Wednesday, May 27, 2009

1st Visit with Mom today

Just dropped Lil J off at his visit. This is his first visit since he was removed in Feb. I did meet his mother, just long enough to make the exchange.

He did recongize her, which was one of my big concerns. She thanked me and gave me a hug.
I was OK until I got to my car, that is where I lost it. Man, this is really hard.

I really do hope the best for his mother. Now I wait and hope I do not have a heart attack from now until 1:30.

Well, I just got back not too long ago from Lil J's visit. The visit went fine it seemed. Of course I can't get every single detail from the visit for a few reasons:

1 - the mother was right there, so the worker is not gonna say anything bad

2 - unless there was something that happened at the visit that needed to be addressed, I don't think they will share more than "it was fine" Although, I may hear bits and pieces from the case worker at a later date.

Anyway, I felt really bad for the mom. When I went to get him, he got all excited and was yelling, "mommy, mommy, you came back, you came back" I am sure that KILLED his mother.

Then while I was there, his mother said something like, "soon you are going to come live with me" Lil J replied, "no, I want to live with mommy" Again, I am sure that was not easy for the mom to hear.

Then of course my van happens to be the EXACT same van as ALL of the state vans. So the entire parking lot was full of white grand caravans. Lil J kep saying "mommy's van"

I think for future visits, we may or may not do a face to face. I don't want to intentionally hurt the mother's feelings.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Update - Marginal Insertion of the Umbilical Cord

I spoke to my doctor today because I really needed some clarification of the info that I was given on Friday.

But, first a little vent. I call the office today and explain that I want to speak to an actual doctor as the nurse that I was speaking to really did not give me lots of info. I remembered her name, so when asked, I gave it. Told the receptionist that I really needed a doc, not a nurse to call me back. No problem, they will have the doc call back later in the day. I explained what info I needed clarified as well.

Fast forward to later in the day, the SAME nurse calls me that called me on Friday. She was really just calling to make sure what I had questions about. So, I told her and she then repeated the same info that she gave me on Friday and asked if I still needed to talk to the doc. Um, yeah...annoying.

So, the doc finally calls back. I do indeed have something called a "Marginal Insertion of the Umbilical Cord" basically that means that the cord is attached to the placenta on the side, rather than then middle. The middle is the meaty part, so of course that is where it is best.

I really needed more info about this, because there were tons of people that told me that they had it and the type of monitoring and/or complications they had. I wanted to make sure I was prepared for whatever was possible.

He said that while the marginal insertion in itself is kinda rare, most people have no complications from it. Of course I dug deeper, and asked for percentages. He said about 15-25% of pregnancies with this condition will have babies with growth restriction. That is still a pretty high number.

They will do scans starting early in the 3rd tri to check for growth, and if restricted, the level of restriction will determine how often the scans are done. It could be every 2 weeks or every 4.

If the growth seems to be a big problem, I may be admitted to the hospital to very closely monitor growth and fetal distress. OK, good to know.

I asked about a higher chance of a c-section. He said that if I fall into that 25%, then there is a high possibility that a c-section would happen. This is because if they determine that the growth is restricted, then it is best to get the baby out ASAP, so that would not include a vaginal delivery. Plus, the quicker the delivery, the less stress it puts on an already stressed baby. Again, good to know.

But, he did say that I fall into the other 75% where growth is not restricted, then a vagainal delivery would be just fine.

At least I got some more information that I did not get on Friday. So, here I am praying for the best.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Non-central Umbilical Cord

When I had my anatomy scan about a week(ish) ago, they could not get some of the measurements because of the position of the baby. The tech said everything looked OK, and it really was JUST the position of the baby. She had mentioned something about vessels or something. Honestly, I try not to get ALL the details, I go google crazy. As long as they say "everything looks great/good/swell/fab/etc" I just take that info and run with it.

Google, as we all know, can scare the crap out of anyone, so I kinda like being naive in certain things. Of course I want to know the major stuff, but not every teeny tiny detail.

