Thursday, November 29, 2007

Spiffed Up & Sheltered

Autumn went to the professional groomers on Monday to get all spiffed up. We usually go it all ourselves but she was starting to look shabby and needed a trim. She got her ears cleaned, teeth brushed, feminine region shaved and sanitized, nails cut and hair trimmed. And when it was all said and done, she smelled like spice cake. By the end of the day, she was worn out.
August got a new toy. Since he likes to burrow under the towel, we got him an igloo to hide in. He seems to like it, but he still manages to mess up his towel. He likes to sit on top of it and look out. And yes, he is eating the towel even though he clearly has food right next to him. I tried to take the thread out of his mouth and he snapped at me.

Look at that sexy bunny. Playboy has got nothing on him!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

HSG Update

I went to my appointment today and it was so much fun! I highly recommend everyone getting one, just so you can check it off your list of 1001 things to do before you die.

It actually wasn't too bad like Meg said in the comment section. I did have some slight cramping, but it didn't feel any different than a period. Dr. I gave me a prescription for antibiotics to take the day before, the day of (prior to the appt.) and the day after. The instructions say to take one hour before or two hours after you eat. Last night, I took it before I went to bed. Today, since I was supposed to take it before the HSG I took it before I ate. BIG mistake. About 45 minutes later while I was on the phone with my MIL, I got extremely nauseous and threw up all my medicine. Since my stomach was empty and the pills were blue my vomit was a ocean-y blue green color. Nice, huh? I decided to eat a bowl of cereal to calm my tummy, so I opted for Cheerios rather than Fruity Pebbles in case I had to vomit again, it wouldn't look like confetti. I took a hydrocodone (a giant 600mg ibuprofen) left over from my cerclage in January and about 2.5746 seconds later I threw that up too. Afterwards, I felt better but I just wasted all those meds for nothing. On the way to the appt. I took 2 more regular Advil and that stayed down.

They wouldn't let Mr. H in the room with me during the procedure. So he sat in the waiting room and watched Access Hollywood on a plasma screen TV and drank a cup of coffee, while I had all the fun. At first I emptied my bladder then changed into a flattering hospital type gown, then hopped onto a very uncomfortable, extremely hard table. It looked and felt like one of those air hockey tables, you find at movie theaters and arcades. I sat at the end and put my feet in stirrups. Then she inserted a speculum and inserted a catheter about the size of a stir stick (no turkey baster) into my cervix. I could feel it going in, but it didn't hurt. It was slightly uncomfortable though. It almost felt like someone was resetting my period button in my uterus like a tripped GFI plug. After the catheter was inserted, the speculum was removed and I was able to lay flat on my back in the middle of the table while she took x-rays of my uterus. I don't know why I thought they were going to be inserting a whole quart of fluid into my uterus, but they only sent up about 6 cc's of fluid. My uterus really isn't that big. I've only seen it on screen with an occupant in it, so it looked a little different this time around. It was empty.

I could see the fluid filling the uterus and travelling through the fallopian tubes, she took pictures and that was it. I was done. I went to clean up and realized there was more KY on me than anything else. She said there may be a little spotting, but no major bleeding should occur. So far, there hasn't been any bleeding or cramping, so that's good. The u/s tech said everything looked fine, but that the doctor would better interpret the details on Monday at my appt.

Then we went to lunch, because I was starving. The end.

Don't you all want to go get one now?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Magic Wands & Turkey Basters

I had an appointment with Dr. I today. But before that I had an ultrasound with a male u/s tech. (I'll call him E.) I've never had a male tech before, much less a 60 year old one. And he was super nice (probably my favorite to date). Unlike many other sonographers, he told me what he was looking at on the screen and explained as he went along. The others I've had just do the sonogram, then leave it up to the doc to give you the results. I got to use the magic wand today (!!!) because my bladder wasn't full enough to see anything the other way. They did not tell me to come in with a full bladder, so I didn't. I've had doctors tell me that it doesn't make any difference and others tell me that I have to drink plenty of water beforehand. I personally think that they get better 'pictures' using the wand and it doesn't hurt. When they push that thingy into your belly, it hurts. Am I the only one? I was telling Mr. H how thrilled about it I was and how it brought back many memories of my pelvic/bed rest days. For several weeks, that was the most action I received.

