Thursday, September 15, 2011
It just brought the whole experience back. The smells and sounds of the hospital, the feeling of utter loss and pain, the screams and the tears.
Even now as I type this. Why am I crying? It’s over. I did my part. I know it was all part of The Plan, but why does it have to come back and smack me around like this?
Calm. I need to stay calm. Breathe. Today is a new day. And tomorrow will be too. He is still beautiful. He is so happy. And his family is a Forever Family. Their combined love outweighs anything you feel, so GET OVER IT.
It’s been two and a half years, and I still have my days.
It’s been two and a half years, and I still know it was right.
(Like two peas in a pod. He’s the one on the right.)
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
It has been soooo long since I've had an update from them that I just about cried when I saw this video. Truth be told, I've watched it a good 15-20 times already and I'm sure that's just the beginning. But it is so worth it. To think... I created that gorgeous little 2-year-old. And look how HAPPY he is! *sigh* It warms my heart. :)
To see the full blog you can copy and paste the following link into your browser:
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Sunday, January 10, 2010
My, how time flies.
I am assured that he has two teeth already and is in the process of cutting two more teeth. This is why, in the second photo above, he has Joseph (from the nativity) in his hand. Apparently Joseph was the most tasty of the bunch. ;)
Sunday, September 27, 2009
I got out of the car and we hugged as though we hadn't seen each other in years. It was so nice. And in a way it had been ages since we'd seen each other. It feels almost as if lifetimes have come and gone between us. Strange how time works.
When I handed him the photos and informed him of what they were his smile grew even larger. I was so relieved to see his reaction that my excitement poured out and I told him how gorgeous you are and how you look just like him. And I swear I saw him puff up with pride just then. It was great.
He asked if you were loved and happy and I reassured him that you are. I told him about the video your family sent, and how it was proof of just how overwhelmingly loved you are. He just nodded and looked down at the small parcel in his hand. We hugged again and he went back to what he had been doing when I showed up. He told me he wanted to go look at his new present--the gift I'd just given him.
You. You are that gift. You are a blessing to so many different people. And your life has only just begun! I know that you will continue to have an impact on other peoples' lives as long as you live, my Sweet. As you grow, so will your influence. And as you grow, so does my love for you.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
These boys and their older sister are so close that it's really heart-warming. The pictures are wonderful as it is, let alone the fact that I received a video in addition to them! But I'll wait to post the video. I think I should ask permission before I do so. It's the least I could do after all they've done for me. :)
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Two weeks ago one of my neighbors brought his newborn baby boy into my office for me to hold. I was thrilled! What a tiny little boy, I remember thinking. He was about 7 lbs. at the time.
Then, two days ago, the same neighbor brought his boy in again. I couldn’t believe my eyes! That baby had grown so much that I could see a notable difference. It just astounded me.
It makes me wonder if I’d recognize my own boy when I see him again.
On a completely different note, my belly button has finally found its old resting place. My tummy will never be the same, of course, but I figure if I put some work into it I could have a half-way decent stomach soon enough. I’d be content with that.
And I thank God for my stretch marks. They are what keep it real for me. Knowing that I grew a little human being inside of me, carried him around with me for nine months, and then brought him into this world at the risk of my own life.… Well, all of that starts to grow foggy and vague after a while. That is, until I look down at my stomach. When I see those stretch marks I remember.
My stretch marks are what keep me grounded.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
I hadn't realized that I'd never seen him smile before. I mean, really smiling, not just a newborn grimmace. No, this kid is SMILING! And I just melted. I guess it just hit me that I hadn't seen any sort of expression on his face before. Before, it had been just alertness and mild curiosity, but mostly he'd sleep. Now there's more than that!
It's exciting and wonderful and sweet, and I love seeing that his facial features are just as expressive as mine are. And he's the most beautiful boy in the whole world!
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
This rejection sucks.
Who doesn’t take pictures of their baby?! I mean, c’mon! [*taking deep breaths*]
You know, just the other day I was wondering if I was a bad birth mommy for not missing my baby every waking minute of the day. I wondered if I should be crying myself to sleep every night, staining my pillow with my salty tears and growing more and more bitter by the day. But it’s just not happening.
