Monday, October 23, 2006

Got wisdom?

I've been preparing for this adoption for a long time. I've learned some Mandarin, studied Chinese culture, armed myself to face attachment issues. I've typed my packing lists and devoured other people's trip blogs. I can tell you what the weather is right now in Yueyang.

There's just one problem: I don't know nothin' 'bout raising no babies.

For example -- the burping thing. I know you do that with little bitty babies after you feed them, but at what point do they not need it anymore? I won't have to do that, right? And how am I going to get her to lie still so I can put those adorable red-shoed tights on her? And at what age does she start getting teeth?

I have bought a couple of baby books that I hope will get me through the rough patches, but I need your help with those little things that folks just instinctively know, or things you have discovered through trial and error.

For example, when we were enjoying my baby shower cake at work the other day, I asked each person to share a favorite parenting tip. Here's some of what they came up with:

-- It doesn't matter how recently you fed her, if she wants to eat, feed her again.

-- Desitin. Plenty of Desitin.

-- Get yourself a big stack of onesies unless you want to do laundry every day (or was that every hour?)

-- Never give a toddler salmon

-- She'll be 10 months old? Take everything off the coffee table.

Now it's your turn! What advice do you have for a 46-year-old woman who's about to become a mother for the first time? Help me out by posting a comment.

Meanwhile, I'm off to research the stock prices of whatever company makes Desitin.


Denise said...

Get ready for it to take longer to do things! For some reason, I just didn't expect this. I learned that I could no longer grab and go. I had to think about what our daughter needed and make sure I packed that in the diaper bag before we ever left the room. BTW, you won't have to burp her :)

Denise (SR group)
who was a first time Mom at 45 and panicked on the bus ride to pick up our daughter (10.5 months). I was asking the experienced Moms all kinds of ridiculous questions.

Beverly Moore said...

I don't recommend desitin. Use bottom butter or Butt Paste (designed by a doctor in LA I think). Anyway at 10 months old you will not need to burp her. Don't worry about that. All of those books ignore the newborn to 6 month part except for milestones. She may be delayed but don't worry she will catch up faster than you will want.

Get used to never haveing empty hands again!! You will never not have a bag of somesort attached to you when you are out. You are the pack mule for your child and will be until she moves out of the house.

Remember the time will fly to relish every moment even the tantrums. Motherhood is so much fun and you will never NEVER REGRET this at any moment.

DD Glenys my Wuzhou wonder

Anonymous said...

Susan, I'm a friend of Lynette's and I have enjoyed reading your Blog. Rachel is a doll! I am the mother of 2 boys thru adoption. The best advice I can give you is there isn't a wrong way to do anything. Your way will be the right way to Rachel. Your mothering instinct will take over and you will learn as you go. Rachel is so blessed to have you for her mother!

My mom is the one that made the little taggy blankets for all the babies from your group. I can't wait to read your blog while your are in China. God bless you always!


Rachel's Aunt Kay said...

It's been a long time since Chad was young but here goes......

She will be trying to crawl or walk. Yes, get everything off the shelves and tables at her level. She will be eating some foods by now but will still need the bottle. She will not need burping and will be giggling because she can do it herself. She will be old enough to hopefully convey what she wants or needs. But most importantly, she should be sleeping through most of the night. Is China 24 hours or 12 hours behind Illinois? That might still be a problem. : )

BTW, I'll get you the butt paste stuff, it's great.

Take it from me, you'll be fine. Afterall, just ask me about my perfect child?

Michelle said...

Susan, I'm right there with you sister friend! I'm going to be a mom in 4 days and I have no idea what to expect. It's been something that I have been agonizing over for the past few months. I have faith that we both will learn with our daughters and that we will be wonderful parents. I believe that if you have enough love in your heart everything will work out. Hang in there. I'm sure going to miss talking to you or emailing all the time. I will be checking Rachel's website from time to time to hear about your CA. I'm so excited for you. I can't believe that this is finally happening!! We are going to be moms. Thanks for always being a positive influence in my life. Your the best. I'll talk to you more when I get home from China and hopefully I'll see you in a few months!

Susan said...

Great tips, everybody! Whoever thought I'd be buying something called "Butt Paste"-- and be happy about it?

Denise, good to see you here! Shawn, nice to meet you -- I loved the blanket your mom made.

And Michelle -- AAAUUUGGGHHHH!!!! You're leaving TOMORROW!!!!!

Keep the advice coming, everybody.

Michelle said...

You will be awesome! Just always trust your own instinct, especially when it comes to her health issues. As my son's pediatrician told me - you will know your child best; better than the phone nurse, the admitting staff or the doctor! Never ever hesitate when you are concerned for their health and safety!

As I can attest, clear off the table tops and stretch out your back for all the little hand holding in your near future!

Other Michelle has it right on - with the love in your heart and in your actions you will do great and Rachel will finally have the chance to be embraced by it!

Michelle I

Anonymous said...

Don't sweat the small stuff. From your previous post, I read that your husband already has two children so he should have enough basic experience to help you make the transition into this new phase of your life for you. I know men sometimes take a hit for not being as nurturing as they could and should be, but I've seen examples where a man can be a valuable partner throughout this entire process, and can be tapped into as a valuable resource for basic advice and moral support. Remember, you're not going through this alone so try to relax and enjoy your trip to China to pick up your daughter. She is really beautiful and I know she will become the light of your life and a constant source of joy the rest of your life.

Also, if at all possible, try to capture as many of your daughter's precious early moments on videotape. I can tell you from previous experience that not only would this be a great way to chronicle her early development and progress, but it will also be a lot of fun to watch these videotapes during future family gatherings

One final thought.
You should probably just skip videotaping and go out and get one of those new fangled high- definition camcorders now on the market. They come with a built-in hard drive so there's no messy tapes to be dealing with. They rock!

TaiwanMommy said...


I just adopted twin 10 month olds from Taiwan. I have three other kids (2 grown) and two grandsons...

Here's my tips:

1) Don't count on not having to burp her. I can skip it with Taelor, but not Harper. She'll scream. So don't write it off yet.

2) Regular desitin is still the best. The creamy is not so great.
Use it liberally, at every changing.

3) She will wear smaller diapers than you think. My girls are in 1's and 2's.

4)Always leave extra diapers and wipes in your car just in case you forget your diaper bag.

5)She'll try to feed herself. Don't let her. No sippy cups either. Feeding her is crucial to your bonding experience. Insist on eye contact during bottle feeds.

6) Give yourself twice as long as you think it'll take to get out the door each day, until you have really learned how much time you need.

7)She might not like you at first. You might not feel maternal. These are both o.k. It'll come. We all want "love at first sight" adoptions. Reality is often different. Be prepared, and be kind to yourself. Talk to others for support.

8)Sleep when she sleeps!

9) Trust your instincts and breathe deeply! :)

10) When freaked, turn to other Moms, both adoptive and bio. The more we share, the more we learn.

Good luck and Godspeed!!