Sunday, January 29, 2006


I had to beg Jen really hard to post this photo, folks. I promised all sorts of things that aren't fit for public consumption, and swore up and down that this would be the only time I would ever ask for such a thing. So don't get used to it. Here's Jen at 29 weeks, 5 days.

29 weeks, 5 days

But isn't that belly beautiful in a way that you just can't see when there's a shirt obscuring it?

Oh, right, I'm also supposed to say that this is only being posted because Jen really, really loves me.

AddProb, the Cliffs Notes version

word cloud

Check this out! If you plug in your blog address you can get this really nifty "word cloud". Thanks to Jody for the link!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

What DID we do before the Internet?

Props to Liza for this one. And thanks for the snort of laughter it brought me.

Ten Top Trivia Tips about Jen!

  1. Ideally, Jen should be stored on her side at a temperature of 55 degrees!
  2. Jen has three eyelids.
  3. Reindeer like to eat Jen.
  4. Bees visit over three million flowers to make a single kilogram of Jen!
  5. You can tell if Jen has been hard-boiled by spinning her. If she stands up, she is hard-boiled.
  6. If you break Jen, you will get seven years of bad luck!
  7. An average beaver can cut down Jen every year!
  8. Astronauts get taller when they are in Jen.
  9. Jen once lost a Dolly Parton lookalike contest!
  10. Jen can be found on a Cluedo board between the Library and the Conservatory!
I am interested in - do tell me about

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Pour Some Sugar on ME, Baby!


If you heard a resounding cry of joy at about 1:45 pm Eastern Time today, that was probably me getting the news that I passed my GTT, and apparently quite resoundingly. The midwife said, "You must have felt AWFUL during the last hour since your blood sugar level was so insanely low!" And then proceeded to admonish me to make sure I eat regularly enough that I never let my blood sugar crash like that again. As if I did it on purpose! But the bottom line is, no gestational diabetes and no need to cut sugar out of my life for the next three months. Hooray, hooray, hooray!

Thanks to all who offered support, advice and encouragement. I agree, it really is overdiagnosed and in many cases not the huge problem it's made out to be, but there is a small history of diabetes in my family, so it was probably worthwhile to be sure. But OH, am I glad that's behind me!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Three-Hour GTT (Grossness, Tortured veins, & Tedium)

If you haven't had the pleasure of either the one- or three-hour glucose tolerance test, it basically consists of this: force yourself to swallow an orange syrup that tastes like a cold, melted lollipop (except it's more like 30 lollipops for the one-hour and 60 lollipops for the three-hour) and then surrender your veins to the vampires. Interspersed with A LOT of waiting, some nausea, lightheadedness and the shakes (if your body doesn't like all that sugar on an empty stomach). One blood draw for the one-hour; four for the three-hour. Which meant in my case 6 or 7 punctures. But it's done now, and all that's left is the waiting for the results. Have you noticed there's a lot of waiting in the whole getting, staying, and being pregnant (or otherwise acquiring a kid) process??

Saturday, January 21, 2006

How Sweet It Is

Turns out I blew the 1 hour gestational diabetes test, and will have to go in next week for the 3-hour funfest. Though my rational mind knows that many women fail the one hour but go on to pass the 3-hour, and furthermore that even if I were to fail the next test it would not mean dire, horrible things, just inconvenient and frustrating dietary changes, this has thrown me into a total tailspin.

It's brought up great steaming mountains of guilt (I make selfish, bad food choices and endanger myself and my baby), buried self-hatred (It's all because I am fat) and my typical panic when feeling out of control (Oh, God, now we'll have to switch to an OB and a hospital and what if something's wrong with the kid and Jesus this predisposes me to REAL diabetes and oh shit oh hell oh crap...). I want to repeat, rationally I know these things are not true and that the consequences if I should happen to have GD will be primarily matters of convenience and comfort, rather than life-threatening for me or for Harpo, but those are the thoughts that spew forth from my distressed brain.

Needless to say, Cait has been concerned at the directions my thoughts are taking, and has been trying to comfort me and help me approach this more calmly. She suggested that, in keeping with the Hypn0b1rthing, we try to come up with some affirmations to address this situation. So we've thought of things like "My blood sugar is stable and healthy," and "I eat healthful food for my body and my baby," and "My insulin levels are just what they should be." (Imagine, by the way, that all of these statements are made in a calm, soothing, serious, almost but not quite bore-you-to-death tone of voice). Unfortunately, my smartass brain keeps coming up with helpful statements like, "I drink Coca-Cola until it spurts out of my ears," and "My baby's blood is 99% sugar." Clearly, my insulin levels may be out of whack, but my sense of humor remains right where it's always been. Pretty smartass.

