December 17, 2013

30 Weeks: Poor, Poor Me

I'm feeling a little sorry for myself today.

I've blogged about my Endo frustrations before. It wears me down, leaves me feeling almost helpless... not a feeling I'm used to. So at my last OB appointment, my doctor and I discussed my going to a different clinic, one that I've used in the past. Today was my first appointment with them, and it was both a huge improvement as well as a slight disappointment.

What I loved was the knowledge about insulin pumps. The prior Endo made me write my blood sugars out by hand on this terrible sheet he'd come up with. I'd asked him why I couldn't just download my pump in one of my first appointments: he told me that there was too much information and he couldn't see the forest for the trees. Umm, okaaay then... I used his sheet without complaint. This morning I brought my log book, unsure about the procedure at this new clinic. One if the first things that the CDE did was download my pump and print off all the reports. Then we spent almost an hour and a half reviewing the data. At one point, we talked about ketones and the CDE was shocked to hear that I was still using urine test strips - she proceeded to give me a blood ketone meter for free and reviewed with me the pregnancy procedures in event of ketones. She gave me a thorough check-up: my feet were poked and prodded, it was discovered that I have a decent case of pregnancy-induced edema, and I even peed in a cup! 

Then it was the dietician. One of the things that I didn't have a complaint about at the old clinic was the Dietician - she was helpful and supportive. So was her counterpart today. She gave me a list of very cool apps and websites that I could use for carb counting and estimation and I left her office maintaining the positive feelings the CDE had inspired.

And then it was the Endo. One of the first things she told me was that, because they operate out of a different hospital and are under a different health authority than the one I'm delivering at, they might not be able to see me. I was crushed, I won't lie. I hid it well but it took an immense amount of will power to stop myself from crying. The previous 3 hours had been so helpful, so supportive, and now I was being told that I might not be allowed to continue receiving that help. 

It makes me shake my head, even right this moment, to think that I may have to accept what I consider sub-standard diabetes care because of where I'm delivering. Do I not pay the taxes that support our healthcare system?? Am I not entitled to the very best resources available for a person in my condition with the technology that I have????

We had a few hitches after that; she wanted to know why I was having difficulties with the Endo/clinic, and I explained to her that I didn't feel that they had the tools and resources necessary to help ME. I let her know that I had discussed with the prior Endo my belief that we didn't communicate well, that we weren't an effective team, and told her about how when I'd gone to him with an issue he'd shrugged it off and essentially told me that it would happen and there's nothing I can do about it. I just wanted help, that's all I've ever asked for!! I don't need someone to manage every little detail of my disease - I'm perfectly capable of doing that myself and my A1c reflects my dedication. But when I'm struggling with something I want to feel comfortable addressing it and then feel satisfied that I was given something to even try and do to resolve it!! That's not too much to ask of a specialist, is it?!?

And that's where things went a little sour. She made this comment to me (not word for word but pretty darn close):

"I don't want to tell you to suck it up, but you have to think about what's best for the baby and just because you don't like someone - -" 


I interrupted her right there. I'm pretty sure that my blood pressure increased a good ten points, I was so angry! 

"It's got NOTHING to do with my liking or not liking someone. It's about my having ALL of the tools and resources available to me to manage this disease and keep this baby healthy! How is that not about me doing what's best for this baby??"

She acknowledged that she'd misstepped in saying that it had anything to do with my liking him or not (I frankly don't like or dislike the man, I just want to be able to trust and rely on the person in that position for crying out loud!!), but I saw the whole medical clique/politics thing come into play a few times afterward. She told me that she'd try to liase with the other clinic, which put me over the moon, but then told me that she'd 'talk to Eddie about it', that being the first name of the old Endo. Le sigh. I appreciate and respect that the man is well known in the area for his research and for being a part of the Edmonton Protocol, but that means nothing to my immediate situation if the assistance that I need hasn't been there!!!! Jeesh. So I ignored it and just addressed what I NEEDED from that visit, and I got suggestions. She was willing to compromise with me, showed understanding when I explained why, in my mind, loosening up control of my blood sugars was not an acceptable trade-off for not gaining any more weight. The communication was fantastic, in spite of the little hitches we had, and I did leave feeling 90% satisfied with the visit.

And they booked me for an appointment in two weeks. Freaking awesome. At the next appointment I'll see the Endo who originally put me on the pump, which I'm looking forward to, along with the CDE and dietician again. 

And then I guess all I can do is continue to be an advocate for myself and my baby and the level of care that we require, and hope for the best. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if my file had been labelled with some big red sticker, letting everyone know that I'm a troublemaking upstart and a difficult patient... and I'm okay with that. So long as it gets me the level of care that I'm entitled to, I'll continue to fight the status quo.

Otherwise, I might as well just manage it all myself. And wouldn't that be a shame?? Because nobody should have to fight the system in order to access the resources available... and you know what? I shouldn't be judged for being willing to do that, either.

November 18, 2013

99 Days and Counting

We've broken the double digits! 25 weeks and 6 days in, and this baby will be born in 99 days. 

Well OK, most likely less than that since my OB typically induces around 39 weeks. He said he'll be okay with my going to 40 if everything looks good at that point... but only if I can continue to maintain the non-diabetic blood sugars that I've been kicking butt with. Challenge is on!

Did I mention that it's after 2 am in this lovely Minday morning? Ahhhh, pregnancy induced insomnia, my new BFF. (I hate you)

As of last weekend, L~ finally knows that he's going to be a big brother. While most 6 year old kids would probably have figured it out by now (especially considering the many slip-ups of our adult friends and family!), it took three other six year olds telling him point-blank what was going on before L~ caught on. Fortunately so far there doesn't seem to be any backlash and L~ is somewhat ambivalent about his forthcoming fall from Only Child Syndrome.

So far. Unfortunately L~, for all his sweetness, is a mass of medicated issues; developmentally, emotionally, physically. He's a ticking time bomb and I'm constantly waiting for the clock to hit zero. He has no physical drive and is quite simply the first and only lazy child I've ever in my life seen. He's having troubles in school - has been since the start of kindergarten last year. He doesn't understand the assignments. He doesn't pay attention and disrupts the class and has emotional breakdowns almost daily. He's at his fourth school in two years because Mr. Right and exnonwife keep beating around the bush instead of just acting and doing something proactive. It's the teachers fault, every time. Now they are putting him back into Kindergarten with the expectation that this will finally solve all their problems.

The thing is, he needs help. He doesn't need to be held back or switched into another school again - he needs one on one every day with a qualified educator who can teach him in a way that he will understand.

Because he's 6 years old and he cannot grasp simple concepts like the difference between a square and a rectangle.

Or letters of the alphabet.

I suggested Mr. Right have an assessment done. Unfortunately after the past two and a half months of his excuses and my frustration, we've come to the conclusion that this is an area where I cannot be involved. Because in his eyes I just think there's something wrong with L~, and in my eyes Mr. Right is so determined that his child is just perfect that he's not willing to get him the help he needs to succeed. 

So I wait for the next big issue; I wait for exnonwife to blame L~'s likely unsuccessful return to kindergarten on the fact that we're having a baby. (And believe me, I have every finger and toe crossed that I'm wrong and that he ends up excelling in kindergarten!) I wait for whatever medication they'll put him on next and the effect that that will have on his behavior (he's on thyroid and anti-seizure meds with the occasional steroidal inhaler or two thrown in for fun). And how that will affect our household and relationship every second weekend for the next... who even knows.

And how it's going to one day affect my child's environment. 

I worry too much, I know. But there's a little tiny part of me that screams in a very loud whisper: 'I REALLY DON'T WANT A CHILD LIKE L~!!' What I mean by that is, whatever gene that caused his impairments, whatever nature or nurture that influenced his delays and laziness: please do not make friends with my child. Mr. Right is average intelligence, and exnonwife seems to manage about the same. I have a high IQ; I taught myself to read when I was 3, resisted being advanced ahead two grades in school, understood concepts that the average person would find baffling. I'm not bragging, believe me. If anything I find that my intelligence hindered my childhood and has made being an adult somewhat frustrating. It even sometimes colours my relationship with Mr. Right and my immediate family, resulting in my having to suppress feelings and thoughts in order to relate to them.

But in spite of all that, I want everything for my child, including an innate keenness and intelligence. And the physical aptitude that runs in my family, as well as Mr. Right's. I hope that our little Sea Monkey is the exact opposite of the child that lives in our house every second weekend.

Is it terrible of me to feel that way?

October 30, 2013

23 Weeks: I Won't Give Up My Control

118 days to go.

