My Story

The chronicle of the journey from infertility, to miscarriage, to finally raising twin girls born in June 2012.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

First bloody nose

Well it was bound to happen.  Two toddlers racing around, of course one was going to end up with a bloody nose at some point.

Last night, the girls were playing with the curtain that I have up between the office and the main living room.  As if choreographed for a sitcom, they both tried to burst through at the same moment, bonked into each other, and each landed on their butts on opposites sides of the curtain.

All fun and games until Middie Biddie started crying with a little bit of blood coming out her nose.  It cleared up pretty quickly, but she also has a cold right now (we all do), so she was sneezing some bloody snot bubbles for the rest of the evening.

I guess I'm getting a little better at relaxing and allowing the girls to get a few of the normal toddler bumps and bruises.  They've been playing with the sink all day today.  Just a little trickle of water that they are pouring from one cup to another.  There are now soaking wet towels lining the floor in front of the sink and a pile of wet clothing on the counter next to it.  Yup, I'm totally loosening up on messes and bonks.

Friday, March 27, 2015

I pee when I cough

And I have a really bad cold right now.

The glamour of the aftermath of 2 twin pregnancies.

Friday, March 20, 2015

First day of pre-preschool!

Had to get the girls up early this morning because they started pre-preschool!

The drop in day care center we go to has started both a preschool program and a pre-preschool program.  The girls aren't really ready for full preschool as they don't yet understand structured activities so this program is perfect.  It's an hour and half once a week and will teach them how to function in a structured setting so they will be ready to start normal preschool next September.

I don't have a whole lot to report about their time because they don't talk enough yet to tell me about it.  They weren't exactly thrilled to be getting up early as you can see in the picture.  The only funny thing was K bending down to give them goodbye hugs and they couldn't be bothered because they were zooming into the door of the school.

Here's what I'm really excited about - I have 90 minutes every week that I can count on to be able to take care of appointments!  I can finally make a follow up appointment with my doctor from last January.  Maybe I'll schedule a hair cut.  Who knows???  I have some freedom!!!!

Goodnight Shadowboy

Last night was the night and we said goodbye to my Shadowboy.  I've had him my entire adult life, rescued him and one of his litter mates (we lost her a couple of years ago) in a parking lot as a kitten the summer after I graduated university.  He had a really good life even though he never got over his skittish nature.  I still remember the first time he decided to give me a chance and came out of hiding to sit next to me on the bed.

I spent the day at work and K did the hard part of chasing him down and getting him into the carrier and getting him to the vet where I met him.

Once we got there, we were taken into a room that was prepped with a nice gushy blanket and signed the papers indicating what we wanted done with his remains.  Then the vet came in and gave him an injection to sedate him.  She's a very sympathetic vet so my description sounds cold, but it wasn't.  We held him as the sedation took over and once he was fully asleep, there was another injection to stop his heart.

It was all very peaceful.  He didn't have any pain, and if I didn't know any better, it would have seemed like he was just sleeping heavily.  There was a moment in there when the sedation was taking effect that I craved another few minutes of interacting with him but I also knew that there's no end to the desire for "another 5 minutes".  I asked the vet to take him out very shortly after the end as I didn't really want to spend time with him after he was gone.  Petting him and getting no response would have made it all the more real and I didn't want that.

It really just seemed like he was sleeping as the vet cradled him in the blanket and took him out of the room.  I cried a little bit but wasn't as overwrought as I expected to be.  K and I went next door to have dinner and we went over all the reasons we had decided this was the best of our bad options.

When you lose a pet, you often look back at the health decline that lead you to the decision to put them down.  I'm finding that the more we look back on things, the more we see the health decline in hindsight than we do when it's happening.  There's a point in their life where they start going from healthy to sick and that point always seems farther behind you when you're looking back on it.  We've now lost the original 4 cats that we brought to our relationship and looking back at each one, we see how with most of them we should have spared them a lot of pain by making the decision sooner.  With 2 of them, they passed naturally and one of them we put down after she had been suffering for some time.  I think the goal is to put them down right about when they hit that 50% healthy point, that point where they've experienced as much happiness as possible and everything going forward is pain.

