Thursday, January 29, 2009

Keeping my Integrity while Sending a Quiet Message

As you well know I have been studying the Catholic Church. I went to Confirmation Classes, got Confirmed and I have been doing some reading of my own. The book I am using has been really helpful in understanding some of the basic tenants of the religion and providing context. I'm not reading the Bible. I find reading scripture without a sense of the historical and theological context a bit like jumping into the deep end of the pool when I don't know how to dog paddle. Without schima it would have no meaning for me.

I enjoy learning about how and why the four Gospels differ. I enjoy learning when the different translations of the bible were created. I enjoy learning about the different heretical movements. I'm glad I know the difference between the Catholic and Protestant Bibles.

There are some very basic things I did not know about my faith. Like not going to church every Sunday (Saturday night is also acceptable since the late 1980's) is a sin.

Last might I was reading about the Sacrament of The Holy Eucharist (Communion). Each time I got to Church I take Communion. I know, it's been ages since I went to confession but everyone else seems to do it and I'm pretty sure they were not at confessional the day before. I just did it because Catholics take Communion. Not much thought or consideration went into it.

I have learned that one must only take Communion if one is completely "in communion" with the Church meaning, if you disagree with any tenant of the faith you are not to take communion. The authors of the book used the example that if you are not anti-abortion then you should not be taking Communion. I'm glad they used an example that depicted me.

It got me to thinking. There are many stances the Church has that I do not agree with. In many instances I am proud of the positions taken by my Church: Charity, Poverty, anti-war, anti-death penalty. But there are many others that I do not and will not agree with: Reproductive rights, stem-cell research, their position on assisted reproductive technology, the re institution of those 4 Bishops who are Holocaust deniers, gay marriage.

I have decided that I will no longer take Communion. This is not a spiteful or resentful decision. It's simple. It's honest. It's out of respect but also out of integrity. I think it's an elegant solution. My reasons for not participating in the Sacrament of Holy Communion are as follows:

1) To do so would signal that I approve all the stances of the Church. I do not.

2) To do so would disrespect the Church and their rules. I believe the term is sacrilege.

3) To prove to myself and others that I can be part of the Church yet remain independent and true to my sense of ethics.

4) . Perhaps my small act will have a larger effect. I will be open as to why I do not take Communion and hope others will follow or at least examine their own beliefs and unthinking behaviors.

5) I want my children to understand that you can have disagreements, be it with the Church, a loved one, their government, and still continue the relationship.

Mr. Peeveme got all excited about this and was talking like I could start some international movement. I'm not sure I am up for that nor would I even know how but how powerful would it be if say, on some randomly chosen Sunday, every Catholic who did not approve of (pick an issue) simply did not take Communion?

I have said before that I am not a very faithful person. My choosing to be closer to my church is as much an intellectual journey as one of faith. In fact, I have a much more emotional connection to my Native religion. But I am on some sort of journey here. In learning about the Church I am learning about myself. I am making a purposeful, respectful, and principled statement by no longer participating in the Sacrament of Communion.

For me, it's all part of trying to live mindfully and meaningfully.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Don't hate me like a Duggar

I'm going to do something that is almost guaranteed to loose me half my readership. Talk about my weight. I am thin. There, I said it. It's not like I have to work to keep weight on but I do not have to work to keep it off either. My goal had always been to be healthy...not skinny. I have not dipped below a BMI of 18. I eat pretty much what I want. I eat healthy most of the time but never think twice about indulging.

In my defense I earned this. I spent an entire decade (in my 20s') lifting weights and running everyday. I was into fitness and loved how hard work could transform my body. I was a chubby teenager with body-imagine issues (who wasn't?). I loved how being physical gave me so much energy and drive. It cleared my mind. And I was awesomely fit. Abs, sculpted arms and shoulders, I could wear a bikini without wrapping something around my waist. I earned that. I was stronger than many of the guys at the gym. I earned that, too. But is wasn't about looking good although that was a great side effect. I truly enjoyed working out. I enjoyed challenging myself. I enjoyed the sense of accomplishment when I was stronger, faster than I was the week before.

