Thursday, December 22, 2011


Well, I was planning a post about how hard it is to find skin care products that can be used during pregnancy in regular stores.  Sure, we all know not to use vitamin A derivatives, and to avoid salicylic acid, and BHAs but when you have a history of miscarriage there's SO much more to avoid!  You don't want to eat basil, sage, or rosemary because they can cause contractions, so do I really want to run the risk of rubbing them into my skin?  I love how folks keep pointing me to the organic lines of skin care products, like there aren't organic forms of vitamin A, and rosemary's a top ingredient in half these products as well.  So I was going to rant about how I can't seem to find anything to use on my skin in Kroger anymore, but then I got distracted.

This morning I had a doctor's appointment, really just a test to see if the baby's nerve development appears normal, or if it looks like he/she could be at risk for Downs.  Not that we would love a baby with Downs any less, I just figure its good to know so that I can prepare the best I can for whatever we can know.  So we started this ultrasound, and I thought things looked kinda twitchy, but then maybe that was the lady moving the want, right?  Nope, we have a very jumpy baby in there, not the most cooperative at holding still for the technician.  I thought about telling him to hold still so she could get her measurements, but then I figured the technician would think I was talking to her, or she would think I was crazy for talking to a baby that doesn't yet have ears.  Anyway, laying there, listening to a heartbeat, watching a twitchy baby who didn't particularly care to be measured, was amazing.

P.S. If you know of any decent grocery store skin care products that are safe let me know.  I don't want to have to order from specialty stores and spend an arm and a leg!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Well, I thought I was taking a break (warning, probably contains over-sharing)

I was just looking through old drafts and realized I never posted one from a month and a half back called "Taking a Break."  You know how they say that if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans?  Well, I'm thinking the folks that say that know what they're talking about!

After years of trying and months of invasive and painful treatments, we decided back in October to stop trying for a baby.  Well at least through the end of the year.  All the ups and downs were getting to me.  The weight gain, the hormones, sex on demand, the uncomfortable and sometimes painful procedures, knowing that THIS month was FINALLY going to be the month only to have something go wrong and have my hopes crushed, again.  I just couldn't take the stress.

So instead of another round of treatment starting in October I went on a diet and lost 8 lbs.  My husband and I went on a cruise.  I drank all the martinis I wanted.  Sex was spontaneous instead of planned, and I avoided thinking about anything having to do with anybody's reproductive schedule.  When the end of the month rolled around without a sign of my period, well, we all know I'm not likely to ovulate on schedule if at all, so I took a pregnancy test (negative) and started the standard progesterone to reboot the system another month.  But after a week, I realized I was feeling kinda weird.  My back hurt, not all that unusual for me, but my stomach hurt too, and then I realized that I was hurting in the same places that I hurt back in February with the pregnancy that ended in miscarriage, and I began to wonder.  Oh, I didn't feel as bad as I had back then, but then things could be early on.  Some stuff I could account to the progesterone.  My boobs had hurt in other cycles when I hadn't turned out to be pregnant, but my stomach, that was hard to discount.  So when I got home that night I looked, and I had one pregnancy test left.  I told myself I was stupid for wasting it.

I put it off until after dinner.  And then I took it, and watched it.  You know how you're supposed to wait three minutes for the line to develop?  Well I didn't even have to wait 30 seconds.  I was shaking when I showed it to my husband.  My next call was to the doctor's office to confirm.

I spent the next week and a half terrified at every twinge, looking for blood at every trip to the bathroom.  When I had my miscarriage in February I had no idea that there was even a possibility that anything was wrong.  I hadn't worried that anything would happen until it did.  This time I knew just how badly things could go, and it was a rare moment that I wasn't terrified that something was going wrong.  Then this:
In case you're wondering, that's a heartbeat there.  Now, can anyone tell me how to stop being terrified that something will go wrong at any minute?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Complaints: Now with Real Ingredients!!!

