no. 599 – No Update as of Yet

Sorry to say, there has been nothing publicly announced in regards to the adoption issue from my last post. I fear that even if the Nebraska Children’s Society failed to get anything documented and signed, the birth mother may still decide to retain custody of the boy. I guess if she does it within the time-frame allotted to her, there’s nothing else that can be done.

I’m not a child psychologist, and while I understand the concept of bonding, I don’t know how much of that comes into play when the baby is three months old. I’m sure it does a little, don’t get me wrong. Instead I worry more about this child when he gets older if he’s taken away from the couple, not because of potential bonding issues, but because he’s going to find out one way or another that at one time he had different parents. He had a baby sister*. It’s THAT kind of thing that will fuck with his mind.

Do you think his anger and confusion about all that will be directed towards the adoptive couple? Doubtfully. Instead he will probably find himself confused by the agenda of his birth mother and the agency, which I do believe negatively influenced the birth mother (earlier articles suggest that the adoptive mother told the still pregnant birth mother of her own pregnancy and seemed to be fine with it).

It’s an ugly situation, and regardless of what happens, Nebraska Children’s Society will be cast in an ugly light, and rightfully so.

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* Correction: baby brother

no. 598 – Update Later Today, I Hope

I’ve been following this story about Nebraska Children’s Society attempt to remove a baby that they aided in placing this past Fall. Soon it has been promised, there will be a ruling. I’m hoping by later today… I have no idea which way it will go, but I found the latest publication in the Norfolk Daily News the most telling as to how Nebraska Children’s Society is desperately trying to cover their asses.

Here’s a brief note from the Lincoln Journal Star: Judge Will Rule Soon Whether to Remove Baby from Adoptive Family

Omaha World-Herald: Baby’s Birth Mom, Agency Ask Court to Nullify Adoption

An adoption forum.

And finally, here are all the articles that were posted in a local paper that weren’t published anywhere else:

January 29, 2008 – Verdigre Couple Fight to Keep Baby

January 31, 2008 – Adoption Hearing Postponed

February 2, 2008 – Attorney Appointed for Infant

February 8, 2008 – Adoption Agency Responds. Note the blurb on the side about their pregnancy policy, which is addressed in the following article. NCS didn’t add that info to their website until AFTER this problem arose. Funny, the center’s administrator has no idea exactly when this was added or who added it…

February 12, 2008 – Agency: Couple Ineligible to Adopt. I also like how the agency "assumed" they told the couple that if they became pregnant, they couldn’t adopt, because that’s just what most agencies enforce, and well, duh…to the agency I guess that means all the layman couples should know that.

NON-FUNCTIONING LIFE FORM

And the familiar sense of panic settles back in…

I’ll be 17 weeks tomorrow. At what point should I “pop” (like I’m a goddamn turkey button or something)? I’m no bigger right now then I was at 10w. OK, I’m a little bigger but certainly not by much. My OB said at my last appt that my uterine growth appears to be on track, but I swear there’s no growth.

Heart-rate seems to be OK. I was finally able to get a count of about 143. I hear movement through the doppler, but don’t feel anything.

I can’t believe I’m bitching about this, but I am. I honestly thought that I would have something to show by now besides looking like I’m partaking in too many ho-hos and raspberry white-chocolate mochas (curse those stupid studies on caffeine for making me feel even more guilty!).

I thought it was because I’m now only wearing maternity pants, which can be too comfortable. Maybe I should try stuffing my butt into my regular pants to get a better handle on what’s going on?

You want to hear the crazy reason why I’m stressing about this? In a week or so we plan on telling XBoy. I was hoping that by then we could have visual proof.

This sucks: I bitch because I don’t want anyone to notice; and I bitch because there’s nothing to notice. Gawd, I’ve got issues on top of my issues, don’t I?

And apropos to nothing, my left hand smells like a cigarette; and I ordered the wrong type of blinds for the spare bedroom so now Mr. DD has to rig up some shims in order to hang them since they were custom cut.

I need a drink. Or some ice cream. Or both.

no. 597 – In My Not So Necessarily Humble Opinion

A couple of months ago I agreed to be interviewed by Suz of Within the Woods. Of the five questions, I’ve only got around to addressing the one about living in Nebraska (which for the life of me I cannot find).

Another of her questions seem to fit very nicely into something that I’ve wanted to address, so I get the two-birds-with-one-stone thing going for me.

How do you feel that your blogging voice has changed over the time that you’ve been blogging, or has it?

It’s hard to be objective about your own work without it either coming off with self-effacement or a braggart, but I’m going to try because I want to hit on a few things.

I told myself when I started blogging, I was doing it for me. I wasn’t going to censor myself. I wasn’t going to hold back on my feelings, blah, blah, blah, when in fact, I discovered I’m not doing this all just for me, and I do censor myself – a lot.

