i want my mommy

I don’t know for certain if this is normal or not. Maybe someone out there who has been a first time mom, or better yet a first time adoptive mom, can tell me.

I am getting anxious about our ability to do this.

It’s not the adoption part that bothers me, it’s the whole “Oh my word we are going to be raising a daughter!” part that is blowing my mind.

We are just a few weeks away from meeting Ginny. She has reached the end of 34 weeks gestation now and Mel (Ginny’ s birth mother) is really hoping to hang on all the way to 36 or 37 weeks.

All our friends are having a grand time telling us just how hard this is going to be. They are getting a HUGE amount of entertainment trying to shake our confidence that we can do this. The more we assure them that it will all be alright, that we can handle it (with God’s help) the more horror stories and sleep deprivation tales of woe they seem to want to pepper us with.

It’s not malicious (as far as I can tell). It seems to just be a form of entertainment. All in good fun as it were.

Unfortunately the cumulative effect of all these joking comments about “hey, there’s a betting pool at the church about how quickly ya’ll are gonna crack up” and “hey, get sleep while you can” and “you guys are soooooo in for it” is just a bit nerve wracking.

Thanks ya’ll. That is just so constructive.

Maybe the very fact that we have refused to panic has made our friends up the ante in terms of trying to get us to look nervous. Maybe if we walked around voicing doubts about our fitness as parents more people would be giving us encouragement.

One of the peculiar things about adopting versus being pregnant is this: nothing the pregnant woman says will be held against her. She can be as neurotic and frightened as she wants. Everyone will write it off as “pregnancy jitters” and pat her on the hand and give her encouragement. But if an adoptive couple expresses doubts about their ability to handle having a baby, the immediate reaction is “oh, well maybe you should re-examine your decision and not do this after all”

So in an unconcious effort to make sure no-one second guesses our decision to adopt, Martin and I have perhaps appeared MORE confident than we actually are.

The fact of the matter is this

  • We are scared of the responsibility of raising Ginny. We want to do this right. We want to raise a curious, questioning, creative, upstanding, contributing citizen who loves God and follows his will for her life.
  • We are weary and sleep deprived already and Ginny isn’t even born yet. (of course that could have something to do with the Olympics……)
  • We know our lives are about to change radically. There are days when we are ready for that and there are other days when we just aren’t. How can anyone be ready for this?
  • Yes, we know that there are many activities that will fall by the wayside.
  • Yes, we know we will be basket cases at work. Thank GOD for understanding bosses.
  • Yes, I AM a selfish person who is going to learn the true meaning of selflessness when I am confronted at 3 a.m. with a sleeping hubby and a crying Ginny who needs me to sing yet another hundred rounds of “oh be careful little eyes…”
  • We are terrified of the myriad factors we haven’t even thought of yet.  all the things that can go wrong. All the emotional support that a regular child needs and then multiply it exponentially for an adopted child.

We know that we can not do this on our own.  We know that only by giving ourselves up to God’s guidance can we even have a hope of adequately rearing Ginny.  We do actually “get it” folks.

It is BECAUSE I “get it” that I am having an incredibly selfish feeling: I want to go back to being a kid myself. It’s actually the fault of the Olympics.

My mom used to make sure that life just stopped for us so that we could watch the Olympics. But now that I’m trying to juggle watching the coverage, and getting stuff done around the house and staying awake at work. ugh! It is dawning on me just how much of my intensisve Olympics experience was probably based on mother taking on lots of stuff and letting us kids sit in front of the TV and just soak in the culture. As I was confronted this morning with the reality of driving to work on low sleep I found myself compaining that I just don’t get to watch as much of the Olympics as I used to . Martin of course said  “well it’s good practice for when we have Ginny”

Thanks for the reality check honey.

And my only coherent thought this morning as my overwhelmed brain tried to process the coming baby, and all the long to-do list between now and then was that for maybe a week……….I want to be a kid again. I want to swim and read all day in the summers. I want to let someone else to plan the meals. I want to play in sprinklers and climb trees without worry. I want to stop everything and watch the full magic of the Olympics when it happens. not on tape delay.

In short, I want my mommy.

which is supremely ironic, considering I will shortly BE the Mommy.

I guess we all have to grow up sometime.

