Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Barnes & Noble makes a statement


In my last post I mentioned a trip to Barne's & Noble. Part of this trip required a post all on its own. I was with Rachel and thought it would be funny to show her the religious section. I often like to look at this section because I find it interesting what books are there depending on what's going on in the world. A few months after The Da Vinci Code book was released, there were at least 5 books on these shelves that were written as a response to that one work of fiction. I also recall some books about how evil the Harry Potter series is.

It seems the big deal of today is the polygamy angle, a subject in which I am quite familiar. This section changes with the times, and I always find it interesting to see what the big fervor of the day is.

As we approached the section, Rachel started laughing and then apologized to me because she didn't want my feelings hurt. She knows I am religious and to many people that are not religious, they seem to think all religious people are a lot the same and take offense at the same things. Not me, though. As I've mentioned in this blog before, I think religion and spirituality are very personal things, and well, I can take a joke as much as the next guy.

What was so funny? Well, I also found it hilarious!!! There was a Religious Fiction section and it was filled with Bibles. The shelf directly across from it was the Religion section and it was full of the Koran/Qu'Ran. Someone was trying to make a statement, that's for sure. It was really funny. Granted, there was a shelf dedicated specifically to Bibles and it was also full of Bibles. It looked like the ones in the Religious Fiction section were either put there as some sort of a statement, or maybe put there because the Bible section ran out of room so the rest of the Bibles were put on the next shelf with available space. Nevertheless, it made a great photo.

Dave and I went to our local B&N the next day for another book and I took a look at their Religious Fiction section. There wasn't a Bible on any of those shelves. They were all sorted in their appropriate locations.

Graeme & Ashley's wedding


Our good friends, Graeme and Ashley, got married on Saturday. It was a lovely wedding at the Sequoia Lodge in Oakland. Dave was the Best Man and he delivered a nice speech and did very well with it. Ashley looked gorgeous and Graeme was very handsome. They seemed to have loved their wedding, every bit of it, and that was so pleasing.

We stayed overnight at the Waterfront Hotel. It was very nice, even with the construction. They went out of their way to please everyone there. They even gave us a lovely baby gift consisting of a cute blanket, 2 little hats, 1 pair of booties, and 4 little wooden hangers. It was very kind of them.

The biggest problem, however, was my walking restriction. It's so hard for me to follow when I'm around others, especially those that like to walk long distances frequently. I don't like keeping people down. Our room was quite a distance from the lobby. Actually, it was almost as far as you could get from the elevator. Just going to and from the room was too much walking. We had to have some lunch, and fortunately the hotel was located in my craving heaven! There was a Tony Roma's across the corner and they have the BEST big cheeseburgers! I mean THE BEST!! Right next door to Tony Roma's was a Ben & Jerry's!! Mmmm Mmmmmm!!

Not too far away was a Barnes & Noble. Rachel, Tony, and I all wanted to go there, even though I knew fully well I was breaking walking restrictions. I need to make another post about the B&N. Anyway, there were a couple of twin girls there signing their book. They were very sweet. Their mother warned me that I looked about ready to give birth. Nice, huh? ;) I told her it was twins, we had a nice discussion about the twin thing, the twin girls gave me lots of good advice, I bought their book for Sara, later wishing I bought one for Aubryn, too, and then I was on my way. As I walked out of the door I overheard the mother saying, "I knew it was twins, she's huge!"

I had a growth spurt just the night before. The day before this everyone at the nail salon was so sweet by telling me how small I was for being 7 months along with twins. In one night I outgrew some more clothes. My wardrobe is getting more limited, but that's okay. As I mentioned, I don't get out much these days. At this point I don't see any reason to spend more money on clothes. We're in the home stretch!
Anyway, the wedding went off without a hitch. Everything was lovely. My doctor also said no dancing, so I just sat and watched everyone else. I tried to take it as easy as I could, but it's tough at a wedding, and it was tough throughout the whole day. By 8pm I was getting contractions every 5 minutes. I snuck off to a dark corner where I could put my feet up and not worry about having to stand up to talk to people. The next hour I had 8 contractions. By the end of the evening I was down to 5 an hour, thank goodness! I didn't want to have to go back to L&D that night.

Latest doctor appointment - went well!

I saw Dr. B last Friday. She checked me out and verified that all these contractions are not causing any cervical changes. This is great news because it means I'll likely make it at least to 32 weeks and we're very optimistic that I'll make it to 36 weeks. She said if I make it to 36 weeks she'll start weekly Non-stress tests (NST), which will be done in the Perinatology Department where I get my ultrasounds.

The contractions are decreasing but getting much stronger. They have brought me to the brink of fainting. Sometimes it feels like something is sitting on my stomach and chest with a hand around my throat. My doctor said that there is probably some issue with the contractions compressing some nerves. I don't quite understand it, but I do understand how the nervous system is very complex and I know mine is quite compromised already.

More and more I realize it's probably a blessing that my car is broken. I'm forced to stay home and rest because of it, especially since I'm not really allowed to walk anywhere. I do get a bit stir-crazy, though, especially since the pool is out of commission.

We won!

My worker's compensation appeal went very well. Dave did a great job in researching what I needed. The decision was reversed! The best thing about it is that the judge that handled the appeal stated in her decision that there was substantial evidence that I had Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy and was permanently disabled, which is something that has been difficult to convince my claims examiners with the Department of Labor. It has been difficult to get proper medical treatment because of this so hopefully now, with the judge's statement combined with the several doctor reports and second, third, fourth, and fifth opinions, things will go much better now. I'm starting to see a light at the end of this long dark tunnel.

I have a green thumb (or bum)


Dave was in Japan on business recently and the very day after he left, the pool decided to go green. I can appreciate anyone's intentions of going green, except for the pool's! It was nasty!! I guess it was a combination of the extreme heat, the high amount of pollen, leaves, and flowers from the surrounding trees, and an imbalance of the chemicals (the ph got really low). Green algae has been very rare in our pool, but that's what we got. Ugh!

It happened pretty much overnight. As I mentioned, our "pool guy" was in Japan so there wasn't much I could do. I was unable to clean the filters without help, and I could barely sweep the pool, not that sweeping would help much since it was IN the water and not on the walls. I put in shock treatment to super-chlorinate it, but that wasn't much help when the ph was so low. We needed massive amounts of ash to raise the ph, and to have the filters cleaned frequently to ensure proper flow and filtration.

