Category Archives: Tales in Baby-growing

On Pigs and Shots.

As many of you are probably already aware, I have been debating getting the h1n1 vaccine for several weeks now, since my OBGYN told me (in no uncertain terms) that I’d be receiving one as soon as they become available.

My initial gut reaction was, “Um, no.”

Aside from the fact that the previous swine flu vaccine gave some 500 people Guilian Barre syndrome, and ignoring all your facebook posts that link to anti vaccine  articles detailing the fact that the swine flu vaccine is actually made out of dead puppies’ cancer cells, here’s the thing:

I have an autistic child.  The 10 year old.  She has Asperger’s, which is a form of autism. And you can show me as many reports as you want stating how the MMR vaccine is perfectly safe and there is no evidence whatsoever that it in any way causes autism or pushes predisposed kids onto the spectrum, but you know what?

You don’t know. You weren’t there.

My kid was fine, until she got that shot. After that shot, she stopped talking, walking and socializing and started beating her head on the walls until it was black and blue.

While I don’t know that the shot itself directly caused the Aspergers, I am inclined to think that it’s probably highly likely that in some kids, who are already predisposed, something in the shot can push them over the edge. (Perhaps it was her size- she was one year old and weighed in at  just 18 lbs).  Maybe it was just too much for her system.  Perhaps she just had some gene, that when mixed with an ingredient, just… you know, activated.

It’s very unlikely that you will be able to convince me that this shot was NOT the cause of, or at least trigger for, her issues. (And shit like this does not help my faith in the vaccine industry much.) You can try, and I’m always wiling to listen to and read opinions and studies, but the fact remains: I saw firsthand, the drastic change in my child after this shot, and I am obviously not the only one, or there wouldn’t be all these lawsuits and articles on the topic.

Having said all that, (and having experienced it) I feel I must point out this fact as well, which may seem counter-intuitive to you: I have vaccinated all of my subsequent children.

I waited, until the middle  one was two, hoping that perhaps her immune system would be more mature and her size would make her better able to handle the shots, but she did get the shots. Despite everything, I did it.   (Well, my ex-mother-in-law did it, technically, but I had every intention of doing it.)

The Kid has had all of her shots as well.

Why did I risk it, when I so strongly believe that the vaccine caused my daughters Autism?

Risk analysis. The benefits of being vaccinated far outweighed the risks of possibly triggering autism again. (Or any number of other possible side effects)

So, while I initially cringed at the idea of willingly being injected with a largely  untested vaccine for a disease some claim is mostly hype anyway, I didn’t completely dismiss it out of hand.

Instead I did some research.  After discarding the scare tactics of both the vaccine pushing drug companies and the government conspiracy anti vax-ing sites,  I think I have boiled it down to a few key factors.

1- The people most at risk for serious complications are people who are pregnant, infants under the age of 6 months and people with underlying health conditions.

Right now, I am all three of these things. (Most likely, the immunity would pass to my unborn child) Even though I won’t likely recieve full immunity until after the baby is born, I am still considered high risk because of my health problems.

2- A statistically significant number of pregnant women have, in fact died, as a result of this flu.  They don’t know for sure why, but pregnant woman are much more likely to develop severe complications as a result of this virus. Especially in the third trimester.

3- Perfectly healthy people are dying as well, which is unusual in a flu outbreak.  A healthy, 28 year old woman in my county just died last week

4- I have a kid in public school. Even if I don’t leave the house for the next 6 months, she’s going to bring the flu home to me.

5- The risks of the vaccine, while not completely tested, should be on par with previous seasonal flu vaccines. They are made the same way, with the same haste, every year, and this one is undergoing the same testing, (or lack of) that they received . There is no indication of previous flu vaccines causing birth defects or other issues.

While I am fully aware that something could pop up ten or twenty years from now, the risks to both me and the baby today seem far greater than the theoretical risks of the vaccine.  And when looked at objectively, stepping away from my knee-jerk, emotional “Vaccines gave my baby autism!” gut reaction, even I can see that I should probably get the damn shot.

