Saturday, August 28, 2010

My blessings

Friends. I don't understand women (or men) who can live without dear friends.

In 1997, I moved to Denver. I knew my sister, and her husband, and that was it. Through my first job, I met 3 incredible friends. At the time, we were all single, all new to Denver, all new to our careers, all in our mid-20s, and full of endless energy. Since then, we've fallen in love, gotten married, and experienced the unspeakable love of being mothers; since then we've endured illnesses, loss of loved ones, fertility issues, financial hardship, family trauma, career triumphs and disasters, and things that, had we known about in 1997, we would have run away from many times over.

One of us moved out of state. Two of us work in the same building, and still never see each other. I thought maybe we had drifted apart, the 4 of us. But I've since decided that I was wrong.

This week, the one who moved out of state returned for a visit. We're in touch, on facebook and email and phone. But I hadn't seen her since .... I was pregnant with Brody. Four years ago. The four of us hadn't all been together since then.

We went to lunch. The opening line from Charlie's Angels, of all things, kept running through my head, slightly altered: Once upon a time there were four little girls who moved to Denver.....

We still think of each other as girls, and I force myself to say women, with a smile. We sat around a table, with two sons of ours in attendance, and I don't think we could stop smiling, any of us. And while everything about each of us had changed, nothing had really changed at all. We celebrate each other, support each other, encourage each other, and love each other. Regardless of distance, regardless of how often we see each other, regardless of the passage of time. The friendship is unconditional.

I think about these friends I am so blessed to have. Friends I've known since kindergarten, friends I met at the office, friends I happen to be related to, friends I've never met face-to-face but with whom I have shared the best and the worst of me. I don't know what I did to get all of these friends, but I hope I keep doing it. And the gratitude wells up in me and I cannot even express what my heart feels.

If someone forced me to count these blessings, I don't think I'd ever stop.

Friday, August 20, 2010


J & B left today for a 5 day vacation to visit family. I was weepy last night but today I said goodbye without crying. They left. And then I vomited.

I didn't go to Oregon because I have no vacation time left at work (which is awesome before taking maternity leave) and also, work has ratcheted up. Three notches.

I don't know if it's because I'm hormonal or distracted or if work really is crazy but .... this week was more than busy. Frantic? No, frenetic. I feel so disorganized and like I'm just triaging work and behind the 8 ball and this week I had to travel for work and at times in court I wanted to just not be there and it was awful and then the boys left and don't get back until Wednesday and there's SO much to do (at work) until the end of September and and and

And now, I made it through the week (pretty significant) and B leaving and I'm in the house, with the dogs, and it's.... quiet. It's more quiet than it is when they are gone for a couple of hours. Like a deep saturation of silence.

And it's ..... weird.

I didn't know what i wanted to do after work or what I wanted to eat for dinner. What the hell? So I ate brie and French bread. And eggrolls. (I am pregnant, after all). And I watched Monk.

I think I'm going to try to embrace the silence and quiet the frantic and not do anything except ....


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Natural killer cell test results

No spike.


I feel like I did the after Brody's skull surgery when they said he was out and safe in recovery. Like a load is literally lifted from my shoulders and I get tingles running up and down my arms.

I meant to do this last time - here's a link to NK cells and what they are (scroll down). Here's a discussion of pretty much all of my immune issues related to pregnancy.

Next test is in a month. Then, after 28 weeks, the placenta and baby should be strong enough that any spikes in NK activity will not harm him.

I'm 23 weeks tomorrow.

I cried when I read the comments to the last post. And when two friends emailed me their own comments, I smiled and wanted to hug everyone.

What I really wanted to write after the last post, and reading that quote, and remembering the fierce confidence of my little-girl, grinning, pig-tailed self, was this: Fuck it. I'm having this baby.

Monday, August 2, 2010


When I was young, I’d go with my mom on Saturdays, to the grocery store, and then the fruit market.

At the fruit market, I’d always beg for coconuts. Why? They were exotic and hairy and different. I promised her each time that I’d eat it. I swore I’d eat the coconut, just please please please buy me one!

She did.

I never ate one. Not once. Coconuts are gross. Even now, I only like coconut if it’s part of a curry.

For some reason, that memory is in my head.

What else is in my head is anxiety.

Now it’s not about Brody’s health, but his brother.

And nerves about this baby.

I’m waiting for results. I swear, this whole pregnancy I’m just waiting. I hate waiting. I’m resolving to stop waiting.

The results I’m waiting for are the immune testing results. Did my natural killer cells spike yet? Are they going to spike?

If they rise, the pregnancy is at risk. The treatment is IVIg. Which isn’t covered by insurance. Why? Because it’s experimental. Unless you live in any other industrialized country.
And it costs a lot. Like one dose is $2500.

My NK cells spiked with Brody at week 30. I did an IVIg treatment. They went back down.

I’m 22 weeks.

Two more weeks until the baby reaches viability too.

Also? I can’t get life insurance. Why? Recurrent miscarriages and pregnancy and history of preeclampsia.

I have some life insurance through work. But the thing that gets to me about the denial is that it feels proof that this is risky. And I worry for Brody. What if something – God forbid – happens to me? He’ll be left without me and I cry almost every day over something but this. . . I can't even begin to process that spectre.

I hate victimhood. I abhor people who are victims. And I feel like I am starting to become one. I have to start to be strong.

I’m doing everything I can.

Oh, the docs still can't tell whether the baby's heart is perfect. We need to return to the high risk place and check to see the cardiac outflow tracts. The obgyn says she is 95% sure it's fine, but the thing is, they just can't see it to confirm either way.

I have to stop worrying about what might be and start embracing what is. He's here, he's kicking, and he's survived in the toxicity of my body for 22 weeks so far.

I thought I loved Brody before I was pregnant but now that I am hormonal, I could cry looking at him I love him so much. I just want to be with him all the time. I lay with him until he's asleep most nights. I spoon him, and hold my stomach with my other hand. I could lay with him all night and all day.

The other day we were eating dinner and he said, out of the blue, “I can’t wait to meet my bruzza.” My heart broke and melted and built up three times its size.

Which is another worry. What if the pregnancy…. is not successful? How do I explain that to Brody?
A friend of mine just asked me – a someone who dealt with miscarriage and health issues of a child - what I thought about her having another child. She has serious health issues and if she gets pregnant, it’s an equal chance her health could get worse, get better or stay the same. I told her “if there is something that 5 miscarriages and Vacterl association have taught me, anything can happen, regardless of how we plan or worry. But as this pregnancy has taught me, that anything can be good, too, and not just the bad stuff that we've encountered.”

Where the hell is the part of me who wrote that right now? I need her. I need the little girl who shamelessly begged for coconuts knowing she'd never eat them to be with me. I need to throw off the bowlines. What’s that Mark Twain quote?

Ahh…. Here it is….
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

So this is me, sailing away from safe harbor.