April 30, 2010
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I've mentioned before that Husband stays home with Pie, and that her preference for him is likely an offshoot of the amount of time they spend together. I was very "I'm ok" about it. Not so much anymore. Her preference for Husband has grown to the point that I could not put her to bed last night. She flipped out. Husband had to come take over, while I went downstairs, tail between my legs, to cry.
There is really nothing that can be done at this point. I have to work. I would rather Pie be at home with Husband than in daycare. That's the way it is. Period. I'm just hoping that this is a phase that she will grow out of...I'm just crossing my fingers that it happens before she completely breaks my heart.
To further illustrate, I present a slightly wonky pyramid chart of Pie's preferences. It's a Pie chart...get it?
April 29, 2010
She has moments, sometimes even long stretches of time, when she is incredible. She is snuggly, and smiley, and squeaky. She is so happy to be with us and to be chatting or playing. Those moments still bring tears to my eyes.
But at this point we can't figure out whether the anxious, unhappy baby is who she is and the happy baby is the exception to the rule, or if it's the other way around. I have my fingers, toes, arms, legs, etc crossed hoping that she is a happy baby who is just having a bit of a rocky start. Please let that be true...
April 28, 2010
In the interest of full disclosure, I should start this note with the fact that I am not a fan. I'm sure you're a really nice multi-gazillionaire, but your music just isn't my scene. I am, however, exposed to it in great volumes because my husband is what you crazy kids call a parrothead. He loves your music, admires your life (steel drums and all), and as if all of that weren't bad enough, I have to live with the after effects of your concerts too.
You were in town last night and my husband, brother and two brothers-in-law went to the show. I feel like it's important that you know the damage done by this event. In chronological order:
- Husband spent a crapton of money on booze for the pre-show festivities
- He has spent weeks "in training" to build up his tolerance and bladder in preparation
- He has also spent these weeks talking incessantly about what the show will be like, what music they should listen to on the way to and from the show, etc driving me utterly crazy
- They stopped at The Varsity for dinner. This is not a good choice given Husband's cholesterol issues which I'm sure you'll see once you take a look at the menu
- At the show itself much revelry and drinking was had by all
- On the way home from the show, they stopped at the Waffle House. Again with the cholesterol
- He stumbled into our house about 1:00am, waking me up. Thank god he didn't wake up our daughter...this would be a very different letter if he had
- He then proceeded to stink the joint up with all his booziness. Even when he was not in the room I could smell him. I fear permanent damage may have been done to the linens...the mattress...the carpet. Can drywall hold a smell? If we have to replace that too, you'll be getting a bill
- He woke me up around 4:00am to let me know he might vomit. Why he felt the need to have a discussion about this, I couldn't say
- And as the cherry on top, just being in a three meter range of him, I could taste the alcohol. Not pleasant when you haven't been drinking yourself.
I'm sure you mean well, bringing "joy and music" to the masses, but as you can clearly see it causes problems. Please take this into consideration the next time you are planning a tour.
Fins to the right and all that...
April 27, 2010
Husband and I entertain ourselves by saying, "oh no, don't eat me!" whenever she starts to gnaw on one of us. And in the last couple of days it has started to crack her up too.
Last night she was standing in my lap and I would bring her close to give her kisses. But she was not in the mood for kisses. She was in the mood for a quick mama snack. So I would pull her close, she would try to bite me, and I would say...you guessed it..."oh no, don't eat me!" Then Pie would squeak, and squeal, and giggle. Over and over we did this, and every time it was the same result. Squeak, squeal, giggle.
It got to the point that I was laughing so hard that I couldn't say my line anymore. Husband and I just can't believe how fast she is making these relatively big jumps in development. One day it's nothing and then the next she can grab her toes, or laugh, or squeal with happiness when one of us bends to pick her up.
I am awed at the changes. I cherish each one, and can't wait to see what's next.
April 26, 2010
April 23, 2010
He has very definite opinions about what colors he likes and doesn't like her in, the fit of certain things, god help us all if it's more than two pieces or doesn't include a onsie (no t-shirts allowed...they ride up too much). And perhaps most alarming, for me anyway, a deep-seated hatred of leggings. I feel very strongly that I should not investigate this hatred any further...I fear what I may discover.
