Thursday, December 30, 2010

Looking forward to the new year

I am really looking forward to 2011. I feel so grateful to be welcoming in the new year with our new daughter, Sami.

All of the sudden today, it's as though we have a new child. We are trying a new formula, and although the pediatrician says it will take 24 hours to know if it will make a difference, after just 15 hours I'm cautiously optimistic. The screaming has basically stopped, and while her congestion and reflux are not completely gone, the improvement is nothing short of miraculous. The formula is hypoallergenic, and doesn't contain milk or soymilk; it seems to be basically water, sugar, DHA, and all of the minerals and vitamins, with a touch of tapioca starch. It is the fourth formula we have tried. Of course, it is more than twice the cost of the other formulas, but if it makes Sami feel so great, and allows her to sleep, it is worth every penny. Again, I am cautiously optimistic, because last time we made a formula change, it also seemed to be a miraculous fix, but the fix only lasted three days and then all of her symptoms came back.

Today, Sami also had her hip ultrasound that was recommended by both the NICU doctor when she was discharged from the hospital, and her pediatrician, due to the fact that she was in a breech position. The radiologist who did the ultrasound said that everything looked great. The pediatrician had told us already she expected everything to be fine, and the ultrasound was just a precaution. So today has been a good day all the way around!

Sami now also weigh just under 7 pounds. So she is now the size of a small newborn! I am very happy about that, even though she is 8 weeks old. People that see her stop me and remark all the time that she must have "just been born." I am constantly explaining that she is older than she looks because she was a preemie. The pediatrician is very happy with her weight gain; she weighs almost double her birth weight now. I keep telling Sami to take advantage of the fact that gaining weight for her is such a good thing, and warning her that is is one of the few times in a girl's life that gaining weight will make her happy. LOL.

Next Wednesday, she will be having the first half of her two-month vaccinations, with the other half coming two weeks later. The pediatrician wants to divide them up due to her small size, which is fine with me.

Sami is really doing so well, except for the congestion caused by her reflux and the screaming and crying brought on by being colic. The pediatrician is always amazed at Sami's head and neck control, and though Sami is now just under 7 pounds, she can already roll over!

Our only obstacle is the colic, congestion and acid reflux, but I have high hopes for the new formula she began today. I will keep the updates coming.

Monday, December 20, 2010

RIP Shakespeare

It's been a little while since I've written. Early Monday morning on Dec. 20, just a little bit after midnight, we lost Shakespeare. He was only 8 years old, and was such a special member of our family. We have been truly grieving, and missing him so very much. We lost two precious cats this year. We lost Loki just four months ago. The only consolation I have is believing that Shake and Loki are together right now. RIP Shakespeare. You are missed more than I can say. We love you, and will never forget you, and all of the unique characteristics you always showed, which are way too many to list here. Our home will never be the same without you.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Our cat Shakespeare is in the animal hospital tonight on IV fluids. After tonight if everything goes OK he will be at the vet for another 48 hours being monitored. He is nearing kidney failure, but there's a lot of hope from us and from the vet that we caught it on time. The next couple of days are crucial. If you are reading this, please keep Shakespeare in your thoughts and prayers. Thank you.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Busy, busy, busy

Well I am pretty much back to work full time.

Thursday I need to start my day getting started with a couple of articles that are due on Tuesday afternoon. Then at the end of the day, Sami and I will be taking a ride to one of my clients to pick up a ton of pages that I need to edit. They are hoping to have the edited pages back the end of the day on Friday, so I am expecting to work all day Friday and then Sami and I will bring the pages there the end of the day on Friday. If there are any pages I don't finish by then, I will take them back up early Monday morning. For the stories I have due on Tuesday afternoon, I will be doing as much as I can over the weekend, but because they are business-related and I have to interview people who work normal business hours, so I will be spending all of Monday doing my interviews and research, and then spending Tuesday finishing up the writing part. I am excited to be back at work, and because Sami is sleeping at least a little better I think I will be able to juggle both be a full time at-home mom, while also working full time. Yes, I'll be exhausted. But it's worth it to me to be able to keep Sami home and not send her to daycare any time soon. The truth I'm not ready to leave her in her in anyone else's care. I haven't even left her alone with my mother yet. For now, Sami and I are inseparable. :)

What this means though is that our house is back to being my office Monday through Friday during normal business hours. Since Sami has been home, we've gotten visits from my mother and a couple of others during the days. But being back at work, visits will go back to being in the evenings and weekends, since I really need to devote daytime to work, and need for the house to literally be my professional office during the weekdays. I am excited to get back to a bit of normalcy. :) '(Of course this all comes at the exact weekend when Steven's parents are coming down to meet their newest grandchild, but the evenings and weekend will allow a lot of time for them to spend time together.)

Today, Sami had her weekly appointment with the pediatrician. She is doing really great, and already working toward holding her head up. She now weighs 5 pounds and 14 ounces and is 19 and a half inches long! I can't believe how much she has grown. She is more beautiful each day, and every day I love her more than the day before, even though I don't know how that is possible. She is truly becoming the light of my life. Thank goodness her bassinet has wheels, because I roll her around a lot upstairs once she falls sleep in it, and put her next to my desk so I can watch her while I work. I love looking at her while I work. (Of course I love looking at her all of the time.)
Sami is going to stay on the new sensitive stomach formula, but when I make her formula I need to add a little less water (I have exact instructions from the pediatrician) so that I turn it into being a higher-calorie formula, to try to mimic the formula designed for premature babies. It's a little extra work, but it seems to keep her calmer, and perhaps she was getting stomach aches from the other formula, which is very rich. To keep her out of any pain, I do not mind the extra work at all.

awake at 4:30 a.m.

I missed a deadline for the first time in my professional life. An article that was due by close-of-business on Tuesday, I completed at 1 a.m. Wednesday morning. Chances are that my editor would not have looked at it until Wednesday morning when she came in to the office anyway, but I am still disappointed. It was also very far from my best work. But it's done! So now onto the next deadline.

It's 4:15 a.m. and Sami has done tonight exactly what I predicted tonight. She slept very soundly all evening, even practically eating in her sleep during feedings. She screamed the majority of the afternoon (hence the reason for me missing my deadline), and then fell soundly asleep around 7 p.m. after her bath. Then even though I woke her up to feed her and tried to keep her awake as much as possible, she slept soundly all night until her 2:30 a.m. feeding. After she was done eating, I held for a little while and of course she screamed when I put her down, and has been awake ever since. All evening I told my sister and my mother that Sami was sleeping to save her energy so that she could scream all night. I was right. LOL. This is one case in which I wish I was wrong. Wednesday evening I am going to work very hard to keep her awake, with hopes she will sleep better at night. We shall see.

Yesterday was my sister's birthday. My sister and I kept telling Sami that she wasn't allowed to cry on Dec. 7 since it was her aunt's birthday. So aside from crying a couple of hours in the late afternoon, she decided to follow that rule, and waited for it to officially be Dec. 8 before she started crying again. Every time I put her down she raises her arms up, almost to ask to be picked up, but I know she is too young to know that gesture. I think she just likes to raise her arms up a lot.

In the afternoon, Sami has her weekly doctor appointment. She is doing well, and despite being awake now, has been sleeping a little bit better the past few days. It's funny that I almost look forward to her doctor appointments because it's one of the rare times I leave the house.

Yesterday I renewed my pre-paid cell phone (the one I use to speak to Elizabeth) for two more months. She has called me three times since Sami was born. The last time I heard from her was on Thanksgiving. She asked how the baby was doing (didn't ask her name or any details), and said she just wanted to with us a Happy Thanksgiving and tell us once again how happy she was that the baby was placed with us. I do not want her to call and find the number disconnected just yet, and her calls have been very few so I am comfortable keeping the telephone line open a bit longer.

The low tonight here is 37, which is very cold for us Floridians. We are all bundled up and have the heat on.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

another busy week

This is gearing up to be another busy week. One of my clients has a big editing project for me. I will be getting the work late Thursday and they need it completed by early Monday morning. They actually would like it back by the end of the day Friday, but are willing to wait until Monday morning if I need the weekend to complete it, which I am pretty sure will be the case. Sami has begun sleeping a little better, so I will keep her bassinet next to me while I work. I love having her close to me all the time.

I have another deadline due close-of-business today for another client, that I am struggling to meet. I am waiting now for a return phone call from a source I would need to interview for that article.

Tomorrow is Sami's weekly appointment with the pediatrician. She seems to be doing a little better on the sensitive-stomach formula, but I am not sure if it's enough of a difference to warrant switching her to this formula permanently, as the preemie formula has almost the double the vitamins and minerals as the other formula. It is designed to give preemies the nutrients they should have gotten from their mothers during the last two months of the pregnancy. I will discuss with the doctor the pros and cons, and will see what she advises.

There are other reasons Sami might be sleeping better. I found a way to elevate the mattress in her bassinet, and have packed lots of blankets around her in it as well. She seems to prefer to be elevated and tucked in. There is a chance she has reflux, which would explain her preference to be elevated. Last night we also spoke to someone at the baby store. He recommended a wedge that is made to be placed under crib mattresses for the same purpose. We purchased it but haven't tried it yet, because I haven't been putting her in her room in her crib the past few days, as her room seems to be the coldest room in the house. We also bought her a vibrating bouncer chair that is supposed to be great for babies with colic. I just finished washing all of the material on it, so I will be trying it out later to see how it works out for her.

