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. :)