Defcon 3: 6w4d

The unbelievable dream continues.

We had the ultrasound this morning and there is a baby in there, measuring right on target based on my cycle length and likely date of ovulation.  And a heart beat of 130 bpm.  We even saw the flicker.

Unlike during my RE days, we’re not having another appointment until four weeks from now.  Normally, this would have sent me into a spiral of angst and worry that I would not have any information during the time when our previous miscarriages had happened.  But, this time, I’m ok with it.  No matter what happens, we’ve already won the lottery with Rex.

If Little Lagniappe decides to stick around, we will be thrilled but we won’t be crushed if he/she does not.

Well, This is Awkward

I’m sitting here trying to figure out how to write this.  It’s just too cliched for words, especially after my last few posts.  It’s too cliched for my history.  It’s too cliched for a Lifetime movie. And yet.

Via Creative Commons by Kaptain Kobold

It appears that I am pregnant.  And, it happened naturally, without drugs, money, swarthy men in green suits or plastic hair covers.  Mr. X knocked me up the old fashioned way. Holy BFP Batman.

I haven’t been charting because that’s too much like trying.  I have been paying attention, however, especially now that since Rex was born, the girls bark every month on cue at ovulation time.  It wasn’t hard to convince Mr. X for some sexy time mentioning that it was also optimal time for a party in my girl parts between our various gametes.  But, we never thought it would work.  I mean, come on.  It took us 5 years to have Rex!

But, two weeks ago, I decided to take a test just in case because I had an evening of drinking and gaming planned with my lady friends and I wanted to know that I was in the clear. I used one of those new fangled digital tests and put it down to get dressed while the hourglass went back and forth in the window.  I came back to look and lo and freaking behold was the one word: pregnant.

I didn’t believe the test to be honest.  I don’t get pregnant on my own.  I called Mr. X, shared the news with him and we both said a few, “hmmms” and “reallys” and “interestings” before moving on to other topics of the day.  As is my nature, I did google the false positive rate of this particular test and was intrigued enough to go out and buy some different tests … which also turned up positive.

Figuring I’d get this all sorted out, I made an appointment with my OB’s office – the same one I had been in not the week before for lady part probing – and got some blood taken.  At 11dpo, beta was 88 and progesterone was 46.  At least my infertility trials taught me enough to know that these were good numbers.  I had a repeat test at 17dpo and beta was 1337, for a doubling time of 36 hours.  We moved to Defcon 4 and set an appointment for an ultrasound on March 26.  I’m already getting nervous, but the emotional and financial investment is not nearly as high as it was with our previous pregnancies.

Since then and during the new two week wait, I’ve been having the usual bloating, queasiness, boob tenderness (although how much of that is me mashing them into oblivion to ensure that they are still tender is unknown), tiredness and pooch showing of my previous pregnancies.  A 5w4d, I’ve already bloated out of my favorite jeans and have taken to wearing flowy dresses.  I’ve cut out booze, caffeine and unpasteurized things.  I’m still acting like a pregnant lady, on the off chance that this sticks.

Both Mr. X and I are thrilled that we were able to do this on our own, but recognize that it’s still so very early in the game.  Still, if Bebe 2.0 were to come out of this, we would be very happy, indeed.  It would be icing on our already large, sweet and savory cake.  Bonus points if Bebe 2.0 arrived on November 5.  Do they make baby-size Guy Fawkes masks?

CSI: Toddler Room

There is a pint-sized biter in Rex’s toddler room.   One of those adorable little persons is sinking their fangs into the delectably chubby limbs of their unsuspecting classmates.  Rex was not in this new classroom a full week before he was a victim of the Little Chomper.  We were told that Rex had it coming attempted to pick up the other child’s sippy cup after the child had put it down  thus provoking the bite.  He came home that day with a nasty looking welt on his arm but otherwise seemed no worse for the wear.  Less than a week later, I received a call from the daycare reporting that the same child had bitten my child again! and this time, there was no apparent provocation on Rex’s part.

Not the Culprit - Via Creative Commons

Our concern for Rex’s safety soon morphed into anger that the Little Chomper was allowed to roam free in the general population after such heinous crimes against my sweet blonde cherub.  Because, now, it seemed like Rex’s bites were personal.  Little Chomper obviously had it out for my kid since LC had bitten him twice, one time of which was unprovoked.  Typical toddler behavior you say, total vampire tendencies I say. It is obvious that Little Chomper vanted my baby’s blood.

