Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The year nobody dies

My mother died four years ago today. Four years is not enough time to diffuse grief. I don't know if there is a set number of years that will do that but I know 1460 some odd days isn't enough time to make the pain go away.

It's been especially hard to get over her death because since she passed away in 2004 there has been a series of deaths in my family. In 2005 it was my paternal grandfather. In 2006 my maternal grandfather. And in 2007 my maternal grandmother. Not to mention assorted distant family members and friends of the family. There's been so much grieving I forget what it feels like to live without that constant cloud of hurt that lingers. There has been no time to heal.


They say bad news comes in threes. I don't know if that's entirely true but I do know that good news follows good news and bad news tends to follow bad.

I remember the day I found out my mom's cancer had come back. Or more to the point, it had never really left and now it was really bad. She was going to need another extremely invasive, time consuming surgery, which meant a long recovery time but no guarantees it would actually work.

A while later I got a call from the women's clinic I went to. They had found something in my last pap smear that was very concerning. I had level four dysplasia, one small step away from cervical cancer. It was very aggressive and if I didn't have the offending cells removed I would be in a heap of trouble.

I lost it. I started crying on the phone which is not like me at all. I can handle a lot but that much at one time... It did me in. I was inconsolable for the rest of the day though I told nobody about my problem. I needed to concentrate on one stress at a time.

In the end I was fine. Things were taken care of and I healed. My mom had her surgery and it was as awful as we feared, but she pulled through and lived another four years or so. But to this day even though I can absorb stresses in my life like a sponge and seem like I've got my shit together it just takes that one thing to tip the scale and have everything come tumbling out on top of me.


Fisher had a CAT scan today, today of all days. After a horrendous weekend where he did nothing but vomit and subsequently lost five pounds from his 75 pound frame, refused his food and generally looked nothing like the dog I knew just a few weeks before, it was decided he needed more tests STAT.

The vet is still not sure what's wrong with the poor dog. What she could tell me was though she didn't know what it was she did know what it wasn't. No masses, spleen looked good, blah blah blah. Then she mentioned lymphoma. There is a possibility of lymphoma.

And treatment options if it came to that.

And words like "aggressive chemotherapy" and "six to 18 months".

And I lost it, just a little, but this time I kept it all inside. I waited until we hung up before letting the tears fall.

He needs a biopsy but his platelets level is so low there is concern of him bleeding out. The bladder stones are still there but they are not a result of the existing liver problem, as she first thought. His white blood cell count is going crazy. He has elevated, very elevated, ALT levels and some other initials that I can't quite remember because I started to zone out.

It was all too much to take on a day that already was too hard.

Just too much.


I was speaking with my aunt the other day, my mom's closest sister in both age and relationship. She's the one who always keeps in touch and makes sure we don't lose contact with each other when the rest of the family could care less.

She mentioned that she really needed 2008 to be an easier year. The last four have been so hard and she needs to rest. We all need to rest and heal.

She said she really needed 2008 to be the year that nobody dies. I couldn't agree more.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Alpha Bitch Speaks - Issue #1, Keeping your puppy off the pole

Alpha Bitch Speaks is a question and answer column about dog training, dog behavior and all things dog and will be a regular addition to this blog. If you have a question for Alpha Bitch email it to Chicky Chicky Baby [at] Hotmail [dot] com.

Please remember that Alpha Bitch is not an expert nor is she a licensed animal behaviorist, she is a dog trainer who has a passion for dogs and sarcasm. If you send her a question like "Halp! My dogs are threatening to eat my baby!" she will tell you to immediately seek professional help in your area. And you should.

Also if you send a question expect a hard and truthful answer. Alpha Bitch does not sugar coat things. Sugar is not good for dogs anyway.


The very first question for Alpha Bitch (how exciting) comes from Childs Play x2:

"I'm a big fan so I thought I'd write in to the Dog Lady. My only problem is that I don't have a dog.

But, I may one day go down that road and I have a burning question that keeps coming up every time I think of owning a dog.

How do I become such a good doggie daddy that my dog doesn't go on to live the seedy life of doggie porn?

I await your answer with baited breath."
First of all, Childs Play, flattery will get you everywhere with the Alpha Bitch. Gifts and money will get you ever further. But if you try to scratch my belly I will bite you.

Every new pet parent hopes their sweet, lovable lump of fluff and energy will grow up to be a smart and healthy dog. Most of our fears in those early days have to do with passing Puppy Kindergarten (no one wants to be the parent of a puppy school dropout, you may as well paint her pink and pass her off to Paris Hilton) and keeping our carpets clean of accidents. No one believe their puppy will ever end up shaking their tails at the local fire hydrant for every Max, Spot, or Rover that comes along. A life that will only lead to, in your words, a "seedy life of doggie porn".

