Friday, March 21, 2008

I miss you, my sweet little girl

Today, I lost you two years ago...and I still miss you, every day, even with the joy coming into our lives in June.

I know that some of the doctors are not sure if you really were a little girl from the results of testing reports - but, I do believe you would have been my little girl. Dr. D believes it, and so do I.

I also know you have been visiting our house in the last week or so... Chris keeps mentioning that he sees an angel, a little girl named "Sarah," in the corner of our bedroom...his soon-to-be shared room with E2. And, I know he sees you...Chris has a way about him in which he senses things. He has demonstrated that several times in the past. Chris is happy when he sees "Sarah" and wants us to say hello as well, which we do. I do hope you will stay around and watch over your brothers, in their new room.

** ETA: Chris mentioned tonight that it is "Sarah's birthday" today while eating dinner. I am speechless...and, at the same time, comforted. **

I love you...and I miss you always,


Monday, March 17, 2008

Glad everyone's liked the belly pics...

...because my doc scolded me a little bit on the *weight* issue this morning.

Of course, I DID start this PG out much thinner than I had ever been (and about 10 lbs thinner than where I started when PG with Chris)...but, since at 28 weeks tomorrow I have already gained the 27 lbs I had gained across the entire PG with Chris, I have to try to slow that down a bit now.


So, start asking Mother Nature to behave where the weather is concerned from now until June! I gotta throw my sneakers on and get some walking in....and use those same sneakers to walk past the cookies, brownies, etc. that tend to be floating around work because of the various seminars, workshops and meetings.

...On a good note: I get to have my Lexapro back. Yeah! Dr. D agreed that, considering all that is going on (especially the indecisiveness of my IL's on what the hell they are doing with living arrangements...that saga will continue later), it would be better to have me on a low dose for my sanity (and sleep) than to let me continue with the way things have been going (i.e., the anxiety attacks I have been having since New Year's). So, I will take my first dose (5 mgs for now) tonight when I get home. Oh, sweet relief... I don't necessarily like the idea of taking additional meds right now... But, I need my head back a bit.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Finally....some long-awaited belly pics

After long wait (sorry, I've been too tired at night to do this!), here are some belly pics for all of you. I think I finally "look the part" this time around...which is a nice change since people realize now that I am not just overweight.

First, these are my "before's" for reference...since I have not taken any belly pics until now. These pics are from about 10/06, but I have remained that same weight for a while now (actually, I was slightly thinner than these pics before getting PG with E2):

St. Gerard Feast, October 2006

Halloween, 2006

And, this is me now, at 27 weeks, 2 days (yesterday):



For additional reference, this was me PG with Chris, on my EDD of 4/29/04 (Chris was born a week later on 5/4/04):


I think I am just about the same size now, entering into the 3rd trimester, as I was on Chris' EDD. I have the same pants on, but not the same shirt (although it is grey).

I promise to post more pics in the future. :) It would be nice to document the progression - something I didn't do with my PG with Chris.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

How can we remember ALL of our babies?

Lately, there have been quite a few losses in the blog-o-sphere that have rocked our foundations... Scared us even more when we see those two pinks lines show on a PG test or see a heartbeat on u/s. Most recently:

Natalie's loss of Devin at 35 weeks, 5 days
Alexa's loss of Ames (his twin, Simone, still fighting)
MaryEllen's loss of her triplets
Also, Allison's twins: Lennox and Zoe

I can't even begin to express how reading about these losses scares the hell out of me. Just when you think you made it past the hurdles: viability u/s's, first heartbeats, NT Scans, Level II u/s's... A baby is taken way too precious to be with us. It is heartbreaking and well beyond understanding.

I can't even imagine the pain these moms (and dads) are going through. It just shouldn't be this way.

But, there has been something bothering me...because, I hate the idea of missing someone accidentally and I don't want anyone to be left out.

There have been a few memorial candles created for some of the mommies lately...which has been such a great way to support the families, honor the babies taken much too soon, always remember the loss to our community. However, as much as I want to list every single candle created in my sidebar...I know there are many other families mourning losses too for which no candle has been created yet. Those mournings range from early PG neonatal death. I don't want to see anyone who has gone through loss - either very recently or long in the past - to ever feel less than supported.