Anyway, E. measured my uterus and said it looked "beautiful" and "perfect"!!! (Did I mention he is my fave?) He then measured my cervix and it was measuring 3.77 cm. E. said anything over 3 was good and normal (there goes that word again). He looked at my ovaries and there were a bunch (!) of dark round spots on them. He asked if I have ever been diagnosed with PCOS (poly cystic ovarian syndrome). I have had cysts on my ovaries that have burst before (major OUCH! In fact worse than labor pains!), but never have they mentioned PCOS. He said that women who have this, often have difficulty ovulating and have irregular periods. HELLO!!! that's me. Now I know why I was so dang late and why I'm not ovulating. And the other ignorant doctor just wanted to put me on birth control. That still ticks me off! E. said I had "textbook" ovaries. Whatever that means. I asked the doctor about this and she did not seem concerned and she said I didn't need to be either. I haven't read up on it (so correct me if I'm wrong) but the most it can do is keep you from getting pregnant (or at least make it more difficult). But since that has never been a problem for me (knock on wood, say a prayer, cross your fingers, toss some salt over your shoulder) she didn't think it was an issue to be concerned about. She said I had enough to worry about, so I'm going to trust her on this.

Also, I am having a HSG tomorrow at noon. Supposedly, there is cramping involved. I'm pretty good with pain, but when I'm expecting it, I get a little crazy anticipating the worst. I read up on it, but I'm still kind of nervous about it. I didn't think I would be getting it done so quickly, or I would have waxed. No not really, that would probably hurt more than the actual procedure. They have to insert "contrast fluid" into my uterus, then take an u/s. How do they get it in there? I mean I'm not totally clueless, but really, what exactly is the process for getting dye up in there? Do they use their left over turkey baster that will be retired until next year to get the job done? Does it hurt, other than the cramping afterwards? And where exactly does all that "contrast fluid" go, when they're done? How much stuff is going up there? I have no idea, but they sent me home with some antibiotics to take before and after. I hope everything goes well. I'll fill you in on all the details tomorrow, in case any of you were planning on getting one for the sheer fun of it. Wish me luck.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Hello Doctor, What Do You Mean I'm Normal ?

My test results are back. Is that 'normal' circled? Uh, I beg to differ. I don't know how I feel about this. I guess I should be thankful that they didn't send me a blood red card with a skull and cross bones with an expiration date on it. I'm glad they think I'm normal, but where does that leave me? I was kind of hoping that I would have a simple (yeah right) yet curable infection.** That's not the case. It's never that simple.

Oh wait, they didn't say *I* am normal, they said my labs are normal.

** Did I just wish myself an infection???**

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Turkey Dog

Three years ago today, we made the decision to become parents to this wonderful little girl. She was found on the side of the road in the pouring rain by an employee of mine. She kept her for about a week and decided that having a dog was not for her. (Really she wasn't a good doggy mommy, but we won't get into that). She called me the night before Thanksgiving and said "If you don't come get her, I'm taking her to get euthanized". I cried and knew we had to save her. I wanted her from the first day I saw her. I even tried sticking her in my purse and stealing her but quickly realized she wasn't potty trained and took her out fast. Her name for a short week was Sugar (given to her the biotch), but that was not our style nor hers. She was an Autumn. She was our Thanksgiving blessing. Three years later and we are still so thankful she came into our lives. What are you thankful for?

My mom sent me an email about a mother saying goodbye to her daughter, and in their separation, the mother says to her daughter "I wish you enough". So on this day- this day of great fortune and thanks, I wish you all enough.

I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how gray the day may appear.

I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.

I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.

I wish you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger.

I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.

I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.

wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all !

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Look Ma No Hands!

...I did it all by myself. I started my period again. Woohoo!

I know this is all TMI, but it really is a miracle. Dr. I said if I didn't start on my own, then I would have to take drugs to get me started and get on birth control (eek!) for two months to regulate it. So, today I give pre-thanks to Aunt Flo and all her fairies that made this happen today.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Are You !@#$% Kidding Me?

Alright, since nobody except Anonymous cares about the photos I took in the last post, I'll post about how my appointment went on Friday. It's taken me a couple days to gain the courage to post about it, because it was a very emotional day and I didn't want to dwell on it.

It was not a bad appointment, but it started off with me wanting to cuss out the receptionist and walk out. It takes a lot for me to get that angry, but they managed.

