I also had my second midwife appointment yesterday. I worked with the other one this time, although I met her at my first appointment and she's the one who did my ultrasound. I asked her about my concern over my NT report and the note that said: "cord insertion is within 2 cm of upper placental margin. To be confirmed later in pregnancy". I researched this and it seems I may have a marginal insertion (battledore insertion). This, of course, freaked me out when I Googled, especially considering automatic C-section was mentioned more than one and"hemorrhaging".
Lenore, was very assuring, however, and told me that it was too early to say for sure and even if it was a battledore insertion it wasn't a big deal. I could still have the natural birth I am wanting. Awesome. Maybe it's the difference between an OB and a MW. I've noticed they are very easy going about everything and are not quick to be bothered about anything. I like that. It's calming for me.
She checked the heart rate yesterday and was able to find it pretty quick. Baby's heart was loud and beating strong at 160 bpm.
My next appointment is on January 16th and then I have to go back two weeks later for my "Big Ultrasound" at 20 weeks on February 12. They won't do it any earlier. Boo, I hate waiting. I'm not good at it.
I was thrilled to pieces when I eventually grew to a B cup. But here I am, in a C and almost out of that! I about cried when I went bra shopping yesterday. I tried on 6 or 7 of them. The sales girl was pissed I only bought one but I explained to her that these were pregnant boobs that just might grow more. She was kind of a bitch though and wasn't very understanding.
Alex, while not a boob man is enjoying the spoils of war as well. Now I just have to hope these puppies stick around for a while and don't disappear or sag too much once breast feeding is over.
I love you boobs!
Before it got taken down I wanted to share with everyone one of my neighbor's houses. This, my friends, is where Christmas goes to die.
Oh, but let's go closer, shall we.
I can't even begin to describe how heinous this light display is and sadly (or not) so many of the inflatables don't light up very well, and therefore don't photograph very well.
There was also music playing along-side several of the inflatables, music sounding like a Christmas carnival from hell.
May I also direct your attention to one inflatable that was one of no less than five inflatables featuring penguins. We are talking penguins dancing around a Christmas tree with Santa, penguins riding a carousel with Frosty, penguins riding a ferris wheel with Rudolph, and a penguin playing in a band with a polar bear.
10 points if you name the problem I have with penguins hanging out with polar bears. Penguins hanging out with Santa, well I can overlook that.
Anyway, Alex took video. If he puts it on YouTube, I'll share.
Luckily, baby was moving away in there and hanging out partially upside down. The doctor had a heck of a time getting baby into a good position to get measurements but was able to finally.
And here is where I sigh a big sigh of relief. Now I just have to wait to see what the blood work says but I'm thinking with that measurement I may be able to avoid an amnio.
I also heard the heartbeat for the first time (147bpm) and the quick woosh, woosh, woosh made me tear up. What a great sound! It totally made me and my mom (who was with me since DH couldn't) cry. I love you little baby.
We will do the quad screening in a few weeks and will also be having a fetal echo cardiogram within weeks 20-22 due to heart issues on Alex's side. I'll have to go to Stanford for that.
And last but not least here is my tardy 12 week bloat belly pic.
I will say that while my bloat seems to be down greatly in the day from what it was, everything is much rounder in general. Pants are not my friend but sweats, pajamas, and my new elastic waist New York and Co. pants are.
1) Choose the 4th picture folder on your computer
2) Choose the 4th picture
3) Explain the picture
4)Tag 4 other people
Landscape with Open Gate, 1630 by Pieter Molijn
My fourth folder is an art folder as I love fine art. I can't remember exactly when I first saw this piece (most likely around 10 years ago)but I fell in love with it at first sight. The movement in it is amazing.
Arg, now I have to tag 4 people but I think most everyone has been tagged already. No fair.
The day you deliver, outside will be warm. Your baby will arrive in wee hours of the morning .
After a labor lasting approximately 6 hours, your child, a girl, will be born. Your baby will weigh about 7 pounds, 15 ounces, and will be 18 inches long. This child will have light blue eyes and a little patch of brown hair.
Baby Gender Predictor
Just Mommies Gender Quiz
Sex Ratio Study
This one is kind of cool. Supposedly less dominant women tend to have more girls. That would work for all the women in my family where they all have girls and were all married to uber dominant guys.
Bump Chinese Gender Chart
Baby Gender Predictor Test
Biorhythm = Girl
Swinging ring test = Girl
My students = Girl
So we'll see...
My 88 year old Grammy has been feeling really depressed lately. She is staying in this shithole convalescent hospital while her new place is being built. I can't believe it hasn't been condemned yet and am so mad she has to be there. It's so bad that she doesn't even want to hold on to life anymore. I decided I would tell her about the baby today rather than wait for Christmas to cheer her up.
To surprise her I put a copy of my U/S in a gift card box and gave it to her. She just looked at it for a while asking, "what is this?"
Finally she got it and sobbed. I have never seen my grandmother cry like that. I don't even remember her crying like that when my Pompy died. She just held on to me and cried saying she had prayed and prayed for a miracle. Well it was a miracle and I was so glad to be able to tell her about it. She said that she now has a reason to hold on.
One of my biggest fears with my IF was, that if I ever had a child, that they wouldn't get to meet or know my grandmother so this was a day I had been waiting for for a long time.
I may be 10 weeks but I don't think I look it. Is this normal? Alex thinks it is hilarious and makes all sorts of jokes and comments. I think any more eating comments and I'm going to eat his face.
Really, I am not eating any more than I normally do since I've always been a big eater. Anyway, I've pretty much given up on wearing any of my normal pants without them being both unbuttoned and partially unzipped. I've bought a couple pairs of maternity pants at Old Navy so we'll see how those work.
Work has been great in regards to me being pregnant. People at school are stoked for me and some of the kids can hardly stand it. Some of my 7th grade "babies" (I taught them in 2nd grade, 5th grade, and for 6th grade religion)run and hug me every day.
It's also extra hilarious that I ended up telling them the week I am teaching sex ed. to my fifth graders. One of my students said, "It's a good thing you are teaching this class since you are pregnant". LMAO. I guess she felt I could teach myself as we go. I do love teaching this unit, however, because I get to teach about how women's cycles really work. Awesome!
Our gummy bear!
It's time to come clean to everyone. I just had my first appointment/ultrasound with my midwife in Santa Cruz. I met two of the three midwives and both were great. I was so very scared of what we might find on that ultrasound but luckily the baby was there in all it's gummy bear glory, it's heart beating away.
I feel so much better now and feel like I can bond much more now. I was honestly afraid to, hence the lack of blogs within the last few weeks. Obviously I'm still scared but today does help a lot.
My midwife was great. I like a woman who tells me to eat my lunch meat and sushi if I want to. I was a little frustrated that they wanted to stick with my LMP due date, 7/4/09 as I know when I ovulated giving me a due date of 7/1/09 and the baby is even measuring ahead at 10w1d, but oh well. As she said, it's better to pick a later date than an earlier one. We'll see if this kid wants to be a Canadian (Canada Day baby) or an American (Fourth of July baby). Either way it's pretty darn funny. In my head and on my tickers I'm going to keep it July 1st.
