Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Energizer J Keeps Growing and Growing and Growing and...

Not much in weight, fortunately.  I am starting to gain a little weight back, but at a reasonable weight...I've been hovering within 2 pounds this week that's up 2-4 pounds from before Thanksgiving.  I can handle that.  Even with the weight I lost in the first trimester, I'm trying to be VERY careful about how much I gain because I know I'm starting out overweight and there's a family history of diabetes on my mom's side getting worse every generation.  I was pleasantly surprised, though, that my midwife said I don't fall into the high risk category to be tested for GD before 24 weeks!!  She also gave me more leeway than I had been giving myself in how much weight I gain.  I've been aiming for only 15 pounds over my original weight, and she said I would be fine with 20-25.  She didn't tell me that 15 was too little, though, so I'm still going to aim for 15 so that if I'm off from that I still hopefully end up in the 20-25 pound range.

I am growing and changing more in clothes, though.  I still don't think I'm really showing, but at the same time, I don't know how much the BeBand is going to help with my current pants over time.  I was wearing my main pair of jeans on Saturday with the BeBand and I realized that when I pulled them up all the way, they were tight below where the zipper ended and thus below where the BeBand could help.  So we'll be starting to shop for maternity clothes in the next week or so.  Bear did at least find out about a maternity consignment store nearby, so we're going to try there first.

Not much of any more news about my mom.  She doesn't have insurance, so she's applied for a charity that has a cardiologist (since the one she's getting treatment from now does not) so she can try to get cleared for the biopsy. 

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Stunned and in Denial

No, it's not Penguin, Penguin's fine.  It's my mom.  I talked to her last night, and it turns out she's kinda been avoiding me because she had news she didn't want to tell me.  There's a medical problem that I've known about that had seemed to be stable for several years.  Now, the doctors are using the C word.  But they don't know for sure.  They need to do a biopsy to see.  But they can't do the biopsy yet because Mom isn't cleared for surgery.  Apparently, on top of everything else, she has an enlarged heart, and because of that, they can't clear her for surgery.  When she first went in about this problem, the doctors gave her Tramodol.  For those who aren't familiar, it's a nonaddictive lightweight pain medication.  As of earlier this week, she's now on oxys every 4 hours.  That scares me.  I'm kinda bouncing back and forth between scared and not feeling like it's real.  I know people lose their parents at this age or well before, but even though I know her health hasn't been great, I didn't expect this.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Skating Along Towards Winter

I haven't had the energy to post much of anything lately!  Even though I'm out of the first trimester now, I still feel tired all the time and like all my energy is drained by work.  It seems I've finally turned a corner on nausea over the weekend and was able to eat well on my birthday.  Good thing, since Thanksgiving is one of my very favorite holidays!  We had our 15 week appointment today, and Penguin is going strong, with a heartbeat about 140 bpm.  Next appointment is December 26, and for our Christmas present, we get the gender reveal if Penguin wants to cooperate!

The other big thing has been the wedding.  We had the public wedding on November 17.  It was rainy, but it held off to a drizzle for the ceremony, good thing since it was an outdoor ceremony!  Sister Bear (my friend Katie suggested that the kids need blog names, and suggested Brother Bear and Sister Bear.  Brother Bear is older, and there is a Baby Bear in the books, so, sold!) hadn't been too keen on the idea of an outdoor wedding, but I didn't really know how to tell her it couldn't be in the church because Mommy and Daddy are Catholic and divorced.

Oh, yeah, and we meet with the head priest at the church on Friday about getting both of our marriages annulled so we can get married as far as the Church is concerned.  Mine should actually be easy, since The Ex and I could not have children without means that the Church deems unacceptable.  We'll see about Bear's.

Oh, and I forgot to tell y'all how telling The Ex went.  It actually went well!  He said that he was happy for me, and it didn't actually seem like "let me just say something nice to get her off the phone," because then we ended up chatting for an hour more.  This from the person that said he didn't want any more contact with me after we got engaged.  Whatever, I'll take it and go with the flow.  I'm just relieved that it wasn't painful.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Wishing I Still Had My Fat Pants

Today was the first time I had to unbutton my jeans and go around with them that way (with my shirt pulled down, and Bear suggested I tie my fleece around my waist to keep it all together).  I didn't keep much of anything as I lost 50 pounds in 2012 because I was so proud of myself for losing the weight and didn't intend to ever need the larger clothes again.  But now I wish I had kept more of it so that I had more transition clothes for before I'm ready for maternity clothes (or able to afford maternity clothes).  I might need to get one of those bands to hold unbuttoned pants up.  I did have gas, so I don't know how well the pants will fit when I don't, but they did feel kinda tight on Saturday, when I didn't have gas, so maybe it was more than just gas, maybe I am starting to actually show a teensy tiny bit or something crazy like that.

