Wednesday, November 28, 2012


When you become pregnant, or a mother without the pregnancy part, your life is no longer your own.  Neither, it should be mentioned, is your body.  It's like Stockholm Syndrome.  You have become a hostage, but you learn to love, if not immediately then relatively quickly, the being, the bunch of cells, the child, that has taken you hostage.  You are, however, still a hostage, LOL.

Not all captors are created equal.  And I'm wondering how my body will adapt to being hostage to 2 captors.

I have a specific example.  For as long as I can remember, if I am sleeping when P is sleeping, I wake up a few minutes before he does.  Every time.  Even if he awakes in the middle of the night.  I just KNOW.  My body knows.  What happens when captor #2 is here???  The thought baffles.

Back to the not equal thing...

This pregnancy is radically different from P's.  So much so that I was convinced I was losing the baby just a few days ago.  NT scan yesterday, however, showed just the opposite :-)  Grasshopper is ahead of schedule, and quite a wiggle worm.  Gah!  Tangent.  Okay, below, the differences!

  • With P I threw up nonstop for what, 6 months?  This time it's utterly random, and not bad at all.  (Thank goodness!)
  • I can't eat just anything I want anymore.  With P I could handle just about anything.  This time, bring on the bland, and NO MEAT!!!  Bad, bad idea.  No garlic.  No onion.  Oy.  The sweet tooth remains, however.
  • I am EXHAUSTED.  Not like, oh, I need a nap exhausted.  I mean please let me sleep for 24 hours tired.  It's getting better.  But I can't remember a time in my life - maybe when I had mono - when the exhaustion was so complete.  At one point I was zonked 15-16 hours a day.  For real.  Unfortunately my old friend insomnia is here.  God, what a horrid combination.
  • I was a sex fiend last time, some of you may remember.  This time as long as it's me and batteries.  Those who try to touch me beware.  I may punch you.  I don't want to be touched, kissed, hugged...period.  Back off.  This is sacred ground, yo.  Bummer, given the sensitivity of the lady bits!  Maybe I will come around.
These are the big things I can think of.  My body is not my own.  It may never be again.  And I wouldn't change it for the world :-)  I am completely in love with my captors.  They can keep me hostage.  I can deal with it.

Captor #1 in his brand new snow gear from Grandma Sue in our first snow
yesterday.  He waddled like a drunk midget.  

Captor #2 yesterday.  12 weeks and looking good.  6 more days and we are in
the 2nd trimester!  Woot!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Perspective: Not Your Typical Thanksgiving Post

Yesterday, I fought going to group therapy.  I missed it last Friday due to a lot of crying.  Monday I left after 30 minutes due to uncontrollable sobbing.  It's been an emotional week.  I know hormones play a huge part in this, but I feel as though I'm regressing.  It's also the onslaught of the holidays, which are proving to be difficult as ever this year.  But I put on my big girl panties, and left the house yesterday and went to group.  

It was a struggle for me to not completely lose it during the first session.  After that I chose the next session based on the room it was in (big, with comfy chairs and windows).  It was a good call.  The group itself was "Grief and Loss" - a real pick-me-upper for sure.  We all had stories, from the woman whose girlfriend committed suicide the week she was gone on vacation and the gf's family didn't acknowledge her, so she doesn't even know where she is buried or if she was cremated.  Myself and a friend who had to go through losses with no support from our partners at the time.  You get the idea.

And then...

A young woman who was new yesterday, with a spot slightly to the rear of the circle because of her wheelchair, spoke up.  It was near the end.  Most of us did not know her story.  And she said to the intern (essentially):

How do you suggest dealing with the grief that comes with the knowledge that your illness is terminal.  That the only other person you know of with the disease didn't live past 30.  What do you suggest I do?

Her speech was a bit longer, giving some of her history as an artist, and that she was fighting to continue to create while she could.  That when her hands had given out at one point she painted with her feet.
And more.

We were all silent, and the intern leading the group thanked her for sharing, said she honestly couldn't answer that question, and could she open it up to the group.

I looked over toward this incredible young woman, and a sign on the wall near her caught my attention just then.  The one about "dancing like no one is watching...." that ends with " like every day is your last."  And then I spoke.  I have no idea what prompted me to think I am qualified to speak on this type of heavy subject.  Maybe it was that I watched my grandmother fight debilitating disease for most of her life, and certainly all of the time I knew her, never letting it stop her from creating, giving, LIVING.  I don't know.

