Wednesday, July 27, 2011


If reading Sammie B's schedule in my last post didn't make your head spin, rest assured, mine is spinning enough for all of us. Three appointments on Monday, school and an appointment Tuesday, school and an appointment Wednesday, two appointments Thursday, and school on Friday. That's not just a busy week. That's her every week.

When we started this journey with the Early Intervention Program, one of our wise doctors (you may remember him in prior posts as "Super Doctor") gave us sage advice: early intervention is important, therapy is important, and the opportunity for free therapy through EI is only there until she's three . . . so take what you can get, but only to the extent that it doesn't interfere with her being a kid and you getting to just enjoy being a family. We really have tried to live by that advice. When we were offered speech therapy, several of our doctors said she probably didn't need it (which, I think was wrong -- while she may have a "typical" amount of words, her articulation is problematic and she has to really be encouraged to use her words, particulary in sentences, though she may not need speech therapy as much as she got it), but that because speech therapy is generally very fun for kiddos and not strenuous, to do it. Sort of like, "why not?" So we did.

I think it was also comforting for B and I to know that she was getting so much therapy and "work" during her days, because it sort of lessened our working-parent guilt that when we got home in the evenings, we were tired, she was tired, and we ALL wanted to just relax and play, not work. And of course, we never wanted to turn down someting that could help her, because as a parent (and probably particularly as parents to a SN child) there's always that nagging worry that maybe we could be or should be doing more for her. So, we took all the therapies we could get, and advocated for more. And suddenly we had the busiest two-year old on the West Coast. And we've managed to keep this schedule for quite some time.

But lately, I find myself going back to what Super Doctor said . . . "as long as it doesn't interfere with her being a kid . . . "

On Sunday, we put together the water table that we'd gotten for Sammie B (after she showed off some stellar standing at the one at her school). She played with it for about a half hour Sunday night before dinner and LOVED it. Like squeals of delight and giggles loved it.

After a half hour at the water table, we came inside, had dinner, did the bedtime routine, and ended our weekend.

Monday, she asked for her "watah table" as I was dressing her and getting her ready to head out the door for her therapy appointments. After PT and OT, she came home, had a nap, and asked for her "watah table" again, but it was almost time for her speech therapist to arrive. Then it was dinner time. Then it was bed time. And suddenly, I was putting my girl to bed and she hadn't gotten to play with her new water table. Sure, she'd had a great day of working hard in therapy, but she hadn't gotten to play with her brand-new water table. And that bugged me. Tuesday was pretty much a repeat, she asked for it as we were headed out to school . . . our day was full, and we didn't have time to squeeze in the water table.

Sammie B has soooo little time for Sammie B-led play. And, while the therapists ALL do their best to make therapy FEEL like play, they are still the ones (for the most part) leading the activities, telling her what to play with, how to play with it, and they all have agendas -- to make her work.

So, while I'm generally dreading the transition to the school district services (in two months - why is time moving at warp speed?) and the evaluation and the IEP and all that goes along with that, I'm also starting to see it as an opportunity to do some rearranging and simplyfing of Sammie B's schedule. Her school program will most likely only be from 8 am - 10:20 am four days a week, and my goal is for her to have at least two weekdays where other than school, she has NO appointments. It shouldn't take a major feat (as it did this week) to figure out a time that her nanny can do something fun and spontaneous with her (they went to the fair today, which required me rearranging multiple appointments ...). I want there to be days where she can just play at home, with her toys. Where she and her nanny (or me or B) can just decide at the last minute to hit the zoo, or the park, or a movie.

We hear so many different opinions from so many different people - therapists, other parents, etc., - that the school-based therapies aren't going to compare in quality or quantity to what she's gotten from EI, that we'll be lucky to get group speech therapy and likely won't get one-on-one therapy, that we should try to continue all our therapies privately if we can afford to, etc., but what I'm feeling right now - what my mama gut is telling me - is that Super Doctor was right and that we HAVE reached the point where the therapies are just.too.much and ARE interfering with her just being a kid. And, we CAN and SHOULD simplify.