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14 thoughts on “i want my mommy

  1. I think the horror stories are sort of a “welcome to the club” initiation rite 🙂 There are things that all parents go through and talking about the horror stories to soon-to-be parents is sort of a “hey, I survived this and you will, too.” I mean, none of the folks sharing these stories are sitting around in strait jackets, drooling, right? So, no matter how stressful it gets, you WILL survive.

    I have found parenthood to be a terrifying, exhiliarating, amazing, challenging road. I hope you do, too.

    Well you have my permission to kick me in the head if you ever hear ME feeding some poor shell shocked about-to-be-parent on horror stories. I understand the entertainment factor. It’s just annoying to be on the receiving end of so many clever remarks.
    Although I supposed I should be used to it by now. I can’t tell you how many otherwise intelligent people have found it necessary to give me the old “well if you would just relax…” speech about my infertility. *grin*

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  2. I think most of the “helpful” comments you are getting from friends right now are the same comments they got when they had children. Or if they don’t have children, they are just repeating what they’ve heard other people say. I know you and Martin know that it’s going to be hard, but ya know, most things in life that are worth having or doing require a lot of work, patience, and perseverance. I have the utmost confidence in you and Martin as parents. I think Ginny is going to have a great time growing up in your house!

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  3. Personally, it drives me nuts when people say those things. Having a baby is hard. Really hard. True as that may be, I don’t “get” why people find it ncessary to scare the begeebers out of expectant parents. UGH!
    Having said that, I think you are in the perfect position to receive your daughter – fully convinced you cannot do this parenting thing on your own. Trust in God. Trust fully in God, and He will see you through.

    And, getting sleep while you can NOW is excellent advice!!!!!!! *grin*

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  4. You sound like you have a pretty great attitude and handle on things. You also sound like we may share the personality trait of “stop telling me what it will be, you don’t know and it’s ticking me off”. When people used to tell me their stories before I had Lily they greatly annoyed me and honestly I got a bit defensive about the whole thing. But now that I have kids of my own I totally agree with Maysun. Sharing their stories is just a way of people telling you how excited they are that you are joining the club. It’s not that they mean for you to worry, it’s simply stating you really have no idea, and you can’t until she gets here. In a way some things will come up and you’ll think “wow, that wasn’t nearly as hard as they made it out to be”. It’s easy for the outside world to convey the bads but no one can ever convey the beauty because words can’t even touch the way that your heart will sing the first time you get to just hold her and soak her in all on your own.

    Enjoy your kid time! For some reason I’ve felt like she’s not coming till Septemeber from the get go. (I have a date in mind too, but I’m not saying due to my grand fear of failure! =) So enjoy your kid time. And as for wanting your Mommy, that just intesifies when you have a baby! I sat in the bathroom the first morning I had Lily and cried exactly those words! It wasn’t at all that I didn’t think I could handle being a mom or raising a daughter, it was just that I wanted to feel someone take care of me too!

    It doesn’t actually tick me off. More like just frustrates me. I do know we have no idea what’s coming. You and Maysun are probably right, it’s just a club initiation. and oh what a club!

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  5. Of course you are nervous, and you SHOULD be nervous. It’s kind of a big deal 😉

    Ok, here is what I tell everyone. The first three months are New Baby Hell. They are really hard. You are exhausted and cranky all the time. And then…it gets so much better.

    When I was in New Baby Hell with Shep, I didn’t realize that it would ever end. I thought this was how my life was going to be forever. So my main thing I assure moms of is….IT ENDS.

    The other thing too, if these are biological parents who are telling you this: with a biological child, you go into it after months of not sleeping well and having your hormones go ballistic after birth and you are in a LOT of pain, plus the trauma of trying to learn how to nurse. That contributes a lot to the hellaciousness. Not complaining, I am just saying, those are the facts. You know the hell that hormones can wreak.

    I would think that it would be a little easier in that sense with an adopted baby – at least your body hasn’t been through a war zone immediately prior. I’m truly thankful that I could give birth – BUT – I am really looking forward to that part of adoption.

    You’re gonna do GREAT. If they really thought you couldn’t hack it, they would just be giving you pitying little looks and say, “Well, we’re praying for you” and pursing their lips.

    Giggle! You’ll be fabulous. If Britney and KFed can do it, so can you.

    😉

    Okay so this is the parental club’s equivalent of the grade school notion of “only worry if they aren’t picking on you. At least if the boys are picking on you it means they noticed you.” ???
    great
    .

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  6. PS – The good news is, you WILL have your mommy!!!

