Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Still here. Sorta.

It's 11:20 am, I've been at my desk since 9, I have a shitload of work to do, and I have accomplished nothing. Heck, I've attempted to accomplish nothing. I've started nothing. I've clicked around, surfing the web, thought some deep thoughts, answered some personal e-mail. And that's about it. So far today I've eaten an egg and cheese sandwich on wheat toast, a small scone, a banana, some cantaloupe and a handful of grapes, plus a huge mug of chai, and yep, still hungry.

Last week I had posts for every day of the week lined up. Some good (where good equals possibly interesting to an audience in a you won't believe what just happened kind of way) stuff to blog too. But no energy to do it. Yesterday I walked to a meeting and felt light headed and like my feet were disconnected from my legs. I'm tired all the time. Malaise. And too often just feel weepy.

So, I have self diagnosed myself with anemia. I went borderline anemic during my daughter's pregnancy and remember feeling very tired and weepy. This morning I rustled up my old leftover iron pills (expiration date: 11/07) and have one sitting in front of me now. A lot of my symptoms could be attributed to first trimester blues + the rest of the suckitude that too much of my life is, that's very true, but a simple (expired) iron tab might help, and it can't hurt, right? (um, right? my family is famous for consuming out of date food/medications. It's fine is a commonly used phrase).

So, tomorrow is it. CVS day. I really, really want to post about it, the procedure, the possible results, how I feel about it all. I've tried to start that post several times. I'm too wound up, and the words won't come (here's what I type: Oh god please let this be ok). Perhaps tomorrow. My appointment is at 1:45. Think of me. I'll cover the afternoon with generic "meetings," I'll work from bed Friday. And get results by mid next week, I think. The RE called last week with my latest blood work (I should call them and see if their blood tests include iron, but I think it's just hormones), which was fine. The nurse said, we're done with you. Switch to your OB. I'm not calling the OB until after the results from the CVS are in. One step, one day at a time.

There's news on my husband's last job front. Good stuff (again - in the you won't believe what is happening now category). I'll do that post after (or instead) of the CVS post.

There's also news on the in-law front. A tasty little nugget from my brother in law, but that will have to wait. The mother in law has blinked first. But just a blink. After a slight flutter from my husband - he sent his entire family (cousins, aunts, uncles, etc) an e-mail telling about his job change and giving his new contact info. She replied to my husband with an e-mail that read in its entirety: This is the second time I have answered this e-mail I hate verizion it
locked me out before I could send it. We are all very happy for you in your move. It was the thing to do. How is [granddaughter] doing? She is getting so cuite and talking wow! Aunt V~ has had a stroke and is on a floor that will care for her. Aunt J~ was in at the same time. Now
she is in a rehab hospital. B~ my cousin called and has invited us to his ordination. He asked
about you. It is going to be on June14 & 15. If you would like to go let me know it is [very close to where we live].

I asked my husband if he was going to reply and he said yes, as soon as he thought of what he might want to say. I don't know what he should say, or what I'd want him to say. Somehow, this has to resolve, in some form or fashion. I wish there was an obvious answer. Unfortunately, staying away for the rest of our/their lives doesn't seem to be an option, and sigh, I guess I am adult enough to admit it wouldn't be a good option, anyway. I need at least a week, though, before I am able to contemplate this at all. There's no room in my brain right now (90% of my brain: RESULTS OF CVS BY WHEN??!! 8% of my brain: I am so tired 2% of my brain: I have so much work to do) for this.

I have so much work to do. SO MUCH. I have to call references for an assistant position, and I have to get that person here soon. I am drowning, on top of everything else. Oh, but it's not 11:55, so lunch beckons.

Please - positive vibes for tomorrow!! And most importantly, for the RESULTS.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

4 months later

It's two months after my Two Months Later post. And my mother-in-law is still a bitch. Of the highest order.

Last week my husband's brother called my husband. My husband, wisely, did not tell me until a few days ago. My brother-in-law actually said, you know how these things go. There's a blow up, someone makes a gesture, and all is forgotten and goes back to normal. He urged my husband to reach out to his parents.

