Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Can you see me now?

Ok. After Amy's comment on the last post, I checked and the Blob's picture will only display on certain browsers and not on others. I have two on my system, and it works fine with one and not at all with the other.

If you can (or can't) see this picture, please drop a note as to a) *if* it displays, and b) what browser you use. (You, too, lurkers. This is a highly scientific survey.) Any and all input would be appreciated - I want the entire Internet to be able to enjoy the wonder that is my uterus.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Cautiously optimistic

Well, I passed a kidney stone on Saturday. I feel better now. If you've never done this, I don't advise it. Highly painful, and disconcerting when you start peeing blood.

After spotting Tuesday and Wednesday, my midwife ordered 48 hour serial hcg tests to see what was happening there. My levels are high, within the range they should be at eight weeks, although they seem to be increasing somewhat sluggishly. I could have hoped for skyrocketing hormones, but I'll content myself with "significant increases" between samples. She took a peek at the new Cub today, for reassurance, and lo and behold, we only encountered one sac. So, the theory goes, the empty one could have broken up and slipped on out, leaving the viable one in place. Just a theory. We'll see if it holds up over time. At any rate, the spotting seems to be tapering off, finally, and we have a Blob! With a teeny tiny heartbeat! And I saw it! Look! See how pretty?!

I'm one of those people who never post pictures of my children on the Internet, not only from Fear of Perverts, but also out of fear that my mother might one day discover a picture of her little grand-angel and recognize this as mine. Ah, paranoia. However, I feel confident that the Blob in no way resembles, well, anything at the moment, and therefore is of no interest to anyone but me, and it's a pretty safe bet to show it off here.

At any rate, I am feeling about 2394875278 per cent better than I have for the last two weeks. Yay. The Bear has a birthday this week, and plans are underway for the Advent Of The Inlaws, who have not seen her since December. Fortunately, I'm not going to have to lie on the couch and make them cook for me. They're not coming to see me, anyway. I'm just the keeper of the baby.

I had several interesting, non-uterus-related things I wanted to post about, but I can't remember what they were, because I have pregnancy brain, and am therefore stupid. Alas, alack.

Thursday, July 21, 2005


Bleeding is much worse. We're off to the hospital to check hcg levels, but I'm not expecting much.

We're just sitting around, waiting for the axe to fall.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Warm fuzzies

Went in today to see the midwife who may end up being *my* midwife. She's divine. So warm, and personable, and competent, and concerned, and understanding. I had to hug her. She had heard the story of me chasing yesterday's doctor with flaming pitchforks, and said she didn't blame me a bit. I have the right to a practitioner who will actually listen to me.

She, too, suspects a kidney issue. She thinks, perhaps, a stone. We'll see what the renal ultrasound says.

I am spotting today. 7 weeks 2 days, which is, coincidentally, exactly how long my last pregnancy lasted. So, I am hideously paranoid about this, mostly due to the freaky timing and the fact that this is how it started last time. However, the goddess who is my midwife took a peek and says that the blood appears to be coming from the *outside* of the cervix, which is raw like a skinned knee, and not from the inside, which still appears tightly closed, which is how we like it. So, too much information about my cervix, I know, but intriguing none the less. This is turning into "All About My Uterus," which was not my intention. Still, I'm a bit preoccupied with the thing at the moment. *This* baby needs to stay put!

So, in summary:

Day Two of the Taco Bell watch. Still no sign of nacho-y goodness. I am sad. But,

I Heart My Midwife.

Monday, July 18, 2005


Oh, to be pregnant and hormonal. Remember how I said I don't like male doctors? Well, my doctor advised me to get in to see the OB as soon as I could in light of the uncool abdominal pain and twin-looking ultrasound. You know, just to figure out exactly what's going on here. And remember how I said that my delightful female OB was leaving? Well, in a fit of desperation, I made an appointment with one of the male OBs at my practice. Husband said "just give it a try" and "maybe it won't be so bad." Of course, I made an appointment with The One Who Speaks No English. Normally, this isn't a problem for me, and if I liked him, I'd make an effort to interpret. But, since I loathe him and all he stands for, I can cheerfully deride him for not being able to form an intelligible sentence.