With Shadow, it's hard to say exactly where he was. I think he was probably about 60% healthy even though we thought he was more at 80%.  Looking back at the last year, and especially in most recent months, he was having a rough time.  We found vomit daily, often multiple times a day.  We set up a camera to find out exactly which cat was peeing on laundry in the bathroom (we set up a sacrificial towel) and we saw him peeing on it every 60-90 minutes indicating his kidneys were farther gone than we had initially thought. K gave him some tuna yesterday and he wasn't able to keep it down.

So even though we had external factors leading us to do it now rather than later, in the long run, I think it was the right time.  Maybe a month early, but not much more than that.  He experienced discomfort, but I think we spared him any true pain that was in the very near future.

He was a sweetie even if he will be known in our memories as The Great Urinator.

And now we keep the cameras up and make sure that our 2 remaining indoor cats keep their urine in the boxes because if we find it elsewhere, more hard decisions are coming.

Friday, March 6, 2015

I can still be triggered

Yesterday was not a good day for me.  A bit of back story.

We have 2 male cats and one or both of them pee in the house a lot.  We've thought it was Mayday, but in the last year, we've come to believe it's actually Shadow.  Shadow is coming up on 16 years old and last October I was told he's started the end of life health decline and to expect him to be with us about 6 to 12 months.

Well, in 2 months, we're demolishing our house and moving in with my parents for the 2 months or so it will take to build our new one.  Our female cat can come with us, but my parents have a territorial male so we can't take either of our males leaving us with a big conundrum about what to do with them.  2 months of boarding even one cat would cost us thousands of dollars that we can't afford.

With Shadow at end of life, being a total scaredy cat who's only bonded to me, and the stress of whatever we figured out for him for those two months would probably kill him and he'd be miserable in the process.  So I took him to the vet last night to see where his health lies, really hoping the vet would tell me that he's starting to tip over from uncomfortable to being in pain so I could put him down somewhat in peace that it's the right time for him.  Except, the vet wasn't able to tell me that.  He's lost a pound since October which is about 10% of his body weight, but otherwise he's in the same state he was in back then.

Due to the situation, we really have to put him down soon.  We need at least a month before the move to have Mayday in the house without Shadow in order to determine if he is going to pee inappropriately or not.  If there is no stray urine in the house when Shadow is gone, that means we can keep Mayday and just have to figure out what to do with him during that displacement time.  If he does pee, we will likely surrender him to a no kill shelter.  So for the sake of everyone else in the household, Shadow really needs to be put down within the next couple of weeks.

So I came home from that vet visit already feeling like a selfish monster.  Even the vet agrees it's the best decision given the circumstances (she refuses to do convenience kills), but I've never actually put a pet down and certainly never imagined doing so before it became absolutely necessary to spare them from immediate suffering.  I spent most of the evening on the verge of tears because of the guilt and sadness I feel over the realities of the situation.

Then I logged into facebook.  Right smack in my face is a picture of a mother holding the baby she miscarried at 19 weeks.  The baby that lived for a few minutes before dying in her hands.

I have spent the last four years very specifically avoiding knowing what a 19 week fetus looks like.  But there it was, pictures, right in front of my face.  Now I've seen it and I can't unsee it.

I triggered hard and started crying and hyperventilating.  When I was already feeling like a monster for making the intellectual decision to cut my cats life short (but haven't done it yet), the last thing I needed was to come face to face with what my body destroyed four years ago.  To have it visibly tangible for the first time.  I couldn't have handled that image at my strongest of moments so being confronted with it in one of my weakest was overwhelming.

So here I am, 4 years later, and I can still be triggered to grieve.  I didn't know if that could happen, but apparently it can.  But that was last night.  Today I'm ok.  When triggered a couple of days ago, the trigger would have flattened me for a week.  Now, an hour or two.  I'm still a bit bummed today, but the visceral reaction is gone and I'm more bummed about knowing I have to put Shadow down in a couple of weeks than seeing the fetus I had hoped to never see.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Buy Nothing Bothell House giveaway

I posted my house as a giveaway on Buy Nothing Bothell but it's become a bit of a mess due to the groups splintering off right now.  There's discussion of this house in 3 different places so I'm writing this to point everyone to one place.

