Thursday, May 29, 2008


I have been lurking around a Due in January message board and right now everyone is all up in arms about genetic testing. We are having all of the tests that we can and then some. This is because of my nephew Gus. Not that we could change anything but we are expecting the unexpected.

The photos above show a toddler Ivy and her cousin Gus, the son of my honorary sister, J. He looks just a bit different, huh? But don't let his appearance fool you. Inside of that tiny stuffed bear is a heart shaped porcelain box filled with the ashes of a 22 week old fetus. He is wrapped in the tiny doll's robe that he wore for the 24 hours we got to spend with him after he lived for 7 minutes. He is every bit as special as all of my other nieces and nephews. After his cremation and service, he went with us everywhere. Grocery shopping, baseball games. I had him in my office with me when his mom went to run errands. He even has his own carseat.

Gus has an older brother and sister. He is the third pregnancy after his sister to not be viable. Scans were done, testing was done and still, we had no idea that something was wrong. Until the u/s at 21 weeks. As soon as the wand ran across Js belly, it was obvious that Gus wouldn't make it 40 weeks, there were so many things that were cause for concern. No syndrome, no genetic reason. He was just Gus in all of his uniqueness. And absolutely no reason why.

His delivery was fast and traumatic with his Daddy delivering him in his Mama's hospital bed. They spent a hurried 7 minutes with him before he died. They washed him and dressed him, not taking him from the room. I had Gus' siblings with me and we went to the gift shop before going to see their parents and their brother. We bought out the store. We got to say hello and goodbye all at once. So many tears.

Taking him from his mom was horrible, but there are time limits. And funeral arrangements and getting on with the grief. This is where I earned my title of Funeral Planner, kind of like wedding planner, but not. We lead him mom through decisions and choices that no parent should have to deal with. People were kind. People were confused.

Gus shows up sometimes still. His siblings will sleep with him when they miss him. His mom brings him back out in the weeks of holidays and his birthday if she can't be away from him. He mostly sits on his parent's mantle, still part of the family.

Chris will not tell his family about this pregnancy until we know that there are functioning organs in place. Nothing missing. I won't say "baby" until I feel a "baby" moving around in there. We won't tell any of our kids until we are somewhat in the clear, but that never really happens does it? We are cautious. We are terrified. But we take it day by day.

We talk about Gus a lot. And things that we would do the same and things that we would do differently. And how much we love that little guy that we never got to know. And how my dad holds Gus on his lap now and cuddles him and smiles.

My sister had a dream after my dad died where he kept trying to pull her through the screen between worlds. She was scared, but he kept saying, you will be ok. You will like this. And once she went through, she saw our friend J sitting and crying with joy over a perfect 2 year old boy, Gus. After that dream, we all were comforted.

I don't know if you will be able to read his obit, but I scanned it for you. It is the only obit I have ever written. It is my tribute to Gus Gus. Love, Auntie.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Flight of the Hormones

Last week, the day after the ultrasound and telling you guys, I began having extreme panic. It was the same way with Ivy. When I could pretend that I wasn't pregnant, I was fine. But with each milestone like heart tones, ultra sounds and time, you start to identify more. And the risk of what you could lose it more extreme. I've been a basket case.

On Wednesday night I'd worked myself up into such a tizzy. I kept looking at the beer fridge and the cupboard where I keep my tranquilizers. Knowing that I could feel better if I would just ingest either of them was a huge temptation. I honestly went to each door at least once and held the item that I'm not supposed to have. Torture. And then I started to feel trapped and not myself and it got worse. I didn't take either of them.

I went to counseling the next day and told her how rough the previous nite was. I asked her if she thought that I was an alcoholic or an addict. She smiled. She said, "Karianne, your mind knows that those 2 items are certain help. You are not an addict. You were trying to care for yourself as you have in the past, but couldn't. We have to find other things now for you to cope." And then we came up with a list of things to do when my worry takes hold and won't let go.

The most helpful thing that she taught me was something she called the "flight of the hormones in pregnancy". She said that in the first trimester progesterone is in large amounts. That is the hormone that makes us feel anxiety and pregnancy symptoms. Think a bad episode of PMS. It is the same one that comes into play when you are on an airplane as it is started on the runway, take off, and the climbing altitude. At that point, you are strapped in, anxious and you are very aware of the dangerous situation that you are in. (White knuckles)

During the second trimester, estrogen rises and progesterone lowers. This is the time when women feel less aware of the pregnancy and are able to get on with their lives to get ready for the baby. The symptoms lessen, the anxiety gets much better and at times you can forget that you are pregnant. Kind of like in an airplane when you are flying calmly. Watching the movie, talking, eating. There are times that you forget you are up in the air, traveling fast.

