Saturday, October 15, 2011

I am toying with the idea of doing the open adoption interview project. I really want to get more into the swing of things, but I'm worried that if I commit, I won't be able to find the time that I need to do it.

Taking care of 2 kids and moving 500 miles is kicking my butt. Everything is getting done, and the kids are doing well, but I mostly walk around feeling like no one is getting everything they need from me. Everyone is getting short changed, it feels like, including myself. 90% of the time I remember to tell myself that it's temporary, Will is only 2 months old - we're still in the thick of it, that we'll find our groove, that everyone is ok. But sometimes, like last night, I feel like a big fat failure. I stood in the kitchen last night, walking a fussy baby and singing my standard Irish lullabies, and wept. Not out of exhaustion, or frustration, or want of anything to be different. I was just plain sad that I couldn't tuck Jeb into bed, that my husband is desperate for some attention, that Will's experience of being a newborn is so unlike Jeb's. I wish, that when I'm tending to one of them (Jeb, Will, or Bennett), that time would freeze for the other 2 and that way they all get more of my time. Ah, well, the balance will come.

I really need to post some pictures. Will is such a chunk, and Jeb is perfection. Overwhelm and crazy shit aside, life is good.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Quick Takes.

I don't have much time for, well, much, lately. But I hate that so much time is flying by without recording any memories.

1. Will is 8 weeks old. Holy shit. This newborn period went by so much faster than with Jeb. I must admit, I'm happy it's going by fast right now. Confession: I don't love the newborn thing. Sorry.

2. We moved to Virginia! We lived here, in this house, and then moved to Massachusetts, and have now moved back. It's a looooonnng story, but suffice to say, we are thrilled to be back.

3. I've gone running a few times since Will's birth. It feels amazing, and I really want to keep it up. I may run my first road race in almost a year in a few weeks. We'll see.

4. I don't have a job yet and I am LOVING it.

5. Jeb is adjusting really really well, but I still feel like I don't have enough minutes in the day to make sure I'm giving him enough of myself.

6. I have no idea how to balance 2 kids. There is no groove, no routine, no sense of the new "normal". Esp since we just moved 500 miles, and one kid was only 6 weeks old. Crazy.

7. We are going to State Fair tomorrow. Heaven.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Most delayed birth announcement, ever.

William Scott was born 8.11.11 :) He weighed 8lb13oz and was 22 in long. He looks just like his big brother, but is a much more chill baby. (Thank you, Jesus!)

He was born via c-section, of all things. I labored at home until I stalled at 9cm. After 4 hours "stuck" in transition we went to the hospital and I got an epidural. After 12 hours at 9 cm, I agreed to a section. Will's head was in a really jacked up position, and would NOT descend. It was long, hard, and disappointing in the end. Laboring at home was awesome, and everything I'd imagined. Had he been in the right position, I know he would have been born at daybreak, after 6 hours of labor. But he wasn't. It is what it is. The recovery was very hard. Being in the hospital for 4 nights and days away from Jeb was very hard. Coming to terms has been hard, but not the end of the world.

So, I now have three sons, and couldn't be happier. I'm tired, but ok. I've had so much help; I have yet to do an entire day with just the kids by myself. I'm really scared to be alone with them all day! We'll find our groove though, I know.

I'll try to get some pics... but I don't have time for much these days, besides nursing/rocking/playing/managing/making snacks. You know, the stuff of mothering small children.

Life is good.

Sunday, August 7, 2011


In an hour, I'll be 41w2d.

I can't even describe how hard it is to be this pregnant, in August, while caring for a 3 year old. In all honesty, I've had a ton of help with Jeb, but I'm still the mom. You can't EVER turn off the "mom" button.

I can't move.

The heartburn brings me to tears.

Everything brings me to tears.

I have painful, regular contractions that get my hopes up almost everyday... only to fizzle out. It is a total mindfuck.

I have insomnia. Most nights I get 4 or 5 hours of broken sleep. You'd think mother nature would help pregnant women sleep BETTER since, you know, we'll soon be in newborn sleep deprivation hell.

My husband is AMAZING. Thank you, Lord, for such a good man. But? He's tired of watching me be miserable. I can't blame him.