Ok, so I'm noticing a trend in advertising.  This all started a few days ago when my mother-in-law asked me what kind of cake I wanted for my birthday.  Well I knew right off that I wanted the most chocolaty thing you can find in a cake mix, and since I've had good luck with Duncan Hines I thought I'd look through the flavors on their website to see what seemed to have chocolate on top of chocolate with a side of chocolate.  I ended up here:

At first glance this looks like a simple list of a variety of cake flavors.  But then I noticed something.  Under the heading "Decadent Mixes" there is the phrase "contains an additional pouch of real ingredients."  This got me wondering.  What exactly is a cake mix made up of if it's not ingredients?  I mean, when I was a kid and I made mud pies, these mud pies had ingredients (mostly mud).  When I look on the side of a box of regular cake mix, what exactly would you call the list of things that supposedly go into the box?

But it didn't stop there.  Today, I spent most of the day watching football with my husband.  Ok, so I don't so much watch football as exist in a room where football is on TV while I pay attention to other things, but occasionally something on the TV catches my attention.  This time it was a Tostitos commercial.  Now I love Tostitos.  They are the corn chip that I am most likely to buy, more because they're often on sale and in the shapes I like than because I think they're particularly nutritious, but I've eaten and enjoyed a variety of Tostitos products.  So when I heard them advertising that they're made with "real ingredients" it got me thinking.  Why in the world would anyone with a lick of sense advertise that a food is made with real ingredients?  Are these real ingredients as opposed to the fake ones?  If Tostitos are made with real ingredients does that mean that Fritos are made with paste and paint?  (I love Fritos, and would never mean to malign their excellent reputation, and they go really well with chili.)  What kind of idiot do the advertising executives think I am?  Who would spend millions of dollars to tell me that their food-like substances are made with real ingredients?

This really makes me wonder what other advertising and marketing campaigns are utterly meaningless.  Does my toothpaste really keep working for hours, or does it just remove the grubby stuff and it takes time (and eating) for it to come back?  Is lite mayonnaise really light, or is it just lighter than say, injecting lard directly into my veins?  Are these desiccated grapes or plumper juicier raisins?  Will the shoes make me run faster even though I don't like to run.  I mean really, I spend more time driving a car or sitting at a desk than anything else in life.  Will this added layer of clothing make me look thinner, or will it just add another layer to my already extensive padding?  When you say something tastes better, better than what?

Silly, silly advertising executives.  You're even stupider than you think I am.

P.S. My actual birthday cake was a Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix with the Creamy Home-Style Dark Chocolate Fudge Frosting, and it was VERY good even though my husband complained that it was ugly.  I picked a cake because it would TASTE good, not because it would look good (if I'd wanted a pretty cake I'd have let him spread frosting on a hunk of styrofoam), and not because it had REAL INGREDIENTS!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Netflix is making a big mistake

So... Netflix sent out a letter explaining their recent changes today.  I read it.  I went to their blog to respond to it, and wrote a response only to have their comment system require that I'm a Facebook member.  I'm not.  So without further ado, my open letter to Netflix:

That's a bunch of malarkey.  Re branding a successful brand is always a mistake.  I can see the price increase (though I think it could have been better implemented incrementally), and I can see re-organizing into two different groups.  But the re branding is a mistake, and a bad one. made the steps to sell things other than books, and they have been successful because now folks know is their one stop shop.  By re-branding you're alienating all the word of mouth marketing you've had through the years.  I can see only one reason to re brand a part of the business, and that's if you're planning on selling it off.  Sooooo, when are you planning on selling off the DVD by mail business?

P.S. if you're new to the Netflix debate, you can read their blog that I'm responding to here:

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

And of course, another disappointment. The good news is, I've gone part time at work just to have some time to take better care of myself and to take some of the stress off.

I keep wanting to cry out, begging, screaming, "God PLEASE give me a healthy full term pregnancy." But I keep reminding myself, "Not my will, but Yours be done."

I'm really trying to mean it.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The waiting game

When I talk to my friends with infertility they often talk about the month after month of disappointment.  And while that's horrible, I don't find that to be the worst of it.  See, with disappointment at least you know.  What we tried didn't work, so it's time to formulate a new plan, there're plans to make, and stuff to do.  There's always something different to try, and having something different to do makes it that much better.  It gives something to hope for.

