A blog about infertility, adoption,and adoption loss which has finally led to a beautiful miracle who was worth smiling for."Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future."Proverbs 31:25

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Confession #3

Well, if I didn't set myself up for some major judgment passing with the previous two posts - I am now.  But, I have promised myself that I would blog about it in hopes that I could help someone else.
Olive and I had trouble bonding.  I have only ever shared that with one other person, a fellow adoptive mom.  I'm sure that my hubby picked up on it, but we didn't have a talk about it or anything.  Within the first day of caring for Olive I knew that she was the child that God had in mind for us.  I recognized her as mine.  I also had a very real sense of Olive not knowing who I was.  In the hospital, whenever I would first come into her view and pick her up I would say, "Yeah, it's me again".  She had so many different people caring for her.  The nurses and doctors, plus my hubby and mom.  She would have this look in her eyes like, "Ok, who are you again?".  I felt like she surly must have been searching the parade of faces for that mommy who she saw in her first minutes of life.  I couldn't be her.  I didn't have the voice that Olive had grown to associate with love and warmth during her 9 months inside MamaT's womb.  I didn't smell like her.  The beating of my heart didn't follow the same rythm as hers.  I could not calm my baby.  I figured that was a pretty basic ability in motherhood, but I reminded myself constantly that Olive did not know that I was her mother now.  Now, your probably thinking at this point that all of that stuff was in my head.  That Olive being a baby just needed me to feed her, burp her, etc. and she had no real attachment issues on her end.  I suppose that could be true.  But, I don't believe it is.  I believe that even as an infant she had to work on bonding with me as much as I did with her.  I'm sure my feelings made it difficult for both of us.  For one thing, I had no idea what I was doing.  I had cared for many a baby before, but there is something seriously terrifying about having your own.  I have never had such a feeling of being so out of my element.  Another issue was feeling alone with her.  Hubby and I were having a difficult time adjusting and therefore adding more stress to the mix.  Also, I was feeling guilt over taking someone's baby from them.  I worried about MamaT's loss and pain.  Then there was money.  Coming up with the finalization costs.  And having our agency as sort of a third parent.  "N" was in our home every single month until finalization.  I had to clear everything I did with Olive with them first.  They had to know about every single detail of our caring for her and I had to make sure they were satisfied.  There were so many reasons why just getting to know my daughter was made difficult.  I was exhausted, sad, and smelly (you really do forget to shower).    I didn't see a professional, but I imagine I had a little bit of those post adoption blues (yes, there is such a thing - in fact 1 in 8 adoptive moms experiance this to some degree).  Being a new mom is such a huge adjustment that you can't prepare for.  You can read books, go to classes, etc. but there is nothing like it.  Since everyone expects you to be nothing but overjoyed (and you are in part) that adds to the conflict inside.  Adoptive moms don't have people knocking down their doors to help.  Didn't give birth so theres no physical impairments.  A new mom is a new mom.  She needs help no matter how she got that way. 
Olive was probably between two and three months when one evening I came into the room and she smiled at me.  It was the first time that she had smiled as a reaction to seeing me.  That one small momment reassured me that we would be ok.  She recognized me as someone who she loved.  


Ashley said...

I honestly felt a lot of the same things you did. I would say I also experienced post-adoption blues to some degree. It's just such a huge adjustment, so many feelings and emotions, questions about your mothering ablities, lack of sleep, and the guilt... it's just hard. It's really quite unexpected, too. No one tells you about these things beforehand. It also took me longer than I expected to feel bonded to my daughter. Being a mommy is not all sunshine and roses but it's definitely worth it! Thanks for your honesty.

Elle said...

I have often wondered how I would feel if I adopted a baby. Happy to have it, but sad for taking someone else's baby. And then would I always feel like I was being gudged on how well I took care of someone else's baby? Would I feel like I constantly had to prove to myself and everyone else that I was a good mom?

I can't imagine adoption is easy on any level. But I do agree that Olive was born to be your baby.

foxy said...

thanks so much for your comment on my recent post. It was exactly what I needed. Not that I am happy that this is hard for others, but knowing that Iam not alone is pretty incredible and reassuring right now.

Your babe is beautiful! Those eyes are just stunning, btw!

So, yeah, I can relate to SO much of what you say here. I really thought that our little guy really hated us for those first few months. That he somehow knew that we didn't all belong together. It was only a couple weeks ago, at nearly six months old, that he reached for me with both arms and my heart melted knowing that it really was me that he wanted.

So glad to have found your blog!

Bethanie said...

"Foxy" I'm so glad for your visit and I'm glad that I helped.

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