Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I miss you.

We have a little boy in our daycare who is small for his age. Not underfed or unhealthy, just a petite boy. He allows us to snuggle him for long periods of time. Today he was a little restless when I tried to snuggle him and I almost wanted to cry. He has fair hair and fair skin, in that way he reminds me of Liam. He is tiny like Liam was the last time I saw him. I snuggle with this boy and it helps me to reconcile the loss of my ability to snuggle Liam. I imagine myself holding him, what it would have been like to parent him. What would my reactions have been to his milestones.

I didn't placed Liam because I doubted my ability to raise him. I placed him to protect him from what I perceived to be a bad situation with his birth father. The thought of being forced to send my child into a trailer shared by his grandparents, being surrounded by cigarette smoke day and night. It killed me. I wouldn't trust Liam's birth-father with my pet rock much less a child. Sometimes I find myself very angry with Liam's birth-father because I feel like he put my through this. Some days I feel like I did lose a child. It makes me happy to see him to healthy and happy with his parents. But some days I just miss my son.

I want to hold him and kiss him. But even that can be awkward. He bonded with his parents really well, which is absolutely fantastic. But I just feel weird when I hold him, like I don't have it in me to comfort him. Like I am holding him wrong or I am too tense. It's so strange because I have the capacity to hold the children we care for at the daycare and too soothe them with no problems. How can it be that I am so lost with the child I brought in to this world. What if I am always this awkward around him? Will he notice? Will he think I don't love him? I think it is partly due to the fact that he so much resembles his birth-father to me. It's painful some times to see that innocent face and still see Geoffrey in it.

I am getting my IUD tomorrow and although I know I can have it removed it seems so final. It's almost like proof positive that I won't be having a baby of my own any time soon. I think that is why I have been having nightmares the past few nights. Part of me is scared to do this. I am afraid it means we will keep putting off having another baby until it's too late. Or what if something goes wrong with the IUD and I become sterile? I would be devastated. I cannot imagine not being able to have another child. I know how selfish that sounds. I have had two beautiful, healthy children, who could ask for more? Me. Ever since I had Bailey I knew I wanted more children. My oldest son will be six in October. I never planned for there to be such a gap between my kids. How much longer will I have to wait? Who knows I will just keep praying about it. Until then I will just keep snuggling on the babies at work. They love me and I love them. :)

Monday, April 25, 2011

"Mrs. Hogwallop up and R-U-N-N-O-F-T. "

Well I warned you it may be a little bit before I posted again. I was right too, wasn't I?

So this past Saturday I ran/walked my first race ever. I did the Chamblee 5K. I actually completed it! I was able to finish it in 46 minutes and 52 seconds. As I started off there was a group of people walking behind me. I sped walked and jogged on and off. Then I got a stitch in my side right after the first mile, 14 minutes in. A guy came up behind me looking about 15 months pregnant (not a typo the dude had a huge gut), then he passed me. How very depressing, then an older couple came up next. Finally two women, one with a stroller came up along side me. They were the very last people. We came to an intersection where they were holding up traffic for us. A cop on a motorcycle came up beside us and said, "Come ladies let's do this!" So the three of us jogged across the intersection and once we crossed the cop sounded his siren in celebration for us. I sped up not wanting to be stuck with the mom team and the stroller. I caught up with the guy who looked very pregnant. We started to go down hill and were getting close to the finish line. I burst into tears sobbing. I thought to myself, "I cannot be last damn it!" I thought about all that I had lost and gave up this past year. All the sacrifices I made out of love for my sons, for the love of my life, for my family. This is the ONE good thing I have done for myself. I quit smoking for Liam and I quit drinking for Liam, I stayed quit for Bailey and Rodney. But this, this running, it is mine. I do this for ME. I took off down the hill and pregnant guy says to me, "Yeah I am trying to just walk it I had surgery on a hernia last year so I haven't worked out for 8 months." So I looked at him and smiled, "I just gave birth two months ago yesterday, so I am in the same boat." He looked shocked and then said, "Well good luck!" So I began power walking again. I came around the corner and saw my mom coming to meet me. She said, "Come on, let's run it out the rest of the way." So I did. I honestly didn't think I had anything left in me. I was beat but seeing that finish line I had to go for it. I ran. I full out ran. My lungs were burning, my legs were jelly but damn it I made it. That was the best feeling I have had in the longest time. It took everything in me not to burst into tears. I CANNOT wait to do it again.