Even though each loss is so unfortunate and so unique, each precious baby should be remembered somehow...each family supported through a unified display of candles or memorials.

So, I have an idea...although I am not sure how to accomplish it since I am in no way a pro with Photoshop, etc. to create them (okay, I will confess I never used Photoshop!). And, would love the input from the community.

I would love to see a site - a blog? - created for all of the moms who have lost children in such a tragic way. Maybe list them in chronological order, with candles, under categories of miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death, etc. - but have them all together? Include them all from our community and have a link we can all place on our blogs to honor all of the babies gone taken soon? I would hate to post a candle for one, and not for all - I feel it could potentially make someone feel their loss is not as important as another.

I would love feedback on we can all support each other like we have demonstrated we can do well.

Prayer requests for today

I have two prayer requests today to throw out to everyone....

First, Chris' Zia is having her retrieval today - this 4th IVF cycle is going very well, and very differently from the cycles in the past. Please pray this works...transfer should be Sunday. She and S deserve this...they have been waiting to be parents for way too long. My St. Gerard candle will be lit tonight for them...

Second, on a personal front, Hubby has two job interviews coming up - first is today at 11:30 am with a good law firm and the second is Monday with a recruiting firm (the position would be for a recruiter, which he would be sooooo good at - and he got scouted for). He really could use the job change as there is still no clue to what his current boss is doing for the long haul - except that he finally moved the office much closer to home, which allows Hubby to get home at a decent hour! I don't trust nor like his current maybe my opinion is tainted. But, Hubby could really use the new job...and the extra cash coming in!


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Why do old habits die so hard?

I am totally exhausted today... Woke up around 4 am this morning after not sleeping soundly to begin with (again)...vacillating between freezing cold and sweating... nauseous... shaky... feeling like I was coming down with some sort of stomach bug...

...But, then I realized I was missing the prerequisite stomach pains and cramps that actually DO come with a stomach virus...and the pale skin tone...and I was hungry. So, I knew what was actually happening this morning.

I allowed myself to have an anxiety attack...which I haven't had since New Year's night...and a long time before that (before starting the Lexapro I had been on).

I forgot how they felt...until now, of course, in the post-attack, zombie-like state.

And, why did I allow this to happen? After having worked so hard with counseling and such since May 2006 to get past this self-inflicted state?

Well, the main thing is that I have been worried all weekend that I haven't been feeling E2 move that the point that I wasn't sure if I should call my doc and look like an ass for being completely off my rocker (not that Dr. D would think that - but, that is my line of thinking) or try to figure out why I am perceiving him not moving as much as he is.

Because, in the end, it really IS my perception - and not E2 not moving that much. This morning, as I allow myself to step back a little bit from rushing around to get everything done, I am currently getting the crap kicked out of me...for which I am extremely grateful. I spent this past weekend with a jam-packed schedule - food shopping, house cleaning, laundry, baking cookies for Chris' nursery school special church service Sunday morning, preparing food for Sunday's dinner at our house after the church service, blah, blah, blah.

Life has been much busier with this PG compared to my PG with I tended to notice more movement during the day back then. But, then again, these are things I know I can do normally and without any issues...and should not be affecting me now.

Although, now I realize that I need to slow down a little bit...and start asking for help, which I had learned to do in the past but have been reluctant to do recently. Who knows why.

I am doing too much and not allowing enough rest in between it all. I am trying to keep everything together, between work responsibilities (which have increased with trying to prepare for maternity leave and with the firing of the Witch, trying to get Chris' private therapy covered (more on that later...but I will say now we turned down the in-district school placement based on the private evaluation we had done), getting ready for the IL's to start the addition to our house (since, yes, they will be moving in with us and will be putting a full dormer on our third floor instead of just finishing the attic as-is), getting ready for E2's arrival which includes getting the room ready, trying to help Hubby in his job search (although, at least his current boss finally moved the office much, much closer to home! No more 1+ hour commute for Hubby!) and the every-day responsibilities of home stuff.

