Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Why I'm Tired

Mrs. Preppy (you must click over and see the absolute steals she got on JCrew shoes at TJ Maxx) requested some pictures of the the little miscreants we have living in our house. Okay, she didn't use those words, I did. It's just that I haven't had much sleep which probably wouldn't be that big of a deal if I didn't just look out the back door to see that the little one stole one of my slippers!


This is a picture of the two little ones we had Saturday night. They were very cute together...




This is PP and her temporary sister chewing on toys that PP has rediscovered after more than a year of them sitting in a basket. They weren't interesting until someone else was interested in them. Typical.


The ill-fated slipper in the vicious jaws of 'Bootsy' whose real name is 'Alphia.' That's why we renamed her. TOIAW's newest argument for keeping her is that she's going to be confused about her name. If she slept more at night rather than only during the day, I might consider it. See how skinny she is? We're working on it, bless her heart.



This picture makes me laugh because it looks like we get our dog toys at Goodwill. A partially destroyed ball (actually a horse toy that is PP most treasured possession; you wouldn't know it by looking at it but it cost a small fortune) and a slipper. I promise we have a nice variety of real dog toys.


TOIAW needed to switch his class from afternoon to morning today so he'll be home while I'm in class. He better not let them sleep or I will wake him up every time they wake me up at night. I'm not sure how my blog became a puppy picture album but it's better than writing about depressing stuff, yes?

P.S. I have no idea why you can't click on the pictures to enlarge them. Sorry.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Outnumbered

On Valentine's Day, TOIAW stopped by Petsmart to get a valentine for PP and ended up filling out an application to be foster puppy parents (we gave no preference on age we just refer to all dogs as puppies). I know full well that fostering is exactly how the Gutsy family became a 2-dog family but, you know, whatever.

We were actually going to receive our new temporary family member last week but PP got sick so we postponed it until Saturday. TOIAW was busy writing a paper so I went to the adoption event alone. Near the end of the event I was asked if we could--just for the night--take care of two dogs rather than just one. I didn't even hesitate a nanosecond before replying yes. And that, my friends, is how we became a 3-dog operation. Oh. My. Goodness. It was nuts. We quickly organized a zone defense that seemed to work pretty well. I won't lie, though, on Sunday I was counting the hours until we took the two little ones to the adoption event. [By the way, the events take place every Saturday and Sunday from 2-5 and there are several people who volunteer both days every weekend. That's hardcore if you ask me. I'm too selfish to donate those prime weekend hours every week.] I then raced home to do all the things I needed to do but couldn't do because I had been too busy keeping two puppies and a confused older dog out of trouble. Thankfully, one of the gang members went to his forever home Sunday. He was the youngest and most demanding of the two puppies. Incidentally, he went to a home that already has two other dogs--wow. We're now down to a more manageable 1:1 puppy to human ratio. The dog we are fostering is about five months old and is a hound/lab mix. She had some parasite issues so we're working on fattening her up...she came to the right house. She's very skittish around people but slowly she's getting better. Thankfully, she follows PP as if she's the Pied Piper of Northern Virginia which is the only way I can get her to do what I want.

While we're fostering for a variety of reasons, the main one is so we're not tempted to add another four-legged member to the family but guess who is suggesting we consider it? I'll give you a hint, it's not me or PP. He's such a softie! He also appears to be quite allergic to the puppy so it might not even be an issue. We gave her a bath yesterday and I'm working on dusting and cleaning to see if that helps. Apparently the medicine they give the dogs to rid them of fleas and ticks also dries out their skin so she had quite a bit of dander. TOIAW has never had a problem before so this is especially odd.

Well, I'm off to the park with PP and then I will resume my cleaning frenzy.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Limbo Land

Today TOIAW met with his boss and they brainstormed possible options for his job opportunities if we don't end up moving to Mystery Country. It seems there are some very workable possibilities but nothing definite until his boss looks into the logistics. We will most likely make a decision by the end of March. I'm also in the process of making an appointment with the fertility clinic at Walter Reed to see what they say about IVF and my fertility in general. If only I had a crystal ball to see what taking an extended break from the baby making roller coaster would mean. A break would be nice but I really want to be pregnant. On one hand, I feel like waiting too long isn't a good idea given my age and just a nagging feeling I have and, on the other hand, I wonder if I'm completely removing God from the equation and trying to figure it all out on my own.

