Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Making the move to Wordpress...

Blogger is pissing me off, so I'm hopping over to Wordpress here. I'm sorry you have to reset bookmarks and all, but I'm not posting because I hate trying to convince Blogger I actually WANT to post something, and how I want to post it. It's making me want to rip my hair out, and since I blog for pleasure, that's kind of contradictory. LOL

I'm hoping you guys follow me, but if you don't, I completely understand. I hope this post gets through, and that it finds you all in good places.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Fight For Preemies: Prematurity Awareness Month

The March of Dimes has asked bloggers around the world to raise awareness for the 20 million little ones who are born before their time every year. I decided to participate not only because it's a damn scary thing everyone should be aware of, but because my oldest daughter, Andrea, narrowly avoided being one of those 20 million. It's for her that I blog today.

I was 24 weeks into a grueling pregnancy that left me wondering why the hell people do this multiple times. I'd been feeling acrobatics in my stomach for several weeks probably the coolest and most freaky sensation EVER, and the knowledge that my little podling was in there, growing, was about as fascinating and disturbing as anything in my life. We'd bonded and argued, let's be honest over the midnight kick-fests, the flipping, the turning, the swimming, and hell, even the puking.

I eventually learned to sleep through her "activity," though it took friggen weeks. We were much better friends after. I learned to appreciate the movement more, instead of wishing she'd just stop, for the love of god, just for five minutes. We'd gotten pretty in-tune with each other when the day came that she did finally settle. My first thought was, "Peace at last!" and I did a mental happy dance that it no longer felt like I had a conga line going in my belly.

An hour went by, and I figured she was sleeping. Kid must be tired as all hell, I figured. Another hour went by, and I wondered to myself if she was hibernating, like a bear. Long long sleep, then wham! Activity Central! It wouldn't surprise me. I wasn't concerned... yet. But when hour four creeped up, and I still hadn't felt a single kick, a flopping-over-in-my-sleep-to-get-more-comfortable turn, I started to worry. Being the Internet savvy person I am, I went online to figure out if this was normal. She was my first, after all. I'd never done this before. It could've been totally within the range of "normal" and I'd never know the difference.

I read and I read, but everything pointed at, "Who the hell knows? All kids, all pregnancies, are different." Gee, thanks, Internet. So helpful. I went back to watching Star Trek: TNG yes, I'm a geek... and I'm PROUD OF IT! and did what was suggested on several sites to get the baby awake and moving. I drank sugary juice, jiggled the tummy, talked loudly to her, played her favorite music... yes, she had favorite music by then. And it happened to be hard rock. My babies? Are awesome.

But she didn't move. Approaching six hours, two of them spent chugging juice and dancing like an idiot in an effort to wake-her-up-shake-her-up, and I still had nothing. It could be normal. I told myself this a million times as I debated calling my boyfriend and having him take me to the ER. In the end, all I had to go on was gut, and my gut said go. Look like a total moron when they tell you everything's fine. At least then you'll know everything's fine, and you can go back to being a total laze and watching TV, studiously ignoring the pile of dishes in the kitchen.

I couldn't get ahold of my boyfriend, though I tried several times. I asked myself if it was worth an ambulence ride. Nah, I thought. She's fine. She's just napping. But in true pregnant woman fashion, ten minutes later I'd changed my mind, and tried the backup plan: my boyfriend's parents. His mom managed to birth 7 kids holy sweet jeebus, SEVEN OF THEM! can you imagine? and I figured she could steer me in the right direction. His mom? Totally of the "listen to your body, it's not an idiot" crowd. She told me if I thought I should go, I should go. Worst that happens is I go home feeling a little foolish.

She and her husband came and picked me up, took me in. OB Triage has some nice ladies in it. They smiled at me when I told them what was happening, didn't call me a freakin' idiot worrywart, told me they'd be happy to check up on the podling. They found her heartbeat, and some of my panic started to ebb. The voice inside my head was laughing at me, of course. "See? Everything's fine, you twit." But it wasn't. The monitor they strapped me to also had a nifty device to monitor contractions, and it was graphing something disturbing enough to have them immediately check my cervix.

