Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Not much rest

I got a little rest, but my OB won't give me anything more for heartburn medication than what I'm taking now, so I'm trying to figure out what to do. I can't sleep upright for the next four weeks, nor can I be sleepless. You know the old mantra about if you want a healthy baby, you need a healthy mama? Which is why it's so important to take care of pregnant women and not just babies? Yeah...I'm feeling like I need to see my GP, the lovely Dr.J. She might have some solutions. I hope.

As for the rest of my visit? No protein in the urine, but my BP is climbing slightly and I'm looking a little swollen. Pretty normal for 34 weeks for me. My cervix looked normal on the US, still 3 cm, so I figure it's just softening up. Still doesn't explain the pain. And I just don't accept the blanket explanation of "irritable uterus". It sounds too much like "We don't know and so we're just going to label it X." I'm going to ask Dr.J. to check if I have a UTI or something else that might make sense. Otherwise, I'm lost.

The baby is still measuring ahead of dates, like 2-3 weeks, but now, only on the head measurement, and the body diameter (stomach). The femur length seems to have lagged a bit and is measuring on target for 34 weeks, but 2 weeks ago it was only a little smaller, so I am worried a bit. Body diameter is a bullshit measurement, because it's soft tissue, so I ignore that, and the head measurement can be a bit off since it can include the outer tissue or not depending on the skill of the operator. But a femur is a femur. And it didn't grow much this time.

My OB tells me not to worry, that babies are going to start to vary on ultrasound size, and that as long as he is still growing and developing, it's okay. I'm still nervous anyway. I keep thinking about deformed and dying babies with big heads and short legs....utterly stupid, but still. I keep thinking about it.

I'm also slightly panicking about not having anything for when the baby gets here. I still haven't had the nerve to order the damn nursery furniture and yet I desperately want it here set up right now. And yet----I don't want it anywhere near my house. Conflicted a bit.... I washed all the baby clothes in storage and in the basement, in Tide once, and in baby laundry detergent again, and I'm trying to figure out what we'll need vs. what we have already. (Short answer btw, almost everything we have is too old or not very good/usable. Lisa B has made me throw out all my old plastic dishes, sippy cups, toys etc. since of course, duh that I am, I did not realize that they would have deteriorated a lot and probably have toxic chemicals on them after all these years. Sigh.....I actually need to shop.) I just feel incredibly nervous doing it.

As for styles, I have lots of opinions. I really don't like the current fashion color scheme of orange, green, and brown, plus shag rugs...not me, thanks. I'm not into the flowered Fisher-Price thing much either. Brown is okay, and so is blue, and well lots of other colors, like red and what have you, but I seem to have an aversion to Seventies' color schemes. I like clean lines on the furniture, no need for frilly with a boy I guess. My husband seems to breathe a sigh of relief whenever he figures out that I won't be buying everything brand new and PINK like if we had a girl. Since, you know, I'd have to spend a million dollars buying every single cutesy outfit on earth.

As for stuff, a couple of people still have some of my stuff and I'm reluctant to ask for it back from at least one woman. She has my diaper genie and some other stuff, and while she would likely return all of it, no questions----she is also a former infertile, now adoptive mom, who has never really worked through her issues around her infertility. Like for example, even after everything I've gone through, she insists that I am not infertile and never have been, because I'm able to get pregnant however hard it is to stay pregnant. She sees my losses as sad, but doesn't understand the big deal because she views my living kids as outweighing my losses completely. Like they erase everything. Plus, my ovarian failure doesn't matter because it happened after I had two living children. And I of course, disagree. I mostly ignored it because she and I got along in so many other ways, but it does grate on the nerves sometimes.

I also worry that she was so in love with the fantasy of having kids that she now views the reality as not very fulfilling, based on what she has said and done in front of me with her adopted kid. She is frustrated and upset a lot, frankly, I think she expected a Pampers commerical, and when all she got was a normal little girl, who threw tantrums and cried sometimes, and was average instead of baby einstein, she became very very depressed. I remember her actually telling me that they has specifically wanted a little girl because they thought girls were easier to raise than boys, who were messy and loud. I'm like, uh, stereotype much? Some girls are quieter but not all, and hey, any messy women out there? Little kids are always messy, boys or girls. You have to wait until they grow up for it to get easier.

To be honest, I think the thing that bugs me the most is when she gets really pissed off about her kid misbehaving, and starts talking about how much they paid for her and how for that much money they expected better. (Seriously-not exaggerating here.) "We paid $40,000 and this is how she acts!" I keep praying she'll shut the fuck up before her daughter is old enough to figure out what she is saying. I mean, help me out here, but if you were an adoptive parent, wouldn't you very very quickly delete that dollar figure from your brain and never bring it up, certainly not within earshot of your child? Talk about guilt-laying....

I'm thinking I'll just buy a new Diaper Genie instead of talking to her? Yeah, definitely. Maybe I'll get my husband to email her at some point and let her know about the baby. He can deal with her.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Not enough rocks

I'm in one of those moods right now. I haven't slept much in the last two days/nights because my nausea/heartburn is back and I'm feeling really achy because I have to sleep upright again. I'm so exhausted that nothing looks logical or intelligent.

Like----I'm fat, and ugly and everything I wear looks awful, and doesn't fit my enormous freaking stomach. And my husband is bickering with me over stupid things like what to feed the kids, so every single thing he says right now I am pissed off at and suspicious and feeling like really it's all just a prelude to him asking for a divorce since I am so ugly and fat and huge and unattractive.

PLUS, my hairdresser had to reschedule my haircolour appointment last week, due to some silly CT Scan medical emergency thing he had, so my dark roots are showing really badly and I broke some nails, so now I look even more unattractive.


