Monday, November 24, 2008

Life is strange

This morning I woke up to my husband (Drew) asking me how to get gum out of hair. Apparently, Robby (7) snuck some bubble gum out of the Halloween stash and then went to bed chewing it. First I suggested peanut butter, but hubby didn't want to do that (too messy?). So then I said Goo-Gone. He tried, but then apparently it hurt Robby's head so much when Drew was trying to comb it out that he was begging for Daddy to cut it out. So he did. I guess Robby's getting a haircut tonight, lol. I hope he learned his lesson. Drew left the mess on the side of the kitchen sink for me to see. Devin (almost 4) came in the kitchen this morning and gasped "Mama! What's that fish doing in that hair?!" I guess the gum-wad was kinda fish-shaped.

Something else note-worthy happened this morning too, but I'm forgetting at the moment...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

7 years

As of tomorrow, I will have been a mama for 7 years. Ho-ly cow. My first baby is now old enough to walk down to a neighbor's house and see if they can come out and play. He's old enough to walk home from the bus stop. He's old enough to go down to the ditch to catch minnows with his friends. All of these things because I've taught him basic traffic and stranger safety, and I trust that he remembers it.

Robby has been both a blessing and a curse to me. He was a blessing from the start because the unplanned pregnancy was just the kick in the ass I needed to straighten my life up. I've always said that if it weren't for Robby I'd be dead or in jail. He taught me to be selfish when necessary, and that everything works itself out when one is in trouble.

The cursed part is that 1) I am permanently connected to a man that brought me nothing but stress, disappointment, and heartbreak, and 2) he inherited that lovely thing called ADHD. I've often thought that this condition was karmic punishment for my being irresponsible with birth control at the ripe old age of 18, and with a man I had only been dating for 4 months.

Forever I will have a reminder of that man, as his son is not only the spitting image of him, but has inherited many of his quirks, facial expressions, and, of course, that noassatall. He even sits on the floor the same as his father. And has the same crooked smile when he's up to no good. *sigh*

Anyhow, he is my firstborn and I love him to death. I am lucky to have Drew to be Robby's Daddy, and hope to make that legally official someday. Robby is my "practice child" when it comes to discipline and dealing with developmental milestones. Of course, every child will be different, but at least I'm somewhat prepared when the others reach the same age. It continues to fascinate me to see how similar, and yet so different, each of my children end up with each year that goes by.

I'm kind of drawing a blank as to what to write next...I just wanted to memorialize this moment in my motherhood.

Quick update on Connor: he's 9 months old now and 23 lbs (stocky boy), crawling like mad, pulling up and cruising on furniture, and starting to let go for as long as 5 seconds at a time! He babbles all the time, knows Drew is "da-da", and even occasionally says "ma-ma-ma-ma", but mainly when he's upset. He loves to laugh and bang on things (Daddy's little drummer!), and is starting to eat some finger foods (he loves spaghetti :)). We are still nursing, and he's still sleeping with us. As much as I'd like my bed back, I know he needs the comfort and security of snuggling with Mama and Dada all night long, and the truth is, both Drew and I love cosleeping. I have never been so attached to one of my babies, and I have full-throttle attachment parenting to thank for that. The few times I've tried to get him to sleep in a crib have been heartbreaking for both of us. :~( It will happen eventually, but he's not ready yet.

That's all for now. Must go fold laundry.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Family Update

I haven't blogged in a while, so I figured I'd take a moment (or 20) and give everyone an update on the fam, and thus why I've been so scarce. So here goes...


He's 7.5 months old now, and huge. Last time I weighed him he was 22 lbs. Apparently I make heavy cream. We are still nursing, of course, and that infection I had seems to have been gone for a few months now, thank GOD! This baby is so freakin' cute and sweet, I feel like he's what's keeping me together these days.

