Monday, March 26, 2012

Settling in

Seven has been settling in very well. He is starting to get a routine and is still a pretty easy baby. Last night was a little rough, but he is great. We had our two week doctor appointment today and he has grown one inch in length and now weighs 7 pounds, 4 ounces. Everything is still perfect!

While I am on maternity leave until May, I am finishing one teaching responsibility this weekend. It is only one weekend, so I think I can do it. We went to campus today to get my materials so I can plan and Seven had an opportunity to meet everyone I work with. They all loved him!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Finally home!

We finally made it home last night! I spent the morning confirming with the lawyer in our home state the process to finalize here should the worse happen in county number 3. Then once I heard from the lawyer in the birth state that having feet in the ground in the state wouldn't really help any if county number 3 also decided to not follow the rules, we decided to come home.

We made the decision at 1:30 and were on the road by 3:00. I was hoping there would be a sign like there are on some state boundaries that says "last exit in state," but there wasn't. I did get a picture of the sign welcoming us to our home state.

We made it home by evening and Seven's aunt and uncle and cousins came to meet him! He loved them all. My youngest nephew (5) Was a little shy but it was so cute.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


For a more positive post, Seven continues to amaze me. He is really spending much more time awake and alert and is starting to focus on people. He holds his head up pretty well and wants to see things. I started to use my wrap, which is supposed to keep head secure at this age. But he keeps getting it out and wanting to see. Yesterday I noticed how much he is growing as one of his sleepers is starting to get too small. Two weeks old and already outgrowing his clothes!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Setback, part 2

Well, we were on the road for about two hours when the lawyer called and told us to stop and stay where we were. Apparently, county #2 did not think they had jurisdiction and so were ready to dismiss the petition. He convinced them to not dismiss it, but to transfer it to county #3. County #3 has not decided what they will do. This is the county where Seven was born (county #1 was where M lives and county #2 was where we had been staying since leaving the hospital). So they clearly have jurisdiction. But who knows what they will do at this point. He is advising that we stay in the state until we get a clear answer from county #3. But, that might not come until Monday, because, just to add to the fun, she is out of town this week.

There is a second option. We could finalize in our home state.  That would allow us to leave now. I need to speak to our lawyer in this state to confirm that and the lawyer in the birth state would feel better if she saw all the papers to be sure everything is in place. So, we are at a loss of what to do. Staying this weekend could all be for naught if the clerk says, "hey, no problem". But if the baby leaves the state and the petition is dismissed again, the only option may be to finalize in our home state. Either way, the legal and travel costs are ballooning every day.

Homeward bound!

Great news! At 5:00 yesterday, we got news that the second county felt bad for us and filed the petition immediately. So we are free to go home! The bad part about this county is that they are a very large county and can take 3 more months to finalize since they are so busy. The lawyer will try to see if he can change the venue, but the important thing now is that we can go home.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


So, we have cleared ICPC. Except we still can't come home. See, this state requires the petition to be filed before we can leave (as well as ICPC). I never thought that would be a big deal since the lawyer said the petition is filed before we clear ICPC. But, the county clerk has refused to file the petition. The reason doesn't make any sense and it is not right, but the lawyer can't force him to file. Now we have to take the petition to a separate county to file again. Ugh.

Monday, March 19, 2012


Well, with Daddy gone, Grandma and I took Seven out for (what else?) shopping! We hit every baby store in the mall and had a terrific time. Grandma spoiled her newest grandbaby and Seven charmed everyone we saw! And I had my first instances of internal debate about how to respond to people. No one said anything inappropriate, but we had one store clerk tell me I looked fabulous for just having a baby and another new mom talked about how great it was to no longer be pregnant. I just went with however I was feeling. I was so happy that the clerk didn't mistake me for having a baby belly (and let's face it, I have a bigger belly that many pregnant women) that I shared that he was adopted with her. But with the new mom, I just went with the flow and agreed that it is much better now that he is here.

