Monday, December 28, 2009

perhaps I spoke too soon

It's like a law of the internet that once you commit something to type on said internets, whatever you just said about whatever is going on in your life will be proven false.

Spagett has hit a growth spurt, or found a mighty appetite, because my breasts have not had a break in almost a week. This kid is just eating and eating and eating. Up every hour during the night, nursing for an hour at a time, and my wagon is draggin'. He pukes like Old Faithful after almost every feeding, too, which has me worried he's got reflux or something. I don't understand how you can eat until you puke, and then lie there and insist you want to eat more. I DON'T UNDERSTAND.

He refuses to sleep in his bassinet, to make matters worse. He could be dead asleep, having not even awakened during his burping, and the moment I lay him down in his co-sleeper bassinet, he's wide awake. He sleeps on the couch, in my bed, in his swing, in his carseat, on my chest, in my arms... everywhere but where I want him to. I don't understand that, either. But for now, I've given up that particular battle: he wants to sleep on my chest, and I just want to SLEEP, so that was a quick resolution to that.

It has to get better soon, or I'm going to lose my mind.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Spagett!

So it's been quite an eventful month. Partly. The half where I was on bedrest sucked, but it afforded me lots of time to watch tv and sleep, two activities that I no longer seem to have time for.

Talking to my mother a few weeks ago, she swore that I'd have the baby on the 2nd of December, which was also the date I'd pegged simply because I'd gone into preterm labor on the full moon, and so I just picked the date of the next full moon... December 2nd. Just as a joke, mind you.

HAR HAR, my water broke without warning on the night of the 2nd. And I mean totally without warning: I'd felt fine all day, went to bed as usual and after half an hour of lying there attempting to sleep, there was this feeling like a water balloon popping deep inside and OMGFLOOD. It was gross. Sid was more freaked out than I was, I think: I kept having to tell him to just calm down, we had plenty of time to get to the hospital.

So my water broke at 9:30 pm, and that was the official start of my labor. Eight and a half hours later, at 6:11 am, I had Spagett (just a nickname, trust me). A beautiful little boy, 7 pounds 8 ounces and 19 inches long. And would you know it, I didn't have any drugs at all? His delivery was all natural, every last bit of it, and YES RIOT, I screamed. Holy shit, you try pushing a melon out of your asshole, I bet you'll scream, too. I tore and needed stitches, I think I earned the right to holler a little bit.

As far as babies go, Spagett is a joy. He rarely cries, and when he does, it's just because he wants to eat. And this kid is an eater! I feel like he's on my tits all day long. He sleeps well at night, sometimes for as long as three or four hours at a stretch. And he's a perfect meld of me and Sid: my eyes, Sid's skin, my nose, Sid's hair... Sid's family insists he looks like Sid, and my family swears he looks like me. He looks like Spagett.

And of course, I think he is perfect.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

DRAMA! or How To Keep Up A Winning Streak, by starky

Over the weekend, I got a sub from Publix. An italian sub, with DELI MEAT, OMG. DON'T YOU KNOW YOU'LL GIVE YOUR BABY LISTERIA AND HE'LL DIE?! To which I say, I knew the risks, and it was a chance I took, knowing I have better odds of being struck by lightning or winning the lottery than I do of contracting listeria from a fucking deli sub and potentially killing my resident fetus.

Anyway, Monday rolls around and Spagett is not his or her usual kicky, active self. And then I thought, well, you know, maybe I did kill my kid with listeria. And then I started getting menstrual-like cramps low down in my belly, and that plus the other thing had me rolling to the hospital.

IT WASN'T LISTERIA. IT WAS PRE-TERM LABOR!

They put me in an observation room with a monitor for Spagett's heartbeat, and a monitor to check for contractions. Yeah, apparently I was having contractions, and couldn't even feel the bitches except for a tightening in my guts. It wasn't painful. It wasn't what I expected. And when they took my blood pressure, HOLY CRAP. It was through the fucking roof. I mean like 160/100 and then the labor and delivery doctors came in and said "we're going to keep you under observation for a few hours to make sure you're not dilating and that your blood pressure goes back down."

I was promptly whisked away to a more private room where three doctors proceeded to do things to my vagina that my own husband would balk at. I had swabs inside my bagina, hands in my vagoo! Turns out my cervix was beginning to thin out and dilate. LIKE IT SHOULD WHEN YOU'RE IN LABOR, NOT AT 33 WEEKS! Also, no one, no woman ever prepared me for how motherfucking PAINFUL a pelvic exam is. LADIES, YOU FAILED ME. There was so much pain and pressure when they jammed their hands in there that if I had had to go #1 or even #2, it would have all flown out. All over the doctor with his arm buried to the wrist in my flippy flaps, and in my opinion, what he was doing was bad, but not bad enough to warrant that kind of punishment.

Anyway, two hours later, my blood pressure was still high, and another pelvic revealed further cervical thinning and dilation. Also, one of the swab tests they'd done showed the presence of a protein called fetal fibronectin, which is a pretty good indicator that the bun in your oven is not staying there much longer, no matter how underdone it may be. And also those contractions never went away, and were in fact still coming pretty regularly, and also still very NOT PAINFUL.

They started giving me a drug called Procardia, which is primarily used for angina pain, but it also works really really well at lowering blood pressure and stopping contractions (who ever figured that out?). It did what it was supposed to, and I was admitted. Also, I got buttshots, aka STEROIDS.

Because steroids accelerate fetal lung development. And the doctors were/are convinced Spagett is not going to be a Christmas baby after all. More like a Thanksgiving baby, if everything goes well.

The hospital is a noisy place, even at night, and I am a light sleeper, so it was no surprise to me when I could not sleep a wink all night in that place. Between the blood pressure checks every fifteen minutes, to the alarms beeping on my monitors, to the fact that I had to get up and unhook myself from the monitors every time I needed to use the toilet... I didn't sleep.

I had butt shots, hands in my vagoo, ANOTHER TWENTY FOUR HOUR URINE COLLECTION TEST, monitors on stomach and arm and finger continuously for over 24 hours, an IV that kept getting tangled up in EVERYTHING, and no sleep for an eight months pregnant woman in over 36 hours, and the part that finally made me cry was when they discharged me with a big bottle of Procardia and ordered my ass on bedrest. I was fine until then! Laughing and joking with the staff up to that point, but once we left the labor and delivery floor, I cried and couldn't stop all the way home.

And then I wanted to cry again when I got home and went potty and instead of clean toilet paper, came back with a big slug looking chunk of brown and red mucous. And I had to call labor and delivery back and ask what I should do if I'd passed my mucous plug. They said "nothing, just relax. Come back in if you start leaking fluid, or you start having contractions again."

So my tired ass went to bed and passed out.

And the funniest part of all this? I DEFINITELY DO NOT HAVE PREECLAMPSIA. The repeat urine test came back with protein level of 7. You must have a level of over 300 for it to be considered preeclampsia. So there is that.

Anyway, I'm at home now. Bedrest is actually not so bad: its a great excuse to just sit around and be lazy all day and get Sid to do things for me. The Procardia really makes me loopy, so I spend a lot of time napping, which is fine with me.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

oh, I saw this one coming...

I had an OB appointment out at the naval base yesterday, met my new midwife, and everything seemed to be going pretty well. My weight gain was spot on, and there were only a few blood tests I needed, simple things like thyroid function and platelets. Nothing major.

But it turns out that my blood pressure is high. Every other appointment I've had, it's been totally normal, 120/60, absolutely textbook perfect. But this time it was 150/90. Yeah. So now I have to go back to the hospital to have a bunch more tests done today to rule out preeclampsia. Oh joy!

Surprisingly enough, I don't really feel worried. Sure, preeclampsia would be bad. Very bad, actually. But that might not be what this is, after all. And before I raise my blood pressure further and stress myself all out to hell, I want to know that I actually have something to freak out about.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

just call me the Bitchy Wizzle Beast

I can't stop peeing.

Seriously.

