Sometimes Sorry IS Enough: On Relationship Repairs

It was six years ago, but I still remember how infuriated the receptionist made me feel.

The recession was at its deepest trough about the time I finished graduate school and after months of searching I landed an interview for my dream job.

I checked in with the receptionist and took a seat. Even though I told her the correct details, she thought I was interviewing for a different position, with a different company in the same building. I sat in the lobby across from that receptionist for not 10, not 20, but 45 minutes, all the while she assured me that the interviewer was held up in a different interview and wasn’t quite ready for me.

Finally when her mistake came to light, she called the correct person and said, “Your interviewee is here.” She didn’t mention how long I had been there. Looking at her desk, she gave a curt nod in my general direction and said, “Sorry for the delay.”

Sorry for the delay?? Really?

Of all people, I understand getting details confused. It was an unfortunate mistake but I’m sure I’ve made worse. What made my blood boil was how she did not take any responsibility for “the delay.”Needless to say, I didn’t get that job.

Contrast that to a more recent experience I had as a customer. Something that should have taken weeks, took months. I was irritated about having to wait so long and I let the person know. He acknowledged my frustration and apologized. An amazing thing happened in that instant- my anger vanished

When someone makes a big mistake, I often hear the old adage, “Sorry isn’t enough.” In my experience, fixing the problem isn’t enough. Sometimes a simple sorry is actually all I want.

Taking ownership for how you have contributed to someone’s pain or inconvenience is not fun. It’s kind of humiliating and goes against human nature to self-protect and self-defend. It’s hard, yet the benefit to relationships is immense.

Not all apologies are created equal. Some are helpful and can repair broken relationships while others have the opposite effect. Here are some common types of apologies:

Non-specific-no-personal-ownership-of-wrong-doing Apologies:

“I’m sorry if anything I did bothered you.”

“I’m sorry for the delay”

It’s-not-me-it’s-you Apologies:

“Sorry if I did something wrong that I wasn’t aware of, but you are the one who…”

“I’m sorry but you gave me no choice.”

Sorry-but-I’m-right Apologies

“I’m sorry, but I had good reason to do what I did.”

“I’m sorry, but this is how I was taught.”

Since-I’m-wrong-about-this-I-must-be-worthless Apologies

“I’m sorry. I guess I can’t be trusted. I should just never try… anything… ever!”

Not-in-my-domain-of-control Apologies

“I’m sorry for his behavior, and that it’s hot outside, and that your car broke, and that I couldn’t help you more.”

*Basic-level apology:

I’m Sorry

*Advanced-level apology:

I’m sorry. I messed up. That must have been hard for you.

*Elite-level Apology:

“I’m sorry that I ________(insert specific mistake). It must have felt _______(insert specific emotion here).

*recommended types

Perhaps, sorry isn’t always enough, but it is a good place to start. And it just might be enough to repair a relational rift.

With my sincerest apologies,


Comment below with your take on/experience with giving or receiving apologies of all types! Is a genuine apology enough for you or would you rather just see a behavior change? I’m curious!


Don’t teach your baby to sign more. No More!

I usually stand silently by while babies and parents throw tantrums over the sign language sign for the word “more.” But I can’t take anyMORE.

For whatever reason, people are obsessed with teaching this particular sign. They teach it to their own kids, to my kids, and to their dogs (probably).

Teaching preverbal babies to use some sign language is great when done well. It can strengthen the neurological pathways of language helping your kids to become more verbal when they are ready to speak. You can’t put your fingers in your baby’s mouth and help form verbal words, but you can hold their hands and manually prompt signed words.

Just don’t teach them to sign “more.”

I know, I know. But it’s so cute! Those little stubby fingers gathered together like two little ducks kissing.

Just don’t do it. All that stuff I said about sign language helping kids become more verbal, does not apply to the sign for “more.” Babies just learn that if they want something, anything, all they have to do is sign “more.”  I’ve seen various versions of the following scenarios unfold time and time again, and yet it’s still America’s favorite sign.

Scenario #1:

Baby: starts crying.

Parent: What do you want?