It was a really great day. The only disappointment was that I wanted to find a cute Easter outfit for Seven, but they apparently don't make what I wanted in his size. I wanted one of those cute sweater vest outfits, but the smallest we could ever find was 6 or 9 months or so. Oh well. If that is the worst part of the day, it must have been pretty good.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


Yesterday we noticed a shift in Seven. I don't know if it was the excitement of having his Grandma here (who is a burst of activity for everyone), or just how he is growing, but it was the first day he stayed awake for any period of time. His usual pattern is to wake up only to eat and then fall asleep while eating. But now he wants to stay awake and let us play with him for a little bit. It is so much fun.

Seven continues to amaze us with what he is doing. He is practically rolling over already. He is such a growing boy and eats like a horse. The breastfeeding has improved and my nipples are much less sore. It's unclear how much milk I am producing. He does favor one side, but I am trying not to let him spend too much time there, so the other side gets stimulated as well. We have figured out how to use the Medela double SNS, which gave us trouble at first. I still can't get the Lact-aid system to work.

The sad part of today is that E needs to leave us. He has already taken two weeks off work and needs to head back. My mom is staying to help me until we get the clearance for ICPC. I am debating about whether we should stay in this hotel or not. It is a fine hotel and I feel settled here. There is a nice walking trail right next to it and lots of stores should we need anything or just need to get out of the hotel. But since the restriction is only that we can't leave the state and not that we can't leave the county, it is possible for us to drive halfway home and still stay in this current state. Obviously that would put us that much closer to home once we get the ICPC call.

Friday, March 16, 2012


OK, it's time to tell my secret. I am hesitant to verbalize it because then that will jinx things. But here goes.

This is not as hard as I thought it would be. Sure, we had a couple hard nights and were just plain exhausted for the first 3 days. But since then, it's been pretty easy. Not easy, exactly, but not nearly as hard as the first few weeks with a newborn are portrayed. This hit home on our fourth night when we were up with Seven and turned on the TV. The Friends episode shortly after Rachel had the baby was on. And part of the storyline was the crying newborn who makes the new mom miserable. Granted, it was after midnight when we were watching this. But even then, I was watching it thinking, "hey, this isn't really that bad."

I know things are played up for comedic effect. But after two blogs where the writer was worried about having the second child since the first weeks with the older child were so bad (happy due to the precious new baby, but also frustrating and exhausting). And I know many bloggers that I follow who become parents always seemed to disappear for the first month or so. I find plenty of time to blog and have even been commenting on others. Today I was so rested, I felt no need for a nap the entire day.

Am I missing something? At first I wondered if it was because I was not recovering from childbirth in addition to caring for a newborn. But I'm not so sure of that now. He is really a perfect baby. Yes, he only sleeps for a few hours at a time, and then demands to be fed. And all we did today was change his diaper again and again (that whole "worried about no dirty diapers" problem has certainly cleared up!). And I know that what he is like now doesn't mean he won't cry nonstop in a month or so. Please tell me, is the exhaustion and frustration of the first few weeks overplayed?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Revocation period

It's over! M's revocation period is over. We were not really stressing about it, but it stills feels good to have that past us. Today was also a big day because Seven met his Nana and Grandpa. They drove all the way out here to see him and were so in love the moment they saw him. He slept through the big introduction. He did wake up a bit later so they could see his eyes and play with him a bit. My mom arrives tomorrow.

The bad news from today is that we have heard nothing about ICPC. The lawyer was going to call us once the first state cleared us. That hasn't happened yet, which means it is unlikely that both states will clear in time for us to go home this weekend. E has to get back to work, so he will leave with his parents on Sunday and my mom will stay to help me with Seven. I was hoping we would not have to do that, but it's looking like a good possibility now.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

One week

Seven is one week old today! It is amazing how much he changes everyday. It is also amazing how much we have changed. I find myself not only falling in love with Seven, but also falling in love all over again with E as I watch him with Seven. As much as I wish we were in our own home, it has been so nice to just have the three of us together. No distractions from work, no distractions from well-meaning family. It is just us trying to figure out how to be a family and take care of Seven's needs.

