Friday, January 30, 2009

Trying to make it to Sea World


So February rolls around and as always happens to me, I get antsy...Spring fever, cabin fever, call it what you will, but the holidays were over, and it was a long way until summertime, and I was restless already. But my first order of business was picking up our (finally) completed homestudy and our profiles and sending them out. We mailed them out to the office of the attorney who handled Alex’s Florida end of the adoption, as well as to an unwed mother’s home in North Florida. That was it. We’re officially “pregnant”. We mentally settled in for what we thought would be a 6-month, 9-month or even a year long wait to adopt our next baby.

So to help pass the time during what I thought would be a long, long wait, I bought 2-year premium passes to Busch Gardens and SeaWorld. Alex was walking and talking and over two years old now, so I thought it would be a good time to start taking him to some amusement parks. After all, what good is living in Florida if we don’t partake of the wonderful parks, beaches and activities here? So we got our passes and planned a trip to SeaWorld for the following weekend.

The next weekend dawned with Alex jumping up and down in his crib, screaming over and over, “yucky pi-wo”, “yucky pi-wo”, “yucky pi-wo”, (for yucky pillow), over and over again. Turns out, he was right. He had thrown up, all over and everywhere, in his crib.

Now, Alex had never been much of a vomiter. Never had reflux, never a horrible spitter-upper as an infant, none of it. But this, this was bad. And it continued all day. It became projectile vomiting, something I had only experienced once with our grandson Jared when he was an infant and living with his mother and us after he was born. Alex, now, in this instant, put Jared that time to shame. We are talking target vomiting, Olympic event caliber. NASA’s shuttle launching could take lessons from this kid on hitting an obsolete target. I’d never seen anything like it.

Then it got real fun: hubby picked up whatever foul bug Alex had. Hubby tried to be brave and forge ahead with the day, but ended up spending the afternoon worshiping at the porcelin temple himself. So after who-knows-how-many rounds of cleaning up, I managed to get both of them to bed, and decided to relax and catch up on some reading. So....I settled down in Pete’s butt-magnet (recliner) with a good book and a bag of something I’d never tried before, but sounded delicious. Peanut-butter and chocolate Chex Mix. YUM! I love Reese’s Peanut Butter cups and I love Chex Mix, so this stuff sounded like a real treat! I kicked back, the house was silent, I read a little, munched a little, then dozed a little. I woke up about an hour later.....and....uh, oh....oh, no....please, no......HURL!

Maybe not so surprisingly, the peanut-butter and chocolate Chex Mix looked about the same when it came back to....re-visit....me.

Yup, I had caught it too. Maybe it served me right for feeling so smug by actually sitting down to snack, read and sleep while my sick family slept. I don’t know, but whatever hit us...hit hard. It was thankfully only a 24-hour virus, but you’ve never seen a whole family so decimated in your life. About the time it hit me, Alex woke up from his nap and the worst of it was over for him, so he began trailing me around, and whatever happened to be my target with that particular hurl, Alex would jump up and down and scream, “yucky! Mommy! Yucky floor! Yucky blankey! Yucky table!” Oh, that day was looooooooooooong.

We recovered from our weekend stomach bug and I went back to work as usual. An uneventful week followed, we were all feeling fully recovered, and we decided to re-schedule our Sea World trip for the upcoming weekend. Friday morning, February 16th, one day before our scheduled departure for our first SeaWorld with a two-year-old adventure, I get the phone call that would again change my life forever. It was the director of the unwed mother's home that was helping a young college student with her unplanned pregnancy. The birth mother was young, unemployed, in college, and pregnant, and wanted to place her baby for adoption. And the director was asking to present us to this young woman as as potential family for her baby. I was told that the baby was a boy, and African-American and asked if that would be a problem for us. I told her absolutely not. She advised me that the baby was due in late March, and asked if that was too soon. WOW! That is soon...but I said OK. I then had some questions for her....what's the pregnancy been like, does the birth mother smoke, drink or do drugs, what is known about the birth father. She answered that it has been healthy, uneventful pregnancy, the birth mother does not smoke, drink or do drugs, and Caroline (the director) is sure of this, as she knows the birth mother's family. The only drawbacks were that the birth mother did not get prenatal care until later in her pregnancy, as she was young and living in denial about being pregnant for the first few months; and that not much is known about the birth father, as the relationship had been a short term dating relationship gone bad.

So YES! I told her! Please present us to her! She said that the birth mother was coming in on Monday, the 19th, to talk to Caroline again and Caroline would present our profile, along with any other families that wished to be presented, at that time. She advised that birth mothers usually take a week or so to make up their minds, and usually take home the profiles to get the opinions of family members or the birth father in making this decision. So she said she would call us, probably by the following Friday, to let us know the decision.

So it was with eager anticipation that we went into that weekend. WOW! In another month we could have another baby! I couldn't believe it! We had had our profile out for only a week, and already we had our first call! So it seemed even more important that we have this first (and probably only) theme park adventure with just Alex, and him having us all to himself, before the possiblity of a new baby comes home and he becomes a big brother.

The morning of our SeaWorld adventure dawns, and I'm so excited. We eat breakfast and began packing a diaper bag, etc. for a day at SeaWorld. I change Alex out of PJs after breakfast and when I take his clothes off: OMG! My baby was covered, all over this trunk, arms, legs and belly with tiny red welts of some sort! What the heck is this? He did not appear sick in any way...no fever, no pulling at the ears or scratching of the throat, no coughing, sneezing, runny nose...but he had little red bumps all over him. I called to Pete and he came running....neither of us could figure out what this was. I called my Mom, the RN, to ask her opinion. I had her on the phone while I was looking Alex over yet again, buck-naked on the changing table and told her, "it looks like bug bites all over him." And it did. Like he had been swarmed with mosquitoes overnight and they had all but carried him away. He was red and bumpy everywhere.

Mom had no clue, and based on his lack of other symptoms, I thought it might be an allergic reaction to something he'd eaten the day before; but to be on the safe side, I call Peds After Hours. They agreed with Mom and me and said to just give him some Benadryl and if anything else cropped up, call back. So that's exactly what we did: gave him some Benadryl and he slept most of the day and night, while we racked our brains and finally determined that there must have been something in the pot of vegetable stew we'd had the night before that caused this reaction in him. So there you have it: our SeaWorld adventure was off again this weekend. But the funny part was that for the rest of that week, Alex kept telling people (using the saddest, most pitiful face imaginable) that he had bugs! He had listened far too well when I had been on the phone with my Mom, telling her the welts looked like bug bites, because he made sure the rest of the world knew we had bugs and that they'd bitten him all over his body (gee, thanks, Alex....makes us look like terrific parents).

Well, by Sunday morning Alex was all better, but to play it safe, we stayed home anyway. We decided to try again for SeaWorld the following weekend. We felt it was even more important to go and show Alex how devoted we are to him, and really spend some fun family, quality time with him, before our next baby arrived, hopefully the next month. So we made our plans........

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