First of all, the various times my brother-in-law has battled his parents, my husband has never once called him to urge resolution. And second, he's not talking resolution, he's urging non resolution. Oh, just forget about it, it's not that big a deal.

I'm so sick of accomodating my mother-in-law's bad behavior. Say whatever you want, do whatever you want, act like the biggest bitch, throw the biggest tantrum, and get away with it. She's 63-freaking-years old. As Dr. Phil would say, I guess it works for her, because everyone else lets her get away with it.

My husband misses his family. Within reason, though. My brother-in-law has a niece exactly nine months to the day older than our daughter, and my husband wants them to be close. My brother-in-law told his parents he was going to try to get together with my husband and apparently that sent my mother-in-law off on a screaming fit, if we went up there SHE was going to see HER granddaughter, no matter what.

My husband assures me he's firm in his resolve that this bad behavior is not going to simply be swept under the rug, forgotten and forgiven with no apology/acknowledgment from his mother. Our respective counselors are firm in saying no contact is best right now, especially at this vulnerable stage in the pregnancy (not to mention the marriage). And thank goodness for that. I think without that outside support, my husband might be pushing for more contact with his family.

You know what this makes me think, more than anything? We have GOT to find money (and time and energy) to do wills and set up financial trusts for our daughter should anything happen. There is no way in hell I want his family anywhere close to thinking they are entitled to anything, should the worst happen.

That's a digression. Got to get that done, though. Anyway, I still see no resolution to this situation. Or at least no resolution that doesn't upset me, or ask more of me than I think I am capable.

So, cheer me up. Tell me your worst in-law story (second-hand stories fine, too). And if you've got no story, but a brilliant idea to cut this Gordian knot, let me know.

Monday, April 21, 2008

loose ends

Happy Monday morning. Or not. I want the weekends to be longer and the weeks shorter. Or less work to do, even though I avoid my work by blogging.
  • First, why do my blog posts with block quotes always look so crappy? Second, how do you get that yellow box around text you've quoted? Anyone want to give me a quick blogger tutorial? Or maybe I'll avoid more work this afternoon and try to fix it.
  • I did call my friend, left a very neutral message, just checking in and wanted to say hi, no need to call me back. She e-mailed me late Friday and said, "it's ok. My skin is very thin these days and I upset easily. I got your card, it was very sweet. Sorry I missed your call."
  • I'm going to let it go. I could write volumes on the various eccentricities of my friends. This particular friend is one I value, but also one that is fairly high maintenance. There's a reason we've drifted away, and it has a lot to do with my unwillingness to spend hours in deep conversation, rehashing people/situations/events over again and again in extreme detail. Back to status quo, with the addition of my e-mailing her every once in a while, is about all I can handle right now, I think.
  • My horoscope on Sat: "You're trying out new roles now, like sweetest friend and greatest romantic. But beware: Once you're known that way, you'll be expected to keep it up. It's easiest to stick close to the your natural tendency." Dude. Lesson learned. I'm not cut out to be sweetest friend even at the best of times.
  • Remember the ooze? I had some meetings Thursday last week and went out my usual half hearted attempt at makeup - eyeliner on the outer edges of my eyes, top and bottom (on eyelid, not the rim). And shadow on the lid. And got home with eyes on fire. So, looks like makeup is the culprit. I don't really have allergies (on really bad days, sure, I might be a little itchy with a few sneezes, but 99% of the time no real reaction to the outdoors). Now the question is, this particular makeup? All makeup? Hmm. Maybe I can enter my 40s as an unconventional woman who never wears makeup. I'm close enough to that right now.
  • The CVS is scheduled. May 1. I'm already obsessing, and had a nightmare about it Sunday morning. More to come on this, that's for sure.
So that's my Monday. A buttload of work to do and a deep desire to avoid it all and go back to bed.

Friday, April 18, 2008

I am a jerk

I am the jerk that we all hate. The insensitive person, the one who gets things wrong or the mourner, despite the best of intentions.

Let me back up. Ok, after the last post, a small group of us went in together on the flowers. Great, perfect. I sent a sympathy card with a heartfelt long message in it.

Coincidentally, someone else recently linked to another's blog post of losing a parent.

