Friday, May 07, 2010

On the top of the list of "things I don't want to hear"

Yesterday afforded me several bizarre situations, and brought back some pretty strange feelings.

For reasons I won't go into here, I called my OBGYN yesterday with a question. And I chatted with the nurse about a few things and we came to the conclusion that I need to take some medication.

That's when it happened. She said THE THING that is top of my list of things I never want to hear on a sunny Thursday afternoon. She said:

"I need you to take a pregnancy test."

Now, logically I know this is because the meds she would be prescribing for me would not be good for a pregnancy so she had to make sure I wasn't pregnant. But for a few seconds, my life flashed before my eyes and my chest tightened.

What a telling few seconds that was. My good friend told me later that at least now I knew FOR SURE that I didn't want any more kids. Which made me sad. Not sad enough that I want more kids one day, but sad that after all we've been through, after all we've been blessed with, and after the pure joy of experiencing motherhood with my two precious heart told me I was done.

It's been SUCH a strange journey, getting to this point. I remember very clearly how it felt just a few years ago to hear women complain about surprise pregnancies or talk about how they didn't want more children than they already have. And how, as an infertile woman, that stung. Because at that point I would take any and as many children as I could. I couldn't fathom NOT wanting kids.

Then we had Colt and my heart was so content. Content with the blessing God had given us, never even thinking of asking for more. And yet, God had a plan to make sure Colt was a big brother. And even though it wasn't my plan, and I struggled with a long time coming to terms with it, He knew SO MUCH BETTER than me. And then my sweet Owen was born.

Most of you know how I feel about the Duggar family on the show 18 Kids and Counting. And part of me really admires their faith in God and his plan, but a bigger part of me feels like God expects us to be responsible for the future of our families. I have to believe that trusting God also means honoring him with forethought and planning and not getting in over our heads. To understand that we could never see the future to know what's coming so we must make plans to take care of who we've got. And that is why I believe in family planning, in birth control. I believe and have faith that if I'm supposed to have another child, NOTHING I do will stop me. But in the mean time, it would be irresponsible to plan for another child when I know it's not the best thing for our family.

And so there I was, stinging after she told me to take a pregnancy test. I quickly laughed it off and assured her I would be calling her back with a negative result. I took the test, it was negative as I suspected. And I feel 100% fine about it. It makes me sad that I'm 100% fine with it, but it also makes me grateful that my life as a mom is in such a place. I've come so far from those deep, dark days of infertility and I have two sons more perfect than I could have ever imagined.

Last night after all this, John and I attended our nephew's band concert. It was his final one ever (he's not playing next year). We enjoyed the music and as we headed out shortly after it was over a woman stopped me. She looked vaguely familiar and over the crowd I heard her say our adoption agency's name. I looked at her son and at her, and the crowd noise washed away and we began talking.

She has an adorable 9-month-old son that came to them through our agency. She asked about Colt, and I told her about Owen. And while we were talking she mentioned they'd just found out her son's birthmother was pregnant again and due in July. I mentioned what a coincidence that was, and told her about N having her little girl about two weeks after Owen was born. I asked how she felt about his birthmother being pregnant, and what a strange feeling it is.

She asked me what it was like having two kids 14 months apart. I laughed and said it's gone much smoother than I imagined, and I was actually enjoying it but that I have A LOT of help. Then I asked if she thought they'd be adopting again. She looked at me confusingly and slowly said "well, we got the call last week about his we'll be adopting again in July".

OH!! Ok, that's why you even brought it up, I said. She wants you to adopt her new baby. Her eyes smiled and looked fearful at the same time...yes, she said, we certainly weren't expecting it but the baby will be a full sibling, how could we say no?! The birthmother and birthfather already have three kids, and don't feel they can parent another. The birthmother wanted this baby with it's brother if possible. They'll be right at 1 year apart.

My words about my experience parenting two at 14 months apart became all the more important. I assured her she could do it, I assured her it would be better than she could imagine. And growing up together, they would be SO close. She clearly has a lot of help (her son was being passed from cousin-to-cousin while we were talking), and I told her how important it would be in the early months.

I felt SO close to her in that moment for so many reasons. We shared the experience of infertility and being blessed by adoption. We shared the experience of open adoption and our children's birthmother's being pregnant so soon after their birth. We shared the experience of utter fear and wonderment at the thought of parenting two kids so close together. And it made me realize that you never know. You never know what God has in store for your family. You could be "done" having children, or "not ready" to have more but it's not always what you plan. This was her crazy version of a surprise pregnancy, and what a blessing it will be.

God was speaking to me through her, I know. After all the thoughts that had gone through my head earlier that day...this was His way of reminding me that He's in control. "Don't go off announcing you are done, Jessica, because YOU don't know. Only I know."

So at the end of the day, I am set on being content (overjoyed) with my TWO precious boys. I don't want to have more children, we don't NEED to have more children. Our family is complete. But somewhere, deep down, I know that God's plans for OUR family have always turned out far greater than we could plan for. So I'll keep my heart open. I'll plan as a family of four, but my heart will always be open to whatever life may have in store.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010


So this is not an exciting post, but I'm posting it anyway because it's pretty much my whole life right now.

Owen has horrible, horrible infant reflux issues. All the classic signs: lots of spit-up, a raspy cough, a hoarse cry, constant discomfort, eating small meals more often, not sleeping through the night even though at his weight and age he should be close, and screaming when laying flat. He has a hard time eating because as he's trying to swallow, it's coming back up.

We have done A LOT to try and help. Pretty much anything suggested we try. Including:

- We have been through 3 formulas including Enfamil AR (for acid reflux). We eventually went to Enfamil Gentlese because the AR built up in his tummy and caused HORRIBLE constipation.
- He is now on the max dose each day of baby Zantac.
- Mylecon drops because the reflux often causes gas to build up as he eats. He is gasping and taking in a lot of air as milk comes back up in the middle of a feeding.
- We switched bottles from Playtex Drop-Ins to Dr. Brown's.
- We're now warming up his bottles instead of room temperature water to ease the digestion and help him get sleepy at night.
- He's sleeping in his bouncy seat in his crib at night. Mattress on an incline just wasn't helping.

ALL this and we're STILL at a loss. He is actually a very content baby for all this mess. You'd think he'd be colicky or fussy but he's not. When he's uncomfortable or fussing, I know it's because he's truly in pain.

I am just so, so frustrated. There's no indication he's behind in development, but I worry. Tummy time is limited with all this stuff. Even laying in a play gym or on a blanket on his back is non-existent so I know he will be behind on rolling over. He smiles quite a bit now but it's just recently and it's definitely not as often as other babies his age. I wonder if it's the laid-back, observer personality I can already tell he has or if it's (gulp) that he's just so miserable. I ache to think he's in so much pain and discomfort that he's not happy.

We're going to keep at it, knowing he'll eventually grow out of it. He's definitely thriving and growing like crazy so I know there's not much more medically they will do.

This mama is frustrated and sad for her little one...any other suggestions are welcome!