So, Connor is sitting up on his own now, and starting to crawl. He low-crawls very well, and is beginning to get up on his hands and knees and rock back and forth sometimes. He'll be crawling for real before I know it! All of that beautiful reddish hair he was born with is gone; most of it had rubbed off except some ridiculous wings over his ears, so we buzzed it off. Now, he's got a head full of bleach blond hair! It's so adorable. I will post pics as soon as I can find my camera, which has been missing for several weeks now. :(


He finished his 6 months of speech therapy, and he has improved by leaps and bounds, but there is still much to learn. He was accepted into the ESE Pre-K at Talbot, and we go on Monday to write his IEP and meet the teacher (who is my first boyfriend's mother - yikes! - awkward). He should be starting the following Monday, if not sooner.

I have been busy making all sorts of visual aids to post around the house to help communicate various things to Kieran. We have a going potty sequence, an evening routine sequence, a daily calender, and an activity choice board. I am working on a feelings board and a bathing sequence. These seem to help him greatly, so I am excited to see how these new ones will impact him.

He is having meltdowns almost daily, and it's very difficult to redirect/distract him once he gets an idea in his head. The meltdowns are usually about something he can't have/do, and he doesn't understand why.

He is also having serious sleep problems. It's really typical insomnia. He either takes hours to fall asleep, or wakes up in the middle of the night and plays for hours. Sometimes he wakes up really early and won't go back to sleep. It has been exhausting for all of us. A good night is when he simply comes in our room and crawls in bed with us without waking anyone up, and he just falls asleep. Sometimes Robby crawls in our bed too, if he has a bad dream or something. There have been several times when we've woken up in the morning with 5 people in our bed! Thank goodness we have a king-size.


She is resisting the potty learning like it's nobody's business! I know it's because of the new baby, but still! She knows what the urge feels like, and knows how to use the potty, but she just won't! I put her in panties and she just pees on her bedroom rug. GRRR! I'm ready to rip out her carpet and paint the cement underneath. We should be getting new floors in the bedrooms soon, anyway, to match the faux-wood in the rest of the house.

I'm hoping the are going to let Devin into the ESE class with Kieran, where she'll be a "role model" student. I sure could use the break.


Ah, Robby. He is back in school, as I obviously decided against homeschooling after an awful summer full of boredom induced tantrums and begging for something to do. There's no way I can keep him busy enough full time, so back to public school he goes. He's doing much better this year so far, and I think it's because there are higher expectations in first grade than in Kindergarten. Less room to goof off. He's really good at math, that kid. He can sit there and do his math homework all by himself, no problem. Now, reading and writing, that's another story. He gets very frustrated with it. We are working on that.

Robby has developed some anger issues and has lashed out violently at me several times. I have found him a new therapist who we both like, and I have high hopes that she will help us through this rough patch.


He has been working for Sears as an appliance repair tech for six months now. He has his own work van and drives all over creation to fix people's lawn and garden equipment. The money is decent, but the hours are very long sometimes. There have been many nights where he isn't home until 7:30-8pm. Those days are rough, since I have to do the dinner-bath-bedtime routine for 3/4 of the children all by myself. Reminds me of deployment, but with an extra kid in the mix!

Drew checked out of his Marine unit last weekend. I am so relieved, but I know it is bittersweet for him. He's still a reservist, but it's unlikely that they will deploy him, and even if they try, Kieran's disability will more than likely allow him to waive any "mandatory" activation. WHEW. We are losing our health insurance through Tricare, but I have already signed us up for the insurance through Sears. Not as good or cheap as Tricare, but it's insurance.

And finally, me.

Things have been completely turned upside down in my life since Connor was born. I have been neglecting the checkbook, forgetting to pay bills, and losing touch with friends.

