Saturday, June 30, 2007

I've been crying all day since Kaz left for camp on the bus. I missed him before he left.

And no I can't see any silver lining here, don't even try. He's such a great kid, so funny and intelligent, and responsible that it's no trouble to have him around the house. I just pray to God he has a great time and makes some friends after all this chaos and angst around him going away.

I feel like a bad parent, mostly because no one I knew until I came to the big city had ever sent their kid away before they were 18. When I was growing up, the only reason to leave home without your parents before that was if you were in trouble, as in a few girls I knew growing up who were sent away after getting pregnant and a few boys who were sent to youth jail for stealing something or damaging someone's property. Going away being a good thing is all so topsy turvy to me, I feel like a pretzel.

I am a mother to both living and dead children, and figuring out how to let the living ones just live is nearly impossible.

For example, I never wanted to raise privileged kids. Coming from poverty, I just wanted to be able to feed my kids, and put a roof over their heads. I wanted to live without fear. And now dropping him off at that bus today, I found myself surrounded by rich kids and rich parents, who pretended to look sad when the kids were there, then started whooping it up and yelling, "We're free!" as soon as the bus pulled away, (yeah, true story, I wanted to smack them all....ungrateful fuckheads.)

I'm realizing that I will never feel comfortable in this life we've built.

I don't fit in with the Rosedale/Forest Hill set, but I can't go back to being poor either. In my primitive brain, (not the logical one, but my Id brain) we're rich simply because I can go to the grocery store and buy anything I want. Not go to Gucci and buy anything I want, but a grocery store. That's what poverty does to a child, it limits their ability to dream bigger dreams. But raising a kid with affluenza is just as bad. I think having everything you want growing up makes it harder to empathize with those have to hear no everyday.

My boys will never truly appreciate where I've come from. Unless they read this blog someday, I guess?

A friend of mine who reads this site told me that I sometimes sound very motherly towards all of you, very protective. I was surprised at first, but then it clicked. My kids are growing up and leaving me and even if I keep hoping to have another one, it probably won't happen.

Maybe I'm looking for some surrogate kids?

I'm missing a kid this week, I hope you don't mind me inflicting myself on a few of you this week till my own comes back?

Friday, June 29, 2007

I'm in a bit of a funk right now. You'd never know it, because I've been enjoying real life thoroughly for the last week, between buying stuff and meeting friends and having my professional organizer lady come over.

We've tossed bags and bags of junk out, and completely altered my basement. (Did you know it had a FLOOR?) And except for some small hiccups with getting files transferred, the new computer is pretty cool too.

As for the funk, all night tonight I've been ironing on labels to Kaz's clothes, so he can leave for camp this weekend, SOB. And what next? Little bugger has the nerve to hit puberty today! Stinky underarm parts and all. Literally from sweet little boy to man who needs a shower every morning and wears Axe deodorant spray like he's so grown up and cool.

This is not possible....

I cannot be old enough to mother a child in puberty for god's sake!

(Yes, I know there are other parts to puberty eventually, but this is the first sign...siiiiggghhh.)

It also had to happen today, of all days, when my boxes of maternity clothes and baby toys and newborn clothes all went to storage. I had them in the basement, and had refused to let them go anywhere, just in case. But we needed the space...and well, it is a tough thing to get rid of it all. So I decided to go halfway.

And now I'm being pushed ALL the way, fuck....

Plus, I'm losing it because with all this mucking out of our stuff, I've noticed that our boys old crib has gone missing. I'm thinking Mr.Cotta may have tossed it without my permission. Which means I'll have to go purchase another one, just to spite the asshole. Why do other people have to push us so hard?

Why can't they let us search and yearn at our own pace?

I get that puberty can't be predicted or staved off, but why can't we just do the rest in our own sweet time? Keep, throw, organize, donate...treasure, hug, snuggy for a few more years until we're not so raw and sad over it all?

What's the big rush?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

My new baby!

Ok, so it's not THAT kind of new baby...but still, a new Mac Book Pro laptop is insanely cool for a boring old mommy blogger like me to get. My old computer was dying and we had a little extra cash, and I was going to just get it refurbished and be out of commission for a week or so, but Mr.Cotta insisted I spend a little money on MYSELF on something cool and not just be all practical and self-sacrificing.

A little frilly is good for the soul, no?

Now, if I could just figure out how to get Safari to work????? It won't fit in the screen correctly, and I can't get all the tabs to work right...very very confusing after all these years of PC use. I'm also thinking of downloading Firefox instead? Opinions? Help?

And seriously, any suggestions on a cool laptop bag? I want something that doesn't look like a backpack, or a briefcase, more like a tote?

Next task, moving all my old word files, email etc. to this new hard drive and fixing up the old computer for exclusive kid use. I figure once the hard drive has been formatted and we reinstall all the software, it MIGHT not actually be full of spyware anymore...supposedly Kaz is learning how to create websites in HTML, dreamweaver, and a few other things, this week at computer camp, so maybe they can teach him how to surf without picking up bad stuff?

