Posts Tagged ‘motherhood’
Some of my favorite moments in life right now are the simple ones late into the night with my lovely boy stretched across my lap, hand on my chest or neck, sweetly cooing at me.
I coo back.
He talks himself to sleep while I gently rub his head.
How did I ever get so lucky?
Then there are the nights he moans and groans and whines and kicks and punches me as he fights sleep even as his eyes are closing… but we won’t talk about those. 😉
You laugh instead of cry as you realize your baby has pooped while in his jumperoo and has not only managed to get it all over his butt, but his legs, feet, socks, leg warmers, arms, hands, jumperoo, and the pillow under his feet as well.
You laugh instead of puke as you get poop under your fingernails while you attempt to clean him.
You laugh instead of run away as you decide to cut off the onesie rather than get poop in baby’s tightly curled hair and on his face.
You wash your hands (and his!) five times.
You still love said baby after this most nasty deed.
Merry Christmas… a few days late!
This holiday season has been especially special for us, for obvious reasons. Even so, it has been a huge adjustment. We were absolutely not expecting to be parents this year. Well, towards the beginning of the year we were, but about half way through, we gave up hope and had resigned to the fact that we’d have to endure another holiday season without a child. You’d think I’d be absolutely overjoyed, right? Well, I am. But I’m also a mixed ball of emotions. This is something I haven’t really said much about to anyone, because it’s hard to understand which makes it hard to explain, but here goes nothing.
I had no idea it was possible to be completely in love with your new baby yet still somewhat stuck in your old babyless funk. I feel guilty even admitting that, but I’ve always been an open book, so there you go. It’s a strange transitional thing. It’s the enormous weight of the situation on your shoulders. It’s the balancing of your vision of the thing with the reality of the thing. It’s something they briefly touched on in our adoption seminar and I’m sure was talked about even more in the resources we were given (which I did not read. Oops.), but it’s still not something I expected. You have this expectation of what it will be like. And it’s totally not like that. And that’s not a bad thing, but it’s still a thing you have to accept and deal with.
For example, when I would daydream about the day we met our child, I envisioned myself being completely overwhelmed by emotion and a huge bawling mess. Reality? I was entirely calm and strangely serene. It was partially due to being in shock thanks to how fast it all happened, but I know that can’t be the only reason. I didn’t shed one tear that night. I was indeed overjoyed and fell in love with him the second I saw him, but I didn’t feel the burst emotion I expected. I didn’t bawl the first time I saw him, held him, hugged him, kissed him. Was there something wrong with me? I choked up a bit as a nurse told us a little about his birth mother and as the realization hit me that he was mine but may not have been, but was, and I couldn’t live without him any longer… yeah, that choked me up. But no tears fell.
In fact I didn’t shed even one little tear until we left the hospital. After we walked out that door and the nurses said goodbye, exhaustion slammed me, and again reality hit that he was mine. Here was this tiny (TINY) vulnerable innocent little human, totally entrusted to my care. Dustin put him in this ginormous car seat, and I completely lost it. It was like motherhood struck me all at once like a lightening bolt, and I suddenly saw every bad and scary thing that could happen to him, and since I was the parent, it was my responsibility to prevent them and protect him from every bump and scratch and stick and stone. I was terrified to take him home in that truck. My poor husband probably thought I didn’t trust him to drive home, but it was the world I didn’t trust. Couldn’t we just keep him safe in our arms in the little hospital room, where doctors and nurses and life saving medical marvels were within arms reach? Did we really have to put him in that huge car seat and take him out into the cruel world full of an impossible number of people and things and situations that could hurt him?
Every tear that had been spared since we found out we would be parents suddenly rushed out and I was a huge mess. When we pulled over to get gas and snacks for the road, I took him in my arms and held him and bawled like I hadn’t bawled in years. We’re talking the type of bawling that’s so hard it makes your stomach hurt. I can’t even explain all the feelings that were there, but they were numerous. I think I freaked out my mom a little bit. 😉 I clutched him and I cried and I prayed until it was time to leave and I had no choice but to put him back in his seat. And then I was okay.