I told her that given her creativity, she has this amazing opportunity to leave a legacy.  To show others that life doesn't end with a diagnosis.  That her strength could be an inspiration to, for instance, children in hospital.  That she could TEACH the things she has learned, teach others to create.  You get the idea.

And this woman, this amazing woman who is trained in glass blowing, who continues to create in any manner possible despite her limitations, who is facing her own mortality with strength....she THANKED ME.  Me.

All I can think is that I am so incredibly thankful to be able to have the people in my life who are so incredibly inspirational.  For instance...the woman at the clinic who survived a concentration camp.  The woman whose husband disappeared to commit suicide while she was newly pregnant with their youngest child and has fought the battles necessary to keep her family together.  The women (and men) I've met who have fought in the IF trenches for years and years and who have so much strength.

All these people I know with strength like I can only imagine.

If they can survive, if they can stay the course, find the positive...then I can find my inner strength and fight back the fear.

For these friends, I will be forever thankful.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wenesday Whatever

I am a lousy blogger these days.  I am exhausted!  I sleep when P sleeps.  Naps, early bedtime.  Grasshopper is telling me who is boss!

I am 10w1d today.  We got to see Grasshopper last week at our first OB appointment.  Not much was discussed - the usual first appointment bull.  Grasshopper was measuring 5 days ahead with a hb of 147, so all looks well, and given my symptoms, growing still.  Luckily, morning sickness is a random occurrence.  Thank goodness after last time!

One thing that will have to come up is the question of a VBAC.  I really want this to be possible.  Hoping for no complications this time around.  We talked about the plethora of prenatal testing now available, and have decided on the basic NT scan.  They recommend an amnio at my age (I am now of "advanced maternal age
" - how I hate that term!) but I can't see us doing it.

A decision regarding my meds is on hold until later in the pregnancy.  I hate that I have to choose bipolar meds vs. breastfeeding.  We're going to aim for a compromise, I think.  As for weight gain, that prickly issue - I've put on 10+ lbs already.  Ugh.

P is at 19.5 months 31lbs, 31" tall.  He has thinned out so much!  And communication with him is becoming easier and easier.  Sometimes he even listens!  His comprehension grows day by day, and it remains incredible as ever to see.

The holidays are quickly approaching, and I'm dreading this in a bad bad way given the family feud still (quietly) in progress.  Things are quite obviously at a stand still.  I've sent P updates to both my dad and Littlest with absolutely no response, so apparently I've been written off.

I'm still quite stressed thinking of us in this tiny apartment with a 4th human added, but try my damndest to not think too much about it.  At least not until we can catch up some.  It's a very frustrating situation and with my hormones all willy nilly I get quite riled up.  I worry a lot about me handling a 2nd child.  Especially in this dinky space where I have no space of my own, nowhere to escape.  And I'm having a hard time letting Hubby close - things are pretty dry around here.  I just can't seem to let the stress aside to have couple time. It's a serious struggle.  And it's badly affecting us.  I am at a loss right now.  I really am.  *Sigh*

I am trying to deal with lost paperwork leading to being denied SSDI, Hubby's job requiring an update of our welfare information, playing phone tag with the case manager person.... I am so sick of having to deal with this crap.  I wish I could just WORK like a normal person.

Enough of that, though.  I was in a fairly good mood before opening this to write and play catch up.  Gotta shake it off and salvage the afternoon.  I think that's another reason I haven't written much lately.  I don't want to sound ungrateful, but I just feel like we have so much on our plates that I am going to overload.

Perhaps I will delve more into that soon.  It's not as though my illness and treatment all of a sudden became irrelevant when I became pregnant.  Not so much.

Until then, though, stay warm and safe and happy if you can :-)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Toddler Tornado

I am trying to figure out how pregnancies survive toddlers.  P seems determined to climb on, step on, fall on, and in all ways possible do damage to my lower abdomen.

I have one word: OWWWWWW.

It is painful and uncomfortable and a bit scary.  But I know it's not really on purpose.  He's just a toddler.  A Toddler Tornado.  If you saw what he can do to a room in under 5 minutes you would understand.  Granted, we have such a small space in which to function (it sends me into a tizzy at least once a week), but seriously. He is nuts.  NUTS.

