Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Tabby slippers

We made it through Christmas with no hospital visits, no running away, and no physical wounds. I'm calling that a success. I'm so glad it's over, now I just have to get through New Year's. I can't believe it will be 3 years since we said goodbye to Aiden, and I can't believe I'll be so heavily pregnant when we mark the date.

I've been in such denial with this pregnancy I only last week decided that I should tour hospitals and look into hiring a doula. I hope I can find one this late. I took the Bradley classes with Sunshine and found them extremely helpful, but when it came down to labor I didn't use a lot of what I had learned because there wasn't someone calm and detached there to remind me what to do. My husband tends to freak in hospitals no matter what and seeing me in such pain completely panicked him. He was less than helpful for most of what was a long and difficult labor. I'm hoping to avoid that this time around because after 2 episodes of months long back pain following epidurals, I am desperate to avoid meds this time.

Anyway - my title is a project I'm going to be working on shortly. Turning my cute, fluffy, murdering tabby cat into a pair of warm fuzzy slippers.

**warning - if you don't have a strong stomach, don't read this. I'm not kidding.**

I was having trouble falling asleep (hence the blogging at midnight) and tossing in bed when I heard my cat's collar bell ringing constantly, along with ominous choking sounds. I leaped out of bed, thinking he had gotten the collar caught and couldn't get out of it. On the way to the light my heel hit something squishy and warm. I flipped on the light to see massive piles of puke all over my bedroom carpet. I was just in time to save my pajama bottoms. As I went to clean it up I checked the, um, contents. This is the cat that once ate fishing line and had to have surgery that put us back a grand, so I wasn't taking any chances. The first pile was red and bloody with lots of black globs so I was rather alarmed. Until I noticed a tiny rack of ribs still intact. My murdering SOB of a cat had eaten some poor small fuzzy woodland creature and then come inside to deposit all the bits on my carpet. Awesome.

I can't believe I managed to clean that up, let alone examine it, without tossing all my cookies. Sometimes it pays to be a biologist. We tend to have strong constitutions. I am going to attempt to sleep now, but you can be sure I'll be taking a flashlight if I have to get up to pee.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Words are never enough

Everyone I read has said what can be said, but better than I, about the horrible tragedy last week. All I can do is keep those families in my thoughts and hug my little first grader a little tighter. I wish the world was not such an ugly place to send such a fragile and bright light into.

I have just over 5 weeks to my due date. I'm finding it harder and harder to believe I will really take a baby home, alive and breathing. She kicks so hard sometimes I am amazed a body part doesn't just burst through my stomach, but I still can't believe she will come home with me. We haven't picked a name yet. Sunshine had hers by 22 weeks. We waited for the gender to pick a name for Aiden, but by then we already knew he would leave us. We picked his name in a hurry so he wouldn't die without one. This time I swore she would have a name as soon as possible, but I just couldn't seem to do it. It smacks of too much hope, or as if we are daring the universe to take her, as if a name decided makes her more real. But not having a name feels like a rejection. A part of me exists that still can't attach because I don't want to be hurt like that again. But I know it doesn't matter. If the worst should happen I will be just as devastated. The only difference this time is that it won't be such a profound shock. I am no longer naive, and much less optimistic. Watching the news only confirms my belief that nothing is fair or right and you can lose it all anytime. I don't know why we keep trying. All I know is that I will.

Keep kicking, baby girl. There is still some beauty in this world and I want so much to show it to you.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

December sucks in the land of dead babies

Up until last week I was not dwelling on the fears that this pregnancy will end horribly. All the tests we've done have shown a beautiful, healthy baby girl. It has been very reassuring, although uncomfortable, that she is also very, very active. I thought I was over the worst of the fears, and then December hit. I know this month sucks for any mom of a lost little one, just because there is so much focus on family and it's so easy to see what is missing. But when your loss actually occurred in December, well.

On the 18th, 3 years ago (how has it been so long!) we were told there was something very wrong. A short but absolutely agonizing 12 days later we had the test results and a terrible decision to make. I can't go through this month without reliving every awful moment and every conversation I had while sobbing so hard I couldn't breathe. From the asshole doctor who told us to "just wait", to the nurse who said I had a beautiful baby, it is all still so crisp and raw and right. fucking. there.

I find myself imagining all the worst case scenarios I could still have with this pregnancy. I'm listening to my sad music playlist again for the first time in almost a year. I have started avoiding the baby sections again and I'm so glad no has thought of throwing a baby shower yet.

At the same time that I am trying to hold myself together, I find myself in the position of peacemaker in my home, trying desperately to keep everything from imploding until we can get through the damn holidays. I'm trying to insulate Sunshine from the worst of the stress because I don't want her to grow up dreading the holidays like I did. My husband recently commented how sad it was that he'd rather stay at work than come home. I asked him why he bothered coming back and he said he didn't know. I almost told him to just leave. I don't want him to go, but I can't help wondering if it would be easier without him to worry about as well. I keep thinking if we can get through the next three weeks we will be okay. The baby will live, Flower will settle down, Professor will realize what he needs to do to make things better. Please, please universe - just don't let this baby die. I don't think there will be enough pieces of me left to pick up this time, and sadly I seem to be the one in the best shape right now.

Monday, November 19, 2012

9 more weeks. I can do it. I think.

So. Because the FFN is still negative and cervix is still closed there is really no reason to subject myself to bed rest. I can go to work as long as I feel like it, which is really just incredibly frustrating because I just don't know what each day will bring. If I go on family leave now I can get sick leave donated. Chances are I'm not going to get 9 weeks worth, let alone what I would need after the baby is born. But, if I keep trying to go to work and ending up at home or the hospital in the middle of the day, it will just be missed work and I won't get paid. I guess I'm just going to have to play it by ear and hope I can ignore these effing contractions for a few more weeks. I keep joking that when I want to go into labor I will certainly know what I need to do.

In other news, the holidays are becoming increasingly difficult. Flower of course wants to spend them with her bio-mom, which is so not happening, for a variety of reasons. I think we are also dealing with some trauma anniversary of hers because some of her behavior just seems like she is in pure survival mode. We ended up inviting some family friends with a large family (5 kids ages 10-22) to come have dinner at our house because their stove is broken and I am unable to cook anything more strenuous than boxed mac and cheese. The problem with that plan is that Flower recently stole a cell phone from one of the kids and they are feuding over it. I hated to put her in a position where she would feel judged and uncomfortable, but we aren't going to stop being friends and she will have to deal with it at some point. Usually when they are together they manage to get along so I'm hoping we can distract everyone with some fun outdoor games and we can avoid a major explosion. I guess we will see.

The other issue is that Sunshine, the 6 year old, is beginning to mimic almost all of Flower's worst behaviors. The last two days in a row she has been a screaming, raging mess. This is really, really unlike her. I don't know if she is just internalizing the stress of having a sick mom and hurting older sister, or if something worse is going on.

*Edited to add*

I had to stop typing because Flower came in from the backyard and then the Professor brought sunshine home from daycare. Sunshine seems much better today and was pretty well behaved for her, just some whining and enough defiance to cause some raised voices. Flower asked again about seeing her bio-mom today (I had already told her no) and fell apart when I said it wasn't happening. For a moment there I thought we were going to have a repeat of the night she was Baker Acted, but she managed to calm down and fell asleep. I have a feeling the holidays are going to be very, very rough. Poor Sunshine. I didn't realize that adopting a child with a traumatic background might very well ruin the holidays for her for life. I don't know that it would have changed my mind, but I feel really bad about taking that from her.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Bed Rest, again.

Yesterday I was sure I was just overreacting, but at the same time was convinced something was wrong. I've been having mild period-like cramps for about 3 days. Since that is one of the common warning signs of pre-term labor in women without an irritable uterus, I was making note of it. Yesterday I started feeling more consistently crampy, along with the feeling that the baby had dropped and was pushing against my cervix. I wasn't having more contractions than usual but felt "off" enough that I decided to go to the hospital.

The nurse at labor and delivery who answered the phone was not willing to entertain the idea that I knew what I was talking about and insisted I follow the stupid protocol of drinking a ton of water and laying down for an hour. This may work with a normal pregnancy with early contractions, but with an irritable uterus drinking a lot of water is guaranteed to speed up and intensify the contractions. I didn't argue, though, because I was worried if I showed up not having frequent contractions they would just send me home without checking my cervix or fetal fibronectin. So I pretty much intentionally made the contractions worse. Stupid, I know, but that seems to be the price of dealing with the high risk hospital here. They are still entrenched in the idea that pregnant women are clueless about their bodies and must be guided to do the right thing. It aggravates the shit out of me and makes me long for a midwife and home birth.

So I waddled to the L&D triage with a very full bladder and one pissed off uterus. Because of this the contractions, which were disorganized, weak, and 7 minutes or more apart, became very regular, very strong, and 3 minutes apart. I didn't have the pills I was given to slow contractions with me at work so they gave me the first one at the hospital (vistril). After an hour with no change they gave me a shot of terbutaline and checked the cervix (still long and closed) and fetal fibronectin (still negative). Those last two were really what I wanted to know so I was happy that they were comfortable sending me home to rest after the terbutaline shot.

Unfortunately, because this was the third and worst episode at the hospital, I am now on bed rest until I see my doctor again. I'm not sure what she will want to do because I still have the cramps and my uterus is back to being easily irritated into contractions. I had a couple of weeks there where I was even able to run without setting them off, but now just standing will do it.

The only bright spot is that I am now at 30 weeks so the danger to the baby is not as great (still significant, though) and I only have a few more weeks of worrying about it. I am kind of hoping they tell me to stay home because I can now get sick leave donated, but only for extended absences. This pattern of missing a day of work every other week is wreaking havoc on my budget. I need to be all the way on or all the way off.

