About Cheerio

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In general I am a cheery and energetic person. But I am enshrouded in a cloak of iron. That cloak is the weight of greiving my son, whom I've lost to adoption.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

7 Weeks and 5 Days (or so they say)

Thursday, 8/27/2009 Today I had my first OB appointment. It was not a visit with the doctor, just an appointment with the in take nurse. I am so glad my hubby went with me, because I was very anxious. As we sat in the waiting room, I was wringing my hands the entire time. This is now how it's SUPPOSED to be. I'm supposed to be all smiles and overjoyed that I'm going to have a baby. But the teeter totter inside won't let that happen. Some friends (other original moms) say it's just my body's way of trying to protect itself from what happened before. They called my name, and we headed down the hallways. The nurse steers me to the potty for a 'sample,' then leads my hubby on to the exam room to wait. I was so uptight that I just couldn't go. All the while, my mind starts kicking into overdrive and I feel my chest and throat tightening up. My face muscles start to feel drawn and a lump forms in my throat. "No, I can't start crying now...not here ... not now..." I kept repeating that to myself over and over. It felt like I was in there for house as I fought to maintain 'normalcy' until I was finally able to provide a sample. I washed my hands and splashed water on my face. As I looked in the mirror, I thought that my face didn't look too splotchy & maybe no one would be able to tell that I was fighting to hold back the tears. I finally opened the restroom door and there was the nurse standing just outside. She lead me to the room where my hubby was waiting. Then she left to test the sample (ewwww). So, once again, I'm sitting and waiting. It almost feels like I'm waiting for a sentencing and an 'inevitable doom'. My hubby can easily see me struggling and rests his hand on my knee to reassure and comfort me. The nurse walks in and closes the door. Everyone here has been pleasant so far, and she is no exception. She had a big white smile as she sat down and spread out her stack of papers. She put her hand on a 3 ring binder as she moved it into it's place. Immediately my entire body tensed, tears welled up in my eyes, my heart began to race, my fists clenched, and I started feeling shaky; all from just seeing this binder. "Your Baby's Birth," it was labeled, and had a picture of an infant on it. The picture of an infant is what triggered everything I'd been trying to hold in. Here it was 16 years later, and I still cannot see an infant, not even a picture of an infant, without feeling panicky. It was very apparent I was distraught, so the nurse stopped her spiel and said, "What's wrong? Talk to me." My throat was constricted and I could not even utter a sound, nothing would come out. My sweet hubby helped out by saying, "She's very anxious about everything." Then the nurse waited patiently (no pun intended) until I could at least talk again. With a very choppy and quiet voice, I squeaked out in broken words, "This is not my first pregnancy." Then the dam broke and all the tears I was struggling to hold back spilled out over the edges and streamed down my cheeks. People who have not lost a child to adoption ridicule the 'second time infertility' topic. They forget that the mind and body work together or against each other; however you want to look at it. Those insensitive narrow minded know it all rosy adoption pain pushers don't care to acknowledge how very real this is for us. Adoption IS a TRAUMA to both the mother and the child. It is NOT a "gift" (well, maybe a gift of scorpions and rattlesnakes) and it is NOT a "win/win solution." After I mopped the tears from my face and could speak again, I explained to her that 16 years ago, I did not know the truth of adoption, and when my son was only 3 days old I lost him to adoption. I wanted to make sure that I expressed the idea that 'untruth' was involved, and that it was not happiness to lose him. The nurses' response was "Just remember, you made the best decision you could at the time based on the information you had available to you." Then she rearranged the order of how she usually does things. She was really sensitive and kind, she was wonderful. When we left, I was still edgy, but I had calmed down quite a bit. When I got home, I put the 3 ring binder on the kitchen bar. I got out a sharp paring knife and made a slice along the top of the binder and removed their picture. Someday I'll be OK with pictures of infants, but right now, I'll leave this space blank for the pic of my own little Flower Bud when she/he arrives.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

with the wind blowing ...