I’ve had such little discernible emotion since then, I’ve often questioned my love and bond with my new son. I’ll tell you that is hard to admit. Even though my head knows that love doesn’t equal feelings, it’s hard to let go of those expectations. I’m sure my husband and mom and friends are tired of my self doubt, and truthfully so am I, but while it’s greatly diminished, it’s still there a bit. I think every day his smiling face melts my heart, it goes away just a little bit more. Of course, it’s replaced with another self doubt – can I really do this?!
But back to the funk. I’m stuck in this weird transition phase, where I’m balancing these old expectations with the new reality. For years, I battled fairly severe depression. The pain of not being a mother when you want it more than anything can be so real and so deep that you feel it in your heart – your real one, the one that beats and keeps you alive. Physical pain. Most of the time I shoved it deep and tried to shield the majority of it from the world. It was mine and I would let myself feel what I needed to feel, but there were few that I exposed that part of myself to entirely. I dealt with that pain for so long, that moving from it to happiness is… interesting… and not as smooth as I would have thought.
Having Isaiah in my life has been very healing. His smile and coos and his wise, deep brown eyes are all like a soothing salve to my wounds. But while even deep wounds can heal, you know it’s gonna leave a scar. It’s like I remember that it hurt and it hurt badly, but though I don’t remember the actual pain, I still feel the aftershocks. I realize that makes no sense to anyone but me. Or maybe it rings true to someone else out there. Grief is a strange animal.
So this Christmas was odd. Not only was it sweet and strange all at once, my poor husband was sick with an icky case of bronchitis and I caught a cold. That picture perfect baby’s first Christmas of my dreams just did not happen. Reality? We spent a quiet day among the people that mean the most to us (that we could – obviously some of you were not with us, unfortunately). We started the day late, partially due to me being extremely tired and partially due to Dustin feeling so poorly. The morning was spent keeping the boy happy while merely surviving ourselves. *laughs* The afternoon came and we went to my folks’ house for a late lunch and to open (baby’s) gifts.
We ate turkey, dressing, green beans, mashed potatoes, and crescent rolls. Pecan pie, cookies, and apple cranberry pie rounded out the food portion of the day.
We held our son and helped him open up his first Christmas gifts.
We watched him try to eat the wrapping paper.
We caught a few photos.
We went home, exhausted.
Picture perfect baby’s first Christmas of my dreams? Hardly. Instead of beautiful carolers bundled up on the porch singing songs of joy, we heard hacking (hubby) and screeching (Isaiah!). Instead of taking beautiful photos all dressed to the nines, in front of a perfectly decorated tree… we took candid snapshots in decent, clean clothes in front of a tree we rushed to throw ornaments on that very afternoon (cause who has time to decorate a freaking tree with a newborn and a business?? And where are all the ornaments, anyway? We could only find two boxes.)
Even the turkey just tasted like turkey (imagine that).
So was it perfect? No.
It was better. It was real. We had our real selves there with our real son, experiencing the real reality of real life. Sickness and boring turkey and half decorated tree and all. I won’t look back on the day as a fabulous spectacle of great, picture perfect holiday memories… but I will look back with a smile and fond feelings, because of him. The real, screeching, pooping, exhausting, hyper, fabulous, dimpled, drooling, smiling him. (And oh yeah… you other people that were there, too. I guess. *wink*)
Grief. Failed expectations. Transitions. Reality. Motherhood. There are a lot of strange feelings going on in that head of mine. I figure I’ll sort them all out eventually, or they’ll sort themselves out. I still wonder if someday I’ll experience the huge swell of emotions that I expected to come along with each loving gaze at my child, but I now know that’s silly. Instead I’m trying to focus on being the real, loving mom that this real, little man needs and expects me to be. I hate that I’ll inevitably fall short of his expectations and he, too, will someday be hit with the harsh force of reality. Yeah… my not being perfect? One of the many things I wish I could shield him from. But on the other hand, it’s probably good that I can’t.
Because perfection is boring and overrated.
Reality is the new awesome.
See? Us. Real.
It’s awesome… snot, screech, drool, and all.
I guess it’s about time to blog about my new son. Since he’s already 1/4 of a year old! He’s growing entirely too fast. Can’t I stop the clock for a bit?
Let’s go back three months.
*zooooooom!* (Cause all cool time machines go “zoom”, right?)
*zoooooooOOOOOOOOOOM!!!!* (Cause three months is a long time.)
