Category Archives: medical

Things That Happened When I Got Pregnant

In sort-of chronological order, numbered for my own comfort:

1) I cried. (I was not sad, just a little surprised and overwhelmed. Within one hour of taking the pregnancy test I literally had to walk out of my house and get on a plane for a business trip to effing Las Vegas.)

2) I lost all my mommy-grody-mojo. Remember when I couldn’t handle anything even remotely disgusting? And then I had Boopsie and could handle lots of it? Yeah, that disappeared again. One night she had the stomach flu I couldn’t get within 10 feet of her without retching. It was 3 a.m. and Daddy-o had to do comforting and clean-up while I ran from room to room in our house gagging into the kitchen sink, the upstairs toilet, the downstairs toilet, a trash can, etc. I didn’t even have the flu yet (that came later).

3) On a related note, I started barfing (or at least retching) at the drop of a hat. Generally, I felt better this time around (as compared to Boopsie) but I was barfing a lot more. Go figure. Taking out the diaper pail? Puke. Catching a whiff of a bag of dry cat food? Gag-o-rama. Drink caffeine? Yark-tastic.

4) My dreams got… wow. Intense would be one word. Almost every night I was treated to a feature length movie with plots and subplots. There was the one where Boopsie was 14 and got kidnapped by sweet potato farmers. It was the same way when I was pregnant with Boopsie. Both times, my dreams were my first “tell”… vivid and memorable are both understatements.

5) I was convinced it was a boy and started name-storming. I find boy names much harder than girl names and was stressed about that. I was also worried about getting Boopsie out of the crib, potty trained and off the pacifier in short order.

6) I was sick as a dog, virus-wise. The stomach flu took 4+ days to get over. The doctor said, “You’re pregnant. It takes longer to recover.” Then I got a respiratory flu-like virus. I missed a week of work. I could only take Tylenol and I coughed so much I bruised my ribs, which was intensely painful.

7) I had a miscarriage. (Sorry for the Downton Abbey-like plot twist.) I started spotting and I went to the midwife and he couldn’t find a heartbeat and ultrasounds confirmed the shitty news. After all that barfing and all those dreams and slogging through all that illness and just before the holy grail of the second trimester it was done. Becoming undone. The fetus stopped developing at about 6.5 weeks and I miscarried at home just before 12. And it sucked. It was much more physically draining than I expected, on top of all the other physically draining illnesses that made up January.

In the days surrounding the actual miscarriage I was a hormonal mess. I was insanely nauseated and drained to the point where getting through each day was a physical battle. (Sleep on the floor of an unoccupied office? Why, yes I think I will.) My theory is that my body was finally catching on that things were not going well, and I know (based on multiple blood tests) that my HCG counts were in a total free fall. I had more insane dreams, but they were more ominous than usual. Right after the miscarriage I had one in which I was caring for a bunch of little babies and I was doing a crap job of it. CRAP. There was a little baby boy, and I didn’t know his name. I should have known his name. He was hidden in a crib in a closet, as happy as could be, but when people asked me who he was, I didn’t know. In the dream I was panicked.

I went about my life, letting people know on an as-needed basis and I was shocked at how many women had gone through at least one miscarriage. It’s so common, and yet so few people talk about it. For me, there’s something about it that makes me feel a ever-so-slightly ashamed. Rationally, I know that I couldn’t have done anything differently. And I’m not walking around feeling broken, or scarred, or in emotional pain. I’m living my life as I normally would. But deep in my gut, there’s one tiny, ugly voice that sometimes whispers, “You failed.” And so I tell it to shut the eff up.

This was way back in January. I don’t have any lingering health impacts (and my ribs finally “healed” about six weeks ago). I’m fortunately not overwhelmed by sadness and I thanked my lucky stars every day that I had Boopsie to distract me and Daddy-o to hug me. We haven’t decided what this means for our future family plans, but I do know I need some more time to get my physical act back together and my mental game “on” if we decide to try again. Because if there is another pregnancy, it’s going to be a long 14 weeks of trying to stay calm (while barfing).

