Sunday, May 31, 2009

One Year

To go from this...

To this. You've come a long way, baby girl!

Birth story here; I've been thinking about the whole process in the last day or so, reliving the experience. Last night, while enduring coughing spasms (it's just a lingering cold/cough, nothing more, thankfully), I was reflecting that I was glad I wasn't in labor, as I was a year ago - at least I knew I'd sleep as soon as the cough syrup kicked in! As much as I am looking forward to my next pregnancy and birth, I still savor the memories of my first.. and enjoy every day I get to watch the Infanta grow and develop. Parenting is work, but it's a privilege, too!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Things you think about

...when it's 4:30 AM and your coughing is keeping you awake after a nursing session.

Like: which of these is inherently sillier?

This first is the song only. I heard it first on an acquaintance's blog (which I would link to, but it appears she's gone private) a few weeks ago, and then again while I was sitting at Jamba Juice yesterday. This whole thing came up because I woke up with it stuck in my head.

And I can't find the second video I wanted! I direct your attention, gentles all, to the scene in Muppet Treasure Island where the native pigs dance around the stake to which our heroes are tied, singing an eerie chant which eventually resolves into "Boom Shaka Laka Laka".

As I was contemplating the contrast, a third example occurred to me; again, I couldn't find a video clip. On an episode of Babylon 5, Commander Ivanova is told to show a random ambassador around the station and generally be a good host. It eventually turns out that part of what this ambassador considers good hospitality includes participating in a mating ritual. Naturally taken aback by this request, the Commander thinks quickly and does a cheerleader-like dance while chanting Boom Shaka Laka Laka, culminating in orgasmic sighs. The ambassador, not impressed, accepts the dance, but says that when she visits his world, they'll do it "his way". Forgive me if I have details off; I saw the episode fifteen or so years ago, and a quick scan of the episode summaries on Wikipedia showed no obvious candidates.

Anyway. Back to bed.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Not the workout I was looking for.

Tomorrow it will be a week that I'd had this ruddy cold. It began with a cough and a sore throat in the night, and those two symptoms haven't budged. Today I've been coughing so much that this evening, coughing leaves me in real pain from my poor, abused abs. I mean, I know I'm not in great shape, but really! And the coughing hasn't eased a bit. Today's addition to the whole mess is a nose that runs worse than a toddler's; it's so sore at this point that I'm beginning to expect to see blood whenever I apply tissue (which is frequently). I'm sick enough that I even cancelled The Infanta's birthday party this weekend! Fear not, it has merely been rescheduled, and I will be handing Josh the camera, for plenty of good pictures of the event.

The Infanta is also afflicted with it, at least to some degree. She coughs a little, her nose is runny (although less so than mine), and her voice is a bit hoarse. Otherwise, she's fine so far. This is probably a good thing, as she has her one year checkup tomorrow. I expect the doctor to offer sage advice about infant cold care, the which I will likely nod and smile at. But maybe there will be something in what she says that will be useful, so I won't ignore it completely. This visit, as far as I'm concerned, is almost purely about finding out those important statistics of height and weight. I do hope that my cough calms down overnight; I hate it when I'm in with a healthy baby and the nurses all offer me help!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Will Ceases Never Wonder

Just a short post, it's time and past to get the Infanta to bed. But she's making astonishing strides - leaps and bounds, even! - towards walking unassisted. She's standing spontaneously, unsupported, and unassisted, and not simply toppling when she can't maintain the pose. She will often put a hand out and lean on a nearby object, or if none is handy, sit in stages rather than just falling on her butt. Just a few minutes ago, excited to share a toy with me, she even took an unsupported step between the nearest piece of furniture and the couch where I was sitting!

I keep saying this, but it hasn't stopped being true. We're doomed!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sick and Tired

So over the weekend, that cough and sore throat turned into a cough and laryngitis. I had a lovely time knitting with the ladies on Sunday anyway... all the chatting did not help my voice, though, and yesterday I was left nearly speechless. I was also a bit feverish towards evening; not fun. Today my voice is a bit better, but I have a lot of phlegm, and am still coughing and feverish. Not much fun, but at least half doses of cold medicine are helping me sleep better at night!

