Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Fall is in the air...finally!

Fall has always been my favorite season. I love the way the air feels and smells, I love the leaves all over the ground, I love that the sun sets earlier and the sky is always this beautiful shade of blue that seems to only come around during the fall months. I have distinct memories of being in elementary school and being SO excited to come home and carve pumpkins or help put up the Halloween and Thanksgiving decorations. I never was excited for the turkey (I haven't eaten meat for as long as I can remember - my parents say I stopped around 5 or 6, once I fully realized exactly *what* it was that I was eating), so Thanksgiving never was a huge deal for me, but I lived for Halloween. I don't distinctly remember enjoying trick-or-treating, because even when I was younger I was acutely aware that it meant that Halloween "season" was, in fact, over, and the decorations and all of the black and white and purple lights strung around the house would soon be coming down. The lead up to something usually is better than the actual event, because you let the excitement build and build.

Fall took on a whole new meaning to me, though, four years ago this September. That's not when I met Arianna's birthfather, but it's when the relationship began. You know those first few months of a relationship, where absolutely nothing can go wrong? That's how September, October, November, and December of 2007 were for me. I don't think I will ever forget those few months. They were perfect. I had never been happier. For the past few years, when the leaves start changing, it's always made me think of him. This year, though, it will be in a different way. The hurricane (which was a tropical storm by the time it reached where I live) made the leaves all blow off of the trees and scatter around the yard, and some of them had already started to brown. It just looked like autumn in my backyard, and it made me feel suddenly very sad. I think I was sad for what could have been. I was sad that at this very time four years ago, I was embarking on the happiest (or so I thought) time of my life with him. I was upset that that was over; that September 30th would no longer have some special meaning to me, I would no longer call him on that day and say "remember what happened on this day?," now it would turn into me, here, not talking to him, and thinking "remember when...?" I started to mourn the loss of myself, in a way, the loss of myself to him, the loss of the last few years that I still had to be "young." By that I mean, I was nineteen and he was much older. Not *too* old, but around 10 years. I was mourning all of the opportunity that he and I could have had, had things gone differently. I was upset that I didn't know then what I know now, but of course that would have been impossible to know. Anyways, that got me into a little funk, so that's why I've been quiet for a few days.

The aforementioned "funk" only got worse when I realized that not only is this my first autumn without him, without an 'anniversary,' without going for a walk in the's my first fall that I get to celebrate the birth of my little girl while simultaneously missing her more and more with every fiber of my being. To be honest, I don't know how I will handle her first birthday. It's as if I'm physically split in half over the idea of it. One half of me wants to celebrate, with a small cake with a little #1 candle on it, and a happy phone call to her parents. I want to celebrate her life on this earth and all the ways it has changed me for the better. I want to rejoice in the fact that she is here, healthy, made it to one year old (because the more you read on blogs and other things on the internet, that unfortunately is an accomplishment that so many babies don't get to make it to, due to SIDS or other terrifying things), and most importantly, that she is happy. Then there is the other half which is scared out of my mind. I'm afraid I won't want to get out of bed. I'm afraid that everytime I make a move, the thought will creep into my head..."last year, on this day, you were with your baby girl. You had two more days with her in the hospital. She was yours." I'm afraid I will question myself, even though I know what I did was the right thing for her. As I've said, if I could go back in time and re-do it, as much as I would want to give anything to take her home with me, I wouldn't. Everything happens for a reason, and I can't sit here and tell you that the reason I had an unplannged pregnancy with a man that I had no future with was because I was meant to be her mommy. I never used to be someone who had faith or believed in a real higher power, but I have to believe that the reason I got pregnant and the reason it was with him is because I was meant to be a medium between her and her forever parents. I was made into a bridge, and I couldn't have had a more important task; I couldn't have had a more important person to transport across that bridge from where she began to where she belonged. So, all of that being said, I have no prediction whatsoever to how her first birthday will be for me. The only thing I do know is, if you know me in real life or are around me at all around that time or anything like that, don't be afraid to say her name around me. As hard as it will be to not have her by my side on her birthday, to not be posting pictures of her eating cake with an ear-to-ear pink-dyed smile on her face, it will be harder to have no acknowledgement of it. I understand it's a touchy subject that not many people know how to handle or how to react to. Hell, I don't even know how I will react, but I ask you to not be scared to write to me on facebook, to text, or to call, wishing her a happy first birthday. I know this will be a hard one, maybe the hardest one I will have to face, but I think it will be easier knowing I have people who are there for me. A baby's birthday is a day all about the baby; but when the mother of the baby has empty arms and there is another family celebrating the life and love of that baby that is now their own, the birthday becomes more about that mother who is alone. I don't mean for that to sound self-centered...I don't mean for any part of this post to come across as self-centered. I just know that it will bring a smile to my face to know that people remembered her birthday :)

I may do something like a balloon release in honor of her, or something. I know they are usually "memorials," but I'm not sure if they are limited to death or just loss in general. To each his own, I guess. I suppose I can use a balloon release to symbolize whatever I want, and I would choose to do it to honor her life and how much I miss her. I'm not sure how I want to do it yet, though. I know for certain I don't want it to be me and her birthdad doing it, but I don't want to do it alone, either. I think I know the place I would do it at, and I think I would want my parents there...but no other immediate family. I may ask a few close friends. I don't want it to be a huge event with 50 people, but it would be nice if it was more than just my parents and I. I can think of 10 - 15 people I would probably ask to be there. The only issue is, a few of these people are people I worked with at the first vet hospital I was at; the one I was at when I found out I was pregnant in the first place. It's one of those tight-knit groups where if you invite one person, you sort of have the invite the other, and the other, and so on. But (back to being self-centered, hahaha), being one of the most special days I think I will ever have, I know that I want only people I truly care about and love to be there. I don't want drama, I don't want anything to ruin my memory of that day. I'm sort of stuck when it comes to that, and I don't know how I will tackle it when the day approaches. Also, her birthday falls on a Wednesday this year, so I was thinking I may do it on the Sunday before, which is October 30th. That is, after all, the day I went to the hospital the first time with what turned out to be false labor pains. I was sent home soon after. It's the last night I spent at home with her, just me and her - no nurses, no doppler, no fetal monitor, no nothing. Just me and her, with her kicking the night away and keeping me awake (but it was the happiest I've ever been while being kept away from my beauty rest (; ) Besides, if I do it that Sunday, I *should* have no worries of being way too much of an emotional wreck to see anyone. I would hate to plan it for a Wednesday, have people plan in advance to be sure to be there, and then not be able to pry myself out of bed or wash my face enough to be able to see more than an inch in front of me.

To anyone reading this, what do you think about a balloon release? I think I might have already said this, but I know the general conception is that it's to remember someone who has passed away. I definitely don't want it to have some underlying meaning of death or anything like that. I want to do it as a way to remember, the same way you do with someone who has died, but also at the same time, have it be a way to celebrate her. If I end up organizing it and going through with it, I know for certain that I want to have pink balloons, but not JUST pink, because that seems too boring. I have an image in my head of how I want it to look, and that includes pale pink, dark pink, and a few orange and black ones scattered in there, too. The orange and black are, of course, for Halloween...for a few reasons. (1) even though her birthday is November 2nd, it's very close to Halloween, (2) Halloween is my favorite holiday, (3) I went into labor with her on Halloween around eleven at night, (4) if I do it on October 30th, that makes the colors all the more appropriate, and (5) I like colorful things. All pink would be too generic for me.

So, those are my thoughts on that, feel free to share yours if you'd like. I'm not dead set on that idea; I just know that I want to do something "for" her, either on or around her birthday. I'm planning now, because it really is right around the corner...she will be ten months on Friday. Unbelievable. Plus, with school starting up again full-swing and my job search quickly becoming more and more necessary (and so I can have some extra money to buy her her birthday presents!), the month of September and most of October will be pretty busy. Which is good, that's what I need...but I want to plan so that those days up to and right after her birthday are as special as they possibly can be. I know for sure that they will be special for her :)

Friday, August 26, 2011

AWKWARD, with a capital A...and all the other letters, too

I just got home from meeting Arianna's birthdad to give him pictures. He and I hadn't spoken in over two weeks, and things were going well. I missed him, of course, when certain things I would see or hear would spark some sort of memory of him...but overall, I was a-okay with not talking to him. I didn't hype myself up to meet him, I wasn't prepared for him to suddenly have become a different (better) person and sweep me off my feet all over again. I did, however, stupidly doll myself up in an effort to make him think I was something spectacular that he was missing. Coincidentally, my mom and I went to get our nails done last night, so that worked out well. Not-so-coincidentally, I made my hair look as amazing as possible and did my make up as if I went to school for it. All for...what? For him to miss me? For him to wish he still had me? It sounds so self-centered of me, now that I look back on it. It got me nowhere, too. I didn't even want it to get me anywhere, that's the thing. I don't want him back, I don't want him in my life (other than in the obvious way that he will be forever), and I don't want to have any sort of romantic bond with him ever again. I love him, but I'm no longer in love with him, and he acts as though I hurt his feelings when I say that. He chose to do the things he did while we were together and he, ultimately, decided the fate between he and I long before I even knew it. So, why did I make myself look all pretty, and wear a shirt that I knew for a fact that he liked, and do my hair the way I knew he liked it? 'Cause now I'm sitting here, on my bed, looking like I'm dressed up to go somewhere nice...and I'm just sitting here, stuck in reverse and mulling over my conversation with him.