I have never been so busy and exhausted in my life. I'm doing about 10-15 loads of laundry a week, and I can never keep up with the folding and putting away. I have joined an attachment parenting group that I am pretty active in, so I'm getting together with other moms and kids several times a week for various activities. I am so glad I found that group. <3

I am dealing with anger/irritability issues of my own, mainly due to sleep deprivation and stress due to my childrens' different special needs. My house is almost always a disaster, and that just adds to the stress, because it is impossible for me to keep up with all the housework. This, of course, leaves me with little time for myself, and even less time for my marriage. I am fervently reading parenting books to help me figure out how to regain some peace in our household.

So, I'm taking things day by day, and looking forward to the light at the end of the tunnel.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Life these days...

There is sososososososooooo much to blog about, but I can never seem to find the time. But the more I put it off, the more there is to blog about! So I will get started already and probably have to add on more later.

So, Connor is almost 3 months old now, and life is sort of falling into a routine as far as he is concerned. I have been nursing him exclusively, but I picked up a nasty bacterial infection (probably at the damn hospital) that was making nursing excruciatingly painful. I thought it was thrush and took meds for that for 2 weeks, with no results. Then they put me on antibiotics and sent a sample of my milk to the lab for a culture. The results came back positive for pseudomonas bacteria, a resistant little bugger that my grandfather DIED from (but he was old and had emphysema). So it turned out I was on the wrong meds for a week, and poor baby has horrible GI issues because of it. They put me on the correct rx, and things started to get better, but 36 hours after my last dose the pain was back. So I went on a second course of it, which I finished 3 days ago. So far, no more pain. I feel like such a martyr, since manymanymany mothers would have weaned because of this. But dammit, I'm going to nurse this child until he doesn't;t want it anymore. I feel very strongly about this.

Kieran got diagnosed with mild Autism on April 4, which, coincidentally, happens to be Autism Awareness Day. HA! He has been in speech therapy for about 10 weeks now, and is improving by leaps and bounds. I am still researching treatments for him... it will take a while with everything else going on.

Then the other major issues lately are regarding school for the kids. I am unhappy with the public school that Robby's been going to. He has unique needs because of his ADHD, and has been having behavior problems because the atmosphere is not meeting those needs. Thus, I have been researching "unschooling", an interest-based, curriculum-free form of homeschooling. I have changed my college major again to a General Behavioral and Social Sciences AA degree, so that I can do everything online until my prepaid runs out, and then take a nice, long break from school until the kids are MUCH older.

Then there's the twins schooling. With the huuuge difference in their cognitive development, they are probably going to have to be indifferent grades, which will be humiliating for both of them since they are twins. Homeschooling them as well would eliminate that problem, since there ARE no "grades". Not to mention that I'm feeling horribly guilty about having them in "school" at all since Connor was born. Their behavior is telling me that they are feeling neglected, and it's tugging on my heartstrings. :( I have come to the conclusion that the convenience of dumping my kids off with practical strangers every day is not worth the psychological abandonment issues that may surface down the road for them. I have four kids, it's time I acted like it!

I know everyone's worried about my sanity, and rightfully so. So am I. I am just going to have to figure out a way to adapt. My maternal instincts are going haywire right now, and the mama bear is coming out. The preschool is pressuring me about the twins' potty-training, but my strong-willed children will NOT be forced into ANYTHING. Nor should they be. Robby was the same way. Granted, having babies 3 years apart is not great for potty-training anyway; the new baby/babies always cause backsliding and rebellion in that department. I have found that leaving the decision up to the child will result in a more peaceful potty-training experience for everyone. But the twins can't move to the preschool class until they are completely trained, and they "can't stay in the transition class forever." Hint, hint.

Also, interesting anecdote here, Robby had been letting some neighborhood children jump our fence to play with him, and I was not comfortable with the idea since I don't know their parents. Well, I was trying to turn a blind-eye to it since it was keeping Robby occupied, but yesterday, it ended forever. In a span of five minutes, these boys flashed their crotches, kicked over a stack of books and laundry basket full of clean clothes on my porch, threw mulch and sticks at each other, and when I told them to leave, a SIX YEAR OLD BOY said to his friend "Come on, let's get the fuck out of here." OMG!!!!!!! My jaw hit the ground. I told them they were never welcome back and that if they entered my yard again, it would be trespassing and I would call the cops.

