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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Chicago Air and Water show

Today's post will be mostly pictoral. Sunday I popped what I am now affectionately calling "Mommy's Little Helper" (no, it's not gin unfortunately, but an anti-nausea pill) and we headed off to the Air and Water show. Len's office had some extra passes for their catered tent so we took the train and then the bus to North Avenue beach for a fun-filled afternoon.

This was our first view of the beach from the Lake Shore drive pedestrian bridge. I was a little worried about the crowd...


It was even worse once we crossed the bridge--and the show had not even started yet!


The sidewalks were crammed...


But then, like a shining Mecca, the VIP pass-only area appeared. Look at all that bare beach!


The tent kept us dry and well-fed during the 3 passing showers we had that afternoon.


Our part of the beach for viewing


Happy girl on a non-crowded stretch of sand


The view of the city--a bit overcast but beautiful as always


They provided chairs on the beach as well as picnic tables closer to the tent.


The Thunderbirds were the last act of the day right before the rain set in for good.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Meanwhile, in Nepal and China...

After checking our China agency's website today, the wait to be matched with a child has now been extended to 40-41 months (getting ever closer to that 4 year window...). Let's see now, so our LID was in April 2007 so that means we have 28 months down...41-28=...so only 13 months to go...

By contrast, Nepal doesn't forecast out that far. They just string you along month-by-month. Here is the latest from our agency today:

There is news that Prime Minister Mr. Madhav Kumar Nepal is on special official visit to India . This is said that appointment of new Minister for women and children will happen after the return back of the Prime Minister from India. It means it may take up to September to appoint the new Minister. Thus we can imagine that there may be restart of the processing of the files at the Ministry from October but nothing is guaranteed yet. There is nothing concrete news more than this.


So just curious, which do you think is worse? Knowing that your wait will be 4 years or possibly more or being told "next month" for over a year?

Friday, August 14, 2009

But we have a notarized statement....

Before I launch into this post, can I please direct your attention back to a post I did towards the beginning of this blog. I would especially like you to heed the advice I gave towards the end of said post and remember it before you feel the urge to hit reply with any of the following statements:

See? The last 4 1/2 years of pain, loss, suffering and massive outlay of money to renew adoption paperwork was all part of GOD’S GREAT PLAN FOR YOUR LIFE.

This is why your adoptions have been taking so long.

You just needed to be less stressed after all.

Now your adoptions will come through tomorrow.

Or anything else along that vein.

I have been afraid, as this whole process drags out like the Iraqi war, that we will become “that” couple. You know, the couple who is looked upon with pity for their misfortune, as fatigue sets in when the only new news with them is that the adoption is going even slower than it was before. I’ve found this process can be much like having a lengthy or terminal illness: your friends rally around you at the beginning but as the years drag on with no change (and no baby), the fatigue of listening to the same news over and over wears on them and they start to disappear. It’s exhausting to be the cheerleader or the soothing voice of compassion in a situation that seems to have no end. More than a few times I have heard in the undercurrent of conversations with friends, “how much longer will you continue on this path?” I understand that the question is asked both for concern over our mental and emotional health as for theirs.

Len and I have had the “how much longer” conversation more times than I can count and we finally reached a consensus on that front earlier this year (before we found out the latest news which will be forthcoming). We are not, however, going to share that news until the time arrives because two people doing the countdown is more than enough.

However, in an effort to keep you entertained and involved, let me throw another wrench into this story.

My first words to Len as I handed this to him were:

But we have a notarized statement from a reproductive endocrinologist saying we are infertile….

(this was one of the requirements to adopt from Nepal before they changed the rules this year—yeah, that wasn’t at all a humiliating a trip to the doctor’s office with the notary from Len’s office).

Followed by:

F*CK! SERIOUSLY...HOW DID THIS HAPPEN??

And then:

Oh, and Happy Anniversary. I’m still going horseback riding.

Please understand that we have never gotten pregnant without medical intervention of some kind, either through the gateway drug of choice, clomid, or later, the harder, injectible versions. We were in a state of shock and dread for what the next few weeks would hold.

We trudged into the sonographer’s office a week later (I had put off peeing on the stick for a solid week hoping it was just menopause…can anyone say “denial”?) and before she could even slip the giant condom onto the probe, I told her we were not expecting to have a heartbeat, that it’s ok, we have done this countless other times and not to worry about us being upset when the news was not good.

(Yes, I was worried about ruining the sonographer's day!)

She nodded grimly, squirted gel onto the condom tip and said those words I’ve heard too many times from a gloved professional: ok, just relax.

After a tour of my ovaries (yep, both still there), my fallopian tubes (mercifully empty, no ectopic!) my bladder (full), and my colon (equally full apparently), she finally got to my uterus.

Nurse: This is your baby….and there’s the heartbeat.

Len and Lisa simultaneously: Uhh. What?

Nurse: If you will stop breathing and moving the probe, you can see the heartbeat.

Lisa: I thought I had stopped breathing.

And there it was. For the first time ever at one of these visits, we saw the heartbeat.

Now for a grim reality check: it’s only 7 weeks. With our second pregnancy we were in Greece and missed our first checkup for the heartbeat. By the time we made it in for a sonogram at 9 weeks, the embryo measured 8+ weeks but there was no heartbeat. That does mean though, that at 7 weeks, we would have seen the heartbeat as we were seeing one now.