No, the worst part of it is the time of the month where you just don't know where you stand.  You've done everything you can, and you have no idea whether it worked.  Every month you spend a couple weeks talking to your body, saying "Please let it take!"  "Everything's ok, you can focus on reproductive stuff now."  "Please let everything get together and do the right things this time."

And I'm afraid to do anything that could be the wrong thing.  I found myself watching a funny TV show last night, and laughing, wondering whether if I laughed to hard if it would jar anything loose and it wouldn't take.  I'm afraid to exercise to strenuously because I might get dehydrated and cause a problem.  I'm afraid to do anything that could cause a lot of pain or stress on my body, lest my body decide that maybe now's not so good a time to put the focus on reproduction.  I kick myself wondering if the incident with the legs I burned with expired dilatory cream could have triggered some sort of fight or flight stress release that caused my miscarriage.  I don't know that I'll ever know.

So here I am; afraid to eat the wrong thing, afraid to get sick, afraid to move the wrong way, afraid to even laugh to hard!  Tired, and yet waking up in the middle of the night unable to think of anything but what MIGHT be going on inside me now.  Is it any wonder I'm no fun at all?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

I'm beginning to itentify with Job

Ok, so my house hasn't collapsed, it's just the air conditioning gone out in the middle of what I read a few days ago is a "Deadly Heat Wave" gripping half the United States.  And my children aren't all dead, it's just that I can't seem to have any in the first place.  I haven't broken out in boils and sores, it's just a doozy of a UTI on the tail end of a week of rumbling tummy trouble that ranged from Full Stop to Go, Go, Go!  But compound this on top of more than normal stresses at work, more bad news from the fertility clinic, and more frustrations ranging from a breast cancer scare (nope, it's just a cyst, everything's fine) to a guy who can't seem to decide whether he wants to sell us the car that we said we would buy MONTHS ago, and I'm wondering just exactly how much more of this we can take.

Ok, so my husband hasn't told me to "curse God and die" for which I am always thankful, but when it comes to breaking points, well, I'm way past where I thought mine would be.  Instead we lie naked in bed (it's to hot for clothes) and thank God for ceiling fans, even if the one in our bedroom has this weird tendency to cut off in the middle of the night.  We thank Him for sustaining us thus far, and pray that he will help us through whatever comes next.  Oh, and we cry, a lot, and do our best to comfort each other because we both know that God knew what he was doing when he put us together and that there's no way we would make it through this without each other.  And then there's the yelling, crying out to the universe.


If God's got a bet on with the Devil about what it'll take to break me, then I don't want to let Him down.  But I kinda wish he'd go pick someone else to bet on and let me have some time to recover from all this... stuff.  Surely work doesn't have to make both me and my husband miserable at the same time.  Surely God can heal our bodies or thyroid and hormonal issues and whatever else is making it impossible for us to have children and loose weight.  I eat really healthy, a low calorie but balanced diet with lots of leafy greens, and I started working out 3-4 times a week over a month ago.  I shouldn't be GAINING weight.  But combine PCOS with an under active thyroid (which I was doing a really good job of controlling before all these fertility treatments) and you get twenty more pounds of me since January.

I really didn't start this diet and exercise plan thinking that it would result in me only gaining a pound and a half in the last month, and now I need to go out and buy all new jeans.  I mean, I like shopping as much as the next girl, but in general I just want my clothes to fit!  And I'd really prefer a new pair of earrings to shopping for a new air conditioning unit.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

This too shall pass

I’ve been comforting myself lately with the idea of change. No matter what happens, this will pass. Change is the only thing I can count on, so no matter what has me down now I know that in a few days or weeks it’ll be something else, or my circumstances will change, and whatever seems insurmountable now won’t be there, or won’t seem so bad, or will have changed into something else. This is something I learned from Mark Lowrey.  

