Friday, October 16, 2009


This is a hard post for me to write. Despite what you might think by reading my blog, I tend to be a very private person. There are things I just don't feel comfortable putting out there for all the world to see, or sharing with people outside my family. But sometimes when you share the good, you have to share the bad as well.

At 12 weeks MM and I opted to have the state testing done for down syndrome. It's a blood test along with an ultrasound. The testing is completely optional, but I had it with both the other kids, so we decided to go forward with it this time, too.

We received the results about a week later and they indicated we were at a high risk for down syndrome; our chances were about 1 in 17. The ultrasound also showed Baby Peanut had a cystic hygroma, which is basically an excess amount of fluid at the back of her neck. All babies have this, but the normal range was 3mm or less, and she had 6.5.

The doctor said he thought the risk was high enough to recommend an amniocentesis, which is basically where they take amniotic fluid through your stomach and test it. He also indicated we were at higher risk for miscarriage.

On September 22 we had the amnio done and about 10 days later we received the results. Baby Peanut had down syndrome. Our doctor had prepared us and we weren't too surprised by that. Although down syndrome is hard, MM and I weren't bothered about having a child with it. We just wanted her to be born healthy and we didn't care about the rest.

Unfortunately, during that appointment, the doctor did another ultrasound and gave us more bad news. The fluid she had at the back of her neck also spread to her chest and abdominal cavities, her heart was asymmetrical in shape and she had water on the brain. At that time he told us it wouldn't be a case of "if" we miscarried, but "when".

A week later, this past Tuesday, we had a follow up appointment and Baby Peanut's heart had stopped beating. Because I was as far along as I was, just a few days shy of being 20 weeks (5 months), I had to go through labor and delivery. MM and I checked into the hospital Wednesday evening and they induced labor.

Baby Peanut was born at 8:58 a.m. on Thursday, October 15, 2009.

Because our doctor was so candid with us, we were able to prepare somewhat, though I don't think you can ever be fully prepared for something like this. We're very sad, of course, but we're glad she's in a better place and won't have to suffer, even for a minute. It's hard, but we believe there's a greater purpose in life and though we can't see how, Peanut was taken for a reason.

We came home from the hospital this morning. I think we're both glad to be home with the kids. We were as open and honest with them as we can be, and they're handling it pretty well. Especially now that we're home and they know I'm ok.

As of right now we both have up and down moments. I expect my online presence will be off and on for the next little while.

We want to thank everyone for their love and support during this difficult time.

ETA: My timeline was off, so I fixed it. This is mostly for myself, please disregard.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Love at 20 vs Love at 30

I remember visiting an author message board years and years ago (just after the RB and I separated, I think) and seeing a thread about love at 20 vs love at 30. The women were talking about their experiences and the differences in how they felt between now and then. Some women had been with the same man all along, but their feelings had matured and grown. Others had had different relationships along the way and felt there was a world of differences between those 10 years.

Their thoughts and comments struck me at the time because I was sort of in limbo then. I had just ended a relationship and had no plans to start another - but the way they talked about love at 20 reminded me so much of myself with the RB it was scary. So it struck a chord and stayed with me, even after all these years.

For some reason I've been thinking about that thread lately. Maybe because I've been feeling kind of homesick and it's bringing up memories from the past.

MM likes to make fun of me for being married to the RB. He just can't believe that I was married to a man who treated me so badly. To be honest, I really can't either. I guess I've always considered myself to be a strong person, but sometimes even strong people get scared. And that's what I was. Terrified, actually.

Sadly, that's pretty much the only reason I stayed with him as long as I did. Not because I was scared of him, but because I was afraid of being alone. Afraid of not being able to make it on my own with a child. Afraid no other man would have me because I had a child. About 6 months after The Girl was born a guy I'd gone to high school with developed a little crush on me. He was several years older than me and I was honestly flattered by the attention. But scared, too. Because I had a kid and I was sure he had no idea. Why would he flirt with me if he did?

The RB and I were off and on quite a bit during that time, though I still thought myself in love with him. I wasn't really looking to start a relationship with anyone else, but the attention was nice. Eventually I mentioned The Girl to him, saying something like, "You know I have a kid, right?" and his reply shocked me. Right down to my toes. He said, "Of course. Everyone does. What does that have to do with anything?" Up until that point, I truly thought no man would want me knowing I had someone else's kid.

