Monday, February 22, 2010

Sperm and Hard-boiled eggs

So, this morning I made Em hard-boiled eggs for breakfast. The following conversation ensued:

Em: Look, Mom! A perfect yolk...I didn't break it while I was opening my egg. Maybe I should take it to Show and Tell...

Me: As soon as we put it in a bag it may break...

Em: Mom, was this a boy or a girl chick?

Me: Neither. It wasn't fertilized so it was just an egg.

Em: Yeah, but there's a yolk. I killed a baby chick.

Me: No, Sweetie, you didn't kill a baby chick. All eggs have yolks, they are the sac that holds the baby chick if it were a fertilized egg.

Em: (Thinking...)

Me: Em, do you remember when we talked about eggs and fertilization? Well, an egg needs to be fertilized by a rooster in order to become a chick.

Em: How does it become a boy or a girl?

Me: Well, some sperm are male and some are female, so when the male fertilizes the egg with his sperm, depending on which one gets there first, that's what kind of chick it is. It's like a race, the first sperm there wins and gets to decide if it's a boy or a girl.

Em: (Thinking...) So, Daddy knows what kind of baby is in your belly?

Me: No. Nope...huh uh...when a male fertilizes an egg there are literally millions of little sperm that swim really fast to try to get to the egg first, and that's just too many to count to know which is which...(Help me out here, people! Losing it, here!)

Em: (Thinking...) So, wow. Huh. (Inquisitive look spreads across face) So, it took a really long time for daddy's sperm to make the baby in your belly now...I mean from when Noah was born until now...

Me: (Heading toward bathroom, looking for my out...) What? Huh? Oh...uh, yeah...uh huh,, run and get your coat on, kid, Mommy's going to go potty really you in the car...

Seriously?! All I did was boil up some eggs...Dear God, help me, please, when this conversation introduces the whole concept that eggs and sperm aren't always given the opportunity to "make contact".

Friday, February 19, 2010

Blogville, CO, USA, World

I stumbled into Blogville. Actually my friend, Rachel, threw me in, aka she set up Noah's blog for me because I was on the phone constantly at the hospital, so she called me one day and said she had set up a blog for me to update as a central place for communication for family and friends.

I didn't really know what a blog was...I had only seen one and it belonged to a friend of Jason's from a previous job who had relocated overseas, so he and his wife would post pictures and give quick blurbs about their adventures in the South Seas. I didn't live in the South Seas so didn't see how my life was anything but ordinary...

Jason set up a blog for me when Emily was a toddler. It's lost somewhere in Blogville. I don't remember the name of it or which email we had used to set it up in the first place. I don't even know if it has a post on it. It probably just says, "Test". He tried to explain it to me but, to be honest, I was tired and could not imagine taking time to post pictures of Em for our family to see. I know, I'm a slacker...

What never occurred to me when I started writing Noah's blog was the world of stories that would be opened to me...for my eyes and heart to see into the life of a stranger...glimpses of people I had never met that would somehow become friends, at least in my heart.

I remember being blown away when strangers, friends of friends and even long lost friends, started popping up on Noah's blog, sharing their love and encouragement, or not sharing anything at all because their hearts were too broken for us to even know what to say. It was mind boggling to conceive that strangers could have a love for us like that. And yet, I didn't think it strange at all if I traveled into Blogville and encountered stories that ripped my heart wide open and had me praying, crying, commenting or shooting emails off to total strangers.

The word "stranger" took on a whole new meaning.

I mean, these people were sharing their stories, candidly, crying out, not for attention, but for someone to listen and to say, "Me, too!" Not that any of them that I know of sought for someone else to actually share their tragedy of heartache or loss or the uncertainty of medical unknowns as a commonality, but simply people saying, "Hey, I have a story."

Truth be told, we all have a story. Each of us has a story that needs telling. How it is told will look different for all of us. Some will have audiences upon their knees or across booths over great food or coffee. Others, captivated teenagers will hang on every word at a summer camp. Some will write their stories on paper and others will type it on blogs. Others will share their stories quietly as they live by example. No matter how we share our stories, God has created each of us unique. We have all experienced many things during our lives, no matter the length, and in sharing our stories, we undoubtedly encourage another along the road.

In sharing our stories we move from being "strangers" to being friends and family. We move from being alone to being part of a bigger picture...not one that we draw or design ourselves, but one that is beautifully created by God, who is way more artistic than any of us.