Seven is really getting big and strong. He is pretty good at holding his head up already! When we lay him down, it doesn't take long before he starts trying to roll over. And this morning I had him on my lap with his legs by my stomach and he just about launched himself off by pushing on his legs. We were not expecting any of this for quite a while! He (and us!) had another good night of sleep last night. I think a hair dryer is my new favorite thing. There is one area where we are concerned about him. He didn't have a dirty diaper yesterday and the number of wet ones decreased by half. He is still eating plenty, so we're not sure what is wrong.

We saw our friends again last night. They wanted to cook us dinner to make it easier for us. It was great to spend more time with them and talk with them about their thoughts on their pregnancy. I realized after we left that this was the first time that hearing someone's pregnancy announcement or hearing them talk so much about being pregnant did not bother me. Of course I had little Seven in my arms and he can make anything better. We talked about our experiences in the hospital and in the first week and while I did mention how things would be different for them since she will give birth, I wasn't wistfully thinking I wish I had it that way. It was more of a matter of fact, "well, it was different for us because of the adoption." And not "one more way in which we are imposters to this parenthood game." The blissful feeling we have now won't last forever, I'm sure, but we are enjoying this time. 

E's parents arrive tomorrow and my mom the following day. So this is our last day of just us. I am feeling bittersweet about that. Obviously I want Seven to meet his grandparents and I want to show him off! But then our special time will come to an end. Our decision to have our family wait was definitely the right one. Despite not wanting this time to end, I am much more ready now to see them than I was over the weekend.

We have exchanged emails with M. It is hard to tell, but I guess she is doing as well as can be expected. She said again that she is at peace with the decision. Yet she is still grieving. But she really appreciated the pictures we sent her. The only thing on our agenda for today is laundry, so if I'm feeling ambitious, I will try to do a photo shoot and get some cute picture of seven with the necklace she bought for him. We have 2 more days until her revocation period is up. I was expecting to be much more stressed about it than I am. I just have this sense of peace that Seven is where he is supposed to be that I am not worrying about the revocation period or the birthfathers.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Breastfeeding baby

Apparently, that is what I have. A breastfeeding baby. At least according to the lactation consultant. She said he was breastfeeding like a pro. When she first was checking him out, she said he had a bit of a tongue tie, so it might make it harder, but once she tried to latch him on, he was off and running. So now I just have to figure out how to get him to latch on like she did. She did have some good advice, so hopefully it will be easier.

The even better news is that it appears that my body is producing at least some breast milk. She kept weighing him during our visit and he gained more weight than he was taking in from formula. I was super excited to hear that. At least my body can do something right! Now we just have to figure out the latching issue so he won't make my nipples so sore.

Happiest baby

OK, I am a new convert to the Happiest Baby on the Block. Granted, we haven't been able to get the book or DVD yet, but after two people recommended it yesterday, we did some internet sleuthing and figured out some of the tenets. Last night we swaddled him tightly (we were swaddling, but still pretty loosely), turned the hair dryer on (and then found the sound of a hair dryer on our phone), and then swayed until he went to sleep. And he only woke up once from midnight to 8am! I'm hoping this was not just a fluke.

Although I think it is funny because we seem more tired today than previous days. We must have been running on adrenaline for so long that now our bodies were like, "sleep, that's what that feels like."

Yesterday we met with some good friends of ours who live near where Seven was born. They knew we were trying to adopt but we had not told them about our match with Seven. And they were always the type of people who were never sure they wanted kids. So we were not sure how it would go. But it was terrific. He slept through the whole time (of course, it was in the middle of the day). But they were very excited for us and said how adorable he was. And we got a surprise because they just found out they are pregnant! We were one of the first they have told, so it was fun.

We are getting together with them today for dinner. This hotel does have free dinner on weeknights, but we tried it last night and it was fine, but not spectacular. I did make an appointment with a lactation consultant. With those two things and giving Seven a bath, it will be a full day!

