Day 21 of parenthood

Blessed, exhausted, and overwhelmed.  A.'s back to work after his three-week leave taking care of N. and me at the hospital.  We are fortunate that N. spent only two weeks in the NICU.  Her only issue was that she was small. Otherwise, she has been breathing on her own since she was born.  N. & I are finally home as the three of us get to know each other with Lola's (grandma's) support this first week (though I have no doubt that Lola wouldn't mind helping out as much as possible as she can't seem to  put N. down).  

Relationships between mothers and daughters vary for numerous reasons. The interpersonal dynamics can be significantly on or off or a combination. It's been a while since my mom and I have been under the same roof, and I've always been a fiercely independent one since I was a young girl.  I've actually been having a difficult time accepting Mom's help when I'm so accustomed to doing everything on my own. It's no wonder why some mothers have a superwoman complex.  And now, amidst the stresses of being a new mama, crazy hormones, and lack of sleep, I have my moments of remembering to appreciate my mom's desire to assist us during this milestone.  As needed, she's been more than willing to cook, fold laundry, feed and change N. . . . . and she wants to because N. is her first and only granddaughter.  I can only wonder what kind of crazy I will bring to N.'s life when she's older.

Life has changed.  I'm on late night duty with N.  Mom cares for her during the day, while I sleep into the late morning and attend to tasks for the day.  I'm supposed to nap in the afternoon, but it's hard when I have a running list of to-dos that need to be checked off, and Mom and I are interchangeably taking care of N.  A. will arrive home from work, have a snack, go up to take a nap, followed by quality time with N.  I find myself eating dinner alone and napping by late night when A. wakes from his evening respite.  Then I'm back on duty come N.'s late night feeding.

Ongoing concerns such as immediate doctors' appointments (N.'s, A's. and mine), future back-to-work plans, and N.'s most pressing needs -- not to mention the random emotional moments I experience while breast pumping and dumping (because I'm currently on blood pressure meds and can't give N. breast milk).  

Oh, the madness
On the periphery of deadlines is having to update our immigration paperwork for the adoption process -- have to get that done by the end of September. After speaking with an adoption resource, who shared that she too became pregnant in the middle of their adoption journey from China (whose timeframe is much longer than the Philippines), I am more convinced we are where we're meant to be.  Two biological kids later, a third by adoption and in the process of adopting a second from China, D. shared what an absolute blessing it's been to grow their family both by birth & adoption.  Yes, we are where we're meant to be.  Things will work out as they're supposed to. 

And lingering in and out of my mind is the fact that my Dad isn't here to meet N. Sure, if I believe his spirit lives on, he somehow knows and probably played a pretty critical role in bringing N. to us wherever he is.  Tomorrow is his four-year death anniversary.   

Need meditation.  It's necessary to my daily survival and connecting to myself. Breathing in, I feel calm.  Breathing out, I feel relaxed. May I be safe from inner & outer harm. May I  be happy & peaceful. May I be strong & healthy. May I take care of myself with joy.  

A. & I have so much gratitude for the team of specialists who cared for N. and me throughout the pregnancy as well as the nurses and doctors on staff during labor and delivery.  A most heartfelt thank you to all of our friends & family who visited at the hospital, left messages and sent treats, as they share in our delight at N.'s arrival into the world.