Growing pains

29 week bump from the front ūüôā

29 weeks from the side ūüôā

So, I read that the 3rd trimester isn’t the most comfortable, best time of pregnancy. ¬†This is an understatement, at least for me, throughout the last week. ¬†As I wrote about on Monday, I had about 60 incredibly painful contractions and spent the majority of the afternoon in the hospital. ¬†A short time after I arrived, a nurse came into the room and asked me how I was feeling as she took my blood pressure and attached the monitors. ¬†I calmly explained to her how I had been feeling severe, tight pains in my stomach. ¬†She seemed to find this rather unremarkable and told me to wait a moment for the midwife on duty. ¬†Ian and I waited patiently, feeling reassured by the sound of our baby’s heartbeat. ¬†About 20 minutes later, we heard the midwife outside of our door. ¬†We could hear her ask the nurse how I was doing. ¬†The nurse informed her in a loud, clear voice that I was DEFINITELY having contractions, and as I soon found out, this meant that she would be performing perhaps the most….umm…invasive and insensitive and inconsiderate and crude test I have ever heard of, let alone been subjected to. ¬†Those sneaky women entered the room and continued speaking to each other as if they hadn’t decided what to do yet, when the test very obviously began. ¬†After the women left, Ian and I decided that this would be the last time we would be walking into this situation unprepared, and I would be giving him a very specific, pre-determined hand signal in the future when it was time for him to intervene and end any future test, especially the sneaky ones, in anyway necessary. ¬†Well, enough about Monday.

Tuesday was a little better, but I still had 11 contractions. ¬†Wednesday was pretty good- just some tightness, but not the “doubled-over, crumpled into a little ball on the floor bawling and screaming” kind of thing like the previous two days. ¬†I was thinking (more like hoping and praying) that I wouldn’t experience anything like that again until Baby was finished cooking and ready to come out. ¬†No such luck. ¬†Today was horrible. ¬†I had the worst contraction yet- seriously, sawing my leg off might have been easier. ¬† I went into work, but left about an hour later, knowing full well that I belonged in bed, drinking as much water as I could put down. ¬†I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow at 9:10 am- I am hoping that we get a few more answers. ¬† (Don’t worry, Mum, Andrea is okay now.) ūüėČ We will keep everyone posted after our appointment. ¬†Tomorrow is a big day though- 30 weeks pregnant. ¬†Mom says “30 weeks is a viable baby.” ūüôā So, even if he decided he wanted to come early, it is a lot less scary after tomorrow.

Goodnight everybody.

xo,

Andrea and Ian

Reunification

Even though the DFACS case worker told us that she would be moving our foster daughters to a new foster home on Friday, plans changed.  She called at 3:30 today and told me that they would need to be packed and she will pick them up to move by 5:30.  The Department of Child and Family Services asks that when foster children move from one location to the next, their belongings be placed in no more than two large, black trash bags.  After having built a relationship with these girls, it feels strange simply dropping their belongings into a large plastic sack that is typically only used to discard garbage.  In the past, we have scraped together old suitcases and back packs to send with the children into the unpredictable future.  Unfortunately, after having five children come and go, we simply ran out of suitcases.  We can only hope that the lessons and memories they have acquired in our home will someday guide them in the right direction.  That is perhaps the hardest part of fosteringРthe children are just gone one day, and you may not ever know if you have truly made a difference.

In nine months, we have had to say goodbye to now eight foster children. ¬†It never gets easier, although each situation is different. ¬†Our girls were supposed to be moving to another foster home- more strangers- in a different county. ¬†Fortunately, the case worker was able to find the girls’ biological aunt and uncle who were willing to take them into their home. ¬†The girls were so excited about the idea of living with family, it really made the “Goodbyes” a little less traumatizing. ¬†Their Aunt and Uncle only live about 20 miles away and said that they would love for us to remain a part of the girls’ lives, so we will be able to keep in close contact with them (which made the whole situation less traumatizing for me).

Last night, with the therapist, we did our best to answer all of the girls’ questions. Little Lovebug took it the hardest, stating that she is not going to move, she was going to live with me forever. ¬†I thought today would be even more difficult for her, however, she willingly got in the car with her sisters and is probably already in love with her new family- kissing their hands and foreheads, telling them they are “so cute.” ūüôā That’s our Little Lovebug. ¬†Today, “Middle” was the most affected. ¬†When the caseworker got to our home, she started to cry, and walked down the street. ¬†ūüė¶ It was absolutely heartbreaking.

I made the girls a Life Book- a scrapbook of sorts that documents their life while they lived with us.  In it, I included a bunch of self-addressed, stamped envelopes so they can write to us at any time.  I also wrote the girls a letter (found below) that they were not allowed to read until they got to their new home.   This gave Nicole comfort, and I promised that I would call and check on them tomorrow.

goodbye letter to foster children

Thank you to everyone who offered us such great advice and provided us with so much support on our journey with these three girls. ¬†We love y’all.

Andrea and Ian