achievement unlocked: tap shorts & butterick 6031 underpants

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here’s some stuff i made in june & never blogged. nothing too special. another couple of pairs of underpants from gertie’s butterick pattern & a pair of self-drafted tap shorts. i cut the back of the blue underpants on the cross-grain by accident so the fit is not the best, but they’re wearable. the black jersey i used is really thin & silky, which is wicked comfortable, but doesn’t really stand up to wear that well. it’s fine for the tap shorts, which intrinsically have a looser, drapier fit, but it doesn’t work well for something that is supposed to be form-fitting, like underpants. areas of stress (like where the lace waistband attaches to the jersey) are kind of fragile.

the tap pants are a slightly altered version of the first pair i made, with the blue silky tricot. i raised the rise about an inch all around, & added maybe half an inch to the crotch depth. the result is a perfect fit. these have gotten a ton of wear over the summer, as pajamas or under dresses. i definitely plan to make more.

but for now, all my sewing time is going into my paper-pieced home quilt blocks. i am having a really hard time carving out sewing time. the house is still not completely unpacked. there’s not much left, but what is left is the more annoying stuff, that remains where it is simply because we don’t know where to put it. like a jar of silkscreening ink that i told jared to just throw away. he packed it instead, saying that it doesn’t hurt to have silkscreen ink around “just in case” (even though neither of us has silkscreened anything since maybe 2008), & it’s been sitting on a shelf in the living room for the last three weeks.

i’ve also intermittently been feeling really sad about the miscarriage still. i can’t even say for certain that i am ready to be pregnant & have another child right now, but the fact that i was & then i wasn’t is still hard to deal with. i mentioned it to some friends the other day & they just made pinched, uncomfortable faces. perhaps these faces were meant to convey, “that’s sad. i’m sorry that happened to you,” but it felt more like they were saying, “this topic makes me uncomfortable & i wish you wouldn’t talk about it.” i really feel like no one who hasn’t had a miscarriage really gets it. i feel like no one understands what i was dealing with physically & no one understands what i am still dealing with emotionally.

i did go back to the OB last week for a colposcopy. it went great, no cervical cancer, huzzah. plus she said i had the best-look cervix she had seen in months. “it should be photographed as the platonic ideal of a cervix for a medical textbook.” that’s a quote. we also talked about the miscarriage. she pointed out that i only had a suspected ectopic, & could have been in the process of miscarrying & already lost the gestational sac before the ultrasound was performed, which is what i thought all along. but since there was no way to be sure, i had to be treated like it was an ectopic, & now “ectopic pregnancy – unspecified” is in my medical chart. ugh.

anyway, she said that if i do happen to get pregnant again, i can feel free to come in for a progesterone level right away & supplementation if necessary, since i have a short luteal phase, which could explain the miscarriage. she also said she’d be happy to prescribe clomid whenever i want. which was nice to hear, even if i don’t know that i need it. two of my three pregnancies were total accidents. kind of funny that the only one i really had to work at was the one that resulted in my child.

anyway, i am sharing all of this because it made me feel a lot better.

i am also happy because it’s raining right now & actually a reasonable human temperature. i feel bad complaining because we haven’t had any 100-degree days this summer (this is unheard of for kansas–usually we have entire 100-degree MONTHS), but it’s been really humid & i have not been tolerating it well. the heat makes me tired & depressed, & that makes me a shitty mother & partner. i wish i could live in a climate that was always like 68 degrees, with rain maybe twice a week (i like rain because it’s a built-in excuse to stay inside, which is my natural inclination anyway). i guess maybe i need to move back to the pacific northwest? they’re having a worse summer than we are though. plus there’s the whole “unavoidable catastrophic earthquake” situation.

i find it kind of funny, i find it kind of sad…

i just got off the phone with the last organization i had to contact to change my/ramona’s/jared’s address after the move. i made the list two months ago & was only getting through two or three changes a day because the process is so goddamn exhausting. you have to email some people directly, others have handy online forms for instant changes, some won’t accept changes until after you’ve actually moved, others have completely baffling websites that are unnavigable & ultimately lack all useful contact information. plus i was pregnant when i first started making the changes. i just didn’t know it yet. all i knew was that i was constantly exhausted & became weepy when confronted with confusing toll-free number user directories.