I guess what I am trying to say is, thank you...

Thank you for letting me into your stories and thank you for being part of ours. Thank you for the overwhelming response of encouragement, enthusiasm and support about my belly. Whether you read or not, this blog has been such a great outlet for me, as I know your blogs are for you, and I will be getting my guts out on here during this leg of the journey. Believe, I've had some thoughts!

Thank you for Blogville, CO, USA, World...a great network of beauty where we can each candidly share our stories...the real, the raw and the in between.

Thank you for moving in my life from stranger to friend...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Is it GP or AMA?

Christmas morning I slipped out of bed quietly, which isn't hard with Jason since he's quite the sleeper, and tiptoed quietly to our bathroom to take the test that I knew in my heart would already be positive. I hadn't decided if I would show Jason the stripes that day or wait until 12 weeks or what. I know that sounds crazy to wait that long to tell your own hubby...especially Jason who I tell absolutely everything to and obviously deserves to walk the journey with me, one step at a time. The idea of waiting until further into the pregnancy wasn't to punish him or anything like that. It was more of my own beef with the fact that I've had some loss in life and also, being unemployed and on Medicare for the last year with no job or change in sight...well, would telling him only add stress even though he would never show it in a million years? Anyway, he's my bestest friend in the whole wide world...which is why it took me all of 30 seconds to say, "Merry Christmas! I'm pregnant!"

We both decided not to share the news with anyone for a while...which was difficult because Jason's whole family was at our house for Christmas, I had my birthday lunch with a bunch of my girlfriends two weeks later where I almost spilled the beans, and of course, just day in and day out interaction with humans in general!

Our plan to keep things on the DL for a while was blown with the nasty rodent incident, which you can read about here. We didn't want to tell Em at 6 weeks that she was going to be a big sister because my last miscarriage was at 6 weeks and my first one was between 9 and 10 weeks. She doesn't even know about the last one because, without candy coating it....adding to her list of dead siblings is a really shitty thing to have to do! Basically, I've had to exercise faith. And, I had to 'go there' earlier than I wanted to.

I am a realist. Even though I believe that God is real, that He is good, and that there really was a time in history before I existed on earth that an unseen God, who was totally in love with me, came in the flesh and died for my sins that I had yet to commit, no brainiac PhD scientist or theologian or wise Sherpa or shaman or anyone else for that matter will ever be able to convince me that one true God doesn't exist and that He doesn't totally stinking ROCK. That's a faith that I can barely explain. However, when it comes to the tangible, I am just like Thomas the big fat doubter.

So, even though I knew I couldn't make an appointment until I had reached 8 weeks, I called to set that up...

Me: I need to make an appointment. I'm pregnant.
Receptionist: When was the first day of your last period?
Me: November something, something.
Receptionist: Well, we only take appointments at 8 weeks or later.
Me: I know. That's fine. I will be out of town so wanted to call and schedule it.
Receptionist: When is your date of birth?
Me: 1972...yes, that makes me a Geriatric Patient...
Receptionist: (Nervous laugh) Oh no...okay, we've got you down for January 29th with Mr. Favorite Doctor.

After that, I pretty much forgot about it...well, not entirely since I've felt like crappola for the majority of this pregnancy, but in my head and heart, not until that appointment when I got to see a heart beating and it swimming around was I going to engage. (*Note: I recognize the truth that a baby is a baby at heart just couldn't take the drama and why lie about it?! #$%^&*).

Then, one random day mid-January I got a call from the office to reschedule my appointment because Mr. Favorite Doctor was going to be out of town the day of my appt. (He was out of town when Noah was born, as were all his partners, so a third party doc delivered my guy...) (He better not make that a practice or I'll go all "What About Bob?" on him...wink wink!) She asked if I wanted it sooner. I told her I was headed out of town, but would do it the following week...what I didn't tell her was that to avoid it altogether I would prefer to just show up some time in August...upon delivery.

The next day I had a VM from Mr. Favorite Doctor. It went like this:

MrFDr: Adrienne, this is Mr. Favorite Doctor. I was thrilled to see your name on my schedule. I know the girls in the office already called for you to reschedule because I'll be out of town but I just wanted you to know that even if they say I am booked and have no appointments, if you want to come in, if you have any concerns or anything, just call me and I'll fit you in. It's not a problem.