So how do we keep our pups off the pole?

Simple. Spay or neuter your pup!

"Fixing" your dog will help keep them from wandering away from home. Spaying a female dog at around 6 months old will ensure she will never go into heat (okay, almost never. I do know a dog who had her first season at 5 and a half months but she was a German Shepherd and very mature for her age as the Germans often are), therefore saving you money in carpet and upholstery cleaning bills after she's, ahem, surfed the crimson wave. And you won't have every hound dog in the neighborhood ringing your doorbell at all times of the day and night looking for a date.

Likewise if you have a male dog he'll be less apt to run around town, knocking over garbage cans and mail boxes, spray painting cars, hanging out at honky tonks that serve whiskey and 100% all beef burgers, and just being a public nuisance in general. And neutering him will ensure he doesn't run away from home with the first french poodle he meets, shacking up in some run down apartment building on the wrong side of town and knocking her up in the process.

Do you really want to be a grandpa so young? To an entire litter? Didn't think so.

If Alpha Bitch can speak seriously for a moment, more than 3 million animals (and that includes cats, the sluts) are euthanized in shelters each year in the United States alone. By helping to control the pet population not only are you your own little version of Bob Barker but you're helping to save lives. Now don't you feel good about yourself if you've already taken little Ginger or Riley for the ol' snip snip?

So there you have it, Childs Play. Spay or Neuter your one day dog at around six months of age and you won't have to worry about seeing them on Pay Per View one day on all fours.

Now, if you get a bunny Alpha Bitch can't help you. They're all destined for the pages of Playboy some day.

Total coincidence - I didn't know that today was Spay Day USA until I just opened an email from the Humane Society of the United States. If you want to help spay or neuter a pet today go here to find out more.

Okay, you won't actually be assisting in the spay or neuter process but why would you want to? You'd get your hands all icky.


And on a very serious note, can you please put aside a moment to send some good thoughts or a prayer to Susan Getgood who had to put down her Scottie Sabrina yesterday. It's hard to lose a pet and Susan is one of the biggest dog lovers I know. Peace to Sabrina Fair.

Monday, February 25, 2008

I've said it before and I'll say it again - God hates me. A lot.

There once was a girl who was very very good. She went to church faithfully with her mother and her grandmother ever Saturday afternoon at 4:30pm sharp.

(Saturday mass was much preferable to the Sunday masses. Less busy and no one had to worry about waking themselves up too early or wonder who was going to prepare the Sunday meal. Because as everyone knew it wasn't going to be the menfolk, those Godless heathens, who were often too busy nursing themselves through a hangover to be worried about actually preparing the food. Though they were the first ones to bitch if there was no Sunday dinner.

What was I saying?)

She went to a small Catholic elementary school where the other children were also very good. She wore the standard uniform of pressed shirt or modest sweater and a dress or skirt, even in the bitterly cold weather when her knobby knees would bang together like shutters let loose from their hinges in a storm. When she was feeling a bit rebellious she wore green corduroy culottes and she always thanked God for not sending her to the principal's office for pushing the dress code, because sitting in the principal's office was the worst type of punishment. The principal was a scary old nun who had facial hair and a mole. And she might have eaten kittens for breakfast.

She sang in the church choir. She was on milk duty. She folded the American flag every Friday afternoon in perfect triangles and never, ever let it touch the ground. She knew the rosary and the stations of the cross, she wore her cross of ashes proudly on her forehead all day on Ash Wednesday and never ate meat on Fridays during Lent.

She was a very good girl.

Then she got to high school and things changed.

No longer under the thumb of the nuns of her Catholic elementary school and no longer forced to sit in classrooms where all the desks faced a cross with the form of a nearly naked, writhing Jesus hanging from it, the girl started thinking for herself. She questioned the teachings. She no longer wanted to go to church. She fought with her CCD teacher on topics like a woman's right to choose to have an abortion and homosexuality. She even had premarital sex as a teenager.

Her mother was not happy.

Neither was God.

It didn't bother the girl. She renounced her faith, which was really not hers to begin with, and started referring to herself as a Recovering Catholic.

From then on, the girl, who was now a woman, would duck whenever she had to enter a Catholic church to attend weddings or funerals for fear that a lightning bolt would strike her dead. Her favorite curses were a series of Jesus Christs! Goddammit all to hells. And for Christ's sakes. The woman swore she felt a twinge in her neck every time she took the Lord's name in vain, like someone pinching you in that tender spot between the neck and the shoulder, but it didn't stop her. Jesus H. Christ on a popsicle stick was fun to say, and who was it harming? Fuck a duck is also enjoyable coming off the tongue and water fowl never retaliated.

God may have been busy worrying about wars and famine and baby birds falling out of trees but He would get his revenge.

