Monday, November 23, 2009

"The Doctors" is an awful show

I have watched the show The Doctors for some time now, mostly for a laugh.  I find a lot of their advice ridiculous, their ideas on a healthy diet laughable, and their views on vaccines deplorably irresponsible.  Of the four doctors on the show, I have always found Dr. Lisa, the Ob/Gyn, to be the most obnoxious.  Now I just hate her.  Today on the show she actually made the statement that she thinks breast milk from a milk bank is not as good as formula.  This woman is off her rocker!  Breast milk is always best!  I will be the first to say that I would feverishly search for an affordable breast milk donor if I could not make my own for my baby.  That "Dr." Lisa thinks that tasteless, store-bought, overpriced paste they sell as a pitiful substitute for breast milk is better than pastuerized breast milk from a donor which had been tested for diseases, is beyond ridiculous.

I already didn't like her before because of her views that homebirth is unsafe, and that flu shots are the saviors of pregnant women.  She also once said that no one should be concerned about the cesarean section rate of their Ob/Gyn, since their c-section rate is exactly what was necessary.  Ugh!  Ricki Lake, a homebirth advocate of the finest caliber, came on the show as a guest and Dr. Lisa actually yelled at her without provocation.  Ricki never raised her voice, and said nothing offensive.  I'm amazed that they even get guests on their show after treating one like that.  Dr. Lisa, I hope you have a life changing experience that shows you the err of your ways.  Otherwise, it might be nice for you to end up with a terrible hospital experience as you are rushed through labor beyond your body's natural pace, at which time your doctor tells you you need a c-section so he won't be late for golf, dinner, or a party that starts in a few hours.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Well, that sucked

I've been keeping track of my ovulation for over 6 months now, and, until this month I had only experienced one incident of ovulating early.  It was an ovulation that happened one day early about 3 months ago.  Luckily, we had only been able to make an attempt to conceive happen 3 days prior to that, so I wasn't in any danger of conceiving a boy at that time.  But it did raise an alarm that early ovulation was  possible.  Now that I think back on it, that happened when I cut my son down to two nursings a day.  Interesting.

Now, this past month, I've cut my son down to one nursing a night.  At bedtime he nurses to sleep.  I know he doesn't do it so much for the milk anymore as for the comfort and bonding.  I'm ready for him to walk away from breastfeeding and not care, but I'm not ready for him to cry and feel deprived and betrayed if I stop nursing him before he's ready.  So, one nursing a night is good for us both right now.

Ugh, in hindsight it makes so much sense.  we cut back on the nursing again and I ovulated early again.  Two days early.  We'd had sex two and a half days prior to when I was supposed to ovulate, which meant we had tried for a child less than a day prior to my actual ovulation.  That's prime boy-making time.  Sigh.

Luckily, I have no compunctions about buying a morning-after pill so that this month is a wash, but not an utter failure in my quest to conceive a girl.  It was $50 down the drain, but that's better than knowingly conceiving a boy and having to have a fight about trying for a girl again.  I took the pill last night, about an hour after ovulating, so the chances that sperm met egg are almost nil.  The chances that the zygote (fertilized egg) had already made an attempt to implant are far less than that.  Still, I think about it and I wonder if I would have gotten pregnant if I'd done nothing.

I'm pretty sure I would have.  My cervical fluid has been of a far better quality this month, and it would not have surprised me at all if a baby had resulted.  Oh well.

I know a lot of people have a serious problem morally with what I just did.  It's interesting, I thought about it and I came to the conclusion that it's better to bring a child into your family under the best possible circumstances, than to just be forced to accept what has come to pass.  I mean, if a pregnancy with a healthy child still results from this week's activities, I would keep it.  I know I couldn't bring myself to abort a healthy baby just because they happen to be the wrong gender.  But terminating a pregnancy before it had begun just doesn't feel wrong to me.  I mean, I just want to make the best attempt I can to bring gender balance to this family.  I'll do what I can to have a baby girl, and hopefully it will all turn out right.

No wonder the Shettles method isn't recommended for breastfeeding women.  It definitely complicates the process and makes it a lot easier to make mistakes.  I should have known at the beginning of my cycle that this wasn't a good month to try.  My period lasted 5 days, and it has never done that before.  I've had a single 4-day period, and all the other periods in my life have been 3 days.  One heavy day, one light, and one very light day.   That's it.  This time I had one heavy day and three and a half light days.  The last half day was very light, but it was annoying.  I know everyone out there who regularly has long periods is rollig their eyes at me right now, but I also have a 24 day cycle, so in the end I think it all works out so everyone deals with the same number of period days per year.

