Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A Biological Perspective

If I had conceived a biological child on January 4, 2007 which was my first agency appointment, I would have been due to give birth on October 11, 2007.

If I had hypothetically conceived on April 15, 2007 which is my LID, then my due date would be January 20, 2008 and I'd be in my 29th week of pregnancy now.

Hair Clippies

I made these clippies tonight for Apple. I've been wanting to make them for quite some time but couldn't get around to it. Tonight I stayed in and indulged my creativity. The ladybugs are made using instructions found here and the others I invented as I went. The tiny bows are only 1 1/4" long.

These bows I made over 15 years ago! There was a class on how to make them offered at my church and I had figured I'd have a daughter one day. That day is now fast approaching.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Mommy Moment

This past week I've been feeling like a mother tiger. I feel Apple very near - like I'm getting her tomorrow, or it's as if she's in the next room. I can't describe what it's like. I feel like I really need to get my home ready, but it's not like the nesting feelings I've had before, it's bigger that nesting in one way, more anticipatory. Perhaps the fires in Southern California have something to do with it, with needing to be prepared. Tonight I shampooed my area rugs. One desperately needed it, but today I desperately needed to get it done and did it.

I'm very emotional. I'm having dreams of defending her against family members who have hurt me in the past who will not have much at all, if anything at all, to do with Apple. I'm feeling everything intently, like I'm in a hypersensitive state. There are many things occurring in my family right now concerning my 95 year-old grandmother and how she's been treated, that are triggering some of this, but this heightened awareness began over a week ago, before the grandma stuff.

I've had it in spurts here and there before, but it's lasting a long time this time, almost two weeks straight. I'm watching my actions and speech to make sure I'm setting a good example, as if Apple is already watching. I suppose this is good so that it'll be second nature by the time Apple is with me. Wherever I am, buying a cinnamon bun at Ikea, or grocery shopping, pumping gas, driving, walking, doing dishes and even talking on the phone, I feel like Apple is watching, that she's here already, skipping beside me, or about to interrupt me. I think about what food I should make for her and the bowls and spoons she'll use.

I'm also suddenly remembering more Mandarin vocabulary words. I'm very relieved that it's starting to find a place in the foreign language section of my brain. I tested myself the other night to see if I think in Spanish numerals or have to translate and I definitely don't have to translate. I'm hoping my Mandarin becomes that easy, also.

I'm back to starring at Asian children, wondering as I look at each little face if Apple will resemble this one or that one, noticing that they are all beautiful. I look at the moms pushing the strollers, too, notice what they are wearing, if they are fit, if they are looking at their baby. I think about getting new clothes, something a cut above my usual working clothes so I'll be more stylish, in step with the things I've bought for her already.

This reminds me of one of the most pathetic things I've ever seen. I walked into my bank yesterday and a thin, grubby little boy with large, low-set ears and gorgeous blond hair, dirty and all messy, was slapping his baby sister's hand and saying to her, "I'm going to spank you." I immediately said firmly, "Do not hit that baby! You are hurting her." An Asian lady in front of me spoke up then to support me, saying to the boy, "You are too ruff, it hurts her." The woman was very disturbed but would never had said anything if I hadn't spoken first.

There was a third child, another girl, same blond hair, but totally falling forward in her face. She made no attempt to push it aside. She said she was four and boy said he was eight, but after some hesitation. I would have guessed him as six and the baby about 16 months. The girl was in the front seat of a double stroller and the baby in the back.

These were the second most grubby, neglected kids I've ever seen in my life. The baby's legs were completely covered in dried dirt. Her Robeez were so dirty all over that I couldn't tell what color they were supposed to be. Their fingernails were long and filthy, too, everything was dirty, dirty, dirty. The boy looked like he had fetal alcohol syndrome, small almond eyes, large low-set dumbo ears, and what some obstetric nurses call FLK, funny lookin kid, where they know something is wrong, but can't put their finger on.