It would come in the form of a trip that the woman's husband would be awarded through work. The very husband who worked a minimum of 18 hours a day and very much deserved the trip. It was the same conference/boondoggle the husband had been awarded the year before and the couple never thought they'd be asked to go again. That stuff just didn't happen.

Last year's trip was to a lovely resort... In Phoenix, Arizona. A wonderful time was had by all, but the woman had really hoped it would have been somewhere near the ocean. So, last year - Arizona. This year's trip?

Cabo San Lucas.

In Mexico.

Right on the ocean.

The date of the trip? Three weeks before the woman's due date.

She can't go.

She can't go because it's too far away and too long a trip and too close to her due date and she really doesn't want to chance delivering her baby in a Mexican hospital six hours away from home by plane. And with her luck, that is exactly what would happen.

If that's not proof that God is seriously pissed off, I don't know what is.

[On a related note - Is anyone going to that Johnson's thing in NJ at the beginning of April? I could totally make that trip. It's not Mexico but I needs to see mah ladies. Email me if you're going.]

Friday, February 22, 2008

No sleep til...

The fickle finger of fate, that bastard, has reached down and flicked me on the ol' forehead. Hard.

You dumb bitch, it says to me. Did you really believe your kid would happily nap forever?

[insert maniacal laughing ala Vincent Price]


[Yeah like that.]

And don't you hate that feeling? Being flicked on the head? It's so insulting.

For the past few days there have been no naps in my house. I put Chicky in her crib and she lies there and makes noises like someone choking a cat for the next couple of hours.

She can't be giving up her nap at not-quite-three years old, can she? Say it ain't so. She needs to nap. I need her to nap. I need to nap.

Someone hold me.

I plan on running her ragged this weekend. I'm thinking a trip to Ikea (I don't know about you, but that always tires me out, I'm tired just thinking about it), some time outside in the new snow we're just getting, maybe some wind sprints and a few dozen suicides in the family room.

This could all backfire. She could discover that she doesn't, in fact, need to nap. She could just be a complete bear and whine until my ears spontaneously bleed and then fall off.

If it comes to that there's always whiskey. Lots and lots of whiskey.

I miss the good ol' days.

Dude, I may only be a few months old in this picture but I'm rocking the nap thing.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Gone to the dogs

I held my last dog training class the other night. My very last one ever for the foreseeable future. My students all graduated but it was an advanced level class with a Canine Good Citizen test at the end.

No one passed the test.

I'm trying not to feel completely responsible for their less than stellar performances. I was their trainer after all, and their success and failure reflects on me as a teacher. Or something like that.

I'm over it now.

What I'm not over is the idea that I am no longer employed.

I decided awhile ago I was not going back to teaching classes once this one was done, at least not until this Chicklet is born and out of her lumpy phase. In one capacity or another, I've been teaching for the past five years and I need a break. You probably don't realize how much pressure there is in teaching, of all things, dog training, but it's a lot more stressful than you think. Stressful and wonderful. Recently I'd cut back my hours so much that I was literally only working about three to five hours a week so I feel like I've weaned myself off the job pretty well. But I still can't settle on the fact that I'm unemployed. That I'm simply a stay at home mom now.

This is the part where you really give it to me. Being a mom is a job, you'll insist, a full time job. A full time job with constant overtime and very few perks, like sick days and, if we're being really pesky, money, but a job nonetheless. The hardest job you'll ever love.

Cough cough wheeze cough choke choke cough

Believe me, I've bought into all that propaganda too. But the fact remains, I've been working since I was thirteen and with the exception of a few months after my first wedding when I quit my job and I had this silly little breakdown that drove me into a deep pit of depression, I've never been unemployed.

Oh, I never told you about my breakdown? It's not one of those things I like to bring up. It tends to put a damper on the conversation when I try to bring it up between the coffee and the cookies. Can you pass the sugar - yeah I had a slight nervous breakdown and didn't really leave my apartment for two months all because I quit my job after I married the wrong man and my life was in a dizzy spinning vortex of confusion - and the half and half too? Thanks.

So you can see why I'm a little freaked out about not having a job.

I am defined by my job. I like working. I like contributing to society and pulling in my own paycheck, even if it is pitifully small. I like going to dinner parties and having something else to talk about besides my kid. And believe me, tell people you're a dog trainer and you'll have a party buddy all night.

In the short term I'll be putting my business cards out there and taking a few private clients but I don't think that will really take off until after the baby is born. It's getting kind of hard to get down on the floor with a wriggly puppy to teach him to sit with this basketball in my abdomen getting in my way. In the long term I still see myself owning my own business.

