Saturday, December 30, 2006

I washed clothes.

No, no. I don't think you caught the gravity in my voice in the above statement. Let me try in italics: I washed clothes. Now, with a little boldface for emphasis: I washed all the baby clothes.

How about THAT! How's that for making myself get ready for this baby!

I am also reading The Mother of All Baby Books by Ann Douglas (Canadian parenting expert, bereaved mother, author of Trying Again), since I have a small inkling that I have no idea how to actually care for a real live baby. We didn't do the prenatal class thing this time (it was a waste of time two years ago, anyways) and I didn't take the breastfeeding course offered by Public Health (lead by militant breastfeeding Nazis). So I turned to my favourite babyland gal-pal in print, Ms. Ann. She is brilliant and has a sense of humour. I am half-way through the book.

Besides, I hate the What to Expect people. It was their stupid book that said "wait until contractions are 4 minutes apart to go to the hospital", which I did, and could have possibly made the difference for C.'s survival (and then again not, but that doesn't stop the hatred).

I talked to my high school friend for nearly 3 hours on the phone last night. It was wonderful. I love to talk to people that I don't have explain myself to. Also, she lets me talk about C. without giving it a second thought.

I am like a kid before Christmas - I see my OB on Wednesday. How many more sleeps? I am hoping that he will schedule induction at that appointment. I have no idea if he will. I hope that I am not disappointed by him - expecting for him to set the date and then not having it happen. Sounds like a wedding.

Since my parents have left town, they have now taken to calling with a worried tone of voice. I called their place this morning, to share some gossip with my sibling who is there, and every extension was picked up and filled with worried tones of voice. I had to tell them all to hang up so that I could have a private conversation with my sibling. NO. I AM NOT IN LABOUR!!!! Honestly, I will tell you if I have this baby. I won't try to keep it secret. STOP HOVERING!!!!

This is why I didn't want to tell them anything pregnancy related. But I felt I had to tell them about the polyhydramnios and arrhythmia (side note: to my untrained ear, the arrhytmia seems to have resolved itself... another reason to want to see my OB soon for confirmation). Now they are all scared.

They annoying part is that it seems as though they never considered that it would be possible that this pregnancy could have complications. Until there were. They were totally blindsided. It is like they were able to completely return to the world of the naive, where every pregnancy has a happy ending!!! That is repression to a level that I will never understand.

Bleh. Does that all make sense? I tend to ramble, don't I.

P.S. Here is to a 2007 that has little or no heartbreak, okay?? Impossible, but that is what I am wishing for all of us.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

A few photos

The quilt I was dying to buy (but couldn't justify the pricetag - it's handmade locally), and that my dearest husband bought me for Christmas.
A close up of the detail on the quilt. The strips are done in flannel, the appliqué is done in chenille, and the quilting is all done freehand. It is gorgeous. And soft. Yay!

Me at 32 wks. (almost 3 weeeks ago)

OK - enough frivolity. Go do the Myers-Briggs quiz below!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

I am curious...

I am going to write a real post soon, hopefully with some pictures. However, after discussion with my husband regarding our respective reactions to our Christmas visitors, I was reminded that by Myers-Briggs testing, I am something of an introvert. Which is part of the reason why I was getting so irritable over the prolonged stay of people in my house.

I am an INFJ.

-moderately expressed Introvert
-slightly expressed iNtuitive personality
-distinctively expressed Feeling personality
-very expressed Judging personality

Of course, take it all with a grain of salt, but there are certainly aspects of me that I read in the description... What are you?

Monday, December 25, 2006

And a Ho, Ho, Ho.

I am feeling very blah and irritable today. I guess I am expecting too much of myself to think that I would feel any differently.

My family has been here since the 22nd. It has been quite good, generally. I am on a sort of modified bedrest, as I have been having Braxton Hicks at a little too regular intervals. However, I would NEVER tell my family that, because my parents would both freak. As it is, they are hovering.

Also, I was concerned with the contractions last night and decided to go into labour and delivery to be monitored (they turned out to be nothing - Murphy's Law: no contractions when hooked to the machine). Of course, both of our families were here at the time, so there was no way to hide the fact that I was leaving the house at midnight. With a packed bag. So I had to tell them that "I'm not feeling right, so I'm going to the hospital to get checked out."

This morning I woke to my mom crawling into bed with me, holding my hand, and petting my arm worriedly. I know that this may sound nice to some, but I can't TAKE that kind of hovering over me. I can't stand it. She has behaved this way all day, following me around, talking in hushed tones, asking me if I'm okay. Even my dad, who generally would give me my space, has done a little of it. Then asked me if I wanted them to leave when I was a little irritable. They are trying so hard to be here for me, but I just need to be treated normally. That is what I want.

I'm afraid that my patience was quite thin to start with. I just thought that I was overtired, but then realized that all the stress was taking its toll. And my son is dead.

I just can't even believe it some times. I had a son. He is dead. Today I had to visit my son, who is dead and buried in the ground. I had to sit next to a headstone in a frozen expanse of snow, surrounded by other people's babies who are also dead. Babies die. My baby died. I just don't understand it, not in any way at all. There are days where it is all too big and confusing for me. Today is one of those days. I just don't understand.

I feel like a real failure today. I wasn't much of a daughter and I am reminded that I am not able to mother my son. My body is contracting, two weeks too early. I can't get comfortable. I don't sleep at normal times. I feel sorry for myself and I am irritated with everyone around me. I am just a joy to be around.

Merry Christmas, right?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

"Are you excited?"

It seems that this is the question of the week. "How much longer? Are you getting excited?"

I doubt that I have to explain to you, my bloggy comrades-in-arms, how far excited is from the right word. There is so much fear and hope intertwined in what we are doing here - this subsequent pregnancy. The word excited applied to the blissfully naive as they approach the end of their pregnancies. It is way out of context for me.

The word excited does not apply when I spend my days flipping between terror that something horrible has happened, then relief when I feel movement. When every little pain or ache means the worst in my mind. When I have to survive my second Christmas without my son. When I have to mark his second birthday, baking cupcakes to take to the cemetery. All at the same time as trying to be positive that I will never again walk into labour and delivery and have my doctor say "I'm sorry."

Nope. Excited is most certainly NOT the right word.

I don't think there is a word to accurately describe my emotions. Life is too complicated for that.


Thank you for all the support re: my weekend non-trip to the hospital. I suppose I should have just gone. It is so hard to know the right thing to do. But I am promising here, right now, that if I ever get feeling that way again, I will go.

Rosepetal asked what will be the conditions that will lead to induction - basically, I understand that it is lung maturity. My OB doesn't want to induce early, since the drugs can cause extra stress for the Babe's heart (a concern with the arrhythmia). So he is probably going to let me go until 37 weeks, hoping that labour starts on its own before that. Then he will induce. 37 weeks is term, so he won't worry about lung maturity at that point. However, I am trying not to set my heart at that date, since I have heard so many people's stories of OBs that changed their minds about inductions at the last moment. In the mean time, I am going to hope that labour comes any time after Jan. 1.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Happy? Sad. Happy? Sad.

Mood swings. Between utter joy and utter terror. The terror and anxiety seem to be winning the battle (hopefully not the war).

Friday/Saturday was horrible. Post-NST (where I was a little annoyed with the attending nurse who sent me home with what I considered to be below-average reactivity), I went home to sleep and have a snack. The Babe must have decided to have a lazy day, because the times where s/he is usually most active were quiet. All evening. There was movement, but not to the strength or frequency that I was used to. Saturday morning was the same. I actually got up in the night, drank orange juice, and laid down again in complete terror. Until I got some wimpy little kicks.

Movement never trailed off to the point that I went to the hospital. What would I have said, anyways, that the baby is moving, but not to schedule? They would have admitted me and given me another NST, but it seemed overly neurotic. When to go, when to try and ride out the anxiety? What will I live to regret?

Sunday brought us normal activity at normal times at normal strength. I don't know how I can live through the next few weeks, if this continues! The stress level is through the roof and I feel like crying half the time. Then I am snarky with my husband, who is just trying to keep me sane and the household running, and who is dealing with just as much stress as I am. I am actually looking forward to my mother's arrival for the Christmas weekend (which, considering our poor relationship in the past, it pretty telling that I want my mommy).

Are you as confused as I am with my mood swings. Happy sappy post. Over dramatic emotional post. Back and forth.

I just wish that there was some way that my GP or OB could set an induction date and I could actually tick off the days. But, as they always say, as soon as the Babe is ready. And s/he is the only one in control of that.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Prenatal update (33 wks) and Christmas Crap

We saw our OB yesterday. No new news, really. The polyhydramnios and arrhythmia remain unchanged. We will continue with weekly NSTs and ultrasounds every other week. At 36 weeks, we will have weekly ultrasounds. At 37 weeks he will probably recommend induction.

This kid is huge. Current ultrasound estimates put her/his weight at 6 1/2 pounds. Lordy me. C. was 6 lbs 15 oz at 38.5 weeks. At the current rate of growth, we may be looking at a 9+ pounder. Um, what about those cute little newborn-sized sleepers we bought? I guess those will need to be used immediately...

