Thursday, June 28, 2007

Yada yada yada

Still not much going on. Pregnancy takes over my mind, so that everything else seems unimportant and therefore not worth writing about. Had this overwhelming anxiety the last few nights, not a rational anxiety, like "OMG I don't want another miscarriage", but this kind of free-form, random, non-specific anxiety, like the whole world was just crashing in on me. I am usually pretty even-keeled so I don't know what it is. Pregnancy? The extra hormones? The combination? Who knows.

I don't feel very pregnant yet. It's probably not good, that the only personal comparison I have is a pregnancy that didn't work out. It's strange to be pregnant twice in the course of 4 months. Makes it too easy to compare/contrast, with no time in between. It's not that I want to feel miserable, but it would be a relief to get some of the morning sickness or whatever that indicates a real live pregnancy. I want to know what's going on in there, to feel pregnant in my body instead of just in my brain, where crazy emotions are making me nuts.

Work = normal. House= wreck. Me= tired and grumpy and trying to snap out of it.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

No News is Good News

Haven't posted in a few days just because there's nothing much to write about, and I'm too busy holding my breath to internet anyway. Although I found out mid-Thursday that I am having progesterone issues (i.e. the hormone that is supposed to rise slowly and steadily was instead falling at an alarming rate), I could not get the progesterone supplements until Friday afternoon. Apparently they are not something pharmacists keep in stock, but have to be made to order; they are also, apparently, not an oral medication.

I was kind of freaked out at first by the idea of. . . (brace yourselves, now!) vaginal suppositories. Especially when the pharmacy clerk said--ever so cheerfully and loudly--"Keep them in the refrigerator, hon, so that they'll be easier to insert!" Because I need everybody at the Giant supermarket to know that I have insertable medicine! Yes.

Now, I think that they are the funniest thing ever, because I'm mature like that. Hey, just because I might possibly be having a baby doesn't mean that I have to be all mature and everything all at once, right? Anways. If you can picture incense cones made of candle wax, then you know what I've got in my fridge. And actually, given my terrible track record with taking pills, I'm starting to think that ALL of my medications should be applied this way. It would keep me from the choking, gagging, throwing medicine back up... I kind of wish that my prenatal vitamins were suppositories as well. It would beat my current routine of cutting horse-pill-sized-vitamin into small bits, mixing with yogurt, and very carefully swallowing each bit. Kind of a pain in the ass, really.

On the other hand, the progesterone supplements seem to melt and, um, run back out. I don't know how effective that makes them, if more of the medicine seems to be in my pants than in my girl-parts, but Don is sure that this is taken into account during the dosing. Either way, it's not like having to give myself shots or something, and if it saves this little speck of humanity and lets me not miscarry, then I will build a shrine to the lovely, lovely progesterone suppository. Although it would take me the whole 8 months to figure out what a progesterone-shrine should look like. I think I'd include incense--cones, not sticks.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

So Far...

It's good.

The pregnancy.

So far, anyways.

HCG is good, at least.

Progesterone went down between the two tests (which is bad, for you novices), so I'm getting a supplement for that. It's something that can be fixed, ammended. It could explain what went wrong last time, which makes me sad. Sad, because with a miscarriage the odds are that the embryo was fatally flawed and couldn't develop but there's also a chance that it's the mother. I had thought that (statistically speaking) my little grain of rice was too damaged to live, but now I am thinking that perhaps it was perfect but my imperfect body smushed into nothingness.

The results reaffirm my decision to get these tests done ASAP-- ends justifying means etc. It makes me forgive the awful hospital nurse (or possibly someone masquerading in ugly scubs) who attacked my veins this morning and then blamed me for her inablity to find my veins. Peace, bad-nurse lady, I no longer care.


A doctor's office should not call someone and leave a message that says nothing except,

"Hi Mara, this is the such-and-such OB-GYN offices-- could you give us a call back at ___=____?"

They should always say WHY. Or whether it's important. Or something. Because even though I was diligently checking my phone every hour, I missed it and couldn't call back until after they closed.

Is it, "Please call back, everything is fine."? "Please call back, we need to get some information from you"? Or "Please call back, you're on the way to another miscarriage", or "Please call back, we have no idea why you think you're pregnant and are referring you to a psychiatrist instead"? Darn it, these people should know that I'm neurotic and fragile, and sitting here counting the minutes until they open back up for the morning. I think I know what it is, because they never asked for my date-of-first-day-of-last-monthly-period-- what I call the start-date-- and without that date, the quantitative numbers from the lab work won't mean a whole lot. But they could have mentioned that in the voicemail and saved me the trouble of staying up late at night, imagining all the different phone conversations we could be having shortly...

