Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Samuel "Singing" with Daddy

I am working on a longer Christmas post but in the meantime had to share this adorable video that I shot tonight. This is what Samuel does when Chris sings to him.

video

Monday, December 29, 2008

4 Months

Its been forever since I have posted. Things are really busy. I forget how hard it is to be a working mom with an infant. Both Davis and Samuel are doing great. We had a really good Christmas. We drove to Baton Rouge to visit Chris' grandmother. It was her first time seeing Samuel. She smothered him with kisses. Both of the boys got way too much for Christmas and now I am trying to figure out where we are going to put all of the new toys.

Samuel turned 4 months on Christmas eve. Here is a picture from that day. Its not great but its the only one we got as we were rushing to get out of town that day.



He had his 4 month check up today. He weighed in at 15 lbs 15 oz. in the 75th percentile. He is quite tall - 26.25 inches (the 90th percentile) and his head circumference is 16.5 for the 25 - 50 percentile. The doctor said he is doing very well and cleared us to start solids. They want you to do cereal with a spoon rather than adding to the bottle so we'll probably see how that goes this upcoming weekend and next week while I am home from work while Chris is out of town. He got two shot. He seems to be doing pretty well so far. Sleeping was going great. I actually got three days in a row of 7 - 8 hours but he seems to have lapsed back into the every few hour habit since we've been home from Baton Rouge. I am hoping he goes back to the other soon.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thankful

Happy Thanksgiving. Today there is so much that I am thankful for that I cannot list everything. Here is a short list of the things I am the most thankful for:

- both my boys - I love being a mom more than anything in the world
- Chris - he is the best father and husband I could ever have asked for
- my job - a lot of people have lost their jobs lately (even at my company) and I am grateful to still have a job that I really like
- my health
- GOD - nothing else would matter without Him

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Musical Meme

Taking a break from posting about my beautiful boys to do this fun musical meme.

The Rules:
A.) Go to Musical Outfitters.
B.) Enter the year you graduated from high school in the search function and get the list of 100 most popular songs of that year.
C.) Bold the songs you like, strike through the ones you REALLY hate.

1. Faith, George Michael
2. Need You Tonight, INXS

3. Got My Mind Set On You, George Harrison
4. Never Gonna Give You Up, Rick Astley
5. Sweet Child O' Mine, Guns N' Roses
6. So Emotional, Whitney Houston
7. Heaven Is A Place On Earth, Belinda Carlisle
8. Could've Been, Tiffany
9. Hands To Heaven, Breathe
10. Roll With It, Steve Winwood
11. One More Try, George Michael
12. Wishing Well, Terence Trent d'Arby
13. Anything For You, Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine
14. The Flame, Cheap Trick
15. Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car, Billy Ocean
16. Seasons Change, Expose
17. Is This Love, Whitesnake
18. Wild, Wild West, Escape Club
19. Pour Some Sugar On Me, Def Leppard
20. I'll Always Love You, Taylor Dayne
21. Man In The Mirror, Michael Jackson
22. Shake Your Love, Debbie Gibson
23. Simply Irresistible, Robert Palmer
24. Hold On To The Nights, Richard Marx
25. Hungry Eyes, Eric Carnen
26. Shattered Dreams, Johnny Hates Jazz
27. Father Figure, George Michael
28. Naught Girls (Need Love Too), Samantha Fox
29. A Groovy Kind Of Love, Phil Collins
30. Love Bites, Def Leppard
31. Endless Summer Nights, Richard Marx
32. Foolish Beat, Debbie Gibson
33. Where Do Broken Hearts Go, Whitney Houston
34. Angel, Aerosmith
35. Hazy Shade Of Winter, Bangles
36. The Way You Make Me Feel, Michael Jackson
37. Don't Worry, Be Happy, Bobby McFerrin
38. Make Me Lose Control, Eric Carnen
39. Red Red Wine, UB40
40. She's Like The Wind, Patric Swayze
41. Bad Medicine, Bon Jovi
42. Kokomo, Beach Boys
43. I Don't Wanna Go On With You Like That, Elton John
44. Together Forever, Rick Astley
45. Monkey, George Michael
46. Devil Inside, INXS
47. Should've Known Better, Richard Marx
48. I Don't Wanna Live Without Your Love, Chicago
49. The Loco-Motion, Kylie Minogue
50. What Have I Done To Deserve This?, Pet Shop Boys and Dusty Springfield
51. Make It Real, Jets
52. What's On Your Mind, Information Society
53. Tell It To My Heart, Taylor Dayne
54. Out Of The Blue, Debbie Gibson
55. Don't You Want Me, Jody Watley
56. Desire, U2
57. I Get Weak, Belinda Carlisle
58. Sign Your Name, Terence Trent d'Arby
59. I Want To Be Your Man, Roger
60. Girlfriend, Pebbles
61. Dirty Diana, Michael Jackson
62. 1-2-3, Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine
63. Mercedes Boy, Pebbles
64. Perfect World, Huey Lewis and the News
65. New Sensation, INXS
66. Catch Me (I'm Falling), Pretty Poison
67. If It Isn't Love, New Edition
68. Rocket 2 U, Jets
69. One Good Woman, Peter Cetera
70. Don't Be Cruel, Cheap Trick
71. Candle In The Wind, Elton John
72. Everything Your Heart Desires, Daryl Hall and John Oates
73. Say You Will , Foreigner
74. I Want Her, Keith Sweat
75. Pink Cadillac, Natalie Cole
76. Fast Car, Tracy Chapman
77. Electric Blue, Icehouse
78. The Valley Road, Bruce Hornsby and The Range
79. Don't Be Cruel, Bobby Brown
80. Always On My Mind, Pet Shop Boys
81. Piano In The Dark, Brenda Russell Featuring Joe Esposito
82. When It's Love, Van Halen
83. Don't Shed A Tear, Paul Carrack
84. We'll Be Together, Sting
85. I Hate Myself For Loving You, Joan Jett and The Blackhearts
86. I Don't Want To Live Without You, Foreigner
87. Nite And Day, Al B. Sure
88. Don't You Know What The Night Can Do, Steve Winwood
89. One Moment In Time, Whitney Houston
90. Can't Stay Away From You, Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine
91. Kissing A Fool, George Michael
92. Cherry Bomb, John Cougar Mellancamp
93. I Still Believe, Brenda K. Starr
94. I Found Someone, Cher
95. Never Tear Us Apart, INXS
96. Valerie, Steve Windwood
97. Just Like Paradise, David Lee Roth
98. Nothin' But A Good Time, Poison
99. Wait, White Lion
100. Prove Your Love, Taylor Dayne