This helpful employee's son was also born prematurely, so he was very helpful. His son was born weighing 5 pounds and 5 ounces (about two pounds bigger than Sami was when she was born), and he said that his son wore some of his preemie clothes for almost 6 months. I think I will be returning the newborn clothes that I purchased (the ones I haven't already cut the tags off of and washed), and just worry about buying new newborn clothes when she is ready for them. We bought a few more preemie outfits this week. I had been stalling buying new preemie clothes as I didn't expect her to wear them too long, but a lot of them are still roomy, and the newborn clothes are ridiculously huge on her. 0-3 month clothes are literally 4x the size of the preemie clothes. (I am not exaggerating. We compared them.)

At almost 5 weeks old, Sami is now probably the size of a very small newborn. She is definitely filling out, and looks different every day. Somehow she is even more beautiful every day.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

I wish for sleep

It's almost 5:30 a.m. and I'm praying for Sami to fall back asleep sometime soon. She seemed to sleep a little better tonight, but now she's been awake since around 3:45 a.m. and does not seem to want to go to sleep, despite having her diaper changed, finishing a bottle, and getting lots of cuddling. Every time I set her down she screams. I brought her into her room a little while ago and set her in her crib, and I'm sitting in the glider chair talking to her and typing. She is still making noises, and is definitely still awake, but at least she isn't crying or screaming now. I am scared to leave the room because last time I tried, the second I left the room the screams started again.

Sami turned 1 month old on Saturday. I can't believe it. I don't know how I'll react when she turns 1 year old, 3 years old or 10 years old, considering that even her turning 1 month old made me feel that time was going to quickly.

I have a ton of work due Monday morning--pages I am editing and proofing for a ladies clothing catalog, which I am back to doing on a weekly basis. There are 92 pages for me to edit this weekend, which I need to drop off at their office Monday morning, and I think I've gotten about 5 pages done so far. LOL. I guess that is what I get for taking a nap tonight for two hours while Sami was sleeping. Because she sleeps so little, I'm just so tired and sometimes I want to nap when she sleeps, but I really need to be working when she is sleeping. Since I am so wide awake now, if she falls asleep any time soon, I may try to do a little more work this morning before going to sleep. I am trying to keep her room semi-dark (just a small light is on in the corner) and it's not enough light to proof pages or I would be doing it now. I have about 29 hours before I need to take Sami for a car-ride to drop of the completed pages Monday morning. I thought it wouldn't be so difficult to get this project done, since I had the weekend to complete it, but somehow time still got the best of me.

Sami is still making lots of little noises, and her eyes are still wide open. Since she is actually not screaming or crying, I am fighting the urge to pick her up, and am just letting her remain in her crib. My eyes are now beginning to get heavy, but I know if I leave the room, her little pipes will start shrieking again.

It's starting to get a little cold outside-- well it's cold for us Floridians. It's been in the 50s at night, and by mid-week it is expected to be 40 degrees at night.

Sami's noises are starting to get louder now, and are seeming to be getting into the crying/screaming phase, so I am going to sign off now.

The other day one of my friends posted a poll on facebook asking what everyone is hoping to receive this Christmas or Hanukkah. My answer was simple: "sleep."

Friday, December 3, 2010

back to work

As of Friday morning, I will back to work. My three regular clients all suddenly contacted me on Thursday asking me if I am ready to work. I do not want to, and honestly cannot afford to, lose them permanently, so I agreed to begin to work regularly again to keep their business.

Friday morning (in just a few hours) I will be taking Sami for a 40-minute ride to pick up pages I need to edit over the weekend, and then will be dropping them back off on Monday morning. Then I have two large stories due by close-of-business Tuesday.

I still haven't figured out how I am going to work all day on tight deadlines while caring for Sami at home, since I work from home, and especially after nights of no sleep. I was hoping to be able to wait to get back to work until she wasn't up all night and day, but it doesn't look like that is going to happen.

Tonight I got moody and antsy because I do not really leave the house aside from the weekly pediatrician appointments, and I'm cranky from sleeping so little. I felt like my life is the only one that has changed at all when I watched Steven leave to play basketball for the third time this week, while my days and nights revolve around trying to juggle work and taking care of Sami. I really do not want to complain because I love every second I spend with her. She truly lights up my life. I was just cranky because I am functioning on such a little amount of sleep. Steven did take over walking the dogs in the morning and evenings, cleaning the cats' litter boxes and feeding the animals, and helping clean the house when he gets home from being at work all day, but I admit I am still selfishly jealous that he sleeps at night and still gets to break away from the house. And on top of everything else, the symptoms in my back and foot are beginning to resurface, most likely because I haven't been able to go to the gym and do all the exercises prescribed by my physical therapist. I need to find a way to get back there 4 times a week like I had been doing before Sami was born. My therapist told me that I need to think of going to the gym, and doing the specific exercises and stretches, as my job, as it is a necessity in trying to avoid back surgery. It is extremely important for me to get back to that routine.

I honestly feel so guilty complaining, because I know how lucky I am to have her. I think just the tiredness catches up with me and I need to vent.

I am happy to be getting back to work and back to writing on a regular basis, I just wish I didn't have to get back to it only two weeks after Sami is home from the hospital, and while she is still so colicky and not sleeping. But it will be nice to see adults tomorrow. I am not sure if I will actually see more than one adult, because someone is meeting me outside with the pages I will be editing, so that I do not have to bring Sami into the building where about 200 people work, as I am still trying very hard for her to avoid germs. I am lucky they are willing to work with me that way.

I am also lucky to be working from home. If I had to go back to an office this early and leave Sami in someone else's care, I do not think I could do it. Yes, I do know it will be challenging to work while also taking care of her, but the benefits of getting to spend my time with this beautiful and amazing child are so worth it.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

4 weeks old

Sami's doctor appointment went well. Sami is already trying to hold her head up, is extremely strong, and not showing any signs of being a preemie aside from her small size, which isn't so small anymore in my opinion, even though everyone that sees her continues to tell me that she is tiny. She is over 5 pounds now, and to me looks so much bigger than the baby I held in the NICU every day. Newborn clothes are still too big for her, so she is still wearing preemie clothes for the time being.

The only somewhat-bad news from her appointment is that the doctor thinks that most likely Sami's all-night, and sometimes all-day screaming, means she may be colic. We are trying out a different formula this week for sensitive stomachs to rule out the chance that her high-calorie preemie formula is not agreeing with her and causing her stomach pains. But the doctor is not optimistic the formula change will make a difference. If it doesn't help by next week's appointment, she will be put back on her preemie formula, which is better for her development, and be diagnosed as colic, and we will have to deal with a screaming, but lovable and adorable, baby for the next few months until the symptoms subside.

Sami is four weeks old today. :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

so tired....

Sami finally just fell back asleep and it's 7:35 a.m. I fell asleep around 1 a.m., woke up at 4 a.m. and have been awake since then. But at least that is 3 hours of sleep, considering the night before I got 0 hours of sleep. I gave her a bottle around 6:30 a.m., and she ate extremely slowly, as she was finally getting tired.

I am now off to try to get a little sleep before her doctor appointment...

She's a crier!!

Sami has her weekly appointment with the pediatrician today. She's doing great, except for the fact that she is very fussy, doesn't sleep through the night (even though I wake her every few hours to feed her, she doesn't sleep solid during the times between the feedings), and screams at the top of her lungs sometimes and it's hard to console her for quite a while. Sometimes once she gets a bottle it calms her down, but she seems to want to eat sometimes every two hours. I'm hoping that we can increase her from 2 1/2 ounces (which she eats now) to 3 ounces, and maybe that will help the situation, since most of the time she eagerly finishes the 2 1/2 ounces. We have to be careful though to give her too much at a time due to her small stomach size.

I'm curious to find out how much she has grown. I keep telling everyone that she is getting so big. Most people laugh at me, and tell me that she is tiny. My mom laughed at me today. She asked me what size her clothes were. I told her they were still preemie clothes and that newborn was still way too big. So she reminded me that if she is still wearing preemie clothes, then she is still very small. She did agree that her face has filled out a lot, and she definitely looks bigger than she did at her 3 pound 9 ounce birth weight, but that she is still very small. But seriously, I do not think she is small anymore! Maybe it's because I'm with her 24/7 and notice every change, but to me she seems to have grown so much. I'm expecting her to weigh around 5 pounds and 3 ounces today, considering the pediatrician said she should gain about 1 ounce a day for a little while, but we shall see.

In other news, Steven fed Sami for the first time!! It was a huge help to me to have one feeding break, especially since last night Sami pulled one of her all-nighters and I had literally been awake more than 24 hours. I had finally just fallen asleep when Sami decided to scream, and Steven got up and fed her. I had taught him how to heat a bottle and how to feed her and burp her a little while ago, and he finally did it! This was a very momentous occasion for me, as I finally got a break for one feeding!!

She did of course wake up an hour later, and has been awake ever since so I am up with her now, but the break was still nice. She is actually in her room, in her crib right now, and I am sitting in the glider chair with my laptop. She seems to know that I am here because she stopped crying when I came in the room. I didn't even pick her up, just went up to the crib where she looked up at me, stopped crying and went back to sleep. But she is making a lot of noise and is being fussy, and every time I leave the room she starts to scream bloody murder. I am not sure if me being in the room is comforting for her, or if it's the sound of clicking of the keys on my computer, but no matter what the reason, if it's keeping her calm, I'm not moving. LOL

Monday, November 29, 2010

An easier night

Hopefully I'm not speaking too soon considering it's only 5 a.m., but tonight has been a much easier night. Every three hours after Sami had her bottle, I held her until she fell asleep in my arms and then set her down and she actually slept until the next bottle!! I have gotten more than two hours of solid sleep between each bottle so far tonight, which is the most I've gotten since she came home.

