Friday, September 24, 2010

Simply Amazing

It's hard to understand how I am raising this precious little boy, but still feel like I'm in a dream world.

Yesterday, I watched a gorgeous baby boy with chubby legs and big bright eyes wiggle around on the examination table while the doctor examined him. All I could think was, is he really mine? How did this happen? He is so perfect!

Then this morning, before I left for work, I watched as my husband and my son cuddled together in bed, both fast asleep. They were the cutest thing I have ever seen. The sight took the breath right out of me.

Again, this afternoon, I was amazed. I picked up Jackson and he looked kind of sleepy. He decided to wake up a little and look up at me. When he recognized who was holding him, he smiled a huge smile. The smile was so bright and so big, he dropped his paci. My eyes immediately filled with tears, as they do multiple times in a day.

Again, I ask myself, is this really my son, my life? I literally feel like I have been planted right in the middle of someone else's life - that someone being one of what I call "the lucky ones." I guess it is time that I allowed myself to believe that I am now one of those lucky ones. Maybe the luckiest one of all. Because look at this beautiful baby, who I get to call my son.....

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

As Promised....

Ok, they are not very impressive. If you knew me before, you can tell my belly isn't as flat, but if you didn't, you'd have no idea there's a baby growing in there! I can definitely see it more depending on what I am wearing, and I can still hide it pretty easily. What I can't hide very well is the major growing in the chest area:). As much as I've always dreamed of having a baby bump, I am actually hoping that I continue to grow slowly. The longer my belly stays under control, the easier it is to hold and maneuver Jackson, and he is my world right now. I do it all for him:). He only gets 6 months of being the only baby, and I want it to be amazing for him. Enjoy!

12 weeks

18 weeks

P.S. I HATE taking these pictures - they always highlight how bad my posture is!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

One Month Old (yesterday)!

I cannot believe it, but my baby turned one month old yesterday. The lack of post on the actual day is indicative of how my days get a little out of my control sometimes:). Jackson is turning into such a big boy. Our favorite time of the day is after we get up in the morning and he has his first feeding of the day (the normal light of day, that is:)). This picture was taken during that time this morning. Notice his smiling? If you could hear him, you'd hear a lot of chattering, too! He just wiggles, smiles and talks away for a good hour! It's the best thing ever! When I look at him and talk to him after being distracted for a few minutes, he gives me a huge smile and starts talking more quickly. I can't believe he's already this interactive, if only for an hour or two a day. I swear he gets cuter every day!

Jackson now has some baby acne, which we are trying to get rid of. He has chubby rolls in his thighs now, which I know his GiGi would LOVE! He is getting into a pretty predictable routine, but still has an internal clock that gets him screaming for his bottle every three hours on the dot. Still no extra sleep for me, miracle blanket and all. The blanket DOES keep him in a swaddle, though, so I am still a big fan! He is a swaddle houdini, so anything that keeps him from waking himself up is something we just have to have! I know when his stomach allows him, he will be able to sleep longer. Jackson is not the kind of kid to miss a feeding, though. He is still very serious about his eating! One of my least favorite things about him (although, still love it all, just this part is not my favorite:)) is his pooping episodes - pretty much every single one is explosive, onto clothes and down his legs! Yuck! He is such a boy! AND, he only does that for mommy! Daddy is always sleeping or at work when those explosions take place...not fair:)! Jackson continues to fight sleep, and gets really upset sometimes when he is falling asleep. He needs his mommy to hold him tight and pat him to calm him down enough to finally give in.

Well, I could go on and on about my little guy, but I'll spare you:). He is just so loved, and everything he does is pretty amazing. I wish I could slow down time so I could really take in every stage. He is just growing so fast. We are going to buy a video recorder here in the next week sometime, so we can capture these moments. I wish we would have had one the last month, but it just flew by! That's also why he's not in one of those cute onesies (from Etsy I believe) that have the months on them in this first photo. I'm trying to decide if I should buy them anyway and we just wouldn't have one for month 1? They are just so darn cute and we can use them for baby #2, also! Can someone remind me where I can go to get them? Ok, now I'm rambling.

Happy One Month Birthday, Baby Jax! Your Mommy and Daddy are head over heels in love with you!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

My Cup Runneth Over

I have been dreading writing this post, because I can imagine it will be hurtful to some of you. But, it is time to spill my guts. The secret is too much. Those of you infertiles with pregnancy radar (you know, that sick feeling you get when you know the hit to the gut is coming) already know what I will be saying, so here it goes...we are pregnant.

We are 18 weeks along as of today, and as far as we can tell, all is well. I can imagine this is a shock to some of you, as it was to us at first! It certainly adds another layer to our story and it has been difficult for me to not write about it. To answer some common questions, let me tell you the short version of the story. First, we were not trying when we got pregnant. We quit ALL fertility treatments after our second miscarriage in December. This baby came on his/her own time in the natural way. We found out on June 10 and got the call about the match on June 24. We thought we would lose this pregnancy, so we kept the news to ourselves. My HCG numbers did not double at first, and that only strengthened my opinion that we were on our way to a third miscarriage. We decided to wait until we got a little further before telling our social worker and the birthparents who had chosen us. When we were 10 weeks along, a week before meeting the birthparents, we told them. We were absolutely terrified they would not want us to parent their child anymore. Our hearts were set on adoption, on them, and on their baby, should they choose to place. This pregnancy changed none of that. To our amazement, both T and A (birthparents) were relaxed about our pregnancy and took every opportunity to tell us how excited they were for us. To this day, they ask every time we talk to them about how the pregnancy is going. They are so happy to hear it is going well. I'll never get over how blessed we are to have them in our life.

