Thursday, January 24, 2013

I Am Zofran (And So Can You!)

Started taking anti-nausea medication yesterday evening. All I can say is, Zofran! Where have you been all my life? I can now do things other than vomit and cry.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Everyone Pukes



Warning: disgusting; graphic; TMI


Four out of five of us have been sick in the last few days. It seems like it is only a matter of time before we all succumb to the puke.

I thought we were over it after Will threw up a few times one night last week. He stayed home from school the next day and was fine by the evening. But then, the other night James started puking into a plastic toy bin that he's been sneaking into his bedding for some late night LEGO fun, and it all cascaded down the ladder of his bunk bed. It was like a fish ladder, except the fish were swimming downstream......and were composed of puke.

-----Note to self: when a child feels sick as he is going to bed, do not put him to sleep on the top bunk.-----

I tried to comfort the boys and clean up. I had to run away as I immediately started puking so hard I pulled a back muscle. I put James in the guest room with a trash can and fresh clothing/sheets, and I moved Will to the couch. Then, Joe came home from hanging out with the neighbors (read: drinking Coors Lite), tried to clean up, and started puking himself silly. Elise slept through the ordeal.

The flu is definitely going around our part of the world, as it is going around everywhere else. But I have to say, experiencing the flu with morning sickness and too much calcium in the blood is not good, not good at all. This morning, after all the aftermath had been addressed by my wonderful husband (he got out the wet vac and took one for the team! Yeah!), I was still heaving into the sink after just sipping water.

In other news, my endocrinologist wants me to drink a fluid ton of water (enough to produce a superhuman 200 ml of pee per hour, he said!) so as to flush out the excess calcium from my system. I am inclined to listen to him do any damn thing he suggests, since he is one of the people who will weigh in on whether I should have parathyroid surgery in the second trimester, to save our fetus from fates unpleasant. Right now they are swinging back to Yes, We Should Do The Surgery.

I am so mad at myself for these complications, which could have been prevented if I had just checked with my endocrine surgeon and endocrinologist and some other fairly random people before becoming pregnant. We are hopeful that it will still work out okay, since surgery in the second trimester (especially when it is not on your abdomen) is surprisingly safe. The risk of having a baby who does not develop a functioning parathyroid gland is significant without my having that parathyroidectomy in trimester 2; this is to say nothing of the bare fact that many embryos/fetuses/babies don't make it through a hypercalcemic pregnancy. Right now the baby is okay and I am fluctuating between 10.5 and 11 mg/dL, where a Calcium level of 12 mg/dL is worrisome and 9-10.5 mg/dL is normal. They want to see me and siphon my blood all the dang time, which is fine.

If you are the praying type, it would be cool if you'd say a little prayer for the lil' baby. Actually, please pray a big, prayerriffic prayer for Steve, who is waiting for a heart and kidneys. He is a funny, brave, positive, and inspiring friend, and if he were the one tackling the puke ladder, he would definitely have held his own.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

OMG, Becky.

We saw a 2.5mm embryo with a heartbeat yesterday at the high-risk doc. It looks like the little bean is okay!

In my cynical world, this is an impossibility. Still can't grasp that we are this lucky. I cried and cried, even though I was happy. My husband was like, See, I Told You Not To Give Up Hope. (He is the guy who stays until the end of the game where the home team is down by 22 and there are 40 seconds left on the clock.)

They are worried about my hypercalcemia, which they will probably have to treat with more parathyroid surgery in the second trimester. This is pretty damned scary. I refuse to sicken myself with worry for the better part of 34 more weeks, though.

Please make it to the second trimester safely, little bean!!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Time and Life

"If you get a time-puker and you puke in it, it sends puke back in time." -James

"The important thing is that God knows you and you're not a bad guy." -Elise

"My wish is for you to live a long, happy, living, life!" -Elise

--

I am probably having a miscarriage. Looks like a blighted ovum, said the radiologist in the E.R., but we've got to wait to be sure. Tomorrow we should know more, once my doctor does a repeat ultrasound and labs.

The second-worst part? It's my fault. I should have checked with all of my doctors before getting pregnant, not just some of them. I guess I just wanted to be a normal person who doesn't have to consult with anyone (besides her husband, and possibly an ob/gyn--certainly not a physician committee) as to whether a pregnancy is okay. Now my blood calcium is high again and the parathyroid tumors are recurring, which is apparently quite incompatible with the development of an embryo. My endocrine surgeon--and I think the world of this lady--is basically saying as much.

The worst, worst, worst part is that my daughter was there for it. The boys were (mercifully) at a birthday party, but E and I were at Wal-Mart and finishing up some grocery shopping when I suddenly felt hot and dizzy and exactly like I was going to pass out. I paid, leaned heavily on the cart, and pushed us into the in-store McDonald's, where I managed to sit down. She was worried about me, so I tried really hard to reassure her, but I couldn't stand up or do anything except whimper. She got me a cup of water. Then I felt a gush of blood while I was trying to text the husband to please come get us.

About six hours with the three of us in the emergency room told us this much: beta hcg was in the 14,000's, Calcium was 10.9. Ultrasound showed a gestational sac but no fetal pole or yolk sac. At 5w4d, this might still be okay, but they made it clear that they really weren't hopeful that this is a normal pregnancy. And it has been agony to wait for what feels inevitable: the death of the idea of a person who never quite was.