I talked to Dave about it several times on the phone but he had no idea it was as bad as it was. Tony came over a few times to help, bless his heart. It took about a week after Dave got home and started working on the chemicals, but the pool has been back to blue again for a little while now. The problem now is that it is still cloudy due to the dead algae and all the ash. The pool is still a few days from usable.

I'm going nuts without the pool. I'm stuck at home these days with no car and with doc's orders not to walk much. Swimming was my only real form of exercise and it made me feel so good. I hope we can get it sorted out soon.

Dave is going to the UK for a week soon and I hope the pool is in good shape by then, and that it doesn't betray me again once its keeper leaves town.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I passed!

The values all came in separately since last night and according to the "normal" values given by KP, it looks like I passed. :) This hasn't been confirmed by my doctor, yet, but I'm sure the news will be good.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Done!

The last hour went smoothly. The jab wasn't so bad at all. The nausea pretty much cleared up. In fact, I left the hospital feeling better than then 2 times I did the 1-hour glucose test. I came home and slept, though, for about 4 hours. Now I have a slight headache. Nevermind, I'm just so glad it's done.

The 1-hour glucose test results were e-mailed to me in the middle of the night the very day I took them. I can't wait.

Glucose test hour 3

One more hour to go! The nausea is subsiding, my head feels slightly like it's in a vice grip but it's not so bad. The biggest issue now is trying to keep my head up and stay awake.

There have been 3 blood draws from my poor arm so far. The first one was a piece of cake with no pain. The second time it felt slightly bruised. The third and most recent one was tough. She accidentally hit a nerve and with RSD, that doesn't go over very well, even in my good arm. I cried out a little too loudly, but I couldn't help it. It bloody well hurt!! Afterward, my whole arm tingled and gave me some strange sensations, then I felt faint, but got better quickly.

They're so nice here in the lab. I came to the less busy one on the second floor. They're getting used to me here. One of them remembered me from last week.

Bonnie, the nurse that calls me every week, said that if it turns out that I do have gestational diabetes, that she would be the one monitoring me (either her or someone at her facility). She said that she'll monitor the GD at the same time as she does the contractions, so that makes it easier than adding another person and more appointments.

I see Dr. B (OB) on Friday, so if I don't get the results before that, I know I won't have to wait too long.

Glucose test hour 2

I had some difficulties getting Blogger to post last hour so it was posted an hour late. Oh well. I wrote in real time.

I've successfully kept the glucose down for the past hour. I nearly missed the blood draw on time, though. This place is getting quite busy and it was difficult to get past the line to make sure they got my blood drawn at the right time. I got it done, right on the exact minute. Phew!

If I had missed that time, even by a few minutes it would have meant that I'd have to come and do this again. I need to finish this out. It's not easy. I know that many many pregnant women have to do this, and even some non-pregnant people. I feel for every one of them.

Glucose test hour 1 (and Child birth class notes)

Yesterday's child birth class was better than we expected. It still probably could have been consolidated down to 2-3 hours instead of 8-9 hours. They covered a lot of material, but spent a lot of time on mind-body relaxation techniques, mainly progressive relaxation, a technique I use frequently to help keep the RSD/CRPS manageable. I'm glad that I have a head start on these things since these skills will help me when the big day comes, but spending 4 hours learning about it, again, was a bit boring. Of course, they have to cater to all the students, and I hope it will help the others in the class as much as it's helped me.

Right now I'm at the hospital lab doing the 3-hour glucose test. I drank the glucose about a half an hour ago and am currently fighting to keep it down and to keep my wits about me. I just want to throw up, curl into a ball, and fall asleep. My head's starting to hurt and there is a constant urge to relieve myself of the fluid I ingested that is making me feel so ill. I knew this test would be hard, but I didn't think it would be this hard. It feels tough to maintain complete control of my body and worry that I'll pass out. The contractions aren't helping. They deprive me of oxygen and they are getting stronger and longer these days, some of them bringing me to the brink of unconsciousness. On the plus side, they are getting less frequent.

Child birth class

Yesterday's child birth class was better than we expected. It still probably could have been consolidated down to 2-3 hours instead of 8-9 hours. They covered a lot of material, but spent a lot of time on mind-body relaxation techniques, mainly progressive relaxation, a technique I use frequently to help keep the RSD/CRPS manageable. I'm glad that I have a head start on these things since these skills will help me when the big day comes, but spending 4 hours learning about it, again, was a bit boring. Of course, they have to cater to all the students, and I hope it will help the others in the class as much as it's helped me.

Right now I'm at the hospital lab doing the 3-hour glucose test. I drank the glucose about a half an hour ago and am currently fighting to keep it down and to keep my wits about me. I just want to throw up, curl into a ball, and fall asleep. My head's starting to hurt and there is a constant urge to relieve myself of the fluid I ingested that is making me feel so ill. I knew this test would be hard, but I didn't think it would be this hard. It feels tough to maintain complete control of my body and worry that I'll pass out. The contractions aren't helping. They deprive me of oxygen and they are getting stronger and longer these days, some of them bringing me to the brink of unconsciousness. On the plus side, they are getting less frequent.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Infant care class

Dave and I are taking our classes this weekend. It's a bit tough to do it the way we planned, but at least we're getting it done. I just wish I had signed up to take these a month or two ago. I would have been more comfortable spending an entire day, actually 2 days, in classes.

Today we took the infant care class. While there were a lot of things we already "knew" (as much as you can know without full experience), we also learned quite a lot. It was nice to see pictures of what is normal in infants and what is not normal, and to know what to do in either case. We also got to practice swaddling, which Dave and I had a bit of a giggle at because these dolls are so rigid and we had so little room, we weren't so good at it.

I had a few contraction issues and nearly went over threshold. They are now sometimes getting so strong that I feel like I could faint; they really knock the wind out of me and make me feel like I'm being strangled, that full feeling in the head and everything.

I was very pleased at the cloth diaper focus there. They covered the benefits of both kinds of diapers but the cloth still seemed to come out ahead. The dolls also had cloth diapers and we got to practice using them a little.

Tomorrow is the child birth class. I'm afraid that class won't be as informative or beneficial to us as today's class. If we were having one baby, it would be more useful, but with twins, we have kind of resigned ourselves to accepting what may come. Our main goal is for the 3 of us (obviously the boys and me) come out of it as healthy as possible. We have our ideas of what we'd like to do, but it will really boil down to what needs to be done.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Off the hook

My jury duty is finished and I didn't have to go to court. Yay! Normally, I really wouldn't mind, especially if I got a good juicy trial. This is just not the right time.

The website now says, "Thank you for your services to the Court this week. You are excused and will receive a one year exemption."