So, that appointment was today. And wow, was it a doozy. So, the nurse asks me a million questions, which is fine. She's nice, if a bit disorganized (it's Monday, after all). Then, she sends in the doctor. I'm tense, but willing to give him a shot. First thing he says (upon seeing the Bear sitting in the corner eating a magazine) is, "Oh, so this is your second pregnancy." No, actually, it's not. The first page of my chart says that it's my third. I had one live birth and one miscarriage. But did he read the damn chart? Of course not. Was it from sheer laziness, or was his interpreter sick for the day? Who knows? So, that pissed me off and let me know he didn't care enough to take the time to read my chart. Happy day.

Then, he mentions that he's seen my ultrasound report. I ask what he thinks about the two sacs (as noted by the Professional Radiologist, not just by me), and he says dismissively, "Oh, too early. We wait and see." Wait and see? When will we "see"? In the damn birthing room? I'd like to be a little more prepared than that, if it's all the same to you! And how, if we've already seen two sacs, can it be "too early"? Wouldn't they just be two *bigger* sacs now, with more to see on the inside? So, something tells me he's just putting me off here. Oh, the anger is building. I'm breathing deeply, trying to control my Inner Bitch, albeit without much success.

Then, we get around to my real concern, namely the Intense Pain. Now, I've already explained to the nurse that my regular doctor has determined that I have an "infection" that has apparently taken over my entire abdomen, for all intents and purposes. I told her what antibiotic I'm on for this, and she marked it on my chart. I also reminded her of my history of kidney trouble during pregnancy (as in they don't like to function when I'm pregnant, with highly disastrous results). She circled that on my chart. Now, since said pain is localized in the area of the right kidney, which is the one that shut down when I was pregnant with the Bear, I said, "Hmmm, perhaps, connection, similarity, yes? Or just a freakish coincidence?" And without even looking at me, this quack says, "Oh, the uterus stretches during pregnancy. You feel some pains from that." To which I indignantly replied that I had been pregnant before, enough to realize that my uterus is probably not growing ON MY BACK, and it had never before caused "growing pains" so severe that I couldn't stand up straight. Then, (cutting me off mid-sentence) he says, "Oh, that a muscle spasm." That was *it* for me. I have had back spasms before. I can tell when a muscle is spasming. This is not that. I'm not a complete moron. I pay attention to my body. This is not a back spasm!

This is the point where things start to get fuzzy. I remember hyperventilating and bursting into tears and loud, unladylike sobs. I believe I demanded my old OB. I know I told him I hate male doctors, especially him. I got up and prepared to storm out before he even finished his mockery of an exam, wailing that I'd never let him near me again.

Husband swears that he looked scared out of his wits, and apologized profusely, and practically ran out of the room. I remember none of this, as I was weeping into my hands and crying "Just go! Go away!"

Anyway, a nurse came in and comforted me (they do have some lovely nurses) and recommended a very nice (female) Family Practitioner who delivers babies. Several other people have recommended this doctor to me, so I think I'm going to call her. Meanwhile, the nurse told me that until this pregnancy was officially classified as "high-risk," I could see one of the midwives, and they would just keep a very close eye on my charts for if (when) things start to go wrong. And I love the midwives at this practice. They're just delightful people, so caring and personal. So, I have to go back tomorrow to redo my initial appointment with the midwife, which I'm totally cool with. We didn't get any further than my blood pressure today.

So, I'm really torn. Do I continue at this practice with the midwives, knowing full well that there's a very likely chance I'll get labeled "high-risk" and have to see one of the (male) doctors? Or do I go out right now and find a nice female doctor right off the bat, and let the choice be mine? I'm feeling very conflicted over this. The midwives' practice is affiliated with the hospital, which is nice. They specialize in pregnancy and childbirth. But, they're not legally allowed to attend to "high-risk" pregnancies, which includes both the complications of my previous pregnancy and the possibility of multiples, if anyone could ever just pull their head out of their ass long enough to take a look in there. But, a family practitioner could be my (our) family doctor after the birth as well, which is appealing. Oh, the indecision. Any thoughts, anyone?