We didn't argue, but I did cry. We looked at the pictures together, in my car, and I cried. I cried because I wish I were with her, I cried because I wish I could see her doing the things she's doing in the picture first-hand. Then, he said something that struck me, because at times, I feel the same way - he said that when he reads the emails I print out for him, and sees the pictures, that he feels like he's looking at a child that he met once or twice but that isn't his. He said it feels like this is a family that he knows through some distant relation, that is sending him photos of their child. In a way, that's exactly what they are doing - sending us pictures of their child. At the same time, though, she is our child too. I do find myself feeling detached at times. I look at her and feel as if she's not even mine, and as if she never was...but then I remind myself that in order for her to be theirs, she had to be ours first. Had she not been mine (or in this context, 'ours'), she never would have been there to be 'theirs,' either. He told me that's hard for him, because he knows he was involved in the process of her being on this earth and he knows that she is a part of him - half of him - and that he misses her, a lot. It was the first time in a while that he's opened up like that (and trust me, for him, that is opening up), usually he masks it. I'm not sure if that's to spare me from seeing him sad and therefore getting even more sad, or if it's to protect some "manly image" he thinks he needs to have. I don't know. It was tough, though. Once the conversation about Arianna was over, neither of us had much to say to one another. I know it's better that way...that's what I need. But it was tough to sit there and feel like strangers. He doesn't know me anymore, just like I barely know him. He didn't know I quit my job, he didn't know a, b, or c, either. It's so hard when someone isn't who you thought they were...I wish, more than anything, that we could go back to the friendship we had in the beginning, before it became so much more. That's the version of him that I miss, the version of us that I miss. Maybe it's for the best that he's changed (or was forced to show his true colors), because if he hadn't, I'd be in tears everyday, wanting him back. If he was the same person I fell in love with four years ago, I would never move on from it. Maybe I need him to act immature and like a jerk to help me move forward. I just wish it weren't awkward. I know I can't have it both ways. I can't have him "out of my life" and have it not be awkward when we meet up to exchange photos and whatnot. Relationships of any kind just don't work that way. Wait, I take that back, because my best friend and I can go months with barely speaking (if she's in another country and it's hard to find time, etc), and when we do talk or get together again, it's like we never missed a beat. But the relationship I have with G is so much more delicate. We have been though things together that a lot of people haven't had to go through and it has changed not only both of us individually, but the way we interact as a whole. Sitting so close to him, in the car, makes me feel like there should be a third little person between us. It feels so unnatural when I'm around him; like part of myself was extracted from me, and part of him was extracted and molded a little baby girl...and she's nowhere to be seen. Her mother and father are sitting together, but alone. Where is she?? Then I come to my senses and realize that she is right where she needs to be..right where she should be. I was not fit to be her mommy at this time in my life, nor was he fit to be her daddy. Together, we were even less fit to be parents than we were separately.

At one point, when he got all quiet, I asked him what was the matter. He said that he just got upset thinking about how I had quit my job (I told him, today) and how I now had 'free time' until school starts and/or I start another part-time job...and he said "if only I had finished the honda, if only I had painted it with you back before all of this happened, you wouldn't be sitting around in your room, being sad and having all day to dwell on missing the baby...we'd be out driving around in it, just laughing and having fun..." and for a moment, I longed for that missed opportunity. I enjoy working on cars, not mechanically, but aesthetically...I know how to fiberglass, I know how to wet sand, paint, etc. A lot of my knowledge was learned from him. We spent a lot of those years working on that car. Had I not gotten pregnant, we probably would have finished it by now and would be enjoying it. I let myself get caught up in that idea and for a minute or two, I was sad. I wished we were in that car at that moment, driving down the highway. Then it hit me - if he and I were in that car, our relationship would be the same now as it was before. I would be miserable and not even have the gumption to admit it to myself, and he would be there, not taking anything seriously, as usual. More importantly, my baby girl would not be here. As hard as it is and as much as I miss her each and every day, I would never take it back. I would never wish she had never been born. She, at only a day or two old, is the one who made me admit to myself that the way I was living my life was not the way I wanted it to be. That's not to say he was holding me back, I was holding myself back. I had been unhappy for a year or maybe longer, but I was terrified of change and I didn't want to lose him. So I stuck it out, and I paid for it in the end. I sacrificed my happiness to paint some pretty picture of who he and I were on the outside. No one really knew how the inside felt.

I've learned my lesson, though. The way I feel today is nothing like the way I felt yesterday. Yesterday, I was happier. I need to be away from him. I say it all the time, and then I'm like one of those weak girls that keeps going back. I'm not going back, though. That hasn't crossed my mind, honestly, in months. I will wait for him to ask me if he wants pictures, and, at least for a while, I will have to mail them to him to get them to him. Why torture myself any more? I need to make a promise, here and now, that I will not see him again at least until she's one. A little over two months. I can do it, and I need to do it. I just need to practice more self-control...and now is as good a time as any, right?

Thursday, August 25, 2011


I feel as though lately I only go on facebook to talk to friends that I wouldn't normally text or call. All of my other friends on there, though, are either married, pregnant, have a baby, or all three. It used to be something I never wanted, but now I feel like I am a "mother" too...but I don't get to post pictures every day of something cute my baby does. Even if I got a picture every single day, I wouldn't post it. And if I did post it, I wouldn't be able to really write what she was doing at the time I took the picture, and the background in my picture wouldn't be of my house. That makes me so's beyond belief. Now, as if to add insult to injury, facebook now posts my status from a year ago on the right hand sidebar. "On this day in 2010, you said...." UGH. On this day in 2010, I was pregnant. My little princess was still MINE, still WITH ME. As a matter of fact, according to that stupid sidebar, on 8/25/2010 I was writing about how happy I was that Starbucks and Dunkie's both brought back their caramel apple cider drinks. I drank those all the time when she was with me, and I will never drink another one again. I just know it will make me too sad; it will make me long for time to warp me back to the fall of 2010. Even if only so I can get a few more months with her inside my belly. On one hand, I am relieved to have the hardest stuff in my past - I am relieved that I know that never again will I have to leave the hospital without her, never again will I have to sign away my rights to her. On the other hand, though, I want to go back in time to the time I spent with her in the hospital. It sounds so confusing, and that's because I'm so confused. I want to go back to the time that I could freely see her, but I don't want to hurt anymore - I guess that's what that boils down to. But how could I be hurt being around her? I think it was because I knew we had to say 'goodbye,' although I didn't say goodbye to her, I told her 'see you later.' I guess hurt comes with all forms of love...the kind of love you feel for a friend can hurt when that friend turns on you, the kind of love you feel for a parent will hurt when you lose them, the love you feel for a boyfriend will hurt if he lies to you or when you break up, so why would the love you feel for a child be any different? It hurts even more, in my opinion. I have been blessed enough to not have lost a parent yet, and I am terrified for when that day comes. So I haven't experienced that yet, thank God, but I can imagine it can't be quite as bad as losing a child. Painful, but different.

The gist of my post was that I need to distance myself away from all of this social networking bullcrap. I deactivated it the other day, but by the end of the night I was back on it. It doesn't really do anything but frustrate me...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I promised photos of my scrapbook, but due to my ever-so-apparent ADD, I got sidetracked uploading the photos and now I am off in la-la-land. My mouse sort of took over and guided me to the folder entitled "Arianna," and then the one entitled "Arianna (new)." The first is full of the 300 or so photos I took of her in the hospital and in the visits that followed after, in the days before I signed. Then, the next, which also has more photos than I even realized, is for the pictures I get from her Mommy and Daddy.