The flip side of these opinions is possibly the sweetest thing ever. Every morning as Husband dresses Pie, he holds up each piece of clothing and talks to her about it. He describes the color, he talks about any pattern that may be there (this onsie has a monkey on it. what does a monkey say? oohh oohh aahh ahh.) Then he holds the piece of clothing up to himself so, in his words, "she can see what she might look like in it." I sincerely could just die from how much I want to squeeze him for this. It is just so damn cute.
I'm waiting for the day he starts to say, "Let's make it work Pie!"
April 22, 2010
Just had to put this down before I forgot. Last night during her bath, Pie splashed. A huge splash. She soaked me down completely! It was her first one. I was hysterical. Her little, sweet, and totally surprised face was priceless.
Husband came running to see why I was laughing and we tried to get her to splash again. She knew she had done something that made us laugh, but couldn't quite figure out how it had happened. She kicked her little feet, but they were under the water so nothing happened. She squirmed her little bum, no splash there either. I guess after that she was out of ideas. She just looked up at us with her huge eyes blinking and her eyebrows drawn together.
We tried to show her how to splash, but it wasn't sinking in. I can't wait to see if she tries again.
April 21, 2010
You, me, together
Oh my beloved pjs
Our time will come soon.
Oh how your priorities change with a little one. I just want to be in my pjs and sleep uninterrupted for a few hours. Bliss.
In our room her wake up process was several minutes long. A squeak here, a growl there, some squirming, some eye fluttering, big stretches and then she'd be up. Only after all of that was completed would she start to cry if we hadn't responded yet.
In her own room she goes from sound asleep to screaming almost instantly. There is no slow waking, no build up for response. It's instantaneous. I'm hoping that settles some the more she gets used to her own space. Husband has started hanging out with her in there a bit while she's awake so it becomes more familiar.
Any thoughts from you, O Great Internets?
April 20, 2010
April 19, 2010
I present to you this modern day tragedy in three parts.
Husband and I spent most of Pie's nap times yesterday working on her room. We got her so quickly that we didn't have time to do anything prior to her arrival. So the room has been a work in progress ever since. And by midday yesterday, we finally had it settled. It was time for the big move. Pie is getting too big for her bassinet. There was no choice.
At bedtime we took Pie into her room, fed her, and then laid her in her crib. She looked at me with great confusion. We calmed her and then snuck from the room. Within minutes she was screaming bloody murder. We were pacing teary-eyed in the hall. We went back in to sooth her again, and upon seeing us she moved her freak out to a new level. I couldn't deal. I picked her up and instantly she was calm. We decided to try again at her next feeding and took her back into our room. The moment we walked through the door she started smiling and cooing. It was insanely cute. It was also making the whole process much more difficult.
At her 4:30 feeding, Husband took her back into her room to feed her. I came in and snuggled with her a bit. She ate and was changed then came back to me for further snuggling. This time when I put her in the crib, she squirmed a bit but went to sleep. We snuck out of the room. Walking into our room minus Pie and all her baby sleeping apparatus was heartbreaking. I felt empty. We crawled back in bed and I cried some more, but Pie slept on oblivious to our struggle. I seriously considered swaddling the moniter and putting it in the bassinet so I could pretend she was still in the room.
I think tonight we may try some different things to have her in her room for the full night. It's incredibly hard for us, but it's the right thing for her. She's growing so fast and is borderline too big for the bassinet. Having her in our room is completely selfish. I miss her so much during the day and I love going to sleep hearing her heavy breathing. I love waking up and seeing her sweet little face right next to me. It seems so grown up and so far away to be in her own room. I've got to suck it up though. It's time.
April 16, 2010
- You snuggle me close, swaying and whispering sweet words to me. I will try to head-butt you. You may have noticed that I aim for the mouth and nose where I can inflict the most damage with the parts of my head that aren't still soft. (Note to self: when I do connect, words like "mutterflucker" and "holby schnit" are used. These words seem to have great power, must learn what they mean.)
- You sing me a lullaby and give me kisses on my head. I will fling my arms wildly. And God help you if I connect with your cheek or lips. I will tear them to shreds with my razor sharp, baby nails. (Note to self: again with the power words. Really must discover their meaning.)
- You take me through a series of positions, trying in vain to find the one that will sooth me. I will kick my legs violently. For me, it's a great ab workout. For you, it causes nothing but frustration. (Note to self: this maneuver usually ends with power words, an "I give up!", and a transfer to the other adult minder....how can I use this to my advantage?)
