Monday, October 31, 2011

Trick or Treat . . . Laugh or Cry?

Halloween - we meet again. I feel like I have so much to say, but the words are all jumbled up in my brain and they're trying to fit out of a space that's so small that they're wedging one another in. I'll try, though! Today has been a rough day, just for the simple fact that I am nostalgic by nature and every time I've looked at the clock today I've thought about what I was doing at this time last year. I went to the hospital around 4 a.m. on Halloween morning, only to come back home at 7 and pace the house for the rest of the day, with a heating pad on my back, trying to coax my little one into entering the world. I finally went back to the hospital around 8 or 9...there were a few straggler trick-or-treaters left but for the most part, they were all home already. I remember going up to the maternity ward and my hand was shaking as I signed the sign-in papers. I was terrified about the entire childbirth process and the physical pain, but the emotional pain that I knew was just around the corner disturbed me to the core. They brought me down the hall in a wheelchair (which I hated and thought was unnecessary, by the way) and as we went down the hall, I heard nothing but silence and then all of a sudden, a baby started crying loudly. A just-born baby. I don't know why, because of course it wasn't my daughter or anything, but I'll never forget that sound. Finally, they settled me in Room #6, and the rest is history. (Well, not history, but the rest is written out in detail in whichever post it is that I wrote out her whole birth story).

I can't believe that was a year ago.
It's so fresh in my mind, and I hope it always will be...I just hope the memory stings a little less with each passing year. Tonight will be my little one's first official Halloween (even though she was with me last Halloween!) and she's going to be dressed up as a lady bug! I can't wait to see pictures! My next update should be an amazing one, because it will have her Halloween and Birthday party pictures in it. And let me say once again - I get to hear her sweet little voice in two days! I don't care if she even babbles anything remotely coherent, I just know any sound she makes will be like music to my ears.

I'm struggling a little right now. I'm fighting really hard to not break the promise I made to myself that I wouldn't be let down if her bio dad didn't contact me regarding gifts. (Don't get me wrong, it's not that I was looking forward to talking to him or anything. It's my daughter I feel for). I suppose it's none of my business whether he gets her a gift or not. Maybe he took my (rather harsh, at the time) advice and decided to send it through the agency. Who knows? (Well, I will, when and if C tells me to tell him thank you for the gift - which I know she won't, because I have a hunch there is no gift to say 'thank you' for). At the same time, though, he made it my business by bringing it up in the first place a month and a half ago. I didn't ask or put him on the spot, he volunteered his idea. He also made it my business when he said he may want to sign her card that I had for her. For all he knows, I'm still sitting around waiting to hear his decision before I go to the post office. What he doesn't know, though, and won't know, is that I already sent the package off in the mail on Thursday. The old me would have waited for him until the last possible minute; but I'm learning and accepting that he will never, ever step up and I can never count on him for anything (should I ever need to), so if I want to do something for our daughter, I need to do it on my own. Truthfully, I am fine and happier doing it on my own, anyways. I got her a gift and I wrote out her card with love, and that's all that matters. I cannot and do not control him and I do not have to deal with the consequences of his (lack of) actions. This is his daughter's first birthday! We have an opportunity to still have a connection with her and he chooses to ignore it. He's proven himself to be more of a loser than I had even thought. Whatever.

A few of my friends came over last night and we had pizza and cupcakes. It was a mix of a Halloween party and an 'in honor of her first birthday' party. I wish more people could have come, but all in all, it was a nice time. Quiet and relaxing, but most of all, it took my mind off things for a while. And when my mind wandered, my friends were there laughing to distract me yet again. I got Halloween colored balloons and pink balloons, along with a Mylar pumpkin balloon and a Mylar '1st Birthday' balloon. They looked so pretty. This morning, I set them off into the air (I was by myself, but I actually preferred it that way) and it was actually surprisingly cathartic to watch them float away until they were just teeny dots in the sky, and then eventually disappeared completely from sight. I told her that I hope she has an amazing birthday (even though it's not until Wednesday) and that I love her. It was really emotional, considering I was alone in my backyard just watching them and talking to myself, essentially. I didn't expect to really feel anything over it (good or bad), but I did. They didn't float away as 'perfectly' as I would have liked - they sort of tangled together and floated away in bunches rather than single balloons, but oh well. It's the experience that counts, right? (:

Now, onto a few pictures from last night and this morning:

   "Halloween Funfetti" cupcakes in the making (:

And lastly, Halloween pj's I sent to my princess!


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Ups and Downs, Ups and Downs

