Thursday, December 18, 2008

Labs and Other Tests

Luckily, I've managed to get an ultrasound once a week so far - this one with my regular OB, who called me on Sunday after she got my message so we could schedule an appointment as soon as possible. She completely understands the IVF-pregnancy panic, so I'll get to see her more often at first. Between her office and the last few visits to my RE, I'll be able to stay on the weekly u/s until the nuchal translucency scan!

The only bad news is that my thyroid levels are off - and the nurse who left the message didn't even tell me in which direction. And googling anything like this just leads to disaster - the first three things I read were dire reports of lost motor skills and lowered IQ. I am (for now) assuming that my levels can't be too bad since the nurse said they just want to retest in a few weeks and it should be fine...


Meanwhile, maybe I shouldn't worry too much about lowered IQ. Since my daughter is so unhappy at school, we began to wonder if it wasn't more than just feeling alone and disregarded that was the problem. Because she'll be in the sixth grade next year, we have a lot of options as far as school choice - there are so many charters, magnets, private schools and permit-entry public middle schools that start in sixth that we thought it would be good to look into moving her early.

As we researched, we found out that most of the charters and magnets are LA Unified schools, and since we don't live in LA proper she can't even apply to those. There are some state charters open to anyone, and we found one we like. It is on a lottery system, though, so you have to just cross your fingers and hope to get in. The other options are magnet-charters that she may be able to get into at the discretion of the district at the start of the school year (depending on enrollment) - yikes! The local middle school seems mostly fine - not much gang activity, good music program, great theater program. But there are no gifted classes. Since my kid's whole problem is that she has a hard time really finding friends who have "interesting things to talk about and are really smart and funny" I am not sure about the no-gifted program arrangement. I'm sure those kids can somehow find each other, but at her current school finding those kids isn't the problem - the fact that they're not in the same class is what really ruins it.

All of that is a long backstory to this: we are looking at private schools. Which means that we have had to study for the ISEE (a sort of mini-SAT) which is required for the admissions process. And she has been IQ tested, the results of which were unattainable. Yep - the modern IQ test apparently doesn't go high enough to measure my kid's IQ. Which just serves to infuriate me even more when her current school says that they feel gifted is an arbitrary designation, and it doesn't really have any bearing on the classroom situation.

Anyway, I always knew my daughter was bright. But she is not one of those kids who knows everything there is to know about micro-organisms or Greek mythology or whatever. I knew that she was happier when she was in class with her three friends who are also really bright, but I hadn't fully put it together that it isn't just social. She just misses having someone to talk to about whatever they are doing in class. I thought it was more about having a friend to chat with in the "in-between" times, but maybe I was missing the bigger picture.

I think that the ISEE prep is actually great - it's more homework than she gets from school, and she seems to love it. I've also been carving up my work schedule into little ribbons of time just so I can manage ultrasound appointments and playdates with the kids she likes, and it does seem to be making a big difference. She has two semi-friends in her class, but doesn't want to see them outside of school. (She has known them for years and always liked them peripherally, but the few playdates us moms arranged were never really great for any of them.) So, I just make sure to have as many kids over as she wants, lots of sleepovers and lots of cookie-baking.

Anyway, that's my long update on my daughter - private school interviews in January, charter lottery in April, magnet-charter maybes in late August, if we can hold out that long. All I know is, any school is probably better than one that thinks gifted (and, by the way, I hate the word gifted - there should be some better term that denotes specifically cognitive/associative/comprehensive agility) kids don't need any specific consideration at all.


Midlife Mommy said...

I hope that she finds a school that she can be happy in. It isn't just the friends -- I imagine that she is really effing bored too!

I was not gifted, but I was bright. And if it weren't for a few public school teachers who actually tried to throw some challenging things my way, I think I would have gone crazy. There were a some teachers who actually punished me for doing well, for example, by making me read an assignment over and over and over, because the teacher didn't believe that I'd read it and understood it (even though I was able to answer all her questions the first time through). It was humiliating, because all of this extra attention was given in front of the whole class. Or the teacher who blew a gasket because I chose to read the Andromeda Strain in the fourth grade (she was offended because it was on her college reading list).

I will always remember the science teacher who let six of us work through the entire curriculum at our own pace, and when we finished it two months early, he let us do an independent study. My group focused on the microscopic world of a hay infusion -- it left such an impression on me, I seriously considered becoming a microbiologist.

I'm glad the scans are going well, and I agree -- if there were something seriously wrong with your thyroid, they would be addressing it.

Sky said...

Lorraine, WONDERFUL news about you putting your daughter into a private school. Not being challenged is really awful for a bright child. You're doing the right thing!

And I can't even try to make you feel better about the pregnancy, even though I believe you're home free. Because I SO MUCH understand it, unfortunately.

I look forward to my next BFP with equal parts of excitement and dread. I think my stress level will be through the roof before I get my first beta and then the next two. Hopefully, if those are great, I'll relax.

I know you don't feel out of the woods. Just wishing you good distractions this holiday season and that time flies.

Lost in Space said...

I'm so glad you are getting the reassurance you need with all the ultrasounds! Sometimes Dr. Google has too much info to share. If your doc isn't concerned, try not to let it bother you. Hugs.

It sounds like you have some really great options for your daughter! What a great mom you are to recognize what she needs and to move forward to make it happen.

PJ said...

How lucky she is to have a mother that cares so deeply about her and her education! That kind of support, believe it or not, is kind of rare.

I haven't been to any Charters, but I've read some good things about them. Seems like they are more focused on the kid's interests and would have kids in them that have similar interests and intellect. I think that's what you're looking for.

Gifted isn't all it's cracked up to be. In my district, there are kids who are very bright and work very hard who do not qualify, and then there are bright kids who don't give a darn who get in. But then it doesn't even really matter because our gifted teacher is filling other gaps in the school anyway, and rarely shows up when she is supposed to.

Definitely try charter or private!

And OH MY GOSH, you're getting an ultrasound once a week!!! That is fantastic!

Nikki said...

Yay on getting so many ultrasounds! I am sure seeing the baby every week must ease some of the panic!

Good luck on the thyroid levels - I hope you got to speak with your nurse to figure out which way they were off.

Good luck with your daughters exam prep and school lottery etc. I hope it all works out for the best for all of you!

Jill said...

Congrats on your decision to send your daughter to a private school! Hope it works out well for her!

I hope you thyroid levels comes back to normal soon. If your doc isn't concerned, the level probably isn't too far out of the normal range. Good for you for getting all of those ultrasounds-I'm jealous!!