I’ve written a lot of posts since Ruby arrived but none of them do justice to how I am feeling right now. Or they make me sound crazy. Being a mom is tough stuff!
But lets be honest- having two small children only 15 months apart and under the age of two is crazy.
I’m over the moon in love. Ruby is a doll. She’s everything we expected and more. She teaches us something daily- patients, new parenting techniques, a deeper love than we though possible. But it’s not easy either. Balancing the needs of both children…both crying and needing me at the same time…feeling guilty because I can’t devote myself completely to one child. A new baby is a game changer.
The first few days were the hardest. I think that because she came to us through adoption, the bonding is so different than if I had birthed myself. Yes I feel a connection, yes we were very involved with the pregnancy, but she is still a person we have to learn all about. At 2 am sleep deprived
blood curdling screaming crying feedings, I began to doubt myself and my abilities as a mom.
Ruby is so different than Eli. It’s not a DS thing. It’s just she’s a different person and I am trying to learn who she is. On hard days I found myself looking down at her and wondering if we had misinterpreted God’s purpose. Were we really supposed to take on this new adventure? Were we equipped to be her parents? Were we giving her what she needed? Did I intuitively know what Eli needed when he was a newborn? (Not at all in case you were wondering…) but doubt began to poison my experience with her.
Friends would swoon over her, “Don’t you just love the newborn stage?!” And I would smile and say I was tired. Really tired. Which makes me look like a nut for not totally gushing with them about how much I love it and how easy it is.
But inside, I was scared I was failing, more tired than I can ever remember being, and feeling a mom-guilt so strong I was sinking.
I mean, seriously, we are beyond blessed with the two amazing healthy children we have. God made me a mama in two different and wonderful ways- both of our children are precious and heaven sent. It seems insane to me that I would even be complaining about our situation after all we have been through to have children. And really, it is.
So what snapped me out of my selfish-I’m-a-bad-mom-pity-party? Well for starters we began to settle into a routine, we started to learn who Ruby is (a baby with colic…cause that’s how we roll in this house) and instead of talking to my friends and family about how hard the early days are, I prayed about it.
At first just for strength to get through the next crying wake up call. But then for clarity and love. Quickly I began to realize how much I am like a helpless screaming newborn myself. Pouting, crying and stomping my feet because I’m entitled to something. I was saying, “I love my newborn, but I don’t like this”…wow…I’m so glad God doesn’t feel the same way about us. His love is unconditional even though I am so unworthy. It’s by His grace alone that I can be called His. It’s through His love that I am redeemed and made whole. It seems so simple, but He plainly and clearly told me that I needed to breathe, relax and love. I let my own selfishness get in the way of the joy that my family is.
It’s been 13 days since our family changed for the better. It’s been wild but it’s only 13 days! I’m giving myself some credit and stopping to enjoy this special and fleeting time. Clarity- it’s a wonderful thing 🙂
Some other points of stress have resolved themselves. Eli’s feeding had greatly improved. We significantly reduced the amount of liquids he is drinking which instantly improved his reflux (making all that testing unnecessary at this point). He is now eating some table foods and only refusing an occasional meal- mostly due to teething we suspect.
Meal time is now much happier and anxiety free.
Barry’s potential job offer in OKC fell through, so we won’t be moving as of right now.
We are optimistically looking ahead for what else God has in store for our family.