Third trimester the progesterone starts to rise again. You feel yucky and worried and anxious again. Your body starts to get ready to deliver and feed the baby. Just like the descent of an airplane until you are at a full stop.

I have thought about this scenario a lot in the last 24 hours. It has brought me so much comfort to view my feelings as chemicals instead of random thoughts. I wish that I would have known this before!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

night time

You know when you are really experiencing some morning sickness when you even dream about throwing up. In my dream last night I was washing dishes and opened one of the kids' sippy cups to rinse out. When I poured it down the sink, it was straight grease. In my dream, I puked.

Never dreamt that before.

But one cool thing from my waking up this morning was that I had that song, "I'm already there" in my head. The line "Can you feel the love that we share" was prominent. I knew it was from my Daddy, telling me good morning. I've felt content all day.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The woman that ate an ear

We are keeping this news from all of the kids until after the 3rd u/s at 20 weeks.

As I was writing here one night, Ivy comes up and looks at the timeline on the top of the screen and says,

Ivy: WHAT is THAT?

Me: Hmmm. What do you think it is?

Ivy: It's an ear.

Me: Well, then I guess it's an ear.

Ivy: Mom, it is in that belly. Why is it in a belly?

Me: I don't know? Why do you think it's in there?

Ivy: I think she ate it. Mom, don't look. That is so. gross. That girl ate a ear. Just Don't Look.

Sometimes it really does feel like I ate an ear. I feel that gross.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Title Explanation

So, why "shocking red grapefruit"?

Well, the shocking should be self explanatory. :)

Here is the story about the red grapefruit:

When I was pregnant with Ivy, all that I wanted was lemon. Fresh lemon juice on EVERYTHING!! I would stand at the fridge in the middle of the night and actually squeeze lemon slices into my mouth. It was the only thing that would take away that metal taste that I had the whole time. I also barely ate any type of meat or fat for a good part of the pregnancy.

The weekend before we found out about the + test, I was grocery shopping. I picked up a jug of red grapefruit juice (no sugar) and about 5 of those little tubs with the red grapefruit sections in water. No big. Just bought them. It wasn't until I got the test results that I realized my body knew I was pregnant before my conscious mind did! Just looking in my fridge should have given Chris and I a clue since I haven't bought anything citrus like that in almost 5 years! Years! And boy am I chowing down on those items. More like a segment here and there when I can force it down, but red grapefruit is my only consistent food group as of late.

Another sign before the test was that the day before we found out, we took Ivy to red robin for lunch. Remember I wasn't feeling too well? The only thing that sounded edible was a cobb salad which they serve with grilled chicken. As soon as they put the plate in front of me, I grabbed my fork, as I was talking to Chris, and started putting all of the chicken on his plate. And the bacon. It looked and smelled horrible. We should have thought of it then as well.

One of the other similarities with this pregnancy and Ivy's is that I get a craving for nutty coconut ice cream from Baskin and Robin. Yes, ice cream. The woman who doesn't like ice cream. But I've had 3 child cones within the last 3 weeks.

Ah, the signs. Especially this one:

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Where My Girlz At?

Hey, you made it over! Yeah! Can we all finally figure out why I have been so f-ing moody and freaked out?

I'm still posting at Practicing and ACH . Not that you had anything else to do with your life than read about mine...

Love you!

PS. I'm going to try to keep the preg. stuff over here and not on the other blogs too much. That way, if pregnant ramblings aren't your thing, you can just look the other way. I know how hard it can be sometimes.


So, hurdle #1 is in the dust!

I went to my ultrasound today by myself. It worked out that way and in all honesty, I wanted it that way. Not knowing how things would turn out, I wanted to focus on the experience, not what anyone else was feeling or thinking. They gave me some pics so Chris was able to see when he came home from work. He is going to try and get the day off for the next one though.