I am in awe that my baby girl has gone from a nakey, screaming baby to looking like a little "grown up"

in eight "short" months. I am amazed every time I see a photo of her at how much she has grown. It's still hard to comprehend that I created a human that is growing...that her body, her brain, just everything...have a job to do and know how to do it, and that I made that. She came out of me! It's hard to believe sometimes, still to this day. On one hand it makes me really sad that she is growing so rapidly and changing every single day and I am not there to witness it first-hand. But I try not to dwell on that, and rather look at how well she is doing where she is. She is truly flourishing where I have 'planted' her, granted, her parents deserve 99.9% of the credit for that...but I do deserve that small .01%, not so much for creating her life on this earth, but for putting her there (with her parents) in the first place. :)

Monday, August 22, 2011


I've come to realize, albeit it the hard way, that life is all about perspective. Someone will always have it better than you, and someone will always have it worse than you, and you just need to work with you and what you've been dealt or given. I have spent far too much time ruminating and just spinning circles of "what ifs?" What if she had been born a year later, what if I had finished school on time and graduated in 2010 like I would have if I had stayed on track, what if her father and I didn't constantly argue and could stay together? What if, what if, what if. Well, self, guess what. The "what ifs" don't matter because I can only deal with the "this is." This is the financial situation I am in, this is the relationship trouble I have, this is this is this is. What it was NOT was the type of life I wanted my child to have. I can't spend time comparing myself to others. I can't keep looking at girls younger than myself, raising their babies while living with their parents and having no job or car of their own. I can't get jealous of every pregnant woman I see, and I can't get upset with people who complain about their kids around me. I will start to hate everyone if I do that. I am not the type to put myself up on some kind of pedestal and scream, "I made a sacrifice and did what was best for my child, so everyone in a situation similar to mine, or worse off than mine, should do the same or they're wrong!" No, I wouldn't dream of doing that, and I don't feel that way. But sometimes it just stings me to see seniors in high school with a two year old. I don't necessarily feel jealous or feel like their child is "bad off," it just makes me wonder why I thought I couldn't do it. And then I realize - she and I are not the same person. Even if we lived in the same town, were the exact same age, and shared the same group of friends and had an identical family life and financial situation - we are not the same person. Deep down, I know that I made the decision that was best for my daughter and myself, and sometimes I do have to remind myself of that. If I don't, I start to wonder. I start to drive myself crazy, I question myself, I question my decision and I start to regret, even though I know deep down it was what was right. You know how they tell you to go with your first reaction when you take a multiple choice test, because your gut answer is usually the right one? It's kind of like that, only on a much, much larger (and heart breaking) scale). Once I processed all of it, and thought about the kind of situation my child would be raised in, adoption was my first thought. Obviously not my first choice, but my first thought, given my circumstances. After she was born, parenting became my first thought, but that was my heart speaking, my emotions overtaking the logical side of my brain. The day I left the hospital without her, parenting was still what I wanted, but I knew somewhere, deep deep down, that her life would be best off in the hands of two parents that were much more capable...ready and waiting to raise a baby. Ready and prepared to dedicate the next eighteen years+ to a beautiful little girl that they had dreamed of for years. I do still have my (very) hard days, but I know my daughter is where she belongs. She beat a lot of odds to be a part of this world; I diligently took my birth control, I didn't have any prenatal care whatsoever for the majority of my pregnancy (due to not realizing I was pregnant because the pills I took made my period vanish about a year and a half before), and she ended up with APGAR scores of 8.5 and 9.

All of this has got me thinking. We, as human beings, are controlling by nature. We like to have a set work schedule, we like to have a sleep schedule, we try to plan and plan and plan, but ultimately, life has a plan of it's own that it can enforce on you when and if it pleases. Look at it this way, for example. Couple A gets married, buys a house, saves and saves and saves, and then plans for a baby. They make sure they are financially ready, have a room ready, and are 100% certain (as certain as you can be - I realize parenthood is something you can never be 'ready' for until you have experienced it) that they are prepared for a baby. They try and try and finally conceive, and go to all of their ultrasound and NST appointments, do all the necessary bloodwork, drink lots of water and no soda, and refuse to let their bodies get stressed out. She makes her body the happiest, comfiest place in the world for her much loved and much wanted little baby. Then, a day before the baby is due, she goes in for one last ultrasound and finds out her baby has passed away. Then, someplace in the world, at the same time, Couple B is a young couple, not fully committed to one another in the sense of marriage or being together forever. They are not ready whatsoever for a child, have not finished school, have no savings, and just plain aren't ready. They don't realize they are pregnant until very late into the pregnancy, have had no genetic testing, no bloodwork, have drank soda for the entire pregnancy and have not been eating right. Their baby is born right on time, completely healthy and ready to go home in less than the mandatory two days in the hospital. Why does this happen? It happens every hour of every day everywhere. It's not fair, and truly demonstrates how, no matter how much we plan, things do not always go the way we intended. Couple A wanted and planned for a baby...they got pregnant on purpose, for a reason. Couple B tried to avoid getting pregnant and still did and had a healthy, smart baby. Life doesn't go as planned. That's why I have to take it day by day. I can't look too far into the future, it's too scary, too overwhelming, too dark right now. I get out of bed everyday by telling myself, "today I can live through the day without my daughter." Then, I do the same thing the next day. I've been doing it for months now. But, had you told me months ago that I'd still be saying it now, I'd think, 'how can I live without her for months? Years?' but I'm doing it. I'm alive. I'm not the happiest person on the planet, but it could be worse. I could be the woman in Couple A who doesn't have her child by her side because she passed away. On the other hand, it could be better. I could be the woman in Target with a 9 month old babbling away in her carriage. But, the point is, I'm neither worse off nor better off, I'm just me. I can't be compared to anyone else because I am no one else but myself. Just like no two people are alike, no two stories of motherhood are alike, either.

This is not the life I would have chosen for myself. Is that to say that if I had a choice, I would go back in time and make absolutely positively sure that my little girl would never have been conceived? I know it's contradictory, but I would absolutely not do that. All of this (the past, the present, and whatever the future holds) in terms of my daughter, was worth it the minute I saw her for the first time. The experience of that absolutely innocent, unconditional, overtaking love you feel when you see your very own baby in your arms, has and always will make all of this pain worth it to me.

On another note, I think I have a scrapbooking addiction. I print off each and every single Michael's and A.C. Moore coupon I can find, and somehow I managed to get 70% off my entire purchase this past weekend. I got about $25 worth of stickers and $8 or $10 worth of 12x12 paper for under  $10.00! And, I know I'm getting a little ahead of myself, but I stocked up on Halloween stuff and birthday stuff. October and November are right around the corner, which is very hard for me to wrap my head around. Seriously, soon I'm going to have a one year old. Well, I guess I shouldn't use the word "have,"...but you know what I mean. No matter where she is, nothing will change the fact on her birthday that one year ago that day I gave birth to her....and that's what I mean when I say I'll have a one year old.

I suppose there's no guarantee that I'll even get pictures of her in her Halloween costume, but based on the way this year has gone so far (with photos on her first Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, and 4th of July - all in her holiday outfits), I'm pretty positive I'll get at least a couple. And I pray and pray and pray that I will get photos around the time of her birthday! I took photos of my little collection of Halloween and birthday paraphernalia, of course...

...and I have since bought little white ghosts and these, because I can't help but think that the little girl at the bottom, in the pumpkin outfit, resembles my little girl if she were a cartoon. Whhaaat, she has the fair skin and the jet black hair, just like her! Hahaha. Now I'm itching for Halloween to get here so I can make her "11 month" page!

Friday, August 19, 2011


I did it - I quit my job. When I write it out, it screams "easy way out!," but trust me, it wasn't. It wasn't something I necessarily wanted to do, because more idle time is the last thing I need right now. The less spare time I have to sit around and think and ponder, the better. But I didn't sleep at all last night and had a sick feeling in my stomach all morning until finally I told myself to wake up and put my mental well-being first. I called (which is the ever-so classy way to resign from a job) and got it over with. I stated the exact reasons why I wanted to leave, and managed to get my point across and still maintain a level of professionalism. I was only there for a few months, and have no need to put this job on my resume or use it as a reference. Hopefully, since I am one of the many people to recently leave stating that this woman was the cause, maybe she will start to treat people with the respect and dignity they deserve. Who knows. The biggest weight has been lifted off my shoulders, knowing that I never have to set foot in that office again, or even drive by it ever again (it was over a half an hour drive away!)

