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Archive for November, 2011

So here it is. Thirty consecutive days of posting. {31 technically, because I am nothing if not an over-acheiving asshole.} After three years of this I’m still amazed that I actually stuck it out when many nights all I really wanted to do was collapse in a fit of wine, dill havarti and bad TV. {I guess I still ended up doing that, it was just pushed back an hour or two. What?! I needed my reeeward.}

I normally like to check in with other NaBloPoMoers as the month progresses but between the entryway project, and, well, mostly the entryway project, I wasn’t able to cheer on my fellow bloggers. But I am super glad that I had my good friend Jen L in this with me, to catch up with every day, just like I have had the previous two years of all this posting baloney. She’s a pretty awesome lady and she can write about things without plastering them in “shit” and “fuck” and “ass”, which are words that are so engrained in my writing that it’s a wonder I can even understand things that are written without them.

After this fall being so rough, I couldn’t face the Internet. I couldn’t laugh at myself and let’s face it- this blog is 90% me laughing at my own brand of dumb. I needed to snap out of it but NaBloPoMo seemed a pretty tall order for someone who had maybe posted 5 times in the last three months. I did NOT want to do it. But, as these things go, I’m so glad I did. I gave myself permission to just do what I could and most of the time that resulted in a somewhat coherent stringing together of nouns, adverbs and adjectives with a smattering of swear words and if I’m being honest more commas and brackets than could ever be deemed realistically necessary.

And now I’m off to get ready for December. On the other side of the cup of coffee sitting in front of me lies the creation of an advent activity calender, producing Keaton’s photo DVD, the completion of 57 loads of laundry, the stripping of beds and the decontamination of everything Rowan has ever touched as she has conveniently developed croup four days before her brother’s birthday, which I’d get upset about but her yappity barking seal cough is so pathetic that I feel nothing but pity for the poor thing.  The good news is that with all this crap to do and without an imaginary force making me do it, we’ll all get a nice break from me.

So once again, thank you, Internet, for sticking by me and my obnoxious links. I can honestly say I may have given up on blogging for a good long while had it not been for NaBloPoMo and the kick in the pants it gave me that I needed to get back to writing, which after this little family, is truly where my heart is.

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I’m fighting off a scratchy throated sickness that has sapped all my energy and that I am NOT allowed to be fully hit with until after Keaton’s birthday on Sunday {DO YOU HEAR ME, UNIVERSE?}, so in the interest of taking a nap instead of boring/irritating the Internet with my stance on sensitive political/social topics, I will just be posting this video, which says it better {and without the use of my extensive swearword vocabulary!} than I ever could.

Come on, World. Quit being a giant asshat. It’s time. {Had to get one in.}

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When I was younger, high-schoolish, I wanted three children, all of them boys. Their names were going to be Tristan, Julian and Aidan, they were going to be fathered by Brad Pitt and we were all going to be incredibly good looking and ridiculously happy, The End. Spoiler alert! That did not happen. Which I’m {mostly} okay with. Brad’s loss, etc. etc.

In college I didn’t really want children {or think about them much}… until all of a sudden, I did. After holding my tiny newborn niece when I was 22, experiencing my first small bout of Baby Fever, we got three cats and a dog to fill my need to mother small snuggly things but after those things just peed and threw up hair everywhere instead of love me back, I defaulted back to my Three Boys plan, thinking it was as good as any, and trust me, after my jaunt through adolescenthood, a girl with my DNA running through her would not be doing the world any favors.

One night five months into our marriage, after a few glasses of wine, I convinced Bill now was as good a time as any *WINKWINK* to start a family. Things had changed since my dad died, life seemed so much shorter. So much more precious. That five year plan we’d automatically recite to well-wishers when they asked the newlyweds when we planned on starting a family, seemed suddenly, way too long for me. Still, the morning after the wine had worn off and we had come to our senses, we gave each other a GOD I HOPE THAT DIDN’T WORK look and decided we better wait awhile to have a baby. We were making pennies, just starting out our careers and barely had a handle on how exactly to be a grown-up.

