroom, and as I lifted my leg to put on a fresh pair of undies, fluid came squirting out down my leg and onto the floor (sorry, tmi). I went back to the bathroom, thinking 'wow, I really have NO bladder control now!' But by the time I made it back to the bathroom, it was pretty obvious this was not pee. It kept streaming out of me. Back in the bedroom, I said to my sleeping husband, "I think we need to go to the hospital. I think my water just broke." He didn't even lift his head from the pillow, being so tired from a long week of work and commuting, and said, "Are you sure it's not just pee?"

"Yes. I'm absolutely sure."

Then we started rushing around the house, throwing things into a bag. I took a shower, because I wasn't sure when I'd have another chance. We grabbed a sleeping Handsome Man, and put him in the car. I called the hospital on the way there. (And they told me to come right in). During the 30 minute car ride, as I sat on a pile of towels, completely gushing now, I started getting contractions. Now I was a little scared too, because I wasn't feeling the baby move at all. By the time we pulled up to the hospital the contractions were getting stronger, and when Mister asked me to help him find the sign for the Labor and Delivery parking lot, I said, through gritted teeth, "I'm a little preoccupied over here....!"

Once inside we were taken to a small room, where I was hooked up to the fetal heart monitor and another monitor for my contractions. A nurse gave me an exam and told me I was not dilated at. all. Which because I was breech, was pretty normal. Or at least that's the gist. All I know is, I sure wasn't feeling very good. And I was already exhausted. They called the doctor on call--Dr. G.. (the same doctor who I used to see before I switched over to Doctor Wunnerful. The same doctor who had, four years earlier, performed my D&C in this very same hospital.) Dr. G. had just gotten off shift, and the nurses asked if I felt ok with waiting until 8 a.m. for my C-section. They would give me drugs to keep the contractions at bay until then. I figured it would be better to wait and have a doctor who's fresh and has had some sleep perform my surgery, and it would be better to try and get some sleep, one last time, before I became a mother of two.

My friend, T., was so kind, and met us there, and took Handsome Man home back to our house so Mister could stay there over night with me. They promised us a room where we both could sleep. Only, we waited for what seemed like forever. And after finally getting into our comfy room, sleep was somewhat elusive. Despite the fact that I had been given (or so I thought) drugs to reduce contractions, and pain meds, they were coming harder, faster, closer together. Finally, I rang the nurse. She hooked me back up to monitor my contractions, and a few minutes later returned and said, yes, I needed more meds. The meds. The meds made me feel yucky too. Shaky and gross. These were the same meds they had given me the previous week when Dr. K. had attempted the 'version' to turn the baby. Icky icky ick. Add to this the fact that it seemed like someone was coming in there every 5 minutes to check this or do that, and sleep was not on the menu. For either of us.

Luckily, despite my earlier crazed emotional state, despite the fact that there was a mountain of things I wanted to get done before the baby came, a mountain of things that would now obviously not be getting done, Iw as strangely calm by this point. I just submitted. I was still a little scared about the surgery. I tried not to think about it. Did I really have a choice? Plus, after what little sampling I had just gotten of labor, I thought maybe having a c-section wouldn't be so bad.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Will I Ever Blog Again?

