Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Yesterday I went to bed at 11 in the morning and didn't get up until this morning at 3.

Granted, I woke up every few hours or so. But it was a sick day; I threw up several times and had a screaming headache--and kept throwing up the Tylenol. The only thing I could bear was lying still in a dark and quiet room. So I did.

Better today; by the afternoon I was eating normally again. Felt like death warmed over all morning though. It's hard to deal with. I remember how awful I felt those first few months with you--I remember feeling just as dreary and miserable, even though I wasn't nearly as sick then as I am now.

We made our first demonstration of faith in this new baby. We framed the baby-like blob in the ultrasound picture and put it out in the living room. I can look up from where I'm typing and see it. I don't look at it often; it's too scary. Admitting there's a baby in there means admitting I could lose it as easily as I lost you. That there might be something worth mourning if things go wrong. Its opening myself up to hideous agony.

But the picture is sitting right there. Snapshot of my own defiance.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Odds and Ends

I'm doing much better. As long as I take my meds on time I don't throw up and can even eat fairly normally. I'm still nauseous most of the time, but it's doable. But I get the feeling that a couple people I work with think I was faking it to get extra days off. This. Makes. Me. Angry. I can't help that the morning sickness came on fast and furious. And I should think people would be glad that I'm not running off the floor hourly. I'm pretty damn relieved that there's something to make life livable during these months.

We had the first ultrasound yesterday. First little peek in at what hopefully will be your brother or sister. Already looks different than you did; your shape was unclear and we couldn't make out any baby parts. This one, we could see arm buds, a clear head and a spine. We will be peeking in on this one regularly--the next US is in a few weeks.

The US wasn't as terrifying as I thought it would be, mainly because in my phobic state I wrote down the wrong date for the scan, which is totally out of character for me. The office called asking where I was, and I was lucky enough that they could still fit me in if I hurried. So there was no time to even fret about it; I made it to the waiting room and before I was even half a page into the intake paperwork (first visit with this pregnancy) they had me in a room, on a table, and in seconds there was the new baby on the screen. There was a single awful moment of seeing what looked like my empty uterus up there on the screen, but then up bobbed this tiny, squirming, baby-like thing.

One, two, three measurements and they had me unplugged and finishing off the paperwork. And then the Genetic Counselor came in and filled out the rest of the pages for me (all the stuff about my history and you). So it was easy. In, out, with a picture of an amorphous blob (honest, it was much clearer on the screen) labeled BABY and a return appointment card. And a tiny wedge of hope.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Small rays of hope

So far I haven't thrown up since leaving the hospital. I've kept down a bit of solid food and am no longer feeling about to die. I'm a long way from well but seem to be mending a little. Hoping this trend continues.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Thank you, Phenergan

We had to go to the hospital for fluids last night. It wasn't as bad as I feared; I actually took the IV needle like a champ. Which is amazing, given that I cried and delayed for an hour when I had to get the IV when you were born. Granted, that was a pretty different situation, but it was a more normal reaction for me! I was in the hospital for four hours, dripping away on the IV with your Daddy sitting next to me, petting my hand and watching the World's Strongest Man competition on ESPN.

They gave me Phenergan, which is the only medicine we hadn't tried yet. It has stopped the vomiting so far, although it makes me very tired. I'm actually keeping fluids down and am planning on eating a banana when your Grandma L. gets back from the store.

I actually lost twelve pounds over the last week. That was when the doctor went from "well, if it gets worse you'll need to go to the ER" to "Get thee to the IV fluids, stat." And I got the official diagnosis of Hyperemesis, lucky me.

I've gotten so weak from all the vomiting and lack of food that the doctor wants me off work until Wednesday. Which sucks, both because of the income I'll lose and because people get all resentful if you have to miss work. But at least I have a note from my doctor. And, I am profoundly grateful that I am no longer quite so sick. Crushing exhaustion I can deal with better than this. Just another form of perspective, I guess. I mean, when I carried you, the crushing exhaustion from the Reglan was almost more than I could bear. But now I think I can stand the exhaustion just fine, so long as I can eat and drink enough that I don't feel like I'm dying.

I've been in good health the majority of my life, until we started trying to make babies. Somewhere under all the weakness and shakiness is sadness and anger that this whole babymaking thing gets infused with this almost mythic glow when really it's a violent pitfall-ridden hazing period full of horror and shame and sorrow and frustration. I feel like I've been swept under the rug; the cultural mythos of pregnancy doesn't actually include people like us.

I'm going to try and keep down a banana and take another nap.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


This has become a survival situation.