Why am I sharing this? Like I said, no one talks about this. I don’t think women should feel like they have to talk about it, but I think they should feel like they can. No shame. No drama. Just be. Godspeed to all you pregnant ladies, and to all the ladies who are mourning/have mourned little ones. Hugs to you.

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Filed under medical, mom guilt

More First World Problems

We are in the throes of preparing to move. We’re only moving about two miles away, but damn it, we still have to pack up all of our stuff.

On top of that fun, the Boopsie has an ear infection and bronchitis. She’s also decided that dinner is for suckers and drinking milk a couple of times a night is where it’s at. I know I can’t hold it against a kid who’s sick, but we will be seeking a remedy to the “night time milk” as soon as she’s better. It’s going to require some serious backbone-building for me and Daddy-o.

I will say, I’m glad my mama instinct wasn’t totally whack. Her cough, which came on pretty suddenly just as a cold was winding down, sounded different than any other cough she’s had. I was certain the doctor was going to tell me she had a virus today, and relieved when we got the diagnoses. Treatable with something other than time. Because I’ve got to tell you, this getting up a couple of times a night business is just wrong.

In other first-world dilemma news, we are hunting for a new day care. The move gives us a nice opportunity to change. Now that we’re looking I’m feeling all unsure about changing her day care — it’s the whole “devil you know” versus the one you don’t business. We’ve interviewed a nice woman with a home day care, and are checking her references. I was hoping for some divine sign that she’d be a better place for Ruby and I haven’t received it yet. I’ve also got a tour lined up at a Montessori school on Friday, but it’s 75 percent more expensive than our current arrangement. And while our current arrangement isn’t terribly expensive, it’s not the cheapest option either. I don’t know what we’re going to do, and of course, I’m torn.

So sick of germs. So happy we changed health insurance to a kind where we pay co-pays instead of out-of-pocket for every office visit. Phew.

And that is the latest dispatch from the land of the privleged. I hope you’ll forgive me.

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Filed under day care, drudgery, medical, mom guilt, problems middle class parents have, problems white parents have

The Stomach Flu Came and Got Us (Again)

Poor Boopsie. On Tuesday she threw up 12(!) times. Then I threw up all day yesterday. Now she’s at Grammie and Grampie’s and I’m trying to stay awake until the handyman leaves and I can go back to bed. And fervently hoping Daddy-o doesn’t also get sick.

Here’s an overheard conversation from last weekend. I was in the kitchen and Boopsie was bouncing up and down on Daddy-o, who was laying on the couch.

Daddy-o: Boopsie, what does a cat say?

Boopsie: Maowh.

Daddy-o: And what does a horse say?

Boopsie: Nay!

Daddy-o: What does a cow say?

Boopsie: Mooooooo

Daddy-o: What does a sheep say?

Boopsie: BA.

Daddy-o: And what does a Boopsie say?

Boopsie: (pause…pause) NO!!!

Yep, kiddo. That’s about right. (Although “mine” is a new favorite in the repertoire…)

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Mom Karate: Advancing to the Red Belt

Today at work I actually gave myself a paper cut on my nose while reading through printed out PowerPoint slides. And that just about totally sums up how things have been going.

Friday night Boopsie had a fever. Saturday morning her fever was much worse. So we went off to urgent care, for the third time in four weeks. (Winter is FUN!) Boopsie came out with a prescription for a broad-spectrum antibiotic for a sinus infection (?!?). Things were on the upswing until last night…

I got home from a work function at about 9:45 p.m. At about 10:15 p.m. Boopsie woke up whining, so Daddy-o and I decided to give her some Tylenol. We gave her the Tylenol and Daddy-o was going to fill the humidifier. He was passing Boopsie over to me, when WHAM. Full frontal barf attack, direct hit on the front of my shirt. It was gross, to the nth degree.