I also spoke with my GP yesterday (after a mix-up with the message that I left with her nurses). I get the impression that she would rather not continue my care and wishes that my OB would take over completely. I can't say I blame her - I am a little high-maintenance. Nonetheless, I would miss her, since I just trust her so much.

One of the implications of all that is going on is that I will not be delivering at our hospital (5 blocks away), but rather my OB's hospital (45 miles away). I can't tell you how disappointed I am about that. That's what Santa can bring me for Christmas - a way to deliver here....

In other news, we put up our Christmas tree and a few decorations. I am hosting my parents and siblings for the big day, so we figured that we should look like we made an effort. 1/2 the decorations are staying in the box - I just can't be bothered. Last year, all we decorated was a small tree at the cemetery (which was good enough for all of us). I don't know how I feel about this... thing... sitting in the corner of my living room. It's almost too cheery for me. Anyway, the cat likes it (knocking stuff out of it, climbing it, etc.). Perhaps I should think of it as a large cat toy...

And, in cuteness to end all cuteness, my husband put on the DVD "Christmas fire" last night while we put up the tree. It is just too campy - video of a fire burning with Christmas carols playing in the background. We both think it is hilarious, which makes it even funnier that we actually use the thing.

And, when he went out for stocking hangers, he came home with the cutest pair of pajamas for the Babe. Actual pajamas, not a sleeper. 3-6 month size, of course. Because I am growing a giant child.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Imprints on our soul

My grief counselor has often spoken of the idea that our lives, lived so cyclically, are permanently imprinted with the experiences of the years before. Meaning that, if something tragic happened in October of last year, it is entirely likely that the repercussions of that tragedy will echo through time to be felt in October of this year.

So I guess I shouldn't be so surprised that, as we trudge closer and closer to Christmas every day, my soul drags further and further down. In the next few weeks, I will celebrate my second Christmas without C. and mark his second birthday. And it hurts.

Honestly, I am quite surprised. I get good at fooling myself about my capabilities to deal with my grief and move on. I am not hating Christmas the way I did last year, so I thought that meant that I had experienced a miraculous healing over the past 12 months. I didn't consider the fact that not hating didn't mean over the Christmas pain. Foolish, really. But true.

To think... if my life were different, this would be the first Christmas that C. would start to really participate in the childhood wonder of Christmas tradition. His two-year-old eyes would take it all in; in wonder, in disinterest, in fear, who knows? Would he boldly march up to Santa Clause for his Christmas photo, or would he burst out in hysterics? Would he tear open his presents and play with all the toys, or would the wrapping and boxes be so much more interesting?

There would be sloppy kisses, and fights with his cousins over new toys, and my total annoyance at the insanely impractical gifts from his grandparents. He would be overtired and overstimulated, or laid back and cozy, or a bit of both. We would go to the park or skating or play street hockey, and he would insist on playing, even though his legs are too short to keep up with his cousins and he would probably end up crying. His dad would video it all.

I don't usually allow myself this indulgence... who he would have been. But there is something about the Babe's impending arrival that has allowed me this without stepping too far into the realm of imagination. And losing myself there.

And then my heart tears in two with longing, knowing how much I miss him.

None of this weight is lifted by the uncertainty that I feel regarding the Babe's safety. I suspected that I would be more fearful towards the end, and I am. There are so many unknowns - even down to where I am supposed to deliver. Is s/he okay in there? Are we going to get so close and then lose it all again? My strength and hope is faltering in these last weeks.

I am looking forward to two months from now, when I am past this Season of Pain.

Friday, December 08, 2006

...and the results are:


Well, the morning session was crap. Have you ever written an exam where you looked up at the clock and discovered that you were half done and there were only 15 more minutes to complete 40 questions? Then you might have done what I did this morning; start filling in answers randomly, with no thought to process or rules of engagement. They can't give me partial marks if I write nothing. So I wrote something. Gibberish is better than blank, right?

The afternoon session went quite well. Though I have some complaints about the format and the authenticity of assessment that would be possible from such a poorly constructed exam. But I expected that, so didn't let it phase me.

I didn't have to pee and my back held up to the strain. Thanks to you all for the good vibes. The Babe tried to kick me answers in Morse code, but I don't speak Morse code.

I am still upset about my crappy morning. Well, sort of. I believe it is still possible to pass. And that is all I care about. Whatever my mark is, I will not be satisfied - I could have answered properly, given a little more time...

Only one more examination to complete to achieve the certification that I am working towards. Perhaps in the summer I will do that. Until then, I shall put it all out of my mind.

Tonight is the office Christmas dinner. I hope there is something double-chocolatey for dessert. I earned it!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Bits 'n pieces

Tomorrow is big exam day. My body is currently ill-suited to sitting for 6 hours straight (OK, not straight, I do get a lunch break). My brain is ready, my body is not.

And the exam monitor is not supposed to let me leave the room to pee. Good thing I know the exam monitor personally and suspect she is willing to bend the rules for my poor, little cramped bladder.

Please, please, please send me tons of good vibes tomorrow. Especially the kind that help with backaches.


We saw our GP on Wednesday. She was not particularly concerned with anything that our OB discovered last week. In some ways, that is a consolation to me. She is a good doctor who cares a lot about us and she isn't worried about the Babe right now. In other ways, I want a reaction. I want my caregivers to spring into action at any sign of difficulty.

I did, however, get her to agree to me doing weekly NSTs from this point forward. Hooray! Though the NSTs are certainly not "non-stress"-ful, they are really the only touchstone that I have with the Babe's well-being.


I like cake. Yummmmm.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Little update

Friday's NST went well enough. It took us 2 hours to get 20 minutes of good strip - the Babe apparently joined Cirque de Soliel and was showing off. I had to keep moving the transducer-thingy to find the heartbeat again every time s/he moved. This is also one of those fun little side effects of polyhydramnios - gives more fluid to play around in, making things like NSTs and Doppler-ing more difficult.

Secondly, it is actually quite horrifying to listen to a heartbeat (for the better part of 2 hours) that has an arrhythmia. badump, badump, badump, badump (130 bpm)... pause... badump, badump, badump, badump (130 bpm)... Sorry, but I am not crazy for listening to my kid's heart skip a beat.

Saturday was a barrel of monkeys, when we went out to a movie (Stranger Than Fiction - LOVED it) and I sat there with Braxton Hicks contraction after BHC. It took about 2 hours after we got home from the movie for things to settle down. They were strong enough and regular enough for me to time them - 12 minutes apart for 90 minutes. Oh fun.

Felt fine on Sunday, but discovered when I slipped out to renew my cell phone contract that any time spent on my feet is inducing strong BHC. Which will stop when I lie down. This is "cramping" my style (hardy, har, har).

So, with the added worry of BHC when I have already been informed about my increased chance of pre-term labour from the polyhydramnios... well, we are a little stressed around our house. Ever pain I feel, I imagine to be placental abruption. Every contraction: pre-term labour. Every time I pee: has my water broken?

Oh, this is fuuunnnnn...

5 more weeks.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

If you don't have anything nice to say...

We saw our OB on Tuesday. In that visit we learned via ultrasound that the Babe has a cardiac arrhythmia and is measuring several weeks bigger than dates. I have polyhydramnios. All three issues could be self-resolving. So we wait and see our OB again in a few weeks.

In the mean time, I am getting more bloodwork done to rule out things like gestational diabetes (even though I passed the 1 hour screen) and we will see our GP next week. Our regularily scheduled NST is tomorrow.

Nothing to be done but watch and wait. I am not panicking right now... ask me again in 15 minutes.

Anyone with personal experience with any of these things, please feel free to comment, especially if you had a good experience!

P.S. This little person is getting really strong and kicking the crap out of me. And, I don't mind!

Friday, November 24, 2006

"How much longer?... What, are you serious?... But you're so big..." and Other Insightful Comments

Okay, so I realize that people have short memories. But seriously, I was exactly this big at this time 2 years ago. In fact, I was bigger. At least according to the scale, I was bigger. So what is this new fascination the world has with my size?

Why is it okay to comment on a woman's size when she is pregnant? Why are we not socialized to understand that those comments are not okay? In fact, I will admit to you right now that have made those comments myself (though not in this post-deadbaby life).

I have had this conversation at least half a dozen times in the last week:

When are you due?
The end of January.

Are you serious?
[Strained smile]

But you're so big... are you sure you aren't having twins? (giggle, giggle)
I am sure [smile even more strained, looking for escape route].

I have decided that my counterattack to this approach, for those who are aware of the circumstances surrounding C's death and birth, will be to bring up my last pregnancy. Not only are they offering me a chance to talk about C (unknowingly, of course), but it generally shuts people up.

In fact, that may become my new policy to control all gratuitous, uninvited pregnancy talk. Is the baby moving? Why yes. This baby sure moves around in a different way than C did. That's going to be a big baby! Possibly. Of course, I gained more weight with C. and he weighed just under 7 lbs - not so big, really.

Perhaps what I need to do is take a page out of the "normal" pregnancy book. Most second-time mammas take pride in the fact that they have been there before. They are old hands at this. When someone offers unsolicited advice or commentary, they breezily mention their previous pregnancy. All that is stopping me from doing the same is my sense that somehow people might find it inappropriate. And that "excuse" is wearing rather thin these days.