The tech did say that I will probably have growth scans later on to check the size of the baby and then she commented on how big the baby's head was. I assumed they would check the size to make sure it was not too big. Well, you know what they say about assuming.

I went back today and again the tech (same one) said everything looks great. I know they are "just" techs, but I would think they know what they are talking about, after all they have to take the pics in the correct area and know what to look for for "abnormal" results.

After my last scan, I met with the doc but she did not go over the results of the scan, I guess because it was not a complete scan.

Well, today the nurse called with results. I thought this was odd, because they have never called before after any scan and only call for bloodwork, etc if the results are abnormal.

She said that all the anatomy looks good, but I will have to do several growth scans in the 3rd Tri due to my "non-central Umbilical Cord". She said it so casually, it almost took me by surprise. Of course I was in a parking lot, could not find a pen - had a crayon instead. I asked what she meant, because no one had ever used that term before. It sounded like she was just reading it from the chart and then sounded like she was trying to get info on it.

She really could not give me a great answer other than there may be limited blood flow to the baby and that is why growth scans are needed. But, that most people have no problem at all with this. It was really late in the day and since she said it so matter of factly, I figured instead of asking to speak to the doc asap, I would go home and google it.

I googled as soon as I got home, but can't find anything. Seriously, I can not find one speck of any info using that term. I checked all the major medical sites, used all my google skills, everything. Can't find anything.

So, now I am thinking that she gave me the totally wrong term - ugh.

I plan on calling the doc on Tues - the next business day to get a straight answer. But, I am hoping maybe someone who reads this blog might have somekind of answer.

Anyone know anything about this?

OK - I think I might be ready to share

I am still super nervous about this pregnancy. But, with each u/s I start to be a tad more relaxed.

I had a scan today which was a follow-up to my scan last week. She could not get good measurements of something because of the position of the baby. Heck, I will never turn down a scan, so yeah for me.

I got a 1/2 way decent picture of the baby's face so I thought I would share.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

1st visit - take 2

We now have a visit scheduled for next Wed - same plans. She will take the train into NJ and then get a ride to our local office.

I wonder how it will work out???

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Heard from J's Law Guardian

I spoke to J's Law Guardian today and was talking to him about my concerns with mom's request to have his case moved.

I told him that basically mom is now living with her boyfriend which was one of her "in between" addresses. Told about the missed visit, etc.

He basically told me that "let her file the motion - good luck with that one" It really made me feel a bit better. He said that parents, especially ones with attorneys, will make the most ridiculous requests of the court. You would think they are rock-stars with the outrageous requests. He told me some of the weird stuff that he has seen - things like only using a certain barber for the child, not to wear clothes purchased at certain stores, strange visitation requests, etc.

So, even though I thought her request may be a valid request, he really does not think so. Of course, a judge would have final say in that. But, like he said - she chose to move that far away, not because she was starting her life over, not because that is where her job or family are - but that is where her boyfriend lives.

He even said that if a judge DOES think that it has some merit, she would have to prove to a court that this will be her PERMANENT residence, this could take months. She would have to be 100% working her plan as well. We know how that has gone so far.

Having the case transferred to the other state could take months - if they even accept the case. Then he reminded me that with all these months passing - the mom may fall back on her old habits and the case take a turn in one direction or another.

So, for now, I will continue to love him with everything that I have, and we will cross that bridge when and if we get to it.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Um, what is THAT? :)

Well, overnight I think I "popped" Still not really showing, but can no longer suck it in at all and my goodness, my entire stomach is really hard.

I started kinda fluffy - OK, more than kinda. But, now I can hardly put my finger in my belly button, it is getting very shallow lol.

If you hold my shirt down, you can see a non-fat bump there. wow, I guess everyone was right, it seems to happen overnight.

Oh, and I "think" I might feel something. I really don't know how to describe it, other than it feels like bubbles popping in my stomach - which it very well might be just that. But, I really think I feel something....pretty cool :)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Bio Mom wants him moved....

There was supposed to be a visit yesterday - you can read the details below.

