I forgot to mention the next day after placement. I asked N how he was doing. He didn't text me back and I got nervous and I texted him a few hours later and asked if I should be worried. He said no and that he was sleeping. I told him that my mom wouldn't judge me if I walked around the house carrying around a hospital blanket. He said that he had her hospital blanket with him all day.
Well, the next day, September 27, I got to see Olivia.
N invited D and V and my family over to his house for dinner so his family could meet Olivia for the first time. Dinner wasn't until 5, I asked D and V if they could come over earlier so I could just see her before N's family did. I didn't know how I was going to react when I saw her again. Plus, I wanted N's family to have the opportunity to be with her, I don't know the next time they'll see her again.
N came over as well. Before he came over we did a video chat on Skype with my sister Erika. Erika's husband has been friends with D since they were about 8 years old. That's how I knew D and V because they would come over to our house and play games when Erika and her husband were living with us. I've known them since I was 14 or 15. I got to see Erika's baby that she had about a month ago. I like to call him Optimus Prime. :) Erika got to see Olivia via the webcam. That was fun.
When N got there he gave Olivia a little stuffed animal monkey that he's had since he was little. It was really nice of him to do that. A funny moment that we had together was when he was giving Olivia some sort of comb over. I would smooth back to normal. He said to me, "Hey. I'm styling her hair!" I looked at him and then I looked at Olivia and whispered loud enough for him to hear, "Daddy doesn't know style."
I did get a little bit frustrated though during the day. I guess I was still being a protective mom. Weird. I know. Just so everyone knows, that even though I have signed away my rights as a mother, doesn't mean that I don't feel like her mother. Those feelings of being her mom might not go away for a while. And it'll take time for me to get used to not calling myself her mom, just because I did a few signatures, doesn't mean that I didn't give birth to her anymore. I'm a BIRTH mom. Hence. I gave birth to her. Kthanks.
Anyway, my protective side of things. A sibling of mine was holding Olivia. Olivia started spitting up and she kind of held her back. And I yelled at her, "Helloooooooooo. Hold her up or else she'll choke on it." Then when she tried holding her up she didn't really have good support on her neck. I was freaking out. I also have two animals at home. A dog, Angel, and a cat, Jasper. Olivia needed a diaper change and so we had to lay her on the ground and my animals were in the room and I asked nicely, "Will someone please get the animals out?" Everyone just stood there. Sweet. I asked again and my mom got Angel out but no one grabbed Jasper. Jasper looked like he was ready to pounce. I FREAKED. Listen, I had a baby 4 days ago. I was sore and in a little bit of pain. I refuse to take medicine and try to get better on my own. I shot up off the couch and grabbed Jasper. I had an adrenaline rush because he was going to attack Olivia. I was angry though, I'm in my fragile state, peeps. ;) Be nice to me.
Then another sibling was late for dinner and she didn't know that we were having dinner at N's. So while everyone left, I had to stay at home and wait for my sister since she didn't know how to get to N's. But it gave me time to cool down and take some pain meds because that trip off the couch wasn't pleasant.
My sister and I got there. I felt a little bit awkward. The last time I'd seen a lot of N's family is when we were dating. It was interesting. I am weird and definitely thought that is what it would be like if we were married and had Olivia and had a little family get together with our families together. A VERY weird thought for me. I didn't want to think that way at all. It made me sad to know that we weren't together and I wanted to be happy. I didn't really know what to say to everyone.
When I walked in, N's mom was holding Olivia and she asked me if I wanted to hold her. I told her it was okay and she could hold her. I kind of just listened to people's conversations. I didn't have much to say and I don't like to talk unless I have something to say or I sound like an idiot.
I also felt like during my pregnancy that they didn't like me very much. I confronted N's parents when I was 3 months pregnant. I went over after my first doctors appointment and talked to them. They were telling me that they thought adoption was best for Olivia. I was frustrated because I felt like I wasn't good enough for their son. Because they didn't even talk about marriage and wanted to know how I felt about N and I'm like, great. I guess I got all the interview questions wrong since they don't want us to get married. My mom told me that she talked to N's mom about it and his mom said that she felt bad and she didn't know what to tell me when I came to them. She didn't really know me, so she couldn't assume that she didn't like me. She wanted to tell me to marry their son but she couldn't because she didn't want me to be "stuck" with him. She knows her son better than I do. She said she's a good guy and good with kids. He just isn't responsible or consistent enough to handle the responsibilities. She also didn't want me to end up unhappy.
