Thursday, January 14, 2010

You Better Believe It!

Wow, I can’t believe Reed is a month old!!! But then, there are suddenly a lot of things I’m finding it hard to believe. Obvious things, like “was I really just pregnant?” Yup, and I have the line going down the middle of my still flabby belly to prove it. I know I was, I know I had a little boy growing inside of me, but now when I think about it, there’s an element of disbelief.

It’s the same feeling I get every time I look at him. Soon after he was born, we were at his new cozy home and Maura asked me what it’s like to see him. “… Amazing” was all I could utter out. It was so amazing to me that I gave birth to this person, that I was finally looking at the one who was growing inside me. It is so amazing to me that when I was pregnant we were so connected and one (as I somewhat described in my last blog), and now I was looking at this totally complete individual with his own personality, tastes, quirks, etc., whom I had to get to know. Is it just me or is that mind blowing? Is it just because I'm somewhat separated from him now because of the adoption, or do all mothers think that?

I get the feeling that there is a lot of curiosity about how I’m doing post-partum. Some people I can tell are on tiptoes, trying to gently feel out some kind of vibe from me. And then there are those who come out and ask me “So do you think about him a lot?” “What’s it like to see your son in someone else’s home?” No beating around the bush, just cut it down and trample right over it! I for one prefer that approach. So in answer to those questions and how I’m doing in general, I again find myself in that state of disbelief. Every morning when I wake up I pick up my phone while I’m still in bed and scroll through the pictures I have of him to remind myself that he’s real, and in my own way, to say good morning to him. I constantly have the old We Five song running through my head, “When I woke up this morning, You were on my mind..” (yes, I had to look that up… originally written by Sylvia Tyson, made famous by We Five). When I go on a walk on the trail that I walked on everyday while I was pregnant (that is, since I’ve been in this current NC residence) and I can actually see my feet, I can’t believe there was a time when my big belly was in the way. And since I’m still recovering physically from the birthing process (though I am doing better and better every day), when I stop and think about what I’m actually recovering from, it seems as though it were something that happened in a dream or in another life.

So while I've never really have a “normal” life or routine to revert back to, I’m trying to at least get on with my life with this being my new starting point. I’m attempting to get my body back into shape, if not for the physical appearance and self confidence, at least so that I don’t have to add to my wardrobe with those in-between sizes of clothing. I’ve also started looking ahead to what’s next, with opportunities in places from Wyoming to Nepal, making plans to visit family in Texas, even reading about investment plans for retirement. But since Reed was born, everything I do seems to fall into a separate category from my previous life; one that, even though I’m still in this state of disbelief, somehow has it’s grounding in him. “What would I bring home for Reed if I go to Nepal?” “How much more hair will he have when I see him again if I go to Wyoming for the summer?” “If I’m in some remote part of the world, will I have internet access to see pictures of him?” “I wonder what he will be doing with his life when I’m ready to retire?”

And then there are the times when I actually see him. I get to hold him, to feel him, hear his cries, smell him and breathe him in, and the emotions get even more complexed. At those times, everything is brought home for me and made real; there’s hardly been a time when I’ve seen him and not cried (for that matter, there’s hardly been a time when I haven’t thought of him and not cried!). The tears and disbelief haven’t come with any feelings of loss as was promised me by the ‘experts’, nor have they come with grief, sadness or regret. They are more like tears of intensity, because all of the emotions I feel towards him- amazement, love, joy, as well as the disbelief, are all so intense. Again the only thing I can think when I’m holding him is that I can’t believe it! I can’t believe I’m holding my son! And My God I can’t believe how much I love this little guy! I can’t help but wonder if Doug and Maura still look at him when he’s in their arms and, reveling in their own disbelief and amazement, think the exact same thing.

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