I had an appointment scheduled for the 6th and they had to reschedule for the 16th at 8:15. I am NOT a morning person, but they assured me I would be her first patient of the day and I would have as much time as I needed with the doctor. Since I filled out all my paperwork the week prior, I didn't need to get there early. I arrived at 8:05 and signed in, feeling good about the appt. After waiting for 10 minutes (now 8:15- my appt. time), the receptionist handed me a clip board and told me to fill out the new patient paperwork. I assured her I already had and that they were with my records. "What records? Did you bring those with you?" Are you effin' kidding me? They LOST my records. They didn't know who I was. I should have known when they didn't call to confirm my appt. the day before that something was not right. I refilled out the stupid paperwork, but not until I gave her the look from hell and sighed very annoyingly, a few times. I waited and waited and all the people who had come in after me were already called back and were leaving. Some new patients that had to fill out paperwork that arrived after I did, had already been seen. A mother with her crying newborn (sitting 2 seats down from me) had already been seen, and I was still waiting to see the fucking doctor!!! At 8:50, I told the receptionist I had to be somewhere at 10am. She assured me I would be seen right away and I was. There were no empty rooms for me to go in, so they made some bitchy pregnant women who was wandering in the hallway, move to another room. HA, take that!

As I waited for the doc in the cold exam room, I just started to cry uncontrollably because I was so upset. The doctor walked in about 5 minutes later and I wiped my last tear from my face. She asked if I was okay and I said I was just a little frustrated. I wish Mr. H was there with me. Although if he was there, he would have cussed them out and we would have left way before I ever had the chance to be seen. Dr. I apologized for her staff and made it very clear that it was unacceptable and she would take care of it. We talked briefly about my history and what my purpose for being there was. I really like her and she made me feel important. She wants to help me find a reason why my cervix is incompetent (she also apologized for this terminology and said is made me sound like I did something wrong when I hadn't), and she wants us to have a baby. She immediately wanted to run tests, did a pelvic exam and swab, and scheduled me to come back in on the 27th for an abdominal U/S to check my non-pregnant cervical length. She wants me to get an HSG (hysterosalpingogram) after I have my next period. She wants me to start on my own, so she's giving me until my next appointment to start and if I don't, then she'll give me something to ovulate (not Clomid- the last thing I need is to get pregnant with multiples, she says). She wants to talk with my peri to discuss a TAC (transabdominal cerclage) and when would be the best time to do it. She is thorough and aggressive and I don't feel like she's wasting my time. I feel like for the first time, she has my best interest in mind.

We also talked about freezing my eggs and Mr. H's sperm. This all has to be handled through a fertility clinic (right next door) and my insurance doesn't cover it- at all. The first appointment for consult and u/s is $675! That was the amount I paid in rent for my first apartment. It has to be paid in full, but at least they take credit. I have an appt. scheduled for Jan. 17th. That was the earliest they had, but I have to call back on Monday to speak to someone about a surrogacy program. Since the eggs and sperm are a back up plan, and will only be used if I absolutely cannot carry a child, then we will implant those into a surrogate, later down the line. Do I have any volunteers? I inquired about the costs of IVF- $13,000 (not covered by my insurance). Hopefully since all we are doing for now is collecting and freezing, it won't be so much. Dr. I made it clear that this has to be done prior to getting pregnant, and since my appt with the fertility clinic is not for another 2 months and the egg retrieval at a later date, I may have to put off TTC a little longer. Ba-humbug!

I asked most of my questions, but since she hadn't reviewed my records because they were misplaced (not lost) asking specifics would have been a waste of time. I will save those for next week. The receptionist called me Friday afternoon to let me know my file was found and all was good. She then apologized for not having them when I arrived at my appointment. That made me feel better.

In the meantime, since Thanksgiving is 4 days away, and I promised to give you the recipe for Cinderella cake in the last post, head on over to my new baking and cooking blog "Lick The Bowl" Good for some sweet Thanksgiving treats.

Friday, November 16, 2007


How can something so ordinary and simple,
be so beautiful and yet still be overlooked?


My favorite radio station is now playing 24 hours of Christmas music until December 26th. It has been in the 80's outside everyday for I don't know how long. When is it going to get cold? Why are they playing Christmas music? It's not even Thanksgiving yet. Don't get me wrong, I love the holidays and I sing along to all the Christmas carols, but it's not right. I'm a little disturbed and it has just begun.

Updated: I got my first Christmas card in the mail today. Granted it was from Hallmark, but it still counts if it was addressed to me and it has a snowman and a penguin on a sled on the front. Mr. H says it doesn't count, I say it does. I think I'm going to start sending out Valentine's Day cards, just to get a head start :)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Questions To Ask

My appointment to see the high risk doc is tomorrow and I'm feeling good about it. I'm not as nervous as I was last week, but that could still change. I have all night to stew about it. Mr. H was planning on going with me, but he has an interview tomorrow morning (woohoo!) at 9 and my appt. is at 8:15. On my list of things to talk about are:

  • Not Ovulating- I'm not sure if I did or not this past month. A friend let me use her fertility monitor and I tested for 20 days straight with no "peak", so I'm not sure if I ovulated or not. I read the instruction manual and it said that either my cycle was too short (yeah right), too long (more than likely) or that I didn't ovulate and that's why there was no peak. We were not going to try this month but I wanted to know what my cycle was doing. If I am not ovulating, then what's next?

