I Was Wrong

I assumed that adopting would make having an infant easier largely because there would be no physical recovery from actually having the child.

On more then one occasion in the last few months I have had to admit that I was wrong.

First, I was proven wrong when I assumed that we would have an easier time of feeding our infant.  No breastfeeding attempts meant we just went straight to formula without massive guilt.  Turns out formula feeding is also not a guaranteed easy thing.  I obviously have no ability to compare to breastfeeding challenges, but I do know in the first weeks/months we had a little guy who struggled to eat at times.  I think we’ve bought at least one of every single bottle/nipple combination available in the USA and Canada.  Each feeding took at least an hour, and burping was an especially painful experience for all involved.  Thankfully things have improved now that he’s a bit older.

Second, sleep.  I assumed as two parents equally sharing in feeding our child, I would get more sleep then mother’s who are breastfeeding around the clock.  Now, this could be true, especially since Baby MPB loves to sleep.  But, I think no matter how an infant comes into your family, sleep is just not what it was in the childfree days.  There are days when either Mr. MPB or I feel like the other is getting more sleep, which builds resentment – there simply is never a perfect split.  And, even when Baby MPB sleeps more then normal one of us is awake and checking on him to make sure he’s still alive.  Sleep deprivation is no joke – it took major surgery and pain medication for me to sleep soundly more then a few consecutive hours. We are simply learning to function with less sleep.

Third, hormones.  I totally thought I’d skip this because I skipped the hormones of pregnancy and giving birth.  Well, again, I was wrong.  It turns out that there are still tonnes of hormones and emotions rushing through ones body while traveling internationally and meeting your child for the first time.  In fact, I have since learned that postpartum depression is rather common in adoptive parents (thankfully I have not experienced this).

Fourth, baby brain.  So, I assumed baby brain is related to pregnancy hormones.  I have no idea if there are scientific studies to support this, but I am adamant that baby brain is at least partially related to exhaustion.  In my experience when one doesn’t sleep, one does not think or act rationally.  And when one does sleep, one doesn’t remember anything.  I guess this is why sleep deprivation is a torture technique.

Fifth, sex. With adoption there is no medically required time to abstain after the birth of your child – there is quite literally no recovery to be concerned about so no need to wait.  So, I just assumed our sex life wouldn’t change.  The joke has been on me with this assumption.  Seriously, when one has an infant sleeping in their room, how exactly do you manage sex?  Oh, and even once baby moves to their own room, pure exhaustion does not place sex high on the list of priorities.  And, while probably not a common occurrence for most new mom’s, throw in a breast reduction surgery/recovery and sex is just dead (hopefully just for the time being).

I’m sure this list can go on.  But, seriously, adoption doesn’t necessarily mean that some of the stereotypical mom experience are skipped or made easier as I had assumed.

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15 Comments on “I Was Wrong

  1. Love this post! You are so right about sleep never being the same. I can see why when some mommas are sick it’s like a day at the spa if they are lucky enough to have someone else care for their baby…..I mean a whole day in bed, resting!!! Wow! And gosh yes even if the baby is sleeping I feel like I’ll never be able to really sleep because I’m so paranoid something has happened. Perhaps one day things will be a bit more normal but for now I guess we take all the things that come along with motherhood and learn to cope. Isn’t it amazing what we can accomplish given who drastically our lives have changed?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My kid slept until 7 o’clock this weekend. I had no idea that this would be “sleeping in.”

    Also, I’m sorta glad to hear that this happens to all parents. It annoys me sometimes that people try to play off the craziness of those early days on baby hormones. (Also, just because something is hormone-related doesn’t make it any less real. But I digress…) That may have contributed to some of it, but it’s also just a completely insane time. INSANE.

    Stay strong. Drink espresso.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You make some great points here. I will say that one of my pregnancy apps actually had an article on it today about how baby brain continues until your baby is over a year old, simply because of sleep deprivation. That made me sad lol. It takes a long time to adjust to any major life change, and since babies are continually changing themselves, it makes sense that it would take forever to adjust. (Does that make sense!?!? lol!!) Anyway, I hope that you find your new normal soon and life settles down a bit for you!! How is your recovery going?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It doesn’t matter how you’ve brought a baby into your life–babies just upend EVERYTHING. Last night, Charlotte almost slept through the night for only the second time in her life and I still woke up every 2 hours checking the monitor to make sure she was still breathing because I couldn’t believe it. Babies, man. They make you crazy.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Knowing it can still be so tough with two active and attentive parents makes me constantly wonder how single moms do it.
    Honestly, I marvel how anyone can go a year with such sleep deprivation. I guess it’s true humans can adapt to most anything!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yay parenthood! I remember how excited I was to go the dentist after having a baby …I felt like I was going to a spa! Hahaha. As for sex, you can always try the guest room or even the couch or floor. I found getting creative kind of lit the spark again. When I wasn’t resenting him for getting more sleep than me, lol. We got lucky and relatively quickly found our new groove after our first child, though it has taken a bit of a hit this time around… But the biggest reason is I am stressed about breastfeeding and often go to bed hungry.

    *my son has a milk and soy allergy, so I can’t eat or drink anything with a hint of any milk proteins or soy. I’ve been quite surprised at how many foods that includes, and am trying to figure out a new, good diet. But the real stress is that I am struggling with feelings of guilt that I was unknowingly harming my son, and fear I will accidentally eat the wrong thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The one universal truth of parenthood: there will be difficulties! They may not be the same with every kid or parent, but taking care of a little person is dang hard! You’re doing great ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Food allergies are miserable, I feel your pain. My favorite dairy substitute to date is coconut milk. I’ll make a smoothie with the high fat canned stuff, banana, and but butter. Such a good late night calorie boost and I don’t wake up hungry!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. This is a really interesting post! I never though (by any means) that adoption would be easy but you brought up some issues I would have never considered. Thank you so much for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

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