As a side note I am most proud of my introduction of my midwife/OB's office to the term "dildo cam". I used it with one of the midwives and the term immediately spread through the office. She lamented she couldn't use it with patients but cracked up all the same.
Last week someone brought a bag of fortune cookies to work and left them out on the faculty room table. I ate one and low and behold there were four fortunes in it. This is what they said.
Doubt is a beautiful twilight that enhances every object.
The benefits of our efforts are not always obvious.
Listen these next few days to your friends to get answers you seek.
You will be singled out for a special promotion within the month.
Yeah...that's what I said.
I have waited so long for you. So long that I could hardly believe it when I saw those two pink lines that told me you existed. It was so hard to believe and you were such a miracle, that it took three days and three tests for it to sink in. And although you are only the size of a poppyseed or something rediculously small like that, I love you as if you were already in my arms.
So here we go Baby, off on a great journey together. I'll make a deal with you. I'll take whatever you dish at me as long as you stick around. These sore boobs, they're cake. The cramping, I have to admit it freaks me out but if it means you are just burrowing in tight, we're golden. I'm looking forward to morning sickness in a way because it'll feel all the more real. Crazy? I guess so.
I have to admit Baby that I am scared. As scared as I was thinking I'd never get to have you in the first place, I'm even more terrified to lose you. You are my miracle and I so very much want to be your mommy.
I have been waiting 36 years for you. That's a long, long time and there's a whole lotta love just waiting for you. May God bless you and keep the both of us in his hand.
I love you,
The folks at the headquarters were excited as well telling my mom that her daughter "did a great thing". Yay!
I also stopped by to visit my 88 year old grandma at her convalescent hospital. She gave me her ballot to mail and was so excited to be able to vote for Obama.
Keep in mind that my grandma, a product of her generation, hasn't always been the most tolerant person. In fact I've gotten mad at her for comments that I felt to be slighty bigoted. I guess I'm a loudmouth because I always tell her what I think.
On a bad note, one of my coworkers (one of the few non-catholics- read evangelical)sent a mass email to everyone on staff yesterday about the evils ofProp 8. At first I was shocked that she would send such a thing. Then I got angry and had to force myself not to reply all and kick her ass. I have a step child who identifies as a lesbian and personaly I was insulted beyond belief to receive this garbage. Who is to say she can't marry in the future. Who is to say she can't be given the rights as any other lame-o on the planet. Gay folks marrying doesn't impact or change my marriage one bit. Ugh I'd go on but I'm getting too pissed off.
Anyway, yay for my family, boo for my coworker.
Sweet Henri pased away today. I found him when I came home from work. I feel even more sad than normal because he had to die alone. Most of my ratties have passed as I held them. I just hope he didn't suffer.
My poor, sweet baby...I will miss his ratty kisses, his cuddles, and even how he smelled of caramel corn.
I let Tristan see him before I took him to the vet to be cremated and he wouldn't leave Henri's body alone. He kept licking his brother and trying to groom him. It was so sad.
I survived the Neil Diamond concert with my mom, i.e she didn't say anything stupid and we had a good time.
For those of you who have never been to a Neil Diamond concert I must say you are missing out on prime people watching. For a dude in his mid 60's, Neil's got some pretty diverse fans. You have your trotted out cougars, double fisting drinks and falling all over themselves and Neil; older couples reliving their beginnings; families with little kids in tow(wha huh?); dudes with their friends and their moms; and believe it or not tons of young girls in their twenties.
The cougars were incredibly entertaining what with all their trips to the bar and tacky clothing and all.
What wasn't entertaining was the slore sitting in front of me with her boyfriend. Girlfriend had to be in her late 20's and was flipping her hair around like no tomorrow. Seriously, it was irritating. The HP Pavilion in San Jose does not give you tons of leg room and every time she flicked her long hair it would hit my leg, my popcorn, or my beer. Ewwwww. Besides that she and her boyfriend kept hugging on each other and would bang their arms into my legs. I was ready to knock a bitch out.
The poor guy sitting next to her, when she got up to dance a few times she was dancing with her butt in his face. She was one of those hip swayers and poor guy looked like he was trying to crawl over his wife's lap to get away. That was amusing but probably only because it wasn't directed at me.
Anyway, the concert was great except for the 80's tunes. I'm sorry, I just can't stomach 80's era Neil. I'm a Live at the Greek purist. I could have shoved an ice pick in my ear during America, Forever in Blue Jeans, or You Don't Bring me Flowers. Thank the Lord he didn't sing Heartlight. I would have had to go purchase another beer for that one.
For those that love Neil I bring to you my crappy Sweet Caroline video. I was being a bad girl doing it when I wasn't even supposed to have a camera, but see how much I love you?
We had kick ass center seats but sadly, with my camera it seems so far away. You can also see swaying irritating people in front of us. That was hair flip girl and her bald headed boyfriend.
Even though I had been spotting for days and my temps were down I still had a tiny bit of hope. That was crushed at 3 am when I woke up with cramps so bad I could have ripped my uterus out and not cared.
Cycle 19 staring me in the face. Joy! Knowing that cycle 19 is already a dud due to Alex being out of town three or four days before I O, was another reason to be depressed. His sperm can hardly last an hour, they certainly won't last three days.
Yesterday we were travelling to the Bay Area to my cousin's little girl's 4th birthday. I had to stop in Target to get her a b'day present and had to steel myself against the onslaught of pregnant bellies and little ones. Blech. Sometimes I hate Target. Yesterday was one of those days.
We get to the party and everything is fine. Both my cousins (who are like my sisters) have two kids each, a boy and a girl. My mother fawns on them, as does most everyone else.
At one point I'm looking at this baby doll that belongs to Taylor, the birthday girl. It is hideous. Seriously, I don't think I've seen an uglier baby doll. First, off it's huge. No newborn is that size. It's the size of a small linebacker, or at least an overweight one year old. Secondly, it's molded face is awful. It would give most people the creeps. As a joke I covered it's face with its hat and placed it face down in the moses basket it was in. No big deal. Alex and my step daughter were laughing because they thought it was scary too.
I guess my mom was watching be because she looks at me and says,
"No wonder you don't have any kids"
Has that sunk in yet? Yeah, that's what I thought too. I slowly got up off the couch and ran outside so I could sob. Alex ran out to hold me and just let me cry.
WTH! She knew I had just started my period. She knows what I am going through. She has gone to RE appointments with me when my husband couldn't and cried with me when I got bad results. She fucking knew better.
Later, I try to compose myself and return to the party. My mom comes over to apologize but then says, "Kathy (my aunt) says I didn't say anything wrong". What a way to apologize mom. I could give a crap what my aunt thinks. Of course she doesn't think my mom said anything wrong. She doesn't have any clue what it is like to have IF daughters. She doesn't understand IF at.all.
My younger cousin takes me aside and tries to comfort me, which was surprising and very nice considering she was a total bitch that we have hardly talked to her in a year and a half since she didn't go to our wedding (it's a long story). I thought she knew about our IF because my mom had told my aunt and my other cousin so I thought Jill would have known as well. Guess she didn't or didn't think too hard about it.