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Help out some talented children

Dave and I have 7 nieces and nephews. I know we're biased, but we think they're all incredible. Seth is a future soccer star, Aubryn an artist and violinist, Ashleigh is a ballet princess, Adam is a mathematician, Jeremiah and Bradon excel in everything they do, and Sara is a writer.

Ashleigh recently joined the Imagine Ballet Theatre, a pre-professional ballet company. She passed stringent auditions and we're so proud of her. The Imagine Ballet Theatre is non-profit and donations really help. I'm not asking you to give your hard-earned money. What I'm asking is a lot easier to do.

My sister told me about a search engine that gives money to charities for each search. Just type in 'imagine ballet theatre.' My sister has been doing it for a couple of months and noticed how it adds up, and yes, they have received money for it (not much yet, though).

If you have another charity of choice (but, of course, I would love it if you supported the Imagine Ballet Theatre), an easy way to help this organization or any other cause you care about is through this new Yahoo!-powered search engine and online shopping mall called GoodSearch.com. The more people who use this site, the more money will go to those in need. So please spread the word to your friends and family. Here's the web site — http://www.goodsearch.com/. You can also read about GoodSearch in the NY Times, Oprah Magazine, CNN, ABC News and the Wall Street Journal.

Thank you in advance for helping out Ashleigh's ballet company.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Pregnancy magic

I've noticed that as my belly grows, so do the smiles I get from people. While walking around the hospital yesterday I noticed so many people smiling at me with true sweet genuine smiles. My belly got a lot of looks, but they were not looks of judgment, but looks of love and cheer.

People are generally nice to me even when I'm not pregnant, but with this belly, people seem even more friendly. It's like this belly is a magical mood enhancer to most of the people around me. Pregnancy is a different world for me and it's a good one.

It's magic.

I studied but I failed.

There are no surprises today about my blood work from yesterday. I failed the 1-hour glucose tolerance test. As I mentioned before, I took this test a few months ago and only passed it by 1 point. I only failed it by 3 points this time. I scored a 143, so I guess that's not bad since it is only 4 points higher than it was a few months ago. So I suppose I'll have to do the difficult and annoying 3-hour test. I don't mind too much, other than that the drink makes me feel kind of icky and I'll have to drink it after fasting this time, and stay the entire 3 hours at the hospital to get blood drawn 4 times out of my left arm. I'm more worried about how they're going to draw the blood the 4 times out of the one arm than I am about the fasting or the drink. Oh I hate needles! I'll be glad when it's over.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

It's a good day today

It has been a very busy day but very good. I had an ultrasound today and it went very well. It's a shame Dave couldn't be there, I know he really would have liked to have gotten another glimpse at the boys. They're looking so cute and it's truly amazing to see them move in real-time. This was the first ultrasound where we weren't able to see both of them in the same picture. Oh well.

The news is good. Both babies are measuring right on target for growth and they are each 2.8 pounds. I have 5 pounds of baby inside me, which is equivalent to what I would have if I were 8 weeks further along with a single baby (that's almost full-term size!). They are both measuring in the 65th percentile; average is the 50th percentile. The tech said that with twins, they are happy with anything above the 10th percentile so the babies are actually measuring above average, even for single babies. And now the little bit of TMI, but also important, my cervix measures 5 centimeters and 4 centimeters with pressure, which means that there is a VERY good chance that my body can hold these babies in for the duration until they are truly ready to come into the world. The only not so good news, but not so bad, is that twin-b is transverse (lying side to side), which means if he doesn't move to vertex (head down and ideal) or even breech, I may need a c-section. I'm going to wait until I'm safe to go into labor and if he's still out of position, I'll go back to Robert, my acupuncturist, and see if he can help get the babies lined up. I don't dare play with acu until then, though, because it can cause even more contractions.

After the ultrasound I went to the lab and did the 1-hour glucose tolerance test. I don't expect to pass it, since I took it 3 months ago and passed it by only one point. If I fail this test then I will take the 3-hour glucose tolerance test, which will show if I have gestational diabetes. I have had a couple of symptoms (mainly extreme thirst and tingly feet - but just tingling the bottoms of my feet, it's so weird), so again, I wouldn't be surprised if I do, but I'm not too concerned since it is treatable and I'd rather have these things be found out and treated - better for me and better for the babies.

The sugar drink makes me feel a bit off for awhile and then just plain tired. Now I'm super tired so I think I'll take a nap. While I was just feeling off I went to the women's injection clinic and got my Rhogam shot. The nurse really wanted to give it to me in the arm and I freaked out a little at the thought, even though it would have gone into my good arm. I started to shake and nearly cried at the idea of taking a shot in the arm. I have a fear that it could make the RSD/CRPS worse or spread, even if it goes into my good arm. Once I explained the situation to her she was more than happy to give me the shot in the buttocks, which I'm perfectly fine with and used to, after 3 months of getting the progesterone oil injections there in the 1st trimester. I also was able to go to the pharmacy and pick up the ferrous sulfate my doctor wants me to take. I couldn't find it at Longs, Walgreens, Whole Foods, or Safeway, so I'm really happy I found it at Kaiser.

I got home and received good news from not one but two friends. One just saw her baby's heartbeat for the first time and the other just got her very first positive pregnancy test after years of trying (and several attempts at various fertility treatments).

Tony and Rachel have graciously offered to bring me dinner tonight. That's so nice of them and it helps me out immensely. With all the busy stuff today I've gone way over my 1/2 mile walking restriction and though I'm not contracting too much, I'm certainly feeling like I've done too much.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Anemia is confirmed

My doctor e-mailed me today to tell me I'm mildly anemic. Well, that confirms it. At least there is an explanation as to how I've been feeling the last couple of weeks and the good news is, there is something I can do about it.

I'll take the popcorn advice (than you, Donna) and follow Dr. B's orders to take 325mg of ferrous sulfate every other day. Hopefully I'll be feeling chipper soon.

Tony came by today and helped me get the filter out of the pool pumps and get it cleaned. Just as I suspected, it was nasty and full of green gunk and birch tree seeds. The pool is still bright green and a little cloudy, but it's getting better. Tony swept it for me and I've been running the pumps all day. I hope it will be in swimmable condition today or Tuesday. I miss swimming, especially with this heat.

It's quite a beer gut!


