Wednesday, October 26, 2011


I miss those girls terribly now. Im sorry to say, but its by order of age youngest to oldest. The little one was only 2 when she arrived. So hard not to feel as though I have abandoned them. I think I hear them in the night and get up, half asleep. I make too much dinner. Talking to them on the phone or seeing them in person makes it 100 times harder, but I have to keep doing it. I try to imagine how they feel.

For me its similar to the feeling you get when you split up with a long term boyfriend. Or perhaps when a dear friend moves very far away. Its grief. I know what grief feels like. Our foster certifier warned me about this. She said its normal and it means that you attached properly. Normal or not, it still smarts.

  I also think we will do it again. On a smaller scale, after we know more about Titus' heart condition, and after our trip to England this spring. I don't know if I said that Brian's Nana has given us 2000 pound to travel to England as soon as the baby is able. That's just over 3000 US dollars. Ive been looking at the Icelandic air website and hoping we will able to fly with them for the stopover. Plus its less expensive than British air which would be my second choice. I wont fly internationally with any of the US based airlines. The service is awful. The space is cramped. Its a 10 hour flight from Seattle to Heathrow and that's a lot of time to be uncomfortable.

Today Brian and I celebrate our 7 year wedding anniversary. Maybe having a meal out. Usually we get a fancy hotel room but we are saving that for this weekend when we travel south a bit to see my parents and attend another baby shower.

Monday, October 24, 2011


Want to see a really goofy picture of my husband? Hes in the middle. I'm not sure I have ever seen that sort of syrupy face on him before. He was watching me open up baby stuff. The woman sitting next to him furtively eating a cupcake is my cousin. One who looks quite a bit like me. The woman next to her is my Mother. There are some of me opening gifts but I have to ask the woman who was sitting next to me if its OK that I post them here, as she reads the blog on occasion.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Date of birth

Should be 11-8-11

Unless he happens to flip, in which case we will proceed with a regular vaginal labor and delivery when the time comes.

Or unless I happen to go into labor early and he needs to be taken right then. He was still very much breech at my appointment today. OB palpated my belly and said she was nearly 100% sure but confirmed with ultrasound.  Everything at today's appointment was picture perfect. Except my weight.. I am gaining at what I think is an alarming rate. The doctor isn't worried. The non stress test was easy. My cervix is closed tight. Afterward my step mom took me to lunch then shopping for things to wear at the hospital. Nursing bras and pajamas. All told it was a good day. I have my 8 year old niece tonight and tomorrow for the baby shower.  She has been fed pizza and ice cream , watching a bbc production of Hansel and Gretel but soon to be put to bed.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

There are baby showers coming up. One this Saturday and the other on the 30th. I have to drive 2 hours to my Dad's place for that one, I suppose 100 miles isn't too far to travel at 38 weeks but I hate driving even when I'm not huge and breathless. I didn't start driving on a regular basis until I was nearly 30. The freeway still freaks me out. Oddly, I'm totally fine driving in heavy city traffic. Its just what you're used to. Brian does not drive at all, which is OK most of the time but will make the whole getting to the hospital and back a little awkward. I wont be able to drive for a while C section. I suppose my mom can take a taxi to the hospital and drive us home when we are discharged. They are very particular about car seats in this country.

Oh yes, baby showers. I feel like I don't deserve this. I'm not saying that to be dramatic. I have never had anything to mark a big milestone in life. No senior prom or pictures. No formal high school graduation. I got married on a Tuesday morning at 8 am at the courthouse. I had no bridal shower. So not only am I not used to these sorts of things, but I STILL feel like a big imposter. Like its not real or that everyone is going to be terribly disappointed when things suddenly take a turn for the awful and there is no baby to use these things. This is what recurrent loss does to your brain.

Jeffery is coming home! This weekend my dad is flying to Maryland to get him from the hospital. He still has a very long road to recovery. He will need to spend a lot of time here in Portland where we have the larger hospitals for additional skin grafts and monitoring. I presume he will stay here when he needs to, Brian willing. My step mom is dropping off my 8 year old niece friday morning and she will spend the night. The house feels empty without the girls so it will be good to have a child for company.

I slept for 4 hours today. Now its getting dark and I feel weird. I never even got dressed. Its not that Im feeling unwell, just not sleeping much at night. Maybe a shower then a short walk around the neighborhood will help.