Okay, that's about it... baby's crying, gotta go stick a boob in his mouth!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Okay guys, here it is...(Connor's birth story)

Yes, I'm smitten... in love with my new baby boy, Connor James. He was born 3 days ago (2-4-08) at 1:10pm. It was a labor that lasted a mere 8 hours, and went VERY quickly toward the end. So here's the story... [sorry, this is REALLY long and detailed]

I began having mild contractions on Sunday afternoon, but we went to Drew's parents' Super Bowl party anyway. My MIL said (somewhat jokingly) that it would be great if Connor would be born that day, since it was her half-birthday and the baby has her same initials. I said "Well, I have a feeling it will be tomorrow, because I've been having contractions all afternoon." Then later we said our goodbyes and went home to put the kids to bed.

Courtney and Junior stopped by on their way back to Jax from visiting her family in Ocala. We went for 4 walks while she was here, and the contractions continued; irregular, but strong enough to indicate that true labor was not far off. Then they said goodbye and drove back home, knowing that she would probably be turning around in the morning to return and watch her first birth!

So I went to bed, expecting to wake up when the contractions got worse. About 5AM, I was dreaming that I was sitting in a diner eating (with some nameless, faceless friend), and Britney Spears was our trashy waitress (go figure!). Then someone punched me repeatedly in the stomach under the table! I woke up and realized that the sensation had been real, but I didn't know what had caused it. So I got up to pee, and it started flowing before I even sat down. I didn't think much of it though; I just figured my bladder was really full and my muscles were weak.

Then I went to the kitchen for a glass of water, and had a contraction. Not much stronger than the ones I'd had the evening before, but I leaned on the counter and breathed anyway. And then there was a little gush. I'd felt that before... about 3 years ago. I needed to feel it again to be sure it was my water breaking, but I called my mom anyway since she was at work and already awake. After I got off the phone, another contraction brought another little gush. Then it happened again. And immediately after that second little gush came a looong gush. I was sitting in a chair on the porch and it soaked my PJ pants (but somehow not my robe, thankfully!). So I had confirmation -- I would be having a baby that day!

I woke Drew up and told him my water had broken, and he smiled, rolled back over, and started snoring again. Hmph! I tried to wake him up SEVERAL more times, and finally he did get up, haha! I called Jane at 6:30, but damnit, she had been on shift for 50 hours straight and wouldn't be able to deliver me! Shauna was the midwife on duty that morning, but that was okay because she was my second choice. I knew her from when I was pregnant with Robby -- she worked at that birth center at the time.

So, next came the slew of phone calls to family and those friends who were to be taking care of my kids and/or coming with me to the hospital. Shelby was the designated photographer for the event, and I tried calling her 3 times before I finally texted her to say "It's time! Call me back, dude!" Before Robby left for school I told him Connor was coming out today, and he was absolutely elated. I told him he could come to the hospital to meet his new baby brother after school. Carlie came over to take care of the twins and bring them to school, and we finished packing up her car to leave. We had to switch cars with her since she needed the van to haul all those chillens around, and we had discovered a nice flat tire on Drew's car Sunday evening! Good lord!

Alright, so we left for the hospital and I only had one contraction the whole way there! How's that for a mind-body connection?? I had sooo dreaded the car ride because I remembered how awful it was when I was in labor with Robby. But apparently my fear stopped that from happening, and so it was not bad at all.

We got to the hospital around 9AM, and they brought us to our room. Shauna came in and checked me, and I was 4cm dilated. Grrr! I was so sure I would be 5 or 6 by then! They hooked me up to the monitor "just for a minute" to get an idea of the baby's status and the pattern of contractions. Well, it turned out that Connor didn't like those contractions; his heart rate was dropping waaay down with each one, like as low as 60bpm sometimes (not good – it should be 120-180). So he was diagnosed with fetal distress, and they said I'd have to keep the monitors on continuously. Just for a minute my ass! Then I started to worry, since 4cm is pretty early for a baby to be in distress... I began fearing that they would try to talk me into an "emergency" C-section.

