Ten Steps to Blogging When You Don’t Feel Like Blogging

1. Get a cup of tea and whine about how blogging is hard for as long as it takes to drink it. (You could even turn this whining into a blog post… *nudge*nudge*)

2. White down ideas you have. They don’t all have to be used. I’ve had ideas that I’ve looked back at later and wondered why I thought I could write about that.

3. Look at what kind of posts you enjoy reading – write down what you like about them and how you could do something similar.

4. Take a few simple ones and start making the lists or trying to bullet point a draft.

5. Look at pictures of nature and imagine what you would be doing if you were there. Write it out.

6. Make a list of your favorite authors, books, artists, songs, tv shows, movies, etc.

7. Review a product/service that you think other people are interested in or should know about.

8. Tell a story of something you’ve been through that could potentially help other people.

9. Make a playlist of songs for a certain activity or feeling. Either list the songs and artists or link your Spotify.

10. Forget you were making this list for over a month… Then come back to it, look it over, and decide if it needs more work (I think we’re good), and post.

Voila!!

Advertisements

Birthmom Q&A – part two

Q: How do you navigate birthday and holiday gifts?

A: Her birthfather and I do her gifts, but really only when we see her twice a year for our visits. Those visits coincide fairly well with her birthday and a holiday, so that’s what we like to do.

We try to talk with her parents about what she likes or something like that before we buy her presents, but they tend to just be things that are age appropriate and that she’ll enjoy.


Q: Does your child and their parents give you gifts? Do you do the same?

A: We have received a couple of gifts from them over the years. But, no, they typically do not give us gifts. Some people might take issue with that, but I don’t. They are committed to honoring us, loving us, and praying for us. That means more than any tangible gift could.

I think we have given her adoptive parents one gift since placement. And that’s not because we don’t love them, I promise. Right now I think we’re just focusing on loving her and that’s something that can be addressed in the future if we choose to go that route.


Q: Have you ever spent extended time with your child and their family – for example, a long weekend vacation?

A: I have never spent more than a few hours with my daughter and her parents. I think I would like to do a vacation of some sort with them, at some point. But with our daughter only being 4 right now, it’s not something that’s on the radar for the near future.


Q: Is there something you wish you had known about adoption prior to placing your child?

A: This is kind of a difficult question for me. I’ve learned so much about adoption since planning my daughter. I think the one thing I wish I’d known before placing, was really just another birthmom. A woman who had gone through this before who could tell me what she’d seen, heard, experienced.


Q: Did you anxiety get worse due to pregnancy hormones?

A: Not really. Before my pregnancy, I wasn’t really dealing with anxiety like I am now. But I did notice that my depression kind of disappeared while I was pregnant, which is not entirely uncommon. My body was producing different hormones and they were, I guess, leaving me with more serotonin than before. So I definitely noticed a decided slide back down after, but that was also exacerbated by placing my daughter.

Birthmom Q&A

Okay, I’ve waited like two weeks, and haven’t gotten any more questions. This is what usually happens though… I’m going to go ahead and post this – because I can always edit it later or make another Q&A post if people ever do come back to me with questions.

So, here are the three questions people asked me, and what I could say to answer as best I could.


Q: How do you deal with your child aging so much so quickly between visits?

A: I’ve never actually been asked this question before. But even from the beginning, I was getting updates every three months, so I still was getting pictures of her between our visits every six months. Then last year after I mentioned something to them about setting up an Instagram, they created one a few months later. Even going three months in the beginning seemed like a long time, but I knew that I would see her again.

Now, I feel like it’s getting slightly more difficult. I think it’s because I know how much of a personality she has, how independent she is, how sassy she is, how brilliant she is. But I can’t really complain because I do get to see her, and we do have an open adoption.
However, I’ve learned that I need a couple of days before I see them to mentally prepare and after to emotionally decompress/recover. How I do that each time looks different.


Q: Did you experience assumptions about your experience or micro-aggressions during the process of finding adoptive parents for your child? (Like people making comments on what is/what they assume to be things like your economic status, relationship status, mental health status, etc.)

