Thursday, April 29, 2010

Baby Baby

We had our weekly phone call today with our birthmom, K, and she seemed to be in much better spirits than the last time we talked. We had a few good laughs about how terrible it is to stay in the hospital and how awful hospital food is. Anyone who has stayed in the hospital for more than a couple days knows what I'm talking about, especially if they put you on any dietary restrictions.

When I was pregnant with Maija and in the hospital for a week, I had gestational diabetes (on top of everything else) so they put me on a diabetic diet. It was awful!!! After a few days I reached my limit when they wouldn't give me milk! Apparently it wasn't allowed (at that hospital) for diabetics, and I just about freaked out one morning and cried to Kent, "All I want is milk! That's all I want!!!" He snuck me some. Such a loving hubby :-) Apparently, K had the same experience with butter. Since she has gall stones, they were restricting her fat intake and wouldn't allow her to eat any margarine or butter. She said she was begging the nurses for butter when they brought her a baked potato with no butter or sour cream.

On a more serious note, the doctors are now trying to get her to 37 weeks. This would be great for Joseph, but I hope K can handle all of this that long. She said to me, "I'm keeping him real safe for you. You better take good care of him." She also said that she had a 3D ultrasound yesterday and got great pictures of his face which she's going to put in the mail for us. I can't wait to see them. K told me, "They're gonna make you cry, Kim." I know they will.

So, better news this week, and we hope her body will hang in there as long as possible, as well as her state of mind. What a trooper she is and a strong woman. We're so grateful to her for all she's enduring for her son and consequently for us too.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Preeclampsia - Hated It!

We continue to wait for baby Joseph to be born, which for his sake we hope comes later, but for his birthmother's sake we hope comes soon. She is at her wits' end having just been in the hospital AGAIN, this time for gall stones. So she has preeclampsia which is causing partial vision loss, enlargement of the left side of her heart, swelling, high blood pressure, pain and now they just found gall stones. When we talked to her on Thursday she had had it.

My heart goes out to her because I've been there - preeclampsia, appendicitis, gestational diabetes, HELLP syndrome, vision loss, organ failure, swelling, etc. All of that in one pregnancy, and I really did think I would lose my mind. The difference, of course, is that I had a very supportive husband and I wasn't facing the prospect of placing my baby for adoption. K is also facing opposition from her own mother about placing the baby, although she kept saying, "I know I can't raise this baby. I know he's supposed to be born to bless your family." She needs lots of prayers right now, so if you're a praying person, please say a few for her.

On our end, other than worrying about her and the baby, I've also been preparing the nursery for baby Joseph. Kent and I spent last Saturday painting our changing table/dresser and putting together the new crib. I plan on putting some vinyl lettering above the crib with his name "Joseph" and some pictures of sun, moon and stars. I'm also going to put up pictures of Joseph once he's born. Here's what it looks like now:

Thursday, April 15, 2010

What Will They Say Next?

A couple of funny conversations with my children:

1st Conversation with Maija

Maija: Mommy, Robin Hood is the best person who ever lived on Earth.

Me: Actually, the best person to ever live on the earth was Jesus, and the prophets were very good too.

Maija: Yeah, Heavenly Father and Jesus were the best, then the prophets, then Robin Hood.

2nd Conversation with Bekah

Me: Bekah, don't be rude.

Bekah: I want to be rude!!!

Me: Then you're gonna go be rude in your room.

Bekah: OK!!! - as she storms off to her room.

Bekah singing in her room: I want to be rude in my room. I like to be rude in my room...

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Ultrasound Pics of Baby Joseph

*Drum roll*... here are the first pictures ever taken of our soon-to-be baby boy, Joseph. His birthmother, K, sent them to us. It meant so much to us that she would send these, and it was so amazing to see that little face before he's even born. I cried when I first saw them.

Disclaimer: For those of you not familiar with ultrasounds, I know they are hard to see and don't look like much of anything at all, but to us parents they are beautiful!