No one really tells you about the destruction that is extolled upon your pelvis in the process of carrying and delivering babies. And it seems as though my pelvis is about to kick the big one. I have pain. Pain that this part of my pelvis has never experienced before. Pain that is currently preventing me from standing/walking/moving my leg.

Check back in 50 years. I will be the one working on her second hip replacement. God, I hope hip replacement/reinforcement surgeries improve quickly. Epiphany: this is where my charity dollars should go (please ignore how selfish that sentiment really is).


I have recently been giving a lot of thought to the relationship that I have with one of my husband's inlaws. We were, at one time, quite close (so I thought). We aren't now.

In those first few months after C's death, I will admit that I leaned rather heavily on her. She was a person that I thought I could trust. For those first 6 months, I would talk to anyone who would listen. I would say the same things over and over again. She seemed to listen with sensitivity and compassion and empathy. How lucky was I?

Then, sometime that summer something happened. She stopped answering when I called. In desperation, and partially to see if I was imagining things, I left a highly emotional message on her machine, about how I wasn't doing well and I needed to spend some time with my family. She didn't return my call for over a week.

I kept up the trailing puppy-dog act until Christmas. Our decision to stay at home so that we could survive the day was never emotionally understood. No offer was made for her family to come to visit us here.

In January of this year, I quit her. I quit calling her, I quit seeking her out in any way. She has never once sought me out in the last 11 months, in any way.

Would you like to know how many conversations I have had with her since we announced our pregnancy? None. I don't count the actual announcement conversation where she could barely muster the energy to pretend to be excited. How many conversations did we have during C's pregnancy? Dozens and dozens. She was my mentor.

So here I sit again tonight, in mourning. I am mourning the loss of an idealized sister-figure. I am mourning that the Babe isn't being doted on in the way that his brother was. I am mourning that the relationship has become so disfunctional. I am mourning my loss of respect for her.

I doubt that I will ever confront her regarding our loss of relationship. I can only begin to imagine what it was that pushed her away. It could easily be the selfishness that I have had to don as a protective cloak since C. died. But I can't and won't apologize that - it has kept me alive. It could be the that she has something of a disfunctional relationship with most of our family members and I just fit into that category now. I just don't know and I won't ever know.

But it helps to tell those of you who have also lost these people in your lives. It is easy to let go of the the ones that never meant that much in the first place. And it is easy to celebrate those unexpected people that came in and helped you pick up some of the pieces. It is not easy to let go of those people that you thought would be there, through thick and thin, and they just couldn't (or worse, wouldn't).


Quick thoughts:

Kate: we are thinking compression from the patterns of heartrate on the NSTs. U/S says cord bloodflow is a-okay.

WTF: I am knitting the blanket using a "pattern" that I made up and intarsia technique.

Rosepetal (and others): I would gladly share the template for my "kickcount" spreadsheet. Let me know if you want it now or later.

All: thanks for the advice re: who you talk to for advice. Seems that most of you follow the same tact as I do.

Thursday, November 23, 2006


What's the deal with switching to beta? Do I want to do this? It seems like Blogger is now trying to trick me into switching! Is resistance futile?


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Prenatal report - almost 30 wks

We met with our doctor yesterday. The impression that I was left with is that she would prefer to turn our care over to an obstetrician (our doctor is "just" a GP). I am disappointed with this - it means that the likelihood of us delivering at the hospital 5 minutes from our house is getting slimmer all the time. But if it is the right thing to do, we will do it. We haven't made a decision about this yet.

Also, it looks like there could possibly be some cord compression happening in there. Not surprising, really. But this does NOT automatically mean the worst. It simply means that we have to be extremely vigilant with NSTs and ultrasounds. Which we are doing already.

Now, this next bit I am posting for two reasons. One, maybe it will help someone else. Two, I need some reassurance that I am not being obsessive.

I have decided to track the Babe's movements in a spreadsheet. It actually has helped me to NOT obsess about what s/he is doing in there. Every half-hour, I mark off movement in the little box and then carry on with my day. I don't spend time trying to remember what her/his pattern of movement is - I just write it down. Also, I am keeping track of hiccups, BH contractions, etc.

Any advice? What do you think? Just trying to save my sanity here...

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Perspective for those who haven't been there

In this post, I gave one example of how my brain is rewired. Then Kate gave an example in her comment. I actually think this is a very interesting thread. So, please - how has your brain been rewired?

delphi: You know you are managing a subsequent pregnancy after loss when your main train of thought is not "what type of diapers should I use" but rather "........THERE. S/he moved. Still alive."

Kate: Here's another from my life -- "ooh, a coupon for menstrual pads! I'd better keep that, it will be useful if i miscarry!"

msfitzita: This terrifies me. As much as I want to be pregnant again, I picture a subsequent pregnancy as one long panic attack. I can't even begin to imagine how I'll cope.

Julian's Mom: The example that comes to mind is keeping the tags on everything I bought for the baby in case I needed to return it or sell it on eBay.

Aussie Kate: Two examples that spring to mind:DH and I feeling sick to our stomachs when purchasing out cot and change table while I was 24 weeks pg.Mentally rewording pg announcements "we're going to have a baby" to "well, you're pregnant and will have a baby if it all works out".

Rosepetal: I'm going to be brutally honest here. Although I don't consider myself suicidal or even clinically depressed, I do think that if DH were to die now, before I get pregnant again, I would have nothing left to live for, there would be no part of him left. (There's no reason for him to die now, but as we know there's no reason for lots of shitty things). So I do sometimes find myself imagining how I would go about that, should that hypothetical scenario arise.

Sarah: How about in addition to figuring out due dates for each month of TTC, I also keep track of when 6 and 12 weeks would be and wonder when in that time period I'll miscarry.We're planning a ski trip with my sister in January and I'm worried that i'll get pregnant next month and then be miscarrying on the trip...

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Where do you go for advice?

When engaging in the act of lunacy commonly known as subsequent pregnancy after a loss, where do you turn for advice? Do you talk every little thing over with friends, family, casual acquaintances? Do you keep it between you and your partner? How much help can your doctor be?

Don't panic, nothing is wrong with the Babe. But, every day we face choices dealing with care and management of the pregnancy. Sometimes we really have to struggle to come up with an answer. So many of our questions don't even really have a "right" answer.

So where do you turn? Who gives you the best advice? Is life easier when more people know what you are struggling with or less?

Just wanted a little outside perspective from the smartest group of people I know (that would be you).

The Rewired Brain of the Bereaved Parent

You know you are managing a subsequent pregnancy after loss when your main train of thought is not "what type of diapers should I use" but rather "........ THERE. S/he moved. Still alive."

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Intarsia: Easier than you think.

Colour blocking is way easier than than it looks. It is way easier than doing some fancy stitch, like a cable or moss stitch. The only thing that you have to do is this: when you switch colors, cross the yarn that you are knitting with over the new colour. So that they twist and pull the two colours together. Otherwise there is a hole in the knitting. Whenever I am doing intarsia blocks, I use a stocking stitch. Knit one row, purl the next. Simple. Easy on my hands (which sometimes exhibit signs of a repetitive stress injury when I spend too much time knitting). The only really annoying thing about intarsia is that you have a WHOLE lot of ends to work in when you are done. Actually, I work them in as I go, or I get the little ends confused with the yarn I am supposed to be knitting with.

Also, most normal people would not knit this whole pattern in one long row. A normal person would knit all the squares separately, sew them together, then pick up the stitches required along the sides to do the border. I hate sewing the pieces together (they never look smooth and perfect, especially when using boucle yarn - which I love for blankets). I also hate trying to pick up stitches along the edge of a finished piece. For those two reason, I prefer to suffer the insanity of having 13 balls of yarn attached to one blanket at a time.

Also, I like working blankets on my US8 round needles. That is the perfect gauge for the boucle and the round needles make working the whole thing at once possible.

By the way, I am basically a self-taught knitter, so I am probably doing EVERYTHING the hard way. I know I have terrible technique (I no longer will knit when my grandmother is in the room, because she can't believe how bad my technique is..."if you just would hold the work this way, dear, it would be a lot easier..." easy for her to say, after 6 decades of holding her work in the European style... I tried it and nearly lost my sanity, so American style for me).

Sorry to those who are reading this and thinking what the hell is she talking about?

I don't have anyone here to talk to about knitting. Can you tell?

Monday, November 13, 2006

1524 kilometers later...

Well, we are home after a lovely trip together. We visited some family, we went to see a favourite professional sports team, and we only managed to get lost (not seriously) once. I promise you will never see us on The Amazing Race. We can't even navigate in our own country.

Of course, a weekend away would not be complete without a few complaints. So here we go:
  • I have a new rule: stay-at-home moms who have never had a loss, and who hang out with other stay-at-home moms, and who grew up in a town of less than 3000 people are NOT TO BE DEALT WITH. We visited with such a relative this weekend, and all she spoke about the whole time was 1) her kids/pregnancies 2)her friends' kids/pregnancies 3) who is likely to get married soon 4) how long before these people who might get married will have kids 5) who's planning on getting married and when she intends to have kids. My tolerance for such conversation wanes drastically after a few hours.
  • I really hate when people tell me what my life will be like when the Babe arrives. "You won't do that anymore" and "you won't have time for this anymore" blah, blah, blah. Don't tell me what my life will be like. You don't know. You told me the same things 2 years ago and it didn't come to pass, now did it? Don't be a know-it-all. Mantra: they are just trying to be nice and make conversation, they are just trying to be nice, they are just trying to be nice...
  • Every single person that we spent time with this weekend went out of their way to be kind - driving us around the strange city, feeding us, sharing their homes with us. It kind of helps to drive away any residual negative feelings that I have regarding their clueless (though kindly meant) comments.