So now I'm looking at maternity clothes on Target and Wal-Mart's websites.  I thought I'd never have a reason to do that.  Wow.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sharing the News

We told the younger child this week while they were with us.  I hadn't thought we'd be able to keep the secret until the wedding, not with the older one knowing and being so excited about it.  And the way ended up being somewhat paved by the 6-year-old herself while I had her alone for the weekend.  One of Bear's concerns was that she had not yet learned that people could have a baby without being married.  But she ended up asking me exactly that over the weekend.  And not because she suspected I was!  She asked because "well, I want to be able to have kids someday, but I don't ever want to get married!"  So we ended up getting into people having kids together without getting married, people using a friend to "provide the guy part," and going to a doctor "to get the guy part."

The kids are both thrilled and excited, and they keep asking if I'm ok and if Penguin is.  When we saw them yesterday along with their mother, the younger one said goodbye to Penguin too when they left.  I felt kinda bad for their mother with that.  But not as bad as I would have if their mother hadn't been pumping the younger one for information over the phone about the wedding and about Penguin.

Now for the next big hurdle: The Ex.  I'm scared to tell him, scared of him never wanting to speak to me again and thus completely cutting me off from contact with MY cats that I let him have.  He already said because I got engaged to Bear that he doesn't want contact and asked me to step back from an event we had been running together (that I had been getting needed income from but that I wouldn't be able to do next year because of Penguin anyway), but he was willing to still allow some sort of contact with the cats.  I have one friend that is also friends with him that sends me pics and updates when she visits him, but I don't want to put pressure on her to be the Official Cat News-Bearer.  But also, The Ex was an ass to her over the weekend because he had a date that didn't go well and she was happy at an event they were both at with her new boyfriend.  So on the heels of that, I'm even more nervous than I had been.  But I feel like I need to tell him before the wedding, since the kids and their mother know and since we're starting to tell more people, even if we're not making the official announcement until closer to Christmas.

So yeah, we'll see how this goes.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Still Standing

Penguin still has a heartbeat is measuring right on track, and they haven't been able to identify any reason for the sporadic spotting, although Bear and I are supposed to abstain until I go two weeks without spotting.  Um, yeah, about that....

Penguin was waving his or her hand in front of his or her face during the ultrasound, it was so cute!  We wouldn't have actually gotten another ultrasound until 20 weeks, just heard the heartbeat in the exam room, but someone had coded today's appointment in the scheduler as a "confirm pregnancy" appointment instead of a normal monitoring appointment, so we got lucky.

We did have to tell the 9-year-old and bring him with us to the appointment.  Apparently their school says kids can't come back after being sick until at least 24 hours after they throw up, and he hadn't kept lunch down the previous day, so we had to go back and get him right after dropping him off and dropping off their costumes at their mothers. (They did a little trick or treating with her and then came over to do it with us since it was our day with them.)  He was excited and happy, though he did ask Bear whether Bear would still love him and his sister the most.  However, later he expressed some concerns to Bear, especially about how it would be crowded and where Penguin would sleep (it's a two-bedroom apartment, so he already shares a room with his sister).  He also said it felt really fast, which is something I've been worried about.  We're not telling the 6-year-old yet.  As part of The Talk, the 9-year-old has gotten the "sometimes people aren't married when they have a baby" part.  The 6-year-old has not gotten that part yet, and so we're still going to try to hold off on telling her until after the wedding.

I did tonight have the first crash meeting of baby brain and pregnancy clumsiness.  I've got the 6-year-old on my own all weekend because Bear is taking the 9-year-old on a Cub Scout campout.  Families are welcome (and I really wanted to go because it's on a ship!!) but the 6-year-old has decided she no longer likes campouts (or anything where she could get dirty except cooking), so we're staying home.  I was making dinner, and as I was draining something, the hot water splashed out of the sink and onto my stomach.  I could have more easily gotten my shirt away from my skin, but it also splashed onto the waistband of my skirt, so the hot water was on there for a good minute before I could get it away from my skin.  I've got 2 nice lines of burns on my tummy now that the initial redness has faded, and there's a small blister on the top line.  I've been a first aider long enough to know what to do for burns, and I'm doing it, but I feel really dumb.  Maybe it's a good thing that on the night I didn't make the dinner I made tonight, I was thinking of ordering pizza since we have a coupon.  Apparently I can't be trusted in the kitchen!  I'm also really glad that my stomach still looks just fat instead of pregnant since I had to walk around with it hanging out while I held a cold wet washcloth on it.  I'm very glad I wasn't hurt worse while Bear is 5 1/2 hours away.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


I know I've been a bad blogger.  I've been so tired that I haven't been able to manage anything more than keeping up to date (kinda) with work paperwork.  I want to go to sleep at 8 or 9 every night, but I still have a lot of work to do. 

My next appointment is tomorrow morning.  I don't think I'm going to be able to take a deep breath until I'm in the sonogram room with a good result.  Almost everyone else that I've been close to weeks-wise in this journey has lost their baby.  Two other friends (one real life and one bloggy) and I are the last ones standing that I know of.  I think I'm still pregnant.  I'm still queasy and gassy and my hips and lower back keep hurting and I'm SO tired and my breasts are still sensitive.  Oh, yeah, and Bear could tell you that I'm moody as hell (although he's been VERY patient with me...I love this man!!!)  But I can't get past the feeling that tomorrow we'll go in there and there will be no heartbeat and that I'm only still having symptoms because the hormone levels haven't dropped enough yet for them to go away.