So, what I *think* we'll do is count on the school, at least initially, for speech therapy and see how it goes, that reduces our weekly appointment load by two appointments right there (because she'll get her ST while at school). Let the school also work on OT with her, and see our OT only once a week outside of school, instead of two (keeping our OT in the picture is also good because Sam LOVES her OT best). We'll do PT twice a week, as we do now (though we are going to a different clinic -first appointment tomorrow! Think of us!), since that's the area she struggles the most in. And, we'll continue to do hippotherapy, since of all the therapies, I think that's the one that is the LEAST like therapy. We all love it.

Rearranging all of this (and just the change in general from EI to school district) is making my head spin. I literally had to map out Sam's days and put in "free time" so that I can try to work out new schedules with her therapists who all have super busy schedules and limited availability themselves (and also, I'm trying to reduce our driving time and get them to let us do appointments that are close to each other on the same days).

Reducing her therapies will likely fuel that nagging feeling of "are we doing enough?" but somehow, I want us to figure out - for her - a better balance between work and play. I know this means that we'll need to find more ways and more time to work with her at home, and we will. . . but I think about the things we've bought to encourage 'working play' at home (like the water table) that we barely have time to use, and I know this is the right thing to do, at least for a short while. We can always add more therapy later if we need to.

So, my head is spinning thinking about the upcoming transition, rearranging schedules, starting with a new PT, etc. I've also started looking at some private therapeutic preschool options, and well, that adds a new layer of complexity to this whole process. I want to know what other options there are instead of our public options, but then there's the "how would we pay for that?" question. I was actually on TOP of the whole pre-school wait list in LA thing and put her on a wait list for a great private one when she was eight months old. We have a spot, but . . . we know that's not the place for her. Not now. And, well, I don't know how we'd possibly pay for private preschool + our nanny (which we'd still need) + the private therapies that we'll already be paying a lot of money for. In any event, (and the irony in the fact that I was on top of things and had her on other lists forever is that) the private ones that I like best and that would work for her now have wait lists of a year, but I'm going to tour those in case we hate the public option this year and want to switch next year.

This is a tough journey, and while right now, I'm actually feeling pretty optimistic about our transition in general, my head is just spinning with the decisions ahead. I'm worried we won't be offered a public program that we think is a good fit for Sam. Her developmental pediatrician and her current teacher have already indicated that they worry that the public classroom that could most easily accommodate her physical needs is one where she just cognitively and verbally does not belong (which was reassuring, because I'd known that from the moment that the school district mentioned that program, but it was validating to hear from the teacher she's been with for the last year and her developmental pediatrician), and they think the school district may try to pressure us into that program because it makes their job easier - that's the center where the physical therapists are based, where the PT equipment is, etc. We worry we are going to have to fight to make them bring those services to her in a program that fits the rest of her better - and where she'll be challenged cognitively and verbally. I just feel like we have the fight of our lives ahead of us to get the school district to really and truly "get" Sam as a whole child and not just see her as a child with severe motor delays and lump her into a classroom where she cognitively doesn't belong. So, optimistic - yes. But oh the anxiety.

And the questions are swirling . . . Is there a private preschool option that would be a better fit for her? Could we figure out a way to make that financially possible? Are we cheating her by going with the public option so that we can afford the private therapies?

Is there more that we could or should be doing? That nagging question and worry.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Learning from Her

I'm pretty sure that "taking things in stride" is not something that would EVER be said to describe me. (My mom is smiling in agreement as she reads this, no doubt). I'm generally not patient with people in my life (except Sam, truthfully, my patience as a mother has surprised me in a good way), and well, I have a VERY hard time taking things in stride.

A few weeks ago, as I sat and watched Sammie B ride her horse at hippotherapy, (with NO trunk support from the therapist, for the first time ever!), I couldn't help but think two things:

(1) My girl is a brave one AND

(2) My goodness does she take life in stride.

She started hippotherapy at barely two years old. She whined a little the first session, but within no time, was excited to see the horses and ride them each week. I look at her -- so tiny on that tall horse (with so far to the ground beneath her) and I'm amazed. She's so timid in some things -- like movement (B and I have often said that when it comes to initiating movement, we don't always know what's a motor planning issue vs. a strength issue vs. a vision issue vs. just an "I'm afraid of falling" issue.). We've described her hesitancy in movement as a timidness. She is quiet and cautious. It's easy to see those qualities in her and forget what a brave little girl she is. And, as I sat watching her ride that horse, I was just overcome with pride. She's brave. Our brave Sammie B.

