We have a VERY open adoption. I met A's parents last August and we grew a very close relationship in the following months. They were there for her birth- her mom (D) coached and supported me the entire time. Her Dad (G) caught her when she came out, D cut the cord, and after my hour of skin-to-skin and nursing her, they were the first ones to hold and love on her.
A's birth and the months leading up to it make for a very interesting story that I plan to post at a different time, but right now I want to speak about how our adoption works. Because we were so close, A's parents were there for much of the hospital time. I would nurse A, snuggle her, then hand her off to D or G to love on and take care of.
I pump breastmilk for A. I know- crazy, right? My first visit was when A was 6 days old, 4 days after signing TPR and sending her home with D&G. My amazing dad drove me to their home a couple hours away and I caught up with D, snuggled, and even nursed A. Has your jaw hit the floor, yet? It's something that D and I had talked about before. We felt that if both of us could emotionally stand it, it would be best for A. It would help establish my supply as nursing triggers hormones, a mother's body responds to baby's saliva to alter to milk to baby's needs (more/less protein, carbs, fat, nutrients), and it was a connection that she would still have with me while dealing with separation grief. I was worried it would be too hard, but she took to it right away and it was amazing for me. I would never be a mom to A in the traditional sense, but I had one last special thing between us that proved to me I was still something to her. For the first 6 weeks of her life, we had weekly visits during which I nursed her.
She is three months old today and I'm still pumping, which has been amazing for me. In the early days, it was something to distract me. I spent almost all my time at first learning how to pump, which parts fit me, and reading online about exclusive pumping. One day I want to add a section on here to share all I've learned. Providing my breastmilk for A was a connection we still had, and something only I could do for her. Breastfeeding is so important to me that it gives me peace of mind to know that I've done everything I possibly could for her well-being. I'm trying to wean now because I started classes toward my BSN today, and I need my time back to reclaim my life. I don't want to transition away from my life revolving entirely around A, but it's time.
Going forward, we will have a bit more space on our adoption. We transitioned at first from daily texts and pictures, to every couple of days, to a good weekly update via google docs and pics uploaded to Snapfish. We text randomly, but not nearly as much. We are also moving after this week to visits roughly once a month for the first year, depending on our schedules. I love and respect D&G, so it's important to me to give them their own space as a family (not always easy, though).
Now, time to unhook from my pump and head to work!