1000 Miles for 2014: March

March wasn’t as frigid, and even though Day Light Savings Time stuck me I’m the dark for a little bit, I was able to log 108 miles. Im now ahead of the pace bunny with 270.7 miles for the year so far. It feels good that, despite everything, I’m still on track with my New Year’s Resolution.

Keep running my friends!

Devastated

Today was cold and rainy, much like my mood.  It was tiresome, it was painful and heart wrenching.  You could say it was the worst day of my life.

Hubs and I got up at 5am and it was still very dark.  We warmed up the car and carried our three sleeping children wrapped in their coats out to their car seats.  After a stop at the gas station for a fill up and some Dunkin’ we were on our way to Bridgport for a belated 9 week ultrasound.  The sun was up once we finally got there, but couldn’t be seen behind the thick layer of clouds.  I trudged into the fertility clinic for the last of my monitoring before I’d officially be turned over to regular OB care.  (Hubs and kids were with me because the drive without traffic was an hour and a half.  Hubs had a meeting at work in a few hours he couldn’t miss, so I would have to drop him at work after my appointment and then fight Hartford traffic back home myself.)

I was the first appointment of the day at 7am sharp and was ushered into the small room right away.  The technician went to work right away on my exam.  But she quickly swiveled the monitor out of my view and I watched her crystal clear blue eyes searching and scanning in vane.  She moved the ultrasound wand and tried various pressures.  She wouldn’t look at me, but I knew.  There wasn’t a heartbeat any longer.  She removed the wand as she apologized profusely.  Back in the waiting room she took my fertility clinic’s contact information as well as my OB’s. She apologized and fumbled a hug.

I let go in the stair well on my way down to the car and my awaiting family.  How could this be?  What happened? How on Earth would I tell them after everything they had been through?  I hadn’t intended on being emotional, but the frustration took the form of hot, stinging tears.

Once I finally got home I first called my OB to get a message to my doctor.  He called me back within 10 minutes and told me his receptionist would call me later to set up an appointment because he wanted to see me as soon as possible.  Next I called my contact person at the surrogacy agency.  I was told not to call the parents since that would be done by the fertility clinic.  I was told not to worry, it wasn’t my fault, and that miscarriages are very common.  After we hung up, I called the clinic and told them what happened.  By now I had an appoint with the OB for later in the day. The nurse reiterated what my agent had told me and said to go to the OB and update her once I got home.

Sigh.  Throw some laundry in the washer, make some lunch for the kids, wash hands and faces, and rush my four year old to preschool all while charging my phone and staying close in anticipation of more calls.

The OB’s office was understanding, and I was very thankful they were willing to see me on such short notice.  I had assumed I was getting another ultrasound, but instead he only talked to me about signing paperwork to consent to a D & C.  Blindly I signed and set it up, then bundled two of my three kids back out the door so I could rush to pick the third up from preschool.

I spent the day in a fog as well as shivering from both the damp cold and the shock.  I really wanted it to be wrong.  I really wanted a second opinion.  While I knew it wasn’t my fault, I felt it had to be something or someone’s fault.  I searched Google with as many different combinations of key words as I could come up with.  No one could give me an answer except that it happens.  It’s normal.  It’s common.  1 in 5 pregnancies end in miscarriage while mothers over 40 (like my intended mother and her eggs) have a 1 in 2 chance.  Oh, and there isn’t anything that can be done to prevent it.

Finally after supper I was able to have a conference call with one of the nurses from the clinic and the parents’ interpreter, Wayne.  She told us that the fetus had measured 8 weeks and 4 days, so it ceased about a week ago.  I was told to end my injections and go ahead with the D & C, however the clinic was requesting that after the fetus be tested (I think for chromosomal abnormalities).  Again, we were told it was no one’s fault and that it “just happens”.

After the nurse left the three way call, Wayne’s voice took on a different tone.  He started asking questions about what I had been doing in the past two weeks; how much had I been lifting, did I fall on anything, how much was I running, and were Hubs and I being sexually active.  I knew what he was doing.  He told me just how pissed off and upset the parents were (completely understandable).  Then he said he wasn’t going to make conclusions until the results came back from the fetal test.  If it turned out to not be my fault after all, then they would discuss a second try.

