Friday, May 28, 2010

Same same

One of the things I have wondered about is the difference between birthing a child and adoption a child. You just can't help wondering if the feeling and experiences of bonding and attaching are similar or different.

The process of adoption in New Zealand with a "private proposal" is so traumatic for adoptive parents. The social services want to ensure that the birth parents have every opportunity to change their minds and parent the baby (rightfully so- the decision must be made clearly) So the baby is kept with the birth parents or extended family/ friends for the first 11 days of life and only after that can the papers be signed.

This is ok with a proposal that is not private because the chosen adoptive parents are not aware of what is happening. They are called on day 11 and told that they have been picked. And please come and collect your baby! But for us, we knew about Rupi from the time Sweetpea was 5 months pregnant. The not knowing if it would all truly happen, was agony.

So when I first met Rupi at 24 hours old, I did not instantly attach/ bond. Make no mistake, I loved him instantly but did not have that sense of "he's mine". I thought that this was down to the adoption process. My first thought when I met him was "You are not what I expected but I don't know what I expected!" Within a day of caring for him, the attachment occurred. I remember feeding him and this rush of feeling came over me, almost elation. And I was bonded and attached. It was a surreal and almost holy experience.

Fast forward to Blossom's birth. I wondered what it would be like when I first laid eyes on her. After all I had carried her and nurtured her for 40 weeks and 3 days! Would it be different?

I am glad to say no. It was exactly the same. She came out and I looked at her and I thought "You are not what I expected, but I don't know what I expected!" Again I loved her but did not feel that deep connection I know that I feel with Rupi. It also came a day later. 24 hours later I was home and cuddled up on the couch feeding her. A rush of emotion came over me just like before. "Mine" was the thought and emotion. And again it was a massive experience and a sacred one.

This has been so encouraging for me. It truly does not matter if you birth a baby or adopt a baby. The maternal instincts and feelings are the same. There is no difference at all. Being a mother does not depend on giving birth at all. The hormones (yes even the hormones I believe!)and emotions and instincts are the same. There has not been one speck of difference between bonding with Blossom as opposed to bonding with Rupi.

God is so good! Merciful and pretty amazing.

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Friday, May 21, 2010

She's here!

Our baby girl arrived! Tuesday morning at 10.19am- all 8lbs and 10 1/2 oz of her (3.92kg)

She's perfect. Dark hair with hubbie's nose. She seems to have taken after his side completely which given our pregnancy history is just amazing. We are utterly smitten.

Her name means "pure unmerited favour of God". On the blog she will be Blossom but if anyone wantes to know her name please feel free to email me!

(Sorry but!) labour was pretty fabulous considering. We have just under 10 half hours of it and it was all natural. I did have a ittle gas in the last couple of centimetres of dilation to get me there.

The obstetrician and midwife thought we were amazing BUT it was honestly down to the method we used for labour (plus God of course!). We cannot recommend it enough. It's the Bradley Method or Bradley Way (or "husband coached birth"). It's all about relaxing your body around the uterus. Not easy and we practised for months beforehand. You also do stretches and practise squatting which is for the pushing stage. All this meant I had only 3 stitches.

Gotta say the physical sensation was mind blowing. And not always is a good way. That head moving down through the cervix and down and out is soooo scary.

So here she is!!!



I am home and am just loving getting to know my little girl. God is so good!

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Monday, May 17, 2010

40 weeks and 1 day

This is how I feel. Heavy. Lumbering. Sloooowww. Like a rhino.

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

39 weeks and 5 days

(infertility alert...)

Well here I am. Heavy and waiting. Well, so is everyone else around me (haha!) I have learnt to preface phone call conversations with "Hi, I am not in labour..". Have given my hubbie a couple of heart attacks before that little gem sank in.

I have been unable to follow the midwife's advice of cutting out all sugar and carbs to stop baby girl putting on more weight. May as well cut off my supply of air when you tell me to stop eating fruit and chocolate.... So I have tried (honestly I have!) to cut down but I can't cut it all out.

I have nested myself into a coma. Things sparkle around here. Although strangely enough, just some things. Not the whole house. The inside of the fridge looks like a sterile laboratory at the moment so I keep looking at it. It's pretty! And have organised myself and the house and tidied up a lot. I like it and I won't apologise for my compulsion...

And well, not much else to say. Hmmm (sound of fingers drumming on desk..).....

Will see what the midwife says today. Praise Jesus we decided on a "shared care" option with an OB and midwife [ in NZ pregnancy and birth care is free when you go with a mid wife. This is an area where the health care system is fabbie] as the OB will let me go a week over and the midwife would not. My age and the fact it's an IVF pregnancy mean they get nervous when you get near to your due date. Our OB is super relaxed and really nice and said he will overide the mid wife, yay!

Having said all that, am not keen for another week and a bit of this. Praying hard that labour happens soon. Like as soon as I finish writing this post. Oh yes, and could it be painless and really fast too???

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Monday, May 10, 2010

Nature vs Nurture

This has been swirling around in my head for ages now. Time for it to make it's way out. It's a contentious issue and all I have is my own experience and observation. I am not an "adoption expert" or psychologist. I am just a Mommy who loves her little boy to distraction.

So yes. (This may be a bit boring for those who are not interested in adoption, haha!)

Here goes.

I guess I will start out by saying that I love that Rupi has inherited biological characteristics and talents from Sweetpea and J. This is important to us as we want him to be able to trace his biological heritage. We feel that it's important for his self worth and identity. So the fact that he's already incredibly musical is wonderful. Both J and Sweetpea are very musically gifted. We are trying to nurture it and go along to music groups and have music on in the house all the time (when really I would rather have talk back radio on- yes I know, yawn!)