So, this morning I sent that link, via e-mail, to my friend with just short note saying I was thinking of her, saw this blog post, made me think of her, and hoped she did'nt mind me sending it.

This afternoon, I got this back:

Thank you for your thoughtfulness in checking in. The blog was very
appropriate, and a lot of things already hit home as I was reading it.
Thank you also for the flowers sent to the funeral home- these were much

I arrived home yesterday and was just checking email. There were several
emails sent to us (or copied to us) that asked/discussed "who wants to
go in on something", etc. and I feel compelled to say that reading those
was very upsetting. I know of course there was no malintent behind it or
offense intended but nevertheless for some reason it is upsetting to
read "about" yourself at a time like this.

Aaaaahhhhhhh. Panic. I wrote back right away, and said how sorry I was that had happened, how I couldn't believe it, how terrible whoever copied her was, how the e-mails got a little out of control (they did) and started to bother me, frankly (they did - a few on the smug side saying they were doing their own thing given they were so close to this friend).

And then I investigated my deleted items folder. Hmmm. Not one of the e-mails I saw included her e-mail address. Were there others I was not on? (righteous indignation at my friends closing me out of the loop). Then I checked my sent mail.

In the e-mail my friend's husband sent telling us of the news, he cc'ed a string of people. I hit reply to all, went through the cc's, and deleted anyone not a college friend.

I typed to my friends: Hello college friends, anyone want to go in together on flowers or a group donation?

Because I am an idiot, because the friends were in the cc box, I did not notice who was in the To box. My friend.

The very first person to respond thankfully deleted the friend. She was never cc'ed again, as far as I could tell. I'm the offending, insensitive, terrible friend. ME. It's ME.

Probably compounding the bad situation, I again replied to my friend's e-mail and said, oh shit, it was me, I am so sorry. I also typed I wanted to call but I was on a conference call.

Conference call over.

On the one hand, it was one (not several) innocuous e-mail. On the other hand, my friend is grieving and hurt. I've certainly learned that it is very easy to offend a grieving person. I thought having experienced grief I'd get it right with this friend. Dammit.

I've seen this discussed a lot. You share your grief over infertility or loss and find out someone experienced a loss years and years ago, and can't deal with yours because theirs still hurts. Or can deal with yours because they know what it's like, sort of. My friend doesn't know the hurts I've experienced this past year plus. She only knows she is hurt right now.

I'm trying to decide if I call her, or just back off. I think I have to call.

This is hard.

What would you do?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

connections past and present

Ever just feel like a walking spiral of doom? I found out yesterday that the mother of one of my good college friends passed away from cancer. Death and destruction seem to shadow my every step these days, despite my rose-colored life.

I've lost personal touch with most of my college friends. Not one of them knows a thing about the past 14 or 15 months of doom that has shadowed me. I think most of them think I live a fairly glamorous, successful life. My husband, by outward appearances, is kind and funny and professionally successful. We live in a dynamic urban city, we go out, we have friends here, we do things. I have a moderately successful professional life, which they know I've always wanted.

Most of my college friends married younger than I did, and had children much earlier. Most of them, interestingly, had initial early miscarriages. One used Clomid, another had IVF. All are still, as far as I know, happily married. One has a son with autism. Many have had challenges - debt, out of work husbands, some depression. Nearly all are stay at home moms. Only one or two have done a clever opting out type job - creating their own rewarding professional career that allows them to spend more time at home. Most live in far, far outer suburbs or small towns.

My friend who just lost her mother has, by all outward signs, an amazing husband. Smart, generous, caring. He's been battling severe melanoma for the past 3 years. It's been bad. Experimental treatments, aggressive treatments, hushed talk of "last holidays" - but things seem stable right now. Two years ago, when he first got a relatively clean scan (followed soon after by a recurrence), his father dropped dead suddenly, unexpectedly, of a heart attack. At about the same time, her mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. My friend has been through a lot.