Boy, where to start... ? The sea monkey is doing just fine - he's weighing in right on target, our fetal echocardiograms are great so far, he's constantly doing his kung-fu ninja moves, and his heartbeat measures perfect every time. He's perfect. And that's really all that matters.

In my opinion, anyway. Things are significantly more difficult for me, but I'm dealing and dealing well. But the frustration... gah. You see, I do not enjoy my Endocrinologist. He and I are like oil and water - I self-manage my Type 1 Diabetes to a degree that most Diabetic specialists are not used to. One would think that this would result in an Endo who is nothing but encouraging and pleased; alas, not mine. I had my monthly visit with him this morning and it went as it always seems to, resulting in my frustration and anger.

My A1c measured in at 5.5%. Freaking AWESOME. What's important to note here is that this A1c is based on a low number of hypoglycemic episodes, so it's not an issue of a lot of low BG's pulling the number down. No, it means that my blood sugar is averaging around 6.0 mmol/L. It means I'm maintaining non-diabetic BG's for the majority of each day, and doing every thing within MY power to ensure that this child will be born without any effects of my disease. If I continue to do this through the following 118 days, I minimize the risk of having a large baby due to high blood sugars. I minimize the risk of his lungs being underdeveloped or his own blood sugar going dangerously low after he's delivered, among many other potential issues. I also significantly increase the chance of a healthy, normal, natural labour and delivery rather than requiring medication and surgery! All of my sacrifices are worth that.

My Endo, however, is possibly on crack or just has his own control issues... you be the judge. Because today he told me that my control is good enough that I can sacrifice it in order to stop weight gain.
Say WHAT??

I've gained almost 50 lbs over the past 6 months. Believe me, I don't like it myself - I was about 25 lbs overweight when I got pregnant, and slowly working at losing that. But I liked my body... now, I hate it. I don't have the cute little baby bump - I have the planet-sized mountain on my abdomen that has everyone wondering if I'm possibly having twins. It's HUGE. I feel fat and icky and gross and I want my pre-baby body baaaaaaaaack!!!!

But there is no freaking way in Hell that I am going to let my blood sugars go UP and increase the potential risks to my innocent little baby to avoid gaining another 20 lbs.

And that's what I told him. I asked him how he can justify my baby's health against my weight and his response: he's aware of studies that suggest that excessive weight gain in the Mother can lead to future obesity in the child.

Okay, so in his opinion it's more important that my child not maybe get fat some day, than it is for us to have a healthy, safe labour and delivery of a child who will not have any heart or neural defects or be oversized due to my elevated blood sugars.

I told him that I plan on teaching my child good eating habits, just like my Mom did for me. My Mom, who is 56 years old and in better shape than most 20 year olds. Who gained 70 lbs during her pregnancy with my older sister, who I should note is not obese. I grew up at a healthy weight and maintained that until college, but I was never obese either, and that had nothing to do with genes.

I walk every day, usually twice a day. I eat balanced meals - in fact, if anything I could be accused of not eating Enough rather than eating too much. I'm in a weekly prenatal dance class and a weekly yoga class, and I dance around the house. A lot. I log the food that I eat and consistently maintain a caloric intake between 1900 - 2000 calories as suggested by my Dietician, who I also touch base with at least once a month.

So tell me, how exactly would it help for me to stop controlling my BG's so tightly???

I've also been dealing with the inevitable 2nd through 3rd trimester insulin insensitivity, which basically means that my normally overly-sensitive to insulin body is now struggling a bit in using injected insulin to manage the meals that I eat. I've started cutting carbs and walking after breakfast and dinner in order to alleviate this, but today I asked the Endo if he has any other suggestions for managing this issue. Nope... in fact, rather than encouraging me or offering me any sort of constructive advice, he instead told me that it's going to happen and there's nothing that I can do about it.
Bullshit. Don't EVER tell me I can't do something, particularly when it comes to this disease!!! I know better than anyone that there's always something that can be done, I just have to find the tools. 

I'm beginning to suspect that what's happening is that the Endo has nothing to do when he sees me. I don't look to him to make changes to any of my pump settings; he knows that I'll take his suggestions but probably won't use them (sadly, they're usually no good!). I'm perfect in every possible way... except for the weight gain. So he grabs on to it like the last raft off a sinking ship and just goes with it. Maybe he just wants to be right (I prove him wrong, a lot!), maybe that's what it is.

All I know is that today's visit and the comments he made were the last straw; I'm going to be asking to see a new Endocrinologist going forward.  Someone who is able to understand that I don't need to be controlled by my doctor - I do that better than any Endo ever could.

September 15, 2013

16 Weeks, 5 Days: Pregnancy & Type 1 Diabetes

I don't blog often about having Type 1 Diabetes here on the Spanx. Deliberately. You see, I used to be extremely involved in the online community of Diabetics; I had a formerly well-known blog several years ago, started an online support group, was published with the JDRF, and a few other notable things that really don't matter. Hell, I went to college for a healthcare diploma with the end goal of becoming a CDE some day (a few years later I ended up going back to school to become an accountant lol)! I became so deeply submerged in everything diabetes and insulin pump related, that I ended up spending entirely too much time sitting in front of a computer rather than living life, finding love; you know the old song and dance. So I turned around and, with the exception of a few areas, I walked completely away from Diabetes on the internet.

I spent the several years in between then and now focusing on losing the weight that I'd gained from being so sedentary, dating and kissing frogs, finding Mr. Right, jumping through hoops to buy my house, re-establishing relationships with my closest friends... the important things. The things that I blogged about here, while my relationship with my disease remained steady and true and not really worth talking about. Until now. Until pregnancy changed everything.

Pregnancy as a Type 1 Diabetic is freaking hard.

I've had this disease for almost 24 years and I'm exceptionally good at managing it, and all it took was a few weeks of being pregnant to truly humble me. One of the very first symptoms that I had before I even knew I was preggers was low blood sugars. All the time. For no good reason. That started around week 4 if I recall correctly, and it's lasted for the duration. Now, imagine knowing that if you don't drink that glass of orange juice you'll pass out and possibly go into a diabetic coma, potentially resulting in the Seamonkey's death... except you know that if you drink that orange juice you're going to spew. Everywhere. {OJ can be substituted with Ginger Ale/Apple Juice/Everything with the same results!} Welcome to pregnancy as a Type 1 Diabetic... with HG.

I've had record lows; Mr. Right called me one Sunday from work, waking me up from a sickness-induced nap:

"Did you check your blood sugar baby?"
I didn't feel low. At all. And I've always had great sensitivity for lows. "Oh, yeah, good idea."
5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1...
My contour meter beamed this scary reading over to my pump: 1.0 mmol.

One. Point FREAKING ZERO. For those of you not in the know, a low BG starts at 3.9 mmol (70 for my American brethren). The reality is that I was extremely lucky to have woken up to that phone call, and I knew it. Had Mr. Right not called me... well, I hate to even imagine. I choked down a cup of ginger ale and managed to keep it down, and ironically once I hit around the mid-2's I started to feel shaky and sweaty and the spaghetti-limbs showed up. Fortunately I've only had a few subsequent low's in the high 1's; the rest usually beep in at a 2-point-something, thanks to this pregnancy-induced degradation of my hypo-awareness.

I'm happy to report that, with intensive monitoring and adjustments of my basal/bolus ratios, I have been able to limit and better manage the lows, and last week's A1c was a lovely 6.1% with a standard deviation (SD) of 41% of MBG! Not perfect though - I'm shooting for 5.5% with an SD of <40% by mid-October at the latest. A lot of Diabetics use the A1c as a benchmark for control, without realizing that the measurement is imperfect simply because it's a weighted average. Sure, my A1c might be great... but if I dig into the numbers behind that A1c, what I might find is that I'm having 6 highs a day and 6 lows a day and those are resulting in what looks to be a great A1c... but what is, in reality, terrible control. By using SD in conjunction with my A1c, I get a much better idea of how good my blood sugar control really is.

To explain SD, I've copied a little explanation that I wrote elsewhere on the www's:
"Standard deviation in reference to BG represents the variation of blood glucose levels either in excess of or below the average. It measures the range of the values that affect the average; if the values are close to the mean, then the SD will be close to zero. If a lot of the values are far from the average then the SD will also be further from zero.
The lower your SD, the more consistent your BG's are. The higher your SD, the more erratic and inconsistent your BG's are. Basically, the SD is a good way to evaluate how tightly controlled your BG levels are.

