Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Meanderings (21w1d)

Just a few notes to check in!


First of all, I am absolutely thrilled to be able to congratulate HG-mama Molly at Knocked Up, Knocked Over on her the birth of her daughter yesterday! CONGRATULATIONS, MOLLY!! And not only did she birth a baby, but she birthed a very, very, very BIG baby! I can't wait to hear her birth story and see pictures of the babe for whom she has worked so very, very hard.


Secondly, I am also thrilled to announce that.... (drum roll, please!)..... we have at long last chosen a homeschool curriculum!! Hurray!

Not that we'll stick with it, despite the fact that we have put ourselves in the poorhouse purchasing it. From what I've heard of it, almost everyone changes curricula after beginning and learning what works for each family. But we had to start somewhere, and so here is what we are going to begin with. Until we change it. Probably next week.

Literature/History/Etc. - We will be using Sonlight's Core A. This is a real books curriculum that uses all real books (no textbooks) to teach literature, history, culture, etc. This is where the bulk of our $$$ went. So it had better be good.

Reading/Phonics - Going to use a book called something like "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons." It's got a good reputation and is extremely structured and well-laid out. Right now I'm wading through the introduction and directions, and we'll probably start next week.

Handwriting - There's some basic writing included in the above reading program, but otherwise, we are nixing handwriting for this year. This is common among homeschoolers. When we do start it, we will probably use Handwriting Without Tears.

Math - Taking an unschooling approach to that this year. That is, if he asks, I'll go into it. And I'll provide lots of real-life learning examples (cooking, etc.). But nothing formal. Next year we will choose a math curriculum, probably Math-U-See.

Science - Also taking an interest-led, unschooling approach. It would be an understatement to say that a science curriculum is completely unneeded for this child, and in fact would be rather absurd. He has a natural and intense interest in science, and when he expresses an interest I simply order every book that I can from the library on that subject, and we read them obsessively. He now knows more about the solar system than I ever have! That and volcanoes (and snakes) are consuming his interest right now. I intend to follow his interests and use that approach until it either doesn't work or until he reaches an age when more structured work is necessary.

And there you have it!


Thirdly, and not so thrilling, I am getting sick. I thought I'd escaped it, but I am apparently slated to be victim #3 of the first cold of the year - just in time to make us miss our vacation, which was planned for this weekend. Bummer!

I should have known it would happen, though. We almost always get sick in time to wreak havoc with any important planned date. Special parties, trips, holidays, choir concerts, you name it - if it's important and it's on our calendar, we'll get sick for it. Sickening, really!

So now we're trying to scramble to reschedule our vacation before the holidays hit, and trying to rework our schedule for the next month.


Medical note: Have reduced Diclectin by another dose (as of 3 days ago), so am now down to 16 mg Zofran and 3 Diclectin per day. Next week will try to knock off another Zofran. I don't know if I'll make my goal of being med-free by 25 weeks (seems unlikely), but I'm pegging away at it.

Lots of stuff going on around here! MOMS Club, AWANA, church, housework, kids - the usual insanity! Plus starting to work myself incrementally through the beginning of a house turn-out - trying to spend 15 minutes per day in cleaning out/organizing/decluttering. It's amazing how quickly a house is buried under dust and clutter!

But it is so, so, SO nice to be feeling better and up to more than survival! Life outside of HG is just wonderful (or, in the case of this pregnancy, life outside of yucky NVP). 

Love to all! Have a great week!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Zofran Link

Thanks to my friend Kathy, who shared this link with me regarding Zofran. Sorry it's taken me so long to share!

Just an FYI, I am not at all trying to discourage Zofran use - I'm on the stuff myself at the moment. But I post anything and everything HG-related to this blog, so that readers will have as much information as they possibly can regarding HG and its treatments.

Have a great day, all!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Time to Play HG Detective: Unraveling the Mystery of Weeks 4-6

Okay ladies, here goes!

First of all, you HG mamas out there will understand that writing about this is a distinctly unpleasant (i.e. panic-inducing) activity. So I am going to get through it as quickly as possible! (Though it will be long anyway, and I will be writing in parts.)

Secondly, I am hoping that ALL of my readers, HG-mamas and others, will chime in with their opinions. Though I don't think it's possible to truly solve this mystery, I'd love to see everyone chip in her two cents.