Friday, January 20, 2006

It's the little things

Two of my co-workers are also pregnant, and one is due in early March. She's beginning to make her plans to leave, even to the point that she realized she will miss the baby showers for the other two of us. So yesterday, to our surprise, she gave us both presents at lunch. As she handed them out, she said, "I hope I didn't mix up the tags." Everyone began to make jokes, because both N. and S. know the sex of their babies (girls, both) while we, of course, don't.

When we opened the packages, we found picture frames with a scrapbooked background reading, "Now I lay me down to sleep; my parents are loving me," along with stars and a crib. N. explained, "You put your picture in it and hang it above the crib." We all oohed and aahed, admiring N.'s creativity and scrapbooking talent (as well as her organizational skills and planning at having our presents for us before she goes on leave!). Just before I headed back to class, I remembered her concern about the "right" packages and snuck a peek at S.'s frame. Hers read, "My mom and dad are loving me." Ah, I thought, it wasn't the sex of the baby.

Twenty-five eager 4th graders followed by 24 very, very needy second graders will drive all higher-order thinking right out of your head, so it wasn't until I was driving to pick up Cait that I had a moment to think about the gifts. Once I did, I nearly broke down crying. It's such a little thing, to change the words. But it says so much about welcoming and acceptance. And that's not something I take for granted, especially as we move into a whole new world of being gay - gay parents, not just individual (or even coupled) lesbians.

I don't even know how to express my feelings to N. when I write a thank-you note. I think she just logically saw that the regular words wouldn't work, so she changed them. No big deal. But that it wasn't a big deal, that she just did it and didn't make a fuss - instead of 1) changing the language but calling major attention to it 2) pretending there is no issue and using the standard language** or 3) avoiding the issue and doing something altogether different for me, since I don't fit the traditional model - that *IS* a big deal.

Elementary schools tend to reinforce notions of traditional family structure and heterosexism by their very nature. Even though many kids have families that don't fit the nuclear model (one parent, grandparent-headed, blended, two moms/dads, etc.) the general assumption in many schools is that a kid has a mom and a dad, and by extension, if you're a pregnant woman, you have a male partner. My school is NOT utopia, and I do deal with this fairly often, especially from parents. But the seamless way that the staff at my school has welcomed me and my family is really wonderful, and I am so glad we are surrounded by open-minded, creative, loving people.

*Ok, so the lines don't scan right anymore. What-ever! The gesture is there.
**Oh, you'd be surprised. Some people just don't THINK! Or care.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Put the baby to bed

We had an OVERWHELMINGLY wonderful shower in Detroit and are just flattened by the love and support we are getting from so many people. More on that later with a few fun pictures....

Among our many supporters in the DC area are my dad and his new wife. She is SO excited about this baby that words really don't describe it, and one of the first times we had dinner with them after announcing this pregnancy, she offered (without consulting my dad!) that they would buy us a crib. We looked at different cribs with her online and talked back and forth several times, finally settling on a clean, simple, pretty crib. We had decided we wanted a white crib, because all the other furniture for the room is being passed down from various sources and it's all white (except the painted rocking chair from when I was a baby).

There was a bit of confusion prior to ordering the crib because the world of cribs, my friends, is very weird. There are tons of retailers, tons of manufacturers, and a zillion different models. Many of which are the same players with different names OR the same names on vastly different cribs. My stepmom and dad saw a crib with the right model name at the PX and wanted to know if it was the right one, so we grabbed a link off the 'net and sent it to them to show the crib we wanted. It wasn't, but because of the link, they knew which one we liked and ordered it. (Did you know most crib stores - online AND brick and mortar - take 3 or more MONTHS to get your crib for you?!?!).

To our delight, the online store they used has a remarkably quick turnaround and the crib arrived this weekend, just in time to add to the baby shower bounty (though in DC, thankfully not in Detroit). When we called yesterday to ask my dad if he could pick us and our collossal stack of luggage up at the airport today, he told us the crib was here! There was much rejoicing...

...until he said, "You know, that crib you want only comes in Antique White or French White or something." And I said, "No, it definitely comes in white." And things went downhill from there.

