Tag Archives: child birth

The One with the Lucky Baby

19 Nov

Dear Little Man,

One of my favorite TV shows when I was growing up (and now) is called Friends. Recently I got my hands on the DVD seasons (it ended in 2004) and I’m re-watching them all. It’s a funny sitcom-type show about six friends (three boys, three girls) who go through all of their ups and downs together, but no matter what, they are always there for one another.

Now — following that description — it is a sweet show with some truly tender, genuine moments…but mostly it’s just really, really funny. It will probably be way outdated by the time you’re old enough to appreciate it (or old enough to be allowed to watch it) but I think you should check it out at some point. If you turn out to be anything like me, you’ll certainly relate to the humor :)

Now in the first season of Friends, there’s a weird dynamic between Ross (one of the main characters) and his ex-wife Carol. As it turns out, Carol’s romantic interests were not…how should I put this…male-oriented. However, before Carol discovered this, she and Ross created a baby boy. By the time the baby was born, Carol was with her new life partner, Susan.

But Susan and Ross didn’t get along so well, especially when it came to the baby. Ross was technically the father, but Susan wanted the baby to recognize her as a parent as well. She and Ross would argue all the time about who would get to see the baby more and hold the baby more and love the baby more. Finally, at the hospital on the day that the baby was born, Ross’s friend Phoebe was listening to Ross and Susan fight over this little guy, when Phoebe said this:

“When I was growing up, my dad left and my mother died and my stepfather went to jail, so I barely had enough pieces of parents to make one whole one. But here’s this little baby who has three whole parents who care about it so much, they’re fighting over who gets to love it the most, and it’s not even born yet. It’s the luckiest baby in the whole world.”

That quote had me riveted. Of course, years ago when I first saw this episode it didn’t mean much to me, but now that I’m older…and now that I have you…I have a new appreciation for what Phoebe said. While no one has ever fought over who gets to love you the most — I think The B’s and I (along with my family and friends) share that job incredibly well — I hope that one day, you feel like the luckiest kid in the world. The baby in Friends (who they ended up naming Ben, by the way) had the love of three parents. But you have four — two moms, two dads, not to mention four sets of grandparents, and I don’t even want to go into how many aunts, uncles and cousins you have.

But I can tell you right now that, just like Baby Ben, we were all madly in love with you before you were even born. And our love grows as you do…it just keeps getting bigger and bigger every single day.

 

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It’s Just You & Me, Kid

14 Nov

Dear Little Man,

Now quite obviously, it’s not just you and me. Even when I was pregnant and it really was just you and me, it was also you, me and my gynecologist. Then it was you, me and the ultrasound tech (who got to know me realllly well). Then it was you, me and an entire medical team on the maternity ward.

Then it was you, me and The B’s, and the rest is history!

However, a few days ago I was revamping my Letters to Little Man site. There were places where it still said I was 20 and I was boasting about how you could recite the ABC’s. I turned 21 in May and you can practically read now, so yes…updating was needed. So I changed some descriptions, added a few things here and there and lastly, I changed the pictures. You especially have a tendency to change rapidly as you grow, but luckily, J is on top of taking pictures as always, so there’s no excuse to have a photo of you that is a year old.

I went to change my photo too. Though I don’t change as much or as frequently as you do (wait, that’s a lie. I just got bangs for the first time in 3 years), I figured it couldn’t hurt to update my photo as well. So off I went, hunting through my most recent Facebook pictures for one that would be suitable for the blogosphere.

Though I wanted one of just me for the “Meet Renee” section, I also thought it would be super neat to have a few pictures of us together. I began the Facebook hunt again. Only this time, I found photo and photo after photo of you and I together. I’m generally so preoccupied with getting great shots of just you, that I truly failed to realize that there are a lot of pictures of us.

So alllll of those photos, paired with my natural inability to make decisions, has resulted in way too many pictures to post in the Meet Renee section. However, there is no such thing as too many photos for a letter to my Little Man :)

Technically one of our first pictures together. Technically.

Definitely our first picture together. You look so happy…

One of my favorite hospital shots!

A little over a week old. This was at Bethany during the interim period.