All I have to do is wait.  If nothing else my ADD will kick in and I'll forget to be upset about whatever's upsetting me.  Right?

Friday, June 10, 2011

3 months

Three months and I'm still not pregnant.  Confirmed today.  All I want to do is go home and cry.

Well, that and a big FU to all the folks who said "Don't worry, you'll try again next month."

In other news, I think my hair is falling out faster than normal.  It's a good thing I have more than average to start with.  I can stand to loose a fair bit without looking like a freak... well, no more of a freak than normal anyway.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Terrified, Annoyed - Confessions of wigging out

Ok, so my one and only pregnancy thus far was an unmitigated disaster.  From the Sunday before I knew I was pregnant I started having horrible pain anywhere from 2-4 times a day, and each pain lasted anywhere from 20 minutes to three hours.  This lasted for the entire duration of the pregnancy and only stopped well after my miscarriage was in progress.  I can count on one hand the number of nights I was able to sleep through during that almost three weeks I was pregnant.  Each night I'd wake up with pains shooting across my middle, wrapped around to my back, and sometimes down to my knees.  Unable to get comfortable in any position I paced the house, often for hours at a time.  Of course if they hit during the day when I was stuck in a meeting I was in worse luck.  Sitting made the hurting worse, so I found myself shifting in my seat, unable to concentrate, unable to focus on anything but the pain.

I told one doctor about this and he told me that normal women whose ovaries work right go through this every month.  Right.  I'm not buying that normal women have PMS three weeks out of the month.  If they did there would be a LOT more voluntary hysterectomies.  For another thing, I don't think I'm THAT wussy!  I know what PMS is, I've had it, and it's nothing to write home about. It's DEFINITELY nothing that would keep me up at night. 

And then my world crashed down.  Having a miscarriage the same week Grandpa died... I don't even have the words.  It's been over a month now and I still don't have the words to express how much the world was against me.  I remember one time when I was in middle school, 8th grade I think, and I had the flu on the heels of strep throat.  I was in bed much of that time, and the very first time I went outside in over a week I sat down on a cross-tie next to the driveway and as I straightened up from sitting a bird pooped on the back of my head and down the back of my shirt.  Having a miscarriage?  Worse than that!
So now, a month later, I'm looking at our next steps with more than a little trepidation. I'm terrified, and I feel evil for being terrified.  I'm terrified of getting pregnant and losing the baby, and I'm scared of the pain that I had during my first pregnancy that kept me up at night and made it near impossible to think at work.  And I'm just all around scared and nervous volunteering for this process again.  I came home a few nights back and went straight for the jellybeans and chocolate.  I've really noticed this miscarriage has caused huge stress eating.  The week of the miscarriage I went through a large bag of dark chocolate peanut M&M's in about two days.  And then there were the jellybeans.  Add to this that my doctor asked me to cut my thyroid medicine in half for this try, and I've gained 10 lbs since January, most of it since the miscarriage I'm sure.  Of course I was to upset to go near a scale so I don't really know when all this started.  I'm just now starting to get my focus off the comfort eating and onto trying to be healthy again.

I know I'm just wigging out from nerves.  I WANT a baby, I DON'T want to loose another one.  This is not the same as thinking I can't handle it.  I can handle quite a lot without dying, or throwing myself off a cliff, or staying in bed for the rest of my life, but I know that losing another baby would be very HARD to handle.  I'm scared of the pain that went with my last pregnancy coming back.  I was seriously miserable and couldn't sleep through the night for something like two weeks.  I had people calling me a wuss, telling me to get over it, and telling me to get used to it because this was going to be what motherhood is like.  So, I'm still trying, but I've lost all joy in it.  And I'm scared.  

That's my confession, sorry for pouring it out like that, and I'm sure that really is TMI.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A guide to helping your friend/family member/co-worker/complete stranger through personal tragedy

1. Say you're sorry to hear about fill in blank here with the applicable trial, tribulation or loss.
Some common options include:  the death of a family member, the loss of a pregnancy, a bad haircut, your infected hangnail... the options are endless.

