Friday, March 31, 2006

Life Should Really Be This Way

Yesterday in Chi Town, we were treated to the most delightful weather since, according to channel 7, November 4th. It got to 73 degrees, and it was sunny! Plus, the Irish bloke who owns the brick laying company that put in our brick patio last fall, was due to arrive for an estimate when the tot was sleeping. Can you imagine? I only had one child to deal with while trying to talk about what I wanted within inches. The cool thing is that our neighbor is having the same man/company come to do the same type of work, so we were told we'd get a deal if we did ours at the same time. Being the pessimist I can be about such things, I decided to believe it when I saw it. I had a number in my head that I prayed the work would be under, but believed it probably wouldn't be, and had a plan B already in place.

***I promise to be brief here, so as not to put anyone to sleep! When we bought our home, we knew we were going to have to replace the whole front stoop and walkway. There is no way around it; the concrete is cracked all the way to the bottom. Also, we took down the deck/screened-in porch off the back, and me being post-partum and all, had a tiny brick patio laid. Instantly, when the work was completed, we knew it was too small. I told the Irish man that, and he and I set up an appt. for the spring estimate. Anyway, everything is going to look so cool! And the estimate is almost $2,000.00 under what I had prayed it would be!!! Also, having had this company do work for myself and the neighbor before, I know it is going to be quality work. The biggest reason why it's such a good price? Because our neighbors and us are doing big jobs at the same time. Oh, and I cut a deal. Don't ask, don't tell.... Unfortunately, not THAT kind of a deal, although my neighbor and I refer to him as a hottie. And seriously, who doesn't love an accent? The guy was born in Ireland, raised in England. So it's a combination of two of my favorite accents. Okay, I've bored you!***

It was just one of those days where everything seemed to be right in the world. I finally went through my mother's wallet, and it brought me comfort and smiles, not tears. I also went through a box of things she saved from our childhood. Again, more smiles and laughter. I even was told by my therapist that she was moving to Las Vegas, and I did okay!!! BTW, MB you are getting a fabulous woman. Not saying that you need therapy or anything. I think she'd make a good friend, and I am going to miss her. I have felt the most even that I have felt in years. Even my therapist commented on how good I have been doing and for how long. I haven't yelled at S. I do the whole 'get down to your child's level and speak firmly, yet evenly' thing. And you know what? It works! I find if I get angry, his behavior escalates. Who knew? Well, I DID know that, but sometimes it can be hard to do the right thing. I have been even using a chart, don't roll your eyes, and he earns a non-monetary reward if he hits his weekly goal. Tomorrow we are going to the library, just the two of us. This is the fourth week of better behavior. Better, not perfect, is what we're striving for. I'm being realistic. This week, we're adding 'getting dressed by yourself' to the chart. He seems excited about it now that it's 'on the chart'.
People, I even did fine with my dad getting engaged last weekend. It feels weird, but she has been so good for my dad. The only creepy thing is that she has the same first name as my mom. I think the kids are going to be confused, but we'll do our best. We'll all adjust.

Today I felt so good that I was stopping to pretty much let every pedestrian cross the street in front of me instead of saying to myself, 'Why don't you look before you cross the street, damn it!' It started raining just a few hours ago. My MIL is due to return from the south before Easter, not sure the day, so I'm sure my even mood will be tested. Is it fitting that the sky has opened up and poured tons of rain down and that the wind is blowing so hard you can hear it whistle? Yep. The April storms are arriving in more than one fashion. Hubby's aunt and uncle are due to come over to see the boys. Every time they travel, his aunt buys tons of things for the kids that they mostly neither need nor want. Many times she doesn't even realize that she has bought duplicates or that a toy is not appropriate for a certain age level. Goodwill must love us. Anyway, they haven't been to see the boys since right before Christmas. Hubby, as you know, has been working a lot, so we haven't called, and if hubby doesn't call, well no one gets together. However, they did call this time; three months later. Yah, his family is so close. Can you tell?! Oh, the best part is that they live in the subdivision next to ours! I have literally walked the whole way there many times. Yah. This aunt is the sister of my FIL, and the one who always hosts Easter. She's also a crier who makes a big deal out of nothing. So you can guess how she's going to take the news that we're not going there for Easter. Good times, I tell you! My therapist said the proof of how destructive hubby's parents have been to hubby and I is clear now that we've had 6 months without them. We are both so much happier, our marriage stronger. We rarely fight; I mean not just bickering like we all do. Hubby is remembering things he wish he didn't about his childhood and his parents. I don't bring them up; I just listen, which I can do now that I am healthy. The anger is gone. The house is happier. Mama's not losing her mind, and dada's not afraid to tell mama the latest request by his family because now that we don't talk, there are NO requests. 'It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine!' REM, 1987... INDEED!!!
I really feel like this should be the end. Girl has infertility. Girl gets through it and has baby. Girl suffers with PPD. Girl's mom dies. Girl grieves. Girl can't get pregnant again. Girl finally does after becoming a human pin-cushion. BabyB dies, but baby A is healthy and beautiful. Girl suffers from PPD. Girl's ILs make huge scene at the baby's christening. Girl's husband decides enough is enough. PPD gets better. Children thrive. Girl makes a firm decision which she feels in her heart is the right one. No more children. No more negativity. Peace. Fade out......If only life was really that way. That you start in one place, and then there is a clear end. An end of the turmoil. Now life can start. I have my hubby. I have my babies. I feel good. Now it's time to start enjoying it all. But life isn't that way. Enjoy the little things each day. Tomorrow might be a bad day. Who knows? But today is good, and that's all I'm going to worry about...for now.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

My Faith in Humanity Has Been Restored

Just watching the news and reading the paper about this family made me cry. Now look and see how their lives have been changed for the better by some generous and caring people.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

What He Does For Fun Now!