I had to laugh actually as he confided in me "It's really hard Mom, you wouldn't be able to do it, but don't worry, maybe I'll help you set up a webpage next."

"Thanks sweetie" (secret hehe, I really do have to introduce him to all of mommy's friends in the computer someday!)

Sunday, June 24, 2007


I had a busy weekend, and I'm trying to catch up on all of you now, I'm almost there. Reality asked how many blogs I read. That's kind of complicated because I also read adoptee blogs and political blogs and personal bloggers of various kinds & get news feeds from different sources. Total feeds are 171, but excluding news feeds, abandoned blogs, lurking only, I'd say 140ish, then take out the non-if/pg/mommy blogs, I'm down to 90 or so.

So my weekend? Friday, I went to a political fundraiser and met an executive from a hospital here in the big city. She was very kind and inquired about a certain article she had read in the newspaper recently. We discussed implementing some changes in the way women are treated after they lose pregnancies. And maybe spreading those policies around to some more hospitals. So, I went home, and had to write up a summary and links & research from my support group and send it off. Crossing my fingers it works out...

Unfortunately I was required to drop one kid off at a birthday party and ended up staying to help the poor mother because she was so utterly overwhelmed, and had not a soul to help her with 20 7yo kids all trying to make professional pottery. (Hint: smaller number of kids, more adults, less messy activity, sigh...)

It just got crazier from then on. I went to a goodbye lunch for one of the mom's at my kids school, (she's moving to England) and ended up in this heavy duty conversation about pregnancy loss and another woman at the table ended up crying because she was treated so badly after her 13 week loss, and I seriously don't think she had ever told anyone the whole story before. So my lighthearted-hope-we-see-you-soon brunch became very very emotional for all of us at the table. Ironically, I was NOT the person who brought all this up, but I seem to have become a lightning rod for the subject. We picked ourselves up eventually, but I think I'm going to phone the crying woman later and ask her if she wants to go out alone sometime and talk more.

The woman moving to England I'm going to miss a lot actually. She's one of the few people IRL who came right up and talked to me straight out about all the media and government things I'm trying to do about loss and IF. Incredibly kind and supportive, although she's doesn't understand medically necessary terminations, so I felt a bit self-conscious and edited myself a lot. I find the average member of the public just doesn't get the concept of fatal birth defects, so I can't assume she will either, but it pointed out to me the lack of education people have when we talk about what can go wrong in pregnancy. I hate to scare people, but I'm starting to wonder if we shouldn't have great big terrifying graphic pictures out there? Stop fudging it, and just get Doctors to admit publicly there is a big list of fatal things they can't fix. I'm not sure what the solution is....

I do know I feel better when I get things off my chest. This weekend the Globe had an article all about Happiness and whether it matters. Hmmm, I can think of a few bloggers who would agree with this writer. Some fave quotes...

"While positive psychology points to rising levels of depression as a legitimate problem in our society (Prof. Ben-Shahar warns of a great “emotional bankruptcy”), its solutions are inward-looking and facile. Imagine, for a moment, where we'd be if Martin Luther King Jr. had decided to purge his negative emotions by keeping a gratitude journal?"

"She (Dr.Held) cites a study by a University of Texas psychologist, who found that depressed people who vented their pain in journals healed much more quickly than those who steamrolled it over with a mantra of pep.
“When people put their pain into words it's not merely venting, it's healing,” says Prof. Held, who has treated hundreds of patients in private practice. “It helps you to reconstrue and reformulate. It can also lead to new ways of solving a problem.”

Does anyone think that sounds like blogging?

"James Coyne, a scientist at University of Pennsylvania who studies patient adaptation to chronic illness and treatment, recently disproved claims that an upbeat attitude slowed the progression of the disease. He believes the clinical insistence on a hopeful attitude and “the will to live” in cancer wards can often make sick patients feel worse. “People start to see it in terms of blame and if the cancer spreads it's somehow their fault.”
Even worse, by insisting that the sick, poor and downright miserable among us must simply buck up to get better, Prof. Coyne (who works out of the same university where the positive psychology movement is headquartered) echoes Ms. Ehrenreich's notion that we absolve ourselves of all need to be tolerant and patient.
“The expectation that people think positive and adopt a fighting spirit becomes a strategy of the people around them not to have to manage the burden of stress,” he says."

Yes, bad me for copying this much text, but geez, can anyone reading this blog remember how many times we've all been told to "just relax" and we'll get pregnant, or that stress and anxiety caused our miscarriages? Yes, I've talked about trying to be happier and more glass half full in general in my life, but only because it helps me get up in the morning and do stuff instead of hiding under my bed. I'm under no illusions that it will fix my infertility or make a baby live.

I think this article is on to something. Any opinions?