After a time, a woman, their mother, not grubby herself, but homely, smiled and took them and left without a word. I don't know what held me rooted where I was standing when all I really wanted to do was run after them and berate the mother and take the children away from her and to my home and wash them, feed them and cuddle them so they might know what love is and that they deserve to be loved.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Stylin' Maclaren

Pink microsuede reversible seat pad for supior comfort and style!
Removable head support (not needed for an older baby).

Fully reclines with an extendable seat, to support those little legs.
Extendable sun shade for full sun protection.
Tall handles that can extend even taller.

Clear UV ray fold-out protector, like putting on sunglasses.

Yes, I am in love with this stroller!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Another Adoption Dream

I had another dream. They all seem to be focused around gotcha day. This one was the most disturbing so far...

I was out-of-town visiting Tiffany and Eliza in Utah and we were shopping at outlets, so there was a strip of stores all in a row. While we were in one store, in walks my mom (but she didn't look like my mom looks like in real life) with a little Chinese baby that was my daughter. I asked her how she got her and she said that a family also adopting from my agency said it was okay if she went and picked up my daughter since I was out-of-town and that they would take care of the paperwork. I was appalled and took my daughter from her and kept asking her to explain how all this happened. I was feeling so robbed of my motherhood, that she went to get her and that no one contacted me or waited for me. Then, my daughter started to fuss in my arms and my mom jumped right in to take care of her and I had to explain that her job was now over and that I was going to do everything and that no one else can take care of her except me. My mom started to protest and Tiffany supported me, but it was becoming a huge scene so I left and went to another store with my daughter and then, thankfully, I woke up...

What struck me most about this dream is the strength of the feelings I had that someone else went to get my daughter. I was devastated for me, severely concerned for her and that she was deprived of direct attachment to me. I felt so strong in my protectiveness for my daughter. All I could think about after wondering how such a mistake as this could occure that they would let someone else pick my daughter up, was to wonder if she was okay and wonder if this had harmed her in any way.

I could feel her so real in my arms and my arms felt as strong as steel against anyone trying to take her from me, but soft and safe for her. I was a mother tiger defending my cub. It was one of those dreams where I was super glad to wake up and realize it was just a dream.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Happy 6 Months LID Anniversary to Me!!!

The last six months have simply flown by! As I was driving yesterday, I was thinking that if my wait is 2 years, then I'm 1/4 of the way there. If it's three years, then I'm 1/6 of the way there.

Some of you may remember that I have a beautiful Emmaljunga pram and that I was on the hunt for my "throw and go" stroller. Several months ago, the new Maclaren line came out and I fell in love with the Brown/Pink Techno XLR, which just happened to be the top-of-the-line model. I drooled, tried it out, loved it more and then decided that it was more stroller than I could justify having for my throw and go, especially as the cheapest I'd seen it for was $330.00, not counting shipping or tax.

I am now in stroller heaven! Six months LID must be special out there in the adoption cosmos because, as I was browsing Craig's List, which I do once or twice daily, I was prompted to put into the search Maclaren. Usually I search for the following: Bellini, Pram (looking for accessories for my Emmaljunga), Emmaljunga, Dresser, and then whatever else I'm looking for, which lately has been a Jump-O-Lene, which I found, and a teeter totter, which I'm still looking for. (Remember, I'm a daycare provider.) Late Saturday night, after midnight, in fact, after doing my search for "pram" I typed in Maclaren and there it was - my dream stroller for only $126.00!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I picked it up Sunday and I'm in awe that I got this stroller for this price. It's less than a year old and PRISTINE, LIKE NEW!

I tried taking a picture of the actual stroller today but the weather was dull so the light was bad and it over exposed with the flash so here is a picture from online. Later, I will photograph the actual stroller and all the features so you all can see it.

