Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Nutritious Treat

Yesterday, Jocelyn's umbilical cord fell off. Justin was in the shower and I set it aside in case he wanted to see it. I turned around a minute later to see my poodle munching it down. Yum. I guess it's organic, so it can't be that bad, right?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Easter Pictures

Better late than never - and a post that's not about Josie. :) As a last minute decision, Justin and I went to Salt Lake for Easter weekend. My sister Julie was going to be there and it was a chance for us to meet her new daughter Audrey. And Brad was going to be there with his kids. And Jordan and Cindy decided they might as well trek down too, so all the Hays kids were there.

We had a blast dying eggs but it started to rain which ruined our plans for an egg hunt. Since it was Saturday and since Stephanie is the primary president in her ward and had access to the church building, we arranged for the Easter bunny to hide the eggs and baskets around the church. While the Easter bunny was doing this, Julie took me to Babies R Us to register. We had a lot of fun.

The kids loved their hunt. It was so fun to have it at the church. Then Stephanie turned on the microphone in the primary room and we took turns singing songs and telling jokes. It was a lot of fun. Mom and Dad Hays requested that we get a picture of the grandkids because they were all in the same place. We did our best, but Camden sure didn't want to cooperate, so he's crying in all the pictures and the other kids are staring at him.

Enjoy the pictures.





Saturday, April 25, 2009

Hiccups

video

Everything she does is just so stinking cute. Every moment I count my blessings.


Jocelyn is 8 Days Old

Our little Josie is eight days old today. We had newborn pictures taken at Sweet Pea Photography today and we had such a good session. I am so excited to see how the pictures will turn out. I got peed on once and Justin got peed on twice. It's a good thing that sweaters are absorbent! :)

Over the past two days, she's been eating so good and she's been so alert. I kinda think her hair is getting darker. We've even seen some smiles. I can't believe that she's only eight days old and already I've seen Jocelyn change so much. It's fun, but a little bittersweet. I didn't think it was supposed to happen this fast!

We've had requests for more pictures so here they are!



Thursday, April 23, 2009

A Defining Moment

I went to the salon today (The Defining Line is the BEST! Tell them Lara sent you) and a stylist that I have not been with before was chatting with me. And there were the standard questions: What do you do? Are you married? Do you have kids?

And I said "yes".

Warm fuzzies.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Our Daughter

6 years of waiting

76 negative pregnancy tests

4 failed IUIs

1 laproscopy

10 months of premature menopause

100's of shots and pills

8,574,179 prayers

Too many tears to count

3 almost matches

1 failed adoption

16 days of waiting once picked

14 hours to shop, pack, and get ready to come home as three

4 hours of driving

5 days in the hospital

1 check that is the biggest we've ever written

2 incredible birth parents who wanted their child to have more

1 priceless child who was worth all the wait, anguish, pain, heartbreak, and love




Jocelyn Rose Normandie Zierke

Born: April 17, 2009

6:07 p.m.

6 lbs. 9 oz.

19 inches

Adopted: April 21, 2009


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

She opened her eyes

Our little girl had some very alert moments tonight. The first we've seen. It was so fun to see her bright eyes. So here are some pictures. We're shooting for a discharge tomorrow. The doctors decided not to do a patch on the birth mom and she is really itching to get out of the hospital. Tomorrow at 8:00 a.m. we're meeting with the pediatrician. Once we get the papers signed, I will announce her name. Enjoy these darling pictures.


Is it just me or is she even prettier with her eyes open?

I LOVE this shot. Makes my heart melt.

Monday, April 20, 2009

One More Day

Well, we aren't going to take the baby home today. We heard this morning that the doctors won't release the birth mom just yet. When she got her epidural, the anesthesiologist had a hard time and poked her about three times. Now she is having excruciating headaches and the doctors are worried they are spinal headaches related to the epidural. She is also having issues going to the bathroom. So if they determine that the headaches are caused by the epidural, then they are going to do a "patch" in her spine where they inject blood into the previous injection sites in her spine which should prevent the spinal fluid from draining into the spinal column. They are also making her drink tons of liquid to get her hydrated and going to the bathroom.

