Maybe it’s because we have only 8 days left until the scheduled C-section, but I get asked “So are you freaking out yet?” at least 5 times a day (and sometimes more). Occasionally, one friend will ask multiple times in a day.
I think when you’re pregnant, people don’t ask this question much towards the end of the pregnancy. My theory is that they are able to see how much your ankles have swollen, how you lumber around, and struggle to get out of chairs, so they know that you just want the baby OUT. You’re not freaking out at that point. You’re looking for sweet relief!
In our case though, people don’t have those cues. All they know is that a couple of months after we started mentioning adoption, we’ll be bringing a baby home. If you look at our timeline, though, you’d find that the paper pregnancy took almost as long as a biological gestation. We would technically be delivering at 36 weeks if you start counting from the day we selected our agency.
I think I’m stalling on the question at hand, though… Am I freaking out? Can you define freaking for me please? Yeah, I’m still stalling…
Ok, yeah, I think it’s fair to say I’m really nervous. We are physically and mentally prepared to bring a newborn home, and we are thrilled with our particular match, so those aren’t the issues. I, of course, have the usual concerns that we hope for a healthy happy infant with all organ systems in good working order — such is the life of a pediatrician. But, in addition to that, we still have a gauntlet of challenging situations to get through.
Once the baby’s birthmom has given birth, she still has time to reflect on her decision. Usually in our state (Utah), that’s 24 hours, but in our particular case, it’s likely to be delayed by C-section pain management. We know that until the paperwork is signed, the baby is not ours, so that’s nerve-wracking to say the least.
We also have to navigate new relationships during such an already challenging time. Mr. Jacks and I decided that we wanted Little Jacks’ delivery to be a personal time without a lot of social pressures, to keep the moment special and intimate. We had one support person with us at the hospital and no family visitors until Little Jacks was a month old. This time with Jack Jack, we will spend the hospital time with the birthparents (who we’ve met once), their extended families (who we haven’t yet met) and the caseworkers, all while remaining flexible about how much time we get to spend with the baby. We may (or may not) be allowed to be in the delivery room, and we may (or may not) be allowed to stay at night in the hospital with the baby. We have to play all of that by ear in the moment and without losing our cool. So yeah, that might be a little freak out worthy!
We will also have our own family with us at our house for the first couple of weeks. We know that the transition from having one child to two was going to be difficult, especially since I’m not taking a maternity leave. It takes a village, and we’ve been lucky to be able to mobilize our village to help. But we all know that with the village comes the task of feeding and cleaning up for folks, as well as negotiating a lot of social interaction. It’s a fair bet that having a support system will be a great help, but also a bit stressful!
Then there is the, “I already know what I’m getting into” freakout. We are VERY familiar with colic and with sleepless nights and ragged days. Maybe it’s a “fear of the known” instead of the unknown… or maybe it’s like that feeling before you run a long race. You know it’s going to be tough, but you are excited about challenging yourself and know it’s going to be worth it in the end.
In other words, I have all the normal mama freakouts PLUS the added adoption freakouts… and it’s all going to come to pass in 8 days! I am so glad we have the distractions of the waves, the sun and the beach right now!
Just thought I’d share one of the last photos of us as a family of 3. Enjoying the beach on the Big Island of Hawaii!