It’s the incredibly hot morning of September 1st. I’m minding my own business (aka “sleeping”). My phone rings. I sleepily answer. It’s our case worker, whom I had just spoken to a couple weeks prior, walking away from that discussion discouraged that we would more than likely not be parents this year. She says something about a baby being born the day before. I yawn. We’ve been through this before. She says he’s ours if we want him. I perk up. We have not been through this before.
I blink in disbelief. Rub the sleep from my eyes a bit.
She tells me the story of Z, who at that time was just an unnamed baby boy. I don’t feel as though his story is mine to tell, so I’ll leave out most of the details. But I will say that it is one of love and joy, and heartache and pain all rolled into one tiny little amazing life. She tells me that he is an African American baby, born approximately five weeks early. He is under 5 lbs. Do we want him?
What a silly question. That would be a big, fat yes. Before I knew any details about Z, it was a big, fat yes!
But I say I need to call my husband and discuss it with him, and I’ll call her back. (Big, fat yes.)
Honey, do we want him?
Big, fat yes.
The next 24 hours is a whirlwind of craziness. Shopping, cleaning, coordinating schedules. And driving. September 2nd comes and we have a quick meeting with a local case worker to update our home study and pack our bags and hit the road, on our way to the hospital. Night falls and we are about to meet the most incredible little soul… the tiny little man that would become our son.
While my husband and mom (who is traveling with us) are practically jumping out of their skin, I am remarkably relaxed. The hospital staff take their time checking us in. We go up to the labor/delivery floor and check in with the nurses there. We meet a nurse who is incredibly hard to understand, but sweet. She gets us settled into our room and leaves to get the boy. She brings him in…
Wait. Nope. False alarm, people. She just brought pillows. Freaking pillows. Where’s my son??
She finally wheels him in, all wrapped up like a burrito, sleeping inside a clear plastic bin on top of a metal tray on wheels. His head covered by the same pink and blue knit hat you see on newborns across the country.
The first thing I see are lips. Gorgeous, full, pink lips. And the cutest little nose. And stunningly gorgeous mocha skin.
Love. True love at first sight.
The next few hours become a blur in my mind, but they are full of cuddles and pictures and kisses and happy phone calls.
I am home. Home is where the heart is, and this guy had it from hello. (Wow. Hello, cliche. Stop groaning, people. It’s a freaking Kodak moment, mmmkay?? It deserves a cliche or two.)
After a truly surreal night of watching and feeding and loving, it’s now the morning of September 3rd. We meet with even more case workers from our agency and fill out a pile of paperwork which officially makes him ours. We spend the next 24 hrs in the hospital with him. More watching and loving and feeding and learning to care for our new baby Z. All throughout the day and night, we meet several more nurses, all of them having something to say. About his birth mom. We are broken hearted that we do not get to meet this woman, but God sees fit to bless us with little tidbits about her. Even though we do not know her, we are blessed to learn about her. She is a woman of faith with a quiet spirit. Strong and confident. Lovely. Loving. She knew what she had to do, but it was hard. She showed an incredible amount of love for her son to carry him and then give us the opportunity to raise him as our own. She is giving us the most precious gift ever. The word thankful doesn’t even begin to describe how we feel. We remain hopeful that someday we can tell her… if we can manage to put it into words.
The morning of September 4th arrives and brings with it baby Z’s discharge papers. We pack up, tell the nurses goodbye, and begin our lifelong journey through parenthood.
*MOOOOOOooooooz!* (Back to the present, right?)
You already know this, but he’s awesome. And beautiful. And strong. And hilarious. And truly the happy I’ve been waiting and hoping and praying for. There is a lot more to him and of course this post only covers a very condensed account of the first few days, but I’ll try to share a little here and a little there. If you’re on facebook, you already know a lot. 🙂
But isn’t he awesome?
I found a missing piece.
We are finally home.
I’m completely and utterly addicted to my son.
This evening I was gathering his clothes, and picked up the sleeper he was wearing this morning before we started our day. I sniffed it. It smelled like him. My heart melted. I’m surprised there’s anything left of it, really, since he makes it melt at least 100 times a day. His smile… oh, his smile. I am convinced it’s the key to solving the world’s problems.
He’s awesome wrapped up in awesome with an awesome on top. And a side of extra special.
I have a son now.
He’s three months old.
Also? He’s awesome.
