Saturday, February 28, 2009

Pizzle, my nizzle

We have a dog - Boston. AKA GDD (Goddamned Dog). Our dog, unfortunately, would be categorized as a "chewer" and a "digger". He is, in fact, many different things - some cute, some not. Housebroken is not one of them.

So, when it rains, Boston hangs out on our covered porch - but not in the house. Which makes him very sad. And he whimpers, and whines, and chews on things to express his loneliness and displeasure with his station in life.

This morning, he ate my welcome mat.

So I sent Sami off to the Feed and Farm supply store, to find something ELSE for the GDD to chew on besides my home accents.

He came home with an assortment of bones and chewy things - one of which was a "Pizzle Stick". I asked him what in the hell a pizzle stick was. I read the ingredients, which consisted of two words: Bull Pizzle. Sounded ominous.

Sami said he wondered the same thing, and when he got to the register he had in fact asked the salesperson that very question - what is Pizzle ?

The clerk looked around, then leaned in and told him in no uncertain terms, mano a mano, what Pizzle is.

"Dick. It's dick."

Then he helpfully asked if Sami would like a bag, to carry his pizzle more discreetly, I guess.

"No need" said Sami cheerfully. "It's wrapped in plastic for my comfort and protection !"

Turns out, Boston *really* likes Pizzle.

Shiny Happy People Laughing

Drama ? What drama ? Whatever could you be referring to ? (ahem)

In the words of Old School (why the random movie references ? I have no idea....go with it) I have a nice little Saturday planned.

This morning I am babysitting - because I am a glutton for punishment and/or completely flat broke from giving up all my waitressing shifts to take care of Baby. With Baby in the hospital, I have the ability to work, but the desire to lie around in my sweatpants and turn off the phone for a week - or two.

So, baby sitting it is. And then, with some cash in my pocket, I am taking the kids and the GDD (goddamned dog) to a park to run around. Only, I have to find a park where it isn't raining. The island is looking pretty socked in, so I am not feeling terribly optimistic about my chances of finding a dry spot. But I'm Thinking Positive. And then, we are going to come home and have a nap. This evening, we are going to the cafe for dinner, and to watch Sami's band playing. The kids are excited, I am just thrilled that our evening won't involve lugging an oxygen tank around.

I also need to sort out the kids clothes (fits, doesn't fit, hideous, torn to shreds) in preparation for our yard sale, which I plan to have just as soon as it stops RAINING. At this point, I am going to start waking up in the morning, opening the curtains, and peering out. No rain? I'll kick Sami out of bed and start throwing stuff out in the yard with some signs. Because seriously, we have been ready for weeks, and every Saturday has been rainy - or threatening rain with dark clouds and lots of wind. Not promising for a successful yardsale.

I am also using this opportunity to clean. Parts of the house still smell vaguely like puke, which is a real bummer. I suspect some curtains or hidden corners may have been splashed with the projectile action we had going on over here last week...and I gotta get that in check. Short of washing every pillow, cushion, rug and curtain in the house, I am going on sniff patrol. If my gag reflex flares, I will spray the entire area with Lysol, say a prayer, then attack the suspicious region with fervor, Mrs Myers, and a scrubby sponge.

So, yeah, I got stuff to do. Enough to keep me busy while I wait (and wait and wait) for the hospital to call and tell me I can bring Baby V home.

Paradise indeed.

Friday, February 27, 2009

The true story of living the system

Last night, I slept. That sleep was rudely interrupted by having to wake up and go to work. What the hell ? Why can't I just put the entire world on "pause" so I can get some fucking SLEEP for once. Whatever (muttering to herself).

So I went to work, OKAY? I went, and I worked. But not without (and I counted) SEVENTEEN phone calls about Baby. Because anything involving the state is such a damned disorganized clusterfuck that seriously, I don't know how anyone can handle working in such an environment - windowless offices, with those horrible flourescent lights and gross wall to wall carpet and peeling paint and mismatched furniture. So depressing. (Think Joe v.s. the Volcano - a movie I have referenced more then once over the past few days in conversation, sadly - because my LIFE is starting to resemble parts of that movie.)

