Thursday, October 30, 2014

last dance

So this kid has a dance party starting every evening at about 4 p.m.  Sometimes she settles down at about 8, and sometimes she doesn't stop until after midnight. And now that she's a lot bigger, her John Travolta moves are perceptible to people other than just me--when she sticks her leg straight out, my belly looks a little like one of those old-school cartoons where the character gets hit over the head and the bump protrudes like a unicorn horn. Or my entire belly contorts into odd shapes. No joke.

Today is no different. In fact, she just sort of rolled over under my skin. I will never get used to that feeling, but I would never want to. I am going to miss that so much later when she's on the outside and it'll take more than a few soothing words and a reassuring rub to get her to settle down.

Today is also her official due date. And I'm still pregnant.

Here we are, the people whom the doctors thought would be lucky to be on this side of 24, 28, 30, 32, 37 weeks; WE ARE AT FULL TERM. That's 280 days. And something I never expected.  Despite the fact that no matter what anyone said, I always replied, "We're going all the way to 40! Plus one day, so she can come out on Halloween, her father's birthday." I was banking on it, but didn't *really* think it could happen. I never did get him a present, but now I don't have to. I could never top this.

I went to the doctor today and she said there's no point in letting Baby go past her due date. I'm 4 cm dilated, 100% effaced. In the office, the doctor stripped my membranes (basically detached the bag of waters from the uterus), which can sometimes get the process going. And, in case she doesn't feel like coming out on her own, the doctor scheduled us to show up tomorrow--Halloween, her father's birthday--at 7:15 a.m. to be induced.

So it's going to happen. Like, for real. I am still sort of in shock that by this time tomorrow, I'm going to be somebody's MOTHER. Like in charge of her well being. Like having to make decisions for her. Holy crap.

Wish me luck!

Bed rest, I will not be missing you.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

beyond expectations

So we are here at week 37. I can't believe it. And yet, I don't want this baby to come out yet.

There haven't been very many worry-free weeks (none, actually), and from what I gather about parenthood there never will be again. You're not *safe* after 12 weeks, 20 weeks, 24 weeks, 32 weeks or even 37 weeks of pregnancy. You're not *safe* at labor or when the kid is a toddler or a sixth-grader or a college freshman. Hell, you're not even *safe* when your kid has her own wedding, mortgage and career. So I guess worrying is going to be a part of life. Good thing I have so much practice.

This is going to sound mommy-blog cheesy, but I actually enjoy being pregnant. Even with all the puking and the stitch-pulling and bed rest and Dennis the Tricky Hip, it's pretty mindblowing to think there's a person in here whose favorite color might be yellow and favorite music might be rockabilly and favorite pastime could be lacrosse (all things I'm going to have to learn to appreciate). But she's inside me, bouncing around like nobody's business, and completely out of my control.

Other people see my belly randomly contorting into weird shapes and bulging out not of my will and tell me that they wish they could feel that feeling again. I know what they mean. I wish I could bottle this up and save it for when she goes away to college and I'm sitting in her bedroom and feeling lonely. I'd open it up, savor the exciting alien feeling and then whine to Jon about how quickly the time has gone.

But I've always been this way: During those three years when Jon and I were dating long distance, I'd start to get sad as soon as he got off the plane--pre-mourning the weekend together that would be over much too soon.

I feel like I've wasted so much of my life blinking.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Bonus post: Why I will never learn to like baseball

Jon is downstairs screaming his head off at the Dodgers. The other night when they lost, he lost his voice and did not sleep all night. I'm just waiting for the neighbors to call the cops one of these days--they probably think someone is getting beaten here, not just his favorite team on television.

week 36.5 and no baby in sight

So "strict bed rest" only lasted five days. And praise all that is lovely and good--I was going B-A-N-A-N-A-S truly not moving all day. Plus each day I was lying around watching DiY network and knitting and looking out the window was one fewer day I could use to spend with my kid after she comes out.

Went to see the doctor, and while I'm 2 cm dilated, there is no sign of baby yet. I am still holding out for a Halloween birthday (that she can share with her father). MD said I could go back to working from home.