Saturday night/Sunday morning, I was not so lucky. Sami was awake literally all night long and I wasn't able to go to sleep until 11:30 a.m. and then woke up at 1 p.m. when it was time for her next bottle. So considering I only slept 90 minutes the whole night, three two-hour blocks of sleep is amazing tonight!!

I spent most of Sunday very tired, but tried to keep Sami as awake as possible between feedings with hopes she would sleep better tonight and it seems to have worked! My sister and niece came over for a visit late in the day and I was like a zombie while they were here. My niece helped me take care of Sami for a few minutes, until the sight of spit-up made her run. lol.

On Sunday evening, Sami didn't scream as loud as usual during her bath, which was also good. One day I was sure I was going to have social services knocking on my door after one of her baths due to all of her screaming.

Sami is an extremely active baby. You cannot turn your back to her even for a minute when you put her down on the changing table as she rolls and squirms all over the place. She is so alert and curious and often has her eyes open and looks all over the room, seeming to be trying to take in everything. Every day is an adventure with Sami, and I can't even describe the love I feel when I look into her beautiful face. I feel so lucky, and I am so grateful, that she is here.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Not so tiny to me!

It's after 2 a.m. and I just finished feeding Sami. It's only a few hours away before I have to wake her (if she doesn't wake me first) for her next feeding. She is wide awake, even though I held her for a while with hopes she would fall sleep. I put her down but she is laying there making baby noises and looking around the room with wide curious eyes. She isn't crying though, and seems to be happy entertaining herself for the time being.

Today was a nice Saturday. I took Sami for a walk in her stroller, and Penny came along. Penny, our greyhound, has decided her new role in this family is to protect Sami. At every cry or sound, she runs to Sami's side, sometimes getting to her before even I do. It's sweet; she looks from me to Sami completely helpless. I think she wishes she could hold Sami. She even barks and growls at some people when they approach Sami, although she does seem to have calmed down on that front.

Tonight my friend Jesse came over to meet Sami, and she kept saying she couldn't believe how tiny she is. It's funny to me now when people say that, because at 4 pounds and 12 ounces, Sami doesn't look small to me anymore. Her face is filling out and she has adorable little cheeks now. To me, she seems like she has grown so much and isn't so small anymore, so it really seems odd to me when people still remark that she is "so tiny." I guess it's just a matter of perspective. After all, as you can tell by the attached photo, pacifier is about half the size of her beautiful face.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

another night with Sami

It's almost 4:30 a.m. and I just finished feeding Sami. She ate very slowly tonight, and it took her almost an hour to finish just 1 1/2 ounces of formula. She is now in the bassinet next to me as I lay in bed typing on my laptop, while I listen to her steady breathing as she sleeps.

I'm exhausted but sometimes it takes me a little while to fall back asleep after feeding her each time. Last night I think I slept 2 and a half hours total, and considering she'll need to eat again at 6 a.m. I am not expecting tonight to be much more than last night. It's funny the way we adapt.

I definitely notice the two inches Sami has grown. The preemie clothes are actually still a little wide, but when it comes to the onesies with the feet, they are starting to be a little short and I think that soon she may not be able to extend her legs fully out when she wears them. I am thinking of cutting the feet part off of the outfits and putting socks on her feet, because I think the newborn size will still be too big for her to wear. The preemie clothes that are regular pants without feet still fit her just fine.

Sami "talks" in her sleep. She may little noises, and I love listening to her. Sometimes the sound like squeaks, but usually they sound like little baby cooing noises, if you know what I mean.

Friday, November 26, 2010


On Wednesday, Sami's weekly pediatrician appointment went very well. She now weighs 4 pounds 12 ounces, and is expected to gain an average of one ounce per day. She is also now 18.25 inches long. She is now three weeks old and has gained 1 pound and 3 ounces and has grown two inches. At this rate, she will most likely weigh more than 5 pounds at her next visit next Wednesday. The pediatrician said she is doing great, and the only sign of her being a preemie is her small size. Sami is already making me proud to be her mother.

I'm still very tired but I'm getting used to it, and finding I do not need much sleep to function. It's a good thing, considering my other half sleeps through the night ... through every cry, every feeding, etc. Sometimes I think a freight train could go through the room and it wouldn't even wake him up. So yes, I'm tired and a little frustrated, but I am happy even when I am tired, and feel that Sami and I are bonding through all of the time we spend together during the wee hours of the nights and mornings, and the days while I try to balance working from home and taking care of Sami. Yes, my work is suffering right now, but when she gets a little bigger and on more of a schedule, I am expecting that to change. All of my clients are being very understanding.

We spent Thanksgiving at my sister's house, where my sister and her two daughters and my mother took turns holding Sami while making baby talk and laughing each time she smiled, scrunched her lips together or stretched her arms up in the air. It's so funny how every expression a little baby makes turns into entertainment. Sami was definitely the center of attention tonight.

Of course I think it made her schedule a little more off than usual, since she didn't sleep as much this evening. So when it was time to feed her around 2:15 a.m., Sami only ate one ounce instead of two, and even the one ounce was a struggle. It's now 3 a.m. and I finally gave up and am letting her sleep, but of course this means she will need to eat again before the usual three-hour break. I am expecting her to wake up hungry by 4 a.m. I am not sure if I will be able to stay up until then as I am getting very tired, but I'm sure she will wake me up. LOL. She has unbelievable loud pipes for her small size. Then I'll take a nap until it's time to feed her again around 7 a.m., and then will feed her around every three hours. I don't really remember what it's like to sleep. I'll have to ask my husband to describe sleep to me since he still knows what sleep is like. LOL.

All joking aside, this Thanksgiving I know how much I have for which to be thankful, and I am truly grateful.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Our big day

It's 3 a.m., and I just finished feeding Sami. I am waiting now to see if she is going to stay asleep before I let myself fall back asleep.

Today was a big day! Sami got all dressed up to go out and meet her amazing great-grandmother, who will be 98 this February. I know that I am not supposed to take her out before her two-month vaccinations, but I just couldn't resist the urge today to introduce them. And of course, it was love at first sight!

Today I completed the finishing touches on Sami's nursery. It is officially my favorite room in our house. It's so cheerful, and I hope that she will love her room as much as I do.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

In love with Sami...

I'm not sure I've ever felt the kind of love I feel for Sami. Yes, I wake up every couple of hours around the clock and walk around in a semi-zombie state. Yes, I have not associated with any adults aside from my husband, sister and mother since she has come home. And yes, I haven't left the house since she has been home aside from her first appointment with her pediatrician. But it's worth it all. It is SOOOO worth it all.

Sami does need a bit more care than full-term newborns. She is on a special high-calorie formula, which she will need to stay on for one year. She will have weekly appointments with the pediatrician until she reaches average newborn weight. She needs to eat every 3-4 hours. If she sleeping I have to wake her up to eat. And because she takes a long time to eat, and takes a while to fall back asleep afterward, I am basically waking every every 90 minutes. And because I am full-time freelancer, I do not receive any kind of maternity leave, so I am trying (somewhat unsuccessfully) to continue to work from home. But I find myself falling asleep with her in the morning. (Yes I admit that I do mean "with her" as often we fall asleep together with her in my arms.) She will probably become extremely spoiled as she is held almost all of the time.

She's still in preemie clothes. Newborn size is definitely still too big, and 0-3 month clothes are something I probably wont be thinking about for a while. She will most likely be smaller than other children her age, until she is somewhere between 2 and 5 years old. And she might be a little behind in some developmental things, but I am told that this is only a possibility since she is already doing so much better than expected, and that even if she does have these issues, she will be caught up by the time she is 5 years old or sooner.

I can look at her for hours without getting bored. In fact, I do. I just hold her and stare at her. She looks back at me often with her eyes wide with interest, and sometimes it almost seems as if she has an older soul inside of her the way she looks back at me.

I just adore Sami. (In case you couldn't tell.)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sami's coming home

Sami is coming home today! I feel like a little kid the night before Christmas, I'm so excited.

Last night was the first night I didn't go back to the hospital (I did still go during the day) and I missed her so much. I decided to stay in and finish some things to get ready for her arrival and to try to get a little rest.

I'm doing some last-minute things this morning before it's time to go get her and bring her home.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Goodnight (or should I say morning?)

There is a very good chance Sami will be discharged from the hospital at noon today. After getting home from the hospital at 2 a.m. this morning, I wound up pulling an all-night disinfecting every corner of my house for Sami's arrival. It's now almost 6:30 a.m. and I have to call the hospital between 10:30 and 11 a.m. to confirm if she is coming home today, or if I'll be spending another day with her in the NICU. Hopefully I'll be able so sleep shortly for a few hours...

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Big changes! :)

Sami gets it! She's eating! Well it's more like inhaling! LOL. She is finishing her bottles now in about 8 minutes flat. Of course she still only gets an ounce at a time because her stomach is too small for any more than that, but because of how well she started eating yesterday and all night last night, her feeding tube was removed this morning! We were warned that there is a possibility she wont keep it up, and will wind up having the tube put back in, but it's still a very good sign! I almost cried last night each time that I fed her because it was so great to watch her eat so well.