We were over at the hospital this morning with birth mom and dad. Birth mom is frustrated and ready to go home. Understandable, since she's been in the hospital for almost a week now (she had pnemonea last week). We got to spend several hours with them and with the baby. I had my first "mommy moment". I'd fed the baby and knew she needed a diaper change. I waited ten or fifteen minutes to make sure it was all out. Then I started changing her and she decided she wasn't done. So I got pooped on everywhere. Justin thinks it is hilarious. Me?...Not so much. :) I am anxious to come home, but happy that birth mom can have one more day.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Nursery Video

video

More Pictures



Grandma Z. has requested more pictures, so here they are! We don't blame her--we can't stop looking at them either. We went and visited the birth parents in the morning and the baby had her pictures taken by the hospital photographer. We're going to get a photo package for our birth mom and we'll probably pick up some ourselves. They turned out really cute. We went to Old Chicago for lunch and had a yummy pizza.

When we came back in the afternoon, birth mom was asleep. She had given the nurses direction that if we came back when she was asleep that they were to take the baby into the nursery and let us in there to spend some alone time with her. We basically have an all access pass to her, we've learned. Visiting hours don't apply to us or anything. So we were allowed into the nursery and we stayed there with her for three hours. Birth mom has defaulted all medical decisions to us, so they waited for us to make the call on the Hepatitis B shot, which we approved of, so we watched Baby get that shot. She was a trooper. Besides a little lip wobbling, she only let out one howl. We've fed her and changed her. All the nurses comment on how sweet she is and how pretty she is. After our time in the nursery, we went back and visited with birth mom and birth dad for a couple hours. It kinda felt we were on a double date, just getting to know another couple. Comfortable and fun. Then we had dinner at Joe's Crab Shack and brought birth mom back some yummy dessert in case she gets tired of the hospital food. Tomorrow is a big day for us. Birth mom and baby will be discharged, we'll do some paperwork at the agency, and then we will have Baby all to ourselves.

Our lives our truly blessed, and I can't imagine this process going better. Not even in my wildest dreams. I know birth mom is bracing herself for tomorrow, but she hasn't wavered once. She told us tonight that being with us over the past few days has made this easier for her (I am SO grateful she decided for an open adoption--she wasn't sure at first--and this is just one of the benefits) and she has no doubts in our abilities to be good parents. It meant a lot to us. This strong, beautiful woman has a very special place in our hearts.

More Pictures



Grandma Z. has requested more pictures, so here they are! We don't blame her--we can't stop looking at them either. We went and visited the birth parents in the morning. And when we came back in the afternoon, birth mom was asleep. She had given the nurses direction that if we came back when she was asleep that they were to take the baby into the nursery and let us in there to spend some alone time with her. We basically have an all access pass to her, we've learned. Visiting hours don't apply to us or anything. So we were allowed into the nursery and we stayed there with her for three hours. Birth mom has defaulted all medical decisions to us, so they waited for us to make the call on the Hepatitis B shot, which we approved of, so we watched Baby get that shot. She was a trooper. Besides a little lip wobbling, she only let out one howl. We've fed her and changed her. All the nurses comment on how sweet she is and how pretty she is. After our time in the nursery, we went back and visited with birth mom and birth dad for a couple hours. It kinda felt we were on a double date, just getting to know another couple. Comfortable and fun. Then we had dinner at Joe's Crab Shack and brought birth mom back some yummy dessert in case she gets tired of the hospital food. Tomorrow is a big day for us. Birth mom and baby will be discharged, we'll do some paperwork at the agency, and then we will have Baby all to ourselves. Our lives our truly blessed, and I can't imagine this process going better. Not even in my wildest dreams. I know birth mom is bracing herself for tomorrow, but she hasn't wavered once. She told us tonight that being with us over the past few days has made this easier for her (I am SO grateful she decided for an open adoption--she wasn't sure at first) and she has no doubts in our abilities to be good parents. It meant a lot to us. This strong, beautiful woman has a very special place in our hearts.


video

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Baby Pictures



Sorry for the nakey pictures. I'll do some photoshopping when I get home and have more time (wait, I'm coming home with a baby. I'll never have time again!). We were able to give her her first bath, which is where the majority of these pictures are taken. She's a good baby. Doesn't cry much. Lots of fuzzy hair. She has a good grip, long eye lashes, and really well-shaped lips. Her mother and sister have very fair skin and strawberry blonde hair and blue eyes, so I expect this little girl to be the same. No name yet. We'll probably get to come home on Monday. We'll keep you posted. You can read the captions by clicking on the white talk bubble at the bottom of the slideshow.

P.S. Is it just me or is Justin's hair thinning?

Lara & Justin meet their baby girl!

