Friday, January 25, 2008

Sweet Jesus...

...she slept through the night.

Well, almost. She went down at 10:30 and got up at 4:30. And then slept til 8:30.

Her mother, however, was up more often, sure that she had died. I went in a few times (ok a lot) to make sure she was still breathing. My friend R says that will pass and I, too, will sleep through the night someday, but I am not convinced.

In other news, I have a friend-date next week set up by a woman at work who has a dear friend with an adoptive daughter 2 weeks younger than C. She seems lovely and smart (she is very, very senior in her company and seems like a great working mother compatriot) and all. What she seems, however, is different than me in how she is dealing with adoption.

I am the adoptive mom who works on her kid's LifeBook all the time, ensuring that the first few months of her life are fully documented and that her birth story, birthmother, travel story and adoption process are all duly noted for posterity. I am the adoptive mom whose parents thoughtfully sent her "Tell Me Again About the Night I was Born" by Jamie Lee Curtis, and I read it to her occasionally, adding details about her own birth, time at the Candlewood Inn, etc.

This woman doesn't have a lifebook. She has never heard of Jamie Lee Curtis's book. She is thrilled that her daughter looks like her "because it makes it easier" and doesn't tell anyone she is adopted.

I am not going to judge, because i have had enough judging. I am however interested in how we are dealing with this differently.

Both of us feel powerfully connected to our kids. Both of us struggled for years before getting the moniker we all craved: mommy. One us, her, has not told anyone that her daughter is adopted, and doesn't get stupid comments like "Will you raise her any differently than you would a natural child?". There is so much wrong with this statement that my relative (not close) made to me I don't even know where to start. But I guess I brought it on by being so open about her adoption.

I will be interested to note how she deals with things as the babies grow. Will she grow more comfortable telling people? Will I grow more reticent, less likely to be asked how I lost all the pregnancy weight, and start to forget how I got her and focus on that she is ours?

And if I buy her "Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born", will she be offended?

Monday, January 21, 2008


I just had my 39th birthday and it was the best one ever. Having both J and C in my life has made me feel 100% complete. Cheesy, but hey.

I also just had the entire fam here for a fantastic visit! Grandpa W and Aunt B met C for the first time and of course ate her up.

We had her naming ceremony, with about 60 folks, and it was a great day. We had so many happy moments and great pictures and the ceremony, which my sister ran, was just what we wanted.

My cup runneth over.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Mensa Pottymouth

Scene: Three nights ago I was at the computer, J was putzing around the office and C was in her playtime activity center between us.

All of a sudden she makes the loudest noise she has ever done - and it sounded like a word!

I turned to J and said did she just say that? J nodded.

The good news: Our daughter is a prodigy who spoke at 2 months.
The bad news: Her first word was "fuck".


Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Faux Mom

I went to a Big City Moms lunch today with my dear friend R, who has a great baby named H that I love like my own. R is my type of mom and I literally don't think I could've done this whole baby thing without her and my friend Y. They are my rocks. I say this because any comments about the attendees of the lunch do NOT include her in the slightest.

Anyway, this event.

It was about 15 NYC moms and their kids, various ages, mostly within the first 3-4months. The purpose of these events is twofold - 1., the leader shares topics of interest (today's was Big City Secrets and included a list of stores, restaurants, parks, etc that are kid friendly in NY. Awesome) and 2., to showcase new (expensive) accessories and tools and highlight whever we happen to be as the best place to bring kids. Sort of a salesy pitch with info.

Let me set the scene for you. Picture the most giant diamonds you have ever seen in an engagement ring. Every mom was thin, hot and had perfect hair. They all talked about the many classes they took their 5 week old to and the boutiques and little cafes in which they had mommy dates with other thin hot moms. R and I agreed later that "these were not our kind of people", which is an understatement. I love my kind of people. These are not them.

It was a bit overwhelming for me. But what really bothered me is that everyone there had a biological kid. How do I know that? Cause at one point or another they all whipped out the boob or the boob milk in a small bottle and it was obvious. One of the giveaways was a book on breastfeeding and another a bottle cooler for breastmilk. At one point the leader of the group mentioned they had an adoption workshop coming up and she awkwardly said "I was really surprised at how many people adopt....really....so many!" Except no one there. I didn't say anything right then but later it came up and those around me asked many questions that made me feel uncomfortable. And it was partially my fault because why do I feel like I have to "come clean"? Like it is some shameful secret I have to divulge to be honest? It ISNT!

It was the first time I felt like a poser. Like I had borrowed my sister's kid and pretended she was mine. Like I was not good enough. And before you start on me, yes, I know in my heart she is my kid, yes I know in my heart I am a good mom. I love C so much it hurts my heart and I would die for her. I know I don't feel any differently than anyone who has a child with their genes. I just felt bad. I felt left out. I felt less than. I felt weird and sad and like people were looking at me oddly. And I felt sad for C, like through no fault of her own she will have this "Thing" out there her whole life and will have to answer questions about it. I want to protect her from that, so much.

