Wednesday, June 30, 2004

her dogliness

there are things i should have done in my life many many years ago.

one of them was make doglady get all her crap out of my house.

the place looks strangely empty.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

getting born

sometimes i read something that aggrivates the heck out of me. i'm slapping julie with a trackback so she can see it later, because what really tworked my tweeter appeared on her blog.

there's a comment on the tracked entry from an obsetrician offering advice about choosing an obstetrician. and while i'm a man, and while i've never had kids, i did have to be the intelligent thoughtful counterpoint to my wife's pained pregnancy-induced retardation, at times making decisions that she simply wasn't coherent enough to make. here's what i've learned:


  • not all obstetricians are the same, but at the same time, finding one who takes your insurance is of paramount importance.

  • most ob's deliver at one or two hospitals very close to their offices. when a woman is in labor and it's time to attend to her, it's time, and the ob can't afford a 30 minute car trip to get to the office. in our case, the ob's office had a back door that opened directly onto the hospital's labor-and-delivery unit.

  • pre-delivery tours offered by hospitals are a good thing, if, for no other reason, than it will give you the opportunity to see the operating room before you're wheeled in for your emergency c-section. sue had a full-blown panic attack in the or -- while open -- because she was so frightened by the sterility of the environment.

  • while your doctor's advice is something you should never blatently ignore, we sometimes know our bodies better than our doctors. if you think something is wrong, do not hesitate to be a bitch and make an ass of yourself to your doctor or your doctor's staff to make sure your concern is resolved to your satisfaction, whether it's blood levels or blood pressure or the idea that maybe you saw two heartbeats on the last visit to the wand monkey. at the same time, if you think your doctor tells you something that's full of crap, be an adult and do some research, or if you're too retarded, have your smarter partner do it for you.

  • there are lots of options other than hospitals for having children. some are great, some are not so great. contrary to what's been said on julie's blog, most of these people are well-educated, competent professionals who are professionally trained and licensed, and who have assisted in hundreds or thousands of births. options such as having your child at home, in a birthing center, or in some other friendly environment are worth considering if your pregnancy has been healthy and is somehow desirable for you. obviously, when choosing a birth assistant, you want one who will know when to quit -- that is, know when to move you to a hospital if that becomes necessary. on the other hand, this is your body and your baby, and all decisions should ultimately be yours. your phyisican or other birth assistant should be your partner and advisor, not your commander.

  • if you want anesthetics, you should have them. if you do not want anesthetics, you should not be forced to have them unless you're having a c-section. if you're doing a hospital birth, your hospital will have competent anesthisologists (doctors who are trained and specialize in pain relief) available 24x7. part of your hospital's accreditation procedures include evaluation of its response to your pain and in helping you relieve your pain. if you're not having a hospital birth, your birth assistant will be able to help you learn ways to relieve, if not completely eliminate, your pain.

  • choosing a male or female obsetrician is a matter of personal preference, and having a vagina does not automatically make a doctor better. the phyisicans who cared for my wife were men, and are uniformly excellent in terms of their skills and decision-making ability. if their bedside manner leaves something to be desired, that is a condition that isn't unique to male physicians.

  • age of your physician isn't some magical elixer either. i've met bored and tired doctors who burned out at 40; i know a few who still love doing their thing at 80. find a doctor or birth assistant who loves doing his or her thing, and don't be tied to an age.

  • always remember that it is your body and your baby. your doctor is your advisor, your helper, and your assistant. he or she is not your commander. if you are unhappy with the care you're receiving or the direction your care is taking, you have the right to ask for what you want. we fell into the trap of simply doing what our doctor told us and wound up having a c-section for our second pregnancy. at 34 weeks and in active labor that magnisium couldn't stop, we wound up with a c-section because we didn't forcefully enough ask for a vaginal birth even though our physician said the choice didn't make any difference to him (one standard position, one breech at the time of scan, but we'll never know now if he'd have rotated or not).

  • a c-section, while common, is major abdominal surgery. a vaginal birth, while no walk in the park either (what would you call a process where you push an object the size of a watermelon out a hole the size of a grape?), has a shorter recovery time and is preferred. you may consider refusing a c-section if you don't understand exactly why your doctor is recommending one. you have right to ask for a second opinion from another doctor, too.

  • if you're looking at a doula, midwife, or other non-doctor professional to assist with childbirth, you may wish to discuss it with your phyisican, and many non-doctor professionals may insist that you be evaluated by a doctor before labor, so that there is a baseline record of your medical history in case you need emergency medical intervention. if your physician is adamantly opposed to your being treated by a licensed professional who isn't a doctor, you may want to find another doctor who's more open-minded. some obstetrical clinics even have nurse-midwife practitioners on-staff. (ours has three.)

