lynthia: (polycon)
But first, the catch up.

At first round 5 was going really well. I was fatigued but I never got the seriously awful stomach issues that I'd had in previous rounds. I had trouble drinking, but I did *much* better eating, and I really thought I was doing well. I made it all the way to 7 days out from chemo and then made the mistake of declaring that I was over the hump. ROOKIE MOVE. That night I developed a cough, and the next day I started running a fever. By 5 pm I was in the ER at El Camino checking myself in for IV antibiotics to deal with the fact that I'd developed atypical pneumonia. They admitted me and I stayed from Wednesday night to Friday afternoon. Oddly enough it was actually a really nice couple of days. I hadn't been feeling well and they were on top of it, they were good about letting me sleep at night, and a couple of days of staying in bed, watching movies, and having food show up at regular intervals seemed to be just what I needed. I suppose I shouldn't recommend a hospital stay as a vacation, but you know, if the shoe fits... :)

Once I got home I was still very tired and taking a deep breath was not easy. I discovered that posture was very important and it definitely helps to know when you're slouching if you can't breathe when you do. So hey, good for my ability to sit up straight! I spent the weekend resting and then slowly worked on cleaning up the house a bit before Thanksgiving. We did a very small dinner this year, just us and Jen and [ profile] shofixti and it was perfect. Charles made me filet instead of turkey, too. He loves me. <3

My bout with pneumonia has made me more wary of going out in public though, so I think I left the house something like 3 times between when I got out of the hospital and yesterday. One of those was to brave the mall and get the kids picture taken with Santa, and really, that was good enough for at least a few days. I usually take them in the middle of the week, going on a weekend was rough. They did great though.

Yesterday was my pre-chemo check in with my oncologist, and as usual she had new information for me that I *really* think I should have had before. Like, the fact that radiation (barely mentioned as we've gone along) is every single day for 5.5 WEEKS. How did that not come up before? I can't go anywhere for a month and a half because I need to be able to be at the hospital every single day, that's something that should have been mentioned! And she still won't actually schedule the radiation, because she is going to try to convince me to do the second set of chemo. I keep telling her that I'm really not willing to sign on for that without compelling medical evidence that is better than "I want to." That's her whole argument so far, she'd really like me to do it. That's nice. I'd really like me not to do it. Also, and for the first time ever, she told me that beyond the 5.5 weeks of radiation, and the 8 months of targeted hormone IV therapy once every 3 weeks, I also need to take a targeted therapy pill once a day for TEN YEARS. Um, what? And when I looked at her like she was a crazy person for thinking I knew that already, she told me I must have forgotten. And then spent the rest of the appointment not telling me anything else about my future treatment, because I'd "just forget." I honestly started to feel like she was gaslighting me, it was bizarre.

So I left her office in a pretty bad mood, and then called to schedule a consultation with my surgeon. I'll go see him on the 8th, talk about my surgical options, and then I have the pre-surgery MRI on the 20th. Hopefully everything comes back with the information that we want and I can go ahead with a very simple lumpectomy somewhere around the 26th. I'm hoping to avoid having to take any lymph nodes; I hear that when you do that surgery it requires drains which sounds super gross. (Obviously I'll do it if they say that it's necessary, but I'd sure rather not.) The rest of my day yesterday was kinda crappy, I had trouble getting my mood back up again. I managed by around 10 pm, with help, and I got most of a decent night of sleep. For some reason (maybe I took the pre-chemo steroid too late?) I woke up at 4 am *totally* awake. Tried to get back to sleep for about an hour and then gave up. Instead I enjoyed the quiet morning, worked on C4's Christmas stocking, and just took it easy. Drove him to school, headed for the hospital, and here I am. ROUND SIX. LAST ONE! It doesn't feel like as much of a victory as I'd hoped it would, knowing how much more hoops there are to jump through before I get to say I'm finished, but it's still an important hoop. And definitely one I'd really rather I never had to do again.
lynthia: (polycon)
We left our intrepid cancer patient mid-round 4 in the last update. I survived, but I never got past the super tired phase. I slept a *lot*. All the way up to the day I was supposed to do my pre-chemo bloodwork, and found my platelets were at 43. A "normal" person has something in the 200-400 range, and chemo isn't safe below 100. We hoped they would go up over the weekend so I could do my scheduled round 5 on Monday, so I came in for testing again early Monday morning. The platelets only made it to 92 so they sent me home, no chemo that day. My morning was then taken up with phone calls and emails back and forth between me and my oncologist talking about what to do next. She wanted to delay a couple more days and do the chemo on Wednesday. I *hated* that idea. Part of it was just that I didn't feel good, and my body was wearing out, and if all we were going for was "just barely healthy enough to poison," that didn't sound good to me. The other (and admittedly larger) part was that I had a Disneyland trip planned for Dapper Day that moving the chemo would ruin. There would have been no way I would recover in time to go; it was pushing it by the original timeline. So the combination of feeling so worn out and losing the thing I'd been looking forward to just sort of broke me for a little bit. I'm really lucky that it was one of the days that Theresa was here to watch Clara for me; she took Clara out for the day and let me get everything sorted out without having to worry about being Mommy at the same time.