Her week is a busy one. An intense one. Every week, she has:

- 9 hours of her center-based program (that we call "school") (Tues/Wed/Fri mornings)
- 2 hours of occupational therapy (Mon/Thurs)
- 2 hours of physical therapy (Mon/Thurs)
- 2 hours of speech therapy (Mon/Tues)
- 1 hour of hippotherapy (Wed evenings)
- Some swimming thrown in . . . (usually two thirty-minute lessons whenever we can cram them in)

Your head spinning yet?

Yet, my brave little girl just takes it in stride. She takes life -- her busy, chaotic life -- in stride, challenges and all. At TWO years old. And, maybe, just maybe, I will learn to as well.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Then And Now

Six months pregnant with Sammie B:

And, six months pregnant with her little sister:

I *think* the belly looks smaller this time (though the EIGHT pieces of chocolate cake I've had in the last three days are not going to do THAT any favors), but it is close. Feel free to weigh in on that one (oh and say which hair you like better, shoulder length or longer)!

Still on "light activity/modified bed rest," still keeping on keeping on, and promising more substantive blogging in the days to come!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Update on The Lady Parts

That's Right - your second installment of CERVIX WATCH 2011!!

Measurements were good today and my perinatologist agreed that I can increase my activity level a little bit, including going into my office one day a week to work (and working from home the rest of the week). The good measurements this week are particularly hopeful news since I did a little more this week than last!

Honestly, I think the one day a week OUT of bed, dressed for work, in an office with a printer and other people will be good for my productivity AND my psyche. So, good news. I'm still going to be closely monitored (measurements every two weeks, shots every week) and have been warned not to overdo it . . .

There you have it. I left the doctor's office feeling happy and relieved, and thinking "maybe I CAN do this gestating business!"

And because every blog post needs a good picture, I'm leaving you with this . . . Playing dressup in Mama's clothes.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

My Little Light

After yesterday's heavy mood and heavy post, I sent my sweet girl off to hippotherapy with her nanny (while I worked on powerpoint slides for an opening argument from bed - grr). And, a little while later, I got a text from her nanny that said, "She's doing AWESOME! Her therapist said this is the BEST session ever - her trunk control is AWESOME and they are barely even helping her." She always semems to know when her mama needs a little sunshine. And she gives so, so much sunshine.

I also had a long talk with a great friend yesterday (who read my blog then spent some time googling and researching gait trainers - yep - THAT good of a friend!) and I asked her, "would a grown-up Sammie B reading my blog feel like what SHE was doing wasn't enough for me?" And, she said, "nope, she would get how very intensely you loved her and how much you wanted to make her life easy and wonderful." I hope so.
Because truthfully, nothing about this journey has made me want more FROM Sammie B. In my moments of being discouraged, I just want more FOR her, and I wish that I could make it all easier.

Sammie B, you are a rockstar. Every single day, you rock this life. And, don't EVER for even a SECOND think that I ever wanted more FROM you, for you've given me more in your two-years and nine-months in this world than I could have ever imagined . . . I could never want any more that the abundance of love and giggles and joy and magic that you give us. I just want more FOR you. I want your life to be easy and carefree. I want you to not have to work so hard at things. And, if there was anyway I could snap my fingers and make that happen, I would. In a heartbeat, not because I want to change who you are (I don't!) but because I want an easiness for you that you haven't yet gotten to know. You, my little girl, are sunshine and magic. And, I wouldn't trade that sunshine and magic for ANYTHING.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sometimes, Even in the Midst of Magic, Life Stings

Sometimes, life has a way of piling up and slapping you around a bit. As much as I truly, truly think I've found my place of peace and acceptance, there are always little reminders that things are harder for my girl, and well, sometimes, those reminders feel like punches in the gut.

Yesterday, I took Sammie B to school. (Don't worry! I didn't lift her and I sat on a couch with my feet up while she was in her class! Her teachers are all super-fab and no one would let me lift!). I've really, really missed my Tuesdays with my girl these last few weeks (remember, I took a big pay cut to have these Tuesdays with her) and well, I JUST NEEDED a Tuesday with her, so we took "modified" bed rest on the road (and, I am allowed "light activity!"). They were doing water play in the morning, and Sammie B stood for 25 minutes playing at the water table with her friends - magic.