In the meantime, I need my fix. I'd hate to accost some unsuspecting person on the street about their dog, so send me your dog questions and I'll be happy to answer them on this here blog. I let the other site lapse so let's move it here. I'll be the Dog Lady and we'll have an "Ask the Dog Lady" post every once and awhile. I'm just brainstorming off the top of my head here, but I like the sound of this. And how often do you get advice like that for free?

Send them to my email (see it up there? In the upper right corner? Up a little higher... Yeah, that's it.) and I'll hook you up. You'll be doing me a favor. No, really. You'll probably be doing my neighbors a favor too because if I have to only deal with their psychotic, out of control Chihuahuas that are never on leash, things could get ugly.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Labor part 4 - The longest two hours of my life.

Relive it all again! Here's Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.


Labor is hard. If it wasn't we'd have another name for it. Like "Picnic" or "Party" or something equally pleasurable in comparison, like "Clipping alligator clamps to your nipples and turning on the attached 12 volt battery until you scream like a little girl".

My labor was more difficult than some, less than others. It probably fell somewhere in the middle of the spectrum of sucktitude. Toward the end Chicky, the still unborn fetus, was showing signs of distress and there was concern that the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck. But my girl, the champ she is, pressed on through all of that. It was what came after that really made me question whether I ever wanted to do it all over again.

My baby came out blue and not crying. Not at all like they show it on the Lifetime channel. She was covered in this icky greenish brown goo. And one doctor said to the other, "Is it terminal?"

Chicky, the girl who took her sweet time making her way out of my female slip and slide, was covered in meconium when she was at last pulled forcibly from me. She was given the once over, and then the twice over. And then while the doctors (yes, plural) conferred and the nurses ran around like the proverbial chickens with their heads cut off, the word "terminal" was uttered again.

A blue baby, not crying. The word "terminal". Not a good way to begin.

I did not hear any of this, there was something else going on at the time. Something like delivering the placenta. Who knew that would take so much effort?

But Mr. C heard it. And while I begged to see my child, to hold her finally and check all her fingers and toes, he put on a brave face and decided not to mention that tidbit to me. Smart man.

Now, those of you who have heard that word used before in relation to meconium know where I'm headed with this. The word terminal when applied to meconium is not as bad as it sounds. Terminal meconium is actually a somewhat common phrase and fairly banal. I actually don't know the reason why it's used (that's what I get for never going to medical school) but we've been assured that it's not as frightening as it sounds. But we didn't know this and when you're a new dad and you hear the word terminal being used to describe your brand new baby girl... Well, you can cut my husband some slack for freaking out.

He later called her sister, the doctor, in Minnesota to bitch out the entire medical community for even using such a term without explaining it to new parents beforehand. She agreed it's pretty scary.

Uh... Yeah.

Long story slightly shorter, the goo was not found in the amniotic fluid and Chicky hadn't swallow any. She was handed over to a nurse and all but she rushed out of the room to attend to a woman and her unborn child who were possibly dying in the next room. And though I understand this had to be done, it still kind of sucked to be left with just one nurse to attend to everyone. The poor woman was so flustered things kind of fell between the cracks.

7 pounds, 7 ounces. 21 inches long. And long, skinny chicken legs. That's my girl.

From my bed I could see my baby in her plastic box lying, presumably, under the burger warming lights. I could see her squirm and her fists flail but I could not hold her. The nurse was so busy attending to me, and all the blood I had lost, that she decided it was a bigger priority to fix me up then to give me my child to finally hold.

And then we all found out she had forgotten to turn on the billirubin lights. Poor Chicky, she was supposed to be warming up like a nice Big Mac but she was shivering instead.

Okay, I don't know that last part for sure but you can see how my imagination might go there.

I'm really cold and I'm really hungry and I'm really not pleased with the service around here. Something tells me I'd be better off at Wendy's.

A rational person might say "Hey, maybe you should have been allowed to hold your baby and let the warmth of your body warm her up." But rationality was ditched, the burger lights were turned on, and I continued to ask for my child.


I did not touch my baby, not even a tiny fingernail, for over two hours. The two longest hours of my life.

We didn't know enough to demand her. To just take her out of the damned plastic box and hold her. We trusted in the nurse to do right by us and our daughter. If this ever happens again, we'll know better.

Hold the onions, m'kay? Thanks.

Let this be a lesson to you kids, have an advocate in the room with you. Hire a doula or a midwive. I decided to have Mr. C (naturally) and my sister assist me in my delivery, and I would never go back and change that, but the rules of the hospital where we delivered was two people per mom to be in the room. End of story. No room for a doula in there. If I had a do-over I'd do more homework since between the three of us we had never so much as been present at the birth of a gerbil. Talk about flying blind.

I do trust in the hospital where we had Chicky. I trust they are more than capable and we'll be delivering there again. Circumstances, unfortunately, got in the way. I think, although I'm not 100% certain, that the mother and child in the next room survived. That's got to count for something.

