I am going to try to remember all the updates of the past few days... hang onto your hats! There is a lot to tell!
1. Christmas Eve was great. We got all dressed up and went to worship at church. The music and message was fantastic and they even had cookies so we took ALL the little ones into church with us. They loved hearing the band play and it was nice to all be together.
2. Christmas morning we took our time waking up (despite Lulu waking at the crack of dawn). Then took our time opening stockings and sharing our special gifts from Santa and we had the kids each take turns opening gifts one at a time youngest to oldest as we always do. Danny showed up early with his long time girlfriend Allie and it was nice to have them here for breakfast and gifts with all the "younger kids". The day was spent playing with new toys, listening to music, watching movies, and waiting for other company to arrive. The rest of the family came over late in the afternoon with dinner. We were in charge of buying the meat for the cookout (steak and chicken) and my sister and Aunt made all the rest of the meal. It was an incredible blessing to NOT have to cook anything and to be able to just enjoy the day. Truly it made it one of the best Christmas days ever where we were all able to just groove on each family moment as it came. They even brought sugar free lemon trifle and sugar free apple crisp that were delightful! I felt the love fabulous women! 3. Christmas night we finished packing up Dominick and Cole. They headed out early on Sunday morning to visit the cousins in California. I am so thankful for my brother Patrick and sister in law Christy for welcoming out kids anytime in their home. It was truly special for Dom and Cole to be able to travel there all by themselves on the plane and to have this trip to look forward to for the past few months. And I know that their cousin Keller (who has three little sisters) will love having BOYS around for two weeks. (Yes they are missing the first week back to school to make it an extra long trip.) They will all be spending the New Year together at a fabulous resort in the snow that isn't too far from where they live. I must admit I am a bit jealous! They are going to have the best time ever and not want to come home. The cousins didn't know that they were coming so it was a complete surprise.
The first picture of the trip is above. Please note that Dominick is almost 12 years old. Maggie (who is my mini me) is on the right of Dominick and she is 7 and Bridget is in front- who is 5. Although Dom is a little guy seeing this picture makes me realize HOW TALL the cousins are. And reminds me that Peanut is likely going to be tall to- I think we have the tall gene. LOL
4. Sunday morning we woke up really early to get the boys to the airport. And then we headed to the hospital for another NST (non-stress test) and the first BPP (biophysical profile). Of course Peanut was sleeping when we got there so they gave me a big cup of ice and water to drink. I drank it and Peanut woke up some and then she got the hiccups and fell back to sleep. It was taking awhile and the transporter showed up at my room to take me to the ultra sound room for the BPP. So we unhooked from the monitors and headed to U/S. The ultrasound went well, Peanut was VERY active and they were able to see her practicing her breathing and moving around a lot. At one point she was holding her foot near her face and it was so cute to see her little hand wrapped around her toes. Adorable! The test took a little while for them to measure the amniotic fluid and see everything that they needed to see then we had to wait for the Radiologist to review the ultrasound and determine if they had enough film. They didn't take measurements because it wasn't on the orders but she is looking pretty big to me! (Comparing with what I saw over two weeks ago.) We got the OK and then headed back to the labor and delivery for the NST. I got all hooked up and of course Peanut was no longer really active and started sleeping again. :( By this time my doctor had finished his delivery and left but the on call doctor would be reviewing the NST and BPP results. Finally Peanut was reactive and I did have some moments of nervousness just because it seemed like it was taking forever for her to start having some heart accelerations as she should be several times an hour. The on call doctor was in a delivery at this point, then left that delivery room to deliver another baby- and so we waited and waited. And then finally my regular doctor came back and he was able to review everything. Peanut got 8/8 on the BPP and they said that the NST looked good. All in all it was a long day at the hospital... but a good one since we had good news! This weekend we will do it all again and during the week this week we have another NST. I am hoping and praying that they do some measurements at the next ultrasound so that we have a good idea of size and when we might deliver. :) Thanks for your prayers for Peanut.
5. Today the nesting started!
I went through towels, rags, and wash clothes and purged. Then books was next... the little girls closet... and then we packed up all the Christmas decorations and the house feels slightly empty. Although we still have far too much stuff! I will continue each day with several drawers and dressers and cupboards until I get through it all and get it all organized. I figure we are about 2-3 weeks away from having Peanut if things still go smoothly for her and that means that I can make it through the entire house by the time she arrives and life will be in order! :)
After the clean-a-thon Dad took everyone ice skating with Uncle Terry and cousin Zoe. I stayed home and had a rest with Jude. Once they were home we made dinner together and now are getting settled down to watch a family movie.
