Tuesday, January 17, 2017

I had a dream

Warning: TMI ahead.

I have been on my period since November 8th. On Friday, December 30th I had a dream that my long period was because I was pregnant. Weirded out by the dream, I took a pregnancy test when I got up Friday morning just to relieve my anxiety. It was positive. I called The Husband in to look at it, because maybe I was seeing things. He went to the store to get another. It was also positive. Cue me freaking out. Cue him being super calm and not freaking out and being so HIM. 

I called my midwife's office and asked them to advise, since I have an IUD AND ALSO I have been on birth control pills to control irregular periods. How? What now? Etc. They asked if I could come in for an ultrasound. I was there in 20 minutes. I was only supposed to be there for an ultrasound, but the tech wanted to talk to the midwife, and the midwife wanted to see me. 

It was the same midwife who delivered The Boy, and I love and trust her. She said it was an ectopic pregnancy, a fertilized egg in the fallopian tubes. These pregnancies aren't viable, and can be dangerous for the mother.  I was texting The Husband updates, trying not to be alarmist, but feeling a little alarmed. I had all the feelings. I didn't want to be pregnant, but I didn't want to lose another pregnancy either. She spent time explaining everything to me, and making a plan. I would get blood work in the office and they would send it to the lab to check my hormone levels, then the midwife on call would call me later in the afternoon to let me know the results. It would depend on the hormone levels, but she thought I'd likely be going to the hospital to get a shot of methotrexate.

When I left the office, I called The Husband to let him know the latest. Then I called my sister in law to cancel our plans, and ask her to tell the rest of the family what was going on. When she answered the phone I choked and cried. I told her between sobs what had happened so far and what the next plan was. Something about saying it all out loud made it so real, and she listened patiently while I cried. I was relieved to not be pregnant, and I felt guilty to feel relieved to not be pregnant. I was grieving the loss of the baby, and I was scared about what would happen next, and I was overwhelmed by the flood of all these feelings.

When the midwife called later that afternoon, she said my levels were very low, meaning my body had already terminated the pregnancy. She said I didn't have to do methotrexate, but I'd need to go to the hospital on Sunday for more blood work to ensure my levels were continuing to go down. That seemed like a positive. We resumed our plans for that night and for New Year's Eve.

We spent New Year's Eve at my friend Kati's house, at a 1920s themed murder mystery dinner party. I don't know if I've ever had a NYE where I've felt more grateful. We rang in the new year, and slept soundly in her kid's bunk beds. On New Year's Day The Husband went to get the boys from grandparents, and I went to the hospital for blood work.

I registered, was given a hospital bracelet, and was ushered to a room in labor and delivery. That seemed like overkill for just a little blood work. She said I'd need to wait until the results came back, and for them to call the midwife on call before I could leave. I texted The Husband, and then I promptly fell asleep. When the nurse came back in nearly two hours later she said my hormone levels had not gone down, and the midwife on call said I needed to stay and get the methotrexate. My body wasn't doing its job as well as they'd expected. I was disappointed, but I was okay. The nurse explained to me that I wouldn't get the shot for at least another hour and a half. I took myself down to the cafeteria for lunch, and then came back to my room and curled up in the bed.

The midwife came to give me the details, and then the nurse gave me the shots: one in each hip. I was anxious about the shots, but they were no worse than a flu shot. I learned that methotrexate is a chemotherapy drug, and I could expect a week or more of cramping and nausea, but it would prevent the possibility of my tube rupturing and causing internal bleeding. After the shot I was finally able to go home. I was exhausted. They say that you'll spend your year doing whatever you did on New Year's Day. I hope not.

The next day I dozed on and off all day. I don't know if the methotrexate made me so tired, or if I had been tired all along and this validated and justified it. Maybe a little of both. I was taking the ornaments off the tree when The Husband went to get on the roof to take our Christmas wreaths down. A few minutes later I heard a loud boom, and I ran outside, yelling at the boys to stay inside. The Husband had been on the ladder at roof height when the ladder slipped out from under him and fell on the deck, sending him flying. He landed on his feet first, and then on his hip on the ladder. Nothing was broken, but he was banged up. He had a bruise on his hip the size of a peach already, and it would grow to the size of a pumpkin over the next week.

I had to go back twice more to the hospital for blood work to make sure my levels were continuing to go down. This Thursday my hormone levels were at zero, meaning I was finally released. The next day The Boy's school called and said he had a fever of 102.7, he had suddenly come down with the flu. We rang in the new year with quite a bang, but we were all grateful that things weren't worse. We know a friend whose healthy sister was recently on life support after the flu, and one of my coworkers shared that her sister-in-law died because of an ectopic pregnancy. She had never even known she was pregnant when her tube ruptured.