but it’s done now! whew! …until we move again in eleven months (assuming jared gets a job that takes us out of kansas). sure can’t wait to do this all again.

i’ve been struggling to find time to sew lately. or read. or finish the last little bit of unpacking. the new house is so much bigger, there’s a lot more ground to cover when ramona is freaking out about something. i’m up & down the stairs all day long, getting a wipe, or another diaper, or a fresh washcloth. & i can’t be on the steps without ramona wanting to come with, & she is convinced that she will die instantly if she isn’t holding hands with me while she navigates the stairs. so a trip up the stairs that would take me five seconds alone becomes a fifteen-minute death march because she has to pause on each step to strike a pose & tell me she’s “fast”.

but i did manage to hit hancock for their “super saturday” sale. i put it on the calendar as soon as i heard about it. the monday before, our car battery died. jared got a jump for it on wednesday so he could take ramona to her first dentist appointment in a raging thunderstorm (she is now obsessed with flossing), but it died again the next day. so jared rode his bike to the auto supply place & bought a new battery. he tried to install it on friday evening, but discovered he needed a special socket wrench to get the old battery out. so on saturday morning, he & ramona went to the hardware store & i stayed home to make my big sewing supply shopping list.

cool story, huh?

i feel like i got a ton of great stuff. i got all kinds of felt & buttons & velcro to make an activity book for ramona. i got interfacing, straps, & zippers to make a new purse. i got millions of buttons for various shirts, shirtdresses, craft projects, skirts, & jeans. i got fabric for my paper-pieced home quilt, some pretty blue pique to make a skirt, & some pink & silver madras for a shirt. my most thrilling score was nearly an entire bolt of black glittery sweater knit from the “spot the bolt” table. less than $2 a yard! i got thread, needles, a big stack of patterns, & probably other stuff i’m forgetting because i bought a ton of stuff.

i set myself a budget of $150, & i actually got all this for under budget! the receipt tallies how much i saved due to all the sales & specials: almost $250! the clerk got all teary-eyed when she saw it & i felt like i was on “supermarket sweep”.

so, i am very pleased, & now i have all the fabric & notions i need to keep me busy sewing for at least a couple of months! which is good, because i have a real stack of projects i want to tackle. i think i’m going to start with the jennifer lauren vintage cressida skirt (using that blue pique, with black buttons), which was part of the sew independent pattern bundle. yeah, i bought it. there were several patterns in the mix that i’d been contemplating already. ten for $38 sounded like quite a reasonable deal to me.

i’ve also decided to do the 1930s farmer’s wife quilt-along. i wanted to make a farmer’s wife sampler anyway, & i’m still feeling pretty into the craft sewing right now. my body is finally starting to look more like itself post-miscarriage, but sometimes it’s nice to just make something pretty without worrying about fitting.

&! i’ve been thinking lately about storage solutions for my thread. right now half of my thread is in a plastic bin & the rest is in a bag in my sewing cabinet. i’ve thought about getting one of those wall-mounted spool pin things, but i’m glad i waited because i found a solid wood printer’s tray at the antiques mall & the little compartments are the perfect size for spools! jared is going to mount it over my cutting table, hopefully this weekend.

i actually found two printer’s trays. one was solid wood & the other was a little cheaper, but with a fiberboard back. when i picked up the cheaper one, the most horrifying spider i have ever seen emerged from beneath. it had a red body with a brown head & it was huge. i shuddered & ran away. i bought the more expensive tray. i figured it was worth it for solid wood & no spiders. when i told jared about it, he said i had unearthed the “$5 giant spider discount”.

