Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Fun & Sexy Stuff

Rule #1: There will be no sexy stuff at my house as I am on pelvic rest due to the spotting issue. I was on pelvic rest entire 1st trimester with Chuckles so this is not entirely unexpected. Mr. Long-Suffering is suitably amused, I assure you.

Rule #2: There will be no sexy stuff at my house as I have basically lost bladder control. Only in the morning or overnight when the progesterone is in, so I think it has something to do with the relaxing effect progesterone has on muscles. Or something. But still. Please tell me I am not in for 7 more months of seven drops leaking out. I must do Kegels, but I am not entirely sure I am doing them right. I am just stopping the flow whilst urinating right now. Hopefully, that is enough. Let us never speak of this again, and for the love of me, do not tell a joke. Got it?

Rule #3: There is no rule number three.

Rule #4: If you come to visit me at my house, bring dinner, but make sure it has absolutely no scent whatsoever because I am queasy all the time. Always. Right now, in fact. And first thing this morning, and last thing last night. And I used to think it was nice that the deli counter smells like fried chicken, but now I just want to hold my breath and run (which is not a winning combination as running is an aerobic (or air-loving) activity).

Rule #5: Leave me sleeping wherever you find me UNLESS it is my bedtime, in which case wake me up and tell me to go to bed. When I told my husband this, he thought I was nuts, but I reminded him that I take my vitamins and do my progesterone before bed, so I really need to go to bed. Even though I am asleep already. Note: I fell asleep on the couch today after lunch while reading Chuckles a book for the third consecutive time. Man and boy let me sleep (for like an hour!) right there on one couch cushion.

Rule #6: Meals are what you make of them, and if you are me and keeping food down, so much the better. Lunch today was tater tots (mmmm, so good) and pineapple chunks. Breakfast was oatmeal. Who knows what dinner will bring? I'd just like to give a Shout Out to Ore'Ida tater tots which I doubt I have had since childhood, but why oh why not, they were so good. Mr. L-S is really enjoying this because I never let us eat like this. Hot hot right out of the oven tater tots with ice cold ketchup. Chuckles had some off of my plate and commented that he "love thems". Too cute.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Where the world have I been?

I've ben gone nine days from here. Impossible. Mr. Long-Suffering is studying to take his Boards or the Bar or something so he is on the computer every night after Chuckles goes to bed doing sample problems and watching a really monotone slide show. Where else have I been?
  • the bathroom x1300/day
  • work
  • my ob visit, first (which was AWESOME because they just did whatever I said like this is my due date, give me an ultrasound, give me more betas and so on....saw the male doctor...will totally see him again)
  • Goodwill's 50% off day sale today and got some super-cute maternity clothes because I am nothing if not someone who counts her chickens before they are hatched

So, speaking of compltely jinxing myself, I bled or spotted or something. So, I moved my ob visit up a day (after being terribly, horribly ill the previous day with fever and vomiting and whatnot). The spotting is gone. There is no cramping. I think there is morning sickness in abundance but I can't be sure it's not just sickness.

Anyway, I am going to schedule an ultrasound for this week. I'm 6 weeks 2 days (6w2d) right now and if I get an ultrasound, a heartbeat should be present, so I should do that. I had serial betas drawn Thursday and Saturday and I should get the results Monday.

Lastly, at my ob visit, I discovered that my progesterone level (with supplementation) is 16.2 (units?). That's really low. But there is nothing else I know to do other than supplement when it's low like that, so I guess I just keep on doing what I'm doing. And not crying and not worrying.

No crying and no worrying. I'm surprisngly zen about this. If the embryo is genetically normal and healthy, I am convinced everything will be fine. I have no idea why I think this, but I do. If the embryo is not healthy or not genetically normal, I will miscarry and everything will, eventually, be fine. This is so polar opposite from where I was with Chuckles that it's like I'm on a different planet.

So, please post your low progesterone success stories....anyone have a 10 or 12 upstairs napping right now?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


So, come Monday, Chuckles was not only still ill but perhaps a bit worse, so I called off of work for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday (I don't mess around). First thing Monday, I called the pediatrician and they told me to come right in right then. So, I did.