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Well, for a mommyblog this is interesting

I saw this on Niobe's blog, and couldn't resist. Apparently we're x-rated over here! And I haven't even discussed my favourite vibrators....hehe. So I guess I'll have to start living up to my rep, eh?

Online Dating

This is based on the use of the words pain, drugs, dead, hell, death, dangerous, suck, sex, & bomb.

I guess none of the programmers over there has ever given birth to a baby, living or dead? Cause trust me dudes, it's painful, I want drugs, dead babies are hell, risking death to deliver is dangerous, Bataan death march sex to concieve a living one sucks, and yes I am a bombshell, a damn fine sexy mommy bombshell in fact.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

I am mightily ashamed

I'm running out the door again, losing my mind ever so slightly, because once again, I am behind reading blogs and commenting, notwithstanding my participation in Mels' Commentathon.

Behind, as in I haven't read some of you in a week, and have over 400 posts on my bloglines to catch up on. Now some are news feeds, like Reuter's Health, and some are political blogs, but most are my friends...and I'm just not able to be there right now, fuck.

Why? Because yesterday our new bed was delivered, a tempur pedic....a drastic improvement over the hideously hard Guantanamo-prisoners-have-softer-mattresses version we've had for 12 years. But this means I had to pull everything out under the bed and around the bed and in the closets etc. etc.

Plus some close friends of the family are getting a divorce, and it look like its going to be a nasty fight because the spouse who earns more, in this case a woman, is trying to get rid of her husband who has done all the caregiving for their daughter, and minimized his career. (He has one, it's just part-time & lower pay compared to her 80-90 hour a week job.) She thinks he should just leave, no custody rights, no money, no property settlement or support, like he's some sort of expendable nothing. He's devastated, the preteen daughter is devastated, and I think the woman is in for a nasty surprise when she consults a lawyer....

Anyway, we're trying to get them both to see that the only one who wins this way will be their lawyers, and maybe reasonableness is a better approach but so far ehhhhh no one is listening. So we keep talking to them...and having them over.

Thanks to a chat with DecemberBaby I have a whole new perspective on my friend and I'm trying to be more realistic about her. It turns out that there is a very good reason for her issues and the things she says, so maybe I'm going to limit my time with her and maybe I can't quite expect certain things from her. Not saying it's an issue of her fault or mine, but it's sort of like making sure I don't lite the fuse? Cause if I know she'll be set off, why wave a match? Better to just be careful with her when we do talk.

Still waiting for the DHEA to arrive in the mail. They have to order it, and I hate mail order. I'm very focused on the immediate that way.

Anyway, I WILL catch up on all your news, but if anything unusual happens out there in blogworld, someone email me in the meantime....gahhhhh. Sorry life should not interfere with blogging this way!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


So at my RE's office, I chatted with him about the estrogen study. He said he's read it, but seemed to be confusing it with some past older studies that weren't randomized control trials, which this one was, & my preference if you can find them. But in the meantime, he did suggest taking DHEA. He's running a study on it, and has found really good results for women with high FSH and those edging towards 38+. I have to take it for 3 months before he will agree to test me and see how my body is reacting. So I'm back in September, I guess.

Before you all assume he is some sort of new age non-science guy...he is the exact opposite. Dr. Eyebrows is the living epitome of the absent-minded professor who loves to bury himself in a pile of journal articles and a lab. He likes people, but more so under a microscope, y'know? Very very sweet...unfortunately not all the staff at his clinic are, but I work on ignoring the ones I don't like and paying attention to the ones I do like.

I'm digressing, anyway, this is the first time he has ever told me to take anything non-prescription. Beyond the general "be healthy" order, he thinks the vast majority of the all natural stuff is unproven, he doesn't like to guilt his patients if they don't become holistically pure. This is a real change for him to tell me to take this supplement. A 180. So what the heck?

At this point I'm throwing the spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks.

As for my friend...ehhhh, I'm already feeling some icky danger signals. She's backed off quickly, but when we discussed my HRT regime and my osteoporosis, and my thyroid stuff, in quick succession, she implied in words and tone that HRT is not good, osteopenia/osteoporosis doesn't exist, (it's a scam by drug companies according to her-she saw it on Oprah, must be true, just ignore the bone scan results...), ADD drugs are bad and addictive, and my thyroid issues might be solved by taking antidepressants. *eyeroll*

Except that she hasn't see me in a year and both my actual real shrinks agree I'm not depressed. I'm pissed off that I can't get a proper diagnosis or some respect from the Docs....and I'm grumpy about my husband quite often, but those are legitimate feelings. Depression is an inappropriate response to an event, not an appropriate one. But oops I forgot, women aren't allowed to be sad in our society, much less be sad over a *nothing* like a miscarriage right? I'll never forget one shrink years ago telling me that if anyone was still grieving over the death of a loved one, a husband, a child, whatever, after 2 weeks, it was wrong and I wasn't adjusting appropriately and therefore depressed.