Like last week he went out for drinks with that witch I mentioned before? The one who goes on and on about how incompetent her ex-husband with ADD is, and how much happier she is now she's divorced him. Meanwhile, no one has ever given him proper ADD medication or therapy----but he's "incompetent" to her. And I can barely take my meds anymore because they make my blood pressure go up, so i guess that makes me incompetent too. And she once came on to my husband years ago when we were married, so I really really hate her guts, and I don't care if it's business, he can meet with someone else for fuck's sake, but I don't see why it has to be her?!?

Why why why did he have to meet up with someone who is skinny, and attractive, and has all of her marbles, and is rich and has a high-powered job? Who I am quite sure is still attracted to him and wants to sink her claws into him, or at least convince him that crazy withered up ugly old me should be thrown aside like so much garbage so he can go live a great carefree perfect life.

I spent a whole lot of time this weekend convincing our son that he should go to church with his Dad even if he didn't feel like it, because it means a lot to his Dad, and just out of respect he owes him that much, because it's not like we ask him to do very much around here. All that, even though I personally think Church attendance is pretty useless. I believe in God, very deeply, but church? Meh. Meanwhile, I do this anyway because my husband is very hurt by Kaz's attitude and I want my boys to respect their Dad's wishes even though I think the whole thing is whatever---just like I'm going along with his crazy idea to try another sleepover camp after last year's disaster, and I'm going along with his crazy idea to send him to this giant high school, and all the other ideas he has.

I'm supportive of him in front of the kids even when I don't agree with him. So yeah----I'm feeling a little unsupported and paranoid and sad and abandoned by everyone who matters right now.

If you'll excuse me, I have to go ALL MY MYSELF to my ultrasound and Doctor's appointment where I will find out that I am being abandoned by my Doctor and left to fend for myself while my cervix mercilessly opens at only 34 weeks.

I hate men right now. I just hate them.


And right after I typed that, I started to cry so hard that I choked on my own snot, and ended up peeing gallons all over the only pair of clean pants that fit my enormous ass.

I give up

Sometimes, I guess there's just not enough rocks....

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Random bits

Mac had his birthday party today and it was a blast. We had it at a children's party centre in town that resembled a disco and invited his entire class and they entertained the kids and served pizza and pop and ice cream cake, and lordy I had nothing to do and it was great for that reason alone. I've done parties at my house before, but this year, I couldn't face it. Requires too much energy. So I outsourced it.

I am surrounded by wrapping paper. It looks like a toy store threw up in my living room.

I almost cancelled the party by the way. Turns out Mac lost his temper today at school and punched another kid square in the face after being teased. He got sent to the principal's office. We decided that he got punished enough at school, and we're just going to practice some more on how to control our anger. Sigh...


Oh, on the last post, what I meant by live blogging labour was that I could update with my blackberry by using the mail to blogger address function. (Under settings for those of you who use Blogger.) It works from cellphones as well, but I've never been able to use the tiny keypads very well, so I thank God I've got the qwerty keyboard.

Why? Mostly because I tend to get easily distracted and am unable to focus on contractions or my loving husband's face or whatever all the granola people say you should do. I can't take ADD meds during labour due to the interactions with various meds they might have to put me on, and possibly my blood pressure going up, so basically I need something to do while I'm lying there painfree from the epidural and yet---so bored. (Note: I can't focus much before the epidural either. I just get panicked from the adrenaline.)

Yoga is out. So is sex, and getting drunk. All the staff and my husband all seem endlessly quiet and shushing or they want me to try to do things I am neurologically incapable of, like focus on my body or the stupid monitor. Meanwhile, every passing noise, every passing visual has me thinking up new ideas I want to talk about, but no one to talk to. So maybe it will work, maybe it won't. Who the hell knows? I just want to try to talk with people who get it.


I have found some stuff on various blogs/websites that I thought I'd mention.

True Mom Confessions - hilarious. Me written a hundred times over.

NYTimes article on preemie survival rates - very nicely explained.

Dr.Joanne Cacciatore's personal blog - founder of the MISS foundation - amazing what she has accomplished. I admire her so much.

Yes, you are - a great post about how simple it is to be a feminist, even for imperfect, leg-shaving, makeup wearing SAHM breeders like me. I count to, yes I do. And to anyone who says I don't--well fuck you and the halo you rode in on.

A great list of stuff you need after you have a live baby - Alexa asked and the blogosphere answered, 200+ comments later, probably the most comprehensive list ever. I thought my comment to her might interest you, so I'm reprinting it here on my blog, and yeah it's bizarre, but so am I, so I figure it fits, and thought you might want to read it and get a laugh.

"Hmm, everyone has mentioned some great things, and I haven’t read every comment, but things I needed the most were not baby stuff.

I needed many many frozen meals in my freezer, snacks, bottles of water and juice boxes, and protein bars. Remote controls on everything, a DVR or Tivo, a wireless headset for the tv/stereo so I could watch something at 3 am while nursing but not disturb the baby, and a wireless headset/earpiece for the phone plus a beltclip for it.

Batteries-rechargeable, a zillion of every size and shape.

Extremely comfortable shoes and clothes that layer so you don’t have to change constantly when you have no time to.

Extra underwear when you have no time to wash clean stuff.

A nice leg wax and mani/pedi before she leaves the NICU and comes home so that you can feel okay wearing shorts in the summer when you go for walks. (I'm getting a mani-pedi and wax before labour provided I don't get an early surprise. I know that I'll never ever get to shave my legs after Dinkypie is here.)

Secret Platinum Soft solid antiperspirant white, not clear, so that you can skip showers for a few days and never ever smell. (I swear to God, I’ve gone three days in the woods with no BO when there were no showers available.)