I do believe someone, somewhere, has cursed me that I may live in interesting times. Never a dull moment.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Post adoption services

First of all - it is high time that I came up with pseudonyms for everyone. I have always had trouble coming up with clever nick names so I've been using initials, but I find that to be pretty annoying and it's not very anonymous. So, I've given it some more thought and here is what I came up with.

Our Family:

K, age 6, AKA Sunshine

M, age 15, AKA Flower (Rose was a bad choice, I can't say why)

S, Hubby, AKA Professor (this is a joke on his personality, poor guy)

Dragon - currently a very feisty bump.

Ok - so now that I have that - and will probably change it again, back to my post.

I can't say enough good things about the post adoption support we have found. The original agency we adopted through, the one contracted with the state that handles all the adoptions, is absolutely horrible. It took over a year just to get a home study. Matching didn't take a crazy amount of time but the support and information we were promised never appeared. We were given lots of inaccurate information about Flower, we were promised records and explanations we never got, and we were promised tons of services that we never received. We went through 4 case workers in the 7 months it took to adopt her, 2 of those months were without any case worker at all. The therapist that was supposed to keep seeing her at home for 6 months after placement never showed up. We never got her records from California or got to talk to previous caregivers. I never complained because things were going pretty well and we just didn't think we needed all those things.

Now that the honeymoon period is over and we are in crisis, I am incredibly grateful that yet another agency is sub-contracted to handle post adoption support. They have been amazing. We now have an in home family therapist who can come to the house, a referral for a full psychological evaluation - which I have asked for repeatedly and never gotten, we are in the process of getting a different individual therapist for Flower that also comes to the house, and she will be able to see an actual psychiatrist instead of an nurse practitioner. We also have a case manager who can take Flower out to do things she enjoys and is willing to set up supervised visits with her biomom, taking me and the Professor out of that equation. I think that will make a huge difference because we can avoid the whole battle over when and how she sees her mom and siblings. I'm sure Flower will still argue that she should see her mom whenever she wants, but it will take a great deal of strain off of us, and if biomom is not being reliable the visits won't interfere with our plans. I'm not 100% sure the visiting thing will work out, but it gives me a lot more hope. Professor has only taken Flower on one visit and pretty much refuses to do it again, so all of the burden is on me, which right now is just not sustainable. I'm much less stressed knowing there are alternatives.

Things are looking hopeful. I'm sure we will still have lots of hurdles to overcome. The family therapist has mentioned residential treatment more than once. I'm really hoping it won't come to that because Flower doesn't need more separation, but at least there are now several more people in her corner, trying to get some workable solutions. School is becoming a big issue so the timing for intervention is very good. She came within a hair of being suspended and put on probation the other day. Once she starts down that road it's a pretty quick trip to an alternative school (basically reform school), and I just don't see that going well.

I really appreciate all the support and sympathy, please keep you fingers crossed that things will continue to improve.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Some things are better, some things are worse

Baby is still good. The fetal fibronectin came back negative again and last cervix check was good. I am limited to light office work but not on bed rest. The instructions I have are for "irritable contractions" and say to take the meds, lay down and wait 40 minutes. If they get worse I get another trip to L&D but we are mostly sure the baby will not be coming early. Mom will just be really uncomfortable and constantly freaked out. Very restful, no?

The situation with M (lets call her Rose) has gotten worse. Last Friday she got really angry so she broke a mug and cut her foot with the shards. Hubby (aka Baldy) got the shards away from her and told me to call the new therapist, who had wanted to know if she did any more self-injury. The therapist told us that we had to take her to the ER for evaluation. I REALLY did not want to resort to hospitalization. The last time she was hospitalized she lost her adoptive home (the people that kept all of her sisters). I think she went straight from inpatient back into foster care. She sees the hospital as the place where people send their kids when they are too much trouble and the parents don't want them anymore. But the therapist was right, we could not let her hurt herself. Baldy (I know, I'll come up with something better) took her to the hospital and after talking to her the staff admitted her to the behavioral health unit under a Baker act. For those not in my state that is a 72 hour involuntary commitment for psychiatric evaluation. We spent almost all day Saturday with her and was told she could go home Saturday night. The doctor got her confused with someone else and thought he had to get DCF clearance to release her, so she didn't actually get to go home until Sunday afternoon. Since then she has been pretty manic, pretty angry, and very defiant, but she hasn't hurt herself. We have a bunch of appointments to try to get to the bottom of this but I'm seeing a pretty rough road ahead.

Work is the only thing that is actually good news right now, surprisingly. 25 people lost their jobs yesterday in my division. I was not one of them. Not only did I not lose my job, I was given a permanent, benefited position!!!!!!!!!! I have sick leave!!!! And vacation!!!!!!! And healthcare if my husband loses his!!!!!!!! Best of all, I am now eligible to receive sick leave donations!!!!!! I won't be able to accrue enough leave to have any maternity leave, but if I get enough donations I can have 6 weeks paid leave. I won't have to wipe out my savings account. We may even be able to buy a new car.

What a crazy week this has been and it is far from over. I have some more to say about Rose but I'm not going to have time to finish this post so I'll update again when I get a chance.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Baby is fine, mom could be better

Good news: Fetal fibronectin is negative, cervix is still long and closed.

Bad news: The UTI is not to blame for the contractions. They are continuing and get worse the more I do. Sometimes just walking through the grocery store causes them to get 3 minutes apart and they won't stop until I lay down. I have a medication to take that calms contractions, it is actually an antihistamine, but it really only works if I am also laying down. This means I am mostly likely headed to bed rest or at least restrictions on work. There are several reasons this is a very bad thing.

A rundown of last week: After another trip to labor and delivery and a shot of terbutaline I am now at weekly visits to the OB. Ultrasounds to check my cervix have been good so far. I'm told to take it easy and rest (ha ha hahahaha). Thursday night our teenager, who you will remember is fairly recently adopted from foster care, absolutely fell apart. She lost it over some minor argument and repeatedly hit her wrist on the wall or a tree outside until she had a large contusion.

The following day she left school early, supposedly because her wrist was hurting, but really to get out of a biology test. While at my friends house, who picked her up from school because I was out in the field, she poured perfume on her hand and set it on fire, burning two of her fingers but not badly.

On the way to work the check engine light came on in my 15 year old car with 200,000 miles. We have already put in almost 3K in the last year and a half, we just can't put in any more. On the other hand, we can't really afford a car payment and the additional daycare for the baby. Because I don't get paid leave we won't have enough cash to buy even a clunker. I'm not sure what we are going to do yet. The problem is reading as a misfiring cylinder and something that is blocked (I forgot what it was called).

When I got back from the field I was in a meeting in which everyone in my division was told that we would all be moving sections and therefore supervisors, and that 40 positions were being cut. An unknown number of those are vacant but at least 20 people are being laid off. I've been told my job "should" be safe but I am losing the best supervisor I've ever had and I don't know if the new will be willing to work with my restrictions. They will tell us on the 30th who is staying.

Friday night M was much calmer and really helpful and I made the mistake of rewarding her by letting her go to a teen hangout for a couple of hours. I was tired and stressed and should have said no, but I was also looking forward to a couple of hours of peace. As I was going to pick her up the off-duty police officer who watches the place called me to tell me she was kicked out for smoking. Fortunately he didn't give her the $50 citation that I would have had to pay.

Saturday was our Halloween party and although I did way too much and M was in a bad mood some of the time because her friends didn't come, the party went pretty well and everyone had a good time. Sunday morning I quickly realized I would be doing absolutely nothing the entire day. I ended up laying down for four hours because I was within minutes of hitting the point the doctor told me to go to labor and delivery. It was obvious I overdid things. I am very frustrated that it didn't show until the next day. How am I going to tell when I do too much?

I missed most of Monday and all of Tuesday at work so now I'm really behind and my check will be really short. Again.

So, now I am a high risk OB patient under an enormous amount of stress. We are now getting post-adoption services from an agency here that is not the useless one we adopted through. While this is a good thing for M, it is more scheduling and appointments for me. I was already overwhelmed, I'm not sure how I'm going to manage.

My husband has mostly taken over the housework and will take over the kids if I can't do stuff, but he is still arguing constantly with M and making that situation harder.

Losing my job now will not be nearly as devastating as it was before, but it won't be fun or easy. At least I wouldn't need a car! I don't know if the timing could have possibly been worse with this pregnancy. I should look on the bright side, though - at least we are not in a zombie apocalypse (how I love netflix).

Well off to a warm bath and more timing contractions. If I end up on bed rest you will be hearing a lot more from me!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

I may actually have a diagnosis for once

With my history I was sure they would find nothing to explain why I keep having contractions. For once I am happy to be wrong. I don't know why the hospital didn't mention this when I was there, but my urine had some leukocytes in it. That is usually caused by a urinary tract infection. UTI's are well known for irritating a pregnant uterus and causing contractions. The nurses always ask about difficulty peeing when you go in for contractions. I kind of wondered last time if that might be the problem but that time my urine was clear. Of course I had been drinking gallons of water to try to stop the contractions, so maybe it was just too diluted. Anyway, I am on antibiotics and awaiting the culture results. Normally I refuse to take antibiotics "just in case" but those contractions are scary. I think the risk of antibiotic resistance is worth not having a baby born at 25 weeks.

I'm hoping that a UTI is really what caused all this and once it gets cleared up I'll go back to the normal braxton-hicks. I'm not holding my breath because I had so many contractions with my first baby. I suspect they will get better for a couple of weeks and then get worse again, but at least by then we will be in safer territory for a preemie.