I called the bio mom today (as requested by the case worker), and after almost giving up because she never answered the phone, she finally answered.

She spoke to Lil J for a little while, even though I know he really had no clue. He kept referring to Mommy, and then saying things about me. Whatever.

She then asked to speak to me and she tells me that she will be submitting a formal request to the courts (well, her lawyer will be) at the next court date to have him moved to her state of resisdence.

Side note, he was removed in my current state, she was "in between" addresses and now is living in a neighboring state. I googled it, and driving it is about a 3.25 hour DRIVE. Using public transportation (I figured it out) would probably take about 4+ hours each way.

She is claiming that showing up to visits (using public transportation) places an unfair financial burden on her. Since the case is in my state, all visits have to be done here. She claims the distance is not fair as well.

Heck, I did not tell you to move to the end of the state.

She says that she WOULD see her kid as much as she could, but she can not afford it, and if he was closer to her, she would see him often. She says this even though she has made NO attempt at all to make visits. Like I said, she has not seen him since the end of Feb.

I know I am rambling, I am not even sure the point of the post. I am just so upset that this is possible. Will a judge really remove a child in a VERY stable home just make it easier for the mom?

It is killing me to think he could leave under these circumstances.

I just wanted to put it out there that going into foster care, I knew there would be a possibility that kids are returned to parents. But this situation would be totally different. Lil J would still be foster care, just in a different state. So, he would be placed in a home that may or may not be a good fit for him.

If the placement is not a good fit (like his previous placement was not), then he would be moved again. This is just breaking my heart.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Lil J's Fist visit with, NOT

Lil J has not seen his mother since Feb 27. That was the day he was removed.

At first, his mother was trying to "get stuff worked out" so she did not schedule anything.

Then, she was not able to have visits - take that as you like.

Then, again she was trying to work some stuff out.

So, I get a call from my case worker this week. She had spoken to the mother on an unrelated topic and she said that a visit really should be scheduled - and it was scheduled for today at 12 pm. The time kinda annoyed me, because J takes a nap at 1 and it was going to be a 2 hour visit.

I decided to print out some pictures - well, some = over 50. I put the pictures in a small brag book. Thought she might like seeing the pictures from the last 2+ months.

I have also been telling J that he was going to see "his mom" since Tuesday. Granted, I don't think he has a clue, but I still told him many many many times.

The mom does not have her own transportation and our state is required to provide "reasonable access" to visits. That said, the mother now lives in another state and she was going to take the train to a major city, then transfer trains to get to my state. The case worker was going to pick her up from the train station and drive her to my local CPS office.

This was going to be a very long trip. In all, between trains, transfers and car ride, I would assume it was going to be about a 3 hour trip, each way. I live an hour from where she would get off the train.

Like I said, she has not seen him in months.

I get a call today around 10:30 from the case worker telling me that the mother left her a message and she can't come anymore..She is claiming that she got on the wrong train, went the wrong way, will cost $100 to go back, and she has no cell phone.

To be honest, I do not believe ANY of it. Let's point out all the reasons why I think she is full of it.
  • While I understand that you may have gotten on the wrong train, especially if you are not too familiar with the trains - but, like most trains (this was not a subway), someone will walk around and ask for a ticket. This is usually right after the train leaves the station and usually before it comes into the next stop.

    So - if you indeed went the wrong way, a train employee would tell you to get off the next stop and then wait for the train going the other way. I would have to assume that this happens A LOT, and I am sure there is a policy in place. It might mean that the train employee on the new train can just tell by your printed ticket that you went the wrong way and may just let you not pay anything extra - or maybe you just have to pay for the one stop error.