Yes, my little one can stand very well now. The first child doing this made us so proud, and relieved since he was developmentally right on. However, the second child doing this scares the crap out us, and just tires me out! I can't leave him for a second. Today he was so happy that he was finally able to touch the blinds by himself! I do not share in that enthusiasm.

This picture is one I took today that me laugh. He is so much like his father in this picture. Hubby, and I hope this doesn't sound weird, frequently has his tongue out of his mouth when he is thinking. The tot has literally been doing this since his birth too. But how can an expression, or gesture, be genetic? I don't know, but they are so alike it's scary(in a good way, of course)!

Seriously, Hanna Andersson SHOULD Be Calling Soon

Today, the boys and I went up to hubby's work for lunch. People had said to him that we haven't been up for a while, and they wanted to see how much the boys had grown. Of course, I had to dress the tot up really cute! He wore one of his zipper outfits, moccassins, cardigan and hat all purchased from Hanna. Underneath those moccassins are socks from Old Navy. I am NOT going to pay a bundle for socks:) These pictures show just why I, the mommy, have no new clothes. Seriously, though, the tot's wardrobe consists mainly of his older brother's old wardrobe, so it nice to throw a few new things into the mix! He looks so cute, I think Hanna Andersson should call him to be one of their models. I mean, come on, he looks so cute, and he does have a little bit of swedish in him from his daddy. And no, I am not biased in the least! No, really I'm not.....

Monday, March 27, 2006

Massage Monday

Today I used a gift certificate I got for my birthday to have a Swedish massage. I told the masseuse my problem areas and why they're a problem (picking up a 21 pound kid), plus all that goes with being a mom. Anyway, at the end the masseuse tells me to make sure I take time to stretch as my upper back and neck were very tight. Take time to stretch??? Yah. Let's see if I'm as successful with that as I have been with 'making time to pee by myself.' Excuse me now as I do my stretches. Whatever!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Acceptance Gave Me a UTI

Last week I had finally accepted that I should not have any more children. It's not just because of the PPD, although that's enough of a reason, but because I feel like my plate is full already. I feel pulled in a zillion directions on any given day, and I do not believe that I could give another child the attention I would like to. I'm stretched to the limit already. And now that the Tot is nearing his first birthday, and the diaper bag is getting smaller, I feel like I'm ready to move on from this part of my life. No, I'm not going back to work yet. I just am feeling more comfortable with leaving my children with a sitter, joining a health club and getting some semblance of my body back, and, well, sleeping! We have a pretty comfortable routine now. It doesn't always go perfectly, but it is so much better than in the beginning. I love babies; just not newborns. No, wait a minute. I love OTHER peoples' newborns. A friend of mine said it best when she told me she believed 6 months to 15 months to be the best baby-wise. I obviously agree. I love that my baby boy smiles and bounces around when he sees me enter the room. I love dressing him up and not worrying about spit up. I love how we can interact now. I say, "Do you want a bah-bah?", and if he does he giggles. I also love my 3 and a half year old's age. We can have conversations now. We can do puzzles and play-doh, and color and read. He walks and uses the potty exclusively now. He is the cuddler, although he was not a cuddly baby. He often comes up to me, puts his hand on my shoulder, looks seriously at me while he says,"Mama, or now mom, I love you." Does it make me misty eyed at times that I see my boys growing up right before my eyes? Absolutely, but it also makes me happy. They both seem so well-adjusted, so happy, that sometimes I actually feel like I'm doing a good job raising them. I guess my main reason for not wanting to have another child is that I feel complete. I always wanted two children, and now I have two children. Plus, have you noticed how much money TWO children cost??? I'm sure three would break me both physically AND financially!!! So I have accepted the giving birth part of motherhood is over for me now, and I am happy with my decision.

