Wednesday, August 9, 2017
Since we don't want to get pregnant this month but don't need long term birth control, I invested yet again in some handy little pee stick cheapies. There's a method to this. Don't buy the expensive grocery store tests except for a confirmation when you're sure you're pregnant. They're like 10 bucks a pop. And are less sensitive and likely to say negative if you test early. On Amazon you can get them for like a dollar each. And I've always gotten the earliest positives on them.
The thing about pregnancy tests and ovulation tests is they are in fact difficult to read. Here are today's results.
The pregnancy test is the one that says hcg on it, thats the hormone it detects. A pregnancy test is positive if a second line exists at all, however faint. Ovulation tests (the one that says LH) on the other hand are positive if the second line is as dark or darker than the control.
I still have some pregnancy hormones in my system. Believe it or not, that's definitely a clear positive pregnancy test for me. See that second line? Its right where the second line on the ovulation test is. It's even harder to photograph than it is to see in person. I'm a pro at this faint second line at this point, it is really there, I promise. If I saw that at a different time I would feel sure enough to say I am pregnant without a doubt. This isn't even as faint as the faintest test I've ever had. The ovulation test I'm assuming is confused by the pregnancy hormones. Hcg in your system can make them show a false positive. It looks close to positive but I don't believe it, I'm not ovulating yet. So I'll give it a few more days, test again and see what happens.
Also, I'd like to take a minute to appreciate how costly it is to have a baby. My pee stick bulk order cost me $40. Probably won't last more than 2 or 3 months. That's not including what I spent on the last 2 pregnancies testing my pee. I've had 3 ultrasounds thus far, copays were $150 I believe. Though we got a refund for one for who knows why and I don't know if the emergency room ultrasound cost more yet. $15 for blood tests to rule out ectopic the first time and I may have to have some again if I don't get negative pee sticks soonish. Unknown amount for the genetic test. We weren't in a good place to rationally discuss that, we just did it. ER visit of unknown cost. Plus whatever we will spend on testing and interventions to stay pregnant in the future. Prenatals, iron pills, probably progesterone and baby aspirin the next go around. Little stuff that just adds up. And we haven't even had to do any big interventions yet. Plus beer cost because that's needed.
Still waiting on our genetic test results so that's a bit stressful. And I'm doing way too much speculation. My last ultrasound mentioned a possible bicornate uterus. That would be a problem. But we already had Lyra with no complications and no one has mentioned this before so I'm not sure what to think. And I even had the thought; what if it's autoimmune related? I had rheumatic fever when I was a teen, my body basically attacked itself. And there's some autoimmune disorders that contribute to miscarriage because your body doesn't recognize the baby. And the crappy thing with this would be, there's not research on that as far as I know. Rheumatic fever is on the rare side. So all the unknowns I can speculate about are bugging me.
I have to admit, I'm tired of announcing a pregnancy. It's like, I'm already on the 4th one this next time, it's losing it's newness and shine. So next time I'm just mass texting the family and besties like, "Hey look what I peed on today." And then posting here probably. Whatever though, not the biggest deal in the long run. It's just Facebook likes but it's fun to see everyone excited and its frustrating to do it over and over.
Foster care for little littles, Lyra's age or younger is probably something we will consider and get going on soonish. There's no better way to guarantee we get pregnant and stay pregnant (probably with twins or something) if we get fertility testing done and have a foster child placed with us. Also I said I would never do foster care. So we're for sure destined for that.
Update. Literally as I was writing this post my midwife texted me. We got the genetic test results back. We had a baby girl. That feels so much more real and concrete because I know what having a daughter is like. She had Turner syndrome. She only had one x chromosome. This is "good" news. This condition is not inherited, as in we won't keep passing it on, it was a fluke. It happens in 1 in 4000 to 1 in 10000 pregnancies. 99% of the babies who have this are miscarried or stillborn. While I'm never going to be glad this happened, I'm so glad this was a miscarriage and not a stillbirth. I could handle it if I had no choice. But thankfully, this time I do not have to handle that. The 1% of babies that survive can have plenty of complications in a range of not so serious to serious. Generally, it isn't a fatal condition though if the baby is in that tiny 1% that do survive. I honestly expected no answers with this test. I'm so grateful we did it though.
My mother's intuition is a bit off. Thought Lyra was a boy, thought this last baby was a boy. I was convinced this last one would be fine. Predictions out the window this next one. Who knows.
I don't know if we will name this baby. Or the last. I don't know what we will do once we get this baby's remains back if we have some sort of ceremony. Or when or where. We'll figure something out eventually. No rush really. We won't ever know what happened with our first miscarriage. But this raises the chances that this two in a row miscarriage bullshit was a just bad luck. Shitty shitty fucking luck, but most likely random chance none the less.
This weekend is going to be bittersweet, celebrating Lyra's birth and saying goodbye to another daughter all at once. But Lyra is our little shining star in a month that always tries to bring me down. She's a good little lighthouse in the storm.
Going forward is scarier than it was after a single miscarriage regardless of this result. So I'll keep you posted. It's still just life, so it's all a shot in the dark really when you get right down to it, I can definitely take that leap just fine after a little time to get my self back together.
Tuesday, August 8, 2017
In adding another child to our family I thought about what I think a lot of parents think about; will I love this new child as much as my first baby? The first time I met Lyra, I was lucky enough to be one of those people and have one of those births where the immense love I felt for her was immediate and instant, it didn't take time for me. It was a weird feeling to instantly have that love appear where it hadn't existed before. Not that I didn't care for her during the pregnancy, meeting her just added a dimension and made it all the more concrete to me. I'd say I love her with my whole heart but that doesn't seem like a good description to me because there would be no room for anyone else. And there is so much room. I also love Travis, my brother, my parents, my best friends. I guess what I'm getting at is all the reflection I've been doing lately has made me realize I don't have a finite amount of love in me. So it makes me unafraid to keep giving it out. Because love is one of those few rare things that always comes back at you bigger and more intense than you sent it out.
I don't mean to sound all, "I'm so much more enlightened than you," or all wishy washy "love is perfect and makes everything perfect." I've just been looking for the way to make peace with everything that's gone on in my life lately and a way to live comfortably with all the emotions in my head. It just helps me knowing I can come out of this intact and being able to explain to myself just why that is.
I have different types of love, sure, but none of it takes from another. Loving my brother doesn't make me love Lyra any less. Just like my parents love my brother and I both, but of course they don't love us the same way or for the same reasons. It was an important lesson for me in sharing, having Lyra. It made me almost annoyed and territorial at first. I had this perfect pure little baby I grew and who was solely mine, physically, the first 9 months. Sharing with Travis came somewhat more naturally but it was hard sometimes feeling like everyone else was laying claim to my baby just by loving her. I mean, I got it logically, I always wanted her to love and be loved, but it's hard to let go of someone you never want to be hurt ever. I felt like if someone else loved her, it took away from the importance or value of my love. If that makes any sense, its so hard to put the feeling into words. And jealousy; I wanted to be the reason for every smile and always the person she wanted. But the reality of watching people love her and seeing her love them back has changed that for me. And being a person's everything is exhausting. I feel like I was only afraid because I didn't quite get the fact that she could love Travis as much as she does me, she just loves us for different reasons and in different ways. Or that she could love her grandparents and have fun with them and that didn't change the fact she'd still want her mom at the end of the day. I've learned to embrace the village as a bonus not a threat. Because that village is full of the people who love and take care of your baby when you can't possibly manage, when you have another baby who needs everything you have.
Regarding that village too, I've gotten better at understanding how to spread my needs and finding the best way to be supported for different needs. And I've learned a lot about my friends. I'd call Travis my best friend. But he's not the only one I'd give that title too. And I talk to them all and lean on them for different things depending on the situation. Doesn't make any one of them any less dear to me. None of my friendships came about in the same way, so they're all unique now. Jeri and I bonded over school stress, break-ups and timing (we were both hot messes in the same general time frame). That's a different bond than Emily and I who bonded over embarrassing middle school moments and mean girls. So now I text Emily more often about parenting stuff a lot. And I text Jeri almost anytime I'm annoyed at Travis and want to complain (Sorry, Travis). I know who to text when I just need some distraction and goofiness. I know what friends I don't have to talk to everyday but are easy to pick up where we left off on the rare visit we get. I've also learned what friends are unhelpful in some situations and who I should just have realistic expectations for to not end up hurt. The newest thing I've started to really notice is the acquaintances and strangers who surprise me with kind words and gestures. I have heard it said that losing a baby shows you who your true friends are. It's been true for me. I have a lot of true friends. And I have more lifelong friends than I ever realized. The ones who are there for you year after year, who you can go back to after fights or distance or just plain old life busyness separate you temporarily.
