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January 08, 2008

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Angie

Karen, please, please, don't tell MP that she grew in your heart, as a commenter above suggested. A lot of adult adoptees *shudder* at this being told to them as children. My assvice? Be honest, answer the questions she asks, accept that she may have grief, be open with her that she does have another mother, fight for her ferociously, accept that she may not wish to celebrate her day of adoption, read some adult adoptee forums. Think of words from her point of view: people tell adopted children they were "chosen". Eventually, the penny drops that to be chosen you had to be given up first.

I've read your blog for YEARS now and I think you have a great grasp on all of these things anyway. I don't pretend or assume that all adoptees feel the way I do on the above, just be aware that some do.

Angie.

Carol

Andrea.......OMG, I have to have mimi! Maybe I'll need an appendectomy or something?

Foster

I detest the taste of all products made w/ aspartame (I can *always* taste it), so I have been drinking regular Cokes this entire pregnancy. Im currently 24 wks and also have not asked anyone about it. I generally try to stay w/ root beer and ginger ale, but I will drink colas. I dont really keep track, but I know if it's a day when I drink it, it's definitely more than one cans worth.

It is safe to dye your hair: highlights - anytime; all-over color - after first trimester. My hairstylist told me so.

I felt the quickening twice at 15wks. It felt like being tickled from the inside. One week later, I got kicked once. One week later, I felt "real" movement which could also be felt from the outside. That was at 17wks.

Yesterday was the first time I got asked by someone who doesnt know I am pg when my due date is. I think I started to look pg and not just a pot belly at 22wks. Not sure tho; it's hard to tell on yourself w/ clothes on.

BrooklynGirl

I abstained the first time around, but was too damn tired the second. My OB said one diet, caffeinated soda a day was fine. I tried to interpret this as one 12 oz can, but often it was a 20 oz bottle. Splenda scares me (that whole "it's natural" argument) so that was mostly aspartame--except when I got weirded out about artificial sweeteners and drank regular Coke.

I didn't feel movement the first time until 22-23 weeks (I had an anterior placenta). The second time I felt it around 16-7 weeks. I'd have to say it felt like gas at first. I only really figured out what movement felt like when the baby happened to move around during an ultrasound so I could connect the sensation with something concrete.

I'm not a slim girl, and I was pregnant during bulky sweater season so I was able to get to almost six months the first time and 4 months the second without anyone suspecting a thing (which was exactly as I wanted it).


Carrie Jo

I was adopted and I thought I'd share with you some of my own experiences to answer your questions.

1. I remember always knowing that I was adopted. My situation is quite different from most because my birth father is my adoptive father's oldest brother. He lived with my grandparents for most of my childhood, so I have always known him and known who he was, but I still call him Uncle and consider him more my uncle (and sperm donor) than father. I did, however, spend some time in foster care during the first year of my life when the State of Texas (where I was born) had taken me away from my birth parents because of their drug use and the apparent inability to provide the basic necessities for me and my 3-year-old half sister.

2. I don't know if I felt grief, per se. When my adoptive dad remarried and had a bio kid with wife (not necessarily in that order), I adored that baby (now a high schooler!!! we're still close, though) but had a hard time adjusting to my place in the family. Granted, I was almost 12 when she came along, but I often felt like I was an outsider to this little family and didn't belong. My parents were greatly at fault for this, they did a LOT wrong like my dad telling me when he was mad at me that they "could always give me back" or something to that effect. I always knew, however, that despite the fact that my life was far less than perfect, it was way better than it would have been if I'd stayed with my birth parents. There's no doubt in my mind that I would have ended up addicted to drugs and/or pregnant in high school if not sooner.

Oh crap. I have so much more to say on this subject, but I've run out of time. If you're interested in knowing more about my take and situation, please feel free to e-mail me.

janet

the "special" phrased i used with my oldest son (the only one of my four who is adopted) was this:

some people grow in their mommy's tummy, and some people grow in another lady's tummy before they come to their mommy.

it worked for me.

ap

Unlike the other people who commented, I really did care about pooping on the table and other biological functions even while I was giving birth. I was thinking about whether I'd poop on the table, even during the 3+ hours that I was pushing. I was in some very undignified positions, and I was a little embarrassed about that. Hopefully, you'll be one of those people who don't care. All in all, giving birth is really cool. I have one child, and I don't really want any more children, but that's something that I wouldn't mind doing again.

I didn't show until my 6th month. I had really bad morning sickness and lost 15 pounds so that even my regular clothes were pretty loose for a while. Don't worry, you'll get really sick of your maternity clothes toward the end of the pregnancy. To this day, I still can't stand the new empire waste shirts that seem to be everywhere (like every shirt at Anthropologie!)