Lara asked me, (Julie, her sister) to update her blog for her while she is away from her computer. Lara and Justin got to meet the baby today at the hospital. She said that the baby is just beautiful with heart shaped lips, bluish eyes, and just a little fuzz on her head. They bathed the baby for the first time and also meet the birth mom. Lara said that birth mom is really sweet and seems in great spirits. All of the birth mom's family was there, so it was a little chaotic, but Lara and Justin will go back again this evening to have more personal time with the baby and the birth mom.

There will be pictures to come later on when Lara can get to her computer. I know, I know, we are all dying to see what this little angel looks like!

Friday, April 17, 2009

She's Here!

Our baby decided to come early and she's officially on planet earth. The mother started having contractions yesterday and since she has had a previous c-section, the doctor thought it would be best to go ahead and get the baby out. So even though we were planning on April 28th, it was so fun to get that call today from our dear case worker Claire that said, "Your daughter is being born right now!"

We have been seriously freaking out ALL EVENING. We got the call at about 5:30 and the baby was born sometime between 6:00 and 6:30. She weighs 6 lbs 9 oz, which is GREAT since she is three and a half weeks early. They said she had a little trouble breathing, but nothing major. Just the standard stuff for an early baby. We're staying here tonight and we will leave for Boise EARLY EARLY EARLY. The mom is doing well and is excited to meet us. She was asking how soon we could be there. Believe me I am so tempted to jump in the car TONIGHT, but I will wait.




Also, here is what the nursery looks like at this very moment. Justin started painting it today. Can I say again that I am not ready? I am FREAKING OUT but in such a GOOD WAY!!!!! We need a name. I hope that when we see her, the heavens will open and shine a ray of light on her and we'll just know. Does that ever happen?


We'll keep you posted!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Counting Down the Days and the Car Analogy

You may have noticed that our baby widget countdown took a large leap in days. We know for sure that the birth mom is going to have a c-section. It is scheduled for April 28 at 6:00 a.m. We'll go to Boise on the 27th so we can be in town for that. We'll meet the mother and father (maybe the other children???) at that time. And of course, we'll meet the baby. Assuming all goes well, we can take her home on April 30. I LOVE that this adoption is taking place within our state. Many adoptions don't and interstate laws are crazy and brand new adoptive parents have to stay in a hotel with a brand new baby for weeks. We're very lucky. I think we'll drive the truck. Why? Why waste the gas? Because the baby will be on a bench seat, right between us. We'll probably stop every 30 minutes just so we can hold her. 

Here is the "car analogy". I read this off this blog today and I really liked it. I will retype it though, just for myself, in case something else ever happens to that blog. 

A young woman and a young man are standing outside near a very busy street. The child they are both responsible for runs into the street. A car is coming down the street at a very fast speed and there is NO CHANCE the child won't be hit. The couple can do one of these four things:

1. They can do nothing and watch their child get hit and killed by the car. The psychological pain of this inaction will always be with them.

2. They can both jump into the road and sandwich the child between them and brace for the collision. If they stay together, there will be minimal injury to the child. But there is a 80-90% chance that they will split on impact. 

3. One of the parents can jump out in front of the car. This will save the child's life, but injuries will be substantial.

4. One or both of the parents can run into the street and push the child out of the way of the speeding car into the outstretched arms of a couple on the other side of the street. 

In all of these scenarios, someone always gets hit by the car. What would you choose?  

This scenario is a metaphor for a crisis pregnancy. The first choice represents abortion. The second choice represents a couple that tries to stay together and/or gets married because of the crisis pregnancy. The third choice represents single parenting. And the fourth choice represents adoption. Someone always gets hit by the car. What would you choose?

This is a topic that I will go into later, but ever since we started spreading the news about our upcoming adoption, we've had some judgmental comments about the birthmother/family. Comments like:

"It's her fourth kid? Oh, she's one of those."

"This baby in the womb already knows it's unwanted." 

"The mothers choose adoption just so they can get a free ride for awhile."

"How horrible. I can't believe they don't want their baby."

These comments really frustrate me. They hurt. And they aren't even about me. This couple is throwing themselves in front of the car to save their child! So when I hear a comment like that, I steer the conversation with some gentle education. I usually respond with, "It really shows their character because they value life. They chose to give the baby life. And they love this baby so much that they want it to have more than they can give it. It's proof of how much they love this child."

