Sunday, January 28, 2007

Have you noticed this?

PostSecret has a wonderful set of secrets up this week, and one set I noticed was especially touching.

There is a post card saying "Sofia and Colleen were the names we had picked out" It is obviously from someone who has gone through pregnancy loss, a very much wanted pregnancy, and felt they had to keep the names of their babies a secret.

It doesn't have to be a secret. I feel so sad for these people that they thought they were all alone. And guess what; they aren't alone. A couple of emails have been sent in with the names of other lost children. Parents trying to help other parents.

I'm glad they have received some validation. I wish I had his email address so I could send in my children's names. Matthew's name isn't a secret. No child's name has to be a secret. Ever.

I'm sending a big hug out to those parents tonight, and to Frank Warren.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Red & Pink

There's a new show on CBC that I've been watching called Little Mosque on the Prairie. It's hilarious and bizarre and I seriously wish the US Congress would watch it. But I'll settle for some US network to pick it up. Too bad it won't happen.

Not because of the politics or the supposed war on terror mind you. No, it's because of the episode that just aired on Wednesday. In it, a young hip Muslim girl who is trying to be just an average pre-teen (when her slightly conservative Dad isn't looking) is changing her jeans. She's trying to decide what to wear. And lo and her pants drop to the ground, what does she see, RED, and so does the audience.

Her first period, and they showed it on prime time TV! It was short and discreet, enough of a glimpse to see what it was, and the young actress had a long shirt on, so nothing above her thigh showed. But still, for the first time in the history of network televsion, a universal experience of all women was displayed...the "Ohmygodwhatisthat,howamIgoingtogetthisstainout,whatdoItellmymom&dad,whatdoIdonext" moment that every woman has had.

I was completely blown away, because after all it is the quintessential female event that no one ever talks about. We water it down, we pinkify it, we sanitize it for public consumption. After all, 49% of the Earth's population is horrified by menstrual blood and do not want to witness the reality of how the human race is perpetuated. And it's American network television's job to protect them from such scandal.

So I've had my Studio 60 moment...I've had plenty of Desperate Housewives moments...and now I'm having a Little Mosque on the Prairie moment. My period has arrived, there is red on my jeans, and there was only one pink line on the damn stick this afternoon. I'm sad right now because I'm figuring out that this means I'll have to leave out part of my life story if I ever become famous.

No red is allowed on TV you see, only pink.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Hormonal Madness

I'm having wild mood swings, (can you tell from that last post?) I crave odd foods, nothing has "arrived" yet, and I feel slightly nauseous, then perfectly fine.

But there are no double lines showing up anywhere.

I feel slightly crampy, and backachey, but with no definitive proof of anything, I can't just get drunk, as I so desperately want to. Usual cycle for me this last couple of years, 24 days max. In my WHOLE LIFE I've never had a 30 day cycle and not been pregnant, or pregnant and having a miscarriage.

I am also now terrified that something awful has happened, and I will now be horribly sick and need some sort of medical attention. Normally I'd be running for the damn dildocam and blood tests, but this week, I feel frozen, like I don'

I just want to curl up in a little ball on the couch, and let someone else take care of me. I feel so awful right now. I hate my uterus.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

A perfect example

I just launched at a friend today (late last night?) about his school's fundraising, which he mentioned. He objected to the particular fundraising event, and I objected to the very act of fundraising for public schools at all because frankly it's supposed to be funded by tax dollars. Plus, the families who can't afford to contribute feel pressure to contribute even when they absolutely cannot afford it, and may be living hand to mouth.

I grew up with very little money and I remember that pressure, so I really object to the entire concept. And just in case you are wondering, I have never ever voted for tax cuts, as a grown up my family pays taxes without objection, & I think my taxes should be raised a lot more.

Sounds weird? No, I'm like a lot of people who grew up with nothing and don't mind paying to get good services. I know my friend probably agrees, but the problem is that school fundraising can turn into a neighbourhood competition too easily. Anyway, I thought about phoning him up and apologizing, cause really he was discussing a slightly different issue, but lo and behold, who rings on my door 10 minutes ago?

A little girl, and her sister, and their Dad. They are going door-to-door begging for money for yet another stupid school fundraiser.

In the DARK.

In MINUS 20 FREAKIN' DEGREE CELSIUS WEATHER. Not including windchill, people.

Coldest day of the year here in TO.

I wanted to tell the guy at my door off, but I also knew that he and his kids were probably feeling all sorts of social pressure to bring in the know, if you don't raise X dollars we'll never be able to provide your kids with a decent education. Which is BS...

So no I didn't give them money. I didn't want to reward the idiot for endangering his children's health. But, as an act of charity, I also did not call Children's Aid and report the blazing fool. This entire episode, in fact, all of it could be prevented by simply banning any outside fundraising by parents and kids. Period. Last year, I understand it was a pittance province wide and could easily be replaced by a 4 dollar a year per resident extra tax contribution.

Think about it. For four dollars a year, no child will ever ring on your doorbell selling chocolate covered almonds again, no child will ever have to beg in the freezing cold, and no parent will ever have to decide if they can afford to buy groceries OR give in to keeping up with the Joneses.

I'll pay. Please raise my taxes to do it. And keep your kids at home where it's warm, for chrissakes, buddy!

Yes, I may call up my friend yet and tell him to ignore my rant, but I've seriously made the decision that I'm not giving any more money to these kids at the door, and I'm going to harangue all my political buddies to tax the highest bracket of earners.

Education is a human right, not an act of charity.

Never know which one to believe

I'm a Leo, and occasionally put too much stock in my horoscope:

#1: Georgia Nichols: Your relations with partners and close friends will definitely deepen today in a passionate, intense way. (Speaking with a French accent might hasten things.) Conversations can be revealing. People are ready to plumb the depths of their souls. (Like wow.)

#2: Phil Booth: Some things seem attractive, but turn out to be worthless. And so often what appears worthless, turns into pure gold. The stars may not be heralding great financial gain, but there is, in your world, a bright shine beneath something that seems lacklustre.

#3: Sally Brompton: Cosmic activity in your opposite sign of Aquarius warns of a falling out with a friend or colleague you usually get along with quite well. Hopefully it will be one of those disagreements that is heated one minute and forgotten the next but if it lingers you must be the one to say sorry, even if you're anything but.

So either I'm going to have an affair, find money in garbage/garbage in my money, or have a fight with a friend.