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

3 Month Update and Lots of Pictures

Sorry I havn't posted for so long but I am back to work now and things are really busy. Chris is staying home with Samuel for now and it is working out well. I spoke too soon in my last post about Samuel sleeping for 7 hours straight. We can usually get one 5 - 6 hour stretch but that is about it. I know he'll start sleeping better soon so for now I am just enjoying my time with him at night since he is so cute and full of smiles all of the time. He is also not a great napper. He likes to take several short cat naps but does not really take a long nap or two during the day. It makes Chris' days more difficult but I know Samuel will get better with that too.

Samuel turned 3 months old yesterday. I cannot believe he has been with us that long. Time is going so fast. Just three more months and we'll be able to finalize his adoption. We are in the process of pulling together a set of pictures and writing a letter to send to R. She asked for a letter and pictures at 3 months and again at 6 months. I am have a hard time with the letter because I am sure that she is still struggling with everything that she went through and I do not want to open any wounds. I hope she enjoys seeing his pictures though.

We took Davis and Samuel to Portrait Innovations on Sunday for formal portraits (3 month pictures for Samuel and 5 year (a little late) pictures for Davis). We also did some holiday photos. Here are some of the better pictures (Samuel was way more interested in eating his hands than smiling but we got a few cute ones).














Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halloween 2008

Things are going really well. Samuel has started to sleep about 7 hours straight at night (too bad it starts at 8 pm but it is definitely an improvement). I start back to work tomorrow. I know I will miss both my boys like crazy but it will be good to be back.

A few pictures from Halloween:

Sir Davis:





Clone Trooper Davis (he wore one costume to his school party and one to trick or treat):





Samuel the Ghost (this is what he thought of the whole Halloween thing):

Friday, October 24, 2008

Weekend Update - State Fair and Pumpkin Patch

We had a really busy weekend last weekend. Davis was off of school on Friday so we went to the State Fair of Texas. It was fun but not something we'll do every year. Chris' parents flew in that night for a quick visit. It was the first time they met Samuel and I don't think he was put down the whole weekend. We went to a pumpkin patch on Saturday. Here are some pictures from the State Fair and the pumpkin patch that I thought I would share.

Samuel on the pumpkins:



Davis and Samuel at the Pumpkin Patch:



Samuel at the Fair (this is what he thought about it all):



In Front of Big Tex:



Davis and Chris on the Texas Star Ferris Wheel:

Two Months

I can't believe that Samuel is already two months old. Where has the time gone? I go back to work in just over a week. I am going to miss him like crazy but know that Chris will do a great job with him during the day. He is still not a great sleeper. He may go 4 hours at night but not more. After talking to the doctor today, I am going to try just giving him his pacifier the next few nights to see if we can drop the middle of the night bottle (he is only taking 2 oz and the doctor thinks he might not even be hungry but just used to waking and eating). I would really like to get him to 6 hours soon so I am not a walking zombie at the office. His stats at two months are:

Weight: 13.6 oz. (close to 90th percentile)
Height: 23.5 inches (75th percentile - this went down but doctor was not concerned since it is really hard at this age to get a good measurement)
Head circumference: 15.5 (25th percentile)

He got two shots and the rotovirus vaccination orally. He did great with his shots. He is sleeping peacefully now.

We have our fist post-placement visit tomorrow. I am not sure what to expect but I am sure it will be fine. I just need to clean the house a bit so we have a decent place to sit and talk with the social worker.

A picture from today (exactly 2 months old). Checkout the adorable smile:

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Small Milestone

We had a minor milestone last night. Samuel spent his first night in his crib. It went really well. He did not seem to mind at all and I think that both he and I slept better and I know Chris slept better (he didn't hear him on the monitor at all). He has stretched one of his night feedings from 3.5 hours to about 4 - 4.5 hours but he only goes about 3 hours after that. I am hoping that he stretches that to 5 - 5.5 hours by the time I go back to work. I only have 4 more weeks off and I intend to enjoy every moment (even those when he is up in the middle of the night after just 3 hours). He is doing really well and Davis is loving every minute of having a little brother.

I plan to follow up with our agency this week to find out how the termination of paternal rights is going. I am going to assume that no news is good news on that front but I'd like an update none the less.

Monday, September 29, 2008

So Blessed

We are so blessed to have Samuel in our lives. He is such a good baby and our love for him is overwhelming. Davis is a wonderful big brother and is always kissing on Samuel. We are also blessed to have such good friends and a wonderful church family. We have had meals provided for the last two weeks and this past Saturday our mini-church hosted a baby shower for us. We got a lot of diapers and formula and some other goodies. They sang happy birthday to Samuel and we had a great time of fellowship.

Here are a few recent pictures:

Samuel and Daddy getting a quick nap:


Samuel enjoying his activity mat:


Tummy time:

Thursday, September 25, 2008

One Month Well Check

I thought I would include all of Samuel's stats on this blog so I can find them easily when I need them.

At his one month appointment today he was:

11 lbs 2 oz (75%)
23 inches (80 -85%)
14.75 (head circum.) (25 - 30%)

Overall, he is doing very well. He had to get one shot today (Hep B) and he screamed for a bit. He'll get a lot more shots at his two month appointment. I am not looking forward to that.