Life is good. I love having the kids off school for a little while.
This week we had another Non Stress test to see how Peanut is doing. She was really sleepy and they had to give me a diet pop to get her to wake up and start moving. It made me a little nervous at first because she is typically really active when I arrive for the test- right after breakfast. It didn't take long for the caffeine to kick in and Peanut starting to move around and passed her test this week. Yeah! Basically they are watching her heart rate with movements and seeing that she can maintain an increased heart rate for normal periods of time.
My blood sugar has been fairly good. My fasting numbers first thing in the morning are just a couple "pts" over where they should be. So for now they are holding off increasing the meds or starting insulin but we will take a look at things next week and see where we are at. I had a day with some heart palpitations this week that was a bit scary and is a side affect of the oral insulin so it just added to the all over crappy way I feel! But this gave the doctor the sense and heads up to not change anything for now since we are so close to perfect on the average sugar levels.
Today I had my weekly doctors appointment. We talked about "a plan" of sorts. I will be starting to have NST's now twice per week. So every 3-4 days I will have another test and every other test will be combined with the BPP (Biophysical profile). The BPP is the NST with additional monitoring of an ultra sound. They will look at the level of amniotic fluid and how the baby responds with movements, heart rate, breathing, etc. during the NST. That way they can get a really good look Peanut, her environment and if she is under any stress at all that is going to tip us off to DELIVER HER now! In two weeks (at 36 weeks) we will do the group B strep test, cervical check etc. with the doctor and at that time if things still look good for Peanut with all the tests then we will likely plan on delivering her at 37 or 38 weeks depending on Peanuts size. They will make note during the BPP if they see any notable size issues etc. But I might need a separate u/s at that time to check out her size at 36 weeks so we know when we need to try to induce labor.... or go for the c-section. Today I started to measure big... this hasn't been an issue so far. Even though Peanut was measuring BIG I was measuring right about on track. So today- I measured 36 weeks and I am 32. Peanut was measuring three weeks ahead of track- so I am assuming that she has had an even bigger growth spurt. We are hoping and praying that at 36 weeks she is still not too big to try for a natural delivery. Thanks everyone for praying and for following this journey. A few days ago we cleared all the Christmas "stuff" out of the crib (it had been a holding spot) and put together the bedding that Nana sent for Peanut. Putting everything on the crib really makes things seem REAL. And both Robert and I were looking at each other going- "is this real?" "When are we going to feel that this is really real?" Its going to hit us soon right? :)
Yesterday Dad and I had a date at the immigration office with Isaac. We decided to bring Angeline along on the long journey and to celebrate afterwards with a stop by Toys R Us and the Rainforest Cafe.
Although we had Isaac's immigration approval in Haiti because of the earthquake the children who came over have to be processed a bit differently. Isaac fell into "category 1", meaning that we had everything done with his adoption process and were just waiting on his Visa appointment. This makes things a bit easier but it still required a medical exam and a large stack of paperwork that we went and turned in yesterday along with an interview.
There are three families in our area that have children who came home after the earthquake. They were hoping to get all the interviews done yesterday and then have a special ceremony on the 1 year anniversary of the earthquake- January 12th. But the congressman who was so important in helping bring all our children home will be in Washington DC during a voting session during that time. We opted to have Isaac's immigration documents just mailed to us once they are finalized because were having a baby really soon! We would however like to meet the other two families sometime- how cool would that be?
Isaac and Angeline were SO well behaved and such troopers. We were both really proud of them. We had to get up at the crack of dawn and drive several hours to make the appointment on time. During the appointment Angeline and Isaac did a reenactment of Dora's Christmas special that they had seen on TV the day before. They talked for about 30 minutes about Swiper not getting any presents from Santa this year and that everyone needs to be kind to others to not get on the naughty list. The lady doing our interview had the "Haiti Orphans" as her special project and she typically doesn't handle the interviews as she has people who handle that for her. She was SO patient with the story telling, and Isaac's stuttering and how the Dora episode retell seemed to go on and on. She just was excited to be helping Isaac and hearing his "story".
