Keep calm and carry on- sollybaby wrap

Thank you to Sollybaby wrap for sponsoring this review. The following  is my personal experience  with the sollybaby wrap.

One of the most beneficial things I can do for our foster babies is show them attachment. Often times these children have lacked love, affection and  closeness.The inital weeks with a new baby can be rough. Dinner still needs prepped, laundry done, and wearing baby close is the most logical thing to do. When I was a novice foster parent, I purchased our very first babycarrier. Mother’s around me modeled babywearing and it quickly became the most natural thing for our family of three. Not only has wearing our babies proven to be effective in helping with some of the problems they may face, it has helped us travel, grocery shop and calm a fussy babe.

 During the past three years I have accumulated quite a stash, as they call it, of various baby carriers. my experience has me looking for convenience and ease in using a carrier. I have purchased many carriers and quickly learned that some aren’t as easy as they Claim to be. the fit just isn’t right. 

Our family welcomed a preemie baby boy into the world this past July. His body was teeny tiny and finding a carrier to fit proved difficult. I wanted him to be close to me, but his body just didn’t work in any of the carriers I had purchased. at 4 months, Squishy is just under 10 pounds.the carriers with clips, buttons, inserts, and rings didn’t appeal to me this time around. Sollybaby sent me one of their wraps and I wasn’t sure if their wrap could meet my needs of fit and convenience. I was quickly proved wrong. 

Our wrap arrived the day before our vacation { such perfect timing to test it out in the world }. I excitingly opened the package and instantly fell in love with the softness of the fabric. it was so soft that knew Squishy would love it. When I took the wrap out of the package and began looking at action shots of the wrap in use  I panicked. The wrap looked intimidating. Sollybaby offers detailed tutorials on their website and the wrap comes with a detailed instruction booklet for a newborn and standard carry. I was able to watch the video a couple times and master the art of wrapping the wrap onto my body. within minutes I was ready to place Squishy  inside. The look on his face was pure joy. It was obvious that he loved being close to me and snug. He fit perfectly.

The next day,  I wrapped the sollybaby on me and placed Squishy inside as we boarded our airplane for vacation. he slept he entire plane ride. 

Sollybaby offers comfort, security and ease in their wrap. It’s everything I was looking for in a carrier. 

If your looking for a comfortable babywearing experience, I highly suggest giving sollybaby a try. 

Www.sollybaby.com

Mommy what?!? 

Mommycon? 

Mommycon…. 

Envision women everywhere,specifically mothers. Mother’s {of any kind, lesbian, surrogate, adoptive, traditional, etc} who come together with or without their child, their bump, their husbands, to gain more wisdom on this whole motherhood thing. 

Sounds great, right? 

Motherhood is hard. Just because my motherhood journey hasnt been a traditional parenting journey, my experiences have been the same as every other mother around. There are times I’m barely hanging on, faking it til I make it, and days when I high five myself for getting the task complete all in one smooth day. Like most other women, I crave to learn more. I want to better myself as a mother and meet other like minded people who are trekking the same path as me. I remember my first Mommycon experience 3 years ago. A friend of mine introduced me to a whole new world and I’ve been hooked ever since.

Picture modern motherhood, boutique style pop up shops, seminars on potty training, sex after baby, breastfeeding, sleep training, and beyond. It’s a day long event ( now 2 days, but more on that later) that tackles every thing mommy related. MC allows you to pop in on sessions that pique your interest and meet venders who sell unique baby items, as well as major companies in the baby industry ( britax, peg perego, Chicco and more). The end of the day is packed with a huge giveaway! Who doesn’t love a brand new BOB stroller or a arms reach Co sleeper?!? 

Motherhood is the greatest gift on earth, why not embrace it with other mothers and gain more mommy knowledge while having fun? The best part is, mommycon has grown so much and comes to major cities all over the country. 

Check out the link below for Mommy con info and see if they are going to a city near you!

All Events

Use promo code STAG17 for your discounted ticket to Mommycon 2017

The bump obsession

I’m obsessed with my teen foster daughters baby bump. There, I said it. Admitting is the first step.

When teen mom walked into our home newly pregnant I felt a variety of emotions flowing thought my heart and mind. In the beginning I had so much anger and bitterness towards the tiny little blip living inside of her. I was jealous at the fact that I couldn’t carry a baby in my womb like her. While she still doesn’t have the slightest clue about how to care properly for a baby,or the fact that Mountain Dew is not a sufficient liquid to intake while pregnant, my anger and jealously are slowly subsiding.