Baby: (signs) more

Parent: More what?

Baby: is frustrated. I’m using your stupid sign and you still don’t know what I want. Tantrum ensues.

Parent: Use your words, what do you want?

Baby: (speaks) More!

If the baby can say the word, they shouldn’t need to sign it. And it’s still a mystery what this baby wants.


Scenario #2

Baby: starts crying.

Parent: What do you want?

Baby: (signs) more

Tantrum ensues. After 10 minutes of questioning it is finally discovered that baby wants to jump (or at least she does now).

“More jump???” Just teach them the sign for jump! The word “more” in this case is inaccurate and useless.


Scenario #3:

Parent: Feeds baby cheerios

Baby: (signs) more

Parent: Gives baby more cheerios

It turns out he wants a drink. (Tantrum ensues). Too bad he doesn’t know the sign for milk!

Do you want your kid to know just one word that gets them whatever they want? That’s hardly helping their language or communication skills. And in the land of so much excess, do you really want the one word they know to be a demand form of the word “MORE”?

Tips for less tantrums and more functional language:

-Teach your baby specific signs for 5 to 10 things they like the best (ex: milk, bear, pacifier, hug, tickle, swing, up). Until they master these signs, forget about having them sign things like “more, please, thank you” which are fairly meaningless words to a baby.

-Don’t prompt your baby to sign for something unless it’s clear they really want it or the association between the word and the sign will be weak.

-Give it to them after they sign it once (even with help). If you make them sign it 5 times and have it perfect before reinforcing it, it won’t be worth the effort and kids will just go ahead and cry… or just sign “more” if they want something.

-Once the child can say the word, the sign is no longer necessary.

Happy Signing! If you have any tips or experiences of your own, please feel free to comment below!

Guest Post on Embracing People with Mental Illness in the Church

Guest Post on Embracing People with Mental Illness in the Church

Christena Cleveland is a social psychologist, author, speaker, and reconciler. Beyond that, I know her personally and she’s pretty cool. I am loving being challenged by her new book Disunity in Christ (put it on your Christmas List!). I was grateful that she allowed me to share my thoughts on this important but complicated issue on her blog today.

What you should know about Autism

This post is the 3rd in my series What you should know about mental illness. Read here about Narcolepsy and ADHD.

It was the end of a tiresome day at the center for Autism where I worked years ago. The little boy I was paired with that day had been staying with grandparents while his mother traveled. His mom returned and was excited to pick him up.

She spotted her son and hurried to scoop him up in an embrace. No emotion or recognition registered on his face. Instead, he fixed his attention on the logo on his mom’s shirt, and he uttered one of the very few words he knew how to say,


The mom’s face fell. After a few moments of trying to catch his eye, she gave up and began to gather his backpack and coat.

Automatic. Automobile. Autopilot, Automate. Autism. These words all have the same root. I’m no linguist, but I’d say it’s something to do with operating independently.  People with autism do not readily interact, engage or relate to other people.

Despite that autism is relatively common; there is a lot of confusion about what it is in the general population.  The first time I heard someone say “Autistic” I thought she said “Artistic” with an accent. When I asked what it was, she said, “Someone who rocks back and forth in the corner.” And even after dozens of psychology and counseling classes, I still didn’t know much more than that.

My professional experience was with kids who were almost completely locked in their own minds, some devoid of functional language. However we’ve all heard about someone with Autism who graduated top of his class or wrote a bestseller. The differences between these examples beg the question; how could this be the same disorder?

The answer to this question is that Autism is a spectrum disorder.asd

When you hear people say “He’s on The Spectrum” they are likely referring to Autism. My purpose is to give you a better understanding of what it is so you can be sensitive and kind to those who are affected by it. I will try to be clearer than the first definition I heard, but vague enough that this won’t become a checklist for you to diagnose your friends (please leave that to the professionals.)

