My cat Chloe suddenly came down with a massive case of fat head that prompted us to take her to a 24-hour emergency vet clinic, where they diagnosed a massive abscess on her forehead and did a quick surgery to drain it and insert some tubes. She’ll have the little tube things in her head for four days while it drains… it looks awful.
Worst part? The bill was nearly $500. WHAT THE FUCK. What could possibly cost so much about draining an abscess? When I was younger I had a cat with chronic abscesses on her tail, and each removal was around $87 for everything.

They also said she had a profound heart murmur, which apparently is not uncommon for a cat her age and isn’t that big a deal, and she has dental disease which is likely to cause a mouth abscess within six months time. Awesome. She had a checkup five months ago and neither of these things were present, in fact she had a clean bill of health other than what was pretty normal for her advanced age.
They talked about her like she was SO OLD at 11. When the technician asked if we had any other cats in the house, it was kind of fun to say that her mama cat was still with us and still taking care of her day after day. Man, if they think Chloe is old…

She looks miserable. And scary.
But mostly scary.


So that fear I had about eating myself into oblivion because the Diclectin was working too well appears to be unfounded. The dose is still working most of the time, but I find myself needing to take a “breakthrough” dose of 1-2 extra about 3 out of every 7 days, and I’m still definitely having regular, if not daily episodes of nausea and vomiting. The other night I ate a bowl of cereal and my stomach cramped up so badly I literally crawled to the bathroom curled around myself and started uncontrollably vomiting from the pain. I puked for 45 continuous minutes and it was so intense that throughout the experience my hands were shaking and tears were streaming down my face.
This is no different cereal (portion, type, and milk brand) than I’ve eaten any other day, almost every day, but since then I’ve been terrified to have any. However, just following that I think a pretty awful IBS-related blockage/bloating/attack resolved and I’ve wondered if it wasn’t related to that. I hadn’t been able to go in almost ten days. IBS and pregnancy have never mixed well for me.
Either way, it’s resolved now and I’m no longer having those horrific stomach cramps… and on top of that the size of my abdomen has gone down quite a bit. I knew that a lot of the “showing” was bloat, but I didn’t realize how much of it was until it was gone.

I received a letter in the mail today, telling me I had an ultrasound appointment on November 2nd. I’ll be 12 weeks. I went looking for some images of ultrasounded babies at that stage and happened across the information that gender prediction is up to 98.7% accurate at that point. I am both shocked and curious. One because I had no idea you could tell the gender that early, I thought you had to be much closer to 20+ weeks, and two because there is actually a rather large part of me that REALLY WANTS TO KNOW. I went three babies without this shit – what is with my head?
Un/fortunately, in this province you can’t find out the gender. Not unless you pay for one of those “souvenir” 3D baby visits that cost like $350 and bombard you with an hour and a half of heavy duty ultrasound for the sake of about 40 near-identical pictures. While kind of cool, it’s also one of those things I can never see myself doing (then again, who knows with this pregnancy… everything’s all turned on its head).

I put aside time this evening in order to (attempt to) take some belly photos, including a series of full nudes that I’m considering continuing. I promised myself back somewhere in the last four years that when/if I ever got pregnant again that I’d do a nude series of growing belly images for personal reasons. I want to have a record of how my whole body changed and grew over pregnancy. I don’t know if I’d ever have the confidence to share them publicly, so it’s a personal project until/unless I suddenly grow some self-esteem (perhaps right around the time I’m skinny again, which may or may not be when pigs fly).

One of the things I’ve been contemplating for months now is a photography-based self esteem project. My idea was to take time once a week to focus on one singular part of my body, capture it in an artistic and appreciative way (without retouching, obviously), and then talk about it. The idea was to try and give myself permission to put aside some time reserved solely for appreciating my body as a construction of different parts; to challenge myself to view each of these parts individually, recognizing their uniqueness and beauty. My hope is that by doing so it would allow me to see a value in each of these pieces, and gradually bring it all together to create a complete image that I can hold in higher confidence and esteem…. something which has never come easily for me.
There’s a lot of reasons I’ve considered doing it, most of which I haven’t spoken about publicly (or at all), and I’m almost at the point of taking it on. It sounds silly to say I’ve already spent over six months working myself up and I’m still not prepared to begin. It’s a topic that’s incredibly difficult for me; openly taking on the challenge of appreciating and photographing my body is a lot harder than I’d like to admit. Posting it publicly gives me an additional challenge, a motivation to keep going, and represents building my outer confidence.