In about 15 minutes, I went from being one of "those" cases, a first-time-mom worrying over something trivial, to being 3cm dialated with regular, strong contractions. The words "pre-term labor" and "labor and delivery room" passed by my ears while I laid there in a panic. A real one this time. After that, everything happened very quickly. My boyfriend showed up several minutes after they got me in the L&D room, where I was being pumped full of magnesium sulfate to stop my labor, and corticosteroids just in case it failed. We heard from specialists what the numbers were. How little a chance our daughter had to survive. If we could just keep her in a few more weeks, they said, the numbers improved dramatically. Just hold out, they said.

It was hell. For three and a half weeks, I stayed in the hospital, praying she would stay in. She listened, thank god. When it looked like I was stable, I asked to go home. They were hesitant, but since I'd reached the golden point of 28 weeks, they let me. They sent me home on strict bedrest, with meds to keep my contractions at bay. I had to see the doctor every week and a half or so, a high-risk specialist who had treated me in the hospital. They counted off the weeks with me, and the hope they'd been afraid to show me began to come out. Once I hit 36 weeks, they breathed this huge sigh of relief, and a week later they stopped my meds. Labor was okay now. If it came, it came.

My daughter was born on 4-16-2006, at 39 weeks and a couple of days. I got lucky. Too many don't.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

O The Sick Little Children

Wow, I didn't even make it a week before my schedule tanked. Does going out of state at the last minute count as an acceptable excuse? I hope so. Well, if it doesn't, I can just call it "settling in." Or something.

What's going on in my world? The Swine Flu came and went with barely a disturbance to our household, making me laugh even harder at the End Of The World Epidemic People, but now we have another nasty mofo in our house: Hand-Foot-and-Mouth Disease. If you're going, "Say what? What the hell is that?" you're in good company. I did the same thing. It's a virus, it causes blisters in guess where! the hands, feet, and mouth, and potentially other places, and is generally a pain in the ass.

Andrea has it so bad in her mouth that she refuses to eat practically anything, and won't drink most juices. Can't blame her there... acid + sores in the mouth = ouch. Milk and water -- the colder the better -- have been our fallback, but swallowing hurts like the devil. While we were out of state, she became so dehydrated that I actually had my father-in-law drag my aching, migraine-suffering, nauseated ass off to the ER to get her seen.

Not. Fun.

Turns out the few sores I thought were just on her cheeks were actually legion and all over the roof of her mouth and down her throat. Hence, the rabid desire not to swallow anything. The very very nice student doctor who should really become a pediatric specialist of some sort wanted to avoid an IV almost as much as I did, and brought her three different kinds of juice to try since they had no milk in the ER, just to see if she could drink on her own. She sucked them all down when he asked why she did it for him and not for mom, only toddlers will ever understand so she narrowly avoided that horror.

Apparently, I was right to bring her in, though. Her fever was running just over 100 after a round of Tylenol, so they also gave her Motrin, which brought it down some more and finally got her out of her very disturbing glassy-eyed funk. I am not one of those mothers who panics every time her child has a fever. Only when they swallow potentially toxic stuff... that scares the bejeebus out of me. Most of the day, she'd just acted like she had a bug. Stomach bug, flu bug, whatever. I figured rest and Tylenol would cure it like it had so many times for me as a child, and she'd feel well enough to eat and drink after a good solid nap.

But no. She woke up drooling sticky drool, unable to swallow at all, burning up, glassy-eyed, incoherent, crying inconsolably, and generally acting like she was half-dead. This? Scared me. I can handle broken bones, bleeding, puking, knocked-out teeth, split open skulls, and sicknesses of all sorts, even if inside I'm questioning myself to hell and back. I have had most if not all of those things in my childhood and as much as my memory in other things sucks, the treatment of various bumps, bruises, and illnesses is ingrained in me. After I get over the initial shock of my poor little baby suffering these horrors, I generally can triage pretty well.