school starts again next week & i am praying that toddler gym starts up again soon too. we live a block away now & i suspect i will be taking ramona three times a week (ie, every day that it happens). i think the terrible threes are kicking in a little bit early. ask any parent with a kid over the age of four, & they will tell you that three is WAY worse than two, despite the reputation that two has. two hasn’t been that bad with ramona, but lately, i am at my wit’s end. all she wants to do is take all the books off every bookcase, take every drawer out of every dresser, sit on the back of the couch & pull my hair, etc etc. i took her to the playground yesterday to try to burn off some energy, & as a thank you, she refused to nap. i have found myself occasionally feeling almost grateful for the miscarriage, because she’s been such a handful lately, the idea of adding another to the mix is sincerely terrifying. but you know. mostly i just feel really sad about the miscarriage.

hopefully my next post will be about an actual garment. i have an unblogged dress i made in june. i’ve just been wearing it so much, it seems like it’s always smeared with peanut butter or in the wash or something.

to make up for a text-y post, here’s a photo of ramona running toward a ride at the county fair. for extra atmosphere, i should mention that there was no one else on the midway & the ride was playing “mad world” by tears for fears. it was a little spooky.

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achievement unlocked: “paper-pieced home” blocks, part four

we are working on settling into our house, & i’ve managed to scrape together a few hours here & there to work on more paper-piecing projects. let’s go to the tape:

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vintage TV. i thought it would be kind of fun to fussy-cut some of the unicorns & rainbows fabric left over from last spring’s cambie dress. i almost never wear that dress, by the way. i think it was the third dress i ever made, & i made it before i knew about things like FBAs. i cut the size that corresponded to my full bust measurement, so the shoulders are enormous, & i always feel like i’m flashing people, even though the mirror tells me that everything is covered appropriately. i still like that design. maybe i will make it again one day & try to achieve a better fit.

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a lovely armchair. the purple fabric was left over from the bench cover i made last year. this is part of why i like paper-piecing. you can bust a lot of random scraps. & of course i had to use more wood grain print. incidentally, these photos were taken in my new sewing area, which is right in front of an enormous picture window. our new house is much brighter than our old house, which was surrounded by trees & always kind of dark. the natural light really helps you see all the seams in these blocks, which is kind of cool. i feel like people who don’t sew see these blocks & they’re like, “cool, a unicorn on TV,” or, “oh, it’s a chair.” hopefully people who do sew are like, “holy hell, that’s a lot of seams, & a lot fiddly little bits that need to be matched up perfectly!”

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this clawfoot bathtub, for instance, involved over sixty different bits of fabric, & the striped towel is an applique, & i embroidered the water coming out of the shower. the whole block is a 12.5″ by 12.5″. i follow a fair number of quilting/crafting blogs, & it seems like they are also having features on “fast quilt designs” that use giant blocks that necessitate fewer than sixty pieces of fabric for the entire quilt! i see the utility in that, like if you really need to whip something together for a baby shower or something. obviously a block like this seems like an almost comical degree of work, considering that it is just going to be folded into a large quilt with 39 of its brethren. in any case, i chose that blue fabric for the tub in homage to the clawfoot tub at our old house. we only have a shower in our new house, & every night is a new adventure in convincing ramona to use it for long enough to get at least half-clean.

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this was my first shot at the old-school rotary phone. the pattern suggested embroidering the telephone cord, but i really did not care for the included embroidery pattern. it looked really scribbly & just…not my jam. i’ve put some 3D elements into other blocks (like the ribbon tie on the fancy women’s shoe, & the lace on the oven mitt), so i decided to use piping to make the phone cord. unfortunately, i didn’t have any of the really slim piping i prefer, which is only sold at the sewing store out on iowa street, which necessitates a car trip, & we’ve been having a lot of car issues lately…in any case, i just used what i had & it looked okay-ish when it was done, but i didn’t really like it.

so yesterday i took ramona to the indie quilt shop downtown (our new house is only three blocks from our old one, so we still live in downtown lawrence–yay!) & we dug through the big basket of embroidery floss they have until i found the perfect shade of blue-green. it was all the way at the bottom, maybe the only skein in that color. i cut off the shitty cording & freestyled my own embroidery pattern.

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the natural daylight washes it out a little, but i think we can all agree that this looks MUCH better. & i really love how the “dial” came out. it’s fussy-cut from some tula pink “pineapple” fabric & wound up being exactly the right scale.

