Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Birth story

Little Marty is 8 days old now, and his little cord stump has already fallen off. He sleeps like a little angel and it is already starting to feel "normal" to be a family of four instead of three. Olivia is such a good little helper and also terrorizes me with her attempts to pick up the baby. There are so many little observations to record. But first, the birth story:

We were on tenterhooks for weeks because birthmom was having erratic contractions and pain. But it wasn't until Sunday, July 22nd that we had some certainty about when baby would arrive. Birthmom had gone to the hospital that day, not feeling well, and they FINALLY decided that, based on her symptoms and blood pressure, she should be admitted after midnight and induced.

When she asked the staff about having us come, they said it would probably be most of the day before little guy would make his appearance and that there was really no reason for us to rush up there Sunday night. So she texted us with the information and encouraged us to get a good night's sleep and come up first thing Monday morning. We called around and confirmed our childcare plans for Olivia and re-packed our hospital bags and packed up the car. And then we went to bed.

As it always is when you are anticipating something, I didn't sleep all that well. I kept having vivid dreams about running late. I woke up at 2:00 and had a hard time falling back asleep, so when the alarm went off at 5:45, I immediately snuggled in for a few more minutes.

I finally dragged myself out of bed at 6:05 and checked my phone (which, strangely, had stopped notifying me of new text messages). I went into my text menu and saw a message from birthmom at 5:44 a.m. saying she was so sorry! But they induced and he came right away! Sorry we missed it!

After an initial wave of disappointment, I was actually kind of relieved. This improved our chances of a short stay in Big City (where baby was born) and a better chance of bringing baby home sooner. It also gave birthmom several hours alone with baby, which I think was really good for her.

So, what happened there? Well, they were going to send her home and have her return after midnight, but then her blood pressure started rising pretty quickly, so they went ahead and admitted her. Just after midnight, they applied some sort of gel for induction, and things just started moving. Once they did, he made his appearance within two hours. She didn't have any drugs or anything for pain...it was that fast.

Knowing that there was no fire (we already missed the birth, so arriving at 11 a.m. or 2 p.m. was essentially the same, except arriving later would let birthmom rest a little more and get more snuggle time), we double checked things at home and at Joe's work to make sure we could be gone a couple of days, and then we began the journey. We stopped for a brief lunch and to pick up flowers and a snack for birthmom. And it took FOREVER to get there. At least it felt like forever.

We finally arrived shortly after 2 p.m. And we met the sweetest little guy ever. 

 We visited with birthmom and cuddled baby for most of the afternoon. Birthmom is such a sweet person and it was very nice to spend time with her. I think she was confused about the whole process, thinking we'd want to take baby and be alone with him. But we were excited to share time with her and didn't want to take baby away while she could still spend time with him. I also wanted her to feel comfortable with us since we were the ones with whom she would be entrusting her baby.

Baby spent that night in the room with his birthmom, and she said he slept most of the night (encouraging!). We arrived on Tuesday morning and visited for about an hour before the counselor and attorney came to complete the paperwork and have birthmom sign the termination papers.

That part was a little nerve-wracking for me. I felt confident that birthmom intended to go through the process and place the baby. But it took a good long while, and the longer we waited in the (very small, dark and depressing) "parent room", the more I thought about how hard it would be to be in her shoes. And then Joe said something like, "maybe she's backing out" and then my thoughts started going crazy.

After about a million years, the attorney finally opened the door to the parent room and said, "Congratulations!" And then we signed our paperwork. And we were officially named "legal guardians with petition to adopt" this sweet little boy.

As long as baby had his hospital tags on, he could be left alone in birthmom's room while we went to lunch or let her have some time alone with him. The nurses had said he could likely be released early, by Tuesday afternoon, and we were waiting on the results of a test to be done at 2 p.m.

We visited with birthmom alone while they did the testing. The nurse brought baby in later and said he checked out OK and we'd be discharged in a couple of hours. Birthmom's meds were kicking in and she needed a nap, so we took baby to the parent room for awhile. Nurses came in later to take him away and complete his newborn screen and prepare him for discharge. When they brought him back, he was tagless and ready to go home!

We carried baby (sans bassinet) back to birthmom's room for good-byes. That was really, really hard. We sat while she gazed at him and her eyes started tearing up. I desperately wanted to let her have some time alone to say good-bye, but we were told by the nurses that now that he was tagless, he HAD to stay with us for liability reasons. So we just sat. And then she handed him over and started crying as we put him in the car seat. Walking out the door as she sat there alone was very, very hard.

Marty slept most of the way home and was ready to greet his sister and grandparents when we arrived at our door after 9 p.m. Olivia was goofy tired and super excited, so the first meeting was a little nerve-wracking for me. I kept thinking she'd drop him or something. But after many kisses and hugs and loving from his new family, Marty went off to sleep and Olivia did too, and our new "normal" started as a family of four.

1 comment:

All in His Perfect Timing said...

LOVE you sharing the birth story! Until the papers are signed, it is the most nerve-wracking experience a person will ever have (in my opinion). I'm so glad all went well, but how frustrating to miss M's birth. And how heartbreaking to watch the birthmom say her goodbyes. I'd be in tears as well. Hopefully, she will know she can see more of him again soon ... are you having an open adoption?