Wednesday, June 29, 2011


I am making a last minute effort to pack up the 3 girls and myself for a 10 day camping trip at  Lake Almanor in Northern California
My dad has a pontoon boat.. but quite a bit larger than the one pictured. I will spend most of my time slathered in sun screen and in some sort of make shift body tent to cover my whiteness. The girls will swim with "Grandpa". I might have mentioned before that my parents have custody of my 7 year old niece (long story) and she will be along for the trip. We leave tomorrow morning for Eugene (about 100 miles south of here). Spend the night at Dad's then get up at 4 am to leave for California by 5. We will transfer all the crap including car seats from my 7 passenger van to my dad's gigantic 15 passenger van. Step mom and niece already at the camp ground saving the spot. I reckon it will be a 6 or 7 hour drive taking the back roads and towing the boat, not to mention all the bathroom breaks i need these days. Hopefully none of the girls are car pukers. My mother used to cut a Dramamine in half . One half for me, one half for the dog and let us both sleep.
Anyway about packing. I meant to do it last week, but then was so stressed about the crumby anatomy scan that I couldn't focus. I started coming down with a rotten cold this weekend which has progressed. I spent the better part of yesterday in bed. Brian had to come home from work to mind the girls. Slightly better today. I had thought about canceling the trip but the girls have been so keyed up about it the past couple of weeks. This is a huge deal to them. Their therapist said that I should do whatever I can by the way of vacations and activities. Their parents wont have the resources to do it up this big. I will mend in a couple of days and my Dad told me I can totally veg out and he will do the child care. Sounds good to me.

Here is a recent picture.

 My heart skips a beat every time I look at him. Still not real.

I will see the midwife tomorrow morning at 8 am. Not much to do at a 20 week appointment. She might comment on my weight. She didn't like it when I was losing it, and probably wont like it now that I'm packing it on. These things are supposed to be gradual. I am about 2 lbs over my prepregnancy weight. I can probably gain a maximum of 18 more as I started out a bit overweight and short. No lack of appetite anymore. No way. Last night I was dreaming of food.. Palak paneer,  gumbo, spicy chicken wings. Pastry. Trying to eat well. Today I made fresh vegetable soup for myself and the girls. I'm sure I enjoyed it more than they did.

So back to the packing. Just me and the 3 year old to finish up now. Between the 4 of us we are taking 48 pair of panties and that's just the start.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Yesterday afternoon the pernatologist's office phoned and asked if I wanted to bump up my appointment to this afternoon. It was to have taken place on Friday. I said sure, sooner the better so I hauled myself, Brian and all three girls up there. A highly skilled tech did the scan and the peri and geneticist joined us shortly after for a group discussion. They said that the heart looks fine. except they STILL cant get every image that they would have wanted because hes a stubborn fetus who likes to curl up in a ball, ass wedged against the bottom of the uterus , face down. We will see the pediatric cardiologist in 3 weeks time for an echo cardiogram, but everything should check out ok. They did say that the arms and legs are 10th percentile and arms 5th. Like I mentioned before mine were similar at birth and they made note of it on my birth record. Same for my youngest brother ( who is now 5'11). They said since Brian and I are short and there is a family history, not a huge concern but they will keep an eye on it.

I feel so much better. I will get lots more scans but that seems ok.

Oh, and my SCH was nowhere to be seen. Cervix looks good.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Anatomy scan.. not the best

To get to the point, the radiologist didn't like the images they got of the heart. He said it could have been due to lack of skill on the technicians part. Just couldn't quite see what he needed to see. Could be nothing, but is enough of a concern that I need to follow up with a perinatologist on Friday. They even had the peri cancel a less urgent appointment to fit me in. They also said that the arm and leg bones are too short. But this runs in my family and when the radiologist phoned the peri he said that wasn't a concern.. just wanted better images of the heart. I had a little cry already just because I so badly wanted to leave without any worry. To feel better instead of worse.