Remembering Max

One week ago to this minute, Max died. This is his final resting place. The five year-old brother of one of my daycare babies picked this flower from his garden to give to me. His mom told me that he studied all the flowers and chose this one because it had red in it. If you click on the photo, you can see a larger version in great detail.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Weird Adoption Dreams

Have any of you waiting moms out there had any adoption dreams? I've had three, but only recall two at the moment. They both fell along similar lines which is strange considering the amount of baby stuff I have...

Dream 1: I went to China to pick up my daughter and didn't bring a single thing with me for her, not a bottle, diaper or a single stitch of clothing. Fortunately, other families pitched in and gave me some things. Strangely enough, no one thought there was anything wrong with not having brought any baby things.

Dream 2: I discovered that my daughter was already in the U.S. in foster care and that I could go and visit her. I went and was surprised that the family said I could take her home then and there. Needless to say, I didn't have anything with me for her. Also in this dream, she was 28 months old and quite robust. I picked her up into my arms and she didn't cry and I remember thinking that she's much older than I expected but that I'm sure I'd love her anyway.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Farewell to Max for Now

Max died tonight, just after midnight. I think he had a heart attack. I held him in my arms. The details are recorded in my hand written diary, and I'll not repeat them here, but it was a good ending, a little suffering (he arched and cried out) during what I think was the initial heart attack and twice more which I think were more heart attacks, but definitely less suffering than if I'd taken him to the vet, and in the actual end, he just slowly stopped breathing so he was able to relax to a degree and let go. He was conceived, born, lived and now died in this home. It was right how it all happened.

I felt very strongly that his mother, White, who died 2 1/2 years ago was waiting for him because I suddenly was telling Max to go to his mom, that she was waiting for him and I don't feel like I conceived that thought in my own mind.

I held him for a long time afterward, wiped his face, brushed him, let the other cats see him, I held him some more, cut a lock of his famous "curly belly hair" to save, then I buried him, in a cotton blanket with his mouse that he liked to fetch held in his paw, just after 2am.

I promised him that when it's my time to die, that I'll be as brave as he was. I know that he will be there to greet me.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Mini Max Update

Max and I were tired all day today, but he seems to be feeling a tiny bit better. He meows with a real voice and went by himself to lay in the sun and again to lay by the door and get some fresh air. He's more interested in food but hasn't eaten a full meal yet and I'm loath to force feed him until his punctures and bruises are healed. He also walked without falling a single time and quite upright (no dragging legs). I forgot to notice if his tail was up or down, though.

I had to go to the vet again because the doctor wanted me to get him on Epogen again. I am happy to report that I successfully injected it this time AND didn't throw it in the trash can afterward, but put it back in the fridge. I did have to stick him twice, though, because the first stick wasn't in a good position and I didn't want to risk wasting the medication and Max not getting the benefit of it. The needle is very tiny and he didn't seem to mind, but I still felt sorry for him for having to suffer my inadequacy.

Please send me "good stick" vibes! This medicine could really make a difference to Max, a life and death difference.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Max Update #3

This is an older picture of Max when he wasn't ill, looking clean and handsome and showing off what is referred to around here as his squirrel tail.

Max is at the vet tonight. I should mention that this isn't your average veterinary hospital. By day it's a specialty hospital with several wings in a custom made building, each for a different specialty. I have been going to the internal medicine part, but there is oncology, nuclear medicine, etc... It's open 24 hours and after the clinics close, it's an emergency/trauma hospital.

I had terrible luck with the Epogen injections. I just couldn't inject it correctly so Max never got fully dosed. I've been sick all week and utterly depleted, so I'm not surprised, but when on Sunday night couldn't find the Epogen in the fridge I started to worry. I found it in the trash can. I must have inadvertantly tossed it out with one of the empty pill bottles. Now that's tired and brainless!

