Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Dementors

The dementors are everywhere it seems. Everyone I know, in the blogosphere, in my real life, among friends and yes, in my house, has had every ounce of joy sucked right out of them. Logically I know it's because of winter blahs and the extreme lack of sunlight in Canada right now, but honestly, I kind of wonder if we aren't just sick of our respective stupid governments, our economies, our jobs?

My kids are sad and cranky, and Kaz and I cannot get up in the morning to save our lives. We both have insomnia, and have never been and never will be, morning people. Mornings are shit, and talking to me before 10 a.m. is never pleasant on the best of days. Kaz's insomnia is one thing, he just has a teenage biological clock that will change as he grows older; my insomnia is different because I'm afraid to go to sleep. Every night for most of my life, I have woken up screaming with nightmares. I don't even remember the content, but every night, they come. So really, would you want to go to bed? Most sleeping pills either drug me too much for too long, or they give me more nightmares, so I don't bother.

The difference with the black mood this time is that other people around us are usually happy---not anymore. My husband is incredibly unhappy. He blames a myriad of issues, like work stuff, and the stress of the baby, dealing with kids, and wondering what to do with the house reno we have been putting off/planning forever and a day. I think all those are just minor issues and really he feels crappy overall right now, but who knows?

I feel funny even talking about this, because I'm in a pretty lonely position in the blogosphere. You all seem to either be in the honeymoon phase of your relationships where your spouse is your best friend and has only tiny fixable flaws, or your husband reads your blog and so you don't dare talk about the fights you really have, or you have finally gone all the way to divorce/separation talk, like Thrice, or Jennifer, or Val.

What about the people who are struggling after 10-12 years together? Who won't give up on their marriage and want it to work out, but know with absolute certainty that there are no hearts and flower fairytales in the end? When Kaz started school everyone in his daycare, and everyone in his elementary school class were living in two parent seemingly happy homes. And by the time he starts middle school, our family structure will be the minority. We already are, but truthfully, it's accelerating all the time.

So I know that it's ridiculous of my fellow bloggers to assume that they will be the exception and their marriages will all be the fairytales. It won't happen. Odds are, most of us will divorce and maybe remarry. And hopefully we will have kids to raise, cause frankly, giving up our last chance at having kids for the sake of a man who will most like dump you for some second younger model has always seemed a like a poor compromise to me. (And yes, I'm excepting women who want to give up trying because they don't want to try anymore, I just know too many women who do it mostly for their husband at the time then regret it deeply later. Funny how in 39 years, I've never met a woman who regretted having her kids, but I've met dozens who regretted a marriage. )

So why do I feel so lonely? Because few admit to an unperfect marriage, except me. It's like being infertile and surrounded by fertile myrtles who keep showing off their pregnant tummies and 25 babies to me, except instead they keep showing off their perfect fucking marriages. Slightly embittered, yeah. I admit it.

I'm still struggling. I love him, but I don't know if I can live with his bullshit. And maybe, he can't live with mine. Most of the time, when the Dementors aren't overshadowing the place, we are okay, we cope, we live with the rollercoaster, we have good days and bad and bicker a little but not a lot. But days like the past week....gahhhhhhh....I don't know how we're ever going to stay together even until this baby is born. I want to be with him, I just want him to change into a completely different person. I know he wants me to be another person too, but until this baby is born, I feel frozen, and I can't take my meds everyday, and even if I did, I will never ever be Suzy fucking Homemaker. I'd happily hire her if I could find her, and we could afford her, but really it ain't going to happen.

And he will never be Prince Charming, ever. He tries, in his own guy way. But he won't be the stereotype. The first year we were together, he made a mighty effort. And for a long time, until I started struggling with PPD after Kaz was born I made a mighty effort to be Suzy Homemaker.

And then I failed. And he gave up. And Matthew died, and our money troubles ramped up, and Mac's pregnancy was hell, and we struggled even more with money after he was born. For years we held on by the skin of our teeth....through POF, and mood swings, and my ADD, and depression, and miscarriages, and late losses, and his parents passed away, and his family fought with each other, and I stop talking the last remnants of my family and that became a bone of contention and he started a new business, and every traumatic thing you could ever imagine happened.

And now we're on the verge of success. We have no more money troubles. We might just get a live baby. DHEA with HRT and Adderrall might just keep me sane instead of crazy. We can afford to renovate and repair our house. We can afford tuition so that I can go back to work. We might even hire a Suzy Homemaker and stop freaking about whether the kids schedule is up to date on the damn kitchen calender. But I wonder? Is it too late?

After all these years, and all this hell, I don't know. I just need to hold on a little longer.

I also need chocolate. TWELVE POUNDS of it.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Living Coffins

Apologies for the lateness of this post, but I've had a slight crisis around here. Owning a home is like burning money sometimes. But I digress...

Today is Blogging for Choice Day in Canada. Yes we're using the A-word today people. Antonia Zerbisias started it in honour of the 20th Aniversary of R.v.Morgentaler. I've always admired Dr.Morgentaler because he truly was willing to risk jail to protect a woman's right to choose, and how many doctors do you know honour a woman's medical wishes to that extent?

Not many, in my experience.

Now, technically this case was the first and most historic....but the case that came just a short while later, Tremblay v. Daigle was a hundred times more important IMO. You see, the Morgentaler case made it clear that the government could not interfere with decisions between a woman and her Doctor. This resembled the mushy Roe v. Wade in the US and as such is a decision more easily overturned. Sort of like when SCOTUS screwed up royally recently.

Daigle v. Tremblay on the other hand, was definitive. A fetus is not a life in Canada until it is born live, and the sole person who may decide it's fate is the woman who is pregnant and best able to make that decision. Chantal Daigle for those of you who have never heard of the case, was a woman who tried to get an abortion after her boyfriend beat and abused her. (Most women who are abused by spouses are beaten for the first time while pregnant.)

She knew that if she had the child, it would never stop. Wife-beaters don't do it just once and repent. Is she ran, he would find her, stalk her, and eventually kill her. If he couldn't find her, he would sue for visitation and custody, and then, as now, a man guilty of spousal abuse is not considered to be bad parenting material. You know, until after he beats the child a few times. Sometimes he kills the kid before authorities are willing to step in.

After all, they have to be sure he really is a violent person before they save the kid. (I guess the bruises and broken bones on the woman don't count as evidence for that----eyeroll.) The solution of locking him up for life, well, I'd vote for it in a second, but since convicting a man of beating or killing a woman is unheard of in this country, or just about any other country on the planet---fat chance of getting a sentence longer than pre-trial custody.

You can read the whole story on the link above, but in the end, the Court closed off any avenues for a future abortion law. Most Canadians are quite content with that since they assume that most abortions are first trimester, and 90% of them are. A few go over that limit to the second trimester, women like Ms.Daigle who are beaten and abused but can't get one before then.

And then there's the women like me, the Bitches with the scarlet A on our chest. The ones no member of the public ever wants to discuss, the women who get a fatal or severely disabling prenatal diagnosis and make the hard decision to end the pregnancy of a very much wanted and loved child. We make that decision for the same reason that people decide to stop life support on the elderly, on the fatally ill, on those suffering in agony. Doctors like to pretend that they can save everyone, but sadly, they have limits too. The Catholic Church even recognizes this and allows live born people to decline extraordinary medical measures and simply die in peace, without tubes and machines in every orifice of their body.

But for some odd reason, this kindness and logical acceptance of a dignified death all stops at the door to the womb. Women like me are supposed to become living coffins waiting for the moment when the wrecked and barely functioning hearts of our babies stop. We are supposed to risk dying from preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome to birth dying micropreemies. We are supposed to risk our future fertility and our future children's lives to give birth to chromosomally damaged ones who be stillborn or die shortly after birth.