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& this is a lamp. when i showed it to jared, he said, “it’s a window! &…a jewel shape? that is happening here?” if you look closely, you can see a little bit of black & white crosshatched fabric connecting the shade to the base. but because the purple background & the green base are so dark, that connecting piece kind of blends too much. oh well! i think the geometric lines of the base are really clever. sewing them necessitated L-seams, which look like they could stand to be pressed one more time, but i love the way the seaming creates a more three-dimensional effect.

i’m halfway through the forty blocks at this point, & already panicking a little about how i’m going to lay it all out & quilt it. i’m so worried about wrecking it during the quilting process, since i am not a great quilter & each block requires at least a couple of hours of work. i’ve given a lot of thought to hand-quilting it, but i still don’t know what design(s) to employ, what color(s) thread to use…should i do an all-over design or something individual to each block? should i maybe only quilt the sashing? but i really want to do some quilting over the seams in the blocks to add stability. plus, some of the blocks are pretty big. but i don’t want to quilt over embroidery or 3D elements…well, i still have twenty blocks to go, i guess i have plenty of time to worry about it.

mo’ house, mo’ problems

so. we moved last week. we hired movers before we discovered that i was pregnant, & thank god we did because the miscarriage really took it out of me. for the last week before we moved, i was in a lot of physical pain (cramps, migraines, etc) & was basically useless as far as gathering boxes or packing. just shifting boxes around the new house & setting up light furniture did me in. there’s no way i would have been in a state for actually doing the heavy lifting.

the new house is a bit of a mixed bag, which i knew going in, but it’s been a little more challenging than i expected. it only had window A/C units–no central air. but the window unit downstairs really doesn’t do much if it’s over 90 degrees, & if it’s under 90 degrees, you don’t really need A/C. (that’s six years of kansas talking. anything under 90 is a balmy summer day here.) a shelf in the fridge broke when i was moving our cold food into it. the kitchen window was cracked & broke altogether when jared opened it one day. the toilet overflowed the other night, unable to withstand the power of a two-year-old’s poop. jared’s office is basically a construction zone, so he hasn’t been able to unpack anything in there. the shelf in my closet fell on me while i was hanging up clothes. i think the shower stall is fat-shaming me. it’s super-tiny & i can’t bend down to wash my legs without bumping the stall door open with my ass. the dryer didn’t work when we moved in & jared had to take the whole thing apart to find the giant lint ball that was blocking the exhaust hose & fix it. & our storage room is full of the former tenant’s random shit they didn’t want to move.

supposedly the landlord is addressing this stuff. he came over with his handyman on saturday to work on jared’s office. supposedly he is having a new toilet installed this afternoon. he claims that he is getting us a new fridge. to be frank, he doesn’t seem quite as responsive as our previous landperson. i think he’s used to renting to dumbass college students who don’t care if their clothes don’t dry & their toilets overflow & is not fully prepared to deal with renting to a family with actual expectations for basic functionality. like, when i told him that we wanted an exhaust fan in the kitchen because running the oven heats the kitchen up to well over 100 degrees even with the A/C running, his reply was, “don’t use the oven in the summertime.” & eat what instead? bruschetta & watermelon cubes? that actually sounds amazing. but not the most practical when you are feeding a toddler & trying to develop an adventurous palate in her.

the former landperson also flipped the script on us when we moved out. after months of crossing the street to avoid me if we happened to see each other out & about, jared pigeonholed her in the yard to tell her what day we were leaving & ask where to leave the keys. she said to “leave the house as you found it”. easier said than done with a place where you’ve been living for over four years. i knew we’d put some scratches in the floors, & there were some basic wear & tear issues. but jared spent literally hours & hours cleaning the place, going so far as to climb up on a ladder to get to any rogue dust high on the walls or ceilings.