So yeah, I have a feeling that this one will end up kind of arm's length....I care about her, but I want a friend, not a junior wanna be therapist who insists that everything I do is wrong and everything she does is right. I've been wrong lots, and I apologize all the time. She rarely admits to faults, and I'm beginning to remember this now. Catherine (and several others of you) might be right-I'm going to have to sit down and figure out what I get out of this relationship and what I don't, and whether it's worth maintaining.


Monday, June 18, 2007

I need some advice

I have a real life friend, Maddie, who has been with me through thick and thin. We met in prenatal class for Kaz, and we have been pregnant together and breastfed together, and raised kids and every other thing you can imagine. She was with me through every pregnancy, every miscarriage, every infertility diagnosis, every BFP, and every BFN. I told her about my pregnancies before I told Mr.Cotta. We shopped together, laughed together, argued and bitched about our husbands and got drunk together. We spent hours on the phone, and finished each others' sentences.

Until about a year ago. She had been having a very difficult time living at her new house, out in the far reaches of suburbia. She didn't drive and because her kids went to public school instead of private school, she had to stay in the house waiting for them to walk back and forth for the bizarre extended lunch hours in our system. Instead of being able to go out with me and do her grocery shopping or just get a coffee...she was sitting at home, trapped, watching a clock, scared her kids would be left unsupervised in a schoolyard if she was 3 minutes late.

She's had them at a private school before that, and of course, like my private school, they had slightly more flexible hours, aftercare, extracurriculars, heck, they even keep the kids for lunch and supervise them. So, you know, if your volunteer commitment/paid job keeps you 20 minutes late it's no biggie, or if you get stuck on the highway coming back from a doctor's appointment downtown, you're okay. They could afford private, but decided to try public because of a philosophical belief that it was a more ethical choice. I like public schools, but like most of my fellow parents, we are curriculum refugees; basically as long as the current hideous Ontario curriculum exists, we're not going to inflict it on our children.

Especially my learning disabled children---and hers, who also have some LD. And a year ago, we finally blew up over our differences. Because of my political activities I knew a whole lot about the background of the education system, and if she wanted to go for public school fine, but I wasn't going to follow her blindly. So she took it as a personal insult about her choices that I had decided to stay with the private system.

And it really wasn't. I also wonder if there were some violent hormonal outbursts mixed in on both sides. I was struggling with undiagnosed hyperthyroid, and everytime she blew up with me in the previous year was precisely four weeks apart. (I had emails in my archive that would burn a whole in your hand.) She's a year or two perimenopause, perhaps? Some things were said, nasty, sad things. Some true, and some truths better left unspoken.

Anyway, she emailed me Saturday after a year of not talking and now she wants to be friends again, and she's bending over backwards. I spoke to her on the phone today for 2.5 hours, and I really want to be her friend again too. I really really miss her....but I'm a tiny bit nervous. There is still an elephant in the room.

A great big pink elephant labelled "The Mommy Wars".

I don't think I can go back to where we were, but I don't know where to go now. My life without Maddie would be sad, but what if she blows her stack at me again? It hurt so much the first time to get dumped....avoiding rejection seems like the safer choice. But the risk might be worth it....

So what do I do?

Not speak to her?
Keep her at arms length? Polite in public?
Be friends, but not quite as close...maybe just tell her a few things?
Or try to leap right back in to being a friends version of an old married couple who bitch all day and night, but never go to bed angry?

Gahhhh, the irony? That my first thought is, "I wonder what Maddie would say about all this?" Except it's about I can't call her!

Miracles Anyone?

June 16th, 4 years ago we discovered that I had had a miscarriage at 12 weeks. It's been a quiet weekend for me, remembering this. Here it is. This is Mira's story.

A few years after having Mac, I decided it was time for another baby...I had always wanted a big family, and thought, why not? Considering my history of trisomy 18 eggs at only 29, I thought waiting around was not such a great idea. I went off the pill, got my period, and waited....and waited...and waited some more.

And had a hot flash.

And another.

Maybe I was overheated? Pregnant already? Off to see Dr.J. She figured I just might be pregnant, or maybe my body needed a cycle or two to adjust after coming off the pill, no biggie, she ordered some blood tests, and told me she'd call. And she did.

I wasn't pregnant, and my estrogen was undetectable, and my FSH was a little high. Like 86. Not having a clue what that meant, I asked. She told me it could be premature ovarian failure, or a lab mistake. So she reordered the tests. I still hadn't had a period and felt quite bizarre, so I went along with it.

Now it was 66.

I googled high FSH. And my universe fell in.

Every medical website held out absolutely no hope and had horrible things like higher risk of mortality and morbidity, osteoporosis, premature aging, sexual dysfunction, and of course, incurable infertility.

All of it utter exaggerated bullshit I know now, but then, terrifying and depressing. I'd been on Wellbutrin in anticipation of trying again, since I had heard that it was safe as an ADD drug in pregnancy, and was going to go off stimulants for the duration. This btw, was utter bullshit as well. Stimulants are completely safe in pregnancy, and Wellbutrin is a big unknown, not an SSRI, but something else, and the only studies are very small. Stimulants have been studied for years and after much searching by Motherisk at my request, they cleared them at therapeutic doses.