Monday, June 18, 2007


I think that if Google can automatically correct my spelling and ask me, "did you mean _____?" (Answer, "why yes, thank you, I did."), then any time I type" --,com", "", or" --c,om" it should automatically figure as "". I mean, why ever not?


I called the nurse-practitioner as planned, panicked as predicted. She is very calming and I am going in for blood work tomorrow and Thursday. So that's all good I guess. Proactive at least. They can check my progesterone levels and supplement if it's low, and do a quantitative hgc-- you know, to make sure that I'm really preggers as opposed to completely delusional. Although it would be hard to illusion waking up at six in the morning absolutely starving. And simultaneously nauseous! Let the fun and games begin! Right now I feel that I'd rather be miserable than asymptomatic-- more symptoms= more hormones= better, right? Anyways.

Driving home from darts last night:

Don: Speed up, hon. You're going five miles under the speed limit now... We're going to get pulled over if you don't get up to speed.

Me: The car slows down when I'm tired. It understands me.

Don: Great. We're being passed by a scooter.

Me: Clearly a motorcycle. Not a scooter.

Don: Scooter

Me: Motorcycle!



Repeat as needed until we come up behind the scooter at a red light. But you know, if he wants to drive home from the bar he's more than welcome to drink water like me...

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Brain Leakage

Well, aren't you all my fellow-geek-friends! Except the passage is not from The Two Towers but from Return of the King, when Eomer discovers that his sister is actually still alive, but gravely ill; he thought that she had died in battle. At once, he is full of hope but also the renewed fear that she might yet die.

Which is basically how I feel, being pregnant again: full of hope and fear. I have peed on four home test sticks and three of them agree-- the first was a dud. I want to get a clinical test done, to make sure 100% that it actually *is* pregnancy and not remnant hormones from the last go-round. But leftover hormones wouldn't explain the myriad indicators of pregnancy that I'm experiencing, which seem to be coming on sooner this time than last time. Is it because I know what to look for now, or because every pregnancy is different? I just can't feel the unalloyed joy and excitement that I felt in March; I'm too worried, too scared. Too experienced. I think that what I lost with the miscarriage was not just an embryo so much as it was my innocence and naivete.

Before, I was scared of miscarrying in a kind of vague, abstract way; I never really believed that it could happen to me. Who does? Who can? Now I know what can happen, and a successful pregnancy seems like such a theoretical concept. Not so much I'm pregnant-- there will be a baby in November! as, I'm pregnant again, I wonder if this one will pan out. The timing worked out perfectly in that I got to give Don the news on his birthday (I even bought the special tests with the digital readouts: PREGNANT or NOT PREGNANT, because last time he couldn't read the test), but it was a bit of, Honey we're pregnant again, but don't get your hopes up, OK?

One thing I learned afterwards was that everybody and their mama has had miscarriages. Anyone that found out about mine would make a point of telling me how normal it is. Apparently, almost everyone I work with has had one; my friends, even my mom. What seemed like an isolated event suddenly felt like a secret epidemic; I started to feel that miscarriage was at least as common as not. I know the old cliche that misery loves company, and women have told me that after a miscarriage the last thing they wanted to see was a pregnant woman, or a new mother with a tiny baby. For me it was the opposite; I needed to see them, to hear their stories and read their blogs. I didn't and don't want miscarriage stories, I wanted to see, read about, or hear about healthy, normal pregnancy. I want to reassure myself that most of the time, getting pregnant equals having baby. That the system really does work. That women all over the place are staying pregnant without a second thought about it. Tell me that you had a miscarriage, only if you promptly went on to have a baby. Give me hope, not sympathetic company.

Tomorrow I will call the nurse, to find out if there are tests that can be done at this point. I never did get my progesterone levels tested; the honeymoon got in the way. I have no idea if they can still test them in early pregnancy, or if it would even make a difference at that point. Would it be too late? I will leave a long, rambling, panicked voice mail for her, and she will call me back and (I hope) calm me down and straighten me out. She told me that women tend to be especially fertile right after a miscarriage, for the several months or so following. I think I'm proving her right.

Don is telling me, of course, not to worry and panic and obsess over what I can't control. And of course he's right. What am I trying to do with this worrying; prove to the universe how much I want to hang on to this baby? I don't think it works like that. I must borrow a page from AA and steal their Serenity Prayer:

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can;and wisdom to know the difference.