So, twelve more days. I can handle that. But we need a name. Please send suggestions!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Crying at Work


You know how tail-lights go on every time you tap the brake pedal? My tears turn on every time I have some kind of "confrontation". And I mean "confrontation" in the loosest sense possible. Telling a waiter I don't like the food. Opening up to my boss about an aspect of my job I don't like. Explaining to my husband that I need some Lara time because he's been working too late. Whatever it is, I cry. The most embarrassing situations are when I cry at work. I try to control it. And while I no longer sob with massive tears rolling down my cheeks, my eyes will turn red and watery, my nose will run, and my voice will get shaky.

Are there any ways to avoid this or overcome this? I feel like it's unprofessional. It makes coworkers/supervisors uncomfortable. I feel less credible. Is there something to control this? I have a couple things I try. If I'm just getting a bit blurry-eyed listening to something that bothers me, I fake a few sneezes. That usually covers up the watery eyes and runny nose. Or if I know I'm going in for a doozy, I chew gum. It helps keep my mouth busy and buys me time to get my voice under control. I also try to engage my left brain (logic) as much as possible. I will look to my left. I will mentally recite math equations (1 plus 1 is 2. 2 plus 2 is 4...and so on).

Do you have any secrets to keep from crying at work?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Life Goes On...

I guess not everyone is a big House officianado, so my last post confused a few readers. Dr. Kutner (played by Kal Penn) who is my favorite doctor died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. And it was absolutely out of the blue. (Again, just the character died, not the actor. The actor actually went to the White House to work for the Pres.)




In other television news, I just began watching The Office on Netflix. Such an awkward and an uncomfortable show. And it is my new life. Completely. Let's just say that there are some changes at work that I haven't adapted to as well as I would have liked. I am now a "Pam". :/



No new updates about the adoption. We're just excited and trying not to go too overboard with shopping. :) She can't come soon enough!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Little Ladybugs


Ever since my child development class my freshman year of college, I knew I wanted a nursery with strong contrast colors (red, black, and white) because that's really all a new baby can see for the first little while. And these contrast colors stimulate brain development. But, what nursery stuff comes in red, black, and white? I didn't want some weird, neo-modern geometric scary nursery. I thought about Mickey/Minnie Mouse. They're black with red clothing. But when it comes to nursery stuff, they're always dressed in muted pastels on muted pastel backgrounds. And finally, yesterday, I had an epiphany for a theme (it definitely helps that she's a girl)--ladybugs! And on eBay I got this brand-new set for a steal today. And since Justin still isn't really working, he'll slave away in the nursery stripping the current wallpaper and painting and getting it all ready.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Interview You've Been Waiting For


Zierke ‘Zine Report: I’ve heard your news and I’m very excited for you.
Lara Zierke: Thanks. I am SO excited. I find myself doing little happy dances. I can’t focus on anything. I have all this pent up energy. It’s like I have A.D.D.
ZZR: I can see that you’re glowing.
LZ: See, you don’t have to be pregnant to have “the glow.”
ZZR: So, you’ve heard that you’re going to be a mom. What happens next?
LZ: Just wait for the baby to come.
ZZR: And the due date is May 8?
LZ: Yes, but we think she’ll be here in April. The mother has delivered about two weeks early with her other children, so May 8 minus two weeks is April 24. And she’s had a c-section before, so when she goes to the doctor next week they’ll probably schedule a c-section before that.
ZZR: So you’re looking at two to three weeks.
LZ: Yeah. Crazy.
ZZR: Looks like you're keeping busy though. Is that a diaper bag?


LZ: Yeah. Two actually. We bought them today.
ZZR: And they're already packed.
LZ: Well, I did it during Conference. Nipples are boiled, bottles are scrubbed, outfits and blankets are washed. I think we're ready to go.
ZZR: Guess you have to do something with all your enthusiasm. What's Justin doing over there so intensely?
LZ: He's dealing with his enthusiasm. Years ago he wrote a lullaby for his future daughter. He's orchestrating it now.
ZZR: How sweet.
LZ: Can't deny that.

