Saturday, December 13, 2008

So long inbetween posts these days. I'm having a hard time with this blog again. Seems like I should give it up since I can't keep it up, but I can't quite bring myself to do it. That same set of circumstances once led to an eel escaping into my house, but that's a story for another time.

So, what have I been doing instead of blogging? Working. Baking. Having hard conversations with my husband about how much longer we stay on this baby making joyride when both of us are already so worn out from a year of sadness and disappointment. Trying not to think about possibly having to say the words. "That's it". "We're done".

I am okay. I am really okay. Most of the time.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I've been away awhile

So, after 4 weeks of bleeding plus some really scary drugs, I am no longer testing positive for pregnancy. Now I just have to wait to have a period before we start again. The never ending merry go round of pain.

I keep reading stories online of people who have what I have, and have started the heparin therapy and then had healthy babies after multiple losses. I don't know why I believe it won't happen to me. Maybe because the Kraken was born without any intervention, or any complications during pregnancy. Maybe because I'm tired of being told "next time it will be fine". Maybe because my biggest fear is simply that I've missed my window and that at 38 it is too. damned. late.

We'll deal with this after Christmas. I don't think I can process it now.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Forty days and forty nights

Okay, so it's only been 10 days and 10 nights of bleeding nonstop, but it's starting to feel like longer than that. At least (at the risk of being graphic) it's no longer like the parting of the red sea when I stand up, and it's down to a more manageable level, by which I mean I can leave the house for more than an hour. Okay, no more biblical references.

This is the miscarriage that would not end. I took the Cytotec on Saturday AM at 9, and by 4 PM tonight had happened. By 5 I was wondering if it ever would. By 11 I wasn't sure I'd ever be able to go to bed. By Sunday AM it was relatively under control, but it's still worse than the worst period I've ever had. Nothing like an all day, constant reminder that I'm not pregnant anymore.

At least i know my hormone levels are dropping. I know this from the raging headache that tylenol cannot keep at bay, and that I refuse to take percoset for because I refuse to give up my gin and tonic. If I'm not going to have a baby, I'm at least going to have a drink, dammit.

I promise that soon I will get another topic. This is just a little all consuming at the moment. This is the fourth baby I've said goodbye to in this calendar year.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Another day, another disaster

Turns out it wasn't a blighted ovum after all. Fetal pole and yolk sac present, which means real baby, who had a real shot at making it. My doc's best guess now is that the baby died at 6 weeks or so, quite possibly due to a clot from my fabulous little disorder. By the time my other doc caught the report from the lab from August and got me on the heparin, the baby was already gone.

I don't know whether to be angry that it got missed, or relieved that even I don't have luck bad enough to lose one randomly with this other mess going on.

And does anyone else think it's shitty that the patient leaflet with the medication they give you to induce miscarriage at home has "DO NOT TAKE IF PREGNANT" in biiiiiig letters at the top?

Monday, November 3, 2008

I hate my memory

August 21.
December 26.
June 14.

These are the dates I have memorized. These are the dates my children should have been born.

This is getting a little more difficult now that all the family is out of the house. So, I think I'll watch Sweeney Todd tonight. Johnny Depp is the cure for many ills. If not the cure, at least the equivalent of an intravenous shot of benadryl.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Okay, now I get it about the cramping. I never had that with the other two losses, but I sure as hell do now. In a way, I am almost grateful. At least if it is going to be definitive, I don't have to wait until Thursday to get told that it is definitive. I can go ahead and grieve, and figure out what to do next. I only wish tomorrow was not the Kraken's 4th birthday party - that has the potential to get complicated.

I told a friend earlier this evening that I wonder now how many tragedies my own parents hid from my eyes when I was a child. The Kraken is blissfully oblivious as she races around the house with her cousin, no idea that the sister or brother she wanted is quietly ebbing away.

Three strikes....probably.

I started bleeding and passing small clots at around lunchtime. I am on hold with the OB department now waiting for the doc on call. Not like there's anything they can tell me except whether or not I should continue to take my heparin....but, I have to assume that given the remainder of the information that I am miscarrying.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

This week just keeps getting better

I am 7 weeks 5 days. At today's appointment, I am measuring about 2 weeks behind, and no heartbeat is detectable. While my doctor is not willing to say definitively this is a lost cause, the phrases "blighted ovum" and "probably not viable" did come to light.

I am scheduled for another ultrasound in a week. Maybe I'll get lucky and the baby will magically make itself known - I have found hundreds of such cases online. And in many cases those mothers were sure about their dates too, and at some point the babies just 'caught up'. But, the odds are that I just hit the jackpot on the stupid shitty luck lottery, and am about to lose my third pregnancy this year to something COMPLETELY UNRELATED to the fact that I have a blood disorder.

If I sound too calm, it's because I am. I am almost anesthetized with the not-knowing of it.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A hiccup in the arrangements.

So, bebopping along, almost 8 weeks pregnant. Feeling ill, so feeling good, if you know what I mean. Then, yesterday, a call from the reproductive endocrinologist who ran all the tests on me after I lost the twins. Turns out something DID show up in my bloodwork, but they missed it somehow.

I am a heterozygous carrier of the Factor V Leiden mutation. In english, that means I have a tendency to overclot. As in, clotting in the blood supply may be what caused me to lose the babies. Why this wasn't an issue with the Kraken is unknown. It's hereditary, so it's always been here. I am now taking heparin, daily injections - big fun there. But if it keeps the baby alive, so be it.

Still processing. Doctor's appointment in the AM, angling for an ultrasound. Will let y'all know....

Thursday, October 23, 2008


I voted early. I didn't have to, really. I wanted to. Because for the first time in a long time, I actually give a damn about one of the candidates. My heart rate went up and I got fluttery when I put my pen to my ballot to fill in that first little oval. I had the overwhelming sense of history in the making.

So. I guess it's official now.

I. am an Obama Mama.

Everybody get out there and vote.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Friday Haiku

Levels have tripled
'Tween first blood test and second
Nurse says all is well

Okay, so I think there's supposed to be some reference to nature for it to be a real haiku, but it didn't really fit.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Some numbers for review

2 (number of pink lines on four HPT's
4.3 (# of weeks pregnant I currently am)
536 (HCG level recorded on today's bloodwork - normal, btw)
10 (how excited I am on a scale of 1-10)
10 (how petrified I am on the same scale of 1-10)
3 (number of days I held out with my "I'm not telling anyone until I'm 12 weeks" plan)

To be fair, I still haven't told anyone at work. I do want to wait on that, since I still have people at work walking up to me saying "boy, you're not gaining much weight with those twins, are you". You know, the ones I lost 3 1/2 months ago.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


This morning, dressed in my favorite new skirt, feeling pretty good about my weight loss, makeup applied, glasses cleaned, feeling kind of sassy. Until I dropped the Kraken off at preschool, that is.....

SG - (while collecting my goodbye hug and kiss) Have a good day, sweetheart, I love you.
Kr - I love you too.
Carrie (name changed to protect the little twerp) - Kraken, is that your grandma?


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Saturday Morning

57 degrees. A bite to the air when I take a breath, instead of the sensation that wet cotton has just been forced into my mouth and throat. The sudden explosion of fall-blooming flowers around my yard. The promise of impending Fall, with the smell of burning leaves, the sound of the high school band practicing in the evenings, and the wildfire colors in the trees on my street. My favorite time of year.

If only it lasted more than a week.

Friday, September 12, 2008

While I was out....

The GrandGorgon (aka Nanny) is here at the moment, so the Minotaur and I got to have an actual date tonight. You know, the kind where you have dinner, and there are pauses in the conversation. And then afterwards you watch a movie where there are no talking maps, mermaids, or glass slippers. We went to see Burn After Reading, which I recommend highly for general hilarity, finely structured storylines, and some pretty impressive acting. All in all a lovely evening.

And on our return, the Nanny informed me that while she was using the bathroom, the Kraken said "Hey, Nanny, can you turn around so I can see your butt?"


Monday, September 1, 2008

Thin pink line

Just one. Followed by the proof, within hours of peeing on said stick. A 25 day cycle - shortest I've ever had. So, either I have two LH surges in a month, since I did get a positive LH test this month, or an 8 day luteal phase. Both would be odd, but I've given up expecting any of it to make sense.

The good news? Red wine in my hand. If I ain't pregnant, I'm having a damn drink, thank you very much.

Friday, August 29, 2008

The Sound of Silence

Cats meowing for their dinner. Minotaur tapping away at the computer, telling me about the cool things he did at work that day (none of which I really understand, of course). The Kraken, calling for attention, dinner, assistance, a bath, a bandaid. Colleagues, asking questions, needing information. Friends and family, calling for news, or to convey it.

Human sounds. They're not bad things (except for the stupid cats). I enjoy my communications with the rest of the world, being a social and interactive creature at my core. But they are pervasive in my adult life, and the moments when they are absent are few and far between. At work, either a phone call or a visit every 15 minutes or so. Almost every evening a phone call or two, plus the complete cacophony that is a household with a child in it. The only time there is quiet is when I am asleep, and cannot actually enjoy it. Even then, the silence is broken; by the Kraken's occasional nightmares, by my geriatric girl cat jumping onto the bed, missing, and howling her rage at being thwarted (always fun at 2 AM), by the neighbors, choosing to be out on their back porch talking loudly at midnight. By the Minotaur's snoring. I crave silence like other people crave ice cream.