Based on the symptoms I described crying and arching his back during feedings), the doctor thinks he might be developing a little bit of reflux. It is making feedings pretty difficult and he'll only eat a little bit at a time. We are going to keep an eye on it over the next week or so and if he does not do better, we'll call the doctor for a suggestion.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Checking in (with pictures and a video)

Samuel is now 3 1/2 weeks old and growing like a weed. When he went to the doctor earlier this week, he was up to 10 lbs, 5 oz. (up 2 lbs from his birth weight). He goes for his one month check up (and his first round of shots) next week. I am hoping he does ok with his shots. We have our first post-placement visit scheduled for Oct. 25. We have to do two of them before the adoption can be finalized. Texas requires a six month wait for finalization so we are looking at the end of February, early March for finalization. I hope that the termination of paternal rights happens in the next month or two so that will not slow up the finalization.

Davis is adjusting really well. He loves being a big brother. He is so helpful and whenever Samuel cries he tells us and tries to figure out what he may need. It is so cute.

Attached are a few pictures of my boys and a video taken today of Samuel in his crib for the first time.

Davis acting like a goof ball at a birthday party:



Samuel in his swing (which he loves):



Samuel in his crib for the first time today checking out his mobile:



And now for the video:

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Well Check

We took Samuel to our pediatrician for a well check last Thursday (Sept. 4, 12 days old). I don't think it was necessary since he saw a pediatrician in Georgia before we left but I wanted our doctor to check him out just to be sure things were going ok. He is doing great. His weight was up to 9 lb 3 oz (50-75%), his length was 22 inches (90-95%), and his head circumference was 14 inches (25%). They were impressed with his weight gain. At this rate, he'll be out of his 0 - 3 month clothes really soon. He wore one of Davis' outfits yesterday and it fit him perfectly. The outfit was worn by Davis in his 3 mo pictures.

We are starting to get into a routine. I am still really tired but functioning pretty well. Things are great. Davis is adjusting really well to being a big brother. Now, just to organize the house!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

We're Home

Samuel and I are finally home. I got a call from our social worker on Tuesday night that Texas ICPC was missing a few things (our finger print and child abuse clearances) that were attached to our home study. We don't know who took the home study apart but somehow those items got left out of the package to Texas. Our social worker faxed them in early Wednesday morning and I received a call around noon from our agency that everything had been cleared. I was booked on a flight home yesterday evening within 15 minutes of getting the word. Of course, my plane had mechanical troubles and I didn't get home until after 9:00, but we made it and Samuel did great on the flight.

Davis was so excited to see us that he talked the entire drive home. It was really cute although I imagine that he is going to be bad at school today since he got so little sleep. Now, I just need to organize our house. It is a disaster!

For your viewing pleasure, here are a few pictures:




Sunday, August 31, 2008

Still in Georgia

I am still in Georgia waiting for ICPC to clear. Today makes three weeks here and Samuel's one week birthday. Chris and Davis left on Friday afternoon and could not find a hotel anywhere in the entire state of Louisiana so they drove all of the way to Longview, Texas before stopping and made it home by noon on Saturday. I really miss them both but Samuel and I are doing great. He's got his days/nights switched but we are working on that. I hope to get more than 2 hours of sleep at a time tonight but we'll see. I am vegging around the hotel today and resting whenever I can. Housekeeping is in our room now so I got up from the couch and headed to the lobby so I have a chance to catch up a bit. I am really hoping ICPC clears on Tuesday morning so I can get out of here on Tuesday evening. I am afraid that the remaints of Gustav will make it really hard to fly into DFW on Wed or Thursday, keeping me here longer.

My dad and little brother drove up to Atlanta from the New Orleans area yesterday. They are staying with my sister. I'll probably go over there to visit with them all tomorrow. I would have gone today but I feel like I really need to take it easy today.

I'll post a ton of pictures when I get home.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Birth Story and More


I am finally able to post (I am at the computer in the lobby of the hotel). Chris put together this e-mail to go to our family and friends so I thought I'd just post it here as it is a detailed description of the birth and the mess that happended the next day. All is good now though. Samuel is home (in the hotel in Georgia) with us and we are working to get into a groove.

Chris' message:
When we last left our heroes, they were preparing for the birth mom to have labor induced at 5 AM Sunday morning. They had picked up the birth mom, and brought her back to the vacation house they were renting, to minimize travel time in the wee morning hours....

Knowing the early hour we'd have to get moving to get to the hospital, all of us were in bed by 10 PM. Of course, none of us actually slept. Kelly & I tossed and turned, while our birth mom did likewise as well as made repeated trips to the bathroom. About 11:45, and one such trip, she called to Kelly from the hallway. Kel was at the door in a flash, and our birth mom uttered one word to vault us in to action: "Contractions."

We were rolling out of the driveway by 11:56, and through the miracle of modern automobile transportation known as "speeding", we arrived at the hospital just after 12:30 AM. Therein we stumbled upon the first sign of trouble: they had no record of our birth mom in their system. No evidence of an induction procedure at 5 AM.

Nevertheless, with contractions coming in the neighborhood of 3-5 minutes apart, and dropping, we were going to have a baby delivered there. We got through triage and in to a birthing suite. Birth mom was dilated to 9 cm, and, sadly, too far along for pain meds of any sort; it was going to be the old-fashioned way. During all of this, we'd encountered the second sign of trouble: no one on duty in the labor/
delivery section spoke Spanish. Our birth mom speaks *very* limited English. No one on the staff seemed to think that perhaps having someone available who spoke both languages would be helpful. Nevertheless, the circle of life pressed onward, so did we. The doctor, thankfully, did speak Spanish, which at least helped in his communication with the birth mom. She had a rough go of it, tiring quickly, but finally at 2:36 AM--I know, because I looked at the big clock on the wall--out came our little boy. (Third sign of trouble: the staff called time of birth at 2:40 AM. By 2:40 AM, he'd been wiped down by a medical assistant and given his first APGAR test.) Vitals: 8 pounds, 5 ounces, 20.5 inches in length. Ten fingers, ten toes, two
eyes, two ears, one squished little nose.