In other good news, she had a big weight gain over the past day and a half, and is now weighing 4 pound and 2 ounces! This means that in the next day or two she will most likely be moved out of the incubator and into a crib! There is a chance that will stress her out a little and cause her to stop eating so well, but it's just a wait-and-see situation. Either way, this is great news.

Sami definitely has a temper. When she does not like something she really lets you know. Last night when we were cleaning her belly button (she lost her cord last night, too!) she was screaming so much she turned bright red and her heart monitor went up to 200. It quickly went back down afterward, but boy is she a character already.

It looks like she may be home before Thanksgiving :) I am so proud of our little girl.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Waiting to visit Sami

I go to sleep missing Sami, and I wake up missing her. This morning I can't be there because we are meeting with who-will-most-likely-be her pediatrician at 12:40 p.m. today. Then I am off to see Sami.

I had been working in the middle of night every night to be able to spend every day and evening with Sami, but I had finished everything I needed to do for the week Thursday morning, so last night I finally got to sleep a little bit. I think I slept about 6 hours, which is a lot better than the 2 or 3 hours I've been getting every other night.

I called the hospital this morning, and her nurse today said that Sami took an entire bottle at 6 a.m., and at 9 a.m. she decided to let her rest and just fed her through the tube. I really hate that. I sometimes feel that when I am not there, they don't even try with the bottle. I want to believe that it is truly because Sami needs to rest from eating, but sometimes it seems that it is just the easy way out for them. The nurse did say that at noon she will try the bottle again and see how Sami does. I wish I could be there for that, but I will probably not make it up there until before her 3 p.m. feeding. I will probably stay at that point until they close the NICU at 6:30 p.m. for the nurses' shift-change. I plan on being back when they reopen at 8 p.m., and Steven was planning on going back with me tonight. It's only 10 a.m. now and it feels like seeing her around 3 p.m. is a lifetime away right now.

Tonight I will be bring something of hers home with me. I read an article about how to get your pets ready for a new baby, and it suggests bringing something home that smells like the baby and letting your pet smell it, so that I are used to her scent before she comes home. I talked to a nurse about it last night, and she said that is the best way to start the introduction, and that is what she did when she had a baby. She said that when her baby came home from the hospital, her dog felt like he already knew her because he had been smelling one of her items for a few days previously.

Missing Sami

Sami now weighs 3 pounds and 14 ounces. It's so great that she is gaining weight every day. Now we just need to get her to eat better. That's her biggest challenge still. Tonight when I fed her, she took about half the bottle and had to have the rest through the tube. The same thing happened during the day when I fed her, and during the feeding the nurse did when I wasn't there. If I wake up after her 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. feeding, I will call the NICU to see how each of those feedings went.

I spent most of the day with her today. Then tonight Steven was able to go with me when I went back to the hospital, and we got home shortly before 1 a.m.

Tomorrow we have an appointment to meet with a pediatrician that was highly recommended to me. She does consultations with new parents to introduce herself and answers questions before you bring in your child for the first time. After that Steven will be going back to work, and I will head back up to the hospital. I hate that I can't go there first thing in the morning to see Sami, but I know that meeting the pediatrician is important.

But more than anything, I just want Sami home with us. When I leave her, I feel that I am leaving a piece of myself behind. I miss her so much.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


I am in love with an NICU nurse named Tilda, who got my daughter to take two entire bottles tonight. One at 8:30 p.m. and one at 2:30 a.m. The second one only took Sami 15 minutes to finish. I don't understand why all of the nurses can't be like Tilda, after dealing with two not-so-great nurses over the past couple of days. I pray that her daytime nurse will be as patient.

It's almost 4 a.m. I finally finished proofing pages that I have to drop off at 9:30 a.m., and then will be heading to the hospital. I'm still awake since I'm so happy about Sami's night, but hopefully will be asleep before 4:30 a.m., then I have to be up before 8 a.m. and will have another long day ahead of me. My back, which had been feeling a lot better, is hurting something fierce right now. I'm laying on an ice pack, and hoping that feels better in the morning, too.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Not a great day

Today was upsetting. I spent the day in NICU at the hospital with her. Her nurse today said it could be a few more weeks before Sami can come home because she is eating poorly and is being tube fed. I was expecting her to be home this weekend or early next week, so this was heartbreaking. They can't and won't predict when she will come home, because they say it's really up to Sami. I had a talk with her about her needing to eat from the bottle so that she can home. I came home for a little bit, and will most likely be heading back up tonight. The hospital is 45 minutes each way, so I'm spending a ton of time driving back and forth, and losing a lot of freelance work, since I am spending most of my time with her in the hospital. It's worth it, of course, and I hate every second I am away with her. I just want her home.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

another day with Sami

I spent the whole day today with Sami. She eagerly ate when I gave her a bottle, even though she doesn't do so with the nurses. They joked that I should be there around the clock for every feeding. She is still alternating bottle feeding with tube feeding.

I was also reminded again that until she is at least two months old, she cannot be around groups of people or anyone that has a chance of being sick, and everyone must wash their hands or use hand sanitizer before touching her. Premies are much more susceptible to germs than regular newborns, especially because she is so small, and will most likely be small for a while. She is wearing premie clothes now, and will move on to newborn clothes in the next few weeks, but most likely wont be wearing 0-3 month clothes until she is 3 months old. We were told that if she gets sick at all before six months old, she will have to be in the hospital on IV antibiotics, so we have decided to follow these rules very strictly until she has had her two-month vaccinations, which may come even later than two months depending on her size. We aren't going to take her out to restaurants, stores or anywhere with large groups of people. Her outings will consist of walks in the neighborhood and doctor appointments. lol. But that's OK. I don't mind us having her mainly all to ourselves for a while.

Today was one of the best days of my life. I sat there for hours just holding her and talking to her rocking back and forth in one of the NICU rocking chairs. She had her eyes closed almost the whole time, but did open them occasionally and look up at me. She also kept one hand wrapped tightly around my finger the whole time. She is amazing, and so cute it melts my heart.

another update

Sami is continuing to gain weight. Last night at 11:30 p.m. she weighed a little more than 3 pounds and 11 ounces.

The biggest challenge right now is that she doesn't really want to eat so most of her food is coming to her through the tube down her nose. Every other feeding she is offered a bottle, and she gets through about half of it before refusing to eat any more, so then she gets the remainder of it through the tube. Every other feeding between those, she is strictly being fed through the tube. I know it's good because this way she can get her nutrition without exhausting herself by eating, but it's disheartening to watch her with the tube down her nose, and I was really enjoying sitting with her and feeding her every few hours when I am there. She ate so well her first two days, and then it seems she just exhausted herself. At her small size, even eating is exhausting for her.

Aside from that she is doing well. She is keeping herself warm, and I'm hoping that soon they will move her out of the incubator into a crib in the NICU. She will also have to pass a car seat test before she can go home. We will have to bring in her car seat when they tell us to, and they have to make sure she can sit in it safely. She is getting close to meeting all of her criteria to go home, aside from the eating issue. The criteria are: she has to weigh at least 4 pounds, she has to be totally bottle-fed, and she has to regulate her own body temperature. Her weight is going up, and the real main battle we still have to get through is her eating regularly from a bottle.

I miss Sami when I am not with her, but I know she is very good hands. Each NICU nurse only care for two babies per shift, so she is getting round-the-clock care.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sami update

We got home tonight from the hospital after midnight again. I now have so much work to catch up on, and imagine I will be up working until about 4 a.m. since most of it is due on Monday morning. Tomorrow (Monday), I have to get up early to drop off the edited pages at one of my clients. Then I need drop of a very large check to the attorney for the remainder of Elizabeth's support and legal fees, and then spend the day with Sami. My mom is going with me to see Sami.

Tonight broke my heart. Sami isn't eating as well as she had been, and now is being tube fed through her nose. Unless you've experienced this firsthand with your own child, I think it may be hard to understand what it feels like to witness this. She is so tiny and helpless, with wires on her chest, a monitor on her ankle, and now a tube down her nose, and she sleeps enclosed in a clear incubator.

The good news is that she gained half an ounce, and now weighs 3 pounds, and 9 and a half ounces. It was still such a surprise that she was born almost 6 and a half weeks early. She may have some developmental delays, but is expected to catch up completely by the time she is 5 years old. The other good news is that she is no longer jaundice, and she is regulating her body temperature on her own. If that keeps up, she will probably be moved to a crib very soon.

Elizabeth called me today because she was discharged from the hospital and is home now. I had been visiting her every day and she didn't want us to take the time to go up to her floor in the hospital when she wouldn't be there. We had a nice conversation, and she thanked me for everything we did for her. She told me that she loves me, and she knows we will be good parents, and she is very sure she made the right decision. I thanked her for helping us create our family. The conversation made me feel good, and I felt emotional when we said goodbye and hung up.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Wishing she was here...

We just got home from spending time with Sami. She is doing great, and is so precious. It's so hard to leave her.

We were originally going to have a party for her a few weeks after she came home, but after talking to the pediatrician and nurses and the hospital, we have decided to wait until she is at least two months old, after she has received her two-month vaccinations. Because she is a premie, she is even more susceptible to germs than full-term newborn babies, and she really shouldn't be around large groups until after two months. No shopping malls, parties, events with large groups, etc. We also will only be having a couple of people over at a time, and will wait to have any group of people over at once for a couple of months. (This was also advised to us by the NICU nurses. We also are not supposed to have anyone around here with any symptoms of a cold or even not feeling well, just in case.) We also have to take her temperature often, and if it's ever above 100.4 we have to call the pediatrician. But we wont mind being cautious and limiting guests, because we know we will just be so happy to have her home with us where she belongs.

