My existence is a life-long treasure hunt.

Archive for the ‘About Me’ Category

Three’s Company Too

Wow. S and A, our two beautiful, planned children. I wanted desperately to get to the next step in my career, feeling very much on pause while I nurtured and raised my daughters. I made myself release a lot of stress and pressure by focusing solely on the girls during A’s first year. After I weaned from breastfeeding when she turned 1 year old, I would have a bit more freedom to get back to “me”, whoever that was at this point. My husband and I would finally get some breathing room. More structure, more routine. More vacations! A 10-year anniversary trip to Maui was booked.  A winter trip to Costa Rica was planned as soon as the airline opened seats that far in advance. The abdomen and hernia damage from A’s pregnancy would be surgically repaired. I met with the surgeon for a consultation and nodded affirmatively when he asked if we were finished having kids.

That, I was in the process of coming to peace with. Before kids were a reality, I always daydreamed I would have 4 children. The big family I never had and always wanted. Then I in turn had 2 awful pregnancies (3 if you include the miscarriage) that had me feeling like I was a prisoner in my own body. A labor turned emergency C-section with A (that’s a crazy story for another post) that transitioned into the most pain I have ever endured via surgery recovery. Hellish breastfeeding experiences both times until well into nursing (thanks lip and tongue ties). We projected into the future and agreed that 2 really was the perfect number for us personally, and our family goals.

Fertility was always a struggle. I definitely had to try and plan to get the girls here. So when I was 2 weeks late, I chalked it up to breastfeeding messing with my cycle. YOU THOUGHT, said my body. Plot twist, 6 weeks pregnant! While I was laughing with my co-workers about being done with pregnancy, while my husband and I made plans, while I booked flights, while I bought new clothes, while while while….Yung Fetus was in there smirking.

World has been upside down ever since. What are we going to do with a 3rd baby?? This was not in the plans. How are we going to be a traveling family of 5?? Do I have to get a minivan! How are we going to put 3 car seats in my car? Are we going to be broke forever? Will I ever be myself again???

What will be, will be. This baby will have a place at the table and we will be very happy to meet it.

Things I am currently swirling in my head:

-I have to have a 37 week c-section because I had a classical incision with A. Not happy about that at all. Will the baby be too small or have other issues? Google assures me that most 37-weekers do just fine.

-Who are you, baby? We are assuming girl even though you had jokes at my 16 week check-up and kept your legs mostly together. What is your name?

-If this is a girl, how am I going to survive doing 4 heads of natural hair every day/week?

-I have to get organized. I have to get a system. I have a planner, a separate to-do list with categories, and a Midori/traveler’s notebook. It’s happening.

-Please baby, be healthy. And don’t have a tongue or lip tie please lawd.

-Is my body going to be completely destroyed after this? When will I be “myself” again?

What a fork in the road the middle of this year became. I do feel peace, and I feel determination. See you soon.

19 Weeks

Well, I still don’t feel sparkly, but I don’t feel like death either. And in comparison, that’s pretty much sparkly, right? K.

This week I’ve started feeling sore, especially when I wake up. I need to quit trippin’ and get that body pillow in full effect. I can only sleep on 1 side, the magical left side which makes everything sore, stiff, and dead in the morning.

I had a random ninja stomach-acid vomit session yesterday (or was it Tuesday? I don’t know time anymore). Don’t know what that’s about.

I borrowed my SIL’s home Doppler to try to find Minicorn’s heartbeat since it would be awhile until our next scan and I was anxious over stopping the baby aspirin and subsequently killing Minicorn. Yes, these are normal thoughts for post-loss preggies. Shut up. I found it yesterday and was comforted.

Quick ninja scan Saturday with Crabby’s co-worker who wants to finish what she started last time (she guessed the sex but wasn’t 100% sure). Then, official 20-week anatomy scan next Thursday where they’ll officially tell us the sex, as well as how many fingers Minicorn has, how them organs lookin’, and other important things.

I set a date for the baby shower, mostly so I could let all my out-of-town peeps know in advance. After next week, I’ll start thinking about the shit-gets-real things.

I’m also going to look for a part-time daycare as my mom works from home twice a week and will keep Minicorn those days (plus she’s considering retiring in the next year or so).

Still haven’t felt Minicorn move >: – l but at a friend’s baby shower I went to last Saturday, I met a woman there who didn’t feel the baby move until about 25 weeks when she had an anterior placenta, so I felt a little better. Still salty, but better. She’s also using the same midwives/hospital I am and gave me all the juicy details on how fabulous the hospital room is. Jacuzzi tub to labor in the water, queen-sized bed for spouse or partner to sleep in, no nursery to encourage medical staff to do everything baby-check-wise in the room with the parents, etc. Sounds niiiiice.

I need to find a good pool so I can go swimming.

