Friday, September 30, 2011

Mean Words

Last night my husband worked late, so I took the kids to Chick-Fil-A, where we met up with friends (mine and theirs!) and played and talked and it was wonderful. Then I decided to bring my husband a milkshake because I am such a nice wife, and even caved and bought the kids a milkshake to share! My kids drink stuff in the car all the time so I was not too concerned. We get to the car and I give the princess the millkshake to hold while I buckle her bottom buckle on the carseat, and she holds the milkshake up and to the side, where it spills onto the sweater next to her. So that ticked me off and I took it away while finishing buckling everyone in to the car. Then I gave the milkshake to the munchkin first because I was still ticked off at the princess for spilling.

No sooner did I get in my seat and start to buckle my seatbelt, when panicked voices started shouting about the milkshake being dropped. Upon opening the door, I see the milkshake completely upside down, pouring out strawberry, whipped cream deliciousness all over the seat and the floor (literally half a small milkshake out of the container). AGH! I started cleaning it up, yelling about how it was gone and they lost the milkshake, blah, blah. And then the princess says "I'm thirsty. Can I have the rest? I'm thirsty, I'm thirsty, I'm thirsty". And so naturally, I did what any sane person 5 year old would do. I yelled "shut up! just shut up and stop talking to me while I clean this up". Yeah, that happened.

No one talked. They cried until I told them to zip it and then I cranked up the radio, said we were having quiet time, and deep breathed my heart rate down. No one talked until some a-hole on a cell phone almost ran me off the road and I yelled at him too. And then a few minutes later, the princess asked if she could talk. And she pointed out that I called the other driver's phone "stupid". And that is one of our mean words. And I had to apologize for saying "stupid" and for telling her to "shut up" and for getting so upset about the milkshake. And I thought I did a pretty good job of apologizing and explaining why I was so upset.

And then, she said "I'm thirsty. Can we get another milkshake?" And, my head exploded. We spent the rest of the ride home listening to the radio.

Thanks for listening!

Friday, September 23, 2011


The day after our 20-week sonogram, our OB received the radiologist's report and called me to discuss. She recommended a perinatologist and the perinatologist's office quickly put us on the schedule. Our appointment was about 12 days after the first sonogram so the baby had a couple weeks to develop some more, which was good because we felt better knowing she would grow a little more and hopefully give the perinatologist's office a better look at her arms. But, that also meant 12 days of waiting and wondering. The radiologist's report said "consider radial ray, Holt Oram, or Trisomy 18". We did a little research on these, but tried to stay off the internet - no need to Dr. Google ourselves into a frenzy! Just seeing Trisomy 18 written down was frightening. But, then based on the results of the sonogram it seemed she did not have any of the other symptoms of any of these syndromes. Her face, her brain, her heart, her kidneys, her nose, her lips, everything else was fine. But then again, that was one sonogram. So who knew?

A friend of mine says we all change in one big way when we have a baby. We become more paranoid about something that previously did not bother us, or change the way we deal with certain situations. Mine is definitely negative thinking. I always go for the worst in any situation. If my husband and I meet at a place and one of us takes the kids home, I always find myself thinking the entire ride that the car with the kids and one spouse will crash, leaving the remaining spouse with nothing. When the kids want to go to the pool, I am hyper aware they could drown and think about what I would do and how I would react. It is not an obsessive thing where I hold my breath and stress out, but rather, just my natural reaction to figure out what the worst thing that could happen is. This situation is no different. By the time the 12 days were up, I had imagined almost every horrible scenario down to the baby's funeral.

The perinatologist did another complete sonogram, took all new measurements, and then stated he disagreed with everything on the radiologist's report and believes our daughter has isolated phocomelia. Phocomelia is a catch-all term for limb deformity. And isolated is in reference to the fact that it only appears to affect her arms and does not appear to be associated with any other syndrome. This was great to hear! Two sonograms showing the same thing - a problem with her arms, yes, but no issues with her brain, her heart, her kidneys, or her face (which would likely be indicative of a more serious syndrome like Trisomy 18). We walked out feeling much better about everything. Two appointments show the best case scenario!!!

Just to be safe, we have to see a genetics doctor at Children's Hospital and have a fetal echocardiogram to check her heart.Thankfully we live near the nation's captial and can go to such a fantastic plan for testing without having to worry about long-distance travel.

Thanks for listening!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The 20-week Sonogram

A little over three weeks ago (Aug 29) we had our 20-week sonogram. We went in hopeful to find out what we were having - not hoping for either a boy or a girl, we just really wanted to know! The kids had been talking about a baby brother since April, before we even found out we were pregnant, and were convinced this one was a boy. The pregnancy was different, harder, and so we thought maybe this was a boy. But when a friend asked me what we hoped for, I really truly could not answer with either - the standard "just a healthy baby" was all we wanted. Another girl would be fun, easy because we have all the stuff, but then a boy would be new and exciting and we already had two friends ready to hand over their outgrown boy clothes. We are hoping to move soon so space and sharing a room is no issue.

We found out! A girl! I think my husband and I were both a little shocked to hear the news!