Jon starts a new job next week, so he had planned to take this week off (I was supposed to have had the stitch removed this week). He is very busy building stuff for the nursery--today was the crib and cleaning everything. Yes, we are behind a "normal" expecting couple's schedule, but I have always done everything at the last minute. Plus much earlier than now, things were too tenuous.

I am caught up on watching Scandal and The Good Wife and will likely be starting Parenthood soon. I am also reading Jim Gaffigan's Dad is Fat, which has some very appropriate essays about being pregnant and having an infant. And funny. I feel guilty for not reading as much as I would have liked, but I can't multitask as much when reading--and I have become obsessed with multitasking.

Other than that, nothing new is going on. Hope all is well with you!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

I have a tricky hip and his name is Dennis

I had a doctor's appointment Wednesday. I had been having increasingly painful contractions for the last two weeks (about 30 minutes apart and strong enough to wake me all night). I had also been extremely uncomfortable for the previous few days. That morning I woke up to some, um, different stuff coming out of me that led me to believe that there might be some straining on the cervical cerclage stitch that could be pulling on the cervix, so I figured it was going to be an eventful day.

I went in (last progesterone shot, hooray!) and the doctor checked me—WOW that time hurt. She was like yeah, I'm taking your stitch out today so it doesn't tear your cervix (that had been scheduled for next week). She sent me straight to the hospital.

Contractions were still coming, but my physician had to attend to an emergency twin c-section (those kids are ok, thank goodness), so my mom and I were hanging tight and waiting for Jon to show up.

At about 7:15 p.m., my doctor came in, scootched up to my bed and snipped the stitch. It was pretty quick, but not pleasant. The stitch was basically wrapped around the cervix and cinched tight like a Hefty trash bag. It snapped SO loudly, I jumped at the noise. But I immediately felt a loosening down there.

They kept me for observation and I continued to have contractions till 10:30 p.m. when they sent me home. My doctor said no more work; I'm on "strict" bedrest now. She said if I needed to we could just turn around and come back to the hospital.

Since the stitch has been out, my back pain has lessened, I walk more like a normal pregnant person, instead of a 90-year-old without her walker. My inept, tricky right hip (whom I call Dennis) that never seems to want to cooperate because of nerve pain has started to play a little nicer. I SLEPT for the first time in several weeks (only got up twice to pee) and didn't have painful contractions! The last two days I have lay in bed/couch all day and had the tightening of contractions, but they are nothing compared with the ones I had the last few weeks with the stitch intact.

It's really weird not to work. Especially because my work team is down a couple people already and I'm leaving them a few weeks earlier than anticipated. But I have to say, the not having to work has been oddly relaxing. I watched six hours of Rehab Addict on Thursday--I've decided this house needs to be gutted and restored to how it was originally in 1968. I am knitting a few little items for the baby, bingewatching Scandal, trying to read more and trying to ignore my compulsion to want to clean everything.

Last night I had a mini freakout because the baby wasn't moving around as much as she normally does. Usually when I tracking her movements (doctor said 10 an hour is good), I get 10 in the first three minutes. But last night it took her almost the full hour to get to 10. And they weren't the regular jabs of appendages stretching out or shifting positions but instead lighter blip-like movements. Even after I had a little lemon sorbet. I got upset. My mind went to the edge of the scary place. I think it even rattled my even-keel husband. This morning she is moving around more like normal. The sweet parathas probably helped, too.

I need to keep more busy.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

week 34

Quick update: We are now at week 34. The baby is fantastic. Any problems I'm having can only be blamed on my body being angry at being taken for granted all this time and using this opportunity to make me pay for it. As a result, I now have a deep, lifelong respect for all that the disabled must endure.

I'm having fake-out (Braxton-Hicks) contractions that should be fake-painful as well, but that's apparently not how this works. My tricky hip (nerve pain that has made turning over in my sleep a ridiculous process since month two) makes everyone think I'm 11 months pregnant because of the way I waddle and cannot get in and out of vehicles without assistance.