And here's another thing. You know, I am not a brainiac. But I can recognize stupid. And unqualified. And disorganized. And it just takes one or two people who have these tendencies, to completely screw up everyone else. I speak from experience, trust me. And today, well, fuckitall I was dealing with waaaay too much of that sort of shit. Which caused me to curse almost continuously in the walk-in cooler at the restuarant for 10 minutes this morning, and I continue to curse even now when I discuss it. As you shall see in just a moment.

I will give you a prime example of the ridiculousness, and the reason for the SEVENTEEN phone calls, which isn't really a valid reason at all:

The hospital couldn't provide baby with his medications, and wanted me to bring them to the hospital.
I shit you not, the hospital called, the social worker called, the nurse from the doctors office called, another social worker called, a third social worker called, another nurse called, and finally, I just stopped answering the fucking phone. Why enable that bullshit? Let's break it down - then maybe I'll feel better about this.

First - you are a GODDAMNED HOSPITAL. How can you call yourself a hospital (and the only hospital on the ISLAND) and not be able to make up any prescription ordered ? I have never in my LIFE been expected to bring medicine from home when I was admitted into a hospital. In fact, I belive it was strongly discouraged to take your own meds. Second, the baby had been in the hospital for about 18 hours before I was called about this. And of course, the calls came while I was at work and unable to BRING the medicine down - and so the calls just kept coming and coming and coming. They were even asking me to bring meds that the baby DOESN'T TAKE. Maybe that was for the kid in the next fucking bed because they aren't going to provide HIS meds either? Who knows. But here's the clincher. I wasn't called for 18 hours, because the only number they had was the number provided to them by the baby's social worker in the emergency room. So, after calling in the bio family (who showed up to stay with baby) and leaving all of *that* drama in his wake, he didn't give the staff his cellphone number in case of emergency (with baby or bio family) so they couldn't reach him after 5pm. Or maybe he just chose not to answer his phone, also a distinct possibility. And the nurses were not given any 24 hour hotline number to try to get in touch with someone else for assitance. They had to wait. And wait. And wait. All they knew was baby was in state custody - and the parent who had custody taken away was the one at bedside. Which seemed odd (understandably). This morning, when it was critical that baby have his meds, and the extended bio family was arriving and taking turns sleeping in baby's bed, the nursing staff was getting a bit anxious. What the hell was going on with this kid - And who the hell was the responsible party? And that is when the calls started coming in. Over and over and over.

(shaking head)

The lack of common sense in this world is alarming. And for the record, I do not feel better about this after dissecting the events of today. Now I am really pissed. If the social worker had simply given them a 24 hour contact number, the hospital could have called me - LAST NIGHT - and I could have brought down the meds LAST NIGHT, and everything would have been way less ridiculous today. But that is obviously expecting too much. Oh no, we needed to involve as many fucking people as possible. And since, apparently, I am the only one who answers their cellphone, I had to just suck it.

OK seriously I am going to be back later, with a nice, happy post about sunshine and cuddles and rainbows and fucking butterflies or some shit. Even if I have to make it up.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Letting go a little bit

Tonight, the baby is not here with me. He is going to be fine.....but tonight he is in the hospital, which makes me sad and relieved all rolled up in one deep breath. On a good day, Baby is sick and oxygen dependent....maybe forever, maybe just for now. But definitely for now. And this was not a good day. When you are oxygen dependent, and you get your supplemental oxygen via nasal cannulas, those nostrils better be clear as a whistle, know what I'm sayin ? Which was definitely not the case. And I finally gave up, gave up trying to be the all-healing all-knowing momma who can handle anything.

I can't handle it. I can't handle listening to a child gasping and gurgling and struggling to breathe, and choking on his own mucus. I can't handle racing down the mountain several times a week for emergency medical treatment, and watching baby get poked 5, 6 even 8 times trying to get a good IV in place.