Now - the real concern here: Knitting. If you don't knit, you may as well just go to the comment section now. Skip this. Do not pass go.

I finished a sweater I was knitting. There will be photos forthcoming.

I began work on a blanket for the Babe. Lordy, I undertake projects that require little talent but are confusing as hell. Oh, and I always make up my own patterns for blankets. For those who care, this is what I am doing:

Click here for a schematic and here for a photo of actual work (sorry, stupid blogger won't do photos right now).

As you can see from the second photo, managing the colour blocks requires a LOT of small balls of yarn. The border is all knitted. The middle section is all stocking stitch. My pattern?

Cast on 85 stitches in cream. Work 8 rows knitting. On row 9, knit 5 stitches in cream. Switch to blue, work the heart section (25 stitches) in stocking stitch. Switch to purple, work the star section (25 stitches) in stocking stitch. Switch to blue, work the heart section (25 stitches) in stocking stitch. Knit 5 stitches in cream. Continue working through charts, with border always in knit stitch and the colour blocks always in stocking stitch. (If ever you actually want to knit a blanket like this, I can give you a MUCH more detailed pattern, but you get the gist, right?)

My new secret weapons for this knitting - rubber needle ends. They keep the work from falling off when you are messing around with balls of yarn. Also, to keep my yarn from getting TOO confusing, I skewer them all on extra knitting needles, except for the one I am actually knitting with.

The symbolism? The cream is left over from the blanket I started for C. that was buried with him. Blue is my favourite colour. Purple is a favourite of my husband. Hearts are for love and stars are for dreams.

Do I sound proud of myself? Well, I am for now. We'll see how this project progresses.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A few ramblings...

  • Why am I getting more stretch marks? What is wrong with the skin that is already stretched? Can't I just stretch there again? I suppose that each of my children has the right to mark my body, as well as soul, but the vanity of my stomach area begs to be let off. How attractive is a purple-streaked tummy? That isn't going to show up in the Pregnancy Bikini section of a high-class pregnancy magazine any time soon.
  • In response to my last post, Yes. All of the people who have been engaging me in nonchalant pregnancy conversation in the past week know about C. and were around when it all happened. I get the feeling that I am giving out a 3rd trimester vibe (could be my hugeungous belly), which means "nothing can now go wrong" in their forgetful little brains. Harrumph.
  • We experienced a fun little comedy of errors in obtaining some medical records this week. Oh dear. Medical personnel do not (as a rule) have much talent for operating office equipment.
  • Canadian Conservatives are left-wing in comparison to American Democrats. It will be quite interesting to see how this new political set up will affect relations between our two countries. Though our PM was happy to align himself with Republicans, Canadian politics never truly come close to true conservatism. Will Canada/US relations improve or worsen in the coming months? Perhaps a vote of No-Confidence will have us changing PMs soon anyway...
  • Why is it raining? It is November 8th, after all. I suspect it is raining only to prepare a nice icy surface upon which to lay a nice layer of snow.
  • Last night, the Babe was rolling her/his feet around the top of my abdomen and my husband felt it. How amusing for all of us!

We are taking a weekend away, leaving tomorrow. It should be fun (though I will be sitting for 7 hours each way in the car... We will be stopping regularly, I promise.). I intend to get a lot of knitting done.

ta ra!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I spoke too soon...

In my last post, I took a moment to commend those around me who have been sensitive to my unspoken desire to not discuss pregnancy. While there are, undoubtedly, still several people who will continue to extend this sensitivity to me, the group that I sat with in the cafeteria for lunch yesterday was not feeling particularity sensitive.

When I sat down at the table, someone pulled out my chair for me. Someone else quipped "that's not far enough." Ha, ha, fine. So I am big. I actually didn't mind that. But it was a Pandora's box. That one little joke started a 5 minute conversation about me, my pregnancy, and my plans for when the baby comes.

Want to strike panic into my soul? Use that phrase: when the baby comes. In particular, the conversation focused around my plan to discontinue some of my after-work activities for the New Year. I was teased that I could continue, just pop the baby into a carrier and off I go! Little did these people know the distress they were causing me.

Frankly, I fully intend to by too busy caring for the Babe, dealing with any residual grieving relating to C.'s missing place in our life, and trying to settle into a parenting pattern with my husband to worry about extra activities. And I know that if that does not come to pass, I will not be leaving my house. Either way, I will not be looking to save to world in January. I have other plans.

That's not to say that I don't look forward with excitement and anticipation to Babe's arrival. I am just too gun-shy to look at it as a certainty. And it is just too upsetting that it isn't obvious to the world that I don't want to talk about it frivolously with a group of people that I barely know while trying to eat my lunch.

Maybe I should practice a new phrase... "I don't want to talk about it."

Instead, I sit and squirm.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Prenatal Report - 27 wks ***updated

We saw the doctor yesterday. The update?

  • I gained WAAAAAAAAY too much this month. This MUST be controlled in the next 13 weeks (11 if I have my way). Thanksgiving and Halloween are over. No more treats until Christmas, right?
  • Fundal height measured a little too big. I am not really worried about it and an ultrasound is scheduled for less than 2 weeks, so we will double check size then, I am sure.
  • We are starting bi-weekly NSTs* tomorrow.
  • Glucose screen tomorrow.
  • Refill of hemorrhoid cream prescribed.
  • Learned that the hospital obstetric schedule for our city has changed, so we may have to deliver (in January, in Canada, probably -30 degrees C) 80 kilometers away. If I am lucky, I can share a room with a meth-head instead of enjoying the comfortable, homey, private room in my own hospital 5 blocks away (sarcasm drips).

How am I dealing? I am holding it together. Some days better than others.

The people who "knew me when" have been relatively sensitive about not trying to discuss this pregnancy too much. It's the people that I have recently met are still are chatty - maternity leave, what are you having, blah blah blah. Some days I can handle it, some days it makes me SOOOOO angry - mind your own damn business, please. The unsolicited advice. Look, I've done this before.

My body hurts. I am having lots of Braxton Hicks. They take my breath away. I try not to worry, but...

I am exhausted from my work schedule. I just finished something of a major project. Now on to Phase 2. I am worn out.

I am thrilled to have reached 27 weeks. The Babe's closet is chock full of the most adorable outfits ever. This kid is going to be way better dressed than me. Also, movement has settled into a nice little pattern, which means when nap-time comes around at 2 p.m. I don't panic.

Getting there, getting there. Right?

*no, not nests. Sorry for the confusion, Treggles!


Okay. Tests were fine. Here is a problem, though:

bi‧week‧ly –adjective
1.occurring every two weeks.
2.occurring twice a week.

How can one little benign word mean two completely opposite things??? The NSTs will be "every two weeks", not "twice a week."

I think the real question on everyone's mind is this: why on earth did she write this post in the first place if the whole thing would be so full of confusion, misspellings, nests, and general craziness. I give up. Consider this post corrected - for the last time!!!

P.S. Hooray (scroll down to see the whole thing...)!!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

I could look at you for hours.

When I look at the photos of C., I recognize my son in a way that I recognize no other person on earth. Part of me and part of my husband. Pure love.

What a beautiful, beautiful boy. You make me smile.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


Look at the ticker. 100 days. No more than 86, if I have my way about induction.

Touch wood that this is unnecessary information, but the Babe would have a good chance on her/his own at 26 weeks. I am old-fashioned, though, and will feel even better in two more weeks. And 4 more weeks, etc., etc.

She/he is a very obliging soul and wakes up to kick whenever I have a panic attack. You see a pregnant woman lightly slapping her belly? That's probably me waking up the Babe. Quite rude, I know, but the Momma needs to know that the panic can be shelved, at least for a couple of minutes.

If that chick from HR mentions the "Dependent information update" form to me one more time, I may have to destroy her. Yes, I have the form to fill in when the baby is born. Yes, I know my health coverage will not extend to her/him if I don't fill in the form and return it. Now... do you know that I have already had one occasion where such a form was rendered completely unnecessary?

I am coordinating a project at work that requires submissions of vital information to me from my colleagues. And there is one guy who hasn't done his work. Great. So I am the one who will look like I can't coordinate a project. Sigh.

I will be reducing the number of hours I am putting into the courses that I am taking, come November. I am already feeling quite prepared for the December examinations, and my advisor agrees. Thank God. I can't keep up this pace.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Weekend Report

We had a nice weekend. Weird weather, ranging from a blue-sky, cloudless, sunny day to snow. A blue jay found our bird feeder. My husband chased the stupid orange tabby out of our yard that keeps killing the sparrows. We rented movies and I worked on an important craft project. I finished two novels. It was homey.

