Monday, September 26, 2005

Random Thoughts

  • Those OnSt*r commercials where they play audio from real emergencies? Evil. I hate them. They make me cry. I think it is heartless to put other people's pain on the radio to make money.
  • Banana bread without nuts is pointless.
  • I think I am getting some energy back....


Leave it to the Internet to teach me something new....

I teach lots of kids with different learning disabilities including dyslexia, and I try to have empathy and compassion for them. I think I do a reasonably good job, and work hard to make my lessons open to students of all abilities and challenges. What I haven't been able to do so far is have much idea what it's like to be in their shoes. I can't remember not being able to read. Words just make sense to me. Always have.

But this word verification thing? Now I do have a sense of what it's like to have text be the enemy. Words and letters twisting around nonsensically. Half the time I can't do it. Blogger rejects me and makes me try again because I just CAN'T copy those stupid letters in the weird way they show up.

I'm not making light of this. It's seriously giving me more insight into what I think some people experience. Only for them it is all the time, everything, everywhere. And I can't imagine what that word verification thing is like if you DO have dyslexia. Ugh.

Friday, September 23, 2005

It's Not a Trout (now with Picture!)

That much we can say definitively. Beyond that, here’s what we know:

Harpo shocked and confused the ultrasound tech this afternoon by initially measuring a week ahead of schedule. “Are you sure of your dates?” she asked.* Uh, yeah. From other angles, Harpo wasn’t as drastically huge, but we seem to be having a big baby. Shocker. Harpo’s heart is still beating strongly, and we got to listen to it over the ultrasound machine. We saw a head, a body, hands, and fingers!

Some of our neighbors were gathered for munchies and beer this evening, so we wandered over to the gathering, pictures in hand, and finally spilled the beans. People were wonderful, and their love and excitement is helping it seem a little more real to me. Of course there's still the terror that we've told people so now everything will go wrong, but that may just be the way things are for a little while.

We're having technical difficulties tonight, so pictures will be posted once our problems are worked out (or once we're awake and coherent enough to deal with them). In any case, not tonight.

UPDATED: Here s/he is!!!

*But actually, she was the coolest U/S tech we’ve ever had. She didn’t bat an eye at Cait’s presence and understood that we had used donor sperm, so she wasn’t really questioning the dates. She just could NOT fathom why Harpo is so big. She also made it clear that being big is not a cause for concern, just weird. Go us.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

A Taste of What's to Come

Our little friend GiggleGirl invited herself along on a series of errands I had tonight. We spent a good bit of time in the car, so I had the kids' CD we keep for her playing on the car stereo. After a while, I noticed that I was the only one singing, so I looked in the rear mirror to see she'd dropped off to sleep.

After a second, I shrugged my shoulders and just kept singing...

Sunday, September 18, 2005

The M-Word

Yesterday we had to retrieve a few things from the basement for a neighbor's party. Somehow (don't ask me how) I managed to convince Jen that we should bring up the bin of hand-me-down maternity clothes that have been hiding down there for the better part of a year. She carefully removed all labels indicating the contents of the bin, and we lugged it up together. She was convinced that our neighbors were looking intently at the bin, somehow knowing what lurked within. I laughed and reminded her that everything looked fine last Tuesday and that, at this point we're just a little over a week from the end of the first trimester, so who cares if neighbors are suspecting things?

Wrong answer.

One mini-meltdown and lots of hugs, kisses, and reassurances later, we shoved the box out of our front hall and ignored it for the rest of the day.

Imagine my shock when she was willing to try on a pair of (really cute) overall shorts this morning. Since they screamed PREGNANT, and we still haven't told most people, she decided not to wear them. However, when I pointed out that her growing belly was becoming pretty obvious even in her regular clothes, she opened the bag of maternity shirts. It's kind of shocking what one of those shirts can do. No, it doesn't hide anything, but it looks really cute and...pregnant.

The entire walk to and from the farmer's market, I couldn't stop looking and grinning. I wanted to run into people we know, just to see if they'd notice and what they would say. And at the same time there's still this damn voice in my head, reminding me that we're so, so far from out of the woods yet. And I'm scared that I'm getting too excited now, because what if we go in for the ultrasound on Friday and everything's NOT ok? What if the heartbeat has stopped? What if it's too small? What if there's something wrong? What if we're not growing a baby, but a...I don't know...a trout? It did look like a fish at that 7 week ultrasound.