Im very anxious for my OB appointment / non stress test on Friday. This is when I will likely get my C section date. Brian can start his leave whenever he needs to. Its getting so close.. Im afraid of major surgery but I want what is best for the baby.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Because Brian and I have decided that I wont have a version, we are now trying to figure out the logistics of a C section delivery and recovery. I'm still holding out some hope that Titus will turn on his own. It has been known to happen. I am not sure why the perinatologist stated that he feels that the baby wont move. Perhaps its because he has been breech since 15 weeks. I do know that hes running out of room. In Canada they are going back to allowing a lot of breech babies to be born vaginally. Not so here, they just wont do it.

Thanks to a generous friend from the Internet I now am the proud owner of a hospital grade Limerick brand breast pump. We met in person the other day. She also donated a few other fine items, a moses basket on a stand complete with a couple of sets of bedding, a dozen glass Born free glass bottles that look as if they have hardly been used and some sleepers, which we needed. Other small things pouring in from friends and I feel lucky and grateful. We splurged on a fairly high end stroller and car seat combo which arrived yesterday.

My neighbors were fighting all night.. or something. Lots of slamming of the front door, stomping on the porch, strange guttural whining and crying noises.  Finally hauled myself out of bed at 4 am with Brian up shortly after. We had tea and porridge. I am enjoying our last few weeks alone together. Our 7th wedding anniversary is on the 26th.  Brian arrived in the US on October 3rd 2004.

Tomorrow we take the girls to lunch.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

even though hes light

hes got way more chunk on him than he did 9 weeks ago.

Breech baby

Titus is Breech. While this didn't concern my providers a few weeks ago, they are now telling me what my options are. I don't like them!

1. if the baby is still breech at my OB appointment next week I can arrange to have a "version" with the perinatologist the following week (37).

2. if the baby is still breech at my OB appointment next week I may arrange to have a C section closer to my due date.

The perinatologist is not confident that he will turn on his own between now and then. He says it can happen but really not very often. I plan to try a few home tactics to encourage him to head south. Versions only work 50% of the time and can cause fetal distress and placental abruption. I say no thanks!

His limbs are measuring about the same amount of short as last time. Hes growing, everything else still measures fine. His head measured to the day. His limbs grow too but they are just so short. They did image his heart but didn't say anything about it. The only difference is that last time the peri said that they would call somebody in during the middle of the night should Titus be born at night. This time he said it could wait a day. So I sort of wonder if the hole appeared smaller but he didn't want to get my hopes up. The tech told me she couldn't see it at all. Who knows.. we got so busy talking about what to do about the Breech situation that it sort of took up the whole appointment. The doctor did mention that the baby's estimated weight is lighter than they would like to see at this point. They think hes 4 lbs 10 oz. Most babies would be close to 6 lbs by now, so this gets me weekly non stress tests at the OB's office. He did say that its probably because of his short limbs but he has to do these to cover his butt. The non stress monitoring takes 45 min and can be done during my weekly OB appointments. I see the Peri again at 38 weeks.

He did some tests yesterday to try to get to the bottom of all the upper abdominal pain Ive been having, including an ultrasound of my gall bladder and blood work for liver stuff. It all checked out ok so feels like the L&D lady did, that its digestive. Maybe an ulcer. Hes prescribed antacids. I'm still waking up every hour moaning and sometimes crying because of the pain and pressure. sigh. I will live but it would be nice to get some sleep. Lucky for me , I have nothing to do for the next 5 weeks except take care of myself and rest. I am considering this my maternity leave and well deserved.

New foster mom came and got the very last of the girl's things yesterday. I feel wicked admitting that I'm only missing them a little. I think that it just feels like vacation at the moment and that next week the missing will kick in big time. We take them to lunch this weekend.

Oddly, my rash is gone! PUPPP isn't supposed to go away until you deliver so either its a miracle, or it wasn't PUPPP. it looked like the real thing. started in my stretch marks and spread to all the usual places. I am thankful. One less thing to worry about.

I'm off for a healthy pregnant lady breakfast consisting of a piece of sprouted grain toast with tofu pate, a cup of strawberries, and a glass of organic whole milk.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Jeffery had over 9 hours of skin grafting yesterday. No word yet on his condition but they said he would be in the ICU for a couple of days while recovering.