I'll update after the appointment.

This could be interesting, though.  The 9-year-old has the flu, and we have them tonight.  (I haven't been able to get my flu shot yet, hoping I can get it tomorrow, so Bear has been having me keep away from him since he got his at work yesterday.)  If he can't go to school in the morning, we'll have to take him with us.  But we haven't told them yet.  Bear thought we'd have to a couple of times because of me being sick, but we've managed to avoid it thus far.  We're trying to wait until after the official wedding to tell them, give them one change to digest at a time.  If we were already married so far as they knew, it would be different, I wouldn't worry about when to tell them or telling them early, but that's a LOT of change to spring on them all at once.

Bear told his ex this morning, without the kids there, that we had had a positive home test and that we were going to the doctor.  His ex had asked if I was pregnant and if that's why we were getting married so quickly.  And my mom had told us both that we should tell his ex before we tell the kids so she's not blindsided when they come back to her house talking about it.  However, Bear did not say that the positive home test had been a month and a half ago.  :-p

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

So scared

My oldest friend, who had been infertile with her ex-husband, had gotten pregnant with her new boyfriend a little over a month before me.  She had told me before I was pregnant, or knew it, and while I was thrilled for her, I was also hurting, wondering if it would ever be me, especially since that made 2 close friends of mine who had been infertile with exes and then gotten pregnant quickly with boyfriends.  She told me that she knew it would happen to me too.  I told her last night about the Penguin...and found out that she lost her Meatball at 8 1/2 weeks, although she didn't find out until 11 weeks, which was 2 weeks ago.

I got online tonight to write this post, and I checked my reader.  Hidden Infertility and I started following each other in September's ICLW because we were within a week of each other.  She found out on Friday that she lost hers.

I'm so scared of losing the Penguin.  Before Mass on Sunday, I got a call from my ex and found out that he's decided since I got engaged that he no longer wants any contact and wants me to step back from the event that we had been working on together, including right after we separated and right as the divorce proceedings were happening, without any problem.  I also found out that some people who had been my friends have been really badmouthing me and Bear for being together.  My self-confidence is pretty shaky at the best of times, and I was feeling like I wasn't worthy of anything.  And then the homily was about sin and confession and all, and all I could think about was that my baby had been conceived in sin even as he or she was conceived in love, and I started being afraid of him or her being taken away as some sort of punishment.  I don't tend to believe that God works that way, but I was feeling like I deserved punishment, and that melded with the fear that had been lurking in the back of my mind anyway.

I whispered to Bear how I was feeling, and he told me that he had already been thinking about asking the priest to pray for me and the baby, if I was ok with it.  I told him it depended on how he felt about it, since it was much more his church, he's the one that really knows the priests, not me.  So after Mass, we sent the kids to go use the restroom (we're not telling them yet, although Bear almost changed that and told them over the weekend since I had been too nauseous to go along on a Freecycle pickup) and went to talk to the priest.  He prayed for me and the baby right there, but I'm still wondering what he thinks about it, since according to the Church, Bear's still married to his ex, and the priest doesn't even know about the courthouse wedding we had.

I'm getting scared about everything now.  I was less nauseous today, and instead of being happy about it, I was scared that maybe I was less nauseous because I've lost the baby and don't even know it yet.  I really wish I still had my appointment tomorrow, even as much as I know I need the money of working tomorrow afternoon, because I want to see the baby again and hear the heartbeat and know my baby is still alive inside me.

Tomorrow, I hit 8 weeks and therefore have a fetus.  Or do I?

Monday, September 30, 2013

Penguin is OK!!

I got in to see the midwife and have an ultrasound, and Penguin is just fine, and we got to hear the heartbeat!!  Not ectopic, not a blighted ovum or chemical pregnancy, amniotic sac looks good, measuring right on track, and has a heartbeat.  And we now have our first baby pictures.  I never thought I'd see an ultrasound for MY baby.

The midwife said I shouldn't have played kickball yesterday and put me off of exercise for a few days.  And far worse, no sex for four weeks, which feels like forever!!  Still, it's worth anything for a healthy Penguin.


I'm having a little bit of spotting.  I know it's normal to, but I'm still scared.  I called the doctor, and the doctors were across the street at the hospital, seeing patients during lunch.  The nurse said she'd beard the first doc to walk back in the door to ask if the wanted me to come in.  Bear had me cancel my 12:30 client and wants me to cancel my 2:00 client as well (my last 2 of the day).  I know I'm overreacting, especially since it's light, but damnit, I've never done this before and it's scary!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Progress and Stress

Sure, we can go with rhyming for our post titles, why not.

To start, Bear and I are going to the courthouse on Friday to get hitched for insurance purposes before doing the "real" wedding in mid-November.  His HR department has assured him that my insurance will be active Tuesday of next week or so.  Based on that, I called the OB/GYN recommended by a former coworker yesterday, and now I have an appointment for an ultrasound and initial appointment with a midwife on Wednesday, October 9, which is the day I hit 8 weeks.  Bear's taking the afternoon off work to come with me, and I feel better about having gotten it scheduled (and avoiding further lecturing from a friend of mine).

