Wednesday, March 31, 2010

One-trick pony

12:15 - The nurse called me.  "Tell me something good," I told her.  She said it was good!  My hormone levels were consistent with a pregnancy at this time frame and my progesterone level was an 11.4 and they were only looking for a 5 or above!  For once, I had some numbers I liked.  We chatted a bit more, acknowledging that I'm not out of the woods but I am definitely pregnant and I'm headed in the right direction.  I scheduled another sonogram for April 13th, to just check on things.  I came in to sit at my computer to write a post because I wanted to share my good news.  I have read your comments many times over and you're all right.  I need to remain positive and hopeful and I haven't been because I was so afraid of being vulnerable and getting knocked down again.  

2:00 - The post is only half-written because I keep getting interrupted by the dog.  I can't let her go outside because we just landscaped the backyard and so she has to be on a leash when we go out back.  I was getting really annoyed because the dog goes outside a minimum of fifty times a day and when she can't she whines and it's suuuper annoying.  Then my phone rang.  It was my friend, wanting an update since she knew we went to the doctor yesterday and that I was getting my hormone results back today.  I put the leash on the dog and went outside to chat.  She too gave me the lecture about remaining positive and hopeful and in our newly landscaped backyard I said, "Okay fine.  I won't be negative anymore.  Today, in this moment, Wednesday at 2:13pm I am pregnant and that's something to celebrate.  I will take things one day at a time and I will be happy.  Okay?  Gah!  Now if only this dumb spotting would stop, I could be really happy."  We laughed and I had to get off the phone because I had to pee yet again.

2:20 - I went to the bathroom and there was A LOT of spotting, this time with some clots.  You know what, scratch that - I was straight-up bleeding.  It was still mostly brown but it was tinged with red.  I didn't freak out, reminding myself of your comments and the nurse's words only hours ago.  My levels are fine, she said so!  But I called the doctor anyway.  I got the recording and it said to press zero if you're pregnant and having concerns.  I didn't want to over-react and be the neurotic pregnant person since I was just there yesterday and was told that spotting was normal, yet I pressed zero. The clots did concern me but I told the lady that I wouldn't worry if she told me not to.  She told me to come in as soon as possible.  

Then I sort of detached from myself.  I put the dog in her crate, put on my shoes, picked up my purse and sunglasses and walked out the door just as though I was going to run an errand.  No amount of rushing would change anything and something somewhere in me knew that.

3:00 - On the way to the doctor's office I felt another big cramp, again just one.  It hurt so bad it took my breath and I had to shake my head to keep driving.  Idly, I wondered if that was what contractions felt like.  I talked to Drew and he told me he was coming home that night.  I told him there was nothing he could do even if he came home.  "I can be there for you." That would be nice.

I parked the car, walked into the building, got on the elevator, got off on my floor, turned left, turned left again and opened the door to the office I was in a little more than 24 hours ago.  I signed in and very quietly asked if I could use the restroom, as I could feel the wetness.  In the bathroom, I pulled my jeans down already knowing what I would see.

Bright red blood.  With a big shiny clot right in the middle of my pantiliner.  "Well there it is," I said to myself.  I looked under the cabinet for a pad and awkwardly put that on my thong.  I walked out totally feeling like I was wearing a diaper and I was sure everyone could tell.

Have you ever bled so much you could actually feel it coming out of you?  I certainly haven't and it is not comfortable, I assure you.  Thankfully, they called me back quickly this time and the nurse took my weight and blood pressure and asked me why I was there.  "I'm pretty sure I'm having a miscarriage right now."  Her eyes got wide and she quickly ushered me into a room to wait for the on-call doctor.  She said to get undressed from the waist down.  "Um, I'm kind of bleeding a lot.  I don't know that that's such a great idea."  "Oh, it's okay, the doctor is used to seeing blood.  I mean, she delivers babies."  If I wasn't detached from myself, I would have laughed at the idiocy of that comment.  I wasn't worried about offending the doctor.  *I* didn't want to sit naked in a puddle of blood, thank you very much.

3:30 - The doctor came in and took my history.  When I finished talking, she said it indeed sounded like I was miscarrying and examined me.  Inserting the speculum hurt so much and I began cramping again.  Thankfully, it was over quickly and in a concerned voice she said, "The blood is just coming out.  We're going to do a sonogram to make sure you've passed the sac and if you haven't I'll give you some medicine to help you get it out, okay?  Do you need something for the pain?"  I told her I didn't, that I had pain meds at the house - from the last time.  At this point, it just felt like period cramps and it was tolerable.

I didn't want to get dressed again to walk the five steps across the hall to the sonogram room, but the blood was steadily leaking out of me.  I got one of those pads that look like what you'd use to housetrain a small dog, clenched it between my legs and wrapped the sheet around my bottom half.  In those five steps, I soaked the pad.

3:40 - The sonogram shows a small blob that I can only assume was what was left of the sac, this time much more oblong and flat, deflated like a leaking balloon.  There was also 'free fluid' in my uterus.  I asked if that was blood.  She said most likely it was.  I wondered how I could be bleeding this much and not be lightheaded or something, yet there I was.  Coherent, if not completely detached.

3:50 - The doctor said it looked like the worst of it was over, that I probably passed the sac already.  She said that I will probably bleed for several more days and around two weeks after I've stopped to schedule an appointment with my doctor.  At that time, they'll do the work-up to start ruling things out as to why I can get pregnant but not stay that way, since I'm now a member of the Repeat Miscarriage club.  She said she was very sorry and to call if things got worse.  I walked out of the office and made my way back to my car.

4:15 - I walked into CVS, numbly looking for super absorbent super long pads because I only own tampons and the idea of sticking something up my vagine was NOT appealing.  My phone was going off with text messages from Doug's wife.  She had a baby five weeks ago and had a very difficult pregnancy.  I talked to her yesterday about the spotting and our conversation did a lot to reassure me.  I called her again today to ask if she ever had a LOT of bleeding - she said no.  Standing in the feminine products aisle, I replied to her text:  'Definitely a miscarriage.  Got the sono to confirm.'   

