Friday, November 20, 2009

Such a big girl

Last week we weighed Addison and she was up to 10 lbs. I noticed today that she's already so long that she barely fits into her 0-3 month sleepers. I'll be curious to hear what her doctor says next Wednesday. I'm not exactly looking forward to the visit, though, because Addison will get her first round of immunizations.

In other growth news, Addison has been sleeping in her crib this past week - and she usually sleeps 10 pm-6 am, and then from 6:30-9. She also eats about 5 oz at each feeding.

She's discovered the firefly mobile above her crib and loves to stare at them as they twirl over her head. She also loves music! I introduced her to Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton's "A Christmas to Remember" and she fell asleep - not sure if that means she liked it or not, but at least she didn't cry :)

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Growing Girl

The doctor says I'm coming along just fine. I'm still 21.5 inches long, but he says the hospital probably over-estimated my length when I was born.

I'm now up to 8 lbs 13 oz. Thanks mom for all the food!

My head is kind of big, though. Dr. says it's in the 70-90%. Guess it has to be big to hold all my brains :)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Five Night Streak

Since this past Sunday, Addison has slept from 10 pm - 3 am, and then from 4 am - 7:30 am. Whoo-hoo! Sleep is so great. She also remains alert from about 7:30 until noon. One book I read said that 1 month olds should be able to remain awake for an hour a time. Guess Addie is ahead of schedule on that growth marker.

We'll find out tomorrow (hopefully) how she measures up in height and weight. She finally outgrew her newborn clothes, mainly because she's so long that her poor legs can't fully stretch out in the newborn sleepers.

Our lil girl is growing!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Recent Discoveries

Addison has extremely strong neck muscles. I mean really strong. She already will pull back from whoever is holding her to stare into their face for a good 20 seconds or so before she does a chest headbutt. She's also become more aware of her surroundings. She already becomes bored with keeping her head steady against the chest of whoever is holding her. She'd much rather look around - especially at light.

We've experienced three nights now with a somewhat normal pattern to her sleeping. She usually goes down around 10 pm, wakes up at 3 am for a feeding, and goes back to sleep until around 7 am. I had been told not to expect her to settle into a pattern until she was at least 6 wks of age but for now she seems to have found a rhythm.

I've been able to give Addison 3 bottles of breastmilk since Sunday night and she seems to be digesting it fine. She just punctuated that last statement with a toot :) We hope to get her back to nursing as soon as possible since the formula makes her gassy and is daggum expensive.

We took Addison on a field trip yesterday to Carter Mountain Orchard. We didn't pick any apples but had fun traipsing through the trees and taking lots of photos. It was the first time I've relied solely on my sling to carry her around, and it worked great! She was pooped by the end of the day, though.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A long time coming


So how do I summarize the past umpteen months? Well, I had a baby. Only took 31.5 hrs of labor and 1 c-section to get her here :) Because of this, i'm also on maternity leave from my job. I started working as a manager in August and was just figuring out the job when I had to leave for the next 3 months.

I've decided to use this blog as a primary means of keeping my 'rents up-to-date on Addison photos and stories. Currently, they are in Pensacola but will be relocating as of January. We wish they'd relocate to VA but we're not God and will adjust to whatever they decide.

Today's Addison story: my mom is trying to get me to hold Addison less so that she doesn't become a baby that must be held at all times. Unfortunately, she's not amenable to this adjustment. Also, today is the second attempt to get her off of formula and back onto breastmilk. I stopped nursing her over a week ago once we learned she has an allergy to dairy protein. I thought I'd be able to put her back on breastmilk within a week, but our first test run a few days didn't go well and the pediatrician said to put her back on formula. Guess we'll be able to tell by tomorrow whether the dairy is completely out of my system.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Momma Conner meet Momma Turtle

We think this turtle is making a nest in our front yard. It's been digging a hole for over an hour, and appears to be straining - so much so that her eyes occasionally turn white. So either she's pregnant or she's constipated.

Not sure what we'll do if this momma indeed lays eggs in our front yard. Mike has talked about building a perimeter around them to protect them - especially from our mafia cat. Guess we'll have to wait and see.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Some days are still hard

It's been more than 2 years since Brandon was removed from our home. Since then, he and 1 of his brothers were adopted by the family that had agreed to take in him and his brothers (the other brother was moved to another living situation). I've heard he's doing well and is growing like a weed.