So ahead of time, I don't want to have an affair, so I'm turning you all down ahead of time, I'll be sorting junk today, let's hope it's fun and profitable, and just in case:

I'm sorry and I retract whatever the offensive thing is that I said, okay?

Hope that covers it off. Now, I'm going to go visit various religious institutions now, and a lefty vegan grocery for atheists. Whew!!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Yeah, BFN.

I may try using the remaining one tomorrow morning, just because I enjoy throwing money away...18.99 plus tax for 2 of the extra-sensitive ones. I swear, I'm in the wrong business, oh yeah, I don't have a job...never mind.

And the unfortunate side effect of knowing my body so well, is that I may have been pregnant ever so briefly, like with an HCG of 6, then nothing, but there's no way to know for sure. So we're all going to assume that would be completely impossible okay? Things like Trisomy 1* simply do not exist for today, just today, on this blog?

Sooo, I'm going to attempt productivity now and call a plumber. Obviously my personal plumbing sucks, maybe I can get my house's fixed.

* Full Trisomy 1 embryos cannot implant, and have only been seen during PGD in petri dishes. These and many other full trisomies are the usual causes of BFNs for natural or IVF pregnancies. This BTW is different than the inherited mosaicism you may have seen some people talk about on other blogs. ANYONE can get a full Trisomy, no matter the's an egg quality issue.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

I'm so frickin' behind

I have a stack of stuff to do, like call the plumber, organize a bunch of paper, get the piano fixed, finish off my personal calender...and maybe even deal with the whole day 28 thing, cause y'know tomorrow is day 29.

Everytime I read a blog of an infertile, or just a woman TTC, I'm struck by how much they all want to POAS, like every day. Meanwhile, I'm freaked at the thought of just buying the stupid sticks. This wasn't supposed to be happening this month. It probably isn't. I wasn't tracking anything, I can't remember when Mr.Cotta and I well, y'know? I know we did...but at the right time, with all the bits in matching places?

I don't have time to go to the Doctor for an HCG, so why even bother to POAS? I'll just be disappointed. So why am I wondering? Because my body doesn't do 28-9 day cycles EVER without a team of Doctors on standby, 200 mg of prometrium/day and Provera combined. And I had too much estrogen this month to be slipping into menopause again. So, I'm imagining all of this, unless...unless...unless

Fuck---I'm going shopping tomorrow.

And calling a plumber. Just so the day isn't a total waste.

Monday, January 22, 2007

The proof I didn't want to know

This post describes the events that happened shortly after Matthew died. It's also going to double as my Blogging for Choice contribution.

Blog for Choice Day - January 22, 2007

The day of the funeral, I started having cramps and bleeding, more than I should've. I called the OB/Gyn, Dr. C , who performed the termination and he got me into an ultrasound clinic across from the hospital that morning. The radiologist told me that I had retained placenta. We went over to see the OB/Gyn who gave me a prescription for Cytotec again and told me to take some more that night and not worry, it would probably come out.The thought of having anything still inside me completely freaked me out, since I was worried it might be a part of the baby. (Which of course was impossible, we'd seen him with all his fingers and toes, but still...)

My poor husband on the other hand, was terrified we'd miss the funeral. I guess the part about his wife hemorraging went right over his head. His Dad was coming to the funeral and he was freaked out about being late to meet his father. The things that go through your head when you are grief-stricken---hmm?

We got to the funeral on time, and the cemetary as I mentioned before. About a week later, I realized I was still bleeding to heavily and went back to Dr. C. He was mystified, but sent me for another ultrasound, and lo and behold that little tiny piece of placenta was still hanging around. More Cytotec, and antibiotics this time, just in case. He told me he didn't want to risk a D&C because I was so far along in the pregnancy that my uterine walls were very thin and there was a risk of perforation. I know many people get 2nd trimester D&Cs but the further you go into the pregnancy the riskier they get especially with a damaged placenta, and the risk was manageable until 4-6 weeks after the pregnancy when the risk goes back to normal. In my case, we ended up waiting for 2 and 1/2 months, while we kept trying round after round of Cytotec.

I eventually got my D&C and it turned out to be the tiniest little piece of placenta ever, but as Dr. C noted, it was more firmly attached than anything he had ever seen, even a placenta accreta. And then we had the talk...when I asked what this would have meant if I had carried Matthew to term. It turns out that my placenta was coming apart as I gave birth to him, and parts of it were stuck, and that would've meant not just a hemorrhage, but also in all probability a hysterectomy after a radical c-section to deliver a dead or dying child with hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus which would've swelled his head and prevented a vaginal birth or a regular c-section. This surgery would've taken place after I had already experienced severe blood loss.

It's been very hard to publish this post all day, because I'm having trouble facing what might've happened, & not just to me. My little son, my darling 6 year old who loves gorillas and art and wants to save endangered animals, wouldn't exist. I needed a uterus to have him, and God help me I can't contemplate a world without him. This proof of the risk to all our lives is the worst part, the final word, the end to my hope.

Protecting choice isn't just about women, or our current family when we make our choice, it's about protecting our future fertility, about making sure our future children get to exist.

Thank God I live in Canada, where my right to choose to end a pregnancy is protected at this point. And I hope someday ALL women around the world get to choose to have children, or not, get to stay pregnant, or not.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Just Quickly

Here is a video of her hair...but since I don't speak German?? I have no clue what they are saying. Probably vapid fashion stuff...

And in case you were unsure, no I don't have her boobs, or her face, or her skinniness. Ahem.

I think my hair is better...or at least it will be when I figure out how to use this new flatiron. It turns out that my hair looks good just wash and wear with some silicone spray...but a little drying and gelling and flatironing may be necessary for special occasions, so why not?

Tomorrow's post is going to be about Blogging for Choice. I'm not sure precisely what I'll be writing, but I'll make it good. Check out their site and if you like join in, K? No pressure...just an interesting idea, I think.

Thanks for the idea, Not So Little Sister!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Frilly hair stuff

Thursday I got my hair done. Many many ages ago I was hip looking and young and stuff, and my hair and clothes reflected that. Now, between chasing after kidlets and dealing with hormonal hell, the hip part doesn't work very well anymore.

Yummy mummy not so much, more like slummy mummy. But, one decision I made a few years a back was to color my hair blond. I was starting to prematurely grey at about 32 or so, and that was a bit early for me. My birth mom had gone completely grey by 40, and I had a feeling the cards were stacked against me. Plus, my estrogen was depleting by then what with the Premature Ovarian Failure and all. So some of my parts were getting ummm prematurely older.

