Saturday, May 25, 2013

Saturday Ramblings

When your life consists of diapers and feedings and laundry, you tend to lose track of time.  I am surprised this has happened to me since I am such a planner.  I live by my calender and always know what time it is.  Or at least I did.  Someone told me earlier this week that she was excited for a short work week next week and I had no idea why.  Oh my.  It's May!  It's Memorial Day Weekend!  I had no idea.  The last time I knew it was a holiday was Easter.  Miranda's birthday.

So here we are with an almost 8 week old in our house and everything has changed.  In such an amazing way.  Some of the changes you can see (like the Babies R Us wing in our house) and some you can't (like the depth of the love that we both feel for this itty bitty baby).  Life is different now and I suspect it always will be.  I also suspect that this is exactly what we have been waiting for.  She is what was missing from our lives.

I struggle some days with how Allie fits into our family and then I realize that it's not really a struggle at all.  She is Miranda's sister and she is the baby that we felt kick and grow.  She is the butterfly that soars through the sky and she is the light in our soul.  She is never far from our hearts and yet she is no longer the first thing I think of in the morning and the last thing I think of at night.  Miranda is.  I suppose some of that is time.  Some of that is healing.  Some of that is just life.

I have started to tour some local daycare centers in preparation for my going back to work.  Some of the places are new and some I toured 2 years ago.  For the ones that I already went to, I am usually asked if I have been there before.  The first time I was asked, I said that I toured there a few years ago but that my daughter was stillborn.  Oh the look that I got.  Then the questions.  I resented it immediately because although I could talk about Allie until the sun sets and then rises again, I was there to find a good place for Miranda.  I did not want to short change either daughter.  The next time I was asked, I simply said that I was on a tour a few years ago when I was pregnant but sadly that pregnancy did not work out.  Is that any better?  Was I denying one daughter to spare another?  I do not think so.  I think I was just being a mom.  

Every so often I will be out with Miranda and someone will stop me to tell me how cute she is or how beautiful she is.  People are still asking if she is my first.  It's easier just to say yes.  How do I explain that she is my second without explaining why my first is not also there with me?

A few have remarked how Miranda looks just like me.  I smile and say thank you.  At first I denied it and said something like, "I doubt it...she's adopted!" but now I do not even do that.  I think she does kind of look like me.  And somehow she does kind of look like Gary.  She is as much ours as if she came from us and why explain that it's kind of impossible?  We know and respect where Miranda came from and have nothing but gratitude and admiration for her birth mother.  The fact of the matter is, though - we are her parents now.  We really and truly are.

Stillbirth.  Adoption.  Parenting.  They are all words that swirl around in my head.  They are all a part of my life.  Just as both of my daughters are a part of my life.  Now and forever...please, pretty pretty please.


Sunday, May 19, 2013

4:44

I have wanted to write for over a week now.  I wanted to detail Mother's Day and how lovely of a day it was.  I wanted to talk about Miranda and how crazy in love her dad and I are both about her.  I wanted to write about how tired I am and yet how blissfully happy I am at the same time.

And as I sat here composing my thoughts for the first time that I have had to even sit down in front of my laptop since who knows when, I saw the clock read 4:44.


I immediately closed my eyes and started to think, "I hope that something great happens today."  And then I stopped myself and started to laugh.  Old habits die hard.  In the past, any time I saw a digital clock with all of the same numbers, I used to close my eyes and make a wish.  The same wish every time.  It might be time for me to stop making that wish for all of my dreams have already come true.

3 years ago this month, Gary and I said, "I do."  I choked back the tears as I saw the love that this man had for me and it made me dizzy.  It still does.  He still does.

2 years ago this month, Allie was due.  She never made it to May.  But we have made it to and through that month 2 times now with nothing but love and gratitude for the short period of time that we had with her.

Every day of this month, I have woken to the sounds of cooing or crying or laughing or gurgling and I almost always think (while wiping the sleep out of my eyes) that we have it all.  And I know that I am right.

What else is there to wish for? Maybe it's time I stop hogging all the wishes and leave room for some other people.

Such a happy baby

Both tired...both happy

Mother's Day Flowers


Celebrating Allie's due date at a local winery with my BFF's

Rainbows and Turtles!


Cousin Ella and Miranda
Us

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Our Rainbow

"Every storm runs, runs out of rain
Just like every dark night turns into day
Every heartache will fade away
Just like every storm runs, runs out of rain"      
Gary Allan from his album, "Set You Free"

My mom came over today so that I could go for a walk.  Funny how the things that I used to just "do" now require so much planning!  Anyway, she is happy to get some one-on-one time with Miranda so it all works out well.  Which is good since she is still here which means that today I can blog!

So there I was, out and about, when this Gary Allan song shuffled into play.  Gary bought it for me a few months ago but the words really resonated with me now.  I feel like the darkness of our last 2 years is something in my past. It's a part of my present, but really much more my past.  The darkness has turned to light and the heartache has indeed faded.  Some of that is time.  Some of that is Miranda.  Some of that is life.