I have spent the past 10 years coasting off that work. In my 30's with a career, TTC, being a mom/wife I have not exercised regularly. And yet, I'm still pretty thin. I have the occasional spasm of good intention. I did some regular exercise after the birth of Piccolina (before I went back to work). I also did a few weeks of the push-up challenge before IVF #3. But nothing that I was able to sustain.

I wish I had the stamina and discipline to exercise regularly. And now that I'm pregnant there is not much I can do. Once I get some energy back I can walk, lift some light weights, maybe even check out some yoga DVD's. That's the plan.

Mostly, I don't want to eat like a pig the way I did with my 1st pregnancy. I gained at least 42 pounds. On a 5'3" frame that is a lot of weight. I probably gained more but I stopped counting the last week of the pregnancy after I gained 5 pounds in one week the week before.

I didn't just balloon up for no reason. I ate. And I ate crap. My sweet tooth during pregnancy is unbelievable. I'd have a half package of Oreos, a full pack of Now and Laters and then at night I'd eat handful after handful of Capt'n Crunch with Crunchberries. Plus regular meals. Ah, on I could not get enough hot dogs to save my life (I know those are a pregnancy "don't"). For someone who is pretty health-conscious I don't know how I let myself do all that. It's amazing that I did not get gestational diabetes. After the pregnancy I found out that I was borderline. I was a bit miffed that I kept getting the "all clear". I guess they just tell you when you are in the danger zone. But I don't want to just avoid danger. I want to be optimal.

I also need to take responsibility for my actions. I knew there was no way in hell I could eat popcorn and Red Vines for dinner and still be in optimal health.

It's really not about the weight for me. I do not freak out about gaining weight for pregnancy. I can understand how that can make a woman panicky but I do not have that issue. I just need to be healthier. Healthy weight gain during pregnancy is one thing. Mine was not healthy. I need to get back to a place where I have some self control and self discipline.

It's not like I look at picture of me from 10 years ago and want to be that person. I'm happier now. I think I am a better person now. What I do miss is being able to take up a challenge. I miss having that determination and follow-through. I know it's still in me. Somewhere.

I can feel myself getting sick of me. Being disappointing in me. I can feel the slide starting. It's time to nip it in the bud. I am not going to end up a few years down the line wondering where I went. Who the hell am I and how did I get myself into a place where I don't like or recognize myself? The worse thing in the world is to loose respect for yourself.

I think the external things (how much I weight, how my ass looks in a bathing suit) are just symptoms of the internal. I have drive. I have follow-through. I can meet a challenge. I can be mindful of how I live, what I put into my body and what kind of example I set for my family. If the internal is doing well the external will fall into place.

First order of business: I need to shop better so I have food with me that I can eat instead of running to the vending machine for a Three Musketeers bar (My goodness those things are tasty!) I'm better off eating some junk-food that I bring from home in pre-determined amounts rather than going to the bookstore and then seeing how many mint Milanos I can shove in my mouth in the 2 mins before my next meeting (7 by the way). Too bad the IFOCE (International Federation of Competitive Eating) does not have a mint Milano category. I'd be all over that!

So here it is. I am vowing to do better this time.

My goals for this week.

1) Exercise twice. Just twice for at least 10 mins. It can be anything and does not have to be strenuous.
2) Make it through the rest of the week without buying and eating any junk food from the vending machine or bookstore. I can eat junk food if I wish but never at the expense of an actual meal and the food must come from home.

Now that it's out on the internets I have to follow through.


This has me up in arms. Tell me I am not alone here. I'm like, 5 kinds of annoyed by this.

What does the general public think when they heard this? It's easy to have higher order- multiples? Fertility treatments do this to people? It just misinforms so many people on so many levels.

Media treatment of the story: It's all the "happy ending" crap. No real talk of the risks. No mention of all the other higher-order pregnancies that didn't make it. The fact that these are only the 2nd in history to be born alive should tell ya something about the level of risk. But no, let's just gloss over that.

No mention of how they got pregnant with multiples. Of course, we all assume it was ART but why not say so and what procedure? Not to be voyeuristic but because these are important factors that the public should understand.