Seven is changing so much every day. His eyes are starting to focus and his skin seems like it fits better now. His smiles are so cute and melt my heart, even if they are just due to gas.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Days 2-4

OK, I started writing this super-long update with everything that has happened, but then realized it was probably a little too detailed and I want to maintain some privacy here. Here are the highlights.

Health-The doctor came exactly at 24 hours to clear him for discharge. but it still took us an insanely long time to leave. Like 7 hours long, which I guess fits the bill for Seven. We had his first pediatrician appointment on Friday and he looked great. She did want us to get him to eat more and he has been doing so.

Birthparent consents-M signed before we left the hospital. When the social worker came to give us our placement documents to sign, she said that someone was able to meet the birthfather and both him and the legal father are refusing to sign. The sense they are getting is that the men were waiting to see what M does. The birthfather did give a DNA sample, so we can confirm paternity. We met with the lawyer on Friday and he said that neither has given any indication that they want to parent Seven. We decided to wait until M's revocation period is up to contact them again.

Meeting birthfamily-M went back and forth, but ultimately decided she wasn't ready to meet us. She did run into E in the hallway at the hospital, but was too overcome with emotion to talk. We did meet her mother and one of her sons and they had a chance to meet Seven. Everyone who has seen M says that she is doing well and feels at peace with the decision. I can understand that something can both feel right and be hard to deal with. We hope she will want to meet us before we leave the state. She did give Seven a necklace and sent some flowers and balloons to our hospital room.

Hotel-We are settled into our hotel. Well, almost. I still can't find the time to unpack my suitcase, but we have everything for Seven in its place. Of course, just as we were getting settled, the toilet overflowed and we noticed the dishwasher still had food and water in it. So there have been some bumps in getting settled. The hotel does have free breakfast and free dinners on Monday-Thursday, which is a bonus we were not expecting.

Breastfeeding-It's going OK. I thought it was going well in the hospital, but trying to use a normal pillow in the hotel was not working out. So E got us a boppy and that has helped improve things somewhat. But my nipples are pretty sore. It is really hard to both get him latched on right and get the tube for the supplement in the right place. It seems I can get one but not the other. Until I started getting sore, I was really enjoying it. And I've noticed that Seven has figured out when he is about to nurse because he will be crying from hunger and then I will sit down and start to get him in position and he quiets down. It is so sweet. It is hard to tell how much milk I am getting. I have tried pumping after nursing him and a few drops have come out. More than when I pumped before he was born. We have given him some bottles out of frustration and exhaustion.

One question I have about feeding him. I know everything says feed him on demand, which should be every 2-3 hours. But it takes him 40 minutes to nurse. So the pattern is that he acts like he is hungry and I start to feed him at 2, he nurses with the supplement until 2:45 or so when he falls asleep or stops eating. But then he is hungry again at 3:45.

Another question is how do I know when to switch breasts? Since the supplement is always there, he will be happy to stay on one breast until he is full or asleep. Should I force him to change sides? I was doing that, but since it is so hard to get it right, if he is latched well and the tube is in the right place, I don't want to disturb him to try again.

Sleeping-We are not doing so well here. The first night home of the hospital was horrible. He wouldn't sleep unless someone was holding him. The second night we tried the swaddle blankets and it was better. But when even that won't work, we have taken turns holding him so one of us could get some sleep.

Firsts-He had his first visit to P.anera (in between the doctor and lawyer appoints on Friday), his first visitor (a friend of a friend who I connected with because she also adopted and they happen to live near where he was born), his first bath, and his first Duke game (they won!). We are about to head out for his first walk and first trip to S.tarbucks. I know I am not supposed to drink coffee, but I need it. And I did learn that the one thing M asked for someone to bring her in the hospital was a mocha frappaccino. So I'm betting that this is something he is used to!

Friday, March 9, 2012


Introducing [edited out real name]! He is a 5 pound, 13 ounce bundle of perfection (lost a little weight since birth).  Here is a picture of him as we waited for his hospital discharge.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Home sweet hotel

Relinquishment signed by M. We met some of his birth family. Baby discharged. We are settling into the extended stay hotel. I will update more later, but am exhausted.

