Shots of serenity

First of all I wanted to let you all know that I got my genetic screening results back today and they were great: 1/9,000 chance of Down Syndrome and 1/100,000 chance of Spina Bifida. Needless to say I’m extremely relieved. I have my 16 week appointment tomorrow and I’m looking forward to seeing Frijolito after all the drama of the NTU debacle.

I also wanted to post some pictures of our trip to the coast. It was really wonderful up there and brought me a lot of piece of mind. I hope you enjoy these little shots of serenity.

My favorite spot.

A hair pin turn.

The view from our room.

Rocks and waves.

On our walk.

The coast in the morning.

BUENAS NOTICIAS – I told my classes today that I’m pregnant. My ELD class (mostly Hispanic students) were incredulous when I told them: We’ve know that for ages! You were sick. You had a doctor’s appointments. Puh-lease! Hilarious.

Cleaning House

I wish I had more time to write today, but I’m sure I’ll get in some blogging while up in Bodega Bay. We’re staying in an amazing room at this Inn that sits on a cliff hanging out over the water. Surrounded by high cliffs and crashing waves on three sides, it’s a really beautiful spot. We got a good deal because my friend’s dad owns the place. I can’t wait to get away and leave all the stress of home behind.

Today my mother came to help me clean my apartment. My therapist says I should accept help when it is offered and today I did just that. My mom has been amazing. She has not said one disparaging thing the whole time, even though my apartment is totally disgusting. She cleaned places in the kitchen that haven’t been touched in years. We even got the toaster oven to sparkle, and let me tell you, that thing had a really gnarly layer of black all over it.

My mom did the kitchen and the bathoom. I cleaned the living room and office, plus I swept and mopped all the wood floors (except our bedroom which is still in shambles). I feel pretty good about what we’ve done and it will be heavenly to return to such a clean apartment on Sunday. Plus my in-laws won’t think I keep a disgusting house when they come to watch the cat this weekend.

I feel like I have so much more to write but no time to write it. I’m still waiting on my genetic screening results. I was really, really hoping to get them by today but no dice. I hope, hope, hope I can them tomorrow and they ease my anxiety a little bit.

In the past few days my stomach has started to pop a little. I finally see the little baby belly that I’ve so longed for budding above my pants. Suddenly, on Monday, my stomach just felt different. Sitting in my car I noticed it, and then walking home from dinner I noticed it again. I feel like I sit and carry myself in a distinct way now. Even though it’s not much, and an innocent bystander would never know from the look of it, I can see the change and I love it.

I also swear I’ve felt the baby move a few times. I know it’s really early, but three times now I’ve been sure what I’ve felt is Frijolito (and not flatulence). They say it feels like gas, and it certainly does, but it’s very sudden and quick and has a slightly different quality to it. I love it when I feel it. And while I know it might just be remnants of yesterday’s lunch, I enjoy it when it happens.

I know tomorrow is a loaded day for most (all?) IFers. It’s impossible not to ponder the losses of the past 12 months and wonder what the next 12 will bring. I hope to write more about that tomorrow, before we ring in the new year.

BUENAS NOTICIAS – My mom cleaned my apartment today – just because she loves me. I hope I’m that good of a mom to my children.

¬°Feliz Navidad!

Merry Christmas everyone! I have to say, it’s been a great Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We spent Christmas Eve at my parents’ house, opening the requisite one gift each and playing a board game that my mom opened (at my dad’s urging). Mi.Vida got the Roku box for streaming Netflix he’s been pining over for the past month and was very excited to set it up when we got home.

This morning we were at Mi.Vida’s parents’ house and it was great fun. We ate homemade cinnamon rolls and opened presents. The CD set I picked out for his dad and the digital picture frame I thought up for him mom both went over VERY well. I was quite proud indeed.

Right now we are back at my parents’ house, awaiting Christmas dinner and then present opening afterwards. I haven’t been feeling too well today and am hoping to get through dinner without feeling worse. I made the mistake of upping my Zo.loft to 50mg today and that was a mistake. I guess there is nothing I can do but wait it out. I should feel better again soon.

Tomorrow morning I’m heading to Kaiser pharmacy bright and early to get my 2nd trimester blood test. In 3 to 7 days I should have the results of my genetic screening. I’ve realized that there is a good chance they will not give me the answers or assurances that I so desperately desire and I’m making my peace with that. I really do think I can handle whatever results are given to me.