Leads to judgment of people doing ART. Ok so 99% of the public will think this is due to IVF. When anyone with any knowledge of infertility realized it was probably an IUI. Again with misinformation. "Yes, I did IVF. No, I am not at risk of having 5 babies at once." I think it does lead to the general public having a bad impression of IVF. There have already been a few state attempts to restrict IVF practices. This type of irresponsible case prompts legislators to get on a high horse against legitimate IVF procedures and the general public to agree.

Medical malpractice. OK this is where I really hit the ceiling. What kind of Dr. goes ahead with an IUI when there are at least 8 mature follicles? He/She should have their license revoked. Unless you are proven to be a person with really low egg quality, going forward with more than 3 or 4 follicles is medically negligent. I realize I do not have all the information to say this. I'm just going on what is the most likely scenario because as stated above, they have not released any information on how the children were conceived. So I feel free to speculate.

Parental negligence #1: As a patient you have the responsibility to understand your treatment. You are no longer making decisions for yourself you are making them for your future children. And right off the bat you made a decision that puts your children at significant risk. Remember, only the 2nd in history to be born alive.

Parental Negligence #2: Ok here is where I get controversial but it's my blog so if you disagree go write your own post. I'm not pro-reduction. That silly. Nobody is pro-reduction but it has a legitimate medical purpose. If one is opposed to reduction then why on earth would you allow yourself to be inseminated with so many follicles? If you don't want a reduction then you should not put yourself in the position of carrying more children than is medically safe.

Effects how people think about reduction: There are woman who have chosen to reduce for various reasons. I imagine all of them were medically necessary and not done as a lark or becasue it was convenient. For each and every one of them it was an agonizing decision. I can imagine that this case makes their decision even harder. I can imagine a couple suddenly doubting their decision. I can imagine the general public judging people who choose reduction based on this one, statistically anomalous case.

I guess that is 8 kinds of annoyed. (I swear I didn't plan's just how it turned out.

I think the RE (or OB) who got her pregnant and the parents themselves are the most at blame but I also blame the media for making this a feel-good story. Yes, they all survived the birth but I find the whole thing socially irresponsible. I realize that the parents have every right to make these decisions for themselves and are under no obligation to explain them to me or anyone else. But their actions have an impact beyond their own family.

Of course, I am happy for the parents and amazed at the Drs. who cared for her and delivered these babies. If I ever have a high risk pregnancy I know who to call. I'll be hoping those 8 tiny babies make it through the many, many hurdles they have ahead of them.

That, to me, is the most annoying thing about this story. It becomes a 30 second news story while these babies have a battle ahead of them. Perhaps a life long battle. Yes, they were born alive and are doing better than expected but anyone who knows anything about premature babies knows how quickly all that can change. I'm certainly keeping them in my prayers.

And I hate to end this on a snarky note but I can't help wondering what their reality show will be called.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Better Late and Lame than Never

I'm horrible with tags. Just horrible as the few of you who have tagged me well know. Nothing personal, I just lack follow through, technical ability and the creativity to actually answer the questions.

But I'm trying here.

A few months back I was tagged by the lovely Elana.

The rules for this one is to admit 5 addictions and then pass it onto another 5 blogs…

1. Currently Pringles. Please someone confiscate these things from me.

2. Retin A. I have pretty bad adult acne and this stuff is the only thing that works for me. Of course, while pregnant, during cycles and when breast feeding I cannot use it. Which pretty-much encompasses the past 5 years of my life. I think I had clear skin for about 8 months back in 2003.

3. Radio- I have it on all day at my computer and I also have it on all night. Since I got married I have a small transistor radio with an earpiece. I keep it on low volume all night. I could not sleep with out some white noise drowning out my own very loud thoughts.

4. J-crew. I am truly shameful both in the amount of clothes I buy from them and the fact that I buy all my clothes from them. I think that is considered a fashion "no-no". The truth is I hate shopping but I love looking put together so I just shop the on-line store or e-bay. All the stuff works together and I have a mix and match wordrobe (like an adult version of garanimals). And now, thanks to the First Lady, my own little treasure-chest will be discovered by the rest of America. Damn.

5. Twisting my hair. I do it all the time. I know it's looks stupid and unprofessional but I can't seem to muster up the amount of caring needed to stop. Sometimes I get bald spots (dime sized) and then tufts of hair that stick up when they grow out, Alfalfa style.