I did everything I could, all I knew how to do, to the best of my ability. He was fed, hydrated, rested, observed, massaged, and loved right up until they admitted him. I lay across the gurney, resting my lips on his forehead and kissing him over and over and over again as he cried and screamed and then...silence. He stared straight ahead in frozen silence, and oh, it was so hard. The team was trying to find a vein and every time they stopped for a minute, to get more supplies or give baby a break, he would become eerily silent.

It was almost a relief when he began to scream again, because he was DEFIANT. He was PISSED. If he could have, he would have kicked over tables and shaken off the nurses and stormed out. But instead, it took 3-4 adults to restrain his 11 pounds of trembling, twisting rage.

I left before they could get an IV in. I had the kids with me, and decided that since the social worker was there, and bio mom was on her way, and my kids were tired and probably frightened by the scene, I needed to go. It was a long walk to the car.

I used to be funny, on this blog. Things don't feel so funny right now.

But I am grateful. Grateful to the doctors and nurses who helped me all day long to do what was best for Baby, who cared about him, came to check on him in the car, waited for him to arrive in the ER and rushed him back for treatment. For the woman in registration who also registered us on Sunday, who remembered me and gave me a hug and asked if I was OK. For the aides who took my kids aside and got them snacks and crayons and talked with them as I tried to answer questions from medical staff.

I am grateful that tonight, professionals are watching over him, people who are not exhausted and emotional. That he is being monitored and cared for.

I hope someone knows to kiss him on the forehead over and over, and tell him how much he is loved and how strong he is. To call him bubba and little man. To warm his bottle. To mix his feed. Who knows how he hates to be cold, or alone. How he loves to be held, face to face, and talked to. I wonder if this is how I will feel when he goes back to his family. Worried, hopeful, relieved, and sad. I am a little sad tonight.

Oh, I miss my sweetie pea.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Gross things that happen

The suckage continues to build over here in paradise. Today, I had a particularly rousing collection of grossness. I hesitate to even TELL YOU about it, but in the end, of course, this blog is for me to get it all out in the open...

This morning, I pulled dried pieces of snot out of the baby's nose. Yum. Not my baby (because that trumps every gag reflex) and so, I was basically picking someone else's nose for them.

Then, I got puked on. I mean PUKED ON. And I am a reknowned sympathy puker. My cashmere sweaterwas totally COVERED in thick, sticky, barium-infused puke. It. Was. Awesome.


Not as awesome as the latest tantalizing tidbit. Something I suspect Lucy's little sleepover buddy left for me. Poop. On our white, terry cloth shower curtain.

Does that look like the world's largest washcloth to you? And why would you wipe your poopy butt on a washcloth ANYWAY, or a towel, or SHOWER CURTAIN. Especially when you had to step past the toilet paper and the flushable wipes to do so. I mean, it's not a trick - it's a curtain, hanging across the SHOWER.

Sometimes, I hate my life. I am now paralyzed with fear of what else may be looming in the corners of my home. A puddle of pee ? Skidmarked panties ? Hairballs ? Snot wiped on walls ? I laugh at these silly little mishaps - I am sure that there is something of hideous, legendary proportions somewhere in this house. I am going to need a LOT of Xanax for this.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

It's 10am, and I am still in my robe

This morning, I got the baby out of his bassinet, and as I was holding him and fixing a bottle, he soaked through his diaper, and I had to strip him down and give him a bath (which is - trust me - no easy feat).

As I cleared away all of the pee-soaked clothes and blankets and threw them in the wash, I also threw in our comforter which needed a wash - patting myself in the back for thinking of it.

45 minutes later I practically SKIPPED into the laundry room to retrieve my fresh and clean comforter.

Alas and Alack.

I discovered, as I unwound the down-filled cotton, that there was something *stuck* to it. All over it. Little beads of something. Something sort of sticky. Something gel-like. Something that was suspiciously reminicent of OH FUCK ME I WASHED THE DIRTY DIAPER.

Yeah. I did that.

Which is why it took me until 11:30am to leave the house, rush through my errands, and cruise back to rescue Lucy from The Boys and head out for our official and much-anticipated Girls Night Out. In case you were wondering, this involved going to both Ross AND Walmart, and buying multiple pairs of rubber shoes. Yeah, you read that right.