I've always said that the only thing worse than having a dead baby is not knowing you have a dead baby. Well, even worse---knowing you have a dying child in your uterus and being forced to sit in limbo wondering which day, which hour, which moment the death knell will sound. The psychological torture of that is incomprehensible.

And what about the children with serious birth defects who might make it, who might live, who might have a chance if we expend every ounce of our energy and time and money on them? Well, we have a universal hospital care in this country. But we don't have income replacement insurance, or daycare coverage for the pre-existing kids. And to paraphrase one doctor in Walker's story, "We spend a million dollars saving these babies, and then we abandon them and their families."

There is little or no social service supports for the parents of the seriously disabled in Canada. Compared to someone uninsured in the US, perhaps we have a better deal, but quite honestly, not by much. Home care is a joke, OT, PT, travel to appointments, nursing, psychologist coverage, special schools, are only basically covered, even for those of us who live in Toronto and have the access to the best care. And socially? Parents of highly disabled children live very lonely lives, society pretending they put them on a pedestal, but practically speaking, treating them like pariahs.

I'm well-off these days, a fact I'm grateful for every single second I breathe. I'm articulate, well-connected, and smart enough to research what I'd need to know. I have a husband who is supportive and kind and am surrounded by a wonderful community of friends and family, but even I'm not sure I could make it through the 24/7 rollercoaster of raising a severely disabled kid. Could a single mother? A couple living on miminum wage? An immigrant family without much english? A rural family who have to drive 6 hours each way to Toronto for check-ups with special clinics?

If it makes me scared, I can't imagine trying to walk a mile in their shoes.

So, our choice is a sad one at best. Society judges us, no one ever hears our side, and the medical profession tries to help us with the only tool they have.

I pray they always can.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Take what you will from this

You know how I was going to write about Juno? Well, Cecily did it better, and so did Kateri and I'm sure a dozen others. I wrote in both their comments, feel free to read. I once again spent all my time writing 1000's of words there instead of writing it my own blog.

I wanted to see Juno first, but I already have PTSD and I'm in the middle of a high-risk pregnancy, so after much internal debate---I'm not seeing until long after this pregnancy is over and even then only with a handful of ADs and some beta blockers, just in case. I just can't risk flooding my uterus with adrenaline. Commenting on Cecily's and Kateri's blog took enough shit out of me today. I'm basing my opinion on the dozens of reviews and online synopsis I've read about it.

FWIW, Adoption is not well represented in this movie, and now that it's nominated for Best Picture the world is going to think that it is an accurate picture of how adoption works. This movie has a lot of stereotypes, which wouldn't matter if TV and movies ever showed more complex adoption storylines. Trouble is, this is the sole representation of adoption in the media--desperate nice prospective adoptive parents, self-sacrificing first mother who skips off into the sunset, and of course, the adoptee, who grows up utterly grateful and no one ever wonders if the baby is okay with it. (Yeah, the bio father in the movie was scarcely consulted. sigh....)

Stereotypes make for universally shitty writing, bad TV and bad movies, and I always hold that opinion regardless of the subject. So yes, a little complexity would help. How about an adoptee point-of-view in an open adoption? How about an adoptive mother who helps her daughter adoptee find their first mom information years later and is totally supportive? How about a movie about adoptive parents who return the kid they adopted because they don't like them? (You know like 20% of all adoptions?) How about a movie about a mom who is falsely convicted of murdering her baby, forced to give her older child up for adoption, and after it is discovered that the evidence was faked by an incompetent pathologist and she is innocent and the conviction is reversed, it turns out that she can never ever get her child back because adoption cannot ever be undone unless the adoptive parents return the kid. The result is that her son will never ever know directly from her that his mom isn't a murderer. Even if by some chance they can be reunited, they can never be legally related again. The bell can never be unrung.

Nahhhhhh, that would be complex and interesting and true to life without a Hollywood happy ending, and we can't have that now can we?

This video is a real life relinquishment. A first mom saying good-bye. The reason I find it so heartwrenching is because it reminds me of the terrible grief I felt when the nurse took Matthew away to the morgue. The difference? I knew he was going to be buried in a cemetary and I didn't have to spend the rest of my life wondering where he was, if he was safe. If he was loved. First parents who relinquish can never know for sure, even if they get extensive checks done on the PAPs, even in an open adoption, even in the movie version.

After watching this, what more is there to write?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Too many things

I have so many things to blog about like the new Horton Hears a Who movie, and the politics of Dr.Suess, and Juno, and that episode of Law & Order:SVU last night and my goal to write a layman's explanation of my gene, PAI-1 4G/4G, cause nobody knows much about it, and I am seriously blocked, both in commenting and replying to emails. And this time it's not just pregnant brain. A lovely woman emailed me and her situation has been on my mind for days now. She has gone through retained placenta after her beautiful child was stillborn and so many many other sad things. (I think she's in the Pacific Northwest?) My heart is breaking for her. I just don't know what to write. Any ideas?

But really, the big problem is that I'm also ashamed of my arrogance. I recently told a different woman who emailed me that I was perfectly fine to hear all about her issues because I've been dealing with it for so long, like hey, I'm over all that grief stuff, right? Totally overconfident.

That was a big fat lie.

9 years since Matthew died, and contributing to Blogging for Choice 2008 day yesterday was too much. Last year's post will have to do I guess. I might think up another one for the Canadian Blogging for Choice 2008 day. Of course, that would require facing the four and a half years since Mira died when I can't even look at the U/S pictures. Three and a half years since Georgia died and I can only blog about it in short bursts. Don't get me wrong, many of the details aren't as sharply painful as they once were. Before I got pregnant I could go for days without obsessing about them and ruminating over details. But now, they are present all the time, on my mind.

Why they died. How they died. Did someone screw up? How can I prevent this from happening again? Did Georgia have to die? If I had used heparin shots then, would I have a three year old? Or did Mira & Georgia die because they were female? Is this baby alive, not because of heparin shots, but because he's a boy? Does my uterus kill female fetuses in some weird immunological way? How am I going to deal with the next 20 weeks? Heck, at this point, how do I tell my myriad causual acquaintances I'm pregnant? I can't hide it anymore, and I feel foolish with some people knowing and others not knowing. And I really don't want to tell my entire obstetrical history to somebody at a cocktail party.

I thought I had safely put this all back in the cupboard, but all it takes is reading something just a little too familiar or talking with my OB about all the decisions we have to make, based on my history, and I am right back where I started. And I know I'm not alone in this sadly.

I saw an old friend from my bereavement support group yesterday. I was shopping with Maddie, and this woman was shopping with a friend of hers. We met in a children's clothing store, of all places. She was looking for her things for her three boys, and I was contemplating buying something for the baby. She said hi, and I looked up and and said hi back and she congratulated me. (Apart from my obvious size, everyone in our group has an eagle eye and is always on bumpwatch.) I told her all my news, and turned to introduce my friend, but she had gone to the other end of the store. So we said goodbye and promised to get together for coffee.

I asked Maddie why she had left, and she said that when my old friend first saw my stomach, she had an absolutely stricken look on her face, which she quickly covered. She thought it was best to leave us alone. I was really surprised about this, because V.'s losses were so long ago and she has been a group leader and has seemed so together for so long. She has spoken to groups of professionals and newly bereaved moms and dads and reporters, and held it together no problem. Knowing that even she still has issues around seeing a pregnant woman is well, quite a revelation to me.

It never ends, does it? It gets quieter and smaller and we can "handle" it and it seems like nothing at all. Until it's a something. Even for a woman like her, who has subsequent successful pregnancies and is completely finished with pregnancies----it's never totally healed.