The good news is that my cervix is nice and long and closed up tight. Baby already has her head well down in my pelvis, right up against my cervix. That made me nervous. I would have preferred she hung out higher for now. It is weird to me to have a large baby in my pelvis. My first was very high and breech until right near the end and the second never made it to that size. When she wiggles around (which she does a lot, good baby) it feels like she is trying to break out.

I am trying very hard not to be resentful of how hard this is for me. Everyone around me has had or is having really easy pregnancies after getting pregnant within a few months of trying. I'm glad none of them know how painful a loss is but it is hard to listen to how naive they are and not be angry. I keep wondering why just one thing can't go smoothly for me. Then I feel guilty for complaining when I have a healthy six year old and a baby I thought we would never get on the way.

I told the doctor and the ultrasound tech that my uterus and I have a mutual hate-hate relationship and all this drama is it getting back at me for all the times I said I hated it. Stupid body.

Well, I am resting this week and I will make an effort to be grateful for a healthy baby and maybe try to make peace with my body.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Ok. So I really do suck at this pregnancy thing

Last night was my second trip to labor and delivery for uncontrollable contractions less than five minutes apart. Both times I was sure they would stop on their own but both times the doctor's office told me to not take the chance. Last night the nurse I spoke to very nearly yelled at me and she had me in tears. She wasn't being mean, she was just alarmed that I wasn't taking my contractions seriously. She lectured me on how much harder it would be to raise the children I have with a baby in the high level NICU for months, assuming she survived. I was in hysterical tears, which really didn't help the contractions any.

I just don't know what to do about this. I had it with my first pregnancy but it wasn't nearly as scary because they didn't get bad until after 30 weeks (I'm 25 today). I could never tell if I was actually in labor or not so I made endless trips to the hospital until I was nearly full term and then I ignored the contractions as best I could. Back then I was not working and didn't have other children to worry about. If I started contracting I could lay down. Now I can't. My income makes up most of our living expenses. My husband makes so little all it really covers is daycare and my commute. The only reason he works is because his job is the one with benefits. Since I don't have any kind of leave being on bed rest will be devastating.

Well, to back up, this is how yesterday went:

I went to work early to try to make up some hours for stupidly taking a day for myself last Friday and hanging out with my best friend. I had planned to go out in the field and do a couple of inspections but it was hotter than I expected and I was feeling out of sorts so I decided to put it off (thank god). I couldn't really pin point why I didn't feel good, I was just cranky and uncomfortable, which in hindsight is kind of alarming. I did notice more than the average number of contractions but they weren't less than 10 minutes apart and they were only intense when I was aggravating my uterus by letting my bladder get full or climbing stairs.

I got home and was still cranky so even though I didn't feel like it, I took M to her friend's house to get her out of my hair and then came back to start dinner. As soon as I started cooking the contractions intensified. I kept ignoring it because I was only making spaghetti and I figured I would lay down once I got to eat. By the time dinner was ready and we were sitting down to eat I was starting to think the hospital might be on the agenda. I started timing the contractions and didn't make it past 3 minutes the whole time. I was determined to finish dinner because I knew they wouldn't let me eat at the hospital and going that long without food would make me miserable. I know, great thing to be worried about, right? My husband knew I wasn't feeling well and had offered to help or take over but he was exhausted from working outside all day and I was being stubborn.

I called my sister (she is a family doctor who specializes in OB) and she lectured me about not taking it easy but didn't seem overly concerned about me not going to the hospital right away. I told her I was going to drink some water and lay down so when I was done eating that is what I did. By then the contractions were right on top of each other. It was getting hard to tell when one would end the next would begin. I was starting to worry, not that the baby would actually come, but that I would have to go get checked just in case. I called the after hours line at my doctors to tell them what was going on and ask how long I should wait to see if they stopped on their own. That's when the nurse almost yelled at me. When I told her that they were 2-3 minutes apart her voice got high and stern and she said "you are past the point of laying down, you need to go to the hospital now!" I started bawling and she was understanding but at the same time was clearly trying to scare me into being reasonable. We left my little one at the neighbors and went. The contractions did stop on their own after 2 hours at the hospital but they still gave me two meds to relax my uterus and told me to stay in bed until I saw my doctor. They did the fetal fibronectin test and it came back negative, which means there is a very good chance I won't go into labor in the next two weeks. That was reassuring but in hindsight the contractions yesterday were very different from what I'm used to. There was a lot more pressure and discomfort than I usually get and my overall feeling of something wrong persisted all day. Even when they stopped it was weird. They went from 3 minutes apart to nothing. It was another 30 minutes before they gave me the meds so it wasn't that. I've never had them just stop like that.

I already had an ultrasound scheduled today because of my last visit to l&d, so at least I will be reasonable certain the baby isn't coming any day if that goes well. In the meantime I am on bed rest. I know I'll get yelled at when S gets home for lunch because I had to get up to get something to eat and get the computer so I can do some work. Nobody really thinks about how impossible bed rest is when you have no one to stay with you. At least the kids are at school. I've known people that were told to be on bed rest with a toddler in the house. Talk about impossible.

So, wish me luck at the ultrasound today. I have a sinking feeling that the rest of this pregnancy is going to be a constant battle against my body to get anything done. I can probably work from home, and even from bed if I have to, but it won't be easy. I hope my boss will stay as understanding and helpful as he has been because he doesn't need a reason to fire me. Someone above him could decide I'm not being productive enough and force him to let me go. And I just don't do resting well. It will drive me insane knowing there is so much to get done and I can't do anything. My husband may have to tie me to the bed.

Any advice on coping with severe restrictions would be appreciated - also gentle reminders that this is about a healthy baby - not me being comfortable!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

"You just refuse to bend, so I keep bending till I break"

I feel like this constantly. I feel like I am always the one to compromise, which really ends up being me giving up to keep peace. I don't want to live this way any more. I can't stand the constant arguing. I can't talk to my husband because he immediately gets defensive and all we do is fight. Our parenting philosophies are too different to manage a child who is in a really difficult phase right now. I'm so overwhelmed and out of my depth.

I can't make any of this form a coherent paragraph so please forgive the stream of consciousness style of writing. I simply don't have enough time to really sit down and think this out. I'm living in a constant state of reacting and it is really wearing me down.

The fighting between M and S (my husband - I really need nicknames) is constant. They argue about every damn little thing. If I try to intervene they both ignore me. I swear they both just like to fight. It is making life hell for me and my other daughter. It's not much fun for S either. He was crying today after M telling him she was going to run away. He says she hates him and just treats us as a foster family so she can go back to her birth mother when she is 18. He refuses to listen to what I have learned about foster adoption. He takes everything she says personally and believes that every argument is about how much his kids hate him. I keep telling him, over and over (after commiserating and gentle nudging didn't work) that if he wants something to change he has to do something different. He won't read books. He won't go to therapy. Now after we fought so hard to get her meds reduced he wants to increase the dose again. He is looking for an easy fix and refuses to listen that there isn't one. I am convinced that conventional parenting is useless with M, but he thinks that means I am going to just let her do whatever she wants. I can't win because if I try what I think will work he accuses me of undermining him and not treating the kids the same. Both of those are actually true sometimes but I am trying really, really hard to keep from doing that. Sometimes I just feel like I HAVE to tell him he is going too far, and the kids are 9 years apart and from vastly different backgrounds - it seems kind of inevitable that I would treat them differently. I am so wrong about that?

Today we really got into it because he had told M that he could take her things away if she didn't want to follow the rules. She said she would like to see him try and he of course laid down the law. Later he said to me (M was asleep) that if she put her ipod in her shirt to keep us from taking it, he would hold her and I would fish it out. I told him there was no way in hell I was going to do that. I said that is way too damn close to sexual assault (which is a possible experience in her past, but even so I wouldn't do that to any teenage girl) and he just didn't get it. He said I was just going to let her get away with keeping what we said we would take. It just went on from there. I tried to keep it a civil conversation and bring up our parenting differences in a way that would help us come up with a common goal. Instead we just fought, like always. He won't even read the books that I reference but is convinced that my way is letting the kids get away with murder. What kills me is that I've shown him blog entries from Christine and Last Mom and he has agreed with what they say - but in practice he just won't do it. I don't get it. I don't know what to do about it. Today I just want to run away and let them sort it out. I just can't imagine how much worse this is going to get when the baby gets here.

I keep telling S that we were warned M's behaviors would get worse after adoption. We were told about the honeymoon period and the testing phase. I think we are very firmly in the testing phase, where we should be ignoring bad behaviors (to an extent) and offering unconditional love, but he just thinks we should be more strict. I know that doesn't work. It didn't work on me and it didn't work on my siblings. The more you push a pissed off teenager, the less they will listen or learn. That is just the way it is. I know we can parent without these constant battles but only if we work together and that just seems impossible right now.

I have refused to set up family counseling because I am ALWAYS the one who takes care of everything and I always have to bully S into cooperating. Hence my title. I am going to do this because if I don't I think this family will break, but I know I will break first. At the same time it feels like adding one more burden (finding a counselor and getting everyone there) will be the last straw and I will break anyway. I feel trapped in a situation where I can't win. I don't mean win as in I get my way, just that we end up happier in the end. It feels like I am the only one interested in fixing the problems between S and M. Maybe I should just let the situation implode but I can't stand living this way. The reason I left home as fast as I could (and ran away so often before that) was because I couldn't deal with the constant fighting I grew up with. Now I am right back in that and I am getting to the point of gnawing off my leg to get away.