So here goes.

One technical note. I have not been doing official NFP (Natural Family Planning), that is, charting basal body temperature, cervical fluid, and cervical position, since the conception of our second child. Thus, while our dates with our second child (occasionally mentioned) are accurate to the second, our dates with this pregnancy aren't quite as exact. However, as using NFP does give one a good feel for one's cycle, I am fairly positive that my dates are accurate to within 24-48 hours.

And now on to "The Mysterious Affair of What on EARTH Happened During This Pregnancy???".....

Saturday, 3w4d

This week, DH and I were heavily involved in helping with a friend's wedding - I was doing the music, he was doing the MC work for the reception, and a good friend of ours was doing the coordinating. So we were doing round-the-clock wedding prep. I was not paying too much attention to my cycle. However, I knew from my mental charting that if my cycle was going to start, it should start sometime between this day (Saturday) and Monday at the latest. My friend tells me later that she knew I was pregnant that Friday (3w3d). What can I say? She's amazing. :)

Monday, 3w6d

By this time, the wedding is over and I am seriously contemplating the fact that I might be pregnant. However, I'm not too nervous because I'm feeling okay. Last time the nausea started at 3w5d, so this is good news.

HOWEVER. That night, I go into our son's room to read him a book. When I sit down to read, I am feeling fine. When I get up, I am not. At some point in between, I felt the first definite onset of nausea. I am beyond freaked out. The nausea does not leave. When I go to bed, I am praying that I will wake up puking in the wee hours - i.e. that it is JUST food poisoning. No such luck. I wake up in the morning still nauseated.

Tuesday, 4w0d

By mid-day, I break down and take a Unisom. By early evening, I need to take a Zofran. "Freaking out" is a mild description - I am being pulled into the nightmare, faster than I ever have been before. All you HG mamas out there know what I'm talking about. This is sliding into the pit faster than I ever have been before. I am panicking.

That evening, we go out and buy a pregnancy test. Positive. However, it's a weak positive. Not as weak as our blighted ovum pregnancy, which was of the "is it really positive?" ilk, but definitely much weaker than our other two, which were of the "HERE I AM!" type of positives.

We immediately go out and spend the rest of our evening at Sprouts and Whole Foods picking up supplements. B-complex, zinc, magnesium, ginger, you name it.

By bedtime, I am panicking. I am feeling awful, and it's only getting worse. And I've already started taking meds at 4w0d.

I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that (1) I am really in trouble, and (2) if this continues, I am going to be in the hospital by the end of the week. No question about it.

Two hours after I go to sleep, I wake up at midnight and have to run to the bathroom, dry heaving. No actual vomiting, but this is scary enough.

I think that that moment was one of the most frightening times of my life. #1 - I am only at 4w0d. #2 - I'm already taking the strongest meds in the world, and I'm STILL throwing up? #3 - Even when I had true HG, I was usually able to sleep through the night. Though I know it's common for most of you, I had never woken up out of a dead sleep to have to run for the bathroom.

At that point, I come out here and write an extremely panicky blog post announcing the pregnancy and asking for prayer. After wandering about a bit, I am finally able to fall asleep again.


The nausea starts again as soon as I get up. I start up on the meds again, and make a shaky call to my OB to get an appointment for a Zofran prescription for that afternoon. I also place a call to MotheRisk, who returns my call an hour later. They review the Unisom protocol with me, and also tell me to make sure I'm eating protein. I let the kids sleep in as long as I can, as I don't know what I'll do with them when they get up.

I begin to set a timer for 20 minutes. When it goes off, I eat something. When it goes off again, I drink something. Repeat. Determined to get on top of this. However, and many HG mamas know this feeling, I am quickly losing the ability to get food down. Chewing and swallowing are going out the window. It was frightening. I have never, never, NEVER gotten so sick so quickly.

However, late that morning - sometime just before lunch time - I notice that I am feeling ever-so-slightly better. Just a wee bit. Very encouraging. The trend continues. I am able to get both kids over to my OB appointment and back without too much grief, and in the evening I continue to feel ever so slightly better. Very puzzling.


On Thursday, I still feel yucky but am ever-so-slowly feeling better, inch by inch. I don't know what on earth is going on, but I'm very thankful for it. I do contemplate the possibility of impending miscarriage, due to feeling better and the light pregnancy test. (By the by, I had asked my OB about the light test, and she told my that while many such pregnancies are headed for miscarriage, she's also seen healthy full-term babes result from such pregnancies. Only time would tell.)

