It’s not always pretty

I have debated writing this post for several days because I know that some readers out there who don’t really know me will probably think the total worst about me. After much thought, I have decided to write it…not necessarily for me but to let others out there know that they are not alone. I welcome comments but any hateful, rude or just plain mean ones will be deleted. Suggestions, questions and support are welcomed.

As y’all know, we got custody of the babes. They are here with me and we are adjusting. I also started lu.pron in preparation for IVF 1.0 next month. P is still in Afghanistan. Life has not been easy for the past couple of weeks.

I want to believe that my feelings that I am about to share are because of the lu.pron. I really think that they are, and so does my husband as well as a close friend of mine. The only way I will ever really know (I guess) is when I finally get off the lu.pron.

We went from having no children to having a 2.5 yr old girl and a 1 yr old boy. We’ll call her SB and him JM. I love them, I think. Yeah, I know-the vast majority of y’all probably want to smack me right now. Trust me, that’s better than what I though about doing to myself. I’m having trouble bonding to them….especially to SB. Note *I* am having troyble bonding, not that they are having bonding or attachment issues. I don’t know what it could be, other than my hormones wreaking havoc on my emotions and mind.

Last week I actually told my husband that I thought we made a huge mistake by getting the babes….and I also said that maybe I am not supposed to be a mother and maybe we shouldn’t go through with IVF. I mean HOW could I be meant to be a mother when I was considering giving back the babes when I have never even considered giving back one of our dogs or cats? I wrote him an email, in tears…kind of like now while I’m typing. I didn’t know who else to talk to other than him…I feared that anyone else would yell at me or tell me that I was stupid or worse yet, tell me that I was right….that I was not meant to be a mother.

I Googled “problems attaching with adopted child” and found a blog post about a mother who had problems attaching to her adoptive daughter. It’s like she was typing what I was feeling. *relieved sigh* I’m not alone. I talked to another friend about what I was feeling (she also happens to be a therapist) and she listened, without judgment. She reminded me that things would get better, this was probably due to the lu.pron and reminded me that I can call her any time and tell her anything (I cannot explain how wonderful and relieved that made me feel.)

So here we are, days later after my breakdown. I still feel….I don’t even know how to describe it. It feels like depression; like all I want to do is stay in bed all day and sleep. But then again it almost feels like I feel nothing at all…all I know is that I don’t like it at all.

Of course, we are not giving the babes back. They are ours. I am working diligently to bond to both of them. I am figuring out ways to especially build an attachment to SB…I truly think that I have the more difficult time with her because I have never wanted a daughter nor pictured myself with a daughter. I’ve always wanted boys. And no, it’s not due to some f’ed up relationship with my mother-I actually have a fucking fantastic momma. I don’t why it is that I’ve never pictured myself as having a daughter. Maybe I need to explore that in therapy.

So there you have it. The babes and I are making it day by day and learning to be with each other and love each other.

Updated Dec 31, 2010
Wow, I cannot express to y’all how much your love and support means. Seriously, I have been in tears (happy ones) over all the messages of love and support. Thank you ❤

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27 Comments

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27 responses to “It’s not always pretty

  1. I’m sorry you’re having a hard time. It sounds like it has been a lot at once…what an adjustment! Life isn’t always pretty. I’m glad that you have people to talk to! Take it one day at a time…it will get better!

  2. You made a HUGE adjustment in a short period of time. As did the babes. It’s a lot to go through. I can’t even imagine what you are going through and you are my hero for putting it all out there.

    I do have a hunch that it is the Lupron. My sister was an emotional wreck on it too. Complete with fits of rage.

    You are a wonderful momma and I know with the continuous love & patience, you & the babes will prevail beautifully.

    Always here for you ❤

  3. You just went from being free and independent to have two kids under three years old. That is a major adjustment, and you are doing that as a single mom with a husband thousands of miles away.