She didn't understand, of course, and proceeded to tell me how she had two abortions (I knew about one) and when she couldn't get knocked up with a couple different boyfriends after seven years, she thought God was punishing her. Uhhhhhh. I just sat there nodding. I know she was trying to help so I didn't go off on her. Sometimes I think they only people who know how to help and what to say are those going through it themselves.
Anyway, long story short, we rode home in silence. I was still too pissed at my mom to talk. I hadn't talked to her the rest of the night while we were at the party. Once we got home I sat in the car and talked to her. She just cried and cried. See, my mom holds everything in and doesn't tell people when they upset her. I'm the opposite. I have to let it out or it eats me up. She has a hard time with that. She said she didn't mean to say that, that it came out wrong. She took me telling her that what she said was, "one of the cruelest things she could say" to mean that she, herself was cruel. She didn't see that telling me my aunt's comment sounded like an excuse for her behavior. She thinks she doesn't know what to say to me anymore because I get upset a lot.
Yet another reason why IF sucks.
At the end we ended up being ok. We needed to be because today I'm talking her to a Neil Diamond concert.
Found in the Huffington Post
Drill, Drill, Drill
by Eve Ensler
Posted September 8, 2008 01:18 PM (EST)
I am having Sarah Palin nightmares. I dreamt last night that she was a member of a club where they rode snowmobiles and wore the claws of drowned and starved polar bears around their necks. I have a particular thing for Polar Bears. Maybe it's their snowy whiteness or their bigness or the fact that they live in the arctic or that I have never seen one in person or touched one. Maybe it is the fact that they live so comfortably on ice. Whatever it is, I need the polar bears.
I don't like raging at women. I am a Feminist and have spent my life trying to build community, help empower women and stop violence against them. It is hard to write about Sarah Palin. This is why the Sarah Palin choice was all the more insidious and cynical. The people who made this choice count on the goodness and solidarity of Feminists.
But everything Sarah Palin believes in and practices is antithetical to Feminism which for me is part of one story -- connected to saving the earth, ending racism, empowering women, giving young girls options, opening our minds, deepening tolerance, and ending violence and war.
I believe that the McCain/Palin ticket is one of the most dangerous choices of my lifetime, and should this country chose those candidates the fall-out may be so great, the destruction so vast in so many areas that America may never recover. But what is equally disturbing is the impact that duo would have on the rest of the world. Unfortunately, this is not a joke. In my lifetime I have seen the clownish, the inept, the bizarre be elected to the presidency with regularity.
Sarah Palin does not believe in evolution. I take this as a metaphor. In her world and the world of Fundamentalists nothing changes or gets better or evolves. She does not believe in global warming. The melting of the arctic, the storms that are destroying our cities, the pollution and rise of cancers, are all part of God's plan. She is fighting to take the polar bears off the endangered species list. The earth, in Palin's view, is here to be taken and plundered. The wolves and the bears are here to be shot and plundered. The oil is here to be taken and plundered. Iraq is here to be taken and plundered. As she said herself of the Iraqi war, "It was a task from God."
Sarah Palin does not believe in abortion. She does not believe women who are raped and incested and ripped open against their will should have a right to determine whether they have their rapist's baby or not.
She obviously does not believe in sex education or birth control. I imagine her daughter was practicing abstinence and we know how many babies that makes.
Sarah Palin does not much believe in thinking. From what I gather she has tried to ban books from the library, has a tendency to dispense with people who think independently. She cannot tolerate an environment of ambiguity and difference. This is a woman who could and might very well be the next president of the United States. She would govern one of the most diverse populations on the earth.
Sarah believes in guns. She has her own custom Austrian hunting rifle. She has been known to kill 40 caribou at a clip. She has shot hundreds of wolves from the air.
Sarah believes in God. That is of course her right, her private right. But when God and Guns come together in the public sector, when war is declared in God's name, when the rights of women are denied in his name, that is the end of separation of church and state and the undoing of everything America has ever tried to be.
I write to my sisters. I write because I believe we hold this election in our hands. This vote is a vote that will determine the future not just of the U.S., but of the planet. It will determine whether we create policies to save the earth or make it forever uninhabitable for humans. It will determine whether we move towards dialogue and diplomacy in the world or whether we escalate violence through invasion, undermining and attack. It will determine whether we go for oil, strip mining, coal burning or invest our money in alternatives that will free us from dependency and destruction. It will determine if money gets spent on education and healthcare or whether we build more and more methods of killing. It will determine whether America is a free open tolerant society or a closed place of fear, fundamentalism and aggression.
If the Polar Bears don't move you to go and do everything in your power to get Obama elected then consider the chant that filled the hall after Palin spoke at the RNC, "Drill Drill Drill." I think of teeth when I think of drills. I think of rape. I think of destruction. I think of domination. I think of military exercises that force mindless repetition, emptying the brain of analysis, doubt, ambiguity or dissent. I think of pain.
Do we want a future of drilling? More holes in the ozone, in the floor of the sea, more holes in our thinking, in the trust between nations and peoples, more holes in the fabric of this precious thing we call life?
Alex and I stayed up to watch the webcast but it was down. Seems like the brilliant scientists didn't consider that there would be thousands of people interested in such a webcast causing crashes and error messages. You'd think they would have had the foresight to have mirror sites up.
Of course this morning I noticed they do now. Either way that was lame to stay up and not get to see/hear anything.
The first beam was successful. They sent protons around both ways. Sadly, they didn't do any collisions. I guess we'll have to wait for that black hole another day...LOL
No, we are not going to be swallowed up in a black hole. And if we were, we wouldn't even know it was happening. Regardless, the hype of the danger of CERN's LHC (Large Hadron Collider) is silly. My husband is silly too because he actually sort of believes everything will end tonight at midnight. I will be sitting on the couch next to him, watching the live streaming on the big screen TV, and laughing my ass off.
All in all, I think it is amazingly cool and I won't even pretend to understand much in the ways of particle or theoretical physics. What I do know is that these experiments could change the way we think of the world, the Big Bang, and honestly change the field of science all-together.
So ATLAS, ALICE, and CMS; do your stuff! I can't wait to see what you find...even if I'll be exhausted tomorrow.
As an add on for the science geeks out there...this is too funny. I've even shared it with my fifth graders though it went way over their heads.
I couldn't watch all of the drivel on TV last night, it was making our stomachs churn. Hoever, I caught bits of them, did read a lot of the speeches online and have been following the analysts and whatnot. That said, I caught many of these comments and thought, whoa they are lying through their teeth. The comment about Palin getting more votes than Biden is the most laughable and interestingly enough, the biggest lie.
From: AP link
Attacks, praise stretch truth at GOP convention
By JIM KUHNHENN, Associated Press Writer
Wed Sep 3, 11:48 PM ET
ST. PAUL, Minn. - Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and her Republican supporters held back little Wednesday as they issued dismissive attacks on Barack Obama and flattering praise on her credentials to be vice president. In some cases, the reproach and the praise stretched the truth.
PALIN: "I have protected the taxpayers by vetoing wasteful spending ... and championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress. I told the Congress 'thanks but no thanks' for that Bridge to Nowhere."