Also: I’ve been reading Ramit’s material for years. He is having a rent giveaway right now where he will contribute up to $2,001 for your rent. That would be 2 months rent for us, so I’m trying to enter the shit out of this giveaway. Y’all should enter too. If you didn’t use the money for rent, what else would you use it for? Debt? Travel? Kids? Shopping? Beauty? Holla. And sign up here if you want to enter.

What Was It?

Was it the Year of the Water Dragon?

Was it this fortune that I have kept at my desk this year and looked at every day?

Was it the HSG?

Was it the Mucinex? Or the baby aspirin? Or both?

Was it the threat of Clomid + IUI? And the racks on racks on racks money we would have had to spend on it?

Was it a cunty, sparkly rainbow of all of those factors?

After nearly of year of unsuccessful cycles, I had become testing-jaded. I was no longer one of those women who tested “early”. Nope, my period would be later than Colored People Time before I would even THINK about testing.

I felt some cramping last Tuesday. 9 days past (assumed) ovulation; also known as the most common implantation day. Implantation cramping or PMS cramping? Knowing me, of course it would be PMS cramping. A few days later, more cramping. Mm-hmm, PMS. My nipples hurt. That could be a pregnancy sign! But my nipples can hurt from PMS too. PMS. Fatigue. Pregnancy sign?!?! Nope, just good old PMS. The cramps were especially intense and productive feeling on Friday. 13 days past (assumed) ovulation. Period due Sunday. Mm-hmm. About right for PMS. Period is on her way. Goodbye, free baby. Hello, $1,000 baby (or babies). We gave it a good try. Time to move on to the big guns. My nipples hurt to the point where my shirt touching them hurt. Still tired. Maybe a little hungrier.

Saturday. My friend’s birthday dinner is Saturday night. At a steakhouse. A vegan in a steakhouse. My plan was fries, salad, and liquor. I felt a twinge. Maybe I should test to make SURE, even though this is totally PMS and of course I’m not pregnant. But I don’t want to feel guilty if I’m tippin’ back the cocktails. I have a dusty box of First Response Early Result tests. It’s no longer “early”. I am 14 days past (assumed) ovulation, and my period is due Sunday. I wake up that morning and I’m not cramping anymore. I’m supposed to be still cramping if the Period Express is on her way. Meh, whatevs. I pee in my non-drink-out-able Moroccan tea glass, kept under the sink for this explicit purpose. I dip the test in, set it on the counter, put the cap on. I’m washing my hands. I see something before the time limit, something that is there way before it’s supposed to be. Something before the control line, even. What? Nawl. I’m tripping. There’s nothing there. But I’ve tested so many times. I know when it’s negative. There is no pink. Just wide, blank, stark, white, laughing-at-you, negative, space. And the control line. But this is not that; not like the other cycles.

What even…………..

The timing.

Everything.

Is this happening?

Is minicorn here to stay?

No guarantees. I have so many miles to go. But I have to be happy and excited in the moment. Right now. One day at a time.

“And we danced into tomorrow on bleeding feet”

November 4th. Please. Stay with me.

Minicorn the Remix.

December

December 7th was my doctor’s appointment where I began fertility testing. December 8th was my due date, had I not lost the pregnancy. December 10th was my 5-year anniversary with Crabby. Festive!

So I saw my new doctor, who I love. I showed her my charts, told her about the miscarriage, inquired about testing. She had me get my blood drawn (5-6 damn tubes of blood @__@) for hormone levels, gave me paperwork to schedule a sperm analysis for Crabby, and gave me paperwork for the HSG (hysterosalpingogram).

The HSG is a procedure where they put a catheter up your yahoo and inject iodine to see your uterus and fallopian tubes to check for blockages. It can only be done days 7-10 of your cycle. Supposedly (no hard scientific evidence) fertility increases for the 1st 3 cycles after the HSG because the dye can sometimes clear out small blockages. They told me to call in January to schedule it and I was all NAWL PLEIGHBOI SEE THAT’S WHERE YOU WRONG AT I’M ON CYCLE DAY 6 RIGHT NOW CAN WE SCHEDULE IT THIS CYCLE THANKS. So we got it scheduled for last Friday.

I went in for that, they said my tubes were clear! In the 48 hours or so following, I saw tiny clots and spotting which makes me think that the procedure DID clear something minor out of there. So needless to say I am a little hopeful for this cycle.

I’m a bit sad to have reached this milestone (my due date) without a pregnancy happening. Last year at this time I was so crunk to start trying to conceive. I had my free boxes of ovulation predictors that Desiree gave to me, I was going to start charting in January, it was going DOWN. Now, a year later here I am. Blah. What a shitty year this has been. But, I do have hope for next year and hopefully my little minicorn is ready to come into existence then.