Sign up for online banking, and get all your bills delivered electronically. Sign up for as many online services as possible so that if you can’t go out on a certain day, you don’t have to. Start stocking up on basics like paper towels, toilet paper, and toothpaste.

Earplugs, only to be used when you can see the baby, to prevent insanity.

Yes, unconventional, but what I needed.

Final assvice: Remember, when the plane is going down, the pilot puts their own oxygen mask on first, then helps everyone else. If the pilot doesn’t take care of themselves, the plane crashes."

I forgot to mention actually that all new parents should stock up on vodka, wine, and scotch, plus cleaning ladies and/or nannies, plus a carload of valium. Take the nannies liberally and the chemicals sparsely, whether you are breastfeeding or not, because baby needs a relaxed mom, but not a drunk one. A little bit of Mother's little helper never hurt. Use in moderation.

Assume that your husband has died or moved to Taiwan. That way, if he helps as much as you want you will be grateful to God for the miracle of true participatory fatherhood, and if he (more likely) hides at work all day and night and never helps at all, you will not be hurt, surprised, or full of resentment, because after all, he is either dead or has moved to Taiwan.

Toss all your pride overboard, learn to ask for help, and accept that you will fuck-up in ways you never ever imagined possible. You will drop the kid on their head, they will get horrendous diaper rash, you will forget doses of medicine, and you will forget to strap in the carseat properly one day. The lower your expectations are from the start, the better you will feel when you don't actually kill your own baby. If you start out trying to be The Perfect Mother, then you are only giving yourself a higher height to fall from and you will break your legs along the way.

Only God is perfect, moms are human.

That said, I will forget all this soon, and need generous reminders as I tear myself to pieces for all my fuck-ups-to-be. In a few months, when I start to beat myself up, do remind me.....

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Cervical adventures at 33 weekish

So going by the mantra that nothing is ever boring in my life, I started to feel more cervical tingling/pain/movement Friday night, and just because I think that I'm crazy and paranoid, I scrub like a surgeon, and figure out the geometrics of getting my hand up my vagina to feel my cervix and figure out what the hell is going on. After TTC for the last 10 years or so, I'm an expert at figuring out the state of it quite easily and even discretely, but at 8 months pregnant, I look like a cross between a fetish film porn star and a Cirque Du Soleil gymnast.

Eventually I figure out how to grow my arms longer and find it, and it feels mushier than it did before, and I can even get a fingertip in a bit.

So freakin' panic sets in. I warn my husband to put his glass of wine down and be prepared to drive. (He's been dreading this part of the pregnancy since it means he can't drink more than a drop. So far I've been his designated driver, but now it may be time to switch, haha, since I can barely fit behind the wheel anymore and I need him to be able to make decisions without falling down even if it IS a special night with clients, yadda, yadda bullshit.)

Anyway, shortly afterwards the weird feeling stops completely and I decided to try and sleep and think about something else.

At 7 am I wake up with cramps, not contractions, but a crampy kind of pain, very low. I get my husband awake, and talk to him about going to the hospital. His first question? "Can we wait until after the kids' swim lesson?" upon which I promptly burst into tears. I mean, HELLO? I held off until morning for pete's sake. I think he clued in right then that we weren't waiting until after swimming.

So his cousin took the kids to swimming and we drove off to labour & delivery triage and we walked up there hand in hand, super tense, but at least together. We found the nurse, gave her the skinny, and she promptly hooked me up to the monitors and went for a Doctor. She didn't have any of my history, since my records hadn't been transferred over yet, so I had to recite it all, and the pages I'd written up were waaayyyy too long. (I've decided to edit that to one page or less--previous pg history, this pregnancy history, current meds, and any current medical conditions. Even after my records are transferred, my doc has the world's worst handwriting and I'm not sure what anyone will make of that scribble, meanwhile I can type some acronyms legibly, right?)

Turns out that the twelve year old resident doesn't think my cervix is shorter, but since her arm isn't an ultrasound machine she can't be sure, and my last measurement was 3-3.5 cm and meanwhile I'm wondering what the reason is for the pain if it isn't pre-term labour, but she has no clue and no answers. Nurses at the hospital are Goddesses by the way....I seriously worship them.

Nice part? We get to leave for one reason and one reason only, simply because I had already had the steroid shots (Celestone) to mature the baby's lungs at 25 weeks. And therefore, she has no concerns about the pain...in fact, I'm fine and can just come back if it gets worse. I'm finding this to be ironic since my Doc was not concerned about me getting it. He wrote the prescription and it was only $40 to fill, and covered by my insurance, and the shots turned out to be not so painful after all----so why don't more women get them? Not everyone obviously, but hey, if there are no side effects and it saves preemie lives and money, well, I'm wondering why they don't give them to anyone with even a teeny complication? Plus, the province just saved some money because I didn't have to be admitted over the weekend for 48 hours. Short-sighted health care system in my opinion.

Oh yeah, I forgot, they only try to prevent BIG diseases like cancer, fuck maternal-fetal-infant health. Cheap, and easy to fix and makes good photo-ops, never mind the moral implications, but instead they just run around throwing money at hospital presidents and VPs and other wasteful administrative crap. Actual direct patient care? A distant second as long as we fund hospitals on a lump sum basis.....

Yes, I'm happy the baby is fine, the most important thing, but I'm mentioning politics for a reason by the way---my friend Warren had a post today where he again tried to say that there are too few women in the Canadian blogosphere---meanwhile I read close to a hundred female Canadian bloggers. Man must not look very hard. Blind as a bat in fact. Go give him your opinion if you feel like it!