Chuckles was examined by the same doctor who saw him on Saturday and I was told I did the right thing bringing him back because he was much more ill. He had developed an ear infection in both ears and some kind of something on his tonsils. They swabbed his nose and it was negative for influenza (however, this did not stop my mom from telling a story about a woman she knows who got the flu this year and DIED). Since he didn't have strep, didn't have the flu, and an ear infection would not produce the wide range and severity of symptoms he was experiencing, we were sent immediately (do not pass go, do not collect $ fact give us $200) to the hospital to have a million tests run (CBC, metabolic panel, mononucleosis test, Epstein-Barr, various and sundry cultures for blood, urine, and feces). We also got a script for azithromycin for the ear infections. We were not given amoxicillin because of a strange cross-reaction with mono. Testing for mono in young children is difficult because they cannot tell you where it hurts and the tests are not as accurate on the young.

The blood results are not all back yet but those that are back are normal for a bad cold. That's good news. I guess. Sometimes, I was a diagnosis so we can move forward with treatment. The kid's been sick for 9 days and today was teh first time I saw him eat food in any quantity other than "tiny". Today's consumption was merely "small".

Oh, and I got a call from my doctor's office today. Stay on the progesterone. No numbers were given. I guess I'll get those at my first OB visit which I need to schedule. And I think I can convince them to give me an ultrasound for "dating" because with my LMP, I should have had a MUCH higher beta (nevermind that I know my conception date...give me the ultrasound). And I was told that once I have a definitive diagnosis for Chuckles to call them or my primary care physician to find out whether there was a bad thing for pregnant women. I do have a low-grade fever and have been taking tylenol. Dude, I'm pregnant. That boggles the mind.

Did I mention that while having his billion vials of blood drawn, Chuckles clotted off and they had to stick him in the other arm (during which he said, and I quote, "owie" with no inflection at all)? I didn't mention that? I must be blocking things out to protect myself again.

Saturday, March 15, 2008


Oh, I know, you're wondering how I have maintained my steely calm through all that has been happening at my house, especially considering that I gave up wine. Well, here are my tips:
  • Call the doctor's office every 45 to 90 seconds just hoping that once, for the love of god to you ever answer the phone and not let it go to voicemail?, they might answer the phone and reveal all right then and there.
  • Google things like beta hcg pregnancy outcome
  • Weigh Chuckles to ensure he is not slipping into dangerously dehydrated territory
  • Do laundry (see also Vomit Boy with amazing aim)
  • Eat cookies and drink chocolate milk
  • Take photos of hpt and blog them

That's all I got.

Where else have I been?

Way back on Feb 29th, I mentioned that I would pee on a stick on March 8th (or 10dpo) and let you know the answer. I didn't want to answer you yet because the story would have been both frustrating and unfulfilling because I honestly didn't know the answer.

Well, I peed on the stick but I had no answers. Here's what happened: Chuckles woke up early, so I got up to get him and I peed in my cup and took the dropper and put 4 drops on the test and washed my hands because apparently, I am not so careful in the dark. Then I looked at the test in the nightlight and saw nothing at all. My husband got up and looked at it and saw nothing. A good 30 minutes later, I came back to brush my teeth and saw something, but it was after the 10-minute time limit and it was not entirely clear to me that it was a line and not something like maybe an evaporation line (which is the devil's work, I tell you) or just an area of slight discoloration. Now, I've peed on a lot of New Choice pregnancy tests. They are my test of choice (only $1 at the Dollar Store with a sensitivity of 25 mIU/ml and who wants to spend $15 only to be told, again, that they are not pregnant), and I've never seen anything other than a clear negative. To convince yourself a tiny bit, you'd have needed to tilt the test just so, squint like this, and have the light of a thousand suns at your back.

So, I was intrigued but not convinced that there was anything to see here, move along. My first morning urine was gone so I could not even retest because at 10dpo, first of the day was the only thing that would work. I decided against beer with my pizza that night just in case, but I was NOT getting excited and my husband is smarter than to be optimistic ever unless I specifically say, "OK, be happy now."

So, this is what I saw...see why I wasn't sure what to think. Not much there, eh?

So, Sunday and Monday mornings I again, dutifully, peed on sticks and saw something a little bit more convincing but still, not so much. But I told myself it was only 11 and 12dpo.

Here are Sunday and Monday's tests for your viewing pleasure.

Monday, I called off of work to stay home with sick Chuckles so I thought this was quite handy as I could pop in to my doctor and get a blood test to put this madness to an end. I started calling the office at 7:30 and called every 90 seconds until they opened at 8:03. My person would not be in until 9:30. Damn. So I went to work (Mr. Long-Suffering came home so I could attend my first day on the job). My office didn't call back until 6:30 that night.

