July 23, 2008
He is here!!! Does the shouting come out in my writing??? What a wild and crazy day!
We were supposed be at the hospital at 7:30 am on July 23. So we got up super early and took the kids to Nana and Papa’s house. Then off to the hospital. In route, we received a call that the hospital was too full and that they were bumping her for an hour or so. To kill time, we drove to the store and found the baby blanket I have been wanting. AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHGGGGG… the waiting was killing me!
After two hours of hearing nothing, we finally went back to my parent’s home and chilled for awhile. Finally word came that they were switching her to another hospital further up the valley, since it had more room. There is more to the story, about the birth dad and our birth mom not wanting him at the delivery (understandably because he is a complete jerk)!
At about 11am, they broke our birthmom’s water. I was able to stay in the room at all times and help hold her hand and ease her stress through it all. She was very nervous despite all else she had experienced with her other two babies. This was the first time that they had to break her water, so it of course made her nervous. It took three tries to get the water to break. Soon after, they got the IV in, started her on antibiotics (remember she was Strep B positive), and after an hour or so got the Pitocin going. We started the Pit at about 1pm and she started dilating shortly thereafter. From there, she received an epidural and was progressing at about 1cm an hour for awhile. By about 6pm, she went from a 6 to a 10 in a total of 45 minutes. She even let my hubby stay all throughout her labor, which was a first for him since all three of my pregnancies were C-sections. She simply asked that he exit for the actual delivery (he nodded emphatically).
We had to wait for the doctor to arrive, who was delivering another baby, and then she was literally ready to go! Weirdly, there was another woman delivering across the hall who was screaming in horrific pain, but there was our birth mom… all cute and humble in delivery. At this point as she started to push, only her caseworker, the doctor, and I were in the room. She only pushed three times and the baby came right out! I had my first glimpse of our son! Our… son! The nurses were jumping and running all over to get ready before he came, but he came so fast they did not know what to do! It was such an emotional experience, the whole day! My hubby was dying out in the hall!
Trying to hide my emotions, I was trying so hard to be thoughtful to our birth mom. To ask what I could do to take care of her. I was simply trying to imagine what I would want if I were in her place. I held her hand as they gave her the epidural and rubbed her leg and talked to her as she pushed. I helped to hold one of her legs, and then the doctor handed me the scissors to snip the umbilical cord. Our birthmom had a gentle smile as I did it. It was symbolic of sorts, and made me cry. His physical tie to his birthmom was no more.
This birth was truly amazing! I just couldn’t help but cry when he came out– he was so beautiful! Any baby birth is such a miracle, but to watch my son be born was simply… incredible!
The staff did all the normal stuff … cleaning up the baby, give him shots, check his APGAR, weigh him (he was 6 lbs 14 oz and 20 inches long) etc.. and then he was in our birth mom’s arms. That certainly is her right and a beautiful moment!
She held him for a few minutes and then handed him over to me with a smile.
By this time my hubby was back in the room too and walked over to her and squeezed her hand, telling her how much we loved her. She was anxious for him to hold our son, to see his reaction to the son he had waited 10 years for. The baby having a father was really important to her.
Our birthmom was so tired, and after awhile she just wanted to take a nap. My hubby and I took the baby to the nursery where my hubby gave him his first bath. He was so calm!
Another baby in there was being bathed at the same time and was screaming at the top of his lungs (probably the baby delivered by the lady across the hall)!
We got him all decked out in the cute clothes and blankets we had purchased (the ones the birthmom would take home with her) and took him back to see our birthmom.
Here we helped to feed him for the first time. She tried bottle feeding him (she opted not to nurse) for a few minutes and then asked us to take over while she rested. We stayed for a few minutes more and then left for the night. I could have stayed all night, but it was after 9pm and our birthmom looked ready to fall asleep on her feet.
What an emotional day!!! But very much one of the most important memorable days of our lives! He is here!!!
July 24, 2008
Today our birthmom asked us to come to the hospital by about noon. We were able to enjoy a relaxed morning with the kids. My hubby’s mom came in town to help watch our kids on Thursday and Friday. Thanks to my parents also for watching on Wednesday all day!
Right as we arrived, the nurse mentioned that she went in to check on our birthmom at around 2am and panicked as she saw our birthmom on her knees beside the bed with her head down on the bed. She appeared to have fallen as she was trying to get out of bed and could not reach the call button. The nurse was embarrased as our birthmom raised her head as the she rushed in, because our birthmom had not fallen… she was praying! It brought a tear to the nurse’s eye as she told us that story. Even though our birthmom doesn’t have the same religious background as us, she is none-the-less aware of her Savior and his concern for her and her son.
We arrived at the hospital and literally spent the whole day with our birthmom and her caseworker. We learned more about her on Wednesday and Thursday than we had learned previously. We asked her tons of questions about her family, her life, the birth father, what she wants to do in her life, etc. She also spent quite a bit of time teaching us how to do black hair, and how to determine their true color. She further clarified what to expect with the curl in their hair, moisturizing their skin, products to use, etc. Everything we might need to know to raise a black son being white parents. We watched movies, took pictures, and laughed. She was craving Sonic.
These were very long, emotional days. I am sure they are days that I will cherish deeply because I will be able to answer so many questions about our birthmom when our son begins asking about her.
Our birthmom is being super nice. Although the hospital asks her all the legal questions about the baby (as she currently has all parental rights), she is very good to ask our opinions, too. She is also referring more and more about him coming home with us, which is a very welcomed sign! She was asking if our girls could come see him tomorrow, if they were excited to take him home, and what his crib bedding looks like. She seemed so amazed that we already had a crib set up for him!
Our caseworker brought baby “J” up to the hospital for awhile, too. It was fun to see if she and the baby looked alike and compare their features since they are full siblings.
Oh, I forgot to write this earlier! The day of the birth, our birthmom threw us a little curve ball as far as the name goes. Normally, a birth mom will name her child and then the adoptive parents can change it at finalization. She had wanted to name him “JJM”. We had decided on little “DSM”. On Wednesday, she mentioned that she really didn’t want him to have two names. She would feel more bonded to him if she knew his long term name before she left. So she asked if she could give the middle name with us giving him the first name. We talked and decided that for the time being we were ok with it.
I think my hubby is a little sad, since he really wanted our son to have his name as the middle name. That being said, both of us agreed that we also respect our birthmom and her wishes.
Our birthmom seemed to be bonding much more with the baby today. I was happy about that! She seemed really distant the first day and I was worried that she wouldn’t even spend time with him. Today really was a nice relaxed day. We left around 7pm to give her some more time in the evening with the baby.
So far this experience feels like two families trying to meet in the middle to make the best life for this baby. Some adoptions are so impersonal, but ours has really been an eye opener on getting to know her personally, understanding a new ethnicity, comprehending a new family dynamic, and giving the best life for this baby. I’m grateful that I have had the chance to meet our birthmom, to get to know her and love her. I am sure the experience, and her being part of it, will end up being more important to me as time goes on!
To read more, click Our Adoption Story: Part 6