Thursday, February 22, 2007

But it doesn't matter much

Dream house will have to remain in the realm of fantasy. Further inspections uncovered a rotten trove of unappetizing problems--soggy window casings, improperly installed stucco flashing, drainage issues, sewer issues, electrical issues, furnace issues, roof deck issues and even a nice big damp patch on the eighteen-foot ceiling of the living room. Apparently, the last inspection was done in late October of last year, before any significant rain visited the area. The property stager had the temerity to hide a large, discolored, efflorescing water stain on one of the landing walls with a gilt mirror; I only noticed because the picture hanger holding up the mirror had come halfway out of the wall--a result of the decay caused by the damp.

We are sad to let go of the vision we had of ourselves, and particularly of Olivia, in that house, in that yard, going to that elementary school. But we are glad we didn’t end up with an elderly 2800-square-foot Mediterranean albatross that might strain us to the breaking point.

I find that I mind losing this house a lot less than I would have thought. It seems, well, not exactly insignificant, but not really compelling, either. Maybe it’s partly the distraction of the nausea and everything it represents; maybe it’s the even larger distraction of Olivia. Maybe it’s the fact that I just can’t slow down enough to really consider the ramifications: Will it be another eight months of fruitless searching? If we fail to find a suitable place, how will we cope with two babies and a daytime nanny in our tiny house? (Yes, jumping the gun, but we are in a position in which we have to plan for the possibility that this one will really happen—that we’ll have a newborn come September.)

Speaking of which, appointment tomorrow. 10W2D. Not sure what to expect; hoping for a scan.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Telling your father what to do... a miserable business.

No, you can't postpone the physical therapist till tomorrow. Yes, you have to drink the Ensure. No, you can't lie on your back for another hour. Yes, you have to go to the doctor's on Thursday. No, you can't skip the morning blood draw. Yes, you have to have the dressing for the bedsores changed now. I know it hurts, but you have to do it anyway.

I know you're tired, but you have to do it. I know you're not hungry, but you have to eat it. Here, let me cut it up smaller for you.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Ups and Downers

Yesterday we got the word that our below-asking offer was accepted on the house of our dreams. It is large. It is lovely. It is of my favorite vintage (1920s) and one of my favorite styles (Hollywood Mediterranean). We will feel like prince (the house is castle-like) and pauper (we aren't actually, you know, wealthy) all at once. We were typically elated, with lots of No ways and Holy cows and Oh my gods and more No ways. We laughed and danced around the lunch room to the congratulations of our co-workers.

Today, however, was a lot more subdued. We got the word that my dad would be staying in the hospital instead of getting sprung yesterday, as was the original plan. The blood clots in his left leg, the result of his Parkinson's-induced immobiliy and general poo-poohing of physical therapy, decided to go an a walkabout in the general direction of his lungs. Much heparin was given; much coumadin to come. We hope a visit from Olivia will get his circulation going, though we have to sneak her into the hospital room disguised as a small pink throw rug.

Back Tuesday.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

And it's back

I feel like a heel for not updating yesterday. My only excuse is that I didn't have time--it was a long, long day, filled with meetings and drama and thunder and unmerciful traffic.

The nausea resumed its normal virulence yesterday. I am tentatively exhaling now (inbetween shallow, panting nausea breaths) and assuming that all must be OK if I feel this much like bloody pulverized hell.

I am so grateful for your concern and good wishes. Thank you, all.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Ambiguous update

Nothing really significant to report, but, using Ollie's smell test (Jeff's sweet-spicy deodorant), I did manage to nauseate myself very slightly. It being the weekend, hopes for a scan are minimal, unless I start bleeding and get to have a fun-fun-fun trip to the ER. Fortunately, no blood and no real cramping.

I'm trying to assume that all is well, that this is normal, that it's just different from the utter consistency of the last pregnancy. Not quite working, but enough so that I haven't completely freaked out Jeff with my worry.

I'll be calling the OB's office tomorrow if the nausea doesn't return.

Saturday, February 10, 2007


Sudden cessation of symptoms this morning. No cramping, no bleeding, but also no nausea. For about a minute I was relieved, then the possible implications dawned on me.

Probably making too much of this, but scared nonetheless.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The eight-week whine

Eight weeks today, and definitely pregnant.