But! This kid is doing great: She's got one foot up by her face and one foot down by her booty so she can simultaneously kick me in the groin and the ribs. And I don't mind one bit. I am so, so thankful to be here at this point. The cervix is 2.5 cm but soft like Jell-O and the physicians can feel the baby's head right there. There's a possibility I may be 1 cm dilated. I am having about four contractions an hour--which make for some interesting pauses during conference calls, let me tell you.

Anything can happen, folks. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


photo by SecondPrint Productions

Happy third anniversary, Jon. That was the best day of my far.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Brother. It is a little ironic that the one celebration that you could/wanted to spend with us on your actual birthday in a very, very long time didn't end up happening because I got scared and went to the hospital. I feel bad that you were hanging around near the restaurant for hours was while I was hooked up to monitors trying to figure out if those contractions were real and if I was leaking amniotic fluid (not really and no, everything turned out to be fine; it just took a really long time to confirm).

As much as you would never admit it, I know it's going to be different when this baby comes. Your wants and needs have been first priority for so much of the past three decades--how could they not? I don't resent you for it; I worry about you as much as mom and dad do. I know you have been wiggling out from under the parental blanket of concern for a long time, and you've done an exceptional job proving that you are your own man who can handle your own business. We don't need to worry, but it's not something we can turn off.

It has been tremendously hard for me the past few months to be the person that isn't allowed to help, can't even get up from a chair without extreme difficulty and is basically at the mercy of everyone else. The biggest lesson I've learned during the last few years is that apparently I can't control everything, which was clear to you since you were just a baby. It's probably just as hard for you to now be the one worrying, waiting for a call that everything is ok...or not. We've both done a lot of growing up in the last few years.

Happy Birthday.

Friday, August 15, 2014


So here I am, on *this* side of 35.
And here we are, on *this* side of 4 a.m.

I've never been melancholy on my birthday, but during the last few months I've found myself at the top of the world, taking in a deep breath of gratitude...then BAM, I get a glimpse of the straight drop ahead and my stomach is suddenly in my throat. I guess the only nice thing about emotional rollercoasters is that if you (and your understanding family) can ride it out, you're back on an even keel soon enough.

Last week, Syar turned 26. Do you guys remember when she was a precocious 16-year-old commenting here with all the wisdom and wit of a much more experienced person? Then how we blinked twice and now she's a grownup lady? It's so crazy how much she has grown but stayed the same. And how I feel like I know her, yet never have met her. Oh, blogs.


My mom has always taken the day off work on my birthday. I never understood why, especially when I still had to go to school. I mean, if she can't hang out with me--and this day is all about me, after all--then what's the point? Even now, 36 years later, she took the day to be home, cooking and shopping and who knows what else while I was dealing with conference calls and frantic instant-messenger requests and mounting email, attempting to solve problems.

But now that I may get to bring somebody new into the world, I kind of get it: My mother might just want a day to herself to think. Maybe remember all the stuff before I showed up and what she had to go through to get me out and all she had to do to make sure I even made it to 36. I wonder if 36 years from now I might take my child's birthday off to think about these months of bed rest and no carbs and having to walk around like an 96-year-old and only going to the store once a month (if they have a scooter/wheelchair). And how it makes my damn day every single time this baby kicks me to show me that she's doing ok so I don't freak out. Is it possible to believe you have a great kid even before you've met her?

People kept asking me what I had planned for today, and honestly, there was only one thing I can say for certain. There will be ice-cream cake. There is always ice-cream cake. It'll be one sad, sorry August 14 when my mom isn't around and there won't be ice-cream cake. It just doesn't taste as good any other day. I'm sure I don't have to tell you that she didn't disappoint.


In general, I have a pretty low threshold for decision-making. You know, decision fatigue, when you are supposed to be making a lot of important choices in a row, but the weight of all that deciding has piled up on you so you are standing in front of the refrigerator, paralyzed and frustrated because you JUST DON'T KNOW WHAT TO EAT. Just choose! Whatever you want! It doesn't matter, just pick something! Like, now! You haven't decided? Hurry up! Everyone is waiting on you! I feel like the world is my refrigerator with its French doors flung open to reveal thousands of delicious choices, and everyone is demanding that I make up my mind RIGHT NOW. Except I can't make my mind do anything at all, let alone make that final choice between spaghetti and soup. Because what if I take a bite of spaghetti and immediately realize I should have gone with the soup? Doesn't the world understand that scenario is a risk I'm just not willing to take?

