A blog about infertility, adoption,and adoption loss which has finally led to a beautiful miracle who was worth smiling for."Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future."Proverbs 31:25

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


I've been putting off a post all weekend.  And all afternoon.  But, I feel like I need to get it typed up before memories start to fade.  It's been a while since I blogged anything this difficult to talk about but I know I need to so that I can go back and read what happened later - and so that our friends and family that read my blog can have an account of the whole story to fill in the blanks left between texts and interrupted phone calls.  So, here goes - starting from
Friday July 29; afternoon
I got a call from N saying that Kmom (who, from now on I will refer to as just K) had been to her doctor and that they were planning to induce her on Monday July 1.  N had verified the information with the doctor.  I was sort of excited, but a little cautious too.  Things the past few weeks had been rocky at best.  I had become very suspicious - and it turns out rightfully so. 
Friday evening around 11 pm
I checked my email since K was known for late night communication and she had indeed sent me something.  Her words were simply, "She's a lovely 8 lbs".  My first reaction was shock, thinking that she had already given birth.  However, keeping in mind her recent deceptions - my response was, "N told me that you had been to the doctor.  Did you have another ultrasound today?".  I waited for an hour for a reply and never got one.  I went to bed @ 1:00.
Allow me to interject a little back story as to my whereabouts at this point.
A friend of mine had lady bits surgery last Wednesday.  I volunteered to help her with her son on Friday, Saturday, & Sunday while her husband was working since I had also had a similar surgery 8 years ago.  Because I would be there late and since my parent's house was closer to my friend's than my own home, I decided that I would spend nights at my parent's rather than going home.  On Friday night I was sleeping in my Mom's guest room.  My husband is at home.
Saturday July 30th around 3 a.m.
My phone goes off and it's my husband's tone.  I scramble in the dark to answer it.  I don't remember exactly all he said, but he told me that N had tried to call me and then called him.  K was in active labor, however N hadn't been allowed to speak with K.  N recommended that we did not come just yet, until she was able to talk with K and find out if everything was still a go.  I hung up very confused.  The plan that we had always talked about was that we would be there when El (from now on I will call her BabyZ) was born and that I would even be in the delivery room.  I called N to hear everything directly from her.  Poor N - working in her own home at 3 a.m. on a Saturday.  Her daughter was crying in the background since she had been woke up by all the phone calls and her mother moving around.  N repeats everything that my husband had told me and asks me if we could be in the area of the hospital at 8 a.m.  She was planning on going up there around 6 to see if she could find out what was going on.  I said we would.  I called my husband back and told him that I was coming home.  I gathered all my stuff and tip toed to the door.  I didn't want to tell my parent's what was going on because I wasn't sure myself.  Just as I opened the front door my mom stirred in her living room chair.  She looked at me and asked if I was going home, I told her I was and she told me to be careful and went back to sleep.  When I got home I checked my email again to see if K had ever replied back and she had not.  It was a horrible feeling not knowing what was happening and feeling so in the dark about our own child's birth.  I was pretty sure that we wouldn't even make it to the hospital before N called and told us that K had decided to parent (keep her).  A part of me wishes that she had.
5 a.m.
My alarm goes off.  All total I got 3 hours of sleep.  I had dozed off in the chair laying long ways with legs dangling over one arm.  When the alarm went off I reacted like it was a call and tried to stand up to answer it, but landed in the floor.  Hubby laughed at me and it broke the tension a little that had been hanging in the room since I got home.  I raced around the house to gather everything I thought we would need.  I had previously made a short vague list, but it did little to help me pack.
6 a.m.
A tote bag with all of our electronics and our adoption folder, a car seat, a stuffed diaper bag, and an over-flowing rolling suitcase were waiting by our front door.  We loaded everything up in our truck and started our 2 hour drive south.  About 30 minutes into our journey, my husband realizes that he left his wallet behind.  It was too late to turn around so he did without it for 3 days.  It hadn't really mattered. 
7:10 a.m.
