Friday, September 12, 2008

I Don't Know Where She Learned It

The other night while standing in the bathtub (she's too busy to sit for long), the Pumpkin looked up at me and said, "Umpkin* ha boogah." Which, yes, translates to "Pumpkin has a booger."

And then? She stuck her finger up her nose!!!

I have no idea where she learned that behavior. Absolutely none! After all, I would NEVER say anything along the lines of "Come here and let Mama get that booger" while using a nail to get the slimy thing out of her nose. I'm much to refined and ladylike to ever do something like that!

Of course I always use a tissue and patiently wait for her to blow her nose into it, even though when I say blow she blows from her mouth and not her nose. I will admit that I gave up on that stupid that bulb snot sucker thingy after she screamed bloody murder for the umpteenth time!

It's just... my pinky nail fits so perfectly and I can just get it out so quickly! And I mean to use the word "snot" but sometimes perhaps the word "booger" just slips out...

Okay okay. It's me. She learned it from watching me! But don't tell Londo... I'm totally blaming the babysitter!

*Yada yada she used her real name yada yada...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

9/11 Stories

I really do feel better for having written down the story of my miscarriage yesterday. You people are wonderful, and I appreciate the hugs and sympathy and empathy. Thank you all for that. And in response to Dana, I will do a post soon about things to say and ways to respond when someone you know goes through a miscarriage.

Unfortunately, today is the anniversary of an event that was tragic on a much larger scale.

*Update: Please go to Burgh Baby's Mom's site today and this month. Besides having a wonderful tribute to Flight 93, she is donating ad revenue to those trying to fund a permanent memorial to the site in Shanksville, PA. Also, she's a very funny and eloquent lady.

Of course I remember where I was. I was driving to work when we lived in Georgia. I turned on the radio to hear music on my morning commute. But the station that always played music had on news. I shook my head and hoped they hadn't been bought out. I turned to another station that always played music in the morning. They also had news on. That was when it occurred to me that maybe something was going on and I should listen.

I heard when the second Tower was hit. I ran into work and immediately got online to watch the news, as my coworkers were doing. Our boss sent us all home early, where we watched the news all day long, unable to reach family because the phones could not get through.

About mid-afternoon, I turned to my husband (who had also come home early) and told him that we were getting a dog that weekend. We had been debating back and forth about when we should ideally get a puppy. He wanted to wait, and I wanted one weeks ago. I had grown up with indoor dogs who are there to pet and hug and cry on when there are tragedies large and small. This tragedy was beyond large. I needed a dog to hug, thus the declaration was made, and Londo agreed. Our wonderful beagle is my little something good that came out of 9/11.

We were fortunately. We were living in Georgia at the time. None of my family was working in the Pentagon and none lived in NYC. None of our family or friends were killed in these attacks.

A good friend of my parents who I've known since I was little made it out of the second Tower that was hit. After the first Tower was hit, there was a lot of confusion about what was going on. He and his coworkers were not sure which building was hit. They decided to be safe and evacuate. As they walked down many many flights of stairs, some people were heading back up. They said the other building had been hit, so they could go back to their offices.

Did you hear that? Those people went back to their offices!

Our friend continued down and out of the building. He thought he better play it safe. He was outside when that building was hit.

My husband knows a man who had a meeting in the Pentagon that day, but he couldn't make it. So he sent someone who worked under him to go in for the meeting. That person died. The man who didn't go in still hasn't recovered.

Can you imagine? I just can't. I can't imagine being a victim, being a survivor, being a family or friend of a victim. It's still hard for me to believe that any of it happened. It's still hard to reconcile that these horrible things happen in a world that can be so full of beauty.

I remember being younger, maybe in high school or college, and thinking that there was no moment of country-wide "I know where I was when..." for my generation. My parents remembered where they were when they heard Kennedy was shot. My grandparents remember where they were when they heard that Pearl Harbor had been bombed. We didn't have anything, us Gen-Xers. I thought that perhaps that was part of why we were a selfish generation.

Now, we have something. We have 9/11 and terrorist attacks. We have the wave of patriotism and putting flags on everything that came afterwards. We were united by tragedy.

