Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Big A (to Little A): "Stay here. Smile for the camera! Mommy is taking our picture when we have fashion!

Little A: "Wuh dat?"

Big A: "That's when we are fancy and beautiful. Did you know those boots you've got on used to be mine when I was a toddler?"

Little A: "Lez GOOOOO!"

Big A: "Geez, you sure are in a hurry."


Little A can't even speak in proper sentences yet, but that doesn't stop these two from talking, joking, and bickering every conscious moment they spend together. Growing up the only girl in a household of boys, the early-sibling communication style I became versed in was the thwack-and-run-for-your-life variety. So the chatter of girls is something that still surprises me.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Crazy = Ordinary Day

"Well, since you couldn't manage to make this last appointment on time, I think I'll just have Dr. H call you back herself about whether she'll reschedule. Because the current calendar is booked up for a very long time." So says the curt phone receptionist after I explain that I am going to miss my appointment with the gynecologist. My car has just gone BOOM and sputtered to the side of the road in a hail of coughs and smoke while en route their office.

Crazy is just an ordinary day for a OB-GYN . Running that kind of practice has got to be controlled chaos at best. Pregnant bodies do not always cooperate with regularly scheduled appointments. I keenly recall that back when I was a pregnant body, there were many snafus, dilemmas, and emergencies that led my appointments to be canceled because I wasn't allowed to leave the hospital to trek over to the OB office. As such, whenever I made it to a normal appointment it felt like a victory. I never complained about Dr. H running late -- and there are times she runs extremely late. I was just glad not to be the cause of her lateness. And although I've heard other patients exchange irritated words with office staff at times, I always tried to be the friendly, polite, understanding patient. I didn't want to be the person the staff hates.

I realize that my car breaking down on the way to the OB-GYN office does not fall into the same category as a baby sticking out the wrong end of my uterus, or someone hemmorhaging through their belly button. But it's still completely out of my control. And Dr. H's office is the first call I made (before the tow truck, even) to let them know I wouldn't be there. What else, exactly, did that receptionist expect me to do?

And hey, if it weren't for all THE UNEXPLAINED, CONSTANT PAIN, I'd be more than happy to drop this whole appointment thing like the receptionist insinuated I ought to do. But I don't really think it should be up to her to decide if I get an appointment or not on the basis of her being annoyed with me.

So rather than let it go, for the first time ever, I snarked back at someone at a doctor office.

"HEY ... Do you really think that I enjoy standing next to a highway ... especially when I'm paying for a babysitter just so I could visit your office? You know, I'd say this is even more unpleasant than the pelvic exam I am now going to miss. And it's at least as inconvenient for me as you!"

Silence on the other end of the line for a moment. Then, "Can you see her the day after tomorrow at 3:15?"

So today I'm thankful for PMS. Because sometimes it helps get things done.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hand Me Down

It took about 12 days for me to begin to eat and walk around like a normal person again, but thankfully I'm there now. Maybe the some-random-stomach-virus theory is going pan out after all! But even though I feel functional now (despite having caught Big A's chest cold last week), I still have some sporadic abdominal and pelvic pain. So, I'm going ahead with pursuing the might-be-endometriosis theory with my gynecologist. Endo frightens me because of the cyclical nature of it -- the idea that I might regularly be in as much pain as I was two weeks ago makes me shake and cross myself. On the other hand, if I have another attack that starts just as period begins, at least the mystery will be solved, and we could finally make a real stab at treatment.

I have been feeling on edge and punk in the past month, but given the mystery illness, that wasn't terribly surprising. But it occurred to me that most of the anxiety focused around Little A. Since we are also sorting out her health issues at this time, I figured maybe that was also normal. Still, I didn't understand the intensity of my freakouts. Little A has been doing well on her new meds and there really isn't much reason to be anything other than optimistic about what lies in store for her. So why was my heart hurting so much whenever my little girl toddled by?

While folding laundry the other day I finally figured it out: This black mood had started the day I took the bin of 2T and 24-month clothes out of the garage and incorporated them into Little A's general wardrobe. It's those clothes. The ones Big A wore three years ago when I was pregnant with my angel baby.

I have a hand-me-down hangover.

Who knew that such strong anxiety and grief could imprint on little dresses and pants? There is one particular outfit that looks adorable on Little A (much as it did on her big sister) but every time she flits by wearing it, I'm hit with the knowledge that this was the play dress Big A wore on Christmas 2005, which was just two days after my pregnancy termination. It was all I could do to keep from hurling myself out the picture window that day, and most of the events of that time are thankfully lost to the fog of despair and vicoden. But oh, that dress -- that I remember all too well.

It pisses me off! Not only because Little A looks so adorable in it, but because now that I'm a SAHM, my budget doesn't allow for me going out and buying an equal-but-different dress for Little A. So I'm in a conundrum: do I suck it up and deal with the sadness over seeing the clothes again, or do I donate the old clothes, and hope that people give Little A outfits for Christmas?

Strange and arbitrary. That's what grief is three years after a loss.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Gee, What's Up with the World This Week?

Nothing like raging abdominal pain to make the election go far, far away.

Good news: CT scan rules out big honking tumors, cysts, abscesses, and pancreatitis. Other tests seem to rule out gall bladder issues and hepatitis. Bad news: well, the pain of course, but also the fact that nobody knows why I woke up Sunday night doubled over and vomiting, and have spent most of the rest of the week that way, too. The three best guesses at this point are endometriosis on a kidney and my intestines, a virus, or a small kidney stone that isn't showing up on the scans. If I had to pick the most likely culprit, my hunch is the endo. But since endo is chronic and complicated, I'm crossing my fingers and saying GO, virus!


In much happier news, I found out this week that a dear friend of mine is pregnant after struggling with secondary infertility. I'm soooo happy for her. That made me smile all day yesterday, even through the continuing saga of the endo/kidney stone/virus stuff. Here's hoping she has a safe, boring nine months with the little bugger safely snuggled away on the inside.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Three Days till the Election, Aneurysm Pending

I thought that Halloween festivities at Big A's school (I'm a room mom this year), trick-or-treating plans, and prep for Big A's upcoming birthday party would keep me busy enough to not notice the election hoopla. But even with the TV and radio turned off, it's everywhere. For instance, six months ago, people went to my neighborhood yahoo group to discuss earthquake preparedness and block parties. Now the posts there involve accusations of theft of political lawn signs. I ran into Yes on Prop 8 picketers at the market and No on 8 protesters at Target. On the way to get a cup of coffee, I was hit up by two separate groups of Democrats. I told each of them, "I don't need to hear your pitch, I've already voted by mail." But they didn't want to sway me -- in fact, nobody ever bothered to ask whom I voted for. They just wanted my money for the close races in Ohio and Florida.

Since avoiding the election is obviously impossible, DH and I decided to drink the Kool Aid and throw a small election night party. Because regardless of who wins, I think we can all agree big drinks are in order at the end of this damn thing.

Speaking of election-themed parties ... hopefully our beverages won't be quite as putrid as this.