On average case studies, a healthy, non-diabetic person will have a standard deviation in BG levels of < 1.7 mmol / 30 mg with a MBG (mean blood glucose) of 4.5 mmol / 80 mg. This is a SD of about < 40% of the MBG. Diabetics should set approximately this same target SD to improve overall control (and decrease the risk of complications and yadda yadda yadda). Starting with a goal of <50% SD is a great way to begin."
I'm lucky because my Minimed pump downloads into a program that uses all of the BG information - including when I have my CGMS hooked up - to calculate SD. But Excel has a function to do the same if necessary. 

The past week or so has brought about some pretty significant changes that are making managing my blood sugars a bit more difficult: I'm starting to see the typical decrease in insulin sensitivity that occurs in the second trimester, and my HG is finally getting better! I haven't vomited for 2 whole days. Which means I've been eating! Which means... I've been bolusing for actual meat-and-potato meals. And it's been having mixed results. Yesterday my BG's were perfect all day long. My 1 hour post-prandial's (PP's) were consistently under 7.5 mmol without trailing lows. The line on my CGMS didn't go above or below my target ranges for the entire day, and I only had one low BG overnight last night. Today... well, this morning after breakfast I chased an 8 around for a few hours, then again early this evening I was fighting with a 7. Neither were PP's and they scoffed at the extra over-corrections that I hit them with, and even the temp basal of 130% that I resorted to at one point! So, I walked. I walked and finally started to see the downward pointing arrow on my CGMS status screen.

But what am I going to do when it's -35 degrees outside and there's 3 feet of snow to contend with, and I can't shake those freaking 7's?!? And my belly is sticking out to there?? I plan to walk around and around my kitchen and living room if I have to. Maybe talk to my Obstetrician about what sort of exercises I can do right at the moment in the event that this happens again... and I know it's going to happen again.

In the meantime, all I can do is the best I can to ensure that I have a healthy baby, and a normal birth.


September 13, 2013

Ugliest Pillow. Ever.

In a consignment store last week, I happened upon the holy grail of pregnancy pillows:

The Snoogle.

It's this giant body pillow that's shaped in something of an "S" configuration, with one end for head support and the other intended to be placed between the knees. Though I fall asleep on my side, I always wake on my back, so this pillow has been a lifesaver in training myself to remain on my left side. I adore it.

Mr. Right, on the other hand, is not quite so fond of it. He jokingly complains about how he's been replaced; how we have what amounts to another full sized person in the bed. Who I would rather snuggle with then him.

So I started calling it my Snoogly. 

Which Mr. Right quickly adapted to Poo-gly. After a very bad night of pregnancy induced flatulence. 

The Poo-gly: every pregnant woman's best friend!

August 30, 2013

14 Weeks & 4 Days: Pregnancy SUCKS

I'm not a complainer by nature. I was raised to suck it up and go; one of my Mom's favourite phrases when we hurt ourselves as kids was to "walk it off". And self-pity was never tolerated. Period.

Pregnancy has broken me. Straight up. It's turned me into a vomiting machine from the moment I wake to - well, the moment I wake. And then there's the added suckage of having Type 1 Diabetes and being pregnant. So beyond one paragraph that a future post is to follow. Just trust me when I say that pregnancy is hard... and pregnancy with Type 1 Diabetes is a bazillion times harder. And scarier. 

I was hospitalized, and then I was laid off (and that's all I can say about that). It's been a very rough couple of months. I'm finally going to be a Mommy and that is mind-blowing and life-changing and freaking AWESOME! But gawd, I hate being pregnant.

Until I see this:

Hello World!
Hello, beautiful! He's insanely active; the aforementioned Type 1 has had one benefit: we've already had 6 ultrasounds. Every time we see him on the screen he's bouncing around with a ton of energy, stubbornly refusing to hold still for measurements and quality Kodak moments. Of all the u/s photos we have - and we have a lot! - this one is as good as it gets, thanks to a tech who had a unique ability to hit the button in the split second that he was between bounces. Waving at us. At least I like to think that's what he was doing.

{We aren't going to find out the sex before he's born... I just have this feeling that it's a boy.} 

So while I acknowledge every day how blessed I am, how lucky, how incredibly wonderful this little miracle is... I am also not ashamed to admit that pregnancy is freaking hard. I'm not glowing, unless you look at me in the right light and perhaps see a resemblance to a spotlit Kermit. A smelly, bloated, top-heavy, constantly puking frog who cries over African documentaries and loses her shit at annoying strangers. That's me, + pregnancy. 

I can't fucking Wait until it's over.

And I wouldn't trade it for anything. 

Thank gawd this pregnancy thing is temporary.

July 17, 2013

8 Weeks, 1 Day: The Flicker. And Poop.

Two weeks ago we went for our very first ultrasound. My former-Doctor had scheduled it in the small town lab connected to her clinic, so we got in quickly and didn't have to wait long in the waiting room. Though I'll tell you... When your pea-sized bladder is overflowing to the point if pain, even a ten minute wait feels like forever! When I was finally called in I sighed with relief... and asked when Mr. Right would be allowed in the small room. "Once I've taken all the measurements," I was told.

Except the little wand against my stomach at 6 weeks was apparently not good enough. Out came the vaginal ultrasound wand, which put me in mind of a dildo. A very expensive dildo, apparently, as the tech informed me when I asked if Mr. Right could please come in NOW?!

"I'm sorry, but we can't open the door when this device is in use because if anything ever happened to it we could not be able to replace it. It costs more than a car!"

I'd like to say that I was mad (afterwards when I walked back out to the waiting room I was extremely angry) but right then she turned the screen to me and there was my little sea monkey. 

"You see that flickering?" She asked, pointing to a little bulge in the middle of that c-shaped creature. "That's the heartbeat." 

Hello, Sea Monkey!

That moment was indescribable. I don't think there will ever be a comparable time in my life; everything just stood still. For five seconds I existed in everything, and everything existed in me. All because of a rapid flicker.

As for the rest of what this post title alludes to... well, first I'd like to say that I've been incredibly surprised by how early the symptoms start! I don't have morning sickness... I have ALLDAY sickness. My boobs are KILLING me. I'm so freaking bloated I could die. This past weekend I ended up hitting a Thyme Maternity sale because the slightest pressure on my stomach is intensely uncomfortable. I'm bloody exhausted. And I can't POOP. 

Now, imagine if you will (or remember, if you've been here!), having a crampy stomach and unbelievably rank flatulence because of digestion issues. Any cramps are scary so that's a ton of fun. But in this case, a sixth sense (and some medical reassurance haha) tells you that if you just have a bowel movement you'll feel so much better.

Except... nada. No pooping for you! It's there but it's HARD. So you bear down but WAIT! What if your painful need to poop causes something else to come out?!? Yes, logically I know that's not possible (my obstetrician also poo-pooed that) but I have suddenly found myself questioning logic and believing the Chinese Gender Horoscope when it tells me we're having a boy. So not only am I having a hard time pooping, I'm also worried about having a hard time pooping. 

Say what?!?

Oh and the best part? I now have little dark hairs growing around my gargantuan nipples. 

Totally worth it.

June 28, 2013

Don't Listen To Doctors

... as Mr. Right would say.

I think I'm not alone in being terrified of this pregnancy... For this pregnancy... About this pregnancy. Other women must worry that something will go wrong, right?

As a Type 1 Diabetic I have many, many additional worries and challenges and complications: my blood sugar needs to remain as stable as possible at all times, because extreme and extended highs and lows can harm the baby through every stage of my pregnancy. OK well I've been doing this for almost 24 years so easy peasy... except SO NOT. I could LIVE in the fridge right now, and I'm barely using any basal insulin. It's scary to realize, for the first time in a bazillion years, that I have NO idea what I'm doing.

So Thursday morning I went to see my GP in order to ease my fears, confirm the pregnancy, and be referred to a high-risk obstetrical clinic. When she came in the exam room my excitement and fear combined in a verbal jumble of 'ItooktwopregnancytestsandtheywerebothpositiveandI'msoHAPPYandEXCITEDbutOMGI'mTERRIFIED!!!!!!!!!'

She didn't laugh as she usually does at my behavior... nor did she congratulate me.

"Oh... well..." [insert some blah blah here that I can't remember because then she said:

"You need to be prepared to have a miscarriage."

"EXCUSE ME???" I practically yelled it at her. and then, in the middle of the exam room I started crying. Normally I would argue her opinions with her - we've debated in the past about religion and marriage. And yes, having children otside of wedlock. Prior intellectual and interesting conversations that should've been my first indication that she would not like my news. 

"Well if it's meant to be God will see it happen."