The other night I walked into her room to check on her and make sure she had put her clothes away. She was standing by her closet hanging a few shirts and I suddenly noticed her belly. It seemed like all of a sudden it had popped out and it was very evident that she was in fact pregnant. I made a comment to her about how her body had changed. She openly talked about how she had been feeling the baby move for a couple of days and it was “weird” feeling. She said the baby was moving at that moment. Reluctantly, I asked her if I could touch her belly and feel. She said yes, and allowed me to place my hand on her stomach. She said “right here” and I moved my hand where she pointed. In that moment I felt the baby wiggle inside of her. I had known all along that she was pregnant, but this seemed to confirm that even more.

Days have passed and I have touched her bump more times than I can count on my two hands. It’s so fascinating to watch her stomach grow and I love it even more that teen mom allows me to intrude on her personal space more than I should be. When I asked  her about my touching her bump she replied ” it annoys me when everyone at school touches me, but your my mom, its ok.” My heart felt happy. She trusts me enough to send positive vibes via my hand on her bump, I couldn’t be more honored.

I am not sure the exact moment that my feelings changed, and I am still feeling a mix of emotions that aren’t always positive, but everyday I am making progress. Tomorrow I take teen mom in for her 20 wk anatomy scan/ gender ultrasound. I am hoping that I can be of support to her and maintain the positive feelings once we find out the gender of the baby inside her.

 

 

Isn’t it Ironic?

Lately the irony in our lives has been cruel.

I am a firm believer in “tests” that life hands you.

One can crumble when faced with the proverbial test, or they can face it head on and laugh, cry, kick, and push through it and stare it directly in the face.

Usually I am the latter… except for today. I crumbled like a stale cookie and received a big fat “F” in foster parenting, infertility, and this life test.

Allow me to explain….

Early last week, we received a call about a teenager who we had done some mentoring for this past fall. She was back in care again and this time she is pregnant. For obvious reasons I cannot go into detail. just know that we are dealing with some higher needs and navigating life with not only a teen girl, but a pregnant teen girl.  (  I know, there are many who have questions about the future of this child, we cannot go into detail with the case or what will happen to baby)

Honestly, I am not sure why the husband and I agreed to take in this girl, but we felt it was appropriate and said “yes”. This past week going from a couple to a family of 3 has been quite the change for us. The infertile takes in the fertile under her roof and subjects herself to the experience of pregnancy.

One of the big unknowns was the gestation of the baby. All week we prepped teen girl for the upcoming appointment and in the back of my mind I knew what was going to occur at this appointment. This afternoon, we walked into the office and began the new patient paperwork, and began the journey on being a first time foster parent to a teenager who is pregnant. It all seemed to be going well. obtaining history, urine test, background, etc.

We had a huge issue with lab work ( teen girl was terrified. a story for another day) and then it was time for the Ultrasound. Looking back now, I am not sure why I thought I would be mentally prepared enough for what my eyes were about to see. The only Ultrasounds I have ever seen were of my empty uterus and ovaries with numerous cysts, yet in my mind I kept hearing  “you got this.”

They lifted her shirt and unbuckled her jeans a bit and placed the jelly on her abdomen. The wand was placed on her belly and the quest for baby began. and there it was. this tiny little jelly bean moving around like a tiny blip. I was overcome with immediate jealously and bitterness. Why couldn’t I experience this? Why was some teenager who has meaningless sex able to carry a life inside her, when here I am broken? I couldn’t handle it. I crumbled. me, the stale cookie, in a million pieces, a blubbering mess. I quietly exited the room to allow her the moment of excitement she was clearly experiencing.

I sat on the other side of the wall and sobbed. I sobbed for myself, for the baby, for everything. I could hear the excitement in her voice when they announced that she is approx 8-9 weeks along. She is just a baby, who is having baby. and millions of women are experiencing loss of that gift. yet, somehow this girl has been placed in my care. Irony at its finest.

I want to experience motherhood so badly and I feel like life keeps teasing me with this scenarios of hope, only to take it away and leave me feeling empty inside.

After a while, I composed myself, texted a good friend of mine who had the right words to say. I wiped my eyes, took a deep breath and walked back into that room.

The rest of the evening has been quiet around here. I think we are all a little shocked from today.

This is just the beginning of a very long road. The ironic moments are just beginning, just like this new life inside her.

Thank goodness for wine, friends, and running.