Then we went to the cafe, met up with Lucy's best pal, and had a lucious dinner of noodles. We arrived home for Lucy's first-ever sleepover in high spirits, only to be confronted by an ashen big brother. "I don't feel good." "You don't LOOK good."

Motrin motrin motrin, fast forward to this morning, Max still feels like crap, and at 4:30 am Lucy's sleeping-over-friend's mommy arrives at our house from work (our house is closer then theirs at the moment and when working back to back shifts is the convenient place to come between times). Mom-of-friend is bleary and ready to crash on the couch for a few hours before her next shift. I am working the nebulizer when she arrives, and we forget about sleeping and take turns playing pass the baby and talking about life and how it sucks. Baby is choking and wheezing, and his oxygen saturation is dropping, and I am off to the ER with sick baby, leaving my sick big baby at home. He needed me too. I felt guilty. We made it home 5 hours later, big boy still really sick - with fever to match - and little brother feeling *much* better.

So, long story short, life is still a challenge. I have not gotten my groove. But still, there are things to be grateful for.

Baby is NOT sick.
Max feels better with Motrin.
Sami installed an exhaust vent over my stove, and now I can fry away to my hearts content. Today, fresh from the ER, I came racing in the door ready to make meatballs and test out it's venting power. It is powerful indeed. Ah, the power of suck.

Whether it's a new kitchen vent or washing a diaper, the power of suck is a force to be reckoned with.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A little note

It's still Thursday here, a cold and rainy night. I feel badly for the dog. Really. I feel terribly guilty, and wish I could bring him inside but he is FILTHY and covered in mud, and I just can't imagine even having one filthy dirty paw cross the threshold. He wouldn't be so cold and wet if he would GO IN THE DOGHOUSE. So really, I shouldn't feel this guilty. He has a perfectly huge doghouse - used to be Max's playhouse - that is actually LARGER then the bedroom I had in Boston lo and many years ago. Crazy dog.

Today was challenging in so many ways, and maybe wouldn't have been so difficult if I wasn't so exhausted all the time. Which is why I am writing this and then going straight to bed. Hopefully to sleep for a few solid hours before baby wakes for a bottle and a cuddle.

A bit about baby - he is doing amazingly well. He has gained a full pound since arriving in our home - doesn't sound like much, but when you weigh so little to begin with, a pound in 2 weeks is a big deal. His eyes are brighter, he is more alert, he coos and babbles and waves his hands around just like a REAL LIVE BOY. He also smiles, a grin so sideways and heartwrenching that it restores your faith in humanity. That someone so small, who has struggled so long and so hard just to draw a breath, who is on so many medications, and has defied the odds, and his situation.....he smiles. He finds things in his little world to smile about.

And if he can, then dammit so can I. And so can you. The world may be tumbling down around us, our finances may be in the toilet, our jobs may be in jeopardy.....but there is always SOMETHING to smile about. Find it, and hold tight.

All about me and my husband and our marriage (this should really freak out my mom !)

This morning I came over to look at my blog reader, and realized I hadn't posted since Monday.


There is a reason for this.....I am so fucking tired I can literally barely see straight, and so when Dooce gave me the opportunity to skip the creative writing portion of blogging, and answer some basic questions instead, I gotta admit - I was thrilled. I am hoping that maybe next week I willl have more free time, but really - who am I fooling.

And so, without further ado, here is the Marital Meme a la Dooce, via Facebook.
Some questions have been deleted only because I didn't think you would reallly care, and their personal nature might have caused my mother to choke on her tea.

How long have you been together?

We met in the spring of 97, started dating in January of 98, and married that September.

Who asked whom out?
Well, he didn' really ask me out - he tld me he didn't want to be my friend. I basically told him to fuck off, then. And he quickly clarified - he didn't want to be JUST my friend. He wanted benefits. I laughed.

How old are each of you?
I'm 29 forever, as mentioned in my last post, And Sami is way older then me, which is why I refer to it constantly....He is 40. My parents were his age when I got MARRIED. Crazy.