So you're probably wondering what this has to do with a UTI, huh? Well, now that I have made this decision, I am sure I will get pregnant because now, you know, I DON'T want to get pregnant. Hubby and I wanted to get our groove on last Saturday, well mainly him but that's not the point here, and now that I am as fearful as a teenager who sneaks to have sex with her boyfriend is, I decided we needed to use birth control. No, prior to last weekend we were not using any birth control, don't yell at me:) So I say to hubby," Hey, do we still have those condoms in the closet?" He looks, and they expire in a few months, so you know how old they have to be! Me, being responsible and all, said we should use one. Hubby wanting to have sex, and agreeing with me that he'll get the big V, says okay. What resulted was me waking up at 2:30AM Monday morning with that lovely burning feeling we all know and hate. I told my husband he had to stay home Monday because I could not take care of the kids this way. Before you think I'm a wimp, I have taken care of said children during every cold, strep throat episode, etc., but a UTI renders me useless initially, before the antibiotics kick in. He was upset, and said he had a meeting that day. I was pissed because I felt like hell. I said to him,"I didn't do this myself!" I am pretty sure that is what made him change his mind. He felt guilty. I immediately called my doctor's after hours line, yah they must love me, and she tells me to keep drinking water and to come in in the morning. I appealed to her being a mother herself and she relented. She gave me Macrodantin. I was on Macrodantin my whole pregnancy with the tot, because I had strep B in my urine. I stayed in bed all day, and did not feel any better. I didn't feel any better the next day, or the day after that. On Wednesday I called the doctor. They wanted to see me, and have a urine sample. I was feeling so bad at this point that I took the earliest appointment I could get, and brought the boys with me. I was that desperate.

Well, after having S. turn on the water of all the faucets he could find, open and close doors and generally be a pain in the neck, I walked out with a new prescription. I also found out the nurse who helped me used to work with my mom at the hospital by us. She and I swapped stories about how chemo. couldn't even get her to slow down, and it just felt so nice to feel that connection again. She even called my prescription in so I didn't have to drop it off with the boys in tow. She said she could see I had my hands full. She also gave me the written copy.

I still feel some burning, but nothing near as bad as it was. I can go on with my life. I have not slept so much since before I had kids! Hubby would get home, we'd eat and then I would go to bed not to wake up before 6:30 AM. My body feels wiped out. Hubby assures me he IS going to get the V. done. I told him that we may not be having sex until after that procedure. He will have to take care of the 30 or so 'emissions' on his own, because we both know why I got that UTI. The condom. We don't use condoms, and haven't for years because they give me UTIs. I wish I would have remembered that. Oh, I told him sex after ovulation is acceptable. How do I know when I ovulate? Six years of infertility did teach me something, and I have had near 100 percent accuracy. How about that?

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

I'll Be Back Shortly...

if the UTI I have ever clears up. I had to go back to the doctor today with both of the boys, and now am on another antibiotic. I just want to feel better soon. I have a post I've been meaning to write, but I have just felt too much like crap. Sorry if I haven't been around much this week. I hope I didn't miss the birth of Sue's baby! Anyway, I'll be back when I feel better.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

What I Was Doing a Year Ago Today...

Apparently, gestating! Wow, I often forget how large I was when I was pregnant with the boys. I have a belly shot sans shirt which really spotlights the large belly, but I think you get the idea with just this picture. At times, though, I think I looked better pregnant. I don't know if it's having a baby in my 30's verses 20's, but these last ten, at least, pounds are going to have to be beaten off of me. 10 months past S.'s birth, I was already fitting back into my sizes. I feel all innertube-like around my waist. Hubby says at least I haven't gained anything, which is true considering my eating habits of late. My motto is: Fast and easy! (No laughing. Get your minds out of the gutter!)Let's just say the people at various fast food establishments know me and my order by heart. I get the,"Oh, how are you doing today?", or my favorite,"Don't you ever eat anything different?" Nope I am a basic kind-of gal. Why do I order a plain hot dog at Portillo's? Do I really love the flavor of them that much? Nope. If I order them plain, I don't have to worry about spilling in the car or on myself, as well as the fact that I can eat my whole lunch before I even get home, thus allowing me the ability to feed my boys in addition to having actually eaten something myself. I keep telling myself that some day I will get to sit down and eat again. Some day.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

He Did It!

My baby is now standing! Every morning, or when he gets up from a nap, he is standing in his crib smiling away! He is so proud of himself, as is big brother and mommy and daddy! Too cute!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Do You Think They're Addicted???

Just so you know, they are watching a baby Einstein video. The ironic thing about this is that I was one of those people who, before I had kids, swore I wasn't going to sit them in front of the television. That's just a babysitter, I'd say. Well, another example of 'never say never'. This happens frequently while I am trying to make dinner. I figure that watching a 30 minute video so they can have a healthy dinner is not an evil thing. Plus, Tot has his 'witching hour' at that same time as well. What's a busy and stressed out mum to do? Yep, throw a little Baby Einstein in! I try to be cautious, and not let them watch television too much. The noise actually begins to bother me, as well as the boys should be doing something better suited for their development. But when the laundry needs to be folded or dinner needs to be made, I find myself softening my stance on t.v. ****Oh, I am sooooo' excited!!! I was #5 in line this morning, and S. not only got into the preschool we had hoped for, but he got in the MORNING session. He is better in the AM, but him being in school in the morning means that Tot and I will be able to take a tumbling class together at the My-Gym where S. has gone for the past two years and loves it! (I had to tell S. that he will no longer be going as they have tumbling activities in preschool). I am so pumped! Never thought I'd be standing in line to get my son into preschool, and then be so excited when I did. Yet another example of 'never say never'!

Monday, March 13, 2006

So Much To Do!