There are three categories of impairment:

  1. Social. Not interested in interacting socially, might not give eye contact, lacks emotional reciprocity, will not point something out to someone else to share enjoyment. This category is the hallmark of the disorder and generally understood.
  2. Stereotyped Behavior.  This is less understood. It includes self stimulating behavior (called “stimming” for short). It is simply doing something for the sake of the sensory input. It could be as normal as twirling hair, or it could be as odd as flapping hands, reciting the words to a movie, walking on tip toes, making repetitive sound, or of course, rocking back and forth in the corner. Stereotyped behavior also includes odd and rigid daily routines, playing non-functionally with objects (lining toys up instead of playing with them), echoing what they hear, and focusing on one part of a whole object (the wheels of a car or the logo on a shirt). Sometimes people with Autism become super interested in something and it might seem that it’s all they can think about.
  3. Communication. This category does not apply to those who are on the far right side of the spectrum (high functioning autism/Aspergers). Impairments include delayed, slowed, or absent language development.

Max Braverman (played by Max Burkholder), a character on NBC’s parenthood is a very accurate example of a kid on the high functioning end of the spectrum. The movie Rain Main (1988, with Dustin Hoffman) paints a fairly accurate portrait of an adult with Autism, however it gives the false impression that people with Autism are also savants, when in fact that is very rare.

Just like anything, once you know what Autism is, you will likely see it everywhere. Next time you see a kid at mall who doesn’t seem to be listening to his mom, or maybe he’s having a tantrum because he wanted to walk down aisle 12, withhold your remarks and judgmental glances. In that instance, a warm smile and an encouraging word to the mom could have the power to change the world.

As always, I welcome your questions, comments, and stories below.

What you should know about Narcolepsy

This is the first in a series about mental illnesses. Read the intro to the series here.

In A.P. Psychology we all watched in delight as Rusty, the narcoleptic dog, collapsed midstride into a deep slumber. One second he was bouncing through a meadow, and the next he was flat on the ground dreaming of steaks. And we laughed and laughed and laughed. And just like two year olds we said, “AGAIN!” each time the video clip was over.
Someone close to me has narcolepsy. People love to tell me stories about him falling asleep at inopportune times. They think it is hilarious that someone would fall asleep at a baseball game, during calculus test, at the state fair, or at the dinner table. They promise me that they are not making it up, as if I would never believe it. They wonder at why he is so tired and hypothesize about the reason.

What they don’t realize is that he hates these stories. He hates feeling miserably tired every single day and hates having uncontrollable sleep attacks. He hates feeling the onset at a party and realizing that he doesn’t have much longer before it hits him. The image of someone falling asleep in their mac and cheese is maybe a little funny in a slap stick, 10 year old kind of way, but it is less funny to fall asleep during an important conversation or when you paid $40 to hear a band play and you miss the whole set. It’s less funny to fall asleep at a job interview, even less funny if you can’t wake up to the sound of your baby crying, and not funny at all if you fall asleep while you are driving. Right around the time when I was sitting in class laughing about Rusty, my friend (before he was diagnosed) was driving home from high school in rush hour traffic. He veered into the lane of oncoming traffic, and into someone’s yard just missing their front door. Thankfully the damage was confined to the car and a ceramic gnome.

I get irritated with people’s ignorance about narcolepsy, but I really can’t blame them. After all, I was just as amused by Rusty, the narcoleptic dog, as the next person. I learned about the condition, but I didn’t think very deeply about the implications. I understood and memorized all of the clinical facts about it (the brain skipping to REM sleep, the body going limp, the triggers, etc.) but I didn’t really consider what a real person with narcolepsy has to live with.
1 in 3000 Americans has Narcolepsy with Cataplexy so it is very likely that you know or will know someone affected by the condition. Here are 6 things you should know so that you can be understanding, rather than obnoxious.
1. Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder- NOT caused by psychological problems, emotional distress, personality type, bad habits, improper sleep training as a baby, nor anything else that someone did or didn’t do.

2. It is not the same as being tired a lot.

3. Playing tricks (i.e. drawing on their face, taking their picture, putting things in their mouth) on someone who accidently falls asleep is just not that cool.

4. Medicine and caffeine help a great deal in managing symptoms day to day, but there is no cure. It usually begins in adolescents and sticks around for the rest of life.