Crazy. Crazy. Crazy... that's what it's been around here. I don't think there's truly any way to prepare for bringing home a new baby and dealing with the fall-out from a 3 year old big brother trying to adjust. The first 2 or 3 weeks were pretty harrowing. Handsome Man did not handle it too well. Everyone told us to expect this, but, wow. Also, at our first post-hospital check-up we found out that not only was Grace not gaining weight, but she had, in fact, lost a pound since birth. Her jaundice was also getting worse. I felt like someone had kicked me in the gut. I was so scared and worried. Back we went to the hospital to have her bili levels checked and to meet with the lactation consultant. Long story short, it was determined that my milk supply was pretty much inadequate. I had no idea. All I knew was I was feeding Grace constantly, it seemed... I thought all was well! Little did I know she was starving. We immediately started supplementing with formula. They wanted me to do 30 minutes on each breast, then supplement with an ounce or two of formula. And do do this every hour and a half. So, in case you didn't just run the math in your head--that's pretty much round the clock, constant feeding. All while being at home with a very rambunctious, needy, acting-out three year old who also needed my love and attention. I did this for about 2 days before I absolutely totally and completely lost it. Oh, I forgot to mention the lactation consultant also wanted me pumping in between feedings to increase my supply. (sigh...). I switched to feeding her breast at one feeding, and then formula at the next, and pretty soon her formula consumption shot up from 2 ounces to four at most feedings. The good news is her weight shot up immediately and her jaundice resolved very quickly without us having to check her into the hospital. The bad news is that the reality of trying to juggle all this to get my milk supply up has proven to be more than I can really handle. Throw into the mix that I have had weddings to produce this month and well....TILT!!!!!! Overload!!!! So, the little munchkin has been getting more and more formula and I have tried to keep pumping but honestly there are days where I just don't have time. My milk supply is dwindling and I am really upset because I would love to keep breastfeeding. But the important things are that Grace is healthy and continues to gain weight (in fact she's turning into a chunky little Bhudda Baby) and that I have time in the day where I can give Handsome Man some individual attention, and that I stay sane, for all of our sakes. So, I'm not sure what will happen with the breast feeding thing. I doubt I'll be able to get my supply up to where it would need to be to feed her exclusively. So do I ditch it all together and just switch to formula? I'm sure at some point I will have to. I pumped four times yesterday and I only get about an ounce and a half combined (both breasts) after pumping for half an hour. Yeah, pitiful. So, the boobs are more of a comfort/bonding/quick snack sort of thing for Grace at this point.

Shutting down the business: I had to move out of my studio. I had it slated for the weekend before I was supposed to have my c-section, but of course Grace had other plans! My friends and family rallied together and got me moved out the following weekend. It was a lot. A week after my delivery and there I was, wandering around the studio, with a baby on the boob, as everything got broken down and moved out. It was all very strange. I am adjusting to life as a stay at home mom. Still have several weddings to produce to fulfill my obligations, but much, much fewer than I'm used to. It's a good thing. But it's an adjustment. I am anxious to get HM back into daycare soon, maybe a few times a week, if we can work it back into our budget. If not, I will have to hold out until fall when I will hopefully get him enrolled in preschool. Trying to get him potty trained once and for all in preparation for this. So far I have been less than successful on that front but we are making progress.

I am hoping at some point I'll have time to sit down and write a more coherent post and tell Grace's birth story.

For now, I will leave you with some photos:

Welcome to the world!!

Mom's not looking to good here, but happy!!

Home from the hospital...

Having a "cupcake party" to celebrate coming home. Handsome Man's tee-shirt says 'Big Brother'. My sister got it for him--totally cute. My face looks totally bloated in this photo. It probably was.

My amazing Grace--a few days home from the hospital.

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Change of Plans

I was supposed to have my C-section today. But.....

My DAUGHTER decided to come one week early. My water broke last Friday night. We rushed to the hospital (because she was breech they told me to come in right away if I should go into labor). Grace* (*not her real name) was born via c-section at 8:28 a.m. on April 10th. She weighed 6 lbs 13 oz and was 20 inches long. She is beautiful and of course I am in love. It has been a whirlwind ever since. I just got home from the hospital a couple of days ago, and things are crazy, of course. Today is the first day I've had time to even open up my laptop. I will post soon with the whole story and some photos....

Monday, April 5, 2010

C-Section Scheduled

My baby's birthday will be April 16th. I had a choice between the 15th or the 16th but who wants their birthday to be Tax Day if it can be avoided? Of course, if I should go into labor earlier than that, I will go straight to the hospital, but if not, I'll be delivering by C-section next Friday. I guess the benefits are that it takes the guesswork out of the timing, eh? Trying to line up help at home for when I get out of the hospital, plus help with Handsome Man while I'm in there. I'm assuming my husband will want to spend a significant amount of time at the hospital with me, and I don't think HM will have too much fun sitting in a hospital room for long periods of time. This is all so crazy.

