Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Belated Thanks!

I am overwhelmed with all the support and well-wishes from the last post and Facebook announcements. It's been awesome, you guys have almost convinced me that we can survive having two kids 14 months apart!

Kidding, kidding...really, all the encouragement has been awesome. Isn't that why we put ourselves out there in blogland? Because, really, we all want are virtual hugs and kisses. Our families are so excited, which is good since they will have to practically take turns living with us for a while to get us through the newborn stage. Because I'll be honest...newborn is NOT my favorite stage. Sure, they're all fuzzy and warm and snuggly and smell good. But they cry a lot and are delicate and don't sleep at night.

Colt is at a perfect age. But I've pretty much said that since 3 months. It seriously just gets better and better! He's so much fun right now. And I've already started a VERY bad habit, the ONE AND ONLY bad habit I SWORE I'd never let happen...sleeping in our bed. Oh, geez, I can't believe I just admitted it. That's the first step, right?

It's just naps right now. And mostly it's because I love it and I need lots of naps right now. We come home from daycare and he needs a little nap so I'll crawl in bed with him and he goes right to sleep and it's the best cuddle time. And Saturdays...well, for the past few that's how we spend EVERY nap. I start to count down the minutes to when we can take naps because I love it so much.

But then...then on Sunday night/Monday morning he woke up at 5 a.m. crying and wouldn't stop. And so we did the unthinkable. We brought him into bed with us and he calmed down right away and went back to sleep. And my mom kept him last night and said he woke up at 3 a.m. crying and she put him in bed with her and he calmed right down and went to sleep. HE'S TRICKED US. HE DID IT...sneaky little bugger, he tricked us before we even realized it.

So, this is me...admitting it openly and taking back control. It is the ONE thing I don't want to happen. I don't want to give up nap time, because really I do need a lot of naps so why not take them together? But we will NOT start the middle of the night thing. No way, no how.

Also, he does this thing where he looks for us. He follows us as we walk out of the room and he leans over and turns his head...it is SO cute. I will have to video this sometime because there is no describing the cuteness.

In other news, in case you're not on Facebook you missed the drama of yesterday where I thought I was dying. I woke up and thought I was finally getting hit with morning sickness. But it was so severe and there were...other symptoms I quickly realized this was more than morning sickness.

After trying in vain to get ahold of my OBGYN all day (Ha! Right! Try getting ahold of your OBGYN on a Monday!) I decided I had to go to the hospital. Normally I would have waited it out, but I have a MAJOR business trip in Chicago this week. FOUR days that I cannot miss. Like, seriously cannot miss. So John and I headed to the ER and as we were getting checked in and dreading the 2+ hour wait, my OBGYN's office called and told me to head straight to labor and delivery and they would take care of me there. Which they did!

Normally you have to be around 20 weeks but it must have been a slow day on the floor because they already had a room ready for me. They got me hooked up to an IV (which, of course, caused me to throw up because I am a weenie...giving birth is going to be awesome) and I received 2 bags of fluids plus awesome drugs to help with nausea and other symptoms.

I ached by the time I got home, drank some chicken soup and passed out. I woke up in time to pack and get to the airport this morning. Somehow I managed a flight and a 90-minute train ride and a meet-and-greet before settling in. Now I'm signing off before a day of meetings tomorrow. Fun times. Missing my baby like crazy...I bet I'd sleep a lot better if he were cuddled up next to me.

So bad.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


I will tell you there are two things that are annoying to me.

First, as "an infertile" I have always been annoyed with people who have these unexpected or accidental pregnancies. There is nothing worse than trying for year after heartbreaking year to have a baby and listen to people complain and be shocked at an unplanned pregnancy. "We weren't trying" and "we were taking precautions and they didn't work". How fair is life, really, that it happens that way?

I love you, all my friends who have unexpected children! But it's that part of me that tried and tried and wished and hoped and prayed that would get so annoyed (i.e.-jealous) at pregnancy announcements.

The second thing that can be pretty annoying comes to me through another experience, that of an adoptive parent. An adoptive parent after infertility will hear no less than 6,487 times "just you wait - you'll adopt and then you'll get pregnant". And these well-meaning comments come from very supportive, loving friends and family and it's never meant in a bad way. Usually there is a story to back it up, but I can tell you it doesn't do much to make the pain of infertility go away.

We infertiles are incredibly sensitive in case you didn't know.

The truth is that under 10% of couples who adopt after infertility go on to get pregnant. In fact, watch this news story where they say "it is so uncommon, it is newsworthy when it happens". Less than 10% ever become pregnant after adopting a baby. So essentially, by telling an infertile or adopting couple that they will get pregnant after bringing a baby home is doing exactly the opposite of what most are trying to do: it's giving false hope.

It just doesn't happen very often. Not as often as you may think.

