Musings of A Middle Aged Mom

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I was probably around four years old when I found out I was adopted. It was really a non-issue. I’m sure my sweet parents worried about what to say and how to say it, but it was truly of no consequence to me. It didn’t change who I was, it didn’t change who loved me, it didn’t change who I wanted to hug and comfort me when I was sick. My Mama called me to her on this particular day and played a song from a record we had called “I’m Something Special”. It talks about the unique qualities that each child possesses. She went on to explain to me that most parents just take the child they are blessed with, but she and Daddy got to choose me. She firmly believed, as do I, that God placed me with them for a reason. I don’t believe it was chance, and I absolutely know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I had the best parents anyone could ever ask or hope for.

My parents had grown up in the same small town their parents had grown up in. Daddy had gone to the University of Georgia only to be brought back home due to the draft towards the end of World War II. After serving, he came back home and finished school, becoming an educator and coach in the same small town he’d grown up in. Mama, still in high school at this point, played basketball at her small high school under the watchful eye of a new coach, fresh out of college, embarking on a career. Her father was a big supporter of high school sports, especially basketball, so the coach often stopped by to visit after school. Of course this was my Daddy, but at that point, he was enjoying his new career and didn’t think twice about the young girls he was coaching other than as players. Upon graduation, Mama headed to an all girl’s school several states away to broaden her experiences. Because of the distance, she did not come home often, but the following summer, she happened to be at home when Daddy stopped by to talk basketball with her father. This time, he noticed her in a different way. He asked if she’d like to go play tennis. Mama said she was a nervous wreck and had no idea what to call him. I’m not sure she called him anything that day, but that was their first date. She returned to school and corresponded via letters for the next year. Since it was only a two year school, she then came back home and continued her studies at the University of Georgia. By all accounts, she was home almost every weekend to see Daddy. I’m sure he visited some, but with his coaching schedule and games on the weekends, it was tough to go up for him. After another year, it was finally decided that marriage made more sense than a 4 year degree as her father owned the business where Mama would work.

The first year of marriage found them living in a bedroom at my Daddy’s parents’ house, but eventually, they built their first home in 1958 and set up housekeeping. After two years of marriage, they were settled with jobs and a home, and the desire to start a family was at the forefront of their minds. But year after year, there were no children to fill up their home with love and laughter. Infertility was no different back then than it is now in how it makes a woman feel.Mama watched as friend after friend got pregnant and gave birth, her heart breaking a little more each month. After 10 agonizing years of disappointment, testing, and no answers, they were ready to consider adoption.


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Seventeen years have passed since these memories were made, and it’s amazing how mothers continue to recall the details of the day their children arrived. It was a Monday, and it was cold and overcast. It was President’s Day, so my husband was off work and drove with me the 25 miles to my doctor’s office. As stated in the previous installment, we were completely ignorant as to how our day would unfold, which is probably a good thing. The practice had 5 physicians, and I had seen all but one of them during my pregnancy check ups. Of course, this was the physician who was on call that particular Monday. I will never forget his words…”Well, it looks like you’re going to have a baby today.” WHAT??? There had to be some mistake, I wasn’t emotionally ready to have this baby yet. She was due in March, and March was the month that was planned. The nursery was ready, our home was ready, she was obviously ready, but I was NOT READY!!! I broke down in tears, which was probably more fear than anything. I was scared at that point, but he assured me that we would both be fine.