The pictures are of the boys and I on my birthday. I put the first one up because I think it best shows that S. looks like me. I wish we would have gotten hubby in a picture, because the resemblance between him and Tot is uncanny. Tot is almost all daddy; he has darker eyes like his brother and I. This week I am getting a few inches cut off of my hair; it's just too much work. Plus, my hair is very thin and when it's gets too long, it kind-of just hangs there. Notice the dark circles underneath my eyes? Can anyone recommend a good, really good, concealer? I am presently using Clinique, and have also used Physicans Formula. Obviously, I need something stronger!

We ended up going out to dinner on my birthday, and I just wasn't in the greatest mood. Hubby let me sleep in, but it wasn't a 'quality' type of sleep. J. was so good to me this weekend. I think he knows how hard my mom not being here on my birthday is for me, before I even figure it out myself. I always do fine the day of special occasions, it's the day after that is always very hard on me. I have the 'stuck in mud' feeling right now. I have no motivation, and lots to do!

Yesterday at church, our Katrina Mission Team led the service. We also had Katrina victims who have relocated here. As the team leaders discussed how it really is down there, and even people who I consider among the strongest I know, began to cry at what they had witnessed, my mood sank. The slide show was at best horrific. The victims have never received the Red Cross donations that many of us have sent. Where IS that money??? I am not going to go on a rant about the government and all, because that has been said already many times. I am just saddened that things aren't improving for so many people. I felt embarressed as I walked out of church next to these victims with my Coach purse which must seem to border on gluttony when you have nothing. No money. No home. No job. The interesting thing that was said was that the church groups are the only ones that are down there helping. The residents said there is no FEMA, no government agencies, just regular faith-based groups on their own dimes. I am angry, and you should be too. End of rant.

After that, hubby and I went to look at one of the local health clubs. I need to lose this weight, and exercise I have found, really helps with my depression. I attend a women's exercise class once a week now, but I need more. This also seems frivolous after what was said at church, but I know that I need to do this. They have a Kids Club area where the kids can go, also a cafe where I can eat--hold on---by myself, sauna, jacuzzi, and of course the regular work-out machines and classes. And a pool too. It seems to be the perfect fit for me since I have not exercised in front of anyone since college, when I HAD to take another physical ed. class. I do not like working out in front of others! So this place is small, which I think is good. We are joining. Maybe I will lose this weight before summer, or well, at least FEEL better. Right now I am feeling so low. Our sitter is with the boys now, and I am glad. I have no energy. Everything seems to be hitting me at once. So much to do, but the same crap that I do day after day, week after week... You get the idea. Tomorrow, luckily my husband was able to switch around his schedule so I can stand outside in the cold by myself hoping to get S. into the pre-school of my choice. And hopefully in the morning session, so Tot and I can have some time together. Originally, I was all set to take the boys, but then the weather changed. And really, I wondered how in the heck I was going to keep S. and tot entertained for over an hour. J. needs to be back in the late AM for an important meeting that was changed because of this, so I pray that I get back in time. I love his boss. Can you imagine, they changed their meeting so I can stand in line to get S. into preschool? Very nice.

Hubby and I talked a little about everything that went on last week. He said it was a really bad week. I agreed. He also said I need to talk to him and tell him how I am feeling before I get to my breaking point. I will work on this. I told him that we need some time together. I feel like we are putting ourselves to the backburner, and we just can't do that. I can't tell you how much having two children has changed things around here. There is so much less time. When people told me having two children is more than double than the amount of work, I believed them but I just couldn't imagine what exactly that would be like. I am so grateful for my children, but I am getting burned out, too. There is so much laundry still to be folded and put away. It's overwhelming me right now. Plus, all of the little things. Oh, and some jackass called at 2:30 this morning and I was actually sleeping well! Wrong number. UGH! So add incredibly tired to the mix. On my birthday it was 69 degrees; right now it has dropped to below 40 and it is so windy! Lovely, Illinois. I hope things look up, or that my response to them gets better. And no, it's not PMS. Can't even blame it on that!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

My Job as a Stressed-Out Dog Groomer; Any Takers?

You can see our dog Maddy in the background of the first picture with the tot. That was when she had fur! To the right is how Maddy looks post-haircut by me. The poor dog is shaking all the time she is so cold. I now have her in a doggie fleece coat bought for her prior to having children. She wears it all over the house as well as outside. Poor little girl! So, does anyone want me to groom their dog next? I'm cheap, although I have very little experience. Any takers?

Another Year Older...

and another birthday without my mom. Will post more later.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Here We Are!

As Kate just did, I am posting a picture of the tot and I. I am rarely in any pictures with him, because I am usually the one taking the pictures! Hubby told me to sit with tot so he could get a picture with the both of us in it. I have basically no make-up on in this picture, as well as the beginnings of a cold, so this picture isn't that good, but at least I have a picture of tot and me.