This the world in which I will raise my child. This world, post 9/11 - with extra security, with war, with racism, with hatred, with terror. This world, post 9/11 - with heros, with patriotism, with empathy, with sympathy, with support for each other during tragedies large and small. This is a different world than the one in which I was raised. But for better and worse, this is the world in which I will raise my child.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

My Miscarriage Story

A week ago was September 3rd. That day has particular significance for me. That was the due date for my first pregnancy. The one that ended in miscarriage. I wasn't sure I was going to write about that experience, but I have been feeling particularly down and think that perhaps it will help to share what happened. At least to get it out of my system. For now.

Do I even need to bother with a warning? Just in case...

Warning: This is a very sad post. I discuss my miscarriage and resulting D&C. If loss like this upsets you, skip this post. I'll understand.

I know people who have had multiple miscarriages, and at times I feel fortunate that I had only one miscarriage (so far). But it was still a devastating loss to me. After trying on our own for two years with no success, it took us 3 medicated IUI cycles to get pregnant that first time. All those months of disappointments, and finally, a fertilized egg that actually implanted!

I still remember how we found out. My MIL and FIL were up here visiting, but Londo wasn't ready to tell them that we were even trying to conceive. We had taken the day off of work to spend with the inlaws, however my appointment for the pregnancy blood test was scheduled for early Friday morning. I snuck out of the house, successfully avoiding my inlaws, had my blood taken, and was back in time for breakfast. I think Londo told them I had to go help my mom with something so they wouldn't suspect anything.

After breakfast, we headed off to the DC museums. We saw the American History museum and then met my dad downtown for lunch at the American Indian museum. After lunch, we went around the American Indian museum. I was getting tired from the full day downtown and went outside the gift store to sit on a bench. That was when I got the call. After receiving the good news, I motioned Londo out of the store and told him. As we left the museum, we told his parents, and included the whole tale about our trouble trying. Everyone was so happy.

For those who don't know, when you are getting fertility treatments, you get your blood taken and measured for the pregnancy hormone every few days until you reach a certain threshold, and then you go in for weekly ultrasounds until they are satisfied the baby is growing, has a heartbeat and seems fine. After three more blood tests that all looked good, we went in for the ultrasound and saw the egg growing. The following week, Londo couldn't make the appointment, but since I was only 6 and a half weeks along, we figured it would be too early to see a heartbeat so he wouldn't be missing anything major.

There was a heartbeat. But it was slow. I did not know what that meant, but the ultrasound technician who had been so cheerful the week before was very reserved when she told me. The doctor came in, and I'm sure he explained what it could mean, but I don't remember now what he said. I do know that I was still unsure how bad a sign a slow heartbeat was. Of course I googled it when I got home, and I found out the likelyhood that the baby would make it was very slim.

The next, Londo was sure to come to the appointment with me. The doctor was in the room for the beginning of the ultrasound. There was no heartbeat at all. The doctor put his hand on my knee and said "I'm sorry."

Londo and I were devastated. We had tried all week to hope for the best, but I had tried to prepare for the worse. Let me just tell you, nothing can prepare you for looking at a picture of your baby inside you whose heart is no longer beating. I cried. They gave me and Londo time to get ourselves together, and we left. Later, I talked with our nurse over the phone about what it would mean and what we should do at that point.

We decided to wait and see if it would "pass naturally." After a week and a half, it still had not "resolved" itself. I don't know how this might sound to anyone else so please excuse me if this is at all offensive, but at that point I couldn't stop thinking that I had a dead baby inside. My dead baby. (Excuse me while I take a minute to collect myself... Okay.)

We decided to go ahead and have the D&C so I could start recovering and we could move on. The D&C sucked. Everyone was wonderful and understanding, afterall the procedure was done by the people in the fertility center. Londo was the most wonderful, being supportive and trying to keep me in good spirits, even though I know he was as upset by the whole thing as I was. I was unconscious when they did the procedure, but I was awake when they wheeled me into the room, got me on the table, got my legs in the stirrups and strapped my arms down. Sucked sucked sucked.

