Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Unfortunately, my concerns were validated today. The doctor found my uterus to be smaller than what would be expected for someone at this time. She sent us to have an ultrasound performed. The referral sheet I took to the ultrasound office read, "Reason for ultrasound: Viability."

In my heart, I already knew the answer. I feel like I've known for two weeks, but I just didn't have solid proof. It was horrible laying there on the table as she waved the wand over my abdomen. This was supposed to be that wonderful moment when you first get to see the little human inside your belly. Instead, as Tim tried to figure out what the technician was looking at, I tried to distract myself by analyzing the light and shadow effect on the ceiling tiles created by the sunlight emanating from the exam room window.

It got worse when they said they needed to do a vaginal ultrasound. I felt helpless and tortured to have this wand inside me being moved around in a rather uncomfortable manner. All the while, they said little to us. Finally, the doctor asked if we wanted to watch the screen as she examined me. I appreciate her honesty as she explained what she was seeing.

Maybe had my uterus been empty it wouldn't have been so hard. But there it was, this tiny grey blip that she said had probably been our fetus. All around, there was still blood flow but not to the fetus. There was no sign of a heartbeat. There's no explanation, it's no one's fault, and yet one can't help wonder - what happened?

I was told that I would need to have a D&C. I'd heard this term before, I knew that it meant cleaning out what still remains inside. Still, the gravity of the procedure didn't really hit me until the drive home. They would be scooping out what was once our baby as if it were just some unwanted tissue. Why can't there be a more loving and peaceful way to say goodbye?

At least we have one night left to spend with our little wonder and be able to send it off with happier wishes.


Today's the big day. Assuming the OB/GYN is not called to the hospital, we'll be driving to the office in a couple hours to find out about the baby.

The past couple of days I've been a little nervous because I've been experiencing a tiny bit of blood. It's like that last day of a period when it looks like a streak of reddish-brown paint on a pantyliner. It shouldn't mean anything bad but it's definitely alarming to me since I've had no blood before and so few symptoms these 10 weeks (and no symptoms that last two).

Seeing the discussion about layoffs and miscarriage this morning didn't help alleviate my worry. Layoffs are tough but her situation definitely was not ideal on either side. I couldn't help be curious about the woman interviewed because I briefly met her in cyberspace while searching for some wedding vendors. It sounds like she's pregnant again, very close to our estimated due date. I hope all the best for her.

I meant to write sooner, but I can't find my camera cable. It's not fair to tell what I've been up to the past week without visuals.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I've got a penny

I admit it... I couldn't resist when I read the blurb in the newspaper. Yes, I went to the website for the octuplets. It's so pathetic that I can't even garner the courage to post it here because I have such negative feeling about this woman.

It's a simple page showing small pictures of each of the babies. It's all cutesy with crayons and hearts all over the page. There are only two buttons on the page, each of which are located once at the top of the page, and once in the bottom corner. One link is supposed to allow you to leave comments for the family, the second is a link to give you the opportunity to donate money for the babies. Can you say "gag?"

For fun, I clicked on each of the links. First, I tried the comment buttons, both of them. For a fleeting moment I wished I was clever enough to post something that seemed kind on the surface but actually insulting with some analysis. No matter, I couldn't help smile when the page turned white with a couple sentences at the top saying that the page I was looking for could not be found. How much do you want to bet more negative postings were submitted than friendly ones.

When I clicked on the other button, the one to donate money to the family, there was no problem linking me through to PayPal. The webpage does also provide an address for mailing contributions and other donations to the family. I was wondering what they'd do if I sent them one penny in an envelope?

The news announced today that the grandmother is in foreclosure on the house where all 14 children are supposed to live. Really, I feel horrible for the children but I just can't feel sorry for the family given that the parents have supported their daughter despite her bad decisions and she is clearly being selfish. She needs to learn a lesson the hard way. Maybe she'll actually spend some of the money she's now earned from the tabloids to help her mother pay for the house?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Second market TVs

As we prepare for some remodeling, we're trying to get rid of things that are simply taking up precious space. I've been lucky to sell a handful of things on Craigslist. We've also made several trips to Goodwill for things that aren't worth selling or are too time consuming to deal with.