I was feeling pretty down, though, about being "unemployed," even though I still work e/o Saturday at my old job. So, out of pure curiosity and to make myself feel a bit motivated, I sent my resume in response to two job openings I found online. Within fifteen minutes I got an email from the first one, asking me to call her. I called and got offered an interview for 1 o'clock, which was about an hour and a half after I sent the original email. JACKPOT! What are the odds? I quit one job at 11 and by 11:30 I have an interview set up for a better position, closer to home?! This brings me back to my new mantra that everything happens for a reason. I was over the moon. The interview went extremely well, and she said she has two other people to interview on Monday but she thinks I will be a perfect candidate and she will call me early next week to let me know when (if) I can start training. The hours work perfectly around my fall class schedule and the job is less than ten minutes from my house. The pay is $1.00 less than I made at the job I just resigned from, but the short travel time makes up for it...10 minutes versus 35 minutes for a dollar difference. I'll take it!

Things are slowly starting to fall into place. I've made a promise to myself that I will not use my new found free time to lay around in bed all day and be sad or what have you. I will still get up early (okay, maybe not at 5:50, but by 7:30) and go for a walk or do some form of exercise. I've never really dedicated myself to exercise, and I've heard it can really make your overall mood much much better. I don't want to sleep in until ten or eleven because then I will be restless all night, stay up tossing and turning until 2 or 3 in the morning and then sleep til eleven again the next day. I don't want to live like that anymore. So, I vow to get up early, put my time to good use, and continue pushing forward. Hopefully, by the time class starts up again, I'll be settled into this job (or a new job period) and have a daily routine going.

I want to be busy, just not overwhelmed. And mapping out my day as far as when I will go to work, when I will go for a walk, and when I will do schoolwork is something I can absolutely do...and I believe it will boost my happiness all around. And if I can't do it for me, I know I can do it for my little princess. They may seem like baby steps now, but in the long run they will pay off and help mold me into someone she can be proud of.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Not a fan of being a "grown-up..."

I have some big decisions to make. My new job (which I started in April) is becoming far too stressful for me - or should I say, one person in particular at my job is becoming more than I can handle. I know I'm sensitive and I let people get to me a little too much, but this is a person who has caused five people to resign due to her attitude. And I mean five people in the past year. The icing on the cake was the other day when I was talking to a good friend from my previous job (the vet hospital I left to move on to this vet hospital I'm at now), I started to tell her how I'm overwhelmed and have anxiety about going to this job, and she said "Because of ______?" and I said yeah, and asked how she knew her. She told me that several people at the practice she is currently at have left the job I work at to go there because of this person. That was when I knew for sure that I wasn't overreacting. I do let situations get the best of me, I always have, but for the past couple of weeks, I've worked myself into such a frenzy that I have a headache and can't sleep the night before work. And I work there four days a week, so you can imagine how my mental health has been lately.
Normally, at any other point in my life, I would tell myself to suck it up, because I'm making decent money there (a four dollar raise from my previous job) and I work essentially full-time. 30 - 35 hours a week, versus the 18 I had at my other job, and the 15 - 18 I'd likely be offered elsewhere in this economy if I quit. But with a full-time class load looming ahead of me in just a few short weeks, and while I'm nearing the end of the "first year after placement," I'm not sure that this job is something I can handle in the fall. As I just said, I tend to let things get the best of me. When I'm sad, nothing can distract me, and when I'm happy, I'm over the moon and nothing can get me down. It sort of overtakes everything at that moment, almost as if I have bi-polar (although I've been 'tested,' and told that I do not). Anyways, with Halloween coming up (a small holiday, I know - but last Halloween I spent pacing the house and around 11 I ended up in the hospital with labor pains, so that may be a tough day to reflect on) as well as her first birthday, I don't know for sure what I can handle. I mean, it's what I've always done...gone to work everyday and then left to go to class. I've handled it before, and made good grades, at that. I would be confident that I could handle it now, too, if it weren't for this crazy person at my job causing me such anxiety. She is like the devil in human form. No exaggeration.

This is life. This is my life now. I'd like to think I'm "strong enough" to take all of this added stress on, but I want to still have SOME control over it. I truly like everyone else I work with and don't want to feel like I'm completely screwing them over, but I've lived most of my life making sure everyone else around me was happy because seeing others happy made me happy. But, now more than ever, I think I need to put myself mental health first, and make making sure I get better a priority. I need to come out on the other side of this a better person, because that was part of the point. There's not much point in ensuring that my daughter has a better life if I'm not going to, in turn, work on mine as well. And I believe that this woman, this job in and of itself, is only going to hold me back. No, I don't want to be unemployed. But if having a dinky part-time job at a store somewhere or something for the fall is what enables me to have more time for schoolwork and still have a semblance of a steady income, then I'll have to do it.

On the outside, my job is perfect. A small animal medical practice, where I sit in a chair in an air-conditioned office at the computer and get to see adorable animals come in and out throughout the day. Plus, add on the money I make for sitting in said chair in the office and it sounds golden. Maybe I'm bored there, too. Who knows. I like to be busy, be moving, not sitting looking at a screen all day. In case anyone was wondering how I got off on this tangent about my job, I'll tell you. For one, I registered for classes today, and there is a class I need that happens to coincide with a day that I work. I started going into stress mode, wondering how I could change my schedule around and make it work because I need this class but also need a job, and they only allow for eight-hour + shifts at a time there. Then, it hit me. I need to leave anyways, because of the aforementioned psycho. And secondly (even though chronologically, this happened first), yesterday at about 3:30 in the morning my phone went off telling me I had an email. I almost always put it on silent, but I must have forgotten. Anyways, it was an email from my little girl's adoptive mom. She said she just wanted to check in and let me know that she knew it had been a while since she last wrote (it had only been a little over a month! :) what more could I ask for?) and that they just got back from their two week trip to visit her birth father. She said that this weekend she promises to send lots of "pictures, videos, etc" and that she just *had* to note that she was looking at "our little girl" today and realized she looks exactly like G now more than ever. That part sort of made me sad, but the email as a whole had me over the moon all morning. Not just the promise of pictures and videos, but the fact that she took a minute out of her night to tell me that she knew an update was 'overdue' and she had lots to share with me when she got a free minute. Little Arianna is nine months old and she has a two year old big brother, so I know that a free minute must be hard to come by in that house. I was practically giddy all morning, until I arrived at work and the anxiety set in. That, on top of a few other incidents, left me leaving work at 8:30 (an hour and 15 minutes after I got there). I realized that I had every right to be happy about the email and about the fact that I have such a great relationship with C + C and I don't want to let some person who means nothing to me, and who is nothing but a bully at my job, get me down. I haven't felt truly happy like that since the last update I got. Maybe that's unhealthy, I'm not sure, but that's what therapy is for, I guess. So the last thing I want to do is let someone get in my way of that. That's the only thing I have that's truly mine in terms of my little girl. Granted, I can share the email with my parents and with G (C + C said that is totally fine and they encourage me sharing the updates and the photos and will even write separate emails to her birth father if he wants) but they still are written to me, with the intent of keeping me as 'in the loop' as I can be with my daughter. If nothing else in this world ever makes me feel content or happy again, at least I know I'll always have those emails. They give me a happiness unlike anything I've ever felt. It's not the kind of "happy" you feel at Christmas, or when you win tickets to a concert, or when someone you have feelings for asks you out. It's not like when you study hard and get a good grade, or get a raise at work. It's something entirely different that I can't even explain to someone who isn't a first mom. Just like seeing your baby for the first time is a feeling that you only understand once you've given birth. It's an incredible feeling. And although all of my 'incredible' feelings that should solely be just that - incredible - have been tainted with some sadness, disappointment, and confusion, they have still been amazing and I would not change them for the world.

I'm not going to hold my breath that I will get the photos and update this weekend, because I don't want to look forward to it and wind up checking my email every fifteen seconds only to be let down. I would rather let it be a 'surprise.' There is a good chance she may get busy and not end up sending it til Monday or Tuesday night, and that is fine. It *will* come, even if it's not in a time frame that is ideal to me. One thing I am absolutely certain of is that she is a woman of her word and they so far have proved themselves to be a family of their word. I hope, with all of my heart, that I can still say that about them in five or ten years (and I'm 100% sure I will be able to). 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The morning "News"

I'm sitting here wondering why the News isn't called "The Bad News." We could have a weather channel, a traffic channel, and a BAD news channel. All you ever hear is bad, sad, sometimes devastating news. A hurricane, a flood, a murder, a robbery, a fire...I know the world isn't all sunshine and sparkles (and neither is life, and I am finally realizing the weight of that statement), but every time I watch or read the news, I wonder why I did in the first place. I was hesitant to post this link, because it is so gruesome and heart-wrenching, but I figured those who don't want to, don't need to click on it.

It absolutely disgusts me. I cannot imagine how that little boys mother felt, coming home to see that. I just can't even begin to comprehend it.

