Wednesday, November 26, 2008

a great report

Little One, who is definitely a BOY, was all curled up in a ball, which made it impossible to get a good measurement of my cervix from the outside. So they had to resort to (as I've heard it referred to) the dildo cam. This is something that is extremely difficult for me because of my traumatic experience when my water broke with William but also because my dang uterus is still retroverted, which makes it pinch pretty bad. Difficult or not, it allowed for a good look and an accurate measurement: 4.5 cm!


I talked to the Peri about the contractions that I've been having and how I want to start the P17 shots. He is just a consultant, though, so I will need to wait to see my OB on Monday to get things arranged. I've decided that I am very glad that the Peri is only keeping an eye on my cervical length and not the one who is in charge of my care. He seems to think that the P17 shots and tocolytics really don't help prolong a pregnancy. He says that the research just doesn't back it up. He says that if I were to go into PTL that he would recommend tocolytics to hopefully buy a couple of days so we could get the steroids on board. I disagree with how he interprets the research. I know that the P17 shots don't help everyone, but I think there is strong evidence that they do help many women. And likewise, many women need tocolytics to not only stop all out PTL but to keep their uteruses "calm." Fortunately my OB is the one who manages my care, and I am well educated and have a Mother In Law who advocates for me as well. So if it came down to it we would have me on terbutiline--or whatever--if that is what it would take to keep things under control. OK, the rant is over.

almost over now

It looks like we will be skipping the "real" Thanksgiving, so it will be only 2 X Turkey Dinner after all. Mr. C and I just want a peaceful day at home instead of a big family gathering. We've been invited to dinner at a second-cousin of his father's, so it would essentially be us, his parents, and about 20 to 30 people we have never met. We have been through a lot of stress for the past week, so a day of no obligations is something we will both be thankful for.

I will write a post explaining what has been happening, and keeping me from posting, soon. I just need a day or two, now that the drama seems to be passed, to process it all. It's a family thing, and when I alluded to it before I thought it might be going in one direction but damn if it didn't take turns I could never have imagined. I decided today that not only is it OK to write about it, but I think it is something that I need to do. I've managed to keep my blog away from the eyes of my family so far. And fuck it, if someone reads it then they can just deal with what I've written.

Tomorrow I have an appointment with the Peri (actually it is today, since I am up late). Thank goodness, too, because I really need my Little One fix. I need to see him/her and have that confirmation that he/she is alive and well. Oh, and that cervical length check, too (which is the official reason for the visit). Please, please, please, a million times please, let it still be long. If there is any shortening then I will be putting myself on modified bed rest.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The streak is over

Darn. I wasn't able to maintain the post-a-day pace. And I only missed it by a couple of minutes, too.

I won't write right now about what happened today to take me away from my happy comfort zone, and therefore made it impossible to write. I will say that I am fine and the Little One is great and so is Mr. C. At some point I will write about it, though.

Instead, I will write about the fact that today is my two year blog-birthday. I decided to start blogging on a whim. I had been following a few blogs that I had come across somehow and had no idea how blogging worked or that I would find a community of amazing women who would offer me so much support. I just figured it might be a good idea to have a place to write as I started the TTC journey again. It is hard to believe that that was two years ago!

So, how does a girl celebrate her blog-birthday? Any suggestions?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I really wish I could just post a picture

I feel so lame for posting this. Not just because the quiz says I am boring old mashed potatoes, either. Sorry. If it weren't for my Nablopomo pledge I would be sparing everyone this pathetic post. I'm tired.

You Are Mashed Potatoes

Ordinary, comforting, and more than a little predictable

You're the glue that holds everyone together.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Thanksgiving dinner...X 3!!!

We have celebrations at our long-term care facilities pretty regularly. There was a Valentine's Day dance in February, a St. Patrick's Day dinner in March, a big Cinco de Mayo fiesta in May, a brunch in June, and a BBQ in August. And this Saturday at the four houses that are located all next to each other we will have a Thanksgiving dinner. On Sunday the fifth house, which is located a few miles away from the others, will have a dinner as well.

The residents and family members at each of the houses have already made it clear that they expect to see me at the dinners. So this means that this year I will be enjoying Thanksgiving dinner three times! That's just fine with me, because we have some amazing cooks at our houses. And I cannot begin to express how much I LOVE pumpkin pie.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

back at it

I've started painting again.