I started with highlighting my extremely dark brown hair, on the advice of the colorist. She was convinced I could never convincingly look blond. So instead she made me look STRIPED like a tiger. Not my best fashion moment---- As we added highlights over many more months and years I was basically bleaching all my hair. And in turn it was becoming very fried.

Then I made a very smart decision and talked to my long time hairstylist Greg, who convinced me to switch to straight coloring. And I did, and voila!!! I have awesome blond caramel hair, that for some reason looks natural even though I'm normally dark haired. Roots vary, but as I get greyer underneath, I'm glad I switched to a lighter color, less contrast.

But my hair was still not so great as far the shape, since I was trying to grow it long (and failing at it) and still look very business/sophisticated. No time to devote to styling it unfortunately! So Thursday, we made the decision to go for something dramatic.

I have Victoria Beckham's hairstyle!

A sharp geometric bob, very short in the back and descending on an angle, long near my face. No bangs. Wild. I can comb it and go, and I look hip. I'll try to get a picture, but I'm not sure how to get the photos off my camera and onto my computer yet. (Ooops)

I'll be more serious Monday, but for today I'm going to go stand in the mirror and make faces and play with my new hair. Weeeee!

Friday, January 19, 2007

I don't know what to do


I had all these lovely fluffy ideas for a post today, but now I'm distracted. My friend Nicole at Just Crazy Enough to Try is in trouble, and I can't figure out what to do. She is bipolar and trying to get pregnant, and has changed around her meds a lot.

Well, something has happened and she has been slipping into a funk. Yesterday, she posted that she is suicidal and had called her therapist and husband and he was rushing home. We haven't heard anything since. Why would I worry more than usual? Because based on my Statcounter reports, I could tell where she was from, (no, I will never reveal anything, I'm too paranoid about my own privacy to violate someone else's). Normally she checks my blog regularly during the day. But she hasn't since yesterday about noon. And that's unusual.

She doesn't have an obligation to update her blog, or even tell any of us internets anything. But even though I've never met her or seen her, I feel like she is my friend, and I want her to be okay and come out of this, like NOW. And I can't stand not knowing if she is okay. If any of her real life friends ever read this post, please email me, or let me know somehow how she is doing.

This is where the weirdness of blogging anonymously comes in. My husband doesn't know about my blog, because I like to have the freedom of being able to express myself. Sometimes I love him to distraction, and sometimes he makes me insanely pissed off. And as many of you know, I like to rant once in a while. (hehe) But what if something happened to me? How would I tell you guys, or even just keep this thing from being hacked?

Don't get me wrong, I'm fine right now, I love blogging, and I am reasonably healthy if a little estrogen deprived and thyroid blah blah. But any of us can get hit by a bus. We can trip and hurt ourselves, get sick, fall apart...

My therapist knows I have a blog, but doesn't know where it is. And one friend in real life has guessed where it is, and read it. He's a trustworthy person and even told me he wouldn't read it if I told him not to. After I got over the shock, I realized that I doesn't matter if he does read it. It's not my friends I worry about so much, it's the nutjobs. But the problem still remains that no one knows my password, and my email IDs. I have to write this all down and make a plan...maybe let a close friend know who could update this thing, or copy it all and hand it to my kids someday.

Yes, I wouldn't mind if my kids knew someday when they are old enough to understand. I want them to know how much I love them and how much they mean to me, and how desperately they were wanted and prayed for. I want them to know all about my life and my feelings and my universe for good or for bad, someday when they are old enough to read it all and get it. I met a woman last night at a party, who told me that she will never lie to her kids. I laughed my butt off, since her kids are 3 and 1 1/2 at this point. Truth is subjective and has to be age-appropriate. Is she really going to tell her kids every detail of her life at the age of 3? I doubt it.

I haven't told my kids everything about my life and my past, because it is very hard for young children to hear some sad stories. Other things, I've spoken about but been deliberately vague about the details. I will tell them everything eventually, but right now, no.

I have to make a plan for this. And Nicole, if you make it through this, please, make a plan too. In fact, to every blogger who reads this, please make a plan so that all of us, your friends, don't have to worry.

I'm rambling. This makes no sense. I don't know what to do.

*Nicole has posted, she is feeling much better!!! Yay, now all of you please go work on your plans for what to do if you can't post yourself.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Covering my tracks

My brown/grey roots are showing. I'm getting them reblonded today, so I'm off and running...and I'll be back this afternoon. (As an aside, why do people equate haircolour with brainpower? I hear that lots of politicians and actresses are going dark, so they'll look more "serious". That makes NO sense to me. )

Just had an odd experience and I wanted to share it. I've had some hits on my Statcounter from an Australian forum on birthing, but I had never heard of it. When I clicked the link, and it said I was denied access to the thread, all my red flags went up. The last two months have been a little paranoia inducing I'm sure you would agree! Anyway, after emailing them and poking around some, I found out that they are a well run forum, not a troll site at all, but I still couldn't get access to read what they were saying about me.

And then the light dawned...they have a private section for women who have been through losses, and for midwives, etc. to discuss those issues. That must be where the link is coming from, I assume. So, hopefully they are reading with a good heart and good intentions. And maybe taking something away for a worthwhile discussion?

I do wish I could see what they think though. And hey, if any of you reading this are from that forum, please email me or leave a comment to say hi. It will make me a little more trusting, really.

I did want to expand a bit on that midwife issue from Matthew's story. I do not believe that is how a typical midwife would act. I have been told that even after transferring care, she should not have left me on my own. But she, as an individual, did abandon me, and it doesn't do any good to whitewash the situation, right?

Unless we're whitewashing the roots of my hair!

(Yes, I'm trying to find some humour in the situation. Work with me people!)

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

This is why I love the internet

Today I feel better. I am grateful for every single blogger out here on the net. I love you all for your honesty, your support and your decency to your fellow internet neighbours.

On that last post, I wrote about the anger I felt after my son died. It is the anger I have felt welling up in me on many other occasions since.

When every doctor in Toronto told me that an FSH higher than ten meant I would never get pregnant again, and that I should just give up, I was upset and in disbelief. But when I looked on the internet and discovered it was BS I was angry at their incompetence. Yes, my chances were lower of having good quality eggs, but ovaries don't have an on/off button. Things gradually decline and they can swing back and forth for years. I figured my anger at being misinformed was justified.