For their part, the daycare has been annoyingly adult about the whole thing.  They won’t share with us the identity of Little Chomper because they’re progressive like that or perhaps they knew that if we were told we would give the kid the evil eye every time we dropped off and picked up Rex.  And rather than put the offender in the stocks (I bet those Puritans would have obliged me) to ponder his or her biting ways, the plan going forward has been to keep Little Chomper and Rex separated in the classroom.

This plan so far seems to be working.  There have been no further biting incidents against Rex. But, Mr. X swears that Little Chomper struck again the other day and this time the victim was Rex’s BFF.  Mr. X might even have figured out the identify of the Little Chomper.  Better get those pint sized stocks ready.

Dare to Not Compare

There is another mom at Rex’s daycare who has a baby in the room next to his. She arrives with said baby around the same time that I am leaving from dropping Rex off.  Her baby can’t be more than six months old, at the most and yet the woman looks like she stepped out of a magazine.  When Rex was six months old, the bags under my eyes were entrenched, I was still wearing cotton tops because spit up washed out of those and the general public was lucky if I wore mascara, let alone full make up.

Her? Flawless face, perfect figure with a tiny waist and really high heels.  Everyday. (Although, she wears hot pink fuzzy slippers when she goes into the infant room, yet she rocks them at the same time. WTF?!)

Via Creative Commons by

Seeing her always puts me in a bad mood.  Mind you I’ve never talked to her, I don’t know her name – hell, I don’t even know her kid’s name which at daycare is tantamount to admitting that this person is a complete stranger.  And yet, I let her make me feel like crap every single time.  I always notice how well her clothes fit (helps with that tiny waist!) and they are completely free of animal hair (dog, cat or other) and spit up stains. Her gorgeous long hair is beautifully done like she had 30 minutes just to spend on it alone whereas mine, well, I’m lucky some days to get a hot iron on the wings that stick out.

Then, there’s the shoes.  I am particularly envious because due to Gimpy Knee, high heel shoes have just been too painful to wear.  My gorgeous Coach peep toes? Sitting on the shelf.  Same for my lime green suede numbers.  Just the thought of standing in them makes my knee ache.  Yet, there are her super-trendy and super high heels sitting out in the hallway, alternating between mocking me and waiting for their mistress to return to once again elevate her above all other mortal beings.

The thing is that no matter how hard I try, I can’t stop comparing myself to her.  A little voice pops up saying, “you have a 14 month old who sleeps until 6:45am and you can’t look as good as the woman with a 6 month old who was probably up multiple times through the night? What is wrong with you woman?”  And I have no answer.  Well, no answer that doesn’t sound totally lame.  Because to me, being well put together is the hallmark of a woman who cares about herself.  She is saying, I know my worth and it is sky high, bitches!  I feel like that maybe one day out ten.  Her? She looks it ten days out of ten.

So what’s a girl to do? I see two choices: 1) I can put in that extra effort, run the lint roller over my entire closet, and gimp up my knee even more by wearing high heels or 2) I can be happy with how I look now. I know what the magazine-quiz right answer is.  We all know what it is.  Yet I’m still drawn to the answer that most women would probably choose if they were being really honest with themselves.

I present the question then to you fine people.  How have you come to accept your appearance and been comfortable even when you’re standing next to a super model? Or, did you gimp your knee up just to wear the high heels?

The Poster Says It All

Last night was hell.  It was supposed to be, though.  Mondays and Wednesday nights are my Hell Nights, the nights when I am solely responsible for Rex until 7am the next morning when he is whisked on the arms of Mr. X to daycare.

But last night. Oh, my.  It really was hell.

It didn’t seem like it was going to be that way.  He had his nightcap bottle as usual at 7pm and was down by 7:30, all thanks to Mr. X (no need for daggers).  I went to bed asking Mr. X to wake me if he heard the baby and I was still sleeping.