I called my mom to give her an update, since she is my doula. She is a professional certified labor coach (and a great one!), and I am fortunate enough to have had her at all of my births. <3 Poor woman had just worked a 12-hour night-shift at AGH, and hadn't been to sleep yet! Nevertheless, she said she'd be on her way shortly, but she told me I needed to be done in time for her to make it to a 4:30 staff meeting. Laughing, I said I'd do my best. :)

So things were pretty boring for a while. The contractions were still kind of irregular, but slowly increasing in length and strength (some of them were as long as 4 minutes!). I guess it was around 11:30 when Shelby got there, after having to negotiate with her teachers to get away early. Shortly thereafter my mom suggested we go for a walk, because at that point I was dealing better with contractions while up on my feet (and leaning forward a bit). I remember feeling like a giant bell, with Connor's head clanging between my pelvic bones with each step I took. It was a very strange feeling.

And so the walk began (that's about when the camera came out). We only went down to the end of the hall and back once, because things started progressing very quickly at that point – I had a TON of contractions during that brief time, and they were HUR-TING. When we got back into the room, I needed to pee. For those of you who have experienced labor, you know that sitting on the toilet can really intensify things, since there is nothing keeping gravity from doing its magic in that position. I had to get up and walk around and sit back down to try again several times, and I never was able to pee.

The contractions were so strong at this point that I was leaning over the bed and moaning like a cavewoman through each one. I felt like there had been a lot of progress, so asked for someone to check my cervix (this was around 12:30PM, I'm guessing). I didn't want to move, so the nurse just told me to "spread 'em!" and she went in from below, LOL. She checked me and said I was 6-7cm. I about cried. I could have sworn I was almost ready to deliver. I began having SINFUL thoughts of an epidural, because I didn't think I could stand much more of this. Typically, it should have taken me another couple of hours (at least) to complete dilation from there, and I was beginning to lose my nerve.

But things went quickly. I continued to try to use the bathroom, but every time I sat down on the toilet things got sooo much worse. I started grunting like a pooping baby during each contraction; my body was pushing involuntarily, and I tried my best to control it because pushing too early can cause trauma to the cervix. But it was very difficult, and it kept happening despite my attempt to stop it.

I got up from the toilet and my mom was coming toward the bathroom door because she had heard me grunting. I opened my arms to hug her and cried out "Mom, I want my fucking pudendal NOW!" I was nearly in tears, eyes rolling back in my head, and I KNOW I had already asked for the pudendal block twice in the past 5-10 minutes. FYI: the pudendal block was the only reason I chose to deliver at a hospital this time. It is a local vaginal anesthetic given right before the pushing stage to help numb those *delicate parts* during delivery. I've already had 3 babies with NO pain relief, and I did NOT want to do it again. My past experiences have made delivering a baby a traumatic experience for me, and the last thing I needed was to have a flashback and panic about it. I needed to be able to stay in control. But we had to have an MD administer the block, and we were waiting for him. Plus, the midwife had been tied up in the office, apparently not understanding the urgency of this situation!

Finally the doctor arrived with needles and lidocaine (YAY!), and I got on the bed and waited for a break between contractions so he could shoot me up, heehee. A pudendal block requires 2 shots, left and right sides (inside the you-know-where). He warned me that I might feel a sting, but I did not give a flying shit at that point – I just wanted some relief already! He got the first shot in, but while he tried to give the second one a hardcore contraction began. So he did it really fast (I jumped at the prick of the needle) and got out of there. He told the staff members that I was "complete", meaning ready to push! I had gone from 6-7cm to complete in 15 minutes! WOOHOO!