This is a confused and rambling post. I'm going to go. I just want you to know, I love you all, I just don't have the right words to comfort you sometimes.

It's not you. It's me.

Monday, January 21, 2008

I love my OB

Even if I am most likely being a big ol' hormonal mess. I told him about Dr.Nyar, and he laughed and laughed and told me he was so impressed that someone had finally stood up to him! His resident said she would've loved to be fly on the wall for that one. I guess the guy has a rep among his fellow Docs? Snicker. I feel better knowing it isn't just me who thinks he is an arrogant ass, but in reality, it's everyone.

Anyway, he told me not to worry and we'd just continue on doing what we're doing and if I want to go see Dr.Placenta fine, and if not, don't worry. He did feel embarassed about the techs missing the two fibroids, but he whipped out the US machine and said that it hopefully won't cause an issue with delivery because they are both pretty high and won't block the cervix.

I got the chance to ask a few more questions because Mr.Cotta wasn't with me. He had a conference call and was on call just in case I needed him, but I really needed a little space. My OB was surprised I wasn't with him. Heck, I think he was relieved! Apparently Mr.Cotta's joking and acting like he doesn't care to cover his stress has been slightly obvious to them, *cough*, *cough*, in fact, completely obvious. Poor man. Oh well, at least I know he really does care and is worried. I logically know he is, but ohh, so hard sometimes to figure out. Men really are from Mars.

Good news is that I just might get to be induced at 38 weeks! Weeeeeeee! Anything to avoid wondering if my placenta has aged and died and and taken the baby. I swear, I'll be more worried in that last home stretch than I was earlier, because really, the closer I get to a live baby, the more I start to count on this working out. I can't help it, I'm trying not to, but I am starting to think ahead. Daydream, picture myself buying stuff, walking with a stroller....snuggling with the baby in my bed.

I-yi-yi, maybe I shouldn't, but at the Friday US, I couldn't help it. I took forever to get a picture of the cord, because Dinkypie was playing with the umbilical cord and pulling on it and I saw 4 little fingers and a thumb curled around it, and I swear, I started to notice----his personality.

He has one already, cute little troublesome bugger. Oh, now he just HAS to make it out alive.

He has to.

He has to.

I'm still here

I'll do a longer post when I get back from my OB's, but yes, I'm alive and so is Dinkypie. My placenta looked good on Friday, so good, I almost apologized for everything looking so okay, so perfect, so absolutely wonderful. I'm half afraid they'll kick me out for being fraudulently high-risk! They all laughed and said, noooo, don't be silly. They like good news stories.

I was kind of hesitant to post about this visit, because other than a few jokes, it was pretty shitty. And I know some of you know which hospital BAMH is, and like it. But this is me, and I can't lie about what I actually experience in life, or that would be wrong. The only reason I'm even going there at all now is because I want to get this one special placenta doctors opinion, and otherwise stay at my favourite women's hospital. So far, he's been as kind and good as his reputation said he'd be. But this visit I had to see his partner---who needs a name. Hmmmm, let's call him Dr.Nyar.

First off, though, I was scanned by a couple of techs, one very experienced and one trainee. I said no problem to letting the trainee check me out, because she had a superviser, and because that way I get an extra long scan and get to hear all the juicy details while they talk. Well, something odd happened, cause it turns out I'm better at reading these machines than they are. My placenta is anterior they think, but no one is quite sure, because they also tell me is at the top of the fundus. And the whole shrinking, growing fibroid that moves controversy?

Turns our there are two.

I found the second one.


Fred, who hasn't moved even though they think he has is still lower down and pretty big, although no one will give me a number, since he is getting ill-defined edges and is hard to measure. They found him first and were convinced that Dr.Placenta was wrong and that the fibroid wasn't under the placenta. I asked how it was possible for it to move again, and they shrugged. Then we looked at the placenta again and were measuring it, and of course, I asked what the giant dark spot behind the placenta was if it wasn't a fibroid, and they kept saying, what dark spot? Where?

I finally had to sit up covered in goo, holding the wand on my stomach and jab at the screen."Look, THAT thing." "Ohhhh, yeah, I guess you have a second fibroid."

No shit Sherlock. Did you get that radiology license in a gumball machine?

The one under my placenta for sure is about 4.5 x 5.5 cm. And the blood flow is fine around it and through it. This all seems to be located at my fundus (top of the uterus). But now I have no idea if Fred has been shrinking or if they have been measuring the wrong one all along. So for the moment, I'm equally mad at every one of the FIVE different places I've been scanned so far. I think all their OHIP billings should go to me. Incompetent #$%^#$%^#$.

Surprisingly, that isn't the most annoying thing that happened to me that day. Dr.Nyar came in to look at one measurement of my uterine artery; the left one is no longer relaxed, but seems to have developed high blood pressure, shit. He asked what medications I was on, and seemed to get the fragmin and aspirin. But when I told him about the intravaginal prometrium he got rude. He just kept saying over and over again how useless it was and how stupid I was for taking it and how it wouldn't make any difference at all. He derisively laughed when I told him that I was quite happy taking it because it whenever I forgot it, my cervix gets softer and shorter and since I have a history of preterm labour, I prefer to do this. He was horrified that I touched my own cervix to check. The fact that I've been checking my cervix almost every day for 15 years and know it was well as the back of my hand means nothing apparently. (I guess any woman touching her own vagina is kind of shocking to him. I'm sure there is a big scarlet 'S' for slut on my chart now. *eyeroll*)

His big comeback? There is no evidence based medicine to support taking it. My comeback? Yes, there is. Just check the March of Dimes website. Oh, and there is NO evidence based medicine like a RCT to support putting in cerclages, but every Tom, Dick, and Harry does those. It was not a cool scene. He was very very unprofessional. To the point where as he left the room, his last comment was "It still doesn't work."

I don't accept that last-word-wins-bullshit from my kids, I'm sure as hell not taking it from a grown man!

I don't like being patronized, and I don't like being told that my own observations about my own body are a lie. I don't care how big it is, or how much money they have. That hospital treats me like shit. And there are many many more examples I haven't even blogged about sadly. I really don't have to take it, so I'm not listening to Dr.Nyar. Thank God I know not to trust Doctors.

Back later.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Just call me....

Pee Pee McFarty.


The Barf-o-rama Babe

or the Heartburn Heartbreaker.

Sexy, eh? I think so. Or at least the part of me that believes in saying to hell with what others think. Pregnancy is just not like they show it on TV. They either show:

A. The badly dressed exhausted women waddling and shuffling along in slippers, donut crumbs on her shirt

B. Some cute young thing in lululemon pants showing off her perfect baby bump, skinny everywhere else, tiny hips.

Or my pet hate,

C. The fabulously wealthy dressed to kill in 3 inch heels pregnant woman off to close her third deal of the day after eating a few organic morsels for lunch.

In reality, all of these caricatures are non-existent bullshit, all of it designed to make women feel inadequate. With a lot of prep and money and some rest, I could look like C. But after a very short while, I'd have to take off the heels. I'd have a chocolate bar hidden in my purse to eat, because of the heartburn and starvation from the lunch. I have spent some more money on nicer clothes this time, so I might be able to look dressed to kill rarely for this pregnancy. But it will be RARE.

If I was B. I'd be quaking in terror at the thought of a vaginal birth with hips that small, and since pants cut that low rest directly over my bladder, I'd spend most of my time eithering running for the bathroom or peeing my pants. And there's no way you can wear anything like a pad the way they mold to your butt. So cough too hard, and peeing your pants in public is a very real possibility. And christ the skinnies get stretch marks too, so what's with pretending they have smooth lil' hairless scarfree tummies?

