Monday, October 25, 2010

Here's how I am

My sis sent me a care package (as have her 2 daughters) and I get teary eyed. Clothes for the boys (boys!!!) from my alma mater, teensy weensy monkey shoes, a wall stencil that says “every day holds the possibility of miracles” for the baby’s room, presents for Brody, presents to take care of me, presents to pay for the baby. They made me feel like I was swaddled.

On the other hand, we’re working on finances. You can imagine how that is. I called to cancel HBO and Showtime, and instead Directv knocked down our cost for those two by 66%, gave us a $50 credit, a free HD DVR, and free installation of the DVR. I wish our mortgage company or day care would do that.

I’m 34 weeks. I’ve never been this pregnant. I waddle, and I can feel his head (or butt) and his kicks and hiccups all the time. Most shirts and pants ride up, or down, respectively. My last blood pressure at the doctor’s was 110/68. Yes, I’m on meds for it, but ….. that's fairly outstanding. No other signs of pre-eclampsia. I do start stress tests next week.

I’ve been concentrating so hard on making it this far, and I somehow feel surprised that I did. I really didn’t think I would. It highlights for me how bad my prenatal care was with Brody, because I had pre-eclampsia that essentially went un-treated for weeks, I see now.

Here I am at 34 weeks, with nothing to do. Oh, we still have to do the baby's room; it is still the guest bedroom. Know why? Because I figure that “when” I get admitted to the hospital for pre-eclampsia, Jeremy can do the room without me. I figure “when” baby is in the NICU for a while, we can finish up his room at home. I was actually looking forward to a day or two in [hospital] bed before giving birth, time for the lung maturation shot to take effect. Watch TV and read books all day. I’m prepared for the unexpected!

How the universe must enjoy my lessons. Just when I thought I had accepted that I had no control over this process, the universe sends me for a loop. December 1 is looking more and more likely. We scheduled the c-section for that date. (Although I dreamt I gave birth November 23)

I'm full of distraction, procrastination, a desire to bake lemon bread, envy for those who can drink stiff drinks (I salivated at the sight of a martini the other night), interest in things pagan, setting boundaries, increased difficulty in twisting and rising from bed, adoration for Brody as always, and putting up with my husband when I can stand it. Hubs did wash the walls behind the sofa this weekend and deep cleaned the bathrooms and kitchen. But he made me help him, so he’s not that great.

Right after this photo was taken from my office this morning, all hell broke lose with a wicked rainstorm, and most of the leaves on these trees disappeared:

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010


A few nights ago, in the living room, Brody was playing with parts of an erector set. He had two sticks, and he said they were his baby.

He went to Jeremy and imitated, with disturbing accuracy, the incessant "Wah wah wah" of a newborn. Then Brody said in a soothing, lilting voice, "Its okay, baby. It's okay." And the "baby" stopped crying.

Jeremy muttered under his breath, "So, basically, you're more ready for this baby than I am."

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010


I just found this blog and am in love with that little boy. He is SO cute. Not to mention that this is a spectacular list of books for me to read at B's school. The rest of the blog has lots of pictures, and is very interesting to read about their adventures.

I talked some more to B about the questions. He's pretty secure - we say "Nothing's wrong with my arm, it's not a big deal, I was just born like that," etc.

I asked him which friend asked him about his arm. He said, "a lot of dem do." :-( I think I know it was daycare, not preschool. So that's where I'm volunteering first.

He still likes going to school. But he has been sleeping with us every night. Still scared of the dark.

So I'm going to his school at some point, not sure when, to read some books about differences. And I'm re-drafting and re-deciminating the letter to parents (and teachers) because, well, everyone needs to be educated.

I also got in trouble from MY mom for not telling her I was contracting. Sorry mutti. I didn't want to worry her, but then she read it HERE.

My contractions stopped by the time I went to sleep Friday night. They haven't returned. I think I was very dehydrated. I'm off bedrest - didn't even need to go see doctor. Have been at work and feeling very good. In a walrus sort of waddling way.

Here's a question for those moms with partners: when I go play with Brody, I rarely ask J to join in. I view it as Mommy/B time, and as Daddy rest time. When J goes off to play with B, though, the most 'break' I get is 3 minutes, then it's screaming for me to come and join them in the fun. But I just wanted to watched My Fair Wedding or The Office episode I missed or read Us Weekly. It's so annoying. I love playing with B, but sometimes, it's nice to have some me time, especially since I'm about to lose ME time for a long time in a few weeks. Anyway, do other partners do this? Or is it just me and my one friend's, to whom I've already complained? :-)

Finally, we decided not to do the 3D/4D ultrasound. $159 is just too much - it's pretty much the budget for furnishing the rest of bubba's room. I'm hoping this means bubba will stay put long enough to make it to the scheduled December 1 c-section.

