Bad Mama

We’re home
October 31, 2007, 9:41 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Safe and physically sound. Mentally, we’re working on that.  Last night I had a whole three straight hours of sleep, so I feel like a new woman.

Pictures will be up later today. Thanks for all the good wishes.


October 28, 2007, 5:33 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags:

Pistachio was actually born at 2:55 CDT.  She’s being a freaky/lovely space-monkey/frog.  She differs from Peanut, who was 5 pounds of jack-knife-stiff love when she was born.  Getting a diaper on Pistachio, therefore, has been a problem, with her squirming.  However, she continues to produce down under, over-acheiver that she already is, so we must adapt. 

Peanut thinks Pistachio has a cute nose and cute lips, but wonders when she’s going to go away.

Badmama complains of a bad pain in her right side.  She will be able to describe it to you in her usual excruciating detail when she gets home.  The doctor ruled out a hernia with her ultrasound machine.  The doctor gave her a local anesthetic, and will give her steroids if  she needs it.  Prospect of a roid-rage-fueled Badmama looms.

Unfortunately, the hospital only has dial-up, so you’ll have to wait on a post from Badmama herself until Tuesday at the latest.  She and Pistachio are deep in nipple-related negotiations, and both are waiting anxiously for Badmama’s milk to come in.

Basically, Badmama rocks.  You know it.  I know it.  It’s time to acknowledge it.


Big Daddy

Pistachio’s Big Day!
October 26, 2007, 7:33 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

This is badmama’s mama writing to tell you all that Pistachio arrived today, 26 Oct. at around 3:30 PM. She’s 6 lbs. 12 oz. of adorableness and 19″ long.  She looks just like her ultrasound pictures (and Big Daddy). Badmama is doing fine. Peanut says Pistachio is “tinier” than she expected but seems to be quite enchanted by her little sister. She especially noted Pistachio’s “pruney” fingers and toes…

I expect Badmama will be back online herself as soon as Big Daddy can get the laptop to the hospital.

Or maybe a puppy
October 26, 2007, 10:22 am
Filed under: Love and Marriage, Parenting, Peanut, Pistachio

A very good friend of mine is expecting a baby in April, and she has a daughter the same age as Peanut. She was telling me how excited M. is about this, insisting on hugging and singing to her belly, and telling everyone, including the pizza delivery man, how she gets to be a big sister.

You know what Peanut’s reaction is? She told me she’d rather have a kitten.

She’s actually been pretty calm about it, while also being fairly certain this was not going to be an altogether positive development. The last week or so we’ve been talking about the possibility of her waking up in the morning and Grammy being here because I went to have the baby, and she’s been especially clingy and really into “I want my Mama!” And I’ve been indulging her, because if I can’t coddle my first baby now, there’s no point in this whole Mom thing.

Last night I went in to check on her about 10:30, and she was still awake. She had her nightlight on and was looking at a book. I ended up bringing her into bed with both Big Daddy and I (he’s been sleeping in the other room for a while, since I sleep so poorly and am up into the bathroom all night). “All three of us snuggling to sleep? Yay!” It took a while for her to wind down and get comfortable, but eventually she did go to sleep. As I listened to her breathing and Big Daddy’s snoring, I thought about how much I loved them both and how I hoped that having another baby was the right decision, and that a kitten really wasn’t a better choice. I mean, I have to help change diapers, but BD does the litterboxes all by himself.

It seems I am having a baby today
October 26, 2007, 9:42 am
Filed under: Pistachio

Just don’t know when yet. They’re very busy today. Apparently I’m not the only one who doesn’t want to have to try to get to the hospital through the university Homecoming festivities and Freakfest (you might have heard about previous Halloween celebrations in Madison, and when you add another 40,000 or so people in for the football game, well, you can understand our trepidation).

I’ll be in the hospital sooner rather than later, seeing as how I’m not supposed to have so much as a sip of water even though I’ve got gestational diabetes, so I’ll need some IV glucose to keep from going into a coma.

Wish us luck!

Could be worse
October 25, 2007, 7:20 pm
Filed under: Pistachio

I have pre-eclampsia again. BP was 140/100 this evening, and I have proteinuria. It’s not so horribly bad I could get a doctor to talk to me about it tonight, unless I call the on-call doctor (who I would have talked to earlier, but she was doing an emergency c-section). I will be discussing options with my doctor tomorrow morning. I suspect that if she has time available, Pistachio will be arriving by c-section sometime later in the day, but I don’t really know what she’s going to say.

