Monday, April 14, 2008

A battle weary soldier

Okay, so tomorrow is our 3rd IEP meeting (Intervention Education Plan) on Spencer's behalf at the school. We are FINALLY going to discuss results from testing we requested last OCTOBER. I have spent a few HOURS today gathering materials that relate to the findings from his testing to try to persuade the school exactly what course of action needs to happen next. Of course, I have been working with him at home since October doing precisely what we are now going to request them to do at school (as a reinforcement). Which means, that I, and our advocate Elaine via conference call, will be in so many words, telling them how to do their job.

That should go over well, don't you think?

It makes me very, very sad to think how many parents there are out there who do not have an Aunt who happens to be a reading expert to help them navigate the disaster of special ed in public schools. I think that it is the only reason I am bothering even talking to these people tomorrow, in hopes that maybe they will see that they don't really know HOW to help kids like Spencer. It's almost like talking to a group of "experts" who insist that the world is really flat, in the face of mountains of evidence that point to the contrary.

But, I have Spencer and his progress as evidence that what we are doing works, and works wonders. I could not be prouder of how hard he works everyday, and how far he has come this year. I'm ready to just forget about the "experts" and fix the problem myself. How sad it is.

I'll update how it goes after the meeting. In the meantime, I better get some rest so I don't just "lose it" in our meeting. Diplomacy is really Jared's strongpoint. Unfortunately, the (relative) expertise in the subject is mine! I figure Heavenly Father is teaching me how to be better at not offending people. That is as difficult for me as the short vowel sound of /i/ is for Spencer!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

"Advanced Maternal Age"

Warning: May contain hormone infused statements

I always hate posting without any pictures, but given the topic, I am truly NOT going to posts pictures related to it. (It's bad enough to see video of pregnant me)

Why is it that in "the world" it is generally acceptable to be at least 35 years old before you begin to bear children, with 40 really being the age that is celebrated? I see all these women on Oprah who feel "glorious" and "alive", looking "radiant". Everyone thinks its just spectacular that they have waited until "the time was right" for them to have "a child". You get the idea that maybe you've missed something by starting in your 20's.

So why is it, that during EVERY Dr.'s appointment this pregnancy, it is pointed out to me that I am of "advanced maternal age", and there are all these extra, unpleasant things that the Yahoo's on Oprah never mentioned? Truly, I have never felt like such an old woman in my life, and this from someone who was mistakenly called 17 when I was 14, 23 when I was 18, and 30 when I was 25. Maybe I have that disease where you age remarkably fast and nobody's ever told me? (Remember that movie with Ralph Maccio anyone?)

First there was the Down Syndrome scare, which my doctor did everything possible to terrify me, even though the odds were still statistically very high. Then comes a diagnosis of gestational diabetes, which, by the way, SUCKS. Nothing is worse than being on a diet WHILE PREGNANT. (Jared thought I was crabbby when I could actually eat carbs) Checking my blood 4 times a day isn't great either, and I fully anticipate being put on medicine today at my appointment because my pancreas just can't keep up with the my insulin demands. With 7 weeks to go, I could very well be giving myself insulin shots before we're done.

Fortunately, Jack and Spencer are old enough to help me get by with the bare bones housework, because that is all that is being done. After getting breakfast and kids off to school I go back to bed for an hour while Ethan and Olivia play. (I'm not actually sleeping because I'm playing referee for E & O's various spats during this time) I finally get enough energy to try a shower, but after that feat, it takes another 15 minute "rest" to have the energy to stand up and blow dry my hair. I don't really know why I bother, it'll just get messed up when I take my afternoon nap...

So, if I've gotten my 2 naps earlier in the day, I usually have exactly an hour and a half of energy by the time the boys get home to help with homework, dinner, and maybe a load of laundry. We have actually switched to only paper plates and bowls to cut back on dishes. However, if Jared is not home from work by the time this hour and a half is up, the kids have to go up stairs (they know I won't bother climbing them) to avoid the still hungry, tired ranting woman downstairs.

So this is the new routine in the life of a woman of "advanced maternal age". I have to keep looking at the precious little face in our ultrasound picture on the fridge to keep myself from jumping in our still frozen pond. Of course, I just still may whack the doctor with his stethoscope if he says one more thing about my age today...

By the way, I'm 36.