I was so brave. The morning was freaking torture and from now on, I will only make my appts in the morning because waiting until the p.m. was driving me up a wall. But I did get work done! My anxiety was huge and I just wanted to get it the heck over with. I walked straight into that dark and scary room and did what I had to do.

And all was fine. Not ectopic. No twins. Just one little pregnancy poppy seed with a beating heart. Actually, I don't think that "heart" is accurate yet, but the beating of something.

I haven't ever had an ultrasound this early and it was so interesting. I thought for sure that they would have to do a vag. u/s but the abdominal one was just fine. What I saw was this little thing kind of like a star with these pulses on the screen. To think that there really is something in there that is moving creeps me out! Like a little ant or a bumble bee that is inside me that I can't feel.

I have lost 4 pounds since last weeks visit. I think that might have to do with my clothes though. She said as long as I'm eating something, no matter how small, that's good. And to drink because it has been hot in town the last couple of days.

I go back in 5 weeks for another scan as we are doing all of the genetic testing that we can to check if this pregnancy will be viable. Then again at 20 weeks. At this point, for me, I have a pregnancy. I hope that we can get to the fetus/baby milestones! But, I'm not getting ahead of myself. Do I sound a little gun shy? Hmmm. I wonder why that could be?

I about had a heart attack when the tech doing the scan went to get her boss, but it was because she was on a new machine. Still, it took me a few minutes to really believe that she was telling me the truth.

I think that today was the first day that I have taken a deep breath since that + sign showed up. It wasn't until I knew that I was ok and not headed for the OR, that I thought, wow, this could really be cool. And now I have 5 more weeks to feel like things are one the right track.

I feel so relieved tonight. Still scared. But so relieved to know where I stand. Still pukey. But not uptight about all of it. Trying to get back into my "one day at a time" "relax" mode. EXHALE!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Almost Sunday

I love it as each week my little header up on the top of this blog updates to a new illustration. When I first put it up there, the pregnancy looked like a pencil eraser. Whenever I click over and realize that the pic has changed, I'm shocked at the changes. But the day to day goes so slowly.

Today was not good, then was good. I wish so much to communicate to the 3 other members of this family how absolutely so much better their lives would be if they let me sleep. Maybe not even sleep in, but let me sleep. As far as Saturdays are concerned, I would like to think that they are my one day that I don't have to get the kids ready. No one else seems to think that. I was a yelling, swearing lunatic this morning 15 minutes before Ivy was to be at dance class. And then Chris yelled at me, I yelled back and Ivy teared up. It was resolved quickly and boy did I milk the guilt on that almost all morning, but I'm beginning to think that they all need a show of consequences of waking me up to change the pattern. Nicey nicey is not working.

So then I was grouchy, cry-y and HOT thru the little league game of my nephew this morning. Then I came home for a 4 hour nap. A few bites of salmon and strawberries. And the world became a gentle place. Amazing how things can turn around.We had a sitter tonight and went to an AAU basketball game and a wedding reception where I wore the most adorable dress that I have purchased this year. While it still fits I"m going to have to take a photo because it is too cute not to share. At the reception I had prawns the size of my palm, small little chicken ceasar wraps and a pink lemonade. It felt so good to eat! Now watch me pay for it tomorrow! Oh well, nourishment is a great thing even if it only happens every other day.

I'm very nervous for the u/s on Tuesday. I have had many u/s that did not bring good news. The dark and the quiet and that flickery screen creep me out. But, we may have good news this time. So many worries take away the excitement. What if there are no heart tones? What if I have an ectopic? What if they don't tell me anything? What if I have to wait another week? I'm glad that it is so much closer so I can get it over with. And if it does turn out well, then I'm telling you guys! That'll be fun.

I finally told my friend today thru a text about this pregnancy. She is Gus' mom, (who I still need to tell you all about) and I was so worried to tell her. She will be heartbroken and sad and happy and will remember. But, I got it over with and told her I didn't want to talk about it and that I was scared. She left me the coolest message saying that she knew I didn't want to talk, but that her advice, which is perfect, is: "it is what it is" This pregnancy is what it is. No matter how much worry or thought or fear or love or excitement I throw it's way, it is what it is. She also told me that she was scared for me too. And that she loved me. I just needed to hear it all. I'm glad that it is over and I'm not thinking of it anymore.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

At least I'm not sick

Awake again. This time it is 118 am. But, I'm not sick! Yeah! I'm huge and sore and uncomfortable, but I'm not sick. Yay yay yay!And the reason that I'm not sick is because I didn't eat today. Well, strike that. I did eat today. But just barely. 2 T of tofu. 3 strawberries. Lots of red grapefruit juice with Perrier. 2 bites of salmon. 1 baby carrot. I keep seeing ads for Red Lobster, and my mouth waters. And I know that I won't be eating there for a while. Ah, I'll save some money then.

