Monday, June 29, 2009

The Birthday Party - Part III

So, we had the birthday party. Turns out VeeGee has a lot more friends than I had realized. We had about 40 adults and 25 kids on Saturday. AND bmom and bmom's dad (grandaddy) and K's grandparents.

It was AWKWARD. They had never called us at all to see if it would be a good time or anything. I just sent them an invite to the party and left it at that. I needed it to be MY initiation (insofar as I could in this situation). I received one e-mail since then from bmom asking what size VeeGee is now because she wanted to bring her a gift (she acknowledged that I had said "no gifts" but said her friends wanted to send something - they didn't). Other than that, nothing.

So at the party, which was uproarious!, bmom and grandaddy followed VeeGee around like a pair of shadows, for about three hours. And when they weren't following her, they were in her room touching and photographing every single inch of her things (ick!). VeeGee wouldn't speak to them, or really even acknowledge them. BUT that's not strange for her. She's just really not much on people trying to touch her (won't hug my mother, for instance, whom she sees on a very regular basis, I think because my mother wants so badly for her to hug, certainly not because she doesn't like her). They stayed until the bitter end of the party (well, as long as they could since they were riding with K's grandparents).

Sunday was VeeGee's actual birthday. K had told his grandparents (baby brokers that they are) that we were just going to spend the day the three of us, and that we wouldn't be doing any entertaining or visiting. Of course, before they left the party, they asked about what we were doing on Sunday - again. K told them the same thing. So they said, how about Monday. In fact, K's grandfather suggested that I just bring VeeGee out to their house (30 minutes away from our house) and drop her off for the day (something I do occasionally when I'm working on a deadline). Um. Hell. No. Not gonna happen - ever.

Okay, so fast forward to yesterday evening. I reminded K that we needed to call them all to let them sing to VeeGee and to firm up whatever plans there were going to be for today. Come to find out that a dinner party at their house had been planned for five o'clock this afternoon (with no consultation from us). Well, first off, K doesn't get home these days until, sometimes, seven or so. And, second, VeeGee goes to bed at around seven (or as soon as daddy gets a bit of visiting time). So, obviously we couldn't do that. Their idea was, then, for ME to come out with VeeGee by myself. Nope.

We told them (had decided beforehand, actually) that they could come for dinner this evening to visit for a little while. At this point K was pretty angry about the way they were all trying to manipulate us, and he said that they could come from six to seven. Period. After he got off of the phone I told him I thought that was a bit harsh, but he's adamant. So there ya go.

Today he called his uncle to make sure that they knew that they were invited as well and was told that everyone is talking about how little VeeGee seemed to be interested in bmom and grandaddy. As if that's our fault. As if we're doing that.


So they're coming to hulk over VeeGee this evening while she tries to evade them. I feel really bad for her, but I also don't want to say that they can't try to talk to her or whatever. With fewer people around it might be better.

I'm just feeling so out of control, so head-in-a-vice. I can't effing win. Once again it's made clear that these people believe that they should have unregulated access to VeeGee, to our family's time. It's also clear that they do not understand that bmom's position has shifted. She's not VeeGee's mommy. She does have an unseverable relationship - one that I won't deny either of them - but it's simply NOT whatever it is she (et al) seems to think it is.

I'm NOT the babysitter people, not the nanny, not the wetnurse, not the interloper here. I'M VEEGEE'S MOMMY.