Naturally, I was thoroughly knocked up.

While I was pregnant with Rowan, even after I found out she was a god-forsaken female child, I was 98% sure I would NEVER be putting my body through that again. Like ever. Then she came and not only did I want 15 more babies almost immediately after, I wanted them all to be girls because she was the sweetest, most perfect thing I had ever seen in my entire life. {For the record, Bill was still okay with just the one, decidedly against 15, but was open to one or two more of the buggers.}  He talked me into waiting at least a year before trying for our second, which seemed to take forever. I was so excited to add to our family, specifically to give Rowan a little sister. I got pregnant almost immediately and was weary but overjoyed when I did not get sick at around five weeks like I had with Rowan. That relief turned to paranoia when weeks six, seven and eight passed with not one pregnancy symptom but everyone assured me it was fine.

But it wasn’t. At around eleven weeks, after not finding a heartbeat, I was granted an ultrasound and the doctor unceremoniously told me that the pregnancy was “not viable”. Naturally I was upset and asked if he could tell what went wrong. He coldly told me that the embryo most-likely never developed past six weeks, I would probably miscarry naturally {without need of a D&C} within a week or two and we could try again in two months if we so desired. He did not say he was sorry. He did not acknowledge that going from 11 weeks pregnant to nothing in a thirty-second span was incredibly difficult. Internet, if I had had pants on I would have stood up and punched him in his cold, unfeeling face parts, but alas, I had no pants and he left the room before I could form much of a coherent thought. Two days later it was over and I was devastated.

After two months we began trying again, and again I got pregnant almost immediately. Only this time I was not overjoyed, I was scared. And resigned to feeling that this would be the same as the last. And it was. Only mercifully it happened much sooner. By seven weeks it was over and though I was prepared for this scenario, I was again devastated. I didn’t know if I had it in me to go through another miscarriage in such quick succession. I quit taking prenatal vitamins, added caffeine and booze back into my diet and even started smoking again on occasion, which I rationalized because I had been doing all those things when I got pregnant with Rowan and Bill barely had to look at me for that one to stick. These were not smart choices but I was in a fairly dark place all around, unhappy with my job, completely perplexed and confused by my inability to stay pregnant, not to mention the fact that my previously even-tempered, smiley little baby had turned into the world’s fiestiest toddler.

So obviously, when we quit trying in earnest, I got pregnant once again and while I was barely hopeful, it did feel different from the start. Then, at five weeks, two days {the exact same time frame it took with Rowan} the puking commenced. And I cried tears of absolute joy and tears of Jesus Christ Not This Shit Again. Then came the news that he was not a sister for Rowan as sisters don’t go full frontal at the tender gestational age of twelve weeks with a penis hanging out for all the world to see. Then he came, a real live baby, one that I had waited and hoped for, for what felt like forever at that point.

You already know how awesome Keaton’s first year of life was so I won’t go into details but this was why we came up with A Plan for number three because OF COURSE my dumb ass wanted to go through all this again. Bill did not really want three kids but as Chief Familial Officer of our family, he deferred to my wishes. This was a very Serious and Binding Plan that had the following parameters, 1. We wait until both kids are in full-time school so we are better equipped to deal with my sickness and/or a screamy baby from hell, 2. we needed to move to a place with more livable space and 3. we needed time to get over the very serious state of PTSD that Keaton’s infancy left us in.

So we were looking at late 2013 to 2014 which we felt was a doable time frame to accomplish the parameters of The Plan. And things went along just fine for over three  years when BAM… it happened. You all remember my goal list, right? The one I devotedly checked in on with you month after month after month until I just sort of…stopped? Surprisingly it wasn’t {just} because I got lazy or bored…no really! In truth I came down with a terrible sickness called Baby Motherfucking Fever and I had it bad. As I sat down to check in on those goals every month, many of them seemed off. Insignificant. But I couldn’t quite figure out why. They just didn’t seem all that important anymore. In my defense even I didn’t understand what was going on. I had been assaulted by adorable babies on other blogs, in real life and every time I opened facebook without feeling ANY need to produce one of my own but then all of a sudden it was all I thought about.