What scares me is that I am soon going to have to make hundreds of decisions a day for a person incapable of holding up her own head. And I'm sure that by the time I actually figure out how to comfortably make those choices, she won't want me to decide anything for her anymore.


Being alone all the time is getting to me. All day, every day. Thank God for conference calls.

I hate to be alone. I would certainly be one of those people who were asked to sit in a room with an electrical shocking device for 15 minutes with their thoughts who ended up shocking themselves to avoid having to be alone with their thoughts for 15 minutes.

It doesn't matter if the other people are somewhere else in the house doing their own thing and not interacting with me at all; just knowing they aren't far is good enough. I used to lie awake at night in my dorm room, only able to fall asleep when I heard my roommate's key in the door. Perhaps that was because I worried she'd be jumped on the way home from the library, but still.


I just spent 15 minutes trying to put a cover on one of those snuggly, noodly pillow things that pregnant ladies cuddle in order to sleep for more than 10 minutes at a time. About three-quarters of the way through that ordeal, I realized the thing already had a cover on it, which is probably why it was so difficult.

Pregnancy brain is real, people. And at this age, I don't think I will ever get my wits back.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

saturday night is all right

At 3:21 a.m. on a Saturday night 12 years ago, I was probably out somewhere in Greektown, eating a calzone trying to soak up the alcohol.

At 3:21 a.m. Saturday night nine years ago, I was probably sitting in the dungeon in the city, eating a grilled cheese sandwich from the cafeteria and emailing Jon in California.

At 3:21 a.m. tonight, I'm logged into work, knitting and listening to NPR on my headphones, waiting for the green light to finish testing a new system that just went live.

At 3:21 a.m. Saturday night five years from now, I hope to be sleeping.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

house arrest isn't so bad...most of the time

Today is 27 weeks for me and this baby. Hooray! The doctors are saying 28 is good, 30 is great and anything more than that is gravy. Of course, I am expecting we go the entire 40 together, but a lot of other people are not so sure we'll get that far. A girl can hope. I really just want a fully cooked turkey in time for Halloween. 

It's probably apropos that I bingewatched Orange Is the New Black during my incarceration, stuck on the upper floor of our house, only to be let out for doctor appointments and the occasional work meeting. You'd think that I'd be getting all kinds of bookreading, bootieknitting and bookshelforganizing done with all this *free time,* but I'll let you in on a little secret: I'm actually kind of sedentary, so I haven't really gained time.

Basically, I am still working kind of a lot of hours (trying to convince them I'm just as good from home as in the office), and I can't concentrate on anything for more than 10 minutes, which makes me less effective at work. That makes me feel guilty and stay logged in for longer and longer.

And then there's the emotional rollercoaster (hello, hormones!), so I've tried to keep from coming here and whining, because I truly am so thankful and grateful for all that I have. In fact, there was a Facebook thing going around where people posted three positive things about their lives for five days. Because Facebook is so easy to use from my phone while lying down, there was no question that I would participate.

DAY 1: 
1) Jon. Each day I have more reasons to thank my 2006 self for taking a risk on something completely unknown and have it work out in the best possible way.

2) My mom. If any of you have the pleasure of knowing her, that's all I need to say. I strive to be half the woman that she is.

3) Cheese.
DAY 2:
1) What I've learned. My mom has always said, "people can take anything away from you but not your education." And this isn't just limited to book learning.

2) My job. My career path has certainly been a rollercoaster, but I ended up in a place working with and for some wonderful people. Some days I know that something I did may have contributed to saving a life, and that means a lot. Even if my job has never been represented by an animal in a Richard Scarry kids' book.

3) Well-written, brilliantly acted, thought-provoking, satisfying, leaves-you-hungering-for-more television programming.
DAY 3:
1) Having the good fortune to be born in a country where I have had so many opportunities and freedoms, and during an era where a woman of color like myself is not held back as we once were.

