Sunday, May 28, 2017

All the updates at once - Part 3

Part 1 here
Part 2 recap:
- Dr Pesavento is pretty amazing
- 'In My Life' is my theme song through hardship
- The physical reality and humility of miscarrying
- We decide I should have a D&C

Continuing...

I was relieved to finally be laying in a hospital bed, in throw-away underwear, waiting for the D&C. I was relieved knowing that at least the physical discomfort and humiliation would be over soon.

It was surreal as the hospital staff came in and went over everything with me. As they took my vitals and went through my medical history and described the anesthesia and procedure to me.

As they asked me what to do with the 'remains' they would remove from me.

When everyone left and my mom and Anthony and I were just waiting for them to take me in to surgery, Anthony came and laid in the bed with me.

Anthony.

Anthony was there absolutely every step of the way. He was in the bathroom with me at my house when I couldn't move from the toilet. He was in the exam room, and there for the ultrasounds. He helped me clean up the blood and handed me wipes and pads and underwear and didn't even blink when I bled all over his shoes. He wiped away my tears and kissed my forehead and...well you get it. Talk about seeing someone at their lowest. But he never left my side.

And then they came in to get me, and not even thirty minutes later I was waking up in the recovery area, wishing he was with me. It was the first thing I asked...."Where's Anthony?"

A nice nurse told me he and my mom would be in my room, but I had to stay in recovery first.

Laying in the recovery area, feeling so alone and wanting nothing more than to have Anthony walk in, I did the only thing I could think of - I pulled the sheet up to cover my eyes from the light and the world, and I talked to my dad. Because that's what I do when I feel alone...and I really felt alone.

As much as I didn't want to tell him, as unfair as I thought it was, I told him he would be the first one to meet his first grandchild. That he would have to take care of him for us.

It hurt for me to tell him those things...but it was also some of the only comfort I felt that day. If I had to lose our baby, at least he wouldn't be alone. My dad would be there too.

I was taken back to my room, and my mom and Anthony came in a few minutes later. Not long after that I was discharged, and we were home by 2:00pm.

When we got home, I made a cup of tea - because good English breakfast tea cures all ills and sadness - and my mom filled me in on her conversation with Barb. It's obvious that the deal with that first house fell through - and of course it had to happen the same weekend as the miscarriage because why not? Well...in retrospect it's a good thing it fell through, and the timing gave me somewhere to direct all of my anger.

It turns out that somewhere along the line, the seller's attorney dropped the ball, which is why we hadn't heard anything for so long. However, by Friday when they finally came at us with their "final" offer, the sellers DEMANDED a response by 5pm that day. Hah. HAHAHAHA. I had responded to absolutely everything within 12 hours, and that time they weren't getting shit.

My mom had told Barb what was going on, and she relayed that I had a medical emergency and the sellers graciously extended their deadline to 5pm Monday (/somuchsarcasmtheyprobablyfeltit). But at that point I didn't need until 5pm Monday, We were out. They had offered way too little and were trying to string us along to get more for the house than it was worth, given the things that needed to be fixed. It was a hard NO for us at that point, and we were ready to be done with them.

When I spoke to my attorney Monday he agreed immediately and said he would send over the contract termination for me to sign, and a letter to get my earnest money back. The house thing isn't so exciting from here on out, except that when they receive the termination letter they "magically" found an extra $500 to offer us...because it turns out their agent was so desperate to get rid of them that he was willing to put up a portion of his commission to tempt me, and even asked Barb to do the same. She didn't bite, and we still rejected the offer because even with that $500 their credits barely scraped enough to fix one issue with the house.

And that's how that ended too.

*********************************

I really am just spilling my guts here. And honestly, none of it has been easy to write, because it confirms the death of the future Anthony and I thought we had coming towards us at that time. What we envisioned and could see and feel so clearly...so many happy and excited feelings ended when January did.

That's not to say that some things didn't work out for the better - we found a better house, we got a wonderful dog that we KNOW was born into this world solely to join our family, and things are moving along again. But even now, the hurt is still present. (More on that later.)

The fear that it could happen again is still there. Hannah told me at one point that, though she wished she could tell me otherwise, even once you pass the first trimester in another pregnancy, even when everyone tells you things are going fine with your pregnancy, the pain and fear will never truly go away until we have a healthy baby in our arms. I know she's right. First of all because she's Hannah, and she's wise FAR beyond her years. Second, because the thought of having to go through any of that again is...well it's terrifying.

