Monday, October 10, 2011

Of birds and bees...

Things continue to go well in mommyland -- Lianne is becoming more and more fun every moment and I am doing better than I thought I would at juggling baby/daycare/work/life stuff. I'm pretty good at getting a tasty meal on the table and am getting a decent amount of sleep. The house is a disaster, and I wish it wasn't, but clean house is lower on the hierarchy of needs than sleeping and eating! I miss Bill, as we are constantly trading off duties in order to make life easier, but which means we rarely have moments of quiet together. And sometimes I get hit with pangs of nostalgia for little traditions (like Ping delivery on Friday nights) that are out of our lives for the forseeable future. But honestly, the challenges pale in comparison to the incredible love and radiance and joy of being a mom to this awesome girl.

I recently had the pleasure of attending the baby shower of a friend of mine whose baby is due later this month. It was a totally joyous occasion, with fantastic noshes and respectable activities (no "baby food tasting contests" or "who can make a diaper out of toilet paper the fastest" or other such hell) and a great group of women. Adding to the warmth of the event was knowing that this friend was a sister of mine in her journey to parenthood, having weathered struggles and bleak days. So the celebration felt extra special given how hard she and her spouse worked to get here.

Here's the funny thing, though. Somewhere in my travels from "desperate to be pregnant" to "desperate to stay pregnant" to "terrified to be pregnant" to "adoption is the best option" to "happy mommy," I completely disassociated pregnancy from babies. I realized at the shower that the concept of pregnancy seems completely foreign to me now. Honestly, it's pretty strange that babies grow in there like that. I mean, I flew to Lubbock and -- TA DA! -- there was my darling girl!

Don't get me wrong -- it is great to feel no remorse about having not been able to carry a baby to term. I carried that scar with me for a long time, battling the internal voices that told me that I was less of a woman for not being able to gestate successfully. In fact (TMI ALERT!) when I was recently seeing my gyn, we talked about birth control and when walking me through the options (am I 18 again?!), she asked me how I would feel if we had an accidental pregnancy. My answer was "no way, Jose." It's beyond feeling OK about not being able to stay pregnant -- I honestly don't want it to ever happen now.

But it's strange to look at other pregnant women -- including friends -- and feel like it is just the strangest thing in the world. Yeah, it is legitimately pretty odd. But we are all on this earth -- including my daughter -- because people get (and stay) pregnant. How strange is that, though?!

When thinking about this turn my brain has taken, I started to think about Lia. First, I realized that at a certain point, we will have to tell her about the birds and the bees. Second, given that I'm a girl and she's a girl, this is likely to fall to me, not Bill. But finally, and most importantly, I need to figure out how to share this with her in a way that respects her story and those of all children who were adopted. I would guess that most biological parents sit their kids down and start off with the classic, "when mommies and daddies love each other very much..." line. While I know in my heart that Lia's birth parents love her in the most giving and unselfish way, I know that the story is more complicated. And that this mommy and daddy did and do love each other very much, but that "magic" didn't create a baby -- other magic did. As Lia's forever mama, it's my job to figure out the best way to convey both the biological and the emotional in a way that supports her own story.

Good thing I have some time.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


This post is inspired by a blog called 1001 Rules for my Unborn Son ( and when I Googled to get the website, come to find out there is also a 1001 Rules for my Unborn Daughter site ( Who knew? Anyway, this post is inspired by this idea and, of course, by my daughter. It is the first of what I hope to be a series of posts that she can read when she is old enough (and not yet embarrassed by everything I do and say).

I've got a few ideas for these posts but I will start with the one that I think is the most important. A smile is your most important tool in life - not just for getting ahead in the world but, more importantly, for making the world a better place if even for just a moment.

I was reminded of this on the way to work a couple of weeks ago. As you will notice, here in DC (and probably many other places) the morning commute is populated by some of the most dour faces you'll ever see. I won't deny that sometimes I am one of those dour faces. But more often than not, I am one of the few people that offers a smile. As much as I enjoy my work, my smile is not the result of unbridled joy of heading into the office (I'd much rather stay home to play with you). Rather, it is me trying to brighten the mood of people around me. I was on my way to work, sitting on the Metro reading my paper and I noticed someone looking at me or at least in my direction with the typical commuter face. Instead of simply reciprocating the look or going back to my paper, I smiled at this person. The transformation was amazing! This person's whole face lit up with a smile back. Smiling made me feel better and I hope (and think) that I made the world just a little bit better at that moment.

So Lia, give it a try sometime. Just offer a smile and make the world a better place.