Wednesday, December 22, 2010
So today's lesson - I am capable of admitting I'm wrong. And hey, I'm even capable of actually being wrong. Who knew?
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
For example, if baby E is hungry, he sucks his tongue, or fusses a little and we feed him. End of story. Happy, content little being. The kid gets cranky, and falls apart, that's the way we know he's hungry, as he's often engaged in something more interesting and is overly hungry before he probably even realizes it much less lets us know. And there's generally a lot of fussing, and telling him what to do - and what not to do, and crankiness in general before he finally eats. And eating doesn't always mean he is happy afterwards. I know, I know. There's a whole blood sugar component. But, the point of it all is, he's just a bit more complicated.
So, though I love that kiddo with all that I am, for right now, baby E is just easier to be in love with. And, truth be told, I really feel guilty about it. I feel sometimes like I'm neglecting the kid, and poor hubby, because I am so wrapped up in a little cocoon of a world with baby E. And, I am embarrassed to admit, I kind of like it, the "us-ness" of my little world with baby E and though I know I need to open it up to the rest of my little family, I am feeling selfish and don't want to. But it's happening anyway, even without my "allowing" it.
Baby E started laughing tonight (well, he's laughed a few times in his sleep, but this was the first time he was awake, saw something and laughed in direct response). And the little stinker, did he laugh at me? NO!!!!! Hubby called me in to see/hear the most adorable spectacle. I teared up it was so dear. And probably also a little because he had the nerve to laugh at hubby for the first time instead of me. I tried to get baby E to laugh at me by doing the same thing hubby was doing and baby E just looked at me like I was infringing on his time with his Poppa. It kinda hurt my feelings a little.
I know it's good. It's what's in the best interest of all of us. But it makes me a little sad. I'm glad to see the relationship growing so strongly between hubby and baby E, but I'm a little jealous. I think it's time, though, for me to come out of the cocoon, and rejoin the rest of my family. It's bigger by 1 person now, and probably even more chaotic. I hope I'm ready...
Today's lesson - in case you're not aware, Christmas is in 4 short days. I hope you're ready. I am...not. At all. Crap.
Sunday, December 19, 2010
So the next huge (and even bigger than the job, if you can believe it) thing, is that the TPR is FINALLY done. There were a few stressful moments around that, specifically in regards to birthdad, but it's signed by the judge. Now, for those of you not familiar with adoptions, this does not mean his adoption is done. That's right, we still have months before that will be finalized. However, it does mean that neither birth parent has any legal rights to baby E from here on out. There is no changing his/her mind. It's done. It'll be at least 6 months before his adoption can be final, per state law, but that shouldn't any kind of an issue - thankfully. This, my friends, is an awesome Christmas present.
And, if all that weren't exciting enough, baby E has started rolling over! He did it randomly when he was about 6 weeks old, but hasn't repeated the trick. Until now. Today he has rolled over lots and lots of times. Funnily, he doesn't seem amused about it. I put him on his belly, he gets pissed, and then starts concentrating really hard. Then he flips over and sighs in relief. He doesn't smile, no, not at all. Just like "finally, it's about time" (even though he really gets over amazingly quick). This is how I know it's intentional, and not just another fluke. Which is interesting because it's not like he's been trying to do it and hasn't been successful. This rolling is totally out of the blue! It was like one minute he'd never even considered the possibility, then the next he was doing it. It's quite adorable. It was also adorable to have the kid watching and cheering baby E on. He's such a sweet kiddo!
Well, I think that's about it for us this week. Actually, I think it's about all the excitement I can handle what with trying to get ready for Christmas and all.
Today's lesson - even when you start getting ready for Christmas WAAAAAAYYYYY in advance, and think you're way ahead of the game, you're probably not. There will inevitably be all kinds of things that pop up, things that you just didn't think about. And you will still end up running around like a chicken with your head cut off. Also, anytime you sit down to start a project, the baby will wake up. Or the 4yo will break something. Thus is life. Enjoy the chaos, or you will go mad.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Dear L and D-
When I think about what our lives looked like before this kid, I don't know what we did. I don't even know who we were. This kid made me a momma. He altered my life in the most permanent way possible. He changed the core of who I am. He made me a better person. He also made me a more tired person. But I don't know what I'd do if I didn't have him to chase after, to talk to, to laugh at, to sing with, to read to, to snuggle in bed with, to explain things to, to love. We may have slept a lot more before he was born, but we were also a lot more boring.
I don't know what his life would have looked like had you chosen to parent him. But I do know what his life looks like now. First and most importantly, he is surrounded by people who completely adore him. Us, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, dear friends, and even a brother, who, at not even 3 months old, looks for him at the sound of his voice and lights up at the sight of his face. L and D, this child is so loved.
Also, he is so funny! He has the most delightful sense of humor, though he is also often funny without even knowing it. He loves words and language and picks them up with the most amazing speed. He is empathetic and intuitive. He adores his baby brother. He loves books, and legos, and dinosaurs, and swimming, and running, and camping, and hiking, and the outdoors, and music. He has the potential to be an amazing leader, though is so in tune with others' feelings, he sometimes makes poor choices to please or amuse them. He is a great eater and will pretty much eat anything, and will definitely take at least one bite. He has a total sweet tooth! Oh, yeah, he is made crazy by the slightest bit of red dye #40. Funnily, his favorite color is red, though he's not really a fan of purple.
I will never know for sure why you decided that you couldn't parent him, or why you chose us as his forever family. Nor will I ever know why you have decided that you can't be in our lives right now. I grieve for that. I grieve for your loss of this child. And I am grateful beyond words for the gift of him. Please know that we are always here, willing, wanting you to be in our lives. Please know that we think of you often, pray for you always. Know that we love you and are fostering that love in our son.
The words thank you are obviously inadequate, but in the end, they're all I'm left with.
Happy Adoption Day, kiddo! We love you and feel so blessed to be your parents.
Today's lesson - Candy canes have red dye in them. Red dye #40. Feel free to ask me why I know that for sure (other than it is very clearly written on the ingredient list of the box). Feel free to ask me why I didn't read that stupid box until it was too late.
Friday, December 10, 2010
Some nicknames are given because we remind someone of someone, or something else. For instance, the kid is also known as "bug-a-boo" or simply "bug" in my house. Mostly it's me who uses this nickname, but I do so pretty often, and the kid will respond to it at least as consistently as he does to his actual name (which, frankly, is sporadic, particularly when he's engaged in something interesting). I'm not entirely sure how he ended up with that nickname, but it popped up somewhere around the 8-9 month mark, and has stuck. And really it fits him. He's a boy who likes the outdoors and dirt and sticks. He likes to climb and crawl and certainly tries to fly. He's kind of like a bug. See, it fits.
Sometimes our nicknames come from something we do. I realized yesterday that baby E has become "Gee" (like "glee", minus the "L". Sidebar - may I just say how entertaining I find that show. Though I do think it was better last season than this season...). It's because he vocalizes the sound "gee", and has since he was teenie tiny, as kind of his warning signal that he's about to really start crying. He says "gee" while kind of moving his head around, with this concerned look on his face. And you'd better respond to that "gee" or you're sure to get a fullblown scream out of him in about 45 seconds. It's kind of adorable (the "gee", not the scream). And it's something that's unique about him.
Now, I totally didn't start calling him that on purpose. I would repeat his "gee" to him in an attempt to engage him in "conversation" to give myself a few more minutes before the screaming starts (and yes, that does work most of the time). And then I just heard myself when I was talking to him last night say something like this "hey, Gee. Hi my baby. Whatcha doing? Do you see those lights on our tree, Gee?". Then I noticed hubby looking at me strange, and I was all like "yeah, I call him Gee. I just heard that. I don't know why. I wonder why I do that. It's kinda cute though and fits him, don't you think?". Then I realized hubby wasn't paying attention at all to what I was saying and was actually looking at my boobs which were kind of "out there" because of the nursing shirt I was wearing. So I told him to look at my eyes. He was too distracted though to listen to me. Go figure.