THE FACTS: As mayor of Wasilla, Palin hired a lobbyist and traveled to Washington annually to support earmarks for the town totaling $27 million. In her two years as governor, Alaska has requested nearly $750 million in special federal spending, by far the largest per-capita request in the nation. While Palin notes she rejected plans to build a $398 million bridge from Ketchikan to an island with 50 residents and an airport, that opposition came only after the plan was ridiculed nationally as a "bridge to nowhere."
PALIN: "There is much to like and admire about our opponent. But listening to him speak, it's easy to forget that this is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform — not even in the state senate."
THE FACTS: Compared to McCain and his two decades in the Senate, Obama does have a more meager record. But he has worked with Republicans to pass legislation that expanded efforts to intercept illegal shipments of weapons of mass destruction and to help destroy conventional weapons stockpiles. The legislation became law last year. To demean that accomplishment would be to also demean the work of Republican Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, a respected foreign policy voice in the Senate. In Illinois, he was the leader on two big, contentious measures in Illinois: studying racial profiling by police and requiring recordings of interrogations in potential death penalty cases. He also successfully co-sponsored major ethics reform legislation.
PALIN: "The Democratic nominee for president supports plans to raise income taxes, raise payroll taxes, raise investment income taxes, raise the death tax, raise
business taxes, and increase the tax burden on the American people by hundreds of billions of dollars."
THE FACTS: The Tax Policy Center, a think tank run jointly by the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute, concluded that Obama's plan would increase after-tax income for middle-income taxpayers by about 5 percent by 2012, or nearly $2,200 annually. McCain's plan, which cuts taxes across all income levels, would raise after tax-income for middle-income taxpayers by 3 percent, the center concluded.
Obama would provide $80 billion in tax breaks, mainly for poor workers and the elderly, including tripling the Earned Income Tax Credit for minimum-wage workers and higher credits for larger families.
He also would raise income taxes, capital gains and dividend taxes on the wealthiest. He would raise payroll taxes on taxpayers with incomes above $250,000, and he would raise corporate taxes. Small businesses that make more than $250,000 a year would see taxes rise.
MCCAIN: "She's been governor of our largest state, in charge of 20 percent of America's energy supply ... She's responsible for 20 percent of the nation's energy supply. I'm entertained by the comparison and I hope we can keep making that comparison that running a political campaign is somehow comparable to being the executive of the largest state in America," he said in an interview with ABC News' Charles Gibson.
THE FACTS: McCain's phrasing exaggerates both claims. Palin is governor of a state that ranks second nationally in crude oil production, but she's no more "responsible" for that resource than President Bush was when he was governor of Texas, another oil-producing state. In fact, her primary power is the ability to tax oil, which she did in concert with the Alaska Legislature. And where Alaska is the largest state in America, McCain could as easily have called it the 47th largest state — by population.
MCCAIN: "She's the commander of the Alaska National Guard. ... She has been in charge, and she has had national security as one of her primary responsibilities," he said on ABC.
THE FACTS: While governors are in charge of their state guard units, that authority ends whenever those units are called to actual military service. When guard units are deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, for example, they assume those duties under "federal status," which means they report to the Defense Department, not their governors. Alaska's national guard units have a total of about 4,200 personnel, among the smallest of state guard organizations.
FORMER ARKANSAS GOV. MIKE HUCKABEE: Palin "got more votes running for mayor of Wasilla, Alaska than Joe Biden got running for president of the United States."
THE FACTS: A whopper. Palin got 616 votes in the 1996 mayor's election, and got 909 in her 1999 re-election race, for a total of 1,525. Biden dropped out of the race after the Iowa caucuses, but he still got 76,165 votes in 23 states and the District of Columbia where he was on the ballot during the 2008 presidential primaries.
FORMER MASSACHUSETTS GOV. MITT ROMNEY: "We need change, all right — change from a
liberal Washington to a conservative Washington! We have a prescription for every American who wants change in Washington — throw out the big-government liberals, and elect John McCain and Sarah Palin."
THE FACTS: A Back-to-the-Future moment. George W. Bush, a conservative Republican, has been president for nearly eight years. And until last year, Republicans controlled Congress. Only since January 2007 have Democrats have been in charge of the House and Senate
Now, I'm not saying the left doesn't stretch the truth but come on, the right did nothing but play on fear and sling mud and insults last night. Where is the substance? Where are the issues? What is your platform? Redamndiculous.
I don't. Here's why:
1. She supports opening the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve to drilling.
Funny how her husband works for BP.
2. She is opposed to the decision to list polar bears as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act because she thinks it'll hurt the state's economy.
Yeah, because it's good to make money off of douchebags who get their jollies off on shooting endangered animals.
3. She is anti-choice.
As my religion coordinator said in a conversation with me yesterday, "We all are pro-life. Who wakes up in the morning saying, 'I want to kill babies today'?. But who am I to say what another woman can or cannot do to her own body?"
I agree with her. I also agree with what Obama said in his speech about abortion and birth control.
We may not agree on abortion, but surely we can agree on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country.
I mean seriously people, I don't understand why Republicans can lump birth control in with abortion and think that it's ok to deny a woman control over her fertility. That is outrageous. Oh it's killing babies. How is it killing a baby? That egg isn't a baby. And I'm here to tell you that not all eggs equal babies in the end anyway. I've released eggs for years, even up to five or more once, and no baby in sight.
When will people get their heads out of their asses and realize that teaching abstinence doesn't work? I went to all-girls Catholic high school and we weren't taught abstinence. We were taught about birth control.
4. She thinks Creationism should be taught in schools.
But Jennifer, you teach at a school that talks about Creationism... Yep I do, but it's a Catholic school. I strongly believe in the separation of church and state, nothing good comes out of religion having a strong hold on the government (hello Spanish Inquisition anyone?). If you want your child to learn about God and Jesus, read the bible, pray as a group, etc., send them to a Catholic or Christian school. Don't put your demands on public schools where you have folks of all different faiths attending. That's not fair to any of them.
I should also add that at my Catholic school we teach about....wait for it...evolution! Myself and the religion coordinator follow our Catholic faith traditions and teach about the history and translations of the bible, and encourage questioning the establishment.
5. She's been governor for a little over a year, to a state that has 670,053 people.
My county has 410,206 people for goodness sakes. One good thing about that is at least McCain can stop criticizing Obama over his experience. He can also stop the too young thing too while he's at it.
6. McCain doesn't even know this broad. He's met her once.
One meeting and he thinks she'd be perfect to take over when his 72 year old ass keels over? Guess he thinks he's right as rain and or having another former beauty queen next to him was enough of a draw.
My former polar bear hating Republican parent would be falling all over himself over this one.
Clicky here for a reminder of that dude.
This can be pretty embarrassing, especially when it comes to school masses where I am sitting with my students. They always look at me strangely, like why is this woman crying over a song? A few years ago one of my parents would cry over one of the songs I did so at least I had a crying buddy.
So without further ado here are my top tearjerker hymns. I'll even include lyrics and Youtube videos so you can cry along with me. Bolded lyrics are the lyrics that have really touched me in my IF journey.