My week thus far as been like a roller coaster ride. Actually, I got on the ride last Friday afternoon and here it is, Wednesday, and I'm still struggling to get my feet on the ground again. Friday, a little comment made by my mother was retorted (by me) with another little comment, which snowballed into the fight of the century. The fight was about the adoption in it's entirety (what else?), and I tried to explain that, while I know that I made the right choice and honestly do not regret it (I have my really hard days, but deep down I don't regret it), and knew in my heart that adoption was the right choice for her, I wish it had been more my own choice. I wish I hadn't felt cornered. It's not so much the fact that the end result would have been different (because it wouldn't have) but it's the principle. I never realized how frustrated it made me until I went back to therapy and my doctor kept asking 'where your parents supportive?' I would say yes (my mom was with me for all 2 days of my labor...that's supportive) and when she'd ask what they said about parenting vs. placing and I told her 'they said I couldn't live in their house if I were to bring her home with me,' I got the same look of shock and response of 'that's not supporting you' from her as I did from my first therapist last December. Now, let me say this again: had my parents said that I could live with them and they would help me with her financially and all of that jazz, I still would have chosen adoption for her. Her biological father still would have been the same. My lack of a degree still would have been the same, I just would have had a safe roof over my head and no rent to worry about. I could see my parents point of view, I really could. Why should they, approaching their fifties, have to basically 'raise' another child for the next year or more until I got on my feet? They shouldn't. But the point was their lack of, I don't know, understanding? I resent the fact that they told me that keeping her would be the 'biggest mistake I could ever make,' and 'getting pregnant was wrong, and keeping her will be wrong. you don't right a wrong with another wrong' and that if I were to decide to parent that I would have to do it somewhere else. Anywhere else, they didn't care where, just not under their roof. They knew I had nowhere to go. They knew that better than anyone else, yet still they said that; thus ultimately giving me no choice. I knew what the right choice was, but the point is that I wish I had felt that I had the freedom to make that choice on my own. I wish I hadn't felt like I had to make that choice. Does that even make sense? I'm not sure, but I guess I don't know any other way to explain it.
So, this began the biggest fight ever. My dad got involved and said some really harsh things, but later realized the way he worded what he said, and apologized and gave me a hug. I admit, I was still pissed that it had even come out of his mouth in the first place, but at least he apologized. Since then, we've been okay. A little tense, but isn't it always?
On Monday my therapist and I spoke about what I plan to do on my daughter's birthday, and honestly, I'm not sure. I told her that I sent an email to her mom on October 4 and hadn't heard back yet (I asked if I could call our little one on her birthday to say happy birthday in a more personal way than email) and God bless my therapist, because she pushed me to actually be a little more aggressive about the matter, because it's time-sensitive. I'm used to her mom writing back after a few days or even a week, I know she gets busy. It's always been that way from day one, so I don't usually worry or question it. But this had been about three weeks, so I was getting a little nervous. I worked myself into a frenzy, and told my doctor this, and she said "listen. They gave you their phone numbers, right? You told me they gave you their home and cell numbers. So, I want you to call her. It's not being pushy. It's been three weeks and this is something very special and important to you, so please call her. You can call me right after and tell me how it went," and that was the push I needed. I don't ever want to be annoying or overbearing, but like my therapist said, she could have read the email and just assumed that I was going to call, because no answer can usually mean yes (I'm not so sure I agree with that) or she got busy and totally forgot about it. I, for one, know I wouldn't want to let that opportunity go by because I was scared to ask a question, and push onward a bit more to get an answer.
Long story short(er), I was a little too nervous to just call out of the blue, so I sent her a text. She wrote back within less than an hour and told me she was in China on business right now but that it is absolutely fine with her if I would like to call, and she will email me the night she gets back (Thursday night) with a good time, so I can call while Arianna is awake and I can hear her on the phone (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!). My heart was about to beat out of my chest when I pressed send, but now I am SO happy that I sent it. And, in case you didn't notice, she is in China, hence why I never got a response to my first email. She's busy, not closing the door on our adoption forever (yes, my mind did go there one night around 2 in the morning).
I was so giddy all day over this. I can't wait. While I would love to actually see her on her birthday, a phone call and pictures is as close as I can get right now and I will take it for what it is and cherish it forever. I am so beyond happy about this.
I just finished writing in her birthday card, which was my mountain to climb today. I knew it would be hard, but it was easier than I thought. I just wrote what I felt. I didn't go too overboard (that's what her birthday letter is for), but I also didn't make it impersonal. I won't disrespect her privacy by writing it all out on here, but in part of it, I told her that she was a very special little girl to so many people, and that she should act like the princess that she is not only today, on her birthday, but everyday. I know she won't read/understand that til years from now, but I think it's sort of like closure for me rather than her right now. Gahhh, I'm just not ready for this. I didn't want to be picking out her birthday card with tears in the corners of my eyes or buying boxes to mail her gifts to her. I want to be buying the cake and decorations for her party and seeing, firsthand, how elated she is when she tears the paper off of the gift I got for her. But I suppose this is my cross to bear now, and I'm okay with that. As long as she is somewhere in the world with that elated smile on her face, tearing wrapping paper open with love surrounding her...I will be okay.

Monday, October 24, 2011

October 24, 2010

A picture of me, taken on this very day last year:

I never thought I would miss my lower back hurting, the tops of my legs hurting, and having to hoist myself up with a death grip on the headboard just to turn over in bed. I never thought I'd miss getting up to pee 8 times a night, or craving fruit loops at 4 a.m....but I do. I miss my baby girl.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

53 hours

I keep thinking about the 53 hours that I spent with my daughter. The 53 minutes that I was her sole care-giver...the 53 minutes that she relied on me to change her diaper, feed her, snuggle her, rock her to sleep, find her binky and adjust her little hat every time it fell off. The 53 minutes that I was her one and only true mother (besides the 9+ months prior, of course). On the outside, I know I'm no longer a mother. I left the hospital with nothing to show for myself but extremely swollen and sore breasts, a few stretch marks, a box with momentos in it, and a heavy heart. I struggle daily with the fact that I feel like I'm her mother, yet know I'm not her mommy. There's a fine line between the two, but yet they're a world apart. Even if she grows up with me in her life and, say, wants to go to a college near me and asks to stay with me for a while on a school break or something - I still won't be mommy. The most difficult part of all of this is, while I want so badly to be her 'mommy,' and be that woman who is a essentially God in every child's eyes...I don't want to be, at the same time. I know C is her mom and despite the pain, nothing will make me happier than seeing them have an amazing bond together. I want my daughter to think of her as her only 'mommy,' I want that for both of them. I'm content being on the sidelines, being a mom in my heart but a 23 year old single girl on the outside. Do I wish, when I'm walking with friends around the park, that I was pushing my baby girl in a stroller in front of me? Of course I do. But do I wish that she had a stable house to blossom in and an excellent shot at a future? Of course I do - and I wish that even more. I wish it could have been me that could have provided that for her, but the cards were on the table and that was not what they had in store for either of us. I don't regret my decision, I'm just struggling with it right now. There is a difference. I hope it's the pre-1st-birthday blues, and I hope the post-1st-birthday blues don't last as long.
I think part of my problem is that I am reading too much on the internet and soaking in too many articles. You can find anything on the internet if you want, and you can even find things you don't want. I keep reading things about girls whose adoptions closed on them; the aparents slowly weaned off of the communication and then one day, just stopped completely. I let that fear and worry consume me until I count back the days since the last time I heard from C. It was October 4th, not even a month ago - but I somehow convince myself that the same will happen to me. Every situation is different, I know. I worry far too much. C and C are very trustworthy people (obviously, I trusted them to raise and love my child as their own) and they have never, ever done anything to make me think otherwise. She gets busy, and sometimes it takes her longer to respond than I'd like or sometimes the pictures don't come exactly once a month...but they always come. Even if I shoot her a quick email just to ask a question (about sending gifts, or calling on our daughter's bday), she responds and throws in a few pictures outside of the 'monthly updates.' They have been amazing to me, and I let my insecurities get the best of me. I never show this; I never give them any inclination that I have these fears. They know how much I love that little girl and how much I treasure any and everything they share with me regarding her, especially pictures, and so therefore they know how much it would kill me if they were to cut off contact. They have no reason to, because I, too, have been nothing but nice to them (at least I try!) I've never been demanding, overbearing, or pushy. I've thanked her endlessly for all she's done and she has done the same for me. So why am I scared? I guess it's because these are the only two people in the world, at the moment, that have the capability of shattering my heart into a million pieces. That puts me in a very vulnerable position. I remember once, during the aftermath of an argument, telling G that all we ever do is hurt each other. He told me he never meant to hurt me and knows I'd never mean to hurt him, so "why would you say that?" I told him that it's because it's the people we care about the most that are the most able to hurt us, because we invest so much emotion into them and their words and actions hurt a thousand times more than a stranger's would. The people we love know us...they know what we value in our hearts. That's sort of how I feel about my daughter's family - they, essentially, hold my heart in their hands when they hold that beautiful baby, and they are in more control of my feelings right now than I am. That's scary.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A gift and a curse

Sometimes I am far too nostalgic. I barely remember when my homework is due, but I could tell you what the weather was like on the first night my daughter's biodad and I hung out. This October loomed in front of me like a black fog for all of September, so I managed to not only let my memory ruin one month, but two.