Thursday evening, I go to use the bathroom and see - pink-tinged cervical fluid. I am spotting. This can be okay, but it's often another sign of an impending miscarriage. Within ten minutes of that, I feel the onset of menstrual-type cramps. At that point, I realize that a miscarriage is on its way. I have been down this road before, so I know what to expect.

Except that nothing more happens. No more spotting, though the cramps do continue at a low level. I continue to feel better and better.


I continue to feel better and better. By this day or the next, I begin to discontinue all meds. By the weekend, I'm back to normal activity levels.

Menstrual cramps continue. At least 3-4 times they escalate to a level of intensity which makes me sure that a miscarriage is beginning, but that never happens.

Life continues on. I am not completely nausea-free; I have occasional twinges, especially at night. I also have a lot of night-time fear to deal with - getting up in the middle of the night and wandering about the house while dealing with overwhelming waves of HG-fear. I think you all know what I'm talking about!

During this time, I am pretty much a stress-case. And that's an understatement. I am walking around waiting either for a miscarriage or the return of HG. I am a mess. At some point, DH says "Why are you so stressed out?" He, being the happy-go-lucky type, has just concluded that I'm going to have an easier pregnancy and that everything is just great - he doesn't think another thing about it. I immediately give him a half-hour lecture on the subject. 


Up till now, I have been conscientiously doing the very-low-carb/high-protein diet as an HG-avoidance strategy. At this point, I start cheating. A lot. I figure that it didn't help anyhow, and since I'm just waiting for a miscarriage, there's no point in continuing to observe it.


In the late afternoon, I begin - quite suddenly - to feel simply awful. After a gap of about 10 days, the NVP is back.

I immediately go back on the diet, and things improve a lot by the end of the week. Also right back on the meds.

HG never develops, nor does the nausea go as deep and as fast as it did at that initial point. I deal with some really yucky pregnancy nausea, but it stays away from true HG - due to the diet, the meds, or divine mercy - or some combination of the three.

And now the question:

What on EARTH happened back there? What was that all about? Here are a few theories that we have worked up:

(1) DH's favorite theory - the Initial Reaction Theory - that the diet (to prevent HG) really was working, and those couple of scary days were just my body's initial reaction to the initial surge of pregnancy hormones, after which it adjusted and went on just fine till I started cheating.

(2) My favorite theory - the Disappearing Twin Theory - Does everyone know what disappearing twins are? It is a phenomenon in which a pregnancy begins as a twin pregnancy, but one twin dies early in the pregnancy and is reabsorbed, so that the pregnancy ends naturally as a singleton birth. It's much more common than was previously realized - we are now seeing this more often due to the use of early ultrasound. This would account for the fact that I had miscarriage symptoms but no actual miscarriage. Theoretically, the lessening of the hormones with the passing of one babe would have lowered my nausea levels.

(3) One I think is dead wrong - the Stomach Flu/Food Poisoning Theory - That those two awful days were not NVP, but food poisoning or stomach flu. Lots of reasons why this is NOT a good theory: (1) It felt like NVP, not stomach flu. (2) It appeared at precisely the right time for NVP. (3) The nausea developed for something like 28 hours before I started dry heaving - gastroenteritis usually leads to vomiting much faster than that. (4) There were no lower-intestinal symptoms, as there inevitably are with gastroenteritis. (5) The nausea went away in the early hours of the morning and returned upon rising, which is classic NVP and not at all symptomatic of gastroenteritis.

(4) A possibility - the My Body Is Weird Theory - During my last pregnancy, I experienced a brief drop in pregnancy symptoms. I looked it up, and the dates were as follows: NVP commenced at 3w5d; at approximately 5 1/2 weeks I experienced a deep decrease in symptoms that lasted for about 2 1/2 days, during which time I was able to stop taking meds. Apparently this happens to more than just me, as "Knocked Up Knocked Over" experienced the same thing with her pregnancy (anyone else?). However, this was at a different time in the pregnancy, and for a considerably different length of time (2 days as opposed to 10).

(5) The most likely - the It's Forever a Mystery Theory - That we'll never know, and it's going to remain a frustrating mystery. 