After my subsequent miscarriages, my endless medical misadventures, I was treated both competently and incompetently. With compassion and cruelty, (sometimes in the same day). Then I was given so many conflicting diagnoses and bad medical advice I could've opened my own law firm with the sheer volume of potential litigation. My anger at that is justifiable.

And all along I have been told that I should just be grateful for my two living kids. (Like that negates the staff rudeness and poor quality medical care...??)

But out here, on the internet, we get to compare stories and talk and people read and listen when I rage, and laugh and have fun when things are going well. And I enjoy reading about their lives and their successes and fun, and hope I can help console them when they are full of sorrow and pain.

My support group was like that for a long time, and it was good, but after a while, it gets harder to attend at the exact time they want me too, and drive out there, and it's only every two weeks. But here, I can go to a "meeting" (AKA a blog) anytime day or night and talk with people who've been there. Who get it.

My favourite reason for talking to a fellow life traveller instead of an expert, is a quote from the West Wing.

This guy’s walking down a street when he falls in a hole. The walls are so steep he can’t get out. A doctor passes by, and he shouts up, “Hey you, can you help me out?” The doctor writes a prescription, throws it down in the hole, and moves on.

Then a priest comes along, and the guy shouts up, “Father, I’m down in a hole, can you help me out?” The priest writes out a prayer, throws it down in the hole, and moves on.

Then a friend walks by, “Hey Joe it’s me, can you help me out?” And the friend jumps in the hole. Our guy says, “Are you stupid? Now we’re both down here.” The friend says, “Yeah, but I’ve been down here before, and I know the way out.”

– Leo to Josh on The West Wing about sharing his problems at AA.

I've been down in the hole for a long time, and you are helping me to get out, each and every one of you.

Thanks everyone


Monday, January 15, 2007

I have a right to my anger and so do you

This weekend all hell broke loose in the female blogosphere. Trainwrecks has apparently closed, (we'll see) supposedly through the efforts of various other people who were furious about the way that many bloggers had been treated. When I say bloggers, I use the term loosely, since most of the attacked were women who went online and spoke the truth about their lives.

Yes, some of them were mommybloggers and some were nice people whose comments had gotten out of control after an offhand remark by someone. A lot of them were grieving angry women who did not fit society's idea of how a woman should act when her child dies. One idea I remember, "Grief is messy. Not all of us are going to sob quietly & crumple gently at your feet. "
And then yesterday, Manuela at Thin Pink Line decided she couldn't take the hatred others were spewing at her for now, and she has gone password protect. I have it, and some others. The only way to get it, is to email her at or email me and I'll forward it to her. And no there are no guarantees she will give permission to anyone. I love Manuela and I am sickened by what has happened, not just because my friend has been hurt, but because she said many things out loud that women aren't supposed to say. She described her anger and her hurt and her bitterness over the loss of Shoelet and the people who never understood her feelings about being an adoptee.

The best blog in Canada is no longer open for the viewing public. On the best blogs in the female blogosphere can't be seen, because when women don't act the way they are "supposed to" God knows society has to put her in her place, and crush her underfoot. I know this all to well, since I've lost children and been crapped on IRL and out here in blogworld when I've tried to talk about it.

So, in solidarity with Manuela, here is how I reacted when Matthew died. I know that the preceding posts have sounded like I was calm and accepting, but really, I wasn't.

I was filled with rage, utterly incoherent. From the moment of our first ultrasound, I was crying and screaming, staying up until all hours of the night, unable to sleep and unable to figure out who to blame. The problem is there is NO ONE to blame or be truly angry with, but that didn't stop me from trying to find someone.

I'm short and tiny, delicate boned with no muscles at all and I took an entire wall down in our basement with a crowbar. A foundation wall. It wasn't pretty.

I blamed myself for popping out an old defective egg, I blamed my midwife, my doctors, my husband.

I blamed myself for my "choice" to terminate, I blamed the world for telling me to hide and be ashamed. I blamed my workplace for being shitty to me in a time of crisis.

I blamed God, the asshole motherfucker who decided to let THAT egg out of my ovary that month. He let it meet that sperm. Why couldn't the stupid sperm just swim by? It had every other time.

I was filled with rage, but there was no one to rage at, so I raged at myself and people passing by in my life. I raged at my "so-called" friends who were too busy to attend the funeral. I raged at the ones who came to the funeral because they didn't know what to say. I raged at Doctors who couldn't "fix" him. At government agencies who couldn't show me tiniest piece of compassion and let me be called a mother in a passing conversation. At bureaucrats who called my son's death minutiae, too small to matter.

And eight years later I like to pretend it's "all better", but it's not. I will never be over it. I will not fit society's straightjacket for grieving mothers, or good adoptees, or impersonal robotic political junkies. I will talk about my dead children and you will not get to dismiss me as a rare exception or crazy, or "depressed." (The label de jour whenever a woman expresses a socially unacceptable thought, both denigrating our legitimate emotions, and the real life sufferers of mental illness.)

All women get to be angry and show it. I don't have to be a good girl or a bad one, I don't have to smile, or shut up and sing the song you want me too.

And neither do you my friends.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Matthew - Part Two

Originally posted July 14, 2006, and deleted, and rewritten, and now reposted.

After we got the final definitive diagnosis, my husband and I tried to find information on Trisomy 18, but back then, the internet was pretty empty. Hard to believe, but I swear to God, Dr. Google didn't exist yet and Netscape couldn't come up with anything helpful at all. Most of what we found related to infants and children with hydrocephalus, or adults who had hydrocephalus and had gotten a shunt. They seemed fine, or at least a plan could be made to help them. There was nothing that could be done for in utero hydrocephalus. This is still true to this day, especially for a baby with a chromosome defect, because they can't survive the in utero surgery. In the future, who knows?

So I met with the specialist, and signed the papers.

I started at home, using Cytotec intravaginally. A big mistake, emotionally. Very easy, from a physical perspective. A few minor cramps and when we went to the hospital the next morning, I was already dilating. I wish the doctor had put the medication in though, it would relieve some of my transient guilt. Why guilt? I would love to be able to answer but I waver all over the place on this. It's incredibly hard to match your emotions and your intellect on these things.

At the hospital, I had a lovely room, filled with sunshine. Throughout this whole experience, the sun was shining, it was beautiful weather, which makes no sense. If my son was dying, shouldn't the whole world stop spinning, shouldn't the sky be filled with clouds and darkness?

