I Had To Tell You

It is 3:30 p.m. on a Friday, and everyone in my house (except me, duh — and including DearDR) is asleep.

I do not know what to do with myself.

I cleaned the kitchen. And, of course, put a load of laundry in, and will start another shortly.

I don’t even have anything to write about here.

But it is a beautiful spring day. We have already been to the park. And now I am just reveling in the quiet that is my house.

Actually I am listening to all my iTunes songs with “rock” in the category (currently U2, “All Because of You”), so it’s not so quiet.

I just had to tell somebody.

Who Needs a Gym Membership?

Work Out

I have a two year old. This means, especially as the weather improves, that I can simply get exercise by cutting her loose.

One night, we did about 20 laps around my first floor. “Run, Mommy,” Monkey exhorts me. And we run and run and run around and around.

Last night after dinner, Monkey and I went outside. We spent most of the time running up and down my in-laws’ back yard. Down the yard to the “plant”, a crappy planter with dead grass in it. “Wook at the pwant.” Dutiful looking ensues. On the way back up the yard, we must fall at least three times. (I’m pretty sure the first time we fell, Monkey tripped. But when I “fell” too, it became part of the game.) As my in-laws backyard has a gentle slope, this became quite a thigh-burning workout. At the top of the yard, we sat briefly on the steps to the deck. Then down the yard again. At least ten times, maybe fifteen.

And this after the morning mall walk. That’s right, yesterday for the first time, I walked the mall, with Bun slumbering peacefully in her stoller. I think each lap is a 1/2 mile. So I walked a mile-and-a-half yesterday morning! Exciting to finally get some exercise. It’s not about the weight. Don’t hate me, but I am already to my pre-pregnancy weight. Now, it’s all about getting toned back up, and regaining some stamina.

I know I will need to do more than run and play with Monkey or mall-walk a couple times a week to truly gain muscle tone, but I’ve at least made a start.

I love spring.

Working

This is what I want, and what I will be looking for in the next month (and beyond) — I really would like to be working consistently by the end of April: I want a writing position. I want to go into the office twice a week, from 7:30-8 a.m. to 4 p.m. If there is work I do not complete at that time, I will finish it at home. So maybe working about 20 hours a week (including some weekend hours — I think this would be unavoidable).

I cannot do the full-time, stay-at-home mommy thing. I love my girls, and I like being able to run to the store and/or do laundry during the week. My home is definitely cleaner now than it was when I was working full-time. But I am, for the most part, pretty bored. Of course, I would be less bored if I actually kept Monkey at home with me, but we’ve kept her in day care three days a week (and my in-laws have her one day, too). Anticipating my return to work.

I also cannot do the full-time work and full-time mommy thing. Because make no mistake: they are both full time. I would break. DearDR is not home most evenings and I refuse to work all day long to come home to feeding/entertaining/bathing and getting into bed the children by my lonesome. I would be stressed and overwhelmed, and there is no sense in doing that to myself, my children or my DearDR.

I miss writing as work. I want to write to make money. I liked my job, and I would like to continue my relationship with the company. I don’t know if they’ll go for this part-time/work-at-home thing, even temporarily. But if they don’t, it’s possible someone else will.

I will have to pump my milk for Bun. Bun will have to spend some time in day care. I think it would be an even trade, though, in the long run.

Wish me luck!

Bad Mommy Days

Welcome to the cough and mucous factory

It has been a very trying week. We have all been in various stages of sickness since Sunday. And I had a hard time dealing with the Monkey’s endless coughing Monday. I just wanted her to stop. Especially stop coughing on me. We have not had a very good time. On Wednesday, the Bun started coughing, and that was the worst. She just gave me this very confused look that said, “What is happening to me, and why can’t you stop it?”

Ah, I am the bringer of all pleasure and pain, little Bun. I feed you and keep you warm and make you smile that gorgeous smile. And then I nearly drown you in saline nose drops and suck snot out of your tiny nostrils. The coughing, if I could, I would do for you, because it’s not right that your little ten-week-old body should endure such an insult.

Yesterday, Bun seemed well on the way to getting better, coughing much less. Unfortunately this morning, she yurked her breakfast breastmilk all over both of us because of a bad coughing fit. Once more, I am closely monitoring the situation. No fever, and she is sleeping and eating okay.

