Tag Archive | adoption

Please & Thank You

If you don’t agree with someone, that’s obviously your choice.  In fact, you may have very valid reasons for not agreeing with someone.  HOWEVER, you can disagree and still be respectful, right?  Oh this thought could take me in so many directions, but I’ll try to focus on home birth…for now.  Birthing choices are up to the parents birthing the baby.  If you have opinions, quite frankly, they really don’t matter.  You’re entitled to have them.  However, be kind.  Be compassionate.  Be supportive.  After all, that’s what love is, right?  We support the ones we love, whether we agree with them or not.

So, we had a cesarean section with our first baby.  Our baby was removed from my belly, brought to the other side of the room to be cleaned off & checked over, then they brought him to me for oh, I don’t know, a couple of seconds (crazy generous, right?) before whisking him away.  I wanted Todd to stay with him so off he went as well (he hated leaving his wife on the OR table all cut open & whatnot, but orders are orders!).  I had tears streaming down my face and after what seemed like an eternity (it was only about 10 minutes), I asked if they were almost done sewing me up.  The doc laughed & told me they’d finished soaking all of the excess blood off of my uterus and put it back inside my body (ew), were just about done sewing the first layer and had another layer to stitch.  Fantastic.  I’d just had the baby boy I’d been carrying for 9 months whisked away and I ached to see him.  If you’re a mom, you must know that ache.  Your heart literally hurts.  You NEED your baby.  This was a very traumatic event for me.  It may sound trivial in the grand scheme of things, but I’d had my heart set on a vaginal delivery and here this stubborn baby refused to get upside down (okay, I sort of can’t blame him there) in my belly to prepare for birth AND he decides to check out 3 weeks early, 3 days before my scheduled external cephalic version (to try to squish him around so he’d be upside down).  Then, to have the nurse tell me I can’t go see my baby until I can walk, despite just having had major surgery…it’s enough to make anyone emotional!

At this point, we wanted the complete opposite of a hospital birth where we’d have very little say in what goes on when.  In fact, the closest hospitals to us did not allow VBACs, so that was more of a reason for us to have our triumphant HBAC (Home Birth After Cesarean).  We want to have our baby in our home, with no white coats present, no wipe-off board with PIT (pitocin) written down and the time we are to be given PIT because we’re taking too long to progress, no instruments to yank the baby out before he’s ready, no monitors being strapped to my belly for all of labor & delivery, no bed I’m being told to lie down on, nobody telling me I can’t eat or drink (I’m working harder than ever before, and you’re going to withhold nourishment?), and no tub to push the baby out in (labor, sure you can labor in the tub, but try delivering a baby in one at a hospital & let me know how it works out for ya).  I can’t thank “Hope” enough for opening our eyes to an entire beautiful birthing community that we never knew existed.  I started seeing an awesome chiropractor that specializes in pregnancy adjustments, and she game me so much relief.  I had HORRIBLE round ligament pain, just horrible. I‘d wake up screaming in the night.  She took so much of my pain away.   I was so grateful.

Oh hello, Braxton Hicks!  I’d never had them with Brayden, nor had I had any type of contractions whatsoever.  I had no idea what to expect, other than the obvious pain.  I was at 40 weeks and, well, not exactly comfortable.  I decided to ask my chiropractor to do acupressure because the Braxton Hicks were just getting really annoying & (even though I know babies should come when THEY are ready) I just couldn’t be pregnant any longer!  She warned me that if she did acupressure, I’d be full steam ahead in labor later that day.  Well, as much as I adored her, I highly doubted her, lol.  I left there and started on the 45 minute drive home.  I was a bit frustrated because before my appointment, I’d been having Braxton Hicks for several days.  Now, they were GONE!  I remember thinking, “are ya kidding me?!  I went from fake contractions to NOTHING?  I’ll never get this baby out of my belly & into my arms!”    That night, I decided to sleep on the couch (I don’t remember why to be honest).  I fell asleep just before 11pm.  Todd slept next to me in the recliner.  Before midnight I woke up in shock, disbelief, anxiety, excitement, you name it, I felt it!  I remember the first thing on my mind was, “Honey!  Call ‘Hope’ & ‘Peace’-(our Doula & Midwife)!!!  We’re having a baby!!!”   We’d purchased the home birth kit online, so we had everything we needed (I’ll spare you the details, but if any of you reading this have any questions about home birth that you’d like to ask me, please feel free…even if it didn’t end the way we’d planned, we still went through the process).