A: I didn’t tell very many people about my pregnancy. I was able to get away with it because I carried very small, and was able to hide it with hoodies. The few people I did tell, were incredibly supportive. I think I told even fewer people about the process of choosing the adoptive parents. That was something that no one but the birthfather and I had a say in.

Plus, a lot of people who don’t know much about adoption (this included myself before I was in contact with the agency I used) aren’t aware that the birthmom can choose the family to raise her child. They make profile books for the agency so that birthmoms have something to look though and help them make their decision.


Q: How did you navigate post-pregnancy conversations with people who assumed you were parenting a child (if these conversations even happened)?

A: Pretty much everyone who knew about my pregnancy knew that I was going to place my daughter. So I’ve been lucky in that I haven’t really had to deal with anyone assuming that I was going to be parenting and then having to tell them different.

This is (Hopefully) My Comeback Post

Okay. So, I’ve been absent from here for a long time.

Like, a LONG TIME. I don’t really have much of an excuse.

I’d like to say it’s because I had an office job for like 6/7 months in 2017, but that only explains part of it.

Honestly, I just haven’t really felt like I have anything to say that’s worth sharing with everyone. But I want to come back to blogging, even if there’s no real schedule to my posts. Even one a month would be better than things have been lately.


I could’ve been on here talking about my mental health, but I just simply didn’t have the energy for it.

I could’ve blogged about my 25th birthday, but I’d just recently lost my job; then, I crashed my truck that night on the way to my boyfriend’s house.

I could’ve blogged about how I figured out with my therapist that things surrounding my accident triggered memories from my daughter’s adoption which led to PTSD

I could’ve blogged in February about the cruise I’d just come back from, but I felt like that would’ve been weird because I’d never talked about it previously and I was unemployed so I was afraid of questions about how I’d paid for it.

I could’ve blogged recently about my anger surrounding adoption, but I wasn’t sure how to put it into words that made sense (aside from the letter I sent to my daughter’s adoptive parents).


But I’m here now, and I’ve got a couple post ideas I want to work on. After posting in a group, I want to do something like “Ten Steps to Blogging When You Don’t Feel Like Blogging” and I also want to do a birthmom q&a. I’ve tried to do a post answering questions from people about birthmoms, but no one ever left enough questions for me. So I’m hoping that this time will be different, but I’m not counting on anything.


I’ll attempt to briefly explain the “I could’ve blogged about …” topics from above. 

My mental health – To be honest, I can’t briefly explain this here. It would probably take its own post, and I’m not up for that yet.

My 25th birthday – I was let go from my job a week before my birthday. On my way to my boyfriend’s house to celebrate my birthday, I sneezed and crashed into the back of the van in front of me. (Yes, I know how ridiculous this sounds, but it’s the truth…) The only silver lining was that the firemen were cute haha. 

PTSD – The paramedics who came to the scene didn’t pay any attention to me because the woman in the vehicle I’d hit made such a ridiculous scene that she hogged all their attention. Which reminded me of how my dad tried to ignore the fact that my daughter even exists. It all comes down to being ignored when I needed people to acknowledge the pain I was in – emotional or physical pain.

Cruise I’d just come back from – I was lucky enough to be able to score a ticket to the BTG™ Soul Cruise 2018 with Ashley Mitchell. It was a lot of firsts for me and it was a super fun adventure. I’ll probably eventually do a post about it here. 

My anger surrounding adoption – This one is a bit difficult, because I can’t tell you exactly what triggered it. I was encountering conversations and posts on Facebook that were leaving me angry or confused about how many emotions I was feeling. We’re counting down the days until our July visit, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to go. I didn’t want the memories to be tainted with anger and confusion, while knowing I was pretending to be okay.
So I sent an email to the adoptive parents, even though I was terrified to. They thanked me for my honesty. Birthfather is gonna make plans for July with them, keeping me in the loop so if I want to come I know what’s going on. If I don’t go, the adoptive parents and I will play by ear trying to find some extra time for me before January.


Welp, I think that’s all I can do for right now… Hopefully I’ll be back to y’all soon with another post.