Stories like that make me wonder why I thought I wouldn't have been the best damn parent in the universe. I know I would have been a good mom, that wasn't a question. I may have thought I wasn't ready to be a mom, but as time goes on, I realize that I was ready to become a mom because even before she was born, I knew I needed to put her before myself. That's what makes a good parent. If only we lived in a perfect world where kids only needed love! This news article made me feel sick in the pit of my stomach. How does one take their own child's life? It's pitiful. I'd like to say that the poor boy is better off now, away from his psychotic "father," but that's just an empty condolence...what happened to that boy is unfair and disgusting. And I hope his father never sees the light of day again unless it's through a tiny barred window inside of an electrocuted fence.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Is it just me?

Only I could find a way to become emotional in a bookstore! So, let me start from the beginning. I went to Barnes and Noble with my parents because my mom was looking for a book for none other than her friend from work's two-year-old. As we were going in the parking lot I saw a giant sign for some new store that's evidently going to be opening in the area called "Buy Buy Baby." (let's not even go into the fact that when you sound it out, it also says 'bye bye baby'). I saw it; I ignored it, as I do with most baby-related things lately. My mother then points it out and says, "ANOTHER baby store?! Seriously? All babies need is a crib, a onesie and a few packs of diapers!" That went through me like a rusty nail. I know I may have taken it a little too literally, but I wanted to scream that it was she who, while trying to "help" me, convinced me how much babies need and how much work they are and how much money you spend on clothes that they outgrow within a week, diapers, etc. It was one of those moments where I wanted to speak up and just say, "really? that's all?," but I knew it would make her feel awkward for saying it, and I've already been so on edge lately that they last thing I need is another argument with her. She didn't mean to be cold-hearted when she said it, but really? Obviously, that's not all that babies need; and even if it were, it wouldn't have changed my decision. For arguments sake, even if babies only needed a crib, a few outfits, and diapers...they still need a father, a college fund, a house to call their own (not always their 'grandparents house'), and a stable, secure family...not a father who is there when he feels like it, even if he loved her with all of his heart (which, I do believe that he loves her) it doesn't count when he is a fair-weather father. There is no such thing. You are there or you aren't. Same goes for me. I would have dropped her at daycare in the morning, only to work 9 - 5 or longer and pick her up, feed her, and put her to bed, just to wake her up and do the same thing all over again. That was one of the huge dealbreakers for me - the fact that her adoptive parents both have their own businesses and can work from home when need be...and, the fact that they have worked it out so that when one does have to leave for work, the other is always home. I mean no offense to anyone reading this, but in my opinion, having a child in daycare is like having someone else raise that child for you, as well. Yes, I am aware that adoption and putting your child in daycare are two completely different things, but I also agree with the argument that if your baby is with someone else from 8 - 6 five out of seven days a week, that person is going to be very, very close to them, and they may witness even more 'firsts' than the child's mother does. Again, no offense is meant, it's just my opinion. It's not something I wanted for my daughter. But I'm getting off track, again! Anywho, I was extremely irritated by the comment she made, so it sort of put me in a funk for a while. Then, I saw this book:
which also made me feel sad, for obvious reasons and also because the picture at the bottom left-hand corner looks exactly like one I took of Arianna in the hospital. The hat, the angle, the fact that she's all swaddled up in the was the spitting image, only the baby looks different, of course.

And thus ends my story of the trip from hell to the bookstore.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The time to get away is long overdue

I really think it would do me a world of good to just get away for a while. I don't mean permanently, I just need a change of setting. Everything in this town and the ones surrounding it on all four sides reminds me of something from the past that I don't want to be reminded of. Like where her father and I used to go to the movies. Hell, the highway that leads to the movie theater reminds me of him, only because that's the only way we used to go and everything else I do (work, school, friends, etc.) are all located on a different stretch of the highway. Or the place we used to go to work on his car (all three of the towns his garages have been in while I knew him), or the place we met, the beautiful lake/forest/whatever it is where we were the first time he kissed me, the Chili's we always ate at, the hotels we've stayed at....just everywhere. Then there's the really tough places to drive by...the OB/GYN office where I had my ultrasounds, the hospital where I had her, the road in Boston that leads to the adoption agency....UGH! I know if I leave, even for a little while, my 'troubles' will follow me. I know that. I don't think that some magic fairy would descend upon me and erase the past four years of my life..and I wouldn't want that even if it were an option. My relationship with him and of course the birth of my daughter have changed my life dramatically, but they've both molded me into who I am today (or, should I say, who I want to be. Because right now, I'm a mess - and that's putting it nicely). Anyhow, I lost track of where I was going with that, but the bottom line is, I need a change of scenery. I want to be away from the memories because I still need time to heal. The end of a relationship is a loss just as much as any other, and I need to give myself time to move on from it. I haven't even fully processed it yet, because I was (and am) so wrapped up in my little girl. Almost every thought I have every minute of every day is about her. I've heard that the first year is the hardest, so I'm not beating myself up over it. Hopefully I won't be this "focused" in another year or so. I don't think that a day will ever go by that I don't think of her - even if I'm married with four more kids, I don't think a day will pass without her in it. And she will always be in my heart, I have no doubt about that.
Her birth father has done a lot of things in the past to hurt me. I may have enabled him at times by putting up with his crap, but he knew what he was doing. We are both responsible for our relationship and where it went wrong, and we are both at fault for not going our separate ways sooner than we did. We tried, a few times, I remember. At the end of 2009, I gave him an ultimatim, basically, and told him that if he didn't change his ways and start taking things (and most importantly, us) seriously, then I was done. I told him we couldn't be friends, because he and I could not exist as 'just friends.' I was in love with him, and breaking up with him would have torn my heart out but being 'friends' would have torn it out and stomped on it. At least this was my thought process back then when I didn't know that I could, in fact, handle more than I thought. Anyways, weeks went on with us doing the same old thing and with me becoming more and more unhappy. Then sometime within the first month or so of 2010, my little girl became 'my little girl' inside of me and we didn't even know it. It's strange to think that if I had just held my ground and stuck to it, he and I would have parted ways last year, and I wouldn't be sitting here now talking about my nine month old daughter. It's one of the many reasons that I believe she was meant to be a part of this world and I was meant to be her medium to get to her family.
It's weird. I don't miss him necessarily, I just miss having someone. I want to text him when I see a car that I know he would have liked, a car like the ones we used to see at the car shows we always went to. I want to text him when I hear someone say something that I know would have made him laugh, or when I hear something that pertains to some silly inside joke we had. We had hundreds. I miss him as my best friend, I miss the person he was and the way he and I were when we were just that - best friends. Before we became so much more than that. And even when we speak now, about Arianna, that's what I hear in his voice and what I miss more than anything else we shared...his friendship. I do wish we could be friends. I wish I could feel absolutely no anger, no resentment, no jealousy towards him. I wish that part of me didn't blame him for the fact that I don't have my daughter. I try to act as if I don't, and ultimately I know that it was my decision and it was the RIGHT decision, but there's an illogical part of me that thinks that if someone else had been her father, I would have her here now. Which is a silly thought, because if someone else had been her father, she wouldn't be who she is. To wish that she had a different birth father is to wish that she were different, too, and I love her to pieces just the way she is. Therefore, I know it's illogical to think that way. But anyways, I wish he and I could start fresh and treat each other the way we did in the beginning (minus the falling in love part). Our daughter could still be a part of this world, still live with C + C and her big brother, and still be a part of our lives as much as possible...but he and I wouldn't have this history that we do. Wow, I'm rambling.....again.
I was getting dressed today and as I was going through my bureau I could see myself in the mirror on my wall out of the corner of my eye, and I stopped and looked at my stomach and I was in absolute awe that I grew a person inside of there. It's still hard to comprehend. I'm sure it's hard for anyone who has a baby, but it's even more mindblowing when I don't have her here with me. Sometimes I wonder if I really carried her for nine months and delivered her. But then I have those reminders...the stretch marks on my hips, the sports bra that I had to wear for a couple weeks after she was born, because even though she wasn't here, Mother Nature decided to have a good laugh and keep my milk coming in for at least a week and a half afterwards...and the fact that sometimes I *still* pee a little if I sneeze really hard. Sorry if that's TMI, but hey, this is a blog about my baby, so there's gonna be some not-so-pretty sides to it :). But sometimes it feels as if she was never inside my tummy. It feels as if she was mine for a few days and then she became someone else's. It's something I can't really explain, something I think only the others who have gone though this can understand. Sometimes I rest my hand on my stomach and push down slightly, just bearing a tiny bit of pressure, like I did when I was pregnant...and I still expect her to kick me like she used to. Without fail, any time of the night or day when I did that, she would push back. Sometimes it was harsh (so I think that must have been her kicking), and sometimes it was a little more gentle, so I think that was when she was pushing back with her hands. I miss her being in there. The last few nights, I could barely get in and out of bed without help, and I was angrier and angrier by the day that it was my mother helping me and not her father (the way it "should" have been, in my eyes) and I couldn't sleep, and I was constantly hungry, but I'd give anything to have that discomfort back because it would mean having her back. I do have a feeling deep down inside that she is where she belongs...where she is best off. But I have those moments where I just want her in my arms, and where it physically hurts that I can't and don't. I've spent a total of about three hours between last night and today looking at this picture...
I love that photo of us. I have probably 10 or 15 photos of she and I together, but that one is one of my favorites. My absolute favorite is the one of me holding her when she was about a minute old. I look a mess, my face is puffy from the intravenous fluids and my hair is a wreck, but that was the most amazing moment of my life, and when I look at that photo it all comes back to me. I experience that love you feel when you first hold your baby all over again. Okay, my hands hurt now, so I'm off to watch an episode of Pit Boss that I DVR'ed last night. If you're an animal lover and don't watch that show, you should! It makes me laugh, cry, and think all at once. Then again, the laughing one minute and crying the next thing comes naturally to me these days...hahaha.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