But here’s the amazing thing: I didn’t barf. Can you believe that?? I. didn’t. barf. (Even though I was literally dripping in her dinner.)

In karate, they have different belts that correspond to different levels of ranking or achievement. They start at white and go through black. Generally the belts go white, yellow, green, blue, purple, red, brown and black. (Sometimes there are less, and sometimes there are more.) I figure last night’s episode got me into at least a red belt. I haven’t quite figured out what it would take to get into a black belt, but I’m pretty sure that one (generally) healthy kid can’t get me there.

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But I doubt I will laugh about this…

It was another wild day on the home front. Daddy-o and I had to split the day at home because Boopsie was rocking a big head cold and her daycare provider didn’t want her back until another day had passed without barfing. Oh well, just one more day for her to sleep in a crib rather than an armchair, right?

I was on a conference call when Boopsie woke up from her nap (after only 45 minutes) and she was seriously fussy. I held her and

Boopsie in a Box

Empty Cardboard Box or Awesome Reading Nook? You decide. Boopsie has already cast her vote.

shushed her through the rest of the call and then tried to get her to lay down with me in our guest room.  She would have none of that and went to get off the bed… and fell. She hit the back of her head on the hardwood floor so hard I swear my heart stopped.

I called th clinic, and they said because of her age and the height of the fall I should take her to the ER. I called my dad, who I knew was home and about 15 minutes away and said, “How fast can you get here?” I may or may not have been crying. He got to our house really fast.

We took her to an urgent care with a pediatric clinic. She was already perked up in the waiting room… pointing at fish and waving at people. They checked her out and she’s going to be ok. She has a bump and a bruise on the back of her head, which is apparently a good thing (rather than bruising on the inside, gulp.). It looks like we made it through this one… by the skin of our teeth.

The thing that kills me, is as she was climbing off the end of the bed I thought, I wonder if she can do this on her own. I bet she can. I was so wrong. And me being wrong meant she bashed her head. (I mean why didn’t I just give her a spot?). I have obviously lost my “mother of the year” nomination. And it’s only January 23.

Speaking of January, just to review:

  • Boopsie has been sick since January 6, when she got a head cold.
  • We were in Urgent Care for a double ear infection (with a 104 degree fever) last Sunday.
  • She had the stomach flu on Saturday.
  • She woke up with a huge new head cold on Sunday.
  • She’s still taking amoxicillin and hating it.
  • Today she smashed her head on a hardwood floor and we went to Urgent Care for the second time in eight days.

Poor baby.

On the upside, did you know that the box Amazon brings the diapers and wipes in makes a wicked cool reading nook?

 

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Filed under books, medical, mom guilt

Choosing to Vaccinate

vaccine syringe and handThere’s a very interesting feature article in Minnesota Monthly this month about childhood vaccinations and people to refuse them for their children. The Refusers (by Tim Gihring) looks at some of the controversy surrounding vaccines and contains interviews from people who have been harmed by vaccines and those who promote vaccination.

This article has been stuck in my head since I read it a couple of weeks ago,  which is pretty amazing given everything else competing for head space these days. I would consider myself as slightly “vaccine hesitant,” even though I know the MMR/autism study from The Lancet has been retracted.  Boopsie has gotten her vaccines, but I’ve looked for small ways to space them out and I’ve established a totally arbitrary limit of three “pokes” per doctor’s visit. Still, I worry about vaccines and honestly, most of that worry is about autism. That’s why this anecdote from Ashley Shelby, a pro-vaccine activist, totally stuck in my head:

“It’s the new parents I’m worried about—they don’t know what to believe,” she says. “But I’ve given the hardcore anti-vaxers up for dead. Doctors wouldn’t say this, but I will: would you rather your child be dead than have autism? Think about it—that’s essentially what these people are saying, and how offensive is that?”