After checking everything and taking tons of pictures the sonographer left and came back with some juice to "get the baby moving" before the radiologist came in to check. Not having done this for a few years, I did not think anything was off and they just wanted to get a better look at some things. And then the sonographer and radiologist came back in the room; the radiologist asked "did she mention what is going on here? okay, well, we think there is something wrong with your baby's arms." And then they start the sonogram over, rechecking all the measurements, the brain, the kidneys, the heart. Everything looks good, measures where it should. But, the arms, they are having trouble finding the arms and the measurements are short - one arm bone is 14 weeks (it should be 19) and then other arm bone is about 17/18 weeks, which is longer than the other but still too short to be considered okay. They measure these bones as the humerus, but really, because she only has one long bone on each arm, they do not know what bone it is. Then they think they see forearm bones on each arm - there should be two, a radius and ulna, but they can only find one on each arm and it is short. One "forearm" bone measures 12 weeks and the other "forearm" bone cannot even be measured. The presence of fingers is unknown. So, they collect all the pictures they can, write it up, and send it to the OB so my OB can direct us where to go for a second opinion. And we leave. Shell Shocked. 

And so begins the slow tick up the rollercoaster...

Thanks for listening!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

We're Pregnant again

It is so complicated now - people ask what pregnancy this is and I always stumble over the answer. 3, 4, 5...Two kids at home, one kid that does not live with us, and one miscarriage. Is that too much information? I mean, the technician is probably just filling out the paperwork right, but then I never know what to say.

Everything in life makes you stronger.

I have never once regretted my decision to place my child for adoption in college. It was the best, most selfless decision I ever made. But, people have different opinions of adoption. So, I always want to explain more. But, then if I ramble do people wonder if I am trying to prove a point to them or to myself? So, I usually just say one child that is not at home and leave it alone. I mean, this really only comes up when I'm pregnant and people actually care about all your history!

My miscarriage was sad and difficult, but at the same time, there is something about going through a miscarriage that makes me feel like I crossed another threshold in my womanhood. I think it is silly, but still it feels like another check in the box. Another experience I know. Another person I can relate to.

And now we are pregnant again. With our third baby to bring home. And my kids are excited and we could not be happier. We talked about it at the beginning of the year, but wanted to wait, to move to a bigger house, get things more situated. But, then April rolled around and things got hectic with work, I kind of wanted to be pregnant so I let my charting slide, and then in May the kids started asking when they could have a baby brother. They got so repetitive that I told a friend, who suggested I take a test...and PREGNANT! And the timing is great. Our debts are almost gone. Things are working out at my husband's new job. I'm well established at work and am not worried what maternity leave will do to my career. We could move early next year. And, once again, we realize how blessed we are!

Thanks for listening!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Happy 4th Birthday to the Princess!

How could I not have written a birthday post for my biggest baby - my 4 year old. I cannot believe that her year of preschool is over and her first year of pre-k is starting. This time next year we will be buying backpacks and checking out the elementary school! It is mind blowing. And sad. Makes me want to cry just thinking about her growing up so fast...

And growing up she is! At 4, my "baby" is way ahead of herself. Sometimes I feel like I am living with a teenager and have to stop and remind myself to treat her and talk to her like a 4 year old. She has an opinion about everything, talks non-stop, and is a fantastic listener. One of the things that surprises me the most about my little girl is how in tune she is with everything going on around her. It is easy to think that kids are in their own little world doing there thing and not listening to you talk, but my girl! She listens when my husband and I talk - even if she is also playing - and she inserts herself appropriately into the conversation if she wants to talk. There are plenty of times when she catches me off-guard asking questions about something I had no idea she even overheard. Her language skills are just amazing - to everyone, including teachers and other parents at school as well as our family.

She is not just growing verbally, though. At four years old, she completely dresses herself. I can walk in to her room in the morning, wake her up, and then hit the shower while she gets up, potties, and dresses herself. Her outfits may not always match, but they are weather appropriate! She has opinions about what to wear, which is both a blessing and a curse. When she wants to wear an outfit, she will fight to tears to get her way. Most of the time we go along with whatever she wants to wear, but if it does not fit and needs to go into the "grown out of" bag, 10 minutes of back and forth and tears (sometimes mine and hers) will ensue! She is amazingly self-sufficient. She gets her own water and snacks, uses the bathroom by herself and does not even tell us if she is going, she just goes and does her thing.

As much as she is acts like an adult, she is just an awesome kid! Her imagination is amazing. She makes up stories and things that happened that are so realistic it is hard to tell whether she is actually recounting a story or pretending. I picked her up from school not long after her birthday and her teacher said "Have fun in Disney World!" then looked at me and asked if we were going to Disney World or Disney Land. Umm...we were not going to either! Apparently she had talked about going all week and packing and taking a plane, so they all figured we were headed on a trip to Disney!!! She and her school friends play all sorts of make believe games, and she has started doing some things around the house with toys that involve the munchkin so they not only play together, but play games and stories together.

I could go on and on about all the things that amaze me about this little girl, but I'll stop here. She is truly amazing and I feel blessed every day that God gave me such an awesome kid!

Thanks for listening!


Have so many thoughts running around in my head these days I think I might actually put them down on paper the internet. So, trusty blog followers (all 3 of you!), stay tuned...

Thanks for listening!