Saturday, January 12, 2008

How I got Lucky

This is part two in a (duh) two-part series about how I found out I was pregnant. Need to catch up?

Again, I'm merely following orders from Jennifer and Swistle. Because I have no original ideas. That should be abundantly clear if you've been here before...

And, if you've been here before and have - due to some mysterious mystery of the universe - returned to laugh at me and with me, thank you very much for the small boost to my ego. I love you. Will you marry me?

Very much like part one, The Mighty Hunter decided it was time to add to our little clan. I'm not sure exactly why we thought it prudent to subject another child to our little crazy world. Nevertheless, we did.

A little background info that may or may not be necessary for this story. You can skip down a little for the real "story"...

July 2005, we began our window and door sales business. It began with The Mighty Hunter, The Annoying Partner, one lone employee and myself. The Annoying Partner's wife was supposed to pitch in, but it never materialized. surprise. The birth of a business was hard work. I was working at the time as business manager/government sales manager for a agricultural and industrial engine parts business. I had very weak skills at bookkeeping and knew sufficient information about sales tax and invoicing and the like to help us limp along until we hired a full-time bookkeeper. The parts business for which I worked was owned by my dad, who is now sainted in the Auburn household because of his generosity in allowing me to work there and at the window company, all while paying my full salary.

While working both jobs, we had a very hectic life. Stinkerbell was in daycare and came to the office at nights with us. As for housework, let me say that we had clean clothes and milk and orange juice and loaf bread. That was about it.

Then in October 2005, we hired Beverly as our full-time bookkeeper, office manager, man-babysitter. She is married to The Mighty Hunter's uncle and is quite capable of handling The Mighty Hunter in the way in which he is accustomed. Let's call it "gentle abuse" or "generous tolerance" or "PMS (Putting up with Men's Shit)".

Needless to say, she has what I call "JOB SECURITY". We all love Bev. Bev is queen. All hail Bev.

Up to hiring her and while training her, I was having chest pains. I was working my patooty off, and it was taking its toll on me via an almost daily "oh dear Jesus, I'm having a heart attack. should I call 911? My left arm doesn't hurt. Or should I be checking my right arm? Where are my tums? Can I overdose on tums? These taste like fruity chalk. blech. double blech. All right, close my eyes, relax, think peaceful thoughts.... Did I fall asleep? Chest pains? Still there, but less intense. I wonder if anyone noticed I fell asleep..."

While we were training Bev, we were also discussing having a second baby. I explained that I should probably have a physical with someone like a cardiologist and also plan for the inevitable migraines that I would experience after going off the pill. Echocardiogram, prescriptions for pain meds and an all clear (with the repeated "quit working so much") from the doctors and I was ready to TTC.

Much like our attempts to conceive Stinkerbell, I went off the pill in January. At this same time, a dear friend of mine in Minnesota (hi, Rach!) was also trying to get pregnant. We emailed and im'ed about the deal. She asked me if I was "charting".

charting? I don't put in any confidence in the almanac and astrology. We're just having sex. A lot.

Then she explained about how you're "supposed to TRY TO GET PREGNANT" with the charting, the temperature taking and the mucus checking and the peeing on a stick daily to determine if you're about to ovulate so you'll know whether you need to pee on a stick again later. She shared websites and forums and recommendations about thermometers and pee sticks and best time to pee and... Well, you get the idea. She educated me.

So, I began The Charting and all it entailed. I never, in a million years, thought I would wake myself up early on weekends to TAKE MY TEMPERATURE and try to find my notepad and pencil with my eyes closed and write down a number that was exactly the same as the day before or maybe .2 cooler or warmer. I also never DREAMED I would wake each morning and stick my fingers up there to check for mucus.

Mucus is not a favorite term of mine. In general, mucus is something I avoid at all costs.

Mucus has cooties. Even if it is MY mucus.

cooties, I say!

So, I trucked along doing The Charting and checking and temping and peeing and didn't get pregnant. Was I doing it wrong? Wasn't the Charting supposed to help me get pregnant?