5. It is classified as a sleep disorder, but it is more of a “wake” disorder. People often confuse it with sleep apnea or insomnia but these are about not being able to sleep or not having high quality sleep, whereas narcolepsy is the opposite.

6. Though it may appear that people with narcolepsy are super laid back, lazy or stoned, this is not necessarily the case.

If you’ve been recently diagnosed with narcolepsy, I want you to know there is a bright side. Here are some benefits to having this disorder that your doctor won’t tell you:

1. Espresso at midnight? No problem. My friend says that at a certain point, using caffeine to stay awake is like using bicycle breaks to stop a train.
2. No tossing and turning, obsessing about the stupid comment you made earlier or counting sheep. Just lie down and start dreaming within seconds!

3. No trouble falling asleep camping, in an airplane or airport, in a bus, or on a cement slab.

4. Time travel through boring lectures or church services.

5. Wake up feeling refreshed no matter how long you slept.

6. The ability to take a 20 second nap right before a life insurance appointment causing your resting heart rate to resemble a world class athlete.

7. And finally, a practice my friend likes to call, “Swinging the Pendulum.” Slam an energy drink or take your prescribed medication followed immediately by a short nap. The caffeine takes affect while you are sleeping and you wake up super charged.

As with any disorder, narcolepsy is something that some people have to live with, but it does not define them. As a therapist, I think of myself as strength-based, meaning that I think what is right with people is much more worth focusing on than what is wrong. However, I think it is good to talk and learn about these things that make us all unique so we can understand each other and be better to each other.

I made my blog easier for you to read

Since I’ve been blogging, many people have told me that my blog is not user friendly….

For example, it’s hard to find, they tried to comment but couldn’t figure out that stupid word verification, and can’t I just email them the post (mom)?

Well I made a few changes and hopefully it’ll be easier for the few and the proud who care!

Now when you want to comment you don’t have to do anything funny,  and if you want to subscribe by email or with your Google reader, just hit the button in the upper right hand corner.

My plan is to expand the topics about which I ramble. Stay tuned!

On Getting Out of the House

Before having a baby, I already had trouble getting out of the door, but since baby, it’s gotten exponentially harder. Before Adelaide was born I would inevitably be pulling out of the driveway a few minutes late for work with slightly wet hair and mildly frayed nerves. About two blocks from home, I’d realize I forgot my phone and tell myself I can live with out it. About 3 blocks from home, I’d realize I forgot to eat breakfast and mentally contrive a plan to get some food between morning appointments. In another block, I realized I don’t have my work keys, and that I have to go back home to get them. I want to call work and let them know I’m on my way, but shoot… no phone. The digital clock in my car was never set correctly, so I gauged my lateness by my location when The Current (radio station) started talking about “Today in Music History.” Did I mention I’m not a morning person?

Yesterday I was trying to get to a bridal shower- but was having similar issues. Before I could go to the shower, I needed to buy a gift, but before I could buy a gift, I needed to find my wallet. Also, a friend agreed to watch Adelaide while I was gone, so I needed to pack a diaper bag. Most moms of the organized sort would already have this sort of thing taken care of, but after being out of town for a week, my supplies were seriously depleted. Finally, I put Adelaide and her stroller (so we could go shopping for the gift) in the car, and I had to get the dog in the house. Of course he decided to ‘play dead’ which, by the way, he’s never done before. Try as I may, I couldn’t coax him inside, so I scooped up all 30 lbs of his “dead weight” and plopped him in his kennel. I then realized the baby needed to be fed and changed again and I was running seriously behind at this point. Once on the road, I took a few wrong turns on the way to and from the mall- probably just because I was trying to hard. And another thing… why do they make car seats that weigh so dang much? Had I known I would be hauling around something as heavy and awkward as an old console TV, I would have trained or something. I have a new understanding for moms who don’t leave the house very often!

We survived it though- so here’s to another outing today, to the grocery store (God help us!).

Awestruck and Bored… how could it be?