2) Clean, running water, available at varying temperatures any time of the the day in a climate-controlled home.

3) The Internet. Holy cannoli, how did we ever live without it?!?
DAY 4:
1) I grew up without any extended family on this side of the world, but I've been blessed with the most loving and supportive friends a person could hope for. They have gotten me through the very hardest of times as well as created some of my best memories.

2) Podcasts.

3) Glasses and contact lenses. Without them, I'd be stumbling around squinting since 1991.
DAY 5:
1) My family is in relatively good health.

2) My friends are in relatively good health.

3) I still have my health. Being healthy is WAY UNDERRATED.

I can't emphasize that last sentence enough.


Friday, July 11, 2014

clearly at some point there will be bad news, but in the meantime

I have been told on the regular that I am a Negative Neddy. There's not a lot of proof to refute that, so here we are. Sorry this is long, but enjoy the positivity while it lasts!
  1. This baby is now at 24 weeks (the produce-size equivalent of either corn or a cantaloupe, depending on whom you ask). That is the furthest me and a baby have ever made it together, so each day is new terrain to discover.
  2. This cervix is holding steady, stitch in place. Steady enough that the specialist no longer thinks I need it checked via ultrasound every week. Let's not repeat that bit of news too much out loud or we may jinx it.
  3. This baby's heart has all the major components, and they look to be properly formed and working well together. This has always been a concern because heart defects run in my family. If this is the first you're hearing about that topic and you have 12 hours to kill, look up the label "brother" on the side rail and read the 111 posts about him. There could still be problems for the baby down the line, but for today, that ticker is in good shape.
  4. If it weren't for the cloud of terrifying possibilities hanging around--that wakes me and keeps me up for hours in the night telling me I'm leaking amniotic fluid, and interrupts all sorts of enjoyable television and not enjoyable conference calls with fears of contractions at every ache and pain--I would really enjoy being pregnant.
  5. This baby kicks me. A lot. And I'm grateful for each and every reassuring jab that she's OK in there.  
  6. People have been SO wonderful. 
    1. Strangers.
    2. Coworkers who didn't give a crap about me before.
    3. Everybody who doesn't judge me for my extremely, um, ethnic wardrobe of Auntie Patrol-approved muumuus. I scoffed when my aunts sent them for me and now I cannot live without them. (I may never voluntarily wear pants again.)
    4. Friends who send me cards.
    5. Friends who message to recommend books and see how I'm doing.
    6. Friends whom I have gotten to know better because they love someone I am friends with and have reached out with concern and much-appreciated advice about such a scary time from their own experiences.
    7. Friends who come over to spend some time with me, won't let me get up to be a proper hostess and don't make me feel bad about it. 
    8. Friends who bring their kids over so I can watch them run around and my baby can hear their happy little voices.
    9. Friends who don't bring their kids over so we can have an adult conversation. Or watch TV. Or both.
    10. Friends who come over and do stuff to help Jon. Even little things like keeping me company so he doesn't have to worry about dinner. And then he can have a few minutes to look at without feeling guilty that the dishes are piling up. Because now Jon has to do EVERYTHING. He has never complained once about it, but still.
    11. The "Police" (my mom and my husband) who don't let me lift, walk, use the stairs or pretty much do anything but keep my feet up. I could go on and on and on and on and on about how much these two have done to make my life bearable, but I'll spare you. They are truly my A-Team. The only thing I can hope to give them in return is this baby.
  7. The Police let me out on parole and took me to the fabric store for an afternoon. Best afternoon I've had this year. And not only because I got to drive around in the scooter.
  8. I have become a legitimate Facebook stalker. Seriously, the OCD is in overdrive and I need to read every single post. And repost. And pontificate about whatever social issue needs pontificating about--such as the overuse of the Oxford Comma. Also, I'm pretty sure I notified EB that her prom date was engaged about 30 seconds after it happened.
  9. Everyone but my brother pretends they are not annoyed by my Facebook activity, and some of them even enjoy my posts. Sweethearts.
  10. I have discovered Pinterest. I am desperately trying not to fall into that vortex. But I can only browse for about 30 minutes before looking outside at our weedy yard feeling unproductive and useless compared to the Pinterest prizewinners with their beautiful homes, yards and handmade goods. And apparently a lot of time.
  11. I have been knitting. I wish I were a lot faster. But then I worry about giving myself carpel tunnel.
  12. I have been working. A lot, but not too much. That is ok because:
    1. I would be going out of my mind alone all day every day. And worrying.
    2. Jon built me this awesome monitor-over-the-guest-bed-hanging-structure so I can truly lie down and work with a wireless keyboard and mouse. My brother gave me a practically new 22-inch monitor so I don't have to crane my neck. It rocks. 
    3. I'm trying to get all the crap I do at work in some semblance of order for the people who have to cover for me when this baby comes out. So I am learning to use Microsoft OneNote.
  13. I have probably seen more commercials in the last two months than I have in the last two years. The story behind this bored pp (though she'd never admit it) so I will summarize: We only watch dVR, Hulu or Netflix downstairs in the mancave. Jon sold the old jailbroken AppleTV upstairs before they could come out with a new one to make it undesireable. Then I got put on bedrest and can't go downstairs anymore. So unless I want to watch on a small screen in my lap, cable with commercials it is. DIYnetwork has the best ones. 
  14. Next week Jon's sisters, M and A (plus nephew Declan!) will be coming for a visit. Madelyn will also come back to hang out. It's always great to have them around.
  15. I am just really happy at this moment. 
  16. I was worried I complained too much on here, and nobody wants to read blogposts describing the circus in my head, so I will try to post more often now that I'm a little less scared out of my mind.

