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Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Lightstones - Chapter 16

This book has now been published on Kindle, if you have a Kindle or the Kindle App, please buy my book :-D The Clan Chronicles - Book One - The Lightstones

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

My Natural Miscarriage

Again.

I wanted to do a post on this miscarriage that was also something of a FAQs, because there are three or four questions that continually pop up that women ask when they view my original post by the same name. However, this miscarriage was vastly different than my previous one, so I don't feel comfortable saying that all miscarriages have things in common. I can only tell you what happened to me.

The first most commonly asked question is: What is this foul nasty smell???
- With my first miscarriage, I had a smell like something had died and was rotting. I did a search and found that this smell is quite common and doesn't indicate that anything is wrong. It just means that there is more tissue in there needing to come out. That said, a smell plus fever, aches, chills, nausea, or any other sign of illness can mean that you have an infection and need to go to the doctor to get help.

The second most commonly asked question is: This is what is happening to me, do you think I should go into the doctor?
- As a rule, I tend to be against doctors. That said, if you feel there is the slightest reason to go see a doctor, do it! It really is better to go see a doctor and not need to than to not see a doctor and need to :-)
However, I do caution you to choose a good doctor if you can. I have had a bad experience and a good experience, and I think that the difference was that I was better prepared and more knowledgeable the second time.

Third: Can I use a Diva Cup during miscarriage?
- Trust me, I would LOVE to say yes! However, here's why it's not a good idea: During a miscarriage, you go through a "mini" version of giving birth to a baby. Your cervix dilates and opens up enough to pass the gestational sac and a bunch of large clots. If you wore a Diva (or other menstrual) Cup during the miscarriage, the risk of getting infected goes way up. That's the same reason they also tell you not to use tampons.
But even more than that, during the really heavy stage of the miscarriage, when you might want to use the cup the most, you simply have too many clots and other things coming out that would make the cup useless anyway. You'd have to change it VERY frequently - say more than once an hour. The sheer number of times that you would have to change it - not to mention disinfect it in order to reduce the risk of infection - means that you would soon be sore and uncomfortable. I think you could try it a couple of days later when the flow is more normal, but I personally haven't tried it and no one has reported trying it and whether or not it worked for them.

Fourth most commonly asked question is: I'm having a miscarriage, what do I do?
- Here's what I think helps the most: Painkillers! Don't get me wrong, I tend to avoid all drugs until I absolutely cannot stand the pain any longer, but in this instance, having a heavy duty painkiller - such as vicodin - on hand can really help make this more bearable. I also found it really helpful to have plenty of water and a heating pad on hand. If you already have kids, try to get someone to take them when you realize that your miscarriage has started - or get your man to promise to get them to leave you alone. Watching TV or doing something to keep your mind occupied can help too. Try taking a bath during the most intense part of the contractions. And get as much sleep as you can before the main event starts.

Will it hurt?
- YES!!! I know that if a woman has a miscarriage before about 6 weeks, it's really just a heavier period, and may not be noticeable at all, but both times I had one, my gestational sac measured 7-8 weeks, and I had actual labor and the contractions hurt every bit as much as if a live baby was about to come out. The only difference is that this labor tends to be shorter and not quite as intense.

What does the gestational sac look like?
- It looks a lot like chicken liver to me. Like bits of organ, which makes sense because it is an organ. It's round, and can come out whole. If the water has broken, it can be flat, but my sister said hers came out as a ball. Sometimes, all you see is clots. Big clots that don't look anything like an organ. With my first miscarriage, I had my water break and the flat liver-looking sac come out. This miscarriage, I didn't have my water break and I didn't have anything resembling an organ come out. So, I'm told that the body does actually try to reabsorb what it can, and sometimes all that comes out is clots. I can now see why some women aren't really sure if they miscarried or not.
I was going to try to get a picture of what the sac looked like just to help answer this question, so I was disappointed to find that it had dissolved.

Do you really use just old wash cloths and hand towels as your pads???
- Yep! I gave up using all disposable products when I got my Diva Cup, and now use a big stack of old rags as my back up menstrual pads. I find they work way better!

Here's my experience this time. First of all, I knew going in that because I had a miscarriage before, that I would probably have one again. I didn't let myself get attached to the baby, and so I am not sad that it happened. I made peace with what was going to happen no matter what when I first had a positive pregnancy test. (Although, not going to lie, I was hoping that the baby would reach full term healthy and female, lol!)