That night we went bowling with my mom and her boyfriend to celebrate Rodney's 27th birthday. It was SO nice to bowl again. I actually bowled over a hundred again which I hadn't done in so long. I was so sore from running but it was nice to get out and socialize. It was good to see that I could resist the temptation to drink. Usually when we bowl or go out at all I drink Obviously when I was pregnant with Liam I couldn't do that and it was easy to say, "No." because I was looking out for Liam. Having come so far and having learned to love myself again, I can say, "No." for me now. I love myself enough to not have that drink. It felt SO good!

Sunday we all got up and went to church which was nice. My feet were killing me though because my dumb self decided to wear three inch heels after having run that race the day before. >< We spent most of the day with my soon-to-be in-laws. Rodney's mom and I have not always gotten along but I think that I have changed so much for the better that we were able to actually communicate really well. I had a GREAT time hanging out with her, she had me laughing so hard at times. She had started a roast before we got there and I made Shepherds pie per Rodney's request. Donna, Rodney's mom, had never had Shepherd's Pie but she loved it! I was so glad. She asked me how my race went and said she wanted to be at the finish line to cheer me on for the next one. That meant so much to me. Then my big brother, Rodney's little brother Eric, showed up. It was really nice to hear him bragging about me on the phone to a friend of ours. I am so proud of Eric he has taken up some sort of martial arts training. It sounds really intense and I am so proud of him for sticking with it. He is planning to race as well, hopefully Rodney will start racing with us. He will probably blow us all away when he does start considering that is what he did in High School. He still has runner's legs.

Anyhow, life is good. I love my job and my employer. She has to be the most thoughtful person I have ever worked for. She makes me feel good about myself. I find that I have started surrounding myself with happy, positive and uplifting people. Thus my life is happier, more positive and definitely uplifted! I am so thankful to be surrounded by people who are so supportive and believing of me! 

Sunday, April 10, 2011

6 weeks

Ok so Friday was 6 weeks, 6 weeks since I had given birth to Liam. I kept expecting a melt down or something to happen because 6 weeks is a big milestone. I remember taking Bailey to his 6 week check-up it was a big deal and all. I had no terrible feelings, I didn't get sad or angry. It was just a normal day.

I went to my postpartum check-up. The nurse who took all my vitals and my urine sample begin asking me questions; when did I deliver, who delivered the baby, what was his name, how much did he weigh, how much does he weigh now. I gave her all the info and then with the last question I said, "I believe his mom said he weighed 9 lbs at his  month check up." She says, "His mom?" "Yes, I place him for adoption." I say. "Oh, are you doing ok?" "Yeah, no, really I'm fine" I answer. I feel like I have to reassure people that I'm not going to burst into tears it's almost like I have to be defensive in my affirmation that I am indeed doing just fine. She goes on to ask if I am taking vitamins and I tell her, "Yes, I'm still taking prenatals because I am pumping and donating to the baby." The baby? Why'd I say that? I wanted to say "to my son" but I thought she'd be confused, how do I refer to him to people? Hm.

The check up went fine, I am anemic again but that happens fairly often to me, as much spinach and collard greens as I eat it's hard to believe I could ever have a low iron count but I do. My thyroid glands are swollen, again as well. I had blood work drawn for that as well as for the normal tests they run on your blood when going to these visits. Apparently everything is "back in the right place" as my midwife put it. I am just waiting for the all clear on getting an IUD and am so ready to do that. I had a depo shot at the hospital after having Liam but the IUD is long term and just may get rid of my lovely monthly visitor.

