Wednesday, December 7, 2011

My First Sad Day

Briefly, before I get into the post, I wanted to mention that I've begun to slowly fill-in the main areas of the blog.  I've added a pic to the blog and filled out the Welcome section.  However, it remains under construction as I plan to add another pic of our family including Bill, move some of the longish "Welcome" section to the "About Me" section, and transfer over back posts from facebook for history. I also added a button that lets you subscribe to get posts sent to your e-mail if that's easier for you.

Last week was so very hard as we waited for the birthparents to decide whether or not they would continue with their plan to place Emily for adoption.  Although hearing their final decision to parent ("keep") her was difficult, the days in between when we were waiting for a decision were extremely hard.  The birthmom sent me a text message Friday evening apologizing and saying she felt guilty for the stress this was causing us and our family. She sent another text saying that couldn't allow us to pay their rent due this week while they were making their decision.

Based on those texts, I decided at that moment to "act as if" she had made the decision and get out of the limbo we were living in.  I cried a lot, got angry at the situation, and grieved.  But then I moved on and was able to essentially enjoy the rest of the weekend.  I felt so supported by family, friends, and our church community.  I felt especially close to God this weekend and kept being reminded of his presence through people or coincidences (really God moments).

We learned of the birthmom's decision on Sunday afternoon and I didn't cry--actually felt relieved to just know.  I was able to attend a fun mom's group dinner that evening where I laughed (as well as have a brief cry on a friend's shoulder).  I was in a similar upbeatish mood on Monday and a friend commented that she was worried as I sounded "too happy."  I wasn't worried as I had been acknowledging and dealing with my feelings and I knew that I would have sad days in the future.  So I was enjoying feeling as good as I could given the situation.

Though, the "sad days in the future" came sooner that I expected.  Yesterday was a really hard day for me.  Cora woke up a 2 AM crying.  She's 21 months and usually sleeps through the night.  On the very rare occasions when she does wake up, I rock her while she drinks some milk and she goes right back down.  In the wee hours of yesterday morn she was up for almost an hour.  I rocked her and sang to her and enjoyed our cuddle time (aside from me being tired from only two hours of sleep).  However, rocking her like that reminded me of when she was a baby and it made me a bit sad as I had expected that this week I'd be up a few times a night, rocking and giving a bottle to Emily.

After she fell back asleep around 3 AM, I realized that at about that time exactly one week prior, we had received a pre-dawn call from the birthfather to come to hospital.  I remember how excited we were as we packed the car, our bags, and woke Cora (my parents met us at the hospital and took her home with them).  It made me really sad and I continued for the rest of the day yesterday to think (actually dwell on) "what were we doing right now a week ago."  

This was especially hard at 2:49 PM--the time of her birth.  I'd planned to attend the nurse-facilitated mom's group sponsored by the local hospital from 1-3.  We don't often attend as it's targeted more towards babies but I still had friends in the group as well as the facilitator and knew we'd be welcome there.  However, Cora decided to take a REALLY long nap and I wouldn't have had time to feed her a late lunch and make it there.  But we did o.k. on our own and a said a little prayer for Emily and the birthparents as the clock turned to 2:49.

During Cora's nap, I started sorting through some of the clothes I bought Emily seeing what could be returned and what I'd planned to do with the rest.  Given how the day was going, it may not have been the best choice to tackle that then but I was attending a women's Advent dinner at church and thought I could bring a 3-6 month outfit or two to a friend who had a baby girl a couple months ago.

I came across the personalized Big/Little Sister shirt/onesie that I'd special ordered for the girls.  I loved the monkey design and the designer was so friendly and shipped them quickly.

Finding these made me sad as I couldn't think of a scenario where they'd be worn again.  If we decide to adopt again, Cora will surely outgrow the tee before a baby is born. The onesie would fit a future baby but only if we adopted a girl and we chose to use the name again (not sure if we would although I do love the name). 

So that continued my melancholy day.  Then I glanced at e-mail and saw the BabyCenter 40-week baby update letting me know my baby would be here any day now and I lost it again.  I immediately went to unsubscribe and got the "sure you want to remove this child" message (click on hyperlink for yesterday's post).  I was disappointed that the time I took to correspond with them last February to make it easier for future prospective parents needing to "remove" their child was for naught.  The final message I had received from them indicated that they would change it.  I plan to follow up again in a few weeks but not one of my top priorities now.

There were bright spots to yesterday: baking pumpkin muffins with Cora to bring to the Advent dinner.  Also, enjoying dinner with my church friends who truly care about me. 