Pronoia, I hope you can tell me the astrological signs are positive.

Picture of a child with Arthrogryposis
October 24, 2007, 6:06 am
Filed under: Disability, Peanut, Photos, Pistachio

I am so tired of reading about parents who were told by their doctors to terminate pregnancies of kids with arthrogryposis without any explanation of the degrees of severity of the condition, or the fact that measurements can be off on ultrasounds. Yes, you can have a child with such severe AMC that they cannot survive – it isn’t uncommon. But you can also have a kid that not only survives, but thrives. For instance, my kid is already the object of a crush. She has a little boy in preschool who absolutely must give her hugs before she leaves school every day. And it isn’t the “naughty” boy, either. Which is probably why she doesn’t seem to care all that much.

Anyway, the post title is from the Google searches I get on a regular basis. I will not ever deny that having a child with physical disabilities is difficult, even with a child like mine whose challenges are in the “moderate” range. But it is no less rewarding that parenting any other child, and, I think, often more so. Will she suffer because her legs don’t work right? Of course. She already has. Is it unbearable suffering? I’m pretty confident saying so far, no. In fact, she’s a ridiculously cheerful kid the vast majority of the time. And there are benefits too. For instance, I won a contest for the grossest baby story. Even without looking at the names, I’m pretty sure you could guess which story was mine.

I didn’t always know this. I can’t blame any parent for being terrified, and thinking they can’t do it. But the doctors should know better. They know their measurements aren’t always perfect. And if they can’t imagine that parenting a child with a disability can be okay, they have no business advising anyone to terminate a pregnancy when the parents have no idea what it means to be that parent and no other guidance whatsoever on the subject. Frankly, I think Dream Mom’s blog ought to be required reading in medical school for anyone who will deal with disabled children or their parents. While I am quite sure she wishes her child did not have the diagnosis he does, I am also quite sure she never wishes she didn’t have him. And she writes more eloquently of her love for her son than anyone I have ever read.

When we went back to the perinatal center for Pistachio’s ultrasounds, I took Peanut as often as I could. I wanted all those techs, doctors, and genetic counselors to see her. This is what it looks like. You terrified us for no reason, gave us PTSD to the point that I am willing to have an unmedicated vaginal birth rather than go through another c-section and my husband is looking into getting a prescription for tranquilizers and anti-nausea meds just to be present at this birth, because your measurements were off. The only possible way you can make up for it is to not do it to anyone else. You can find materials to hand out that focus as much on the two-thirds of children with the diagnosis of arthrogryposis that do well, instead of only the one-third who don’t, for instance. You can discuss the fact that sometimes you have been wrong. That isn’t giving false hope. It is presenting a full picture to people who have just had their lives turned upside down. Can you imagine what it would be like to have terminated a pregnancy for AMC and then, later on, find my blog or, unless you knew that the information you were given about your child’s future quality-of-life was correct?

I know this seems to have come out of nowhere, but it was actually triggered by a news story that showed up in my blog feed search about a little girl in kindergarten with AMC that just started walking after a new surgery for her scoliosis. No one had thought she’d ever be able to walk at all, but she now walks better than Peanut. Her parents had been recommended termination. Go watch the video in that link and tell me how the doctors who did that can live with themselves.

I do want to make something clear – this isn’t about being pro-choice to me. I am adamantly pro-choice, probably more so than before I had Peanut. If we had been given the information we were given at 20 weeks instead of 36 weeks pregnant, and had we known that information to be accurate, we would have terminated the pregnancy without regret. My problem is the lack of understanding, both of the limitations of the science and of the realities of parenting a child with a disability. Termination should not be “recommended”. It needs to be presented as an option when appropriate, along with as much information about support systems in place for parents and children when that isn’t the only choice. I can tell you from experience that isn’t necessarily what happens, even for parents like us where termination wasn’t an option.

I need to stop here, because I have not had enough sleep and I am contracting again. I get to do a 24 hour urine test today. Yesterday I started swelling up again and while my blood pressure wasn’t any higher, apparently some other test wasn’t so good (like, I put on two pounds overnight and 4 pounds in the previous four days?) and I got a phone message that I needed to do this today. They don’t even want me to get up enough to drive over and pick up the jug. So maybe you’ll all get lucky and I’ll have a little time to post a belly shot or two, now that I have replaced my broken camera. And if something happens, someone will post here, so if I don’t post later it isn’t necessarily because anything happened other than I took a nap.