I knew Bill wouldn’t be on board so I kept quiet for a number of months but it was seriously eating away at me. I thought about why now was actually the perfect time for our family to grow and finally decided to approach Bill about it, which I did with an arsenal of lists, a rehearsed {but heartfelt!} speech and everything short of a dramatic enactment and a powerpoint presentation, {which I honestly briefly considered}. {Because I am lame.} I was so nervous to tell him, afraid he’d only see our small house, the cost of another kid, my getting sick and a screamy infant. Of course I completely underestimated him. It’s true he did see those things, but he also saw how much I wanted this, how the timing was pretty good as far as his job was concerned, how with a little rearranging we could find space for another little Gunter and how much love a baby can bring to a house. He was on board.

So it began. Last June I had my IUD removed, but before I did I researched possible ways to help prevent both early miscarriage and hyperemesis. In both cases there was no definitive answer, but since western medicine won’t help you until you’re already afflicted with disease, or pregnancy in this case, I decided to try the eastern route. I saw a herbalist/acupunturist who gave me tons of advice about getting my body ready for pregnancy. She told me that my miscarriages were either caused by chromosomal abnormalities, in which case there was nothing anyone could do or hormonal abnormalities, in which case acupuncture and other traditional Chinese medicine routes could be highly effective at helping me sustain and be healthy during pregnancy. I drank the kool-aid, so to speak, and began acupuncture treatments, a number of western and eastern supplements and started eating a very healthy diet. I was active during the day and sleeping a healthy 8-9 hours at night. I quit drinking anything but water and blueberry juice, besides a measly 4-6 oz cup of coffee in the morning that I sometimes just skipped in favor of a fertility boosting tea. I was determined to be the valedictorian of getting pregnant this time around, so sure that if I did everything right, everything would work out.

I have no idea why I thought this. If my previous two sustained pregnancies had taught me anything it was that I needed to smoke, drink, eat like shit and sit around all day, but I thought THIS TIME. THIS TIME. It’s going to be perfect. I’M going to be perfect and the universe will have no choice but to reward me with a perfect little baby. I was so, so sure.

And it worked. By mid-September I was ecstatic when the test was positive, the due date being at the tail end of May. It was the late spring baby we so, so wanted, giving me enough time to bounce back before Snoreface’s late July wedding, and giving us a whole glorious summer full of tiny baby in tiny onesies. I was determined to be optimistic, a state I’m not at my most natural in. But after all, it had been almost five years exactly since my miscarriages. They were a weird fluke! A blip. I was taking such good care of myself.

And then, because of course there is always an And Then when your dealing with optimistic idiots, I started cramping at five weeks, and within twenty four hours they had me doubled over in pain. This went on for 4 days, but I had no other symptoms of miscarriage and every site I looked into said cramping is incredibly common at this stage because your uterus is being assaulted by its new tenant, who is trying to make room for its future limbs and/or stereo system. I tried to relax but the cramping didn’t feel normal. So I did the only thing I could do at that point which was wait. And drive myself batty by consulting Dr. Google twice an hour. My clinic won’t see you until you are eight weeks along so I had no choice. Two weeks went by and nothing else happened. No more cramping but also no pregnancy symptoms which in my case meant, no sickness. After I passed the fateful five weeks, two day mark and I wasn’t puking I knew it was over, but hope, that stupid bitch, was always niggling in. Always telling me that maybe this time it was just different. I had worked so hard for it to be different.