Meanwhile the last few days, I've been sorting old baby clothes by size and figuring out what needs to be washed and what needs to be tossed, and today I went shopping for furniture and stuff. I've already checked out one store, but this time I did some serious looking at cribs, etc at Moms to be...and More . And of course, anything decent quality takes weeks to arrive and I'm late because I didn't want to order anything to early. I'm sorry but even the most optimistic naive person can't really order baby furniture 16 weeks early, can they? I finally found one company that can get me stuff in 6-8 weeks. And it's Canadian! And they use real wood instead of glue and cardboard and shit!

College Woodwork is apparently in Oshawa, and makes some nice stuff from what I've seen...we'll see how it looks once I pick something. Yeah, I could go for the glue and cardboard stuff at Ikea again, but that stuff breaks so easily, I have to confess, I've pretty sick of it. Twenty years of crappy furniture; I'm ready to upgrade to something not made of chemicals and sawdust, thanks.

Anyway, I've suddenly realized that all this setting up the room & shopping is giving me some more Braxton-Hicks, which are painful, and therefore may actually be contractions and the irony is that I cannot type while in pain, in fact, I had planned on live blogging my labour, but I don't know if this will work so well now. Very distracted, maybe that's why it has taken 4 days to write this post.

My last thing of note. I heard this quote on the West Wing just this past couple of days and thought it might explain a few things in my life. Any of the other dead baby mamas reading agree? In fact, this scene might explain my entire personality.....

Josh and Leo are talking on the phone about a problem and a rescue plan Josh wants to implement to save Leo from political disaster.

Leo: "Cause you're walking around with so much guilt about everybody you love dying that you're a compulsive fixer?"

Josh: "No Leo, no, it's because there's this guy walking down the street and he falls in a hole...."

Dudes, I would never have made it through this pregnancy without you all. I thought I was supposed to be fixing you, and then, you fixed me right back.

Friday, April 18, 2008

My tummy feels better anyway

I got a different heartburn medication from my doc, and I swear it's like magic. No more pain, no more sour stomach, no more vomiting, and for the last two nights I actually got some sleep!!!!

Ahh, such a lovely feeling coming back to sanity. I am tired a bit, but now that everyone has a bed and proper sheets and rooms are getting set up, it's possible for me to rest a bit thank goodness. Back to slow and steady, not panicked and freaking.

That said, today is Mac's birthday. He is eight years old, a fact I just can't quite believe. Jesus...he's going to be EIGHT YEARS OLDER than this baby....I must be insane. Anyway, it occurs to me that I have never posted his birth story, so that might be the next post, maybe while he celebrates by playing with his new bionicles and nintendo Wii games.

I have spent the last two days by the way writing too many words about the comments on my last post, but I'm saving them in drafts until I figure what to edit. I can go on and on and on and on as you all know, but maybe all I need to say is this:

I want my OB, and I think patients' needs come first over personal lives, and anyone who disagrees with me can go suck a lemon. Pfffttttt

See? I just saved you 2000 words and an hour of your life you'll never get back.

Also I think this may all be moot because I'm feeling little electric shocks in my cervix, one of those signs that in me always leads to a slowly thinning cervix. It doesn't feel any shorter at this point, but since I'm having logistical issues reaching that part of my bod, I can't be sure. Crap....I may not get to wait til 38 weeks.

And of course he's not on this week or next, it's Passover, which seems to last a few days for all of you, but requires 2 weeks off for him. And no, he is not scrubbing anything, his wife is, so don't even think of trying to tell me he's busy on his hands and knees searching for crumbs or cooking up a storm.

That note of personal bitterness aside, Happy Passover to those of you who celebrate. If anything dramatic with my uterus happens over the weekend I'll post updates, but otherwise just assume I'm playing bionicles.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Sick and tired

I forgot to mention that I haven't been sleeping much lately, mostly because I'm getting such bad heartburn now that if I lie down flat, I throw up in my sleep. I'm propped up but it isn't helping. Over the weekend, I started to aspirate my own barf and was so terrified to go to bed, I gave up sleeping at all. I'm convinced I'll die if I lie down.

So now I'm a little nuts. My Doctor gave me a different prescription for the heartburn on Monday but I can barely make it to the pharmacy. I feel like shit.

And then after he and I had looked at his schedule a few weeks ago and figured out what day I'd get my early induction, based on when he is on, and based on the condition of my placenta....another of his fucking vacations have been added. Apparently the other 15 weeks a year he takes vacation aren't enough. *eyeroll* I'm being ABANDONED. He's gone from May 26th to June 9th, and loads of other high risk OBs are covering him, but so what? I chose him for a reason. My only option now is to either get induced on May 25th, a Sunday and pray I do my entire labour and delivery within that 24 hours, or wait 2 whole weeks for my placenta to deteriorate and suffocate my baby to death. And induction that early, before my body has done much dilating, is not so easy, even for a woman whose cervix has dilated before.

Cause hey, it's not like I've ever had this issue come up before, right? You know, emergency high-risk deliveries with placental tears and menconium and babies who barely make it out alive....nahhh, not even an issue for me.

And yes, when I found out that he had added this vacation, I burst into tears in front of his secretary and panicked completely. She got him from his office and he told me we'll work it out somehow and he hugged me and maybe it will be fine, but I can't even think about this logically anymore I'm so scared and sick and exhausted.

Whatever happened to docs working long hours and having a commitment to their patients? I know CEOs who work longer hours these days, never mind the average working person. I swear you'd think they were special or different. My GP, my pediatrician, my OB, every Doc I get referred to it seems. Meanwhile, being a Doctor seems to have become a part-time profession these days....I haven't noticed them taking any paycuts though.