    Either way, I seriously DOUBT, it would cost an additional $100 to go one (or even a few) stops back to your original departing station.
  • She claims that now she is stranded somewhere (in her state) and has no cell phone to call the case worker, so even if she got back on the train, there would be no way to get in contact with the worker. Um, 1) whose phone were you using to call the caseworker? 2) did you just ask a random person to use their phone - yes, this is possible, there are nice people in the world. 3) I guess since you were not using your cell phone (since you claim you don't have one), you must have the case workers phone number memorized. Which means that I am sure you can use someone else's phone when you get to my state. She had success in doing this before, I am sure it will work again. (?!?!)
  • When the case worker asked his mother when she would like to reschedule the visit, the mother replied, "oh, I will have to call you on that one". Since it was the case worker that requested the visit, and since the mother has made no attempt to start visits, I can almost guarantee you that visits will not be scheduled for a long while. The case worker even told me that she kinda had a feeling this would happen, mainly because it was not the mom's idea for a visit.
I don't want to sound like a super negative person, and would love to give her the benefit of the doubt, but I just don't understand how someone would not go to the ends of the earth and do WHATEVER was needed to see their kid. Especially one that you claim you want to get back.

Yes, I know - this is all good news for me. Visits are part of her plan and as everyone knows, if the mom does not work her plan, a judge does not like that. And, when a judge does not that the mom is not doing certain things, he/she is less likely to make exceptions to the plan, or give extensions, etc.

So, yes - you are correct, these things means I have a better chance of him staying for a while, if not forever. And, yes, we would love for him to be a permanent part of our family. But, it still upsets me.

Lucky for me, Lil J is young enough that he really has no clue. So, while I have been telling him for days that he will see his mom and the case worker, if I just stop talking about it, then he will just forget. It really kills me. I guess I just don't understand how she could just not care enough.

OK, rambling vent over.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

20 Week appointment

Well, 20 weeks minus 1 day.

I had my anatomy scan today and everything looks GREAT. I have to be honest, I was really nervous about it for several reasons. I have not felt any movement at all, so I was concerned that the u/s would not be good news. I was also concerned because of the elevated risk from the NT scan.

But, all my fears were thrown out the window. Baby looks great, all the measurement are perfect, and my cervix is well within normal range.

I still think it is weird that you can see this baby move on the screen and still not have any feelings of movement. I know it will come soon enough.

Blood pressure looked great, & heart rate was 165, so an uneventful appointment.

And for those that are wondering, I did not gain any weight, nada, zilch, nothing. So, that still brings me to negative 5 pounds at the OB and negative 9 pounds since I found out I am pregnant. The baby looks great and the fact that I started bigger, so the OB is NOT concerned about the lack of weight gain.

I still can't believe I am at the half way mark!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Colin will have 2 siblings come the fall

Nope - not talking about Lil J.

We just found out that Colin's father's wife is pregnant and due in August. So, he will have siblings that are only about a month apart.

I am not mad over the news, I knew it could happen. But, what bothers me the most is that now in addition to not really knowing his father, he will not know a sibling as well.

Colin sees his father maybe 2x a year. Which means that he will see this child maybe 2x a year. It just makes me sad that Colin will not have a relationship with this child.

Yes, in a few years Colin will be driving (gasp), but what 17+ yr old is gonna want to drive 3+ hours to see a toddler? Yes, it is very possible that as they get older they may have some kind of relationship, but that won't come for a long long time.

On another note, it would be really funny if we both picked out the same names lol

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Almost 1/2 Way There!

I am 19 weeks today. I have an appointment next week for the "big" ultra-sound. They check everything out, making sure that all parts, inside and out, are in good shape and don't show any abnormalities. And no, we are not planning on finding out the sex of the baby.

I am still not feeling any movement, still not showing, still have not gained any weight, bla bla bla

I still can't believe that here I am almost half way through my pregnancy. Time really flies.

For most people, this would be when they would decide to register. Yes, I know I am having a shower..but honestly, I have no desire at all at this point to even look at baby stuff. I really can't explain my reasoning, but I am sure my sisters will be bugging me to do it soon enough.

I will know about the shower, basically just the date. It is just easier and I think the shower goes smoother than if I did not know. It will not be until July or Aug, so I still have plenty of time to drag my feet lol.

I am still nervous about the scan next week. My risk for Down's came back much lower at 1:800(ish); but I am still worried that something will be found in this scan. I think they will also be doing another cervical scan to make sure that is looking OK.