Again, thank you all for your prayers, your time, your kindness and your love.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

growing, changing

My brother moved out of suburbia to the city a few weeks ago. I think after having lived on his own for years, he'd had enough of his (and my former) roommates asking if he'd eaten, whether he'd be home for dinner, where he was going and if he needed his work pants ironed. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me, but to each his own, I guess. Even though I didn't see him too often when he lived in the next town, I now miss him as if he had up and moved to New Mexico. Especially because I am on limited activity (they won't let me drive and going up/downstairs is for when I get to leave--only for work), I feel kind of trapped in the house. 

This week, Madelyn loaded up all her stuff into a van and moved to the city. The door to her room is usually closed, but now it stands open. The room is bright and so, so empty. It makes me a little sad. But I walked in there after she had left and immediately got the feeling that yes, this should be the baby's room, something I hadn't really let myself think about too much.

Last week I had a little freakout with some odd, shooting pains and went into the hospital. Turned out I was having contractions, but they were so mild they barely registered. While I was feeling guilty about scaring everyone, the peace of mind knowing that all is ok was totally worth it. I have started feeling little taps from my belly; a crazy, amazing feeling. It blows my mind that I'm walking around with a separate person inside of me who will have its own dreams, opinions and ideas. 

The day all of Madelyn's stuff was boxed up in the living room and being loaded, Jon and I went to see the doctor for our baby's 20-week checkup. We had to wait a long time to be seen, and I kept telling Jon that they only attend to you right away if something is really wrong. My cervix looks to be healing nicely and staying together at a decent length. The baby is measuring to be right on schedule to come out around October 30 if she stays in there that long. That's right, we are growing a little baby girl.

People have babies all the time; it's happened billions of times, actually. But I've never gotten this far before, and everything seems so insane and amazing as if it's happening for the first time, just to me. I'll bet everyone feels this way. I don't know what it is, but finding out the gender of the first baby made things hurt all over again, and finding out the gender of this baby makes the whole thing seem different, somehow, and very very real. It's harder not to think about the name, or the nursery or what kinds of stuff I can manage to make for the kid before she emerges. I'm trying to rein myself in, but it's tough.

I just hope everything goes ok. Thank you all for your good wishes and love.  

Thursday, June 05, 2014

hotdog bun

So they've been monitoring me very closely. This time. Finally.