Birth mom had complications I won't go in to here for the sake of the squeamish, but it resulted in stitching and being carted off to the OR. We got to spend about 45 minutes with the new little one in our lives. As we neared the moment when they were going to take birth mom to the OR, we encountered the fourth sign of trouble: ID bands. Standard procedure is apparently to band the mother, band the baby, and then band one other individual determined by the mother. Through the previous talks we'd had with our birth mom, that other individual was supposed to be Kelly. We asked about this as they were banding birth mom and baby. We were told they had to ask her; only the only person who could do that had taken his leave of us, and our poor birth mom was rapidly falling in to incoherence out of sheer exhaustion. We
were assured by the staff that when we came back in the morning, they'd have an answer from the birth mom, etc.

So, with birth mom being carted off to the OR, and our boy being carted off to the nursery, we drove back to the rental house for a few hours of sleep.

(Some of you might be wondering why the ID bands are such a big deal. Nutshell: it's a security procedure to limit access to the baby outside of the nursery until the baby is discharged from the hospital.)

As I stated previously, my folks had driven over from Birmingham to stay with Davis while we took care of all of this, so we left them at the house while we went back to the hospital. Sign of trouble #5: we couldn't locate birth mom in the maternity ward. Turned out that she was shipped over to the regular hospital wing after her discharge from surgery recovery. We met with her, and in our limited language
experiences, found that she was doing well, and had gotten a lot more rest than we had over the past few hours.

We asked her about the ID bands, and she told us that she'd told some staffer that she wanted Kelly to have one. Only our birth mom had the 3d ID band *on her other wrist*. What we've deduced has happened is that because birth mom doesn't know our last name (and this is intentional), and the staffers she was dealing with this morning were not the ones she, and we, had dealt with during labor & delivery, no
one knew who "Kelly" was.

To wrap up what's rapidly becoming a long story, we didn't get to visit with our little guy outside the confines of the nursery. We were limited to looking at him through those big panes of glass. We were devastated, and not a little angry. Lots of she said-she said from the staffers, the language barrier, and necessary legal requirements to ensure the safety of the baby had coalesced to see that we would not
be holding our new little man this day.

The kicker: after speaking with our local adoption agency director, we were informed that, legally, the birth mom could appoint whomever she wanted to have that third band, and it didn't matter when that occurred, or if the birth mom was in possession of third band, as we'd found her. Of course, we didn't get this information until dinner time.

Oh, and did I mention that we had to vacate the rental house and move to new living quarters?

Yep, we took care of that, too. Kelly's company owns a Residence Inn in the Atlanta area, and we got a super-low corporate rate. So we packed up the minivan, then unpacked the minivan, and we're in the new digs, much closer to the hospital.

So what's the plan for tomorrow? Our agency director--who assured us she's *never* had this type of issue crop up at this particular hospital before, unlike other hospitals in the area--has left a detailed message for the maternity ward social worker we're going to meet in the morning. Hopefully we'll get all of this cleared up and we'll once again have our baby boy in our arms for a while.

We're guessing birth mom and baby will be discharged on Tuesday, and that's when she'll terminate parental rights, we'll sign the papers we have to sign, and Samuel Patrick--that's the name we're going with-- will be handed over to us.

Thanks for all of the prayers.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Its a Boy!

This will be quick since I only got about 2 hours of sleep last night and the baby isn't even home yet. R didn't make it to her scheduled induction. Her contractions started around a quarter to midnight and we rushed to the hospital. By the time she got checked in, she was already 9 cm dilated and too far along to get any pain meds. The pain was excrutiating for her, but she did it.

At 2:36 am, she delivered a beautiful baby boy. He weighed 8 lbs. 5 oz. and was 20.5 inches long. We got to spend about 45 minutes with him before they took him to the nursery. There was a HUGE mix up at the hospital and they would not let us see him at all today (more on that later). We were devastated, not to mention angry. We plan to be at the hospital social worker's office around 9 am tomorrow (Monday) to get things resolved. R will be signing her surrender papers either tomorrow or on Tuesday. I'll post more detail later, as well as a picture of Samuel Patrick. (Blogger's currently giving me problems with uploading pictures.)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Induction Scheduled

We arrived at the clinic for R's 2:00 appointment and didn't get out of there until 4:00 but we did leave with an induction scheduled. If she doesn't deliver earlier, we go in on Sunday at 5:00 am. Its finally going to happen. I just hope labor and delivery go smoothly for R.

Continue to pray for us, R and the baby.

Thanks.

Getting Ready for Doctor

We are taking R to her doctor's appointment today at 2:00. She is one week past her original due date and 10 days past her revised due date. I expect them to do a vaginal exam today to check her cervix since they did not do one last time and I understand that is pretty common at this stage. I also hope that they schedule an induction soon. I am concerned about the size of the baby. It was 8.5 lbs at the ultrasound 2 weeks ago. I am afraid that if it gets too big, R will need a C-section and I don't want her to have to go through that.

One thing that has been cool about being here for so long with nothing to do is all of the cool stuff that C, D and I have done. We have seen 3 movie, gone to the Georgia Aquarium and Zoo Atlanta. Its been great spending all of the quality time with D just us. Another thing that I have noticed a lot since we have been here are a very large number of mixed race and mixed ethnicity families. Maybe I am just noticing it more or maybe Atlanta is more progressive than my little burb. I met a lady at the zoo that adopted two children from Ethiopia and another lady that had done two domestic adoptions and was going to Ethiopia for her third. There have been a lot of other examples but I havn't talked to any of the others.

