Friday, September 30, 2011


I forgot to mention that I was in labor and delivery on Sunday night. I hadn't been able to sleep Friday or Saturday nights because of a searing upper abdominal pain/ pressure. near my sternum and focused around my right rib in the front.  The nurse didn't really know what to think so she transferred me to the charge nurse at the hospital who told me to come right in. She said that sort of pain is commonly associated with Pre eclampsia and hellp syndrome. She told me to bring a bag and made me go to the hospital that I will eventually deliver at, which frightened me.

I was pleasantly surprised at how nice this hospital is. The staff was wonderful and they got me in a room right away. Having pre registered a few weeks ago was a good idea as they had all my information and I didn't have to mess with any paperwork. The doctor took my blood pressure, palpated my chest and decided pretty quickly that the pain was from gas and just being huge. She prescribed some laxatives and sent me on my way. Not before showing some of the nursing staff my PUPPP rash  which I guess they don't see all that often. The problem is that my bowels are regular and I still have the pain. Ive been up most of the night. Same for last night. Today I will need to call the OB and see if I cant get a second opinion. I'm worried that its my gall bladder or pancreas. Liver? I know that women get uncomfortable around this time but this seems over the top.

On the plus side, we have had gorgeous warm autumn weather. I'm going to get an early morning walk before everyone wakes up and I will have time to take a nap while the girls are at school if I can get comfortable enough. My mom suggested that I buy myself a good quality reclining chair, so I might go furniture shopping this weekend.

Its been decided that we will take the girls to Chuck E cheese on Saturday for their first meeting with the new parents. Its an obnoxious place .. they serve something they call pizza(cardboard) and there are lots of games for the kids.  Parents hate it but kids love it, and the girls have been bugging me to go. No excuse as its within walking distance. At least when I was a kid in the 80's it had the slight redeeming quality of having giant , singing, animatronic mice and other creatures performing on a stage. They retired those in the late 90's.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Looks like

They found a home for the girls. An adoptive home if need be, and I'm sure it will come to that. I almost squealed when I got the call late this afternoon.  I am so excited for the girls. Not that they have to move again, and form new attachments that just sucks however you look at it, but because this situation looks so hopeful. These people are my age, been married for 14 years and have no children. The woman seemed so thrilled and frightened on the phone. Going from zero to three kids is a huge deal. I'm giving her as much stuff as I can and hopefully she will come to me for advice and support if they need it.

I will give more details as I get them.  I have to start packing, the transition will begin this weekend when we meet the family for a meal.  Much work to be done sorting out all their paper work and making sure the medication protocols are printed out, the schools are informed etc. The girls know that they are going to meet a nice family this weekend. The actual move is likely not going to take place for a week or so.

This seems to be exactly what I was hoping for and not a moment too soon. Brian told me not to count my chickens (I don't think he knows the name of my blog) because social services can move so slow and you never know what will happen, but I think they are trying to work with our deadline and I seriously doubt they would have given this adoptive mom our number if it wasn't going full speed ahead.

Brian and I feel a strange mixture of excitement , relief, and being totally gutted. Going to be strange getting used to an empty house, even if its only empty for another 5 or 6 weeks after they leave. I feel possessive of these children and the hardest part will be turning their care over to another family.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Not sure why the last post was so big and bold. The rash is unusual because it itches and burns through what feels like all the layers of skin. Down to the nerves.  Ive never experienced anything like it. I would post a picture if I didnt think I would disgust you. I thought I had some ingrown hairs that got infected.. the OB said its a textbook case of PUPP. Not much to be done for it. Cortisone cream not cutting it so she has prescribed some stronger steroid cream. I put a bandage on it the other night so I wouldnt scratch it in my sleep but ended up tearing it off while sleeping, so that didnt help much.

Today's OB appointment was uneventful. I'm piling on the pounds all of a sudden. At 20 weeks I had not gained anything. Now Im up 18 lbs. Will probably gain another 10.

The past few days have been tense. The girls disclosed some abuse to myself and their caseworker. Abuse that happened before they came to live with us. So reports have been made and now we wait to see what happens. I got a call from an adoption worker today, saying that she is looking for a family to take all 3 girls. I suppose this means they really truly are searching for an adoptive or potential adoptive home for them. I talked for a long time, I wanted her to know all about them. Fingers crossed for a fantastic family.

The youngest has taken to preschool like a duck to water. In only 2 days I see a difference in her. Increased confidence and speaking so much more.

