Just Us Girls

Just Us Girls

...one SMC's adventures in single motherhood.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Things (and people) I can't get enough of...

Heidi Klum and Seal. Cutest couple ever. Their kids are absolutely *beautiful*. I just find their story to be, well, magical. I love this video, and I never knew Heidi could sing! I know it's "just" a video, but I love the way they look at each other here, and I can't help but believe that it's the real thing. (I could do without the vapid models at the beginning and end, but like they say, sometimes you have to take the bad along with the good.) Oh, and let's face it, shall we...Seal is damn sexy. That voice...

I will never ever ever get tired of even the reruns of my absolute favorite show of all time, Bones. (Gee, Heather, tell us what you REALLY think!) Seriously, I. Can't. Get. Enough. I love the dynamics between the two actors, I love the ensemble cast of characters, I love the storylines, I love the humor, I love the sexual tension between Brennan and Booth. I love all of it. I need to start buying the DVD's. But only after all the baby stuff has been purchased. :) I have even started reading the novels by Kathy Reichs, one of the producers of the show, who is also an actual forensic anthropologist. The science behind what she actually does I find absolutely fascinating. The Dr. Brennan in the books is NOT the same as in the show, but I've gotten over that minor technicality and I still enjoy the heck out of the books as well as the show.

Patty Griffin. Amaaazing singer/songwriter. I've seen her live twice, and I can't wait to go again, whenever that might be. Lovelovelove her. You can find some of my favorites of hers on my playlist on the sidebar.

To be continued...

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Time traveling

My visit with my parents (and my aunt and uncle) in upstate New York was just...incredibly special. From the touching prayer my father said at our Thanksgiving dinner table--after he finished, Mom and I looked up at each other with tears in our eyes--to the evening hours spent playing cards, bantering and laughing with one another, it was fabulous. I can't believe my visit is over...I'm now back in Colorado, and in all honesty I can't shake this sadness that I couldn't spend more time with them. I think of my aunt and uncle here in Colorado who are lucky enough to get to see their kids and grandkids all the time, and I really wish it were possible for ALL families as well as mine.

  • Double digits!! Only 98 more days to go!!
  • Baby Girl kicked like crazy while I was in New York, which was SO reassuring. I will never get tired of feeling those kicks!
  • I still don't know what my Christmas plans are. I don't think I'll be traveling, especially considering how challenging the second leg of my trip was today. I was seated in a window seat and we were delayed at takeoff for a full 40 minutes because of an overflowing sink in one of the lavatories...it was unbelievably hot and stuffy and claustrophobic in the plane, and I felt like I was going to pass out. The fellow in front of me had his seat reclined for the entire three hours of the flight, so I basically had my knees up my nose (I'm six feet tall) and for whatever reason, I couldn't recline MY seat either. I don't usually find myself feeling claustrophobic, but I definitely did today. Anyway, we talked this week about still possibly going up to Red Wing MN, where my brother and sister-in-law live, or having my parents fly out here. There is a ton of family out here who would love to see them.
  • The only word that comes to mind about much of my visit is "profound". I slept in the same twin bed I had slept in since I was about four, which of course took me mentally right back to my childhood. There is an antique vanity in my bedroom that was my mother's when she was a girl, and it's been in my room ever since I can remember. I looked at my reflection the same way I did as I was growing up, but this time I was a forty-year-old grown woman with her own daughter on the way. It was almost as though as I looked at my forty-year-old self, I could still see the girl I was at all those different stages of life, like layers of an onion, or those little Russian nesting dolls I once played with. It was both profound and surreal, in ways I can't even put into words right now. (This is where the title of this post comes in. I have more to say about it all, but I need to process things a bit more first.)
  • Mom gave me the little white dress and slip that she wore when she was baptized as a baby (and she thinks maybe her sister did, too)...the embroidery is so incredibly delicate. It's gorgeous. I'm thinking of having her baptized at the Easter Vigil service the night before Easter, which is historically the traditional time for us Lutherans to be baptized. I can't wait to talk to my pastor about it.
  • SO much fun to go through the tiny baby girl things my mother has saved from my childhood for my little daughter! Thankfully, since I was the only girl, there is very little wear and tear. A few are a little too dated for my taste, but so many are just adorable, and perfect for her. We packed them all up and Mom is going to ship them to me.
All in all, a fantastic visit. I'm so glad I went. But I can't believe how fast those five days flew by! I am SO not ready to go back to school on Monday...but I know it has to be done. Gotta keep telling myself, only three more weeks till Christmas, only three more weeks... :)

Monday, November 23, 2009

I'm leaving on a jet plane...

but I DO know when I'll be back again: Saturday! Yep, I'm off to upstate New York for Thanksgiving, and I am SO looking forward to it! Things with my family are a TON better, so I think it'll be a very enjoyable visit. Plus my aunt and uncle are driving up from Virginia, and I don't get to see them very often, so I'm looking forward to that too.