Whose siblings do you see the most?
Well, we live in Hawaii, and our families are on the East Coast, so we don't see any of them very often - but my brothers have each been here to visit, and we see them everytime we are home, so I guess my siblings would be the short answer.

Which situation is the hardest on you as a couple?
Probably the disparity in our personalities - we are *very* different, which is why we are probably still married....but he is laid back to my uptight psycho bitch on wheels - so that would probably be the most difficult on us and our relationship.

Did you go to the same school?
We both decided school was for pussies, and never graduated. He joined the union and graduated from their trade school. I rely on my own grim determination and winning personality to keep a job.

Are you from the same home town?
No, but we are both from New England. Sami grew up in Boston, I grew up in rural Connecticut.

Who is smarter?
This is a loaded question, n'est pas ? We each have our strengths - Sami can build and repair almost anything, I deal with details and money.

Who is the most sensitive?

I gtta say, Sami is sensitive, but not in a whiney, pussy, poor me kinda way. He's sensitive in the nice, thoughtful way. I am sensitive in that many times I take a completely innocuous comment personally, and then dwell on it. For years.

Where do you eat out most as a couple?
Well, we eat at Moana a lot, natch, and Watercress in Wailuku is a big favorite. And for sushi we usually go to Sansei.

Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?
Costa Rica, maybe....

Who has the craziest exes?
I think we each have our fair share.

Who has the worst temper?
Here's the thing about that. I have a hideous temper, and it is frequently on display. Sami rarely shows his full potential, but when his temper is unleashed, it would be best if you left the area.

Who does the cooking?
Me, mostly, though Sami is the grill master, and cooks several times a week - especially nights when I have to work.

Who is the neat-freak?
Our house is covered with piles and stacks and boxes of crap. Thank god, neither one of us is bother by it unless I have one of my manic mood swings - then, hooo boy, you'd best Pick Up Your Shit. And mine too.

Who is more stubborn?
That would be me. And our son is a way more intense version of me.

Who hogs the bed?
That would be my darling husband. Although in his defense, he is usually on my side trying to cop a feel in his sleep. I mean really, who could blame him.

Who wakes up earlier?
On Sami's workdays, he is up around 5am. When he doesn't have to work, neither one of us are particularly interested in getting out of bed.

Where was your first date?
Our first official date was at a Mexican restaurant in Cambridge. Then we went to a movie. I impressed him with how quickly I could use a restroom. We married soon thereafter.

Who is more jealous?
I don't think either one of us are particularly jealous.

How long did it take to get serious?
Before we started dating, Sami was happy to tell anyone who would listen that he was not getting married or having kids. Since I wanted those things, it precluded our getting involved, because really, what was the point ? When I explained to him that I was not going to date someone who did not want the same things in life, because in the end it would result in hurt feelings and accusations of trying to change him - which I was not interested in doing - he proposed. I swear to god. He married me to tap it.

Who eats more?
Sami eats more then me. I am OK with that.

Who does the laundry?
Sometimes Sami does the laundry, but I think he is totally petrified of destroying any more of my clothing, so he usually sticks to washing his work clothes, and towels.

Who's better with the computer?
I have been using a computer for much longer, but neither one of us is particularly skilled.

Who drives when you are together?
Historically, it's me, because he either A. had his license suspended again or B. has no idea where we are going or how to get there or C. Forgot to signal the last time he drove and had his privledges revoked (by me) for gross negligence.

Monday, February 16, 2009

alive and kicking

You know, until you spend some time with a person who actually depends on supplemental oxygen to breathe, you really take the whole breathing air thing for granted.

Poor baby has to have tubes taped to his face 24-7, providing air to keep him, you know, alive. This makes me sad, and scared for him, because I wonder if he will ever be able to breathe on his own, or if he will toddle off to preschool dragging an O2 tank behind him.

So life, and it's beauty and delicacy, is to be celebrated.