Still to get done before C-day:

Find jammies for hospital
Pack hospital bag
Finish washing baby's clothes/blankets
Finish organizing stuff in baby's room
Get changing table moved over from storage (aka my office)
Move out of studio (this is a biggie)

Finish pre-orders and place orders with vendors for May weddings

All while totally exhausted, with swollen feet (that just started happening) a sore back, and a three year old with me full time.

No biggie, right?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Turn Around!

Okay, so this baby is still breech. Yesterday I went into the hospital where they tried a 'Version'--which is where they try and manually manipulate the baby into turning heads-down. Let me just tell anyone out there who may need this procedure--it is not pleasant. Though, I'm sure it is nothing compared to labor. First they pumped my full of a drug that was supposed to relax my uterus. It is actually an asthma medication. How it was discovered it was useful for relaxing women's uteri I have no idea, but whatever. Let's just say it makes you feel like craap! I was shaky and jittery and just sort of icky feeling. Like having waaaay too much coffee. But without the fun. Then the good doctor (not my doctor Wunnerful but another doc from the practice, whom I've been seeing a lot lately) tried (while I was hooked up to a fetal heart monitor and the ultrasound tech was standing by to keep checking position) to moooooove that baby. Um. Let's just say it was painful. I tried as hard as I could to not seize up and constrict my muscles (which would have been counterproductive to what they were trying to do). I had to do a lot of breathing--the type of breathing I would imagine I would be using if I were actually in labor--and try my best to "go to my happy place" while it was happening. Mister was there and he was being very supportive. Unfortunately, it just didn't work. Once the doctor announced he was stopping, I started crying. I really hoped it would work. Because this means of course that the only way this baby is coming out is by C-section.

Many friends have suggested acupuncture or chiropractic or even standing upside down in a pool. Let me just tell you that after what they did to me yesterday, I would wager that if that couldn't get the baby to move, then needles in my little toe aren't going to do it either. Not to sound negative or anything, but seriously--apparently the baby's butt is firmly planted in my pelvis. Pretty stuck.

So I've got another STUBBORN little child on my hands. God help me.

I am disappointed that I will not be able to go through the rite of passage of childbirth. There is a part of me that wants to be angry at my body for failing me once again--but really, I can't go there. I mean, if anything, I owe my body a lot of thanks for getting me this far. Not only did I finally conceive, I have had a pretty uneventful and healthy pregnancy. I even survived and recovered from a terrible car accident at 6 weeks pregnant. I've been feeling mostly good this whole time. I've got a robust, healthy baby growing inside of me. He or she is just in the wrong position. It is not my fault. It is not my body's fault (other than being slender and not providing a lot of space, I suppose?).

I see the doctor again on Monday and he will schedule the C. Do you think it will be rude or weird of me to request my Doctor Wunnerful to do the C-section?

On another, random note: Today is April Fool's Day. On this day 4 years ago I was informed the baby I was carrying was not a viable pregnancy. And it wasn't a joke. It was one of the worst days of my entire life. I guess, when I think about where I was then, and where I am now, having a C-section isn't such a big deal, if it means I get a healthy baby at the end of it all.

But still, I'm a little freaked and a little sad, too.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Happy Birthday Handsome Man

My little boy is three. Whoa. He is sprouting like a little bean pole. We went to one of his favorite places today--about 30 minutes from home with a railroad and a petting zoo. Two of my friends who have little boys met us there to ride the trains, and then we went next door to a pizza place. It was chaotic and hectic with three little boys running around, but a lot of fun.

I can't believe that three years ago today we were in a hospital in Boise, Idaho waiting for him--waiting on the brink of becoming parents.

I talked to HM's birth-grandmother, "Aunt Patty" today. (And HM got on the phone with her too). She has been trying to come out for a visit but has been having a hard time getting the time off of work. She's going to try to come in the next few weeks. Of course it will still be hectic and crazy around here, with moving out of my studio, and all the baby preparations, and trying to get the house together. But I don't think she cares. She loves spending time with HM and we love seeing her.

