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Archive for April, 2010

Baby Girl!

Just a quick post to say that I delivered my baby girl(!) Sunday morning at 10:11am. She’s a month early, but perfect and beautiful and everything I’d imagined (and more!). We still haven’t come up with a name for her, but I figure we’ve got time. How much time? I dunno. Until I get tired of my father asking me, I suppose.

Just the quick story – I was admitted to the hospital on Friday with very low amniotic fluid. I had hoped it was because I’d been a big slacker about fluids the day before (and didn’t get any overnight on Thursday night for a variety of reasons that just don’t matter anymore), so although the perinatologist sent me to L&D with the understanding that my OB would be doing a c-section, stat, the OB on call was willing to try rehydrating me over night and rechecking the AFI in the morning. AFI wasn’t any better in the morning, so I figured it was still a one-way ticket to a c-section, but she’d pulled the terbutaline and procardia on Friday when I was admitted and I had started to dilate some more, so she was willing to try doing a foley balloon induction. Although my birth story wasn’t everything I had envisioned, it was perfect in all the important ways – like not having a c-section and having a healthy baby in the end. I did get to push out my little girl and it’s an amazing, empowering thing to have accomplished that. (And seriously? The recovery? A million times better than the c-section, despite a bunch of stitches!)

She’s a ginormous 5 and a half pounds (down a fair bit now, but she still gets credit for her birth weight!). While she’s actually just below average for her gestational age, she looks like a giant to us, since she’s over twice as big as Abby was when she was born. She’s perfect, of course, and all she’s missing is a name….

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School days, school days,
Dear old golden rule days.
‘Readin’ and ‘ritin’ and ‘rithmetic,
Taught to the tune of a hick’ry stick.

There’s much ado about school in our house these days.  Everyone wants to know where J will be going to school next year (his current school doesn’t go past Kindergarten).  Everyone wants to know if the triplets are going to school in the fall.  All these questions, not so many answers.

***

J really has such complex needs, and the truth is that he will not be served well in the public school system, as appealing as the price tag (free) is.  It happens that we live in an area with some of the best public schools in the country – and with very good services for children with special needs… provided that the children fit into the profiles that they serve well.  The problem is that in order to have the county assess and commit to needs and services for him, he has to be currently enrolled in the county school system, and the odds are good that it would take about 6-12 months to get a solid plan in place – and that’s only if they determine he has the needs that we know he does.

Well, we found a really excellent school that can accommodate his needs in a very streamlined fashion.  They can provide his therapy (speech therapy and possibly OT) on campus, so that we wouldn’t have to continue juggling our evening schedule.  He also just doesn’t function as well in the evening as he does during the day – so he would likely have much more success with the therapy than he’s having now (ST has done wonders for him, but he has inconsistent success and often has to take breaks from therapy in order to be productive again).    The class sizes are small, the support staff is excellent, and while it’s a school catering to special needs, it is a very mainstream school (our original concern was that it would be too mainstream, but fortunately we don’t think that’s going to be the case).  He’ll have the “scaffolding” that he needs in the classroom, and we’ve found even just through the admission process that the school has incredibly good communication with parents, and they are very flexible.  (For example, I couldn’t go in for a parent interview due to bed rest restrictions, which was a mandated part of the admission process, but they had no issue with me having that interview over the phone -not all schools were that accommodating, even under the circumstances)

But there was a downside:  The very high level of educational excellence came with a very high price tag.    No, really, it’s exceptionally high.