October 22, 2010...he and I went to the agency to talk over some things with our counselor and then he took me to see Paranormal Activity 2. I'd probably have forgotten that, had the 3rd one not come out yesterday. I want to see it (I'm obviously into cheesy horror movies) but I don't have the heart to actually go sit there and see it. This is what I mean when I say my memory is a both a gift and a curse. I let it consume me, I can't even go see the movie I want to see because I'm afraid that I'm going to get overwhelmed by the fact that I saw the first two with him and one of those was one of the last times we were together as THREE. Everyone would be screaming and I'd probably be crying. Maybe this is something I should make a written note of and talk about with my therapist. (I just re-read this paragraph and realized how insane it sounded, but oh well...I'm a bit insane at present, anyways). I think that's normal, to an extent - after a breakup or loss of any sort, who wants to go spend time someplace alone that they used to spend as a couple? I think, though, that I take it to an extreme.

In other news, I went to Target the other day to get a Halloween card for my princess. I went up and down the card aisles, looking for a Halloween card for a baby and most of them were for toddlers and young kids. I was hell-bent on finding one that was for a baby's 1st Halloween when bam:

Perfection! I was thinking of sending her birthday gifts and card and Halloween card all at once, in the same package, to avoid bombarding her parents with 2 separate things in the mail from me, but I think I'll hold off. I'll send the Halloween card within the next few days and her birthday gifts in a week or so. I have a few more final touches I need to get together for her big day.
And while I'm on the subject, I told her biodad that he has until a couple days before Halloween to give me whatever it is he wants to get her for her birthday. To be honest, I am waiting for his call, but I've already promised (maybe even publicly, on here) that I'm not calling him and not getting upset when and if he doesn't call. I never gave him an exact date, but I said the end of October and definitely before Halloween. He's a big boy, I think he can figure it out.

I was due to have my little angel next Friday, October 28. I'm so happy she decided to spend 5 more days snuggled up safe and sound inside my belly. I miss her so much, I miss her more than I'd miss oxygen if I were drowning, I swear. Fall will always remind me of her. (As if I need reminding)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

My 5 Best Decisions

Today was a better day. Not to say I'm over it by any means, and I'm still shaken up a little at the memory of how I felt last night, but I'm moving forward.

I was blog-surfing and came across this post by perhaps one of the most amazing 'blog moms,' Cecily. I want to be like her someday ;) Anyways, I totally loved the idea of thinking about and writing out my five best decisions, and in light of my irritable, bad state I've been in, I thought this would be a good way to think positively.
So, without further adieu, My 5 Best Decisions:

Going to Fontbonne for high school. Granted, it was more my father and mother's decision than mine (I was given a choice between the 3 private Catholic high schools in the surrounding area and I finally landed on this one) and while I was there, I all but despised it. Actually, it was only sophomore year that I despised it, but I had things going on with myself at the time, which may have overshadowed my experience. And while I didn't want to go on to a traditional 4-year-college, this school still prepared me for that and more. It was rigid and tough at times, and more like a college than a high school in a lot of ways. The friends I made there my freshman year are still among my closest friends today.

Never picking up smoking or drinking. Not only am I happy about this for a huge reason - the fact that I was far along when I found out I was pregnant and all of the doctors said she would still be fine, even with little to no prenatal care, just because I hadn't been a drinker - but also for a lot of small reasons. Part of me is sad that I never had the 'college experience' of leaving the dorm on weekends and getting so drunk I barely remembered my name, but part of me is glad I wasn't involved. I've been getting migraines since age three, and I never drank because I didn't need a reason to give myself a headache the next day! And don't get me started on smoking. I know everyone has their habits, their 'thing,' but that is one thing I have a hard time accepting. I've seen what it does not only to the smoker but to those around them and it would definitely be a deal breaker for me, in the dating world, if he was a smoker.

3. Leaving my job at the veterinary hospital. I didn't even realize how stressed out I was because of that one particular woman, until I got out of there. As if crying when I left work and throwing up on my way to work wasn't an indicator enough...I started sleeping better, and stopped constantly clenching my jaw all night. My money supply is running low, because I only work at the other vet hospital twice a month, but I'm managing. Luckily I own my car (thanks to my parents), so I don't have a payment anymore, which helps a lot. It was nice to have 'extra' money for a few months while I worked there, and it was nice to just buy things (especially for, etc) without thinking twice, but the money was not worth the stress.

G. He was one of my best decisions in two different aspects: (So can I do a 2a. and a 2b.? hahaha) but really, meeting him, spending time with him, falling in love with him - that was one of the best decisions I've made. My relationship with him was a lesson I needed to learn, and I learned it the hardest way possible, but I see it as one of my best decisions because it has changed me for the better. I now know to go with my gut feeling, I now know to never let a man put me second or make me less of a priority to him than he is to me. I know to never make myself 100% available for each and everything a man wants, because in the end, it does not make him love you more, it makes him see you as essentially living and breathing for him, and over time, he will take advantage of this. And need I say the most obvious reason he was a good decision in my book? He gave me my little girl.
Now the other side of this coin is this - my other best decision was telling him he could not be part of my life going forward, once our daughter was born. That, too, was one of the hardest decisions I've made, and now..almost a year later..I can say with honesty that it was one of my best decisions. I still have days that I miss him so bad it hurts, but I snap out of those thoughts as quickly as I enter them. I must say, our break up might have been harder if I hadn't been thinking about and missing my daughter as much as I was (and have been). I always thought my world would end when he was no longer a part of it, but it's been like a double-edged sword, and I've had something else to preoccupy me with the realization that it's really real this time - he is gone out of my life.

1. My princess. I would love to say that the best decision I made was to choose life over abortion, but I can't. I didn't know about her until she was past 3 months, but I know that wouldn't have been the choice I'd have made anyway. (Easy for me to say now, right?) but it's true. I used to say that I didn't know what I'd do if I was faced with an unplanned pregnancy, but somewhere in the back of my mind and heart, I knew I could never go through with a procedure like that. And if I were to become pregnant again unintentionally, I still would not do it. I've seen the chest of someone I created rising and falling with each breath she took. I could never take that away from anyone. My best decision regarding her was placing her with her family. It may have been the worst decision for me, but it was the best decision for her, so that takes away some of the hurt on my end. I was blessed to feel the amount of love you feel for your child, even if I was only blessed with it physically for a few days, and I continue to be blessed by the fact that I still love her ten hundred times more than I love myself. I am thankful that I have someone to live for. No matter what, she was my princess before she was even conceived and she was my princess long before I even found out about her, and my princess she will be for always. My number one best decision can only be described in this photo, because a photo says more words than I could ever hope to.

I can only think of one word to describe this picture: Happiness.