On the stress side, money.  Both money for having a "real" wedding while I'm struggling to get more hours at work and panicking today at the realization that because I'm a contractor instead of an employee at all 3 of my jobs, I get no maternity leave.  And there's not really a hope of that contractor status changing with any of them because of the way the mental health industry is structured in Georgia.  Basically all of the jobs are contract jobs so that the employers don't have to pay benefits or vacation or insurance or even a steady salary, it's all based on how many clients you can see.  I don't want to have to, say, give birth and then go back to work the next Monday, but I may have to, I may not have a choice! 

So yeah, I'm stressing.  Bear's telling me not to push so hard, especially since I pushed myself last night to the point where I was shaking and had blurry vision, trying to unpack and move more things around in the apartment.  But I have to push so hard, because if I want any kind of maternity leave, it's going to come form pushing myself so hard now so that I have money saved.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Holy Crap, Is This Week Real?

I got a nice little surprise on Tuesday!

No, Bear did not propose simply because of our BFP, although we are hurrying up the wedding because I'm currently uninsured.  He had ordered the ring a little bit ago, and we had expected it to be delivered anytime between September 11 and 20.  The timing sure works out, though!

Apparently the ring came in Monday, but he led me to believe that it hadn't come in Monday or Tuesday.  Tuesday afternoon, we were getting ready to go downtown to look at a couple possible wedding venues, and Bear asked me if I was ready to go and if I had everything I needed.  I said I did, and he said, "no, you don't," pulled out the box, and got down on one knee.  Apparently, I looked shocked!

Bear told the kids on Wednesday, and they asked to be ring bearer and flower girl!  The 6 year old also asked me if she could help me pick out a dress.  :-)

However, between the insurance issues and not trying to send the message of "we're getting married because I'm knocked up," especially to my Mormon stepfamily and to the people that are friends with both us and our exes, figuring out the timing of the wedding is tricky.  If we get married in the courthouse, we get married in a group with whoever else is doing it that day, like a bunch of Moonies.  NOT appealing.  But it would get the job done quickly, and we can get me on his insurance within a day or two of the ceremony.  If we wait, I can't make a prenatal appointment without going to a pregnancy crisis center or whatever, because it's just too expensive out of pocket.  If we do the courthouse Moonie thing and then have a real ceremony and reception later, which we may be looking at, there's the risk of me showing by then and it also then looks more like a shotgun wedding.

Also making it fun is that we can't have a church wedding without it being a random church.  Bear is Catholic, and his marriage, while not originally a Catholic marriage, later became one.  I've been confirmed Catholic, but I identify much more as Methodist.  However, I haven't really become involved in a Methodist church here because I've been going to Mass with him.  So even the one I've visited a couple of times would feel random.  At this point, our best bet seems to be a judge that's in the Knights of Columbus with Bear.

But I'm fretting and stressing about all this.  It's easy to say "screw em," but these are people whose opinions I care about.  And I already took flak from some of the Mormon cousins for getting divorced in the first place.  I don't want to be the cousin they look down on, like some of them do our other cousin who had a shotgun wedding.  And I don't want people thinking we only got married because we were stupid enough to get knocked up, when we have wanted to be married to each other for months and desperately want what we're now calling our little penguin.

Sunday, September 15, 2013


Bear was right.

I've never seen one of those before, at least not mine.  This pic doesn't include the first three I did because they were freebie ones that expired in 2011.  The directions were pictoral and didn't say how long to hold it in the urine or how long to wait.  They also had a second line on them, but I didn't trust it.  Bear wouldn't let me go to WalMart at 3:30 this morning when I realized those were all I had, so I used those three first and, when they were positive, put a lid on the container I was using while Bear and I raced to WalMart for fresh tests.  On this one, the second line turned blue immediately.  Forget "results in 2 minutes!"

I'm shocked  I didn't think I could get pregnant.  But I'm also really scared.  I know how many pregnancies end in miscarriage, and I'm so afraid.  I'm trying to relax and appreciate that at least right now, in this moment, I am pregnant.  But I am still really guarded, because I know it's a LONG road from here to a take home baby.

But I'm farther than I've ever been, farther than I thought possible.  And whatever happens, I have that now.

One final thing: a HUGE thank you to Lisa!!!  Your comment gave me comfort that I really needed when I looked at my phone before testing this morning.  So thank you, thank you, thank you.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Then Again, Maybe Not

Um, I still don't even have any spotting.  And my intestines have gone back to normal.  I'm having some aching in my hips and sides that Bear thinks may be signs of my body starting to change.  He didn't want to tell me what he thought when I said where I was aching, because he didn't want to get my hopes up when he knew how hard I was trying to guard my heart.  I was wincing enough from them early in the evening that he had me lie down with the heating pad for a while.