I just want everyone well again. Oh, that, and if the sun would deign us with an appearance, that would be nice.

Go Read Something Funny

Because I haven’t the energy to blog more about our sickness. Although I would like to say if there were monetary reward for snot, we would be billionaires between what my husband is coughing up and what is coming out of my nose. Even Bun would have a few thousand dollars we could sock away for college.

Dooce explains why a family bed wouldn’t work for her family. (This link is so funny I cried.)
Stephanie teaches her daughter about real life messages.
Misfit Hausfrau learns about mermaid breasts.
Nigel explains why he paints.

Blogging on Blogging: The Experts

I am out of my league. Here are the people writing intelligently about this subject:

Her Bad Mother
Gingajoy, who is very educated in this topic
Under the Mad Hat: this is the link to the first of a series. A series! Funny and serious, and sometimes spot-on (and sometimes I disagree a bit, which I think would be okay with her).
BlogRhet, which is all about meta-blogging

I am sure there are more. Let me know what I’m missing.

Blogging on Blogging: The Navel Gaze

I’ve been thinking about this post for about a week now. Actually, I’ve been thinking about this topic, the whyfore write a blog topic, for awhile. I had no idea there would be panels about it! I guess this is what is called a meta-post. Who knew?

My disclaimer: I am no academic. These thoughts are my thoughts about blogging, and I haven’t done a lot of research on other sites to see what others think about blogging or the community of bloggers. I’ve seen a few things out there that have made me think about it, but not much more than the questions from Her Bad Mother, courtesy of Joy.

The first time I encountered the blog phenomenon was when I began reading Misfit Hausfrau. MH is a friend of mine from a few years back. She moved away a few years back, but we still visit and email and, occasionally, vacation together with a cadre of other friends. I found her on-line musings hilarious, and I found myself thinking, “Hey, I could do that.”

But I didn’t. I did continue to read the Hausfrau site; I also began visiting other parenting blogs. I seldom commented; and although I often thought, “Hey I could do that” I continued to not do it. Part of my attitude was, “I get paid to write”, which at the time, was true.

Although on occasion I still get paid to write, I found myself with more and more stories I wanted to tell to people. About Bun and the CCAM. About Monkey and how she was doing.

And then I had Bun, and suddenly I felt like I had time. The desire was there, the time was there. My sister-in-law, Earth Mother, was starting to write online. The “hey I could do that” attitude became, “what the hell. I’m going to do it.”

As you can see, this little blog is very much a work in progress. I don’t like the name (I’m thinking of switching to My 2 Girls). I can’t figure out how to post photos. I’m one of hundreds of parent bloggers out there. Frankly, I think a lot of them are funnier than I am, and I’m not sure I’m saying anything new. I do think I’m as good a writer as most of them. Maybe not as entertaining, but I’m trying to be. I hope to be.

So, here are some of the questions posed this week, and my answers to them.

Who are we? What kind of parent-blogger are you?
I don’t know about “we”, but I am a white female, 36 years old, married with children (obviously). I live in a suburb of Pittsburgh. I am a college graduate with dreams of earning an MFA in writing someday; I am a writer, and sometimes I work full-time, but for most of my marriage and life as a mom, I’ve freelanced. I also edit and do graphic design when I can find that kind of work. I feel I should say I am somewhat “priviledged” because, really, although we don’t make a lot of money, we do own our house and have two computers, on one of which I blog. So there’s that.

I am an unsure blogger. I am an inexperienced blogger. I think occasionally, I am a funny blogger.

To whom are we writing? Who is our audience?
I would like my audience to be my family and friends. But I haven’t told many people about this weblog because I want the freedom to write my TMI posts, about my hemorrhoids or about my (lack of) sex life. And I’m not sure I could do that, be that honest or “real” if I knew my mom was going to read this.

I would like my audience to be other parent-bloggers. Her Bad Mother, Misfit Hausfrau, Cynical Dad, Dooce — and others. I would like to be part of the community. I would like to know that what I have to say is read. Right now, I know I am pretty much writing in a void. And for now, that is okay.

Why are we writing? What is our purpose?
I am writing because, to quote Stephen King, “Writers write.” My purpose is to write, just get the words on… well, I was stupidly going to say “on paper”, but that doesn’t apply here. To get the words out, let’s say that.

