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Another Surprise Pregnancy

Have you ever looked back at your life and seen the irony in a series of events that led to a life altering event?

Back in November I was surprised to learn that I was pregnant. We were not trying. In fact, we had already made the decision not to have any more children. Matt had made the appointment for his vasectomy. We were done. We were content.

We were wrong.

I found out I was pregnant a few days before Thanksgiving. Matt immediately cancelled his appointment for the vasectomy because he’s a big ole baby like that. Ahem. We didn’t tell anyone. I was so excited to get the usual comments “Don’t you know what causes that?” or “Who are you, the Duggars?” or “Are you rabbits?”….you know, the typical comments that any family with more than 2.3 children gets from people who think they are funny. Yeah. Those.

In the middle of the 5th week, I had a little spotting but it stopped almost immediately so I didn’t panic. I could not get an OB appointment until mid-December. I kept waiting for symptoms to hit but they didn’t. No morning sickness, no headaches, no anything. But no bleeding either so I was cautiously optimistic. Then we all got the flu and I had to cancel my original OB appointment. It was mid-January before I finally had my first appointment. I should have been just over 12 weeks pregnant. But there was no baby on the ultrasound. And I still had some hcg in my blood. My doctor was very concerned about a molar pregnancy and sent me home with instructions to come back in 10 days to recheck my levels again. His best guess as to what happened? I had a chemical pregnancy. Instead of miscarrying normally, my body reabsorbed the embryo which is why I didn’t have any heavy bleeding. I was sad but not surprised. I hadn’t felt pregnant at all.
Ten days later, I went back for more blood work. My levels were even higher. I still hadn’t had a period. The doctor was confused and concerned. Not exactly comforting to hear. He ran a full blood panel and had me sit in the waiting room for the results. For those of you who are not familiar with the dreaded molar pregnancy, sometimes it can become cancerous and can require chemotherapy. I sat in the waiting room for an hour, freaked out and annoyed with my body for failing me yet again. Finally, the doctor called me back into an exam room. He was laughing, which I hoped was a good sign. Doctors don’t usually laugh when they’re going to send you for chemotherapy, right?

He plunked down my chart and said “Congratulations.” I stared at him, dumbfounded with my mouth hanging open. He said “You’re pregnant.” Then he laughed. Again.

Apparently, I did have a chemical pregnancy in November. My body did reabsorb the embryo. My period did not start. However, my ovulation did start. That’s right folks, I got knocked up twice in the span of 2 months while I still thought I was pregnant the first time. Do you know the odds of that happening? He said somewhere around 2%. He also said I’m the most fertile infertile that he’s ever met. Then he asked if we were practicing safe sex. I almost fell in the floor laughing at him. Why would I be practicing safe sex when I thought I was already knocked up? One of the biggest benefits of being knocked up is not having to practice safe sex. Sigh…

Do you see some of the irony in the events that took place? Matt cancelled his vasectomy appointment. If he’d kept it, the ole snip snip would have been done before I got knocked up the second time. If I’d had the bleeding that usually accompanies a chemical pregnancy, we would have been using protection during the time period I got knocked up.

So I went back this past week for a check up. My uterus is measuring several weeks larger than it should. My hcg levels are extremely high for the gestational age. And when you factor in that my symptoms appeared quite early (4 weeks) and are very strong…..there’s a good chance that I’m carrying twins. Again. We’ll find out on Monday when I go in for my first ultrasound. As far as we can tell, I am 7 weeks tomorrow. Matt alternates between wanting to throw up and feeling like he’s going to pass out. Poor guy. *snort*

I’ll update on Monday about our miracle(s). Wish me luck.

I hate Jillian Michaels

Let me tell you a story. A story about a little journey into exercise hell. I’ll be honest, I hate to diet. Thankfully I’ve always been fairly fortunate that my weight stayed steady without the need to diet. I played soccer for years which kept me toned and fit. Then I had kids. Yeah….

I gained a whole lot of weight when I was pregnant with Maia. I was high on the addictive power of double cheeseburgers and hot fudge brownies. I justified it by buying into the theory that nursing would help me shed the baby weight. Then we had trouble nursing- she was a preemie with severe jaundice and had trouble latching. Good times. I lost the first 30 pounds but those last 10 pounds just stuck around. It took me a full year to get back down to my pre-pregnancy weight but nothing was in the same place anymore.