It turned out that The Charting didn't help me get pregnant. It just made me a little obsessive about the difference between egg-white consistency and sticky mucus.

I did learn that I was ovulating regularly. So, something should happen soon. And it did.

The end of May, I peed on a pg test stick first thing in a morning. First thing in the morning because that's what the box said was the "best time" to test and I definitely wanted to use my best pee.

Anything to stop having to check my mucus!

Well, that time I got the two lines. I was pregnant.

And, unlike my pregnancy with Stinkerbell which was - in retrospect - very pleasant and healthy and "fun", I was entering a whole new level of hell in my life.

We told Stinkerbell first. Well, I told Rachel and then WE told Stinkerbell. She ran around the house screaming and shouting and generally overjoyed. She had the pleasure of telling my parents and The Mighty Grand-dad. It was all exciting and good.

Then the morning sickness hit. Which was not HORRIBLE, but manageable. Then the MIGRAINES hit. Which were hell and unmanageable and sent me to the ER twice for medications to stop the pain and the puking. We met with my OBs several times trying to find the right pain meds to stop the pain and not induce more puking.

Did you know that some medications that stop your pain will actually make you puke? Oh yeah. The joys of modern medicine.

Did you know that there are some medicine combinations that include pain killers and puke stoppers? Oh YEAH. The wonders of modern medicine.

After my 2nd visit to the ER, where they suspected I was seeking a hit to my pain med addiction - which I wasn't, I met with my OB and we scheduled an appointment with a neurologist. The first appointment was 2 weeks away. The pregnant receptionist took pity on my drugged, crying, scared pregnant self and called me the next morning when there was a cancellation for that afternoon.

I called my mother, because I didn't feel confident to drive to Birmingham to the appointment. On my way to meet my mother, I was praying. I was talking to God. I was telling him how I needed help and was scared and didn't know what to do. Then...

this is one of those FEW times that I believe God directed my thoughts/spoke to me...

Then... I thought about my dear friend Tim who survived a "fatal" case of sepsis after being on life support and having his heart "shocked" multiple times and being told that IF he survived, he would be totally disabled and possibly paralyzed and in a vegetative state. (He returned to work 2 weeks after leaving the hospital and is FINE today.) (you can say wow now.) I thought about how hard hundreds of people and I had prayed for him. I thought about how a mere acquaintance had asked her church prayer group to pray for me. I thought about how my own church and family were praying for me. And then I thought, why haven't I prayed for myself? Why haven't I asked God to heal me? Am I not worthy of my own prayers for healing?

So, I did. I prayed that God would relieve me of the headaches and heal me of them and restore my health and protect my baby and forgive me for lacking faith in Him to care for me.

That afternoon, after the MRI and a good meal at the Cheesecake Factory, the headache that had been with me almost non-stop for 5 weeks faded.

The next day, it was even better.

By the end of that week, I was pain-free.

I had holes in my memory. There were things that I was sure I had done or should know or could almost remember but they were just out of reach in my mind. But my memory recovered fully. (not saying much)

Another interesting thing about my pregnancies...

During the month of October while I was pregnant with Stinkerbell, after losing The Mighty Grand-mother in June, The Mighty Grand-dad had quintuple bypass surgery. While pregnant with Lucky, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and had successful surgery. He's cancer free now.

I told him he was through with his medical dramas, because I was through having babies.*

*Except I might want another one someday. God help me.


jennifer said...

Well that is a whole lotta drama! You are indeed lucky to have gotten Lucky!

And isn't crazy to even consider having another?!

Faith said...'re in my bloglines so I'm faithfully checking in....however, NO. I won't marry you. *GRIN* LOL!!! Anyways, interesting story! Thanks for sharing. *GRIN* I HATED the charting stuff although the mucus grosses me out so much I won't even touch it. YUCK! LOL. SORRY. TMI!!!

Laura McIntyre said...

Great story, loved reading it.