Lynn

Funny, my doctor said if you ARE a good pusher than you WILL poop. But, I think it's also natures course to clear your system for you prior to a natural delivery (ie. your body goes into labor, not the drs using meds to get you into labor). Either way - you'll be fine - and to ME, someday you will look back and think, "I worried about THAT?"
Movement was around 20 weeks with both BUT I know it's not consistent until 27 weeks (ie. you can't panic if you don't feel it every single day) and logically so b/c they still are pretty small at that point. Then toward the end - they get so big that they have a hard time moving. One you get consistent movement, if you ever think s/he is not moving enough - drinking something with lots of sugar and/or lay on your back - USUALLY they will move within 45 minutes!
I drank diet drinks throughout my pregnancies. I couldn't go to straight water and if I didn't do diet than I would have been the size of a house, which is not healthy either.
I don't know about hair dyes though - sorry.
As for adoption, I don't know either - but it seems like everything else you have done has worked out well! Go with your gut and your mother's intuition!

Soper

Do you want me to send you an invite to the lifebook I made for Moonpie? I used Shutterfly, and am really happy with the way it turned out. It's been a great springboard to talk about adoption with Moonpie, as well as giving her the ability to discuss/process it at her own pace.

Be happy to give you any advice you want. Just ask.

Kate

I felt the first movement around 19 weeks. I didn't think of it as bubbles or popping; to me, it felt exactly like someone was tapping me on the inside. I thought of it as baby's Morse code messages to me.

I didn't start to show until the beginning of my third trimester. I'm a normal weight, and I've gained the proper amount of weight, but apparently I have a very long torso, so there was lots of room for the baby to grow up before having to grow out.

I still look small. I'm currently 35 weeks, and at my childbirth class last night, the woman next to me was 29 weeks and looks further along than I do.

Janis

I know you said no poop- but that is kind of what I am sharing- I've birthed 8 kids and not once pooped while delivering. No, I'm not oblivious, I was just lucky enough to have nature clean me out before labor was that advanced. :) So there is hope!

Heather

My doc said all of the artificial sweeteners were fine. I don't remember caffeine even being discussed...

I felt Jeffrey at 14 weeks--it felt like somebody was tickling me very quickly and lightly from the inside right abouve my pubic bone. I felt him REALLY move at around 20 weeks when I was lying on my side and he decided to do a little rapelling from the top of my belly down. It felt...like I had a hamster inside me. Too weird.

I don't remember when I showed with Jeffrey--but I started wearing pregnancy shirts at 4 months because I wanted people to reco-nize.

Laura

We've been telling our kids since we got them about their adoptions. (We also have only done domestic, open adoptions so we see birthparents several times throughout the year.) We have a memory box for both of them which includes the outfit they came home in, paperwork, photo with judge, etc. They love to look through those things and have us tell the stories that go along with each item. Our 5 year old is starting to tell people that he's adopted and "came from 'manda's belly..." He gets the whole story down pretty well but doesn't quite understand all of the other 'extras' that go along with having this kind of family. We've purposed to be proud/positive adoption advocates and it pays off when I see that imitated in our kids.

Georgia

I highlighted my hair throughout my pregnancy.
I think the moderate amount of caffeine is okay, but the artificial sweetener isn't great? But I think it's safe enough.
Movement--felt like a bubble, around 16-17 weeks maybe, very faint, a tiny sense of a thump.

Shelley

I don't have experience with adoption, but have found books to be really helpful tools in introducing all kinds of things with my daughter, from practical stuff like "The Bearenstain Bears Go to the Dentist" before her first dentist visit, to books like "Whoever You Are" to introduce the idea that people are basically the same all over the world, despite differences in race, culture, geography etc.

At about 3 1/2 my daughter became obsessed with hearing the story of how she was born, FWIW, and from what I can tell 3 seems to be the standard age for getting really interested in where babies come from.

I'm sure you've read Dawn over at This Woman's Work, and Jen at mimiboo.net -- both discuss issues surrounding the adoption of their daughters at length, and both have a bio child also.

just another jenny

1. Not Sure
2. I colored my hair throughout the pregnancy and my little princess is just fine
3. I felt the first "flutter" around 19 weeks but it was 22/23 weeks before they were regular.
4. It's horrible, I can't remember.
5. I have to add this because I recently read it. 75% of women are scared of pooping during delivery. 39% of women do poop. Of that 39%, only 22% said they were embarassed. It is honestly the last thing you will care about during delivery.

Dreamermom

As far as the adoption story, I think it's one of those situations where different children have different responses.

When my daughter was 4 she began asking really good questions about her adoption story. That showed me that she was listening and that she understood the concept on a very basic level.

