Wednesday, October 31, 2007


He is a she.

She has Downs Syndrome. I know it isn't the end of the world, but I am going to take a few days to process. Anyone who has been through this or knows of someone who has please feel free to e mail me. We just feel like we are at the cusp of a big long road and aren't quite sure where to start.

My e mail is rebeccakbingham at yahoo dot com

See you in a few days....

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Just when you thought I was being dramatic...

We just had a 5.6 earthquake hit, epicenter about 15 miles from here. It was the biggest one that I have ever felt. You have just enough time to wonder what it is, then get worried, then run for your kids. This time everything shook, things fell off shelves, etc. I forget that we live ON TOP of a fault line. Literally.

Is this stuff all to make the results of the test tomorrow seem anti climactic?

We don't have phone right now (it went out about 3 minutes after) and the TV is out. Blech. I have Internet though, time to catch up on all the ABC shows that I have missed.....


Some unbearable Halloween themed cuteness....

On Jacobs birthday we went to the greatest pumpkin patch ever. It is in Half Moon Bay, right on the ocean. It is the Disney of Halloween. Yes, I like to get my kids into holiday themed clothing (and they all look REALLY good in orange...)

Norah was not impressed with the hay or the pumpkins..... or the licorice...

Jacob thought it was all for his birthday. Score for mom. Check out his "I see braces in his future" grin.

Lets see if Norah does better with her older sister...... No......

This one is the cutest pumpkin in the patch......

How is Nono doing? Well, she isn't crying anymore, but she still wasn't too sure about the whole thing...she acted like any minute D was going to drop her in a pile of pumpkins......

Every year we take a picture of the kids with these cookies.....

and on these rocking horses.....

again, Norah was not impressed......

"Mom, I just love all these pumpkins"

"Do NOT make me touch these pumpkins...."

I also did the matchy/matchy dress thing for church. The dresses are orange with smocked collars and little spiders and witches embroidered on them. Yay for E bay....

It appears that Norah is as impressed with this dress as she is with all other things Halloween


I am not sure why she was saying this now but she was not happy about something. The closer she gets to 10, the more I see this face....

One last shot... this is another fun game in our house. First, put the baby in the shopping cart, then push it in a circle as fast as you can. Wait for baby to throw up (or not).

As long as No has her honey-bunny she is fine. She actually LOVES this game. Never a dull moment in our house....

That should tide you over until tomorrow. I am still on bed rest (having contractions--boo) and D is in Boston. I have the best babysitter ever, she took the kids to her house where they will play with her dog, get their hair done and generally have so much fun they will cry when they have to come home. I get to lay flat on my back and NOT think about how much laundry I have to do......

Tune in tomorrow for:
--Will she or won't she have to go to the hospital overnight to monitor the contractions
--Jacob as a butterfly
--How much of a mess does one small blog of yogurt REALLY make?
--Baby he really a she? Is there a long line of therapy in our future?

Always a party at our house people. Don't be too jealous.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Are you kidding?

Got the call last night that they didn't get the results back but would have them this morning.

Got a call this morning that because the lab is in San Diego, FedEx wouldn't deliver until today and the lab was closed last week anyway. It will be Wednesday, at the EARLIEST before we get results.

Can I get my money back? We paid extra for the quick test. Arggggg. Patience isn't one of my strong points.

Until then, I will put some Halloween pictures up. I just have to keep hanging in there (the cosmos likes to torture me, I think).

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Today is the day....

I might not make it to the evening.

Last night D and I had a long talk about what we thought the results would be. We both kind of feel like it is a done deal and we would be very surprised if we get an "all is well" report. I am not sure if this is self preservation, preparation or what. I didn't think I would stay pregnant either. When I went into the Dr. office and saw that heart beat, I was really shocked. REALLY shocked. So, I am not the best judge of character. We are both just really worried and scared about what the rest of our path will be.