I always did, come to think of it. In the town I lived in before returning to the South for college, we lived in the desert, halfway up a mountain. Air that smelled like toasting sage and the passage of time. Back door views into untouched, unsullied land, parts of which may have never even been traveled by man. And of course, a 7 year old brother who traveled with a pack of 10-12 boys at all times, running through the neighorhood like a bad case of the plague - destructive, chaotic, and more than a little smelly. Whenever the noises would become too much for me to manage, I would pack up a notebook and a pen, and start the hike up the mountain behind us. In only a few short minutes, I could reach an outcropping of rock from which the town looked like a miniature train set, nestled in the valley below me. And even my own house looked small and remote. And then there was silence.

Oh sure, there were birds. The sound of the river below, sometimes, if the water was high. The occasional snuffling noise that meant a coyote was none too far away. Shifting, rustling sounds (rattlesnake? Scorpion? Or squirrel?) that for some reason never bothered me. The obliviousness of youth. Every now and again one of the neighborhood dogs would make an appearance, lolloping madly around my ankles, hoping for a little attention before returning home. But no HUMAN sounds. No voices. No music. No clompity clomp of little feet approaching.

So I would sit, for hours sometimes. Writing in my notebook; what, I shudder to remember. Bad poetry to be sure. The thoughts and hopes and dreams of a 15 year old girl. But it was quiet, and I was in another place. One where my brain was allowed to go where it would go, whether that led me somewhere revelatory, or simply somewhere sad.

I miss that little outcropping of rock. I have no equivalent here. There is no place I can go within the confines of my universe to escape the human noises. Except for days like today. I am not working. I am home. I am painting my kitchen cabinets. In complete silence, but for the quiet hum of the dryer in the background. And to me that just sounds like the river.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday night again

And here I am at 12:30 something, after my Friday night dose of TV and general lethargy. It's the one night a week, after all, that is truly mine. No laundry, no dishes, no nothing.

Of course, this doesn't exactly "prime the pump" that is my brain, so I find myself on the night that I actually have time to blog....with very little to say. Say, how about a bullet point update on the state of the Gorgon household? It's like a clip show - kind of cheating, but not really.

  • The Kraken is now 41 inches tall. Meaning she's grown out of her car seat and her size 4 clothes. At age 3 3/4. Sigh. She's either going to be a supermodel or a linebacker.
  • The last of the tests are back, and I am apparently normal. Whatever that means. Green light - go thee forth and procreate. It's only a matter of time until I'm peeing on sticks again.
  • I managed to get on my treadmill four times already this week. Booyah.
  • I am slowly getting my f*c3book addiction under control, with the help of a life coach and some self help books.
  • I am almost 10 pounds lighter than I was a month and a half ago. Dieting blows chunks.
  • The Minotaur FINALLY went to the doctor for his first annual exam in about 4 years.
  • My annual beach trip is only 2 months away!
  • My oddly excessive nostalgia of late seems to somehow be making me more comfortable in my current skin. Makes no intuitive sense, but talking to people who remember *that girl* reminds me that I didn't make her up.
I'm marinating a post about said nostalgia, but it's not quite ready to cook yet. Until then (or until I get another free minute), it's off to bed for me.

Friday, August 15, 2008

New addiction

Okay, now I know why I resisted the lure of F@c3book for as long as I did. It's like crack, without the social stigma.

It's also the opposite of high school, wildly delightful in and of itself. I joined after repeated harassments from multiple sources. That was 3 days ago. I now have 53 friends, most of whom appeared on their own, out of the woodwork. Ghosts from my past. Friends I haven't spoken with in years. It's enough to make a girl giddy!

And also, apparently, enough to make her forget she had a blog for several days. Whoops.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A new friend

Some of you know that when we went to visit my family this summer we had a playdate with my high school boyfriend, his wife, and their daughter. I had stayed friends with said ex/BF for many years, losing touch as our lives became divergent (as they do). He got married and had a little one. I was still running around like a wild woman, wearing slips instead of dresses to the bar, and other such shenanigans.

Anyhow, short story long - after a number of years with no contact, I found him via our high school alumni site. I had long worried about his health, which was failing when last we got together in person. I was afraid the news I would find would not be good.

Instead, I found him, living in our old hometown, still married, with that little one already 8 years old. Yeesh. That made me feel old. We arranged to meet with families in tow when the Minotaur and I arrived home. And what do you think happened??

That's right. Every guy's worst nightmare. I really, really liked his wife. I talked to her instead of him. As he watched, looking vaguely uneasy. She's sassy, and in charge, not to mention a fellow vampire fan and occasional (ahem) user of the hair color altering products.

And now? She's a blogger, too. I gave her the URL for this blog so we could get to know each other, and now she's started one of her own. Will y'all please run over and say hi when you get a sec? Welcome her to the fold.

Monday, August 11, 2008


Inconclusive is really frakking annoying.

Uterus is not scarred. Good news. Uterus is oddly potato shaped. Relevant? Unknown.

Fallopian tubes did not fill with dye. Blocked? How could that be the problem, when getting pregnant was not what I was having trouble with? Sometimes, apparently, the tubes get cranky about the dye and close right up. Again, a problem? Unknown.

And no clear resolution in sight, either. I must return in a week's time to have a follow up appointment, and schedule an ultrasound. What that's supposed to tell us, I have no clue.


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Here we go

Tomorrow morning I head out to the R*E*I clinic (don't wanna get googled by a bunch of outdoor sports enthusiasts. SO not the target audience for this blog). It's the last test to try to determine if there's a physical cause for the multiple miscarriages, then it's back in the saddle again (assuming there's nothing wrong, or at least nothing they can't treat).

I have really mixed feelings about these tests. On the one hand, I am the child of a doctor and a nurse, and therefore have greater faith in the medical establishment than, I think, do most people. I believe that the tests provided have a good shot at identifying a problem with my body, if there truly is one. And that the results of these tests will make it easier for me to have a baby.

On the other hand, I find it almost impossible to believe that a body that almost effortlessly produced the Kraken almost 4 years ago could suddenly be a hostile environment for an embryo. Come on. I did this before, and it was easy. What could suddenly be wrong? Yes, I realize I am now 37, almost 38, but I don't feel that much older, and it's hard for me to believe my eggs are suddenly all past the expiration date. I know from many late night hideous google searches that this is possible, but I can't get my brain to translate that possibility to my current situation.

Of course, there is always "anomaly". One of the doctors who examined me after the twins showed no heartbeats told me sadly that I had probably just "been hit by lightning twice". I want that to be the truth, so badly. But then again, a part of me would welcome the news that some physical ailment has introduced itself between 2004 and now.

Because then it can't be my fault. For the gin and tonic I had before I knew I was pregnant. For the 25 pounds I have on me that I didn't have when I got pregnant with the Kraken. For the stress that I feel daily that eats away at my nightly rest, for a variety of reasons. For the soft serve ice cream cone I ate at the zoo, only to discover later to my horror that soft serve machines are a candidate for harboring listeria. For the morning, sleep deprived and dopey (with the child I lost in January) that I took my allergy medicine before I remembered that I was pregnant. For all the little mistakes that I made that I don't remember making with the Kraken.

Of course, with the Kraken I never stopped drinking my usual go cup of coffee, and I did have a glass of wine or two during the pregnancy. I ate cold cuts all the time for 4 months before coming across a warning about listeriosis, something my doctor never mentioned to me. I made all kinds of different mistakes with the Kraken, like you do, because no one can do this completely by the book or they would eat nothing but broccoli and cheese (and make sure that's not soft cheese, dammit. It might not be pasteurized). And she is FINE. I carried her in my body for almost exactly forty weeks, and she is smart, and strong, and healthy, and happy, and FINE.

One way or the other, I need to move forward. I need to try again. Because the big fat pregnant women in Target are killing me. With their puffy faces, swollen ankles, miserable sweaty necks in the heat of summer.

Please. I want that. Please.

Friday, August 8, 2008


By the time I get done paying for the medical costs associated with the miscarriages, I will be unable to afford another child.

From the NY misadventure in January - $1500 out of pocket. Fortunately, a substantial flex plan was in place still from the years when the Kraken had ear infections, so that was all covered. I may have been paying for it, but I was at least paying for it tax free, out of money that came out of my paycheck, and therefore was never missed.

Up until today, the bills from the twins have been frustrating, but not insurmountable. About $400 in total. I began to think that the NY bill had been excessive because I was out of network. And then the $650 invoice arrived today.

I haven't gotten bill one for the fertility testing yet. By the time we're done, it will be a moot point - the money we had been saving for me to be out of work with a newborn will be gone.

This sucks. I cannot imagine having to go through this without really good insurance, which I actually have.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Are you my (great-great grand) mother?