  • Why do I have an incompetent cervix?- I know that only means that my cervix is weakened and doesn't "perform" correctly, but I want to know what is causing it to act up. I want to be tested for E-Coli, Strep B and Ureaplasma. These are all bacteria that can live in your body without making you sick that can also lead to miscarriage. I want to be tested to see if I am a carrier of any of these yucky things. I got sick in April 2006 right before I got pregnant with Sam and had to be hospitalized for 5 days. It turns out that I had E-Coli. Is that what has caused this?

  • Why is my cycle so irregular? Is that going to hinder us in TTC?

  • Is my body ready for the stress of carrying another pregnancy? Because I'm ready.

  • What can she do to help us maintain the pregnancy? What kind of cerclage does she recommend and when should it be placed- prior to conceiving or at 13 weeks gestation?

  • How closely will I be monitored?- Weekly, biweekly? How often would I receive sonograms? In her opinion will I need bed rest? Dr. B (peri) says I don't.

  • Are the vitamins I'm taking safe?- Cranberry pills (UTI's), Vitamin B-50 Complex (energy and stress), and Magnesium (relaxant). Should I be taking anything else?

  • Do you have the time it takes to provide the proper care for me?- How many patients do you have? How many have IC (incompetent cervix)? How were they treated? Will you be available in an emergency situation? How long does it take to get an appointment with you? Will you deliver our baby?

  • Can you give us a live baby?- I think this may be the only one she can't answer.

  • Updated: I forgot I also need to ask about collecting and freezing my eggs and Mr. H's sperm and about surrogacy (as a 'no other options' option). Sound like fun, huh?

  • Do I need to get a hysterosalpingogram (geez that's a long word) ?- They inject dye into your cervix to check the shape and to see if the fallopian tubes are blocked then do an ultrasound. My old doctor recommended this. Some women have abnormally shaped uterus' thus resulting in pregnancy loss.

Well, what do you think? Am I prepared? Is there anything else I should ask? I have been thinking about this for a long while, but now that the appointment is fast approaching, I want to make sure I have all my bases covered. Wish me luck!

I have to go now, the oven timer just beeped at me and my Cinderella (pumpkin) cake is ready! I'll post the recipe later. It is so good.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Handmade by _______

This is the gift I made for Jimmy and Marie for their 40th wedding anniversary. They re-wed on Saturday afternoon at the F.irst U.nited M.ethodist church in Wheeler, TX. This is where they originally got married and it was very sweet to see them speaking their vows to each other while holding hands and sharing the love that they have had for so many years. Their children and grandchildren stood up at the alter with them and there was not a single dry eye in the church. He surprised her with a new wedding band covered in diamonds that could be seen from the back of the church (where I sat). It was a big honker! It was beautiful and so special. We spent the rest of the afternoon eating and laughing, eating some more (that's what we do) and creating memories that will last forever in my heart. I long for the day when Mr. H and I will re-marry and our children and grandchildren will witness the renewal of our commitment to each other.

Their wedding colors were blue and white and their song was "More" I wrote the lyrics on the plate as well as their name and date. I tried to make the '40' look like a water mark in the background. The plate took about 3 days to complete. You have to apply three coats to get the color dark enough so it took a while. I am pleased with the outcome although I could have done so much better. I think that's the perfectionist in me, but the couple truly appreciated it.

More than the greatest the world has known
This is the love I give to you alone.
More than the simplest words I try to say
I only live to love you more each day.
More than you'll ever know
My arms long to hold your soul.
My life will be in your keeping, waking, sleeping, laughing, weeping.

Longer than always is a long, long time
But far beyond forever you'll be mine.
I know I never lived before and my heart is very sure.
No one else could love you more.
No one else could love you more.

Friday, November 9, 2007

The Hairy Ones

Mr.H and I are going out of town this weeked for the 40th wedding anniversary party. I made a gift for the couple which I'll post a picture of when I get back on Sunday. For now, here are a few pictures of Autumn that Monica requested and one of August because he looks so funny. Have a good weekend everyone:)

Autumn playing outside on her birthday and resting (because she works so hard) on the wicker love seat on our back porch

Sleeping on the chair (because she has worked so hard) in the office which she doesn't fit in and eating a carrot which makes her look like she's smiling. She had to have one because August got one- goofy dog!