In fact, I’m not thinking of him nearly as much as I used to. No, no, don’t get me wrong, I still think of him every day. I’ve even put a framed photo of him on my desk at work so I could gaze at his glorious beauty when I have the time. It’s just that I don’t obsess over him. Not anymore.
I don’t wonder if he’s loved because I know perfectly well that he is. I don’t ask myself if what I’ve done is right because, again, I know perfectly well that it was. And what really bugs me is that I don’t dream about him. Nor do I dream of the child-birthing experience, as traumatic as that was.
What I do wonder is what he’s doing right now. I wonder what it’s been like for him to sleep, eat, cry, and poop in a place that is not near me. I wonder if it’s blazing hot with humidity, because I know that the summers in Missouri can be rough. I wonder if he’s heard the hum of the cicadas. I wonder if he laughs yet. I wonder if he still makes that amazing squee noise I once heard him make when we were in the hospital together, or if he’s stopped making squee noises altogether. You know, like he’s grown out of the newborn-infant-squee phase and has moved on to bigger, more mature phases like bawling-his-eyes-and-lungs-out-when-he’s-hungry types of phases.
And I know I’m not the only one who’s curious!
I just wish I could hear more about him. And I know his family is busy with their lives and what-not. But it’s just so hard when they’ve obviously fallen into their own routine WITH the baby and I’m still trying to live my life WITHOUT him. I miss him so much sometimes that it physically hurts. And all it takes to cheer me up is a photo or two. *sigh*
In the meantime, I wait. And yes, I’ve sent an email stating that I want photos. I’m not afraid to be selfish like that. It was in our agreement when I let them adopt him.
Monday, June 22, 2009
All I can say is, my boy is GORGEOUS! *sigh*
(The most beautiful baby IN THE WORLD! Yeah, so I'm biased.)
Monday, June 15, 2009
So, my sister wanted me to tell y’all about one part of my labor experience that cracked us all up. Now, remember, I spent a good 16 hours of my labor in the hospital before the baby was finally delivered. As a result, there was a lot of “fill-time,” where there’s all sorts of blah stuff that went on that’s just not worth mentioning. I had thought that this had been one of those “blah” things, but my sister begs to differ. So, for her sake I shall attempt to explain.
I had been shaking uncontrollably for the entire 16 hours.
It wasn’t a mild shaking that might come with the shivers or even a chill. No, we’re talking an entire-body shuddering experience that just didn’t stop. Ok, so there were times when it would calm down a bit, but then it would intensify within minutes as another contraction would approach.
When I was pregnant I had attempted to read as much as I could on what to expect when going into labor. And I had read about how some women would start to shake, and how it would usually signal that they had started going into the “transition phase” of labor, meaning just before you give birth to the baby. So why I had started shaking from the very beginning, I have no clue. I think maybe it was my body’s way of coping with the pain of it all.
Anyway, so imagine me in a hospital gown on a hospital bed with wires and tubes wrapped all over me (I.V., epidural catheter, baby monitors, etc.). I was MASSIVE. (The fact that I lost 50 pounds after I gave birth to my boy tells me that I must’ve been carrying at least 25 pounds of water weight alone!) Bloated, trapped, and miserable, I had been doing what I could to keep in good spirits. After all, this is what everyone had been waiting for! I was about to give birth to my first baby—my parents’ 10th grandchild—and everyone had turned out for the occasion.
And then another contraction gripped me. I raised my hands up in a manner that would bring to mind a welcoming gesture, although that pain had certainly not been welcome. But I couldn’t help it. I just reacted without thinking, and when I felt that contraction grip me I started breathing the way I’d been taught to breathe and started reaching my hands out while grimacing past the pain. Finally when the pain started to ebb, I came back to myself and realized what I was doing.
I looked down at my violently shaking hands and proclaimed to my sisters, “JAZZ HANDS!”
It was true! It was like I’d been sitting there performing to my audience, but the only move I knew was “jazz hands.”
(Watch this brief commercial to see Just what I mean about “Jazz Hands!”)