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More Pregnant Crazy

Sometimes,  I just sit with my hands on my belly. I close my eyes and try to imagine him tossing and turning in there, amusing himself by toying with my various extra organs and playing trampoline on my bladder.

And sometimes I imagine them both.

Him, and his “imaginary brother” -which is what the Kid has taken to calling this spirit baby who won’t seem to leave us.

I try to keep my random thoughts about it to myself, because I really want to just get over it already and move on. (And also, people think I am crazy enough as it is)  It feels silly to still be feeling this way. To still be clinging to this idea that was only there for a few weeks. It’s only hurting me.

I tell myself that my loss is nothing in the face of what others have lost. That I am being silly for still feeling this, for still mourning the loss of something that never really was mine to begin with. For missing the dream that was my twins.

I push it all aside and I get ready for this baby, I focus on reality, but I just can’t stop seeing two of him everywhere I look. Sometimes, I even feel him. Hiccups, back  and low and against my back. Much softer and lower than his. Phantom hiccups.

And everywhere I go now, there it is. In front of me in line at the grocery store is a woman with a perfect circle of belly jutting out. “Wow, any time now,” the clerk comments. “No,” she replies, beaming, “I’m only five months along. I’m having twins.”

At the Zoo, every other stroller is a double stroller with two identical faces peering out at me from underneath the canopy.

Emails that I canceled 20 weeks ago pop up and remind me that “Raising twins is tough” and  that I need to eat more protein. I cancel them again and add them to my spam pile. They keep coming back anyway.

(I realize this is the same phenomena that happens when you are pregnant and suddenly there are pregnant people everywhere, only multiplied. )

Yesterday the kid was playing pregnant. Out she comes, with an oddly shaped lump tucked under her shirt. As I help her ‘deliver’ I see that there are two dolls squished in there, not one. And I sit with them on my belly for too long, until she protests and reclaims them, with a Mommy is weird shrug.

I just nod. Sorry kid. Mommy is a little weird right now. It will get better with time, right?

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28(ish) weeks.

Progress so far:

16 weeks (?)

16 weeks (?)

28 weeks

28 weeks

For reference, here it is again: Excuse the crappy bathroom self portrait.

At least I closed the lid.

At least I closed the lid.

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My brain will come back, right?

I’ve written before about how growing a human being has an uncanny ability to suck out my ability to write coherent blog posts and think coherent sentences. And that hasn’t changed. I have things to write about, sure, but actually getting them written? I sit down and try and my brain says ” Fuck this, lets have pie instead”.

Add to the fact that my laptop is officially dead, at least to the internets, and the chances of me waddling my ass upstairs daily to write posts that won’t make sense to anyone but me are pretty nil.

Seriously, I can’t even play videogames, and they do all the thinking for you. (and we know how much I love my videogames.)

I’ve been reduced to playing with an imaginary farm, and even that, I’m doing in the most uncreative way possible. I plant the same crops on the same field at the same time, every day.  And that’s all I can handle right now.

So when recently prompted to play pretend with my children, the best I could come up with was this:

Sheet house.Here kids. It’s a sheet house.  Yes, I know you have to army crawl to get inside of it.  Yes, I know all I did was tuck a sheet in to the corners of the couches. Why didn’t I at least get a kitchen chair, you ask?

Shut up, that’s why. And bring me pie.

Fortunately the little kids, and a dog, were amused for awhile by this sad attempt. The big one, however, was not fooled, so I turned to my handy dandy parental attention backup.

Rock star in the making.

Go-go-gadget Rock Band.

Thanks to whoever made Rock Band 2 with a “No Fail” setting.  Just… seriously, thanks for that.

Insert creative snarky comment here.

When video games lost the power to amuse, we pulled out the big guns. Amusement parks:

IMG_4455Alright everyone, try not to look like it is 104 degrees. And can’t we put a bigger kid in front of Mommy?

Five minutes later:

IMG_4484Fuck it, it was hot. And getting splashed by people going on the ride is actually wayy more fun than actually going ON the ride, right?

Well, almost: Whee.

If you can, note the facial expressions here.

I spent the entire time waiting for them to get done in the splash zone myself.

