Thursday, January 27, 2011

It's Not All "Cute-stuff" and "Glow"

I am 28 weeks pregnant with my #7. Yeah. And I’m thirty-something.  Call me crazy, go ahead.  Back to the story, I’m 28 weeks pregnant right now, and I’m ALSO prone to barfing. And you know what else happens when I barf?  I pee. Why, just last week I was at the Gateway watching The Fighter when I felt the urge come on. 

I calmly (in a panic) run to the bathroom. See, I know that I pee when I barf, so I prepare. I head straight for the handicapped bathroom, take off my shoes, pants, socks, and I stand there barfing in the toilet and peeing on the floor at the same time. The plus side to all of this?? ? Handicapped bathrooms ALWAYS have drains in the floor.

I clean myself up with wipees that I keep in my bag (I have a 9 month old baby, remember the crazy part?) and dress again, just to wipe my eyes and touch up my lipstick. My husband thinks it’s gross. And he’s right. Pregnancy sucks.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Maya and the Ferocious Starvation Diet or "Part One"

(this story is too long and crazy to post in one part, so this is the first part of how the earth acquired little Maya, the toughest baby I know)

The most tender of mercies today. There's so much love and snuggly warmth and the tears and giggles and "ooooooo's" and "awwww's" have taken me over. I didn't sleep but 3 hours last night, Mike and I finally collapsing into our bed around 4 am. We were up and at'em just before 8, dressing Lola and Harper for a busy busy day.

Today is fantastic. I will remember January 13, 2011 for the rest of my life.


I wrote that literally hours before I got a call from Tiffany, the scared 18 year old daughter that we had just left just before. I wrote that when we thought that the perfect baby who was born to her was just fine. The next 96 hours were the scariest hours of my adult life.

I called Tiffany as we sunk into bed, asking her if she was SURE I could sleep at home that night. She told me that she was going to take a sleeping pill and crash since she'd slept practically zero the night before, what with all the C-Section nonsense. I told her I'd keep my phone next to my head, and I did. Except for one thing. Lola, the incredibly intelligent 9 month old who slept next to us happens to know how to turn the ringer off. (Stupid phone companies. Why put the ringer volume on the SIDE of a phone, where you put your hands when you hold it?!)

I woke up at 4 am with a nagging feeling. Yes, I get those often, what with having 6 kids and all, but this one wouldn't go away. I put my hand over next to my bed and saw the light on my phone illuminate.

"14 Missed Calls"

EXCUSE ME?! I missed calls. In the middle of the night. Calls in the middle of the night are almost never good but 14 can't be good.

Calls Missed:






Loni (the caseworker with LDS Family Services)

(repeat as necessary)

I hit redial to the hospital room and get the my daughter's room. She informs us of two things: The baby has been flown to a nearby well known Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and that our daughter's blood pressure is so high they won't even let her walk to the bathroom.

I assured them I'd be there in minutes, wake my sleeping husband and call our bishop. He's awake. He had a feeling too. He gets dressed and meets us there. The drive was cold and snowy, and as we get in the room, I've got a few mixed reactions. One, I see my daughter there, her bloodshot eyes swollen from crying, and she's holding out photos the nurses took of the baby before she was flown out of the hospital. The baby has tubes in her throat, down her nose, in her hand. She's got good color but she's definitely sick.  The other reaction is a feeling of calm. With our bishop already there, Loni, the Bionic Caseworker sitting in the couch on the other side of the room, I felt immediately that things would be ok.  After Mike and the bishop give Tiff a really sweet blessing of comfort and health, I leave to go to the hospital where the baby is going for more testing. They told me she might be in surgery by the time I get there, and I anticipate lots of doctors and scrubbing and crying. Boy was I right.

The doctors are quick to let me in to see the baby. They make me scrub like I'm going into surgery, but I get to hold her. She can't eat til they know if she's got what they suspect, an Intestinal Malrotation. Tests all day will reveal if she'll be wheeled into emergency surgery or not. But I wait at her bedside, holding her tiny binkie in her mouth as she looks at me with her sad little eyes, begging for food that they won't let her eat.

(part 2 tomorrow)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Because Tiff and I Are Partying It Up Pregnant Style Together

Our tree is still up. It totally is. I can make excuses or I can make more brownies, but that's totally up to me. I like having that freedom. Plus I like brownies. Especially when they have chocolate chip cookie dough plopped into the pan before it goes into bake so that they're cookie brownies. Don't judge me people.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Comfortably Becoming The Scapegoat

There has to be a time when you allow your children to use you as an excuse. We're at that point. Tiffany has made some hasty choices as some of you may know, fell for the wrong people, trusted in stuff she shouldn't have even considered. Thanks to much therapy, great counselors and tons of tears she's at a point where she knows that these choices were wrong. She's the one coming to us and asking for help in getting on with her life now. It's crazy how night and day she is but when you consider the fact that the choices she was making with the internet predator/crazy-old-man-who-tries-to-say-he's-in-love-with-my-daughter while she was hormonal and rebounding from her relationship with Boris (the biological father of her baby) it all makes sense.