We have been bracing for the weird social and political environment that 2017 has been promising, but this week we are also taking inventory of all the positive things that are already happening. Yesterday I took the boys to our local MLK parade, and I teared up at the hope I felt at our community coming together for service and kindness and equality. We've got a long way to go, but there are so, so many people fighting the good fight. Funny how all this started with a dream, which led to a diagnosis, and a roller coaster of emotion, and a treatment, and finally to gratitude. Maybe when we stop seeing all the good that still exists around us, perspective and appreciation make their way to us any way they can.

So yes, Happy. New. Year. Bring on 2017. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Merry Christmess

Our December was good. It was great, actually. But it wasn't the stuff of Pinterest posts and fancy Santa portraits. It was real, and it had plenty of messiness. When we were at my cousin's for Christmas he pointed out all the perfect Christmas cards displayed in their kitchen: girls with dresses clean and pressed, boys with matching sweaters and symmetrical smiles, Santas with suits so nice you know they've never been down a chimney, families that look so perfect and happy you wonder if you're doing it wrong. My cousin laughed that so many of those cards didn't accurately reflect the people they knew in the pictures. He pointed to one perfect kid and said "This kid got suspended for punching someone at school."

I don't think holiday cards are the place to air our dirty laundry, but I think he's right that we try to convey perfection and bliss, when that's not usually our daily reality. I found this picture online:

Who are these perfect people, and why does only the one child get to see Santa? You know in order to get a picture like this in real life there are multiple threats and the mom is standing behind the photographer screaming "you better smile!" and shaking a wooden spoon. I bet she's got a weapon in that gift box, in fact. 

Here are some of our December pictures that didn't make the cut, but maybe should have. 

The Gingerbread House of Horrors

This angel, prepared for the Children's Christmas Program at church

Then somehow, in his excitement, he broke out into the running man once he was front and center. Because Jesus, y'all. Hark.

And do you wonder where his halo went? I spotted it on a sheep who ended up sitting with her mama in the audience: 

And for every shot we got that looked like this:

We had 4 or 5 or 12 that looked like this:

Because Tis the Season for WWE. 

And when we went on a December boat ride....

but BeYoYo insisted on taking his "teef boppy". Also pictured: life jacket, ninja turtle hat, and bagel

And The Boy had to pee. In a life jacket and ninja turtle hat.

The night they ate gas station snacks for dinner

I don't know if this was a happy face or a mad face, but again with the to go bagel....

                                      BeYoYo in the church nursery. In the oven. Pooping. 

Our county had a runoff after the general election for a local position. After voting I asked the boys to smile for a picture and this is what I got: 

Christmas Day

And The Boy didn't take his Gecko costume off for 3 days. 

Mary, Joseph, the Wise Men, and two Ninja Turtles

Lest you ever see a picture of us that is perfect and poised (not that that's likely, anyway) or where all of us look clean at the same time, we'd just like you to know that's not the real us, and there were probably threats and bribes involved. I don't think anyone is fooled by this, based on the fact that you have seen us before in real life, but just in case. 

Merry Christmess, everyone! 

Sunday, December 18, 2016

A Year In Quotes, 2016

You may remember how every year I keep a running list of things that The Husband and I say, weird things that come out of our mouths that we never expected to address. Last year's was short because I'd lost my phone in a snow drift, so this year I was more determined than usual to jot down the things we said and present them to you out of context.

I present to you, 2016 In Quotes....

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Batman and Robin's Christmas

Tonight my kids decided to put on a holiday themed show for all of you out there on the internet. It's not the story of the little baby Jesus, or even Santa, or even Miracle on 34th Street. It's Batman and Robin's Christmas, the OTHER classic Christmas tale.

Note BeYoYo is singing the remix on backup. Please consider this our musical holiday card to you. Yes, I will be showing their future dates this movie one day. Merry Christmas, and a happy new YOU!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Where the Daddy Monkey?

We are on day 10 of The Husband being out of town, with 3 days left until he's back from his latest work trip. At least I think that's where we are. I've really lost track.

Last Sunday we took him to the airport. He usually rides the shuttle, but we thought the boys would appreciate seeing the airport. Forgot it was the busiest travel day of the year. We stopped for lunch on the way at a fast food place. I tried to get The Boy to go to the bathroom, but when I peeked in the stall to check on him, he was standing in there, fully clothed, doing an air guitar solo. He said he couldn't go. So by the time we got to the airport he really had to go. The Husband had two rolling suitcases, so we put a kid on each and rolled them like kings through the crowds to the Husband's ticketing counter. BeYoYo proudly waved to the crowd as he rolled. We split up and I speed walked The Boy to the bathroom. We darted between people and yelled excuse me over our shoulders, barely making it in time for him to make it to the bathroom. When we got back to the ticketing counter, The Boy broke into a full sprint heading back to BeYoYo. BeYoYo spread his arms out and ran toward The Boy. The crowd let out an audible "awww", obviously thinking that these guys had been traveling and missed each other. Except it was for 3 minutes that they'd been apart. As one was running from one direction, and the other from the other direction, they face planted into each other and fell to the ground with a thud. The crowd winced for them as they fell limp against the tile, a blur of little arms and squeals of laughter. We left The Husband at the airport, and maybe there was a tear in our collective eye.