I got out this morning and worked in my new garden beds. Many thanks to my friends KC and Heather who trucked their rototiller up from an hour away just to till a section of my front lawn! This morning I mounded earth to form beds, and then worked some old horse manure into them. I planted one bed - pumpkins and two kinds of beans - but realized that I have too many ideas and not enough definite decisions about the other beds to plant them yet. I have starts for tomatoes and two kinds of peppers, and also want to plant more of both kinds of beans, leeks, and zucchini.

The Infanta is becoming more and more difficult to get to sleep. I think what's happening is that she's becoming less flexible about bedtime, and what she thinks is the routine (and it is what usually happens) runs about two hours later than what we actually want to be happening. This means that she doesn't want to sleep until about eleven at night, and then doesn't want to wake up until eleven in the morning. Needless to say, this doesn't work in the real world. So I get her up earlier in the morning - nine-ish, maybe - and then she's cranky all day. In the evening, I've been trying to get her to bed by her sleepy cues, but she doesn't want to be in bed then, she wants to nurse and play more. If I stay in bed after she goes to sleep, she will stay asleep, but if I get up to attempt a little me time (for example, to write a blog post), she will wake up crying fairly quickly. She woke in the middle of writing this paragraph! I think the key will be being consistent with a bedtime, and probably establishing a more elaborate bedtime routine than we've had before now. I'm just not ready to give up my evening activities like knitting! Time for more Mama sacrifices. Can you believe I want more babies?!

I'm pretty sure the physical end of the miscarriage is complete. The last several days (TMI warning!) I had discharge similar to the very end of lochia - which it was, really - but saw none today, so I think my body may have cleared everything out finally, and may be ready to begin cycling afresh. That would be nice.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Karen over at the Hissy Stitch has some great photos of the surprise baby shower our Ravelry group threw yesterday. Included in the set are some great ones of the Infanta; go check them out! Random bit of trivia: the cow blanket was part of my gift, which was supposed to be a certain handmade item, but since I ran into technical difficulties, I subbed in the gift I'd intended for the "official" shower. Here's hoping for some sewing time this week!

I did get about 5 hours of more or less solid sleep after my post earlier this morning. Not enough in the grand scheme of things, but enough for bare functioning today.

Things I Need Today

- For the Infanta to sleep somewhere other than on me or my boob. I don't mind nursing to sleep, but every 45 minutes gets me no sleep at all. See the time I'm posting.

- Sleep! See above.

- Time alone with my husband, with no baby in the house, preferably for several hours, so I can stop being on duty long enough for a solid cry and nap. See above. The Infanta napping solidly while away from me would be frosting.

- To not be sick. I don't know where this combination of heartburn, nasty sore throat, and cough came from, but it needs to go back. Haven't I had enough crap this month?

Frankly, I need item 3 the most. All else would be much more tolerable after few hours' uninterrupted sleep and that cry I keep having to put off.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Good Reads

One of the many blogs I read is Whatever, the personal blog of sf author John Scalzi. He writes anything from updates on what his cats are doing, to political diatribes, to ramblings about what he's up to with his writing, be it being offline because of a deadline, or the schedule of a convention he's attending or speaking at. He's an excellent writer, and well worth reading; even if you disagree with him politically, he makes his arguments clearly and cogently, and is always thought-provoking. Well, maybe not the butter-eating. Josh would probably argue that the bacon thing is, though.

Anyway, one of Scalzi's pet projects is something he calls The Big Idea. The feature combines pimping other authors' works with insights into how they come up with their ideas. Today he posted this. Go read, and then follow the links to the pdf of The Patriot Witch. I'm 129 pages in, impatient to finish, and planning to acquire the books as soon as I reasonably can.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I got nothin'

So here's a lolcat that illustrates much of my current life:

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

We could have had kittens well fed all the way home from the park this morning.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

What a relief!

Apparently, Mercury is in retrograde. So this whole recent horrible chain of events isn't our fault!!

My miscarriage, Josh's chronic infected/ingrown toenail that he had operated on today, even the Infanta turning up with pinkeye today: all completely out of our control!

Well. Not entirely true. Probably. But it's nice to lay blame somewhere, if only for a few seconds.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Life goes on... soon.

And now I get to start integrating our loss into living life.

After a morning spent wrangling with advice nurses (I swear one was trying to convince me that nothing was wrong), I got an appointment for this afternoon with an OB. He read my charts, listened to my story, took a look, and yup, no question about what, was going on. He was wonderful, actually. Listening to my story, he asked questions at the right points and showed supportive reactions to others. He was also very compassionate and very sympathetic, using lots of eye contact and making sure I understood what was going on and what we need to do from here.