And thank God for that, because last Thursday I went in for my every-other-week (why does "bimonthly" have two meanings?) ultrasound to check cervical length. Basically, a long and closed cervix points up toward your baby. It keeps your kid and the bag your kid is in on the inside of you. If it starts to shorten or open up, the bag can get pushed out and even pop. Last year they never did figure out what happened; my cervix looked closed after that baby's amniotic sac burst. And then the second child came and went. Plus, I'm of "advanced maternal age" now. Thus, the monitoring.

The last few appointments have gone great. I almost felt silly hopping on the table for two minutes, the technologist taking measurements and then some quick peeks at the baby, then the doctor saying everything looked great. I was assuming the same routine for this last check, but as soon as my insides showed up on the monitor, I knew something was wrong.

Normally, my cervix kind of looks like a closed hotdog bun with no hotdog. But this time, it seemed as though some curious little person wanted to see what was inside the hotdog bun and started prying it apart. And that curious little person was now vigorously sticking its little feet and legs into that opening, using it as a springboard to launch itself around.

The tech was tightlipped when I asked if that was normal (knowing it isn't) and she said I could discuss it with the doctor in a few minutes.

The doctor said that my cervix hotdog bun was "funneling," and that kids--she called mine "the little dickens," which I love--have a tendency to stick their arms and legs where they don't belong. And oh, if I hadn't eaten a huge, dairy-laden lunch, do I think I can go straight to the Operating Room?

So Jon and I went upstairs to the OR, they gave me a spinal sedation, they flipped me nearly upside down and my physician did a surgery to put a stitch in the cervix, in the part that was still closed so that it will stay that way. Hopefully. The whole thing took less than an hour.

The entire time, the anesthesiologist and I were having a very detailed discussion about great dining in the city of Chicago (He wants but hasn't been able to get into Schwa, but enjoys the housemade sausage at Table, Donkey and Stick. I sang the praises of The Bristol). The nurses call him Dr. Justin Timberlake, and I can see the resemblance. I kept looking at my doctor squintily (no glasses), and for all the OR gear, all I could see were her eyes behind a shield. She has some of the most beautiful eyelashes I have ever seen, and doesn't look to be using mascara at all. Then it was over. Doctor said she could see the baby bouncing around in there. I wasn't going to be able to feel anything from the waist down for a while, so they kept me overnight for observation. I didn't sleep, and for all my whimpering and the aggressive air conditioner, neither did Jon.

The last week has been pretty much bed and couch rest; they wouldn't let me even go downstairs. The pain is pretty much gone now, but they did have me on some anti-contraction meds the first few days--apparently when they monkey with your business down there, your body may go into labor. That which they were trying to prevent (cervix opening, baby-bag bursting, contractions, labor, delivery) is possibly what happened with the first baby.

Today I went in for a checkup and everything looks good, if you think a hotdog bun that is flopping open on one side and pinched shut on the other looks good. We saw a little booty wiggling around in there, and the doctor said I don't have to be on bed rest, but I can't really do anything, either.

Jon keeps telling me, and I keep telling my parents, this procedure is a GOOD THING. They did this to keep bad things from happening. But I will be honest, I am scared as hell. I don't want to think about a nursery color theme, I don't want to pick out a crib, I don't really want to think of names--at least until we make it to 24 weeks, when I know he or she has a shot to survive outside of me. I really don't want to think about the alternative.

Thursday, May 22, 2014


The death of your baby is certainly not something to celebrate. But it was the day of her birth, too. And it doesn't seem fitting to just go about life like she never happened. So I came home with a cinnamon cake.


Now that the newest bump is too big to hide, I've had many well wishers ask if this is my first baby. Is it? I don't think so, but I'm not entirely sure what to say. I mean, I went through the entire delivery process (I wasn't going to get to keep the kid, so I went for the epidural), even if I never got to hear her cry. Does the second child--who was gone from a chromosome defect pretty much right after we realized there was even someone in there--count? Those are the things that go through my mind when I'm silently nodding, Yes, it's my first child. These people are sharing their good wishes; it'd be cruel to bring them down.


I hadn't heard that John Legend song "All of Me," until I was pregnant. I don't know if it's the hormones or what, but I cry every time I hear it.


