Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Roller Coaster

This is a post that I had not intended to write today. I had already planned what I would write, a completely different one, but I wanted to wait until after my doctor's appointment on Wednesday.

Sunday morning, I was spotting. It was really faint and brown and was only there when I would wipe after I peed. I checked Google of course, and decided that it was normal. No big deal. But as the morning wore on, I started feeling uneasy. I didn't spot at all in my pregnancy with Nate, and since I was considered high risk with this one, we decided to go to the ER.

At the ER, they tested my beta levels and (hours later) I was given an ultrasound. I was taken down to ultrasound on a gurney and put in a room next to a screaming two-year-old. The ultrasound tech gave me a regular ultrasound and not liking the results from that one, she switched to the dildo cam. She dug around in there for awhile, talking to herself, then she started measuring a large black spot. I squinted at the screen, trying to see what kind of measurements she was taking. Was she measuring one of my ovaries? No, it was of the place where the little embryo was supposed to be. It was empty, and I knew right away--it was a blighted ovum. Oh shit.

So, back in the exam room, waiting for the stupid doctor, I'm laying on the gurney in tears. Finally the doctor returns after my ultrasound had been reviewed and blood tests were ready. He says to me, "What's with the tears? Do you know something that I don't?" and then he gets serious--"I'm very worried about this pregnancy." I put my hands over my face and start to sob. Why in hell did I think that the universe was going to cut us a break this time? The doctor went on to explain that it looked like a blighted ovum (duh) but he couldn't figure out why my beta levels were so high. So, I was told to go in for another beta on Tuesday, another ultrasound in a week, was given a RhoGam shot in my butt and sent home.

We decided that we wouldn't tell anyone about this right away, only family and close friends (and internet friends!) knew about this pregnancy anyway. We'd wait until after what was supposed to be my first OB appointment on Wednesday, where I had an ultrasound already scheduled. When we had a clearer explanation, we'd tell everyone. And I'm kicking myself for opening my mouth so early in the first place. I made it to Monday morning and I had to talk to my mom. She spread the word with a few family members, and I figured that we'd break the bad news to everyone else on Wednesday

The rest of Sunday, Monday and Tuesday were weird. I went back and forth between feeling sad and then pissed off and then peaceful about it. On Tuesday, after I had gone back for my second beta, I struggled with extreme guilt about the death of my son and blaming myself for my abruption. I obsessed with how close I was to having my little boy. My pregnancy was perfect until that last 15 minutes. I was pissed off that I even had to be pregnant again--I should have a six and a half month old and way too busy to even think about being pregnant. I felt almost as dark on Tuesday as I did in those first few days after Nate died, those days where I don't even remember seeing things in color. I remember them in black and white. I knew one thing for sure, though--I wasn't going to get my hopes up. No more disappointments! I knew that there was an weird, empty sac inside of me, and now all I could do was to sit around and wait to miscarry. Lovely.

Wednesday morning came, and I was dreading my appointment. The last thing that I wanted to do was to get another ultrasound and see that little nothing inside of me. The last time I had been inside my OB's ultrasound room was under much happier circumstances. It was when we found out that I was having a b-o-y. How cool. The ultrasound tech asked me why I went to the ER. I told her that it was a possible blighted ovum and went into the bathroom to to get ready for another transvaginal ultrasound. Up on the table, feet in the stirrups, in goes the dildo cam and then...a heartbeat. I saw what I had been looking so desperately for on Sunday. Instead of the empty black hole, I see the little strobe light. Oh God. The tech said, "There it is! That's a viable pregnancy." We were in shock, and couldn't say anything except, "Are you sure?! are you sure?!" Of course we asked what the deal was on Sunday. She just said, "Never get an OB ultrasound in the ER." I was completely stunned. Five minutes ago I wasn't pregnant--I was planning to have a glass or four of wine when I got home and clean out the cat box. Now I was. My brain is still trying to get around this one.