Patty told me Eryn has been MIA lately. Crazy stuff going on that I just won't get into for the sake of minding my own business. But let's just say her current boyfriend is not much of an improvement from the way M. treated her. It makes me sad, but what can I do...

We'll be giving her a call this evening too and hopefully will get to speak with her.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Last Day of School

Today is Handsome Man's last day at school. Last day, that is, until I am hopefully able to start him in preschool in the fall. It will most likely be a parent co-op preschool. Which I know is going to be really great, but at the moment I am feeling really low. He loves his school and has thrived since he started going there and I have been crying off and on all day. We just can't afford it now.

I don't know but I think the hormones might be getting the better of me today.

In other news my baby is still breech and I am freaked.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Just a Few Things

So, I've got just a few things to do/get sorted out in the next month before baby arrives. I'm not totally stressed out or anything.


I am in the process of trying to sell off everything in my studio--all the props and such that I've collected over the years, plus the office furniture. Hoping I can make some decent money from all of it--(we need it!)--and hoping it all goes so that I don't have to move it (again!). I sent out a flyer to everyone in my address book who is "industry" folk, for a sale for the last week of March. I have some people coming this week to pre-view some stuff. Hopefully they will take stuff. The sooner the better.

My friend, T., has just bought a house in The Town Where I Live. She is hoping to get possession by April 8th. She has so very generously offered to let me use her basement space to do my existing events for 2010. So all going well, I should be able to move the things I need into her space without having to store them somewhere else in between. I am keeping a few work tables, my tools, buckets, various floral supplies, glass, and probably my cooler (until end of summer when my events are done).

I need to finish my taxes. I am waiting on some paperwork my credit card company was supposed to send, to give to my bookkeeper, so they can finish up my 2009 books, so that I can then fill out the tax packet for my cpa. UGh. I have to check on this again today.


We moved into our New Room a few weeks ago, and it is awesome. It is so cozy and nice. My husband thought of everything. Down to the his and hers reading lights installed above the headboard of our bed, complete with dimmer switches. Even though it only adds another 250 or so square feet to our tiny domicile, it makes the whole house seem so much more spacious. I love it and even though it cost us more than we planned--I'm glad we did it. I'm sure my husband is glad to be done with it--poor guy. But, someday, when the economy comes back, I know we have added a lot of value to this house. I hope.

So now we have to do the baby's room (our old bedroom). Two weekends ago my husband opened the suspect wall to check for mold. The good news is there was NO MOLD! Also no water damage. Everything was dry and the lumber looked as new as the day it was built. Which is saying a lot of a house built in the 1930's. So the mildew on the wall was a surface problem. The bad news is that my husband was a little bit aggravated about opening up a whole wall for nothing. Oh well, at least now we know, and now that that part of the wall is gone, so is the mildew. Yuk. So Mister took the opportunity of the open wall to push some insulation in (why did they not insulate houses back then?). This last weekend he replaced the drywall. Now he has to do a few coats of mud over the next few evenings. Hopefully by next weekend, I'll be able to start painting.

So I've got to:
Paint baby's room
Put together Handsome Mans's old crib (Mister will obviously be doing this.)
Move changing table and other misc. stuff over that is stored at my studio right now.
Find curtains for window AND closet system.
Get crib mattress (we're using HM's on his toddler bed).
We also need to clean up the debris from our construction that is piled up in the front yard (we look like the white trash house on the block yet again) and go to the dump. But for obvious reasons, being as overwhelmed as I am, this is at the bottom of the list. Sorry, neighbors).

Preparing for Baby:

Need to go through HM's old clothes blankets, etc., see what we have.
Wash and put away all baby clothes, blankets, bedding, etc.
Pack hospital bag
Find jammies for hospital
Find bottles, wash, store
Stock up on diapers, etc.
Clean entire house!!
Probably a million other things I am forgetting.

