I’ve been wanting to post an update for the past week-ish, but more important things have been consuming my time. LOL Amelia has hit a stage of not wanting to sleep as much (during the day – I’m lucky that she still sleeps well at night), which I admit can be physically tiring, but I wouldn’t trade the smiles and non-stop jabbering for anything in the world! We have had some difficult days (I’ll just say Tuesday’s meltdown in Sam’s Club was SUPER AWESOME… and no, I am not talking about Amelia, although she was crying too :P) but I continually remind myself that these stages are going to go fast. Too fast. She’s already grown so much since she got here and I know she is not going to be a baby for long. Even when I’m tired and don’t know why she’s crying, I look at her and let the overwhelming love that I have for her take over the frustration. I am not perfect and confess that on Tuesday, I ended up hugging her, kissing her cheeks and laying her in her crib to scream for about two hours straight. I laid on my bed and cried while she did and seriously stayed that way for about two hours… but I am still very grateful to be going thru this experience. I’m not saying it to sound all Hallmark-y, I really am beyond grateful. I’ve always wanted to be a real Mom… and this is it… and I love it.
Amelia is now three months old (12 weeks on Mother’s Day, I believe) and she has grown so much, it boggles my mind. She has such an infectious personality. Since I didn’t have a chance to go to Heather’s for pictures (I certainly wasn’t going to ask her to set up all of her stuff while she had our entire crazy loud Kroeber family in her house) I took a few pictures just to mark the age.
The quality isn’t nearly as nice as Heather’s, but regardless, the goal is to save memories before I blink and she’s 20!
So….. I got to experience my very first “real” Mother’s Day last week. I kind of dreaded the day and actually tried to pretend it was nothing significant. Just a Sunday. *Meh* no biggy. Well, the Saturday before Mother’s Day happens to be Birth Mother’s Day (most people don’t know that… Now ya do) and on that day, I found myself thinking about Dustin even more than usual. I thought with a lot of detail about how he might have been as a baby. I wondered if he slept well and how often he’d wake up at night, if at all. I thought about how Amelia is not laughing yet, although most babies her age are… I wondered when he started laughing. I thought about a lot of simple things like that. This of course is not the first time I’ve thought about those things, but it’s a little bit different now that I have a baby of my own that I get to watch change and grow every single day. I wonder if they are anything alike. I also wondered if he’s been told. Granted, I have not yet sent a letter to Magui and Geary updating them of Amelia’s birth (and name, etc.) but I did send them a letter when I found out I was pregnant and another when we found out her sex. I wonder if they told him and if so, how is something like that addressed? This year was different in a lot of ways and one very positive thing was that I didn’t feel nearly as sad as I usually do. The pain is still there, but it’s not nearly as sharp. Amelia has NOT replaced Dustin in my heart. Nothing and no one can fill that space… but I feel like she has allowed the wound to heal just a little bit more. It’s not as prominent.
For the past 10 years, Mother’s Day has not been a good day for me. I generally do my absolute best to set aside the pain and focus on the wonderful Mom’s in my life that deserved to be acknowledged. Although I genuinely enjoy being with my family on this day and celebrating not only MY wonderful Mother, but also all of my Sisters, without them I would not be an Aunt! Despite all of that joy, the pain of being excluded from the feeling of being a Mother was always on my shoulder, whispering that it was not me. I am not a Mom. I am not to be celebrated. I would watch all my nieces and nephews running around, playing with their cousins, celebrating their Mommy’s… and I would see what I was missing. SO many times have I gone into another room to take a deep breath, sometimes let myself cry a tiny bit, before returning to the loud, happy festivities. So many times I’d go home after the dinner and quality time with my family and close myself in the bathroom and cry. Even though I only spent 2 days with him, only knew him for that short time… only kissed him for a few hours, I miss him terribly. I miss all that could/would have been. When it comes down to it, I cry because I’m jealous. I’ve been selfishly jealous of what I didn’t have. But it was my choice. Don’t misunderstand my pain and jealousy for regret. These are human responses that can’t be controlled. I have heard SO many people over the years say (in regards to Birth Mothers) that if a Birth Mother cried about these things (Birthdays, Christmas, Mother’s Day, oh hell… ALL holidays for that matter) that they must have been unsure about their decision, or really feeling regret for what they did. I was even once one of those people that thought the same thing. My sister Heidi once had a roommate/coworker who had placed a child for adoption (before Dustin was born) and she told us about how often she cried. I remember saying the same thing. “She must regret her decision.” This is ridiculously untrue. I realize that it’s not anyone’s fault that they see things this way, because it’s impossible to understand from an outside perspective, but do NOT misunderstand my tears for regret. I’m allowed to have selfish emotions. What I do with them however is what makes the difference. I let myself cry a little and then I let go of that emotion and focus on what he gained (and continues to gain) from my pain. That was the price I knowingly paid. That doesn’t mean I can’t let myself feel it sometimes. This year still had those feelings. I miss him. I often wonder about what he looks like and what his personality is like. I often imagine what it would have been like to be his Mommy… but this year, I looked up and saw Amelia. It was almost a tangible thing. I was in her room doing the same daily routine of getting the day started, when I stopped what I was doing and just looked at her. The feeling that came over me in that moment was almost beyond description. It overwhelmed my entire being in that moment and as I was standing there looking down into her sleepy eyes, she looked straight into my eyes and grinned so big her cheeks squished up and I laughed and started sobbing. Like I said, the pain still exists. Dustin still exists. The fact that he came from my body and left with a piece of my heart will never go away… but THIS is my focus. This little girl… she was given to me. I get to be her Mommy. THAT feeling is indescribable. THAT blessing FAR outweighs the pain of missing what I let go of. I let myself stand there and hold her and cry for quite some time… and it felt so good. In 10 whole years, I have never cried happily on that day. I had no real idea how it was going to feel and any feeling I could have possibly imagined didn’t even come close to this.