But this time I was terrified. I know the markers of severe dehydration. I know how serious that is. Most people with high fevers will sweat to try to cool the body through evaporation. She had no water left. Her skin was bone dry, and she cried no tears. I pray I never have to see any of my children like that again. So if the child wants ice cream, by damn, she's gonna get ice cream. And popsicles. And chocolate milk. Anything she's willing to put in her mouth is fine by me, whether it be healthy or total junk. I cannot see her that way again, Internetz. Bring on the murdering psychos first. I'll deal with them with a smile if it means I never have to see that shit again.

And this virus is supposed to be highly contagious. Which means the other child will soon fall victim. *sigh* If there's any pity in the universe, it'll be after Andrea and I feel a little better. Why do I get the feeling there is no pity to be had? Eeep.

So, will you forgive me for welshing on the scheduled posting? Pretty please?

Monday, November 9, 2009

My First! Scheduled! Post!

About the only thing that makes me excited today is the fact that I'm finally getting myself on a blogging schedule. Instead of randomly posting whenever the mood strikes, I'm sticking to a Mon-Wed-Fri schedule... Well, okay, I'm still going to do totally random posts. But there will be an underlying structure. I hope.

So why am I not excited! by! life!? Because apparently my body hates me, and has thrown me yet another curveball. I've been having trouble with pelvic/hip pain that is steadily spreading to every blessed bone in my body. Literally, my cheekbones hurt. I know it's just referred pain. I know my pelvis and surrounds are responsible. That doesn't stop me from crying like a baby literally every time one of my kids accidentally -- or on purpose, let's face it -- uses me for a jungle gym, or a stopping post in the latest cross-house race. Just sitting down hurts like hell.

And for once, I'm not being dramatic. Gasp! Shock! I know!

My OB's office bless their hearts, I love them... possibly more than chocolate referred my in-pain ass to an OMM clinic. What's an OMM clinic, you ask? An Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine clinic. Say that three times fast. It's something like a chiropractor, but much more likely to be covered by insurance. Yay! *happy dance! owowowowowow* I can't get in till next Wed. suckage but they do take my insurance awesome! so at least I should get some relief.

In the meantime, we may have to make an interstate trip this week, I need new glasses, the girls need to get to the dentist, and I still have to do the dreaded laundry. I was right, incidentally. The dishes taught them to multiply. Well, how else do you explain my one basket of laundry suddenly turning into two?? I don't know how we're going to accomplish all this before my appointment if I'm limping around in pain, but as previously discussed here on All Your Bread, parents don't get sick days. We get all our bennys in hugs and kisses and the like. We need an exchange rate... Five kisses and two "I love you"s for a sick day? Sounds fair to me.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The dishes... they're MULTIPLYING!

The dishes, they scare me. I swear to god they multiply while I sleep. If I don't watch them, they have baby dishes, and the baby dishes grow up and have babies, and so on and so forth, until my sink, it overfloweth. I'm beginning to have nightmares. Because no matter how many times I run that dishwasher, they just. keep. coming. And I think the dishes are eating the flatware. They're hungry.

To keep their population in check, I've started washing dishes between meals if I know I'm going to eat something in it before too long. Like today, I had pasta in a bowl, and I washed it as soon as I was done, because I knew I'd want ice cream in a little while. I always want ice cream, truth be told. It's The Best Pregnancy Craving Evah, since I seem to be losing weight no matter how much I eat. Bwuahahahaha! Totally worth enduring three months of Puke Central. ... I think. Okay, maybe not, but if I'm going to go through that crap, I better get a benny, damnit.

And I'm pretty sure they're teaching the laundry to do it, too. Hold me, Internetz. I'm scared.