Joseph's face - you can see his right arm at top of picture resting on his face

Sucking his thumb - this one's harder to make out but you can sort of see him sucking on his right thumb

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

There's No Such Thing As Monsters

I read the article, "The Monster-Victim Mix-Up: Anyone who thinks monsters are just 'misunderstood' has misunderstood monsters" by Jonah Goldberg, and almost yelled out, "Thank you!!!!" Thank you for saying what I've thought many times while watching cartoon after cartoon with my children. Not all bad guys are just nice guys who are misunderstood. In fact, some bad guys actually want to be bad. That's the plain truth.

There are people in this world whose greatest desire is to be good and do right. There are people in this world who are just sort of doing their best but make terrible choices because of their upbringing or circumstances. But there are some people in this world who really do want to be and do evil.

No matter how much we try to blame people's behavior on biology or circumstances, there is no denying that two people can be raised in appalling conditions and yet choose completely different paths. Some will do everything in their power to overcome, triumph and change their circumstances and behavior. Some will allow their suffering to harden them and to continue destructive patterns and behavior. We really DO have the freedom to choose.

Maybe that's what bothers me so much about the stories and movies that teach my children that there really isn't such a thing as evil, so nobody can choose evil. They're just made to do evil because of their circumstances, and if we only understood that, we could convince them to change their evil ways.

As a mother, I feel that one of my responsibilities is to teach my children to be wise. I want my children to be aware of danger and to avoid it at all costs. But how can you expect your children to avoid danger if they believe it doesn't exist? If a monster is really just misunderstood and doesn't mean to be a monster, why should we avoid him? Let's embrace him, put our arms around him, and allow him to do his will with us. I don't think so! No matter how much we wish we didn't, we do live in a dangerous world. As a parent, I have no problem explaining to my children that the world is dangerous but there are ways to stay safe and avoid the monsters who unfortunately do inhabit this world with the rest of us.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

I Feel The Earth Move

That's not just a Carole King song. As Kent and I were sitting in the family room enjoying the quiet while our kids played outside, I looked over at our fish tank and saw the water sloshing around. I thought, "How could that happen?" I said to Kent, "What's going on with the fish tank?" and before he could answer I felt the couch moving around. It took me a few seconds to realize it was an earthquake. The swaying stopped before we could even call to our children who were all fine.

We turned on our TV assuming we'd see all kinds of reporting about the quake, but not a single channel was broadcasting anything about it. So, next place to go was the internet. Kent found out it was a 6.9 (now reported to be a 7.2) magnitude earthquake that hit Baja California just south of the border. To read more about it, you can go here.

Since Arizona has basically no weather other than hot and hotter, this was a big event for us. :-) Glad we don't live in California.

Friday, April 2, 2010

More Good News...

Part II from yesterday, April 1st -

My sister, Barbara, got engaged last night! We are SO happy for her. She's waited a long time and endured her share of heartbreaks, but now she's finally found a great guy who loves her and who she loves. Yea!

As it turns out, April Fools Day 2010 was a momentous one for our family. No kidding.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Good News!

This is no April Fools joke. We were matched today to a sweet birthmother and her baby boy. It was an exciting morning for us. A good friend of mine took the kids, and Kent stayed home from work, so we could be on a conference call with a birthmother who was interested in us. We called in and had the best conversation with her. She was so sweet and kept saying, "Get ready Kim! You're going to have a house full of little children."

I can't describe the joy when she told us how happy she was to find a family for her baby. Then she asked us, "Now it's a boy. Is that OK?" I thought Kent was going to jump out of his seat when he said, "Yes!!!" He really wanted a boy. So, now we'll have 2 girls and 2 boys. Amazing. It was a long road getting to this day, but the joy and peace we feel really does overshadow the trials we went through to get here.

The birthmother (I'll just call her 'K' to protect her identity), K, is 29 weeks pregnant and has started getting preeclampsia. She and I had a lot in common that way. She's had preeclampsia twice before with her previous 2 children so she and I have been down the same road with that. She's hoping to get to 36 weeks this time which would put it some time in May. We're praying for her health and for the baby's.

We hope to be able to continue to communicate with K and have an open relationship with her in the future too. I think it would be so good for both of our boys to know where they come from and have relationships with their birthmothers. I don't know if that's going to happen for Forest, although we keep hoping. But it looks like that may happen for baby Joseph Kent... that's the name we've picked.

Happy day!