Sunday, October 4, 2009

The long night of babytending

So far so good! It's 3:00 AM and we've had three walks in the stroller, two sit-down meals, two internet sessions, and now he's just starting his second nap for the night.

Tomorrow I'm taking him to the mall, or maybe downtown Hyannis or Falmouth where all the tourist shops are, so that he will not sleep the day away.

He's still whimpering in his crib. Hopefully he'll settle down. I'm taking this time to prep some of his medical supplies and fold laundry. Mama's got a house to maintain, kiddo.

I've been half-jokingly saying I have post-partum depression. I'm also occasionally having doubts. I suppose it's common for new parents to have doubts.There may be those individuals whose calling for parenthood is so strong that they're still consumed by the joy of it after the sleep dep has worn them down, after countless episodes of the baby crying for no apparent reason. My convictions are not so strong. They allow me to feel periodic doubt. Maybe I wasn't cut out for parenthood. Maybe I don't have enough patience or energy. Maybe I'm prone to neglectful habits, like putting him in his crib at 3:00 AM when I know he's not the least bit tired. He's not doing anything horrible, not rejecting me or starving himself or throwing things at the cats. He just cries frequently, sometimes over nothing I can identify. He just isn't that attached to me yet. Love has conquered greater challenges than this. Yet all I want is for him to be quiet, stop crying so much, be more communicative about what's bothering him, stay on my lap for more than 5 minutes or at least be happier elsewhere if he really must get off me.

I wonder if I'm just better suited for cats.

Speaking of cats, what a huge comfort my cats have been. It's strange to say that my cats are helping me cope with the baby. But I already have relationships with my cats. The hard parts with them ended years ago.

And it's really very simple. I touch the baby, he cries. I touch the cats, they purr.

The baby doesn't know where he wants to be, but after 5 or 10 minutes, he's certain he wants to be somewhere else. The cats jump up on my lap and are genuinely, silently happy to be there.

There's probably nothing very profound going on here, though. I just need to establish the basics. AwesomeCloud needs to grow comfortably familiar with his new surroundings. I have to learn what calms him and become proficient at doing those things. We need a regular routine and I need to know he can sleep through the night so that I may sleep through the night, too.

Someday the renovations will be done and that will make me happier, too.


  1. Hang in there Gynn. I think it is normal to have doubts, I know I did. Try and start to get him back on our "time". The sooner you do that you will all feel better. Keeping him on China time is only going to prolong the inevitable and keep you all out of sorts, feeling miserable. Give yourselves a good week or two to get back to "normal". We have been home 10 days now and finally starting to sleep normal and feel normal. We are starting to establish a routine. It feels good finally. Very few doubts now. Sleep deprivation, a crying baby, and a backwards schedule. Not a good mix, not good feelings. Give it some time. Remember why you did this. You CAN do this. AwesomeCloud will soon figure out what great parents you are!

  2. I wish I could offer some nugget of wisdom, but you'll have to settle for just having my support. You can do this, hard as it is, you will get through it. And you will be very happy with the result in the end. In the meantime, pet T & M and let them comfort you in between sessions of Awesome Cloud's screaming and carrying on. My thoughts are with you.

  3. The beginning with your new baby, bio or adopted, is a bit rough. I think it's especially difficult when they're a fussy baby or crying often. I have the baby blues with both of my kiddos, especially Peanut. He was colicky and he rarely slept that first year. The sleep deprivation alone pushed me over the edge! But I even had some baby blues with Maia, and she was a wonderful sleeper and was four years old. I really think what you're feeling is very normal. Even now, at seven years into the parenting thing, I have moments when I second guess myself and wonder if I'm cut out for the job! But I know deep down that I was meant to be the Mommy to these two beautiful children, and you're definately meant to be Awesome Cloud's Mommy! It will take time, but things will surely get better. I would highly recommend a book that helped me keep things in perspective. It's called "The Post-Adoption Blue" by Karen Foli. I think a lot of new adoptive moms also go through the baby blues, but it's rarely talked about. Your whole world has been turned upside down overnite! And even though we wait an extraordinary amount of time for our babies to come home, it's still takes time to adjust to them actually being here:) You're doing an amazing job! Hang in there. We're all here for you.

  4. Hang in there Gynn! I am not a BTDT through adoption yet but I experienced many of those same feelings with my first (bio) son. I had doubts out the whazoo that I was just not "good" at this. I did not grow up with my bio mom so I started to wonder if I wasn't good at this because I didn't have it modeled for me growing up. Or worse, if my bio mom couldn't do it maybe I am also genetically predisposed to botched motherhood. It was a sad time for me but I got past it and realized that my abilities as a mom could not be judged by my abilities to get my child to sleep or stop crying or to be showered everyday or to have a clean house. But I was there and I was doing it and that in itself is success.

    All kids cry. Awesome Cloud will cry more than most considering all that he going through. But you are doing it and that in itself is a success. Don't judge yourself for him crying or not being attached yet. It will take time and what makes you a good Mom is that you are doing it despite the fact that it is not easy and that you are having doubts!

    Now that we have 3 kids and a are awaiting our 4th through adoption, my husband and I laugh now about how our first son threw us for such a loop! But my doubts were very real at the time and I just want you to know that you are doing great and that all of us are cheering you on!!!

  5. Post adoption blues.....we ALL have had it. I had it both times...."This child will never fit in" "What have I done to my family???" "Why isn't this child enjoying ALL the love and attention we are giving them??" Perfectly normal but still hard as HELL. Get him out in the sun during the daylight hrs. Get back on US time...melatonin can be used on toddlers....we used 1 mg for our 20 month old. ALL NATURAL and reaaly helpful to get them to sleep at the designated times. Thinking of you and wishing you quiet days and quick resolution to your sleeping problem. Still would love to see pics of your little man

  6. No words of wisdom. Just thinking of you. Hang in there.

  7. Hi Gynn,
    First time motherhood, no matter how baby comes to be with us, is NOT EASY! No one tells us this. Not many people will even admit it. So, two things. many adoptive mothers I have spoken to have suffered the blues, doubts, internal conflicts you are enduring right now. You are very admirable for putting it out there. will get better. He will get better, you will get better, any guilt you're feeling will get better and you will find your way. Because motherhood has to be on our own terms, our own style, and our own break-neck schedules sometimes make it seem impossible. Our expectations of ourselves are sometimes unrealistic.
    I feel for you. I understand where you are coming from completely. Good Luck!