Friday, May 31, 2013

Random Ear-Piercing Scream Day

This is apparently what Bumpus has decided today is. Really, I wouldn't be surprised if I one day discover I'm suffering from tinnitus or mild hearing loss after all the times B has screamed so loud my ears rung. He goes through phases of this - sometimes off, sometimes on. Now is one of the "on" phases. Not digging it. Not digging it at all.

I haven't written much lately because most of the time I kind of feel like poop. I'm not sure what's causing it - apart from the normal mommy exhaustion and worries, everything is fine. And Bumpus is really ok, too. He's a delight most of the time. But mom feels like crap. It may very well be hormonal so I am just trying to keep my head up and coast through it. Like everything else these days, it's just a phase...right?

I got it into my head that if B had his own room we would both sleep better and I wouldn't have to go through this up at 6-make scrambled eggs-feed baby-go back to bed rigmarole every morning; I notice when he wakes up he tends to play around for about a half hour or so (providing I don't move an inch). If he had his own room I could sneak toys into his crib at night so he could wake up and play, and then when he was really over it we could both just get up together. This sounds nice, but I'm not convinced this is entirely true - and I'm not about to spend thousands on putting the walls back on that room only to discover I'm not sleeping any later than when he was next to my bed. I'll do it if there's another baby on board - or if I know for sure there'll never be another baby. But now's not the time. So, 6 am it is, then back to bed a half hour later for another couple of hours, then I stumble around incoherently for about a half hour while B eats his breakfast muffins. I'm glad I can no longer consider myself sleep deprived - this is definitely a step up from my "every two hour nipple mangling" episode. But I still feel pretty lousy when I wake up. Join the club, right?

Speaking of hormonal, finally got a frigging answer about my prolactin levels. After hounding the Kaiser midwife for the results (which sure enough had been forgotten about and never forwarded to me), she said it "looked normal", which is meaningless, so I asked for a number - remember, the clinic doesn't want me taking and period or ovulation-inducing drugs without a good number. She finally coughed it up - 8.3, yippee! It's so odd to think it was in the high 20s when I first had it checked two years ago. Under 20 is good for ovulation. But - still no period. Which is frustrating as hell and contributing to my foul mood. At least now there's a plan, though - call the clinic Monday and see if they'll put me on Provera to get this party started. Not sure if I can try after that or if I have to wait until I cycle naturally anyway...but I guess I'll find out. It has to happen eventually, right?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Mental energy

I haven't posted lately because nothing's really going on, just twiddling my thumbs waiting for good ol' Aunt Flo. Who is technically due tomorrow - but I've got to say, I'm not feeling it. No feelings of bloat or cramping, no headaches or irritability (well, no more than usual!). And I still don't have those prolactin results-! I'm not sure who to call to see what's the hold up - maybe I'll wait until Thursday to let it be a week and then call Kaiser to try to get some answers. So I'm just in a holding pattern all over the place.

So again, if no period shows, what do I do? Try to take Provera? Should I start Vitex instead now that B is weaned? I'm not sure where to go from here. Just keep waiting? Ugh!

Lately I've been in a bit of a panic about my event which is just three months away. It is my other baby, and I have been seriously neglecting it. Tonight for the first time in ages I spent some quality time with my website doing tons of updates; it took three agonizing hours fixing all the information and correcting old mistakes. I just don't have the mental energy for this stuff anymore, and I'm worried. Why was this so much easier when I had a newborn...? I don't remember this problem last year. I simply cannot motivate myself to get any work done. And there is so much to be done - I'm so behind on so many things, and have completely let the ball drop as far as the relentless pushing and advertising I should be doing this time of year. Every night I put B to bed at 7, then make dinner, eat it, and clean up the kitchen, and by the time all of this is done I have two hours left before bedtime and I just want to zone out in front of the TV. Firing up my buggy computer and doing a bunch of highly detailed ad writing and web design work is the last thing I have energy for. You would think the evenings are ideal to finally get some work done since my days are completely occupied by B, but I'm finding the opposite is true.

I have a list of "goals for the month" that I keep on my phone - and I'm ashamed to say my "goals for April" have now all become "goals for June". I just keep putting things off and putting them off in favor of things that absolutely must get done - cooking for B, laundry, ordering diapers, making sure he gets to run around outside every day, making sure I have babysitters when needed, keeping the house clean and organized. Anything beyond that just doesn't seem important enough to deal with right now.

It is hard to do it all - being the sole breadwinner and homemaker. These jobs weren't designed to run concurrently, yet so many women married or single find themselves in this position. For me it's not that I don't have the time to do these things - I just don't have the mental energy. 

But I'm going to have to get the mental energy, because my event is coming up, and fast. And if I screw this one up I will jeopardize my entire financial future. So, as always, I just have to pull myself up, smack each cheek to get the blood flowing, and make it happen. Show time!!!

Saturday, May 25, 2013


So I survived the last of the long distance gigs last night, huzzah! This one was a monumental pain in the ass because it was at a college campus, which meant I was a half hour late and almost missed the entire first set because I couldn't find the !$&@ Student Resources Center where we were playing. And then when I finally did, I had to track down the organizer to get a parking pass and run it out to my car parked a million miles away just so I wouldn't get towed. Thankfully everything went well and we actually made a bit more money than I'd expected - and thank God for that, because May has been the most expensive month in...pretty much ever. 

I like to take pride in saying things like, "what is everyone taking about? Kids aren't that expensive!" But truth be told, they kind of are. Even my little bitty baby has about doubled my grocery bill in the last couple of months. I'm really feeling it now, and am a little concerned for the future, especially if I bring a second person into this mix. I used to grocery shop every couple of weeks or when needed - now I go every Friday religiously and even then often run out of needed essentials by Wednesday. It used to sometimes take me a month to get through one dozen eggs, and I rarely even finished a half pint of milk. Now I'm on a gallon of milk and two dozen eggs a week, and even then I sometimes run out! It's crazy! I spend about $60/month on diapers and wipes. God knows how much gas I expend driving around on pointless errands just to get out of the house and get B to nap. And don't even ask about the babysitting fees. Last night I paid another $100 to someone to sit and watch TV while B slept the entire night. Ugh.

Not complaining, mind you, just observing. Yes, kids are expensive, although the fact that he's not in daycare of course saves a fortune (except this month where I paid more in babysitters than most people pay for full-time daycare), and I try to remind myself of the thousands I save by not taking elaborate foreign trips every year, eating out, shopping full price at Anthropologie, etc etc. It probably all comes out even in the end, especially with the break I get for his healthcare, for which I'm extremely grateful.

I do worry that two kids is going to cause me to live a little too close to the bone, especially if I don't have as positive years with my event coming up as I think I do, or if some bizarre expense comes out of left field like that sewer thing (still owe $9000 on that, ugh) or if interest rates suddenly skyrocket (I have a variable rate mortgage I can't refinance out of - in 2007 when rates were at their highest I was paying double what I'm paying now). 

But that's life, you know? Everyone gets hit by unforeseen disasters. If they were "foreseen" we'd avoid them! Are fears of some bizarre circumstance enough to keep me from (at least trying for) another baby? Of course not. But I'd be lying if I said I'm not feeling the pinch. The last two months I've spent WAY more than I've made. Which is typical for this time of year - in just two months I'll be swimming in money. But right now it doesn't feel too great.

