When It Rains It Pours!

When It Rains It Pours!

on April 28, 2014

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As if we haven’t had to deal with enough death lately- Mike’s dad died yesterday.  He had a sudden heart attack on Wed. and the paramedics had a hard time reviving him.  I guess there wasn’t enough oxygen getting to his brain because he was pretty much brain-dead by the time he got to the hospital.  It hadn’t been sick and there is no family history of heart disease.   He only had 1 artery that was 70% blocked, which when it comes to heart attacks isn’t that bad.  They put him on life support but there really was no hope of recovering.  We removed the life support yesterday and thankfully he died peacefully within minutes.  Honestly I feel like his soul left his body sometime on Wed or Thurs and it was just the machines keeping him “alive” these past few days.  I feel so bad for Mike- he can’t catch a break.

Jerry was sooooo excited to become a Pop Pop.  I’m heartbroken that our son will never get to know him.  I do take some comfort in knowing that Jax’s Pop Pop will make sure he gets to us safely and will continue to watch over him once he’s here.

Mawwiage…

 

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“Mawwiage. Mawwiage is what bwings us togethew today. Mawwiage, that bwessed awwangement, that dweam within a dweam. And wove, twue wove, wiww fowwow you fowevah and evah… So tweasuwe youw wove…”

For those of you who don’t know that quote is from the wedding scene in The Princess Bride.  Another thing you may or may not know- Mike and I are not married.  No big deal right?  Well, yeah no biggie to some people but to others- ugh!  Usually when you tell people you are pregnant the first question is usually “wow how far along?” or “is it a boy or a girl?” or “were you trying?”  But when you are not married the first question tends to be “are you getting married?”   Up until now the answer has always been “No” or “Maybe” or “Eventually”.  Neither one of us really ever had any strong desire to get married.  It wasn’t because we didn’t love each other or we weren’t committed to each other.  Yeah, that’s a good one- committed.  Someone actually said to me when they knew we were struggling with IVF “don’t you think you should hold off until you are both willing to commit to each other?”  Really?  Clearly this person has NO CLUE what infertility and IVF entails- especially when it comes to donor eggs.  Two people can’t possibly be any more committed to each other than to survive all that.  I mean if infertility doesn’t rip your relationship apart then there isn’t much that will.  And there is no stronger a commitment than supporting each other while you are dealt devastating blow after blow of disappointment and heartbreak.  And then there are the shots.  Yeah none of that would fly in a relationship that doesn’t ooze commitment.  Its not exactly convenient to be home at the same time every day for months on end to give (or receive) an over 2 inch needle in your ass every night.  So my response to that is- our commitment is powerfully kicking me in my uterus right now.  I digress- my apologies.  Soooo, yeah we never felt like we weren’t committed.  But having both been married once before (our dress rehearsals) we didn’t feel the need to be legally “married”.  For all intense purposes we already are married- we live together, have joint finances, squabble, rarely have sex and forget our anniversary.  What else is there to marriage?  In all seriousness, having been married and then divorced you see marriage differently.  To us marriage became just a piece of paper that made us “legal”.  The only things that really change once you get married are your last name (if you choose) and other tangible things like the ability to share medical insurance benefits or claim 1/2 upon divorce.  Your love doesn’t change.  How you feel about each other doesn’t change.  But in spite of all that we did say if we had a baby we would like to get married…one day…down the line…if we got around to it…for the kid’s sake…