I have been visiting Elizabeth every day in the hospital. When Steven is with me, he visits her with me, and my mom and sister have each met her now. She is so grateful for the company, because she has no other visitors. Today we brought her a gift of bath products, and her whole face lit up. I know she hasn't done everything right, and I know she got a lot of financial support from us for the adoption, and she still gets support for the next eight weeks, and will have her December and January rent paid, but I still feel a connection to her and am so grateful to her. What she did for us is something I will always feel overwhelmed about. I do not agree with everything she has done, and we are very different people, but I feel bonded to her. I can't put it into words.

This morning Elizabeth signed the papers giving up her parental rights to us. In Florida, you can't sign those papers until 48 hours after giving birth, and once you sign the papers you can't change your mind. So she's ours for sure. The only thing still left is we wait for our court date, which should be in about 90 to 120 days to make it completely official and get her new birth certificate with our names on it, and apply for her Social Security card. Once it is official, we can convert her and do the baby naming, which will be a very special time for us.

We still needs tons of stuff, everything from clothes to diapers to bottles and blankets, etc. etc. etc. She will need premie sizes for a little bit, before moving on to newborn size. It may be a little while before she is wearing the 0-3 month size though. Only time will tell.

As I am writing this, I already miss Sami so much and wish she was here with us.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

She's here!

I have so much to say, but I am sooo tired so I need to make this short, but promise to update more over the weekend. Samantha "Sami" was born at 10:33 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 4. She is doing so great. Eating on her own, breathing on her own, but she can't come home until she weighs 4 pounds. She weighs 3 pounds and 9 ounces. It will probably be about two weeks, but hopefully a little less. We miss her so much when we leave the hospital, where she is in NICU, and can't wait until she comes home!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Here we go!

It's 6 a.m. and the attorney just called. Baby S' heart rate dropped again and they are doing the C-section at 9 a.m. She said it is definite. We are quickly getting ready and are off to the hospital!!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I spoke too soon

Well I spoke too soon. We just back home from the hospital. Everything seems stable and they are hoping to be able to keep Baby S in Elizabeth for at least another 3 weeks. I'll update more later because I have tons of work to catch up on. But everything is OK.

Today is the day!!

We are leaving for the hospital in a few minutes. They decided to do a C-section today, as the baby's blood pressure went down a couple of times during the night. It is expected right now that Baby S is fine, just small.

I will update when I can.

We are very nervous and very excited right now!!!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

waiting game

A pretty decent day turned into a very stressful one around 6 p.m. At Elizabeth's regular check-up this afternoon, the ultrasound showed very low amniotic fluid, and Elizabeth was immediately admitted to the hospital.

Tonight they are monitoring her, doing blood work, and giving her tons of fluid both orally and intravenously, with the hope that she is just dehydrated. However, if the fluid level doesn't increase, this is not safe for Baby S, and they will have to induce labor. Right now it's a waiting game.

It's hoped that Baby S will stay inside Elizabeth longer, as she is only 34 and a half weeks along, and Baby S only weighs 4 pounds and 2 ounces right now.

We planned to go to the hospital tonight to visit Elizabeth but she didn't answer my phone calls, but did answer my texts right away for some reason. I asked her if she was up for visitors, and she replied with "I'm fine. There's no need to come up here." Then I replied with that "I wanted to be there," and "can you talk on the phone instead of just texting?" She finally replied with "Yes, but give me 20 minutes." I called her 30 minutes later and she didn't answer. I don't understand why she didn't answer my calls, but if I texted her she wrote back immediately. I am done calling her or texting her tonight because I don't want it to seem as though I am harassing her, but I expect to be worried all night, and not get much sleep. In the morning, I will contact the attorney and try to reach Elizabeth again.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Trying to keep positive

I don't really have any news. We have done all that we need to do for the attorney and for our social worker and now it is time to just get the house ready, and to wait. Elizabeth is due in 6 weeks. It's getting close, and I try to keep the thought out of my head that for any reason Elizabeth could decide to not sign the papers and place the baby with us. We have a lot invested, both emotionally and financially, and if Elizabeth does not place the baby with us after all of this it would be devastating. Of course, there would most likely be another birth mother we would match with, but it would be very hard for me to trust the process again. I don't think I could go into at as open-minded as I have this time. It's very scary.

Last week our attorney asked me if our family members knew about us matching with Elizabeth. I thought it was such a crazy question. I told her that of course they knew, and they were all so excited to have a new addition to the family, and it was all most of us talk about. She said that some adoptive parents wait to tell people--even their own family members--until the birth paper signs the papers, even if it is a shock to tell people at the last minute that they just adopted a baby, because of how often the adoption winds up not going through. I've read that about 50 percent of adoption cases do not finalize, usually because the birth mother changes her mind at the end for some reason.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

33 week update

I'm a little behind in posting.

Tuesday of last week I went to the doctor with Elizabeth, and got to see Baby S on the screen again. The latest images are attached here. Baby S weighed 3.75 pounds, which the doctor said was a little small for 32 and a half weeks. But everything is proportionate, just small. So she will probably not be a big baby, although anything can happen considering babies usually gain most of the weight at the end of the pregnancy.

Anyway, Elizabeth and I had a good visit, and I took her out for lunch after the doctor appointment, and then drove her home. She looked good, and looked VERY pregnant.

During this past week, we started to get more prepared for the arrival of Baby S. We talked more about names, even though we are 95 percent sure of the name already. We've been cleaning and working on getting the baby's room empty so that the crib can be put together and I can start decorating the nursery. Yesterday I got a call from Buy Buy Baby that our car seat came in, so this weekend we will pick it up and purchase the matching stroller.

Also this weekend, we will be getting a preview of parenthood. Our 10-year-old niece, Rachel, will be spending a good part of the weekend with us. Rachel is excited (and I must admit that so am I!) and we are planning what we are going to do. She loves babies, and is so excited to have a little cousin, so we may go look at baby stuff. Also, Saturday is Steven's birthday, and Halloween is on Sunday, so this should be a busy weekend. We have decorated our house, and I think it's the best in the neighborhood, complete with a skeleton sitting on the bench in our front lawn, plus lots of other stuff.

As for Elizabeth, our attorney called me on Monday with some bad news. Elizabeth's father passed away over the weekend. Her parents live about an hour away from her, and she called our attorney very distraught, and also told her she needed money ASAP to get down to see her mother. This of course came from our account, in addition to the Western Union fee to send it to her right away. I am not sure why this is considered an expense for which we are responsible for, but with only 6 weeks and 3 days left until Elizabeth's due date, I am trying to let some things go, especially considering how little the cost is in the scheme of things. Steven and I have a large loan to pay back for the adoption, but we both know that adding to our family with this beautiful little girl will make it all worth it. I have tried to call Elizabeth a couple of times to see how she is holding up, as unfortunately I know firsthand what she is going through, losing her father. She hasn't called me back, so tonight I sent an email to our attorney to see if she has heard from her.

As of Friday, when Elizabeth was 33 weeks along, Baby S should weigh more than 4 pounds (heft a pineapple) and passed the 17-inch mark. She's also rapidly losing that wrinkled, alien look and her skeleton is hardening. The bones in her skull aren't fused together, which allows them to move and slightly overlap, thus making it easier for her to fit through the birth canal. These bones actually don't entirely fuse until early adulthood, so they can grow as her brain and other tissue expands during infancy and childhood. (I am learning so much. Who knew that the bones in our brains do not completey fusing until we are adults?)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

What the heck is a jicama?

Elizabeth is due in 7 weeks and 5 days now. It doesn't seem so long ago when she was due in 7 months, and now it's just 7 weeks. I spoke to her on Friday, when she was 8 weeks from her due date, and she said that she can tell she will not make it 8 more weeks. She says she feels like it will be in 4 weeks. She said in her previous pregnancies, she has always been at least 2 weeks early. (She's given two children up for adoption in the past, in addition to having two other children when she was very young, who were basically raised by her parents.)

On Tuesday I am going with her to the doctor. She has rescheduled it a few times, due to her having bronchitis, and due to me not being able to meet her up there because of my back. (She lives almost an hour and a half away from us.) She keeps telling me she really wants me to go with her. I'm hoping that's a good sign, of her not changing her mind about placing the baby with us. Every time I talk to her, I tell her how excited we are, and she tells me that she loves me, and she is so happy that I will be the one with whom she is placing the baby. It all sounds so business-like, and cold sometimes.

Meanwhile, I had my physical, blood work, etc. etc. etc. and passed with flying colors. Steven had to go back to the the doctor who did his physical because they lost his urine sample. His results and letter are finally ready, so I am going to pick them up on Monday, and then send both mine and Steven's physical results and letter from the doctor to our social worker and attorney. We have one form to sign and have notarized for the attorney, and I am still waiting to get a copy of my birth certificate in the mail to send to them, too. We have to send a copy of our marriage certificate with the physical results to the attorney, and then all we have left to do is wait for Baby S to be here!! (Well of course we still have lots of stuff to do in the house to get ready. We have to finish combining the two offices, and put together the crib, changing table, etc. and start decorating. We also still need a white dresser or chest of drawers for her room.)