We went to church on Sunday morning. I did a lot of thinking about my personal understanding of my own faith during the boring (read - too theological) sermon. I feel good about my thinking, and resolve to continue that process on a more regular basis. A continual evaluation of our spiritual existence is something we all need to do, regardless of our personal belief system. Our understanding of the world must always grow and adapt to accept and incorporate our daily experiences, no?

So my weekend reviews - books and movies.

On Beauty by Zadie Smith

I really did enjoy this book. If you have ever graced the hallowed halls of academia, you would probably find much to think about in the narrative. I especially liked the theme that dealt with liberalism vs. Conservatism. The argument was presented by one of the characters that liberals are liberal with everyone (homosexuals, minorities, immigrants, women, etc.) except for conservatives. It made me think about my personal intolerance for specific people I know with particularly conservative views. Also, the issue of race was explored in a way that made me think about my personal biases more closely. Four out of five stars from me.

London is the Best City in America by Laura Dave

Love, love, LOVED it. It took me only a few hours to read. It told the story of a young women who, after breaking off a relationship becomes completely stalled in her life. In returning to her family home for a weekend wedding, she starts to deal with this stuff. When I was finished, I did that thing where I go back and read my favourite chapters over again. A definite five out of five stars. Besides - GREAT title.

Movie: RV

Robin Williams. Too much poo poo humour at the beginning. A little dull at moments. Some fine physical comedy. Like the ending well enough. If you want, you can rent it.

Movie: Capote

I was well-informed before I started watching this that it was a character piece and not a plot-driven movie. Unfortunately, I was more in the mood for something exciting, plot-wise. Don't get me wrong, it was an excellent movie with some very fine acting. I just wasn't in the mood. A good renter, but make sure you are in the mood first.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


A recent email from SHARE: If you watch this, you will discover the segment was more about the choice to use a surrogate than about Babyloss, but hey - something is better than nothing, right?

The response to the Today Show segment on the death of a baby was OVERWHELMING and the story broke all kinds of unprecedented records!!! NBC Today Show was concerned about losing viewership to the Mel Gibson interview with Diane Sawyer and the gap between the networks was narrowing but they won the Nielson rating by a whooping 1.5 million viewers (double their usual difference). They also had over 400,000 people view the piece online on CNBC and over 99,000 hits to the NBC website which usually averages about 17,000 hits. This was such an important story that has touched so many lives and Kathy personally received over 400 emails thanking her for starting the Jakob’s Room Project for family and friends to grieve their loss.

We understand they are going to do a follow up show !! PLEASE continue to write or call NBC, saying "thank you." Due to the response, they have reloaded the clip back up on their site as of 8:30 this evening. Yes, they are listening.

Send emails to: and call: phone 212-664-4602

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

What the Heck?!?!?

I spent yesterday in bed with... no, not a cold. With hemorrhoids. How fun. I will spare you the gory details, but I required a day off my, well, butt to allow for the swelling to go down. Haven't had hemorrhoids? Oh, well, sorry about your luck. It seems that some people have backaches in the second trimester. I get hemorrhoids.

Today looked much brighter, with the swelling mostly gone and the ability to sit restored. Then I had breakfast. Perhaps I can blame my new prenatal supplement - I threw up. Then I had breakfast and another vitamin. Then I threw up.

Oh, I am a real joy.

All I can say is that I am glad it is cold season. When I phone in sick, I let me voice be a little more creaky than normal and the guy on the other end says "ooo, you sound sick." And I don't have to explain the mechanics of trying to elevate your butt while negotiating a 24 week tummy. Or explain that the puking is not normal, yet also not really worrisome.

I bet you wanted to know all that, didn't you??

So, anyways, for fellow sufferers, you must get one of these. It is less obvious than the rubber donut and works just as well (if not better).

And while my husband was at the store, he got one of these.

And I like 'em both.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Another lost soul

Please take a moment to offer Emma's Mum some support - she and her husband could definately use it right now.

Monday, October 16, 2006


So this is my plan:
  • read blogs no more than once a day
  • write posts no more than once every other day and no less than once a week
  • limit my internet time (emailing, etc.)

I need to make space for life in my life. I need to telephone friends and work on my craft projects. I need to read my way through your book recommendations for me. And I need to find this time outside of the time that is already occupied by work and the two courses that I am taking. And husband time. And watching my favourite TV shows on tape (so I can ffwd the commercials and not get sucked in by some crappy other show that I don't want to watch).

Thank you for missing me, by the way. That is a pretty cool feeling.

So, book review time. No computer on the weekend meant that I read a book:

The Wonder Spot - Melissa Bank

I really liked it. It had a good narrative and an interesting (but not too screwed up) main character. I would recommend as a 4 out of 5 star read. Go to Amazon to read a synopsis. I may check out Melissa Bank's other novel when I am further on in my list.

Thanks to Julian's Mom for that one.

Okay. Time's up. Done blogging for the day. All's well with the Babe, though I think s/he may have turned rightside up in the night? There was a whole lot of movement in there. I am hoping s/he is still head down.

Friday, October 13, 2006

I shouldn't touch things...

I started messing around with the template and settings and now have misplaced my archives, etc. So, some moment when I have some time, I will fix that up.

Also, I think it would be good for me to get away from blogging for a while. It isn't helping me sort out my problems the way I had hoped. So I am deciding to take a little break. I need to try and devote more time to other aspects of my life.

I will likely check in as soon as I have some spare time. In the meantime, head over to and check out the planned activities for Sunday!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Canadian Football League Day of Reckoning (and other Thanksgiving News)

Today is a big football day. Canadian football. Which is related to American football, not European football. And also related to rugby. As usual, my favourite team is doing nothing but stinking up the field.

I will be napping soon. We had a very successful family visit, with no discomfort or unpleasantness. But I am very tired. And I hours and hours of coursework to do for the classes I am taking, plus overtime work to take care of before tomorrow. Nap first.

I am proud of how I handled all of the pregnancy-related questions that I had to deal with. I answered them. I didn't get upset. Hooray for me.

The Babe was performing tricks. Bouncing little feet against the top of my belly. And the ultrasound photos that were given to us two weeks ago were a big hit.

Near the end of the visit, one of my family members told me of two of my third cousin's current pregnancies. Cousin A has just learned that her baby has an omphalocele and now must make a decision of how to continue her prenatal care, whether she will terminate (highly unlikely), where to deliver, etc. Cousin B has learned that her life-long liver disfunction could easily lead to a terminal heart condition in her developing baby.

I don't know how to feel about this. I guess I am just not surprised. And I am sad about that. I am sad that I am a person who has learned to expect the worst and am surprised when I learn that a baby has lived. I have to admit that I don't feel sad or worried, etc. etc. I just sort of feel like more dead babies are inevitable.

Dealing with my own anxieties - I had a weekend of slightly scary moments. I had horrible intestinal distress at 5 a.m. yesterday morning, making me worry about preterm labour (again - I have no history of this...why am I so crazy about it?). My Doppler saved my sanity until it was time for the Babe to get up and get moving.

Then I survived my first set of fetal hiccups. Fetal hiccups lasting longer than 10 minutes, occurring regularly (like daily) are a sign of cord compression. C. had hiccups constantly in those last weeks. The Babe started at about midnight last night. I lay there in bed, holding still. Making sure I could feel that rhythmic, light movement. Watching the clock. 6 minutes. Safe. Normal. Don't panic.

23 weeks is when the neurons that control the hiccups are developing. So I need to expect that Babe will be hiccupping more in the next few weeks. I will be the neurotic woman in the corner, holding the stopwatch.

Friday, October 06, 2006

The forest for the trees.

We are mere moments away from the Thanksgiving long weekend. Hooray for Monday off. Which, for me, means a wedding to attend and a family to feed. Which I am okay with - the last wedding of the season and the family that I can deal with (well, mostly).

I phoned to verify weekend details with one of my family members, PG. When we were discussing the upcoming wedding, PG asked if I had given any thought to who the other guests may be. How empathetic, I think to myself, that he would realize that going to weddings with people that I haven't seen since I was 7 is something that might be uncomfortable for me. That it is incredibly likely that someone who doesn't know our story (or worse, someone who does) will stick their foot in their mouth.

PG then goes on to point out that JF will be there, and reminds me that JF's father was killed in a horrible accident less than a year ago. So I should give some thought to what I intend to say to JF, you know, so I don't say something that I regret.

Um....Hello???? I can't tell you have disappointed I was in PG, that he wasn't able to see the implications of what he was saying to me. First, what on earth would I ever say to JF that would be so bad? Is she going to give any thought to how I might feel when she walks in with her 3 month old (doubt it)? Secondly, does anyone leave home and think "Oh, delphi might be there. I should remember not to gush about my new granddaughter and how everyone should have babies in their families" (um, that would be a resounding NO)? Did he imagine that I might say "so, how's life without the old man - I am so jealous!" (which is a variation on the "it must be nice to not have to chase after kids" that I get all the time)?

I think it is obvious that PG is nervous about seeing JF and is projecting that nervousness on to me. If anything, JF having a dead father helps me deal with (in my weird and sick way) the fact that she has a living infant. Puts us on an even playing field, in that sick way that my damaged psyche requires.