So, that is the update on this end :)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Huggies SUCK

That is correct, I am saying that one of the largest diaper companies, Huggies, sucks. I would normally try to split up a brand name so that it can not be found using an internet search, but trust me, I WANT this one found.

For a few days now, I have been seeing a Huggies commercial that annoys the crap out of me. It is for free diapers for a year.

Now, that sounds like a great deal, right???? I mean, I can totally use free diapers for a year, who couldn't?

Well, I guess the marketing execs at Huggies wanted a funny or cute commercial. But, instead all they did was to make an ass out of themselves.

The commercial basically says that in order to qualify all you have to do is:

- Have sperm meet egg
- Have a pregnancy glow for about nine months
- Deal with morning sickness
- Deal with people patting your belly
- Rush to the hospital
- Deliver your miracle

Yup, that is correct, it says you would only qualify if you BIRTH a child. Yes, I understand that the majority of women will actually give birth to their children. And, yes, I did read the actual rules of the contest and it does NOT say that you actually have to give birth.

But, the commercial itselfs leads people to believe that if you choose to have a child any other way than birthing that child, then you do not qualify for the contest.

It really hit a cord with me. I find it annoying. My husband thinks that I am overly sensitive about it.

I did e-mail the company, only to get a super canned response. The same response that others have received as well.

I was not able to find the video since I have DVR, I figured I would just rewind when I saw the commercial. Well, it did not take long until I saw it again.

Here is the video, please note that it took many many tries to not have a yelling child in the background..this is the best I got. Please excuse the yelling child in the back, he is just as mad as I am lol

Monday, May 4, 2009

Passed my 3 hour

I passed my 3 hour glucouse test. It really does not mean too much. If I failed, we would have done something about it. But, because the test was done much earlier than usual, passing the test only means that I passed it for now.

I will still have to re-take the test sometime in the future, yay lucky me.

I am going to try to go right to the 3 hour test, this way I do not have to take the 1 hour, drink the nasty stuff, wait a week to see if I fail, and if I fail then take another nasty drink and then wait another week for those results.

Yes, the 3 hour appointment is a pain in the neck, but doing it 2x is a waste to me

Friday, May 1, 2009

Totally not a PC post

Since Lil J is a foster child, he qualifies for things that we would never qualify as a family. He receives free medical insurance and he also receives WIC. He also qualifies for other programs and services - some of which we may or may not use.

For those that do not know, WIC stands for Women, Infants, & Children and it a program designed to provide healthy foods for such people who financially qualify. The program is for Pregnant women or children up to 5 years old.

The foods are things like milk, eggs, cheese, peanut butter, juice, etc.

Since every bit helps, we knew we were going to take advantage of this program. Some foster parents don't want to have the "stigma" that comes along with this program, and therefore some do not even apply for it.

The way it works is that you are given a check, the check has the food items listed on the check and then you redeem at your grocery store. So, you have to actually present the check to the cashier.

Today was our first appointment to start WIC, we have had Lil J since mid March, but this was the first available appointment. It is a group appointment so there were lots of other people there.

Here is where the total not PC thing comes in.

I understand that this program is intended for those who qualify financially. Which for most means that they are of a lower income. But, because you are of a lower income, does that mean that you have to be totally filthy, and not even bother to comb your hair or your child's?

Because you are lower income, does that mean that it is OK to bring your child to a 10 am appointment still in their PJs - with what looked like the swollen diaper from the night before?

Is it ok for your child not to have anything on their feet?

Unfortunately, this was not just one family, this was several different families that were there.

Of course, there were other people there that HATED that they were grouped together with the other families.

Trust me, I felt the same way 15 years ago. At that time, I did qualify for WIC. I was 19 when I got pregnant, was still in school and worked waiting tables. I also hated being grouped together with everyone else. But, I knew I had to do what I had to do for my kid.

And, yes - I know everyone else there is thinking the same thing - they are doing what is best for there kid. But do you have to look like total trash while you do it?
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