4:30 - I arrived home and immediately went to change the soaked pad.  It is so weird to be able to feel the blood coming out.  I don't like the feeling and really just wanted it all to stop.  I took half a pain pill and Kesha called.  I wasn't expecting it and yet she called at just the right time.  She told me she loved me, that she was so sorry and that she would bring me pumpkin pie if I wanted her to.  It's what I eat when bad things happen to me.  She's such an angel, but I told her I just wanted to be alone for a bit.  I felt like crying alone was what I needed just then.  So I did.

6:30 - I dried my tears and decided I needed to distract myself.  I rented Did you hear About the Morgans? on AppleTV.  Hugh Grant, Sarah Jessica Parker, romantic comedy.  The trailer made me laugh, so I figured it was safe.  

Hey guess what!  They're married but separated and can't stand each other!  Haha!  They witness a murder and have to leave New York and enter Witness Protection in Wyoming!  Hijinks ensue!  Hey guess what else!  He slept with someone else and that's why they're separated!  Do you know WHY he slept with someone else????  Because she's INFERTILE and the sex on demand and baby-craziness got to him!  ISN'T THAT SO FUNNY!!  They fall back in love while dodging the killer and just in the nick of time, the old-timey sherriff saves the day!  Isn't that GREAT!  They return to New York, adopt a Chinese baby and the closing scene is SJP holding her Chinese baby as the camera pans out to her six-month PREGNANT STOMACH while her adoring husband looks on!  ISN'T THAT SO GREAT!  What a great choice for the occasion!  

9:40 - I finished writing and don't feel better.  I have to change the pad again since it feels like I'm sitting in a puddle.  

Everything sucks.  My 'loss' label wasn't supposed to have any more entries.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

No news is.....

you tell me.  Right now, I'm not feeling all that positive.  I don't know why I thought things would progress as they did last time because thus far, it is nowhere near the same.  The biggest difference is that this time, I found out much earlier.  Originally, I thought this would be a good thing but I'm rapidly discovering that the earlier you find out, the more maddening the whole thing becomes.  

Since it's so early, I haven't had the same level of pregnancy symptoms I had the last time.  I've been a little hormonal, my boobs have been a little sore and I've been a little sick to my stomach on occasion.  If I didn't know I was pregnant I would certainly attribute it to something else - being hungry, Drew upsetting me, an upcoming period.  But the increasingly dark lines on the fifth test I've taken say otherwise - for now.  The one thing that I can't attribute to anything else is the need to pee all the freakin time.  Sometimes I have to get up in the middle of the night to pee - like I did at 4:20 this morning.

I woke up out of a dead sleep with the urge to pee accompanied by a noticeable cramp.  Just one - it wasn't an ache, it didn't get worse or better, it simply got my attention.  Each of the times I was pregnant before I felt what I determined to be the implantation cramp before I missed my period but nothing after that point - until now.  Worried, I got up to investigate.

I went to the bathoom, wiped and there was a brownish discharge on the tissue.  It scared the ever-loving shit out of me.  I burst into tears, cleaned up and sat on the bathroom floor crying.  I was convinced that I was miscarrying and I cursed the irony that we were going to the doctor for our 6-week appointment in just a few hours.  I cried that I didn't even get as far as I did last time.  I sobbed, feeling that this confirmed that something is in fact wrong with me.

I crawled back in bed, fell back to sleep and proceeded to have a horrible nightmare about miscarrying.  There was blood everywhere and I couldn't do anything.  I observed myself as I stood in the corner and cried.  Finally Drew woke up around 7:30 and I whispered to him that I was cramping and spotting.  I cried and asked him why this was happening to me and 'I guess we don't have to go to the doctor anymore.'  I asked him to bring me my phone so I could cancel my appointment.

I used my phone to consult Dr. Google and his nurse, WikiAnswers.  They were of no help:  'Cramping and spotting in early pregnancy is completely normal.  Except when it's not.'  All the  things I read said that regardless, I need to see my doctor.  Fine - it's probably better that we get this over with so I can have the surgery this week anyway.

It was with this sunshine-y attitude that we went to the doctor.  I spent the entire morning preparing for the worst and I was dreading the moment she would tell me it didn't take - again.  Of course we had to wait a ridiculously long time in her office - it's not like we could get seen right away!  Oh no!  The torture must be dragged out so it's as painful as possible!  Almost 45 minutes after we arrived, we finally got taken back.

The mood was much different than last time - less giddiness and small talk.  I peed in the cup for them (it seems that's all I do anymore) and waited in our room for my doctor.  She walked in saying, 'Well, don't let anyone tell you you guys have a fertility problem!'  I didn't share her sentiment - so what we got pregnant again quickly.  If I can't hold them, I'm nothing but a one-trick pony.  It means nothing.

However, she was very kind and understanding, knowing that I was a nervous wreck.  She's going to have a look at my progesterone levels this time around - I guess that's the bonus you get when you've had a loss.  Yippee.  That meant bloodwork.  After all was said that could have been said, we went to the ultrasound room.  No more stalling.

From my calculations based on my last period, I should be six weeks today.  My doctor and the sonographer said that since it was so early they might not be able to see anything.  They were right.  There was a gestational sac, but it was so small that the machine couldn't even date it.  According to the sonographer, this means that I'm not six weeks - more like five to five and a half.  According to ME, it could also mean that there's nothing in there to see.  I asked her about the probability that it was a blighted ovum, but she said it's too early to even determine that.  I don't buy it though.  Shouldn't you be able to see something even at 5 weeks?  Shouldn't the machine be able to measure something at five weeks?  