Although I may feel like I look like A sometimes that's kind of a depressing vision. I want comfortable pants, but too polyesterish or sweatpantish and I'll feel sloppy. I keep hoping I can find a cut that is nice, and fabric that is breathable/stretchable and maybe washable, but that combo is expensive or unattainable so far. Waddling is unavoidable, but comfortable shoes that aren't butt ugly shouldn't be such a tough request to make of the shoe manufacturers. I'm trying to avoid the donut crumbs, but seriously, on behalf the formerly flat-chested in the's a weird experience to suddenly acquire a shelf. I need a bib I think. Basically it's easier to be comfortable like this, but most of us don't want to have to look like crap. And I bet there is a middle ground.

In real life, I bet all of these women are carrying gas-x in their purse, and tums, and all of them have trouble keeping up with their personal grooming, or at least contorting themselves to reach certain bits. They should show women having real morning sickness, past the first trimester, and not just the polite little version where the genteel mother-to-be lies on her bed with the vapours, or the bad girl version where she vomits like it's the morning after a kegger. Or acckkkk, I forgot my absolute utterly most hated stereotype, the brave morally superior nausea and vomiting sufferer who is told to tough it out, and is admired by doctors and society for never taking "those awful drugs that could hurt the baby." (Last part is uttered with lots of high-pitched judgment, usually by idiots who couldn't read a scientific paper if it hit them in the middle of the eyes. )

Speaking of teenage moms----could the media stop spreading the idea that teenagers all give birth effortlessly and perfectly and have no risks at all. Teens under 18, and especially 15 and under have a dramatically higher rate of miscarriage, stillbirth, preterm labour & neonatal death, birth defects, labour and delivery complications, etc. than the stereotypes portray. And it's not because the teen mother is being an irresponsible mother, or even because of social issues. Sometimes it's just because her body hasn't matured enough to properly carry a pregnancy. Ovulation and periods don't mean the rest of the body has caught up, so yeah, I wish the media wouldn't make it sound like hey, they're young and healthy, blah blah is all sunshine and risk-free puppies. HA!

I'm creating life here. It's going to get messy. But I shouldn't have to feel ashamed or pressured to live up to stupid stereotypes along the way.

So if we ever meet in real life and I fart or burp, I'm not going sputter with embarassment. If you look in my purse and see some spare undies and gaviscon, there's a reason.

Suck it up Miss Manners, Pee Pee McFarty has moved next door. And she ain't wearing no sailor dress with a floppy bow.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Still happy, I went shopping with DecemberBaby and saw her new baby, Kali yesterday. She is sooooooo cute. I just wanted to eat her right up, every little bit of her. And of course, now I definitely want this pregnancy to be over with!!!!! I want this baby right now!!!! V. impatient over here. Can I go to sleep and wake up June 9th with a healthy perfect baby in my arms, please?

I bought some more maternity tops and a few bras, and I even----deep breath, bought a tiny little newborn outfit for Dinkypie. I figured it was another way of defying my magical thinking demons. Like yelling out to the universe, "Hey, I'm going to act NORMAL, and you can't stop me. Hahahahaha."

I've been feeling a little peeved at Mr.Cotta for acting so nonchalant, like hey everything is fine---blah, blah, blah, and for weeks now I've been wondering if it was male bravado to cover up fear or if he seriously didn't care about me and the baby. (Bizarre, yes, keep reading.) Anyway, after I showed him the outfit, he wouldn't look at it, and then I showed it to the boys and they were kind of awed about how tiny it was, he finally pipes up and asks if it isn't too large for a newborn. I tell him no, it fits a 7 pound baby, which is slightly smaller than Kaz (7 lbs, 10 oz.) when he was born. And a lot smaller than Mac who was 8 lbs, 13 oz. If I go a few weeks early I might need it, and what the hell, psychologically it's worth the cash, right?

He finally starts to look interested and after dinner we talk, and it turns out that he IS freaked out right along with me, and every time he complains about me talking to the doc about what might happen, it makes him more worried since he feels more comfortable simply trusting the Doc and sitting back and letting them do the work.

Anyone think that's my method of handling stress?


I'm thinking it will be better if he doesn't come to every appointment with me and I try to ask my questions when he isn't around. (In his stress he tends to try to rush me out the door.) Or maybe he can be there for the US or the doppler and I'll just send him out to wait for me in the hall afterwards. I need to be able to depend on him, but if he is too freaked out himself, it won't do either of us any good. I'm sure if I ask him what he wants to do, he'll tell me he's fine and act like it's no big deal.....but after 12+ years together I kind of know when he's really fine and when he isn't. Men are odd little creatures aren't they? I guess we'll have to talk more. He's definitely not going to the appointment with the placenta specialist Friday. Of course, I don't want to go alone. Crap.

And my kids have been asking interesting questions. We took a video at the ultrasound and put it up on the TV screen at home for them to see. Very exciting, very cool for them. Mac completely started acting out and pretending he was a baby too and needed snuggles, then decided he was a big boy and didn't need any snuggles. And that's when all the deep moral questions started. My answers are in italics. In real life the answers were a bit longer, and Kaz gets different answers than Mac because he's 4 years older and already knows some of these answers, but not all.

Like: What does the word bastard mean? It used to mean a child who was born to parents who were not married. It has no legal meaning anymore in Ontario and is a rude word socially. Why is that a bad word? Because it's mean to treat someone badly because of their family, just like it would be mean to treat someone badly if they were different in any way.Who cares if someone is married before they have kids? Traditionally society did, because the only way to get an inheritance or money or a career or an education was through family connections. Over time, as free government education took over and things like DNA were discovered, it became less important to society. People could succeed on their own.

(Note to readers: I did not discuss the concept of reclaiming bad words as symbols of oppression - not age appropriate, but yes I get it myself...This conversation was gut-wrenching for me, since there is one level of government that still wants to label my son a bastard. Which I didn't tell him. I'm actively trying to get the law changed----long story, it may end up as human rights complaint, we'll see.)

What does the f-word mean? Intercourse What's intercourse? When a man's penis is inserted into a woman's vagina and it rubs back and forth Is it fun? Yes, but it's a lot more fun when you are older and in love with person who you do it with. Right now you haven't gone through puberty and it will feel different then, for now no one should touch your private parts except for you when you have privacy or a doctor or a nurse if you are sick. Did you and Dad ever do intercourse? Blushing, well, we were in love, and we wanted to have babies so we did.

(The morning after watching Raiders of the Lost Ark on DVD) What does Heil Hitler mean? It means Hail Hitler, and it was a salute the Nazis did. It is very rude and good people never ever do it. The actor who did it was playing a bad man. Who is Hitler? A bad man who killed a lot of people during World War II, mostly because he was mean and didn't like them and he thought they were different from him. He was very stupid and cruel but he hid it well and fooled a lot of people before he got caught. Why is putting your arm like that bad? Because anyone who does that is saying that they think he was smart and did the right thing. Which makes them as stupid as he was. Hitler was a bad person, maybe the worst person who ever lived on earth, and we shouldn't admire or imitate bad people.

Why do people kill Gorillas? Because they are stupid and mean. Can I get a gun and kill all the poachers? No. Can we pay someone to kill all the poachers? I don't think so Mac. (He is now weeping and asking me to give money to save the Gorillas. My heart is breaking for him.)

How do snakes pee? I didn't know they did. Do they have intercourse? No, they lay eggs. Too bad for the snakes, eh Mom?

Would you all understand if I said that I'm looking forward to having one child in the house who doesn't ask questions and just eats and makes diapers and cries? I can breastfeed and still sleep, but this stuff gives me total insomnia and nightmares and well, stress! Stress, stress, stress!