There was obviously anger that went along with everything that happened. And the sadness that our first baby died is still with us. There is no way to describe it other than unfair. And no, life is not fair.

Seriously, spare me.

Fairness is not something you care about when faced with the loss of a child. You do not care that life is not always easy and fun and full of good moments. You only care that something you loved and wanted so deeply is taken away from you for absolutely no reason. There is no logic to it, there is no blame to be placed, there is only sadness and anger that you lost something so close to your heart.

For me, the anger has been drawn out with every billing statement I get as well. I just got one a few weeks ago for almost $800...and I was shocked because I was sure I was done paying. I know I have to pay for the procedure and everything, but talk about adding insult to injury. For three years since I started at my company I have saved the majority of my HSA money for "when I have a baby" (minus some ortho appointments and MRIs). Well. The miscarriage has almost drained it. The entire experience cost me almost $4000, which is almost my entire out of pocket balance for my plan, and it feels like a personal insult from my insurance company.

If anything in my life has made me hate the state of healthcare in America more than I already did, it was going through this. I cannot even fathom how I would feel if I had carried to term and then found out my child was sick.

Couple that with the recent fiasco that is the AHCA ("Trumpcare") and it doesn't take much to make me go from zero to SHUT YOUR FUCKING MOUTH IF YOU SUPPORT OR VOTED FOR ANY ASSHOLE WHO VOTED FOR THAT BILL.

Truly, the state of healthcare in this country is shameful and so sickening.

Seriously. Don't talk healthcare around me if you support this bullshit, or I'm likely to end you because it feels so.personal.

It's hard not to take it personally when you spend weeks after a miscarriage feeling physically and emotionally empty. Knowing the little creature that had attached itself to you to grow and live is gone. When you spend months wondering if you will feel "normal" again after such a loss.

We have obviously established a new normal. We have our house and our dog and work, and on the weekends there have been trips and races and all sorts to keep us busy.

Speaking of...all of this made racing very hard to return to. In part because my body wasn't feeling great for a while, and also because I cared very little about training. I'll delve into this later, but I wanted to mention it quickly because it shows how this one thing that happened truly affected everything.

But anyways...

I'm still not done with all of these updates. There will be at least one more detailing things with the new house and Token's adoption, and I promise that the sad stuff has now been written. Things get happier from here on out ;)

And as a thank you for following along...here's a happy picture to make you smile ;)


x

PS...these three Parts were already pretty much written. The next few may take a little longer for me to type out, so hold tight. I do promise they're coming.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

All the updates at once - Part 2

...continuing...Part 1 ended with:
- We attended a funeral for Anthony's childhood friend
- The sellers for the house we were trying to buy hadn't said anything to us in almost a week
- At about 8 weeks pregnant I started spotting, the doctor and medical assistant told me not to worry as I had no cramping
- I started feeling very sick two days after I started bleeding

Here goes:

Thursday right before I left work I went to the bathroom...and there was bright red blood. My lower back also hurt, which worried me because that's where I tend to cramp during my period. So I called my doctor's office in a panic and asked them what to do, and they told me to come in right then for a blood draw to check my levels, so I did. It took less than 5 minutes, and I was told I would have my results the next morning.

It turns out I didn't need them.

I went home, Anthony and I went about our night time routine, feeling helpless and knowing we could only "wait and see". Like everything else going on in our lives up to that point.

Through all of this, the most frustrating thing was that we had to just keep waiting. We couldn't know, there wasn't anything we could do...we just had to wait and see. With the house we couldn't control the sellers, with the baby we couldn't control...well. Anything.

At 1:30am on Friday I woke up to go to the bathroom, and there was a clot. I knew it was over and in my overwhelming feeling of sadness, failure, and hopelessness, I felt there was nothing to do but accept it. To "keep calm and carry on", as it were. I went back to bed and told Anthony the news, and we cried ourselves back to sleep, while the dream and excitement of our first child washed away from us, leaving two sad, empty shells in the wake.

As I fell back asleep I thought that was it...that we would have to go to work that day (Friday) with the knowledge that we'd lost our baby.

I didn't have a clue.