I'm a science person. I know there is TONS of room for debate on the beginning of life and personhood. But this feels like the loss of a person to me, the loss of a much-anticipated conception. Few scientists would agree, I think, that a sac is a person. In fact, I just read somewhere that blighted ova/anembryonic pregnancies tend to result from chromosomal issues in the gametes. But we'd looked forward to this together and I know what we're missing, three miracles in.

I don't want the kids to feel my pain. This is precisely the reason I hadn't yet told them about the pregnancy. We weren't really planning to tell them for at least a few more weeks when a routine (if there is such a thing for me anymore) ultrasound might have shown a viable little pre-humanoid.

I am sorry, little sac. I am sorry, husband and kids, who have slogged through grief with me for two days and the overwhelmingly likely more to come. I am sorry, brother and friends, who have texted me their support, given me their hugs, and seen me through thus far.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Squeee: MamaCon 2013!

I am so. so. stoked. to be going to MamaCon in Seattle this May. Like, unreasonably excited. I've never been to this conference before, but it looks cool. The speaker list from 2012 included the fascinating and beloved Amy Lang, whom I had the opportunity to hear when she was a guest speaker for our preschool co-op back in 2006. Squeee!

It's nice to be taken seriously, to have a conference of one's own, as a mom. It's kind of neat that there are speakers, therapists, and community educators who recognize that professional momming is not a fancy description for sittin', eatin' Sketti, and watchin' Honey Boo Boo. Where the heck is one of these conferences for SoCal moms?

I never really thought I would want to come back up to Gotham City, even for something as awesome as a mom conference. We fled Seattle a few years ago when we could no longer stand the daily gray grind of the weather. But I miss the people terribly--the moms (and dads, and grandparents, and the teachers) who are so much in step with the emotional and spiritual growth of their kids. Gah, we should not have stayed, we could not have stayed, but it brings tears to my eyes, the loss of that particular group of people. If our neck of southern California has a collective consciousness of parents that are half as committed to the development of thoughtful human beings as those I met in our Seattle-area preschool, I would love to make its acquaintance.

There ARE nice folks here. There are! But an alarming number of moms and dads I have met in these parts are stereotypically "SoCal" distracted, and their deepest commitments are elsewhere. They are deeply committed to polishing a boat or the doors of an RV with a cloth diaper, or deeply committed to culling the perfectly bronzed, unnaturally rounded boobies that only plastic provides. Their kids stare up into their faces for solidarity and perspective, but mom or dad (if she/he is not working 80 hours a week) is texting or pretending a hipster-clothed bulldog is an infant.

But anyway, the conference, oh joy! Doesn't matter if the sun comes out that weekend, because I will be inside with my people, listening raptly.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Douchebags

We had some of the boys' school friends over for a New Year's celebration. Overall, it was fantastic. Joe made up a scavenger hunt, which they sprinted through with great enthusiasm. Generous bags of candy and those little "popper" bang-snap thingies that pop you throw 'em on the ground were the prizes. We roasted s'mores over the firepit, and they played Wii, Legos, and Beyblades to their hearts' content.

Against my better judgment, I had let the boys extend a spur-of-the-moment, spoken invite to a particularly trying neighborhood kid, who happened to be in my house at the right time yesterday. Let's call him Jack. Oh, we were nervous. We've generously brought along Jack on several major outings, and had him over for countless hours playing in our house--all ending with his inability to be a reasonably kind human being. On independent accounts my husband and I extracted various promises from young Jack yesterday that he would behave nicely at our party, given that he is, almost objectively, a budding douchebag.

Suffice it to say he did not. Even after he had been gently ushered home (after all the other kids had been picked up), there was douchebaggery. And his parents weren't sorry.

The text conversation that followed between his dad and me went approximately like this:

Me: Your kid is throwing poppers [fireworks] at the doors of my house and leaving marks

(a few minutes elapse)

Lovely Neighbor Dad: My "kid" is on his way to clean it up and apologize with one of the other kids

I cleaned it up myself and told the LND to save his kid's apology; I was too annoyed to hear it right then. The other boy who was involved came knocking, said he was sorry, and offered to make amends. Most importantly, the parents cared enough to text me an 'I'm sorry". It is good to have good neighbors.

Now, it would seem that the latter is a case of the apple falling not too far from the tree. The emerging 'baggery of one second-grader who lives across the street (and the ongoing douche-cruise-shippery of his dad) is just a price we pay for happening to buy this particular home at this particular time in the course of human events. Besides, there was another kid involved (though not one I had just entertained for the last 16 hours). My kids are far from perfect; they regularly offend, and I am sure I regularly make mistakes in my attempts to discipline them. Why, then, should this incident make me so angry?

Possibly because I might be pregnant. We should find out in approximately 1-2 business days, or when peeing on a stick might elucidate things. And, as my friends who have children may recall, there is no rage like pregnancy rage. When I was pregnant with Elise I almost threw our blender away, free-throw style, because it couldn't (or wouldn't!) grind ice to my satisfaction for a smoothie. Joe pretty much had to hold me back from our kitchen appliance like an impending bar fighter. I am not proud of having been so irrational, and let it be known that the kids were not awake to witness the outburst, nor did this level of hormonal anger happen more than once for me.

If I am (and I do hope I am), I swear on a vinyl copy of Waylon & Willie
that I will treat all the children real good. Especially the ones that ain't so easy to love.