While Bart was outside doing the regular Sunday routine (mowing the lawn), I continued with my regular things… playing with Amelia, washing some bottles, cleaning up dishes from the night before, etc. Bart came in when he was finished and asked what I wanted for breakfast, just like any other weekend. I was on Facebook for a few minutes and scrolled thru at least 3 posts of my friends, complaining about not getting breakfast in bed, or help with chores, or that their husband’s didn’t even offer to take over baby duties to give them a day off… and it made me sad. Why do people choose so often to focus on negative things? Why do people focus on this unnecessary sense of entitlement? Just because it’s a day meant to celebrate Mother’s does not mean that you and only you should matter. My sister in law posted something in her blog (in regards to Mother’s Day) about my brother apologizing that she had to do so much work on Mother’s Day… you know what her response was? ” What better way to spend Mother’s Day than happily mothering?” How true! Really! Why would you feel like because it’s a day to celebrate you as a Mother, that it would be a day to NOT be a Mother?? How on Earth does that make sense? I refuse to allow myself to be one of these people who gets upset at their spouse because they don’t get everything they put in their own minds. And Breakfast in bed just sounds like a mess waiting to happen, by the way. I’m clumsy enough on a solid surface, thank you very much. Bart did make me breakfast though – comfortably at our dining room table. While he was preparing breakfast, I went upstairs for something and when I came back down, I found this on my place mat:
It’s Amelia’s birth stone. Oddly enough, this is the exact charm I wanted to buy for myself right after Amelia was born. And no I never showed it to him or said that I wanted it. He chose it on his own. He looked at me and said “You didn’t think I forgot, did you?” Of course I cried. I hugged him and cried for at least 2 whole minutes. Cried and cried and cried. LOL (and maybe he wouldn’t like me saying so, but I’m pretty sure he teared up as well.) And I did say, for the record, I knew he didn’t forget, but I certainly didn’t expect a gift in a box. After all… he gave me that little girl. After I excitedly went back upstairs to grab my Pandora bracelet and came back to put my new charm on, he served breakfast and as we sat at the table eating (again – solid surfaces people!) Amelia was asleep in her swing and I just stared at her. A few seconds later, I looked at Bart and he had been watching me and he said “She’s still here.” I continued to cry just a little more as I was eating my favorite french toast, feeling amazed. So… “this is what it feels like”. I am so grateful to have Bart in my life. He is an amazing person, an amazing friend and a beyond amazing Daddy. I’m even grateful for the struggles we have been thru together. We are so much stronger because of them. It’s a comforting feeling to know that no matter what we’re faced with in our lives, I don’t ever worry that we might not make it thru our challenges, because I know that we can and we will.
Later in the day, we went to Heather and Christopher’s as we usually do (we tend to have family get-together’s there). All I can really say is that it was a significantly different feeling as we were walking up to their front door. I could hear all the usual noise coming from inside the house, the kids squealing and playing and everyone talking and laughing… it was the same as every year… except that this year my heart was pumping excitedly, almost as if I was going to show off my beautiful baby (as if they’d never seen her before LOL) but it was such a happy feeling. This would be the first time I walked in on this day and felt like I was PART of the celebration, not just there for support. I admit I felt slightly silly (only slightly) because I’m pretty sure I had a permanent grin on my face the entire time. At least I felt like I did. I am sure most people would just consider it a normal family day, with dinner and conversation and laughs… but it was so much more for me. Not only do I now know what it feels like to be a Mommy, but I get to share it with my entire family, who has been there for me my entire life and has walked thru the pain of placing Dustin for adoption since day 1. When Heather came in and saw that we’d just gotten there, she came up to me and hugged me. I know I have said it many times before in my blog (and even more often away from it), but she has always been a huge support to me. Sometimes she doesn’t even HAVE to say anything and I just know that she is thinking of me, as if she doesn’t already have enough going on in her life to occupy every second of her brain power LOL. I know that she is one of the very few that thinks of me during Mother’s Day and more specifically, on Birth Mother’s Day (most people don’t even know it exists – understandably). I don’t care how often I say it, but I am so grateful to have her in my life. I am so happy that I got to share my very first happy Mother’s Day with her there. I only get one sister in law and I’m pretty sure I got the best one out there. I really do have an amazing family. Every single individual member.