Mike had been bringing up the M word for a while.  It’s funny because we were taking turns being the person wanting it.  At first I wanted it but he was hesitant because he hadn’t been divorced that long and his wounds (aka lawyer bills) had not healed yet.  Then he came around and I was the one with the “yeah let’s talk about it again in a year” excuses.  Then radio silence.  Neither of us brought it up again.  That was until now.  I’m not sure what about this pregnancy is making us both want to get married.  Experiencing it definitely makes us feel a lot closer to each other (not that I thought that was even possible).  Maybe me constantly referring to Mike as “Baby Daddy” makes us feel like less of a “family”?  Maybe me wanting to have the same last name as my baby has something to do with it?  I would be lying if I said that didn’t bother me.  Somehow (not saying its valid or rational) but not sharing the same genes OR last name with the baby kinda deep down inside made me feel a little left out.  A little like an outsider and I am Mike’s surrogate.  Again, probably hormone related thinking because yes that’s not true or rational.  Or maybe deep down inside, after all we’ve been through, we both just really want the fairytale complete with the Happily Ever After?  Whatever the reason may be we have BOTH, collectively at the same time, stars aligned, no holds barred have decided to tie the knot.  And I don’t mean the noose around the neck kind.  I mean that circle of metal burning through the flesh of our left hand, finger next to the pinky- we are getting married- gulp!

The next thing to decide was- when?  Before Jax or after Jax?  It seemed to make the most sense to do it before he comes.  With only 12 weeks left (or less if I don’t go full term) we were in a time crunch.  Then came the other questions: do we go to town hall and have a quickie or have something small with the family?  Ahh, decisions, decisions, decisions.  Then a light bulb went off in my head.  All of our family will be in town for my baby shower.  Starr is flying in from CO, Mike’s mom and step father are flying in from FL, my father and his wife are coming from NC…seems like a no brainer.  Soooooo- we are having a small ceremony at our house the same night as the baby shower.  The shower is over at 3pm, we will back up and drive down the road to my house, unpack and start the festivities.  We are having it catered so we can enjoy ourselves and don’t have to cook.  The officiant is coming between 5:30 and 6 for a short ceremony and then we can enjoy the rest of the evening with 40 of our closest family and friends.  No stress, no fuss, “I do, I do, we’re done.”  At least that was what I was planning but Mike seems to be making it into a lot more.  That’s ok though- I’m enjoying the process.

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Glucose, A Dog And A Monkey

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I had to be at Labcorp at 7am this morning for my 1 hour glucose test.   I was given the option of flavors- Poo (orange) or Poop (fruit punch).  I chose Poo.  The first sip wasn’t that bad although I would advise to brush your teeth a few hours before you take the test.  If you’ve ever brushed your teeth and then drank orange juice immediately after you will know what I mean.  After the first few sips I started to feel nauseous.  That Poo is WAY too sugary for me.  Some of you southerners who drink sweet tea might actually like this but it’s not MY cup of tea.

I sat there in the waiting room for the required 1 hour catching up on Facebook and trying not to fall asleep.   I actually stumbled across a dog on FB that I fell in love with.  His story reminds us so much of Oz.  Of course we already put in an application for him and are making plans to go meet him.  Yeah, I know we are nuts but check out how cute he is…

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After the hour was up I went in the back for blood work.  OK, after 2 years and 5 IVF cycles I’m obviously no stranger to needles but that needle hurt like hell.  It also seemed twice as thick as usual.  I could feel her pulling it out and then it kept bleeding and bleeding and bleeding.  I know, cry me a river, wahhhh!!!!  Let’s hope I pass this test.  Gestational Diabetes would really suck.

On a happy note, yesterday we had another Dr Hux appointment.  We brought my mom with us since she has never seen an US live and in person- just the pictures I share with her.  She cried- of course- but who wouldn’t.  I know this kid doesn’t have my genes but I must say I do incubate a pretty cute kid…

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He was weighing in at 2 lbs., 10 oz which is slightly big for 26 weeks but everything is still looking perfect with him.  He is such a little monkey though.  He moves non-stop.  Sometimes I feel like he’s creating cave drawings on the inside of my uterus.  He has very long legs- he was able to lift them over his head and his toes reached slightly past his head.  Perhaps he will one day perform for Cirque du Soleil?  He was also playing with his toes- yes once again over his head.  I sense I’m going to have my hands full with this one.

That’s all I have to report for now.  I hope everyone has a Happy Thumper Day!