This whole parenting thing is still a bit surreal. Now that it’s been 4 months, you’d think it would seem normal, but I still find myself wondering how my life has suddenly become consumed by this other little life. I think, what’s this cute baby doing in my house? Sometimes it feels so slow and still, this new lifestyle- but other times it feels too fast to grasp. 
We just got back from vacation. I had a moment on the beach of Lake Michigan that was so beautiful, it was almost too much to take.  Adelaide was laying on her back kicking and looking up at Grant with sheer delight. These adorable little baby laughs were bubbling over and spilling into the air. The sunset sky was my favorite shade of blazing orangeish-pink with florescent lavender stripes. I wanted to eat it, it looked so good. On top of all of that, was the perfect breeze. How is one supposed to handle all of that goodness?

I go from moments like those, where I am filled with awe and don’t want her to grow any bigger, back to the sleepy cycles of laundry and diapers and feedings (repeat x infinity). I sometimes wake up and can’t quite remember when I last fed her, or what time it is, or who I am or what I thought I wanted to do with my life. In those moments, I wish she would grow faster… just enough so she could sleep a little longer, or pick up her own pacifier when she drops it. So it’s weird. It feels odd to realize this is my life now- like it’s so wonderful and so mundane at the same time.

One thing I didn’t expect when we were choosing a name for her is all of the trouble people would have understanding what her name is. I have always thought of Adelaide as a classic type of name that maybe people don’t hear that often, but that people are familiar with… but this is the conversation I have several times a week:

Person: What’s your baby’s name?
Me: Adelaide
Person: Natalie?
Me: No, Adelaide
Person: Adelie?
Me: No, Adelaide
Person: Adelayne?
Me: Yeah…kind of.

(then said person proceeds to refer to her as Adeline). It’s like the painting I made that’s hanging in our house that is NOT a flower. If one more person says they like my flower painting or calls my baby Adeline, I just might snap (I figure this is fair warning). Come on people!!! It’s AdeLAIDE- like lemonADE, like the city in Australia, like the song by John Cale, and like your Grandma’s friend!

The Birth Story

If I learned one thing from all of the childbirth preparation, it was that labor is a long and slow process. In the early stage of labor, we were taught to relax and engage in distractions before going to the hospital to help cope with the discomfort. Our doula suggested we go on a walk, watch movies, and even pack our hospital bags after labor begins. Especially since I preferred a natural, un-medicated birth, I planned to labor from home as long as possible to avoid being tempted by all of the interventions offered. One lady in our childbirth education class said that with her first child, she didn’t have her baby until 20 hours after her water broke, when they had to induce her. Our doula said we could probably wait to go to the hospital until the contractions were 5 minutes apart for a few hours. I made a list of things I wanted to do while I was in early labor… make a pie, take a bath, watch a movie, etc. Also, we were taught to find a focal point… something calming and encouraging to meditate on while the pain increased (like a wedding photo). This all seems very funny considering what I actually experienced.

It was Sunday afternoon, and I felt quite normal. Normal as in, the same aches, and cramps I had been experiencing for several days, even weeks. I was slightly discouraged about being overdue with no surefire signs of progress. Grant and I had heard that pineapples and massaging specific pressure points in the feet and ankles could “encourage” labor to begin. I honestly didn’t really expect these things work, but I figured there was no harm in trying. I ate pineapples until my mouth stung. My mom called to ask her daily question about how I was feeling- and instead of saying “the same” I said I felt “a little weird.” Probably just indigestion from the fruit overload. Oh, well…. the next step was to look up videos on You Tube about acupressure to begin labor. At about 7:20 pm, Grant started rubbing my feet and about 40 seconds later, my water broke.

