Thursday, June 17, 2010

Speaking on 'Blended Families'

A quick call for help to all my fellow step-moms out there! And, actually, to anyone who has been a part of a step-family or blended family. I've been invited to speak at a parenting conference in July on blended families. I'm hoping you all can share words of wisdom and things you've learned through the years of being in the trenches. I promise I'll cite your websites as references (if you want) if I use your advice. So, share away!

And if you know of anyone else who has a blended family, has been a step-son or a step-daughter, please share this with them. I'd love to have a bunch of input. Even from biological moms. And, yes, I will be speaking to my kids biological mom to see if there's anything (good, bad, or ugly) that she feels is important to share.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Rum Punch. And what-not.

I have to tell you all -- rum punch, or the variation I make (vodka, rum, whatever myriad of juice's we have on hand, and club soda) is Won. Der. FUL.

And? The season finale of Grey's Anatomy -- which I only watch on Hulu when I run out of new episodes of things I liked -- was the best episode ever. Even if it portrayed gun owners as lunatics. And really? You can buy a Beretta 9 mm at Wal-Mart in Seattle, Washington? I doubt it! In Texas, maybe.

Re-connecting with a few friends from college (a select few) is also pretty cool. Although I'm a little worried about what one of them might post on my FB page. Guess I can always delete it.

And my husband? Yeah. He's the best. God, he puts up with a lot from me. And the kids. He's the type of guy who'll advocate for the toddler when the toddler wants to wear his underpants backwards so he can see the character. Which KILLS me. Because it's not RIGHT. But, then I'm also the one who advocates for the toddler in other situations that kill the hubby. So we're even.

Even if he did give me glasses for Valentine's day one year. KITCHEN glasses. With one conveniently pre-broken in the box. He now hates the story but I love it because he's gotten so much better about gift-giving. i.e. he follows my list. Not expecting miracles here, people. The fact that he often does the dishes and always mows the lawn? That's the real gift.

My grandson? Is adorable. But what stinks? I can't babysit him alone even after I get infant CPR refresher and apnea monitor training. Because I'm color blind. Can't see if he's going blue around the mouth. Which he doesn't seem to be doing. Luckily my hubby and my daughter are not, so they'll be my babysitting accomplices. My sons in this situation? Useless just like me. Sorry for the color-blind gene, boys. You can totally blame me. But Spencer? Is amazingly healthy for a 33 week gestation baby.

Did I mention rum punch yet? Still awesome!! And the fodder for this post, actually. (I can tell you're all shocked!)

Have you all checked out the blog Mommy wants Vodka? Aunt Becky (author of the blog) is hysterical. And not in the negative Victorian definition. She's planning a Blogger cruise. Check her out -- you might want to go. Of course, anyone who reads this probably already knows about Aunt Becky.

So yep -- got the head on straight. Took a while. Sometimes that happens.

And then there's rum punch. :-)

Hope everyone is having as fun a Saturday night as I am!!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Baby watch update

They are using cytotec to prepare Little Red to receive pitocin to induce true labor contractions. So far, 3 doses of cytotec have been given and both she and baby are tolerating them well so that's the good news. I hear the word, "Cytotec" and mentally freak out, as any homebirther would. But I had to back up and weigh the information -- what percentage of moms have problems on Cytotec? A very small percentage. And what percentage of moms have problems during homebirth? A very small percentage. Yet, the possibility of disaster exists in both situations and yet I choose a homebirth. What are Little Red's options right now? 1. leave her pregnant which is dangerous, 2. automatic c-section, or 3. go with the cytotec and attempt a natural delivery. It seems to be the best choice among three not-so-hot options.

She went from being 0% effaced to 50% with mild, regular contractions. That's great news! It means a body that is totally not ready to birth a baby is co-operating with being forced.

Keep praying -- looks like baby will be along sometime Sunday.

Induction happening today

Little Red will be induced at 3 p.m. this afternoon. Baby looks healthy enough to attempt natural delivery. L.R.'s numbers, however, are not getting better which could quickly lead to distress for baby. Safer on the outside than on the inside at this point.

If you're the praying type, please keep my d-i-l, stepson, and grandson in prayer.

And I think I'm going to have the baby call me 'Aggie' for A.G. or Awesome Gramma. :-) Figure that nickname isn't taken yet in the family.

Daughter-in-law update

So far Little Red is doing okay. While her liver enzymes are extremely elevated, baby seems to be doing well still. They are treating the liver issue with meds, giving her steroid injections to help develop Spencer's lungs, and waiting. There are no immediate plans to deliver, but that could change at any time as it seems liver issues can go south quickly, putting baby at risk. I'm a huge home-birth advocate but I would want my rear parked in a hospital bed if I were in this situation. I'm just glad she's getting good care and that her doctor was listening when she complained of itching.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Pregnancy Complications for daughter-in-law

If you're the praying sort -- please keep my daughter-in-law in prayer. She is currently 33 weeks pregnant with #1 and was told, after dr. received test results, to go directly to labor-and-delivery instead of to her OB appointment.

Currently they have no idea what the problem is or what the plan is. She was told yesterday she'd probably have to deliver by 36 weeks because of reduced liver function. Now? It's anyone's guess. But being ordered to he hospital is frightening.

Will keep you all posted as info is available.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Thoughts on miscarriage

Why is it that couples hesitate to announce they're pregnant until the first trimester is over? If it's just that you're savoring holding the secret to yourself, go for it. But I know for many people it's because the chance of miscarriage is greatly reduced by the beginning of the second trimester. They're afraid that if they tell, something will go wrong and they'll have to announce the death of their unborn child. But, if a miscarriage should happen isn't it easier to deal with if people KNOW why you're grieving than trying to hide it?

I do speak from experience. Hubby and I experienced a fairly early on miscarriage almost 8 years ago. I started bleeding at 9 weeks and had an ultrasound which showed no heartbeat and that baby had stopped growing at about 6 weeks. Because everyone already knew I was pregnant, they knew about the miscarriage. It didn't bother me. I received some very sweet phone calls from women who'd had similar experiences and was allowed time to recuperate. It was nice to have the down time -- the time to grieve our loss.

For some reason people treat miscarriages like breast cancer used to be treated. It's hush-hush business, almost like the mother did something wrong that can't be spoken aloud. How sad is that? That a grieving mother doesn't have the understanding and support of those surrounding her? That she must grieve the loss of a child alone, silently holding in the pain? Just because she never had the chance to hold the child, never got to know the child doesn't make the loss any less real.

Miscarriage is NOT a shameful thing. It isn't the mother's fault and it IS emotionally painful. If you've had a miscarriage, share the experience with another mother in pain. If you are still grieving seek out support, know that your pain is real and valid. Be brave enough to tell people. Somehow talking about the baby we lost made it easier to cope. Made him (or her) real. Name your child. Even if you don't know the sex of the child, go with your gut instinct and give your child a name. He or she was real. He or she was your child, if only for a short time. Both mourn and celebrate the little life that was over too soon.

It's not too late.