I have been pretty faithful to this weblog. More faithful that I’ve been to my journal in quite some time. That may change when I go back to work (if I go back to work). It may change for any number of reasons: if I continue to feel like I’m writing in a void; if I am discouraged; if my husband/mother/friends say(s), “what are you doing that for?”; if I realize I don’t have anything to say.

But for now: I am writing to write. To practice my craft. To maybe get better at it.

What is the context for our writing? What are we saying? What is our message?
For the most part, I think we are telling our stories, all of which are relevant stories to us. We are saying, “You are not alone.” I’m not sure “we” have a message aside from that. I don’t have an agenda for this site. I just want to tell some people my stories. That’s all.

How does the medium of blogging affect all this?
I don’t have an answer for this one at this time.

What kind of citizen are you in the parent blog-o-sphere?
I read a number of blogs regularly, and I am discovering new writers all the time. I comment if I feel I have something relevant to add to the discussion. If a site gets hundreds of comments, I seldom leave one. I just don’t comment to comment. That might make me a bad citizen.

I link a lot. Because I am not really writing in a void, and what other writers have said sometimes affects what I have to say.

I don’t have the chutzpah to give awards.

I think “off-blog” and inter-blog activity is important. And I want to know how I get invited to these fabulous parties, panels and activities. But that is more work than this little blog deserves right now. Oh, and also, how to make money from this. Like Dooce, whose post about her husband and his refusal to start books the way Leta wants to start them made me cry with laughter. (I couldn’t leave a comment for some reason).

Okay, that’s all I have to say on this topic for now. I have to 1. do some laundry (which I notice is how I end quite a few of my posts, by going to do laundry. I wish this were code for “go have hot sex with DearDR”. But it’s really not) and 2. check on my not-napping Monkey.

These ‘Rhoids are Getting Me Down

(This is a TMI post. This may even be an MTMI [Much Too Much Information] post. But I know a lot of you moms out there have to deal with this — or rather, these — and often we have to deal with it, or them, directly because of our pregnancies and labors. I am hoping to deal with this subject in a humorous way, but it may simply be gross or — dare I say — asinine.) You have been warned.

I have hemorrhoids. Now.

I did not have this problem before my children. I did not suffer constipation or anal fissures or the dreaded and very painful hemorrhoids before I got pregnant.

I don’t know what to do about my hemorrhoids except to wish they would go away. I have a book about nutritional healing that suggests foods high in fiber and lots of liquids (especially water) to prevent or help clear up hemorrhoids.

I am a vegetarian. I eat whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Well, and cheese. I drink so much water, it’s a wonder my back teeth aren’t actually floating. I mean, we’re talking about a gallon or so or water daily. My pee is clear.

And still I am afflicted. They hurt. They bleed. My daily BM is, literally, a crapshoot: will it hurt today? Do I need the Tucks?

Monkey was delivered after three hours of pushing. She came out “sunny-side up”, that is, facing the ceiling instead of the floor.

After her delivery, I was incredibly swollen in all my bits, front to back. I had a hemorrhoid that I swear was the size of a fist. I don’t know if it was actually that big, but it certainly felt that way.

A friend (who remains childless) came to visit me when Monkey was about a week old. She asked how things were “down there”. I said most things “down there” felt just fine, but I was still afraid of my ass. She gave me a quizzical look. “What do you mean?” I explained how the anal passage and the vagina were aligned and how the pushing out of one could affect the other. She seemed quite horrified.

I myself think it’s rather poor design.

Bun came out the right way and after only about 30 minutes of pushing. Although I had hemorrhoids afterwards, they quickly retreated due to lots of liquids and a couple doses of stool softener.

But now they’ve come back. Intermittently since Bun was born. My current course of affliction has been going on about two weeks now.

So far my line of attack has been along natural avenues. The aforementioned whole grains, bran cereals and lots and lots of H2O. When things feel painful or there is some bleeding, I use witch hazel (cheaper than Tucks). I could start a fiber supplement. If things don’t get better soon, I may turn to stool softeners and (with the okay from my midwife) Preparation H. I need some relief. Bun is nine weeks old, now. Shouldn’t I be getting some relief?