I haven't had time to myself in months, since before I got pregnant. I've sneaked away for shopping and errands by myself a couple of times, but that is hardly relaxing, and when I get back all I hear about is how much the kids hate him and don't care when he's gone. I can't figure out how to get time for myself because I am afraid to leave him alone with the kids. I know he won't hurt them but things always seem to be worse when I'm not here, and I'm not so sure M won't hurt someone or herself. Something has to give. I was out of my fucking mind to risk a high-risk pregnancy with all this going on. When I said I'd give anything to have a living baby, I didn't really mean my family.

Oh, little dragon, I hope there is a family left for you to be born into.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The scan was great, so why am I so sad?

Baby looked perfect. Feisty, big and healthy. The tech again spent the whole time chasing the baby and laughing because there was so much movement it was hard to get good measurements. I spent a few minutes quietly freaking out because I thought there was way too little amniotic fluid and she wasn't telling me. It wasn't until after the appointment that I remembered I had hydroamnios with Aiden because he couldn't swallow and process amniotic fluid. It underscored again how very different this pregnancy is.

Oh, by the way, the little dragon is a girl.

I have a confession to make. I'm disappointed with the gender. Don't think for a second that I don't want this baby, but in my deepest heart I think I was trying to replace Aiden. I know children aren't interchangeable. I can't really untangle all the feelings I have about this pregnancy but I'll try to explain.

I'm not good at explaining this so please don't be offended if you have a special needs child (or just don't read this). These are my thoughts and feelings about my pregnancy that failed, not about sick children in general.

Part of what really screwed me up when Aiden died is that I didn't ever mourn the son I had. I mourned the son who never really existed because I had this picture in my head of a healthy infant who would have eventually walked and talked and joined in our daily lives. I never imagined a shell of a child that may have lived for hours, days, or years, but never would have done any of the things that children do. I still think that if I had any way of knowing he wouldn't have been in pain, I would have done things differently, but I still wouldn't have lived the image in my head. It's really that image that I mourned, and that image I still clung to before I knew the gender of my little miracle. I hoped I still had a chance of making that dream come true and now I never will. I think this sadness is just continued mourning for the lost possibilities, not really disappointment.

I suppose I wasn't really trying to replace Aiden, just the dreams I had when I was pregnant with him. That thought makes me squirm inside because it feels too much like apathy towards the little life I held so briefly. I have forgotten much of that last pregnancy, out of a twisted kind of self-preservation. The good parts hurt too much to remember and the bad parts were so LOUD. Now I am left with what feels like a really awful dream and the fading feeling of being the mom of a little boy. He feels less real now and I hate that.

I don't know if this makes much sense. Maybe when I've had a little time to process this news I will feel different and be happier. Right now I just wish I had a healthy 2 year old running me ragged and driving his sisters nuts.

This fucking sucks. I haven't hurt like this in over a year and I should be happy.

Friday, August 31, 2012

trying to hold it together

I'm writing this on my new toy, a tablet put out by a book store that does not start with the letter a. I'ts kind of a pain typing on a virtual keyboard, so this will be short. I am four days away from the gestational age we were at when we were told our precious litle boy wouldn't make it. I am not as much of a wreck as i thought i would be, but this is not easy. Everytime someone asks when we will find out what we are having i want to shake them and yell that the sex is not important, the ability to breathe and eat is. Even the people who know damn well what we went through just dont get it. The good thing is that i can feel this little one and it is much more active than Aiden ever was. I will take that as a good sign. Four more days and i will bedoing better, or much worse. I hope it goes by fast.

I am getting really annoyed with this keyboard now. I never realized how often i used apostrophes and arrow keys before. Definitely sticking to the laptop for blogging.

Anyway, will update after the big scary scan on tuesday, wish us luck.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Rocky road

Things with M are not going very well. There have been big arguments and lots of misplaced anger every time she sees or talks to her birth mom. She blames us for not getting to see her as much as she wants, even though I've bent over backwards trying to set stuff up and keep getting blown off by birth mom. My husband, in his infinite wisdom, told M that her mom was blowing her off. I could have killed him. Anybody with a brain and some empathy would have known she would never accept that explanation and just gotten angrier. Guess what happened?

A huge part of me wants to just cut off the visits or limit them to the phone but the more grown up part realizes that is just a cop out. Just because this isn't easy doesn't mean it isn't worth doing. I'm hoping she will come to realize her birth family is unreliable but even if she doesn't, I don't think keeping contact is going to harm her. If I start to see that it is, I will of course change my plan. I read an article by an adult that aged out of foster care not too long ago. This person was arguing that sometimes it isn't appropriate to remove children from a home when poverty and non-life threatening neglect are the main issues. I tend to agree with that in this case. I think if M had been left with her mother she would have been okay. Maybe not a great success in life but less emotionally scarred than she is now. I really do think 9 years in foster care and two disrupted adoptions did more damage than a careless mother and living in poverty would have. But what is done cannot be undone and all I can do now is hope that M will take the chances she is being given for a better future.

Now if only I could get my husband on the same page. Where I see a hurt and un-trusting child, he sees a self-centered almost adult. He forgets all the time that her emotional maturity is probably closer to 9 than 15. He expects her to act as if she cares what we think and what effect her actions or words have on others. I think she is still in survival mode. Everything is about what makes her feel safer or more accepted. If that means other people are suffering, I doubt she even has the ability to recognize that. Even if she does, she probably doesn't care. She can be a very sweet kid but she has had zero control over her life. She sees every rule and every correction as another way to make her into something she is not. So she is oppositional and defiant, even if it is something as simple as not wearing her shoes in the house. The battles of will are nearly constant now. I can sometimes avoid the battles or diffuse them, but with my husband they just escalate to the point where M completely loses control. She injured her wrist on purpose hitting a wall the other day, and is talking more and more frequently of hurting herself.

I can't tell how much of her anger is us trying to reduce her medications, or adjusting to a new family, or starting high school, or getting to know her mother again. There are just too many confounding factors. I just wish we could get through one day without the verbal sparring, tantrums (and not just the kids), and other problems. I wish there was some way to get through my husband's head and make him actually LISTEN instead of reacting. Even he says she needs to see a counselor at least once a week (right now it's only twice a month). Has he done anything to make that happen? Nope. I am doing all I can to get through each day, keep everyone fed, and keep the appointments that are necessary. I can't take care of everyone else all by myself. He has got to realize that if he wants things to get better he has to do something other than complain. I have no clue how to get that through his stubborn little head.

If anyone has parenting book suggestions, particularly ones my husband might actually read, PLEASE leave a comment. We need some serious help over here.

Monday, August 20, 2012

You guys are the best

I just knew asking here would be my best bet. Thank you! I took everyone's advice and ordered the sonoline-b. I forget who I ordered it from but they had free shipping and it still got here before I could really work up my anxiety, I think it was about 3 or 4 days. I had a little trouble the first time but my husband found it right away when he tried. I pretty much check every day, it's been a lifesaver in regards to my anxiety.

I'm sorry I haven't updated. Things are pretty tough with M right now. I think we are moving out of the honeymoon phase and into the testing phase. I have a long post about it but I just haven't had time when it's safe to write. I can't wait until I have the money to buy my new tablet. Then I won't have to share a computer with 2 other people and worry about privacy.

I'm sick, again. Baby seems to be doing fine but this definitely ranks as my worst pregnancy. I got an upper respiratory infection that contributed to heat exhaustion, leading to my throwing up at work and having to beg a co-worker to take me to the ER so I didn't have to call an ambulance. I had a great Friday. After dropping $100 at the ER (cheap, I know, but still painful) the stupid doc didn't even treat the infection and it got worse and worse over the weekend. Now I am on an inhaler and z-pack and will miss even more work, meaning no pay. I haven't saved a single penny towards my unpaid maternity leave because I haven't gotten one full paycheck since I got pregnant. This is not helping with my anxiety. How can we be the only first world country that doesn't have paid maternity leave? It boggles my mind. And people wonder how American women can die of preventable pregnancy complications.

Anyway, we're all okay for now. I can already breathe better so I think I avoided the pneumonia everyone was trying to scare me with. I apologize for my lack of commenting lately. I am still reading and keeping many of you in my thoughts.


Friday, August 3, 2012

Fetal doppler?

I am admitting defeat. After hearing the heartbeat I can only keep my anxiety in check for about 5 days. My next appointment is in 3 weeks. This is not good for my peace of mind. Does anybody know an affordable (by affordable I mean under $100) fetal monitor that works reliably? I'm 15 weeks now so I should be able to hear it. I can actually feel the baby but sometimes days go by without definitive thumps. I need some help here!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Biological family dilemma

The pregnancy is still really miserable. Really intense morning sickness has been taken over by really intense migraines. I was expecting that because I had them daily with my daughter. It still sucks hairy monkey balls to go through it again. I'm hoping the blood pressure medicine they have me on will help but it makes me really, really nervous to be on so many medicines while pregnant. I hope this little one has good kidneys.

Anyway - on to the real topic.

I haven't posted much on here about our new daughter, mostly because I just don't have much time and this whole baby thing really threw me for a loop. Having a teenager in the house that has a whole life prior to meeting us has been interesting to say the least. I'm still learning all her likes and dislikes and what sets her off. I daily struggle with trying to identify where something is coming from when I just can't understand her behavior. Overall she is a really good kid who has come through 9 years of foster care and losing her entire family amazingly well. I admire her stength but worry that what looks like coping is actually avoiding dealing with things. Only time will tell.