Which is why I threw yet another (this might have been the 5th, but who's counting) 29 For-EVAH birthday bash on Friday night. Yeah, I didn't mention it before, but I recently celebrated another year of life. On the actual anniversary of my birth, I had a horrendous fight with my dearest darling, and fell asleep sobbing into my pillow. Not exactly the birthday of my dreams. Thank goodness for the birthday bash planned for later in the week. In a departure from the usual throw down, no one was coming to my house, which is cluttered with tanks of oxygen and plastic tubing and a bouncy seat and bassinet and assorted carseats, blankets, wipes, diapers (clean of course) and medical forms and receipts. I was not going to actually clean for my birthday party, and this year I wasn't cooking, either.

The obvious solution was to celebrate at the cafe - which we did, in high style. I hired a sitter for the older kids, packed up baby, and headed to town. There was much food and laughter, I was serenaded by a handsome boy (while my husband rubbed my shoulder pretending not to mind and probably desperately hoping we had been sitting together for this special event. He might have been glaring at the boy singing Crazy Love down on one knee at my feet).

I ended the evening with one too many rum and cokes, and had to be led to the car giggling by my husband and my darling Jeff. Jeff, for those who do not know, is what some people might call my Main Gay. He's just the nicest guy ever, and his partner Rusty is amazing too, and they have been wonderful friends, fellow oglers of Cyndi Lauper, and admirers of my very handsome husband who thankfully was straight enough to marry me and not one of them. Because given the opportunity, every gay man and straight woman (hell probably the lesbians too) within 100 miles would like to be next in line should I suddenly drop dead. Some are more discreet about it then others, which I appreciate. The woman who assured me that should anything happen to me, she would take good care of my family ? Yeah, she's on my list, and her name has been passed around as the one to question should I actually die an untimely death. Because I got my suspicions. And she definitely was NOT invited to my party, lest she poison my food.

ANYWAY - I'm not dead yet, I'm 29 and holding (until it becomes obvious that I am NOT, in fact, 29. Then I guess I'll bump it up to 32....)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Cover is blown

Well, there you have it. The moment I hoped would never come.

My mother found my blog - and read it.
She was bothered by the things I wrote, felt I was sharing too much....and sent me an email telling me so.

And here's the crazy thing - I felt like she had read my diary.

I know that this is a blog, and i don't have it locked up because I don't write anything here that I wouldn't tell a customer at the bar - I am the image of an open book. I don't worry about an employer taking issue with what I have written, and I do not use my real name because it IS a public (I typed pubic the first time - is Freud in the house ?) blog.

But still.

My gut instinct was to change my URL immediately.....but you know what, I'm not going to do that. And Mom, if you are reading, feel free to click on any of the blog links to your right, to see that what I write here is definitely within the range of normal. No deep dark secrets, no confessions of criminal acts, no nudity (I would never subject you to such a thing). And while it IS tempting to call out my mother by name, perhaps also adding her phone number and email address, so that you could reassure her that what I write here is perfectly OK in the blogospere, I would never do that.

Welcome to Adventures in Paradise, mom. I won't clean up my language, so be warned. But you are used to my potty mouth by now.....And since I tell you everything interesting over the phone anyway, there won't be any surprises here.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

So many things I could be doing.

Yesterday I didn't post, because yesterday was a thorough schooling in how fucked up our health care system is, and quite frankly I was braindead by the end of it, from trying to make sense of it all. In the end, I had to accept that it made no sense at all, and we had to make a third trip to the pharmacy to just pay for the damn meds the baby needed so desperately out of pocket (we'll get reimbursed, supposedly).

So, with all necessary meds and a new delivery of oxygen, we are ready to party !

First stop - Costco. Or maybe not. I don't know. I can't really decide. I mean, I have a list, but I don't have any interest in actually gong down there and spending money we definitely don't have, since I gave up most of my waitressing shifts to care for the baby. Ouch.

So maybe we'll just stay home. No, that is not a good idea. We need to do something. If we don't, the dog's head might explode. He desperately craves interaction with other living beings - which is basically the antithesis of my state of mind right now. I just need to get some fruit. We have no fruit, and Lucy is starting to get really pissed off about it. She tried to eat a lime this morning, which I thought was totally unecessary. It's not like she is getting scurvy. Jesus.