Just some little circles, a way to play with color, really, but it is a start.

I have so many paintings in my head. I have a list, too, of promised paintings to some of you out there. I haven't forgotten. I just literally have not picked up a brush (until a few weeks ago) since I made that promise. I will make good on it, though.

This blog looks so incomplete to me without pictures. Another promise: I will find the cable for my camera or buy a new one...soon. We took more belly pictures yesterday. And he said he thought it was a good idea to take a bare-belly picture. It was pretty funny, because, without thinking, I sucked in my stomach when he took the picture. We laughed when we looked at it, because it was so obvious. So we took another one where I relaxed.

Oh, and on an almost completely different topic:
You know how they say that horizontal stripes aren't a good idea if you are trying to look thinner? Well, this has never been an issue for me (unless I got crazy and decided to find some pants with horizontal stripes, as it is my rear end that needs minimizing) so I do have some striped shirts. Today I am wearing a top with small black and white stripes, kind of a sailor look, and I swear that it camouflages the belly. At least from the front view.

Monday, November 17, 2008

sixteen weeks

I started a reply to Monica in the comments of my last post, but then it got so long that I decided that I better just post it here.

I didn't have a TAC (transabdominal cerclage), I had a vaginal (McDonald) cerclage. This is my first pregnancy after my IC loss, and all of the high-risk specialists that have reviewed my charts have agreed that I am a good candidate for this type of cerclage.

In my links list I have a link to a new IC forum (under IC Support) and there is a spot on there all about TACs, so that may be a good place to go for information/personal experiences with them. I have found this to be a pretty good forum. It is active and it represents a wide variety of IC experiences.

Physically I'm feeling pretty good. I tried to pay attention to all of the different twinges, aches, etc. before my cerclage was placed, so I could have a bit of a clue what might be "normal" for me and what might be due to the cerclage. I still find myself obsessing over anything that doesn't feel quite right, though. I find that I tend to have good days and bad days. Some days I feel more confident, like everything is going well. On the bad days I feel like everything is on the verge of falling apart. It can be set off by something physical--like a back ache that really is muscle soreness, cramps that turn out to be gastrointestinal, or a bit of extra discharge--or it can be set off by something psychological or emotional. Hopefully as the days go by I will have more good days than bad days. This was true as I got through the first trimester--then the surgery kind of threw me into a new kind of turmoil. I went from fearing miscarriage to fearing PTL.

I feel so fortunate to have the information that I've learned through the two and a half years prior to getting pregnant again. Without it I know that I wouldn't have been the advocate for myself and this baby that I have been able to be. A lot of what I have learned has been from women I *met* through the Stillbirth board on iVillage and through the world of deadbaby momma bloggers. My doctors know that I am well informed, too. I've come at them with so many questions that I don't think they get very often.

Here are some things that I might not be doing/wouldn't know about/might not be taking as seriously if I had only relied on the advice of my doctors:
*I might not have pushed to have the surgery earlier. Yes, my loss was "later" at 22 weeks, but it is still better to get the cerclage in as early as possible to allow for healing and to avoid possible complications due to contractions. I would advise anyone who had an earlier loss than I did to push for as early as 11 weeks.
*My doctors have been agreeable to my suggestions and have altered my care accordingly. If they hadn't, I wouldn't have hesitated to find a doctor that would listen to me and take me seriously.
*Even though my OB really downplayed the impact the cerclage placement would have on me (he said I'd be up and about in just a couple of days and that I would probably only feel some cramping) I knew to expect a wide range of possibilities of how my recovery might go. One woman on a message board who has had 4 (successful) cerclages told me that each time her experience was different and that with two of the surgeries she needed up to a week to feel like she could be up and about.
*I am avoiding some things that both of my doctors have said are "probably fine," like baths and sex; my OB said that I don't really need to alter my activity level, aside from not lifting anything heavy, while my Peri said he'd like me to take it easy and put my feet up as much as possible--I'm following what the Peri says.
*I have made it clear that I think it is important to monitor for infections. My OB has already taken cultures once and I do believe that it is because of my encouragement. The research may not (currently) be able to prove a causal link to infections and cervical changes, but my feeling is that it is easy to test for and easy to treat--so why not do it?
*We don't currently have plans to do the P17 shots, but both doctors have told me that if it is something that I decide that I want to do then we will do them. If anyone out there has strong feelings on this, I'd love to hear what you have to say.