Meanwhile, Dr. Moron did recommend that I have an ultrasound done on my stupid kidney to see if it is, in fact, working at all, which was nice of him. No chance that he'll be looking at the results of that one, though! Idiot. He was rude, condescending, he didn't read my chart, he wouldn't make eye contact with me, he speaks no English, and he was dismissive of my concerns. Not to mention that he interrupted me! While I was asking a question! Fool. I hope his mother knows what a Disappointment he is.

And, the worst thing that happened today? Worse even than the disastrous doctor appointment in which I sent the doctor running in the opposite direction? Our Taco Bell is closed! And will be until October! I can't be pregnant without a Taco Bell! What will I do? I made Husband take me there after our catastrophic appointment, to drown my sorrows in a chalupa (or three), and it was closed. And I think I may have cried some more. Oh, the indignity of hormones. I've been reduced to a blathering idiot.

And? I'm queasy. All the time. I'm one of those people who never ever hurl, not even with great provocation (I have no gag reflex), but I can get nauseated with the best of them, and I am currently subsisting on a diet of saltines and ginger ale. This is so gross. I'm bloated (we're taking belly shots this time, and I may be brave enough to post them here if we make it past 12 weeks) and queasy and hurting and very very very hormonal.

Ok, I think I'm officially done ranting now. I feel much better to have gotten all that off my chest. It was cathartic. Yay, catharsis. Now for chocolate.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


Observed today in my doctor's office:

Myself, lying on narrow bed lined with paper, wearing a big sheet and no pants, waiting for the doctor to come back in.

Husband, standing next to my face, not looking at the sheet, trying to be cool.

Husband: "You know, scientists believe that there's a colossal squid that lives at the bottom of the ocean! They say it may grow to be as long as a football field! It attacks the whales and eats them. And you know what's crazy?! They have no idea how it reproduces!"

Me: "That's fascinating, dear. Where did you get this information?"

Husband: "On the Internet!"

Me (wiggling on scratchy paper): "You know, dear, not everything on the Internet is fact. Have they ever found one of these colossal squid?"

Husband: "No, but you know why? Because when they die, they rise up to the surface so fast that they explode! And the squid guts go everywhere! (pause) Isn't that awesome?!"

Me: "I'm so glad that you're the father of my children."

Also observed: (BEWARE - GROSSOUT FACTOR! do not read unless you want a very strange mental image.)

Stern Doctor (not my usual doctor) pokes me with a rubber-gloved finger, pulls it out and SNIFFS IT! As though it were some sort of scientific test that would enable her to prescribe me the appropriate antibiotic!

I was so freaked out and disturbed by this. I just stared at Husband, who was even more disturbed than I was. Since when is there a scientific sniff test? I was trying so hard not to laugh, I almost choked. Of all the things I've ever seen in a doctor's office, that may have been the weirdest.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

I'm a sexist.

I think that one of the greatest travesties humanity has ever created is the male obstetrician/gynecologist. I'm sorry, but whose brilliant idea was it to let a man muck around with something that he knows absolutely nothing about? Would you want a blind optometrist? Would you go to a hairstylist who had a bad hairstyle? If you're anything like me, of course you wouldn't. You need a person who is specially trained in something that they have knowledge of and can understand. A blind optometrist would never understand blurry vision - they have no vision! So, how can a man claim to be an expert on the female reproductive system? I don't care how long he studied in school - he doesn't know what's really going on in there.

I should qualify this by saying that I really hate *all* male doctors. They creep me out. They're patronizing, condescending, they have horrid "bedside manner," they don't know how to interact with patients, they never answer your questions, they make you feel like an idiot just for noticing what's going on with your body, they never make eye contact with you, and they always wear smelly cologne! If I could make it through the rest of my life without seeing another male doctor, you bet your ass I would do it in a heartbeat.

