Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Trying to Hold it Together and Failing

I realize that pregnancy makes you hormonal and makes you cry more easily than normal, but I am really, really struggling with what is happening to my dad right now.

I am a daddy's girl and have been as long as I can remember. We have always been very close. He is the person I would always go to for advice. I always told him everything, and I do mean everything. He helped me through many tough situations. And we always loved the time we got to spend together, even if it was every day.

My dad is the kind of guy everyone likes the second they meet him. He is very caring and genuine. He has a special way with people, and I have tried to model myself after him in almost every respect. I do for my daughter the things my dad always did for me. One of the most loving things he taught me is to check in on my daughter every night before I go to bed myself, just to make sure she is still all nice and tucked in, and to give her one last kiss for the night and tell her again that I love her.

I could go on and on for days talking about my dad and what a wonderful person he is, I honestly could. He means the world to me. I've told my husband from the beginning that when my dad goes, he is going to have a mess on his hands.

I don't really want to go into details because it could take forever to write out, but my dad is in a bad place. Due to his recent knee surgery and all of the trauma he has been through with the meds they have had him on, a trip to the ICU, and having to reopen his knee to remove a blood pocket, his Parkinsons has progressed at a rapid rate. In the span of only a couple of days, he went from being coherent to being incoherent, unable to speak clearly, and unable to hold conversations.

I was able to pretend it wasn't happening for a while because I am 1300 miles away and not watching all of this happen. I had to pretend it wasn't happening because if I admitted it was, I was going to fall apart.

Well a couple of days ago, I had no choice but to admit it was happening, and I fell apart. I'm still falling apart.

I spent all day yesterday trying not to cry, and failing miserably. I scared a lot of people around me, because they thought it was something to do with the baby, especially my good friends who knew I had a bleeding scare on Friday and had stayed home from work on Monday because of it. So when my best friend came over to check on me first thing yesterday morning and I burst into uncontrollable tears, she thought the worst. So did my boss when I shot him an email asking to talk to him. I was and still am a mess. We're talking about MY DAD. I can't handle it. I can't.

I went into my bosses office and told him what was going on just so that if I needed to go home on short notice, or he saw me sobbing my eyes out, he would know why. He has been so good about it, and has told me we can work with whatever I need to do. I had talked to him when my dad was in the ICU about a month ago and told him that if I was still working there when my dad goes that I fully expect to lose my job because I won't be able to function enough to work for a long time. That is not an exaggeration.

There are so many things about this situation that feel like they are the worst part, like the fact that I can't understand my dad when we talk on the phone. I try so hard to pay attention, but I can't understand him, and it kills me. I know he is trying so hard to speak clearly, and I know he is frustrated. I just can't believe this is happening to my dad. And I can't believe that we can't get him back. A week ago he was fine, and now we are losing him mentally.

According to all of the tests they have run on him, he is perfectly healthy, which makes this whole thing even worse because it means only his brain is unhealthy, which means he could go on for years in this state.

We have a family trip planned to Disney Land. All of us kids, our spouses, and our kids are going to be there. It was going to be a very rare occasion for all of us to be together in the same place at the same time. I don't remember the last time we had everyone together. But now my dad can't go. And our trip has turned from being a wonderful family outing to being a trip where we get together to talk about what to do about dad. We're not going to cancel the trip because we all need to get together more than ever now.

All of this just kills me. This is so very difficult.

I took Little Bean trick-or-treating tonight, and tried not to cry the whole time because all I could think about were all of the years my dad took us kids trick-or-treating.

One thing I always wanted for Little Bean that I didn't really have, was to know her grandpa. My maternal grandpa died when I was 2 or 3, so I never knew him. My paternal grandpa died just before I was 10, and I have wished so many times that he had been around longer because I had followed in his musical footsteps and would have loved for him to teach me to play and to be proud of me and the scholarships I was awarded for it. I didn't know my grandpas very well, and I've always known I missed out.

My husband's dad left the picture when he was little, so there is no grandpa on that side. Little Bean already lost out there. But at 3, she is never going to know the wonderful man my dad was first-hand. Sure, I can tell her all about him, and parent her the way he did me, but she will never know that man. And that completely sucks. It breaks my heart. It is totally unfair that such a wonderful influence on her life has been taken from her before she got the chance to really know it. All she is going to remember, if she remembers anything at all, is how my dad is now and will be for the rest of his life, and that is brutal to me.

I can count on one hand how many times I have cried so hard I literally thought my heart was going to tear itself apart from the pain. Coming to terms with this is one of them. How do you deal with this kind of grief? I'm not going to have to say goodbye only once, but many times over. I am going to have to watch my dad slowly slip away mentally. I don't know how people do it. I don't know how they handle the pain.

Nothing I have written here even comes close to expressing the pain I feel, or any of the emotions I feel. They can't even begin to convey how much my heart aches thinking about all of it. They are just words. Worthless words. But I write them because I think one day my children should know how difficult this was. So that they know how very much I love my dad.