Today's lesson - while using a breastpump every 3ish hours is nothing akin to fun, it is, I have recently discovered, a good time to take a 15 minute nap. Gotta get caught up on that sleep somehow!
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Baby E, fortunately, seems to be just fine. My dear friend is keeping him, which, frankly, is the only way I could bear to go back to work at all. I am glad he's fine, though a part of me wishes he would be fussy and unhappy, realize I was gone in some way! Instead, he seems completely content, the little stinker. It's good, I know, but still, a little bit of missing me would be nice.
I, however, don't think I can continue to do this. I don't want to work. I want be home. I want to focus on being a mommy, a wife. Hubby and I are actually seriously considering this. We are looking at our finances to see if it is even the slightest possibility. I know it will be a huge lifestyle change for us. I didn't think that would be okay. Now I do. I think it's worth it to spend so much time with my family. I now have a hard time seeing why I wouldn't want to be here (other than the financial aspect, which is, admittedly a huge consideration). Before, whenever I thought about staying home, I immediately thought about the professional needs I have. To be honest, I'm not feeling those tugs right now. And I know that there will always be social work jobs out there. Because I know the time will come when I'm ready to work again, when I need to focus my attention on my professional self, and not just my mommy and wife self. I just don't think that time is right now...
Oh yeah. Baby E's 2 month check up. He was up to 11lbs - that's 3lbs in 6weeks, people! Seriously, that baby sure loves to eat. The pediatrician said he looks great (and again repeated that whole "He's perfect. I think you should keep him" spiel, which was irritating and elicited a blank stare from me; I still don't think she got it). We'd decided before going that we're going to delay some immunizations. Baby E isn't in a daycare, or around a bunch of kids, so he's not at high risk. Some of the vaccinations we'll get soon, others, though, I'd prefer to hold off on for quite a while. I mean, really, why does an infant need an immunization for Hepatitis B? The pediatrician gave me "the look" and sighed, rolling her eyes a bit, when we told her we're going to delay. But when I asked her why he needed Hep B, she floundered and admitted that he doesn't. Same thing happened with regards to a couple of the others. I could tell she was getting annoyed, but oh well. I agreed that we'll get a couple, and then she said they couldn't give them there anyway since he's still on a medical card (can't be put on our insurance at present - complicated adoption thing) which doens't reimburse them enough. She said we'll have to go to the health department. Sigh. Nothing seems to be easy with baby E. Well, that's not true. Loving him has been easy. That makes up for the rest of the craziness.
Today's lesson - when talking to your kid about the yellow snow, make SURE he didn't eat it before he gives you a big, sloppy, wet kiss. Yeah. That's just gross.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Alot of my writer's block (if you will) is that I'm going back to work this week and I simply can't deal with it. Hubby keeps asking me why this is so difficult for me and I don't think there's just one reason. Here are a few... First, we waited for baby E for 2 years and it seems so wrong to me to go back to work when I'm just starting to get to know him, when he's starting to get to know me. Then there's the whole breastfeeding thing. I've spent so much time, energy, money, etc... (as I've previously discussed) preparing for it, I'm terrified that once I go back to work, it'll all fall apart. And he's still really inconsistent with his sleep. 2 nights ago I got 7 hours of sleep - woohoo!!!!!! Then last night he was up at least every 2 hours. We follow the same routine, he just doesn't. And I know that my dear friend who will be caring for him is going to love him and take splendid care of him. And I know that he's probably going to be fine and millions of kids survive just fine while their mommas work outside the home.
And, yes. It's possible that all these fears are completely unfounded and inconsequential and ridiculous. So here's the last reason - I just don't want to leave him. I'm not ready. There's nothing I want more right now than to sit at home, cuddling baby E, playing with the kid, spending time with hubby, simply focusing on my family. For some reason, I have been feeling like I have to justify that. But screw it. I don't have to. There's nothing wrong with that being the whole reason I want to stay home - because I just do. I want to focus on being a mommy and wife right now. What better reason could there be??!!
But I can't. We have bills to pay and health insurance to have covered and I can't responsibly leave my employer completely in the lurch right now. And that's why I'm cranky and really tearful today. Because Wednesday I go back to work. Fortunately, my boss has been very generous and is allowing me to take baby E with me for a half day of Wednesday, then only work a long-ish half day Thursday, before going back for a full day on Friday. And I leave my baby for the first time. Up til now the longest I've left him has been for 2.5 hours. And Friday I have to leave him for 8 hours. I'm going to miss 8 hours of cuddling and smiles and giggles. About 3-4 nursing sessions. About 4 diaper changes (which I enjoy because he's usually smiling and happy). 8 hours away from my baby. More than three times the amount of time I've left him up until now. And it just sucks. And please don't say that it had to happen eventually because I obviously realize that. All I'm saying is that I'm just not ready for it to happen yet.
Today's lesson - sigh... But on the bright side - baby E apparently likes dresses! When the kid was baptised, he screamed from the moment we put the baptismal gown on him, til we took it off. Baby E smiled and was very content. Also, he might look cute in a tutu that I made for my niece. And he makes a pretty girl ;)
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Then, about 2 weeks ago, the kid had a couple potty "accidents". First he peed a couple of times in his underwear. Then he had a poop accident. He also started being a bit more defiant. This also coincided with the time change, so I was willing to believe that perhaps this behavior was due to him being overtired. We moved his bedtime back a bit and the defiance resolved. The bathroom "accidents", however, did not. In fact, they only escalated. This weekend he pooped in his underwear 6 times. 6 times, people!!!!!
Hubby and I are really struggling with how to respond. At first we tried talking to him about it and trying to get out of him why he was having accidents. No luck there; he wasn't able to articulate anything, in fact, he refused to discuss it at all. Then we tried removing privileges. And giving rewards for appropriate behavior (no accidents/going in the toilet). Also not successful. So, Sunday evening I told him if he had another accident he would be wearing diapers. A couple of hours later he did, so into a pullup he went. And then proceeded to poop in it. Then last night I told him if he had another incident, he would be wearing a diaper to school. He did, so to school today he went in a diaper.
We're trying to stay unemotional when responding to his "accidents" (and I am putting accidents in quotations because I don't think there's anything at all accidental about the incidents) but it's really challenging. I keep reminding myself that he won't go to college soiling himself. And I keep reminding hubby that there is no point making this into a battle, because it's one we can't win. When and where he "goes", well that is one of the few things in his life over which the kid has any control. If we try to engage him in a battle, he will win. Though really, we'll all lose.
I'm pretty sure he's trying to get the attention he's accustomed to and missing. And even if what we're giving him is negative, it's still attention. So, for now he gets to wear diapers until he uses the toilet appropriately. He will clean himself up after an "accident", in the bathroom, by himself. We will use quiet, unemotional voices when discussing the issue. He will not watch TV (not that he did much anyway) until he has 2 days in a row of good bathroom choices. And, we will look for opportunities to praise him extra for appropriate behaviors/good choices. Surely it will work. He won't be 18 still doing this.........RIGHT??!!!!!!
Today's lesson - babies are absolutely much easier than 4 year olds. They're not as funny though. And they don't hug as tightly. Or sing really cute songs to you. Or tell you that you're a rock star of a mom. All human behavior has meaning behind it. The trick is to find the meaning...
Saturday, November 20, 2010
But I mean, think about it. If, for your whole life you've believed 1 thing (that you will always get everyone's attention because you're adorable and articulate), to be presented with a conflicting piece of evidence is rather disconcerting. And for the kid, to see that baby E is now so much the center of attention, where the kid used to be all by himself, how confusing it must be.