2. Have you said you're sorry for whatever?  Good.  Stop! 

Have you personally gone through what the person you're consoling has gone through?
Are you ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN you know all of their situation, what led up to this and if there are any extenuating circumstances?

If the answer to either of these questions is no, DON'T SAY ANYTHING!

If you haven't had a miscarriage I don't want to hear your suggestions of what I did wrong this time.  If you haven't had fertility issues you have no idea what I've been through.  If you haven't suffered a great loss then you can't identify with mine.  So say you're sorry for me, that you wish things were different, that it was a bloomin' shame and then move on to a completely different topic. 

Things folks have said to me in the couple weeks since my miscarriage that made me want to rip their beating heart from their chest and stomp on it:

"I had no problem getting pregnant once I quit my job.  You should stay home and you'll have no problem having children." 
The response I would have given if I thought well on my feet, "I've been trying to have children for four years.  During that time I've worked three different jobs, and I've been unemployed for a while as well.  At this point I need the job to pay for the fertility doctors."

"Don't worry.  You'll be pregnant again in a month and it'll go better next time."
The response I would have given if I didn't work for you, "This is the first time I've shown any signs of being pregnant in four years of trying.  While I certainly hope it won't take another four years, it could easily take months or years for me to get this far again."

"It was just the wrong egg at the wrong time.  There's nothing you can do but try again."
The response I gave, "Doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result is the definition of insanity."

"It's normal to have a miscarriage when you first get pregnant after having taken birth control pills."
Ok, I'll give you that this is my first pregnancy after going off birth control pills FOUR YEARS AGO!  Sometimes people have a specific medical condition for which birth control pills are the prescribed treatment.  There are lots of reasons to take birth control pills, and taking them does not equate to saying "I never want children."  Also, studies have shown that taking birth control pills does NOT increase your chance of having a miscarriage, even if you get pregnant while still taking them.

"You just need to get into the best shape of your life, and then you won't have any problems at all."
Fuck off!  See this weight?  I'd challenge you got not gain weight when you have poly-cystic ovarian syndrome, and under active thyroid, and are taking all the hormones I have to take just to get pregnant.  I eat plenty of vegetables, without an excessive amount of sugar or fat.  I walk often, ride my bike and am generally active.  Would I like to loose 50 lbs? Yes!  But I'm happy enough with the 20 lbs I've lost since I was properly dosed and medicated, and don't need you judging me!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Trying to find the bright side of miscarriages

Hot dogs.  They're not allowed when you're pregnant.  They go the way of all processed meats, like lunch meat.  I think it's because of the nitrates.  I've had 23 hot dogs in the last two weeks.

Pain.  I'm not in any.  At least not physically.  Apparently being pregnant through fertility treatments is a very painful process with all the hormones going crazy and stuff.  I was in pain up to a level 7-8 (on a scale of 0-10) anywhere from 2-4 times a day with each time lasting anything from 20 minutes to two hours.  It woke me up at night, and kept me from working in the day.  It hurt to sit, it hurt to lie down, about the only thing that helped was to get up and pace my house.  Which I did.  For HOURS.  That stopped with the miscarriage.  The doctors didn't seem to think it was anything serous.  Hmmmm.

My husband gets to keep his car a little while longer.  Not that he wouldn't gladly trade it in for something with a back seat.  We're supposed to be going to the Atlanta auto show in a few weeks to look for a car that will allow him to have the new baby in the back seat.  This takes the pressure off.

Basil.  It's my favorite herb.  It's thought to trigger contractions so pregnant women shouldn't have to much, at least until they're ready to give birth.  Course when my sister-in-law was overdue we went out for Italian so that she could get all the basil she wanted to trigger labor.  I gave it up while I was pregnant.  I missed it.  Tonight I'm having lasagna made with home made sauce.  The sauce has a cup and a half of basil in the recipe.  There's basil in the meatballs too.  Mmmm, basil.

Vodka.  It helps you forget.  It helps you feel good.  I'm trying not to drink to much because I have a feeling that I could EASILY fall into a depression if I had to much right now.  But a little bit helps a lot.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

4 years, 5 doctors, where are we now?