I don't know how I can possibly be this ill and weak and still be vaguely functional. I'm still going to work, but I'm throwing up almost every hour, if not more often. By the end of my shift I am so weak and shaky I can barely drive home. Once I'm home, I sleep until Daddy gets home from work, simply because I can't do anything else. When he gets home I get up and curl, miserable and shaking, in the corner of the couch--only getting up to barf some more. I'm retching so hard that I'm afraid I'll pass out, and I find myself actually praying for mercy.

My knees and hips hurt from kneeling, my back and shoulders hurt from hunching. My chest hurts from heaving. My stomach hurts constantly, my throat is raw and my voice is starting to fade. Even the underside of my tongue feels strained.

I can't drink more than tiny sips, and I can't hold down any solid food. My life has deteriorated into a game of getting enough liquid and calories into my wretched body that I will neither die nor have to go to the hospital for IV fluids.

I cannot imagine how I can make it another month (or more) as sick as I am. Every time I wake up there are a few blessed moments before the waves of nausea hit me. And then the daily cycle begins. Each day I can't imagine how I'll make it through work. But I do. Each afternoon I wonder how I'll get through the evening. But I do. Each night I am only grateful for the hours I blessedly don't feel the pain, the aching, the constant hot and cold flashes, or the endless rounds of heaving.

I feel like I'm in a war.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

So Much for Secrets

I wasn't going to tell very many people, but I'm pregnant again.

Of course our little family knows, and a very small handful of friends. That was all we planned to tell until we knew if this little one is going to stay. I hid it pretty well for the first couple weeks.

But this one won't be hidden away. Aside from a couple of people who have actually looked at me and guessed, the morning sickness struck with such violence that hiding this from my coworkers is flat out of the question. I managed to hold off all day on Thursday at work, only to lose it as soon as I got home. Friday I got hit a couple times, and Saturday I lost count. Today was my first day back at work since it hit like this, and I threw up almost hourly.

Like I said, hiding this is difficult. It does not go unnoticed, me dashing from my register to the ladies room.

When I carried you, I only threw up three times the entire time. Oh you made me plenty sick, and there were times I wished I'd just throw up so I could feel better. But now I know that it doesn't make me feel better anyway. I've barely gotten any food down at all. Lucky for me your Daddy went out and got some Ensure for me.

I don't feel anything with this one (other than that whole throwing up constantly thing). With you I felt dazed and happy; with the last one I felt determinedly optimistic. This time? Dull worry that I'll have to go through this kind of morning-sickness hell again after this.

Daddy's a little more excited than me. He doesn't show it much in the day, but a couple times I've woken in the night to find him awake, petting my belly. In his sleep his hand finds that already-a-little-larger bump almost as soon as he starts snoring.

And I'm putting some real effort into not snarling at him constantly. I'm not proud of it, but I was pretty grumpy the other two times. to put it mildly. This time I'm less pissy in general, and I guess I've learned to control that crazy irrational hormonal rush that used to make me flare up. It also helps that he's being so tender and gentle and loving to me since I've been so sick (Is this the silver lining?)

One of the things I don't feel anything about is that this baby is due almost exactly when you were. You were officially due on November 4, and this one is due November 5. I know there's pools of terror and anxiety deep under all this nausea, but for right now, I'm really glad I can't feel it yet.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

82nd Annual Academy Awards

Happy Oscar Day, little man.

I guess that might need some explaining. See, the Oscars are like the Superbowl for people who love movies. And I love me some movies. I've been completely fascinated by movies for as long as I can remember. I was writing screenplays in my head since childhood, absorbed in behind-the-scenes stuff. I've made a few small things--back in college I used to run the "TV station" (a three-hour once-a-week closed-circuit broadcast). It's what I love, and it's what I'm doing again, at least on a small scale.

Oscar night is such a special night. Your Grandma P. and I make kind of a to-do about it. Special foods, a whole afternoon dedicated to the show, and squealing and gossiping through the whole thing. I love every minute of it. The Oscars are why, when I moved to Los Angeles for three years, I moved right to Hollywood Proper. For those years I worked in front of the Kodak Theater every day. I walked up and down right where that red carpet is going now. Heck, one year I got to walk *on* the red carpet while they were setting it up--and I have a little chunk of that same red carpet that one of the workmen hacked off for me as they tore it down.

This may all seem random and silly, and it probably is. But last year about this time was right after we found out you were coming. Grandma P. came up and stayed with us and Daddy even got into the game. I'm so glad that I could share one of my favorite things with you at least once. I wish you were here watching with me. But maybe you're down there in California now, hovering over the hoi polloi and watching all the excitement. I can't help but think of you on a happy day like this.