For the most part, I think I've moved beyond the grieving phase but there are still days I miss him. Last week brought many reminders of him and his brief life with us: conversations, photos and dreams. It led to a pretty depressing Saturday as I allowed myself to once again grieve the hole Brandon left in my heart.

I'm ecstatic about the new journey Mike and I are embarking on, and down deep I am happy that Brandon is well and with his brother. But there are some days that are still hard ...

Friday, May 01, 2009

Long awaited update

We're heading to Florida today for a week-long vacation with the 'rents. I haven't seen them since Christmas, so I'm definitely looking forward to it. Oh, and seeing the ocean ain't half bad either!

Earlier this week I started panicking, though, because I was having nosebleeds twice a day (sorry for the ick factor) and random cramping in my lower left ab area. Turns out both symptoms are normal, but I'm still glad my doctor didn't laugh at me when I showed up Tuesday all in a twitter about what was going on. She even did an ultrasound to put my mind at ease. Yeah, that was another concern. At 17 weeks I still hadn't felt Baby Conner move and one of my books said I should have. Books are stupid! My dr said I won't feel Baby Conner until closer to 20 weeks, especially since he/she is my first.

Speaking of he/she - we have a monthly check up on May 14th and I'm hoping to know then whether we should buy pink or blue. And, we'll have another appointment with the perinatologist later in May, so if we don't know the baby's gender on May 14th then we should certainly know by the end of the month. ... assuming baby Conner cooperates!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Non baby update, request for prayer

I hope you keep reading even though I don’t have any baby updates or photos to share. I want to ask you to pray for my parents who are going through a difficult time with their church in Florida. My dad is the pastor, and about a month ago he learned that 2 deacons were circulating a petition to force my dad out. Thankfully, that effort failed as many church members stepped forward to voice their support for my parents. Unfortunately, the efforts to undermine have not stopped. Now, several deacons are blocking my dad’s efforts to ask the lead under-miners to resign from leadership positions in the church (two are deacons and 1 is a Sunday School teacher). At a recent deacon’s meeting, the deacons made it clear that they still resent my dad’s leadership and they will not submit to God’s direction.

So my dad is faced with some tough decisions about how to move ahead. Please pray for him and my mom to have wisdom and God’s peace. Pray for God’s spirit to bring about a humility and repentance among those who continue to fight against God’s direction. And pray for a healing in the church. You can imagine how this is affecting those who see such division and strife, and conclude that Christians really are hypocrites.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Bowing before the Throne

Also known as:

Happiness, thy name is Phenergen


So apparently, it’s not good to vomit more than twice a day like I’ve been doing for the past few weeks. I should say I’ve had good days with no vomiting, but frequent bows before the throne seem to be the norm. This could account for why my weight hasn’t increased in the past 3 weeks. So my lovely doctor has placed me on Phenergen, better known as “I’ll make you so sleepy you won’t know your nauseated” drug. The doctor also put me on some medicine to treat my constant heartburn/acid reflux. I’m supposed to take these when the symptoms aren’t controlled by Tums, Maalox, vitamin B6 and ginger caplets. Oh, and Unisom. If Mike thought I was tired before, he ain’t seen nothing yet!


The baby wasn’t as active today, but he/she did muster enough strength to give his/her poor mommy a high five. I’ll take the encouragement!


Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Week 13 - Good news!















We returned to the perinatologist (not paleontologist, as I'm apt to call him) and he said everything looks great. The hemorrhage has healed and there is very little evidence of separation with the placenta. He gave me clearance to resume exercising and living normally.

The stats
heart rate: 155 beats a minute
CRL (crown to rump length): 72.7 mm

Baby Conner is one active child! The tech had a hard time getting BC to stay still long enough for photos. And just as I said, "I sure wish I knew if BC was a boy or a girl," the baby curled into the tightest position as if to say, "I ain't showing you nuthin!"