So, after some back and forth and only one bout of crying at my doctor we decided that I could get a two-week pass on chemo, as long as I came in for a single-drug treatment on Wednesday. It was the lowest impact one in the cocktail so I was fine with it, and it made my doctor feel better that we'd at least keep a minimum of the drug in my system for the duration. So that was the compromise, and that's what we did. The drug had very little impact and I got to start to feel what it was going to be like to be through with chemo for a little bit. My energy started to come back (though I still wore out fairly quickly), my house got cleaner, I took an entire car load of crud to Goodwill, and my tastebuds rebounded. I was able to stop taking all the acid blocker drugs about 5 days ago, and over the weekend Pepsi started tasting good again. I still drink it super slow to avoid the carbonation being an issue, but it's nice to have it back at all. :) Overall, it was a really desperately needed break and I'm glad I fought for it. I still have two more rounds to go, and then surgery and radiation, but now I know that recover starts pretty quick. I know that this is going to be something I will get through, and I WILL feel like me again one day. And having that concrete evidence is doing me a world of good going into these last two rounds.

So today is Real Round 5, not that fakey round 5. My doctor is trying really hard to be nice to me; she initially offered to take out one of the drugs in my mix that is likely causing about half of my side effect issues. Then I had to go and be super honest and tell her that the pain I felt in the original tumor (that I have not felt since chemo started) has returned, and I felt it a couple of times over the last two days. It's not constant, and neither one of us feel anything in my breast tissue where the pain is located, but it was enough for her to rescind her offer. She would feel a lot better if I do these last two rounds by the book and I'm okay with that. I got my break, I can do this now. Yes, it's going to suck. I'm planning on the next 6 weeks being a series of different levels of suck that never actually get all the way to not-suck. Should be a really good time. ;)

But for today, I'm okay. I can eat (and I have, twice since I got here). I'm watching Scrubs and playing with my laptop. I had Door Dash bring me a Pepsi. My polling place is the main clubhouse where I live so it'll be easy to get there when I'm finished here. And Round 6 is *on the calender.* I can do this. Damn it.
lynthia: (polycon)
So, we left off with day 1 of round 3. I don't really feel like going into day by day detail about it, but let's just say round 3 SUCKED. I lost 16 pounds in 8 days (mostly dehydration I'm sure), I ended up going in for IV fluids twice, changed acid control meds again, saw a GI specialist, learned that technically there isn't anything wrong with me. Which on the one hand is somewhat validating; I've always had a weird, sensitive stomach, and I've always taken care of it by controlling what I eat. Guess I was doing a good job. Chemo, however, has thrown that all out of whack and I can't fix it anymore. He even did an endoscopy so he could be sure I didn't have an ulcer or other damage in there, and it's all good. I'm just special. Yay...

So when it came time for my pre-round-4 checkup, I was pretty firm with my oncologist that I need some help here. If the GI doc says I'm fine, but chemo makes it so I can't eat or drink anything for a week, we have a problem. Seriously. And I did a bunch of research about my particular chemo drug cocktail, turns out that a "full course" is considered 4-6 rounds, none of this "6 rounds then surgery then 4 more rounds" stuff she was talking about. So what I found out is that she didn't mean I would do 10 total rounds of this set of drugs. She wanted me to do a full 6 round course of this one (TCHP, if anyone wants to look it up), then surgery, then radiation (which was NEVER mentioned before, I'll add), and then an additional 4 rounds of a *different* chemo cocktail. ACP, I think she said? Well, turns out I don't care, because as of right now that's a big ol' NO from me. I've read hundreds of treatment plans online and I can't find even ONE person who did 6 rounds of TCHP and then went on to do 4 rounds of any additional chemo. Her reasoning is that I'm young, and she really doesn't want it to come back. Hey, I don't either! But if I don't have cancer, which I won't by the time I'm finished with surgery and radiation, what on earth is the point of doing chemo to my perfectly healthy body? I will already be on a hormone therapy regimen for a year that is supposed to stop reoccurrence, that sounds good enough to me.

Anyway. She reduced the amount of steroid I take before and after chemo in the hopes that it would bring down some of the stomach irritation, and scheduled me for IV hydration in advance, but that's about all anyone could think to do to help me for round 4. Which, honestly, was not terribly encouraging, but I was hopeful anyway. I'm dumb like that. ;) I did round 4 on Monday the 3rd as scheduled, and things seemed pretty okay. Usually I started feeling pretty crummy by Thursday, and this time I was still eating and drinking okay by then so I got encouraged. Maybe it would be better! Friday was okay too, aw yeah, moving into the weekend... then it was Saturday and it all got crappy again. It's hard to explain what happens, but it's not a nausea thing. I haven't thrown up this round at all. It's like there is so much acid in my stomach that I can taste it in my mouth, and it's in my throat (it isn't really or it would burn), and it's making it so I can't swallow anything else. Physically I can swallow, so I can still force myself to drink a little but it's very difficult. I feel like there is something else in my throat already and trying to swallow anything else sounds just horrible. So that was my weekend, and it was also just super demoralizing. I *really* thought maybe we had this figured out now, but it turns out we don't, and probably never will, and this is just what it's going to be like for me every time. Blech.