This is why you shouldn't go to the doctor until you think you're at least eight weeks.  By then, you can see something without having to squint and they would be able to definitively tell if nothing is there.  Any earlier and you're guessing, and that's enough to make you crazy.

However, there is still a chance that I am indeed pregnant.  There's still a chance that the cramping and spotting are harmless, even though it's scary as shit.  I haven't had any more cramps like this morning and the spotting isn't bright red, which is a very bad sign.  I know I have to be positive - Drew and my other friends say that since I didn't cramp last time and lost it, maybe the cramping is a good sign.  That maybe the little dude is moving in nice and snug, nailing pictures to the walls and bringing in furniture because he's going to stay a while.

I just wish I knew.  I wish that when she did the sonogram I could have seen a little sign that said, "Hi Mom!  Everything's okay and I'll see you in November!"  That would have been nice.

Instead I continue to wait.  My doctor is supposed to call tomorrow with the results of my hormone levels and she talked about me coming back in a week to do another ultrasound.  I'm not too jazzed about that - I'd rather wait two weeks so there will be something to see.  Then again, if there isn't anything I'd rather know sooner than later.  I definitely don't want a repeat of last time!

This whole thing is not easy and I wanted to thank you all for your kind words and thoughts.  I don't feel as alone in this and I just know that things will be different this time, no matter the outcome because of your support and caring.  

Thank you, thank you, thank you!  You guys are the best!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Putting Kroger on blast

Thursday I was very sluggish and wouldn't have gotten out of the house had I not had errands.  I had to pick up the car at the shop, get treats for Maya and get groceries.  Simple enough, right?  On the way to the car dealership I passed a giant PetSmart sign and took note of it, smug in my efficiency.  I would go to the PetSmart, swing by the grocery store and hang out with Kesha that night for a little Grey's and Private Practice.  It was on the way back home that it all fell apart because of my dumb ol hormones.

Thus far, I haven't had any symptoms of the, you know - the thing.  I don't know why I'm being all superstitious because I know that I have zero control over the outcome, yet I'm superstitious just the same.  We go to the doctor on Tuesday which will put us over one hurdle or knock us down, depending.

But back to my errands!  I got the car back, complete with a nearly empty gas tank.  I added the gas station to my list, hoping it would be near the pet store.  I could see the billboard in the distance, but it was still far enough away that I didn't want to exit the freeway too early.  But then I passed the billboard - this wasn't my usual PetSmart but no matter.  It's a giant billboard, it can't be that far from the exit.  I'll just exit at the next one and double back.  Except the next exit was a million miles PAST the billboard!  I don't know this area!  I couldn't find the pet store at this point even if I wanted to!  I wouldn't be able to get treats for Maya!  She only had two chewies left!  

I felt my chest get tight and my eyes start to burn.  I couldn't believe I was going to CRY because there was no exit for the pet store yet there I was, gearing up for a full-fledged wail-fest.  Then the car started to ding that the gas was getting low.  I began to whimper, afraid that I was going to run out of gas and I wouldn't be able to get treats or groceries!  Never mind that it gives you a countdown and I had 12 miles to empty and I knew where a gas station was - it was just out of my way and going out of my way was not efficient and I'm an efficient errand-runner!  

I dialed Drew's number.  "Baby, I hate everything!!"  That's what I usually say when I'm losing it.  He was all calm asking me what was wrong, and then I really let loose crying. "I was trying to go to the PetSmart to get Maya her treats because she only has two left and I couldn't go to the store because the stupid sign is in the middle of nowhere! (Dissolve into tears.  Big heaving breath.)  And then I have to get groceries and I have no idea what to get and the car is about to run out of gas and I'm going over to Kesha's later and I'm gonna be late and there's gonna be traffic and everything!"

Drew listened to me rant and sniffle and heave and cry and when I was finished he was like, "So you're crying because you can't find the PetSmart?"  I heard the grin in his voice and he was stuttering his words so he wouldn't laugh at me full-out.  I was too upset to even get mad at him.

With 8 miles to empty, I pulled into the gas station that was in the parking lot of a Kroger.  I got a sudden craving for Starbucks and decided to go ahead to the grocery store even though I hadn't the slightest idea what to get and didn't have a taste for anything.  I got my Starbucks and wandered around the store, picking up totally random stuff like one crabcake, some hummus and pita chips, sausage, and headed over to the dairy aisle because yogurt sounded good.

I have decent eating habits and thankfully have never had to diet or count calories.  Thank God because I wouldn't have the patience for all that nonsense.  However, recently Drew and I have tried to monitor our sugar intake.  It's simple enough and I figure if whatever we're eating has low sugar, it's probably a safe choice.  The only problem is that there is sugar in EVERYTHING!!  Lots of it!  It really pisses me off, because once I know that something has a lot of sugar I can't feel good about eating it - and I really like yogurt.
ONE small container of yogurt has NO business with that much sugar.

Forget the tears, I was MAD now.  How dare Kroger even stock that shit on their shelves!  They should know better.  I wanted to take that container of yogurt to the service desk and demand...demand........something.  I stood there in the dairy aisle, wanting to drag someone, anyone, over to look at this!  I settled for taking a picture.
Shame on you KROGER!

I looked for other brands that were lower in sugar, but they added chemicals in place of the sugar!  You can't win!  And I really wanted yogurt!  There was nothing more I wanted in that moment and I couldn't have it.  Not cool.
Light and Fit, my ass.  Do you know how nasty aspartame is?  

I was heated.  I pushed my cart with menace.  Woman scorned, ha!  I was yogurt denied!  The fury was unmatched!  I concentrated on my breathing and tried to tell myself that no one cares that a teeny container has a kabillion grams of sugar, that I was being hormonal and crazy.  I walked down the pet aisle and starting tossing things into my cart.  Take that PetSmart!  You get NONE of my money!  Maybe next time you'll learn to put your billboards in a better place!