Recently I had an email exchange with someone who has been thinking about getting a blog:

Sometimes I feel like people see bloggers are narcissistic and voyeuristic. I’m not one of those people, not in the least, but sometimes I feel like the things I want to say aren’t worthy enough of a blog. Or that someone else is already doing ideas that I’ve had, I stumble upon them, and then it’ll look like I’ve jacked an idea from someone. . . . And I don’t have a specific reason to blog, such as secondary infertility. *sigh*, Such is life I suppose. What do you think? Should people start blogs with no goals in mind?

My response?

Well, since I’m both narcissistic and a voyeur, I don’t know what to tell you…
Everyone always says, "blog for you", but you and I both know, from both sides of the screen, that that is not true. I use to think I was doing this for me, but now I know it’s  just as much therapeutic for  me as it is informative for someone else who may be new to it all; plus add in a little entertainment . . .
It’s a community thing, simply put. If you find your real life community either stifling or lacking, like I do, blogging is wonderful. I once read through Schmutzie, who linked to a blog about how to blog, that someone somewhere has written what you are thinking in a much better way. However, that should never keep you from doing it if you enjoy it.
I enjoy it, I really do. I’ve learned a lot about others and about myself, but I know that there are still some cards I hold very close to my chest.
If you feel what you have to say is meaningful to you and at least one other person, then why not blog? No one is going to come at you with virtual pitchforks and torches and demand you delete your blog.

That way of thinking is practically a 180 from how I believed I felt when I first started blogging. Now whether that’s good or bad is beside the point. Who cares?

I’ve only really found one thing that bothers me about blogging, specifically those who blog "publicly" and who allow comments and that is when a difference of opinion results in flaming or pissing matches.

For example, a few months ago, a blogger I really enjoyed for her frankness and intelligence was discussing how her young preschooler’s separation anxiety was a result of the child being adopted (as a newborn with an on-going open relationship with the biological mother). I thought I offered up my opinion, which was that maybe the child was simply pre-disposed to have separation anxiety, which is common for that age and certainly at the beginning of the school season, in a very non-confrontational way.

Her response was basically that I had no idea of what I was talking about because she’s the one who adopted the child and knows that the anxiety is related solely to the child’s adoption. In short, she said I was wrong.

I was unable to respond any further out of hurt and embarrassment.

If you’re going to submit your opinions publicly, then you should be willing to have others submit theirs in response, even if they are in opposition, without feeling as if you are going to be callously rebuked. I made it quite clear that my opinion was my opinion and offered the disclaimer that since I have not adopted, I really couldn’t do more than offer the opinion.

It’s no different than if I invited you into my home and asked you what you thought of my paint color choices, and you suggested that maybe I should have painted the bedroom a light blue instead of light green to which I respond by throwing you from my second story deck.

I don’t look for conflict and if I’m going to play the devil’s advocate, I try to tread lightly. Another example of that more recently is a post from Karriew at Mom Voyage. She mentioned how a pub in Boston put up a sign banning strollers. I was surprised how many parenting commenters took offense to this and said the pub was "anti-baby" and "anti-family" and even so far as "how else are children supposed to learn to act in public if we are not allowed to take them in public?" (I’m paraphrasing here for a more dramatic effect).

My comment was basically there are lots of other places that are both more family-friendly and family-appropriate than a Boston pub. A commenter responded to my comment by saying that I don’t ". . . have the right to tell every other parent where they may or may not take their children based on what you personally consider to be a “wholesome” environment. "

Whoa, sister! My opinion was that there are better places to take your kids, that’s all. I’m not the Kid Appropriate Police (but if I was, a pub or bar that serves alcohol and is open only in the late afternoons till closing is not a place for children, whether your child is 2 or 20). Plus, the ban was on strollers, and I don’t know anyone who hasn’t had a beef with a frickin stroller at one time or another.

So my "blogging voice" has changed in that I no longer try to convince myself that I’m doing this all solely for me, and I don’t know anyone who does 100%.

But what has also changed for me is that I’m a little less vocal about going against the general tone of either the blog post or comments. Too many times I’ve seen it become personal when it should just be accepted as a difference of opinion, and to me knowing that we aren’t all a bunch of "OMG, we must be sisters separated at birth!" kind of bloggers is another reason why I love blogging on the whole.

no. 596 – TypePad? Suck it!*

There are dozens of sites out there that I could publish my blog to. I tried Blogger. Blah…

I have my WordPress, which drives me insane sometimes.

But both of these are FREE! They get to make me insane under the protection of them being FREE!

I have higher expectations, therefore, from TypePad. So why is it then that lately, only about 75% of the comments actually get emailed to me? Here I was thinking you must think I suck (OK, so you do think that but most of you are kind enough to still comment), and I see that it’s TypePad who must think I suck which is why it’s been keeping your comments hoarded all to itself. Greedy Bastard.