But without further delay I will tell you that its obviously a BOY.  I have to concentrate on that for the next few days. Will post pictures soon and sure to have some better ones from the peri.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Brian did it

He went ahead and told our certifier that we need an end date of October 1st. In theory this could be enough time to do a transition to Dad's place. They have the room, they have the money. The girls need to be with their family.. my step mom said now we just pray that he can keep his shit together.

The certifier said that she was frankly surprised that we made it this far with my bleeding and vomiting and all the appointments. She does not seem irritated and I doubt this will affect future placements. We will be flexible if they need an extra couple of weeks into October. The reunification process has started, but they may have to speed it up a little. I'm already transporting to extra visits, and have been given permission to supervise more visits if need be. Dad has a long term girlfriend who has a 6 year old daughter. She works full time but he has a disability and stays home, so they would have a SAHD for the four of them.

The 4 year old had her last day of preschool yesterday. I cried, as did most of the other mothers. I cry pretty easily these days. We have some play dates lined up this summer.

Six days until my anatomy scan. I feel what I'm pretty sure is occasional fetal movement, but of course wish it was more frequent to reassure. I still cant wrap my mind around a living baby at the end. The second trimester did not bring much relief on that front. Maybe a good anatomy scan will do.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

a bit of a pickle

I'm struggling keeping up with the foster girls and DHS demands. More appointments being piled on for summer, rather than less. Caseworker will not return my calls or emails regarding a possible vacation in July, or really any of my emails or calls. She phoned less than 24 hours before she wanted to do her monthly home visit but to be honest these only happen every two months. Often directly before or after a court date. I am tired. As urgently as I wanted them last fall I hate to say that now I'm struggling with whether or not they need to go this fall. Where will they go? They have switched the reunification efforts from Mom to Dad, but dad isn't ready yet. It seems that only Mom's clock was ticking and that now that dad has moved state and sort of settled in town he gets a clean slate. We are pretty sure this new effort could take between 6 months and a year.

A big part of me wants them to stay until they are 100% ready to be moved. We are making such progress on speech, and delving in deeper to emotional disturbances. The 3 year old seems like a different child, gone from having the emotional maturity of an 18 month old, to being more or less on target for 3. I have done a little fancy foot work and arranged to have the two younger girls in all day federally funded preschool (head start) even though they usually require that both parents work for this all day program. I made a lot of phone calls and arranged for them all to have private speech therapy through the summer so there wont be a lag. I want to see them grow, I want to celebrate Christmas with them again. My mother is urging me to keep them as long as possible. She says it will work out somehow. I'm afraid she will be hurt or disappointed if we send them away early. The biggest concern is how they will react or adjust to yet another foster placement. This isn't fair to them.

At the same time.. I am so tired. This pregnancy has already had a bit more than its fair share of scary and stressful. I don't know whats around the corner. I worry about everyone getting their needs met. including myself, my husband and our baby (knock on wood). There are practical issues to consider. How will the infant get on any sort of schedule if we are constantly in the car taking girls to specialist appointments and therapy? How can I navigate a crowded hospital parking lot in the slush and ice with an infant, and three little kids? A part time nanny might be able to help, but wouldn't be permitted to take girls to appointments. State makes it very clear that only the foster parents can do that sort of thing.  The girls already wake us up 2-4 times a night.. even more if somebody is sick and sick they are. A lot. Will I get any sleep at all? There are selfish things to take into consideration as well. This is likely to be the only baby I will ever have. I want to enjoy the month leading up to birth and prepare my house, and my mind for an infant. I want to decorate a nursery, which leads us to space consideration. There are already 5 of us in a 1000 square foot house.

I understand that I might have run into the same situation had I become pregnant via FET. That pregnancy would have happened later though, and I was under the impression during that planning time that the ladies would be back with their mother before the end of winter 2011/ 2012. This one took me by surprise.

I have already lost sleep over this and shed a few tears. My midwife thinks that they need to go in October. I know its not really her place to say but she worries about my anxiety levels. She knows that I was being treated for anxiety last year.

I want to do the right thing by everyone. I'm hoping for some clarity in the next few weeks before I have to decide for sure.