Again, we had a good chuckle. That’s when the nurse said, “If she’s still got her sense of humor then she’ll be fine.” And I was fine, all through my extended stay at the hospital.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
I had pulled a chair out back and was sitting and enjoying the peaceful climate surrounding me. I had already watered the grow boxes and roses, and was keeping my cat company while he sat before me chewing on a particularly long blade of grass. Dusk was falling and I could hear birds in the trees around me, as well as the occasional twin-engine airplane flying overhead. It was just so nice.
And then in a flash you were there with me. I was holding you in my arms again as though I had never let you go. Your cheeks were that same glorious shade of pink that they were the last day I saw you, and so soft. And warm. I was holding you close to me, touching your face and admiring how handsome you were.
Then I was alone again, and my arms were empty.
I just started mumbling, “my baby, my baby,” to myself over and over again. And then the tears came.
Some days are harder than others. I guess this has been one of them.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Too bad. Go away. Did you not read the heading to this blog page? I am a birthmother, not the legal guardian. I have no legal rights in the matter, so skive off. Jesus didn't complain about his circumcision, so why should you? Oh, and I can see that some of you are attempting to post more than one comment under different aliases. Give it up you dillweeds, and stop harassing people who have real lives and know how to make decisions for themselves.
Now, on with the blog!
This has been such a great week for me! Although, admittedly, not so much for the wee one. I just received yet another update informing me that my boy has just received his shots and is preparing for C-Day tomorrow. Yep, that’s right. The poor fella… He’s getting circumcised tomorrow.
Here’s what Laura had to say in the email she sent me:
So I set out to take some adorable pics of my adorable Grant, but he hasn’t been himself since his shots yesterday. Poor guy. He just cried through our photo shoot. But I had better get some in before his circumcision on Thursday. Ouch!! Not his funnest week.
Here’s a picture of Grant enjoying our family outing to The Botanical Gardens a few weeks ago.
He is really thriving. He had his well-child appointment yesterday. 14 lbs, 24 inches (Around 90th percentile). He is smiling more. Sometimes he smiles like a pirate with one eye squinting. And occasionally he will coo for us. It is the sweetest sound ever. Dave and Lily and I all gather around him, oohing and awing….
(Sweet little guy enjoying his trip to the Botanical Gardens in St. Louis)
I’d decided to print off this email and my dad ended up sticking it on the fridge so everyone could read it. And when my oldest sister came over to pick up some boxes earlier this evening we all took a moment to have a mini-pity-party for him as we contemplated what that meant. Of course, we were all grinning.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Look at that face! *sigh* It stinks that I'm at work right now, otherwise I'd just sit and stare at his sweet face for as long as I could. All the same, though, I am so blessed. Blessed to have such a great adoptive family who keeps in touch, sends me photos, and don't mind me writing about my experiences online. And I'm so blessed to have given birth to such an angel.
Monday, May 25, 2009
How I miss you. I love you so much. My heart aches for you and my arms will always be outstretched for you. I have so many things I should be doing, but I am constantly distracted by my loneliness and longing for you. You are always on my mind.
I wonder how you are doing. Are you happy with your new family? Are you healthy? Are you growing? Who do you look like today, me or your dad? But of course there is one question that keeps resurfacing again and again in my brain: How much longer do I have to wait before I can see you and hold you again?
I’m such a fraud. I keep wondering if people can see right through me; I feel transparent. I walk around as though everything’s alright but I’m secretly fighting the pain. Or rather, I’m fighting the numbness. I’m trying to live my life again but it’s so hard when there’s no feeling. It’s almost as if a huge chunk of my chest has been removed; cauterized. And I’m trying to heal and move on but I just can’t ignore this gaping hole.
Instead I pretend. I keep acting as though everything is okay because people expect me to forget you. They just don’t seem to understand that I can’t forget. How could I forget my heart? Forgetting you would be like forgetting to breathe. I can’t and I won’t forget. Ever.
I wish you could know who I am. I wish you could see my face every day so you could be familiar with me and know that I am very much a part of your life. I wish you could understand how much you mean to me. I wish you could see the joy you bring reflected on my face and in my eyes. And one day maybe you could know how many tears I’ve cried over you. I wish you were here with me now so I wouldn’t have to miss you so much.