So to recap:  tears, frustration, anger, righteous indignation, triumphant - in a few hours.  Yup, I'm pregnant.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sharing is caring - I guess.

Do you see this nonsense?  Look at that time stamp. Right now it is 3:22 in the morning -- AM -- still dark outside -- why am I awake??  I was having this incredibly vivid dream about working at The Grand Lux because I ate there on Sunday.  I was working there to put myself through nursing school, and in the middle of my dream this voice came over a loudspeaker and was like, Desiree get up!  You need to write, you need to clean the kitchen and you should shower and paint your toenails!  That was at two in the morning.  I was tossing and turning, desperately trying to fall asleep again when I was attacked by the strongest thirst in the world.  I could feel my mouth drying and collapsing in on itself like the Bitter Beer Face dude. *Note:  I found a picture on Google Images but I'm not actually posting it because it's really disturbing and it's already weird that I'm up at this hour.

Anyway, I got up and drank three glasses of water to quench my thirst and then I had to pee and then the dog was like, Oh we're up now!  Cool!  Where's my chewie?  I have to pee too!  Let's play!  So that's it - I'm up now.  And I have to write.  And when I'm done with that, I will clean the kitchen, then shower and then paint my toes.  This is so weird.

Saturday, Drew took me to see Alice in Wonderland at the IMAX 3-D.  I'd been bugging him to take me, except I hadn't said anything that day.  Of his own accord, he was like Alice in Wonderland is playing at 1:40 at the IMAX, so you should start getting ready so we can get there early.  I was impressed!  Usually I'm the one who comes up with the idea and does the searching and Drew just comes along, so this was a real treat.  I felt like we were going on a mini-date!

We got there early, but it was still packed and we didn't get the choice seats right in the middle of the theater.  I had gone in ahead of Drew so he could get some popcorn and a soda.  I usually give him a really hard time for drinking soda, but I was so tickled at being on a mini-date that I let it slide.  I found some decent seats next to a little girl and her dad.  She was about five and so tiny that she could sit cross-legged in the seat and not touch the sides.  She reminded me a lot of my cousin in Kansas City and she was so stinkin cute I wanted to scoop her into my lap and make her laugh.

Drew came in a little later and along with his popcorn and nasty soda, he had gotten me fruit snacks!!!  Without me even asking!!! I don't have much of a sweet tooth and I try to eat really healthy, but I will TEAR UP some fruit snacks!  
Nom nom nom nom!  Me likey da fruit snacks!

Fruit snacks are usually a movie-only treat.  I won't buy them because I know I will eat an entire box on the way home from the grocery store, so I was so super tickled that he'd gotten them for me!  Since we'd arrived early, we had time to kill and for some reason Drew and I were kind of giggly. I'm sure it was the fruit snacks.
I do love a man in glasses.
How can my head be that small and my forehead be that big?

I noticed the little girl next to me had also put her glasses on and was silently begging to have her picture taken too.  Drew even said I should take her picture but I didn't feel right taking a picture of a kid I didn't know but I didn't want her to feel like we were ignoring her.  So I turned and started talking to her.  Mistake.

The kid?  The stinkin cute kid that I wanted to scoop up?  The kid that was making my uterus hurt?  That stinkin kid was eyeing my fruit snacks.

I seriously considered asking Drew if we could move seats because I didn't want to share my fruit snacks but the theater was full and they had already come in and done the thing where they ask you to move to the center so we were practically trapped.  And that dumb ol kid already had stirred up that mommy thing in me.  Punk.  I sat there for about a minute, debating the evil-ness of not sharing your fruit snacks with a stinkin cute kid.  It was a battle y'all!  I love fruit snacks!  I practically never get to eat them!  I almost got up and went to buy one for her just so I wouldn't have to share.

But I didn't.  After that intense minute-long internal battle, where I reasoned that being a mother means sacrificing, that I'm doing a good deed, that maybe the little girl would remember the nice lady in the movies who shared her beloved fruit snacks, I went ahead and decided to share with her.  But she was going to work for them, by god! 

Me:  So do you know what this says?
Her:  No.
Me:  Well, how bout we sound it out.  What's this letter?
Her:  That's an 'I'.
Me: That's right!  This word is kind of tricky.  This next letter you don't really pronounce so we'll just slide right over this one.  What's this letter?
Her:  That's an 'L.'
Me:  Exactly!

We sounded out the letters for 'Island Fruits', which is only the best kind of fruit snacks EVER!  When she read the words, I was like And for that you get an Island Fruit!  After making sure her dad was okay with it, I gave her one of my fruit snacks.  I was going to give her just the one, but then I couldn't 'cause she was so stinkin cute.  I ended up sharing the whole package with her, finishing them just as the movie started.  I did feel good about it but why couldn't the kid have liked popcorn?  Drew had a big ol tub of it and he was just sitting there, happily eating it all by himself.  

Not having to share with anyone.  


Monday, March 22, 2010

My hands are stinging

From having them slapped.  Both of them.  One from Drew, one from my best friend Doug.  Neither of them read my blog that often, but they both happened to read it and both were not happy with me.  After hearing them out, I see both of their points so I'm writing a retraction-of-sorts to clarify things that perhaps I should have either fleshed out or not written about to start with.

First off, I must clarify my position regarding Drew.  Never EVER do I want to give the impression that he is an ogre, beating me down, belittling me or making me feel bad about myself.  He will say some sideways shit to me sometimes but by and far he is a PHENOMENAL husband.  Doug said I thew him in the grease and painted him in a negative light and told me about myself for that, saying it was very unfair to Drew.  And he's right.  Drew is supportive of me and my dreams and wants only the best for me.  His motives are always pure even if his words sometimes cause me to raise an eyebrow.  I have a wonderful husband and it is my desire to be the best wife I possibly can to him every single day.  For real y'all.  I love that man - so much it makes me cry.  I realize that I can sometimes vent more than I praise and that's not an accurate portrayal.  For all the things he does that make me spitting mad, there are seriously so many more than make my my heart want to burst open with love.