Here's a pic of me at last night's gig:

Friday, May 24, 2013

Yours, mine & ours

So I think B is starting to learn the concept of "mine" vs. "yours". He is also learning the concept of sharing, as far as "I don't want to share". For a while now when we're up in the playroom he's done this thing where he'll follow me around the room and touch all of the toys I've just touched, or come over and take things out of my hands. At first I thought, "aw, cute, he wants to play and be like mommy." But yesterday it dawned on me that no, it's not cute. He's asserting his dominance, basically saying "no, mine!" without actually saying it. Never mind that I bought him all these toys so they're technically mine. But I digress.

That was disturbing to me. It was also disturbing to me when at the park yesterday he was standing holding on to the stroller and another baby came by and was holding it, too, and he started pushing her hands away. In the moment I thought, "you could correct him, but he's too young to get it, so why bother?" I kind of sheepishly looked at the mother who sheepishly looked at me and murmured something to her baby about "that's not ours" and took him/her away. I have to say it's not pleasant seeing your sweet little baby behaving like kind of a jerk. 

Later I put it out to my mommy group on FB about when to teach about sharing and everyone said there's no time like the present, so I will start now. I don't want to jump down the kid's throat every time he exhibits an unpleasant but perfectly normal aspect of toddler behavior, but my friends are right - there's nothing wrong with saying, "it's ok, everyone can play" and if he throws a fit, looking at the horrified mother and saying, "we're trying to learn to share." I can do that. I so wish he were of an age where I can sit down and explain things to him, but that's a ways off yet. What he needs is group dynamics. If only I could afford preschool! Agh.

In other news I'm becoming a bit worried about our Miami trip in July, mainly having to do with food. He's used to a hot breakfast as soon as he wakes up at six. How am I going to do this in a hotel...? I can call and see if I can get a room with a fridge so he can at least have milk, but I am concerned about mornings - even if there's a restaurant where I could get him a plate of scrambled eggs and a blueberry muffin like at home, it's a long trek between waking up groggy at 6 am, showering, dressing, getting us both in the rental car,  getting to a restaurant, being seated, ordering, and eating. I'm now questioning how smart booking a hotel room actually was. I should have tried to find one with a kitchen. Maybe I should buy some of those non-refrigerated toddler meals, at least just for the mornings...? Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated!

Been waiting with bated breath for my prolactin results. Normally they get emailed to me the night of the test. What's the hold up? And I don't know what to do if I do get a high result - I mean, as far as I know there's nothing I can do to lower it; it just has to come down on its own. Any period I may get should show up about the middle of next week. Now's just the waiting game. The Kaiser midwife said I really should wait a few cycles to get my body back in gear - but she understands I don't have that kind of time. The clinic said the same thing. If only it were October now and I had to wait until March anyway, it would be ideal! But it's not. So, here we are. 

Speaking of midwives & such, I've been thinking when and if the time comes what I really should do is enlist a good doula rather than hiring a full-on midwife that would be a lot more expensive and a bit pointless considering I kind of have to do everything through Kaiser anyway. To go to two prenatal appointments and double up on everything sounds very unpleasant to me. After all, I don't object to the care at Kaiser; it's the billing that makes me nuts. And last time I kind of fell through the cracks because this midwife got jury duty for six weeks and I just got assigned to someone else (who was fine, btw). So. Let's think good things and assume I can labor non-induced and nobody ends up in the NICU and I can go home after a day and I don't end up spending five figures on this (potential) birth. How about that?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

And so it begins

Today I had my long-awaited appointment with the very in-demand Kaiser midwife. It went well. She was glad to hear I'd overcome my fears enough to try for another baby. I of course had B with me and she said what's so true - that after a year with your adorable baby it's hard not to want another. Is cuteness really that powerful? I'm beginning to think it is.

So she signed off on my paperwork and I had the prolactin blood draw. We also talked about the pre-e / protein connection and morning sickness. She told me I could come to her for acupuncture for the sickness, which is great, but useless when you can't even leave your house you're so sick. I asked about the B6/Unisom combo some people swear by - it's the one thing I never tried because I was afraid of taking sleeping pills. I'm even more afraid now with a baby to look after; the one time I took a sleeping pill in my life I was stumbling around incoherent the whole day afterwards. But I figure if I take a small dose and only before's worth a shot. Anything is worth not going through what I had to endure last time!!!

As expected she was a bit skeptical about the protein loading and liver support teas/kidney support. She said all of that can tax your system, which I suspected. And that's a relief. Because honestly trying to shove 120 grams of protein into my system especially when I'm so sick I can hardly manage half a cracker, is extremely daunting to me. I'd rather up my protein in a non-aggressive way - eat Greek yogurt instead of cereal in the morning, eat more cottage cheese and peanut butter, limit carbs. That I can do, no problem. And I am wary of herbs. I just am. So it was good to get her holistic-leaning but still medical opinion about my two biggest pregnancy fears - the sickness and developing pre-e again.

She was very positive and nurturing and said everything would be different this time. And I believe that, too. I'm not saying there isn't going to be a certain amount of physical suffering involved - pregnancy is largely unpleasant even n the best of circumstances. But it'll be different because I'm different. I'm no longer racked with fears that some horrible nightmare thing is going to happen to me, or that I'll have something good happen and then it'll be snatched away. I may have difficulty getting pregnant, yes, and there may be miscarriage(s). But I really, truly believe it's all going to work out. I just feel really good about it. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The B and V report

Thanks, as always, for the thoughtful and helpful comments on my last post. I do want to stress that I rarely feel that way. But it does come up from time to time and I thought it best to be honest about it. That yes, having a baby is amazing and I'm so grateful, but it doesn't take away the pain of no one ever loving me. Not entirely.

But hey, onward and upward, huh? The past couple of days I've just spent toodling around town doing busy-making errands. I went to Little Tokyo to buy these kawaii kid's lunch boxes and kitchen things and a bath sponge. Today I met with a fellow thinker SMC. Cooked, watered vegetables, made a new jar of sun tea. 

And called a local preschool for a tour. While B slept in the car I had nothing else to do so I thought I'd spend some time researching preschools on Yelp. It's amazing how much has opened up for us since I first thought of preschool for him - back then I believe he was about eight months old; now at fourteen months many of these places may be able to admit him by September. Most don't take kids under two or three and they have to be potty trained, but a handful start at eighteen months. And ironically the one that looked the best was one my walking friend had recommended months ago. Unfortunately they don't have their rates online, but they suggested to call for a tour first so I did. I wasn't really planning on doing any of this now, but being as these places mostly have waiting lists, I figured now's as good a time as any to talk about fall "school" for the boy. Then my event will be over and I'll know where I stand financially. If only these places were free or cheap - but they're neither. And I simply cannot afford it right now. There is a fairly inexpensive church-type place in my neighborhood but their starting age is 3, the children must be potty trained, and one too many of the Yelp reviews talked about how they love that their child is being taught about God and Jesus. Yeah - not for us. But cheap!

So I'll check out this one place, maybe a few others, get on some waiting lists and see what happens. I'm excited. I think this is going to be really good for him, and I can't wait to see how he develops with more than just good ol' mom to influence him.

So on to the Boobie and V-J-J Report. Breastasiz pain has dissipated greatly since Sunday. They are still a little sore but no longer hard and lumpy and painful - I can actually pick up B without wincing with pain, which is a relief. I do believe we are done! So, apart from a week or so of miserable pain, weaning wasn't so terrible (and if I'd had the wherewithal to take some pain pills it probably wouldn't even have been that bad - duh). I am still having strange secretions. Which once again makes me wonder if my ovulation last week was all in my head. Was it a Phantom Ovulation? Is my body still figuring itself out? Well, I will most likely have my prolactin level checked this week and I am dying of curiosity. It's supposed to be under 20 to ovulate. 