N texts me to tell me that she is at the hospital and was finally able to talk with K.  BabyZ had been born at 3:50 a.m.  She says that K does want us to come to the hospital.  So we abandon the plan to go to a restaurant near the hospital for breakfast (and anxious waiting), and I find the hospital on our gps. 
8:00 a.m.
We pull up to the hospital and park.  I text N to let her know that we are there and wait for further instruction.  She texts me back to come to the 2nd floor and wait outside the elevator.  She would meet us there.  We stand around for several minutes in the hall way of the O.B. waiting for N to come walking around one of the corners.  Finally she joins us and lets us know that K wants to see us, however she was not yet in her room.  We wait longer, talking with N.  N tells us that BabyZ has lots of hair and that she is healthy.  She tells us that K is still planning on adoption.  However, we also find out that K has seen and held BabyZ, which was the opposite of everything K had told us in our meetings before.  Still we were optimistic.  Finally, we get the go ahead to visit K's room. 
Our Stay In K's Room
When we first walked in, I glance over at BabyZ but try to keep my focus on K.  In all of my reading and in our training class, we were told to make sure the birthmom feels that we are sympathetic to her situation.  Both of just having given birth and that she is going through a major struggle to decide what is best for her baby.  But, a few seconds later she invites me to hold BabyZ.  I move towards her rolling crib and lay my hands on top of her tiny blanket wrapped body.  Smiling, I gently finger her little cap and the soft toffs of hair sticking out from under it.  I sort of hovered there for several seconds.  Again, K says that I should hold her.  I had a terribly strong urge to snatch her up and run for the door.  But, I gently moved to pick her up.  That's when I notice the card on the side of her crib.  I stood there, stopped in mid pick up.  "How do you pronounce her name?" I ask cooly, but nearly dying inside.  In our meetings she had told us that she would use the first and middle names we had picked out.  Yet, right there written in pen, was another name.  And yes, it was truly a name I couldn't pronounce just by looking at it.  She assured me that it was the doings of some family that had been in to visit her.  But, by the tone in her voice I knew different.  It was the first of many times in the next 72 hours that I felt sick to my stomach.  I completed my lifting of BabyZ, but I turned and placed her into my hubby's arms.  I wish I could describe his reaction to her, but i really can't.  He was..... totally instantly smitten.  From somewhere inside him surfaced a daddy personality that I had never seen before.  He was melted.  He took her over to a visitor's seat and held her.  I sat next to him and watched.  In the corner of my eye I watched K too.  She seemed to have no reaction to seeing him hold her baby.  None.  Not sadness, not annoyance, not happiness... nothing.  After a few minutes he offered her to me.  My intuition was screaming at me to refuse, but my arms went out and received her anyway.  I can't say how many times I had dreamed of that moment.  I would fantasize about how it would feel to hold my baby and how I would react.  The truth of that particular moment was much different.  One phrase ran through my heart over and over, "This is not my baby".  I'm pretty sure I conveyed pleasure, but really I was scared of the disconnection I was feeling.  I didn't take my eyes off her.  I tried take in each and everyone of her features, but couldn't seem to distinguish her from any other "someone else's baby" that I had held before.  Maybe it doesn't make since, but I was basically trying to recognize her as my baby.  And I couldn't.  Don't get me wrong, she is gorgeous.  Absolutely beautiful.  Perfect.  But, she wasn't mine.  I don't believe that it was me trying to protect myself from bonding.  I was fully prepared to bond.  I know it was the Lord guarding my heart.  Still, I wasn't ready to admit what I already knew.  We held BabyZ for hours in K's room.  We weren't allowed to take her to our room down the hall until I was "banded".  K had to give the hospital permission to give me a plastic band that had a number on it that would connect me to K and BabyZ.  We were only there for a few minutes before N brought up the band for the first time.  K ignored her.  She continued to do so until 3 p.m.  Again, this was not what we all had planned on in our meetings.  In fact, K had just said she wanted us to take BabyZ down to our room and care for her right before we got to the hospital.  During our stay in K's room we began to see a different side of K.  In our visits she was kind of shy and sweet.  That first day we watched her be the worst patient I have ever seen.  She was so rude to the hospital staff that were only trying to take care of her.  Almost every time N spoke to her she acted as if she were about to hyperventilate.  She was so hyper all the time.  I guess maybe agitated would be the right word.  I'm not sure.  Towards us she was indifferent.  She did continue to talk like she was going with adoption in front of us.  She even used the name we chose for BabyZ when we were around.  K was awake the whole time we were in her room, even though she hadn't slept all night and had just given birth.  She was so groggy, but she would not leave us alone with her baby.  We fed BabyZ every time she needed to be fed.  We changed her every time she need to be changed.  All under the watchful eye of K. 