Add to that, I am still trying to get over this second cold (I have had two different colds now straight since 1/26 and the coughing with this cold has been horrible) and I am just not sleeping well (I have been way more physically uncomfortable with this PG than I was with Chris - Charlie horses almost every morning, Restless Leg issues if I try to sleep in my bed which is forcing me to sleep on the futon, hip soreness almost all of the time). I am trying not to complain about anything at this point...but, the lack of sleep is starting to make that task difficult.

I keep thinking that maybe, with everything that is going on right now, I should just break down and ask Dr. D to start me back on the lowest dose of Lexapro... I have been trying very hard to avoid that - although he has left the decision up to me with the caveat that is would be best not to be on anything since I am on other meds as it is. But, do I try to push on three more months this way and risk more anxiety issues coming up, or just bite the bullet and start taking the meds again to calm myself down?

Not sure what I should do here...although I know I need to really start doing something soon, before my house starts getting ripped apart. I want to do what is best for E2...and Chris...and me. But, I hate to consider meds I am hitting 27 weeks today and in the last trimester of this PG. Makes me feel like a failure...

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Oh, dear...when will this fruit-loop finally go away?

Ah...Just when you think things are over, the fruit-loop (aka, the witch, aka the ex-Associate Director who was fired) sends this directly to me:
Dear --,

I am writing to let you know that I filed a grievance against XXX for things he did that were rather creepy and they have nothing whatsoever to do with you or for that matter anyone else at YYY. I always said and continue to say that you have been helpful to me especially after I made those specific requests on how you could help me. I thought I should let you know this as I would hate to cause you more stress than you already have. I wish you the best of health and good luck in everything. Bye

So, I know she filed a grievance with the university...and certainly not surprised she filed one against my Director, who is one of the SWEETEST men (think of grandfatherly boss) you could ever meet! But, sending me personal e-mails...considering I have not spoken to her since August 2007???

Why do I not believe I will not be named in any part of the grievances she has filed?

Because she is an unstable molecule... We'll have to see where this goes now.

In search of a new blog designer

So...I found out today that the designer of my current blog template is no longer going to be supporting the images of the designs she had done past June 2008.


So, I am looking at replacing my template now...which is okay, because I had been thinking it might be time for a change anyway. My life is moving in a new direction now - new baby arriving in June, Chris starting Pre-K (OH MY GOD!!!!!) in the fall, the formal end of TTC because I just don't think I could handle the stress and worry of trying for a third child.

So, any suggestions of a reputable custom template designer would be appreciated. :) I need a makeover...

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

How to do right by your child

It has been a long while since I posted any updates on the IEP process (err, fiasco) for Christopher... Mostly that has been because, well, as has been shown in the past, the CST has been less than stellar at keeping on top of things.

Par for the course with this group, right? Or a majority of CST's as I have learned rather quickly.

Anyways, we had a HUGE pow-wow with the CST and other in-district "professionals" a few weeks ago (after waiting for revisions we requested), received a new IEP draft, asked for yet another revision since there are things we wanted specifically written in there (like, how often would the ABA-trained specialist actually be working one-on-one with Chris - kinda important to have in the official document, no?), waited, finally got a new draft last week...

...THEN get hounded for a decision the next day after receiving the document in snail-mail by the SAME CST that has dragged their feet from the start!

So, I played bad-cop - again....because, well, I have yet another cold (with a lovely, husky cough to boot) and I feel like crap. I told them WE will take the time to review the IEP, yet again since their track record for putting things in writing as we want them is not good, and will give them a start date for school when we are good and ready.

Right now, we have an un-official start date of March 11th - to include Tuesday/Thursday/Friday half days in-district and Mondays/Wednesdays half days in his current nursery school for two weeks to get him accustomed to the new school; Tuesday/Thursday/Friday full days in-district and Mondays/Wednesdays half days in his current nursery school for two weeks to get him accustomed to the full days; then total transition to the Monday-Friday week at the new school...with extended school year through July (half days only from mid-June through July with full services).