I didn't test today, because at the last minute Bear had to leave earlier in the morning than I did and I didn't want to test without him.  But we both agreed to test tomorrow.  I started getting those aches I mentioned above in a different spot of my pelvis tonight and I showed him where a few minutes ago, and he just gave me a level look.  I looked back at him, and he told me I was shaking.  I went in for a hug and he told me I was trembling while he held me.

I'm so scared of being hurt.

Is anyone out there, listening?

Friday, September 13, 2013

Well, I Did Say I Wanted an Answer...

Thanks, Friday the 13th, and thanks, body.  I hate y'all very much too. 

I don't have spotting yet, but since I developed the IBS, I've noticed a change in that part of my body every month a day or two before AF comes.  That change came this morning.

How do I feel?  Crampy and grumpy.  Other than that, very proud of myself for locking down the possibility of hope as well as I did.  I learned my lesson well when I had been trying before with the ex.  It's nowhere near as bad as it would have been if I had allowed myself the weakness of real hope.  I was right.  Telling myself it's utterly impossible helps.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Late? What is this "late" you speak of?

AF was due on Wednesday.  I've been under a lot of stress lately, but this calendar year stress has been making it come a couple days early each month, not late.  I've been having some cramping, but I haven't been able to tell if it's PMS cramping or if it's from my IBS, since I regularly have cramping in the same areas from that.  No spotting of any type.

I'm sure AF is going to come any day.  Bear has hope, if nothing else because it would be funny as hell  if God made it happen this month, while I'm juggling 3 PT jobs trying to get enough hours to make ends meet.  He asked me this afternoon, prefacing it with an apology if I was offended by it, to take a prenatal vitamin.  (He had hidden the ones I came across from before, at my request.)  I wasn't offended by it, but I had him get it and bring it to me, because even though I know now where they are, dealing with the bottle just feels fraught to me.  But I took a vitamin, because I really ought to take a vitamin more often anyway, especially since I've been under a lot of stress and not eating that great.

(As a side note, one of my friends pointed out long ago that the word "fraught" really can just stand on its own.  As that friend said, things are always "fraught with danger" or "fraught with peril," nothing's ever "fraught with puppies" or anything like that.  So you can just say something is "fraught," and that suffices.)

I didn't test today, and I'm not testing tomorrow.  If I don't have anything by then, I'll test Saturday, but we have the kids today and tomorrow in the mornings.  I don't want to deal with the mechanics of testing or with the emotional response one way or another while they're here.

Aside from taking the vitamin Bear gave me, I'm not doing anything differently at this point.  I'm trying to drink a little less Diet Coke anyway, because I know I should, but I don't drink coffee.  I can't afford alcohol at this point!  So, nothing to do differently.

Well, except for check every time I need to go to the bathroom for spotting.  Including going when I just barely need to go, to check.  Because I don't want to mess up my underwear, so I want to get what Bear calls "toiletries" in place as soon as I have spotting.  That's why.  Really it is.

Edited to add: Bear and I just realized that today is Friday the 13th.  Well, that makes this more fun.  :-p  And for the record, if I'm just late from stress, I really with AF would hurry the fuck up and answer the question.

What Would You Say?

This question is part of the GRAB(ook) Club, an online book club open to anyone and everyone. This month's selection was The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins. 

I had not gotten around to reading the books or seeing the movie yet, but my 11-year-old sister got the ok from my stepmom last year to read the first book.  However, my stepmom would not allow her to read the rest of the books at this point.  At one point while I was reading it, Bear expressed surprise that the 9-year-old didn't see the book lying around and ask again to read it.  Apparently he was asking a lot to read it last year, and several of his third grade classmates were reading it.

Now that I've read it, I definitely don't think that he's ready for it.  He's reading Harry Potter again, but the violence there is much less direct.  People are killed, but aside from Dobby, no one gets a blade in them.  The good guys are using Stupefy and Expelliarmus, not trying to figure out when they'll have to murder an ally or feeling blood spray over them.  The institutional governmental control in Harry Potter, especially in Order of the Phoenix and Deathly Hallows, opens up questions and discussions about prejudice and oppression, but they're imprisoning Muggle-borns, not killing them on-screen or making them kill each other.

So, I have a couple of questions.  I'm looking more at about the 8-10 year old age group here, both because I haven't known of kids much younger trying to read it and because I don't know how old the kids are that the rest of y'all are interacting with but my older one is 9 and I know Mel's two are in that range.  If you were talking to a child in this age range about the books, what would you think if they asked to read them?  And if they read the books and wanted to talk to you about them, either because you're their parent OR because you interact with them for another reason, what would you most want to discuss with them and why?

After you answer my question, please click over to read the rest of the book club questions for The Hunger Games.  You can get your own copy of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins at bookstores including Amazon.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

I hate those days when I feel like everyone can get pregnant except me.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Ah, Freedom

As of today, I am now officially divorced!  One year of separation and 2 months and 20 days of paperwork and crap down, and I am now free!!