In the meantime I just worry about Frijolito. I worry that something will happen to him and that I will be totally and utterly heartbroken. I know there is no way to know and nothing to do even if I did. I keep telling myself that until I know otherwise, everything is fine. Still, I have a foreboding feeling right now of something not being quite right. I can’t decide exactly what it is, but I can’t seem to shake it. I hope it’s just the remnants of my anxiety rearing their ugly heads.

I just want to clarify that I am very thankful for all I have this Christmas. I truly am. I know I can not mourn a tragedy that has not, and may never happen, and I’m not doing that. I’m just in a little bit of a funk, despite all the holiday cheer. It’s not keeping me from enjoying my family and Mi.Vida though, so I shall return to them all. I’m sure I’ll feel better when we start with the present carnage.

A Happy Holidays to all in 2009!

The Dust Settles

First of all, I wanted to thank everyone who commented on my blog yesterday for your kind words of support. They really meant a lot.

I also wanted to assure those people that I have been seeing someone, weekly, about my anxiety. I actually made an emergency appointment yesterday and it was well worth it. At her urging (and because my OB is out of town) I’ve asked my old OB and left a message for the OB on call at Kaiser SF if I can take Zoloft starting now and not 2 weeks from now at week 16. So far my old OB has already given me the go ahead. I’m picking up the Zoloft today after school, whether I’ve heard from the attending physician at Kaiser or not.

If there is any silver lining to the debacle that was Wednesday’s appointment it is that I am more aware now of how out of control my anxiety really is. I’m saddened at the necessity to take medication but I do see it as a necessity. For my sake, for Mi.Vida’s sake and for my baby’s sake, I need to be on this medication. Hopefully by the time I get my results back it will have kicked in a little. Maybe, if I get ambiguous or upsetting results, that will help some.

I did file a formal grievance with Kaiser on Wednesday night. Interestingly, only 30 minutes later at 9:30pm, I got an email from my OB who is supposedly not checking her email while she is away. Either she was notified of my grievance or the perinatal doctor from the NTU contacted her about how upset I was. She wrote a very eloquent email about how it was just unfortunate luck because I had been seen within the appropriate time. I wrote back that it seemed very obvious that this would happen given than they scheduled my NTU for ONE DAY before the last day possible and my baby always measures 4 days ahead of schedule. So I went in at 13w5d for a test that can be done until 13w6d with a baby that was sure to measure at 14w2d. Not so shocking that the baby was too big. Of course I got the “I’m out until Dec 28” as a response.

Since then I’ve emailed my old OB and gotten almost immediate responses, both times, despite very late time stamps. I’m seriously considering going back down to Kaiser RWC, though Mi.Vida would be excluded from many appointments if that were the case. I don’t know what I would have done without him this Wednesday. It’s a hard choice, possibly better care (and certainly more attentive care) down there with less participation from Mi.Vida or less attentive care up in SF with his participation. I really don’t know what I’m going to do.

I had a serious panic attack on the way here about my genetic screening results. Suddenly I was sure I would get bad news. I don’t know what to think. I’m so sick of feeling this way. It makes me uninterested in almost every other aspect of my life. I want to not obsess about these things all the time. God, I wish I already had some answers. I know that accepting uncertainty is an important part of this process, but I feel physically unable to do that right now. I guess that is why I’m going on the medication. I so hope it helps.

BUENAS NOTICIAS – A coworker of mine just brought me in some homemade mac and cheese for lunch. I was commenting on how good it looked yesterday and she showed up with some for me today. That was very nice.

Very Upsetting Day

Wow. I was worried about so many things today but I wasn’t worried about what actually happened. In fact, I didn’t know it was a possibility. After an excruciating week of waiting, and enduring mini-panic attacks while doing so, I get there today and find out that the baby is too big and they can’t do the NTU at all. I was beside myself, crying and freaking out. I waited through seven days, each one the length of eternity, to find out ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! Evidently this happens in like 1% of cases, that the baby is too big, even if you’re within the “time window” that they give. Here’s for being on the shit side of 1% again! Anyway, now my only option, besides an amnio, is another blood draw after 15 weeks which willl give me much LESS conclusive results about the health of the baby. Then at 18 weeks when I get another ultrasound they will know more. Great. Just great.