I went to Neil & Corinne's bbq tonight (last night, I guess, but it's still tonight). It was a Caribbean-theme and they asked people to dress as pirates or island-style in grass skirts. I went wearing a colorful caftan I found at Ross, but later changed into a grass skirt and flowery bra, just for a little while (until the grass itched). I kinda liked the outfit, though, so I think I'll try it on when Dave gets home and get another few shots, some in the daylight hours. Besides, Dave should see it, it's funny. The photo above is me with my friend Marna. Marna has twin girls and she and her husband have been a wonderful source of support and meaningful relevant advice.

So, here are my belly shots for 27 weeks.


Jury duty

Yes, that's right. I have jury duty this week! Too funny, huh?

I got the summons about 3 months ago. I sort of envisioned what the court would say with me trying to get out of it using pregnancy as an excuse. The form was very clear about what excuses were acceptable and pregnancy was definitely NOT on the list. It said that if there were medical reasons, that I would need to send it in with a doctor note. I really wasn't sure I could convince my doctor to write that note for me a few months ago, considering that she wouldn't know much better than I about how I would be doing come July. Besides, I was concerned that if I used the pregnancy excuse, that I would be called again in a matter of months when jury duty would be even more difficult to serve. This way I get it out of the way for about 2+ years. I'm just going to have to see it out and hope for the best.

My biggest concern with this is that I have an ultrasound scheduled for Tuesday. These ultrasounds are not easy to book and I have to take what is available. When they booked it last month, this was essentially the first available appointment. It should have been timed for last week but there were no appointments available. I hate to think what I'd end up with if I rescheduled - probably nothing for a few weeks and I need these ultrasounds at least every 4 weeks. I cannot miss a single one.

Fortunately, Santa Clara County seems very organized with the way they handle jury duty. They assign group numbers and then when the week comes for service, prospective jurors are supposed to check a website or call a phone number to see if the group number is needed. My group number is 250. I checked the website and it says I am not needed Monday but to check the website Monday after 5pm for updates. Worst-case scenario is that I would have to actually go in on Tuesday. Frankly, if I had to go in, I really doubt I would be selected to be a juror. I'm hardly the ideal candidate right now, having to be in a reclined position more time than not (cannot spend too much time sitting upright in a rigid chair), having to urinate every 20-40 minutes, having to eat in several small meals throughout the day, drink over 10 glass of water a day, and let's not forget the hiccups and burps. No, I would not be an ideal candidate, unless the defendant was a 7-month pregnant woman, in which case I doubt the prosecution side would like me on the jury.

I'm just finding all of this humorous. I mean, I would be called for jury duty when 7 months pregnant with twins.

We'll just see what happens.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

He's gone

Dave left on Wednesday for Japan. Sounds fun, huh? Well, sadly, he's there for work and has so much to do in so little time, it's looking doubtful that he'll get any time to actually appreciate or maybe even notice that he's in Japan. He says for the most part he's been stuck in one room working on machines all day, without even time for meals. Poor guy.

Poor me. I miss him. I have a difficult time sleeping when he's away. I keep imagining the worst things. At night, I'm even afraid to look at windows for fear that I'll see a face suddenly looking back in at me. I couldn't sleep last night until about 2am. I woke up at 6am to the sounds of a leaf blower in the neighborhood. I guess one of my neighbors had monster leaves that needed to be taken care of right away, lest they smother him in his sleep.

Tempest has been good company. I think he also misses Dave. He's been spending a lot more time hanging around with me and while he's still as playful as ever, he's also gotten a lot more cuddly.

Since I've been told essentially no walking other than what is necessary, I've found swimming to be the greatest form of exercise and relief. When I'm in the pool, gone are the aches and pains of the pregnancy. My hips don't hurt and I feel weightless. I also feel the benefits for hours after every swim. Sadly, the "pool guy" (Dave) is out of town and the very day after he left the pool turned a cloudy green. It happened so quickly! I've tried to shock treat it and swept it the best that I could, but I'm very limited in what I can do. It's clearing up, but very slowly, and I haven't been able to get any swimming in, which makes this heat wave tougher to bear. I've had to spend most of my time at home in the bedroom because it's the only room in the house with air conditioning. The other night, after having the windows and doors open a few hours to let some cooler air in, the house thermostat read at 87 degrees. It was over 100 in the house earlier that afternoon.

The air quality is poor, too. I hope they can put the fires out. I feel so bad for everyone affected (and the animals, too). I'm having a tough time with it, too. My throat burns and I'm having difficulty breathing.

I'm going to Neil & Corinne's bbq later today. It's Caribbean themed. I have a little surprise in mind. Heheheheee. ;)

I'm also a little bit anemic

I had a CBC blood test yesterday. We are insured by Kaiser Permanente and one of the things I love about this HMO is the online access to medical records and the ability to e-mail my doctors whenever I have questions. My blood was drawn just after lunchtime yesterday and the CBC results were available to me late last night.

I know medical records are confidential and I guess it sounds a little silly that I would post my blood test results on the web, but what's the big deal?

So, here is the result of the full CBC:

ComponentMy ValueStandard Range
(according to KP)
WBC COUNT 7.73.5-12.5 K/uL
RED BLOOD CELLS COUNT 3.713.60-5.70 M/uL
HGB 11.111.5-15.0 g/dL
HEMATOCRIT 33.734.0-46.0 %
MCV9180-100 fL
RDW, RBC13.811.9-14.3 %
PLATELETS COUNT203140-400 K/uL

So, according to the KP standard range, I'm a little low in the HGB (Hemoglobin) and the Hematocrit. Being the curious person I am, I also looked these values up on the web and found that other places seem to have different ranges of acceptance of the range where it is "fine." With the KP range, I'm only a little low. With the ranges I looked up, those levels seem much lower. I'm not too concerned about it just yet since my levels aren't too far out of the KP range, though, but I won't be surprised if my doctor has me go on an iron supplement. Actually, even if she doesn't, it might not be a bad idea anyway. If my doctor doesn't want to do something about it, I'll probably still try to do something about it on my own.

This would explain why lately I just feel as though I hit the wall. I have no energy and just feel blah. But then again, my belly is measuring about 32 weeks so it could just be the progressing pregnancy. It's nothing I didn't expect. I love being pregnant just the same.

I'm a little bit crunchy

I've been a bit "crunchy" since the 80s when I started really learning about my own personal impact on the environment. I wouldn't say I was the best at it, but it was way back then that I resolved to use cloth diapers for my own children, when/if I ever had the opportunity. I've been following the 3-Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle) for about 20 years and have only gotten better at that (though I still fall prey to consumerism). When out and about, I pick up litter when I can and do my best to keep our planet clean. I've always insisted on fuel-efficiency when buying a car (I've been given a lot of guff from friends over the years because I didn't/don't drive SUVs or speedy sports cars). This is a lifestyle that works for me. I've never really pushed it on other people, just tried to do the best I could and hoped that even a little would rub off on others.