He throws things at us when we don't cooperate or he doesn't want them and I have bruises, usually on my face, to prove it.  He hits.  He shoves his fingers in my mouth and tries to play with my tongue rings.  He climbs, shoves, pulls the cat's tail with squeals of delight.

I hid the bubbles from him because it's all he wanted to play with 24/7 - "bo bo bo bo?"  He signs more, please, and all done.  He sometimes says juice, ball, chicken, mom, dad, kitty, nan(a), and most commonly and emphatically "NO!"  Oh, and see, as in see?  see?  His version of "I want."

But it's not all terrible twos.  His giggle is infectious.  He is throwing food less and less.  He tries to feed me, which is adorable.  He pretend eats, cooks, talks on the phone (ah-o?), and, to my delight, if we say it's nap or bed time, he picks up his lovey and sippy cup and walks into the bedroom to his crib.  He hugs, he kisses, both on command at sleepy time.  Sometimes on his own just because.  And he waves bye-bye and blows kisses both as a farewell and a thank you.

Speaking of which...he is fiercely independent, but can be very clingy, too.  However, that independent side is hysterical and scary.  On Halloween (and at other times) I would tell him to say "bye bye".  If he particularly liked the look of the house, he would look at me, wave, blow me kisses, and go right inside.  Cheeky little goober!  He does not have, and never has had, anything resembling stranger danger.  Which is mildly scary.  He walks off with complete strangers.  Like I said, cheeky.

I worry that we will not be able to get him, ahem, tamed down a bit by the time Grasshopper comes.  Hitting the baby will NOT be okay, obviously.  We hope to get him a baby doll soon and see if we can't nurture some sort of compassion.  The only thing about babies he cares about right now is that they come in strollers he can push.  Other toddlers he likes, but I've seen him push them, too.  Or hit.  Definitely hoping we can get a handle on his wild side.

He is a joy, he is a terror, he is beautiful, and he is very much his own person.  I wouldn't have it any other way.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Grasshopper: 8w3d

Well, I would have posted Tuesday, but there was that storm.  Sandy Interruptus.  We got power back Wednesday evening. We were out of power just under 48 hours, and there are still people in our area without power.  There are trees down everywhere.  But compared to a lot of New Jersey and parts of New York we were so incredibly lucky.  The beach I spent my summers at as a child is basically gone.  My heart aches for everyone who has lost their home, their business...It's really devastating out there.

So, here we go.

How far along: 7w0d - Grasshopper is the size of a raspberry - growing 1mm/day. You can't feel it yet, but she's moving those arms and legs like crazy! Her fingers and toes are now only slightly webbed, and her tail (yes, she had one) is gone. Fun fact: your baby's taste buds are now forming.

Total Weight Gain: No idea. I refuse to get on the scale.

Maternity clothes: Yes.  Did I mention I don't want to get on a scale?  I feel fat and bloated.

Sleep: Pregnancy hormones are starting to win out over the meds.  The dreams are sooo vivid.  And anxiety inducing.  I woke up hitting Hubby the other night crying, "no, no!"

Movement: I don't expect that for 7 more weeks at least.

Cravings/Aversions: Cravings: dying for some California Rolls.  Aversions: meat, coffee

Sex: I refuse to do the deed until we get the go ahead from the OB.  Paranoid, here. Having said that, however, man am I horny!

Symptoms: Still very bloated.  Boobs still sore, especially nipples.  Morning sickness is basically gone (which worries me) but insomnia is here.

What I miss: Nothing :-)

What I look forward to: OB visit and u/s for reassurance, coming up Monday the 5th!  Woohoo!  Movement.

Moods: Happy overall.  Having to really focus on staying calm as had to drop one of my meds right away.  This has all of a sudden become more difficult.

Milestones: Depending on the source, some say that I now have a fetus, not an embryo.

Medical Concerns: On 3 meds, 2 of which are contraindicated for breastfeeding - those are the bipolar specific meds, and in order to breastfeed we will have to wean me off of them and hope all is well.  Not looking forward to that.

Weekly Wisdom: Kind of like having a newborn, I sleep when P does.

Best moment this week: Taking a hot shower after we got our power back!

No belly pic.  No thank you.  I am nearly the weight I was when I had P, so starting out 40lbs heavier than last time.  No urge to show fat tummy until it's an actual bump.