Miraculous Living

I have tried to write a baby update a few times now, and it seems that all I have to report are boring things about breastfeeding issues, losing pregnancy weight, diaper fiascos, gazing at my beautiful son for hours on end…basically, the new parenting stuff I think is pretty typical.

So, what I need to say: even though I am in a fog of responsibility and sleeplessness, life has never been better. The minute Adrian was born it seemed like he had been here forever. He just fit. I know the instant bond isn’t every parent’s experience, but – happily – my husband and I felt it. We actually commented – after an hour or two in the hospital with him – “How was he not here yesterday?!”

After 27 hours of labor that included an extremely difficult 2 hours of pushing, he arrived healthy and beautiful. These first weeks have been a cliche: harder and more incredible than I thought possible. 

Basically, even though I knew I have wanted a child for many years now, I feel so much more comfortable and excited to have him here than I thought I would. I prepared myself not to bond instantly, to anticipate how hard it would be, and to think about other, more negative, aspects of being tied down with a child. But, although it’s been physically very taxing (battling a couple infections, a fever, and sleepless nights), emotionally it’s been life-giving, miraculous, and sweeter than I thought possible. 

Now I know why parents are always encouraging people to start having kids. It’s amazing! I strongly feel people should have whatever type of family/non-family they desire (if possible, of course), but I now understand why there is so much encouragement to those on the fence about parenting. It’s an experience like none other and, so far for me, incredibly fulfilling.

To have Son Three right beside me, healthy, (snoring!) and so darn adorable…I once again feel the luckiest. All the years of miscarriages and what those do to your body and spirit seem less painful now somehow. And as I write that, I KNOW I am the luckiest because I know some of you reading this will not be validated in this way. And I weep with you. Truly. I definitely understand as I walked away from trying to conceive for nearly a full year before this fifth pregnancy. My heart will always be with those struggling to complete their families. 

My greatest wish is that my story can provide hope for someone struggling to see the way out of infertility and/or loss. I got to the point I was definitely okay not having a biological child – which provided huge peace for me – and, now I promise to all of you I will never take for granted the fact that I get to experience this. Truly, I am living a miracle. 

Adam’s Angelversary #3

Today is the third anniversary of the birth of my sleeping child, A.G. The sting of his death always comes back as I remember him, but today I also get to be grateful for a new year full of new beginnings.

I spent a portion of this morning on my veranda with Son Three on my chest. Deep, primal gratitude soaked up the moment. As much as the birth of Adrian thrills me, there is also the sad longing for what could have been with A.G. Each moment I get with Adrian reminds me of what I missed with A.G. since this earth was not part of his soul’s journey. 

Things I never thought about missing out on with A.G. are now part of my thoughts. These do not come to me in desperation. I do accept his death as his natural way. But, these thoughts come to me with interest – curiosity – and sadness that is entirely human. Would he have looked like his brother? I suspect his personality would have been calmer and a little sweeter (not to say Adrian isn’t a good or sweet baby because he is!). 

Anyway, I just didn’t want to miss the occasion to remember my dear A.G. on his day. Life feels more paradoxical today than normal – sweeter, sadder, and more peaceful in some ways too. Today, I am thankful for both of my boys and what they continue teaching me. 

Quick Baby Update – 37 Weeks

IMG_8065

We have made it to 37 weeks! We are over the moon excited! I am still feeling great and Son Three is doing wonderfully each time we check in on him with the doctor. He moves around day and night and the wiggle worm was head down, but now has flipped and is transverse…so we are hoping he keeps doing his gymnastics and gets back into place before labor!

Minor symptoms include (I find it very hard to complain about anything when we are so joyful to get this experience!) insomnia, some heartburn, tiredness, restless legs…but I am still enjoying walks with my pup and my adorable hubby and trying to make it to the gym twice a week still. So, this is a powerful, happy time. I feel incredibly grateful for feeling so well and being healthy this late in the pregnancy. I really am embracing every moment because I know how lucky I am to be experiencing this phase of womanhood.

My husband and I have taken some birth classes together and have now talked to my doctor about our birth plan (where I clearly stated that as long as the child is born healthy we are NOT going to fret any details!). The birth class was good, but I had some residual sadness about A.G., Son One, that I had to work through over the next day or so after the class. There are always funny moments like when the teacher says “induction can take up to 24 hours” and I know from experience you can quadruple that number when your body knows it is months too soon. I decided to keep that to myself and not freak out any new moms.

All in all, I feel like I am processing the emotions in a healthy way, considering all the baggage I could be bringing into this process. I now see how not being pregnant from Fall 2014 to Fall 2015 was such a good thing for my healing process…I needed that time to just NOT have more miscarriages and learn that I was going to be okay with or without a biological child. I always knew that actually, but when you are actively trying to have one and losing babies, it’s hard to keep that truth at the forefront of your mind.

Anyway, this is getting longer than planned, so I will just say: we are all healthy, we are all happy, and we are all grateful in my corner of the world. Life is soooo good…and it took a long time to feel that again.

To The Angel Baby Mothers

*Repost from 6/18/2016 because the original did not appear on WordPress subscribers’ newsfeeds. 

This morning, at a few strokes after midnight, an amazing woman in my life gave birth to her second angel baby. This was her second trip to the hospital to deliver a child she knew she wouldn’t bring home. This was the second child she named, knowing she would not be saying the name out loud daily as the child grows into his or her own being. This was her second heartbreak on a level I understand, but still cannot fathom when I really soak in the facts and feelings.

So, to all the angel baby mothers: I know you. I am you. I know what it’s like to wonder what life on earth would have been like for your sons and daughters. I know that you have their names engraved in jewelry, little tiny urns in hidden corners, and trees planted in their memory in your yards. I know you have dates on the calendar that come with no ceremony, but can reduce you to a puddle on the kitchen or bathroom floor.