So - for the current major dilemma. M is 15 and when she was removed she was the middle child of 5 children. The oldest ran away from the relative placement and aged out of foster care. The other 4 were adopted by an aunt and uncle (from the father's side) while M was sent back to foster care. M is very close to her siblings and hasn't seen any of them in 2 years, they live on the opposite side of the country from us. M's biological mother, the one who had parental rights terminated several years ago, lives in the same town we do. After M was adopted by us we told her she could have visits with her mom. My husband is not thrilled about this but understood that it was very important to M. I come from a very long history of adoption and I know first hand what it means to people to have a relationship with their birth families. We did a lot of questioning to make sure M's mom was not a danger to her. She was never abusive that we know of, it just seems like she chose to stay with the wrong man and made a series of really bad decisions that were compounded by poverty. I don't think M would have the chances in life with her first mom that she will with us, but I also don't think her mom is a bad person of a bad influence. I would be fine with her having a major role in M's life. My husband is not. He tolerates taking M to visit her but doesn't want her over here. That is a problem now because M's older brother, who she adores, just moved back in with their mom. M wants to spend as much time as possible with her brother, which is hard with our schedules if they can't come over here.

I know I will have to back my husband up on this and not let the birth family come to our home, but I will hate like hell when I have to tell M that. I know she won't understand and will be very angry. It's going to be really hard to explain to her when I don't agree with how my husband feels. I don't even really know what to say to her other than we just aren't comfortable (which feels kind of like lying) or just letting my husband explain. I can see that going well.

Anyway - if anyone has some thoughts on how to tell her that her other family can't visit here, I'm all ears. I really don't know what to say.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Miracles DO happen

Dubbed "little dragon" mostly because of the extreme discomfort I've been dealing with, but also for a strong spirit. Not only did this little one pass the NT scan with flying colors, he/she gave an impressive show of his/her spring-boarding skills. Baby was sound asleep in a bad position when the scan started, but once we woke it up, it wouldn't be still. The ultrasound tech was laughing, chasing the little monster all over the place trying to get a good picture. The difference between this scan and Aiden's was so profound. We could tell right away how healthy this one was and I can't stop smiling when I remember watching those tiny feet kicking off of my uterus over and over again. Such a weight is lifted from my spirit and I finally remember how magical my first ultrasound with my daughter was. Life is pretty damn incredible sometimes. The worry is, of course, not gone. The downside of the incredible support I found on the web is that I now know about a million horrible ways babies can die, but I am actually looking to the future now. Now if the physical misery will back off a bit, I may actually make it through the next 6 months.

Thank you everyone for being here, you keep me going!

Friday, June 29, 2012

A good day for the uninsured - plus an update

I'm celebrating today because something that has been a huge factor most of my adult life is now no longer an issue.

When I was 21 I was kicked out of my parents health insurance and left to my own devices. The college I went to was a commuter college and too small to have a full service clinic. That meant if I was sick or hurt I had to go to an emergency room or pay cash at my doctor's office. If you have never been sick and uninsured you do not understand what a big deal that is. Uninsured patients are required to pay cash up front and in full at most doctor's offices. They are charged almost twice (and sometimes more) than the going rate for a person with insurance. The emergency room can't turn you away but then you will owe thousands instead of hundreds.

As a sophomore with a regular job and a good scholarship, I had a decent amount of money. It wasn't enough to pay for my ongoing medical expenses, but it was enough to purchase a private health insurance plan for around $350 a month. But when I went to purchase said plan, I discovered how really screwed I was. No one would issue me a policy that would pay for any of the care I needed. Because I had "pre-existing" conditions I could buy a policy but it would not cover my brain (migraines), my endocrine system (hypothyroid), or my reproductive system (endometriosis).

I spent many years only going to the doctor when I was deathly ill and frequently not taking my medicine for my thyroid because I couldn't afford the doctor visit to get the prescription. The medicine is cheap - getting a doctor to do the blood test and write the scrip is not.

Over the last 13 years I've had a couple of jobs that offered insurance. I use it when I have it and my health suffers when I don't. For the last four years my husband's job has been providing our health insurance. We had to sign up for the more restrictive HMO (does not have infertility coverage) because it was the only way to cover my pre-existing conditions. His job barely pays enough to cover day care and our commuting costs, but he's had to keep it for the insurance.

Now, FINALLY, I can buy my own insurance. It might even become affordable. There are a lot of people around here that really hate the new law, but I find it hard to believe any of them have ever had to risk their health because they couldn't go to a doctor. I know Americans hate the government telling them they have to do something. I get that they feel their personal freedom is being threatened. But I want to ask them this: You don't want to be forced to buy insurance or pay a fee, but if you chose not to pay into this system, would you really not go to the ER if you were having a heart attack, knowing you had no coverage and couldn't afford the bill? I doubt it. You would go to the ER, have your life saved, and then complain that the cost of healthcare is unaffordable.

At last, someone was willing to stick their neck out and change this awful system we have. To him, I say thank you from the bottom of my heart.


On the baby front - I'm still pregnant. As of the last week the baby still had a heartbeat, although I'm nervous that she couldn't get a good measurement because of the position. That automatically translates in my head to 'the baby is not big enough and something is wrong with it'. I've lost my numbness. I never thought I'd make it to the 2nd trimester (12 days to go). I assumed I would miscarry and go on with my life. Now that I haven't (knock on wood) I am faced with my greatest fear: another heartbreaking choice to make and/or another 2nd trimester loss. I'm hanging in there so far.

The pain from my shoulder and neck is nearly gone. GOD BLESS my chiropractor. I can't believe she was able to fix it. That was literally the worst pain of my entire life. I'm still barely making it through each day (hence the lack of blog posts) because the nausea is still horrendous. I'm crossing everything that this will also get better in the next couple of weeks. The thought of dealing with this for another 6 months is completely overwhelming.

Unfortunately me being out of commission most of the time is taking a huge toll on the rest of the family. The arguing is nearly constant and M has had several huge emotional outburst in recent days. I think my mom is right and they are scared by how sick I am. Even though she won't admit it, I bet M is pretty mad that I'm being so selfish by having a baby right now, even if I had no way of knowing I would be so sick. I don't blame her, this was piss poor timing.

I have lots more to write because we are setting up a reunion with M and her bio-mom she was removed from. It's a big huge deal and I have lots to say about it, but the phenergen is making me to dopey to type anymore. Hopefully more updates after the big visit tomorrow. Wish us luck.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

life and death as seen by a six year old

The talk I just had with my daughter:

K: Mommy, I think this baby is going to die because you're so sick.

M: No, baby. It's actually a good sign that I'm so sick, it means the baby is growing.

Skipping over the whole morning sickness explanation:

M: I wasn't very sick with baby Aiden. I think that was a sign something was wrong.

K: So he died because you weren't sick?

M: No, it was just a way to tell that something wasn't going well with the baby. But not always. Some people don't get sick.

K: I'll always have a baby brother.

M: Yes, you will.

K: For my whole life?

M: Yep.

K: When I die I'm going to see him and give him the biggest hug. But you're going to die first.

M: I better, I'm older. You should live a really long time. When I see Aiden I'll give him a really big hug and tell him you can't wait to see him.

K: -makes a funny strangling noise- then he'll probably say, can you stop that please?

Funny girl. Sometimes I love her so much I want to squeeze her and hold onto to that preciousness forever. God I hope this one makes it. I don't want to break her heart again.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Poor neglected bean

My last two pregnancies I was super paranoid about everything I did. I made sure I ate right. I rubbed my belly. I talked to the little ball of cells long before it grew the body parts to hear me.

This time, it's all I can do to remember I'm pregnant and can't drink that wine. I only eat what I think won't make me throw up. I take my vitamin but otherwise I try to pretend this isn't happening. That way I won't be crushed when it all goes to hell. I cringe whenever my husband or girls say something about the future with the baby. While they are making plans I have my head firmly planted in the sand. I was watching old episodes of Glee, a show with a pregnant teenager. So many people were focused on that baby. I felt so bad. I looked down at my stomach and whispered, "please grow up, little bean." I hope he/she knows that I'm not unhappy he/she is here, I just don't trust this.

I'm still in terrible pain but not quite as debilitating. I can't do much between that and the extreme nausea (good sign, right?). Two months until my neurologist appointment seems like a ridiculously long time. And I bet they won't do anything anyway. Our fridge is supposed to be fixed (please, please, please), but our master bath is still torn apart and that is annoying me greatly. Both of these are first world problems so I'm trying to keep them in perspective, but geez - can I get one thing at a time here?

Anyway - I guess mommy guilt is better than total denial, right?

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Too sick for a good update

But I'll give a short one:

Thursday was the first OB appointment. I was a nervous wreck, especially when all she could find at first was the yolk sac. It was another damning black circle. I started crying and told my husband, "there's nothing there". She told us what she was seeing instead of being secretive, thank god, but it was really hard to be in the same room and see the same image as last time. Black circles are bad. BUT - she couldn't see the fetal pole with the wand so she looked over my belly. THERE'S AN ACTUAL LIVE (so far) BABY EMBRYO IN ME. Heartbeat and everything. I'm still having a hard time believing it. It's measuring right on time, which Aiden never did, and I'm sick as a dog already, so things are already looking much better.

The pain is a tiny bit better. I was able to go to work 2 days but not in the field. My OB gave me ty.lenol 3 so I am at least getting some relief, although I think the medicine is making me even more nauseous. I got an appointment with a neurologist but it's not for two months. I find I don't care all that much because it's unlikely I'll risk surgery before the baby is born.

