Monday, December 31, 2007

Reality?

My sister has been here the last week with her husband and 2 year old. They just left this morning and the house is now very quiet. The last few weeks have been a bit crazy -- almost two weeks in Texas, one week at home by ourselves, and then a week with visitors. Now I think we are finally going to have some time by ourselves to settle into some sort of routine, or at least something approximating a routine.

It was really good to have E here (of course I have to say that since she reads my blog :)!) But seriously, we were able to get a lot done. We now have a crib and the nursery is almost put together. We bought, and returned, a lot of stuff and were able to get at least somewhat more organized.

Jonah is doing great. He is now 8 lbs! We know this unfortunately because he has a cold and we had to take him to the doctor on Saturday. He seems to be handling it pretty well though. No fever and the congestion hasn't interfered with his ability to eat (obviously since he has gone from 5 lb 11 oz. to 7 lb 15 oz. in under 3 weeks!)

I do think I'm still having a little trouble believing that this is real. It just doesn't seem possible that I can really be a mother. And yet, here I am, doing all kinds of "mom" things that I had always been a little scared of -- I've cut Jonah's fingernails twice, suctioned out his nose, given him multiple baths (sponge only so far as we don't have baby tub yet), cleaned his umbilical cord stump (and accidentally knocked it off a little early), taken his temperature, taken him to the doctor, etc. etc. We haven't been out with him much at all, especially now that he has a cold. K and I did go to a craft store with him on Friday and used the stroller for the first time. I had a quick moment of tearing up in the store as we walked through the aisles pushing a stroller -- again, it just doesn't seem real -- Us, parents! Pushing a stroller! Wow.

So as this year is coming to its end, I have to say it didn't turn out too bad. And, 2008 is looking like it is going to fulfill the name we prematurely gave it -- Two Thousand Great!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Sleep deprivation

Well it's 5:30 in the morning and I'm awake. In fact, I've been up since 4:00 and awake on and off most of the night before that. My little guy seems to have his days and nights a little mixed up and K and I don't quite have our system worked out for both of us to get sleep. Namely me - he seems to be sleeping fine at the moment. But I'm not complaining. I feel amazingly good despite the lack of sleep. I haven't been napping during the day though I've had plenty of opportunities, so I guess I can function on a lot less sleep than I thought. I expect it will start to catch up with me though, perhaps as soon as later on today, and with that in mind, I think I will force myself to take a nap today!

At the moment, I have implemented the Baby Bjorn and Jonah seems to be liking it pretty well. My reason was actually rather selfish as he didn't want to be put down and if I'm going to be up at this hour, I needed to make coffee. He cried at first and then settled down and now he is asleep against my chest. I think I'll leave him there -- no need to mess with a good thing.

Since I'm up, I thought I'd take the opportunity to backtrack and try to get this story down in whole.

Monday November 19, 2007
We went to San Antonio to meet with the agency in person. We were pretty sure that we were going to go with this agency but wanted to meet them in person just to be sure. Everyone was extremely nice and we felt very good about the decision. We left them with our photo albums and everything pretty much complete, except for paying the initial fee. We had considered staying the night in San Antonio just for fun but decided to go on ahead to Dallas (where K's family is). We left San Antonio and about an hour and a half into our drive the agency called. They had a situation they wanted us to consider and were hoping we could come in and look at all of the paperwork the next day. (The agency gets self-report medical and social history from all birthmothers as well as medical records from their doctor's visits, which includes agreed upon drug screening. Adoptive parents are also shown a picture of the birthmother). This woman was due in March and there were some issues with drug use during the pregnancy.

We took the call pulled over on the side of the highway. I was on the phone and honestly didn't take in too much. We were very unsure of what to do at this point. We were obviously very excited on the one hand but also apprehensive on the other. Neither of us were very familiar with this particular substance and its potential impact on a developing fetus. We stumbled around for awhile looking for a place where we could go and get Internet access. We ended up at a bookstore looking around in books and unsuccessfully attempting to log in to their wireless. We got in the car and strangely enough ended up in the parking lot of an Office Depot and were able to mooch their wireless from the car. We did some surfing in an attempt to learn more about the substance in question but after 15 minutes or so of this, we both realized that we weren't getting anywhere and what we needed to do was turn around, go back to San Antonio and look at all the information the next day. So, that's what we did (in a manner of sorts -- we actually stayed in a small town outside SA after a long-time of aimless wandering through residential neighborhoods and multiple U-turns).