One comment that really gets under my skin is this: "you definitely made the right choice!" Really? I know it's mean to be reassuring, it's meant to be a positive comment, it really is. I also know that it's a bit of an awkward subject when it's suddenly sprung upon someone who had no idea. In short, an old friend who has actually taken a step back into being an acquaintance asked me (via facebook message) if it was true that I had had a baby. I found it a silly question because I have photos of her on my facebook (ones that were taken in the hospital, as well as some newer ones that only my friends can see. I stress the word 'friends' because I have almost 300 facebook friends and nearly all of them are people I went to elementary school and high school with. They cannot see all of my profile) and when she was about 3 or 4 months old, I openly stated something about her. So it was no secret as it once had been when I was pregnant. Anyways, I responded and told her yes and she replied saying she wishes she had known because she would have gotten her a blanket or given her a gift. I explained that I never even had a baby shower and that I had chosen adoption for her. It was an impersonal setting, yes, and it was out of the blue, yes, but I had to reply and I couldn't just act as if I still had her here beside me. She replied saying she hadn't realized that and that she was sorry she had been so casual about offering the blanket, etc. This is the part that irked me: it almost seemed like she was trying to justify my own actions to me. She then said that I 'definitely made the right choice.' Now, I know she was trying to be nice and wasn't sure how. And honestly, before I had my daughter, if someone told me the very thing I had just told her, I probably wouldn't be sure what to say without stepping on any toes. It can be awkward, I get it. But I was annoyed because this is a person who (a) doesn't know anything about my education, other than that I'm still in school, (b) doesn't know anything about my relationship with her birth father or anything about her birth father PERIOD, (c) doesn't know anything about my living situation, and (d) just plain doesn't know much of any of the circumstances surrounding the adoption in the first place. I am not a drug addict, I am not piss-poor, I am not an abusive person, I am not a child molester. I don't have "I'm incapable of raising a child" plastered on my forehead. I could have and would have been a great mom. But the problem is, a child needs more than love to survive, even though I love and would have loved her more than anything in the entire world for the rest of my life. I see that a lot - people saying 'you made the right choice' when they don't know WHY the choice was made in the first place. Maybe I sound ungrateful. I don't care. Even if she had said "you're her mom, so if you did what you felt was best for her, then you made the right choice," that would have put a completely different spin on it. I wanted to ask her why she thought that. I wanted to tell her she knows nothing about why the decision was made. I wanted to tell her I changed my mind a few days before I signed the papers and started ordering baby supplies online. I wanted to tell her that the only reason I was able to go through with it was because I found a couple (a family) that was absolutely more perfect than I could have dreamed of for my baby. I wanted to tell her that my daughter's bio father already had a child and he didn't spend a lot of time with her as it was and I didn't want my baby coming second to him. I didn't tell her that YES, I was in a relationship at the time and I wasn't 'abandoned' by him, so that did NOT affect my decision. There's a plethora of things I wanted to say, because I felt as if I was being judged. Bottom line. I WAS being judged. Maybe not intentionally, but I felt as if I was being looked down upon. Patronized. I don't know. I'm just in a bad mood tonight, that's all. I thought maybe writing would take some weight off my shoulders, but instead it's just making me more frustrated and causing me to think of even more 'condolences' that are more hurtful than helpful. So, here's a list, not directed at anyone in particular:

PLEASE don't:
(1) tell me I did the 'right' thing (I know you mean well, but just...don't)
(2) tell me that I should have been offered more help (from her birth father, from my parents, etc)
(3) tell me you could 'never go through with it' if you were pregnant (it may seem like you're trying to make me feel strong, but in reality, it makes me feel like I did something awful and evil and heartless)
(4) tell me you don't know how I did it (same criteria as #3)
(5) beat around the bush when it comes to my adoption. Don't NOT ask me if I got pictures, don't be afraid to ask about her. She is the one thing in the world that I am most proud of. Yes, it might make me cry at first, but deep down I will be overjoyed that you asked...that you thought about her long enough to ask how she is doing, and that you still consider her to be a part of me.

Okay, end rant. I don't mean to offend anyone, and I am surely not talking about anyone who is reading this right now. I just had to blow off some steam, that's all.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

School and other ramblings...

I got a voice mail yesterday while I was at work. It was from my college, and they were telling me that the 10-day course I signed up for that was supposed to start tonight was canceled due to not enough people enrolling in it. Bleh. I needed that course to keep me on track to graduate in December. Now, I'm set back another semester, unless I can take another class at another school that can transfer over in time. To put it simply, this sucks. I don't know if I can handle seven classes at once on top of a nearly full-time job, while simultaneously dealing with this overwhelming urge I have to not even get out of bed in the morning. It seems like it may be too much to handle...too much, too soon. When I apply myself, I excel. Learning has always come easily for me, when I apply myself. But ever since my pregnancy, the adoption, the break-up, my world basically shifted completely and I have very little drive left in me. I dropped out of school in the fall semester because it became too much to handle. No one was 100% sure of my due date since I was pretty far along when  I found out, and while my due date was Oct. 28, I knew I could have her at any minute. I knew for a fact that we could have conceived her at the beginning of January, the middle, or the end, as well as the beginning of February or even the middle. So only she knew when she was planning to come. In short, that (as well as the decisions I knew I had to face when she finally did decide to come) overwhelmed me to the max, so I dropped out mid-semester. I got to medically withdraw, so I was reimbursed for my classes, but that doesn't help much when you've just set yourself back an entire semester. I don't regret doing it, because I wanted to spend as much time with my little girl while she was in my belly as I could, and also because I knew I would be in no mental state to return to class and actually do well after she was born. I wouldn't have gone back to school til the 2nd week in November, and I would have missed too much. Anyways, I'm pretty ticked off about the fact that this class was canceled, because I'm looking at it as another entire semester wasted. I will need to continue going to class from January - May just for this ONE class. Ugh. I know it will be worth it in the end, but I have this idea in my head that I need to strive to do my best right now, and I don't want to wait another year to graduate. I promised my little girl I would graduate. I know she's only 9 months old, and if I stay on track she will not even be two by the time I'm done, but still. I also know, at that age, she won't even realize that I've graduated. Let's face it, she still will barely know who I am, let alone what I'm doing with my life.

Oh, I almost forgot! I was honored to be featured on this blog! I have to admit that back when I was pregnant, I was looking for information online and came across that very blog. I remember thinking to myself that those women were SO strong, but that they must be sad all the time. How naive! It's incredible how much my perception has changed now that I've gone through it myself.

Until next time...

Monday, August 8, 2011

Dreams, or nightmares?

