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from a bunch of cells.... [Jul. 14th, 2009|06:56 pm]
four years ago today, quinn was conceived. during the pregnancy, i had a lot of worries about how our lives would change forever--after all, it had been just hope and me for 11 years at that point. it's hard to imagine such a huge change after that amount of time.

people assured me that once the baby was born, i wouldn't be able to imagine my life before.

as cheesy as it is, they were right. every day i am lucky to have a vibrant, feisty little girl. <3
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preschool panic [Jul. 13th, 2009|09:03 pm]
tomorrow morning we're going to visit the big Montessori school that people around here know about.
on thursday we're visiting a comes-with-good recommendations co-op school.
next week we may go visit the hippie dippie waldorf school that sort of puts me off because they don't teach reading, just "literacy skills."
and i still need to contact another, less renown Montessori school .

and tomorrow i will have to face the lead teacher in quinn's room who left me a voicemail last friday asking if we're leaving because of something they've done and if they can make up for it (second part of that is my paraphrasing).  do you think the fact that i haven't called her back yet suffices as an answer?  we're still in 'negotiations' with her current school, and there is a chance they could move quinn into the pre-K room (and OUT of the room with the unkind and harsh teachers), and i am trying to keep an open mind.  but i 80% feel we'll just leave whether or not they have a spot for her in the pre-K room.

there are a handful of other preschools to consider, and we know at least 2 of the above ones have waiting lists.

so, yeah.  post to come with more details on why we're all tired of crying over sending quinn to her current school.  nothing scandalous or juicy.  just a sad kid.  and a sad mommy and mum.
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today's to-do [Jun. 2nd, 2009|01:39 pm]
cleaned the stinky basement
washed the kid's bedding that got peed on by &%$* cat
bought yet more vinyl for kid's bed to help protect it when q isn't in it
scored a new WordGirl toy for q at wendy's
ate another veggie happymeal to get the toy
found and returned overdue library book
about to put q's bed back together
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happier things [May. 23rd, 2009|09:54 pm]

wanted to share some of my most recent favorite photos: (but if you are ttc and in The Bad Place, you may want to stop scrolling)


our niece, erin, at her first birthday party.  she got hosed down in the tub.


quinn and her cousin, owen (erin's brother--gee, anything give that away?).


quinn at her "gymnastics" class.  she loved it, and she did improve on her somersaulting and bar swinging skills!


from our anatomy scan a few weeks ago.  on the bottom you see a head, an arm and a belly.  along the left side is his back.  and along the top is one very, very long leg.  yep, his toes are extending way past his head, so maybe we have another little gymnast.  heh.  and yes, his!  it indeed appears to be a boy!



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memorials [May. 23rd, 2009|09:39 pm]

13 years ago this weekend we moved from oxford (ohio, not mississippi) to columbus.  we rented an apartment with money we got from graduation, had no jobs lined up, and hope was to start grad school in september (and she did).  we made naive choices, but it all worked out.

8 years ago this weekend we moved into our first house, the one we live in now.  i am still thankful to the friends who forced the queen box springs up the narrow staircase because had it not fit, i think i would have had a nervous breakdown right there on the spot.  the house we've kept up with as much as time and money has allowed us (read: we have a shit load of stuff we need to do before we can even consider putting the house on the market); the yard has been a labor of love.  it's not fancy and the grass is thin and weedy because of the lack of pesticides, but we've planted tons and tons of perennials over the years, and built various gardens since we've been here.  it seriously pains me a little to think about someone else perhaps not taking care of all of the plants.  so much so that i'm hoping the timing can work out so that when we do move, i can dig up some of them and take them with us.

1 year ago this weekend we got a +HPT, our first since the miscarriage six months prior.  we had our first experience with betas (other than the ones we had during deadbaby #1 to verify that things were not going well), which turned into presumed-ectopic beta hell (read: betas rose, but not appropriately, thus sending off warning bells for ectopic concern).  we had 5 lovely days of guarded bliss, but bliss nonetheless, 5 days before we got the second beta back and realized things didn't look so good. 

i was reading a board on FF the other day, and someone posted about a new + HPT and mentioned that her EDD is 2/1/10 and i hadn't really realized that february due dates were starting.  ours was 2/2/09, which means had it worked out, we'd have a 4ish month old baby right now.  we've passed several deadbaby milestones with hope being pregnant again, and i've said it before that while it helps immeasurably to pass Bad Milestones when knocked up, the sting remains.  a few weeks ago quinn and i were at the local mall's indoor playland thingy and i overhead some women talking; one had a baby who was 10 months old.  my first thought was "oh, she'll be a year in june.  this june ('09) is when we we were going to have a baby...." my next thought was "fucking a, WE should have a 10 month old right now, too, since had deadbaby #1 made it, he/she would have been born in june '08."  it immediately took me to The Bad Place and The Dark Place and to all of those thoughts that slowly have been pushed beneath the surface as this current healthy pregnancy has progressed.

we have a whole host of fun activities going on this weekend, but my heart is a little heavy thinking back to a year ago, to the time when i really truly believed the universe wouldn't fuck with me twice (or, HA! three times!).  my thoughts are also with some friends whose journey to get pregnant after a loss has been eerily similar to ours and i hope by the end of the month they are rejoicing.  please go give them love and/or keep them in your T&P.