On this trip, we dropped off an old CD-ROM read-write drive, a box of random kitchen items, and a 27" Sony television with its original remote and box.

I have lurked in a couple of the local Goodwill stores for the past six months, but Tim hasn't been inside a store since he first moved to his last apartment some eight years ago. He was curious so we took a stroll through the store. I think he was also curious to see what might happen to his tv.

As we entered, it was clear that Sunday is a popular day to shop at Goodwill. The parking lot was pretty much full and the store was bustling. At the far right wall, we could see televisions displayed along the wall. Just over to the left there was a couple and elderly man examining a tv on the linoleum floor, preparing to plug it into the wall.

Tim spotted a large Sony XBR tv and noted that the price tag read "$69.99." Not a second passed before the elderly man helping the couple pointed at the tv and claimed it was his. There were a couple other people looking at the selection of electronics and discussing with others the selection of tvs available. I felt kind of sad to think our effort to keep Tim's tv pristine and well-packaged would be for not once they dump the tv on the store floor and the remote into a box of tangle cables and random remotes.

I guess with the switch over to digital television, this is a good time to cheaply upgrade those little 20" tvs. While the better off upgrade to LCDs and plasmas, the financially challenged get to enjoy bargain prices on big tvs. Do you think all these buyers know that they need to be a DTV converter? I suppose it's nice to know that someone will appreciate the tv.

On our way out of the store, I realized why there were so many people in the store. A small board posted days when the store offered additional discounts on selected items. It just so happened that Sunday from 3pm to 6pm, the entire store was an additional 30% off. Wow, what a deal on electronics and anything else in general. It's definitely like going to a collection of garage sales - go early and often.

It's rare I find anything I want to buy at the thrift stores, but I must say they can be a great place to pick up deals. You can bet that when it's time to buy my kid kitchen stuff for college, it's going to be second-hand stuff.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Empathy and perspective

One of the things that I feel Tim and I struggle with as a couple is having perspective. I'm not perfect, and I will admit that I'm probably not seeing all of his side of things. It's difficult when you lived more than 35 years only having to worry about yourself (essentially).

The last couple of days, I've been overly worried about the baby. I'm worried because I feel totally fine minus some burping. I've had no breast soreness, no extra peeing, no fatigue; I'm feeling nothing out of the ordinary. They say that most miscarriages happen before the baby is 10 weeks. This is week nine. It just seems too easy given all the stories out there about the typical pregnancy.

I know I tend to worry a lot. I also tend to express myself out loud, whether or not my thoughts should be heard by others. Maybe my worrying is wearing on him. When we finished watching tv tonight, I mentioned that I'm really concerned that the baby is gone.

His response sounded very annoyed and hassled. He asked why I had to say such things and why I was worried so much about something I couldn't do anything about. Perhaps that's true, but I just felt like I got no empathy from him, no attempts at reassurance, something other than his agitation.

I was angry. I was hurt that he shows no concern. I don't understand how he can be so... casual about it. He hasn't even made a real effort to read any of the pregnancy books I've brought home. There's a part of me that's disappointed. I thought he would be more curious to understand what's going on and what's to come. Am I expecting too much?

I've told him before that his responses to my requests and complaints *sound like* he's annoyed. Tim says that's not what he intends. But somehow, that's what I hear. We haven't figured out how to adjust this so that I don't think he's being insincere or mean. It's frustrating because neither of us want to fight, but this is taking some time to move past.

It could very well be that I sound whinny or obsessive at times. It's hard for me to know when to keep things to myself and when's it's important to express how I'm feeling. This is the part of marriage that takes work. I just hope we can be successful in making things between us better before a kid comes along.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

To tell or not to tell

With the job market in such rosy condition, I've been assuming that finding a job may not produce any results for six months or more. This combined with my soon-to-be growing belly doesn't seem to bode well for my chances of landing full-time employment in 2009.

On the off chance I come close to being offered a job before I start showing, one *big* question looms. Anti-discrimination laws do not allow hiring companies to ask, not am I obligated to tell them that I may need to take maternity leave before I have been with the company for one year. However, I can't help wonder what kind of mistrust this could create coming into a new job.