the next day, the landlady texted me (she always texts, she never calls–like a 14-year-old), outraged because the house was “filthy”. her main complaint seemed to be that the stovetop burners were a little greasy. never mind that the rest of the house was about as spotless as a person can make a 100-year-old house, & the oven is older than i am. never mind the fact that she rented the house out from under us after i specifically told her we wanted to renew the lease, because she wanted to rent it to her friend & displace a family, & then she didn’t even tell me for a month.

i sent one text back, telling her that jared had spent hours cleaning the place, including the oven & stovetop, & that we had already returned the keys so there was nothing more we planned to do. jared had to go back to the house to get our ladder, & she was there, scrubbing out the oven with dish soap & a rag. i’ve never known a person to clean an oven this way, & jared reports that she was indeed on the verge of tears because she was basically using straight elbow grease to clean something that specialty cleansers have been developed for. it’s like trying to dry clean your own clothes at home in your living room. she told him not to expect much security deposit back, but i don’t remember paying her a security deposit, so…not a problem?

& a little extra fun: jared & ramona went out to the car yesterday to go grocery shopping & the car wouldn’t start! we had gone to IKEA the day before & bought all kinds of things: a dresser for ramona’s room, a bookcase, some storage solutions, picture frames, flatware, etc etc. apparently while loading everything into the car, jared bumped the passenger light button & we didn’t notice because it was daylight. this drained the battery. so at some point today we’re going to have to round someone up to jump it for us. it’s always something.

but one little shred of good news: i had another blood test on friday & i am officially not pregnant anymore. this was my first (hopefully only!) miscarriage & i hadn’t realized how goddamn long they take! i had some dumb idea that you bleed & then it’s over in like three days. but i am in fact still spotting a little, nearly four weeks later, & it took all that time for my HCG to drop below 5. it’s crazy that i am happy about not being pregnant anymore, but after this complete shitshow that was july (found out i was preggo on the 1st, started miscarrying on the 9th, miscarrying on my birthday on the 11th, moved on the 27th), it’s a relief to have just a little spot of normalcy. we are still working on unpacking, figuring out the new house, addressing all the problems with it, fixing the car, etc etc. it’s nice to cross “miscarriage” off the list of stressful shit currently happening in our lives.

breaking radio silence

sorry i haven’t been posting much lately. pretty much all i’ve been doing lately is sleeping, reading about miscarriages online, & trying to pull the house into some kind of condition for moving. we move a week from tomorrow. i feel like i shouldn’t complain about the timing because, you know, it could be worse. what if i had the miscarriage DURING the move? that would be awful. or if it happened right after we moved, so then the new house was tainted by this completely shitty thing that happened there as soon as we moved in.

but so much of what i need emotionally is to just rest & feel like i have some oasis of calm in my life, even if it’s just during ramona’s naps or whatever. & it’s impossible to feel that way when i live in a tiny house that is crammed floor to ceiling with packed & half-packed boxes. there’s no restful place for me to place my eyes. whenever i try to sleep or lay down to replenish my energy, i start thinking about all the packing that is left to do.

jared has been making some pointed comments about how i haven’t been very helpful with going out to get boxes. i did try once, but the liquor store only had three empty boxes for me. sometimes you get lucky & they have more than will fit in your car, & sometimes they only have a couple. he’s been the main box-getter because he does more driving errands than i do (he does all the grocery shopping, & the grocery store is right next door to the liquor store), & also, you know, i’m having a miscarriage. although it has not been as physically taxing as some experiences friends have shared with me, i am still really tired, & sometimes i am in pain, & i am always, always crushingly sad. i don’t feel as miserable if jared &/or ramona are with me, but when jared is at school & ramona is napping, all i can think about is sad how i feel. feeling this way makes it hard to muster up the energy for even the basics: brushing my teeth, putting on non-pajamas. let alone anything bigger.

i had two blood tests last week, four days & seven day post-methotrexate. my HCG levels are dropping well. they’re going to keep testing me once a week until i’m back to zero, & then they’re going to schedule a colposcopy. that doesn’t really have anything to do with the miscarriage. just more awful medical stuff i have to deal with. if we want to actually try for another baby, we can start in october, as long as my cycle is back by then.