Yes I said it. My almost 19 year old is pregnant. She's 37 weeks pregnant to be exact. She's had a rough last couple months while she made some really hard decisions in her life. It's been a daily struggle for her and for all of us, but there's a light at the end of the tunnel.

The Church has an amazing system with LDS Family Services. Really people, it's absolutely phenomenal. She has been attending sessions with her personal counselor since the "airline ticket" debacle of November that freaked her out to no end. She was over her head and came to us in a panic because she realized that the person with whom she was simply "playing house" in her head with...well...he was totally serious. How serious?  He sent her a plane ticket and a "secret" phone and when the car showed up at the house to pick her up for the airport she hid under blankets. HID UNDER BLANKETS my friends.

This is when the title of this post will start to make sense. We told her that she had to make these decisions on her own but that we had rules in our home. If she wanted to live here, she, like everyone else in our house, had to follow simple and basic rules. The same rules she's always had. This is when she went into her own little world for a few days and when she came out and wanted to talk at 1 am in our bedroom, she had a plan in store.

She asked us how to get out of her "relationship" with the older man from across the country. See, this is where we as parents wanted to say "call him and tell him it's over!" but we've learned that if the decision isn't one the child makes, it doesn't stick. So we told her that we'd be here to support her decisions but she had to do it herself. For her, this meant blaming us for the "breakup".

This bothered me for a while but at this point, I don't even care even more. Let me be the scapegoat. Let me take the fall because if it comes to the health and safety of my daughter, I'll bear the burden. He has messaged me on Facebook calling me a liar (he found my post about internet predators...and somehow thinks it doesn't apply, yet he's over 30 and sending/sneaking her a "secret" cell phone to a BARELY 18 YEAR OLD PREGNANT GIRL.'s called denial. Look into it sicko) and telling me that he's found God and that he forgives me for being so terrible and messing up his life.  People, he sent me the most recent message as late as December 31, 2010. Yeah, like a week ago.

Anyway, her choice to avoid and hide from "him" was hers. Hers ALONE. I can't tell you how many nights I was curled up into the fetal position facing Mike while he rubbed my back as I sobbed. Scared that she'd come in and tell me that she was going to go with him, but we told her to make the choice. We had to allow her that as she's an adult (but barely...) and because we believe in personal choice and accountability.  Firmly. We run our household tightly on that value system.  It is painful, but it works.

Anyway, she has been focused on her baby and the future of this sweet little girl. She has found a family she is going to place the baby with and we couldn't be more proud of her. She's being harassed by the biological father's family, and by the kids in our ward/neighborhood, as are some of our other kids, but we're tough. She's tough. We're supporting her in this decision and there's nothing she could do for this baby that could be more unselfish.

We're getting the whole "if you don't want the baby, give it to us" story from the parents of the father of the baby. PLEASE PEOPLE. PLEASE!  Don't come to my house on a Sunday night and try to reprimand us on our "selfish" daughter who is giving your poor baby away to a stranger. You have no idea how hard this is for Tiffany.

Again, the title of this post...We're assuming the role of the scapegoats. Because of a language barrier with the biological grandparents (they're El Salvadorian and speak VERY little english) we have to speak to them through someone else. He translates, they speak, he translates again, we speak, he translates again, they growl and throw their hands in the air, then they speak, then he translates, then we drop our mouths to the floor as he tells us their interpretation of "adoption"...and so forth.  At the end of it all, they keep telling her to "stop listening to your mama and papa...don't give this baby away! They don't control you!" So once again. We're taking the blame for this, that's what they think the situation is. We're forcing her to give the baby to complete strangers. Mmmhmm...that's who Mike and I are. Right.

Our bishop is on Tiff's side. He supports her 150%. We support her. Our neighbors support her. Our FAMILY supports her. She is in the middle of a huge circle of support...

Longest story short...we're taking the blame for her ignoring the internet weirdo boyfriend who still thinks they're going to live happily ever after. She thinks he's sad and weird now, but doesn't want to hurt him. I get it. Whatever. We'll take that blame.

We're taking the blame for her giving her baby up. Fine. We'll take it. Sue us. Let's see a court who will do a thing to us when our ADULT daughter signs the relinquishment papers.  By the way, the papers are VERY clear in their verbiage. They make sure that the mother is under no influence of any person or drug or alcohol when she signs.  Again. Scapegoats.  Just call us the Easley Goat's Gruff. For fun.

Wow. That was long and I typed it all in like 23 seconds. Sorry it was so blubbery. That's how I rollsies.