    Us momma’s girls can’t do it without them, and blessedly we don’t have to.

    AMEN! and since she is just down the road from me, and she is in realestate so she sets her own hours, SHE is going to be taking care of Ginny for at least the first six months after I have to go back to work.

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  7. I love your honesty in this post. Aren’t well-meaning friends’ comments just the BEST sometimes? LOL.

    In a way, parenting a newborn is *sometimes* like going through sometime of elaborate sorority hazing ritual, so hence the jokes, I suppose.

    But… it really is not that bad! Honestly, I never minded the sleep deprivation after waiting years and years for my child. I honestly was HAPPY to get up in the middle of the night with her. That is something the fertiles don’t think about, I think.

    One of my favorite online parenting sites is moxie.blogs.com Go check her out, she is so relaxed, and gives GREAT advice to calm new mommies down. I felt so relaxed after reading her before we brought our little one home.

    My other fave baby book is the Dr. Sears “Baby Book.” I also like the “Baby Whisperer” but only got halfway thru that one before the baby arrived, LOL.

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  8. Well, hello my dear. Haven’t checked this blog this week! What a surprise awaited me!

    Missy stole my lines! As a matter of fact you do have your Mommy who is reaching for Ginny with wide open arms and heart. Out of my mind excited. I am as anxious for that baby as much as if you were birthing her! Honestly, this is a fact. You know I am in this with you and Martin one hundred percent! And when you have morning sickness, I will be there! Actually, I have been at your beck and call since the day they placed you in my arms at the hospital. Need I say that I love you!

    And I know that Richard has to resume his dropped duty of the past 6 years or so. Remember, I always had coffee before I ever had to leave my bed! Then in the past few years, I have been getting up and making it myself. I guess that is because I can sleep most mornings til at least 8:00, when all other people with “normal” jobs have to be bright eyed and ready at their desks for work!

    6:30 a.m. is going to be a bit more than early for me. The only time I ever remember getting up that early was when I had to help you and Steve with some project that we left part of for the a.m. because we were just too tired to complete it the night before. Or when I was trying to be the perfect Mother and serve you an awesome breakfast, which of course, was before you learned from one your teachers that breakfast was Yukey! I will willingly give up my mornings of extra sleep; The afternoons of having to revamp all my scheduling of business will bring the difficult spots. But you know me, Deirdre. The Mother that moved everything out of your way so you could watch the Olympics is still alive and well. The God who has brought us through this last very difficult year will bring us through the next with flying colors. I do indeed believe this to be truth!

    God is going to have maximum impact as you and Martin undertake parent hood. You are more prepared to be parents than I was. And dear people, it will be the best years of your life. I promise!

    I know I have rambled, but you do know that this is what I do best because my mind is thinking in three or four directions at once. Please forgive me for not going back and editing!

    M

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  9. Don’t worry about what people say. Whatever comes your way, you have an awesome faith in God. And a good husband in Martin. It’s all a learning process, this thing called parenthood. You do the best you can and most of all love them. No one is ever really prepared or ready. You and Martin have so much joy and love to give, that Ginny will be blessed to have you as her mommy & daddy! Your mom will be a great help and of course wonderful grandmother. Your very lucky to have your mom still with you to share in the joy of having Ginny join your family. It’s normal to want your mommy when your about to become one yourself.

    Melissa

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  10. Can I just say, I want to hug your mom and I don’t even know her!

    Moms make everything better. After you have Miss Ginny you will only love and value your own Mom even more. I didn’t think that was possible for me but it’s an amazing thing!

    You are right. I am very lucky.

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  11. Well, looks like everything has been said in the comments before me…and so I really have nothing original to add. Yes, of course it is hard. It’s a huge, life-changing adjustment. But can you do it? Without a doubt. I remember having huge moments of anxiety right before S. was born…totally feeling like I was not cut out to do the job right. And you know what? You just take it as it comes. The first night home when I was pretty much convinced that she was going to die because of something that I did or didn’t do right was pure misery. Then I sort of settled down and realized that, hey, I was not the first person to go through this and I certainly wouldn’t be the last.

    You’ve got the Lord. And your hubby. And – YAY – your mama (I’m a little jealous…mine lives 1000 miles away). You’re going to be the best mama ever to precious Ginny.

    Time got away from me, but I’ll be sending out your package shortly….