As for Baby S, she probably weights about weighs 3.75 pounds (and is about the size of a large jicama -- whatever the heck that is!) and is about 16.7 inches long. Elizabeth should be gaining about a pound a week right now and roughly half of that goes right to the baby. In fact, Baby S should gain a third to half of her birth weight during the next seven weeks as she fattens up for survival outside the womb. She now has toenails, fingernails, and real hair (or at least respectable peach fuzz). Her skin is becoming soft and smooth as she plumps up in preparation for birth.

I am excited to go to the doctor with Elizabeth on Tuesday, and to see Baby S on the ultrasound. I am sure she looks a lot different than she did last time I saw her in the middle of August! I will post pictures this week.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

good week work-wise

Today was another busy day. I think I mentioned that I left one of my editing jobs at the magazine. In its place, I got a new gig editing the clothing catalogs for a company called Boston Proper, which sells somewhat-pricey ladies clothing and accessories. I am really liking the work, and am becoming a bit humble as I thought I knew a lot more about fashion than I actually do. I am learning a lot of the correct fashion terms, materials, etc., so that I can edit the catalogs accurately. I also got another freelance job over the weekend, editing website copy, brochures, and an e-book for a local company. I placed an ad over the weekend offering writing and editing services, and already had three calls on it in the first two days. So I am very busy, and working hard. This will be a good week for me work-wise.

Tuesday morning I am having my physical exam, which is very close to the last thing we have to do as part of the adoption process. Steven has to go back to the doctor he went to for his physical last week, because they called today to tell him they lost his urine sample. Thank goodness I am not going to the same doctor.

Then I have physical therapy in the afternoon. I guess it is going well. At least my therapist seems to think so. He is encouraging me to get a treadmill for the house. One of the activities I do at therapy which helps a lot is walking on the treadmill at a very high incline (between 7 and 9 percent). My therapist says this is much healthier than walking at no level, such as the way walking outside would be, because the incline stretches the nerve and muscles. He is saying that walking on an incline like that 3 times a day for a little while should become something I do every day for the rest of my life, to keep the nerves down my legs healthy. I have been pricing treadmills--both new ones and used ones. My therapist has told me to start pricing them, so that when he tells me it is time for me to get one, I will know which one to purchase. He doesn't have any suggestions on which model to buy, because he says it doesn't matter as long as it is one I will use regularly, which makes sense. The most important thing is that it has a power incline, so I don't have to manually incline the treadmill all of the time. Right now its after midnight, and I'm having my usual nighttime pain in my foot and toes. I spent a good part of the weekend looking at shoes, and didn't have much luck. I am having a very rough time finding shoes I can wear that don't make me want to scream in pain. I never imagined the day where I would have trouble shopping for shoes!!!

Well that's about all for now. I need to get back to work for a little while before heading to sleep.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

today was a "baby day"

Today was a very productive "baby day." Earlier today I went to Buy Buy Baby, where we are also registered, with my mom and sister to show them the stroller Steven and I have been looking at. It's only nine pounds, and it's the lightest stroller you can buy, aside from umbrella strollers. My mom and sister also really liked it. Steven and I liked in the color called "tropical," which is orange. They had lots of strollers in stock in that color, but the matching car seat had to be ordered, and it can take about two to three weeks to come in. So today I ordered the car seat. When the store calls that the car seat is in, we will go pick it up and buy the stroller at the same time.

Then later today, Steven and I went to Walmart because the items I ordered for the nursery came in. Tonight I will open everything and look at it all, and make sure I love it as much as I did from the photos on the website. We ordered a bedding set, a floor rug, a mobile, appliques for the wall and a pop-up hamper, all within the Winnie the Pooh theme.

So things are coming along. We still need a pad for the changing table, clothes, a baby monitor, a pack and play, and of course, diapers, bottles, and lots of other things I am probably not even thinking of. I'd also like to find a little lamp for her room that has something to do with Winnie the Pooh.

I seem to be feeling a little better during the day, and have most of my pain at night now. I'm thankful to feel better during the day, but I dread the nighttime when the pain is at its worst.

But we are focusing on the baby these days. When we were in Walmart Steven saw a Nebraska baby onesie outfit, and he couldn't resist. We bought it in the 6-9 months size for a little bit down the road. Of course we are saving tags and receipts for everything we are buying because we are still nervous about Elizabeth flaking out in the end. But we really are trying to think positive, and are planning for this baby to become part of our family very soon. I try not to think about the idea of anything else happening, because I know it would break my heart. I am already so attached to this baby.

Instead of having a baby shower, we have decided to have a "coming out" party for Baby S when she is about 2-3 weeks old, for friends and family to meet her. I am guessing this will be sometime between Christmas and New Year's. Elizabeth is now due in 8 weeks and 6 days. I can't believe it! :)

Friday, October 8, 2010

31 weeks

Today, Elizabeth is 31 weeks along in her pregnancy, and Baby S is due 9 weeks from today. Baby S now measures more than 16 inches long. She weighs about 3.3 pounds (about the weight of four navel oranges) and is heading into a growth spurt. She can turn her head from side to side, and her arms, legs, and body are beginning to plump out as needed fat accumulates underneath her skin.

This morning Steven had his physical exam at the doctor, which is part of the adoption process. We have to have TB tests, blood work, etc., and prove that we are healthy and have a normal life expectancy. My appointment is scheduled for next week. We are getting there!

We ordered bedding, a hamper, a floor rug, and some other items to decorate the nursery with recently -- all within the Winnie the Poo theme. I got the phone call yesterday that everything is in, so we are going to pick it up this weekend. The crib and changing table, are still in boxes in the garage, along with all the other baby stuff, but we are planning to work on combining the two rooms we use as offices into one very soon, and start turning the other room into the the bedroom for Baby S!

As for me, I'm still in pain, but at least I'm driving. While I still have pain 24/7, it seems to be bearable during the day. At night is when it's the worst, and all of the pain is in my foot. My physical therapist is convinced the disc fragment has moved, which is a good thing. It's still on my nerve, but he believes it's on a different part of my nerve now, based on the way my symptoms seems to be changing every day. Perhaps some of it has been absorbed and it also may be a little smaller. He tells me not to worry so much about my symptoms, and instead focus on the things I can do that I couldn't do a few weeks ago. It's easy for him to say not to focus on the symptoms, when he's not the one being kept up half the night every night with pain. He says jokingly that "patients need to have more patience," when I tell him that it's already been more than 6 weeks since this began. Somehow, this doesn't amuse me.

As for work, I left one of my contract editing jobs last week, but have already found another one to replace it, and am working hard writing more for my two writing gigs. I am trying to work from home more and more, and less in an office, so that I can be a work-from-home mom, and Baby S will not have to go to daycare, although I imagine I will need a babysitter sometimes, as I still do need to spend a little time in an office.

Elizabeth seems to be doing OK. I spoke to her once this week and our attorney has spoken to her every day. Our attorney is keeping very close tabs on her since the incident of Elizabeth contacting another attorney to try to get more money. We are hoping for the best. It's very difficult, because I am already emotionally attached to this baby.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

shopping for baby stuff

Time is ticking away. Elizabeth is due in 9 weeks and 6 days. My friend, Stacey, had her beautiful daughter yesterday, at a happy surprise 3 weeks early. So Steven and I are realizing we better finish our baby preparations, since Elizabeth is convinced she will be at least two weeks early.

Speaking of Elizabeth, she called me yesterday. She is feeling a lot better, is on baby-safe antibiotics, and couldn't have been sweeter. She again said how happy she is that we are the ones adopting the baby because she loves me. We still hope we aren't being played, and are now going back to think positive and plan for Baby S to join our home.

Last night we looked a new Peg Pergo stroller that only weighs 9 pounds! My mom and sister are going to look at it with me soon and give me their opinion on it. I am trying to find the lightest-weight stroller possible, as long as it is still safe and sturdy enough for Baby S. We purchased the book about what to expect the first year, and after reading the section on pets, have decided to purchase one of the crib tents that goes over the crib to keep cats from bothering the baby. It basically looks like mosquito netting that goes over the crib.

As for Baby S, she is now about 15.7 inches long, and weighs about 3 pounds. This week her size is compared to being like a head of cabbage! A pint and a half of amniotic fluid surrounds her, but that volume will decrease as she gets bigger and takes up more room in Elizabeth's uterus. Her eyesight continues to develop, though it's not very keen.

Well that's all for now. We are heading out to visit Stacey (and Hannah!) in the hospital, and then may take a look at more baby stuff. :)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

not having a good day

I'm feeling down in the dumps today. I'm in a lot of pain. It seems worse again the past couple of days. My physical therapist said that it's probably due to all of the rain we have been having.

In addition to all of the other drama with Elizabeth, she spent last night in the hospital. She has had a bad cold and last night she felt like she couldn't breathe, and called 911 and took an ambulance to the hospital. It turns out she has a bad case of bronchitis, and was dehydrated. They kept her overnight on IV fluids, and IV antibiotics, and discharged her today with a couple of prescriptions. While she was in the hospital they did an ultrasound and tons of blood work and said that everything is great with the baby. The night before this Elizabeth called me to say hello. I was super sweet to her, and she was just as nice to me. But inside I was screaming because I know I can't trust her. She didn't mention anything about shopping around to get more money for the baby. I didn't expect her to.