In all the paperwork that we filled out to bring Miranda home, we allowed for 2 visits and 4 Skype calls a year with her birth mother.  Our first video call was this past weekend.  I thought it would be 15 minutes.  It was 40.  I thought it would be easy.  It was not.  That's not to say it was hard.  It was just surreal to me - to share our baby with the person who created her.  To talk about milestones and doctor's appointments and eating and sleeping schedules.  To wish her a Happy Mother's Day for she is indeed a mother.  To be filled with such gratitude for her and for this little person that has changed our whole world.  I was glad we made the call but it emotional for all of us.  We set up our 1st visit at the adoption agency's annual picnic next month.   I am curious to see how I will feel on that day.  No matter what,  I just need to remind myself that it is in the best interest of Miranda to know where she came from and how much love has always surrounded her.

After every storm there is a rainbow of hope...Here I am
Mother's Day is this weekend and I am freaking out a bit.  Well,  not freaking out - but I am VERY aware of it.  It's not my first Mother's Day - it's my 3rd.  But it's the first one I feel like I can celebrate.  I want to scream from the rooftops - I AM A MOM!!  I never felt like I could do that before.  Not being able to parent Allie did not mean I was not her mom - but it did make it hard to celebrate.  Now all I want to do is rejoice!  For both of my girls.

A second person asked me this week if Miranda was my first child.  I said yes this time, faster than I did in the Disney Store last week.  I am not denying Allie - I am just choosing how much of my story I want to share.

I still struggle with the absolute bliss I feel now that Miranda is here.  Does that mean that the last 2 years never happened?  NO!  It just means that my storm has run out of rain.  At least that is how I feel about it today.

from http://www.october15th.com/
I ran into someone this weekend who recently lost his daughter.  She was not a baby and yet I felt I had some words that could help console.  Grief is grief and people that have had to bury their children know a whole world of grief.  In the same week that I was able to give "mom" advice to a friend, I was able to comfort a mourning father.  I have both my girls to thank for that.

So I am looking forward to Mother's Day.  I will embrace it.  I will celebrate it with my mom and next week with Gary's mom.  I will finally feel like I am a real part of the "mom" club and I will try to enjoy it.  I suspect that it might not be that hard after all.  Rainbows are hope and happiness and light.  Rainbows make anything possible!  Rainbows often come when the storm runs out of rain.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

happy sad exhilirated exhausted

I love being a mom.

I never got to embrace motherhood before Miranda because even the word made me sad.  Made me long for what should have been.  Made my arms ache.  That's all different now.

That's not to say that Miranda being here makes up for the fact that her sister is not.  It just means we are too busy making sure that we are doing everything right that we do not have time to think about much else!

This has been a banner week for me.  On Monday, Miranda and I went to the mall for the first time.  We met up with Gary and a friend from work who is expecting her first child this summer.  It was the first time I was solo with the baby in the car and with the stroller and I was a natural!  Although only at the mall long enough to run into Weight Watchers and get weighed (still losing...woot!!!) and then grab lunch at the food court (Chick Fil A - don't judge), it was a great "first" for us.  Our coworker was asking me questions about motherhood and I felt damn proud that I could help her.  I know mom things now!!  We laughed.  We shared stories.  We ate.

Before they went back to work, we ran into the Disney store.  Back when I was pregnant with Allie, we went in there towards the very end and bought 2 stuffed animals.  Piglet for us and Lady for my sister-in-law who was due around the same time as me.  We were able to give Lady to Ella the night she was born whereas Piglet has sat on a shelf in our house for the past 2 years.  So we wanted something new.  While Gary was checking out the merchandise (and I think trying to justify an Iron Man or superhero purchase for himself), I was just looking around the store.  All the princess things that I stopped looking at so abruptly 2 years ago.  The tiaras!  The boas!  We are in trouble!  One of the employees saw me walking around with Miranda and stopped to say how beautiful she was.  Then she asked if she was my first.  I paused and said yes.  She said congrats and wished us luck and I kept walking.  Gary purchased Marie and then we were on our way.

As soon as we left the store, I told Gary and our friend what had happened.  They asked how I handled it and I told them.  I learned a while back that not telling someone my whole life story does not deny the existence of my daughter.  What good would have come from telling that woman that in fact Miranda was our second daughter and that our first was born still?  I can't imagine the look on her face in the middle of such a vibrant and colorful store.  What good would it have done?  I know I have 2 daughters in my heart.  I also know I have 1 daughter in my arms.

Today we went to Miranda's 1 month check up.  She is thriving!  Up to 9 pounds, 11 oz and has grown in length, too.  Atta girl!  We are so proud. 

In the cases of adoption, the birth mother and birth father each terminate their parental rights.  In the state of Delaware where Miranda was born, there is a 14 day revocation period.  We had to hold our breath there for a bit, but I am happy to report that the 14 days have come and gone and we are in good shape!  There are still many more milestones before we will sit down with a judge and he or she will officially declare Miranda "ours", but we can wait.  For us, it's really just a piece of paper.  An important piece, yes, but there is no denying that she is already ours.

So on to month 2 we go.  We are learning more each day about Miranda and her needs and about us and our needs! We have been happy and we have been sad.  We have been exhilarated and more often than not, we have been exhausted.  And we would not have it any other way.


Learning to Love Yourself No Matter What

One of the problems with being a writer is that I use words as therapy. By writing my thoughts and feelings, I can often make sense of the w...