After the interview we took some pictures and then headed out for some fun. We were also able to see L. who is a woman that helped us via the congressman to get Isaac home. It was really a blessing to be able to see her and show her how much Isaac has grown, changed, how excellent his English is, and remind her how much we appreciate all the help that she gave us. Truly our government didn't have to do anything to help all of our families and the way that things have been handled was nothing short of amazing!
I know that there are other families who are having a difficult time getting the final immigration and citizenship stuff done for their children so I asked for some advice for you all. They shared with me that throughout the country all USCIS offices have had training on HOPP. (Haitian Orphan Parole Program) All of the files are marked with a bright pink HOPP letter and should have been assigned to particular people at the immigration offices throughout the country. They were really surprised to hear that other places are getting things done as smoothly because they were really on top of knowing who the kids are on Humanitarian Parole in this area and what still needs to be done to get their citizenship complete. I hope that the cases for you all can be figured out soon. (You know who you are that I am talking to!!)
UPDATE: They have found a family for this baby THANK YOU!
Read from The Shepherds Crook ....
On Wednesday of this week, we e-mailed you about a caucasian baby boy who is due to be born later this month and who needs a family. The birth parents live near Columbus, Ohio, and this baby has been diagnosed with spina bifida. Yesterday, a family committed to his adoption, but they have since decided that they are unable to meet his needs. So, we come to you today asking for more prayer and careful personal consideration of this boy and his future. Allow me quickly to review his situation. He has myelomeningocele spina bifida, which is considered to be the most serious of the types of spina bifida. Spina bifida results in complications and difficulties that are almost entirely physical in nature, such as partial paralysis, urinary and/or fecal incontinence, and scoliosis; children with spina bifida develop normally with respect to their cognitive abilities. The only complication of spina bifida that can result in cognitive delays or difficulties is hydrocephalus. The doctors involved have seen no sign of hydrocephalus so far, but they are going to monitor him closely after he is born so that they would be able to treat it in time. He is expected to remain in the hospital for 1-2 weeks after birth. Because the birth family has already been severely disappointed once already, we are asking each of you to consider this baby's situation very, very carefully. He needs a family urgently, as he is to be born in just nine days.
Time is of the essence right now, and so any family interested in adopting him needs to have several pieces in place before they can even be considered for placement. Here are the things that we are looking for:
1. The adoptive family has to have a completed, domestic home study that approves them to adopt a newborn with a special need (such as spina bifida). We initially said that a family who could have a home study completed by the 30th could be considered, but that is no longer the case. With the holidays fast approaching and the ever-present possibility for difficulties in updating paperwork, families can only be considered for this boy if their home study is already finished and current.
2. The adoptive family needs to be aware of the potential complications of myelomeningocele spina bifida. I have outlined some of those above, but we ask that any interested families do their own research and pray about the potential impact on their families. He needs a family to love him, care for him, and advocate for him in situations where he cannot speak for himself, including his medical needs.
3. The adoptive family must be available to be in Columbus on December 27th for the birth of their son, and then to remain in the hospital with him for the duration of his stay, which is expected to last 1-2 weeks.
4. The birth parents would prefer to have an open adoption, although their primary concern is that this baby be placed with a family who will love him and care for him.
If, after prayer and serious consideration, you feel prepared to move forward with his adoption, please submit a family profile and picture to email@example.com. Please join us in praying for this little one, that God would bring his family forward soon.
This last week was busy. We got all the teacher and therapist "we appreciate you" gifts finished up early in the week. We made soap this year and bought some coffee cards and candies to go along with them. It felt great to have them all done and delivered by the weeks end. We also managed to get all the packages wrapped and shipping done for the week. Its nice having my husband home to run to the post office and handle those other holiday obligatory things that sometimes aren't the most fun. He does them with a smile on his face. My husband had his company Christmas dinner this week and found out that he may not be going back to work after Christmas like we thought. They aren't sure on the details of the next job, when it will start, who will be on the job, etc. So basically the search for new work started last week and we are applying all over the country and we are willing to move anywhere. Basically we are hoping to: 1.Make ends meet 2. Have some employment stability (no more feast or famine!) 3.Be within 2 hours drive of a Spina Bifida program or Children's hospital with a pediatric neurosurgeon 4. Live somewhere with a lower cost of living than here
Jude has had a terrible rash all week and has been miserable. He is not sleeping well, we are not sleeping well and he needs lots of extra TLC- poor honey. This baby has had the worst time with skin issues... possibly more than any of his Spina Bifida related issues or his asthma.