So it's been surprisingly easy for me to love each new baby without holding back. I knew I could continue to give my heart away, as it were, because it just keeps growing back and then some. I did have a hard time for a bit, feeling like I'm grieving harder for this last baby than my first miscarried baby. But I'm trying to accept that it's OK that this is hitting me harder right now. It's something that's happened twice now, this was physically rougher, and hormones are playing with my head harder. I'm just trying to remember it doesn't mean I loved that other baby any less, just that now I'm grieving doubly. I just love them differently. Plus I had a lot more time to anticipate this recent baby, this one wasn't a surprise. Being sad for this last baby more than I'm sad about that first baby right in this minute is OK. I've also already had time to be sad for that first baby. And of course I love Lyra differently than these babies, I get to see her everyday and I get to know her as a person. I love her without sadness so it will always be different than how I love these babies as just memories.
I'm still struggling with some things. Our baby's remains will be sent back to us sometime this week. I have no idea when. I know that delivery will take me out when I least expect it because when else would it happen? So probably this weekend will be a visit to the funeral home and also Lyra's second birthday. And also the date my brother attempted suicide years ago. A grab bag of emotions right there. A lady asked me recently if Lyra was my only. That sucked.
I keep thinking how true it is the saying, "Better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all." For being so cliche, it is still so true. So for all of these thoughts lately, I'm getting a tattoo to remind myself. Love fearlessly. That's my new life mantra, it seems a worthy goal.
I've been listening to music constantly and it's really helping me cope. I'm gonna drop a few of the song that I keep in my head lately. A little playlist for happiness. And I'm gonna toss in my favorite literary tidbits.
The first couple quotes are from the golden compass.
"We feel cold, but we don't mind it, because we will not come to harm. And if we wrapped up against the cold, we wouldn't feel other things, like the bright tingle of the stars, or the music of the Aurora, or best of all the silky feeling of moonlight on our skin. It's worth being cold for that."
"Every atom of me and every atom of you...we'll live in the flowers and the dragonflies and pine trees and in clouds and in those specks of light you see floating in sunbeams...And when they use our atoms to make new lives, they won't be able to take just one, they'll have to take two, one of you and one of me, we'll be joined so tight."
"She wondered whether there would come an hour in her life when she didn't think of him-didn't speak to him in her head, didn't relive every moment they'd been together, didn't long for his voice and his hands and his love. She had never dreamed of what it would feel like to love someone so much; of all the things that had astonished her in her adventures, that was what astonished her the most. She thought the tenderness it left in her heart was like a bruise that would never go away, but she would cherish is forever."
And good old Dumbledore.
"Darkness can be found even in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light."
"The ones who love us never truly leave us."
As for the songs that have helped me pull it together. Here's just a list if you feel like listening.
No Such Thing As A Broken Heart by Old Dominion
The Sound of Sunshine by Michael Franti and Spearhead
Poet by Bastille
I Lived by One Republic
Life in Color by One Republic
Wash Away-reprise by Joe Purdy (the version from LOST)
Keep Breathing by Ingrid Michaelson
Swim by Jacks Mannequin
Something Wild by Lindsey Stirling and Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness
Thursday, August 3, 2017
Tuesday, August 1, 2017
So it begins. Woke up with some cramping and bleeding today. Light so far but I'm sure it will pick up. My midwife offered a genetic test. So I'm going to do that. It's fairly gruesome, you have to collect the tissue and store it in your fridge. Anyone want to help me bleach my fridge next week? Seriously though, ugh.
My midwife sent me an email last night that I read at 3 in the morning when I couldn't sleep and was starting to feel crappy. The reason for the ultrasound was listed as threatened abortion. The ultrasound report said I actually measure 9 weeks and 5 days, the tech wasn't accurate. But still, not 12 weeks. No sign of fetal cardiac activity or movement; consistent with fetal demise. It all sounds so clinical. And I feel very betrayed by the math right now. At 9 weeks and 5 days, I only had a 2.8% chance of miscarriage. And like I said, somewhere between 2 to 5% chance that I'd have 2 miscarriages in a row. So naturally I'm wondering if something is wrong. Which factors into the question, when do we want to do this again? A question for another day but it feels like the elephant in the room.
I have a couple of options. Expectant management. Technical term for wait it out and see what happens. 1% chance of infection and could need a D&C later. D&C under general anesthesia. 2% chance of infection and possible scarring. Not my top choice. Anesthesia freaks me out. Also there is medical management. I can ask an OB for something to speed things up. Likely misoprostal. Though my midwife did mention this route was sometimes harder to get someone to prescribe for you which I don't understand. Plus I don't have an OB so this route could be harder. This was my plan but I am just going to wait now since I'm already cramping and starting to bleed.
I had to send Travis out for new Tupperware and a new sanitary baby potty this morning. Because I sure as hell am not using the toilet until this is over. No fucking way. I saw this baby's heartbeat, it is raspberry sized. It's another good reason for the genetic test in my mind, because what else are you supposed to do in this scenario? I don't think I could handle burying this baby in the yard or something. Plus I think that's illegal.
I can't lie, I have friends with similar due dates and it stings. I won't be very pregnant or maybe not even pregnant at all when my first due date passes. That helped the last time but not so much now.
I plan on getting a tattoo in a couple weeks. Probably on our Michigan visit. A Lyra constellation and 2 shooting stars is my thought. I just have to figure out the look of it. But it seems fitting for remembering all my littlest babies short little lives and my daughter's sure to be memorable one.
9 weeks, 5 days. I was driving from Lincoln back to Colorado that day. I'm going to imagine it happened in the quiet moments when I was driving alone, Jeri and Martin peacefully asleep. I wasn't really alone, but I was by myself. I was listening to my favorite music having some quality reflecting time to myself. It was peaceful at least.
This next part, this second part is going to be graphic because it just is what it is. You deserve a second warning though. My baby died inside me and I'm not worried about what anyone else is comfortable with me saying. It really freaking sucked and this is my therapy but you can choose whether or not you read it.
So. Let's get to it then. I started bleeding and cramping this morning and I went and hid in the bathroom. I wanted to be alone. Travis watched Lyra and I texted when I needed moral support or whatever. I planned on taking a shower but I started cramping more and realized that idea was out. I had this silly pink ladybug potty for 3 year olds that I camped out on. Not super comfortable to tell the truth. And my Tupperware dish to collect stuff. At one point I got up and I felt a pop. I knew at that point that it was about to get real really fast. It felt like a diluted version of when my waters broke with Lyra. That's exactly what it was. I started to pass big clotty masses is the best way to describe it. And watery blood. So much of it. It's really astounding. I pretty quickly gave up on keeping anything clean. The bathroom looked like a crime scene, blood on the floor, the toilet, me. Everywhere.
And then there was a baby. I knew the second it happened, it was so distinct. It's one of those moment you never want to remember again but you'll never forget. At that point my needing to be alone was over. I had Travis park Lyra in our bedroom with a tablet and we just sat and cried and I kept bleeding. I thought things were tapering off. I'd collected somewhere between a cup and a quarter and a cup and a half of blood and tissue and just everything. We were in touch with our midwife by text and she was making plans to come pick everything up for genetic testing. I had a friend on the way who picked Lyra up for us. Thank goodness for that timing.
I decided to move to the toilet at that point because we thought the worst was over and I had to pee. I'd just been too afraid to do that while in the intense part of the process. That's when shit got real, fast. The second I relaxed I started to pass an insane clot and so much blood. It was like softball sized and took a while. I was so panicked. Travis was right there luckily. I told him we needed to go to the hospital immediately. And then I got lightheaded and felt so hot and weak. While Travis called our midwife to find out what hospital to go to, I managed to put on a pair or those intense absorbent period underwear, a pad and a pair of black althletic pants. I can think in a crisis. I knew I'd likely bleed through it and I wanted something tight and dark. I managed to kind of collapse in a chair after that, Travis tried to keep me awake while he figured out where to go and what to do.