So, wow!  THIS is what contractions feel like!  I don’t love them, not one iota!  Our Doula arrived and shortly after that, our Midwife arrived.  From this point on until a few months down the road, some things remain foggy, but I’ll share what I do know.  In less than 2 hours, our baby was in the birth canal!  I started dreaming of eggs, home fries, sausage & toast with my birthing crew!  We would all have breakfast together because our amazing baby is going to be born in no time!  I was in pain, but excited.  Now I’m going to share some things that I’m truly scared to share.  I tell you this because I want to be completely honest with our readers.  I’m going to be extremely vulnerable, but you need the whole story, so here goes.

We’ve got a few (yes, I was one lucky mama!) Midwives (Peace, Patience, & Faith) and our Doula (Hope) at our home now, all trying to help ease my pain through the birthing process.  I was in & out of the birthing pool (by the fireplace in our family room, oh so peaceful).  My poor husband suffered the pain right along with me.  Each contraction I had, I put my arm around his neck and I’d bear down on him, taking him down forcefully with me with every push.  He’d later be in complete agony from my abuse (oops! – love you, honey!).  Every once in a while they’d ask me to try to use the restroom.  I’d laugh telling them they were nuts, there’s no way I could go to the bathroom when I’m trying to push out a baby!  I tried, but couldn’t   No biggie, after all, I’m trying to push out a baby, my body was a little distracted.  I continued trying to push, and they continued checking in on his heart rate.  His heart was beating perfectly the whole time.  For some reason (I’ll explain later), I just couldn’t get him out of the birth canal (good thing they’re flexible, he’d be there for a great many hours!)  After several hours of trying with all my might to push our baby out, our Midwives & Doula advised me to go to the hospital.  I was crushed, but knew they were right.  So, somebody got a few of my things together while I kept pushing.  I made it out the front door and paused to push again (no matter what, anyone that tells a woman to “stop pushing” is completely certifiable, you can’t stop, you just can’t).  Then I made it around to the other side of the porch, down the steps, and all the way to the back of the minivan!  Woo-hoo!  Now I had to stop to push again (keep in mind I’m making crazy loud Amazon Woman noises, while my neighbors all stare at me from their driveway, awesome).  After that round I had help getting into the back of the van so I could lie down & keep pushing.  Ugh.  One of my midwives (Patience) drove us 45 minutes down the highway, all the while I was screaming & pushing in the back of the van.  She’s awesome for being able to get us there safely with a screaming banshee in the back (and for many other reasons!).

I’ll give you the details of the hospital arrival next time.  It’s going to get raw.  Thank you for taking this journey with us.


DeMatteo Family Easter

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!

We went to the 9:45 service at church with friends before we all headed to the Original Pancake House for brunch.  The food was delicious!  It’s so hard to find a restaurant that’ll actually crisp up my home fries.  This is a place we’ll visit again for sure!

I’ve decided it’s just not possible to get all four of us looking at the camera (not talking, lol) at the same time.  Oh well.  We had a great time!

More about our adventures soon…

Invisible Pain

Hi everyone!  Charlotte set a new record in the wee hours of the morning today, 26⁰ out this morning!  Yikes!  It broke the record of 27⁰ from 126 years ago!  Now that’s cold!  Our oldest son has the next week & a half off from school, so today we’re taking full advantage of staying cozy in pjs and slowing down our lives for the day.  We all need those days once in a while, right?

Anyway, I realize that I never really explained to you what my life is like. I’ll be honest, straight forward, and descriptive.  I’m disabled, permanently.   <gasp! And you want to adopt?>  Yes, that’s right.  I am one heck of a mama, too.  Toot! Toot! {that was my very own horn}   Sure, I have days every now & then that I question my mothering capabilities, but recently in a meeting with a bunch of women in the women’s ministry I belong to, I realized that literally every single mother questions herself from time to time.  Sure, friends of mine have mentioned it here & there, but this group proved to me that we ALL question ourselves.  Do you know why?  Because we, as women, want to be perfect versions of ourselves.  We do this to ourselves from an early age, too.  Am I wearing the right clothes?  Does my hair look right?  Is my make-up smudged?  Did I really just leave the house without make-up?  (Okay, most days I DO leave the house without make-up, since having children, lol.  I cared at first, but now, I can’t be bothered to care about such unimportant details.)  Then we enter motherhood, and the questions now are; will he behave if I take him to a restaurant?  Will she be nice to the other kids at preschool or daycare?  Is he strong enough to stand up for himself?  Have I given her the tools she needs to feel confident in all she does?  Do I spend enough time on the floor playing with my children?  Was I on my iPad too much today?  Are we spending enough time reading & writing?