I am grateful for my Mother. As I’ve gotten older, I have come to understand her more and more (not to mention that I become more and more like her). I’ve thought about all that I put her thru when I was younger and it makes me admire her strength so much more. With everything I did to myself, I never once felt her love me any less. I pushed her and pushed her and abused her and lashed at her too many times to count and all I can recall in my mind is her constant hugs and kisses, her tickles and laughs and her never ending beyond unconditional love. She was there for me and took care of me every second of my pregnancy with Dustin and cried the most painful tears when she kissed him goodbye the day he went home with his parents. She has the strongest empathy of any person that I know and takes on the pain of everyone around her so that they don’t struggle alone. I KNOW that she is not a perfect person. She makes mistakes and is aware of her flaws and is self conscious about them. Sometimes she cries when she gets frustrated or overwhelmed (like me) and she talks a lot. She doesn’t realize how beautiful she is and sometimes focuses too much on her flaws. She isn’t very good at Math, is quite scatter-brained and gullible and is not the best chef in the world….. but no one in this world has her heart and I love her exactly, EXACTLY as she is with no edits, changes or additions. Any woman who can carry, birth and raise 5 children and 30+ years later have every one of them feel this way about her…… is nothing but an absolutely AMAZING Mother and no words that can be said or written would ever be sufficient to portray what she means to me. I truly hope to be half the Mother she is.
I know that this is kind of silly, but there have been SO many times over the years that I have felt like the lyrics of this song came out of my heart and was written for my Mom. I certainly don’t listen to them very often, but this song pops in my head more often than you’d think and every time I hear it, I cry. I’ve wanted to send it to her many times, or burn it onto a CD for her to have, but I never do. So, I don’t care how silly it is, but I’m going to share it with her before I let something else get in the way.
(I hope the link works….) Click: Mama I Love You
I love you Mommy. Thank you.
What can I say, other than: Being a Mom is amazing. I’ve had some people tell me “you were already a Mom!” The fact is: I may have been a “Mother” for the last 11 years because I gave birth to a child, but… No. I have not been a Mom. I’ve never experienced raising my own child and getting to hold and kiss him/her any time I wanted to. I’ve never experienced breast feeding and changing diapers all day and all night and cuddling a fussy baby and knowing that baby just wants her Mommy. Me. And this experience so far has made my love for Dustin even stronger, knowing without a doubt in my mind (not that I had any doubts before…) that I made the absolute right decision for him. There is no way I could have handled raising him on my own or given him everything he deserved. I wouldn’t have been able to handle being responsible for him on my own. Taking care of a baby is difficult and during those difficult times when I’m overly tired and emotional, having the other parent is a huge help, but even more than that, when I look at Amelia’s smile, particularly when she’s grinning up at her Daddy, I can’t imagine having my child grow up without their Dad around full time.
When Bart and I stand side by side and Amelia looks up at his face and then mine and then back to his… and smiles… I can’t even really describe what that feels like. Dustin would not have had that if I’d chosen to raise him myself. I’m so grateful that he had/has that, even though it wasn’t with me. And I’m so grateful for Bart. He’s such an amazing Daddy. I knew he would be, but there was no way I could actually know how he would BE with a baby. His obvious and overwhelming adoration for Amelia brings tears to my eyes often… and his natural connection with her was instant. Someone actually warned him that with newborns sometimes the Dad doesn’t get a real connection for a couple months and that couldn’t be further from fact. Bart was hooked the SECOND she was born. I could practically see the shift in him the very moment she made her entrance. lol Truly, can’t really describe it.
So… we are now 2 1/2 months in to this adventure and we are loving it. She is amazing and has so much personality. She makes me laugh every single day and sometimes I admit I still get tears in my eyes just because of the overwhelming love I have when I look at her. Sometimes I look at her while she’s asleep and think “she’s still here… and she really is mine”. I hope that I never let myself take this for granted… being a Mommy. I hope that I never take for granted how big of a blessing it is that I am able to stay at home with her. A lot of people are not as fortunate and I am so grateful to Bart for not only making it possible by how hard he works, but for being so amazingly supportive and wanting the same things for our child. We both felt strongly that it was best for her to be raised by US, not by a daycare… but I would be lying if I am not a little selfish in it… it’s not just for her. It really is for me as well. When I made the decision to place Dustin for adoption, I promised him that someday I would be the kind of parent I was unable to be for him. It wasn’t a silent promise… I spoke the words and held him close and promised that I would do my best. I know it might sound like a strange promise because me being a mother to another child doesn’t benefit him personally, but to me it was something I needed to promise him. I certainly wouldn’t have been able to keep that promise on my own and I’m extremely lucky to have such an amazing partner in my life.
It really is amazing how fast Amelia is growing. I can literally see changes every day. Sometimes when I get her out of bed in the morning, I feel like she’s grown half an inch overnight! (Hey, she might have!)
Sometimes when I’m holding her and she’s asleep on my chest, I think that this little thing was in my belly not too long ago and that she wouldn’t fit in there with how big she’s gotten! As of Sunday, she was about 10 1/2 lbs. Holy guacamole. It really is a bitter-sweet thing. Of course I want to see her grow and be healthy and progress in life, but I sure wish she could stay this little and cuddly.
Amelia is a super happy, smiley baby. Over the past couple weeks, she’s been discovering more and more that the sounds she’s hearing are coming out of her. LOL She “talks” all the time and smiles while she’s talking, as if she’s proud of herself. She’s been trying to laugh and the sound cracks me up and I can’t stop grinning. I can’t wait for her to really laugh, but just knowing that she IS laughing (just not making the sound) is almost indescribable. I could just burst with the amount of love that overwhelms me every single day.