That's a lot better than thinking you weren't good enough.
I went over and stood next to my mom while she was taking to N's mom and she asked me about my future plans. I told her about finishing dental assisting school and going to work for an orthodontist. Then possibly going back to school and going into social work and work with other birth moms. I talked about doing photography on the side and maybe do photography for birth moms because I want more than anything to have good pictures of me and Olivia to frame and stuff. And to have pictures of Olivia while she's still a baby. I won't have that time with her again for a while. The next time I see her she'll be 3 months old. Then after that 6 months old. Then I'll see her again for her 1st birthday.
Then I sat on the couch and was holding Olivia and stuff. I hope people didn't feel intimidated. I was okay if they held her if they asked me but no one asked. I kind of just offered. One of N's siblings held her, I think before I got there since I was late. And she was kind of having a hard time dealing with it because she loves her nieces and nephews as well. I felt really bad. N was telling me that she knew but it wasn't really real to her until she saw pictures of her.
Yep and while sitting on the couch, Olivia projectiled her spit up on me. Oh the wonderful life of babies. :)
Right before we left N gave her a hat that was given to him from some guy in his ward and he's been using it while he's been helping build his parents cabin. And he also gave her a sweatshirt of his that I actually wore practically the whole time we were dating. I said that I was jealous of Olivia that she got to have his hoodie because it was my favorite.
Our situation right now, is just friends. My friend asked him if we were ever going to get back together. She decided to tell me this conversation. Haha. He said, No. (I figure he would say that.) And that he didn't feel that way for me. She said to him it didn't seem like that in the hospital. He said to her that he cared about me but he doesn't love me romantically. Even though I knew that was going to be the answer. It still hurt. Because there was a point in time that we did love each other romantically. We did this incredible thing together, we made a baby, and loved her enough to place her. He couldn't see that? I mean, I look at our experience and think, I'm never going to connect this close to someone again until I get married. And what if that freaks out future potential soulmates of mine? They're like, "Sweet. You had a baby with someone and it wasn't me. I can't be with you because of that." Are guys going to look at me and think of me as some sort of skank and can't get past the fact that I made mistakes in my life? That I had sex before marriage? Or can they look at me as the girl that has learned from her mistakes? And used the atonement in her life to make herself a better person?
I guess the guys I don't date, if they don't get it then they're not worth it.
Olivia will be a big part of my life and I'm not going to hide it from the guys I date. If they don't like me because of it then they missed out on a really great girl ;)
The way I'm feeling towards N right now. I have my closure with him. I don't need to be dating him or have him in my life to be happy. I wanted throughout my pregnancy and when Olivia was born for him to be there for her. And he was. Well, when she was born and the last week of my pregnancy.
Right now, I am sort of bugged because he told me it wouldn't be like how it was while I was pregnant. But it's kind of going back to that. I've texted him and he hasn't replied to my texts. Or I let him know when I'm going to see D and V or when they come over and he doesn't come over. I babysat Olivia on Thursday. I asked him if he was working and he said yes. That was the first time I had heard from him in days. Pretty sure he hated me. I went and surprised him at work. He seemed pretty happy to see her and wanted to show her off. I'll let you know about some awkward situations though.
On Wednesday(the day before I babysat Olivia), I went to Wal*Mart to pick up prints of Olivia and the lady who developed them said to me, "I know the guy who works in the electronics." I was kind of caught off guard. I didn't know that she had looked at the pictures but it would make sense since she develops them. I said, "Oh. Did he tell you he was having a baby?" And she said, "He mentioned to me that she was due soon... What'd you name her?" I said, "Olivia." And she asked me about how she slept at night. And I just kind of told her about at the hospital that she was really good and that she never cries and we have to wake her up to feed her. And she was like, "That's awesome. My kids would keep me up all night." I didn't want to, right then, give her my whole life and personal story of adoption.
N seemed pretty happy that we brought her and such on Thursday. And he told me he could basically clock out whenever because it was his day off. But he had told me Wednesday was his day off and he said he thought it was but he missed work. He told me the lady in pictures thought I was mad or hated her or something. I told him that I wasn't mad. And I guess the lady had used the pictures that I printed and made extras for him, she edited them and stuff. And she put them up for display by the picture place. I didn't mind but at the same time I was kind of like, well, thanks for asking for my permission to make copies of my prints and put them on display. I wouldn't have cared if she asked me. But whatevs.