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Latest Baby Image

Baby Conner's head is to the left. It was much easier to see his/her arms and legs when he/she was flailing, but you get the idea.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Jumping Mexican Bean

Last Thursday, I had my monthly ob/gyn check up, and boy was it exciting. The dr couldn't find the heartbeat using the traditional ultrasound, so she did an internal ultrasound just to be safe. As soon as she located the baby, Baby Conner began waving his/her arms, kicking his/her legs and jumping. In fact, I think Baby Conner might be a long-jumper based on how he/she'd go from end of the uterus to the other.

Dr didn't do any measurements, but the important issues were covered: Baby Conner is growing, still has a heart beat and is quite active.

I have been bleeding some since Saturday, but it appears to be the old blood that was trapped in my uterus. The perinatologist had told us to expect some bleeding and not to be alarmed unless I also had cramping. We'll return to the perinatologist March 31 to find out if the bleeding in the uterus has dissolved, disappeared or stayed the same.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Conversation with Rachel

Yesterday I called Rachel to get her new phone number (she's moving on Saturday) ...

me: hi, Miss Rachel. It's Brittany

Rachel: oh, hello my love! How are you? How are you feeling?

me: good, I'm doing really well.

Rachel: good. Now I ask you, what are you wearing?

me: I'm wearing pants but they're not tight, I promise! (I've bought a belly band and was wearing that, but didn't explain this to Rachel since she probably hates spandex, too).

Rachel: Are you sure? Because if you are wearing tight clothes I won't talk to you again.

me: I promise, Miss Rachel. Do you want me to put my co-worker on the phone? She'll verify this for me.

Rachel: Why are you laughing? This isn't funny. You'll choke the baby. 

me: Miss Rachel, the baby is fine. I'm fine. We're doing great.

Rachel: ok, ok. You probably shouldn't be at work, either. You need to lay down right now.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Old Lady Rant

I visit an elderly Jewish lady once a week, and already she has shared a plethora of advice - some of it cute, some unfounded, but all spoken with care. This past Saturday I was preparing to leave her home when she called me to her. I expected a farewell hug, but instead I received a pants inspection. She lifted the end of my shirt, pulled my waistband from my tummy and announced I was "sqooishing" the baby. She wagged her finger as she berated me for wearing such tight clothing. I promised to take them off as soon as I got home, but she wasn't satisfied. She unbuttoned the top button and made me leave it that way as I left her home.

I'm in that in-between stage when I've outgrown my normal clothes but haven't grown enough for maternity clothes. If Miss Rachel has her way, I'll be wearing mumus and sweat pants every where I go.

Friday, March 06, 2009

All that bubbles and fizzes

I laid in bed this morning for more than an hour trying to decipher the low throbbing and occasional cramps I was feeling. "Is this more cramping and hemorrhaging? Is it tummy-related, or uterus-related? Ohh .. was that one worse than the one I felt a minute ago? Should I get up or stay in bed?" So went my thinking pattern.

And then I remembered: oh, yes. That's just last night's Taco Bell meal talking back to me.

Oh the joys of second-guessing everything and worrying about each symptom.

Monday, March 02, 2009

9 weeks and counting

Today I'm 9 weeks pregnant and baby Conner is now the size of an olive. This is ironic because I HATE olives and Mike has been waiting for the day that I start to crave these greenish orbs. Hasn't happened yet and doubtfully will.

Yesterday and today I've had a break from the nausea that plagued me last week. I've been able to eat just about anything, and as long as I eat frequently then I'm ok.

One thing that's been a challenge is the restrictions I'm under regarding exercise. The perinatologist put me on pretty strict orders to do nothing strenuous, including most forms of exercise. I look forward to warm days when I can at least take afternoon walks.

Still no cramping or any other physical indication that things ain't right. Once again we praise God for one more day, one more week, one more milestone.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Contrast in Responses

Mike and I have been on the infertility bandwagon for a number of years and have tried numerous paths to have a family. In 2006, we began fostering a toddler boy who we had the privilege to love and nurture for 9 months. We actually began to hope we would be able to adopt him, but in Feb. 2007, we received news that social services was going to place him in a family that could adopt him and 2 of his half-brothers.

I think this was the first time I recall going through every phase of grief - but not in a good way. I bargained with God, pleaded with Him, refused to accept the decision, fought against the decision, waited for God, grew impatient with Him and tried to "fix" the situation myself, and finally resigned myself to the decision. I was left broken, bitter, angry and completely separated from God. It took me a full year to realize that what had happened probably was the best result for our foster son, and that God wasn't some cold-hearted being who delighted in my suffering. 