The thing that kills me is this: I deal with inappropriate comments on almost a DAILY basis. On the odd occasion where I have lamented this fact to PG, he has reminded me that I shouldn't take it to heart and that people mean well. Now he is warning me not to say those idiotic things to a bereaved daughter.... Seriously?

I can't really be angry with PG for this. I am just hurt that he doesn't understand me better - he is one of the people that I turn to when the chips are down. When he totally misses the point like this, it hurts me in a way that is hard to express.

I wish I had the courage and the opportunity to sit him down and explain it to him. More to the point, I wish I didn't have to.


More related to looking forward to the weekend - I almost forgot to thaw the turkey. It is about 12 lbs and will have 2.5 days to thaw in the fridge... I have never thawed a turkey before, so I hope that my Betty Crocker cookbook is right with the time. Or it may be a helping of salmonella for my Thanksgiving guests. Yummmm - with a side of cranberry sauce.

P.S. I think we should ban the Rolling Stones from ever touring Canada again. The Rolling Stones Report on the daily news has been driving me nuts every since they landed in Halifax a couple of weeks ago. They are icons, I get it. I DON'T CARE ANYMORE!!!!

Happy Turkey, everyone!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Time to wake up.

I have spent a lot of time in the past couple of days again reviewing the literature related to cord accidents. I have been in touch with Dr. Collins (thanks for the push, Catherine) and I am feeling relatively confidant that I am as educated as I can be.

Next step - continue to educate my doctor (aside: I sure hope that she knows I trust her, even though I bring her volumes of Case Studies and am constantly quoting Dr. Collins).

Final step - come to the realization that, no matter how much research I do into cord accidents, there is no way to bring C. back to life. My brain understands, but my heart doesn't.

Nothing is going to bring him back.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Prenatal Report - 22.5w

Monthly prenatal appointment today:
  • Babe is right on for size based on last week's ultrasound
  • My doctor is totally on board for the monitoring protocol
  • I gained a perfect 5.25 lbs (I was fearing 8... OK, 4 would have been better)
  • Fundal height measured a bit big (remind me how that is nothing to worry about...)
  • Lovely little heartbeat, right in range

So there you have it. 22 weeks down. Let's not discuss how many to go.

Took the words right out of my fingers...

deadbabymama just wrote the rant I hadn't had a chance to write yet.


Just what we need, another deranged act of violence blamed on the insane dead-baby parents. Because that's what we all do after our babies die - go out and murder 5 (and counting...) second-through-sixth grade Amish girls.

P.S. Why does the media pronounce "dead baby" in terms that explains why a deranged man would kill innocent girls (you know, so he wouldn't have to molest them)? And why do people who accept that as an explaination find it odd that I don't care to be around pregnant people?

In my world, the math would work like this:
killing people = bad. very, very bad
avoiding people that make you feel sad = understandable

In the rest of the world:
killing people = understandable, he has a dead kid, afterall
avoiding people that make you feel sad = you shouldn't let it bother you, you aren't a very good person if you can't get past such a small detail, are you?

Huh?? Huh??

Sunday, October 01, 2006

And today I feel loved.

Thanks to everyone for the very kind comments and emails. If I can figure out a way around the security software on my computer, I will attempt to join the world of Yahoo instant messaging. And, hopefully, eliminate the need for chatrooms in my life.

With a day's perspective, I have to say that the whole rant was built upon the foundation of an unmet need for instant gratification. There are several amazing women out in cyberspace that I could have emailed for support, or I could have blogged about what I was feeling. But I was in the mood for instant contact with the world of pregnancy-after-loss and, frankly, it is a pretty small world. Perhaps it isn't a world where 24-7 contact is available to those who want it.

Regardless, I have survived the disappointment quite well. And had a lovely weekend with my husband doing nothing special. It's just that I have been enjoying our time together so much. It is possible to be a little bored with a person when you have spent the better part of 8 years together. I have noticed in the last months that I am most certainly not bored, which is a lovely feeling. There is one thing going for me - my husband is the most interesting and enjoyable person I know. Good thing I married him.

I spent another few hours in the nursery tonight. I realized, now that we have purchased several gender-specific outfits, that the nursery closet would be a dead giveaway to anyone who opened the door. So I spent time moving all the gender-specific clothing to the back of the closet and hanging all of the whites and yellows at the front. And hanging the wrong-gender outfit that we have at the front, as a decoy. There are snoopy people in our family, so I have to think this way.

I am also spending time planning for Thanksgiving, coming this weekend. I am hosting our immediate families for the first time. It isn't really a big deal or anything. I am just trying to plan in advance due to the fact that I am tired most of the time. Our meal will be Sunday, so I will bake the pies on Friday and prepare the mashed potatoes and turnips on Saturday. My tiny kitchen does not lend itself to having a lot of activity all at once, so doing a little advanced cooking (and thus washing the dishes from said cooking in advance) will save a lot of hassle come Dinner Day.

I am not really sure why I am so keyed up for Dinner. I think it just comes down to the fact that I like to host things. It's fun. I am sort of looking forward to seeing our immediate family members. Then I remember that these people are the people who annoy me the most. Not necessarily all the time, but when they get down to the business of irritating me, they do it better than most. So I guess all I can do is hope for a not-annoying time.

In pregnancy news, the Babe is getting to be more active all the time. Which gives me ample opportunity to freak out when the activity stops. This morning, for example. Babe is usually pretty good about getting kicky when I start to roll around and wake up in the morning. Not so this morning. After a nice, sugary breakfast of Eggos with maple syrup, orange juice, and a banana, there was quite a bit of action. But enough time elapsed between my waking and Babe's aerobics that I went to that place in my head... where I was picking out a casket spray and making lists of everything that I would need to do to arrange bereavement leaves for my husband and me. My brain can be an ugly place to inhabit at moments.

A couple of times I have, in my mental dialogue with the Babe, referred to him/her by C's name. Normal, I suppose. My mom usually calls me by one of my siblings' names (if not all of them) before eventually getting to mine. But when the child in question is dead, it leaves you with a really horrified feeling.

And those are the fragments of my brain today.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Friday night rant ****updated****

I am tired and I am bored and my husband went to sleep at 8:00 p.m. I am agitated and my head hurts. I thought that I would go to the Grief and Loss chatroom at - I went there a lot in those first few weeks... haven't been there in months.

They have changed the interface. When I did finally get it figured out, and managed to get myself out of the main chat room and into the grief and loss room, there were two women in there chatting about circumcision. At one time in my life I might have cared. Now I want a baby that is alive. I DON'T CARE about the pros and cons of circumcision. Idiot1 and Idiot2 were just in the G&L room because the other rooms were too full.

So, into the main room I go and ask if anyone there had a loss and would they like to change rooms with me. I was ignored by all and they carried on their conversation about threesomes. Oh hooray, a bunch of naively blissfully horny pregnant women - just what I wanted (she says sarcastically).

This is what pisses me off - THIS IS MY REAL LIFE. Who wants to talk about dead babies in real life??? No one. Who gives a shit that I am sad and confused and joyous and terrified all at the same time every day of my real life??? No one. So I go to virtual reality to find people I can "talk" to and... no takers. Real life echoed in the virtual corridors of a stupid chat room.

Yeah my problems aren't as bad as some. But they are my problems. And it would be nice to be able to connect into the World Wide Web, populated by thousands of women who are (no doubt) feeling the same way that I am at this very moment, and actually be able to connect.

Yes, if I tried a little harder, I might be able to find another chat room that is discussing what I want to discuss. It just shouldn't be so damned hard. Everything else in my life is so frigging hard. I don't want this to be.

I guess I am just pissed off. And bored. Bad combination.


Updated to add:

I forgot to mention the part that set me off on this rant. I signed into the Grief and Loss Room. By way of introduction, I type "I had a son Jan/05 who was stillborn and am now due Jan/07". The response?



Okay, I admit it...

...we peaked. So now we are looking at only one half of the baby name book. I know I am just teasing you all with this, but I am not at the point where I can share what I saw. It's mine and I need to hold on to this information and roll it around in my heart and my mind. No one knows what we saw besides the tech, me, and my husband.

I needed to know. I needed to be able to bond with this kid as much as possible, as soon as possible. I was so angry that I didn't know gender when we found out C. was to be born dead. All that time that I could have been knowing my baby as a little boy that was wasted. He was gone before I knew he was a boy. We all have our weird regrets, and that is one of mine.

We two parents will talk it over and come to some sort of decision if I spill the beans here. Right now, I can't. We most certainly will not be telling any of our family or friends out here in Realville. It sort of goes hand in hand with my current state of avoiding all conversations pregnancy related. In a way, it is sort of mean to have this information and not share it with the people who care. But they don't know we know.

There are a lot of things that we know that they don't know.

This is getting all confusing and espionage-y. Forget it.


In other news, I am thinking that the time has come to join msfitzita in fighting to get some Canadian recognition of Oct. 15th. And perhaps it is time to address the stillbirth certificates issue, too. I could organize a letter writing campaign for my neighbourhood, couldn't I?

Somebody smack me - refer to below post. I am too tired for this. But I can certainly write a letter to my Immeasurably Stupid MP and get him to jump on the October 15th bandwagon of msfitzita's MP's private member's bill. Of course, the government might be defeated shortly and the bill might die on an order paper, but that's beside the point. One of these years, if we stick at it long enough, it might just sneak through and become legislation.

