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...)!!