If you are a blog I follow consider yourself tagged. I think you are all fabulous!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Wardrobe Malfunction

This morning I mistakenly put on my skinny jeans. I have two pair that are similar. One is the kind of jeans you where when you are having a good ass day (or maybe they give you a good ass day...hard to tell). The other is the kind you wear when you want to be comfortable. Not "fat" jeans exactly. They are a bit big and they stretch but they don't look too baggie. So in the darkness and grogginess of the morning I put on my skinny ones think they were my comfy ones.

When I buttoned them up I thought they were kind-of tight and worried that my comfy jeans had now become my skinny jeans and my skinny leans were a distant memory. And while I am relieved to learn that I have not outgrown my comfy jeans (yet) I am so very uncomfortable.

I had to unbutton them this afternoon. You know, being Friday and hardly anyone around...Oh those famous last words of mine. A colleague came into my office and I agreed to go to their office to meet about some budget items I had requested. He stood up to leave and motioned for me to lead the way. Then I realized that my pants were unbuttoned and if I stood up I'd reveal my embarrassing wardrobe predicament.

And so I asked them to go ahead without me becasue I had to button my pants. Yes, I did. Partly becasue I am a blurter. Partly becasue I thought it was funny. Mostly becasue I am a dork.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I got Confirmed. After 20 hours of classes including a filed-trip to the newest Cathedral in the world they let me take the sacrament.

I'm not the most faithful of people. I was kind-of doing it more for the ceremony than for faith. Notice I did not say "party" but ceremony. Two very different things in my book. I am a person who believes ceremony is important.

I did it more for conclusion rather than faith. I never got confirmed and it felt...incomplete. I didn't feel like I was incomplete but I like things to be tidy, finished.

I didn't start this as a result of a deepening of my faith. On the contrary I came to it via a crisis of faith.

In the process, much to my surprise, I did gain something out of it.

These past few years of infertility did nothing to increase my faith. Then to go through IVF and DE, both of which are not allowed in my church, only served to raise my ire with the Church.

But in my classes and in my own reading I have come to appreciate certain things about the Catholic Church. I'm not going to get all theological on your ass but I have learned a few things that have helped me come to terms with my Church and my truth. These two things seemed very far apart recently. Now, not quite as much.

One of the key ideas that has helped me is that the Catholic Church does not interpret to Bible literally. There is a very concrete realization that both the Old and New Testaments were oral tradition written down decades (if not centuries) after the fact. Additionally, there is a realization that translations have changed meaning over time. Add to that the fact that these translations cross time and cultures and you have a lot of ambiguity there. What I like about the Catholic Church is this understanding of Scripture. It's still sacred. It's still the word of God but it was written by man and therefor our understanding of it and interpretation of it can change.

While I'm not a monotheist (I'll have to write more about my Native religion sometime) I feel like I can co-exist with a Western Religion.

I was surprised by how powerful the actual sacrament was. Not the 3 hour mass but the 15 seconds with the Bishop was really powerful.

Plus, I was pregnant. I'm not going to lie. I do get a subversive pleasure from the fact that this baby was in my belly when I got confirmed. The Catholic Church is against how this baby was conceived so I take some pleasure in the fact that I had a little hitchhiker along for the ride.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Gather round the Computer kids. It's story time

Let me tell you about the time I crapped myself at work. Twice. In one week. Actually it was twice in 8 days. Consecutive Fridays to be specific.

I was sitting at my desk on an uneventful Friday. Fridays are slimmly populated. Not many people around. No committee meetings. It' s good day to get caught up or sneak out a bit early. The office was pretty-much empty. It was just me so I felt ok letting go of the gas. Why was I so gassy? Well since I was not pregnant I can't use that as an excuse. I wasn't feeling particularly bad. I didn't eat anything out of the ordinary. I have no excuse. I guess I'm just a gassy gal. Anyhow, being all alone I didn't feel it necessary to hold it in.

A little while later one of the staff comes by to introduce the new administrator. I notice that the new administrator kind-of stinks. I think she must have her period or something. Poor woman. And then I noticed that she is wearing white pants. Hmm. Interesting choice for woman on her period. I feel bad for her but understand.