Funny that.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

My room of requirement

The paint turned out okay, and the guys had to fix it....4 coats later to cover the messy edges, I think they learned their lesson...I made my kids clean up some of the dust and junk they left behind. I'll post some pictures tomorrow or maybe the next day. The master bedroom ended up grey, with white trim, specifically a trendy new shade from Benjamin Moore called Escarpment, with Cloud White trim and ceilings.

The baby room has ended up a bright sunny yellow called Golden Crust from Para. (No longer made, had to be custom mixed.) The trim, door, and chair rail is a bright blue, a blue very similar to Thomas the Tank's engine. I got it from a movie poster of a movie called Thomas and the Magic Railroad. (First one pictured at the top of the link) The movie was filmed here in TO and I knew some of the people who worked on it. We had the movie poster mounted on a wooden backing, and it was always meant to go either in the playroom, or in the room of the new baby.

You know, the room that never got to be---until now.

We bought this house in 2003 when I was pregnant with Miranda. It had 4 bedrooms, perfect for us, including a lovely little room that was perfect for a baby. We knew we would have to renovate the house at some point, but for now, it was just what we needed. We got into a bidding war, paid over asking price, and won the right to mortgage ourselves to the hilt.

All for that room. Our boys could've kept sharing their one bedroom at the old house, and we could've stayed there for a few more years. But the fact that I stayed pregnant past 6 weeks, then made it to 12 weeks, all meant that we could no longer put it off. The spring market was the best way to sell our house, and find another one.

By the time we moved in, the baby was dead, and every time I looked at that room, I felt sick. It was covered in an animal print border, but I did not have the mental energy to rip it off. We put our computer there, and our files and papers and junk. Mostly, I just closed the door, and tried not to think about what should be there instead.

I muddled through that year, and in 2004, we were going to use it for the next baby we were expecting, but as you know, that ended at 16 weeks....I'd finally got the energy to start ripping off the wall border, since I wanted to decorate differently, but I never got any further, and I closed the door and walked away again.

When my husband started his new business, he needed a home office, and we couldn't ignore the room, but I could not do it alone either, and my husband and I could only argue over the room. We'd be getting along just fine---and we walked in that room and tensed up. It was like a poison place to us. So I hired my organizer and she and I, over two days, rearranged the room, purged the papers, put up shelves and a desk, and made it into a workspace for him. Nothing like an impersonal third party to help carry you through the painful parts of life when you can't walk that walk.....

Since then, he worked in the room, but I couldn't. I just closed the door and walked away.

This is why the last week has been so stressful for me. The room that has never properly fit in our house, will finally have it's purpose fulfilled, I hope. Just seeing it empty and painted and starting to be furnished is......

I can't finish that sentence.

I want to write "healing", but every step is so painful, how can this be it? I want this sore spot to be gone. If I can't change the memories, then I know we'll either have to sell the house, or tear it down with a wrecking ball. I can't just sit here, year after year, with it left hanging like this.

My friend Warren Kinsella has a post about the kind of time that grief takes. He normally writes political or punk rock posts, but every once in a while, he writes about his family and his grief over the loss of his father, and then, he writes such breathtakingly beautiful things, I wonder why he ever writes about any other subject. To quote him,"I cannot tell this friend that the world ever seems the same, afterwards. It doesn't. If you are fortunate, however, it starts to feel less sad. It takes a long time."

He's right. It has taken a long time, too long. Five years is enough. I don't want to keep closing doors and walking away. It's time to feel less sad now.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Good view, but oh I am nervous

So this morning, three dudes showed up at my door, one of whom bore a distinct resemblance to Matthew MacConaughey and yes, I drooled a bit until I figured out that he was here to paint my house and not, ummmm, well, enhance my life.

Fortunately, they have all provided a lovely point of view today, a nice visual distraction for a bored, lonely, housewife like myself, say.

Unfortunately, said dudes are short on conversation skills, and even shorter on brains. They sort of know how to paint, but---not really. I'm used to painters who do the trim very carefully, either using painter's tape to edge it, or very carefully cutting in the edges. These guys have done neither. Instead, they have slapped LOTS of blue paint on the trim, and gone over the yellow wall edges by frigging inches. They have told me that they'll fix it later.

They tell me it will all work out just fine, and I should not worry.

Sigh.....yellow latex paint will not cover dark blue semi-gloss, oh good-looking air-headed people. It just doesn't.

Oh well, something for me to fix later, I guess?

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

As The Blog Turns

The last 48 hours have been insane, truly.

No, baby is fine, and I'm physically fine, and everyone is healthy, but oh the DRAMA.

First thing, I was out buying the paint for the rooms, and got an emergency call from a friend who needed me to pick up her kid while she goes off to the ER to get treated for hemorrhage after 3 weeks of getting her period, and hoping her fibroids weren't blowing up in her abdomen. I said, of course, be right there after the paint gets loaded into my car. I phone my husband and we figure out dinner and where the kid will sleep if need be since our own son, Kaz is going to be sleeping in the living room while we paint his room.

Then, silly me, I pick all of them up and let the kids rip the house apart while I figure out what room my underwear have been packed in. And hope my friend is okay.

She is, btw, and gets her son later and we all eat dinner and then I drove them home, and came back to my own home and collapsed.

And then yesterday morning the f%^&$% painters don't show up. AT ALL. Apparently one of them was "injured" in the vague sort of way that makes me think he fell into a two-four and never quite found his way out. And of course, his friend couldn't come without him, because after all, he'd have to work alone all day. *eyeroll*

After multiple phone calls we agreed they would show up at 8:00 a.m. the next day and work all day until late because the organizer is bringing her crew to reassemble my house on Thursday and switch the furniture into the right rooms. And Monday Kaz's new furniture is being delivered. So I needed a freakin' room to put it in.

