Friday, April 29, 2011

To the Potty! Or...Not

Yesterday I was freaking out on Twitter about the fact that at this point when we have a second kid there will be at least three years in between Charlotte and her sibling. Everyone was quick to reassure me that it will be fine, that they know plenty of people with kids three and four years apart who get along just fine, and most importantly, many people reminded me how much easier it will be to have a baby with a slightly older child who can help.

My sister and I are two years apart, and most everyone I know has kids anywhere from fourteen months to two years apart, so in a way it's all I know and the reason I felt like I wanted to do it that way. But, in the end I realized that while a closer spacing might work well for some families, for our family it's probably best to let Charlotte get a little older. Right now she has no interest in babies, unless you count her interest in being really mean to her baby doll. She's also extremely high maintenance, volatile, jealous, and above all, STILL IN DIAPERS.

That's right. At this point in time, my number one consolation for the fact that I will have another year or so before having my oh-so-wanted second child is the fact that I won't have to change two sets of diapers. And that's not even a definite because this kid has NO interest in potty training. Like, at all.

I'm a believer in following her lead, not pressuring her, and trusting her to not remain in diapers forever. But, I figured giving her a few nudges, introducing her to the idea, and then stepping back when she resisted would be my strategy. So, I asked her if she would like to own some underwear, and she seemed excited. She picked out some Minnie underwear, we came home, and I put them on her. She loved them. They were soft! And "niiiiice!" I kept reminding her she would need to sit on the potty (which we'd owned for a while,) that these were not to be peed in. She brushed me off with a curt "Yeah." And then she peed in the first pair. And the second. When she even further defiled the third pair, we called it quits. This was clearly a stupid plan.

I resigned myself to the fact that she wasn't ready. Perhaps she wasn't even able to tell me she needed to go before it was happening. So, I backed off. I mean, she's only just turned two. What's my rush? She'll let me know when she's ready.

And yet, I AM in a rush. I really couldn't even tell you why. Diapers have never been a big deal to me. Changing them is simply what you do as a parent. It can be a little annoying at times, but it was never high on my list of grievances, until recently. But, after two years of mostly uneventful changing sessions, things have gotten contentious between Charlotte and her Official Diaper Changers. She doesn't want her diaper changed right now, thank you very much. She is too busy playing. "Well, okay. We'll change you in a few minutes." Nope. Still not interested. Oh, good. Now she's screaming. I just took a kick to the get the idea.

She's gotten better about the whole thing, but it's mentally exhausting to have to use so much psychology to get her to lie down willingly so that I can have the great honor of wiping her butt. We have to warn her, prepare her, give her little tasks along the way to make her feel like she's helping. It's quite taxing.

So, yesterday, when she announced she'd like to go potty while we were running errands, I took the bait. And, I took it with gusto. I whisked her to Target where I explained the concept of Pull-Ups to her. I know many experts say to skip these and go straight to underwear, but she's clearly not there yet, and I wanted to ride the momentum I thought we were gaining. So, as I'm explaining how she gets to pull them up and down herself "Just like underwear!" she spots the Toy Story pack and says "How 'bout Woody and Buzz?" Sure! Sure thing! Let's get them! Now let's go pick out a potty!

Charlotte's pediatrician recommended the seats that rest on top of a toilet seat. She said they are softer than most potties and that many kids like to feel that they are using a grown up potty. So, we went down another aisle where Charlotte agonized for a few minutes over her choices before finally settling on a Sesame Street cushion.

The whole ride home I was trying to pump up the excitement. Lots of "You're gonna use the potty! Hooray! And you'll get jellybeans! (Yes, jellybeans. I don't want to hear it.) And you're gonna wear Woody and Buzz Pull-Ups! Yeah! Best day ever!"