In the next few hours I learned that I didn't ever truly understand what it would physically be like to miscarry a baby.

I mean...I'd had a few close friends and family miscarry, I've now read more than one or two articles about it wondering how "literature" describes it, because I could not believe my own naivete about what happens during the process. And though I do not fault any of my friends or family in the slightest for not giving me some kind of warning about what would happen, I was a little upset that I didn't have some kind of...I don't know...knowledge or preparedness...of what it would be like.

But I'm not that person who learns something and keeps her mouth shut. I'm just not. I never have been. And this is my blog, so I get to talk about it.

I won't say I ever trivialized my friend's losses because I didn't...at least not emotionally. In my head, knowing someone has lost a child has always seemed like a big deal to me...emotionally. (And it IS.) But I never realized what a woman can go through physically when they miscarry, and if I can't do anything else I want people to understand how it all piles up, physically and emotionally.

I will spare you the worst of the details, but I want to talk about some of it because of my lack of understanding. Because until I went through it any phrase about miscarrying made it sound like your body just goes through some cramps and a little discharge and that's it.

Well. That's not it. At all.

There's some gross girl talk coming up. If you have lost a pregnancy you might not want to read it, and that's okay. If your reason for not wanting to read is that you can't handle someone talking about having a period this next bit is going to be difficult for you, but you should strap on your big kid pants and muscle through a few uncomfortable paragraphs to read the rest of it because it's not all blood and gross.

That said...if you don't want to read it or know anything about it, for whatever reason, skip the rest of this post and pick up with me in Part 3.

**********************

I woke up again around 3am and went to the bathroom, and came back and told Anthony we had to go to CVS because I needed pads. Badly. We barely made it there and back (~15 minutes) before I bled through my tampon and pants. And I mean barely. (FYI...you shouldn't use tampons during a miscarriage, but they're all I had to keep my in the "safe zone" while I went to buy pads.)

Every time I moved I could feel discharge. My low back was also cramping badly, and it didn't take me too long to realize that the cramps were actually contractions, coming every few minutes, like clockwork. It got bad enough that by 5:30, between the back pain and the bleeding, I had planted myself on the toilet in the downstairs bathroom, practically unable to move without making a mess.

Anthony had woken my mom up when we got back from CVS, and then sat himself on the bathroom floor next to me, handing me wipes, both of us clueless as to what to do or how to handle any of it.

Another interlude to say: A lot of what I describe in this post is what physically happened to me...what I felt, and all the things that made me cry...but the truth is this happened to two of us. Physically, this happened to me. But emotionally Anthony and I were both left destroyed and raw. That day and the few months that followed weren't the prettiest. There was sadness and anger and we have gone through every emotion together. We are in a good place now, but we have held each other and cried together and fought and loved one another like never before. This tried us but it never broke us.

He has been my rock.

While I sat in the bathroom Hannah was texting me, telling me to go to the ER, that my bleeding sounded way too heavy. I did not want to go to the ER and sit there with what was happening. My mom was also unsure of what we should do, and finally suggested I call the doctor's office, saying "he's an OB. There will be an answering service."

So I called, and she was (of course) right. While I waited on hold for the woman from the answering service to get a hold of the doctor, I listened to the hold music. And because everything has to line up in life and make you cry harder when you're already crying, I listened to an instrumental version of The Beatles 'In My Life' play through the line.


It felt like the universe and powers that be were cocooning me. This was a song I listened to countless times after my dad died. A song that has pulled me through every hard or sad time I have ever faced. A song whose lyrics I posted as my parting words on the white board of my freshman college dorm the week before classes ended. I know every word of this song (and the interlude) by heart. Note for note. And I sang along to that instrumental music while I cried and waited for the doctor to come on the phone, understanding that even though I hated this and felt it was the most unfair thing to ever happen to me, it was happening and there was probably a 'reason' (or whatever). We just had to get through it.

But of all these friends and lovers,
There is no one compares with you.
And these memories lose their meaning,
When I think of love as something new.
Though I know I'll never lose affection,
For people and things that went before
I know I'll often stop and think about them,
In My Life, I love you more...

The doctor finally came on the phone and I burst into a fresh round of tears as I told him I just didn't know what to do, and I felt like I was bleeding a lot, and I didn't want to go to the ER and I just needed him to tell me what to do.