...and adapt it a bit. I can control my diet, my exercise, how much sleep I get, and my state of mind (to a certain extent). I can take my vitamins; talk to my practitioner; eat the veggies that are overflowing the fridge; fill the freezer with nourishing meals; take Alice on a long, long walk; go cold-turkey on the coffee; make my house a clean and comfortable haven. I cannot control what happens with this pregnancy; I cannot control whether I miscarry again or go on to have a baby. I will focus on what I can do, wait and see on the rest, and stop with the worry and panic. (And if anyone that knows me believes that this is possible: hahahahahaha. But I will try.) And on that note, I should go walk the dog and do a load of laundry.

Oh, and speaking of God:

Which is the right religion for you? (new version)
created with

Haha, you win, Amanda-- I am more pagan than Jewish! What an interesting state of affairs. But I guess that as the product of a Jew-turned-Atheist and a Catholic-turned-Jew it does make sense in a way.

Learned yesterday: If you hike up to a well-known swimming hole in the mountains and discover that you have the place to yourself, it's probably because the water (which is mostly snow run-off) is still icy-cold and will turn you numb in about ten seconds, to the point where even an hour later you are still cold. But it's still a great way to spend someone's birthday.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Hope and Fear

"Then hope unlooked-for came so suddenly to Eomer's heart, and with it the bite of care and fear renewed, that he said no more, but turned and went swiftly from the hall."

10 Geekpoints for naming the source of the above.

20 Friendpoints for guessing the reference.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Vegatables Attack!

Several months ago I mentioned here joining a CSA. I've been eagerly waiting for the first delivery, for our first box o'produce. Deliveries actually started while Don and I were honeymooning, so we got our first box Friday. I think I'm in over my head.

I signed up for a "half-share" on the strength that our household has only two people, neither one a vegetarian. It's the smaller-share option, half the veggies for half the price. Except that our "half-share" was a bushel of green. A bushel! Actually more than that, according to the box. With the exception of half-dozen eggs, it was all vegetables. Writing this from memory, we received:

Cauliflower (a huge head)
Broccoli (same)
Cabbage (same)
Swiss chard
Spinach-- except that it's actually "tatsoi"
Herbs-- basil, parsley

Completely overwhelming. I had no way to store it all-- no extra plastic bags, no muslin or anything. I ended up just stuffing it all into the fridge while trying to figure out what to do with so many leafy greens-- more vegetables in a week than Don and I eat in a month! OK, two months. Well, that was Friday. I've eaten most of the Swiss chard scrambled in eggs with onion. I've made a gratin with the cauliflower and broccoli, a quiche with the tatsoi and asparagus, and tonight will be a colcannon soup with the cabbage. I'm going to get some muslin and some plastic bags, research more recipes. On the good side, none of the veg will go to waste before Friday, when it will be time for another box (!!), but. BUT.

One of the major reasons that I decided to do this was to get more healthy veggie stuff into our diets, and as a culinary adventure-- new recipes!, yay. But so far I'm burying the goods in cheese, eggs, and bacon. With the exception of obvious "side-dish" veggies cooked up plain like the peas and asparagus I don't know what to do with vegetables. I am used to serving them on the side of something meaty or putting them in rich dishes, like casseroles and quiche, which defeats the point-- our diet is already rich in dairy and egg, thank you. I need to learn how to serve veggies in healthy ways. As main dishes, in salads, in stir-fries. Because there will be a bushel-box of fresh, organic produce every week and I have to be on top of it! We can't be eating a quiche every week, or cream soups. My primary motivation this week was panic-- don't let the good veg rot! But if I don't figure out what I'm doing, the whole project is for naught.

In other news.

My face is terribly broken-out.
I woke up very early this morning, needing to pee.
My dreams are crazy-vivid.
I feel thirsty all the time.
I'm tired during the day but alert at night.

I could be pregnant again. Or I could still be a little jet-lagged and living on vacation-time. And could be getting a urinary-tract infection. Or, just living in my head; psychologically manifesting the symptoms of my last pregnancy now that I know what it feels like. Really, it's hard to say and too soon to tell. But it sure is fun driving myself crazy with hope, fear, exitement, and panic in the meantimes! What a great way to pass the time until my period is due. Today's emotion is panic, brought to you by the letter B!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

The Wedding Trip, Part Two

First, what is up with Blogger? I tried to lay my previous post out neatly, photos and text aligned, enough white space to make sense. It worked for the first part but by the end, it looked as though I had just thrown everything together. Nothing worked as it should have. I'm hoping this goes better...