I know I'll be blogging while I'm gone and possibly posting pictures. But until then...

Happy Thanksgiving!

Don't know 'bout you, but I have TONS to be thankful for this year!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Can't hardly believe it...

I cried today. (Yeah, I know, NO surprise there!!)

But interestingly enough, it wasn't over the unfathomably unprofessional way I was treated by the principal and the secretaries this morning. (No, sorry, it wasn't just the hormones. In the five years I've been working at my school, I have NEVER been treated that way, and never as publicly. I would have reacted exactly the same had I not been pregnant. Yes, really.)

Nope, I am just incredibly ecstatic for two of my friends, who are now pregnant. Both L. and S. have been trying for OVER THREE YEARS respectively, and I don't think I could be any happier for them!! I knew I was going to bawl (well, I didn't exactly bawl, but close) when S. was finally able to say she and her husband K. are pregnant...even sitting here right now, I can't even believe it's finally happened for them! I know it's been so hard for both L. and S., watching several of us at my school achieve pregnancy when that was the elusive thing they yearned for the most. I've been there. I know how it feels. Since last spring I'm pregnant girl #4, with L. and S. numbers five and six. And L. followed in my footsteps, right down to using the same fertility clinic and sperm bank. (Yeah, I know I mentioned her in the last two posts, but I'm so excited for her!) But both of them pregnant? At the same time?? I must be dreaming!! If I am, it's one of the best dreams I've ever had. :)

So now I need to pray as hard as I can that their pregnancies will stick. Fingers and toes: crossed.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Okay, I admit it: I'm a thief. I stole this idea from the coolest smart girl I know, Melissa, and I'm going to run with it because I feel like my last few posts have been such downers!

So here goes: these are just a few things I'm grateful for, in no particular order...

  • My friend L might just be pregnant!!!!! See my previous post for some of the particulars. I get permagrin every time I think about it! Another SMC-to-be who will be pregnant at the same time I am, we can trade off information, advice, and babysitting favors, you get the idea. SO excited.
  • So far, a strong and healthy baby girl. 'Nuff said. That's the biggest one of all.
  • I get to fly to upstate NY next Tuesday for Thanksgiving with my parents and my aunt and uncle! I haven't been back for six or seven years, so this is kind of long-awaited. Plus I think there's something special about returning to the house I grew up in now that I'm pregnant with my first child...like coming full circle. Mom has been busy washing teeny tiny baby girl clothes for me, and it'll be quite the special experience to go through them together.
  • I have such an amazing, incredible extended family here in CO, and I feel SO blessed that they will be such an integral part of my daughter's life. I see them so regularly that they're basically my on-location immediate family. There are very few people that I admire and respect more than this Colorado family...they are so incredibly special to me!
  • My new Calphalon Contemporary pans--love love LOVE them! My collection is growing, and it's fun to add to it, piece by piece.
  • First snows in Colorado...SO beautiful. And peaceful.
  • Little kicks every day!! They're getting stronger. Wow, I so can't wait to meet this little girl. <3
  • I think I have her name finalized in my mind. Not sharing (yet), but I absolutely love her first and middle names. Her first name is Irish, but not overly so...the donor is Irish and German, so it works. Plus he's a redhead, and I'm so hoping she'll get some of that, even though I'm pretty sure it's recessive. Her middle name is a variation on my wonderful grandmother's first name, and I love the rhythm of her first, middle, and last names together.
  • I've been amazed to receive quite a few gifts lately from my students, today being no exception. :) Today I was thrilled to receive a HANDMADE burp cloth from a girl in one of my classes! She stitched that hem so carefully, and it turned out great! I also received homemade grape jam made by the mom of one of the boys in another of my classes! Eleven-year-olds...they often drive me crazy, but you just gotta love 'em!!
  • Hot mulled cider. Turkey sandwiches with cheddar and big slices of tomato. Ice-cold chocolate milk. Just a few of my favorites these days. :)
  • ANY episodes of Bones. Re-runs, I don't care. I love every. single. one. Now I need to invest in the DVD box sets...
Okay, so these are just a few of the things I'm thankful for...I know I'll be adding to this list. :)

The circle of life

Wow, the last few days really have felt like a good news/bad news split! No idea why. Which has led me to think harder about the cyclical nature of life...the good with the bad, the happy with the sad, inevitable death followed by new life.

I've been in a bit of a funk today...last night I found out that one of my former students was killed in a one-car rollover crash on Saturday night. I remember him well--one of the brightest kids in his class, and he seemed to have such a promising future. I'm sad that it ended at age 24. He made the decision not to wear his seatbelt that night, and was ejected upon impact. My heart goes out to his parents...I can't imagine what they're going through right now. I'm going to see if I can find out their address so I can send at least a card, letting them know that I remember him and that they're in my thoughts and prayers.

