Thursday, May 27, 2010

Woe Is Not Me--Reflections on Infertility After Adoption

In the beginning of my infertility journey, I was very anxious to "get it right".  I wanted to get pregnant; I wanted my body to do the right things so we could conceive a baby.  Month after month went by without the desired result.  Doctor appointment after doctor appointment without definitive answers "why".  Medications, procedures, and even surgery, that produced no real new answers.  Medically, it remains a big question mark.  I could switch doctors and get some second opinions, and probably find some answers.  I didn't have a lot of confidence in my reproductive endocrinologist in his willingness to find the problem.  It seemed more like the goal was to get me pregnant by whatever means it took rather than to really pinpoint the problem.  I'm not bitter about that, though.  Actually I'm kind of grateful.  I'm fine only having some vague understanding. 

The only answer that matters is currently napping in her crib. 

Could I see the bigger picture when I was frantic and feeling hurt for not getting what I wanted?  Sometimes.  There are some blog posts I can look back and read about how I was grateful for not getting pregnant, because I knew adoption would bring us the baby we longed for.  Not only that, but we would get the priveledge to love and raise one of God's children who needed a home. 

Sometimes I couldn't see the bigger picture.  I also wrote blog posts that talked about how difficult it was to be around moms and babies.  How sad I was to be working, which is my least favorite past time, when other friends got to stay at home with their little ones.  What I can see looking back is that God's strength was available to me not to be bitter, but to find joy in my journey.  I could have had the capacity to continue my relationships as normal with the friends I was jealous of, sharing my life and struggles with them.  I only know that now after having "resolved" my infertility through adoption.  I don't necessarily wish I knew this then because what I learned has given me strength for the next journey.

I'm sure people wonder if I still wish I could get pregnant.  The answer is no.  I have no desires at this point to get pregnant.  As I've said before, being pregnant is the means to becoming parents, not the goal.  The only wonder I ever have is what a conceived child would look like.  I don't know if I will ever stop wondering that.  It is not a wonder that makes me want to conceive just so I will have that answer.  When I look at Kinsey, all I see is immense beauty.  She is a gorgeous little girl...and our gorgeous little girl at that!

What I am excited about is what I learned about patience, God's grace, and perseverence.  It was hard in the middle of it, but I'm grateful for the experience.  I will no doubt have more hard times in who knows what areas of my life to come, but I hope to look back on the days of questioning "why", and remember how completely God has fulfilled my dream.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Week 9 - Lap Sitting and Swimming

This picture sums up the newest development for Kinsey this week-sitting in our laps!  She has become content to sit in our laps and watch whatever is going on.  It's way fun for me!  She's smiling much more and it is getting to be less coincidental. 

This weekend we all went swimming, and I'm planning to take her this afternoon again too. 

She is also back to sleeping her normal 5 hours, which I'm good with.  I know she'll start increasing soon, and 5 hours is better than 4!  David is such an awesome husband in giving me so much free time to sleep or hang out with friends or whatever I need.

Monday, May 24, 2010

2 Months Old Today!

Kinsey gave me a gift for turning 2 months old...she slept 7 hours last night!  I woke up a few times and of course went to make sure she was breathing! 

Here are the pictures from the past month!


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Week 8 - A Breeze!

Moni is never far from her.

This week was a breeze!  Hallelujah!  She has been napping wonderfully.  A couple times I even swaddled her and put her right down in her crib and she fell asleep without a fuss for her nap.

As for sleeping at night, she went 5 hours a couple of times over the weekend, then last night I decided to go ahead and put her down after I fed her at 8, and she went 6 hours!  Yay!  I think the problem was waking her up to try to feed her "one last time" before putting her to bed.  She would nap pretty hard in the evening before bed, but it didn't occur to us to put her down before she started that nap.  The only problem is that it is on the early side for me to go ahead and go to bed at that time to get enough sleep for myself, but it won't be forever because eventually she will sleep longer and longer so I can go to bed later and still get enough sleep.

Another development yesterday and today was that I got my own nap!  Two days in a row, now that's a record.  I don't think I've napped at all while David has been at work.  I'm hoping the pattern will continue.  Normally by Friday I'm completely zonked out so I would love it if the napping allows me to have more energy through the week as well.

I had a couple friends watch her last week, once on Thursday and once on Friday while I went to some appointments. I definitely missed her. Then on Saturday I went with some friends to lunch and a movie while David watcher her.  I had a BLAST but missed her a lot then too. Going back to work is going to be tough!