But, on a sparkly note, Crabby and I have been married 5 years now. Cray. We’re probably the happiest we’ve ever been. Those early years of marriage people warn about ain’t no joke, I can say.

Anyhoo, next year should be better. We’ll be getting out of an expensive-ass lease so we can finally start hoarding money and traveling more. I am hopeful.

6 Years Natural

I hit the 6-year mark back in October. As I’m sure a lot of naturals in it long-term know, your hair IS “long” starting at about the 2-year mark but it doesn’t LOOK long for a while more. That was especially true in my case because my hair is really fine and light, so it took awhile for it to begin weighing itself down.

Now I’m living the good life length-wise. I can make a bun with MY OWN DAMN HAIR AND IT WILL ACTUALLY STAY IN A BUN. I can whip my hair dramatically to leave a room even if it’s for no reason. It’s great.

My current routine is an amalgamation of Teri’s method from tightlycurly.com, Francesca’s methods from heyfranhey.com, and my own ideas.

I had been doing Teri’s method for awhile but was starting to get frustrated. Even with leaving the conditioner in, separating each curl, etc. my hair would STILL get frizzy. I know a lot of that is due to Houston’s climate. That’s why I’m glad the humidity is gone (except on the occasional rainy day) so I can truly experiment now. I also realized after time, that Teri’s hair is THICK. My hair is not really thick. I think that may be a key part as why that full method isn’t giving the results I want. I was seeing too much shrinkage and poodle hair.

So I found heyfranhey and began experimenting.

I wash every Sunday. Co-wash only, no shampoo. I currently use the Whole Foods 365 conditioner to wash my scalp (huge bottle for about $5, has lasted forever), then rinse that out over the rest of my curls. I then use Giovanni (either the 50-50 hydrating or leave in…I dunno, it’s 2 different varieties that I confuse with each other) to coat my hair for the de-tangling process. Here’s where a crossroads has occurred.

I’ve been using the Denman to detangle, but it clumped my hair together too much and gave me poodle hair/shrinkage. But, the wide-tooth comb doesn’t fully detangle like I need it to. Fran finger-detangles her hair. I tried that and it took me ONE GOTDAMNED HOUR just to detangle one-FOURTH of my hair. Nawl. So I looked up some youtube videos and googled other people doing it. One girl said finger-detangling saves her time. Girl, what? So I figure I must be doing that wrong. Fran is supposed to come out with a Youtube series around January so I may revisit then if she demonstrates it.

So La gave me the idea of alternating comb first, then Denman, then comb again to loosen up the poodle curls. Ima edit that to Denman first (using Teri’s method of ends, then working the tangles out from the top and clearing from the bottom so you’re not brushing the same part of the hair over and over, which causes stress), then comb to loosen the poodle clumps.

Then, another crossroads occurred after my hair was detangled.

I was previously just leaving the conditioner in, and letting my hair air-dry. That ain’t working for me anymore. So now, I rinse the conditioner out, apply aloe vera juice (search heyfranhey.com for aloe vera juice info) to the hair while it’s still dripping wet, then put a LITTLE Giovanni as a leave-in on top.

The aloe vera juice has changed the game. It locks in the water, so your hair is super shiny and soft AND MOISTURIZED.

Then, when it comes time to put your hair up at night, yet ANOTHER crossroads. I had been doing 1-2 braids or a bun at night. Then, I tried pineappling (hair in a loose ponytail of sorts at the top center of your head, then putting a scarf over it). That shit gave me too much shrinkage, because my hair didn’t want to “lie down” when I took it down. BUT, the curls were intact and cute though. So now, I’m thinking I’m going back to alternating braids/buns for the stretch that it gives my hair. I also sleep on satin scarves draped over my pillowcase, shout out to Kit for that idea (easier than ordering satin pillowcases).

When I take my hair down in the morning, I mix a little grapeseed oil and Giovanni together to moisturize my ends, as needed and to smooth down the top of my hair if there are any fly-aways.

So I think I have almost perfected my routine. Co-wash once a week, detangle with Giovanni and Denman brush/comb combo, rinse, apply aloe vera juice, apply a little bit of Giovanni on top, air dry. Braid/bun at night, take down in the morning, apply teensy bit of oil/Giovanni mixture. Stunt. I’m going to get some peppermint oil to massage my scalp before washing, as I have heard from multiple people the benefits. I also want to pick up some Shea Moisture conditioner (I use the body wash now and OMG it is heavenly. Luxurious, and that SCENT, and all natural ingredients, I definitely recommend you try this line).

Here are some photos.

I don’t remember what combination of a routine I was doing at this point. I know I hadn’t gotten the aloe vera yet, and I know I wasn’t using the conditioner-only method. I think this was when I was just using olive oil/grapeseed oil during the week and I wanted to show the link because I was getting little shrinkage.

