Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A quickie?

I'm gonna try to make this one quick since the last one was so wordy (in fact, I'm not sure many of you have made it through it yet), but...well, we'll see how that works out.

First of all, one (actually two) of my friends asked me while I was in Houston if I had read "Skinny Bitch." Ironically, it was next on my list. I had even brought it to Houston with me in case I finished my Augusten Burroughs book. One of the friends said, "Well, be prepared to become vegetarian." I started the book on the flight home.

Sure enough, because of all the descriptions of the slaughterhouses and the thought of meat being a decomposing carcass, I gave vegetarianism a thought. Mainly because I can see how it's true that we humans can get all the protein and iron we need from veggies. And I can even see the argument for being vegan since we can get all the calcium and vitamin D we need from veggies, too.

BUT... I like meat. I really do. I don't eat it CONSTANTLY and I believe the meat I eat is raised, killed and prepared responsibly. Does it sound like I'm rationalizing? Maybe I am a little. All I know is that, right now, a life without eggs, butter, yogurt, cream, roasted free-range chicken and my own homemade pasta is not realistic. In fact, it sounds like Hell. I don't make these products the center of my life and I do go out of my way to make sure that the products I do use come from humanely-treated, organically raised animals. So, I guess I'll never be a skinny bitch... Well, at least not a Skinny Bitch... Not right now anyway. I will continue to live by "Everything in moderation," eating a little bit of everything and moving my ass enough to burn off what I eat. But it almost got me, I tell you. Almost.

So, I went to the hospital yesterday. It's not like I went to the HOSPITAL, but more like hospital with little letters. First of all, organization-wise, it was a MESS. No one knew where we were supposed to go, there was no real "line" to ensure we would be the next seen. We spent a lot of time waiting while people stood around talking to one another. This is pretty par for the course in France. I looked down and shuddered as I saw dust bunnies and 50-year-old dirt which had become a part of the floor. I told Sam I wanted to go home, but he just pulled me close and gave me the side-squeeze. "Look at all the fucking dirt! I might as WELL have the baby at home... At least it would be cleaner." He said, "Joj, this place is like 200 years old." I came back with, "And they didn't discover mops between then and now?"

Finally, we got processed, handed a page of stickers with my name and a UPC on it, and told to wait outside "box" #2. *eye roll* A curly-haired woman who seemed younger than I invited us into the "box" and asked us to sit down. We were followed by what I figured out later must be an intern. As Curly sat on the other side of the desk, asking us questions and then hunt-and-pick typing information into a computer, I noticed that her white hospital uniform wasn't very white and was ever-so-see-through. I wondered why, especially on a cold day and in a building that felt like a big ancient morgue, she wouldn't wear some sort of undershirt. Her front pocket was weighted down with a humongous phone/walkie-talkie and a collection of tattered papers.

From the first day of my last period, she figured we were/are 7 weeks 4 days pregnant and then asked me to step into another "box" (this time it meant closet) and undress. I still didn't get anything to put on, I still had to walk out into a room of three people with only a shirt and socks, but at least I wasn't still wearing my shoes and winter scarf and at least I was spared the whole having to get undressed in front of people, nazi concentration camp-style, fiasco.

I had told Sam that if she didn't wash her hands or put on gloves, I was going to run out of there naked. And when she picked up a speculum and came at me with it without putting on gloves, I said, "Oh yeah, um, I forgot to tell you that I have a slight senstivity to latex." She said, "Oh, that's okay." I squeezed my eyes closed and tried not to think about what that probably meant. But then, I heard the familiar SNAP of latex on wrist and was relieved.

She got the speculum in there and then murmurred something to her intern about blood and blah blah. I tried not to eavesdrop. Then, she said, "We're gonna do a quick sonogram." I lifted the bottom of my shirt. "No, we're gonna do it from inside since it's so early." I nodded and braced myself. Memories from my last experience flooded into my head and it was all I could do to fight back tears. But she talked to me the entire time, she was gentle and she made sure to ensure my comfort.

There is a spot in there. A Spot. Spot the Sequel. Back in 2003, when I had a miscarriage, a doctor did an internal sonogram on us and pointed at a little spot on the screen and said, "See that spot? That's your baby. It's still in there." A week later, Spot was gone. So, this time, she said, "Well, the egg sac is definitely younger than your dates would indicate. That could either mean we just need to wait and see if it's going to progess. It could also mean the beginning of a miscarriage. There's no way to tell right now."

I nodded feeling a strange sense of deja vu.