(And for the record, my ex and I are friends at this point and he's as happy as I am about it.  I hadn't texted him yet about it, so he called me to make sure I knew, and I told him I had been thinking of teasing him over text that he could go out this weekend and tell women he met that he was a single man.)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Up, Up, and Away

The first time I watched Up, I wasn't infertile yet, or at least I didn't know I was infertile.  The ex and I had only been trying for about 4 months, and I still thought it would happen at any time.  So at that point, the infertility in the storyline didn't affect me any more than any other part.  Still, a friend that saw the movie with me and I came out of seeing it with the reaction of, "that is SO NOT a kid's movie!!"  Even without being infertile, the beginning of the movie basically says, "Hey, kids, you're never going to reach your life's dreams, even if you try to save up for them, because no matter how hard you try, life is going to kick you in the ass and take everything from you, and if you finally manage to reach that dream, you'll either be the one to die when it's about to happen or the one left alone to watch what you have left destroyed.  But hey, there's a talking dog!" (Bear adds, "Oh, yeah, and if you're a Scout, you should harass the old grumpy people when you go door to door.")

I tried to watch it again tonight, since there wasn't anything else good on and I wanted to record it for the kids.  When they do finally watch the recording, I'll be somewhere else when the beginning plays, because I don't ever want to see that beginning again.

On the other hand, I love Bear for asking if I wanted to turn the movie off (which I did after the funeral scene) and for holding my hand while I was watching it and for offering to put it on for the kids sometime when I'm not home.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

ICLW Intro

Hey, guys, nice to meet you!  I may have seen some of you before at my other blog, but I started a new one so that I had a place where I could talk openly, where my real life friends can't see it and talk.  I've left messages for a couple of y'all, because I want to still be connected to the bloggers I knew before.  I'm not trying to hide from the ALI community!  I just need a place where I can talk about TTC and not yet being a stepmom.

I guess the biggest descriptor for me and for my circumstances at this point is not having a neat box to fit into.  I'm not divorced yet (checking the mail and the court website every day waiting for the final decree to be processed).  I'm not a stepmom yet, I'm "Daddy's girlfriend," and as much as my boyfriend Bear tries to tell me that I am something real to them, I feel like I'm not because I have no real status.  It'll make a big difference when we get married, but we're not yet.  I'm not a wife.  I'm not even a fiancee yet, even though Bear and I are wanting to get married before the end of the year.  I'm not a mother. 

But I don't even know if I'm an infertile now, I don't fit into a neat ALI box either.  When I was with my ex, we had unexplained IF.  So I don't know if it's my fault.  I don't know if I'm infertile without him.  Bear and I have just started TTC last month, because we don't want to wait any more.  We both want a child, and we don't want to spend months not trying for what we want so badly. 

But whether I'm a "real" infertile or not, I have the feelings of being one.  I have the heart that is still broken in a million pieces.  Those pieces heal some when Bear's children follow me around or tell me they want me there or say "I love you both" at bedtime.  But those pieces also show how jagged they still are, slicing me six ways to Sunday when I see a baby or when one of my friends announces her pregnancy or even when Bear talks about when his kids were babies, because I doubt I'll ever hear him talking about our child that way or see him doing the things with our child that he did with the two he has already.

So I don't know where I fit in.  The only blogger I knew who was a step-parent has stopped writing.  Two of my close real life friends with IF, one of whom I've been friends with since the cradle, left their husbands and now are pregnant or have a baby with someone new, both unexpectedly.  The one I've been friends with forever has been a step-parent while infertile, but I don't want to burden her with my feelings while she's newly pregnant and excited and scared.  The other one will be a step-parent once she marries her baby's father, but she won't have ever been a "Daddy's girlfriend" or stepmom without a baby of her own, since she got pregnant right away.  But I don't, can't, think that will ever be me.  That kind of thing only happens to other people.

So yeah, I need to be able to talk.  And I want to be able to talk TO someone, not just out into the ether where no one's there.   So welcome!  Come have a cupcake or a biscuit or whatever I've been baking lately, and we;ll chat.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Pull Between Hope and Despair

My cousin posted this article about the increase in the rate of midwife-assisted births, and Bear and I talked about it.  Bear's children were born at a hospital in the area that is known as a baby factory and is proud of it.  I wouldn't want that if I was ever able to conceive, I do NOT want a place that is likely to rush me to induction or to c-section if I'm progressing slowly.  But I found myself feeling very vehement about that.  And I don't know why.  It's not like it's likely to ever matter.

Bear thinks it will matter.  Bear has also been researching IVF and talking to HR about how we might be able to work a flex spending account and the end of a year to cover half of the cost of a cycle.  My mom thinks it will matter, and my other cousin.  But I'm too scared to think that way.  I know there's a decent chance that I wasn't the problem, and that Bear and I will be able to conceive, or that I was the problem but that we'll be able to conceive with treatments.  But I remember having hope, and I remember how much it hurt to have that hope shattered, to have my heart and soul shattered.  When it comes to love and being treated like a real person who is worthy of respect, my heart and soul have not just healed, but become more full than they ever were before things started going wrong in my marriage.  But the infertility part of my heart is still broken in jagged shards that hurt when I try to move and grow.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

What the hell has being a woman ever given me?  Nothing but a decade and a half of monthly pain, sometimes so bad I can't move.  Whoop de frickin do.