This is where I stop and tell you that Dr Daniel Pesavento (affiliated with Advocate Good Shepard in Barrington, IL) is hands down the most amazing doctor I have ever met. You read that right. The best. Even better than my beloved Dr Gent. From the start of our phone call to the moment I left the hospital there was never a question in my mind that I was Dr Pesavento's most important patient that day (and even if I wasn't, that's how a doctor should make you feel). He answered every question. He explained everything that was going on and what he was looking for. As I went from his office to the hospital, from ultrasound to day surgery, literally every woman I encountered told me he is their doctor too, and he is amazing, and that I was in good hands.

Every one of those women was right.

Dr Pesavento said the ER was an option, but if I could wait until 8:30 I could meet him at the office and he would do the examination himself, and then we could determine a course of action. That sounded much better than going to the ER and waiting around a bunch of people that wouldn't care about me that much.

While I was on the phone, my mom talked to my cousin Jennie (who was already doubling as my doula at this point, so we'll call her that here too), and she came over to sit with us. We spent those few hours at the kitchen table talking (well...I alternated between there and the bathroom). I did some coloring - because what else do you do in a time of crisis? - to calm myself down. Just before 8:00, my grandma came over too, which helped me because I knew she understood what I was feeling - even if the feeling was 50 years removed for her.

And at 8:00 my mom and Anthony and I made our way to the doctor's office.

When he did the exam he told me my cervix was still closed, so he said I'd have to go to the hospital for an ultrasound, because we shouldn't do anything without knowing for sure whether or not there was a heartbeat. If there wasn't, or if the baby wasn't there, he strongly advised a D&C because of how heavily I was bleeding, and he seemed very concerned that I'd been bleeding as heavily as I had for over 5 hours at that point.

When he left the room I called my manager, Steve...and as soon as he answered the phone I burst into more tears and couldn't talk. I had texted him earlier that I wouldn't be at work but I would call to explain, and I'm sure he didn't expect me to call with the news I had. He asked if I was okay, and it was moments before I could sob out, "No." I told him where I was, and what was happening, and that Anthony and I wouldn't be in that day. I said I probably wouldn't be in on Monday either. He told me not to worry about work at all, and that I didn't have to come back until I was ready. That made me feel a little better, considering.

Dr Pesavento came back in with my ultrasound script, and from that point on I felt like he ran Good Shepard Hospital, simply because of the speed with which everything progressed. At one point at the hospital they told me I would have to wait an hour for my ultrasound, and said something about drinking water...well I didn't think that was right, given the possibility of surgery. I didn't think they knew what was going on. So I called the doctor's office and explained to them, and only had enough time to clean up and go sit in the waiting room for thirty seconds before they called me back.

I was in and out of the ultrasound incredibly quickly, on the phone with the doctor a minute later as he explained that the ultrasound showed there was no longer a sac, and that my bleeding still concerned him so he would call and book an OR room by the time I'd be able to walk over to Day Surgery.

So the decision was to do a D&C, mostly because of how much I was bleeding.

As we made the walk to Day Surgery, I had a few house issues crop up. (Because why not.)

I had an email from my attorney with the "final" offer from the sellers of the house. I read it, scoffed, rolled my eyes, and said "fuck these assholes" out loud, and closed the email. To say it was insulting is an understatement. These people clearly thought I was an idiot.

I saw I'd missed a call from my agent, Barb, and she had sent me a text saying she needed to talk to me ASAP. I texted her back and said, "Today is not a good day" - and I'm sure she got the point because she told me it was fine and things could wait. Through the whole process I had literally been so on top of it with the house and the mortgage and everything, so NOT getting a response from me within twenty minutes, let alone one without an answer, was very out of character. I asked my mom if she could call her for me, and she said she would.

Once we knew what was going to happen and I was in the pre-op room...well honestly, I was relieved. Up until that point, absolutely everything had been uncomfortable and humiliating, and to say I felt like I had no control is a trivialization.

Aside: A few weeks ago (ironically at a baby shower) I told someone that the experience was humiliating, and she gave me this completely horrified look and said I shouldn't be embarrassed about losing my baby. The thing was...it's not losing the baby that was so embarrassing. It was the physical process.