Then, I must write a letter to my Immeasurably Stupid MLA re: Stillbirth Certificates bandwagon, etc. etc. Any other Canadians out there would like a serving of activism with your pumpkin pie, now is a great time to get some recognition for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness in your community. Remember, the general public sees BabyLoss as something that happens to someone else. The only way MPs and MLAs (MPPs) will ever consider advocating for something like BabyLoss is if they get it from all sides.

I am stepping off the soapbox now.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Sooooo tired.

Where is this second trimester energy I've read all about?

Too tired to blog. And the one thing I might blog about, well, I need to talk it over with my husband first. Too tired to talk to husband. Too tired for complete sentences.

In the mean time, you MUST go here:


It is in Flash format, so be patient while it loads. Then you can see where your name fits.

Me: ranked highest in 1970s
DH: ranked highest in 1920s
C: ranked highest in 1980s

Where did you rank?

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

All is well

The ultrasound went well. The baby was very active, so it took a little longer for the tech to get the measurements. She assured us, however, that she didn't see anything that would give any indication of something wrong.

That was good news. The more disappointing news was that she isn't capable of doing the cord monitoring that I was hoping for. Which means that if we want to pursue this, we will have to see an OB in a nearby city. Sigh. What I don't want is to make a whole lot of winter road trips. But I guess that may be in our future.

I have a ton of real work to do (what, blogging isn't real work), so rather than start my own controversy, I suggest you go look at at what's brewing around town:

For stem cell controversy, go here.
For an... interesting... take on prayer, go here.
For birth story trauma, go here.
For a misdirected attempts at comforting the grieving heart, go here or here.
For an amusing take on the latest Mona Lisa news, go here.

Yes, I have opinions on each of these topics. No, I don't have enough energy to share them.

Now go. Argue amongst yourselves. (I love starting things I have no intention of finishing...)

Monday, September 25, 2006

Is it raining?

Last night I rearranged the nursery around the new bassinet. I can't stay out of that room. I can't do anything productive. I have started and set aside two books that I don't really love (from my list, not yours). My mind is a jumble.

Tomorrow is our mid-term ultrasound.

Maybe all this is real.

Maybe it isn't just a replay of 2 years ago. Why is everything so much the same then? Why is everyone asking me the same questions? Did the last 2 years not happen?

We went to a family wedding this weekend. Tally - 2 "everything is going to be okay this time, don't worry"s and 3 "so only a few more weeks, right?"s (uh, no 4 more months). Not a bad tally, all things considered, and I am now past all family functions for the foreseeable future.

I am nesting like I have 3 more weeks to wait, not 18 or so. A reaction to the fact that we didn't have everything perfectly ready for C's arrival home. I guess I need to have everything ready so that this baby knows that s/he's wanted. So s/he doesn't leave me.

Everyone told us with C. that we would get so many outfits and layettes and blah, blah, blah, don't buy anything, so we didn't. For a moment I considered tallying the money that we have already spent on this baby and decided it would be a bad idea. Suffice it to say that it would be shocking.

I'm not exactly in a bad place right now, but I am not in a good place. A decent night's sleep and a little less work would do wonders for my soul, but I don't know that any of that is going to happen.

Today I am scared and I am sad. I need a break. Or more sunshine. Sigh.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Some of Baby's new things

I don't know if this is for Baby or Daddy. Officially, for Baby, of course.

Then, I hummed and hawwed about a bassinet until this one came on sale for minimal money. Then I decided that it might be something convenient to have, even if it only is usable for the first 3 months. Ours is royal blue and white.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Losing Eddie

I just finished reading Losing Eddie by Deborah Joy Corey. I didn't really like it. It was written from the perspective of a pre-adolecent child and I just found that viewpoint irritating. By pure (un)luck, it was about the struggles of a family when their oldest son was killed in a car accident. I just chose the thing off the shelf at random and it was about the death of a child. Oh, and there was even a miscarriage alluded to. Sheesh.

So I didn't like the book, but it took me little more than 2 hours to read. I can see the appeal that it may have for other people (it was well written), just not my style.

Sadly, I am a Type A personality and can't quit a book once I've started it. But now, I can cross it off of my reading list and get on to some of the other books you've recommended.

P.S. If you haven't put in your recommendations yet, please do!

Water retention. ?

First of all, I am tired of typing out "my son" every time I refer to him. I can't think of anything cutesy that I want to call him, so we will go with his initial, C. This will hopefully reduce confusion when we get to picking out a name for this creature that currently is punching the living daylights out of my bladder (has his/her dad's sense of humour, I suspect).

Well, I was worried about weight gain. It isn't vanity, it is the "what if". With C., I gained nearly 50 pounds. Most of that happened in the second trimester. One of the arrogant OBs that checked on me during labour, when we already knew we would be delivering a dead baby, implied that his death somehow had to do with this massive weight gain. Mentally, I know that that OB was just an old, nearly-retired quack. Emotionally, I fear he was somehow right. In all of my attempts to blame myself for C.'s death, this is the thing that I can actually peg totally on me - I gained too much weight.

Then I remember how happy all the cakes and pies and cookies that I ate seemed to make C. and I am glad that I was able to spoil my son in that little way. And then I remember that weight gain has no impact on cord compression. And I remember that it all just came off (except 3 pounds) with almost no effort (lack of eating due to grief probably had more to do with it). Perhaps I am genetically programmed to gain more than average while pregnant.

That was perhaps a long and unnecessary preamble to make you understand my scale obsession. I weigh myself daily. Sometimes twice. I know you are supposed to weight yourself once a week, but I feel that it would foolish to go that long without knowing if I was on track for my 1 pound per week recommended gain. Don't worry, I am eating and eating well. I just am not allowing myself all the cakes and pies and cookies that I allowed myself with C.

So I had a bit of a ballooning in weight a few days ago (3 pounds in 3 days), which made me crazy with anxiety. I am thinking I was retaining water or something. I am back down the 3 pounds.

Now, to my S'mores granola bar and banana.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Right on, Rose.

Thanks for the book list. I shall mine my local library and see what I come up with. Sadly, the Bill Richardson (former host of the CBC afternoon radio show, and a pretty cool guy) novel that I am reading isn't very good. I haven't decided if I will turf it or finish it.

The sauce was good. It takes at least an hour to boil it down to "sauce", not the 20-30 mintues the recipe suggests. But then, I have made fresh sauce before. I knew that 20 minutes was a pipe dream. And hooray for my wonderful husband who did all the chopping.

Now, from today's episode of Criminal Minds:

It has been said, 'time heals all wounds.' I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, (protecting its sanity), covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But, it is never gone.
Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Recommendations please

I am now freaking out the the movement I feel today isn't as strong as what I felt yesterday. Oh, lordy, I know way too much about cord accidents. And I am also freaking out that my weight gain seems to have exploded with 2 pounds in 2 days (water retention or real weight????).

In the spirit of distracting my negative thoughts, I am looking for good novels. Old, new, whatever. I like all sorts of books, from eclectic genres. I have loved sci-fi, biographies, humourists, travelogues, romantic fiction, fantasy... Basically anything with a good, plot-driven narrative. Long descriptive passages bore me. Sorry that I am an MTV reader, in some respects.

My ultimate favourites are the Jane Austin novels. Romance and happy endings. That's the kind of thing that I go for.

Now, back to my regularly scheduled freak out.


Tonight's distraction:

Marinara/Nepoletana Sauce - a la my kitchen

1/4 cup of olive oil
6 cloves of garlic sliced in half
1 Whole Yellow Onion -- chopped fine
1 cup dry white wine

1 L pureed fresh tomatoes, skin removed, seeded
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup Fresh Parsley -- finely chopped
1 cup Fresh Basil -- finely chopped
1 teaspoon of oregano
1/2 Teaspoon thyme

1. Place garlic, onion, and olive oil in large sauce pan.
2. Turn heat to medium and cook until garlic is soft and lightly browned.
3. Add dry white wine. Reduce by half ( one to two minutes).
4. Add tomatoes and butter
5. Add basil, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper (to taste).
6. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer and cook until thickened approximately 20 to 30 minutes.

I have combined several recipes here, so hope it turns out!!! I never follow recipes properly, so it is always a bit of a crap shoot in my kitchen. I will, however, warn you if this recipe sucks.

Wakey, wakey

I woke up to my cat puking again this morning. At least it wasn't on a dry-clean-only object, the way it was on the weekend. She goes through these phases where she pukes 3 or 4 times a week, then nothing for a month or two. This morning I actually praised her for puking in a place that was easy to clean (bare hardwood)... the insane ravings of someone who has too many carpeted spots forever tainted with cat vomit.

I should point out that I have updated my list of blogs I visit. There are a couple of interesting things you may want to check out if you have time. Even a blog written by a dad (a highly under-represented group, no?).

Due to the puke-alarm, I am at work an hour before I normally would arrive. What to do, what to do???

I am still getting the odd contraction, but nothing regular. Sigh. Not bad news, but not "nothing to worry about."

Frost on the leaves and vehicles today. I suppose winter is really coming. My formerly favourable opinion about winter was forever tainted in January/05. At best, I can muster a feeling of ambivalence towards this impending chilly season.