At the very same time...I'm ecstatic! It's looking promising that my friend L might actually be pregnant!!!!!!!!! Once she saw that my diui actually worked (against all odds), she decided to follow the same path that I did, using the same fertility clinic and same sperm bank. Different donor, of course. She got a positive digital HPT last night, about five days before her expected period this Friday. I'm a bit surprised that she could have gotten a BFP so soon before her period, but as far as I've read, false positives are extremely rare, and she did use one of the early-detection varieties of HPT. She was on Clomid, but no other meds that would cause a false HcG reading. So...I am cautiously thrilled for her--I SO hope it turns out the way we're both praying it will!!!! She's 42, and if it did actually work, I can't get over the fact that it may have worked on the very first try. She's going to test again later in the week, and I cannot wait to find out!!!! So glad there seems to be good news to balance out the sad. Tomorrow's another day, as my mom likes to say.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Is it really just hormones?

Nope, I don't think so. I almost titled this mini-post, "Welcome to the rollercoaster" because sometimes that's how things happen, hormones or not.

I'm thrilled for K over at Tails, I Go...she's had so much s**t thrown her way lately, and she completely deserves things to turn around for her, which they seem to be starting to. Congrats on the new place, and I continue to be awed by your strength!

At the same time, my heart is completely broken for another blogger I just "met"...I'm thinking she wants to lay low right now, so I won't identify her. They found no heartbeat at her nine week ultrasound (after she heard it at weeks six and seven), and I honestly don't know how anyone gets through one miscarriage, let alone several. It's so unfair. You're in my thoughts and prayers.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


...the kicks are back!!

All is right again in my world.

(Fifteen more weeks!! Can you tell I'm excited?!)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I wish for...

Today I read two posts that brought me to tears, the first of which inspired the title of this post. Mel from Stirrup Queens invited her readers to share some of their deepest wishes, and their wishes were so heartfelt, so earnest, and I immediately wished there were a way to grant each and every one. These wishes ran the gamut from infertility and loss to unemployment and health-related issues. The post really made me stop and think about what truly matters in this life. Take a look...

The second post that made me cry came from a blog I stumbled across via the comments I mentioned above: Tuesday's Hope. I've read several stories of women who have lost babies either at the very end of their pregnancies, or shortly after birth, and they break my heart every time. This blog was no exception, and the saddest part by far is that it seems that this couple's daughter's death might have been avoided, if not for the actions of the hospital in question. Yeah, I know that being pregnant, I have no business reading stories like these, but I sometimes think it can be a positive thing to go into things with your eyes wide open, and to not take anything for granted. Needless to say, it made me sad for the rest of the day, and now I feel rather bothered by the fact that I haven't felt baby girl kick as often or as strongly as I think she usually does. I'm sure it's nothing, but there's definitely a part of me that's freaking out right about now. It's almost like, this pregnancy has been TOO easy and something's destined to go wrong. Crazy talk, I know, but I'm feeling nervous tonight nonetheless.

My wish is a no-brainer: I wish for my baby girl to get through the next fifteen weeks as strong and healthy as she possibly can. (That's all that's left: fifteen weeks! Unreal!)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

When boring = stupendous

I must be THE most boring OB patient in the world. Why? Because there is nuthin' goin' on. In the best possible way, thank goodness. Now I can breathe a lil' easier.