We told the kids so they wouldn't get worried that I was so sick. My big worry was that M would be upset, thinking that we didn't want her anymore since we were finally getting a baby. She said she was happy and seemed excited. I know she really loves babies so I'm hoping that will help. She did get really sad later in the day after texting with her older brother. She misses her siblings so bad and isn't likely to ever get to see her nephew (brother's baby). I've told her we're saving money to take her to California, but it will take almost a year to save enough. That will be almost 4 years since she's seen any of them. I hate that we don't have the money for her to see them sooner.

There's a lot more I wanted to say about how confusing it is to be pregnant right now and how hard this pain is, but the nausea and headaches are horrible today. Thanks so much for all the sympathy in the last couple of posts. They helped get me through a pretty rough week.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

This is not going so well

I thought I was getting better after I spent over $400 on the ER, the accupuncture, the chiropractor, and two massages, but Friday afternoon the pain became completely unbearable again and by the time I got home all I could do was lay face down on the floor and sob.

I'm not even 6 weeks yet. I can't imagine keeping my job if this doesn't get significantly better. I can't imagine spending the next 9 months laying on my back on the floor. The max I've spent off of the floor in the last 2 days was an hour in my rocking chair but I still had to have the heating pad or ice pack to tolerate it. I have literally never been in so much pain in my life. Even the car accident and labor without anesthetics was not this bad. I remember a few times during especially hard contractions that I had the desperate feeling of wanting to leave my body, but that only lasted a few minutes at a time, not hours, and it was over in 2 days. I've been going on two weeks tomorrow with this. I can only type in short bursts so getting any work done from home is going to be pretty difficult.

I'm pretty sure from the radiating pain and numbness in my arm that I've ruptured a disk in my neck. I can't get the kind of treatment that would allow me to return to work without a significant risk of miscarriage. I'm the major wage earner so losing my job would have some pretty sever consequences. I'm still hoping the chiropractor can get me mobile again but that will take time that we can't really afford. I could use some positive thoughts right now.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Nothing like a little drama to get me writing again

My alternative title: I think I cursed the universe one too many times. It is cursing me back.

I had to laugh today. I feel like the awkward guy in 2 1/2 Men when he thought he was cursed by a satanic girl Char.lie was dating. Here is the list of what has happened in the last 3 weeks.

Good: Our adoption of our teenage daughter from foster care is finalized. YIPEE!!

Bad: Our fridge breaks. We have it sort of working but can't put anything in it that will be damaged by freezing or go bad quickly. We're coping by shopping several times a week. We can't afford to replace it unless we get our money back from the IRS. Annoying but not the end of the world.

Good: I find out I'm pregnant. Awesome news except now I'm scared to death.

Bad: I do something horrible to my neck that has me laid up (on the floor) for going on 6 days now. I've already spent more money than I want to think about trying to get back to work since I don't get sick leave.

Good: I finally reach the IRS and find out the error that took most of our return is easy to fix but will take 3 months.

Bad: Dishwasher starts making horrible noises and my sister sent me a text that the shop vac she borrowed is blowing black smoke. I am ignoring both of these until forced to do something.

Really bad: A mysterious puddle of water in the laundry room turns out to be a rusted out master bathtub that has been slowly leaking for quite some time and created a very large patch of mold on the wall. Awesome. Thank God we are renting.

Bad: My left, lower eyelid started swelling and turning red and hurts. (whispers) just like that show where Al,an got cursed!


If my head starts spinning you will know why.

If anyone has an in with the appliance fairy, I could really use a good word right now.

Looking back at this list I feel a little less persecuted. Even though the bad outnumbers the good right now, the good is so awesome that it outweighs the bad. I guess that's not so bad of a deal, overall.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Doctors are cowards (sorry sis)

If you mention severe pain and pregnancy in the same consult, be prepared to get shoved out the door. I'm really fucking sick of hearing "there's really nothing I can do for you."

I realize that taking pain medications while pregnant is a big risk. It's one I'd rather not take, but not even the supposed "alternative specialists" want anything to do with me. I don't think all this stress and anxiety and not sleeping would be good for a baby either.

I broke down in the doctor's office today. As soon as I said pregnant she acted like I was trying to hide something from her. It was on my damn chart! I swear everyone thinks I'm a morphine addict that just happened to get pregnant and is desperately trying to come up with a good enough reason to get a prescription. For the record - I've never taken morphine; my pain is bad, but not that bad. This new doctor is supposed to be a holistic practitioner and not a drug pusher. The first thing she mentioned was a different muscle relaxer. That did not inspire much confidence in me. I did get her to reluctantly agree to try a modified acupuncture and physical therapy. She wants to do traction on my neck, which will probably help a lot, but it just seemed like she really wanted me to give up and leave.

I can't possibly be the only pregnant person in the world that has a pre-existing chronic pain condition. Even not pregnant I rarely resort to narcotics, so it's not like I'm a heavy drug user. I just need some kind of treatment to help me handle the pain. It's so damn frustrating that our society has become so lawsuit happy that doctors will not even treat someone in dire need of help because they are so afraid of getting sued.

I'm continuing my self made regimen of ice, heat, stretching, Epsom salt baths, TENS, tiger balm, and high doses of magnesium and calcium. I'm seeing incremental improvement, but not enough to let me get any work done. My shoulder has loosened up enough that I can now tell a good deal of the intense pain is coming from my neck. I'm praying I don't have a blown disk.

The doctor spent several minutes asking why I wasn't excited about being pregnant, especially after I told her how long I've been trying. I told her it was just bad timing. For the rest of the day I've been trying to drum up some enthusiasm. It's hard because I don't feel pregnant at all, I haven't told anybody so I don't talk about it, and I really can't convince myself that pregnant means a baby somewhere down the line. I know this is kind of normal but I feel guilty about it, and worried. If I'm not super excited will the universe decide I don't want this? I do, more than anything. Although, honestly, if I was offered the choice of putting this on hold for another year (with foolproof assurance it would work in a year) I would probably leap at the chance. It's too bad I'm not a Sebacean.

Friday, May 18, 2012

It's what i get for loooking a gift horse in the mouth

I think most people understood that my last post was not me complaining about getting pregnant again after all this time,
I'm just terrified. we barely survived losing Aiden, I don't know if we could do that again. I've used the word "baby" only once so far. at this point it just seems like something that MAY happen, not a done deal. I SUCK at being pregnant, but I'm still very grateful.

Good news first:

The prometrium stopped the spotting and betas have doubled. my appointment with my old friend Mr. wandy is the 31st. If they put me in the same room as last time i will freak out. fair warning.

The bad news:

I'm typing (badly) one handed because my left arm is in a sling. The persistent muscle soreness/tightness in my shoulder has turned into a constant, agonizing spasm. The pain is unbelievable and i can't function at all. it's better today in that i can sit for a short time but nothing much is really helping. Thank goodness i have some good friends. I called someone to come cook yesterday because the husband is laid out with bronchitis (wimp). I can't stand, sit for long, lift anything or even get dressed. I have an appointment (made weeks ago) for a new doctor that is supposed to specialize in holistic methods for treating chronic pain from accidents. hopefully i can survive until Monday and she will be able to get me some relief. If someone told me that this torture was the only way to get a healthy baby, I'd do it with a smile, but i don't have sick leave and my family needs to eat.

At least the spasms aren't as strong today. it no longer feels like there is something the size of a mouse crawling around under my skin. Well, I've worn out my sitting time, back to lying on the floor. I'll try to keep updating, and thank you everyone for the well wishes.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Adoption: the magic cure for infertility

Yep. I am “that woman”. You know the one. You always hear about her from some obnoxious busy body who heard about your adoption plans after fighting with infertility. The friend’s sister’s cousin that got pregnant after she adopted.

But I can’t do it halfway. I get knocked up THE VERY NEXT DAY.

I kid you not. The universe has one fucked up sense of humor. I feel like I should be apologizing.

What makes this doubly ironic is that last Thursday was Aiden’s due date, the second anniversary. That blows my mind. If life were fair I would have a 2 year old running around instead of a pretty wooden urn. But I also wouldn’t have the wonderful, amazing, and loving teenager I can now call my daughter.

I feel shocked. I feel guilty. I’m worried about money, heartache, disappointment, and hurting M. I’m worried this is a very bad time in our rocky marriage to add a helpless infant. What I am not is happy. I wanted this so badly and now that it’s here, I just don’t know quite what to make of it. I don’t want to undo it, but I’m not so sure now this was a good idea. Mostly I think I am sure I won’t get this last bit of happiness. I hope I am not as prophetic as last time. Then I was sure I didn’t deserve happiness – and look what happened.

I went for my first beta today and start prometrium tonight. I am expecting many things – no heartbeat, an ectopic, or a long drawn-out shop of horrors like last time. I can’t wrap my mind around the possibility it might actually work. At the same time I can’t seem to stop trying to MAKE it work.

Unfortunately I am still having the near continuous spotting I’ve been dealing with for almost 4 years. I hope the prometrium works as well as it did last time, as long as I’m not continuing a pregnancy that never should have made it past fertilization.

This is going to be a really long damn 9 months. I reserve the right to smack my mother in law if she says I told you so.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Adoption day is here!!!!!!!!!!!

I thought that deserved an overuse of exclamation marks.

I'm sorry I didn't post ahead of time. We only found out the date this past Wednesday (my god, that really was fast for a change) and have been crazy busy since then. Things are not going to let up next week either. Our appointment is with the Judge in his chambers at 4pm Central time. Hopefully he will be on time because we are then rushing to a celebratory dinner and getting M to her school by 6 for the dinner theater she is performing in. Tuesday is also dinner theater, the one we are all going to. Wednesday M requested that we go to her old church for teen worship, and Thursday M is leaving on a school trip 2 states away (man am I jealous - I LOVE the area she is going to) and not returning until after midnight on Saturday. Sunday is her 15th birthday party, which is why the court date came up so fast. Everyone wanted to get her adopted before her birthday.