Last night, I had a really really strange dream. I won't get into it, because it was filled with this creepiness that has resonated throughout my day. Usually, I forget my dreams within five minutes of waking up, even if I vividly remembered them when I first woke up. Anyways, the night before, I also had a weird dream, but it was weird in a good way.  In my dream, I was back in the hospital with my little girl, but instead of that sad feeling being in my gut the entire time, I was very happy. She was a newborn, but she was talking to me as if she were an adult. Not in a creepy way like it sounds, but we were communicating with real words, not 'baby speak.' She told me (or reassured me) that she wanted to go to live with her new parents and she didn't mean to hurt me, but she, too, knew that her life would end up being better. She told me she would not be happier either way; she would love to go home with me and also love to go home with them, but that she had a better shot at success with the other family. It instantly reminded me of this entry I wrote in my livejournal exactly 6 months ago. Strange. I do wish it were true (what I wrote in the link above). While it would have crushed me to hear my little girl tell me she'd rather be raised by someone else, at least it would have taken away any teeny tiny doubt that I had in my mind. Listen to me, saying my decision would have been easier if a two day old baby spoke her mind and wishes to me.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Talk about a lazy day! Last night, I went to see The Change Up with my friend and her older brother. I was apprehensive at first because I watched the trailer and one of the main points in the story line was the fact that one of the main characters was a 'family man,' complete with a set of 15-month old twins, so I wasn't sure if I was completely on board to sit through it...but it ended up being pretty funny. (if you enjoy meaningless, crude humor, which I do from time to time). Anyways, it was a late movie and I didn't get to sleep until after 2 a.m., so I took advantage of the  fact that I had no homework to do today and stayed in bed until well after eleven. I haven't done that in a while, so it was nice. I woke up to rain pounding against my window and my backyard looking like a rain forest...
But I enjoy the rain every now and then. Lately the sun and all of the happiness has been making me irritable, as I mentioned in one of my earlier posts. So this weather is actually a nice break. It gives me a more justifiable excuse to lay in bed all day, curled up under a blanket with my laptop and a few good DVDs, and my little Lily of course.
Oh, I did do one thing today. I decided to switch purses! Cleaning those out is always a treat. They start out perfectly compartmentalized and organized and I solemnly swear to keep them that way, but within a week or so, everything is strewn about and nothing can be found when it needs to be! But look what I DID come across...
...the evil birth control. It was a slap in the face, to say the least. The bag I found it in must have been the one I had with me at the doctors the day I found out I was pregnant. I found out on a Tuesday...and that's also the night I stopped taking it. I haven't laid eyes on that white plastic case or those mint-green pills in forever. (side note: I'm not posting this to advertise the brand of the pills or to give them a bad name. Yes, I did take them religiously at 8:00 each night, and still found myself pregnant, but that's not the point of the picture). It's strange...I used to look at those pills as a way to prevent having a baby, but now I see them as things that "should have" stopped my little girl from being here, and I am actually really glad that they didn't.

Hopefully someday soon I'll get some more pictures of my little princess!

Saturday, August 6, 2011


No, not photos of my little princess. I'm still waiting on those. It's only been a month, actually, but a month feels like a century when she's growing so fast and I don't want to miss a single stage. I realize how blessed I am to get photos and a 5 or 6 paragraph update once a month...that's more than I could have dreamed of. Maybe one day I'll write an entry on how much I adore my daughter's a-parents, we'll see. Anyways, the photos I'm talking about are the ones of her birth father. It only took him a few months, but that's water under the bridge because they're in my hands now and that's all I wanted. He still has a few more to get to me, he just needs a little more time to "dig them out," according to him. He gave me one when he was probably 3 or 4 months old, one when he's about 7, one when he was 11, and a more recent one in which he is 28 or 29. I have a few of him that were taken within the last two or three years, so all that's missing is some from his toddler stage. The majority of the photos of myself that I wanted to include in the scrapbook are from when I was younger...starting around the time of my baptism and going up until I'm five or so. Those are the years, in my opinion, where you really change the most...not so much when you're 11, so I sort of wish he had given me more from his baby years. I've learned to take what I can get from him, though. I met up with him after work, and we actually ended up talking for over an hour. It was one of the first decent conversations we've had in the past few months (since we actually rarely speak), and it was going well until the end. Somehow it came up that we shouldn't even be talking (I think I was the one to segue way into it) and I said that I felt stupid for just having spent so much time with him because I know better. I know it's wrong, and I'm still putting myself in that position. He told me the last thing he wants to do is make me feel stupid, and the last thing he wants to do is hurt my feelings any more than he already has in the past. He told me how strong I am, which I don't necessarily agree with. It took some super-human strength to leave the hospital on November 4th without my daughter, yes, but I don't know where it came from. It wasn't me - if I had to relive it, and do that one part over again, I'm not sure that I could. Anyways, I ended up crying, over something I can't remember right now. We were talking about the photos and I remember him saying "our daughter" and I lost it. That's one of the reasons I can't be around him - every time I'm around him, I feel as though she should be there, too. It's me and him and someplace else in the world, there's a little version of me and him combined...doesn't it seem only natural for her to be there? I left right then and there, because I didn't want to stand there crying like an idiot while he hugged me and thus made me cry even more. I got home, had dinner, and called it an early night and went to bed around 9:30. Then my phone rang at 2 a.m. and it was him, wanting to make sure I was okay because he felt 'messed up' for making me so upset. According to my phone log, we only spoke for 6 minutes, but somehow I managed to tell him that it wasn't he who made me cry, it was more the fact that I miss my daughter. I also explained to him how I feel her presence lacking even more when I'm with him than I do when I'm alone, and that's hard for me...and lastly, I told him that the whole reason for us meeting (to get the pictures) was sad in and of itself, for me, because it's not natural that the only way my own child will recognize me is because of a picture. Or should I say, the only way she will recognize us is through a few pictures. Apparently that made him upset, too, because his voice started cracking and he told me he didn't feel like talking anymore and would have to talk to me later. Oops. I was just being honest.

Another oops: this post turned out to be mainly about her father, and not about her. But I guess he is part of the whole adoption story, anyways, so it's okay. I don't have much to update about my little girl at the moment, sad to say. They are traveling right now and as we speak (or as I type), she is seeing more of the country in her nine months of life than I have in my 23 years. Good for her, though. That's what I wanted for her, among all the other things she has....swimming, music class, "pre-preschool" next year (which, again, I didn't even know existed)...those are all luxuries I most likely would not have been able to offer her.

So, I leave you with this:

He couldn't deny her even if he tried ;)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Two steps back

My best friend asked me how I was doing the other night. She had moved to Europe about a month or so after Arianna was born...a month in which she reached out to me time and time again and all I wanted to do was stay curled up in my bed. I hadn't gone back to work yet, and I had just gotten news that I would have to get my gallbladder out in the middle of December, so I had no place to be and all the time in the world to be there. She came to the hospital to see my little angel and she held her and it was just wonderful. I had only wanted certain people there; my parents, her father, and the person who would have been her "auntie," had I taken her home. She saw how I was in the hospital, and she knew how I was when I left, and despite the fact that I turned down almost every invite down to her house to say 'goodbye' before she moved, she still told me that no matter what she was there for me and just wanted to let me know she was always a phone call away, but didn't want to smother me when she knew I was at my lowest. Can a friend get better than that? When my other friends didn't know quite what to say around me, she would ask how I was and give me a huge hug. Anyways, she's home now for a bit, and that was how the question of my well-being came up. I told her the truth, and the conversation evolved more into becoming a conversation about her birth father because he played such a huge role in my decision making, despite the fact that he told me not to think of him and to only think of myself and my daughter. Ha. Very funny. Of course I had to think of him - it was he who would be arguing with me every other weekend, he who would argue with me over who was paying for dance class, etc, etc. But, back a few days before I signed the papers, when I was dead set on parenting, I asked him if he would sign away his paternal rights (therefore not having to pay child support or anything but losing any legal rights to see his daughter, so neither she nor I would have had to deal with him) he said no. Part of me was annoyed that he wouldn't just give us that peace, but part of me was relieved to know that he wanted to be involved, at least in a minimal way. But that's neither here nor there at this point in time, anyways. I'm going off on a tangent.

Remember how ecstatic I was a month ago this very day? It was July 4th, and since the 1st I had had a steady, ongoing email conversation with her adoptive parents which included photo after photo, and finally a group of photos that was so large, she had to condense it into a PDF to send them. I haven't gotten any photos since - but that's not really the point (right now, anyway.)

The point is, I remember being so truly happy that day...the day I went to sleep right after getting a photo of my little girl wearing the sneakers I had just sent to her...the day I woke up to a photo sent to my cell phone of her in a wagon, waving two American flags around. Seeing her actually grasp things and hold onto them blew my mind. It seems like such a small thing, but the last update and set of photos I had gotten of her only showed her grabbing onto things that were permanently fixated to other things - like the dangling things on her mobile, or those bendy plastic toys in her bouncy chair. Holding onto the flags seemed like it was a much bigger advancement, because they could fall at any moment. But she was holding on tight. Coincidentally, that's what I'm trying to do right now - hold on tight. Hold on to the reasons why I did this, and hold on to the fact that I cut ties with her father because I am better off without him. I can't lose sight of that, I can't lose sight of my degree, I can't lose sight of bettering myself so she will be proud of me.