Oh, and this Friday will be Handsome Man's last day at daycare. So I need to do all of this stuff while watching my rambunctious 3 year old.

And I've got to figure out what we're doing next weekend for his birthday. (3 years old--OMYGOD!)

Let's just say I didn't get a lot of sleep last night.

Please baby, stay in there for the full duration of your gestation. Please oh please. Mommy has a lot to do.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


I had another routine appointment this morning. I saw one of the other doctors in the practice, so I missed seeing Dr. Wunnerful, but at this point they want me to see each of the other doctors at least once, since whoever is on call when I go into labor will most likely be the one that delivers my baby. I saw the doctor who's name rhymes with 'Jerk' and so we'll call him Dr. Jerk. Not just because his name rhymes, but because he is, kinda, a jerk. You see, he did not remember me but I did see him a couple of years ago. Right before we were about to start our first round of IUI's at the Infertility Clinic, I needed to get an "annual & pap." Not wanting to see the doctor I had already seen throughout my original infertility workups, and then short-lived pregnancy and miscarriage, (too afraid I'd start blubbering at the sight of her just because of the memories and what, at that time, she represented to me, emotionally), I requested Dr. Jerk do my annual. My friend B., who was pregnant at the time (via IVF) was seeing him and said she liked him and that he was very familiar with All Things Infertility, which made her more comfortable, since it had taken her a long road to get pregnant. So I thought, hey, we're doing treatments, he'll understand what's going on, he might be the right doctor for me too.


During that exam 2 years ago, when I told him we were pursuing IUI, and that I'd been diagnosed with high FSH, he almost laughed, and said, "well, good luck with that. Your chances of success are very low."

Thanks, buddy.

(My friend B. had a bad post labor experience with him and now refuses to see him as well. So, we joke around when referring to him as Dr. Jerk.)

Today, I really wanted to remind him of who I was and how I got to where I am. He looked at my chart and noted that I'd been seeing Dr. Wunnerful exclusively.

I wanted to say it was because he believed in me, that the reason I was pregnant was most likely because of him, and my old, high fsh eggs were just fine, obviously, wouldn't you know it, thankyouverymuch.

But I didn't have the energy. After a sleepless night worrying about all of our financial and my business decisions, at 9:00 this morning I just didn't have it in me to be snarky. (Not that I would have been, really, but you know what I mean.) So I acted just like any other normal, pregnant lady, I guess....

Anyway. The baby is measuring a little small (about 32 weeks--I'm 33wks 5days?) but growing. He said not to worry it is probably just due to the fact that I am tall and lean. Either the baby is just measuring small because I am "hiding" some of it, or, hey, it's just a smaller baby.

And the baby is still breech. Which is really freaking me out because I don't want a C-Section. He acted very nonchalant about it, but hey, no one is coming after his gut with a scalpel.

Anyone who has any advice on how to turn a breech baby please let me know!!

Will see another doctor in the practice next week, just to do as I'm supposed to, and then I'll hopefully go back to my Doctor Wunnerful.

And I SO HOPE I get Dr. Wunnerful to deliver. I'm sort of afraid of how I'll feel if it's not him. Is that weird?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Can't Think of a Title...

So I had to go to the flower market this morning. I had to renew my badges and I also had to buy some flowers for a sample meeting tomorrow. I haven't been there in months as I haven't had any events since around Christmas time. As I walked through the rows of flowers, and took in the sight of all the gorgeous beautiful spring blooms, all the color and vibrance, I felt at once uplifted and also sad. Sad that this thing that has been my life, for better or worse for the past decade and a half is now coming to an end. I thought of all the people I have come to know through this industry, the friends I have made (some casual, some life-long friendships).