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where to start? [May. 6th, 2009|02:45 pm]
seriously, so much to say and update on....

the two big things that have happened are our anatomy scan and my getting on the pill.  oh, and quinn turned 3.  and she moved up to the preschool room and has been hating it.  AND gelatin-free skittles are now readily available in the US.  that's pretty huge for me!

i'll start with the pill.  i think i did briefly update that i put out the cash to have a PAP done at PP.  the doctor was kind and not scary, although her speculum skills could, um, use some practice or something.  it was one of those moments when you close your eyes and think of rainbows and happy kittens and hope that it's all over soon.  i suppose she was trying to distract me by asking me questions that required full sentence answers while she was poking and prodding my parts, but as i was in concentration mode on my rainbow visualizations, i had a hard time answering her.  she also pretty much had never heard of anyone inducing lactation via BCP and domperidone (she asked me if i had tried squeezing my boobs to see if anything would come out.  ummm, i guess that is one method, if you're 17 and considering having a baby when you're 25) but she took in my info respectfully and gave me the drugs i needed.

so i've been on BCP for the first time ever for the past 6-7 weeks.  i think the worst side effect i notice is that my patience has been less than i wish it to be.  maybe it's been the additional stress of the april weekends--FIL and MIL coming up for quinn's birthday (also easter), having her party the following weekend, having a family bridal shower the next weekend....i don't know.  but i've been short with quinn and probably with hope.  the progesterone from the BCP is making my ta-tas a bit sore and they are bigger than ever (*sigh* i know some people think a DD cup sounds great, but really, i'd love a big B or small C cup.  really.).  i'm also popping domperidone to help convince my boobs to start making milk.  who knows if any of this will work....around mid july is when i cut out the BCP and start pumping.  i am a bit afraid of hooking up my boobs to an electric machine and i've seen what breast pumps do to nipples.  hope keeps wanting me to try the pump now, just to see if i can take it, and i know she's right.  i should.  i suppose i know i am afraid of it, and i worry that if i do any sort of trial run, i'll really want to run screaming from it and then i'll be even more relcuctant to drag it out come july.  so i'm just going on the 'in july i'll just need to suck it up' train of thought. 

maybe the most annoying thing about all of this is that starting about 2 weeks ago, i started what the kids call "breakthrough bleeding."  i am taking continuous BCP, i.e. skipping the sugar pills, and popping the drugs each day of the month.  breakthrough bleeding isn't unusual, but the hopeful plan is to not bleed at all while taking the BCP.  yeah.  the first few days consisted of something heavier than spotting, but not enough to need nightly 'protection.'  then for a week i worried that maybe i was just going to bleed forever.  and honestly, constant low-level bleeding is frustrating as hell.  not enough to bring out the big guns; too much to be able to ignore completely.  luckily, i think maybe i turned a corner yesterday, and everyone will be thrilled to know i think the bleeding may be tapering.  yay for the small things.

i was mostly worried that this bleeding was indicitive of my body not responding well to the induction regimen.  hope did some research and that doesn't seem to be the case.  so now, we just wait and see. 
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tidbits [Apr. 7th, 2009|09:17 am]
just to note:

1.) gave the cats catnip this morning, and currently our neurotic siamese is bringing out his best mean drunk issues while the lump of love foster cat Padre is just rolling back and forth through the catnip goodness, looking blissed out. rusty (neurotic siamese) is sort of the downer at this party.

2.) when saying goodbye to me this morning at school, quinn blew me a kiss. cute, eh? except she extended one certain finger while doing it. quite amusing, if not cute. still, i told her it was more appropriate if she used her whole hand while blowing kisses.

3.) our anatomy scan is one week from today. kinda freaking out.

4.) i *did* win the ikea furniture on ebay. yay! grandma and grandpa McG are bringing it up with them this weekend when they visit for quinn's birthday. we still have some serious room de-cluttering/re-arranging/cleaning/purging to do.

5.) it's hard to believe i have an almost 3-year old. it does not feel like that much time has passed since she was born.