i keep waffling on whether or not i want to try. i tried SO HARD to get pregnant with ramona, & while obviously it worked eventually, it was still crazy-making & i still feel vaguely traumatized by it all. all the charting & timing & pills & tests & anxiety. i don’t want to do that again. i don’t want to turn into that crazy person. that’s part of why this pregnancy was so amazing: it was a complete accident! i didn’t even catch it until i was two & a half months along! out of the woods, i was presumptuous enough to think! but i know that even if we are casual about trying to get pregnant again, i will never be able to feel really relaxed about it because i will always be wondering if i will have another miscarriage.

jared says, let’s just not think about it right now. let’s just focus on the move. & i think, easy for you to say, you’re not the one bleeding & going in for tests. but yes, we are moving, & i am starting to feel a little bit excited about it. it will just be a big relief to start unpacking these boxes & arranging our new space. & i cannot WAIT for jared & me to have our own room! if i want to nap during ramona’s nap, i’ll be able to do it in my very own bed without being scared of waking her up. if jared is watching a baseball game in the evening & i want a quiet space to read, i’ll be able to just go to our room. i’ll be able to hide out while i’m sick without having to switch to the couch when it’s time for ramona to nap or go to bed!

plus, there’s always that weird thrill that comes with moving, the idea that somehow you will be a different, better person in a (hopefully) different, better space. a person who makes her bed every morning as soon as gets up, & never looks around at 4pm to find herself still in ratty pajamas from the night before. a person who dusts her ceiling fan more frequently than once every three years & owns more than one fitted sheet. yes, a lot of my fantasies of my better self are domestic in nature. but you know. maybe i will also magically become a person who goes to europe. somehow. not sure how we’d afford airfare & accommodations for the whole family, but we do all have passports. who knows what the future holds?

miscarriage update: ectopic times

just a li’l miscarriage update: i had to go back to the ER last night. it turns out that it was an ectopic pregnancy after all. as i told jared, “you what this means? we are the 1%! this only happens in 1% of all pregnancies. i’d really prefer to be the rich 1% though, if i have a choice in the matter…”.

i’m fortunate that it miscarried naturally before doing any damage to me or my future reproductive capacity (as far as we know), though of course i am now at much higher risk for ectopics in any future pregnancies. you know, because i didn’t have enough working against me in the whole having babies arena.

i had the ER doctor consult with three different OB practices, hoping one of them would say, “it’s just a miscarriage! no big!” but they all agreed that it was probably ectopic (due to the fact that my uterus was completely empty, not even a gestational sac that would indicate a blighted ovum missed miscarriage), so they gave two shots of methotrexate & then i was free to go. they warned me that i’d probably spend the weekend puking & cramping, but so far i feel pretty much fine. lots of bleeding, & i’m pretty tired (probably from the stress & the blood loss), but i’m doing okay. which is nice, because today is my birthday. it’s bad enough to be having a miscarriage on your 36th birthday, without adding a bunch of puking to the mix.

jared & ramona came to the ER with me last night & ramona cuddled with me in my hospital bed. the ER doctor was totally awesome–far & away the best doctor interaction i have had during this pregnancy. obviously this whole situation sucks, but i am doing surprisingly okay.

trying to see the silver lining in all of this: i can keep sewing garments for myself without worrying about my size changing with pregnancy! between my first prenatal on wednesday & my miscarriage counseling session yesterday, i lost six pounds. i don’t know if it was some kind of weird psychosomatic baby weight or what, but i was definitely starting to look pregnant & now i’m back to my old self. i had cut out some pants to sew before all of this happened, & then i was like, “guess i gotta shelve that project for about the next year.” i had bought a bunch of bra fabric & thought i’d have to postpone that until my pregnancy boobs decided what size they wanted to be. i’d still rather have a baby than some new sewing projects, obviously, but since having a baby is not an option…

hey dudes, i’m having a miscarriage

my news: i was about ten weeks pregnant but am now having a miscarriage. so if this is something that you would find upsetting to read, skip the rest. here we go!