  • you or your non-retarded half may wind up having to play referee between two or more different doctors. this happened to us. the two doctors (main doc and night doc) covering sue had different treatment philosophies, and they didn't communicate well. this caused us confusion because each had a different plan on how to treat her, and it became obvious after a day or two that they weren't coordinating their plans with one another. it may be their responsibility to coordinate your medical care, but it's your body and they may not do their jobs appropriately. when in doubt, take notes, ask questions, be an asshole if you need to. this is a major life event that can kill you if it's fucked up; you deserve to not be taken lightly. your doctor may do this 20 times a week; you may only do this once in your life, and you deserve to be treated that way.



having a baby is a very private, personal process. it's something that each family -- mom and dad -- must decide how to do for themselves. whether they opt for traditional western medicine and medical intervention, or they choose the home-water-birth route with a doula or midwife, it's a decision each person on the team needs to feel comfortable with.

for your amusement i'll also offer some experience-based suggestions on both pre- and post-delivery thoughts specifically about your baby, not so much about your delivery.

  • if you're a first-time parent, your hospital will offer parenting classes that will teach you things you need to know, like what to do when your child chokes on something, how to change a diaper, how to treat diaper rash, when to call a pediatrician and when to take your child to the emergency room or call for transport. take these classes. the financial investment is minimal, and the peace of mind you'll get from having a little familiarity with how to deal with the day-to-day baby-raising stuff will help immensely. (especially if you're a guy, knowing how to change your daughter's diaper is very important. i did not know how and needed to learn.)

  • pick a peditrician early. the time to start is in the second trimester. many peditricians offer a "meet new parents" appointment where you can interview your doctor(s), see and become familiar with their offices, and learn how they handle such matters as after-hours calls, and what their guidelines are on when to call them, when they'll want to see your newborn after birth, and other such things. you may want to choose a doctor with privleges at the hospital you'll be delivering at. you may want to interview several physicans.

  • breastfeeding is a personal decision made in consultation with your husband and your child's physician. sue tried and was pretty much unable the first time, and chose not to the second time. i had my own opinions but of course they weren't my tits we were talking about. still, there are issues to consider. i'd be wary of any physician who is so certain of the way that he's unable to consider the parent's point of view on the care of their child. my own doctor made it very clear to us that he'd support whatever choice we made, whether we went breast, bottle, or combination. again, your doctor should be your advisor and ally, not your commander.

  • some pediatricians have rules (that sometimes can be bent) about whether or not they'll accept new patients. my pediatrician will not accept a new patient unless the patient is a newborn. if you move to town with your family of 5, the youngest being age 7, you'll need to find a different doctor. this is his way of limiting the size of his practice.

  • why think about this early? choosing a doctor for your baby is just as important as choosing one for yourself. if you don't have one chosen when you arrive at the hospital for delivery, one will be assigned to you automatically and you may not like him. it's important to start early because your pregnancy may end prematurely and you may not have the time you planned to choose a doctor. this happened to us: we'd planned on choosing a doctor for our first baby during her 9th month. but she developed preeclampsya and never got to her 9th month. she was induced at 36 weeks, and our baby spent 10 days in the hospital. the second time, she went into labor at 33 weeks, and we were unable to stop it. (the twins went home with mom that time.) we got lucky in that the doctor we were assigned turned out to be fantastic, and we're thrilled with his attitude and service. but we could just has easily have gotten a monster.


as always, it's your body and and your baby. you are ultimately responsible for the choices you make, or do not make. you deserve to have your choices respected to the greatest extent possible given your medical condition.

good luck and lots of love to each and every one of you, ladies.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Politics

It strikes me that everybody ought to see that movie. Whether or not you agree with its primary argument (that the Shrub administration is hopelessly inbred and beholden to the tune of billions of dollars to the Saudi royal family and other Saudi big-wigs, including the bin Laden family), it's at least worth watching to consider its points.

Personally, my favorite political bumper sticker I've seen since the 2000 election was one that said Re-Elect Gore in '04!