It’s true — I don’t know what to believe.I know they’ve never found a vaccine/autism link, but how can SO MANY parents be wrong about their children’s experiences? I can’t discount their observations. It seems that everything with vaccinations is incredibly charged these days (shoot, just read the comments and accusations and anger reflected in the comments section of the article!) and it’s hard to trust what the government says. But for now, I’m comfortable choosing a risk of autism over a risk of measles, polio or other potentially devastating disease. What about you?

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The $135 Tube of Desitin

So… remember the time when we had to send Boopsie back to the doctor for the diaper rash last Tuesday? And since I had already run out of work early on Monday, Daddy-o was nominated for doctor duty… his first solo trip to the clinic with Boopsie. Our favorite Dr. P was out on vacation, so Boopsie had to see a different doctor new to the clinic. This would be the second non-Dr. P clinician we’d be seeing about the rash. So much for continuity. I wrote out some info about the rash and sent it along with Daddy-o (Why yes I AM a control freak!):

  • On and off since April
  • Occasionally use hydrocortisone, nystatin (anti-fungal)
  • Sometimes gets better but them comes right back

My main question was: Was there something else they could do or did she need to see a specialist? I also wrote down that she needed her Hepatitis A shot. Ready, set, go.

Daddy-o picked up Boopsie and got her to the clinic on time. He met with the Dr., who sent a “prescription” to the Target near where I work so I could pick it up. (Quotes explained in a moment.) The Hepatitis A shot didn’t happen, and Daddy-o said they were busy or something… not really open to it.

So, I went to the Target, waited five minutes in line at the pharmacy and was informed it would be another 15 minutes before the prescription was ready. I went off and spent some money on things we didn’t really need (which is just a given any time I even think about Target). Finally, I went back to the pharmacy and picked up… a tube of Desitin. Actually, it was Target’s Up & Up brand equivalent of Desitin, with 40% zinc oxide.

My first thought: Are you shitting me? (I did not say that out loud.)

My second third thought: I just waited 20 minutes for something I could have walked over picked up in the BABY aisle? (I said something like that out loud, but I wasn’t rude.)

My third thought: Daddy-o just took Boopsie to the doctor and came away with a prescription for zinc oxide?

Here’s the thing: This doctor didn’t get it. Obviously. He advised Daddy-o that we need to let her “air out” some times (REALLY?!?! I had NO IDEA! Pfft…) He said to not use hydrocortisone (fine) and to use Nystatin because it looked fungal (GEE – Do you think so?). But here’s the thing: We’ve been USING nystatin… on and off since June. And it goes away a little bit and then it comes back. So. we. need. another. option.  Instead? Zinc Oxide.  Yeah, we tried that back in April. The real kicker? Because of our health insurance deductible, it’s $135 out-of-pocket for each doctor appointment. That’s one of the most expensive tubes of Desitin I’ve ever heard of! (This is one of my “problems middle class parents have,” which I think is analogous to Stuff White People Like. I’ll get into that more in another post.)

I appreciated Daddy-o taking Boopsie to the doctor so I didn’t have to.  But my control freak tendencies were running wild for the next few days. I couldn’t help but wonder — Would there have been different outcome if I had been the one to take her to the doctor? I think so. I’m more versed in the problem and what’s already been done (though they had the note and her medical record of actual prescriptions… thanks Doc). I would have pushed back when Dr. said to use zinc oxide and nystatin. At the same time, I am loathe to criticize. Daddy-o got it done. There’s a high likelihood that he’ll need to take her to the doctor on his own in the future. And I don’t want to be a snot about it. So I’m trying to look at the bright side: I didn’t have to do it myself. Division of labor is often a struggle (also fodder for another day), so this is a step in the right direction. (At least a half-step. There’s bound to be another trip to the doctor about this. Oy.)

But a $135 tube of Desitin? Ouch. And it doesn’t really seem to be helping. Can’t say I’m surprised, but I am disappointed in that doctor.

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Filed under firsts, medical, problems middle class parents have, relationships