Sunday, March 15, 2015

Multiplied... Our Birth Story

I sit here tonight typing this with 5 pounds of the most adorableness I have ever seen strapped to my chest. I still can't fully believe that he is really here, that he is mine. I honestly could not have asked for his birth to be more perfect. For weeks, I kept talking to our birth mom about her birth plan. Throughout each conversation she was adament that she did not want to see the baby. This made my heart sad. But, I understood and I wanted to protect her from hurt. I have truly grown to love our birth mom and I really worried about her well being during the birth and after.

So 6 months after we decided to adopt again we walked into the hospital at 5:45 in the morning with our birth mom and her husband for our scheduled c-section. We had our birth plan, but I have heard so many times to expect that to be thrown out the window. But it wasn't. Immediately, bio mom signed forms listing us as power of attorney for the baby.  We checked her in and the team of nurses quickly got her ready for the procedure. While they did this, I spoke with the anesthesiologist about giving her Versed after the baby was removed to help her and for her to not remember that part of the procedure. He agreed.  They gave me a gown, shoe covers and hair cover. While I put them on they whisked her away to start her epidural. There was a window to the or so I could see them do this. They laid her back and started to wipe her abdomen down and then I could here her asking for me. I was already at the door by the time the nurse could get there. I went to our birth mom's head. She was so scared about the procedure, tears were running down her face. The nurse gave me a stool so I could be face to face with her. she grabbed my left hand and with my right I rubbed her head and softly repeated over and over again "it's ok, you are not alone and you are so loved". I was so worried about her that I was not paying attention to what was happening on the other side of the blue drape. She suddenly looked up at me and said "Stand up, you need to watch!" It didn't click so she said it again. I stood up just in time to watch them put the suction cup device on his head and slide him out. He started crying immediately and the nurses took him to the heating unit to clean him up. I looked at the anesthesiologist and said can you give her the meds now! He started pushing the Versed. I stayed with her until I could tell the medication kicked in, which was the same time that it was to take the baby to the nursery. I was met there by my husband and our best friends were outside the nursery window. There were no other babies in the nursery, so it felt as if we were the  only people in the whole hospital. The nurses were wonderful. We were there for him to get weighed and measured, he was 5 pounds, 15 ounces and only 18 inches long. He was so tiny. He got his Vit K shot, some ointment in his eyes and Hepatitis vaccine. Once his body temperature was good, I was able to take him into a room for some skin to skin contact and then to feed him. After that I got to give him a bath and then get him dressed. After that we went to our room.
I checked in on our birth mom several times. Her husband and a few family members came down to see the baby and I let each of them hold him and took pictures. Everyone was so happy that he was able to be our son. We fell into a routine quickly in the hospital... he ate, slept, pooped. The first 24 hours his blood sugar had to be checked every 3 hours because of his low birth weight, but everything came back great. All of his test came back great and his drug test came back negative. This was the happiest I think I have been in my life, yet there was still a piece of my heart that was sad for our birth mom. I just knew in my heart that she had to see Spartacus. But I did not push, I respected her doing what she needed to do to protect her heart. The next afternoon, she was discharged. She called me to ask if she could see me to say good bye. When she knocked on the door, I went to the door without the baby and I asked her one last time Are you sure you don't want to see him?" and she admitted she wanted to. I invited her in and we spent the sweetest 20 minutes or so with her holding the baby. She looked so happy and talked about the features that were similar to his brother. I was so happy that she came to see him. I was able to capture that moment in a photo, that I will frame and put in his room. At the end of that time she handed him to me and told me how happy she was that she could do this for us. We hugged and she left.

Earlier that day she had signed the relinquishment papers. From that time she has 7 days to change her mind. But I know she will not. We still text each other daily . She still thanks us for being his parents and tells me how glad she is that he is in such a great home. So, in 2 more days the 7 days will be up.

As all of this winds down we have been trying to locate the birth father. His family has not been cooperating, so we were thinking we would have to do a publication in the newspaper for 3 months trying to get him to respond. We didn't have to because he got himself into some pretty big legal troubles and made it into the news himself. So we are now able to have him served on Monday with papers to relinquish his parental rights. There are 3 scenarios with this. 1. He just signs and all is great. 2. He just ignores the papers. In that case after 30 days his rights are terminated for abandonment. 3. He contest. This is highly unlikely because he won't be able to afford a lawyer to  fight this in court with his current legal issues. even if he did try, he would lose because he has not financially supported our birth mom while pregnant. No matter the scenario, he can't  get Spartacus. it will just make a difference on when we can finalize our adoption and how much more it will cost.. I am not worried, I know God's plan is being worked out and I am trusting in that.

Now we settle into our new rhythm of life. Sweetie has been excited to do Skype sessions where she can see her little brother and ends each call now with "tell my brother I love him".

My heart is overflowing with love and with hope.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

I Lived

This past week I turned 40.... I remember a time when that seemed old. Every big milestone birthday you can't help but sit back and reflect on your life. Lord knows my life has been a roller coaster but I can definitely say that I have no regrets. Every step, every "mistake" and every loss led me right here to this point in my life. And honestly I can not imagine not being here. I can not imagine a life where Sweetie was not my daughter and I was not about to be the parent to a new baby boy.
I am really happy that last weekend we were able to move our expectant mom, husband and 5 year old son into their permanent home and they were able to get a car. This is a life changer. Having a car means the ability to get a job. I am really hoping this is the beginning of a better life for them.

 It's about time we come up with a nickname for him. My husband loves gladiator movies and shows, so for this blog I will refer to our son as Spartacus. This is a joke in our house and I will get a good chuckle every time I write it, but it works. So we are just 5 more days away from Spartacus joining our family. I will be running around like a crazy woman the next few days. Doing all the laundry and making a months worth of freezer meals. Thursday is our final doctors appointment before delivery day and Friday there is Pre-op testing. So lots of driving around. I spoke to the hospital today to check if I could bring pumped breast milk. They were very accommodating. They are hoping to have a separate room for us. If they can't because of being full, they do have a separate room with a couch and TV off the nursery we can use. I am really excited be able to be in the room when Spartacus is born! I wish I knew the best way to support our expectant mom. I know how incredibly difficult this day and time will be. I know that there will be many times through out her life that she is struck with grief from the effects of this day. In all of the excitement for adoptive parents, most often forget the other parties involved. Adoption has beautiful aspects, but it is also painful. I have been wrestling with this a lot lately. I have grown to love our expectant mother. She is a sweet soul who has had to deal with a lot of loss herself already. I wish there was something I could do to lessen the pain I know she will feel. I wish she did not have to suffer for us to have a dream fulfilled.

Sweetie is ready to be transitioned down from PRTF to the Intensive Alternative Family Treatment. They have been having difficulty locating one. This has been our problem in the past as well. Sweetie's disorder allows her to thrive in an institutional environment, but she falls apart in the home setting. We continue looking and I am hoping something comes through. The insurance company has agreed to continue her approval for PRTF until we can find something. But realistically they can only keep her so long. I am trying to stay hopeful that everything will work out how it should.

A couple of weeks ago I had a beautiful baby shower. I am blessed with so many amazing friends who support us with both of our children. We had a lot of fun, the food was delicious and there were so many little details that made the day very special!


So, here I am...40 a mom of a teenager and soon to be mom of a newborn. I can honestly say that I have truly lived my life. I have lived it being lead by my heart and it has lead me to a pretty awesome place. And I feel that I have been incredibly blessed!