A fresh start

2016

Whoa! It’s hard to believe that the years fly by as fast as they do. When I take a moment and stop the hurry up and go daily life I realize just how much my husband and I have accomplished since we married in 2013. We have overcome hurdles, completed some minor home renovations, planted roots in our community, created friendships, been through TWO home studies ( 1 foster care, 1 domestic adoption), became parents, lost children, and now are back full circle to waiting for a tiny human to enter our lives once again; this time for keeps.

2015 had its moments of highs, lows and everything in between. I have taken the past few weeks to reflect who I became and how I want to change as I prepare to become a mother once again.

I woke up to the first day of 2016 and felt this urge to clear out the nursery. It’s mostly set up, but has quickly become a cluttered mess of baby items. Some days working in the nursery gives me the extra patience I need as we sit and wait, while other days it brings me to my knees in tears of loneliness. The clutter over took the glider chair that I use to journal in, and I wanted a fresh start as I begin the new year of continuing to journal letters to our unborn child.

This journal has become by far my favorite part of the whole adoption process. It is my hope that one day, when our son or daughter is old enough to grasp emotions that he/she will be able to gain a better understanding of how much we loved them from the very beginning of this process and the emotions we went through as we waited for months or even years. Some days, I write a lesson that I have learned and I try to reflect that lesson, so that one day when they are faced with a similar situation, they can understand how I processed it and hopefully gain some wisdom from my words. While other days, I write my raw emotions.

Today as we begin the first day of a new chapter ( year), I wanted to take a moment and share one entry that I wrote in regards to patience and timing.

I don’t consider myself a hardcore religious person. My faith sways and some days I feel closer to God, while other days its hard to profess my love for Him. I felt that this entry was applicable to anyone who is struggling with patience and timing. You are not alone.

12-3-15

Sweet Child of Mine, 

The other day I left off by saying that the adoption of you is in God’s hands. He is in complete control of the life he has planned out for your daddy and me and everyone around us. It is my hope that as we prepare our hearts for you that I can properly teach you that we have such a mighty God who is bigger than you, me, or anyone can ever be. It is such a hard concept to learn and honestly I am not sure that  I have fully grasped the concept that I am NOT in control of the bigger picture. God has his own timing and plan for our lives. During the troubling time we don’t always see a clear picture or see a positive outcome, but if you trust in Him, the outcome will unfold to something you cant ever imagine. These thoughts were heavy on my heart today. As your daddy and I wait each day I often have a negative mind that you will never arrive or that an expectant mom will never choose us to be your parents. The reality of it is, I am not in control and somewhere out there in this world there is a baby for your daddy and I. We hope your adoption story will give you the best lesson about how awesome and mighty of a God we have. 

 

May your New Year be filled with everything you ever wished for. It is my hope that all of us waiting for a baby will be granted patience, support and feel surrounded by love as we endure the long days until we get “the call”.

The almost surrogacy

Based on the title of this post, you know its not going to be a happy one.

Come on, you really think I am a happy blogger?

Its so hard to go on living everyday when the one thing you want so badly isn’t happening. Its so hard to go on when each lead ends in complete disaster.

A few months back we revealed that we had met the most amazing women ever. A woman who generously offered us her body, which would be an incubator to a precious life created by my husband and her egg. We were over the moon excited to make our parenting dreams come true.

Every day I spent time working with a lawyer, calling insurance companies, planning the fine details for the surrogacy. Then, one day we received rough news. The insurance needed for our surrogate was going to be way more than we had anticipated.

When hubby and I really sat down and crunched numbers, we knew that it wasn’t financially smart to spend 50-60k on a baby. We had to be realistic with it and know that if we did spend that money, we would literally need to eat Ramen and give up a lot. Which is worth it, but not smart. Fundraising it not as easy as it sounds and asking for money isn’t right or possible.

When we left for our much needed vacation, we knew beforehand what we needed to do. Telling our dear surrogate was going to be the hardest thing. Hubby and I made a plan to not talk babies on vacation. Our days were filled with fun, drinks, shopping and sleep. Yet, whenever I would go relax in the spa my eyes swelled with tears and the decision that we had made. On the last night of the cruise we confirmed what we already knew and made a plan to break it to our surrogate.

I still remember sitting on our couch as I placed the call to the woman who had already given up so much time and energy on us. Telling her the situation and how we needed to be smart wasn’t easy. I expected her to hate me and to say mean things. She never did. She respected us, cried with me and said we would still be friends. Have I mentioned how amazing she is?