So, that's pretty much where we are. I went in for IV fluids yesterday and I'm going in again today. In the past 24 hours I've eaten two cups of Jello, an applesauce packet, and four Saltine crackers. And one ravioli! Though that was probably pushing it. I'm hopeful that I'll be eating again tomorrow, but I don't know. I doubt I will today. And I really miss food. BUT. If this really does only go two more rounds, then I *will* be eating food again by Thanksgiving. And it'll even taste good again by Christmas. And by New Years, I'll be finished with chemo, and finished with surgery, and moving on. 2016, you're a mean kid, and I can't wait until you're over.
lynthia: (polycon)
Round 1: Chemo day itself was VERY long, I was there for about 9.5 hours. But that's how it goes on day one, they want to make sure that you aren't going to have any allergic reactions to any of the individual drugs. I didn't, and that's good news, and I actually felt pretty good that day and the day after. I started getting tired on Wednesday, and I thought maybe I was starting to have some nausea on Thursday but it was mild. We left on our vacation Saturday. By Sunday, I was having serious issues making myself eat. I didn't feel sick, it was hard for me to put a finger on it, but it turned out that I was having acidic stomach issues. I always have, but I've also always controlled it with the food that I eat. Turns out that you can't do that anymore when chemo ruins the lining of your stomach. Drugs are now necessary. So I started taking Zantac, and things turned around quickly. By that night I was able to eat a small dinner, and for the rest of the week I ate pretty well. Couple of little issues as I figured out what doesn't taste good anymore (chemo mouth is real, and it makes everything taste kind of metallic), but nothing serious. I was able to enjoy my food just fine in DisneyWorld, and that's key. ;)
One sad thing that I've been avoiding writing down: I can't drink Pepsi anymore. Between the acid not loving carbonation, and the metallic taste, it's just not good anymore. I dropped a 20 year Pepsi habit in three days. Now, before anyone tries to tell me what a great thing that'll be for my health in the long run, let's remember one thing: I'm not a quitter. :-P

Round 2: The chemo itself was shorter, but I had to go in early to have my port put in. So it was another long day. Good though, and again, I felt fine when I went home. Tuesday and Wednesday were okay, and then got slammed on Thursday with a return of the fatigue and my stomach was not happy. I kept thinking that I could fix it, eat something different, I dunno. But I was wrong, and after spending the entire weekend in bed not being able to eat anything, I caved and called the chemo nurse on Monday. After she told me what medication to add to my list, she also reminded me that seriously, waiting all weekend to call was dumb. I'm not supposed to feel that crappy, ever. Yes it's chemo, and it sucks, but that's what pharmaceuticals are for. Damn it. So now I have two acid-reducers to take every day, along with Imodium, and it's better. I haven't really made it back to "good," but I did hit functional in time to have about 5 good days before going back in for round 3.

Round 3: That's today! And today went well. I was in at 8 am to do my blood draw, 9 am saw the oncologist to make sure everything was good, and then chemo started at 10. Talked to the doctor and the nurse a lot about my stomach and various options for trying harder to keep it in check this time around, and I'll be better about alerting someone as soon as it's an issue instead of waiting to see if I can fix it on my own. I also asked if there's a possibility of reducing the number of rounds I have left, since neither the doctor nor I can actually find the tumor anymore. Unfortunately, he told me that so far no one has done a study of what happens when these tumors disappear so fast under this combination of drugs, and if there is a recurrence in patients who then reduce the number of rounds they undergo. So medically he can't recommend cutting down on how many rounds I have left. Kind of a bummer, but it just means I need to be that much better about getting these side effects under control.

Chemo itself is easy, really. I sit there and play on my computer or work on hand finishing sewing work, and the drugs just drip along. I was finished a little after four, drove to Harker to pick up C4 from school, and got home just in time to have a lovely dinner delivered by Summer. And now: bed!! Glorious bed.
lynthia: (polycon)
I started a Caring Bridge site to document all my cancer stuff, but then I realized that it requires a login. That's annoying. So I'll be cross-posting all my entries there over here, and making the ones here Public.

Hi! Thanks for coming by! I suppose this is the time and the place to write it all down, huh?

Throwing in a cut, this got long )
lynthia: (polycon)
I made a decision this morning based on a lot of FB articles and comments and stuff, and I didn't feel like starting a flame war, so I'm putting it here instead. I would like to make it clear that I am open to reasonable discussion, like always, so if you profoundly disagree with me I don't mind if you say so. I'd just like you to be fair about it and if you do, you'd be willing to change your mind if presented with the right evidence, just like you'd want me to. No soapboxing, 'kay?

That said: I do not plan on teaching my daughter modesty. I've decided it's a word and concept laced with meaning that I don't want to convey, and I'm just going to skip it entirely. Instead I choose to teach her self respect. And if I do that well, she'll get so much farther than modesty would have taken her anyway.

I'm practicing now, when I see teenagers walking around in clothes I'd NEVER wear. I feel that gut reaction of "Not MY daughter!" and then I ask myself why. Why not? What is it that is bothering me about those clothes, that look? Is it *my* discomfort with *my* physical body? Is it some message *I* internalized somewhere along the line that I don't even believe in anymore? And the answer is always yes, to both of them. Do they look like they're uncomfortable? Are they tugging up or pulling down on anything? Okay, then maybe fit is an issue. I'm a seamstress, I get fit issues. If not... and they aren't too cold, or too hot... then who cares?!? The idea that we've decided we all get to judge someone based on what they are wearing (or not wearing) is making me so angry today I'm actually tearing up. That girl wearing the short shorts and crazy shoes, she's a PERSON. She has thoughts, and feelings, and she's so much more than the clothes she's wearing. And if she put those clothes on today because she LIKES them, because they make HER happy, then that's it. End of discussion. I don't care if they leave less than nothing to the imagination. It's her body, her choice.