I'm reading about 4 books that are all so so. Nothing that has grabbed my attention for longer than a few pages. I guess that I have other things on my mind.

It was a weird nite for all of us. I had the kids in bed by 830, they were so strung out. And then Chris and I tried to sleep and ended up watching Shaft before trying to hypnotise ourselves with The lord of the rings. No go. Then the kids all switched beds around. Everyone is sleeping but me.I'm a bit nervous of how tomorrow is going to be with no sleep.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


I never felt like this with Ivy. Here I am, 130 in the a.m., up and practically just waiting to puke. But, I don't. And if I did, I wouldn't feel better. With Ivy, I felt like I had drank a cup of warm, dirty water. And I'd have a metallic taste in my mouth. That was the worst of it.

Not so with this pregnancy.They say that morning sickness is a good sign. I'm trying to remember that.I don't know if I can advocate waiting 5 years inbetween pregnancies. This time is so much MORE in every way. But Chris does delight in telling me that it might not be such a big deal if my ages were 20 and 25 instead of 32 and 37.


Monday, May 12, 2008

First Appt/Telling My Mom :)

Today was my first appt. with my midwife and I tried to get her to try to get heart tones, but to no avail. She just smiled and chided me and said, "girl, you are only 6 weeks pregnant! You aren't going to hear what you want to. We'll just wait until next week with your ultrasound."She made me feel better about the meds and such.

I still don't know if I will go to Whore's deposition. Depends on tomorrow.

When I went to pick up my kids, my mom called me out to the front porch to ask me about a project that she wants to do for my Nana's 90th birthday in August. After we had discussed some of the details, I told her about the pregnancy.She was so excited! She said "Congratulations" and asked all sorts of questions. She is going to come with me to my first ultrasound next week. This is such a turn around from telling her about my first pregnancy with Chris when she started bawling and asking me why I would do something like that to myself! Turns out, she was super worried, but really came around after she realized how badly I needed her.She called me tonight to see who she could tell the secret to. I told her that as long as all of the kids don't know until later, then that's fine with me. She wanted to tell my aunt, my step dad and my Nana. I'm glad that she is willing to tell Nana, instead of me. When I told Nana last year that I was ready for another one, she said, "Good lord, Kari! What's wrong with you?" Hey, she's almost 90! Having more little ones probably sounds like torture to her!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

One Week

It has been 7 days since I found out that I was pregnant. In some ways it has went so fast, others so slow.I'm tired and anxious and cry-y. Mostly from worry and not sleeping well. Bec hasn't been sleeping well and I've been getting angry that he won't settle in. Not like me at all. Just tired. I watched the preview to Juno last night and cried. Just teary the past few days.

Being off of the meds is not an option I don't think. When I first called Kolynn last week, she took me off of everything except for half of my dose of lexapro. That lasted maybe one day before I put myself back on my full dose of lexapro every other day.On Monday I thought that my symptoms of pregnancy were lessening. And I got really panicked and sad. They were back full force yesterday but first thing in the morning I called my midwife's office.Thankfully, they are having me come in on Monday to do a review of my meds. She put me on half dose of wellbutrin as well as the half of lexapro. Yeah! She said that anxiety at this point in the pregnancy is worse on the pregnancy than the meds will be. I love how they listen. I was freaking out on Friday too and called Kolynn but she didn't call back. Pissed me off.

I'm having hibernation yearning today. And I think that I'm going to follow through with it. No talking. No stimulation. Just rest. I'm tired.

I also had a job opportunity come my way. I hope that it works out.

The baby is the size of a grain of rice. Marny's (SIL) baby is the size of a lime.

I feel sore and pukey and big. I got out maternity clothes last night. I've lost weight but feel bigger. I wore my pregnant overalls all night and loved it.Although I hate this feeling, I love this feeling. I hope that we can keep on having kids. Not just feeling hopeful about this pregnancy, but adoption too. It feels so hopeful and productive.