I don't think recovery took more than I few days, but I was emotionally miserable, physically uncomfortable and hormonally whacked out. I. Was. A. Mess. I got better, and we did start treatments again, which resulted in our second pregnancy and subsequent birth of my precious baby girl.
I don't remember the dates of these events exactly. We found out we were pregnant in December. We found out the heartbeat stopped in January. I had the D&C in January. (We took a cruise in March to help get away from it all and feel better.) But I don't even try to remember the dates. The only date I know for sure was September 3rd, the baby's due date. Every year on and around September 3rd, I am reminded and feel down at the loss of my first baby. The baby who wasn't.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Pumpkinisms

First of all, let me just say how surprised I am that when I asked a bunch of internetters who read my blog what they couldn't live without, the majority of you answered The Internet! I'm shocked! Truly, that's just so out of left field! Who would have guessed?

*snicker*

And now to make me feel better after having gotten my arm stuck with a needle this morning and 6 vials of blood taken (but at least we'll know for sure that I'm still immune to chicken pox and rubella!), I'm going to regale you with some cute Pumpkinisms.

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On Sunday, I pulled out my old hair clips that I'm obviously too old for now, and I sat down with the Pumpkin to play with them. She loved the glittery little butterfly clips in a rainbow of colors (totally 90s, but I loved them). She kept handing me ones, and I kept putting them in her hair. They didn't last too long in her hair, but now she is always asking for them.

Best part? She says the word butterfly like this "wobberwhy."

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The Pumpkin is a huggy girl, and she often asks Mama and Daddy for hugs. (Also loves to hug the dog, which is super cute.) Lately, she's stuck an "a" sound in between the word hug and who she's asking for the hug. So she says, "Hug-a-Mama?" or "Hug-a-Daddy?"

I keep thinking it's like Whac-a-Mole, but with more love.

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She is still pretending to sleep (and fall down), but she's added a new action to the sleeping. Now, once she says "Pumpkin seepin" and lies down, she reaches an hand around and rubs her back. So she must like the back rubbing a little, even though she will often push my hand away if I'm really trying to get her to go to sleep.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Question of the Week - Luxury You Can't Live Without

There is a joke that's been handed down in my family. A one-liner, really. My mom's dad used to say it about her, and now my parents say it about me and my sister. "She's an expensive filly to keep in the stable!" Luckily, I find it funny, not demeaning. I also know it to be true.

My family was by no means wealthy when I was growing up. I certainly have had my share of lean years by myself and with my hubby. In fact, our first year living together, while I was in grad school and he was supporting us with some low-paying job, we lived on Raman noodles, struggled to make ends meet, and really had no money for any extras. I think our biggest splurge at the time was basic cable.

But we've worked out way up, and now we have a very comfortable live. We tend to be house poor (and now child poor, too), but we have a really nice house and most of the household conveniences we could want.

We are both very lucky and work very hard. Not everyone out there is as lucky as we are, and not everyone has two partners who work at well-paying jobs. Not everyone has, wants or needs the luxuries that we have.

I wonder about when we have more children, because kids are expensive! Will we still be able to keep our family living in the style to which we have become accustom? Will this filly still be able to keep her stable as nice as it currently is? Will I have to give something up?

Which brings us to this week's Question of the Week:
What household luxury could you not live without?

I'm going to exclude electricity and running water, since our society, communities and households are not built around those as fundamentals (I make this assumption, but feel free to correct me if this isn't true about you internetters reading my blog).

For me, it honestly is the cleaning service who come every other week. I'd rather give up my cable, heck even my TV, my internet (easy to say for me, since I am online all day at work), my AC, even my dishwasher. But my wonderful, thorough cleaning people? Not on your life! I don't have the time and energy to clean after working 40 hours or more a week, plus I'd rather spend that time with my daughter. The dust and cat dander build-up wrecks havoc on my allergies, and doing the cleaning myself means makes my allergies worse. I could go back to nagging my husband all the time, but that was not good for our marriage.

So I need the house clean, I can't do it myself, and I don't want to add a strain onto my marriage. The cleaning service stays!

How about you? What would you fight to keep, even at the cost of all the other luxuries?