I’ve been so upset, I can’t even write it here. I’ve cried all day. I can’t tell you what it means for me to have to wait for another two weeks to get shitty, some what inconclusive results. I’m so angry. I feel like someone made a big mistake and no one suffers for it but me. I’m so upset, I don’t know what to do.

All this has made me look more closely at Zoloft. I have to say, I don’t really like what I’m finding. Even the doctor I saw today said that some babies experience withdraw symptoms after they are born. And babies that have been exposed to Zoloft have 6 times more chance of having a serious lung disorder than the general population. So now I don’t know what to do. I feel, more now that ever, that I should be on Zoloft and I’m also more scared than ever that something bad will come of it.

I sent a scathing email to my obgyn today but of course she’s out of the office until December 28th. Just my f*cking luck. By then I’ll have the results of the shitty blood screening. God, I’m so upset!!!! I need to stop typing right now or things are going to have to be seriously censored.

UPDATE – I’ve been doing some research and it seems that you have to get an NTU between week 11w0d and 13w6d. Today I am 13w5d, so only one day away from 13w6d. My baby has consistently, since the first ultrasound, measured 4 days ahead of schedule. In fact, one doctor told me that my due date might actually be June 15th instead of June 18th. Anyway, it seems that they should have known not to schedule me so close to the last day, no matter what availability looked like. The fact that I requested an earlier appointment last week, and was told to wait, doesn’t make it any better. If only my obgyn were around to admit the mistake and apologize I think I’d feel a lot better. Since that is impossible, I’ve just filed a formal grievance with Kaiser. This has caused me quite a bit of emotional distress and I believe it absolutely could have been avoided. I hope this grievance will give me some closure on the issue. In the meantime I have to attempt to not let my entire vacation and the holidays be ruined by my anxiety over this.

BUENAS NOTICIAS – My baby still had a heartbeat today, and looked pretty cute on the ultrasound. It makes me so mad that all this overshadows that. I guess only I can change that with my attitude and I shall try.

A very nice weekend indeed

First of all, congratulations to Sharon at Mindful Meandering. Her daughter was born today and after seven years of waiting I can only imagine how elated she must feel to welcome her to the world.

The woman writing this has no immediate graduate school obligation until January 4th, 2010. And that makes her very happy.

Having said (written) that, I should get some portfolio work done, and I probably will. I’ve been pretty good about getting it done after each set of classes, as I’m supposed to, and I don’t want to fall behind. I’m giving myself a week off though, I’ll start the portfolio work when winter break starts next week.

I’ve been oscillating between near panic attacks about my NTU this Wednesday to feeling relatively okay. The panic attacks have me worried as no other appointment has caused those. The minute I think about the NTU I feel a shortness of breath and my heart starts to race. If I take deep breaths and tell myself that I will be able to handle whatever comes my way the feeling usually subsides, but it’s definitely alarming. I’ve gotten an actual panic attack once in my life and I thought, at the time, it was an allergic reaction to something. I really don’t want these to escalate and become regular occurrences. I’ll be curious to see what my therapist says about all this tomorrow.

On a more positive note, I had a nice weekend. Saturday I went to the Zen Center to do my childcare volunteering. There was one five year old there and he was incredibly cute. We folded oragmi and read stories and had a great time. I really do miss sharing experiences with little children. My favorite line of the hour was when he asked for some tape for his oragami, insisting that “it’s okay sometimes to not follow the rules.” A very wise five year old indeed.

Later that day I met a friend I haven’t seen in over two months for lunch. We talked for three hours. I haven’t even seen her since I found out I was pregnant but she quickly guessed at the news. We talked about my life and hers. It was very nice to have a fresh perspective on quite a few things that have been bothering me, including an issue with some girlfriends that I have yet to bring up on this blog. I think I’ll broach the subject here soon though and see what people have to say about it. Anyway, it was great to see my friend and I look forward to dinner with her again Tuesday, which she generously offered in an attempt to help me keep my mind off the appointment the next day.

