So let me tell you the story of how Little Man came to be lying on the couch next to my leg. He is currently 4 days old. He’s gained 5 oz, 1 ½ inches and lots of smiles. He’s mistaking 11:53 pm for 11:53 am, and is happily staring away at things only he can see, grinning, and hiccupping.
Get comfortable and grab a drink – this may take a while.
If you had told me last March, when we began this adoption journey, what Monday and Tuesday would have looked like, we would have stared at you in disbelief. Then we would have laughed at you. Then we would have chosen either closed adoption or no adoption.
God, however, had different plans, and having lived through Monday and Tuesday, I couldn’t imagine our story having played out in any other way.
Let’s back up to Wednesday, January 6. S had a doctor appointment. She was supposed to get an induction scheduled and then call.
She didn’t call. Hour after agonizing hour passed and she didn’t call. I didn’t want to call her – I felt like I was violating her space. I just sat in the chair staring at the television and a book. When Keith got home, I convinced him to call. He called three times and never got an answer. He called one more time before bed and we got an answer, but the answer was S was already in bed asleep.
I made it to Thursday morning, around 10am. I called S. She was very distressed. The doctor had scheduled her induction for 9 am Saturday morning. On her way out of the office, he called her back in and said he changed his mind. He wanted her to keep waiting, and he scheduled a follow-up visit for Monday. If she hadn’t gone into labor by then, he would induce.
She was upset, disappointed, tired, and she felt like she hadn’t been treated well.
Me, too. So we settled in to wait some more.
Sunday after church friends of ours who own a restaurant asked us to come play customer while they did training exercises. I was tired – I had really thought the previous Sunday was my last Sunday as “not a mommy.” But I knew if we went home, all I’d do was mope around the house and check my phone every 3 minutes to see if I had missed the call. So we spent all afternoon pretending to order food. Then we rushed to small group. We got home around 9pm. Keith went to bed, and I did, too, but he slept and I kept watching pointless TV.
I rolled over and prayed incessantly. I don’t really recall what I said; I just know my last conscious thought was asking God to have S go into labor and give birth on Monday, because then all of our birthdays would be on the 11th.
At 12:45 am Monday morning my phone rang. And I knew. And months of stress and worry evaporated. I became instantly calm and peaceful. I answered the phone. S was in lots of pain and was headed to the hospital. I told her we’d meet her there.
I woke up Keith and we both showered, packed and headed downtown. The hospital is about 30 minutes from our house. We arrived by 2 am.
We go up to labor & delivery and explain that we are adoptive parents and we’d like to see S. Well, she is getting an epidural, so we have to wait in the waiting room. Where we watched TMZ. Stupid! About 2:30 S calls my cell phone and tells me to come on back.
Keith & I go into her room and she is alone. I ask where N, her social worker/birth partner, is, and S tells me she didn’t call her because it’s so early and N has a 16 month old. She says that since Keith & I are there, she’s fine.
I tell her I know nothing about being a birthing partner, but she promises to coach me through it!
We spend the next 2 hours listening to the baby’s heartbeat on the monitor and telling her when she’s having contractions. At some points the three of us are laughing so hard that we’re surprised someone doesn’t come in to tell us to be quiet.
S says she thinks we’ll have a baby by 6am. We tell her about the 11th being our birthdays, and she says, “That’s just further confirmation that this is meant to be.”
She finally drifts off about 4:45, and Keith and I try to get comfortable on a couch and a chair.
Then the baby’s heartbeat disappears from the monitor. S is asleep and the nurse comes in and starts adjusting the monitor around S’s belly. S wakes up and we all realize that there isn’t a baby heartbeat. The nurse calls the doctor and moves S around. The doctor comes in just as the nurse realizes that the baby has dropped way down and finds the heartbeat again.
But the doctor wants to check S out. He says it’s time for her to push. I stand on one side and grab her leg. Just as the nurse and I pull back her legs, she has a contraction and – I’m totally not kidding – baby comes sliding out. She didn’t even push!!!!!! Out comes the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen. The cord was wrapped around his neck, but loosely, and as soon as he came out, he began wailing.
Baby was placed on S’s chest and after a while I got to hold him. We got him cleaned up and the nurse took a picture of the four of us. I can guarantee we will treasure that picture forever.
And that will have to serve as part one 🙂