My heart was all warm and fuzzy. I hit "Reply to Message" and said:

Me: Mr. Favorite Doctor, thank you so much for your offer! You rock! However, I really didn't even want to come in there until I was totally sure I was pregnant, like, til 20 or 30 weeks...or maybe even 40. I'll settle for a 10 week appointment, though. Jason and I will see you on the 1st of February. Have a good trip!

Fast forward to February 1st, please, because January 2010 was the slowest freaking month in Adrienne's history!

Here we are in the waiting room contemplating the fact that we're both nearing 40 and starting from scratch...hence, the ultra-tired looks on our faces...

We showed up in the office and one of Noah's nurses was on that day. She was giddy like a teenager. We headed to the exam room where she asked me a million questions, medical and personal, and just kept telling me how happy she was for us...even more excited than if she were pregnant herself. Finally she said she should probably get to other patients, so I waited in my fancy paper ensemble, trying not to freeze. I didn't reach for it because, without fail, the moment you hop off the exam table while you are waiting, the doc comes in and then your hiney is hanging out and that's just a bad scene. But there was a Cosmo on a little table in the room. I don't read that magazine, mostly because I have always had a bent towards design and decorating magazines, but also because on the cover of every Cosmo there's always a raunchy title to an article within that is supposed to draw you in and change your life forever, right? There are plenty of other fashion magazines that aren't borderline porn, so that's the obvious reason...but here's what the 'tease' was for the article within this particular publication: Your Hoo-Ha: Your Way to a Healthy and Pretty Vagina.

Really?! REALLY?! Seriously?! Yeah. Uh-huh. Not even kidding you...speechless, aren't you? Thankfully Mr. Favorite Doctor knocked.

Then Jason joined us in the ultrasound room...and finally, there it was...the cutest, sweetest, most active little gummy bear sized baby, kicking and punching, with a beautiful heartbeat, and, to my sweet surprise, a couple days ahead on gestation...

MrFDr: Your baby is healthy and strong and looks great! I am so happy for you guys. And, you are actually due sooner than you thought, by a few days.
Me: So, what? Do you call me, like a freaking Geriatric Patient or something?
MrFDr: Um, well, we usually leave off the 'freaking' and no, we call it "Advanced Maternal Age".
Me: Seriously? Advanced Maternal Age?
MrFDr: Yes. It begins at 35, but you are young.
Me: Well, I have some gray hair and I'm growing a baby...I call that has an ironic ring to it...
Me: Do you think you could possibly be in town for this know, since you missed the last one while you were off fishing somewhere in the ocean?
MrFDr: I'll certainly do what I can.

Then I found out Jason doesn't really want to find out what it As stated above, I need a tangible and just don't think I can do that, so I'll probably win out. I'll let you know...or maybe I won't...

We talked about AMA pregnancy tests available to us. Mr. Favorite Doctor already knew any result would not change the outcome of whether we would have our baby or not, but I admitted that the medical research side of my brain was curious now because of Noah and wanted some of the tests just so I could study and whatnot. So, on February 26th, I'll head back in for another ultrasound for further testing, not related to what Noah had, as there are no prenatal tests for Lyme's, but for other stuff. Nothing I am choosing will be invasive, however.

The kid is who it is and we already love matter how long. Period.

As we floated to our car I couldn't believe our new reality. Jason's new job would be starting two days from our appointment and we had a healthy baby growing in my belly...and the scale at the doctor's office said I had lost 6 lbs. so who doesn't love that?!

For those of you who have read here a while, you know Noah's first and only movie was "Nacho Libre"...a family favorite.

We headed to Mezcal, one of our favorite Mexican restaurants in the Denver area, for Sopes, the yummiest food for my tummy. The place is laden with vintage posters of Mexican wrestlers in true "Nacho Libre" style. We basically just kept staring at each awe...slapped upside the head with the reality that we aren't far off 40, and still totally in love after all these years and all the crap we've been through...and all the promises to is sweet.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Rodents and stuff like that...

So, I know it's been a while. I am Adrienne. I am the author of this blog. Just reintroducing myself, you know, in case...

The last month plus has been a whirlwind. January 12th came and went, as it does every year, but it was special, as it has been since 2007. Our friend Gina apparently launched a stealth operation prior to the holidays and the collaborative effort is beautiful! She and some other friends, and many of you, sent in pictures of ways God has impacted your lives through the story of Noah on posters or pieces of paper. They set it to music and soon, after a little editing, I will post it here. It was a true surprise and an encouragement to our hearts of the ripple effects that happen when we truthfully and candidly share our stories. Thank you all who joined in by sending pictures and your love. Jason and I were speechless...