In other news, Valentine's Day really stunk. TOIAW and I have been at each other's throats for the past week or so. In addition to the natural stress of grief, we're also dealing with the stress of figuring out the what's and where's of the next step. Every time we've been through this, stress has been part of it and it's probably even more so this time. But, as I said before, things are looking more hopeful and that should help. I also realized I'm dealing with a bit of the 'baby blues' even though my baby isn't with me. At my post partum appointment, the midwife put in a referral for me to meet with a mental health provider just in case I ever want to talk. You know how sad and pathetic you must look when even the midwife has tears in her eyes during your appointment. And here I thought I was doing okay...

We also met with Sarah's doctors and I'm so glad we did. I'm not sure the meeting accomplished much but, if nothing else, we were able to thank them for giving us a week with Sarah for, were it not for their efforts, we wouldn't have had that gift. Oh, what a precious gift that week was!

I resumed my language classes yesterday. Ugh. I cried when I got there, I cried when I was waiting for class to begin, I cried when the teacher hugged me, I cried when my old teacher came to see me (I don't have the same teacher which also had me crying but in a different way...), and I cried when we left because I was so glad it was over. Oy! I hope tomorrow's class is less emotional.

Lastly, we have a very tragic situation in our house: PP has a slight eye infection. This alone isn't that big of a deal but, as you can see below, she is wearing a collar to prevent her from rubbing/scratching her eye. She can't seem to figure out how to maneuver the stairs or doorways of our house which is both amusing and sad. I think it hurts her feelings when we laugh at her. Tonight I'm going to make her a little dish we've dubbed 'puppy crack' (boiled ground beef, rice, and chicken broth) due to the euphoria it produces in PP. She deserves it don't you think?

Friday, February 13, 2009

We've Lost Control

Even if I wanted to lay on the couch all day and feel sorry for myself I would have to take a number...or offer treats. Apparently the middle cushion is the most comfortable. I have no idea when we lost control of this dog but we have. Or maybe we never had it?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Forget It

I tried to restore my faith in humanity but then a story about the octuplet mom came on. This woman needs serious psychological help. She's nuts and so is the doctor who conducted her IVF therapy. By the way, I heard a report that he did IVF on a 49 year old who is now pregnant with quadruplets. Maybe he can get his name legally changed to Dr. Frankenstein? Anyway, loony or not, I don't think the woman deserves death threats but she has received them.

In other shocking news, TOIAW and I watched a news program on sexting which apparently involves teenagers texting naked pictures of themselves to 'friends' of the opposite sex. Despite the obvious problems with this kind of behavior, I believe it is illegal due to a little thing called child pornography. What do you think the odds are that parents are checking their kids phones to make sure their child isn't involved in these kinds of activities?

Hahaha, Blogger's spell check doesn't recognize the word 'octuplet.' I suppose that's because they are not normal. Humans weren't meant to carry litters.

Should Have Known Better

So, remember a couple of days ago I told you about the guy wanting rent money? He came back yesterday but it was getting dark and TOIAW wasn't home so I suggested he come this morning and ask TOIAW for work. He didn't like that answer and really wanted me to give him money right then but what he didn't realize is that on any given day I am hard-pressed to come up with fifty cents but if I do you can guarantee at least half is going to be pennies. Well guess who showed up bright and early this morning? TOIAW made him an offer but it seems our friend needed to take the money to his landlord immediately but assured TOIAW he would be back soon to collect our leaves. Right. I hate having to be skeptical of everyone...

TOIAW and I don't really have any Valentine's Day plans although he did suggest dinner and a movie. Clearly I didn't marry him for his creativity. As long as I don't have to cook--and then do the dishes afterwards--I'll be fine with whatever we do or don't do. Oh, speaking of cooking, I just remembered we do have some plans for Valentine's Day: We're going back to Let's Dish! to make more meals because the ones my friend and I prepared last week were so good. Going with TOIAW should be interesting and fun; I'll let you know.

