I know I still haven’t finished Otis’ birth story (yes there is more) but things have been kinda hectic around here lately. Lets just say that going from one to two kids is not easy! But I need to take a small break from the birth story for a very special post. This post is very near and dear to my heart as it is an announcement that makes my heart burst with joy.
Those of you who have followed me for a while may recall that many years ago I developed a close relationship with another blogger, Tutti. She and I connected on a level that I never expected when we decided to meet up eons ago. She became my rock during a very dark time. We went through infertility, recurrent pregnancy loss, and giving up hope together. I gave up hope when I lost my 4th pregnancy, she gave up hope when she got divorced. Things changed a lot for us after that. She moved across the country and we started heading in very different paths, but we never lost our connection. She was my biggest cheerleader leading up to Muppet’s birth and never seemed to resent me finally becoming a mother when she wasn’t. I truly feel blessed to have her in my life. I treasure a picture I have of her holding Muppet when she stopped by for a brief visit. Tutti has so much strength and such an amazing attitude towards life and I am so proud to call her my friend.
I am overjoyed to announce that Tutti, my dear friend has reached the end of her journey after all these long years. On Tuesday July 23rd, she welcomed her beautiful baby into the world, a daughter whom I’ve decided to refer to as Lucky. Both mom and baby are doing well and are home enjoying their time together and with loved ones. I’m dying that I can’t be there to hold this special little girl but I’m sending her my love from across the country. I’ve already decided that she and Otis will marry some day, whether they like it or not.
Welcome Lucky, you are truly lucky to have such an amazing mom and we are all so lucky that you have finally arrived.
I know some people have been asking for an update so I just wanted to stop in really quick and let you all know that our baby boy is here, happy and healthy! He was born June 15th at 12:18 pm weighing a tiny 5 lbs 4 oz and 17 3/4 inches long. His birth mom signed the papers terminating her parental rights 24 hours later and we are officially his guardians until his adoption is finalized in 6 months. I have SO many stories to tell about this whole process, it was so different from last time so hopefully I’ll be able to get some longer posts up soon. On this blog I have decided to refer to him as Otis. If you want to know his real name this is a major hint as there is a pretty famous duo where one of them has the name Otis. The other name in the duo is our sons name. Thank you everyone for the well wishes, I promise to give a better update soon!
It is absolutely amazing how much my life has changed in the span of a year, and even more amazing how much you can love someone that you’ve known for such a short period of time. 3 days ago my little Muppet turned 1 year old. I spent the whole week surrounded by a cloud of nostalgia about the previous year waiting for her arrival. I was bombarded by memories of those first moments when she came into this world and became our daughter. It feel like another lifetime ago.
This year has been the most amazing year of my life. Getting to spend my days with this intelligent, funny, beautiful child has change my world for the better. She has healed me in ways that I didn’t think were possible. She has also taught me something that I knew in my heart but that I always worried about: Being a mother is not about giving birth, it is about giving your life to your child.
Don’t misunderstand me, birthing a child is no small thing. I know that better than anyone as I find it amazing that children are even born at all after all my experiences of what can go wrong. I am SO thankful for A and for her amazing strength and sacrifices as she carried Muppet through those crucial 9 months. But being a mother is so much more. And I am SO lucky that I am the one that precious girl calls ‘mama’ and runs to for hugs.
Muppet is thriving. She is SO smart. She now uses over 10 signs (American Sign Language) and says a handful of words. She started walking 3 weeks before her birthday. She absolutely loves baby dolls and is quite the little mother. She carries them around while patting their heads and giving them kisses. She has such a sweet nature but is also extremely stubborn. If she wants something she lets you know it. She is a huge daddy’s girl. Every morning when he leaves for work she cries and watches him leave from the window. When he gets home she runs to the door laughing hysterically waiting for him to pick her up and play. She has 10 teeth with an 11th about to break through. She loves to eat and pretty much eats anything I put in front of her. Her favorite food is veggies of any kind. Words can not describe how much I love this little girl. She may not be my baby anymore but she is a pretty awesome toddler.
My little Muppet is 8 months old as of 2 days ago. It is unbelievable how fast time flies. This month she learned how to sit un-aided, pull herself into a standing position on pretty much everything in sight, and give her own version of kisses which is her wide open mouth pressed against your lips. So. Cute. She mostly army crawls, which she learned at 6 months, but she can crawl on her hands and knees. I think she prefers the army crawl because she is so fast that way where as the other way is still a bit new.
I’m so proud every time she learns a new skill but at the same time it breaks my heart a bit because she is growing up so fast and I want her to remain my baby forever. There is a part of me that is scared that this will be the only time I get to do the baby thing and it is flying by. But when she leans towards me with those big brown eyes for a kiss my heart melts and I know how incredibly lucky I am to have her.