Then, they put her in the gait trainer. They have a kidwalk gait trainer there, and some days, she walks in it, other days, she doesn't want to and just rests her weight on the pelvic support. Well, yesterday was a "doesn't want to" kind of day, and for whatever reason, I felt discouraged. She's doing SO well with assisted walking at home (with us holding her trunk) and I just feel like a gait trainer would give her SUCH independence, and I want that for her so badly, so when she wants nothing to do with it, it stings a bit. And, somehow (and I hate this about myself) the fact that she refused to take steps in the gait trainer overshadowed my joy over her standing at the water table just moments before. Some moments sting. They just do.

And, then there's the fact that our disabled parking placard expires today and I need to renew it. (Yes, Sam is still at the age that she'd be in a stroller even if she were mobile, but where we live, parking at medical buildings costs a fortune, and if we didn't have the placard, we'd be spending $46 A WEEK to park at her therapy appointments and preschool!). This is our third consecutive "temporary" permit (good for six months) and B said, "I don't know why you won't just get a permanent one so you don't have to do this every six months." But, I can't. I don't want to. So, I didn't. I just sent the temporary placard forms to the doctor, and darn it, I'll do it again in 6 months. When we first got the placard, my stomach flip flopped each time I used it. It no longer does that, but renewing it stings. Can't deny that.

After those few "stinging" realizations or moments, I logged onto my little delayed darling support board and one of my favorite mamas had posted about how she got her daughter's latest evaluation back and how much it hurt her heart to read. Evaluations stink. As I've said before, I'd challenge any parent to sit in a room watching your child be "evaluated" for two hours in areas they struggle and then get a 5-6 page report detailing those struggles and every task your child wasn't able to complete and not want to take your child and run away to the nearest deserted island where there are NO evaluations. So, unfortunately, that post sent my mind reeling to Sam's upcoming preschool evaluations in August (before her transition from regional center to school district services) and I felt that familiar lump of anxiety in the pit of my stomach. Stings.

We also know that we need to start thinking about what equipment Sam will need for preschool, including getting her a gait trainer (which is probably another reason why her lack of enthusiasm over the one at school hit me harder), and this has been a challenge for us because there's so much to think about and consider. Sam's PT doesn't believe in gait trainers for low-tone kids, but she's pretty stuck in her way of thinking and (I think) sometimes looks at kids as very one-dimensional (e.g. she doesn't consider how the independence gait trainers/walkers allow enhance cognitive and social development; all she thinks about is the motor component, and she thinks sometimes giving low-tone kids the 'fall back' of a gait trainer makes it harder to motivate them to walk independently, though I've been told by other PTs that more current research says the opposite is true - the earlier you can give a child independent mobility -- even if its in a power chair -- the GREATER the motivation for independent walking). The PTs at Sam's school, on the other hand, are huge advocates of gait trainers -- because they think the cognitive and social benefits (of being eye-level and up and about with peers) outweighs the other stuff. My gut tells me that's the right approach for Sam. BUT, at school, the PTs swear by the kidwalk and don't have many other options to try. And, I know from talking with other parents that the same gait trainer doesn't work as well for every kid, so before we invest in a piece of equipment for her that will cost thousands of dollars, we really want to try out a lot of different ones and find the perfect fit, and clearly, that's not going to happen with her PT or the ones at school (nor do I necessarily think they are the ones with the best experience to help us in this area; we want someone who has worked with kids in tons of different trainers, who believes in their effectiveness, and is willing to try try try until we find a great one). I LOVE LOVE LOVE Sam's preschool program and every one of the staff there, but my one disappointment, or I guess, their one unfulfilled promise to us, is that they haven't been as proactive as they'd said they would about trying various equipment. When I've brought up other gait trainers, they've generally just given me their spiel about why the Kidwalk is superior to all other gait trainers . . . so much info. So much to tease out. So much worry that we pick the "right" equipment, when part of my heart just hurts that we are picking this stuff out at all. Stings.