These little guys arrived a little over a year ago. We love you little muchachos, wherever you are.

Today is the girl's last full day in our home. Party starts at 1pm with friends and family coming round to say bon voyage. We will drive the ladies and their things out to the new family's place early tomorrow morning.

I guess the empty house will show the dirt. Ive not had a truly clean home for about a year. I will have some help getting things sorted in the next few weeks. The little girl's room smells faintly of urine although we cant figure out the source. I despise carpeting. We have it in only two rooms and Ive wanted to rip it out since we got here. Im putting the baby in the one bedroom that has no carpeting, if hes anything like me he wont tolerate dust and dust mites very well. The other room will become a sitting room, if there is the time and energy we will put in the walnut flooring that was leftover from one of my mom's projects.

I have a perinatology appointment on Tuesday afternoon and Im pretty nervous about it. I am afraid they will tell me his limbs have slowed down their growth even more since the last scan. The girl's social worker wants me to head directly to the children's hospital after my appointment to meet with the developmental pediatrician, and developmental psychologist along with the new foster mom to discuss whats been going on with the eldest girl. Im reserving the right to bow out if I get bad news.

The sun is shining and its time for me to start cooking and decorating for our party this afternoon. It should be fun with several of the girl's friends in attendance as well as my family.

Monday, October 3, 2011

my brother

My brother phoned me from the East coast tonight. He had 3.5 hours of surgery today. The people who will do his skin graffs watched the doctors work on his broken arm bones to get a better idea of what needs to be done in the coming days. Jeffery has a morphine drip and is hitting it often. He seemed tired, bored,  and slightly grumpy. He did say that hes happy to be alive, and was sure he was a dead man during and directly after the fall.

Jeffery is the biological child of my dad and his second wife. Born just a few weeks before my 16th birthday he has always been the apple of my eye. Sort of like a mix between a nephew and a brother. I dont know what I would have done if he would have been hurt even worse. It will be good to have him home for the holidays and to meet Titus. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

my rash has become rather debilitating. Its now spread to my arms, arm pits, hands, feet, bottoms of feet, legs, and butt. not to mention the top of my vagina.  My feet are on fire and I cant wear shoes. Gosh, I was looking forward to the 5 weeks after the girls left to go to the pool, maybe do some yoga, prepare the house for baby and try to prepare myself mentally for childbirth. Now all I can think of is scratching until I bleed. Prescription steroid cream is doing nothing, but the herbal salve a kind friend prepared for me can take the edge off, if only for a short time. Brian and my mom have offered to take some time off of work this week to help me out with the packing and girls transition. Sleep is mostly a thing of the past but I took an antihistamine last night and slept at least 6 hours from exhaustion. I feel mentally stable this morning. Last night I thought I was losing my marbles. Ive never been a person who functions well with sleep deprivation.

This picture isn't an under baked muffin,, but rather a close up shot of my rashy underbelly. This is where it all started, which is typical of PUPPP. I wouldn't wish this on anyone and if any of you have had this condition I would appreciate knowing your story and how you coped.

We did meet the new family yesterday for pizza and games. The girls are pissed off at us. They like the new parents well enough but are not shy about expressing their anger and hurt over the whole thing. I am confident that they will do well in this home and thrive. This family has a lot more space because they live in the suburbs and its much easier to afford a larger house out there. They are highly organized and tidy, these girls need a lot of structure.

My youngest brother who is 16 years younger than I am has been hopping trains for the past couple of years. He was disgruntled with school and society in general and wanted to live life on the road and be a Hobo for a while. His choice, although of course we didn't approve. He has a trust fund for University when he wants to go. Anyhow he was in an awful accident on Friday night. Hopping a train by himself somewhere in Maryland his clothing got snagged up on something. He fell off the moving train and very nearly tore his arm off in the process. Was taken to a local hospital but they couldn't treat a "degloving" wound so the flew him to a hospital in a neighboring state. He had his first surgery yesterday morning. He will need ongoing reconstructive surgery and skin graffs. He may or may not regain use of his arm. My dad and step mom are not flying to the East coast to be with him, which baffles me. I would go if I could. At least he will be coming home when he gets out of hospital in a few weeks.