I don’t want to go see a doctor about them. The last time I did that, I ended up undergoing a procedure called a flexible sigmoidoscopy. Before this procedure I had to give myself an enema. Two enemas. I mean, putting a suppository in is humiliating enough, ever given yourself an enema? Unpleasant to say the least. And hard to do, frankly. And then the further mortification of having a guy stick something up your colon to about your kidneys looking for serious problems.

It’s just too humiliating to be borne again. I’m just going to wait them out. Someday, my ass will go back to normal. Right?

The Needle(s) and the Damage Done

When you get a CT or CAT scan, you have to intake a contrast element so things show up clearly on the scan. In big people, this is usually an oral solution, somewhat chalky in taste.

In babies, it’s an IV solution.

IVs mean needles.

To say that the experience Friday was a screaming horror would be overstating it a bit. But it sure wasn’t fun.

We arrived 10 minutes before our appointment time, which is great for DearDR and me. We are punctually challenged, to say the least. So I’m thinking this is a good start. Bun had been nursed at 7 a.m., and had taken about 4 ounces of pedialyte and water at 9 a.m. (I thought she wouldn’t take the pedialyte, but she went at that bottle like a deer goes at a salt lick — or so I imagine.) At the time of our arrival at the hospital, she was sleeping.

So far so good.

Because we didn’t have a prescription for the procedure in hand, the hospital had to contact the office of the specialist who had referred Bun for the scan. This took a while, about half an hour. Bun was still sleeping. About 15 minutes after they received the script, we were called into the room where Bun was going to get her IV.

As you can imagine, Bun’s veins are very small. So, relatively speaking, the needle to start the IV was small too. But it was sharp, and the nurse had to do some uncomfortable holding and prodding to find veins. Bun, obviously, woke up as we undressed her. I changed her diaper.

Then things got, well, not so great.

The nurse looked at a vein on Bun’s hand, and then at her feet. She decided to go in through one of Bun’s feet. I held one of Bun’s hands, and her other leg. I hummed in her ear, murmured non-sensical phrases like, “It’s okay” and “I know, I know”. Bun squirmed and cried. DearDR was in the background at this point, neither wanting to see what was happening nor wanting to make the nurse nervous. I was trying not to look either; I just wanted to know when it was over.

But I glanced up. There was a needle sticking out of my baby’s ankle. Bun was screaming, now. There was blood. And then the nurse said, “It’s not going in.”

It looked in to me. But the nurse removed it. She tried to explain the problem, that the needle wasn’t advancing, that apparently a valve in the vein wasn’t giving way. “But I was in the vein. I got good blood return.” Oh, that’s great, thank you for that information. If this weren’t my child and if I had more than high school biology, I may have been able to appreciate the information better.

The nurse left to get another nurse to help her hold Bun down. I had picked Bun up and was rocking her, knowing she hurt and that she had no idea what was going on, and she was probably hungry, too. I wanted to feed her; I was wishing I had pumped before we left home because my boobs hurt. Bun had her pacifier, and I think that gave her some comfort, but I know that I could give her more if they would let me.

The nurses came in for Round Two, in Bun’s other foot. They were discussing something relevant to the problem, but I couldn’t suss it out. The same thing happened with Bun’s other vein. The second nurse suggested contacting Rob in MRI to put in the IV needle. He had a light, or something. The Nurse #1 thought this was a great idea. She left again.

When she came back, I asked if I could feed Bun. She suggested I wait because if Bun was going to get comforted and fall asleep, she would just have to be rudely awakened again. The nurse told us she had paged Rob and the IV team, and someone would be in shortly.

And then she picked up her equipment tray and took off like her ass was on fire.

DearDR and I waited. Bun eventually fell back to sleep, her little chest hitching as she continued to calm down. She was pitiful, and DearDR and I already felt spent. Little did we know. As we waited, we discussed how long we would wait. DearDR kept going out in the hall to find out when someone was coming. We decided that if no one showed up by 2 p.m. (it was about 1:15 by now), we were leaving. Although, as I pointed out, that just meant we had to come back.

The IV nurse came in. She and Nurse #1 talked about the difficulty with Bun and her little veins. “They look good,” Nurse #1 said. IV Nurse agreed. “Maybe they’re just not long enough for the needle.” They decided to try the vein on Bun’s hand.

It didn’t work. So much for three being a charm.