One of my freelance jobs has not been going well. There is a ton of office drama there and it's been extremely stressful, and I am not sure it is even worth what they are paying me. I am putting feelers out there to see if I can pick up extra work somewhere else, so I'll see what happens there.

Steven and I often feel that we are alone in this adoption process, and that people really do not understand what we are going through. I guess it's difficult to truly understand any situation unless you are in it, though. It's just that we are investing so much emotion, time and thousands and thousands of dollars into this, and all we want in the end out of it all is to be parents. We are so scared that will never happen for us.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

no longer trust Elizabeth

Our attorney got an email from another adoption attorney, telling her that Elizabeth had contacted him. He said he knows that she was already working with Elizabeth, but that Elizabeth had said she wanted to consult with him, too. Our attorney, I'll call her "M," called Elizabeth, who told M that she needed more more money, and that the other attorney told her that if she switched to him, he could give her $50 more a week than she is getting from us. Elizabeth told M that she really likes me, and felt bad about contacting the other attorney, but she had to think about herself.

Because her rent and bills are about $400 month less than we originally anticipated, giving Elizabeth the additional $50 a month is manageable. And because Elizabeth only has about 10 more weeks of her pregnancy, in addition to the 6 weeks of care after the birth she is promised, that extra $50 a week comes to about $800, which isn't that much money considering all of the thousands of dollars we've already invested.

Elizabeth, though, is starting to now question how much she is getting after the baby is born, even though all along she knew she gets 6 weeks of support, and that's it.

After learning that by staying with us, she can be matched with the amount bidded by the other attorney, Elizabeth canceled her meeting with the other attorney, and our attorney contacted the other attorney and confirmed this, but now we know Elizabeth is not trustworthy, and was trying to "shop around" to see if she could get more money somewhere else. This is very scary, but an adoption contract is extremely high-risk for the adoptive parents, and the birth mother has all of the rights.

Meanwhile, I spoke to Elizabeth twice over the weekend, and she didn't mention any of this to me and acted as sweet as normal. Our attorney has said that I should not bring this up with Elizabeth, and if she tries to bring it up with me that all conversations about money have to go through the attorney.

The truth is that Elizabeth could keep taking money from us and having her bills paid, in addition to the things she needs such as when we had to fix her teeth, buy her furniture, move her a few times, etc. etc. etc., and then in the end she could give birth and call other attorneys and decide to just give the baby to someone else if they will give her money than she will get from us in the end. Or she could decide to keep the baby, which seems less likely. But regardless, anything can happen, and we could wind up losing a ton of money and not having a baby in the end.

All I can do is be super sweet when I speak to Elizabeth, and tell her how excited we are about the baby, and tell her about all our plans and dreams, and tell her about how happy our family members are to have a new addition, and hope that she has a conscience and does the right thing in the end.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

a butternut squash!

We had a busy day, and it was the most I've been out of the house in a long time. Baby Love has declared Chapter 11, and everything in the store is 35 percent off... well everything except the strollers and car seats. So today we bought a crib mattress, (we already have the crib and changing table, thanks to Steven's parents!), a diaper bag, and a crib mattress pad. We are going back for a diaper genie, after checking prices in other stores and realizing the deal at Baby Love for it was still cheaper than anywhere else will be. Then we came home so I could rest my back for a while and Steven had some work to do. We then went back out tonight to Wal-Mart to look at the Winnie-the-Poo bedding and mobile I saw at The items looked really nice, but the prices were cheaper online so I'm going to order it and just have it set up that we can pick it up at the store, since that way there is no charge for shipping. We then went out for dinner for the first time in almost 6 weeks, and although I was in a lot of pain it felt great to feel like we actually had a "date night."

I also spoke to Elizabeth today. She sounded very tired. She said that Baby S is extremely active, and said she can actually see when she kicks her on her stomach if she watches!! I find that so amazing. I can't believe the due date is now only 10 weeks and 5 days away. We paid the whopping check for Cobra insurance today, so once our insurance is re-set up, we will be getting physical exams, which is one of the last things we have left to do for the adoption process. I can't believe this is all happening so soon. It doesn't seem so long ago when we first matched with Elizabeth in May, although at that time December sounded so far away. We are so excited!

According to, Baby S is now about 2 1/2 pounds (like a butternut squash) and is a tad over 15 inches long from head to heel. Her muscles and lungs are continuing to mature, and her head is growing bigger to make room for her developing brain. Steven and I already talk about our hopes and dreams for Baby S. Of course, he wants her to be an athlete. I want her to have diversified interests and be "girly." But of course most importantly, we want her to be healthy and happy. I can't believe that in 2 and a half months we are going to be parents!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Time is ticking away

It's 1:30 a.m. and pain is keeping me awake as it does pretty much every night. Today marked four weeks since this began. My physical therapist has explained to me that the large separated disc fragment is wrapped around my S1 nerve, which is the nerve that runs from the lower back, down the back of the thigh, around to the outside of the leg down to the toes. The worst pain I have is in my foot. Part of my foot is numb, part feels like it has pins and needles, and I get shooting pains in my toes. It's lots of fun. (note the sarcasm.) He says that if the disc is to dissolve on its own, it would take a very long time, and we are working on aggressive exercises that are designed to pop the disc off of my nerve. That way even though I will still have the sequestered disc, it wouldn't be on my nerve causing these symptoms.

Today I drove myself to physical therapy. It is the first time I have driven in a month. It was uncomfortable, but it was nice to finally have some independence. My physical therapist is very knowledgeable and we are both hoping I won't end up needing a spinal fusion, but only time will tell. He did explain to me that if I wind up healing without surgery, I need to be aware that I will wind up with arthritis in my lower spine, and will lose a little height, since I will have very little disc separating the two vertebra where the disc broke apart. He also tells me during every visit, as both neurosurgeons I have seen have told me, that I should never get pregnant. It's hard to hear even though it didn't happen for us anyway, to know that it isn't safe for me to ever have children. But the truth is that right now, my biggest goal is to get better before Baby S arrives. She is mainly what I think about when I think about getting better and about the future. My therapist says that if I do get better without surgery, I will need to do certain exercises every day for the rest of my life, and will need to know that my lower back will always be unstable. This is still the better option than having surgery, because that could lead to pressure on my other discs above the fusion, which would cause more problems in other areas of my spine.

Tonight we were outside for a few minutes and the neighbor across the street came over to say hello. She said that the whole neighborhood has been gossiping, saying that we are getting a baby soon, but she wasn't going to believe it until she heard it directly from us, so we told her all about Baby S and how excited we are. We live in a very gossipy neighborhood that reminds me of Wisteria Lane from "Desperate Housewives." The women all stand on the street corners in the evening gossiping. We are friendly to them, but try to stay away from the cliques. Anyway, this neighbor across the street happens to be my favorite of the neighbors because she seems to be genuine, while most of the others seem to be phony. She was very excited for us when we told her about Baby S tonight, and she asked a lot of questions.

My friend, Mattie, found this amazing swing for a great deal last weekend. So now it is put together in our living room. It's pink and rocks back and forth while playing music and projecting butterflies in lights, in addition to have a mobile of butterflies. Every time I see it I smile, and it makes Baby S even more real to us. Elizabeth is due 11 weeks from Friday.

This week she had her gestational diabetes test, and she passed with flying colors. Elizabeth and Baby S are both doing very well. My mother is looking at patterns as she is getting ready to start knitting a sweater and hat for Baby S. Steven's grandmother is knitting a blanket for Baby S. She will be literally wrapped up in warmth and love.

Monday, September 13, 2010

another update

It's Monday morning. I finally fell asleep a little after 3 a.m. because the pain was not allowing me to sleep. Then after just three short hours of sleep, the pain woke me again at 6 a.m. I tried the heating pad in bed for a little while, before coming downstairs to use ice instead. I alternate and sometimes one works better than the other, and heat wasn't helping at all. So now I am laying on an ice pack and using my TENS unit, hoping the pain goes away soon.

Three weeks ago today we were in Disney World, and two days later I hurt my back again, so I am almost at the three-week mark. The only good thing about that is I am hoping that as time goes on this will get better. I was told I'd feel a bit better around 2 weeks, and then again at 6 weeks. I definitely felt a little better around the two-week mark, so I'm hoping to continue to get better over the next several weeks. It's honestly the worst at night. I do not know why pain is always worse at night.

I went into the office once for a couple of hours since this all began, and aside from that have been working from home. The magazine goes to press this Wednesday afternoon, so it's hoped I will be there this week. I am going to try to go in today for at least a couple of hours again. I need to call my mother and let her know my schedule, as she is driving me and picking me up. I hate feeling so dependent, but because it's my right leg that hurts so much, and because I have some numbness in my foot still, I do not feel comfortable driving yet. If it were my left leg, I think I would be driving by now.

But at least I am finally starting to get out of the house a little bit, which I'm thinking means I'm getting better. On Thursday I went to work for a couple of hours, and then to the doctor for my results. Over the weekend, Steven and I were able to run a few errands, including going grocery shopping.

On Saturday, my mother and I went to Baby Love, a very large local store for baby stuff. The store is family owned, and everyone there is extremely knowledgeable. I spoke to a man there about my back, and how I needed the lightest-weight stroller due to my back issues. (Once this gets better, I want to make sure this never happens again.) He was great, and told us that most strollers weigh about 30 pounds, but introduced me to a lightweight stroller that weighs about 15 pounds, and opens and closes extremely easy, made by Peg Perego. It has a matching car seat, and he suggested that I try to not take Baby S out of the car seat using the carrier, but instead just take her out alone, as the carriers themselves weigh about 10 pounds. This was a suggestion I also got from my sister, Glenda. We will still buy the matching car seat, in which the carrier fits directly into the stroller for times when Steven and I are together, or when I need to keep her in the carrier for some reason when I'm alone and have no choice, but I am expecting to not use the carrier myself too often.