Wow, you must be enthralled with the excitement in this post.
I should follow my own rule...don't talk just to hear the noise. Maybe I'll take a nice nap......

Sunday, February 8, 2009

sleeping with one hand on my nebulizer

I am a slave to the nebulizer. I never thought it would turn out like this, but there you have it. The nebulizer is a lifeline - literally.

When baby wakes up in the morning, many times he needs an immediate nebulizer of albuterol, which is a steroid for his lungs. At around 5am, the alarm goes off as his levels dip to dangerous lows, and it is all hands on deck, firing up the machine, putting in the dose of meds, then waiting, rubbing his back, soothing him, encouraging him to breathe, and all the while, staring at the numbers on the monitor, waiting to see if they wil go back to a safe level. To wake up and get thrown into a life or death (literally) situation almost every night is RIDICULOUSLY stressful. I have inhaled so much Albuterol at this point, I don't think I will ever get a respiratory infection ever again. Seriously.

But even with that really extreme and dramatic start, every day is getting easier. I am more and more familiar with what needs to happen, and what baby needs, and I can provide it quickly. So I think we have moved into the stretch of smooth sailing.

More soon......must deliver more meds and a feeding !

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Eagle has Landed

Baby has come home.

I am sleep deprived, emotional, and enthralled by this miraculous being, who weighed less then a pound at birth and managed to survive despite some incredible obstacles. I am a very proud foster mama.

We have spent the past few days getting into a routine of sorts. I wake up early, but instead of getting on line, I run the nebulizer while a bottle warms on the counter. Then, just before feeding (which, due to a few of the many medical complications is a process in and of itelf) I measure and dispense 5 different medications to address more of the medical complications. And then, after the feeding, we run the nebulizer again, with a different medication in it. Then change the diaper before I run around like a lunatic trying to get everyone to school.

This "getting to school" is suddenly a lot more complicated. I have to switch baby to portable oxygen, get everyone in the car - with oxygen tank, carseat, diaper bag and baby - and get out the door by 7:30-ish. Hah. Needless to say, I am still in my pajamas.

Once I get back home, baby is sleeping, and I have time to check email and make a few calls for one if my OTHER jobs. Then we run the neb, feed, change, and maybe try to run an errand, or get to a doctor's appointment.

Around lunchtime we feed, medicate, change, nebulize and run some laundry. If I am very lucky, I get a nap in.

Mid afternoon it's time for another neb, and we pick up the big kids. Then it's time for a feeding, and homework, and a neb.

By 5pm, I am mixing a new batch of formula (which has to be thickened and has very specific measurements of formula powder, thickener and water) I am also pulling out the meds for the dinner time dose, and basically I run an exact repeat of the morning - 5 meds, 2 treatments, bottle of formula, clean pants. By 5:45pm I am out the door to the restaurant, where I have started working nights so that I can be home with baby during the day. I leave baby pretty much ready for bed, dinner on the stove (or at least read to be cooked in the fridge) and I get back home in time for hte next neb treatment, before I crawl into bed.

It makes for a full day, but not just full of responsibility - full of love and joy and the feeling that we are making a difference in one small life. The kids take turns holding bottles and nebulizer wands, and the baby sleeps a lot which makes it easier to keep up with everything else. I managed to get the house somewhat under control this morning, it was very messy, with piles of clothes and medical supplies everywhere. Some supplies ave been safely stored in a suitcase in the corner of the living room - out of site but easy to access when needed. The laundry is almost caught up, and luckily I had the foresight to thoroughly clean the bathrooms before baby came home, so I can sort of "surface clean" until i get caught up on my precious sleep.

Speaking of which - it's nap time !

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Reality Check

Yesterday, very shortly after writing the previous post, I got a phone call from a friend. She sounded awful. And right away I was all "you haven't called me in months and you sound AWFUL what's going on."

And suddenly, all of my whining about empty bassinets and being seperated from the foster baby and depression and frustration and red tape and blah de blah blah blah all snapped sharply into focus and I was humbled.