And I wonder, how as parents do we support our kids through this change. Infants are the center of the world, right? They have to be in some ways because they are so very dependent on us for everything. Also, they are incapable of seeing outside of themselves because, well, that's just how they're wired. So, how, after a year or more (try 4.5yrs for the kid) of being the center, do we as parents help our kiddos realize that they are only a tiny part of the world? And, though they are often still the center of our little families, should they be? Is that best for them, is it even best for a marriage, to have children at the center of everything? Shouldn't our goal be to teach our children that they are no more/no less important than any other member of our family, any other person in our world?
While that may not be the pop culture view of a parent's job (which seems to be more like bestowing the "my kid is the best/smartest/most advanced/etc... in the world" mentality), I think it's where I lie. So, yes, I do think my kid is the cutest in the world. However, I totally realize that I am slightly biased and it is likely not reality that he is the cutest kid in the entire world, even though he is in my eyes.
And, I think it's important for him to know that he isn't the most/best. And that inversely means that he is not the least/worst at anything either. And no, I don't think my kid is mediocre. And yes, I do think he is capable of big things. Actually, I expect big things of him. I expect him to change the world. I just don't expect him to not make mistakes while doing it. It seems to me that when we'll teach our children that they are the center of the world, we set them up for failure. If I think I'm the best, then I can do no wrong. This leads to self-centeredness - not a trait I want my kid to develop. Or, I get so immobilized by fear of messing up, that I just don't even try - also not what I want for my kid.
So, all I know to do to help the kid come to terms with not being the center of the universe, is give him opportunities in his life to succeed, and allow him to fail. And be there throughout it all, letting him know that I love him whichever side he falls on, also that I expect him to care for others, not just himself. Sigh...if only it was that clear cut.
Today's lesson - apparently the baby not sleeping at night thing is the easy part of this whole parenting gig. Go figure.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Hubby, on the other hand, has always been an early bird, up as soon as the sun, sometimes even earlier. He'd have half a day in before I ever rolled out of bed. And then he'd be in bed an hour or more before I even thought about it. We used to joke all the time about how awful it was going to be for me when our baby finally arrived and I would no longer get my required 9 hours. But hubby, of course, would be fine, because he was already flourishing on 6-7 hours/night. Someone even suggested that I shouldn't nurse our children, because obviously that would even further cut down on my sleep, which I surely couldn't handle.
So, imagine our surprise when the kid arrived and hubby became a grouchy man, while I only yawned more and exercised less because of my tiredness; my mood was hardly affected. But then, as tends to happen, as the kid got older and we all got more sleep, amnesia about how the lack of sleep affected us set in (though my exercising never returned - go figure). Until, that is, baby E arrived, along with a yawning momma and a very cranky poppa. Something had to be done.
What we had been doing was hubby would get up when baby E woke up, change him, and get him ready for me to nurse. He would go back to sleep after that, while I was nursing, though I would wake him back up after a little while if baby E wouldn't go to sleep. However, what ended up happening was that the kid was getting the cranky end of the poppa stick. And then me getting cranky, because the poor kid was getting a raw deal. And then hubby getting crankier because I was being cranky with him. Yeah, like I said, something had to be done.
So, I started just getting baby E back to sleep on my own, which has resulted in me getting even less sleep though hubby getting more and thankfully being generally less crabby. Now, my getting less sleep is not that big of a deal right now, but I am scared about what will happen when I return to work in a couple of weeks - how am I, when I can no longer nap, going to function on what ends up being about 4-5 hours a sleep/night (and no, it's not 4-5 hours in a row - that would probably be okay)?? How am I going to be able to sit with people and hear horrible things that have happened to them without either falling apart myself, or just continually yawning... Oh, y'all, I'm afraid it's not going to go well. (Side Note - baby E just started making the most pitiful noises in his sleep. He doesn't want me to go back to work either!)
So, now that I totally understand why my mom was always in bed at 10pm (since that's now late for us!), I need to figure out some way to get enough sleep to be able to function. If you have any suggestions, I'm open to them...
Today's lesson - pacifiers are a little bit awesome. There. I said it.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
With the kid, he always had bottles along with nursing and I feel like that was part of what made me eventually give up when he was 5-6 months old (that and the biting he did - but by that time we were only nursing a couple times a day and sometimes not even that). I have been determined for almost 2 years now that this child would be breastfed, and with much more success and longevity than the kid was. I figure I've nursed baby E somewhere around 500 times (he's 51 days old, approximately 10 feedings/day). He did have bottles in the hospital when I wasn't there, but he hasn't had one since he came home; neither hubby nor I have ever given him one.
I think because I have put so much time, effort, and even money into making breastfeeding this kiddo successful, I've been even more hesitant to do anything that might mess it up. Even though I knew the likelihood of me ever having enough milk to provide even half of what he would need was low, I became rather emotionally attached to the idea that I would be able to give him at least quite a bit of what he needs. So, part of my hesitation (let's be honest, it was more like complete opposition) to baby E having a bottle was that I would have to pump, and come face-to-face with how much milk I was producing. I was afraid that it would be much of anything.
Another thing that was holding me back, was I was afraid that he wouldn't take it. I mean, he kinda hated the pacifier (though grudgingly will take it now, for a few minutes at least - well, he'll take it from someone other than me). Okay, brutal honesty? I was afraid he would take the damn bottle, love it, and never want to nurse again. There. That's it. That was my deepest fear. I was afraid of losing the one thing that only I can do for him. Yeah, yeah. I know. That's not really the case, but it's what my fear has been.
So, what did happen? I knew we needed to do this because I am going back to work in a couple of weeks, and he's gonna have to take the evil bottle from someone. I decided in my head that it would have to happen this weekend. I put it off til today, the end of the weekend, the last possible moment. I finally told hubby that it was time. He looked all gleeful and stuff. I, on the other hand, was near tears. I made the bottle, handed it to hubby, and watched as hubby and the kid gave baby E his first bottle. And baby E, that little traitor, did just what I had been most afraid he'd do - he took it like it was the best thing he'd ever met. And I went off to my bedroom to pump. And to cry.
So, it's not the end of world. Yes, I know. And baby E has nursed successfully several times since the bottle incident. But, I am still sad about it. Really, I wanted him to hate that stupid bottle. I wanted him to scream and throw a big ole fit until I came and nursed him, when he'd just settle right down and sigh with contentment. Life, parenthood, neither ever goes quite as planned. While my head knows that this was good - it's good that baby E will take a bottle, my feelings are a little hurt.
Today's lesson - it's really hard when your baby starts to grow up. And, yes. Baby E taking a bottle is totally him starting to grow up. (insert pouty face here)
Thursday, November 11, 2010
As an essentially selfish creature, I'm surprised to find that I never stopped to think about how an open adoption relationship would affect us - hubby and me, and how it would affect me personally. In so wanting an open adoption, I considered how it would be beneficial for our child, and for the birth family. I wanted our children to have access to their birth families, to get answers to those questions, answers we'd have no way of knowing. I wanted my children to know where they come from, to know who they look like. I wanted the birth family to have some peace about their decision. I wanted them to be able to see that their child is loved, healthy, happy. I thought about the relationship as being between those two factions of the adoption triad. I saw hubby and I as only facilitators of that exchange. I forgot to consider how it would affect us, how we would be directly involved ourselves, how we would feel.