Not long after lunch Mi.Vida and I met my sister and her boyfriend for dimsum in Chinatown. I’ve been jonsing for that and it really hit the spot. It was also nice to visit with my sister, who I don’t see nearly enough. Mi.Vida and I engaged in a stressful conversation on the way over there but we were okay by the time we parked. I was asking him what kind of genetic screening results would require assurance via an amnio for him. He doesn’t know much about any of this stuff and I have to tell him what I know, which is all gathered from the internet and my pregnancy books. I felt comfortable with his answers and while I hope we won’t have to make a decision about an amnio, I feel more confident that we will be on similar pages if need be.

Saturday night was the Christmas party for Mi.Vida’s music podcast/website. We all went bowling and Ben made the big announcement about eight pitchers in. Everyone was very excited for us. We were out until 1:30am, which is unheard of for me, but we had a great time. I’m so glad I took a preemptive nap before we left.

Today was all grad school work and grading papers. I just got back from the gym, which makes me quite proud. Mi.Vida made us pasta with chicken and broccoli for late lunch/early dinner and it was very yummy and well balanced. I got two giant loads of laundry finished and I even put away the clothes! I’m feeling pretty good right now and hoping we can get in a short movie before bed time. The storms this weekend brought in warmer weather. It’s certainly not balmy but I can’t see my breathe either and for that I’m very grateful.

I’m only two work days away from my NTU. I hope very much that they do not drag on and that no panic attacks ensue. I look forward to a massage tomorrow followed by therapy and dinner with my friend on Tuesday. Hopefully with all of that I’ll make it to Wednesday without totally losing my mind.

BUENAS NOTICIAS – I turned in my grad school paper and am officially done with the Fall ’09 semester. Only four classes left before I graduate!

Feeling like a fake

I feel like a fake. Only hours after I published my last post I got an email from a friend relaying that all her genetics testing had come back great and things looked wonderful. Suddenly the week until my own NTU stretched endlessly in front of me and I couldn’t fathom how I’d get through it. I don’t know what from her email could trigger such an intense response, but it did. I went from honestly feeling pretty good about the NTU to needing to know the results RIGHT NOW. That is what it is, it’s needing to know RIGHT NOW. I even emailed my doctor begging her to try to find an earlier appointment. I swear, it’s like I morph into another person that I don’t even recognize.

I’m so sick of feeling this way. I’m so tired of the anxiety and the way it makes time move at a snail’s pace. Rationally I know I’ll make it to next Wednesday some how but there are times when I literally fear the wait will drive me insane. I worry I will not be able to make it to that date which lingers so impossibly far in the future. I don’t know how to explain it but it’s a horrible feeling. I was talking to my mom about it yesterday and I started sobbing. This anxiety is winning. I’m losing the battle, no matter how hard I try to keep it together. I am losing and it’s horrible.

Of course there is medicine, and if I knew that Zoloft would really alleviate my anxiety substantially I would be on it right now, screw the wait until week 16. But I don’t know for sure that it will help and because of that I don’t think of it as a panacea. I’m definitely still considering it (more than considering it, I’m almost assuming I’ll be on it in January) but I don’t assume it will solve all my anxiety related problems. I hope it does help though, or I’m in trouble.

This week has been crazy. I had one of those days yesterday where nothing was ready for any class. I spent all day trying to get up to speed and never got there. It was tough. I also had an appointment at my district office to talk about job sharing next year. Long story short I have pretty much no options and feel devalued as a human being and employee. Now I need to make some hard decisions about what I’m going to do next year. I’ll write about all that more later.

The super cold weather continues plus some nice storms. I have a ton of grad school work due Sunday, and it’s actually due because Sunday is the last day of the class. I’ll be so relieved to be done with grad school for three weeks (at least done with the hard stuff).

I’m feeling sick again. Morning sick. Yesterday I had to dash out of my room (luckily my principal was around to cover me) and throw up my lunch. This morning, after only a few gulps of water, I had to exit the freeway so I could puke all down the side of my car. It was so embarrassing. Today I felt pukey all day and I’m starting to think maybe my “morning” sickness is back for an extended stay. At 13 weeks, I’m really hoping that is not the case.

Now I’m off to my staff holiday party. Mi.Vida and I are telling everyone our “big news” tonight. I hope it goes well.

BUENAS NOTICIAS – Some how, some way, I will be done with this grad school class in about 48 hours.