And I wish you missed me too.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Oh and just so you know, my top two most favorite bloggers on this planet are also adopted, as well as one of my favorite missionary companions. All of whom I knew far before my own life was touched by adoption. It's amazing how each person impacts other peoples' lives.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
But what I will say is this:
My time for being a mother will come. Just not right now.
And just because I’ve given birth to a baby doesn’t mean I should automatically include myself in the “mother club.” I haven’t been there to change the poopy diapers ‘round the clock. I didn’t struggle with a weepy child in the middle of the night because he had an upset tummy or gas. I won’t be there to comfort him when he’s sad or scared, and I won’t be there to discipline him when he’s being naughty.
For all the mothers out there who’ve had to put up with all the crap that goes with being a parent, I just want to say that I appreciate you. And you deserve all the wonderful things that come in exchange for all the yucky stuff you have to deal with. You deserve the spontaneous hugs and the drooly smiles. You deserve the giggles of delight and belly-aching laughter. You deserve the “I love you mommy’s” and the absolute trust that child gives you. You deserve the sleeping baby in your arms that you've devoted your lives to.
And he deserves you, too.
Yes, my time will come. But not right now.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
“Mmm… cherry pie,” I’d groaned wistfully. I didn’t even realize what I was saying until after I’d blurted it out. But I couldn’t help it, I was hungry!
I hadn’t had anything to eat since midnight the night before, and that had only been a light snack. But there I was in the hospital and in labor 14 hours later, and I found that I was famished. They wouldn’t let me eat! Not even a little snack. Of course I understood why, but I still thought that was pretty mean. Forbidding a pregnant woman to eat is like forbidding a bird to fly; it's just cruel.
So it should’ve come as no surprise that I started daydreaming about different types of food. Only I didn’t want to just eat food. Oh, no. I wanted to bathe in it. I wanted to shovel food into my mouth and roll around in it at the same time! I wanted to eat and eat and forget about what was going on around me. I wanted the pain to stop, and my brain was latching on to the one thing that I used to drown my sorrows in: Food.
And then, just out of the blue, I suddenly had the strongest desire for cherry pie. Cherry pie! Talk about random. I mean, never in my life have I ever actually craved cherry pie. I’ve never even liked it all that much. That is, until I lay helpless on the delivery table—trapped by the catheter in my back and the excruciating pains vibrating throughout my body. (Blasted epidural. Stupid thing didn’t even work!)
I’m pretty sure I surprised my sisters and JT when I started groaning, “cherry pie… oooh, with ice cream…” and proceeding to list off all the delightful foods I would’ve paid big bucks to slather all over my big, swollen body at that very moment. Up to that point I had been shaking uncontrollably while keeping a death-grip on the plastic handle of the hospital bed, clinging to it as though it was my life-line. But when I started thinking of all the foods I wanted to eat and listing them off one by one it made me smile, even through all the crazy pain.
I had found my happy place.
I think we all had a pretty good laugh about it then. And at one point, when the nurse had left the room, JT whipped out a small bag of fruit snacks and gave them to me. If I remember correctly, I squealed with delight and promptly devoured that bag of contraband like I was inhaling oxygen for the first time ever. And when the nurse returned and commented that “it smells good in here, like fruit!” we were all trying to conceal our smiles and feign innocence. As if we’d broken the law or something.
Ahhh… good times. Yes, I was in a room full of nerds.
When I got home from the hospital three days later I was thrilled to find two cherry pies waiting for me in the kitchen. Next to them was a small note written in a messy scrawl: Carrie, I hope you enjoy your cherry pies. D & kids.
I’ve got the best friends and family.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Over and over again I hear different people tell me what a good job I did in growing a beautiful baby in my uterus. As if I had any way of genetically engineering the gorgeous, giant baby my ex-boyfriend and I created. I can’t help but be amused by this. I mean, honestly! What all did I do?! I did the deed with the man I loved more than anything in this world and my baby was the product of our union. That’s just how I see it. I didn’t plot or plan or scheme in any way. I didn’t have any say as to whether or not Grant would get my nose or Brent’s eyes. Oh sure, I admit that once I was pregnant I started wondering what my baby would look like. And I hoped (sometimes aloud) that my baby would get my hair and Brent’s bone structure—ironically, it’s looking like my wishes have come true. But still! Wishing something doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. It doesn’t guarantee I’ll have a gorgeous and perfectly healthy baby.