1. On Eagle's Wings
(Lyrics in video)
2. Be Not Afraid
You shall cross the barren desert,
but you shall not die of thirst.
You shall wander far in safety
though you do not know the way.
You shall speak your words in foreign lands
and all will understand.
You shall see the face of God and live.
Be not afraid.
I go before you always.
Come, follow me, and I will give you rest.
If you pass through raging waters in the sea,
you shall not drown.
If you walk amid the burning flames,
you shall not be harmed.
If you stand before the pow’r of hell
and death is at your side,
know that I am with you through it all.
Blessed are your poor,
for the kingdom shall be theirs.
Blest are you that weep and mourn,
for one day you shall laugh.
And if wicked tongues insult and hate you
all because of me,
blessed, blessed are you!
3. Here I Am , Lord
I, the Lord of sea and sky,
I have heard my people cry.
All who dwell in dark and sin
My hand will save.
I, who made the stars of night,
I will make their darkness bright.
Who will bear my light to them?
Whom shall I send?
Here I am, Lord.
Is it I, Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night.
I will go, Lord,
if you lead me.
I will hold your people in my heart.
I, the Lord of snow and rain,
I have borne my people’s pain.
I have wept for love of them.
They turn away.
I will break their hearts of stone,
Give them hearts for love alone.
I will speak my word to them.
Whom shall I send?
I, the Lord of wind and flame,
I will tend the poor and lame.
I will set a feast for them.
My hand will save.
Finest bread I will provide
Till their hearts be satisfied.
I will give my life to them.
Whom shall I send?
4. The Summons
Will you come and follow me
If I but call your name?
Will you go where you don’t know
And never be the same?
Will you let my love be shown,
Will you let my name be known,
Will you let my life be grown
In you and you in me?
Will you leave yourself behind
If I but call your name?
Will you care for cruel and kind
And never be the same?
Will you risk the hostile stare
Should your life attract or scare?
Will you let me answer prayer
In you and you in me?
Will you let the blinded see
If I but call your name?
Will you set the pris’ners free
And never be the same?
Will you kiss the leper clean,
And do such as this unseen,
And admit to what I mean
In you and you in me?
Will you love the ‘you’ you hide
If I but call your name?
Will you quell the fear inside
And never be the same?
Will you use the faith you’ve found
To reshape the world around,
Through my sight and touch and sound
In you and you in me?
Lord, your summons echoes true
When you but call my name.
Let me turn and follow you
And never be the same.
In your company I’ll go
Where your love and footsteps show.
Thus I’ll move and live and grow
In you and you in me.
5. You are Mine
I will come to you in the silence
I will lift you from all your fear
You will hear My voice
I claim you as My choice
Be still, and know I am near
I am hope for all who are hopeless
I am eyes for all who long to see
In the shadows of the night,
I will be your light
Come and rest in Me
Do not be afraid, I am with you
I have called you each by name
Come and follow Me
I will bring you home
I love you and you are mine
I am strength for all the despairing
Healing for the ones who dwell in shame
All the blind will see, the lame will all run free
And all will know My name
I am the Word that leads all to freedom
I am the peace the world cannot give
I will call your name, embracing all your pain
Stand up, now, walk, and live
6. Christ be our Light
(This choir kicks butt)
Longing for light, we wait in darkness.
Longing for truth, we turn to you.
Make us your own, your holy people,
light for the world to see.
Christ, be our light! Shine in our hearts.
Shine through the darkness.
Christ, be our light!
Shine in your church gathered today.
Longing for peace, our world is troubled.
Longing for hope, many despair.
Your word alone has pow’r to save us.
Make us your living voice.
Longing for food, many are hungry.
Longing for water, many still thirst.
Make us your bread, broken for others,
shared until all are fed.
Longing for shelter, many are homeless.
Longing for warmth, many are cold.
Make us your building, sheltering others,
walls made of living stone.
Many the gifts, many the people,
many the hearts that yearn to belong.
Let us be servants to one another,
making your kingdom come.
Yesterday, after therapy, Alex told me that he was upset because I was becoming the type of woman he always hated, a woman obsessed with having babies. He said that he was sad because I wasn't the Jennifer he fell in love with.
I just sat there as he was driving and cried.
I told him that I didn't like me either. I was upset that I was becoming this person and longed for the old me back.
I hate obsessing over babies but it's not something I can stop. I'm the one who has to chart, pee on sticks, take the pills, check my CM, temp every day, buy his supplement, stress over "symptoms", stare at the BFNs, wait for the bleeding to start, and figure out where, when and how we can get back into treatment. I'm carrying this all on my own and he's the one with the main issue.
There I said it.
I'm carrying the whole weight of this on my back when really it's not my issue. And because of it, I have become the depressed, changed person I wrote about in my last blog. Because of it, my husband doesn't know who I am anymore.
After we worked through some stuff last night I got to thinking about my girls on the TTC6+ board and about how a few of them are struggling in their marriages. Their husbands always seem to be holding them back somehow, some even sabotaging the process. We all carry it on our backs and the guys float along, seemingly uncaring.
I wish they would understand the maternal feelings most women get. We have a deep down urge to procreate and mother, and when we can't it just becomes worse. I never knew how strong that urge was, not until now.
So where do we go from here? We continue with therapy and I hope that my husband can learn to love me as I am right now and keep supporting me until we get to the other side. Because that's what we all hope for, the other side. I know it's out there and I know all of this will go away once we get there.
But I need help to get through.
This lifestyle includes many doctor visits, intimate moments with the dildo cam, pills and shots. It includes many nights crying yourself to sleep and feeling like a broken failure most every day. It includes depression. The worst kind of depression that is often hidden and debilitating. It includes the loss of friends because they don't understand why you are pulling away, why you are wanting to hide from the world. What could be so bad?
This lifestyle makes you bitter towards any large family, towards pregnant woman, towards the sight of a baby. Let me just tell you that the grocery store is akin to the 6th level of hell. Pregnant women happily rubbing their bellies and new babies EVERYWHERE. I can't even go down the baby aisle as a shortcut anymore. Alex knows we have to go around because it's just a whole row of reminders.
And all those reminders, they make you cry and those of us in the IF lifestyle will often find ourselves crying in the middle of the grocery store, or Target, or church; where ever we find a reminder.
One of my dear friends mentioned today how she cried in Church this weekend because of a large family with a new baby in the pew front of her. She's not alone. Another TTC6+ girl said she can hardly go to church anymore because she ends up in tears every time as she's surrounded by babies and small children. This would be something that at the beginning of your TTC/IF journey wouldn't have affected you but over time it gets worse and worse. Stacie is right, it does change you. The IF lifestyle changes you. It takes away the joy and brings the sadness.
Some people are lucky for the lifestyle doesn't seem to affect them as much or maybe they are just good at hiding it outwardly. Some seem impervious to it and are able to find the joy in things. I wish I could but some days it's virtually impossible.