I have a doctor appointment next week, and I plan on asking if I can fly home to see my dad next month. I am afraid she might say no because that would make three times I will be flying in two months. I wouldn't worry about it too much if I hadn't already had two bleeding scares with this pregnancy, and if I wasn't considered high risk. She might tell me its okay to go, but she might not. All I know is I need to go see my dad.

I don't know how to end this post, so I'm just going to end it. Its late, and I have to work tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I am Just Plain Excited

Last week I had my final appointment with my RE. I had to try hard not to cry just thinking about the appointment, while I was driving there, while I was sitting in the waiting room, and during my appointment. Yes, I'm hormonal and watching Say Yes to the Dress makes me cry right now, but the level of gratitude I feel toward Dr H for accomplishing in a few short months what our previous RE could not in over two year's time would make even a non-hormonal woman cry.

When he walked into the room he exclaimed, "Good job, you did it!" And I replied, "Good job, YOU did it!" I think all three of us were pretty amazing, and it took all three of us to beat our odds. I told Dr H the only thing that made me sad was that I wasn't going to need to see him again. When he told me he wanted to meet the baby after it was born, and then continue to see me to control my endo after the pregnancy, I told him it was a deal. Like there is any way I wouldn't bring my precious little bundle to meet the doctor who made it possible!

Honestly, I don't care about controlling my endo or PCOS after this baby is born. I don't care about scar tissue, or anything else that could go wrong with my reproductive organs. I've said it all along, one more, and I'm done. I am totally sticking to that. If we happen to get more on our own, sweet! We'll take more, gladly and lovingly. But if we don't, we're done with medicated cycles and flushing money down the toilet in the name of another baby.

Since finding out we're pregnant, I have been excited and over the moon for a few reasons, the first being: HOLY CRAP WE'RE FINALLY PREGNANT! (<-- I wish I could make that flash.)

I had a ticker on my old blog that counted how long we had been trying for #2. It didn't include the year we had to take off after Little Bean was born; it didn't include the 3 months we sought second and third opinions on repair surgery; and it didn't include the 3 months we had to wait post-surgery. It took us exactly 2 years to finally get pregnant. For 21 months out of 24, we were either cycling or taking a break from medicated cycles. (Let's not even get into how long it took us to get Little Bean and what we had to go through to get her.) So the thought that all of that is behind us once and for all, is nothing short of amazing for me. That alone makes me want to happy dance until the cows come home.

Another reason I'm excited is because I get to have another baby! Little Bean makes us laugh often, and we love her so much. It has been incredible watching her grow and learn over the last 3.5 years. I am so excited that I not only get to do it again, but that I get to do it again with Little Bean enjoying all of it with us.

I am so excited, I am looking forward to the newborn days, and toting a baby around on my hip for a year, bottles and sippy cups, diapers and burp rags, bouncers and swings. I cannot wait! I honestly think I am more excited this time than I was the first time, mostly because now I know what to expect when the baby is born. I know how our lives are about to change. I know what sleepless nights are like, and that its okay if my baby cries. I know how to swaddle (or rather what to buy for a good swaddle). I know what baby products I can and can't live without. I know what to buy, and what not to waste my money on.

Sure having a toddler and a newborn will be an experience I haven't had yet, but I am totally looking forward to it. Little Bean is going to be an amazing big sister, and I know this because she has a baby doll that she totes around right now. I plan on buying her "baby" everything my baby will have, like a changing table, play yard, and all of those little goodies. I already bought her a stroller travel system like the one I have.

I am really excited to have our family complete, to no longer feel like I have to keep putting my body through hell because I have this strong maternal desire to have another baby. I love that I finally feel deep inside like this baby will complete our family, and we will be all done. It is an amazing, fulfilling feeling. I am ready and totally excited.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

A Tiny Heartbeat

On Tuesday I had my first official prenatal visit. The one where they ask all the questions, tell me the do's and don'ts of pregnancy, take a ton of blood (4 vials), and perform a sonogram. Let's just say I was giddy to be there that day. I almost cried from sheer happiness when they handed me the bill for my prenatal care and delivery (my doctor's office charges for everything up front). I didn't care what number was on that bill, the fact that it was in my hands was beautiful. It was almost surreal. I almost felt like I was playing a joke on everyone. But I'm not, I really am pregnant!

After three years of  countless doctor visits, taking more prescription meds than an octagenarian, more sonograms than Michelle Du.ggar has had in her life, four surgeries, and tens of thousands of dollars, WE ARE FINALLY PREGNANT! I still can't believe it.

Do you want to see my baby? Here is a picture of my beautiful little bub.

