Monday, June 18, 2012

Home sweet home

We have been home 5 1/2 days.  
I am sorry I haven't written sooner, but it has been quite the whirlwind!   We arrived in DC after a 17 hour flight at around 8am Tuesday morning.  I was thrilled that we would be reuniting with Finn in just a couple hours and seeing family and friends who would welcome Eli.  The 17 hour flight was not kind to me.  I was so worried about Eii, and he did wonderful.   I had trouble.  I had some 'bathroom issues"....even though we had a very normal "american" italian dinner the night before we left.  My stomach was in knots the entire plane flight. I thought I was going to throw up and I had a horrible migraine.  On top of that, I was pumping in the airplane bathroom every 2 hours to keep my milk supply up.  Very glamorous.  :)  I usually do very well on long flights, so this was kind of a bummer.  But it still went okay.

The good news is our sweet boy had an easy flight.  We kept him eating snacks and bottles the whole flight and might have slipped him a little benadryl.  I used to think this was cruel and unusual.  I now think it is kind and sweet.  I wish someone would have given me some benadryl.  It didn't knock him out at all, but it did encourage him to sleep.  

Anyway, we got back to a beautiful reunion.  Once again, I worried about Eli and his adjustment to the crazy airport.  He loved it.  He was so happy to play with the other kids and smiled the ENTIRE TIME!! IT was crazy.  Guess what the problem was? My sweet, awesome little Finn.  He was ticked, it was apparent from the moment I saw him.  He did not dive into my arms. He did not hug me and try to nurse my arm as I expected.  No.  He acted VERY standoffish.  He was mad.  Eight months old....and smart as can be :)

Thus began our first every nursing strike.  After pumping on the 12 hour plane ride there, in airport bathrooms, in cars in Ethiopia going through the dusty traffic, while covering with a nursing cover....dumping all of that precious "gold" out... (the orphanage wasn't interested in it because it was such a short duration, and it will change the ph balance of their stomachs...)  The whole time, I thought how much it was worth it, because I just love nursing.  It is good time together, it is easy, it is FREE, it is special...I planned to go at least one year...  and then...he would not come back.  I tried five times the day I got back and he wanted nothing to do with me.  I have tried at least that many times each day since, without forcing.  I am not giving him milk in a bottle, only in a cup.  So far, no luck.  He is showing a little more interest, so I am going to keep trying.  But it is sad.

This has been the surprise with the whole journey.  I prepared myself for overwhelemd Eli.  I prepared myself for his clingy, crying fits.  I prepared myself to be patient with him.  But surprisingly, Finn is having a harder time in many ways than Eli.  Because he is so little, I wasn't expecting this.  If he was 2 years old, I get it...but he is generally very adaptable.  He stayed with someone who loved him (my mother in law)...

But he has had SO MANY CHANGES lately.
Brandon left.
 Several days later, I left.
He had bottles (the most consecutive bottles he had ever had was 2)
He traveled to Kentucky.
He went to a wedding.
He hung out with his cousin (another baby)
He saw lots of family and friends.
He traveled to a hotel.
Traveled to the airport, where we arrived with a new child.

When I put myself in his shoes, I would probably be on a nursing strike too!
That is overwhelming.  And I am 28. :)  
So, I'm giving him time and hoping he'll come back, because it was special. And I hate pumping.  But either way, we will persevere through it.  But it was an unexpected challenge of the whole thing!  If you have ever dealt with a nursing strike, please, share your wisdom.  

After being standoffish for a few days, now I can't leave his sight. So my once chilled out baby who soothed himself to sleep and played independently now clings to my ankles and needs to be rocked to sleep.  Don't get me wrong,  I sure don't mind a bit (these moments won't I want to cherish them.) just provides a little stress because I only have two arms...and now two needy babies. :)  PLEASE don't feel sorry for us, I'm just sharing where we are. Not asking for pity.  It is hard hearing your normally chilled out baby crying all the time.

We are doing lots of screaming around here, all of us. :)  But I continue to remember that this is a season.  And the sweet smiles are worth it.  The adorable grins.  THe big hugs and kisses.  All of those moments make the junky times worth it.

Adoption causes some tough situations.  It was, in fact, born out of sin.  (Adoption would not exist if sin was not present in this world).  We are rejoicing that God called us to adopt. Rejoicing that this sweet boy is in our family.  Praying that hte adjustments would come.

And, because you give great advice, What do I feed this child? He throws EVERYTHING on the floor... :)  So far, the only things that have remained successful are oatmeal and bread/milk.   Everything else is touch and go :)  I'll take your tips!  

gray ric rac copy


  1. Same thing happened to a friend of mine when she went on a little 3 day trip with her hubs, her son refused to nurse upon her return. He was d.o.n.e.
    All in all, sounds like everything is pretty "normal" in Whitis World, Party of 4! Take deep breaths, pass out hugs and kisses, and lock yourself in the bathroom every now and then for 3-5 minutes. :)

  2. Oh, how I've enjoyed hearing your stories!!! They remind me so much of my journey. :) I also didn't get the airport greeting I was expecting from my 3.5 month old daughter. In fact, she was standoffish. And then??? She wouldn't leave my side. . . and still won't. It's crazy!!!