She can now hold her head up pretty well.  She can't lift it off her chest, but I can tell her neck is getting stronger.  Her eyelashes have filled in.  We bought another bouncy seat so we can have one for the babysitter when I go back to work and one here.  She has so much fun in it!  It is the kind that lights up and plays music when she kicks her feet.  It also has a mirror on it.  She has gone as much as an hour smiling and making baby noises in it.

She'll hit her 2 month mark on Monday, so I'll post again then!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Add on to Week 7

I forgot to post something funny that happened during week 7.  Chandler got a hold of a poopy diaper I hadn't yet rolled up and thrown away.  I think as soon as I changed her she got fussy or something so I left the diaper open while I tended to her.  Chandler decided it would make a good meal, so he grabbed it and at all the poop right out of it!  Ewww!

In other news, we had another 5 hour span last night!  I'm looking forward to when these 5 hour spans become so common I don't even write about them anymore :)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Week 7 - Naps and Mother's Day

This week I couldn't get her to nap for the life of me!  I was also having a hard time with her fussing, and I was quite sleep deprived.  I think Kinsey and I both were, actually.  By Saturday I was emotionally drained, and we went to a friend's 1 year-old's birthday party and I just cried after I sat down with my friends and they asked me how I was.  There are two times when I cry that I don't like...when I'm stressed and when I'm tired.  This time, I didn't even feel very stressed out, I was just so tired that the only thing I had in me were tears.  So we didn't stay for very long, and went home.  David watched Kinsey while I tried to nap, which I wasn't very successful at.  But I rested fairly well on Saturday night, and on Sunday morning David sent me off to a facial and a massage for Mother's Day.  It was awesome!  When I came home we got ready to go to the birth mother's aunt's house to see the birth family.  It went well.  We were there for about three hours and everyone was holding her, she napped almost the whole time except for feeding. 

On Sunday night she did a five hour span of sleep, which was wonderful.  Then on Monday she magically started napping!  We switched to the partially broken down whey protein formula, and I think it's helping.  I also had a long conversation with some friends and my sister about how to handle her crying throughout the day, and my change in attitude has helped also.  What I learned was that it's most important that she is safe, clean, and fed.  Beyond that I can try things here and there to help with the crying, but sometimes there's just nothing I can do, and it's no big deal.  Finally, I bought the Moby wrap, which is a large piece of fabric that you wrap around your body to hold her in.  I am not very strong at all, and cradling her in my arms is very hard for me.  The wrap allows me to hold her without tiring myself out.  It has incredible back support compared to the Snugli I have.  Since Monday she has been napping great and not fussing nearly as much.  She is starting to make baby noises and smile more, as you can see in the picture.  I will take a video once I find the power cord for the video camera!

On the adoption note, when I tell friends and family about our visitation agreement, which is every 3 months until she is 18, they seem surprised.  I tell everyone that it is very important for us that the birth mother be able to see her and watch her grow up.  With our agency we were required at the minimum to do pictures and letters every three months for the first year.  Beyond that we could do 3, 6, or 12 month intervals, and we could choose whether or not we wanted to do visits or just cards and letters for the birth mother.  We chose the most frequent option, I think because it's what I would want if I felt the best thing was to place my own baby for adoption.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Week 6 - Routine and a Dip in the Pool

Kinsey is awake a lot more now!  We are getting some semblance of a routine together, which is nice.  I have the morning figured out pretty well, but not yet the afternoon.  In the morning she eats at 5 or 6, usually sleeps until 8 or 9, and then takes a 45 minute nap before her next feeding.  We are still feeding about every 3 hours during the day.  Most of the time she is ready and asking for it, but sometimes she will go a little longer.  She sleeps more in the afternoon and the evening.  We do her last feeding between 10 and 11 and then she goes right down.  Nighttime is really quite good because she pretty much always goes right back down to sleep after her feedings.

On Saturday afternoon David took Kinsey with him to my cousin's house to babysit her kids.  He knew I was exhausted and I felt very guilty for him doing all the work, but I slept for three hours in the afternoon and then cleaned the entire house in the evening.  It was a great feeling.

Monday was a bit of a rough day.  She was fussy what seemed like the entire day, and not much helped.  She slept like usual at night though, and Tuesday things seemed to calm down and she was back to normal.  She even fell asleep and napped in her bouncy seat, which never happens!  We also went swimming--er, I went in the pool and she sat nearby in her carseat.  I dipped her feet in though for a minute and she didn't seem to mind, until I dipped her bum in, then she cried a little.

In some ways I can believe it's been six weeks, in other ways I can't!