But the thing is, she has to have self respect, or she might be doing it for the wrong reasons. Is she wearing them to make someone else happy? Because she thinks that the only value she has is the looks that she gets from others? Because she has such low self worth that this is the only way she can think to get attention? Then that's not okay. But the solution isn't to force her to wear something else. You can't cover up a lack of self esteem. So telling that girl (or boy, or anyone) that they must be "modest" in their mode of dress accomplishes nothing. It's just more training without meaning. We're not drilling times tables anymore, right? Let's not drill this either. You want kids to dress in a way that is appropriate to the event? Teach them what that means. Don't just create a set of inexplicable rules and walk away.

Oh, and let's try not to get hung up on clothes being "distracting," okay? Because if my clothes are distracting me, then we're back to a fit issue. Is it itchy? Is it too small? Am I cold or hot? Those are legitimate distractions, and I need to learn how to to fix that for myself. But if MY clothes are distracting YOU, guess who has the issue? It's not me. This is something else that we can really only fix if we start putting the responsibility in the right place. I find my daughter to be terribly distracting. She's got these big, beautiful blue-grey eyes that look very surprising in her vaguely Chinese face. But that's not her problem, she's going to have those spectacular eyes her whole life. She might have a classically beautiful body to go with them, who knows? But if she does, what I need her to know is that it's her job to take care of her body, and to feel good about living in it. And however she decides to decorate it is up to her. It's not up to anybody else to tell her that she's a "distraction to others" when she dresses in a certain way. That's a short step from "well, did you see what she was wearing? Not surprising," and that's just so much crap I can't even write anymore about it without resorting to expletives.

I've practiced this rant at my husband, and so far he hasn't told me I'm utterly full of nonsense. He's a good check that way; if I WAS utterly full of nonsense he'd tell me. So I feel like I'm on the right track. :) Obviously we both have a long way to go before we're dealing with a teenage girl and all the fun that entails, so we'll see how it all holds up to reality. But I feel pretty strongly about this one.
lynthia: (polycon)
Early last week I started writing a post about how hard everything had been for a few days. And it was, Monday and Tuesday of last week sucked out loud. But it's never been easy for me to write about stuff like that because it feels a lot like whining. And then, before I could even get the post written, things started getting better. Little things, like [ profile] scottish_jessi coming over to give me a hand with the kids, and [ profile] shofixti taking me to an unexpected dinner out (while Jessi had the kids), and [ profile] tersa bringing my fabulous ceramic cupcake over to the house rather than making me wait for it for three more days. Nothing earth shattering, but each small kindness felt like a drop of optimism filling up my reserve again.

And now it's Sunday, and I am tired, but I don't feel emotionally beat up anymore. Things are busy and Clara isn't much of a baby anymore and I swear [ profile] cwsmithiv might as well be a teenager for the attitude he displays half the time, but it's okay. It's normal. It's life, and I'm happy to have it.

Also, no time for wallowing. SO MUCH WORK. Someone asked me recently how much I sew, and I answered that I have as much work as I can handle. Which is entirely true, and sometimes a little more than that. The difference is that I vowed to stop doing it for free. I thought that was going to mean that I would have less work, because if I say no to doing it for free, then I won't have so much sewing to do, right? Um... actually, it seems to mean that I get more *paid* work instead. Which is fabulous, and I like the idea that I can contribute to the household (or at least make it so I have very little negative impact on the family finances), but I'm also a little disappointed by the lack of free time. I was sort of looking forward to it. ;) I might just have to say no to a few more things come June because I'm going to have two kids all day and not much in the way of summer camp. But hey! Maybe next summer, my sewing money can PAY for summer camp! What an awesome idea.
lynthia: (polycon)
... I was probably still in Labor & Delivery, finishing up with all the afterbirth messiness before moving to my room for the rest of my stay. And Miss Clara was about an hour and a half old. Now she's sleeping next to me in my bed, all 30" long and 18 lbs of her, and I'm just amazed that it has all gone so fast. She's a walking, babbling, crazy little creature now who is hell bent on following her brother and breaking things. Possibly herself, she's not really worried about it. She has a lot of faith in things to just work out the way she wants them to. :)

Her brother thinks that now that she's not a baby anymore, we need to talk about having another baby. He likes having a baby in the family, so let's make a new one. Um... no. You're cute, kid, but no. Mommy and Daddy agree on this one, two is plenty. As it is we have no idea how we're going to cram all of our lives into the 24 hours we get per day. We sat down last night to go over what is supposed to happen in the next four or so weeks, and it's just kinda nuts. Wait until Clara has friends and playdates too!! When can C4 start driving? :P Or working, child labor can be useful.