  • I passed my AFP blood test, which I assumed because I hadn't heard anything. I'm glad I asked at my appointment, just to be sure. It does annoy me, though, that at times the communication seems to be lacking.
  • I'm at the 58th percentile in growth, which at first didn't sound nearly high enough. But then when Dr. B. explained that the higher the percentile, the bigger the baby, I am SO glad that I'm just about average. No ten-pounders for me. Please.
  • Dr. B. made a point of saying that overall I seem to be doing really well. (Why did he sound surprised when he said that?!) I asked about flying to NY for Thanksgiving and to MN for Christmas (it's fine, as long as I wear full-length maternity support hose to help prevent blood clots, drink lots of water, and take a stroll down the aisle every half hour), about gestational diabetes (they do the one-hour glucose test at week 28), and about my swollen cankles (my blood pressure has always been good, so they are considering it normal, considering how much I have to be on my feet at work).
  • Baby Girl is still a girl, thank goodness! I was so amazed to see those three little white lines on the ultrasound...Dr. Google wasn't kidding when he said that that's what the ultrasound techs look for! It was clear as day to me.
  • My cervix is exceedingly competent, thankyouverymuch. Mom had an incompetent cervix with all three of us, causing her to receive a cerclage and to be induced all three times. It's unlikely, but possible, for that condition to be inherited, so the main purpose of yesterday's ultrasound was to measure my cervix just to make sure. And I passed--woo hoo! All systems go.
  • Yesterday baby measured at 22 weeks three days, while based on my LMP I was at 22 weeks six days. But according to C, my fabulous ultrasound tech, you can't get much closer than that. According to her, I'm measuring right on schedule. SO happy!
  • I admit it, I'm nervous about the one-hour glucose test coming up in five weeks. We have no history of diabetes in our family, but I'm still concerned. Time will tell, I guess.
  • No comments about my weight by either the nurse who weighed me or Dr. B. It's hard not to worry about that, though, considering that I'm not that proud of my eating habits these days. Not horrible, but not as good as I should be. I need to exercise more, too. *heavy sigh*
  • Best news of all? Believe it or not, the OB's office is going to cover the bill in full that I received from the lab that did my AFP test. They charged me in full because my insurance refused to pay anything towards the test, saying that the lab is out of network. Turns out, my insurance is a fairly limited plan (oh joy), and my insurance company did send a memo to the office telling them that I wouldn't be covered, but the office folks didn't notice it or record it prior to doing the test. So Dr. B. felt that the office was responsible for failing to notify me beforehand. I could have had the test done through the hospital (which would have been considered in-network), but it would have been a more limited test, not the full scope that I was lucky enough to receive. (This is the second instance during this pregnancy in which one of my doctors decided that his clinic or office would cover an expense for me...the first one was my RE, who had his clinic purchase another sperm sample after his clueless receptionists managed to allow my original sperm sample to thaw. Doh!)
But overall, it's about as good an appointment as I could hope for. Nothing worrisome, no red flags, nothing but good news. Time to celebrate!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A tiny little post...

...because it's late and I can't sleep.

I'm thinking about Renee's funeral tomorrow. Excited that I'll get to see my friends Melynee and Tina whom I don't see all that often, but so sad about the circumstances.

Still embarrassed over the fact that I got the date of today's expected ultrasound and OB appointment wrong--it's Friday instead. Whoops.

Anxious about needing to contest my health insurance company's refusal to cover my NT bloodwork, who claims that the lab is "out of network". Even though it's the ONLY LAB around that even performs this service. Even though my OB's office has been sending NT bloodwork from patients under the same insurance to this lab for years without incident...until now. *sigh* Thanks for nuthin', guys.

Feeling this slightly scratchy throat and hoping that I'm not getting sick after getting my H1N1 shot today.

REALLY not knowing what I'm going to wear tomorrow. Especially since it has to be darkish (for the funeral right after school). The quest continues.

Loving every second of the kicking that gets stronger and more frequent every day. Never thought I'd be so happy to get kicked on a daily basis!

Praying that my friend Lisa will have a successful DIUI tomorrow.

Not wanting to deal with certain obnoxious students tomorrow. You know who you are. (but also secretly glad that one of them moved away yesterday...how awful is that?!)

Just get me to the weekend!!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Damn. Damn. Damn.

I lost a dear friend this weekend.

Renee was truly one of the sweetest, most caring people I've ever known...she was like a second mom to me, even though she was only a handful of years older than I am. We worked together at my school for the past five years, and I can't fathom that she's gone. Happy Hour at Harry's on Friday afternoons has been a tradition over all of the years I've known her, and both she and Tina leave a huge void that none of us will be able to fill. Renee has fully supported me and my efforts to achieve pregnancy ever since the very beginning--she and her mom even crocheted a beautiful newborn set (sweater, blanket, booties, cap) out of pale aqua baby yarn for me even before I got pregnant. If it fits her, this set will be part of my baby girl's going-home outfit when we leave the hospital in March. (I'm already looking forward to sending her mom a picture of my little one in all her finery this spring.)

Renee was Tina's best friend, and she took it very hard when we lost Tina last February to pancreatic cancer. Renee has always been a more-than-moderate drinker, and she definitely started drinking even more after Tina passed away. Unfortunately her liver really paid the price. She had been out for quite a while this fall, in the hospital fighting cirrhosis of the liver which apparently also led to the recent failing of her kidneys as well. I and everyone else knew she wasn't doing well, but I had no idea it had gotten this critical. In fact, our friend Bobbe had just received a card from her last Tuesday, thanking her for gift cards she had sent her.

I hate the fact that I never got to say goodbye, or to thank her properly for all of her encouragement and support over these last five years. She was NOT supposed to leave us so soon--she was supposed to get to meet and hold and cuddle my baby girl. I can still feel her hugs, when she would hug me and kiss me on the cheek and say, "I love you, baby!" Renee, I'll always love you and miss you, and I am really hoping (I'm quite sure you will) that you and Tina will have a grand ol' time in heaven together... please keep watch over my little girl. She would have loved to know you.