Speaking of which, I have my appointment with the Kaiser midwife that I made six weeks ago day after tomorrow. It's funny to think how I went from wanting the appointment to get an opinion about how to handle the risk of pre-eclampsia to now needing it to have paperwork signed off so I can do an IUI next month. My list of things to talk about with this woman are: any and all methods to combat morning sickness, any and all methods to avoid developing pre-e, any advice about second pregnancies, second inductions, pregnancy at 41 or 42, and how best to work within the Kaiser system. With that said I do still plan to hire an outside midwife, too. I am absolutely going to need that support a second time around. 

Last night's Newlyweds episode showed the results of two pregnancy tests after one month of marriage: one positive, one negative. I was kind of annoyed one of the wives hit it out of the park on the first try, but hey - a lot of people do! Several of my FB SMC tryers have gotten BFPs in the last few days, at least a couple on their first try. It's hard to remember that stuff like that happens all the time, especially when you're using medications and monitoring and other advanced methods. That for so many women it all just works out. Will that be me? I don't know. We'll find out in a month or so!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Second best

This is kind of a hard post to write. I like to feel like I've really got my shit together, that I'm capable, that people think my choice to have a baby on my own is inspiring and brave. And I do believe all of these things are true at least some of the time. And I mean it when I say to any of my new "thinker" friends that before the baby there were times when I thought this route was second best, but now I rarely think like that. I do mean rarely. Not never.

I went to two more kids' birthday parties this weekend. Had a nice time at both. But. It's hard being the only single mama. Today it really hit me when I had to stay inside and watch B play while all the spouses could go outside with the adults and grab a plate, have a chat, get a drink, etc. I could do none of those things, because B can't be confined anymore. The hosts were very vigilant about bringing me food, drinks, a chair, etc. And I appreciated that. At a party a couple of weekends ago my friend's husband occupied B for well over an hour so I could chat and eat. I appreciated that as well. But there's a big part of me that wishes that weren't the case, that I didn't have to be "helped". I know none of these people look down on me or think I'm not perfectly capable; in fact I know it's quite the opposite. But every once in a while I feel kind of like a charity case, and I don't like it.

I wondered what the people at this last party, who don't know me, thought about my situation. I don't have a wedding ring and was there alone. Did they think I was divorced? Abandoned by some dirt bag (as my ex-friend told her son)? Made bad choices and am now living with "the consequences" (aka my gorgeous, brilliant son)? I found myself quaking in my boots that one of these new people would ask what my husband does for a living or if he has red hair like my son. Why? I've always been so proud to proclaim, "oh no, he's donor conceived," before - what's gotten into me?

It may have to do with a conversation I had Thursday night. An older woman of my acquaintance who I like very much has the unfortunate habit of revealing unpleasant things people have said about me. Back when it was about how sick I was from morning sickness at my 2011 event, she told me later "everyone" was saying what a "bitch" I was being and that if I didn't snap out of it my event would "continue to go downhill" (just for the record, my event is far from going downhill. Last year's attendance was the second highest ever in fifteen years). That comment has stuck in my craw for a couple of years now. Then Thursday night when I mentioned I was really enjoying taking a more active role in the SMC community, she said "when you first did this, people would ask me, why would she do that?" It really bothers me that there are people out there who think I did this out of some sort of last ditch attempt at having a family or that it was something I was forced to do. It bothers me because it's kind of true.

There's just no getting around the fact that unlike almost everyone I know, nobody ever chose me to procreate with. Now in the end this doesn't really mean anything - half these people will be divorced in ten years, and I'm sure more than one woman I know goes to bed at night knowing she settled for some schmendrick just so she could have a traditional family. But I'm sure, too, more than one person has had a little snicker at my expense, thinking how low I've fallen that I had to have a baby by a sperm donor. I will freely admit that in my less empathetic days if I'd heard some woman I didn't particularly like had done this, that's exactly what I would have thought.

So I put a good face on. I know B's feelings about his origins are going to be directly tied to my feelings about it. I try to act like this was the plan all along, that I never wanted to subjugate myself to some man. That it's a joyful, positive thing. And again, all of this is true. And the longer I live this lifestyle, and now even planning another child by this process as if to commit myself more fully, the less I have those feelings of inadequacy, of my lifestyle somehow being second best to that of my married friends'. Until I go to a party where it's all couples and I see the husbands watching the baby so mom can have a drink and talk to her friends. Then, just a little bit, I feel like I got the short end of the stick. 

I survived

I survived my San Diego gig last night! I thought I would drive off the road on the way home - it came close a couple of times - but shoving random food into my face at various intervals and my This American Life ap kept me just enough awake to arrive home at 3 AM relatively crash-free.

I also may have survived weaning. Today is the first day in ages I did not wake up in more pain than the day before. Not having that level of constantly elevating pain means I woke up in a FABULOUS mood today. Oh, don't get me wrong. It still hurts like a mother. But yesterday my very large, hard left boob had red splotches on it and I started to worry I was on the road to mastitis. The last time I saw splotches like that was when my milk first came in. And it was so, so painful yesterday. But. I think we may be on the road to recovery. I don't know if I can say the liberal use of cabbage leaves has helped me, or if this thing just ran its course finally. I guess you never know if treatments actually work - I often wonder if my epidural worked, since I was still in so much pain after it. Or would the pain have been so much worse had I not had it...?

After having my blackout shades hung, I can say with a great deal of joy that B has slept until 7 the last two days! Huzzah! I don't know why but that one extra hour makes a huge difference (although nine or even eight would be much better). And these days when he wakes he tends to play around for about twenty minutes or so before calling out to me. It makes me wonder how much more sleep I'd get if he had his own room...?

Which brings me to my next house project...I am seriously considering building a room for B. Didn't you just do this with the attic, you ask? Yes. However, unfortunately it's obvious that he cannot be left up here unattended for years (I'm not cool with him scaling that ladder until he's at least five...maybe seven?). And there may be another baby. And I kind of want my bedroom back. But I certainly can't be shelling out for construction projects right now. Still, to replace part of the old second bedroom wall and then build a long hallway so there will still be direct access to the bathroom from the living room, would be great. I squeal with delight when I think about decorating a real boy's room instead of just an open holding area for boxes of junk...but oh, the expense! And the mess of concrete dust and men tromping in and out. But it's either that or switch out all the furniture and closets so B can have my room while I move out into the open area...and that's a huge pain in the ass, too. I suppose I could get an estimate. It's too bad this upstairs contractor has pissed me off so bad by not installing my cabinet doors yet - I don't know if I'd be willing to use him again after this. 

Here is a picture of the creepy Japanese blow up bouncy horse I got B for his birthday:

Friday, May 17, 2013

A great many things

After several weeks of not connecting, I finally got my handyman over for a full day of random jobs today. Between 10-3 he:

Straightened a crooked ceiling light fixture
Switched out my shower head
Adjusted the screen door so it doesn't loudly slam shut
Hung a baby swing from my avocado tree
Brought the leftover building materials from my attic down to the garbage
Rewired an Edwardian lamp that's sat unused for 19 years

While he did this, I:

