Thursday, March 8
Ben and I left work early and traveled the 3.5 hours north to the city where Samuel was to be born. On the way, we had a phone conversation with our attorney regarding the temporary custody papers that had to be signed so we could leave the hospital with him. We had to some how get the paper also signed by the birth father, who lived in another state. We panicked, we prayed, and we felt a peace about it. I called the birth father and explained the situation and he assured me we had nothing to worry about, he would take care of it.
We met with my cousin (the one that introduced us) and Samuel's birth mother ("A") at a hotel near the army post Samuel would be born at. We spent time with A and talked about everything from why she joined the Army to how her family was going to react to the news of Samuel's birth and adoption. When we settled in our hotel room, neither of us could sleep well. We might have gotten 4 hours or a little more. We were so excited to finally meet the baby that would be ours!
Friday, March 9
We got up bright and early and headed to the post hospital at 5:30. We followed A to the hospital and went to L&D. When the nurse took us to the labor room, she asked who Ben and I were and I just looked at A. She told them we were the adoptive parents and the nurse gave us the oddest look and asked us to wait in the waiting room while she got all prepped.
When we were allowed to come back, A said they told her that they didn't have to let us back there if she didn't want. She told them she wanted us there. Different people kept coming in and out and asking us to leave so they could talk to her. We were kind of treated like some kind of baby snatchers by a few of the staff. They even told us they were going to have to call social services and JAG to see how to proceed. I gave them our legal paperwork and our attorney and agency phone numbers. They were just not very receptive.
Labor progressed slowly through out the day, but we kept busy talking with A and my cousin joined us about lunch time. We grabbed some lunch in the cafeteria and headed back to L&D. One of our conversations was in regards to how big we thought he might be. "He'll be 7 pounds 4 ounces" said my husband. I disagreed, he must be bigger than that by now, I thought.
They finally checked for dilation late in the day and realized that a little after 5:00 that they wanted to break her water since she was progressing slowly. Again, I was asked to leave the room while they placed her epidural. They broke her water and my cousin and I held A's hands. After that, she progressed very quickly.
Soon, the contractions were right on top of each other and very strong. Her epidural did not take well and she said she was feeling everything. I held her hand on one side and my cousin on the other. We told her to squeeze our hands as hard as she could when the contractions came and remember to breath. She was in so much pain and I could see it in her eyes. She progressed from 5cm to 8cm in a matter of minutes and then there was a problem. The Dr. looked at the baby's heart monitor and said, "Oh, crap!". They quickly inserted the monitor on Samuel's head and then changed their minds on what was going to happen very quickly.
"We've got to get him out now." The doctor said in a rush. They shoved a paper under her hand for her to sign. We started unplugging things like crazy and they took her away in a flash. I told her everything was going to be fine, they just have to get him out. After she was gone, my knees went weak and the tears started. I'm not going to lie...for a moment, I thought that must be why she chose us. We started praying and texting others to do the same.
In a matter of minutes, a nurse ran up the hall and said, "He is out, he is fine." That is all we knew.
A little while later, they wanted to clean out the labor room and asked us to take our stuff down to the post partum room. On the way down the hall, I heard the most beautiful noise. The cry of a newborn.
We walked in the room and there he was. All stretched out under the warmer. I wasn't allowed to pick him right up, but I could stand beside him and look in his big eyes.
How much did he weigh?
7 pounds 4 ounces
Ben was right.
One of the nurses made the comment, "As soon as he came out there was a big, loud cry. No problems with those lungs!" All I could say was, "That is the most beautiful sound in the world". They must have thought I was nuts.
After a little while under the warmer and his first bath (which he hated by the way) I was allowed to hold him and give him his first bottle.
After he ate and he burped I had to give him back to the nurses. By then, A was out of recovery and on her way back to the room. She was in so much pain. Since her epidural didn't take and she was put under general anesthesia, she was waking up feeling the full effects of the c-section.
Once again, they made us leave the room. For almost an hour.
One thing that made us nervous about this hospital was there was no nursery. The baby had to be in the room with the birth mother the whole stay. We had talked before Samuel's birth and she wanted us to be there to provide most the care, but said she would hold him and probably feed him a few times. I thought this was a good idea.
As that first night progressed, I was amazed by the newness of this little guy. He ate well, but in the middle of the night, he started gagging and spitting up huge amounts of his formula. The nurses kept saying it was because he was a c-section baby and didn't get a good squeeze on the way out. But I knew better. I slept maybe a total of 30 minutes this night. Everytime I would lay him down, he would start heaving, gagging and then spitting up. So I held him most of the night. I didn't mind loosing the sleep. I was staring at one of the most beautiful things I had ever seen.
They told us Ben had to leave. He could sleep in the waiting room if he wanted, but he wouldn't be allowed to be with us at all through the night. He ended up sleeping in the van.
I never thought I would get to hold a newborn so fresh to the world again. But I did. And he was so beautiful. I just couldn't believe he was mine.