So, that, I think, is the reason I am struggling with how things are between us and R - because I never even thought that there really would be an "us and R". Stupid, right? Not to have realized that before. Because it's so awkward, and we feel so territorial right now, I think we're trying to keep it about R and baby E, when what we really want - a long term relationship with all of us, has to come from hubby and me building a relationship with R, not just facilitating a relationship between her and baby E. By keeping conversations about just baby E, we're further focusing the relationship on the two of them, instead on all of us. What we really need to do is get to know R, and let her get to know us, in ways that have nothing (or at least less) to do with baby E. What can I say? Sometimes I really do miss rather obvious details. It's a character flaw, I suppose.
Today's lesson - sometimes we all miss the forest for the trees. Sometimes, though, we also miss the individual trees for the forest. It's about finding a balance between the two, which is, of course, easier said than done.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
I was talking with my dear friend, M, a couple of weeks ago, processing my reactions to some of the things R says (like when she refers to baby E as "my little man". I told her that I knew once the TPR was done I wouldn't care what R said about baby E. M told me that it would still bother me, and I blew her off, thinking, "there's no way". M and her husband have a son, who was also adopted, and they have an open and ongoing relationship with the birthmom. Now, I must confess, I've often wondered at M's reactions to the things the birthmom says, thinking M was overreacting. I thought, "what difference does it make what she says, he's your son; he calls you mommy, not her. Let her say whatever she needs to to deal with it".
Oh, but do I get it now. My experience with the kid's birth family was so very different. I can see now that they completely detached, insofar as they stopped thinking of the kid as their child. I just assumed that was what happened to everyone. And maybe it will sometime in the future, but it's not where R is right now. She still very much considers E her baby. However, I do believe she also seems him as ours. This open adoption stuff is more complicated than I expected, more complicated than what we're used to.
So, to my dear friend M, I am so sorry for judging you. I am sorry for doubting you, for thinking I could do better. I now know how conflicting it is, how gut wrenching it is to feel that someone else is claiming your child as her own. I think it's another infertility cross we bear.
So, today's lesson is not one I can claim authorship to - never judge another until you walk a mile in her shoes.
Friday, November 5, 2010
And then the most amazing thing happened. He got this really serious look in his eyes, opened them big, eyebrows way up high, arms and legs started flailing. And then he screamed "FEED ME!!!!!!!!!!!". Now, obviously he didn't actually say those words, but the meaning was fully obvious. And then I smelled a most identifiable odor. That's right. There I was having a moment, and all he was doing was being a baby - needing to be fed, and pooping, doing just what he was supposed to do.
It was such a good reminder for me. Instead of wondering and worrying about the unknown future, what I really needed to be doing - what baby E really needed from me - was to be here, in the present, giving him the things that I can easily do. So then I had another moment. I thought, "Wow, this is all he needs from me right now. Sometimes it feels overwhelming (like 4am when we've been up all night every 2 hours nursing), but I can totally do it. And all those other things he's going to need from me in the future, to become who he's supposed to be, those I can do, too. In this moment, all of those things feel completely overwhelming, but in the moment he needs them, I will be given the grace to do what he needs".
So, today's lesson is simple. Live in the moment. Do what needs to be done now. All that stuff in the future, you will have what you need then to accomplish it. And now, I hear him cooing. So what he needs from me right now is to smile and coo back. That, I could do all day!
Monday, November 1, 2010
I'm kind of at a loss about what to do about this, well, loss of sleep. He went for about a week sleeping at least one 4-5 hour stretch (going 6hours between feedings). And that was fantastic. But then that was gone, and though he'll still go about 6hours (once) between feedings, he is back to waking every 2-3 hours, needing us to assist him in getting back sleep. It's actually worse now at 5weeks than it was when he was a newborn. And I am exhausted. And so is hubby, who is rather crabby, I might add. I'm sure I'm totally pleasant, though. The kid was definitely a better sleeper than baby E. He simply wasn't interested in sleeping with us. He would actually wake up after about 20 min, fussing, until we put him back in his bed. But baby E is by far cuddlier, which makes it hard to get too frustrated. And he will sleep while we're holding him (that goes with the cuddly factor).
So, I'm torn between "making" him sleep in his own bed and (gasp!) co-sleeping. Coming from someone who worked for public health for nearly 8 years, the idea of co-sleeping makes me akin to the devil, or at least someone who is outright trying to kill her child. My public health roots say that co-sleeping is never, ever, EVER, EVER safe and you should not do it under any circumstances. Now, I never really prescribed to it to that extreme, but it has been pretty well ground in to my (super tired) brain.
But, lately, I've been doing a bit of research and have been surprised to come up with some interesting stuff. Some of the research actually suggests that co-sleeping is very safe, under the right circumstances, frankly, it may be safer than sleeping alone in a crib. I saw one source that said that co-sleeping may be preferred in families where baby is breastfeeding, and that there is little risk to those babies. Public health does have a tendency to issue blanket statements, because it's just easier that way, but that doesn't meant they're always right (double gasp!!!!). And, no, I don't have the sources - remember, super tired momma here.
Now, I have no interest in having a 5 year old sleeping with us, but if baby E being in bed with us for the next couple of months, and not even all night but at least part of it, is what it takes for us all to get some sleep, then I think I'm in. I am no good to anyone in my current state. And I'm pretty sure hubby isn't either. We certainly are getting on each other's nerves more than usual.
Today's lesson - dude, I am tired. And isn't it interesting how good kids are at making you a liar. I mean, I said, "no, I'll never have a kid in bed with me". And yet here we are. Kids are here to remind us that we should never make blanket statements like, "I'll never..." or "We always...", unless we want to be proven wrong, of course. Kids are great at making us eat humble pie. Bring on my pie...
Friday, October 29, 2010
To start, in the hospital they don't give breastfed babies pacifiers, because it can lead to nipple confusion. This is also why he didn't have one when we first got home. That, and one night shortly after he came home, hubby gave him one and all night I kept hearing the following: slurp, slurp, slurp, plop, rustle, rustle, rustle, rustle, screeeeeeeeeeeeeeeam. We'd stick it back in and the whole thing would replay. And then apparently that whole nipple confusion thing is real because the pain, oh my, it was toe curling. I gave hubby the whole, "if you ever give that to him again, I'll kill you" speech.
So, we gave him our finger instead, because he does like to suck, like a lot. Breastfeeding experts would recommend I let him comfort nurse when he wants to just suck, but he's not really interested in that. That, and when he does, it hurts. He sucks really hard and pulls back, twisting his head all around, that's right, with my nipple still in his mouth. It hurts super bad. So, that's also a no-go. (And perhaps I am a pain wimp, but whatever.)
Our fingers it is. And he loves our fingers. I always know where they are. In the car, at night, they're much easier to locate than a paci would be. They don't fall out of his mouth just as he falls asleep. I'm much more likely to wash them off before giving them to him than I would a paci (be honest - how many people have you seen pop the baby's pacifier in their own mouths before sticking it in baby's? Ew. We have dirty mouths, people. Just ew). Also, he's starting to find his own hands. And those, again, will be much easier for him to locate at night, in the car, all the time, than a pacifier will be. I know there are all kinds of opinions about pacifiers vs thumbs/fingers, but we're fine with him sucking on his hands, if that's what he wants to do. (It's that whole I-sucked-on-my-fingers-til-I-was-like-10-and-I'm-a-fairly-functional-adult-with-good-teeth argument).
So, there's the detailed answer to your question. We use our pinky fingers because that's what works for us. That's what works for baby E. And today's lesson - why, as parents, do we have to criticize each other's choices? Now, obviously, if I am shaking my baby, please step in and offer your very critical opinion. But otherwise, how about instead of getting all defensive about our own choices by attacking someone else's, we just step back and try to respect that we have different ways of doing this. None of us is going to be right all the time. And just because something is right for your kid or family, doesn't mean it is for mine. If I would like your advice, I promise I will ask for it. Or, if you feel compelled to share (which I'm not opposed to, btw), can you please do it in an nonjudgmental way? Okay? Thanks!