Aug 11, 2009 – Tuesday There was a nice breeze as I was leaving for work this morning. It was already humid, so I decided to pin all my hair back and drive to work with the convertible top down. I don’t usually enjoy the drive into work, but today it was nice. It was warm, the sun was shining, the sky was a beautiful blue color (like my Hubby's eyes), with a few puffy white clouds floating lazily along. I had another chat with my Little Flower Bud. I was just rambling about the important things in life, and how it’s what is on the inside that counts. I’m afraid this poor little thing will be subject to a lot of these chats while I’m driving. I am concerned about how the relationship will be with my hubby once the baby is born and I go back to work. We won’t be using day-care; instead we’ll do split shifts during the work days. This means we’ll be like passing ships in the night, and only get to spend time together on the weekends. What is life going to be like without spending time with the man I so dearly love? It’s an uncomfortable thought. But then I’m intrigued to think that while he’s working I’ll be spending my time with some one else that I’ll love. Who knows, is it even possible for me to love anyone as much as I love my husband? While on the thoughts of love, my mind wandered back to 16yrs ago. I thought of love and of my first baby. I loved him, and I have never stopped loving him. In fact, it's a mystery to me, but it seems that this love for him has grown instead. He is no longer a baby, but is a teenage youth now. I remembered how the adoption industry made me feel; if I loved my baby, then I would not even consider subjecting him to growing up with all the disadvantages I would surely handicap him with. I was so absolutely convinced that I would ruin his life. Slowly my thoughts then turned to what I’ve learned from my support group on CafeMom. It is now what I tell every Expectant Mom I run into who might be considering adoption – that her baby already loves her. I didn't know this 16 years ago when I was pregnant the first time. At that time I believed the old adoption myth --that babies are blank slates, and it doesn't matter who parents them, as long as they are loved. And now you know what I was thinking as I drove down the highway with the wind tugging gently at tiny wisps of hair, that this Little Flower Bud already loves me… ? ! ? He/she will have my blood running through their veins and they will fit right into our wacky family. In fact, I smiled to think that they will not only fit, but that will have their own unique flair of weirdness to add and enhanced that level of wacky. I’d gotten off the highway, and was driving on a country road for a few miles. I told my Little Flower Bud (yes, I’ll need a new nickname if this is a boy- but for now Flower Bud it is) - I told him/her that I just cannot wait to see their precious little face. I cried as I told him/her that I can’t wait to hold their tiny little hand in my palm, and let his/her little fingers curl around mine. I can’t wait till I can hold him/her knowing I won’t have to let go. I can’t wait to feed and nurture him/her – which I did not get to do with my son 16 years ago. As my Dad often says, “I can’t change the past, but I can change the future.”
with the wind blowing . . .

Thursday, October 8, 2009

from WTP to WTHeck??!!???

Today started off normal I felt pretty good, aside from the tightness in my shoulders. Over the weekend I felt like I was making progress (see prior post titled 'WTP'). Well now, it’s time to try to find an Ob. The one who delivered my first child has retired. I lucked into having a fabulous Ob that first time around. So, today I faxed to my family doctor a list of OB GYN’s in my health insurance network. They said they’d help me look over the list to see if they recognize any names. While waiting for a call back I thought maybe I’d find something on the internet. Nope, nothing really helpful, just a bunch of names, addresses and phone #’s. Then I thought I’d search for a few ‘pregnancy’ questions I have. I now realize there are two very quick hitting triggers. Knowing too much information before I’m ready for it seems to having me feel panicky rather quickly. I’m less than 2 months along yet, I am NOT ready to think about delivery, and all that jazz. Maybe I’d be more ready if my mind wasn’t still doing the teeter totter with embracing this pregnancy. As one friend suggested, she thinks my body is just trying to protect itself from what happened before. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t view it as “a bad thing,” but feelings and fears from the past don’t just magically go away all of a sudden. I am not excited about facing all those fears and demons. I am not excited about such poignant and painful reminders. I am fully aware that this “path of joy” will run parallel with the “path of my greatest sorrow.” The other trigger I’m having is, well of course adoption. One site, which I think is the one that pushed me over the panic edge, was where I clicked on Pregnancy section, and their very first listed topic was Adoption. Is their agenda clear? Well, since it was a Disney site, and since they do believe they can make fairy tales come true – having adoption as your first thought just falls right in line with the rainbows and unicorns of adoption. Then there is the American Pregnancy Center’s website. There was, of course, a section on “Pregnancy Options.” It would be nice to think they had Parenting listed before Adoption because that was the priority. But that can’t be true because Abortion was listed above Parenting. They tried to provide guidance and education on options but once again adoption is presented with only *Benefits of Adoption. This one-sided presentation of adoption is LACKING education that women deserve to have. Yet at the same time, their section on abortion has a more on educating. Under abortion they list *Possible Emotional Side Effects, and *Possible Physical Side Effects. Why don’t they have those warnings under adoption? Oh, right, because adoption is a win/win situation. Your child will grow up grateful he/she wasn’t aborted or raised in a poor home. There ARE no Side Effects with adoption! Oh, I forgot! Tell that to the part of my heart that they forgot to cauterize when they ripped my family apart! So, I started the day off feeling okay, and then it went to panicky again; the rapid shallow breathing, the shaky feeling, and pounding heart. I’ve got to keep it together. I can’t let the industry steal all my children.
What the Heck !?!?