Coping

After telling my therapist that my depression has gotten so much worse, and I’m afraid that I’ll fall back into self-harm habits again, she sent me these two lists:

If you self-harm to express pain and intense emotions

  • Paint, draw, or scribble on a big piece of paper with red ink or paint
  • Start a journal in which to express your feelings
  • Compose a poem or song to say what you feel
  • Write down any negative feelings and then rip the paper up
  • Listen to music that expresses what you’re feeling

To calm and soothe yourself

  • Take a bath or hot shower
  • Pet or cuddle with a dog or cat
  • Wrap yourself in a warm blanket
  • Massage your neck, hands, and feet
  • Listen to calming music
  • Put a ziploc bag full of ice under your arm, by your armpit and hold it there for 1 min

Whether any of these things are going to truly work or not, I have yet to find out. But I do intend on really trying to keep myself from repeating history. That would be a setback that no one wants.

Even with these coping methods, the temptation is still there. It always is. They’re simply other ways of releasing the pent up emotions that could lead to self-harm.

The longer I sit and binge watch shows on Netflix, the more confused I get about how I feel. There can so often be such a lack of motivation to do anything when you feel this low. And that’s what I’m dealing with.

But as the nights get later, and everyone I talked to goes to sleep, the depression rises and the voices in my head start to come back and get louder. They’re difficult to ignore. They tell me things that I already think on my own. But somehow those things just seem more intense, and sometimes even more true, when it seems like those things are coming from a voice other than my own.

Self Care Ideas

  • Unplug for an hour
  • Take a quick nap (10-20 min)
  • Write out your thoughts
  • Splurge a little
  • Have a self date (an hour alone doing something that nourishes you)
  • Take a home spa
  • Do one thing a day just because it makes you happy
  • Activate your self-soothing system
  • Check in with your emotions
  • Take a hot shower or bath
  • Deep condition your hair
  • Apply a face mask
  • Turn off your phone
  • Escape with a TV show
  • Light a candle
  • Paint your nails
  • Color
  • Write in a journal
  • Have your favorite dessert
  • Take a deep breath and put things into perspective
  • Go for a drive
  • Have a cup of tea
  • Read a book
  • Wear comfy clothes
  • Watch your favorite show/movie

Open Letter to Prospective Birthmother

Hey there love,

I know things right now are scary. I’ve been in your shoes. I know how you feel.

You’re afraid of judgement on your situation. You’re afraid your child will grow up and hate you for placing them. You might be afraid that the adoptive parents will break their promises down the road.

I heart stories about all kind of different ways adoptions turned out. I know there is no way to predict how things will go down the road, so all you can ready do is hope for the best.

My daughter was placed when she was ten days old. Her parents didn’t have any kids before, so we’re all navigating open adoption for the first time together. But now I want to share some things I’ve learned along the way.

If your adoption agency allows you to have a hand in choosing the family to place your child with, do it. It can be overwhelming, but I highly suggest following your gut. You’ll know the right family when you see them.

When you go into labor and deliver your baby, there will be lotsof emotions. You may cry, and that’s totally okay. See your baby when you feel ready. Don’t let anyone rush you or tell you you shouldn’t.

Take pictures of your baby. Take pictures of you together. Send them to the adoptive parents if you can. Those moments with him/her in the hospital are precious memories. Having those pictures and memories are a help when you’re having a bad day – or at least they are for me.

Don’t be afraid of the social worker who comes in while you’re in the hospital. It’s standard procedure, and they want to make sure you weren’t pressured into choosing adoption for your child.

You are not less of a person because of the choice you made to place. I know you might feel that way, but I promise you are still such an amazing person. Do not let anyone make you feel bad about the decision you made.

You are giving the family you choose such an amazing gift. You are giving them a baby! You are gaining a new family through your child’s adoption. Enjoy your new life to come!

xoxo
Katy

Talking

This is actually an entry in my journal from today:


My mood seems to be kind of all over the place lately. I go back to my psych on Friday, and I’m thinking we may need to up my Zoloft from 50mg to 75mg. It’ll really be up to her though, even though she really does listen to me and take my feelings/opinions into consideration when making medication decisions. Whcih is a totally different approach than the previous two psychiatrist I had. I’m very grateful for the difference, but it’s taken some adjusting to.