I left this out above, but at one point I'd managed to get blood all over the floor in the bathroom at the doctor's office. Managed. It wasn't exactly like I could stop the flow. I also tried to clean it up, because I couldn't just leave it there, could I?

Twenty minutes (and a very uncomfortable pelvic exam later) another gush landed on both mine and Anthony's shoes as he helped me get dressed again. The same happened when I had the ultrasound. I had to sit on chuck pads everywhere I went during that very long morning, and I was very glad I'd chosen black pants when I left the house. I went through multiple pairs of underwear in the short trips between the doctor's and the hospital and it took me no time at all to go through the packs of baby wipes I'd taken from the doctor's office.

I want to be clear that I'm not ashamed I lost our baby. But everything was so humiliating because I had absolutely no control over what my body was doing. I spent 5 hours feeling like I was wetting my pants because there was no way to stop the flow. I felt like, as a potty trained adult, I should be able to control my body's expulsions - even though logically, as a woman, I know there is no way to control the flow out of my uterus.

But we live in a society where we're constantly told to keep our emotions in, stay level headed, control the situation and not let feelings go awry. Sometimes that's incredibly impractical and insensitive...but the conditioning of it doesn't stop us from feeling the extreme lack of control when we no longer hold the reins.

In short...I was ready for the physical part of miscarrying to be done.

(Part 3 will come soon, just wait it out.)

x

Friday, May 26, 2017

All the updates at once - Part 1

(It turns out this post was WAY too long to put up all at once, so I'm splitting it up. I still don't know how long it will be...because I'm still not done with it. But on May 1st I promised an update, and it's time for me to get better about posting, so here we go.)

If you follow along here you've probably noticed the chronic absence of posts for the last few months. And I'll admit, life has moved very, very quickly during those months, and part of the lack of posting is because I've been too busy. It has also been up and down and lately (read: since December) and when I sit down to post I have had intense writer's block and can't put what's going on now into words.

And I think it's because I haven't written about all the other stuff that happened.

If you read my Mother's Day post, I let a large part of what happened this winter slip out. In this post, I'm going to talk about all of that. Just put it all out there and then see if maybe the writer's block abates.

This is going to be a very, very long post. I'm like 5 sentences in and I can't even tell you how long it will be. It will probably be a lot of words, and not a lot of pictures. It's going to be all over the place, because it's going to be about personal stuff, training, races, houses, puppies...everything.

This really is all the updates, all at once. As of starting this post, I don't even know if I'll put it all up at once because it might be that long. Who knows.

The truth is, I've been trying to avoid writing a lot of what I'll put in this post. Trying to move on and not let "outsiders" know about everything that happened. Because the truth is, at least for me, blogging tends to show all those people on the outside of your life all the great things that are going on, and it lets you soldier on through the difficult things in peace. At least that's how I do it, because I'm not good at showing people that I'm weak or lack control. That I have weaknesses in my life and character (who'da thought?). Obviously I do, but in this space I can pretend I have it all together (lol).

I'm not saying that hard things aren't ever talked about or shouldn't be, I just feel like I normally reference it all after the fact as "HOW I PREVAILED!" And this time around, some of it just feels too hard, and too private. Like a long, hard, ugly cry...it's not something you want people to see, especially when you're not "over" it (whatever the hell that means).

And there was a lot of difficult and ugly crying at the beginning of the year.

Obviously, there is a lot to be said for keeping things private. I've gone back and forth about this a lot trying to decide if it's something I want to write about here. I recognize that I don't have to, and that it's no one's business but my own. Not only because it means sharing this shadow over my heart, but because once it's out on the internet, it's out there for good. All of my friends will know. Any coworker who stumbles on this will know. Anthony's friends and coworkers will know...

...and that's a lot to process.

But all of it gives frame of reference for all the other things that happened since then. My struggles with getting back to training, the complete apathy I felt for a long time about everything that wasn't part of my relationship. And sometimes, in the blogosphere, I feel like the mirage needs to be cleared away to show the desert that's actually there. To show that it's not all good and happy and "hard work allows you to succeed".

Sometimes bad things just happen, and you have no control, and you let that lack of control take you over until you feel ready to grasp the reins again.

So here's that story.

*********************************************

Back at the beginning of December I had just completed my first official half marathon and was relishing in not having a training plan (maybe a little too much). I did a lot of not running and not going to the gym, and I was enjoying being able to be "lazy" and spend extra time with Anthony as we geared up for the holidays.