Just Cry

I wonder sometimes if what I'm feeling is normal. She is almost 1, shouldn't I feel at least a little bit letter by now? Better, not worse? I never cry. I've said that before. I hold it all in, bottle it all up, then get in my bed and toss and turn for hours and distract myself while I try to fall asleep. It's hitting me, hard. I knew this time of year would be hard. It's past midnight right now, so it's the 18th. The day I really got to see her face on the ultrasound. Since I was so far along when we found out about her, I rarely got a good view of her little was always just her profile or a foot or hand here or there. This one, though, showed her beautiful face just the way it looked when she was born.
It just hit me all over again, just now. I was lying here and it came creeping up and I tried to think of something, anything, to distract me, to no avail. Thoughts of the way her hair smelled, the way her skin felt, the little suckling noises she made all night when she stayed in my room with me...they came swarming at me until I just gave in and cried. I cried until I felt like I was being torn apart from the inside out and then I cried some more. I don't know how I didn't wake anyone else in the house up. I cried until I threw up, then I opened my laptop and saw her toothy grin on as my background and cried all over again.
I didn't expect this to be easy - no one ever even suggested that it would be. I remember going for my 6 week check-up and when my doctor asked me how I was and how my daughter was and how I felt about her family, I burst into tears. She told me it was "perfectly normal" to still be teary about the whole situation, but that I was being strong. Well, is it still normal now? To relive it over and over until my body is heaving with tears? Is this what I get for repressing it for all this time, acting like I'm fine when I'm not?
Contrary to what the surface of my blog would tell you, I don't like to whine. I don't like when people feel sorry for me and I've never been one to sigh loudly and wait for someone to ask "what's wrong?" I don't like the attention, and when I'm sad, caring words and hugs only make me cry even more - plain and simple. Not that I'm not grateful for it, but I become totally introverted when I'm upset. I want to be alone and work it out myself. That's why I write, and the problem is that I'm not working it out. I live for updates from her parents and I live for that beautiful little girl's giant smile and when I see it (and only then), I am truly happy. I just miss her so much. I grieve not only her and her infancy but as she approaches a year old, I am grieving a whole new set of things that are now lost forever to me. I've already missed her first tooth, first steps, first word. I fear that it only gets harder from here. How do you grieve the loss of something you never had?
It seems that all of the professionals tell you the same thing: just cry. Let it out, and just cry.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

One Year Ago

What was I doing one year ago today? I was hearing the heartbeat of an angel and being terrified, while at the same time, falling in love with someone who actually deserved it. I was in the backseat of my daughter's father's car, as he drove us to my 9 a.m. ultrasound appointment. I was walking around in the Blue Hills with him, talking about our unborn child and our future, together and apart. I was spending the rest of the afternoon and night with him, still talking...talking...talking, all the while feeling my little girl bouncing around inside my belly. I was suddenly aware, and acutely aware. A decision had to be made, and one year ago today, that decision was still in my hands. I don't doubt my decision and wouldn't change it, but it brings tears to my eyes to know that just one short year ago, I still had the power to, had I wanted to. I still was innocent to the pain I would feel. I knew, but I didn't truly know. Today, one year later, I am sad over the simple fact that I lost so much of my naivety. I thought then that it was the hardest that it would be, I thought that teetering between the decision to parent or to place for adoption was the hardest spot to be in. Now, as her birthday approaches, I'm realizing that it can and will get harder. Or maybe, not necessarily harder, just never-ending. It's a once in a lifetime feeling, but not a one-time feeling.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