I feel like that after tonight, after this phone call, our life takes a different tract. Really, it already is what it is and just knowing is incidental, but from here on out the paths lead to much different places. Also, I know that it will be OK. I know that like all parents, we will love all of our children no matter what and do what we need to do to help them be the best that they can be. We know that, but this is where we are right now. No trolls please. It is a process.

After all that the last 6 months have served up for us, part of me just wants to spend every waking moment on my knees BEGGING the Lord not to do this. I just keep thinking to myself "please don't make me have to do this trial, PLEASE don't make this part of my "test" and part of the lesson that I need to learn". I know it doesn't really work like that. Special needs kids aren't a mistake or a punishment, clearly. BUT, I desperately don't want this to be something that I have to think about right now. It feels like too much. The other part of me feels that I know how much this baby wanted to be born. I wouldn't trade or change any of my kids for anything and so I have to trust a little bit. But I don't want to. I want it to all be OK the way that I want it to be.

As I have slogged through the last months, I also remember thinking that I didn't want things to be the way they were. I didn't want to think about the things that I was thinking or have to do the work required to get me through it. That being said, where I am right now is a much better place to be, for all aspects of my family. For me personally, I feel like I have found my old self again and have made some major changes that will make a vast improvement on my life and my children's lives for YEARS to come. I feel blessed with where I am now. I am not a fan of the method of getting here though. Do I wish that I could have avoided the whole thing? Yes, of course. Could I have gotten to the same place without it? You betcha. This is the life I was given so that isn't really an option.

So, in that vein, I guess I am saying that while I know that if this child has DS, it will be OK. We will be fine and look back and think about what a blessing it is. But, I would rather not have to do that right now. I would rather just get a pass on this one and keep working on the other stuff. Selfish, selfish, selfish. But that is where I am.

Meanwhile, tick tock. I have the phone in my pocket and I just have to make to the evening... tick tock, tick tock....

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Well, it is over.

The amnio didn't hurt as much as I thought it would. It didn't hurt going in and just kind of stung while it was in there. Not too bad. Frankly, hearing the statistics was the hardest part.

I should have some initial results on Sunday evening. So we just wait. I feel very relieved now and think that much of the stress was waiting to take the test. Who wouldn't stress over the anticipation of having a huge needle put into their stomach? I am on strict bed rest for the next two days (because of course I am having every post amnio complication.... why not?) and I plan to read a lot and not put any children to bed. Heaven.

Also, the tech said she couldn't get a good shot of the baby to check gender and said she wouldn't bet on it, but it looked like a GIRL to her. I know this baby isn't a girl so we are going to wait and see just how those chromosomes turn out..... I think I am more prepared to have a Downs baby than a girl baby at this point. It isn't a girl. I just know it.......... of maybe my bat senses are now officially off.....

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

It never ends...

Just when I think I can catch my breath.....

So last week was pretty crazy. I took all the kids in for their yearly appointments. Lu was thrilled to find out that she needs glasses. She has been telling me this for months and I didn't believe her (but to be fair, she also tells me she needs braces and a cast.....). Norah's appointment was stressful. She is developmentally behind. I know this. She also has issues with both of her eyes. They both wander and I don't think that she sees very well. The pediatrician thinks that she is "officially" developmentally delayed. Again, not a huge surprise, but still hard to hear. She is 15 months old and she doesn't walk or support her weight, have any words or seem to recognize any words, she doesn't do a lot of things that 9 month old are supposed to be doing. The good news here is that now that she is "official" we qualify to start on the rounds of occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, etc. We might even quality with the county for them to pay for some of it. Either way, we can have a game plan. The bad news is that this means one million doctor appointments. Gah. Norah has hit some of her marks late, but she has hit them. I am not sure if this delay is just Norah needing a bit of help and being on her own timeline, or if she really is not capable of learning to do these things.