While it did hurt my feelings that their grief was being taken out on me in such an accusatory way, I did understand the immensity of their loss and could not take it personally.  They need to be alone to deal with their loss in their own way, just as I need to be alone to deal with it in my own way.  We agreed to not contact until after the D & C procedure.  Hopefully next week we will have a few more answers and will be able to move on to the next step.

Outlander

 

 

My mother gave me the Diana Gabaldon Outlander series books for Christmas several years ago.  I was intrigued by them, I loved them on my shelves, but quite honestly I was a bit intimidated by them. They were large, and heavy, and well, there are seven of them (at this time I believe an eighth installment has been released, but I don’t yet have a copy). At the time I received them, I only had one child & I thought I had a full plate then.  Now that I have three, reading epic volumes just doesn’t happen anymore.  But, my mother kept asking if I’d read them yet, they were calling out to me, and I really needed something for my eight hour plane ride. So, I decided to grab the first book in the series and give it a go. imageOk, so right there on the front cover it reads; “Discover the New York Times best selling saga that has enthralled millions.”  It’s a popular novel and well, everyone I know who has read it has loved it.  To make things clear, I do not typically read NTB list books, nor do I participate in cult followings of books.  This read was an exception, and sadly, not a pleasant one.

The novel is about a young English woman on a holiday in Scotland with her husband who inadvertently stumbled through some type of time portal at one of the stone henges and finds herself thrown back roughly two hundred years in an untamed Scottish countryside, on the run from Redcoats, and married to the gallant young Jamie Fraser.  The story is fantastical, historical, inspiring, enrapturing.  Truly, the story is great.  The novel on the other hand; not so much.

First of all, NO ONE TOLD ME IT WAS A ROMANCE NOVEL! I do not read romance novels and would have never bothered with it had I known.  The story it’s self is so great that I was honestly thrown for a loop when I got to the first sex scene.  But, I figured it made some sense in context and moved on.  It was when I had gotten to the third and fourth sex scenes that I became incredibly annoyed.  These two characters engaged in awkward sexual relations at strange and awkward times.  Their encounters are unbelievable and entirely unnecessary.  Not to mention the repeated attempted rape.  And why oh why is there a “passionate” sex scene immediately after the two escape & kill an attempted rapist?!  I’m sorry, but if I had to fight off a rapist & then kill him, I would not then turn to my husband and get it on right then & there in the middle of the woods.  It may simply be my prudish nature, but I also felt that the sex distracted from the story more than it helped it.  Instead of moving the plot forward, I felt that it was temporarily halted so that the writer could blurt out some weird fantasy.  Even the perverted sexual molestations and rapes aren’t really necessary to the over all plot.  Jamie would still be a wanted man, Randall would still be a heinous bad guy, Clair would still be the savior without it all.

Like I said earlier, I found the story brilliant.  Ms. Gabaldon is an excellent story teller with a knack for reeling in her reader and keeping them hooked.  However, there are details through out her tale that bothered me as a reader.  First of all there was the timeline.  In one paragraph Clair has been married for three months, in another six months, then the next page she mentions that they’ve only been married a year.  Then, even though the reader is following nearly every move she ever makes including eating, sleeping & not bathing, we are suddenly from six months to BAM, a year has gone by. And it’s Christmas time, even though the novel began in the Spring.  So…yeah.  It was confusing and annoying trying to figure out how much time had passed and not knowing if it was important or not.  There are other slips in time in regards to a pregnancy.  The pregnant woman says at one point she has only a few weeks left until the birth, but then several months later it is implied that when she goes into labour it’s early.  There is also a gathering taking place and the October sunshine is mentioned at the beginning of the day before the event begins.  However, at the end of the chapter, after the event and at the end of the same day the mid-November skies are mentioned.

A few other odd details threw me off here and there; a character is in the throws of labour with her second child, but it is not progressing and she is in pain.  Clair, who knows nothing about pregnancy or babies suggests that the baby has not turned.  Only then does the midwife turn the baby between contractions and it is born without further complication.  Having had three children I have an issue with this. 1. Why didn’t the mother, let alone the midwife know before labour that the child hadn’t turned?  When I was 36 weeks I knew my daughter (third child) was transverse and that I was running out of time to turn her. Luckily I was able to do it myself.  2. I honestly don’t believe it is as easy as simply pushing down on the abdomen to turn an unborn child, especially at term.  There isn’t much room in there and contractions would have made it impossible.  Sorry, but to this reader it was unnecessary drama that is just a wee bit unbelievable.