However, now that my son is 4, he doesn't show interest in his adoption story at all. He tends to be distrustful of people he doesn't know (very unlike my daughter), so I don't know if he doesn't undertand or if he's just not interested at this point.

I'd just keep telling MP about her story on very simple terms. She'll let you know when she's interested enough for details.

Juli

Holy snarkypants! I read the NO religiously and had no idea you were back...until I clicked your link on Tertia's page for giggles. How wonderful to hear that you are blogging again, that MP is doing so well...and...um YOU'RE PREGNANT!=-) You totally made my day today! Can't wait to keep up with your story!

Congrats on the pregnancy! And, after reading months of old entries, I have to comment that if you want long-length jeans, then look into Old Navy. I only bought my maternity jeans at Old Navy...I couldn't find long-length anywhere else (well, not completely true. I could find long-length elsewhere, but I didn't want to spend $$$ on them!). Wow...I am just so excited that you're blogging again, and I love love love hearing about the adorable MP.

Did I mention that you made my day!!!!=-)

Take care,
juli

Juli

Sorry... me again. Wanted to address your three pregnancy questions:

1.Diet soda...I drank 2 cans a day prior to pregnancy. Zip after that. I was just paranoid...I've heard one can a day is fine, though.
2. Highlights. Not sure on that...ask your OB, as each one has his/her own issues with it.
3. Movement. First baby (aka my toddler)...20 weeks. Third pregnancy (which ended badly in ways that, trust me, you need not worry about with your pregnancy)...14 weeks.
4. Showing. First pregnancy...around 18-20 weeks, I think. Third pregnancy...16-17 weeks.

liz d.

My daughter (adopted from China at 10 months) didn't seem interested in her adoption/notice pregnant women until she was 3 or so. Now at age 4 she loves the book, "How you were born" by Joana Cole. She has this book memorized. She is pretty content at this point to know that she has a "china mommy" and myself. She likes to pretend to be pregnant and wants me to pretend to be pregnant, too (note: we only pretend this at home). She doesn't seem sad or upset at this age, but I know she may feel differently when she gets older.
The one thing that seemed very important when we were preparing for adopting her younger sister, was that she understand that were were as excited to adopt her as we were for her new sister, that we prepared a room for her, bought clothes, talked to people, etc. for her just like we were doing now for her soon-to-be sister (and how excited we were to adopt her just like she was seeing for her sister). I hope this makes sense. I also made a short book of her adoption story that she liked to read from about age 2 on.

patti

YOU ARE BACK!

I've wondered about you so much. So glad to have found you.

Congratulations on your pregnancy; how amazing!

Of hair and soda, I know nothing. I felt my daughter move at around 20 weeks, but in retrospect, I think I actually felt something around 17-18 weeks; I just didn't know what it was.

I look forward to following your 2nd journey to motherhood! WOOHOO!

P.S. I pooped. I had a natural (as in, no drugs) delivery and I felt everything, including the non-intentional exiting of the poop. In my pain-haze, I remember actually weakly saying, between pushes, "I'm sorry I pooped". I also remember a very faint, far-away voice from my midwife, saying, "Don't you DARE apologize!", then I remember a (hopefully) gloved hand quickly whisking away the poop. The poop? Apparently they're quite used to it.

Shandra

1. I am not a big fan of aspartame so wasn't an issue for me. I think it depends on how big a deal it is for you - I don't think one can is likely to cause any harm, but if you can give it up in favour of something better, go for it. Unless you're at risk for gestational diabetes you could just drink one can of the real stuff instead, too.

2. I think highlights are ok, especially early on.

3. With my first pregnancy people were still not sure I was pregnant three days before I delivered - it was just the way I carried (top weight was 180 on a 5'8" frame; I gained 25 lbs overall). I felt movement around 20 weeks. With my second I looked pregnant at 9 weeks (I guess that's what happens when you have no abs back yet; I still hit 180 in that pregnancy but only gained 14 lbs) & felt movement around 17 weeks.

ImpostorMom

PG answers:
1. I limited my caffeine during pregnancy but I still managed to ingest about 150 mg a day with a 300 mg limit. My vice was coffee however and I still used liberal amounts of Splenda. I was never very strict on any of that stuff though. I'd say ask you doc and then find what is comfortable for you.
2. Same with the dye. I never did mine during but it was more about the smell than the risk. I didn't think it was a big deal though.
3. I felt movement around 18 weeks and it literally felt like I was being poked on the inside. It was a sharp sort of jabbing feeling. I was telling my mom about it and thinking I might call the doc cause I didn't know what that was and she said "Honey that's a kick" and I was like "Ohhhhhh." I never felt the flutters they talk about so I didn't know what that was. I don't really remember when I truly started showing. I do, however, remember being asked repeatedly when I was 6 months if I was due any day. :|

jennylou

I am kind of a lurker, but decided it would only be polite to speak up at some point, so... hello! If you can stand one more comment on the whole poop thing... with both of my pregnancies, one of the early signs of labor was serious diarrhea. So, by the time I needed to push, I was completely, um, cleaned out. Just sayin'! It could happen that way for you, too.