Understandably we were not happy campers. Add to this mixture the various first trimester symptoms of sinus congestion, headaches, and nausea (which I had also had the first 4 times) and the ingredients are there for a dismal wait for the next sonogram.

At 9 weeks there was still (surprise!) a heartbeat and its little flipper arms were waving wildly about. We were in an alternate universe…it was moving. Which must mean it was still alive.

Meanwhile, my nausea had bloomed into full-on, any time of the day vomiting compounded by a sense of smell that would rival a bloodhound’s (which I did NOT experience in the other 4 pregnancies).

Is someone grilling shrimp on the South side of Chicago because it’s making me want to throw up…

At 11 weeks we opted to do a prenatal screening test, a CVS . I won’t go into the graphic details except to say that anyone who says the giant THICK needle poking through your stomach and into your uterus and placenta feels like menstrual cramps is either a man who has never had the procedure (or cramps for that matter) or is part of some secret cult of sado-masochists. It hurt like hell, especially since he had to do it three times because he didn’t get enough in the first two tries. I had puncture marks and a large bruise on my abdomen for 2 weeks that was none too comfortable either.

However, we did get this lovely portrait:

Imagine our surprise when, after a 2 week wait because of said small sample size, the results were…normal.

Normal?

Nothing has ever been normal about any of our pregnancies and now everything is normal?

So convinced that we would be having a miscarriage at any moment followed by another D&C, I celebrated the news from the nurse by promptly throwing up the contents of my stomach rather violently while Len quietly hyperventilated and fought off his own queasy stomach. We made quite a pair.

So here we are. I am in my second trimester. I still have a long way to go and I live in fear that we have spoken too soon, we should have just waited until I went into labor to say

oh, and by the way….

Since I’m in confessional mode, you should know something else about the posts from the past 2 months. Most of the fun stuff you’ve seen “us” doing with our bevy of houseguests has not included me. I have been unable to eat out, my energy is non-existent, I missed my high school reunion because I couldn’t stop throwing up or falling asleep before 8pm, and the smell of Len’s aftershave makes me want to kill the makers of Nivea.

I am still panic-stricken most days that the baby has died and I have recurrent nightmares that Len has died a long and painful death (but not by my hand I must add in my defense), the baby is really a four-headed moose, or (my personal favorite) that Len is a porn star and I am trying to cover myself with a giant, full-body condom before filming starts.

Apparently we will need to revisit the topic of birth control after this.

And to address the giant elephant in the room…what happens with the adoptions? Based on our past history, until we are holding a live, screaming, squirming baby in our arms, we don’t have a baby. So we stay in line.

Notarized statement be damned.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Summer....finally and fleetingly

Friday's rain brought heat, humidity and our friends, Don and Katherine, from DC. With temps in the upper 90s and humidity at its peak, we had a really nice long hot weekend showing them around Chicago.

Saturday morning found us at the Lincoln Park Farmer's Market for breakfast and shopping. We then strolled through Old Town to the Spice House and a shop that sells olive oil and balsamic vinegars. They have the whole shop set up like a tasting bar so you can taste them individually or combine the various oil/vinegars to see which combination pleases your palate the most. We got a really nice oregano infused white balsamic vinegar and a lovely sweet olive oil from Spain.

We came back uptown after that to explore the Clark Street shops for yes, MORE SHOPPING!

Sunday was spent at the Shedd Aquarium downtown. I was amazed at the variety of sea horses they had but the showstoppers for me were the beluga whales. They were amazingly playful and noisy, showing off for the crowds by blowing water and screeching at various intervals.

Monday we saw the contemporary wing of the Art Institute and strolled through Millenium Park before having lunch. The afternoon was spent shopping on Michigan Avenue.

Of course, cooler temps moved in Tuesday morning just as we were bidding our guests goodbye. Yesterday and today it was only in the 70s here again. Good thing Katherine hales originally from Greece and loved the hot weather!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A new Minister (no, actually the same Secretary) for the MOWCSW (for now anyway)

*oops! I am mistaken. This is not the new Minister but the Secretary who is actually the same person who was there before. So, no movement really after all.

*sigh*

Last Updated : 2009-08-03 2:14 PM
The Himalayan Times
KATHMANDU: A cabinet meeting on Monday decided to post 22 promoted secretaries and adjust others in different ministries and offices. The cabinet had promoted 22 joint secretaries 10 days ago but had not post them anywhere. The cabinet meetings during the period had not been able to decide on the issue.
Cabinet has recommended Rukma Sumsher Rana and former vice chairperson of National Planning Commission Dr Shankar Sharma for ambassadors to India and the US, respectively. Both were recommended by the Nepali Congress.
The posts of ambassadors had been vacant in both the countries since the Maoist-led government recalled Durgesh Man Singh and Dr Suresh Chalise without letting them complete their tenure.
Today's cabinet approved a special proposal for effective work to control the epidemic of diarrhoea in Jajarkot and Rukum. According to the proposal, political parties will mobilise special mechanism and will deploy their cadres as volunteers. The government decided to launch special protection programmes for the children who have lost their parents in the epidemic.
Who's Who:
Ministry of Women Children and Social Welfare: Binda Hada

(Note: I edited out the rest of the appointments for brevity)

Still no news on who the Minister will be and without that, no movement with our dossiers.

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