And, of course one of the other hopes is that it might catch on with a few other women who feel that they’re in the same place as I am, and maybe after a while I wouldn’t be quite so alone (or vulnerable) while attempting it.

This entry was supposed to be a pregnancy update; it has really veered off course.

I am :
Still tender of stomach.
Still upset that I cannot have the babies of Diclectin.
Less tired.
Having amazing sex.
Having amazing sex dreams full of crazy shit like dancing in a club with some random guy and running off into a coat locker to have anonymous, sweaty sex for 15 minutes before coming back out to do the same thing to the next random guy that dances with me.
Enjoying rounder breasts
Not enjoying the return of that weird loose muscle twitch at the top of my belly that happened at the end of my pregnancy with Xan. It feels like a hernia (or at least like a little finger poking through my muscle wall and wiggling around) but when I went to a doctor to check it out, I was told it’s probably just “loose muscle”. Fuck I hate it. It is so intensely uncomfortable.
Craving spicy like my life depends on it. If it isn’t making my eyes water just to smell it, it isn’t hot enough. There’s this super spicy, thick red sauce at all the Vietnamese places that I’m pretty sure is called “Sambucha” (spelled that way on purpose) and I crave it so bad I’m tempted to drink it. One teaspoon in a huge, huge box of take-out noodles was enough to set a five-alarm burn on my mouth for an hour. I NEED it.

Edit: found it, it’s called [Sriracha]. Boy was I off. I WANT IT ON EVERYTHING.

Now as I was saying: belly pictures.
 

9.5 weeks with all the bloat gone.

Links of the Day:
A modern U.S. President – An Obama spoof based off “the pirates of penzance” most famous number. More than a little hilarious.
The professor brothers: Bible history #1 Sodom and Gamorrah – Remember that whole “Washington” rap about motherfucking George Washington? This is Bible history done by the same guys. This is so my dad’s kind of humour that I could practically hear his voice saying the lines.

Comments

comments

64 Comments

  • fallingwthu says:

    You’re so cute pregnant.
    They just changed the law, but according to some of the news reports if you want to know, you tell them they will then tell your doctor/midwife and they will charge you the fee. At least that’s what I read. I have never known with each of my girls before hand..I’m ok with that.

  • You do pregnancy in very *cute* way. Your belly shape is just plain CUTE!

    I don’t know how people manage to go a whole pregnancy without finding out the baby’s sex (if there is any kind of option to know). I couldn’t handle not knowing right up to the birth… For me, there was a whole lot of dreaming and planning and connecting and (for Rylan) accepting that was built into their gender, in my own mind. I was absolutely CRAZED with knowing before my 19 week ultrasound each time. Now that the policy here is to NOT tell the gender at the main diagnostic scan, I might have a shot at waiting for the surprise. But I’d probably cave and go to the 3D place. Yeah, I know.

    By the way, the 3D Baby Vision does do a gender assessment for $99, and it is only 5 minutes long, and they just give you one photo from it. If you’re about to crack, you can think of that as a last resort! Of course I went for the whole $200 package at 28 weeks and loved every second of it. Way expensive for that 30 minutes, but I just had to do it. I was obsessed with seeing my babies as much and in way I could. The photos I got from the 3D scan aren’t at all generic {to me}. I cherished them, and still do! And it made my babies seem very real and individual at the time, when I was having trouble really making the mental and emotional connection to the little people growing within me. But I know that those non-diagnostic scans aren’t for everyone… I actually never thought about any possible *risk* to the fetus until Dr. Down brought it up AFTER I’d had it done with Rylan! I knew better with Ariana, but I couldn’t fight the temptation…

  • tastyanagram says:

    Wow. I cannot believe this whole deal with not being allowed to tell you what sex the child you’re carrying is. It really is just…blowing my mind. If you do want to find out what gender the little one is, I hope you find a way!