"I will change if I must...slow it down, I will adjust" - Adele

I'm hesitant to post never really can tell who reads what. But here goes. I am prepared to get a decent amount of crap for this from any friends who know me and my daughter's birth father and all of the history tied to our relationship. Maybe I deserve it, maybe I don't, but I can't always worry about what others think of me. Yes, I know that my friends are only looking out for me and my heart and I am more than grateful for that - but sometimes people assume the worst when I simply say, "he texted me today," or something along those lines. It's automatically assumed that he's trying to get me back and that I'm tied right around his little finger again (and it's assumed within completely good reason, I have to admit), but it's not always the case.
This morning, for example, it was not the case. 3 weeks and 3 days...we made it 3 weeks and 3 days without speaking. It could be worse, but it could be a lot better, too. I'll start from the beginning. I sent him a text last night, telling him not to open any emails he got from my old email account, because it had been hacked and I saw about 90 emails in the outbox - it emailed every single person I ever sent an email to on that account, whether they were in my address book or not. I went back and forth on whether or not I should tell him, but then decided it would just be cruel if I didn't. He is very computer-illiterate and he's lucky he even knows how to check his email. So I knew he would open it without even realizing that it was a virus. He called back this morning, and I didn't answer. He left a message saying he appreciated me telling him but wanted me to call him back to tell him what the subject line of the email said (???), and to ask me something about our daughter's upcoming birthday. Again, I went back and forth and finally decided to call him back. He asked how I was and we went through all of the formalities (which in and of itself was a little sad for me, because our conversations used to be so much more natural), and I asked him if he wanted to see what I'd gotten for Arianna for her birthday. I told him I'd email him pictures if he wanted, because I thought it was best that we not meet up. He said that, yes, he would love to see what I got for her and asked what it was. I explained it to him, and composed myself, but somewhere along the way, I broke down into tears. (Like I've said before, I rarely talk specifically about her, and when I do, I try to detach my emotions. When it comes to him, though, he's someone who went through it with me and saw me at my worst and darkest moments. So I don't hold much back when we do talk, especially when we talk about our daughter). He said something then, like "I know you want to give her everything you can. I know you'd give her the world if you could," which only set me off crying even more. I didn't say much after that (it was only a 9 minute conversation, all-in-all, anyways) and I made it a point to not ask if or when he was going to have the gift he said he wanted to get ready to be sent to her. He had mentioned it to me a while back, and said he would call me in October to figure out how to get it to her. After a minute or so, he asked when I was sending the gifts to her. I told him that I wasn't sure, but definitely sometime during the last week in October, and definitely before Halloween. I know she won't know that they got there in time for or on her actual birthday, but it's something that matters to me. After I answered him, he said "ohhhhh...okay. Well if it's okay with you I'm gonna call you before then - so probably within the next two weeks or so. Did you or are you going to get a card for her?" I told him that I hadn't yet, but planned to. Honestly, I didn't know how to handle it....I don't know how to handle it. I always thought of he and I as a unit - "her biological/birth parents," and only recently have I realized that it doesn't have to be that way (it isn't that way). I guess, in the back of my mind, I've thought that (from her perspective) it would be nice if we did 'joint' things for her, but at the same time I've also recently acknowledged that his actions are not my responsibility. Part of me wants to just do my own thing (which I've been doing) and let him worry about his own thing. That's why I wasn't sure if I wanted to share with him what I bought for her. It's between she and I and her family - not him. I went out, did what I wanted to do, bought what I wanted to buy and will send it when I want to send it. Right? But then there's the softer side of me that says, 'okay, if he wants to reach out and he wants to buy her a gift for her birthday, I figured I could try to include him by sharing what I've gotten for her, and by helping him get it to her.' I guess that's Miss Nice showing her face again (who knew I had any Nice left in me? hahaha). Anyways. I think the last thing that I said to him was this: "I don't know how I'm supposed to handle this, especially with it being the first year. Her first birthday. I've done what I wanted to do, in respect to her birthday, so it's up to you to do what you want to do for her, if anything. I will be here to help you by getting it to her for you if you want, because this isn't about you and I, it's about her." He agreed and said we'd talk later. It was an okay conversation, and I think I ended it well. I let him know that I am not waiting around for him to step up and want to be more involved, and that I am doing just fine on my own when it comes to our little girl...while also trying to be the bigger person and tell him that I am willing to help, but making it clear that it's only because it's also 'helping' her.
As I've said, I know I will probably get a ration of crap for being so nice to him after all of the BS we have been through. But what needs to be said is this - that conversation right there, was actually me holding my ground, for once. It's sad to admit and I am not proud of it, but the old me would have been offering to go shopping with him, offering to help him pay for it, or just downright going and buying something myself and saying it was from him. I don't need to justify my interactions with him, but I did take a giant step back from my "old self" today.
What a lot of people don't seem to understand is that I do not want to be on bad terms with him, I really don't. I was (am) hurt by him, I was (am) angry with him, and I was (am) very vulnerable when it comes to him, which is why I need to really keep my guard up. A simple friendship between us would be far too much for us to handle right now (and maybe ever). Another thing a lot of people don't get is, just because we chose adoption for our daughter and she is not physically 'in our lives,' a relationship still exists between us because of her, whether we are in a relationship, friends, or not even speaking to one another. That tie is still there, it did not go away when she went to live with her family. She did not take that with her and leave nothing but an empty space in it's place. Is it actively there every single day, the way it would be if we parented her and we had to talk on the phone every weekend to arrange pick-up and drop-off times? No, it isn't, but it is still there. Even during the times that I was the most hurt by him after she was born, there was still a spot in my heart for him. It may be tucked away into a small corner, but it's there. Most people want me to forget about him, never speak to him again, and let him go through the agency if he wants to, because he's a big boy. They think I should hate him. I agree completely with all of the above, but it's hard to explain to someone who hasn't had a child, and maybe even moreso to someone who has never gone through the adoption process with the father of said child. I don't mean to put myself on a pedestal or act as if "I know something you don't know, nana-na-na-nana!," but it's easy to imagine the love you'll feel for your child until you have that child, and you realize that your ruminations about it didn't even begin to break the iceberg. Because of my child, I love him. It's easy to tell me to look past that, and realize that it's her that I love and not him...but he made her possible. And to top it off, the hardest and most emotional moments of my life were spent with him, shared with him and shared by him, too. I will never deny the bond that exists between us for all of those reasons, but I will also never deny the fact that he is no good for me.
So, that's the long-winded version of why I am apprehensive to post this. People are quick to judge why I'm even giving him the time of day, and I suppose that's because they only hear my side of the story. They only see me crying and hear me hurting, and therefore only want to hurt him for me. But I'm not perfect. I've done things wrong in the past and if he and I could go back in time and change anything, there's a lot that we would change. I learned a lot from him and our relationship, though, and I will never regret being with him because regretting that would be like regretting my daughter, and that couldn't be further from the truth.
I've asked myself a few times where I see our interactions with one another in five years. Will we not speak at all? Only speak when we get updates from her parents? I have no idea. I don't believe that we will ever fully lose touch, because no matter what he's done in his past or said to me to hurt me, I know he loves that little girl and it would kill him to be completely out of the loop. Ideally, I would like to consider myself, by age 28, to be mature enough to speak to him on a need-to-know basis and consider ourselves 'friends,' in a way, when it comes to our child. I don't mean I want us going out to dinner or calling just to say hi, I just mean I hope we can reach a point where we have a civil relationship and can talk about our love for the photos and the one thing we will always have in common - our daughter. Call me crazy, but there it is in black and white - that is what I want. We are not ready for that right now, though. It's still too fresh and too raw; and still so blatantly obvious that I am still hurting over what happened between us (not just regarding the baby, but our relationship as a whole) and that he seems to have moved on. I resent him for a lot of things and still blame him for a lot of things, right or wrong. And my feelings for him are still too deep, and still teeter a little too close to the edge of 'romantic.' I may still be easily swayed, although deep down I know what I need and what's best for me.
One day, I do hope to be able to think of him without wanting to bash my head (or his) into a wall. I'm working on it. I believe that, if I look past the 3+ years I spent with him and really, truly get over him, we can have a decent "birth parent" relationship with each other. Enter cliche: only time will tell what will happen.
I promise, here and now, to myself, that I will not contact him again though (regarding her birthday), or anything else for that matter. Let's see if he steps up to the plate and calls me within a reasonable amount of time and asks me to send his gifts to her. If he doesn't, I need to remember that it's his loss, not mine, and that I only have to own up to my own actions. I do not have to explain his actions to anybody. He now knows when I plan to mail them and knows what he needs to do. It's in his hands now. I need to drop my 'control-freak' nature and let him do what he will do. And if her birthday goes by with no word from him - then fine, so be it. Again, that's in his hands, not mine. I will silently act as if it never happened (and by silently, I mean I will more than likely rant and rave to the online community). I will sleep well at night, knowing that I took full advantage of every opportunity I was given to stay as close as possible with my daughter. Is that selfish?

I heard this song today on the radio in some random store, shortly after I spoke with him. I know it's about death (or at least that's how I interpret it) but still, it fit...

"I'm sorry for blaming you for everything I just couldn't do, And it's so hard to say goodbye when it comes to this..."

In other, non-birth-father-related news, I stumbled across an envelope from the agency yesterday. (By stumbled across, I mean I felt sad, so I sat on my bed and went through her memory box, in which I've stashed away any and everything having to do with her or that she touched). It was a big manilla envelope that was sent back in December of last year, but that I never opened. Inside was about two dozen pictures or so...ones that the adoption counselor took of she and I when she came to meet us at the hospital, and ones that were taken during the interim period when my daughter was at the 'agency foster' home, the home of the woman who took care of babies until the bio mom made her final decision, if she didn't sign immediately upon leaving the hospital but couldn't emotionally handle having the baby live with her until she decided (which I didn't and couldn't. If she came home with me, I would have never let her go). I didn't even cry when I looked at them, which I considered to be a big step. It was hard, though, because all of the pictures were dated. I kept thinking, "this is what my baby was doing on this day, and this day, while I was home crying and agonizing over knowing that the right thing to do was going to be the thing that killed me."

I want to share just one of the pictures. She was six days old in this picture, and her eyes were still a grey-ish blue. I can't begin to explain how much I adore her :) 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Random birthday thoughts and other ramblings...