I wake up every hour and a half during the night to go take the hugest horse pisses, and I can't understand where all this water is coming from. Because I make sure not to drink anything after 6 pm. And yet I'm still up all night having these huge bladder-busting wees. Wizzles so big that it's physically painful to get out of bed and stumble to the bathroom, and then act of voiding pisses off my uterus and gives me braxton-hicks contractions.

Holy shit, that's a huge fucking piss.

Added to the fact that I'm barely sleeping at night with all this peeing, I'm not used to the heat and I am DYING. DYING I SAY. Tired and overheated, that's my Florida Experience so far.

I fucking hate Florida.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

the kind of person I might actually despise

If I met myself on a message board, or even in real life, I think I'd find myself to be exactly the kind of person I claim to hate: one of those people who just get lucky.

Okay, we certainly struggled to get pregnant, but after that? It's been pretty smooth sailing. I haven't gained a ton of weight. There have been no scares with contractions or anything like that. I'm not terribly uncomfortable like a lot of women at seven months. All my bloodwork has been totally normal: no false positives on the AFP screen, no antibodies, no high blood glucose... it's been absolutely by-the book.

And my thyroid has behaved so well! Lots of women with hypothyroidism find that they must increase their medication while pregnant. I've made it to seven months without needing a single dosage change, and beyond that, my TSH has been progressively lower and lower at each check. I started this pregnancy with my TSH fluctuating between about 2 to 2.5, and when it was checked last week, it came back at 0.8. That's great! That's fucking fantastic! I never expected to be one of those rare lucky ones whose thyroid function actually improves: if this improvement continues, I may be able to stop taking meds altogether, and wouldn't that be nice?

Now, where do I get off, being so goddamn lucky? I just about make myself sick. Trust me that I know I could have it a lot worse than I do, and I am so grateful that this has been, all in all, a very easy and fairly enjoyable pregnancy so far (if we conveniently forget the vomiting and heartburn). I wouldn't be surprised if I made up for all this sunshine-and-roses with a heinous labor and delivery.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

a chapter is closing

We've known for quite a while now that we would be moving, but it still doesn't seem real. Of all people, I should probably understand the fundamental concept as well as anyone - after all, I am the one who packed up my books, sorted out the cabinets, and went through all my clothes. I am the one who started preparing for the move! I should know we're moving! But every time I see a calendar, it hits me like a fist. The movers are coming next week. Holy shit, we are really going to leave this house behind.

Part of me is ready to make the change. This house is old, poorly insulated, and I'm fairly sure that the roof needs replacing. It leaks in the attic during rainstorms, and the toilet clogs on absolutely nothing. The bathroom sink drains at a snail's pace, and stubbornly refuses to change no matter what we do. During the winter, it never gets above 65 degrees in the living room, and that is the warmest room of the house. In the spring, slugs find their way in here from somewhere, and we find dried out slug corpses on the rugs. The cabinet doors don't close all the way, and if they do, they never STAY closed. And did I mention the transient ant colonies that terrorized us for two years straight? Yeah, that was a barrel of laughs. And now the roaming gangs of box elders that have not only taken over our house, but the entire neighborhood? Oh, and I can't forget the big trees that make autumn such a chore: you can't get away with raking once or twice, oh no, you need to be out there every weekend.

In short, this house...can be a huge pain in the ass.

And yet this is the house Sid and I have lived in for almost five years. This is the first place we shared together. This is where we learned to be a couple, after two years of dating long-distance. This is where we laughed and cried and argued and built our life together. I will be sad to leave that part of our history behind.

But at the same time, I remind myself I won't be leaving it behind at all. Because every time I think of all the important moments of our lives in our years here, I will think of this house. When I remember waiting for Sid to come home from work so I could show him the positive pregnancy test in my pocket, I will recall standing on the porch in the late afternoon sunlight of early spring. I can't think of the butterflies in my stomach without remembering how cold the painted boards on that porch were against my bare feet. When I think of the times Sid went out on deployment, or was sent out during emergencies, I can't help but be reminded of how we said our goodbyes in the kitchen, and a room that was normally full of life suddenly felt so bleak and empty after he left.

I think, overall, I am looking forward to the move, because it will signify a new chapter in our lives: in the old house, we needed to learn how to function as a pair, and in the new house, we'll have to learn how to function as a family.

Monday, August 31, 2009

clutter

We moved into Manson Homestead in January of 2005, though the nickname came much later. We brought just ourselves and two cats, and what little furniture we had (a bed and a sofa) arrived almost a full week after we did. We started out here with nothing, literally nothing. Now we've been here for a pretty decent four and a half years, and along the way we've managed to accumulate another cat and a houseful of possessions. I am continually shocked at how much CLUTTER we managed to make in that time, how DIRTY the undersink cabinets got when I wasn't looking. And where the fuck did all these fucking cat hair tumbleweeds come from?

We'd decided we were going to move ourselves. We were going to pack up everything on our own and move it with help from friends and family. And then after a couple of days where I spent all my time lifting and bending and crouching and cleaning and packing, I ended up having some ugly menstrual-type cramps (and some bleeding, but I think that was from something else), and we threw in the towel. The Navy is going to move us. The Navy is going to hire professional movers to come in and pack all our stuff, move it all and unpack it at our new house.

This means Sid and I are left doing damage control. Because I know they aren't going to scrub the doorframes, or the cabinets, or the baseboards, or anything like that. And our landlady was cool with us not repainting before we left, so long as we cleaned up before we left. And that was kind of a given! What were we going to do, leave our dirty finger marks on the white paint for someone else to scrub?

So I've been trying to pace myself and do a little bit each day. My task for the past week has been cleaning out all the cabinets in the house. And noodly FSM, you'd never freaking BELIEVE the sheer amount of CRAP that got stashed in our cabinets simply because we didn't know where else to put the shit. Grocery bags and caulking guns and a showerhead and old license plates and a soggy box of industrial staples... just to name a few. I'm in awe at how much we packed into those small spaces. I feel like such a goddamn packrat.

Monday, August 24, 2009

home sweet home

Staying with Sid's dad and grandmother was an exercise in patience and tongue-biting, and it would be an understatement to say I am glad to be home. I am fucking relieved to be home. It was just one thing after another while we were there, and I was on my last nerve due to all the traveling and lack of sleep... so yeah. It was interesting, to say the least.

Elder Manson started in on his "well, I guess I have to take back the baseball bat and the cleats and the glove..." and I cut him down in a cold minute. "That's awfully mean, why can't a girl use those things?" And he hemmed and hawed and tried to feed me a lame line of bullshit about boys and girls sizing being different. Close, but no cigar, Elder Manson! Try again!

And then we found out that Grandmother, Eldest Manson, has failed her drivers test and continues to drive. Blind in one eye and hardly able to get about under her own steam, this woman is still plonking herself down behind the wheel to operate a vehicle. I am staying far, far away from that one.

And then the water was terribly hard and dried out my skin and caused such a pizza-faced breakout that I was afraid to look in the mirror. Nothing like walking around with a bad case of the zits to really boost yer self-esteem!

And then, and then, and then! We ate off plastic silverware the entire time we were there because someone, I don't know who and I don't care who, simply rinsed off the dirty silverware and stuck that shit back in the drawer. Didn't scrub it with hot water and soap, didn't run it through the dishwasher, just stuck that crusty mess back to be used again. I'm not much of a housekeeper myself, but the overall state of that kitchen was appalling. My kitchen may be cluttered and the porcelain sink may be in dire need of a bleaching, but for fuck's sake, at least it's clean!

I keep telling myself that they mean well, but I can only tolerate the elder Mansons in small doses.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

the lesser of two evils

Remember we were so worried about Sid moving to his next command in November? It is no longer an issue.

Because we're moving in October.

This is hardly much better, because now we must rush to find a house. And a doctor or midwife. Sid is taking two weeks off work for us to go down to Flori-duh and attempt to find these things. It's happening very fast: we only found out on Friday, and this coming Friday, we're starting our househunting trip. We've been trying to get the house in some semblance of order NOW, so that we don't have to worry about it later, but it's hard. We had a lot of clothes to go through, a lot of crap to sift through in the back room where we kept a lot of our clutter.

And we haven't even begun packing yet.