You get my point.  We all question ourselves.  Now, here’s a little known secret I’d like to share with you all.  WE ARE IN FACT ALL PERFECT VERSIONS OF OURSELVES!  Stop doubting yourself, if you know you’re doing almost your best (because let’s face it, there’s always at least a little room for improvement, that’s what keeps us going!), then you’re Mom of the year in my book!  Moms are in fact superheroes.  True story.

Okay, so back to the details of my health.  I have Chronic Intercostal Neuralgia and Fibromyalgia.  I have interesting days, to say the least.  What’s great is, I’m given the choice each day I’m blessed with, to either wear my pain on my face for all to see, or slap a smile on this freckle-filled face and take charge of my day!  I bet you can guess what I pick!  Yup!  Who wants to waste time being miserable?  Not this girl!  Sure, the pain is awful, but it’s mine.  It’s all mine and it’s mine every day, so it is just me.  It’s really all I know.  I don’t know what it’s like to live a day without pain.  I don’t know what it’s like to be able to go run several errands in the morning, then go to an amusement park in the afternoon, then go out to dinner with friends in the evening.  (Honestly, that would tire even the healthiest of superhero moms, admit it!)  So, I plan out my days.  Two days ago, I had a busy morning that consisted of getting gas (easy, right?  NOT!  The paper was empty at the pump and I’d purchased a car wash, so I had to unstrap my 2 yr old & go inside to get my receipt…for a healthy mom, annoying; for me, it cost a spoon-I’ll explain those soon).  After the gas, I went to Target to buy a bucket for an Easter egg hunt at my son’s school.  Did they have buckets?  NOPE!  So now my 2 yr old & I head to Party City (this was NOT in the spoon planning I’d done earlier in the morning) to get a bucket.  After that, I had to stop at Lowe’s to get seed trays so I could finish my planting (we’re selling herb/produce plants and then the crops we produce all season as part of our adoption fundraising).  By now, I was in a ton of pain, but still smiling!   We get home, have lunch, and then head back out to pick up my 4 yr old from preschool.  (The average woman probably thinks it’s obnoxious getting her child in & out of the car seat.  For me, getting my child(ren) in & out of their car seat costs spoons).  We get home, I get the boys upstairs, we read a couple of stories and they take a nap.  Normally, in this time frame I’d push myself onto the elliptical  (bitter sweet, getting/staying fit can help us be healthy, but it also costs spoons!).  This day, however, I went straight for the recliner with my heating pad.  I remained there for as much of nap as I could, so that I could get back to being a superhero once my kids were up.  It’s all about time management.  Normally, I wouldn’t do so many errands in one day, but sometimes, these things do happen.

What I’m trying to explain is, yes, I’m disabled.  However, my disabilities do NOT interfere with me being a good mom.  I’m not happy to be in excruciating pain every day, but I’m thrilled that because of that pain, I get to be a stay-at-home-mom.  You see, God does provide.  I don’t dwell on the bad stuff, why would I?  I have a loving husband and two beautiful children to live for, and hopefully sooner than later, I’ll have a third child to love unconditionally.