To the hospital we went, with nothing we needed for the birth of our fist baby. We decided that it would be best for my husband to go back home and gather things we had planned on bringing while the nurses got me checked in and prepped. I still had hopes of doing all of it using our Bradley Method skills, but my body would not cooperate by starting contractions. Evidently, the placenta had torn, and I was leaking amniotic fluid. Because of the risk of infection, our baby would have to be delivered within 24 hours. I had first noticed the symptoms at around 11pm the night before, and it was now 12 noon the following day. The solution? Pitocin. If you are new to reading about labor and delivery, Pitocin is a drug that is used to make the uterus contract when labor is not progressing on its own. This was not at all in my plan, no drugs were in my plan, only walking and relaxing was in my plan, and this was not relaxing. Because it can affect the baby’s heart rate, I was not allowed to walk and had to be monitored once the drip was started. This method of torture stared slowly, making me still think my high pain tolerance would be enough to get me through, but after having the dosage turned up at regular intervals for hours, I was ready to shoot my husband and completely over any silly notion of being Super Woman. Begging for an epidural, I was certain my uterus was contracting strongly enough to crack rocks in half. I had never in my life felt anything even remotely like what I had just endured. Going from Pitocin contractions to epidural peace felt like nothing short of a miracle.

From there, it was smooth sailing. I guess I needed to relax for my body to do what it was supposed to. Within 90 minutes of my epidural, I was ready to push. It was very peaceful, just chatting with the doctor during contractions. I was excited and somewhat impatient, now wanting the contractions to come faster since I was no longer in pain and eager to meet our daughter.

During my pregnancy, I had constantly wondered what my sweet little baby would look like. I wanted  her to have a head full of dark hair just like I did as an infant, and I spent large amounts of time dreaming of what it would be like to finally see her. It was a moment I’ll never forget, hearing that first cry, knowing that she was alive and looked healthy, and finally seeing a head full of jet black hair on the most perfect little head you can imagine. Not only was it love at first sight, it was the first time in my 31 years on this earth that I had seen a blood relative, and not only a blood relative, but one who looked just like me.

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Before I had kids, I was a neat freak! Everything had a place and everything was in its place. I cleaned my house thoroughly and religiously every Friday from top to bottom, even if no one had been in our guest room or guest bath. Friends and family would skew my placemats or pictures on the wall for sport. Pillows were always fluffed and there was never clutter around my house. I didn’t mean to by so crazy, but somehow, order in my home gave me a sense of peace. I naturally flee from chaos, so I made my home as chaos free as possible. I can’t stand it when things don’t go the way my well-ordered mind thinks they should. I’m completely Type A, quite frankly have a few control issues, and I truly had no idea what was in store for me as a new mom. I’m sure you’re wondering what to possess me to think I wanted kids.

I read everything I could get my hands on about babies. I was in murky water as I had never really liked babysitting when I was younger and my sister had been more of a nuisance as an infant than a learning project. I listened to what my friends said, but I also knew that I was organized and prepared, and I would certainly be different as would my genius offspring. The first tool I took advantage of was a revolutionary book called Babywise. It told me everything I needed to know about what to do with an infant to ensure a predictable schedule and routine, making sure that aforementioned genius child would adhere to my rules and not her own. I believed every word; I think I read it twice, cover to cover, highlighting points along the way.

I also decided that I didn’t want any intervention that wasn’t necessary. Now I know any mom who has had an epidural is shaking her head right now, but let me explain why I thought I could be super woman. Several years prior, I had a good friend who needed a birthing coach because her husband was stationed overseas and would not be available to go to classes and possibly miss the birth. I readily agreed and found the whole experience completely fascinating. Her husband did make it home, but I was still the birthing coach and was able to see how a baby is born up close and personal without having to feel anything but her hand cutting off my circulation. She didn’t have time for an epidural, and she did great, so I thought I would be able to do the same. I should mention this was her fourth child.