After the ultrasound, it was business as usual. I met my new doctor and I love him. More on that later, probably.

Oh man, I can't believe this.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


I had my first doctor's appointment last Friday. Well, it really wasn't with the doctor, it was that first appointment when they tell you what your insurance covers, the nurse does the history write-up, and then they take 12 ginormous vials of blood our of your arm.

I called the office as soon as I got the postive test, and when I requested an appointment with my own OB, I was informed that he retired. Just that week actually. They were in the process of distributing his patients to the other doctors in the practice, so I requested the doctor who did my emergency c-section. It turns out that he's the high-risk specialist, so that's good. And it's probably good that I'm going with a new doctor, too. I know that my doctor had nothing to do with what happened, but still. I don't know.

Tom went with me to the appointment, thank God. I almost wish that I had picked an entirely different practice, so I wouldn't have to sit in that same waiting room, but it feels a little better now than it did at my post-partum exams. Most of the time was spent waiting in the lab anyway. Another much more pregnant chick was waiting there too, just having had her "big" ultrasound (it was a boy). She was chatty--"Is this your first?" she asks. "No", I say, secretly daring her to ask for more details. I don't know why. I think that she was just getting on my nerves, and I wanted to shut her up. Instead she asked if my Crocs were comfortable. So that makes me think--I'm not going to spend this pregnancy fiendishly scaring other pregnant woman with my story, am I? Because that's just mean. And kinda sick. I'll have to keep an eye on that.

Tom wanted to know if women are always that chatty in this place. (Small talk from strangers annoys the hell out of him.) I tell him yes, they always are. Women use this one common denominator as the reason to ask a million questions. He said that it was like being on vacation again--Where are you from? What do you do? Is this your first cruise? Yeah, it's totally like that.

The meeting with the nurse was laid back and brief. Of course the only difficult part was when she asked how many pregnancies I've had and how many resulted in a live birth. And I had to say that the pregnancy lasted for 40 weeks but no, he wasn't stillborn but brain dead, and he was on life support for four days.

I wish that I knew what the "plan" was going to be. I think that I would just feel a little more at ease if I did, but I won't know that until I meet with Dr. W on the 23rd. The good news is that I'll get an ultrasound at that first appointment. I think that's already a positive sign of things to come. I didn't get my first ultrasound with Nate until 19 weeks, and the nurse told me that I would have lots of ultrasounds with Dr. W, which makes me feel better already.

So--I've had the stomach flu for the past two days. I wish that I could write something more profound--I've got lots of profound thoughts swirling around in my head--but I should probably go have some toast. Ugh.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

There are do-overs in this game, right?

Okay, so here I am again. I think. It's still so freaking early--my feet just hit the floor, as my mom would say--so anything could happen. I've been trying to get my brain around this for several days, being hopeful and detatched at the same time.

I had taken a test last Saturday (fair pie day, actually) and there was a super faint pink line. I waited until Monday, Nate's six month birthday, to take another and it turned positive quickly. Kind of a neat coincidence, I thought. Made the day easier, that's for sure.

So, I'm really battling with how to feel right now. I think that "cautiously excited" would be a good term to use. Things are so different now, I'm not doing the same things that I was last time at approximately six weeks. (Other than sitting here in a cloud of semi-nausea.) At six weeks last time, I had already hit Barnes & Noble to buy a stack of baby books. We went there the other night, and I headed straight to the knitting books. I had no desire to peruse the baby aisle, and I don't know why. I think that it just made me sad--we had spent a lot happy moments reading the back covers of books, Tom having to lug me off of the floor because I had gotten too big to haul my ass off the floor by myself. And the last time we were there, we were two pale, swollen-eyed new parents reading the backs of different books--The Bereaved Parent and On Death and Dying. So anyway, I left Barnes and Noble the other night with Knitting Rules. (She has a good section on socks, and I've constantly been knitting mine wrong side out.)