Friday, June 25, 2004

ups and downs of infertility

it has been my experience that a baby doesn't neutralize the pain, not like tylenol does with a headache. no.

what a baby -does- do, once she or she arrives safely, is make all that pain and misery and heartache worth it. a baby, after all, is the goal of all this shit we put ourselves through, not "getting pregnant" as some fertiles seem to think.

but there is always something lost, i think. i look back on my wife's two pregnancies, and i wish we could have done something other than live through them in nausea and fear that "something" will happen and our hearts will be smashed yet again, just when we'd kinda gotten them wired together and the remaining pieces all in a neat pile on the floor again.

early in the second pregnancy, with the twins, we were at maybe 8w and she called me in near-hysterics. "i don't want to scare you," she said trying to keep her voice level, "but i think i need to go to the hospital."

this is not something you want to hear from your pregnant wife. it will ruin your day.

what's happening? is she miscarrying something that cost us tens of thousands of dollars to get? is this all wasted? did our having sex a couple nights ago a little harder than usual ... uh ... knock things loose? is she about to spend months in the hospital bleeding from places that smell bad?

have this happen three or four times.

see how you feel about it.

there is no permanent glowing happiness when you're infertile and pregnant. you've been through too much, and know how fragile it all is. and dealing with people who are pregnant and don't understand how much it hurts to be reminded of that is just too much sometimes.

truth hurts. we really do live in a different world. and whether you're here from my qf posts or my trackback on tertia it's worth learning about because there are a lot more of us infertiles out there than you might imagine.

and even if we beat the odds and have a baby that makes it all worth the effort, we can't simply decide to "have a little brother or sister." it doesn't work that way for us. (or, if you're qf, god told you a long time ago how big your family ought to be.) "another brother or sister" is again a fraught thing because, at least if you can afford it, it means yet more trips to the wand monkey and jabbing her ass with gigantic needles filled with nasty smelly oily yellow gunk and "producing a sample" in a cup and all that garbage.

i dunno the solution except to ask for our fertile family and friends to please have a heart and think before you speak. if it even remotely comes close to babies and showers and waddling around ... think first, lest you unintentionally shatter us.

tertia and Danae ... love you both, no matter what.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

the joys of css

i hate css. i fucking hate it. so you'll forgive me if dicking around with the color scheme here takes me some time. this is getting annoying, i know. still, it's better than it was.

Sorry ...

I must apologize to two of you who read this thing for not posting anything of late. New things:

1) Nothing. I'm getting my butt kicked by the phys-ed class still. There's a ton of work and this instructor has dorky due-times. For an internet class, typically due dates are on like Sunday night at, say, 10pm or something. This lady has due times on Thursday afternoon at 1pm. What kinda crack is this bitch smoking?

2) A friend is pregnant again. Considering her religious choices about contraceptives this isn't really a surprise. But I am happy for her. She is, after all, a way cool lady.

3) My new and much more useful XM has arrived, and the old one is in the mail to its new purchaser. It's absolutely fantastic. If you are in one place for long periods of time, including the car, and like background noise, I highly recommend it, especially if you can't concentrate on one thing for a long time like an audiobook requires (like, for example, if you have lots of small kids running around).

4) Sam's surgery is done but she's still snorting. I hope we don't have to do this to her yet again. Plus, the bump on her lip (a hemangioma) seems to be causing her pain now. Her annual is coming up shortly so I'm going to talk it over with Sue and see if we can't put it off until then. That'll save us a copay.

5) Had a wreck. My car is in the shop and I've got a rental. Thankfully, it's her fault, not mine. Poor lady was so apologetic and was nine and a half months pregnant with three kids in the back of her Suburban. I'll be sending her a nice note when all of this is done.

6) Sue is still as interested in me as ever. Does it ever get better?

7) For Julie, Tertia, Julia, and Mollie (who apparently is due Right This Instant), I can only wish each of you the best.

8) A big howdy to Zia. Finally, someone who shares two of my problems. Like she's going to read my shit anyway.

So that's life in a nutshell. Back to the school work.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

sam, surgery, and stuff

sam's nasal surgery was yesterday. it seemed to go okay. we did that and while she was in recovery i bailed out and went to the school thing for a while, tramping around some museums. i couldn't deal with it; i left at lunchtime. my feet hurt too badly and i couldn't take the awful lectures.

today it's been one screaming baby episode after another. ian throwing food and hitting the twins; the twins crying; ian crying; ben doing his end-of-the-world-screaming routine; i simply couldn't take it anymore. they'll be safe, if bored, in their cribs, and i won't go crazy with the crying. so ... they can be there for a while. self-protection.

my teeth hurt and i'm still crazy bizzy with the stupid phys-ed and the art class. i did find the stuff i wanted to do an essay on tho. nice nice. naked girl. :)

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

friends

i spent some time today reading the blog(s) of a very special friend today. she knows who she is, and out of a certain respect for her privacy i'll pass on sharing the link with you, at least without her permission. even so, i'm grateful she's offered me the opportunity to read what she has to say. it's thought-provoking to say the least, and reminds me again why i love her.

and no, it isn't sue.