Lauren took most of these pictures for our Christmas cards this year. She did a fantastic job. Speaking of Lauren- she left recently to live with her "older" boyfriend (at his parents house). We are praying for her and hoping that she finishes high school. She is a senior this year and does a combination of independent work/home schooling and community college classes. Lauren is going through the "I am 18 and I know everything!" stage. I was there too once. And then I turned 19 and still knew everything. Then 20 and thought I knew everything AND that the world revolved around me. Then 21 and went wild. Then 22 and had a baby and realized I knew nothing other than family was everything and that family was where my foundations came from. And that the world was a much bigger place than I ever dreamed. And that I needed GOD in my life more than I ever realized. And that I was SO blessed compared to so many others.
The good news is that Lauren is a superstar. We know that Lauren is going through some funky times right now and she is going to come out of it all doing just fine. Its her nature to be the one teen who has kept it all together in freakish and unexplainable ways and she was due some time to explore and figure this out on her own. We love her SO much and can't wait for that time that its all figured out- but for now we support her and just want her to be happy.
The tough part has been on the younger kids at home. They are used to Lauren being a constant nurturing figure in their lives and not having her here has proven to reveal some tough emotional moments over the past days. They miss their sister and also love her SO much. Its hard to explain to a four year old whose entire world is her big sister Lauren how come Lauren left without saying goodbye, and how come Lauren is living with M. now and not home with her. Plus this four year old has the most sensitive heart so change is going to take some time.
We noticed this same kind of difficult transition when Leishan left home. I think that the girls relationships with the family were just so complex and had a lot of intricacy that there wasn't a natural progression like our adult boys had. There was no formative plan that took its time to come to fruition- it was more like a free fall base jump from a tall building.
Either way... if anyone can make good choices and get things done- its Lauren. So we remain hopeful.
I had another Non-Stress test last week and a doctors appointment. Sweet Peanut did OK with the NST and the doctors appointment. But my regular doctor was out of town so the test was reviewed by another doc and the appointment was with this other doctor as well. I was the first appointment of the day and he showed up half an hour late to work. My doctor is never late so I wasn't used to that and he really didn't want to address any of the higher fasting blood sugar numbers I am having but kept reminding me that I have another appointment with my regular doctor next week. He did increase my a.m. insulin to one full pill instead of a half a pill. If things don't get more exact with the blood sugar this week I am asking to see an OB to get on insulin injections which are more exact and controlled.
I am having a bit of an embarrassing problem. I can't stop thinking about ice. And chewing it. And even sometimes I wake at night thinking about eating ice. And I can't sleep until I eat a glass. I have sensitive teeth so this really shouldn't be an issue. I would rather eat ice than most anything. With the exception of that cinnamon roll I have dreamed about- but haven't dared to eat with the gestational diabetes. I think this is what is going on. And I might have to stop by here later for some support. When I go places I think about going through fast food places to just ask for ice in the drive through. My first pick would be Sonic- because they have the best ice in those little nib lets of ice. This is seriously weird.
But definitely NOT as weird as THIS. This is exactly what I am NOT planning on doing this pregnancy. And it is what makes me laugh so hard I pee my pants- yet another embarrassing issue. Kegelkegelkegel ladies. If you don't visit that website and have some giggles you are really missing out.
33 weeks today baby girl. Hang on- we are so close!