We threw things together to leave so fast after that. Again I managed to have some sense and grabbed a pair of underwear and shorts and pads. Short shorts but at least I had another pair of something. We made the 40 minute drive to Reno and got checked into the ER pretty fast. I had some pretty dark thoughts along the way. I wasn't feeling as bad as I initially had been but I wasn't feeling good and I was worried. The walk to my room was the most horrifying of my life, I could feel blood soaking through everything. I could tell from Travis reaction that my face and noises where telling him what was happening. I literally was expecting to see a trail behind me. I completely soaked through a heavy pad, underwear and pants in the minute or two long walk back. We got a bag to take those clothes home in.
The doctors acted pretty quickly for that first bit. They got IV fluids going and the ER doctor I saw said almost immediately that he was pretty sure I probably had a piece of placenta stuck in my cervix and that was the issue. He said he needed to do a pelvic exam with a speculum and he'd very likely be able to get it out with minimal pain and that would fix things. So that's exactly what happened. It was the worst moment of the whole process probably. At least physically. It's so embarrassing to be in stirrups like that, bleeding all over the place. I was freezing from the IV and stress and blood loss. And I was scared. The doctor was clearly not in a total life or death rush but he said a few things like, "Time is off the essense here." Someone asked if they should wait for the ultrasound and he said that was a bad call. So that was scary to hear. Not that I didn't know that deep down. I was trying not to acknowledge that panic though. But the ER staff was wonderful, I'll give them that. I think the nurse held my hand part of the time, I can't really remember. And the doctor worked quickly but he didn't lie either. I asked if it was almost over and he just said it was going to take some time, there was a lot to clear out and bleeding to control first before he could even see. And of course, not only was there placenta stuck in my cervix, it was retained. So he had to gently pull for a while until it detached. But he was able to lean over and sort of talk me through and pull me out of it while he was working. Other than that I mostly tried to stare at the ceiling, squeeze Travis hand and wait for it to be over. I finally just told myself I had to relax and told my body to stop holding on, that it was time to let go. And that was, fittingly enough, the moment the placenta finally finished detaching. That was the last I really cried for a while. Possibly for tonight. It's too much to cry about right now.
So much blood when that was over. So fucking brutal. I saw the trash can and the floor, it was gruesome. They changed all the sheets, put down some material on the floor and somewhat mopped me up. I had blood on my feet. On my freaking feet, it was everywhere.
At some point our midwife came by and took everything for genetic testing. She told us we made the right call going in when we did. And that if we hadn't we would have had to go in later under dicier circumstances. We have to go tomorrow for a blood draw and to retrieve the abandoned jeep. If it isn't already towed by now.
So then we just waited ages for an ultrasound and then ages again for results. The ultrasound was more painful than usual. I think my poor vagina was just fed up with the abuse today. They finally told us everything was looking good, nothing else retained they could see and we could go home. When the doctor came in for a last chat he said my bleeding had been "immense." And that should not happen again.
I bled a lot when I first got up. It took some doing to slow it enough to get my clothes on. And the first bathroom trip made me rethink leaving the ER. But after that initial bit, things slowed down to really heavy period type status. I have a killer headache. Its even worse any time I'm not laying flat. And I'm feeling generally weak and crappy. I actually am not joking when I tell Travis to come check on me if I've been in the bathroom for longer than five minutes. My ears feel fuzzy when I get up. And my vision went a little weird for a bit after leaving the ER. But Travis is taking tomorrow off and I have another friend to watch Lyra tomorrow. Thank goodness for help.
It was all so brutal and fast and intense it will take some time to really catch up. I'm just reeling a bit. I was pregnant with no sign a single thing was amiss this past Sunday morning. It's only Tuesday night and it's all so over. I just weaned Lyra, this is really just ensuring that happens, I'm too worn out. My midwife said it was unlikely that my milk will come back in but not impossible. I sure hope it doesn't because that would just be a big fuck you from the universe. I also am praying I don't get an infection with all the testing and intervention that had to happen today. That would also be a big fuck you from the good old universe. I would think I shouldn't be that unlucky, but so far I have been.
Now I am settling in for the night. I've had food and a shower to really wash the blood off my feet. My cramping has mostly fully let up. I have a high pain tolerance it would seem. Travis cleaned the horror scene that was the bathroom. I'm probably going to watch some violent or scary t.v. Somehow that's good therapy for me. I can tell myself, hey, at least I'm not a zombie or on the run from a serial killer. It's the small things. I've had a constant flow of messages of support and solidarity. From best friends, family, old friends, acquaintances, people I don't even know. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. I'm sorry for sharing the gruesome and terrible reality, but honestly, I'm mostly just sorry it's happening to me. I loved this baby so much.
Monday, July 31, 2017
Well, bad news. I'm in the lucky 2 to 5 percent of women who have 2 miscarriages in a row. Yaaaaay. Seriously though. What. The. Actual. FUCK. The miscarriage rate at 8 weeks (which is where my baby is measuring, not at 12 weeks like I should be) is like 5%, how am I that unlucky? Especially once you see a heartbeat you are supposed to be a lot safer, statistically. I haven't had a period since March. I have been pregnant and or actively miscarrying for 19 weeks, going on 20. That's half a freaking pregnancy, guys. I haven't even made it out of the first trimester. IF, that's a big if, we decide to go for it right away again and manage to get pregnant right away again, I won't have a baby until late May. That's more than a year from the the first time we found out we were pregnant.
And also, I'm not miscarrying yet. Nope. Just spotting. I just have the luxury of knowing my baby is dead before my body has figured it out. So I get to sit and wait and anticipate the carnage this time. So glad I can have the full experience. Or better yet, I may have to decide to get surgery. Like, getting my wisdom teeth out was one of the most horrible experiences ever. So I expect this would be worse. I can't even bring myself to research it. FUUUUUUCK. But yeah. Haven't miscarried yet. That may be brutal. I have no idea if and what testing we may do. I have an idea of what I may be in for in the next few days. I'm scared.
So Sunday afternoon (why the fuck is it always a Sunday?) I started spotting. My brother was still visiting so I told him and Travis because I couldn't hide it. I had a Friday midwife appointment scheduled but I was able to move it up to Monday because I was panicked. Monday came, my brother went home, my spotting continued.
I somehow made it to the appointment only texting a few friends beforehand. I tell you what, this experience makes you know who your true friends are. The ones who let me know right away they were there for me, after this, after the last time, after the last blog post, you know who you are and I will work to keep you all besties for life. Hold me to that.
I took Lyra to Reno (Travis went to work, we were trying not to panic because spotting can be so normal and the odds were in our favor, they really were) and we killed an hour and went to see the midwife. She spent a good 10 or 15 minutes looking for a heartbeat with 2 separate dopplers. Nothing. I knew. I knew when I started spotting. But I hoped. Oh, did I hope.
It took less than 3 hours between leaving the midwife's office and getting an emergency ultrasound. In that time I sent about 47 emergency texts to my close friends and family and immediate support network. A friend dropped everything and came to Reno to take care of Lyra. I can't thank her enough, it was an unbelievable relief to send Lyra off and know she was safe, loved, and having fun to boot. I am forever grateful for that. I will remember it forever and I will try and pass that love on some way, some how, some when. Travis ended up ditching work and rushing to Reno because he was no use at work after all the stress and drama. I sobbed through the In-N-Out drive through because I knew I had to eat and not pass out or something. Super fun and only mildly embarrasing.
So the ultrasound. Brutal. Transvaginal ultrasounds....They are just as terrible as they sound in general. You are just half naked and humiliated, best case scenario. Worst case is just worse. I knew right away. I couldn't see a heartbeat, I could tell it didn't look like 12 weeks. Lyra was moving and non blobby by 10 weeks. Travis didn't make it in time. I couldn't watch the whole thing. I just sat alone and stared at the lights and cried. I'm honestly glad I'm the only one who had to witness that, nobody needs to see that. Travis came in about 4 minutes after it was over. We ditched the jeep at the ultrasound place and Travis drove me home. We have to figure out the logistics later.
I made some phone calls and sent a few awful texts on the drive home. We got some wine and some ice cream. I'm not sure if I'm semi dairy allergic or not. But I decided today, who gives a fuck. I'm going to be miserable anyway, might as well go all in.