 

Birthing Class

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Last night we attended our 1st of 4 birthing classes.  The classes are from 7pm to 9:30pm at the hospital I will be delivering at.  This is the description that was listed on the hospital’s website…

Beautiful Beginnings: Childbirth Prep- Topics include: Physical conditioning for challenge of labor and delivery; Stages of labor including signs and symptoms of onset of labor; Developing a birth plan; Lamaze breathing and relaxation techniques; Pain management preferences; Hospital routines; Induction and augmentation of labor; Cesarean birth; Postpartum adjustment; Tour of maternity/nursery.

It really was not what I was expecting.  It’s basically solely a Lamaze class- or at least that’s what the 1st session seemed like.  For the first hour she went over the history of childbirth and how they used to strap women down to the table and give them drugs to make them pass out and forget the delivery.  The rest of the time she talked about how bad a C-section is and how you need to do everything in your power NOT to have one.  She was pretty anti-C-section which made me a little uncomfortable.  Basically she was saying a C-section is rarely medically necessary and the same applies to an induction.  I’m not sure I agree with her.  I know plenty of people that had scheduled C-sections or inductions but mostly because of their age.  There are plenty of OB’s that will not let a woman that is 40 or older go to 40 weeks.  From what I’ve read, the older you get the more you are at risk for complications the further you get into your pregnancy.  A lot of my friends had C-sections or were induced shortly after they turned 37 weeks.  Granted, plenty of women have scheduled C-sections for the “convenience” of it.  Not that major abdominal surgery is ever really “convenient” but I mean it more as knowing when your baby will arrive.  Personally I would not willingly opt for a C-section unless medically necessary but I got the feeling that her anti-C-section lecture would totally freak someone out if they had to have a C-section.  Things happen- for better or worse- and you need to roll with it.  I don’t like people that have extremely one sided views on things.  I kinda feel the same way about C-sections as I do about abortion- its the woman’s body and should be her choice.  And don’t go all crazy that I compared abortion to childbirth.  I get that they are 2 TOTALLY different means of having a baby leave your body.  But back to the instructor- she used a reference to the Spice Girl- Posh- who stated she would be having  a C-section and then people started saying “Too Posh To Push”.  I’m not sure if the predetermined C-section was medically necessary or she just didn’t want to get all sweaty and stretch out her vag.  Either way- not my business.

Most of the things she talked about I already knew.  I’m not sure if I’m super well versed in all things pregnancy related or other people are just stupid.  A lot of it seemed common sense to me.  Maybe that’s because I’m a TLC- A Baby Story junkie.  I didn’t really get too much out of the class until the last half hour.  Here’s what I walked away with:

1) Once I go to the hospital don’t let them automatically hook me up to an IV.  Have them put the unit in just in case I do wind up needing IV but not to hook anything else up.  This will enable me to move around freely whether its to walk or go on the exercise ball or laboring tub or whatever without being strapped to wires and tubes.

2) Hold out as long as I can for an epidural.  We reviewed charts that show progression and pain levels as dilation occurs.  Once I get to a certain level I might be able to stick it out without an epidural knowing that it won’t get too much worse.

3) The average contraction lasts 1 minute.  This is super important to know.  I’m sure for a lot of women in labor the scariest part is not knowing how long that pain will last.  If I can keep a conscious focus on the time I will better be able to cope with it knowing it will be over soon.

4) I need to buy one of those exercise balls.  They are so comfortable for me especially with all the hip and lower back pain I’ve been getting.

5) This is the most important thing I learned and it didn’t come for the instructors mouth- it came from my analysis of the whole situation.  The most important thing is I will be having my miracle baby.  In the grand scheme of things it won’t matter if I labor for 20 minutes or 20 hours.  It won’t matter if I have an epidural or a doula or a water birth.  It won’t matter if he comes out naturally or via C-section.  The ONLY thing that will matter that day is that he is born healthy and that he is all mine to love and cherish for the rest of my life.  The rest is irrelevant and a piece of cake.

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F%$k You Death!