You can try and try your sad, little tricks, but I am a Nighttime Ninja! I can fight sleep better than Mike Tyson can fight Evander Holyfield! (Additional note to self: add ear biting to repertoire as soon as teeth come in...and I figure out which thing is the ear.)
April 15, 2010
- Your hold on personal hygiene will slip away. Days when you can get to the mouthwash will be a triumph. Things like flossing, conditioner, and shaving will be but distant memories.
- You will become comfortable being covered in a tremendous amount of bodily fluids. More than you should be comfortable with unless you are an EMT or possibly a porn star.
- You will have in-depth conversations about poop with other parents. These will be fascinating conversations.
- The lack of sleep/sheer exhaustion will drive you to have the weirdest dreams of your life. Fevered, crack head dreams. And I don't mean "Oh that crack was great, I hope I can find some more." I mean scenes from the movie Titanic cast completely with characters from Scooby Doo. "Oh man, we're like sinking Scoob!" "Ruh-roh!" "Let's see if we can hit the buffet one more time before the g-g-g-ghosts appear!" *
- You will have full-blown, introspective conversations with said baby...in public. Others will assume you've gone completely mad.
*Even in the dream you're aware enough to think, "Thelma...here's your chance. Grab another girl and get down to business!"
April 14, 2010
So once the appropriate cleaning and tending to Birthmom had been taken care of, Husband came into the room and met our daughter. He held her as I snuggled close and I wasn't sure my heart could take it. It was a joy like I've never experienced before. She was really here, and she was really ours. At least we were still on track with the adoption plan.
The hospital where Pie was delivered has a really cool program for adoptive parents. As long as the birthparents agree and there is space available, the adoptive parents can get a room and stay there with the baby until he/she and the birthmother are discharged. Thankfully there was room available. So about two hours after she was born Husband, Pie and I entered room 216 and settled in. As soon as the nurse left the room and it was just the three of us together for the first time, Husband and I looked at each other with mouths hanging open. It had happened. I was really in the hospital holding a newborn. And I was not visiting someone else. This one was mine.
Pie was born on a Tuesday and we were in the hospital until about 5:00 on the following Thursday. Over those couple of days we had nurses in and out, the birthparents in and out, and a parade of doctors and specialist checking on Pie and her recovery from the traumatic birth, doing her PKU test, hearing test, etc. We got used to seeing the birthparents a couple of times a day. They would come down from birthmom's room and hang out for an hour or two, snuggle Pie, and just generally kick back.
Husband and I were starting to get the hang of caring for a newborn, with a great deal of help from the nurses. One of the nurses looked/sounded/had the mannerisms of Su-Chin from the movie Juno. So every time she left the room, one of us would say either, "Your baby has fingernails you know" or "All babies want to get borned." And then we would laugh and laugh. Ahhh, good times.
Thursday morning rolls around and we call the attorney to let her know we'll all be discharged that afternoon. Her paralegal came over and the birthparents came down to our room to sign the papers. While we sat completely motionless, Birthmom surrendered her rights to Pie. I felt like if I took a breath or made eye contact it might not happen. But without hesitation she signed all of the paperwork. She was very settled and confident in her decision. In Georgia the birthparents have 10 days to change their minds, no questions asked. So the attorney told us the deadline was Monday, January 25th at 5:00 pm. Now we had a concrete day to focus on. It then took another couple of hours to get us all checked out and ready to go.
Standing in front of the hospital with the birthparents, Pie in her seat, waiting for Husband to bring the car around was so strange. Saying goodbye to them was beyond awkward. What do you say to people who have just given you their child? How do you say thank you? How do you comfort them and protect yourself? We gave them big hugs and promised to see them soon, and then loaded ourselves into the car. I don't think I'll ever forget the feeling of driving past them, birthmom shuffling stiffly after the birth, birthdad helping to hold her up, with their daughter in my car. Driving around the corner and slowly losing sight of them and feeling like they would never know the gift they gave us, would never know how grateful we are.
We had a very tense, rush hour drive home. We finally arrived, brought Pie in and then...we'll we had no idea what to do. For the first few days we took shifts with her, always having one of us awake because of her respiratory problems at birth. And that first night, holding this tiny little person, singing her a lullaby, I finally cried. And cried. And cried. And cried.