Small blessings though, that's always what I look for. This was over 4 weeks ago. A month ago my baby died. There is no ambiguity in my head. There's no slow heartbeat, there's no 1 week of slow growth that we can maybe recover from. It's over. Even to my untrained eye. We can grieve and move on, not spend weeks in hope limbo. My baby only knew happiness and hope and most of all, love. Never a moment of doubt. I have no regrets being so happy the last 9 weeks that I knew about this little one. No regrets. It's the one thing I know I did so right this time. Clearly there are no guarantees.
And that's how we will move on. Hope and happiness and love. I have no idea when we will try again. I have all the feels right now. I want a baby. I want a break. I don't know that I can make it through all the holidays not pregnant. I don't know that I can handle them pregnant. Know that next time though, I don't think I'll wait to share even to the first ultrasound. Everyone can share in the first ambiguous pee stick joy. Look forward to it.
Saturday, July 29, 2017
Baby size: I forgot to check for the first time this week. Already this poor baby is getting younger sibling treatment. Stormageddon is profiterole, brussel sprout, poker chip, bee hummingbird sized. About 1.5 inches long already. I'm starting to feel like I'm getting a bump. Mostly I think it's my uterus growing and smashing everything else outwards more, but I'm still going to count it. I'm definitely feeling over the bloat at the very least.
Morning sickness: Not bad!! I've still only puked twice and my stomach isn't bugging me as much or as intensely as with Lyra. For perspective, twice a day with Lyra was pretty standard. On the drive down the mountain once this week I had to stop and dry heave on the side of the road by the dam store. And also once at a Mexican restaurant on the road trip home. I think my brother is getting a good dose of birth control from hanging out with me. But still, I'll count this as a major win.
Food cravings/aversions: Mexican food. I think I made the mistake of talking about it too much. Now it's all I want to eat.
Other symptom: SO HUNGRY. I get full after like five bites and then want to eat again desperately in an hour or two.
Weight gain: Nothing so far.
Sleep: Lyra's been generally sleeping better, so I am as well. Other than I'm usually awake for the day by 5 or 5:30 which is mildly annoying.
Mood: Pretty happy lately, my road trip was fun and we didn't run into major issues.
Gender: Unknown still.
Lyra stats: She's got like four more teeth working there way out. She's a bit moody about it. She's been eating like crazy because I'm so over nursing and we are down to one bedtime session. At this point its like a sixty second max nursing session and two of the last four nights she hasn't really asked so we skipped it. It's a little bittersweet because it is the last of her newborn traits she still has. But at the same time, I'm so done, I really think it's the pregnancy hormones that caused the shift. I'm setting her 2nd birthday in two weeks as our hard end date.
What I miss: Wine. Seriously my desire for alcoholic adult drinks has not faltered this pregnancy. I can't really complain because it's so much better than being so sick that beer sounds disgusting. But still, I miss an evening glass of wine or brunch mimosas.
Movement: Every now and then I still feel like I might feel something questionable. But could still be all in my head. I also feel like I might already be able to feel where my uterus is. I'm hoping it isn't already starting with the braxton hicks action.
Best moment this week: Surviving the last of the road trip home with the mastiff! Also it was just awesome catching up with old friends this week, having some long chats with my brother and besties, and seeing some road trip sights.
Looking forward to: In-N-Out tomorrow with my brother. And also just getting back to normal life after all the adventuring lately. (Check out my Ode to Nebraska previous post if you want to hear about all those shenanigans). And also I'm excited to see my baby bump get more real in the next few weeks!
Sunday, July 23, 2017
Our first stop was good old Greeley for gas and food. And also to empty two absurdly small bladders and my own pregnant one. I felt minorly like a fool as we pulled into Starbucks and I realized my shirt was on backwards. After laughing at me, my supposed best friend said, "I thought your shirt looked funny." Thanks for the heads up, pal. After a second wardrobe readjustment we hit the road again to a fabulous eclectic and growing playlist. Interrupted only by YouTube video breaks. My Google search history is now full of everything from "Ludacris raps Llama Llama Red Pajama" to "Actual cannibal Shia Lebouf" and "Flight of the concords you don't have to be a prostitute." Every one of those is worth googling, give it a go. You're welcome.
It looked a little stormy for about 5 minutes so we launched in to storm stories. And Martin (our driver at the time) made sure to tell us, "If you see a tornado make sure to holla at your girl." Which became road trip quote number one. We had to stop at the Nebraska sign and take pictures. Which is where this epic gem of a photo occurred. I mean, just zoom in and it gets better and better.
There are seriously too many good photos to include here. Go follow my Instagram (@miriamghoward) or Facebook if you want the rest of them. After laughing so hard we cried, we were on our way again, Martin at the wheel, myself with shotgun privledges because no one wants the pregnant lady to get carsick. We were casually chatting about the kool aid museum we wanted to stop at (a let down, trust me) when I felt something tickle behind me ear. I felt a bug or something and as I pulled my hand away to see what it was, I realized it was a tick. Naturally, I jumped and screamed and reflexitively threw it away from me. Unfortunately, I threw it in my brothers direction. He was naturally a bit concerned and confused about what was occurring. He started screaming something along the lines of, "Oh my God! What the fuck? What the hell is wrong with you? What did you throw at me??" Meanwhile, I was writhing in terror in my seat screaming, "There's a tick! There was a tick on me!" So Martin started yelling back, "Why did you throw it at me?!? I'm driving, why would you do that?" After this back and forth, some hysterical laughter and intense searching mid drive for the missing tick we had to make a stop for lunch and gas. The story doesn't end here, but we will get to that in due time.
As we pull into the complex with the q-doba we are aiming for, we all see it at roughly the same moment. The entire car let out this collective gasp as we spotted a giant Sinclair dinosaur statue complete with saddle. Immediately I'm all, "Pull over, pull over! We have to stop here!" So that's what we did.
We grabbed burritos to go and were on our way again in short order. Jeri gave Martin a scare the first 17 times she burped, she really puts some power into them. We are driving down the highway and I'm still shotgun at this point and Martin is in the backseat. I turned to him and said, "Ugh, I feel like I am getting phantom itches because of that damn tick." Martin let out a huge dramatic gasp (bigger than the combined Sinclair dinosaur reaction), his eyes bugged out and he said very intensely, "Oh my God, don't move." I sensed the seriousness of the situation, froze and started yelling, "Where is it, where is it? Get it off me!" Luckily the tick wasn't on me, it was on the seatback behind me doing a stealth crawl up towards me. Martin grabbed it in a napkin and tried to squash it. Turns out ticks are hard to kill. So Jeri is just laughing and driving and trying to keep us from crashing. I'm screaming, "Kill it! KILL IT!" And Martin is shrieking, "It won't die! It won't fucking die!!" I finally calm down enough to say, "Throw it out the window," and Martin looks intensely pained before rolling down the window and saying, "I just hate to litter," and tossing the tick, napkin and all out onto the highway. Absolute insanity.
The rest of the drive was a little tamer. There was a lot of Martin dancing to 90s songs. We arrived in Lincoln and reunited with Dinger for a few minutes before locking him in the air conditioned back of the Jeep to calm down and nap. We all headed to dinner which we a good reunion. Afterwards, the in laws headed off to rest and the rest of us headed to the souvineer shop because we had decided we desperately needed matching corn shirts to match our matching corn beanie hats we'd acquired at a gas station. And boy, did we find them. The checkout lady gave Jeri quite the talk about how rare these were and how lucky we were to find three of them. Nebraska, man, what a glorious place.
After that Jake and Martin spent some time reconnecting and reminiscing over their bromance. I convinced them to share a s'more, Lady and the Tramp style. That memory will live with me forever. My favorite moment might have been when Martin said to Jake, "Bro, your beard tickles." I did not appreciate these two properly as teenagers.
The evening and next morning were a now typical hilarity filled event. Jeri and I shared a bed and sometime during the night she moved and I thought she was Lyra. So I grabbed her arm and began patting her to try and get her to sleep. At some point I was confused enough to sit up and look around and say, "Lyra? Where's Lyra? Lyra's not here....I don't think Lyra is here...." before giggling to myself and laying back down to sleep. Somehow everyone else slept through this.
When we woke up I texted the in laws to meet before we all left. Unfortunately, I had to text back again that we were running late. Martin used body lotion instead of regular soap in the shower. Apparently, that can be a hard situation to remedy quickly. I wouldn't know. I can differentiate the word "soap" from "lotion." I did however have my karmic retribution for that mockery when I put on Martin's glasses instead of mine. I felt some legitimate panic that I was going blind or had ruined my glasses overnight somehow. That's how I learned my brother and I have similar taste in eyeglasses but vastly different prescriptions.