This week Daddy Charles has an internal convention at work, so I won't see him much. And I have a daisy chain of sewing projects that will take me pretty much through the next three weeks. One after the other after the other. It's good, I like knowing that I'm being a mildly useful human being beyond keeping my children alive, but it's tiring too. As always it would be easier if I could count on working while kids are sleeping. C4 is finally a decent sleeper; I won't call it "good," he still has nightmares too often for that. But at least he goes to bed at an expected time and largely stays there until called upon in the morning. Clara... yeah, not so much. My dream of having one good sleeper remains a dream. She goes to sleep when she feels like it, and stays there for a completely random amount of time before demanding attention of some kind. It's stressful, not having any clue how long she'll sleep before you have to drop everything and deal with her again. Maybe I'll get a bunch of work done, maybe I'll get three steps out of the room! You just never know! The best way to get her to sleep is to let her fall asleep in my bed, and then sit next to her with my laptop until I feel like sleeping too. Good once in awhile for catching up on email or doing my nails, but not ideal every night. Makes me feel like I'm wasting precious sleeping baby time.

And now, the highlight of my day: I'm going to go check the mail. Yes, I'm a weirdo, we knew that.
lynthia: (Pepsi girl)
Today was a milestone (one [ profile] shofixti says I've claimed several times already, but this time I MEAN it): I worked my final shift at LAPP as [ profile] cwsmithiv's parent. If everything goes according to plan I'll be back in a couple of years with Clara, but this is still kind of a big deal. Three years of parent participation preschool, two years on the board, and it's all wrapping up in the next week. Like anything, it's mixed. I can't say that I'll be sorry to spend a couple of years parenting only my kids instead of a classroom full of them, but at the same time I will miss the support of all those other parents and the teachers. It's been a wonderful village, and I know that my kiddo is a better person for what we've both learned there.

In other news, Clara had her two month checkup last week. 11 pounds, 9 ounces, 22.5 inches long. She's in the 50th percentile for height and weight; her brother was in the 75th for both at that age. So she's a bit dainty compared to him. :) She doesn't eat like a dainty thing, that's for sure! My own personal achievement is that I've now exclusively breastfed her about twice as long as I did [ profile] cwsmithiv and still going strong. I try not to spend too much time regretting that it went so poorly with him (though part of me still really does) and just focus on being grateful that it's working out this time. It's definitely nice to not have to pack food for her, I've got it covered.

And now I'm kinda stuck. There are all these other things I feel like maybe I "should" cover, for posterity. But none of them are really sounding better than closing the computer and enjoying some quiet knitting time (have I mentioned that the baby is sleeping 9 hours a night, consistently? YAY.) while I watch non-child-appropriate television, so I think that's what I'm gonna do.
lynthia: (happy)
It's kind of funny, because there are so many times that I will compose a blog entry in my head. Something will happen, I'll think of how I would describe it, and then the time to write it out just never comes. Today isn't like that. I don't have anything I really want to write about. Things are happening, some good, some bad, possibly all post-worthy. But none of them are leaping to the front begging to be documented.

I just want to record that right now, in this moment, I have this wonderful feeling of satisfaction. With where I am, who I am, what I'm doing, where I'm going. The things that need work will get the attention they require, the things that should be appreciated are. I have an amazing family of choice, a number of children that feels complete, and friends that step up when it counts.

And now I shall toast this feeling with some Cookie & Cocoa Swirl from Trader Joe's on graham crackers, and then mix up colors for tomorrow's tie dye adventure. Life really is quite good.
lynthia: (polycon)
Disclaimer: I feel like it should be obvious, but this is my record of everything I remember about giving birth this past weekend. That means that it is absolutely full of TMI. If I edited all that out, I'd pretty much just write "Had a baby, it was fine" and be done with it. :)

Gory details this way )

So there you have it. Clara Elizabeth Smith, born 4/27/14 at 12:54 pm, 6 lbs 6 oz (thank you for being tiny!), 20 inches long. All fingers and toes accounted for. We stayed one night in the hospital and managed to be discharged at 3 pm on the 28th. I don't regret it a bit, I really did get more sleep at home.

lynthia: (Dixie seriously)
Monday was [ profile] shofixti's birthday. To mark this momentous occasion, I decided to use my precious kid-free time (while he was at school) to go to his apartment and scrub his bathtub. I know, it's an odd choice of gift, but it's definitely something only I would give him. Personalized!

Anyway. I thought I was being so very careful. I opened the windows before using the cleaning chemicals, changed into grungy clothes, left the room while the soaking happened... too bad I never have been able to account for klutz. Apparently I splashed a little bit of water outside of the tub, and then put my foot in that puddle when leaning over to get to the back wall. Thus, my feet both shot right out from under me, and I landed with my stomach right across the metal track for the glass doors.

Normally, I'd just shake that off. I fall all the time, it's part of my charm. But I've never fallen directly ON my stomach while pregnant before, and I was raised on a steady diet of soap operas. You can't stumble on a soap opera while pregnant without suffering from an instant miscarriage. So I sat on the floor of the bathroom, held my breath, and just waited. I have no idea what I was waiting for... there must be something cataclysmic about to happen, right? But nothing happened. I felt a kind of tightening in my abdomen, and then it released, and that was it. So I got back up, and finished cleaning, and just kind of went about my day. That tightening would happen again, here and there, and then it would pass, and I didn't think anything of it. By the end of the night it was just another "ha ha, Hallie is a klutz" story, complete with awesome bruise.