No, there’s no cure for me, but my condition is not life threatening.  It’s never going to require me to be living in assisted care, in a hospital, or anything like that.  It stinks, but it is what it is and I’m okay with it.  I truly am at peace with it.  Do you know why?  You should!  I’m okay with it because while it’s taking away from some things, it’s giving me others.  I may have to sit on the sidelines while my husband takes the kids on the rollercoasters (my Mom did, and I never thought she was less of a mother for it…in fact, I stayed with her because I was a total Mama’s Girl), and I may not be able to go do bumper cars, but I can do so many things with my children.  Did you know leprechauns have green pee?  It’s true!  Come look in our toilets on St. Paddy’s Day!  Have you witnessed the wonder and amazement in a child’s eyes when they see the seeds they planted, grow into seedlings, then eventually bear fruit?  Have you helped a child learn to balance on those curbs at the grocery store, and see the pride in their eyes when they reach the other side?  THIS is what life is about.  It’s not about who’s mom can do the best braids, or who’s mom can drive a bumper boat, it’s about who’s mom is present in life, no matter what the experiences that family participates in are.  Be present.  Be fulfilled.

Now, go read Christine Miserandino’s, The Spoon Theory.  It’s amazingly insightful.  If you know anyone at all with a disability, visible or not (like my invisible disability), I promise you will have a new understanding of their day-to-day life.  Thank you for taking the time to understand me.  God bless you all.


Our First Boy Was Born…

Wow!  We can’t believe how much support we’ve gotten in such a short time!  Thank you all!  It’s very touching.

Today I learned how easy it is to be a part of something BIG.  A fellow blogger posted a story about a couple that’s trying desperately to adopt a precious baby girl with Down Syndrome, that will be born in the coming days.  I was so moved by the family’s story, I simply couldn’t ignore it.  I shared it on the Facebook page for Big Dreams, Little Feet.  I promise not to ask you daily for money for random people, but this little babe was tugging at my heart strings.  Adoption is tens of thousands of dollars, so being able to donate however much we can, is an amazing feeling.  I’m happy to report that they raised everything they needed to move forward with the adoption of this baby girl.

So, how did Todd & I come to the decision that we want to adopt a baby?  Today I’d like to give you some background information on how our family grew, blessing us with two perfect babies.  When Todd & I found out we were expecting our first baby, we were over the moon excited!  We’d both wanted babies right down to our core.  The day we found out it was a boy, it was all finally becoming so real.  Soon, we’d hold our little angel in our arms and feel a love only a parent can know.  Brayden was breech, despite my constant nagging for him to flip over, and every attempt I could find on www.spinningbabies.com and through personal contacts.  I’d put ice packs on my belly where his head was to try to get him to wiggle away, I’d play music where his bum was to try to get him to wiggle down to hear it, and I even turned myself upside down on an ironing board.  You haven’t lived until you’ve done that, by the way.  Finally, we made an appointment with the doctors to attempt an external cephalic version (ECV or, manual version) http://www.aafp.org/afp/1998/0901/p731.html .  Well, Brayden was impatient even in the womb, and decided to come three days prior to that appointment.  Since I knew that hospital food isn’t exactly a 5 star meal, I finished up my Chicken Parm and then we headed down the road a half mile to the hospital (crazy convenient, huh?).  I was prepped for surgery & off to the OR I went.  This is where some life-changing events took place, and not just in the obviously beautiful form of having a baby.

So, Todd was waiting to be called in.  I’m about to give some details that are not for those with weak stomachs.  😉   Don’t say I didn’t give you ample warning, this blog will be very raw at times.  When they called him in, the poor man entered the door near the foot of my OR table.  Well, it was great that I couldn’t see anything; it was all on the other side of the sheet.  My husband, however, unexpectedly witnessed his wife on an OR table with her insides cut open.  That has to be such a chilling, horrible, and scary thing to see.  He joined me and together we waited anxiously to hear those first cries.  It felt like an eternity, or so I thought.  I’d soon learn that wait was cake.  Once Brayden was finally “born”, my husband was under strict orders not to let him out of his sight, ever.  They both left the room & the doctors started stitching me back up.  HERE’S where the eternal wait came into play.  😉   I could feel what they were doing (I can’t lie, it was gross to think about), and they kept giving me the play-by-play (also gross).  I was weeping at this point, because Brayden had briefly been put in front of my face, for a few seconds, then whisked away with my husband, leaving me to feel completely alone, while everyone else was below the sheet.  There was an anesthesiologist, but he was too busy with his back turned.  He had no time (read:  desire) to try to calm me down.   Finally, after a long time of putting me back together, I was wheeled out to the recovery room, where Todd & my precious babe greeted me.  I was still very loopy, so Todd guarded Brayden while I held him, just to be safe.  Oh how perfect that moment was, having my husband and our little baby boy in my arms.  Bliss.  The flood of emotions isn’t something I can put into words.  What an amazing and beautiful feeling.