That's all.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Due Date

Due today. No baby. Colin was the only baby of mine who was not "late".

I am desperate to give birth.

That's all I have to say right now.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

tiny little check in

38 weeks. No baby. Going to resist the urge to complain about late pregnancy in late July...

So, on to something totally unrelated, but that I've thought many times when coming to my little blog. I LOVE the posts by other moms with young children along the lines of "we've been too busy for me to update..." I love reading that people are enjoying their lives/children so much that the blog has collected some dust. It's happened here more than a few times, and it's just life. It's awesome.

Another totally unrelated topic? Today is the annual FIA picnic. It's the first time I haven't been there since 1998!!! I was going to try to make it, but regular daily life is difficult right now, and I made the decision to stay put. I'm really missing my first born, but I think we'll have a visit soon after this little one is born.

So, I think I'll go reminisce...

Friday, July 8, 2011

One More Shift

Tomorrow is my last shift at work. I could do jumping jacks. I'll be 37 weeks tomorrow. I was originally going to work up until my due date, like I did with Jeb, but somewhere around 30 weeks I made the decision to go out at 37 weeks. Physically, this pregnancy is so much harder than my last 2. I think taking care of Jeb and working nights has a lot to do with it. When I was pregnant with Jeb, I slept whenever I wanted. I was starting to get scared that I'd go into labor after a night shift, having been awake for 24 hours already. NO THANK YOU!! I want better for me and this baby. I want to start mother him/her feeling good and rested, not exhausted and in pain from work. Also, these are my last days/weeks of just me and my Jeb. (tears)

I want to cherish these last days of just the two of us.

I want to start mothering this baby feeling rested and ready.

I want to spend these last quiet evenings talking with my husband, not my co-workers.

These might be my last days of pregnancy, ever. I want to savor the sacredness of it.

I want to listen to my body, and it's telling me to slow down.

Monday, July 4, 2011

These Are The Days

I've had this thought drift through my brain almost daily for the last several months "... these are the days...", and then I get the Cranberries' song stuck in my head ;)

My Grandfather died 2 weeks ago, and we had to up and fly to Michigan for 5 days. I was 34 weeks pregnant, flying (with delays and complications) with a 3 year old and all the fun that entails. I had to see my father from whom I've been estranged for years and years. It was loaded and draining, to say the least.

I'm miserably pregnant at this point. I'm sick of hearing myself talk about heartburn and insomnia. I'm withdrawing from friends and family because, well, I'm sick of hearing myself complain. I'm ready for this birth, but know there could still be weeks left of pregnancy, and I'm still a little terrified of the reality of 2 kids.

Bennett is in a state of career crisis, and about to make YET ANOTHER gigantic shift, which has the potential to cause some major upheaval in our lives. So there's that.

And still? This song keeps popping up in my head. These are the days, to remember...

I am having the time of my life. These are the best days of my life, the days I'll miss. I love them. I love the day to day routine of raising a family. I hear my aunts, and "older" women whose kids are grown talk about the days when their kids were young, and how much they miss those times. This season of life is intense, for sure, and it's only going to get more intense in the near future. Some days I lose my cool, and longingly think back to B's and my carefree, child free Fun Days, but I truly enjoy my life more now than I did then. I'd like to live ONE of those days every now and again, but I'd already love to go back and live these three and a half YEARS over again.

Late pregnancy is a tough place to be. I'm big, hot, tired, heartburn-y, short on patience, ready but scared, and uncomfortable. But it is thrilling and amazing, too.

Life is sometimes messy, and nothing ever seems to line up into some semblance of "normal and predictable"... but whatever. These are the days, and I'm really loving them.

... and with that? My son wakes and calls for his mama. I'm it, I'm the only one who'll do right now. And quite frankly, I think that's pretty awesome right now.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


No, the baby is not here. I'm 34 weeks, and although I am getting to the point of NOT wanting to be pregnant anymore, it is still early yet. I'm hoping for a 38 week-ish delivery, but obviously I have very little control over such things.