And I have to be honest with myself.  I have not exhausted all job possibilities, trying to find a way to have even a little of my dreams.  I have not researched endlessly and your comments have given me new energy, a new hope that perhaps it is possible.  I may not be able to live in Argentina and have an apartment in Paris but that doesn't mean that I have to give up on it all.  I have my husband's support and it is up to me to decide which path I take.

Now, my conversation with Doug was detailed and he covered a lot of points.  I won't re-create the whole thing but let me share something that really resonated with me.  But first, a story.

Doug is ex-Navy and has done some serious things.  Things you can't talk about and things that still bother him to this day.  Several years ago, I was at his apartment poking around his stuff because I knew that irritated him to no end.  I came across one of his military knives and was playing with it, pretending to attack him.  He asked me if I wanted him to show me how to really handle the knife.  No sooner had I said okay than he grabbed my head, spun me and had the knife at my neck.  Since we were just playing and I knew he would never ever hurt me I was like, "Cool!"  

However, make no mistake.  The smooth and fast (scary fast, y'all) precision with which he moved left zero doubt in my mind that he had done that before and had followed through, if you know what I'm saying. 

That day in his apartment came back to mind when he was lecturing me about wanting to be a trained assasin. That's what's wrong with people.  You see something on tv and think that's how it is in real life.  Let me tell you Desiree, there is NOTHING glamorous about taking someone's life.  Nothing.  Ever.  There's nothing that feels good about it and it's always terrible.  You feel like you're justified because they're the bad guys, but they feel the exact same way about us.  Just like you're somebody's daughter, wife, mother, so are they.  You know better than that.  

*big, heaving childish sigh*  He's right.  *kicking rocks*  I don't really want to be a trained assasin.  *pouty lips*  I've never even been in a fight.  *crossing my arms*  Causing harm to someone is not my idea of fun.  *stamping my foot*  I want to help people get along, not blow them up.  Unless they hurt my kid or my husband or probably even my dog.  Then all bets are off.  I'm just sayin.  But he's right.  And Drew's right.

I never mean to write in a manner that implies I'm feeling sorry for myself - self-pity is not a good color on me.  If I never become a diplomat, it's because I choose not to.  It would never be because my husband doesn't want me to.  If I don't follow my dreams, the responsibility lies squarely with me.  The job thing has always been difficult for me because there have been so many things I wanted to do with my life.  I wasn't like Drew who had a passion for science at a young age and stayed on that path, riding it to the top of his field where he is now.  I've always been a dreamer, seeing myself in a multitude of possibilities, rarely committing to one.  If I were really honest with myself, I've never had true drive in anything other than school and even there I could have done more.  I was smart enough to apply to Ivy-league schools and I bet I would have gotten in straight out of high school but the prospect of leaving my parents was too scary for me. I didn't even want to go to school 30 minutes away!  The only reason I became a flight attendant was that no matter where I was in the world I could get on a plane and fly back home whenever I wanted! 

An anonymous commenter on the last post pointed out that I don't know what I want to do.  He or she is completely correct.  I don't know what I want to be when I grow up.  But then again, I'd wager that more people don't know than do.  I genuinely wish that I'd had the presence of mind to choose a path early in life and stick to it - considering that from my present position, it seems a lot easier.  However, you know what they say - wish in one hand, piss in the other and see which one fills up faster!  That's a Texas saying - I'm not that un-ladylike.

Nope, at this stage I must look forward.  What do I want the next thirty-four years to look like?  I've had an awesome life and I have very few regrets - for all the things I haven't done, I've done some really impressive things.  I'll tell you about it one of these days.

It's so easy to get tunnel vision when you get down on yourself - well guess what, I'm shaking it off right here, right now.  I got my spankings, I took my medicine, now it's time to look ahead and get  my game face on.  I have big things in my future (please, Baby Jesus), a wonderful amazing kind and supportive husband, I have my health, a roof over my head and it's going to be just fine.

OH!  I almost forgot to tell you!  The wealth management company didn't want me and you'll never believe why.  They said I was too confident!!  ME!  The one who gets panic attacks on the regular!  My contact at the staffing agency said they wanted someone meeker - her words, not theirs.  She said that while they loved meeting with me, they didn't know that I would be a fit with their team because I was too confident.  Can you believe that?  I wonder if it was because I told them that what was most important to me was an environment where learning and asking questions was encouraged.  It could have been me outlining all I have a lot to offer and telling them I'd love nothing more than to be given the opportunity to excel at my given task and in turn make the company better.  Who knows.

I guess there's not a lot of opportunity to excel when all you're doing is scanning documents.  Meh, I'm sure it's for the best.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

On the job thing

Imagine that you need to buy a shirt.  You know you want it to be blue (for the ease of the analogy.)  Now imagine that your only options are a puke yellow, doodoo brown, or pea-soup green (assuming that you don't have a thing for any of those colors.  Gah, this analogy was easier in my head.)  My point is you know what you want, you can't have it and you don't want to make do with the other crappy choices.

That's how I feel about the job thing.

My degree is in Markets and Cultures and Foreign Languages.  When people ask what that means, I tell them that we studied corporate cultures - how IBM is different from Disney, and how IBM Latin America is different from IBM China.  We studied emerging markets and their projected impact on the global stage.  Our required reading was The Economiswhich I devoured every week, all of Malcolm Gladwell's books (if I ever met him I would probably die), and Thomas Friedman's The World is Flat which was a freakin masterpiece and I loved every second of my college experience.  I don't have a true double major like Biology and Accounting - it's more of a dual major.  I could take languages as my elective and with one extra semester I could have the second major so I went ahead with it.