Four Years.

That's how long it's been since my husband and I decided we were ready to start our family. We actually made the decision earlier, at his cousin's wedding. I remember lying in bed with him in the hotel that night after the reception. Talking. We always lie in bed and talk. It's the place we go to solve the worlds problems and our problems. It's hard to be mad at each other when you're wrapped in the other's arms, faces inches apart. It's intimate, both physically and emotionally. It's hard to fight in this position, and easy to cry. But there was no fight this night, nor any tears. We'd been married a year and a half, and loved our time together, but thought it was time to invite someone else into the family. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't apprehensive. We couldn't agree on much about names, we both vetoed the other's favorite girl names. I didn't know if I would be a good parent, but I knew I would try.

Five Doctors.

I knew heading into this there were problems. One doctor had suspected I had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and had told me that I probably had never ovulated on my own. So when I went to her to tell her we were ready to try I was VERY surprised at her plan of attack. She wanted us to try on our own for a year. This seemed like a total waste of time to a person who'd been told only a year before that she probably didn't ovulate on her own. But we tried. For a year. And nothing happened, just as I suspected. So I went back and we tried fertility drugs. Three months I spent on Clomid, with migraines so bad I would come home and go straight to bed crying. I couldn't stand light, I couldn't stand movement. It's really hard to get pregnant when you can't stand for your husband to touch you.

So I went back, a glutton for punishment. She told me that sometimes women with PCOS need to loose weight before they can get pregnant.

800 Calories.

She suggested I try Weight Watchers or South Beach. I tried both, and gained weight on them. She insisted that weight loss is as simple as calories in & calories burned. I started out at about 1000 calories a day, but when that didn't have the results I wanted, I slowly found ways to cut down. 100 calories for breakfast. 200 calories for lunch. Maybe a 100 calorie snack in the afternoon, and a small dinner. I never got below 192 lbs. I went back to the doctor to tell her my results, and she accused me of lying.

So I found a new OB/GYN. This one was nice, but completely out of his depth. He suggested I try a reproductive endocrinologist, so I started looking for one. Of course our insurance didn't cover any much closer than twenty miles away, so instead I found a local PLAIN endocrinologist. On our first visit I told him my ultimate goal, to have children. He ran a great many tests. It was during this time that I adopted a new weight loss plan called "give the doctors all the blood they want." It was not unusual for me to give 11-12 vials of blood every few weeks, and for a few months I saw this doctor quite often. After a while I began to feel that tests were being run with little or no definitive results. So I sat down and specifically asked this endocrinologist if we were getting any closer to anything that would result in me being able to have children. His answer surprised me. He said, "I suspect you have PCOS, but if you want to know for sure then you should probably see a reproductive endocrinologist." I looked at him like he had two heads. He had told me pretty much what I knew when I started seeing him.

I felt like I'd just lost 5 months of my life, and we were no closer to having children than we were when my doctor accused me of lying to her. Then, upset, I went to see my chiropractor. Not for fertility issues, but she's given me good advice in the past, fixed my TMJ and we'd discussed in passing that I was trying to have children. We discussed how I was getting nowhere fast and she said that she knew two doctors, not specialists, but they focused on hormonal balance. I decided I was faced with two paths. I could drive twenty miles to a fertility specialist and use the brute force method of getting pregnant. Or I could go a more natural and hopefully gentler, closer, but also more expensive (not covered by insurance) way.

I spent a year and a half on the bio-identical hormone replacement therapy. I won't call it wasted time. We found that I had an underactive thyroid (no wonder I couldn't loose weight) and now I'm free to not obsess about food and I've lost twenty pounds. I'm healthier than I've ever been, but after a year and a half and still no sign of a baby (and a job change that resulted in better insurance) we agreed it was time to try the brute force method.

