Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Thanks for reading Our Story

I can't believe that 5 weeks have already gone by since we brought Zoe home from the hospital. Wow. We're doing pretty well. Steve and I take turns getting up with her through the night. That's the hardest thing, I think. The getting up throughout the night part. I don't mind doing it; it's just hard when you've never been on that type of schedule (or lack of a schedule) before. But we're a good team, and it's been pretty good. Usually Steve would be up with her right now, but I wasn't feeling too tired, so he decided to go to bed early. He'll get up with her the next time - maybe 3 or 4 a.m.

This isn't related to getting up throughout the night or lack of sleep, but I wanted to say...

I feel really lucky to have 'met' so many wonderful and supportive people online. I have a great family and wonderful friends who have been there for us. It's been nice to know that I have an online community of friends as well. Seeing your comments and seeing that you check in on us really means a lot to me. I just want you all to know that writing this blog and having others read what I write really helps. It helped me share the hard times back when we were going through them, and it helped me share the hope I felt once again with adopting. Now it helps me share the joy I see when I see our daughter. It also helps me remember what it took for us to get here and to never take anything for granted.


I have been a little slow with uploading some of my pictures, due to technical difficulties! This was a picture of us on October 16th over at my sister's house.

And finally, the polar bear herself! She managed to sleep through the entire cider mill, pumpkin patch, and Zoo Boo experience! She was very brave in the haunted reptile house and the amphibian fun house. Very brave.

Monday, October 19, 2009

More pictures of Zoe

Thank you so much for all of the wonderful comments on the last post! Here are some more pictures from our first few days at home...

Zoe's Grandma and Grandpa (my parents) meeting her for the first time!

Zoe's MomMom (Steve's mom) meeting her for the first time!

Aunt Janice(my sister)

Aunt Tracy (my sister)

Big eyes!

Big yawn...

So serious...

Looking at toys

Sticking out her tongue!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Pictures of our Daughter, Zoe

Today is our anniversary. October 16th was the day that I married my husband, Steve, 10 years ago. We both love the fall so much, we decided that a fall wedding would be perfect. We happened to pick Sweetest Day, too, which was kind of funny - Sweetest Day isn't celebrated everywhere; I think it's more just in this part of the country. Our out-of-state relatives thought it was very funny. We heard many jokes about how "sweet" we are!

I cannot imagine my life without Steve. He is just the best guy. He makes me laugh, even if I've had the worst day. He makes me feel special. He remembers the little things that I like -- gerber daisies, candy corn, and goofy cards. He helps me with things around the house -- he helps make it "our" home in many ways. He's protective, he's strong, and he has a kind heart. Most of all, he has loved me and been there for me through everything we've been through over the past 10 years (plus 6 and a half years of dating.) College, moving, new jobs, job loss, infertility, sadness, joy, celebrations...he's been by my side through all of it. He is my love.

In addition to us celebrating the "birth" of our marriage, we are also celebrating Zoe's birth -- she is one month old today! Can you believe it? We certainly can't! How fast a whole month has flown by! She is everything to us -- we have a daughter -- I can't believe that we get to say that! We have a daughter! Our little girl has already brought us such joy and happiness in such a short amount of time. We just love every minute we have with her.

Besides it being our anniversary, Sweetest Day weekend, and the one month celebration of Zoe's birth, today is also that day that Z is signing her TPR (termination of parental rights) paperwork in court. In our state, the birthmother goes to court to sign paperwork 2-8 weeks after the birth of the baby. During those weeks, the birthparents can decide to parent their child if they choose.

Z wanted Zoe to come home with us in temporary placement. That means that instead of going into host care (with another family) while Z was waiting for her court date, Z wanted the baby to leave the hospital with us. Of course, we were so happy that she made that decision.

It's a bittersweet day -- we are so happy for our family, but we feel such a sadness for the loss Z may be feeling. I can't begin to imagine how difficult today will probably be for Z and her family. I hope that we have shown her that we will keep our promise of staying connected through letters, pictures, and visits. We have emailed each other almost every day, and we have already sent many pictures back and forth. We are looking forward to the day that Z decides she wants to visit or wants us to visit. We have a picture of her and her family in Zoe's room. I already talk about Z with Zoe -- it's good practice for when she's older and understands what I'm saying!

We wanted to wait until today to post pictures of Zoe. I can't help but get teary-eyed when I see these photos of Zoe at the hospital. It was just a couple of weeks ago, but in some ways, it feels like such a long time. I don't think I have the right words to express what it was like to meet our daughter for the first time. I really don't.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Updates on Zoe

When we brought Zoe home, she was so itty bitty. She was down to 6 lbs., 4 oz. when we left the hospital. She was back up to 6 lbs., 12 oz by the time our Tuesday doctor appointment had rolled around. We don't have another appointment until next month, so I don't know her exact weight right now. What I do know is that she has definitely gained weight and length! When I pick her up she's still light, but she's definitely heavier than she was just a couple weeks ago. She's also a lot longer, and she likes to stretch out. She can still wear a couple of her newborn things, but she's pretty much ready to move into 0-3 months.

Zoe is sleeping pretty well at night. She will go for 3 or 4 hours and then wake up very hungry or wet. As it gets closer to morning she tends to be hungrier sooner. We've been taking turns getting up with her. Steve's more of a night owl so he takes the first feeding usually and then I'll get up the other times.

She likes to be on her stomach for "tummy time". The nurses said to put her on a blanket on her stomach a few times a day for a few minutes. She loves it. She is able to turn her head back and forth while she's on her stomach without much effort. She is so alert, too -- a friend of mine gave us a playmat for her to lay on. It has these little flowers that light up and play music - as soon as she hears it or sees the lights, she starts moving even more. She likes to pull on the little monkey and giraffe that hang down from the arches over the playmat, too. It's so cute. She had the tightest grip ever on the monkey's tail last night.

When I hold her on my chest with her head under mine, she tries to pick her head up so she can see me better. She's so so strong for such a little lady!

She loves to grasp my pinky while she's drinking her bottle. She loves to relax with Steve while he's sitting in his chair.

She's up to 3-4 oz. of formula at a time right now. She's doing well with it. Not much spitting up at all. She's a really good eater.

She likes to make noise - she makes little squeaks and little grunts all the time. It's very cute. She's really easygoing; she cries when she's hungry or wet, but that's about it.

I think she's starting to really smile a little bit here and there. We've caught little smiles when she's dreaming, but this week I've seen more and more when she's awake. It's so sweet.

We are so happy. We look at her, and we just can't believe how happy we are.