Took B's octagon play yard thing out of the box and set it up for use
Assembled his pack 'n play for use as a crib
Disassembled the old Port-A-Crib
Repaired and packed away the old bumper system for the Port-A-Crib my sister made
Blew up his super creepy Rody rocking horse I bought him for his 1st birthday (he was scared of it at first until I held him close while he sat on it, then he got into it)
Assembled a wooden walker my sister's step mother bought him
Recovered two chairs with cute oilcloth
Moved tons of broken old crap from the back yard to the garbage
Attempted to take down rickety bamboo privacy fence but gave up when I discovered how many weeds had grown into it
Assembled new hose and liberally watered tomatoes, peppers & herbs
Fixed and re-hung broken barometer
Fixed & re-hung movie poster that shattered to the ground during my whole sewer debacle
Finally defrosted and threw out the gross hot pepper tomato sauce I froze but will never eat
Put all strollers and other random shit in the closet where the giant carseat box used to be
Stacked boxes ready to be stored in the playroom whenever the contractor gets over here with the cabinet doors (only been waiting four months for this to happen)
Went grocery shopping
Piled cabbage leaves into bra
Collected egg from surviving chicken
Cooked goat cheese polenta with chick pea ratatouille and baked apples with cinnamon whipped cream
Traded many, many texts trying to get my June babysitting dates filled
Paid my ever-increasing pool maintenance bill - wondered again if I should try to find someone cheaper
Tried to change battery in stopped yard clock only to discover the motor is broken
Brought many broken down shipping boxes down to garbage 
Made a green leaf lettuce, butter lettuce, cucumber and radish salad for the week
Pinned a recipe for dill pickles
Changed two poo poo didies
Shook out the nursery rug
Cleaned the kitchen floor three times
Emptied the dishwasher
Filled the dishwasher
Fielded emails about how to improve our failing meet up group
Fielded emails about upcoming gigs
Fielded emails about the next SMC meeting
Wondered where that moldy smell was coming from
Unintentionally soaked shoes when new hose went haywire
Watched that episode of Married to Medicine for like the bajillionth time
Checked Facebook 87 times to see how many people "liked" the video I posted of B walking
Got a good preschool recommendation from the handyman

...and that's it. Whew! Good night!

Update on "Ahhhhhhhhh"

I wish I had a fun story about a crazy last-minute IUI today, but alas it was not to be. The nurse practitioner called me back at noon, and luckily I had the presence of mind to not demand all sorts of things but instead explain what symptoms I'd been having and ask her medical opinion about what I should do. She explained I really should have my prolactin levels checked before doing anything - that yes, your body can act very much like it's ovulating when in fact the prolactin levels may still be high enough to suppress an actual egg from releasing (and any drugs I could take would not help this). And, of course, I have to have that paperwork in. So since I already have that appointment with the Kaiser midwife next Thursday, I can kill a bunch of birds with one stone - paperwork signed off, prolactin checked, discussion about methods to combat both pre-eclampsia and morning sickness (I especially want to make sure I stock up on any morning sickness remedies now, since last time I was too sick to even leave the house to buy myself anything - that is NOT happening again, dammit!). So, that's the plan. And once again, sit around and wait for a period to show up. 

Naturally I'm a bit deflated - I'm pretty convinced I'm ovulating right now, and I'm missing it. But I looked at my calendar and trying in June isn't so terrible; it's not great, but July wasn't great last time either and it all worked out in the end. I'd hate for B and a sibling to have birthdays right on top of each other, but that's getting a little ahead of myself!

In the end I want to put my best foot forward and not waste those $600 vials of sperm, and rooting around in the dark would be doing just that. So, we wait.

Oh, and my bra is full of cabbage leaves. I feel like a salad. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013


I'm freaking out. Ok, so after Blissful Mama's comment yesterday that my sore boobs could at least in part be due to ovulating, I thought about all the EWCM I've had all week, and thought "hmmmm". Then as I was lying prostrate on the couch after the baby went to bed (my usual stance) I noticed a lot of cramping on my right side. In fact, it had been going on pretty much all day. And it was constant and really annoying. And very much like the cramping I had the day before B was conceived. I started thinking maybe I really am ovulating and my prediction two weeks ago was just off...? I got so worked up about it I couldn't get to sleep. I kept thinking I just wish I knew there was a way to see what's going on in there. Then I remembered about checking cervical position. At 1 AM I promptly leapt out of bed and squatted down to see what's what. Sure enough - high (could hardly reach it), open, soft as baby's breath. In other words, ovulating. Now naturally none of these things is a 100% guarantee of actual ovulation - but it is a guarantee that I am at least trying to ovulate, which means that I was way off in my estimate of when my period should appear. 

So this morning I called the clinic. I was about to leave a message with the nurse...but considering the fact that I never got a return call from her yesterday, I decided instead to go to the front desk. I stumbled out to the receptionist that I know they probably think I'm crazy but could they just humor me and let me come in for an ultrasound? She put me on hold FOREVER. Then she came back and said that "like I mentioned last time" they need an updated medical form from me - just a sheet of paper signed by a doctor saying I'm ok to get knocked up - because my old one has expired and they will not do an IUI without one. Huh? I said she never told me any such thing and I didn't know what she was talking about. I know she didn't mention this last time I was there because I would have run out and made an appointment with a doctor right away to get that covered so I don't miss an opportunity. I asked again if I could come in for an ultrasound anyway (in the back of my mind thinking I could just beg them for an IUI and they would say yes); she said they're very busy today but she'd have the nurse call me. I can picture the nurse seeing the message, saying, "wasn't she just here two weeks ago? Isn't she supposed to start her period right now?" and not calling me back. Ugh! I am starting to remember the things I didn't like about this clinic from last time!!!

At first I was a ball of rage, thinking I cannot believe I may be ovulating right this second and I am going to miss this opportunity - and have to wait a whole frigging month! - just because they won't take me seriously, and because I'm missing some stupid, meaningless piece of paper that I didn't even know I needed. I mean, I just had a baby, for chrissakes! Obviously there's nothing preventing me from being a candidate for another that any doctor will see in a basic exam!

But unfortunately this is something I have no control over. If they refuse to see me today, that's it. I already have an appointment with a midwife next week so she can do the exam for me and that paperwork will be taken care of. And hey - maybe if this is a real ovulation I will have an actual period after and I can start the next cycle right. But what if I still don't get a period? I'll have to go through all this again. And I'd really like to avoid the whole Femara/trigger shot thing if I can. I'd much rather just go in natural. But once again, stupid things, like paperwork and scheduling, are stopping me. SO annoying!

I keep reminding myself that women have missed fertility treatments for far stupider reasons than this - flat tires, storms, not being able to get out of work, etc. And of course my body is saying "but what if this is your last good egg...?" But I know it can't be, and if I have a real cycle for June it can only be better. I always think about my chickens (well, chicken) and how the first egg they lay after a long break (like wintertime) is always a little wonky and odd but right after they're back to normal. Please let this be the case for me!!!

In the meantime I am going to stay glued to my phone all day and be full of anxiety. Lord help me.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Leaps and Bounds

For the first time since B was a newborn (or possibly ever...?), I had to leave him at home all day with a sitter. Normally daytime jaunts are at weekends at the Baby Kennel, and nights with sitters at my house now are pretty much only when he's already asleep. I got kind of a sense what it's like to be a working mom - a day away and then home for dinner & bedtime with the kid. Also the weirdness of explaining all the quirks of your house and routines - feed him this, not that, use this sponge, not that one, etc. At one point the sitter texted to ask why there was a strange old woman picking my avocados in the back yard. Long story, I wrote back.

What did B do today while I was out? He walked. ALL DAY. The sitter kindly caught him on video doing it - we're trying to figure out how to get the files to me since they're too big to email. Yesterday he only took two, three steps max before dropping down. Today he walked across entire rooms! I had no idea he'd progress this fast. Here we go-!

I kind of dig it because it means no more being on top of him every two seconds to make sure he isn't putting things in his mouth, and no more hands on floors. Walking feels more manageable than crawling to me. Of course, I say that now.