My friend was calling to tell me that a mutual friend, expecting a baby girl in about 8 weeks, had just gone to the hospital to be induced. Because her baby's heart had stopped beating at some point.


So. I sat in a ball, clutching my heaving stomach, and thinking about my friend. About my friend - the second friend I know who has been through this horrible, unspeakably awful tragedy of losing a pregnancy in the third trimester.

Basically, I am writing this to remind me, and everyone else, of how precious life is. Do not take it for granted. Because it can be taken from you at any time, even before birth.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Still No

Not yet.
Maybe later.
Hopefully tomorrow.

I am starting to understand how my poor husband feels, hearing these words over and over again.

One of the keys to being a successful foster parent is to maintain a certain emotional distance. The baby arrives with little fanfare and even less notice, is welcomed and cuddled and shown off and passed around and cared for, and then, one day, the baby goes home. HOME home. As in, not your home.

It is not a "normal" situation, to be flown to a hospital to bring home a brand new baby, and to spend 24 hours learning all about the baby, holding the baby, waking up for rounds, drinking coffee from a machine, basically completely dedicating your entire self to this child, giving up food and sleep, communing with the nurses and doctors, taking time off of work, and away from your own children to do so......

Turns out, when you deviate from the regular process of fostering, you get a teensy bit attached. This is my second medically fragile baby, and as any parent - foster or otherwise - will tell you, seeing a child in the hospital is awful. LEAVING them there is worse.

It is increasingly difficult to remain professional, and impartial, when a tiny baby is involved. And when you have to leave that baby at the hospital and fly home again with your diaperbag, in the same clothes you have been wearing for 24 hours, with 0 sleep, and then be given absolutely no information about how the baby is, or when the baby will be able to come home...well, it sucks.

I am in my room, and at the end of my bed it is pretty hard to ignore the empty bassinet. And the baskets of baby clothes. And the infant carseat I finally took out of the car because I thought maybe I was jinxing poor baby. I never keep these things out, unless there is actually a BABY in them. Because seeing them empty stirs up all sorts of emotions that I prefer to forget.

The facts are this. I am in my own home, with my healthy children and my loving husband, with food and transportation and a job.

The baby has been in a hospital for almost his entire life, and during this most recent hospitalization, he has been lying on his back, staring at the same mobile, with the incessant beeping of the alarm jarring him awake just as he drifts off to sleep. Because while the rest of his body is fragile, his hearing is perfect. I wonder if he notices that I'm not there. I was there for such a short time....

And when the state and Medicaid decide the baby is ready to go, it's 0 to 60 in 5seconds. I'll be on a plane, rushing to the hospital in a cab, bringing home a baby that is not mine, and not staying for very long. I am already dreading the day he leaves, while I walk on eggshells waiting for him to arrive.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Not ready, not yet

This morning, I am sitting here sipping tea, and feeling like my life is on perpetual hold.

First, the baby. The baby is lying in a hospital crib, waiting for me to come and get him. Red tape is keeping him there. Apparently, they are trying to get funding to fly me over to Oahu again to pick him up. I have 1 enormous cylinder of O2, and 8 smaller ones to use when we are out and about, something the therapists encourage for stimulation. They said I am free to take him with me to run errands, eat out, pick up the kids, etc. Basically, I can live my daily life, with an oxygen tank and a baby carrier. Right on.

Second, the car. I guess this is still some form of PTSD, but I can barely RIDE in the new truck. I cannot even consider the thought of driving it. I just can't. I have been told this is normal, that the feeling of panic will pass, will ease, will eventually drift away. Since it is chipping away at my self esteem and affecting my day to day life in myraid ways, I am hoping this will happen sooner rather then later. I bought this new car because we NEEDED the extra room. So to own (and pay for) this car, and not be able to use it? Pretty damn annoying. So for now, Sami is driving it (very happily, I might add) and I am pouting and hyperventilating. I have to take a Xanax just to get in the damn thing.

So, on all fronts, I feel very restrained, very limited, very Not Myself.

I think I will clean the house (I told you, I am not feeling like myself !)