From prior experience, I knew he would wake up anywhere between 11pm (ugh) to 2:30am (not as ugh).  First rousing last night? 11:05pm.  I shuffled down the hall, freed him from his Woombie (one-handed, I might add), snuggled him in my arms in the rocker and commenced the feeding.  Then, I started to hear noises.  G panting and breathing heavily.  Yapping dogs somewhere in the near vicinity with a knack for stopping long enough to let you think that they had given up only to start again. When I am sleep deprived and annoyed, little noises make me even more annoyed. Not a good way to start the night.

Then I realized there was something cold and wet on my shirt just in front on my sternum.  Rex had managed to spit up on my shirt without me even knowing it and it was extremely uncomfortable.  I didn’t have any change of clothes in his room, so I would have to be wet and clammy until I could get him back to sleep.  11:55pm, mission accomplished and I groped in the dark closet for a clean shirt, barefooted my way back to our bedroom  and Mr. X snoring.

Next rousing: 2:30am.  This is not boding well for a two-feeding night.  He usually lasts longer than 2.5 hours on a bottle sleeping.  More feeding, more dogs barking, more G panting and this time, he spits up on himself, not me and I change his outfit which while having a zipper is actually not easier to get on him. 3:15am, stumble back to room and send telepathic signals to Rex to sleep until at least 6:15.

Then, it’s 5:30.  I know that because I looked at the clock when I heard, you guessed it, Rex. Again.  W.T.F.  The child hasn’t had a three-feeding night in at least six weeks.  He drinks about 3.75 ounces, spits up on his second outfit requiring wrestling him into a third outfit (again with a zipper that is not helpful) and is out, gently snoring in my arms.  Dogs are still barking, G this time is nowhere to be found, but the kitties are beginning to prowl around making walking hazardous lest I step on animals.  I put him back in his crib for the third time and stumble back to our room.

It was that last feeding that was just draining.  I hadn’t prepared myself for a three-feeding night.  I had thought, my child is a champion night sleeper, no way he could regress so much so fast!   And, I couldn’t try my hand at sleep training him (read going in, but not getting him up and trying to get him back to sleep) lest he wake up Mr. X.  Most of all, I was annoyed at myself for thinking that we had finally gotten to that magical point where we had a handle on this baby thing.  Who was I kidding? I’m just as bad at this baby thing as I was when we brought him home and I get to it all by myself all of next week since Mr. X is going out of town on business.

And, at that moment, all I wanted was my mommy.  I wanted her to give me a big hug, tell me that it was all right, that Rex is fine, this stage is temporary and that we are doing a great job.  Unfortunately, she’s about 5,000 miles away and will be until Halloween.  I settled for a good cry in the shower instead.

The Root of My Evil

Dear Pfizer:

I am the poster child for better living through chemistry.  My OCD is controlled with Prozac, my child was conceived with the use of multiple injectible drugs, my pregnancy with him was made easier with Zantac and Flonase and he was delivered quite comfortably once I had a fabulous epidural.  So, I obviously have no problem with drugs.

What I do have a problem with, however, is your drug, Zoloft, which I went on because I was breastfeeding. Only now, after finishing up my course of it and switching back to my beloved Prozac do I realize just what a wretched drug Zoloft is for me.  Let me tell you what happened.

Four weeks post-partum, I began having stomach issues.  Constant, uncomfortable and rather embarrassing stomach issues.  They didn’t go away.

My head was surrounded by a giant fog that refused to lift. I’d sit down to read a book and wouldn’t be able to concentrate.

Also starting around the four week mark, there was not a day that went by that I didn’t think about suicide.  I envied dead people. I would think about what a release from the grind of it all it would be.  I would be able to sleep.  Finally and consistently sleep.  I wouldn’t have the anxiety and uncertainty of anticipating the needs of a newborn.  I fought it, though. I fought it hard. I reminded myself that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.  I would look at my son and will myself to hold on for another day on the promise that it would get better.  I reminded myself what a terrible impact it would have on him. I thought about how Mr. X would be alone and how much I would miss him.  I thought about how angry everyone would be with me for being selfish and taking the easy way out.  But, the thoughts were still there.

I finished the pills a week and a half ago.  Within days, the stomach issues improved, the thoughts began to go away and the fog lifted.  I began to feel like myself again.

The only conclusion that I can reach is that your drug screwed up my digestive system, put me in a fog and made me want to kill myself. Way to go.


Mrs. X.

image: K’vitsh

Same As It Never Was

Ah, the joys of the postpartum body.