I recently told Alex that I was depressed. He didn't seem to understand that I wasn't just "sad", this wasn't an, "Oh I'm so depressed because my favorite show isn't on", kind of thing. It is clinical depression. It's real and it's deep down. I think many of us in the lifestyle have it and I think many people in our lives don't realize to the extent we feel this hurt and hopelessness.
This is a lifestyle I hope all of my sisters can get out of because none of us deserve it, none of us want it, and it all can be cured by the arrival of one small wonderful thing.
And as an ironic punch to the gut, what did I see when I clicked on Blogger to write this blog but
Are you freaking kidding me? Even in trying to get our feelings out we are subjected to babies. So not cool.
I didn't even cry when my period showed yesterday. It was as if I expected it to. It's second nature now, that dissapointment. I had some hope this last cycle, which I kick myself for now. No spotting until the day before FP showed and FP showed late. I figure any made up "symptoms" were created by my body to merely to mess with my head.
This became an even bigger slap in the face this afternoon when a former BOTB regular on the Nest showed up today to announce her second BFP. I remember her first BFP and while I liked her, I just couldn't muster up a congrats in her announcement post.
Because it just isn't fair and I'm tired of being bitter and sad.
This 2WW is currently driving me batshit crazy.
My dear friend Alicia and her daughter Eve left for the Ukraine today. Alicia will be teaching in Kiev for two years at an international school. I'm so sad she will be so far away for so long. She has really been there for me during some hard times and during fun times. She has been a great friend and confidant, as well as a great actress and director. Have a great trip Alicia, I'll be thinking of you daily.
It's been a hard year for my friendships. I don't need anyone else to leave.
My day started with taking Henri to the exotic vet and finding out it wasn't an abscess but a tumor. Of course it needed to be removed so I said good bye to sweet Henri and around $300.00 so he could have that awful thing removed. The vet seemed hopeful about it and said it would be easy to remove.
I was supposed to hang with my mom but shelling out money, when I was already worried about money for IVF, didn't put me in a real festive mood.
Then I got the call that made everything crash down around me. Melissa, the finance person at my clinic, called to tell me that my RE no longer carried my insurance. I knew they weren't a provider for Cigna but they were for Beech Street which is under the Cigna umbrella. As of June they no longer contract with them. This is why she had such a hard time getting exact prices for me the day before.
She explains how I could pay as a cash patient and then bill my insurance. However, if we were stressing over $5100 how on earth could I pay $10,000 upfront for the procedure alone? All I could do was cry and tell Melissa that that wouldn't be feasible for us and we'd have to cancel going forward on the cycle. I know she felt terrible but I also know there wasn't anything she could do. "This is what I hate about my job", she said.
When I got off the phone with her I tried to call Alex but couldn't reach him. That didn't help because I was hysterical at that point and practically hyperventilating. I turned to my girls on the TTC6+ board and they helped talk me down.
The biggest help was Megan coming to see me. What an amazing friend. She actually left work to come sit and cry with me. That is worth it's weight in gold.
Before she arrived I had to call my mom and tell her the cycle was a no go. She just sat on the phone crying and saying, "Why?" You see, my mom wants this as much as I do and it made me cry all over again to hear her choke up. Alex finally got back to me and immediately suggested we switch to UCSF's clinic. We know they are under our insurance because before we found out my local RE was covered under Beech Street, we were going to go up to SF.
So it looks like we'll be heading to SF for IVF but the sad thing is we'll have to wait for next summer. I'll have to actually live up there for two weeks during stims and ER/ET because of all the monitoring etc. There's no way we can drive two hours every day with Alex's job. I hate this because I'll be another year older, less fertile than I am now. However, what can I do? My hands are tied.
I hate this.
One thing Megan told me to do was make a list of things I was going to do to get ready for next summer. She said list making helps her so just for her I'm going to do it. Bold things are done.
To Do Before IVF
- Keep trying naturally
- Buy OPKs
- Go back to temping all the time
- Take my pills regularly (I had stopped my PNV, because why bother?)
- Make sure Alex is still taking all of his supplements
- Buy more Pre Seed
- SAVE MONEY
- Request info from UCSF
- Make an appointment to talk to UCSF
- Finish b/w needed for IVF cycle (CF/STD screen)
- Keep praying for a miracle
There's probably more I could add but I can't think of it now.
P.S- Henri is home and is fine. He has steel stitches so he doesn't take them out but he did great.
...and I want to get off.
After all the fretting over whether or not Alex was going to freak before our appointments at the clinic, we get there and meet Melissa (Financial Services) and Karen (IVF Coordinator). The new office is awesome.
We hear the spiel on our insurance first. Instead of the 90% coverage we thought we would have we now have 70% coverage. So basically we pay $3600 before everything is covered 100%.
Then we move next door and go through the checklist of what we've done and what we still need to do. According to Karen we are ahead of schedule with the testing but I'm too close for comfort in starting BCP for the September IVF cycle. Normally they like their patient on it for 6-4 weeks and I'd barely be on it for 4. She was amazed that I hardly had any questions. The internets is good for something I guess.
The whole time Alex just sat there. I don't think he said more than 5 words to Melissa and the only thing he said to Karen was his SS#. We are given the consent forms and the BCP script is called in and we are on our way.
On the way out I can tell Alex is freaking out inwardly. When don't talk about it in the car because my stepdaughter is there waiting for us. We do when we get home though.
Alex, very calmly says that there is no way we could save $3600 in a month and a half and I know he is right. We come to the conclusion that waiting for the November cycle would be the best and give us time to save. Hopefully I won't have to repeat any of my tests because it would be a year after I originally had them.
To console myself I call Megan (my personal cheerleader) and I post on TTC6+ the good and bad things regarding our RE appointments.
-DH is on board
-We are ahead of the game prep wise with our pre IVF testing. Now we'll be able to finish the last bit of bloodwork early.
- November would be better time wise for me than September. My RE asks all his patients to be on bed rest 3 days after transfer and this would be very hard to do the first month of school. Add in one day off for retrieval and ouch.
-We have three months to try and save the money.
-I can be on BCP the full length they would want me on. The IVF coordinator said normally they want their patients on 6 weeks.
So I was feeling pretty positive about our decision and was amazed that I didn't even cry. And then the roof caved in.
I decided to look up med coverage on Cigna's website and to my horror only found a couple things covered (Lupron being one of them). Injectibles were not covered. That broke me and I sobbed in front of the comp for a good half hour. It seemed that every time I was up something had to kick me back down. It didn't help that in the midst of this I discovered that Henri, one of my ratties, had a lump on his amdomen which I think is an abscess.
This morning I called Cigna right away and it seems that they will cover the injectibles but through the medical side of my insurance. The meds have a deductable though so add $1500 to the aforementioned $3600 and we are facing not being able to do November either.
I'm so tired of this. I don't want to ride this rollercoaster any more.
This morning, on Good Morning America, McCain made yet another gaffe. This time it was on shared borders. According to McCain, Pakistan and Iraq share a border. Ummmm no. Maybe he was busy hanging out with Miss South Carolina because she seems just as clueless.
Perhaps he needs a refresher in geography as Iraq is two countries away from Pakistan. Baghdad, the capital of Iraq is over 1,500 miles from Pakistan’s capital of Islamabad. Funny how those pesky countries Afghanistan and Iran are in the way.
