After Emme started school I still had moments of "How am I going to do this?" But, I also started to have a few moments of "I can do this."
In Oct, Corbin joined the world. He was the most handsome baby boy I had ever laid eyes on. He proved to be the best newborn ever the first two weeks. He was so sweet and never complained.
Then....we made it back from Idaho and Gregg immediately started back to school. I was alone in the strange new world of being a mom of two.
Corbin started to become fussier and fussier as the days went on. We switched his formula, but nothing changed. I tried probiotics, nothing changed. It got to a point where he would eat an ounce or two and then just scream bloody murder for a couple hours. Unlike Emme, he didn't really spit up, but apparently you can still have acid reflux without the vomit so we put him on some medication and changed his formula again. He finally started eating his whole bottle without screaming, but a few minutes after he was done eating he would start crying. It didn't matter what I did or whether I held him or not. He could not be comforted. Gregg mentioned colic and few times and I immediately snapped at him. It's not colic! I just have to figure out his reflux!
Emme was on the rampage. She loves babies so much, but she has no control over her need to squeeze and shake them. If Corbin is in the room with her she runs to him like a moth to the flame. Her body NEEDS to touch him and touch him hard in order to fulfill her sensory needs. Putting Corbin down while they were both awake was not an option. I have no doubt in my mind that she would have seriously hurt him. She stopped napping despite my desperate prayers to please, please, please, just let her sleep today.
I felt so alone, because I was alone. I started to become bitter towards Gregg simply because he was able to leave. He didn't have to hear crying from Corbin or screaming from Emme All. Day. Long. Emme stopped sleeping through the night so not only were we waking up with Corbin, but we also had to figure out how to get an overstimulated child back to sleep. Many nights she was awake for hours. Add that to not napping and you have one very violent child and a very exhausted mom.
Every time I fed Corbin, Emme would try to attack him. I had to hold her off with my foot while she went ballistic. Then she would grab anything in her path and throw it at us. She also threw chairs, smeared poo, kicked walls, and slammed doors over and over. I put her in her room to calm down and she would completely destroy it.
We were a mess. I was having daily melt downs. Many times when Gregg got home from school I was already in bed drowning in my tears. I finally admitted to him I didn't like being a mom. I loved my kids, but I was at a complete loss on how to parent them. It wasn't for me. It sounds so horrible and ungrateful to say that especially after all I went through to be a mom. That alone was the main reason I didn't reach out to anyone about it. I knew there were so many women waiting to be mothers and here I was dreading every new day.
One day I remember calling Gregg practically begging him to come home and help me. The reality is he just couldn't. If you miss one class in grad school you're pretty much done for. I don't think his professor would be very understanding if Gregg explained he had to go home because his wife is a crappy mother. (my words not his)
On top of it all Corbin has been sick his entire life. He's had RSV, Bronchiolitis twice, and Croup. The poor kid can't win. It doesn't help that Emme licks him any chance she gets. And yes, I have heard of Doterra for heaven's sake!
Slowly, things started to get better. I finally admitted Corbin had Colic. We started feeding him Liquid Gold, got his reflux medication dose right and figured out he only sleeps if he's on his stomach. Not all at once, but eventually he got happier and happier. The last few weeks he's even ridden in his car seat without screaming. I've actually ran a few errands with him in tow! He now sleeps through the night consistently and wakes up cooing. He always waits patiently while I set him down so I can help Emme. I seriously love the begeezees out of that kid. His smile is the sweetest thing in the world. I feel so blessed to have him in my life. He still has his grumpy times in the evening, but I can handle that. That's normal baby stuff.
Emme's therapist sent us to a psychiatrist who prescribed a medication for her. It has changed our life. I never knew how bad things really were until after she started medication. I know many people will judge us for it, but all I can say is we had a lot of thought and prayer go into it and don't point a finger when you've never been through it. Her way of life is so much better. It's not a cure all and problems still arise, but she is now capable of so much more. She finally potty trained which I was starting to think would never happen. She can walk from point A to point B without getting distracted. She naps! She tells stories, she's funny, and her tantrums have gone way down. It's not all rainbows and sunflowers, but it's so much better. She is still Emme and I'm thankful for that. I wouldn't want her a zombie. I told her therapist I was falling in love with her all over again.
I know admitting my child is on medication will open up a can of worms, but it's truth. She had been in school for six months and therapy for eight with little improvement. Her brain was keeping her from moving forward. I'm so tired of seeing people post articles on Facebook about ADHD and Autism and how to cure or prevent them, when they have absolutely NO first hand experience. It's so easy to say what you would do if you were in someone else's shoes. Just because you haven't had a child with these disabilities doesn't mean you did something right not to be faced with it. It just means your trials have come in different ways. I hope you are shown more patience with your struggles than we are when our child is throwing a tantrum in public. But I digress....
Life is better now. I can see the light and look back on the darkness. I have an angel in my ward that has helped me more than I could ever repay. She knows who she is. The Lord told her I needed help and she obeyed. I hope to be like her one day. Know that I love my kids and I am so thankful for them. Without a doubt they were always meant to come to me as if I birthed them. Adopting doesn't make parenting easier but, I really try to be the best I can for them. It's taken me a long time to write this post because I didn't want to put out the wrong impression, but I felt strongly I needed to share my struggles in adding a second child. I learned recently that it's not guilt I feel, but shame. Shame for not being perfect and NO one is perfect.
Here's to going forward being a not so perfect mom, but to striving to be pretty darn good one.