So we embarked upon birthing classes using the Bradley Method, which is a 12 week course that emphasizes health and nutrition, education about how your body works and reacts during labor, simulated labor, and husbands as coaches. We found a certified teacher about 25 miles away, so we signed up and headed over to our first class. We arrived at the coach’s home eager to learn. I think there were two other couples attending as well. The first thing I noticed was the smell of cat litter boxes. The first thing I saw was clutter. There was a room off to the left which should have been a living room, filled with boxes, books, magazines, furniture, and who knows what else with no way to walk in or through. There were piles of clothing stacked on the staircase leading upstairs and couple of kids in need of a bath hanging on the railing. In the room itself, we were told we could sit on the floor or the sofa. Neither was a good option. The sofa looked filthy and didn’t smell great, but the floor was worse, with cat hair everywhere. There were empty Coke cans and food wrappers on a table in the back and some empty cans on the book shelves. It was a germophobe’s worst nightmare. I couldn’t think of an escape that wouldn’t be rude, so I eventually sat on the smelly sofa. The information was good, so we decided to keep coming, though I started bringing a towel to sit on.

Although I filled my mind with information and made plans for how I wanted to give birth,  I was again destined to learn that I really had no control over the situation. At 36 weeks I had some symptoms that needed checking. I called my doctor and was told to come in. In denial, and assuming I’d be put on bed rest, I threw on some clothes and didn’t pack anything to take with me. I assumed I’d be back home in a couple of hours with my husband at my beck and call. Ignorance is bliss, as they say.



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I have always been a little skeptical of mom blogs, mom bloggers and why they do what they do. I thought someone had to be slightly insane to think that the internet needed a blow by blow of their daily activities. Yet here I am starting a blog and aware that I’m probably slightly insane. I have come to realize that there is a contingent of mom bloggers who simply have thoughts, ideas, or experiences that they want to put on paper (or a computer screen, as the case may be) in order to be relevant and possibly connect with or relate to others.

In my opinion, a full time mom is one of the most difficult jobs in the world. To be more accurate, one of the most difficult jobs in the world to do well. I have been a stay at home mom for 17 years, and I can tell you honestly that there were times I was very jealous of the escape that a job outside the home could provide. I was lonely when I had a colicky infant who refused to stop screaming unless she was latched on to me. My home was my prison, and the TV was my closest friend. I could tell you any newsworthy tidbit reported by major news networks for months on end. I truly thought my life was over, sadly. And even when he got home, my husband could not feed our daughter because she wouldn’t take a bottle for 4 months!

Motherhood was not at all what I had dreamed it would be during those early months. My husband and I had married with the mutual decision to hold off having children for 5 years due to his career in the Air Force and moving around often, sometimes overseas, away from the support of family. Five years turned into six and we decided it was time to try. Now I’m a planner, a big planner. I planned that if we tried in month X, I would become pregnant and deliver in month Y. I never dreamed that months would turn into years, but that’s usually how infertility happens. It’s nothing anyone plans on, yet the numbers of infertile couples continue to rise around the modern world. My heart broke a little more every month it didn’t happen. One of the largest hurts came on Mother’s Day in 1998. That very morning, I had received certain confirmation that yet again, I was not pregnant. We attended a Sunday school class at our church where, unbeknownst to me, some dads had decided it would be nice to honor the moms in class. So at the end of class they turned out the lights and started a projection of pics of the various moms and their children. My sweet husband tried to soften the blow by giving them a pic of me with our two dogs. Though that was 18 years ago, my heart still hurts at the memory.

Two jobs and a move across the country later, we finally gave in and went to see a Reproductive Endocrinologist. He ran tests on me, which is the normal starting point, and really couldn’t find anything glaring, so he started me on the first line of ovulation induction meds of the day, Clomid. If I remember correctly, you only took it for a few days during the month, and I can remember taking my first pill thinking that it was some sort of magic potion. In this instance, I was very fortunate as I became pregnant after one month of taking it. But then the terror set in. If you’ve ever experienced infertility, you know that getting pregnant is not the end game. For many, getting pregnant is not the problem, staying pregnant is a much larger obstacle. I didn’t know what my body would do. At this point I didn’t trust it to behave as it should, so I lived in fear of losing what I had so longed and fought for. After several months of routine follow-ups, I was released into the realm of normal pregnant women, and I think I relaxed and started to enjoy my pregnancy.

to be continued…