After therapy on Thursday, Alex decided that he felt ok enough about our situation for me to call my RE on Friday and make our IVF appointments. I called a couple times in the morning when I thought they would be open but I guess I was wrong on the time.
My RE is the only RE I've ever heard of that does not have early hours. I think the office opens around 8:30 am. This sucks for people like me who have to be at work at 7:30. However, he's the only game in town so I have to deal with it.
I called again around 9 and left a message. Close to ten, as I'm out running errands with my mom, I get a call back from the receptionist. She says they are booked up the beginning of next week but she'll talk to the Dr to find out what they can do and she'll call me back. I told her I was CD 14, 4DPO (Time is of the essence) and that was that. I didn't get a call back. I called around 3 but realized of course they wouldn't be there. My RE also has early hours on Fridays. Fuck me gently with a chainsaw! So here I am finally getting the go ahead from my gun shy husband and I can't make the appointments. I am not happy.
The rest of the day before heading out with Megan, was spent helping my mom with her resume (OMG kill me now) and helping her with her computer because for some reason she's helpless when it comes to electronics, or at least thinks she is. We also went to go visit my grandmother in the convalescent hospital. I hate those places so much and hope I never have to be in one. I'll be glad when she gets to go home.
Anyway, I was talking to Grammy and she noticed my "Common Thread" bracelet. She asked what it was and I told her it was "a thread, a bracelet". She then asked, "Does it stand for anything special?" How could she have known it stood for anything? Honestly she's the only person to ever even ask me. I told her it was to symbolize the struggle with infertility, IF support and the sisterhood of IF. She then said she prayed for me every day that I don't have to deal with that anymore.
It was so touching and so sad because she's one of the biggest reasons I want to hurry up and get pregnant yesterday. I want so badly for my child to know her and I'm afraid it will soon be too late.
Our first mermaid sighting of the evening happened when we were in line for the bathroom. This is from a vintage cruise line poster that is pasted to the wall.
If you have never encountered one of these hand drying beauties in a public bathroom, let me introduce you.
After dinner we decided to play black light mini golf. Surprisingly it was dead, whereas it's normally super crowded. Since we basically had the place to ourselves we got to be silly. We had a great time and for he most part kicked ass on most of the holes. I did much better than I usually do when I go with Alex but I think that's because he keeps score and is all anal over it.
Sadly you can't really tell the whole place is blacklight heaven, but trust me, it is.
May giving the turtle the porn star treatment.
Jen is shark dental floss
Silly me totally forgot that there were mermaids crawling all over blacklight mini golf, so what did we have to do? Take pictures of and with them of course.
This baby mermaid is near the mommy mermaid. I think I'll call this one Harper.
I keep having dreams with my ex-husband in them and I have no clue why. Obviously they are trying to tell me something, but what, I don't know. I know that I have a lot of unresolved feelings about the store which is why I dream about it a lot (like last night) but some of the other stuff in there is so bizarre.
I suppose I miss some aspects of our relationship. He was a very artistic, outgoing person, very much my personality. He had a lot of friends and was totally comfortable being in a room of actors (something Alex abhors) even performing in some. We had a hell of a lot of fun.
What I don't miss was the lack of goals, the fact he was a coddled mamma's boy, the crappy sex, and most of all the alcohol abuse which destroyed everything. So why doesn't the negative drive these dreams away? Why must I keep having them?
Ugh they need to stop.
Oh yes, I am.
I don't know what thinking Alex did in his sleep the other night or at work yesterday but it seems like he's thinking outside of his ass now. He said he looked at things from a a different angle and we are going to revisit the IVF issue at our next appointment.
I also asked him what would happen if his daughter said she wasn't happy with us having a kid, would we stop trying? He said that no she would in no way make the decision for us, he just wanted to include her in what we were doing.
I also made it very clear that *if* we started the IVF process, from BCP on, he was not to cancel on me. That there would be no turning back and he agreed.
Anyway, I'm not holding my breath at this moment. We'll see on Friday morning whether I get to call the RE or not. I'm just glad he took a look at the situation from all points of view.
Keep the prayers coming ladies. Maybe it worked.
I'm done with all of this waiting, hoping, and planning. It does me no good and I'm just getting my heart broken over and over again.
I didn't get the answers I wanted or needed yesterday at therapy. Alex just recycled everything he feels is wrong in our relationship. We ended up focusing on his 18 year old son who has Aspergers and how he may come to live with us full time (not my choice). This subject is what made Alex blow up at me recently because I asked if helping support his son would put us off having a kid of our own. I didn't realize it was such an incendiary question.
Anyway the session ended poorly. I hoped after Alex cooled down, we might get to talk about the IVF issue. No go with that. It's like it's the elephant in the room. He knows I want to talk about, knows I want answers but won't give them to me.
Finally, while in bed, I brought up something we discussed at therapy (normally I won't do that because he wants to follow dr's orders) and how it upset me. It became a big ol' discussion (it wasn't really an arguement) about how he doesn't think we are ready for IVF. He said that he has no faith in me and that he thinks that all the work I've done (because he's perfect and doesn't have to work on anything) is going to go back to the way it was as soon as his daughter comes back. He also thinks things will go back when I go back to work. He also said, and this is the kicker, that he wants to ask her what she thinks about us having a kid.
What? What the fuck?
He told her years ago, after she made a statement about not wanting us to have kids, that it wasn't her decision. So why now, is he going back on that? I told him that that was absurd, that no one asks for their 17 year old child's permission to have a child. He thinks otherwise and says it's a special situation.
Special situation, my ass! You just want another excuse. And with that I spent another night crying myself to sleep. That's getting really old.
So even though he hasn't said it, I'm going to assume with this last conversation that we will not be going through IVF this September. So as of now I'm not going to hope for anything. I can't do it anymore. Even though I need something to look forward to so much right now, I just can't do it. We'll just keep on trying naturally and IVF will be put on the back burner of my mind.
This won't come to a fairytale ending if I don't.
I hate that. It makes me cry all the more because I start to get pissed off.
You are part of the reason I'm crying buddy and you can't even wake up and aknowledge that.
And time continues to slip away. I'm starting to freak out again, freak out that Septemeber won't be our month either. I had to call my clinic yesterday to take care of a bill and I asked the finance person if we'd have to make an appointment with her to go over IVF stuff. She said yes. So before we get this IVF show on the road I'm assuming we'd have to meet with:
2.) IVF coordinator
3.) Financial/insurance coordinator
4.) God knows who else
I also was told that if we waited too long I'd have to redo bloodwork so I have until November for that. She wanted to know if I wanted to make an appointment over the phone and I told her I couldn't just yet. Again everything has to be held off until the last minute and it's stressing me out beyond belief. It shouldn't be that way.
Yet Alex is blissfully unaware of all of it. We have therapy tomorrow and we'll see if I can get a straight answer from him. Things are going really well between us, shouldn't he give me a chance?
I hate this.
This is a big pile of suckage for so many of us. The despair and hopelessness my friends have felt today, as well as my own craptastic feelings, makes me cry.