But I didn't know that then, I just knew that specialist after specialist was telling me I would never get pregnant again. Two different clinics here in Toronto refused to give me appointments, right over the phone unless I agreed to donor egg ahead of time. Standard policy for anyone who has ever had an FSH over 10 in their lifetime. Not exactly ethical medical diagnosis, IMO, and certainly inappropriate to discuss a treatment plan like an ultimatum.

One Doctor agreed to give me HRT at one point, I was so desperate for relief, and I went on the pill for a month. At that point I had had ultrasounds and bone scans and been poked and prodded and referred to the nth degree. Dr.J. remeasured my E2 & FSH after that month on Day 3 of the next cycle, and shockingly enough, after 3 weeks on the pill, my FSH was 4, and my E2 was 36. I was floored....she told me not to take anymore of the pills, and just keep coming back for more blood tests. And I did....I had magically snapped back to normal for months and months afterwards. Periods a bit off, but still coming 27-30 days apart.

The REs kept saying that the new tests were meaningless, and it was impossible for me to concieve without donor egg, and still wouldn't give me appointments, but Dr.J. finally found someone willing to treat me, or at least see me for a consult.

The day of the appointment with the RE, it turns out, was in the middle of March Break. Mr.Cotta was away on business and I was taking the opportunity to paint half our house and do some major work.

I go in to meet the RE Dr. W. covered in paint splatters feeling foolish. She is not so good with the bedside manner, but I can live with that, right? When she learns that once again my period is late, she insists that right there we do a urine pregnancy test, I look at her and think, "What an idiot, how can she be so cruel? Doesn't she know I'm out of eggs?"

Lucky I didn't say it, because the stick turned blue after she dipped it! I proceeded to faint right there on the spot, just like in the movies. Dr.W. and the nurse ran to catch me, and helped me over to the lab to get an hcg beta blood test. All the while I'm crying and babbling like a fool, "I don't understand, they said never, they said is this possible?" I mean for Christ's sake, if 5 expert docs at 3 different major hospitals tell you it is completely impossible to get pregnant with POF and Dr. Google finds you a support group that says you can, who are you going to believe? Yep, you guessed....

My beta that day, at what we guessed was 17-18DPO, was 1100. And it kept doubling...perfectly.

At first, I didn't tell my husband, mostly because I really didn't think it was true, and hey why get him excited over a malfunctioning pee stick? Finally, I broke the news. He freaked, since he wasn't sure if he even wanted to be around a pregnant crazy woman after enduring a crazy menopausal woman for months. He came around after the first ultrasound. Week after week we went in and saw the baby swimming around, waving, and sucking it's little thumb. At 11 weeks the final ultrasound and I'd graduated from fertility school! I made it through the first trimester and nothing could go wrong, right?


We went for our nuchal test the next week, and since we were going in to a hospital based genetics clinic for it, SARS had taken over, and so had the stupid people. SARS was only ever spread around by the first family that got it in China and travelled back to Canada with it, and medical personnel after that. Not one person without a hospital connection even got sick. So naturally, instead of blaming themselves for not putting on a mask and washing their own hands, doctors separated wives from husbands, children from parents, and acted like jerks.

Even though I was high risk, Mr.Cotta was only allowed in the clinic waiting room. I asked the technician if I could see the baby's heartbeat first, and then I would gladly lay still for hours if need be while she did the rest. She mumbled something and started scanning. I kept asking her what was going on, and she kept ignoring me, which only made me panic more. Eventually she got my husband but still wouldn't tell us what was going on.

She left to consult with the radiologist and came back to tell us that our baby had died and there was no heart beat. I wanted to see the screen because I didn't believe her. She was merely a technician, and of course the radiologist wouldn't come in to tell us to our face, even though he was legally required to. I guess he couldn't face a woman with a dead baby...

We met with our specialist for the day and arranged for a second ultrasound at my own hospital's clinic to confirm the baby's demise, because I wasn't going to have a D&C unless I saw the baby had no heartbeat with my own two eyes. When we arrived at that clinic, we discovered that we had to pay for a second ultrasound if it was held on the same day, which of course sent me into hysterics. And cash only, no credit cards or cheques, or even receipts. For Americans, it may be hard to understand why paying out-of-pocket mattered so much, but the criteria for OHIP coverage in Ontario is medical need. We weren't there for a video to show to our friends, we were there to get a second opinion on whether or not our baby was dead. Before doctors turn off life support on a coma victim, they need 2 different EEGS, and yet somehow, I'm expected to end my baby's life with a D&C even if the first technician might've been an incompetent twit?Not for my miracle baby!

