Sunday, September 21, 2008

Emotions: Joy, Relief, Love, Guilt

First, congratulations to my "adopted" sister, Anne, who had her second baby, a little girl, on September 18, at home in Germany. Anne lived with my family during my senior year of high school, as an exchange student, and she and I are only 4 days apart ourselves. We were both born in early December 1977. Now our daughters are mere hours apart!

Second, the meeting with our lawyer this afternoon went very well and everything is in place for us to receive temporary custody tomorrow morning. Significantly, we learned from her today that R & G's signatures from yesterday morning are binding, unless they can prove that they signed under duress. We hadn't understood that this particular aspect of adoption law is different in Kansas and Missouri. 24 hours of stress for nothing! Now the only things standing between us and official parenthood are the opinions of a couple of judges and social workers. No problem; they're going to love us. What a relief!!!

Melba commented on Evie's birth story that she felt like I was only letting through about half of my emotions in my writing and she was/is absolutely correct. My fear about a repeat of July and my sleep deprivation have been affecting me over the past three days. I haven't been comfortable with my own emotions. Normally I have a tendency to "gush" in my informal writing, but the persona I've been projecting to the world ever since July has been more practical and guarded; I may have unconsciously been thinking that writing about love and attachment would be bad luck. So, now that I am feeling like Mommy, I'm ready to *try* to say how this feels.

When she's awake, looking at me and memorizing my face, it feels like it did in 8th grade when the really cute boy in class looked at me and smiled...she likes me!

When I watch J holding her and talking to her, it is déjà vu. One of the things I've always loved about him is the way he relates to children and I knew even before we were married that this is the Daddy he would be. He is what I imagined and more.

When I kiss her feather-soft forehead and smell her baby aroma....words cannot adequately describe the protectiveness and devotion that washes over me.

When she is sleeping on my chest or nestled in her Moby, I feel completeness, like something is finished. It feels like what I imagine of pregnancy; I run her tiny bottom like pregnant women rub their bellies.

When I put a bottle in her mouth and she sucks and swallows properly, I feel like she is the most brilliant human being in the world.

When I look at her tiny, perfect fingers, I say a prayer of thanks to God.


When I change her outfit and she screams from the cold room, I feel like I am undoing all of the bonding that I accomplished that day with cuddling and feedings.

When I change her diaper and she screams from the cold wipes, I feel guilty that I didn't think to bring our wipes warmer with us to the hospital.

When she has gas and screams, screams, screams and nothing will comfort her, I feel like I have failed as a mother before I even got started.

When a nurse came into our room last night and offered to keep her in the nursery for a few hours, and I said OK, I felt like an abusive mother for wanting some peace and quiet.

Obviously, this Mommy thing is complicated. I'm aware that the last four feelings I described are over-reactions, but feelings don't have morals; they aren't "good" or "bad." They just are. I'm glad that I read books like Mother Shock and blogs like Ask Moxie in the last few weeks because at least I don't have to feel guilty about feeling my feelings. I'm OK with "loving every other minute of it."


  1. You sound like you are finding your mommy-feet and getting them under you. :) I am just thrilled for you and your husband.
    Best wishes for an uneventful court date...and a happy arrival home, complete with well adjusted and accepting pups. :)
    Evie is such a blessed little girl to have selfless biological parents who knew their limits, and now has a mommy and daddy who obviously love her desperately.

  2. You said, "When she's awake, looking at me and memorizing my face, it feels like it did in 8th grade when the really cute boy in class looked at me and smiled...she likes me!" and that made me giggle with delight. It's probably one of the sweetest things I've ever heard!

    Congratulations again...she really is precious and you seem like a natural!!


  3. I am so, so happy for you! Enjoy every (or every other ;)) second! :)

  4. I'm still getting caught up on blogs but wanted to say a big CONGRATS on your beautiful new girl. She's GORGEOUS!

  5. You summed up mommy-hood perfectly. But seriously... don't be afraid to allow yourself some "me" time, esp. in regards to sleep. I finally got to see the pictures and I am SO happy for you and Josh! Evie is beautiful, and I wish you both my congratulations. You will all be in my prayers until everything is final.

  6. It's so fabulous to read what's been going on!

    As for the wipes, how about putting them under warm water from the faucet?


I love comments! If you ask a question, I'll probably reply in the comment thread, and I try to visit the blogs of everyone who comments.

My Shelfari Bookshelf

Shelfari: Book reviews on your book blog