I have had many ultrasounds, and all is well. My last appointment was 2 weeks ago at 16 weeks, and it was just a doppler. Jason and I monitor with our at-home doppler to ease my anxiety. Although, since Jackson has joined our family, that doesn't happen as often as it used to:). Our next appointment is in 2 weeks, at which point we'll find out if Jackson will be having a baby brother or sister. I pray that all is well and the baby is still kicking in there (literally kicking, as s/he is always moving around like crazy during ultrasounds). I have already felt movement on and off, and it is quite incredible.

There is so much more to say about this. So many emotions I have experienced that I may share in time. I can tell you that ambivalence has been one of them. None of this journey has been what I have expected, and I am working every day to release my plan and allow life to happen the way it is meant to happen. I am also trying my hardest to trust myself, my dear husband and that all three of us will be able to handle another big change in 5 months. Mostly, I'd just love to trust myself and my own ability to handle two babies. I'm pretty sure my 2 boys will adjust just fine:).

For now, I'll just leave you with that news. I hope it settles ok with most of you, and I want those of you still trying and waiting to know that I have been where you are, and the pain does end. My story has come to this place, with two amazing blessings (assuming this pregnancy progresses), and I honestly wondered on most days if I'd ever even be blessed with one baby. Honestly, if Jackson was all that God gave me, my life would be complete. He makes me complete. The fact that I also have the blessing of a pregnancy, a second baby to love, brings me to tears. I don't deserve all of this, and yet here it is. I am seeing that I named my blog appropriately - continue to keep your hope close to your heart. Don't let this journey rip it from you day after day. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

I will post my 12 week and 18 week belly pics next posting, so this is a warning to those who may not want to see those (again, I've been there) to not read that post:).

Lastly, I want to thank all of you for your comments on that last post. They meant so much to me and I read them over and over again as I gathered my strength from you. This mommy thing is hard, but I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. Oh, and I bought a Miracle Blanket, as suggested by a reader, which came in the mail today:). I'll let you know how it works for our little man. The thought of a stretch of sleep longer than 3 hours is so exciting!

I don't often quote the Bible, but the time has come...

" cup runneth over."
Psalms 23:5

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Motherhood... exhausting!!! Now, before you all yell and scream at me, "You wanted this!!" let me tell you that I know! And I still do, more than anything! God help the person who tries to pry Jackson from my arms! It doesn't change the fact that I am tired. Not the yawning, gosh it'll be nice to get a little sleep, caffeine helps kind of tired. It's the kind of body aching, eyes burning, head throbbing kind of exhaustion. I knew this would happen to me. I have always liked and truly needed my sleep. So, I expected that constant mid-night feedings would take it's toll. What I didn't expect, because I had no idea, was how the all-day care of him would suck all my energy, too. It seems I no sooner get done changing and feeding him and he wants (needs) to be held, rocked, patted, etc, and then needs to be changed and fed again. I'm lucky if I get a meal in here or there:). He has decided that he can't fall asleep, nor stay asleep long if he is not being held. So, yes, I am tired (and my house is a mess, and my thank you notes aren't done, and my errands aren't done, get the picture). I know we should "break" him of this habit of being held all the time (or at least I've had a hundred people tell me that), but when your newborn is crying and needing you and can't regulate his own body, how do you let him lie there without going to help him? I'll begin working on that when he's older, when he has the skills he needs to get through it. For now, I'm going to allow him to have a safe, protected and, yes, coddled "fourth trimester." He deserves it. I'll get my sleep when he's 20...maybe:). I'm told by other mommies that my body will adjust and I'll get used to it...I'm still waiting for that particular miracle! Until then, let me leave you with some pictures of my favorite little miracle, who happens to be strapped to me with the Moby Wrap as we speak...

After his first bath, which he actually didn't hate:)

Such a cute outfit...and do you see how long he is getting?!

He's so sweet when he is sleeping...while being held by daddy of course:).

Sunday, September 5, 2010

We're still here!

It has taken longer than I anticipated to get into something even resembling a routine with Jackson. We're still not completely there, but we're heading in the right direction. If you ever are offered the opportunity to take a baby "home" while on vacation out of state...don't! It makes the adjustment harder for sure. Although we will always treasure the time Jackson got to spend with all of his family - Nanas, Gigi's, Papas, Aunts, Uncles...the works!!! He's a very loved boy! He even got to attend my dear sister's wedding! Congratulations, sis! You are now a married woman...yay! What an exciting first week for such a little guy!

Jackson is an alert little boy. He likes to be awake for long periods of time during the day and evening. He of course wants to be held all of those awake hours, which we just cannot do. He tends to sleep at night for three hours at a time. What I love about him is that when he wakes up and is getting hungry, he just coos and grunts. He doesn't scream at us. He is a very patient boy and can lay like that for 15 minutes while we're trying to gain the energy to get out of bed for yet another feeding. Jackson does a lot of grunting, which can be very cute. He also eats like he's never eaten before. He is very serious about his food! For those reasons, I call him my little piglet:). He also makes a lot of funny faces, but the one we love most is his gorgeous smile, dimples and all! Jackson got his newborn photos done yesterday and I was very nervous because he doesn't sleep heavily during the day (because he likes more to be awake and part of the action!). But, he did amazingly well and the photographer was impressed with him. They are going to be so adorable and I will post some of them when they are finished. But, for now, I'll post some pictures we took during the shoot, as well as one of him enjoying his swing (I'm not sure why some of them are showing up so small, something about being taken on a phone probably):

He loves this swing!