My husband was by my side, with the camera at the ready and my dear friend S. to help. The Doctor broke my water, gave me some more Cytotec, and labour began in earnest. I had insisted on a walking epidural because labour at 21 weeks is still full labour, but most of the time epidurals are not standard for this kind of thing. Usually they hook you up to an I.V. pain pump and leave you to vomit and hallucinate from the morphine. I insisted on getting the same standard of care any women giving birth would, because I didn't want to be shoved away in a corner, as if my pain didn't matter, or as if something shameful was going on.

I actually made it through part of the labour without an epidural though. And because my back wasn't a mess this time, I was okay for a few hours, breathing through contractions. Sometimes I think that this part was a gift I was given, to make up for my unusual labour experience the first time around. Yes, I have tried to find gifts in this experience. Moments that were healing in some way. Very very hard to do.

Eventually I got the walking epidural. I gave birth about an hour later, no pushing required, he was too small to need it. He was tiny and perfect looking on the outside, unfortunately not so okay on the inside. If I hadn't seen the ultrasound closeups with the problems, I might not have believed it myself. We took dozens of pictures, and the nurse helped us make handprints and footprints in clay impressions. We baptized him, and after about 6 or 7 hours, I finally handed him over to the nurse, for weighing and measuring. Although he was 21 weeks in gestation, he weighed less than a pound, closer to a 19 weeker.

After they unhooked me from the IV and the epidural, I took some time to rest, and eventually I was discharged. I wanted to leave that night, because I knew that all the new moms and their live babies would be leaving in the morning. I couldn't stand the thought of seeing them. It was still a possibility that night, but two of my nurses, those wonderful blessed angels, went ahead of me, checking around every door and hallway to ensure I wouldn't see anyone I couldn't handle. They walked me right out to the door, making sure my husband had the car waiting.

A few days later, we held a funeral at our church, he was cremated and buried in a local cemetary near our house. We invited some family and friends and we all went out to a beautiful little restaurant nearby for some food, and to talk a little. Then we went home, without a baby, and tried to figure out what to tell our son about his little brother. At two, he couldn't understand what happened but he knew there had been a baby in mommy's tummy. And now, there wasn't.

Where was our midwife? Well, she disappeared soon after that first disastrous ultrasound. She told us she didn't know what to do because she "only takes care of normal babies."


I guess all that emotional support midwives are famous for wasn't in her repetoire. Since then, I've discovered titles (like nurse, dr., ob/gyn, midwife, priest) are irrelevant and the heart is what matters. We all have the ability to be kind to others. We can choose to be gentle to our fellow human beings, or not. Compassion is the mark of a real professional, not a degree.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Good news somewhere out there, thank goodness!

Jess over at Getting Pregnant the High-Tech Way, has some good news. Her CVS results came back, and she is having a healthy boy!

I am very happy for her, since she too has had the experience of having a baby with Trisomy 18 and having to make the hard decision to end the pregnancy. Every pregnancy after that is a nerve-wracking experience. She's made it through so far, but this will help, for sure.

And now Jack is going to have a little brother! Yayyyy!

A few notes

-- I've been reluctant to post more about my losses in the last few days because after I posted Matthew Part One, someone unsubscribed from my feed. I know many of you understand about my decision, but obviously one person didn't. Just like in real life, sigh. I wish they had emailed me with the reason why, I don't know who it is, because it was a private subscription. I do feel sad over it. I knew why some people hide their pregnancy losses, and why some people hide their terminations and tell everyone they lost the baby instead, but this has been a sharp reminder.

-- And for a few of you who may remember the first time I put this post up, yes, originally I had told his story with a fake name, and altered a few details; I was so paranoid about privacy. But I realized it doesn't matter, so yes, his real name was Matthew, and this is the real story. If you can't handle it, I can't help that.

-- Yesterday, I went to the endocrinologist again about my thyroid. She hadn't read my history, didn't remember my case, and had no idea what to tell me. After I reminded her again of everything, she basically said that I should have the RAIU & scan done again to see what's happening, but why bother? She thinks my symptoms are hormonal, and barely agreed to blood tests.

Oh, and I should just get pregnant. That might solve everything.

No, I didn't freak on her, I was too floored. WTF is wrong with Doctors?

--This explains why I'm hungover today. I went out with some political friends from the campaign last night, and intended on having one glass of wine and coming home early.

But I didn't. I had 3 and a half.*

The taxi poured me out in front of my house at 2:30 am. There are some VERY strange pictures on my new camera. There is at least one national newspaper columnist and several political staffers who probably wish I had lost the damn thing.

But I didn't. hehe

And as soon as my headache dies down I have to get them online, methinks.

*Yes, I am a cheap drunk. After 10 years of pregnancy, breastfeeding, and IF treatment what did you expect?

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

It's one of those days

I'll continue with Matthew's Story-Part Two tomorrow, I have to stop for this. I'm obsessing, and I need the help of every political set of eyes reading this blog, every grieving mom, every lawyer, anyone out there. Read on...

I've been no where in blogland today (partially because bloglines can't pick up feeds today??), but mostly because I've been desperately reading federal legislation all day. The reason why; because this story appeared in The Toronto Star, about a woman who wants maternity and parental leave benefits extended to women who have high-risk pregnancies and babies in NICUs. She says the benefit doesn't exist, except that it DOES! And I'm having deja vu, the whiplash kind.

Many years ago, I found out that EI maternity and parental benefits were a mess for women who had lost babies, either through miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal loss. I still remember the bureaucrat at HRDC who informed me that I could not receive parental benefits after my son died, because I "wasn't a parent".

Guess she didn't read my last post.

I was allowed sick leave benefits after a miscarriage, and maternity benefits after a stillbirth, but parental ones only if the baby lived, and then only for as long as he lived. Apparently, the day after your baby dies, you are considered "able" to go back to work. Yep, mourning takes just a day or two, and we're "over it." Or at least that was the explanation I got from the woman at the EI office. (Bet a few grieving mommybloggers have some opinions on this one, hmm?)

She was confused about why I was crying, and I was too broken emotionally to reply. (Looking back I wish I had hit her in the head with an anvil...ahh, the regrets we carry around---)

But back to legislation, months after I lost Matthew, I met the Minister for HRDC at the time, Jane Stewart, and ended up telling her the whole story. I had intended on being really professional but, instead cried in her arms. And she was great, really amazingly kind. I would crawl through barbed wire for that woman, now and forever.