This is the part where anyone who has ever given birth wants to smack me over the head. And rightfully so. There's a name for that "tightening" that I was experiencing. It's called a CONTRACTION, DUMMY. And they're not supposed to happen when you are 26 weeks along. Fortunately my husband has more sense than I do, and when I told him the story (he saw the bruise or I might not have) he asked me very nicely to please call my doctor in the morning. I thought he was just being a little overprotective, but I figured I'd humor him. Aren't daddies so cute?

So to the doctor I went yesterday at 10 am. She was very nice, never called me an idiot, and banned me from scrubbing my bathroom pretty much ever again. She also attempted to do a test to see if I was going into active labor any time in the next three weeks, but somehow there was no result. Not positive or negative, just nothing. So instead she informed me that I was having contractions (DUH) and that we really wanted that to stop. Fortunately at this point that just means getting off my feet for a few days. So far it has worked like a charm. Sit on the couch or in bed? No contractions. Get up and try to do dishes? Contractions. The message here is clear. And she assures me that if I'm good about it right now, it'll all clear up and by the weekend I can go back to normal. However, if I'm stupid, then I'm going to get stuck with "restricted activity" for the next 14 weeks, and that would SUCK OUT LOUD.

I really think the hardest part is the mental shift. I've always just felt like this hearty, sturdy female who was clearly designed to pop out babies with a minimum of effort. You know, the kind that people talk about being out in the field, squatting down to give birth, and then continuing to harvest the crop. That's supposed to be me. This idea that one stupid little fall has me actually in danger of screwing up this pregnancy is messing with my sense of pregnant identity, or something. I keep going back and forth between "It's okay, it's only for a couple of days," and "I really have to be more careful... all the time... everything needs to be reevaluated." I'm sure that (as always) reality lies somewhere in the middle, but I'm not quite there yet.

Either way: not indestructible. Bummer.
lynthia: (Dunno bout that)
To recap: still alive, still think about posting but can't do it telepathically, pregnant again. Around 5.5 months. All is perfectly normal.

So, last time I was pregnant, I got the anxiety/paranoia thing pretty bad. I was absolutely, quietly, POSITIVE that if I took any of the tags off of the baby things that something horrible would happen and we would not have a baby. Clearly he would be stillborn or something, and we would be stuck with a bunch of stuff that we didn't need/want anymore and no way to return it. Charles had to override me just to get the infant car seat out of the box and set up before we went to the hospital. I know other parents had a room all set up, or baby clothes washed, or, you know, *owned diapers* before they brought a baby home. Not me. I never even got that "nesting" thing that you're supposed to go through a few days before you deliver, because I didn't want to touch his stuff.

Obviously, he was fine. And when we got home I nested like mad, and everything was lovely by the time he was three months old. He clearly never knew the difference. :)

We found out about six weeks ago that this time we're having a girl. Supposedly. I say "supposedly" because this time my paranoia seems to be manifesting itself about the baby's gender. I am absolutely convinced that the ultrasound tech just didn't see a penis, and therefore declared girl. That doesn't mean there isn't one, that just means he didn't see it. At 19 weeks, that can be easy to miss, wouldn't you think? So I'm doing everything I can to not get attached to the idea of a girl. No pink things, we haven't solidified a name yet, I even have trouble referring to the baby as "her" instead of "the baby." Clearly, if I get attached to this idea, I'm going to show up to the 32 week ultrasound in March and be surprised. PENIS.

As far as paranoias go, it's not so bad. At least I would be perfectly happy to have a boy; I already have one, and he's completely awesome. I have clothes for a boy, I know how to potty train a boy, we've already braved the circumcision argument, it'd be easy. Much better than fearing that removing a tag off that cute outfit is going to result in dead baby somehow. Yay progress?
lynthia: (polycon)
Finally, FINALLY had my endocrinologist appointment today. Yes, he's that good, it took 6 weeks to get in.

Behind a cut in case you are uninterested in hearing about my hormones. )
lynthia: (Ewwww)
So, I guess it turns out that I'm a person who gets migraines. I don't really know why, but I've fought off that "label" for many, many years. One migraine a year doesn't mean I "get migraines," it just... means I had one. That one time. Total fluke.

And then I had a baby, and stuff changes, and I got two or three in the first year after he was born. So that seemed worth bringing up to my OB, and she changed my birth control, and that helped. For a little while. And now I've had two in the last two months, and they were the kind that just knocked me out of being able to function at all for about 6 hours at a time. Granted, I know there are people who get them much worse, and for much longer, and on the migraine spectrum I'm pretty lucky. They follow a set list of symptoms, they last for about 4-6 hours, and then that's it. Just the migraine hangover for a day and I'm back to normal.

But since I'm new to this admission, I'm wondering if there is more research I should do, or if that'd just be falling down the Internet rabbit hole of too much information. Are there foods I should avoid? Things I can do to make the hangover go away faster? It's not even a medical hangover, because I don't have any migraine meds, it's just the dull feeling left in my head for a day after I've had one. I found today that a good massage really helped get that to burn off faster, which was pretty neat. Should I even investigate meds, if I'm over the whole cycle in less than a day? I'm not generally a better living through pharmaceuticals kind of person.

This is what I'm pondering today. Happy three day weekend, everyone! :)
lynthia: (Dunno bout that)
I'm either super good at getting a lot done in a short time, or I just sit and stare blankly for an hour. That's what it feels like, anyway.