Well, I took my morning-after pill last night and I'm a little crampy this morning.  Maybe next month.  Unless, of course, he stops breastfeeding.  I've learned my lesson now.  Any changes in breastfeeding will result in a month when my husband and I will not be trying.  I don't want to spend $50 on another mistake.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The summer that wouldn't DIE!

It's official.  This is the worst summer since I've been living here (December 1999.)  It's probably the worst summer on record.  I can blame global warming, I can blame the expansion of concrete and blacktop to cover the entire center of the state, but it doesn't really matter when it comes down to it.  What matters is that it was 97 degrees yesterday in Mesa, Arizona.  Yes, you read that right.  Nearly triple digits in November.  We're running our air conditioner right now, and it's almost 8 pm.  What sun god or goddess did I displease...or please too much?  Or is it the gods and goddesses of the cold that I've neglected to worship?  That must be it.  I'll erect my altar to the northern gods tomorrow.

But that doesn't sound right.  The Norse worshipped their gods, trying to appease them into giving them a mild winter.  I want an ice storm in Phoenix that extends to August.  Okay, I'll never get anywhere near that, but a pleasant November where the temperature never rises above 78 would be nice.  Sigh.

It's supposed to cool down by the weekend.  Still, my son is having a hard time understanding why we had the door open to let in the fresh air for a week, and now it's closed all the time again.  I miss it too, son.  I miss it, too.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

I'm definitely not pregnant this month...but Samhain was awesome.

So, Aunt Flo is here, for sure.  She arrived on time, with cramps, and she's still here.  Sigh.

I suppose I shouldn't really be disappointed.  Last night, I continued my usual Samhain holiday tradition of divination with my friends.  It's really the best night for it, when the veil between worlds is thinnest.  I get the best and clearest answers (usually) around this time of year.  So I asked if I needed to change anything in my quest to become pregnant with my daughter, and the answer I got was just to be patient.  More than that, my best friend piped up that she'd seen something on the news about the problems pregnant women were having with swine flu.  I figured that they were just getting worse cases than normal, maybe needing help breathing or needing extra fluids and monitoring during their illness.  No, I guess some of them are actually losing their babies.  Yikes!  So, it seems that perhaps something is keeping me from getting pregnant while it's dangerous to do so.  Well, yay them....and I need to learn to calm down about the baby who will undoubtably find her way into my life sooner or later.

I also need to avoid the baby aisle at Target.  All the pink and purple baby booties, hats, onesies, bibs and toys are making me a bit too excited about getting pregnant, and I need to chill out and focus on my health and timing my ovulation right now.  At least I've had enough months to really know, within about 3 hours, when I'm ovulating in a given month.

Anyway, this was all a little too distracting while Samhain was going on.  I love Samhain.  It's my favorite holiday, bar none, of the year.  Christmas/Yule has nothing on Samhain/Halloween and everything else falls so distantly behind that they aren't even in the same category.  I usually spend all month getting ready for it, but this month swine flu interfered.  Regardless, it was still a great Samhain, and an improvement was made this year that I'd like to make into a permanent tradition.  My coven and I celebrated Samhain on the 30th, having our religious celebration and feast separate from the secular, but still fun and important, trick-or-treating and Halloween party of the 31st.  It took so much pressure off to have the two on separate days that  can't imagine willingly going back to trying to cram it all into one day again.

For our Samhain feast every year, we make a stuffed pumpkin.  It's yummy, and looks really cool on the table.  But the first year, when we put way more spices in than the recipe called for, it was the best.  So every year we've added more and more spices to try to get it back to the amazing concoction we first experienced.  Finally, I changed the turkey sausage and ground turkey part of the recipe to good, old fashioned pork sausage.  We've long since decided that the golden raisins in the recipe were worth ditching, and voila....we revamped the awesome Stuffed Pumpkin recipe from The Wicca Cookbook by Jamie Wood and Tara Seefeldt and made it our own.  Here's our version:

Samhain Stuffed Pumpkin

1 medium cooking pumpkin, about 10 inches in diameter
2 large yellow bell peppers, diced
3 lbs mild italian pork sausage
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1/2 c. sliced green olives with pimentos
2 tbs olive oil
2 tsp minced fresh oregano
2 tsp poultry seasoning
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vinegar
1 tsp black pepper (we like pepper a lot)
4 cloves pressed garlic
1 14 oz can skinned tomatoes, diced
3 large eggs, beaten