And that's when I blew up at her. This Doctor who had spent the last 17 years listening to me talk about how badly I wanted children; who told me to expect to have difficulties conceiving; who had gained my implicit trust and respect, not only betrayed me but also stepped over the line by shoving her unqualified opinion and religious beliefs in my face.

I may report her. Right now I'm trying to get past her words. Trying not to let the worry consume me. I always thought that this would be a time of happiness and anticipation... not these epic fears that now sneak up in me. 

I will NOT let her influence my feelings towards the sea monkey percolating inside of me. Que sera sera... And everything will be fine. I'm now on a whopping 5 mg Folic Acid (normal procedure for Type 1 Diabetics) along with extra D and Calcium supplements. 

Holy Vitamins, Batman!

And best of all, my initial lab tests showed that my HCG levels are exactly what they should be. I've already got an appointment at the high-risk obstetrical clinic tomorrow morning, and a 6 week ultrasound scheduled for Thursday afternoon. 

And Mr. Right and I will continue to talk about nursery colours (OK, I'll talk and he'll nod and smile!) and how beautiful this little sea monkey will be. We're having a baby. It chokes me!!!

Isn't life wonderful?

June 26, 2013

Little Pink Lines


Holy. Shit.

I freaked. I jumped around like a pantless looney in the bathroom. Then I thought I was hyperventilating. Then I couldn't stop smiling. Then, I cried.

And then I started doubting it. After all, doctors have spent YEARS warning me that I'll probably have fertility issues. There's NO way Mr. Right's Well Trained Soldiers (as he calls them... he's former military so I figure he's entitled lol) could be THAT impressive. I had to try another test... and I was adamant that I wouldn't use the remaining test from my 2-test box. So I went out and got a different type, that didn't have light lines and dark lines and blah blah blah.

If we ever do this again, this is the one I'm using. Digital, all the way!

Holy mother of GAWD.

My Doctors appointment is tomorrow at 9:45 am. We've told only my longest-time girlfriend. I'm over the freaking moon!!! I'm ecstatic!!! I'm absofreakinglutely TERRIFIED and trying desperately not to worry about what could go wrong. Maybe both the tests were wrong (I have one left and I might use it!), maybe all those scary things that I don't want to even acknowledge here will happen. I have to be SO careful now, because of my Type 1 Diabetes, that suddenly I feel like my 23 years of education and experience with Diabetes mean NOTHING! I'm afraid that I might lay on that table tomorrow and hear her say "they were false".

Because I've gotten excited. I'm already emotionally attached to the little sea monkey that's growing inside of me right now. (Holy fuck! There is a BABY in there!!! I'm going to be a MOMMY!!!) I want him with every fibre of my being and I'm terrified that he'll be taken away. That he'll turn out to be simply an idea that I had, a hope and nothing more.

No, he's in there. Tomorrow will confirm that, and everything will be just fine.

How am I gonna fit these in the baby book??

I've got the proof. And yeah, I'm keeping it!

June 19, 2013

Countdown Month One

4 days to go.

Is it awful of me to count down the days? Is it terrible that I'm a little tempted to buy a home pregnancy test and just see what happens? How is it that I can be 99.9% certain that I'm not preggers, and yet that 0.01% almost seems to haunt a corner of my mind?

99.9%: it's PMS. Or maybe the flu. Stress is a possibility too. Who knows, it might be a whole "mind over matter" issue in which my brain is so obsessed that I'm getting pseudo-symptoms.

0.01%: my boobies are sore. I'm nauseous. Dizzy. I had strange cramping in my pelvis the week before last. My taste buds are really weird. I'm peeing a lot. On top of some strange constipation-slash-diarrhea. Epic EXHAUSTION!! 

I promise myself I'd not dwell on thoughts and hopes... and to my credit I've done a good job. But every day that passes makes it harder to just go with the flow and wait and see. A co-worker asked me about my greenish face this morning, which led to the dreaded question: "Could you be pregnant?" I scoffed, told her that its highly unlikely and no way would I be feeling symptoms this early. "I did," she stated. With both her children, she had morning sickness almost from the very moment of conception. 

You can imagine how the synapses in my brain started randomly misfiring upon her telling me this. 

I could be. Anything is possible...

But I won't know for sure for at least another 4 days. How am I supposed to do this every month for months???

Anything is possible, but my gut is telling me that there is no baby silently growing in my belly right now. 

Prove me wrong, body.

June 17, 2013

Dragons Say It Best

I haven't paid any attention to Father's Day for... well, ever. 

This year was my first experience honouring a Dad since I was young enough to press my paint covered hand to a folded sheet of paper and present it as a card. I have no Father, only Mother's Day.

This Father's Day was different. There is a father in my life now who has shown me what real fatherhood means: leading by example and being a child's moral compass. Spending quality time putting a car set together on the floor or teaching a five year old the proper batting stance. Hugging his son often and without reserve. And then laughing over some silly boyish fart joke afterwards.

L~ and I went shopping on Saturday for the perfect Father's Day gift. It was a lovely blue button-down shirt that L~ picked out himself at the Big and Tall store, along with a card that was just perfect because of the Daddy Dinosaur on the front. It was a wonder to watch his little five-year old self peering seriously at each shirt while deciding which one Daddy would like best, or which card satisfied his own childish impulses. 

Father's Day found Mr. Right working during the day, but L~ and I did our best to make his homecoming as wonderful as possible. Wrapped gift on the table... a card both L~ and I signed, covered in childish artwork with a little personal note from me. Steak and mashed potatoes for dinner. Lots of hugs and kisses and fun games. It was a wonderful day.

A day that I made special for the man that I love... and his child with another woman. There's a bitter sweetness to that for me, not so bitter that it ruined my first real experience with the occasion... but enough that I felt the little twinges from it throughout the weekend. Impatience and anticipation for the day that I make a special occasion for the man who has fathered children with me. My babies' Daddy. This past Sunday was special, and full of love.

But some day, I know, Father's Day will be MAGICAL. 

{so I've been feeling awful this past week. Exhausted. Constipated. Exhausted. Nauseous. So. Freaking. Tired. Sorebacksorebacksoreboobies and even a leetle bit of strange pelvic cramping. I'm probably fighting the flu or it might just be stress... But I'll know either way in about 6 days. I keep telling myself it's nothing, don't think about it. I'm doing pretty good... For now.}

June 5, 2013

(I suck at) Letting Nature Take It's Course

Mr. Right and I are not trying to get pregnant.

But... we're not preventing it, either.

A few weeks ago, without any real discussion, we stopped using condoms. Heat of the moment and all, with only one short acknowledgement during which he asked me if I wanted him to suit up.

I said no. Not only because we're both silently letting nature decide, but also because it just feels Sooooo much better.

I'm doing my best not to wonder. I've been terribly exhausted this week. The timing is good. Mah boobies are sore. Headaches, intestinal stuff... all of which can be blamed on ovulation and/or the incredible amount of stress that I'm under at work right now combined with the constant go-go-go of life.

I won't know either way for another two weeks or so, and I'm forcing myself not to acknowledge the possibilities. It apparently takes most couples up to a year to get pregnant; not one month. Maybe I'll get lucky, or maybe I'll be that damn statistic that doctors have warned me about. Either way, I'm trying not to worry. Or wonder. Or hope. Since I'm not anywhere near to Miss GoWithTheFlow, that's challenging.

But fun. And wonderful. And happy. So I'm focusing on how good everything is (because we've come so far and everything is So much better now!) and just enjoying myself. Without pressure. Without my normal, ten page, detailed plan on how to Get Things Done. Yes, they always have timelines. And alternative options if said plan doesn't go the way I want. Resulting in worry and panic and definitive action plans. If life came with a guide book, I'd be standing on street corners giving them away.

Here's to life without a guideline.
[And maybe, just maybe, a spring baby...]

May 8, 2013

So Conflicted

The weather this past week has been unseasonably warm for May... we even had a day in the 30’s! I don’t know if it’s the beautiful weather, or maybe the fact that spring has sprung (though May long weekend still looms in the horizon), or perhaps my happy anticipation of gardening, or maybe it’s simply knowing that summer is on the way!

All I know is that right now, in this moment, I feel like two different people sharing one body. There’s the Tiffany who is feeling wonderfully optimistic and happy... and then there’s the heavy-hearted Tiffany who is desperately trying to just get through five minutes without thinking about Babies.