But she still looks damn cute in that maternity shirt.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

A (s)Tick in the Eye

Remember last week when I said there was bad news on the horizon about Cait's Lyme treatment? Well, I didn't know how bad. At the time, I thought we might have to pay about $1500 a month out of pocket to continue the one drug that has shown any signs of working. That now seems like chump change. For the next week alone, we've been told we need to pay $854 for the drug, plus at least $90 for nursing supervision. Which, multiplied out, is more like $4000 per month.

After you get your breath back, you may ask "Why?" (Possibly in less polite terms. God knows I swore a blue streak when Cait first called.)

...slight interruption - I am, as usual, multitasking. I'm on the phone with various companies trying to haggle, sell my soul, alter my citizenship, or otherwise find a better price. And I was just on the phone with one of those online Canadian pharmacies with a slightly CLUELESS operator who said, "Oh, that's 27.38 for 100 grams," -- 50 days worth -- at which I practically began crying tears of joy. And then she said, "Oh, that's the wrong medicine. Sorry. It's $385.85 for 10 grams." And I wanted to puke...

Anyway, back to why. Well, the reason is our stupid medical care system. Our insurance will no longer pay for the drug -- the ONLY thing that has worked for her in the past three years -- because she's been on it too long. Does this make any sense? Not to me.

We've tried the patient assistance program from the drug manufacturer. Nope. Cait makes too much money. Well, at this price, we'd have to pay almost $52,000 for a year's worth of this drug. Let me tell you, Cait, a public school teacher, does NOT make anything near that amount.

So I am fuming, and scared, and frantically researching anything I can to see if there's a way to make this work.

I HATE our health care system. It only works if you're healthy. And wealthy.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Holy Cow! It's Okay!

After a tension filled afternoon of delays and frustration (while I had thought to ask if they had an ultrasound machine in the office, I didn't know I needed to ask if they USED it) we finally had our appointment and a (sort of black market) ultrasound and EVERYTHING LOOKS GOOD!

The new practice is ok -- a bit uptight and LOUSY at staying on schedule -- but the doctor we saw today was spectacular. Dr. Grrrreat was friendly, compassionate, totally welcoming of Cait, and supportive of our panic. When she saw how distraught we were at the possibility of waiting for a sonogram, she snuck us into the ultrasound room and did it herself, although she advised us, "I'm not a pro with this machine." And she wasn't, but she was so sweet and finally able to get it to cooperate. We saw a very fuzzy Harpo*, the heartbeat, and some movement. THAT was way cool.

She was so awesome that she scheduled us for a REAL ultrasound next week, too, even though we've had way more than the norm for her practice. So, YAY Dr. Grrrreat and YAY! YAY! YAY! Harpo! Keep on growing and beating and jumping!

*Should I decide to switch careers again, I am definitely avoiding ultrasonography. The doctor and Cait were all like, "Oh, yeah, there it is! Wow!" and I was having a Rachel-from-Friends moment.

99.99% scared

.01% hopeful & excited

OB appt. this afternoon (4pm EDT, so don't get your panties in a wad if you don't hear anything before 6 or 7ish). Very nervous (THIS is going to be one productive day at school, oh yeah) but noticing a glimmer of optimism hovering timidly around the edges. Aaaaaaagh. This will be the longest 9 hours of my life....

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Oh My God, I'm NOT Mo.


You scored as Toni. You are Toni, the highly-feminine, Puerto Rican lesbian of your gang. You've been letting your attention stray from your long-time partner. It's time to take her to bed and find a new use for that goose-necked lamp!

Which Dyke to Watch Out For Are You?
created with

Except, if you ask my friends, I really, really am Mo. I even have a Mo shirt. I wear it when I am feeling stressed out.

(Highly feminine?!)

(If ya don't know what I am talking about, go here.) Take the quiz yourself and find out where you would fit in!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

The Name Game

Here at AddProb we are not keen on naming offspring in utero. For one thing, what if little Hepzebah Marie pops out and you take one look at her and she's CLEARLY Millicent Bathsheba? You've got to make all those phone calls, return all that monogrammed stuff, and retrain your tongue. Two, we also are not likely to find out the gender of any child we carry (though the final vote has not been tallied on this issue, in part because the legislature has not determined what to do about tie votes). And if you don't know the gender it's a little trickier to pre-name. Finally, and most importantly, it totally freaks us out on a superstitious level. Naming a baby, and using that name, before the baby is born seems like a HUGE invitation for trouble. We know that lots of people feel differently, and that's fine for them and their babies. We just choose differently for ourselves.