Last time, I felt like the doctors and the medical staff were basically ostracizing me. Like they would have all preferred if I could come in, have all the tests and whatever that needed to be done, then go away while they discussed the very sad fact that I had miscarried and then sent me a letter that basically said: You have our condolences.
No one wanted to be the one to tell me what was going on - despite very calm and pointed questions - and all acted like someone else had already told me specifically that I had miscarried. After my ultrasound, the doctor came in and literally said: "So yeah, that's what happened." And I had to ask: "What happened?" I mostly knew because of how hushed and non-talkative the sonographer was, but still, I needed to hear the words said out loud so that I could process them.

THIS time, I had already made my peace, so I told everyone up front that I was okay if I had miscarried and that I would far prefer if they just told me point blank. I told the sonographer that I didn't want the silent treatment. I wanted to see it on the screen (policy states that if there is the slightest reason to suspect that something might be wrong, they do not turn on the screen for the patient to see it). I told her that it would make me feel better to see it even if the baby wasn't moving and had no heartbeat. She complied, and we actually had a pleasant conversation. Just to note, she was the same one who made me feel shunned the first time by having the screen off and not talking to me. She was just following policy, but it hurt way more than the policy makers could ever realize.

I told my doctor not to give me false hope, so he talked to me more plainly than the previous doctor had. Even better, I had a nurse that was willing to just sit and talk with me for over an hour. The tests results were all inconclusive at first, so they kept telling me to continue on as if there was still a live baby in there, but I already knew there wasn't. The baby couldn't be found by the ultrasound, so I didn't get my hopes up, but they kept trying to reassure me that the ultrasound often has problems finding the baby early in pregnancy. It was kind of strange, they were willing to talk to me about the miscarriage, but also wanted me to keep hoping for the best.

I had several HGC (or is it HCG? I've heard it both ways, to be honest) tests, that conclusively proved that I was miscarrying. All I had to do was sit back and wait. It took a REALLY long time! I had the empty sac in there doing nothing - not even spotting - for at least a month after the miscarriage was confirmed. I started to think that I was going to be one of those women who had it calcify and stay in there forever. I even thought that it might be an interesting form of birth control if that happened, lol!

But then it finally happened. It started as mild but fairly regular contractions - about 5 minutes apart. Then they slowly got closer together. When they were at about 2 minutes apart, I went to bed and actually got some sleep. I woke up to some hellishly intense contractions that were about a minute apart, and went to get my vicodin. That's when I realized that I only had ONE left over from my last miscarriage - a year and a half ago. So I called in and asked for a refill on my prescription, and my doctor approved it.

I lay down and literally cried until the vicodin kicked in. I cried because it hurt, and I was grieving the lost baby. I also cried because it really is not fair that a woman has to go through all the pain of labor even when the baby isn't coming out alive. There really should be a biological get out of jail free card!

The vicodin kicked in, and for me, it was a miracle!!! I had been having very intense contractions for over 45 minutes, and then I "popped." The gestational sac must have come out, which is what I mean by popping. It wasn't a sac like I expected, just a bunch of big ugly clots, but immediately afterward, I felt so much better. I could still feel the contractions coming regularly, but they didn't really hurt. I am certain this is the vicodin kicking in, because when it wore of later, the pain returned, though only about 80-90% as bad.

When it returned, I had had no way to go to the pharmacy to pick up my drugs, so I decided to hop in the tub since I was in the bathroom every 2-5 minutes anyway. For me, it was just easier to go to the bathroom and wipe every time I gushed some blood. I went through a LOT of rags, but that's okay because I have like a hundred of them now. I'd estimate that I went through at least a dozen of them just that day.

So anyway, before I decided to hop in the tub, I had been laying in bed watching Lost Girl on my Vita (that I won two years ago in a contest:-) ), and got hungry. I ate some left over turkey that had been sitting out and MAY have gone bad. I regularly eat food that has been sitting out, and never had a problem with it before. (I believe in eating cultured food, and have many other strange food beliefs, lol.) When I was in the tub, maybe it was the temperature of the water, maybe it was the miscarriage, or maybe it was the food, but for some reason, I started feeling flush and nauseous. I made a complete mess in the tub - aside from the blood gushing out - and needed to drain and refill it. As I also could not get up at the moment, I asked my older son - 9 - to come in and get the detachable shower head for me so that I could rinse off me and the tub.

