Monday, January 19, 2009

The Good List

I know others have posted similar things on their blogs, but I found this comprehensive list of "Things to do While Waiting" on this web site. There are some good things here that I thought worth sharing...

# 10 is a good example. While I'm always in the mood to discuss and dream about names we might choose for our baby, I hadn't even thought about the fact that prospective birth parents might ask about our choice of names. That gives me an extra way to convince the hubs to discuss name choices without making stupid jokes! :) Anyway...I got some good ideas from this list, hope you enjoy it too:

Some Things to Do While Waiting For Baby:

  1. Seek support from other people adopting either through local support groups or the IAC forums and adoption support groups.
  2. Take a class in newborn care.
  3. Take an infant/child CPR & First Aid class.
  4. Read about open adoption, parenting and general infant/child care.
  5. Talk to your employer and start planning for time away from the office if necessary.
  6. Research and select baby furniture (it can take months to order).
  7. Research car seats and strollers, with an eye towards a purchase.
  8. If you have purchased a car seat already, learn how to install it, then get it checked by a car seat specialist (call your local police department for assistance).
  9. Research and select a pediatrician.
  10. Select names for each gender (this is a common question from potential birthfamilies).
  11. Discuss and research discipline styles/techniques.
  12. Research and select a childcare provider (if you are going to work).
  13. Research new parenting techniques i.e., baby massage, using sign language, etc.
  14. Make some reheatable quick meals and store in the freezer.
  15. Research baby announcements, do-it-yourself or order?
  16. Start a life book of your adoption journey for your child.
  17. Discuss and make decisions about new wills, life insurance and a guardian for your child.
  18. Research and request forms to add your new baby to your health insurance plan.
  19. Research any parental/family leave policies with your employer.
  20. Research and decide about adoptive breastfeeding.
  21. Research and decide about cord blood banking.
  22. Research and purchase new baby/brother/sister books for the older sibling(s), if applicable.
  23. Discuss what type of new baby/welcome home celebration you want to have.
  24. Research and learn how to prevent SIDS.
  25. Prepare a first aid kit specifically for children (consult your pediatrician or the Red Cross).
  26. Tidy up your closets and storage space.
  27. Prepare the nursery.
  28. Talk to your friends and family about open adoption.
  29. Start a journal or blog about your adoption journey. A journal can record the milestones and detours, as well as your first rush of love for your child.
  30. Take advantage of special opportunities with your current familly.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Breast Pump Politics

I listened to an interesting story on NPR yesterday about the politics surrounding breast pumps. As a PAP, I have thought so many times about the possibility of trying to breast feed. I'll be honest that while I haven't made a firm decision yet, I am leaning towards bottle feeding. Listening to some of the women who called in as they discussed how unhappy they were about having "spent their baby's infancy with the pump" really made me think. I have always thought I would breast feed my baby. Pre-infertility that was a given for me, a natural image that came along with my ideas of motherhood. It has been one of the most difficult ideals for me to release amongst all the others. Some may not understand, but this is a loss I have had to grieve. So that's why, when I heard about it, I thought for sure I would try adoptive breast feeding. The more I learn about trying to enduce lactation though, the more I'm just not sure. I think it's a very personal decision, and one I still have to think about. Having said that, I think I learned a lot from the women who called in for this story. If nothing else, it got me thinking and that's always a good thing!

Thursday, January 8, 2009


...I shouldn't be classified as a living thing. Who knew that the study of life science would make me feel so vulnerable? The other night in my biology methods class, we talked about the five characteristics of living things, one of which is reproduction. So since I'm not able to reproduce, does this mean I'm not a living thing? It's two parts funny and one part sad for me to think about this. I almost raised my hand to ask, but I refrained since that would have been pretty weird.

I gotta' admit it, I am not enjoying my semester thus far. I've flipped my schedule from T/Th to M/W/F, which means there are no familiar faces in the hallways these days. I guess I'm feeling kind of lonely on the school front. I also am not impressed with any of my professors at this point. They all seem a little too intense for my taste. Hopefully it will get better...

Even though I said I was feeling far away from all the adoption thoughts in my last post, I may have spoken too soon. I've been diligently checking my email lately, hoping there might be word from our social worker. In her last correspondence she said, "I hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving and that the year ahead brings good news." Yes, it's been since Thanksgiving since we've heard anything. I guess I sort of tucked her comment away in the back of my mind and now that the new year is here I've been expecting/hoping we would hear something.

Then again...getting our hopes up only to have them come down isn't fun either so maybe it's better this way. There seems to be no good way for me to deal with all of this. If I think about it too much I drive myself crazy and get depressed, and if I don't think about it enough it creeps up on me anyway. AARGHHHHH! I guess there is just no easy detour through this wait.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Far Away...

...well the new year has started off with a bang! With 19 credit hours, I will be insanely busy with school this semester. My first day back was today and it was pretty good. I actually have one professor who listed "no eating" as a class rule on her syllabus. Apart from the occasional snack I usually don't eat in class, but still...I thought I was in college... Anyway, I think my semester will be OK. I keep wavering back and forth about keeping such a full load of classes. Most people I've spoken to IRL, including hubby, think it's too much for one semester. I sort of do too, but on the other hand, being that busy might be just what the doctor ordered...? I'm going to go with it for this week and then make a final decision once I've been to all my classes.

I've sort of had a mental shift where the adoption stuff is concerned. I still think about it all the time, but in a more detached, far away sort of way rather than the all consuming way with which I was formerly driving myself crazy. A while back, hubby and I went to a baby furniture store (sort of on a Melba whim) and while there, we purchased some decorative letters for our someday baby's nursery. They are presently sitting on the shelf in our future nursery and they serve as a simple talisman for me that our time is coming. Every time I'm in that room, I say a simple prayer that our wait won't be too long. They are such a small thing, really, but for some reason the sight of these little letters brings me a lot of comfort and peace.

Speaking of our future nursery...I've been having second thoughts about getting that room ready. Throughout this journey I've been reserved where this is concerned, always holding back for fear of making myself too sad. I've purchased a few small items, but nothing truly significant. Over Christmas, while shopping for my nieces, I was overcome with a strong desire to have the room ready and waiting. For one thing, it would give me a fun project to work on, and for another it might just be comforting to know that when the time comes we will be as ready as we can be. I talked to Michael and he said that as long as we're OK money-wise, he has no issues with me setting up our nursery. I actually think it would be fun to shop around and try to find the best bargains on baby items. Not to mention the fact that spring, i.e. garage sale season will be here in a flash! The most expensive part will be furniture and I might be able to do some of that with my student loan refund this semester. I don't know...I'm still a little torn, so I will think about this a little more before making any big decisions.

I'm a little worried that having a baby-less nursery in our house might be depressing for me, but it could also give me a renewed sense of hope. I would definitely have to re-paint since the walls are presently pale purple. I guess the next best gender-neutral color is green, or yellow...but we already have a green room and our kitchen is yellow. What about a brown that too depressing and dark for a baby? My end goal is to have a kid-central room with lots of bright, happy colors and maybe even a small mural. I want to put a strip of chalkboard paint around the lower portion of the walls, and I want to get my sister (who draws beautiful letters) to help me by adding a quote above the window or something. I don't's a tiny room so I think I really have to be careful about making it either too dark or too crazy. Maybe bright and bold is the way to go? I guess this is some good food for thought while we wait! I certainly won't be doing anything right away because of school, but maybe over winter recess I can get started...?