3:00 P.M.
Finally, she consented to the banding.  When the nurse came in to start the process K had her eyes closed as if she was sleeping the whole time.  However, she answered the nurse's questions so she obviously wasn't.  After I got the band, she told us we could take BabyZ to our room.  She said she needed to sleep.  It was such a relief to be in our own space and on our own with her.  Right away I got some pictures of her and took a short video of her (which I will post tomorrow).  We fed her again.  She didn't know how to suck at first.  We had to move her chin up and down creating sucking motions for her.  It was awkward at first, but we got the hang of it.  She ate well for a very new newborn.  I believe the first time we fed her she took 15 ml.  She was easy to burp and didn't cry when she was hungry (or not for us anyway).  She would just start to "root" as my hubby calls it, or open her mouth and search for the nipple.  We fed her every 3 to 4 hours.  In fact she never cried for us until the pictures, but I will get to that in a second.  We held her constantly.  She was rarely in her crib when she was in our room.  Our room was two doors down from K's.  It was pretty large for a hospital room.  We had our own bathroom with a shower, a nice flat screen t.v., and a bed and couch that turned out into a bed.  It really was nice considering the situation.  The hospital staff were amazing with us.  I never could have dreamed that they would be so nice.  They treated us like we were patients, only VIP even.  The nurse that was assigned to K was also assigned to us.  Each shift change, that nurse would come in and introduce herself to us, ask us if there was anything she could get us or do for us, and offer her services for the remainder of her shift.  We couldn't ask for a better staff.  They made us feel at home (as much as one can in a hospital) and they each expressed to us their positive sentiments concerning our situation.  They and N made the ordeal bearable. 
7:00 P.M.
Our door opens and K walks in.  A nurse was hurrying to keep up behind her.  I was sitting on our couch holding BabyZ.  With arms held out and a scowl on her face, she wordlessly motioned for me to hand BabyZ over.  Now this is the same woman who was telling us how much she was hurting all day.  She practically stomped into our room.  No bending over or anything.  I complied and K was off with nurse and baby in tow.  My hubby shut the door behind them.  His eyes were wide with confusion.  There was no doubt in my mind though.  As soon as I saw K's eyes when she demanded her baby from me - I knew two things.  K would keep her all night and she would end up parenting.  I think that is when I started to shut down emotionally.  I cried and I don't think my hubby knew why.  He knew that what had just happened was off, but he hadn't seen what I saw.  It was a familiar look, only I had never seen it with such malice.  The look of a momma wanting her child back.  From one woman to another.  "Alright you've held my baby long enough, hand her over".  You wouldn't expect such things from a woman who planned to allow you to mother her child.  That's because the woman who planned to do that wouldn't. 
Well, I've been working on this post for hours now (in between eating and other distractions) and it's nearly midnight.  I'm going to have to make this a two parter I guess. 
To Be Continued....


Baydreamer said...

I am absolutely heartsick at reading this even though some of your earlier posts hinted that this might be the way things would turn out. I prayed it wouldn't be so. I stumbled onto your blog when searching for something on waiting. I have never experienced what you are going through, wanting and waiting for a child. But I can put myself there, feeling that sinking feeling, grabbing at every last hope. I absolutely ache with every fiber of my being for you and your husband. I know nothing I say can soften or take away that pain. But I will pray for you and still hope for a miracle.

bre said...

Praying for your hurting heart Bethanie. I wish I could give you a hug in person :(

Sarah said...

Oh my, my heart is breaking for you. Thank goodness you rely on the strength of God. I am praying for you, I just cannot imagine. I read this earlier before I went to work and I was speechless, at a loss for words. I still am. Just know that you have a blogging friend here that is praying for you and the hubby...

Ashley said...

I really hate to read this, knowing it has a sad ending. I'm hurting for you, Bethanie. Praying for you and your husband.

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