When I got pregnant with Mase, I was more careful. I gained less than half of what I gained with Maia. Then Mase was a breastfeeding champ who nursed for 20 months. While he was nursing, I shed pounds like a nudist sheds clothes at the beach. I was 8 pounds under my pre-pregnancy weight when I finally weaned the vampire baby. Unfortunately for my thighs, I seriously underestimated how many calories you burn while producing breastmilk and I did not adjust my diet. In a month I gained 10 pounds. Nice.

Something had to be done. Something turned out to be the 30 Day Shred, aka Torture by Jillian Michael’s. Holy Hamstrings. It was ugly, people. Ugly. You ain’t got no alibi, ugly.

The first day, I was all “Oh, that’s not so bad. I can do this.”

The second day, I was less enthusiastic but still, “Not so bad, it will be worth it when my thighs don’t look like cottage cheese.”

The third day, I started to question my sanity.

The fourth day, I crawled to the bathroom and lay on the tile in the fetal position because I couldn’t drag my poor body up to the toilet.

The fifth day, I cursed the day Jillian Michael’s was born and would have put a hit out on her if I could have made my fingers move to dial the phone or type on the computer.

The sixth day, I started making a will just in case.

The seventh day, I decided that perhaps being a fat ass wouldn’t be so bad after all.

And on the eighth day, I rested. Well, more of a coma but let’s not split hairs, shall we?

The End.

Anatomy Of A Pregnancy Loss

[This post contains some graphic details about a miscarriage. If you are sensitive about this topic, this might be a post that you want to skip.]

One thing that I have learned about loss is that nobody handles it the same way. There is no right way, no wrong way. But another thing that I have learned is that nobody wants to talk about it. People pat you on the shoulder, make soothing noises and move on. They don’t want to know the details, the inside information. For some, maybe it hits too close to home and reminds them of things that they don’t want to remember. For others, maybe they’ve never experienced such a loss and they don’t understand how completely it can consume you. Nobody tells you what to expect when you have a miscarriage. Nobody wants to share the details.

So today, I will tell you about my worst miscarriage. The one that brought me to my knees and stole a little piece of my soul. The one that I almost didn’t recover from. I will share the details. Back in 2006, in between my pregnancies with Maia and Mase, I had another pregnancy. Matt had just started his new job and his health insurance had not kicked in yet. I had to apply for State aid for pregnant women. I was 4 weeks and 5 days along when I filed the application. Nowhere in New City would see you if you did not have the State Aid card already in your possession. It take anywhere from 4 to 12 weeks to get a card. State Aid doesn’t offer timely aid, that’s for sure.

I had normal pregnancy symptoms starting around week 6. Everything progressed normally until the middle of my 9th week. I had some cramping and light spotting. I called to find out the status of my State Aid and was told it was still in process and I should go to the ER. I went by myself because we had nobody to watch the other 3 kids. I sat in a crowded, smelly waiting room sitting next to a lady who brought her own puke bucket. Charming. I waited for 5 hours before being taken back to a room. The nurse was in a hurry, the doctor was in an even bigger hurry. They rushed me off to the ultrasound room almost immediately.

The ultrasound tech was so cold. She kept the screen pointed away from me, saying nothing the entire time. Five minutes passed, then ten minutes. Twenty minutes later, she shuffled me back to my room with not a word having been spoken the entire time. I sat and waited by myself in that cold room for another 2 hours before the ER doctor made it back in to see me. I still remember his words.

“The ultrasound shows twins, but they look small. Both have heartbeats, for now. There’s no way to tell if you are losing one or both of them. You’ll just have to wait it out.”

That’s it. Then he left. Twins. Two heartbeats. No explanation for the bleeding. Just go home and wait.