Which is some more waiting. I fed the vampires* so they could check my hCG count again; if that's clearly going down, then we can pretty much just sit back. If not, then we get to talk D&C. I'm rooting for option A, myself.

But I think I'm just about done lingering, except for that last bit of waiting. It's done, anything more will be cleanup. I'm not trying to push my grief away, the more because I'm not good at mourning, but I'm trying to learn how to integrate it with my joy in and love for the Infanta. Mama and Daddy are having a rough time (his is a whole nother story), but she's also having her own stuff, with learning to walk and an apparent growth spurt... and a birthday just around the corner! Also, I have four good friends expecting babies this summer and fall, one of whom I'm going to be doula for again; I've been joyful for them until now, and I want neither to stop being happy for them, nor to let my grief and envy sour our friendships.

I believe every pregnancy happens for a reason. I wish this one had not ended this way, but it did. I also believe that, although the soul that was attached to this baby couldn't stay, she or he will find the parents he or she is meant to be with. If that's with us, fantastic. If not... some other soul will come to bless us, and I hope it's sooner rather than later!

eta - this doesn't mean I won't gratefully accept hugs!!!

* old family term for getting blood drawn for testing, invented when I was a kid and had six months of strep throat - I had so many blood tests done then that I practically had track marks!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sunny Sunday?

I took these pictures a few days ago; they seem very representative of the Infanta right now. Asleep, or in denial about waking up, she's all in a (very cute) heap; awake, she's on the verge of running off somewhere, and waiting with bare patience for me to finish whatever puttering in order to accompany her.

Today's a very beautiful day; sunny and warm with a breeze that's cool enough still to keep the heat tolerable. I'm happy that it's so gorgeous out, because it balances how cruddy I'm feeling physically. I'm probably going to call the clinic tomorrow morning about a D&C, because I've been bleeding again since last night, with lots of cramping and feeling sick - not nausea, just ucky in that raging-hormones way. Plus, the longer it hangs on, the more likely it is to cause complications, the which I really don't want. I'm sleepy all the time right now, and I'm convinced it's because of this whole thing, and that it's probably a sign that things aren't going well. I just want this miscarriage over and done with, so I can heal and move on.

Plus, you know, I want to be able to chase the puppy when it comes home to us.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

It's a zoo out there!

And now for the promised zoo post. But first: thank you all so very, very much for all your expressions of sympathy. It's been a rough week, and you guys have helped immensely!

Zoo trip May 2009

Above is the entire set of pictures I took on the trip. I heartily recommend clicking on the link, and then viewing them as a slideshow (button in the upper left corner when you get there). I think I've used up my wittiness in the captions; I hope you enjoy! We had an amazing day, and were very glad that we braved the threatening rain - which to be honest did materialize at points, but never more than lightly or briefly.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

And Baby Makes... Three. (TMI warning)

We spent the day at the Portland Zoo, which was much fun, and I have pictures to post, but I'll probably do that tomorrow. Tonight I need to write about something else.

Last month we got our "babydancing" timing right. I had two glorious weeks of pregnancy symptoms: heartburn, nausea (but not too bad), full breasts, the whole nine yards - even my pelvis went "sproing"! And then I had a period - or what I thought might have been a period. At the time it started, I was hoping it might be implantation bleeding... The flow was very rich, and had a bunch of little clots, and even something that might had been a teeny lump of tissue. Sad, but early miscarriages or "chemical pregnancies" happen all the time; supposedly most women who have them don't even notice anything other than maybe a heavy period. I knew what was happening, and it made me sad not only because I want another baby, but also because I knew what I was going to be missing. But it was done, nothing to do but start trying again.

Fast forward to last Friday. Late morning I was in pretty significant pain which felt like it was probably a UTI (and it was, see my posts the last few days...). Making things more complicated was that I was having bloody discharge - not bloody urine - which confused the heck out of me and the nurse who initially saw me. The nurse decided that my case was beyond her, and referred me to a clinician. Almost the first thing the clinician did was apply a pregnancy test to my urine sample - which came up positive! Yay! But. There was still the issue of my bleeding. So, she decided to run blood tests for a 48-hour comparison of hCG levels. The first draw was Friday, the second Sunday, hence my reason to leave the Mother's Day celebration a bit early. And then I had to wait.