Immediately I was seized by the strongest contractions I had ever had. I dropped to the floor of my bedroom and gripped the carpet. I couldn’t breathe and I couldn’t stand to be touched. Grant started timing the contractions- but they just ran right into one another from the start. He was getting frustrated because he couldn’t tell when one ended and when the next one began- and either could I. We called the hospital and the midwife said, “Well… since this is your first child, and you’ve only been in labor for a few minutes, I recommend you stay home a little longer.” She obviously didn’t understand the magnitude of my situation. I demanded the lights be turned off… then on again, as I writhed on the floor on my hands and knees. Each contraction was stronger, I started sweating and shaking and doing laps around my room- to get away from the pain. I would roll over the bed, on to the floor and crawl across the room- then back up on the bed- rocking, puffing, and rolling, off the bed, around the floor. Grant called the doula who said she’d come over, “and help us get into the rhythm of things” but I knew that none of the touchy- feely stuff we had practiced was going to help me now, so I said no. Grant was hustling around trying to pack our bag for the hospital and load the car. He asked if I wanted him to fill the bath- like we’d planned and I thought I’d give it a try. I had to wait through several intense contractions before there was a window of time long enough for me to catch my breath enough to stand and walk to the bathroom.

Once I was in the tub, I thought I felt a tad better, until the first contraction struck me. I started thrashing and splashing, and I jumped out of the tub with pain. I was climbing all over on top of the toilet and the sink- like a wild animal… just trying to find a way to get comfortable and breath. I was breathing very hard and all I could do for the seconds between contractions was close my eyes and try to catch my breath before the next electrifying pain consumed me. That’s when I first decided that I would be okay with an epidural. At that point, I would have taken anything to escape the tremendous pain. I knew I needed to get to the hospital, so I schemed how I was going to catch my breath, get out of the tub, get dressed, put shoes on and get in the car when I only had 15 or 20 seconds between contractions. It took quite a bit of time (though I can’t say how long) before I was able to find the strength and the window of time to get to the car- but somehow I was able to do it. The whole time in the tub, I just kept remembering videos showing people in labor gently rocking back and forth, getting their lower backs massaged by their partners. Breathing deeply and slowly.

The car ride to the hospital seemed to take hours. I was contracting almost the whole time. At one point I tipped my seat back and contorted my body so that my head was in the car seat behind Grant (I was sitting in the front). Grant said he was most concerned when I slammed my fist on the window and the back of his seat while practically shouting “HEEE HEEE HEEEEEEEH HEEEEEEEE WHEEEZE HEEE No- no… ow..ow. owww- GO heee heehee FASTER!” I was most concerned when I felt the overwhelming compulsion to push a baby out. This is what happens in the last stage of labor… usually several hours after the labor started. I don’t know how I made it through the halls of the hospital, up the elevator, and to the birthing center. I was doubled over and struggling a lot and the lady at the front desk was trying to have a conversation with me and have me sign some document. She must have thought I was being overly dramatic- because she kept asking more questions- which I couldn’t understand, much less answer appropriately.

Finally, someone showed us to a room where I was supposed to wait for someone to come and determine if I really needed to be in the hospital. They needed to monitor me for 20 minutes first- then the midwife would come check me. Before the 20 minutes of monitoring could start… they left me alone in that room for at least 30 minutes. Grant had to go move the car- so I was all alone experiencing the most unbearable pain imaginable in that little room. I was eye level with a pain assessment scale that was taped to the side of the medical cart I almost knocked over when I grabbed it during a contraction. The top of the chart said “Worst Possible Pain- Unbearable.” These are the only words that made any sense to me. They kept repeating in my head.. “Worst Pain… Unbearable… Worst Possible…Unbearable!” It seems I found myself a focal point. I kept waiting for someone to ask me where I fell on the scale, and I was planning to point to the sign… “Unbearable” but now one ever asked. The other focal point I became entranced with was “EPIDURAL- please, someone, give me one!” But no one was around to help me out.

Our doula showed up and I told her I felt the urge to push. She went to get someone to tell them that I needed to be seen immediately. Finally the midwife determined that I was dilated to an 8 (out of 10) and she wheeled me to delivery room. She said it was too late for pain medications, and that my baby was coming quick. It didn’t seem it could possibly quick enough for how I was feeling. Once I got onto the bed, the midwife said I was fully dilated to a 10 and that’s when I started pushing (around 10:30pm). People kept asking me questions and I didn’t really know how to answer any of them, so I just said “No” to every question. Time stopped existing and there was only enormous pain.