The move itself is going to suck, but we're going to have plenty of help, so it won't be unbearable. Sid's dad (Elder Manson) and my dad (Elder Baldwin - don't even ask) are both going to come to assist. And also, our neighbors here will help, because we helped them move in. And then when we get to Flori-duh, my sister said she'd also come and lend a hand.

So I think we'll be okay. Moving in October, though it puts us on a tight schedule to find a house, is the better alternative in my mind. This way gives us some time to settle in and unpack before Spagett arrives. We wouldn't really have that opportunity if we moved a month later.

As you can tell, I am trying very hard to focus on the silver lining.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

like planning for a hurricane

We got our first batch of Bum Genius one-size diapers last night, and I'm somewhat ashamed to admit that it was exciting. Diapers. Exciting. Yeah, let that process a bit.

It was exciting though. Really! It was our first major baby-related purchase, after all. The first of many. We sat on the bed and examined the snaps and elastic and velcro, compared the pastel colors to the bright ones (the bright pink and blue are both DARLING, but the bright yellow is still my favorite), and discussed how weird it seemed to have to make these kinds of purchases.

"It's like planning for a hurricane," Sid said at one point. "It doesn't feel real." I laughed, but it's true. There is just so much planning to do, so many things that we need, so much that we don't know!

As an aside, I hate that it seems like every time I blog, it's about OMG, BAYBEE! I know it must get old. And I do apologize. But this is the biggest thing happening in my life right now, the topic of discussion for everyone close to us. Spagett has been much awaited by everyone in our family, not just me and Sid, and we are all justifiably excited.

Monday, August 3, 2009

bitching and stuff

Today I was surprised to find that my black maternity pants, which have been slightly too big this whole time I've otherwise been comfortably wearing maternity clothes, finally fit. And it's not because I've bulked up, because I've still not gained much weight (most charts estimate that at 20 weeks, a woman should have gained about ten pounds, give or take a few... I've gained three). My too-big maternity pants aren't fitting now because of weight gain - though I wouldn't mind that! - but because of the gut explosion.

By the way, I'm STILL sick. Not all the time, and definitely not to the point of vomiting, but STILL. And over the weekend, after I'd gone almost a whole month without vomiting, we ate mexican and out of nowhere... OOPS, I HAVE TO PUKE. Oh my FSM, was that ever unpleasant. I am so fucking over this pregnancy bullshit. Just hand me the newborn and lets have done with this!

Sid and I finally agreed on names (we'd had first names picked for a while, but were stumped on middle names), both of which I'm super-excited about (and no, we did not use "Edward"). When Elder Manson heard what we'd settled on a few months ago, he said they "sounded like black names" and I was forced to explain to him that they had their roots in Irish and Old-English. He's going to shit himself when he hears what the middle names are, because they're certainly different.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

gender roles

We chose not find out Spagett's sex for one simple reason: we know that if we find out, the family will glut us with heavily gendered toys and clothes. And we simply don't care for that. We think it is stupid and unnecessary. Babies are fairly genderless little beings, and we as parents, we as guardians and family and even strangers, are the ones who push them into assigned gender roles.

Case in point: Sid's father insinuated last night that we were keeping the sex secret from him for some nefarious purpose, then went on to basically say that he could not buy anything for his grandchild until he knew the sex. Because what if he buys a baseball glove and it turns out we have a girl?

Let me just say that he is incredibly lucky he did not say that to me. As it was, it was said to Sid, who chooses to let that kind of stuff fall by the wayside more often than not.

We have a registry, one that Sid and I put together after much discussion over each individual piece. We deliberately left out "gendered colors" such as blue, purple and pink - even though neither of us harbor any particular qualms about dressing a child of either sex in those colors - because we did not want the family to get ideas and make assumptions. We only put two big-ticket items on the list, and the rest were affordable, inexpensive necessaries, all in gender neutral colors: clothes and towels and socks and burp rags and crib sheets and hats. If you are shopping straight from the registry, Elder Manson, there's no need to say that you can't buy anything simply because you don't know the sex of the child you are shopping for! It smacks of blackmail, quite honestly! We made the registry the way we did so that everyone - yes, even you! - could buy what they chose and could afford. We really did have family in mind, believe it or not!

Before we decided to have a child, Sid and I had many discussions about gender roles. If a son of yours decides he'd like to wear a skirt one day, will you tell him no? I wanted to know. If he wants to play with Barbies, will you tell him he can't? What if we have a child who is intersex? Will you choose their gender, or let them make their own choice? Both of us had lots of questions for the other, and we both had lots to say about what was important to us. And in the end, we were in total agreement. I won't even attempt to lay it all out for you, but it boiled down to this: Whether boy or girl or intersex or whatever, our child would not be forced into society's gender roles. We would never be the ones to say "little boys don't play with dolls" or "little girls don't play sports" and try to dictate who they should be, what role they should play.

We know that once Spagett is born, there will be no avoiding the gendered gifts from family. We know it is unavoidable. We know that we are fighting a battle in which we are clearly outnumbered. But we also know that it is up to us as parents to make sure that Spagett will grow up in a home where it is perfectly safe to be a little bit different. And we can do that!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

belated update

Last week I had the big anatomy ultrasound, where they take all sorts of measurements and make sure that there aren't any gross anatomical defects in the fetus. We got some good pictures, which by now have probably made the rounds to family I didn't know we had, courtesy of Sid's mother. I won't share them all, because that would be obnoxious and boring, but I want to post the one that is my favorite...

Photobucket

I like to compare it to the nine week sonogram, just because there's such a marked difference in the development. You don't have to squint and tilt your head to try and make out the head end from the butt end! It's no longer a little blobby gummy bear creature!

But enough about that, it gets old after a while. I want to put down for posterity the most appalling thing EVER.

Not only is my blood pressure wonky, and oftentimes gets too low and I feel like I'm going to faint dead away, and not only do I have monstrous round ligament pain that is so bad I have been walking around like an old woman... I had to venture outside yesterday for twenty minutes and get bumrushed by mosquitoes. I am not exaggerating when I say I have got at least fifteen or twenty bites on each leg. From the knees down, I'm a throbbing lumpy mess of itchiness. I am in a veritable PANIC: nothing is easing this itch, nothing is helping at all.

As if mad heartburn, wonky blood pressure, and crippling round ligament pain weren't enough... this is the cherry on the shit sundae, let me tell you.

Monday, July 13, 2009

this is freaky and I kind of don't like it

All my life (and I do mean literally "all my life"), eating meat off the bone has been totally beyond me. I can't do it. It makes me gag, ruins my appetite, and is just an all-around icky experience. IT IS TERRIBLY GROSS. It is one of the reasons I decided to just stop eating meat altogether, rather than try to justify my strange meat-eating preferences (NO, I won't eat that, it's got that funny line of fat through it. NO, I won't eat that, look at the blubber along that edge. NO, I wont eat that... and so on and so forth.).

Our neighbors invited us over for dinner this past Saturday, and ribs were on the menu. And surprisingly enough, I said "you know, I liked steak when I never have before, so I'm willing to give ribs a shot" and said I'd be there. And you know what? I LIKED IT.

D:

Yeah. Miss EW I CAN'T EAT IT OFF THE BONE ITS GROSS AND MAKES ME PUKE... ate ribs. And found them delicious.

This is worse than when I started levothyroxine and felt all weird in my own body. This absolutely trumps that whole experience. IT IS WEIRD. And to be honest, it really freaks me out and I kind of wish I could just go back to eating like normal. That will come in time, of course, but I'm impatient.

In better news, I broke down and started taking Zantac 75 for my wicked heartburn and it is HEAVEN. I can eat again! Unfortunately, I only caved and bought the stuff after a day in which my heartburn was so bad, I became violently ill and could not make it to the bathroom in time to hurl up Tums and stomach acid. But...RELIEF. YES. It's awesome.

Monday, July 6, 2009

one track-mind

I don't even know how it got started. We were hanging out with our neighbors down at the mexican restaurant, and got to talking about how we found out we were going to be moving in November (OMFG, SERIOUSLY, NAVY?) and we were trying to get a good idea of what houses we could afford compared to what we wanted, and how long it would take us to find a good one. The conversation turned to financing and mortgages and insurance. And eventually, it turned to houseboats.