So I went home and waited. The bleeding stopped, then started, stopped, then started. I called the State Aid office repeatedly, each time being told that my application was still in process. I called around to every single OB’s office in New City, trying to find one who would see me while the application was in process. Finally, one agreed to see me. I was 10 weeks pregnant. I drove 45 minutes to the other end of the city. By myself. I sat in a little cramped waiting room, surrounded by some unsavory characters. I prayed, first for the health of the babies and then that I didn’t get shanked in the parking lot. The nurse called me back into the smallest exam room that I have ever seen in my life. The doctor did the shortest exam I have ever had in my life. It couldn’t have taken more than 3 minutes. She couldn’t tell me anything. I was still bleeding. She wrote me a prescription for an antibiotic in case I had a vaginal infection. I asked about an ultrasound and she said they didn’t have the equipment. As I left, the receptionist charged me $365. I argued. I told her the date I called and the person I spoke to, who said I wouldn’t be charged. She threatened to call the police unless I paid. I paid $365 to talk to an OB for less than 5 minutes and to leave not knowing anything other than the knowledge I came in with. I sobbed all the way home. That was 2 weeks worth of grocery money.

Two weeks later, one day shy of my 13th week of pregnancy, I started to bleed again. I called the State Aid office. In process- still. Again, I had to go to the ER. I chose a different ER this time. They were much nicer. The nurse was very sympathetic and motherly. The doctor was equally sympathetic. He examined me fully before sending me off to the ultrasound. This time the ultrasound technician let me watch the screen and she just kept saying “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.” There were two babies, but only one heartbeat. And not a strong heartbeat. The ER doc explained what he felt was happening. Twin A had passed sometime in the previous 3-4 days. Twin B was barely hanging on and he felt it was likely that I would lose them both. He gave me the option of scheduling a D&E immediately or waiting to see what would happen. I chose to wait and see. I couldn’t fathom the thought of terminating the one baby with a heartbeat when there was a chance, albeit a slim chance, that the baby might survive. So I went home again. And waited. And bled. And bled. And bled.
When another week passed without any improvement, I went back to the ER again. An ultrasound confirmed that I had lost Twin B. The doctor felt that I was in beginning stages of the miscarriage and that it would be fine to let me go home and miscarry naturally. I was in my 14th week. I didn’t ask questions. I should have asked questions. I went home.

A week and a half later, it got worse. Late in the night I began to pass huge clots. Clots the size of my fist. Sometime that night I also passed 2 perfectly formed little babies, still in their amniotic sacs. It was a blood bath in our bathroom. Matt was freaked out and so was I. Around dawn, I started to feel really sick and I made the decision to head to the ER again. This time Matt took me because I was so dizzy that I couldn’t drive. They examined me immediately in the ER, confirmed that I passed both babies and gave me IV fluids. I was there for 6 hours before they sent us home. I was told to expect some continued bleeding for a week or so.

Three weeks later, a few days after the bleeding had come to a halt, I started passing huge clots again and I woke up with a high fever. Back to the ER I went. Alone this time as we had nobody available to watch the kids. The ER doctor took one look at me and called in the on call OB. I guess I looked bad. I had an ultrasound that confirmed I had retained products of pregnancy. I also had a serious uterine infection and was so severely anemic from blood loss that I required 2 units of blood before they could proceed with the D&E. I called Matt, who called my mom, who left immediately to come help but she lives 2 hours away.

I sat in the pre-op room by myself while they prepared to do the surgery. I spoke to the anesthesiologist who scared the shit out of me with all his allergy questions. The nurses made soothing noises about me being alone. I just wanted it over with. I was already out of surgery by the time Matt was able to get there. I remember waking up in recovery and he was there. I don’t remember anything else from that day.

The next few days passed in a haze of nausea from the pain meds, fever from the infection and headache from God only knows what. It was like having the flu multiplied by 1000. I didn’t find out until later that I should not have been allowed to go home at such a late gestation while in the midst of a miscarriage. It took me a long time to make peace with that loss. The first few weeks were spent just trying to physically recover, the emotional recovery came much later. The entire experience was terrible. But the kicker?

Three days after my emergency D&E, I received my State Aid card in the mail.



Let’s see. What could you people possibly not already know about me? Hmmm….