After the wedding we stuck around Angel Fire a few days, to spend time with our families; especially Don's parents, whom he doesn't see so often and whom I'd never met until now. Then: in reverse! Drove back to Santa Fe, back to Albuequerque... Decided then and there not to rent a car in Seattle but to walk or take public transport. Enough driving for one week already. Flew from Albuequerque to Phoenix to Seattle. On the second flight we couldn't sit together due to the rather last-minute booking, (Hurry! Only 3 seats left on this flight! None of which are together, of course.) but were across the aisle from one another instead. Which would have been fine, except that the two seats next to me were occupied by not two but THREE people: man, woman, 18-month-old child.

Quick aside: I DON'T CARE that the airlines let you "carry on" any child younger than two. A big, rambunctious toddler needs his own seat. Period. This is not a small, sleepy infant that wants just to cuddle and nurse the whole flight. No, he wants to throw his sippy cup at the homicidal stranger in the third seat (me). He hit me in the head TWICE with his damn sippy cup, in addition to the expected screeching, screaming, maniacal laughter, and random sobs that come from a kid that age. I swear on this blog that when we have kids and travel, they will have their OWN seats, no matter how much it sets us back. So that I never have to simperingly apologize to strangers that my kid has just beaned in the head. Who happen to be on their honeymoon.

Don and I agreed to have many drinks ASAP after getting off the plane.

In addition to my brand-new husband, I am now IN LOVE WITH the following:

Seattle. The good news is that it is a wonderful city, everything that we expected and then some. The scenery is lovely; all blue waters, green trees, Mount Ranier hovering like a hologram in the distance. The people seemed so friendly, the nicest we've ever come across. Of course we were dealing mostly with service people-- hotel front desk clerks, bartenders, waiters--people that are paid to be friendly. Then again, there's no reason that they still couldn't serve as some kind of barometer for the whole city really. The food. Oh, my goodness. That deserves its own sub-header. The bad news is that now, we want to live there. Well, what's one more cross-country move, right?

Our Hotel. It was so cute in a rustic, welcome-to-the-Northwest kinda way. Totally touristy, totally kitch, but adorable and so comfy. It was walking distance (at least for us) to everywhere, and we could see the Space Needle from our balcony. The staff was so friendly; kind, even. Really, how can you not love a hotel that has a fireplace in every room and puts teddy bears on the bed?
Pike Place Market. Seattle's iconic marketplace lives up to the hype. There is a local law preventing any chain or franchise from opening a store here, so every storefront is unique: restaurants, specialty stores, coffee shops, bars. But the best part is the farmers' market; the produce, the flowers, the seafood...oh man. I have never seen seafood that looked like that. A foodie could go there every day and never tire of it. These huge bouquets of the freshest flowers, and they sell for ten dollars. When at the grocery store here they cost twenty, are half the size, and flown in from South America or somewheres. We walked from our hotel to the Market every morning for breakfast: a latte here, a piroshky there, a half-pint of raspberries. The original, very first Starbucks is here as well.

Elliott Bay Book Company. When Don and I walked into this bookstore, he turned to me to say, "Sweetie, the mothership has called you home." From the outside it looks small, or at least normal-sized, like a typical Barnes&Noble or Borders. But inside, it just goes on and on. Doorways lead to more rooms, staircases to lofts (the gardening/pets/ecology section had its own little loft); a result of expanding through the building over decades. Even the bathroom grafitti is hilarious: seemingly ongoing exchanges and conversations. It is without doubt the most wonderful bookstore I have ever seen-- and as Don said, that's really saying something. I wonder if the staff would notice if I moved in and set up camp in a corner somewhere.

Over the years we have changed each other's idea of vacation. He never used to consider bookstore-exploration as an integral part of a trip whereas I can point to at least one book from every vacation. I have adapted to the bar-hopping that he considers essential and am better off for it...

...and I try to appreciate things like drawbridges and big phallic monuments. (He never agrees that they're phallic, but it is so obvious.) We mastered Seattle's public transit system and got out to the outer neighborhoods like Fremont and the University Distric. Note to fellow poor travellers: that's where all the cheap food is! As well as the Troll. We took the Underground Tour in Pioneer Square, which explains more of Seattle's history than any of the guidebooks that I read, and even found a Lush, which is sorely lacking here in Virginia. The worst way to find a store, by the way, is to pass it on a bus and try to find it again the next day on foot.

Random observations: So many gardens. Gardens everywhere! Love the lovely gardens. Fruit. Fruit seems to grow willy-nilly all over the city. I saw strawberries on traffic islands; apple and cherry trees all over; raspberry and blackberry brambles that seemed to be growing wild. It's as though the area is so fertile that it will grow produce unless actually restrained. Tip jars. They all had clever captions or jokes.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Wedding Trip, Part One

The problem with having a blog and taking a vacation--especially a trip like this one-- is that in the time it takes to get home I forget half of what I wanted to write about. I know that there are scenes, events, moments to describe that have already slipped away. I will try to go in order, use the photos my brother took. Start with the wedding before going to the honeymoon. Still, half of the trip seems hazy already. In the course of twelve days Don and I took 6 flights, drove over 500 miles, took a train, multiple taxis, and walked maybe 15 miles. If you charted our journey on a map, it would look like something from a cartoon, with dotted lines running everywhere... But we never have been resort-hotel kind of people.