SO, with all THAT in mind, and the fact that we'll be losing our regional center funding for PT in September anyway (and will want to supplement whatever PT the school district offers with private PT), I've been researching PTs in our area, and have *finally* gotten an appointment for the end of July with the PT who is supposed to be the best of the best at our Children's Hospital. I'm also told that the PT department at Children's is "PT Heaven" -- tons of great equipment, great relationship with vendors (for equipment trials), etc. So, even though it is kind of a drive, we are excited about this. Though my instinct in life is to fear or avoid change, this is one time that I'm excited about it. I think the change will be good for Sam. I also kind of regret not doing this long ago. Sam's PT ALSO came to us highly recommended, but over time, B and I have generally been disappointed in her professionalism, and also well, she's a little "lackluster" in her enthusiasm, and rarely tries new things. I think in a lot of ways, she uses a "one-size-fits-all" approach, and I just think with kids with delays (or any kid, really) one-size rarely fits all. I've gotten bored with her sessions which are whole lot of the same thing every single time, and I know Sam has too. I think shaking up the routine on PT might be fabulous for Sam (kind of like if we were to work out with a new personal trainer after sticking with the same one for years).

So, here's to hoping that with change comes progress. Because, truthfully, I need it. I am SO very very grateful for every word that comes out of my girl's mouth, every new thing she learns (she's now counting in spanish to 5 :o) thanks to Dora!), every amazing thing she shows me that she knows. But, I'd be lying to everyone if I didn't admit that right now, I'm *needing* some smilestones in the gross motor department. There's so much guilt in even admitting this. Because I love my girl just as she is. Perfection. But at the same time, I'd do ANYTHING to make life easier for her. To remove some of the obstacles in her way (even if she doesn't yet realize they are obstacles). To see her playing in the floor and pop up and run into my arms. To walk holding her hand. I'd give anything.

The transition to the school district gives me such anxiety, but I just keep hope hope hoping that all the *right* people walk into our lives - her life - via this transition. That even though our team is changing, that we end up with an even better "Team Sammie B" that will truly help her accomplish amazing things and be her best little self. And along the way, may some of those obstacles fall out of the way. Hope hope hope.

Oh, and then there's this . . . many people have told me that having a diagnosis would make getting services easier from the school district (which is just silly, that they need a label to justify fulfilling what are obvious needs). So, I bit the bullet and talked to several of her doctors about a cerebral palsy diagnosis. Not because any of them necessarily believes she has a "true" case of CP (she had a clean MRI, though I'm told that doesn't necessarily rule out CP, though 90% of "true" CP cases will have some abnormality on their MRI), but because CP is often used as an "umbrella" diagnosis for a movement disorder when nothing else fits. And, most of her doctors' advice was, "if you can get the regional center to classify her as having CP, do it, it will help her get services in the long run." So, I called the regional center neurologist, went through her medical history, etc. over the phone, and he agreed she could be classified in that sort of "umbrella category" as having CP. And, even though I know that could help her, and even though I've said that after all the tests we've done (and thus, things we've ruled out), CP kind of felt like no-big-deal, I hung up the phone from the neurologist, called B, and sobbed. And he got it. He got why it stung. But, he reminded me, "it doesn't change who she is," and I know it doesn't. It's sort of silly, it's almost a "fake diagnosis" in the sense that the doctor's are applying it because there's no other label to apply, but yet, it still stings.

But despite the stinging moments. Despite the labels and a placard I wish my girl didn't need, there is one thing that is certain -- no label, no placard will EVER define who Sammie B is. And I know that from the bottom of my heart. Her magic defines her, and always will. Her magic that enchants me every single day. So even though there will be occasional "stings" or "slaps," we keep going. We live each day to make sure our magical girl has every opportunity in the world to become her best little self. Her best, most magical little self. The self that only SHE can reveal.

And so, even though I've felt a little "stung" in the last twenty-four hours, I'll end with the truest statement I know. The same words I said to my sweet girl the other night as I sat with her, while she did her wall-standing and watched Dora on the I-Pad (two episodes - that's 50 MINUTES OF STANDING PEOPLE!):


Monday, July 11, 2011


One might think with this "bed rest" thing that I'd be blogging much more, but the truth is, my days are sort of running together, and I just feel like there's little blog fodder. I'm not miserable, but I am a tad restless, and I do feel isolated. I SHOULD probably shower and blow-dry my hair and put on make-up occasionally so I feel like less of a slump, but, so far, it hasn't happened.