I miss that book. Lately it's been all Cinderella, all the time, around here. Although I have at least convinced the Kraken that Cinderella Skeleton is worth a read or two.

Long time readers will remember the death of my grandmother last January and a mystery that I alluded to at that time. The leaving of said grandmother from home at age 13, and the subsequent refusal of that same grandmother to tell those of us who descended from her anything about that decision, or about her family. We have recently discovered that even the name she gave us as her own may have been a lie.

Why does a 13 year old girl leave home and never look back? We still don't know, but my aunt's desperate desire to know the truth now that Grandma is gone has led to some new pieces of information. I have to hand it to her - she's tenacious, and she knows how to work the geneology websites. After over a year of looking, and consulting with state offices, Social Security, and everyone else besides, we have arrived at this photograph:


She is (we think) my grandmother's paternal grandmother, and Grandma went with her father to live with her after the death of her own mother at age 3, in a collision with a train. Grandma was almost certainly in the car when this happened, so it's possible that she watched her own mother die, at almost the age the Kraken is now. Horrible to contemplate. Almost impossible to believe this woman is not related to Grandma. When I opened the image on my computer, my mother and I did the same thing 3000 miles apart; frame that face with our fingers to make the shape that Grandma's face had in later years. And gasp with shock. They are her eyes. It's unmistakeably her nose, her mouth. I will be stunned if she is not ours.

This is all we know thus far, but it's the closest thing to a real lead we've had. One more piece of paperwork through the mail and we will know for sure. What then? Will anyone be left alive that knows the story?

Sunday, August 3, 2008

I totally rock

Despite an 11 :30 PM rush to the computer to g**gle "polyurethane in the eyes", I would have to call the afternoon's home improvement projects a big success. I wish they were done, but due to the Kraken's insistence on helping me with anything I have to do, they have to be undertaken in sections, while she is sleeping. But, I do have enough done now to see how fabulous they are going to look.

First - the foyer floor - the only hardwoods in the house. Left for 15 years by the previous owners under a giant oriental rug, without ever refinishing, or cleaning, best I can tell. By the time we got them, the refinishing was easy because there wasn't any old finish left to strip off.

Foyer floor before

And after:
Foyer floor after

Ooooh. Shiny.

And, the kitchen cabinets. Never refinished, never wiped down, and much too dark a wood for the new floors and pretty red walls.
Kitchen cabinet before

So, a little paint, some pretty hardware, and voila!
Kitchen cabinet after

Alas, the section of refinished floor and the upgraded cabinet are the only ones I have done. The kitchen cabinets suck paint and require 3 coats for full coverage. And the foyer is the only way to get to the upstairs, where the bedrooms are, so it has to be done in sections (and then barricaded with board games and photo albums to keep the stinking cats from stepping in the finish). I am thinking I'll be done sometime around January 2010.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Saturday afternoon

The Kraken is upstairs having quiet time, which apparently consists of hurling furniture at the walls every few minutes. It's unclear what else she could be doing up there to make that level of racket. However, since she is not screaming she is probably not injuring herself. And since the noises continue, she is probably not dead or unconscious. So, I choose to ignore it in favor of catching up on everybody's blogs.

It's been a long time since I have had this level of focus with this blog, if I ever have. Posting every few days, checking for new posts on the blogs I read on a regular basis. I'm not sure why the sudden shift. It certainly isn't an abundance of spare time. Work is as busy as it has ever been for me right now - unusual, because we usually slow down this time of year. No dearth of home improvement projects either - currently in the process of refinishing the foyer hardwoods, attaching hardware to all the cabinets in all the bathrooms, and repainting the cabinets in the kitchen (pictures to come soon). Nevertheless, I seem to be making this a priority.

Some of it, I think, is that I'm in a holding pattern with the issue of pregnancy. I am currently taking some medications given to me by the reproductive endocrinologist, and waiting for my period to start after the D&C so they can begin all the fabulously invasive tests. So, there is no snake-eating-its-tail cycle of spitting on strips of paper, followed by insanely frequent fornication, followed by the obsessive peeing upon of sticks. Without my head so full of "why can't I, am I, will I get to keep it this time", I am actually able to focus on other things. Imagine that.

Another factor is the recent re-emergence into my universe of a couple of old friends from college. A pleasure in and of itself, but it has also wrought in me a truly lovely sense of nostalgia. Not for youth, per se. There are whole chunks of that I wouldn't relive even if you paid me. But for the sheer pleasure of those days.

I fear I waxed poetic in the car on the way to Lowes today, and without having met the friends in question these stories mean little to my husband. He has no idea why "Bauhaus. Isn't that something you have to duck to get under?" makes me bang my head on the car window because I can't stop laughing. Almost 20 years after it was said, and with the context all but forgotten. And the fact that I am still trying to compose the perfect spelling for "Mrah", a noise I believe to this day only Julia can make properly. So many stories. Days that seemed endless at the time. A day went by then the way a week does now.

Much of what I am remembering so powerfully at the moment is the laughter. I can remember viscerally what it felt like to roll on the floor in somebody's dorm room, because something was so. damned. funny. that even as it happened we knew that the experience would spawn a catch phrase for months or years to come (see above reference to Bauhaus). I never laughed like that before college. I never had real girlfriends before college. I had very good friends in high school, but they were almost invariably male. The incredible comfort and ease that can come from a great friendship with another girl was all new, and I wallowed in it.

And that's the other part I am remembering fondly. The forging of those friendships and the effect they have had on my life.

Example. Julia and I once journeyed across town to her mother's house to receive our very first cooking lesson. We were rank amateurs. We were useless. Her mother bought us our first cookbooks, and walked us through each step of a recipe. She was decent enough not to laugh at us. Then we sat down and ate it together, in the house where the cat slept on the VCR, only occasionally falling off.

Example. Telling Steel Magnolia (who really needs to get a blog) once in casual conversation that my mother used to make me beef stew when I was sick or sad, and that it was the ultimate comfort food for me. And having her hold that memory in her head until I found myself in a state where I thought my world was ending, and what do you think she made for me?

This weekend, I spent a lovely afternoon in the company of a group of those wonderful girls I acquired in college, at SugarMama's house. We talked about the hard stuff, and the easy stuff, and everything in between. And we laughed, because that is what we do. But we are there for each other too. When one of us is hurt, we rally. When one of us needs help, we come. When one of us is trying to nurse a baby with breasts the size of bowling balls, one of us will spoon barbecue into our mouths while we do it so we don't starve to death.

Because that's how we roll.

Monday, July 28, 2008

What are the odds?

Apparently the Kraken likes the Dead Kennedys. I feel so proud.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The night stretches before me like a record I know by heart

It's 8:30 PM. The Minotaur has gone to a party (The Kraken's recent sleeptime insanity has made it difficult for us to have a sitter). The Kraken is in bed, quiet as a high school computer nerd in the locker room before gym class. And I have the house to myself.

Some of you may have been readers of this blog or its previous incarnation long enough to remember when the Minotaur worked until midnight two nights a week and 9 PM another two, plus all day on Sunday. Those were dark days in our lives, and in our marriage. The schedule was unavoidable at the time, but it meant that 4 days a week I worked all day, picked up the Kraken and took care of her all night by myself. The weekends came, not with a sense of anticipation, but the knowledge that with our one day off together as a family, we would have to try to get everything done that was difficult for me to do without the Minotaur (like, say, take a bath in those early months when the Kraken refused to sleep).

I was resentful about the time I spent managing on my own. The Minotaur was resentful that a work environment he wasn't particularly happy in was causing him to miss the majority of his daughter's life, not to mention pissing off his wife and making her less than pleasant to come home to. And we were both completely exhausted, because in combination with our fabulous schedules came the arrival of the Kraken's monthly ear infections, complete with shrill, sobbing awakenings every two hours until we could get to the doctor, get a diagnosis, and get some antibiotics. When we were both home and awake, all we could do was retreat into our own brains to get a little desperately needed quiet time. Not much time left for actually interacting with each other.

There were times when I wasn't sure I was cut out for parenthood. There were times I was almost sure I wasn't going to stay married. But we talked. And talked, and talked, and talked. And made changes where we could to make our situation more manageable. The Minotaur shifted his schedule so that there were only 3 days he was home so late. And eventually he got another job, one that paid well enough for him to quit the two he had been juggling before. As an added bonus, he actually liked his new job, and is still there to this day.

When he switched to a roughly 9-5 schedule for the first time in our life together, everything changed. He was home every evening. He was home all weekend. We had more time together than we ever had. That too, required a little bit of adjustment. Before, we had to concentrate every bit of togetherness we could into the moments we were together. Now, suddenly, we had more togetherness than we probably needed. Slowly, we learned to be together sometimes, and other times to read books, play video games, watch TV. In other words, have a normal life.

I am immeasurably happier to have the Minotaur at home on a regular basis. But I won't deny that at times, I miss the complete silence that reigns in the house when the Kraken is out for the count, and I am here alone. What shall I do? Another night of Star Trek viewing? Tempting, having just discovered that there are indeed episodes in the first season that I have never seen. Or, a leisurely bath with a book and a glass of wine? Possibly a ridiculously long telephone conversation?