Why can't things be easy? They are all such wonderful people, with so much to offer. We would all be wonderful mothers and we are being robbed of that. I see so many unfit mothers around and it just seems so unfair.
So I ask why? Why me? Why any of us? When will it be our turn? Will we ever get one?
From the St. Louis Post Dispatch
Obama called on parents to take on their proper roles. "Only we in the home can teach our daughters to never allow images on television to tell them what they're worth,'' he said. "Only we as parents can make sure that when our sons grow up, that they treat women with respect and understand that when they have the ability to have a child, they must have the courage to raise a child."
I love that. I've also read speeches where he talks about not placing the blame on teachers and I appreciate that. So often I have had parents place the blame of their piss poor parenting on me. It's not my job to teach your child to behave and I shouldn't have to put up with your child's constant horrible behavior in my classroom, behavior that takes away valuable learning time away from the rest of my students. Freaking be a parent and stop it.
Anyway I like that he appears to be someone who supports teachers and what they do. We don't have that enough.
It's been burning since the 21st of June. Big Sur is one of my favorite places. I've hiked there, camped there, swam in the river there, danced on the mountain tops there, and have wonderful memories of my family there. DH and I took his mom and dad there a few months before his dad died. Nepenthe, although a building and business, is a big part of my life and memories and the thought of it burning down to the ground kills me.
Fire Unexpectedly Worsens; Big Sur Is Ordered to Evacuate
By JESSE McKINLEY
BIG SUR, Calif. — Facing a stubborn fire, California officials ordered the evacuation of Big Sur on Wednesday as flames flared on nearby mountaintops and moved steadily toward this coastal retreat.
Firefighters have been attacking a fire near Big Sur for 11 days and had been helped in recent days by fog, moist conditions and lighter winds. Seventeen homes have been lost here — more than half the total destroyed statewide from the first major wildfires of the season — but many residents had been allowed to remain as the fire stayed to the east and south.
But overnight Tuesday the fire unexpectedly intensified, prompting mandatory evacuations of residents on both sides of Highway 1, the scenic coastal byway that runs through the Big Sur valley.
“It’s tough to move out of your home; we understand that,” said Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who visited the town with federal emergency officials on Wednesday, “but do it.”
Yellow smoke and ash mixed in the air as a procession of possession-laden cars, trucks and vans streamed north out of town. Horses, goats, cats and dogs were also being trucked out by animal welfare workers, as helicopters ferried back and forth to the ocean, drawing out water to dump on smoldering hillsides east of town.
One of those evacuating was Erica Sanborn, 28, who was living with her husband and their dog in a hotel in Big Sur, having already been forced out of their home, farther south on the coast.
“I’m kind of numb,” said Ms. Sanborn, an emergency room nurse who awoke to an evacuation order after a night shift. “I would never think that Big Sur could burn.”
Statewide, more than 19,000 firefighters and other workers have been fighting fires since June 20, when a line of storms and lightning sparked hundreds of blazes across the northern and central parts of the state. The blaze near Big Sur — known as the Basin Complex — is just one of some 1,100 confirmed fires on federal and state lands in California, according to CalFire, the state fire agency, though exact figures were hard to confirm. Hundreds of others have been contained or put out.
Costs were also rising. State officials have spent more than $50 million on the current fires, according to CalFire. On Tuesday, Mr. Schwarzenegger had ordered around 200 National Guard troops to provide ground support to firefighters.
The major culprit in the blazes is a persistent drought that has made for volatile fire conditions. Steep terrain was also complicating firefighting efforts. Tina Rose, a spokeswoman for the fire operation, said that about 20 miles of Highway 1 along the coast were closed, shutting down access to famous — and currently shuttered — resorts like the Ventana Inn and the Post Ranch.
One local celebrity, the Beach Boys’ guitarist Al Jardine, said he had loaded up a trailer with musical equipment on Monday night, and was hoping to hold out before the evacuation order came.
“It’s depressing,” Mr. Jardine said. “People are walking around like zombies.”
So many articles I could post...
As fire nears Big Sur, residents and beasts flee
July 3, 2008
BIG SUR, Calif. (AP) — Piles of charred rubble smoldered near California's scenic coastal highway Thursday as a ferocious wildfire descended on the storied tourist town of Big Sur, destroying vacation homes and sending forest creatures running toward the sea for cover.
The stubborn blaze, which has burned more than 100 square miles in the Los Padres National Forest, was just one of hundreds raging around the state. And officials on Thursday reported California's first firefighter death this year — a volunteer who collapsed on the fire line in Mendocino County.
So much forest has burned near Big Sur that animals have been forced out of their habitat and onto the roads. Buzzards flew overhead to snatch up dead rodents and squirrels, and residents reported seeing bear, deer and other big animals migrating toward the Pacific Ocean.
Meanwhile, crews near the Pacific Coast Highway fought back flames from homes and historic landmarks, including the upscale Ventana Inn, which was surrounded by crackling, burning brush.
Several homes perched on a ridge about a quarter-mile from the cliffside inn fell victim to the fire the night before.
At least 20 homes have been destroyed in the area since the blaze broke out June 21, up from 17 homes counted Wednesday. The fire was only 5% contained by Thursday evening.
Many Big Sur residents followed mandatory evacuation orders issued this week, but some chose to defy the orders, staying behind to try to save their homes and businesses.
Kirk Gafill, general manager of Nepenthe, said he and five employees were up all night trying to protect the cliffside restaurant his grandparents built in 1949. Wearing dust masks, the crew scrambled to stamp out embers, some the size of dinner plates, that were dropping from the sky, he said.
"We know fire officials don't have the manpower to secure our properties," Gafill said. "There are a lot of people in this community not following evacuation orders. Based on what we saw during Katrina and other disasters, we know we can only rely on ourselves and our neighbors."
Greg Ambrosio, who lives next to Nepenthe, signed a waiver Wednesday night to stay in his house. But his plans to stay were disrupted when he was awoken by a neighbor in the middle of the night who warned of the approaching inferno.
"Then there's a knock on the door, and we go outside and the fire had just expanded. It was Armageddon," he said. "Just yellow smoke and ash mixed with fire. It was just raining down."
Ambrosio said he and his wife grabbed their cat and drove to a relative's house for the night.
A total of 367 wildfires are burning in the state, most ignited by lightning, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, known as Cal Fire, and the U.S. Forest Service. That figure is down from a peak of roughly 1,500 fires just a few days ago.
In all, the wildfires have scorched more than 790 square miles and destroyed at least 65 structures across northern and central California since June 20, according to Cal Fire.
With firefighting resources stretched thin early in the fire season, counties have been recruiting volunteer firefighters to help with smaller blazes.
On Thursday, volunteer firefighter Robert Roland, 63, died in a Mendocino County hospital after collapsing a day earlier while battling lightning-sparked blazes in the area, north of the San Francisco Bay region. It was the first reported death of a firefighter this season, and the governor ordered flags at the Capitol to fly at half-staff.
Crews made progress at a separate wildfire burning nearly 130 square miles southeast of Big Sur. The blaze, also in Los Padres National Forest, was about 95% contained Thursday.