Things just feel so strange this time. I'm not joining one of those Due Date Clubs this time, that's for sure. I hunted a couple out yesterday, and I just couldn't do it. I started running across too many women that had January/February 2006 babies, and were pregnant again. Or just the first-time preggos, bubbling over with excitement. Or the chick that was bitching that she almost had to have a c-section last time. (That must have been so traumatic for you, sweetie. Gosh.)

I just read what I have written, and it sounds so negative. I don't mean that at all. I'm so thankful, it's everything I want to have a baby to bring home. And while I'm a little freaked out, I also feel a little more peaceful at the same time. This is my analysis of myself: six months of grieving my son has instilled in me such a fear of running across all things baby, that I can't, even though pregnant, bring myself to look at books. Either that or I've read all those books, and I already know all that crap. But I think that my theory still holds water for seeing/talking to pregnant women and people with babies.

People might be wondering if I got pregnant on our trip. We're pretty sure that it happened on the last day of our trip, in London. So in keeping with the theme, Baby Spice might work, but I think I'll call the zygote Chip. That's what I ate for dinner that night. (With fish, of course.)

So, little Chip, hang in there. If we can both make it to the end, everything is going to be okay.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Friday, August 04, 2006


I guess that my boobs really did hurt.

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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Lala vs.The Old Ladies

"Hey Laura, what'd you do this weekend?" I baked six freakin' pies for the fair. I do this to myself every year. In addition to pies, I also entered a chocolate cake, brownies and cinnamon rolls. I'm entirely too competitive. I get myself all worked up like a madwoman, foaming at the mouth, trying to find THE recipe that will kick the asses of little old ladies from all over the county. Never mind that they've been baking for like, 75 years, and their recipes are probably handed down from their mother's mother. Never mind that I've been baking for like, 3 years, and I haven't even tried half the recipes that I entered. In hindsight, that was a very bad idea. My apple pie was truly vile. And of course I don't know this until after the pie is judged. (It was the recipe for the winning apple pie in the American Pie Council cookoff--why even test it? It had to be good!)

My main objective in the pie bake-off is the beat that one woman. The One Who Cannot Be Beat. Her name is Nancy and she strikes fear into the heart of every exhibitor in the pie and cake category. No one can beat this woman and it's becoming ridiculous. But I had a secret weapon this year--her pie crust recipe! Bwhahahahahaha!! I used to work with Nancy at the music store before she retired. She's just the nicest lady ever and very generous with her recipes. I had never used her crust recipe before because I thought that it would be cheating, but this year I was taking no prisoners, by God!

Well, it turned out that it didn't matter anyway. Once again, Nancy smote all of us. It got to the point that people just stopped clapping when the judges would announce Nancy's first place pie. One woman just got up and left. Now, it would sound like we are a bunch of sour grapes and maybe we just need to learn to bake more proficiently. Yes, perhaps. However, the judges are the same obese, roly-poly, ex-home-ec teachers every year and know Nancy's pies! Once after taking a bite they said, "We know whose this is," in a sing-songy voice. Last year they opened up the whole competition with a five-minute monologue on how great Nancy is and how wonderful her pies are! Bullshit!! Foul, foul, foul!!!

So, you know what? I'm going to practice and feed my family pie all year, and then I'm going all the way to the top, baby. That's right--the Missouri State Fair. I demand justice!

Oh, here are the final results:
Chocolate Cake-3rd place
Brownies-3rd place
Cinnamon Rolls-2nd place
Peach Pie-2nd place
Blackberry Pie-3rd place
Blueberry Pie-3rd place

I was a little lonely baking this year, thinking about who should have been my bakin' buddy. I was about 10 or 12 weeks pregnant at the fair last year, and of course I was thinking ahead to how different it would be the next year.
Yesterday was Nate's six month birthday. Six months is such a cute age for a baby, and they change so much from when they are just born. It's so hard for me to imagine what he might look like now. Hmm..
Hey, Good News! I heard that Milo entered the world this morning! Congrats to Justin and Laura!!