One of Those Days

Yesterday, hubby of course had an after-work function. Let's just say that while S. and I were having waffles for dinner, need to go shopping!, he was having dinner at a French restaurant. On Monday, he didn't get home until after the kids went to bed. My exercise class has been changed to Tuesdays now, and my sitter had a doctor's appointment, so she couldn't make it. Hubby told me he SHOULD be able to make it home for my 8PM class. Lovely. And yesterday, he didn't get home until after 9PM. I am tired!!! Sick and tired of being a single parent! Then I find out he's going to Thailand for a week, soon. So great, now I have THAT to look forward to!!! The kids were great yesterday, so that was not the problem. I think it's all of this time that I have had to basically take care of the kids alone. I really do need a vacation, or a day to myself. Now hubby is great in the fact that he lets me sleep in on Saturday. He is a morning person; I am NOT. What drives me crazy though, is that as soon as he knows I'm up, he brings the kids in to 'see mommy'. Now you all know I absolutely adore my children, but can I have just one morning when I wake up where they're not thrust at me?!

I am really trying to tactfully tell hubby my feelings about this whole situation. Instead of what I used to say,"When you work more hours I work more hours, but I don't even get to pee by myself!", which is true, but puts him on the defensive, I say,"You know when you work more hours, I end up having to work more hours, it's just a different job." To which he replied seemingly sympathetically,"I know."

My hubby and kids can usually tell when I am getting increasingly stressed-out by how short the dog's fur is. Guys, I shaved the dog last night. I only trimmed her face, ears and legs, but her body is shaved. She had a lot of matts, and really needed a haircut. I just didn't want to drag the boys with to the groomer whereupon picking her up I get told how awful she is. I know they aren't lying, but you know when you're carrying two kids with you, well, I just don't give a crap how awful my dog was!!! Last time they had to muzzle her! She is 8 pounds, but I will admit that she is a scrappy dog. She is a Shih-Tzu, but she must never have gotten the memo that says a 'toy group dog' has a certain behavior that is definitely not aggressive. I love her though. One minute she can be a priss, and the next she has to have a muzzle on her! She is awesome with the boys, so we are lucky there.

I just am feeling unappreciated lately. S. wants his daddy, so I get the fact that he's never home taken out on me. My birthday is coming up, and hubby didn't call the babysitter early enough so we could have a night out. I told him I wasn't calling her. It was my birthday, therefore I shouldn't have to reserve the sitter. Joke's on me, huh? It's just so frustrating! The thing is I know that we need hubby's job to pay the bills, and that most jobs are going to require these types of long hours. So I try to deal with it and not take out my feelings on him. But we have barely spoken this week. He fell asleep on the couch a mere 30 minutes after arriving home yesterday. He complained he had a headache, and I told him I had my endometriosis pain but still had two kids to take care of. I know he's tired. I know he doesn't enjoy having to work all of these hours, but neither do I. As I told a friend who feels guilty about being a SAHM, hubby could not be the employee that he is without me. He can attend any meeting, go on any business trip, do anything he needs to because he has me. He knows the kids are well-taken care of. He doesn't have to pick the kids up by 6PM or pay the daycare a penalty. And his job ALWAYS comes first, because like I said, we need to be able to pay the bills like everyone else. So if he has to stay late, I have to cancel whatever I was planning on doing. He told me he has to interview someone today, so he should be home by 6:30. I have a therapy appt. at 7:00. I said,"Yah, I'd like to be able to make my mental health appt.!" It's not too much to ask, is it?

I will say that I really like hubby's boss and the company he works for. I know it's the nature of the beast. The higher up you get, the more money you make, the more hours you work. Moving closer to his work is not an option. The houses there are even more expensive than the houses in our town; we got in at a really good time. He commutes 45 minutes to an hour every day. He leaves at 6AM, and gets home by 6:30PM if we're lucky. This is just the way it is, and I have accepted it. I just needed to vent. Thanks for listening.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

On a Brighter Note

Here is the tot. I put the picture up on the left in hopes that you would be able to tell that his hair is coming in white. It is so beautiful! The tot looks so much like his daddy! The picture to the right is the outfit that I put on him to have his 9-month picture taken in. He is sitting on his brother's PotteryBarnKids chair; I guess now I'll have to get him one too----for his birthday. At any rate, the outfit to the left has a special meaning. My mom bought it for S. when he was a baby. So even though it was still very cold out, I had to put it on him. He has so few things from my mom. I showed S. the picture of him in it, and my mom holding him. He looked so funny in that picture because he kept trying to figure out what my mom's oxygen tubing was. I think S. is finally starting to understand a bit of who she is, and that that is HIM in the pictures and not the tot.

***On a side note, many of you know Dana Reeves dies today. While I did not know her personally, I admired her devotion to her husband all of those years. When I heard she had lung cancer and had never smoked, I felt bad for her. Apparently, she worked in many pubs and such that allowed smoking. So if some knucklehead still thinks second-hand smoke doesn't kill, they are clueless! God bless you Dana as you go to be with the Lord and your husband. May you be out of pain, and may your son feel your presence every day of his life. A child is now parentless; I feel so bad for him.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

I Have a Bit More To Say On This Issue

Many times I do not get to write everything about a topic that I would like to, you know, due to the kids and all. I tell ya', I wanted so much to be able to communicate with S., to hear what his voice would sound like, and let's just say now I wish I didn't hear it so often! Anyway, to the point.

