Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Not the baby picture you were expecting

I don't know why it's taken me so long to come out of the closet about this (I have some ideas, which I'll get into shortly), but I have a bit of a secret I've been keeping. It seems that somehow, while we weren't looking, this implanted itself in my uterus:

Turns out what I thought was salmonella poisoning back in September was actually a bug of a different sort, and I'm now four months pregnant. I've known basically since October, but it has taken some time to wrap my head around it all enough to feel ready to share.

Part of my hesitation, I'm sure, was the fact that I had a rough first trimester emotionally, physically, mentally—I was beyond exhausted, nauseous all the time, and cranky enough that I'm still sort of surprised anyone I know in real life is still speaking with me.

But the bigger reason is that I've been concerned about all the pregnancy-after-adoption issues. My main worry, I suppose, is that this will somehow make Sidamo feel like he's second-best. We've already gotten a disconcerting number of, "How nice that you'll finally have one of your own!" comments, and those just cut to the core. And if we're getting them now, when the "one of our own," is only five inches long and is safely hidden within inches of tissue, what will it be like when they're sharing a double stroller?

I know lots of families think about these issues before they even adopt, and plenty of happy families have been formed exactly this way, but it just hadn't really entered our thought process until the doctor called to congratulate me (on what I thought was salmonella, mind you). It's taken a few months to work through it all, but I think we're getting there. I guess no one ever knows exactly how things will go—especially when kids are involved—so we'll just prepare as best we can and handle issues as they come up.

One thing I do know: Sidamo is going to be a fantastic big brother. He's fun, funny, caring, and so wonderful with babies. He seems to really enjoy being around them, he's very gentle, and he doesn't get jealous when I hold or care for them (lots of newborns in our circle of friends). He's exactly what I'd look for in an older brother if I could pick one.

Now if someone could just tell me how to combine the sleep deprivation newborns bring and the non-stop energy of a toddler (while maintaining some measure of sanity), I'll feel like we're really prepared.


Sarah (parents2b) said...

Congratulations, Deirdre! I'm a forum reader and check out your blog occasionally too. I had to comment on this because I'm also pregnant after adopting our son (in July). We met briefly at the guesthouse, we were on our way out while you were on your way in. You can feel free to PM me or check out our blog. So so many emotions--it also took us a long time to tell others about our exciting (and shocking) news. I'm glad you're through the first trimester...the rest will be a breeze compared to that!

stormy said...

Congratulations, Diedre, Greg and Sidamo! I'm sure Sidamo will be an awesome big brother.

It amazes me how much kids just take for granted all the strange - to me - family situations they end up in. My stepson will soon have two half-siblings who aren't related to each other and he's just excited he's getting another Christmas tomorrow! We just had to explain yesterday why we weren't going to ask his mom to babysit our son/his brother. He thought it was a great idea!

Kellie said...

Congrats, Sidamo and family!

I am sure Sidamo will love being a big brother and children are always a gift, but I also understand your mixed feelings.

Best wishes to the four of you!

Jonathan said...


Heather & Adam said...

Yayyyyy! What a great post. I am so happy for you guys! Here we gooooo....

lisa said...

Congratulations!!! Two of your own is wonderful!
I do understand your concerns, but, just the fact that you are already thinking about them makes your kids lucky to have you.
There is a forum for families with bio and adopted kids to share experiences and ideas-you might check it out at some point. ~lmc

cathy said...


What the heck is in the water??? Between you and Heather, my hopes for all of us getting together at the ET picninc in MN are being dashed. (Yes, I'm whining about me!)

Still, a huge congrats to you. I hope you're feeling better.

Heather & Adam said...

Oh, and your baby totally has a tail. I am SURE mine does not. Ahem.

Jonathan said...

I wasn't going to say it first, but I second Cathy ;(

Mama Papaya said...

I am so thrilled for you guys. And even though I haven't met him, I have to agree that Sidamo is going to make an amazing big brother. Congratulations. Such exciting news.

Alicia said...

Deirdre!!!!! Congratulations to you guys!!!

gramps2fanaye said...

Wowee!! Congratulations. Sidamo and your impending child will both flourish with such great parents.

Before I comment on the bio vs adopted thing, let me say how much I enjoy your writing and being able to passively keep up with your lives since meeting you, Greg, and Sidamo in Addis.

Here's what happened with my bio/adopted family mixture. My wife and I had BIO1 (not his real name :-) but then had no luck producing a second one. So we got interested in a program that would lead to adopting a (domestic) hard-to-place child. But before that happened, we found ourselves pregnant. After BIO2's birth, we decided that adoption was still a good idea and got ADOPT as a newborn, about 1 year after BIO2 arrived.

So how did this all work out? They are all grown, long out of the house, and doing well. BIO1 seems unfazed by the adoption thing, but is several years older than the other two. BIO2 and ADOPT were quite close growing up and much more supportive than competitive. ADOPT seems to have no insecurity at all about being adopted. However, BIO2 did need a little reassurance as an adult, somehow having equated being unexpected with being unwanted. Of course, exactly the opposite is true.

So there you have it -- now you can worry about the biological child instead of the adopted one! :-)

Keep on writing. We love you all.

maia said...

WOw, now that IS a surprise! Those "baby of your own" comments are weird, aren't they. That sort of distinction always makes me uncomfortable. Families are formed all sorts of different ways. Yours will be a wonderful mix. Congrats, neighbor.

Michelle said...

OH MY GOODNESS! I am so happy for you all. I so appreciate being able to check in on your lives through the blog. I asked Dayn to set up a dinner with you all when you are up to it. I promise I won't bombard you with too many questions. :)