As I was leaving I went by the check out desk and handed them my paper work. The lady says to me, "Where's the baby?" and so I told her, "I placed him for adoption." "OH MY GAWD! I am SOOOOO sorry!" she wails. Once again I felt myself reassuring a stranger that it was perfectly ok, no need to say sorry, no really I am fine, it's ok. She says "sorry" a couple of more times before I leave. By this point I am ready to strangle her. Why do I have to make you feel better for saying something stupid. Just let it go, it really didn't hurt my feelings. I hate that people tell me they are "sorry". Sorry for what? It's like the way you tell someone you are sorry for their loss when a family member dies. My son didn't die, I placed him in a loving home. I didn't lose anything, I gained two more family members. Please don't tell me you are sorry.

It's like people have this preconceived notion of how adoption goes and how you should react. I have to say I am one of those people but I am really trying to get better at it. After speaking with a fellow Atlanta birthmother or First Mother as she prefers to be called, I realized that I was doing that too. She parented her son for a while before placing him and I made some reference along the lines of "it must have been hard". >< Such a stupid thing to say, why didn't I ASK her how she felt about it. If I had I would have learned that she was actually really happy that she had been able to parent him for as long as she did. She is such a beautiful person and I truly admire her for her courage and her honesty. I do need to learn that adoption much like anything to do with parenting is not a "one size fits all" deal. What may work for one may not work for another and vice versa. My preconceived notions are not only offensive but ignorant.

That's about it for now, I am going back to work tomorrow. Going back full-time which means less time to update until I get the swing of things. I have to learn how to juggle being a mom, working full time, my goals for running and continuing to pump. I do all of this gladly but it may mean that until I do get into the swing of it again you will hear from me less. I will try to keep everyone updated as much as possible though. ;)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Some days are just harder than others.

Some days I really just hate having bipolar disorder. I went into the kitchen to heat up some tomato soup and to make myself a grilled cheese sandwich. I put the sandwich in the skillet butter side down. I then went to my computer to look up the balance on my card. When I went back into the kitchen I had burnt one whole side of the sandwich so I flipped and thought, "Screw it I'll just eat one side burnt." Well then I tried to flip it to check how cooked it was and it was stuck to the pan despite the butter. I lost it, I had a very serious bipolar moment when I wanted to pull my hair out and scream and kick and cry all at the same time. It's not fair. I had to just toss out everything and eat the soup by itself. It shouldn't be this hard to do normal things. I hate that there are days where one thing happens and it throws everything off. A grilled cheese sandwich shouldn't be able to throw of my entire day but now it has. Now I am in that zone, everything is irritating me, my hair is in a pony tail and I can feel it swishing against my neck which is upsetting me, my skin feels itching and I just feel out of sorts. The day started of so well and now I just want to lay in bed with book, I don't want anyone to talk to me in person or to touch me, especially don't touch me. Poor Rodney never knows what to do when I am like this because you are supposed to hold someone when they feel bad but the last thing I want is for anyone to touch me, my skin is crawling as it is. I can be a big girl and hide it and push through it, I have plenty of times at work and no one has known the difference except that maybe I am a little off. But since that just lengthens how long I feel like this and since I am at home, I am just going to let it do it's thing. I just wish that I wasn't like this. I can't tell you how many times I have start a load of laundry and then they get moldy because I forget about it. I have to hold myself to a strict schedule. This is why I work so well with children, things are repetitive enough in a broad since without becoming mundane. No medicine I have ever taken has helped with this feeling either, they usually just make it worse. ><

Sunday, April 3, 2011

You can call me...

