Monday, March 21, 2011

Manic Monday

'The first six weeks is all about survival.'

These are the words of wisdom I received from a friend in an email after we first got home...actually I think she said this to me right before we left too.

Words to remember!

I kept my eye on that number. When we arrived home I actually looked at the calendar and said to myself "Right, 6 weeks from today we will be much better!"

I started to worry at about 4 weeks....because I was right smack, dab in the middle of my crash and I thought....6 weeks! Crazy talk! There was no way this was ever going to feel better in 6 weeks or 6 years.

Slowly, ever so slowly, as I started talking to people and blogging about it I started to feel the haze lift. It's the best to describe how I was feeling...hazy! I think back to the first few weeks home and it is all foggy. I can't quite remember what happened or how we made it through each day. Nothing felt real like I was having an out of body experience. Just watching from a distance.

Today we were back at the peds doctor for a follow up appointment from when we were first got home and we both felt like we were clearer. Present. In the now.

I do know the weekend of being home 6 weeks we made plans to get out of the house more. We verbally said to ourselves "We need to get out more! We need to make plans, we need to not be afraid any longer!" We decided it was time to live life as we saw it.

We had always talked about how Ade would fit into our life and not the other way around. Of course, there is give and take. There needs to be routine for him as well so he feels comfort in knowing what will happen. But we also needed to live and get out and do the things we had enjoyed.

So we took him with us...on the Sunday of our 6 weeks home we skipped nap time at home. Put the wee lad in his stroller and headed out for a walk. We stopped and grabbed coffees for our walk-about and 10 minutes in the wee one was out like a light!

Napping! In his stroller! While we walked and talked and lived our life! Amazing!

Of course he did. He had done in Ethiopia. We were very rarely at the guest house. We were out discovering the country our boy came from and he was right there with us. Why should it be any different now that we are home in Canada?

It shouldn't be! And it won't be.

Of course we will give him structure and routine. Only the routine we give him will also give him adventure, discovery and fun along the way. As long as he gets his naps and snacks does it matter where he has them? Not to us.

He grows with each new encounter. He loves to go for car rides and in the stroller. How do I know? Because when we put our coat and shoes on he grabs his to make sure we are taking him too. He pats the stroller seat when we get ready to go for a walk.

I digress.

This is about the 6 week survival.

It was sitting in the park looking at the river, with our son napping in his stroller and holding my husband's hand as we chatted about what our future held with our kidlet, that I realized I was breathing again. The haze had lifted and I could see what was ahead without panic, without fear.

In its place was a new layer to our life which hadn't existed before.

It is true.

The first 6 weeks are about survival. Making sure everyone eats and sleeps. It is a time of strangers getting to know each other. Because essentially that is exactly what we were...and to a degree still are. We are doing the courtship dance...only this courtship is instant and you are living with the one you are courting from day one. Can you imagine if you had done this with your spouse? It wouldn't be easy. Not at all!

The first 6 weeks were a struggle. No two ways about it.

Once we established his sleeping schedule and what he liked to eat it made a huge difference. Thankfully we have a good sleeper and an amazing eater. Could this change? Yes, but now we are getting accustomed to one another so these changes or transitions will be easier. Still difficult but never as difficult as those first weeks home.

Now we have taken back control of our lives. We lost it to our own fear. We are going out to people's houses and we are having family and friends over to our house.

We know this isn't for everyone so early in the game. It highly depends on you and your child. Our boy loves it! We love it! We get closer from each adventure.

For now, we are breathing.

Deep breaths from the pit of our stomachs.

It feels good.

We are finding our breath, in unison, as a family of 3!


Claudia said...

Oh Rana, SO SO SO good to hear you breathing again!

In the middle of those six weeks, it feels like FOREVER. But one day they will feel like a distant memory. If you hadn't written it down, yo'ud probably be saying 'what? No, it was ALWAYS great!'

Lovely to hear you with that spring back in your step :) Welcome to the new normal!!!

Julie said...


Dancin' Momma said...

Oh I wish our transition had been so easy, for us it was 6 months before we could breath. Our boy will not nap outside of his bed, he was always on high alert, and when other people were around he would shriek and freak out. Having a life, or getting out and about, even almost 2 years later, is a huge challenge for us. I am so happy it has been easier for you. I wish all kids could settle so easily! {{big hugs}} I am so glad things have improved so quickly for you!

darci said...

so glad for you! I hate being stuck in the house, so I'm so happy that he likes his stroller and can sleep in it too. :) yay!

Ramona said...

Oh I love to read this. I remember going to the Dr the day the fog lifted at just over 6 weeks home- I was going to get some help for myself...the sun was out that day and suddenly, I realized that things didn't look quite so heavy. This didn't mean it was easy yet- the first 6 months are a blur right now, but it meant that that heavy haze lifted and there was hope seeping in. And now, 1 year home things are entirely on another level. Keep going my friend. Keep doing what is right for you and your family at the time and place you are in. We're here for you and will cry and stand with you and we love to celebrate with you, Yvan and Ade!

Tova said...


Carolyn said...

Girl- you need to write a book!!!! You are an excellent writer! Wow- you really put all the feelings and emotions into words. I am thrilled that you are getting your groove on as a Mom- that is great. We also were out and about as soon as we got home- it is what worked for us.



Connie said...

Beautifully put Rana! You know how to describe it all so perfectly! I'm glad you are finding your breath and feeling more relaxed.

Sharla said...

Rana - with this and your other Monday posts, you have managed to describe so well what so many of us have felt, but couldn't quite find the words for. Hazy is such a great description...

Thank you so much for sharing all of it and glad that the haze is lifting.

The Gaboury's said...

Oh Rana; such a beautiful post. Thanks for sharing. Do what ever works for you and your family.

Carey said...

Yes Yes Yes!!!!!!!!! Thank you again Rana. I think that there can be no set time to do things as I think everyone has there own groove to find and if we all tried to follow a cookie cutter plan we would stay in pieces. Sounds like you have it figured out. I wasn't able to do the cocoon theory it wasn't working for me and I think would have driven me into the nut house for sure.


Anonymous said...

Awesome post Rana - and thanks for the comment on my blog! I love reading about your life with your little guy. It is so helpful to get an idea of what may be in our future and that even though it isn't easy, it does get better.

Jill, Trevor, Kohl, Aliah said...

Rana, I think this one of the BEST posts I have ever read. You are right, children do not come with manuals. Every child is different and every situation is unique. i think you are both doing an amazing job with your son. Thanks for being so "real" in your posts.

Wishing you all the best~


hazel said...

Beautiful! I loved reading this and hearing how you guys have your groove back - as a family of three. Knowing your child's sleep/eating schedule is HUGE. Once you feel confident around that, everything else falls into place.

Sherri said...

Wonderful post.... I feel the same way, with each of our children, it was the 6 week mark we celebrated ;) Keep going... stages come and go so quickly, though I never thought so at the time.

Jess said...

Totally get the out of body experience!! But so glad to hear (and could tell on Friday) that things are settling it you're 'breathing' :)

Kari --- said...

Yay! I think it's the same for any new parent... 6 weeks.. it's a magical number. I think that's why even after you deliver a baby, you go back after 6 weeks... it gives you *just* enough time to sort out roles, get out from the fog and start a routine!
So glad that fog has lifted for ya'll!

Liz said...

This post wasn't manic at all, I think you need to change the title! ;)