I think any mother can agree that whatever child comes out of her womb will be gorgeous in her eyes, no matter if he had three arms and a fish tail. *snort* Thankfully, that didn’t happen. But you know what I mean.
I love my boy more than anything else in this world! That’s why I decided to adopt him out. I can’t tell you how troubled I was when I discovered I was pregnant. I was troubled because I knew that I wasn’t going to marry Brent just because I got knocked up. Besides, I couldn’t. I only discovered weeks before that he was still legally married to someone he’d briefly dated years ago and had taken a quick trip to Vegas with. (Ugh!)
But I was also troubled because I’d always had the belief that a baby deserves the best. Any baby—no matter whose baby—deserves to have both a mommy and a daddy. A child deserves to be raised in a financially stable environment where he’ll never go hungry. A baby deserves to spend time with his family and not a daycare all the time. And granted, a lot of times these things can happen in a child’s life, but I wasn’t going to subject MY child to this when I knew he could have so many more wonderful opportunities with another family--one that could provide all this and more.
Most importantly, I wanted my baby to grow up in an emotionally healthy environment. And if I had chosen to keep my baby and raise him on my own, he would have been raised in a very unhealthy environment. I myself am only just getting myself out of that environment, and I’m almost 34! It’s just obvious to me that it’s not fair for a child to have to deal with that crap.
Also, it may sound selfish of me to say, but by adopting my child out I am able to focus on myself more. I need to heal from the drama that I’ve been living through these past few years. It’s too complicated and personal to go into detail here, but trust me when I say that it is necessary… no, vital to my emotional, physical, and mental well being for me to focus on me more. And maybe one day in the near future, when I’ve overcome the demons that plague me, I will be able to move on and finally have the family that I’ve always wanted to have. Who knows. I can only hope.
(Me holding the apple of my eye.)
Sunday, May 3, 2009
It also helps that the adoptive family is related to me. It’s different for every birth mother, but in my particular case I knew that it could not be any other way. I knew from week 1 that Dave and Laura were meant to have my baby. It was what Heavenly Father wanted, and he has whispered it to me a thousand different times and ways ever since the day I learned I was pregnant.
Besides, it’s not like they can hide from me. *wicked grin*
So we communicate with each other on a regular basis. It’s so easy to keep in touch in today’s world, what with all the technology that is available. And the occasional email with photos is all I ask for. Ok, ok… so I asked for emails with photos at least once every two weeks until the baby is 6 months old. After that I’d settle for once a month. But really, I’m secretly hoping that by then the habit will be formed and they’ll just continue to email me little updates all the time. Hey, dreams are for free.
Anyway, like I was saying, I live for these updates. And yesterday I got one that was so sweet that I giggled my fool head off. See for yourselves:
(Look at those sweet eyes!)
Here’s what Laura had to say about this photo:
[Grant] loves his bath, which is so cute. He just looks amazed when I poor warm water over him. But he hates getting out of the bath and getting lotion on…. Here he is all mellow and happy in the bath [pictured above]. But all good things come to an end. He does not like the after bath routine! [see photo below]
I just “oooh’d” and “ahhh’d” over these photos for a long time and couldn’t stop grinning. I love looking at his face and wondering what he’ll look like when he grows up. Every picture I get of him looks different, and it never ceases to amaze me. And those pouty lips! I can’t stop smiling at how precious he is. My sweet boy.
It’s amazing how much a brief update and a couple of photos can do. It makes me wonder how any birth mother could’ve possible moved on in life without hearing another word about her child. It’s hard enough as it is to lose a baby. But for the world to expect a mother to just forget her child is absolutely ridiculous. It’s impossible! And it’s just not healthy. Thank goodness I have an open adoption! I wouldn’t have been able to go through with it otherwise.