April 13, 2010
Fast forward 20 years and I'm on the verge of becoming a mom myself. Thankfully I would not actually be birthin' no baby. To make things more fun, Pie was two weeks late. Husband and I were going out of our minds waiting for "the call." So January 12th rolls around and I'm not feeling so great. I'm fighting a migraine and am generally crabby from the stress and lack of sleep. I decided that I would go back to sleep for a bit and then go into work late morning. As I'm drifting back to sleep I hear a phone buzz. I assume it's someone from work trying to get a hold of Husband (we work together). It was not. It was Birthmother saying she was in labor and had been admitted to the hospital (after two false alarms in the previous weeks).
Needless to say we flipped out and proceeded to run around like crazy people. We managed to calm down and get to the hospital about 10:00 am. And then we waited. And waited. And waited. Pie's birthmom was only fingertip dilated for most of the morning. Eventually they gave her some drugs to help things along. They didn't help much. At some point Husband and I went to get lunch as a distraction/time waster.
We loaded that tray with just about everything the hospital cafeteria offered. We were so lost. And then proceed to eat basically none of it. We just had no appetite. We were so nervous and so excited and basically scared sh*tless.
We finally gave up on lunch and headed back to the room. On our way out of the cafeteria (which we would become far too familiar with over the next few days) I saw this sign and it made me laugh so hard I cried. I realize that it was likely the stress and exhaustion, but damn I thought it was funny....
Multi-purpose spoons. What the hell else are they being used for? Why do we need to be told they are multi-purpose? We're in a hospital...should I be afraid? Should I bring a few to help scoop out the baby in case she's stuck? So many unanswered questions.
Eventually 6:00 pm rolls around and they check Birthmother again. She's an optimistic 3 cm. They are being generous. The nurse tells her they'll be back to check again at 9:00 pm and if she hasn't made significant progress by then they'll have to seriously consider a c-section. At some point during the day Pie had pooped and they were concerned about the meconium aspiration. They planned on having a respiratory specialist in the room to make sure all was ok at the birth. We're all preparing ourselves for a c-section and feeling a little relieved that it would be done one way or the other shortly.
At 9:00 pm the nurse came back to check and was shocked. Birthmother was fully dilated and ready to push. All of a sudden there was a whirlwind of people and stuff going on. Birthmother doesn't have family here and Birthfather is not good with the whole pain/blood/guts situation so I had said I would happily be in the room if she wanted a friendly face with her. She hadn't decided. At the last minute she said I could stay.
My life changed in 15 minutes. 12 pushes. 3 sets of 4. That's all it took for my life to turn into something I had only dreamt of. Watching Pie be born was the most miraculous, humbling, amazing, beautiful thing I've ever seen. I had three cameras in my hands ready to take pictures and didn't take a single one. I was so overwhelmed. When she came out Birthmother and I just looked at each other like...holy crap that just happened. Then we noticed something wasn't quite right.
In addition to the meconium aspiration, Pie's cord was wrapped around her neck 3 times. 3 TIMES! Which had gone unnoticed because Birthmother's prenatal care only included one ultrasound at the halfway point. That's a whole different story. Pie was blue and unresponsive. Her 1 minute APGAR was a 2 out of 10. I have never been so terrified. Thankfully the respiratory specialist was already there because of the meconium. He was incredible, a rock star, a life saver...literally. After he worked his magic, her 10 minute APAGR was a 9 out of 10. And she passed every other test with flying colors from that point on.
They handed her to Birthmother first and then she handed her to me. I felt like the Grinch Who Stole Christmas. My heart grew three sizes that day. I can still feel her weight, her warmth from that first moment. I still get tears in my eyes thinking about it. The nurses needed to work on her a bit more. Including cleaning up her cord, which I got to cut. Tougher than I expected. So while they did some cleaning and maintenance. I tore off down the hall to tell Husband that our daughter had been born. Our perfect, tiny, baby girl.
April 12, 2010
Openness: How much is too much? Too little? Just right? (Subtopic: Who ate my porridge, sat in my chair and is sleeping in my bed?)