Meanwhile, we had a private eval done last week through the Lovaas Institute (waiting for the report to come back) because, quite frankly, we are just no longer sure Chris NEEDS a school program anymore.

Let me explain...
  1. Chris' speech therapists told us that he is now way above his age level for speech...and that they are giving him assignments that are for kids older than him because he likes the challenge. He masters everything he is given fast - and applies it. Well, I can see what they mean since Chris now has an "opinion" on everything, as well as a crass sense of humor. And, we wanted him to come up to his age level on speech?? What were we thinking?? It is all good - and we are very proud of him.
  2. He is completely potty trained now...well, kinda 50-50 at night, but I am not worried about that now. He can go out to the store and restaurants and elsewhere in big-boy underwear with no accidents. He tells us when he has to go. He tells his teachers when he has to go at school. The potty-fest of 2008 (aka, Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend where it was potty training, all day and all night) was well worth the large pile of peed underwear I washed. This was a MAJOR issue in the IEP - and, well, it is gone now.
  3. All of the O/T and P/T issues that were outlined in his evaluations in...well, October 2007!...are no longer issues now. He was "technically" only 3 months behind on certain things (some because of proximity, like using scissors... Back in my youth, scissors were not a skill acquired until kindergarten!)...and now he is writing letters and numbers. The O/T and P/T was added to load the IEP to get the services in the first place. So, it is no longer necessary.
  4. He is playing along with other kids in school, at gatherings, telling us stories of what went on at school (like him going to the potty), etc. Starting conversations with people he doesn't know, like waiters/waitresses at restaurants who are serving us.
  5. Everything - and I mean, everything including when I try to vacuum (which is NOT a bad thing!) - is "I can do it!", "I wanna do it!", "Let me try!". He is becoming very independent...which makes me sad in a small way, but glad too.
The only issue...and really, it depends upon his level of tiredness the hand-flapping. His teacher at school mentioned he rarely does it now...and if he does, it's because of a very special snack or something very exciting going on that day. It's rare now - she used to correct him very often, now it is rather rare. For us, he hardly does it in the car anymore (one of his prime-spots for hand-flapping). The main time we see it is before bathtime, when he is at his most tired (not cranky-tired, just winding down after a busy day tired). But, even then, it is clear he is catching himself - and correcting it himself - which is what we want for him and an excellent sign of progress on his part.

Where does this leave us with a school program that we are just not thrilled with in the first place? I don't know. I have some major reservations about the in-district program (the only one that remotely fits his "needs"):
  1. We live in "the 'hood" in NJ - the area the school is in has had 2 shootings in the past year. Do I really want my MIL or myself driving Chris to an area like that? Sure, the school itself is secure - but, what happens when he steps outside?
  2. It is full day...from 9 am - 3 pm. Chris still naps from 1-3 pm. And, quite frankly, what is built into the schedule at that time just doesn't justify his being there...or any of the kids.
  3. ...And the district will not change it to include part-time.
  4. The amount of time an ABA trained therapist would be working with him would be 60 minutes a week one-on-one. Well, we can PAY for that on our own with a private therapist.
  5. I LOVE that Chris comes home with a sense of faith from a Lutheran nursery school...and it was our plan to send him to Catholic school (which Hubby picked up the application for today for Pre-K 4 for the fall - half days, 5 days a week!).
I want what is best for Chris in the long run...but, he does not fit at all into what his evaluations "showed" in the fall. He doesn't stand out from the crowd of kids.

His neurologist felt he would fall off "the spectrum" rather quickly as it was back in August (she is out on maternity leave now...which makes this decision even harder for us to make)...and it appears she is probably right. The impression we got from the evaluator last week is that she really didn't see much of a problem with Chris...

I am not sure what to do here... This is his future that we are making a decision on.

Monday, March 03, 2008

25 weeks, 6 days...

...and only 99 days to go.

Oh, my! When did THAT happen?? The countdown in double-digits is already about sneaking up on you.

Guess I better finally take a belly pic this week before this baby arrives. :)