And not just because she was kind, but because she ended up trying to help. A few years later, the govt. extended all maternity and parental benefits in Canada, which gave me and other women a little more time off for pregnancy, for living kids and the lost ones, to mourn and recover. Then a short while later, she introduced a new set of regulations, included in the budget bill in 2002 (so I know it passed into law) that allowed women to take an extra number of weeks off, for every week their child is hospitalized in a NICU, or any high-risk situation in that first year of life. One year of maternity leave had legally just been extended to two if a Doctor said you needed to be with your premature baby, or needed to use up your maternity leave while on bed rest with a high risk pregnancy.

I pitched it, I convinced her it needed to be passed, and a new program was created. The next time I saw the Minister, I wasn't very ministerially respectful, and I hugged the stuffing out of her! So what's the problem? I CAN'T FIND IT in the current EI Act, amendments or regs. It's gone, or it got folded into the idiotic 2004 Compassionate Leave Program, (6 weeks max. WTF is that?) or else a bureaucrat stuffed it into a desk and prayed no one would find it.

And God knows The Star as no interest in figuring out why their story wasn't complete. Stephen Harper won't bother with this, and neither will most of the MPs I know. My eyes are blurred after staring at the screen for 6 hours straight, I'm exhausted. At this point, I've read dozens of Acts of Parliament, days worth of Hansard, and every regulation at HRDC. Any ideas? You're welcome to comment, link to me, or just email me, and help save a few mommies and premature babies.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Matthew - Part One

Originally posted July 14, 2006, and deleted, and rewritten, and now reposted.

My second pregnancy happened in 1998. This time I was going to have the perfect midwife birth, yeah, right....because all you need to have the perfect birth experience is a midwife. God I was so naive.

I had severe nausea and vomiting and some days could barely work. I remember lying on the bathroom floor with my face on the tile, praying for someone, anyone, to rescue me from this fresh new hell I was trapped in. I had a little nausea the first time around, and a strange aversion to certain scents and foods, but nothing like this nightmare. A whole lot of anti-nausea medication later, I could function. Diclectin is wonderful, and truly really a blessing. Motherisk reassured me it was safe, one of the most studied drugs in pregnancy, ever. (Incidentally, a wonderful resource for anyone from anywhere around the world, who wants to get some advice on drugs and pregnancy. Click, phone, email, they are the best of the best, anywhere.)

I didn't want an ultrasound, but the midwife was so worried she sent me to the hospital clinic at 18 weeks. And then the bad news began.

Our baby had hydrocephalus, which had crushed his developing brain, he had major problems with his digestive system, and he couldn't move very well. They kept referring to his poor posture. In my head I'm thinking, "He's not supposed to sit up straight, he's a baby. WTF is wrong with these Doctors?" I learned later "posture" refers to the general look a baby has in utero, movement, position, etc. The radiologist told us right there and then what she saw, but we didn't get the full scoop until we saw the entire high-risk team the next day.

Our baby had full Trisomy 18, Edwards Syndrome, a fatal chromosomal disorder. We could have a bunch of other tests to confirm but they were very sure, since his hands and feet had a typical sign, with the forefingers and baby fingers tucked under the rest of the hand. Stupid me, I asked, "Why don't you just fix his fingers?" Answer, "Because he has no brain. Fixing his fingers won't help."


But we wanted to be sure, so we had an amniocentesis, and a stack of blood tests, and a color doppler ultrasound of his heart. That showed more bad news, he had a major heart malformation. The placenta we shared was also very damaged, and after that test, the doctors made it clear that I couldn't be further than 15 minutes away from a level 3 NICU and a major OB hospital for the rest of the pregnancy. I didn't understand until later that this was because I could have died from bleeding after a placental abruption.

The amnio results 10 days later confirmed Trisomy 18 and that he was a boy. We named him Matthew. He was terminally ill, and it was made very clear to us that while the hospital would support whatever choice we made, the end result would always be the same. So we made the decision to terminate the pregnancy, or rather I did.

No matter what my husband thinks, really in this a woman is always alone. It was my signature on the consent form, and my body. I had another living child, and this baby was fatally ill. If he could've been saved, I swear I would've hung upside down by my ankles on bed rest and flown in the best surgeons on earth. But it wouldn't have made any difference. Termination at 21 weeks, or birth at 40 weeks, or after many futile operations in a NICU is still a dead child when Trisomy 18 with complications is the diagnosis.

There is a website here, that describes in very blunt "take no sides" scientific terms what chromosomal abnormalities are, and the odds of survival and complications of each variant from full to mosaic. I wish everyone who "thinks they know what they would do", could read this site, and discover why women terminate pregnancies after trying so hard to have the baby. I have a feeling they won't, since it is so much easier for them to assume, to hold onto their prejudices, than to learn the truth.

The truth is that every pregnancy with a diagnosis of a birth defect, small or large, is risky. Placentas and fetuses develop from the same cells, and a baby with a defect, means a placenta with a defect. Some problems are surmountable, some are not, and that is why the only person qualified to make the decision is the person taking the risk, the mother.

I wasn't going to take the risk of bleeding to death, and put my son through the futile torture of continuing the pregnancy, just to hold a funeral later.

Some decisions we make are done out of love and kindness, no matter what the world thinks.

In the beginning

In 1995, my boyfriend & now husband Mr. Cotta and I discovered I was pregnant. I've never been so grateful for birth control failure in my life! I had endometriosis so I really did believe I couldn't get pregnant outside of a lab. I had gone through one laparoscopy back in university, and was told I had endometriosis that was not extensive, but enough that I should not wait to try to have children. I'd always wanted a big family, and it was an issue that had settled in the back of my mind.

Mr. Cotta and I hustled to get our lives set up for a kid. In no time at all, we had moved in together, started making financial plans, and figured out we needed a house and a car. And hey maybe some baby stuff?

And the biggest panic, finding a Doctor I liked. Midwives weren't licensed at the time, and I had heard enough stories about the over medicalization of birth to know I didn't want an OB/Gyn. I was so lucky to find the lovely Dr. J. Still my family doctor to this day, I really believe I would not have made it through all this without her. I had a standard boring pregnancy from a medical viewpoint, except for the end, when I began to swell up and my blood pressure started to rise.

His birth however, was an absolute nightmare of pain and agony. After it was over I seriously considered getting my tubes tied, or alternatively NEVER having sex again. Why? Well, just a few weeks before my due date, another car crashed into us, and I was driving. Not my fault, not that it matters to a guilt-ridden mother like me. Luckily, the baby was fine, unfortunately my back was a disaster, every tendon and muscle ripped to shreds. About a week later, Dr.J. decided I should be induced, which would allow her to be there and for us to get control of my back pain with an epidural. Natural labour was out after that accident.

