Wising everyone a happy holiday season!


(Our Christmas card photo)

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Wintery Monday

As of right now the Tribune is reporting that it is negative 2 degrees. There are heaps of snow on the ground outside and all the windows are frosted up with ice. I've never lived in a climate like this before! A reported 10,000 calls came in to Chicago's 311 yesterday to report ice and snow and request shelter locations.

Greg and I both stayed inside all day yesterday, listening to the wind howl around the corners of the house and monitoring the negative temperatures. I curled into a corner of the couch in a blanket by the fireplace, reading books and magazines and surfing the internet. It's supposed to start snowing again tonight. A white Christmas indeed.

On Saturday night we had a holiday party with most of our favorite Chicago friends in attendance. It was cozy and festive and we played a funny gift-exchange and I made hot cider with rum that our friends drank out of Boose's mugs that Greg's mom had given us as an engagement present (a leftover relic from Boose's Farm Market).

I took a long, hot bath last night and thought a lot about the baby and the upcoming surgery and my life over the last couple of years. I'm feeling good about everything, more relaxed and hopeful. As of yesterday I am 16 weeks pregnant. According to all my books and magazines, I should be able to feel the baby move anytime in the next few weeks, which is exciting. Sometimes I think I can already, but I'm not totally sure. I'll be 18 weeks by the time I go in for surgery and perhaps I'll feel it for sure by then, something to reassure me.

My mother, 8 months pregnant with me (click to enlarge):




It's another wintery Chicago day. Freezing rain pelted the roof overnight and now snow drifts slowly down from the white-grey sky. The house is quiet and warm. I slept until 9:30 this morning, which was blissful. The cats curled up around me snoring, and the comforter soft and airy all around my shoulders.

I've been reading other people's blogs all morning. Yesterday on Motherlode, Lisa Belkin put up a list of great parenting blogs. Quite a few of them are sad ones, involving the loss of a child or a spouse, but they're also quite beautiful as well. 

The sound of somebody's snowblower whirs outside and I just got off the phone with the doctor. I called yesterday with some questions I've been mulling over about the surgery. Namely, I was wondering why she recommended general anesthesia over a spinal, when everything I've heard claims that general is riskier for the baby. She explained that general allows her take longer than an hour to do the surgery, in case there is more to contend with than she'd anticipated. This makes sense.

But she admitted that general anesthesia presents a slightly higher risk to the baby and she doesn't think that the surgery will take more than 45 minutes. She said that she and I would talk with the anesthesiologists on the day of the surgery and decide, with their counsel, what would be best. She said that if I'd prefer a spinal, then we can almost definitely go that route.

I find this plan pretty reassuring. I've been worrying, more than anything else, about being under general anesthesia while pregnant. I really want to carry this baby to term! While a spinal sounds daunting as well (to be awake for the surgery!), I ultimately feel better about it. And I like that nothing is definite and that it will all depend on our conversations with the anesthesiologists.

I also requested another ultrasound before the surgery, just to make sure that nothing has changed before they cut me open. The doctor agreed to that as well and I'll go for one on December 5th, three days before surgery. It will be nice to see the baby again before surgery anyway. Now I just have to do some serious mental work and will that cyst out of me by then!

Tomorrow will be the last group meeting for my Loss of Spouse grief group. I had planned to start up the group again on January 10th but will have to inform the group members that our sessions will be on hold indefinitely, depending on my recovery. I'll miss my Saturday group — they've all become quite close and have done some truly transformational work together.

And then tomorrow night, Greg and I are hosting the First Annual Boose Holiday Party! I've got lots of cooking and cleaning to do until then, but am looking forward to a cozy evening with some of our favorite people.

Hoping everyone out there has a cozy holiday weekend…