IV Nurse decided to try a vein on Bun’s scalp. Yeah, on her head. If DearDR and I thought she was crying before, it was nothing to the scream that issued from her little body as she her head was bound with a rubber band (your office variety rubber band; you probably have one at your desk right now — it makes the veins stick out more) and a sharp needle was once more inserted into her body. DearDR and I were crying now, too.

On the bright side, this time the IV needle advanced, and they were able to start the solution. They had to use a bunch of tape to secure the needle, and then secure the IV apparatus, and then they covered it with a plastic shield to protect the assembly. It looked grotesque. I thought the needle sticking out of her little foot was bad, but this truly sucked. Step one was finished though; now we just had to get her in the scanner.

At CT/CAT scanner is like a huge doughnut, with a sliding bed that goes into the hole. It can get pretty loud, too, when they start taking the image. And since Bun is a baby, and can’t be told to stay still, she has to be strapped into the bed. Tightly. And I get the job of holding her arms straight up beside her head, so they don’t get in the way as they image her chest. Babies don’t like this position. As they were strapping her in, Nurse #1 asked if I wanted to feed her. “Now?” I wanted to say. “Aren’t we almost through here? Can we just get this over with? Why couldn’t I feed her half an hour ago?”

I simply declined.

Of course Bun cried the whole time. I forgot to be soothing at one point and I was just holding my breath. DearDR nudged me and reminded me to talk to her.

I think it only took about 10 minutes to get the image. It seemed a lot longer. Toward the end, Bun managed to get her hand entangled in the IV and seemed to be pulling on it. I almost panicked then; it was just too much to see the IV line suddenly go red with blood. Nurse #1 calmly disentangled her, flushed the IV line, and then began removing the whole thing. In order to pull off the tape without pulling out Bun’s hair (of which she has little), she had to use some kind of wipe with essesnce of orange or something on it. It was like Goo Gone. I think it took longer to take off the tape than it had to take the image.

As we were removing the tape, Nurse #1 gave DearDR a little container of sugar water in which to dip Bun’s pacifier. She explained it’s been proven a pain reliever for babies. I was thinking, “Where was this during the stabbing part of the afternoon?”

I was finally allowed to feed Bun, to our mutal relief. She calmed instantly, and I felt much better too. DearDR was suddenly all hustle and anxiety — we had left Monkey with some friends at our house (our friends, not Monkey’s friends, her godparents as a matter of fact) and he wanted to get home because he was sure we were inconveniencing them. We thought we would only be three hours, tops, and it was going on four. I just wanted to be left in peace to soothe my traumatized infant.

He went to get the car, and Bun and I finished up her long overdue lunch. When we got home, it was beers all around, soothing frazzled parents. And I had my overdue lunch.

The doctor called that evening to give us the results.

Bun’s lungs are clear. She will not need surgery. The CCAM disappeared — “resolved itself”.

Perspectives

There are a few things I kept thinking as we went through our mini-ordeal:

1. It is one thing to witness/participate in the necessary medical torture of one’s child. Imagine being Nurse #1 or IV Nurse. Your job, all day long, is to stick sharp things in tiny defenseless children, making them scream and cry. DearDR and I just had to hear one child scream and cry — granted that it was our child, and to be party to that kind of extreme distress is an awful experience. But then we were done. IV Nurse had been doing it all day, and was going to go on doing it until her shift was over. And then she has to come back the next day and do it again.

2. Not only are these people causing children pain, but they are earning the emnity of their parents. It’s all fine and good to tell yourself, “It’s just her/his job” about a Nurse #1 or IV Nurse, but let’s face it: as a parent, there is the urge to hurt someone hurting your child.

3. My child, my dear, sweet, cuddly Bun is not sick. She had to have this test to determine whether or not she needed to have surgery. What about children who, from the time they are born or are very young, have to have stuff like this done to them on a weekly or daily basis? Kids with cancer? Kids with other serious, chronic conditions? I have a godson with a cleft palate; he had two or three surgeries before he was one year old. How do parents do it?

A Bit More God Talk

Our prayers were answered. Bun is free and clear of CCAM. At this point, and we are hoping for years to come, she doesn’t need surgery.

Maybe the CCAM served a purpose. Without those frequent sonograms, we would not have known about the placental difficulty toward the end of my pregnancy. God works in mysterious ways. Believe it.