But last night, we finally got word that we’d have significant assistance covering the tuition, which was the biggest relief I’ve felt in a long time.  Frankly, the only better news I could have gotten last night would have been “congratulations, you’ve delivered a healthy baby!”  But since that wasn’t in the cards, the news that we weren’t going to have to seriously compromise on J’s academic options was as good as it gets.  Bed rest, shmed rest, I wanted to jump up and down with joy.  (I didn’t.  I faithfully kept my butt in bed, but I did do a little happy dance)

***

But, that’s not all the talk about school that’s going on these days.  The triplets have been getting services through our county’s early intervention services since they were six months old.  But early intervention ages out at age 3 (though there is now a program for extended services… but it requires a different level of qualification, etc.).  As such, since we’re about 6 months out from the triplets’ third birthday (OMG!  Time flies when you’re having fun… or at least when you’re sleep deprived!), we’re going through all kinds of transition assessments, transition planning meetings, testing, and discussion going on.  The girls have nearly caught up to age level – and the needs they have left are likely to resolve very soon.

Sam’s another story all together.  He has weird gaps in his cognitive skill set, he’s still very speech delayed (though he has plenty to say when he can), his motor planning skills are extremely poor, and we’re left scratching our heads a little bit.  I’m still waiting for the formal reports/test results from the assessment team, but it’s clear that he will qualify for extended services.  We’ll have our choice between sending him to “Part B Services” – which essentially means sending him to a county-run special needs preschool class four days a week for three hours per day or doing “Part C Services” which is essentially an extension of what he’s getting now – no school, but a special educator twice a month, speech therapy 4 times per month, and probably PT and OT 2-4 times per month.   I’m inclined to believe that he’ll benefit more from the daily interaction of the preschool setting (and they will pull him out for individualized therapy as needed).

I have very mixed feelings about this – On the one hand, it’s great that we can get him the services he needs.  It’s wonderful that the girls don’t have those same needs.  It’s outstanding that we have such great resources available.  Obviously, we’ll take advantage of whatever resources there are available to him.    We have to have an IEP meeting for him – which is where everything went kaplooey with J’s services three years ago – but we have more clear cut needs this time around, so I’m hoping it won’t be the disaster that J’s IEP was.

What’s so odd about Sam is that he has really odd gaps in his skill set.  His cognitive skills aren’t great, yet he can do things that J couldn’t do until he was 5 (no joke).  Sam recognizes numbers (and I think a couple letters) – and it’s not just that he recognizes them in context.  Sure, when we’re reading a counting book, he remembers what’s on what page – but he (and his sisters, for that matter) recognize numbers out of context – if he’s playing with my cell phone and types a bunch of sevens on the screen, he’ll get all excited and exclaim “Seven!  Seven!  Seven!  Seven!”    I handed him some of those wooden alphabet blocks that are sort of ubiquitous kid toys – they always have a side with numbers on them  – and he correctly identified the numbers on the blocks.  No joke – J couldn’t do that until he was five.  Of course, it’s unfair to compare – they have very different learning profiles and very different special needs.  It just came as a shock to me – we’d known J had issues with dyslexia/decoding symbols (aka letters/numbers), but I guess I’d never really absorbed *just* how atypical he was at the time.

Obviously, we’ll do whatever we need to do to set both of our sons up for success.  The last thing we want to do is sabotoge their academic (and social) success.  It’s  just a lot to absorb all at once.  And sending Sam to preschool does leave me in a bit of a conundrum regarding the girls.   I really had no intention of sending any of the triplets to preschool just yet.  They don’t turn three until mid-September, which means they’d go into a 2 year old preschool class.  While J definitely needed preschool at age 2 (and he was a true 2), the girls do not.  They’ve got plenty of socialization (not just among themselves – anyone who thinks that triplets are automatically socialized doesn’t understand the difference between sibling interaction and peer-to-peer interaction), they’ve got good skills, they’re able to function well without the additional structure of school, etc.  But I also don’t want them left with no flexibility in their schedule while they’re catering to Sam’s school schedule, etc.  I’d like them to have things to do – but I’m not inclined to send them to private preschool just to come up with things to do.  The county recreation department does have some classes we can enroll them in, and there’s library story times and such, so I think we’ll be okay, but I just want to make sure their needs aren’t ignored.  Just because their needs are less pronounced than the boys, doesn’t mean they don’t deserve to be appropriately addressed.    So we’ve got our work cut out for us.