I certainly think so.

The next two days were filled with the highest highs and the lowest lows. I was thrilled with my baby, who obviously was the most beautiful baby to ever have sprung forth from a woman's hoo ha, but recover was tough for me. I passed out being transferred from the delivery bed to the wheelchair. Lost too much blood, blahdee blahdee blah. I didn't expect the pain of recovery to be as bad as it was. I wasn't prepared for doctors to agonize over the birthmark on Chicky's lower back, wondering if it was a sign of spinal damage.

(It wasn't. Though they did tell me we could have it removed. You know, in case she ever wanted to wear a bikini one day and we might be concerned she'd feel self conscious about it. She will and we won't be. They obviously didn't see the giant strawberry birthmark on my upper left thigh. No elective plastic surgery just yet, 'kay?)

And Chicky and I were not exactly a match made in breastfeeding heaven. She was lazy, I was incompetent. I will always wonder if those two hours made a difference in that. If she had just been handed over to me immediately upon being given a clean bill of health, would we have had an easier time?

I guess we'll never know.

But she was the most beautiful baby in the world. And here we are, doing it again. Mr. C and I will know better next time but most importantly we'll know to speak up for our child. Hopefully it will go smoother.

Next time I'll make sure my hair looks better.
(Don't look at my hair, look at the baby. Oh, the baby. The wee baby with the cute pink cheeks. Yes the baby.)

Friday, February 15, 2008

Have you ever tried to scrape your car windshield with an iPod? I don't recommend it.

There once was a time when my handy ice scraper was a cassette tape holder.

Yes siree, I cleared a lot of windows with that clear plastic box that once held my copy of Def Leppard Hysteria.

You would think I would have gotten myself a real, honest to goodness ice scraper with the harsh bristle brush on the other end, but you would be wrong. [Continue reading at May We Recommend...]

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Stick and stones may break my bones, but it's my credit card that is really going to suffer

The final installment of The Birth of a Chicky will have to wait so that I may tell all you pet owners and potential pet owners something REALLY important.

Get pet insurance NOW.

Even if you don't have a pet, insure a stuffed animal just to make sure you'll have that damned insurance once you get a pet. I'm not joking about this in the slightest.

My darling Fisher has bladder stones. He's probably in pain - which is the amazing thing about these animals. You could hit them in the head with a rock and they'd hardly flinch. Though I don't recommend testing that theory - and more than likely has been for some time. The stones were probably caused by an infection, what kind of infection we have no idea yet, and he'll be on an expensive antibiotic and a special food for the next month to try to dissolve the stones and rid him of the infection. If the diet doesn't work he'll need surgery. Very, very expensive surgery.

Oh, and we can't give him any food but the prescription diet. No treats, no cleaning up after Chicky's lunch, no special cookies. Nothing. Just his special food that apparently tastes like ass. For a labrador that's right on par with toenail extraction without anesthesia. Or being forced to listen to Yanni albums. Labradors hate Yanni. I hear they like Jimmy Buffet a lot but that new age crap is just not for them.


Cost to my credit card in just the last week for numerous tests, medication and food: Almost $800.

Do you know what I could do with $800?

Picture me, alone, sipping a virgin dacquari on a warm sandy beach far, far away from veterinarians and stinky dogs with bladder stones. My protruding belly and ever growing backside firmly planted in a comfortable lounge chair while a cabana boy named Juan brings me fresh fruit and rubs my feet while he tells me how incredibly sexy pregnant women are.

Although, I'd probably have to pay extra for that last bit. It would be worth it though.

I guess I'm going to need more readers of this here blog to pay for poor Fisher's medical treatment. I wonder how people feel about cat porn?

Oh yeah. You like that, don't you big boy? My name is Nina but you can call me Jaba the Cat. You like your pussy cats full figured, don't you?

Dude, that is so wrong. I can't even look at you. But if you put on some Cheeseburger in Paradise and gave me a cookie this whole thing would be forgotten.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Ew, ew, ew, ew

To the many -many many MANY - people who find this site by searching for Dog P*rn -

Go the hell away. Please and thank you. I know it's my own damn fault for typing those words in the first place but I honestly did not think this many of you had a fetish for da pooches. Wow.

But where I am naive you, dear perverts, are sick.

It's really time to get off your computers and seek help. Like five minutes ago. Really, close your laptops or shut down your PCs and pick up the phone. Call a licensed psychiatrist, have yourself committed, do whatever you need to do to get over this sickness. My sincerest hope is that you haven't acted upon your perverse desire and have stayed in the safety of your parent's basement, away from all innocent four-legged creatures. Believe me, I know dogs. No matter how much you think that French poodle in the tight sweater is asking for it, she's not.

That is all.