That is just a start to a list of what I would hope every woman would know prior to a sub-pregnancy after an IC or PTL loss. If anyone has anything to add or alter about what I've written, I'd appreciate the feedback.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Yesterday I was out running errands and somehow found myself in a boutique baby furniture store. I was practically tip-toeing through the store. But the woman working there wouldn't let me be invisible. She watched me for a while, payed attention to what I lingered over. Then she led me to a crib in the corner with a matching dresser/hutch combo that she thought I might like. It is perfect. But while I was able to find the courage to look, it still feels way too early to buy anything.

Today Mr. C called me while I was over visiting his parents. Somehow we all got on the topic of names and started coming up with ideas. We thought of funny names, boring names, odd names, biblical names, traditional names...and we hit on a few names that we are now actually considering. It's not that I've been avoiding the subject, but I haven't been pursuing it, either.

Tomorrow I go back to work. I am so happy about this. I've missed the residents and the staff and I've missed being a part of something outside of myself. It will be good to have other people and activities to focus on. I'm starting out with an abbreviated schedule each day. After I see the Peri again we decide if it is a good idea to extend my day back to where it was before the surgery.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

in need of distraction

You Are a Yellow Crayon

Your world is colored with happy, warm, fun colors.

You have a thoughtful and wise way about you. Some people might even consider you a genius.

Charming and eloquent, you are able to get people to do things your way.

While you seem spontaneous and free wheeling, you are calculating to the extreme.

Your color wheel opposite is purple. You both are charismatic leaders, but purple people act like you have no depth.

Friday, November 14, 2008

foreign body

A few mornings ago I noticed as I was getting into the shower that from the side my belly is sort of shaped like a triangle--with the point at my belly button.

And speaking of my belly button...when I went in for my surgery a nurse removed my navel piercing. It had been in for 15 years, so it left a well healed but decently sized hole. So now it looks like I have a little mini belly button above my actual belly button.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

visit to the Peri

I saw the Peri today and my cervix is measuring over 4 cm. Yahoo!!!!! The little one is doing great in there, too. And we are pretty sure that those are boy parts we're seeing. While it is still a little early to tell definitively, or as close as you can get with these things, she was pretty sure she not only saw the twig, but also the berries. We will have another look in a couple of weeks when I have my cervical length checked again. At that point we will be in the 17th week.

I'm feeling good, better each day. The Peri wants me to take it easy, preferably until after week 30. He said it is wonderful that I have that much length, and he wants to do whatever we can to keep it that way. So I will go back to work but on a modified schedule. I am so happy to be going back to work.

The scanner isn't set up, but I will ask Mr. C to help me do it because we are getting so many ultrasound pictures. Today we got one of (him) in 4D sucking (his) thumb. So cute. Oh, and a belly photo had finally been taken. A couple of nights ago my brother told me that we really need to take some pictures of my growing belly because if we don't do it then we will regret it. A few minutes later he came back into the room with his camera. He doesn't have a cable for his camera, either, but at least the picture has been taken.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

they will be here soon

About the situation with my sister...

I had decided that I just couldn't give it any energy. Tuesday night after the election results had been in for a while and our celebration here had settled down, my brother came into the room and handed me his phone. It was my sister. We talked for a long time about our feelings about the election and the world in general. It was a nice conversation and we didn't talk about her upcoming visit or any of that (even though she had sent me an e-mail earlier that day saying that her work assignment had changed and that the visit would be cut to just three days...I chose to not address it over the phone since Mr. C and I hadn't come to a decision). She did say that she would be thinking of me in the morning while I was in for my surgery and that she just knew everything was going to be OK.

The next day she sent me another e-mail saying that it would actually only be two days. I was in no shape to come to a decision at that point. Heck, at that point I wasn't really in shape to make a simple decision like what I wanted to eat.

A couple of days went by and I received another e-mail from her. This time she actually asked me how the surgery went, hoping I was feeling well and getting plenty of rest. She also asked if I would be on bedrest.