1. What do you add to your coffee? Flavored creamer- Italian Sweet Cream is my favorite
2. What are you reading now? Jodi Picoult– Plain Truth
3. Do you own a gun? No
4. Are you registered to vote? Yes
5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? Just the dentist
6. What do you think of hot dogs? Yummy on the grill if you don’t think about what’s in them
7. Favorite Christmas Song? Ruldolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Coffee
9. Can you do push ups? Yep. I used to be able to do 3 sets of one handed push ups. The good ole days
10. What was the name of your first boyfriend/girlfriend? Jason
11. What’s your favorite piece of jewelry? My wedding set
12. Favorite hobby? Reading and blogging
13. Do you work with people who idolize you? HA! I stay home with my kids who definitely do not idolize me
14. Do you have ADD? No
15. What’s one trait that you hate about yourself? I can be slightly judgemental…but just slightly
16. What’s your Middle name? Wouldn’t you like to know?
17. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment. I’m hungry. I have to pee. What is that damn dog chewing on?
18. Name 3 things you bought yesterday. Cupcakes, Birthday card, Wine.
19. Name 3 beverages you regularly drink. Coffee, Sweet Tea and Cranberry Splash Sierra Mist.
20. Current worry right now? My whole family vs. The ‘Laws on Thanksgiving.
21. What size do you dress to? Huh? My own size, which happens to be a size 6 for the first time in over 2 damn long years thankyouverymuch.
22. Favorite place to be? Home or the beach
23. How did you bring in the New Year? drinking at home with Matt cause we’re too cheap to pay those prices for a babysitter!
24. Where would you like to go? Hawaii
25. Name three people who will complete this. Don’t know since I’m too lazy to send it on.
26. Whose answers do you want to read the most? Anyone with the time to answer it.
27. What color shirt are you wearing? Purple
28. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? No. Last time I slid right off the side of the bed and woke up on the floor.
29. Can you whistle? yes
30. Favorite colors(s)? Red and Yellow
31. Could you be a pirate? Hell yeah, especially if one of them looked like Orlando Bloom
32. What songs do you sing in the shower? I’m usually yelling at kids to leave me alone
33. Favorite girls name? What I named my daughter. But I also like Amelia and Annika.
34. Favorite boy’s name? What I named my sons. But I also like Hollis and Campbell.
35. What’s in your pocket right now? Three of The Mase’s toy cars.
36. Last thing that made you laugh? Mase throwing corn at the dog at dinner.
37. Best bed sheets as a child? Rainbow Brite.
38. Worst injury you’ve ever had? I shattered my kneecap in a car accident as a teen. I broke 2 ribs, broke my cheekbone and got a Grade 2 concussion in a soccer game my senior year.
39. Do you love where you live? Yes.
40. How many TVs do you have in your house? 4- one in the family room, one in the playroom, one in the master bedroom and one in the master bathroom.
41. Who is your loudest friend? I think I am the loudest friend.
42. How many dogs do you have? one.
43. Does anyone have a crush on you? Does the cashier at the ABC store count?
44. What are the most fun things you ever did? I was drunk, I don’t remember any of them. But the pictures exist….somewhere.
45. What are your favorite books? J.D. Robb’s In Death series, Janet Evanovich’s Plum series, Jeaniene Frost’s Bones & Cat series, Christine Feehan’s Carpathian’s series….I have so many.
46. What is your favorite candy? Jelly Belly jelly beans.
47. Favorite Team? What sport? I have specific favorites but they give away where I live.
48. What songs do you want played at your funeral? “Time of my Life”
49. What were you doing at 12 AM? Sleeping.
50. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up? Geez. Not Monday again!

10 Things To Never Say After A Miscarriage

In honor of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, I’ve compiled a list. It’s a list of the top 10 things that you should never, under any circumstances, say to a woman who has just suffered a miscarriage. If you feel the need to utter one of these phrases, please for the love of Cheese & Crackers, bite your tongue off. Completely off. I mean it.

Stupid Comment #1: Well it’s not like you were trying to have another baby.

Stupid Comment #2: Aren’t four kids enough for you?

Stupid Comment #3: There was probably something wrong with it and you wouldn’t want a handicapped kid.

Stupid Comment #4: You can always have another one.

Stupid Comment #5: At least it happened early, it could have been worse.

Stupid Comment #6: Maybe you weren’t taking care of yourself properly.

Stupid Comment #7: These things happen, you just have to forget about it and move on.

Stupid Comment #8: It’s not really a baby that early on, it’s pretty much just tissue.

Stupid Comment #9: It’s all a part of God’s plan.

Stupid Comment #10: You should be grateful for the kids you already have.

These are just a few of the stupid comments that I received in the weeks following my miscarriage. Some came from “friends”, some came from family, some came from neighbors. All pissed me off. Just a word to the wise here people. Don’t piss off a hormonal woman who is already angry. She might kill you.

For Real.