Wish us luck today at the doctor. I am hoping they tell us to go straight to the hospital but not holding my breath.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Past Due

R is now one week past her due date and we are very anxious. Not only did we spend a ton of money to be up here for the last two weeks when we could/should have been at home and we now have to pay for up to two more weeks here depending on when she finally delivers, I have used up two of my 12 weeks off with no baby. The house we have been at the past two weeks is great but it was too expensive to begin with and we definitely can't afford to stay here longer. Luckily my company manages a Marriott Residence Inn in Duluth, Georgia and they gave me a fantastic rate on a one bedroom suite so I'll be moving there when our time is up here. C and D plan to leave here on Saturday unless at R's appointment on Friday they schedule an induction. D starts a new school on Monday and we'd like him to be there unless there is a really good reason (like a new brother/sister) not to. If R has not delivered, they will probably have to come back when she does so C can sign the necessary paperwork (although I have asked the lawyer if he can presign so C does not have to drive the 15 hours back and/or pay for a flight). I'll stay here with the baby until our ICPC paperwork clears (7 - 10 days after it is submitted and it is usually submitted the day after the surrender is signed; surrender signed 24 - 48 hours after the birth). I plan to fly home with the baby. I am really concerned about C and D spending that much time on the road if they make two trips back and forth so I think flying is the best option although I am not sure how I'll handle it with the baby. I am sure that everything will work out the way it is supposed to. I just really hope that she delivers soon so C can be here for the delivery.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Still Waiting

We made it to Atlanta LATE on Sunday. At some point on our drive our air conditioner broke so the last 4 hours was pretty miserable. The house we are staying in is great but we only have it through next Sunday so if R does not deliver soon, we'll have to make other arrangements. All day Monday we could not reach R so finally that night we showed up at R's house to make sure she was ok. I imagine she was surprised to see us but I hope she was not upset. Her phone had been cut off so we were able to get that paid and turned back on so we could reach her. On Tuesday, we took D to the Georgia aquarium and we took the car into the dealership to get a new air compressor (more $$ that we didn't have budgeted at this time). We had a good time at the aquarium.

Yesterday, we picked R up and took her to lunch and then to her doctor's appointment. We were able to communicate a little bit. I went back with her at her appointment and they did not do a vaginal exam. All they did was check her urine, blood pressure and measure her. It seems weird to me that they did not do a vaginal this late in the game but I do not know what is normal. After the doctor, we took R to meet with the lawyer and the translator so she could go over all of the paper work and arrangements at the hospital. I know that this is incredibly hard for R. She cried at least twice yesterday. I know that she knows that it is best for her to place the child with us but it is breaking her heart and mine too. I am praying for peace for her. I hope she takes up our offer for counseling for her after the birth. She has been through so much already. I know counseling will help her a lot. Today we are just hanging out at our house but are hoping to get the call to go to the hospital so we can get home soon. D starts school on the 25th so he and Chris will probably have to leave here before we can leave with the baby. Its at least 7 - 10 days after the surrender documents are signed for the ICPC approval to come in. We'll work out logistics when we need to. Continue to pray for us, R and the baby. Thanks.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Heading Out

We are heading out the door soon on our 15+ hour drive to Atlanta. We have a very busy day planned tomorrow. We are going to pick up R and bring her to her doctor's appointment and then all three of us will head to the lawyer's office. She will have a translator available for R.

Please pray that we have a safe drive and that everything goes smoothly over the next two weeks.

I'll try to post from Atlanta if I can.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Gearing Up

Unless R delivers early, we will be heading to the Atlanta area on Sunday. We were going to use our timeshare to stay someplace so we wouldn't have to come out of pocket for the time we have to stay in Georgia but every condo on our list were all booked. We ended up finding what looks like a great place on a about 45 minutes north of the hospital where R will deliver. It is a 3 bedroom so if we have any guests during the two week period (my sister lives really close and C's parents live a few hours away), we'll have a room for them. That was not an expense we budgeted but we'll make it work. I am hoping that by leaving on Sunday, we will be able to be there for the delivery. We'll know more tomorrow after R's doctor appointment.

The house is coming together. We completed what we are calling "the great room reshuffle of 2008." The junk room was cleaned out and D's room was moved into there. D's room was repainted and the guest room was moved into that room. Finally, the former guest room was set up as the nursery. It is missing the dresser/changing table since it is still used for D's clothes. We need to order his new furniture but might have to wait until we get some more funds before we do that. If we have money left after all of the adoption expenses, we'll buy it now. Otherwise, we'll wait until my bonus in January.

Due to R's need for us to cover some living expenses, we are having to do an identified agency adoption in Georgia. Our Georgia attorney also has an agency so we'll use her agency. I have no idea yet what all that means but hope to hear from them soon as to what that will mean for us and R.

That is it for now. I'll try to update after we talk to R tomorrow after her appointment.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Update

I finally heard back from our adoption adviser/translator. She had three "baby born" situations (where the mother decides to place the babies for adoption after they are born) that she was dealing with today so her schedule got all messed up. We have rescheduled the call for tomorrow at 11:30. She indicated that R had called her too wondering about the call and wanted to make sure we were still on board so it sounds like we were both worrying. She needed to call R to make sure the rescheduled time would work and got a brief update that she e-mailed me. R had her ultrasound on Saturday and the baby is already 8.5lbs. They could not tell the gender. I imagine there is no room for the baby to be moving so it is impossible to get a good look. They moved her due date up to the 12th from the 14th. We are hoping to make it past the 9th (D's birthday party is on the 9th) but with the baby that big already, I'll be surprised if that happens. D was 3 lbs 9 oz when he was born and was almost 3 mo old before he weighed 8.5lbs so having a big baby will definitely be a new experience. The projects around the house are coming along. We found the cutest gender neutral nursery decorations at a consignment shop. C's grandmother got it and the bassinet for us. We only need to buy a few more things (car seat and tub) and then I think we'll be ready. So exciting.