I wanted to be a diplomat, a Foreign Service Officer for the State Department, an ambassador, work for an ambassador, or just be near an ambassador, diplomat or Foreign Service Officer.  I wanted to work for the UN, a foreign policy non-profit or even a multi-national corporation dedicating to improving international relations in emerging markets.  I dreamed of working in Morocco or Tunisia, where their language of business is French.  I wanted to live in Argentina, helping people by day, becoming a tango master by night.  I wanted to have an apartment in Paris and spend my summers there.

That's one of the reasons why Julia is my hero.  She lives in Madrid (die), she speaks Italian, French, a little Spanish (die), she's worked for the UN, (die!) and she teaches little kids (die!!)  I'm like, you're the me I want to be!  Follow!

In a somewhat related vein, I also wanted to be a spy/trained assasin.  I wanted to sell everything I owned and move to Paris when I saw The Bourne Identity.  Mr. and Mrs. Smith made my girl-crush on Angelina Jolie that much deeper - even though the movie was kind of lame.  I also love her for all humanitarian work.  And her tattoos.  I have all the seasons of Burn Notice on AppleTV.  I was thisclose to joining the military as an officer but I chickened out at the last minute.

In addition to that, there's another side of me that loves all things medical.  I love real and fake medical tv shows:  House, Scrubs, Trauma: Life in the ER and anything on Discovery Health. 
*Update:  I realize that sounded kind of lame and I should put some meat on that.  My mom is a nurse and my dad has been in medical sales for as long as I can remember.  Our garage is lined with medical textbooks covering every specialty under the sun.  When I was younger I would go with him to his meetings and conventions and rub elbows with doctors and surgeons at the ripe age of 13.  I've always been fascinated and would sprawl on the living room floor, trying to read the textbooks and only understanding every 20th word.  It was usually 'the.'

So, it's not just the tv shows is what I'm trying to say. 

Did you notice that nowhere in there did I say I wanted to be a receptionist or secretary?  Yeah, me too - however that's all I've got on my resume.  Go figure.  

Yesterday I had an interview with a wealth management company that my staffing agency coordinated for me.  As as admin.  I don't want it but I have other things to think about and plan for so beggars can't really be choosers.  What was most interesting to me was the conversation that Drew and I had after the interview.

Him: I thought you didn't want to be an admin.
Me:  I don't but I have to bring in an income.
Him:  I just don't understand why you don't do what you really want to do.
Me:  ::going through what I'd really want to do with my life for the fiftieth time and explaining, for the fiftieth time why that's no longer possible::
Him:  But those are your goals, your dreams!  You shouldn't have to give up on your dreams!  It makes me angry to think that you won't get to do what you want.
Me:  Look, I can't be attending a symposium on war crimes in Geneva, Switzerland while you're running a course in Hong Kong.  Who picks up the kid from school when they have a fever?  Who reads to them at night?  I'm not interested in other people raising my children, therefore somebody has to be home more often than not.  We can't both be off traipsing around the world. I mean, we could but that lifestyle is not conducive to creating and raising a family, and besides it's sort of already been decided, wouldn't you say?
Him:  Well...

When we got off the phone, I was shocked.  Does he not realize what it means to have a kid?  To raise a family?  That having a child means making permanent sacrifices?  That there are things that you will never ever get to do again when you decide to create a family?  That at this stage in the game I will probably never get to be a diplomat or trained assasin/spy and I'm okay with that?  That if he continues to be gone Monday through Friday that my job options will be severely limited because we have no family near us to help?  Does he not get that?

See, the challenge is that Dallas isn't necessarily a multi-cultural world-player city like a New York, San Francisco, DC, LA or even Chicago to a degree.  No, Dallas is a good-ol-boy city second only to Houston with their oil and gas barons.  Yeah, Frito-Lay, JCPenney and Texas Instruments are here but none of those really get me excited about life, you know?  Additionally, just about any job in the healthcare field will require extra education which Drew is adamantly against, saying that I already have a degree and we're trying to pay off debt not make more.  I'm presently trying to figure out a way to show him that getting a nursing degree or sonographer certification will pay off in much bigger dividends, such that the additional debt incurred will be worth it.  I'll keep you posted, and if y'all have any tips I sure would appreciate it.  Drew is as stubborn as a bull when he doesn't agree with something and it will take a lot of logical persuasion for him to even hear me out.

I still don't know when/if we're moving, but so far his boss is okay with the present situation.  If things continue this way, we may get to stay in Dallas and Drew will simply travel during the week and be home on the weekends, working from our house on the rare days that he's here during the work week.  So far I don't mind it, although it will be super great when he can get a better handle on the work/life balance thing.  Right now, work has a bigger share of his life than I would prefer and I'm trying hard to be understanding and patient.  It is no easy feat because I require a lot of attention and I know that.  I'm trying to keep my temper tantrums in check.

So let me ask you:  Did you have professional dreams that you let go of in favor of a husband, a child, family or friends?  How do you feel about that now? How were you successful in getting your husband to come around to your way of thinking - dirty tricks are accepted and encouraged!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Everybody just be cool

I had the most vivid dream last night.  

Drew and I were in our bedroom, but there was a TV in it.  A soap opera was on and a guy was telling someone that he didn't do it - whatever 'it' was.  I was in our bathroom about to take a pregnancy test, but instead of pregnant/not pregnant it was 'so you say' or 'not today.'  Weird right?  It was a plus-sign test but there were two small windows at the six and nine o'clock positions and if you were pregnant you got two black x's in those windows.  I took the test and immediately two black x's popped up.

Then I began brushing my teeth.  We have the Sonicare toothbrushes so they vibrate your head and it's kind of hard to hear someone talking in the next room if you're brushing your teeth.  Even if you hear them, you definitely can't respond because if you open your mouth the vibrating makes the toothpaste go everywhere.  In real life, Drew seems to wait to talk to me until I'm brushing my teeth and it annoys the crap out of me.  He knows I can't hear him, he has the exact same toothbrush!  