I also sat down at my table this afternoon and went through my list of clients for 2010 and added up what I still have coming in. (Pathetic). I sat and wondered, what went wrong? I thought about years previous when I would have had tens of thousands of dollars in my checking account at this point just in deposits (vs my empty bank account as of now). *sigh*. I felt a little sorry for myself. I spent some time thinking, "I wish things were simple. I wish I could just enjoy the last weeks of this pregnancy without stressing over money, how to close my business down, moving out of my studio, etc." (Not to mention the baby's room is still not ready--but that's another story). I thought, "Why couldn't things go as planned? Why can't business be good, so HM can stay in daycare, I can keep my studio where it will be very comfortable to take the baby to work, why can't I have my business and be a success, why do we have to be so poor right now?"

Then this afternoon I had to run the mundane task of going to Cos.tco. (I am so into bargain shopping right now--trying to squeeze every penny out of our budget). With Handsome Man in tow I scanned the aisles. To keep him occupied we played silly games. We giggled and laughed and made funny faces, and I know people were looking at us. At one point he grabbed my face with both hands, brought his face to mine and gave me a big kiss. Afterward we shared an ice cream (giant non fat frozen yogurt, actually, but I'm not telling). I told him we had to share which he was not too keen on at first, but halfway through he was spoon feeding me and saying, "Yay, we're sharing!"

I thought, well, maybe this staying at home thing isn't so bad? Maybe I have something to offer my children that the daycares and programs don't. Maybe it will be ok. Maybe I won't totally suck at this.

After I loaded him into the backseat of my car, I looked back at him and the empty infant seat now secured in the backseat next to him, waiting to be filled by another little person.

I am so lucky.

I still feel a deep sadness over closing my business. I am mourning a loss, which my husband does not really seem to understand. And, like grieving any other loss, I am sure I will have my good moments and my not so good moments with it. It may be a while before I fully let it go, emotionally. But if my children grow up having happy memories of their childhoods---memories that include a mother who was there, memories that include family vacations during the summer and outings on weekends, (not so happening when you work in an industry that is busiest on weekends, and most especially May-October), then maybe there is a Greater Reason for all of this. Maybe it will all be ok.

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Empire Crumbles

There is so much going on I don't even know what to say these days...

My little floral Empire is crumbling. I thought 2010 would be a rebound year, but exactly the opposite is happening. At this point in the year, I only have a tiny fraction of the number of events booked for the season that I need in order to survive. I have no money left--I've been living off of deposits through the winter and there is just nowhere to go from here. NO ONE is booking. Even if I got flurry of bookings right now it would probably be too little, too late. So, I am not able to keep the studio and all the things that go along with it in order to keep the business going. And I have no money to contribute to our personal fund (we usually require my contribution to pay all of our bills).

And we're broke, of course. The Room Project took twice as much as we expected. We're out of money. And, nothing's changed--we still have a lot of debt.

So what to do?

Well I have to close down the business, there's no way around it. But, I have booked some events, which I have to fulfill.

But we can't afford to keep Handsome Man in daycare through the summer so that I can work, let alone two kids.

Any money I make through the summer I need to put toward paying off my business credit card and socking away for taxes so that we don't wind up owing taxes for 2010 and so that at the end of the season I can walk away clean without any debt. But that means I won't be contributing much or anything to our home fund. So we have to figure out a way to live off of Mister's daycare.

There's also the matter of where to do all these events since I won't have the studio.

And how am I going to move OUT of my studio THIS MONTH while I am 8 months pregnant.


We have to pull Handsome Man out of daycare/school immediately. This will be his last week. Then I need to move out of the studio (??). Uh, yeah.

If I can just figure out a way to make it through the next 5-6 months, then things will be ok. But, I'm a little freaked out. And, I'm sad. I mean, I've been in this business in one way or another for over 14 years--I've been running my own business for at least 8. I have become very emotionally attached to being 'The Business Owner"--"The Owner of (My Company Name)."

Especially through the years where I was failing at starting a family, was experiencing loss and sadness, I was able to pour everything into my job. While my friends all around me were having babies and bragging about their families, I at least had my business. I had the recognition and admiration that went along with it. It was all I had to pin my ego on.

Now things are different. I have a family. I have everything I've asked for. I am so blessed. But, apparently, there is a trade-off. The Universe is telling me, no--you can't really Have It All.