First off, before I dive into the conundrum of thoughts I have about how exactly to honor my daughter on her actual birthday, I want to share this list with you. It's a list of "What Not to Say to a Birth Mother" and while it's short, it's to the point. Please read it (especially if you're one of my friends who reads this and hasn't placed), I would greatly appreciate it. It's directed to absolutely no one in particular, but I'm sharing it just the same.

Side note: I am still uncomfortable with the term 'birth mother,' I just don't know what else to say. 'First' mother makes me feel like I'm referring to myself as someone who comes first while her adoptive mom comes second (which is so far from the truth it's not even funny - it's been the reverse since the day I signed the papers). Simply calling myself a mom also isn't true, because in my heart I feel that a 'mom' is someone who is taking care of and providing for her child - which I am not doing. I suppose I could simply call myself a mother, but that's not entirely true in every sense, either. So I'm left no other option, I suppose, other than to just give in and think of myself as a 'birth mother.' I just feel as though I did so much more for my daughter and that I had a much more significant role in her life than just the task I was given of giving birth to her. I feel like I'm stuck in the middle, as are all of you other women who have placed. We were more than just a warm belly for our children to grow in and their passageway into the world, we were their nurturers for 10 months, no matter how long we knew we were pregnant with them for. I was her sole provider and responsible for her life in every way, shape and form, during the most formative months of her life. I made her. I loved her more than life itself, and still do. So no, I'm not just a birth mom. I'm not her mommy, either. She won't come running to me the first time she scrapes her knee, she won't bring me home pictures she draws in kindergarten, she won't take G to father/daughter dances. But this is the way it was meant to be. I think words and labels make it harder. I know who I am to her, I can feel it in my heart, but there are no words to express it, because I didn't just birth her, but I'm not taking care of her.

I will never refer to my daughter as my birth daughter, though. I don't mean any offense to anyone who has chosen adoption and chooses to refer to their child as their birth child, but personally, I will never do it. I have so much respect for the people around me, because while I've never personally told them not to call her my birth daughter, no one ever has. I cherish each and every single one of my friends, because they call her by her name, they ask how she is, yet still respect that I might not always want to talk about her, and there are things I may have to omit out of respect for her family. While I consider her my daughter, I also consider the information I am blessed to learn about her on a monthly basis to be information that is not mine to fully disclose. I don't know who reads this, I don't know if only one of you does or if all of you do, but thank you all for the respect you've had towards me and the situation. I love you all.

I've decided against doing a butterfly release. It may be too cold in November, and I feel bad for the butterflies (this is the animal lover in me coming out). I don't like the idea of them being 'raised' in little boxes, only to be shipped out and then set free into the wild, where they're destined to die. Don't get me wrong, I think it's a beautiful idea...but like I said, the animal activist in me is telling me that I'd feel overwhelmingly guilty. So - balloons it is. Orange, black, pink, and maybe white balloons. And if you're wondering why I'd incorporate orange and black if her birthday's in November, please refer back to my 835 other posts about how I went into labor with her on Halloween and how much I love Halloween, hahaha.

One last thing! I got an A on my paper that I wrote for my psych class this past Wednesday. I went back and forth on the idea of posting it here, and decided not to. But I still may, who knows? The paper was on who or what I'm most committed to in life and how this commitment has shaped and molded my identity. Of course I wrote about my commitment to my daughter and keeping in touch with her family and how this has given my identity a complete make-over. I also incorporated how she, herself, has given me a whole new identity - the identity of a 'mother,' whether I'm providing for her and nurturing her or not.

I wonder if I got an A because of my writing skills and content, or because my teacher was afraid that I'd cry if he gave me a bad grade on such an emotional, sensitive paper... :)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Enjoying nature, as directed!

Being friends with my daughter's mom on Facebook has it's very high perks and also very low disadvantages. She doesn't update very often at all, but every now and again she posts pictures which I love to see. The majority of them are ones she has already sent to me just a few days prior to posting them, but a few are new to me, which is a nice surprise! I can see what friends and family write on her wall, which gives me even more insight and confirmation that she is the type of person I thought she was, which I also love. I know that, with it being almost 11 months into the adoption, that she is a person true to her word. However, it's nice to see it spelled out for you by third parties who don't even know you are reading what they write. I don't know if she's told her family that the 'Elizabeth' on her friends list is her daughter's biological mom or not. I haven't commented and probably won't, but if I do, I'll never say "OH MY GOSH....she has her father's eyes!," or anything else that is a dead giveaway that I am connected to their daughter. I will never write on her wall, other than maybe on her birthday next year (we weren't FB friends on her birthday this year). I am honored that she let me into her 'life' in this way..I know you can easily make your life seem however you damn well want to on Facebook, and share only what you want to share, but it is still an even more personal glimpse into their lives. I will admit, it hurts a little when she has 30 comments on one picture that are all some variation of "she's goregous," "what beautiful hair!" "what a cute outfit," "I can't wait to see her again," you get the idea. It stings even more to see "your little girl is so beautiful," because I can't help but feel like I get no credit for her existence. Then I wake up and realize how irrational I'm being. She is her little girl! Adoption has made her their little girl, and it would be foolish of anyone to say, "your little girl is so beautiful, thanks to her birth parents!" SERIOUSLY? That totally takes away from C and C who deserve the praise. Sure, 23 of my chromosomes and 23 of G's chromosomes made her into who she is physically, but they are the ones raising her...which holds so much more value. I guess it's only natural and instinctual for me to get a little possessive when someone compliments her beautiful eyes or hair or smile. But I should see the compliment as a good thing, right?!

A month or so ago, when C first asked me to be her FB friend to share videos and things with me, I was looking at her profile. Again, it was like a slap in the face but a slap that I saw coming. I felt like I was cracking up a little so I sent my friend a text, saying that I couldn't bear to see the messages saying "congrats on the new addition to your family," and "I heard the great news, you're so blessed to have a little girl!" etc. This is what she replied with - "my love, that is insanely hard to read and not let it affect you. i know it seems that people don't realize your role/part, but C knows of course, and one day Arianna will. I can't imagine how you feel, but if you can focus on the good, like how happy she is and how people adore her and fall in love with her, you can emphasize your involvement in tht way, and know she is that loveable because of you - think about what in her magnetizes people to her...its you. and they are lucky to witness and share in that love." (I have the best friends in the world.)

