Thursday, September 23, 2010

One of the Scary Parts

I am fully aware that I make our adoption story sound like it came straight from a Lisa Frank folder. You know, unicorns, dolphins, and rainbows surrounded by dreamy fuzzy edges. I don't know how to tell it any other way. It's a whirlwind-y story that ends with me becoming a mommy of the most beautiful little man ever. Nothing can beat that. And, if that isn't enough, we can't imagine a more incredible birth family to be going through it with.

However that doesn't mean that there haven't been difficult moments. One night in particular stands out from the blur of memories that those four days in the hospital have become.

In the hospital that Isaac was born, mothers are encouraged to keep the baby in their room with them overnight. New parents can practice parent stuff with the safety net of the nurses nearby. This is, however, assuming that the mother in the hospital is the mother that will be caring for the baby when he leaves.

The first night, Isaac slept in the NIC-U. The second night, however, he was out. And needed to sleep somewhere. And Lexie wanted him to stay in her room. All night. Without us.

As the hours ticked by and it became later and later, my stomach was in knots. I was worried that she wouldn't be able to tend to his basic needs during the middle of the night... she could barely walk to the bathroom due to the horrific c-section she had gone through. In fact, she had just gotten the colostomy bag removed a half hour before and had attempted her first steps out of bed. It was not reassuring.

But mostly? I was scared. to. death. that she would fall even more deeply in love with Isaac and we would never see him again. I cried on the way home. Felt like I was going to throw up the whole way to the hospital the next morning.

Obviously we know this story ends happily. The minute I walked into Lexie's room, I knew everything was okay. Better than okay. Happily-ever-after kind of stuff.

But it sure was a scary night.

Monday, September 20, 2010

To The North Shore We Go!

Last year around this time, we made plans with our friends Zack and Marissa to do a 2010 fall camping trip. We set a date, booked the site, and put it in our calendars. Little did we know that when the time came, we would have an eight-week old baby with us! In fact, I still can't quite believe it!

All week I watched the weather channel with a sinking heart. First they said the temps would be highs in the low 60s, lows in the mid 40s. That was okay with us. We could bundle Isaac up, bring the appropriate gear, share body heat at night... that would work. With each day that went by, the projected temps dropped by a few degrees... until the low was THIRTY! Okay. That's cold enough to snow! The campsite we were supposed to stay in is a cart-in site, meaning that your car is half a mile away and that is the closest indoor option.

We didn't feel comfortable putting an eight week old baby into that scenario overnight, so we tweaked our plans a bit. We spent the days at the campsite with Zack and Marissa (who braved the cold and spent the night in their tent) and then went to a nearby hotel to sleep.

Oh, it was such a wonderful weekend! Isaac began to truly smile while we were there (I even have witnesses! Marissa can vouch for me=) and it was so fun to spend time together as a family. Lake Superior always rejuvenates me and this was no exception. Here are a few pictures from our trip:

Here we all are! Our family of four, headed to the North Shore of Minnesota.

Daddy and Isaac on the porch of our motel

The pack mule... er, Jonathan carrying all our junk to the campsite. Since I was wearing the baby, Jonathan insisted on carrying pretty much everything else. And tying the dog to his waist.

Beautiful hike

Isaac sleeping peacefully on Mommy's chest

Our little family on a hidden lake at Tettegouche State Park

Mid-hike meal

Cody did his part. He packed out Isaac's poopy diaper. (HA!! Don't worry... we only tortured him long enough to take this picture. And maybe a few others.)

Isaac loved cuddling with Marissa

Baby napping on Daddy

All bundled up

Zack, the chef, cooking up some pancakes and sausage for breakfast. YUM!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Wise Words

I'm about to share the best parenting advice I have gotten so far. (And no, it's not "sleep when the baby sleeps.")

Melissa has been my best friend since the days before lockers, bras, and contact lenses. Our friendship has grown and changed with us from the awkward middle school days through high school, separate colleges, marriages, homes two states away, a doctorate (hers, not mine=), and now children. I love her.

She was in town a few weeks ago and we spent a wonderful day together. At one point, we were talking about advice the doctor had given me regarding developing good sleep habits for Isaac... "Put him down while he's still drowsy." I was saying that I couldn't picture that working for him at that time. She said, "And the thing is, some days it will work and some days it won't."

That simple statement, not even meant to be "advice," has stayed with me ever since and has been a huge comfort for me more times than I can count. Not just about sleep, but about everything. Having that perspective has helped me let go of some of the panic or helplessness I feel when things aren't picture perfect. If Isaac is screaming and nothing I do is helping... it's not because I'm failing him as a mom and it's also not a sign that every day is going to be like that. It's just... some days it works and some days it doesn't.

Monday, September 13, 2010

This and That

It's been awhile! Here are some random bits of information.

1. Isaac is growing, growing, growing! He's 8 weeks tomorrow and already almost 14 pounds...! He's got the kind of cheeks you can't resist kissing ALL THE TIME. I think I would be embarrassed at how huge the number is if I ever counted how many kisses I give him each day.

2. I've noticed that there's no such thing as "just" anymore. As in, "I need eggs. I'll just run to the store." Or, "My closet's empty. I'll just do some laundry." Or, "I need a shower. I'll just take one." Jonathan and I find that we are still doing the same things we did before Isaac, they just take three times as long and lots of extra thought and preparation!

3. Sometimes I panic at how fast time is going. I am hyper aware of each cuddle, stroller ride, and small hand grabbing my hair. I'm nostalgic for things that are still happening =)

4. Isaac has officially moved into his own bedroom. Although it was helpful to have him right next to me in the beginning, it has been a good move for all. I didn't realize how much I missed sitting in bed with a book before falling asleep.

5. We had our first family camping trip last weekend! I will definitely post pictures, but that takes more time than I am willing to spend at the moment, so I'll do it later. Isaac was a champ. In fact, he LOVED it. I'm not sure if it was the waves or the cool weather, but he was in his element.

6. I am tired but deeply content. Life is good.