I'm almost done (so sorry for the length here). I'm agonizing over whether or not I should invite bmom along to the park in the morning for about an hour before VeeGee's speech therapy session. Maybe that would be a good thing. Maybe I'll gouge my eyes out, though.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Birthday Party

When we were blindsided on Mothers' Day by the fact that VeeGee's birthmom was coming for the weekend of VeeGee's birthday, we had not really made any plans for the day or the weekend. And it took us a few days of agonizing (up all night) discussions to figure out what exactly to do. My beef is that 1) she did not call us at all (still hasn't) to discuss whether or not this was a good time, whether we were planning to even be in town - instead letting her grandparents know her plans, 2) we had not really planned to do much - maybe go swimming or something at my dads, or go out to a small lake for VeeGee's first ride in the canoe (I got a great deal on a VeeGee-sized lifejacket at Sam's!). We frankly don't have the money to have a party right now. But, 3) and really, most importantly, I don't want bmom to assume a claim on that day forever (or on Christmas - as she also clearly feels entitled to). VeeGee is my daughter. I'm NOT a permanent babysitter (as it seems these people believe me to be - even with all their shallow flattery of the "great job" I'm doing with VeeGee).

I understand that there is, definitely, and unseverable relationship between VeeGee and her bmom, one that did start on VeeGee's birthday. And I will do everything I can to make sure that VeeGee both understands and honors that relationship. At the same time, we are a new family, VeeGee, K and me. Just us. How we spend our time with each other and on our holidays shouldn't have to be frought with (suprise!) contingencies outside of our family life. It feels really unfair (to my basest self) and inconsiderate (less base) and unmanageable for bmom et al to assume a claim on VeeGee's (ergo my/K's) time.

I also understand that VeeGee and K's (and bmom's) blood family is the type that kind of flies by the seat of their pants in terms of making time commitments. For example, if I say, "We're planning a dinner party on August 8th, would you like to come?" The universal family response would be, "We'll see." They don't understand the need for pre-planning, for concrete obligations, none of that. It makes me utterly crazy. And the upshot is that we may, forever, be dealing with their whims about just showing up (or not). I truly believe that they don't get (or are dismissive of) my need to know what the heck's going on. I mean, I really do have concrete plans all the way through October. No joke (and I might not even be remembering them all). Now, that may make me kind of weird, but, guess what ?! - it's MY family and it's how WE operate. I've learned to leave some open space for K, because he does come from that place of no committments, but that open space is almost always reserved for just us.

So, anyway. After several days of agonizing over what we should do (and still not having heard from bmom!), we decided to throw a party. It'll be a stretch financially, but I decided that I needed as many people around me for that day as possible. People who know/understand/support my relationship with VeeGee. I know that may seem selfish, but, well, there ya go. I mean, these are people with children and VeeGee will be BESIDE HERSELF to get to be with all of her friends at the same time. I'm looking forward to seeing how she reacts to this plentitude of friends (whom she begs for every day!).

I've told many of the guests that bmom will be there, in part to explain in advance any strangeness in my behavior, and also so that they won't be shocked to see this person that many of them perceive as a villain. I know (or I guess) that it's my fault that she would be perceived as such, but it's really hard to give anyone the full picture of this person who neglected VeeGee to the point that the state had to step in, particularly when they're MY friends who've stood beside ME during this adventure. They don't know her full life story like I do - and even I (as you know, dear reader) have a hard time forgiving her.

I sent out invitations (over a month in advance) and sent bmom one as well for the party, which we decided to hold the day before her birthday. I needed it to be at my initiation - not hers. She's (!) coming. And I think her father (K's step-father) is as well.

And on the day of her birthday, we're going to just be the three of us, with, perhaps, the addition of my little brother (aka The King of Birthday Celebrations!). At any rate, whatever we do, it will be our idea.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Two Peas in a Pod!

Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 18, 2009


I was recently asked if I finally felt complete since adopting VeeGee. I don't think that children can ever be the thing that makes one's life complete. They're wonderful, really wonderful, but to put that sort of expectation on a child is really unfair, in my opinion. I never planned to adopt - I couldn't have children, and that was that. I sort of moved on. And then. . . . VeeGee!

I don't really know how anyone can say that adoption not the same as giving birth because either they haven't adopted, and have no clue what it feels like to do that, or, they're not (in my humble opinion) very good parents of the child they've adopted.