I really could have done without all those needles though. God, if we ever have to do anything like this again, with Bun or Monkey, could they get it on the first try? Thanks.

Addendum

I am adding this a day later: Reading through the above post, I realize I don’t say much about DearDR. It sounds as if he were just kind of hanging around waiting for things to be done. But he took turns with me holding Bun when she wasn’t getting pierced, and he did a lot of dealing with people. Because I am not good at dealing with people (for instance, going to ask how long things are going to take, or thanking people for their help and/or care). DearDR is a pro at that, and I rely on him for it. So I just wanted to clarify his part, and not make it sound like he left everything to me to handle. He was very present.

Ya Gotta Have Faith

Yesterday, the Bun was two months old. We had her check up, and she is doing fantastic. She has gone from 5 pounds 4 ounces at her first pediatrician visit at three days to 10 pounds 13 ounces at two months. She is round — almost chubby! For as much anxiety as she gave us in utereo, the Bun is spectacularly normal on this side of the womb.

“What’s That?”

When I am 20 weeks pregnant, we head to the hospital for the 20-week sonogram, a routine part of pregnancy. DearDR, if he decides to ditch the whole licensed psychologist thing, could be a sonogram tech, he’s that good at reading them. (It helps that with Monkey I had quite a few of sonograms; I’ll tell that story another time.) So as we’re looking at the miracle that is a baby on the sonogram, DearDR innocently inquires, “What is that bright spot around her chest?”

The sonogram tech, Nicole, hems and haws a bit. “Oh, I think that’s just part of the lung. Or maybe something is up with the equipment. It’s unusual to see such a bright spot there.”

This does not set off alarm bells. She plays it off very smoothly. Basically, on an ultrasound, bones and hard structures are supposed to be bright white; everything else is gray, with spaces (like a full bladder for instance) showing up black.

Aside from this spot, everything else appears normal on the sonogram: fingers and toes; a strongly beating heart with four chambers; bladder and kidneys; brain and face and head; umbilical cord, etc. Nicole finishes up and says she is going to send in the doctor.

Now, Dr. RT is the most awesome perinatologist I have ever met. He is the perfect complement to my midwives: he doesn’t condesend, he is patient, and he answers all the questions he can. We know Dr. RT pretty well because of the events of my other two pregnancies. Since this is not those stories, I will sum up by saying: we lost a son, Gabriel, at 37 weeks of an uneventful pregnancy, and we delivered Monkey a bit early because of low amniotic fluid.

Dr. RT comes in, greeting us with real warmth. He sits down and takes a look at my baby. Then he gets a little serious. He returns to the “bright spot” — not so much of a bright spot after all.

This, he explains, is a CCAM, a congenital cystic adenomatoid malformation. In layperson’s terms, it is cystic tissue where lung tissue is supposed to be. Instead of one of the lobes of her lung, my baby has this cyst.

He goes on to tell us that although at this point the CCAM poses no danger to the baby, that may change. If the cyst continues to grow, it could compromise the operation of other organs, most specifically the heart. If that happens, if the baby develops what they call hydrops — the term for fetal heart failure — drastic measures would need to be taken. For example, fetal surgery to remove the CCAM or (after 28 weeks) early delivery.

On the other hand, the cyst could resolve itself, i.e. disappear, and my pregnancy could procede normally.

To review: my baby could die, could need fetal surgery, or could be just fine. I am not crying yet.

DearDR and I start asking as many questions as we can think of in our shock. Why did this happen? They don’t know what causes CCAM. Is there anything we can do? Nothing will prevent the CCAM from growing if it’s going to grow or help it disappear if it’s going to disappear. What do we do next?

Next is a repeat sonogram in three weeks. And then another two weeks after that. And two weeks after that. And so on until… well, until what is going to happen, happens.

Dr. RT sits with us as long as we continue to have questions. He is sympathic, matter-of-fact and comforting. He says, with real sadness, “Nothing’s ever easy for you, is it?” Uh, no.

I don’t know how long we were with the doctor. He tells us to make the follow-up appointment. He tells us to call if we have other questions. He tells us to try — try — not to worry. In the meantime, he will find out as much as he can. CCAMs are rare, so he needs to learn more, too. He leaves, and I start to cry. I also call in sick to work.

