Sunday, 19 September 2010

Farewell to our little brown dog.

So to top off this hellbound week, we made the decision to have Freya, our dachshund, euthanized on Saturday.  We've actually been emotionally missing her since mid-July as she just came back from a pee break holding one foot up.  Then it became two and we thought she had injured the second by overcompensating for the first.  And then the injury switched feet and we knew something wasn't right.  The x-ray showed nothing obvious except some yucky bladderstones and a bladder infection which we treated for a month.  The next step was an MRI at the University of Guelph in the thousands of dollars.  Our wise vet said that there was no sense going for the MRI if we weren't going to go for the expensive surgery as a result.  Well after spending all our money moving to Elora this year, we didn't have the means or the will to do this.  We tried Prednisone, a drug that I've taken for my arthralgia, and it made an immediate difference for about 2 weeks and then she became a lump again.  We have literally been carrying her outside to the grass and helping her to get into position to pee, and then bringing her back inside again all summer long.  Finally, we tried some heavy pain killers this week, but they just put her in a trance.  She was forgetting to even indicate that she needed to go outside, and Tim found her on more than one occasion lying in a puddle of her own urine.  Finally, I knew I had to make the decision.  I think Tim knew it was coming long before I was ready to admit it, but we decided that her life was no longer of any quality.  Whether it was a spinal injury or a stroke or some kind of tumour pressing on nerves, we'll never know.

On Saturday morning, we dug up a flowering tree from our front yard, and dug a new bed for it in the backyard.  The procedure took all of 10 seconds.  I still can't believe how quickly it happened.  An IV was inserted into her paw and then she was given an overdose of anaesthetic.  Her heartbeat stopped without even a whimper.  Freya's body is buried under the hydrangea tree, with a blue Rose of Sharon and an autumn-blooming sedum. The September blooms will always remind me of her.

I miss her cuddly little personality and her strange Easter island begging stance.  I miss her greeting me at the door after a hard day and I miss taking her for walks. The time that we really began to depend on each other was when Tim was at teacher's college at Nipissing in North Bay.  I was living in an apartment with Freya in Erin and teaching English in Brampton.  Freya and I walked twice a day and cuddled all night.  After work, I would often Skype Tim, and whenever Freya heard his voice, she would start to cry and howl.  So adorable.  She has always had the same reaction to anyone in our parents or Tim's parents, anyone who has ever puppy-sat for us. 

Freya is Thor's wife...a very grand name for a very small dog...the reason we have the word Friday is that it's Freya's day.  Freya was a gift to my husband for his birthday right after our first miscarriage.  This week she will always remind me of my second.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Putting the Maternity Clothes away again

Yesterday during a routine ultrasound, at 8-ish weeks, I found out that I'm not carrying a baby....just a yolk sac.  My body thinks it is pregnant, and it kinda started out that way, but it isn't continuing.  The technician said that the ultrasound picture looks exactly the same way it did 3 weeks ago....just an empty circle that should have a zygote growing in it, but it doesn't.  So I'm experiencing what's called a "Missed Miscarriage".

The doctor says that 1 in every 5 pregnancies ends in a miscarriage.  Well this is my 4th and so far I'm batting 2 out of 4.  I'm to wait a week and see if my body takes care of itself by expelling the pregnancy remains.  I haven't started bleeding yet, my abdomen is still swollen and my breasts still hurt.  In 1 week, they'll give some drugs to induce the miscarriage, and if that doesn't work, then a D & C will be performed.  I'll do just about anything to avoid the D & C.  If that happens, I'll need to be knocked out first.

I had a miscarriage before Max, which started with bleeding.  Then my sore breasts started to leak milk.  I hope that doesn't happen again.  It took 3 weeks to do it myself, but it wasn't painful and it was really just like having a really long period.  If we get to the point where drugs are needed, it's usually much more abrupt and painful.  Sigh.

Hopefully Tim and I will try again around Christmas time.  That's our luckiest time because that's when we conceived Max.  So I'm putting away the maternity clothes and baby stuff to a closet I don't go in very often and trying to move on.  I'm reading a book called: "Unspeakable Losses: Understanding the Experience of Prenancy Loss, Miscarriage and Abortion".  It says:
"Perhaps the utter powerlessness implied by the loss of an unlived life is simply unacceptable.  It may be too great a reminder that despite all the modern-day medical miracles that have both extended the human life span beyond what was thinkable even a few generations ago and virtually assured the survival of even the tiniest premature baby -- despite all the control over life that we have gained -- death is our common destiny.  ....If you cannot name your experience you cannot have any real closure, and you end up with an emotional, psychological, spiritual dangling.  People carry enormous, unrecognized grief for decades." 

Blogging, knowing that I can write about these triumphs and failures, is really therapeutic and appeals to the extroverted introvert in me.  Perhaps in sharing my grief with you in a public but silent way, I'm able to know that you're there for me without overwhelming me. 

I feel foolish....foolish that I told everyone, because I now have to untell everyone. Lots of good friends and colleagues had started  giving me baby stuff and maternity wear. I am so sad because I had already started planning my time off alone with my new baby.  I have been able to walk Max to the school bus for the last two days and pick him up again and nothing gives me more joy.  I need to become independently wealthy so that I can stay home.  I'm living the dream today as I clean my house and finish preserving the vegetables in my garden.  I'm going to pretend to be a kept woman and nest.  And try to go back to work tomorrow.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

It's Happening!

Well dear readers, it's happening.  I'm pregnant!  I could get really precise and tell you that it happened about day 17, July 30th, and that the last date of my period was July 14th, but I want to bore you with the gory details.  The predicted due date is: April 19th, 2010.  The amazing thing about this pregnancy is that I feel WHAM! pregnant....tired, bloated, swollen and extremely ecstatic.  So the year of the tiger roars job, new house, and new baby.  Fascinating.

So my thyroid is completely out of whack which has got my family doctor and endocrinologist wringing their hands....the fertility clinic doubled my dose back in June and hey, I'm pregnant, but now the level is dangerously close to moving from hypothyroid (underactive) to hyperthyroid (overactive).  So we're experimenting with dosage a bit.  My new pharmacist in Fergus is really wondering what the heck is going on when I came in for the 3rd time this week with a new prescription.  I'm so special!

What feels good?  Aquafit.  Only at 7 weeks-ish pregnant, I'm already finding that my tankini is turning me into a muffin top.  So I went shopping!  Big mistake....Thyme Maternity, I spent $210 on 5 items.  So I posted for help, and a dear reader told me about Smitten where I bought 12 more items of maternity for just $140.  Much much better....ok they're gently used, but who cares!  I don't want to get bored with my maternity wear, and I am wearing a lot of hats these days.  A girl has to look her best at all times!

So Max, almost 6 now, knows about this impending sibling.  He has informed me that it's going to be a brother.  I showed him my belly this morning and said "Hey Max, do you want to say good morning to your baby brother or sister?"  And he said, "Can I see him?  Is he upstairs?"  So we'll have to work on explaining the whole 9 months thing with wee Max.  Also, I need to prepare him for how noisy new babies can be....if he was upstairs, we'd probably know it!