Here's what's going on -

We have a 1976 Pre Hud manufactured home that we need removed from our property.  We are slated to demolish it on or around May 15th and that demolition and haul away is going to cost us a lot of money we'd rather not spend.  So I am hoping to give the house away to someone who can make some use out of it and will take on the cost of having it moved to another property.  Due to tax issues with receiving a gift valued over $10k, we will accept payment of $1 so it is a purchase rather than a gift if necessary.

I don't know how one moves a house so I can't answer those questions, but I can give you the phone number of a guy who does have those kind of answers.  Rather than put his number out here, I will tell you his name and where to reach him, but you have to google and find the phone number yourself in an effort to reduce how many people call him who aren't seriously interested.  He knows exactly what house you'll be talking about so you will be able to talk to him about specifics and not just in the hypothetical.  I haven't gotten any bids on what it will cost to transport the house, but I'm hearing various numbers between $6k - $10k.

The house -

It's a 1976 double wide, external dimensions of 64x28ft, approximately 1700sqft of living space.

Currently 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, but the addition of one wall and a door will turn the office into a third bedroom for minimal investment.  Very open floor plan with a large kitchen.  A storage closet was added to the dining room.  The regular closet in the second bedroom was removed because we needed to fit 2 cribs in there.  There's a 1970's tastic wet bar in the living room.  Good sized utility room.

We will be taking the washer and dryer with us and probably selling the fridge, but the stove and dishwasher will be left in the house.

Things we've done in the last 10 years -

New water heater about 8 or 9 years ago.  We put down laminate flooring last year, but never got around to installing the molding around the edges.  Most of the house had newer vinyl windows when we moved in and we just replaced 2 windows last month (because we're brilliant like that).

Why we gave up on improving the house and are opting to just replace it instead -

We have found black mold throughout the master bathroom.  I would recommend gutting and completely rebuilding it before anyone attempts to live in the house.  We found a couple of leaks in the roof, above the second bedroom and causing the mold problem in the bathroom.  It can be patched for now, but you'll likely need to replace the roof entirely within the next 5 years.  At that point we stopped investigating problems with the house and just said forget it, so there may be more improvements necessary.  But those are the immediate problems that a new owner will need to address.

Ok, time for pictures.  Now, I really apologize for crappiness of these pictures.  I didn't expect anyone to actually want this house, and ran around snapping shots when someone asked for them.  I have 2 toddlers and everything we own is currently on the floor or on countertops as we sort crap in preparation for the move.

So, that's what's up with the house giveaway on Buy Nothing Bothell.  If you can haul it before May 15th, you can have it!

Comment below with any questions so I can answer them for everyone, and contact me with the form on the right if you're actually interested.

PS - there are two sheds in the back, one of which we're keeping.  But you can have the other one if you can move that too!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Things Middie Biddie has asked for today

Wow.  I can't believe how quickly this turned around!

A couple of days ago, I was enduring 45 minutes of whining and screeching before she would utter a word, now she's walking up to me and asking for things!  When she doesn't know the word or exactly what she wants, she calmly comes over to me, grabs my finger, and leads me to it.  She still occasionally goes over to what she wants, reaches, and whines, but now if I ask what she wants, she'll almost immediately change gears and tell me.

Today she has already asked for:

  • A banana
  • To do puzzles
  • To do jungle gym
  • Treat (damnit)
And here's the one that threw me for a loop - milk!  She's not a big milk drinker, that honor goes to Teeny Tiny.  But she brought me her water cup and usually she asks for more water and I have her help me fill the cup, but this time she clearly asked for milk!  What makes this feel like such a break thru is that she asked for something that is completely out of our norm.  In our household, the girls drink milk with meals and have water available in their cups all day.  Asking for milk, it's a whole different level of thinking from following the patterns we usually follow, it's the creation of an action outside the norm.  And you damn well better believe I got her some milk!

She's still whining a little bit but it's not nearly as bad as it was even a few days ago.  We really only had to be hard assed and endure a bit of misery for one day, then consistent on the second day, and she's learned the lesson that she needs to communicate politely for us to understand.  I know there will be backslides and stuff, but now I know that she knows how to communicate politely, she'll just have to be reminded to do so and not rewarded when she doesn't.

The household is already so much happier!