Monthly Archives: September 2013

Settling In

For personal reasons I have decided to remove Baby Girl’s name from this blog. I have no issues with people knowing her name but I would still like this blog to remain somewhat anonymous. From here on out she will be referred to as ‘Muppet’. The reason being she shares a name with a character of Sesame Street so my mom has dubbed her a muppet.

Today our little Muppet is 4 weeks old. We have been home a little over a week and settling into our new lives. J went above and beyond by conspiring with some friends to through me a surprise baby shower a few days after we got home.  We had such a great time and it was so amazing to see that is was more than just our families that were excited about Muppet’s arrival.

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This week was my first official week as a stay at home mom. I’ve become an expert at loading Muppet and her stroller into the car to run errands. I’ve never been one to sit at home so each day I’ve found a way to get out of the house and go on a little adventure. We attend a meetup group consisting of all adoptive families which was very fun. It’s nice to find some common ground with other moms in the area and hopefully it will help fulfill my need for occasional adult conversation.

We’ve been working on a schedule for Muppet and its been…interesting. Lets just say I have a stubborn child. If she is asleep and doesn’t want to wake up, she won’t. No matter what I do. Same thing if she is awake and wants to remain awake. I’ve been a little more lenient during the day, but I won’t budge on her night-time schedule. Every evening at about 7:00 Muppet gets fed and a bath. This wakes her up, then J and I do everything possible to keep her awake until 10 – 10:30. Usually this involves stripping her downs to her diaper and letting her kick in the cool air. This way she sleeps a good 4-5 hours before needing to get up to eat again. She starts fussing around 7-7:30 am when J takes her out of our room and spends an hour or so having daddy time with her, meaning I get an hour of uninterrupted sleep before J goes to work. It’s a work in progress. I’d like to get a firm routine down during the day AND night but for now I’m just taking baby steps with her.

At her 4 week wellness check today she weighed 7 lbs 14 oz. She is 15% in weight, 12% in length and 55% in head size. So yeah, baby big head. She also got her 2nd Hep B shot which was harder on me than her. The little tears running down her face as she cried about did me in. But she is a very healthy girl. She tracked the doctor with her eyes and responded to all the movements as he stretched her little muscles. We are so lucky to have such a healthy baby.

She has so quickly become the most important thing in our lives. The first day J went back to work he had a hard time leaving her. The first thing he does when he gets home is make a beeline for her and tells her how much he loves and missed her. It is so endearing. Honestly, after all the losses we’ve had, I expected to have a more difficult time bonding with her. I never expected to lover her so much, so fast. Sometimes she’ll fuss for no reason other than wanting me to hold her. When I pick her up she looks at me with those big brown eyes and I feel like I am so much more than the person who changes her diaper and gives her food to fill her belly. She makes me feel like a mom.




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2 Weeks Old

It is absolutely astounding how quickly these little beings worm their way into your heart. Muppet turned 2 weeks old yesterday and I am already having a hard time imagining our life without her. She is such an incredibly sweet, good baby. She rarely cries or fusses, has only spit up twice since being born (!) and is now starting to recognize J and I when we hold and speak to her.

Yesterday she had her 2 week checkup at the doctor. Her birth weight was 6lbs 1oz, which fell to 5lbs 14 oz by her 4 day checkup. I was anxiously awaiting to see how much our little bug had grown since she certainly has a healthy appetite. By 2 weeks doctors want babies to regain their birth weight and maybe a little extra. Our girl is apparently an overachiever though because she came in at 7lbs 1oz! The doctor was extremely happy with this and commented on what a healthy eater we had on our hands.

Today was my first baby shower. Something I wasn’t sure I was ever going to have. It was so neat to be surrounded by friends and family with my little girl in my arms. I may be tired and sleep deprived, but I’m also happier than I remember being in a long time. We were spoiled with gifts and it was just so special to see the outpouring of love being sent our way. Of course I’m a complete ditz and didn’t get any pictures but really, I will remember it forever.

We head home next week so for now I’m just trying to soak up all the time I have left with my family and with my baby girl. When we get home we will work on some eating and sleeping schedules. Its going to be an adjustment but one I am thrilled to make. I mean come on…look at that face! I am a little biased but she absolutely kills me with cuteness.

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An Adoption Story Part 2

By the time Baby Girl was all done in the nursery, A had decided that she wanted to see her. So we dutifully rolled her down the hall to A’s room. I really didn’t know what to expect. When we went in there was immediate joy cast upon A’s face. We lifted our girl out of her rolling crib and placed her into her birth mother’s arms.