Oh, and then there’s the fact that I never really felt comfortable really opening up to doctors in the past, but it’s the opposite with her. I told her about my daughter, and she told me her sister adopted a child and has a relationship with the birthmohter. It’s like a small connection with her, and I like that. There wasn’t a hesitation when I would answer her questions. I felt like I could be completely honest without fear of harsh judgement.

The fear of harsh judgement actually comes from a psychologist/therapist I went to in the past. I told her that I had self-harmed (I’d cut myself), and she told me that depressed people don’t cut themselves. ONly people with distorted thinking patterns do that. I’d never really gotten along with her very well, so I took what she said as my breaking point and never went back to her again.

I also haven’t gone to another therapist or psychologist since then, and it’s been almost four years.

#AdoptionTalk – Navigating Open Adoption & My Feelings

 

It’s never an easy thing to navigate through open adoption, especially if it’s the first time for all involved.

My birth daughter’s adoptive parents and I are currently navigating our open adoption. We are always re-evaluating things as she grows up. For example, our visits for the first two years were lunches in restaurants. Then we realized that that wasn’t going to work since she was more active an independent. So our most recent visit also included letting her run around a play area in the mall.

Things will continue to change as she gets older, and that’s how it should be. What works now when she’s a toddler won’t be the same as whatever works when she’s eleven or twelve.

I’ve seen other open adoptions through social media that are very different from mine, but that’s the nature of the situation. Every adoption, every family, every birthmom, they all vibe differently and their structures vary.


I was originally scared of open adoption, and didn’t think that I wanted one. I had heard so many horror stories about adoptive parents who would go back on their word about updates and visits and communication. Leaving the birthmom or birthparents hurt and clueless and wondering what happened.

But now, two and a half years into my open adoption, I honestly love it. We don’t have one where we talk or see each other all the time. We get together twice a year. They send updates halfway between visits. If something major happens, I know I can email them and they’ll respond within a few days. I’ve done it when family members were very ill or passed away.

At this point, I couldn’t imagine if I had gone with a closed adoption. The pain of not knowing what my daughter looks like or who she’s growing up to be. It would be too much to bear.

I know that it’s not for everyone one, and that’s perfectly fine. But it is definitely something that I would encourage birthmoms to think about when making an adoption plan for their child.


adoptiontalkbutton2016-e1452013232524

Click here to see the rest of the link-up

Brain Dump

  • There’s so much going on right now. Dad’s back to work this week after his knee surgery Jan 23.
  • I’m trying to form some kind of sleep schedule, but it’s not really working terribly well.
  • I’ve been running errands all over the place since dad’s surgery.
    Two of my favorite shows are now back on the air on Tuesday nights back to back – Switched at Birth and The Fosters.
  • I need to start reading another book soon. It’ll be my fifth or sixth one in 2017. I haven’t quite decided how I feel about the newest James Patterson mum and I picked up at Costco.
  • I was talking to Courtney about YouTube videos and blog posts. I’ve made a few videos in the past, but they were pretty crap. I think I want to start making some again, but I haven’t got a clue what kind of content it’d be. They suggested tag videos, so I’ve noted a couple that I wanna think about doing.
  • As for blog posts, I’m lacking ideas but I’m also lacking motivation. I’m hoping that watching my two shows again will spark something in me enough to start writing again – even if it’s just in my journal at first.
  • Watching Emmett be placed on a 5-day hold because he overdosed, and then be told that depression runs in his family, it struck a familiar chord with me. I know what it’s like to feel like something’s wrong but also be unable to explain it to anyone. To wonder if things are better off without you. It’s a scary thing to deal with, but unfortunately, I think most people with mental health diagnoses face those at sold point or another.
  • I need to finish my adoption talk blog link-up piece about navigating open adoption and get it posted ask I can participate and meet more birthmoms. I don’t know how well it’ll work out though cause I haven’t really planned for it.
  • Sitting in the vet’s office waiting for blood results for Magic. We don’t know if it’s senility or renal failure, but this will show us if it’s anything major. She’s 16, so whatever we do won’t be long-term.