This, my friends, is what we refer to as “Stretch Face”. She does it every single day when she is waking up (morning, nap, etc.) One of the reasons this face makes me laugh SO much is because it is the EXACT same face that Bart makes when he’s stretching. Literally, the exact. same. face. Picture it on a 27 year old man… Are you picturing it? HAHAHAHAHA I love them so much. Along those same lines, Amelia is the stretchiest (is that a word?) baby I have ever seen. This is a source of my laughter EVERY single day. When she wakes up in the morning in particular and I un-swaddle her, she stretches SO dramatically and groans and growls SUPER loudly for a good 2-3 minutes after waking up. I will just sit there and laugh and laugh and laugh until she’s done. Even me describing it doesn’t do it justice. I’ve attempted to get it on video a few times (which I don’t have on this laptop, so I’m going to need to upload them at some point… maybe create a “Stretchy Melia” montage. LOL My oh my, it’s one of the funniest things in the world. Trust me.
Her smiley face cures almost ANYTHING that ails me, almost instantly. Seriously, how can you look at a face like that and not be on cloud 9? LOL
This is one of my current favorite outfits. I think bright colors suit her personality really well. (Those pants are BRIGHT orange, but I notice they don’t really look it in this picture). And her hair has started doing this on it’s own. It grows to the side so sometimes it almost looks like she has a comb-over. I love it. LOL
Well, I’ve been trying to post this for 2 days now and I have to stop again, so I might as well just post as is. LOL I’ll update more later
For those of you who don’t have Facebook, I figured I should probably post something here as an “announcement” 😛
Yup, she’s here. Amelia Grace Moorman was born at 8:28 PM on Sunday, February 17, 2013. She weighed 7 lbs. 8 oz. and was 19 1/2 inches long. Despite our mental preparation for her to be in the NICU, she was perfectly healthy and didn’t have to go there at all. We really feel like she’s a miracle, with all the stress and complications we had during the last month of pregnancy. We’re so grateful, I don’t think words can really describe it. She is amazing and every moment with her makes my heart throb.
Obviously some time has passed since my last post, so I thought I’d give an update. Also I’ll admit I just need to get some thoughts out. I haven’t talked much about what’s been going on with anyone but immediate family members simply because I’d rather keep the opinions to a minimum (I’ve already had a bit more than I can handle) but I figure not many people other than family read this blog, so who cares? I’ll just start from the “beginning” of the curve ball:
About the second week of January, I was told to go to the “lab” at the hospital and do my routine glucose test. They usually do this test around 20 weeks, but I guess there was no reason for concern so it was pushed off. Still not entirely sure why, but it’s irrelevant. This is the test where they make you drink a not-so-lovely “sugar” drink, sit for an hour and then after the hour, they draw your blood, etc. Long story short on that one: I failed. Miserably. My glucose level was about 221 or something outrageous like that (120-140 I think is supposed to be the highest). So, because I failed that, I was ordered to go back for a second test known as the “3 hour test”. They draw your blood when you first get there, then give you the sugar drink, then draw your blood an hour later, then an hour after that, then one hour after that. My blood sugar was too high to even GIVE the sugar drink, so I basically failed without even taking it. Result? Gestational diabetes. I didn’t take it well. I’ve known a handful of people who have had gestational diabetes that managed it just fine and everything was just fine… so I really don’t know why I had such a hard time with it, but I really, really did. I was crazy emotional. I’d done my best to keep myself and this baby healthy from the moment we found out I was pregnant, so what had I done wrong? This is how I felt. I’ll skip through the weeks of specific details, but again Bart and I did ALL we could do and all we were told to do to manage the diabetes and make sure our baby was taken care of to the best of our ability. I was first put on a strict diet, given a meter, test strips, lancets and a tracking book and instructed to test my blood 6 times a day. No problem. ….No luck. I was then prescribed Glyburide to add to the strict diet. A pill? I can handle that. …Useless. The only thing left? Insulin. So, we started insulin. One injection called “Novalog” and the other called “Lantus” (one is a short term – one a long term… not gonna go into detail on that). Since starting insulin, my dosages have been increased about 3-4 times. My blood sugars have definitely improved, but are still not under control. As of now, my insulin dosages are such:
0745 – Check blood sugar: take that number, subtract 100, divide by 20. Calculate carbs for upcoming meal (30), divide by 4. Add those two numbers together = Novalog units… Shot. Set timer for 15 minutes. Eat.
0915-0930 – Lantus Shot – 33 Units
1030 – Check blood sugar: Eat 30 carb snack
1245 – Check blood sugar: take that number, subtract 100, divide by 20. Calculate carbs for upcoming meal (45), divide by 4. Add those two numbers together = Novalog units… Shot. Set timer for 15 minutes. Eat.
1515 – Check blood sugar: take that number, subtract 100, divide by 20. Calculate carbs for upcoming meal (45), divide by 4. Add those two numbers together = Novalog units… Shot. Set timer for 15 minutes. Eat.
1815 – Check blood sugar: take that number, subtract 100, divide by 20. Calculate carbs for upcoming meal (45), divide by 4. Add those two numbers together = Novalog units… Shot. Set timer for 15 minutes. Eat.
2115 – Check blood sugar: take that number, subtract 100, divide by 20. Calculate carbs for upcoming meal (30), divide by 4. Add those two numbers together = Novalog units… Shot. Set timer for 15 minutes. Eat.