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I’m not sure how much a pregnant person is expected to handle but its been a rough few days for me.  It started on Thursday when we had to put our dog Oz down.  Literally the next day Diva Danny’s dad died.  I’ve known this man since kindergarten.  He was old and had been sick but it’s still heartbreaking.  Saturday morning I had to leave for a business trip so I had to miss his services.  I also felt awful leaving Mike all alone since he’s so heartbroken over Oz.

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Tuesday I received 2 phone calls from friends while I was in FL but ignored the calls.  I was there running a conference and needed to remain focused so that I didn’t break down in tears.  Turns out I should have taken the calls because Wednesday morning, while waiting for my plane, I saw on Facebook that my friend Andrea died on Monday.  Over the past 14 years she had survived breast cancer and brain cancer.  Recently they had found some cancer cells but she was being treated and the doctors said she would be ok.  Monday (her 42nd birthday) she was disoriented and went to the hospital.  Turns out she had water on her brain and died within hours.  My heart hurts so bad right now.  She was sooooo excited for my baby shower.  She said she felt like she was the one having a baby and would live vicariously thru me.  Life is so unfair sometimes.  She was a beautiful soul.

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And the cherry on top of my shit sundae- Mike has strep throat AND threw his back out.   He’s been on antibiotics so gladly he’s no longer contagious but his voice is still hoarse.   He is in bad shape with his back though and walking like a zombie.  Tonight we have our first birthing class at the hospital so I’m not sure how he’s going to make it thru that.  Hopefully this first class is more lecture than practice.

All of the above has me under so much stress I feel like I’m going to explode.  I’ve had my weepy moments but haven’t had a good cry.  I’m so afraid to stress the baby so I’m trying to focus on the good times I’ve had with everyone and not focus on the loss.  It’s still so heartbreaking though.  There are times I feel I can’t catch my breath.  I am so grateful and blessed to be having this baby I just wish there wasn’t so much sadness clouding what is supposed to be such a happy time.

Ode to Oz

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Yesterday we had to say goodbye to our little buddy Oz.  Last week he was limping so we brought him to the vet thinking his Lyme’s disease was acting up.  The vet did tons of tests and blood work and couldn’t find anything wrong with him so sent us home with an anti-inflammatory/pain killer in case he sprained his leg or bruised a muscle.  He was fine for a few days and the limping improved.  He still whined and cried a lot but he always does that.  He’s like Rainman and very quirky about things.  I just thought he didn’t like his new routine of having to take medicine.

Monday, March 31 he was acting really weird and distant.  He didn’t even get out of his bed to greet Mike when he came home from work.  We knew then that something was terribly wrong.   Tuesday, April 1st (yup our pup was always the joker) he had a really tough time walking and holding his head up.  Mike took him back to our regular vet.  At first they thought he had hurt his neck but the longer they spent with him they started thinking it was neurological.  They had Mike rush him to a specialist. He stayed at the hospital for 2 days so they could run more tests and monitor him.  He was clearly in terrible pain so they tried keeping him doped up on drugs.  He must have been so scared because he hates not being home with us.  He has a mental breakdown if he doesn’t have his bed and his bone.  He doesn’t even like to go outside- always the lazy one.  We were all hoping for it to be a herniated disc, which would be treatable.  Yesterday’s MRI results showed tumors in his spine.  The vet said it was not treatable and, since he was in horrible pain, the best thing to do would be to end his suffering.

Oz was a true testament to the pit bull breed and how loving and kind they really are.  Anyone who ever met him instantly fell in love with him and changed their mind about pits.  He was such a unique soul.  Even the vet cried and said he had gotten so attached to him in 2 days.  He called him a “spectacular beast”.

I’m struggling to find the meaning behind why this happened and especially with me being 6 months pregnant.  We’ve been through so much already and are finally happy.  I guess this is God’s way of reminding us to keep our blessings in check.  I’m trying to hold it together so I don’t stress the baby.  We were really looking forward to Oz being able to play with Jackson.  I know they would have been best friends.

Oz you were my 1st little boy and will always have a special place in my heart.  You’ve touched so many lives and I’m honored to have been your mommy.  Rest in peace my little buddy!

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