Another thing; if Clair is considered old at 28 in terms of not yet being married or having children yet, then why doesn’t Jamie’s sister Jenny, who is at least ten years older than him (making her at least 33) have more children, or at least older children? When we meet her she has a two year old son & is pregnant with her second.

At the end of the novel I became annoyed with the writer.  Instead of SHOWING the reader or simply telling the action as it happened, she felt compelled to skirt around it and then retell it in a (rather boring) series of dialog.  I was irritated at two things by this 1. I felt that the writer wanted to write about something riske, something “wrong” and obscene, but really didn’t have the guts to just do it.  She couldn’t go that far and had to deliver the information in a softer way, and a recount is softer and less emotional than the actual action.  I think she was wussing out.  2. I felt as if she were treating the readers as if they were dumb and couldn’t infer some of the information on their own.  When she skipped over certain events, it was pretty evident what had happened by the REACTIONS of the characters, even out it being spelled out.  However, she still felt the need to circle back, more than once mind you, to retell and drive home the details.

Yes, there are a lot of discrepancies that I could pull out of this novel, but I haven’t the time nor can I remember them all.  And I don’t blame it all so much on the writer.  On her Website she does state that the first novel, Outlander was written for herself and not meant to be seen.  She called it a “practice novel” to see if she really could write a book and if it was a passion she really wanted to quit her job for and peruse.  However, enough people were able to convince her to go for publication.  I do have to say, not bad for her first novel!  What is majorly lacking in this whole endeavor is a good editor. Or maybe some good old fashioned proof reading.  I’m sure that a decent editor and a close read through would have picked up (and corrected) the numerous foibles throughout the novel.  While I can forgive her for the story’s sake (I guess I should cut her some slack since it was her first), I just can’t help but feel that some other people who were involved in the making and publishing of this book seriously dropped the ball.

All in all, the story is great, but the telling of it could be much better.  While I was annoyed and even angered at some points, I will read the next book in the series since Amazon reviews have insisted that it does get better.  So, since I already have the books, I will try the next one.  But I am going to go into it with a bad taste in my mouth.

Two Months Pregnant!

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Here I am at eight weeks. Yep, I’m getting bigger, slowly but surely, I am getting bigger.

The Side Effects are Kicking My Butt

I’ve been lazy lately; lazy with keeping up with my posts, lazy with making dinner (my kids have been eating the likes of fish sticks, mac & cheese, and pizza for several days in a row now), and lazy with house keeping (I haven’t made my own bed in a week).  But I’ve been so incredibly, ridiculously, painfully TIRED for weeks now.  It’s one of those deep seated fatigues that a nap won’t touch and not even 8 solid hours of shut eye can shake.  And I’m not allowed to self medicate with Red Bull.

I’ve been taking the hormone injections for about two months now, and while initially I didn’t experience too many side effects, I am realizing now that they are indeed catching up with me.  Sure, the Lupron injections in the abdomen weren’t too bad, however, the daily shot in the rear of Progesterone and the bi-weekly shot of Delestrogen are very hard on the body.  Drugs.com has a rather daunting list for both drugs, and unfortunately for me, I am beginning to experience a lot of those side effects.http://www.drugs.com/sfx/progesterone-side-effects.html

http://www.drugs.com/sfx/delestrogen-side-effects.html

The ones I’ve been dealing with as of late are as follows:
*chest pains/angina
*chills
*cold or flu-like symptoms (This hit the hardest shortly after we got  back from CA for the transfer. I thought I either got the flu from someone, despite my flu shot, or was dealing with a reaction to a spider bite. Turns out it was my nightly butt-jabbings!)
*persistent crusting of the nipple (yup, as sexy as it sounds)
*bloating & weight gain
*confusion
*diarrhea
*dizziness, especially when standing up
*headache
*hives (only happened once, thank goodness…thought it was a spider bite!)
*irrational irritation
*itching (EVERYWHERE!)
*joint pain, stiffness
*nausea
*numbness or tingling in arms or legs
*pounding, rushing or ringing in the ears
*pelvic discomfort, aching or heaviness
*sweating
*tightness in the chest
*unusual tiredness or weakness
*breast pain or tenderness
*changes in behavior (hahahahahahaha, *weep*, ROAR)
*depression
*muscle or joint pain
*runny nose