We get home, and I immediately begin setting everything up, still chattering with excitement over the momentous occasion that was about to take place. When, all of a sudden, I stop talking long enough to hear some very obvious grunting. I leaped into action. "Charlotte, are you pooping?" No answer. "Why don't you poop on the potty so you can get jellybeans?" "Okay!" Except we were too late. And for the rest of the day whenever she would agree to sit on the potty, she'd say "Pee, pee. Jellybeans, now!" I explained that she had to pee "for real" to get jellybeans. "Pee for real! Jellybeans!" "Um, no." She pressed on: "Pooping, pooping. Jellybeans!" This wasn't working.

When it was time to take her soaked Pull-Up off and replace it with a new one she requested "No Pull-Up. Just diaper."

Yeah, we're done. Son of a bitch.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Well, This is Getting Redundant

So, yeah. That pregnancy I was so excited about in my last post? Turns out, not so much.

If you read this blog, chances are you heard this news on Twitter or Facebook when it happened last week. Because of that I was almost tempted to just skip writing about it. Everybody knows. Let's just move on. And yet, here I am.

I think we're fine. Chris is performing his usual role of making sure I'm taken care of, perhaps in the process ignoring his own pain. We talk about it a little. We're both angry. We're both sad. I'm worried about being able to have another baby. Chris either isn't worried or is pretending not to be for my sake. I try not to dwell on all the energy we put into this pregnancy. All the fear, the worry, the bleeding, the countless trips to the doctor, to urgent care, even the ER. If I think of the time, energy, money, and especially all the hope we put into this pregnancy I start to feel sorry for myself. And I get whiny. And, I suppose it's okay to whine about something like this for a little while, but I need to do what I didn't do last time. I need to move on. I need to heal.

I knew it was careless to try and get pregnant so quickly after the last miscarriage. I knew not giving ourselves time to properly grieve before we were right back where we started would be immeasurably hard. But, I also didn't really think I would have two miscarriages in a row. I arrogantly assumed the miscarriage had been a fluke, and even though I knew it was POSSIBLE to lose this pregnancy, too, I have to admit, I didn't think it was probable.

When I went to urgent care a week ago with some spotting, I hoped the outcome would be the same as all the other trips to a doctor, post-bleeding. It wasn't. She couldn't find a heartbeat, but told me her machine was really sub-standard. It had a low resolution and didn't always pick up the heartbeat. She told me to see my doctor the next day. My doctor wasn't available. But, guess who was! If you guessed "The Really Horrible Doctor from Last Time Who Shouldn't Be Allowed Anywhere Near Pregnant Women" you are correct!

Now, I will say this about him: after careful examination, I don't think he is TRYING to be horrible. I think he's just been doing this way too long and maybe needs some updated sensitivity training. Or to retire. But that doesn't make it any less traumatic when, after trying in vain to locate the heartbeat (and, bless him, he TRIED) he squints hard while looking into the monitor and says, "I don't think this baby is alive!" And then says it about four more times. He also said something to the effect of "Don't shoot the messenger." Many of you will be pleased to know I have decided to file a complaint.

So, what's next? Well, my doctor is ordering a test to be done in a few weeks which will determine whether or not I have a blood-clotting disorder that could be causing miscarriages. My progesterone was on the low side this time, so I'm sure we will be monitoring that the next time I find myself pregnant. Basically, the plan is to work with my doctor this time in planning and achieving a healthy pregnancy when my body has healed, rather than sneaking behind her back and trying to get knocked up in a few weeks.

I don't know if my body not being properly healed from the last miscarriage had anything to do with this one. And, really, it doesn't matter. What matters to me most this time is that I give us all time to heal emotionally. I think my family needs and deserves some time to enjoy our wonderful lives without countless trips to the doctor and a ton of anxiety. we might find ourselves there again someday, but right now I want to play with my daughter without worrying if I missed a phone call from a doctor. I want to have some conversations with my husband that don't begin with him asking me how much I've been spotting lately. I want to go to my sister's wedding next month and dance and drink champagne without silently panicking about my boobs not feeling sore enough or not having enough nausea.

I want to thank everyone for all the support. I know this has been exhausting for those of us living it, but also for those of you who have rejoiced and mourned with us twice now in such a short period of time. I promise not to put you through this again. For a few months, at least...