Rupi is completely free from any expectation on our part of how he should look, behave and act. When we look at him we don't look for Auntie Gill's eyes or Poppa's artistic ability. And I love that. In my book it means that we are able to truly love him for who he is, not who we think he should be.

The first thing that struck me in this nature vs nurture debate really hit my funny bone. The birth families don't have contact with one another so we see them separately. Both sides claimed ownership of the same characteristics. Odd I thought, and very funny. We just agreed with them! As time has gone on, they have identified more of the same personality and physical traits as coming form their particular side of the family. Now unless they are closely related (which would be strange and yucky) this is simply not possible.

It made me start to think about what we call inherited vs what is a result of environment.

Rupi has begun to copy me a lot. I am his primary caregiver and he is picking up a lot of my personality traits. It's hilarious particularly when it's something like grunting when he picks an object up as I am doing at the moment (due to the ENORMOUS weight strapped to my front!) There are also other traits like the way he is starting to talk, laugh, sing and dance. He is mimicking me and honestly sometimes it's a bit freaky!

Here's the thought: how much of what we call an inherited biological trait is actually a result of the environment we grow up in? For example: I laugh like my Mom. Everybody says that I inherited that from her. But maybe I picked it up off her, heard her laugh like that a million times and so began to laugh just like her? It's hard to tell the difference in a biological family as nature and nurture are intertwined. But with adoption they are separated and so you can observe them independently.

Yes there are the stories of siblings separated at birth and finding one another years later, discovering they have the same traits. There's no doubt that nature plays a strong role. But I am finding the emerging influence of the environment fascinating. As we are not threatened by the inherited traits or desperate for the environmental traits it's lovely to see the development of both.

There's no real point to this discussion. But there is a strong message in the adoption community about the high value of nature. Nurture gets a bad rap and is very much second in line. The thinking is that inherited traits far outweigh traits developed in an environment. And I wonder if we go too far because the experts desperately want to link the child back to his biological heritage? The child is linked- this is no longer the 1950's with closed adoptions the norm. Birth families and adoptive families generally have open and honest relationships- well, in my experience anyway.

Hmmm. It will be interesting to watch as Rupi grows to see how this pans out! In the mean time we are just loving the journey with him. Cute little man!

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Saturday, May 8, 2010

Getting ready and shutting my ears

Boy, there is a lot of negativity about labour and birth around. I don't think people even realise how negative they are (I know they don't mean to be).

Add that to the negativity spoken about the transition from one child to two... and I have decided to shut my ears.

  1. I am not going to allow my midwife to talk a level of pain she describes as "agony" into my labour.

  2. I am not going to have a ginormous baby and struggle to birth her.

  3. I am not high risk and will automatically be induced.

  4. Labour is not horrendous for everyone.

  5. Rupi is not going to regress in all areas due to another child.

  6. I will be able to cope with two children and my little business.

This is a blessing, not a curse! I never thought I would be here and refuse to have all the joy sucked out of the experience.

Yes, baby girl is big at 3.8kg (estimated) already. But as a friend said, bigger babies help birth themselves and cope better after birth.

Yes, labour may be hard but I want to start out thinking that I can do this!

Yes, we will have to make room for Rupi to adjust, he's just little. So making room is about providing one-on-one time for him and some new things to make life special for him. We got him a little slide today and he loves it. Super cute!


I am so excited about the next couple of weeks. Imagine! Barren girl with TWO children!!!! How wonderful is our God?!?

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The price?

What is the price of honesty when blogging? Is there a price too high to pay? Some would say yes, I guess. And some would say no.

Honesty and openness inspires me. This post by McMama's husband is brutally honest. This couple have come under huge fire in the blog world. They have never pretended to be anything other than they are- mortal and imperfect Jesus lovers and the enemy has come against them with a vengeance. They must be onto something good for God!

Another incredible open and honest person is Nicole. She rocks. Her posts are raw and real. You see right into her heart.

I used to be a very open person, very honest I suppose. But life wore me down and reactions to things I shared put me off. So I withdrew and now only share parts of me. My fault? 100% yes.

We don't always get the reaction we expect when being open and honest. And that should not stop us. King David was open and honest and suffered for it. He was mortal and imperfect. And yet, was called a man after God's heart. I think it was partly because of his honesty in not hiding himself from man and from God.

So my challenge (to me) is to be more open and more honest. And have no fear of man's reaction or consequence!

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Sunday, May 2, 2010

38 weeks and 1 day

Well, here I am. In a place I never expected to be. A place I had died to and surrendered. I carry a baby that will survive if born now. Now. This moment.

I am full. Replete.

She reminds me of her individual presence contantly. Squirming, moving and shuffling. I press a little elbow or knee back and she moves. She hiccups and jumps at her brothers noises. She is her own little person. Unique and created in the image of God.

I am waiting to meet her now. And I am not impatient. As God breathed life into a cluster of cells and watched over her as she grew, He will guard her journey to the start of her days on earth. His timing is perfect.

I am so grateful.


The apple of my eye is 18 months old today! He is cute, loving, tender, determined, methodical, reserved and I love every last bit of him.

In early July 2008 we stood at my father-in-law's funeral and talked about the loss of that man. We opened up in front of 500 odd people about our struggle with infertility. We would never ever have guessed that in under two years we would have two children. It's hard to believe when you are in pain, but God is truly the restorer. He has restored the years that the locusts ate.

And I will be eternally grateful.

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