I won’t lie, this was hard for me. I was already falling hard for this little girl and I was very aware of the fact that we had no claim on her yet. She was all A’s for the next 20 hours or so. But A was wonderful. I’m sure she was trying to protect herself as much as possible. So she held the baby for about 20 min, marveled at how beautiful she was, and then asked me to take her. We spent most of the evening in that room with A. J left the hospital to grab us all dinner and we ate with her, just talking about everything and nothing. She didn’t hold the baby any more that evening.

The first night with Baby Girl was…surreal. We kept her with us that whole night even though we were told she could go to the nursery if we needed to sleep. Well sleep we did not do. She is a very good, docile baby who rarely cries but at every little sound both J and I were up checking to make sure she was okay. It has been so amazing to watch J transform into a daddy. He is CRAZY about her. He can’t stop looking at her, kissing her, and saying that he loves her. I can’t get over how sweet he is with her. She is going to be a daddy’s girl for sure.

The next day we were very cautious with how we went about things. I for one wanted to make sure that when we went over to visit with A (she had mentioned the night before that she wanted to see us before the signing) that a case worker would be present. We had been alone with her the night before, but because it was signing day I didn’t want to but either ourselves or her in a difficult situation. We headed over about noon and the signing was scheduled for 3:00. J ran out to get us lunch and we spent most of our time taking pictures of the baby. I dressed her up and we had a photo shoot both for us and A.

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A’s hands are around her feet and my hands are on top of A’s.

At 2:30 we had to get ready for the signing. A would sign first, in her room then the notary would come to our room where we would sign. Before we left the case worker asked A if she wanted to baby with her or with us. This is how it worked at the hospital, A got to make all the calls about where the baby would be. I held my breath as I waited for her answer. I couldn’t imagine looking into this gorgeous little girl’s face and being able to sign a paper giving her up. But I didn’t need to worry. A firmly stated that we should take her.

When we got back to our room our case worker started going over the paper work with us. She said the notary would text her as soon as A had signed and then head over so we could sign. As she explained exactly what we were signing I couldn’t help but watch the clock. 15 min had passed and still no text. My stomach started to clench as our worker checked her phone to see if she had missed the text. She hadn’t. Things were starting to get tense as  more min passed. Then all of a sudden the door swung open and in walked the notary. I’m assuming we had looks of horror on our faces because she immediately said “Oh! I forgot to text you!”. Our case worker asked if A had signed and the notary said yes. With that one little word a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. J and I looked at each other while each letting out a huge sign of relief.

The rest of the signing was uneventful. The explained how things would work, what we had to do next, and that we would be the baby’s guardians until the finalization in 6 months. None of that mattered. We had our baby girl. She was officially ours.

That evening we were finally allowed to invite some family members over to meet our daughter. My 2 brothers and sister-in-law came first, followed by my mom and dad. It was really special to be able to walk my mom and dad down the hall and introduce them to A. They liked her just as much as we do. I think it was good for her to see how loved this baby already is too. She was so wonderful as she asked them what it was like to finally be grandparents. It is one of those moments I can’t wait to share with Baby Girl when she gets older.

The next day was discharge day, and we were so ready for it. We just wanted to get our girl home and into a normal routine. Of course we knew this meant saying goodbye to A but we knew it wouldn’t be goodbye forever. The nurse surprised us when they gave us the go ahead to leave at 9:30am, much earlier than we expected. So we got our stuff together and prepared to go visit A’s room for the last time.

Unfortunately they didn’t tell us till we got there that we were not allowed to leave until A was discharged as well, and the doctor was not even at the hospital yet. We sat in A’s room for what felt like an eternity. Everyone, including A, was frustrated and anxious to leave. A decided she wanted to hold the baby for a while so I handed her over. I’m not sure why this was so hard for me on this day. I had seen A hold her before and never felt threatened, but for some reason it was so difficult to watch her kiss my baby girl and tell her that she loved her. I WANT Baby Girl to know that her birth mom loves her, that the reason for her adoption was not because she wasn’t wanted. And the papers were signed…at this point A couldn’t change her mind even if she wanted to. But it was still hard. I tried to keep my emotions and face passive but, J sensed my jealousy.

At long last A was given the go ahead to check out. We hugged her, told her that we loved her and thanked her profusely for what she had done for us. She made us promise that we would tell baby girl that she loves her all the time and that we would take care of her always. “I’m putting my trust in you” she said. What a powerful statement. This woman, who we had only known a short time was trusting us completely to raise her daughter as our own. I didn’t fully understand the power of that word until that moment.

I’m sure it was difficult for her to say goodbye. She kissed the baby, told her that she loved her so much and we left. Just like that. I’m pretty sure she hurried out quickly so she wouldn’t have to see us carrying the baby in her car seat, ready to take her home forever.

I’ll never be able to understand it. I know she is still struggling a lot. She was in a lot of pain emotionally leaving the hospital without a baby. But she is one of the strongest people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. She has given us something that no amount of medicine or doctors could. She gave us a daughter. For that she will always have a special place in my heart. And I will always let my girl know how much she was loved.