I know, impressive list, right? Thankfully I don’t experience everything all at once or all the time.  I think I would die.  But, what gets to me the most are the muscle & joint pain, the headaches, extreme fatigue, and depression.  I’m sure a lot of it feeds into each other (which helps bring out the irrational anger later). The worst part about dealing with it all, especially the depression part of it, is that I know it’s all just a side effect: my feelings, thoughts, reactions, even pain aren’t really real.  And that is frustrating because it all FEELS so damned real.  I’m experiencing a real sadness or anger toward something that seems like it has a legitimate root cause (namely my husband), but I know deep down that I’m not really upset…that I wouldn’t feel this way or be thinking these thoughts if I weren’t taking these drugs.  And my body pains–some days it’s hard to accept that nothing is wrong, nothing is causing them, and nothing is going to make them go away until my course of drugs is complete.  Telling myself this helps, sometimes.  And sometimes reminding myself that I’m a Scot, therefore I can withstand anything helps.  But, sometimes I can barely move & throwing a frozen pizza in the oven is a huge ordeal.  Sometimes I just go to bed really angry & try not to cry.

As much as it truly sucks, it will end.  I will be ten weeks on March 29th and at that point my placenta should be substantial enough to support the baby without the use of these hormone injections.  It is almost over!

Perhaps the saddest part about this whole drug ordeal is that it is making me really think about whether or not I want to do future surrogacies.  While some days it’s a real struggle both mentally & physically, I know I can handle it. I can get though it.  But subjecting my children and husband to it is another thing.  Even though I’m the one carrying the baby, they are the ones carrying me & I’m not entirely sure their shoulders can hold so much for so long.  The side effects of the drugs effect everyone involved, including the surrogate’s family and friends.  And, while it’s only about three months worth of hormones, it certainly feels like an eternity!

 

 

1000 Miles for 2014: February

February was a tough month for running.  After the transfer I had to take about ten days off from running until my blood tests confirmed the pregnancy.  While I was ahead to begin with, I quickly fell back.  Then after the blood tests were confirmed I became very ill.  It was almost like the flu, except I didn’t have a fever and my joints were stiff and felt like they were burning from the inside. I was beyond tired and miserable.  I also had two very large spider bites on my right hip…I think they might have been involved.  So, between the embryo transfer and being ill, I was couched for two solid weeks.  Pulling my mileage back in front of the pace bunny required some moderate daily mileage and no rest days.  The wind chill has dipped back below zero once again, and my head congestion hasn’t fully cleared out yet, but I managed to actually do it.

I have completed the second month with a YTD total of 162.4, that’s 2.5 measly miles ahead of the pace bunny.  Check it for yourself (hint: I am user mazyfive)!
RunningAHEAD YTD

One Month Pregnant!

One Month Pregnant
Now, I know it doesn’t show yet, but I’m a month pregnant!  (Actually, I forgot to post this earlier, so really, as I write this, I am 5 weeks and 3 days pregnant…but you get the point.) Now, I know I’m not really that pregnant; after all, I know exactly when I conceived this child (February 6th at 11:45am), making me only 2 weeks and 5 days along, but the estimated due date is still based off my last known period, giving me an extra two weeks.  I know…weird and a bit confusing.  A lot of things are weird and a bit confusing when it comes to pregnancy though.

One Month PregnantI am happy to report that for now I am still symptom-free.  Even though all of my pregnancies were fairly easy, none of them were exactly alike, and I am well aware that symptoms can come out of the blue.  AM was only a wee bit of nausea, but lots of food cravings and fatigue.  IM was blissfully symptom-free.  Sometimes I’d forget I was pregnant until I caught a glimpse of myself & large belly.  RM, the girl, came with never ending mood swings, nausea, morning sickness, and sore backs.  Perhaps having another boy will be easy!