And the painters didn't show up again today, and didn't call, and I almost cried. Really. They won't return any phone calls and every excuse is lame anyway, so they are fired.

Fired like ceramics.

So I phoned up my organizer and she tried to find me someone, and I phoned Homeservice Club and begged and they had some people phone me, and tomorrow God willing, a painter will show up and I will breathe out, and life will be good. And Monday my organizer and her crew will put my house together.

And maybe my son won't have to sleep on a g-d air mattress anymore and I can send back that shitty mommy award stuck to my forehead. I know, I know it's not my fault, but still, this is not what I had planned. Maybe I should've "injured" myself on a two-four....

Monday, April 07, 2008

Brains have arrived, in more than one sense

N. got discharged, but is seeing the specialist today and his pediatrician who will be very aggressive in demanding more tests and answers. (BTW, yes, it might have been a TIA, but I called a mini-stroke simply to encompass all the possibilities, they are now looking at a hemiplegic stroke diagnosis as another possibility).

And God do I feel for his mom. Her boyfriend of eight months, a really nice mature guy, a guy in upper level management of the police force actually, picked this weekend to break up with her. She also mentioned to me various things he has done and said in the last few weeks that are frankly so awful, that I have to retract that nice and mature label...bastard, after she told me what had been happening I was so livid, I handed the phone to Mr.Cotta, who listened, turned pale, and promptly apologized on behalf of his ENTIRE gender.

No the boyfriend never hit her, but the things he said, the words he used, I can't even repeat on this blog, and you all know that I have a filthy mouth. Anyway, now I want to wrap her in a big hug made of cotton woolies and take care of her....and maybe slap the SOB in the face. THIS weekend, of all the weekends in the world? Sigh.....they say people show their true character in a crisis, I guess so.

This week, by the way, is moving and painting and shifting week. Preparing for the babies room. Not filling it with furniture mind you, but painting it. Very difficult, but really a good thing. I figure at 31 weeks, I can dare to paint, no? My organizer brought her crew and they are moving all the furniture and taking some stuff to storage and some other stuff to the dump, and a whole lot of stuff is getting packed to switch rooms. tomorrow painting begins.

I haven't picked the paint actually, terrible me can't decide what to paint the kids room, much less ours....so I have to go now and spin my finger at the paint store and hope my husband doesn't mind whatever I pick.

Then again, even if I picked a hideous color, he'd never call me names.

Did you ever suddenly realize that you were luckier than you thought? And some of your spouse's faults, however irritating, aren't really that bad? Where the hell are all the good men anyway? Did I find the last one on earth?

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Now we need prayers for brains

Doctors' brains that is. We went by to visit N. today, car magazines in tow, because he was feeling better and in a regular room. The boys had a nice chat, apparently N. still has a headache and is a bit dizzy but seemed okay generally to me. He was talking and wanted to play video games on his laptop, both good signs IMO.

Problem is that the Docs still are trying to figure out what is going on with him. He had every symptom of a stroke, but the residents and fellows on call over the weekend couldn't see anything obvious on the MRI so they assume it was a migraine. I'm like----uhh, no I don't think so, and so are his parents. None of us have ever heard of a migraine that comes on looking like a stroke, and then disappears. Every migraine I've ever heard of lasts for hours and days, unless you get some imitrex asap, and even then there is no chance a sufferer could watch TV or video games right away. (Plus, I trust my son to give an accurate description, and what he says happened, was no migraine. If it was a 50 year old man, no one would doubt it for a second, kwim?)

My quickie instinctual non-doctors opinion? I think he is having mini-strokes, but is so so desperate to get out of the hospital and be normal that the kid is faking being well, and minimizing the symptoms. If he has had a stroke...then he will be unable to go away to sleepaway camp or be alone after school in the house, and he knows it and since he hates staying in study hall or having a babysitter, he'll do anything to not be sick. Like the icky tasting prescription chewable baby aspirin they made him take after the last stroke? He's told everyone he hates that. Meanwhile he could just take the adult OTC baby aspirin we take, but of course....Sick Kids does treat 11 year olds like kids and can't stand the thought of letting him be a grown up.

Meanwhile, the kid is taller than me!

Anyway, he is agitating to get out of the hospital right away, and I'm hoping he stays until Monday morning when the real actual doctors start work. So the real actual radiologist can read the MRI and the real actual neurologist can see him...I'm such a cynic.

For now, he seems stable anyway. But is it bad that I wish he had gotten sick on a weekday instead of a Friday late afternoon when every good Doc in town is attempting to leave for the weekend?

Friday, April 04, 2008

Say a prayer

My friend S. who you may remember from last July, is sitting in the Sick Kids ICU tonight at the bedside of her 11 year old son, N. He and Kaz are best friends, and today in class, it appears N. had another stroke, or perhaps a seizure, they aren't sure yet.

Kaz was sitting beside him, and he says, N. lost the feeling in his right hand, then lost the ability to speak, and started to cry. The teacher noticed, and got N. to the office and called an ambulance. He was rushed in to the ER and at first seemed to recover, then 2 hours later had another more serious stroke. He has had MRIs and EEGs, and CT scans tonight, and honestly, I can't help but think of Bon's recent post about being thankful for free Canadian medical care. As I've blogged before, when you are really ill, you get in right away, and no one asks for a dime. I can't imagine what his mother would be feeling right now if she had to worry about the cost.

Kaz is actually calmer than we are. He is so relaxed---he thinks this will all be just fine. In his world, big kids don't die, only babies. Sick Kids fixes the big kids. Oh please God let him be right this time....he has been so disillusioned. He deserves to feel a little hope in his life.