Giving It Up

The hardest part of the CCAM (well, okay, the second hardest part) is having to tell everyone about it. And we do tell people about it. The main reason we tell everyone is so that they will pray. Pray for the Bun. Pray for DearDR and me. Just pray, or if you don’t roll that way, think good thoughts.

I roll that way; I believe in God and in the power of prayer. Although my initial reaction to news of The Spot, which is how I think of the CCAM, is fear and guilt, I turn immediately to God (I’m Catholic) and say, “Here you go. You take this, and I’ll trust you with it.”

I was having a lot of guilt because when I finally admitted to myself that I was probably pregnant, I was dismayed. I didn’t want to be pregnant. We weren’t ready to have another one, not emotionally or physically. I had just started a great job! DearDR was ready to start his studies for his license. We were planning to try for another baby the following year. Everything in me was crying, “Not now!”

And now, after 20 weeks and getting used to the thought of having another baby shortly after Monkey turned two, and starting to look forward to having her, we are in danger of losing her. And we can’t do anything except get sonograms and wait. And wait.

All I have is prayer and faith. I can’t do anything else. I could be angry; I could be anxious; I could say, “Why us? Do we deserve this?” But I don’t think it works like that.

They say that God doesn’t give you more than you can handle. I had to — still have to — believe that I could handle this, too. And that DearDR could, too. And so for His faith in me, I have to have faith in God.

The best came from my mother. She called after hearing the news from my dad. “The baby’s going to be fine,” she told me. “I talked to God, and she’s going to be fine. I’m just praying for you and DearDR. You need it.”

I was unaware of my mother’s direct line to God, but her comments do not surprise me. My faith is based on my parents’ faith. What I believe about faith is that it sustains you. My belief in God gives me the strength to face what I have to face, and to do what S/He wants me to do, and the patience to wait to know what that is.

Another Scare

The CCAM was nothing compared to the scare we had at 34 weeks when Dr. RT thought the placenta was breaking down. Bun had less-than-optimal bloodflow through the umbilical cord; her amniotic fluid was on the low side of normal; and there were signs on the ultrasound that the placenta was aging prematurely. I was to go on bed rest (modified, not total) and get non-stress tests and weekly sonograms.

Looking back, the CCAM may have saved Bun’s life. Without all the sonograms we were having, we may not have seen these danger signs. Incidentally, after growing a little bit, the CCAM remained stable for the rest of my pregnancy, not growing and not going away.

We “left” Bun in the oven (I’m sorry!) for another three weeks. We induced at 37 weeks, and after almost three days (!), Bun finally joined us in the world.

The Payoff

And now Bun is two months old. And healthy. And we love her, that way that you love your children. Whether or not you’ve been told you can lose them. That love, that indescribable language of the heart, that joy and hope and ache and faith; that hit-by-a-truck feeling. We wouldn’t trade for anything this love for our children.

In three days we are going to have a CT scan to see if the CCAM is still hanging around. A chest X-ray about three weeks ago was clear. The CT scan will be definitive, and depending on the result, could lead to surgery.

But we are praying not.

We Did It Again (I Think)

No, I’m not pregnant.

When Monkey was about four months old, she and I were hanging at home. I decided it was time for me to get a quick shower. I put her someplace safe, where she wouldn’t roll over and fall off anything, with some hanging-above-her toys to keep her attention for a few minutes. When I got out of the shower, she had fallen asleep. All on her own. It was a good sign of things to come.

The other night, I put Bun in her bouncey chair as the rest of us had some dinner. She dozed off. I thought, “Yes! We did it again!” She didn’t sleep a real long time, but the fact is she did drift to sleep on her own. Something she is doing now. It’s good. I am hoping that we can get her into a crib on her own by the end of this month. For now, she sleeps with DearDR and me.

I didn’t like sleeping with Monkey. I was too worried about smothering her, and she was extremely noisy as an infant. I didn’t sleep well with her in bed with us, and she went (smoothly) into a crib by two months. I didn’t expect to try to co-sleep with Bun, but she was so tiny, and our house seemed so cold. It just seemed the best way to keep her warm. And it has worked out. But she is still going into a crib soon, because I don’t want to end up here. Although I think it will be hard. She is so sweet. Not that Monkey wasn’t. I guess I feel differently for some reason.

Hmmm. I just tried to post some pictures, and it didn’t work. Let me see if I can work this out. Because I have some damn cute kids.