And now, dear readers - I'd love you to chime in. Do you favor any of these theories? Do you have any of your own? Please write in and let me know what you think.

Thanks for your patience!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Quick Check-in (20w0d)

Here we are, at the halfway point!! We'll be there in no time!

Life is busy, nothing much extraordinary going on. Muddling through the opening days of our homeschool year (using homemade curriculum while I read madly on curriculum choices), doing AWANA and church and lots of reading, feeling great on the whole and recovering more and more of pre-NVP life. It always takes a while! The house is still trashed, but unfortunately the time to deal with that decreases drastically with each child. Hopefully I'll have time for a step-by-step turnout before baby arrives!

Now that we're 20 weeks, I need to start dealing with the fact that - gulp! - I need to start preparing for a birth! Exercising, birth exercises, reading, listening to tapes if I go that route, etc. The clock is ticking!

A long time ago, I made a commitment that at 20 weeks I would take the plunge and write out the story of what actually happened during weeks 4-6 of this pregnancy. But now that 20 weeks is here, I find myself still.... utterly terrified at the thought of reliving that. I think I'd rather wait a while. Like till menopause. Or ten years after menopause. Heck, make it my deathbed. That's the only time I'll be truly safe from repeat HG, in all truth! (Talking about HG is always so frightening because of the thought of what could happen in the future.)

But anyhow, I really do need to write out that story while it is still somewhat fresh in my mind - before we get into end-of-pregnancy craziness and then have a new baby to deal with. So... I guess I'll try to get on that in the next few days.

We also had our second midwife visit - several weeks ago, actually - and it was a lot of fun! I ended up making her talk midwifery politics for a solid hour, and it was sheer heaven. You can read her blog here if you want to get to know her; she is an awesome blogger and always has great things to say. She's also a very skilled debater!

Well, back to dishes! Oh, and speaking of dishes, we're on day 4 of going gluten-free, and it's going well! It's not that hard, really, considering that I had to give up so much more than gluten on the VLC diet (gluten, all grains, fruit, beans, starchy vegetables, sugar, etc.). So this is actually much easier - though we do really plow through the produce when we're not eating wheat! So back to Sprouts we go tonight.

Have a great week, all!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Tidbits from Life (19w3d)

Sorry I've been such a bad, bad blogger recently! Time is flying! It always does when I start to feel better!

First, the medical details:

I am feeling really good. Ridiculously good. That is, tired, off and on nauseated, but only enough to interfere with life a couple of times a day. Our life is almost-kinda-sorta back to normal, at a slower pace. I have never, never, NEVER been through a pregnancy this easily. It is beyond crazy. Either it's a girl, or it's an incredible natural variation in pregnancies, or something is wrong, or that diet really worked. Or some synergistic combo of the above.


Last Tuesday (18w0d) I cut out one Diclectin, down to 4 Diclectin and 20 mg Zofran per day.

This past Tuesday (19w0d) I cut out one dosage Zofran, down to 4 Diclectin and 16 mg Zofran per day.

The eventual goal is to be off meds by 25 weeks or so, earlier if I can swing it. Each time I cut a dose, I feel good and shaky for a few days, then stabilize. Trying to cut something every 5-7 days.

Current weight gain is [*censored*] pounds. Is that ridiculous, or what? Unfortunately, I do seem to gain quite a bit of weight during pregnancies when I'm not in HG. For one thing, I'm eating constantly to ward off the nausea, and when I'm not in HG, I'm not throwing it all back up (not that I'm complaining!). Secondly, when I come out of NVP, I find myself with an utterly ravenous appetite. I guess I should have known that by the fact that I still managed to gain 25 net pounds even during my HG pregnancy! So here we go again. But again, anything is preferable to HG. Weight gain, floods, tornadoes, whatever.

Some brief snapshots of what's going on around here:

- God's timing for this pregnancy has really been perfect. As a matter of fact, His timing is always perfect, but sometimes it's just more obvious than others - this is one of them! I am feeling better just in time for fall activities, and they have started just as I am ready to pick up the activity level.

- AWANA started last week, and our eldest is having a blast. AWANA is a church kids' club, where they play games, learn Bible stories and verses, and have an amazing time. It has been a tremendous blessing to our family. I highly recommend it!