It turns out they ordered the crib using the link we sent them - which was to show the DESIGN of the crib, not the color (since they knew we wanted white). And that store, for some reason, doesn't sell it in white. So the crib that's here is blond wood. It can't be exchanged because they don't sell the white. Furthermore, it turns out, that model has been discontinued, so we can't find it anywhere. AND returning the crib would cost almost $200 between shipping costs, insurance, and the Mafia-like "restocking fee". But this was the one piece of furniture we were getting new for the baby's room, and I really, really had my heart set on white.

We've spent all day 1) trying to sell the beech crib and 2) searching for a white crib that is simple, in the same price range, and IN STOCK, because we'd like the crib here before the kid, and if we have to order it, that's iffy.

The bigger problem is, I feel like such a jerk. My dad and especially my stepmom were just trying to be nice and give something special to the baby. And the easy thing to do would be to keep the crib they bought and not make a fuss. But I know myself and I know I'd be upset at some level every time I saw it. Then I think about all the people in the world that would be grateful to have any crib for their baby to sleep in (or duh, a baby, period) and I feel like an even lousier heel. So in the middle of The Crib Accords, Part 23, I lost it completely and started blubbering in Cait's arms for about 10 minutes.

Clearly, the one who needs the crib - regardless of color - is me.

Where we currently stand is that we were able to find a similar white crib at a local store, and have bought it. We're still trying to sell the beech crib, so if you know anyone in the DC area looking for a pretty, natural wood crib, send 'em our way.

And I still feel like a jerk. But a jerk with a white crib. Now, where's my teddy bear?

Friday, January 13, 2006

Answers? We don't need no stinkin' answers!

About two months ago, Cait's Lyme doctor told her to stop all of her medications so that she could be re-tested to see what's up as far as the infection is concerned. After two years of treatment, she still felt lousy, so he wanted to determine whether she still had active infection or whether the infection had been controlled. Neither option is great.

If she still has active infection, it means all the standard (and many of the alternative and experimental) treatments have failed to address the root cause of the problem, and it's unclear what to do next. The doctor suggested that if this were the case, he'd want to go further into alternative therapies. Given some of the bizarre things she's tried, we're apprehensive about this scenario. But it would be nice to know that she still does have active infection, since that is a clear problem (even if the solution eludes us).

On the other hand, if the infection is no longer in play, it means that the fatigue and pain are essentially damage to her body left behind even after the bacteria have ceased their attack. Which might mean that they are here to stay. Nobody really knows what causes this condition. There's not a lot of consensus on what to do about post-Lyme issues, and many people in this position end up on a lot of pain and other medications. Some even have to go on disability as things worsen over time. However, her doctor knows a specialist in New Jersey who has had a lot of success working with patients with post-Lyme pain, and would send us there if that's what we're facing.

Yesterday, we had a follow up appointment with Dr. Specialist to review the test results. Neither option was very appealing, as both have little to offer in the way of immediate relief or even much hope. But we were both looking forward to the appointment, in a way, because - finally - after two years of mountains of pills, injections, bills, pain, frustration, and treks to various doctor's offices, we were going to get an answer.

Regular AdProb readers will not be surprised in the least to learn that our expectations were dashed the moment we walked in the door. Cait had three tests. One showed evidence of active infection. Another, usually very reliable, gave results that indicate the infection is essentially gone. The results of the third, and I quote from the lab sheet: "Inconclusive." At this, Dr. Specialist basically threw his hands up in the air and said, "I don't know where to go next." Which is pretty much the situation we've been in for about a year.

Because the pain has become Cait's major symptom, he is sending her to the doctor in New Jersey even though the tests are unclear. We were lucky to get an appointment a few weeks from now (Dr. Specialist thought we wouldn't get in until March - no offence, Jerseyites, but we DON'T want Harpo to be born in NJ!!) and are hopeful that a new doctor, with a new angle, may offer some solutions - even if we don't get any goddamn answers.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Everybody's Doing It!

Better late than never... turns out this week is DeLurking Week. We've made some fabulous friends (IRL and ITC)* through reading and commenting on other blogs, and it really makes my day to read comments from our faithful following when you post them here, but I know there are also a whole bunch of you who read silently. I'd love to know who you are!

I got another nudge to post about DeLurking Week this morning when I got an email from another molar pregnancy survivor thanking me for putting our story online. It really made my morning, because I remember how much I wanted to find other people who had been through this obscure, frightening experience, and I am so glad that I could be there for someone who's there now.

So come out, come out, wherever you are! You don't need to leave an address, a blog or even a name if you don't want - but I'd love to hear from everybody who stops by here. (Oh, and if you haven't already done so, you could also put a pin in the Guestmap - see the link in the middle of the column on the right).