Pay no attention to the wet, waddling pregnant woman with the pie.

We didn’t even attempt to do Disney this time around, which is probably a good thing as this was all the lines and people and hotness I we could take.

So then, I used backup number two: Grandma. Grandma took them shopping, and we all trekked to the beach. But since most of those pictures involve me in a swimsuit, which no one needs to see, I will spare you the experience. Suffice to say, it was also hot, plus sandy. And there were some warnings about not swimming, but who listens to warnings?

Obviously not the girl being rescued after having been swept away by undercurrents, as we trekked to the bathrooms afterward.

Despite that, we did have fun.  Despite many conversations that started: We all have sand in our crotch, dear. Just accept it as a reality for now. Think un-sandy thoughts.

When we ran out of money, we resorted to one of the best investments we have ever made, the 99 dollar kiddie pool:

IMG_4514

Hmmn. what was I talking about? Oh yeah… pie.

More later.

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Filed under Rants, Rambling, and Musing., Tales in Baby-growing

Dear World

I’m sorry, I know I have been terribly neglectful these past months.  At first, I just needed some time to internalize and deal with my small tragedies, but then… well, then-the dreaded phenomena known as “pregnant brain” kicked into full gear.

If you have ever been pregnant or known a pregnant person, then chances are, you know exactly what pregnant brain is, even if you do not know the oh-so-scientific term for it.

Have you ever started a sentence only to forget what you were talking about right in the middle?  (Something I am notorious for doing anyway, even un-pregnant) It’s kind of like that except instead of losing a train of thought completely, it just skips to a new track. So many of my sentences start with ” Let’s paint the room…” and end with”Pie!” The result of this is that I can barely think a coherent sentence, let alone write a coherent blog post.

So, we did in fact manage to completely paint the room, after four coats of evil yellow paint. And we did, after much searching, manage to find furniture  and assemble it. So, we are getting there. Slowly but surely.

I just hope I have a brain left at the end of this journey.

Speaking of pie, the kids will be here in just a few incredibly long and slow moving weeks. I can’t wait, and I have no idea if I am ready for this.  And then school starts back up. And somewhere in the middle of all this, the Kid is turning Six.

Almost Six-year-olds are brats. How is it that no one has told me this before? I keep waiting for a stage to pass, and it eventually does, but there always seems to be a worse one waiting. The Terrible Two’s turned into the Bossy Threes which became the Whiny Fours which became the Fearful Fives which, apparently, become the Snotty Sixes.

Is it the same with boys? What the hell am I going to do with a boy anyway?

In case you were wondering: the name of the week is Eli.

See what I mean?

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Filed under Blog related Blog Posts., Rants, Rambling, and Musing., Tales in Baby-growing

16 Weeks.

IMG_4307Apparently, my body didn’t get the memo about there only being one baby in there.  I’m about the size I was at 32 weeks with The Kid.

When my pancreas flares up I tend to look pregnant anyway, so I suspect that is helping some, though surprisingly, I can feel baby from about my navel down.  He is also extremely active. This kid moves ALL the time, (and has been since before 12 weeks, though my Dr’s all think I’m full of shit when I say that.)

Hi, this is my 4th pregnancy, I know what it feels like.

It was light and sporadic at first, but now, it’s almost constant.

Oh, and when I said He? I meant it.

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No words

Yesterday, I found out that one of the babies didn’t make it. I’m not taking it well. Even though it was still somewhat early, I’d grown accustomed to the idea of twins, I’d grown attached to both of the babies.

They tell me these things happen, and its really not in my control, wasn’t my fault. They tell me  at least you’ve got one healthy baby, (which, don’t ever, ever say to anyone who’s lost a twin at ANY stage. Seriously.  Because, yes, one baby lived, but you know what? One didn’t. )

I called my mother to cry and she told me that my stepfathers brain tumor was the bad kind. The say-your-goodbyes now kind. It’s a grade 4 glioma if you care to google.  Even having removed it, the prognosis is very bad.

I’m not taking that well either. I just… feel so helpless about all of it. There’s nothing I can do.

And that fucking sucks.

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Filed under Tales in Baby-growing, Things That Suck