Exactly one month old! Oh, I miss your itsy bitsy days…

This was on a trip we took to an apple orchard with The B’s when you were 2 months old. Hey there, chunky legs ;)

At Sports Man’s 7th birthday party. You fell asleep in my arms. Then, you started falling OUT of my arms.

And so the hilarity of your expressions begins…

I could never resist giving you kisses. It’s a good thing too because now you’re moving too fast for me to even catch you to give you one!

You and I around your six-month birthday!

A Valentine’s Day visit at Grandma M and Pop-Pop’s house!

This was around the time you discovered you had a tongue. Apparently it was fascinating.

You were suuuper sick this day, but we still smiled together :)

Smoochin’ on you before our first Mother’s Day!

A perfect display of how happy you make me :) This photo is in your nursery!

This was the morning of our first Mother’s Day! J and I went to a “girls” luncheon to celebrate together. I’ll remember that day forever.

A month or so before your first birthday. This was probably the last time you ever sat still for a picture ;)

Little Man turns ONE! This was taken at your “little man themed” party. I got to celebrate the whole weekend with you!

This probably won’t be the last time you get exasperated with me. It also probably won’t be the last time I find it funny.

I would follow you anywhere :)

This past March, right after St. Patrick’s Day. J brought her camera on a visit and we had a little photo shoot! I think we’re applauding your cuteness ;)

You + Me + The B’s + Grandma M + Pop Pop + Aunt S = BEACH TRIP! We went to the Isle of Palms and hung out together for a few days. We even spent a day in Charleston which was funny because the last time I had been there, I was pregnant with you :)

At your second birthday party (time flies!!). Your hand was alllll the way in that cow’s mouth. All. The. Way. Giving mommy a heart attack? Yes.

The same weekend as you second birthday. You and I played in the hose for a while. We got soaked and it was lovely :)

I love every single photo we get together, but not just because you’re incredibly photogenic. I love our photos for the simple reason that we get to take them together. Adoption didn’t split us up, it didn’t cause me to miss out, it hasn’t separated us in any way except literal distance. The fact that I got to be around for all of this stuff — holding you at Sports Man’s party, spending Mother’s Day with you, giving you kisses and spending birthdays playing with you — it’s the part of adoption that I love the most. It’s part of the reason why I will love and owe The B’s forever, and it’s definitely the reason we will grow up knowing one another.

I cherish these photos. The silly, the blurry, the candid, the posed, the goofy the smiley, the serious and the fun. We’re creating a history together, you and me. And I hope that one day, you cherish them as much as I do.

One + Two = Twenty

22 Jun

 

Do you see that adorable, 10-day-old baby? That’s you (shocking, right?). You know what’s more shocking? In exactly one month, you’ll be two years old.

I love that you’re getting bigger and learning more, I really do. My only issue is that you’re turning two, but it seems like you just turned one. And when you turned one, it seemed you were just a newborn. So my concern is that in the blink of an eye, you’re going to be three. Then four. Then 20.

But right now, you’re still a baby because you haven’t made it to two yet. But even when you do, I’m going to be thrilled. I’m going to sing and dance and play with you and thank God I got as lucky as I did having you in my life. I’m going to celebrate and laugh, because it’s impossible not to when I’m around you. And also because now that I think about it, I’m still going to call you my baby when you’re 20 anyways.

28 Days… :)

The Beginning of You and Me: Our First Photos

31 May

Last night, I was thinking about the letter I wanted to write you today. I figured since I’m so picture-and-video-happy all the time that I would try to find some of the first pictures and videos I have of you. So I began the search through folders upon folders of pictures on my laptop, on USB drives, in e-mails I’d been sent by The B’s,everywhere.

Then I realized that Grandma M actually took our first photos together. She was my “labor coach” I guess you would say. She held my hand through the pushing, was the one who reminded me to breathe, who whispered words of encouragement when it was getting really hard (I love you, but I did not love labor. I take that back. I loved my epidural).

So when you finally arrived and my hands no longer needed to hold anything but you, she grabbed the camera and the official documentation of your life began. It has yet to stop. I doubt it ever will (because J would never let it, and I love her for that). I’m so very happy that I got to be a part of those first pictures with you. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so at peace in my entire life than I did when they put you on my chest. Because our first pictures weren’t just pictures of us – they were pictures of the moment the best part of my life began.