Well, a lot of it rubbed off on Dave and now in many ways he's more crunchy than I am. I love him for it. He's taken my desires and concepts and has learned, then taught me, many other ways in which we can decrease our "carbon footprint." We are both often thinking about this when we make new purchases or clean house (meaning getting rid of stuff the best way we can without filling the landfills).

This kind of thing has never seemed like much of a challenge. It's always been a "no-brainer" to me. I'm fortunate that I live in an area with an excellent recycling program. Also, Northern California is renowned for this kind of thing - there are so many people here far crunchier than I am.

Now that we have two little ones entering our lives, this lifestyle has started to become more of a challenge. I still don't see it as much of an inconvenience, but the challenge seems to be justifying these things to people around us. There are so many ways we will be parenting differently than most people we know. It's not that I judge anyone for doing things different from how we wish to do them, this is a very personal choice we've made and it has nothing to do with our friends and others around us. What do I mean by different? Well let me count the ways:

1. We wish to use as little plastic as possible.
2. We don't want our children watching television until they are a few years old.
3. We do not plan to buy an SUV (and given the gas prices, who can blame us?).
4. We wish to continue to use organic bath and body products, especially on our babies.
5. We plan to use cloth diapers mainly, and the more eco-friendly ones for travel.
6. We hope to fulfill the babies' food needs with breast milk, but where we may need bottles, we'll use BPA-free ones (mainly glass).
7. If we use formula, we want to use soy-free products, and organic if possible.

I've noticed that others around us seem to be amazed by these choices. I'm often being asked why we made these choices. I know these things seem like inconveniences to many people, but it's always been the way we've wanted to do things if we ever had children. It doesn't seem like an inconvenience to us, it just seems natural. So my friends don't make the same choices. That doesn't bother me. I never really think about my friends in making these decisions for my own family - they are my choices and I don't judge others for not making the same choices, in fact, I don't think much about it. I sometimes, however, worry about hurting their feelings when they ask me why we've made these choices, because they are not the same choices they have made. These are just the decisions Dave and I made for us, and it's what works for us. We understand that everyone is different and our ways of life don't necessarily agree with other people's ways of life.

Fortunately, I know we're not alone in this. It will be on the upcoming California ballot to ban these chemicals in baby products, which will make this lifestyle even easier for us.

Friday, July 4, 2008

It's the 4th

I know a lot of people really love this holiday. It doesn't mean too much to me these days. I guess that's kind of sad, but I'm indifferent. I'm patriotic, but it seems that patriotism is often the last thing on a lot of people's minds when they celebrate the 4th. It's about barbecues and fireworks, usually. Just like many holidays, we tend to see what's on the surface and fail to give much thought to the reasons or depth of the special day. In my "old age," I find that I pay more attention to the history and meanings behind special days than I do to the hooplah.

This is especially true this year as fires rage in Northern California. I don't see the smoke so much the last couple of days, nor do I smell it, but I am noticing the effects on my breathing and in my burning eyes. I'm suffering, but not as much as those who are losing homes and perhaps loved ones, and let's not forget the poor little animals losing habitats and lives.

Yes, I guess I'm being a little morose today. Today is a day when we are supposed to celebrate our nation and our independence. While fireworks are a great way to celebrate, they can also be detrimental and go against the purpose of this day. How does setting fire to our lands and causing destruction celebrate the American Dream? I admit, I'm sounding a bit extreme. I really love fireworks, but this year I am especially concerned about the dangers and hazards. I really hope that revelers can be safe and not cause any more damage than has already been done, exacerbated by a dry winter.

Colorful fireworks displays are especially nice and I'm sure I'll miss them this year. There will be more, though. I'm not a fan of firecrackers and things that go BOOM, though, just for the mere purpose of making noise. Other than sticking them in anthills and blowing them to kingdom come, I don't much see the point. We have a lot of firecracker lovers in our neighborhood. We just tolerate them. Every June and July they are lit for the 4th of July. We get more in December and January for Christmas and New Year's Eve. In February they go off in celebration of the Chinese New Year and in May they explode for Cinco de Mayo. The days in between those special days can bring any number of booms in either build-up or the aftermath of those special days, which pretty much fills in all the gaps. I wonder if we would be able to tell the culprits by their hearing deficiencies.

The other morning I heard what I thought was a single firecracker and I thought it was odd, given the time and that it didn't have the same kind of rhythm as firecrackers. Sadly, this was a gunshot and not a firecracker. A woman was killed not too far from here. Not in our neighborhood, but too close for comfort. I guess I have especially good hearing, as it was about one and a half miles from my house, probably closer "as the crow flies" and right across the street from where I buy my groceries. Very sad. A couple of years ago I heard gunshots from an apartment complex about 5 blocks from here. They do sound a bit different from firecrackers, but when we get so many firecracker booms, and really very few gunshot booms, it's easy to question them after and second-guess the judgment. Nobody wants to hear the sounds of a life being taken away.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Re-tired!

I think some force out there is trying to tell me something - probably to slowwwww down!!! I need to listen. This is getting to be too much.

Dave and I have been sharing the Jaguar since we got it out of the shop. On Tuesday I had an appointment with Dr. B. She told me to slow down. She's looking into how I can get a wheelchair rental from Kaiser for the duration of the pregnancy, so I can be out and about but not walking too much. Walking, even in some short distances, seems to be setting off the contractions too much. I was really tired and not feeling well Tuesday so the doctor appointment was pretty much all I did that morning, then that afternoon I picked Dave up from work and we got the Jag out of the shop, returned the rental car, and went out to dinner. I fell asleep pretty much as soon as we got home and woke up the next morning feeling quite refreshed after about 12 hours of sleep.

Yesterday was an easy day since I didn't have the car, but I still had 5 contractions in my morning session of counting contractions, and I had 4 in the evening session. Considering 6 is my limit, I really want to bring these numbers back down.

I had to use the car again today so I could make it to the breastfeeding class this afternoon. Last night Dave kept asking me to tack on various small errands to my list of things to do today since I would have the car and didn't get any of them done Tuesday. Corinne invited me over to celebrate Elliot's 2nd birthday, as well, since I had the car (and I was looking forward to it, too). We needed groceries and there was a check that needed to be deposited so I thought I'd get those done, too, since I had the car.