In real dog news...

Still waiting to hear the results of Fisher's latest x-rays and screens. I played phone tag with the vet today so now I have to wait until tomorrow to find out. What's one more day and a few more gray hairs, right?

Thanks for all your concern, your comments and emails have meant a lot to me. They've meant a lot to Fish, too. Since we have deep, meaningful conversations on a regular basis I had to tell him the people in blogland were routing for him. He was really touched.

Like you don't talk to your pets. Psssh.

Fisher wanted to pass on sloppy, stinky kisses to you all. *Smooches*

Monday, February 11, 2008

Labor, part 3 - Now with more hoo-ha and a frightening delivery

Part one is here.

Part two is here.


The epidural didn't work.


Let's back up - it worked a little, but not 100%. The right side of my body was happily pain free but the left side of my body was screaming. It was this pinching feeling, like my body from left leg to left shoulder was caught in a vice and someone was twisting. And probably cackling maniacally.

The nurse rolled me over and massaged my back, trying to get the epidural to drain into the other side of my body. Then she would roll me back and I would howl in pain. This went on a few times until it finally took. I think they may have given me more drugs too but honestly I have no idea what was really taking place. They could have inserted magical happy fuzzy bunnies in to my back for all I knew.

I admire women who have natural births but there was no way on God's green earth that I was ever going to be one of them. I believe that no pain is worth dealing with that some smart person didn't create a drug for and my mind will not be changed. End of story. Give me the good stuff and keep it coming. If I could have ordered the epidural in my fifth month I would have happily had a porta-cath inserted into my arm. If you're looking for an earth mama you can just keep moving. Nothing to see here.

Moms will understand when I say there is no dignity in childbirth, especially when you're delivering in a teaching hospital. As we were. Every Tom, Dick and Harry is wandering into your room to take a look at your hoo-ha and comment on, I don't know, the size, shape and texture of it?

Ooh, what a lovely shade of coral!

Well, after the drugs I was inviting people into my room who were just wandering down the hall to come on in and take a look. Share in the majesty of my hoo-ha! Bring your friends. Certainly you've never seen one like this!

While the monitors beeped away happily, measuring every contraction I couldn't feel, we watched the end of a dog show (Can't remember who won, but it was probably a terrier. Just a little dog joke.), traded taking shots at the anesthesiologist, and then watched a good portion of a Red Sox game. The Sox beat Tampa Bay 3-1 which I took to be a good omen, and then the doctor announced it was time to push. Nice of them to let us watch the last inning, though, because if I would have ended up with a Red Sox hater - or worse, a Yankees fan (!) - in my delivery room, on top of the bumbling Cassanova and his needles, I think I may have walked out.

So I tried pushing. And I tried again. And again.

And again.


Apparently, the epidural was now working too well.

More than two very unhappy hours and one threat of c-section later I finally pushed my baby out of the very same hoo-ha I was just hours before inviting people to admire.

I wanted to hold that baby girl so badly, it hurt. But there were complications during my little Chicky's birth. The word "terminal" was used, though I didn't hear it. But Mr. C did.

He decided in my delicate state it would be better not to mention what he heard to me. Instead he put on his bravest face while I continued to ask, "Is she okay? Can I see her? Is my baby okay??"

To be continued... Duh...

Thursday, February 07, 2008

The Fisher King and his wonky liver

Blogs are supposed to be for chronicling every day life, right? I mean, that's the point of them, whether that's the approach you take or not. I'm not always so good about doing that because every day life? Let's face it, it's reeeeally boring sometimes.

Okay, most times. Sigh.

And when it's not boring there's not that much time to blog about it. What's a woman to do?

I vote for cry and then eat loads of chocolate and other fatty foods. It doesn't necessarily make me feel better but it makes my tummy feel happy. And, yes, I just referred to my stomach as my "tummy". I'm not ashamed of that.

Things just got a little more, uh, interesting around here and not in the good way unfortunately. And though I have time to blog about it I don't have the mental capacity to write about it as eloquently as I would like, because I'm kinda losing my mind over here.

I brought my dog Fisher in for a routine tooth cleaning yesterday. The dog, I'm afraid to say, has the breath of death. Really. It smells like something crawled in there and died. I know lots and lots of dogs and I can safely say that no other dog has breath like Fisher's. We thought a tooth cleaning was in order so that he may continue to be allowed to live inside with the rest of us slightly less stinky beings.

Fisher has a stomach issue, you see. I won't bore you with the details, but ever since he was one year old and swallowed a half bottle of Immodium that was left on a low window sill by some dumb punk at the kennel I was working at - ahem - and then was brought to the local emergency vet clinic for a lovely and expensive overnight stay, he's had these issues. That was almost five years ago and we suspect during the course of his throwing up the offending drugs (did you know Immodium in large quantities is an opiate? Now you do) he may have aspirated. Since then he has this problem with retching and bile, which has caused his teeth to get really nasty.