Our trip home was remarkably uneventful considering the 140 pound cargo in the trunk. We stopped and took many more ridiculous photos. At the Colorado border someone yelled at us to, "Go back!" Jokes on them, we were back.
So here we sit, in Colorado, waiting until Wednesday to head out. My brother is coming with me to drive back to Fernley and stay for a few days. More road trip adventures await! My plans changed this time due to my brothers new job schedule and Travis' upcoming surprise work trip to Bolivia. And there you have it, that's how my roadtrip to Lincoln, Nebraska was one of the most epic roadtrip adventures thus far. Who woulda known.
Sunday, July 16, 2017
Thursday, July 6, 2017
Every now and again I start thinking my life is pretty standard and boring. And then suddenly I'm planning a cross country road trip, while pregnant, with my nearly 2 year old. Now, I assume the universe threw this at me because I used the word "never." I will never drive across Canada in the middle of winter with 2 dogs while pregnant again. I assumed it was such a specific "never" scenario that surely I was safe. Plus Travis did have to drive Dinger (the mastiff) across Canada in the winter again. Surely that was close enough to lightning striking twice that if I said "never again" I was still safe from the universe having the last word. Alas, the universe wins again. This time I get to make a trip cross country to pick up Dinger. Once again, pregnant. No Roxi or Travis this time, but plus a nearly 2 year old. Should be easy enough, right? Now let me explain how this became my life.
So if you'll recall my earlier post about our move from Alaska to Nevada, we have a huge dog. In reality he's actually a tiny mastiff. Only 130 or 140 pounds depending on how spoiled he has been before being weighed. That's on the small side for a female mastiff, this is why his original name was Pipsqueak. But in any case, all airlines have put him in the snub nosed breed category (completely ridiculous as he is not a snub nosed breed but whatever, we can't win that arguement) and will not fly him cargo. Except United. The caveat is that they will fly him only to and from certain cities because his kennel is so big it can only fit on specific planes. This is why Travis had to drive him from Alaska to the lower 48 to ship him off to his parents' farm while we did the house buying thing. So now it was time to get him back, since all had settled after the move and miscarriage and whatnot, we booked him a flight to San Francisco. That is a 5 hour drive away. We picked the 4th of July because no one would have to take time off. We would do an overnight trip and have a good mini vacay. It went wrong on the evening of the 3rd, quite literally as we were walking out the door with Roxi and her kennel to leave her with a friend for a couple nights while we went to San Francisco.
Now I have to rant here. I HATE United with a burning passion. On the list of companies I hate, United is #1. Followed by United as #2. Then comes Comcast and #3, Priceline and #4 etc etc. Lost luggage, delayed and cancelled flights....things almost always go wrong with United. I fly them only when I have no choice. My Google news feed sends me nearly daily, "United Airlines messed up again today," stories.
So we have had this trip for Dinger booked for weeks. I have a toddler in one hand, a plate of brownies in the other and as I'm locking the door Travis says, "Hold on, I just got a message from my dad that the cargo drop off in Detroit it closed for the 4th." And did I mention, around this time the cell phone service went out because one of three wildfires around here burned down a cell phone tower. Long story short, after Travis spent a good hour on the phone with United reps who got annoyed with him (they are sooooo lucky they didn't have to chat with me) there was nothing they could do to reschedule the flight. Why were we not notified earlier? Because they had typos in Travis' contact email. We also learned that they would not actually fly him out of Detroit because they had also entered a typo in the kennel dimensions we provided. Sweet. So we went from getting our dog back in 24 hours with minimal fuss, to absolutely no one would fly our dog across the country. No one can take enough time off work to drive him from Michigan to Nevada. So I began making plans for a 5 day (that's only one way) trek to Michigan and back. I figured I would take breaks in Colorado at my family's place and again in Michigan at Travis' family's house. It worked out to be a 3 week trek with 10 days of driving. And I have to leave pronto, like, Monday. Because we want to have some time to settle Dinger in before we go on our vacation to Michigan. The one we have planned in August, the only time we can go before I'm too pregnant. The only time Travis and Lyra will get to see a good portion of family this year. I even thought about working my trip around that but we came up with something better.
After hours of planning and discussion and contacting friends and family, it has turned into a 2 week long vacation to Colorado/roadtrip with my brother. I am actually excited to go now. I mean, I don't think I would do this just for fun if I didn't have to right now, but still. So here's the rundown of the epic journey to come.
It takes 2 days of driving to get to Colorado. I will rot Lyra's brain with TV and bribe her with junk food along the way. I'm totally buying a car dvd player. We even get to stop and see friends the one night we have on the road. I mean, I wasn't terrified to stay alone in a hotel with Lyra, but the extra security of staying in a friend's house is super awesome. Plus Lyra can meet a new buddy that evening to get some energy out.
Next step, we stay in Colorado for a few days to recover. That brings us to the weekend. I will leave Lyra for one overnight with my parents (my mom just proved she can handle Lyra overnight) while my brother and I drive to Nebraska. Travis' mom happens to have enough time off that she will drive 2 days to bring Dinger to Nebraska and then 2 days back to Michigan. Also, one of my good old school family friends happens to be in Nebraska, perfectly placed to meet for dinner. The kind of friend whose family calls and says, "Hey we are leaving tomorrow to come visit, is that cool?" Seriously that happened once. So par for the course to text this guy and say, "Hey so I'm coming through your town in like a week and half, can we chill?" And then text back an hour later and say, "Oh and my brother and mother and law and psycho dog are coming too. Just fyi."
So then with Dinger in tow, my brother and I will head back to Colorado, taking ridiculous pictures and video along the say. Then I'll spend some time visiting friends and family and keeping Lyra out of cars before driving the 2 days home. I will make a couple weeks of my first trimester fly by, Lyra will only have 4 days of car travel, and I won't have to be gone the better part of a month. Our only other option was to set Dinger loose, homeward bound style. He'd probably end up in Alaska though.
Oh did I mention my morning sickness sometimes makes me carsick? Wish me luck, guys. Send me all the toddler appropriate audiobook and podcast recommendations.
Thursday, June 29, 2017
How preggo I am: 7 weeks 2 days, a week further along than with my miscarriage, progress.
Baby size: Blueberry sized, or comparable to a Brookesia Micra chameleon.
Morning sickness: Oh yeah. It has begun. I was trying to read Lyra a book about sharks when the overwhelming urge to toss my cookies. Super fun to have to go back to book reading immediately after vomiting. And it has happened on 2 separate occasions while reading that book. I made it six more days than I did with Lyra at least. But I may never read Hark! A Shark! again. It is clearly a cursed book.
Food cravings/aversions: Food in general is a bit hit or miss for me now. Bland crackery things are generally ok.
Other symptom: As my uterus has doubled in size, apparantly, my need to pee has grown proportionally.
Weight gain: Still haven't checked. But the bloat is considerably calmer and I look much less pregnant again. I'd include a picture but the blogger app is a piece of @#$&!% and really difficult to work with. I still have never found a good free blog platform that works well on a mobile device.
Sleep: Continuing to work on it, finally cut off night nursing Lyra for good. We were down to just morning sessions but I'm tired of it and it hurts.
Mood: Frankly, I feel quite pissed off lately. It's hard to describe how much constant nasuea can mess with your head and mood. I mean, yes, there is some research that suggests morning sickness is a good sign that a miscarriage is much less likely. But that's not a 100% sure deal and I'm not that selfless. It still is shitty. I have no reason to think it will go away after the first trimester (with Lyra it stuck around well over halfway) but I can hope. I think it's slightly better this time just because I've done it once before and I know there's a light at the end of the tunnel. Someday I will not be sick every single day, someday food will taste good again, someday the thought of vomiting will not be the primary thought in my head. But also it is worse because I know what is in my future. And I've been feeling sick every day for 2 weeks now already and it is already getting old. Also it's hot out and Lyra is very much in toddler mode, 95% of my day is saying some form of the word "No."
Gender: Nobody knows, my running survey tally is girl: 1, boy: 1.
Lyra stats: Oh my god. So much sass lately. She wants to be so independent and I'm so exhausted from chasing her. Sharing is her biggest challenge these days but she's always so excited to go see friends which is fun to see.