For one, the whole Spot thing came to mind. And for another, with both Lily AND Laurel, when we went in to have a sonogram early in the pregnancies, we were told both times that the pregnancy was about two weeks younger than my dates indicated. THEN, around 20 or so weeks, they'd do another look-see and say something about my dates being wrong by two weeks... Like my babies go through some sort of gestational growth spurt or something in utero. *shrug*

Sam took me out to lunch since we had the day to ourselves. I got home, played on the net a little and then took a nap. When I got up, I had ridiculously painful cramps and enough bleeding to really worry me. Strangely enough, I don't have the gut-burn I did with my last miscarriage. I remember waking up in the middle of the night feeling like my uterus was on FIRE. This time, I just feel like someone with an iron grip has their hand on my ovaries and is squeezing them like a pair of stress balls or something. So, am I ovulating? Is that the reason for the blood? Are my ovaries just shutting down in preparation for the pregnancy or something? Or, am I really having a miscarriage?

I'm okay either way. I know most people won't believe it, but I really am. I WANT a fourth baby. I hadn't planned on it being right now, but I won't turn it away. And if my body says "no" to this one, (or Spot the Sequel says "no" to us), I'm okay with that, too. I know it's a natural part of the process, this weeding out of a bad match. But I'd just like to KNOW, you know? If I'm having a miscarriage, I'd like to go ahead and get it over with and get back to my normal life--a life of beer, hard exercise, picking up my kids, dieting a little and whatnot. If I'm not miscarrying and am in fact pregnant still, I'd like to know so I can get back to my pregnant life--a life of thinking about babies, staring at my new (smaller) diapers, patting my belly, telling people about the pregnancy and whatnot.

Last night, the building association has a "pot" (that means a small party where we stand around and drink champagne and eat finger food) in order for the residents to get to know one another. We weren't going to go because I wasn't feeling well and we're all a little shy over here. But then, Sam felt bad. "They're trying to organize something and I keep having this picture of two little old ladies sitting downstairs by themselves eating toasts and feeling all alone."

"Then, get your ass dressed and go down there."

He came back 2 minutes later. "I didn't even get off the elevator. I could hear a lot of voices and figured they're all okay."

"Then, go back down there! Take Lolo with you. Everyone loves Lolo. Put in an appearance and then come back."

He grumbled and whined, but I talked him into it.

He came back a few minutes later with a champagne glass in one hand and Lolo in the other. "Okay, Mama, you have to come down. They want to meet you and they specially prepared stuff for kids and there aren't any kids down there."

I sighed and patted my belly, but threw on a shirt and scarf and helped get the kids shoes on.

He was right, there were about 20 little old peeps down there. It was cute because, of course, they LOVED our kids and all three of our kids acted like all of these people were there for them. Like this was their party. The old peeps loved that. As it turns out, there were three other kids there (just older than ours). Ryan is really good at playing with older kids, though. I tried to be the invisible mommy type chasing after my kids, but several sweet ladies cornered me and tried to point me in the direction of mommy groups in town and international organizations and whatnot. I thought that that was SUGAR sweet even though I really don't see myself looking into that right now.

My point in bringing this up is that Sam told everyone that we were awaiting our fourth baby. So, I had to smile and nod every time someone asked me. What I wanted to say was, "We'll see." But I know that would have spurred that uncomfortable, I-need-to-take-a-shit look. No one likes to talk about it. I don't personally mind talking about miscarriage. I think NOT talking about it makes it even worse than it really is. But I know that there are generational, sociocultural, linguistic and other differences.

I did tell Ryan's teacher. Since everyone was working and both girls were at daycare yesterday, I volunteered to go get Ryan. I had decided that I'd get him and take him to the kebab resto to split an order of fries. (Kids in France have a "gouter" or snack around 4--they call it their "four o'clock", their "quatres heures"--and most kids' parents bring them a gouter to school when they come to pick them up.) Since the teacher doesn't get to see me very often, she wanted to catch up. She told me that for the past two weeks, Ryan has made some SPECTACULAR progress. That he has actually been focusing more on the exercises they are doing. I told her that I had noticed. That he had actually be ASKING to do exercises in his workbook at home. All. By. Himself! Then, I told her that barring a few current complications we were having right now--that we'd know in a few weeks--we might be having a fourth baby. She, working with moms and kids all the time, took it like a champ. She looked at Ryan and said, "Soooo, you might be having a new baby, huh? You want a boy or a girl?" I wish everyone would react this way.

I just don't see how I can still be pregnant. I can't imagine that I am. I am just bleeding like crazy. And... TMI ALERT!!! TMI ALERT!!! there are pieces... tissue... when I look down into the toilet bowl. Pieces can't be good right?

Ugh! Wish I could just freakin' KNOW!!!!

Anywhoo, I'm at home alone with all three kiddoes today. Sam has a lunch thingy he has to go to and it would have been difficult for him to juggle the lunch and the whole picking Lily up from daycare thing, so I told him to let her stay home. So far, so good. I just with I could explain things better. I told Ryan that we weren't sure the baby was going to stay in my belly, but that if it didn't we'd just make a new one in a few months or so. I told him not to worry but that I do need to take it easy. He seemed to understand. I want him to know something as close as possible to the truth but still something he can understand. *shrug*

Okie dokie. Wasn't a quickie much, was it? Sorry.

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