despite being so far along, i just found out i was pregnant last week. i had what i thought was a normal period at the end of may, but when my next period didn’t show up, i started panicking because i thought i was going into early perimenopause. it’s no secret that my hormones are kind of jacked up, which is why we had such a difficult time conceiving ramona. after the various interventions it took to get pregnant with her, the idea of getting pregnant by accident honestly never crossed my mind.

i decided i should take a pregnancy test anyway before i called my doctor in a panic, just to rule it out. imagine my shock when it was positive! i was literally shaking. i do eventually want to have another child, but you know. it’s still kind of a whirlwind of emotions when it happens by accident! i called jared at school, & he was like, “…okay. okay. two kids. okay. let’s do this thing.”

we talked it over & realized that, you know, the timing wasn’t ideal, but it wasn’t too terrible either. i was due in early february, just a few months before jared is slated to defend his dissertation. we still have all of ramona’s outgrown baby stuff. all we’d need for a new baby was a crib, a car seat, a stroller that can fit two kids, & a car that can fit two car seats. obviously, these are big-ticket items, but still. not that big a deal.

i called the OB i used when i was pregnant with ramona to schedule a prenatal. she wouldn’t see me without making me take a blood test to “confirm the pregnancy”. i tried to explain that i had to already be eight or nine weeks along, & i had that weird false period bleeding episode, & that i’d prefer to just go straight to an ultrasound to rule out an ectopic pregnancy or a molar pregnancy & make sure everything was okay. she refused, so i switched providers.

i had my first prenatal on wednesday. they confirmed the pregnancy with their own tests & the doctor said he would order an ultrasound to confirm dates. i asked if i should be worried about the bleeding episode & he said, “you haven’t had any bleeding since then?” “no,” i said. “no cramps?” “no,” i said. “then we can rest assured that there’s nothing going on that is a threat…to you.” i did not love how cavalier he was about the health of the fetus, but i decided i’d just switch to a different provider within the practice. we couldn’t do an ultrasound at that appointment because the tech was out for the day. i was very disappointed by this, but relieved that i finally had the prenatal process underway, already being nearly ten weeks pregnant.

the next day i had a tiny bit of spotting but chalked it up to having had a pap done the day before. then the spotting got heavier & bright red. i figured it was probably just because of the pap, because the cervix is so vascular & delicate during pregnancy. but still. i got tired of waiting for the OB’s office to call me back, so i had jared come home from school so i could go to the ER & get looked over. i expected them to confirm everything & tell me i was just over-reacting to normal spotting & to send me packing.

but when the ultrasound tech was very serious & taciturn & asked me a lot of questions like, “who told you you were pregnant?” i started to get very worried.

finally the doctor came in & told me my HGC level was only 1800. it should have been MUCH higher for as far along as i was. the sonogram showed a thickened endometrial lining but no gestational sac & certainly no ten-week-old fetus. & meanwhile, the bleeding was getting heavier & heavier.

they gave me IV fluids to help with some of the blood loss & a rhogam shot, since my blood type is negative. the doctor was trying to convince me that maybe i am pregnant–maybe only three weeks or something! but unless it’s an immaculate conception, that’s just not a possibility. i know when i had sex & when i didn’t, & i knew i had to be at least ten weeks along.

so who knows what happened? maybe that weird bleeding episode at the end of may was my body’s attempt to start an early miscarriage & it didn’t work & my body kept acting like it was pregnant for another six weeks. the only silver lining is that i don’t have to worry about passing a ten-week-old fetus. but this still really sucks & i feel pretty shitty physically & i have to go into the doctor’s office again today for another blood test, even though all i want to do is lay on the couch & chat with ramona about animals or whatever.

we’re moving in 17 days. tomorrow is my birthday. i’ll be 36. we haven’t decided yet if we are actually going to start trying for a second kid once i am all recovered from this miscarriage & back to normal. i haven’t gone into detail here, but trying to find a provider that wasn’t a complete asshole was a real problem. my options for care are limited since ramona was delivered by cesarean. trying to plan my next birth made me realize that i am still really traumatized by that pregnancy & birth & i should probably work through that a little bit more before i worry about having another kid.