Last summer N. had one of these attacks, after contracting meningitis in BC. He had follow up care here, and saw a fleet of specialists who all agreed that he had no residual effects from the stroke or the meningitis, but that he might need heart surgery in the future to close up a minor hole in his heart, a birth defect that had gone undetected during all this time. In the meantime, he was being watched very carefully but they thought he was fine.

I guess they were wrong.

This kid has spent more nights in our house, and hung out with our family so often we joke that he is like our third son. His mom has been a single parent, and done everything all on her own for so many years and seriously, she is such a cool lady, that I consider her to be one of my best friends.

So say a prayer, internets. Tonight we need something to go right.

How to catch up

We seem to found detente in the house, and kid's have apologized and life is getting slightly happier. We rehearsed some ways of doing things differently so we don't blow up....and we're going to keep rehearsing. Mr.Cotta is more onside than he was. I think the size of the blow-up convinced him.

Also, he moves into his new room next week, which has no door, and we've decided he has to earn that door. It will not be automatic. I was going to take the door off his current room right away but we're moving into that room monday and he is moving out----and I am tired. Akeeyu's idea about the sheet is brilliant. He may earn a sheet first, then a door.

Speaking of moving rooms and painting and stuff....I am 1200 feeds behind, so the plan is this. For the next few days, no comments from me until I have clicked through and read all your news. And updated my blogroll, which so out-of date, it's a joke. I will comment if it's critical, but I sometimes get so stuck on what to write that I get behind and ---you all know? It's useless then! Cause I'm up to date with some of you and so far behind it's a joke with the rest of you. Very embarassing.

I need to catch up on my life!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Fuck Zen

This morning sucked.

My oldest son Kaz is hitting puberty, and puberty is a NIGHTMARE. Imagine toddlerhood tantrums happening in a child who is as big as you, and stronger than you. Imagine further that he is a terribly emotional person already and has ADD, which is driving you insane because hormones + ADD = bad bad bad.

Look, you all know that when my hormones are out-of-whack, I lose my mind. Hormone rollercoasters are bad, but even worse when LD/ADD/mental issues complement the mix. Girls are most often diagnosed with ADD when they hit puberty because their behaviour is so out-of-control, and the best cure ever, is to put them on the birth control pill continuously, and only let them off the pill for a week every six months, and during that week off, batten down the hatches, and coddle them. (And yes, they still need Concerta or Adderall, or whatever...)

Well, boys with ADD have a terrible time as well, except that there is no birth control pill for boys. Sigh... The only thing you can do is send them out into the wild for the teenage years like they did with the Spartans. Or, my fantasy----from the TV Show Alien Nation, where the aliens put their kids into cocoons that hung from the ceilings during puberty and the teenage years. They were allowed out when they were biologically ready to act like adults. Sounds perfect to me this morning.

So what happened? Well, Kaz has made a rule about not letting his little brother in his room. You will note that I did not say that is a parental rule in our house, because it isn't. We want Mac to ask permission and we want them both to show respect for each other's stuff, but I'm not going to make some absolute rule about it because as I've explained to Kaz a dozen/hundred/million times he is just making his room into forbidden fruit and ten times more attractive to Mac.

And frankly, this isn't his house to make rules in. He is the child, he does not own this house, and he is not in charge and can't make any rules. We are the adults, we make the rules. I'll listen to him, consult with him, be open to change, but in the end, we make the rules, because we're the grown-ups. We're smarter and more mature and we know how to run the family better. And someday when he gets older he will realize that we have his best interests at heart, but right now, he just has to live with it, and try to control himself.

This morning, Mac went into his room and was dancing around and waving the plastic vines he bought for his art project, and yelling, "Look at this, isn't it cool" yadda yadda, and then he'd walk up and touch something in the room with one finger and say, "haha, I'm touching your stuff."

All of which is wrong and provocative, blah blah blah but frankly, so fucking what? Kaz is older and knows it's no big deal, nothing was being broken or harmed or wrecked. He should've just gotten dressed and talked to him, and when Mac didn't get a reaction, he would've left. He could've called me, or his Dad, or he could've handled this in a dozen different non-violent ways---all of which I have coached him to do on on numerous occasions.

Instead he started screaming and throwing things at Mac to drive him out of the room and slamming his bedroom door so hard, it almost came off the hinges, and the vines got caught in the door and came apart....and I came up the stairs and discovered Mac in tears, and Kaz in a horrendous rage, screaming and freaking like he had been violated by the mere presence of a family member in his precious air space.

He sense of perception was completely out of whack, and he has somehow gotten the idea that his privacy is more sacrosanct than the cardinal rules of our home.

Number one rule: The most important thing is to always be kind to others.

Number two rule: Reread number one....nothing trumps that, regardless of the provocation.

As part of these rules, violence is always unacceptable. ALWAYS.

I've never hit Mr.Cotta. He's never hit me. We don't hit/spank/or manhandle our kids, and they can't hit us or each other or random strangers who piss them off. Hitting includes throwing things and slamming doors and frankly, doing anything that could put another person in danger.

Obviously, I expect more from older kids than younger ones and more from adults than children. Kaz headbutted me when he was 5 months old and killed one of my teeth. I had multiple root canals and skull surgery from a subsequent infection, but I never remotely blamed him for hitting me beyond once again telling him to be gentle. Same for all the dozens of bruises, scars, and cuts I suffered at his hands and Macs when they were toddlers. As they got older, and they hit, I kept reminding them to be gentle, and then made them sit in the corner, or took their favourite toy away. I gradually expected more of them as they were more capable.

But something got screwed up along the way, and we have not been as consistent with Kaz as we should've. We told him a long time ago that if he slammed the bedroom door, he would lose the door, and that if anyone, his little brother, or anyone else, ever got hurt because of his inability to control his temper, then he would lose EVERYTHING. Every privilege, every toy, every fun activity, his life would be shit.