I mean, clearly, it's NOT the same. But the end result is very much the same in terms of my relationship to VeeGee, I'm no less a mom because I didn't give birth to her and I don't feel any differently about her, I think, than, say, my sister feels about her children. And, oddly, there is an intense mommy-daughter connection that is present, and growing. People even tell me that she looks like me (hahahahahaha) - people that don't know she's adopted. And I, daily, hear my voice come out of her mouth, see my mannerisms played out on her body. It's pretty incredible.

But, adoption is NOT a cure for infertility. Those issues haven't gone away for me. I still feel sad about my inability to give birth (and for whatever reason, my big thing is the loss of the opportunity to breastfeed). It took me a long time before I realized how effing rude it is for people to continue to hound someone about becoming a parent. It's basically asking if you're having sex, if your body works right, if you're a selfish bitch, if you're "too ambitious," if you know that you're weird. Rude.

I don't know why people believe they're entitled to this type of information. People mostly mean well, but I really think that there's some sort of culturally expectation that women should be ready to discuss their biology with everyone. Further . . . I don't think that being a mom is what makes me a woman at all. I'm not NOT a woman because I cannot have a child biologically. And I wouldn't NOT be a woman if I chose to remain childless.

I'm still pissed about the unfairness of it all. AND I REALLY REALLY REALLY HATE IT when people talk to me about "God's Will" in this situation. I think it's very very smug. I finally started telling people that I loved NOT having kids. Sometimes I'd tell them that if I ever had a kid, they'd better start calling me Mary Mother of God. Usually shut them up.

But I'm a mom - no doubt about it. And my heart is full.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

TMI or Not Enough?

So, yeah, it's been a while. Since last month I've been up to my eyeballs planning my 20th high school reunion. We had so much fun, but, as with most things that I plan, I do think I enjoy the planning/production a whole bunch more than the actual events. No knock on these events at all, it's just like me. Maybe it's something about living in the present versus the future. Anti-ci-pa-a-tion . . .

I'll write more about the reunion once I've really processed it, and as to VeeGee's birthday plans, that's another reason I've been away from here. K and I have been working our booties off in our yard to get ready for A BIRTHDAY PARTY, to which we've invited as many of our friends as we can afford so that we'll be surrounded by people that love US, and value our parenthood of VeeGee. I hope everyone comes!

And in other news:

We had a fun day yesterday! I was driving on the interstate (70mph) and looked in the rearview mirror to see VeeGee turning blue/purple/red and coughing. I knew she'd been playing with a ring of mine, but I never worry about her putting anything, much less a ring, in her mouth, so I let her play. Anyway, I pulled over PRONTO (god help me!) and she started to calm down a bit. I asked her if she swallowed my ring and she said she had. Of course, with a typical kid, you just know you'll be digging through poop for the next few days. But not us, huh?!

I called her pediatrician and let them know that I was first and foremost concerned because of her nissen. Wouldn't want the ring stuck in her esophagus. And then, second, because she doesn't poop. I didn't know if I should give her an enema or what - if that would be bad if there was something "extra" in there. The, of course, said to get to the hospital (45 min. away from where I was).

At this point she seemed fine, so I knew it wasn't in her throat (her otolaryngologist/plastic surgeon would have had a COW if I'd messed up the most recent surgery!!!!!), but still concerned about the other two possibilities. We did the X-rays (lots of fun holding down a terrified kiddo) and, guess what, they found NO RING!!!! Yay.

Except, the doctor (not her regular ped) came in very very concerned and said, "Do you know she's constipated?" I laugh to keep from cryin' ya know? But, she'd actually had two smallish poops this week, so I had not intended to do an enema (she's always distended looking, so that's hard to go by). Long story short (ha!), she was FULL of poop - like up to her lungs it looked like. Crazy. And awful.

When I said the GI was looking at the possibility of Hirschprung's, he nodded, and said, "Yep, that's what I was thinking." Great.

So, we're bumping up the suction biopsy/sigmoidoscopy to July 7th.

I feel really sad that she's so full, but she doesn't seem to notice anything. Oh, and we came straight home and, of course, did an enema. Almost nothing came out.

Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.