Feelings and Finances

Home health hasn’t lowered my Zofran dose again.  I missed some work Wednesday and Thursday due to nausea and vomiting.  I’ve lost 3lbs in 2 days.  But I really, really don’t want to raise the dose!  That means admitting defeat!  I want to be pump-free!  For now, I’m sticking it out, waiting to see if I start to adjust to this dose better.  If it’s not better by Monday, I’ll go back up a notch.  I can’t afford to keep missing work. *sigh*

And it doesn’t help that both the Alere (home health) nurse and my OB keep saying things like, “It’s taking you an unusually long time … usually patients are over it by now … but you know, if you need it, we’ll stick with it …”  I’m in the hyperemsis support group on Baby Center, though, and there are lots of women who are still on the pump.  Some had to have it all the way until they gave birth (please, no….).  Most seem to have been off the pump between 18-24 weeks, and most of those went on to use the Zofran pills until birth.  Some of them got really bad again the last month, but chose to get through it with the pills rather than go back on the pump.  It really is a miracle and a pain in the bootay, both.

It sucks to have to lug it around everywhere.  But it sucks to throw up and be nauseous all the time.  It sucks to have patients notice and ask about it at work.  But it sucks to miss work.  At this point, I’m measuring success by how well the baby is growing and how well I’m staying hydrated on my own.  At least I’m not having to go for IV fluids every few days anymore.  And best of all, the baby is still measuring ahead in size and my fluid levels are fine, so I guess I can stick it out. 🙂

It’ll be so nice to see Newt again next Wednesday.  So far my mom, MIL and Troy are all planning to go.  I invited my mom ’cause I didn’t think Troy had any more time off work.  Then a few days later MIL asked about getting to see the baby – she got to see Davie several times on ultrasound but hasn’t gotten to see Newt yet.  Troy thinks we’re going to go eat at the Bacon restaurant after the ultrasound so he decided he has enough time off to go.  Mmmhmm.  More excited about bacon than he is about Newt.  (I’m just teasing, he is so happy about Newt but it always seems more real to him after the baby gets here.  I can understand that!)

The best part of pregnancy so far is feeling Newt move.  He moves a lot!  I can feel it on the outside most days now, as well as on the inside.  I remember that with Davie, I like the reassurance of feeling her move, but the sensation also kind of weirded me out.  This time, I really like it.  I’m glad I’m enjoying at least part of this pregnancy, since it’ll be the last.  That makes me happy. 🙂

Finances are coming together, with some work.  We had to work out a few payment arrangements, but we’ll be all caught up by September.  I really want to start saving, though.  We have all we need for Newt except for boy clothes, so there won’t be alot of sudden expenses.  We’re already buying diapers, wipes and formula a little at a time as I see sales or get coupons or rebates (the diapers and wipes we buy from Amazon Mom). 

Last time, I took 10 weeks of maternity leave, and it was the last two weeks that really made us tight.  The first two weeks I have completely paid by vacation time, and it will be the same with Newt.  The third week, I’ll go on short-term-disability, which will be 66% of my regular salary.  On top of that, I’m not working my extra weekend job anymore, so we don’t have that income, either. 

This time, I’m only going to take 8 weeks off.  Troy will take a few days when Newt is born, then he’ll take a week at the end of my maternity leave (the week I start back at work), so he and Newt will have a week together just the two of them. 🙂  After that, Newt will go to my mom’s with Davie Ann.  But before I go on leave, I’d like to have two months’ worth of rent saved in the bank.

I’ve thought a lot about going back to the weekend job.  The work itself really is easy and low stress.  It has a lot of down-time where I am free to read, play on the computer, watch TV on my computer or coupon.  Who gets paid to do that kind of stuff, right?  Sounds crazy to give up the extra money!