Nearly 2 years to the day that we lost our foster son, we received news that the precious baby for whom we had prayed and embraced was on the verge of being lost by us, too. This time, though, I found myself running to God. Even as I drove across town bleeding and cramping, I put on a praise CD and kept repeating, "Even in this I trust You, even in this." 

I still pray this pregnancy will continue through the 9th month and that our baby will remain healthy and strong during his or her hibernation. But I've come to trust that whatever the outcome, I can lean on God and trust His heart.

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Good, Bad and Scary


Recap:
Jan 17 - had 2 embryos implanted as part of Invitro fertilization with donated embryos
Jan. 28 - learned that at least one embryo had "taken" and we were pregnant
Feb. 11 - woke up with cramps and found that I was spotting. Also passed a blood clot. Went to the ER where they diagnosed me as having a threatened miscarriage
Feb. 12 - saw my regular ob-gyn who said the bleeding was normal and is called "implantation bleeding." Also learned that we are expecting one baby. Labs normal, heart rate 140 beats/min.
Feb. 17 - started heavy cramping and bleeding around 4:30 pm. Bleeding lasted 2 hrs., cramps lasted 6 hrs.
Feb. 18 - returned to regular ob-gyn's office, but she wasn't available. A med. student did the ultrasound, which looked to show an empty uterus, but test was inconclusive. Had blood drawn, which showed my hCG levels had dropped. The test results plus my symptoms led dr. to diagnose me as having had a miscarriage.
Feb. 20 - returned to ob-gyn to make sure all tissue had passed. During ultrasound discovered that baby is still there, has a visible heart flicker and appears to have grown. No bleeding or cramping since Feb. 17.

My regular ob-gyn referred us to a periantologist for some extensive scans of the baby to see what is causing the bleeding. The ultrasound revealed a robust baby with 2 visible arm buds and a large head. We also heard the heartbeat (180 beats/min). The scan also showed a well of old blood in the uterus left over from my hemorrhage (in scan above, the blood is the dark arc above the right side of the placenta). The well of blood is easily larger than the baby and seems to be coming out of the placenta.

The dr explained that of 1000 pregnant women who bleed, about half end up with miscarriages and half end up with healthy pregnancies. Given the amount of blood still in my uterus, he said my chances of having a miscarriage are about 75-80%. 

He said he really can't predict how this pregnancy will end, but encouraged us to pray since that will be the only thing that saves this baby. Thankfully, it doesn't appear that the bleeding has affected the baby's development. He also said there's a chance my body may just absorb the blood and I'll go on to have a healthy pregnancy.

I'm scheduled to return to the periantologist in 4 wks. By then he expects 1 of 2 results: either I've had a miscarriage, or the scan will show the blood has disappeared.

Praise:
- baby continues to look healthy
- no bleeding or cramping for more than a week

Prayer:
- for the blood to disappear
- for Baby Conner to stay nestled and protected in the womb
 

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sad day

Last night around 4:30 I started cramping and bleeding pretty heavily. I called my dr and she said I could either come in to the ER or wait until this morning to come in for an appointment. I opted for the second choice, and this morning they did an ultrasound and blood test. Everything is pointing to me having had a miscarriage last night. My primary ob/gyn wasn't in the office so she wants me to return Friday morning just to verify the results, but I'm not holding out hope that the results will be any different than today.

I've already called the fertility clinic in TN and we're looking to have another embryo transfer in May. That'll give us several months to heal and re-prepare for the journey once again.

Right now I can say that Mike and I are ok and hopeful for the future. Tomorrow, depending on when you ask, I might have a different answer. Trying to stay strong, hopeful and focused.

Monday, February 16, 2009

7 Weeks

Today, baby sea monkey is about the size of a blueberry. Mike hates that I'm calling the baby a sea monkey, but until he/she drops the tails and gills, that's the only name that seems fitting. Besides, our nieces and nephews call Mike "Uncle Monkey" so it kind of goes with the tradition.