- My women's Bible study also started, last night. The teacher, a friend of mine, is teaching for the first time - but goodness, it looked like she was a seasoned veteran! She took to it like a duck to water. I'm enjoying being present - I haven't done women's ministry activities in several years now.

- We finally finished watching Prince William & Kate's wedding - or at least our recording of it, which unfortunately cut off before the end. It was just lovely! With such achingly beautiful music - just lovely. To celebrate, I went out and got a copy of a biography of Princess Di from the library to read. I love biographies!!

- I am also reading a just-released book called Wheat Belly, examining the health problems associated with modern wheat strains. Great book! DH has been wanting to try a gluten-free diet for some time now, so we're going to give it a go starting tomorrow. We'll see if it's a success or not! I do have some experience with that now, having done both the very-low-carb diet and the Paleo Diet (which is grain-free). We're going to try to cut all wheat, most grains, and white sugar. If we last more than 24 hours, I'll let you know. :)

- Other books I'm reading: More Than a Carpenter, The Essential 55, The Three R's at Home, and Top 100 Picks for Homeschool Curriculum, Raising Godly Tomatoes. Also just finished High Society: The Life of Grace Kelly.

- Something I'm very, very behind on - answering emails and blog post replies. If you're waiting for me, I am so very sorry! I have been so bad.

- Last week's neurology appointment for our little dude - We saw an amazing neurologist over in Phoenix. He went over last year's brain MRI with us. Or rather, he pointed at the screen and poured forth an amazing stream of techno-babble, while we did our desperate best to nod with some semblance of intelligent understanding. The basic conclusion seems to be that while normal on the whole, our little dude's brain has some spaces where there should be tissue - lower brain volume than expected. He's going to confer with the radiologist to see if they can come up with any genetic diagnoses based on the MRI.

- This week's cardiology appointment for the little guy - Awesome! They repeated the EKG and heart echo, and then the doctor came in cheerfully and said that in his opinion, heart surgery was unnecessary. His first heart defect (PFO) is so common (in a quarter of the population) that it's not even worth calling it a defect, and his second (a PDA) is so small in extent that it's not worth repairing. And what's even better, we don't need to go back at all! So farewell to cardiology! At this point, we have shed enough specialists that we are down to pediatrics, neurology, and genetics - which is much more manageable than our original load (which included cardiology, developmental peds, GI, and some others). Hurray! Thanking God that we are not now planning heart surgery!

- Homeschooling.... I am starting to see that getting started is going to be a whole lot more complicated than I anticipated! Primarily because our little guy is so anti-academic. He's just not one of those little kids (of whom I know a lot) who just love workbooks and coloring sheets and flash cards. He is naturally allergic to all of them! I talked to another AHF (Amazing Homeschooling Friend) of mine this week, and she says that for Kindergarten she kept things mainly informal - teaching by games, by cooking, etc. - I aim to emulate her, especially considering where her kids have ended up now! (Let's see.... One is an academic genius, one is singing in Broadway musicals, one just put a rocket into near space, all are passionate about their faith, and all have the most amazing relationships with each other and with their parents. I think - YES! I'll take that! LOL!)

But it's going to take longer than I thought to get started.

Something we did last week which surprised even me - we decided against preschool for our eldest. I had already signed him up and was getting ready for school to start, but I just had a nagging feeling that it was not the right decision for this year (much as it had been the right decision for last year). Don't you have those spiritual promptings that push you in a direction you don't want to go? Dang it, I was looking forward to the free time!!! But I couldn't shake the feeling, so I talked to DH and we eventually decided to pull his registration. So we are now full-time homeschoolers, for better or worse.

There's more to write, but I am out of time! Actually, I was out of time before I started, as I slept in horribly. I guess I was just exhausted!

Oh, one final note - my appreciation truly goes out to any woman who makes it through an entire pregnancy nursing! This is NOT easy! Youch!!! :) But we forge ahead.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Educational Angst

You know, the anxiety never stops when it comes to parenting! Really, it doesn't. It just changes form. I may not be dealing with feeding schedules and potty training (at the moment), but those issues disappear simply to be replaced by new ones. This time it's education!

Yesterday we reached - in our long, long history of homeschooling, that is, the past two weeks - the first point when I got a "But Mommmmm, I don't wanna!" when going through a phonics craft.

Great! Already??