I am exhausted. Always exhausted. And the nausea, which I blithely, confidently assumed would be better this pregnancy than last--I'm not carrying triplets--has bludgeoned me. It started in earnest just after the six-week mark and now I am very nearly incapacitated by it, squeaking by each day out of pure necessity. It keeps me awake at night, rolls through me in waves as I drive to work, grows steadily through the day as I struggle through meetings and conference calls, then laughs at me and pulls back just a hair when I finally give in and say, Uncle!, You win!, I give!, Just let me throw up! Please! I just want to throw up! PLEASE! Somehow, the effort I made last time to not throw up, since I was supposed to be keeping down an ungodly number of calories, has blunted my ability to hurl when I really, really want (need?) to.

Sadly, the nausea is at its zenith when Olivia is nursing, with her warm weight pressing into my belly. Nursing is something I had come to love, and now it is a rather, um, sore subject. The pregnant nips, they do not like the nursing. It hurts almost as much as it did during those first couple of weeks postpartum, except for the blessed lack of engorgement. But I can manage it, and the thought of giving up makes me very, very sad. That bond with her is something I do not want to lose just yet. As a compromise, I have eliminated the pumping. During the day, Olivia, now ten months old, couldn't care less whether she's given bottles of hard-won mother's milk or swills haphazardly-mixed formula, though she does still love to nurse. Which she does two or three times a day, or more often on weekends.

I read up on being pregnant and nursing and everything seems to indicate that it will do neither of them any harm--that the only one who stands to suffer by it is me. So my lofty and ambitious goal for the next month or two will be to get enough nutrition in me for the three of us while battling the urge to eat nothing at all, ever. Any helpful ideas you lovely ladies in the computer may have on how to get iron into my diet without supplements or daily ingestion of a 16-ounce Porterhouse would be much appreciated. The supplements make me even more nauesated, and, while I love a good steak, I do not love a good steak every single day. I'm trying to eat a fortified cereal each morning, but nothing about it appeals right now and it makes it very hard to finish a grown-up portion when everything in you is screaming, Stop!

So, enough with the whinging. If I didn't have nausea, I'd be whinging that I didn't feel pregnant enough. I love knowing that something is going on in my body, that this exciting, terrifying process is taking place. And on that subject, I must admit to you that the terror is slightly less tangible this time. Not because I am suddenly an optimist, but because it feels like an unearned bonus, a windfall. If someone were to tell me it was all a mistake, I would be very disappointed, very sad, but I wouldn't feel cheated.

Perhaps the terror will grow as my attachment to this fetus/embryo/fetbryo grows. Being on the "normal" calendar with my OB, there aren't the weekly ultrasounds to put a picture to the pregnancy. The next one, in fact, will be the NT scan early next month, unless something bad happens first.

In the meanwhile, I'm still shocked--every day--to find myself here.

Friday, February 02, 2007


Some days, I find myself having forgotten that I'm pregnant. It takes me by surprise after full half-hour intervals in which I haven't given it any thought: I'll be working on a project or driving to work, and a wave of nausea will hit to remind me--oh, yes, that's right, how wonderful.

So far, these early days of pregnancy have been much easier. Not carrying triplets has meant much less morning sickness, though the exhaustion seems even more pronounced. I chalk that up to the fact that Olivia is still not sleeping through the night, except on rare occasions, and even when she does, I wake up worrying about her. That, I suppose, is the biggest difference: instead of thinking constantly of this pregnancy, the background hum in my head is on the all-Olivia, all-the-time station.

I worry sometimes if this is fair. Olivia has been the recipient of unremitting, obsessive attention from that first positive beta. Vague dreams of Olivia predated that pregnancy by years. Will this one, if we get there, suffer from a lack of attention? The few people we've told say things like, Wow, it'll almost be like having twins! and, Poor Olivia, she's not going to like the competition. And I think to myself--of course Olivia will still get our attention; she's the center of the universe: the question to me is, will the new (maybe) baby get enough? Even my dad, though patently delighted at the prospect of another grandchild, wondered how we'd find the time and energy. Jeff, in a very innocent way, said he didn't know how it would be possible to love another as much as Olivia. And he meant it just that way: the mystery is in the how; he assumes he will.

I was the youngest of three. I never hurt for attention, at least not that I can remember, until after my mother went off her ill-constructed rocker. Jeff is the oldest of three, and I don't see that his younger brothers suffered from a lack of parental involvement. But I do know that there is a special bond between Jeff and his parents, and between my eldest brother and my mother, that is just different.

I don't know why I'm worrying about this now. Who knows where this pregnancy is headed? Early days, very early days. But, well, by now I'm sure it's no mystery that worrying is what I do best.