The weather has been irregular. It was in the 90's then cooled down to the 60's for several days, now back close to 90. I cant tolerate any sort of heat so even though we had packed up the portable AC for the summer, its now back in commission.

 I am itching (no pun intended) to put up a nursery but there is no room. The girls need all the space they are occupying and more. A fisher price rock and play sleeper is on its way and the crib will stay in the box for now. I am far too big and akward to put anything together on my own so will require a lot of help when I have the space.  Im not going to go whole hog but I have really been looking forward to this bit for many years.


Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy - PUPPP

I have this. Lucky me. 1 in 200 chance. started out on my stretch marks.  It itches and burns, OB suggested that it will spread and get worse. bah.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Bone Thrown

The caseworker did phone me after court yesterday. She said the judge tried to get me on the phone but something was wrong with their phone set up. Whatever. The girl's dad approached her after court and wanted to know why I wouldn't let him see the girls yesterday. He honestly thought I was just being a bitch. She explained that I would have been in trouble for that, and that those things all need to be set up through her. I think birth parents imagine that foster parents have a lot more say in thing then we actually do.  Their mom just found out yesterday that the girls wont be staying here for the long term. The caseworker said had a major meltdown over that because it was her hope that we would adopt them. I never told her that we would be an adoptive resource but maybe DHS suggested that to her at some point.

Social services says they are working on it, but the caseworker is disappointed that they haven't worked harder on finding them a placement. She says she will now take it upon herself. I knew that she wouldn't make any real progress until after court on the 20th. I wrote a letter to my certified almost two weeks ago saying as much.

The judge has given each parent a 4 month extension during which time they are supposed to get their acts together. The caseworker says this might just be their moms "find Jesus" moment where she suddenly understands that nobody is going to take care of her kids except for her. hmm.  Shes STILL rooting for mom after 1.5 years of no progress. My own mother who works for the agency says this is naive at best and at worst she is enabling her. My mom has a whole different outlook on casework after 22 years though. Shes tough. A judge that she works with said that she gives parents who aren't doing well just enough rope to hang themselves with. That's a bit harsh.

To answer Faith's question the girls do have a therapist. Ive found her a bit..useless for lack of a nicer word. Shes nice, I can say that. She said she almost never appears in court. She was angry that they moved the girls from their last placement and into our home last winter. She even suggested I was lying when I told her that the girls arrived with bags of dirty clothes and no toys. Even after being in foster care for almost 7 months. I gave her a little time and she got over it. She just really liked the other foster mom and thought the family had been slighted by the agency. She works for an outside agency that contracts with DHS. Ive seen her in action and I'm pretty sure there is no real therapy going on. Caseworker agrees but shes not allowed to switch counselors once they have been assigned. I went behind her back and got the eldest girl a developmental assessment ordered through the children's hospital. Which includes a visit with a developmental pediatrician, a consult with a child psychologist, and some time with an occupational therapist. I'm hoping they will step in, as I think this girl is clinically depressed.

Speaking of the therapist, she got wind that the Dad was heading out of town and arranged an emergency "goodbye" visit with all 3 girls later this morning. This means the little ones have to miss their very first day of preschool. Headstart understood. I don't understand. He could have done this last week. He is a selfish man.

So on with the rest of my day which includes taking the kids to this visit. I don't even care to see the Dad today but I have little choice. Bonus.. I can go get myself a decaf mocha and a pastry while I wait. A blissful hour and a half all alone with my new Kindle.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

not best pleased

Ive been trying to get in touch with the girls caseworker for weeks to see if she is any closer to knowing what "the plan" is. Nothing. Today was court, I had asked the caseworker via email to arrange for me to appear by phone as we have done in the past. Since I didnt hear from her, I asked the lawyer to do it yesterday. Nobody did it. Court is over now and I have no idea what happened. I had to re sched. my much needed dental appointment.

I feel so torn over this. Part of me wants our limitations to be acknowledged and respected by social services. We told them we couldn't properly care for 3 special needs girls and 1 special needs baby. We gave them several months to find a suitable arrangement. Hopefully something long term. They have managed  nothing.  My ego tells me that they need to stay here because Im the only person that can properly care for them, and that we will just make it work because they have to. I already have little girl things taking up nearly every corner of the house. I dont know where we would put a baby. I dont know what I would do with the ladies if Brian and I had to spend time in the NICU with Titus.

I just want their social worker to throw me a bone and tell me that shes doing what she can. If you give an inch, they will take a mile.