On Tuesday I had to take BeYoYo back to the neurologist for a checkup. He's fine, and his EEG was normal. We still aren't totally sure what's up with his weird eye movements (see this post if you don't know what I'm talking about), but it's likely nothing to worry about. They're a total pediatric practice, so each of his super heroes got a thorough checkup too. I'm happy to say they're also okay. The nurse gave BeYoYo a toy to play with while she measured his head. It was like an hour glass filled with little balls, and you watch them filter from side to side. He said "dat just wike what mommy have!" I clarified "mommy has something like this?", knowing I don't own any hour glass toys. He nodded his head and added "it just fo gwown ups." OH. Ladies and gentlemen, he meant a wine glass. 

On Wednesday we had a tornado. I had clients cancel appointments, and the school called for me to come get The Boy. I rushed home, passing a funnel cloud behind the surplus building supply store. My mom was at home with BeYoYo, and we all huddled together in the laundry room playing restaurant and putting magnetic nativity pieces on the washer. (BeYoYo calls the parents Mary and Josie. We're very progressive). The Husband texted from Arkansas "if it gets bad enough, get the flashlights and y'all go around back and get under the crawl space." No we will not army crawl under the house in the dirt in a tornado with these two children, thankyouverymuch. You know how he loves an emergency. I figured we had Jesus and Mary and Josie right here in the laundry room with us, what could be safer than that? The storm soon passed and we were released from our bunker without harm.

Thursday we skipped work and school and headed to Florida. My stepmom's family has a holiday get together there every year. So we went down early and took the boys to LegoLand. I'm not going to lie, it was great. We rode rides, we saw a show (spoiler alert: the friends saved the day), we saw Lego cities, we ate. We ate lunch at an over-priced basic pizza and pasta buffet. Remember when Wendy's used to have a buffet in the 90s? This is where all their unused pasta and sauce got sent, apparently. But The Boy LOVED it. He ate four plates of pasta and meat sauce, followed by a plate of salad. I asked him if he was even chewing it, and he said "I can't! I just love it so much!" Later he said it was "the best healthy thing I've ever ate." Bless him. BeYoYo pushed through without a real nap that day, so we gave him his boppie in the stroller for some down town. He wanted so badly to stay awake. At one point he couldn't decide if he wanted to eat his ice cream cone or have his boppie. Life is hard.
I'm not even tired. 

My stepbrother, Tyler, took the boys on a boat ride. BeYoYo was madder than a hornet that Tyler wouldn't let him drive the whole time. I told him Tyler needed a turn to keep us safe. He yelled at Tyler, "DON'T KEEP ME SAFE, TY-YER!"
Ninja Turtles in life jackets

It took 90 hours for us to get there and 100 hours to get home, but we made it back on Sunday night, fueled with powdered donuts and bugles.Today we were in the car listening to one of the kids' CDs that haunts my brain even after it's off, and we were singing along with Five Little Monkeys Jumping On The Bed. BeYoYo stopped all the singing and asked "Where the Daddy Monkey?" What?? He asked again "Where the Daddy Monkey?" Good point, actually. "Yeah", I said.

"Where IS the Daddy Monkey? Down with Patriarchy! Why do we just assume that the mommy monkey has to be the one to call the doctor? Where is the daddy monkey? Why didn't the daddy monkey call the doctor? Why have I never questioned this myself? Why do we make sure to include that the daddy on the bus tells the baby shhh, shhh, shhh, but I've never thought to change the words to this song? Daddy Monkeys can call the doctor just as easily as Mommy Monkeys can. Maybe during this song the Daddy Monkey was in the bathroom. Or working in Arkansas."

My monologue was lost on BeYoYo, who responded with "I want popcorn."

 I've put BeYoYo to bed 75 times tonight. He's discovered that he can get up from his bed, open his bedroom door, and go wake up The Boy to play. For awhile I sat outside his door and told him every 30 seconds to go back to bed. He'd run back to his bed, then come back in 27 seconds. The Boy laid at the foot of his bed across the hall, enjoying it way too much. When I came downstairs to get my computer, he was crawling out of his room, but with his eyes closed so I couldn't see him.

Finally I tried to put up the baby gate but it was warped and he just kept knocking it down. Desperate, I texted our neighbor to borrow a gate. Now he's up there yelling "bubba, I can't get out!" The Boy has come down 14 times to tattle that his brother is upstairs yelling. I know it's frustrating, because I also have ears. I pleaded with The Boy AGAIN to ignore his brother, and tried to explain toddler logic. He listened, and then he sheepishly said "But I don't know what ignore means".

Someone please pass me something in a glass shaped like the toy at the neurologist's office.