The opportunities are endless. As long as I don't have to leave the house, that is.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Kraken fell asleep tonight without any after hours summonings of the momma. It's a miracle.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Random oddness

I just found out that one of my close friends from college, currently living in France (with whom I sadly am not in touch) ended up working (in France) with the Italian exchange student who lived with my parents the year or so after I left for college. How bizarre is that?

You might wonder how I discovered this randomness. And well might you wonder. I googled myself, duh.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Does anyone else think it shows extremely poor taste to place the Infertility Clinic at the hospital directly next to OB?

Apparently there is a battery of tests that can be conducted to determine if there is a physical reason my body doesn't want to hold onto these babies. I can't wait for the one where they stick a balloon into my uterus using a catheter and blow it up. Sounds fabulous.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Worn. Out.

So. Last night, after the Kraken spent an hour yapping to her dolls in her bed, the summoning began.


Followed by....

"GorGON" (uh, that's Momma to you, you little weasel)

This has been going on for several months, mind, so being paged from above is nothing new. I don't honestly know what to do about it. The child has a bladder of iron, so she pees right before bed, and then saves another one up for about 1/2 hour later, then another 1/2 hour after that it's time to drop an adult sized dump from her petite behind. I can't very well not let her go to the bathroom, but the game is getting a little old.

You see, the Kraken is 3 1/2. And she is "almost" ready to give up her nap. Meaning she really needs about an hour mid-day, but not the 2 hour nap she takes at school because hey, it's dark and there's nothing else to do. So, that two hour nap is enough to kick her into overdrive in the evenings, and combined with her own determination to not miss any of the completely hypothetical action around here after she goes to her room, she simply refuses to go to sleep. Until around 10 PM. Even if she is so. tired. she can barely keep her eyes open.

This week, we have an exciting new twist. Instead of just happily yammering away up there until she finally keels over with exhaustion, she has decided to take the bull by the horns and simply refuse to go to bed in the first place. Her technique? Screaming AT THE TOP OF HER LUNGS. This has happened 4 out of the last 5 nights. I wish I could say we had been handling it well, but we haven't. We alternate between stomping out of her room and desperately trying to cajole her into better behavior. The last two nights we have tried the "walking away and letting her make an ass of herself" technique, which involves a lot of going back up the stairs and physically hauling her screaming, kicking, biting form back into the bedroom and closing the door while she screams so loudly that she chokes on her own saliva. Good times.

Wish I could say the duration had improved using this new exciting technique, or our stress level, but alas, not so much. Last night this went on for over an hour. Tonight, about the same. At least last night I managed to get her to use the bathroom and brush her teeth before this started - tonight we had no such luck. The child's will is as strong as her bladder. In fact, tonight's meltdown was preceded by a 40 minute screaming fit caused because I refused to give her something she wanted until she asked her father for it, and said please, because she was an ass to him the first time she asked. "Please, Daddy, can I have some yogurt?" was all she had to say, and rather than say it she screamed, sobbed, beat the floor, told me Ursula the Sea Witch had stolen her voice, asked me to ask her father for her, and in general acted like the Fonz trying to say he was sorry. She simply could not swallow her pride, even to obtain something she desperately wanted. It took 40 minutes, a bucket of tears, and even when she finally did it she refused to make eye contact.

So, it's 12:34 AM. I've got a kid up there out cold with a bladder full of delicious strawberry drinkable yogurt, who hasn't peed since about 5:45 PM. What are the odds I'm getting a full night's sleep?

Friday, July 18, 2008

This and That

It's Friday. The Minotaur has gone to the movies with a friend. The Kraken is upstairs talking to her dolls when she's supposed to be sleeping. And the Gorgon is in her pajamas at 8 PM, having a date with a tasty beverage and Season One of Star Trek, TNG.

In other news - went to my follow up appointment with my OB this week. Who very gently and respectfully told me to completely ignore everything I had been told by the other doc about waiting three months to try again, or assuming there was nothing I could do to prevent another miscarriage. I have an appointment next week with a reproductive endocrinologist to start investigating whether or not there is a physical problem. My impression is that she wouldn't send me this early if it weren't for my (ahem) advanced age. Ugh. At least then we'll know what the score is, and that will be something.

What in sam hell is that kid doing up there, building a hydrogen bomb?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Tonic for the soul

Last night the Gorgon family packed up and went to a party. I wasn't necessarily looking forward to it, although it was hosted by a man I dearly love and his wife (who I like but do not yet know well). The Kraken was overtired, the Minotaur had been off in his own world all day, and I am still not loving the large crowds of people, some of whom would almost certainly not know about the loss of the twins. The host's wife is hipster royalty of a sort in the town where I went to school, so I feared I would be surrounded by the cool, the childless, the 'still playing in a band and tending bar'. But, the host, an old friend from college who we will call Cochise Man of War here, for reasons that will mean nothing to you but are endlessly hilarious to me, had told me in no uncertain terms that I was dead meat if I did not go. So off we went.

We were the first to arrive - always awkward, but hey, when you've got kids you tend to show up at events a little early. There was the usual awkward standing around, in the way while they tried to get ready for the party. Then the cat walked through the room, and I was reminded that the Kraken had never met this cat, who is the 16 year old mother of my own girlcat. Pretty spry old girl, that cat. She was born on Steel Magnolia's legs in the wee hours of the morning in our rattrap college house, despite the lovely basket made up for her mother in the next room. And for the Kraken, the arrival of the cat made the night a success. The simple things.

Within 20 minutes, 10 other couples had arrived, 8 of them with children ranging 1-7 years old. And I suddenly realized.....I'm not the old married lady with the kid. We ALL ARE. The bartender who served me margaritas every weekend of my life for nigh unto ten years was there, with her husband and son. A man who was once my tenant when I worked in real estate ("Dear Mr. Tenant, We must once again ask you not to play ultimate frisbee in the parking lot. Also, please do not put up tiki torches around the neighborhood and leave them lit all night") was there with his wife, and their 2 year old daughter, who had also talked her parents into letting her wear dress up clothes to the party. The Kraken and this little girl played the night away together.

And, arriving on a giant black Harley, was one third of the Cochise/Freakboy/Baldie triumvirate of idiots who were my best. male. friends in college, or, well, ever. Baldie is off in South Carolina now taking care of the family business, after a long stint being fetish boy in California. But the other two were there, and we huddled up under the trees with the Kraken and the Minotaur and ignored the rest of the party. We talked trash about old enemies, and a little about old friends, and laughed until my rib cage hurt.

And I was among friends. Who knew me as well as it is possible for human beings to know you, from stupid teenager and on. And I felt suddenly grounded in myself and at home in my own skin for the first time in a while. And for a little while, I forgot. What a gift.


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Back from outer space

And we had a lovely time. And I was truly doing better, feeling almost normal.
And then.

The grocery store. A couple with their newborn son. A woman, swollen with pregnancy. And the clincher.....a man pushing in a cart his year old daughter. Who screeched like an air raid siren, just like the Kraken used to.

I barely made it to the car.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Off to Mount Olympus

To visit my parents for a few days. A welcome distraction, that. About half the people in town know about the loss of the twins, and every kind word makes me cry right now. The other half don't know yet, which means the first words out of their mouths are about the twins. Guess what that makes me do?

I'll be back in the blogosphere late next week - everyone stay safe and well.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

It's over

All I have left of them is a blurry black and white image, labeled "A" and "B".

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

2 hours

Until we have to be at the hospital for the D&C. What kind of cruel and unusual punishment is it to schedule surgery at 2 PM and tell a girl she can't have anything to eat AT ALL THE WHOLE DAY? I am mean as a striped ass spider at this point.

I will be glad to have this part over. And it is at least scheduled so we can get the whole thing done while the Kraken is still blissfully playing at school with no idea what is happening.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Suburban Herbivore and Indie Squid Kid brought supper, and a little dose of normalcy to the day. Truly, there are few substitutes for good friends, black bean enchiladas, and chocolate cake.

We will get through this. We will have the procedure, and we will try again. One more time. If this happens three times in a row, I'm going to have to start thinking this isn't meant to be.

Calmer today

Also exhausted, even after sleeping 10 hours. I would have been glad to just stay in bed. So many phone calls, reminders that the grief is not mine alone.

And a still more powerful reminder of how much I love the Minotaur, who wept openly with me in the hospital room, and held me until I could catch my breath.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Black Friday

The twins have died. Both of them. Apparently right after I discovered they were both in there. The sudden significant improvement in my morning sickness was probably the first hallmark of their death.

The doctor said it would appear they shared a single placenta, and when one of the babies died, the other one could not survive. I am scheduled for a D&C on Tuesday.

I have lost three babies in 6 months time. I am exhausted. And I am angry enough to put my fist through the wall.

What is wrong with me???

Two days off in a row from work. What sounds like fun? I KNOW! Let's dissassemble the couch and steam clean it!