The cool thing was, the pudendal made certain muscles numb, and it felt like the contractions had immediately lost their intensity. I asked if I was still having them, and Shauna said "you tell me." I guess they were afraid I wouldn't be able to push if I couldn't feel them. I felt them, they just seemed much milder. So I was able to rest for about 3 contractions while I tried to gather the strength to push that baby out.

I began pushing at about 12:50. Thanks to that lovely pudendal, I was able to push for one contraction, and then rest through one or two. I was already so exhausted and I felt like I wouldn't have the strength to push him out, but my pushes were strong and made great progress. Then the baby started to crown and I felt a burn on the left side only (as it turned out, that injection was a little higher than the other because the doc was rushing to get out of there for the contraction, so the meds didn't make it down all the way). I started to get a little afraid of that "ring of fire". But then Shauna said "One more contraction and he'll be out" and I knew I just had to bite the bullet and get it over with. All this time my mom and Drew were on either side of me holding my legs up and speaking encouraging words into my ears. Drew was holding the oxygen mask up to my face between pushes, since that seemed to be helping Connor's heart rate a bit.

So with the next contraction, I readied myself and began to push. My mom was counting to 10 and then I'd take a breath and push again. Then Shauna said "Okay, the head is out, stop pushing" followed by a mumbling about the cord. I tried my damndest to stop while she whisked the cord free from around his neck – I was remembering how tightly Devin's cord had been wrapped around HER neck (they had to cut it to get it off). I thought I had stopped, but then Shauna said "Never mind, one shoulder's out already anyway." So, with one more push, he was out!

They put him right up onto my chest as he let out a gurgley wail. I was so relieved at that point, and trying to catch my breath. I could barely keep my eyes open, and I couldn't even see his face. I heard Drew saying "There's our son! Look! There's our son!" with tears in his eyes and a big smile on his face. I do remember opening his legs to make sure he was a boy, and I was greeted by the itty-bittiest little willie I've ever seen! Poor boy, I sure hope it gets bigger, for his sake, haha!

So eventually the staff members cleared out and I had to give him up for his assessment. Then they wrapped him up and gave him to Drew to hold for the first time. Such a proud papa! Connor really looks a lot like Drew when he was born (I'll have to scan in some of THOSE pics for you all to compare). He has Kieran's eyes, nose, and chubby little cheeks and Robby's mouth and chin. Also, surprisingly enough to me, a full head of golden brown hair (just like Drew did)! He has more hair than all three of his siblings did combined! The hospital staff said he looked like a little surfer with his spiky blond locks. His eyes are that newborn dark blue-gray, but we won't know for months whether they'll stay blue or turn green like Drew and Devin.

Thanks for reading my novel! Sorry, but once I get going there's no stopping me. More to come as the days go by…must go feed a hungry boy now!


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

38 week checkup (grrr...)

CAUTION: this blog contains weird, graphic childbirth-related information that is not intended for those unfamiliar or uncomfortable with the process. :P

Well, I'm still pregnant. And I gained 4 pounds in a week, damn doghnut sticks. >:(

BUT, there has been more change in my cervix. The baby's still at -2 station, but I'm dilated to 2-3cm, and effaced to 50%. Jane "swept" my membranes a little at the appointment, which is supposed to help my body release prostaglandins to get labor going. It didn't even hurt like I've read it does, but we went to Publix afterward and I was walking around and I could definitely feel something happening. Achy, heavy sensations.

Beginning around noon I started having contractions -- different ones than before, but still quite tolerable. I could feel them down real low, with more pressure than usual and a mild burning around my cervix. They definitely felt like they had the potential to be early labor contractions, so I started getting excited. :D

So the rest of my afternoon was devoted to labor augmenting activities. I alternated between the breast-pump, walking, and dosing myself with blue cohosh every hour. Things seemed promising for quite a while, with the contractions coming pretty regularly, even as close as 3 minutes! After some time, though, there seemed to be no increase in the intensity, so I had Drew deposit some of his "natural prostaglandins" for me to help augment things a little more. ;)

Well, needless to say, things died down after HOURS of contractions, and I went to bed exhausted and discouraged. But, the good thing is that I KNOW that after all those hours of contractions, my cervix has changed even more. So hopefully it will be soon. Just not today (PLEASE), because Jane has school on Tuesdays, which she can't miss, and my mom (who is my doula), teaches childbirth classes on Tuesday evenings, and she can't really miss that either!