Saturday, October 3, 2009


August 9, 2009

Many women who lose a child to adoption struggle with the thought that if they have other children, then they are betraying the child who is adopted. I can absolutely echo that this was a huge obstacle for me. Adding extra weight to this idea was the fact that I ended up marrying my son's father. Which made it seem even more like betraying 'our' first child. I just could not fathom ever looking him in the eyes and trying to explain why? Why did I let him go, but keep another child/children?

Then at the end of 2007 I started to learn differently from other original moms. In particular, I learned from the amazing women in the Cheerio group on CafeMom. Moms in this support group helped me realize that this was actually creating a burden for my son. I learned that adoptees do NOT want to feel as though they have messed up the lives of their original parents.

If my son were to know that the reason I did not have other children, was 'because of him' - this could cause him to feel guilty for "messing up" my life.

I would not want him to feel that way, but if he did, I could not just wish his feelings away. I would not want to add guilt to his life, especially since it is not his 'fault' in any way.

Learning that helped me, but only a little bit. The other thing they taught me is what helped the most. I learned that most adoptees are happy to find out they have siblings. Originally I learned of this notion from original moms; however, since last December I've gotten to know many adoptees, and they've verified it.

I meet them on Facebook, blogs, and on forums. I read their stories, their experiences, their struggles, and about their lives in general. Time and time again I've heard adoptees say that, yes, they do like finding siblings.

From what I've heard some say, siblings makes them feel more connected when they find other people who look like them, or have common interests with them, or sometimes siblings make them feel like they finally fit in or belong somewhere.

So, with this hope that my son might be happy about a sibling, rather than hating me, I worked my way over the 'betrayal' obstacle.

Several years ago our I was sending a box of gifts to an orphanage in India. One person in the group donated a series of Winnie The Pooh books. I never told her, but I did not send them to the Orphanage. Books are heavy, man! and it was already expensive to ship overseas.

I've had these books since before we moved to our 'new home' 3 years ago. I've boxed them up a long time ago to give away. Several times this year I've nearly had the box to my car, but changed my mind and brought them back in the house "just in case" I'd be needing them for my own child.

So, last night as I was putzin around the house "nesting," I unpacked the books and put them on the little bookcase in what will be the Little Flower Bud’s room. I pulled out book #1, and sat in the video rocker and read WTP to him/her. I’ve never really watched WTP, so I didn’t know all the voices to imitate.

This seemingly insignificant event of reading a book was a definite mile marker for me. Since I found out that I am pregnant, I have mostly struggled. It causes me to think back and feel and remember my first pregnancy from 16 years ago. Losing my son was the most and worst defining moments of my life. And through much of this pregnancy I have been sad. So, for me to be able to just sit and read WTP to our Little Flower Bud for the first time gives me hope that once he/she is born - everything will be allright. I won't have to lose him/her, as I lost my son. I'll be able to bring him/her home and read ALLthe Winnie the Pooh books and so many more!
Winnie the Pooh