I got to see and hear the beautiful little heartbeat that instantly put my fears to rest and made me cry with pure joy. I could have sat there all day and watched my baby and heard that heartbeat. We have gone through so much to get here and I am so incredibly grateful it has finally happened. The blessing of this miracle is not lost me, just as the miracle of Little Bean has never, ever been lost on me. I cannot wait to add this little one to our family.

This week my pregnancy symptoms have finally started to show, which is funny since I am already 8 weeks along. I have been so exhausted I can barely hold myself upright, let alone put one foot in front of the other when I have to go to the loo every 10 minutes to pee. This level of exhaustion should be illegal. So of course I love it... as much as a person this tired can.

I have had a few small bouts of morning sickness, and enjoyed every second of it because it means my baby is growing and doing great. I just take a Pre.ggie P.op and go on with my day, while beaming inside.

My favorite new symptom, food aversions! I know, I'm so weird. But when I can't stand foods I normally love, it makes me so happy. This morning Hubs, Little Bean, and I went to breakfast at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants. I got eggs, bacon, and potatoes and could not only not handle the smell, I couldn't eat even half of the eggs and almost barfed when I tried to eat the bacon. I LOVED it! I had Wend.ys for lunch yesterday and couldn't eat even half of it because it was so gross. The most amazing food aversion though: french fries! I cannot believe I can't stand french fries because they are one of my most favorite foods ever, but I just can't handle them right now. The thought of them makes me cringe. Every day this week I have been eating foods I normally love only to find I can't stand them right now, and it makes me SO HAPPY!

My least favorite pregnancy symptom and the only one that doesn't make me happy: mood swings. No only do they suck for obvious reasons, but they come packed with a TON of guilt. The worst is the mom guilt. Little Bean is so sweet and happy, but when I am exhausted like I am, it takes a lot of patience to answer her questions when she asks the same one over and over and over. Patience I don't have. I feel horrible about it. And I'm one of those parents who likes to buy people things to make up for bad behavior, so Little Bean is being spoiled by a cranky mama a lot the last couple weeks. Honestly, I would love to just cuddle with her in my lap while we watch cartoons all day. Tomorrow we are going to take her to the fair, and I'm pretty excited about that.

Its funny to be so happy and so cranky at the same time. I am just really excited to add this new little bub to our family and travel the globe as a happy family of four.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

My Scars Hurt

No, I'm not talking about emotional or figurative scars, but the actual scars from all of my surgeries. I've basically had two c-sections, and I've had three laparoscopies, two of which were this year. So I have found over the past couple weeks that my pants are digging into my scars. Luckily I have some fat pants that I've been able to wear and still have some room to spare, but I don't know how much longer I will be able to tolerate the waist-line digging into my abdomen.

I actually went up into the attic last weekend and pulled down my giant bag of maternity clothes and washed up all of the early maternity stuff. I've tried the pants on (oh how I have missed them!), but they are still too big to be worn on a regular basis. Boo! I also discovered that I will have to do some maternity clothes shopping with this pregnancy because I am pregnant in different seasons. I was four months ahead of where I am with this pregnancy, which means I won't have a lot of clothing overlap.

I'm starting this pregnancy 4-5lbs lighter than my pregnancy with Little Bean, so I might be able to hold off wearing maternity clothes for as long as I did with her. I know I will be one of those moms who show earlier the second time. Heck, I can already see my baby bump growing. But baby bump aside, I am going all out for comfort. If I can't handle wearing non-maternity clothes even a week from now because of my scars, I'm going to wear my maternity clothes, and anyone who thinks anything of it can stuff it. That's the great thing about being me, I don't care what other people think about me. If they don't like it, that's their problem, not mine.

As for the pregnancy, it is going annoyingly easy, just like Little Bean's. My biggest complaint is the same with this one as it was with the first: I don't have enough symptoms! I don't have morning sickness at all. I don't have any of the symptoms you read about in the books. I seriously sit here all day waiting for some sign that everything is okay in there. If I have a day where I feel like crap at all, I'm happy as a clam.

The only small symptoms I do have are heartburn at bedtime and some exhaustion. As soon as my butt hits the couch when I get home after work, I'm out. I have had a teeny, tiny bit of nausea here and there, but its not enough to write home about. I still hate the cramps. I know they are part of the uterus growing, but I hate them. A lot.

My next appointment is with my OB on Tuesday. I'm hoping it will include a sono. If memory serves, the 8-week appointment with Little Bean was our first sono, so I'm hoping that's right. I just want to check in! I think this will also be the appointment where they talk a few pints of blood. Okay, so its not pints, but it feels like it.

I still haven't figured out what to call this baby on the blog yet. I have names picked out for real life, but not for the blog. Isn't that kind of backwards? lol I still can't think of anything I like. If I ask Baby Bean, she thinks we should name the baby Kate, but what if it is a boy? I'd have to answer to blogging about him as Baby Kate. (Hubs is officially excluded from contributing blog baby names.)

Well, that's all I have for now. I'm going to just sit here and watch some TV now. Laters!