We started with a gel to ripen my cervix, and I went home until morning to *sleep.* This did not work....I was up half the night with early contractions. The next morning we went in and I took some prostaglandin pills, and Dr.J. made an attempt to break my water. I think they finally gave up after 12 hours of ineffective contracting, and convinced me to get an epidural and some pitocin.

I don't know when the back labour started, but I blacked out at the pain. It broke right through the epidural, and I had nine top-ups over the next 18 hours. I once tried to explain to someone the exquisite pain of going through labour with wrecked back muscles, and the only thing I can come up with is that your body is meant to curl up and in on itself every time a contraction happens but my back would force my body to arch, and the result was the equivalent of being stabbed with a knife. I could no more push through that pain than fly to the moon.

After hours of alternating between blessed pain relief after a top up and pain breaking through from back labour my son was born full-term, healthy and alive. Little bugger was face-up and the doctor had to use forceps to get him out, plus he had menconium everywhere. It was traumatic all around, with a horrendous episiotomy and plenty of tearing and stitches. So much tearing in fact, that I really believe I will never be the same. Different and maybe even better, but definitely not the same. It took weeks for me to recover physically and emotionally, well a lot longer.

Still we made it through, breastfeeding in spite of mastitis, yeast, bad latching, lumps, and colic from hell. He was a very sweet baby, when he wasn't screaming and yelling. Life got better after I clued in that babies sleep much better beside their mothers instead of in lonely cold cribs.

And yes, he is a great kid now, quiet, well-behaved and smart to boot. He's had a few issues over the years but overall, worth every minute of agony, really. I'm just going to guilt him about it for the rest of his life, to make up for the fact that I feel guilty over the forceps probably causing his ADD, his stuttering, his tantrums, his (insert issue here).

There is no medical evidence to prove this, mind you, just my own personal paranoia that of course, all his problems for the rest of his life forever and ever have been caused by me.

Welcome to the Mommy Wars!

Saturday, January 06, 2007


After 2 and a half weeks of loving family togetherness, we are totally sick of one another. My husband has officially been renamed Mr. Crankypants Cotta. At dinner, I offered him some steamed artichoke with lemon better sauce to go with his steak, and he replied, "I'm 45, and I don't have to eat artichoke if I don't want to. And you can't make me!" Yes, that's right, my secret plan was to force a grown man to eat green vegetables. But now he has refused, well heck, that ends that.

The children go back to school on Tuesday, and I'm throwing a party that day. It will involve lots of fudge brownies for me, a cleaning lady for the house, and much dancing back and forth. Weeeee!

Plus, I have been reorganizing some old posts and I may be ready to hit publish tomorrow, which means that a bunch of old stuff may go through bloglines or feedburner all at once and confuse the hell out of everyone. (Or I may finally figure out how to do it right...LOL)

I haven't wanted to write this stuff, I've been procrastinating because it's so painful. The last two days I've been commenting on everyone else's blogs, writing long long emails on other people's blogs and of course, spreading linky love to every blogger on earth. I've done laundry, I've cooked meals, I've read the papers, but I haven't finished writing about my own life, because hey why bother, when you can assvice half the world instead?

I've even ventured over to Liblogs, and scandalized I'm sure, most of them. Nothing like an aging mommyblogger with shrivelled up ovaries to scare the bejesus out of a few left-leaning versions of Alex P. Keaton clones, hmm? I think I may even have cyberpropositioned a Tory blogger, but I'm not sure, I'd had a few martinis by then. They really are very sweet mostly, incredibly polite to anyone who isn't another Liblogger or a Tory, but SO serious. I wrote the word fetish on one comment, and you could almost hear the shock out loud.

I admit it, I'm feeling a bit crankypants too, another excuse to procrastinate. I'll be happier Tuesday, I promise.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Bloggy Goodness

I'm ripping off the title of this post from someone else's blog. I'm sorry I don't remember whose, my brain is tired today.

I do want to point out Mels' very special post, or post central I guess, on The Creme De La Creme of 2006. This is a collection of all the best posts from the Pregnancy & Infant Loss Blogs of 2006. It also includes adoption and family building blogs of any type. And she isn't finished with the list by any means. If there are any posts that you have that talk about your struggle email her to add to the list.

And if you want to know more about infertility, or how 1 in 5 people on earth have to build families in the 21st century, click on it, learn a little, enjoy some really good writing.

I'd also like to say a very special thanks to Kim who has sent so many lovely people to see me in the past few days. Adoption is a hard subject and I'm still fumbling around in the dark with it.

I do know that she has a great project going trying to get support for Ally. Here is Kim's post, if you want to see what I mean. Lots of political bloggers bitch and groan about society, and how it works or doesn't, but I think personal bloggers, especially women, put their money where there mouth is and get the job done, know what I mean?

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Fully Validated

Thank you, I'm feeling much better tonight.

It only took two hours of therapy, several hugs from my kids, (blissfully unaware of the drama, thank God), and a large bottle of wine. And of course, all your helpful comments.

And about the comments...sorry about the comment approval thing, it's just something I have to do for awhile, and I only reject comments from one tiny group of people. Hopefully not needed soon.

Mr.Cotta is still doing a good impression of Jesus Christ with all his talk of charity & kindness, but I think he is beginning to understand that I never liked idiot half-brother & sil before I went through the latest round of reproductive hell, so it's not like this is the only reason I resent them now. It's just the most immediate one I can blame it on.

But I do have to deal with my birth mother somehow. She never actually said they were a package deal, it's just the way she has always presented it. I'm thinking that at some point I may email her and see if we can't talk without them being involved. I doubt she will go for it since she has been desperate to recreate the mother-daughter-perfect family thing forever. I'm just not comfortable pretending she raised me, and she doesn't seem comfortable just being friends.

Why bother at all? Because she is the only mother I have. My adoptive parents were and are horrible people. Not only could they not pass a homestudy today, but they shouldn't have passed the homestudy 30-plus years ago. I haven't seen them in years, thank God.

I haven't found my birth father at this point. My birth mother is not too thrilled about the possibility of me finding him. They had an okay relationship, but were too young to get married. So she gave me up. I don't know who she blames at this point, her mother, or him or herself, but she blames someone and I feel the weight of it.