Birth in general has been a passion of mine, starting with Colin's birth. Unfortunately, I didn't know much about birth (hell, I didn't know much about anything when I was 18) when I was pregnant with Colin. I took the "Lamaze" classes at the clinic, but I can't say I was very engaged in learning about the process. His birth was a typical in the hospital, mom knows nothing, doctors dictate everything, pitocin, epidural, forceps, blah blah blah, healthy baby is the only important thing, blah blah blah, birth. About 1 week after he was born, I decided I wanted to be a midwife. I learned that I had to become an RN first, so my major changed from Math to Nursing.

RN-ship had never, not once, not ever crossed my mind before.

Long story short, I hated working on an L&D unit because it was the polar opposite of what I had developed as my birth "philosophy". I was turned off to the entire field, as a career, and went to learn the specialty of Critical Care. Personally though? I knew my next birth would be different.

The week after I found out I was pregnant with Jeb, I found a midwife, and committed to a natural birth. My plan included going to a hospital that was not "in network" and knew it was going to cost me thousands of dollars out of pocket, vs $10 for the whole shebang had I delivered at my place of work. I didn't care about the money; it was that important to me. I hired a doula, took classes, read books, and taught Bennett all that I knew. The result? We had an amazing, beautiful, natural birth in a hospital with a terrific midwife, and I could not be happier with that experience.

This time? We are staying HOME. That's right! I am planning a HOMEBIRTH and I am thrilled. Obviously, if anything at all looks outside of normal, we'll transfer to the hospital less than a mile away. What an awesome safety net!!

I love birth so much. I still think about midwifery school. Bennett bugs me about it periodically. This passion for birth is in my blood. I have all my supplies ready. My midwife is amazing. I am going to do this awesome thing.... and then take a nap IN MY OWN BED. Ahhhhh... the thought is absolutely intoxicating. I'm sitting on my birthing ball as I type this, and fantasizing about when it's Time.

If something comes up, and we have to abandon our plan, so be it. I'm not so addicted to the idea of a HB that I am going to risk safety. This is the plan as long as everything remains normal. The best part? If pregnancy and labor progress within normal ranges? Homebirth is the SAFEST choice, according to the research. Not only has this become my preference? It's the SAFEST option for me and my newest precious babe. Score.

I love talking about birth, and homebirth, so if anyone has any questions, fire away!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

RI May Unseal Records

Apparently the RI state legislature has, in the past, voted on bills to give adult adoptees access to their sealed records. According to the P.rovidence J.ournal, the bills pass the House, but not the Senate. Currently there is a possible compromise in the works that may pass both chambers, and allow adult adoptees over the age of 30 to obtain their records.


First of all, as a member of an open adoption triad, I am obviously in favor of the free flow of information, especially for the adoptee. I do recognize, however, that the level of openness my adoption family has been able to achieve is not always possible. I understand the many valid reasons why some adoptions are closed, or at least not fully open. I'm not sure if those circumstances extend to the adoptee's right to know their info as an adult. What I mean is, I get why some birthfamilies can't have visits with the adoptee; but what does that have to do with the adoptee just plain KNOWING their own info once they are grown?

The opponents of unsealing the records all claim to be advocating for birthmoms' privacy rights. I was pretty shocked to read this. Again, mine has always been an open adoption, but I can promise you, no one seemed concerned with my privacy post placement, or even brought the subject up when I was pregnant, before the openness had begun. The whole argument of someone worrying about my privacy 18 years post placement makes me laugh out loud. This argument is a big giant PC bullshit argument.

So what is the real reason some people want to deny adoptees access to their information? I saw one tiny little quote that mentioned adoptive parents' privacy and feelings, and I think this is where the truth is: not to sound harsh, but adoptive parents do seem to sometimes be the most considered, the most protected members of the triad. (APs, call me out on this one if I'm wrong.)

One comment really burned me up. A member of the assembly spoke in reference to the age at which adoptees deserve to know their info: "I think 18 is too young. It's a tender age. I want them to be able to find their records in an appropriate and meaningful way, not because they want to get back at their adoptive parents." Um, huh? Wha? Well, thank you, Mr. Member, but it's not up to you to decide why an adoptee wants their info, or what kind of experience it will be. Talk about controlling! The issue is centered around their rights, not their feelings, or their parents' feelings, or whether or not it is "meaningful".