We had some major fun family weekend plans all was thwarted when a stream of water started running through our downstairs storage room and "big boys" room. Yes- this is precisely the same location where the broken pipe burst in the wall two weeks ago. And no- we haven't gotten around to repairing the walls yet! Over the weekend we had massive rain and most of the rivers on our entire side of the state are now at flood level. The ground just can't take much more and a large crack runs inside of our home on the ground. And that is where the water came in. So my guys spent most of the weekend moving stuff around, cleaning and drying stuff, and rearranging everything so nothing was touching the ground. (Since we don't really know when its all going to get better at this point.) Everyone pitched in to help get laundry done. There had been some snow gear and camping gear left on the ground in the storage room that all needed washing/drying and putting away on higher ground. My husband put up new racks and made two runs to the hardware store for a new DE-humidifier and new drywall so that the walls can be repaired this week from two weeks ago. On his first hardware store run his truck wouldn't start. (Of course!) But then he tinkered around with it and got it running again. (Praise God!) I am very thankful for my husband and big kids who helped out tremendously this weekend. I am not sure what I could have done without you all! And for this week... we will catch up on all the fun things that we missed out on. Not to worry! :)
The non stress test went well. Praise God. I know that in the upcoming weeks each test is going to be filled with extra anxiety and prayerfully with extra reassurance. When I arrived at that hospital they had me fill out the standard paperwork pile. Then took me back to a room. Sophie went with me to provide some company and distraction. Right after sitting on the bed an alarm went off and there was a Mom giving birth nearby whose baby's heart rate was dropping, there was a lot of panic and everyone went running to prep the O.R. It was good to have some time to take the focus off of us and pray with Sophie and a short while later the nurse came back into our room. She got me all hooked up. She explained the test and I laid on my side for about 35 minutes or so. Then she called the doctor and he read the results- everything looks great! He wanted to know what day I would be back for the next test next week so that he could keep on top of things. So I scheduled tests for the next two weeks, chatted a bit with the nurse who tried to help calm my nerves and then we headed out to Costco for some grab and go cart full of shopping! Thank you all for the prayers, comments and emails. They mean so much to us. Today was a tough day. The reality of the situation just sunk in deeply. We are still seeing our family doctor and NOT an OB. Our family doctor has extensive OB training and specialized experience with GD and other high risk pregnancies. Should I need insulin injections (a real possibility in the upcoming week or two)- then he will refer me to the OB. And we will have an OB waiting in the wings in case I do end up needing a c-section. I agree that he probably shouldn't have told me about the mortality issue for our baby- but I think that he was trying to reassure me that even if I do everything I can, sometimes the plan and outcome isn't what is desired. (But he did so in his so male/doctor way!!!) Unfortunately some of my little ones saw my sad face and tears when I got home from the doctor and they have been giving extra TLC all day. Sometime ago Angeline started to give me "feathers"- "really special feathers" that would come out of the couch pillows. She would name them or tell me that they are Mommy feathers, or baby feathers, and that they are so special. Well how could I do anything other than say "awww... thanks so much for the special feathers." I would make a big deal and each time I would put my little treasure of feathers inside a seashell on my desk or in the nightstand drawer or even behind the sink. Well today I have a little collection of white pillow feathers in each room that I frequent, from several little people collecting them up for me. Now I am well aware that these feathers weren't just found laying around for the little hands to find them. They are actually pulling the feathers from the pillows... lol. And what can I do but laugh. So the pillows might not be as firm as they used to be, but the love is so great. My belly has had so many kisses today and I am feeling the love from my children which is the BEST thing in the whole world. Speaking of bellies... I think mine is getting rather large or something! Because I was getting SO many stares at the Costco. Might be the waddling walk too. Sometimes I can't figure out why people are staring at me with wide eyes and I push an overfilled shopping cart with my weight in cream cheese, butter, meat, eggs, peanut butter and breads. (all the things we were out of!)
I just got back from my weekly doctor appointment. This afternoon I go for my first Non-stress test at the hospital. The doctor increased my oral insulin to an additional half a pill a day in the hopes that it would bring those sometimes higher than desired numbers down. And he is concerned about her belly size being over the 95th percentile which is typically seen in babies whose Moms have gestational diabetes. So even though my blood sugar is mostly in control the placenta is kind of out of whack and that is affecting the babies growth.
He also told me about two patients he had with GD where the babies died. One Mom had horribly out of control blood sugar levels and her baby died. Another Mom had in control levels, all normal non-stress tests etc. and her baby was born dead the day after a normal non-stress test. Basically what happens is that the Moms amniotic fluid becomes like syrup to the baby and then the baby can't grow and develop properly. Since we are already showing signs that this could be happening, its worrisome.
Then again- he said that some mothers and babies do OK. But that at any sign of stress they will ship me off to the closest hospital with a NICU (2 hours away) and then I will have a c-section. He isn't going to mess around. And if the pills don't help the blood sugar all the way, then I will get on insulin and have an OB take over my care.