So now things have changed again. It is time to use my baby gates and set up areas of the house for him to cruise around in. I feel the playpen's days are numbered, which makes me shudder. But hey, I've dealt with developmental changes before; I'll just adjust as I always do! I still have the octagon gate set that I ordered probably eight months ago sitting in the box - now may be the time to use it. And maybe utilize the playroom in the mornings if he won't sit in the playpen. I'll play it by ear.

Called the clinic this morning, but they did not call me back. I hate it when they do that. But it did occur to me that I may not be able to try when I want to - that this whole getting my cycles back on track thing could take a while. I don't like it, but it is what it is. If only I didn't have to shut down all fall and winter!! I have to, though - to be at the end of a pregnancy during my event next year could be dangerous, and having a brand new baby would be disastrous as well. So I'm out Oct-Jan. I could maybe try in Feb but it's not ideal; March-June is really ideal. I hate that I have so little time due to age - I hate that I have to worry that the last of my viable eggs could be spent while I'm stuck waiting around. But, I tried the earliest I possibly could - I didn't want to wean B before one year, and I went in the minute I thought my fertility was back, as I promised myself. So, I have nothing to regret. I just have to prepare myself that I may have to miss the window of this summer. Canceled cycles are a particularly sucky but to be expected part of TTC. 

Speaking of sucky parts, my boobs are getting worse and worse. The left one is now all lumpy. I can hardly even pick B up and I'm sure he's wondering what's wrong. I have started using cold compresses which help a lot, and will buy a cabbage at the farmer's market tomorrow. I thought the cabbage leaf thing was just an old wives' tale or just something to use that's cold, but apparently they do contain certain chemicals that help sore drying up boobs. Interesting.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Stuff, and...holy crap, walking!

My boobs hurt. I thought I'd escaped the curse of the painful weaning boobs - but today I woke up and they were very sore, especially around the nipple. It's a new sensation that I haven't had before on this breastfeeding journey. Mom Guru says not to pump but to use cabbage leaves & Motrin to ease the pain. I'm just sort of uncomfortable most of the time, until I hold anything (or anyone!) close to my chest; then it just HURTS. I hope this passes soon. It makes doing just about anything difficult and painful.

Couple this with the fact that tomorrow is "the" day - the day I'm supposed to get my period, which I somehow don't think I'm going to get. So...when do I call the clinic, then? Tomorrow? Thursday? Friday? At what point is taking Provera to start the period justified? Well, I guess I should call to find out, huh?

After getting reams of mail reminding me and then re-reminding me about the dissolution of B's current low-cost healthcare and merger into a whole new system, today I got the re-enrollment form (you have to re-apply every year). I was very worried that they wouldn't accept a profit and loss statement as proof of income and would insist on tax forms - but a quick call confirmed that yes, they will accept the profit and loss statement. Now, I know better than to trust anything anyone tells me on the phone - but boy would it be great to not be stuck owing $350 a month, and another $350 if there's another child-! 

This morning I tried my new system - up at 6 for breakfast, then back to bed. It worked. B was happy in his playpen until nine! However, I will switch out what I make - today I had to sit, staring into space, for forty minutes while he laboriously made his way through three mini muffins. Then at nine I made him some eggs. Tomorrow I will make him the eggs at six (ten minutes, tops) and then let him feed himself the muffins later when I can eat with him and clean the kitchen while he slowly eats. This makes a lot more sense. I am determined to make this work, dammit!

Today I ran yet another meetup that nobody showed up to. Four RSVPs and no shows. Good times. It was to walk the Hollywood Reservoir. I went by myself after waiting half an hour - but turned around halfway because it was blistering hot and B was whining the whole time. I think the thing to do now that summer is upon us is do outdoor exercise late - like really late; 5 pm or so, when the sun loses most of its intensity. I'm going to take us to the Silverlake reservoir today around that time because I want B to get to play in the grass. I am trying to figure out how to use my limited cement backyard area for play. Going to have to brainstorm this one. Making a little sandbox a la Pinterest is on the list!

Our dance world is abuzz with the news of a new, though secret, pregnancy. Everyone is trying to guess who it is - I hope it's my friend who said she didn't want kids because she had to caretake her mentally ill sister when she was young and just didn't want to take care of anything again. I would hate to see her miss out on this chance because of past baggage. I also saw my bandleader and his wife Saturday night and she was talking about getting a new car, and said she wanted a Prius but was worried if they had kids that it would be too small. Then she said, "I said to him, if I buy this car, does this mean we're never having kids?" Ugh! The poor thing! I wish they would just take the plunge so that they don't have to worry about it anymore. They are rapidly becoming the only people without kids in our circle. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, I say!

But most importantly - B kinda sorta walked yesterday! I looked over as he was marching back and forth in his playpen and noticed he wasn't holding on to the sides! Wow! So now I'm going to have to keep the video function on this phone ready at a moment's notice for when he does it again - it may be a while before I can catch him in the act!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Beach Day

I started this day fantasizing about screaming "shut the F up!!!" at my crying child. I said fantasizing, not actually doing. Now I'm kind of horrified that I even thought that. I blame my (at the time) sleep-deprived brain. But my morning routine, after working for a while, is now no longer working. So once again I'm going to have to mix it up. What happens is I put B in the playpen when he wakes up at 6 AM so I can (try to) sleep a little longer. This worked famously when we were still nursing. Now...not so much. We haven't nursed in way over a week and he's gotten increasingly fussy about the morning playpen visit until today he was just hysterical. And I was so, so tired. Normally we have a nice leisurely breakfast when I finally drag my still exhausted carcass out of bed. But I think I'm going to have to do breakfast at 6. Snacks don't cut it; I think he's hungry for real food. Once he's eaten he's happy in the playpen for ages. So I will try it tomorrow, making breakfast at 6 and then trying to go back to bed. It's going to suck. But I absolutely, positively cannot start my day at 6 AM. Not when 5-10 times a month my days end at midnight or later. No sir. So if I can fool myself into thinking I'm getting a morning nap, then, there you go. 

I had already determined with today's projected triple digit temperatures that we were having a beach day. And so we did, and it was a lot less stressful than I had anticipated. The last time we went to the beach he was barely mobile at six months; this time I had visions of him crawling into the sea while simultaneously shoving sand and cigarette butts into his mouth and repeatedly ripping his hat off his head and getting third degree burns on his pasty skin. Only a couple of those things happened. He did eat a certain amount of sand (no cigarette butts, thank goodness), and ripped his hat off a lot, but he also kept it on a lot, too, and thankfully stayed in the shade with me most of the time. I thought to pick up a cheap plastic bucket play set on the way, and boy am I glad I did! Hours of entertainment. It would have been very different had I not brought anything for him to do. Never underestimate the power of toys for children!

So now on to what I don't want to talk about - yesterday. I did have a nice meeting with the "thinker" SMC. But that was my only plan for the day, and with it being blistering hot again, the playroom and our walk were out. And it was too late to go to the beach by the time my meeting was over, so I really had nothing to do but sit around and avoid Facebook like the plague. I don't know why this year was suddenly so hard on me - I mean, everything's fine, I have a baby, my mother and I do have a cordial relationship (she even sent me an e-card), so what the hell is my problem? I don't know. I just felt out of sorts. It's my own fault for not making plans. I hate, hate, hate not having plans on the weekend. It makes me feel like a big loser. But honestly I don't know how I could do it differently in the future. It's just a day everyone's busy with their families, and unlike Christmas or Thanksgiving it's not the kind of holiday non-relatives are welcome to join in. So it's kind of destined to be a lonely day for me, I think. Boo.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Estranged Mother's Day

A fellow blogger reposted this quote from writer Ann Lamott regarding Mother's Day:

"I hate the way the holiday makes all non-mothers, and the daughters of dead mothers, and the mothers of dead or severely damaged children, feel the deepest kind of grief and failure. The non-mothers must sit in their churches, temples, mosques, recovery rooms and pretend to feel good about the day while they are excluded from a holiday that benefits no one but Hallmark and See’s. There is no refuge — not at the horse races, movies, malls, museums. Even the turn-off-your-cellphone announcer is going to open by saying, “Happy Mother’s Day!” You could always hide in a nice seedy bar, I suppose. Or an ER."