6.) i've got some more mean drunks on catnip. gotta go.
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weird [Mar. 28th, 2009|10:23 pm]
for a while now we have been in planning stages for quinn's big girl bed. her crib has been in 'day bed' function for quite some time now, but for various reasons, we want to upgrade and get her a real bed. one we can sit with her on during night time stories. or you know, one i can crash on with her during her daily nap time (at least one day a week i totally fall asleep on her floor while trying to convince her to sleep at nap time).

we've been looking for something that may last a while--maybe not until she moves out of the house, but something that is better constructed than, say, a few of the pieces we have in our own mismatched bedroom. and thus we also didn't want to pay an arm and a leg for it.

craigslist has been hit or miss, not really offering anything i thought was fabulous.

ebay seemed daunting with the whole issue of shipping heavy stuff.

then there is always ikea. we browsed online, and there were a few things we sort of liked....so today we decided to drive on down and specifically check on one style. mainly to see if we liked the color in person. [and as it turns out, hoped checked the stock right before we left, and indeed they were sold out of the bed size we want. but we decided to go ahead anyway, and at least we could see the coordinating pieces to see if we even liked the color.]

well, we sort of hated the color. ditto for the other available color options. shit. i was feeling discouraged and on the ride home, we decided just to focus on buying the new matress set and we could throw it on a frame and worry about the actual headboard/bedset later.

30 minutes ago i decided to give ebay another shot. typed into the search box the collection name and the other appropriate info. it didn't find anything with the collection name, but did its little automatic lose-one-of-your-search-words-search thingy. and one of the very first listings??

e-x-a-c-t-l-y what we were looking for. it's the same style of the bed we went to see today, only in a discontinued color, one we don't hate. it's pickup only, but they are in ohio. in cincy. where in in-laws live. who i think we can bribe into doing the picking up and bringing to us with their minivan. the ebay listing includes 4 matching pieces, which is a little over the top for me (that amount of matchy makes me a little queasy), but the going price right now on the auction is about half of what just the bed sells for new.

it closes tomorrow morning. i'm embarrassed to admit that my adrenal gland is working in overdrive right now. i hope there isn't some secret posse of ikea bed wanters who lurk like me until the last 20 seconds of an aution and then go for the kill.

*and in an unrelated update, my conscience is getting to me about the damn PAP. i am a little worried that it will take a long time to get an appt, since i'm not having an imminent problem (other than i probably should have started the BCP a while ago). but i guess i'll call on monday and see how long it will take to get in. there's definitely some baggage here that i didn't allude to yesterday: short story is that i had my very first PAP done at a PP when i was in college. in pretty much a moment of extreme distress. and the whole experience was teh suck. since then i've been lucky to have only wellness PAPs done, and for the most part, by a caring and gentle practictioner. but you know, it's hard to erase that first time.
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stupid insurance (or lack thereof) [Mar. 27th, 2009|10:24 am]
reason #564839363930 it's fucking ridiculous that i can't be included on hope's family insurance policy: i'm hoping to induce lactation with Berry, and to get this started, i need to take birth control pills. oh, the irony of it all.

but you know, i don't have insurance.

and the BCPs i need to trick my body into thinking it's been pregnant aren't available from illicit online locations.

so i just called planned parenthood to make an appointment. i was given 2 options: get a consult and i can get a 3-4 month supply of BCP, which should be just about what i need anyway. or, get a PAP and get a 12 month supply of BCP. it's been, errr, 3-4 years since i've had a PAP, so it would be good to get one done. but to get it done there? with no insurance? it costs $106. $106 for someone to swipe my cervix, stick the cells in a bottle and then for a lab person to analyze it??? aaaarrrggghhhh.

or, it was $60 for the consult, which is still highway robbery for someone who is paying out of pocket. and we can swing it right now, but you know, lots of people couldn't.

i'm probably being short-sighted and stupid, but i scheduled a consult instead of the full on appointment. it pisses me off to pay that much out of pocket for a simple procedure, even if it is a pretty important one.
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17 weeks [Mar. 26th, 2009|02:20 pm]
how very different chronicling a pregnancy is when you have experienced a loss--my own laziness is partly to blame for my lack of updates, to be sure.  but there's also been (for me) this sense of 'if i talk about it, it may go away' thing and so it's been easier on all fronts to just not say much.  and i know i'll probably regret this silence, once enough time passes that i cannot acutely remember how this pregnancy has felt.

i wonder how the paths of anxiety cross for people who have experienced pregnancy loss at different points in their lives.  how different is it (or isn't it?) if you've had a loss, but most recently had a successful pregnancy and are now pregnant again from having a successful pregnancy, then a loss, and then become pregnant again?  hmm, maybe something more visual would make more sense.  say, situation A: loss-->successful pregnancy-->pregnant again vs. situation B: successful pregnancy-->loss-->pregnant again.  do the folks in situation A feel any more confident because their most recent experience was positive and ended with a real take-home baby?  is the fear of loss lessened by the psychic distance from it?  or is impossible to really ever get far enough away from it? 