Later I take myself to the bathroom and WTF? What I thought was just gas had a sneaky co- pilot a little more in the liquid/solid category. Not a lot. My sanitary napkin (do they still call it that?....seems like a old-lady term) caught most of it. I was able to clean myself up and left work about 30 mins early.

Not big deal other than the two women who came to my office must have noticed it smelled bad.
"It can happen to anyone", I told myself. Reassured myself that if they did notice they'd probably not remember it. Laughed becasue I thought the stink was coming from someone else when it was really me. Vowed to be a little more careful next time.

A week latter I was up to my old tricks. I thought surely lasts week's incident was an outlier that would not happen again. I was so very wrong.

Again with the nobody in the office except for me. Again with the gas. Had I learned nothing? Well I was about to really learn my lesson.

So I'm farting away and then I feel it. It felt like a huge liquid bubble exploding up the back of my pants. I immediately grab my keys and start to make my way to the staff bathroom. I can feel wetness. Lots of wetness.

I'm trying to hustle but I don't want to run or anything. Don't want to call attention to myself in case anyone could see me. I don't want to be seen running to the bathroom becasue that would be embarrassing. But then I feel it starting to run down my thigh. So I pick up the pace. I see it getting to my knee and now I'm really moving. I rather be seen running to the bathroom than be seen with crap dribbling down my leg. It's an easy choice if you think about it.

Had I been wearing pants like a self-respecting adult I would have been fine but I was wearing shorts. I assure you they were work-appropriate Bermuda shorts. I can totally pull that off but I wont any more because the shorts were ruined and I had the throw them out.

I got the the bathroom just before the shit hit my shoe. It was way too much to clean up. My shorts were completely stained up the back. I used almost all the toilet paper. I did the best I could, went back to my office, closed up shop, and left. I used my very large purse to hide my backside which was very visibly soiled.

My car stunk for days and it took a scrubbing with bleach to get the smell out of the seat.

So that's it. No moral to the story. Nothing redeeming. Not necessarily that funny even. Ok I think it's funny. My family loves these types of stories. I could listen to the time my Dad crapped himself while walking his Greyhound at the motor-home park everyday and not get sick of it. The mental imagine of my Dad running to the bathroom with butt cheeks clenched dragging his dog behind him throws me into fits of hysterics. If you have a Crapped Myself story I'm all ears.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Cleared to Go Off Meds

Here's a happy bit of news. My latest blood test looked great and I am cleared to go off all meds. Progesterone is over 35 so no more suppositories. It's a relief in a numbers of ways. Mostly I know that the placenta is working And that means baby is still alive (in all likelihood).

I still have not gotten the heartbeat on the doppler but I'm still only 10 weeks and realize it could take another week or even two before I hear it. As long as I feel like shit (which I do much of the time) I'm sure everything is fine. I have no rational reason to think the worst. If I can stick to the facts and probabilities I'm fine.

I'm in a training session 9-5 all week so I might be slow to comment but I am still reading.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Not Breathing Easy

They say each pregnancy is different and I am finding that to be true. With Piccolina I was really gag-y and nauseous. With this pregnancy the nausea is not nearly as bad but the gas....Oh the gas. I will have to take before and after pic of my belly for you to fully appreciate the extend of volume I generate throughout the day. In the morning I look normal for a gal who is still in the 1T. By the evening I am so bloated I look 4 months pregnant. So much so that people might actually rub my tummy but the joke's on them becasue they'd probably just jiggle out a ginormous fart. Embarrassing? Yes. But it would certainly cure them of rubbing bellies.

The one symptom that is the same is the sharpening of the sense of small that makes one's stomach quiver. For me, it's not all smells or the usual smells. Coffee? fine. Cream of Mushroom soup? Yes please.

No, for me THAT smell is breath. Not even bad breath (although, good-God if it's bad, Lord help me). It's just breath. And I can smell it. From across a room.

While standing in lines I have to hold my hand over my mouth because I can smell the breath of the person in front of me and the person in back of me. At meetings I can identify the individual breath of every person sitting around the table.