When my husband has his first affair, 5 years ago, one weekend when I couldn't take it anymore I drove 4 hours to my friend's house. Her husband was away on an extended trip, and she listened, and helped, and was there for me. I haven't been there for her. She lives now an hour from me. I had a newborn when her husband was first diagnosed, not an excuse, but sort of one. Our other friends, who are more home-y, more comforting types, seemed to swoop in and fill the spaces. The stay at home moms packed up their kids and went to stay with our friend during tough times, and I worked and had a small child. I was the horrid friend who dropped away when times got tough, I guess.

I last talked, really talked, with my friend nearly a year ago, and it was as if nothing had changed, we connected immediately, her feeling as badly as I did at our lost connection. Since then, my life fell to pieces and I choose to reach out to my newest group of friends, the ones in my mom's group, the ones that were physically here.

So now there's a small e-mail chain of my college friends, passing along news. A few people - the ones who were so there for there during her husband's illness - are of course going to the funeral. I think I am a bit jealous they are so there. I really can't go - I have meetings set up this week, I'm broke, I feel like crap, I was just at a funeral two weeks ago. Excuses, excuses.

I know friendships wax and wane. I know people change, lives are different, priorities are different. I know they (anyone from the entire group) could reach out to me as much as I could reach out to them. Sometimes I miss them, sometimes something out of the blue reminds me of one of my college friends. Most of the time I don't think of them at all, I must admit, but when I do I certainly think of most of them with a great deal of fondness. And in the infrequent times we do get together, with many there's still that immediate connection/intimacy of good old friends.

I've always been a categorizer - my hometown friends, my college friends, my grad school friends, my this job friends, my that job friends, my moms group friends. My little boxes of friends. There are a few - very, very few - people who transcend those categories, who wind their way through the threads of my life. Who know all, or at least most, of my boxes. I guess those few are my best friends.

Tell me, who are your friends? Do you make new ones and leave behind old ones? Or are you still friends with your best friend from childhood? From college? Do you think of old friends, with bitterness? With regret? With fondness?

Monday, April 14, 2008

a big step?

Wow, my last few posts have been, shall we say, terrible? I was in a bad place last week, felt terrible, anxious, unsettled, plus a weird eye thing. I hate not feeling well, it makes me very whiny, sounding like a 12 year old writing in my super secret diary.

Also, I watch FAR too much TV.

On Friday, my husband went out in the evening without me for the first time since November and his last "date." It was with my brother, who called with an extra playoff ticket. I hadn't realized how upset it was making me until Friday. My husband said he wouldn't go, but I mean really if I can't trust him out with my brother, we're in worse shape than I thought, right? On top of that, on Saturday he had plans (carefully pre-screened with me) for a father-child outing with a friend of his who has a son the same age as our daughter. The first time since December when my heart was breaking at the thought of them doing things without me.

I'm a person who likes alone time. I like just chilling out, doing my own thing. I need me time. Since the fall I've been out a small handful of times, plus I've traveled. I like alone time in my own house, though, and lately I've actually wanted it. But it certainly doesn't feel very safe or comfortable to have my husband out and about and me home babysitting, or he and my daughter out while I stay home alone.

Friday night was tough. I went to bed early, and was just terribly sad at everything that had happened, at how my husband treated me last fall, at the lies and the deception. As with most grief, it's lessened over time - no longer the sharp agony, just a dull ache of hurt. Enough to bring tears of sadness and pain, no longer enough to cause sobbing.

It was worse, though, when he got home. The game had been exciting, there was drinking involved, so he came home keyed up. Got into bed noisily, watched TV noisily, thumped around. I think he wanted me to wake up and engage with him, but I was, you know, ASLEEP. He finally got out of bed and came to the computer for an hour or so, to wind down. When he came back to bed, waking me again, I asked what he had been doing and he said just surfing, had playoff fever.

I think (well, we know) my husband is insecure. At his worst, during both affairs, he's said to me he needs someone who can "run with him." This last time my response was, WTF, run with you to where, the bar? That's a meaningful life. I want someone who will run with me into the future, into caring for our child, making a home, making a life.

In contrast, my brother is married to a woman who goes to bed at some absurdly early hours, like 9 pm. She never wants to go out or do much of anything. My brother knocks around his house until 11 or midnight every night, by himself. He calls my parents or my sister. Surfs the web, does stuff around the house, talks to friends. Reads. Watches TV. Is OK being by himself. My husband can't do that. He needs the buzz - of others, of excitement, of stuff happening.

