Sunday, March 25, 2012


I'm struggling with my honesty on my blog since we have been brought together with our baby girl.  I cannot be fully honest in part because there are few family and friends that read the blog.  For those people I am not an anonymous blogger and baby girl is a real baby.  So in order to protect her adoption story I've had to hold back details.  At times I feel like I appear judgmental because I've held back details that would shed a little more light on the situation but sometimes I can't share details for the sake of baby girl.

I also struggle with my honesty because I started this blog to be able to reflect on my adoption journey.  There are amazing parts about adoption such as friendships that have grown, and of course the highlight of my life- baby girl!  There are also parts about adoption that are hard and we all have thoughts that are not pretty.  I believe it or not I think horrible things at times about people, I judge, I jump to conclusions, I react from my heart without the involvement of my head.  In a strange way I want to document this because in a few short years the hard part will be gone.  The beauty of that is- I can do it all over again and have a second baby.  The down side is I wish I had known a little more about the hard stuff before I started the roller coaster ride and by documenting my bumps maybe I'll help another waiting family have a more realistic idea of potential pot holes (though the hard part is no two stories are the same and I dont want to scare them away).  My gut reactions, judgmental thoughts, etc are all apart of what I went through while baby girls adoption story unfolded.

Am I proud of some of the things I've typed?  Nope.  Can I already see some of the flaws in my thinking?  Prime example- panicking about bmom visiting for 5 hours every other day.  I know why I panicked- I was in unfamiliar territory geographically as well as emotionally.  I was also upset at the lack of support on the agencies part for both myself and the bmom.  Now that I'm a few steps beyond- I could tell my past self that I over reacted.  I do still stand by that we will never use the agency again because it was a poor fit.  I can make that assertion with greater clarity though now that we are not in PA.

So forgive me if I'm raw, and say thoughtless things.  Keep the comments coming to help me put it all in perspective.  You are all now part of our story, our journey to what matters most- baby girl.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Baby shower #1

Two amazing friends put together a perfect baby shower. It fit my personality not just in the party itself but how it all worked out. The idea of a pregnant me the center of attention being "showered" w gifts just seems not me. It seems so perfect that my darling baby was the center of this celebration. We felt loved and supported. It felt right. I think some moms are meant to waddle pregnant and well in my case I think that I became a mom in a hard but amazing way. This was the right path for us and baby girl completes our journey. Never once this weekend has anyone say anything hurtful about adoption and I was impressed with some peoples use of term birthmom. This shows me those that are most important to me have taken part in our journey and embraced our family.

 I wanted to publicly thank my two friends that put together the shower but I knew I couldn't without bursting into tears. Ill never be able to thank them enough for sharing my struggle and now my joy. They knew how to cheer me up w cards on mothers day and loaning me their kids. I'll never be able to thank them enough or repay them. They are two amazing moms!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

spilled milk

Who ever came up w the saying "don't cry over spilled milk.". Was never a pumping mom. I'm producing 20-30 ml per day now meaning I achieved my 1oz goal. Yesterday I spilled almost half my yield. Once I start to put her to breast more ill likely stop pumping. It's exhausting and sometimes discouraging. The neurodevelopmentalist on Friday was encouraging and applauded my efforts. That validation helped as I cried over spilled milk.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


I still struggle with adoption friendly language.  Someone told my mother while baby girl was still in the hospital "at least she isn't one of those crack babies- those are the worst!"  I felt horrible because people have said ignorant things to me but nothing like that and that is the first someone besides me has been hurt by the ignorance of others.  Its hard because those of us in the adoption world know more about substance abuse affects then most people and realize that no "crack babies" are not "the worst" and all babies need love and a nurturing environment no matter their start.  It is not an easy check list to complete but I know that both DH and I learned a great deal about disabilities  and substance abuse issues that we never would have known had we never ventured down this path.

One of DH's coworkers use the "real parents" dager as did some of the nurses at the hospital.  It hurts.

So when my sister visited I was venting a little and she told me "we are not having this argument again."  She continued to inform me that if I was always caught up in semantics then I'd never be happy.  I just needed to let it go.  Its hard for me because she is good about using the right language but she some how feels that my feelings shouldn't be hurt when someone is relieved my baby is not  a "crack baby" or that the "real parents" decided to "give up" their baby.  It hurts when people tell baby girl how fortunate she was "saved" by us.   It hurts that my own sister cannot see that by allowing the "semantics" to continue we are perpetuating the myths that many adoptive babies are "crack babies" whos "real parents" didn't want them.  It hurts me and it hurts baby girl.  I tried to explain to her that when a woman gives birth to a healthy baby no one would dare say "at least its not one of those Down Syndrom babies!"  She was horrified that I'd make such an argument and refused to discuss it anymore.  I guess she isn't someone I can talk to.