On the soda question, I guess I'm in the minority on this, but I would definitely not drink diet soda during pregnancy. Or at any other time, to be honest. The research I've done on aspartame leads me to feel it's just not worth the risk. Here's a link to an article you might want to read: https://www.mercola.com/article/aspartame/dangers.htm

It's so much fun to follow the story of your pregnancy. Best of luck to you during this incredibly exciting time!

SL

I loved diet coke and drank it through first pregnancy, but have returned to coffee for this one. No experience with hair dye. First felt movement at 18-19 weeks but it was not every day - sort of like a bird grazing you with its elbow. And although I gained 40 pounds, I never really got big - inexplicably - at 5 months, people still couldn't tell unless I was wearing certain clothing, such as maternity clothes or a bathing suit. I wore my regular t-shirts until the day I delivered. It depends on the person and if you are small, don't be alarmed. Congratulations on your pregnancy I'm very happy to hear of it (I'm also 17 weeks).

victoria

You know what you *should* be scared about? Not pooping on the table (because everyone says they didn't care when it happened to them), but rather, being so dramatically altered in body & mind that you don't CARE that you pooped in front of everyone. I mean, think about it: when that "not caring" part of deliver happens to you, you'll be in a mental & physical state that bears absolutely no resemblance to anything you've been through before.

Cherith

I just now found out that you are back. Welcome back and congratulations!!!!!

If it makes you feel any better, I NEVER pooed on the delivery table. I had 3 c-sections....but STILL, never pooed on the delivery table.

I drink about 4 cups of tea a day. While pregnant I LOATHED the stuff. Your old favs will be your old favs again once the hormones fade.

I colored my hair through 3 pregnancies and no ill effects so far.

Again, welcome back and congrats!

Kelly

We adopted transracially also. We've always told our boys about adoption. The concept was fuzzy until they were 3ish and they started noticing the differences in our family. At 4 and 6 they understand it much better. My 6 year old has told me on more than one occasion that he misses his birthmother or that he wished he could live with her. It's quite normal.

You should visit our online adoption support group sometime. www.friendsbyadoption.com

We have several members that have experienced a pregnancy after adoption too

sunny

Welcome back. I just read your 'scar' article in Adoptive Families magazine. Congrats. :-)

Karen

I've been a lurker for a while--congratulations! Thought I'd throw in my two cents:
On poo: I had my son at home. While I understand there was poo involved, there were also very kind midwives, a box of soft baby wipes, and no uninvolved observers. I highly highly recommend it.

On sodas: While I can't drink anything with artificial sweeteners (give me migraines), I can say that I cut out all carbonated beverages when I found out I was pregnant when I learned that they take calcium from your bloodstream to process. I figured that I was _taking_ calcium, for goodness' sake, and I didn't need it to be used for processing soda when I had a baby's worth of bones to grow.

On hair dye: I quit dyeing my hair a long time ago. It makes me feel a little bit rebellious, not dyeing my hair.

On first movements: I felt my son for the first time during my 5th month. Nothing, then one day in a truck stop while noshing on a grilled cheese my belly, resting against the formica booth table, just jumped. His kicks were always just that--never any bubbles, alas.

On showing: I'm an apple-shaped person, so while it was obvious to me and those few (read: one spouse plus midwives) persons who see me in my underwear, no one else could really tell until I was in my 6th month.

I'm currently in the process of adopting from China (9 months of wait down, who-knows-how-long to go) and the answers to this set of questions have been quite interesting...

midlife mommy

I don't remember limiting my diet soda intake. I do remember asking my doctor about it, but he didn't seem to be all that concerned. I was concerned about perming, and my doctor said OK after 13 weeks. He said they didn't know one way or the other if it was bad, but to play it safe.

I didn't feel my daughter move until 22 weeks or so. It was agony waiting, because I kept thinking something was wrong (I'm an infertile too, and my daughter was conceived with donor eggs after four years of trying everything under the sun). It felt like someone lightly poking me from inside -- three times. Very cool. I was sitting at my desk talking to my boss when it happened, and I will never forget it.

I started wearing maternity clothes at 12 weeks, because I just didn't feel like buying bigger clothes. So, people inquired then. I don't think that I really showed until around five months.

Rita Arens

didn't know you were back! E-mail me - I need to talk to you!

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