The bleeding resolved by Sunday evening, which I thought was a hopeful sign. Monday the clinician wasn't on duty; she said her partner might call with the results. I was tempted to call the clinic, or simply show up in person... but I didn't. I received no call from them, either, and I chose to interpret that as not negative news, and cautiously told a few friends last night.

And then the clinician called this morning at about three minutes past 9, while I was sitting on my porch waiting for our ride to the zoo, with the news. My hCG levels had dropped markedly between the two samples; I am not successfully pregnant this cycle.

I'm sad. I already mourned this possible pregnancy, then had my hopes raised, and now dashed again. I'm by no means inconsolable - I pretty much forgot the whole thing during the day today! But once again, not only did I want this very much, but I know exactly what I'm missing, that I'll have to wait a while longer to have again. There's not really any way to know at what point I conceived, whether it was in April or since that weird bleed, but I choose to believe that that is the pregnancy I'm not keeping now, and I will probably always now meet that possible due date with a little touch of melancholy.

Now it's time to cry a few tears, mourn this baby-not-to-be, and get myself as healthy as I can manage so that next time this will work.

Monday, May 11, 2009


Because I decided that I didn't want to cook last night, and since leaving Josh in charge of food means that either we eat out, or it comes out of a box or a can, we had chili for dinner. I was all right with this; take a can of chili, add cheese and a couple handfuls of crushed crackers or corn chips, and you have a decent meal. What I didn't expect was a certain little girl giving me huge puppy-dog eyes, and begging her share! So I dipped a little gravy on my spoon, figuring she wouldn't like the spiciness (very mild even by my standards, but more than she'd had before)... and she loved it. Not only did she not spit it out, she begged more! In the end, she probably ate as much as a tablespoonful: gravy, meat, semi-dissolved chips, and all. She's showing no ill effects from her feast so far, and I'm thinking she may be getting closer to turning the corner on eating solids as a larger portion of her nourishment. My poor boobs would really like a break!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Gotta love a holiday based on motherly war protest.

We spent a good chunk of the day with Josh's family; his folks gathered the clan for a lovely luncheon. The Infanta was too distracted by everyone (especially her cousins who wanted to play with her!) to nap at all, so I was rather grateful to have an excuse to leave. I had to go get a blood test relating to my UTI... and it had to be today, which meant we had to get to the clinic before it closed.. but I think we might have left about the time we did anyway, just because the little girl needed to sleep so badly that she was passed out before we were three streets away! But it was nice seeing everyone.

Because it's beautiful and true:

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Saturday, May 09, 2009

UTI Day Two

So I personally have a had a not-bad day; lots of lying around doing not much. Josh has been chasing the Infanta a lot so I can rest and heal. I did choose not to go to knitting this afternoon... but I wouldn't have been much fun, achy as I am.

The trouble is, the Infanta has been her usual self, but fussy. She clearly wants to be with me, but I'm so achy around the middle that I'm really not comfortable holding her. When I do hold her, she's so wiggly that I can't tolerate it for very long. On top of it all, she had a huge thing in the middle of the night where it took a good hour and a half and the both of our efforts to get her asleep... so Josh and I are both pooped.

But at least I have the sweet sensations of Napoleon Dynamite to comfort me!

Friday, May 08, 2009

Woe is me.

So yesterday was great, right?

Today made up for it. Late morning, and I all of a sudden HURT! All across my abdomen and up my back to my kidney... I knew I should NOT let this go over the weekend, so I called the clinic and got a nurse appointment to check for a UTI. Meanwhile, I'd invited Snarfy (one of my local knit hotties) over because she was in need of a day out of the house with her boys... this was not what either of us had hoped for. I was (and am!) grateful that she cheerfully volunteered to give us a ride down to the clinic and to chase L while I was doing medical things... not quite what we had in mind.

It was even more miserable because after an hour waiting around for this and that, the nurse I saw decided that what all was going on was beyond her, and that I needed to come back in a bit to see the clinician...

Long story short, after wading through assorted chaff and distractions (and a really nice chat with the clinician and her intern), I do in fact have a UTI.


Thursday, May 07, 2009

Do I Even Need to Say It?

Posting remains spotty due to a certain fussy, clingy, and frequently over-tired proto-toddler sucking all my energy. Since she is currently passed out on my lap (all I can say is that the $20 Mom spent on my Boppy was some of the best $20 spent on this child...), I figured I'd take the opportunity. Rather than spend the time on, like, surfing Ravelry. I'll do that next; it's easier to juggle with a newly wakened baby (when that happens).

