If you want

I’ve read several blogs that have addressed this issue recently and I thought I’d write my own thoughts concerning this matter.

Adoptive moms carry alot of guilt when complaining about something related to motherhood. (Not ALL adoptive moms, but I’ve learned this is very common among many adoptive mothers.)

It is true for me.

Because I spent a lifetime yearning to be a mother and then had to endure infertility, I feel I can’t complain about the hardships of motherhood for fear that someone will find me “ungrateful” for the miracle God blessed me with.

After all, I chose to adopt. I didn’t just find myself pregnant one day and then say, “Oh, well, I’m going to be a mom.”

No, it took years of pain and heartache and deciding to adopt to become a mother.

I distinctly remember the lawyer’s words on that April 9th, 2009, day:

You can have a baby girl in June if you want.

We could have said “No” but we said “Yes” and 48 days later I became a mother.

There was most certainly a “honeymoon” period. The day Tracy signed the papers and Little Bug was officially ours and then the week after Little Bug’s birth that she spent in the NICU were certainly perfect days. (Besides the fact that we were dealing with withdrawals.) I felt on top of the world. I felt I had just come out of a very dark time of my life and couldn’t stop praising God for the miracle He had performed in giving us a daughter through the miracle of adoption.

Then, we came home from the hospital and real life began. Reality set in and unfortunately, my expectations and reality were light years apart.

Over the past year, that huge gap between expectations and reality has closed considerably, but it is something I still struggle with to this very day!

So, we got Little Bug home and the “honeymoon” continued while family and friends poured in coming to meet our little miracle.

Then reality hit and it hit hard.

People tell you before you have a baby that life will change and so I was aware that my life would change. I just had no clue that every single aspect of my life was going to change.

I had no clue that brushing my teeth and getting dressed in the morning in peace was a thing of the past.

I had no clue my quality of sleep would decline drastically and a year later I would still long for those baby-free nights of sleep.

Yes, I said that. You read correctly. Even the girl who longed for a baby all her life and went through infertility for 2 years has longed to go back to those peaceful nights of sleep when you are not constantly worried about the baby sleeping through the night.

Some might judge an adoptive mom for saying that. After all, she wanted that baby right? She wanted that baby more than her next breath.

A woman who conceived naturally, whether trying or not, wouldn’t be looked down upon if she said in frustration one night, “What I wouldn’t give for just one night of peaceful sleep without worrying about the baby!”

Adoptive moms think like that too. We just are hesitant to say it because we are fearful of being judged for not being found grateful for the child we prayed for and waited for and chose.

But the reality is biological mother and adoptive mothers are the same. We are both mothers. And mothers have a very hard job!! And if any mother is honest with herself, we’ve all been at the point of complete frustration … no matter how we became mothers!

I have such a hard time letting things go. I want to be a perfect mother but instead I’ve been bombarded with numerous emotions I never saw coming.

I believe these emotions would have come whether we had adopted or had a biological child because the transition into motherhood has been the most challenging thing in my life thus far. Yes, even more so than the challenge of infertility.

Infertility was a season of my life. Motherhood defines who I am.

All I’ve ever wanted to be is a wife and mother and here I am and life isn’t perfect!

Imagine that!

Interesting how motherhood has shown me areas in my life that need improvement.

Mothering takes sacrifice. And sacrifice hurts.

But sacrifice is necessary and when it comes down to it, mothers will do anything for their babies.

One of the hardest adjustments I’ve had to make as a mother is in the sleep department. I’ve always required a lot of sleep. When I was in Kindergarten I would come home from school and lay down on the couch and take a nap! Not to many 5 year olds take a nap every single day.

I’m a night owl. I love staying up late and sleeping late the next morning. Try telling that to a 1 year old.

“Ok, Little Bug, let’s stay up till midnight and sleep till 10am tomorrow morning!”

YEAH RIGHT!

Mix my need for a lot of sleep to function properly and my night-owledness and that’s a recipe for sacrifice when you become a mother.

I don’t like going to bed early and I don’t like getting up at 7 or 7:30am. I had recently gotten Little Bug to sleeping until 8am or 8:30 (heavenly!!) but she’s been getting up at 7am lately and it frustrates me to no end!!

Sacrifice with a lot of hope that one day Little Bug will like sleeping later like her Mama!! 🙂

Bringing home that little 5 pound baby girl I had all these expectations of what I was going to teach her.

I had absolutely no idea just how much this little girl was going to teach me.

I know her lessons will continue for years to come.

8 thoughts on “If you want

  1. I think this same guilt applies to those who get pregnant through infertility treatments. I’ve often found myself thinking about what I was going to say before I said it.

  2. Elaine: You are so correct about this. And Amber got it right too. We suffered through infertility as well and I wanted that pregnancy/baby soooo badly. And then when I finally got pregnant…I HATED it!!! I was in constant fear of losing the baby (we lost twins the year before), I felt awful, my feet and hands swelled, my tail bone felt as if it could snap off at any moment and the baby was breech and in my ribs and I thought they would break as well…overall, physically…it was grueling! And I felt so guilty for being exhausted and wishing it would just be over so I could have my baby. And then…I got my wish…I had my beautiful baby boy and I felt nothing…I thought I would have this overwhelming love for him when he was born…and I did love him..but I didn’t have that “TV” moment where you are consumed with new love for your newborn. I do now…it definitely grew…but I felt guilty for THAT too (until I spoke with several other women who said they felt the same way). And then…the newborn stage was nothing like I expected…I was so exhausted and he wanted to be away from 11pm to 3am every night and sleep all day. It was HARD! I felt so guilty for not being overwhelmed with joy 100% of the time but I just didn’t have time for the euphoria…I was too busy dealing with breast feeding issues, reflux, no sleep etc. But the joy comes and you are reminded how quickly the time flies (even the tough times) and before you know it you are consumed with that love of your child and making the sacrifices with a smile on your face and THANKING God for every little moment you get with this miracle you have been granted. Even now as we are in the throws of a crazy 2 year old who wants to be the boss and 20 weeks pregnant with #2….I thank God everyday for every wave of nausea, every cry in the middle of the night and every sacrifice I GET to make because I am someone’s mother. For if I was not their mother, I would not know the joy that all the hard work and sleepless nights bring and my life would be different and incomplete.

    I am already having panick attacks about the final months of pregnancy and the newborn stage…I am praying daily for patience and an open heart to just stay in the moment and love my kids through all the fogginess of sleep deprivation for I know it will all pass way too quickly and this is our last baby.

    So thanks for posting this…it is nice to know that it really is normal for all of us mothers to find motherhood really hard, but also worth every moment.

    kd

  3. Did you change your blog address?? I had to google to find you! I was beginning to worry because I hadn’t seen a post in my google reader from you. I have a lot of catching up to do!! I can’t believe how big little bug is now!! She is so cute!!

    • Yes I did! It is now faithfullyinfertile.com. The other address is still there but it redirects you automatically to the new address if you go to the old. Soon (when I remember to ask my husband to make the final change) the old address will no longer work. So, change your google reader to http://www.faithfullyinfertile.com!

  4. Elaine,

    You are completely correct – all mothers are the same, adopted or birth. We all get tired, irritable, thankful, and cranky at times. Give yourself a break!

  5. I love this post so much!! The hubs and I haven’t even adopted yet (we’re in the process), but I really connect with this. It’s always bugged me that infertiles get upset about women who may complain every now and then about their pregnancy. As much as we all would love to be pregnant, we would complain too if we were in pain, peeing every 10 seconds, or our feet had grown 5 times their normal size! Thank you so much for posting this and speaking the truth for all of us!

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