(Yeah – anyone who thinks that bed rest means I’m just laying around doing nothing needs to spend a few hours dealing with all this stuff and see how much fun it is)

***

Anyway, so there’s much ado about school in our house right now.  Hopefully it will all calm down soon.

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Yesterday I got a shiny new PICC line.  I’d been having problems getting #3 to run fluids, and eventually even the Zofran wouldn’t go through it very well.   The sutures holding it in place had come out, and the tip had migrated, so it was in the wrong place.  All good reasons to get it checked out.  But the radiologist at the hospital yesterday was pretty ticked off that I was there taking up his time.  “But you’re pregnant!  There are risks!  Don’t you know there are risks?!  And the baby is taking up more room than the last time you got a new line.  It’s not safe!”    Um.  Yeah?  There are risks?  Are the risks greater than the risks of me getting no fluids for the next couple months?  No?  Then at least look at the line.  Pretty please?

Well, he took a look and the tip had migrated and to make matters worse, it was against the sidewall of the vein, and it was too occluded for him to be able to fix it – so I got a new line.    I admit, I felt a little vindicated, since earlier he had implied that I was wasting his time.

Meanwhile, the overall crappiness of this pregnancy continue to vex me.  I’ve got really awful carpal tunnel syndrome – it hasn’t been this bad since I left my music degree program.  Every morning I wake up and my hands are in agony – can’t bend them, can’t feel my fingers, the pain in my wrists radiates all the way up my arm. It sucks.  I know this will likely largely resolve after I deliver this baby – but it’s unlikely to go away completely since it was already a problem for me in the first place.  So I’m seeing a hand specialist on Monday.  (And no, wearing a brace at night doesn’t help)

My blood sugar continues to be ridiculously high, particularly toward the end of the day.  Fortunately, my fasting levels are fine most of the time, which turns out to be better news than I knew.  The perinatologist told me today that it’s typically the women who struggle with their fasting levels that are more highly predisposed to diabetes later in life.  So I have at least one plus on that!

I’m in pain a lot of time, walking is excruciating, I have terrible headaches, and I have horrific acid reflux.  I was getting IV Zantac for the acid reflux, but there is a national shortage on IV Zantac – so I have been switched to IV Pepcid, which finally arrived today.  Here’s hoping it helps.
Most vexingly is that I’m starting to have difficulty sleeping – not because of all the normal reasons – but because I have been having ridiculous dreams.  Nightmares, really.  But they’re odd.  And I don’t like them one bit.

Home stretch or not, I won’t feel better about this until delivery day.  Yes, I know that compared to when this all started there’s hardly any time left at all in this pregnancy, but it frankly doesn’t make the here and now any more pleasant.  Can’t wait for this to be over!

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Incommunicado

I’ve gotten a few inquiries about my well-being on account of the fact that I haven’t been posting.  So let’s get the most important bit out of the way – yes, I’m okay.  Yes, I’m still pregnant.

I’ve had an upper respiratory infection and there’s also been Passover taking up my time, so I haven’t been online much.  There’s also the fact that there’s really nothing to say – things are pretty much status quo.  Still on insulin, still not keeping food down.   Still getting IV fluids and medications.    Now also have carpal tunnel syndrome (well, I’ve had CTS since I was 15, but it’s been excruciating in the last month or two),  and, you know various other irritating things.  But I’m still pregnant.  I now get weekly NSTs and weekly BPPs.    Bed Rest, Shmed Rest, right?

People keep telling me that I’m in the “home stretch”, like that’s supposed to make me feel better.  It doesn’t.  I know that makes me a bitter old hag, but it doesn’t make me feel better.  I don’t care if  I’m due in two months or two days or two hours – until it’s OVER and the baby is on the OUTSIDE, it’s still not any fun.  I will be happy when this pregnancy is behind me.  And yes, I do still fully accept the title of bitter old hag.

Honestly can’t think of much else to say.

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