I want and intend to demonstrate that I am a valuable employee. Is it wrong to not say anything during the hiring process? If it a job I am truly excited about, I want to be a good employee and show integrity. How much does it jeopardize my chances if I am upfront about the situation? Let's face it, it's going to be difficult to prove discrimination if they don't hire me, and I am unlikely to do anything about it.

Anyone know of any friends who have been in this position? Thoughts?

Monday, February 09, 2009

In the eye of the beholder

It's been almost six months since Tim moved into my place. While we love being together, adjusting to each other's habits has been a challenge.

The one thing everyone warned me about was his lack of cleanliness. His apartment was a disaster. Literally, no one, not even I, visited the inside of his apartment the last couple years he lived there. No one other than me had seen his place all the eight years he lived there since the first month he moved in. I believed him when he said he'd treat his living space better if he owned rather than rented.

Now here were are. With the wedding, the renovations, and my lack of a job, we have yet to hire a housecleaner. Ideally, they would come in one day each month and eliminate the squabbling that comes about. Perhaps once we have the new kitchen and bathrooms, we will hire someone.

For the time being, it's a struggle between taking initiative to clean and making an observation on the accumulation of dirt. The problem with that is the sense of time tends to get lost. I've also learned that his level of cleanliness is different than mine.

As Tim was washing the dishes the other night, I asked him how he likes living with me. He smiled and hugged me but added that I complain about his lack of interest in helping me clean. He said that what bugs him is different than what bugs me. For example, he doesn't like coming home to find that I leave dirty dishes on the counter. It clutters the kitchen counters when he wants to use them.

In contrast, I notice dirt much faster. Last week, I finally cleaned our bathroom sink. The chrome drain was covered in a layer of slime with spots of mold. The sides of the basin looked like birds had come by with all the white toothpaste streaks. Yet, though I thoroughly cleaned it so the basin was a shiny cream color and the chrome drain sparkled, he failed to notice that anything was different when he came to brush his teeth. The same goes for the stairs where his black sock lint catches along with my hair. I know he said he vacuumed but it still looked dirty to me.

I will give him credit on the toilet. The first couple months the smell drove me nuts. Guys must build up an immunity to the smell that even a few stray drops of pee can produce. I'll come home on a Sunday afternoon and find a strong smell of bleach emanating from our bedroom. That tells me the toilet has been cleaned.

I'm not sure how we can come to a comfortable middle point on some of these things. Clearly, the housecleaner would be best. Still this difference in vision extends beyond things hiring someone can fix. We're both a bit packratty which means there are stacks of papers and random souvenirs collecting on any clean surface. As we prepare for the baby, I've been trying to implant the message into his head that things need to be packed, donated, or thrown away. It's hard, but we need to push each other to get this done.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

That was quick

Everything seems normal except for a bit of soreness and lower back pain. I temporarily gained a couple pounds after the Super Bowl party, but it's thankfully gone away. Still, my alien visitor has been AWOL so it seemed time to check something...

I went to the local drug store and debated which box to buy. I felt like a guilty teenager does when they go to the condom section for the first time trying to figure out which box to grab and not wanting to be noticed by other shoppers. Should I get the cheapest one, the 2-pack or 3-pack, the one that works faster, or the one that is more sensitive? After minutes of debate, I grabbed the 2-pack box that was one dollar cheaper than the other brands.

I followed the directions and waited for one minute. The pink, control line appeared. Next to it was a faint, second pink line. Neither Tim nor I knew what to make of it. He reread the directions to see if there was any comment about how to interpret our results.

Yes, the pregnancy test seems to indicate that we're going to have a baby. While we're happy, I guess we're still a little in denial. The blood test will be a more solid confirmation. I guess I'm also skeptical because everyone always talks about the side effects like morning sickness and I'm wondering why I'm not feeling anything unusual.

It's also surprising to see because I've been bombarded by this idea that it could take several months for us to conceive. We weren't even consciously trying when it happened. There's a small part of me that feels guilty because I know so many women out there are struggling to get pregnant.

I think I can best describe my feelings as cautiously happy. It's because I'm older, and I know the possibility of something going wrong is a little higher now. I don't want to say anything or commit myself to the idea until I know the baby is healthy.