Nervous

We were supposed to have a call with R and our agency translator today at 12:30. Its now 1:45 and we have not heard a thing despite my e-mails and phone calls inquiring as to the status of our call. I can't help but be pessimistic and think that something is wrong or that R is having second thoughts. I hope to be able to update the blog tonight or tomorrow with good news.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Excitement is Building

The excitement is building. With each day that passes, I am more excited. In just two short weeks, we will be holding our son or daughter. I can't wait. I really believe this is going to work out. I continue to pray for R and the decision she is making. I know it is really difficult on her and I hope she will have some peace knowing that her baby is already loved by us. D has been carrying around his stuffed wolf (Jackson) saying that Jackson is the little brother and he is practicing to be a big brother. Its so darn cute. He has been pretending that he is Jackson's big brother for months now but now he is practicing because he knows it will be true soon. I know he is going to be a great big brother. I just hope all of the changes are not too much for him to handle.

I just removed the adoption ticker at the bottom of my blog that said 11 month 1 week and 1 day waiting for a match. Our total wait was exactly 11 months. It seems like a whole lot longer than that. We have some last minute hurdles we need to get accomplished. We need our homestudy updated to allow us to adopt an hispanic baby but that was supposedly in the works well before we matched with R. I talked to our social worker yesterday and he is going to move our update to the top of his pile. We need to have it pretty soon after birth so as to not delay our ICPC approval.

The interstate aspect of all of this is interesting. Being a lawyer, I am really into how all of this will work (although I know NOTHING about adoption law). Our two lawyers - one from Georgia and one from Texas - are talking to determine which state's law will apply with respect to relinquishment time, etc. The laws of Texas are much more favorable to the adoptive parents. We should know more on that soon.

I am meeting with my three bosses (my supervisor, his boss and the second person in charge of our department) today to discuss how my matters will be handled while I am on leave. I intend to take 12 weeks off (8 weeks paid adoption leave and 4 weeks vacation). I have been scrambling to get a lot of projects wrapped up before I am out and spent most of yesterday cleaning off my desk and deleting messages from my inbox. Hopefully that meeting will go well.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I promised an update

It is looking more and more like we will be meeting our baby soon. We were selected by a birthmom (R) in Georgia to parent her baby. Our best estimate is that she is due on August 14 but she just went to her first prenatal appointment this past Saturday and they did not do an ultrasound so I am not sure about that due date. We had our match call yesterday and it went really well. R said she was secure in her decision to place the child for adoption and was praying a lot for peace. There is a langauge issue as R only speaks Spanish so we had a translator from our agency on the call. She has another doctor's appointment this coming Friday and an ultrasound this coming Saturday. We currently have weekly calls scheduled every Monday to find out about her doctor's appointments and how she is progressing. C and I are very anxious to find out the gender of the baby so we can go shopping. We gave away a lot of our baby stuff to a family member so we need to buy a new car seat, bassinet, and a lot of other stuff. Obviously if its a girl we have to buy a whole new wardrobe. Once R goes into labor, C, D and I will hop in the car and drive 15 hours to Georgia. We have to stay in Georgia for about 2 weeks after the baby is born to deal with the inter-state issues. D's birthday party (he is turning 5!) is scheduled for August 9 so if we are already in Georgia at that time, C and D will probably fly home for his party.

This is getting long and wordy but as you can tell, we have a lot on our plates and are struggling to clean out our junk room so we can totally rearrange all of the bedrooms in our house. Good news is that the baby will be in our room for a few months so we have some time to get all of that done.

Although we are excited, we are not as excited as I thought we would be. I think we are too worried about R changing her mind or something else happening to mess this up to be super excited. We have guarded hearts. We are praying a lot for R and the baby and I know that things will work out the way they are supposed to.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

We've been picked!

We have been picked by a mother in Georgia. Her due date is August 14. I am cautiously optimistic. More later!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Horoscope

I am not one to normally read horoscopes let alone believe in them but I picked up a free copy of OK! Magazine somewhere and read this horoscope for last week that is actually pretty accurate.

Cancer: From Wednesday on, be alert to opportunities and be prepared to move fast. Certainly you're discouraged by recent events, but all in takes is one piece of good fortune to change things for the better. Your task is to recognize that luck, and to vanquish your doubts. You'll be particularly successful if you involve the person closest to you. In this case, two heads are worth twice as much.

Seems appropriate given my week last week.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Birthday Flowers

Chris sent me the prettiest pink roses today for my birthday. I thought I would share a picture. Sorry the picture is crappy but I took it with my blac.k.ber.rry.

Thank you Chris!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Crazy Day

I was actually looking forward to writing a post to update you on the news we got today. We got picked by a birth mom in our state but about 5 hours after we got the call I got another call to tell us that she had already changed her mind. Once our case worker called her back and told her how excited we were she started having second thoughts and her parents agreed to help her out so she decided that she wants to parent the baby girl after all. I guess we are "lucky" it happened now instead of right before the baby was born, or worse yet, after the baby was born, but it still hurts a little. At least we finally got picked. I was looking just this morning at a new agency and considering giving them a try. I think I'll stick with ours a bit longer and see what happens.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Birthday and Other Thoughts

My 38th (yikes!) birthday is on Wednesday (7/16) and when I look back at my life its pretty good. I am obviously not exactly where I wanted to be given that we still only have one kid, but overall things are pretty good. I have a great job that I love and that gives me a lot of flexibility. I have a husband that I love dearly. I have the most precious son I could have ever hoped for. He is truly a gift from God that I treasure every day.

Happy birthday to me!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Three Strikes

I met with the surgeon yesterday and he said that although he loves to perform surgery and would love to look more closesly at my strange anatomy, he did not think that surgery would help at all. He said that I have three things going against me: my uterine anomoly, my poor ovarian reserve and the adhesions. He did not think the benefits would outweigh even the remotest risk of surgery. This officially ends our TTC. I am more focused than ever in making our profile more appealing (although for the life of me, I can't find a reason why it is not appealing as it is).