I logged in just a few minutes ago and someone had posted something on her page about not being able to wait to come visit in a few weeks for Arianna's birthday and how she can't wait to "hug and kiss her neice and nephew!." It hit me, hard. This 'stranger,' who I've never met, is calling my daughter her neice. It's such a hard thing to get used to; although there's nothing there to really get used to, because this is the way it's been since she was born. She has been C's daughter since she was born. She has never and will never know anyone else as an "aunt," even when and if she is a part of my life again physically, because I don't have any sisters. To Arianna, this is not a stranger, this is now her aunt not by blood but by love. I know this, I am fully aware that just because they aren't blood relatives of hers, that they are her relatives none the less, even much more so than mine and G's family are her relatives. It's just hard, sometimes, to see it in black and white like that. It's just a simple, innocent and friendly statement made by someone who loves this beautiful little girl as her neice, but it digs a rusty nail through my heart. I know it will get easier in time. You're probably thinking, "then don't look at her Facebook, simple as that." Ha, that is so much easier said than done. It's like when your ex gets a new girlfriend and you don't want to see all the mushy lovey dovey stuff they write on each other's pages, but you look anyway because not looking drives you insane. Or like a car wreck. I could  go on and on with the analogies, so I'll stop there.

My first therapy appointment went about as well as can be expected. I went into it with a whole different attitude this time....I went into it truly wanting it to help me, truly hoping for some type of coping mechanism that can help me to want to get out of bed every day. The first appointment was, for all intents and purposes, like an interview. She asked the basic questions and then she dug a little deeper. She asked me if I had suffered a loss recently, to which I replied yes (I remember saying 'no' in my first round of therapy last fall and then when the story of my daughter came out she said "that is a loss," so this time, I reformed my answer). She then asked me who, and I said 'my daughter.' Her face crumbled and she said 'your daughter??' I then said, 'I chose adop--' and the water works began. I got the words out, but not before I became a blubbering mess with mascara running down my face. I rarely cry when I talk about her, because I shut that part of my brain off when I talk about her. I remove myself emotionally, somehow, so I can talk about her and seem 'fine.' Now I realize how unhealthy that was. In that room with the doctor, I knew I could (and was supposed to) let myself really feel how I felt. That's why I write so much. I just write and write and write and don't stop to think about how what I'm saying actually feels. But when you're speaking, it's a lot harder to do that.

We talked about Arianna, my pregnancy, my relationship with her father, and my relationship with my parents. Well, we touched on that last one. You can only talk about so much in an hour, and by the time the initial questioning was over, it was more like 35 minutes. Each subject that we talked about she said we would have to 'come back to' throughout my time with her because they were all major things. She also told me that she felt that my emotional instability began long before I had the baby and even before I got pregnant, they began sometime during my relationship with her father. She asked me if I knew deep in my heart that things weren't working out but I kept clinging on to it, and I told her yes, because I can almost pinpoint the time when things started going downhill. It wasn't a specific event or argument or anything, but it was about a year and a half into the relationship and I was just tired. Just tired of almost every aspect of it, but scared to lose him completely and scared to change. I walked out of there with the diagnosis "clinically depressed," and instructions to (1) spend time out doors at least once a day, for at least 20 minutes. This means I can go for a short walk, go for a bike ride, or just be outside reading or thinking (this is also good because I needed a little bit more of a boost to get off my butt and exercise). And (2) to call the doctor I am the most comfortable talking to, whether it's my OB/GYN or my primary care physician, so that I can get on an anti-depressant. I told her that I was taking my fluoxetine again and she said that maybe it's time for me to try something new and suggested I see a doctor that can prescribe medication (she is a LICSW, not a psychiatrist). She also told me that depression, at the level she thinks I have it, can actually not only affect you mentally but physically stops your metabolism. So, now I have an answer as to why I've gained back some of the 'baby weight' I lost, and why I feel miserable about my appearance.

 I love my primary care physician, however I truly, truly cannot say enough good things about my OB/GYN. She is a nurse practitioner and when my mother first found out that was who I was going to see for my first internal during the pregnancy (not my first internal ever, but my first with the baby), she called and requested that I see a "doctor," because of how far along I was and because she was, understandably, freaking out, too. They told me that the soonest a doctor could see me was a few weeks out, and we needed answers then. We needed to know exactly how far along I was, I needed another ultrasound for measurements, etc. I wound up seeing the nurse practitioner rather than a doctor and I fell in love with her. She was visibly pregnant but it didn't bother me at all. She was the sweetest doctor I've ever had. When I went for my 6 week check-up after Arianna was born, she asked me how I was doing and genuinely cared about my answer. She had tears in her eyes as she asked me if I loved the family I chose and told me that I was one of the strongest women she knew. She also gave me her direct line and told me to call at absolutely any time that I needed her and if a nurse intercepted the call  because she was in an appointment or for whatever reason, to tell them that she gave me permission to ask the nurse to politely pull her out of a room and speak with me. That is going above and beyond, and I will forever appreciate it.

When I called to schedule the appointment, the receptionist was a bit short with me. I requested an appointment with this specific doctor, and she told me, "Dr. so-and-so can see you much sooner," and I told her I'd rather wait. She asked what the appointment was for and I said "Just a consultation for a prescription." She told me I was 'overdue' for my annual, and asked when the last time I had a pap done was. I told her it was in April when I got my IUD and she said that in her computer, it says that my last one was before the baby was born. Okay, whatever, I told her I'd have the exam done too (might as well kill two birds with one stone...or with one co-pay). Then she says, "what's the prescription for?" and I told her it was for an anti-depressant. She tells me that the NP won't prescribe me an anti-depressant, and I told her that she did after I had my daughter, and she then asks what the medication was. I don't think that was any of her business, but I was trying to be friendly, so I told her that I 'thought' it was for Prozac. She responds, "hmm, ok, but that was most likely for PPD or to try to prevent the onset of PPD." At this point, my voice started cracking because I was trying not to cry (I hate confrontation and arguments of any sort, even teeny ones like this, and I was also crying thinking of how sweet this nurse practitioner was and how I just wanted to skip the middle-man and see her ASAP, because I knew she'd understand).  I told her that "she told me to call any time I needed to and she would see me and help me in any way she could." This shut the receptionist up and she said "hows Oct 25?" and I said "perfect," and that was that. I didn't even look at my calendar, but I'll clear anything else to go see this woman and take that next step towards getting better.

I spent a good deal of time this morning outside, as I was instructed to do. I went to Houghton's Pond which is sort of near my house, and I told myself to be in a  good mood while I was there. I started going there with Arianna's bio dad four years ago last month. That was where we had our first 'date,' and the first place he kissed me. We have a special spot there that we deemed 'ours,' and I still think of it that way to this day, four years later. I didn't go that deep into the Blue Hills...I'm not ready to be in that spot again just yet. I was sitting on the giant rock that we used to sit on together while we just looked at the stars and talked (it's so romantic I could almost vomit), and it was hard not to be flooded with those memories. This is the time of year we started going there, we spent almost every Saturday and Sunday night there during the entire Fall, until it started to get too cold to go anymore. I'm determined to make that be just a place to go and be alone and think, without the memories overshadowing the peacefulness of the lake and the trees. I want to overlap those memories I shared with him with new memories, happy memories, of a place I can go to work on myself.