She was also diagnosed at too skinny or "failure to thrive". Apparently she doesn't eat that much. I do feed her, but she is my third. I give her some food on a spoon, and often small pieces of what we are eating for lunch or dinner while she is in her chair. I just never paid that much attention to how much was actually going in and staying down. Not enough. So, I am supposed to feed her / offer her food multiple times a day and get as many calories in her as I can. Not as easy as it looks. She has rejected Ensure and will drink whole milk. I might move to half and half. I make her oatmeal with lots of butter and sugar and mashed potatoes with sour cream and butter, but would welcome any high calorie, healthy foods. A friend suggested Greek Style yogurt, it has like 20 grams of fat per cup. That is the right idea.

Yesterday I got a call from my doctor that she wanted to "discuss some test results with me". I had gone in for my 16 week screen (blood test). This pregnancy is considered to be on the low end of high risk. She decided to do all the screens to put my mind at ease and rule out lots of things. When SHE wanted to talk to me, I knew something was wrong. Usually the nurse just calls me to say "everything is OK". I immediately went to the Internet and googled the test to see what it could be. I learned a lot. This test is to screen out things like Spina Bifida, Downs and other neural tubal defects. Gulp. I also read that it only has a 65 percent accuracy rate. Many doctors won't even recommend the tests b/c it comes back positive and then people stress out and they get more tests and almost always everything is fine. It isn't worth the stress. Lucky me. When I talked to her, she told me that I tested positive for a possibility for this baby to have Downs. The test can't tell you if your child DOES have it, just gives you a probability number. In normal pregnancies for people my age (33) the changes are like 1 in 10,000. Often when people come back with a positive it will tell them their chances are 1:674 or even 1:68. Mine came back 1:10. That is high. High enough to recommend an amnio. I worry a bit about that because the chances of miscarriage with an amnio are like 1:150. Most of the time this is an option so you can think about termination. In the case of Downs, termination is not an option for me. There are, however, some other NTD's that would make me sit down and really, really think. Also, in light of all that has happened in the last 6 months (much of which is still being dealt with, daily, and it feels like an uphill battle most of the time...) and the Norah stuff, I want to know what I am going to be dealing with. Will I be dealing with one special needs child or two? Or none?

So, there you have it. We have the big test on Thursday. This was the day my husband and I were supposed to go to Disneyworld for the weekend (no kids) for a friends' wedding and a fun getaway. Instead, I will be having a needle stuck in my uterus and have to come home where I am not allowed to walk or lift for 5 days and hope that I don't have a miscarriage. Then I wait to find out the results. Then we can go trick or treating. Sounds like a fun weekend, doesn't it?

I don't mean to sound doom and gloom and depressed and in fact, I am doing much better today than I was last week (thank you drugs....). I just really feel that I keep getting knocked down and then I brush myself off and stand up again and then get punched again. I just need it to stop. No matter what the test reveals, it will be better than not knowing for the next 5 months. And, I still have a 90% chance that things are fine. And if they aren't, there are worse things. Prayers are always appreciated. Not for a particular outcome, but for peace and strenght to get through the next few days. Also pray for Jacob to suddenly be calm and stop figuring how to rip the childproof handles off the doors. And to stay out of the fridge. And to stop elbowing me in the chest. In fact, if I could outsource Jacob things would be much different in this house. :-) Any takers? Carina? JUST KIDDING!

If anyone has had an amnio before will you fill me in? How much does it hurt? Do I really need 5 days after to take it easy? Just curious. I just went to Trader Joes and loaded up on Pirates Booty (my crack), frozen Orange Stirfry chicken, stuffed pork chops, Korma sauce and Naan for easy Curry, Granola and Caramelized Onion and Gruyere pizza. Seriously, I want to marry Trader Joes. No "cooking" for me this week, but we will still eat very, very well.

I will try and post pictures of the pumpkin patch and the girls matching orange dresses. I have to down load them first........

P.S. Does anyone have a good book recommendation? I will read anything and will have some time on my hands. I would love to dig into a few new books.....

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Good Times

This is what my kids do for fun. They all LOVE this game.
(also see the new floors? the new rugs? the wall color? Help me decorate. I need pillows...more house pictures to come soon, but this is your sneak peek).