So yeah.  That's me today.  And I'm sitting on my couch stress-eating Samoas.  So sue me.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Does catching everything that can be taken the wrong way in Doc McStuffins count as parenting WIN or parenting FAIL?  Because Bear and I were trying hard to keep from snickering at the toy talking about squirting.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

The L-Word

She said it.

The younger one, the one who was always more tentative about me in this role than the older one, said the L-word tonight.

When we put them to bed, Bear and the kids always say "I love you" to each other.  Tonight, the younger one specifically said, "I love you both."  Through my shock, Bear and I together said, "We love you too."  There was a little more talking, and then again the younger one said, "I love you both" and we said it back.

We came out into the living room, and Bear held me while I teared up.

Bear and I were watching Family Feud on Friday night, and one of the questions in Fast Money was, "On a scale from 1 to 10, how satisfying would you say it is being a parent?"  Bear looked at me, on our first night with the kids since moving in together, and asked me how I would rate being a parent.  I looked at him, a little startled, and he amended it to step-parent.  I've still been feeling like I don't count as anything to the kids, because I'm not their parent, and I'm not even their step-parent, I'm just Daddy's Girlfriend.

But now I don't feel like I'm nothing anymore.

She loves me.  She really loves me.

Friday, August 2, 2013


I moved in with Bear last weekend.

The kids are still trying to figure out what to make of it.  They were with their mother all week until tonight.  They were originally supposed to come home Wednesday night, but things changed and they came home tonight, which worked out well because it gave Bear and me two more days to work on unpacking what we could to make the apartment more liveable at least in the rest of the apartment outside of our bedroom.  The kids aren't thrilled with there still being a ton of boxes in there, but we had to focus our efforts, there just wasn't time to do it all before they got home, even with two extra days.

Before I gave notice at my old apartment, Bear talked to the kids to see what they thought about the idea of be moving in.  They were both for it, though one definitely more tentative in her agreement.  We didn't talk about it a whole lot with them during the intervening month, and it became clear last Friday that it hadn't fully sunk in.  They were asking for me to be over each night, and they were concerned that a potential part-time job for me would take time away from me being with them, but they didn't understand that furniture and things would move, and all of a sudden they were waffling.  When it's a little late because I have less than a week to be out of my apartment.  And then the day I gave my keys back, the day my divorce hearing was finally held (I did not go back home for it, since it was uncontested and I didn't need to spend the money or time on the trip), the day they were originally supposed to get home, their mother was saying they did not want me to move in.

We had already been stretching ourselves damn thin, staying up till 3 and 4 in the morning unpacking to make it nice and organized for when the kids got home, but after that I was starting to panic.  Well, ok, not starting.  I had already been panicking about getting things unpacked and organized enough that the apartment would be appealing again.  But then I was also panicking about what if this didn't work out with them.  It's done already.  I've given the keys back, I can't back out now.  But what if the kids resented me being there.  What if the kids hated everything I brought in.  What if they wanted me to leave.  What if they don't want me to marry their dad when the time comes.  What if, what if, what if.  We had made the decision to move me in based on their needs, but the things we were looking at aren't necessarily the same factors that the kids care about at their age.

Tonight, they weren't happy initially as they were coming home, but as Bear talked about some of the things I had brought in, the one who was more into the idea of me moving warmed up some.  When they hit the door, though, they swapped, and the one who was more tentative became excited about the new things she saw while the other one became sullen.  He was up and down through the evening, but after we put them to bed, he came out and wanted to talk to his dad alone, so I went to the bedroom to read.

When they came in to tell me they were done, he seemed to be in a better mood.  Bear told me after putting him back to bed that, among other things, he understands that I care about them (although I love them dearly, neither of us is going to use the L-word to describe it until they do) and that Bear trusts me with them.  One of the things he is most concerned about is the boxes in the bedroom and it seeming crowded and cluttered, which he is way too used to from his other home.  So hopefully as he sees that disappear quickly, that'll help.

I hope so.  I do love them, and I want them to be happy with me here.

But for now, I'm stress eating and taking sips from Bear's wine glass.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

That's a new one on me

Here's one that I've never actually faced before in terms of seeing pictures that people post on Facebook: the new dad cutting the cord.  I've seen ultrasounds galore, and tons of the new mommy holding the baby and somehow looking perfect and gorgeous supposedly right afterwards.  I thought I'd seen just about every new baby pic out there.  Until now. 

I asked Bear whether he had ever done that, and he had not, since his children were both C-sections.  I wonder if he ever will have the chance.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Paint Chips

So, on Friday I got my first period since Bear and I started TTC.  At the time, I blocked it out except for the practicalities of having to deal with it while I was out of town, since I was anxious about several other things.

Tonight, I did get to react, though.  I didn't realize at the time what the impetus was for this, but at one point during a commercial break, Bear put aside his plate and pulled me in to hold me and say that he was sorry too.  It turns out that he noticed a commercial about people looking at paint colors and he was imagining us choosing paint colors for a nursery.  When he said it, I couldn't say the word, nursery, but Bear said that at some point we really will be doing that.  I hope he's right. 