On a more positive note, I'm putting myself on a blogging schedule. Plan to read something from me every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I may have random posts like this one *coughcough* in between, but in an effort to make my life a more structured place -- shut up -- I'll at least put up something mildly entertaining and/or insightful on those days. Barring rampant sickness. Or labor. Because I refuse to amuse you people while I'm hanging over the toilet or shoving something out my lady bits. I'll leave you with that awesome visual. *evil snicker*

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I. Has. Flu.

When kids get sick -- and I remember this vividly from my own childhood -- they laze about, possibly whining, groaning, moaning, or complaining, begging their parent(s) for everything they need. And usually, they get it. Because that's a parent's job: to take care of their poor, ailing child. What happens when a parent gets sick? They suck it up and do the shit they always do anyway, all while wishing death would strike them down so they can finally take a fucking nap. A nice long one.

So when I started feeling like shit today, I figured, lovely. I get a day of hell. But o, dear Internet, I underestimated the demonic nature of the bug inside me. I did not just have the breathing issues of the past two weeks, or the coughing of the past week, or a simple fever. Those I could have lived with hell, I HAVE been living with the non-breathing and coughing, thank you and been happy to stop there. But no. We progressed ever so rapidly to violent puking, massive dehydration, and dizziness.

I have the mother-effing swine flu. Or H1N1, whatever. Because apparently it's EVERYWHERE in my area, and simply breathing air that has even been outside exposes me.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not crying "Oh, poor me, I have the dreaded flu of doom and now I shall die!" No, I know this flu is just like every other one I've ever had. It sucks, it lasts freaking forever or at least it feels like forever... and the prescribed solution is exactly the same. Bed rest. Fluids. Don't exert yourself. Eat when you can keep crap down. Avoid things that might make you puke. Don't drink alcohol. Blah blah blah. Some of these, like "don't drink alcohol," can be adopted without too much trouble. But the rest of it? *falls over laughing*

Seriously. Have you ever met a mother or father, especially of the stay-at-home variety that can lounge in bed all day, drinking gatorade and munching on crackers? Of course not. We eat whenever we can cram something in our mouths, we sit down roughly five times a day for about as many minutes usually on the toilet, and only because it's biologically necessary, we drink hydrating fluids whenever we can remember to -- and aren't occupied by something else, which let's face it, ain't often -- and avoiding things that might make you puke is a helluva lot easier when you don't have to change messy diapers.

And don't exert yourself? I'm not even going to touch that. Because seriously.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Innocent-sounding terminology makes me giggle.

I was over at Mommy Brained earlier, and discovered that a certain set of gay men call themselves "bears" and other associated things. In and of itself, kind of amusing, but not bust-a-gut funny. But oh, gentle readers, the Wikipedia article she links to makes me giggle with glee.

You see, under "terminology," there's an entry called Goldilocks. Anyone over the age of 8 understands the relation to bears, of course. And the description even makes sense: a female, often heterosexual, who is often in the company of bears. Bears being the big, burly gay men often riddled with body and/or facial hair. Okay. But in parenthesis, because someone who writes these things has a sense of humor as perverse as my own, it says, "(a bear's fag hag)."

Because my mind is warped and twisted and wrong, it immediately conjured up for my mental viewing pleasure a picture of a woman, the fabled fag hag, dressed to the nines in a Goldilocks costume, standing next to a bewildered-looking grizzly. I found this funny enough to warrant my man looking at me like I'd finally lost my ever-loving mind. I probably have.

But this made me want to look for other "innocent" terminology in various subcultures, because obviously these people have awesome senses of humor. What I found instead was the disturbingly specific Hanky Code. Remind me never to leave the house with ANY bandanna in my pocket, because god knows I'll unwittingly be inviting someone to do horrible, unspeakable things to my body. My inner snark is currently whispering, "But it could be fun!" in my head. I told you my mind was warped.