    You are one of the strongest women I have never met in person. It is going to take time. Just live it one moment and one day. I wish I lived closer and could offer some help, but I can only give you my words and virtual hugs. You are doing the best you can right now!

  4. I think what you’re feeling is so very very normal. I’m
    sorry if you feel ashamed or like someone is going to yell at you.
    But you shouldn’t. You went from no children, to TWO children in
    the blink of an eye. It’s A LOT to handle. Especially on your own.
    While prepping for IVF and all the mind-f$% drugs AND having your
    husband so very far away in a position that you would worry about
    him. I have no idea how you are still standing!!!!! THAT IS A LOT
    TO HANDLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it
    again, I am AMAZED by how well you’re doing with all of this. I
    would have had at least 10 nervous breakdowns by now. Give the
    attachment time. It’s not an overnight process. You have so much
    going on and so much to deal with, the attachment is just going to
    be slow. Don’t rush it. Just take it one day at a time. You’re my
    hero. *hugs*

  5. I don’t think this is all abnormal. I have also wondered
    how I would adjust to adopting as opposed to having children of my
    own. The bottom line is, these babies were thrust into you arms.
    Overnight you went from nothing to EVERYTHING. You didn’t feel them
    grow inside you and go through all of the motions for 9 months. You
    didn’t spend hours in grueling labor. All of that stuff is part of
    what bonds a mother and her children together. I totally can see
    where you are coming from. I’m so sorry you’re having to go at it
    alone. You have a lot of emotion running through you with your
    husband deployed, being on Lupron and trying for IVF, and now these
    babies in your arms who depend on you. I hope things get better for
    you and I also feel it’s just an adjustment period. You’ll find
    ways to connect with them and soon you’ll look back and say you
    could never imagine your life any other way.

  6. I have to be honest. I’ve not been a follower of yours for
    very long, and I have very little knowledge about the journey to
    get the kids. (I believe I began following and tweeting with you
    just weeks before they came to live in your home). Adopting is a
    very brave and unknown world. You were brave to take on two
    children in such a short period of time. You were brave to take
    them on at the forefront of your IVF cycle, and you were VERY brave
    to write this post. This bravery, while you may not feel this way
    now, shows how incredibly strong and determined you are. It has
    been a short period of time, you’ve been on hormones, the kids have
    been sick, and the list goes on. I am in awe of your strength and I
    have faith that you will look back on this blip on the radar and
    barely be able to relate to these emotions. And, even if you don’t,
    your honesty and ability to say what you are feeling out loud will
    only help the situation. Thinking of you. Crossing my fingers for
    you. Keep on keepin’ on.

  7. singlemamatalesitall

    I don’t you and I’m new to your blog…but I wanted to
    reach out and hug you right thru my cell phone. You are human and
    expressing human truthful emotions. Like everyone stated before,
    your going thru a adjustment as are the kids. Give yourself time
    and keep yourself surrounded by positive people. I’m sure you
    already done this..but If not see if there is a support group for
    adoptive parents online or in your community. This might be helpful
    talking with other adoptive parents who I’m sure have felt what you
    are going thru. I applaud you for adopting cause I feel those kids
    are truly special…you know why I say that…..its because they
    are hand picked. I’m know you picked the best. 🙂 Best wishes to
    you, your husband and your children.

  8. I have a pretty good idea of what you mean. I’m a new mom
    and I felt horrible because my experience after the birth of my son
    didn’t match up to what I had come to expect via television and
    movies–you know, that instantaneous love at first sight deal. The
    whole “I never knew love until I looked at my baby” thing. That
    wasn’t me at all. Don’t get me wrong–I was definitely fond of my
    kid but it wasn’t the all encompassing emotion of love that I had
    come to expect. It took me about 2-3 months before I actually felt
    really bonded to him. To go from being child-free to suddenly
    having two toddlers…I just can’t even imagine the amount of
    adjustments you’ve had to make, not to mention the emotional toll.
    I think what you’re feeling is totally normal and I’m so glad that
    you’ve found people that you can talk to without fear of judgment.
    All I can say from my own experience is that it takes time; just
    keep that in mind and be open about how you’re feeling–it’s never
    good to keep that sort of stuff bottled up. You’re doing an amazing
    job!