I find myself grinding my teeth (i.e. worrying) over multiple issues with our fledgling homeschool, dragging feet being just one of many. Here are just a few:

(1) There are just so, SO many awesome choices when it comes to curricula! I'm not talking just a few - there are thousands of products out there, of all different styles, speeds and types. It is absolutely mind-boggling. And no one homeschooling family uses the same combination of curricula! (Which is awesome, by the way, though confusing for the novice.) I am having a very hard time choosing.

(2) An even bigger issue is the fact that I really didn't want to start school yet with our 5yo. I wanted to delay school until he was six, for several reasons - both that, statistically, kids often do better with a later start (especially boys), and also that our 5yo has shown less than no interest in academics (more like an active antipathy). The only reason that I am starting now is that he has to be "in kindergarten" to move up with his AWANA class. Otherwise, he'd be left behind with the 3yo class while all of his friends moved up. So we have to do kindergarten, but do we do kindergarten or "kindergarten"?? I do not want either to (1) ruin the joy of learning by introducing hard-core academics too early, or (2) end up with an undisciplined learner by delaying them too late.

Where on earth is the balance?

Our son is 100% opposite of myself, which makes me feel even more at sea. I was the naturally-studious type who taught myself to read at four, who took naturally to school work, worksheets, etc., was self-motivated, naturally organized, never needed reminders, etc. Basically, a teacher's pet. He, on the other hand, while being quite curious and incredibly intelligent - especially in practical and mechanical matters - has never, ever, ever been interested in anything remotely academic. Most kids enjoy coloring books - he has almost never touched one voluntarily. Most kids like crafts - he avoids them like the plague. And any time that I've tried to get him to do things like coloring or crafts, it has turned into a discipline battle - "Sit down and color this picture or you're going to be in BIG TROUBLE!" Great, huh?

So right now, with our homeschool, I'm doing tiny phonics lessons (one letter a week) and other than that, just following an interest-led path with tons and tons of library books - both non-fiction, according to interest, and good quality fiction according to age. Right now he is passionately interested in the solar system and space travel, so I have checked out our library's entire (almost) selection on planets/shuttles/etc. and we are reading masses of books about that, as well as watching Youtube videos, and tomorrow night we're going to go visit a local observatory.

In my heart of hearts, I believe that the above type of education is the best (that is, masses of reading of real books plus real life experiences).... but I don't have the confidence in myself to branch out completely in that sense. I would like the security of following some sort of curricula, at least in math. The question is - do I need to start that right now? Or is waiting okay? I know that homeschooling parents often take a "better late than early" approach with their children, which is just awesome, but again..... I lack the confidence to break away from the crowd. Odd, considering all of my counterculture choices in life (like homebirth, etc.) - but I find my confidence really shaky when it comes to home education.

However, as I said, I'm going to be meeting with my AHF (Amazing Homeschooling Friend) soon to get her perspective, and I daresay that I will have a better direction after that.

Thanks for listening to my wanderings!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

What a Weekend! (18w0d)

Yes, that's right! EIGHTEEN WEEKS! Hurray!!!

This weekend was crazy-busy, and thankfully it was probably one of the first weekends that I could handle that level of activity!

Friday through Saturday we hosted family for our little dude's second birthday. That's right, he is now TWO years old! Pictures later, assuming I remember. And assuming that I took any, which I didn't. I'll have to see if someone else did, and I'll probably forget to post anyhow.

Despite the fact that the weekend was a never-ending series of minor disasters, it came off quite well. Exhausting, but fun! Our little guy received a Childrite Seat (the special needs larger version of the Bumbo), which despite its price was a smashing success (combined b-day and Christmas gift from DH's parents), some sensory balls and a "Band in a Box" - all big hits.

Sunday was church, shopping, church potluck, and the library. Wow. I was so tired after that - but it is so lovely to be back in church!! Just wonderful.

On Monday, we had the experience of a lifetime.... We found a cat which disappeared from our house - two and a half years ago. Yes, seriously. Not kidding.

Said cat was a stray that we were feeding (along with her kitten) at our apartment complex. When we bought our house, we brought them along. The introduction of the two cats into our household was not a huge success, due to the fact that our already-reigning cat is an unmitigated bully (and that is the reason we have her in the first place - she was beating up my mom's cats). Shortly after we got into the house, the mama cat disappeared out of an open window, and after that we successfully got the kitten into Petco's adoption program, and so that was the end.