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So about those bloody boogers? Yep. Got ’em. Plus my body has decided to throw in a nasty gum infection so it feels like I have a piece of steak (*barf*) stuck between my canine and the neighboring tooth, not to mention that every time I brush my teeth, I think of the movie, "There Will Be Blood".

Basadds So, who wants to hang out with me and my swollen, bloody gums while I try to discretely pick my nose?

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* My apologies to Peeved Michelle for my blatant use of her site’s catch phrase. Someday I’ll be a big girl and have one of my own.

no. 595 – First Sex, Then Sleeping Together

Now I’m going to go over some of the comments about the mattress/sleeping situation:

I do wear earplugs. Every night.

Every night for the past I don’t-know-how-many-years-but-at-least-seven.

Actually I wear an earplug because one ear gets protected by the pillow so only the ear exposed gets the plug. When I roll over, I have to switch ears. I’m an expert at stuffing my ears with the plugs. I would even go so far as to say I’m an earplug connoisseur. I’ve tried the silicone ones that swimmers use: sucked. I’ve tried the kind the have little ridges: sucked. I’m only happy with these little foam ones, which indicate they are good up to a decibel reading of 32. Did you notice that they are the "Ultras"?

I did try the little pink ones, smaller for the delicate female ear, but after years of stuffing foam in my ear canal, delicate they are not. You’ve heard the saying, "throwing a hotdog down a hallway", right? Same idea, but applied to my ear canals.

Mr. DD was diagnosed with a slight apnea several years ago, but the ENT didn’t think it warranted a home CPAP machine. Instead, he performed a LAUP (laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty) or a palatopharyngoplasty (PPP) depending on who you are talking to. If you don’t want to read through the link, here’s what happened:

First they did take out his tonsils, which he had kept all those years. Then the ENT took a laser and enlarged the opening to the throat. Go look in the mirror and open your mouth really wide. See that crazy little goobery thing hanging down? That’s your uvula. Just like any other part of the body, it can get fat, which can cause airway blockage, i.e. snoring.

Mr. DD’s dental hygienist still has to do a double-take since all you see when you look into Mr. DD’s mouth is a cave opening. No stalactites for him. It took months for him to relearn to swallow as your uvula, for the most part, prevents food and liquid from going up into your airway passages.

The snoring was significantly reduced. However, the one thing the ENT couldn’t do for my husband was to enforce the weight loss that was suggested. While Mr. DD isn’t significantly obese, he’s 220 and 5’11". He could easily lose 20lbs without looking emaciated. The freaky thing is is I don’t know how he continues to gain weight when I am the worst cook in the world. Worst meaning: I don’t cook, he does.

So there you go. One of the most boring posts ever on the issues surrounding our inability to sleep together. Maybe if I read through this enough times, it’ll put me into a deep coma and I won’t need earplugs ………….zzzzzzzzzzzzzz…………

no. 594 – Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby

Regarding our decision to not find out Murdock’s gender at the 20w scan:

We did not find out the sex of XBoy, even though we were subjected to an advanced anatomical screen and an amnio due to the effen triple screen (now NEW and IMPROVED Quad Screen!), and I was presented with a lovely little envelope that if I had opened it prior to XBoy’s birth, I would have been handed the number of chromosomes said fetus had acquired. Instead I let the OB tell me that XBoy was "normal" – relatively speaking.

I socked that information away per Mr. DD and I’s mutual agreement. However, this time, it’s not so mutual. He’s of the sort, "There’s so few real surprises in life," to which I argue in my head, "Oh, honey, yes there are too many…I was surprised by miscarriage number one, two, three AND four!" but I figure we argue enough as it is about him leaving his shoes anywhere but the mud room, so why bother? I was able to wait it out before, I can wait it out again.

An additional surprise bonus is that of course we have no idea if Murdock is even going to end up Caucasian (a preference based on our own appearances not bigotry so don’t read into that), even though that’s what we were told the donor was. We’ve discussed possible outcomes, just for the shits and giggles and all, and we couldn’t care less as long as Murdock is breathing. Plus, it’d really be worth it to see the look on my FIL’s face if we presented his grandchild to him with a name that required the obligatory (‘) apostrophe.

If you were to ask, yes, I do have a preference on the sex. Am I going to tell you? Sorry, my dears, no. You might guess a girl, since I’ve lost two that we know of. You might guess boy because then I wouldn’t be thinking "replacement baby".  Either way, it’s out of my hands and if wishes were stars and all that crap…

Also, we figure we know the exact date of conception and will end up knowing the exact date of delivery (barring any other unpleasant surprises) due to my decision to go with a repeat c-section, why not have something more than, "It’s alive!" to cry my eyes out to at the moment Murdock is yanked out by his (or her) head, like some sort of prize catfish in a noodling contest?

no. 593 – Sleep On It

Tonight Mr. DD starts the first leg of his trip to Colorado for the weekend. Guess who will have the king-size bed to themselves for the next few nights?