I’m not totally ready to talk about the loss of something that seemed to perfect for us. Honestly, I am not sure where we will go from here. I still stand true to my feelings on adoption and I don’t think we make enough to even be considered with an agency. We will try, but I don’t think it will be our decision, it will be the agency. Thanks to the generous donor’s, we have met our goal for this particular agency. If they accept us, we will be able to proceed quickly in getting licensed. We appreciate every prayer, donation, and support.. Infertility isn’t an easy road.

Link

April 27,2010; the day my life was changed forever. A day where in a matter of hours I became part of a percentage of  stats that no women should ever be part of.

Infertility is tricky, there is alot to learn, understand and decide.
When I met my husband, telling him I was infertile was the hardest thing. He embraced the challenge and has proven to be a team player in every way since.
We have had many discussions about how we would like to become parents. We discussed foster to adopt, agency adoption and surrogacy.
Becoming a parent is such an intimate act. Inviting others into that moment because you are infertile is interesting to say the least.
I have learned that there aren’t any right or wrong ways to become a parent. What works for some won’t work for others, and that’s okay, it’s not their journey to judge or understand.
As we begin our parenting journey, my visions have changed drastically, what I once thought would work isn’t and what I never thought I could do, I’m currently doing.
This weekend, we met up with our surrogate. This makes our second time seeing eachother. The feeling of excitement, familiarity, and growing bond reassures me that our decision to choose surrogacy over agency adoption was the best choice for us.
I have nothing against adoption. Adoption is a beautiful thing. Every year thousands of children are placed for adoption into loving homes of people who are just like my husband and I. that’s beautiful.
We have had so many people say “why don’t you just adopt?” Adoption isn’t that easy. I want to address the misconceptions that we have discovered first hand and why its not a good fit for us personally.
When we began our quest on gathering information for adoption, it opened our eyes to something we knew wasn’t for us.
Personally, I have a huge issue with the cost. I was left dumbfounded when I heard a voice on the other end of the phone say ” our fee is a nominal $35,000. In addition to money placed in an escrow account for the birth mother.  A fee of which is non refundable, should the mother choose to parent the child.”
Excuse me, what? I couldn’t hang up the phone fast enough. Adoption is a great thing,  putting your trust 100% into a super risky situation is tough. Especially when the funds are already sparse.
My husband and I have heard so many horror stories of agencies disappearing after the initial deposits being paid and you are “waiting ” for a placement. We also have heard of a number of failed attempts. Where the adoptive family was matched, money was paid and when delivery time came, birth mom had no intention of placement or changed her mind. That money was gone. They were left with an emptier bank account and an empty nursery.  my heart  breaks for those left with those feelings and heartache.

My husband and I aren’t rich . We are just an average couple with a tiny quirky home. As we began browsing the agencies, we were encouraged to browse the competition other waiting families. I suddenly felt so inadequate. These families were gorgeous, their homes equally as well. Some had photos of their huge kitches, lake homes ( that were just waiting for a baby to fill it), expensive cars and super model looking parents. How would we ever compare? My tiny old home was nothing compared to that. I began feeling angry. I felt like my husband suddenly wasn’t good enough for me, like I could have done better. That’s not the point of marriage or parenting. My life is perfect, I was letting the images of perfection jade me. chalk up another reason why I couldn’t embark on this journey. I knew birth parents would be looking at all types of families, but when I compared myself to what was out there, there was no comparison.

Spoiler alert! My husband and I fight, I get super annoyed with him. As a  mom, I lose my patience. We aren’t perfect. That’s ok though. If we were going to choose adoption. I would have to change my ways. What birth parent would willing choose a couple who fights, acts annoyed with one another and laughs at bodily functions?
I strive to be real 100% of the time. That’s why when we met our surrogate, I knew that surrogacy was for us. She knows we aren’t perfect. She doesn’t want to see us perfect. She knows we make mistakes, argue and she is okay with it. I know that she doesn’t judge those faults and count them as parenting fails. She knows that no matter the size of our home or bank account that this baby will be loved more than anything in the world.
I would have a pretty hard time trying to keep my smiling, cheery self for a birthmother and agency all the time. It would be exhausting. After all, I am only human.

This weekend was only the start of our surrogacy journey, yet, I am left feeling excited. Excited that the choice we made months ago to forego our adoption journey was the best choice. I’m feeling positive knowing that we are being authentic with the people involved in this intimate experience of having a baby.

My heart goes out to all those struggling with infertility, no matter which journey you feel is right for you. May your parenting dreams become a reality. Because that’s all that matters in the end.