First night

Dear son,
You are 22 hours old now. So far your favorite activities are eating, sleeping and pooping. You are getting the hang of this eating thing. We've had some good nursing sessions in, although I don't think there's been any breast milk so far. I can definitely say that it is true that nursing is great for bonding even if you only get the supplement. For me, there is nothing like looking down at you when you are nursing. You are so cute with how you raise your eyebrows.

In marking your "firsts", I should note your first time using FaceTime was to talk to your uncle D and cousins. They were all smiles. Grandma was upset she couldn't be your first FaceTime, but she eventually got her phone figured out and you were wide awake to talk to her.

We had a good first night together. Your daddy and I had to share a small bed, but we made it work. I didn't sleep much because I kept wanting to check that you were still breathing. We had to wake you up for your 4am feeding, but by 6am, you were up and letting us know it was time to eat now. Other than that, you have been a peaceful baby and didn't cry much. Daddy and I made a good team last night and we think we can manage this well.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Birth day


We wake up at the time M was checking into the hospital.


We arrive at the hospital and are introduced to the waiting room. Luckily we have it all to ourselves.


I check my email and find an email from M. She couldn't sleep last night. She asked that we name the baby Seven, with the name we picked out as his middle name. Umm, no. But she can put what she wants on the birth certificate. How do we handle this?

Then the nurse comes out to update us. They've had some delays and M is just getting prepped now. They expect the baby to be born at around 8 or so, and will let us look in the glass at the nursery. We thought we would have more access than that. And, M wants to meet us after she is back in her room, at 9 or so. She previously said she did not want to see us at the hospital. And the caseworker won't be here until this afternoon (don't ask).

So in the space of a few minutes, everything seemed to be changing. And to round it out, another family came to join us and we now longer had the waiting room to ourselves. We go downstairs to call the caseworker to get some advice. She says to just be ourselves.


Still waiting. Might as well vote for my niece Zoe in the singing competition at


I begin wondering whether we should go check on whether you have been born yet. The nurse said they would come get us, but now I'm anxious. E says we should wait until 9, I compromise to 8:45.


I can't take it anymore and we go to the desk to ask. You are born and we can go look at the nursery! We finally get to see you and you are perfect! So small and so cute! You are cold and they don't have a blanket on you yet. We only get to stand outside the nursery looking in while the nurse, Amy, cleans you up and takes all your vitals. We meet M's friend who is also looking at you. She is very nice and tells us all about your birth. M is doing well and you are completely healthy! 6 pounds, 2 ounces. You were born at 8:35. A few minutes later the doctor comes out to talk to us and the nurse gives me a wrist band.

At this point things become a bit of a blur. We don't get to hold you until almost noon and it was driving us crazy. We stood outside the nursery the whole time because we didn't want to leave your side. The hospital staff kept walking by and telling us congratulations. The hospital has been pretty good although I don't know how they are treating M.

We finally get to take you out of the nursery and hold you. We have our own room to stay in here all night with you. I got to give you your first hug and kiss. We tried breast feeding and you did great! Let's hope that keeps up. And after the feeding came the first diaper and I got the pleasure of changing that big mess.

We called our family and sent pictures and everyone agrees you are so handsome. The nurse brought you to M, so she could meet you. I know they took some pictures together, so I hope there is a way for you to see them someday. Your daddy bought some flowers for M. M's friend bought you a cute and soft teddy bear. Everyone loves you so much!

The only thing that is frustrating is that the agency caseworker is not here yet. That seems bizarre to me and is awkward since we have not met M and are not in a place to talk directly to her.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


We made it safely to the birth state and are now settled into our hotel room, which has a view across the street to the hotel. We are doing well, although I'm getting really nervous. We are going to get to bed early (as if I'll be able to sleep). The agency has said the birthmother was in a much better mood in the last few days than she was previously. I guess that is a good sign that she is at peace with the decision. The hospital appears to be familiar with adoptions and said we will be able to spend time with the baby as we want. They do have a number of c-sections scheduled, so it seems it will be pretty busy there and so that might make us get squeezed out.