We’ve been home for 3 days now. 3 magical days. J and I fall more and more in love with her every hour. I know we couldn’t have loved her more if she was biologically our child, because really…it doesn’t matter. I look at her and even though she will never look like us I know that she is our baby. She was always supposed to be our baby.

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An Adoption Story. Part 1.

The past week has been the most emotionally draining week of my life. There has been so much happiness but also much sadness.

We arrived a little over a week ago so that we would be sure to be here when A went into labor. We set up plans to meet her for dinner last Tuesday. I have never been so scared in my life to meet someone. What if she didn’t like us? Sure we had gotten along well on the phone, but in person was a whole new situation. I had no need to worry. We all got along great and she admitted that she was just as nervous to meet us!

The induction was scheduled for 6:30 am on August 30th. Our case worker told us after the dinner that even though she loved us, she didn’t quite feel comfortable having us in the room during the delivery. We did not take this personally at all. A called us late the night before the induction, she was nervous, scared and sad. She told me she wouldn’t sleep at all that night and that she would most likely cry all evening. This broke my heart for her but I know that it was just part of the grieving process. She did do something unexpected though, she asked me to be in the delivery room with her when baby girl was born. I was taken by surprise but so touched by this.

The morning of the induction we were a nervous wreck. They told us although A was going in at 6:30 we would not arrive at the hospital till she had gotten her epidural and was dilated to a 6. The morning dragged. I was a bundle of nerves and just wanted to be at the hospital. Finally at 11:30 we were given clearance to leave. By the time we arrived she was just barely at a 6 and feeling very exhausted, just like she said she hadn’t slept at all the night before.

We sat in her room and talked (both her case manager and our case manager were present) while she tried to get a little sleep.We placed bets on when the baby would be born, how much she would weigh, and how long she’d be. A’s blood pressure was low so she was on oxygen and the baby’s heart rate was not as high as they would have liked so she was being monitored closely. A was handling everything well. She said she had done her mourning that night and she was feeling good about everything. At long last the doctor came in to check her. J and I stepped behind the curtain to give her some privacy, but we could still hear what was going on. He told her she was at a stretchy 7 but he thought if she pushed the rest of the cervix would melt away. She did a few pushes and all of a sudden a delivery was happening!

A’s case manager told the nurse to grab me and I took my place on A’s right side to help hold her leg. J stayed behind the curtain but there was a poster with glass over it so he could still kinda see what was going on. The machines were having a hard time picking up the contractions so there was quite a lot of adjusting going on. Finally they gave up on the machine and had the nurse keep her hand on A’s belly so we would know when she could push. After 2-3 pushes the doctor asked A if he could use the suction on the babies head because she was getting tired and they wanted to get her out fast. At this point I was really freaked out, I had been watching the monitors and knew that during some parts the baby’s heart rate had dipped into the 60’s. The doctor was great and kept his cool, but I knew he was concerned. After being assured that the suction was safe he placed it on the baby’s head and told A to start pushing again. She was a rock star. After 3 more pushed we saw her head, 1 more and baby girl came out into the world.

I was a mess when I saw her. At first I was scared because she was so pale, and then I was just in shock that she was here, I couldn’t hold back the tears as she started to cry and the doctor cleaned out her nose and mouth. He asked if I would like to cut the cord, but I shook my head and told him to do it because I was worried about A. At the sound of the first cry she burst into tears and was clearly distraught. She asked if the baby was okay and when she was reassured that she was she was able to calm down a bit.

J and I were both hovering around the area where they were weighing and cleaning off the baby. I have never been more in love with my husband as I was that day. He had tears streaming down his face as he looked over our daughter. It was one of those moments I will never forget. They handed us 2 papers with the baby’s foot prints on them, one for us and one for A. At this point J and I wanted to go talk to A but she was once again struggling. There was nothing we could have said in that moment to help her in her grief.

The baby was finally cleaned and wrapped up all tight. The doctor took her from the nurse and headed over to A. I can’t begin to fathom how hard this was for her. She pulled the blankets over her head and was unable to do anything but cry. When asked if she wanted to hold the baby she shook her head no, so the baby was placed in my arms instead. It’s such a hard thing to know how much happiness J and I felt in that moment as we finally became a family, while A was going through so much pain.

Our case manager told us that we should leave and take the baby to the nursery in order to give A some space. We were so lucky that we were able to spend so much time with our daughter after her birth. We sat and fed her for the first time, we cuddle and cooed over her perfect little features, watched as she was given her first immunizations (my poor baby girl!), and then given a bath. We were in love already and in awe of this amazing little creature.

But the hospital stay had only just begun. We were required to stay 48 hours after the birth and still had to wait 24 hours for the papers to be signed.

To be continued…

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