I have a call into a counselor that I worked with sometime back helping to me to better deal with all the adoption uncertainty.  I plan to start seeing her again as soon as she can take me.  The articles I've read with advice as how to deal with a "change of heart" are to attend grief support groups for those who have lost children at/close to birth.  My sister has invited me to attend her grief support group later this month (she lost a baby--our Goddaughter Molly--just after birth).  And someone in my Mom's group referred me to a local group.  I'm sure these, too, will help.

Prior to to the adoption, I had been contracting 10-15 hours a week (while a sitter stayed with Cora).  I enjoyed this as it allowed me to still be a stay-at-home mom but work that other part of my brain that I used for 20 years prior to being a mom.  This morning I sent out notes to two companies who had contacted me recently for part-time contract work, letting them know I'd be available in early January.  It think this will also help.  Lastly, I plan to start taking better care of my health.  Making exercise a priority 5-6 days a week and eating healthier.  Both of these should help me sleep better which I know impacts my mood.

Lastly, I am truly delighting in Cora these days.  She is at such a fun age!  I plan to take her swimming this afternoon which should be fun for both of us! :)


  1. I know this is so cliche, but it does seem like you are "handling this well." It's important to feel your feelings and work through your grief on your sad days and also allow yourself to feel the joy when possible too.

    I am glad that you are taking care of yourself both emotionally and physically. Seeing your counselor, attending one or more support groups and prioritizing exercise will hopefully all be therapeutic outlets for you as you process your loss and begin to heal.

    We had a personalized shirt like that, which I believe that I ordered for Sean prior to our second pregnancy loss (in August 2005). To this day we have pictures of him wearing it (at most once or twice) when we celebrated that there was a baby on the way. But it was short lived. He grew out of it long before there was an opportunity for him to wear it again.

    I still have them though (the shirt and the pictures), as a memento and to honor the memory of that baby. It helps me to have a few or more things that represent each loss we have experienced (whether it is a shirt like that, pictures, ornaments on our Christmas tree and/or Willow Tree figurines to name some).

    I continue to hold you close in my thoughts and prayers. I think this blog will also be a really good outlet for you to cope and process as well and was excited to see you had a new post up today! Hang in there. xoxo

  2. Thanks so much, Kathy. I just noticed this entry "grief feels like this" on a blog I follow but haven't read for awhile.

    Could really relate to her words right now:

  3. Meg, what a beautiful post. I've been following your journey and can't imagine how you're feeling. I do know that writing can help many people deal with loss. So I'm glad you've started your blog. Enjoy your swim!!

  4. Meg, I am so sorry for what you are going through. I hope that every single day brings you healing and light. I am sending you so many heartfelt wishes right now, along with a hug for sharing your story, for reaching out, and for being so kind as to leave words for me too.

    Thinking of you. I hope the coming days bring you love and laughter and beauty all around.

  5. Megan,
    I'm so sorry, I haven't been checking facebook for the last few weeks and didn't know about Emily's new situation. I'm so sorry for how this has affected you and Bill and the disappointment. I hope and pray that Emily is a good home with her birthparents, and I know that all of your care, love and generosity has helped them and her be the best the parents they can be. You are such a kind and loving person, I'm sure that it has and will minister to all involved. I know you will continue to be a great mom. It was truly a wonderful, blessed moment when I heard, for the first time, you called "Mommy" by a beautiful little girl, Cora.

    God bless you in the days to come.


  6. Sorry for the belated replies to comments. It's been a busy couple of weeks with the holidays and us getting set to leave town to visit my husband's family.

    Susan: thank you. I've appreciated your support on facebook and now here. I definitely do find writing therapeutic (just wish I had more time to do it!)

    Helena: thank you. I can't even recall how I found your blog some time back but I havn't been reading any blogs other than my sister's for months. It really struck me that when I checked the list of blogs I "follow" (a generous term as I hadn't been steady) that I immediately found your post about grief. It so touched me and put words to what I was feeling. I am doing much better know but still have those moments of intense grief now and then. Thank you for your comment and your words on your blog.

    Lisa: thank you. I wish we could be back in Susie's living room talking about this and then have it all go the way it was "supposed to." But I've come to realize the way it was "supposed to" isn't God's will in this situation. The birthparents will make wonderful parents--they are really good people. And if it's God's will, we will become parents again. If not, I'll treasure all of those wonderful moments when our little girl calls me "Mommy."