Saturday, December 25, 2010

What does Santa get at your place?

Santa doesn't want anymore milk by the time he gets to our place on the west coast. He's starting to wind down and is ready for something a bit stronger (not to mention the b vitamins)

Hope you have a great holiday in whatever way you chose to celebrate it. At our place, its Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 24, 2010

A step forward for pre-eclampsia!

It was on our local news last night. There is now an accepted, available in North America (if not world wide) simple algorithm for testing the risk of continuing a pregnancy for a woman with preeclampsia.
For those who know, the previous and only method to determine the 'deliver now!' urgency was a high level of protein in the urine and high blood pressure. Not anymore. There is now the Piers method. This considers the two above features, but adds a series of results from a blood test for a much more accurate determination of when delivery is imminent. And for those who count the weeks/days/hours, we know that every minute can count for the survival of the baby.

Why am I so excited? Nope, not pregnant (wish I was) but I had pre-e. For those who've followed the blog for a while, you'll know that I went in for a regular NST and wasn't allowed to leave. I was given the steroid shot and told to expect delivery in the next 24-48 hours. The boys were under 32 weeks. They then started searching for a hospital with room in the nicu for early twins, first in the city, then the province, eventually expanding to just south of the border.

BUT my OBGyn came to the rescue. He had recently been to a talk on the then unpublished Piers method and felt I was a good candidate. So I got to relax, well not really.  Each morning, they drew my blood quite early. I knew that if I got breakfast, I was safe for another day. The interns and doctors on rotation were all doom and gloom "you will deliver tomorrow", based on the high levels of protein in my urine. But my Dr kept telling them no. And he was right. I made it to my scheduled C-section date (35w1d because of placenta previa). He admitted he didn't think I'd make it that far, but the levels of whatever they tested in my blood didn't change at all during this time. The boys got to bake another 3 weeks inside me.

This was 19 months ago. I suspect I might be a case study in the published medical papers on the method. I'm certainly a poster child for using this method instead of just the protein and blood pressure check. I know my boys had a better shot at life because of it. Not everyone who has pre-e will get extra time because of this method though. My roomie who was in for a shortened cervix, with regular BP had a spike in hers, with sudden protein in urine. She had a blood test the next morning and the nurse came in to yank her breakfast just as it was being served. Her blood work showed that it was time. But since she was 35w2d, it wasn't as frightful as it could have been (and her twins were born on my birthday).

Hopefully this method will allow some babies to go from micro-premies to premies to maybe even full term that might otherwise not have been allowed to go that long. What a great piece of news this close to Christmas.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Counting my Blessings

I am so lucky. I have two very healthy, wonderful boys whom I love very much. I would have loved them just as much though if they had been born with medical, physical or intellectual issues. I'm very lucky that I live in a Country where there is support if I had needed had things gone differently.

Not every mother or child is as lucky. I was reminded of this by a fellow blogger last week. When I was fighting down the fertility path, I took a serious look at adoption (actually, I continue to look in that direction as a way of expanding the family in the future, but that's a different story). During that time, while I coveted an infant adoption, I didn't rule out an older child or a special needs child. I subscribed to the Canadian Waiting kids list for those who can be adopted out of province because of hard to place issues. I read and reread the waiting children's list in my province. I looked at international adoptions, but there were such restrictions on single parents adopting that I was put off. I was waiting for the next adoption class to come around again when I started the IVF/DE process.

In my searches, I read many heart breaking stories of kids in needs. Of kids needing specific family types (aboriginal or other racial requirement, religious affiliation, a particular family makeup etc). The list of waiting kids I could have adopted locally was actually quite small. I also looked at the hard to place kids in the US. What I didn't know about was the special needs waiting kids overseas. I found Reece's Rainbow, started reading about each child and my heart broke over and over again.

Most of the children here have Down Syndrome, with some or none of the health complications associated with the disorder. What they have though is the misfortune of being born in a Country where there is no service, teaching or even information for them. Many, if not most are abandoned at birth. The birth family has no support in bringing one of these special kids home and do the only thing they feel they can. Reece's Rainbow is also working towards birth family support programs. Reece's Rainbow

From birth until about 5, these kids are in what are called baby houses, with other orphans their age. The degree of care in these facilities varies by region from amazing to deplorable. But even the worse baby facilities is better than where these kids will end up when they reach 6. At 6 they moved into an adult mental institution. You heard right, adult. In here, they will not get personalized care. Many will be left strapped to their bed all day. None will receive therapy or love. Lots will die. Once moved to these facilities, they are no longer available for adoption.