It wasn’t. When I finally hit the 7.5 week mark I called the doctor’s office and they brought me in for a blood draw to check my hormone levels. At seven weeks pregnant your hCG level should be between 7, 650 – 229,000 mIU/ml. Mine was at 5.8. Anything below 5.0 is considered not at all in the slightest bit pregnant and since I knew my conception date, I knew what a number that low meant. They couldn’t get me in to confirm with an ultrasound for over a week which I scheduled, but because my body has a terrific sense of timing {and a very dark sense of humor} I started spotting later that afternoon. Only this time the miscarriage took weeks and was intensely painful, something I hadn’t experienced with my previous two. For whatever reason my body did not like going through this for a third time, and ho boy, it let me know it. It was a pretty shitty time, to put it mildly, compounded by the fact that my computer was exploding with pregnancy announcements every time I opened it. Did everyone wait to get pregnant or have their baby just to rub it in my face? I was 99.76 percent sure this was the case for awhile there. {I am of course super happy you’re pregnant, Internet. And I love your baby pictures. It was just hard there for a time, to learn that ALL OF YOU, EVERY SINGLE ONE were with child all at the same time, which was what it felt like.}

I struggle sharing this part of me. For one, I have two beautiful, very healthy children and that’s nothing to shake a stick at. For two, there are so many worse ways to lose a pregnancy, to lose a child. I sort of feel like I’m not really allowed to be sad about this, which I know, STUPID- as I would tell anyone going through early miscarriage that they’re allowed to feel whatever they want. But there it is. It’s an intensely personal experience that I wasn’t ready to share. But sometimes putting yourself out there, if not for more than the thought that You are not alone in this suckiness. I am not alone in this suckiness, and it’s hard and that’s OK.

All this to say… We made a plan. A plan that hasn’t worked out so well, but one I’m not willing to give up on just yet. This has been an incredibly messy few months, an incredibly messy, sad experience that, trust me, has made me question continuing on. But we are still here, still grateful for all that we have and still willing to keep trying. We humans can be pretty dumb like that sometimes. So Operation Gunterling is still on and while I don’t plan on going into explicit details on our journey, I will keep you updated and hopefully {there she is again, that whore} I will get to share some good news with you one day.

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Being surprised by a cross-dressing three year old completely makes my day...

The joys of having a fashion forward older sister. Rowan's going to be seriously disgruntled if he outgrows letting her dress him.

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This post is going to be light on letters and words and such since I idiotically injured my left pinky. I don’t even have a cool story, I barely pinched it in the door at my mom’s this morning and it just swelled up insanely large, is now a dark purplish black and I’m pretty sure, perilously close to falling right off. Anyway I’m TIRED as we’ve had a busy day getting the carpets cleaned and finishing up the odds and ends from the entryway redecorating, including installing a cat door on the laundry room door to cut down on litter tracking {and Luna’s ingestion of cat poop} which the cats {namely Monkey} did NOT thank us for. We are now doing a delicate dance of  “oh look at this delicious feast on the other side of this flappy door! Some might even call it a FANCY Feast!” and “please don’t get mad and pee on my pillow”. Only time will tell if our efforts will be rewarded with piss-free bedding.

So in the interest of keeping things simple, here are a few of my favorite shots from Thursday, which at nearly 60 degrees, ended up being one of the warmest Thanksgivings on record. {I’m even too lazy for captions because on the other side of this post is a glass of wine and a double feature of the last two Harry Potter movies. Happy Saturday!





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Graduation

From gold...

......

To green!

Way to go, Keaton Sir!

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I know I joke a lot about my family but really? This thanksgiving I’m thankful I have a family to joke about. From my wonderful husband who on my whim re-does our whole downstairs and doesn’t even divorce me for it, to my sweet little gunterlings, to my strong, passionate sisters, to the DCFI, to my nieces and nephews, to my mom who cooked a humongous, fabulous meal for all of us crazy birds. We are big and we can be a bit messy but we are a family and we are love.

After a whole, long day of that though…I’m mostly thankful for this…

Happy Thanksgiving, indeed.

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