However, it’s a long drive to get there (about 45 minutes).  It takes almost half a tank of gas round trip.  While I’m at work, I’m missing out on time with Davie and my family.  I HATE missing out on being with her.  I had kids because I wanted to raise them, not work while someone else gets to raise them!  And while I’m at work, Troy just lets her destroy the house.  I know it’s exhausting chasing a toddler, but it’s not fair that I have to make the income and then come home and clean up all their messses, clean the house and take care of the pets and do laundry.  The time I spend cleaning is another four hours I can’t spend with my daughter.  It makes me resent Troy, and I don’t want that and I know it will get worse when I’m missing out on two babies.

So, we have some options – we can live more simply, cut our expenses and get to spend more time together.  Or, Troy could find a part-time job.  He thinks it’s not fair because I make more during the hours I work, but I think it’s not fair because I’ve been the one working two jobs for 7 years now.  Isn’t it his turn?  Also, I can take care of a toddler AND keep the house fairly clean (I can at least keep her from destroying the house while Troy’s at work).  Besides – it’snot forever!  In a year and a half, we will have one car paid off and two other major debts paid.  If we can just stick it out a little longer …

I don’t know, it’s hard to know what to do next.  In the end, I think we both want to be together with our family.  We just need to be vigilant and review our finances constantly together.  It’s gonna be a team effort.

11 Weeks

Doin’ alright. 

For the past month, our whole family has battled one sickness after another.  First there was the brutal stomach virus that started with Davie and my niece, then spread to my parents, then my brother and SIL, then to my nephews and finally to my husband.  It consisted of a horrific one or two days of vomiting and the runs, but was then followed by another 10 days of fatigue, sensitive stomach and occasional returns to vomiting.  I nursed everyone through it and thought I was spared … until it was my turn.

As that passed, we realized Davie still wasn’t herself – still listless, irritable and not eating well.  We took her back to the pediatrician only to find she had a double ear infection, a sinus infection and strep throat.  Then mom and dad got it.  Then my niece.  Then my husband, who missed three days of work because of it.  Once again, the illness seems to be on the wane, and I’m waiting on pins & needles to see if I will be next.  Oh please, Lord, send us some good health.  We need a break.

My OB appt this week went well.  Newt is huge, measuring ahead at 12 weeks.  He fills the whole uterus now, with no big black circle around him anymore.  I didn’t see him kick much, but I hadn’t eaten much that morning.  The heart rate was 160 bpm. 

Unfortunately, BB’s sack has grown, too.  BB is still the same size, just a tiny blip next to Newt now.  But the sac around BB keeps getting bigger.  Dr. Breen wrote an order for the specialists to measure and evaluate the sac at my NT scan June 5th.  Breen says he can’t see a scenario where it would be necessary to do anything invasive about BB, it’s just a monitoring precaution.  Of course, I’m worried, but we’ll let the perinatologists weigh in and see what their advice is.

My progesterone this week is up to 23.  They decreased my Estradiol to twice a day, but I’m still on 3 Crinone inserts a day.  When my progesterone gets to 30, they’ll start weaning me off the Crinone.

Nausea is here in a big, bad way.  Of course, it’s all worth it, goes without saying.  But zomg, I forgot how much I hate this part.  I’ve been threatened with hospitalization/IV fluids twice.  I really want to eat and drink, and I really do try, it just doesn’t stay down.  It’s hard to concentrate.  It’s hard to move from the fetal position.  My house is a wreck and I have no clean underwear.  I’m on Zofran, they gave me both the 8mg and the 4mg tablets.  The order says to take 8mg every 8 hours, but to keep from constant heaving I have to take it every 4-5 hours, and even at that I’m still throwing up.  I’m going to run out at some point and they’re going to find out I’ve been taking too much.  I just can’t function without it and I can’t afford to not work.  I don’t know what to do.

I’m hoping once my progesterone levels off, the nausea will start to go away.  I’m praying for it.  This is my last pregnancy, with all my heart I really want to get to enjoy it a little bit. 