I think I'm now going to scour the internet for stories that will restore my faith in humanity. One of my biggest fears is that I will become a cynic and I simply cannot let this happen!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

One Month

One month ago today my world was forever changed. Happy one-month birthday, sweet Sarah. I miss you every minute of every day...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

It's Only Money

This morning we were jarred awake by a loud knock on the front door. To be fair, it was probably way past the time most normal people roll out of bed but it was still early enough that we wondered who it could be. TOIAW and PP were all over it but I heard the conversation easily. Our guest was a man asking for $490 for his rent. TOIAW told him we couldn't help him. I've thought of that man all day. I wish we would have offered him money to rake our leaves or do the laundry or dishes or even scoop poop (I'm pretty sure the last three would cost more than $40 though). Ugh. We always say no to people and then regret it later. This past month I cannot tell you how many times I've thought of that old saying, "If money will fix it, it's not a problem." On one hand, I'm annoyed beyond measure with the economic stimulus plan and on the other hand my heart breaks for people who are struggling right now and I hope they get relief soon.

Since yesterday didn't go so well, I made a plan for today. TOIAW and I had some administrative things to take care of this morning so we did that and then I dropped him off at class. PP decided I would benefit from some time at the dog park and she was right. There's a reason they take dogs to visit people in hospitals. We strategically planned our visit to coincide with the time most of the dog walkers are there and I got to do a lot of petting while she did a lot of playing. I then hung out at home before going to the gym because I wanted to break-up the day a bit and that seemed to work well. That is, until I called my dad on the way home from the gym.

While I was at the gym, I saw on the news where there had been tornadoes in my hometown but I wasn't concerned enough to go out to get my phone. I know, but the gym is on the third floor and I just didn't want to climb those stairs again. Thankfully, my family was unharmed by the tornado. The not so good news is actually quite private* but it really sucks. Someone I love about as much as I could ever love anyone is in a really bad place right now. I can't go to this person but I am praying they come to me so I can tell them how much I love them and always will.

Thank you so much for the sweet comments you left me yesterday. They mean so very much; you just have no idea.

*Sorry, I know that's annoying when bloggers do that.

Monday, February 9, 2009

What Happened?

I want to write a post about how much fun I had this weekend with my friend K but I just don't have it in me right now. Not because I didn't have fun but because I've just gotten more and more sad every minute since we dropped her off this morning. So far every time I have a good time it's tempered with a really rough time afterwards. Is this guilt or am I just making up for lost tears? In so many ways I think I'm doing well--and I probably am, all things considered--and then I have a bad day and I wonder if I'll ever be okay again.

My heart aches with a pain so fierce I couldn't begin to describe it. It's the most awful feeling I have ever experienced.

TOIAW is taking a class this week so he won't be home until later. I know I could call someone but I don't really feel like talking nor do I see the point in upsetting anyone else. Besides, I probably wouldn't be able to say anything because I would be crying so hard.

Will it always be like this? Will I be going along just fine and then, all of the sudden, completely lose it?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Closure For Everyone!

Today I received a second phone call from the patient advocate at the hospital. She really wants us to know that the neonatologists are willing and even eager to meet with us should we have any questions. We don't because we know Sarah died from sepsis and I think everyone knows how serious sepsis is in anyone not to mention a week-old baby who was born at 24 weeks gestation. I mean, what could we possibly ask them? Well, we have a little over a week to think of something because TOIAW decided to meet with them after the patient advocate told him she thinks the doctors need closure also. Even though I don't see what we will gain from this meeting, I do look forward to seeing them again because they were so amazing with Sarah and us. If we asked to speak to a doctor, we never waited more than five minutes and that would have been a long wait. It's surely to be an emotional meeting--which is one of the reasons I didn't want to do it--but hopefully we'll all gain a little closure. Details sure to follow...

In more pleasant news, a dear friend of mine is flying in tomorrow. She's taking off three days of work to come hang out with me; I'm blessed to have amazing friends! I'm so not where I need to be in terms of cleaning (I could really use the cleaning helpers today) but I'm getting there. Cleaning and organizing is very therapeutic. I don't have a lot planned but we are going here to whip up a few meals. My trainer brought me a meal she made there and it was really good. So, I had TOIAW pick out a few dishes that sounded good to him and I booked a session. This will be very helpful for when I go back to class two weeks from today. Anyway, while my friend is here, I also hope to see this and get a massage and pedicure. No big plans, but relaxing and fun. If I'm really lucky maybe she'll help me reorganize my kitchen because, as you might recall, when we moved in I was super sick and TOIAW put the kitchen together and it's not very efficient.

Okay, I've got to get back to cleaning! If I don't vacuum soon, we're going to be wading in dog hair.