Just so you know, my boys had been twice as heartbroken as I was the last time I miscarried, so I had been hiding the fact that I was pregnant from them so that they wouldn't have to go through that again. They simply thought I was having a bad period. When Gryffin saw that I was also sick, he was an adorable ball of sympathy, getting me the shower head and also trying to help me clean up. He then told Phoenix that I was sick - a RARE event in our house! - and Phoenix - 7 - also agreed to leave me alone unless I needed something.

After the tub was filled with clean water again, my hubby finally came home from helping out friends of ours. He had errands to run, and a VERY important dental appointment that he needed to go to (his one tooth is chipped and needs fixing badly), but when he saw that I was close to passing out and in serious pain, he rescheduled his dental appointment until next month - the earliest they had - and put off the errands until later so that he could run to the pharmacy and get my prescription for me. Aww! I love him so much!

I still felt faint and nauseous, and really was close to passing out. The tub really didn't seem to be helping as much as I hoped it would, so I got out and went back to bed. The good thing about when I am sick, it's just about the only time my body can sleep like a bear. I think it's a survival mechanism, I go to sleep when my body needs to concentrate on fixing what's wrong. So - despite the pain, and with the much needed help of the heating pad - I went to sleep. Hubby woke me briefly to give me a vicodin and some water, and then told me that he was going to make dinner for him and the boys.

I passed back out.

When the vicodin kicked in again, I felt much better and woke up hungry. And since then, I have felt more or less normal. I had cramping and heavy bleeding, but haven't really needed the vicodin much by the next day. I've been waiting for that smell to come pay me a visit, but as far as I can tell, I am almost done bleeding, and there's no smell. SO, I think that is a good sign; that I got all the tissue out already.

The bleeding has finally almost stopped completely. I really think that - just like giving birth to babies - the body learns more about what it's doing during a miscarriage too. So, this time around, it did what needed to be done in the most efficient way possible, That still doesn't make it a pleasant experience, but it's not the end of the world either,

If you are reading this because you have had or are having a miscarriage, I just want you to know that I wrote this to bring comfort. I don't like how talking about miscarriage seems to have become taboo. It makes people uncomfortable, so it shouldn't be talked about - seems to be the popular but unspoken opinion. It's natural and normal and just a part of life. I've had so many women comment on my first post, telling me their stories, that it makes me happy to know that I helped. I'm telling all the nitty gritty details so that others may take comfort in the fact that they are not alone, and also hopefully to answer the "What can I expect to happen during a miscarriage?" question.

Last question I am frequently asked: How long does it take anyway?
- A long time. It can take a month from the time you learn that you are having a miscarriage for it to start, and then after it has, it can take a month or more to finish bleeding. Again, if you have any reason to suspect that something might be wrong, go into a doctor and get checked out. But if everything seems to be fine, just taking forever, take comfort in the fact that it does eventually end. Good luck, and my sympathy. I know it sucks!



Friday, January 17, 2014

Just a Little Rant

Recently, I posted to my Facebook that we had a tragedy, our guinea pig died. Most of the people who responded were sympathetic, and then there was one response that made me almost see red. It's not often that I see red!!!

Here's a little background, I am a very live and let live kind of person. I can generally ignore when people are insulting me. I happen to know that this person wasn't trying to be mean or insult me, she was simply trying to offer sympathy in HER own special way. I really tried to shrug it off, but...

I am also really emotional from this miscarriage right now.

In any case, I bit my tongue and vowed to just ignore her. But now it is a few days later, and I still have an urge to wring her neck!!! Why?

Well here's what happened. My boys told me that they wanted to give Moe (the guinea pig) a bath, and since they have given him one before, I had no problem with this. I knew they knew how to wash him without hurting him.

A little while after they started bathing him, they decided to add a little more water to the tub to see if he could swim. As it turns out, he can! This was really cool. The boys got it on video and showed it to me, and he looked really happy. I thought to myself: "Hmm, maybe we finally found a good way to give him some exercise."

See the video for yourself:

video

So, after seeing this video, I made a decision to let the boys continue to let their pet swim. Mind you, from where I am currently sitting (and where I was sitting at the time) I can see into the bathroom. I just have to look over my left shoulder and it's like 10-15 feet away from me. So I could see them the entire time. Plus, the boys had a camera and were giving me continual updates.

At one point, I heard them say: "Hey, let's put a little more water in the tub and see if Moe can dive." And a little after that, I heard them say: "Oh no! Smoke came out of Moe and he sank!"

I rushed to the bathroom to find my boys crying and holding Moe. "We think he's dead!" I immediately took the poor little guy into my hands and tried to massage the water out of him. I alternately pumped on his chest and then blew air into him through his nose with his mouth closed. I have seen animal CPR done, but never had to do it myself before.