We thought we caught a few glimpses, last summer, of a cat that looked awfully like the mama cat - but we couldn't get close to her. Then she disappeared for another year. But on Monday, when we went walking to deliver some papers to the neighbors, we saw her again - and this time, she came when we called! It took about 25 minutes to reestablish friendly relations, but after that she followed us home and had dinner. She was in pretty awful shape, so it was clear that we were not stealing someone's adopted pet.

After that, she disappeared again, so we went to the same place tonight and brought her back again, and this time DH got her and put her in a back bedroom, with the intent of eventually introducing her into the house.

I wasn't too sure about the whole thing, so thankfully DH is wildly enthusiastic and is spearheading the project. Nice not to have to think "should we, shouldn't we?" - he is taking care of it!

How many cats do you know of that show up after being missing for two and a half years???

In other news:

We are now in our second week of homeschooling! Finally! Hurray!

And what curriculum are we using? Good question! Beats me!

Being stuck in a quagmire of indecision (there are just way too many good products out there.... thousands upon thousands!!), I have decided to keep looking at curriculum while we get started anyhow. I'm not doing much of anything, just some basic phonics - a letter a week, and doing activities with it.

I hope to add in a math curriculum soon. Also, I am going to talk to my absurdly-successful homeschooling mom friend (the one who graduated two ridiculously intelligent and/or educated young men who are now out changing the world!) to get her advice on the whole thing.

I am also back to checking out masses of library books, both fiction and non, and supplementing with computer print-outs just following his interests. Right now he is passionately investigating space shuttles and the solar system! Good stuff.

Right now we're spending max 30-60 minutes a day on official "school" stuff - that will probably increase, but we're starting gradually. 

I find it just fascinating how much one learns simply by reading. Just from this week's books that we checked out, he is learning about boat motors, clam digging, the solar system, tornadoes, and a bunch of other things. And so much more interesting than reading about them in textbooks!

My guess is that this year will be a year of gradually feeling things out - of discovery and endless trial-and-error. It is definitely going to be interesting. I think I shall get as much of an education as he shall!

Today was our second midwife's appointment - fun! I'm afraid I totally lost my head and got my poor midwife embroiled in a rather complicated discussion on midwifery politics (long story), but it was utterly fascinating and I enjoyed it thoroughly, though I am afraid DH was rather left out of it. My midwife is probably one of the most intelligent women I know, and I admire her learning and mental acuity very much. She also runs a wildly successful midwifery blog, which I have had the pleasure of reading for a year or so.

Have kicked one dose of Zofran - my middle-of-the-night dose. Down to 5 Diclectin and 20 mg of Zofran per day. I'm waiting about 6 days in between dosage adjustments, the goal being to get off the stuff as quickly as possible.

I am feeling ridiculously well. I should qualify that, perhaps - that is, I am feeling tired and nauseated around the clock. By the world's standards, a crummy pregnancy. But by HG standards - LET'S PARTY!!! This qualifies more for "children running through a field of blowing buttercups" type of pregnancy than for anything in the complaints department. Sure, I'm tired and nauseated - but I'm not throwing up! I'm mostly functional! I feel fine for part of the day! Life is great!! I even cooked dinner tonight!!!

Not to mention - baby kicks! Lots of them! Lots of little kicks, and yesterday I felt a few that I could feel with my hand - incidentally, this was exactly the same point when I had that milestone last time (17w6d). Wow! 

I have absolutely nothing to complain about, HG-wise. I don't know what this pregnancy would have been like without Diclectin and Zofran, but with them, I am doing well. If this is what a girl pregnancy is like, then bring on the girls!

Okay, back to real life! Hope you all are well! I am VERY behind in responding to comments, but I will do my best to catch up!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Introducing a New HG Blog!

Last week I heard from a one-time HG mama who is considering trying for another babe, and I am thrilled to introduce her blog to you:

Memoirs and Musings

I spent some time last night reading through her entries - great stuff. If you go back a few pages, you can read some entries written during her first pregnancy as she deals with HG, and more recent entries deal with her spiritual struggles following HG and her thoughts for planning an upcoming pregnancy.