One such weekend, as I crafted my year's reflection on racing, I found myself dog sitting for my friend's parents...and I also realized my period was a few days late (not unusual though). So I did what any normal girl does, and took a pregnancy test, 100% expecting it to be negative.

Except it wasn't.



In complete disbelief and shock (because remember I was 100% sure I wasn't pregnant), I did the next possible thing and googled how to figure out how pregnant I was. I put in the first day of my last period, and the little Baby Center calculator thing estimated me at almost six weeks.

Wow.

After the longest hour of my life, Anthony made it to the house and I showed him the test, waited the appropriate number of seconds for him to realize what it actually said, and then there was lots of hugging and smiling and happiness.

Right now you're probably sitting there scratching your head and wondering where my pregnancy announcement has been this whole time...

*lets the wheels spin*

...and now it's probably dawned on you that I am not pregnant. Anymore. ...yeah.

I want to say, before anything else, that though it was unexpected, we wanted this baby. From the first day we were excited and terrified for all of the changes coming our way, but overwhelmingly happy about all of it.

I told my mom two days after getting a positive test result (she was happy and there were some tears), and the following night while we were at the hospital waiting for Anthony's niece to be born his mom made a comment about not believing she'd be a grandma to 4 before 50, and Anthony unceremoniously said, "Well Christina's pregnant too," and that's how they found out. (More tears, all happy). I also scheduled my 10 week appointment with the OB for January 11th...and let the waiting commence.

On December 23rd I had my first experience with pregnancy fatigue after a decent bike workout at the gym (hill intervals!). Also, never fear - practically right away after getting that positive test I did as much research as possible on how to safely stay fit while pregnant and I knew a moderate hill workout would be okay, as long as my heart rate didn't stay too high, for too long.

But that workout left me totally spent, and I wound up in bed by 6:30 because I literally couldn't lift myself to sitting.

The next day, Christmas Eve, I had my first bout of nausea which lasted all day. I nibbled at some food, knowing I "had" to eat, but nausea with Christmas dinner in the books isn't the most enjoyable thing to face. At this point almost none of my family knew (my mom, brother, Jennie and Steve), so when I had some mac and cheese with dinner and realized OMG I WANT TO EAT THIS, I went back for seconds. One of my cousins made a rude (perhaps he was joking) comment about me "carbo loading" for something, and I almost punched him square in the face for being an ass. I still kind of wish I had *side eye*

And that was how I learned that finding that one thing you want to eat outside of being nauseous is probably the sole reason for that whole "don't touch a pregnant woman's food" saying.

There's also SO much out there on the internet about pregnancy, and for pretty much everything you'll read says that pregnancy is different for everyone. You literally cannot get a straight answer for anything. So for me, I spent mornings at work varying between nauseous and ravenous, and it would only lift slightly if I had something like Sprite or green tea, or ate citrus fruit or dry carbs (like crackers or cereal). By the time 2pm hit I'd be starving, and a lot of days the lunch I'd packed was not what I wanted and Anthony would be forced to take me for food I would eat (hello Jimmy John's BLTs).

I was also extremely tired all.the.time. I don't think I can adequately describe pregnancy fatigue. It isn't just being tired like I thought it would be. It was the complete inability to do anything that wasn't 100% crucial to survival, and even then there were things I seriously questioned needing to do (like get up to pee). I'm normally an early-to-bed, early-to-rise kind of person...but falling asleep at 6:30 is beyond ridiculous, even for me.

But that's how it went through most of January (hence the inability to properly train for a half marathon!).

At this point I'm going to start to intermingle the pregnancy talk with everything else that happened the first few weeks of January, because it was a lot. It was so much that I wrote it all down as it was happening. Yeah, I kept notes on life.

On January 1st we started looking at houses. We saw 8 (some single family, some townhomes) and ended the day disheartened because nothing was anywhere near what we wanted. The good news was that the following Saturday (the 7th) we found a house that we really liked, and we put an offer in (while standing in the kitchen of the house).

And thus, the nail biting that comprises house buying commenced.