And then we didn't enforce that. He slams the door, we repeat the threat, maybe we take away a privilege, but we haven't removed the door. We have not kept our word, so he just takes advantage. Part of the reason why we have been inconsistent, is because Mr.Cotta and I disagree about this. He thinks the slamming of doors and violent ourbursts are terrible, but he blames Mac for going in his room and provoking it. Which is blaming the victim, and allowing him to avoid personal responsibility, IMO. We can learn to control our tempers even if the other person tempts us. And if Kaz can't, then he needs to learn to. I think it's because Mr.Cotta treasured his own room, and his own privacy, growing up with 6 brothers and sisters. He views being alone in some kind of nostalgic glowing light, and conveniently forgets how lonely he was as he got older and how happy he is to be in a group of people.

I'm projecting too. I get very very upset when this happens because I remember growing up and living in fear of being hit when even the tiniest thing went wrong in the house. It has made me jump and cower for years, and seeing it where I live all over again? Not good for my blood pressure, not good for my anxiety, not good for me or this baby.

So we are stuck, and I am wondering what to do. I'm thinking I'll edit this post a lot and send it as an email to my husband and explain that regardless of what we do, we can't tolerate this behaviour. I can't put a teenage boy on the pill, but damn I can make it clear that he has to learn to control his temper. I really actually do not give a flying crap about his hormones or his issues. I've tried to help him in a hundred different ways to find a solution that does not involve violence or anger and yet----he does not want to try my way. His way is not working, and it will never work.

Sort of like my attempting calm and zen do not work. My blood pressure is bad today and my head hurts a lot. The next time someone tries to tell you that if you relax you will get pregnant, stay pregnant, stop miscarrying, or have a healthier baby, slap them for me. And if this baby comes out alive and healthy, then hey show them this whole blog. Prove to them that anxiety ridden wretcheswhoareungratefulshittymoms can make a live baby too.

And my refrigerator repair man from Sears has finally shown up, and is an asshole of amazing proportions. Gahhhhhhhh.....

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

A case of the blahhs and the rambles

I have lots to do---phone calls, buy paints, pay bills, file stuff, and yet, I don't.

After my rather manic post a few days ago, I relaxed a bit as I read your comments and realized that the whole reason I picked my hospital was because they are very good about respecting women and taking care of them during birth. Okay, they sucked back in 2003-04 when it came to miscarriage care before 20 weeks, but they have transferred all obstetrical care to one area of highly trained people, who are better at this, and really, every single hospital always sucks in this area. I wish someone in the system would figure out that there is no magical line, where women need good care when losing a baby after 20 weeks, but losing a baby is nothing and sort of like an appendectomy before 20 weeks.....there is no magical switch people. Really.

One thing about support groups is that you hear lots of stories about lots of different hospitals and how they act during the worst experience anyone can have. You get the good, the bad, and the ugly. And over time, it's important to remember that some can deteriorate, and some can improve. I know a couple of them did such a horrendous job with some patients that a wholesale change occurred throughout the hospital. People were told, policies were changed, and lots and lots of training occurred.

So there is hope, and maybe, just maybe, I'll get to have an experience like I did with Matthew, literally the perfect birth scenario, (except for the dead baby part).


(dead baby joke, scuse me)


I know I'll feel better after this painting and shifting furniture gets done, I already feel better about the officewhichisbecomingthebabyroom. My organizer came by and she and I emptied years worth of paper and crap and what-have-you. I'm not really sure I need to have 10 year old copies of Today's Parent or Mothering Magazine, and I know that so much has changed that keeping those is pointless. Plus, a lot of these parenting magazines make me feel kind of shitty, you know? I know what my kid needs, but they all seem premised on guilt. Useless.

But dudes, the funniest part is that I hardly go into that office, and really only Mr.Cotta does. And oh lord, the crap he had kept! Half eaten protein bars, old water bottles, empty boxes with disks and user guides from old phones we no longer own, boot disks for Win95, 98 & 2000, backup disks for ancient computers we don't have anymore, critical documents like ownership papers for the car stuffed into envelopes and stuck under other piles of crap, and cables and wires and plugs and earphones all unlabelled for electronics all over the house.

All I'm gonna say is... calling me disorganized and blaming my ADD for the inability to find stuff in this house is no longer fair game. If we can't find a scrap of paper or someone loses something, I am NOT THE ONLY ONE TO BLAME.

I have a filing system by the way. The organizer helped me set it up. I have a beautiful filing cabinet upstairs with all of our stuff in it, one drawer is this years bills and records, alphabetical, and the other drawer is permanent records, like mortgage papers for the house, and warranty documents for stuff. I also have a filing cabinet on the main floor, which is made of nice dark wood to blend into the rest of the furniture and has some temporary files in one drawer, like bills to pay, and in the other drawer has all my electronic stuff for my camera, my computer, etc. all nicely tucked away so no one has to stare at my junk. And my laptop can go in the drawer, or sit on top.

He thinks filing cabinets are nice, but never looks in there. Ever. He asked a question about the mortgage documents the other day, and I told him to look in the filing cabinet and he didn't for days until I pulled the file. I guess it was too hard to reach to his left, only one foot away, open the drawer, and pull out the file clearly labelled, "Mortgage Cotta house - ## Address".

le sigh....

I adore the man, I do. The way I write about him, I'm sure it sounds like I don't, but I figure, well, loving someone means loving them for their good sides and their faults. All of them, all the bits. Even the bits where there they are quite sure they are perfect and are unable to see that have feet of clay too.

Poor pseudo-ADD man. He thinks it's only me---oh yeah, whatever.