I spend my weekdays working from bed on my laptop and my evenings and weekends playing in the floor (and napping!) with my Sammie B.

I spend my nights either (1) doing work that I could have/should have done during the day or (2) tossing and turning because I slept too much during the day . . . it is a vicious cycle. While the flexibility of being able to work from home IS normally invaluable, when 'working from home' is my every day, I miss my office, I miss my work clothes, I miss my routine.

Surprisingly, I've spent very little of my non-work time on a computer . . . I've fallen behind on emails, blog, etc. but that's okay. (Apologies to those waiting on return emails that are probably thinking "she's supposed to be in bed! The least she could do is type me a stupid email!").

I WAS super productive on Saturday though. I sat on the bed in our extra bedroom (soon to be Baby No. 2's bedroom) and sorted through all of Sammie B's baby clothes. I put them in nice little tubs labeled by size. I held some of the clothes in my hand and stared in disbelief that Sammie B was ever that small. My eyes filled with tears when I saw her first (premie-sized) pjs. For a little while, the three of us sorted together (well, um, I sorted, while B and Sammie B played with Sammie B's baby hats and *might* have messed up my piles a tad).

We talked about how we are getting a BABY and how lucky she will be to have Sammie B as her big sister. We talked about names (we are having such a hard time this go-round; totally different than with Sam's name -- I knew her name before I even met B!). Sam STILL says "Y'Mon!" when we ask her what she wants to name the baby and we have NO.CLUE where she got that, but she talks about "Baby Y'Mon" frequently and whenever she sees my belly. Though we do NOT have a name picked out just yet (though we've narrowed our list to Charlotte, Mia, Ryan, Emma, and a few others that I'm blanking on right now . . . ), we promise NOT to name her "Y'Mon!"

Sammie B has been such sweetness lately (as usual!). She's also said some pretty stinking cute things that I'm going to tell you about -- mostly because I want them here, so I can remember them forever (or maybe so that she will read them someday too!). So, I leave you with my three most favorite "Sammie'isms" as of late:

- She calls her nanny "Nee" and the other day at dinner, she asked for "Nee," and I said, "Nee isn't here. Where do you think Nee is?" And she said, so very sure of herself: "at work!" So sweet. So innocent. When either B or I are gone, we always tell her "Mama is at work" or "Dada is at work," so she thinks that when her nanny isn't here, she MUST be at work ;o) Innocence. Think she'll be devastated to learn someday that she WAS her nanny's work?

- She often tells us when she feels "happy." (I've mentioned this before; we'll just be playing or riding in the car, and she'll say "happy!" and I ask her if she feels happy and she says "YES!"). Well, we've been talking about other feelings too, and last night, I told her, "Can you ask Dada how he feels right now? Say, 'Dada, how do you feel?'" And she looked right at him and said, "Dada, how do you happy?" B and I loved it. How do you happy!

- Her nanny had a blind date a few weeks ago, and when she arrived the following day, I was asking her about her date. Then, I asked Sammie B, "Do you know what you do on dates with boys?" And she said, "PIZZA!" And, then I realized that whenever she and B have one of their "nights out," we always call it a "date" and they go for pizza (Sam's favorite food, hands down). So, I asked her, "who do you go on dates with?" and she said, "dada!"
My sweet girl, 15 years from now . . . remember this . . . you go on dates with boys and you eat pizza. That's it. Innocence. Perfection.

So that's it. My three favorite Sammie B moments as of late. And now, back to work, in bed.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Just Keep Swimming

When we were in law school and drowning in final exam preparation and later when we were drowning in bar exam prep (all hurdles that felt so huge at the time and seem so small in hindsight), my friend Kath used to always quote Dory from Finding Nemo -- "JUST KEEP SWIMMING." That mantra always helped me to keep on keeping on with outlining, studying, whatever I needed to do to succeed. And, as we've hit our bumps in the road post-law school, I often think of that saying.