I clearly have issues.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Free as a bird

In anticipation of potentially losing about 4 weeks of vacation time at the end of the year because I am too stupid to remember to go on vacation, I have decided to start taking long weekends every month. I am off today and tomorrow, and the luxury of four. days. in a row is almost more than I can process. Especially since I decided to send the Kraken on to preschool today and tomorrow.

So, this morning I've done two loads of laundry, cleaned up the back porch, done all the weeding in the back yard, thought about the weeding in the front yard and decided that was a little too ambitious for today (there are more weeds than actual plants), and it's only 9:40. If only I had my normal energy level, I feel sure I could conquer the world by Sunday evening.

Instead, I think I'll meander back outside and do a little bit more yardwork, then come in and sit on my butt. For an extended period of time. With books.

Now that's my idea of a vacation.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Not Fair

Really. Is it fair for the Minotaur to threaten me with divorce, when all I was doing was reciting (um, kind of loudly) the entire opening credits speech for ST TNG (Space.......the FINAL frontier) along with Patrick Stewart. And I might also have done the "duh, duh duh duh, duh DUH duh!" part along with the music, but at least I was on key.

Come on. Not doing it would be like going to the movies and skipping the popcorn. Right?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

We're off to see the wizard

The Kraken has a new favorite movie. Her first non-animated love. Fortunately for me, it's The Wizard of Oz, one of my all-time favorites. I remember watching it over and over again with my friend Steel Magnolia's daughter, who used to hide behind me when the wicked witch came on the screen.

So, this morning when we woke up (at 8:15, bless you, Kraken), we came downstairs, got our libations (my one cup of coffee that I am allowed, and the Kraken's giant cup of yogurt smoothie), and curled up on the sofa in a puddle of pillows and blankets to watch the movie. I was shocked at how bad the special effects were, and at how very little it mattered, then or now. The magic of this movie has nothing to do with the visuals, and everything to do with the very human fascination with that which is different from what we know and see every day. The obviously painted backdrops and giant plastic flowers detract nothing from the appeal of the story.

For the most part, the Kraken watched the movie, and I watched the Kraken. Hand on her chin like a caricature of rapt attentiveness, favorite blanket tossed to the side like an old piece of fruit. Mesmerized, as I had been. And I found myself a little overwhelmed, suddenly, by the awareness of how much there still is for her to experience, both great and small. She's never been to Disneyworld. Never read a book by herself. Never petted a rabbit. Never ridden on a roller coaster. Of course she hasn't. She's only 3. But it dawned on me, sometime between the arrival of scarecrow and the tin man, that I will not only get to witness these experiences, I have the honor of providing them.

Making cupcakes

Planting some coreopsis



I can't wait.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday Night

And not much to say. A few days of feeling relatively human behind me, and perhaps this weekend I will even spend some time off the couch! In fact, just yesterday saw the re-emergence of the rare, elusive "cooking Gorgon", much to the Minotaur's delight and relief. He better enjoy it while it lasts, because at the rate I'm going I'll be the size of a house in 3 months, and I sure as hell won't be doing any cooking then.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Today, for the first time in 2 and a half weeks, I did not feel like a medically induced coma would be the best place for me. I'm 8 1/2 weeks, and not sure whether to feel afraid of the sudden reduction in fatigue and nausea, or grateful for it. At least either way I don't have long to wait - I have another ultrasound next Friday. And I don't feel fabulous, mind. I just don't feel like spending 20 out of every 24 hours in bed. I actually even enjoyed the taste of my lunch. Apparently, the twins like a barbeque sammich, so I made sure I gave them each one. Sigh. I fear for my girth.

The Kraken's grateful receipt of attention this evening made me aware that I've been neglecting more than the laundry these last few weeks. I have spent very little time with my best girl. She's been a good sport. Sure hope she's as forgiving when the interlopers arrive.

We're still a little in shock in the Gorgon household, and still trying to figure out how to make the money part work. I'm actually not at all afraid of coping with the actual raising of the twins. I know I can handle that. It's just the extra $12K a year in daycare I wasn't banking on. We've run the numbers, and the Minotaur really can't quit his job, so we're going to have to cobble the bucks together somehow. It will work out, I know. I just don't have a master plan on paper yet, and I am not a girl who deals well with not having the master plan.

I'm going to go try to have a conversation with my husband that doesn't involve me moaning for popsicles.

Friday, June 13, 2008


I'm not sure how best to convey the results of my first OB appointment. Perhaps a written reenactment?

Dr. Fabulous Woman: Okay, Gorgon. Let's do an ultrasound. After last time I know you want to go home for the weekend with a heartbeat in your head.

Gorgon: You rock! Thanks!

Dr. Fabulous Woman: Okay. Well, I see the heartbeat, looks about right for 8 weeks. Let's measure. Yep, that looks about right too. Well, I would have to say everything looks pretty good. Wait. (peers closely at screen). *Long pause.* Well, Gorgon. There's just one thing.

Gorgon: (trying not to vomit). What is it?

Dr. Fabulous Woman: I think maybe I see two of them.

Gorgon: HUH?

And lo, two hours and a high definition ultrasound down the hall later, she was quite right, although the US techs couldn't believe she'd seen it on the little portable deal she was using. I am going to have twins. Fraternal twins, best they can tell this early in the game. The right size for where I am, and my body is "adjusting to the task of bearing multiples beautifully". Otherwise known as the. fact. that. you. are. visibly. pregnant. at. 8. weeks is NORMAL.

I am not sure how I feel yet. Joyous that the babies are healthy thus far, but shellshocked at the prospect of how we're going to pay for it all. I can't go there yet. I need a weekend to process the fact that it's happening.

The response from the Minotaur? "I'm not sure I know how to respond to that yet". I hear that, my love. Me neither.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


8 weeks. My first OB appointment. Wish me luck......

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

6 weeks, 5 days

Huzzah! The milestone is past. I must still be pregnant, because seriously? I don't remember ever feeling this lousy. I have to think I probably did with the Kraken - the Minotaur claims memory loss on the subject, but he usually does when he's afraid there's a "wrong" answer to my question that might result in me spending the next 1/2 hour explaining to him why it was the wrong answer. Heh.

But I don't remember. I know I didn't feel this way with the one I lost in January, because I actually got on a plane and then walked around NYC all afternoon. I can barely make it to the bathroom and the mailbox right now.

All right, I've said it before, I don't want this blog to turn into "The Gorgon obsesses obsessively about her pregnancy". In other news, the Kraken knocked a tooth loose at preschool on Monday, and now it's not positioned the same way it was before - it's a little farther back in the gum. The Minotaur got fairly peeved with me for suggesting that her new look was a little on the redneck side, but it kind of is, and I didn't say it in front of her. At least it's a baby tooth. And she's not screaming in agony every time she puts a cup to her lips or food in her mouth anymore. My poor little baby. For a princess, she sure does get banged up a lot. We buy bandaids in bulk.

Finally, for a complete non-sequiter. The forecast for tomorrow? 97 degrees. It's JUNE, people, not August. This is completely ridiculous. I'm thinking of writing a strongly worded letter.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

6 weeks, 2 days

Like the flipping of a switch, at 6 weeks exactly my stomach decided to register its protest against the world. On Friday, at work, I had to make a very melodramatic exit from a meeting to kneel on the floor in the bathroom, barfing up my lunch. MUCH to the entertainment of my colleagues. "Did you blow chunks?", asked my boss, snickering as he said it. Which I will get him back for at the first available opportunity.

I honestly don't remember if I was this queasy with the Kraken - it was over four years ago. I know I was nauseous with her most of the first trimester. But I know it didn't happen with the baby I lost in January. I felt pretty good most of that 8 1/2 weeks, and now I wonder if that wasn't an indicator that something was wrong from the beginning.

I am suddenly mostly sick all day - sometimes it even wakes me up in the middle of the night. I am exhausted enough that yesterday I took my first nap since the Kraken was newborn, 3 1/2 years ago. I didn't even DO anything around the house yesterday, a state of affairs that will be shocking to those that know me in 'real life'. I cannot walk down the aisle with the cleaning products in the store without retching from the godawful stink of them. My breasts feel like someone has been hitting them with garden trowels. And yesterday at Costco? I saw a woman with a baby in a carrier, and the tears just rolled down my face. And yes, the Minotaur laughed at me. Like he always does.

In 1 more day, I will be past the point where the trouble started with the last pregnancy, my next milestone to monitor. I am completely. fucking. miserable. And I am unbelievably grateful.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Today when I went upstairs with the laundry, I found a stick horse in my bed. Do you think it's a preschool mafia thing, or is there some more innocuous explanation?

Sunday, May 25, 2008

And, on the flip side

I only allow myself to keep chocolate fudge in the house when I am pregnant. So I whipped up a batch last week, and had a delicious piece just this evening. Despite the fact that it made me nauseous to eat my dinner. Fudge never plays a girl false. What an eye rolling, noise making, borderline-drool-causing delight.

And tomorrow, I get to walk around the zoo for 4 hours with the Kraken and the Minotaur. And while I look forward to my daughter's squeals of delight, I am dreading the walking around for 4 hours part. Do you suppose the Minotaur would pull us both in the Radio Flyer wagon???