Oh, yeah, and you sticking your kid's paci in your mouth grosses me out. That's not a lesson, it's just my opinion. And I'm not judging you. I'm just saying. Ew.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
The second thing was I got baby E's baptism scheduled. It looks like we're going to have some out of town family come bless us with their company over Thanksgiving weekend, so it will be the perfect time to baptise the little guy with all this love around him.
The third thing, and really, the most exciting, is that R has decided she's ready to sign the TPR paperwork!!! WooooHooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm so relieved! We had a visit yesterday, just her, me, and baby E (the social worker dropped her off and left). It was a little awkward at first because baby E needed to be fed just as she arrived. Well, I was a little uncomfortable, but I don't know that she was. We talked about I don't know what, but it wasn't anything major. The social worker picked her up and called shortly thereafter letting me know that she's ready to sign. I don't know what happened during that visit, but something must have. Whatever it was, I'm so grateful. They're setting up an appointment with the attorney for next week. (Big sigh of relief)
Actually, another good thing that happened today is that I got 2, that's right 2 naps. It. was. awesome.
Today's lesson - sometimes what seems like nothing, is actually something major, or is, at least, enough to tip the balance. And you never really know what that something will be. Hubby says the lesson he learned is "that Momma's boobies changed the world. Well, they changed my world at least". Men...
Monday, October 25, 2010
The first one is being called an adoptive parent. This has always kind of rubbed me the wrong way but I haven't really been able to put my finger on why. Recently, though, I came across a similar example. A local agency is putting on a production called "Please don't call me homeless, I don't call you homed". I was like, exactly. Here's the thing. When I talk about you, I don't call you a biological parent, so why do you feel the need to call me an adoptive parent. There are times when these labels are appropriate, like in conversation (and documentation) with our social workers, but, outside of that, I'm just a parent. Another example of this is when talking about people with special (physical or mental health) needs - we never say, "oh she's disabled". Well, we shouldn't at least. It's more appropriate to say "a person with disabilities". It's called "person first", not disability first. I'm a momma first, the adoption status is secondary to that. So, if you do feel the need to point out that our family came to be because of adoption rather than birth, how about "a parent through adoption".
The second thing is something that's been grating in my nerves for the last couple of weeks since our pediatrician said it to me at baby E's 2wk appointment. Now, I know it's something she probably says to everyone, but it's not really a good excuse. We all know there are things we can say to certain people, but not to others, this falls into that category. Though, maybe not. Maybe it shouldn't be said to anyone. Anyway, here's what it is - "oh, he's just perfect. I think he's a keeper" or "I think you should keep him". See, here's the thing, while that obviously means nothing to baby E, to an older child who was adopted, this may strike a nerve. Because adoption, simply because it is, feels less permanent to some people. And I would think that to all children who were adopted, they feel more vulnerable at least at some points in their lives. All children go through stages of questioning where, or whether, they belong. Simple flippant comments such as these, can hit, and hurt, someone who is already feeling uncertain. Also, it's implies that not "keeping" a child is an option, or that only a perfect child should be "kept".
So, today's lesson - here's what I'm asking, just think. Think before you open your mouth. Don't just say something a certain way because that's how others around you say it. I recently learned this lesson myself when I referred to those white sleeveless tank shirts as "wife beaters". It seems innocuous enough, and it's what I've always heard them referred to as, but what kind of message does it send to others, and to my children, about my opinions/assumptions about the people wearing them. So, take a minute to think about the things you say. I'm working on this daily...
Saturday, October 23, 2010
I've started hearing a little whispering of late. But it's so preposterous that I'm trying to ignore it. It's not possible. It's not what I have wanted and worked for my whole life. It's not who I am. Or is it? Can we be so wrong about ourselves? Can we change so much? Can one little being change me so much? Can I really want to stay at home with baby E? Can I really not want to go back to work? Is that really who I am now?
All my life I've know that I want kids. I've also known that I would continue to work after they were born. I couldn't stay home with them full time. I would totally go crazy. I would end up being a horrible mother if I were to be home with my kids all the time. I need to work and be able to help other people. I love being a social worker and, by God, I am GOOD at it. I know there are days when I am much better at being a social worker than I am at being a mother. Probably a lot of days.
But, dare I admit it out loud (or to the entire world wide web), I *think* I want to stay home with baby E. Like, all the time. Like, not go back to work. And, oh my goodness, this thought terrifies me. I mean, being a social worker is a huge part of who I am. My job is a huge part of who I am. I don't have the patience necessary to stay home all the time with a kid. I would go crazy stuck in this house all the live long day. I would lay around, eat bonbons, not shower, and become a cranky, cranky, lazy, crazy woman. We don't have the money for me to stay home. We need my income. Why in the world would I have a masters degree and stay home. Being a stay at home mom isn't, well, it just isn't me.
Is it? Hell, I just don't know...
Today's lesson - just when you think you know something, just when you think you know yourself, beware. Be prepared for anything when you listen to those whisperings because they just may shock you.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Today I discovered one of mine. It's pretty amazing. You're going to be blown away. I - are you ready?? - have super flexible shoulders. That's right. You're impressed, aren't you? Oh, you're not. Well, let me explain how I realized this was super cool. I've known I have flexible shoulders for a long time. I mean, I can clasp my hands behind my back and then bring them up over my head without letting go (go on, I'll wait why you try to do it). But, really, in what way at all is that useful. Here's how it is. I was driving home today from class with baby E and he, as he tends to do, started screaming. So, I reached back and quickly stuck my little finger in his mouth and he promptly got quiet. I drove all the way home (about 15 minutes) with my arm at a 90 degree angle behind me. And it was fine. I wasn't uncomfortable at all. And all of the sudden, I realized, "wow, I don't really know anyone else who could do this without discomfort". I just thought my shoulder flexibility was a random (mildly) entertaining party trick. But, no, this is why I was given freakishly flexible shoulders, to comfort baby E when we're stuck at yet another red light. Wow. Who knew they would be useful??!
Today's lesson - We all have weird party trick things. And, probably, we've been given those gifts for a reason, though it may take awhile (hello, 30-something years) for the reason to become apparent. Keep up the flexibility. Feel free to envy me my awesome shoulders. I'm sure I'd love to have one of your unique attributes. So, tell me, what makes you, you? What's unique about you that others would love to have? Really, I want to know!
Sunday, October 17, 2010
People have asked me about how baby E compares to the kid. It's funny to remember now, but the kid was actually the most laid back baby. Yes, that's right. My busy, busy, active, talkative, wild little boy, was once a quiet, undemanding, still, chill little being. I know. It's hard for even me to believe. He didn't sleep in the car (ever), still doesn't. I mean, is he the only kid ever who wouldn't sleep in the car??! At least he was generally content. He was fine with us laying him down to entertain himself for short periods of time. He wanted nothing to do with sleeping with or on us (trust me, I tried. I'd have done anything to get him to sleep longer). He had absolutely no interest in pacifiers, really, he didn't want to suck on anything unless he was eating. As for nursing, he could take it or leave it; he didn't care how he was fed, as long as he was. He loved baths from the first and never fussed because water got in his face; it often made him grin and giggle. He never once pooped in his sleep, and he could have cared less if we ever changed his diapers; he was perfectly content to sit in a dirty diaper all day. He never had the first diaper rash. He liked to stay awake at night, and has always been an early riser ("Hello, world. It's 5am! You should all be up by now!"). He was rather serious and made you work to get a smile out of him. He loved for me to sing to him and would get quiet immediately, though would cry again as soon as I stopped.