So, here we are. We've hit this whole "bed rest" bump in the road and are having to -- once again -- adjust our "new normal," but we are still swimming right along. Almost unfazed by this new bump in our path.

Okay, so the news you were waiting for - and the beginning of what we'll call:


So, I went back to the perinatalogist on Monday. I sort of thought that if my cervix measurements were better, they'd be like, "okay, fabulous, false alarm, resume life as normal." That didn't happen. The good news is . . . my measurements WERE better (over 3 cm, thank you very much) but the doctor just said that the good measurements meant that what I'd done for the past week had worked, so to keep doing that . . . which meant - NOT going back to work (but continuing to be able to work from bed); minimal lifting of the Bean at home; and just generally keeping myself to a very light activity level and resting as much as possible. And, I've earned bi-weekly perinatalogist appointments and cervix scans. So, if things start going downhill, we'll know promptly and then we'll readjust our plan. This all gives me great confidence that we WILL make it to term with this new little girl.

At first I was ecstatic that my cervix was, as I immediately declared, looking "long and strong," then I was disappointed that I wasn't being released from the whole (modified) bed rest thing. The thing is, although I might complain about my job and say that if given a choice I wouldn't work (if that were financially an option for us) but I'm not sure that's really the truth. I worked hard to be where I am professionally, and MOST of the time, I do like my job. I thrive on the intensity and the challenge and I LIKE lawyering. So, it is kind of a bummer to be sidelined for what COULD amount to nearly 8 months (4 months pre-baby; 4 months post) and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a tad worried about what that will do to my career trajectory. And I DO care about my career. A great deal. It certainly isn't my number one priority -- my family is -- but it is still important to me, and I know that's okay too. So, I was bummed. Disappointed that the complications were hitting this soon. Disappointed that I'm apparently just not one of those women who can gestate and teach aerobics and run miles and miles and work my tail off until the 9th month. Not how I was made, so to speak.

But, then, I gave myself a pep talk and realized that I CAN still work from home and that MAYBE if I just have a super positive attitude about this, and continue to do QUALITY work while on bed rest for as long as I can, maybe that's what people (read: the people who make promotion decisions) will remember. Maybe they will take THAT as a sign of my commitment and not fault me for what is truly not my fault . . .

So, all I CAN do is just keep swimming and do my best work for as long as I'm able, and listen to my dcotors and do what they say and hope for the best.

And, in the meantime, this whole "modified" bed rest/light activity thing is WORLDS better than REALLY being stuck in bed. I can't lift Sammie B often, but I CAN get in the floor and play with her. We can continue our nightly ritual of "wall-standing" which helps build her leg muscles and helps her work on balance. We read books while wall standing every night (this kid could literally be read to all day everyday and be the happiest Bee in the world; she LOVES books; she finishes the sentences in her books; she seems to know them by heart and is constantly saying "more" when we finish one book).

It's actually become a fun part of our nightly routine -- we read to her while she wall stands, and then we count how many books we read together. When I have to go through "where we are" motor-skill wise with professionals, they always ask how long she's able to wall-stand for and I always have to give the "time" in our number of books. And, right now, I'm proud to say that the other night . . . we READ TWELVE. TWELVE. And tonight . . . EIGHT. And then, together, we counted to eight. We started this little "tradition" at just TWO books. Progress.

And on the weekends, when my bed isn't my make-shift office, modified bed rest most DEFINITELY includes naps together. What's better than that?

So, it is not what we hoped for -- an uneventful pregnancy where I'd get to "go go go" as I normally do. And, yes, we are having to sort of rework our "normal" so that Sam and I are alone less (though we've managed despite B working a little late most evenings this week), and B definitely has to do a little more than he normally does. But, things are looking up, and this "modified bed rest" that allows me to keep working (even if only from home and probably not as much as my "norm") and continue to play with my girl is WAY better than what I feared last week - strict bed rest. So, all in all, good news.

And, of course, Sammie B IS getting used to breakfast in bed while we wait for her nanny to arrive and take her downstairs to leave for school and/or therapy :o) We've even taken breakfast in bed to a whole new level with a new Dora table so Sammie B is tickled pink.

Just a bump in the road. And we -- all of us -- are going to keep on swimming.