I will probably not be posting for at least anther week but if you have to know how things went try emailing me.

We will officially be a family of four! I wish I could go back and tell the me that left the hospital empty handed on New Year's day 2 years ago that this was going to happen. What a difference it makes having another person to take care of and love.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Hello, blog.

It's been making me crazy that I haven't had time to visit here. I can tell by all the support I've gotten lately that I still have readers. Thank you for sticking around.

Things are picking up in intensity pretty much everywhere right now. We signed the papers at the lawyers last Monday and are just waiting for the call that we have a court date. Unbelievable! The same week we finally got placement, only 3 months after the child moved in with us! Placement means that she is officially in our custody and we get the stipend check for her. It is ridiculous that it took so long. Things are getting harder. M is pushing more and more at Dad and he falls into the argument trap nearly every time. It's frustrating and hard to watch. I made a family appointment with the new therapist, which the therapist and I agreed on the last time I saw her, hoping that she could help him learn to communicate. She spent the whole time focusing on what M could do to avoid getting into arguments with Dad. That's great, I suppose, but she's not the whole problem, maybe not even half. I was really hoping the therapist would spend more time on building their relationship, but she didn't even seem to want us there. She specifically asked that we not come to the next session. I know from the research I've done and some of the blogs I've read that this is pretty much the opposite of what you want with attachment issues, but I think I'm okay with it for now. M needs a safe place to tell someone she is mad at us, or her life sucks, or she just wants to go live with her brother. I'm going to watch carefully to see how things are going with this therapist and hopefully be able to make the right decision in the future. Today highlighted a part of older child foster care adoption that you never hear about. An old friend of M's mother found M on her sister's facebook page. She sent a message to M asking her to call. M asked me if she could and told me that the friend was like a grandmother to her when she was little. I said she could call her and ended up talking to her myself. She sounds like a nice enough person on the phone and seemed to genuinely care about M and her siblings, but she is definitely an enabler. She went through almost the whole story of how the kids were living when she knew them and how they got taken away. Everything was the dad's fault. She glossed over the fact that the mom disappeared for almost a year and when she came back immediately gave birth to a baby that was obviously not her husband's. She didn't mention that the Mom was at a shelter and getting services and chose to spend the grocery money on cigarettes and useless crap. She is still friends with M's mom and I'm worried that if they spend time together M will think she can get back together with her mom. Right now she has a lot of resentment towards her and says she doesn't want anything to do with her, but that could very well change. There was a time when I was her age that I was given the chance to leave my family for good. I couldn't do it. Even though I thought I hated them and couldn't stand to live with them, they were my family and I just couldn't leave. I think most kids feel that way. It wouldn't surprise me if M got mad one day and ran away to live with her mother or the family friend. So all that to say that I'm nervous about her spending time with her mom and the family friend, but I won't keep her from seeing them. I do think it should wait until after the adoption is finalized for her to visit them, and M is very upset about that. She cried and said it wasn't fair, and I told her I know. It's not fair. You've had a very unfair life. I'm just trying my best to protect you and I think it would be a bad idea to see this friend before the adoption is final. She doesn't understand and thinks I'm being mean. I just hope I'm making the right decisions. I don't want her to lose those connections from her childhood, but if they are hurting her we may not have the choice. Her social worker told me that one thing not in our favor for placing her with us was that we lived so close to her mom. They were afraid we would run into her in the grocery store or something. There must be a reason that they didn't consider the mom or the family friend when M was sent back here. I wish they could tell me so we would be prepared. No one ever mentioned how you were supposed to handle relationships with birth families after adoption. I guess they assume in most cases there wouldn't be one. This case is more of a gray area because the kids were actually removed from the father. The mom just wasn't around to fight for her kids. The family friend seems to think they were removed unjustly and also said she would have adopted them. That worries me because I don't want her saying that to M before the adoption. It would really confuse and upset her to hear that she could have had a family all this time when I know it probably wasn't possible or the caseworker would have tried it (at least I hope that's the case). Well, this is already really long and rambling. I need to get to bed. Thanks for listening if you made it this far. If anyone has experience with first moms/families, please let me know.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Is the Honeymoon over?

I'm actually not talking about my marriage here, at least not much. I was warned by many, many people that we would have a "honeymoon period" with M. This is a time when things seem to be going well and behaviors are manageable and the adoptive parents are thinking, "well this isn't so hard, what was all the fuss about?". Then the child eventually realizes that you aren't like all the other temporary parents, that you really will be there forever, and they test that. A lot. I was waiting for this to happen. And waiting, and waiting. I knew it could be a year or more before the honeymoon passed, now I'm wondering if we are getting into the testing phase. It's not so bad so far. Just weird, inexplicable emotional meltdowns to really minor and bizarre things. We have an appointment with our lawyer to get a finalization date on Monday. M knows this and I think is getting really wound up about it. She never made this far before. All the families that said they would keep her didn't. I think it's going to take a long time for her to believe us. This is already stressful; add in the tension in our marriage and my husband's inability to see where her behaviors are coming from, and it's been kind of a wild ride the last couple of weeks.

Hopefully more details later. I'm hoping some day I'll have time to write again. I will post her when we get a date. I can't believe we are finally here!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

It's not over yet

Things are not good, but we are not over, not yet. I don't have time to go into details. Hopefully I will soon because I need this space, but we are working on things. We are talking, so it's start. Thank you so much for the support. It means the world to me.

Friday, March 23, 2012

When the floor gives way

One thing that really shocked me when I had a child was realizing how much I needed to change and become a better person. I always thought I was a pretty decent person before my daughter was born, although I knew I had some baggage from a rough childhood. Secure in the knowledge that I made it through abuse and neglect, I thought I could handle almost anything. I was unprepared for the way the everyday stress of raising a child can expose all the weak points in your foundation. The strain of all those sleepless nights, the severe reduction in my libido, and the postpartum depression highlighted the inequalities in my marriage and made me realize I would never be happy if I didn’t work on all the broken parts of me that I had built my life on. My marriage became very rocky in the months after my daughter was born. I needed to fix our house so I tried to work on me and my relationship with my husband, and I thought I was fixing things most of the time, but I think all I was really doing was spackling the cracks in the walls and not giving too much thought to where they were really coming from.

We weathered a lot in the 3 years after our daughter was born. We had three cross-country moves, a failed graduate program that racked up enormous loans, several bouts with unemployment and one very temporary bout with homelessness. We struggled through without really working on any of our problems because we were merely surviving. I thought living with my mother in law would be the end of our marriage, but we made it. We were so relieved that we didn’t really notice how big the cracks in the walls had grown.

When our son died there was no shoring up. I merely took one breath after the other until I woke up one day not wanting to die. It was impossible to see the cracks in the living room when a whole wing of the house had burned to the ground. We held on to each other to keep from being buried in the ashes of our hopes, and thought that made us stronger. But the cracks just grew. When I could see them again, they only looked smaller because the parts of our house that were completely gone were so huge. I guess we didn’t notice that the foundation had shaken down to almost nothing, and all that was holding those cracked walls together was wishful thinking and denial.

Now we have this new child* and the strain was finally too much. Our parenting styles are so different, and we have such a history of hurts never healed, that one question was enough to blow the whole house down. I don’t know if it can be built back up again. I don’t know if I have the strength to try.

No, Sean, there isn’t anyone else. There never has been. I want you to know that no matter how angry or hurt I’ve been these last ten years, I never once didn’t trust you. The fact that you don’t trust me has broken my heart.

*It is not the fault of the girl we are trying to adopt that our marriage is so weak. This was a long time coming and I shouldn’t have ignored my worries that our marriage wasn’t strong enough to parent a special needs child. I think this might have happened even if our son had lived. I’m so scared now that I will cause more damage to M, but I won’t EVER give her back.

Friday, February 17, 2012

I hope you plan to vote

Several terrible things are going on that will impact women in the States. If you care about these things, PLEASE VOTE.

Complaining and blogging and writing letters to people who don't give a damn will not change this. Voting is the only weapon we have. USE IT.

See here for the specifics. I'm too tired to post it all again and Cecily's cursing says it all for me.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Weird and Cool

That is what M called us yesterday. We were driving somewhere after I had picked her up from a disastrous school dance. She had been in a rotten mood and taking it out on K. I had mostly ignored it and told her I was really sorry she didn't have a good time. She eventually cooled off and then out of the blue she told me she was really glad she got to meet our family. She said we are a really weird, cool family.

That's a title I'm definitely happy to claim. If only I could hold that little moment of happiness for her to see whenever she needed it. The more attached I get the more I want, no need, to fix what has been done to her. But I know I can't. I hope she has more and more of those happy moments. She deserves them so much.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

feeling like a worm

Actually, I like worms. Maybe I'm feeling like a maggot.

I have guilt issues. I always want to fix everything and make everyone happy. Let me tell you, this is not the easiest trait to have when dealing with discipline and children. M was just caught out in a lie she has been sustaining for over 2 weeks now. I pretty much knew she was lying but didn't have proof until Friday. I gave her lots of chances to fess up without outright accusing her of lying. I was afraid if I was wrong that she would never trust me. Well now she has been found out and was grounded for the weekend. It's been pretty hard on her because I went to look at a house for sale with K and not her yesterday, and today some family friends were doing a birthday thing she is missing out on. She just cried herself to sleep on the couch. I feel like I'm kicking puppies. She says she doesn't understand why she is in trouble for longer than K (K is 5), that she feels left out, and goes back and forth about whether she even lied.