January 12th was such an emotionally draining day, not because it was the anniversary of when Noah died, but because Jason had an interview at Compassion International on that very day. For the last year and a half Jason had launched out with a friend to start a software company. It's doing well, but anyone who works for themselves knows that the boss gets paid last or not at all. It's been a difficult time for us in many ways, but the final outcome was Jason's pursuit of another career. Well, after several call back interviews and meetings with many a team member, while we were in Arizona visiting my Gramps and my parents,

"Louie" my Gramps who is creeping up on 93 in a month.

Jason received the call from Compassion that has truly humbled us and given us a new excitement for what God has in store...

He is the new Director of the Child Survival Program which means his job is to essentially lower the infant mortality rate in 3rd world countries by working with their local communities to get clean water, medicine, micro-lending, health care, etc, to pregnant mothers and their babies. I am so proud of him I could burst! Did you know that 25,000 babies die each day around the world from preventable causes! It's mind-boggling and I'm going to help as well by contributing funds from my jewelry business, bebe & boo, to the Child Survival Program. Details to come on that...

So, anyway, back to the title of this post...

Jason and I were out on a date in January because Em was having a sleepover at her friend's house. Well, we called her to say goodnight and tell her we loved her and how much we missed her (I missed her...she was having the time of her life...). I talked to her first and she gave me the rundown of all the excitement and the fun things they had done already. Then she wanted to talk to daddy. Squeals and higher volumes came through the phone at this point and I heard Jason say, "We'll see...maybe...we'll talk about it..." Jason was smiling when he got off and said, "Sunny's hamster had babies and Em wants one...I think we should consider it."

WELL, I hate rodents. I'm not a fan. They do not get a "like" from me on Facebook or anywhere else. Come to find out, my sweet friend, Em's friend's mommy, was mortified when only after two weeks from purchasing a hamster for her daughter, out popped 8 tiny rodents. She's sweeter than I am and doesn't refer to them as rodents, but you get the gist here. She so sweetly told Em that she was more than welcome to have one once it was able to be separated from its mommy. How sweet of her to offer. (Wink. Wink. Love you, babe!)

So get this...Em gets off the phone and tells my friend that she asked her daddy because his 'maybes' mean yes but her mommy's 'maybes' take too long and usually mean no. The kid is workin' it, fo shizz.

Back to the rodent/hamster/thingy...The next day when we picked Em up from her friend's house, she lovingly convinced her "Daaaaaaaadddddddyyyyyyy" to take her to the pet shop to look at cages and know, she wanted to be prepared just in case daddy's 'maybe' was a yes. Baby, it was looking more like a yes and all I could imagine was wafts of urine saturated cedar wood chips filling the air...ummm, freaking awesome...

Sorry, I get distracted. So, Em and Jason came home from not only the local pet shop but the library with many books about "How to Care for your Hamster" and "Your Hamster and You" and "Caring for your Rodent"...or something like that. We all hunkered down on the couch and started flipping through the books, learning all there is to know about their origin, how they became domestic pets, how they don't like broccoli, and if the babies were with their mommies too long they would become dinner, so it's important to separate them...which, incidentally, happened with Em's friend's hamster and by the time they were ready to be given away, there were 6 babies. I just don't think I'd ever be that hungry...

Now, understand, the last 3.5 years have changed my life in many ways. I am now a disease research hobbyist and am intrigued by contagious disease and its spread...In fact, did you know that the Mayo Clinic released a statement that upwards of 98% of all diseases are a result of a bacterial infection? Uh, yeah! This is why I therefore went directly to the "Diseases Hamsters Carry" section of one of the books. I was grateful they didn't candy coat what these little buggers can catch, carry or spread...


After a list of some pretty grody stuff, it read:

"Note: Pregnant women should avoid any contact with hamsters."

She bawled, I'm not going to lie. She wanted a hamster not a sibling...but now she's elated and can't wait to meet her little brother or sister mid to late August. She kisses my belly every night and says "Hi!" to my belly every day. She also thinks she gets to name it, but that's another story...

So now you know...which is why I've chucked my blog for a while now because I'm not a good liar and didn't want to come out with the news until I was ready...and I knew I'd blow my own cover because I'm just that excited!