2130 – Lantus Shot – 40 Units
Along with the above schedule, I am going to UVRMC (Hospital) every Monday and Thursday morning for NST’s (Non-Stress Tests) where they measure the fluid around the baby and strap me to a monitor for 30-45 minutes and track her heart rate and activity, etc as well as my blood pressure, contractions, etc. (I do have quite a bit of “Braxton Hicks” contractions… often.) Because of all of this going on, it was decided that I should leave work earlier than planned and stay home. The original plan from day 1 was that I would work up until she was born. The plan changed when all of this first started and decided I’d work until the last day of February since baby isn’t due until March 6-11th. As time went on and there was little to no improvement, the Specialists, our regular OB and Doctors there (I feel like I have an entire TEAM working just for me now…) and Bart’s continuous worry, we decided I’d work until the 15th and that was it. Then last week at my regular NST, they told me they were concerned about Preeclampsia and that they strongly suggested I not return to work at all. That was Thursday (the 7th)… the 8th ended up being my last day at work. Fast forward to yesterday because I’ve already rambled a bit more than I planned… I went in for my regular NST at 0900. I was hooked up for a LONG time before the nurse finally told me that the doctor was going to come talk to me. With the amount of fluid around the baby (“24” is high… I’m at 30-36), my high blood pressure and the fact that my blood sugars are STILL not controlled even with MASSIVE amounts of insulin, she looked me in the eye and said “if we wait much longer, we’re risking her being still-born”. Yup, that was enough to freeeaaak me out. She then continued on to say she wanted to do an ultrasound right away to get measurements on her so they can get an idea of where she is developmentally then they’ll decide whether to induce this week, etc. etc. etc. I had to stop her mid-sentence and say “I need to call Bart”. She said we needed to do the ultrasound right now, that she had a free spot. “No. I need to call Bart. He can be here in 5 minutes”. She finally understood the severity of my panic when I was having a hard time breathing to avoid sobbing hysterically… so she let me call him. He was there within a few minutes, so we waited a while (I gave up the “free spot” for ultrasound so he could be there LOL) Anyway, she looks good although she’s measuring about 2 weeks ahead. They estimate she’s about 7 1/2 lbs. which is encouraging because if she HAS to be born 3 weeks early, it makes me feel a little better that maybe she’s developed enough to be ok. Then they sent us up to Labor & Delivery (where Bart got to witness a woman in active labor – his first experience LOL – he turned to me and said “are you gonna be like that?” HAHAHAHAHA) and we spent the next 3 ish hours being hooked up to monitors, having my blood drawn and start of a 24 hour urine sample. (Yay. I just LOVE lugging around a bright orange hazardous waste jug everywhere I go… even better, keeping it in the fridge! WOOHOO!) anyway, they said that if it was ok, they’d let us go home and we’d induce Monday. If not they’d induce right then. Luckily we were released with the awesome orange jug to take home. I was instructed to pee in the jug until noon the following day (today) and return it to the lab… then call a couple hours after I return it and we’ll make a final plan/schedule induction. Most likely for Monday. Yes, THIS Monday. As in 3 days from now. But hey, Heather pointed out that if this baby is born on Monday, she and Briella (my newest niece) will be exactly 2 months apart LOL ……*Sigh* So, we have the weekend to get as much ready as possible I guess. LOL My mom is coming over today, Harmony is going shopping for stuff tomorrow and I imagine we’ll spend Sunday getting her room finished. Well, the room is “finished” we just need to organize her closet and stuff. This is definitely not how I wanted this to go, but I just have to be positive and believe with all my strength that everything will be ok. She’ll be ok. (Doesn’t make it any less emotional… but still).
And as requested, here is a picture of my 36 week belly (oh hey, I’m even wearing the same shirt as the last picture I posted LOL) :
Since it’s been over a year since I’ve posted anything and I have a lot going through my mind today, I felt like writing a bit…
I’m still absolutely loving my job at Xact Payroll. I’ve been there for about 14 months (obviously, judging by my last post…) and I honestly have no complaints. Of course I am a little sad, in a way, that I’ll be leaving in March to “work from home”, but I’m certainly excited about the reason. Yup, we’re having a baby. I’ll be 27 weeks on Monday and IT’S A GIRL!!!
I’m pretty nervous about how it’ll be for me to not work (considering I’ve been working full time since I was 14 years old… aside from the unemployed periods….) or more specifically for me to not have my “own” income, but I know it’ll work out and we’ll figure it out in our own way. I’m really grateful that Bart wants the same things I do when it comes to raising a child, especially the part of having a stay-at-home parent. Of course for me it means so much more considering that I’ve already missed one child’s life (although yes, quite different), but I made a promise to him that someday I would be the best mother I possibly could be when the time was right. I’m glad we waited until it was right for us. We got the crib and a rocking chair/glider for the baby’s room and sometimes I just find myself sitting in there and looking at it. Isn’t it pretty????
Granted the chair is pretty comfy so I don’t need much coaxing to just go sit in it.