Have you ever happened upon blog entries that you feel you could have written yourself? I do so occasionally, and this was one of those times - especially on entries like this one that deal with post-HG spiritual fallout (from a Christian perspective). My experience has been almost identical, and to be perfectly honest, I am still dealing with it. That sounds ridiculous, considering that my HG baby is now more than five years old - how long do I need to get over this, anyway? - but the spiritual struggles following HG have, for me, been extremely intense. I still have struggles with trusting God. I still deal with anger. And fear. And more fear. And I didn't even have severe HG, like most of you mamas out there have, so I don't even know where I'd be if I was in those shoes!

For me, HG has been the single most intense experience of my life. It has produced the most spiritual growth in my life - big, big, BIG time - I should write about that sometime, if I haven't already - and it has also produced the greatest crisis of faith. Quite definitely a "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" type of faith crisis. I haven't written a lot about faith and HG lately - maybe I'll get into it more. But it is really nice to have other mamas out there with whom I can share the experience of having one's faith shaken to the core by HG.

And, oddly enough, I have met Christian HG mamas whose faith was not the least bit affected by HG. Even women whose HG was of a near-death type. They simply relied on God and moved on. What faith! I wish I had that unquestioning faith, but it is quite clear that I don't. (My husband does, but not me!) Very interesting to see the different ways in which HG hits different women.

Anyhow! Geneva, welcome to the HG blogosphere; we would be thrilled to cheer you through your next pregnancy!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Thursday (17w2d)


Big firsts!! Yesterday I made my first post-BFP dessert (chocolate blanc mange), and today I cooked dinner for the first time post-BFP (spaghetti with jarred sauce). Can I say that I'm both very excited and extremely pleased with myself????

*End foodment*

So, today was our first appointment with our late pediatrician's replacement!

Was the utter awesomeness there?

Not sure! But we're going to stay until further notice. It went really well.

We actually saw the Nurse Practitioner, not the pediatrician (didn't know about that in advance). She was very experienced, with a background in pediatric GI, and seemed pretty neat. She spent about an hour with us doing the two physicals.

Some good points: Absolutely no fuss was made about vaccines - she just confirmed that we were non-vax and then moved on. Awesome! Also, there were no lectures or rolled eyes when I said that our bub is still breastfeeding. Another good point! I didn't manage to sneak homebirth into the conversation, but two out of three is really not bad.

Additionally, at the end, she just said "See you in a year!" No trying to drag us in for more (unnecessary) visits - she just said that she was glad that our bub was under the care of such good specialists, and that she'd see us next year.

Good stuff.

In fact, the only catch to the morning was a certain five-year-old who chose to be a goofball for the last bit of the appointment. We had some serious conversations when we got home.

I have noticed that parenting tends to run in alternating modes. Mode #1: "I am really on top of this, I've finally caught on, I love being a mom, my kids are going to be okay, life is good." Mode #2: "I have totally mistaken my calling, I am an utter failure as amother, my kids are headed for prison, and furthermore, I'm going to wring that kid's neck."

This week has definitely been more in line with Mode #2!

But I have also learned that parenting is an ever-changing adventure, and even though it has not in any way come naturally to me (nor did I get an easy child for my first!), at least I am learning. Right now I am working on closer tomato staking with our eldest, and on keeping a closer eye on the little things that add up into the big things. I think we're making progress, though it's always a journey.

One part of the journey this week has been our decision this afternoon to confiscate all Calvin & Hobbes comic books tonight after our son is in bed (coming in about ten minutes). He started reading them (looking at the pictures) a few weeks ago, and we thought it was really cute. Until it became clear that he was looking at Calvin not as a source of harmless amusement, but as a role model. Have you read those books? Ack!!! I didn't think about it, because I read them for my entire childhood with no harm. But they have been incredibly harmful to our little guy, simply because he takes the things he sees and acts them out. Bad, bad, bad! So farewell to Calvin & Hobbes, at least until our dude gains some serious maturity. Expecting some serious sulking tomorrow.

Our son has a finely-tuned radar that locates and seeks out bad examples - and follows them. It's uncanny. I think it's a good thing that we're homeschooling! He needs to have some character and some independence trained into him before he is set loose on the world.

But enough moaning, I need to get back to the dishes. *Sigh*. One of the bad points about starting to cook again - it's not just take-out trash to throw out!

A better update later!