It's just that lately, I've been miserable. I can't pinpoint exactly why, but I can feel myself slipping. I don't know if it's because she just turned 9 months old and 9 months is the amount of time you're pregnant for. She was fully, completely MINE for 9 months, and now for the past 9 months she's been C's.
It hit me when my friend asked me how I was. I told her the truth, and saying it out loud only validated it. I know there's no timeline for grieving this, and I refuse to set myself one, but I feel in my heart that the way I feel now is the way I should have felt six or seven months ago. I was in denial. The only way to not sob at my ultrasounds...the only way to not sob all over the relinquishment papers until they were so soggy they were illegible...was to pretend it wasn't happening to me. I think I must have pretended it was happening to someone else, but I was the one living it. I put on a smile when I returned to work, I put on a smile when I saw my friends, all because I was terrified and on the edge of tears at every moment. So, I faked it. I faked it around my family, I faked it everywhere I went, so I wouldn't lose it. Those were the only two options in my mind at the time: fake it or lose it completely. I got so good at it that I even started convincing myself. I remember feeling really guilty one day a couple months ago because I thought to myself, "I'm doing really well with this. I feel like I should be more sad, but I'm actually okay..." Wrong. Truthfully, I haven't been 'okay' since I found out I was pregnant. How can you be okay, happy, content, knowing you have to make such life-altering decisions? Knowing that you want your baby to have the best of the best, but knowing that giving her that means you may not see her again for ten, even twenty years?

Anyways, after that conversation with my friend, I realized I need to snap out of this. I need to let myself be miserable, I need to stop being afraid to feel things and let myself be sad. I know it's a little late, but better late than never. Better now than when she's three or four years old. Everyone says it gets easier, time will heal me. blah blah blah, but this is coming from people who have never been in my shoes. I know it will get harder before it gets easier. These past few months, she's just been a baby. How hard will it be when she starts talking (real words)? Or when I find out I've missed her first steps? Obviously, I know I'm going to miss her first steps, but I mean, how hard will it be to hear it? What about when she develops her own little personality? How will I cope with not knowing how her voice sounds, or if she laughs like me or her dad? The harder parts are yet to come, and I need to know how to deal with them.

So, for the past few days, I have not wanted to get out of bed. The thought of going to work makes me physically ill. The idea of knowing I don't have a 'safe place' to run to if I want to cry (like my bed) makes me anxious. I'm looking out my bedroom window at this very moment, and seeing the clear blue sky and hearing the happy little birds chirping is making me irate. I can't sleep. I just want to lay in bed and stare at the ceiling and remember how it felt to feel the weight of her in my arms. All 8 pounds, 14 ounces of her. If I think about it enough, I can still feel the starchiness of the hospital blankets on my cheek as I would snuggle her against me. I can still feel her squeezing my finger when I put it against hers. I remember how all four of her fingers, horizontally, were as long as my pointer finger. I remember looking at her fingernails, her toenails, her eyelashes, and watching her move...and being in awe that I made her. I remember lying beside her the last night in the hospital, just watching her breathe, and not being able to wrap my head around the fact that her lungs were created inside me. I created a life, another human being who would grow up to be someone someday. Of course, she already was someone to me - she was everything to me.

People tell me how strong I am. How people like me deserve so much credit for being the most selfless people on the planet. So why do I feel so selfish? I feel like I'm being selfish to everyone around me by locking myself up in my room and barely talking to anyone. I'm pushing everyone away; I can feel it. I just want to get better. My wish is for my daughter to have the happiest, most amazing life she can, and for myself to have as happy and productive a life as I can, even though she's not by my side. I can move on from this, I know I can. I know I will always feel sad from time to time, I've learned to accept that, and I don't think it's too much to ask. But I can tell you one thing for sure... I don't want to feel like this for the rest of my life. Not the way I feel now. Stuck in a rut. This is not doing anything or anyone any good - not myself, not my school work, not my job, not anyone around me, and most importantly, not my daughter. When she and I meet again, I want to be successful and independent. Do I want to be married? I don't know - that's not something that's even on my mind at the moment. All I know is I do not want to be struggling, I do not want to have some odd number of college credits that don't really amount to anything, and most of all, I don't want to be so depressed that I need to depend on medication, or anything else for that matter. I want to be strong, I want to be someone she admires and maybe, just maybe, can look up to. I want to be there for her without taking the place of her mom, I want to be her best friend. How can I even dream of that when I'm not even my own best friend? I love her more than anything in the world, but I feel like I can't love her as much as I should when I'm struggling to love myself.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Today, my little angel turned 9 months old at 6:31 a.m.

I'm not ready for time to be moving this fast. I'm not ready to accept the fact that it's been eight months and nineteen entire days since I've held my daughter, or since the last time I kissed her forehead and told her "I will always love you forever."

I'm not ready to face her first birthday, which will be here in three short months which will go by in the blink of an eye. Not ready, not ready, not ready. So I won't pretend to be. I don't know if I can be strong for this one.

Monday, August 1, 2011

"Nice mom..."

This weekend was eventful, while also being uneventful at the same time. I was off this weekend, and it was the first weekend in a while that I've had Saturday off, so I planned to spend it doing absolutely nothing and enjoying every minute of it. The problem is, once I do "nothing" for about 15 minutes, I start to get bored and/or I think too much and overanalyze every situation in my life until I make myself upset or sad. So, Friday night after work, I watched a movie and went to bed early. It was nice to go to bed early without the intent of getting up at 5:50 a.m. for work. Saturday, I slept late and got up and did some stuff I had to do for school, and then on a whim, the idea of getting my tragus pierced crossed my mind for the millionth time. I just had that feeling - you know, where you want to get something pierced. I had wanted it back in high school, but the yearning had sort of faded away after a while. Maybe (probably) because he (Arianna's father) told me that they looked 'trashy,' and thought that girls should only have one piercing in each ear...who knows? Either way, it was sort of a spontaneous thing, yet it was something I'd wanted for a while, so I went and got it done. I paid with my debit card and didn't have any cash on me, so after it was done, I said I was going to run to the ATM down the street and get some cash to leave a tip. While I was in the ATM, a little old Chinese lady (or is it Asian? I don't know the politically correct word for races anymore, it seems like it changes every day) came in and stood behind me. Out of the blue, she says, "Is that your name? On your foot?" and I said "Oh, no..." and she looked at me so I explained further and told her it's my daughter's birthday. So she asks me how many daughters do I have, to which I replied none. (In my head, I was thinking, is it one? Or none? One? None? One!) Then she repeats what I said and says "it's her birthday on you?" and I said yes. Then she says, "Ohh...what a nice mom you are, huh!" And all I could do was smile and nod. If only she knew. If she knew I wasn't legally my daughter's parent anymore, would she have thought that? If she knew I haven't held my daughter or seen her in person in over eight months, would she have thought that? Or, on the other side of the coin, if she knew I chose a better life for her, would she have thought that even more? My heart swelled with pride when she said it, though, not because I think of myself as a 'good mom,' but just because I was recognized as a mom, even if only for a minute, and even if only by someone who hasn't the slightest clue about the situation.
As I've said before, I don't regret my decision. Sometimes it gets to me, though....the fact that I know I could have done it. I would have done a great job, even without her father. Hell, I probably would have done a better job without her father in the picture, screwing things up left and right. The littlest things get under my skin lately. It's not even the big picture, necessarily, that bothers me. It's the little things that all amount to the fact that she's not with me anymore. Every car I see with a car seat makes me cringe inside a little and makes me a little envious. I don't know where I'm going with this. Adoption used to be just another word to me, like the the word "radio," or some other word that you wouldn't think twice about. Now, whenever I hear it at work, a million thoughts pop into my head all in that one nanosecond it takes someone to say the word. I think about the hospital, I think about my huge belly the day before she was born, I think about her father, I think about where I was when I found out, I think about the conversation I had with him the night I told him. I think about meeting her parents for the first time, I think about the emails, updates, pictures. And I do this all the time. Working at a veterinary hospital, the word 'adopt' is as common as the word 'and.' "I need to schedule an appointment, I just adopted a new dog!" Or "I just adopted this kitten, do you think she misses her mother? Or her brothers and sisters?" NO, AND I WANT TO PUNCH YOU IN THE FACE FOR ASKING. Not really, but you get the idea.
I'm in awe of the fact that she's going to be nine months old tomorrow. It's unbelievable. I better start preparing emotionally for her birthday now, because it's around the corner.