Well, Little Girl’s here. She’s just over two weeks now. She made it to 39 weeks +1 and then had a very fast labor and delivery (active labor stage one: 5 hours 21 mins; stage two: 5 minutes!). Haha our doctor didn’t make it in until a few minutes after the birth, and they were calling out in the hall for any available doctor to come quick just as she came shooting out into the world!
She is gorgeous, and looks just like her brother, and so far seems to be a calm baby who eats and sleeps well. It’s like a dream to get to spend all our time at home with her, and a huge bonus for Polar Bear and I to be home all day together.
It’s also a treat to be alone in our home for the first time in a long time. Our last fosters (coincidentally) left the morning after Little Girl was born. In fact, following the birth, I came home to take care of them and get them all packed up. Birth mom and Polar Bear spent the first night in hospital with baby while I took care of our young ones at home, and got some sleep. The next morning I said good-bye to them and then went straight to the hospital, and I haven’t been apart from Little Girl since.
We were discharged that evening and we all came home with baby. That was an interesting switch because now baby lived on the top floor of the house with us instead of down on the first floor, in birth mom’s tummy. Everyone handled the move pretty graciously, and mom was able to breastfeed a bit and sleep for a couple days. She moved out three days later and is now busy getting on with the next phase of her life.
My office is an office again, and the house feels like a private oasis for the three of us. Of course there are four of us, but Big Son is so big and busy now that school’s back in session that we really only see him at meals and storytime and bedtime. He is forever flying out the door to go call on this friend or that friend. We spend a lot of focused family time with him on weekends, but he also likes to make plans with friends or with grandma for hours at a time. Most days it’s me, Polar Bear, and Little Girl resting in our quiet home together.
When we were thinking of having this baby and debating pregnancy or adoption, my mother surprisingly advised me that – if I didn’t have strong feelings either way – to go with adoption. She said that she had had a difficult pregnancy with me, difficult labor and delivery, difficulty with breastfeeding, and overall exhaustion and weakness and overwhelm after birth. And she had a friend who had a newborn right around the same time, by adoption, and her friend was so glowing and healthy and rested and energetic, and was able to enjoy her time with her newborn so effortlessly.
I have to say that has actually been my experience the last two weeks. It’s a wonderful bonus of infant adoption. Of course adoption certainly has its own challenges too. We are putting a lot of time into bonding closely, we’re managing frozen donated breast milk and formula, we’re watching for signs of health issues, we’re answering people’s funny questions, we’re maintaining birth family relationships on top of introducing baby to our families, and social workers keep coming by the house with paperwork and follow up meetings. The two experiences are just quite different in the beginning, I think. But for us, it’s been wonderful.
And with Polar Bear at home splitting the baby care and house and family care with me right down the middle, I am really looking forward to spending more regular time writing. Here’s my beautiful office space ready and waiting for me:
We have also agreed to take two respite care placements coming up next month. A week with a young sibling set, and a weekend with a teen. We’re looking forward to it a lot. We’re also excited for baby to get a bit older so we feel ready to take her out on more walks and to eat out with us sometimes. Right now we are keeping her in a pretty womb-like environment at home, but we’re enjoying our time together so much we’d love to go out soon too. Let’s just hope this beautiful baby keeps sleeping well as she “wakes up” a bit in her third week on planet Earth….