Eventually, we were taken to our hospital room, where they informed us that Brayden had an irregular heartbeat and needed to go to Special Care.  WHAT?  Okay, I know that there are clearly people in much harder situations than ours, but in that moment, the only people in the world were the three of us.  So, off he went.  When my nurse came in, I fought through the tears & asked her to take me to Special Care.  Do you know what she said???  “Once you can walk, you’re welcome to head down.”  Lady, I just had a cesarean section.  Did you really just tell me to walk?  Oh my.  It’s a good thing my husband chimed in.  One does not separate a mama from her baby & put up unnecessary road blocks between them.  Todd found another nurse who was more than happy to get me a wheelchair.  After 3 days, he was finally better & allowed to remain in the room with us until we were discharged.  Dressing your newborn in their “going home from the hospital” outfit is so much fun!

These details that I’ve shared with y’all (yeah, I said y’all) are important.  These details are the reason we ultimately decided to plan a home birth with our next baby.  Stay tuned…

Who Are These People???

Hi!  I’m Kate.  My husband, Todd, & I would like to thank you for sharing this journey with us!  It’s going to be a very emotional but amazing journey to bring another baby into our family.  I think we’ll start with filling you in on some details about us, and why we feel we’ve been chosen to adopt.  I never thought in a million years I’d be sharing my inner most thoughts with everyone & anyone, but we feel it’s a crucial step to take to share the joys & (I’m sure) some heartache that lie ahead.  I promise, I’ll make some mistakes.  I’m nervous to share some of the coming details, but I feel like you deserve to know the whole story so you can understand where our hearts are today.  Please be patient.  I’m a first time blogger!  Today will most likely be the longest post of the entire blog.  So come on in, take a seat, and learn about what makes us…us.

About Kate:

Since I was a little girl, I always KNEW I wanted two things out of life:  to be a wife and a mother.  That’s it.  I didn’t care about traveling the world.  I didn’t care about having “me” time after college.  What I wanted was simple.  I wanted to fall deeply & endlessly in love with my best friend, and I wanted babies.  Once I was old enough to babysit, I did it on a regular basis and loved every minute of it!  In high school I began an internship in the elementary school.  This was truly an amazing experience.  9 Year olds are fun!  I knew I was making the right decision, going to college for Early Childhood Education.  When I graduated college, I got a job as Head Teacher in a preschool.  Every morning I looked forward to going to work, because I knew it would be a day of laughter & smiles, and even more amazingly, light bulbs.  Light bulbs?  Yes!  Every time a child figures something out for the first time, you can almost see the gears turning and the light bulb come on.  It’s the most amazing experience to witness!  Children can teach us so many things in life.  Perhaps the most important lesson I learned; you control your own experiences.  If you choose to do things with a smile, even if you don’t think you’ll succeed, you can always have fun doing it!

So, in a nutshell, I LOVE CHILDREN!  Another thing I love is music.  What a powerful tool!  I played piano & saxophone all throughout junior high & high school.  It was so much fun!  I was in every band I could find.  Nowadays, I still have a strong passion for music.  It’s therapeutic.  (So is writing, isn’t it?)  My mother taught elementary band for years.  How cool is that?  Every one of my siblings (I have 3, 2 brothers and a sister…all of whom are older than me) played an instrument.  Some of my favorite memories are of my mom playing the piano at Christmas time while the rest of the family gathered around to sing Christmas carols.  Cheesy?  Maybe a tad, but who cares?  It was fun and great family bonding!

I also LOVE gardening.  Taking my 2 boys (don’t worry, I’ll introduce them, too…in a bit) to the garden to pick some fresh fruit & veggies is seriously awesome!  They’re learning so much about nutrition and having a blast while learning!  Last thing (for now), I love animals.  If I could, I’d take every stray in the world & care for & rehome them.  But alas, I cannot.  We have a cat named D’Lila and a dog named Samson.  D’Lila likes to hide under the couch where her cat bed is.  Sometimes our youngest son takes the cat bed out to sit in it, so she has to sit on the floor.  She’s such a good sport.  Samson has his Canine Good Citizen’s Award and is also a Therapy Dog.  He really loves children, too.  Sometimes the kids climb on him like he’s a horse, but he just grins & bears it.  😉  What a good boy!