There is also a group of children with HIV looking for homes. Living in the USA or Canada, these kids will have access to medication that will improve their health and life expectancy. Last week they announced that they were able to reverse HIV using stem cells. This means that a cure is possible within the lifetime of these kids if they were able to find homes in North America. One set of kids there really caught my eye. They are boy/girl twins almost the age of my two. In a few years, they will be moved to the institutional setting. Whats worse for them is that the men and women's institutes are separate and they will never see each other again. As a twin parent it rips at me to think of twins split up. Even if I had the funds to adopt this pair, they are not eligible for single parent adoption. Max and Lena Hopefully they find a home before they are split up.

Reece's Rainbow is not a placement agency. They don't receive fees for matching parents to children. But they do work with the baby houses to get lists and medical information about children available for international placement. They also collect donations for each child to help the adopting family cover the fees. It costs the same to adopt a special needs child internationally as it does one with no extra issues. This is in the range of 24-35,000 depending on various factors. You can adopt multiple children at one time with very little extra cost.

Right now, there is a holiday program called Reece's Angels, where you can contribute to the fund for one or many children. You will get an ornament with the child's picture. They are trying to get $1000 per child this year. Angel Tree Page Some of the children have over 5,000 available in their funds to help find them homes, which hopefully means they will be home before next Christmas. Others have under $200.

All kids deserve not just a home, but the right home for them. My home isn't the right one right now, but even my small donation may make it possible for one of these kids to find the right home for them. If I could swing it, financially and family dynamic wise, right now, I'd find a way to bring Daria home. She looks like she'd be such a little joy and a great sister to the boys. Daria

And maybe even your home is the right one for one of these kids. If not, consider helping another family bring one of these kids home.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Fountains - sort of

I was putting the dishes away, heard giggles and splashes. I turned around and saw the baby gate on the floor. And well....

I rescued Nathan's monkey who was being repeatedly dunked and swirled, grabbed Corwyn's monkey before he suffered the same fate. Then looked at how wet they and the bathroom already were and grabbed the camera next. They will see pictures like this in the weeks leading up to Mother's Day when they are older.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Not all Santas are Created Equal

Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas– NBC Community Episode

Okay, I admit it, I'm a Christmas special junkie. I love them all, new or old. And I think I found a new favorite to add to the list.

If you haven't had a chance to watch Community yet, this weeks episode is a great one to start with. I hooked up with One2One Network and was able to watch a special preview of the episode that will be airing tonight 8p EST/7p CST (which means it will be on at 8 PST).

This episode is a stop action animation version of what is normally a live action show (think California Raisins). They did a great job converting the characters and capturing their personalities. In this episode, Abed is on a mission to find the meaning of Christmas. Yeah, yeah you say, been there done that. And yes, it's been done before and so often takes on a Christmas Carol type of approach. Not so in Community. This is a totally new and unique approach which I wont share since its part of the fun of watching.

As with many great holiday episodes of shows, this one contains singing. And surprise, surprise, most of the cast have great voices. Along with the animation and music, there are laughs and some emotional heart string tugging. Its all done while still keeping true to the humor and sarcasm that Community is known for.

I was a casual watcher of Community before, but this episode makes me want to watch it more often. Please add it to your repertoire of Christmas viewing. You wont be disappointed.

OnetoOne is also hosting a live viewing party and chat on Twitter with @one2onenetwork tonight 12/9 while watching this episode of "Community" on NBC at 8p EST/7p CST.  We'll be giving away prizing to participants during the 30 minutes on the show. 

I am a member of OnetoOne networks. This post allows me to be in a draw for prizes. This did not affect the content of my review.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Happy Holidays

Cool Peppermint Dots Christmas 5x7 folded card
Shop Shutterfly for elegant custom Christmas photo cards.
View the entire collection of cards.