Thursday, May 22, 2008


I'm watching for milestones. Not the good ones, either, the ones you record with the camcorder, snap photos of for the grandparents far away. No, I'm peeling my eyes for the ones that will make me insane.

1. 6 1/2 weeks. That's when I started bleeding with the last pregnancy. If I can get past 6 1/2 weeks, I'll be doing better (like it's a contest).
2. 8 weeks. That's when I lost the baby. If I can make it past 8 weeks will I stop thinking about it and just relax?
3. 12 weeks. The end of the first trimester - supposedly a much lower risk of miscarriage after this point.

Will successfully reaching any of these milestones stop the undercurrent of worry that's trickling through all the gaps in a brain that is trying very hard to be tranquil?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


It's Tuesday night. 9:20 PM. I should be sitting on my butt for the first time today, doing nothing. What am I doing?

1. Running in and out of the kitchen to check on the status of the cold cream I am brewing like a mad scientist on the stovetop.
2. Running in and out of the laundry room to perpetuate the endless cycle of dump, move, fold, hang.
3. Working. One of my employees is going to be out for a few weeks, so it's a little crazy right now.
4. Making a grocery list. Because god forbid I go two days without going to the store.
5. Blogging, because I won't have time to do it again for several days.
6. Hunting the Internet for coated labels for a little side venture I'm going to be starting (more on that later).

Sheesh. Even though I know how exhausted and brain dead I will be in the weeks when the baby comes, I am looking forward to those long Will and Grace rerun watching hours of sitting on the couch with a never-sated human parasite clamped to my breast. At least I will only be doing two things.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


I got two lines this morning, ladies. Two lines. I'm actually feeling as peaceful as I can, under the circumstances. I am determined to be well, happy, and deal with what comes.

I am happy. I am so happy. I am scared. But I am so happy.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Slacking off again

Wow, has it really been almost a month since I posted? I actually did post, about 20 or 30 times. I just somehow never managed to get them typed in. Most of my best ideas for blog posts happen on my treadmill, and that's just not the best place to be jotting things down to blog about later. The last time I tried to multitask on the treadmill I whacked the garage door opener, slammed into the side of the treadmill, lost my balance, fell off the back, and landed in a pile of paint cans. Sad, but true story.

And speaking of the treadmill, I've been thinking a lot about self-image lately. My own, my daughter's. My own has been shaky at best for a number of years. Not that it was ever fantastic, but having a child definitely tossed me off the "you can be sexy if you just arrange the clothes right" bus. Now it's "you can be sexy if it's completely dark in the room". Not a fun bus to ride. And so I plod away on my treadmill 3 nights a week, trying to make some dent in the extra layer my daughter started, and I fine-tuned with cookie dough and Cadbury creme eggs. And it helps. I have more energy, I feel better. I even sleep better. But hey, I still had to buy a pair of pants this weekend that was two sizes bigger than my usual size, and about 4 sizes bigger than I was in college. Ugh.

It used to be that random people would compliment me on my appearance often. I don't mean to sound arrogant. But, I was actually pretty darned cute. Not to mention the fact that my clothing was usually designed to maximize reaction (read: kinda skanky). I was used to compliments, and usually responded to them with overly dramatic bows, snapping of fingers, and sassy head shakes.

These days, those compliments are few and far between. And when they do come they are such unfamiliar territory that I react to them with panic, immediately blurting out something inappropriate or even just bizarre. I had a cat like that once, who would quietly (but with devastating effect) fart whenever he was picked up by someone he didn't know very well. As a defense mechanism, it was pretty damned effective. Not many people were willing to pick him up more than once.

My daughter, when complimented (which is often, as I am in awe of her fabulousness, even when she is being a pain in my ass), simply smiles. Happy to be appreciated, glad to be on the receiving end of a compliment, but not in any way in need of one.

If I could figure out a way to bottle it, I could afford that personal trainer I so desperately want.

Friday, April 18, 2008


This evening's conversation at the picnic table....

Kraken: Do I have a (unintelligible) yet?
Minotaur: Huh?
Gorgon: Kraken, what did you say?
Kraken: I said, do I have a brother yet?
Minotaur: Oh.
Gorgon (who has just gotten her period. again.) Oh.
Kraken: (woefully) I WANT a brother!
Gorgon averts eyes, looks at floor..........

Saturday, March 29, 2008

There are few foods more delicious

Than potstickers, dipped in hot sauce.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

You can't make this stuff up

Kraken: (being snarky to her father about this thing and that at the dinner table.)
Gorgon: "Kraken, that is not a nice way to talk to your sweet daddy. You should ask him about his day. Or tell him you love him. Can you say something nice to him, please?"
Kraken: "Daddy. You have poop on your head."

Thursday, March 13, 2008

I run

I run until my breathing becomes ragged, and I fear my legs will give way beneath me. Then I walk, as quickly as I possibly can, air raw in my throat, making me yawn, making me cough, making my ears hurt. Then, when I think I might possibly someday be able to breathe without gasping again, I start running. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

Not the climactic conclusion of a horror movie, but what a stranger would see looking through the tiny windows in my garage door every other night of the week. You see, I have purchased.....a treadmill. I am trying valiantly to finally remove the physical evidence of the Kraken's birth.

In truth, the problem began in the first trimester of pregnancy. Before then, even if I was not always as slender as I hoped to be, I was at least in decent physical shape. I went to the gym 4, 5 times a week, in the mornings, before work. I power walked. I ran. I lifted weights. And then came the overpowering lassitude that comes with early pregnancy. And all I could do was nap. By the time my energy returned with the second trimester, I was big as a house (already) and more interested in eating than doing anything else. And by the third. Well. Imagine a manatee on the stairmaster, and I believe you'll understand why I stayed away. I may have only gained 33 pounds, but I truly did gain most of them in my midsection, and I was tippy under the best of circumstances.

After the Kraken arrived, I could have started exercising again, but really. Have you tried to power walk when you're nursing? At some point it's almost assured that you will start spraying milk like Uma Thurman's opponents spraying blood in Kill Bill, Volume whatever. Plus, who the hell wants to exercise on 1 1/2 hours of sleep? And of course, the Kraken's ear infections ensured that I didn't get enough sleep to want to exercise until she was more than a year old.

Last summer I made a valiant effort to return to my former self. I walked every day at lunchtime at work. I did the diet thing. I lost 25 pounds, and I looked pretty good, all things considered. But then the hot weather arrived in earnest, and that was that. Back inside, and hey, why don't I have some fudge while I'm in here?

I'm 37 years old. I have a limited number of years left to look the way I used to look, and even then I'm going to need a little help (and a really good bra). It's time to make it happen. And so I run. And everything on me hurts. My shins ache. My legs shake when I come back into the house. I drink so much water I am afraid my bladder will burst.

And I feel fricking amazing.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Close Encounters.....

I go to the grocery store about 4 times a week. I don't know why. I always think I've gotten everything I need, and that I won't need to go back until the following week, but I always run out of shallots. Or cilantro. Or some other key item that doesn't keep for more than a hot minute.

Two days ago, I went to the grocery store nearest my work. I got out of the car, and as I was walking towards the entrance, I passed a minivan, with two bumper stickers on it. Pepper's Pizza, and Schoolkids Records. I stopped short, my hands suddenly cold, and my heart beating in double time.

To understand the incongruity here, you would probably have to live here. To give you the Cliff Notes version, Pepper's Pizza is (and has been for many years) a hipster/freak magnet. The place you go to watch the pink haired pierced people toss pie, and you pretend you don't know they're doing coke in the bathroom while you're waiting for your dinner. And Schoolkids is the record store that expects you to be able to write for a music magazine before you walk in the door to purchase a record. They are the ubercoolest places among Chapel Hill hipster royalty, and to find these two stickers on a minivan? Very confusing.

And then I remembered. I'm a grown-up now too. Others of those bygone days still struggle, as I do, with finding an identity that encompasses both that which was, and that which is. And then I remembered again. I knew someone once who worked at both those places. And he broke my heart into a thousand tiny pieces in the few weeks time I spent with him.

I knew it wasn't his minivan. For one thing, he hated the pizza place with a passion by the time he left. For another, he doesn't live in this town anymore, and would be unlikely to be shopping at my grocery store. But I walked into the store feeling stalked, hunted. I was overwhelmingly aware of the proximity of my past. Who would it be? Would it be someone I knew? Someone I wanted to see? Did my ass look huge in the pants I was wearing? Did I have on enough lipstick? Did I look like somebody's mom?

Whoever it was, I never saw them. But my heart rate didn't settle down to normal for about an hour.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

A special day

The Kraken had her first playdate with a child that is not the child of a friend of mine today.

A week ago at the neighborhood playground, the Kraken recognized another child and after a moment's conference, the child's parents and I determined that they are in the same class at preschool. I know many of the other childrens' parents by name or at least face, but they are an a completely different arrival and departure schedule than we are, so I have never seen them. We chatted while the children played and agreed that it would be nice to give them another opportunity. On Friday, I found a note in the Kraken's cubby from the other child's mother (we'll call the child Nancy) with a phone number and an offer of an actual social event.