She started her new school a little over 2 weeks ago. We asked every day if she had homework. She said no all but 2 times. I was sure she had some so I gave her a chance to admit she wasn't doing it. I told her I would be very surprised if she wasn't getting homework; she said she was doing it in school. I finally got her grade log in to work on Friday and the highest grade she has is a 30%. She hasn't turned in a single assignment since she started the new school. When I confronted her she claimed she didn't know she had to do them, but I found most of the assignments blank in her notebook. I know she has memory problems so it was conceivable she forgot they were there, but then she kept changing her story. I am pretty convinced she knew she had homework and chose to lie, but I think her motives were not laziness (more on that in a minute).

I knew this was a problem she had with her previous school so I did everything I could think of, short of following her to school, to help her get a better start. It wasn't the grades themselves that caused the discipline, it was the lying. I was not completely on board with punishing her but backed up my husband when he said there should be consequences for lying. My gut is telling me that this is the wrong way to handle it but I can't tell if that's because I can't stand to see her hurting, or because this is not the best way to help her.

I personally don't think she understands that staying home and not having fun is a consequence for lying. I think she feels rejected and isolated, and doesn't understand why. I know her previous foster parents were even more punitive, and screamed a lot, but that doesn't make me feel any better. I feel in my heart there is a better way to get through to this kid. I think she lies because she has been trained to. She is used to getting screamed at for bad grades, never mind that she has never been in the same school for an entire school year, her father sometimes "forgot" to even send her to school, and she has had more homes in the last 9 years than many people do in a lifetime. She's expected to get passing grades and no one has even evaluated her for learning problems. So to keep from getting screamed at she lied about getting stuff done. She was going to get in trouble anyway, so why not prolong the inevitable by lying? So how do you work with that? Yes, lying is a serious issue that needs to be addressed, but can we really expect someone that has been lying her whole life just to survive to change the minute she moved in? How can I get that concept across to my husband? What do I even do with that? Should I not punish her but just point out what she could have done instead? Will she really learn anything that way? I'm so lost with this stuff. I thought I'd have a better idea of how to handle this stuff with all my research, but most of the things I read dealt more with violence and out of control behavior. I am out of my depth with these somewhat subtle destructive behaviors.

I tried to make sure she knew she hadn't lost our love. I stayed with her while she cried and told her I loved her and I wasn't trying to make her feel bad. I told her I was sorry she was feeling so bad. I hope that is enough for her to feel less rejected, I'm worried that it's not.

What I DID NOT do, which my stupid co-worker who adopted a baby said, was tell her that "if she wants to be in this family she has to take school seriously and try her best". What an a-hole he can be sometimes. I really hope his daughter doesn't have issues when she's older, and I hope to God that they never let him adopt an older child. That's a great idea - tell a kid that's had 3 failed adoptive placements that she can't be in our family if she isn't getting good grades. Idiot. The sad thing is that his feelings are not unusual. I don't understand why people are so willing to throw kids like M away. I just wish I knew the best way to help her.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Better now

We haven't really resolved anything but the anger has faded. I can see we have a lot of work ahead of us. It's going to be tough to convince a kid that's been in foster care for 9 years that she can trust us and doesn't have to lie constantly. My husband and I really need to work on us before we will get anywhere with her. I'm hoping her therapy appointment tomorrow will be a good place for her. She says she hates therapy but I think if she found the right match it could help her tremendously.

I had some good news today that I'm excited about. I was offered a promotion at work. It means a pretty good raise but still no benefits. It's not what I want to do but it will give me some regulatory experience, which is the only way to move up in my field. It is the first really good financial news we've had in a really long time.

I'm a little more hopeful today, but cautious. I still expect the universe to kick me in the teeth.

Saturday, January 28, 2012


My husband and I just had a pretty big blow up fight. It's been brewing for awhile and I wish I had said something earlier before it got this bad. I'm angry, and hurt, and really scared. And I have this stupid knee jerk reaction that I hurt him by telling him how I feel and now *I* have to fix it. As you can probably see, that right there is one of the problems in our marriage.

My husband is strict, in my opinion too strict. I am not. I'm the mom that the neighbors hate because I send my daughter out in the rain and let her splash in the muddy puddles, causing all the other kids to beg and whine that they want to have fun too. My husband is the dad that requires shoes AND socks if you set one foot outside the door. This disparity is not going so well with one very stubborn and listening impaired five year old, and one very traumatized and brand new 14 year old. When the kids don't follow the rules it almost always ends in a fight. One of them will do something, or not do something, that annoys the strict one. The strict one will use his angry voice which sounds very condescending and mean, even though he doesn't mean it that way. The said child will continue to ignore the correction. The strict one will turn to the laid back one and demand that I back him up by enforcing whatever he told her to do/not do. I have pointed out to him that he undermines himself when he does this because why should they listen to him when he will just defer enforcement to me? He doesn't get it. He also doesn't get that he can't hold a child that has been in foster care most of her life to the same standard that he would hold a teenager without a traumatic past. I've tried and tried to explain trauma and it's affects and what I have read about reaching children like M. He won't hear me. He's even read some of the blog posts that I've pointed out that mirror our situation very closely. He still doesn't get it.

I tried for awhile to call him on it when I heard him using the "angry voice" with M, but all that did was cause loud and angry fights right in front of the kids. SO NOT HELPFUL. I think you should sometimes argue in front of your kids, if you are arguing in a healthy way. It helps them to see how to resolve conflict. The problem is that we don't argue in a healthy way. He immediately gets defensive and won't hear what I am trying to say. He will verbally attack me instead of discussing something. His immediate reaction is always like a kid getting punished, a knee-jerk "I didn't do it!" I can't ever remember a time he admitted that I was right. He will apologize, but it's a politician's apology. "I'm sorry what I said upset you," or "I didn't mean to snap at you." I get so frustrated with this, and feel so emotionally threatened, that my response is often to walk away. That usually results in him getting really mad and sarcastic. Or I just start cursing because I'm so fuming mad that he is talking to me like I am a misbehaving 3 year old. So we both have issues that contribute to really poor communication. I've tried to get him to see a counselor with me to work on our communication. He insists we don't have a problem. Which leaves me with really dark thoughts that maybe the problem really isn't me.

Bleh - I'm really just venting right now. I'm still pretty pissed, worried about how M is going to deal with this tension, and sad. Some days I feel like everything is a battle I have to fight and I'm doing it completely alone. In addition to an unresolved fight, I logged on to do my taxes but ended up checking my blog reader. A couple of wonderful ladies I follow have had their rainbow babies recently. I feel terrible saying it but no matter how happy I am for them, seeing those pictures hurts like a son of a bitch. Out of all the women I met online when I lost Aiden (over 30), only two have yet to have another baby, and one of them is single. I try to comfort myself with the fact that I now have 2 beautiful children, but I still feel the loss of not being able to get pregnant. It's a really frustrating tangle of guilt, sadness, anger, jealousy, and a whole host of other ugly emotions harder to name. I'm a mess tonight!

I'm never going to get these damn taxes done. How I wish I could just take a damn day off.

I've just re-read this post and I'm cringing about how bitchy and whiny it is. There is a whole lot more I want to say about our fight that is more introspective and less selfish, but I sliced off the tip of my pinky the other day and typing is challenging. I'm tired and depressed so I'll leave the introspection to another day. If you have advice on communicating with a spouse - or how to compromise on the strictness, I'm always willing to listen. If you got through this whole post you must be a saint or really bored!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

And the award goes to . . .

The move in went great. We really had no problems this weekend that I wouldn't expect from any teenager that was grounded and bored. There are things I'd like to write about but I lack the time to work it out in my head and get it down. So today I'll just post the blog awards that I promised.

My reading list is long and full of some amazing women. If you have time please do check out my blog roll. Someday I'll get around to categorizing it but I promise you everyone of them is worth a read. Below are the five that I chose for the versatile blogger award. I wanted to choose people that might not have a large readership and haven't recently gotten this award. It was hard to pick 5 because there are so many bloggers I love. I hope you enjoy your award ladies, you definitely deserve them. It's only to bad I can't include wine and chocolate!

The first four of the five blogs are some of my fellow babyloss moms. They are amazing women who survived the loss of a child and kept on breathing. It was a hard, hard thing they did and the world is richer for them sharing their experiences.

The award goes to:

This blog you must read, even if you have never lost a child. Her writing is so amazing it takes my breath away. I've linked a recent post of hers that has a poem that really affected me. Please pop over and tell her how amazing she is.
After Iris

This is my dear fried B. She lost her little snowflake a little before I lost my Aiden and our due dates were very close. She was always there for me in the horrible weeks that followed and has remembered when most other people forgot. I owe her more than I can say. I am happy to say she has her rainbow baby now and is doing an awesome job with the little guy.
Non Geordie Mum

Next up is another beautiful writer, Vera Kate. This woman has been through more than I can imagine and come out strong. Her love for her babies shines bright in her words. She is also a pretty awesome artist. Check her out.
Fox on the Run

Catherine is another mom that helped me make my way through the loss of my son. She is an amazingly gifted writer. She always manages to find a way to say the things I feel but can't explain. If you have ever lost a loved one her site is well worth the read.
Between the Snow and the Huge Roses

Last but not least is a writer I found when I started adding adoption blogs to my reader list. She is a passionate feminist and gay rights advocate. I always admire her take on things and the post I'm linking to is a very good read about assigning gender roles to children. It is a topic I think about frequently and she has some very thoughtful points to make.
a queer family grows in redneckville

That's it. Enjoy your award ladies. If you want to, the award asks that you list 7 things about yourself your readers don't know and pass this award on to five other bloggers. Have fun!