So I guess all of this is really building up to a whole other announcement. One that I've been struggling with, that has brought many tears, several near-panic attacks and a tremendous amount of guilt.

I'm pregnant.

As annoying as it may sound (because believe me, I've been annoyed) it was completely and totally a shock, unplanned, unexpected, totally out of our minds. Nothing we ever imagined would happen and certainly nothing we imagined would happen so soon after bringing our precious son home. Infertility often makes you skeptical and pessimistic, even after being blessed with SO much hope and promise in adoption.

There is still a looooooong way to go. A lot of things that could happen. But I'm finding myself crying less about selfish reasons like I did the first few days, but worrying more about the health of a baby I'm already attached to. Yesterday we went to the doctor to have everything confirmed and for the first time I had an ultrasound not to check follicle sizes on my ovaries, but to measure the size of an 8-week-old baby. And then the galloping sound of a strong, pounding heartbeat flashed and it was like living in a movie.

John and I are both still reduced to tears at one thought: we won't have the time with Colt as our only that we'd so desperately wanted. Every single time I think about that I tear up and I regret our very flippant decision to not get on birth control. He is an absolute joy and I want to shower him with love and affection and 100% attention forever because he deserves it. I can't even fathom how I will love another baby as much as I love him, I can't fathom how I can share attention, I can't fathom how I will get through this and not let Colt down.

So please feel free, all you mothers of multiple children, leave a comment reassuring me that I CAN love more than one. Please reassure me that I CAN devote time and attention to two babies. Tell me how much Colt will love having a sibling so close in age. Tell me how much fun it will be. How the hard work will be worth it. How the diapers will be plentiful, but a much shorter timeframe. Tell me that my kids will love me despite my exhaustion, how they will know no different. Please feel free to tell me all of that because right now, at this point, I cannot hear it enough.

I can't get tired of hearing how I WILL survive 2 babies 14 months apart.

So, there you go. I hesitate to complain or feel sorry for myself because I do realize what a blessing this is. I don't know if it's the shock of it all, or if it's that part of me that will always be "infertile"...never believing this can really happen and feeling guilty that it has.

I am amazed at God's unfailing love and blessings. For so long we'd been told nothing was wrong with us, and clearly nothing is. But HE knew. He knew there was a 16-year-old girl out there who needed us. He knew our son was out there and the only way to find him was to walk a broken, bumpy, beautiful road. God has always been in control of completing our family and here we are, so quickly moving from 2 of us to 3 to 4. We are blessed beyond measure and thankful God has put the lives of two babies in our hands to care for and raise.

February 24th is so far away, yet right around the corner.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Professional Photos

Finally got those professional photos we'd been hoping for! So many to choose from, but we got a few great ones. Here are a few examples!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Open Adoption Wish List

Heather at Production not Reproduction has posted the third forum for the Open Adoption Roundtable. This time we're to discuss our wish lists for our open adoptions.

I didn't participate in the last one, which was about the birth father. I've been kind of quiet about Colt's birth father because for 1) there's not a lot we know about him, but 2) there is a story there that we have to keep close for Colt's protection. I certainly wouldn't say he's a bad guy, because I don't know him and we didn't even find out his first name until recently. What I do know is that we are eternally grateful to him. One day I know Colt will be curious, so I hope we can find out more.

In the meantime, the personality traits we're seeing in Colt reflect so much of N, his birthmother: laid back, easy-going, generally happy, strong tolerance for pain, tough spirit. I hope some of it comes from us and the environment he's in...but we definitely don't look at him and wonder where he gets his sweet spirit from!

So, in the meantime what are my wish lists for this open adoption?

1) That we can build a healthy, perfect relationship with N. One that's easy, natural, and positive for everyone involved.

2) That N can accomplish all she dreamed for herself. So much of why she made the decision for an adoption plan was because she wanted more for her life than what being a single teen mom would provide. I pray that she can realize those dreams so that her decision will have meaning for her. I know Colt will be proud of her either way, but I sure hope it turns out like she hopes. I have this dream sometimes that we can attend her nursing school graduation and Colt is a little older and runs to hug her in her cap and gown. So when she sees him, and sees all she's accomplished she knows all that pain and hard work and tough decisions were worth it. I don't know if it will happen, but I pray about it a lot.

3) That Colt will always think of us as his parents. It's that selfish feeling that comes up for all adoptive parents. I want him to have a relationship with N, I want him to love and respect her and honor her. But at the end of the day I wish and hope that when he sees me he always sees me as Mommy.

4) That someday we can adopt a sibling for Colt, so that he doesn't have to put up with us by himself forever! And to have someone who knows this experience inside and out like he does.

5) That our experience changes the hearts and minds of people we touch. That everyone we know now knows someone who has adopted. In an open adoption. Not only lived through it, but waded through it gracefully. I pray we are the examples God wants us to be, that people look at us and see his perfect love and plan for bringing families together.