Teachermom, brought up a good point here. Never say never. My first Clomid pregnancy was doomed to fail almost from the start. I believe I posted about it, but to summarize, after a week and a half my HCG levels failed to double and two ultrasounds showed a small sac. People have asked me why I didn't just end the pregnancy then. My answer: it just never occurred to me. I felt just like formerteacher in that the decision was never left for me to make. I couldn't end that pregnancy; I couldn't give up that tiny bit of hope that a miracle might still happen. So for three long weeks, I went to work, taught school and hoped to God that I wouldn't miscarry in front of my students. Yah, I guess I could have planned to terminate the pregnancy, thus saving myself the worry of bleeding in front of children and then having to explain to my boss that I was pregnant. However, I just couldn't. I thank God that He chose to take the baby at night, in the comfort and privacy, of my own home. Knowing for three weeks that I was carrying a baby destined to die was very psychologically damaging, but I cannot imagine how damaging it might have been to have terminated that pregnancy and never have known for sure what would have happened on its own.

Fast forward to my IVF pregnancy. I was pregnant with twins. Scared to death because I now knew how much work one baby was let alone two, but happy because I was going to have TWO BABIES! Make sense? Probably not. Being an information-seeking person, I read articles on the internet, this blog, and I bought a book on having twins. I did this even after my ultrasound which showed one twin a few days behind the other, which I guess can happen if they implant on different days. See, I never give up hope. I had another ultrasound a week later showing one twin with a heartbeat, and the other still a few days behind. This time my RE decided we would schedule another ultraound in two weeks; we would definitely know by then. Two weeks seemed like an eternity! I wanted to know what was going on. Was I going to be a mother of twins, something my mom always thought would be fun to see!, or was baby B not going to make it?

Two weeks later, the ultrasound showed showed that both twins had heartbeats now! Our RE said that all was not right. That twin B was still smaller. Too small. He said that if this twin continued to grow that he/she would definitely have major problems and selective reduction should be made available to us. I felt deflated. And when we walked out I said to hubby,"Why doesn't he say we should terminate the pregnancy, or that I should have an abortion?" I don't think reducing a pregnancy to one because of a defect is really 'selective reduction'. I want both babies. Just say it like it is, buddy!

I had to think a lot about it. I remember my year spent with special ed. kids. I remembered when I went back to teaching regular ed., I would often see the self-contained special ed. classroom's children. I remembered the problems they dealt with on a daily basis. But I would love that child! I am an educator. I would be that child's advocate! We could do this! The I remember the child that was 'included' in my fourth grade classroom my first year teaching that grade. This child was fed by a feeding tube. He couldn't move. He was in a wheelchair every day until naptime. He had to have many surgeries. He couldn't talk, he couldn't laugh, he could barely communicate any thing at all. He could cry. I thought about other children who were in pain every day of their lives. Finally, I decided to pray and ask God to take the baby if that was the best thing to do. Our RE felt that twin B could threaten the life of Twin A, now known as the tot. So I worried. And worried... If I didn't make any decision soon enough, I could lose them both. But I did not want to make that decision.

I went to a fetal-maternal specialist and had a 4-D color, action ultrasound at about 10 weeks. The doctor came in and looked around, and had to tell me there was no more fetal heartbeat. The tech. and him had a very hard time telling me. I almost felt bad for them! I feel embarressed to tell you this, but I was relieved. Relieved that I didn't have to make that choice, that decision. I thank God for that! And I thank God for the tot every day!!!

Kate, thank you for your comment. Please do not worry about writing a long response. You made me think too, and being that I don't have much time for that lately, I do appreciate it! I have heard of people using abortion as a means of birth control. I do not advocate, nor do I understand it! That is a medical procedure. You do not do that to you body simply because you don't feel like using birth control! And the Mormon church is not the only religion that has a policy against birth control. The Catholic religion still tells its worshippers to accept as many children as God gives you. My father was raised catholic as was my husband. Both of them believe that is a crock as does every one of my catholic friends. As for the use of birth control and pre-marital sex, I plan to teach my sons abstinance until marriage. I do know, though, that they may not wait until marriage to have sex, so I plan to have the birth control discussion with them. As well as the respect, responsibility, yada, yada...discussion. I don't want my kids to ruin their lives or to DIE because of a poor decision made in their youth. So I support Planned Parenthood being in my town. This particular branch does not perform abortions. Utah may be highly influenced by the Mormon church, but Chicago is highly influenced by the Catholic church. I am glad PP is here, and I do support the PPs who perform abortions, because it's like teachermom said, "Never say never."

Saturday, March 04, 2006

I Have Been Waiting For This

Recently, own town has decided to allow a Planned Parenthood Center to open. It is only a Planned Parenthood Express, so I believe that it's more birth control orientated. Now this PP has been here for over a month now, and I just knew that at any time the Pro-Lifers were going to be out front making one of their crazy scenes. I am obviously Pro-Choice, seen as many Pro-Lifers as Pro-Abortion. Kind of ironic that I am an infertile pro-choicer, huh?