The child goes to bed on his own now, and I'm pretty firm that he needs to fall asleep that way before I'll come to bed (we co-sleep because it's easier for me to handle his nightmares when I'm already there). But that means on the nights that he's being stubborn about going to sleep, I basically have to wait him out. Which I've been doing for about an hour and a half. I tried watching a stupid movie on Netflix and it was just too stupid, had to turn it off. Tried watching Veronica Mars on and got annoyed at the commercials (I have the DVDs, I just have to unpack them - I'm not watching commercials!). Pondered doing some paperwork organizing, decided that printing labels was noisy and not going to help the child go to sleep.

Only NOW did I realize that I could have been taking the pictures off the camera, organizing them, and possibly making some kind of coherent post about the ABSOLUTE CHAOS that has been my last three weeks. DUH.

We went to Disneyland for our wedding anniversary/Dapper Day, which of course yielded cute pictures. We went to Tahoe and the child got on skis for the first time; cute pictures. It was his fourth birthday on Monday, and my dad and sister both came out from the East Coast for the occasion. CUTE PICTURES. And they all sit on my camera, useless to the outside world. *sigh* Kind of makes you wonder why I take all those pictures sometimes. If I'm not going to share them, might as well just enjoy the moment and put the darn camera away, huh?

So. Mental list. Do something with the pictures. You know, one of these days...
lynthia: (polycon)
I must have been sending out some kind of SOS to the Universe yesterday, because I had several people randomly check in and say hi, and something kind, just because they felt like it. Once and you just think it's neat, but three times in six hours and you know it's time to listen. So, thanks for that, Universe. I'm listening.

Other than that, I'm not really sure what to report. Mundane things, really. Finally got a batch of picture frames so we can put stuff on the walls. They are nicely painted, of course, but not a lot on them just yet. We have a mosquito issue that is making me *bonkers.* Each day, one gets in. Just one. But it waits until we're sleeping and then gnaws on my child, and it's infuriating. And then I kill it, and we're good for a night, and then another one gets in. We need to be really diligent about fixing all the screens and stuff before it gets warm again, because I am about to start stringing mosquito netting over the bed or something. No more eating my baby!

Other than a preschool fundraiser tonight, I don't have any solid plans this weekend. I hope that means some productivity, and some serious veg time too. It's good to have dreams. ;)
lynthia: (polycon)
I mean, maybe I wouldn't. Maybe that's why I feel vaguely brain dead all the time. What if it's already too late? Maybe I'm a Pepsi zombie... I crave sugary carbonated drinks instead of brains...

Actually made it to the gym yesterday, thanks to [ profile] shofixti. I hadn't been since before we moved, so it's been awhile. He made me do sit ups, and my abs hurt. It's been far too long since that happened, so I'm glad. It means there are still some abs in there somewhere. :) I gained back more weight than I'd really like last year, though I'm still significantly under my pre-pregnancy high. I'm just squishier than I was in 2011. Could be worse. (I could be a zombie.)

Last week was something of a creative whirlwind. Got my embroidery machine running again, and was struck with a need to embroider ALL THE THINGS! So the coat that I was making? It got embellished. And then it became reversible, so I could differently embellish the other side. (I did take pictures, but they're on a dress dummy, and don't really do it justice. I'm waiting to see if I can get some action shots from the weekend.) And while I was sewing that together on my regular machine, I had the embroidery machine decorating canvas to become reusable shopping bags. That's my go-to when there's a design I'm just dying to stitch, but I can't think of what to do with it. Everything goes on a reusable canvas bag! So yeah. One corset, one reversible coat, three canvas bags, plus all of normal life, all in one week. No wonder the space between Monday and Friday seemed to disappear.

It's February, and it's weird that in the school world that means it's time to plan for summer. We're already putting together the schedule for summer school at the preschool, and sign ups will be next week. So I'm supposed to decide now how much I'm going to sign up [ profile] cwsmithiv for this summer, and I'm not sure how to handle it. Such a delicate balance between keeping him busy, not over scheduling him, how much it costs, and how much I want to have to figure out what to do with him. :) I'm currently leaning toward signing him up for every other week of the eight week summer session. Just split the whole thing right down the middle.

This coming week, it's all about getting the rest of the residual sewing out of my room (and my life) so that I can concentrate on Dapper Day. It happens to fall on the same weekend as my wedding anniversary this year, so I'm totally using that to my advantage. We've got a reservation at the Grand Californian Hotel (SWANKY!), Charles will actually go with us, we're going to stay for three nights, it's going to be lovely. But I think at this point I have six people to dress for the event, and it's only three weeks away. So... time to get to work! I'm making a sailor suit for [ profile] cwsmithiv. How cute is that going to be?!? And he can't wait either, he thinks it's a Donald Duck costume. Works for me.
lynthia: (polycon)
Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up:
- Got fed up with certain aspects of my living situation, threw a bit of a tantrum, demanded that we move. Totally adult move? Enh, not really. Probably about time, after 14 years in the same apartment? Yeah. Are we happier now, even if it is essentially three times as expensive? Not a doubt.
- Result: we bought a house. "Manufactured home," technically, but that's the last time I'm going to put it that way. I've spent several months apologizing for our house, it's not "real," it didn't cost a million dollars and in Silicon Valley that means we cheated, blah blah blah. It cost real money, we have a real mortgage, it's made of real walls and we really live in it. Done.
- I thought we were going to be immune to the phenomenon where you uproot a small child and they turn into the devil, because our move was such an obviously positive change for him. He has a bedroom and a playroom, he got to pick his own paint colors, more room to play inside, room to play outside, all that jazz. Turns out some things can't be reasoned away, you just have to go through them. That was rough.
- As of last June, I have been the Registrar for [ profile] cwsmithiv's preschool. I love it to bitty pieces, it's a job all about paperwork. :)
- If I have free time, I'm probably spending it watching [ profile] tersa play Dragon Age (she comes over and plays so I can see the story, since I suck at console games) or playing WoW with [ profile] shofixti. I finally, as of yesterday, have a level 90 panda. Whoo, one max level character! ;)
- I don't read much these days, which is sad. I don't knit ever, which is also sad. And I'm really hoping to do some for-fun sewing soon. Work sewing is feeling way too much like work anymore, and that needs to change.