  9. Hugs to you and the babes. You had all this hit you at a
    very rough time – not just with IVF beginning, but the holidays,
    the end of R&R, the sickness/germs, etc. I take it as a
    good sign that you are reaching out – to your spouse, to a
    friend/therapist, and to us over the internet. The first way to
    tackle and solve a problem is to admit that there is one. So kudos
    to you! After the recent chaos, you will have pretty much done it
    all (things that parents usually get to work up to when they start
    with an infant)- and you should be able to get a good routine
    established soon. Keep talking and writing it out. Even if you
    don’t post it, it’ll have a positive effect on your feelings. You
    are doing GREAT – you amaze me with every tweet I read. Keep
    tackling it one hour or day at a time! Many hugs and “good
    vibrations” to you from NC! (and you’ve gotta read that with a
    Beach Boys twang!)

  10. Emilee

    Being a mom definitely isn’t easy, and generally we get to
    start from the beginning with one newborn and work our way up. You
    have an amazing heart! Two babes under the age of 3 is definitely
    challenging – not to mention the ages between 2 and 3 are full of
    fits, sassiness, and a burning desire to be independent. Throw in a
    speech delay (I believe you mentioned at one point she has one),
    and you get a child who is frustrated and easily angered. Our 4 y/o
    has PDD-NOS (atypical autism), so his tantrums were more like rages
    but they often centered around his inability to communicate his
    feelings. I remember when he was that age and our daughter was a
    baby (they’re 20mo apart) and my DH was at Basic. Some days were a
    nightmare! I had a baby that always needed attention and a
    preschooler that (honest emotion here) was driving me crazy! I felt
    exactly as you describe it, so I can’t even imagine taking
    something that messes with your hormones on top of that! There’s
    nothing wrong with what you’re feeling & kudos to you for
    being honest with yourself & us. I’m not sure if you’ve
    ever read my personal blog, but I’ve talked about thinking I never
    wanted a girl. Haha I had to honestly about, though, that I’m very
    close to her and have a better bond with her (& even little
    man) than B. I know it has a lot to do with his special needs, and
    it hurt me to put it in writing. I love him but find most (probably
    all) days trying my patience. So if you are “wrong” for the way you
    feel surely I am, too. In that case, we can just vent to each
    other! *hugs*

  11. I completely admire you for all that you are dealing with
    all the while your husband is overseas! I surely would have been in
    a padded room by now! 🙂 What you’re feeling is normal. You
    suddenly have 2 little strangers living with sand relying on you.
    This was our biggest fear when we were going to foster and adopt.
    We did have a little boy, and it scared me because I didn’t feel
    “motherly” toward him and didn’t seem to bond with him either. At
    the time, I felt like a horrible person, but now I realize it’s not
    always something that happens right away, and that’s okay. So, hang
    in there! You’re doing a great job!

  12. Shelly

    Hi there…thought I’d share some experience I’ve had in
    working in domestic adoption. It’s not uncommon for adoptive
    parents to develop the baby blues. As it states in the article
    found in the following link, “you don’t have to give birth to get
    the baby blues”
    http://www.parenting.com/article/Baby/Planning/Post-Adoption-Blues.
    Bonding will not be immediate so please be kind to yourself and
    realize you’re doing the best you can. Also, it might help to do
    some research on post adoption bonding, especially adoption of
    older children. Many counties offer classes for adoptive/foster
    parents which, if nothing else, would connect you with others who
    are walking your same path. Best of wishes to you and please
    remember to be kind to yourself.