In a lot of ways, how he was when he came home was worse than him being out. Because I don't know if he can be content. If home is where his heart is. I don't think that's true.

Friday, April 11, 2008

now with less ooze

Boy I am whiny these days. Thanks for the support yesterday. I took a nap, then did some work. My eyes seemed better, but got weepy again at night. But today I am thinking it was all just a bad contacts/tired/makeup kind of thing. So I'll avoid contacts today and put in new ones tomorrow. I'll avoid makeup these next few days, but what I have is fairly new Clinque stuff (simple eyeliner and shadow) and I'm too cheap to throw it out. Will I regret that?

I did watch about 10 minutes of The Price is Right. Too weird without Bob, that was my first impression. I'd have to watch more to get used to it. And then thank goodness for noon time What Not to Wear. Though I always have the oddest dreams when I doze to WNTW - lots of dressing room oddness.

Oh, yeah, my RE called back and helpfully said just call your (non existent) family practitioner.

My unsettledness continues. The first trimester is tough on nearly everyone. Luckily, I've never had extreme nausea (I only threw up one while pregnant with my daughter, but that was the night my husband was on travel and our dog just kept throwing up and throwing up, and after cleaning up piles and piles, yeah, I lost it). But it's hard to gain weight and not fit into clothes but not really look (or want to look) pregnant. Instead, lucky me, I just get to be back at obese! yay, me. And tired. And not drinking. And the food/smell aversions are starting to kick in.

And then there's the whole nuchal/CVS/need for assurance thing. I need to pick up the phone and just schedule the damn CVS. May 1. 3 weeks from yesterday.

So, here's another fun link. I just think this is brilliant:

Garfield Minus Garfield

Thursday, April 10, 2008

the whiny box

well, I was thinking about posting my pregnancy rules, which are quite elaborate and pointless. And then I was going to post about the pending CVS, or should we ultrascreen, or why is this going to be so hard.

But then last night I went to bed with a weepy eye, and woke up this morning to pink eye. I think. Both eyes pink, a little (not to be too gross) oozy and crusty. Wah. So no contacts obviously today, which puts me in a bad mood anyway. Trying to work, but focusing on the screen makes me oozy eyes ooze more.

When my daughter had pink eye, the drops they gave her had huge bold letters that explicitly said pregnant women were not to even handle the packaging as it was so toxic. So now what?

I called the RE and am waiting for a call back. I don't have a regular doctor, as all my troubles lately have circled around the OB/GYN/RE/Genetic specialist. I just want to whine right now. Whine whine whine. I want to go back to bed, but I am behind at work, but then again the computer screen is hard to focus on. Maybe it's not pink eye, I don't know anyone else (specifically my daughter, knock on wood) that has it. Yesterday I had a meeting so actually left the house and wore makeup. I went to bed with a weepy eye thinking I just needed some rest.

OK, that's it. Whining is getting me no place. I am saying the hell with it and crawling into bed under lots of covers and watching (or, really listening to) bad morning women TV. Kathie Lee on the 17th hour of the Today show. Possibly the View. Maybe Martha is on.

Tell me, what's your guilty pleasure TV when home alone?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Quote of the day

Saw the RE today, for the second sonogram. And there's a heart beat, and everything is measuring fine. He says keep doing the estrogen and the progesterone, and other than blood work, I'm soon to be handed over.

And then he says, "yep, as long as the baby is genetically normal, things are looking good!" with a hearty chuckle.

He's a nice guy, a bit on the socially awkward side. Which is why I did not burst into tears nor sarcastically say, would you please frigging review my chart before I come because yeah, the genetically normal thing is a little bit of an issue.

He did ask if I was ok and I just said another hurdle crossed. Don't get me wrong, this is all good. Now having cleared this hurdle, we have the huge, gigantic genetic hurdle to cross. I've held off calling the genetic specialist, but I'll do that today. And I've not called my regular ob yet at all, but I think I will wait until after the genetic specialist to do so. This is a one step, on hurdle at a time process for me right now.