Just another 48 hours in the House of Cotta. Sex, death, grief, social norms, justice, politics, biology. I need a tylenol and a nap....but it's not working out like that. I thought us SAHMs did nothing but eat bon-bons?

Monday, January 14, 2008

Yes, we have a FINE baby!

Just back from my full anatomy scan, and although everyone tried as hard as they could, no one could find even ONE thing wrong. I kept asking, and asking, and going through the full list of organs to check, and everyone just kept grinning at me, and telling me the boy was fine!!!!





Seriously, no funny dark spots, no cysts, my cervix is nice and long and closed, baby is moving nicely, with good flexion, all 4 chambers of the heart are ticking away, even all the little boy bits are in the right places, and bonus: no odd scary pauses from the tech.

Even my godawful fibroid is still shrinking and the placenta is still getting good blood flow. I am stupidly insanely overwhelmingly hysterically happy right now!!!

I don't know what tomorrow will bring, I don't know next week will bring, but for today, for now, I am so happy and grateful.

I'm definitely doing some shopping now, and not even the anti-stress NBHHY shopping. Hell, maybe fun-happy-pretend-I'm-a-normal-fertile-preggo shopping?

Geez, you don't think it's stepping over the line too much do you? To hope a little? I want to so badly, but I keep thinking it's wrong, that I'll just get slapped down again. Mr.Cotta is so certain that nothing can go wrong now. I think it's driving him nuts that I can't just relax. Of course, I think he is also tired of going to appointments and missing so much work, when every single appointment turns out so well. I think at some point I'll be apologizing to him for the total lack of drama!

And you know what? That's okay by me. I really really like being the boring pregnant story. I do. I had nightmares the last few nights that this was going to be another bad ultrasound, another disaster, another terrifying road to hell and sad decisions and bad news.

But it wasn't. I don't know how long the boring will continue, mind you. I need to talk with my Doc about how the rest of the pregnancy plan will go, all the L&D stuff I couldn't talk about without breaking down in sobs, but for today, boring me and a fine baby is nice.

Is this how normal people live?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

A refugee in a house full of boys

I'm sitting here on the couch beside all the men, as they watch football. So far every time I make on observation I get ignored, so I figured I'd share my insights with you.

There is a funny man in black stripes who talks very loudly whenever he touches his belt. He seems to enforce rules? Very bossy. Men who talk with their belts creep me out.

Why is it when men burp during a game it's manly and appropriate, but when I do it after a particularly satisfying meal sitting with the very same men, it's rude?

The Patriots all seem to have broad shoulders and nice tight butts and legs, and the Jacksonville team has wide rear ends and large beefy legs. The Patriots are wearing white pants, and the Jacksonville team is wearing black pants. Black is supposed to be slimming, but this does not seem to be working in their case. Do you think that sexier cuter football guys win more games?

No one in this house understands me.

Casey had a good idea, btw, and I've started taking extra zinc every morning, as well as my extra calcium and D at night. I used to and it was great, but I ran out and forgot. So, here I am going back to the start! Men just don't want to hear about this btw, so I'm very very grateful for you, my lovely readers. I know that someday soon I will be completely surrounded by men, and unable to escape the testosterone. Hopefully the baby will be kind of gender neutral for awhile, but I'm not holding out much hope.

Funny little oddity at my OB appointment btw, my OB refused to let me make more than one appointment ahead of time. He explained that depending on how the ultrasounds and exams turn out, he might need to schedule me for coinciding US appointments with the high-tech machine down the hall. Considering that he has his own machine in the office and at any time he can get access to the heavy duty machine, it sounded odd. He is very very positive at every single appointment. So positive that Mr.Cotta keeps wondering why we're still going every single week, and why we even need to get any more checks. I think he is listening to the words, but not to the subtext of the conversations with the doctor. Because when I listen to the OB, I hear that he is still concerned enough to want to keep his options open and schedule me in week by week.

Kind of scary, but reassuring in an odd sort of way. We got the results of the full amnio report, and all the chromosomes are perfect. Just like the FSH test! Awesome....but until I see the full anatomy scan, I won't feel okay.

You see I know a number of women who have had perfect amnio results and good nuchal tests, and still had a child with birth defects. Some minor and treatable, and some fatal. That's one reason why I scheduled this test for 19 weeks. (or 18 weeks 6 days depending on your math). I wanted to be firmly in the window for measurements. Too early or too late and they can't compare you properly to the several zillion other people who have had this test in their giant database.

If all goes well, I'm going to celebrate by buying some maternity clothes, including a coat. I'm officially bursting out of all of the coats I own already. Of course, no one will be coming shopping with me for the clothes, which is kind of disappointing. And I can't even shop for long since I have to go see that shrink again who suggested the mantra. Mostly I'm just going so I can clarify that I need to see a different person than her. A person with some sort of skill-set that involves perception and hearing.

I really am surrounded by male type communicators during this pregnancy. But at least my OB listens and even talks a bit like a woman. Which helps. Along with all of my wonderful bloggy friends. I don't know how I'd make it through without you.

Seriously, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. For every click, for every comment, thank you. You will never know how much you have saved my sanity.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Nerd, Geek, or Dork?

Your Score: Modern, Cool Nerd

60 % Nerd, 78% Geek, 47% Dork

For The Record:

A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.
A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.
A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.
You scored better than half in Nerd and Geek, earning you the title of: Modern, Cool Nerd.

Nerds didn't use to be cool, but in the 90's that all changed. It used to be that, if you were a computer expert, you had to wear plaid or a pocket protector or suspenders or something that announced to the world that you couldn't quite fit in. Not anymore. Now, the intelligent and geeky have eked out for themselves a modicum of respect at the very least, and "geek is chic." The Modern, Cool Nerd is intelligent, knowledgable and always the person to call in a crisis (needing computer advice/an arcane bit of trivia knowledge). They are the one you want as your lifeline in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (or the one up there, winning the million bucks)!


Follow this link to take the test yourself.

I realize that this doesn't add up to 100%, but I'm not concerned about the math. In the meantime, I owe about 22 people apologies because I owe them emails, and in my desperation to make each and every email perfect and long and voluminous and accurate, I'm simply not getting them done. Same for comments, and damn I need to stop loitering on your blogs and staring at them. You don't need me to write pithy brilliant comments each and every time do you? Or 100 word essays? Can I get away with it?

From this test....can you tell why I am such a geek?

Anyway, ultrasound today, yes, the baby is still there!!! Weeeeee!! Wiggling around ever so adorably. My Doctor was going to use the doppler since I'm getting my full 18 week ultrasound on Monday but I told him that I just couldn't take only hearing the heartbeat. I need to SEE this baby. And you know what? It's true, I am much much happier and more relaxed right now. I just keep remembering the baby looking at me and thinking about it's little arms waving at me. Lowers my blood pressure instantly.

And another rule I instituted today was that I no longer want to know about my weight. I'll stand on the scale, facing away from the number window, and they look and write it down. I never ever want to find it out, unless I need to for some serious medical reason. I had that rule when I was pregnant with Kaz and Mac, and I did just fine with eating and gaining weight correctly. Anytime someone did tell me my weight, (in an attempt to reassure me that everything was okay) I turned into a control freak and started trying to gain or lose weight quite desperately in an effort to control something that just isn't an issue worth thinking about for me. And after my last week of crazy not sleeping and worrying about nutrition and every calorie going into my mouth? No, this is ending right here and now, cause like I need any more things to obsess about? I've never had gestational diabetes or gained too much weight. (I did gain way too much water at the end of both pregnancies along with blood pressure that soared, but that has zip fuck all to do with how much food I ate, apart from sodium content.) And I lose it all breastfeeding afterwards. Too the point where I have to drink Ensure to avoid looking gaunt.