I've developed a coping mechanism. I carry a pack a Trident gum with me and pass it around. Usually a few people take a piece and it seems to help.

OK not so bad. I can deal with some breath every now and then. But here is the part that makes me a little sad. Mr. Peeveme's breath also makes me gag. It's not bad. Like I said: It's breath. And I can smell it. Even minty-fresh breath makes me gag. When I was pregnant with Piccolina I had to finally ask him to stop kissing me on the mouth becasue it made me gag. I felt soooo bad telling him and he was kind-of hurt but I could not take it anymore. Even just a quick peck hello or goodbye was unbearable. It really sucks to not be able to kiss your handsome husband and know you have hurt his feelings.

It looks as though I am getting to that point again. I have not told him. I just keep turning my face a bit so that his sweet, loving, nauseating kisses fall on my cheek. It's so cold. I'm hoping he gets the hint and I don't have to tell him he makes me ill.

Poor Mr. Peeveme. Between my not wanting to kiss him and my horrific gas I'm amazed he still loves me. Ha Ha sucker. You got married for better or worse.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Instant Moron. Just add Wine.

My family are big drinkers. Big drinkers. Mr. Peevme is a very moderate drinker but when bottle after bottle of good wine if being opened he can overindulge when he is with my parents. Man, they are total pushers. Your glass will never be empty. You say you have had enough and they just pour you another glass anyway.

So this X-mas eve after all the siblings and cousins had gone home it was just my folks, Mr. Peevme, Piccolina and I. As you might imagine Piccolina was a little difficult becasue she missed her nap and there was much excitement all day. She fussing and crying and Mr. Peeveme says to my Dad, "Man, we should have gotten a egg donor for the first one".

I just froze. My Dad seems confused and was like, "you mean a sperm donor?". And then I just tried to change the subject. But I was pissed at Mr. Peeveme. Really pissed. Since we were at my parents house I could not even discuss it let alone yell at him.

The next morning Peeveme said he did not remember saying that and, in fact, he barley remembers anything after dinner. He felt pretty bad.

I'm hoping my Dad didn't understand and was too buzzed to even remember. He hasn't said anything to me or to my sister (who knows about the DE).

Geeze, Mr. Peeveme, I'm not even out of the 1st trimester and you're going to blow it now? A secret we have to keep from our parents for as long as they are alive and you are going to blow it in the first few weeks? Seriously?

Plus, we had a little "talk" about how he's not allowed to say stuff like that to our kids (or me) cuz that might make them feel bad. I'd like to imagine a time when they are adults and we can make such jokes but for now let's keep those comments to ourselves.

In his defense I have almost slipped a few times myself. I have actually started a sentence with, "Well, the donor...errrr....I mean Doctor". So slips to happen. It's really hard for me to sensor things since I'm a) pathologically honest, b) a blurter.

I imagine it's not the last time something will slip. I mean, when the kid(s) are young we are going to tell them and they might tell people. But we'll cross that bridge when we get there.

For now Mr. Peeveme vows to be more careful and not get so loaded around my parents.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Dropped of the face of the Earth

Sorry. I have been pretty much incapacitated with pregnancy fatigue and morning sickness for a few weeks. I haven't even checked my own blog let alone any of yours. Hope everyone is doing well. I promise to catch up and comment this week.

I have been vertical as much as possible. Had blood work done to see if I could go off meds. The progesterone is really low. 17.7 and that's with 3 suppositories a day. Plus last week I had two days of feeling fine. No sickness at all. It just makes me nervous all this well-being. I spend a considerable amount of energy trying not to freak out and I have been successful for the most-part. Although I did break-down and have a baby-Doppler overnighted. It should be here tonight. I was hoping/trying to be calm this pregnancy and not get one of those. But let's face it, donor or not, I'm still me and I need some reassurance that she's still alive so a month or two of a Doppler does not make me a total failure at achieving zen. I just know what I need in order to achieve it. I get another blood test next week to see if my placenta kicks into gear.

Ok, back to work for me. I have my evaluation in 2 hours and I have not even started on my self evaluation yet. Crap, I just wrote my goals (for last year) right now. How can I expect my placenta to get up to speed when I'm such a slacker myself?