Today has been a perfect example of a Willamette Valley spring day. It has been gorgeous and sunny and pouring rain by turns. This morning we ditched the babywearing meeting, and ended up meeting some friends at the Riverfront Park to watch the toddlers (and proto-toddler) run. While we were at the playground, another mom told us that they were having a story time over at the Carousel. So, we packed the kiddos up (cleverly exchanging which girl rode in which stroller so that Hurricane Tavy would cooperate) and headed over. A nice, grandmotherly woman read stories, played music, guided a coloring activity, and let us all on the carousel for free... and while we were at this, the sky opened up! Since I was walking, my friends started brainstorming ways to get us home (due to two carseats among three babies)... but I figured that the rain would at the very least lighten up enough to allow me to make it to the bus stop. Happily, it stopped entirely, and got positively bright out. My friends and I packed the babies up again, and they wandered with me up the sidewalks to the new pedestrian bridge across the River (I still get flashes of Lord Ken raining Greek fire over the Protectorate turtle boats when I cross it, but I think I always will). And so home, pausing at the local Jamba Juice to wait out the next shower. And now happily posting, with the front door open for the fresh air, a shawl over us to cut the slight chill, and a sweetly napping child in my arms. Does life get better than this?

Monday, May 04, 2009

Walkin' on, Walkin' on~

Eleven months, four days. That's how long she's been wanting to do this. Well, only better.

eta: I realize that she doesn't look very coordinated in this video - but that's because she's tuckered out after standing on her own for 10-20 seconds at a time and occasionally taking off, just as she does above.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Thank you.

Everyone's comments and words of support mean a great deal to me, and I'm feeling much better. The strain's telling on me overall, though; I've had a lot of people in the last couple of days asking me if I'm ok and telling me I look tired. Well, I am tired! I'm mother to an eleven-month-old! And I'm fighting off a cold on top of it.

Happily, said baby is asleep - I left her in the now-properly-side-carred crib before 8:15! We'll see if she's actually down for the night, but it would be so nice if she were... Now to wade through all this laundry, and see if I can crash early, myself.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Mom, the hero.

I always feel like a hero when I get the Infanta to sleep with some time left in the evening to not be a mom for a bit. It's totally dorky, but I often come prancing out of the bedroom flexing my biceps victoriously: I am Super Mom! I got the baby to sleep before we all went to bed! I suppose I react this way because it's a relatively rare event; although I usually try to get Herself to sleep earlier in the evening, I don't generally manage it. Well, I managed it tonight! Got some good reading in while I was at it, too.

I needed a parenting win tonight, too. I went off to knitting today feeling like a totally bad mom - not because of the Infanta's pretty purple bruise, either. No, I don't feel bad because my rubber baby bounced off a corner; babies are made of rubber (within reason), and this isn't her first bruise, and will by no means be her last. The issue rather is that I feel like I've been completely withdrawing from "being a Mom"; I sit and knit and tell the Infanta not to pull all of Daddy's game collection off the shelf, rather than get down and play with her or teach her things. Some of that feeling is residual from low brain med levels, but it's also genuinely what happens. I'll sit down with my email and blogroll or my knitting; the Infanta will wander off to do whatever strikes her fancy with what's available (and she has no paucity of toys), and ten minutes later she's pawing at the lappy or happily unshelving games, or something else we really don't want her to do. And I'm really, really bad at getting down on the floor and playing with her. I knew I would be, but... I didn't understand how exactly that would play out in reality. Also, I feel like I should be teaching her things (and I don't just mean modeling daily life), and I'm not. At least, I don't think I am... But I don't want to turn into a "flash card mom", either, just... I don't know.

What's really getting me down is that I'm a "bad" mom, and I want another baby?! I'm totally insane.

With the weather getting so nice, we need to get out and spend more time with other moms and babies. Maybe that will help me realize that all the other moms are totally flying by the seats of their pants, too.

Friday, May 01, 2009


This is not the Infanta's first bruise, but it will probably be her biggest so far. She was toppling off my lap - completely self-propelled - and slammed her cheekbone into the corner of the lappy. Oh, the howling! She tolerated an ice pack on the bruise for a couple of minutes, but then, once she was past the initial insult, started munching on it. I dabbed a little Burt's Bees Res-Q ointment on it (the shiny you see in the picture), but it's sure to develop into a real shiner.