My brother has had a tougher past year than we have, if you can believe that. Everything that could go wrong, pretty much did. I try my very best to be supportive, but one time when he got really, really down, I yelled at him instead. There are so many kids out there born with a heart defect that don't make it. And he has had to fight every second of every day, but he got to be a grown man. For him to just roll over after all that would be a slap in the face to all those other kids who never got the opportunity to live.


Jon's sisters gave me a necklace to remember Baby with a footprint charm, an emerald pendant and a gold piece stamped "5-22-13." I haven't taken it off since the day I got it.


My mother remembered that I had been so sad when my dad let the siding-replacement people cut down the beautiful clematis plant that had grown nearly all the way to the roof on an airplane-cable trellis. She got me the same kind--and made sure we could take it with us if we ever move.

I shouldn't be pregnant right now. Hell, I shouldn't have been pregnant three times in one calendar year. Instead, I should be sleep deprived, changing my daughter's diapers and watching her roll over. I am terrified that something is going to happen to this baby, too. But at the same time, I'm beyond excited. I can't wait to be sleep deprived. I am dying to watch my child blink, smile or roll over. But I won't forget. I am pretty sure that when the son or daughter growing inside me today (and any future children) even think about giving up, I will remind them how lucky they are to be alive. Their sister never got the chance.


Thank you all, for your continued love and support.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

cautious, scared, hopeful

One year ago today I walked into work, doubled over in agony, and my water broke all over my cubicle. Two days later I delivered a healthy baby girl--at 17 weeks--way too early for a baby to survive outside the womb. We spread some of her ashes on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

It's been a year, but that whole experience still seems really fresh. Especially because Jon and I are expecting again. And the timing is a little unsettling: This pregnancy is at nearly 17 weeks and the due date is two days before it was for that first pregnancy, October 30.

The last few months have been kind of rough; nonstop nausea, paranoia, trying to keep it a secret. You know, because there's nothing worse than having to take back good news.

We're taking it one day at a time.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


How about this winter, eh folks?
I'm getting used to driving at ridiculously slow speeds.

I took this photo to show my cousin in Australia who was talking about wanting to see snow. I told her she was welcome to come over anytime of course, but for the full effect, I would let her shovel the driveway.

Jon spun out on the way to work after Polar Vortex IV (V? VI? who knows). So I worked from home. He was almost out by putting his mats under his tires, but some Good Samaritans stopped to give him a push.

 It just keeps coming down. 

And melting down.

And forcing water into the house.

And puddling up inside my newly painted walls and ceilings.
And ruining my historic framed Chicago-themed decor.

Here is a graphic made that explains how this happened. Basically the previous owners did a crummy job of insulating our attic, so heat from the house melts the snow. Then it rolls down the roof and when it's not over the warmth of the house, it freezes again at the edges of the roof. It's a vicious cycle that has resulted in a almost 12-inch high dam all along the perimeter of our roof. Where water dripped off the roof and froze again on our front steps and back landing, that ice was at least six inches thick (those two spots were where water was forced into the house).
 At least the icicles are impressive.

We are waiting out the winter before trying to assess/repair the damage. And we are eagerly awaiting the next *surprise* the house has to bring. Ah, home ownership.

Friday, February 14, 2014

google-y eyed

The last few years I have become obsessed with podcasts*. I decided to go back to the first episode of This American Life and listen to them all, in order (I'm currently up to November 2009).

So it was nice to see the interactive Google Doodle today play "love themed" new and old audio clips from This American Life. I even recognized some.

Apparently Ira Glass approached the Google Doodle people with ten clips and they also set up this cute little interactive box-of-chocolate page with longer stories--including an awesome one about Starlee Kine trying to get over a breakup by writing a love song with the help of Phil Collins. That's a TAL top-five story for sure.

Click on the Image to check that out.

Happy Valentine's Day!  We are celebrating by ordering pizza and watching "The Way, Way Back." [really good movie] With my brother.

*I also LOVE Snap Judgement (a little more "urban"?), 60 Minutes (holds up surprisingly well as audio-only) and Under the Influence (marketing is CRAZY). I listen to them when I am trying to fall asleep, taking a walk, cooking/doing dishes, and of course in the car when I don't feel like singing at the top of my lungs or talking on the phone.