Saturday, May 30, 2009

OhMySweetGoodness!

I just had to share the photo I recently got from my adoptive family! I love days like this. Getting updates about my boy just make me so incredibly happy that I want to burst with joy! If only more people could understand how important it is to receive these communications...



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

I Can't Forget to Breathe.

Oh my Dear Baby,

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

Adopted.

I just found this video on a blog I came across for the first time today. I met Kim and her little family at the Adoption Mini-Conference today in which I took part. I stole this video from her blog (shhh!).  Anyway, it was a great mini-conference and I met lots of wonderful people, all of whom are just as inspiring as this video. Have a look:



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

To All The Moms Who Wipe Their Baby's Boogery Nose Without Hesitation

Ok, I’ll admit it. Mother’s Day freaked me out. A LOT. And I’m not even going to share what I wrote in my journal that day because I’ve cooled off since then and I don’t want to come off sounding like a selfish jerkwad having a pity-party. That and a whole lot of other reasons, but that one was at the top of the list. ;)

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

Oooh, Cherry Pie!


“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

You Done Good

“You done good.”  Why do people say this?

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

Bath Time

I live for my updates. Every little detail my adoptive family gives me is like a cube of sugar added to my bitter days. Oh, don’t worry, not every day is bitter. In fact, my good days seem to outnumber the bad days more and more as time goes on. But when I do have a hard time and I’m feeling particularly blue it sure is nice to have something to remind me that life's really not as bad as it may seem.

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. 

My sweet nephew.

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..."

I was too weak. TOO WEAK. I couldn’t even lift my own head, let alone hold my own baby. Why did I have to be the strong one when I was so weak? It killed me. Too weak.

“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.

Too weak.

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.

My Thanks

I was released from the hospital around 11:30pm on Friday, April 3, 2009. Thankful to be out of the hospital and in relatively good health, I posted the following bulletin on my Facebook page:


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?

10 Weeks In the Womb

The first time I ever saw my baby he was doing a little dance for me. The moment I saw this I fell in love.

video


Strange how something so tiny can have such a powerful grasp on one's heart.