Cut the top off of the pumpkin, clean and remove the seeds and pumpkin guts.  Place the pumpkin in a pot and fill the inside of the pumpkin and surround it with water.  Put 1/4 tsp of salt in the pumpkin and another 1/4 tsp in the surrounding water.  Bring the pot to a boil, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, until the inside of the pumpkin is just tender.  This is the touchiest part of the entire process.  Make sure the bottom of the pumpkin doesn't become mush.  The topmost part will not be as well cooked as the rest.  Keep in mind that the pumpkin will pend another hour in the oven, so it should not be completely cooked yet.  Drain the pumpkin and set it aside.  Cook and slice 1/2 lb of the pork sausage and set aside. Remove the casing from the rest of the sausage, and cook with bell peppers, black pepper, onions and poultry seasoning in a large frying pan with 1 tbsp of the olive oil.  Cook until the sausage is just done, and set the pan aside.
In a large bowl, mix the chopped sausage, oregano, garlic, olives, tomatoes, vinegar, and the rest of the salt and olive oil.  Add to the pan, and cook on medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and allow to cool completely before stirring in eggs.  Fill the pumpkin with the stuffing and cover the top of the pumpkin with aluminum foil.  Bake on a greased baking sheet at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
Before serving, remove the aluminum foil and replace the original pumpkin top.  You may also want to "carve" a face into the pumpkin by drawing with knife and a very light touch on the cooked pumpkin and peeling the rind away from the pumpkin flesh.  Enjoy!

My son was Calvin for Halloween.  It was a really easy costume, except that making Hobbes was a biatch.  As all true fans of Bill Watterson know, only two calendars, one very rare T-shirt and one very rare book were ever made with Bill Watterson's merchandising permission (other than the comics, of course.)  Yes, this means the pictures of Calvin peeing on a Ford logo that you see at every stoplight is illegal or manufactured ridiculously under another name.  Watterson was concerned that mass merchandising would degrade the comic and his message, and as  fellow artist, I respect that.  Anyway, this means that there is no official Hobbes pattern out there, and that if you find one that costs money, it's illegal.  So, I had to improvise and make a Hobbes doll sans pattern.  It came out okay.  I mean, you can recognize him as Hobbes.  His head is just longer and thinner than it should be.  Oh well.  My son was cute as a button trick-or-treating, and he had a great time, and that's all that matters.

My husband's idea for pumpkin carving this year was deliciously geeky.  I guess this is how it works in my house.  He thinks up the idea, and I carry it out.  That's how the last two pumpkins were carved, and that's probably how it'll continue to be.  Anyway, our emoticon pumpkin was a hit amongst our friends.  Check it out.  Happy Halloween and Blessed Samhain everyone!

I don't think I'm pregnant now

I cheated and took a pregnancy test yesterday afternoon, and it came out negative.  I was just so convinced it would be positive!  Oh well, it still may still turn out that I've conceived this month.  The test was one from the 99 cent store and I took it at a non-optimal time 3 days before my missed period.  We'll see if my period comes around on Friday...

In the meantime the Duggars have become grandparents and are expecting #19.  Some people are just determined to breed their crazy religion into the world like a plague.  Sigh.  I think I'm a little irked because I thought I'd at least be pregnant with #2 before the next Duggar came around.  I should have known better.

What about now?

We've been trying for 6 months (with two months off for me to lose some weight) to get pregnant, and it may finally have happened....maybe. I'm waiting until tomorrow to try for an early pregnancy test. I felt some discomfort like light cramping this morning, and my uterine area has been a tiny bit tender. That cramping is what happens when the fertilized egg implants into the uterine wall, and sometimes has a little bleeding that comes along with it. One woman described it as "my little one making room." I was definitely cramping when I got pregnant with my son before the pregnancy test, but I tested on the morning I was supposed to get my period. So I want to make sure to give it enough time and not test too soon. A false result would be sucky.

I'm excited, and I certainly have metaphysical reasons to believe it might happen this month. When I got pregnant with my son, it was right after our wedding. I calculated my ovulation to about 2 weeks after my wedding, so I got pregnant the first opportunity I had as a married woman. Yay! Anyway, I think this happened in part because my mom rubbed my palms with hers and pushed some of her fertility into me. She'd done this three other times before, always to women who had fertility problems and who had been trying for years to concieve. Guess what? All three of them ended up pregnant. One of them even told my mom that she wasn't sure if she was pregnant or not at the time, and mom said she'd rub her hands anyway, just in case. It couldn't hurt, after all. That women had twins.

So mom rubbed my palms again during my last trip to California. I did have my period since then, but I had already ovulated at that point and the hubby and I had missed out on some of our best conceiving days in my cycle, so I figure this month would be my best bet for mom's magick to take effect. We'll see!

I'm really excited too, because the last time we had sex was three and a half days before ovulation, which isn't the best for conceiving, but it's the best way to hedge our bets into getting a little girl. So, if I am pregnant this month, I can be almost certain it's a girl. And if it's not, I'm really meant to have another boy.