Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Birthday Party

On the 16th, the day after Jude’s birthday, Katie and Greg came over with Jude and I threw him a birthday party. Katie and Greg gave me the OK at our last visit, so since then I have been planning party for Jude. I invited a bunch of family and friends to come hang out with us. Victor’s parents and youngest brother came over and that was ….. nerve racking but fun and good. I’m not as good about sending them pictures than I should be and I always feel horrible about it. Having them come to the party was good for Jude and for them. It was the first time they had seen him since the hospital.
That was the case with about half of the people there. The other half were meeting him for the first time. My sister couldn’t come. She’s in Reno for college and doesn’t have a car. We video chatted like ten minutes after Jude came over and she showed him the socks she got him for his birthday (but didn’t send yet). She also called me that night and asked how the party went and stuff. 
Jude, Katie, and Greg came over an hour early so me, my mom, and step dad could have some time alone with Jude. It was the first time my mom and step dad had seen Jude since the hospital. They looked happy and they looked sad as well. I know the feeling and it was sort of the theme of the day. It’s a happy and joyful occasion, but at the same time your sad because you know that after this day he leaves again. 
Poor Jude had a cold and no nap that day, but did amazingly well. He only cried once, and that’s when he walked into a wall. He’s developing so well. He has 11 teeth, he’s walking and running, he’s says “dada” and other syllables, he’s the right height and weight for his age group. He has big feet, they have to special order his shoes because he’s not walking enough for hard sole shoes. So they have to special order the soft sole shoes.
The party went really well. People talked with each other, they ate food, Victor’s brother and Jude played with each other, and everyone just watched Jude walk around. They would try to hold him, kiss him, and find things for him to do. I made cupcakes instead of a cake. I made marble cupcakes (from scratch) with two different whipped cream frostings. I made two different because the first one I made tasted weird to me because it had a cream cheese base and turns out I don’t like cream cheese. So I used up the rest of the heavy cream and made traditional whipped cream. Jude ate his all up and got it all over him self. Everyone else seemed to enjoy theirs as well. I know I liked mine.
We opened presents after that. Jude recieved some very nice gifts. He got a blanket, a set of board books, a wooden fire truck, a pull-along wooden train, a toy box (from Victor and I), and some clothes. He had two other parties before mine, so he probably has A LOT of toys. Now though he has a toy box to put them in.
All in all, it was a wonderful day. The sun was shinning, it was a comfortable temperature, and everyone had a good time; even Victor who had spent most of the party in my room on his computer. He was good though, and came out and socialized every once in a while and took “family” photos with me and Jude. Katie and Greg left shortly after everyone else left. We took some more pictures, made sure they had everything they came with, and said our goodbyes. I’ll see him again most likely in Feburary for my birthday. I told Katie and Greg how much I appreciate them and how grateful I was to have been able to do this. Not only that but I was the dunce and forgot to take any pictures, luckily Greg (being the photographer he is) brought in his camera and started taking pictures. They have no idea how much I love them and appreciate them.
Some of my friends from Monterey stayed later, and we just sat around and talked until they needed to leave. Then I helped clean up a bit, and eventually left. I was house sitting that night, but before I went over there I went with Victor to go get food. He wanted Carls Jr. and I wanted Miky D’s, so we went to both. As he was getting his food, I stayed in the car and listened to music. I plugged in my ipod and played some of Jude’s playlist. The first song that comes on is Jude’s song. “The Only Exception” by Paramore. I start singing along and all of a sudden, I start crying. Victor gets back in the car and he turns down my music. He asks me if I’m OK, and I lie and say I’m fine. Then I lean is and give him a hug and start crying again.
Maybe I needed to cry. It wasn’t for long, maybe five minutes at most. I wasn’t sad, or maybe I was. It wasn’t like I was mourning the baby I was giving up. I wasn’t mourning the adoption or anything. It was more of just an over dramatic “Wow, its been a year.” Victor held me for a long, even after I stopped crying. The adoption is hard on him too, maybe he needed a hug just as much as I did. 
Wow, its been a year already. I can’t wait to see what the next year brings me. :)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Looking Back On One Year

This time last year was different. Last year at this time I was 19, taking online classes at the community college (and failing miserably I might add), working as a part time babysitter a few hours a day, and more importantly 39 weeks pregnant.