On the 11th Anthony and I traipsed to the doctor's office after work for our first ultrasound. What we thought would be our 10 week scan. Only as the tech moved the probe around she got quiet and went from genial and talkative to very quiet, and not nervous but not cheerful. She said that the baby was measuring much smaller than 10 weeks, more like 5 or 6, which sent me into panic mode. The tech ended by saying the doctor would go over everything with us and as I got dressed I started word vomiting scenarios at Anthony based on everything I'd read. Then we went and waited in the doctor's office, nervous and certainly not as happy as when we'd walked in the door.

But he came in and said everything looked normal for week 6 of a pregnancy. He gave me a new due date (September 4th, not August 8th) and said we should come back in a week to make sure things were on track.

The next day more stuff happened with the house. After a few days of back and forth on a price (which included some laughable counteroffers by the sellers, should have seen the red flag it was), our offer on the house was accepted and the inspection was scheduled, which was great news.

Unfortunately, it was followed by some pretty terrible news...right as I was leaving work on the 12th, Anthony told me that he was getting texts from his friend that another childhood friend had been killed in a triple homicide. My heart shattered for Anthony. I thought about Kayla. I thought about finding out she had died two years earlier, while I was surrounded by people at work and feeling like I couldn't escape it and wanting nothing more than to do so. And I knew there wasn't anything I could do to take those feelings away.

It was a hard week, because there were so many mixed emotions. The terrible news about Darrell, the great news about the house, and then on the 18th we had our second ultrasound showing that the baby was growing on schedule for 7 weeks, and even though there wasn't a heartbeat yet, it gave us an incomprehensible feeling of relief (even though what we really wanted was to see that heartbeat).

On Saturday the 21st we drove to the city for Darrell's funeral,..and I can't explain any of the emotions associated with that either. It was my first time meeting any of Anthony's friends (and I met almost all of them), and my heart proceeded to break further as I saw them mourn their childhood friend. As I saw this young man's family (including his three year old daughter with curls like Shirley Temple) speak and sing about and honor the memory of their brother, cousin, father, son, and friend.

And as all of this happened, things with the house progressed. We had the inspection and determined what we wanted fixed in the house (or credited)...and the sellers came back the following week with a completely unreasonable response. And I mean completely. Realistically, we figured we were due at least $5000 in credits, and they offered us a fraction of that. They were offering us almost nothing, and there certainly should have been something.

That Sunday morning (the 22nd), I also noticed some spotting. That was when the internet taught me that something like one third of pregnancies have some sort of spotting, and there's really no way to tell if it's good or bad. You just have to wait and see. Not to give TMI here, but the spotting was brown and the internet assured me this was most likely implantation bleeding, and Anthony and I simply decided we'd have to be patient and relax about it until our next ultrasound the following Monday. I.e. freaking FOREVER away.

Obviously I spent the next few days worrying and updating Anthony about literally every bathroom visit, but I also called my doctor's office and spoke to the medical assistant who assured me some spotting is normal and if it's brown and I had no cramping there was nothing to worry about.

I was horribly sick that Tuesday night. The most nauseous I had been and tired beyond belief. I went to Anthony's house after work (about 4pm), crawled into bed, and fought the urge to throw up until I finally fell asleep for twelve hours.

All the while, the sellers for our house were being more and more ridiculous, and taking longer and longer to respond to any communication. As a matter of fact, there was no more word from them...until Friday.

(This is kind of long...I think I'll leave it there for now so everyone can give their eyes a break. Part 2 is already written so I'll post that tomorrow...I promise this time you don't have to wait a month!)


x

Part 2 is now available here.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

This Mother's Day is different.

Happy Mother's Day.

To my own mother and grandmothers, to my Auntie. To the women in my life who have helped and encouraged and loved me the way only mothers can.

And Happy Mother's Day to all of us who have merely glimpsed motherhood, and who will mourn but never forget the children we have lost.



x

Monday, May 1, 2017

An update is coming...

Let's not beat around the bush...I've been bad about posting lately.

I never even posted house pictures like I said I would a month ago.

Well. The truth is...there is something coming. I started writing it on April 14th. It's currently 11 pages in MS Word and let's just say there's a lot more to go.

So you'll eventually get this mondo update about what's been going on, but I really need the time to put it all in order and figure out how I'm going to deliver it.

I just wanted to stop in and say that.

Here's a dog picture to make up for not posting anything of substance for so long!


PS - he's even cuter in person.


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