We went out for breakfast on Sunday to one of our usual places. While we were there, we saw a Caucasian couple with a little Black boy. E practically had to glue me to the seat to stop me from going to talk to them. But I just kept thinking that soon that will be us!

I'll try update you guys with what happens tomorrow, although I don't know what the schedule will be like.

One more day

Well, we are on our way. I ended up working all day yesterday, even though I had planned to leave early. And there is still one thing I need to finish when we are in the car today. After that, I made it clear that they are not to keep bothering me with work requests, unless there is some big emergency. I have heard others say that the communication is still pretty open when they were on leave, but that is not happening to me.

Yesterday I was in a very peaceful place. Not feeling too overwhelmed, but not too giddy with excitement either. Today and I am starting to get nervous and anxious. There Re just so many unknowns and of course motherhood is something you can't really prepare for.

To keep my mind off of it, I have been focusing on helping my niece. She is a finalist in a radio singing contest! Please go to and vote for Zoe Phillips. She is so talented, but is usually too shy to be in the spotlight like this. We are so proud of her. You can vote from 7am to 7pm central time. One vote per day per IP address.

Sunday, March 4, 2012


Thanks for all your good thoughts. And thanks to Becky for walking me through this induced breastfeeding! I was getting discouraged because AF left a few days ago and still nothing has returned, but then I just as I read your comment, I was pumping while online and then another drop appeared, so I feel better that something is coming back. I know that it is different once you get a baby to suck.

We are still busy working on our to-do list. I have massive loads of laundry to do. Not that I will be taking my entire wardrobe, but I hate returning to a messy house and want to gets things in place before we leave. And we are putting up additional rods and shelves in the nursery closet to get that organized. And a handful of other chores to do.

I'm sure you guys have heard about the tornadoes that went through several states a few days ago. There was a tornado in my city, but not too close to my house. We did have a pretty bad hailstorm. Today I noticed some hail damage to my car. It's not that bad (it did take me 2 days to notice), but of course it added to my argument that a new car should come sooner rather than later!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Last weekend

I have entered a weird phase where I don't feel very excited. That is not quite the right way to say what I feel. But my sister came over today to see the finished nursery and she was all giddy and I couldn't go there. I think I've moved to a feeling of "this is really happening-OMG-my life is going to totally change-are we ready for this-freaking out." I am not sure how I am going to get through the next few days.

Here are my updates. I'm not sure what to make of the breastfeeding progress. After a few days of having a drop or two come out, I'm all dried up. AF came and that seemed to end everything. So, I don't know what to think now about how that will go.

We told our family not to come for the first week. My mom and E's parents will come out to the birth state about the time the revocation period will be done. I feel much better about this arrangement and my mom seemed OK with it.

Thanks for all your thoughts on cars and carseats. A new car is not in our near future, but we'll see how frustrated I get with this car. I am actually the type of person who learns to deal with inconveniences, so Simon will probably stick around a little longer.

Because I'm  a glutton for punishment, I still plan on working on Monday! But that will be my last day. I will be mostly spending the day meeting with people to tell them about all the work that will be dumped on them.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Time for a New Car?

I am the type of person to resist buying a new car just because you have kids. I mean, my mom lugged us around in her little sedan and didn't feel the need for a huge car. So, yes, I was judgmental at all those who went out and bought big cars when they started having kids.

And then today I put our carseat in the car and ... I want a new car! I just never realized how small the backseat of our car is. I installed it behind the passenger seat because there was no way my husband could drive the car with it behind the driver's seat. And even the front passenger will be squeezed with how far up the seat needs to be.  I was young and broke and right out of college when I bought Simon (yes, I named my car), and things like power windows and locks seemed like luxuries back then. But dealing with locking the door while holding even the empty carrier was a big hassle. Now poor old Simon's 10th birthday is coming up, so we have already started saving for a replacement. But I think we may be moving up that timeline. One serving of crow coming up.

And an update to my previous post. I sent off an indignant email to the hotel. If I don't hear anything and am bored in our drive to the birth state next week, I may make a phone call.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...