A person shouldn't listen to Debussy this early in the morning - too reflective and melancholy.

Monday, September 18, 2006

8 quick cures for crankiness **updated**

On my daily news, this little piece popped up.

On my list:
1. Don't get/be pregnant. (** see update)

If you described my emotions for the last 20 weeks in one word, it would be cranky. I will do a proper list later...maybe, if I'm not too cranky.

Now, what are your top 8 de-crankifying tips?

-in no particular order:
1. Eat chocolate. Lots of it.
2. Listen to CBC Radio 2, except on evenings and weekends. Only the daytime shows are any good.
3. Scratch my kitty's chin and coerce her into a cuddle.
4. Pretend that I don't have to work.
5. Have a snooze.
6. Read Jane Austin, or watch a movie rendering of a Jane Austin novel.
7. Cuddle with my husband.
8. Do something creative.

**Update: I am not cranky because I am pregnant, I am cranky because I am a living coctail of hormones, leaving me little or no control over my emotions. And I can't sleep.

Sunday, September 17, 2006


I went in and was monitored. I didn't have to go to ER, I went to labour and delivery. They remember us up there, and don't poo poo our concerns.

The monitor didn't pick up any contractions and I didn't feel any while I was there. So they sent me home, told me to drink plenty of water, and take it easy. Which is what I was doing. I guess I feel better knowing that I have done everything that I could.

The contractions haven't really come back, though there seems to be tightening when I move around. Maybe they are settling down for another month.

My poor husband. My poor nerves.

I would prefer easy...

They have begun again. Contractions. Strong enough to cause me to breath a little heavier. Not regular. Not really painful, though slightly uncomfortable.

My water hasn't broken. I can only assume there have been no cervix changes. I can't see my doctor until Tuesday, and she basically said that there wasn't much to do about them anyway. They are pissing the baby off, since every time I get one, I get the crap beat out of me.

I am trying to keep from moving, which seems to keep them at bay, as much as anything does.

Don't I sound calm? Fatalistic might be a better word. My last trip to the ER was exactly a month ago, for the same complaint. They told me at 16 weeks, there wasn't anything they would/could do. I am 99% certain that I would get the same answer if I were to go again. And spending the day sitting in ER with non-OB doctors looking at me like I am in the wrong location is not my idea of a fun Sunday afternoon.

Like I want another ER doctor to condescendingly tell me (after I told him that I delivered my son at term) that "you will know if they are real labour contractions". Screw you, Dr. Arrogant.

I might be doing the wrong thing here. How the hell can I make objective decisions about medical care at this point in my history? Maybe I should be going into ER and demanding that they call in my doctor. I just don't know.

Why does this always happen on the weekends?

The contractions are not painful. They are not regular. My waters are intact. They baby is active. So here I sit.

Friday, September 15, 2006

WARNING: Photo of my belly

I took some tummy photos yesterday. Recording 20 weeks for posterity. Some might prefer not to see such a photo - so if this isn't your cup of tea, don't scroll down.

So, I'm not that big am I?

Things I need to say:

It is rude to say "how much longer" and when I say 5 months to say "oooooohhh" in that knowing voice that means this one is obviously eating too much; she shouldn't be this big this early. Well, smartie pants, though I have long legs, I am petite on top. So unless you plan on removing my bottom 3 ribs, this baby had no where to go but out. I'm only going to get bigger. I have only gained 8 pounds in 20 weeks (aside: a statistic that causes me a little worry, actually. Shouldn't it be a bit more???).

It is rude to send anyone forward-this-to-11-people-if-you-don't-something-bad-will-happen emails. Don't do it. Ever. Especially not to someone who had buried her son and is daring to believe that it won't happen again. I have already paid off my karmic debts to the gods of chain letters and I will delete yours.

It is insane to say that the Dawson College shootings were caused because the guy was interested in Goth subculture. Give me a godamn break. I dressed like Kurt Cobain in the 90's and never once considered doing cocaine or shooting myself in the head. This maniac shot 20 or so people because he was mentally ill. Wearing black eyeliner had nothing to do with it.

I don't want to hear about So-and-so from Marketing's perfect pregnancy. Until further notice.

I woke in the night because I heard my son whimpering in the other room. That hasn't happened for a long time.

It is raining here, with thunder, and lightening. My kitty is scared. I like it. It reflects my mood.

The Babe kicked his/her Dad two nights ago. My babies are notorious for going to sleep instantly, the moment his hand touches my belly. I can't tell you how pleased I was to get a little cooperation this time.

20 weeks today. 18 more to go?

Thursday, September 14, 2006


Two really fun things at work today.

First, this in my inbox...

Wednesday, November 1st is designated across Canada as the annual "Take Our Kids to Work" day. This is a day for Grade 9 students to experience the challenges, rewards and future of the working world, and to gain a better understanding of what it means to go to work.

And then the meeting with Human Resources to start the paperwork for my leave. As the HR person handed me the forms, my heart nearly stopped when I saw the form...the one that I am to fill in to add the Babe to my list codependents for insurance purposes. So that the Babe is covered for health care, retroactive to birth. The form that I didn't need for my son.

I didn't cry today. Not once. I might just go do that now...seems like as good an idea as any.


I can't really bring myself to write a proper post. In the mean time, please go and offer Laura some words of support, for what it's worth.

And please say a few words of prayer or send thoughts of strength and encouragement to the families struggling through this horrifying time following the Dawson College shooting yesterday. Shades of the Polytechnique* shooting and Columbine all rolled into one. How the hell does a person get to the point where shooting complete strangers to death is the answer?

*Dec. 6, 1989: L'École Polytechnique, Montreal
Marc Lépine, 25, walks into a classroom at Montreal's École Polytechnique, separates the men from the women and tells the men to leave. Then he begins shooting from a semi-automatic military weapon, shouting "I hate feminists" as he roams the school's floors. Lépine kills 13 female students and a college employee, and injures 13 others before committing suicide. He had purchased a semi-automatic, a Ruger Mini-14, to carry out his assault. Canadians mark the anniversary yearly by wearing white ribbons commemorating the lost and to protest all violence against women.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Checking in at the halfway point.

It isn't really comparing, what I am doing. It is It's like those flashback scenes in the know, the really corny ones where they show our heroine watching her kids play at the park and then, BAM! flashback of 20 years that is the entire movie, then fade back to the smiling mom.

I have spent more time in the last month thinking about the specifics of our son (what he looked like, what his personality was like, his favourite foods, his active times of day) than I ever have before. And it isn't really comparing pregnancies. It is more like I start to experience what this baby is bringing to me and I am catapulted back two years.

It is very hard for me to really give this baby his/her due. Each passing day, I get a little bigger and kicks get a little stronger. I spend more time surfing the net, at places like or the like. I spend more money on nursery items or baby clothes. It is almost as if I believe that I am going to have a baby to raise.

Yet, I don't think that I really do believe it. We "decided to start our family" in the spring of 2003. A combined 20 months of "trying" and 1 1/2 pregnancies later, we still have an empty nursery. And the fact that my current due date is 2 years + a few days after our son's due date makes this surreal experience into something Matrix-esque. It is like my life is caught in some sort of insane loop.

I have re-lived our son's delivery and birth so many times in the past 3 weeks, it is like someone put a DVD on repeat in my brain. It isn't painful they way it was - those thoughts were once like picking at a scab; it hurt like hell, but I couldn't resist. Now it is more like looking at a car wreck from a distance, like an accident reconstruction specialist. This is what happened, these were the emotions, this is how things looked. Like a list in my brain. God, he was beautiful.

When I try to imagine a life with this baby, it is my son's face that I see. Understandable, I suppose, but it certainly doesn't feel fair. Perhaps this un-asked-for disconnect explains some of my desire to have all new things for this baby. I feel as though someday (and perhaps sooner than I expect??) I may feel a little more at peace with it all, but for now it is all very disconcerting.

Monday, September 11, 2006

What was that? Oh... there it is... that's the fear...

I was living in a little la la land and loving it.

When the baby was too small to feel, I had to just believe that s/he was okay. I had nothing else to obsess over. I just had to believe.

Now, I have something to obsess over. Today I have had two panic attacks relating to movement - when did I last feel movement, what time is it, is the baby usually asleep now, are they strong movements? Quick, someone get the orange juice while I lie down on my left side. It's only 10:30 a.m.

This has been my weekend. I am going to keep the good people at Minute Maid in business. If this baby comes out smelling like an orange, you will know why.

I can only hope that this is a short term thing, as I get used to having movement inside me again. I suspect that this fear is something I had better get used to.

I think that I was getting a little over confident (relatively speaking, of course). Wow, what perspective 20 months gives you; I am not as fearful as I expected to be, I thought. Ha! Well, I guess I didn't fear a miscarriage, since I haven't had one. We are really best at fearing the things we know could hurt us.

I just am terrified that, when asked, I won't be able to answer the question "when was the last time you felt movement" again. I guess I am just scared.

My poor husband.

P.S. I want to thank you all for your support relating to my relatively friendless state. I am not exactly feeling better (it isn't something a person can really feel great about, is it?), but my thought process is no longer consumed with the issue.