Another very bizarre quote was in reference to birthmoms. One lawyer said, "The parent that gives up her rights, they're in a sense making a contract with someone. That contract is essentially: I am going to give you an opportunity for another life, but I am going to back away from your life. And that's the last thing I'm doing for you or with you." Wow, that's not what I said to Colin, thankfully. I am kind of a naive type of person, and this kind of jibberish blows my mind. I really thought we were past this kind of old school thinking. Also, even if that quote were universally true, what in the world does it have to do with the adoptee getting to see their records 18 years later?! I really, truly do not understand.

To me, it's a no brainer. The info is theirs. Apparently many many people are threatened by the possiblity that they get to see it.

Adoptees had the least amount of control at the time of placement. When Colin was a newborn, it blew my mind that we were all setting a course for his life and he was unable to give us his input. (I know this is true for all newborns, adopted or not, but it feels especially heavy in adoptions.) How can people justify continuing to have control over them in this way?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

My Mother Voice

I've been surprised and a bit confused by how much I'm looking forward to birthing this baby. Then the other day I had a thought: this is the first pregnancy where I've not dreaded having the baby on some level. With Colin, birth = goodbye, so obviously I was not really looking forward to delivering. With Jeb, I was just plain terrified. I was terrified of being a mom, I was terrified that I wouldn't like it. This time? I am looking forward to all of it. Sometimes I wonder if I'm just having amnesia, and if that's the case sobeit.

A few weeks ago, I was having some quiet time in my bed, and started talking to the baby. I heard myself talking, and I started weeping on the spot. I heard a mother's voice; I heard my Mother Voice. When I used to talk to Jeb pre-birth, I was akward and timid and unsure. This time? I knew what to say. I knew how to say it. I knew what the baby needed to hear. I could recognize the mama-love I was offering. I felt secure and calm and happy.

I used to think that having your first baby must be the most special, spiritual, and amazing experience. I am finding this pregnancy to be all of those things, so much more than my other 2. Every time I look at Jeb's face, I know exactly what I have to look forward to, and I have an internal "squee!". At least once a day I think to myself I GET TO DO THIS AGAIN!!! I get to do this again. What a beautiful, perfect thought. I love this baby in a way I couldn't love the boys when they were on the inside. I'm a mother now; I know how to love this baby better than I could before. I've been waiting for this baby my whole life.

I love you, baby. This family is so ready for you.

I love having a Mother Voice.

(ps. Is it wrong that I'm really really hoping that my being in such a great emotional space will encourage delivery before 42+1 weeks like Jeb went to? lol!)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

At the same time...

At the same time...

... this pregnancy is physically the hardest, but emotionally the most wonderful.

... 10 weeks feels like an eternity, and not nearly enough time.

... I am struggling to stay patient with my 3 year old, and cherishing our days together.

... reveling in the sacred experience of growing a baby, and longing for it to be over.

... terrified of what life will look like with a newborn + a 3 year old, and completely relaxed and confident that we'll all figure it out.

... loving and adoring my family of 3, and cannot wait to become a family of 4.

... really really really looking forward to labor and birth, and can't believe I'm even saying those words having been through it haha!

Thank God my beloved therapist from my early 20s taught me that I can feel 2 opposite things at the same time :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

precious moments

Lately I linger as I tuck Jeb into bed. I am so mindful (and weepy) of the fact that his time of only-ness is winding down.

There is something magical about those moments just before your little one drifts off to sleep. Their innocence, perfection, and sweetness bring you to your knees in prayers of thanks. And, dang, but their hair smells so good post-bath.

Last night I found it extra hard to walk back downstairs. We snuggled a little longer. I gave a few extra kisses. I was sad that he didn't want to listen to one more story when I offered. I was secretly excited when I heard his little voice call me back upstairs to help him pee. As I tucked him back in, he asked:

If I need help, I can call you, and you will come?

Yes, baby, always.


Saturday, May 14, 2011


It's 514!! My first born turns 13 today. He's a TEENAGER. Holy smokes.

Jeb picked out a Batman card for him. I talked to him on the phone for a while. Regular stuff.