We spent over an hour the next morning at the agency looking at the information and going back and forth over what we should do. I had been hoping that I would just know whether it was right for us or not once we looked at all of the information. But I did not get that feeling -- I just felt really unsure. Ultimately, that is what made the decision for me. After going round and round, I finally said to K that if we were having that hard of a time making a decision, it must not be right for us. So we turned it down and headed, once again, to Dallas. It felt strange to be turning something down. The decision was much harder than we had thought it would be but it also felt good in way to be able to say no -- to know that it wasn't the right situation for us and to have the confidence to go with that decision, not letting "desperation" cause us to do something that didn't feel right.

We spent Thanksgiving in Dallas with K's family and had a very nice time.

Monday, November 26, 2007
We called the agency and paid the initial fee (they take credit cards which is really nice!).

Tuesday, December 4, 2007
I got a call from the agency around noon. They had another situation that they wanted us to consider. Birthmother due in February and there was some drug use in this situation as well. They were going to overnight us the packet of information and we could take a couple of days to think about it. Once again, I spent some time researching the particular substance. K and I were both feeling a little overwhelmed by the possibility of having to make another difficult decision but agreed that we would wait to make any decision until we saw all the information.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007
K took me to work and dropped me off out front of my building. I work on the 14th floor -- my cell phone does not work in the elevator and sometimes it takes it awhile to get service again afterwards. So anyway, I went up the elevator, went to the bathroom and then went to my desk. My phone was ringing as I walked in but I didn't answer it in time. I noticed that my cell phone was still not working so I turned it off and turned it back on again. In this time (10 minutes tops) K had called my work phone (the call I just missed), my cell phone, and text messaged me. I called him back immediately and all he said was to call the agency, that there was another situation -- a baby that was already here. I grabbed my phone, a pad of paper and a pen and headed for the hallway (my favorite place, remember). I called the agency to get the details. They told me that there was a baby that had been born the day before. The couple had only come to the agency the week before but they did have information from them. The baby had been born early, about 5 weeks or so, and was a little small, 5 lb 11 oz., but was doing great. Both birthparents were going to sign the papers the next morning.

I was in total shock and unsure how to proceed. I asked them to fax over the information to me at work. I called K. He told me to wait to get the fax and then go somewhere with some privacy and call him back. I stood by the fax machine for several minutes while nothing happened. I called K again. He decided to turn around and head back to my office. I called the agency again to confirm that they were in fact sending the fax and asked whether they had called any other couples. They said no and that if we were interested, we would be the ones. I went back to stand by the fax machine. Finally it came through. I looked through it all as I waited for K to call. Included in the information was the delivery report. A lot of it didn't make sense to me, but it did include the apgar scores -- 8 at 1 minute and 9 at 5 minutes. I called by gynecologist's office and left a message for a nurse to call me to help interpret the delivery report we had gotten. K called and I met him downstairs in the lobby of my office. We looked through the information together, which included a picture of both birthparents, for about 3 minutes. Then I looked at K and said "What are we doing? He's here, he's healthy, he needs parents. This is it!" K agreed. We started making plans for what to do next. We agreed that I should go on ahead to San Antonio the next morning. K decided that he needed to stay and work and tie up loose ends and so wouldn't follow until the following day. I called my mom and said "Do you want to go to San Antonio? Tomorrow?"

K and I parted ways -- he went back to work and I went up to my office. I tried to think clearly and pull things together but not sure I managed that very well. I booked us both plane tickets and printed off directions from the airport to the agency and to the hospital. I pulled some of the work I was currently doing off the network and onto my desktop. I tried to clean off my desk a little. I packed up my laptop. I went to find my boss. He wasn't there so instead I pulled a co-worker/friend into his office to share the news and asked that she let our boss know. I told her not to tell anyone else at this point and that I'd call her the next day when we knew more. I headed home. At this point I was trying to think of all the things I needed to get done before leaving town but was having trouble even knowing where to start. The weekend before I had begun several projects around the house, primarily painting a dresser and bookshelf to use in the nursery and also beginning to work on the baseboards in the house (sanding them to get ready to repaint). I decided to go ahead and finish the dresser and bookshelf and so proceeded to paint one final coat on each of them. So this is how the nursery was left -- tarp on floor, newly painted bookshelf and dresser, several cans of paint, an old desk, half-sanded baseboards. No paint on the walls, no doors on the closet, no knobs on the dresser drawers, no crib, etc. etc.