My ears pricked up. Houseboats have always fascinated me, and when I was little, I sort of really wanted to own one. I love boats, love the water and I adore the idea of combining those two in my very own living space. I didn't mention this to Sid, but apparently he fell in love with the idea, as well. He is constantly online looking at boats (as am I, if I might be honest), and it dominates most of our conversations.

Because now we are weighing the pros and cons of living in a houseboat. We're still in the research phase, where we are emailing the naval base we're moving to, and asking about dockside fees and hurricane evacuations and all that lovely stuff. Because HELLO, we're moving to Florida, we are going to face a hurricane sooner or later!

Right now, though, a houseboat is still looking like a viable alternative for us. We've already found things we aren't going to like so much (such as lack of storage space) and things we are going to LOVE (such as the ease of simply moving our entire house to the next naval base, rather than dealing with the stress of packing and finding a new place).

I won't be terribly upset if this doesn't pan out. But if it does? HOLY SHIT. I think I will have to invite every one of my friends out to my place for a mini-vacation.

Monday, June 29, 2009

"honeymoon phase" my ass

It's been said, in numerous places around the internet and in books, that the second trimester is the "honeymoon phase" of pregnancy. You are not ill from morning sickness anymore, and you are not yet so huge that everything sucks.

IT IS A LIE.

At least I'm not throwing up anymore. I keep telling myself that. At least I'm not throwing up! But my stomach still often feels like I've swallowed acid. I get to feeling like if I puke, it will just be gallons of lemon juice. Nothing makes it better. Except eating. Sometimes, if I can force myself to choke down something, it helps. But not always. It's a bit of a crapshoot.

There is still so much that I used to enjoy that I still can't imagine eating. Former staples of my diet, which leaves me bereft: cereal, pizza, spaghetti. Cheese. For FSM's sake, CHEESE. But you know what I do like? STEAK. Seriously. Even though I have never enjoyed it in my life, and have spent the last ten years of my life avoiding most animal flesh, I now like steak.

In my own head, if not out loud, I've begun referring to Spagett the Alien Fetus as a "parasitic meatetarian".

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

in which I eat crow

For all the complaining I did about maternity clothes, I got mine in the mail today and I find I must eat crow. The jeans - which I bitched only came in one light colored denim, low rise - are actually really cute and fit great. They fit a damn sight better than my regular jeans with the button and zipper undone!

And the shirts, which I bitched came in funny colors - and I nerved myself up to buy one in a funny color - were actually a lot more muted than I expected. Instead of dayglo aqua, it's a deeper teal color, still bright but not glaring. The other shirts in boring black or white also fit beautifully, and I could get away with wearing them now, as the drapey material is quite flattering to my beer gut.

So I was expecting to be disappointed, and instead, I find myself pleasantly surprised.

Also, it appears that the military has freed up some money and we may be moving in August as originally planned. So that is excellent news, but as always, we'll have to wait and see.

Monday, June 22, 2009

ah, military life...

Sid was supposed to receive his new orders in July, and we would move to his next command in August. I would be five months pregnant. No harm done. Buuut... the military ran out of money for the fiscal year and froze orders. Which means we know where Sid is headed next, but they will not send him there until November.

November. I will be eight months pregnant by then, near- if not already at - full term. My doctors (I rotate between two obstetricians and a midwife) have all agreed this is a shitty time to have to move to a new state. They have written notes to Sid's detailer explaining that I cannot move after 36 weeks gestation (because what if I have the kid on the road?), and require a three month recovery period afterward, in an attempt to get the military to keep us in one spot long enough for Spagett to get here and for him/her to get a few necessary vaccines in before we haul up and leave (and also, FSM forbid, I have to heal up from a cesarean).

The Powers That Be have taken the notes, read them, lost them for a bit, and finally said, "meh." They've said they can't make any promises. They've said that Sid might have to move to his next command and leave me behind to have Spagett (they can't actually get away with this, and they know that we know it is more of an empty threat than anything else).

The damage is done, and Sid is kermitflailing. I'm of the opinion that there's very little we have control over in this situation, and whatever happens, we'll make the best of it because we have no choice. I, like the military, say "meh" while Sid goes "WHARRGARBL."

This could all very well work out great for us, and in the end, we might get Sid's commanding officer to pull a few strings and keep us at this command until March, just like my doctors would prefer. Also, it might work out very badly, with us packing up and moving and stopping on the drive down to our new home to have Spagett at some podunk hospital. Right now, we just have to wait and see.

Don't you just fucking love military life?

Monday, June 15, 2009

apparently "knocked up"="no sense of style"

(For all the bitching I'm about to do, I want you to keep in mind that I'm just grateful this is even something I get to bitch about at all.)

Maternity clothes suck.

Hell, all clothes suck. Shopping is always such a huge pain in the ass when you don't fit the rail-thin ideal, but instead have a very generously shaped hourglass figure. When your arms and legs are freakishly long compared to normal folk.

Yeah, and it's worse when you're shopping for maternity clothes. Apparently your sense of style goes out the window as you approach whale-like proportions. Apparently when "normal" clothes stop fitting, bitches will take what they can get and color and style be damned.

I have trolled every online maternity store I could find, and either the stuff is ugly and overpriced, or just ugly. Old Navy, for example, has some cute shirts that I'd love to have. IN NORMAL COLORS. Dayglo colors don't look on a pasty cave-creature like me. Dayglo is a bad, bad thing when you are as fair-skinned as I am, because skin that white is downright reflective, okay? DAYGLO IS BAD.

And the jeans. Oh, don't get me started on the jeans. In my size, with a long inseam, there is only one - count 'em, ONE - pair of jeans available at Old Navy. And the other sites I checked were all hideously overpriced: I've never paid $200 for a pair of jeans in my whole life, and I'm not about to start now. (BTW, why is it a "pair" of jeans? I don't get it.)

I suppose I shouldn't be getting this riled up about it, but what the hell am I supposed to do when I absolutely cannot fit my regular clothes anymore? I'm rapidly approaching that point: the gut is noticeably more prominent, and my jeans stopped buttoning - and zipping - two weeks ago (thank FSM for Belly Bands). There are only a few shirts that I wear anymore on account of the gut, as the rest are so clingy and skintight I loathe the thought of peeling the fuckers off at the end of the day. Because right now? I don't look pregnant. I just look like I'm sporting a very fine specimen of beer gut.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

gag me...with anything

I had a couple really bad days in the week leading up to our trip to Florida, days which had me hanging over the toilet and retching so hard that vomity toilet water would splash up into my face. So I was expecting the trip down to be hell. Sid and I were fully prepared for lots and lots of hurling. And there was none. On the drive down, I was fine. During our week-long stay at his father's house, I was fine (okay, so there was one iffy moment where I actually hung over the toilet expecting to spew my guts up, but nothing happened). On the drive back, I felt a little gross, but it was nothing like the way I'd felt previously.

And then we got back home. And the very next day, surprise surprise, I'm back hanging out with my old friend Mr Potty. I don't know if it's something about the air in this house, or the fact that cooking dinner is a surefire way to make me retch, but everything is conspiring to make sure that from the moment I wake up in the morning to the moment I fall asleep at night, it is a battle to keep from sharing the contents of my stomach with the crapper.

Looking on the bright side, lots of women say that their "morning sickness" (HA, I say) becomes much more manageable and/or disappears completely around week fourteen. If I've been putting up with this for six weeks now, another two won't kill me. It'll suck, but it won't kill me.

But in the meantime, I think I'll just stick close to the bathroom.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

a shortie

It's lucky for you I'm a nice drunk.

---Sid, somewhat blearily, after a dinner with friends in which he drank two of the hugest mugs (32 oz.) of beer I've ever seen.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

internet, meet Spagett

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Sid came with me to my appointment yesterday, and in hindsight, I'm so glad he did. I wasn't expecting to get an ultrasound, but the doctor wanted to do one "for dating purposes". Turns out Spagett is right on schedule, only one whopping day off from the due date I'd been given based on my last menstrual period.