So, I celebrated the new I-don't-know-my-weight-rule by indulging in a sudden craving I had for thin crust pizza, and ate the entire thing by myself. Plus a box of Rosebud chocolates. Then ate dinner. And dessert. Mmmmmm, baby wants more chocolate....mmmmmmm.

Thank you by the way for all the advice and back up on the last post. Really, I needed it a lot. I have abandonment issues and control issues and this particular person really pisses me off, because of the ADD thing. I hate her, but Mr.Cotta rarely sees her and since he is the kindest most generous person on earth when it comes to viewing others....sigh he is oblivious to her. Everyone I've spoken to agrees that he should never see her again, but I also know that the best way to piss him off is to issue an ultimatum. He'll refuse to follow orders, because he doesn't think he should be ordered around, and then he'll either lie, or we'll have a huge fight. So---he lives with the knowledge that I despise her, and that if he ever cheated on me I'd take him for every cent he has, and then teach him the REAL meaning of testicular torsion.

It's our bizarre version of detente. He tolerates me being around political operatives in a male dominated environment like the Liberal Party, many of whom are former boyfriends, etc. Okay, admittedly they show respect for my married status now and the endless pregnant status is a bit of a turn off, so hey, it's not like there's much to threaten him, but still, some husbands would freak if their wife went to three day parties in other cities and got drunk in hotel bars with a 12-1 male to female ratio. And you never know, I could get skinny and sexy again, and the tables could turn.

In the meantime, it is what it is. Now where the hell did I put that extra chocolate?

This is becoming very tiresome

I'm feeling very awful lately, mostly because I can't sleep properly. I'm having very very bad leg muscle spasms. They don't hurt but they jerk me awake. Creepy as hell, and impossible to sleep through.

My stomach is upset a lot, heartburn is beginning. I'm still getting some wild nausea if I sense any soft or undercooked eggs anywhere within 500 feet. But really, if I could just get some good solid sleep I'd feel a hell of lot better.

Another reason for not sleeping well? My husband went out after work to meet a friend for a drink, and I truly can't stand this friend of his. She is not someone I have had much respect for, for well, years, but lately I've felt rather, grrrrrrrrr, every time her name comes up. She used to work in the same office as him, as an assistant, and had innumerable problems she would lay at his feet and ask advice about. (She had a serious mental health issue years before and her husband supported during her recovery, but it still kind of weighed on her as an issue.) She was nice enough, and we all went out for dinner a few times, her husband included. So fine whatever.

But then, she started doing much better, in fact, she did some more studying and her career really took off. At the same time, her relationship with her husband began to tank, partially because their youngest son had some LD, but mostly because there was a massive layoff at his workplace, and he got a package, but was having trouble getting another steady satisfying job. At one point, he was finally diagnosed with ADD, which, yes explained all of his struggle's through school, but his doctor did NOT give him stimulants, instead, the idiot gave him antidepressants. Antidepressants can help with the shame of failure that accompanies ADD, but they don't prevent future failures from happening. So the guy has even more trouble getting another job.

So you can imagine what's coming---she disbelieves the diagnosis, and decides he's a slacker. Whatever he tries to succeed at, she disses as not good enough. At one point, she actually has the NERVE to proposition Mr.Cotta. (Yes, you read that right, she wanted to have an affair with MY husband!) He tells her no, and comes home and tells me right away. I'm ticked, but I'm glad he's coming home to me, and make it clear I don't want her around our house, or kids and think very little of her. He still meets her for lunch in public places, mostly business related, which I don't like, but I'm trying not to be controlling. You know, because I'm trying very hard to be the bigger person, blah, blah, blah, even though deep down I just want to SLAP her.

The piece de resistance? She dumps her husband and gets a live in nanny, and now spends all of her time telling my husband how wonderful her life is now that she got rid of the husband with that so-called mental problem, ADD. She kept the big house with the pool and the kids, and has her fancy job, with the six-figure salary, and he's now stuck in some crummy little apartment with no money, and surprise, surprise, is getting even more depressed even on the ADs. Recently he finally found a good permanent job, instead of the temp ones & the contract ones he had, and thank God his life is getting better. No thanks to her.

Now, I know that marriages break up and divorce happens, but can I just say that dumping someone struggling with mental issues when that person supported you for years through all of your issues, is pretty fucking low class? He's a kind guy, never been angry or violent or drunk, nothing even remotely like that. He's a good dad, admittedly not the best at domestic duties, but well, he was having some medical problems, and trying to solve them. Just not at the pace she dictated I guess....

I've said it before and I'll say it again, marriage is supposed to be about sticking by each other through sickness and in health, through good times and in bad. And I for one, am tired of hearing about imperfect people who hold their spouses to standards of perfection they themselves cannot reach. He took care of her for years, someone with integrity might clue in that she owed him that much in return. Does she have to stay married to him forever? Certainly not, but you don't kick somebody when they are down. It's just low class.

And I sure as hell don't want her talking to my husband! I trust him, but I really don't trust her. She's a viper, one of those women who can't seem to be happy in her own backyard; anyone unclear about why I don't want her sniffing around in mine? Gee, maybe because I'm getting fatter all the time, and not precisely calender girl sexy right now? Or maybe because pregnancy and hormones make me very very emotional, or maybe because I'm kind of gassy, and if I cough too hard, I pee myself, and I'm slowly becoming a slummy mummy due to staying at home and not working for a paycheque?

Yeah, three guesses why I don't want him hanging out with an attractive sexually voracious skinny rich bitch who slams people with ADD and has her sights trained on him.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Wandering thoughts at almost 18 weeks

I'm wiped out after all this time with the boys at home over Christmas. My husband had to work most of the time, and today they are back in school, back to their routine, and I can finally get a nap for my very tired pregnant self. Or heck, maybe just the TV to myself for an hour or two! I love hanging out with them, but when they have too much together time, they escalate from bickering to war in no time flat, so school and friends are a very good thing in our case.

My Blackberry is more confusing to work than I thought it would be. I think I'm going to hire a temp to enter all my contacts and calendar on this thing. I've never ever used an electronic organizer, and everybody tells me that this is this answer to my prayers, but I'm not sure it will be unless I can figure out how to send an email! (Yes, the email isn't working properly, welcome to Canada) Apparently Rogers has disabled a host of features available to everyone else in the world because hey, why not? Grrrr....maybe yet another help desk call will work.

And yes, RIM, is a Canadian company, based right here in Ontario, in Waterloo and I think they have a great product, but would you understand if I said that in this one instance, I want to be an American, or well, any country on earth with a competitive wireless market?

Okay, maybe scratch that....I'm sorry to all my US friends, but I just don't believe Obama is the living embodiment of the second coming! Honestly, after 20 years in politics, I've never met a successful "second coming" candidate. They all seem to overpromise, and then underdeliver, and the basic rule in politics is always always always underpromise and overdeliver. Americans seem to have blocked this memory, but George W. Bush was the supposed Messiah to the right wing, and look how well that turned out. Even Republicans are pretty ashamed of his record, even if they don't want to admit it.

Here up in Canada---we had Paul Martin Jr., a talented guy who never quite fulfilled all the fantasies his followers had for him. More recently, Micheal Ignatieff had the same thing happen. So, I'm a little skeptical about Obama, I mean at this point, he'd have to actually BE Jesus Christ to fulfill everything he's reputed to be able to do.

John Edwards? Ehhhh, I'm just not that inspired by him, you know? I don't know why. Hillary I like, mainly because she has a long record of professional & political experience since long before Bill came along. And I'm really really annoyed by all the people who say that she's only where she is because of her husband. Frankly, this is the typical reaction every female candidate gets whenever they run, but I assumed, no hoped, that maybe someone could read her resume and notice that she's had a career for awhile, quite awhile before he was President or even Governor.