Goals for 2013:
- Not get bronchitis. So far so good.
- Spend less money. Not buying another house should really help with that. :P
- Take an actual vacation. Yes, indeed, that is counter to goal #2. But my dear husband WORKS TOO MUCH, and I'm pretty sure the only way to get that to back down a bit is to drag him kicking and screaming to an island. Sadly, Hawaii has perfectly decent internet, but we'll see what happens.
- Get back into some form of exercise routine. I still have a gym membership, but when I started dealing with the move I got utterly out of the habit of going. And now we're in a different city, so my excuse is that I haven't figured out which one I want to go to anymore. There are options, and I just need to pick one and go.
- Post more. I know, ha ha, last year was an all time low. But I've had this journal for over 10 years now, and I'm very reluctant to let it die. I just need to stop worrying about making it perfect, and do it anyway.
- Counter to that one, I really want to get a sewing blog off the ground. I do fun things, I want to get to show them off. I'm just tragically bad at taking process pictures, and not so great at getting finished product pictures either.

We'll see how it goes. :)
lynthia: (white kenya tiger)
So, it's a weird night. The kid only got a 5 minute nap today, so he sacked out on the couch at 8 pm. Charles is still at work, but he's supposed to be home at a "decent" hour. Whatever that means. I made myself a sandwich for dinner, tried to turn on the tv and found that it's not working, played a game on my iPhone for a little bit... and then found myself sitting on the couch, experiencing a very strange feeling. It actually took me awhile to figure out what it was, because it was so unfamiliar.

I was bored.

I haven't even had the luxury of boredom in so long, I had no idea what it was like anymore. :) That is SUCH a bad sign.

So, I put on a movie that I can't watch while the kid is awake (using the PS3, since the computer that runs our tv is still being cranky), and figured this must be the perfect time to do some blogging.

Of course, I have nothing all that exciting to say. But I'll try.

- The year is definitely speeding up before it ends. There are so many activities, fundraisers, events, etc going on, I have to check my calendar every single day just to make sure I haven't forgotten anything. It's nuts.
- And because I clearly needed more to do, I joined the Board of Directors for the next school year. I'm going to be the Registrar. We all know I'm going to love it.
- We have a parent-teacher conference next week. Our first one! Kind of makes me laugh. He's only three, and it's a parent participation school. I'm there half the time he is anyway!
- I already wonder how he's going to handle it at the beginning of next year, when 2/3rds of his class is different. What they can and can't handle with grace is so hard to figure out at this age.

- Charles has been working seriously ridiculous hours lately. Like, 10 am to 1 am. All week. And apparently, he's leaving next Wednesday on a business trip that will last at least a week, but may bleed right into another trip. And then another. And then my sister's graduation in DC, and then he won't be home until May 22nd or so. So essentially, he'll be gone for almost a month. That'll be neat.
- I joined a gym. It's still weird to even say that, I've never been a "gym person." I signed up for some personal training sessions, mostly so I could learn how you're actually supposed to use a gym. I really like it, but I might have to tell him to be more careful with me. I can do the workouts just fine, but then the next day I hurt so much I'm actually impaired. I have trouble going up stairs, and sometimes my legs actually try to give out on me when I'm carrying C4. It's two or three days before I could even consider going back, and that means I'm only going twice a week, max. I don't think that's how it's supposed to work!

- I've finally admitted defeat. I think. All this time, I've been trying to keep myself as busy as possible, cramming in sewing jobs where I could, because I felt like I really had to in order to justify my existence. And more and more lately, I found that the stress of figuring out how and when to get the job done was just not working out with what I was able to make off the commissions. And worse, the more stressed I got, the crankier and more short tempered I was with C4. Poor little sucker, he's only three, and he's already so good at playing by himself and letting me work, it wasn't fair for me to get so frustrated when he had days where he just needed my attention more than that. So for now, I've decided to stop taking paid jobs. That doesn't mean I won't sew, by any stretch, and it doesn't even mean I won't sew for others. But the Official-ness of being paid for a job is just a little too much for me right now. If I'm doing someone a favor, it's okay to say "Hey, my kid got sick, and I just couldn't work on it this week." It's different.
- Also, Costume College is in four short months, and dang it, this time I want to be really prepared! :)

I suppose that's enough of the random babble from me. Maybe I'll sort digital pictures for awhile or something. I have this wild idea that I might start scrapbooking again on a regular basis... Ever the optimist!
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