Thanks for all of your friendship, encouragement, and support!

*In Real Life and In The Computer

Sunday, January 08, 2006

You are getting very sleeepy... UPDATED

It's been a baby-crazed weekend around here. Cait went to a shower for a co-worker yesterday, and we went together to the shower for some lesbian friends today, leaving early so we could go to our first childbirth class. Since we'd been at the shower we were running late, but we still had to stop for a quick bite to eat as I'd not found enough at the party to keep me together for a 2 1/2 hour class.

Despite my manic driving, we were still late to the class. As we neared the center, I said to Cait, "Now we won't just be the lesbians in the class, we'll be the LATE lesbians who come in with McDonald's!"* Just as Cait was beginning to panic - having forgotten until I reminded her of the awkwardness of being queer in a typically straight institution - we pulled into the parking lot (the wrong way, unfortunately) and squeezed into the only remaining space, parking in another car. Which had a rainbow flag sticker on it! Could it be....?

Indeed, there are four couples in our class, and two are lesbian! It's a Hypn0birthing class -- taught in a yoga ashram -- and if I'd stopped to think about it, I might not have been so apprehensive, as this is not the most mainstream of childbirth classes to begin with.

We will (or I should say, I will) be the challenging couple in the class, anyway, I think. I'm already struggling with skepticism. My earthy-crunchy side and my scientific side are deeply enmeshed in a war over the whole approach. I *want* to believe in Hypn0birthing and I want it to work for us. I totally believe in natural childbirth . But some of the claims of Hypn0birthing seem a bit over the top to me. It's already been evident in class - I've been the one to ask all the "But how come" and "Well why" questions, whereas the others, who have not said much at all, have mostly been gung-ho with their comments and questions. I'm going to give it a try, though, and hope I can work through my hesitation. It really does sound awesome!

UPDATE: Harpo definitely likes it! As his/her moms were giggling and snorting their way through the "affirmation"** CD last night, s/he was kicking up QUITE a storm. Harpo hasn't been that active in over a week! Maybe we'll learn something from the kid....

*Hey, we were in a hurry, and it was the only thing on the way. And I THOUGHT it had a drive through. But no. What do I know from McDonald's?!
**I hate that word.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Eggstremely Stupid

What is WRONG with this world???!?! By now I am used to the fact that stores start decorating and selling for Christmas after (and sometimes before!!!) Halloween, even though I think it's wrong, stupid, crass, and appalling. So yesterday I was not surprised to see Valentine's candy and cards and general shlock at the drugstore.

[Aside for those who wonder if this blog has ANYTHING to do with lesbians, babies, moles, or its purported theme anymore: I was picking up GI meds to deal with the reflux that pregnancy has brought me as a post-holiday gift.]

However, I was stunned and horrified to see a little display at the checkout of Reese's EGGS. People, Easter is not for MONTHS. Three of them. I'm quite aware of that fact, as Harpo and Easter are due to descend upon us at pretty much the same time. Plus, doesn't Reese's sell hearts for Valentine's Day? I'm sure they've got shamrocks in the pipeline, as the egg, which used to be available only at Easter, has morphed into some kind of strange treat for every possible holiday (I think they'll have flag shaped "eggs" for the 4th of July soon enough).

Just another reason to hate the drugstore.

But I did buy one. For Cait. :)

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Pssst... wanna know a secret?

Here it is: potato chips and onion dip. Preferably the kind you make yourself with sour cream and onion soup mix.

This is THE KEY to a successful party. What? You think I'm crazy? Try it yourself. Over the past year I have been conducting a quiet experiment and the results are incontrovertible. No matter how much they claim to be foodies, people love chips and dip. At the past two parties I have hosted, people have huddled around the bowls with the chip and dip as if it were manna from heaven. You needed dynamite to get in amongst them. These are adult people. People who advocate low-fat diets, exercise, and send their kids to school with carrot sticks and yogurt in their lunches.

Lest you think I'm a lousy host or a bad cook, both parties featured a wide array of edibles, healthy and not, highbrow and low, sweet and savory. But it's the chips and dip that get them, every time.

Monday, January 02, 2006

100 and 1

The first day of the year was also 100 days until Harpo's due date. I have a mild fascination with what I think of as "interesting" numbers and that coincidence kind of tickled me.

This also means that today it is 99 days until Harpo is due. Gulp. There's a whole ton of crap Cait and I have to do, individually and together, before this kid gets here. Like the thousands of things I have been putting off ignoring at work. Yikes.