Also, the girl's father phoned this afternoon told me that their great grandmother is in town, and wants to see the girls. I told him he would have needed to arrange that through the case worker. He was pissed.  He said he is leaving town in two days because everything "went to shit" here. I say good riddance. He was to have started his DHS supervised visits this Friday.

So thats the latest. Its me worrying about everyone getting their needs met. I suppose it will all fall into place but man.. I really dont like this feeling like its out of my hands. We tried to be so honest about what we are capable of.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Youre out of the woods

You're out of the woods, You're out of the dark, You're out of the night.
Step into the sun, Step into the light.
Keep straight ahead for the most glorious place
On the Face of the Earth or the sky.
Hold onto your breath, Hold onto your heart, Hold onto your hope.
March up to the gate and bid it open

You might be out of the woods but theres still a green witch with her creepy army of monkey men .. and they have it in for you.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I saw the perinatologist this afternoon. My older brother watched the girls and I went alone. Brian had a meeting. Today's appointment stunk because

1.  I didnt even see his face, let alone get any of the fun pictures they gave me last time.
2. His arms and legs are growing, but not quite at the same rate they had been on the previous 2 scans. Most long bones measuring less than 5th percentile at this point.
3. They finally got a really good look at his heart. For the first time since seeing the cardiologist. His VSD is just as big. Not shrunk at all, and the peri said it could actually be bigger than they think so hard to get a good idea of the size when there is so much of my tissue in the way. When they get to do the echo on the actual baby instead of fetus in utero, they will know a lot more.
4. If hes not looking great directly after he is born, peri mentioned sending him right to OHSU. I suppose this is in light of the fact that the hole has not shrunk in the past 9 weeks. They had hoped that it would have already.

The good parts of my appointment

1. placenta looks good
2. everything else measuring spot on
3. amniotic fluid at a perfect level
4. blood pressure low
5. Peri very pleased about my glucose test

At this point its really wait and see what this baby looks like when hes born.

We got a package in the mail today. All the way from England.. these beautiful knitted items for the baby. I didnt even know my mother and law could knit. She also sent some stuffed animals for him and an activity book for each of the girls.

Still no word about a placement for the ladies. They are having a super hard time finding a family for them, either short term or long term. They have started looking out of county. Very sad and a little upset about how this is working out but that is a post for another day. Dog tired at the moment.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Neither here nor there

I wanted to keep a journal about recurrent pregnancy loss. I had no intention of sharing until my dear blog friend Panamahat invited me to do so. I'm now feeling in a bit of a no woman's land as far as blogging goes. I have not yet made it to the "other side" but have made it far enough to say that recurrent pregnancy loss is no longer my current problem. It seems to me that this pregnancy has been a fantastic fluke. Not at all sure that I would be willing to subject myself to the infertility and loss juggernaut again. 

I never thought making it out of a first trimester was the end goal. I still had fears of late pregnancy loss or still birth, unfounded.. but very real for me. I had the image of Lucy yanking away the football from Charlie Brown as my computer wallpaper for a long time. The fact that Titus may be born less than healthy feels a little like another missed kick. I bet that seems ungrateful. Maybe so. I felt like if I could make it through a pregnancy then of course things would be fine. I still don't know how this is going to play out. Happily ever after? Perhaps a version of it I couldn't have anticipated.

I have complained that infertility takes away your ability to plan for the future, outside of the next couple of cycles. Now that it looks like I will have a baby I can keep..  we will need to make up for lost time. Brian still wants to do a PHD. If he can get into a program with funding, this will be a lot more feasible. I will need to work full time, at least one job to support the family , which takes away my fantasy of being a stay at home mother. As for what sort of work I will do.. hmm. I hate the Oregon board of massage and this is the main reason I havnt sat for the state board exam in oregon. I passed the federal one with flying colors. If we move state I wont have to take another. So I could hang up a shingle and work for myself. I cant see clocking in and out at a chiropractor's office or a fancy spa. Too much work, not enough pay. I do like the idea of combining all of my training and doing theraputic massage for people in nursing homes and on hospice. More and more hospice programs are hiring for this. I guess this brings me to my final thought for this post.. if Im going to take care of other people .. Whether it be my own family or the folks I end up working with Im going to need to heal myself a bit first. To process some of my anger over how the last few years went. This may mean just trying to think of some of it as water under the bridge. Im probably going to have to discuss it in therapy and then let it go. At least as much as possible.