It was surreal. There on the screen was this little stubby thing wiggling around with it's tiny heart just fluttering away right in the middle of it's blobby little body. It was just an image on the screen until I realized holy shit, this tiny alien-headed gummy bear on the screen is growing inside me. Until that moment, this pregnancy had been just an idea, an abstraction. Yes, my body had changed in all kinds of weird ways and intellectually, I knew there was something going on in there, but seeing it made it real.

Afterward, Sid told me, "I thought it looked like Baron Werner √únderbheit."



I think he's got a point.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

who knew...

...that belching could feel so great? Because I hadn't been able to burp for the last couple of weeks without everything in my stomach rising up in my throat. And the past few days have been mercifully free of that phenomenon. I CAN BURP AGAIN, OMG! :D

So yeah, I guess I'm beginning the long, slow crawl back to feeling like a human being again. I have nothing but respect for those women who suffer from hyperemesis gravidarum, because if it were me, honestly, no matter how much I wanted the baby at the end, I'm not sure anything could convince me to continue feeling that awful. Also, I have a massive phobia of throwing up. MASSIVE. I fight that gag reflex to the bitter end, and then I cry. Personally, I am not sure I could handle being that sick for that long.

That friend of mine who was rubbing her pregnancy in my face will be jealous that I'm feeling better, because she's got hyperemesis. I feel bad for it, but on the other hand, the part of me that's not-so-nice says that turnabout is fair play. But I won't stoop that low. I really, really won't. Even though I'd like to.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

NO my fucking cheese goddess

I can't eat cheese. Blasphemy, I know. But thinking about it makes my stomach try to crawl up my throat, so blaspheme I must. Tomatoes also set it off, which means that spaghetti and pizza are officially AWFUL. Damn you stomach, you temperamental bitch! DAMN YOOOOU! KHAAAAAAAN!

Whoever called it "morning sickness" was obviously a lackwit man, because I can't imagine any woman who'd been-there-done-that would call it something so misleading. Because you know what? MY MORNINGS ARE GREAT. I wake up feeling like I didn't sleep at all, but I'm not SICK. No, that sets in later, after I start getting whiffs of stinky things, like that funny phantom smell that stalks me all over the house. Smells like a rancid combo of poo, blood, and rot. I assure you, my house does not smell like any of those things. So unless there's a zombie with hemorrhoids and diarrhea hanging out in the bathroom, there's just no explanation for it.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I keep telling myself...

...I wanted this.

I hoped I would be one of those women who never get morning sickness. Aaannnnd, it turns out... I am not. I am lucky, but not that lucky. A few days before I hit the six week mark, I started feeling nauseated. It has not let up since then.

All I can do is lie on the couch and desperately hope I won't start retching. But the good part? If I eat exactly what I'm craving at the moment, seriously, the nausea goes away. It comes back, sure, but I can snatch a break for a few hours. The drawback is that I have been wanting things that I don't have in the house. Like yesterday: I would have straight up shanked someone if it got me some cream cheese on toast. We had none, and I felt too damn sick to peel myself off the couch and go to the store. Then I wanted salt and vinegar chips. Alas, none to be had.

Thank FSM that today I wanted a fried egg sandwich and I had the makings of one in the fridge. Otherwise I wouldn't be able to sit here and type, I'd just be lying on the floor moaning.

I don't plan on telling the family what's going on until I hit 12 weeks. Unfortunately, I have to make a trip down to see them all for my sister's high school graduation, and if I'm this miserably ill, I won't be able to hide it. Here's hoping I'll luck out and only be sick for a few weeks.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

welcome ICLWers!

I guess an introductory post is in order, huh? Better late than never, right?

I'm Starky (not my real name). I'm 24, turning 25 next month. I grew up in Amish Country, Pennsylvania and I miss it dearly. My husband, Sid, (also not his real name) is 29. We've known each other for almost eight years, and been married for about three and half. Sid is in the Navy, and we both view it as a means to an end, it's not really something that we use to define our lives - he actually hates being called a sailor, just like I hate being referred to as a military wife.

Sid went out on deployment this past year, and when he came back we decided we wanted to start our family. A homecoming baby would be so CUTE, right? Well, it didn't work out the way we'd planned. It turns out that Sid's got low sperm mobility, high viscosity, and low volume. We were told that our best shot at conceiving would be with intrauterine insemination. Sid was not ready to admit defeat, and I spent a lot of time on this blog bitching about it.

We tried to conceive on our own for nine cycles, and I know that's not a lot by some standards, but you ladies know how even one month can feel like an eternity. The time.just.dragged. And then I had this crazy dream that I took a pee test and three lines showed up. One was pink, which meant I was pregnant. One was orange, which meant I was having twins. And the last one was black, which meant that the pregnancy was viable.

Three days later, I took a pee test for shits and giggles, not really expecting to see anything but that one familiar, depressing line. And there were two. It remains to be seen whether the rest of the dream was accurate as well.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

scar stories

Sid and I were watching tv last night when this stupid commercial for some scar lightening cream came on. The woman in the commercial was "so ashamed" of her scars, and this cream was able to make her feel good about herself again. You know, the typical gimmicky line of BS.

Why be ashamed of a scar? Why try to hide it, or lie about it? I don't understand.

My mother got burned pretty badly on her arm about ten years ago, and it got infected, and left a pretty funky scar. It's barely noticeable, but if you know what to look for, it's a patch of slightly lighter, bumpy skin on her forearm. And she was so ashamed of it, it bothered her so much. One day I walked in on her complaining about it, how it was going to "mark her for the rest of her life." And I was gobsmacked. I'd never considered it like that.

When I was four, I fell off a swing and broke my arm. Really badly. We're talking bones sticking out, arm twisted around broke my arm. Where the bones stuck out, where the doctors cut it open to try and repair the damage, I have a pretty spectacular zig-zag scar on my forearm, about five inches long. Stupid people have seen it and asked appropriately stupid questions (DID YOU TRY TO CUT YOUR WRIST?). But I have never been ashamed of it. I don't try to hide it, and therefore, people don't really notice it. It is just part of who I am, and most people will not mention it, indeed, will not even see it until I specifically point it out.

I told my mother that scars were nothing to be ashamed of, that it was merely something that meant we have healed from physical trauma. If anything, we should be proud of our scars, because if you believe they "mark us for life" they mark us as people who have hurt, who have been scared, who bled and cried. They are testaments to pain, and to healing.

She looked at me cockeyed, but she never really complained about her scars again. Maybe she just thought I was crazy.

Friday, April 17, 2009

a rant and some schadenfreude

FYI: You lose weight. You lose a child. You do not loose these things. Loose is another word entirely.

Is it just me, or is this particular misspelling becoming more and more common? It seems like I see it everywhere, and it makes me crazy. I've even seen it misspelled on some poor child's grave marker, which just about made me sick: did no one proof-read that thing before permanently etching it onto this poor dead kid's memorial stone?

I know that some people simply aren't good at spelling, that I am one of the lucky ones that intuitively knows the difference between "effect" and "affect" and never have to think hard about it. The thing I suck at is math. Numbers are like a foreign language to me. I seriously could not grok the concept of making change until I was halfway through the fourth grade, the coins were so totally intimidating. And I still suck at making change, to this day it isn't something that I can easily do in my head.

I accept that limitation. There are probably people who are thinking evil thoughts about my inability to understand numbers, just like I rage against shitty spelling. I accept that, too.

But HOLY SHIT, at least my fail isn't plastered out there everywhere on the internet. Schadenfreude!

Monday, April 13, 2009

and so it begins

Sid is fascinated by my boobs. They just keep inflating. It's alarming, really, because I'm bloated all over anyway, and then there's these huge porn-queen boobies topping it all off and they HURT. And he wants to touch them. SQUEEZE them. Okay, one, my boobs are not squeaky toys. Two, IT FUCKING HURTS.

I've got a doctor's appointment this afternoon, the standard thyroid check, and I made the appointment before I knew there was a sprog in the works. So it should be interesting to tell her and get that particular ball rolling. I'm operating under the assumption that I need a referral from my primary care provider to see a specialist, in this case an obstetrician or certified nurse midwife. I know for sure that I'll need to have my routine thyroid checks done more frequently now. I wonder if she'll finally be amenable to upping my levothyroxine like I wanted her to when I first started trying to conceive?