I dropped Dave off at work then went straight to Safeway. I got a few frozen items and should have gone straight home, but I thought the bank wouldn't take long and it was right around the corner. I went to the bank and deposited the check. Learning Express was right around the corner from the bank so I thought I'd nip in really quickly to get a little something for Elliot before going to Corinne's. I saw a parking space right in front of LE but there was a car right on my tail that intimidated me from taking it and I thought to myself, "it won't do too much harm if I park a little further away." I turned down a row of cars in the parking lot and there weren't any spaces nearby so I decided to go around back to the one in front of the store. I got to the end of the row and the car sounded kind of funny and drove strangely. I turned around the bend and set the car to go straight and drove another 15-20 feet. The car was veering to the left. I decided to go straight to that parking spot but someone pulled into it right then. I stopped the car and got out - to discover that the front tire was completely flat.

Oh joy of joys.

A nice man stopped and asked if I had a spare. I don't know if he would have offered to change it but I didn't feel right taking advantage of a stranger - he was dressed so nicely. I told him I did have a spare and that I would be fine, that a friend of mine wasn't far away. I stayed there in the middle of the lot for a minute or two wondering what to do - I was blocking cars. Another spot opened up so I pulled into it, but worried about doing more damage to the rim.

I checked my cell phone and the battery was dead, again. We've been looking for a new phone for me for some time. My phone is 4-5 years old and doesn't hold a charge very well, and the connection with the charger doesn't work all the time so it's tough to charge it. I only knew a few numbers off the top of my head. I went into Learning Express and they had all seen me with the flat. They were so nice to me and offered their phone, some water, a chair, and even a fridge for my groceries! Tony lives pretty close to where I was so he was the first person I thought of. I called Tony's home number because I don't know his cell. I left a message on his machine and called Dave. I found Dave on his cell phone and he was going to try to borrow a car from work to come and rescue me.

While waiting I decided to shop around and that was when Tony walked in. The women asked, "may we help you find something?" He said, "yes, a pregnant woman, please." Tony so sweetly changed my tire for me. He wanted me to go straight to the tire store but I was concerned about the groceries, my filling bladder, my lack of water, and lack of a book or something to keep me occupied while waiting for the tire repair. Tony didn't want me driving the car home and back with a donut so he took me home and helped with the groceries. I got some water, emptied my bladder (I'm supposed to drink lots of water AND keep my bladder empty in an effort to curtail the contractions), and got my book. He took me back to my car and I was on my way to Wheelworks.

At Wheelworks they were also super nice. $30 and an hour later I was back on the road with a repaired tire. I called Corinne when I got home and explained the situation and apologized for not making it over today. Stephanie called and wanted to meet for lunch, but I told her about the ordeal and she understood. I decided to spend the next couple of hours resting before going to the class.

I have to leave in an hour for the class, then after that I need to pick up Dave's dry cleaning, then pick Dave up from work. Still too much for the rest of the day after this morning's affairs.

I really need to learn better how to say NO and how to learn to just rest and let other things go. That must be what this force is trying to tell me to do.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Belly Shots!

I mentioned in an earlier post that Jack Wasserbach, our wedding photographer, wanted to take some belly shots once I got big. It was a wonderfully kind offer, especially since we couldn't pay to get any done. I drove down to Carmel a couple of days before my car blew up and we had a good time. The timing was good because it was just days before I hit the 24 week mark when my big restrictions were to kick in.

Jack wanted to get started between 9-10 am. Since Carmel is an hour and a half drive at best, I knew I couldn't make it by 9am, especially these days. I agreed to 10am as a general time frame but warned I may be late, depending on how that morning goes. I did my very best to be there by 10, but it just wasn't in the cards.

Dave and I got up early enough, but there was so much I had to do to get ready and it takes me longer. I loaded my car with clothing options for the photos, and got my water and snacks ready for the drive, and was on the road at about 9am. I called to say I'd be running about 1/2 hour late. That was before I discovered a bit of traffic troubles once I got to the Monterey area, which delayed me a little further.

My mom's husband, Daniel, was obviously very perturbed by my tardiness. He showed it on the phone when I called with updates about my arrival, and told me when I got there that I had only 20 minutes left and that was it, which made me assume that Jack and Chris (Jack's wife) had to leave at 11am. After the 2-hour drive and traffic, I broke into slight tears and shakes from the stress. I hate disappointing people and beat myself up enough over these things, I don't need others to beat me up, too. Fortunately, Jack and Chris planned for this and knew that the drive could be rough. They weren't as concerned about the time as Daniel was, and it turned out Daniel didn't know what we were planning to do, anyway.

Jack wanted to take the pictures in my mother's bedroom by the deck door. The lighting was good and the photos turned out beautifully. My mom arrived and was very encouraging. Jack and Chris soothed my bruised feelings and shaky nerves with big hugs and made me feel much better.

We went through a series of shots with various clothing options. Jack had some really beautiful pieces of fabric and ran the idea by me of doing some nudes with the fabric draped in front of me. I resisted at first, but got comfortable enough eventually. I thought they would be more silhouettes, but when I saw the proofs, well, everything shows. They are nice, but more than I can handle for my own sake. I just feel odd knowing others that I know might see these pictures and see my pink parts (now purple in pregnancy) and maybe a bit of short & curlies, all with the fabric over it, of course. Dave said he's fine with most of them (not so much the short & curlies, though), and thought they were very good and artistic. I just can't do it, though. Jack promised my privacy would be ensured and if I didn't want them displayed, that they wouldn't be. He's part of a group of photographers with whom I studied photography so I know them, they know me. I don't feel right about them seeing me that way. I don't feel right about my family or friends seeing them either. I'm glad Jack respects that. I love Jack. :)

We want to do some more when I get puffickly huh-yooge in a month or two.

The drive home was not so good. It took over 3 hours and I was stuck in stop-n-go traffic for over an hour of it. I'm so glad Betsy (the car) hung in there the whole time. I didn't realize that she was on her last legs/wheels.


Rough week - rough weekend

Last Saturday was a busy one. I should know better than to plan my schedule in such a way now, but live and learn.

We were invited to a friend's 40th birthday party at Dave & Busters. Because I didn't have a car, I didn't get a chance to pick up a card or a gift. The local D&B is at The Great Mall so Dave and I hoped that if we got there early enough we might be able to pick something up there. A little cheesy and embarrassing, but we were a little desperate. Unfortunately, as TGM is mainly a bunch of pseudo-outlets, we didn't see anything, not even a single card. We walked the entire loop of the mall in about 10-15 minutes, which I later learned is about a mile long. Nothing, really, to me if I wasn't pregnant, but by the end of it I felt really light-headed and found it challenging to walk a straight line. I was also getting a lot of strong contractions.