Hey, baby. I ain't nothin' but a hound dog. Thank you. Thank you very much.

Um, scratch what I said about boring you with the details. That's it in a nutshell.


Yesterday I was supposed to pick him up at the end of the day with pearly whites that even Paris Hilton would be envious of, but soon after I dropped him off I got a call from the vet. Never a good thing. Apparently they found in his routine screening before he was anesthetized (again with the anesthesia!) a problem with his liver.

A problem. With his liver. A PROBLEM. With his LIVER.

(I'm losing my freaking mind here. Losing. It. Now. Aaaand... It's gone.)

Take it from me, life is easier when you don't have much of a mind to begin with.

The routine procedure was scrapped, more tests were scheduled and I spent the next hour in my own doctor's office alternately fielding questions about how I was feeling (Quite shitty, thanks for asking) and freaking out about Fisher. I was so stressed out that I noticed later I had a fingernail sized cut in my palm because my fingers were pressed so tightly into balls all day.

I know that not every person feels the same about their pets but my dogs, Fisher especially, are very dear to me. Fisher goes to work with me. He was my first baby, so to speak, and he's my buddy. Even if he is stinky.

You might want to check and see just which of us is the stinky one right now.

I'm not ashamed to admit that he's my favorite. It's hard not to favor a dog who sticks by you when you cry your eyes out because your mom is dying or guards you more protectively when you're pregnant. Fisher has done all those things and more. I never have to worry about him around Chicky, except maybe to be concerned that they're licking yogurt off the same spoon. They play fetch every evening, he let's her take the ball out of his mouth and slowly runs after her when she plays keep-away. He let's her sit on him or use him as a foot stool. I don't even mind that he walks around with dirty socks in his mouth because I know he won't chew them. He just likes the taste of dirty socks. I love that damn dog.

I got news this morning that parts of his tests came back abnormal, as was suspected after the quick blood tests he had first thing yesterday. His blood was sent out and came back with an elevated white blood cell count and other initials I can't remember right now. He has an appointment for x-rays and other tests on Monday. Hopefully it's just a parasite but I can't help but freak out, thinking it could be something else. I'm little miss happiness that way.

I'm wishing for hum drum and boring right now. I'm hoping the vet will send us home with worming medication and antibiotics on Monday and that will be that. I'm praying it's absolutely nothing but a routine parasite. I'd really like for my life to be dull and not full of medical problems for my pup. My Fisher. My Squisher McFisher Fishy Fish.

I couldn't stand life without that face.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Labor, part 2 - Don't mind me, I'm just having a baby here

Missed part 1? Read it here.


He was olive skinned. Possibly of Middle Eastern descent, but what did it matter? What we knew for certain was that he was not happy to be there. Not happy at all.

Surly and sarcastic - two qualities you really don't want in the anesthesiologist who was about to administer your epidural, but that's what we got. We got the mean guy. The guy who looked at us with disdain for pulling him away from his other responsibilities. The guy who seemed to think he had so many other more important patients to administer to; certainly more important than a pregnant woman whining for pain relief drugs.

He asked a few questions and had me position my body on the edge of the bed, which I tried to do as quickly as possible. But since I was in the throes of my worst contractions I guess I didn't move as fast as he wanted.

"Move to the edge of the bed, please," he said with a bite in his voice.

I looked at my husband and tried to tell him with my eyes, since I couldn't speak, Please punch this guy in the face. Pretty please.

With my husband's help I was able to move my body to a place that suited the anesthesiologist and he began to insert the needle into my back. As I faced my husband I felt another strong contraction starting. A very strong contraction. An oh-my-GOD, where-did-this-pain-come-from? contraction. And at that moment the surly man chose to ask me a question. I cannot for the life of me remember what that question was but I do remember this - when I didn't answer because of the amazing pain I was trying to breath through he said in his most sarcastic tone,

"She's not much of a talker, is she? Hello. Did you hear me?"

My husband told me later that the monitor measuring my contractions was peaking at its highest point. And the man wondered why I wasn't talking to him. I wanted to kick him in the nuts.

Just when we considered asking for another, more compassionate, anesthesiologist, my sister walked in and suddenly the man's demeanor changed.

You know those cartoons where the horrible wolf spots a beautiful she-wolf and hearts pop out of his eyes as he shouts "Aaaah-ooooo-gaaaaah!" and he turns into a love sick puppy? That's what happened when the horrible man met my sister. I swear I saw cartoon hearts, but it may have been the pain making me hallucinate.

"Who's this?" The question practically dripped off his tongue.

"My sister," I breathed.