Mr.Cotta ran to a bank machine and paid. The second radiologist was nasty and refused to let me see the screen until I insisted, and even then only for a second. I just kept thinking, lady, we just paid you cash...HELLO, you aren't in charge this time. There was still no heartbeat according to her, and she made it clear that she had gone over everything again, but I was so angry and upset at this point, I didn't know what else to do. I had to go home, even though I still didn't believe it.

The next day we made an appointment to see Dr.W. about a D&C and she scheduled me in the day after that. I woke up in agony, not quite what I had expected. I was bleeding so badly I was sent for another ultrasound. Unfortunately, I had somehow retained a piece of placenta again and had to get a second D&C a few days later. During this I was also on large amounts of antibiotics because of the fear of infection.

Then the descent into a special hell, a third D&C when my uterus filled up with blood clots and my abdomen began to swell. Afterwards, I briefly felt normal, but I still had more blood clots and serious bleeding. Another couple of rounds of Cytotec and I began to believe I was cursed. All the while, I'm in hideous physical pain, which doesn't help my mental state. I spent that summer lying on my couch taking painkillers, crying and wondering why my one shot at pregnancy had ended, so late, so long after all that all those great milestones. I later discovered that she was a perfect little girl, chromosomally normal. (And yes they tested her tissue not mine...)

Goodbye, Mira. Mama & Daddy loved you, no matter how briefly you existed, no matter how small you were, you were our daughter, and I'll miss you forever.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Good news

Krista has come through from her brain surgery quite well and is at home recuperating with her new baby! She has an update on her blog, here, in case any of your want to go say hi to her.

And for any of my new politically minded readers, you might want to note that our often criticized public health care system has come through really well this time. She was quickly diagnosed, treated, and will be followed up no problem, no waiting lists, for free.

It is true, good things DO happen in life. We just have to notice when the glass is half-full right?

Smooches, dahlings! I'm off running errands today....

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


You all know I've been trying to get the government to pay more attention to the issues of infertility and loss and adoption. But what you may not know is the kind of ignorance from the right wing I have to battle up here. In the U.S., adoption is so embraced by the Christian right, they've practically turned it into a mission from God, a rather bizarre proposition, but in keeping with their views on discouraging single mothers, etc. so it's consistently bizarre at least.

Well Stephen Taylor is the head of the Blogging Tories up here in Canada, and while not employed directly by the Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper, he is very very closely associated. (You remember Harper? The guy who screwed over every infertile couple in Canada by stacking the Board of the Assisted Human Reproduction Agency with medically illiterate partisans and religious wingnuts, but not one Doctor or patient?)

I think you all need to check this post on how Harper and his family are "ordinary" and Liberal Leader Stephane Dion and his family are "not ordinary." Taylor tried to backpeddle all over the place with a stupid chart, but has failed miserably, and it keeps going all through the comments.

"Conservatives will have a lot of success portraying Mr. and Mrs. Harper as the ordinary Canadian family. Mr. Harper is an ordinary guy, with ordinary hobbies (hockey) with ordinary kids and some ordinary cats. The party will likely be successful because, by definition, the "typical" person is "ordinary" and can therefore relate."

So not only is Taylor implying that Dion's adopted daughter is out of the ordinary, there are comments he has made replying to others that a family with two children is more normal than a family with one child, which is a slam at Dion & Krieber's courageous admission that they are infertile. They are my heroes for that, since so few public figures EVER come out about infertility. And for them to be slighted?

I've heard crap like this for years from whole life in fact. That somehow, I wasn't ordinary because I was adopted, that I "didn't get my kids the regular way" because I'm infertile, being shunned as the mother of dead children. The code words they use are subtle, but we know what everyone is getting at. Ordinary means not adopted/biological/natural/real, ordinary means fertile, ordinary means mothering living children.

I'm deeply offended as an adoptee.

I'm deeply offended as an infertile woman.

It gets worse; he drones about about demographics, but maybe Taylor needs to check his stats...20% of the Canadian population is infertile, and 20% have made a family through adoption. One in four women will lose a baby in their lifetime.

(There is some overlap in these groups, but not a lot.)

I'm also getting offended by the inference that it's all about strategy. International adoption and mixed race families ARE the 21st Century norm in Canada whether through immigration or marriage or adoption, and frankly Dion was ahead of the curve. And as I recall, Harper was embracing all those families just recently with his new program to speed up international adoption, so WTF is Taylor going on about? Did he miss the strategy meeting on that?

Another one? This comment which criticizes Mr.Dion for having a "speech impediment". Well, dumbass, it's called a speech disability, something Dion doesn't have, he speaks FRENCH. A second language is not a disability. But even IF he had a speech disability...are the disabled not allowed to run for office? Guess not in Stephen Taylor's world, or he would have called the commenter on it, or deleted it.

As a mother of a child with speech & learning disabilities, I'm deeply offended by that.

Anyone who can read polling knows that all the groups I've mentioned add up to a lot more than 50%. They are the new normal, the ordinary people I see at Tim Horton's and at my hockey rink. The two Steve's didn't see us before because we had been shoved in the closet. But it was getting damn crowded in there.