It’s all a little surreal to me sometimes… we’re going to be parents. At one point in my adult life, I was pretty positive that we never would be. Maybe my way of defending my emotions, but I really never let myself get my hopes up too high. I’ve gone through a lot of different phases since I placed Dustin for adoption and one of them was definitely not knowing whether I ever *wanted* to have a child or not. Of course deep down I knew I really did, but somehow pretending you don’t care about something seems to be a natural way to protect yourself. I admit I went through some strange and unexpected emotions (aka “Denial”) when we found out I was pregnant… I confess that I took probably 5-6 home pregnancy tests. Even after our first appointment at 8 weeks, I struggled with feeling a real connection to this baby, or even accepting that I really was. I think in my conscious mind, I was convinced that I’d misread the tests, or that the doctor was wrong (I think I actually asked “how does he know that my uterus is 8 weeks? Maybe that’s how my uterus always feels! He doesn’t know me!”) and the moments I had when I “accepted” that I was pregnant, the feeling of “well something is going to happen and I’ll lose this baby” wouldn’t go away. I was positive I’d have a miscarriage. It wasn’t until our visit at 12 weeks… which I dreaded more than I can describe… that we were supposed to hear the heartbeat. I was so nervous, I felt like puking the entire way to the Doctor’s office… the waiting room – horrible. Then we went back and Dr. Nance laid me on the table and prepped me (squeezed that cold sticky gross stuff on my belly) and put the dopler against my skin. Nothing. Time went by… …..Nothing. After what was at least 2 minutes, I started mildly hyperventilating, trying to keep myself from openly crying. I knew it. I knew it wasn’t real. And obviously I got my hopes up too high because I wouldn’t be upset if that wasn’t the case. He kept moving the dopler around… waiting. I wanted him to just let me up. I was done. I turned the best I could to look at Bart, to will him to read my mind and get me out of there, but he didn’t read my mind. He just smiled and held my hand. He knew I was in pre-panic mode, I’m sure of it. At least another minute went by of him poking and rubbing the thingy across my belly, trying to conjure up a heartbeat that didn’t exist and I was growing more upset and angry and panicky with every second that went by… and them WHUMP! Whump, whump, whump… WHAT?!?!? Yeah, talk about insta-tears. I don’t think I realized that I had started to hold my breath after Bart had squeezed my hand and that me holding my breath was the only thing keeping the tears back. There was a heartbeat. Loud and clear and strong and I must have more or less blanked out after that, drowning in tears and gasping for air as Dr. Nance was talking to us. I know he talked to us for a bit, confirmed that we were 12 weeks along I think, more talking, then we were in the car on our way home. Then I started laughing. Almost anyone who knows me knows that generally laughing is my natural reflex reaction to most things (good, bad or indifferent…) I looked at Bart and just couldn’t stop grinning/laughing and said “Ok…. it’s real.” and he laughed “NOW it’s real??” LOL It’s been pretty good since then. I’ve let myself enjoy it. It’s been strange (in a good way) for me to have someone here by my side through the whole thing too. I certainly didn’t have that the first time. Someone that is interested and cares and participates. Feeling her move and kick for the first time (around 14 weeks) was amazing… even more amazing? The first time Bart felt her kick. That was a first for me… to experience it with someone else. So surreal. She is extremely active… very much so particularly when I’m trying to fall asleep… but I do love it.
Anyway, I’m sure there is a ton more I could write about, but at the moment… I’m pretty hungry, so this is it for now. Maybe I’ll make more of an attempt to write regularly so I can “record” things better… I guess that’s the point of a journal, right? 😛
Today I completed day 4 of my new job. Yeah, I got a job in Lindon, doing basically exactly what I was doing before (Payroll Specialist). So far I love it and I love the people. I don’t love the drive, but I know I’ll get used to it, especially since when I worked for Mangrove, the daily drive was even farther than this one. The construction on I-15 definitely doesn’t help things though.
Today I also completed day 5 of Bart being gone. We stayed up at Zack’s house Wednesday night and they left for the hunt early (before I was awake) Thursday morning and won’t be back until Sunday, the 16th (no clue WHEN on Sunday they’ll be back…) LOL The longest we’ve been apart I believe was 5 days, when he went to California for work. So, knowing that he’d be gone for TEN days this time was kinda weird for me to even think about. What I didn’t think about though, was that not only will he be gone for ten days, but he has no cell service either… so I have no way to talk to him at all! At least when he was in California, we still talked and/or texted every day. So, it’s a really strange feeling. I hope he’s having fun and I hope they’re being safe, but I admit I’m pretty selfish. I have a hard time falling asleep without him around and I miss him already. I find myself worrying about silly things. I know I shouldn’t worry, but anyone who knows me, knows that I worry about people that I love. It’s definitely true that “absense makes the heart grow fonder”. hahaha I really do miss him, but I’m grateful for the rare times that we are apart like this, because it always makes me realize how lucky I am to have him around all the time. No particular reason, just that I like talking to him and hearing about his day, and listening to him laugh and playing with Gideon and hugging him when he comes home from work and laying in bed talking about whatever comes to mind. Oh and Gideon pretty much has just been sleeping a lot – apparently I don’t play with him properly (and he has to get used to me working all day now, too!)