I am trying not to freak out. My husband said that he truly feels that God wouldn't give us this miracle blessing and then take her away but there has always been that lulling feeling in the back of my mind that things are too good to be true. Let's hope that's not my instinct telling me something. And please pray for our baby girl. Its so frustrating doing everything that I can to help her and it not really helping her at all.
Yesterday the clinic called to confirm our ultrasound for today. In the message they said "you know the drill by now so we will see you tomorrow!" I guess this high risk pregnancy makes me a frequent flyer at the ultrasound clinic!
Today's ultrasound will be to check on Peanuts growth- the gestational diabetes can make the baby grow at alarming fast rates. The baby gets too big and the organs don't properly develop making things risky. They will also be checking on my amniotic fluid levels. The GD makes the levels go up and if they go up too high we are at risk for prolapsed cord, fetal distress, and other worrisome issues. And lastly- they will be looking to see if Peanut has moved... last ultrasound she was transverse breech.
Now... I am fairly confident she is head down. :)
I had the doctor check and a friend (who is an OB nurse) check over the weekend- both days she was head down. Let's just hope and pray she stays that way.
I am still only on the oral insulin once a day (in the evening) and on the lowest dose possible. This is really good news! But the bad news is that for the past few days my blood glucose levels have been wacky. Sometimes they are higher than they should be and at other times they are way low. ? So we might be calling the doctor before my next appointment this Friday to see what we are supposed to do about the levels. Overtime that I eat I do so cautiously wondering what each thing is going to do to my body and our sweet baby.
I had someone (who has never been pregnant before and who is not a mother) out of anger the other day tell me- "you act like this pregnancy is an affliction!"
It really bothered me.
But then the more that I thought about it- the more I realized- this pregnancy is a blessing, Peanut is a miracle... but certainly the circumstances that surround my life at this moment are afflicting. They affect every waking moment of my life. I would never want to do anything to hurt my baby! (Any of my babies!)
Definition of affliction is as follows: NOUN 1. distress: a condition of great physical or mental distress 2. cause of distress: something that causes great physical or mental distress
Sounds about fair right? :)
I am thankful that most people in my life are patient with my woes. Patient with my eating complications. Patient with my short temper. Helpful more than usual. Understanding and supportive. Kind and gentle. etc. That doesn't go for everyone... but its an overwhelming majority. Praise God! I am so thankful!
More about the ultrasound later... we are bringing a small army with us today to view Peanut in all her glory. And that is going to be SO exciting!!
Today my home doesn't seem like my home. It is so quiet and peaceful and relaxed. It hasn't been like this for a very long time.
Lulu is sitting at the table doing her math. Joy, Isaac, Angeline and Jude are here in the living room with me watching a Christmas show. Dad is picking up pizza (for him and the kids). David and Cole are doing homework downstairs and Sophie and Dom are playing battleship at the kitchen counter. And its so quiet I barely have the sound on the TV and we can still hear it. I can even hear the washer and dryer running. Grace should be home soon from basketball and soccer practices.
I think we are coming down off major drama with one of the older kids, household repairs and that drama and a couple weeks of visiting relatives... and its so calm- someone pinch me please! Sophie did an unbelievable job with keeping her emotions on track while we had so much chaos going on. We had feared that after Nana left yesterday Sophie was going to have a really hard time. And although it was hard, she was OK. She was OK! Yeah! Nana has a way of really pulling the kids into her loving ways and even if they seem resistant she pulls them in anyhow and it was good for Sophie to have that for many days. Nana still has the energy for that! (I however, haven't had much energy for it lately- but am getting rejuvenated! lol)
I don't want to jump the gun and get too excited because things can always change but seriously... I have prayed for this peace. This peace in my heart and in my home. This ebb and flow. This time with my husband off work. Today he moved furniture and cleaned really well. He might be nesting. Its really a good thing. lol This is just what our lives need to really get ready for Peanut to be born. And I will sleep soundly tonight. Thank you God for today. Thank you God for these weeks with Sophie. Thank you God that I feel peace. Amen!
I have many exciting and fun things to blog about but since I am being side tracked by my irritated attitude I find myself IN NEED of telling you about my current WOE.