Another two days went by before I was up for calling her. By that time Mr. C and I had taken the time to discuss it. He feels like it is a bad idea to have guests since he knows I need my rest and that I will over-do it if they come. Even still, though, he agreed that they could stay. Based on the conversation she and I had on the phone that day I think it was more that she was oblivious to the reality of what I have been going through. When we talked she asked how I was doing and I told her that the pain was letting up quite a bit but was experiencing a lot of nausea. She was completely taken aback...pain? Why was I experiencing pain? She honestly seemed to have no idea what the surgery entailed. I know that I had explained it to her. But my sister is prone to denial, especially when it concerns someone she cares about. It's almost like the information just won't process. So I described to her, graphically, the details of the surgery. One part of it I had been unaware of myself until afterward when Mothership explained it to me (the part about how they pull the cervix down with forceps in order to get the stitch in high...yuck). The other thing that I explained to her, in no uncertain terms, is that the cerclage is not like a magic trick that makes everything perfect now and we are guaranteed a healthy, full-term baby. I could tell she didn't want to hear this, but I needed her to. It's not that she doesn't care, it is quite the opposite. I think it is that she cares so much that it just is too much for her to hear.

So they actually arrived yesterday, but stayed the night in a hotel. I had told her on the phone that I could handle them coming on Wednesday and staying two nights. She ended up having a meeting on Tuesday after all, so she made other arrangements for last night. I was proud of myself for holding strong about that. Especially because she had hoped to stay the night with a colleague last night but because of the dog that wasn't an option. I actually told her, in what to me felt like a nice and respectful way, that it wasn't reasonable to ask people to bring your dog along. She didn't say anything in response to that, but I am glad that I put it out there.

I love my sister and I miss the days when we had a close relationship. I am hoping that we can have one again, but I realize that it is important for me to set boundaries that are healthy for me and my family. I am praying that this visit goes well.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

my new default mode

For most of my life anxiety has been my default mode. I can't remember a time when I didn't have a "nervous stomach." My mother always said I was her contemplative child, others called me sensitive. Sure, there are some things that seem to be hard-wired into us. And I could explain in detail the reasons why I developed this way. But there came a time when I realized that I don't have to be burdened by my tendencies, that I can change the way I respond to life's stressors and, more importantly, how I respond to what I have come to understand are my "triggers."

How I did this was through a combination of things. First of all I got some pretty intense individual therapy and Mr. C and I saw a therapist together, which was also intense. This happened about a year and a half after losing William. I kept saying that I was going to find someone to talk to, but never got around to it until things were so bad that I couldn't eat or sleep. To the therapist's credit, she didn't push medication, but I requested it. The very small dose that I took was enough to bridge the gap for a while so I could function as a human being again. I have never been one to do something part-way (I guess that is why I love training for marathons so much) so while I was in individual therapy I also began a pretty rigorous practice of meditation.

I went off of the medication after six months and despite a not-so-fun withdrawal experience got through it without too big of an impact on my mood or level of anxiety. But then about a month or so later I found myself in the grip of high-anxiety again. It caught me off guard. I really thought I had fixed that problem. When I fought against it, tried to shut it off, it just seemed to get worse. So, since that wasn't working, I decided to take the opposite approach and look directly at it and really allow myself to experience it. I had started with a new layer to my meditative practice which had me much more deeply exploring my spirituality. I now believe that this is what brought up the intense negative reaction, so that I could work through it more effectively. In the months since then I have continued with my practice.

And then I got pregnant. It is so hard to meditate when your mind just seems to have a life of its own. Where did my sense of peace go? Where did my focus go? I realize that even in a "normal" pregnancy that concentration is a challenge. As the weeks have gone by my meditation practice has been stripped down to the bare minimum. And then, last night, I felt that familiar free-falling feeling again. I woke up this morning to the raw, bitter, heavy pit deep in my solar plexus. Oh. I know this feeling. My mind immediately started its old game--obsession over things that were said last night between me and Mr. C, how he shared his fears and some negative feelings. But then a little nudging came from a corner of my mind. I don't have to do this. There is another way. I reached for the book that sits beside my bed and read through some of the pages. I closed my eyes and brought my attention to my breathing. Eventually my body calmed down. I don't have to go down that old road again.