    Much love to poor Chloe. That does not look fun at all! Darn cats.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hyland’s Teething Tablets

    Not sure if anyone uses these but they are being recalled: http://blogs.babble.com/strollerderby/2010/10/24/hylands-teething-tablets-recalled/

    • admin says:

      Re: Hyland’s Teething Tablets

      Not for too realistic a reason, though: http://gaia-health.com/articles301/000321-fda-bans-hylands-homeopathic-teething-product.shtml (The anti-FDA rhetoric is a little strong, but ignoring that balderdash they make excellent points).

      Homeopathics are diluted 60x if not more, it’s like getting cyanide poisoning from eating an apple. A child would have to eat 1000 tablets at once to gain even the slightest, smallest effect.
      Everyone says homeopathy is quackery with dilutions so weak that we’re essentially eating water… up until today. πŸ˜‰

      • Anonymous says:

        Re: Hyland’s Teething Tablets

        I’m all for homeopathics,I just wanted to pass it on just in case and now that I’ve read that other site you showed me it’s crazy to see what they’ll do to get rid of stuff that actually works

        • admin says:

          Re: Hyland’s Teething Tablets

          Oh yeah I shared the FDA ban link on FB a few days ago, just the same, though it was a little suspicious… with the way homeopathics “work” (or don’t work, depending on who you talk to) the idea of poisoning from an ingredient is… kind of ludicrous.

  • misti_k says:

    Poor Chloe! Poor you with the 45 minute vomit session!

    Your self portrait/self esteem project sounds amazing. I’ve contemplated doing something like that myself…but, still working up the courage to even *begin* the process.

    Also, I find it *hilarious* that you’re craving cock sauce. That is all.

  • ppplmgwiw says:

    When I was preg with Annika, I had an u/s in the city and they told us she was a girl. It was no big deal at all–apparently it’s totally legal and common to tell in the city, which is why we drove down for it instead of having it done up here. Maybe things have changed in the 4 years since, but that was the case in 2006.

  • the_lissa says:

    That accurate? Man with Liam, they told me probably girl at 15 weeks and then probably boy at 20 weeks.

    You are adorable.

    Poor kitty.

  • jesschica24 says:

    When I was pregnant, I had crazy awesome sex dreams but was hardly ever interested in sex when awake. So, that sucked. Also, at 4 1/2 months postpartum, insertion still really hurts. πŸ™

  • So they won’t tell you the sex here but I read something about the side of the uterus that the placenta being on determining the sex.

    Supposedly female fetuses have their placenta on the right and males on the left.

    They note down the position of the placenta in your ultrasound report.

    So later when you go to medical imaging and fill out the form for the free cd-r of all the images the tech took you will also get the written report that your dr or midwife gets.

    It was correct for both my girls.

  • fairy_tail says:

    If you really want to know the gender, some places offer just gender assessments at a much lower price then 350$ and a shorter ultrasound time so there is less radiation exposure to the baby.

    http://3dbaby.ca/packages.html
    http://www.my3dultrasound.com/pricing.php

  • mspurrmeow says:

    I just love you. I am so happy that you are willing to write and share what you think and care about. The fact that you have self-esteem problems may not cure me of my own self-image issues, but it certainly tosses that crap into a blender in my head and renders it irrelevant. I truly have cannot ground my own self-esteem issues at all knowing that you think you are less than incredibly beautiful. Being completely honest, that’s not meant to be a compliment in this context. I guess having an issue like that which I cannot even process is better than letting it eat me from the inside out, right? Kind of like an EMP blast to just shut down a system that was messing you up?

    I think about you every day. I really do. Wish I could help with the stomach stuff, but I might be having empathy issues. I can never eat this time of year anyway. Everything nauseates me, even things I like. I’m a gigantic fat-chick, though, so no one sees it as an issue.

    Thank you for the update! Good thoughts for your kitty’s healing.

  • Aww, poor Chloe πŸ™ I hope she feels better soon!