Only 5 ish days to go……
I was looking through some of my old Journals today (which I do every once in a while when I’m working on my book, to get a “refresher” on memories) and came across this entry and it made me smile. (and obviously it has nothing to do with my book 😛 )
Today is Taisha’s 12th birthday. I can’t believe how fast time is going! Sometimes I really miss living with them and seeing the kids every day. Oh and Kaitlyn started walking this week! It’s so cute and she is surprisingly good (haha). I slept over there on Thursday night and watched her all day Friday. It was nice to be with her again. She’s growing so fast. Speaking of growing fast, I got a letter from Magui and Geary last week. They sent me two pictures. One on Dustin’s “1 1/2 birthday” and one of his first day in Nursery at church. He is SO big. He’s got 13 teeth and they said sometimes he uses them to get back at Shelton (couldn’t help but laugh a little!) His favorite thing is his cars. He says “vroom vroom” It made me so happy to hear from them. I wasn’t expecting it.
So… wow. Today is Taisha’s 20th birthday and I’ll repeat the same words: I can’t believe how fast time is going. Even though she has grown so much and has a child of her own, sometimes it’s hard for me to not still see her as a little girl. I have this problem with all of the kids. LOL But I feel blessed that I have such awesome nieces and nephews and that I get to be part of their lives.
I would so love to see a picture of Dustin and know more about what he’s like, but I’ll take what I can get. My high from getting the small update a couple weeks ago is still going pretty strong, even though I haven’t received a response to my reply email yet. I have faith that they will though, so I won’t pick at what I “wish” to be and I’ll focus on what IS.
I have felt pretty good the past week. I started going to Zumba on the 15th and although I haven’t actually made it to the class every day (because of interviews this week, mostly) I have worked out every day, whether it was Zumba or Turbo Jam. So, I’m very proud of myself for working out every day. By every day, I mean Monday thru Friday. I really wanted to try to work out EVERY day, but weekends are just too busy and I decided that since that’s when Bart isn’t working and we can spend time with each other and go places and stuff, Saturday and Sunday, my priority is family. Anyway, I weighed myself on Monday and from working out the previous week, I lost 5 lbs. I’m not going to let myself step on the scale more than once a week, because I’ve found that if I weigh myself every day, my weight fluctuates SO much that it tends to bring me down if I weigh myself and I’m UP a pound from the previous day, etc. So… I admit I’m kind of eager to weigh myself on Monday and see how I did, considering I worked out as hard as I could this week. On Monday, I actually went to Zumba, did Turbo Jam in the afternoon AND went on a 2-3 mile walk with Harmony (and got an awesome sunburn to show for it!) She also gave me a “Camelbak” water bottle (mine’s pink ) just like the one she has (and I’m pretty sure Lena and my mom and possibly even Heather all have the same kind) and oddly enough, it’s REALLY helped me increase my water intake. I’ve already proved to myself in the past that it’s easier to drink water out of a straw than it is to unscrew a water bottle and drink that way. I know that sounds ridiculous, but for whatever reason; it’s true. I drink at least double the amount of water that I normally would with a straw than I do any other method. And I can basically continue working out and drink water at the same time with this bottle, rather than STOP to get a quick drink with a normal bottle. And no, CamelBak isn’t paying me to advertise for them, but seriously, this bottle rocks! HAHAHAHA
I went and visited Hallie and Liam the other day. He’s growing really fast (of course… damn babies that refuse to stay babies! lol) and it was sooo nice to hold him. It’s strange to me to not see a nephew very often. I think my relationship with my nephews and nieces is probably a little strange to some people (I’ve had people comment on it before) but keep a few things in mind:
1. I was 8 years old when I became an Aunt, so at the time, that little baby boy was the most interesting thing in the world to me. That mindset has pretty much stayed the same even now, almost 18 years later.
2. I lived with and/or next door to Lena’s kids for like 8+ years, so not only did we see each other every single day, but they pretty much lived at our house during waking hours… often during the night ones too.
3. I don’t have children. More specifically, I do not have my child living with me, so of course I have a piece of my heart that finds happiness in seeing my nephews and nieces grow and develop and succeed and learn and be able to hug and kiss them and tell them I love them when I don’t have the opportunity to see my own child do those things or give him hugs and kisses and tell him that I love him.
So anyway, my point… Liam was born on August 31st and other than this week, I had only seen and held him once. I feel the same way about Nevaeh (Taisha’s daughter) because I don’t get to see her (OR Taisha) very often. I guess that’s part of growing up though. You can’t keep your family 5-10 miles away from you forever.
A couple posts ago, I mentioned that I had written Dustin’s parents a letter (and in comments, mentioned that they did in fact pick it up). I talked to a couple of my “Birth Mother” friends about my feelings regarding this letter. I write to them often. At least a few times a year, just to update what’s going on in my life and what not. I write to them the way you would write to any friend that you don’t see regularly. They know all about my family, my nieces and nephews, even some of my closest friends. They know about the Birth Mother’s Group that I belong to and what I do to try to help fellow Birth Mother’s deal with their loss. Writing to them is not an uncommon thing and seeing as how I’ve been writing them multiple letters a year for almost 10 years, it’s nothing out of the ordinary… but this letter, that I sent on August 11th, felt different. I really don’t know why, because it’s not like I said a whole lot more than what I usually say, but I had a really strong feeling that this letter would get a response. I also mentioned that in this letter, I offered my email address. Sometimes maybe it’s not foolish to believe in a feeling that strong. Yesterday was a good day.