I’m so, so terribly proud of Mr. Right that I’m practically bursting with it on a daily basis. Remember how I told you that he was having financial difficulties, and I was concerned with his ability to manage his spending? It was stressing him out to the max and had resulted in his ‘checking out’ on a daily basis, leaving me feeling as though everything was on my shoulders while he failed to contribute at all. After one very heated argument, we both realized that change is inevitable; I am making an effort to bend and he is now working a part time job and making every effort to support me in any way he can. It’s a work in progress and we both are fully invested in a positive outcome and the changes so far have been freaking awesome. I hardly imagined that my love for that man could ever actually increase but there it is; some days I’m sure I resemble a cartoon skunk with hearts for eyeballs and little love-birds circling over my head. I’m also terribly proud of myself because I’ve taken ownership of my own areas that require improvement, and I’m getting it done.

But the pride I feel for Mr. Right... that defies description. His courage, his initiative, the love that he has for me, all of it. I am without words. In the span of a few weeks he turned his situation around completely and bettered himself, knowing that it would also have a great and wonderful impact on our relationship. And best of all, he has not wavered! My personal development fails in comparison to his, and I’m in awe of his determination and self-awareness and his openness to improve. And I love him all the more for it.

In 23 days, Mr. Right will move in with me. Though we’ve been living together for the past seven months, he’s been financially responsible for a house in a neighbouring city. On May 31st, all of his and L~’s belongings will move in to my house and we will begin to share the financial and emotional aspects of home ownership. I have never, ever lived with a man before; I maintained a fierce independence through my twenties and into my thirties, and through several serious relationships. Maybe I should be scared... I honestly thought I would be! Instead, I’m excited and impatient and looking forward to making this commitment to Mr. Right, and I can’t wait for him to finally feel like this house that he’s been staying at for the past seven months is, in fact, also his Home.

Oh, did I happen to mention that my every waking thought for the past few weeks has revolved around BABIES?!? Yes, that lovely ode to Mr. Right has been derailed by baby-fever. The baby-fever was inspired by the lovely birth announcement that I received in the mail last week for my new niece. As much as I enjoyed it, it was a bit of a knife to my gut, like a flag waving in front of my face proclaiming ‘Nyah-Nyah you can’t have one!’ That night, Mr. Right and I ran out of birth control. Yes, I could be typing this with fingers that are attached to a body housing a miniscule developing egg right now... though I doubt it. My control-freakish nature in conjunction with the former plan to knock myself up required that I find out when I ovulate and keep track. While I know that the possibility remains that I could in fact be pregnant right this very moment, it’s highly unlikely. But knowing that there’s even a 1% chance... well, that’s making it a little hard to deal.

Mr. Right knew something was bothering me, so we had a talk about it. He’s finding it hard to understand why I am having such a difficult time putting my need for a child aside, why it upsets me; to him, the simple fact that I KNOW it’s going to happen should be enough to give me patience. Here’s the thing: everywhere I look, I see babies. So many women I know are pregnant or have just given birth (including my sister and cousin!). I feel like I’m surrounded by babies and a man who is capable of producing babies and it’s no wonder I’m a basket case!

“It’s like being a Diabetic in a candy shop,” I told Mr. Right.
“Or a man stranded at sea. Dying of thirst, surrounded by salt water that he knows he can’t drink!”

Last night I spent a good hour cuddling my new niece and reveling in the feelings of having a little piece of me tucked safely in my arms. Indescribable. Bittersweet. Terrifying. Wonderful. Breathtaking. And then Mr. Right came home. If my heart could swell with tenderness and break at the same time, it did. I watched as this 6’3” man, with his broad shoulders and large hands whom my Grandfather proclaimed a ‘big son of a bitch’, cradled the tiny baby in his arms and softly whispered to her while he rocked her gently. Gawd. The cursor is blinking at me now, waiting for me to go on, and I find myself unable to share what I felt in that moment. It was overwhelming need, happiness, anticipation, incredible sadness, envy, want, misery, contentment, confusion... all of this, all at once. Backed up by a chorus of ‘Why don’t I have this?!?’ at the back of my mind. When will this be mine? Will I ever have it? Why does this have to hurt so much, why can’t I just feel all the good and wonderful feelings instead of this mix of bliss and unhappiness??

What is wrong with me??

I often ask myself: would I be willing to throw away the BC tomorrow? If I’m 100% honest with myself and the internets, my only answer can be that I don’t know. The logically thinking Tiffany believes that tomorrow would be too soon; Mr. Right and I need a bit of time to continue to work on our relationship and ensure that it’s as solid as possible before adding more kids to the mix. But the need-driven, impatient, uncertain side of me argues every time, leaving me feeling like a bundle of conflicting emotions that I just can’t resolve.

Logical Tiffany: It’s too soon.
Emotional Tiffany: SAYS WHO?!?
LT: He’s not ready.
ET: Will he EVER be ready? Hey here’s an idea... why don’t you take the choice away from him and just accidentallydeliberately ‘let it happen’ like he enjoys saying!
LT: Wow I am going to hell for thinking that.
ET: One little tiny sewing needle...
LT: Booking my seat next to the devil. Right now.
ET: Poke poke poke!!! C’mon, just do ONE.
LT: I’m an awful person.
ET: Okay fine, no holy condoms. I still say what the hell are you waiting for??
LT: Him.
ET: You’re waiting for Him. HIM. SERIOUSLY? Wow you are awesome, waiting on a man to get what you want. Looks like Miz Independence has given up her crown!
LT: He’s worth waiting for.
ET: Really? Is that what you’ll tell yourself twenty years from now when you look back on your life and realize you gave up your biggest dream for a man?
LT: That won’t happen. I just have to be patient.
ET: Patience is overrated. Get what you need, do whatever is necessary to have your dream. That’s who you are.
LT: I’d prefer my dream to have this man in it.
ET: Yeah, well if you wait too long you’ll have the man and no dream.
LT: Gawd I know. I’m so scared. What if he changes his mind? What if he’s not ready six months from now, or a year from now? What if I wait so long that my window of opportunity passes?
ET: What if it becomes a choice between Mr. Right and your dream?
LT: I hate you sometimes.
ET: I’m right. You know I am.
ET: Umm-hmmm.
LT: Okay. Maybe. But for now, you’re just going to have to let me win this one. For a little while.
ET: I hate you sometimes.
LT: I know. But I’m right, you know I am.
LT: Trust me. Just give it time. Trust me.
ET: Fine. But if you fail me... I’m never talking to you again.

I’m going to hell.
But I'm being patient about it.

April 12, 2013

Move Over Barefoot Contessa!

Remember how I said that I was going to start meal planning for the week? Last night was the first night to try out this new routine and it was moderately successful.

I decided to try a new recipe to make this inaugural dinner a little more exciting. So I went to AllRecipes and found a recipe that looked good... and then I totally changed it up and made it my own. In the end it barely resembled the original recipe but was, I'm sure, both tastier and healthier! {I may be biased lol}

Bean and Sausage Stew
1 Large Tomato
1 Can Tomato Paste
2 - 3 Carrots, sliced
1 Celery Stalk, sliced thin
Approx. 6 Italian Sausages (I used Turkey)
1 Can Red Kidney Beans
1 Can Black OR White Beans (the recipe asked for white, I used black but I think white would be good too)
1 medium white onion or 3 - 4 chopped onions, chef's choice! (recipe called for white, I only had green onions so that's what I used and it turned out great)
2 small cloves garlic, diced
1 Tbsp Olive oil
About 1/4 cup water
About 1/4 cup dry red wine
Pepper (to taste)
Salt (Optional - to taste. The recipe called for it but I never add salt unless necessary; ie: if I'd used pork sausages I would've probably added a dash of salt)

Cook sausage in a small frying pan until cooked throughout and browned on the outside. In a large pot, sautee the onions, carrots and celery in olive oil until slightly softened. Add the garlic and sauteee for about another minute.

Mix the water with the tomato paste and add to pot. Cut up the sausage and tomato into small chunks, and add to the pot of sautéing vegetables. Stir in the beans and red wine and season with pepper/salt. Lower heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve and enjoy :)

I made a small pot of rice with mine to mix in because something about this stew just called for rice. But I did have a tiny bit of the stew on it's own, and it's worth eating either way. Lunch today is leftovers and I can't wait to eat them! So why, you might be asking, did I say that this was 'moderately successful'? Because of the prep time for this meal. Granted, I was making a salad and cleaning the kitchen at the same time, but what should've taken me about 10 minutes tops ended up being about triple that. In future I'll probably prep at least the veggies the prior day or else prepare the whole thing for the crockpot the following day.

Tonight's meal: Sour Cream Pork Chops. Yet another recipe that I found online and plan to re-vamp. More on that to come!