I guess I haven’t rambled in a while. Truth is, I haven’t had a lot to say. I’m definitely in a funk these days. Call it depression, call it the blues, call it a funk, dreary, the blahs, whatever you want to call it I have it. All I want to do is sleep. I cry at the drop of a hat. Or the whack of a hammer…
*I hit the heck out of my finger yesterday. I was cutting some discs for an order, and the big, heavy duty mallet landed on my finger instead of the punch. Hardened steel + big, heavy duty mallet + lots of force = OUUUUCHHH!!! Although what I said was far less polite than ouch.
*I tried to take a photo of my poor finger, as it is quite bruised, but for some reason the bruises really don’t come out on the photo. It’s weird. It looks ugly. And it still hurts.
*Arnica cream does not help when you whack your finger that hard.
*Crying for ten minutes straight while calling your finger very ugly names does not help either.
*Icing it while crying and calling it ugly names does very little in the way of comfort too.
*Typing hurts. Though yesterday I could not use it at all, so I guess hurt is somewhat of an improvement.
*Our flooring project is almost complete.
*Well, kinda. All of the flooring is down, and now we’re trying to put the baseboards back on.
*Well, “we” meaning my dad. And sometimes I watch. Nail guns scare me. Hello, I can’t even use a mallet without killing a finger.
*Dustin and I are shopping around for a camcorder. I’m thinking about video blogging. I don’t know about that though. I mean, your expectations of me are so high… I’m not sure how many times I can say “yo” and “fart in your general direction” on camera. Either way, we need a camcorder to catch those precious moments that are sure to come… such as baby’s first booger bubble.
*There will be no baby booger bubbles if I never finish revising and mailing the four extra copies of our scrapbook. It should have been done a month ago. Yet, it’s not.
*I’m rethinking this whole parenting thing. I’m thinking I’m not cut out to be a mom. I don’t want to do it anymore. I’m going to be a horrible mom. Please don’t tell me how great I’ll be because I won’t believe it. This is why the revised scrapbook is not sent. Mental block. I may never finish it.
*I bought a Beco Butterfly and I’m not sure I like it. It says it fits from 4’11”, but I’m 5′ and it does not fit right. Too bad. I was excited about it.
*I am now sold out of cuff bracelets at the moment. This is a good thing.
*I’m tired of my house being a torn up mess. I have a Sam’s size package of toilet paper in my living room. There’s just something not right about that.
*I was supposed to get a new tripod today, but UPS sucks and is running behind so it won’t be here until Monday. The macro is too much for my $15 Amazon.com tripod and me no likey the camera shake. Me also no likey the small amount of noise I get from shooting at 800 ISO. So, I ordered a Manfrotto tripod with a ball head. It’s supposedly rock solid and can support enough weight to last me through any camera upgrade I might want to throw at it.
*I’m so thankful that my second Etsy shop (jewelry supplies) is paying for my newfound photography addiction. Because it does.not.end. and it’s a ‘spensive addiction, yo. My shugah daddy can’t buy me everything.
*Speaking of shugah daddy (gosh, I hope you all know that’s a silly joke), he just got an iPhone (merry Christmas, hon) and now thinks I need one.
*It’s his fault (love you, hon) that I’m now addicted to YouTube. It all started with watching phone reviews, trying to decide which cellphone to buy. I do need a new cellphone, I just do not need an iPhone. Who needs GPS when you’re never far from home?
“iPhone… where is mom & dad’s house?”
“Right down the road, idiot.”
“Oh. Ok… where is the health food store?”
“Just a little further down the road, gosh!”
See? Who needs that? Sassy, those iPhones.
*I think he’s winning, because despite the fact that I don’t need GPS or an iPhone, he has somehow brainwashed me into wanting one.
*I now feel strange talking about all the expensive electronics in our lives. We’ve never before bought expensive electronics. This is new. In fact, before the past couple years, we’ve never bought expensive ANYthing. We’re blessed with hubby man earning a really good salary and my business endeavors paying for my silly little hobbies right now. I know it will all end with the introduction of children (formula’s ‘spensive, yo). (That’s the second “yo” that you would not have gotten were I video blogging.)
*I do not want to be a mom that yells. Last week I yelled at my parents’ little diva dog. Does that mean I will yell at my little diva kids? I can’t do this.
*I still hate the monstrous crib of hideousness, but I think I’m too tired to care.