N wanted to show this girl in jewelry, Olivia. I didn't really care ya know? I had nothing else to do at Wal*Mart. But she was on break. She came back and saw her. She was saying she was cute and stuff and N walked away. She kind of just stood there and I mentioned whenever I see couples holding hands and kissing I just want to tell them to buy condoms because they don't want a baby right now. I love Olivia to death but it's still hard. Haha. And the girl was saying she told her boyfriend that she wanted kids and he told her to not talk about it. My friend Lauren said, "I don't want kids." And I just said, "Well, I do have a kid." haha. N came back and the girl had to go back to work.
N then told me that his brother had set him up on a date last night. I was kind of like, Uhhhhhh why are you even telling me this? To make me feel like a total loser and not over you? Right on. I asked him, "Oh. How was it?" And he said it was alright that they were supposed to hang out for 4 hours but he was ready to leave after the first hour. And I asked, "Well, was she cute?" And he said, "She was alright. She was in high school." I'm like, "I'd expect that from your brother."
N clocked out and wanted to show off Olivia to more people. I don't mind it when people who know that we've placed or had a baby. I'm totally cool with talking about adoption. It's the people that didn't even have a clue that I feel awkward around. N showed these two ladies Olivia and they're like oohing and awing over her and how cute she was and congratulating us. And that they had no idea. We were about to walk away and the lady was like, "Before you go, introduce us to your wife." And N said, "Well, we're not married." She then says, "Okay. Your significant other."
At this point, I didn't care and would've just wish he had just introduced me and got it over with. But it gets worse.
He says, "This is why I didn't tell anyone. We're not dating."
I probably turned bright red. It was so embarrassing. I'm like, please N. Tell our whole life story to two ladies you work with. Continue.
She then says, "Okay, introduce us to the mother of your child." Yeah, sounds kind of whoreish. I know. I'm not very fond of that title.
So he said, "This is Stefanie." And they're like, "Well, be a good dad. Not a dead beat." And he says, "Well, technically, I'm not her dad anymore." And the lady says, "WHAT?!" And N said, "We placed her for adoption. We're just babysitting." And the lady says, "I'm really confused and I'm walking away right now." And she honestly walked away. The most AWKWARD conversation I had with anyone in my life.
I felt like I did the walk of shame. haha. I covered my face with my hand and shook my head. And Nic asked me if I was alright. I said, "Um, that was REALLY awkward." And he said, "It doesn't bother me. I don't care who knows." I said, "It doesn't bother me. I just think it could've been approached differently."
Somehow he just makes situations more awkward than they need to be, whether he does it on purpose, or does it unintentionally. I don't know.
Right before we were about to leave the lady who was the greeter at the door asks, "Who's baby is that?" N said, "Mine." And she says to him, "No it's not."
I kind of looked at her like, Who does this woman think she is?!
She came over and asked, "Is it a boy or a girl?" I said to her, "Girl. Hence the pink flower blanket." She said, "Well, I didn't know I thought it might've been someone else's."
Yeah, I let my boys have used pink flower blankets. Awesome.
She kept saying that it wasn't N's baby and stuff. And she asked who the mom was. And I said it was me. And she asked, "Is it his?" And I said, "Well, yeah. Pretty sure he was there the night we had sex and conceived her." She said, "I don't believe you. I bet it's one of your nephews."
I honestly wanted to punch this woman in the FACE.
N said, "Just saying, she wouldn't be our nephew. She'd be our niece but she's not, she's our daughter." The lady kind of just shrugged her shoulders.
Well, what made me mad is that N got off work obviously to be with Olivia. And so when me and my friend Lauren left, I told him to let me know if he was planning on coming over. And he said Okay. And I got nothing back. He never came over to see her. I'm glad he had the fun of showing off his baby. I have NO idea what to do with him. I've sent him a few texts since then and he hasn't replied. I mean, he's never been really good at communicating but he should atleast be doing SOMETHING or answering questions that need to be ANSWERED.
Then, I felt weird when he was telling me about him dating. I'm thinking, hello! We just had a loss... pretty much. How can you even think about dating right now? I mean, I don't feel comfortable I'm still grieving and adding in the extra stress of dating someone would freak me out because what if I lose them? Or they're not the right guy for me and I keep finding the wrong ones? Does he think I still want to get back together with him? I feel closure with him because all I wanted was for him to be there for his daughter. And he was. I should be happy right? Does he tell me he's dating so that way I know he's moved on?