And in other, weirder, news... I think Sid is having a sympathy pregnancy. Seriously, I've been weeing like a fiend, and having crazy dreams and waking up at all hours of the night, and he's doing the same damn thing. He's eating everything in the house (which I'm NOT doing, but sorely want to!) and conking out on the couch for a nap at precisely the same time I crash and want a snooze. He's even having hormonal hot flashes. It's maddening, because he's complaining so much, and I'm just taking it all in stride and reminding myself that what I'm feeling is A GOOD THING, these symptoms are GOOD THINGS. And Mr Couvade over there is bitching and moaning and complaining he's tired. BITCH BE STEALING MY GLORY.

Friday, April 10, 2009

wow

Every morning this week I've taken a pregnancy test, unable to believe my eyes. I kept thinking that I was dreaming, that I was hallucinating the second pink line that kept growing steadily darker. I thought I've finally cracked.


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This brought it home a little.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

not taking it for granted

The line is darker today. Sid could see it without squinting.

I want so much to believe that this is it, and it will all work out, and nine months from now, we'll have our baby. But I know that it doesn't always work like that. God, do I know it.

I probably won't really believe this until I get a positive on a digital test, until Miss P goes missing, until I get the blood test from my doctor.

But for now, this is the best I could have hoped for. I am not taking it for granted.

Monday, April 6, 2009

confession

Confession: I peed on a stick.

I got good and burned in August, and ever since, I've sworn off early testing. I WOULD NOT TEST UNTIL MISS P WAS A NO-SHOW. At least, that was the plan... Sometimes I'd get impatient, if I'd been having wonky symptoms, something that was not normally a thing I associated with an impending bloodletting. Only that one time, that ONE TIME, did I ever see something that could have passed for a positive test.

Well, now I have another.

I've been feeling...off. Weird lotiony discharge (am I grossing you out, hoor?), major cramping since 5 dpo, you know, the standard, oh, geez, is this finally it? thing. And I wasn't going to use a piss test, no sir, I was not. So when I got up this morning, I DIDN'T USE A PISS TEST. No, that came later on, when I was about to take a shower, and I thought "oh what the hell, I've only got two left anyway, and if this month isn't it, I'm gonna order some OPK strips anyway, might as well just go ahead and get some more pregnancy tests while I'm at it, so why not?" and I PEED ON A STICK.

Five minutes later I came back to check it and there was a faint, faint second pink line. There is no mistaking it. I'm not imagining it, this thing is ghostly faint, BUT IT'S THERE.

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I PEED ON A STICK. AND IT WAS GLORIOUS.

Now I'm just hoping that that little-pink-ghosty-line gets darker.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

a little happy

Sid received his orders yesterday: it looks like we're headed for Flori-duh! Even though I really, really am not looking forward to the palmetto bugs, or the love bugs (FISTSHAKE AT YOU, LOVE BUGS, FISTSHAKE OF DOOM!), or the rabid mosquitoes... I'm very much looking forward to being able to see my sisters pretty much any time I want. That makes up for the bugs, in my mind.

Unfortunately, the re-enlistment bonus we were expecting is not coming. This is a bit of a sticky wicket, but not the end of the world. So yeah, taking it in stride. It could be worse. It could be BETTER, but it could be worse.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

maybe not such a good friend

I've been something of a nonentity online lately. I felt like all I'd be doing when I posted was whine, and bitch, and moan, so I just didn't say anything. There's only so much you can say before you start repeating yourself, right? I felt like a broken record.

Still do.

That friend who was there for me throughout MY EPIC FAIL... well, suddenly she's not seeming like such a great friend. I've mentioned her shenanigans before: now that she's pregnant, it's all she's capable of talking about. And it hurts, oh does it hurt. I told her, I can't even pass the infant department in stores anymore without struggling against tears. So she shows me the crib she's going buy. Seriously, who does that? It's just brutal.

So I'm sitting at my computer, trying to keep it all in because Sid is sitting at his computer right behind me, and she starts sending me a metric shitton of her ultrasound pictures. I downloaded them and put them right in my Recycle Bin, didn't even look at them. She said, "does that look like a girl to you?" and I said I didn't know, rather than tell her I hadn't even given them a glance. She wouldn't have taken the hint anyway.

When she started linking to pictures of the babies born at the hospital she's having her sprog at, saying "they're so ugly, I don't want an ugly baby!" I lost my shit. I told her I had to go and logged off of Yahoo Messenger. For the record, those babies weren't ugly, at least to me. Then again, my expectations throughout this entire clusterfuck have gotten progressively lower and lower: at this point I just want a child to call my own, I don't give a good goddamn what gender it might be, what it looks like, anything like that. It's pathetic and desperate, but she of all people should fucking know what that feels like, considering she's been there her goddamn self.

WHY DO I PUT UP WITH THIS? I keep telling myself that eventually it will be easier, that it cannot possibly hurt this much, and be this difficult, FOREVER. But so far, nothing is getting easier. I still cry every time I talk to her, every damn thing she says cuts right to the quick.

I ranted to Sid about it, and he said he understood, then proceeded to call me a bitch. He was joking, but that showed me that he truly didn't get it at all. As I've said before, sometimes I just want to hear someone close to me tell me I'm NOT crazy, I'm NOT a bitch. I can't talk to anyone about this, only Sid, and even he doesn't get it.

I know this is normal, to feel as though you are the only person in the world who is struggling like this. I know that no matter what I tell myself, or what Sid says, I am not crazy, I am not a bitch, I am not the only woman feeling like she is going to come apart at the fucking seams. But, god, it feels like I am.

Monday, March 16, 2009

because I am a masochist

So, give or take a few weeks, it's been about eight months since Sid and I first started trying for a sprog. EIGHT MONTHS. I realized the other day that a woman I know has gotten pregnant TWICE in the time that Sid and I have been at this. TWICE, I SAY (one blighted ovum that ended in a D&C, and the other she just found out about). And yet for me it's just month after month of failure.

And I know, without doubt, every month when I'm waiting for Miss P, that she's going to show. Because, to use the vernacular, "that's how she do." And yet, every month I get my hopes up and think "maybe this time, THAT'S HOW SHE DON'T!" Yeah, positive thinking changes lives, people. Surely it does. Just not mine. Because I can almost make myself believe it, and then the inevitable happens. And you know what? IT SUCKS.

Sid apologized the other day, and it was funny and heartbreaking all at once. He said, "I'm sorry you have to go through that every month." And I was like "what, the cramps? BITCH, THAT'S NOTHING." Because while I do get the cramps from Hell (I can't even urinate without pain sometimes when it's truly bad), it's nothing compared to the emotional wreckage I'm left with.

And doesn't that sound emo as hell?

Seriously though, emotionally, it's just harder to deal with. I can take a couple Motrin to blunt the physical pain of the cramps. And I can take a long hot bath while I wait for the pills to work. I can't really do that to stop the anger, the sadness, the frustration. There's nothing I have on hand to stop that elastic band that tightens up under my ribs and makes it hard to breathe when I think maybe it's just never going to happen.

I got Miss P this weekend (oh, joy!), and I seriously could not tell you what I did with myself besides piss off Sid. We argued to the point where I just wanted to bust his chops. I wanted to ask him when would enough be enough, when would he finally decide that it's not going to happen to us like it does for other couples? When will he finally throw in the fucking towel and concede defeat? When will it be time to seek outside help? But it's not a discussion I want to have while we're angry. I'm a bitch, but I'm not stupid: Once I'm done fucking around with my menstrual cup, and we've both cooled off (give it a few days on both counts) I'll be ready to initiate that conversation, and I assure you I won't word it like I did here.

I've asked him before, and he said, "yeah, I need to make an appointment for that" and then he never did it. I DON'T WANT TO BE A NAG. I don't want to be the woman who alienates her husband by demanding "GIVE ME A BABY, NOW!" because that shit never turns out well. But for fuck's sake, enough is enough. I want a resolution to this one way or the other.