Nothing says, "I love you," like being excited that your husband is sleeping some where else and taking his snoring ass with him.

I’ve heard stories about couples who sleep in different rooms throughout their very happy marriage and I get that. It’s no more than 30 minutes after he goes to sleep that one of has to migrate to the spare bedroom. It’s either me because it’s just easier since I’m already awake from the snoring; or him because I feel it’s only fair that we take turns in our Tired Man Walking with Bare Feet Across Miles of Cold Tile to Lay In a Cold Bed.

I’m actually starting to worry what we will do if when Murdock gets here because I’m going to need my sleep, dammit, whenever I can, and I’ll be pissed if I have to give it up to his snoring. I’ll have to explain sometime later some of the ideas we’ve come up with so you can shoot your opinions at me.

And speaking of opinions and beds, we are on the hunt for a new mattress. We have a 10-year old Land&Sky soft-side waterbed (you can’t "flip" a waterbed). It’s gotta go. Mr. DD thought he wanted one of those select-comfort thingamabobs, but no way in Hades am I shopping for a mattress in a mall kiosk. So our current contenders are the Sealy Posturpedic and a Simmons Beautyrest. The Tempur-Pedic is O.U.T. as we both tested it out at the store and Mr. DD struggled to change positions and I found it like laying on a bale of hay.

no. 592 – Four Months

Yesterday was another OB appointment. Tomorrow will mark 16weeks and while I’m amazed I’m still pregnant, I’m more amazed that I’ve been able to keep my mouth shut about it for this long.

I haven’t had an ultrasound since the NT scan, four weeks ago and have been depending on my doppler in moments of anxiety. There will probably be an abundance of those over the next four weeks because I’m determined to wait until 20weeks before returning to OB. At that time, the plan is to do the anatomical scan (w/o finding the sex of the baby) AND to introduce XBoy to Murdock.

Since it might be just a bit freaky for a six year old to take in Mommy pregnant and seeing a tiny skeleton inside her all at once, we plan on telling him a week or so before the appointment.

It’s been said that children are intuitive about these things, and for that I have no doubt. Each time I’ve been pregnant, XBoy has mentioned in passing that he would like to have a baby brother or sister. Unfortunately, his comments usually come on the heels of a miscarriage.

This weekend it happened again. We were on the couch watching a movie when XBoy started patting my leg, "I wish you would have another baby."

Surprised by the comment that had basically come out of no where, I asked him why.

"So I can have a brother."

All I could do was stroke his hair, pull him closer, and tell him, "We’ll see."

We will see.

no. 591 – The Mourning After

As children, many of us probably grew up hearing about the Schoolhouse Blizzard of 1888 or the Tri-State Tornado of ’25, or the Dust Bowl of the 30’s. We heard the stories but most of the time we could never imagine being in that particular situation. They may have been told to us in such great detail and with such fervor, we remained rapt with attention but were able to walk away with would always remain a story of someone’s past.

For those who were part of these terrifying and life-altering events, these were more than just stories. These were the patches of their quilt of life. An elderly story-teller probably becomes as animated as the time the events took place. Tears may still spill as they recall lost family and friends.

We have similar moments in blogging. There are still just a handful of bloggers remaining who were there when Cecily and Tertia both lost their twin boys. I am not part of that handful, coming into blogging nearly a year later from each of those occurrences, but the ripples of those events were still very apparent.

This weekend something equally as heartrending occurred, as many of you now know, when Mary Ellen and Steve lost their three daughters, Sylvia, Claire and Lucy. There have been others who I’m sure have had equally painful losses, but for me this was different because I "knew" them through their blogging. For the others, I came too late…a generation in blogging years.

I know I’ll never forget how I felt this weekend as the updates came in and I know many others have been irrevocably affected as well.

I struggled all weekend with how I wanted to move onward; on how I wish there was something I could do to make it all go away…and while I can’t make it disappear, I have to keep moving. I also found a beautiful post on Everyday Stranger that seems to combine how I’ve been feeling about my own pregnancy along with how lately there has been so much tragedy to forge through. Most of Helen’s posts are poignant, but this one struck me because she was able to put into words what I am unable to do right now.

no. 590 – MaryEllen and Steve

Many of you might know MaryEllen and Steve. They are 19+weeks pregnant with three baby girls. She headed to Arizona to receive continued care from a specialist there as she was in pre-term labor for a couple of weeks now. Things were looking good, but one of the cerclages was infected. The last update from their friend Serenity indicates they are delivering the girls…today.

ME and Steve will need all the love and support you all can muster.