Monday, February 2, 2009

I'll Tell You What I Want, What I Really, Really Want

Okay, so yeah, no real answers. The doctor was a bit odd but he did spend quite a bit of time with us and didn't rush us out the door which I suppose more or less makes up for the fact that he wrote and sent at least two emails while we were there. Also to his credit, he didn't give me the "it's not your fault" speech that, while appreciated, I'm way tired of hearing. He detailed the treatment regimen he would follow if I were ever his OB patient in the future. It was helpful, I guess. TOIAW said it best when he assessed the doctor's attitude as "unfortunately, babies are born early and die all the time" which is probably true but it doesn't happen to us all the time.

So, what next? Great question, I'm glad you asked. The doctor recommended waiting six months to try and--I think this is the part that set me over the edge--right now, given my medical history, he would not refer me to the military IVF program until we tried the natural way for at least six months. That was a big enough blow because I haven't gotten pregnant on my own for nearly two years and we were trying. No problem, so we could just pay $20k and go to a private IVF clinic. If that worked--and I really hope it would if we spent that much money--I would not be allowed to move with TOIAW. I already knew this part but, if I happened to fall pregnant (I love how the Brits use that term) while living in the mystery country, I would almost immediately be moved back to the US for close monitoring and proper care.

When we got in the car I fell silent and TOIAW did his best to coax me into telling him what I wanted to do. He assured me he would get me into the military IVF program if that's what I want or a private one if that's what I prefer. He's also fine with doing the natural thing. Honestly, I think that is his first choice because he thinks the only reason we did IVF was because of a time line I have*. Never mind that several doctors recommended it; he never bought into it but neither did he resist it too much either. So what do I want? I want to NOT move. I want to stay here and pursue IVF in July/August. I want to get pregnant again and I want to bring home a baby. I DON'T want to be the one suggesting my husband alter his career plans and ask to forgo his intended assignment. His current career path is one that will have us living outside the US many times for several years at a time so how does it look if, as we near the first assignment, he requests not to go because of his wife? This is my dilemma and it sucks.

*I do not have such a time line. If I did, it surely would have been thrown out the window by now considering we're three long years on in this baby journey.

Questions and...

I received a call Friday informing me I had an appointment today with the head of the OB clinic to--presumably--go over the pathology report on the placenta and talk about any other factors that may have led to my preterm labor and Sarah's preterm birth. I am doing my very best to keep my expectations low in terms of answers. I'm not sure how well I'm doing in that regard; I probably won't know until I leave the appointment feeling either satisfied or frustrated. I'll let you know.

I also have an additional appointment next month with an MFM. Coincidentally, I also received word of that appointment on Friday which led to a bit of confusion. Apparently the high-risk department where the MFMs work only sees patients once they are pregnant but, according to the person who contacted me, they made an exception for me due to a phone call they received from someone on the hospital commander's staff. Ahhh, the joys of military medicine! Great care is available but sometimes you have to hunt it down. I guess it's a good thing TOIAW has been in execute mode for the past two weeks otherwise the only appointment I would have is a postpartum visit with a nurse midwife and somehow I don't think she would be able to offer much in terms of answers to questions I have.

We had a pretty good weekend, all things considered. I didn't cry all day Saturday which is good, I suppose, but once I realized that I felt really sad. Late afternoon/early evening has now replaced morning as my most difficult time of the day and I did get a little teary around that time but we had dinner plans and I didn't want to show up looking sad and pathetic (I know, but the point of making plans was so we had something to do rather than sit around and be sad). We ended up having a lovely dinner with one of my youngest brother's friends and his new wife who recently moved to the area.

Both Saturday and Sunday we got out and walked with PP which was great because 1) the weather has been beautiful and 2) exercise really helps with my emotions. I can't do too much yet but I can easily walk 2-3 miles before I feel any pain. I plan on beginning my running plan in a few weeks and I already have a goal to run a 5k at the end of April. That's pretty close to Sarah's due date which will, no doubt, be very difficult for us but I am thrilled that I have the opportunity to say, "I didn't just sit around and cry every day, I did something positive while I cried."

I'm anxious about going back to the hospital where Sarah was born, lived, and left to go to heaven. I need to spend some time with Someone who can get me through this. I realize many people would question how I can be so full of faith when God didn't answer my prayers and allow Sarah to live but all I can is I feel Him with me now more than ever. His love is like an ever-present blanket wrapped around my shoulders and it brings me such warmth and comfort.