ARGH. I'm so sick of this giant tumor in my belly... someone else needs to be able to hold him for a change! :(

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

37 week checkup

So, everyone's heart rate is back down, thankfully! I guess it really was just the stress of the holidays. I'm measuring perfectly, as usual, but I have a feeling this baby's going to be way bigger than any of my others. Yikes! =0 Me and Drew are betting on how much he'll weigh... Drew says 7-10, I say 7-3 (yeah, yeah, I know that's not THAT big, but it is for me!). I have gained 28 lbs (from the lowest point -- AFTER losing 10 lbs). I am considered full-term now, so I could pop any day! I wish... but with my luck I'll still be miserably pregnant right up to the due date.

Jane checked my cervix (FUN) on Monday, and the results are: 1-2cm, soft, 30% effaced, -2 station. If you don't know what that means, sorry, I'm not going to get into too much detail, but long story short is that "soft" means "ripe", which is good, but I need to efface (thin-out) a LOT more (like to 80% or more) before she's going to say that labor will happen anytime soon. But these changes are better than a "long, thick, and high" cervix, so SOMETHING'S happening! Of course, changes can happen very quickly, so you never really know. I have another appointment next Monday, and she'll check again.

As for the 9th month woes, I am sooo exhausted all the time; seriously, falling asleep by 11am. My ribs hurt when I'm sitting up, and my feet hurt when I stand or walk for too long. It's hard to breathe, and my pelvis is very loose right now, cracking and popping when I move around and very sore to the bones. I'm not very good at the bed-rest thing, either... I feel so trapped and unproductive! :( Even so, I AM pretty incapacitated, so Drew's been doing most of the housework and childcare. ***Thank you so much hun... I love you!!!***

I've been trying various methods to stimulate labor, but to no avail. This kid is stubborn (well, look who his parents are...)! I guess he really likes the Miami vacation he's having in there (98 degrees, all-you-can-eat buffet, heehee). But I think I'm about at the point that I got to in my previous pregnancies where I'm giving up on trying to force it and surrendering to nature. You'd think I would have learned by now, haha! I just can't wait to have him out of me so I can be fully mobile again. Not to mention my kids are probably wondering what's wrong with Mama... this is just so unlike me. I've never craved pain so much in my life! :P

More next week, or sooner if I go into labor (HA!).

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Depressing news from the pediatrician...

I took the twins in for their 3-year well checkup yesterday... Devin is measuring a perfectly balanced 75th percentile for height and weight and is doing just fine.

Kieran is measuring 75th %-ile in height and 95th%-ile in weight (my big boy!). I mentioned some of our concerns about Kieran showing possible early signs of ADD, as well as ongoing concerns about his speech delay. After listing some of the issues, the pediatrician said we need to have him evaluated for Autism. WHAT?!?!

She gave me some info on local docs to schedule an assessment with, and then I left to take them to school. I was crying in the van after the news finally sank in... thinking about his future and what this might all mean for him. I told his teacher about it and then went home in a daze (my rx cough syrup didn't help that part).

Anyway, as you all probably guessed, I immediately got online and did research and made phone calls to schedule appointments for him. After reading some detailed symptom lists, I know exactly why the pediatrician suggested this. Although Kieran doesn't have the more commonly known symptoms of Autism (like not talking at all, not making eye contact, not liking to be touched/cuddled, rocking, violent outbursts, etc.), he DOES have almost every other symptom listed. If you know Kieran well, you can see this. These are the symptoms he DOES have:

Social Interaction Difficulties:

- ignores when called, as if deaf, but responds immediately to a favorable words (e.g. "snack time!" or "the movie's on!")