Monday, October 08, 2007

Don't pass out...

I know it has been about 5 months since I have posted. Sheesh. It only felt like 4. I do appreciate all the notes and inquires and well wishes that I have gotten on comments and e mail. You have all wondered how I was doing and where I was. My parents have wondered what their grandchildren look like. And all this time I thought that if I disappeared off the face of the earth, no one would notice until the children ate all the candy in the house, then the food storage and finally each other until the remaining child (I put my odds on Cubby) would wander in to civilization where the authorities would find me in my bed with reruns of America's Next Top Model on loop in the background.

So why the long break and what have I been doing? Let me give you a wee update. When I last left you, we were remodeling our house and living with the in laws. That was pretty great. They love my kids, they have plenty of room, Direct TV and each child got their own room. In fact, it was only after moving back that I realized the reason the big kids fight so much at home is because they are forced to be in the same room much of the time. If we only had a giant house where no one had to interact with anyone else. That would bring me the peace that I crave. Just kidding. Sort of.
During the time that we were at my in laws, there was a lot that happened. It was a blessing actually that we were with people who could help us. I am not going to share the details here, but I will say that over the summer our family experienced an earthquake. A tsunami really. Have you ever had an experience that was so huge, so mind numbing and earth shattering that you feel like your soul broke into million, billion pieces and it suddenly became too hard to think about breathing, eating or sleeping? Don't worry, no one is dying or anything like that, it was just a really, really hard summer. It was a summer that made me rethink and reevaluate my life and myself and my family and everything else that I hold dear. It colored everything with a changed my view of the past and possibilities for the future. It was all I could do to keep my head up, keep the kids fed and just keep plugging away. The good news is that we have lots of support and things are moving along. 5 months later, I feel like some of the pieces are starting to be put back together and that I can see into the future where things will be OK. Don't you hate it when people say big stuff like this and then don't give you details. If I was reading this, I would want details too, but too bad. It was a personal issue and it is getting resolved. I just wanted to share it because I know that we all have a point in our life when we realized that nothing will ever be the same again. It could be something that happens to our kids, or our parents, or death or a divorce or anything really, but chances are, we will have have that moment. It can feel like you will never be happy or peaceful or normal again. It isn't a picnic, but it is possible to find a new kind of normal with some help and support from people who know and love us. Just keep this in mind. I cannot tell you how much it has meant to me to have people in my life check in on me (both face friends and blog friends). To have people remind me that there is a world out there, that I am a decent person, etc. I guess I just want to say that if you feel inspired to send a note or pick up the phone, do it. Most of those that reached out to me had NO idea I was right in the middle of a really traumatic summer. Just be aware of those things and act on them. It is important. On to more important stuff. The kids.


Jacob has finally stopped being a holy terror (mostly) and is a real boy. He is still a handsome little stinker, but has learned the skill of charming the ladies and can put on quite a show. He actually bats his eyelashes while smiling and saying please. He loves to perform (our current favorite game is the "pick up something and pretend it is heavy while saying "whoa" and weaving around). This one gets performed mostly in Target and the grocery store. The older ladies love it. I just think of it as street theater. He also knows how to push Lulu's buttons. He knows exactly which toy to steal or how to put her in a headlock and get the fastest, loudest reaction. That is just what brothers do, I guess. All too soon he will be teaching her swear words and I will long for the days when the biggest issue was how many of her Polly's that he stole. All in all, he is a fun kid. He just turned three this weekend and I wish I could say he is getting bigger, but he isn't. I long to crack out the 2T clothes. Maybe next year.

Jacob is obsessed with pirates. He wears this stuff all the time. Arghhhhh

He can still get into some trouble. This is how I found out he can climb the counters.