Monday night I let the dogs out around 6 to eat and do their business.  At 8 we went to let them back in, and only one came through the door.  Dude was there, but Dobby was no where to be found.  We finally figured she must have shimmied under the gate, although she had to have been really motivated.  Our neighbors have four little brown bunnies living under their house.  In fact, our whole nighborhood has a LOT of wild bunnies right now.  I wonder if Dobby was trying to chase the bunnies?  Who knows.  We scoured the hood, stopping anyone we saw, checking every road, but there was no sign of her.  I reported her missing to the local animal control and the local shelter.

Tuesday I made fliers and dropped a few at the local vet’s office.  Davie and I loaded up her stoller with duct tape, a staple gun and fliers, and hit the ‘hood going door to door.  We posted fliers at every mailbox station.  When Troy got home, we went out in his car and posted fliers at every mailbox station in the neighborhood next to us and the one behind us.  As we got home, the vet’s office called to say that a man did come in to ask if anyone was looking for a French bulldog, but he didn’t leave any info.  We felt it had to be Dobby!  There just aren’t that many Frenchies in Hutto.  We felt relief that at least she wasn’t on the side of the road, hurt or dead.  And whoever was asking about her seemed to be looking for an owner instead of keeping her.  All good signs!

Finally, at lunch today a man called and said his neighbor had Dobby, but he was at work and hadn’t seen our fliers yet.  So he went and took a flier to his neighbor’s wife, who called.  Dobby is there!  Safe and sound!  And they adore her!   We couldn’t be luckier.  We’ll be picking her up after work tonight!  Thank you, Lord, for leading her to good people with kind hearts and for bringing her home to us!

First Post (take 2)

Well, after a rough start earlier today (right after I signed up, I had a sudden bout of stage fright – or writer’s block, would be more accurate) I finally poured out my story in my first blog … then accidentally deleted it. 

I feel like I should have some deep or profound reason for starting a blog.  But really, it’s for completely narcissistic reasons.  I’ve found that most of life’s big milestones – graduation, starting a career, finding and losing love, getting married – are already growing fuzzy.    And my wedding day was just 3 1/2 years ago.  So, since the memory is apparently going, I decided I’d like to write some thoughts as dear hubby and I go boldly into another of life’s monumental milestones – attempting to start a family. 

Most of my childhood was spent overseas where my folks were Baptist missionaries in Taiwan, Indonesia and the Philippines.  In high school I went to Faith Academy (boarding school) in Manila.  My brother Chris and his best bud Mark, who are 4 1/2 years younger than I am, spent their days in shorts on the beach.  I swear they didn’t wear shirts or shoes ’til they hit high school.  Our childhood totally rocked. 

In ’89 I came back to Texas on my own to go to college at Hardin-Simmons University, where I finished a degree in biology and medical technology.  During my last year in college my folks retired from missions to Austin, Texas with Chris and Mark.  From the first time I came to visit them I fell in love with Austin and moved here as quickly as I could, and I’ve been here ever since.  It’s the longest I’ve ever lived in one place. 

Mom and Dad now live in Gatesville, Texas, about an hour and a half north of Austin.  Dad pastors a Baptist church there.   

Chris and Mark are both DPS officers, both here in Austin.  Mark is married with three kids, a boy and twins – a boy and a girl.  Chris is divorced and has two boys, Cayle (5) and Andon (2).  He’s engaged to Joanne, and they’re getting married on Mother’s Day (May 9th).  I’m in the wedding.  It’ll be my sixth bridesmaid’s dress. 

My dear hubby Troy was born and raised just outside Dallas, Texas, where his mom still lives.  His dad passed away when he was a teenager, and she just remarried around the time we met.  I met Troy when we were both 32, and I have to admit, my first impression of him was that he’d be an amazing friend, but was definitely not relationship material.  He was divorced and had gone back to school, and he seemed happy to be just drifting through academia.  But he seemed to adore me and although I kept our relationship casual, he never gave up.  He just kept hanging around, and at some point, he made me feel like the most beautiful and amazing woman in the world, and won me over. 