  13. I don’t know much about lupron so I can’t say whether I
    think it’s that or not. I will say that I think a lot of it could
    be due to the upheaval you have had in your life going from no
    children to two children. It’s a HUGE adjustment to go from no
    children to just one child, and you did it with two and one is a
    toddler! I think it’s completely unrealistic to expect that you
    will suddenly gain two children and the whole world will be perfect
    and you’ll all love each other and happy ever after. You and I know
    that life doesn’t work this way (wouldn’t it be nice though?). Even
    biological mothers sometimes have bonding issues with their own
    child they gave birth to. I know I haven’t said much on twitter,
    but I have watched your tweets and I know in my heart that things
    will get better and you will find a way to balance life and make
    things all work out. It’s just going to take some time and we will
    all be there supporting you and cheering you on every step of the
    way. P.S. Thank you for posting such adorable pictures of the
    kiddos. They are beautiful. 🙂

  14. I empathize. What you’re going through and feeling re:
    tough time attaching is hard. I have been there. Our son was placed
    with us at birth. A few months later we went back on the waiting
    list (figuring that it would take a long time to have another child
    placed with us – first placement happened 10 days after our home
    was certified and homestudies were approved). A four month old girl
    was placed with us when my son was 8 months old. The detention
    worker told us that she wouldn’t be with us for very long, don’t
    get too attached. And so I lived for months thinking that she was
    going to be reunified with birthmom within a short period of time.
    For the first six months (at least), I was having a hard time
    connecting with her. I was meeting all of her needs, but I didn’t
    feel anything for her for a long time. I even went so far as to
    discuss the possibility of giving 7-day notice (here in LA County
    we can give notice to have a child placed in another home if it’s
    not working out in a foster situation). We didn’t. And eventually I
    did grow attached to her. But that was an awful period of time. I
    worried that my lack of connection was damaging to her in some way.
    It certainly made me feel inadequate and insufficient at the time.
    In retrospect, there were a lot of factors involved (oh the
    hindsight). Having non-judgmental ears to bend were very helpful
    for me. I’m glad to hear you have people you can talk to, also. It
    makes all the difference. I wish you all the best. To borrow a
    phrase – it gets better.

  15. I have to say that some of this is normal *even* with a
    baby that’s biologically yours that you’ve carried for 9 months.
    Suddenly becoming a parent is hard. Suddenly becoming a parent to
    two toddlers is even harder. It will happen, but it will be
    gradual. One day, you’ll look at them sleeping, or hurling
    themselves around a room, or eating a rock (LOL!) and your breath
    will catch and your heart will clench. You’ll be in the love before
    you even realize it. Steph Community Manager/Consultant Attain
    Fertility

  16. I can’t relate so I won’t bother with “advice.” it sounds
    like you’re getting some good support though…and talking about it
    helps, I think, above anything else. Bravo to you for having the
    strength to (1) take the babies (2) have awareness of the
    attachment (or lack hereof) and (3) share your feelings. I hope you
    get tons of helpful advice and the stress can ease up on you during
    this transition period.

  17. It’s hard for me to have one toddler that I was pregnant with and raised from birth and I have the help of a husband. I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to suddenly get two babies under three, have a husband halfway around the world, and be taking ivf meds that cause your hormones to go banana nuts. I’m sure that having everyone very sick is adding to the already huge burden.

    It will be ok. I know it. You will love them. You will love the baby you birth. I’m just sure of it. ❤ Sending hugs, feel better thoughts, and lots of love.

  18. You’ve had your life turned upside down in a really short
    time span, so I think it’s only natural to feel this way. Having no
    children, I don’t pretend to be an expert, but I read this blog
    post the other day which I thought was really good… maybe it will
    help you.
    http://www.millionsofmiles.com/2010/12/lets-talk-about-post-adoption.html

  19. Dearest Becca, I read your post and had to immediately respond, but I see a lot of other peeps have already done so! Well, I will just add my support and let you know I am thinking of you. It must be tough. I guess Rome wasn’t built in a day, so keep building.
    lots of love and best wishes
    Heather