Lu is now 7. She has lost one million teeth and begged me to let her cut her hair, so I did. The very last remnants of my baby are gone. She is a full scale tween. She has an opinion about her clothing (the nerve), what she watches on TV and all kinds of other fun things that make me realize that I really might have to send her to boarding school when she is 12. She is a big time second grader now and is a whiz at match. Spelling, not so much. She loves school and still doesn't seem to have too many friends, but doesn't act too bothered about it. She spends her recess time in the library helping to check in books or walking around the playground with one of the teachers. I am only a little worried about this. I worry if she is socializing well enough. The good news is that I know she is a sharp kid and that she is kind a sweet. She will get it. She is a great helping around the house and is currently keeping her room spotless in hopes of convincing us that she can have a turtle. It isn't going to happen, but I will enjoy the clean room while it lasts.

Lu would rather be up a tree and upside down as much as possible

Piano lessons will start soon. She loves to pretend to play. Lets see if she loves to practice when the time comes, eh?

Lu loves to read to the kids and Jacob loves to copy whatever she does...

Finally, a day of rain so she can use her umbrella

Lauren was in the ballet "Copelia" this spring. She was great!


I love afro-puffs in her hair, plus I can do them.

My sweet girl Norah. I know we aren't supposed to say this, but she is my favorite. For now. I am not sure if it is because she is currently the only child that doesn't sass me, she is always happy to see me and laughs at everything I say. Actually, I am sure that is why. Norah (or No-no as the kids call her) is a joy to parent. She is a pretty quiet kid mostly, she sings and babbles to herself much of the time. She loves to stand at the train table and play and eat things off the floor (less sweeping for me, yay). She has Jacob totally figured out and many times a day Cubby will come running to me to tattle on Norah. If he has something she wants, she just chases him and takes it. He isn't aggressive with her will let her get away with it and then cry. I have seen her corner him on the couch. It is better than TV. When N decided that she is not happy about something, we know it, the neighbors know it and even the most tortured soul in the pit of hell knows it. She has an unholy shriek that would terrify even the most hardened soul. Lucky for us she doesn't use her power very often. She is my only baby that is obsessed with the toilet. She is also a climber. She climbs from her high chair to the table, up the shelves, etc. So far she has only figured out up, not down. If I put her on the couch, she stays and is stuck. She can't get down but is smart enough to not want to fall off. It is heaven. I have also been doing her hair. I'll give you a sample. Warning: the best hairstyles were done by my babysitter. She is black and does amazing things with her hair. When it is all braided, she looks like a real girl and not a baby. Norah is also obsessed with books. I can hand her a magazine and she will turn the pages and rip it up and be occupied for a very long time. Norah has also been a little bit behind, developmentally, since she was born. At 16 months she can crawl but she doesn't try to walk. She can stand but doesn't really like to. It isn't anything to worry about yet and I am enjoying her being less mobile. My other two were early walkers, so this is great. Besides, this child can army crawl with 14 things in her hands faster than your kid can walk, so she gets the job done.

When your child's hair looks like this (complete with stuff stuck in it), you know it is time to keep it braided.

She has such a pretty smile. Look, finally teeth!

Check out the braids (I didn't do these). N was not impressed w/ the pumpkin patch.


Finally, this won't be news to most of you, but we are adding another member to the family. Yes, it is true. Just days after deciding that three kids was the perfect number I found out that I was pregnant (a funny and strange story on its own). My body doesn't tend to want to STAY pregnant, so when we kept going back to Dr. appointments and kept seeing a heart beat, we were shocked. Now, at 16 weeks, I believe it. I am still in denial (much easier to do now that the vomiting has stopped). We will have until April to figure it out. Yikes. Having three kids ages three and under is what scares me most. We will have three kids in high school at the same time. Wow. I am sure that it is a boy, but we won't know for sure for another month. I have also decided that Derek can name this one, I get veto power, so I don't have to think about names at all, which is nice. I pretty much named Jacob and Norah, so I will give him this one.

That is us. I'll start blogging more regularly now. I have lots of pictures and soon will put up shots of the new house stuff and Cubby's birthday, etc.

Thanks for hanging in there with me. I hope you are all doing well. I have been reading so I am up to date on most of you..... have a great week.