On a bright note my mother-in-law has floored me as to how excited and excepting she is of baby girl.  She shared our story at the retirement home she works at.  I asked her (in light of my mothers encounter) if anyone has provided her with negative/rude feedback.  She shared with me that she has not experienced it but seemed thankful for the heads up for what might happen.  She shared that two of her residents came up after the meeting she shared at to tell her they were adoptive parents.  They shared their wisdom much of which was in my adoptive friendly language letter I sent out in November.  Their take home message was this is not your adopted grandchild- this is YOUR grandchild.  I think it was good for her to get it from someone other then me.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Text Messages and general update

So to start I wanted an open adoption which is where my struggle is. I want that relationship to continue.  I also am going to say that I struggle writing this post because I do respect baby girls birth mother as well as all birth parents.  I feel like my feelings on this specific situation are hard to articulate in part because I want to protect baby girls story.   I've also said from the start that I want what is best for my child. My baby girls birth parents are not in a position to parent and lifestyle choices may put my baby at risk. I am struggling. Bmom has my cell phone # and has continued to text me with some frequency. I think its early to put strickt limits on texting contact however I feel like my life is intruded upon without notice with a request for an update. Our written agreement included letters/pictures 4x per year and a yearly visit. I've have already started our first letter/pictures and plan to be faithful to that agreement.  Some of my discomfort with the continued contact I think stem from the fact that I didn't exactly feel comfortable sharing my cell phone # and is strongly discouraged by our home agency (but not the agency in PA) however it also provided me with notice before the bparents would visit providing me opportunity to prepare myself. I'm going to give it time to see if the frequency of the texts level out before I ask for things to change. I struggle with putting an end to texts all together because I DO want the communication lines to be a circle and not just one sided letters/pictures from us to bmom.  I doubt that if I put an end to texts that communication would continue from that end of the relationship.  I think there are several things that I wish I had a chance to think about prior to jumping in but its impossible to know what curve ball will be thrown. All I know is I hit a home run with baby girl (yes I know cheesy).

Baby girl is doing so well its hard be believe we have been home for two weeks. She smiles from ear to ear until the camera comes out. She has begun to coo and "talk" to me. Dont get me wrong I love being a parent from day one but I'm loving this new phase where we get to interact back and forth. DH is starting to get into the swing of things as well. Since i was gone for a month taking care of her while he was home working I got a chance to bond and really "get her." He is sometimes hesitant but I asure him he's doing a good job. She is sleeping 5-6 hrs before getting up for a bottle.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Future of my blog and other tid bits

So my blog is called Trying To Adopt Baby and we are coming to an end to that process. I've decided I'm going to blog to our finalization and end the blog. I feel I will have accomplished the goal of the blog which was to document our journey with the destination being parenthood.

A little story I wanted to quickly document that in the rush of leaving for PA I never had a chance to write. I wish I had written it down the day it occured however I figured I'd have time to write it. On Monday January 30th two days before we got the phone call and five days after baby girl was born I was laying in bed half asleep when I had a half awake/half asleep kinda dream. In my dream (which felt very real) I walked into the nursery and I was startled because there was a baby (a big baby- not new born) in the crib. I was so startled I startled fully awake. I now have a face to that baby.

Milk Supply Increases

My milk supply has slowly increased. In addition to the herbs I've been eating oatmeal every morning. I am trying really hard at increasing my fluids (this is a genearl bad habit). I produce 1-3mL per side so a total of 2-5mL per pumping session. This comes out to almost .5oz when three pumping sessions are combined. My goal is by the end of the month to be making 1 oz. That is my threshold. At that point we will hopefully have a better latch and I'm OK with using the Supplemental Feeder at the breast and she will get whatever dribbles out with the formula providing her primary sustenance. Every night during the over night pumping I question why I'm doing this and then I get to feed her the success I've had and I'm reminded. Will it be enough to provide immune support I dont know but what I was clear about from the start was I at least had to try.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Details about going HOME!!

Baby girls last 24 hours in the hospital...
Baby girls bmom came to the hospital on Saturday with her daughter and son as well as her mother. They spent about two hours with us trading who came and went. Bmom said she would walk her family out to the car and be right back. Half hour later- no bmom, an hour later no bmom, time kept ticking. I was getting worried because baby girl was getting farther and farther off her sleep schedule and I was "snacking her" to try to get her to go to sleep. Finally at 7PM I texted her to let her know that if she planned to come back for the 8PM feeding baby girl likely would be sleeping. It was a delicate dance that day of knowing that bmoms time w baby girl were dwindling as my desire to keep her on track for discharge meant that I had to work hard at keeping baby girl from a melt down (and thus them giving her medication). I got a text back saying that she had left with her family and had forgotten to text me back. I was sorry that she wasn't returning because I wouldn't be able to talk with her about the plans for discharge the next day. I wanted to have some sort of word from her about her expectations. I also wanted to make sure she knew our expectations which were as soon as the discharge was signed we were getting in the car and driving as long as baby girl tolerated which meant we wanted good-byes to be done by 2:30. I think one thing I have learned most from this process is verbalizing expectations. No I'm not a bad person for having an opinion of how I'd like the day to go. I was also open to hearing from the bmom what her expectations were. I've learned that expectations are not a bad thing when they are verbalized as it gives both parties and opportunity to know what to expect as well as help determine if they are reasonable. Had Bmom said I want to hold her one time out side the unit I'd have agreed had she said she wanted to wait until after dinner I would not have agreed. Unfortunately that conversation did not get to occur.