The surgery was harder on us emotionally than I had anticipated. I guess I was just so focused on getting through it, that I didn't give much thought to how the experience might affect us. For me it brought up a lot of fear because it signals the beginning of the part of this pregnancy where so many things can go wrong. For Mr. C simply being at the hospital, as well as seeing me vulnerable, brought back a lot of bad memories and yucky feelings. We've both been doing our best to be positive through this pregnancy. But the fact is that it is not the exciting time that we had before, up until the day it all went to shit. It feels like holding your breath and walking across a tightrope.

Today was the first day that I had almost no pain. I actually was up and doing things more than I was resting. I am still "taking it easy" though, until I get that ultrasound on Thursday. By the way, my sister and her husband (and the dog) are coming tomorrow and will stay two nights with us. I will write later about what has transpired since I last mentioned it.

Monday, November 10, 2008


I saw my doctor today for a follow-up on the surgery. Everything looks good.

But in the hours leading up to the appointment I had myself convinced that something horrible was happening/going to happen. The pain is getting better, but for the past two days I have been nauseated. I even grabbed a thermometer to see if I had a fever. I didn't. Still, I was fighting thoughts about an infection. I didn't tell my doctor of my fears, since I knew he was looking to see if everything was healing well. He took a culture, just to be on the safe side, and that made me feel so much better. The exam was such an ordeal for me. I was practically climbing off of the table. They must think I am such a wimp. Honestly, the way I acted, they must be wondering how I got pregnant in the first place! Of course they are so kind and understanding. The nurse kept telling me to relax. But it just wasn't an option.

I see this doctor every two weeks, but since the next appointment would fall on the week of Thanksgiving it will end up being three weeks until I see him again. That is fine with me, since I will see the Peri in between. At that point I will be 18 weeks, which sounds so far away right now.

Oh, and I tempted fate today. Not really, but it sure felt like it. When I was getting dressed I found myself with two pair of jeans that just didn't feel good. One pair is not maternity but still fit reasonably well last week. Now they are fine when I am standing, but when I sit down they cut right across the bump (which is just below my belly button). The other pair has a band that is about 4 inches thick and is made of heavy cotton and elastic. It hits me right across the bump as well, and is tight. This bothered me before, but now with that particular area being tender/slightly painful it is not at all tolerable. So I opened the bin that holds all of my old maternity clothes and pulled out the jeans. They fit and feel comfortable. They are also what I was wearing the day I was admitted to the hospital when I went into labor with William. I almost didn't wear them, but decided that I needed to just do it. I sure do hope the seamstress calls soon so I can go get the three new pair of pants I got that fit and feel good across my tummy. I will wear the old jeans at least a couple more times. If the memory keeps haunting me when I wear them then I think I will give them away.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

a decision will have to be made eventually

You Like Names that Are Retro and Fashionable

You like names that are from the past but becoming modern again.

Names with a strong history are very appealing to you.

You're a big believer in giving children very adult sounding names.

You're not a fan of nicknames or newfangled spellings.

Some female names you might like: Audrey, Emma, Fiona, Georgia, Isabelle, Naomi, Rosemary, and Veronica

Some male names you might like: Brendan, Colin, Ethan, Jared, Kenneth, Martin, and Nathaniel

I'm too tired for a real post. But I figured that if I looked around on blogthings a bit I'd find something to amuse myself. I don't know how I feel about all of these suggestions, but I do agree with the overall assessment of what I like in a name. And Georgia is among the girl names I like.

We haven't had the name discussion too much yet. I think we are both waiting to see if it is a girl or a boy before we take it too seriously. Mr. C does have a couple of favorite boy names that he loves to torture me with: Conan and Red. Ugh.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

too much of a good thing

I was delighted to take a nice hot shower this morning, but after three days of very little time on my feet I guess I over did it. Afterward I was pretty tired and had a nagging pain that didn't seem to be subsiding. So I took one of the pain pills, rather than the tylenol. They aren't anything strong, are mostly tylenol anyway, and yesterday I took a tylenol and it seemed that only after taking a pain pill (four hours later) did I feel any real relief. But today even the pain pill didn't seem to be doing the trick after about an hour so I took another one. The prescription is for 1 to 2 pills, so this is well within what should be reasonable.