While I was pregnant, I didn’t give one rat’s ass of thought about what my body might be like after growing a little human and then evicting him, at the whopping size of 8lbs 5oz and over a foot and a half long through the in-door.  I knew that the tummy area might be a little jiggly for a while and I figured it would take some time for the weight that I had so thoughtfully and doggedly put on to support the little human to come off.  So it’s no surprise that the tummy is not it’s former flat self or that the hips and booty are a little more generous making my favorite jeans rather explicit when wrestled on.

I was still surprised when I surveyed my landscape, though, to notice that my boobs, not the largest to start with, had actually shrunk.  Yes, shrunk.  They have been inflated and deflated so many times through pregnancy and nursing that it’s a wonder they are still on the top half of my body, but it was still a shock to put on a bra from my previous life and see how much room there was.  Mr. X doesn’t seem to mind, but still.  I still also have those tattoos of pregnancy; my linea nigra hasn’t disappeared nor have some freckles on the mid-section that cannot thank the sunshine for their existence.

The biggest shocks however have come from the inside.  I don’t care that my OB advised that Mr. X and I could resume nookie six weeks post-partum.  We waited until 8 weeks and it hurt like a mofo for the first half and then I didn’t feel much of anything for the second half.  Common sense dictates that if you stretch something to the size of a cantaloupe, you should expect that it might take it a long time to get back to its normal size.  Common sense and I parted ways at about week 30 in my pregnancy and we have not made up since.  So, genuine shock and dismay followed. It’s getting better, at least on the tightening front, but it still hurts. A lot.

And then there is the weird problem: to put it simply, there’s trouble in my alimentary canal.  About four weeks postpartum, I started having bad digestive problems.  I’ve always had a sensitive stomach so I figured it was just something I ate. But, the problems didn’t go away.  They have been so persistent (going on six weeks now) that I have earned myself the Old People’s Test – a colonoscopy! If you ask me nicely, I might even post pictures.

To recap, the boobs are smaller, the tummy is lumpier, the sex is painful and I get to have a camera placed in the other location where the sun doesn’t shine because of continuing troubles down below.  But, Rex is almost on the verge of laughing and can put himself back to sleep in the middle of the night.  I think that’s a fair trade.

Between Heaven and Hell

When we went for our nuchal translucency test a few weeks ago, the maternal fetal medicine specialist gave us several options for the blood test portion of the screening. We chose the sequential integrated test which would require blood work a few weeks after the initial scan to be able to get a more accurate result.  I went for that bloodwork on a Monday when I was 15w4d and was advised that we would have results by the end of that week.  The next day, we left for our long-planned vacation in the northeast.

Mira (on the wall)I wasn’t particularly concerned about the screening results.  The nuchal measurement was above the median, but still well below the 95th percentile and the initial bloodwork came back ‘normal’, although they didn’t give me a discussion of what normal meant.  I wasn’t going to press for it either since it was normal.

So, we enjoyed a few days in the Big Apple, seeing the sights, doing Broadway, and just being on vacation.  That Friday, we headed to the next portion of our trip – a cruise through New England.  We were giddy as newlyweds to get on the boat and enjoy the cruise.  First, of course, was the life boat drill that involved lovely dayglo orange life preservers and a demonstration of how to jump into the water if required.  We got back to our cabin and my cell phone was ringing.  It was the MFM with the results of our screening.  That’s where the nightmare began.

Our screening for Down Syndrome, aka Trisomy 21 was 1:20, meaning that there was a 5% chance of Downs, with all other results normal.  Unfortunately, it took several tries for me to understand what he was saying as the cell reception on a ship with tons of steel is not exactly ideal.  What was worse was that I had to go on the balcony to get any reception at all and so I was attempting to disguise the topic of conversation while also taking in what he was telling me.  Mr. X began to swear which frightened me more than what the doctor was telling me since he rarely ever swears out of anger.  He rarely gets angry period.