And baby E...? Well, baby E is a whole different creature indeed. He, too, is a pretty easy baby, but so much different from the kid. Baby E nurses with a ferocity and would suck on our fingers the whole livelong day if we let him. He wants to be held all the time, and though he does sleep pretty well in his bed, he'll sleep even longer if we're holding him. He is not happy if we put him down and doesn't entertain himself - he wants us to do that for him. He has two reactions to the car - sleep, or scream. There is no quiet contemplation about what's going past. There is no compromise. He gets pissed if his diaper is dirty and though will sometimes continue to sleep, he lets you know that he's not particularly happy about it by grunting and whining every couple of minutes. He has had a diaper rash for the last 2 weeks (suggestions please on what to try??!!!!). He has days where he smiles, like all the time. He's only 3wks old, y'all, and he smiles all the time. He gives them away freely, indiscriminately. He is not particularly a fan of my singing, which hurts my feelings a bit, I must admit. He only just tolerates baths, though he, too, doesn't mind water in his face. He sleeps pretty well at night, once we get him to sleep, because my baby E is certainly a night owl. He sleeps his longest stretch after his 4 or 5am feeding.
Now, I never thought my children would be the same. I didn't expect them to act just the same, like the same things, or respond the same. But I guess I've been surprised at how different they are, especially since I'd consider them both rather easy babies. Once the kid started moving, all bets were off and everything changed, as is often the case. So I'm interested to see what happens when baby E gets a'movin' - not that I am in any way trying to hurry that along!
Today's lesson - the magic radio station actually sucks and has no more power than any other radio station. Stupid radio non-station. However, moving the baby back to the middle, where you can reach him and stick your finger in his mouth, that is actually magic. And rather uncomfortable. But not nearly as uncomfortable as listening to screaming.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
During my class, baby E was fabulous! He barely made a peep, even though I knew he was hungry. However, on the way home... Geez, that would be the low. You know those times when your child is upset and you simply can't do anything about it? Yeah. It's awful! I should have fed him before we left to come home, but I didn't. So he started screaming, not just a little, like I bet his throat hurts now and his little voice will be scratchy tomorrow. He screamed, furiously the entire way home. All 14 traffic lights (we were stopped by way more than half of them), just a few miles, and about 15 minutes - they felt like the longest in my life. I tried opening the windows, talking to him, singing, being quiet, turning the radio on, turning it off, putting it on the magic white noise station. Nothing worked. I felt like the Worst Mother Ever. Now, rationally, I know I'm not. I know there are just times when this happens, that it could have happened at home even. That it happens to the best of us. But still, it was awful, y'all.
Today's lesson - the magic white noise radio station does not fix all. Apparently, much to my surprise, it's not actually magic. Bummer. Oh yeah, other lesson for the day, feed the baby before leaving to go anywhere. Don't just assume he can wait til you get home. He doesn't actually know how to be patient. You know, because he's not even three weeks old and all. Duh.
Monday, October 11, 2010
The visit was shorter than the last one, and more comfortable, for me at least. The kid turned out to be a good distraction, because, well, he kind of demands attention. And, though I may be somewhat biased about this, he's rather amusing. R held baby E for much of the visit, but she immediately gave him to me as soon as he started fussing in the least. She also made several comments that just seemed like she's moving to thinking of him as our son, though I know she'll always consider him her son as well. and, so will we; he always will be her son. We actually had an interesting, though, brief, conversation with the kid about how baby E has 2 moms - me/momma, and R/his birthmother, just like the kid has to moms - me and his birthmom.
So, what now? Well, I'm not exactly sure. We didn't talk about a next visit; I'd planned to ask L about it today as we were scheduled to have a one-on-one with her today, though she had to cancel. She has to ask those questions like "how much does he weigh?" and "how are you all handling the lack of sleep?", etc... I do know, now, that it's all going to be okay. We're all going to be okay, all of us. I know it, I feel it. We're going to be more than okay, we're going to be good.
Today's lesson - if you're in the car with a baby who's screaming at the top of his lungs, and you're on a busy road with nowhere to stop and pull over, and your husband moved the carseat from the middle of the backseat to one side (okay, so maybe you asked him to do it), but you now can't reach the baby to stick your finger in his mouth, and your 4yo keeps telling you that the baby is crying and asking you to do something about it and you feel like your head might explode, or you might burst out in tears which wouldn't be safe when driving 60mph...yeah, so when all that's going on, you should turn the radio on to a station, well a non-station/a channel without a station, one that's playing just static because that will make the furious baby be quiet, and maybe even go to sleep, and your head will not explode, though you may still cry but from relief this time. and then your kid may just tell you you're a rock star of a momma. And that will make your day.
Saturday, October 9, 2010
Well, here's how it goes at my house. Baby starts fussing, I get up, go to the fridge, fill up the supplementer, strap it on, and then the fun starts. Baby E doesn't seem to like the little tubes the formula comes out of at night. Or maybe it's that I have less patience. Whichever, it often involves frustration, on both my and E's part. So, after we finally get latched, which may take 30 seconds or 5 minutes, we have to see whether the freaking tube is even in his mouth in such a way that the formula will come out of it (if it's not in there just right, there isn't enough suction to draw it out). Often, especially at night, it's not. So, then the really super fun part starts - trying to stick the little tube in his mouth in just the right place without him getting irritated and unlatching. This sometimes leads us both to tears. Finally, once we get everything in just the right place, we can start nursing for real. This whole process can take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour, depending on how lucky we are. Also, did I forget to mention that I can't nurse laying down, because of the supplementer? Yeah, that's fun, too.
I'm sure you're thinking, well, if it's so bad, quit already. And while, at 3:30am, the thought has certainly crossed my mind, baby E and I are going to figure this out, by God. I used to tell clients all the time that the 1st 6 weeks of nursing is the hardest, in fact, it's harder than bottle feeding. But, after that 1st grueling 6 weeks, nursing is by far the easier of the two. While I know that our hybrid form of breastfeeding will never be as easy as the original, I know it will get easier. And it's worth it. I love that I can soothe baby E in a way no one else can. I love that he calms as soon as he hears my voice. I love that even though I will never have most of the experiences of a biological mom, this one thing I can have. Baby E and I can have together.
Also, I know he's actually getting a lot of breastmilk - the proof is in the diapers. It's also in the fact that he's taking LESS formula from the supplementer than he was a week ago. And, at his pediatrician appointment Thursday, he was up a half pound (that means he's a half pound up from birth weight, at less than 2 weeks after birth - and that, my friends, iss pretty darn good!). Not knowing exactly how much he's getting scares me a little, though. Many of you breastfeedin' mommas can relate - sometimes it's a little scary not knowing exactly how much your baby is eating (especially when I've become accustomed to knowing). I know many a new momma who's given up breastfeeding because this was too stress for her. But it's also exciting, because it means that all the medication, the pumping, the hormones, the preparation, it's all been worth it. It means baby E really is getting, as the kid calls it "Momma milk".
Today's lesson - the Moby Wrap is the best thing ever!!!!!!!! If you have a baby, have a friend with a baby, are expecting a baby, etc... you should totally make sure the new mommy has a Moby. It's awesome. Baby E will sleep in it pretty much as long as he's in it. And I have 2 free hands to do laundry, get the kid's hands out of the toilet (and assist him in washing them), eat lunch, or just blog. Plus, there are all those benefits of baby wearing, which is a post for another day. Seriously, you (or your friend, or sister, or neighbor) totally need a Moby.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
The other part of me feels so much empathy for R. The struggle, the pain, the grief. I wouldn't wish it on anyone. My heart hurts for her, for the loss she's experiencing. I look at baby E, thinking of losing him, and experience a fraction of the pain she's feeling. Then she sends another text referring to him as "ours" (as in all of ours) and tells me how hard it is not knowing everything that's happening to him all day. Should I inundate her with details about his life? Would that help her at all? Should I give her the bare minimum? I just don't know. I can't imagine not knowing every detail of his life right now. But, if she had taken him back, I don't know that knowing all those details would help me.