Maybe he just needs me to be completely blunt with him. Like, I know we aren't ever going to get back together, but for Olivia's sake I'd like to at least communicate with you. or come right out and tell him that I plan on dating other people when the time is right for me. Get it through to him somehow that I AM going to move on. Or he is just simply trying to distract himself from what is REALLY going on in his life.
I was talking to my friend Lauren about it afterwards and she was saying that it annoyed her too that he said something about dating. But she thinks that might be the way he's grieving because he just wants to get himself away from it all. She said, "People are stupid in awkward situations... sometimes they just don't think especially when they're hurting... remember how we were talking about it being surreal? Imagine how it must be for him... You've had this reality shoved in your face everyday when you woke up for 9 months... and it just slammed into his a few days ago. He's been trying so hard to ignore it and pretend it's not there for so long and now he can't anymore... so he does stupid things to lash out in ways he hope will make him feel better... with very little thought process behind it. He definitely showed that today with the ladies also... He wanted people to know the truth but told the truth in the worst way possible because it's still such a surreal and different situation for him right now."
She also thinks maybe he's trying really hard to be friends so it's one of the first things that came to his mind that he would tell a friend or it was awkward and his mouth worked faster than his brain. I'm thinking though, if he wants to be my friend, why can't he just talk to me or text me back? I texted him and told him if I bothered him at all to let me know. He hasn't said anything yet. But I did also tell him the night of placement that he's the closest thing I have to Olivia right now so talking to him makes me feel better and he told me he understood. I don't know if him seeing Olivia is really hard on him and me having to remind him of her just freaks him out? Maybe he sees it as, well, I already signed away my rights. I don't need to do anything else, D and V are her parents. Or he's okay with not seeing her because he doesn't need it to have closure or it is hard to see her. I don't really know.
I'm trying really hard not to be upset over this. I guess I just am because Olivia is only going to be here for another week before she goes back out to Virginia and then they come back for Christmas. I'm also trying not to be so involved in his life either because he'll see her when he wants to but I just am feeling like, "Why wouldn't you want to see her? She's still your daughter." I do feel like he has commitment issues. It kind of shined through our relationship since that didn't last. When I came to him about the pregnancy he thought about getting married to me but then went in a totally different direction. Now, he's not talking to me anymore? It's as if he wants the love or the feeling of being love that a committed relationship has, but he can't handle making such a final choice.
If he ever reads these, I hope he doesn't get mad because that's just am how I'm feeling through all of this. I'm not saying this is how he's feeling because I don't know that unless he talks to me about it.
I guess what I really need to do is let go and let him come to me if he needs someone to talk to. He obviously didn't need me for the 9 months I was pregnant with his daughter. He doesn't need me now. I'm grateful he was there for me AND for Olivia. I saw hope that maybe he was going to be able to open up and be more communicable with me. But obviously that hope has kind of dimmed out for me. I should've expected it since he did this to me while I was pregnant. I just need to be able to prepare myself now that he's not going to be in the picture anymore, at least with me. I just hope someday he'll understand what he's doing and he'll be there for his daughter like he wanted to be.
In the slide show are pictures from N's house and then days after placement. So there are pictures of Olivia in N's sweatshirt and hat and with the monkey. I went out to their cabin on Monday and Tuesday. Tuesday night, my sister Katrina and I went out to dinner at Pirate Island in Orem. Their pizza was surprisingly good, that night, I went on Saturday with my other sister RuthAnn and it was greasy. :(
I think on Monday I told V that I hoped she didn't think I was using them to see Olivia because I wanted to see them too. I also told her that it felt sort of weird because I was Olivia's mom giving birth to her but I didn't feel like her mom because I wasn't going to be the one who parents her or she calls mom. And V said to me, "But you are her mom." Monday and Tuesday we played Kingsburg. When I went out with my sister we went to JCW's for dessert and I grabbed my check. It was good to see people I used to work with, I showed them pictures of Olivia on my camera and one of the guys I work with, "Your baby is cute... too bad you have to give it up." I was bitter that he said that like I didn't have a choice? And I didn't give her up. I placed her. But all I said to him was, "I already did." And walked away. What's with boys and not being able to pick up on social ques? I don't think that's anything you should say to anyone not even a week after placing.