It ended up being a very bad idea. It made me nauseated beyond belief. I even tried to make myself vomit to get some relief, but nothing doing. Eventually I was able to fall asleep and was knocked out for several hours. Now I feel like a human being again. A groggy, weak human being, but better than I did earlier today. A day has been shot, and a lesson has been learned.

Friday, November 7, 2008


Last night I had a bit of a meltdown and came to the conclusion (more like it was brought to my attention and I finally acknowledged it) that I was in pain and that it was OK to take something for it. I took some tylenol and it really did help. While I am still moving slowly and am spending most of my time resting, I really am feeling a lot better today. I have hope that tomorrow will be even better. Still, even when I am back to feeling great, I have resolved to "take it easy" for the next...well, until I get out of the danger zone, a.k.a. the second trimester.

I marvel at the fact that I am now in the second trimester. I do realize that for most women this is something to celebrate, and I definitely am happy and thankful to continue to move forward every day, but making this transition came with trepidation. What is supposed to be the "best" part of pregnancy (according to one of my books) is the part of pregnancy that carries with it the most risk.

But I have made it this far. And I've done so by focusing on each day as it comes and not getting too far ahead of myself. Besides, while I look forward to Valentines' Day and the special significance that it will hold, there will be many great days between now and then to enjoy.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

the details of my cerclage surgery

We arrived at the hospital at about 7 a.m. and didn’t wait long before I was taken back for pre-surgery. I had a student nurse helping with my intake. She was really nice, but the vein in my right hand blew up, so the other nurse had to take over. She got a vein in my left arm to cooperate. The anesthesiologist came in to consult with me. My doctor had me thinking that we would most likely be using a general, which I did not like the idea of at all. But the anesthesiologist let me decide and he recommended the spinal, so that is what we went with.

In the freezing cold O.R. the anesthesiologist went right to work on my spinal, which was a piece of cake. I was shivering slightly through the placement of it, but that was due to nerves and how freaking cold it was in there. He kept swiping swabs of something cold on my limbs to test to see if I was numb, which I didn’t feel like I was at all. My feet and bottom felt tingly, though, so we knew that it was starting to work. After a few minutes the nurse started to prep me. I could only just barely feel what she was doing, so he assured me that the spinal was kicking in. He said that if I felt anything close to pain that he could give me something additional to help. When my doctor started with the sewing I could feel it. It wasn’t the type of pain that even makes you say “ouch” really loud, but it just felt wrong. It felt like someone pushing something sharp against the outside of my belly. So I let them know and he put some kind of narcotic in my IV and slipped a mask on my face for a few minutes. By the time he did that the doctor was pretty much done. The actual surgery took less time than the placement of the spinal did.

In the post-surgery I started out feeling great. They got me set up to monitor all of my vitals and put some warm blankets on me. But after the nurse went away I started to have a cold sweat, strong nausea feeling. I wasn’t afraid that I would throw up, I could hear my heart rate, which was normal, and my blood pressure was normal as well, so I didn’t panic. I started to feel a bit better by the time the nurse came back. She noticed right away that I wasn’t feeling well, though. So she got me some anti-nausea medication. She also gave me a shot of terbutaline per doctor’s orders as a precaution. My vitals had remained stable, so after a little while they took me to recovery.

Mr. C and Mothership got to visit me in recovery, but since I knew I was going to be there for a couple of hours the nurse and I kind of kicked Mr. C out after Mothership left to go to work. I had a prescription for pain meds that needed to be filled, so really we sent him on an errand. I mostly just tried to rest. They brought me soup and crackers and lots of water, checked on me every now and then, and listened to the baby’s heartbeat. All in all I heard it four times yesterday and every time it was 156. The last nurse to take it said, “That means it’s a boy, right?” And Mr. C and I responded, “We’ll see.” At some point my doctor came by to check on me and remove the dressings they had packed me with. When I saw them I thought that it looked like a lot of blood. But the nurse and the doctor both seemed impressed by the lack of blood on them. This made me feel better.

Eventually they released me to go home. I bled a little for the rest of the day. But it was not too much and by the late evening there was almost no blood at all. I did start to have some cramping/pain, so I took one of the pain pills. I was going to try to go without them, but I worried that the pain might get worse. It wasn’t a strong medication, because it didn’t completely knock out the pain. I felt fine, though.