All of this, I think is part of navigating open adoption. There are no hard and fast rules, no absolutes, no automatic right answers. There is only trying to do what we think is best for everyone involved. There is only trying to do what is truly in E's best interest. And, what's just hit me, is best for E, is for us to have the best relationship possible with R. So, I'll go back again to SW101 - R gets to decide what she needs. And I - we - will simply do the best we can with that, remembering that she will always be important to baby E, to us, and we need to trust and respect that.
Today's lesson - cloth diapering is just as easy as disposables! You totally should try it. We've only had 4 diapers leaks since he was born, and only 1 was cloth. It's been an extra load of laundry every other day, but that's totally manageable. Also, baby E's circumcision is totally healed up already and I think it has to do with the cloth diapers. We love cloth diapers!!
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Mostly today, though, I just wanted to tell you how much your support has meant. Some of you I know well, some I used to know well (or I knew your older sister and you were the annoying kid during our sleepovers), some are acquaintances, some are complete strangers. All of you have offered your support. All of you have helped us through this. I really appreciate you. Last week, I experienced probably the worst day of my life thus far. I pray I never know another day like it. But the only way I got through it, and the days since, is the support of those around me, literally (hubby, my mom, my dear friends M and K, who each has her own unique experience with adoption) and figuratively (that would be you, readers). So, thank you. Thank you for reading, for gently asking, for giving support, for sending love, for sending prayers. It has made all the difference. Thank you, friends.
Monday, October 4, 2010
Yeah, yeah, you say, we know that's not the biggest thing that happened today. And you're right, of course. Today R came to visit baby E for the first time since we left the hospital, and she came to our house. ((big sigh)) So, how did it go? Well... I think it went well, I guess. I mean, what should I have expected? Of course she held him the whole two hours (with a short exception, will tell you about that momentarily). Of course, she stared at him almost the whole two hours. Of course she teared up when it was time to leave. Of course. She loves him. All of this I expected, more or less, though it was still a little difficult to watch. I found myself shaking a little.
So what was with the time she wasn't holding him? Well, let me tell you. Baby E had just fallen asleep when she got here. Hubby quickly handed him over and he woke up. And he started fussing because he was really tired. And she couldn't get him to stop. And he really started to cry. And she couldn't get him to stop. Hubby and I sat there, not saying anything because he is her baby, too, and we didn't want to, I don't know, tell her what to do, I guess. Then she asked what we do when he won't stop. So I told her. She tried it but it didn't work. So, then I took him and showed her what I do. He immediately stopped. I handed him back. She tried it, he cried again. She tried again for another few minutes then handed him over to hubby. Hubby got him to sleep within a minute or two, then gave him back. She held him the rest of the visit.
I feel so guilty even thinking much less admitting it (well, ashamed really), but I was glad she couldn't get him to stop crying. As my friend JE pointed out, R needs to know that baby E is not this always-asleep-completely-happy-never-crying baby. She needs to know that he does have times when he cries and cries. And maybe it helps to know that she chose parents who know how to soothe him. Now, ok, I realize that had she had him for the last week, she, too, would know how to soothe him. But, maybe it was comforting knowing that already we know him and know what he needs. Maybe...? I don't know... And, as my mom made me start thinking about, it does seem interesting that she wanted to know how to soothe him, that she wanted to learn. What does that mean?? And, really, am I just reading way too much into the whole thing. ARGHHHHH!!!!
So, how do we feel about the visit? I guess we're kind of uncertain. I think, overall, we're just going to fell uncertain until she has terminated her rights. We didn't get the chance to ask the social worker, L, about the termination of parental rights (TPR) paperwork, because it just felt weird asking about that in front of R. We're going to call tomorrow and process the visit with L. The TPR will be a question we'll certainly ask (again).
Today's lesson - it's actually not all that easy to blog and nurse at the same time. This lesson may never apply to many of you, but at least now you know. So, please excuse typos, etc...
Sunday, October 3, 2010
* "Momma, are you done milking the baby yet?" - this one he asks frequently and is in reference to me nursing baby E.
* "I feel passionate...wait, what does that mean?", I explained and he said, "oh yeah, that's what I meant. I'm passionate about my baby brother. And candy. Yeah, I'm really passionate about both of those."
* "Our family consists of 3 boys, 1 girl, and lots of popcorn." A few minutes later he remembered Jonah (the dog) and added that I was completely outnumbered, "by boys and popcorn".
* "Did you know our baby has a booty? Yeah, he does. And what comes out of it is Poppa's job. What goes in is momma's job. But the out stuff, that's all Poppa."
* And, just to show I don't think my kid is the only funny one around, this is a poem my 8yo niece wrote for baby E. I'm going to type it verbatim, because that's the funny part. It's actually really sweet and I got a little teary eyed, but it's kinda funny, too.
"E a new entring. E my new. E my new couson. I love you to. E you must know. E you must. You have a good heart, mother, Pappa, brother, cousans, and dog. I hope you remembre me. All the times we spend together. E my newest cousan. I love you always. I hope you do to. Your oldest cousan J" She also drew a little picture of him which is hilarious.
Today's lesson - a little humor is good for the heart and soul. And kids are often the best providers of a good laugh.
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Right after they called us, she texted. I didn't know what to do. She simply asked how baby E was. I still feel like she deserves, she has the right, to know how he is, that he's okay, that he's healthy, that he's loved. So I told her those things. Then she asked for a picture. Again, we were hesitant. Should we? Does it make it any easier for her? So I went back to Social Work 101 - the client (obviously she's not my client, but you get my drift) gets to decide what s/he needs and can handle. So I quickly snapped a pic of baby E, who happened to be sleeping peacefully snuggled on hubby's shoulder. She responded that he looked peaceful. I told her I thought he was. She said she was on an emotional rollercoaster. I empathized and said I couldn't imagine how she was feeling. Though, in truth, I now understand how it feels to think you're going to lose your child. I do realize it's not exactly the same as what she's feeling. But it is debilitating.
Shortly thereafter our social workers called back and hubby told them that we'd been texting her and he really felt like she could use someone to talk to. We could call her, but it didn't seem like that was in anyone's best interest. The social worker agreed to go back over to R's house. They called back several hours later and were positive. She was tearful, they said, upon their arrival, but by the end of their visit (the 2nd that day), she was back to feeling fairly confident about the adoption plan. Apparently the texts and pictures had helped.
I'm not ready to say this things in the bag, so to say, but I at least don't feel immobilized by fear. Whenever I pray, I keep hearing in my ears, in my head, in my heart, "just love him for as long as you have him". And that I can do. I don't know what else I can do, but love him I will. With the kid, as I've said before, I knew from the very beginning that he was our son. With baby E I don't have that certainty. I don't think I'll truly feel at peace until the termination of parental rights papers have been signed by R, D (birth dad), and the judge. And, no, I don't know when that will be. With the kid it was when he was about 5wks old. My understanding, though, is that that was rather late. Next time I talk with the social worker, getting that question answered is a top priority. And, through this all, we will continue love baby E.
Today's lesson - all of the prayers all of you have been offering are making a difference. Please, please continue.
Friday, October 1, 2010
I sit and nurse baby E and think "should I be doing this? Should I go ahead and get him used to bottles?". He hasn't had one since early Monday morning. L mentioned the possibility of him going to temporary care. I can't stomach this idea. He's already been parented by R, us and R, just us, then to go to strangers, and then back to her... it's too much for a baby. I mean, he's just a baby. This isn't fair for him. And it isn't fair to the kid. All he talks about is his baby brother. The first words he speaks in the morning, and the last at night are about his baby brother. I don't know how we're going to tell him that his baby brother, well, simply isn't his baby brother anymore.