So we had a pipe burst in the wall downstairs about 10 days ago. We called a plumber who came to fix the pipe. The plumber charged us about $400. (Of course it was a Saturday, so it was more expensive.) Since the water damaged the ceiling and two walls the plumber suggested that we call a buddy of his to get the wall dried out and antimicrobacterialized so that we don't get any mold. So we called the buddy who came out later that day with his son, who appeared to be about 14 years old.
The man and his son set up some huge fans and they tore out the drywall/insulation and took it out in trash bags to their truck. Well actually the son carried all the trash bags out to the truck and each time he did he left my front door open on his way out and his way back in. This is actually how I knew that he wasn't much older than 14. :)
My husband had asked how much this "rip out" was costing us and he was told that it was about $1800-$2500 for the entire thing. From ripping out the garbage, to drying the wall, to making sure to protect the inside of the wall from mold etc, and then for the restoration work including new insulation, dry wall, paint etc. I asked my husband how much we were actually going to owe this guy for just the tear out and dry because in all honesty after our deductible we were hoping to not be out a ton of money and possibly my husband and a friend could repair and do the painting. We just wanted to be sure the wall was dry inside and not getting any mold in it. (Since the Christian plumber who came over assured us this was VITAL for us to do.) So my husband couldn't figure out exactly what we were going to owe this guy for "his part" of the tear out and dry. The only dollar amount that he gave was for the entire repair and was really just a verbal ballpark guesstimate.
So today, when the guy arrived with his bill and the repair estimate, I nearly threw up. ON HIM.I nearly threw up ON HIM. And my husband. I nearly threw up on him and my husband.
On both of them.
To tear out some drywall, insulation and run some fans.
Yep. And maybe 8 hefty black trash bags.
Did you all know that my husband works in heavy civil construction?
So those roads, bridges, pipe lines, those are his kind of work. Drywall rip out and fan plugging in- he has got that covered with his eyes blind folded. And he knows how to shut the front door too.
The repair estimate for partial two walls and ceiling was $1023. So basically it cost about the same to rip it out and dry it as it does to replace and paint it. Why doesn't this seem right?
So then I mortified my husband.
No, I didn't throw up on them. But I was still thinking about it.
I looked down at the bill and looked the man in the eyes and said.
(And I was actually stuck on the line of the bill that charges me per hour that the fans were in my home running. So basically he didn't have to do anything but plug the fan in and he got to bill me for each hour it ran.)
He said: "Yes mam. Its expensive to run a business in this state."
I asked him if it might be possible to wait for the insurance to pay us before we pay him, or else we could have the insurance pay him directly. And he said....
"I was up front with your husband about how much this would cost so this is how much you owe me."
I explained to him that he was up front about a total cost but not about his hourly billing or what the tear out was costing us. And that if he was really interested in saving us some money he could have suggested that my burly husband and boys carry out those garbage bags to our pick up truck in the drive and take them to the dump themselves because he was going to charge us highway robbery to do so.
He looked at my shocked.
My husband got up to get my check book and the man said:
"I know its the holidays and everything and you have all these children so it would really save you some money to do the rest of the repair yourselves."
I couldn't reply. I just pursed my lips. Then he continued.
"You guys can call me if you need any advice about how to repair the walls. I won't charge you for that and it could really help you guys out."
I continued staring at him looking pissed off. Then he came out with the doozy.
"You must have really had someone take advantage of you in the past because you seem like you don't trust anyone."
I replied unable to contain myself any longer... "Is this costing me extra. This therapy session? Is this an extra charge? Because actually I don't trust anyone ever and I come from a family full of attorneys. Maybe it was the way I was raised. There is always someone trying to rip off someone else to make a dollar."
Then he let me pay him half. Half now, half later once I get the check from the insurance company. But what I really wanted to do was to throw up. Because I thought of all the things I could have done had I just not called him with that money.
Especially since my husband got laid off on Friday.
We know he has another project coming up but we aren't sure when it will start. ( It will be out of town for a few weeks only- the he will be laid off again if they don't have work.)
Trying to just let things go and let my husband take care of them isn't such a good idea. I need to get involved and ask the right questions. He seems to never fit into a passive category but he certainly does fit into a far too trusting one. And for that I am annoyed but trying to put it behind me now. Ugh.
I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst. Then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best. Marilyn Monroe