- in his own world; lacks curiosity about surroundings

- random, intense temper-tantrums, overreacting

- high pain tolerance

- hates crowds, gets upset over loud noises

- inappropriately anxious/scared (age-inappropriate separation anxiety)

- no interest in forming friendships with peers (as reported by his teacher)

Speech and Language Delay:

- lack of ability to imitate (mispronouncing words)

- voice louder than required

- frequent gibberish (i.e. Kieranese)

- difficulty understanding basic commands

- difficulty expressing needs/desires

- little spontaneous initiation of communication

- inability to initiate or sustain a conversation

- repeats heard words, e.g. TV programs, songs, other people talking

- uses language inappropriately (wrong words or phrases)

Abnormal Symbolic or Imaginary Play:

- clumsy body posture

- arranging toys in rows (pool balls, soda cans, cars, blocks...)

- interest in toy parts, such as wheels

- obsession with certain objects/subjects (planes, trains...)

- fascination with spinning objects (wheels, fans)

- restricted interests (TV!!)

- Difficulty stopping boring, repetitive activities (hyper-focusing on one thing forever)

- Attachment to unusual objects (have you ever tried to take his shoes off???)

- Stubborn about rituals/routines (potty break = emotional breakdown)

- skills superior to age group (memorizing books and movies)


- lack of interest in learning new skills (shapes/colors, POTTY TRAINING)

- sleeping poorly (trouble falling asleep, waking up to play in the middle of the night)

- random bursts of hyperactivity

Of course, any of these "symptoms" can be written off as "normal" in any child his age, but the fact that they are ALL occurring in the SAME child is what is cause for alarm. In general, Kieran is a happy, sweet, playful, active, easy-going, compliant little boy (really our little angel), but these combined behaviors mean that there may be an underlying problem that could adversely affect him for life.

I have researched the different Autism Spectrum disorders, and I don't thing he will be diagnosed as Autistic, simply based on the lack of the most common symptoms. Rather, I believe he will get a diagnosis of PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Non-Specified), based on the number of symptoms he does have. PDD is on the Autism Spectrum (as is ADHD, by the way), but is not nearly as severe, although it will still require some therapy and specialized attention. We won't know how it will really effect him until he's in Kindergarten. But no matter what, he's still our Kieran. <3

I have him on a waiting list for speech therapy, which I think he will respond very well to, and he will be seeing a psychologist for evaluation and testing next week. I will update everyone as soon as we know anything.

Like we needed this now, so close to Connor's birth. And now I'm worried that HE will have problems too, since it is 4x more common in boys than in girls. :(

Monday, January 7, 2008

I feel like CRAP!

I have had this cold for weeks now. It started off as a mild head cold, then WHAM! moved down to my chest about 10 days later. It's become a HORRIBLE, body-wrenching, non-productive, hacking cough that is to blame for a headache, awful rib pain, and countless changes of underwear from pissing myself (from coughing so hard)! There is a limit to the meds I can take for relief, and I'm already uncomfortable as hell from being sooo freakin' pregnant, but I finally broke down and called my midwife today to BEG for something better than this over-the-counter shiite I've been taking.

Apparently, I'm very sick and it's a big deal given my "delicate condition". She's put me on antibiotics and steroids, instructed me to use my inhaler 4x/day, and prescribed narcotic cough syrup (now THAT'S what I'm talking about!). THANK GOD. Maybe I'll get better now, cuz this is getting ridiculous. If I don't, I have to go in and see my midwife in person, and she just might make me stay at the hospital for a while. Grrr... NOT happening. Not until I'm there to pop a baby out, gol-darnit.

So there's my rant for the day. Hope you enjoyed it.

*COUGH-COUGH, ouch!*