This was a couple of weeks ago, also on the grapeseed oil only routine at this point. It was a Sunday, and I was headed to my niece’s christening. My hair looks fierce but also dry and that’s because Sunday is my normal wash day so this was 8-day old hair at this point. I love the fluffiness though.

That’s another revelation I’ve had at 6 years natural. I LIKE FLUFFY HAIR. I just don’t like frizzy hair (for me). I’ve been focused on what will save my curls the most and showcase them with no shrinkage, and I’ve just had to accept that though, yes my hair is clearly curly, it is on the fine/light side, and throughout the course of a week, the curls naturally stretch out (if I don’t fight them) into this Chaka Khan-ish look. AND I LOVE IT. Just so you can see a comparison of what I mean, look at this last picture:

See what I mean? This photo was last week. I started the aloe vera thing, and pineappling at night. See how much shorter my hair looks? The curls are cute, yeah but I don’t like the overall effect of my hair like this. So this Sunday I’m going to modify the routine, using the same products but modifying my nighttime/morning routine. No more pineappling for me.

Anyhoo, that’s a slice of my hair life at 6 years natural. It’s awesome. I’ll post more pics as I perfect the new routine. OH, and length-wise, my hair reaches my lower-back when stretched. Just about to my badonkadonk.

Also, for a photo progression of my hair, click here.

Gray

I post occasional statuses on FB, I comment on friends’ photos and walls. I tweet. I Tumbl. I smile. I laugh. But honestly, I feel like my life is not being fully lived right now. I feel like my life is on hold until this unanswered question is resolved. Will this ever happen for me? I’m ready. I want this. I’ve waited. I’ve researched. I’ve prepared. I’ve matured. I’ve watched too many others experience this, some who wanted, some who didn’t, some who weren’t ready but became ready. Will this ever happen for me? I feel like my life is grayed out right now. I’m not living in full color. The fog creeps in at any given moment. If I’m at home, I let it creep over me. I hold it at bay when I’m not at home. It’s weighing me down though.

I want to blog about my life, but I just can’t. My grandmother died and the funeral was last Saturday. I wanted to write about making that trip to Jacksonville, TX and the unique quirks that small country city life holds. I wanted to write about that feeling going to the cemetary for burial and seeing my grandfather’s tombstone poking out of the dark, starkly, welcoming my grandmother. I want to write. I can’t.

My appointment this month was cancelled because the doctor had surgery. So because I have to time the appointment at the “right” part of my cycle, I won’t get to go back in until November. And the waiting continues. Will this ever happen for me?

Uterus Update September 2011

A gentle nudge from QQ reminded me that I need to update the blawg on the happenings. And by ‘gentle nudge’, I mean she busted through the door of G-chat like the cops and said, I quote: “Aye bitch I be meaning to ask how are you efforts on minicorning”

This is why you shouldn’t accept friends who have names beginning with the letter Q.

Anyhoo. So this is the second cycle that I was taking the evening primrose oil. Obvs didn’t result in a pregnancy the first cycle, but that’s cool (not really). So I gave it another cycle to kick in. I did not see an increase in fertile cervical fluid but you know what I did get? A GOTDAMNED DELAY IN OVULATION BY 3-4 DAYS! To put this in perspective for you: There is a window of about 3 fertile days a month. You ovulate on 1 of those days. The egg lasts 12-24 hours and then says fuck school. Charting has allowed me to pinpoint my ovulation and fertile days. I usually ovulate on Day 14 or 15 of my cycle which means I get a “positive” result on my ovulation predictor sticks on Day 12 or 13 of my cycle. When I saw I was still getting negatives by the end of Day 14? Oh nawl.

Re-enactment

So I knew immediately it had to be the Evening Primrose Oil. Back when I was researching it, I read that it could be a possible side effect, but I dismissed it since it didn’t affect last cycle at all. So I got delayed ovulation WITH no fertile cervical fluid? Nawl potna, you gotsta go. So I stopped taking them, ovulated late, whatevs. We’ll see how this cycle goes.

After last cycle’s failure, I decided to make an appointment to talk to a doctor. I started trying and charting in January, but there were also several months in 2010 that didn’t work either. So I figured I have a pretty strong case of look, I’m not getting pregnant, and that one time I did (6 months ago. I should be 6 months pregnant right now. That fucking sucks.) it didn’t survive. So I made an appointment with an OBGYN in October back in August, didn’t want to wait until October so I also made an appointment with a Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE) which happens to be next Tuesday. So things are about to get busy. Tuesday is generally too early to tell if I got pregnant this cycle (it will be about 7 days post-ovulation), I am of course hoping I got (and will remain) pregnant and can at least not need treatment or to see the other doctor in October for that purpose.

So that’s where we are now. Questions? Comments?

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