Friday, October 29, 2010

Where's his...?

Why don't you get his...? Why doesn't he have a ...? Where's his...? You should just give him a... He obviously wants a... Blah, blah, blah... All those sentences end in pacifier. So I figure I'll answer/address this once and, hopefully, for all. The short answer is, he doesn't have one. He doesn't take one. We're not planning on giving him one, though it's not something we've completely ruled out. We tried to get the kid to take one, mostly so he'd sleep longer, but he refused; he was never interested in the least. As for baby E, here's the long answer...

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

It's been a good day!

Couple of good things have happened today. Well, 3 actually. The first started this weekend with me getting a head start on my homework for today's class. That's right - I finished it Sunday. So, I went to class today, ready to turn it in, proud of myself for not having had to stress to get it done, and discovered it wasn't even due yet! Is it due next week? Nope. It's not even due til December. Idk what happened in my head that made me think it was due today, but at least it's done!

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

Things to Consider...

Recently there have been a few more of those things that drive me crazy and, since no one really wants to listen to me (and I frankly have a difficult time articulating a complete sentence lately), I decided to blog about it. So, here goes.

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


You know how sometimes you start to hear whispers? Tiny little murmurings your heart asks you to listen to. But they're just quiet enough that you can push them out, ignore them, pretend you really didn't hear them, like they're not really there. Sometimes that's how intuition hits us. Sometimes they bring us bad news (something's wrong). Sometimes it's a need to do something (call a friend). Sometimes they tell us things about ourselves that even we didn't know. Yeah, those.

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


We're all given special gifts, talents, unique to us, things that make us us. Some of us have significant athletic abilities. Some make unusual animal noises. Some have the ability to talk to even a rock and engage it in a two-way conversation. Some have mechanical abilities or can look at a vehicle and know not only what's wrong with it, but also how to fix it. Some have the entire periodic table of the elements memorized, or the ability to memorize any form of random information. Some have awesome luck and can win any kind of game. Some have an affinity for different languages.

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

Similar and Different

(Note I'm actually posting this Monday about 4:30, not sure why it says Sunday...)

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

The Highs and Lows

I went in to work today to get a few things accomplished prior to my class and was talking with a co-worker. She asked how things are going with R. I was just starting to tell her about our visit when I got a text from R. I had sent her a picture of baby E earlier in the day, of him wide awake (which he has been, like ALL DAY!). Her text said (and I paraphrase) "I couldn't have picked better parents to raise him than you". It. Was. Awesome. See? Didn't I tell you everything was going to be good?! I just knew it all along (hahahahaha...). Okay, maybe just since Monday. At any rate, it made my day. (In case you're wondering, that would be the high.)

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

Our 2nd visit with R

Today we had our second visit with R and it was really good. I think. Hubby had to leave just as she and L, our social worker, were arriving because he had a previously scheduled work-related meeting. So, I was rather nervous because it was a visit with R, the kid was there, and hubby was not. L had called earlier, though, and said it was going to be a shorter visit. She also said that the intention of the visits from here on out are for us all to build our relationship, not solely for R to spend time with baby E. So that helped me feel a little better and less nervous about the visit.

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

Breastfeeding Update

I just need to whine a little today and tell you that while I know breastfeeding can be challenging for anyone, really, it's way easier for most of you than for me (and others who are using a supplementer). Let me explain. Here's how it works for most of you at night - baby starts fussing, you whip out the girls, stick baby on, lay down, and nurse right along while blissfully drifting in and out of sleep. Baby finishes in 20 or 30 minutes, you lay him/her back down and back to sleep everyone is. 2hrs later, the whole thing repeats. What? That's not exactly how it works? At least the potential for it to happen exists, and I bet it does at least sometimes.

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


I'm so conflicted. Part of me is terrified that R will take "my" baby. I bristle whenever she sends a text asking "how's my lil guy?". I think "he's OUR lil guy, not yours!!". I'm afraid to tell her because she could still take him back, if that's what she decided she wants to do. (Note: I don't *think* she will, but, until that paperwork says she has no right to him, I will not feel safe.) And, after all, he is still her "lil guy". Heck, she will always be baby E's first mother. And I want her to love him, even if it scares the crap out of me.

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

Thank you

Hubby talked with our social worker today and she said R seemed fine after the visit (read: she isn't changing her mind again), so this seems good, well, really good. She is going to talk with R at the end of the week and get an appointment scheduled with the attorney to do the TPR paperwork. What a relief that will be.

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

Our First Visit with R

So, today was a big day. It started with the kid spending last night with hubby's parents (his first night away since baby E was born). I was afraid he wouldn't want to go since he so loves baby E. But, alas, the promise of tractors and cows was enough to overcome that. Then, baby E went into my work with me for a short trip, because of course my grant report is due tomorrow (you know, the one that pays my salary, so it was kinda important). There was hardly anyone there, but it was nice to get out of the house!

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

Funny Things the Kid Has Said Lately

Some levity, for my own mental health. So, funny things the kid has said about his baby brother:

* "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

Yesterday's events

Yesterday afternoon the social workers called after an extensive visit with R. They had taken another birth mother with them, and she and R had spent a lot of time talking just the two of them. They said they felt like it had helped her see reality a little bit better, and get past the emotional rollercoaster she's on.

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

Waiting again

Waiting. We're back to waiting. Only this waiting is the worst waiting possible. Because before we were waiting for hope. Now, we're waiting for the most horrible loss a parent can experience. I am terrified, and furious, and feel like I might vomit at any moment (though I know I won't because there's nothing in my stomach to come up). I am shaking and I have to sit down every time the phone rings because I just *know* it's L telling us she's coming to get baby E. I am barely holding myself together. The only time I feel like I can really breathe is when I'm holding both my sons, with my husband's arms around us.

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.