We went to the party and found a nice spot where I could sit and drink water in hopes of reducing the contractions. One thing I'm having difficulty explaining to Dave and anyone else is that sitting does not feel much more restful to me than standing, if I'm sitting upright. The pressure is still there as all my weight is on my hips. Sitting causes a lot of back issues, too. Being semi-reclined is most comfortable. Dave keeps teasing me for setting all the car seats I'm in to this semi-reclined position, even for driving. I look like I'm trying to be so cool and like I should be listening to "boom boom" stuff with the bass really high. You know the type. ;)

The party was nice and it was great to visit with our friend and wish him another 40 good years. There were nice people there and the food was good. At 2pm we had to leave for another commitment. We had been invited to dinner by a couple in Morgan Hill (about a 30-45 minute drive south from where we were).

We got to their house and it was very nice. This was the first time we'd been and they were such gracious hosts. Sadly, I wasn't feeling well, already, by the time we got there. I'd been ill most of the week, not realizing it could be a virus, and then the party had wiped me out already. I hope I didn't expose my friends to whatever bug seems to have me by the stomach. The woman of this couple is a doctor, though, and I did mention it to her and at the time she and I both thought it was food poisoning. I was also having a brief reprieve from the symptoms so I thought I was over it.

They served us lovely appetizers and a wonderful filling dinner. We really enjoyed the conversation and they kept us well entertained until about 9pm, when with the increasing contractions, I was eager to get home and rest. They are also expecting a child, in fact, I met them at the IVF clinic and they are due a week prior to me (though with twins I may go at the same time or even before them). The good doctor we were visiting could tell something was wrong, though, and was almost insisting that I lie down on her bed. I should have, I really should have, but I declined the offer. I feel uncomfortable lying on other people's beds, even my mother's.

We got home at about 10pm and by that time I had so much pain in my lower abdomen, I couldn't stand straight to walk to my door. Dave insisted that I lie on the couch. He propped a bunch of pillows under my knees, just as we were coached to do for frequent strong contractions. I kept having to get up and empty my bladder every 20-30 minutes, though, because I'd been drinking so much water through the day. That, and my bladder is now about the size of a walnut. These weren't walnut-sized pees, though. I didn't think my bladder was capable of holding so much. Dave and I could tell that the frequent contractions were not from dehydration, but the frequent-filling bladder was somewhat contributing. It's a fine line between drinking enough water and keeping my bladder empty. That, combined with this bug, well, I might as well move into the bathroom.

The contractions were not quite at my threshold of 6/hour at first, but they were much stronger than ever and were actually causing pain. I had menstrual-like cramps and lower back pain, along with nausea, and I was getting worried. The pain was what I was told to watch out for so I called the hotline number I was told to call should anything like this happen. I called at about 11pm and they told me to monitor it for an hour and that they would call us at the end of the hour.

They called back at midnight and in that hour I'd had 8 really strong contractions. She said she wanted me to go to Labor and Delivery at the hospital. A bit scary, but Dave and I knew the babies were not arriving that weekend. We were more concerned that the contractions could be causing dilation, which could eventually cause premature labor and/or force me to be on bed rest.

Dave and I were watching Apocalypto and well, it was a good movie. It was almost over so we did wait to see the end of it, but then we high-tailed it over to L&D. We got there at about 1am and they hooked me up to all the monitors. This was a first for me and while I was a bit scared, I was excited about the new equipment and experience. I was excited to hear the baby movement. Every kick I felt was like an exclamation point on the device attached to my belly. They put one device on for each baby, held on by a band. We got to hear heart beats and watch the heart rates on the monitor. We also got to see the contractions as they appeared on the monitor, which looked like waves. I was getting quite a few, some I felt and some I didn't. The really strong ones were interesting to see and by that time I was down to 3-5/hour.

They checked for dilation a few times and did a few swabs as well as took a urine sample (I actually gave them that very willingly). They didn't force a lot of water on me since, by my sample, they could tell I really wasn't dehydrated. By 5 am the contractions were much much better and all the tests came back fine. They were very satisfied about sending me home, but with a lecture about doing so much in one day.

On Monday morning I got my weekly phone call. Every Monday morning I get a phone call from a nurse who asks me for my contraction counts - remember, I spend an hour each morning and an hour each evening just resting and counting contractions. After that, we talked in detail about Saturday's experience. I was on a 15-minute walking restriction. She said, "nope, not 15 minutes anymore, we mean NO WALKING!" She said, "That's all over now" and told me that statistically, I'm now at a much higher risk of going into early labor within the next 4-6 weeks. That really freaked me out. She said that the next big milestone is 28 weeks and she's pretty sure I'll make it past that, but 32 weeks was the next milestone and it might be a challenge. She told me if I end up going beyond my contraction threshold again before 32 weeks, or maybe even 35 weeks, I'll end up on bed rest. We really don't want that, but I'll take it if it will help.

So, I saw Dr. B, my OB, yesterday and I wanted to iron out these new restrictions, just to get a clearer idea of what was and wasn't good. We talked about how much walking is throwing me into this false labor, which also happened in Mexico, btw, from walking too much. She seemed concerned that the call center put me on such extreme restrictions of no walking (though they did say puttering about the house was fine, but no more) and I wanted a more definitive answer as to how much "puttering" I was allowed to do. Dave will be out of town for a couple of international trips over the next two months and I need to be able to be somewhat self-sufficient.

After mulling it over, the limit is set to about 1/2 mile a day, preferably done in short stints. She said I can walk a little around the neighborhood, but no more than about 5-10 minutes. She didn't want to restrict the walking too completely, because I need the exercise. Fortunately, I have the pool, and swimming is unrestricted so long as it doesn't increase contractions.

I was really sore for two days following that experience. All those contractions really worked out my midsection. I have also felt really tired and worn out ever since. I'm feeling much better today, though.

We're supposed to be going to a concert with Tony and Rachel next week. It's Yaz, and I'm so excited about it. Tony and Rachel walk a lot, though, and I'm concerned that it will be hard for me to impress upon them that I'm severely limited. I know they will understand, but I'm just having a hard time, myself, of saying no because I don't like to disappoint. Well, Rachel e-mailed Dave and asked if it would be okay if we took BART to the concert. Dave said we couldn't. Dave then got the idea that we might want to rent a wheelchair for me to use from time to time over the next 3 months. A pretty good idea, but then again my pride is getting in the way. I sort of feel like it's bad luck to use a wheelchair if you don't really need it - and it's tough for me to admit that I probably will need it if I am not to walk or stand more than 5-10 minutes. I don't know if the concert tickets are for general admission or if we have seats. If it's GA, then I either cannot go, or I'll need that wheelchair.

