Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Ok, well, here's where we are...

You may have noticed a lack of blogging of late. That is not because things haven't been happening, it just well, so much of the stuff that _is_ happening is so beyond our control and in some ways not yet our story to tell that we've (and I'll confess, mostly me) have been holding it close. But here it is, laid out, bare....

Briefly: We are cautiously excited.

The long version:
As of today our birth mom is at 34 weeks. Her due date is April 4. That being said, she's reached the time where one sees the OB Dr. weekly. Having been bounced around from resident to resident at the clinic she's been going to, she's finally landed a Dr. we all think is pretty cool. Last week's snow storm confirmed we like her best b/c she was out of the office to stay home with her kids and the resident that our Birth mom saw was -10 on the likability scale.

We saw said Dr. Cool (aka "'da boom" as described by the receptionist) yesterday. A check under the hood revealed that B-mom is 100% effaced and has a finger tip of dilatation. Two weeks ago she was 80% effaced. Thus the process of labor has begun. But as any good midwife or OB will tell you, it could be days, it could be weeks. So we wait.

Other issues: B-mom is measuring small. Meaning when they put the tape measure across her belly, it is measuring 31 weeks instead of 34. We've decided (she, Frank and I) that they might want to start measuring not just up and down, but side to side as well. But I digress.
Measuring small wins us a weekly trip to the ultrasound lab to monitor the baby more closely. Yesterday's visit after seeing the Dr. didn't throw any huge red flags. The 3d ultrasound estimated that he (yes, very definitely a he--the only thing we saw clearly on the screen--Frank's so proud and somewhat relieved that it is a boy) weighs about 4 1/2 lbs. That puts him in the 10th percentile. However, some of the pregnancy sites (site 1) (site 2) I've visited say that babies are 4 3/4 to "almost" 5 lbs at this week, so I don't see what all the fuss is about, so he's a bit small. B-mom is a smoker, small birth weight is a possibility. I'm not overly worried, which is a HUGE accomplishment for me at this point.

As for the cool factor of getting to have a 3d ultrasound done: Well the little stinker had his face turned away and covered with his hand and foot--amazingly flexible at this age. Maybe next week. The ultra sound is before the appointment, so we'll get the Dr. Cool's take on what's happening.

We, of course, want him to cook as long as possible. But we anxious to hold him and make him our own. He will be here before we know it. I have a feeling that it will happen in the next week or so. It may dampen some of Frank's musical plans, but, hey, that's life, literally, a new life.

Some have asked what happens after he's born. Well here's how I understand things.

We will be present for the birth. One hour after the birth the hospital escorts us out of the building. As the adoptive parents we are not allowed to even be at the hospital except for birth, and very limited visiting hours. During that time we will probably be making sure his room is ready, stocking up on the correct size of diapers, making sure his room is ready, pacing, not sleeping, hanging out in his room and waiting for our time to go back to the hospital. We will also be selecting a name. The B-mom wants us to name him (she has the right to name him whatever she wants, we have the right to change it if we want to) so that she can begin to call him what we will call him.

The earliest the B-mom can terminate her parental rights is 48 hours after the birth; if she gives birth Thursday - Saturday we'd have to wait until court on Monday. This is, pardon my language, but a HELL of a lot better than the state of Virginia's "15 days to terminate and 10 more days to change your mind" law. I digress again. The court is pretty good about working in cases like this; evidently they have a lot of really crappy things to deal with in family court and this is that bright shining light they wait to see every so often, the baby is to be present, mostly for the photo op w/ the judge. Did I mention that they love this kind of thing?

After that there are several different things we'll have to do, home study w/ the social worker, another appearance in court, and other formalities that I'm not to worried about at this point.

At this point the plan for leaving the hospital is that she will let the agency "take him home" from the hospital and then our agency will give him to us to care for until the court date. This way we can avoid foster care all together. This is MOST excellent.

I could go into the emotional roller coaster I've been on of late, but I will just say that as I've walked this "paper pregnancy" with a girlfriend who gave birth to a second child yesterday morning, we've come to discover that each is equally harrowing and scary.

You know the story of Jacob from the Bible? He wakes up to find himself wrestling with an angel, a particularly strong one that seems determined to kill him. Jacob holds on, fights back and demands a blessing before he, Jacob, will let the angel go. By morning he has his blessing, but does not come out of the encounter unscathed. He's so badly injured that he walks with a limp for the rest of his life. A reminder of the cost of the blessing.

I compare this story to our respective pregnancies. My friend may carry the physical scars of a c-section, her mark of the battle for the blessing of her new little one. I too feel like I'm fighting for a blessing. But my scars are ones that are etched in my heart. My only duty is acknowledge them, but not to become them. During this waiting time, sometimes it is hard not to let those fresh scars be part of my daily existence. Especially when I reflect back to the blessing that we had to hand over to someone else last September. And yet, at the same time, that may be the point of the story of Jacob--he was reminded of it daily, and yet still was able to live.

Other comparisons between paper and physical pregnancy a sense of spaciness and a feeling of being completely out of control. As I'm preparing for maternity leave from my job as a pastor I'm reminded of how much I love my work and don't really want anyone else to do it for me. But I am also SO ready for this little one to come into our lives! I meet tomorrow w/ the person who will be covering the church's duties for me while I'm out for three months. I'm excited to get that done, so it is one less thing that needs to be checked off the "list" of things to do.

That's all for now. Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers.

The Rev.


mmm said...

My prayers are with you throughout your "Paper pregnancy". My son, Andrew would have been so supportive of your journey.
With love and prayers,
Andrew Molenda's mom

The Mom said...

Well said, my friend. Well said. While our journeys have been similar yet different, it won't be long until we are traveling very parallel paths full of sleepless nights, crazy feeding times, and wonderful baby sounds and smells. It has been my blessing to share this journey with you -- scars and all.