Normally I would be reluctant to accept such an invitation. I have my own little universe. My own friends. My own routine. I dislike any aberration from my patterns. But the Kraken, she loves Nancy. She talks about her all the time. And for the Kraken, I will do almost anything.

And you know what? We had a great time, the Kraken, the Minotaur and me. Nancy's parents are not our tribe, as it were (not aging goths, or steampunk junkies), but they are really, really, really nice. They laugh easily. They love their kid with the same fierce intensity with which we love our own. They are close to our age, and similar to us in financial and social status. And as I get older, I am beginning to think that the things I used to look for in friends don't really matter at all. I should already know this. My best two female friends are "friends of the tribe", but they are of their own tribes entirely, and our friendship was always based on more visceral, primitive connections. This family is like ours - the organized mom, the gregarious dad, the adorable kid. They are us, with different college experiences and different taste in music. We liked them. I think we might just be making some new friends. Maybe the Kraken does know best after all.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

From the mouths of babes

I got a haircut today. And lo, it is horrible. I look good with short hair, but this is a little much. I look like a 10 year old boy whose mom cuts his hair with a Flowbee. It's not cute, and it was a complete accident. I have been growing out my hair for 8 months, and having a horrible time of it. Today, I finally succumbed to the desire to look decent again, and went in search of a sweet, shaggy pixie cut. I even had pictures.

By the time I got home, I had almost decided it wasn't as bad as I thought it was. And then the Kraken asked me "Why did you want someone to do that to your hair?"

It's going to be a lonnnnng few months waiting for this mess to grow out.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The smell of Spring

Okay, well, it wasn't much in evidence today, but this weekend was like a promise of things to come. And I find myself experiencing irrational bursts of happiness with the knowledge that I will soon be able to dig in the dirt and plant things. Drought be damned. I'll use my daughter's bathwater for whatever my rain barrels can't provide.

Speaking of which, if anyone's in need, I recommend They deliver, and fast. And they're way more attractive than giant blue ketchup containers in your yard. Plus they smell like the whiskey they used to house, and the idea of drunk squirrels meandering all over my yard is perversely appealing to me.

Monday, February 18, 2008

When she runs.

I love to watch her run.

Arms flailing, legs pelting at double speed.
Hair flying.

No sense of rhythm or purpose.
Just the pure joy of legs that work and wide open spaces to use them in.

She already cares about her clothes.
She wants to be a princess.
She wants her toenails painted.
She's afraid of car accidents.
Of dogs.
Of loss.
She is a human being, with all the dreams and limitations that come as part of the package.

But when she runs, she transcends.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

.....And the trials of homeownership

The Minotaur, Kraken and I were enjoying a perfectly lovely, unseasonably warm day in the backyard this afternoon, pulling weeds, cleaning up pine cones, running amok (Kraken), and reveling in the combination of sunshine and bracing wind.

Then the tree came down. On the neighbor's house. Through the window into the room where their young son would have been sleeping if it had been nighttime, or even naptime. We ran to their door, but no one was home. A mercy, but it still means they'll have to come home to that. After watching the pine trees in our own back yard bending gracefully and ominously over our own house, we opted to come inside and spend the afternoon with the wii instead of the weather.

Half an hour later, we looked out, and the Kraken's Dora house (giant plastic monstrosity that it is) is not exactly we had placed it in the playyard. Neither is the 50 pound wagon. Sheesh.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Ah, the joys of parenthood......

I just found a turd in the washing machine.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Princesses Don't Wear Pants

That's what the Kraken informed me this evening, with disdain in her voice and certainty in her heart. This after a brief discussion about what she was wearing, about what I was wearing, and about both of our options for pajamas. My feeble suggestion that she could wear something that wasn't a dress and still BE a princess was slapped down without a moment's hesitation.

The Kraken's recent obsession with all things pink, fluffy, sparkly, shimmery, and otherwise traditionally feminine (at least in this culture) has got me to thinking about my own aesthetic, or lack thereof. I work in an office with a fair number of 20 something whippersnappers, all of whom have well styled hair, fashionable pants, belts that look like something we wore when I was in the 5th grade, and such an assortment of shoes that they seem to never wear the same pair more than once, a la Leona. I, on the other hand, am the quintessential mom - pushing 40, same shoes every day, sensible yoga pants with Land's End tunic, and it's a fine day indeed if I manage to get my makeup on before I get to the office. I didn't used to BE this way. I used to actually care.

Oh, to be sure, I was never one of those girls who read the fashion magazines to figure out which purse I'm supposed to be carrying this season. I never even thought of clothes in terms of seasons, unless it was to be aware of the fact that sweaters were for cold weather, t-shirts for warm. But last season's shoes? What the hell does that mean? You're supposed to only wear them for one year? I was never trendy, never fashionable, even when I actually would have liked to have been, but I certainly cared about how I looked when I went out of the house.

High school, college, and the subsequent years I had a strong sense of my own style. Problem is, that style wasn't something I could gracefully carry over into later years. It's hard to wear four inch platform shoes when you're toting a car seat. Equally difficult to wear a nightgown with a cardigan instead of clothes when your destination is Costco and not the local dance club. My wardrobe consisted of skanky, skankier, and so skanky I'm not even sure I can wear it without getting arrested, along with a small selection of items for work/parental visits that were completely separate from my other clothes. Now my "play" clothes are my work clothes, minus the bulky sweater that hides my tattoos in the office. I am shapeless. I am unisex, because I don't know how to be feminine without being slutty, and slutty just doesn't cut it anymore.

It's weird. I don't think I realized how much of my identity was tied up in the way I presented myself to the world until I had to present myself differently. I remember feeling like a princess, in black vinyl go-go boots and an ensemble my girlfriends still refer to as "the slip" because of transparency. It might not have been the blue ball gown and glass slippers, but I was comfortable in my skin in it, and I felt strong when I wore it. I never feel that way anymore. The best I can manage is to feel like I occasionally don't look like somebody's mom. I'd like to find my inner princess again, but I may have to settle at this point for being the fairy godmother, and hoping the Kraken chooses a ball gown she can wear gracefully into middle age.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Back to the world

Going back to work tomorrow. Will be an adjustment, and would have been in any case, since I haven't been in the office since Wednesday morning. The weekend has been filled with the usual weekend activities, multiple trips to the home improvement warehouse, Target, and other retail establishments, plus a variety of attempts to get the Kraken to take a nap. An informal poll of the household's inhabitants indicates that "if you take a nap, you can watch Cinderella" was the most successful.

I think I'm as ready as I'm going to be. I really do fine unless someone asks me if I'm okay. Then I cry. The phone calls have been pretty constant this weekend, a good and bad thing. Taking the edge off my sadness, in technicolor and general hilarity, I give you......the Kraken.

Big grin

Cover girl

Supergirl rides again

She helps. A lot.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Home again

I am safely home, before the snow started. I am vacillating between feeling pretty much normal and bursting into tears. There are babies and baby stuff everywhere. Going to Target for a few needed items is like walking the gauntlet, and the grocery store is an exercise in masochism. When I'm at home I'm okay, especially when I'm not alone.

Talked to several of my friends who have been through this, and that helps. And while I am tired and my throat is still raw from being intubated for surgery, I otherwise physically feel almost normal. That helps too. I am dreading going back to work on Tuesday. My colleagues are kind people, and they will many of them want to tell me they are sorry. That is when I usually lose my sh*t. Not to mention the fact that the ultrasound picture from the previous Friday is taped to my computer monitor. Not something I look forward to seeing first thing.

The Minotaur is really struggling too, I think. He didn't go to work on Friday at all, and he didn't want to let me go when I got home. He doesn't always talk a lot about how he feels, but being a father has been one of the most pivotal experiences of his life, and there's no question about that. He is ready, like I am, to do it again. He is afraid, like I am, that it will not be as easy to achieve this time, and current events are certainly not helping in that respect. I am 37 years old. Not ancient by any stretch of the imagination, but hardly a spring chicken.

The last few days have been a really powerful reminder of why I've stayed with the company I work for this past 13 years. The calls have been regular, not to me, but to the girl I traveled with. I think out of fear of upsetting me. The travel agent was given instructions to get us home early, despite the $400 additional cost for doing so. I feel the support so strongly from where I am, even without a word spoken to me directly. I am so grateful to be home and not stuck in New York.

My Kraken was very glad to see me. And I have to say, despite the fact that it totally SUCKED to have to go through all of this without my husband, I am immeasurably grateful that my daughter did not have to observe any of it. She won't even have to know it happened until she is much older. She is so powerfully affected by my emotions, it's hard to imagine how the cocktail of my fear and my obvious physical distress would have impacted her. She cries when I cry, even if she doesn't know why I am crying. A girl after my own heart.

Two more days of family time to get my head back together. And it's snowing. It's so beautiful.


Friday, January 18, 2008

It turns out that it wasn't New York I was afraid of, but I have to wonder how much of my dread of this trip was prescience.