I am preparing to become a stay-at-home mom.

I admire and respect sahm's. Believe me. And there have been many times in the past three years when I was worn out by my job and my mothering responsibilities and wished I could just be a mom and concentrate on doing that job--better. But to now really be forced into making the decision--not just 100% out of my own desire to be at home with the kids, but by a financial crisis, and well, a failure--imposed by the economy, sure--but a failure nonetheless, it hurts. It's scary. And I'm a little freaked out.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Feeling Low

A lot of things are going on that I haven't really been writing about. I've been wrapped up in pregnancy updates... because I have been sort of using this blog as a 'pregnancy log' of sorts--for fear that I would not have a record otherwise and would forget everything... but the less than rosey side of my life I have not been writing about.

I feel like a monumental failure today. In so many ways. The pregnancy hormones may be making these feeling worse, and I am really hoping I can shake these blues away but it seems like all I can do is cry this morning.

What's wrong? Ugh, where do I start?

Due to the fact that we live in the World's Smallest House, we needed to come up with a 'creative' solution to our space problem when we found out we would soon be a family of four. Of course, nothing happened right away. Walking a tightrope through that first trimester meant that we didn't really take action on anything, for fear of getting into the middle of something we couldn't undo if I was suddenly not pregnant anymore. (Which happened with our kitchen remodel of 2006 when I had the miscarriage.) But as it appeared that we would indeed be adding another member to this family, we started thinking of adding on to this house. For a while we seriously considered a true addition--perhaps even doubling the size of our home (which, at twice the current size, would still be considered a modest size home by most standards). We even paid to have some plans drawn up. But, it just seemed like a lot to accomplish by April. And somewhere in my gut I knew it was not realistic. Financially we wouldn't be able to do it all at once anyway, which would mean we'd be in a state of construction limbo over the next couple of years. So what was my bright-ass idea? To turn our one-car attached garage into a proper living space. I thought it would be cheaper and easier. Well, my Dear Husband went for the idea. We'd turn the modest amount of space into a new master bedroom for us (which would include a small laundry room off the side since our existing garage held the washer/dryer and we NEED that). And then our old bedroom (which is near HM's room) would be the new baby's room. Well, long story short, my husband has been working on this project tirelessly since after Christmas. Every single weekend, and many many nights after work. And mind you, he doesn't get home until after 7pm...then to have to work for hours on a construction project is totally exhausting. And, to make matters worse, the whole project ended up costing about twice what we budgeted, so we are now officially out of money. No more money to pay for help to finish the project, and no money left in our savings account. No emergency fund. With a baby on the way. And, unfortunately, since the economy sucks right now, my business is not doing well. There is a chance that I may even go out of business at some point in the near future. And, with no money in the bank, we still really need my income.

Needless to say, my husband is tired, stressed and unhappy.

And I feel like it's all my fault.

We've had a couple of discussions lately that have made me aware of how unhappy my husband is, and, just how disappointed he is with Yours Truly. I have been zero help on this construction project. Between being pregnant and being very very sick for about a month (I had a cold that turned into flu into sinus infection into bronchitis and ear infection, with a stomach bug thrown in for good measure in the midst of it). I could not shake my illness(es) and it eventually took 2 different types of antibiotics to get rid of it. During the week when my husband was at work, I was supposed to get a lot of prep and painting done (once the new room got to that point). I was useless. Then I finally started feeling better and I did start working in there. First I did some prepping and sanding. The problem is I get very winded and tired these days very quickly. I also was trying to keep up/catch up with my work stuff that had been somewhat neglected during my illness. I am desperately trying to get more clients so that I can get some more money from deposits coming in, so that I can keep contributing to our income. Also, I am the person responsible for childcare (obviously, since my husband works an hour away and has is gone from 7 am-7pm M-F). Handsome Man is home with me Mondays and Tuesdays and goes to school Wed-Fri. So on Mondays and Tuesdays I find it very difficult to get anything done. Then by Wednesday I have so much catch up to do with work I find it hard to get everything done. I try to also keep on top of the house work (big fail if you saw my house right now) so, in my mind at least, there is a lot going on. Add to that pregnancy and illness, and, well, what have you got. To make a long story short, my husband and I had a very emotional discussion the other day, where he admitted to me he was very disappointed with me, and the minor contribution I have made to the New Room Project. The painting and prep work, for example, he informed me was so poorly done he had to re-do it all. Meaning it put us yet more behind on the project. But you know what? The other day when I was down on my hands and knees painting skirting boards, I really thought I was doing a good job. I thought he'd be happy and proud of me. See, bending over to get down to that level does not feel good. I have a big belly and my stomach is up somewhere in my chest and I have lots of ligament pain. I can't really bend over at the waist too much. It hurts. Squatting is hard for long periods of time. So I had to do it on my hands and knees. And, then, I guess because my lungs are being compressed from baby, or because I'm just carrying around 30 pounds of extra weight, I get really out of breath. I even get dizzy sometimes. But I did it. I painted those damn skirting boards and the windows and trim. But badly. I wasn't trying to do a bad job. I was paying attention. But according to my husband, it was a bad job. And, as he pointed out this is not the only time it has been that way.