About Todd:

Okay, enough about me.  Let’s talk about my best friend, Todd.  Incidentally, he’s also my husband.  Score!

Todd always knew he wanted to be a Daddy. He went into the field of HVAC and worked various positions in that field for about 15 years.  WOW!  Truthfully, he’s the hardest working man I know.  His job doesn’t end when he comes home.  He’s always ready to get down on the floor & be a jungle gym for the kiddos.  J   Another bonus, he can fix just about anything.  Really!  He doesn’t sit still very well, so he often takes the children outside to do projects or play.  They helped him build our garden boxes.  J   This spring, (actually, very soon) they’ll be building bird houses for the 2 bluebird pairs we’ve got.  He also built Samson a dog food dish riser.  It’s perfect!  He’s very good at thinking outside the box.  I really feel that he completes me.  He compliments areas in which I might be lacking (I’m not saying I’m unorganized, but…).  For example, you should have seen my plastic food storage situation before he came along.  What a mess!  The brilliant solution he came up with to store those lids that were all over the place…store the lids in a storage container.  I know, right?  It may sound easy peasy, but my brain hadn’t come up with it.  Ya know what else?  I wasn’t alone!  All of my friends that would see it would say, “Wow!  You’re so organized!”   Sometimes, I’d say, “oh, it’s all thanks to my creative husband”.  But between you & me, instead sometimes I’d say “thanks”.  Ha!  Shh.  Don’t tell.

Todd is a big fan of NASCAR, too.  We lived in NY most of our lives and he had season seats at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway.  He gave those up when we decided we could provide a better life for our children in NC.  Now he looks forward to taking our oldest, Brayden, when he’s old enough to enjoy it.  I’m sure before long, he’ll take all of our kiddos.  Personally, watching cars “go left” just doesn’t do anything for me.  But our two boys sure do love to watch it on tv with their Daddy!

Did I mention he’s a jack of all trades?  This summer he’s going to build an awesome sprinkler using PVC pipe.  It’ll spray in all different directions.  It’s going to be great fun for the kiddos & their friends!  I bet the adults will use it, too.  It gets HOT in NC in the summer!  Last year, Todd played on the slip’n’slide with the boys.  I took some hilarious photos I’ll share with you at some point.

About Todd & Kate:

Todd & I worked together for an HVAC company.  It was there that we fell in love.  We didn’t really waste any time, either.  We dated for a while, but knew from the start that we were meant for each other.  There was no doubt in my mind that this was the man I’m going to love forever.  This is the man I’m going to have a beautiful family with.  He & I got married and have been happy ever since.  We’ve had our fair share of extremely difficult times, but we lean on each other & push through.  As cliché as it sounds, he really is my rock.  He picks me up when I fall.  You know you’ve found your soul mate when your partner compliments the parts of you that are your weaknesses, and vise versa.  We complete each other.  Our most favorite days together are when we can just be.  That’s it.  Just be.  No running from here to there, no going out & finding a slew of activities, but just be in the moment with our children and each other.  We love firing up the grill and playing soccer with the boys, pushing them on the swings (Todd & Brayden built the swing set!), and just being together.  Every once in a while we’ll have a family movie date in our living room with popcorn.  (Rainy days are excellent for that!)   We get out the bikes & Todd puts Callen in the bike seat & Brayden rides his bike while Samson & I walk.  The best things in life really are free.

About Brayden & Callen:

Brayden was born in the fall of 2008.  His absolute favorite thing to play with is Disney Cars from the movie, Cars.  He’s got too many to count, of course.  He also enjoys riding his John Deere Gator & Tractor, and taking his brother along for the ride.  I’m guessing this year, however, Callen will be fighting for the driver’s seat!  Callen was born just before Christmas in 2010.  He enjoys almost everything, as long as his brother is by his side.

Well folks, there it is.  The DeMatteo family, in a nutshell.  Next time, I’ll start to explain how we came to realize we were chosen to adopt a baby.  It’s in God’s plan.  It’ll be an exciting journey to share with you all!  Most posts won’t be as long as this one (at least, I don’t think they will…).  I hope you’ll come back to learn more about us & our journey towards adoption!