You can read part one of the birth story here.
Well, after Little Man’s dramatic entrance into the world, things calmed down. He was cleaned up and fed. S was cleaned up and ate the biggest breakfast I have ever seen. We called everyone (parents, social workers, lawyers) around 6 am. We waited until S could be moved with Little Man to post-partum.
While we were in labor & delivery, S had asked us our plans as far as where we would stay. Well, we told her that we would probably get our own room in post-partum. She said we could stay in her room – that would be fine with her.
Wow. She said her vision was that all three of us took care of the baby until it was time for her to leave, and she wanted to leave the hospital as soon as possible. But she wanted the three of us to “room together.”
Who does that? Who has an adoption that open?
So we move to post-partum. It was a much smaller room, but the nurses were just as wonderful. Well, all but the LPN – she was NOT nice…
Anyway…we get S and Little Man settled into the room and down for a nap. Keith and I went downstairs to have breakfast and fill in our parents who were anxiously waiting by their phones. We told them that Little Man had been born, but we didn’t want them to let anyone else know until papers had been signed (which was scheduled for Tuesday).
After we ate we went back upstairs and hung out with S and Little Man. Keith decided to go home and let out the dogs and take a nap. I stayed with S and we spent the afternoon watching TV, dozing and taking care of Little Man.
The worst part – S asked me to change Little Man’s clothing. I had never ever changed a newborn’s clothing before, and I was not good at it. I looked at her and said with not a little fear, “Is this going to make you change your mind?” She kind of giggled, smiled and said of course not, I’m a new mom and there’s a learning curve.
So around 7pm the day nurse tells us that only one of us can spend the night with S – that’s the policy. But, she said, it really depends on who your nurse is as to whether or not they will enforce that policy.
In the meantime, Keith had returned and had tried and tried to get us a hospital room. Enter hospital social worker (who I would rather call a nasty name, but will stick with HSW). She. Was. Horrible. Horrible. Horrible.
Anyway…she tells us it’s up to the nurses. The nurses tell us it’s up to HSW. Grrrr……
Well, we decide that if someone has to leave, it will be Keith and we hunker down with hopes no one gets kicked out. Luckily, we had an AMAZING nurse (if any of you reading this are nurses, especially baby nurses – you are wonderful people!!!) who not only let both Keith & me stay but offered us food and drinks during the night. So Keith & I (I haven’t slept in like 20-some hours at this point) take turns sleeping on the couch. S and Keith and I take turns feeding & changing & holding Little Man.
In the morning, Keith & I again went to have breakfast and then we gave S some alone time with Little Man. Then we spent the rest of the morning just hanging out together.
I cannot begin to explain how special the whole experience was. We laughed together, we cried together, we discussed parenting philosophies and stories from being kids and learned just how much we have in common. Again, had you told me last March that we would spend 36 hours in a hospital room with a woman who wanted us to parent her child, I would have never believed it. But having lived it, I can’t imagine any other scenario. It was SO perfect.
So Tuesday late morning the lawyer comes to visit S. Keith & I leave them alone and get stuck in the “Parent Room.” Imagine the worst room you’ve ever been in – and that’s the parent room at Big Downtown Hospital. It’s more like a closet with a small loveseat, a chair and a scrub sink. That’s it.
Well, see, from the moment the phone rang, I was calm. I was peaceful. I was enjoying and soaking up every moment. I didn’t worry that S was holding and feeding and changing and loving all over Little Man. In fact, it gave me even more peace, because if S decided to parent, I realized that she is an excellent parent, and I wouldn’t have to worry about Little Man.
Keith, on the other hand, was not so calm. He has been my solid calm rock during this entire journey, but our roles reversed when that phone rang!
So we are waiting in the parent room for the lawyer to tell us the paperwork has been signed. And we wait. And we wait.
I curl up on the tiny uncomfortable couch and try to nap, because I’ve come to the conclusion that even if she doesn’t sign the papers, I have now witnessed a baby’s birth and gotten to spend precious hours at the beginning of someone’s life – something I never thought I’d ever be able to do. And if that was what I got out of knowing S, that would be wonderful.
Keith, on the other hand, can’t stand it. He wanders the hall until the lawyer comes out.
Before lawyer J showed up (who works with birth parents), S asked me if I had met him. I had met his partner (who works with adoptive parents) but not him. S tells me he’s really attractive. She was right!!!
Anyway…he comes into the parent room to tell us all of the paperwork was signed and they have a court date at 1:00. At 1:30 the judge was going to call S (still at the hospital) and then J would fax HSW (the b*#%^) the custody order so we could be discharged from the hospital whenever Little Man was ready.
J then tells us that in his oodles of experience (seriously, like over 3000 adoptions) birth mothers typically exhibit some hesitation and ask tons of questions. He said he’d never met a birth mother as confident in her decision and her choice of parents as S.
He then explains that Big Downtown Hospital refuses to give adoptive parents a room. Simply refuses. For 20 years the lawyers have been working with BDH and he said the only place worse is the low-income big downtown hospital. But once S leaves, we have to stay in the parent room.
So we go back to S. She was discharged at like 9 that morning, but was sticking around until everything was official. Keith and I gave her our gift (which she loved and was very touched by) and then we gave her a few more moments of alone time with Little Man while we went downstairs and ate lunch. Lunch, by the way, was the best meal I have ever eaten in my life, even if it was only grilled cheese and French fries!!!
So after lunch Keith & I go back upstairs to wait for Little Man’s circumcision and for the judge to call. For some reason I wasn’t in the room when the judge called, but apparently after S talked to him, she hung up, looked at Keith and said, “Congratulations! It’s a boy!”
Because S was now done, she called her friend to come get her and we said our goodbyes. I don’t really want to share those last moments with anyone – they are too precious.
Well, it is now about 2:30 on Tuesday and Little Man needs his circumcision. Since S left, we are supposed to leave the room and move to the parent room. Thank God again for wonderful nurses. They said we could stay in the post-partum room until Little Man was circumcised and allowed to leave.
Finally they take Little Man away for his circumcision and then bring him back to us. We simply bask in being new parents. A few hours later, we are given permission to leave and we take Little Man and head home.
Our homecoming and first few nights at home are a whole other post.
But there is our story! We got to spend the first 36 hours of Little Man’s life with him, and he has no qualms about who we are. He responds to our voices, he knows us, and there is no doubt in our minds that this whole situation was planned out by God.