What I miss: Still beer, also enjoying food.
Best moment this week: Probably my winning parent moment of the week. Lyra took off down a hill at the park that she always runs down and I always tell her not too run down and that I always hate chasing her down. So this time I mostly caught up and just gave her a light shove to knock her over and end the chase. I felt kind of like an asshole after I realized I'd impulsively shoved my one year old. Down a hill. In my defense she's nearly two and she thought it was hilarious and cackled hysterically as I carried her back up the hill.
Looking forward to: Hopefully getting more sleep as Lyra adjusts to no night nursing.
Friday, June 23, 2017
How preggo I am: 6 weeks and 5 days! Officially due on the 13th of February ❤
Baby size: 6 mm according to our ultrasound. The size of a chocolate chip, a blueberry, or a ladybug
Morning sickness: Yeppppp. No puking yet, just one moment of dry heaving before breakfast as the cat wove around my ankles and Roxi whined for attention and as my toddler attempted to herd us all out of her way so she could shut the bathroom door while shouting, "aye-ughs, aye-ughs!" in my ear. Toddler speak for "Why are my morning eggs not yet cooked, servant?" Obviously.
Food cravings/aversions: Basically we have reached the, "All food sounds disgusting," phase. We try to watch TV at dinner now because it is easier to eat if I am distracted from having to taste it. I do still like sushi and watermelon though. I had half a watermelon for lunch recently.
Other symptom: The heartburn and bloat have eased up a good deal, thankfully. I look much less pregnant again. I do however have this constant unpleasant taste in my mouth, that's a completely new one. And omg. Nursing is getting way more painful than I anticipated.
Weight gain: Still not a clue.
Sleep: Well Travis was gone this week and the cat chose to have a psychotic breakdown due to his absence. I had to lock her in her kennel and place her in the guest bathtub, turn on the bathroom fan, close 2 doors, and turn on my personal white noise machine to the bacon sizzles setting to block her out. Now that hes back, she meows 2 or 3 times and settles in. And Lyra decided to get some teeth or something. So 2 nights this week were 2 to 3 hours of sleep nights which was a bit rough.
Mood: Mostly happy and hopeful tempered with a heavy dose of "I'm so fucking tired I have to stay on my feet and clean or I'll fall asleep instead of watching Lyra," and "I'm so happy I feel pregnant and nauseous but I don't want to throw up until I clean the toilets." So my house is clean, that's nice.
Gender: I have one friend's vote in for boy so far. Any other guesses?? We (OK, I) have dubbed the baby, "Stormageddon, Dark Lord of All." Because Doctor Who.
Lyra stats: Still being Lyra this week.
What I miss: Still beer. And also wine. And my motivation to do anything.
Best moment this week: Getting our ultrasound! I mean, mostly baby was still way blobby but seeing that heartbeat was a big relief. And not seeing twins was a comfort, frankly. Plus the ultrasound tech let me pee before the exam, huge perk when they have told you to come in with a full bladder but you've slightly overdone it. So that was an extra awesome ultrasound experience. Also I have a posterior placenta this time apparently! Exciting because last time it was anterior (between the front of my belly and Lyra) and I didn't get to feel kicks very early on. Hopefully this one I get some earlier ones!
Looking forward to: Being a little more in touch with how big Stormageddon is and being able to relax a little more.
Friday, June 9, 2017
How preggo I am: I am somewhere between 4 to 5 weeks, still slightly questionable on the timeline due to not tracking and no period after the miscarriage. I have an ultrasound in 2 weeks and hopefully I can pin down the due date a bit. Sometime been the 10th and 16th of February, a Valentines baby!
Baby size: Somewhere between poppy seed and apple seed sized. Or somewhere between a water bear and a dot snail if we want to be slightly more unique.
Morning sickness: I think I'm starting to sense a hint of nasuea already but no puking, yaaaay! I'm hoping this is a good sign, I had no nasuea with the miscarriage but toooons with Lyra starting around 6 weeks.
Food cravings/aversions: Horseradish. Specifically cocktail sauce. I was eating that with a spoon in Vegas before I knew I was pregnant.
Other symptom: Heartburn. I had a bit with Lyra in the beggining weeks but not this much. And bloat. I seriously look about 20 weeks pregnant (going off my Lyra scale) right now and it's really uncomfortable. I think it is really noticeable for me because I had bloat with the miscarriage that disappeared for a few weeks before I immediately got pregnant and bloated again. Didn't have this with Lyra if I'm remembering right. Oh, and I'm definitely on the must pee every hour train again.
Weight gain: I didn't track this with Lyra and I think I will only track this when I go to appointments. I struggled a lot with anorexia in the past so I don't keep a scale in the house anymore. But I feel comfortable finding out my weight with this baby. I'm starting out around 130 pounds.
Sleep: Soooo tired. But also I don't get to sleep in anymore. Travis is working on night wake ups with Lyra now, though.
Mood: Mostly happy and trying to enjoy myself but somewhat stressed/worried about these early few weeks.
Gender: I will be attempting to resist the temptation to find out because Travis really wants a surprise. We will see how that one works out. 😂
Lyra stats: MAJOR progress. She falls asleep in her own bed for nap and bedtime as long as one of us sits in the corner. Still working on night wakeups. She is still nursing but we're cutting back slowly since I'm tired of nighttime nursing and starting to get really sore, thanks to pregnancy hormones.
What I miss: Beer.
Best moment this week: Since this is my first post, I'm going to say finding out I am pregnant.
Looking forward to: Getting our first ultrasound and hopefully some peace of mind and a strong baby heartbeat.
Wednesday, June 7, 2017
I'm writing this a few days after finding out we are pregnant again. I was torn between writing right away or waiting until we get an early ultrasound and see a heartbeat or we miscarry again. But then I was thinking well, we may miscarry after a heartbeat. Really anything can happen at any time so I'm going to do my best to be optimistic or at the very least, enjoy the time I do have. I would write out my feelings if I miscarried again, why shouldn't I write now too? This one feel different. But then again hindsight is 20/20. I had 3 miscarriage dreams the last pregnancy though, one the morning my miscarriage started. I'm also trying not to read into that though because it is on my mind now and I very well may have more of those dreams. And I dreamed Lyra was a boy 3 times when I was pregnant with her, never once dreamed she was a girl, and look how that one turned out.
I hadn't gotten my period yet after the miscarriage so I'm a little fuzzy on how far along I am. You can skip this paragraph if you don't want the numbers breakdown and internal monologue/debate of mine. I started spotting the 29th of April, bleeding the 3rd of May, and finally had the last day of spotting from the miscarriage on the 11th. The 11th was when I was very sure the pregnancy home test was negative as well. I also had blood tests so I know my HcG (the hormone home pregnancy tests look for, that is less than 5 in a non pregnant woman) was 25 on the 9th. From all that I was assuming my new cycle would start around the 12th, meaning conception could occur around the 26th and the earliest I could possibly get a positive (the kind you can barely see and may drive you bonkers squinting at it...aka the kind I got with my last 2 pregnancies) test would be the 3rd of June. Still only 8 days post ovulation for those of you familiar with the baby making crazies. Since we were going to Vegas the 31st, we made the decision to wait to test until after our trip. And I decided I didn't want to drive myself crazy with testing and tracking ovulation because I knew this cycle could be weird. Plus we wanted to enjoy ourselves in Vegas. I didn't want to skip drinking for phantom lines and disappointment. The morning we were set to leave Vegas I caved, tested, and I got a strong positive test on June 3rd. Now they say that the strength of the pregnancy test has nothing to do with how far along you are, but I've noticed a huge difference personally, between the early 3 week days where you can barely tell if you have a line and you might debate a bit, and the quick and strong lines that show up around 4 weeks or so. June 3rd by my figuring I would have only been 3 weeks along which seems real early for a good positive. But who really knows. My midwife said her estimation was that conception was around the 20th or earlier which would put me due almost a week ahead of my figuring. I guess she's thinking 10 days after HcG went to 0? And I guess if you count the day I started my miscarriage as my new cycle date I would have been 4.5 weeks on June 3rd. That one seems the least likely. I don't know. Pregnant right after a miscarriage is confusing but I'm so glad it happened this way. Not having a fairly accurate due date yet is making me a bit stressed but I also can't really count what day pregnant I am and that's forcing me to chill a bit. (Future Miriam edit here. I was pretty darn close with my final estimate I settled on. I guessed valentines day, my ultrasound says the 13th. About as spot on as you can get considering measurement error and having no set cycle date to start with.)
