I saw this post on Adoption Answer’s Face Book page over the weekend:
Ponder that while I write a disclaimer will you?
*Disclaimer: what’s about to follow may seem like a whole lot of ungratefulness and for that I do apologize. Those who are struggling with infertility will think I’m ungrateful, those who have not, may be surprised by what I’m about to say, but try to remember, no matter how we came to the place of motherhood,no matter the journey, we are all struggling with similar issues. This is not a post about gratitude. God knows, I wouldn’t change my family for a thing… but so help me God… this weekend…..
I tweeted this over the weekend:
“I can with 100% certainty say, if Hannah had been our first born, she would have been an only child.”
It was a cry for help… and one Twitter mom responded to my cry and made me feel better by telling me she felt the same about her biological children.
I’ve blogged before about the unique challenges we’ve faced with Hannah, you can read them here & here & here. And we’ve really had huge success with the brushing schedule as laid out by our OT. But this weekend, it felt like we took a giant leap backwards. Hannah has started cutting not one, but two front teeth. She has had no side effects, is eating normally and still sleeping well, except for one. If she cannot see me for a period longer than 1 second, she starts to cry like someone is breaking her heart and the whining, OMG, don’t even get me started on the whining.
By Sunday afternoon, I was almost in tears from sheer frustration as I didn’t know what to do to stop the unpleasant and almost constant whining. Nothing but nothing could pacify her. Not letting her play on the floor with her toys, taking her for a walk in the garden, attaching her to my hip, NOTHING! And I know now I sound like a whiny little bitch but it is exhausting. It was so bad that at one point, while I was busying doing something with Ava and Hannah yet again started with the whining that turns to crying because she didn’t have 150% of my undivided attention, Ava turned to her and said: Hannah stop it, let me just have a minute with Mama! Que the mommy guilt.
I know its unfair to make comparisons between babies as they’re all individuals and very very different…. BUT even though Ava did not eat or drink well and battled with horrific constipation, she was a cake walk in comparison. I really feel like I am struggling and failing miserably to meet Hannah’s needs. Bonding with her is complicated because she is so demanding of me, because she seems so.. so irritable all the time. She rarely smiles and hardly laughs and mostly just whines a lot. I can tell by the perpetual rotating of her wrists and ankles that she is in an almost constant state of agitation. And I don’t know what to do for her, for me, for us as a family.
I know it must sound awful, but I find myself wishing the time away. I can’t wait for her not to be a baby anymore, I can’t wait until she can walk and talk and perhaps tell me what is upsetting her so much. How sad, my last chance to mother a sweet, little chubby baby and believe me, she can be a sweet little chubby baby, and all I can think about is what she’ll be like as a toddler? How are we going to cope through the terrible 2’s?
And then of course, as an adoptive mother, I feel guilty. I think about her birth mother and the sacrifice she made and the intentions and hopes and dreams she had for Hannah when she placed her with us and I feel guilty and I feel like an utter failure. I feel like I’m letting us all down.
Every morning I start the day by changing Hannah’s nappy and every morning I whisper to her while I’m busy changing her: “Today Mommy will try to be a better Mommy to you, I’ll try harder to do better, I’ll be better for you Little Bird!”
But the fact is, I don’t know how to try harder, I don’t know what else to do to relieve this child’s state of irritation and to be a good mom to Ava and share my time with her equally.
And then I’m reminded of that quote from Adoption Answers and I wonder…. Is Hannah so needy of love that she’s asking for it in the most unloving ways?