Thursday, December 6, 2007
My mom met me in San Antonio the next morning. We rented a car and headed for the agency. We met the caseworker there and then followed her to the hospital. Both of the birthparents had been in that morning to sign their relinquishment forms. Jonah was in the NICU -- I think mostly because it was an adoptive situation and this gave us some privacy. He was early and small but was eating well and had no trouble breathing or anything. He was hooked up to a monitor but I think that is just standard in a NICU. So we walked in and could see his hair poking through before we even got close! I held him. My mom held him. The caseworker left and we just looked at each other and were like "now what?" The nurses were asking me all kinds of questions, like did we have a pediatrician? car seat? etc. And I was like, you don't understand, we don't have anything. We found out about this and were on a plane less than 24 hours later!

So Mom and I had a lot to do. K, in the meantime, was going crazy and decided to just go to the airport and try to get on a plane that evening. My mom and I headed to Target with a list of items to purchase -- my sister, bless her, sent me a very specific list of things to get so we didn't have to expend any brain power (of which we were short at this point) in choosing a car seat! We went to the hotel where I sent out an email to friends and family and then back to the hospital to feed Jonah. Then we went to the airport to pick up K. We dropped my mom off at the hotel and went back to the hospital to see Jonah. We stayed at the hospital until about 1:00 in the morning and then finally left, completely exhausted. I was totally overwhelmed at this point and feeling almost panicked. The next morning, however, I woke up thinking about Jonah and knew then that everything was going to be ok. We had a lot of hoops to jump through the next day before we could be discharged from the NICU (infant CPR video, car seat test, etc.) and didn't end up leaving the hospital until 7:00 in the evening. We took Jonah back to the hotel and spent our first night with our son.

Wow. That was really long. I think I'll stop for now. That's pretty much the gist of it anyway. The rest involves a drive to Dallas, staying with K's parents (in the house that they are currently renovating which added some interesting challenges to things), and having a Naming ceremony for Jonah (in lieu of a bris, as we had him circumcised in the hospital). We got the ok to leave the state on Friday and headed home to Colorado on Sunday. And so here we are. A little tired and pretty disorganized. But very, very happy.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Home, finally!

We are finally home! It seems like it has been forever since I have been back home but in fact it has only been 10 days. It is amazing how much can change in such a short time! I am going to try very hard not to get too overwhelmed with all I have to do now that I am back home - but that might be a little hard! There is so much and I don't even know where to start. I am, however, taking some time to just relax before jumping in and trying to organize ourselves for our new life.

We got in last night at 7:30 after 14 1/2 hours on the road. The drive from Dallas usually takes us about 12 hours, but considering that we had to stop to feed Jonah every 3 hours, I was pretty impressed by our time. The drive home was somewhat challenging - the worst was for our poor dog. She is used to having the whole backseat to herself on road trips and was probably pretty shocked to find herself in the back of the SUV squeezed in with a mountain of stuff and only room enough to lie down. We also had the front seat loaded with stuff and a large canvas bag full of stuff on the top of the car! Jonah and I were in the back and K drove the whole way home. Every 3 hours or so we had to stop to feed and change Jonah which I did on my lap in the backseat. He only peed on me and the car once!

We got in to snow on the ground and a driveway badly in need of a shovel. This has all happened so fast that we have absolutely nothing ready. Luckily my sister went shopping for us on Saturday and got us a co-sleeper so we were able to set that up last night before going to bed. That at least gives us a place for Jonah to sleep and it works pretty well as a changing table for now too. Now it is just a matter of going through all the stuff we acquired in Texas, finding a place for it all, figuring out what else we need, and trying to set up a nursery to put it all in!

As I said, I'm somewhat overwhelmed by it all but at the same time, I am so happy that I am just running on a constant high of awe at what we have been given. I plan on taking some time soon to backtrack and write in more detail about all that has happened these last couple of weeks, but for now, I just wanted to check in. I hope to check in on all of you to catch up soon as well!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Surprise!

Introducing...

Jonah William
Born December 4, 2007
5lb 10 oz.

So, we knew things could happen fairly quickly but we figured that meant more like 3-6 months, not 2 weeks! We got the call from our agency on Wednesday (Dec. 5) that a baby boy had been born the night before and were we interested? We of course had some moments of huh? what, really? And then of course, said Yes! I headed San Antonio the next day and K ended up following that evening.

Jonah was born a few weeks early and so was in the NICU for monitoring. He is perfectly healthy and we brought him "home" (hotel room) on Friday (December 7). My first night as a mommy got me 2 hours of sleep (K, on the other hand, slept better than Jonah)! Mostly I couldn't sleep b/c I kept wanting to look at him! He is so sweet and we fall in love more and more every time we look at him.
There of course is lots more to tell but I need to feed my baby! I'll try to check in again soon.