As the pushing phase progressed, the rest between contractions grew. The endorphins finally began to kick in as my need for them increased. This was a welcome change- as I had not been able to breathe adequately for four hours. So I would practically fall asleep between surges of pain and pushing. The whole time, everyone in the room was so encouraging… coaching me to listen to my body, stay focused, and push when I felt the urge. “Beautiful!” “You’re doing great!” “There you go, welcome it… you are so close!” It was nice to have such great support.

There was one nurse however, who didn’t seem to be aware of how soon the baby was coming. She wanted to chat with me about what pediatrician I’d chosen. Grant explained that we hadn’t chosen a doctor yet, and tried to give off the “it’s not a good time” vibe. She didn’t catch the vibe, and she kept asking me questions, and giving me options. She just wanted me to choose someone. I tried to ignore her, as I was kind of busy… having a baby. Eventually, she said she’d put down Dr. Pepper (I’m not joking) and we could change it later if we wanted to.

Seconds after we had the pediatrician settled upon, I pushed so hard a couple times that I was on the verge of passing out. I guess I wasn’t breathing. I clung to consciousness as hard as I could because I knew that everything depended on me not fainting. The final push was long and hard- and the volume and energy in the room skyrocketed. Everyone started cheering and coaxing me to keep pushing just a little bit longer.

Just as the world started getting fuzzy, and before I quite understood what was happening, they plopped a warm, slimy, beautiful baby girl on my chest at about 11:20 (50 minutes after getting a hospital room). Immediately I was flooded with euphoria. Relief from the past 4 hours of pain fell upon me instantly. I felt better than I ever had and as I stared in amazement at the little baby I was holding. This blissful moment was worth the cost. Grant’s eyes filled with tears and I was mostly just in shock at what I’d just been through, and what I was holding. I don’t remember saying much- except “Happy Birthday Baby!” to my little girl. They asked what her name was and Grant’s response sounded to me like music; Adelaide Leone.

My grandma’s name is Leone. To me, my grandma Leone epitomizes strength, generosity, sensibility and faithfulness. She also has a great sense of humor and tries to make the best out of any circumstance. It was our pleasure and honor to give Adelaide her name.
Great Grandma Leone holding her name’s sake.
After that, was a whirlwind of medical fuss. Something about losing blood, dropping blood pressure, stitches, paging doctors, IV team (this was all for me, not Adelaide). Whatever. I just wanted them to leave me be with my baby. Who knows how long they picked on me- injected me with drugs, kneaded my tender tummy, and tested me. I started getting the chills and they informed me that one of the medications they gave me may make it feel like I’m going into labor again. WHAT? No… anything but that! The first night was hard because I continued having contractions all night from the medications. They weren’t as bad as labor, but they caused me to grip the mattress and clench all my muscles every 10 minutes or so. I didn’t sleep, but I kept poking Adelaide to make sure she was okay (and not imaginary).

If there’s anything I learned in the first six days of being a parent, it’s that recovery is a long slow process. With a fast labor, the tissues and muscles don’t have a chance to warm up or stretch- so they just break. It hurts to walk, sit, laugh and do just about everything else. Most of the muscles in my body are sore, and feeding is painful too. Shifting hormones and sleepless nights add to my charm and grace. The other thing I’ve learned in the 6 days of being a parent, is that nothing is better! I couldn’t be more proud or happy. My birth experience was exactly what I wanted it to be, and more. The intense pain pressed up against the intense joy was the most striking and beautiful contrast I’ve experienced. Adelaide Leone, you are the purest, loveliest treasure- welcome to the world! We are blessed beyond measure.

Welcome Adelaide!

So, let’s just say the pineapples worked.  I was admitted to the hospital at 10:30pm on Sunday night and had her in my arms by 11:20 on Sunday night! Less than one hour in the hospital! No longer will I say the words, “a little fresh fruit never hurt anyone.” 🙂  I will tell the story of her birth later… but I just wanted to shout it out! We are so happy and amazed at such a beautiful gift!

Adelaide Leone Adams
7 lbs,14 oz
Cute as can be