"Your sister? No, you two can't be sisters. You look so different."

Yeah, tell us something we've never heard before, buddy.

My sister is quite dark, with almost black hair and big brown eyes where I'm blonde (thanks to nature and a little help from my hairdresser) with light skin and hazel eyes. Take that away and we don't look so different. But when one of us is sweaty with pain and bloated with pregnancy and the other is slightly tanned from a recent trip and practically radiating with health, I can see how someone could miss the resemblance.

While he finished attaching the needle to my back he tried to strike up a conversation with my sister. What did she do for work? Where did she get that amazing tan? What nationality was she? (The guy still didn't believe we were related) He was of some Middle Eastern descent, but no one was really listening to him and his pitiful attempts to attract my sister. My married sister, I should add, who was wearing a huge rock on her ring finger that I guess he just missed. It was so inappropriate. But at least he wasn't mean anymore. If anything he was slightly bumbling. We had no idea how bumbling, however.

He had to tear himself away but he did leave us eventually - and by "us" I mean my sister - and I lay down on the bed to wait for the drugs to hit me. When they didn't I mentioned this to the nurse and she checked my line.

"Uh oh."

What's worse than a nasty anesthesiologist? A nurse who says "Uh oh".

Apparently in his haste to get as much information out of my sister for his later sick fantasies he FORGOT TO HOOK UP THE I.V.

Ain't that a bitch?

There I lay with an uncomfortable cathater in my back and no drugs going to it. If I was disgusted by the guy before, I was ready to bite his head off now.

He was called back and, amazingly, showed up quickly and was appropriately embarrassed for his oversight. But I think that was more for my sister's benefit than mine or my husband's. Although, I did catch the nurse giving him some nasty looks.

After he hooked up the I.V. the anesthesiologist practically ran to exit the room, and I again waited for the relief of the drugs. I got some relief pretty quickly. But just some.

There was still pain. Awful, horrible, bite a leather strap kind of pain. This was not right.

What the hell was happening to me?

To be continued... Again...

Friday, February 01, 2008

We interupt this trip down memory lane...

... So that I can bitch and whine.

(Ooh boy!)

But I promise you'll find out who the mystery man was soon. Very soon. But not now.

- I just spent a half an hour on the phone to my prescription drug insurance company - which sounds exactly like Medco - only to have them tell me my doctor's office answered a question incorrectly on Medco's stupid questionnaire requesting more pills for me, and now I'll have to go the weekend (on top of the two days I just went) without my anti-nausea medication. Please remind me why I switched doctors. Right now I'm really second guessing that decision. But only because they're closer and more familiar to me and I can put a name and face with my anger versus the anonymous drug company with the man with the accent who I had to ask to repeat everything he said FIVE TIMES.

- I miss my husband and I'm sick of all this traveling of his but what do you want to bet within two hours of his arrival tonight I'll be pushing him and his suitcase back out the door because he dirtied up my nice clean house? Seriously. The house is so much cleaner and more orderly when he's gone.

- Just played on my iPod while on shuffle:

All the Way Down - Glen Hansard from the Once Soundtrack
Still Fighting It - Ben Folds
Anna Begins - Counting Crows
My One True Friend - Bette Midler

And I will now go slit my wrists.

- Michael Vick's dogs are getting their own reality show and some celebutard (Could be Paris? Could be Britney?)is making headlines because she's a puppy killer. Allegedly. I have so many posts on these subjects floating around in my head it's giving me a migraine. But I'll have to write about my views on rehabilitating dogs, no-kill shelters and the whole Dog Town on the National Geographic television show, and buying dogs from pet stores soon or I might burst.

- This isn't bitching but if you're not a Patriots fan, hell, if you downright hate them, we're chatting about their inevitable Super Bowl win over at New England Mamas. And if you are a Pats fan come tell me how you feel about the possible (ahem) Rolling Rally interfering with Super Tuesday. I'm taking a poll. It is campaign season after all.

- Speaking of polls, you may have noticed that there hasn't been any ROFL Awards around these parts lately. Or maybe you haven't. But that's my point. Before I bring them back or decide to bury them for good I'd like to know how you feel about the ROFLs, so I made this handy poll to help me decide.

Can't see it, can you? Why the hell can't I get a poll to work in Blogger or Typepad today? It's really pissing me off. If you can help me with this problem please let me know because I'm about to tear my hair out and glue it to my dog's ass. Just for fun.

In the meantime follow this link and answer it that way, will ya? T'anks.

Don't mind that last bit. Except for me ripping my hair out and gluing it to my dog's ass. I might do that anyway, just to stop the deadly smell from coming out of her rear end.

Now if you don't mind I'm going to make myself pancakes and bacon - lots and lots of bacon - before the morning sickness really sets in again and I can't eat anything but Saltines.