27 days

That's how long it took the fertility specialists to tell me I was pregnant. Of course it wasn't that simple. I'd been hurting for five days, and knew something different was going on. Horrible pains in my abdomen and lower back that would wake me up at night, or keep me from being able to sit at my desk during the day. When they came on there was no rest, no sitting, no lying, and no bending or stooping; just slow pacing in circuits around the house, sometimes for an hour or more at a stretch. On the few occasions I was stuck in meetings when an attack came on I would be completely unable to concentrate. I left meetings shaking and barely holding back tears for the pain. So when I went in for the blood test and mentioned it to the phlebotomist, and she said, "Well that's good, sounds like something's going on, you wanna talk to the doctor?" I said sure. I can handle pain. I don't exaggerate (I had someone at work ask) and I can work through almost anything and still be productive. I wasn't expecting a pity party or anything, but I did expect to be taken seriously. So when the doctor (it's a group, and I haven't seen this guy before) studied my chart and came in and told me that this was probably just PMS cramps and I haven't had them for 5 days before because my ovaries hadn't been working in the past, but normal women whose ovaries work go through this every month; I was a bit skeptical. Because I swear if normal women went through this every month we'd have a LOT more voluntary complete hysterectomies! I promise!

Still, I was reasonably prepared for them to come in and say the test was negative. They said they would call me with the results, but I wanted to stick around and find out, and they said it would only be an hour or so, and I'm not normally at work until 10:00 anyway. So I waited. She walked by and said the results are coming in now, and then I waited a while longer and wondered what was keeping her. She was in with the doctor, who was as surprised as I was when he heard I was pregnant, after just assuring me that I almost certainly wasn't.

3 weeks

That's how long I was pregnant before I miscarried our child. Our first child, the one I've been struggling to have for over four years. I keep telling myself we've made such progress. This is the first time there's been any evidence that I could conceive. I should be jumping for joy at the potential, shouldn't I? But I can’t find that in me. I’m raw, torn; I feel like my emotions have been tied to the back of a pickup and dragged down a gravel road. I find myself staring into space with an expression on my face, horrified, like I’ve just witnessed a gory murder. Well, I’m partially right.

1 miscarriage and I'm devastated.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Take this job and... You can't pay me to do it anymore

I don't update my blog very often, or very well for that matter.  I've been busy and I thought it was about time I caught you up with why.

About a year ago the tiny little computer company I worked for was partially acquired by a huge computer company.  I was one of the acquisitions.  Unfortunately the new company looked at me and pretty much said, "We don't know what to do with you.  Why don't you train our people to do your job and then if you're lucky we'll give you a real job."  So I've spent most of the last year training myself out of a job. 

This is a very interesting position to be in.  On one hand, you have a job to do and if you do it well they might give you another job, but if you do it well that also means you're making yourself redundant, and they might not need you after all.  I've been asked by several folks how to handle this awkward situation.  The only answer I've come up with, and the think I work for is to handle it "With Grace."

I don't know that I've always managed the grace.  With this kind of situation comes a lot of bitterness.  It's demeaning to be told, "These three jobs you've been doing for the past several years, you're not qualified to do them for us, but you are qualified to train our folks to do them.  Forget that no one else in the world knows your products as well as you do.  Forget that you're going to be training 30 or so people to do what you, one person, do.  You just don't fit into our corporate structure and we're unable to bother ourselves enough to find or create a place where you fit.  It's nothing personal!"

No one person ever spoke these words to me, but this attitude is what I have been working with since last February.  All the folks I worked with directly loved me, thought I was fantastic, and if I had been willing to relocate they probably could have found me a job.  Not that they ever actually offered, but they often expressed their regret for the situation as they found it.  Forget that I've just bought a house and that my husband who works for the same company is told he has to be in the office and that relocating is not an option.  Forget that I'm perfectly willing to travel, that this company prides itself on being a global company, has offices worldwide as well as s huge number that work from home.  Forget that I'm willing to work all sorts of weird hours, and have done ever since I started working with customers.  Forget that my customers love me, have sent me cheese for Christmas, and many have my personal IM or cell number, just in case something happens when I'm not in the office.  I've been point of contact for every single support issue for so long that most customers don't even bother with their account manager when they know I can answer their questions with a few minutes on the phone.  So by getting rid of me and not allowing me to assist with a smooth transition of customers, you're alienating those customers.  That's OK, it shows how much you care.