ZZR: Back to the interview. You said the mother has had other children. What else do you know about the mother and the father?
LZ: The parents are married and they’re unable to keep this child. They have other children. It’s a rough situation. We know that the mom is short like me and has blonde hair and blue eyes. And the dad has brown hair.
ZZR: Do you know how the family came to choose you and Justin?
LZ: All we know is that they came to the agency on a weekend when it was closed. But it just so happened that the director was there to pick something up, so she was able to talk to them and help them. They went through every single parent profile. And when they came back, they had ours memorized. They refuse to even pick a back-up family.
ZZR: I heard a rumor that you had two babies to choose from?
LZ: Well, sort of. We are listed with several agencies. A different agency was in the process of matching us with a birth mom. Then we found out about this case. It was actually on April Fool’s Day so it was hard to believe. The ball was in our court for once, and we were able to choose which situation we wanted to pursue.
LZ: Wow. That’s not really common, is it?
ZZR: I don’t think so. We were really blessed to be able to select which situation fit us better.
LZ: Was it a hard decision?
ZZR: At first we were dumfounded but we prayed for guidance and went our separate ways. Within a few hours, Justin and I had both came to the same decision rather easily. We feel good about it.
ZZR: Will you have an open adoption?
LZ: Yes. We’ll meet the parents at the hospital. And we’ll send letters and pictures.
ZZR: Um, awkward question, and maybe I’ve seen too many movies, but what happens if the mom changes her mind in a couple years?
LZ: You have seen too many movies. Once the adoption papers are signed, they’ve relinquished their rights as parents.
ZZR: When do you take the baby home?
LZ: As soon as the papers are signed and the hospital releases her.
ZZR: When do you sign the papers?
LZ: Well, Idaho law says the earliest the papers can be signed is 48 hours after birth. Since the mom is having a c-section and will be under anesthesia, they’ll probably wait a little bit longer.
ZZR: Can the parents change their minds now? What if they don’t sign?
LZ: That is something we worry about constantly. We are painfully aware that this ain’t over ‘til the ink is dry. They can change their mind and choose to parent any time before they sign the papers.
ZZR: You’re planning on being sealed to the baby in the LDS temple. When will that happen?
LZ: We have to wait until the adoption is finalized first. And that happens six months after placement.
ZZR: Wait…I don’t get it. So the parents relinquish their rights in the hospital and the adoption isn’t finalized for six months. What’s going on during those six months?
LZ: Basically, the caseworkers check on us a couple times to make sure we’re all bonding okay and that our home is safe and good. No Chinese water torture or anything.
ZZR: And after finalization, they leave you alone?
LZ: Yep.
ZZR: Another question that's been buzzing around lately. Baby showers. Having any?
LZ: My work friends are already planning one. My sister will host one in Salt Lake. We'll wait until after we have the baby though.
ZZR: Makes sense. Hey, do you mind if I take a sneak peak inside your bag?
LZ: Go for it. I'm weirdly proud of it.
LZ: Here's her going home outfit. It's a premie size.

LZ: But we have other things too. Comfier things. Bigger things. If she's huge and can't fit into the premie outfit, we'll put her in the blue one.
ZZR: I never knew it was so important to have all these plans for the going home outfit.
LZ: Me either. But it hit me today. And it's very important.
LZ: And this green one is in case she comes out a boy.
ZZR: You're all kinds of prepared.
LZ: It happens, you know.


ZZR: Have you thought of any names yet?
LZ: Yes.
ZZR: That’s a little evasive.
LZ: That’s what you get for asking a yes or no question.
ZZR: Touché. What names have you thought of?
LZ: We are keeping our options open.
ZZR: That’s a little vague. Can you do any better than that?
LZ: I could, but I won’t. We’ve already been in a situation where we tell people a name and they hate it and make us feel bad for liking it. So, we’re keeping our thoughts quiet. Plus, we’ll want to meet her first before deciding on a moniker.
ZZR: This is for posterity’s sake. Your daughter will want to know what names you considered.
LZ: That’s true.
ZZR: I promise I won’t make fun.
LZ: Oh, all right. We’ve always like London. Jocelyn has been in my mind a lot lately. Josie or Jo for short. Maybe Danielle. Anya, Scarlet, Noel, and Maya are some others on the plate. Something feminine but not too trendy.
ZZR: Might I suggest a name?
LZ: Sure. I love suggestions.
ZZR: Grier.
LZ: You’ve spoken to my mother, haven’t you? This interview is over.
ZZR: Where are you going? Lara? Lara?


Friday, April 3, 2009

Special Delivery Notice


We got a phone call yesterday that made us happy as can be
Turns out the stork is coming for us with a tiny new baby
Sugar and spice and all that's nice--we'll have a little girl
She'll wrap us around her finger and change our little world
Not too far in time or space, she's due the 8th of May
We'll meet the stork in Boise--it's not very far away.
We hear she may be early by a week or maybe two
So it's time to get ready and do everything we can do
In our panic and hurry, there's one thing we couldn't forget:
To tell our friends and family about the baby we're going to get!


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