Monday, March 9, 2009

zombie kitty

The weather was beautiful this weekend: hot enough to make me sweat, sunny enough to give me sunburn. I helped Sid change the oil in our cars, and when we were finished, up came Zombie Kitty.

He was a big old fat thing, all bushy orange fur and light green eyes. Someone loved him: his fur was clean and no stray gets that huge eating out of trashcans. And he looked just like the cat I had for sixteen years. He looked just like Whiskers. And Zombie Kitty ran right up to me like he knew me, meowing and waving his tail, licking my feet and hands to taste the sweat, rubbing all over me. For just one second, I could make myself believe that it was Whiskers.

Sid left to drop off the old oil at the auto parts place down the street and left me sitting in the driveway with this ginger impostor, and the more time I spent with him, the more I realized that he didn't look anything like my Old Man at all. He was smaller, still every bit as fat maybe, but Whiskers was big all over and not just in his belly. Zombie Kitty didn't have the tufts of hair on the tips of his ears like Whiskers did. His eyes weren't quite the same shade of yellow-green as I remembered. The resemblance was uncanny, yes, but not exact.

I was so glad that Sid wasn't around to see me cry. I wasn't sad, exactly, so I don't know what the tears were about, but it was wonderful to be reminded of Whiskers. Sometimes I feel like I'm forgetting him.

And then Gee will do something stupid, like act all brokenhearted because we wouldn't turn on the faucet so he could play in the water, and I'm reminded of the Old Man again. He's a zombie kitty, too, just not in looks.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

monsters

The internet friend who stuck by me through the whole EPIC FAIL thing got pregnant five months ago. I mentioned it before. And she pretty much disappeared after that: we didn't talk anymore: not on IM, not on chatboxes, not through email. I felt like she was avoiding me. I for damn sure was trying to avoid her (at least some of the time) because I just couldn't handle the inevitable talk about her pregnancy.

Turns out, I still can't handle it. It's been five months, and she's recently reached out to me and wanted to initiate conversation again, so I'm trying my best to reciprocate. I want to talk to her. I want to have conversations like we used to. But she gets to talking about her pregnancy, just like I thought she would, and it always ends with me just breaking down. Full on sobbing as I type, barely able to read the words on the screen bawling.

Maybe I'm being too hard on myself, but I feel like this is something I should have moved past by now. I think it's pretty stupid of me to be carrying on this way, but then again, I can't help the way I feel. I don't know if she's doing it intentionally or what, but it's pretty fucking unbearable: I've been shielding her from long rants about my situation, so maybe she could lay off bitching about her backaches for a little bit? Christ, you don't see me telling her all about how SHE'S MAKING ME CRY, after all. Complaining about how the baby is kicking and it hurts, telling me all about how her fiance is being so sweet to her.

That's the worst part, actually. Because the other week as I was cleaning the catboxes, I realized that Sid hadn't helped with that since his first shitty semen analysis. He used to scoop the litterboxes "just in case", because of the risk of toxoplasmosis. Usually it was my chore, but he started doing it without my asking. And then as soon as he realized that it probably was just a waste of his time, that there was no use in doing it "just in case" because there was basically no fucking hope of me being pregnant, it became my chore again.

And that just galls me. It was like I wasn't special anymore, that because there was little hope of me making a baby out of his dudely seed, I lost all esteem in his eyes. He didn't have to kiss ass anymore. I mentioned it to him and he got so angry... so angry.

I hate what this is doing to us, what it's turning us into.

"Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you." - Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

exploring the options

There has been nothing much of note going on lately, nothing which I have felt the need to gripe about here in my safe place. But today I find I have something I want to hash out.

Sid tells me he's considering not staying in the Navy. That when his final year is up in August, he's going to get out and just run like hell. So right now I'm in the weird spot of having to separate what I want from what I want for him, and it's actually pretty difficult. If he stays in, it would be easier in that we would have a reliable paycheck every week, with no worries about getting fired or being laid off. Then again, if he gets out, it would be easier in that we wouldn't have to worry anymore about deployments, money be damned. I am sure that either way, we'll cope.

But. His staying in means that IUI is still an option for us. His getting out takes the possibility of spawning off the table indefinitely. In this, I am not sure I am ready or able to accept that second scenario.

And though I have taken a step back from this situation enough to tell him that I will be on board with whatever he decides, that I'll support him 100% either way, I cannot make myself believe that I will truly be okay with more waiting. But I will not trap him into a job he hates just so that we can be a family. It isn't right, and I won't make him do it. It never ends well, that kind of entrapment. If he stays in, it will be because he chose to, not because I coerced him. And so I had better be ready and able to accept the second scenario.

Obviously, we have not yet talked about it much. We're both still mulling over what we want to say and how we want to approach it.

I know he's not happy in the military, and I am not exactly thrilled at being tagged "a military wife". I know he would like to leave that bullshit behind. And yet we have these perks of military life that will be hard to leave behind: health-care being the main one. Because, hello, I don't pay for my twice-annual bloodwork. I don't pay but $3 for my monthly bottle of pills. I didn't pay for my eye exam or the frames of my glasses (just the lenses). Sid did not pay for his EKG, or his gold toof, or his shittons of various other dental work. Sid didn't pay for his semen analysis, or his eye exam, or his glasses. It was covered by Tricare. And if he gets out, we have no more insurance. I assure you that while we're by no means poor, I don't think we can afford to pay for his constant dental work out-of-pocket, AND consistently foot the bill for my bloodwork. I think we will be royally screwed!

These are all things I'm sure he's thinking as well. And yet if he's willing to take that risk, then so am I. It might turn out great in the end. And it might not. Like so much of our lives right now, it's a total crapshoot.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I am THAT woman

The other day, I started researching adoption, foster care programs. And Sid said he didn't want to do it, that he was not ready, not able to take that step. I do not understand: I only want to be a parent, I don't care how that child comes to us. I mentioned it on one of the boards I post at, and another one of the women there also dealing with infertility thought it was a great idea. Her husband agreed, it is a wonderful idea. They are starting the foster-parent training.

I am glad for her, I am so glad that she is finally happy, that her husband shares her feelings. And yet I spent the rest of the day struggling not to cry. I was so frustrated and angry at Sid for foisting this kind of despair on me, for not being willing to consider any of the options available to us, that it was actually very hard for me to be civil. I felt like a bratty child. Still do, actually, but I'm well-behaved today.

To add insult to injury, he went out and bought a $600 lens for his $300 camera. Without telling me. I hit the roof. What the hell were you thinking? My god, when you finally decide that you're ready for a kid, you won't hesitate to drop the cash to make it happen, will you? That money could have bought three rounds of artificial insemination, it could have bought nearly 80 digital pregnancy tests, it could have bought a crib and a changing table! What the fuck were you thinking?! Not.happy. I am tired of waiting, I am tired of having what I want deemed stupid and unnecessary. I am sick of being told to be patient, that I shouldn't be so unhappy, that we're doing it without condoms and it will happen! No, it is not going to happen. I have given up hope of that. I have given up entirely on this whole thing, and right now I would like to see him just fucking castrated.

We started this feeling so hopeful, so sure that everything would work out for us. And looking back, we were so fucking stupid, so naive and full of hubris. We just assumed thateverything would be fine! And when we started to realize that everything was not fine, that everything was, in fact, fucked up and nothing would turn out the way we'd imagined... well, it all fell apart. I'm mad at Sid for being uncooperative and I'm sure he's mad at me for being an obsessive bitch.

I am so unspeakably sick and tired of being jealous of my friends' good fortune. I am tired of being happy for them for only one second before the stab of bitterness and anger takes over. I am fucking tired of being that woman. And yet I don't know how to stop. Trust me, I would dearly like to stop.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

"god's will"

I am sick to death of hearing this. SICK TO DEATH OF IT.

When I had my chemical pregnancy, godbags liked to say "Oh, it's God's will, it happened for a reason," and it never failed to raise my ire. God killed my hopes and dreams, and for what? To teach me a lesson? What a vindictive asshole. I don't believe in any God whose plan basically involves taking a giant shit on my whole life.