Monday, June 14, 2004

phys ed

this phys ed course is tons of busywork. read. define. fill out the little template. watch the stupid video. buy the overpriced software you'll only use twice. blah.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

it sure

would be nice if sue were more interested in me.

Wednesday, June 9, 2004

rip-roaring butt-stomping

this school stuff is spiraling out of control. i'm entirely behind mostly because i've been waiting for a week for that stupid orientation. so i've got the physical education class and she's assigning zeros for a bunch of stuff. as i write this i'm downloading a ton of software and crap for it. happy happy joy joy. since i'm at work, it's taking forever.

Sunday, June 6, 2004

howto

michelle has put up some cool howtos at codegrrl. how to build a blog is written by the original powered by me sweetheart.

i major like.

what the hell

my boss's next ivf cycle starts next week. her last one failed as an ectopic. these are the re's who could get a rock pregnant, according to our high-risk ob. what do i know? worked for us, twice.

julie is living in fear. not in irrational fear, either. she's got it going good now but is well aware, just like we all are, that it could be snatched away for no apparent reason.

melissa is in much worse shape. for her, the worst has come, and it's painful to read about, even though i don't really know her and even though i've never had to go down her particular path. there's supposed to be a god somewhere, isn't there? what's the point of all that?

tertia has been there too, but for the moment is just hanging on and reacting to what's happening in the blogs around her. she's currently pregnant, and i hope it goes well for her too.

i'm sure i'll get flamed for a message i posted to the qf list where i said i refuse to believe in a god who curses the unborn.

maybe i should stop reading these ladies' blogs. sometimes they're funny and heart-warming ... sometimes they're depressing, especially considering my infertility experience.

i still can't help but love them all.

motivation

i can't find myself motivated to read my stupid textbooks. and i still haven't been to the orientation for the stupid phys-ed course so i have no clue what's really required and what's not and what all is going on with that. monday night though.

the art course is simple enough though. thankfully.

Thursday, June 3, 2004

school fun

two days of school closings because of weather have really dorked with my schedule and with my personal schedule

but i may get to go to the art or this morning. of course to do that i'll have to cancel my appointment at uta, which pisses me off. still ...

of course, my physed class orientation also got cancelled yesterday, and i have no clue when that'll be reschedule. most likely when i'm working and all. and of course that's the one i wanted to go to most.

and my roof is damaged too, in the storm.

just fucking wonderful.

Wednesday, June 2, 2004

another test

this is another quick trackback post to help michelle learn how trackbacks work for her script. hers is a spot i visit pretty much daily. she and disagree on a number of things, i suspect ... but i hafta admire her at the very least for having the courage to be consistent about what she believes. that's worth something.

and she's cute, too.

blogshares

blogshares is a really really silly trading game that assigns a "value" to blogs and values go up or down based on heaven knows what. so if you want to buy shares here (fake money), go for it.

more work work work

hooray. three more hours a week. we'll be opening on saturday, at least for now 9 to noon. i really do like my job. for a change.

upgrade

tell me how badly it went. wp 1.2 release. i've also added some more ladies to the links section. basically it's just a list of places i go. don't really give a shit if you have any interest in those places or not.

Tuesday, June 1, 2004

#!/usr/bin/mom: my mommy is pro-life

this is a trackback post to help michelle set things up

ouch

sunburn sucks. sue decided a few weeks ago she wanted to take the monsters to the beach so they could eat dirt and risk drowning for a while, and we finally managed to do that yesterday. we went up to her parents' place and sat in the nasty brackish water while the waves from the noise-things rolled in.

ian, for his part, spent about two-thirds of our time on the beach and in the water seriously not liking this stuff. our most timid child, he didn't want mommy or daddy to let him go even in less than six inches of water. the child is two and he's deathly afraid of anything new, so this new experience of being in non-bathtub and non-swimming pool water was major not-fun for him. it apparently took sue three days to sit in the water at the swimming pool last year.

benjamin was only slightly less unhappy with this situation. he never really got the idea that it was safe to play in the water either, and wouldn't let go of mom or dad. he did find dirt very tasty, though.

samantha, bless her adventerous soul, decided that this water stuff was pretty interesting and was willing not only to let go of mom and dad, but to play in the silly stuff and splash around some.

both ian and i got a sunburn. he apparently burned semi-badly on his face. i burned on my arms some, and my face feels different but since i can't see it while sitting in front of my computer writing a blog entry, i can't tell you how bad i'm burned.

but ... at least julie has some good news.