The girl that my dad knows (see prior entries about her) is still interested in adoption (although she has not submitted any of the paperwork to our agency). I actually spoke to her a week or so ago and she is a really sweet. I continue to hope and pray that it works out with her. My two biggest concerns are the birth father (they are no longer together and do not get along at all and she is not sure he will consent to the adoption) and her lack of prenatal care. Based on the math that I did, her due date would be around early October but she hasn't seen a doctor other than going to the hospital when she was about 9 weeks. I am hoping that if we get officially matched, that our agency can help her get signed up for state insurance so she can get the care that she and the baby deserve. If you are the praying kind, please say a prayer for her and the baby. Even if she decides to parent herself, she needs prayers.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Homestudy Update

We had our home visit yesterday for our home study update. Our social worker told us numerous times that he has only had to do 2 - 3 three updates for couples who without referrals with our agency. He went on to say that he does not understand why we do not have a referral yet. We are going to seriously look at our profile and pictures and see if we need to change anything. We've been live on the web site for over 10 months and their average wait time is 4 months so we are way over the average. I don't understand what is so unappealing about us but I plan to figure it out. I really hope and pray that we do not have to wait too much longer.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

One Last Ditch Effort

I finally heard back from my RE's office. My FSH level was 9.4 and my estradiol level was 49. The FSH is a tad higher than he likes (he prefers under 8.5) but its not abnormally high unless its 10 or higher. Also, since they only saw one antral follicle on the US, they do not recommend IVF. My last option is to have additional surgery to attempt to remove the adhesions that are causing my ovary to be trapped against the pelvic wall. I have a consult with a surgeon next week to get his thoughts on whether additional surgery is worth it. This doctor is supposedly a phenomenal surgeon and a lot of doctors send their more difficult cases of pelvic adhesions and endometriosis to him. My RE said that if we can free the ovary and elimimate most of the adhesions that I will at least have a chance of conceiving with an IUI cycle. I figure its worth the consult. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

News Is Not Good

I went this afternoon for my day 3 bloodwork and my day 3 ultrasound. I am still awaiting my FSH and estrogen results but the US did not look good at all. The RE (not my regular one but the other one in the practice) had a hard time finding my ovary and was only able to find one (1!) antral follicle. He advised against IVF, saying that my chances were 3 - 5%. With those chances, I don't think that I can spend the money on the IVF meds. I might see what my blood test results are and go back in next cycle to see if my RE has better luck but if the results look the same, it will probably be the end of ART for me (unless we pursue donor eggs and that does not appeal to me at this point). I am not as sad/upset as I thought I would be. I think that I knew in my heart of hearts what the US would show. I am so blessed to have D (and the more I learn about my f'ed up anatomy, the more I believe that he truly is a gift from God). I know that we will have another child one way or another when the time is right. I just hope its sooner rather than later!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Follow-Up Appointment and Adoption Update

I met with my RE today for my follow up from the lap. He showed me the pictures of my uterus and all of the scar tissue and adhesions that were there. What a mess! The good news from all of this is that he said that my uterus is about 80% of a normal sized uterus. I do not have a left ovary at all and he was unable to find my right ovary due to adhesions and/or scar tissue. He was afraid to start cutting the adhesions in a hunt for my ovary because he would have been doing it blindly and he was afraid that he might cut other important vessels, etc. The bad news is that with my ovary stuck behind scar tissue, etc., the chances of a pregnancy without IVF are VERY small. He thinks that any eggs would likely get stuck behind all of the scar tissue and not make it to the tube. Due to this, Follistim is no longer a viable option. If we are going to continue to pursue ART, we will be moving to IVF. I have a couple of concerns about doing it given my f'ed up anatomy. Not only is it a really big expense (meds are not covered), there is the physical/emotional aspect of taking all of those hormones. With only one ovary and being almost 38, I am concerned that I just won't produce enough eggs to make it worth the trouble. I am going to go in for a scan and FSH level on CD3 next cycle. He wants to make sure that he can still find the ovary with US.

Question for any readers: Do you know anyone with only one ovary that successfully tried IVF? How many eggs can one expect to produce per ovary (I know this varies based on a lot of factors but some of your experiences would be appreciated). Thanks for any responses or thoughts on whether this is the right choice for us.

On the adoption front, the girl that my dad knows is interested in pursuing adoption. We hope that our agency will get in touch with her soon to get more information. Our updated home visit is scheduled for the end of the month and we just got our FBI clearances.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

People Disgust Me!

This story disgusts me on so many levels. How these two "parents" could abandon their twins just because they are girls is beyond comprehension. I wouldn't usually wish infertility on anyone, but here's hoping that any future IVF attempts are a failure for them. They do not deserve success.




Updated to fix the link.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Surgery/ Adoption Update

I had my surgery today and am doing really well. The only pain is the referred pain from the gas. Both my shoulders are killing me but moving around and using a heating pad is helping some. I'll know more after I see my doctor in two weeks but he did talk to C about what he found (or didn't find). There was a lot of scar tissue/adhesions. He was able to get rid of most of it. He indicated that my uterus is actually bicornuate instead of unicornuate. The second horn is rudimentary/undeveloped. He could not find a left ovary at all and thinks that that entire side did not develop. Its the side that has never shown anything on ultrasound. He could not see my right ovary either. C indicated that doctor said there was too much stuff in the way (he did not ask what stuff) to see it. The more procedures, etc. that I have, the more I am convinced that D is our miracle.

On the adoption front, we are in the process of updating our homestudy. We got fingerprinted yesterday and I mailed them off to the FBI for processing today. Our social worker is coming for the visit on 6/28 and we have gathered all of the reference letters and medical update letters that we need. Before last year's home visit, I was a complete wreck about cleaning the house, etc. This year I am much more laid back. I am going to clean up (we have a lot of clutter), but not going to obsess like last year.

My dad called last night and he knows a young girl who is 21 week pregnant and went for an abortion but couldn't afford the abortion (thank God!) so did not get it. She is possibly now interested in adoption and he is going to check with her to see if it is ok if our agency calls her on our behalf. We could do it outside of the agency and save a lot of money but they know all of the questions to ask, background checks to run, etc. so we are probably going to go that route if she is interested. If you are the praying kind, please pray that God protects this mother and her child and that she continues to stay away from the abortion clinic and chooses adoption (even if we are not the right parents for her child).