On Wednesday, we were supposed to do a photo shoot with a photographer but D and V got snowed in at their cabin (yeah, snow.) They were afraid to drive through it with Olivia in their car. I totally understood. They took some pictures of her, which I have already posted below. And she was a week old then. Which didn't even seem real to me that I had a baby a week ago, then. I had mixed emotions. I was sad that I couldn't see her or them and celebrate her being a week old. Then I was frustrated that N wasn't answering my calls or texts. I wanted to try to go out to the cabin (if we could get through the snow) but I didn't want to drive alone because of the snow. Haha.
I went to group that night and it was about finances. I missed most of it trying to get the pictures developed so I could show girls at group.
I had a meeting with Loni the next day. I was pretty emotional then. I kind of just told her how I felt. I told her about the situation with N and how I was feeling about it. (This was before the whole Walmart incident and when he just wasn't talking to me)
I told her that it was difficult for me right now because I didn't know where I stood. I've been given the title as a mother because I gave birth to her. But at the same time, I won't be parenting her so it doesn't make me a mother. I guess some people think it's weird that I call her my daughter because I placed? What do I call her? What do I call myself? I felt out of place in the world.
I also told her about how I was feeling about my second thoughts at the hospital because I was scared that I wasn't supposed to feel that way. Since I felt so good about it during my pregnancy and then right before placement, I just had my feelings as a mother to take care of my child, but I was too afraid to express it because I knew that was what I wasn't supposed to do. Loni told me it was normal to feel that way about everything. She then asked me if I was prepared for placement. I told her that I wasn't prepared for the hurt. I don't think anyone ever could prepare for that. I told her though that I felt prepared that I knew why I was placing her. If I didn't know then I probably would've just said to myself, "I could do it." And done it. But that's almost the easy way out of not placing. What I did was harder than being able to keep her. And if I did keep her. It would've been hard to not feel guilty of denying her a home with TWO parents and being able to be sealed and be a family.
That's just how I've felt and have been feeling.
My milk started to come in on Tuesday. It didn't hurt until that night. And I wanted to CRY and DIE at the same time. I was about ready to grab a butcher knife and cut my breasts off. Ha. To me, it hurt more than giving birth and recovering after birth. And trust me, I have a pretty good pain tolerance.
We had a post placement group that day. It was my first time going since I didn't place until the Friday before. I like it a lot better than the birth parent group on Wednesday because in the Thursday group, it was with girls who had gone through the same thing I've been through. The Wednesday one is more for the girls who kind of don't know what they're doing, if they haven't chosen a plan, or they know what they're doing. It just kind of helps everybody out. But I feel as if the Wednesday group sugarcoats things so it doesn't scare the girls out of adoption? I wish it would be more real about how much it was going to hurt and sometimes you do feel unsure about your decision and that's okay. I wish someone would've told me that it was going to be okay to feel that way.
The Thursday group we talked about openness of adoption and how we need to be able to be open and communicate. The beginning of the group was that they brought in a cake for us and they cut it up all nice and then one of the caseworkers asked a girl if she wanted a piece and she said sure. The caseworker dug her hands into the cake and got the piece out and tried to shove it in her face. It was a visual lesson about presentation and how we can't always just shove things in peoples face and that we need to do it respectfully. We also need to understand the other side of the situation. Some girls were saying that they didn't understand when their couple say they're having a hard time. Because the girls feel like they shouldn't be having a hard time because they gave them a baby. But the couple are still upset that they can't have their own children. Totally understandable.
I feel weird when people tell me that I'm strong, brave, and courageous. I'll straight up tell you now. I'm scared s***less, to be quite frank. Even though I know adoption was the best choice for her. I can't look into the future now and see how her life is going to be. I'm scared that what if she comes back to me and says I didn't make the right choice. I know that wouldn't happen but it scares me to DEATH. Meh. I don't feel strong, on the outside I may look like I'm doing good or okay but on the inside I'm falling apart. I'm a wreck inside. I'm afraid to admit those kinds of things because I don't want it to seem like I regret it. Because I don't. I know what I did was best for her and I'm willing to give up my happiness for my baby so she can be happy.
That's just how I feel.
My next post will be about the baby shower we had for Olivia on Friday. :) Plus, I need to get those pictures from V.