I was surprisingly calm as the doctor was doing his spiel.   I understood that it was not a final answer and I felt pretty certain that it would turn out just fine.  It was until he started throwing out the terms ‘terminate’ and ‘special needs’ that I began to really get worried.  It’s one thing to be told that you have a 5% chance that your unborn child has a chromosomal abnormality that could mean profound disability and quite another to be told that you can terminate the pregnancy you have worked for four years to bring to fruition or have a child who is labeled from birth as ‘special needs’.  In hindsight, I would have preferred him to simply leave it to what our options were for further testing rather than bringing up what to do in the event that the 5% chance came true.  That particular bell, however, could not be unrung.

So, there we are at the beginning of the cruise that we had been looking forward to as the ultimate escape and we are brought back to reality with one five minute phone call.  The first thing to do was to decide what further testing we wanted.  We both agreed at the time that we were not willing to undergo an amnio because the ultimate worst case scenario has always been having a perfectly normal baby that is miscarried due to a botched amnio.  The other options were an enhanced scan or do nothing.  We chose the enhanced scan which I called for and scheduled for a few days after our return.

Unfortunately, that was all that we could do at that point.  It was either stew or put it aside and go on with our cruise.  I am a stewer by nature and I was in fine stewing form after this.  Dinner was a blur as was conversation with our table mates. I could barely eat and wanted nothing more than to go back to our cabin and stare at a wall or Google.  I did neither, and had a terrible night’s sleep.  Everytime I fell asleep, I would wake up in terror at the thought of terminating if it came to that.

It wasn’t until the next night that matters came to a head and I was finally able to process all of the feelings that I had regarding the information we had not twenty-four hours earlier.  Mr. X and I were on our bed as we sailed away from our first port and I just started bawling.  I let it all out – my fears, my anxieties – and we talked it through.  We came to the conclusion that we needed to know and that there would be an end to this particular nightmare, even if it was not meant to be at that particular moment.  We talked about all of our options and what we would do if we had to make a decision.  Most of all, we talked about the 95% chance that everything was fine and that we would not let this ruin our vacation.  From that moment on, it did not.

We had a lovely trip and I was able to really enjoy myself.  For that, I am so proud and thankful and that is enough for me for now.

image: Mira (on the wall)

I Would Not Have Chosen Kenny G For This Moment

Ode to Joy, would have been more like it.  But, I’m getting ahead of myself.


This morning was pretty quiet on the southern front – just some brown, as I had been having from the day before.  I got to my desk and called BossMan (since I work from home) and informed him that I was planning to have a relatively normal day work wise and that was it. Silly girl.

Mr. X came home from work around 11:45 and we headed out for lunch.  We noshed, talked memories – specifically when I moved in with him after we were engaged – and headed home.  He dropped me off, I got the mail and went inside.

And then, I went to the bathroom. 

So, there was blood. Again. I was not as surprised since Dr. Salsa had informed us yesterday that this bleeding could last some time.  Then, I felt something literally fall out of me and I heard a giant plop.  I looked down and it was a huge bloody mass (think round, globular, like an egg yolk except about 5 times as big).  I was pretty convinced that I had just passed my baby. 

I will not begin to try to describe the emotions that I felt.  Suffice it to say, I was numb and shocked and everything else all at once.  You would think having gone through this twice would have prepared me, but no such luck. 

I did at least have the presence of mind to run to the kitchen, get a baggie and a spoon and fish  out the ‘specimen’.  When I got to it to the freezer, I had the Sophie’s choice of where to put it – on the ice cream? on the Omaha steaks? If I had been in any other situation, I probably would have found this hysterical.  But, not this time.

I called Dr. Salsa’s office and told them what I thought had happened.  I then called Mr. X and had him turn right around from driving to work and come home.  Dr. Salsa called back and told us to meet him at the office at 2.  We had an hour to wait to see him.  I cried with Mr. X – I mean I bawled.  I sent an email to my parents.  I needed all the support I could get.  And, I cycled through all of the plans that would likely need to be made.

Finally, we left to see Dr. Salsa with our precious cargo in a little white styrofoam container.  We didn’t speak on the 10 minute drive over. We had already said what needed to be said. Thankfully, there were no patients at the office and we were able to get into the room immediately.  I placed the styrofoam container on the desk and got undressed.  And, we waited.  For some unknown and frankly unfathomable reason, they had Kenny G piping through the speakers.