Anyway, we were both excited to see the positive and I wasn't too sad to skip the mimosas that last day. Turns out I think I have been unknowingly living with a dairy intolerance for years. I was off dairy for a while with Lyra nursing but I keep trying to add it back in because cheese and chocolate and butter are basically my 3 favorite foods. And everytime I'm very sorry I made the attempt. I guess I just thought random digestive problems were normal and I was feeling better lately just by forced healthier eating habits from having an allergy baby. Oops. So that sucks. I suspect we can both handle some of the protein up to a certain point. We both handle goats milk just fine (it has the least amount of the milk protein coincidentally 🤔) and she isn't bothered by dairy in breastmilk. I just can't find a safe threshhold for myself, so better to be off it fully and not tempt myself into overindulgence. But I had a good last hoorah with dairy and alcohol before leaving Vegas. So that timing was great.
I keep getting sidetracked so I guess this will be more a general update not just a, "Hey I'm knocked up again but more on purpose and less accidentally this time," post. It's nice to know we appear to be pretty darn fertile people, it just remains to be seen if we can usually make babies who can stick around long enough. We got one though, so that's a good sign. The next one will hopefully be just as stubborn!
Speaking of, Lyra is in full toddler mode now. We have at least 5 meltdowns a day because she wants, "Keem" (diary free ice cream) all the time. She wants to pick out wildly inappropriate clothing and shoes (think fleece pants and sparkly dress shoes for playing on the playground when it is 90 degrees out). And she wants to be like me and wear all my jewelry and do her nails. She also climbs everything and always has at least one bruise or cut. She's still obsessed with sharks and now Curious George or "eeeiii eeeiii" because that's the sound monkeys make. She has started to eat more and nurse less. And her favorite food is still sushi. "Susu" could be an everyday meal at our house. The ladies at the sushi place in town recognize us all. "She came in with your mom the other day and ate 3 things of salmon all by herself!" Yep, thats my kid. Travis has been taking over bedtime and we are just no longer nursing in bed before bed or nap because it takes waaaay to long and everyone needs more sleep. She's even starting out in her own room every night now that we're in our new house. We really wanted that to happen before the next baby. My mom staying with Lyra for 3 nights while we were in Vegas really helped kick-start that process.
Travis is enjoying his new job. (That's basically all the updates you'll get out of him 😂).
I'm in a weird almost zen mood about things. I have moments of intense anxiety but mostly it's just moments. I'm about done peeing on sticks since I feel reassured about the little baby now. I've nicknamed the little fetus Stormageddon for now. Both because we love Doctor Who and because I need a good gender nuetral nickname if we're going to stick to this not finding out all the info we can about this little one. I'm planning on doing some more regular blogging updates about this pregnancy. So hopefully you'll hear from us soon!
Here's Stormageddon! 6 weeks and 3 days, 6 mm long, crazy how tiny they start out. The left half of the big blob is actually the baby (the little black spot is the brain!), the right half is the yolk sack.
Saturday, May 6, 2017
This is not my usual funny post. Please don't read this if you aren't in a good place to handle a rather uncensored, emotional, and fresh account of miscarriage. Thus post is unnamed, because that's how my baby forever is, and will remain, unnamed and unfinished.This is just something I need to talk about because I'm a talker in the processing department. Plus, this happens. A lot. I don't want to look up statistics because will, doctor google will only do me harm at this point, but somewhere around 30 percent of the time I believe. I know a lot of people who have had miscarriages. Way too many.
This Easter Travis and I found out we were going to have another baby. Slightly earlier than anticipated but we were excited anyway. Even though this was an accidental baby, this was definitely a wanted and loved baby. We somehow managed to find out a week before my period was supposed to start, just like we did with Lyra. It happened that I didn't want to eat my egg at breakfast (I had a huge protein aversion while I was pregnant with Lyra) and Travis jokingly said, "Oh god, you're pregnant!" and that made me suspicious enough to pee on a stick. Especially because it was a holiday weekend and we found out about Lyra on Thanksgiving. We laughed at the timing because I had kept saying I absolutely never wanted to move at the same time I was pregnant ever again. We moved last time when I was 20 some weeks pregnant. So naturally 2 weeks before our new house closed was when I found out we were having another baby. We told my mom and Travis' immediate family early because we've always said we want support no matter what happens. And I hate keeping fun news in. We were waiting to tell my brother and dad in person because they would be visiting in a few weeks. Unfortunately that didn't happen as planned. My closest friends also knew because I consulted with them over my faintest of faint positive test lines. That's what happens when you have no patience and test really early, you can't always be sure for a couple days. Plus one friend was coming to visit the next weekend and I couldn't hide it as our plans included drinking.
My due date would have been December 28th. This holiday season is going to be a tough one and I really hope we have a baby well on the way by then. The hard part is, best case scenario, the next baby won't be due until valentine's day. Best case scenario, I will barely be in my 3rd trimester when I should have been giving birth. this baby seemed real a lot quicker, than Lyra did probably because we've had a baby before, so it seemed less theoretical and was easier to picture.
The weekend we moved, I was 5 weeks pregnant. Lyra was sick so I had to cancel babysitters. We were in a rush to get everything moved in one weekend because of Travis' schedule and we didn't want to rent a u-haul more than once. Plus we wanted to get the bulk of it out of the way before morning sickness hit. And we've been moving since November so we were just so ready to be in this house. So Travis did all the heavy lifting and I put Lyra in the carrier on my back and moved everything I could manage. I started having light brown spotting on Sunday, mid move. I know logically, that you can't cause a miscarriage. I know that. I know that. But I can't stop feeling guilty, which is not a good feeling. Everyone says, "You can't cause a miscarriage, but take it easy." How do you do that when you have 25 pounds of toddler running around? Obviously, we were worried but I kept hoping I just overdid it and irritated my cervix or something minor like that. I talked to a midwife and scheduled an ultrasound. But we had to wait until Friday, when I would be 6 weeks because you can't really see much before then, and we didn't want to stress unnecessarily by getting an ultrasound when our baby was too small to see. I tried to take it easy, as easy as you can with a toddler during a house move. Then Tuesday night I dreamed I was having a miscarriage. I woke up on Wednesday, had a gush of brown blood first thing in the morning and called Travis' mom (she's an OB nurse). We all still tried not too worry too much yet, it was just one gush and it was old blood. I took Lyra to the park to play to try and stay distracted. I started to feel a little crampy there and that's when I really started to worry but still really hoped things would be ok. I was in denial, really, I knew it was over but it's hard not to hope.
When we got back from the park for lunch, I saw our sprinkler was broken and leaking water. Expensive water. Not a really important detail but it made me a whole different kind of stressed. And it is one of those weird little details that I focused in on and I will remember forever. As soon as I got inside and headed to the bathroom, I knew I was probably miscarrying. I was bleeding the same amount of blood I would during a period, not just spotting anymore. I didn't have the horror story of insane bleeding through pads and lots of clotting like a lot of people have told me about. Or cramping. But I don't know why. Maybe because it was really early. My baby was the size of a chocolate chip at most. If it was developing correctly. I kind of think it wasn't, thats at least a little easier for me to think about than imagining our baby had a heartbeat already. I haven't had any cramping since having Lyra. So even the very light cramping was enough to make me know something was wrong. My cycles are always quick too, just 2 or 3 days. And Lyra's birth was fast. So I think my uterus is just efficient. My body likes to be an overachiever (like with my milk supply). Physically it seems like I "lucked" out, I guess. It isn't really lucky though. And I definitely don't want to minimize someone else's 6 week miscarriage. I'm just looking for my things to be grateful for, and my physical experience and recovery is one of them.
But I can't describe to you, how horrible it is to try and be a half decent parent to a little person who is 1 and a half years old while someone who is 27 days old is dying inside of you.