An open adoption is not something we had ever considered before. I take that back. We were adamantly opposed to an open adoption. We wanted to rock it old school. Get thee to a nunnery, drop the baby off in a basket on our front steps, and then disappear into the night never to be heard from again. I felt like it would be too hard to have the birthparents involved, and possibly too confusing for the baby. We have always intended to be very open about the fact that Pie is adopted. It is a simple fact of her life, like her eyes are gray and her hair is brown. We already tell her the baby version...she grew in someone else's tummy, but we are her mommy and daddy.
So far it's been surprisingly easy. The birthparents are so confident in their decision, and from the moment we made the adoption plan, they have never strayed from that plan. And we are so confident in their conviction that it has never occurred to us to be nervous about the contact. I know people struggle with how casual we are with the contact, but it's working for all of us for the time being.
I do worry about what exactly it will be like when Pie is older and can understand who the people visiting her are, but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.
April 9, 2010
Sleep deprived and barely awake, the heavy breathing starts. Husband and I start to chuckle. Inevitably one of us says. "Heh, heh, what are you wearing? Heh, heh, I have on footie pajamas with bunnies on the feet." And then we both laugh. It's probably wrong to make that kind of joke about your 3 month old. But we both have a sense of humor equivalent to that of a 15 year old boy.
We also have a habit of yelling "NAKED!" whenever the Pie is...wait for it...naked. God we're clever. We have far too many pictures of her naked, cottage cheese bum. It's so cute and squishy. As one can imagine given her rolly-polly legs, the rest of her is sized to match. The hippo scene in Madagascar 2 is frequently referenced. You plumpin, you round, damn girl...you huge.
April 8, 2010
April 7, 2010
In the last week or two it seems as though she's made some huge transitions. She has moved up a size in diapers, up a size in bottles, up a size in clothes, up in the number of hours she sleeps at night, up in the number of hours she is awake during the day. They don't seem like such huge things...big deal...she gained weight and has to use a bigger diaper now. Intellectually I get that. Emotionally it feels like she's already such a big girl.
With all of our fertility issues this little Pie may be the only child we have. And every milestone, no matter how small, is both exhilarating and a little bit sad. I can't wait for her first word, her first step. I imagine all of the things we'll do together and revel in the anticipation. And at the same time wish I could freeze-frame her. Keep her so tiny that her foot can disappear completely in my grasp. Keep her happy to sleep on my chest, so close that I can smell her milky breath and feel her heartbeat against mine. I would imagine that is a base struggle for all parents.
April 6, 2010
He is staying home with our daughter while I go to work. He is being allowed the opportunity to bond with her like far too few fathers are afforded. It is overwhelmingly sweet to watch them together. She loves her daddy and the feeling is beyond mutual.
It is also overwhelmingly heartbreaking to watch them together. She has a clear preference for him. I know it is not personal, it is merely an extension of the fact that she spends so much time with him. That does not make the knife to my heart any less sharp. When I was little I did not dream about my wedding, I did not plan some high-power career. All I wanted was to have babies and stay home to raise them. I am the anti-feminist. Barefoot and pregnant sounded blissful to me.
The reality is that my husband is in school and not working full-time because of his class schedule. The reality is I make more money. Babies are expensive. Houses are expensive. Someone needs to make the money to pay for these things. It is me for right now. He has said to me that it feels like he is living my dream. He likes to tack on that if I could add a beach house and a Ferrari into my dream he would appreciate it greatly.
Things will change. He will get a wonderful job and perhaps then I can have my turn at home. There will be a time when girl things happen and my daughter will prefer me over her dad. I just have to hoard the smiles and snuggles I get now until that day comes.
April 5, 2010
I'm still waiting for the moment when I truly believe it. Waiting for the moment it seems real.
I have waited a lifetime to be someone's mom. I had accepted that it would likely never happen. Then you fall from the sky, a wish answered. I cannot believe my luck. I cannot believe that there is a day, in the not to distant future, when you will say mama and mean me. I cannot believe how your arrival has made me fall even more in love with your dad, more than I thought was possible. He is a big man, and you are so tiny sweet girl. But I've never seen someone so gentle. He loves you so much that it is almost heartbreaking to see. You make him laugh and you make him a little crazy too. It is a sight I never thought I'd see. It was so worth the wait.
You, my dearest girl, are loved beyond your wildest imagination. And one day soon, I hope I finally feel that you are officially mine.