I always have my iPhone by my bed (that’s what I use as an alarm – Clock alarms? Soooo 10 years ago HAHAHAHA) and I guess I kind of just do the same thing basically every morning. I wake up and check my phone. Sometimes I have texts from people that were sent after I went to sleep the night before, or occasionally a missed phone call (to which my response is always “WAS IT AN EMERGENCY!? AGH!” lol) and then I check my email. Anyone with an iPhone knows that when you have an email, you have notifications on your email “button” that says how many emails there are… mine ALWAYS says like 6 unread emails, or more. Sometimes a dozen. Keep in mind that I have THREE email accounts set up on my phone. My personal, my “business” and my BirthMom Buds email (registrations, requests for technical help, requests for support, etc.) so it’s not new. I always have my fair share of Junk Mail too, which sometimes I delete without even seeing what it is. I can just tell. Anyway, I’m babbling. So I opened my email, went through each one, deleted the junk, la de da, and I see a name that jumps out to me. “Geary”. My phone previews the first line of the email, so I see “Hi Destiny. This is Geary” and I BOLT upright (almost falling off my bed in the process) and I can’t even describe what my heart did at the moment. Double summer-sault, triple flip, Stop in your tracks….? I immediately started crying, then laughing, then shaking so badly I could barely tap the email to OPEN it (AGH, why won’t it open!??!!?) and laughing at myself for shaking so bad that I couldn’t open it LOL and of course all of this causes Gideon to JUMP up from his deep sleep and run over to my side of the bed, try to climb up, nudge me incessantly until I finally scratched his nose as fast as I could, took a deep breath and was able to open the email. The email was short, but for all it did for my heart, it might as well have been 100 pages. I laughed and cried and read it over and over and over… then immediately texted Heather, then my BirthMom friends; Michelle, and Marilee, and Coley, and… well, a few other people. LOL
Even though it was short, it made me feel so much closer than I have been the past few years. He told me that Dustin was on the honor roll last year and he loves sports and drawing. He said that they talk to Dustin about me often and that he likes getting my letters. He also mentioned that Dustin has trouble sitting still and is a little hyper (I couldn’t help but laugh – wonder who he gets that from?!) Even just that tiny bit of information made me picture him so much clearer. And KNOWING that Dustin knows who I am and that they talk about me takes a huge weight off of my shoulders. I admit that I have never really been SURE that they tell him about me. Some adoptive parents wait until the child is older to explain it, so I just didn’t know. Knowing that he reads my letters and knows who I am… well, it’s an indescribable feeling. I also know that he liked sports when he was really little, but I had no way of knowing if he still DID as a *almost* 10 year old. Knowing things like that make things completely different. It tells you a lot about a child if you know that they prefer reading or playing video games, or if they prefer sports, etc. It really made me think of myself at that age and it makes me happy to know that we may have things in common. (Although for his sake, I hope he didn’t inherit my A.D.D.)
I replied to the email and right now my biggest focus is not to get carried away. LOL I know that email is certainly faster, and Geary even mentioned it would be easier, but still… our agreement was once a year contact and I should not expect more than that, email or paper letter.
Everyone asked this, so I might as well add it 😛 but no, there were no pictures. I’m SO happy about the email, not to mention how HUUUUUUGE of a step it is to start communicating via email (since that was NOT part of the original agreement) that I refuse to complain about what I didn’t get. Also, photos were “mentioned”, so I admit I have reason to be hopeful that there may be photos in the near future. They certainly didn’t say “NO” to the request for photos. So, at this point I’m just floating in the joy of what I’ve learned about my baby and nothing in the world could bring me down right now!
I actually stole this from Heather’s blog, but I really liked it. This reminds me so much of my family. I think I would hang this on a wall in our house if I could find it.
This morning at 5:18 AM, my Great-nephew (no official name yet) was born. 5 lbs. 14 oz. and 20 1/2 inches long. It’s still very surreal to me that Jake is a Dad. Jake has kind of always been (and probably will always be) my “baby”. I was only 8 years old when he was born, so it’s not that I’m that much older than him, but I’ve watched him grow from day 1. He was my first nephew and he made me an Aunt. I did almost everything with him when I was younger. They even lived with us for quiet a while after he was born, so I helped with everything that I could. I fell in love with him the second I saw him and it only continues to grow. I still see him as a little boy, even though he will be turning 18 in less than 6 months. When he told me his girlfriend was pregnant 8 months ago, I thought it hit me pretty hard, but nothing compared to this. There’s a different feeling between “my baby is going to be a Dad” and “My baby IS A DAD!”
Yesterday when Hallie went in for her checkup, her Doctor was concerned with how little the baby was moving. I’m sure there were other concerns involved (such as how small he was) and they decided they needed to induce her. They basically let her go home and get clothes, go eat something, then go right back to the hospital to get started. Jake texted me around 2:50 PM saying he was on the bus from school to Payson and when he got off the bus in Payson, ran to the hospital as fast as he could just in time for her to be walking out, heading to get clothes, etc. The rest is history now.
Hallie did really well and I’m told she is doing fine and is just sleeping now after being in labor all night. (Her labor was still a good 7 or so hours shorter than mine!) I’m so proud of Jake for being there for Hallie the entire time. She is very lucky to have him and this baby is very lucky he has such a loving Dad.
He is healthy, beautiful, bald (just like Jake was!) and yup… my baby is a Daddy.