Friday, October 8, 2010


I thought about 2 hours ago that I'd be blogging about my contractions. But now, I have this thing to write. Because I feel so inadequte to deal with it. Oh, the contractions have slowed. I'm on bedrest.

I was laying with Brody after we read our books for the night. We talked about letters and sounds they make. And then he said, "My friends ask me what's wrong wis my arm." And he held up his right arm.

I asked him what he said to them. He said, "I tell dem I'm getting a checkup."

I asked him how he felt when they asked that question. I said, "Do you feel happy? Or sad? Or strange?"

He was silent and he wouldn't look at me. He said finally, "I feel strange. I feeled ..... embarrassed."

And then I hugged him so hard and I told him he had nothing, nothing to be embarrassed about and that his arms were perfect and beautiful just the way they are and I love him and his arms and his nose and when someone asks him what's wrong with his arm he should say "Nothing" and then I told him he was just born that way and he can do everything he wants to and it's cool to be different and have a hand that looks different because it's boring to be the same. And he was hugging me like I was hugging him and my tears were falling into his hair and I just kept telling him over and over how much I loved him and how wonderful and beautiful he is.....

And then I said, "what do we say when your friends ask what's wrong with your arm?" and he said, "Nothing!" and I said "And it's cool to be different," and he said "Yeah! Cool," and he started playing with a toy that he'd been holding and because of how his wrist is bent he can fit it into a part of the toy so I said how cool it was that he could do that with his hand and how his friends couldn't do that....I couldn't do that.

Then he was quiet again and I asked him what he was thinking about and he said what to be for Halloween and now he wants to be Superman. And I made him laugh and giggle, and held him until he fell asleep.

But what the hell?

Already? He feels shame, and that's on us, isn't it? We missed it, and our boy felt ashamed of himself. And I never want him to feel embarrassed again.

So what do I do? We tell him we love his arms but he hears us talking to OTs and surgeons about straightening it. Is that how he learned it? How do I make whatever he learned that made him feel bad go away?

My beautiful, sweet, smart, strong son.

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Thursday, October 7, 2010


Copied from B's carepages:

I'm really writing this update as a call for information, if any of you have experience with bilateral radial hypoplasia (club hands).

First, some background: Brody was born without thumbs and without radius bones in his forearms. When one does not have radius bones, the hands grow inward - at around 90 degrees (or more). The first surgical step is to centralize (ie, straighten) the wrist, so that it comes off the arm at 180 degrees, not 90 (increasing reach and functionality).

We've done that on both of Brody's arms. One arm - the left, dominant hand - is doing a great job at staying straight. The other arm has a mind of its own, and has come back to almost 90 degrees, despite the surgery.

We've consulted with Shriners and with the occupational therapists at Children's Hospital in Denver. Here is the gist of what they say: this happens. Sometimes the surgery doesn't work as well as we would hope. It's a constant tension/battle between surgical procedure vs. an arm that naturally grows its own way, ie, 90 degrees. When Brody reaches skeletal maturity, at 16 or 17 or 18, we can - if Brody wants - surgically fuse the hand onto the end of the wrist, so this issue does not reappear in adulthood.

The options we are faced with now are:

1. Re-do the surgery. Risks? Affecting the growth plate on that arm, stunting that arm's growth (his arms are already around 60% of average arm length).

2. Serial casting. Putting Brody in an arm cast to hold his hand at 180 degrees, for 3 weeks, to stretch the tendons out. Then creating a night splint that Brody sleeps in.

3. Night splint only.

4. Nothing.

We've told Brody repeatedly - since he is now at the age that he can understand what we're tlaking about at doctors' appointments - that we love his arms and think his hands are marvelous. In fact, the OT said his right thumb was stronger than his left, and he uses it more. Nevertheless, Brody says he wants the right hand to get straight. Why? Two reasons: 1. He wants it "to match" his other arm; and 2. He wants to be able to shoot webs (a la Spiderman) from his right arm.

I'm in the less-is-more camp. Maybe try night splinting to see if we get any stretch and see how it goes. The good news is that, according to all OT's, while Brody has fine motor "delays" he can do everything he wants to do with the hands as they are right now.

We're waiting to get another opinion from a hand surgeon in Denver. In the meantime, if anyone has any experience with this, we'd love to hear your thoughts!

Other than that, all is well. I had an ultrasound on Brody's little brother today - 32 weeks! He is growing right on track, with a due date of December 3. My blood pressure is still nicely controlled, and I saw the baby blink on the ultrasound, and he has hair! We scheduled the c-section for December 1, in case I make it that far. The bubba weighs as much as Brody did when he was born: 3 lbs, 12 oz. Now all we need to do is firm up a name (Brody and I have a favorite, but Jeremy is still on the fence).

Thank you for checking in!