It was around 9:30 on a sunny Friday morning in mid October, that I was told that my baby was developed enough that I wanted, he could be born today. I agreed and that night, October 15th, 2010 at 6:23pm I had a beautiful baby boy, who was later named Jude.
On October 19th, 2010 Victor, Jude's father, and I signed adoption papers relinquishing Jude to the best adoptive parents we could have picked for him, Katie and Greg.

Today is October 15th, 2011. Which means exactly one year has passed. Jude is one year old today. So many things have changed in a year. I'm one year older, I go to school at the community college (and passing!), I've worked a few different jobs but now I'm a housekeeper and nanny for multiple families, and more importantly I'm the proud birth mother of a one year old son. With great change comes many lessons learned and knowledge gained, and boy howdy I've learn a lot.

I've learned that I'm a lot stronger person now, than I have ever been in my previous 19 years of life. I have been to hell and back for the last year and 9 months and I'm still here. I survived dammit! No one can take that away from me. I refuse the let anyone try to take that away from me.

I've learned that there is a greater love out in the world than I could have ever imagined. I found that love the moment I laid my eyes on Jude. My love for Jude will never go away. No matter what the distance. No matter what the circumstances will be. He is the love of my life, the reason I strive to be a better person and work hard for a better life, and the reason I grew up. Nothing or no one can or will change that.

I have learned who in my family I can really count on and which of my "friends" are really my friends. Which one's I can trust to be by my side in my hour of need and support me anyway they can. The ones that stayed I love even more now and I owe then so much gratitude. They have no idea how much I appreciate them.

Being a birth mom has taught me a few things as well. I got all sorts of advice on how to go through my depression, how to handle my adoption, and what to do when (insertsituation here). Here's what I think are the biggest things I have learned through my experience.

No matter how sure you are of your decision, no matter how much you love the adoptive family your giving your baby too, and no matter how much you coach yourself before hand, giving that baby up will be the hardest thing you have ever done. You will be depressed. You will cry, sob, bawl, and possibly scream, wishing you could take your baby back. It goes away eventually; the pain and the tears. This is natural and even needed, just don't expect everything to be fine afterwards. Then you get frustrated that your not OK, which makes you even more upset and then it just becomes a vicious cycle.

Find Birth mom friends as soon as you can. Whether its through a support group,coincidence, or Tumblr. I became a much better person when I met other birth moms, and they have helped me so much. I wish I would have met them sooner. I reallyappreciate them and couldn't have made it through with out them. 

Help is very important. Go find it! Support groups, one on one therapy, blogging, arts and crafts, anti-depressants, anything that will help. No one expects you to do this alone. Help is a good thing, and there are many people out there who want to make sure that you come out happy in the end.

The most important thing (AND I CAN'T STRESS THIS ENOUGH!!!!) is will get better. People always would tell me that "Don't worry it gets better with time". Birth moms, friends, family, and even people from the blog. They always told me that "It will get better". I would think "How can it get better?" or "I know it gets better and I know the world keeps spinning and blah blah blah. I just want this horrible part to be over!" It turns out, they were right. Things get better. You don't know how it happens or even really when it happens. All of a sudden your thrown back into the world and you become so caught up in life that you find your self feeling better. It's a wonderful feeling. It's the start of you feeling like you again.

So, today, on my son's first birthday, I'm frantically cleaning the house and buying decorations for a party I'm throwing for him tomorrow. I'm reflecting on the fact that a year has gone by. I'm blogging for you lovely people. The oddest of them all, I'm not crying. I don't think I will. Today is nothing more than a happy beautiful day. Tomorrow is an exciting fun day. From their another year of adventures begin.