I am dismayed by what my children had to witness this morning. These people had HUGE signs stating things such as "not here!" to the shocking and just disgusting pictures. I know the tot has no idea what went on, but S. is three and a half, and is old enough to get frightened by such 'shock-value pictures'. Another thing that really ticks me off is that these women had their young children with them. (Why do they always bring their kids?) The thing that really bothered me today about their children being there was that it is REALLY COLD OUT!!! Yah, that's good parenting! Hey, honey. We are going to walk in front of a facility that doesn't perform abortions, and we are going to walk around in a circle carrying grisley pictures all the while while freezing our butts off! Now honey, this is our quality time together. What the eff is wrong with these people?!!! Have your own view, but leave your kids out of it!

And another thing here. No woman who has an abortion is happy to have one. No one wakes up one day and says,"Oh, I am so EXCITED. I have to/am choosing to end my pregnancy.' Women have their own reasons. It is our bodies. This is a medical procedure. Yes, there are people who have made foolish decisions and have gotten pregnant. Does that mean they should not be able to choose to carry the pregnancy to term or not? Why should that choice be taken away from from them? However, there are many women, many women that have blogs that have had to make the agonizing decision after learning that it was a life and death decision. Either the terminate the pregnancy or the mother dies. You ask a woman, or her husband for that matter, what their choice would be. Pure agony. Or you sit with a woman who has had a genetic test that says there are so many genetic defects in this child that he/she would surely die or have a very painful existance.

The thing that bothers me the most about today is the way these people went about their protest. They wanted to use 'shock value', grisly pictures to get their message across instead of having a intelligent discussion. They want to force their beliefs on everyone else, and will even put their children through hell to do it! Have your opinion, but leave your kids out of it! Furthermore, DO NOT PUT THAT CRAP OUT THERE FOR OTHER CHILDREN TO SEE!!! They don't understand and get frightened by that kind of thing. But they don't care about the many children, or any one, they hurt today, because it's all about them. As long as another baby doesn't die, well then, it's all been worth it.

***I do know that there are Pro-lifers out there who do not do this type of thing, and to them I say thank you. I do not agree with you, but thank you for not making the type of scene that was made today.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Some Observations

*Do not drink two large glasses of coffee in one day when you literally have only had 4 cups during the whole year. Can we say wired!

*Do not go to Target when bored. I always seem to spend 100 dollars every time I go there. Not good. Must stay away from Target.

*Do not attempt to trim numerous matts off of the dog after drinking a glass, okay, a glass and a half of wine. It results in an uneven look on the dog that the dog obviously knows about and hates, as well as the fact that now I am embarressed to take the dog in to be groomed. Maybe I can blame it on the 3 year-old. What do you think???

*Do not ask when hubby's next business trip appears to be. They always come at the very worst times.

*Do not think that by letting your 3-year old walk in the mall instead of sit in the stroller, that he will get tired and take a nap.

*Never look at a Hanna Andersson catalog thinking you're just looking. I am 150 dollars poorer right now. Hubby knows about the clothes, however, I am not so sure about the price.

*Because of said money spent at Target and Hanna Andersson, we will be eating frozen pizza tonight, and damn it, we're going to like it!!!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Damn! Not Another One!

My dad called me today to tell me his former fiancee', I wrote about her last year, has been diagnosed with bone cancer. Now J. and my dad were not able to make it as a couple, but I really loved her. I was disappointed when I learned they would not be getting married, and I missed her when she stopped coming by. She was very nurturing, and I needed that very much. Her husband died a year and a half ago from skin cancer, so we would have discussions whereupon I never felt weird discussing my mom's battle with cancer. Many people who have not been through cancer or a terminal illness with a loved one get very uncomfortable when you discuss it in front of them, so it was very refreshing to be able to discuss my mom's battle openly. Let me tell you that J. is only 48 years old. She has two daughters in their twenties who recently lost their father, and now it appears they will be losing their mother soon as well. I just don't understand.

Unfortunately, J. is not the only person in my life to be diagnosed with cancer this year. The woman who watched S. in the nursery at our church since he was a baby, was diagnosed in October with lung cancer. She never smoked. Her husband of 30 years did. So there, that is all the proof I need that second-hand smoke kills. I didn't know what had happened to V. until one Wednesday in October when I went to drop the tot off before I attended class. When I went to hand him to the assistant, now our wonderful babysitter, I saw V. sitting there with an oxygen tank. My mom's breast cancer metastatized to her lungs and she, too, had been placed on oxygen. That brought back memories I didn't want to face. I knew just by looking at her what was wrong, and that despite the church newsletter stating that they were in need of 'temporary assistance' in the nursery, that she was never coming back. A month ago she was able to come to Sunday service. Hubby asked me if that was her, and I realized it was. Now know that I am the talker of the our marital union, so it was up to me to say hello. I am fine with this, since nothing can make me uncomfortable anymore. I said hello and asked her how she was doing. She said okay, and that she was having another round of chemo. the next day, so she felt she better come to this service as the chemo. makes her weak. Then she ran her hands through her now mainly bald head, and joked about how she lost her hair. I said to her, "You know, my mom said that having less hair made getting ready in the morning faster." She laughed. She looked good as she sat there. It almost made me hopeful. However, as I saw her walk slowly out of the church, with her oxygen tank next to her, I knew. I knew she was going to die of lung cancer. Whether it was this month or, hopefully, next year, she was going to die from this dreadful disease that she did nothing to cause. It made me want to cry. Here was this woman who watched my son when I attended church during the time when my own mother was dying of cancer. And now she is dying from it too. I just don't understand.