There is a history here. A history of me not being able to get things done. A history of procrastination, or doing what appears to be half-assed work. I really try. I think my husband thinks I sit around eating bon-bons all day while he is at work. I don't. I swear. But I have to admit something. I find it extremely difficult to organize and manage my life. I get extremely overwhelmed. I find being a mom, a business owner, a wife, etc., all a lot to manage. And, it appears that I have been failing miserably.

This is not a new thing. My entire life has been a series of FAILS and overwhelming mediocrity. I know this. I dropped out of high school. I did manage to go to college--first a community college and then State College. It took me forever but I did graduate. With an English degree. (Big whoop. How am I using that degree now?) Ok, I will say I graduated Cum Laude. But how hard is that to do at a State school. It's not like I went to Harvard or anything. My first marriage? Fail. Career? At this point, Fail. I never got a Masters degree, and I am not qualified to do anything. I feel like a failure at parenting (hey my kid is about to turn three and is still not potty trained. Something I am almost too embarrassed to admit to friends and family).

But, as usual, I am getting off on a tangent. The point is that I have been thinking a lot about these things lately and have been wondering if there is any chance I may have Adult ADD/ADHD. I have denied this for a long time because, well, when I really focus on something I can do great things. I can take the monumental task of producing floral designs for a huge event and make it happen. Flawlessly even. But then I seem to fail at everything else, don't I? Then I realized as I started doing some research that being able to hyper-focus on certain tasks is actually a symptom of the disorder.

I am not trying to make excuses. I am trying to get answers to what seems like a lifetime of failure. I am pushing 40 and I would like to really not live this way forever. In my mind's eye I envision living an organized, simplified, happy and productive life. But I never seem to be able to get there.

And now I am more overwhelmed than ever. So the new room is done. We have moved in and I have started clearing out our old room which will be the baby's room. Only there is work that needs to be done in there before I can paint and move furniture in. It seems as if we have a mold problem in one of the walls. My poor, exhausted husband informed me the other day that there is just no way we can repair the problem any time soon. We can't afford to pay someone to do it, and my husband is exhausted. And, we are running out of time. My dream of decorating the nursery is on hold. My husband still has to finish patching, sanding and painting the new siding on the outside of the house where we removed the old garage door (and put up a proper wall) and on the side of the house where the new windows were installed. So this entails several more weekends of work, and by then, the baby could be here any time. I have an empty 'nursery' that will have to stay empty--for a while. I can't ask my husband to work any harder or do any more than he has done/is doing. He is about ready to crack. And, as a result, he has not been able to enjoy this pregnancy with me. He has been working non-stop. We haven't even picked a name. He has made no connection with this baby of his that is about to enter the world.

And on top of all of this, he is taking on side work to try and make some extra money to replenish our empty savings account.

This is all too much to take in and I feel horrible and I am so depressed right now I don't know what to do.