I worked last night, so I got to look at the clock at 0159, the time he was born. It was very cool. I smiled to myself and remembered, and didn't feel the agony that this day used to bring me.

I'm so happy he's him; that he was born 13 years ago. I'm so happy for all the work we've done. I'm so happy to be happy this fivefourteen, and not sobbing on the floor. I'm so happy to be in a place of true celebration this birthday. It's like Grief is across the room at the party, and I gave him a wink, and then got back to smiling and chatting.

Happy Birthday, my boy, I love you so freaking much.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Gah, 4 months.

First, I wasn't sure how to write about pregnancy stuff without being one of those "X weeks!!! Baby is a carrot!! I don't miss ANYTHING because I am so perfectly pregnant!!!" types. Which I'm not. But anyway.

Then, the pregnancy kicked my butt up and down the block at the same time that we had the snowiest winter EVER and husband was NEVER home and Jeb was (is) in the HORRIBLE THREE's and and and....

And then it had been so long that I didn't know exactly how to come back, but I so wanted to, and promised every week --- I will write a post no MATTER WHAT this week... but that was somewhere around late March....

And now it's early May (Birthmother's Day!), and I'm in my third trimester, and I want to be back.

There are so many things I want/have wanted to write about. How physically hard but emotionally wonderful this pregnancy has been compared to my others. How this baby fits into the "adoption" part of my brain, since I'm already parenting. Colin is becoming a teenager next week-- hello! -- and my thoughts as he approaches the age I was when I got pregnant. You know, run of the mill kind of stuff that makes you start a blog ;)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


When Colin was a toddler, his parents attended a workshop about how/when/why to adopt a second time. They shared with me afterward that they were surprised (and comforted) to get the advice: the question is not so much whether you want to adopt again, the question is whether you want more kids. I thought that was pretty neat, and a very tidy and academic way to simplify the whole thing. I liked it. I liked that it had a nice "normal" ring to it. (I had no real feeling on whether I wanted them to adopt again. I felt about it like I feel about my neighbor having more kids: it's their family, I'm sure they'll make the best decision for them. I didn't feel strongly one way or the other about C having siblings, if I had I probably would have placed him with a couple who was already parenting.) In the end, they chose not to pursue another adoption, and we all went about our business.

Fast forward almost a decade, and to Jeb and me playing in his room.
Jeb (handing me a small toy dump truck): Here, mama, this is for Jeb Baby. (he's convinced the baby's name will also be Jeb.)
Me: Oh, thank you! What a great big brother you are!

I went in the next room to put some clothes away, thinking about what a cool moment we'd just shared, and the Whether To Adopt Again Workshop experience came flooding back.

Whether or not you want to parent more children is SO NOT the only or biggest concern when you are thinking about another adoption. I know I've never been there, but I know how I feel about Jeb. And I know adoptive parents feel that same way about their children. And I know it would have been a much more involved decision between husband and me than just "let's go for it!" one night in November.

I know I wouldn't be talking to Jeb about a baby joining us in the Summer, even if we were matched.

I know I wouldn't be weaving the baby in and out of our play and chat, slowly getting Jeb used to the idea.

I might have to choose between giving Jeb lots of preparation to share his time and space with mommy and daddy, and protecting him from getting his hopes up.

I would have to think about whether I was willing to turn his world upside down on very short notice.

I know there are so many more heavy and complicated emotions I'd be having that I can't even fathom here.

Even if I were to lose the baby right now, that conversation with Jeb would be ten times easier than a conversation about a failed match. Life and death seem a lot easier to explain to a child than potential adoptions and last minute decisions to parent.

For a moment, I put myself in the position of having this desire to give Jeb a sibling, having the excitement of a possibility, and trying to exercise caution by holding that excitement back. What a wild place it was, even for a hypothetical moment. And even in a hypothetical place, I can't imagine what it feels like to put his emotions and hopes on the line, and possibly see them dashed. What a horrible experience that must be.

So, I know this is all terribly awkward, but it was such a powerful "a ha!" moment for me. One that brought me to my knees with gratitude.

I don't know what it's like to be an AP, but I'm pretty sure the decision to adopt again goes far beyond whether or not you simply want more children.