I can't really say that was a life changing moment for me. Knowing I was wanted by another man - even with a kid - didn't make me leave the RB or think better of myself. Not then, anyway. Later I would think back and realize I was silly to be so afraid, but at the time I was still so wrapped up in my fears and anxieties I couldn't see anything else.

I know I've said it before, but I was totally content to be alone when MM came along. I wasn't lonely for a man, or feeling like something was missing from my life. I had my children and amazing friends and the support of my family. Sure there were times I missed the physical contact that comes with being in a relationship (and no I don't just mean sex) but mostly I was happy as I was.

Here's the thing - I love MM. A lot. But I could live without him if I had to. Do I want to? No. But I could. If our relationship ended tomorrow it would suck and I'd hurt, but I'd be able to move on with my life. I'd be able to go forward and not feel like my world had ended.

Obviously MM is a better man than the RB, but that isn't the reason. It's because I've grown and matured and I've found confidence in myself. I know I can survive without MM, but I choose not to. Which means our relationship is healthier. My love for him is stronger and more open than it would have been had I not realized the strength in myself.

Not that I didn't appreciate all that angsty love back when, but I think I'll take the love I feel for MM today, thanks.

*Photo credit: Wildflowerafternoons

Monday, October 05, 2009

Quick Update

I got a notice from my blog the other day that it was time to update. The thing is, I've been deliberately avoiding the blog because I don't want to become "that" girl. You know, the one who just whines and complains and says the same shit over and over again? Yeah, her.

I don't really have much of anything new to report. I'm still sick. Since the weather cooled down I don't throw up as often, but I still throw up. And I spend about 95% of my days in a nausea induced fog. Yes, it sucks to be me.

I'm hoping that with winter relief will come, but I'm not holding my breath. I was sick like this with both the other kids for the entire 9 months, so I imagine this time won't be any different. A girl can hope, though.

I don't really have much else to report. MM is fine. He's been doing a lot of training lately, so he hasn't been around much. Which is both a blessing and a curse. The kids are fine, too. They're both back into a normal routine now, so that's a bonus. I'm particularly proud of The Girl, because she's been getting herself up in the morning. That's huge for me, because mornings are the worst. Since she has to be up at 5:30, I'd really struggle if I had to get up with her every day. Instead I keep an eye on her from my bed. It's not the ideal situation, but it's better than the alternative.

We've been having our normal issues with them doing their homework. Little Man keeps fighting me about doing his reading log every day (he's required to read for 20 minutes a night), which breaks my bibliophile heart. He keeps starting books, reading a chapter or two, then setting it aside to start another. All those unread books make me want to cry!

The Girl has tried to pull her old tricks of not doing homework or classwork. Unfortunately for her (and fortunately for me) I now have online access to all her grades, and most of her teachers have email access in the classroom. Which means I stay pretty well informed. My not feeling well has worked to her advantage because I haven't been camped out at her school 5 days a week, but I'm still staying on top of everything via email and phone. That annoys her to no end.

We had an incident with her awhile back where she started sneaking out of the house early in the morning to get ready at a friend's house. Which means she was borrowing clothes and wearing makeup when she wasn't supposed to be. That all ended the day I showed up at the bus stop and made her come home and shower before school started. MM wanted me to go in a bathrobe w/ curlers in my hair, but I settled for pajamas and bedhead. Naturally she wasn't too thrilled to see me. She hasn't tried sneaking out since though, so I guess it did the trick.

Oh, on the good news front: we found out the sex of the baby....

It's a girl!!!

Poor MM was heartbroken, because he really wanted a boy, but he's adjusting. Little Man was in denial about it, but he's slowing beginning to accept. The Girl is, naturally, ecstatic. She wanted a girl right from the beginning. I knew it was a girl, so I wasn't surprised in the least. A mother knows these things (ok, not really, but I did have a feeling and I've been saying so right from the beginning).

I guess I don't have too much else to report. I'm still just plugging along. I'll be sure to let you know if that changes. ;0)

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