 

Copying me? :)

 

The World’s Most Boring Child Birthing Classes

3 Mar

 I started thinking about adoption a couple of weeks after I discovered you. It seemed logical – I could give you to a family that could provide for you and since I was choosing open adoption, I’d get to see you often. Very logical. I was doing what was best and it would be difficult, but not too hard. I’d still get to see you, and since it was what was best, even when I was sad, that knowledge would be able to help me sleep at night.

 I actually managed to continue that thought process for a couple of months, until I started my child birthing classes at the local hospital. I scheduled them every Sunday so that C could attend, but in the end, he decided it was too hard for him. Either Pop-Pop 3, Grandma M or Aunt S would accompany me to my classes.

 I hated those classes.

 Well, that’s not entirely true. The information I learned was incredibly valuable, and for that reason, I’m glad I went. I learned all about the birthing process and what to expect when it came time for delivery. I learned about you and what you would be doing for my last trimester. I learned that the really weird cramping and hardening of my stomach wasn’t you rolling around, but that they were Braxton Hicks contractions. I learned about the stages of labor and things I could do during labor to ease the stress on myself, therefore easing the stress on you. I was out buying books and pregnancy within the week I found out about you, so being the knowledge nerd that I am, all of this info from the classes was really interesting to me.

 But other than that the class was so…boring. I don’t think any of the other couples in that class knew what the word “fun” meant. Aunt S and I would make jokes and try to have fun and we’d get looks from the other couples like they couldn’t believe we were attempting to enjoy the classes – these classes were obviously serious business and we obviously weren’t taking the classes seriously enough. I know…I’m one of those weirdos who thinks learning can be fun. Go figure.

 But what the child birthing classes did do was make the reality of you…well, real. We would talk about what the babies would look like within the first couple of days – red, puffy faces, cone heads, maybe even a little yellow. We talked about changing diapers, how babies liked to be swaddled, how to stop babies from crying…and I realized that I wouldn’t get to do any of this. I would see you in your red, puffy face stage and then you’d disappear.

 My logic went out the window, and I suppose it was about time. Situations like ours can’t be ruled by logic and logic alone – it’s very emotional. The bond between a mother and her child is all about love – we never say “I love my child because I should and he or she needs me to.” We just do. It’s natural, it’s innate and it’s more powerful than anything you’ve ever imagined. And during those classes I was overwhelmed with the idea that despite that powerful love, I was going to let you go.

 This was before I met The B’s. During these classes, your “future family” was an unknown entity to me, making this reality even scarier. Parting with you seemed to get more impossible with each passing day. I hated the classes for that, too. Because even though I love the you inside me, I was starting to dream about the you when you finally came out – who you would be, what you would look like, how I could care for you. It hurt my heart to think about because I realized that when the real you showed up, so would your adoption. The two were not mutually exclusive – with one, came the other. And my problem was that I only wanted one – you.

 Towards the end of my pregnancy, every night as I went to sleep, I would hold my stomach and feel you kick and I would thank you, for spending one more night with me. I did this every night for the last month. I said it the night before I went into labor – “Thank you for staying with me for one more night.”

 Of course, it’s all turned out better than I could have imagined. The B’s were only too happy to let me have my diaper changing experiences and to see you past your puffy-face-cone-head stage. Every time I went over to their house, they wouldn’t hesitate to hand you to me. They would let me hold you as much as I wanted to. They wanted me to hold you as long as I wanted to. They want me to love you as much as I possibly can, and for that and a multitude of other reasons, I love them.

 But those child birthing classes taught me that logic only goes so far, and then comes love. And love tends to bring the logic-house down. Our journey was an emotional one – one where even though I was told I shouldn’t get too attached to you if I was planning on adoption, I couldn’t help it and wouldn’t have if I could’ve. One where I was told I shouldn’t keep you in the room with me at the hospital because it would make it easier but there wasn’t a person in the world who could have removed you from my sight or my arms.

 And you have been more than worth it – every emotional up and down, every sad day and every happy day, every tear shed before and after your adoption (there were a lot, although some we could probably attribute to pregnancy hormones) were beyond worth it, because out of all of it, I got you. And through you, I got The B’s. And from all of you, I got everything I’ll ever need.

 I just think that next time, I’ll pick a livelier bunch to spend my Sunday afternoons with.

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