So we're coming out.

Fuckin' deal with it.

H/T to RT, Scott Tribe, Cerberus, and everyone else for blogging about this as well. I owe you guys a beer!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Some things are just more important

I had a bunch of serious and silly stuff to blog about today, like ranting about the Sopranos ending, or whining over the inevitable BFN I got on Saturday, and the period that arrived on Sunday. I have a bunch of memes to do, and pictures to post over at Picture Pages. Heck, I could rant about political stories or rave about the new stuff we bought on the weekend.

But none of that seems important compared to the struggle Krista is facing. Reality has been posting for her, since she was unable to blog after her new baby was born May 31, a baby achieved after a long struggle with IVF. Krista has a brain tumour, hopefully not malignant and is undergoing the first of two surgeries today to try to remove it. I am heartsick for her. She is a fellow Canadian, a fellow Liberal, and a fellow infertile, and an amazing woman, and this is just so completely unfair.

Please visit her and send her some love. These are the moments that really matter, aren't they?

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Last Rites

My little booboy is here! (Okay, at 10 almost 11 years old, he's not so little, but to me, Kaz will always be my baby.) Booboy is back from overnight camp with his school. They do a trip every spring and fall for "outdoor education". Or something like that---maybe it's just to suck money out of the parents? Not sure....

So I've been deep into family time today and yesterday, feeling a bit like Charon...

His first morning back we decided to carry out last rites for our two cats, long ago deceased, but of course, my hubby had never picked up their ashes and done anything with them. Some back story, they were his cats, or more specifically, his ex-wife's cats. They were all he got in the divorce settlement. A long first marriage? Kids? Not quite - she left him 4 months after the wedding, but she still took every last dime, every single stick stick of furniture, and his car. He was left with two of the nastiest, most vicious cats on god's earth. Hmmm, I should amend this, instead I should say that they were loving and kind and purrfect to Mr.Cotta until their last dying breath, and nasty and vicious to me and the kids at every opportunity.

I fed them, attempted to pet them, advocated for them to go to the vet, bought them catnip & treats, barely complained while they bit me & hit me and the kids, (they were declawed so the swipes became hits instead of scratches) aggravated our allergies, and vomited and shat everywhere in our home.

For 11 looooonnng years I patiently waited for the damn little loyal devotees of the first wife to notice that I was not an interloper and that our kids were not annoyances that were leaving soon, but it never seemed to happen. So when the cats died, one after the other, I wasn't very sad. Mr.Cotta was, so I tried not to dance a jig or anything. In fact, he was so sad that after taking them to the vet hospital, he never went back to pick up their remains. Instead of just having them sent directly to the local pet cemetary, he had paid for individual specific cremations for each cat, with little containers, but was too choked up to do the final bit.

And years later when I finally had to go get the little urns, I found out that no one would have thrown them into the garbage EVER. Apparently, not only are pet funerals big business but it is considered undignified by veterinarians to allow beloved pet's bodies to go into the waste.

Now don't get me wrong, if people feel a need to have pet funerals, then I'm ALL for it. Whatever gets us through the night and all---I just can't help but contrast this with the months of legal battles I endured to bury my daughters, and the incredible hypocrisy of a funeral industry that is willing to cremate pets without a burial permit for ooooh say the LAST 30 years, but refuses to help women who have miscarried babies under 20 weeks or 500 grams, the legal definition of a stillbirth here in Ontario. Most fish and birds weigh less than that, but pet owners have never ever had a problem getting whatever they want.

And horses? The police bury their service horses with full funeral honours and go into mourning as if a fellow officer died in the line of duty. Barbaro was given a decent funeral, and no one questioned why his owners would mourn.

And yet, for women who have lost their children...yes, I'm feeling a tiny bit bitter here. Can't, just can't go there....

This morning we scattered THE CAT'S ashes in the woods of the Don Valley. Mr.Cotta wanted to go to the zoo and scatter the cats remains in the bushes around the lion's enclosure but I gently explained there were too many small children around who might wonder why the strange man was in the bushes with the white powder. So the Don Valley it was...

The last words go to Mac:

"Mommy, is it true that some cats sleep in your bed?"

"Yes, Mac"

"Well, don't people get hurt that way?"

"No Mac, most cats don't hurt their owners. In fact, some of them snuggle and purr."

"REALLY, Mommy? Wow...."

Thursday, June 07, 2007

I love cut & paste

Catherine wrote me an email, and asked me how my foot was doing.

My reply,

"A little better, swollen, but not quite blue and black anymore. We're in the transition to light green and yellow blech...hehehehe

I'm actually feeling pretty sad today. Kaz is still gone to camp and I miss him so much I'm practically hysterical. I'm beginning to really resent seeing these women at my school whooping it up because their kids are gone, and they are "free". I keep wanting to smack them and say, "Hey, 3 of my kids get to visit nature 24/7, they're buried in the ground. How would you like to be THAT free, bitch?"