I know the triggers. The hospital shows. The birth announcements. The innocent questions asking how many children you have or why you’ve waited so long to parent (because, you know, you aren’t getting any younger). I know you want to celebrate with pregnant friends, but sometimes it is more painful than others. I know seeing a baby bump walking through a grocery store can spiral you for a few hours as you remember your grief.

I know my dear friend who gave birth early this morning is going to be okay. I know she is stronger because she’s experienced this before, and accepts her son’s too-short journey with her more easily because she intimately knew this could happen, and had accepted the risk before getting pregnant again. I know how brave that is. I know how the most horrendous reality can become true in a moment in the doctor’s office.

I know she loves him. I know she knows him best. I know she will never forget him and, as cruel as life can be, neither will her birthday ever be the same since she was celebrating her own special day when it became special for this different, less welcoming reason. I know on her birthday next year, she will remember the hospital, the delivery, and her sweet little son coming into the world minutes passed midnight.

Angel baby mothers have a special knowing. Their hearts ache eternally for their sons and daughters. They will support you and grieve with you if or when you join their ranks. They will share the details of the birth and the appearance of their too small children…they will help you however they know how so you can start to deal with a reality no one ever should know. They will make it less scary if that’s possible.

They will also remember you and your child’s name. I have so many angel baby names swarming in my head, and a special place for each of them in my prayers. So, today, I add Beckett’s name to my list. Beckett, we love you forever. We know you had a perfect journey in a perfect little body with the perfect mom and family for you. We know you are perfectly at peace, and we accept your sweet place in our lives. Please pray for Beckett’s family if you are the praying kind. Much love to all the angel mommies I know will be reading. Xx

To The Angel Baby Mothers

This morning, at a few strokes after midnight, an amazing woman in my life gave birth to her second angel baby. This was her second trip to the hospital to deliver a child she knew she wouldn’t bring home. This was the second child she named, knowing she would not be saying the name out loud daily as the child grows into his or her own being. This was her second heartbreak on a level I understand, but still cannot fathom when I really soak in the facts and feelings.

So, to all the angel baby mothers: I know you. I am you. I know what it’s like to wonder what life on earth would have been like for your sons and daughters. I know that you have their names engraved in jewelry, little tiny urns in hidden corners, and trees planted in their memory in your yards. I know you have dates on the calendar that come with no ceremony, but can reduce you to a puddle on the kitchen or bathroom floor.

I know the triggers. The hospital shows. The birth announcements. The innocent questions asking how many children you have or why you’ve waited so long to parent (because, you know, you aren’t getting any younger). I know you want to celebrate with pregnant friends, but sometimes it is more painful than others. I know seeing a baby bump walking through a grocery store can spiral you for a few hours as you remember your grief.

I know my dear friend who gave birth early this morning is going to be okay. I know she is stronger because she’s experienced this before, and accepts her son’s too-short journey with her more easily because she intimately knew this could happen, and had accepted the risk before getting pregnant again. I know how brave that is. I know how the most horrendous reality can become true in a moment in the doctor’s office.

I know she loves him. I know she knows him best. I know she will never forget him and, as cruel as life can be, neither will her birthday ever be the same since she was celebrating her own special day when it became special for this different, less welcoming reason. I know on her birthday next year, she will remember the hospital, the delivery, and her sweet little son coming into the world minutes passed midnight.

Angel baby mothers have a special knowing. Their hearts ache eternally for their sons and daughters. They will support you and grieve with you if or when you join their ranks. They will share the details of the birth and the appearance of their too small children…they will help you however they know how so you can start to deal with a reality no one ever should know. They will make it less scary if that’s possible.

They will also remember you and your child’s name. I have so many angel baby names swarming in my head, and a special place for each of them in my prayers. So, today, I add Beckett’s name to my list. Beckett, we love you forever. We know you had a perfect journey in a perfect little body with the perfect mom and family for you. We know you are perfectly at peace, and we accept your sweet place in our lives. Please pray for Beckett’s family if you are the praying kind. Much love to all the angel mommies I know will be reading. Xx

International Adoption Hold

It’s been a while since I have posted about the adoption, so this may be a bit of a dry post, but I wanted to give you all an update. It’s officially been 2.5 years in process and, by the end of August, our dossier will have been registered in Haiti for over 2 years. We have never received an official referral in that time. We’ve watched friends lose multiple matches, and others even lose the lives of their sometimes legal children while they wait for the rest of the paperwork to be finalized so they can come to the U.S. To state what probably seems obvious, this process hasn’t gone according to anybody’s plan. It’s been a test of patience, incredibly sad, and harrowing. Because of all of this and Zika concerns, we have decided to put the adoption on hold.

We have told our agency that we’d like our paperwork held until December. This means it will stay in its place, but no one will be working on a match for us for the next several months. We will decide at that time whether a) we need more time to bond and breastfeed our biological son, holding our paperwork for longer, b) if we will ask them to proceed forward with the adoption, or c) if we will drop out of the program in favor of a different international program or even a pursuit of a domestic adoption.

The other thing is, as we were originally promised the Haitian program was getting more stable, we have not experienced this to be the case at all. Haiti, as  a country, seems to have more political unrest all the time and one of my Haitian friends even believes they may be headed toward a civil war. The next few months of waiting will let us also assess the safety of moving forward with this specific adoption path.

As this pregnancy has progressed and I have been able to believe in the viability of this Son Three a little bit more, it has become clear that we need to give him the same love and care we’d like to give any other child we will parent. Bonding time is important, as many of my reader friends have previously suggested, and we are feeling really secure in this decision to put the adoption on hold for now and concentrate on this first child home (Son Three).