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  12. If WCB will get over her low fever and go back to daycare, I will post about this very topic over on oneluckymommy. I was *just* thinking about how I finally felt like I am riding the edge of the wave instead of being pounded by surf and sucked at by the undertow.

    Really – for the past 2-3 months I have been feeling better and better and not only wished that I could tell the me in November and December that it would all be JUST FINE, but that the me in Nov & Dec would actually believe me.

    I found time to write on a computer really scarce during my 1st few months. DO NOT hesitate to call if you need a sympathetic ear.

    Note, the only SCA person I know who adopted (a 3 yr old from the former eastern block) had significant post-adoption depression. I say this NOT to mess with you – but to confirm that is is NORMAL for you to go through many of the same feelings and chemical rollercoasters that birthing mothers do.

    Just ’cause you adopted does NOT mean you should sail through the first 2-3 months easier than a birthmom. Don’t let folks give you that “but you just/only adopted” crap. You have every right to sing the following at 5:30am (after no real sleep and hours of off an on baby crying):

    “I want you to want sleep.
    I need you to need sleep.
    I’d love for you to love sleep.
    I’m begging you to go to sleep.

    You’re going to do what I want, yeeeeees you are
    You’re going to do what I want, you’re going to go to sleep

    Didn’t I didn’t I see you blinkin’?
    Didn’t I didn’t I see you noddin’?
    Feelin all alone without a friend, you know I feel like cryin’
    Didn’t I didn’t I see you sleeping?
    [repeat]”
    (apologies to Cheap Trick)

    You, dear one, are a HOOT.

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  13. Things to remember about being a parent:
    1. You are her mother, not her friend. When it comes time to say “no more TV / Candy / dangerous activity” remember this phrase – One of us has to be the mommy here. It makes doing the no-No-NOing easier.
    2. You have never been a mother before, she has never been a baby before. She’ll never know if you put the diaper on backwards every time, she’s never had a diaper on! Kids are also super forgiving.
    3. There is no learning without frustration. She will learn to crawl because she is frustrated to be apart from you or her toy or the shiny thing over there. Don’t try to make everything OK right away. They need to struggle just a bit.
    4. You don’t need all that STUFF. I have found that the babies need actually just a handful of gear: warm food (in your case – formula and about 3-5 bottles with #1 nipples. Less is more here, as if you have 2 dozen bottles, they will still all be dirty at the same time. It’s a fact), dry pants (the best price for these are at a warehouse club), a dozen over and under bunny suits (short and long sleeved onsies and jammies in cute colors), a safe place to sleep (that could be a crib or a co-sleeper in your bed), and a car seat. Oh, and lots of REGULAR towels and washcloths – baby towels and washies are USELESS! Douglas Adams was right, you won’t believe how useful a towel can be. Everything else is just gravy. My kids liked an infant swing. That was the most helpful EXTRA I ever had. They would nap there sometimes when I couldn’t get them down anywhere.
    Also, take two zippie bags and put a complete change of diaper and clothes in each and put them in the car glove box. Thank me later….
    And my final piece of advice is this. If you put the kids to sleep in a crib, make up the baby bed in layers: Waterproof pad, Fitted sheet,Waterproof pad, Fitted sheet,Waterproof pad, Fitted sheet. At least three layers. That way, at three am when she’s either barfed or had a diaper blowout, you just strip off the top and keep going, rather than searching for clean fitted sheets when you have a sick, unhappy, sleepy child. Best. Advice. I ever got.
    You can do this. So don’t worry. And no one ever has to raise a child alone, cause there is a whole internet of people out there who have an opinion. You don’t even hardly have to ask for it!

    hehehehehehe ya know? I’ve noticed that.

    Seriously, thanks for the advice. I too am very anti-STUFF.

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  14. Oh, okay,…now I just want to give you a hug and say, “it’s going to be okay…in fact, it’s going to be great.”

    I always operate on the premise that if you are prepared for the worst, everything else seems easy.

    You and Martin are going to be great parents. Yes, there will be some adjusting and learning to be done. I will tell you that all of your concerns on your list are the same things I worried about and I had my child in my late 30’s too.

    Most newborns just need food, sleep and love. I know that you and Martin are ready to love and care for this child. All of the other stuff comes later and thankfully, it doesn’t all come at once.

    And yes, most of us got the same kind of teasing from people when we had a baby too…

    Look at it as a right of passage. It all means that this is actually really, truly happening and soon Ginny will be here for you to do all of the things you want to do for her as her loving parents.

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