I realize that my current mom friends were all there through my fertility treatments and miscarriages and failed adoptions and now with C, which means they are like family and I feel 100% comfortable with them. I feel like a mom with them. I can be myself and not worry if my lip gloss is on my teeth. They love me, accept me, accept her and truly see us as the family we are.

It is just women I don't know. We all judge and we all watch and we are all insecure. I hate that and want to be secure. If it wasn't about adoption I know i would worry that i hadn't lost enough weight or my boobs were too saggy or whatever. Actually i worry about that anyway, but that's a side issue.

So I am planning to start a mom's group of adoptive moms. I have two of us already, and the woman who ran the thing today has another woman she wants me to meet. I am going to connect us and make us a family too - but also stay close to my other mom friends. I don't want to be insular, I want to grow my community.

J took my hand very tenderly tonight when he heard my story about lunch. He felt bad, I think, that I felt bad. He understood how i felt because while he doesn't find himself in similar situations he has read all the books and knows this is part of the process. I know it too and will hopefully soon become totally comfortable in my own skin and potential stupid questions and thoughtless exclusionary behaviors will roll off my back. I can't wait for that.

In other news, I took C into work today and the amount of love that poured out and adoration showered upon her was beautiful. She smiled and tooted and didn't pitch any fits. It was great.

OH quick story speaking of toots.

At the beginning of the lunch, it was quiet as all these trophy wives (R excluded of course) talked about their kids and ages and their "secret weapon" like products or tricks. About 3 people in C cut the HUGEST fart during some absolute quiet. I was forced to say, redfaced, "That wasn't me". The group totally laughed. Nice. I guess she didn't like the company either. That's my daughter! I love her!

Friday, January 04, 2008

A hot steaming cup of manic

So I went to work for real yesterday. Got up, took a shower, left the house. And I didn't cry.

I believe this makes me a shitty person, as everyone else I know cried. Everyone else i know realized that they were leaving their children in the care of someone they barely knew and while all of us had done our due diligence, who knows what happens.

By all rights, I should've been a wreck. It is not like I don't spend most days thinking of all the horrible fates that could befall J or C and my heart stops and my breath catches and I have to physically shake it away.

And yes, our nanny is Jesus Christ Herself in terms of Nannyness. I love her. I want to marry her. She is great and responsible and loves C and writes down how many poops, bottles, naps and tummy time sessions C has. She looked up "constipation" today on her phone and left me a recommendation for a glycerine tablet because C hadn't "gone" in two days.

And as soon as CA left, C pooped. CA can move people's bowels. Hooray. But that's not altogether why I was not completely devastated to leave C home.

It is because I like work. I love work, actually. I like getting my coffee in the morning and being a big girl all day and helping people and making decisions and listening to my team and thinking and creating things. And I love it that every hour or so I take out my phone (which I now take with me everywhere in case CA calls) and look at my gorgeous daughter. And I love it that I have a daughter. At the end of the day I RUSH out at 5 pm (I changed my schedule so I leave early to get home to relieve CA so C sees her parents) and wish the bus home faster so I can hold her in my arms. C, not CA. CA is too big. But my day is full and I am so glad that I work AND come home early to see her.

So when I am "supposed to" cry, I don't.

Then tonight, C was really fussy. I was feeding her and she fell asleep which was great cause she is cute as hell when she sleeps. She was in my arms and her dad sneezed (damn him and his uncontrollable physical reflexes!) and she jerked awake and scared herself and she cried.

I soothed her back to sleep and then, as I was weirdly staring at her as I often do, I noticed that she had glistening tears in her eyes.

She cried tears for the first time.

And I bawled. J had to comfort me. I was so sad she was sad and so moved that she was crying and so happy that her tearducts work. And I was so glad I was there to see it and J shared in it too.

So I cry when I am not "supposed to".

Know what? I think "supposed to" can go fuck itself. I am a mom now and I will trust myself and I will NOT start with the "I am a bad mom" self talk because that goes nowhere. I will enjoy this and revel in it and be present when I am with her, and be present at work when I am there, and strive to not shoot for balance because that is bullshit but instead shoot for presence. My life is full and wonderful and I should show up for it, right?

Real tears. Imagine that.

Off to bed. I am so tired. All this emotion and lack of emotion can be draining.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

No one puts Mommy in a corner

So our new nanny, CA (to identify her from C, our kid), started today. My initial fears, which included shaken baby, dropped baby, ignored baby and starved baby, have been replaced with the fear of, well, being replaced.

As soon as CA got here she took C (which was great) after washing her hands (which was also great). C immediately started smiling at CA, bigger and better than any smile to me. Basically CA is her favorite person in the world. And I am chopped liver.

Then CA put her down IN HER CRIB (something J and I have never mastered without C waking and immediately crying with outrage that we dare to put her down) and she is still sleeping. Like a log.

Mommy neuroses, which are never far from my mind, are really going nuts over this one.

Why doesn't she smile at me like that? Why won't she go down when I put her down? What can I do to make her love me more?

What if she likes CA more?

I guess this is a good problem to have. I mean at least her caregiver is a loving, skilled person. I just don't want to be replaced as the most important and fantastic person in C's life.

Wow. Immature mommy. Love it.