First thing Tuesday morning, I went and had my blood drawn. And I waited for a call. And I waited and waited and waited. No call. Wednesday came and Wednesday almost went. At almost 7pm, Chuckles and I were (naked) about to hop into the shower. The phone rang. It was the nurse. My beta was back (but none of the other tests like progesterone which is actually rather important). It was 221. I was flabbergasted. 221. Woo Hoo. At 13dpo with Chuckles, it was 37 or somesuch, so I was prepared for any number greater than 25 to be regarded as good, but cautious, news. So, woo hoo. They did not want to repeat to check for doubling betas since this was basically an unmedicated cycle (apparently, the progesterone sticks in my, err mind, more than in theirs). They'll call me back when the rest of the blood work comes in. It's Saturday, that was Wednesday, I haven't heard from them yet, but there was a culture involved so perhaps they need to wait to see whether anything grows.

So, as of right now, I am pregnant. Not to jinx myself or anything, but a theoretical due date is November 20th. I am continuing progesterone and trying not to count any theoretical chickens before they theoretically hatch.

Where have I been?

I know, this was a long absence, and I'm sorry I've been gone so long. A lot has happened. Where to start?

Chuckles missed school 3 days this week. In fact, I started my new job on MOnday and as my first official act, I called off sick to stay home with him. We have fevers over 103 F and we have vomiting, diarrhea, and a general crankiness that's actually kind of sweet. If you've been following along since last summer, you'll remember that Chuckles contracted salmonella last year and became severely dehydrated and quite ill. So, vomit and I, we are old enemies. But hte good news is, I am all ready when this happens. I have pedialyte and acetominophen suppositories (you know, for when they can't keep anything down). I also have a scale present so that we can see how much weight is lost. He's napping now and I think he'll pull out of this just fine. It's been a long week and I am tired.

Where else have I been? The doctor's office. That's right Chuckles went this morning just to get checked out. He got a strep throat culture which was negative and we were told that if this is still going on Monday, we need to be seen again.

Sunday, March 02, 2008


I just got back. I was at a (what do you call it when you go to the funeral home to pay your respects to the family but it's not a funeral yet? Is it a wake, a visitation, or calling hours?). Anyway, I was at one of those. One of Chuckles's day care teachers had a son who only lived two weeks. It was her first and only child. The medical and funeral bills are staggering for a single mom who works at a day care. And she had a c-section and had to stand there and receive visitors. I heard her recite over and over his birth stats just like any proud mother who was seeing people for the first time after the birth of her baby.

Did you know that they have a special book for you to sign when you go to a baby's wake? Instead of the cream colored pages with gold letters, it's all bunnies and duckies and flowers and butterflies, and I am just horrified for her. It's the loss of hope and dreams that makes this hardest. Every dream a mother has about what will my child look like, what will he be when he grows up, is what is lost.

He had a congenital birth defect that was known prior to his birth; however, the severity was not fully realized until after birth. He was given excellent prognosis and was supposed to live. So, she has a nursery set up, and a car seat, and a stroller, a layette washed in Dreft sitting in the dresser drawers, and books and stuffed anoimals all waiting for her at her house. And when her maternity leave is done, she goes back to work at a day care with everyone else's healthy, live children.

For those of you who have never attended a visitation for an infant, let me tell you that it is hard. The fact that tiny coffins even exist freaks me out in ways I cannot describe. Of course, after Chuckles was born, I was constantly aware that he could die, but it was abstract. I had a fear that he would die, but I never had the concrete fear like the reality this mom is now living. This mother had to pick out a tiny coffin and those cards with the name and dates on them and had to pick, instead of a going-home-from-the-hospital outfit, a funeral outfit, which by the way was very cute (blue with bears and a matching hat).

So, as you can tell, this was an open casket affair. He looked fine. He looked like a sleeping baby. He had fat hands and chubby cheeks and eyelashes. His mouth was pursed up just like a baby's mouth. He was laying on a blanket his grandmother had knitted for him. He had a few stuffed animals around him that you could see had been with him in his isolette. Occasionally, his mother would glance down and stroke the top of his head or touch his tiny baby hand with all those itty-bitty finger nails. And, I know a lot of people find death creepy, but I say, "Touch his head because you'll never get to do it again."

And since this was her first child, what is her answer to the question: "Are you a mother?" or "Do you have any children?" At the end of the day, what does our society call people who have no children in their house at night but who would do anything to make that not so?

And, saddest of all (as if this wasn't sad enough already), she doesn't know what color his eyes were because he only opened them half-way one time and all she could tell was that they were probably dark. But she'll never know.