Monday, August 13, 2012

the other side

It's weird. Not a bad weird. Just . . . weird being a parent after all of this time.

It's a mix of emotions. Happy, scared, exhausted, overwhelmed. Realistically, we've had months to emotionally prepare for this. Our home study was done in October, we signed with our first agency in November. It was almost the same length as a pregnancy. Except it wasn't a pregnancy. There was nothing to grow attached to. There was nothing sure to prepare for. She just came - out of nowhere.

You spend years avoiding the baby aisle at the grocery store, and then all of the sudden you are SHOPPING THERE with a BABY in your CART. Instead of eyeing babies in their car seats, people are eyeing YOUR BABY in YOUR CAR SEAT.

It's not sunk in. I mean, I feel like K's mom. But I also think back and say, "Holy shit. Two months ago, I was ready to throw in the towel. Is this even happening?"

Honestly, I don't know if it will ever hit me, considering how fast all of this happened. But I'm glad it did. I'm glad I didn't stop trying. Because I wouldn't trade these happy, scared, exhausted, and overwhelmed feelings for anything else in the world.

In the last few days, I've lost several followers. I understand not wanting to read posts about motherhood when you are still in the trenches. Believe me, I went through that for four years. But I also want to reassure all of my readers that I am still going to post about infertility. I want to be a strong voice in the IF community. I'll continue volunteering for RESOLVE and being a part of their organization for as long as they will have me. And I vow to do whatever it takes to attend next year's Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill. Because if it weren't for RESOLVE and for the men and women in this community, I would never have K.

I will never forget what life is like on the other side of the fence. And I will keep fighting for those who reside there.

15 comments:

It Is What It Is said...

Many women who have struggled with Infertility spend most of their mental and emotional energy trying to become a mother and scant time considering the after. This stands to reason because there are no guarantees of an after. So, give yourself time to become the mother that you are.

I remember coming home from the hospital with our son and feeling like a fraud, especially during our first outings out. Like, who was I trying to fool? But now, after spending 4+ decades identifying with being a daughter, friend, sister, wife, and executive, when I think of myself and what I now identify most with, it's being a other (so much so that we went to the ends of the earth to do it again).

So, so happy for you!

Kelly said...

Very, very strange to be on the other side. I know exactly what you mean. There are still days I can't believe it's real.

Glass Case of Emotion said...

I lost several followers too when our adoption went through. I wouldn't trade anything to see your happiness now! The switch from feeling like it will never happen to wow it happened is hard to believe until you've been through it.

Also it won't show up here, but I am here now:
http://itsjustaboxofrain.wordpress.com/

So happy for you!

AnotherDreamer said...

It really is surreal :)

EC said...

I love reading your posts - infertility-related or not. I'm also often on the brink of giving up (and I have, in the past), and it's inspiring to read your story. Even if things don't work out for me, I'm never sad to see a happy ending. :)

missohkay said...

Even six months later, I feel like a fraud walking through Babies R Us. A happy fraud, though :) I feel the same as you about continuing to be an infertility advocate. As always, I'm looking forward to reading your future thought-provoking posts.

Alex said...

Going to instant motherhood like you did has to be head-spinning. Of course it seems weird! Hang in there. Maybe someday soon it will seem real...

Angie said...

Even though I had PLENTY of time to prepare for DS, an agonizingly long high risk pregnancy full of lovenox injections and two brief hospitalizations before he was born, after having lost our first baby, it was so very surreal for the first couple of months especially.

But you will definitely get used to her being YOUR baby. It takes time, though.

Anonymous said...

I had a long journey to have our son (eventually through IVF). But even during a pregancy and after there are tricky waters to navigate after being so long a part of the IF community. I realized that when I looked at new moms with babies in church, I don't know their story or how they go there. Now I'm on of those moms. And it is still odd reacting to pregnancy announcements because I don't know if it will ever happen to me again. IF makes you a different person and being a parent doesn't change it.

And as for bonding even after being pregnant for 9-10 months you still are meeting a new person. You love your baby but the overwhelming bond for me came at about 6 weeks when I knew him.

I am so happy to read your story and hear about your little girl. It will be a wild ride.

Elizabeth said...

Oh my goodness! Reading this post is like reading my own thoughts! I still can't believe it's real and that we're parents too! Our LO is starting a day school next week and when I read the letter that said, "Dear Parents," I thought, "Who is that for?" haha! It's crazy! When I took baby N to Target for the first time my husband said, "Just think. You're the person you would have hated just a month ago!" hehe... I don't know when it will ever feel REALLY real either and he's been in our home for 3 months! :)

Geochick said...

It's a weird transition for sure. For one thing, it's not like it's easy to slow down when you don't have something physical almost forcing you to slow down. Plus, the adoption wait is much different. You don't know WHEN it'll happen, just that a match is likely to happen at some point. When the match happens, you have days, weeks, maybe a couple months. Definitely not nine! (at least, not anyone I know).

nobabyruth said...

I have no doubt that you'll not stop fighting. You are a fighter if ever I have seen one.

I do hope, however, that you are also taking a moment to enjoy being on that side of the fence. Enjoy every second!

Michaela said...

You story gives me hope for my own adoption.

Thank you!

S said...

I've often thought that the transition to parenthood for adoptive parents must be harder in some ways than for people who give birth, simply due to the suddenness of it all. I mean, when you're pregnant, you have 8-9 months to prepare mentally for becoming a mother. When you adopt, you might only have a matter of weeks. (I don't really count from the time you sign with your agency because I know that, for me, it wouldn't seem "real" or certain until I was matched with a birth mother. To me, that time would be more akin to the pre-TTC discussions and thoughts I might have.)

I hope you are loving your time with K and sleeping when you can!

Becky said...

I don't think we could forget the other side of the fence, even if we wanted to. With my oldest, it took a long time for the real-ness that I was a mother - HIS mother - to finally settle in. It also took a long time for me to feel that "head over heels in love with my baby" feeling, too. And I felt horribly guilty about it. It came, of course, but it was yet another thing that makes me hate IF. Hang in there, mama.