This rant is brought to you courtesy of the fact that my oh-so-competent-and-delightful obstetrician (female, naturally) is LEAVING. She is moving away and now all that are left are the nasty male doctors. She was the only female obstetrician in a sixty-mile radius, and now she's gone. I can't see any of the lovely (also female) midwives at their practice because I have a history of "high-risk" pregnancy, and now I'm carrying multiples. They flat out told me that I have to see a doctor. Ugh. So, I'm panicked. No man with his smelly breath and hairy fingers is going to deliver *my* babies, that's for damn sure. I'll just have to go hunting for another female doctor to see. ::steels self for unpleasant reality::

So, yeah. I'm a big fat sexist. I won't see male doctors. I have yet to meet one who actually cares about his patients, rather than his paycheck. If I find such a one, maybe I'll recant. Until then, they can all just go... well, you know. I am just disgusted by the fact that our society still sees certain jobs as "men's work" and certain jobs as "women's work." In some circumstances, I may be able to understand the distinctions. Men, for example, have bigger muscles and frames, and can therefore lift and carry heavy things. I, on the other hand, am short and scrawny, and could no more do a job requiring manual labor than I could fly. So, more men do manual labor. I'll buy that. And sure, women tend to be more caring and empathetic (I realize I'm generalizing here. I know many women who don't fit this, and many men who do, but whatever. I'm a sexist, remember?), and are better at helping others. Is that because we're biologically built to care and nurture? Or because society has trained us to think of everyone else's needs before our own? I don't know the answers to any of these questions. I just get irritated by the fact that our society has convenient categories to stick people in, and they keep getting stuck there, and career paths and SALARIES are determined by gender, not by innate ability. ::grumbles:: If more women were allowed to follow their inclination, rather than what was "recommended" as the best choice, I probably wouldn't have any trouble finding myself a female obstetrician.

Notice how all this ranting about equality is brought about by my selfish desire to get what I want?

Friday, July 08, 2005


So, today's ultrasound was inconclusive. My ovaries looked fine (according to the tech - I couldn't tell the ovaries from the rest of it), with no cysts to be found. And the fallopian tubes were clear - no ectopic pregnancy for us. All of which is good news. Still doesn't explain the abdominal pain... but they're going to keep looking into that.

Speaking of looking into things, the ultrasound tech decided to take a look at the uterus to check out the new Bear Cub. She could see a gestational sac, but nothing inside yet. I was extremely freaked about that, but she said that sometimes before six weeks you can't always see the fetal pole, etc. She wasn't concerned at all, so I tried not to be, either. Then, she moved the transducer to the side, and another sac popped into view. There, hanging out in my very own uterus, were *two* gestational sacs, side by side.

What the hell?!

Now, to be fair, the tech said that it could be a single sac, and we were just looking at it wrong. But, there's also the very real possibility that I'm carrying twins.

I'm going to go vomit now. I am so freaked out.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

"What I did on my summer vacation," by Jane

First off, thank you to Julie for making my day! Ha ha - country music! What a freak! (Now I don't feel so bad about myself - see how that works!) Everybody else must not be as weird as we are... or not willing to share it!

So, the Bear and I have emerged relatively unscathed from a week spent with Grandma and Grandpa. Wow, do those people like babies. Totally normal people seem to be incapable of speaking English when my child is around. It would be funny if it wasn’t so weird. They were literally unable to function normally – it was baby this and baby that, 24/7. I miss being able to carry on a conversation with them. Still, I’m glad the Bear has two sets of grandparents who completely adore her. She’s luckier than many babies who have no grandparents at all. But oh, the spoiling…

Our first night was a little rough, since the Bear was in an unfamiliar cave, and we ended up just letting her cry herself to sleep. It was the only way she was going to go – and after that, she slept like a dream the whole time.

We made jam. Lots of jam. It’s yummy!