On a personal level, I like candidates who have gone through a lot in their lives. It makes them more complex, perhaps more contemplative? Certainly more sensitive to the needs of others, unlike people who have had everything handed to them easily. We all know about Elizabeth & John Edwards struggle after losing their son Wade, and then having their subsequent children. So they understand loss and grief. Funny thing no one ever talks about though, is the struggle Hillary & Bill had to go through to have Chelsea. I remember watching an interview with her long ago where she discussed the years and years of trying to get pregnant, and having practically the entire state of Arkansas watching them in anticipation after she announced she was expecting. I remember her musing about wanting another child, maybe trying to adopt for the second one. She never did either, but I can imagine trying to conceive in front of a national audience is pretty brutal. I'm having the jitters just trying to be pregnant in public what with all our friends and neighbours knowing our history.

Of course, none of that is any guarantee that the person will be sensitive to the needs of the infertile people or of grieving parents. George W.Bush and Laura Bush went through a lot to get their twins, and were in an emergency high-risk delivery situation. They almost lost them, and yet---has anyone noticed any U.S. federally funded research on stillbirth, or miscarriage or neonatal death, or increase insurance coverage for infertility and maternity care? I've seen lots of platitudes, but not much cash on the barrel head for the last 7 years.

And yes, I'm feeling less negative, and a little hope for this pregnancy is sneaking in. Not very solidly, but there a little hope. My official 18 week ultrasound is next Monday morning, and I'm seeing my doctor this week to get checked out a bit. Chit-chat, get weighed, and most likely discover that I've probably gained another 10 pounds. You know how I'm the perennial skinny little chick? Well, not while pregnant, in fact, I blow up like a balloon. I lose it all afterwards, but in the meantime, it's a bit hard to get used to the giant breasts and the disappearing neck, and the way that my normally average toes look like sausages.

Seriously, what the hell do women do who normally have big breasts? I've gone from an almost not quite B size to over a D, and these things are getting in the way!! You just can't do the same kind of stuff with your arms, you know? Whenever this happens to me while pregnant, I begin to feel great sympathy for women who complain about large breasts. I never understood it before pregnancy, but after my first? Oh yeah.....

Off to have a nap now. Or a snack....mmmmmmmm

Sunday, January 06, 2008

screw it all

Well Desperate Housewives wasn't much of problem, in case any of you are scared to watch. In fact, it was a quick finish in the drama area. All of Lynette's kids are safe and sound and completely okay. So is her husband, Tom. I was freaked out about it a while back because the tornado episode was a real shocker at the end. I thought the acting and writing really was off. Quite odd, usually the actress playing Lynnette kicks ass and I find the show itself to be good for a laugh. But the lack of reality in how a real woman would act upon discovering that her kids might be dead? Gahhhh. I sure as fuck wouldn't have been sitting there standing behind the yellow tape sipping tea. It would've taken 14 firefighters to hold me back from digging them out by hand. I mean, WTF?

For example, I've met a few people who show up to report on fires, and they tell me that whenever a fire happens, if the mother is rescued first and any other kids are still in there, she will rush back in to get them if there is even one breath left in her body, no question.
They actually assign cops and firefighters to hold her back because they know the adrenaline will rush through her body and regardless of size, she will become ten times stronger than she normally is. Becoming completely paralyzed due to shock is perfectly normal as well, it's just very very stark, and looks nothing like standing around.

It's human instinct. If it doesn't happen, it's unusual and you have to ask yourself, are they in physical shock, are they on drugs, are there mental health issues? Seriously, it's that odd. Which is why Lynette, IMO, did not look like a mother. She just looked like any other actress. Sort of ummm, standing there? ?

I thought for sure they would string this show out, emotional p0rn for sale, one commercial at a time. TV shows do this regularly, whether it's on soaps or on nightime, and most especially movies. They use the grief of bereaved parents and the terror we live with to pop their ratings, but never ever actually help the real grieving parents with our pain. We're just the used leftover crap they shun in real life.

But, no they ended it in moments. Like a big fat nothing. All those commercial promos, all those endless reverberating screams, (I'm convinced they juiced the audio on Lynette's scream after I complained about how fake it was.) and then, yayyy they're alive, and they disappear. Pffft. Over.

Now the other movie I watched this weekend, We Are Marshall, is incredible, unbelievable, a really good portrayal of how death and tragedy and grief are handled in real life and how it should be handled. It was in theatres in 2006, but being a football movie, I think it wasn't something on my radar. I could go on and on, but it is the kind of thing that you have to see for yourself. Sadness, anger, frozen denial, rage at innocent bystanders, a willingness to walk through fire to get to your loved ones, an unwillingness to move on with life, a desire to avoid the things you associated with the loved ones, people wondering how others can smile and move on when they are still so so sad, messy awful difficult human emotions in all their glory. All things I've witnessed in the nine odd years I've been dealing with this.

Reality is that people who have been through tragedy and grief aren't going to act as sweetly and as nicely as the public would like. We don't fit the mold that others want to see. We're supposed to crumple gently at their feet, looking like fallen angels, all sad and weeping. If we dare to speak up, we're shrill bitches, if we dare to demand justice, we're "not able to let go", if we keep asking WHY, we're told that we're suffering from an "adjustment disorder."

And hot damn, if we dare to raise our living kids as normally as possible, and refuse to treat them like delicate spoiled flowers, if we dare to bitch about the normal travails of life for even one second, one moment, one tiny slice of time, some of our readers might even unsubscribe from our blog feed, or stop talking to us in real life. I guess they'd prefer Lynette. Well, screw 'em if they'd prefer her current saccharine brand of bullshit mothering.

Even if I pay $100,000 for IVF to have my kids, or pay $100,000 from an unethical illegal adoption mill*, or even bury 14 kids before I get to raise them, my living kids still get to be little assholes who raise mayhem, and I still get to rip my hair out over it, because they owe me SHIT, no gratitude, no debt, no obligation, just normal kid lives. Sometimes the children we have after infertility and grief and loss are going to be less than perfect, sometimes they will be evil little hell-raisers, sometimes they will have learning disabilities, and speech disabilities, and emotional breakdowns, and maybe they will even be ugly and unattractive. (Gasp, horror, ack!)

I owe them the most normal parenting experience possible. Which includes all the bad sides of mothering, not just the sweet and pretty and cute ones that form the perfect Hollywood ending. They deserve to be parented, not treasured like little glass ornaments, and they deserve to know if they screw up, and not just to be lied to. If I tell them they are perfect and adorable all day, it will turn them into characterless little disney clones. And that would be wrong. If I tell them that their mother is perfect and always always right then that would be wrong.

And if I tell it like anything less than what it is, warts and all, then I will be lying to you my dear readers. I'm not going to pretend I live in a diaper commercial. Even if my pregnancies do involve Depends every time I cough, this is not the ideal life after infertility story you've been yearning for.

You need to watch TV for that.

*The point of the comment was to show extremes that we would go to in attaining parenting, and yes, although they are rare, unethical adoption mills do exist, and good potential adoptive parents are revolted by them and try to avoid them.

If any of you want more examples of this, read some birth mother and adoptee blogs, and you will see them discussed.

But really that isn't the point of this post. I actually know people in real life who have paid that much money for IVF, people who have lost that many children, and people who have adopted in less than ideal circumstances who have had to pay huge amounts to complete the adoption. And some of these people, not all, hold it over the kids heads, like "you owe me" for freaking forever.