Now, a quick question for the internets:
What do you do about a significant other who clearly has spending issues? Mr. Right is in pretty rough financial shape right now, and I'm seeing a side of him that I wasn't expecting; he doesn't think ahead in terms of money and it seems like he has very little self-control when it comes to spending. Last night he spent his last $10 on a pack of smokes and a pop, while he's going to be short of his expenses for the pay-period to the tune of several hundred dollars and is having to beg-borrow-and-steal to meet his financial obligations. I was severely disappointed in him and also very frustrated because... well, what am I supposed to think right now?? I've made arrangements in my budget to cover the expenses that he can no longer afford (like groceries!) until next month when he's expected to recover, and he's going out and spending money he DOESN'T have on something that isn't a necessity!! Do you think I'm being to harsh feeling this way? Or am I right to be feeling serious concerns about this? Thoughts and opinions are welcome!!!

April 10, 2013

Good Housekeeping

I’m a clean freak. A germophobe. A neat-nelly. I’ve been teased – and even accused – of being obsessive and freakish about the cleanliness and tidiness of my home. And I’m OK with that... I’d rather be accused of being too clean than the alternative.

The alternative is someone like Mr. Right’s sister, D, who is an incredibly generous person but has a house worthy of that show “Hoarders”. It’s not just untidy – it’s filthy. Unhealthy and Disgusting. Mr. Right and I have spent the weekend at D’s house several times and each time it’s worse: my allergies go into full-blown killer hives mode, I’m afraid to touch anything in the bathroom, my socks come home almost black with dirt, and I spend pretty much the entire weekend with my skin crawling. I take pride in knowing that when people come and stay at my house, they appreciate the high hygienic standards and general orderliness of their environment without having to fear picking up some obscure disease.

And if that’s not reason enough to inspire cleanliness... cleaning helps me relax. I clean when I’m bored, or when I’m stressing out about something and my Type A mind just. Can’t. Let it. GO. I clean when I am craving a cigarette so badly that I am tempted to light up a butt out of our old can (speaking of... I really need to empty that bad boy!). I clean when I just want a big old chocolate bar or I cannot take a poop (lately I’ve been so freaking constipated I could cry. I’m usually a one-a-day sort of girl without any pooping issues at all, and this is like trying to force what feels like a tennis ball out of my sphincter! Not that anybody cares and Wow I have really sunk to a new low, haven’t I??). My Mom introduced me to the therapeutic benefits of precision cleaning, though I’ll admit that at the time she was teaching me all about good housekeeping it certainly wasn’t restorative.

I do, for the most part, follow a mental cleaning schedule based on the needs of my household in conjunction with my available time – I’m a busy, social person and I'm finding that, since beginning my new job and moving to a bigger, two-story house I've been struggling to keep up. I used to do the majority of my heavy housekeeping on the weekend, but I've decided to change it up and I've come up with a schedule that fits my needs. Here’s what my daily/weekly schedule - which now hangs on my fridge - looks like:

The Spanxsterlish Schedule to Cleaning Perfection

Daily Upkeep:
Make beds
Dishes/After Dinner Clean-up
Everything in its place!
Sweep kitchen floor
1 – 2 loads laundry

  • Clean bathroom (scrub & disinfect exterior and interior of toilet, sink, bathtub, door handles, light switch; polish mirror/faucets, quick mop of floor)
  • Clean out cat litter
  • Dust and clean windows/mirrors
  • Vacuum
  • Quick mop of kitchen floor
  • Clean out cat litter
  • Deep clean kitchen (wipe cupboard doors and handles, sanitize sink and countertops, wipe fridge shelves, purge any items in fridge that have spoiled*, take quick inventory of pantry/fridge and note any items required on grocery list)
  • Dust and clean windows/mirrors
  • Tidy front entrance
  • Strip beds and wash linens as well as any remaining laundry for the week
  • Clean out cat litter
  • Update new weekly Dinner Meal Plan (I'm going to create my first meal plan for the week on Saturday)
  • Run any required errands, including trip to grocery store for weekly meals (I used to shop bi-weekly and I may eventually return to that, but for now I'm going to do a weekly menu to get into the swing of things)
  • Vacuum
  • Hand-wash kitchen/bathroom floors
It's a fairly simple schedule; nothing too time intensive and the minimum required to keep the house spic and span. Every night I do a quick run-through before bed that I call "Everything in its place". It's basically just a quick tidy of any items that have been left sitting around the house instead of in their designated area(s). I will continue doing this, but I think that this schedule allows for more efficient use of my time while cleaning.

Speaking of time management, I stumbled on this awesome app called Cozi - it's an online calendar/meal planner/grocery and to do list that I can access on the computer or on my iPhone. I am in love with this thing!! Mr. Right also has it on his Android, and our apps access shared calendars/planners and we can message each other on Cozi and notify each other of appointments and the like. It's even got a recipe box linked to the meal planner! I love technology that helps me to stay organized and this is definitely one of my favourites. I've been using the free version for about a week, but I love it so much that I'll probably end up spending $25 to upgrade to the Gold version.

How do you stay organized both with your housework and life in general?

April 9, 2013

The Queen of Drama

OK, so I overreacted.

{I'm starting to understand why nobody reads this blog. I kinda suck lately, with all the melodrama and the histrionics!}

Last night Mr. Right told me that he's not in the greatest shape financially and he's pretty well mired in the now, and the stress that comes with money troubles. You see, at the end of January Mr. Right got out of the military, and due to some timing issues (this blog isn't about Mr. Right's finances so I won't go into detail) his overhead is killing him right now. Yes, I was a little irked that he didn't take advantage of his ACCOUNTANT girlfriend to help him recover (since everything is about me after all... yeah that was self-directed sarcasm) and help prevent him from getting himself into this situation.

So last night we sat and talked about how he's feeling and dealing right now, and then I put my skills to good use and helped him create a budget and a plan. [On a related note: I'm always surprised at how many adults I know who don't have the proper technical skills to manage their finances. It should be a required course in high school I think!!] And for now, we've tabled the babies discussion until he's in a better position and so he can focus on getting back on track without additional worries.

As for me, I won't say it's going to be easy to stuff all the BABYNOW!!! feelings down again for a few months, but it's what needs to be done. In the meantime, I'm moving my focus to the household to whip things into shape and set a good standard Before he and I start sharing financial obligations. And because its fun!

The Mi Casa Es Solvent Casa Plan:
  1. Meal Planning: I find myself getting home around 5:30 every evening and standing in front of the freezer staring morosely into it's depths. We often don't eat dinner until 8 pm. It's driving me nuts! So this weekend I'm going to put together a meal planning binder. I'm super excited about this!
  2. I'm a neat-freak. And a germophobe. And lately I have been struggling with finding the time and energy for house work. So this weekend I'm also going to be creating a house work schedule. I cannot wait!

Get ready for many boring updates on recipes and meals and the benefits of cleaning ceramic-top stoves with Vinegar!! My life is so full if excitement haha.

April 8, 2013

Well... Shit

Ever feel like you’ve stepped in dog poop before shoving your foot in your mouth?

Mm-hmmm. True story. See, apparently I jumped the gun in posting yesterday’s post about the epic baby-making plan that was planned Two Months ago (!).

Because Mr. Right is apparently having second thoughts. Fuck My Life. Seriously.

Last night Mr. Right came to bed to find his girlfriend naked and reading The Mother of All Pregnancy Books. He said nothing at first, until I had to share a very interesting fact from the book about how breastfed babies have significantly fewer doctor/hospital visits than formula-fed babies do.

So Far I'm Liking It!
‘Why are you reading that?’

‘I like to be as educated as possible about big life decisions like this!’ Honestly, Mr. Right knows that I’m insane about planning and that I investigate every option and possible issue when I’m getting ready to do something. We’ve had parenting discussions. We’ve talked about my future career options and how we’d like two children. I’ve poured my heart out to him about my age fears (I’ll be 33 in July) and the fact that I’m already high risk (I have Type 1 Diabetes, which is an auto-immune disorder and unfortunately can make for truly horrific pregnancies). We decided Two Months Ago that we would start trying once he’d officially moved in!!!!

Silence. For about 30 seconds he didn’t say a word, and then:

‘I don’t think we’re ready for that yet.’

He couldn’t have hurt me more if he’d pushed his big man-hands into my chest and ripped my heart out. He changed his mind, Just Like That, and there goes my life.

We talked about it, for 4 long hours. He admitted to me that for the past month he’s felt like I’ve changed quite a bit; I’m less affectionate, easily irritated, and distant.