My DH finally arrived at 9PM Saturday night after a 12 hour train trip from our home to PA as his flight was canceled. He arrived just in time to kiss her good night, thank the night shift and leave. The two of us went down the street for fries and a beer as our "last date." The "date" was quick because visiting hours ended at 10 and our train back to my car left at 10:40. I think it was the best date in a long time.

I called the hospital twice that night once when we got home so that I could fall asleep and once at 3AM when I woke up with a start. All her crying during the day meant she had a perfect night while we were not by her side. The nurse she had that night was one of my favorites- Lori- very laid back and willing to work with the baby. Unfortunately that was not my experience with all the nurses.

The day she was discharged we spent about an hour figuring out the car seat. We had three nurses plus DH working on it. BMom texted me to tell me she would be there by noon so we took a break from discharge paper work so that baby girl would be ready for her visit. The clock kept ticking and there was no visit from BMom. The agency texted us to tell us she was on her way so we told her Bmom still had not come and asked for her to text the Bmom to encourage her to come if that was part of her plan. We finished up the little discharge paper work we were involved in like reviewing temperatures, bowls, and shaken baby. We reviewed the many doctors appointments Baby girl will have for follow up. Baby girl fell asleep and I began to pace. I felt like a caged animal the only thing left was for the agency to sign. I was worried Bmom would show up and prolong our stay as we had a long trip ahead of us. Bmom did finally come a half hour before the agency came to sign the d/c papers. We gave her and her mom time alone w baby girl until the agency came. The d/c seemed to take forever but was only 45 min. The doctor had completed the paper work but had forgotten to put in the discharge order.

It was an awkward fourty five minutes. Bmom held baby girl until DH suggested we get her into her going home outfit. Bmom and I worked together to get Baby girl dressed she wore a pink onesie that said "too cute," jeans, and a sweat jacket with a butterfly. The jacket and onesie were gifts from the bmom's mom. When baby girl was placed into the car seat she began to scream intensifying the stress. The nurse came over witha bottle when I was unsuccessful at calming her then helped me switch the bottle/nuk I felt so inept and helpless when she screamed. I had to repeat this a few times but it helped. The nurses all said goodbye to me which felt awkward again. I was there daily so they knew me best but bmom was left alone. We finally left the room with baby girl and in the lead, then we went through the double doors. DH grabbed my coat while there were more good byes outside the unit again to me. Finally DH and I said good bye to Bmom, her mom and the woman from the agency. I did not turn back but I'm assuming they watched us walk away. I'm floored by bmoms strength I could not have watched the baby I gave birth to walk away from me however it was what she wanted. The closes thing I can equate it to is I have to watch when my blood is drawn- it somehow lessens the pain for me.

I felt strange and free as we walked out the hospital and towards the car. We made a stop at Starbucks to get coffee and use the restroom before our journey home. Once in the car we headed towards NJ and within five minutes being in the car we had left PA. However we also realized we did not have my EZpass in the car nor did we have money. So the first exit off the interstate was Camden NJ- it looked like a war zone. Baby girl fusses with each stop and go and lets just say we didn't get out of the car. Instead we chose to drive thru the EZpass lane (without the EZpass) all through NJ. For NY we had gotten cash and paid as required. Fingers crossed they can match our license plate with the EZpass and we get charged otherwise I'll call with my sob story.

Baby girl slept the entire trip. We stopped once in NJ to get dinner on the go and while DH ran in to get dinner (and cash) I changed/fed her. She slept until 8PM and we again stopped for the bathroom/water/change/feed. We actually had to wake her up because we didn't want to stop again. Though we had a place to stop if we had needed it we went right through. We left the NICU at 3:15 and arrived home at 11:30. It was SO nice to be home!! The house looked so different after a month away and I promised DH i would not take any more personal vacations.

I took a few pictures of baby girl as it was her one month/one day birthday as well as her first night home. I rocked her to sleep in the rocking chair I had gotten ready for her and placed her in her crib. She granted me 5 hours of sleep then 3 hours of sleep. It was amazing to be home with our little girl.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Lactation Consult

I go in for our lactation consult tomorrow morning. I have been getting more milk but i'm up to about a 1/2 teaspoon per pump though I'm seeing positive changes. It looks like we wont be able to breastfeed directly. I'm glad my physician had the conversation w me from the start differentiating between lactation and breastfeeding. I'd love to breastfeed but what my primary goal was to provide her with breast milk. If my output doesn't increase I dont know how motivated i'll stay since night time is the highest yield and i'm exhausted. I'll keep you posted... I am about half way done with our coming home post.

Everyone is doing well. She had her first visit with DH's parents this weekend and she Skyped with both of my sisters tonight.

Off to pump :)