Sorry for letting this turn into a rant, I didn't mean to.  I should probably go back and clean some of this up so I don't sound TO bitter.  After all, my husband works for the same company, and I don't want them to be biased against him.  He's great, and does a good job, and I'm sure he puts up with a lot of BS from them as well.

So I wanted to update you on where I've been.  I was traveling half of October, busy doing an excellent job of training myself out of a job.  While I was spending time in airports my brother-in-law was spending time in the hospital.  He almost died, but that's his story to tell.  I'll just say he's doing fantastically well, much better than I think any of us expected after multiple surgeries, and was back to work as soon as the doctors let him.  He got out of the hospital and I got back from work travel just in time to move into my new house November 1st. 

On a side note, my FANTASTIC mom stayed with us two days after we moved and organized our kitchen so we could make dinner the rest of the week.  It made me realize not only what a wonderful mom she is, but that you should never let anyone organize your kitchen without you there.  I spent the next month calling her asking where such and such was in the kitchen.  She answered me every time.

We managed to get the upstairs of the house organized before Thanksgiving, bought and rearranged furniture with the help of good friends, and had both our families over for Thanksgiving dinners.  I won't talk about the basement.  It's still not done, but at least we're making progress.  The TV is set up, and the treadmill, both of which have done a lovely job gathering dust since the move.

I had a bit of a break in December, except that I was sick.  I got the flu the day after Thanksgiving, and then had a cold for three weeks.  I went to the doctor and got antibiotics for a brief respite.  Then my mother-in-law and Grandpa went into different hospitals at almost the same time for pneumonia, the week before Christmas and stayed through Christmas.  I think they were racing to see who could get out of the hospital first.  My mother-in-law won, but then my Grandpa's 95 so I wouldn't want him to rush it anyway.

It snowed Christmas day.  I don't know that it's ever done that before in Georgia.  Someone told me the last time it did was in the 1800's.  It's only the second time in my memory that we've had snow that stuck before New Years.  My sister was in town for Christmas.  She used to live in Illinois but recently moved to Texas and confessed about a month before that she missed the snow.  I told her we brought it in just for her.  I discovered that even though she's older I still can't keep up with her.  We were on the go a LOT, and I drank entirely to much coffee (which I gave up several years back, but that's another story) so I didn't sleep well either. 

After my sister and her husband (we like him) left on vacation we were able to get together with my in-laws for Christmas.  It was low key, and my mother-in-law apologized for ruining Christmas (she really didn't), but it was a nice get-together. 

I thought things might calm down a bit, just in time to get my cold back.  Oh well, at least I had a respite from Christmas Eve to the day after New Years.  My contract at work was up at the end of the year, but no one seemed to be able to tell me how to complete it, or when I would have an exit interview.  So I went in Monday, dealt with a new support case, made sure I was organized for my last day, had a list of things to do, and then my e-mail access was cut off.  It would have been nice to have a bit of warning and to make sure someone was monitoring it in case any customers e-mailed, but I'm sure it was on some one's list of things to do.  I guess that's one way to tell me I don't work for you anymore.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Dear Bath and Body Works,

This new lipgloss is crap.  I know it was on sale for like a dollar, and I said at that at that price I just couldn't pass it up, and I collect lipgloss like... well, like a person who has a LOT of lipgloss.  Possibly cause I use it like pretty lip balm, and I have constantly chapped lips, so I use a lot of lip balmy type things.  But neither lip balm nor gloss should be so goopy that I have to have a mirror to put it on.  I use this and am afraid of all the stuff it could rub off on, like my husband.  I won't use it around my husband, and I spent an INORDINATE amount of time with my husband.  And still like him.  So not using your lip balm around him kinda means I might find time to use it once a month.  Maybe.  I urge you to rethink your formula for Mentha Lip Tint, less goopy please!

An obsessive lip balm user