    Love your belly! Still blown away at how big you are already! Although, didn’t you get really big really fast with Xan, too? I just remember there was a whole lot of “OMGTWINS” talk with him too πŸ™‚

    That thing about being able to detect the gender at 12 weeks is… bizarre. The earliest I’d heard you could do it is around 18 weeks, at least via ultrasound. I know you can find out really early via blood tests or genetic screening or something, but ultrasound? I don’t understand how that could even be accurate.

    You can’t find out the gender in BC? Uh… why? lol Does it have to do with the whole, “If parents know, they’ll have more abortions!” bullshit I heard about a while back? Weird…

    • admin says:

      They want to say it’s about the abortion thing, but you’re right: it’s complete bullshit. I’m more inclined to believe it’s a money grab, because they’re going to institute a policy that says you have to pay them to reveal the gender.

      • Ugh. That is just… ugh :-/ I remember cringing when I read about the whole “knowing the gender = more likely to perform gender selection” debate, but I couldn’t remember where it was taking place. I don’t know what’s worse – that, or simply doing it for the money. Both options are disgusting x_x

        Then again, you could have my friend’s experience, which was the complete opposite – she went in for a standard ultrasound, and had said repeatedly that she DID NOT want to know the sex. And then the tech was teaching someone new, and they were reviewing the ultrasound, and the tech was all, “… and there’s the penis…” x_x And. AND. They gave her a copy of the ultrasound with a big, “SEX: M” in the corner. So she ended up with information she DIDN’T want, for FREE! *rolls eyes*

      • bluealoe says:

        That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. They’re banning people from learning the gender because it might encourage them to get an abortion? Just…WHAT?!?

  • My first thought when seeing your cat was “bless her”. Then, “Hey! She would make a good devil for hallowe’en costume”. I hope that doesn’t make me insensitive. There is a compassionate program through the maker of diclectin for free diclectin if you meet some criteria. I think I have the contact at work. Let me know if you want it, becuase that shit is expensive!

  • jeca777 says:

    if you can get a profile picture that includes the “dangle” of the crotch, the ladies at ingender.com are supposed to be really good at guessing the sex according to the “angle of the dangle”… at 11 weeks, both look very similar, but one points up-ish and one points down-ish. At 12 weeks, they are less similar, but I think a girl might still be mistaken as a boy.

    http://www.baby2see.com/gender/external_genitals.html

  • myluckeestar says:

    Poor Chloe. I hope she and your purse are on the mend soon. Ouch at that bill. That is robbery! I am glad you are feeling some better. I have been having stomach issues myself from weaning off of a pain medication. It’s been a week now, more than long enough. Ugh! My cats are close to 11 and 14. I’ve only ever had a medical issue with the 11 year old and that was a urinary thing fixed by a change in diet, about 3 years ago. I feel very lucky!

  • therachel says:

    I might take you up on the photo project idea.
    Your belly looks exactly as it should, and hellagorgeous πŸ™‚

    I had crazy sex dreams the entire time I was pregnant. Everyone I know insists that if you want sex like OMG while pregz you’re having a boy, and if you’re repulsed by even the thought of having sex you’re having a girl.
    But I think that’s silly.

    Though I have nothing to compare it to since I had a son…

    I hope your satanic feline is feeling back to her precious self again soon. xo

    • admin says:

      The sex dream thing… hmm, I wonder if that’s based in homophobia? It kind of sounds that way to me, it’s subtle though.

      I usually only have girlsex dreams (as, with the exception of Curtis, I am not hetero) so having guysex dreams is new for me.

  • imbroglio says:

    When they’re doing the 12 week ultrasound just pay attention to it and you might be able to tell the gender on your own. When I had a 12 week ultrasound with one of the boys I very clearly spotted a penis, even though the technician didn’t say anything about gender.

    • admin says:

      No, because of the new rules the technician is not even allowed to scan the groin area at all. Not even to check for malformations of the genitals.

      I know.

      • Curious if you have a link that explains these new rules? I was kind of following this back when the story first broke but haven’t seen anything in mainstream media since. Back then it was just explaining the fee (and how they were indeed scanning the area to check development anyway, so the whole “it takes more time!” argument was bullshit.)