Dr. Salsa peeked at the specimen and said it actually looked like a clot. Funny, the thing was ginormous – easily the size of my fist – and I could have sworn I saw a little baby in it, but I thought I’ll let the man have his delusion. I know

In went the dildo cam and I mentally prepared myself to see a vacant uterus.  What I wasn’t prepared for was what we actually saw:

The Little Bugger.  Still there, still going strong, heart still beating.  OMFG, I bawled right there – do you know how uncomfortable it is to cry big heaving sobs with a wand up your snatch? I don’t recommend it. But, I was just so relieved that I just started crying.  Heart rate was 177, and we saw the unbilical cord complete with the blood flow looking like a giant highway with cars going back and forth on it.

Turns out what I passed was just a clot – in fact it was the clot that had started the original bleeding before.  This would explain the absolute lack of cramping and pain in the passing. 

And, once I had settled down and realized that all was, in fact, still well, I could not help but think that any music other than Kenny G would have been far more appropriate for this moment. This moment of the utter joy of relief.

Scare Tactics

Or, when good trips to the bathroom go bad.

I can easily count on both hands the number of times that a trip to the  bathroom has scared the beejezus out of me – and I am not including the large spider in the West Virginia outhouse or the no other option use of a port-a-potty.  I mean where what you find in the bowl is not what you thought would be there.

JanesdeadFor a lady in a family way, that usually means one thing: bright red blood.  And, I had it.

Last night around 7, after a quick trip to the grocery store, I went to the potty for a respite before making dinner.  I wasn’t really paying attention until I wiped and the previously pristinely white tissue had taken on an alarming shade of bright red.  But wait, there’s more!  A nice pool in the bowl as well.  Gives new meaning to the phrase blood in the water.

So, I quickly hurry out and tell Mr. X of the latest development in five words or less (“I’m having red!”) and we pow-wow on what to do.  I really did not want to go to the ER.  I’d had a terrible experience there the first time I was pregnant and while bright red bleeding is certainly not a great thing, I had no cramping.  I decided instead to contact Dr. Salsa who advised that if the bleeding was heavier than a period, then do not pass go, go directly to the ER.  If not, we could see him the next morning at 7am.  Have I told you how much I love my RE?

Anyway, having 20 years of menstrual experience behind me, I could tell very quickly that this was not heavier than a period and elected to stay put.  The bleeding came and went which was just awful because you get lulled into thinking that the worst is over and then the worst starts all over again.  The good news was that it wasn’t getting heavier and I still had no cramping.

alice-palaceThis morning, I put off going to the bathroom as long as I possibly could and finally couldn’t stand it any longer. Sure enough, still bleeding.  We headed out at 6:30 am and Dr. Salsa saw us first thing. 

After a very uncomfortable encounter with the speculum, he declared that it was true blood – to which I wanted to respond, as opposed to fake blood?  But, I kept my mouth shut and deduced that he meant as opposed to menstrual blood.  And, it was definitely coming from the cervix. 

Out came the speculum (thank God!) and in went the dildo cam and there was the little bugger, apparently oblivious to the commotion going on around it.  I could have sworn that I saw it wiggling, but Mr. X thinks it might have been the camera angle.  Either way, the heart was beating away.  Dr. Salsa also found the source of the bleed: a blood vessel outside of the uterus had likely been broken by the overly aggressive tentacles of the growing placenta, which he – no kidding – likened to a tumor.  This of course required me to say in my best Ahnold voice, “It’s not a tuh-muh!” 

Dr. Salsa declared that he was not concerned, particularly since my cervix was shut tighter than the credit markets.  Still, I’m on somewhat modified duty on a wait-and-see basis.  Today’s highlights have been little to no cramping and brown spotting/bleeding.  I’m learning the hard way that when it comes to me and the big P, there is never a dull moment.

Also, I had planned on posting a lovely little entry yesterday since yesterday was our bi-weekly check up appointment at 9w4d or 9w6d, depending upon who’s method you use.  Everything looked good – heartbeat was 180, measurement was at 9w5d and we saw little arm and leg buds.   We’ve never made it this far before – with the first, the baby died at 9w2d and with the second, it didn’t make it past 8w6d.  So, it was quite the milestone and while it is not the same as an all clear, we savored it nonetheless.  Needless to say, this has been tempered a bit by last night’s fireworks.  While we’ve made it farther than ever, we were reminded that we’re not out of the danger zone.

images: Janesdead, alice-palace