We've been praying like crazy. And I know you have, too (or are sending good vibes, which are also appreciated). My gut tells me they're not going to be enough. My gut says we're about to lose our son. My gut says that while they're talking right now (as I'm typing this), R is telling L that she wants him back. My gut says by the end of the baby E will no longer be ours. I have never in my life more wanted my gut to be wrong.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Today's lesson - there is nothing sweeter, or more beautiful than the sight of your two children, snuggling and having their own conversation. What a blessing I have received.
Monday, September 27, 2010
The kid was so super excited to meet him and show him off to their Gram and some friends who brought us dinner (thanks guys!!). He kind of had a meltdown, but I think it was mostly because he was super tired. He went to bed without a fuss (though baby E started having a meltdown while I was putting the kid to bed). The kid was worried and asked me to go check "on our baby brother".
I still owe you his birth story, and I promise it's coming. It's just that I'm kinda tired, and I'm pretty sure we have a long night ahead of us. So, really, it's coming, just not tonight.
Today's lesson - have faith. It will all work out just as it's supposed to. Just have a little faith.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Today's lesson - you may already know this, but I was reminded of it again last night, childbirth is truly one of the most amazing things ever. All you mommas out there who have given birth have my sincere respect and awe.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
I'm was just sitting here pondering why I haven't been on here posting a ton, which is what I thought I'd be doing. Why am I not telling you how we've been getting the nursery ready, doing baby laundry, cleaning the house, freezing dinners, etc...? Why haven't I been telling you how we've narrowed our choices of names down to 2-3 (no, I'm not going to tell you what they are. Everyone's going to have to wait til the baby is born)? Why have I been avoiding the topic of our baby? Well, here it is. I'm scared. I'm terrified. I'm bit debilitated by my fear. What happens, how do I continue to stand, if this isn't our baby? If R changes her mind (and I would absolutely not be upset with her if she did that, this is, after all, HER baby until she decides he is ours), what will I do? I'm afraid to get too excited. I'm afraid to get too attached. He may not be our son. I'm afraid that devastation will be too much for me if I've gotten too attached. I'm afraid of how the kid will handle it if we have to tell him, "oops, sorry, you're not really getting a baby brother in the next week". I don't know how hubby would be, or if I would even be able to comfort him, or the kid, because of my own sorrow.
This is hard, so damn hard. I never felt like this with the kid. I knew from the moment we got that phone call that the baby was going to be our child. Now, I feel so guilty not being joyful in my preparations, thoughts, and feelings. I want to be excited. I want to be able to talk about him all the time. I want to be able to tell everyone I meet that we're about to be parents again. I'm just too scared. Instead, when I do find myself telling people, it's for a specific reason (like at work - "I may be out for the next 6 weeks, but so-and-so is here if you need someone"). And I feel guilty. Guilty that I'm not in a place to joyfully welcome new life to the world, to our family. Guilty that I can't share hubby's excitement and joy. Guilty that I'm not trusting enough, or having enough faith. Guilty and scared. It sucks. It's not where I want to be. I just don't know how to get past it...
Today's lesson - waiting still sucks.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Speaking of the breastfeeding, we have real progress! And by that, I mean actual milk, not just a few drops. Now, it still isn't much, but, by god, I've got colostrum, which I didn't expect. So, as those of you who know about breastfeeding would expect, it's small in amount. It's flippin' awesome, though!
Today's lesson - even if everyone and their brother tells you you're going to have a girl, and even strangers have dreams about you with a baby girl, you should not just believe them. If everyone in your family only has boys, you should just go with the assumption that you, too, will have a boy. That way, when you see the ultrasound pictures and the baby has an "impressive, you know" (as hubby said) you won't be shocked. Yeah, with that picture, there's no doubt we're expecting a baby boy!
Sunday, September 19, 2010
I've been on 2 medications for more than a year - birth control pills and a medication called domperidone. Domperidone isn't readily available in the US as though doctors can prescribe it, pharmacies can not dispense it (except for certain kinds of pharmacies, and I can't remember what they're called right now - oh yeah, compounding pharmacies and I have no idea where one of those might exist). So, I order the medication every few months from Canada. Even though this is perfectly legal, I feel a little big naughty doing it. The purpose of the medications is to replicate pregnancy, and then a baby being born. The bcp are taken consistently, without the inactive pills. The idea is when the bcp are abruptly stopped, it mimics delivery and makes your prolactin levels go up, hopefully inducing lactation. But, then the hard work starts - pumping. I started pumping Wednesday or Thursday evening (I can't remember which) and have been pumping 4-5x a day since then, and not yet during the night. I don't think I'm willing to do that until we've at least actually met R. (hopefully tomorrow!!!!). Then, I'm supposed to start pumping every 3 hours throughout the day and at least once at night as prolactin levels are highest between 1 and 4 am.
So, mostly my boobs are just sore. They're just not used to that much, uh, attention. Yesterday, during one pumping session, hubby and I were talking and I was expressing how upset I was going to be if I'd done all this and it didn't work at all. Now, please know, I have no expectations of ever having enough milk to supply all of baby's needs. But, by god, something better happen! I was starting to feel like I'd done all this (and paid for all the medication) and it was just going to be a waste. Don't ya know, I looked down and there were some drops. Now, they were little, and there were only a couple, but THEY WERE THERE! Really, I 'bout cried from relief.
I'm going this evening to get some herbs that are also recommended - Fenugreek, as a couple of you also suggested, and Blessed Thistle. So, hopefully that will also help. Eating oatmeal at least a few times a week is recommendedas well. A lactation consultant friend also gave me a recipe for "lactation cookies", which, btw, sound really yummy, so I think I'll bake up a few dozen this weekend (if we don't already have a baby and I'm not too exhausted!).
Today's lesson - persistence - and pumping - are hard work, but pay off (hopefully!) in the end. And, your kid may not be as happy to see you after a weekend away as you are to see him. Probably because his Gram spoiled him rotten. And that, really, is a good thing :)
Friday, September 17, 2010
So, I started off with, "Poppa and I have something important to talk with you about". He continues eating dinner, barely paying any attention to us. "Bug, our baby is finally come. He or she will be here sometime next week." The kid throws his arms up in the air and yells "WOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!" for about 15 seconds. He then quickly said, "Can I have some dessert now?". Yeah, he's a kid, what can I say.
This morning when I took him into school, he immediately, to my surprise, said to his teacher "today my baby comes home!!!!", with a few fist pumps in the air to punctuate his excitement. She was confused, understandably, so I explained that sometime next week our baby will come home. He was glowing and jumping around with excitement. He told her how he'll get to "pat my baby to sleep and make her laugh and give her lots of love". I think he's going to be just fine. Actually, I think he's going to be the best big brother this baby could ask for. We're all so blessed.
Today's lesson - no matter what exciting thing is going on in my house, the prospect of dessert will likely take precedence.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
So, now what? Well, the social worker is meeting with R tomorrow and will call me to set up a time when we can meet. I asked her about the baby's gender, which I haven't done up until now because I just wasn't ready to get that invested. Boy or girl - which do you think?????? I wish I knew!! She wouldn't tell me! Can you believe that??!!!!! She said it's R's news to give us, which I get, but geeeeeeeeeeeeeeez!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Also, a friend just now reminded me I have to start pumping to get ready for breastfeeding (sorry if that was too much info, but it is my blog so I get to write whatever I want). Oh my. I think it may have just hit me that this is real. Wow.
Today's lesson - there are moments when I may actually be struck speechless. This is totally one of them. Mark it down.