But I can't say that out loud...hmm, maybe I WILL blog about it."

So I did.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Slightly banged up

Have I told you all about the wine bottle incident? Last weekend, I went to open the fridge and look for some cookies or snacks or something, and-----


An unopened bottle of wine fell on my foot, just above my toes, then shattered on the tile floor, wine and glass shards everywhere.

My foot hurt right away, but not too badly, so I could wipe it all up. It was only after the swelling began and the blackened multicolored bruises popped up that it really hurt, in that glowing, throbbing kind of way.

Worst part is, I hadn't had a drop, and never even got to try the wine, but I can't tell the story to anyone, because as soon as I say, I got these bruises from broken wine bottle, Well, you just KNOW I'll be labelled a lush.

So I'm limping, and can't wear sandals, but at least nothing broken, eh?

Plus, yesterday, certain tender parts of my body started to hurt. Like with a sharp stabbing pain, and I realized that I either had a UTI or yeast in a very awkward and unusual place. And guess what? Yeast...the cursed affliction of the infertile and menopausal set. Grrrrrr....

I've called for a repeat of my prescriptions, and I'm sitting on an icepack.

Ice is good...lovely in fact. I now understand how people can be driven to dementia by this kind of pain. I'm a grown adult capable of figuring this out and getting myself medical help, but if I was a little kid, or an elderly patient already sick? Oh lord, I feel bad for them.

I'm grateful right now that I can take care of myself, and grateful I'm seeing my RE again soon, because whatever we decide about TTC again, I think I need some HRT adjustment so this doesn't keep happening. (I mean the uti, the wine bottle smash is my own fault!)


Monday, June 04, 2007

Been a bit absent, but I'm back.

This morning I said goodbye to my oldest son Kaz as he embarked on a camping trip for a few days with his class, and of course the little bugger was so happy to go, he jumped on the bus without hugging me or saying goodbye! I had to go and find him and get my hug. :(

I know I'm behind on emails and comments, but I'll get back up and running soon, apologies, I've been dealing with the outside world a lot.

So, in contemplating my week ahead with only one kid, I'm looking at the TV guide and realizing with horror that the next episode of Studio 60 is coming out. I really liked this show even after this stunt, and a few weeks ago that insider I know told me that the next several episodes were going to be really dark, not very funny. (I declined to mention to him that most of the series wasn't very funny, hence the low ratings, duh...) Well, last weeks episode showed seven months pregnant Jordan, repeatedly unable to feel the baby kick, having her boyfriend of all people use a prop stethescope to check for a heartbeat, and then at the end of the show she was hustled to the ER to get checked, all alone. Now, notwithstanding the dumb plot device, I know from last week's portrayal alone, that they are absolutely NOT going to be realistic at all.

In the next episode she is supposedly being sent into surgery for a c-section, has high blood pressure, and maybe the baby is still alive. But at 28 weeks+ if she couldn't feel the baby kick for an entire day even after drinking gallons of OJ, the likelihood of the baby making it is almost non-existent. If they had written Jordan saying, "I can hardly feel the baby kick, something feels wrong," it might make more sense. As it is now, I'm worried misinformation is being spread about a serious medical condition. In real life, if the baby was alive but in trouble, she'd be rushed into surgery in 15 minutes flat, and certainly would NOT have had time to change her clothes, wait for her boyfriend to come all the way to the hospital, discuss her career and the kidnapping of an employee's brother, and her love life, and be proposed to, plus complain about the diamond ring sizing.

I'm also thinking her mind would be on the baby?

So this story arc is going to continue for 3 episodes, and I guess these vultures are going to suck as much agony as they can out of this. Probably unlikely they consulted medical experts or organizations like the March of Dimes or the MISS Foundation. I'll bet NBC didn't even give a charitable contribution or promote the issue, or do a news story on the Missing Angels Bill, nothing. I hate it when the media uses tragedy as a hook to make cold hard cash, but doesn't actually want to help people; I always feel like a piece of used kleenex at the end, you know?

Completely irresponsible, but what can you expect from a network that let the The West Wing tell the world that getting the flu can kill someone with multiple sclerosis? They had to hustle to change that, reshooting the scene, and altering the episode on DVD and all broadcasted repeats after the MS community reacted with outrage. Awareness is great, but it has to be accurate. Medicine has enough myths and lies around it without adding more confusion.

This Thursday I'll be watching, and probably jeering while the Docs either deliver a gigantic screaming baby with no medical problems and a short perfunctory stay in a NICU, or a dead or dying baby who will be cried over briefly then promptly forgotten as Jordan continues talking about the "real" tragedy, the kidnapping of an employee's brother, a guy she's never met, but hey in TVland, the threat of death of a grown adult must always outrank the death or stillbirth of a baby. *eyeroll*

Edit that to: I'll be watching while drunk. I'm not sure I can watch this piece of crap sober.