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Surgery Scheduled

I sent my RE an e-mail about timing of my lap and he said he could do it on CD5 so I have scheduled it for this Friday. That gives me over a week to recover for my vacation which I hope is enough time. I am anxious to see what he finds (if anything). I can't believe that I have ttc over 8 years of my life total and this is the first time any doctor has ever mentioned doing this. It might not show anything but we'll never know until we do it. So wish me luck on Friday at 3:00.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Why do I do this to myself?

A big thank you to all of the commenters on my last post. Based on the comments, it looks like I am going to hold off on my lap for a cycle. I know its only one month, but that is a long time when you are my age. I turn 38 in July and move to a new category of IVF statistics and do not like them one bit.

I did something completely idiotic today. I am about 9 DPO and thought I would POAS this morning since I had one test left. I saw two lines show up immediately and I was so excited I even woke C up to tell him that we were pg. I was so excited and couldn't believe my eyes. Once I got a clear head, I opened the directions to the test and realized the two lines that I saw were both control lines - I was not pg after all. I can't believe that I did that. I want it so much that I fabricated a positive HPT. What an idiot. Why do I do this to myself?

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Visit with RE and Adoption Update

I am tired of doing nothing so I decided to be proactive and made an appointment with my RE to discuss other options. All I have done so far is clomid/femara and IUIs. With my unicornuate uterus, I have been too afraid to do injectibles due to the risk of multiples but after talking the the doctor, we have a game plan. Next cycle, I will go in for day 3 blood work and then I will schedule an operative laparoscopy to check for scar tissue or endometriosis that might be preventing my tube from grabbing my eggs. Depending on how that comes back, I will either move on to injectibles with IUI or IVF. Luckily I still have some insurance coverage available (although meds are excluded). I am excited to be doing something (waiting for an adoption match is brutal!) but nervous at the same time.

A few questions for anyone that might know the answers: What is the recovery time for laparoscopic surgery? Would it be a problem for me to have this surgery the day before we go on vacation? Vacation will include a 4 hour car ride and there will be a lot of walking around that week. What is the cheapest place to get injectible meds? Is it better to go to a local pharmacy or is an online pharmacy better?

On the adoption front, we are in the process of updating our homestudy. When I called our social worker to talk about the update, he was surprised that we hadn't matched since almost all of the other couples that he works with using our facilitator match very quickly. I'll tell you that made me feel great! I called and they suggested that we open up to additional ethnicities. They thought that would counter the fact that I am not a stay at home mom. Its all very frustrating. We'll talk to the SW about that and probably have our updated homestudy include some additional ethnicities.

Thats it for now.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Thoughts on Prematurity

This weekend I walked in the March of Dimes March for Babies at Norbuck Park near White Rock Lake. For those of you interested, its not too late to donate - just go here and you can donate online. All along the route there are signs in honor of and in memory of babies that were born too soon. I read every one of the signs along the 5 mile route and saw many babies that were born later than D with "in memory of" signs. With all of the stories that I have read in the IF world lately about babies being born as early as 24 - 25 weeks, I am forever grateful that I was able to carry D to 31 weeks. When I look at my beautiful, healthy boy, it is easy to forget that things could have definitely turned out differently. I am not really sure of the point of this post other than to say how grateful and thankful I am to God that D is healthy and stronfg and I hope and pray that if I ever have another child, God will provide in the same way.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Abbreviations

Since C recently posted a link to my blog on his blog, several people not familiar with all of the IF abbreviations have stopped by. In an attempt to help them decipher some of the posts, I thought I'd provide this link to a list compiled by Mel of blogging abbreviations that a lot of IF/adoption bloggers use. I hope this helps.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

That Time of Year Again

Every year since 2004, C and I have walked in the March of Dimes WalkAmerica to raise money for the March of Dimes. Over those years, we have raised close to $5,000 for an organization that is near and dear to our hearts. D was born 9 weeks premature and spent 7 weeks in the NICU at Medical City Dallas Hospital and if I ever get pregnant again the chances of having another premature birth are really high due to my unicornuate uterus, therefor the work of the March of Dimes is very important to me personally. I am oficially kicking off my fundraising for 2008's March of Dimes March for Babies (they renamed WalkAmerica) and ask anyone who is so inclined, to please consider donating to this worthy cause. Please follow this link to donate online. Feel free to leave any questions that you might have in the comments and I'll get back to you. Thank you.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Opportunity????

It has been forever since I have updated this blog because there has been nothing to report on the adoption front. I am considering cycling again just to give myself something to do while we wait for a match. It is very difficult for a person who is typically in control of everything to wait and realize that there is nothing that I or C can do to make this adoption happen sooner.

We did get an e-mail today about a potential opportunity. The birthmother, her sister and her nephew all have bi-polar disorder and ADD/ADHD. She has a 2 year old that has no known health problems. They are asking all potential adoptive parents who want to be shown to the mother/father to let them know as soon as possible. This is a difficult decision since I know someone who suffers with bi-polar disorder and she is a mess. She, however, does not have any family support and I do not know if that plays a factor in how she has dealt with her disorder. If anyone reading this (if anyone even still reads this blog) has any insight into bi-polar disorder and ADD/ADHD, I would appreciate any thoughts. It is so tempting to jump at these opportunities since we are so anxious to get a match, however, we need to be sure it is the right decision for us and the birthmother/father.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Tough Question from a 4 year old

Although D has mentioned wanting a brother or sister before, earlier today was the first time he really asked why he didn't have one. One of his friends asked him today if he had a brother or sister (his friend has a little brother) and he had to say no, its just me, mommy and daddy. As we are driving home and he is telling about this exchange, he says that big brothers are helpful and he wants to help mommy and daddy make a brother or sister because he really wants one. I had to tactfully explain that big brothers cannot help in that way and that we were seeing a doctor to get help and also hoping that someone picks us as parents. It sucks that he is starting to notice these things more.