We'd had plans for months to spend a long weekend in San Diego last weekend, a couple of days at a B&B in M.'s old neighborhood and a couple of days camping at the beach with my brother and his family, who were out from Arizona. So when we didn't hear from V. after her appointment on Thursday afternoon as anticipated, we started stressing. Might she be in trouble and unable to call? Or could the baby have arrived and somehow we'd missed connecting? Or, most probably, had she changed her mind about placing and neglected to tell us?
I scrambled to finish things up as much as possible at work, but then arrived home to a big decision: to go, or not to go to San Diego? And if we go, for how long? Our nights at the B&G were non-refundable.
M. was operating under the assumption that we would go, but just until Sunday because V. had told him she suspected the baby would be born on Tuesday (not sure why she was thinking that; something about her doctor's schedule...) Not having heard from her, I was especially eager to escape to the beach. So I convinced him to add our camping gear to our stuff so that we could stay longer if the circumstances enabled it. I declare that I didn't want to live our lives on the edge of our seats waiting for this baby - who may or may not become ours - to be born. (Fortunately, due to someone's superpower - organization - it was quick and easy to get the gear together.) Off we went.
We had a nice drive down and checked into our accommodations: kinda shabby and funky but charming, with a kinda shabby and funky but charming inn keeper. Then we began exploring the neighborhood and the adjacent canyon on foot. According to M., the area has really gentrified! There were all kinds of trendy restaurants and shops along the main stretch. We settled into a chic wine bar over two nice glasses and an abundant cheese plate. As we were wrapping up, my cell phone rang (a rare occurrence). It was V.
She apologized for not calling earlier, and we ensured her it was no problem! She told us that all had gone well at her appointment yesterday. She had been concerned because she was experiencing less movement, and the doctor encouraged her to drink apple juice. She has been, and the kid's perked up. They did end up sending her to the hospital for some more extensive monitoring and reported that she IS having contractions...but they are NOT labor related. Her due date has been revised to October 16th (again with the caveat that she may not make it that long). This was especially good news, as it puts her close to 36 weeks of gestation.
And she asked us to join her at her doctor's appointment tomorrow! Of course, we are honored and thrilled.
Since we're headed out to see her, we're going to use the occasion for an official "match meeting." We've been assigned a new adoption counselor, S., who will see us through the rest of the process. M. and I haven't met her yet, but our interaction with her on the phone so far has been positive. She seems responsive, empathetic, and professional...as evidenced by her willingness to drive out to the boonies to meet us with V. this week.
Before we rendezvous with V., S. will pick her up and they will do some counseling and probably sign some pre-termination papers, etc. Then we'll meet up with them at Carrows. (M. and I are kinda hoping this doesn't become "our" restaurant, in light of its limited veggie menu). We'll go through all kinds of things together, including things how V. wants the hospital experience to go, naming, circumcision, contact after birth, etc., etc. Fortunately, I think we've already talked about most of these things with V., so we're not expecting a lot surprises. I am a little nervous that we may share something - such as our atypical diet - that will turn her off. But we've resolved to continue to be open and honest.
After the looooong meeting, we'll accompany V. to the doctor's appointment that will likely include an ultrasound. Oh, my! Following that, we've offered to take her shopping to get some pants that fit (we've joked about how quickly she's growing out of jeans she thought were huge at one point) or something nice and comfy for the hospital. But, I'm guessing that it will be a very long day and she'll be too tired. And truth be told, I'm sure we'll be exhausted too after the intensity of it all.
With most of these details settled, we were able to REALLY relax and enjoy the rest of our weekend, staying through Monday evening. (M. had to get back to deal with an unexpected work crisis on Tuesday morning, but this gave us most of that day to get more on top of all the things I needed to, to feel a bit more prepared, such as seven - seven! - loads of laundry and getting the timing belt on the Subaru replaced.
The water was so warm and clear. We loafed about and caught up with family. Both of us got a bit more sun that we should've but it felt like an end-of-the-summer priveledge. We board and body surfed and built drip castles. The weather was just about perfect and we really enjoyed each others' company.
We returned home late on Monday night to several big packages, a few of them "essential" baby-related items including a car seat. M. and I have resolved that we'll pack an overnight bag - but not more - to take with us tomorrow, in case we end up needing to stay longer than expected. :)
Work this week (ummm, TWO days) has been crazy busy. But when I left (very late) this evening, I sent an email to my boss and assistant with a five page To Do list for all of my major programs and projects this fall. I told them that I anticipated being able to make further progress before needing to take my parental leave but that the info was incase they need to pick up where I've left off, and that I appreciated their support of our adoption. My boss also signed my leave application, with blank dates. So I'm feeling a bit more like the details are coming together.
I just hope it is not all for naught....
(Sorry I haven't found time or energy to provide more consistant updates; I'm afraid it doesn't bode well for my ability to keep up with blogging during early parenthood. Thanks, though, to all who have been in touch and/or sent your good thoughts and encouragement our way. I hope to have more good news - and to share it - soon!)