Mr. C wouldn’t let me climb the stairs last night, so I slept on the sofa. One way or another, my accommodations will change for tonight, because it wasn’t comfortable. The fact that my lower back is tender from the spinal has a lot to do with my lack of comfort, I’m sure. So far today I haven’t had any bleeding or cramping. I am very tender, though, and move VERY slowly when I make my occasional trips to the bathroom. It feels so strange to rely on others for pretty much everything. But I’m under strict orders (from Mr.C) to not do anything for at least a couple of days.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

cerclage is in

I'm home. I will write a more detailed description of my experience later. For now I'll say that things went well. It does suck, though, that after all of these weeks of being paranoid about spotting, I am bleeding. It is to be expected and isn't a lot, but it still sucks.

So now I rest.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Thank you, ladies, for all of your supportive comments. I go in early tomorrow morning for the cerclage. I'm sure I will have questions afterward, so expect to hear from me:)

Right now we are glued to the television. Mr. C has been all day! I mean that literally, too. He actually stayed home from the office.

I got to see the little one today. I went in for a cervical check and she looked at the baby a lot, too. She even took a look to see if there is a little penis. Since it is still really early, it is by no means for sure, but there is a little something showing up between the legs. Could be girl parts, too, but she did write "boy...?" on that screen. It is among the pictures she printed for me. If this does end up being a girl I can use that picture against her some day. Not that I would ever do that!

Monday, November 3, 2008

fourteen weeks

I spent a couple of hours today at the doctor's office and the hospital doing all of the pre-op stuff. While in the midst of it all I do very well. But it occurred to me while I was sitting in one of the waiting rooms that my obsession for the past two days that I am leaking amniotic fluid is due to anxiety. Duh.

We had hoped to do an emergency cerclage last time, but my water broke as they were prepping me for the surgery. That was then. My membranes had prolapsed three days prior and, well, it didn't come as too much of a shock (to the doctors) that things turned out the way they did. This is now. We are doing this surgery as a preventative measure, well before things went wrong last time. That is the logical analysis--but logic has nothing to do with the subconscious fears and the memories that, even if on the surface I have come to manage, are still very much a part of me.


I haven't done anything about the situation with my sister. I just can't put any energy toward it right now. Tomorrow I plan to get home from work as soon as possible to watch the election returns and that will most likely occupy me for the rest of the evening (we're having the parents over for dinner and we will all either celebrate or commiserate together). Obviously Wednesday is going to be busy with the surgery and all. So it will be Thursday before I can call her. Maybe after a week she will have gotten some perspective. Maybe not. All I can do is hope for the best.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

bad timing

My sister and I were dressed alike a lot when we were small. She is a little over two years older than I am, but we were pretty close in size so many people mistook us for twins. As we got older it seemed to me that our appearances became more and more distinct, yet through the years this has continued to happen on occasion.

We grew closer as we got older. Even though we lived several hours away from each other we found time for frequent visits. There was a time when we spent a considerable amount of time together. I called her my sister-best friend. But things changed shortly after she returned from New Zealand, where she did her graduate research, when along came the man she fell in love with there. It didn't take long before they were engaged, and the wedding was only a few months after that.

They will celebrate their third anniversary next month. I danced at her wedding with William in my belly, about the same size as this baby is now. I didn't see her again until after he was born. She tried so hard to be there for me. I believe that she wanted to say all of the right things. But she said all of the wrong things. I didn't hold it against her, or even let on that I felt that way. I knew that she was hurting for me and that what she said was really to make herself feel better. This happened with a few other people in my life as well, and I found that it made me fill up with compassion for them rather than anger or frustration.

I haven't seen my sister in a long time, not since she came shortly after William's funeral. I reached out to her last summer, before I moved, when it seemed as if my world was falling apart. We spoke on the phone several times and it really did help to have someone to talk to. But we never found the time to get together.

When we moved to the other side of the state last year she said she might need to come to the office her company has over here for a meeting at some point. Finally, after talking about it for months, she e-mailed several weeks ago to say that she would be coming in November for a couple of days. Her husband isn't working, so he will come along, too. And she asked if it would be OK to bring their boxer, who they take with them everywhere. I said sure, since it was only for a couple of days, and I was so happy to plan a visit with her after all this time.