I did ask the RE about genetic markers in maternal blood, and he said my specialist was doing that. Interesting.

I have a lot of rules with this pregnancy, and one of them is get some sort of assurances the genetics are ok. No thinking about names, or nursery, or my job, or maternity clothes (despite the tightening of my existing clothes). No complaining about the progesterone. I'm at week 7 now. Just keep my eyes focused on week 10 and hopefully some level of assurance.

Monday, April 7, 2008

memories are made of this

Our wedding cost $200k. Kidding. It did not cost anything near that amount - somewhere around the average wedding cost of $20k - we could never bear to total it all up, but that's about the ballpark. We paid for the whole thing ourselves except for about 2k my parents chipped in, and we had 175 people, and got married in our urban area where traditional weddings easily cost double the US average. But I say it cost us so much because that was all the money we had in 1999. It took us nearly two years to save for a down payment on a house, and by that time, housing prices had shot up tremendously. So yeah, if we had been smart, we would have skipped town and put the money down on a house and wouldn't we be sitting on a huge nest egg now? Though we can't complain, we got a decent enough nest egg by buying in 2001.

Anyway, the point is that I got married a long time ago and as with all big weddings with a bitch of a mother-in-law, it was stressful, and chaotic, and a day I don't think about all that much.

Except for one great, great memory. I was nearly 30 by the time I was married, and most of my friends were married, and I had spent far too much time hiding at the back of the throwing the bouquet thing that brides inflict upon their single friends. So I was insistent that we not do that (and don't get me started on the garter thing).

Instead, at the proscribed time, the DJ called all the married people onto the dance floor and played a classic slow song. My husband and I poked and prodded his 80-something grandparents onto the floor. Gradually, the DJ called for those married less than a year to leave the floor, less than 5 years, less than 10 years, 15 years, 20 years, 25 years, 30 years. At 35 years, my parents were dancing, his parents were dancing, my aunt and uncle, his grandparents. The crowd had realized what was happening and everyone was whooping and hollering.

Our of everything that happened that day, this is the best and brightest memory I have - pure joy, watching these couples twirl around the floor. At 40 years, only my aunt and uncle and his grandparents were left, still there as the DJ called out 45. At 50, my aunt and uncle left the floor to cheers, and my husband's grandparents twirled in an elegant foxtrot, with proud smiles on their faces. My husband and I joined them on the dance floor, and I gave the bouquet to his grandmother, who was just overcome with happiness. She talked about that moment for the rest of her life.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

home again

Finally home, after the 4 most exhausting days I think I have had in a long time. Parts were terrible, parts were wonderful. Nearly every person in the family made it. The crack head cousin was a notable exception, but let's face it, that was probably a good thing. There's much to say, but I'm too beat to process.

Thanks for the comments on the last post. In my real life, I've always been a big fan of quirky people. I strive to be unique, to stand out, to forge my own way. Here, I really, really don't like the standing out - the thing that makes me unique in this little corner of blogland. I must have found the previous post's blog via the Eliot Spitzer story. I didn't follow the story all the closely, to be honest. The endless punditry of why is she staying with him, how terrible to have her stand there during his press conference started to hit too close to home. I think I suddenly found it more interesting to focus on the call girl side of things, just to get away from the why do smart men with smart wives cheat? Why do wives stay with their cheaters? I think I saw a clip of Dr. Phil, maybe, with his wife saying she would boot him the hell out. Well, you don't know. You don't know until you're faced with it. The relentless punditry actually made me feel stupid for staying.

I'm just still really struggling with the marriage. Last week I finally came out and said the counseling wasn't working. I'm doing counseling, he's doing counseling, once a month we've been getting together with both our counselors - but in a lot of ways, that once a month seems designed for our own counselors to have greater insight to help us individually. No one is working on the marriage. And not working actively on the stupid marriage is what got us to this place to begin with. I think I was heard. So this week we'll see if we can find yet another freaking counselor. Perhaps we can find one who actually takes insurance.

It is nice to be home, sitting on the couch, laptop on lap, daughter asleep, husband, cat and dog napping. I should be napping, but you know how you just get so tired the nap won't come? That's me today. The dazed, confused, and tired.