Travel Stage One was flying from Virginia to Albuquerque, New Mexico; driving from there to Santa Fe to pick up Don's parents, and getting to Angel Fire, location of my parents' new house and the wedding. This took the better part of two days. Angel Fire, New Mexico, looks like this, with mountains, pine forests, ski slopes. We saw deer and a coyote there.


My sister was a lifesaver with the whole girly getting-ready thing. She did my hair, my nails, my makeup. Brought me wine (white, of course, just in case) when I was upstairs alone, waiting. Here we are, grooming: helping me with eyeliner I believe. Shortly after this shot, she will demand that the photographer (I mean brother) leave the upstairs to girls only, and leave us to these private ministrations. When guests started to arrive she helped to mingle everybody, especially Don's parents as they were meeting our family for the first time.


The judge that married us was so very judge-like. As one of my uncles said, he looked straight from central casting. Distinguished mien, silver hair, billowing black robes. The ceremony took place on the back deck of the house and was quite informal; no procession, no 'aisle'. We just all stood up together, with Don, my father (who was "giving me away" although I've been living with Don for 6 years now, haha), and me before the judge. Dad actually didn't quite get the hint to step back until Mom kind of pulled him away a bit, so most of the ceremony pictures look like that one. In his defense, though, he was to read a Shakespearean sonnet afterwards and didn't want to get lost in the shuffle. I have no idea where my brother stood to get this picture-- in a tree? From the railing of the deck? We look so far away. It gives a good idea of the scenery though, and explains why there are trees growing out of people's heads in any given close-up. As soon as we stepped outside, everyone started fussing that I must be freezing-- strapless dress, chilly evening in the mountains. I wasn't, though; I was warm, flushed even, all night. Maybe from the dressing-room wine, or just from sheer nerves.

The reception, of course, was inside the house. This is the part that gets fuzzy: I remember champagne toasts; that the food was really good; us cutting the cake. There was just so much happening throughout the evening that it blurs together. I loved having the party at the cabin; it made everything so comfortable and homey. A fire in the fireplace, wine, talking, laughing, eating. It felt more like a cross between a family reunion and a dinner party than a wedding reception, at least to me. One of my cousins has a baby, the first new baby in the family for a long time. She was, quite definitely, the hit of the evening-- but who could be jealous? Even a bride can't compete with such perfect adorableness. In every picture I seem to be kissing her sweet little head. Our obvious infatuation with my baby cousin brought the inevitable questions about starting a family; (none of the relatives outside my parents/sister/brother know about the miscarriage) but we fielded them pretty well. Just knowing that we were trying again now made it easier to feel happy and hopeful; a few weeks ago I probably would have cried. Here it looks as though Don is just talking to her, but he is actually pretending to eat her fingers. She loved him, of course.

The Cake. Inside all the innocent-looking butter cream frosting is a deep chocolate cake, with a chocolate and raspberry filling. It came from the catering company rather than a fancy wedding-cake bakery, which is why it looks more homemade and less formal than most wedding cakes, and why it tasted divine-- not the usual wedding cardboard. As per tradition, we saved the top layer for our first anniversary and I'm looking forward to it. In addition, we held a big brunch the next morning and the rest of the cake made a reappearance then, by popular demand.
I love this photo, taken shortly after everyone left. To me it represents the entire evening better than any other. In the background you can see my mom and sister in the kitchen, tidying up. I am not trashed, merely exhausted and blissed out. Having it finally having happened, after all the anticipation and planning. Having the entire evening come off without a hitch anywhere. Having everything just as I had hoped, and then even better. That is what this picture is.

Monday, June 04, 2007


tr.v. con·sum·mat·ed, con·sum·mat·ing, con·sum·mates
a. To bring to completion or fruition; conclude: consummate a business transaction.
b. To realize or achieve; fulfill
a. To complete (a marriage) with the first act of sexual intercourse after the ceremony.
b. To fulfill (a sexual desire or attraction) especially by intercourse.

adj. (kn-smt, kns-mt)
1. Complete or perfect in every respect: consummate happiness. See Synonyms at
2. Supremely accomplished or skilled
3. Complete; utter
Word of the Day brought to you by the newly married, illustration by same.