Monday, April 11, 2011

Here we Go Again...

First of all I just want to thank everyone for your comments on Charlotte’s birthday post. I feel terrible that I never responded to those of you who said such nice things about me and my daughter. It was greatly appreciated. I’ve been sucking at a lot of things lately: blogging, cleaning, remembering stuff. So, basically, things are no different than usual, except this time I have an excuse!

I’m pregnant. Eight weeks pregnant. Which means I got pregnant approximately two weeks after my miscarriage. Oh, and I totally did this on purpose. Which makes me kind of crazy. Though, I do want to clarify that Chris was in on it, too. I might be crazy, but I’m not “Trick My Husband into Getting Me Pregnant” crazy.

The reason I say that I’m crazy is that although it seemed at the time that the only thing to do was to get pregnant immediately as though it would somehow erase the pain of the miscarriage, it turned out that as soon as I saw the test I was filled with dread. I was thrilled, sure. But I instantly realized how badly I wanted this pregnancy to work and how completely pulverized I would be if I lost this baby, too. My anxiety was unbearable.

And then, just to really test me, my body started acting like an asshole. A week or two after I discovered I was pregnant, I started bleeding. I don’t mean spotting. I mean BLEEDING. So, I went to the emergency room with my husband, daughter, and the complete and utter certainty that I was having another miscarriage. I couldn’t even cry. I was too numb and a little busy internally yelling at myself for putting us all through this again. And almost no one knew I was pregnant, so I was also trying to figure out if I could keep it to myself this time or if I would run blubbering to my mom, effectively blindsiding her.

After three hours of waiting in a hospital bed while Chris played with Charlotte in the waiting room, an ultrasound, some blood work, and a LOT of boredom, I left the hospital that day knowing very little. It was too early to see anything on the ultrasound, but my HCG levels were still rising, meaning that I probably wasn’t having a miscarriage…yet. No one knew why I was bleeding, but since the bleeding had stopped and because something similar happened when I was pregnant with Charlotte, I held on to hope.

The weeks that followed brought spotting, multiple blood draws, several ultrasounds, a prescription for progesterone suppositories, another trip to Urgent Care, more bleeding, an explanation for the bleeding, and a lot more worrying. And yet, everything keeps progressing normally. I saw the baby’s heartbeat at six weeks, again at seven, and again last Friday at nearly eight weeks. I’ve started feeling nauseous, which was a huge relief to me. I mean, gross and annoying, but also reassuring.

I think at this point, I am pretty optimistic. I’m scared, and also totally prepared for the possibility of having another miscarriage. But, I also feel like this could be it. The one that sticks. Our next baby. And I’m (cautiously) pretty psyched about that. We haven’t really discussed it with Charlotte yet. She won’t understand it, I’m sure, but I do want to start preparing her soon. I think of all people I’m scared to tell her. Not because I’m worried about it upsetting her if something goes wrong; I’m sure she’d move on with no problem. It’s because the few times she would ask about the baby in my belly before she understood that it was gone, would kill me. I hate having to think of things like that, but I can hardly help it anymore.

On to the lighter side! I mentioned I was nauseous. It isn’t too awful yet. I haven’t actually thrown up; I just feel varying degrees of queasy all day, and it seems to get a little worse at night. I can eat. In fact I eat all the time. But, I am extremely specific about what I want. And what I want is rarely good for me. What is it about pregnancy that makes us want to eat crap? I honestly can’t remember the time I ate a vegetable, and that is NOT me. I usually love my veggies, but right now they sound disgusting. I bought a big bag of Reeses Peanut Butter Cups and threw the whole thing in the freezer. Chris pulled it out and said, “What the hell…oh, right. You’re pregnant.” I want burgers and fries and garlic bread and cookies. I’m trying to be good and not give in to the cravings, especially since I am going in to this pregnancy about fifteen pounds over my comfort level as it is. But, it is NOT easy, lemme tell ya’.

So, there you have it. I’m an insane person who will either have a beautiful baby in November or…not. So, keep your fingers crossed for the former.