6) That no one ever refers to Colt as our "adopted son". That he's just our son. And this is something I need to work on. It's not that I throw that out there as a qualifier, I do it more because I love, love, love telling our story and talking about our agency and about N. But I know how fiercely protective I am of anyone referring to him as our "adopted son" as if he's any less our son because we adopted...therefore I need to protect our story a little more in everyday conversation. That's a strange line to have to walk.

7) That adoption is not weird, not a reason for therapy or endless behavioral excuses. That it's just part of Colt's birth story. That it's natural and positive and simply means he's surrounded by more love than he knows what to do with.

It's kind of an exhaustive wish list, but I'll work hard to make it happen!

Monday, July 06, 2009

The Fourth

There were no shortage of photo opportunities this weekend, no fewer than 4 patriotic outfits the 6-month-old wore (only 1 that Mommy washed every night and rewore to every event). We swam, we cooked out, Daddy set off fireworks, we paraded, we played outside, we played inside, we napped A LOT, we ate baked beans EVERY DAY. It was an eventful weekend that pushed this little man to the edge and back.

But the camera just wasn't used like it should have been. So what you see is about the extent of the photographic evidence of a really exhausting, super fun weekend. We even had to pass up some super fun parties because there was just so much to do and Colt was just so worn out! But I can say, he is proud to be an American and very happy to celebrate Independence Day.

By next year we'll have him saluting soldiers in the parade and waving sparklers on the back porch. And eating more baked beans.

Thursday, July 02, 2009


One of the best things about Colt sitting up by himself all the time is that bath time is soooooo much easier now! And he seems to like splashing around, so naturally I looked forward to getting him into a pool.

And even though POOL means that I have to get into a bathing suit, I SO wanted him to like it. I found this adorable Giraffe swimming pool at the giant cheap retailer of choice (that I love to hate and hate to love) for only TEN dollars! Anna's parents had a dryer out of commission so we were a regular working laundromat for them and thought Anna might enjoy her first pool experience that night, too.

Luckily, we have two MAJOR waterbugs on our hands! They LOVED the pool, both laughed and splashed and kicked in the water. We realized after the sun was setting the water was getting very cold and neither was complaining. They just played with each other's feet in the water and the toys on the side. Eventually we brought them in for warm baths (separate, of course, what do you think we're teaching these kids?!) and they conked out not long after.

Also, visit Anna's blog for a funny video where you can hear my son's ewok laugh. It is HILARIOUS. Like a nervous laugh, but also a laugh when he's REALLY tickled!

Tomorrow we're headed to a BIG KID pool to float around and really have some fun. In the meantime, this is a pretty fun backyard alternative! Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009


I have to tell you, I'm so very fortunate to have all 4 of my grandparents still living. I try not to take that for granted, I think of them often.

I'm particularly close to my mom's parents, mostly because they live closer and were the ones we spent more time with growing up. But to lose any of the four of my grandparents would be devastating.

Today we found out that Colt's birthgrandmother passed away. This was an incredibly kind, sensitive, loving, caring woman whom we had the pleasure of meeting several times. She not only helped raise N, Colt's birthmom, but she supported her through her pregnancy. She sat in on every meeting with our adoption agency. She drove N to the hospital numerous times during labor alarms. She held her hand as she gave birth to our precious son.

She kissed and held that boy while we drove to the hospital to meet him. She embraced us with open arms when we walked in the room. She comforted N as she spent time with Colt in that cold hospital room. She picked out many baby outfits and blankets for us to take home for him. She made sure to tell us about all of N and N's father's great qualities, obviously proud of the children and grandchildren she'd raised.

She walked with N across the hall to hand Colt into our arms when she checked out. She hugged us and assured us he would be a good boy for us. She kissed him, she loved us, she cried with us. And then she escorted her beloved granddaughter out of that hospital empty-handed and held her crying for months after we brought Colt home.

She laughed as he kicked and giggled when we visited her house in April. She listened intently to every detail of his growth and development, wanted to hear every story we could tell. She dug through her scrapbooks to find pictures of N as a baby for us to see and compare Colt to. And once again she kissed his sweet head goodbye as we left that day.

And my heart breaks that it was the last time he will ever see her. I mean literally breaks my heart.

She was THE support N has in her life. She was the glue that held that family together and they need lots of prayers during such a tremendous loss. I'm so thankful I have pictures of Colt and Grandma A together, because boy did she love him.

This adoption process, this welcoming of another family into yours has such effects that you can't prepare for. No one prepares you for how you'll feel when someone in your child's birthfamily passes away. I never thought about it. I never imagined how much it would hurt, how sad it would make me. I hope she knew how much we loved and appreciated her.