although we've safely moved out of the first trimester and the odds are of losing this baby are relatively small statistically speaking, i still feel on edge.  a little.  i suppose 80% of me feels that probably this one will all work out--but i can't help but continue to push back the threshold of when i'll really feel okay.  at the beginning it was all about making it past the point of previous losses.  then it was seeing a real live baby at our first OB appointment and scan, and then at the NT scan (about 11-12 weeks).  a few days ago the OB found the heartbeat on her doppler--we've been doing this about once a week at home since around 12 weeks, but there's a different validation when it happens with a medical professional in the room, you know?  so we have successfully passed several milestones.  but now i am holding my breath until we have the anatomy scan, which will happen on april 14th, when hope will be just shy of 20 weeks.  if everything seems okay, maybe THEN some of the doubts will go away???     

we're hoping to find out the sex at the anatomy scan, and if we do, it may help alleviate a different kind of anxiety--the naming of a child.  if we're able to find out, we'll only have to choose one name.  i love names and honestly i am still pinching myself that we're to the point of even considering names for another child.  but if there is a way to feel anxious about something, i'll find it.  it's true that i've had baby names picked out since i was about 10, but 'susan' and 'nancy' don't really hold the same appeal to me now (can you say "Eight is Enough" fan?).  neither do Anastasia, Thomasina or Svetlana.  choosing quinn's name happened somewhat organically--i still read through baby name books in case something fabulous jumped out at me.  this time, we have what i suppose are front runners for both a girl and a boy, but i don't feel 100% sure about either of them.  and the boy doesn't have a middle name yet.  a combination that i like would give the kid initials that spell a word--nothing foul, but i'm still not sure how i (or he may) feel about it.  my biggest crux right now concerning a boy's name is that there's nothing on the list that i feel especially emotionally connected to.  some baby name book that i read recently mentioned how parents can feel stumped for naming a second child because you already used your most perfect, exceptional name.  and i think that's where i am right now.  quinn is a family name, plus a name that survived my childhood obsession.  her middle name, brigid, is one i liked for a first name, but no baby of ours gets a "B" first name, since the initials would be "BM."  sorry, not gonna do that to a kid, no matter HOW much i like a name.  but brigid also gave her/us a loose connection to a paganized Mary, and so it felt right.

this time around i am full of worry about name regret.  i very much love our girl name, but wonder it will be the right name (should we have a girl).  one way to solve this, of course, is to go into the birth with a list of names, and then matching the baby to a name.  this makes oodles of sense, and although we didn't do that before, i think, in theory, it's the best way to go all around.  but.....then i also worry that the last-minute pressure to decide will cause even more stress (and add in hormonal stuff and maybe physical and/or mental exhaustion to that stress).  and THEN i worry that i'm jinxing us by talking about names before a baby is out and breathing.  

in related but less neurotic news, we haven't officially told quinn that she's (hopefully) going to be a big sister, but she's been clued in for a while.  we have been talking about it generically, i.e., "if you have a little brother or sister, you'll have to share XY and Z," and i have gotten some library picture books that address impending sibling-hood.  so although we have never told her she's (hopefully) going to be a big sister, of late she has taken to telling other people this fact.  kids at storytime.  Mr. Sam, the storytime librarian.  it's made for some interestingly awkward conversations (and i just realized i forgot to tell hope about this one).  quinn was telling storytime friend Ava (and btw, there are 2 Avas that attend this storytime.  we refer to them as The Avas, as in 'do you want to go sit by The Avas?') her big sister spiel and Ava's grandma looked to me, probably both for a mental and visual confirmation of this news.  although i am far from thin, i don't *think* i look pregnant most days, so i could see Ava's grandma internally trying to put the pieces together.  at this point i offered that indeed we are hoping that quinn will be a big sister in late august.  then i watched as she quickly calculated how pregnant she thought i should look to be due in august.  to put her out of her misery, i said that quinn's other mom, my wife, is pregnant.  the wife part must have totally missed her radar, because then she said, "oh, is there a stepmom?"  and i said, "no, it's my partner who's pregnant; quinn's other mom."  she apologized for not catching on sooner, but i think she was already a little freaked out by my hairy legs seen via my cropped pants.

quinn is also quite adament that she's going to have a sister.  whenever we say the "if you have a little brother or sister..." line, she immediately cuts us off at that point and says, "SISTER."  i am not convinced that she knows anything here, and if i remember correctly, i think some friends of ours with a daughter quinn's age went through a similar thing with their second baby, and it turned out to indeed be a brother and not a sister.  we've tried various comebacks of consisting of language that includes "we don't get to pick," and "it could be a girl; it could be a boy" and "mum has a brother and it's GREAT!" but she has not been fazed by these retorts.  in fact, we may as well not even be talking.  a boy will be a big adjustment for us, but i think we're more worried about how quinn may handle it all.  just 19 more days until we find out, if little Berry is up for showing us the goods.  so just about 2.5 weeks for the next milestone....
 
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