I keep telling him that if he’d just found me sooner, he’d have found the hotter, thinner me.  Dad married us when we were 34, and today he’s 38 and I’m 37.  In a couple of months I’ll catch up to him, but ’til then, I get to tease him about bein’ an old man.  When we first married, it was a huge adjustment for me.  Troy was the only guy I’d ever lived with.  I was used to being on my own, taking care of myself.  It was hard to learn to share my space and my things and my time.  It was even harder to learn to let go, to allow Troy to be in control.  When I was finally able to let him be in charge, he suddenly blossomed into the man I had wanted him to be.  He grew up.  I’m so proud of the man he’s become. 

When I was in my 20’s, I couldn’t wait to meet “The One” and start having babies.  In my mid-20’s to early 30’s, I just seemed to lose interest in babies.  Singlehood was enough of a struggle.  There were some really fun times, and some times when I struggled with being alone.  By the time Troy and I got married, we were both iffy about starting a family.  We talked about remaining childless and taking exotic trips abroad and going back to school and buying fun things.  I felt really satisfied just being with Troy. 

But more recently, we’ve started to re-think that position.  For me, it has to do with how I feel about my husband.  Somewhere along the way I shifted from being in love with Troy, to being bonded to Troy.  Maybe it’s a new level of commitment, or a maturing of emotion in me.  In any case, I’ve found a new longing  to blend us together on a whole new genetic level.  If anything ever happened to either of us, we’d have a part of each other.  Selfish, I think.  But I’m suspecting there’s a freedom from selfishness that I’ll learn when I experience motherhood.  

So now, in our late 30’s, we find ourselves taking steps to start a family.  I figured to be ready for pregnancy, I should set up some dr. visits.  I managed to get them all in one day so I only had to take one day off from work.  The first doc, my dermatologist, declared me free of any scary moles but displaying quite a lot of skin damage (childhood on the equator, anyone?).  Next my GP declared me overweight with borderline high blood pressure.  Finally my GynOnc announced that due to my advanced age, if I wanted to concieve we’d better take immediate and aggresive measures.  There’s nothing like being declared by – not just one but three – health care professionals to be a weathered, obese, hypertensive, dried-up crone to make a gal feel old. 

The deck does seem stacked against us, especially with my age and weight and having always had irregular periods.  So to jump-start procreation, I just finished my first round of Clomid.  To my absolute dread, I started having intense hot flashes about 3 days ago.  I thought it was early menopause, for sure.  Turns out, it’s a fairly common side effect of Clomid.  I’ve also been a bit of an insomniac this week.  Don’t know if that’s related or if it’s the Crystal Light I had at 4pm.  Did you know they put caffeine in Crystal Light?!  I’ve also had a tightness in my lower abdomen – not cramps, just tightness.  On Friday I start the ovulation predictor kit, and then we make like bunnies for a few days.  I tried to explain the whole process to Troy – pills, temperatures, timing – but by the time I got to cervical mucus he just gave me a horrified look and declared his libido permanently disabled.  He actually went off to watch TV and fell asleep.  Mental note – conversations about cervical mucus = not getting lucky. 

Although I do hope we can concieve, I already know I’ve it hit the jackpot.  I love my life.  I work in the lab for a cancer treatment center, and Troy works in commercial support for Time Warner (free cable, yay!).  We just moved into a wonderful rental house in Cedar Park, a suburb just north of Austin.  I really miss the carefree, bohemian, hippy free-love vibe of South Austin, but it was time to settle down, and Cedar Park is a wonderful place to raise a family.  It’s nice to not have to commute so far.  We have quite the zoo, consisting of :  three Abyssinian cats, Lila (the princess), my parents’ two cats, Poppy (the love bug), and Orphan Annie (the shy, adorable one) and two French bulldogs, Dobby (sweet and obedient) and Dude Lebowski (not the brightest of the bunch by a long shot … more the comic relief).  I drive a lime green ’78 VW bus that I adore.  I never have road rage.  It makes every day fun.   I call it Bus Therapy.  Austin being the Live Music Capital, I can catch amazing live music with my girlfriends any night of the week, or a great movie at the Alamo Drafthouse with Troy (two of my favorite pasttimes). 

Life is good.