Yesterday, Sid found out that Tricare will not cover our infertility treatments. Which I'd expected, but then what the guy who handled our case did next took the fucking CAKE. He leaned in, all confidential-like and said, "Maybe it's just God's will, and you should accept that you're not supposed to be parents."

Uh, what? Maybe you should just accept you need a giant whack with a CLUE-BY-FOUR, you sorry jackass.

I get so goddamned sick of hearing "Just accept it, you're not meant to be parents." Would you say that to someone who has just buried their only child? Would you say that to someone who has just delivered a stillborn baby? NO? Then why the fuck do you think it's okay to say to someone who is still coming to terms with the fact that THEY CANNOT HAVE CHILDREN WITHOUT INTERVENTIONS.

Seriously, lay off the "god's will" bs already. I don't believe for one second that there's a god, or that he's got a plan for any of us. You're just throwing it out there as a way to make your own self feel better, a way for you to convince yourself that bad shit will never happen to me, because I have God on my side.

You don't. You have naivete and ignorance on your side. And that's about it.

Monday, February 9, 2009

he's going to hate me

but I don't care.

A boy on one of the sites I frequent (and admin for) has admitted he's considering suicide. So far, no one's really been able to talk him out of it.

So I did some digging with another admin over the weekend and found out what town he lives in, and we discussed our best course of action: call the local police department, or the local school? In the end, I opted for the local PD.

So yeah, this kid is going to end up hating me. But I'd be some kind of monster if I didn't at least try to help.

I'm such a meddler.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

home makeover: Manson edition

It is always something in this house. First it was the ceiling in the bathroom. Then it was the roof in the attic, and the water damage to the floor up there. Now the wall in the bathtub is falling to bits, and oh, by the way, the attic is leaking again.

Seriously, what the hell is this? This house is old, sure, but I wasn't aware it was quite to the falling-down stage yet.

The good news is that our landlady is really awesome about stuff like this. We're splitting the cost of a replacement shower wall, and we're putting it in this weekend. And also, the guys who did a really spiffy job fixing the bathroom ceiling (and roof) are coming back to take a look at the leak in the attic.

Fingers crossed that by this time on Monday something will be fixed.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

two steps forward, one step back

If everything goes to plan, the Mansons are moving back to Flori-duh. Sid thought it would be fun to buy a house if he re-enlisted, and now that's pretty much made up his mind. He's going to re-enlist. He's going to try to get orders for the Jacksonville or Mayport area. He's going to buy a house.

So excuse me for just a second while I wail, WHAT ABOUT TEH BAAAAYBEEE?! Because I seemed to be laboring under the misguided and wholly outrageous assumption that it wasn't so much the infertility that stopped us from having a kid, but the fact that Sid was getting out of the Navy. And he's not mentioned sprogs once since he decided to stay in the military. This leaves me feeling a wee bit confused, as you can imagine. And I don't particularly want to bring it up to him for fear I'll be seen as the crazy bitch with the baby obsession.

But back to the America's Penis thing. FUCKING FLORIDA. I don't particularly like the cold, but fuck me, I prefer freezing my ass off to finding Palmetto bugs in my house. I'm getting the short end of the stick on this one, FOR SURE. I don't even get a sprog out of this? FUCK NO. I am not on board with this, not one little bit.

Monday, January 26, 2009

I am a contrary bitch

Sid called home this morning, foaming-at-the-mouth angry about a woman who was driving like a bat out of hell with a kid in the backseat. He said, "What if she gets into an accident? Doesn't she care that she's putting her kid in danger?!" and I thought to myself, so it isn't just me. I thought I was insane for getting so angry at shit like that. And I thought Sid would think I was batshit crazy if I told him just how mad it made me.

If I'm crazy, then Sid and I are going crazy together.

He admitted that he got crazy jealous the other day when one of the guys he hangs out with said he wasn't going to have time to do whatever it was they were talking about because he was going out to do something with his son. Sid said, "it kind of made me jealous - he doesn't know what we're going through, of course - but I kind of took it personally. Like, he has no idea, he doesn't know how lucky he is that he has a kid to spend time with."

Yes, it isn't just me.

There were so many times I was really kind of mad at him, because I thought that he didn't understand how it felt to have my friends rag on and on about their pregnancies. How seeing people take their children for granted was like salt in an open wound. Now I'm just sad that he gets to feel it, too, because it sucks. It really, really sucks.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

yes, this

Casual Blasphemies has a post today that really resonated with me. One part in particular really hit home, where Jane says:

But I also know that corner of me, that corner of me that I would do absolutely anything to vanquish, to silence, to shut up once and for all ... that corner of me that ... will not/cannot process why I'm not worthy ... that corner that I want so much to STOP CARING because it is CHILDISH TO EXPEND ALL THIS ENERGY ON IT (and write about omg), will be scratching at me...gnawing. Knocking at the door like the fucking Land Shark, determined to remind me at every turn that I am not the girl that gets a happy ending ...


She has fucking nailed it. The more I attempt to process the reality of my situation, that hey, you know, all those heartbroken posts on infertility blogs, they aren't just stories anymore, the more I want to run away from it. And I can't. I may shut those thoughts down for an hour, a day, whatever, but it's always in the back of my head, it's always going to come back. Just going to the grocery store anymore is an exercise in hopelessness: inevitably, I pass a person dragging around three or four kids, and I think, it will never be so easy for me and it fucking hurts. I will pass a person with a child that they are showing nothing but contempt for, and I just feel sick. The simple act of just living my life suddenly yields so much sadness and anger that lately I find I just don't want to bother.

Because, like Jane said above, there is nowhere to go to get away from it, there is nothing that can be done to silence it.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

sanctity of life, my fucking ass

This pisses me right off. I've heard of the Neumanns, heard of what they did to their daughter, and reading that article made me furious. People think it's okay for them to just sit back and let their child die? People are so afraid of hurting religion's precious little feelings that they don't want to outright condemn the actions of those nuts? Because I have no trouble at all calling a spade a spade, here: the Neumanns are fucking murderers.

Some religious people like to talk about the "sanctity of life" when referring to the cute little eensy aborted fetuses. The baaaabeeeees deserve life! God wants them to live! Look, if your religion also condones letting a born child suffer and die for lack of medical attention, you have no fucking call to be talking about "sanctity of life". Kara Neumann was treated like trash, discarded and left to rot. Where is the sanctity in that? She was a ten year old girl with hopes and dreams and her whole life ahead of her. And her parents shat it away in the name of God. They let her suffer, watched her lie motionless, moaning and unable to speak or move, until she died. And they did this in the name of God.

What makes the Neumanns any different than the parents of Sanam Navsarka? Both children suffered until they died, if for different reasons. Both girls were neglected. Both died because of their parents actions. And yet we will condemn the actions of Zahbeena Navsarka and Subhan Anwar, call them murderers - charge them with murder - but Leilani and Dale Neumann did it for God, did it for religion, so they'll only be charged with reckless endangerment? In my eyes, they're equally culpable.

There is no sanctity in neglect, no sanctity in murder. And no sanctity of life, judging by the actions of the Neumanns.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

good news and bad news

Sid's heart is fine. The doctor was quite impressed at how efficiently it worked: he termed it "a very athletic heart". So that's good. But they still don't know what it is that's causing his chest pain, so they're running more tests.

In other - not so great - news, the results of his second semen analysis are in, and things in that department are not looking so hot. Nothing we didn't already know, though, it just sucks to finally have confirmation.

I don't really have a lot to say about either thing, really. It is what it is.

Monday, January 12, 2009

well, fuck

Sid's been having chest pain. And not just like "chest pain" chest pain, we're talking the "left arm feeling funny with intermittent shortness of breath" bullshit, here.

He's getting an EKG today.

I suppose it goes without saying that I am scared shitless.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I got nothin'

If the first seven days of 2009 are anything to go by, this new year is going to be straddling the fence. I've got nothing to bitch about, which is good. But I've also got nothing to be happy about, which is...not so good.

I'm really indifferent to everything right now, which is probably the only thing saving me from total fucking foaming-at-the-mouth, tearing-out-my-hair craziness. So at the moment, I'm really kind of glad for that.