We had our 6-week appointment last week and got to see the baby on an ultrasound. We even saw his/her lil heart thumping away at 144 beats a minute. All looks good and normal (yay for normalcy!) Next up ... hopefully weaning off the twice-a-day progesterone injections. I don't know who will be happier - me or Mike.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Choking Weeds

A few weeks ago I studied Jesus' story about a sower who threw out seeds, and the seeds fell on various types of ground. One type of ground allowed the seed to sprout and grow, but immediately produced weeds and vines to choke the new growth. The story is talking about various heart conditions (=ground) and how they receive the Gospel (=seed). However, for today's post, I'm going to say that the story could also be about how the cares of the world can choke out joy.

Just last Wednesday Mike and I were rejoicing over our good news about the expecting baby. We sailed on that cloud for several days and relished every moment we got to tell someone our news. There were times we'd just glance at each other and start smiling a goofy grin of pure giddiness.

Then this weekend I began worrying. How are we going to provide for this child? Will I be able to stay at home or will I need to keep working? What kind of job could I find that would allow me flexibility to be at home when I need to be and still earn enough money to keep us from becoming homeless? And I have only a year to figure it all out!

How silly is this? How quickly I allow worries about future decisions steal my joy about current situations. So once again God is reminding me to trust Him for even these things and to rest in his peace.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Baby Alien


I've been reading this book my mom bought me called "From Conception to Birth." It photographically chronicles the development and growth of a baby during it's 9 month hibernation, and is really quite remarkable. The only weird thing is seeing photos like the one above and realizing that the baby looks more like a sea monkey than a human. Some of my favorite photos show the baby's tail, gills and ears near the base of the skull. Part of me marvels at how something so odd gradually rearranges itself and develops into a perfectly-formed child. The other part looks and goes, "Ewww!"

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

And, and, and ...

We're pregnant! Oh, dear heavens, can it be real? I'm still whirling with the news. Right now we just know it's a positive. I'll go back to the doctor on Friday to recheck the numbers to make sure the HCg is doubling like it should. One nurse said our due date would be Oct. 4, but that seems awfully early. Guess we'll find out at our ultrasound in February.

For now, I'm just going to savor the moment.

Big Day

Today I have my first interview in the "job fair" process of matching me to a new assignment. There are 24 administrative folks who are being displaced, and we are all interviewing for 36 positions. Pro is none of us are losing our jobs. Con is trying to decide where I think I'd be best suited given the job, environment, supervisor and my personality/gifts.

Today I'll also get the first initial results from my blood test. I was told that the results could be inconclusive until Friday's test, but that if the result is negative then that's that.

I told Mike this morning that I really haven't felt stressed or anxious at all, and that's mostly true (I think I had a moment one I started to worry, but that was at least a few days ago :) Now I just sense peace. Even if the result is negative I trust that all is well and I refuse to give up hope. Already God has shown that His timing and methods are usually not what I anticipate, which can make for an eventful life!

Monday, January 26, 2009

The nerve!



Ok, not to be overly dramatic, but I seriously think I've hit this nerve every morning when I go to do my injections on the right side. And if not this nerve, then one like it.

I've tried several different areas on the right side and only once have I been able to do the injection on the first try without feeling like fire is pouring into my backside.

What am I doing wrong?? Ok, maybe this is better answered by a doctor or nurse. But, I've talked to 2 nurses and a doctor about where I'm supposed to be doing the injection and all 3 have given different answers. One nurse said to aim for the bone right above the cheek but before you get to the vertebrae. Another nurse said to do it on the side right above the hip bone. And the dr said to aim for the outer right quadrant of the cheek (which is what the internet said to do but it still hurts!)

I don't mind the injections necessarily; the left side works great and I can finish it in a few minutes with minimal pain. But the right side is not working for me right now.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Job and Bloating (2 not related)

I have my interview with SHR next Wednesday 3-4. For those who don't know, all the administrative jobs in my area are being phased out as of July 1. Thus, SHR is doing a job-fair type of thing whereby they try to match 25 of us newly displaced workers with 36 new job openings. We first interview with SHR, and then the top 4-5 candidates for each job will interview with the prospective managers. Sometime around March 9 we'll find out what jobs we were matched with. So next week's interview is pretty important. Hope I don't say something inflammatory :)