I have to say other than the relentless advertisements on the subject I keep forgetting Sunday is Mother's Day. Because I have no plans, no husband to celebrate me (and I guess that's a broad assumption right there, that all husbands are celebrating their wives on Sunday), and B is far too young and will be for years to acknowledge the day. On the other end I am estranged from my own mother, so no celebration there. All around an awkward day for me despite now actually being a mother. Proof that having a baby does not solve all your problems!

I don't dare hit up any friends to hang out because I'm sure they're all spending time with their normal, nurturing mothers, or their husbands and kids. So along with the daughters of dead mothers or mothers of dead or damaged daughters who feel left out on this day, can I please add Single Mothers By Choice to a Small Child Who Isn't in Preschool Yet Where He Can Make Her a Cute Card or Present Who Also Happens to Have a Very Much Alive But Completely Crazy Narcissistic Mother? Is there a section in the greeting card aisle for us? 

I'm not really complaining lest you think this is one of my self-pitying posts (right now you're probably thinking "what do you mean ONE of those posts...?"). But I have to admit it would be nice to have plans for brunch or get some flowers. I know it sounds petty. I'm just saying it would be nice.

I am fully aware of how much a thankless gig parenting is. I don't expect thanks or acknowledgement, I really don't. Not a day goes by that I don't think "my mother did this for me," as I'm wiping B's butt or cooking for him or comforting him when he's upset. Reconciling that (I'm assuming) normal mother of a young child with the impossibly self-centered woman who took over as my mother later on has been a real brain-twister for me. How, when did it happen? Or was she like so many women of her generation just trapped in a role that they would later come to resent, once society told them it was ok to resent it? 

I don't know much about how my mother was with me when I was a baby because of course I don't remember it, but I do know she fed me, wiped my butt, and got up with me when I cried in the night. She did do all those things, and for that I am grateful. I suppose I could be the bigger person and tell her that now, while she's still alive. That yes, being a mother helps me understand and empathize with her a lot more.

But there are several things I understand a lot less. Like how she could send me away to live with relatives for a whole year when I was nine, for no good reason. How she could basically abdicate all parental obligations when I was fourteen and burden my sister with me instead. How she could become such a religious zealot that she would refuse to see me for fear that my very physical presence would make her sick or even kill her, just because I don't believe. These things I'll never understand. And these are the reasons she'll be getting no card or flowers from me.

Fortunately I do have tentative plans to meet with a new SMC who wants to talk. I keep expecting her to remember it's Mother's Day and cancel, so I'm not counting on it. But if we do get together I think it will be very healing to listen to her talk about her issues and hopefully offer some encouragement. That sounds like an appropriate Mother's Day activity to me.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


The big news is B stood today - a lot. We were in the playroom because the cleaners were here, and he practiced a few times, once very comically while at his little play table thingee with the musical buttons; he let go and started swinging his arms to the music and promptly fell right on his back. But he kept trying, and I was able to snap this picture! Yay Bumpus!

In other news, we've now had two days with zero breassesses. He is still clawing at my shirt, shoving his hands down my collar and into my bra and ripping my silicone breast pads off. I can't help but remember the story of the character in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn who was desperate to wean her toddler who would demand "Gussie want tittie!" day and night. So she painted a hideous face on her boob and the next time Gussie pawed at her shirt she popped out the scary boob and he never wanted it again! I would never do this, of course, but this story has been on my mind a lot lately.

Boobs not too angry, though - I will pump them when necessary, but right now I am just really focusing on trying to dry up. This whole breastfeeding thing is so similar to our attitudes about pregnancy throughout our lives; you spend the first half of your life trying desperately not to get pregnant, and the second half doing anything you can to get pregnant. Now here I am a year after going to any lengths to get breastfeeding going, trying to make it stop. And so it goes.

And since you haven't heard enough about my bodily fluids, lots of EWCM lately. I know this must be because of the cessation of breastfeeding; I can only imagine the turbulence going on with my hormones right now with all the changes.

One more week to see if AF shows up. Will she, won't she? There are several women in their 2ww on the FB SMC page and I am giddy with anticipation for them...and for me, too.

Monday, May 6, 2013


Tonight I got to watch the (for me) much anticipated new Bravo series "Newlyweds", a reality show that follows four couples during their first year of marriage. It's hard to predict even with the teasers how it's going to go for these couples, three straight and one gay. I love shows like this. It's probably the only in-depth look I'll ever get into a marriage, so I find it fascinating! Already I know two of the couples have issues around having babies (in one at least the wife is super eager and the husband is not so much). In all of the male/female couples you see the women giving up most or all of their power to be in the marriage. Part of me is like, fuck the marriage, just have the babies! But hey, that's just me :)

What I find very interesting in this show and with many of the couples I observe is that it seems the woman gives up a lot to be in the marriage while the man gives up very little. I don't think men really grow up until they have children - an opinion reinforced by that Hank Azaria interview I mentioned before.

I also feel like I didn't really grow up until I had B - I'm a guy, remember? I still picture myself walking into that hospital a girl and walking out a woman. But there were other factors happening at the same time - turning 40 for one, giving up on the dream of a man coming to rescue me, not just having the baby physically but taking on the real life responsibilities of being a parent. It's entirely possible I still would have felt like a woman even had I not had a kid. But I think that birthing process just sort of catapulted me into it.

Speaking of birthing processes, a hot topic on FB today was a woman asking about inducing because her husband will be traveling around her due date. I felt like screaming "don't do it!!!" and responded with my experience, saying it was horrible and don't do it unless medically necessary. Unfortunately most women who responded said their induction was a breeze - just a few hours, no pain, baby popped right out. WTF?!? That pissed me right off. How is that possible? Well, most were probably induced due to being past their due date, which means their bodies would have been more ready than mine was. Or it may not have been their first child. But still. I just hated reading all the "mine was so easy" stories. Luckily there were a few others like me who had an awful experience and told her never to induce just for convenience. Why would anyone think that would be a good idea? Ugh!!!

Still, the sad reality is labor just sucks, period. Even if I don't have to induce again (Lord help me), that doesn't mean it won't suck. This is something I have to accept, and I'm having a hard time with it. Man, if only Eve hadn't eaten that apple...

I had a moment today when I looked in the mirror and thought, "what if this doesn't work? What if you really can't get pregnant again?" I've been all sunflowers and light lately to get myself psyched up, but...what if it really doesn't work? A woman on the SMC FB page today updated us that her last attempt for baby #2 failed and she has decided to stop trying. She seemed ok with it, but man. You have to get yourself pretty riled up to try for a second baby as a single woman - and then to just have it not succeed...oy. What if my fertility really has taken a nosedive in the last two years? What if I no longer respond to Femara? What if I can only produce wonky eggs and keep miscarrying? That would be heartbreaking. But it's a risk I have to take. In this case, failure is kind of an option.

I read an article posted by a husband whose wife is pregnant with twin boys via IVF after having already had a son, and how angry and upset they are since they weren't prepared for twins. I appreciated the man's honesty, I really did. They wanted one more child, ideally a girl, and instead got twin boys. But I felt like they knew the risks and now have to live with the consequences. He said they live in a one bedroom apartment. Well, then you're an idiot. If you can't handle the possibility of twins then you have no business doing IVF and implanting two embryos. It's for this and financial reasons that I would never do IVF, probably not even injectibles. I couldn't take the risk - twins would be a disaster for me, especially with how risky the pregnancy would be. Just doing Femara and IUI the risk of twins is extremely minimal. So I feel like I'm being responsible. I think.

