I remember the day we brought Hannah home from the hospital. We had a carseat and I knew how to use it but I suddenly grew 3 more arms and hands that got in the way as I tried to buckle her in. I pinched my own finger and broke a nail while Hannah just laid there looking at me.
"Do you want me to hook her in Hon?" asked Gary. "No... I want to do it" I replied to him as I wiggled myself into the backseat.
I felt like the entire free world was watching me and judging. "Um, doctor. Maybe we should rethink this. Look at this woman.... she can't even put her kid into a carseat. What in heaven's name makes us think she can clothe and feed this child for 18+ years?" I felt like I should crawl under a rock but what I really wanted was to get the heck out of there before they changed their minds and made me give her back due to my total lack of baby knowledge.
I finally got her strapped in and after a quick hug from the nurses and picking up the bag of assorted goodies provided free to new moms at the hospital.... we were on our way. I sat in the back seat with Hannah so I could stare at her all the way home. She had to be in a rear facing car seat and I needed to be able to look at her. It's hard to explain in words but I felt like I was on the outside looking in. After wanting a baby for so long.... here I was... with a child, my child, in my car and heading to my house, with a child, and NO INSTRUCTIONS ON SAID CHILD. My friend, Sherry, over at the Horkin Ramblings has written about this wonderfully in this post. Bless her heart, she has twins... so double the fear!
A year later, it was hard to remember what it was like those first, scary weeks. I remember crying because I couldn't get her diaper on the same way the nurses did. It was always too loose. I cried because she had gas and couldn't get rid of it. I cried because she didn't poop good. I cried from exhaustion of being up every 2 hours. I cried because I didn't know what the heck I was doing. I carried my Dr. Spock book around with me and had passages memorized but lo and behold.... she didn't always go by the book.
Then it began to get easier for me. I began to know my child. After a while, I could strap her into her car seat with one hand while holding a diaperbag and pocketbook in the other. I knew what her different cries meant..... I'm wet, I'm hungry, I'm bored, I'm tired or I'm just plain ol' cranky. The sound of her laughter was sweeter than any music I'd ever heard and her smile brought a warmth to my heart I'd never felt before.
Then the day came that I cried because they wanted her back.**
**edited to add......the adoption was contested. I'll have to post about that nightmare another time.