I have been thinking about titles lately. A few people have asked me if I plan to go to AA and I kind of skirt the question. I don't want to pull a Charlie Sheen and have people thinking I am crazy because I just don't like AA. No I don't have my own "program" nor do I claim to like Charlie Sheen. The reason I hate AA is for this simple reason and you will probably think it's stupid but trust me I will explain. At AA you must stand up in front of a group of people and say "Hi, my name is Heather and I am an alcoholic." Yeah, yeah the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. Alcoholism is a disease, it's a little bigger than a "problem". I think it is absolute crap that I have to label myself an alcoholic in a room full of strangers. Trust me I understand the point of taking ownership, being responsible, etc. But do we make people with diseases introduce themselves by their disease. NO! In fact it is WRONG! We are taught that it is not ok to say, "That autistic boy Aaron." Why? Because autism isn't who Aaron is. No instead we say, "That boy Aaron who has autism." I have alcoholism. I have bipolar. I also don't "suffer" from these things. That's another thing I hate, "Heather suffers from alcoholism."  There are so many other titles, so many other things that I AM. So let me stand up and say, "Hi, my name is Heather and I am a mother, a birth mother, a friend, an artist, a Christian, a lover, a sister, a daughter, a companion, a dancer, a worker, a care giver, and a provider." Alcohol doesn't control me, it isn't who I am. So no I may not go to AA meeting, I may not join support groups but that is because I have my own personal support group, all of you! My friends and family! Thank to all of you for all of your support. So you can call me, Heather I am a mother, a birth mother, a friend, an artist, a Christian, a lover, a sister, a daughter, a companion, a dancer, a worker, a care giver, and a provider.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Somebodies Hero!

I have come to realize that I want to do more. I always knew I wanted to do something, something great. Leave my mark on the world kind of thing. My daddy always told me I could be anything, I wanted very badly to be a superhero or a cowgirl or even sometimes a ninja. I wanted to help people. Ok so why have I had so much trouble for years deciding what my "calling" should be? Because there are so many superhero fields in this world, policeman, fireman, doctors, nurses, teachers, etc. If I didn't have a family I would be a policeman or a fireman (woman?) but I have to come home to Bailey every night. Not to say that I think any less of policemen or firemen parents, it's just a personal choice of mine. I have a seriously strong gag reflex so doctor or nurse is totally out of it. So that leaves a teacher.

I always thought in order to be a teacher you had to be sugary sweet and bubbly. I know that doesn't make sense because I, too, had those strict, hard-ass teachers but not until I got to middle school. And even though I work with younger children mostly, because well older kids can generally look after themselves, I always knew I wanted to work with teens. So after seeing all these bubbly women who were in school to become teachers, I thought well that definitely isn't me. Don't get me wrong I can be goofy and playful but my teaching style is firm. I am definitely a no-nonsense kind of person, I expect a lot out of my pupils and in return they give me so much more because we BOTH know they can do it.

I get the greatest satisfaction working with children. I actually feel very accomplished after a day of working with them. So, I have decided I am going to go back to school to learn how to teach. I am very excited and I know that I can do a lot of good, I can be somebodies hero. But it doesn't end there. I want to do MORE! I want to be an advocate to people who need someone in their corner, to be a voice for those who cannot speak. I mean that literally. I am thinking of taking Sign Language classes to learn to work with people with hearing or speech disabilities.  But again it doesn't end there, as some of you already know I have been running/walking/jogging like crazy trying to get ready for these marathons. I want to be a marathon runner, I want to win a marathon, at least one. Lastly, I want to be an advocate for open adoption. As many of you know I have had the best experience with open adoption. Don't sit me down to ask me about open adoption because I will talk you to death. All of these goals combined, might to you, seem overly ambitious but to me they are not. I want to live a full life helping others. I want to leave this world better than I found it. I want to know that I changed one persons life for the better. So in becoming a teacher, working with the deaf or speech challenged, running marathons to raise money and awareness and being an advocate for open adoption all give me the best opportunity to do just that.

So if you want to help, if any of those things interest you, if you have any insight, advice, warnings, or otherwise please don't ever hesitate to shoot me an email, FB message me, hit me up on twitter, hell even pick up the phone and call. Even if you just need someone to talk to, someone who will shut the hell up and listen (it's hard to believe as much as I talk that I am an excellent listener but I actually am) please call me, write me, etc. If I can help you in anyway never hesitate to let me know.