I miscarried yesterday, in the middle of the conference I was attending. The very wonderful doctors of NYU Medical Center released me at 9:30 last night after a D&C to complete what my body chose to start. I am in the airport catching an earlier flight home as we speak. My shell shocked but incredibily supportive and comforting employee is reading at my side, and in just a few hours I will be able to see my husband and child.

I am not sure when or if I will be able to blog, or talk further about the experience itself. My emotions are incredibly close to the surface at the moment, and I'm just trying to get through the day and get home.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Off to the big city

I am leaving on a jet plane tomorrow morning, not to return until Saturday evening. I am most decidedly not looking forward to being away from my family for that long, but at the moment the repetitive nature of the clanging noises issuing from the television set in the next room do make the prospect of 3 nights in a quiet apartment more appetizing. Did I mention that I have not yet gotten to play the Wii since it arrived on our doorstep right after Christmas?

I have packed my bags. Printed my boarding passes. Placed my ridiculously small shampoo bottles into the appropriately sized ziploc bag. Spent quality time painting toenails and reading stories with the Kraken. I am ready to go. Now, if only I could face my fear.

I know it's completely ridiculous to be afraid to go to NYC. I lived in London for a year, Chicago for a summer, and I happily tromp around Seattle whenever I head Westside to visit the parents. I have spent my fair share of time in cities. But never New York. And very little of this city time have I spent since I became a mother, and truly knew fear for the first time in my life.

There are a handful of women who read this blog (and some lurkers, you know who you are) who remember my younger, wilder self. Who watched me move to foreign countries and stalk the streets alone at night. Part of my fearlessness came from a completely misguided perception of my own "scariness". Who would try to mug the creepy looking chick with the leather jacket and the skull buckle boots, after all? But most of it was, in retrospect, what I didn't have to lose.

Oh sure. I liked my life well enough. I loved my friends. I loved my family. I didn't have a death wish. But the idea of my own mortality seemed distant, unrealistic. And my mother's constant worrying about the choices I made was stifling, unnecessary, and neurotic.

Now that I have a child of my own, I understand my mother better. And I also wonder why she never just slapped the shit out of me. I'm fairly certain I would have. I still sometimes think she worries unnecessarily, that her own mother's fears bled into her psyche with the laundry detergent. And that sometimes I worry unnecessarily for the same reason. But the stakes are so high, aren't they? To even ponder momentarily the idea of not getting to watch her grow up is enough to make my hands shake. Worse still is the idea of her grief at the loss of me. It strikes me as so strange that my fear is not personal, even when it's fear of my own death or injury.

I'm afraid to go to New York. It's irrational. It's paranoid. It's informed by ridiculous television shows. But I am somebody's whole world now, and rationality has got nothing to do with it.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Getting back in the groove

It's been so long since I blogged regularly, I feel a little clumsy. Like I'm learning a new language, or a new set of dance moves (the only dance I ever mastered was the washerwoman's jig, and trust me, that wasn't something you wanted to see). But I am hopeful that practice will make me, if not perfect, at least articulate again.

It's Saturday night. It's almost 11 PM. I should be sleeping, since it will only be about 8 hours before I am awakened by the dulcet tones of the Kraken shrieking Ariel's song from The Little Mermaid at levels that can be heard from space. You know, I hear other 3 year olds just get out of the bed and come to the door and come. out. of. their. rooms when they are ready to start the day. Not the Kraken. It's not her way. And it's not my way to go to bed myself when I can have a few precious moments to myself.

Another exciting day of errands is behind us. And what weekend would really be complete without a trip to Target AND a trip to Lowe's? And how in the hell can one actually spend $300 on blinds, doorknobs, hinges and light switches???? Sigh. This home improvement thing may end up costing us so much money that we have to sell the house.

I feel a little blah today. I'm sure some of it is from spending a week on tenterhooks waiting to find out why I was bleeding. The resulting relief from knowing the baby's still alive has degenerated into a general sense of low-keyness, like endorphins wearing off a few hours after a tattoo. Fortunately, SugarMama is bringing her brood to the house in the morning so that ought to liven things up. Watching her Bean and the Kraken play together is always entertaining, not least of which because of the unpredictability of it. One week they may largely ignore each other until it's time to scuffle over a toy, and another week they may sneak off into the other room to build a hydrogen bomb together.

Next week I'm going to New York for a few days for work. I am looking forward to the actual work part, but I'm traveling with a much younger (and much livelier) employee. I'm afraid she's going to be sadly disappointed at traveling with a 37 year old pregnant woman. I am not a good little shopper at the best of times. Still, I have never been to New York, oddly enough, so I'm looking forward to the experience for that reason. I've heard there are many restaurants, which is handy when one has to eat every 2 hours to avoid projectile vomiting on one's surroundings.

I am on my way to bed, my crossword puzzles calling me softly from upstairs. I leave you with this assertion from the Kraken this evening.

Kraken: "My name is [Kraken Gorgon]"
SG: "Yes, sweet girl, it is."
Kraken: "NOT Captain Crazypants. That's your name, Momma."

Friday, January 11, 2008

Kids these days

On my drive to work in the mornings, if I haven't recently exhausted my Harry Potter CD's for the eight bazillionth time, I often listen to NPR. And earlier this week they were talking about the current state of PE in America.

Now, I despised PE, as I think the majority of us did, because of the humiliation inherent in having to do aerobics to Jefferson Starship while the rest of the school meandered by on their way to class. Not to mention my general distaste in earlier years of any kind of activity that required me to actually get up and put my book down. Having said that, I certainly recognize the value of PE as part of our school curriculum. For many children it's the only form of exercise they get. So, when this woman started talking about the "new PE", I listened, wondering what on earth they could possibly be doing to make PE new.

Turns out it means no more kickball. No more running boring old laps. And more video enhanced games, whatever that means. Is that like laser tag or something? And that got me to thinking, what the hell is wrong with kickball? I mean, my generation played kickball. My generation did not have the same problem with early childhood obesity that the current generation of children has. My generation did not have video games at all (at least not until Atari's first system came out). So why aren't we going all old school with PE? Come on, let's jazzercise! Let's run laps while "Pass the Dutchie" plays in the background from a boombox. Let's do 500 jumping jacks in a row, before the advent of a decent sports bra. And let's play bloody kickball, the only game in the history of games that virtually any child can be successful at. Come on people, kids aren't getting any exercise at home anymore because it isn't safe to let them run around the neighborhoods by themselves. If we want the next generation to be able to walk upright, let's do the math: Exercise at school ~=maybe not quite as many kids with diabetes by age 5.

Then again, maybe that's new math. I never did get new math.

Sadly, I really did think about this for about a half an hour that morning.


Cervix is closed. Heart is beating.

"A viable pregnancy was detected". Have you ever heard more beautiful poetry in all your days?

I'm going to go eat some ice cream now.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Soon I will blog about something other than this pregnancy, I promise. I just need a little good mojo, tonight, ladies.

I debated whether or not to blog about this or not. You know how sometimes things don't seem real until you voice them? For me, once I write it down it's given life, so I am very careful what I write about. I stopped keeping a journal a long time ago.

I am almost 8 weeks pregnant. I am bleeding. Not a lot, mind, just a spot here and there, a larger spot here and there. I am not cramping. I am not passing tissue. But I am not stopping, either. It's been going on since Monday afternoon. My first call to the nurse earned me a reassuring "not to worry, very common". My second call got me scheduled for an ultrasound. I don't know if that was because they were more worried, or if they simply wanted to stop me before I started calling daily. Either way, I go tomorrow at 2 PM to find out what the situation is. Hopefully I am far enough in for them to detect a heartbeat. I have been driving myself insane for days going back and forth between thinking "meh, it's fine" and "oh, my, god, it took me five months to get pregnant and now it's over before it starts". I really need to have an answer, no matter what it may be.

I dreamed last night that my niece belonged to me, and that I was putting her to bed in the room with Kayleigh. I don't know if that's my psyche's wishful thinking, or a sign of what's to be.So, good mojo for me tonight, if you don't mind. I will post this weekend and let you know what the situation is, either way.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


My mother, bless her heart, gave the Kraken for Christmas one of those horrible Big Mouth Billy Bass singing fish. If I have to listen to Take me to the river one. more. time. this evening, I may lose what little sense I have left.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

7 weeks today

I feel like shit on a shingle. I think I blocked out this part from my memory. This morning, I almost barfed while brushing my teeth. Then, in the car, whilst outlining the list of foods that sounded tasty to me (ramen noodles, tater tots, bloomin' onions, etc), I simultaneously felt my mouth begin to water in anticipation, and the bile rise in my throat as I even considered the possibility of eating.

I am trying to appreciate the crappiness of how I feel as it's a very present reminder of the fact that my hormones are doubling daily. I know this is no guarantee the baby is okay, but in the days before even getting a glimpse of my little parasite, it helps.

Help me push the Minotaur towards Rowan for a girl, ladies. That's my current pick, and it's jammed tight in my head for some reason. If it's a boy, he gets the name that would have been the Kraken's should she have sprouted testicles - Connor.