I thank God every day that my boy is healthy and happy. And I thank God for providing the way for my baby to enjoy the blessings of a true and loving family.
Saturday, May 2, 2009
“My boy. My boy,” was all I could mutter as I lay there on the delivery table with my legs wide open—the doctors were still stitching me up. Nobody was looking at me, thankfully. But I was annoyed that they were all huddled around my baby. I couldn’t see him! Why didn’t they place him on my chest like all those other mothers you see on TV? Is that him crying? My baby… oh, my baby.
I remember screaming when the doctor pushed his hand up me to clean out the clots. “I know, I know, but it’s necessary! We have to clean out all the clots,” he told me in an attempt to reassure me. He did that three times. And I couldn’t stop myself from screaming each time. The pain! I wanted to shout “just leave me alone! I’ve done my job, now leave me alone,” but instead I just lay there and took it. I was beyond anything by then. Everything turned into a blur, and it felt as though the world was closing in on me. I wanted it all to end. But the pain! They kept tugging on me down there, where the baby had come out. Doctor, why did you tell the nurse to bring you “something a little more sturdy?” What does that mean? Oooh, let me be.
They were still stitching me up when the room started clearing out. I remember seeing Laura hover by my baby, looking at him with that face that radiated nothing but pure love.
“Laura, hold him.” I was laying still, wanting so badly to hold my own baby. Why didn’t they bring him to me?
“No, I know you wanted to be the first one to hold him.” She looked anxiously over at me.
“It’s ok, hold him. He needs to be held. He needs to be loved.” I knew it in my soul that this was true even as I spoke those words.
“Are you sure?”
“Hold him. He needs his mommy.”
I can’t explain the feelings I experienced when I watched Laura scoop up our baby boy at that moment. I was overwhelmed with relief. I was so incredibly happy that she was there for him, to hold him and love him the way he deserved. She was there to be his mommy when I couldn’t be. It was physically impossible for me. And just watching her hold him and cuddle him and talk to him softly while she rocked him made me feel at peace with everything. I just knew it was right. And my heart swelled with joy and broke into a million little pieces all at the same time. My baby—my life, my heart and soul—wasn’t meant to be mine.
To this day it kills me that I wasn’t able to hold my baby after he was born. And even though I had the chance to visit him and hold him throughout the few days I was in the hospital, I was too weak to hold him for longer than a few minutes. He was heavy! Ten-and-a-half pounds is nothing to sneeze at. But it just made me so sad because I couldn’t help but think that I was a bad mommy. I was too weak. I couldn’t even hold my own baby; my own flesh and blood. Oh, my love. Oh, my boy. I would snatch you back in an instant and keep you safe in my arms for two lifetimes if I could.
But you deserve more than what I can give. You deserve the best. And now you will have it.
I just wanted to thank you all for your concern, love and support in regards to my pregnancy and childbirth. I am amazed that I'm still here after all that happened. In a nutshell:
~20 hours of labor.
~The first epidural took 4 tries until there was success. I was sobbing, the pain from his fishing around my spine was so intense. Miraculously, I was able to sit still through the entire thing.
~The second anesthesiologist’s epidural was much less painful.
~The third injection into the epidural IV was like all the others... good for almost 2 hours before I felt everything all over again.
~I had the most wonderful support group in the world and I wouldn't have made it without them. Thank you Meridee, Jessica, Terri & Laura!!
~I gave birth to the most beautiful boy in the world, weighing in at 10 pounds 9 ounces and 22 inches long. He was two weeks early. His name is Grant and I will love him forever.
~The doctor was so concerned about my injuries (due to the fact that I delivered vaginally) that she called in another, more experienced doctor. He, too, was extremely concerned for me. He told me I’d been torn long and deep. They did some incredibly unpleasant procedures (three times) to clean out all the blood clots, then sewed me up. They didn't count the stitches. I felt it all.
~I lost so much blood that I had to receive 2 units of blood via transfusion. I am very weak and pale due to the resulting anemia, but I am doing much better now.
So as you can see, I am serious when I say I am grateful to be alive. Thank goodness for modern medicine, eh?