Rained all day today which is almost unheard of for LA in May. So I made pea soup, popovers and Nutella cookies (awesome). Haven't nursed B since yesterday morning. I'm hoping I can keep up this trend...not nursing him in the AM is really hard, but let's see if this is like the sleep thing where he just gets used to the new routine. Fingers crossed.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Mini muffin Sunday

After a couple of weeks of dinner and breakfast muffins, I have come to a couple of conclusions. One is that trying to go super healthy (whole wheat flour only, no sweetener) isn't really practical for breakfast muffins for B, because they get too dry and crumbly and make a mess and also are too easy to choke on. I need to moisten it up. How about a more solid, pancake-like muffin? So I found this recipe for pancake muffins. I made them tonight and they're really good. I omitted the maple syrup and added 1/4 tsp cinnamon. I also used regular milk (although you can make a buttermilk of sorts by adding 1 tsp white vinegar to 1 cup milk).

Mini Banana-Maple Pancake Muffins

1 cup (5 oz./155 g.) all-purpose flour
2 Tbs. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
2/3 cup (5 fl. oz./160 ml.) buttermilk
1 large egg
2 Tbs. pure maple syrup, plus more for dipping
2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
1 very ripe, large banana, mashed

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Generously grease 24 mini muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray or grease with butter.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, stir together the buttermilk, egg, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, and the butter until just combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Stir in the mashed banana.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups. Bake until the muffins are puffed and golden, 10-12 minutes. Let the muffins cool slightly in the pan on a wire rack, then unmold onto the rack. Serve right away with maple syrup for dipping. Makes 2 dozen mini muffins.

I also made dinner muffins off the cuff with ingredients I had in my fridge. It only made 19 muffins so if I were to make them again I would probably add an egg and a little more cornmeal to flesh it out a bit. Bumpus ate FOUR of these (he usually only eats 2-3, so they were definitely a hit!). Here's what I improvised:

1 cup chopped cooked broccoli
1/4 cup shred cheese
1 egg
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup corn meal
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup milk
Dash garlic salt

Combine dry ingredients in one bowl and wet in another, then mix together and fold in broccoli. Bake at 350 for about 15-20 minutes.

I also have taken to making myself a big pan of baked apples every week, and they're so great - sweet and delicious and guilt-free. I just core seven Granny Smith apples, fill the holes with a sprinkling of cinnamon and a little almond or peanut butter, then bake at 350 for about 45 minutes-1 hour. Dessert for the week! Bumpus likes them, too!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Curse

The Curse is what my grandmother called her period. This always cracked me up. She died when I was fifteen so I never got the chance to ask her so many things...and now that I've had a kid, I have SO many questions for her! What was it like having a baby in the 40s? Were my aunt and mother planned? Did they want a boy? Did she use birth control at any point? Does she think it's totally bizarre that her independent, business-running, home owning granddaughter has a child by an anonymous sperm donor?

Does she think it's bizarre that her nearly 41-year-old granddaughter can't wait to get The Curse back after a two year hiatus, so that she can maybe try for her last baby? That said granddaughter may actually need to take drugs to induce said Curse so she can try for another baby by said anonymous sperm donor? What does she think of all this, she that was born in 1910 and used to send Reagan hate mail?

What a world we live in, huh, when women actually want to get pregnant and don't want to get married? It must look like bizarro world to someone of my grandmother's generation, my mother's generation...hell, even my generation!

Yesterday in the supermarket I noticed they had those cute stick figure stickers for the back window of your car to describe your family - dad, mom, kids, pets. I always wondered where people bought those, and now I know. And I was tempted to buy a mommy stick figure and a little boy stick figure and broadcast to the world yes, we're a single parent family and I'm effing proud of it.

But then I paused. What if doing that exposes me to attention I don't want - men thinking I'm looking to be hit on and picked up (soooo not). Or even worse -broadcasting to the world "here's a woman alone, no man protecting her, she's vulnerable, she's a target." The fact that I even have to think about things like this pisses me off. It still creeps me out that all of my neighbors - and the parades of teenage boys, homeless people looking through garbage cans, and other random unsavories that peruse my street all day - know that I am a woman living alone in this house. They don't know I'm living alone with a .38 Rossi - this gives me some comfort in case anyone gets any bright ideas. But it makes me sad I can't even put a cute family sticker on my car for fear of men's sick impulses. Sheesh.

So in other news right now I am wondering if I'll get a weak little period or nothing at all, when/if to seek out the Provera, and if any "ovulation" that happens after this chemically-induced period would even be worth doing an IUI for. It's a tough call...but one I'm going to have to make in about ten days. Needless to say I've been feeling very foggy and preoccupied the last few days, just thinking about all this.

Didn't breastfeed B at all today - somehow got away with not doing a morning feed and survived despite getting home at 2 am and getting up at 6. Boobs getting a little angry but not too bad considering it's been 36 hours since he last fed. I will probably just pump them out again. I feel like if I keep feeding him it's only going to drag this whole process out longer - at least from his emotional standpoint.

Today I felt bad that we no longer have that cuddle time - and admittedly I've been holding him a bit at arm's length since every time I go to hug or cuddle him he tries to nurse and I don't want to tease him. So when he was in the high chair I started a game of leaning in so we could touch foreheads, and he loved it. I know it probably sounds kind of stupid, but I try up do these little games with him from time to time, because I know the thing kids want most is a connection with you - they want you to look them in the eye, touch them, pay attention to them. I read a really interesting blog on Pinterest where they polled little kids asking them what they wanted most from their parents, and the winners were private time without the other siblings and being told stories of what it was like when their parents were their age. Isn't that so true? I couldn't get enough of hearing about my mother's childhood. B of course is too little to understand, but at this age the touching of hands and head and connecting via eye contact and sharing a laugh or a smile I think is SO important (yes, even at 6 am when I'm groggy and just want to go back to sleep).

I mentioned in a previous post that I feel like having B broke some sort of curse I felt hung over me, that nothing good ever happened to me, that I "always get the bad things." Of course this was all just in my head, but I've said it before and I'll say it again - when you're a woman just shy of 40, and you've spent your life wanting nothing more than to be in a loving relationship and have children, and everyone around you gets this and you don't, and all of your friends are going on ten years of marriage and their second or third kid and you can't even get a guy to ask you for a second date - this, my friends, is traumatizing. It changes your brain chemistry and changes who you are. It makes you jealous, small, and petty. It shrinks your heart until there's no room in it for anyone or anything. I was listening to a podcast today where Hank Azaria described the process of having kids as a selfish, self-centered actor, and how much it changed him, and it almost made me cry it was so beautiful. I don't know what these leaky, squishy little creatures do to us, but it's the closest thing to magic I know of. My mother, of all people, asked me in an email recently how the first year had gone for me and what I thought of it all. I was guarded with her of course and just said it hadn't been as hard as I expected. I really expected parenting to be 10% joy and 90% pain in the ass. I've found it to be the opposite - more joy and fun than I ever imagined, with a just a sprinkling of fatigue, fear, and annoyance to keep it real.

So now that B is here, and we both survived pregnancy and labor, and he thrived, and my boobs didn't fall off, and he didn't crack his head open falling off the bed, and I didn't drop him on the concrete, and nobody got the flesh eating disease, and I didn't throw him out the window when he cried too much, I think I can no longer say "I only get the bad things." It's a real paradigm shift for me. It makes me expect good, something I haven't done since I was about six years old.