        • admin says:

          I don’t, I didn’t hear about it online… I heard through 1/ Doula community, and 2/ Brother and his experience. They were livid when they found out even the genital AREA can’t be scanned, and felt it was neglect. They raised a big fuss over it that went nowhere, and eventually they had to pay for 3D baby to get proper genital scanning (find out the sex was a bonus) to check for malformations and problems. They took the images to their doctor for checking after.

          But they had to pay about $350 for it.

          • That’s really, really awful. Back when I was following the story the argument was more about how the fee was ridiculous because they already had the information, and how refusing to give out that information to the parents was ten kinds of fucked up. I hadn’t heard anything about them flat-out refusing. (You’d think the hospital would be cash-grabbing that $50? Unless that new system isn’t in place in every hospital yet?)

  • Cone of shame! *gives Chloe the side eye*

    Cock sauce! No fridge is complete without it. I also like Mae Ploy sweet garlic hot sauce except I puked it so many times while pregnant it causes an immediate hurl reaction when I see the label.

  • facethemoon says:

    You look so beautiful and round already!!! You’re going to be gigantic! Wanna bet he/she’s going to be as big as Koko? Also, how are you 10 weeks already?! Is it going fast or is it just me?

    We call that sauce “Cock Sauce” because of the rooster on the front, and its sooooooo good on everything!

  • sriracha

    at my house we call it rooster sauce because of the rooster on the bottle, we buy it in the biggest bottle possible. also mae-ploy (its sweeter, has fish sauce and garlic)
    boo-urns on no twins πŸ™‚

  • bluealoe says:

    That picture of Chloe is terrifying. Little devil kitty. (And she’s 11?!? I remember you sending me pictures of her when she was a few hours old!!!)

    Un/fortunately, in this province you can’t find out the gender. Not unless you pay for one of those “souvenir” 3D baby visits that cost like $350

    So in other words, poor people can’t find out their baby’s gender?

    Your photography project sounds like such an affirming and positive idea. I can totally understand working yourself up to it. I’m at a point now where I’m *okay* with my body, but photographing it and actually trying to appreciate it? I can’t imagine ever being that confident about myself. (which is, of course, a reason to actually do it…but still.)

    I’ve seen that hot sauce before, and I’m terrified to try it.

    The first picture of you says so much, even though you can’t see your face. To me it says that you’re a mother and a woman, you’re confident, you’re proud, and you’re a little uncertain.

    Now I’ve had the Obama song stuck in my head for an hour. =/

  • _suckapunch says:

    That’s so strange that they would act like your cat is incredibly senior. I’m a vet tech and at our hospital we have plenty of kitty patients (and a few dogs!) that are 15 yrs old plus. We even have a few that are 20! We do practice integrative care though so there are a lot of patients who come in for holistic services (Acupuncture, chiropractic, herbal remedies, etc) that are generally need more as pets age. Anyhow, I hope your kitty feels better pronto!

  • frogmorest says:

    That hot sauce mixed with mayo is what the “spicy” sauce is on most sushi! I love it. I mix about 2 tsp with about 5 T mayo and it’s just right πŸ˜‰

    Love you. love your belly. Glad that you can eat!

  • The tattoo is such a beautiful tribute. It’s touching to see it holding the bump like that.

    P.s. you are stunning. I love the sound of the photography project but of course, only when you’re ready. x

  • mami_chilena says:

    Poor kitty! I hope she gets healed fast. πŸ™
    And holy fuck, that is expensive! o0

    I think I know what you mean about that loose muscle. I had it with Naima, it was damn annoying.

    Belly is looking cuter and cuter! And that tattoo just makes it!

  • moonridden says:

    OMG, your poor kitty. πŸ™ It kind of looks like she is growing horns, though …

    Gender at 12 weeks? Seriously? When I had a 12 week u/s with Tyke (and the only reason I had that was because my uterus was measuring so far my midwife thought I was having twins >.< ;), she just about looked like a skeleton baby. Granted, that was a long time ago.

    You’re looking good.

  • That is so expensive…poor Chloe πŸ™

    On another, more positive note, your belly = gorgeous. It’s so amazing to me how the more your belly grows, the more protective the handprint looks, if you know what I mean.

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