Also, I've been having lots of cramping and bloating since the transfer last Saturday. The dr had said I could expect some of this, but it still has me sort of worried. I did the dreadful thing of checking out a message board, and one lady said her doctor told her progesterone causes the uterus to stretch - thus causing cramping. So I feel a little better about it. I just hate not knowing what is "normal" but I need to relax and simply wait for my blood tests next week to know for sure if the embryos took or not.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Hunka, hunka burnin' love



For the past 3 days I have been battling serious heartburn. I couldn't figure out what was wrong with me since I typically have no digestion issues. I mean, this is the girl who went to India and used water for brushing her teeth, who drank from the faucet in Russia, who ate unmentionables in Vietnam, and who hung out with dysentery victims in Uganda and I've NEVER had stomach problems. Thanks to the web I discovered that progesterone (the hormone I've been shooting into my hip twice a day) relaxes the muscle between the esophagus and stomach, thus producing heartburn.

Sadly, the website's recommendation is to cut out caffeine (no coffee) , tomato-based foods (no lasagna or pizza), citrus fruit (no oranges), sodium-high foods (no popcorn) , fried foods (no fried okra) and chocolate (no happiness). Mike said I should start living off of rice cakes.

Oh well. Such a small sacrifice for a good purpose. I welcome any tips, though, from past or current moms who dealt with the same issue.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Today I am ...

- resting and thankful for a successful frozen embryo transplant (FET) this morning

- glad that the doctor showed us how to do the progesterone injections correctly. Turns out my nurse had told Mike the wrong location for the injections, and he's been sticking me near or on a nerve. No wonder they hurt so bad!

- am praying for the 2 wee embryos in me and am excited to think of the future


Thursday, January 08, 2009

Break from injections

A few weeks ago, I received orders from the clinic to start doing Lupron injections. Now, most likely you're new to this whole procedure like I was, so let me tell you ... giving yourself an injection in the tummy is harder than it looks. Most of it is psychological, but I swear that those first few times my knees would feel a little weak as I'd see that long, slender metal tip disappear into the folds of my flesh. I think I'm a pro at it now - right as it's time to stop.

I did the injections for about 21 days. At one point I had a ginormous bruise to the right of my belly button. It was about the same time that I had to have blood drawn for some testing. The blood-drawing techie missed the vein in my arm and decided to go "fishing" for it with her needle. A few days later I had a bruise on my arm the size of a 50 cent piece. That, coupled with my tummy bruise, made for quite a picture. I meant to take a photo so I could one day tell our baby, "Look what mommy went through to have you!" - but I figure guilt-tripping kids isn't the best parenting method.

The bruises have faded (thankfully) and the injections have ceased, for now. Next week starts a whole new round of shots, but these have to be administered in my hip by my lovely husband (who is quite ecstatic at the thought of injecting me). These shots will probably hurt much worse because the needles are about 3 inches long. Good thing I can't see anything when he's doing it!

Even now I can say I know all these injections and procedures will be worth it when we have a sweet baby. Our procedure date is Jan. 17 - just over a week away! We've been waiting for this date for so long that in many ways I can't believe it's right around the corner!!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Possible solution??

Hmmm ... maybe I should start poking and stalking more people

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Bonding



This past New Year's Day, Mike and I had Thursday-Sunday off from work. Four glorious days to do whatever we wanted to do. The first day we lazed about and watched movies, ran errands, enjoyed some alone time. Same for the second day. But by the third day, we were hungry for company. We called some friends ... and left a message. We called family, but they were busy. Finally, we resigned ourselves to meandering through shopping centers and bookstores just to be among other people.

Why is it so hard to develop community and relationships? That's not to say our friendships are shallow and fake. But maybe we don't have enough friends. Or maybe our friendships are more of a casual friendliness rather than deep, day-to-day type of relationships.

Mankind was built to have and enjoy relationships - with each other and with our Father. On lonely days like what we experienced last week, I literally hunger for some kind of human contact - even if it's just for a few hours.

Please don't hear this as a lame plea similar to someone standing on a street corner with a sign that reads, "Be My Friend." Rather, I'm trying to understand if this isolation is global or limited to the US. Also, is there a "cure" or remedy to the problem? How can we go about developing lasting, deep friendships in a culture that values personal space?