I took a few pictures to illustrate just how beautiful it is there, especially in the fall. I was so upset that I didn't have my *real* camera with me, so I had to use my cell phone camera. Excuse the quality!

 The view from the side opposite our old little 'nook and cranny' which is inside that mass of trees in the background
 The view from the highest point on this side of the lake
 FINALLY.... time for Uggs and hoodies!
 The lake, and clearly, my shoes :)
 I love this one because of the contrast in the greens and oranges (which looked so much more beautiful in person, as always)
 Crunchy leaves :)

And, finally, a picture I took one day that I was there with her birth father. I took this with my old cell phone, and I think it was taken in May but I uploaded it to Facebook on November 2, 2007. Really, of all days??...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


With all this sad news fluttering around about Steve Jobs, I came across an interesting article about him. He died so young, and my prayers go out to his family.

Amidst all of the news, I discovered a book that is now a "must-read" of mine.

"But that personal life -- he was given up at birth for adoption, had an illegitimate child, was romantically linked with movie stars -- was full of intrigue for his fan base and Apple consumers.

He had a biological sister, Mona Simpson, the author of such well-known books as 'Anywhere But Here.' But he did not meet Simpson until they were adults and he was seeking out his birth parents. Simpson later wrote a book based on their relationship. She called it 'A Regular Guy.'"
I quoted that from this article.

I'm intrigued...

OAR #30 (my first!)

Do you remember the first time you heard about open adoption?

I vaguely remember hearing, when I was 7 or 8 years old, that I had an older cousin who was adopted. I didn't quite grasp the concept back then, though, and I remember being confused because he looked so much like his adoptive mother and father. I never asked any questions, and never really gave it a second thought.

I'm a little ashamed to admit this (haha) but I think the first time I really heard about open adoption was on 16 & Pregnant (yes, I used to watch that show...gah). It was Catelynn and Tyler's story and once again, I didn't give it too much thought. I was pretty indifferent. I remember crying when she was looking at her baby and crying in the hospital, but I only looked at the surface layer of it. Honestly, I remember ignorantly thinking, "why are they going through with this if they're so sad?" (I'm also ashamed to admit that). I'm trying to wrack my brain here, but that's really the first time I can remember hearing about open adoption in so much depth. I did go on to watch their story on Teen Mom (the first season - I can't really stomach any of their stories any more) and I learned more and more about it through that series. Granted, I know it's a bit made-for-TV, but their story has a lot of similarities not only to mine, but to others that I've read and heard about.

So, as uninteresting as that may be, that was the first example of open adoption I have been exposed to!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Time to start buying...

...Arianna's birthday gifts! I can't believe I'm even writing those words down already. How is it October already? This is one of three of my favorite months, but also might be one of the hardest. As I've said, I remember dates like the back of my hand. Last October 13th - ultrasound, decided I wanted to know if she was a little girl or little boy (I had a gut feeling she was a girl!) October 18th, ultrasound. 10/16, adoption counselor comes over and shows me books, and the first one I saw was the one I stuck with all along! 10/19, NST and another ultrasound. 10/22, her birthdad and I went to the agency for counseling. 10/30, he and I met her family for the first time. Halloween...I went into the hospital with very early labor pains and the rest is history. (Not history, but you know what I mean!) It's so unreal, so surreal still in some ways. I won't even go into the dates in November...can't look that far ahead yet.

But I digress, because this post was supposed to be me sharing my happiness for one of the gifts I picked out!
I had planned on getting her the piggy bank, but I'd rather wait until I have enough money to buy it on my own without having to borrow from my parents or anyone else. Plus, it takes 3 - 4 weeks to ship and her birthday could very well be here and gone by the time I receive it and then ship it to her house. So, I found this beautiful snow globe (I have an affinity for all snow globes and water globes, I've always loved them) and had it engraved this morning. I can pick it up this evening. This is it:

"Every little girl loves the story of a princess, and our silver-plated carriage brings the story to life in looks and music. The magic starts when you put her photo inside and engrave a message on the outside. And it continues by playing Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo, introduced in the 1950 Disney classic, 'Cinderella.' This is an ornately designed gift that includes pink enamel on the body and wheels and even on the tiny crown atop the water globe."

I'm going to put the very first picture that was taken of her, the very minute she was born, inside of the globe. I picked out a pretty cursive font and it's going to say her first and middle name and then underneath that it will read "Happy First Birthday" with a little squiggly line and hearts underneath. I wavered back and forth on whether or not I wanted to write "Love, Elizabeth" on it, too, but I figured that might be too pushy. I hope that her mom will keep it out on her bureau or dresser or something, and she may not want my name right there in everyone's face. Then again, I'm sure she wouldn't mind at all, and would think it was beautiful either way. I just would rather leave it open so she can choose who she says the gift is from if someone asks. I trust in my heart that she will always tell  'our' (her) little princess who the gift is from, and that's all that matters to me. Having my name on it might sort of cheapen it in a way (at least to me)'s like saying "hey, don't forget this is from me. Don't forget who I am!" So...that's how I came to that conclusion.

I had a little test of strength at the store, though. The woman asked me what the occasion was, was it for a baby shower, a christening, or what? I told her it was for a 1st birthday and left it at that, and she smiled and went about her work. I filled out the paperwork regarding what I wanted engraved on it, etc. and as she read it over she said "this will be so nice, so beautiful. She'll love it! Mum will too!" I cringed a little but caught myself and just smiled and said thank you. I started to get upset as I walked out of the store... I could just feel it coming. Inside I was screaming "I AM HER MOM!," and wishing over and over that I had said that to the lady. Then I realized...why? That woman forgot about me two seconds after I walked out of the store, so why does it matter whether or not she knows my relationship to the little girl that the gift is for? Then I also realized - what she said was actually perfectly fitting. Her mom will (hopefully) love it. Maybe this is a good thing, maybe I am making more progress emotionally than I had previously thought. Oh, and speaking of progress, my therapy appointment is tomorrow at 4:00. Wish me luck!

Saturday, October 1, 2011


Does anyone know of a store (actual store or online store) where I can buy a book that I can fill in myself with information about myself and my little girl's birthfather? I swear I have seen a children's book before that birth parents can write in to give to the child as a gift.

I'm really wracking my brain for gift ideas for her first birthday, because I see it as the most "special" one.

I want to get her something she can play with now, like a toy, something she can keep for a while, like an engraved piggy bank or something (I have my eye on a Tiffany's one, but it's $275 before engravement...eeek!), and something she can keep forever...which is the letter I am working on for her.

Her biological father told me he wants to get her a necklace and get it engraved so she can have it when she's older and still make use of it, unlike a doll or something, which would eventually be ruined and given away. I suppose that's a nice idea, but I don't know when or how this new leaf of his has turned over. Oh well.

So, if anyone has any idea where I could find that, I would so greatly appreciate it! (If it even exists..hey, I may very well have dreamed it...) I've been googling for the past hour and can't find anything like it! Bleh.