Then came another e-mail, saying that the stay had been extended for a whole week, and asking if they should get a hotel. Yes, I replied, a hotel would be a good idea, easier for everybody. Then came her response, that she had spoken too soon and that she didn't think her company would provide a hotel, wondering if they could stay after all. So I said yes. A little voice in my head that I pushed aside whispered that this might not be a good idea. I didn't mention it to Mr. C, who was reluctant for the two day visit since it included the dog. My brother has been living with us for the past two months, so now the house would be very full and Mr. C has already been feeling the strain of not having his house to himself.

And it didn't occur to me that the timing was particularly bad considering that their visit was scheduled for the week after my surgery. I continued to neglect telling Mr. C about the extended visit. Partly this was due to avoidance, but I am also blaming it on pregnancy brain. On Wednesday my brother mentioned it to him, though, so that took care of that. He spoke with me about it on Wednesday evening and as we talked it became very clear to me that having three extra adults and a 60 pound high-maintenance dog here for a week when I am recovering from cerclage surgery was not a good idea. Mr. C is certain that I would try to do too much, and after reflecting on it I have to say that I believe he is right.

I know my sister very well. She takes everything personally and I knew that she would most likely not get the main point--that we were making this decision because it is what is best for me and the baby. I tried my best to explain it to her, but I could tell that she was upset. Apparently because this particular meeting is for a government project, they really won't pay for a hotel. They do offer company housing, but that means that the husband and the dog cannot come along. She said she has a colleague that they can stay with. She said that she will give me a call when she gets into town. She just didn't hear me. I told her over and over that this really disappointed me, that I wished the timing was different, that I am so excited to see her. But I could tell by the tone of her voice that she was just not getting it. She didn't even ask me about the surgery (other than to ask if it was including a hospital stay), or how I was feeling about it.

Yesterday my brother talked with my mom on the phone and, sure enough, she asked about what was going on. She has only heard my sister's version, and it doesn't paint me in a very good light. I was right, she is really upset. She even told my mom that she doesn't even know if she will see us when she is here! We have always had a good relationship. How do I respond to this?

Saturday, November 1, 2008


I am good at keeping secrets. It seems like people can just sense this about me, because I have carried many secrets throughout my life. Most recently I was the bearer of a secret concerning a woman I work with. She is younger than I am, but has five children at home. She has a sixth child, too, a daughter who died of anencephaly. A few weeks ago she started to wonder if her lack of a period wasn't just caused by the birth control shot she was using, which the doctor had told her could cause her period to be scant. So she took a HPT and, low and behold, baby number seven is on its way.

All of her other children were planned, including the 15 month old who came after the one who died. That pregnancy was really hard for her. Her husband hadn't wanted to go down that road again. He was too scared to lose another and felt that their family was complete. She needed to have another baby. The pregnancy was not easy, though, and she ended up on IV meds through most of it due to extreme "morning" sickness. Through all of it she continued to work! She had a pick line in her arm and would administer the IV before and after work. He was supposed to be their last baby. But she didn't get her tubes tied like they had planned and, well, obviously the shot wasn't very effective.

She has been very scared. Since this pregnancy came as a surprise she wasn't taking the high dose of folic acid that is so vital during the early weeks when the neural tube is forming. But her 6 week ultrasound showed a beating heart. And while she is still realistic that things aren't guaranteed to go well, she shared her news with everyone else at work a week later. So now I don't have to carry her secret around any more. I am moved by her courage and optimism. I encourage it, too. I tell her that she brought five healthy babies into the world and what happened with her little girl won't necessarily happen again. I believe what I am saying to her. She is due six weeks after me. I pray so hard that our little babies will play together some day.

There was a time during my grieving process when it was difficult to be around mothers with their children, and especially to be around pregnant women. At first it was just too painful a reminder of what I had lost, and fear that I may never have. But after a while it turned to something more along the lines of anger. I found myself thinking that these women had no clue what a blessing it was that they had these children, that everything worked out for them. At some point, though, it settled in for me that there is no way for me to know what was in the hearts of these women. Just as there was no way for them to know, just by looking at me, of the loss that I have experienced.