Tearing apart her crabby while looking at me like she's so innocent and burying her nose in the green green grass.

And August looking up into the camera as he runs around on the couch. Look at those thick Liza Minnelli eyelashes.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Etched In Stone

The Ronald McDonald House in our area sponsors a Hope group that helps families and parents cope with the loss of a pregnancy. Last week was the start of a new group called the PAL (Pregnancy After A Loss) group. It's a group that meets once a week for 6 weeks and focuses on those thinking about TTC as well as those who already pregnant at any gestation. There are 3 couples and one other lady (all of whom I know because they all go to our other support group) and they are all pregnant from 10-22 weeks. That kinda bums me out and I feel a little out of place because of it. I feel like a 3rd wheel, not because they made me feel like that, but because of my own insecurities. I mentioned this to the group facilitator and he suggested I still come to the group because it would help us for when we got pregnant. I am the only one there who has had two losses, and I can't relate to what they are feeling now in their pregnancies because I am not pregnant. I'm going to keep going but I still feel uneasy about it. The Hope group was really beneficial to me but when we ended the group I felt lost, like I didn't know where to go from there. I left the group not knowing what was next for us regarding a subsequent pregnancy. I think this group will help me with those unanswered questions. And it couldn't have come at a better time since we are going to try again in January (keep your fingers crossed).

On the RMH grounds, there is a fountain and statues of children playing together. There are hundreds of memory stones with children's names on them that are no longer with us. They do this for free, all you have to do is give them the name you want on the rock. These stones are then placed throughout the garden, around statues and in the fountain. Well Sam and Jack got their stones today. I asked for a stone that had both their names on one rock so they wouldn't get separated and so we would always know which rock was theirs. They got confused and made two rocks with one name on each. They are ordering us another stone, but they let us keep the others anyway. They are going to go out in our garden with a fountain we got of two boys playing together. We will also put their temporary headstones from the cemetery out there too. I haven't done any of this yet because I'm too lazy, but when I do, I'll post a picture. In the meantime, here are some pictures of the fountain and statues on the RMH grounds as well as Sam and Jack's stones.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Pancake Consolation Prize

I have been a nervous wreck for several days now and I have been looking forward to my doctor visit with this new OB. My appointment was this morning at 10:45 and I get there, wait, fill out paper work, wait some more all the while my stomach is churning.

"Monica, Dr. I had to leave so we're going to have to reschedule for next Friday at 8:15."

Thanks a lot, people. Now I will have nervous stomach for another 10 days. I know it's not her fault. She was there when I arrived but received an emergency phone call concerning her father and him having to undergo emergency open heart surgery so she snuck out the back door. Eeek! I'll cut her some slack, but I hate to be inconvenienced. I could have slept in this morning. I am SO NOT A MORNING PERSON! So getting there that early will be a chore. Since I often don't go to bed until the wee hours if the night, maybe I'll just stay up until my appointment. Maybe not, I like sleep too much.

Instead Mr. H and I went to I.hop for their new carrot cake pancakes. You all know how I feel about carrot cake. You better believe they were good. And they were smothered in cream cheese frosting- YUM! I guess that makes up for my missed appointment.

Until next week...

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Strolling Down Memory Lane

A couple weeks ago I wrote a post about the treasure chest Mr. H brought home from his parents house. It is a wooden chest that his Dad made for him filled with *stuff* from his childhood including toys, books and some clothing. We had to replace a broken caster off the bottom of the toy chest which meant that all that *stuff* had to come out forming a huge mound on our garage floor. Here's what I found.

A BIG pile of *stuff*

His PINK cowboy hat and boots!

His little horsey and duck with leather "feet" that flap when it's pushed.

A vintage F.isher P.rice airplane that carries 4 plastic (I mean "real") passengers and their luggage. Notice he's drinking a beer while he plays with his toys now ;)

A S.esame S.treet puzzle and a saw that really {{vibrates}}.

No collection would be complete without a Mr. P.otato H.ead, wooden trucks, a handmade "My First Book" and a race car pail and shovel.

And last but not least a paper mache clown wearing a parachute and a S.kedoodle (sister product to E.tch-A-S.ketch)

I was a little jealous going through all this stuff because 1) I never had a toy chest filled with toys and 2) Even if I had this stuff it would have been sold at a yard sale a long time ago. We were poor growing up, so if we wanted something new (from someone else's garage sale) we had to sell what we had in order to get it. I miss the stuff I had growing up.