I worked on him for a good 10 minutes because he would twitch in a way that made me think that it might eventually work, but alas, no. He was well and truly dead. My poor boys were wailing in grief, and rightly blaming themselves for killing him. This broke my heart.

You see, I originally got them a pet because I wanted them to learn responsibility. I wanted them to learn to take care of an animal, and to learn love and compassion, and.... Well, I knew that at some point, the animal would die. I wanted them to have to experience death BEFORE it happened to someone they really love - such as my mom, who has heart problems, a pacemaker, and may or may not die any time. She's doing well, so it's not a big worry, but it will happen someday.

I figured that this guinea pig would live more or less happily with us for a few years, and then pass away quietly in the night. He would be a literal and figurative guinea pig in that my boys would be learning so much from him. How to care for him. How to play with him. How to deal with death when the time came.

Never once did I expect this to happen! And worse, my boys really did kill their beloved pet, so how do I help them deal with this??? It was a challenge, but I explained that I believe in reincarnation, and that I fully believe that Moe will get to live again. Maybe he'll be a daddy guinea pig with lots of happy babies in his next life. Maybe he'll be a cat. Maybe he'll decide to be a ghost and haunt us for a while. The possibilities are endless.

Eventually, my boys calmed down. Gryffin jumped on my possible explanation of: "Maybe Moe was old and that's why he couldn't dive as well. Maybe it was just his time to go, and it happened at the same time as you were teaching him to swim." To assuage his guilt. He tells himself that while yes, he caused Moe's death, it was Moe's time to go because he was old.

Rationalization at it's best, I guess. My hubby has explained that it was an accident, and that has helped them too. Even so, it has been a sad week in our house.

So, getting back to this woman and her comments, she wrote something along the lines of: "Well if you had been supervising them, this easily preventable accident wouldn't have happened. Next time, don't assume that they know what they are doing with such a vulnerable creature, and supervise them closely. At least it won't cost very much to replace him."

I tell you, I literally saw red!!! I mean she is blaming ME because I wasn't hovering over my boys every second. I already stated that this was THEIR pet, and that they had learned how to bathe him. So why the hell did I need to hover over them. I ALSO stated that they had been bringing me updates and video clips of what was going on. I WAS EFFIN' supervising them!!!!!

How dare she sit back on her high horse and tell me that I am to blame because I let my boys play with their pet?!?! Like I don't have enough to deal with trying to explain life and death to my boys without her telling me that - in essence - I am a bad mom for trusting my boys to play with their pet on their own with indirect supervision.

ARGH!!!!

Deep breathe........ and release...

Okay, I am better now. Rant over. Just had to get that off my chest.

And in the meantime, my hubby and I have agreed that if we get them another pet, it'll probably be a teddy hamster because they are big enough not to get lost in our house, but still small enough to fit in one of those exercise balls and roll around the house. Plus, when we have to travel to the cities and back, it'll be easier to use a small carrier.

It probably won't happen for a while, but it probably WILL happen, because we have everything we need to care for a hamster already, even a ton of bedding, just not the right food. So, it just makes sense to get one.

OH! And possibly the only ray of sunshine on an otherwise dark day was - when my boys were begging for their pet to live - Gryffin actually said this: "Dear God please! I'll do anything! No wait, Mother Nature! Dear Mother Nature, please let Moe live, Please?!?!" This is a bright ray to me because I do believe in the forces of Mother Nature, and that she would be the appropriate deity to ask for this particular favor. So it means that Gryffin is listening and learning.

However, I did have to explain to him that no God can bring something back to life once it is truly dead. They then kept asking me if this God or that God could (Can Loki? Can the Grim Reaper?) Until it was clear to them that dead is dead. But remember, I did also explain reincarnation, so death is not so bad as it sounds at first.

Anyway, thanks for listening to my rant, and have a happy day :-)
Roxanne

Friday, January 10, 2014

Always

It feels like I have loved you my entire life.

Not love like Romeo and Juliet

Love like a sister loves her brother.

I miss you every day

I wish for you only the best

I pray for your happiness

I dreamt about again the other night.

In my dream, everytime I have ever written a note to you in my diary, you knew.

You also responded to my notes by writing ones of your own.

So, in the dream, you gave me an envelope of responses

Reading them made me cry!

I was so happy!

I'll take that as a sign from the Gods that you are doing well :-)

Love ya!

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