Foster Pregnancy Symptom #1 - Growth of an additional appendage (aka. the cell phone). When I am foster pregnant, my cell phone follows me everywhere. And I do mean EVERWHERE. I become one of those icky people who lugs the cell phone into the bathroom with me on the off chance that my family specialist calls me with a potential placement. It hasn't happened yet, but I'm not taking any chances. Goodness knows, the one time I don't take it with me, she'll call.
Foster Pregnancy Symptom #2 - Uncontrollable need to constantly check the display on the cell phone. I find myself picking up the phone every 5-10 minutes to look at the display. You never know... It's possible that I might have missed a call! Sure, the phone is never more than an arm's length away, and the darn thing is set to ring as loud as possible as well as vibrate, but what if I experience a moment of temporary deafness or if the phone fails to function properly?!? I don't want to miss "The Call." So the phone must be checked!
Foster Pregnancy Symptom #3 - Heart palpitations at the ringing of the cell phone. Without fail, every single time the phone rings my heart skips a beat. If it happens to be my family specialist's phone number that pops up on the caller ID, my heart starts racing. I've even designated a special ringtone just for her, but it doesn't matter. My heart still goes all whompy when I'm waiting for a placement and the phone rings.
Foster Pregnancy Symptom #4 - Side stitches and leg cramps. You might be wondering about this one, but the side stitches and leg cramps are a direct result of hours and hours of pacing.
Foster Pregnancy Symptom #5 - The compulsive need to do everything that you did before past placements in the hopes of recreating the scenario. Before the Munchkin, I whined about foster pregnancy on my blog (hence this post today). Before the Booger, I emailed my family specialist and told her not to forget about me for the 1,000th time (I did that this morning). I firmly believe she placed the Booger Bear with me just to get me off her back. :-) I'm putting off packing for the big move because if it's anything like what happened with the Munchkin, I'll get a placement at the most inopportune time (right before I have to move and before I've packed).
Foster Pregnancy Symptom #6 - Nesting. And not just your typical "preparing for a baby" nesting... Foster parents "nest" for a wide range of ages. I've been busy getting the house ready for up to two kiddos, boy and/or girl, any age from 0 to 4 years old! Fortunately, the more placements I have, the more supplies I accumulate. Eventually, I'll have it down to a science!
Foster Pregnancy Symptom #7 - The urge to bite the head off of the next person who asks, "So do you have a baby yet?" F'real? If I got a baby last night, do you think I'd be at work today? Ummm, no. "Well, when are you going to get one?" Seriously? Go away. You make my brain hurt. Granted, part of this symptom might be more related to Bipolar Girl and the fact that my anti-crazy meds haven't fully kicked in yet, but foster pregnancy doesn't help matters much either.
Foster Pregnancy Symptom #8 - The impulse to ask inappropriate questions about adoption plans to every pregnant teenager you see or to call CPS yourself to report the obnoxious woman who hauled her 7 children under the age of 4 out in the 30 degree weather in nothing but diapers and t-shirts, but was all bundled up in heavy winter gear herself. That just irritates the hell out of me!
Foster Pregnancy Symptom #9 - Whining about waiting. Whining about what's taking so long. Whining about "Why won't they pick me?... What's the matter with me?" Just whining in general. I think whining is just a "pregnancy" symptom no matter what kind of "pregnant" you happen to be.
So you see... Foster pregnancy is not without its symptoms. Fortunately, I can still drink my Diet Coke. I don't have to pee every five minutes. And I'm sleeping great (except for when I jolt awake in the middle of the night to grab the cell phone and check the display to make sure I haven't missed "The Call.")