Anyway, in my dream Drew was talking to me.  He was like, 'Well?  What did it say?'  I mumbled to him and gestured to my toothbrush, annoyed that he would ask me a question while I was brushing my teeth.  Just as the toothbrush turned off, I woke up.

I was extremely disoriented - for a second I didn't know where I was and if I'd already taken the test, my dream was that vivid.  It was 6:29 in the morning and I was in bed alone and I hadn't taken the test.  As if on cue, I felt the urge to pee and all of a sudden I didn't want to do it. Unfortunately, my body was like, test or no test I'ma make you pee the bed if you don't get up right now!

Ever the negative Nancy, I got up and went to the bathroom to face my negative pregnancy test.  I still have to pee in the cup so I did that and dipped the stick in the cup, wondering if that way is the same as peeing directly on the stick.  The absorbent tip turns pink as it gets wet and I watched as the horizontal line appeared across the first window.  The results window.  

There was no plus sign.

I put the cap on, put it on the back of the toilet and felt the tears burn my eyes.  I put my head in my hands.  The last time I was pregnant the vertical line came right along with the horizontal control line.  Granted, I didn't test until I was almost a week late but if you're pregnant, you're pregnant.

In those seconds, I felt sorry for myself and was already planning on having a drink of the champagne punch in the fridge.  Who cares if it's 7 in the morning.  A couple of minutes later, I heaved a deep sigh, planning to throw out all those cups of pee that were now useless - they only want them if you're pregnant.  I went ahead and put the lid on the last cup and turned again to get the plastic bag sitting on the back of the toilet.

I must have stared for a minute solid, which is a long time to barely blink, breathe or move.  It was faint but it was there.  I didn't even have to squint or find better light.  It was there.  I set it on the back of the toilet and it's been there since then - I've even crept back into the bathroom to see if it's still there and it is.  No evaporation, I'm not groggy anymore and it's there.

Okay, but here's the thing. Just be cool.  This means semi-nothing.  Something may or may not be in there, it may or may not be 'alive.'  I wasn't even going to say anything but my big fat mouth has already gotten me in trouble yesterday.  And it's not like I was going to write that and then be all, 'so what are YOU up to?  Me?  Oh, not much. What's new with YOU?'  Y'all are waaay too smart for that.  You'd be like 'b*tch, stop playing and tell me what the hell happened!'  It's what I would do.

Remember how I said I would know instantly because of the study?  Technically, I haven't even missed my period yet - I wasn't supposed to start until tomorrow or Thursday.  And remember how I said I wasn't going to say anything until it was almost over?  Yeah right.  As if I would be able to go through this without support.  Ha!

However, teeny favor.  Some of you are my friends on Facebook.  I don't know how long I'll be able to keep this a secret, seeing as how my blog link is on my page but it would be super awesome if you only said things here on my blog and not over there.  Just in case things go south, I would like to contain the fall-out as best as possible.  It sucks that the sad comes along with the happy in things like this, but such is life after loss.

So we're all just going to be cool, okay?  No excitement, no freaking out and for god sakes no words that start with 'c' and end with 'atulations.'  Not yet.  If you know me in real life, just pretend business as usual.  I'm serious - nothing.  Not yet.  For real.  Just be cool. (I'm saying this as much for me as anyone else.  Maybe more for me.)

However, if you would please whisper a quick prayer or send some good healthy b*by-growing energy that would be nice.  But nothing more - we're all just breezy.  At least until April 27 - that will be one week past where I got last time.  WHEN I make it that far, I will expect much hootin' and hollerin', because at that point it'll be anybody's game!

But until then, just be cool.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Okay. Fine. I surrender.

Here it is, 6:30 in the evening and I've done nothing truly productive.  This is in part because everything productive was done over the weekend - cleaning house, laundry, dishes, etc.  I did make some phone calls for the guy I'm playing personal assistant to so the day isn't totally shot (more on that later), but that only took an hour or so.  I've been on the computer for the last four hours, wanting to write, willing myself to write.  It's not like I have no content - it was a pretty full weekend complete with a small-ish panic attack and I'd love to share with you but I can't.  There's a big ol obstacle sitting smack in the way of everything else and I've done my best all day to ignore it.  Wanna know what it is?

I'm supposed to POAS tomorrow.  That's the lingo that I've picked up from my newest obsession,  I've joined the 'TTC after loss' forum.  Y'all *know* how much I hate acronyms, but it's kind of unavoidable over there.  Of course, TTC stands for 'trying to conceive.' POAS is 'pee on a stick' - what I have to do tomorrow.

Ever since the lady from the pregnancy study called me just before noon today, I can't stop thinking about it.  She was all, 'I'm just calling to remind you that you'll need to take your urine pregnancy test tomorrow.'  As if I needed any reminders whatsoever.  As if the day isn't burned into my brain.  As if I'm not sitting on my hands to keep from doing it today, knowing full well that it will be just as negative/positive tomorrow and I need to adhere to the guidelines of the study.  

Besides, I don't want to be *that guy*.  The one who can only talk about one subject.  I don't want my blog to be nothing but me whining about not being able to get pregnant - I do have a life and that is but one aspect of it.  But every two weeks it becomes such a freakin huge aspect!!

Naturally, I've been torturing myself with all manner of infertility/trying to conceive blogs and Googling all kinds of terrible things and playing the what-if game with myself.  What if I have PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Sydrome) and I'm just the one person who shows no outward symptoms?  Just because I have a period every month doesn't mean I ovulate - I just read about it!  I could have endometriosis - I just haven't shown the signs yet!  What if I've got some strange affliction that has no signs or symptoms, you just can't have babies and I don't find out until it's too late?  Or I probably have nothing wrong with me - I'm fit and healthy, I just can't hold babies.  Or maybe the last time was a fluke and that was it for me - no more pregnancies, no babies, no nothing.