Today at his appointment, Max's anemia was worse (no surprise). He needed a blood transfusion. I've been assured that this works like a minor miracle in restoring the body, even with humans, but the expense nearly ended my own life. I was able to apply for and received a special credit card for pet health care. I was crying so much and thought I should feel lucky that even though I'm leaving with an empty crate, it's only temporary. I felt less bad about it after using the restroom and seeing that I got my period. That explained why my emotions are running so close to the surface this week and every little thing feels so intense.

The tech for this appointment that drew Max's blood is the first I've met at this hospital that I didn't care for. Maybe there's no pleasing me today, but she took the blood from Max's most swollen leg and didn't apply pressure afterward so he bled and bled and bled under the skin, a huge marble-sized lump that grew even larger. It looked like she blew the vein. I immediately saw it and knew what was happening so I went through the forbidden door to the inner sactum and urgently told the first person to notice me that there was a problem. I got the tech to bring me and ice pack, but poor Max is now sporting a super huge bruise. These kind are very painful, too.

He's supposed to spend the night, but there is no way I'm leaving him there so I arranged to pick him up after the transfusion is complete after 1am. I called at 9pm for an update, it should have been finished by then, but it took almost three hours for them to notice that the pump that delivers the blood in a controlled way through an I.V. path, wasn't working or was not set correctly so he'd only been receiving 10ccs an hour instead of 30cc. This means he was would be another three hours when then whole thing should have taken only four hours.

I could have picked him up first thing in the morning, and I might have been open to leaving him there all night, but I have four daycare kids tomorrow so there is no way I can do that and I'm definitely not leaving him there all day until they are gone. That place is a true emergency room and pets are dying right and left. This isn't a good atmosphere for any animal to spend time in more than necessary. It's true that many pets treated and go home, and many are admitted for further treatment. It's busy and tense all the time, and noisy with all the beeping monitors. I honestly don't know if Max is located near all that hubbub, but animals are sensitive to the environment for great distances.

I spoke to a nice sound treatment nurse with the happy name of Daisy and she reported that Max is quite fiesty and does best covered up. He doesn't like being covered up at home so I'm glad she discovered this about him and he has a little hiding place. At home he likes to hang out over holes, like the hole in the top platform of the scratching post. His belly hangs through the hole and his head hangs over the edge. I don't have a digital picture of this or I'd post it.

Right now is doesn't look like his handsome self like in the photo. He's greasy and dingy right now because he doesn't have the strength to wash and I don't have the heart to dump him in the bathtub. He takes three hours to dry, and that's after the blow drier has done what it can. He's been getting a wash cloth bath and several brushings a day. I hope that this transfusion restores him in strength so he can be a cat again and lick himself clean and eat a nice full kitty meal and hang out in all his favorite high places again.

UPDATE: Oct. 3, 3:40am
I just got Max home and settled. He can barely walk for all the bruising on his legs from all the needles, but he's eaten a little babyfood and had tons of water and chicken broth.

Everyone kept asking me "how is he." I was confused at first and kept asking, "Before or after he got sick?" Then one woman kept asking if he's a lap cat. Yes, he's a good lap cat. Yes, he's sweet and loving. His nickname is Sweety Boy. Yes, he'll hiss if you try to do something to him like stick him with a needle or take his vital signs and temperature rectally every 15 minutes for 4 hours!

Apparently, Max tried to bite them! They all loved his long white fur and thought his eyes were gorgeous, but he was not sweet at all for them. It had taken three of them to draw blood, one to draw, one to restrain and one to be ready for anything.

I got a behind-the-scenes tour and everyone was super nice. He looked cozy but tortured in the kennel. He had on one of those big plastic collars because he tried biting someone and he was on a peepee pad because he wet himself (so would any of us if we couldn't get to a toilet for 12 hours!), but underneath it was a comfy baby quilt that was folded up and over him.

He has a red blood cell count at 20% now, whatever that means. Normal is over 20%, though. This morning he was at 14%. I'll get my discharge instructions from the doctor tomorrow.

I'm having a very early breakfast and then I'm going to bed!