‘Okay, that’s fair... but I quit smoking a month ago!’ I pointed out.

Yes, in anticipation of baby-making I finally quit smoking; it’s been a month today. I used the patch for about 2.5 weeks and then went cold turkey, so I’m understandably irritable and stressed out and tired and and and. And definitely not patient enough to basically have him tell me that he didn’t have the sympathy and understanding for what I’m going through because I QUIT FREAKING SMOKING. I almost lost it... but Mr. Right and I have been working hard at communicating with each other in healthy and effective ways... so I didn’t snap. I simply told him that the past month has been very difficult for me, but it is getting better every day and it helps me a lot to have his understanding of what I’m going through in order to be healthier.

It was clear that he didn’t really understand when he just kept reiterating how he’s not felt loved for the past month, and I told him that if he feels this way than this is something that needs to be fixed before he moves in with me. It was a frustrating part of the conversation; he said that he knows we’ll work it out, so why wouldn’t we move together? I countered that, by his logic, we then shouldn’t have any problem getting on with the baby-making in June like we’d originally planned. After all, we have two months to fix these problems before we move in together; we have Nine plus months after that to deal with any other relationship problems we may have. So we made a plan to work on making this aspect of our relationship better; we have stopped having date night in the past few months and since I moved from the sleepy little town I grew up in to the big, bustling city, we’ve both missed the little things that we used to do back in the old town. Like getting a coffee at Timmy’s and driving two minutes to the river where we’d sit and talk and hold hands for hours at a time. Or walking out the front door of my old house, across the street to the large high school field where he’d toss balls for Mollie and both of us would laugh at her ridiculous antics. The simple little things that brought us so much closer to each other.

He wants to wait until September. I told him that I’m not okay with that – I’ll be 33 in July, and the longer we wait the more this becomes like a game of baby Russian Roulette. More importantly, the older I get, the higher the chances are that I will have a pregnancy that is not healthy for either myself or any potential children. He ignored that and then went on to detail Every Other Reason he could possibly think of as to why we aren’t ready to have kids (we need to live together and commit to each other first; we should pay bills together for a while; get our savings accounts built back up and some more debt paid off before trying; be more affectionate with each other first; he’d like us to be common-law first; blah blah blah). I listened, and countered with every logical argument that I could: We’ve lived together for SEVEN months. He and L~ stay at my house exclusively, and I committed to him 100% when we were past the honeymoon phase and came out of it still in love with each other. We already decided that we’re not sharing finances in terms of bank accounts or vehicle titles or who owns my house (that will always be me – we both agreed a long time ago that what we come into the relationship with is our own), so his paying half the bills every month can only have positive outcomes for both of us (unless he’s planning on defaulting, which he assured me he’s not). Pregnancy does not mean that our savings accounts and debt will suddenly not ever be paid again!

What I heard under the smoke screen of all that scares me a little. I know that men typically don’t view children the same as women do; to women, future children are almost tangible, while men don’t view them as anything remotely real until they’re actually sitting in the delivery room holding the little bundle of joy. But I wasn’t hearing that when Mr. Right and I talked last night... what it sounded like he was saying to me is that he’s getting cold feet and possibly changing his mind about having more children. I know that his life will still be complete even if he never has another child – he’s got his boy. Mine, however, will not, and now I find myself in the dubious position of worrying about his desire to Ever have children with me. Let’s say I say, OK honey, we’ll put this aside for now and not discuss it again until September. Then September rolls around and I find myself facing more excuses, more reasons that we aren’t ready to have children. Meanwhile I’m Five Months closer to 35 and Five Months further away to something that I need as much as air.

Right now I don’t know what to do. Do I let him have this time, do I compromise and tell him that a mid-way point between both our dates that I’m OK with is the beginning of July so let’s just work on us for now, and revisit the topic of babies then? Or am I staring in the face of something that I’m just not seeing... something that I might regret horribly a few months from now when he admits that he just doesn’t want children... after we’ve moved in together. Because as awful as it sounds, as much as I love him, if Mr. Right doesn't truly want to have children with me then he and I are not right for each other. It would be harder than any decision I've ever made in my life, but I will make that call.

Please just tell me honestly: am I overreacting? Am I just succumbing to the side of myself that has to worry obsessively about EVERYthing and truly rushing into something that he just needs a little more time to get ready for??? Or is this a big old red flag that I need to pay attention to??

Gawd. Where is Dear Abby when I need her?

Edited to Add: There's a very small possibility that I might be preggers right now. We didn't use contraception during the tail-end of my period last month - I have a 32 day cycle so the chances of my ovulating then is next to nil. Except I've been exhibiting some very early pregnancy symptoms for the past week that are scaring me a little bit after his revelation last night. And it's too early for a test. I'm a basket-case right now, seriously.

April 7, 2013

Two Months...54 Days...What Feels Like a Lifetime

Well it's been a while, hasn't it?

I'd like to say I've been MIA from blogging because I was off traveling the world and seeing the Eiffel Tower and being romanced in Italy by Mr. Right, but... well, the past few months...

Hmm. I get a little stuck at trying to describe the latter portion of 2012 and 2013 so far. So much has happened, it’s difficult to find one word that can easily describe the changes my life has undergone over the past 4 months. I suppose it’s easiest to start at the beginning...

Mid-December was marked by one of the most shocking events in my life: I was laid off. A mere two weeks before Christmas my prior employers handed me a paycheque for 2 weeks of severance and walked me out the door for no reason other than that my new boss and one of the owners did not like me. I was a remnant of the previous Controller; he and I had rocked the boat by questioning several of their financial procedures, and after they pushed him out I was promised that there would be no negative effect to my position. Four months later they made liars of that statement and sent me on my way, without even allowing me to say my goodbyes to the department that I managed. It was an unjust dismissal and for about two weeks I debated taking action against it, even going so far as to talk to my lawyer about the situation and my options. In the end, I decided that the emotional and financial stress and the potential of a fight that could drag on for months (or even years!) was not worth it, and I let it go. It hurt, on a level that I find completely indescribable; I was a star performer and had worked my ass off improving many areas of the company, only to be humiliated and treated with a disregard that belittled every one of my accomplishments and the many hours of service I invested in a company I believed in. It still stings.

I was employed by the next business day, and I like to think that what happened happened for a very good reason, because my new job is a significant move upward in both title, responsibility and salary. I signed a disclaimer with my new place of employment, so I can’t say much... but what I can say is that I’m exceedingly happy with this new opportunity and the learning experiences, exposure and challenge that it’s giving me. I have the option of working overtime, rather than it just being expected, and for once I’m finding a balance between work and home. It’s wonderful and satisfying on every level that I appreciate about a job.

Unfortunately the effects of being laid off were felt – I didn’t start my new job until January, and I’d been working to recover from the unexpectedly high closing costs of my house purchase, a new furnace installation, and a few other unforeseen expenses. I had to stretch two weeks of severance into four over the Christmas holidays, and in spite of my accounting background and natural tendency to scrooge out, it still hit me in the pocketbook. I’m not poor and I’m not struggling, but I’m one of those people who needs an emergency fund that’s equivalent to two months salary. As a result, I’ve put myself on a strict budget which I’ve vowed to follow to the last cent, with the goal of building my savings back up to pre-house-purchase balance plus.

It will be easier come May 31st, when Mr. Right will officially move in. Two months from now and I will be making a commitment that I’ve never made to any man before – sharing finances and all of the things that I’ve avoided previously. A little part of me wishes I’d been a little less fierce about my independence; I am so set in my ways from having lived on my own for so long, that I’m finding it hard to adjust to having someone around All The Time. Mr. Right and I have a lot in common, but there are a few significant personality differences that create a challenge, particularly in our living together. He is as Type B as they come; his easygoing nature tends to nicely work against my uber-Type A personality... except when we clash. It’s most noticeable in our financial management and housekeeping skills, oddly enough; I’m a ‘deal with it nownowNOW’ and he’s more: ‘It’s nothing to panic about, worry about it later’. I tend to hyper-stress and over-react about things, but I Get Them Done fast and properly, whereas he is calm and collected but tends to procrastinate and defer to others. He's a spender, I'm freaking Scrooge incarnate! He's also wasteful in ways that make me cringe. Add to the mix my red-headed temper and his dislike of confrontation, and there’s a melting-pot of potential communication issues that we continue to work through. What’s important is that we ARE working through them. And there’s a lot of value in knowing that we are identifying and solving the challenges of living together, since he’s been staying with me permanently for over 6 months now. Mr. Right has taken care of business and though we still have our challenges (mostly involving ex-nonwife and trying to stepcouple together - a future post, for sure) and we are still in love and planning for the future.