  20. I wont pretend that I know what adopting children is like, but I will say that I didn’t feel like I bonded with my own son for a long time after he was born and I felt horrible about it for a very very long time. I can’t even imagine what a huge upheaval it must be going from no children to two children just like that. You’re a strong lady xx

  21. Nathalie

    Becca, you are Undoubtably the most honest and stand up wonderwoman that I know. I have never been on lu.pron nor have I adopted children but I can say without a doubt that these feelings must be due to the UNBELIEVABLY IMPOSSILY STRESSFUL situation you are in. Its amazing to me that you haven’t had a mental breakdown (as you know I’m fond of those myself lol) and that fact just confirms in my mind what an AMAZING FANTASTIC AND TOGETHER Mommy you are (and will be when the ivf mitacle arrives!) please don’t ever stop sharing your feelings. Your open-ness inspires so many (including me) to explore and share feelings about very difficult situations. Love you Becca – it WILL get better! ❤

  22. Dont feel ever feel ashamed of your feelings. They are completely natural. I have a 3 year old and she is my sunshine and I love her to pieces.

    Buuuut…. do I have days where I dont want to be at her beck and call? Do I have days where I cant wait until she goes to daycare, or when daddy gets home? Absolutely. Being a parent is very tough. But its worth it in the long run.

    Also, after I had my daughter, I dont feel like we really bonded right away. It took us a couple months for us to really bond. I actually was looking forward to going back to work when she was only a couple weeks old, and I didnt cry or breakdown the first day I left her at the sitters. But you will get there…. good luck 🙂

  23. I’ve never adopted a baby, but I imagine that what you are experiencing is completely normal. You’re going through a lot (and you went through an emotional roller coaster to get the babes with you). Add Lupron to all of that and you’re bound to be emotional.

    Hang in there. You’re going to be an amazing mom!

  24. Kim

    Sorry I’m just reading this now. I didn’t realize you were
    having this problem. I can’t imagine the range of emotions you must
    be going through. It can’t be easy to do everything you do. Here’s
    the thing. I have a theory about the things worth doing: at some
    point, usually near the beginning but after the initial shock wears
    off, we start to think we’re crazy for doing these things. It’s
    perfectly normal. And if you’re feeling what you’re feeling, I
    would be MORE surprised if you weren’t feeling anything at all.
    This is a big change and it engenders big emotions. Keep blogging,
    keep tweeting and we’re all here for you. *HUGS*

  25. brittanyib

    Big hugs for you & the babes<3 Kind of random, but after I read this post I flashed back to a Katherine Heigl interview where she talked about adopting her daughter, and I wanted to share part of it with you:

    "My mother is a realist, and she's had biological and adoptive children, and she said it's no different: No matter what, they're putting a stranger into your arms. You don't know them yet. And she said don't be surprised if it takes a while to connect to her in that motherly way — don't feel bad, and don't think there's something wrong with you or your relationship with this child."

    You all have to get to know each other, and that takes time. You took on a HUGE responsibility (and in a relatively short time), and that's in addition to the IVF and deployment- you have 3 huge life events going on at once, and it's no surprise that you're feeling a little overwhelmed. What matters is that you are trying, which is probably more than those kids have ever had before. I'm sure it will happen for you Becca<3

  26. I think all your feelings are normal- even without drugs. Honestly. It will take time for you guys to get to know each other. The better you get to know each other, the easier it will get. I really believe that. It’s a lot of work. I know because I am often overwhelmed with one baby and a husband who is here to help. It’s exhausting. There is a reason they make little people so cute. Hang in there. I am here if you want to talk. Love you.

  27. What you’re describing sounds completely normal and to be expected. From a clinical perspective sounds textbook. One of my besties adopted a 9 month old and for several months she felt like she was simply babysitting. Took a long time to bond and not feel like she made a mistake. And my friend is a freaking pediatrician and the whole thing kicked her tush! Also post partum depression happens to adoptive parents too. So be good to yourself, this will pass. I am here if you need any advice in terms of developmental input, help getting services for special needs-that is my profession and I have some contacts in your area. xo

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