I keep joking that I should just go out and find a nice couple to "be my parents." Not really Ward & June Cleaver or anything, I'm not unrealistic. It just doesn't make sense to me that society allowed me to pick my own husband, but not the rest of the family. Mother Nature picked the first set, CAS did a slacker job picking the second set, why can't I, a grown adult, pick a third better set?

So there it is, more me on the net. This was very hard to write, and god knows it's raw, but it's me, messy and imprecise, feelings askew. It's the best I can do at this point.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

I'm so glad we can choose our family

I'm trying to have a good morning, but it's hard after having a bad night. My birth mother and assorted family emailed last night. I care about her, but it's very hard being around her, because with her comes my idiot half-brother, and his teenage wife, and the two children they now have.

Why is he an idiot? Well, the short story is that he met this girl when he was in college and she was in high school. Quick bio: She has some sort of mental illness, but unlike so many of us, she has never tried to get a proper diagnosis, and her method of medication and therapy only involves visiting the ER, after CAS once again threatens to take the kids away. I tried many times to get her into a good doctor, BTW, she has no interest.

The idiot-half brother's solution? He purposely gets her pregnant....CAS has spent every moment watching them since, basically ensuring she is never left alone with the kid because she has taken off with the oldest daughter the few times she was left alone. His next solution? Drop out of college, marry the high school drop-out--then get her pregnant again, move into a free social housing unit, and get free daycare.

Note that not once in this sorry tale have they attempted to get her a proper psychiatric assessment, (as opposed to an ER one) or meds, or therapy, or an education or a job. Which is why CAS is still there. Last night, the final straw for me, she gave birth to another daughter, a New Year's Baby, no problem labour, blah blah. They sent me a PHOTO, because they are so SENSITIVE.

Can you guess what my reaction is? Remember, I'm the woman who has strained herself to the nth degree to get help for my issues, & has worked my tail off to be a good mother. My two late miscarriages were both little girls, and I'm still desperate to have another child.

Of course, I hate that stupid cunt.*

So as I'm sobbing on the floor in the kitchen, Mr.Cotta tells me that I should try to be "happy" for them. I swear to God, if I didn't need his sperm still, I would've ripped his nuts off with my bare hands. After much yelling about how only God is perfect, the rest of us are human, and "What the hell does he want me to be, Mother Theresa on my knees knitting little booties for them?" he eventually comprehended that he was being an ass, and we agreed to stop talking about it.

If I could have a relationship with my birth mother, and never have to see or hear about those people, I would consider it, but they are, I am told, a package deal. And I really don't want to see them showing up on my door again, bitching about me (Cause hey, I'm a lousy person), and simultaneously sticking their hands out for cash. (No, although I have given her many gifts, my birth mother has never once asked for money, she has class, but the idiot half-brother seems to think I am a bank machine. This does not engender sisterly affection from me.)

So this morning I am attempting to not be bitter. It's hard. I swear I'm working on it. Really.

I'm just so glad we can choose our own family in the 21st Century.

* I have said this word only 4-5 times in my life, and this is the first time I've written it. But it fits. Apologies if it seems harsh to some readers.

I've crossed a few things off my list!

So, great sense of accomplishment at the House of Cotta today. I have redone almost all my bloglines subscriptions. I still don't know how I deleted them, but they are back. Reading blogs on Bloglines or any other feed service is weird though. Most of the time you don't get to seem comments, so you have no idea if wild controversies (or just something nice) are raging away among the readers.

No matter what I try to click on the actual post, so I can see what's up, and inevitably I realize that someone has changed a template, added to their blogroll, etc. And it makes it much easier to read everyone, much faster!

Which leads to my next bit of accomplishment, I've added a whole bunch of people to my blogroll. Yeeessss, I need to add more....but Rome wasn't built in a day, okay? I gave up on categories, and decided to simply classify everyone as "Personal Bloggers," and I'll stress over that another time. (Be prepared when you click, not everyone is a woman, or IF, or a parent...) Plus, I've changed background colors. Light yellow has become light pink. Blog skin will come soon, I hope, apparently Beta is harder to design for?

I've also put up my old posts in draft form and I'm editing them and changing them so they make sense. (I'll press publish soon, but not yet.) I kind of blended all my pregnancies and things together before, and I've now decided to "count" the early miscarriages, as well as the late ones, which is why the real number is 7, not 5. If I went nuts and counted the very very early EPT pregnancies and losses, we'd hit double digits, and I just can't handle that, so we're not going there.

A couple of quick notes, Nicole, when I said I took your advice to heart, don't worry, it's just that the phrase you mentioned, about "The one thing I have control over" reminded me of something my therapist has said many times. It's the great thing about hanging around/talking/blogging with other people who have been through therapy, because we all inspire each other to do good things and remind each other of what's important in life. And we all subconsciously echo our therapists to each other, very helpful in between appointments.

As for the thyroid stuff, yes, Thrice good idea, I will go get blood tests done now and then my appointment next week may go better. Thank you!

I was about to tangent off about something, but I've just decided to put that in a separate post. Keep reading.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Restarting the New Year

I am redoing my resolutions post after this. Nicole was right, some of these things are not in my control. (No, I know you were not intending on making the point, but yes, I'm taking it to heart!)So if the are not in my control, how can I resolve to fix them? They can be hopes and dreams but making them resolutions, just gives me something to beat myself up about.

Not productive, or positive.

Today on the productive and positive front, I have taken loads of vitamins, had a decent night's sleep, 2 good meals so far, sat in front of my Golite this a.m. for an hour on full power, took the kids out skating, and skated myself. (Okay, more wobbling and weebling than skating, but still I gave exercise a really good shot, okay?)

I emailed someone about getting a new blog design, attempted to fix bloglines again, and tried to figure out categories for my blogroll. Some of you fit into multiple categories, and gripped with indecision, I have of course, done nothing. But, it turns out Bloglines has some issue with Beta. It's not just me, thank God! Same with Technorati, although my multiple installs and reinstalls probably didn't help, whoopsie.

And now I am tackling the CALENDAR. Yes, the nemesis, the giant calendar in the kitchen that governs my life like a dictator on crack. Every appointment, every event, every birthday, everything on earth goes in this thing, and I ignore it at my peril. I also have to sync it with my purse calendar and Mr. Cotta's Blackberry.

Note: none of these activities or healthy activities will relieve the thyroid symptoms in the least. But they distract me a little, and I can pretend to be "cured" until I go back to the Doctor in a week or so. Pretend with me, please?