    As for food, my son would only eat oatmeal and baby food. He seemed a bit old for baby food, but he loved it. And did I mention oatmeal? Yeah, he was pretty much on an oatmeal diet. Just hang in there. It will get easier.

    So glad your family is all together. :)

  3. I have been praying for you guys like crazy! I'm no help for a nursing strike baby, but do keep trying. If he doesn't respond in a reasonable time,You'll come to a place where YOU know whether to keep trying or not. It's kind of like that when you ARE ready to wean. Sometimes you make the decision, sometimes the child does. (That does not sound the least bit helpful, I know!)

    In terms or what he'll eat. If he loves oatmeal, just start adding different things to the oatmeal. Start with some bananas. If he responds well to the taste, alternate a bite of well mashed banana with oatmeal. Then a few days later mix some applesauce in the oatmeal, they strawberries, blueberries, etc. You can do it with pureed veggies too. Start with the sweeter ones, carrots, sweet potatos, then maybe some peas, avacado or squashes. Just do it gradually. One mom I know had a child who would only eat scrambled eggs. She mixed ANYTHING into egss. Some things sounded so gross, but her child would eat it just fine! He'll start to become more aware of what YOU"RE eating soon enough and then you'll have two boys you'll have to share your food with!

  4. Brooke, I am SO EXCITED that ya'll are all HOME together!!! WOW!!! So amazing! I am sure life is a little crazy right now, but I am so thankful that you have BOTH of your boys in your arms! Praise God!!!

  5. So excited for you that Eli is home now! As far as nursing, have you tried sneaking a session in while he's half asleep? When we came home from Jamaica, I couldn't wait to nurse my baby, so I woke him up and he barely realized what was going on. It made the transition back to nursing a little easier I think? Also....we had been weaning for the past month. I thought he was done. Then he got sick (was hospitalized for 4 days) and ALL he wanted to do was nurse. Now he's back to nursing several times a day...crazy. So, you never know, the strike may not last? Good luck with that! Have you tried giving Eli quinoa? I know it's another grain, but it's full of protein and is super easy to digest.

  6. I cried reading your blog. I am overwhelmed with you joy for you right now!!! I can't relate to having two children. I can't relate to an adoption. But I can relate to Finn's situation.

    Leaving Isaiah and going back to work was the greatest challenge in my parenting experience. I leave him every day for a long time and only get a few hours a day with him. I went through the nursing strike, I went through a bottle strike, I went through a period where he wouldn't let me put him to sleep or where he prefered Justin over me. Its heartwrenching.

    Pumping is so hard when nursing is so much easier. LIke you really have time to pump in the midst of all this too. :/ I'm not giving you a pity party but a "YOU ARE DOING A GREAT JOB! and YOU ARE AN AWESOME MOM! and FINN LOVES YOU SO MUCH!"

    Isaiah has finally come back around to nursing. Its taken awhile, but remember I have to leave him every day and you don't have to leave so maybe Finn will come around faster than Isaiah did :). THe only advice I have is give him lots of attention, hugs, and kisses. Always offer bf first and make it a special time (if possible??) alone with him in a quiet room (i dont even know if thats possible with a toddler). and if its too much to pump and you have to transition DONT BEAT YOURSELF UP!! I hope Im not saying to much. I'll be praying for you :)

  7. Incredible, you are!!!! For reals. My son went on a week long nursing strike when we went away, and I jus,t stuck with it, lots of skin to skin time, and def. the half asleep nursing. The first time he latched was actually in the bath with me! Weird, but it worked. And went onto nurse forever! Well it felt like forever. I bet hell go back. Have u tried quinoa with Eli, if he likes oatmeal he might do it. Just cook it up a bit mushier than usual and form into small finger food sized balls. It is a complete protein. You're doing it lady, WOW!!!!!!

  8. Congrats! You are now in full swing of mommy to 2 boys! You are already doing great! When I came home with MaryElle, Sam was very stand offish too. He had never been left with anyone, so he was a lil ticked at me. When i went for him, he was like, No Lady! and where have you been! and who is this other kid in ur arms!(all this written on his face at 11 months) He was back on my hip by the next morning. They are both gonna vie for your attention and want stuff at the same time, what an awesome dilema to be in :) Eli looks like he is a happy camper with you! Sweet Finn will be back in his routine before you know it!

  9. No advice...just love hearing that ya'll are home together. Praise God! SO happy for ya'll. Praying for your adjustments.

  10. So happy for you! Congrats on bringing home the newest member of your precious family!

    Wish I could help...clearly I'm no nursing expert - Sam will only nurse first thing in the morning and right before bed. I'm not ready to be done nursing but I guess I will follow his lead. :(