One thing I did not go into when discussing hubby's work party was how I sat with a woman who had lost her father from cancer. I listened as she discussed his treatment. I listened as she discussed the last vacation they all took together. I listened as she remembered the chocolate chip cookie her own daughter had shared with him, her grandpa. I listened as she told me about all the things her daughter she says about this man. I thought to myself, my boys will not have any memories of my mom. They only know her as Grandma Debbie who, S. now points upward, lives in heaven with God. Damn. I just don't understand. Then I listened to this poor woman tell me about how in the middle of all of this, her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. That her father, still weak, insisted on sleeping on the couch in her hospital room after her surgery. She told me about the awful chemo. her mother had to endure. I asked her if her mother had been given Taxol. She seemed surprised that I knew the toxin's name.

The thing is she knew she didn't have to hold anything back from me. I had been there, and nothing that she said was going to shock me. I wouldn' t pity her. I would be able to empathesize. We both wish we never had been through the hell that we had been through. Somehow, your whole life changes in an instant. Your youthful, 'nothing bad will ever happen to me or my family' changes to 'I can't take anymore God. Please help me.' You make bargains with God. I told God if he saved my mom I would adopt. I would chuck all of this infertility stuff. Please God, please leave me my mother. I need her. I still need her!!!' This woman was very close to her father, and felt the same way. And then as if God meant us to talk to one another that night, she mentioned her miscarriage, her quest for a second child that wasn't happening. I told her I knew; I understood as I also have gone through it all too. She didn't have to sugarcoat anything with me. I know the pain of death. I know the pain of infertility. I know things I wish that I didn't know. Frankly, I wish I didn't know any of it. I wish I would be able to wake up tomorrow and call my mom. To go to lunch with her. To ask her opinion. To roll my eyes and say,"I know", when she told me to understand that hubby has a job to do, and it's his JOB, don't complain. (My mom and dad had money issues early on in their marriage, so she always was worried about money.) To illustrate this point I must reveal to you that my mother had paid the April bills. She died in April. She paid those bills at the end of March knowing she was dying. She didn't want my father to have to worry about money. My mom had money set aside that my dad didn't know about. She wanted him to be able to grieve and not worry about how he would pay the bills. That was my mom. Worrying about others until the day she died. Literally.

I just don't understand why so many people I love have had to go through this. Young people. I have lost so many people that sometimes I fear getting close to someone because they may die. I do seem to flock to older individuals. I think because they can maybe offer me something my mother or grandmother could give me. I don't want material things. I want my family. I want my loved ones back. My grandmother, mom's mom, and I were extremely close. She died suddenly at the age of 57. I was 8. I can literally tell you every thing that happened that day prior to learning about her death. And then everything stopped. The good times ended. The naiveness that I had ended. I learned people die, and you don't know when it's going to happen. You can't depend on anything. I still feel the pain of her death, and this year will mark 25 years since she has been gone.

Books about losing your mother say that people/women divide their lives into two parts: Before their mom died and after she died. I don't do that. I define/divide my life into four parts: Before my grandmother died/after she died AND before my mother died/after my mother died.

My mother was 29 when her mother died, therefore it enabled me to ask her how the hell did she go on after her own mother died. She told me, "Your children get you through." Of course, she was right; she always was.

But I am going to be honest here. I am still pissed off that God took my grandmother and that he took my mother. I don't understand nor do I think I will EVER understand why he had to take such good people. I don't get it. I believe in God, and that faith is the only thing that has sustained me. However, I am angry. I am mad as hell. And everytime I hear or see that 3-day walk for breast cancer in which the one woman says she walks so no other children have to go through what hers have (as she hugs her two boys) I cry. I cry because I am scared to death that my children will be left without me. I will never admit that to anyone out loud, but I am. I am mad, I am lonely without my best girlfriend, I am sad. This shouldn't be real, but it is. Sure, I feel joy. Today I even said to myself that I was feeling happy today, but now that I am losing someone, two women in my life, I am feeling a bit raw and pardon my french, but a bit pissed off! I trust the Lord has a reason for everything He does, I just wish that I knew what that was. Maybe, though, it's best that I don't know. The only thing I do know for sure is that I want my mom back. I want her back right now!

***Edited to say: I just realized that today was my grandmother's birthday. I love you Grandma and I miss you so much! Please take care of my mom. And if you can, please tell God not to take anyone else in my family before he takes me. I don't want to be the one left behind ever again.

This Is What Keeps Me Going

S. was SO awful yesterday, but looking at this picture reminds me that he can be a very good boy too. He loves his brother, and we love him too. We don't always like him, but we always love him. Hubby is working long hours, and let me say this, Calgon take me away! Oh, and a glass of wine always has a way of helping. Just one glass, though, and only after the kiddos go to sleep. I don't want you to worry about that. Oh, and chocolate. Chocolate and wine. Yummmm!!......