However, many of you have asked why we refer to our future child as Harpo. No, we don't know it's a boy. We're not obsessed with Oprah* or the Marx brothers. We don't plan on actually naming our child Harpo, and if we did we wouldn't be referring to him/her by name yet. But we've got to call him/her something. The reason is simply this:

Ummm...It sounds good with embryo. Harpo the Embryo. Dunno, worked for us.

*Jen was like, "Huh?" She didn't know "Harpo" is "Oprah" spelled backwards! Nor did she know anything about her production company. See what happens when you don't watch TV and you don't have cable?

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Sticks... Ice Cream Sticks, that is.

Today I found out a co-worker is pregnant (13 weeks) and saw a friend from our "baby group" who is now 17 weeks. They both look like sticks (ok, the 17-week friend looks like a stick with a small knot on the bark).

When, God willing, I am 17 weeks, I will look like Ben AND Jerry. Put together.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Still Crying

Last night Cait and I got a little worried, because we were discussing the future of her Lyme treatment (bad news on the horizon – more on that later) and I was not crying. Since my emotional hyperactivity has been a key sign that things seem still to be on track with the pregnancy, the lack of tears really was cause for concern.

But as I read the newspaper and ate my cereal this morning, I sobbed to Cait, “I’m still crying. It’s ok.” I don’t even know what to say about the horror and misery after the hurricane. I cannot stop reading the newspaper and stories online, despite the fact that it leaves me with tears streaming down my face and wracked with sobs. When I try to stop, I think to myself that the people IN the nightmare can’t escape it, so why should I? And it guts me that there’s so little I can do. Yes, we’ve donated money, and we’ll keep doing so. We’re giving supplies and clothing to the refugees who are headed to the DC area. But it’s such a drop in the bucket.

And then there’s the government and it’s lack of response. I am ashamed and appalled by the lame, late, and lackluster response of the president and the federal agencies. And I am sickened by the endless stream of people, particularly those involved in “coordinating” the rescue effort, who keep blaming the victims. Yes, some of the people chose to stay despite having the means to leave. Yes, some of the people in New Orleans have taken advantage of a desperate situation to do selfish, despicable things. But most of them are innocent, law-abiding, decent people who COULD NOT leave because they were poor, because they were sick, because they had no way to get themselves and their families out even though they knew it was a terrible risk.

Of course, the part that’s hardest for me to cope with is thinking about the babies and their parents. Every day there’s another heart-shattering story: the woman with the feverish 3-week old turned away by the MPs saying, “Sorry. There’s nothing we can do.” The teeny tiny children separated from their parents and sent on buses to Houston, ALONE. The children raped while others looked on, doing nothing. Horrors upon horrors upon horrors.

So I cry. I don’t know what else to do.

I'm sure you've already made a donation to help. If you are in a position where you can make additional donations, I finally found the Rainbow Fund, a gay and lesbian organization working to help Katrina's survivors*. For more charity choices, check out Network For Good's extensive list.

*If you think sexuality shouldn't matter in a disaster, you're right. It shouldn't, but it does. Gay individuals and families get discriminated against, scapegoated, and shortchanged in disasters even more than in everyday life. It happened during
9/11, it happened after the tsunami, and it's already happening now.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Criminals go free, but...

What is this world coming to? I was frustrated a few years ago when grocery stores and drug stores started keeping expensive goods (electronics, mostly) behind the customer service counter to prevent theft, but it seemed understandable and I wasn't really affected by it as I usually buy my electronics at electronic stores (shocking -- ha!ha! -- but true). The subsequent imprisonment of OPKs and HPTs inconvenienced and embarrassed me to a much greater degree, but I grudgingly went along with it as the drugstore was the simplest place to add to my stash, especially (ahem) at 10:30 or so at night.

However, steam is shooting out of my ears this very moment, because now CVS has chosen to jail DEODORANT. Yup, that's right, deodorant. $2.00 basic hygeine products. WHAT. THE. FUCK?!?!?