Happy Birthday Jude

I Love You

Monday, October 3, 2011


I have lots of things around my room and stuff that reminds me of Jude. It was bound to happen. “Real” moms have momentos of their babies, children, teenagers, adults. Mostly through pictures and drawings. Some have scrapbooks, left over baby clothes and blankets, old toys, and hospital papers. Over time though those things can be seen as junk because those moms have the memories and the actual experience to back those mementos up. Birth Moms, our representations and things that remind us of our kids and the adoption is all we have. Jude’s parents will get to see Jude take his first steps and always remember that moment. I, at best, will get a video of the moment. Which for me I’m happy with, ecstatic actually, but the memory I will have is opening my email and seeing that I have a new message from Greg with the video attached. Nothing special, very mundane actually because I check my email everyday. Its the small things that we find and have that make us feel like were involved some how. That make us feel connected to that baby we lost, with out being connected if that makes sense. 
The major one I have is a burping cloth that I stole from the hospital that Jude used a lot. 

I sleep with it every night. It never leaves my bed or inside of my pillow. I don’t take it anywhere because I want to preserve the smell of baby on it. I have never washed it and never will. I will always have this with me and remember the hospital nights I had him. I loved sitting him right on top of me or right next to me and we would watch TV. I would make the nurses come in and change DVDs out for me (hehe >:] ). When ever he got fussy and I had tried everything to make him better, I would just out him on top of my chest, rub his back, and sometimes sing “his” song. That cloth would be on my shoulder all the time in case he needed to burp and would spit up.
I love Juicy Couture! With a passion. I can’t fit into their clothes because I’m a real woman and have fat, but I love their jewelry. I have a charm bracelet with 4 charms on it (so far). 1 represents Victor, 1 represents my love for my sister, and 2 of them represent Jude. 

Jude has always been a good eater. He came out eating. Swear to god, he came out, they took his sugar levels and they were low, he was given a bottle. So he literally came out eating. He has been a good eater since. When he was first born though, he only cried when he wanted food. He would fuss for everything else, but it was a full on cry with tears and all for food. Every time he cried though, he snorted as well like a little piggy. I saw the flying pig in Juicy it was perfect. His wings were always represented the adoption. He needed to fly away and have a better life. His “wings” will hopefully take him on amazing journeys that I could have only imagined for him. The second charm is a little more obvious its a baby bottle with the word “baby” in blue. I got this represent this first year, a very hard and difficult year, hopefully the worse of the years to come. I am losing a baby and gaining a toddler soon. He’ll be one, and I am just amazed that the amount of time has gone by. My baby isn’t a baby anymore. Its a happy and sad fact, sad only because you begin to miss the baby stuff but happy in so many different ways.
I have a bunch of pictures. This is the nicest one I have. I blocked Jude’s face with the top of a Tiffany’s box.

Katie and Greg gave me this frame when Jude was born. I love it a lot. I have a couple of other pictures around my room. One of my mom and Jude and one of my mom, my sister, and me with Jude in my lap. I have a small wallet sized one in my planner that I got in a thanksgiving card of Jude grabbing his ear. Then my phone lock screen and background is a pictures of Jude. The lock screen is always a picture of Jude by him self and the background is always a picture of Jude and me.
The last thing I have is a scrapbook of pregnancy up to the last day in the hospital. I’ve got ultrasound pictures, 4-d ultrasound pictures, pictures of me when I was pregnant, many MANY pictures during the delivery and in the hospital, his hospital tags and mine, his clothes and hat from the hospital, his “birth” certificate, and the hospital papers with his foot prints on them. I put it together in a scrapbook way with fancy paper and stickers. I did it the first and second weeks I was out of the hospital and the adoption was fresh. It really helped me through the whole thing, gave me something to focus on.  
I love all of these things and the meaning they have for me. It’s ok to have things like this in life, even if your a birth mom. Just don’t become a pack rat, hoarder, or obsessive.