We celebrated the fourth of July in traditional small-town fashion. We grilled out, we made homemade ice cream, we drank beer, we cursed the neighbors for setting off fireworks at ungodly hours of the day and night. We went downtown to listen to the band play “The Stars and Stripes Forever.” It was not bad at all.

I finished my massive course of antibiotics, but my stomach pain didn’t go away. It’s concentrated on the lower right-hand side, and I was a little worried that it might be my appendix or something strange like that. My doctor thought that I might have a cyst on my ovary, so he arranged for a pelvic ultrasound this Friday (tomorrow). How delightful those always are. ::grimace:: I was a bit worried that I would have to reschedule the ultrasound, because my period was due last Sunday. I did *not* want to put off fixing this problem for one moment longer than I had to. At any rate, when my period still didn’t show by Tuesday, I went out and bought a home pregnancy test, and lo and behold…

I’m pregnant.

All together now – WTF?! This is so Not The Right Time for me to be pregnant. We were planning to start trying again in the fall, ideally conceiving in August so that a new baby would be due in May, the end of the school year. This baby is due in March.* March! It’s cold in March, and slushy, and I have approximately two hundred adolescents depending on me for knowledge and enlightenment! I can’t have a baby in March! What if the sub ruins my students and the principal blames me?!

That being said, Husband and I are completely floored, but very happy. We were actually trying *not* to get pregnant at the moment, but apparently natural methods of contraception are only effective for women who have the willpower to say no when the “window of opportunity” is still open. Husband, alas, is very persuasive, and while I am stubborn about many things, this isn’t always one of them.** ::to the tune of “I’m Just a Girl Who Cain’t Say No,” from Oklahoma!:: Really, though, we were at the very end of my window, and I thought that it was highly unlikely that anything would happen. That, or I totally suck at math. I know nothing. Nothing, I tell you!

I’m still a little worried, since I have been having this abdominal pain. I’ve imagined all the horrible things it could be, and so I’m only allowing myself to be cautiously optimistic at the moment. I would like to jump with joy, but after last February, I just can’t let myself. I’m too scared. I will jump with joy in another 6 weeks or so, if I make it past the 12 week mark. I really want this pregnancy to work – I want this baby. I realize how lucky we are, to get pregnant when we’re not even trying (twice), but I’m still very scared.

Anyway, back to the summer vacation – I came home to find that Husband had done approximately none of the things I had asked him to do while I was gone. Apparently, he sat around eating hotdogs and watching the History Channel all week. I’m only moderately irritated with him, however. I missed him while I was gone. It’s odd: you never realize how much you like your husband until he’s not around every day. I need to stop taking him for granted. He’s actually not such a bad guy. Thank goodness he doesn’t read this, or we’d have to get an extra bed for his ego!

So, I go in for my ultrasound tomorrow. Hopefully nothing too serious will be wrong – maybe we’ll even get to see a glimpse of the new Bear Cub, hibernating away. ::crosses fingers::

*March 5, 2006.
**Note to self: schedule vasectomy for Husband.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Over the river and through the woods...

To grandmother's house we go! (la la la)

I'm off to my parents' with the Bear for the next week or so. Yay fun. Husband was *supposed* to come but decided not to this morning because he's a gigantic Tool. Oh well. I'm sure we'll have a lovely time anyway. ::shakes head doubtfully::

I'll be gone for a while (til the 7th), so I want you all to do me a favor. (Yes, you. I know you read this and don't stop to say hi. Well, say hi, dammit!) Leave me a note and tell me something interesting about yourself - something that not many people may know about you. (Not something obvious - something that you don't mention often.) Stay anonymous if you feel the need.

I'll start:

I have a unibrow. (I pluck frequently, but if they outlawed tweezers...)
I have a photographic memory. (My students hate that. They can't sneak anything past.)
I like to eat croutons with salad dressing - no salad.

Now it's your turn! (Come on, indulge me. I'm spending a week with my mother... Take pity on me!)