We also found some great Winnie the Pooh stuff in Walmart that we will purchasing soon. We have decided that the theme to her room will be the Winnie the Poo gang (Winnie, Tigger, Eeyore and Piglet) and we saw a really cute bedding set and mobile and extra sheets in Walmart that were price significantly better than similar items we saw at the baby stores.

Elizabeth is due in 12 weeks and 4 days!! We are so excited to soon be meeting Baby S!

Friday, September 10, 2010

MRI update

I believe this is the first year in my life that I have not gone to synagogue for Rosh Hashana.
My MRI results showed one VERY large ruptured disc, and one sequestered disc. Sequestered means that the disc went one step farther than rupturing and actually broke apart, meaning I have a piece of the disc material in my spine. (Sorry if this too much information for some of you reading.) The hope is that my body will absorb the disc material, which is sitting on the nerve root that runs down my right leg, foot and toes, which is where I have the most pain. This could take another month, or longer, or it could wind up never happening on it's own and could lead to surgery. Time will tell.
I will be starting physical therapy next week, and may also be having some spinal injections for the pain and swelling. Sounds fun, huh?
The only good part is that the surgeon wants me to try everything else first, and avoid surgery for now. I am also planning on trying some acupuncture, which will not help with the disc herniations, but may help with the muscle pain, swelling, and may help break up some of the scar tissue I have in my spine from my previous back surgery in 2003.
My doctor has said to me again that he thinks it is a blessing I never got pregnant, as it most likely would be very bad for my back to carry the weight of pregnancy. Maybe all things do happen for a reason.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

feeling a bit down

To say I am feeling down in the dumps lately is an understatement. I am scared. For the past two weeks I have been in terrible pain. The pain is getting better but is being replaced by numbness and tingling, which scares me more than the pain does. I do not want to have back surgery. The recovery is terrible, and we have a baby on the way. I want to care for her and be the best mother I can be. The past two weeks I have not even been able to barely care for myself.

I have had two good conversations with Jackie, the physician's assistant at the neurosurgeon's office. Jackie said that what I am describing is an irritated nerve and it will get better, but will just take some time. When I speak to her it calms me down, but before long I am a wreck again. My mother keeps telling me that if surgery was my only option to recover, then I wouldn't be getting even a little better on my own. This helps me feel better, too, but not enough. I have been working from home for two weeks, and have barely left the house aside from going for my MRI on Thursday, going with Steven to the grocery store for a few things on Saturday, and going to the tmobile store yesterday when I was having cell phone problems, since I need the phone for work. One week ago I wouldn't have even been able to do those things, so I try to keep reminding myself of that and telling myself "see you are getting a little better!" even if I don't really believe it.

Wednesday afternoon I have an appointment with the neurosurgeon to go over my MRI results. This is the same doctor I saw in November who told me that he was reluctant to do a fusion on me since they are not always successful, and he thought if I went through physical therapy, followed by a yoga and pilates program I would feel a lot better. So I went to physical therapy, and did get a lot better, and continued to do all of the exercises and stretches on a daily basis that I was taught in therapy. I lost about 15 pounds since then, too. I hadn't yet gotten into a yoga or pilates program, but I was doing great. Then we went on vacation. I actually started to have a little pain before the trip, which I blamed on all the laundry and packing I was doing, I had a lot of pain during our trip, which I blamed on the long car rides, and by the time we came back I was just in agony. I am grateful it began the day we came home instead of while we are away.

The pain is worse at night, so I am not sleeping, and I think that sleep-deprivation might be what is making me a little crazy, scared and obsessed about my symptoms.

We did manage to complete our autobiographies, financial statements, and make copies of most of what is needed for the rest of our home study process, and got all of the items in the mail to the social worker today. So at least that is something productive! All we have left to do is send a copy of my birth certificate, and do our physical exams. I am waiting to do my physical until we are set on Cobra insurance, and until I can walk in without a back issue as I don't want that listed on my physical exam. I am hoping that after talking to the doctor tomorrow he will just tell me I will need to go back to physical therapy and that I will be OK again. That will make me feel better a lot emotionally, which in turn will probably make me feel better physically, too.

Baby S' bedroom is coming along. Right now it is still being used as an office, and Steven has been hard at work moving his comic book boxes into the coat closet downstairs, which we do not use considering we live in South Florida. We also purchased shelves for the garage and are putting some of the things in there, to clear up the room ... Well Steven is doing the work. I am just supervising. :) After that is done, we may move on to putting the crib and changing table together, which are in boxes in our garage. And once I am feeling better I am going to the baby store to discuss with them ideas for the lightest stroller, baby carrier, etc., so that I decrease the risk of hurting my back again. I am trying to look forward to these positive things!

I don't have any new updates on Elizabeth, but I think I will give her a call in a little while to see how she is doing. I last spoke to her on Thursday of last week. She seems happy in her new place, and promises to stay there for at least the remainder of her pregnancy. She says she wants to be stable, and has been very unhappy having to move so often. Since we matched with her in May, Elizabeth has lived in five places.

That's all for now. Until next time...

Saturday, September 4, 2010

long update

It's been a while since I've written here. It hasn't been an easy week. As you all know, we lost our cat, Loki, one week ago. It was a shock to us, as he was only 5 and a half years old. We miss him terribly. In addition, I threw out my back and haven't been able to leave the house in a week, aside from getting a new MRI on Thursday. I am guessing my herniated discs herniated more, but I won't find out until Wednesday when I go to the doctor with my MRI films. The pain is mainly in my leg, but it goes all the way to my toes and consists of pain, numbness and tingling. It's finally getting a little bit better, after a few days of crying myself to sleep from pain.

Before we lost Loki and I hurt my back, we had a great few days. We went to Orlando to celebrate our anniversary. We went to Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom, Sea World, Blue Man Group and Cirque De Solei. We stayed in a beautiful 1,200 square foot villa on a golf course, with a private balcony, and a jacuzzi and fireplace in our villa. The whole trip (hotel, theme parks, show tickets, etc.) was all free for us, in trade for me writing press reviews of the hotel and all the events. It will be a lot of work, but worth it as we need to spend as little money as possible right now, with the ongoing adoption. Again, something else that we know will be more than worth the expense.

Steven got let go from his job last week, but he had a feeling it was coming and had been already looking for another job, and actually already had an offer waiting at the time his employer let him go. He starts on Tuesday. The only issue is that we have to go on Cobra for insurance for 90 days, as his new job waits 90 days before giving us health insurance. It takes about two weeks for us to be on Cobra, and then it's retroactive from the time they let him go, so any medical expenses that come up between now and then we will have to pay upfront and then be reimbursed. Luckily I had the MRI the day before all of this happened, or I would have to postpone it. It does mean we have to put off our physicals (which we need for the adoption process) for another couple of weeks.

As for Elizabeth, we lost some money recently. She finally moved to a new place, to rent a room from a friend of hers whose mother passed away. Her friend told Elizabeth he was left the house in the will, and rented her a room for a great price. Elizabeth was very happy because she felt comfortable with her friend Ross, a gay RN she has known for years. He gave her a price of $600 per month including all utilities and no security deposit. Her previous apartment was $675 per month, and we were just happy she was finally moving away from her crazy neighbors. Well three days after she moved into the new place, our attorney received a call from Ross' sister, explaining that the house was actually left to her and not Ross, and he had no right to rent her the room, and he knew it. She kicked Elizabeth out, and Ross already spent the money. Our attorney filed a police report against Ross, but he is now long-gone, so we lost $600 in a matter of three days. She has since moved again to a new apartment for just $575 a month, but it had a $400 security deposit. In addition, the new apartment was unfurnished, so we had to get her a bed, and a table and chair, in addition to a TV. The lawyer took her to a thrift store and got some great deals, but it was still a big unexpected expense for us. In addition, she lost her cell phone, so she got a new phone with a new phone number: again, another expense, but at least now her previous neighbors have no way of reaching her.

So that's what's been going on the past few weeks. This Labor Day weekend will most likely consist of us relaxing at home, and working from home, which I've been doing since I came back from the trip with my back in agony and can barely stand or walk right now. I'm still working hard, just doing it laying down with lots of ice. Thank goodness for my laptop. Steven has been working hard this week, too, doing some contract work from his previous employer, until his new job starts on Tuesday.

This week also brings Rosh Hashana and I am hoping I will be able to sit through services. Sitting up is painful, but each day is getting a little better now, so I'm hoping for the best. It's a hard time of year for my family, as my father's birthday is next Saturday, and the Jewish holidays were always so important to him. We all miss him every day, but holidays are always more difficult.

In good news, Elizabeth is doing well, and so is Baby S. At her last ultrasound before we went on vacation, the doctor only had good news to share with Elizabeth and me. The baby has grown a lot, and is now in the 40th percentile for her size, which was a relief after being told how small she was the previous month. I speak to Elizabeth a couple of times a week, and she always tells me that Baby S is extremely active, always moving around and always kicking. Elizabeth tells me to get all of my sleep now because she thinks we have an active baby coming. We just want Baby S to be happy and healthy.