Which brings me to the end result (hopefully!) and our near-future goal: a baby. (SQUEEEE!)
After a lot of discussion and planning and thought, Mr. Right and I have decided that, in June, we’ll be throwing out the condoms. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how overwhelmingly exciting this is for me – in a mere 2 months, we might be pregnant. 2 months from now. 54 days. I could be a Mommy-To-Be by my 33rd birthday. Though it’s extremely difficult to wait (even if it’s only 54 days!), the rational side of me knows that this time can be used to better position and prepare us for pregnancy and eventually a new baby.

That also means that I’m having to be patient... which as you probably now know given my personality, is REALLY not easy for me. When I make up my mind to do something, I do it NOW. Add to the mix my post-30 time bomb hormones on top of the fact that I’ve been waiting for this for 14 years and my worries about potential fertility issues with each passing year... le sigh. I do not do waiting well. One of the things I did when I started the process for being a SMC was to plan ahead and educate myself as much as possible. On EVERYthing, from the process itself to financial planning to maternity options etcetera etcetera. I started buying cloth diapers and stockpiling various necessities, and I created a detailed budget and researched infant development and car seats and homemade baby food. All of this made me feel empowered, and also helped to provide me with a goal to work towards while I waited for the day that I would start trying to conceive. Ultimately, what it gave me was patience.

I’ll even admit that I’ve become a little obsessed with planning. When I become preoccupied thinking about the next two months, I focus instead on the preparation that most people think about during pregnancy… like the nursery. I’ve picked some colours that I like; a soft, subtle yellow with accents of mint green and maybe a few grey or red items to pop. Gender neutral, since I don’t want to know whether it’s a girl or boy beforehand. When I bought the house, I mentally designated the back spare bedroom as the future nursery,
Wouldn't this be an awesome nursery?

due to its south-facing window and the wonderful light that shines in, even in the winter. Right now this is the guest room, and the most use it sees is when L~ stays with us on weekends. So I’ve started doing some organizing and moving items from the future nursery to the office/library, which will eventually also host a sleeping area for L~-slash-guest bed. I’ve been trying to brainstorm ideas as to how to fit all of my books (I have 3 large shelves in the office/library right now, with 4 more boxes of books waiting to be unpacked in the closet and two shelves on the main floor with the rest of the books) in the 3rd bedroom with my computer desk and something for L~ and guests to sleep on. My second and third bedrooms are not huge; they’re not tiny, but they’re the typical, townhouse-sized spare rooms better suited as children’s bedrooms. Do you know how hard it is to find decorating/organizational ideas for a situation like this?? Until we have our second child, I want to be able to utilize the available space as much as possible since realty is at a premium in my house; L~ is only with us for a total of about 25% of the year, so I can’t justify having a room dedicated for his exclusive use and thereby not being used for 75% of the time! But how do I fit all of the furniture required to combine an office, a library and a sleeping area in this one room? Since I have quite a bit of time to work this out, I’m not too worried, though I’d like to have a workable solution sooner rather than later. I’m debating buying one of those chair beds from Ikea – they’re a single sleeper, but unlike a futon or daybed they fold up into a compact chair with a much smaller footprint. My only concern with that option is the idea that this isn’t really a bed per se… and Mr. Right might object to this arrangement, given that he maintains that he’d like L~ to have his own room. We’ve discussed this in the past, and I’ve pointed out that my <1100 square foot home just isn’t big enough for any area not to be completely usable 100% of the time; he’s agreed and has no issue so long as L~ has a space of his own for the most part. But Mr. Right may feel that a chair bed isn’t an appropriate sleeping arrangement for his son, so that will be a consideration when the time comes as well.

But enough of that; back to my extensive baby plans. I’ve looked at cribs and have a better idea of what sort I prefer (either white or dark wood and convertible to a toddler bed), and I have a rattan rocking chair – one of my favourite pieces of furniture – that would be practical, functional and comfortable in a nursery! Mint green drapes over the window, maybe a few decals on the walls. I have never liked the traditional change tables, and I’d rather not have a dresser in there. I plan to use this gorgeous buffet table that I own, which has cupboards with shelves inside and is solidly built, and have Mr. Right build a frame for a change table on top and then use a basket system inside to store diapers/clothing/etc. The closet is huge, and I plan to put an organizer in there in place of a dresser; I’d like one of the ones with drawers and shelves, so that it’s multi-functional. I want Lots of wall shelves and TONS of pictures on the walls. When I was younger I was quite the artist – I might even frame some of my own art and put it in the baby’s room! And since I’m handy with a camera as well… lots of pictures. Framed pics of Mommy and Daddy and baby, Mollie and baby, L~ and baby. Possibly with some lovely quotes or poems photoshopped in. Fortunately I have a very good photo printer so I can do all this for super cheap! Though money isn’t really a concern, I have seen financially solvent friends have relationship issues after having children, in part because they just spent too much on baby. And when it comes down to it, I’m a dyed-in-the-wool tightwad.

Then there are the things I’d like to splurge on, like a bassinet for beside the bed for the first few months – my sister bought a lovely one off of kijiji for a whopping $40! I plan to try some co-sleeping (I’ve done tons of research on the pros and cons of this, but since I have no personal experience yet I’ll stop there) and I also want to breastfeed, so I think that this will be a must. Is a breast pump a must too? So far the research I’ve done on breast pumps makes it look like a split decision; half say it’s required, half say it’s a waste of money. Majority rules that the best is an automatic pump, not a manual one, which is a pretty significant expense, especially for a good quality pump. Since I think it’s very important for Mr. Right to have the opportunity to bond with baby over feedings, I have a Medela breastpump in the budget – a double, which retails at about $350 but I’ve heard is totally worth it. Mr. Right likes the portable infant car seats, so we’ll have to buy one for the truck and I’ll make him carry it everywhere we go… I, personally, do not enjoy those things and would much rather be a baby-wearing mama. That’s next on my list to research, along with convertible car seats for my car, so that it can grow with the baby from infant to toddler. Since I walk a lot, a good stroller will also be a must. And as much as I would love a Bugaboo, I just can’t justify spending over $800 on a seat with wheels! (I covet the Bugaboo Chameleon and would cross my fingers that it may someday end up as a shower gift!) A swing is in the budget (possibly used, since these are outgrown SO fast!) as well as a high chair (something light, compact and fold-able since my dining room doesn’t have a lot of extra space).

The cloth diaper stash needs to be worked on as well. Right now I have a dozen newborn prefolds, two Bummis SuperBrite diaper covers, and a MotherEase newborn fitted cloth diaper paired with a ridiculously cute newborn MEAF cover. I plan to buy a few AIO's and pocket's to try. I also want a few of the Fuzzibunz One Size Elite, which are adjustable from NB to potty training, and best of all actually has replaceable parts! 6 of these would be nice, but at least 4 to start. Happily Mr. Right isn’t against cloth diapering (I’ve read on diapering boards that a lot of men are), but I’d like to have a decent stash of pockets/fitteds to make the process easier on him (I’ve used pre-folds with babies during my time as a nanny) and grandparents/aunts/uncles that may be involved in diaper changes. Since I use cloth menstrual pads, I’m not worried about travel or laundering and am already experienced on stain removal/washing and drying techniques/etc. I have a wet bag that I purchased for my pads, but then I switched to a soaking pot so I’ll probably use the bag for diaper changes on outings. Cloth bum wipes are a must too, and I may make some with extra fleece that I bought when I was making my own menstrual pads. Lots of stuff to keep me busy!

Two months. January and February flew by, but somehow when I let my thoughts linger on it, the time between now and June seems sooooooooo long. I’ll be 33 in July… I was supposed to start trying to conceive when I turned 32, and now here I am, already some 8 months past that goal date. Having to wait for almost 3 more months before we can even start trying. I’m terrified that I may be infertile; I’ve got endometriosis and Type 1 Diabetes and an extra 30 pounds on my frame (which I’m determined to and working on losing!). But I won’t know that until we start trying, and the thought of the next two months possibly being the straw that breaks the camel’s back… the threshold of time that pushes me over into infertility… I’m being paranoid. I know that. I can’t help it. I think about it, and I have to tell myself to just let it go, I can’t control everything.

So until June I’ll keep imagining my future, my life complete with beautiful babies with their father’s blue eyes and my curly red hair. Hopefully they get his height and my hair line; my brain and his physical aptitude; my dancing feet and his ability to deliver perfect one-liners. 

Some day... soon...