I go through some version of this every month.  It sucks.  I'm waiting for the time to come when I'm so numb to the pain that I don't even care enough to ask the questions anymore.  Where I can truly just say 'whatever happens will happen' and mean it.  I also found a site that helps you with ovulation charting because even though I get the happy face on the ovulation sticks that doesn't necessarily mean that I ovulate.  I see that word a lot on these trying-to-conceive sites - necessarily.  Just because you have a period doesn't necessarily mean you ovulate.  Just because you ovulate doesn't necessarily mean they're good eggs.  Just because you ovulate good eggs doesn't necessarily mean they'll get fertilized.  Just because you ovulate good eggs that get fertilized doesn't necessarily mean you'll be able to carry a pregnancy.  Or make it full-term.  Or that you won't have a problem at delivery.  Honestly, it's enough to scare me away from even trying, there are so many pitfalls!  It makes me wonder how in the hell all these babies are even born!  

However, I don't fully consider this a fail post because this blog is about my life and today my life is anxiety over peeing on that damn stick first thing tomorrow morning.  

Okay, I feel a little better - I wish there was a way to unlearn all the things I've Googled since the miscarriage.  I don't want to know everything about my reproductive cycle, my fertile window or my cervical mucus - I know far too much about my cervical mucus.  No one should ever have to know about their cervical mucus.  No one should ever even have to say it.  I haven't yet crossed over to taking my temperature or buying the fertility bible but I have a feeling that's on the horizon.

Yet, if there's one thing the internet has taught me is that I'm not alone and I will get through this - I guess that's two things.  It does help to chat with the other ladies in the forum to give and receive encouragement.  And it is nice to see women who've had mutiple losses 'graduate' and have healthy pregnancies and babies.  It makes me think that perhaps I too will join their ranks.

Another thing that does help is (don't laugh at me please) Giuliana and Bill.  For those that don't know, she's a host on E! and he won The Apprentice and they're married.  It's a reality show - and I bought the season on AppleTV.  And I just confessed that here.  But hear me out - this is the second season and it's all about them trying to get pregnant.  She's done the ovulation sticks and the hormone shots for an IUI (intrauterine insemination) and in the episode I watched today they found out it didn't take.  I'm no fan of reality shows but that moment in the doctor's office was real.  She was all excited until he came in and said 'I'm sorry' and she started crying -  I nearly started crying too!  It was the season finale and it ended with her being very hesitant to go to the next level and start IVF.  I don't blame her - that is serious business.  It's invasive, aggresive, expensive, it could cause permanent damage, and it might not work.

When I watch that show and read some 'triumphant-after-shit-circumstances' blogs, I feel that if they can do it and not go insane then I can too.  If two famous people who seem to have it all can have this problem and still show up for another day, then so can I.  

Even if they both have unnaturally huge scary-white horse-teeth.

Look at that!  I ended my post with a funny!  See, writing makes everything better.

Friday, March 12, 2010

The year of the dog

Maya had her birthday on Wednesday.  I meant to be a good dog-parent (I can't believe I just said that) and do this post on Wednesday, but it just didn't happen.  At least I'm in the birthday week right?

When I finally caved and decided that we could get a dog, Drew and I drove to Dublin, TX to visit the breeder just after the puppies had been born.
One of these fat piggies was coming home with us
I was partial to the lighter ones but Drew leaned toward the dark ones.  
He likes his women dark - jealous, I guess.
When she'd been weaned, Drew went to get her.  
He sent me this from his phone - he was so giddy that day.
Her very first picture at home.
I was only able to hold her like this for a few weeks.  
She grew like a weed!
She was always a happy puppy.
Why couldn't she have stayed this size?
Very quickly, she got acclimated to the house by peeing and pooping everywhere and chewing on anything we could shove in her mouth.  We were very fortunate in that she never destroyed any furniture.  The only thing that suffered is one corner of our bed - thank heaven for small blessings I guess.
None of these blankets or toys exist anymore - they were no match for those puppy teeth!
Are you my daddy?
Her little legs couldn't hold her up for long periods of time.  
She'd get to her destination and let her legs slide out from under her.
She graciously trimmed all the bushes in the backyard.  
We've tried to tell her they're bare enough now, but she doesn't listen.
She used to be small enough to fit under the dresser.
She took a liking to my lap early on.
Crate training was a NIGHTMARE.  Many times I nearly left because she wouldn't sleep through the night.  Just when I was at the end of my rope, she got used to it - thank GAWD.
Putting baby in a corner.
Getting her fixed was my first indication that my feelings for this dog were growing.
We took her to puppy school where she learned absolutely nothing but it did help me so it wasn't a total waste.
For better or worse she has made her way into my heart and yes, she is now a part of the family.  I've become quite protective of her and I will get real stank with anyone who tries to be mean to her - even Drew.  I'm the only one who is allowed to get loud with her and even I don't do it that much anymore.  
I only get loud when she ruins my slippers.  Paper is okay.
She protects me, whether it's from bad guys or squirrels or cats.
She no longer fits in my lap and barely fits on the sofa.  
Not that either of those things bothers her in the least.
Every inch of this house has her mark.

And now a note:  We took this video to showcase Maya's skills - skills I taught her, let the record show.  When we played it back I was like 'I sound bossy!'  Drew, the ever-intelligent man simply nodded and said nothing.  I assure you he is a much bigger smart-ass in real life than I could ever hope to be and we often joke with each other sarcastically - and I'm definitely joking with him.  Maya was doing her tricks and he didn't record the first time.  Additionally, if I didn't specifically tell him not to shoot my hair, he would and think it's funny.  Okay, here you go - please judge me silently.

Happy Birthday PoopyFace!


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