Happy 8 months baby girl, we sure love you.
I’m still here, I’m still alive. I know I totally went all dramatic about Muppet’s sleeping habits and then disappeared. But the past month has been a challenge. Lets just say things got much much worse before they got better. All of you had awesome advice and I took all of it in. We tried a lot of different things, putting her down earlier, going back to swaddling, adding solids, ect. But nothing seemed to help. After 2 particularly bad nights when she woke every 20-40 minutes I made a middle of the night decision…I was going to take away her pacifier for sleep times. Because that is why she was waking so frequently, as soon as we put the paci back in her mouth she went right back to sleep. But I had enough, it was not a good night and I knew things had to change. So I just did it. At 1 in the morning I decided the next time she woke she wasn’t getting it back.
At the same time we decided to do something I thought I’d never do, sleep train. Yes those dreaded words that are met with so much controversy. But I’m telling you, when you are in a heavily sleep deprived state, you’ll do anything to help the situation. I read a lot of different books and we ended up deciding on the Ferber Method. The chapter on sleep associations hit us hard, especially when he talked about a child with a need for a pacifier at night. J even substituted the child’s name for Muppet’s because it sounded so much like her.The method is basically graduated cry-it-out where you go in to soothe them at extended times. I won’t lie, the first night was awful. She was crying, I was in the living room crying, it was a bad situation. After 30 minutes I broke down and told J I couldn’t do it. That night I held her close so she knew I still loved her and let her fall asleep in my arms. A few days later my resolve strengthened again. That night it took her 10 minutes of crying to fall asleep, the next night was less than a minute, the third night she went down without a peep.
Now she goes down for naps and bedtime without any trouble. Sometimes she takes 10 minutes or so to fall asleep but she never cries. At this point she was sleeping from 9:00pm (the earlier bedtime did NOT work out. We tried and tried but she made it clear she was not ready to sleep that early so we went back to what worked for us.) till 7:30am with 2-3 wake ups. Two of them I would feed her, and let her self soothe the third time. After a few weeks of this improved schedule I came to a realization, we were waking her up. She was such a heavy sleeper as an infant that it never occurred to me that we would be able to wake her by rolling over in our bed, but we were. So with a heavy heart we moved her from the pack n’ play in our room to her crib in her own room. I shouldn’t have worried at all! It has been an amazing transition! She loves her room and her crib. The first week she woke 2 times during the night to eat and then went right back to sleep, but even better, recently she has gone back to her pre-sleep troubles schedule of waking only once per night! I hope posting this isn’t jinxing it but we are so thrilled that all 3 of us are now getting a lot more sleep. We are all happier for it.
So for now we are in the clear. Our little girl turns 6 (!!!) months old next week and is such a joy. She is rolling and scooting around, desperately wanting to crawl but having trouble figuring out that she needs to use her arms to do so. She loves her daddy so much that it makes my heart burst to watch them together. We couldn’t have gotten luckier, she is such an amazing little girl. And for now at least, well rested.
To my little Muppet:
You turned 1 month old yesterday. It seems amazing to me that you’ve only been in our life for that amount of time. Already I have a hard time remembering what my world was like without you. You have brought me so much happiness and joy in the past few weeks. Before you I was treading water to stay afloat, but now I feel as thought I am diving in and out of the waves with ease. For 3 years there has been a constant gray cloud over my head but you were able to push that cloud away and bring out the sun with your big brown eyes.
This month you have grown so much. Instead of the docile newborn, you have started to become a flourishing infant. We have started to see pieces of your personality emerge and it brings us so much joy and excitement. A few nights ago your daddy made you smile and laugh by tickling your cheek with a stuffed animal. We tried so hard to get you to do it again, but you were content to give us just a little preview of what we have to come. We both cherish those few seconds of your incredible laugh.
For the most part you are a pretty good sleeper. You get a bath every night around 7 which is quickly becoming both of our favorite time of the night. You are content to kick away in the warm water and bubbles while I clean your little body from a hard day of play. After your bath we play for a few hours until it is time for all of us to go to bed. You usually fall asleep easily and will go up to 5 hours in between feedings. Every morning you get up early with daddy so you two can bond a bit before he leaves for work. This way I get a little extra sleep as well.
Your family adores you. We Skype with Grandma L at least once a week, if any of your Aunts or Uncles happen to be around at the time they swarm the screen to get a good look at how big you are getting. We have a line of people waiting to babysit you amongst our friends in California. They all want to hold you and kiss your sweet little cheeks. You are a very loved little girl.
This is only the beginning little one, you have a wonderful life ahead of you. I promise to do all I can to make sure that you get everything you want and deserve in life. You are my everything. Daddy and I love you so much, you have truly brought so much joy into our lives.
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.
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.