It's hard to explain what it is like when you're trying to hold it together because you have a tiny human to care for but you're falling apart. I stuck Lyra in front of the tv with some candy and just kind of lost it. She is young enough she wasn't super upset by my meltdown but you could tell she definitely knew something was up and was thrown off by everything going on. She sat quietly eating candy and watching tv for the better part of an hour. She isn't like that normally. I felt super alone but I didn't want to call anyone until I reached Travis. It took me probably 20 or 30 minutes to get a hold of him and then he had over an hour drive home. I texted one of my best friends though. I just couldn't face calling any of my mom people. It also felt less real if I didn't tell anyone. So I'm just pacing the house, crying, making macaroni and fake cheese and doing and redoing the math of how long I can wait for Travis before calling someone else. And then there was this weird tiny part of me that couldn't stop panicking about getting the sprinkler water shut off which wasn't very rational. Like it was a metaphor for everything that was flowing uncontrollably away from me.
So while I waited for Travis I also started calling midwives, scheduling ultrasounds, and making lunch for Lyra. We tried a nap but I couldn't make it work. Travis is very calm in crisis and when he got home he put Lyra down for a nap and looked at the sprinkler and I tried to nap. I was so tired. Tired like I have never been before. I wanted to sleep for a year and wake up when it was all over. I'm not one to ever feel suicidal, that truly just is not me, but it is the closest I've ever come to viscerally understanding that feeling. I was just completely spent, I had no more left in me. I had an awful headache from crying and I ended up throwing up. Non dairy mac and cheese to be specific. Not pleasant. And I kept thinking, "I should be doing this in a day or two when morning sickness hits, not now." I think the nasuea was from crying or just thinking about what was happening, or all of it combined. I mean, how do reconcile the awfulness that is pasing the matter that was supposed to be a baby into the toilet? What do you do with that? What option is there? Those were some morbid thoughts I never wanted to have. But honesty the headache and vomiting was the most physically painful part of the process. I feel guilt about even that experience. Shouldn't loosing a baby be the most physically excruciating experience of my life? Well it wasn't. Not even close. Not even top ten, physical pain wise. I wanted it to be, I wanted to feel some sort of sense of utterly painful loss, not this insignificant crap. Birth to Lyra was worse, getting my wisdom teeth out was much worse, getting my iud in was worse, first period post iud (alone on my first tour of the slope freaking out because I was surrounded by men and was afraid I was having a miscarriage then and was in sooooo much pain and trying to remain professional at the same time) was much worse, rheumatic fever was worse, even having my hand roller bladed over when I was 12 was worse. Unpacking our stuff and finding the shirt we got Lyra that said, "Oh deer, I'm going to be a big sister," buried in clean bedsheets, complete with plaid deer, that was excruciating.
After the vomit episode, Travis and I got a nap in. I went in to cuddle and nurse Lyra when she woke up after a while (she is finally moving into her own room). When Lyra and I woke up, I found Travis wandering the house confused about where I had gone. Somehow, that seems poignant too.
Waiting for Friday's ultrasound was hard. I couldn't help but hope that I just had a bleed because that happens too. Or that I was miscarrying a twin. Not that I wanted to miscarry any baby, I just kept hoping we would have at least one healthy one left in there. But I was also trying to be realistic and not get my hopes up just to be crushed again. And hearing other people's stories made me stressed that I would need a D&C. I was bleeding a lot but I just didn't know what was supposed to be normal for a miscarriage. We were able to have a friend watch Lyra Friday, which made things so much easier. And the ultrasound tech was nice. She showed me there was nothing there. I mean, peace of mind wise, I just needed to see. And indeed, there was just an empty uterus on the screen. In the ultrasound they were playing Katy Perry's weird alien sex song and Robin Thicke's rapey, "Blurred Lines." And oddly, I love both catchy songs. And I am so mad that both are ruined. What horrendously inappropriate music to play in an ultrasound room. It made me feel like I'd be that person at a funeral, who laughs hysterically and totally inappropriately. I still have to get blood drawn next week to make sure my hormones are dropping properly because they technically couldn't rule out an ectopic pregnancy. But that's not what's happening, I would be in a lot more, one sided pain. My uterus is apparantly "unremarkable." Fucking sweet.
The past few days have sucked. I keep crying randomly. We got the sprinkler shut off finally. And we are still slowly moving in to our house. We got some craft beer after the ultrasound and had a beer and pizza and movie night. But I really was sad I was able to drink. Lyra and the cat are being cuddly and sweet and helping lighten the mood. Friends and family are checking up on us. But I still just feel so indescribably awful.
The guilt is hard, feeling like it's something I did (I know logically it isn't). And also because it wasn't planned and I know so many people try so hard but it was so easy for us. And that's not something I can help, it's just how I feel. I thought about not posting this, but I want to acknowledge my lost baby somehow. And I always said miscarriage is something that needs to be talked about. I've just been a little taken aback by how private I do feel about it when I'm such an open person. But in the same breath I want to scream, "But I am supposed to have two babies now, not one." And then I immediatly feel like an awful mother to Lyra, because she IS enough. And the immense weight of the guilt of this was "just" and accidental second baby. Plenty of people would be more than content with just my one Lyra.
Also, I get ahead of myself and worry. That it will be really hard for us to get pregnant again or that this will happen over and over. The unknown makes me crazy. My mom had 4 miscarriages. She was pregnant 6 times and only had 2 children. That is TERRIBLE. I want to be like my mother in all ways but this one thing.
I'm also already annoyed with limbo. We want a baby now, this changed our timeline for sure. However, who know how long this will take. Still just sitting here bleeding and having to think about it every time I pee. It isn't a quick think, it has to drag on. And it hasn't even been more than a few days yet. Also who knows when my cycle will go back to normal. I'm trying to brace myself for not getting my hopes up if my period doesn't come back for 6 weeks or who knows how long. Plus, I want to watch and make sure I get a negative pee stick after this because I don't want leftover hormones to trick me. Not to mention we have a trip to Vegas planned at the end of the month (we are ditching Lyra with my mom for the first time ever!) and we want to just relax and enjoy ourselves. But that brings me to the funniest moment we've had the last few days (because sometimes you just need to laugh). I told Travis for the next little while I just want to not be tempted to overthink and stress and pee on all the sticks and track ovulation. However, we both know my lack of self control in that area. So I decided I'm locking them in the safe in our bedroom closet and Travis is taking the key to work until after Vegas at least. I told Travis this 100% serious and logical plan of mine and he laughed so hard. He said, "I'm sorry, I'm not laughing at you, really. It's just that, can you imagine, we die before we open the safe and everyone goes on the hunt for the key to open this mysterious safe. Then they open expecting money and valuables but all that's in there is a bunch of pregnancy and ovulation tests!" But I still think they're going in the safe, haha.
With all that said, if I manage to get pregnant, first cycle post miscarriage (unlikely), I may have a hard time making a due date guess, since I won't have a last period or ovulation date to go off of, and I will barely be finding out I'm pregnant before I should have been entering my second trimester with this baby. Not fair.
I'm trying to find the good things in all this because that's how I'm coping. Like I said before, I don't want to minimize anyone else experience or presume that the things that help me help anyone else. It has been comforting to have Lyra. Not that I didn't want this baby just as badly as I wanted Lyra, just that I know I can get pregnant (easily so far), and can carry a healthy baby largely complication free to her due date.
And it's helped that this miscarriage happened early on. I didn't have as long to adjust to the idea of a new baby, I never felt this baby kick or heard it's heartbeat. Though that also sucks in its own special way. I don't have any ultrasound picture for this baby, I don't know if it was a boy or a girl, or even if it was nothing more than a bunch of cell with the wrong number of chromosomes completely incompatible with life or a blighted ovum or whatever the hell else crazy biology can do.
It's also helped that this was unplanned, again, not that we wanted it any less. Just that I didn't have the first 3 weeks of my cycle hoping for a baby. I don't feel like time was wasted in a failed attempt at making a baby. And finding out we were pregnant was a little more nervewracking because we weren't planning it and we had to have that talk of, "Soooo...how are you feeling about all this??" when it happened.
I'm glad we are at the tail end of our move with friends in this town. Had this happened a few months ago in temporary housing when we had no one here to help with Lyra or to talk to, that would have been even worse. I'm so relieved that my state of mind is in a much healthier place than it was in January or February.
So there you have it. This has been an awful week and we have some pretty crappy first memories in our new house. But, we have come much closer to the end of our moving process and will hopefully (never say never) not be moving in the near future. We have a house we love for making good memories in. We have lots of fun things coming up (I won us a trip to the Tahoe area) and family coming to visit. Summer well on the way, our dogs will be returning to us shortly and our cat is not lost.
So everything is not terrible.
Everything is not terrible.