strange as you are to me.

before i realized i was pregnant i had been making plans to move forward in other ways. i scheduled our intro meeting with lds family services to discuss adoption in january. when the appointment rolled around i knew i was pregnant, but being only five weeks pregnant, and extremely cautious, unsure and not ready to trust that pregnancy, we went forward with the meeting.

the counselor was very nice and thorough, however the discussion left me feeling unsettled and extremely upset.

she asked for a medical reason to explain my multiple miscarriages and recurrent pregnancy loss. doctors didn’t know. therefore we did not know.

she wanted me to commit 100% to adoption and to give up on having a child naturally. she said both routes are emotionally difficult and draining and it is best to only focus on one path.

she explained the necessary home visits and classes we’d be required to take in order to adopt.

she said it could take an average of three years, possibly longer, to be matched with a birth mother and child and in the same breath she said adoptive parents who are in their 40s or nearing 40 are at a disadvantage.

we thanked her for her time.

but i was not thankful.

i was extremely irritated.

not only did i have five years before hitting 40 but i had five years of infinitely better chances of having a baby naturally before hitting 40. if i waited to start the adoption process until a doctor told me i couldn’t have children that might be years down the road. and then i’d be in the no man’s land of 40.

i was also annoyed of all the required hoops we would have to jump through to prove we were capable to care for and raise a child.

people have babies all the time! i fumed. no one makes them take a competency test or inspects their homes!

last week while christian was out-of-town i laid asher on my bed. i had just put his jammies on and wrapped him in a blanket. in an instant, white, milky, vomit streamed out of his mouth and nostrils. his eyes looked alarmed as he began to choke.

shocked and frightened i scooped him up. i patted his back and wiped the spit-up from his eyes, nose and mouth. i made sure he was breathing and held him close. and then i began to cry. he had never done this before.

i prayed he’d be okay. i prayed for help. i prayed to know what to do.

i called christian in st. louis and then a local friend. rachelle came right over. with her nursing background she explained he was okay and probably ate too fast or too much. she said to talk to his doctor if it starts to happen more frequently. and then she sat with me until i had calmed down.

with the feedings to follow i felt myself being more cautious. burping  him a little longer. holding him a little closer. and checking in on his sleepy self. gently putting my hand to his chest to feel his little breathings. astonished that every day people take home these new little babies. bewildered that we aren’t required to pass any tests ahead of time.

my lady’s house; iron & wine


18 thoughts on “strange as you are to me.

  1. I love this! There is such an innocence, fear and beauty in being a first time parent. You are already a great mom, you knew exactly what to do.

  2. I’m so glad you have little Asher and didn’t have to jump through all those hoops. If you ever want to talk to a mom with a baby around Asher’s age call or text me!! I have been getting a few of those vomits with Mae. My doc said the next exciting thing to look for is less frequent poops then after a few days a giant blow out! Goodie! :/ I totally forgot all the excitement of the newborn phase.

  3. sweet robin, i completely remember when that happened to me for the first time (and many times more that always felt the same). all of this is so amazing and i can tell what an amazing mother you are already. truly. love your munchkin. keep the pictures coming. xoxo

  4. What a scare! I think you passed the ultimate test – your pregnancy from down under (no pun intended). I love his sleeping position so much, those cute little arms!

  5. Oh Robin, I didn’t know you had been going through all that and not getting pregnant. I just thought you were waiting until the job security was better. I’m so glad you have your sweet little one. You guys are awesome parents! What we go through in knowing about these little babies is very hard the first time. I was always worried and used to watch my baby with a flashlight to make sure she was breathing! It does get easier with each baby. I’m glad Rachelle was there for you.

  6. My oldest is 10 and my youngest is 4. I still check on both of them every night. Sometimes I want to crawl into bed with them to protect them from anything and everything. (For no particular reason) I went through a lot with both girls, so msg me if you ever have any questions. My youngest had acid reflux as a baby, but it was largely due to the fact that she always over ate! 🙂 she’s fine now and is such a picky eater! Love ya Rob! Don’t stress! You are not alone.

    1. i remember people always talking about moms checking that the kids were still breathing and i thought i wouldn’t be like that! and here i am doing just that! thanks for the kind words!

  7. I had a similar experience with LDS family services. I’m told it used to be more relaxed when it came to moving forward with adoption while still TTC… but I guess not anymore!

    And we still check on Kate’s breathing every night. 😉 (She’s 6 months.) It’s a scary thing, having the responsibility for a little real person!

  8. Binks:

    Your first night home from the hospital gave us quite a shock, and not for the standard reasons! You were blissfully asleep for most of it. We didn’t realize a newborn’s breathing pattern would be erratic; short, quick breaths and little panting noises and then seemingly ridiculous stretches of totally inaudible breathing. Likewise I could have never imagined those tiny sounds would fill an entire room.

    You were also a very calm-tempered baby, just like Asher. But our first night with you in your bassinet at our bedside was sheer terror! I kept scrambling out of bed frantic to feel you and spent a long time leaning over and carefully listening to you. It was a very long night.

    There is some injustice in the arbitrary nature of how children arrive. I am sorry your adoption interview process was so insulting. We were at Margaret T. Hance Park this past weekend with Jack, admiring two darling little children that Asia encouraged Jack to go play with. He did, and they had a wonderful time playing chase with each other. Their giggles echoed across the plaza. Suddenly, the dad grabbed the little boy and jerked his head with both of his hands on either side of his face. He did something else to that boy that we did not actually witness, but could hear the child crying accusation. We left immediately – utterly disgusted and wishing we could have seen what actually happened so we could witness against him.

    I remember Mr. Crow, the 2nd grade teacher I worked with at Monte Vista, whenever I would come back furious from the nurse’s office documenting cigarette burns on a child’s arm – he would say gently, “Cindi, you can’t take them all home. We just do the best we can while they are with us.”

    Good parents are the ultimate protection for children. You are good parents. This is your time to shine – finally – after a very long wait.

    Love you.

  9. i remember max giving me the scare of a lifetime right after he was born. i was downstairs doing dishes, and he was asleep upstairs. i miraculously heard some weird baby noises over the water, and ran upstairs to check on everyone (pace was napping, too). the noises were coming from our room, and my heart immediately began to race because it was max making those noises. i ran in to find him laying in the pack and play, arms flailing, and his face covered with a blanket. for whatever reason, infants think they can’t breathe if they can’t see. max had somehow pulled the blanket over his face while sleeping, and when he woke up, couldn’t see. he was hyperventilating, taking incredibly short breaths, grunting–all the scary stuff. i whipped the blanket off his face and his lips were blue. i have no idea how long he’d been freaking out, which freaked me out. i scooped him up and he was so limp in my arms. everything from breathing problems to brain damage raced through my mind as he laid in my arms, not moving, arms so limp and hanging down like a rag doll. he had worn himself out and fell asleep for about 20 minutes, my heart racing the entire time. he woke up and was just fine…but boy, they’ll scare you ! just wait until asher is mobile!

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