We're winding down to the last stages of this pregnancy, and we need to keep these little guys brewing for at least 9 more weeks!

Virus, food poisoning, or just more pregnancy stuff?

After the car woes, I did surprisingly well. My contractions didn't increase that weekend. The heat didn't really get to me. I felt fine. Until about mid-week.

I don't know what caused it. At first I thought it was food poisoning, but I didn't get better after a couple of days. With all the salmonella scares in the nation, it's a pretty easy conclusion to jump to, but I can't think of anything I ate that Dave didn't eat, other than some curry - and so it may have been the curry. Dave hasn't been sick like this. I won't go into details, but I've felt like crap (pun intended, perhaps) on and off ever since.

Dr. B, my OB, saw me yesterday. Her theory is that I got some virus that has been lingering and that combined with my advancing pregnancy, is what's knocking me flat. Being functionally ill has been increasing the contractions, but I'll get to that in another post. I say "functionally ill" because for the most part, I'm still able to function and do things, make my appointments and commitments, and get through the day without spending it in bed, but I'm really feeling cruddy and don't dare be too far from a bathroom at any time.

As I recover, the pregnancy is progressing into the 3rd trimester so it's tough to tell what is pregnancy related and what is just plain being kinda sick, well, other than the stomach issues, which are getting better, I think.

Rough week (and a bit) - the beginning

I wasn't going to post about all of this for many reasons, but in fairness to myself (and to those of you kind enough to be interested in reading this blog) it all should be documented. No, I haven't been stewing over that salesman through the whole hiatus. ;)

About a month ago I picked up Debbie from the airport. On the way to her house my car started smelling really odd. It didn't smell like a fart or anything, it smelled very chemical, kind of poisonous. Debbie thought it was the area we passed through, but I was certain it was my car. After dropping her at her house the smell got so bad it made me feel ill. When I told Dave about it when I got home, he thought I must have been overheating the car, even though the temperature gauge remained in the usual spot toward the middle but on the C side. My car has had a very slow leak in the radiator for about 3 years which would have cost about $800 to fix so alternatively, we've just been filling it up every 2 weeks or so - and Dave had just a few days earlier done the maintenance on the car so I was pretty sure it hadn't run low.

The smell continued on and off every time I used the car. We watched a Doctor Who episode where there was this fancy new car device that was supposed to revolutionize the way we drive, but it was really an alien scheme to take over the world. At the right moment, the aliens set off the device and toxic fumes would go into the car and kill the occupants while the car locked the doors and wouldn't let the occupants out, or the car would drive itself off a cliff or something. That's how I was feeling about my car. It was not overheating, still, but it was just poisoning me as I drove. It was so hot, though, it was difficult to go without using the a/c. We had various theories from friends, one which was the thought that I didn't use my a/c enough so that it was just clearing out its cogs.

I made it to Carmel and back, even through some terrible traffic, and the fumes weren't so bad on that journey. I made a couple of trips after that where the fumes were an annoyance but not sick-making. A week ago Saturday, Dave was with me as we went to go pick up a rocking chair a kind Freecycler was giving to me. I get motion sickness on the gliders that are what most people buy to rock their babies. I can't use the gliders at all, but a traditional old-fashioned rocking chair is fine. I was amazed to learn that those traditional rocking chairs are actually difficult to find in adult sizes. I found a few online, but didn't want to spend the $100-$400 for one sight-unseen since I wouldn't know if it was comfortable. The few we did see were either hideously upholstered or they were more of a novelty that didn't rock so much as give little jolts and I guess they were more form than function. So, I was getting one for free, and by the way we eventually got it home and it is beautiful. I love Freecycle. :)

We made it about 3 miles from home and I was driving on the freeway, just 1 mile from our exit, and the car stalled as I was changing lanes. It was a little scary since I was in a pocket of heavy traffic, but I was able to get the car pulled over and restarted. I blamed it on my own driving skills, thinking I somehow killed the car when downshifting - but on the freeway? It was odd, and I've never done that before, but I didn't want to accept that my car, whom I affectionately refer to as "Betsy," was dying. Dave didn't want to proceed to our exit so I went off the very next exit and pulled in to the first gas station. Dave checked the water and a few other things and he still thought the car was overheating, though the temperature gauge was still working but showing the car was fine. We got back on the road and within about a minute, a whole pile of steam blew out of the vents as the heater coil blew. Apparently, in my car, it was made of plastic and since the car is about 15-years-old, the plastic just wore out - helped out by the 110 degree heat.

My theory, however, is that we were in a sort of bad area in 110 degree heat and I was 6-months pregnant. It was fate.

We kept driving but the car stalled every 2-3 blocks. We decided to try to make it home but we were in the San Jose Triangle, which is a lot like the Bermuda Triangle - we were lost. It took us about an hour and a half to make our way home in this manner, which was only about 6-8 miles. I don't know how cars work, but Dave said the radiator also blew at the same time. Anyway, the entire damage would cost more than the car is worth to have it professionally repaired. We can't really afford another car right now. We were really hoping Betsy would hang in there another 2 years so we could hopefully get the new VW diesel hybrid. I'm not satisfied enough with the cars currently on the market, but in about 2 years or so there are many options that please me.

Dave's been fixing Betsy in his free time, which isn't much these days. He's replaced the radiator but the heater coil is a huge job. He's going to have to remove the entire front panel to get at it. Ugh!

This whole "rough week (and a bit)" actually started a few days before Betsy died, when Dave was involved in a 3-car accident driving to work. His car was rear-ended. His car was at the front of the line of 3, though, so the damage was minimal, but still landed the Jaggie in the shop for nearly 2 weeks. When Betsy died we were without a car between the 2 of us. Dave was able to borrow a car from work for a few days and then the insurance company of the person who caused the accident paid for a rental car which Dave and I have been sharing. We returned it yesterday and got the Jaggie back. In the meantime, there isn't much I can get up to these days since I'm not allowed to walk anywhere (will get to that in another post) and have no car for driving unless I take Dave to work in the morning and pick him up in the evening. I did that yesterday so I could make my OB appointment (went great, btw) and will do tomorrow so I can go to the breastfeeding class at my clinic - I wonder if they'll have me try to breastfeed anyone. Hmm, scary thought!