Going forward I have no reason to expect anything but good things for us and any new people that might want to join the party around here. I mean, why not? The Curse is broken!

Friday, May 3, 2013

99 degrees

That's how hot it is here today. It is also phenomenally dry, so there's tons of wild fires, in particular on the way to my gig tonight. The drive time is already 2 hrs 15 minutes; as it is I only have 1 hr 15 minutes to get there because the sitter's going to be so late. And the person in charge tonight is SUPER uptight and weird and I know is going to be a pain in the ass about me missing the whole first set. Add that to getting home at 3 am and then being dragged out of bed at 6, and the whole thing is just a huge shit storm.

This morning I woke up with angry boobs and an angry baby demanding said boobs. This whole weaning thing is not going as smoothly as I'd hoped. I don't know how I'm going to get B to be content sitting in the playpen for hours while I try to sleep without a good long breastfeed first. Now he won't even let me pick him up without it - he just screams and kicks and pushes away from me; and I can forget about trying to change his sopping overnight diaper in this state. He's only content to hang out in the playpen when he's already content. So, do I sacrifice sleep to wean? And what the heck do I do with him at 6 am anyway? Ugh! If only I could get pregnant while still breastfeeding just once a day - but I don't think that's in the cards for me.

Well, for now it's just too overwhelming. I'm going to take it one day at a time. Tomorrow morning I'm going to feed him because I will desperately need my sleep. After that I can make a new plan - maybe every other day, as the nurse practitioner suggested. And if I absolutely have to delay my TTC plans a month or two, well, so be it. I have to be open to all options.

One unpleasant reality I discovered today is that in this kind of heat, two of my options to entertain B are out - my Silverlake walk, and the playroom. It's an absolute oven up there (I'm actually a little worried about the toys melting), and the walk would just plain be unsafe. So, more shifting of routines as the summer comes on...I'll need to find warm weather activities for us. Thankfully I have a/c but it is so insanely expensive to run that I try to avoid it.

B is extremely fussy and cranky today. That makes two of us, kid!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Plotting and musing

I didn't pull B into bed with me to breastfeed this morning. It did not go over well. I gave him regular milk and then did our playpen in the living room so mom can sleep routine. He was not a happy camper. But...what can I do? If I want to start fertility meds in two weeks, he has to be completely weaned by then. So there can't be a slow leisurely winding down. I wish I had more time...but age is a factor, and the closer my event gets the less ideal the timing gets until I have to shut down entirely until next March. It sucks. Literally!

So I think I can convince B to not be psychologically attached to my breastasiz - I mean, he doesn't have a choice, really - convincing my boobs to not become engorged and give me mastitis is another thing. By this afternoon I was so uncomfortable I broke down and pumped, putting the results in the freezer for the hoped-for sibling. I debated on whether or not to just feed B rather than pumping...and maybe I should have just fed him, but...I really, really need to convince my body to stop producing milk so my prolactin levels will drop and I can ovulate. As it is my body may not even be ready a month from now. I can't do anything to jeopardize that. So number one is getting B used to not nursing anymore. Number two is encouraging my body to stop producing, as painlessly as possible. It's going to be a process. But it has to happen. I mean, the boy is almost 14 months old. It's a perfectly reasonable time to wean him.

Speaking of pain, the vaginal ultrasound yesterday was quite unpleasant, and it stung every time I peed last night. I'm so not used to pain in that area anymore; it reminded me of what I'm about to get myself into. A whole lot of va-j-j pain. Well, at least the pain reassured me that I do not, in fact, have a v-j the size of a horse collar after having a baby. So...there's that.

I do feel a lot more at peace these days, now that I have at last succumbed to my desires for another baby. It's hard when you're constantly arguing with yourself - and others. You know how tortured I've been about this decision. I'm glad I'm pursuing it and will just leave the physical part in the hands of fate.

...or the hands of Femara. I think as much as I'd like to go non-medicated, I think I need to treat each cycle like it counts, and not risk canceled cycles due to wonky ovaries. So if I understood the nurse correctly, I can take Provera if needed to start the period and then take Femara along with that period. I will do that. I think it's my best chance of at least getting to try in a month. It will be interesting to see how I respond to this drug two years later and after childbirth. Anything could happen, really.

I think I may have an idea how to set up the house if there is another baby, too. Since B now needs his sleep but is too young to be upstairs alone, I will cede my bedroom to him and move my bedroom furniture into the erstwhile nursery, so the baby and I can have access to the whole house after B goes to sleep at night. I can push the bed against the wall so I don't have to worry about the baby rolling off the bed. And B can have a whole room to himself, which will be great for him. Until of course someone claims the upstairs.

For now I am reeling from how expensive this month is going to be - probably $800 or so in babysitters, and I am going to have to start doubling some of my groceries - I typically run out of bananas, milk, eggs, and bread within days of shopping, now that B is eating. Just imagine when B is a real boy and eats like a horse! And if there are two boys! Lord have mercy.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

My clinic visit

I called the clinic today to set up an appointment for tomorrow or Friday and they said they wanted to see me today, so off I trotted. I had a lot of weird feelings about bringing the baby as I've read so many angry accounts of infertile women encountering toddlers in infertility clinics...but as Jen (who I had a lovely visit with yesterday) pointed out, it's not technically an infertility clinic; it's actually a sperm bank that largely caters to lesbians and single (not necessarily infertile) women. So I asked if it was ok that I bring him and they said people do all the time and not to worry about it.

To say being back there two years later with a baby was surreal is an understatement. The last time I set foot in the place was the day B was conceived; and I remember wondering when, and if, I'd ever go there again. The office had been completely remodeled and there was a new receptionist. But much to my delight the two nurse practitioners I worked with came out to see the baby and there was a lot of discussion as to if he looked like the donor (not very, they thought). They even played a game with the donor coordinator to see if he could guess the donor number - he couldn't. It was a warm feeling to see that they remembered me, even details of my "case", all this time later.

So the news is that I'm not, technically, ovulating, but my body is for sure gearing up (echoes of my last experience). They saw a thin lining (3 mm) and a few immature follicles. They said they like to see women cycle through three times before trying, ideally...but we talked time frames, and since I unfortunately don't have six months for my body to get in gear naturally and then stay there for a while, the plan is this: wait two weeks for a period to show up. If it does, I may consider taking Femara, which apparently they can prescribe now. If I don't get a period I can take Provera to kick start it at any time, and possibly take Femara then unless I want to try unmedicated (leaning against that, honestly). But none of this can happen until I wean completely. So, apart from waiting around, my homework is to get weaning going. We only feed once a day these days so I don't see it being an issue. I'm not thrilled that I'm going to have to force it to stop rather than winding down slowly...but again, I don't have the luxury of time.

So I like that I don't have to wait a whole month for a period to show and then two weeks after that for ovulation...that I can take the Provera as soon as it looks like the period won't be showing up. It's technically "due" the 15th. So maybe I'll wait until the following Monday...?

I like that the clinic understands the time crunch and is willing to work with me and understands I can't wait. We had a little chat about my unwillingness to get aggressive as well - I may change my mind about this, but I have no intention of doing IVF or even injectibles...I can't afford the costs nor the risks. And I am satisfied with the one awesome Bumpus; I don't think we're not enough, just us. This is all about pushing my luck for another, right? I *think* I'll be able to walk away a little easier if this one doesn't "take". She also assured me pre-eclampsia is a lot more common in first pregnancies. So, that's encouraging. Onward and upward, eh? I'm excited!