He also said he didn't bring it up earlier because he knew how stressed I had been and wanted to let me push it aside until I was a little less stressed.  How did I end up with such a wonderful man?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Random Metaphors Strike in the Shower

Bear and I are leaving on a road trip today for an event.  Because this event is only every other year, the last time I was there was with my ex.  Notice that I didn’t say I made the trip with my ex.  I thought he was going to be there, but as it turned out, he was going to go on his own and just be there at the end (he had a thing for work that kept him from doing the drive, but just go with me on the metaphor here).  I thought I’d be able to make the trip just fine, but when I was most of the way there, there was an accident and I flipped the car.

I called him from the ambulance to say I was pretty sure I was ok but this had happened, and I texted people, still from the ambulance, to let the people at the event know what had happened and to make sure that someone else picked him up from the airport, since I was supposed to.  When we both made it to the hotel, me with a sprained ankle and glass shards still in my skin (yes, I know I was *incredibly* lucky that that was the worst of it), his reaction was to blame me for causing more stress that he didn’t need.

This time around, Bear and I are starting from a different place, in a lot of ways, but still looking at going past some of the same places.  Physically we are, since we’re leaving from a different state, but the last 4 hours of the drive will be the same.  And emotionally we are, since we’re starting TTC in a different place, as a different couple, but we’re looking at the possibility of driving that infertility road again since my ex and I never did get an answer about who/what the problem was, so for all I know it’s me.

But this time, I know Bear is with me the whole way, even if it takes him outside of his comfort zone.  We’re taking my car, so I’ve spent the past couple of weeks teaching him to drive stick.  And when we do go past that place where I had the accident, HE is going to be the one driving while I try to sleep and not know I’m passing it.  If only I had that same ability with facing infertility, but I know that as we travel that stretch, he will do everything he can to share the burden with me.  Because we face things together.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


My boyfriend (who I am hereby naming Bear) saw me logging in tonight and asked me about whether I'm still going to post in Notes.  I told him what I told y'all, about posting there and maybe cross-posting some.  And then I tried to tell him that because of how hard it is for some people to read such posts, maybe I'd post over there about it if I...if we...and I couldn't say it.

I danced around the word.  I said, "if know."  I tried to speak and my voice dropped away.  Bear looked at me and said, "you can't say that word, can you?"  And he was right.  I couldn't.  Even when I tried, I couldn't force the word out.  Because it's just too fraught.

(Something I picked up from a friend of mine is that you don't really have to say anything after the word "fraught," it really can stand on its own.  Because when you use it, you're always referring to something bad.  Something is "fraught with danger" or "fraught with peril."  Something is never "fraught with puppies" or anything else happy.  So now I just use it on its own.  And that word really is fraught for me.)

Anyway, vocab lesson aside, I couldn't say it because I don't believe I'll ever be it.  I expect my body to fail me, to fail us.  And if we can't, it really would be my body failing us.  He has kids and had them without any problem, it wouldn't be his body.  It would be me being a failure, failing to so what a woman should be able to and failing to give us what we both want desperately, and we would know it this time.  No question, like there was with my ex when we didn't know who it was since all the testing for both of us was normal.  Me.

Bear really does believe that we can, saying that less probable things have happened, including us being together at all.  He said that that gives him the belief that we will be able to.  But that came about because of choices.  Whether I'll be able to or whether I'll hold us back isn't a choice.  He points out that whether we test, whether we cycle, whether we do treatments is a choice, though.  A real choice, which I didn't have before with my ex when one thing after another kept us from doing an IVF cycle.  And that is true.

But for now, all I can do is lean on his belief.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Who am I? Why am I here?

So, you may ask, why am I here when I already have a perfectly good ALI blog?  Because when I started Notes, my purpose was to break the silence about infertility, and so I purposely shared it with as many people in my real life as I could.  I posted about it on Facebook.  I posted it on Facebook through Networked Blogs.  I talked about it to my friends and family.  Because I didn't want to be part of the problem with the cone of silence surrounding infertility.

But now, things have changed.  Now, I'm almost divorced from my ex-husband (damn waiting for a court date).  Now, I'm dating someone who I've been friends with for nine years.  Now, I'm dating someone whose ex-wife I used to be friends with.  Now, I'm dating someone who WANTS more children than he has and WANTS them with me, even if we need treatments.  Now, I'm looking at becoming a step-parent while most of my friends don't know yet that it's quite that serious.  Now, having my friends seeing my blog limits what I can say.

Because people talk.  They talk to my ex.  They talk to his ex.  So how could I talk about TTC or step-parenting freely?  That's why I'm here.

I'm still going to keep Notes and publish the same kinds of posts I have been, posts about awareness and advocacy.  And if we are able to conceive, I may do posts about pregnancy over there.  Or here.  I dunno.  I haven't thought that far ahead, because even though we just started trying, I'm scarred enough by past experience that even though my IF was unexplained, I feel like it's easier to believe we can't and be surprised if I'm wrong than the opposite.  At least here, I can talk about it.