It makes me sick when I see it, and as an adoptee, it reminds me of all the times I was told how "lucky" I was to have been saved from a supposed terrible fate of being raised by a single mother, etc. by my adoptive parents. Meanwhile, they were lousy parents themselves.

I am not trying to slam adoptive parents, the phrase was meant to show extremes in all parenting, and I certainly didn't single out adoptive parents only.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Can't sleep

I saw that therapist/shrink who is doing a program assessment again. She really hasn't impressed me much so far. I'm trying to be honest because I'm hoping that she'll be able to find me someone in the program who is a good fit, but so far---that seems to be a mistake. This woman is a bit of a blunt instrument. Someone told me she was good for someone else, but weellll, also not very good for her, and I can understand that now.

This may have been a mistake. A serious mistake. You know how I know? Because I woke up screaming from a nightmare at 3:45 am and it was so real and so awful I'm scared to get back to sleep now. It was all about people digging around and snooping in my basement, and unpacking my boxes and rooting around in there without my permission and discovering stuff that I had neatly packed away and dealt with as much as I feel like for now.

(Yes, I know the meaning of the dream is obvious, even to someone like God, could I be any easier to read?) It's just that I'm sick of being told that Brief Therapy is the new solution to mental health when really, it's just a big fat budget dodge. No one wants to pay for the damage that crime victims or victims of medical errors suffer. They all want us to go away and take a pill and shut the fuck up.

So, now I'm feeling pretty shitty, like someone starting rooting around in my stuff, and then walked away and left me with the mess to clean up. God forbid they stick around to help me pack it all away nice and neat. Guess OHIP won't pay for it! *eyeroll*

I have to find someone permanent who will listen to what I say. This woman----I told her quite clearly that CBT is really not my style, and she ends the session by telling me that meditation is the solution, and we should work on a mantra for altering my cognitive thought process around the assumption that this baby will not make it.


Yes, because chanting changes your medical history & risk factors...a mantra and a good hippie outfit and a bong are all I need to make it through the day.

Anyway, my real neurosis around these sessions is that I can't stand how she takes notes. You see, the old protocol was that any explicit notes were not to be put in the hospital files, just basic notes describing medications and symptoms and the fact that sessions were occurring. Anything more definitive, was only written in files and notes that the department alone or the therapist could access. It's a way of ensuring patient privacy but not compromising medical care, since the average medical Doc is too stupid to accurately understand mental health issues, and the average "mental health professional" is mentally ill themselves and spends all of their time projecting their own emotional shit onto their patients, then writing it in their notes. At least on this blog, if I feel it, I can write it, and it isn't someone's else's impression of me. And hell, if I want to take it down someday, I can!

But nothing, absolutely nothing that has been encased in the blue hospital file can ever ever be removed. If that piece of paper has slid down the sacred metal duotang clip, it's there honey, for allllll fuckin' eternity. So when I say, dear Doc, please don't write anything explicit in my file, be obscure, do not continue to write about my personal neurosis in there. Cause, ummm, that was me withdrawing my consent for her to write it that way. Cause no means NO! Sigh....

I don't want to go back, but the thought of breaking in yet ANOTHER doc is so depressing that I'm not sure I can bear it. Maybe I'll just forget about it. This is definitely not worth not sleeping.

Friday, January 04, 2008

see, now I have to take back yesterday's post

Today the boys and I stayed together for the day and went to see Mac's pediatrician for a followup after his disaster with the testicular torsion. She confirmed that he is completely recovered and gave us a referral to see a urologist to discuss what we can do to prevent a recurrence. The official report from the radiologist said it was unclear if it was epididymitis (an infection of the tube that carries sperm) or a torsion and immediate reversal of the torsion, that left everything looking swollen.

And so we shall see....

The boys kind of kept it together in the office, but unfortunately couldn't do it for long, and decided to wrestle each other, to the death, in the middle of the waiting room, while I booked the followup appointment.

And two other mothers LAUGHED at them and me, out loud! Talk about encouraging bad behaviour! (I'm not even discussing the mothers who sneered in horror, who I know were thinking that their precious Johnny, all of three months old , would never, ever, ever behave that way in public. I figure I'll just wait for Johnny to grow up and teach his mother a lesson about being holier-than-thou and tripping on your face, etc. etc.)

I kept admonishing the boys, and nothing worked, so finally, I turned to leave, and one woman said, "It's always funny when it isn't your own kids. Don't worry." I know she was trying to be all buddy-buddy, but damn lady, this kind of stuff is embarassing! Please don't make it more obvious.

As we left, I turned to Kaz, and told him that I was really unhappy because he had behaved so badly that other mothers had actually laughed at me. He looked stricken----

And he sincerely APOLOGIZED and behaved the rest of the day to make up for it!

Which means he has a CONSCIENCE!

He understands personal reputations and shame and public behaviour and time and place!!!!!

Jesus Christ on a popsicle stick, I'm actually not a total failure as a mother.

Have a drink for me tonight ladies and gents, today is a good day.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Children are evil

So why am I having another child? And another boy to boot? Gahhhhhhhh

We have two kids, matched in age, over at our house today for playdates. (Playdate Law: 1 guest per kid is perfect, uneven numbers are bad, and a more than 6 kids is a mob, RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!) Today the numbers are not working: the two older ones have been torturing the younger ones quite mercilessly, and the younger visitor seems to think that trashing the house is the appropriate response to not getting his way. Mac has been sulking ever since finding out that the older boys made his Squawkers Macaw, say, "I hate Mac," and "You've been punk'd, bitch."

Okay really, I've been sulking about the last one more. I got really mad at the kids when they came home from going to the store, and told them they had to fix the parrot and rerecord something nicer. I can't tell whose voice it is, and I don't care which one did it, so I held both the little buggers responsible. Grrrrr.....

I know girls can be worse, cattier, nastier, sneakier; at least the boys are up front about bullying. But, oh shit. I really hate this kind of stuff. I think this is why siblings should be conceived when the first baby is young enough that the parents are still gripped with naivete that siblings can be friends, and not stab each other to death for kicks.

They all finally calmed down when we put on the Simpson's movie. Nothing like a round of potty humour and humiliation to stun the male of the species into a coma.

When does school start again? Military boarding school that is?

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Little weakening in the resolve here

I'm starting out 2008 with some whimpering here. The fragmin shots? They hurt, they hurt a fuck of a lot when you've done 105 of them, and you have 161 to go, plus 6 weeks post-partum. I'm using Bea's method from the Youtube video and IVF Shoot Em up, and it's helped a lot, but my skin has too many tender spots to miss now, and I'm not sure I can stand many more months of this.

(Yes, that is the protocol my high-risk guys mandate for everyone with clotting disorders. In the olden days when heparin was used, osteoporosis was a risk, so they told us all to stop early, but low-molecular weight heparin doesn't have the same effect, and since my blood was so sludgey when I didn't take it, and my blood is so utterly totally normal ON it, they want me to do it for sure.....sigh.)

I'm trying to be brave, and good, but some nights? I just can't face it. It's just too too hard. I end up staying up later and later trying to avoid the pain. Which cuts into sleep, not good either. I need a nap now.

I'll keep taking the shots, I will. I want a live baby. I just feel rather bitter today and jealous of normal pregnant women who can have live babies without needles!!! I've never had a "normal" pregnancy and birth. I've had emotionally terrifying ones and dangerous physical ones and dead baby ones, but I've never ever just been boringly normal. Even Kaz, my first, was a total emotional rollercoaster because Mr.Cotta and I were trying to figure out the parameters of our relationship. And his delivery? I-yi-yi, no hearts and romance there, just screaming helplessness.

I promise to be brave again tomorrow, but right now? I just want to whine. And cry "THIS SUCKS!"