Friday, May 20, 2016

It's almost time to go and meet your mom...

Delivery date was upon us! I was feeling a lot of mixed feelings at that time. Excited and ready to meet Olivia and to not be pregnant anymore, but nervous, scared and sad as well. I didn't know what to expect from the delivery process. Only horror stories I've heard most of my life. And I was still trying to mentally prepare myself for the grief. I questioned if I was strong enough to go home empty handed.

I was admitted to the hospital on March 1st to induce early on march 2nd. And let me start by saying the night nurse was awful. Her first question was "So you're going to give up your baby?" She obviously didn't have a lot of experience with adoption. I explained our situation and she still wasn't the kindest woman on the planet. And spoiler alert, she was SO rough during the process. It was so awful.

I was given the strip of Pitocin and some wonderful ambien. Probably the best sleep I got in a long while was the night before. Olivia had other plans though. For some reason her heart decelerated twice so I had to get on all fours and breath through an oxygen mask. It was very scary. I was pretty much asleep the second time it happened. The nurse panicked and I had to move fast which caused me to get nervous. I had no clue what was going on! Luckily her heartbeat became regular.

The next day was just full of waiting. To my surprise I could get my epidural pretty much as soon as the labor process started so best believe I took it! I always thought it would be so painful but it wasn't so bad because you don't see the needle which is awesome. I hate needles. And my mom was there to hold my hand so that made it better of course.

I was super blessed to be able to spend the WHOLE day just hanging out in the delivery room with almost all of my family. The only thing that was tough was not being able to eat while everyone ate in front of me!! It was tough. But it was so awesome to spend it surrounded by the people I loved the most. Pain free!! God bless that epidural!

I went into the hospital dialaeted at 3cm (Thank God for those 40 hour work weeks leading up to delivery day! They paid off.) But within an hour I went from 5cm to 9 so it was time to push! That part was so hard. I wanted to scream and just give up but I pushed and pushed but didn't say a word. I knew if I screamed or groaned that would take my energy and I needed it. I was determined to delivery vaginally if possible. I started pushing around 5 and pushed for 2 hours before my midwife had to call the doctor to perform a four sep. I couldn't look. It was so scary. And the thought of having salad tongs by my whoo ha was scary.

Before delivery day Amy and I discussed who would be in the room with me. I knew from the very start that I couldn't NOT want her in the room with me. She had to be there for the birth of her child. And I'm so glad she was there. For someone that has never witnessed a birth before, she did amazing! She cheered me on and encouraged me for 2 hours. Brandon wanted to be in the room but midwife only allowed 3 people and I knew I had to have my mom and sister there. But honestly I don't think he wanted to see any of that!! I didn't. And I wouldn't want to if it was my sister having the baby. And there's absolutely no modesty in the delivery room. It's not like how its portrayed in the movies at all. Maybe I'll feel differently next time, but it would feel weird to have my husband in the room. Its hard and its gory. But I felt SO much empowerment by having the most influential women holding my leg and my hand and cheering me on through the whole rough process.

Finally at 7:37 Olivia Diane was born at 6 pounds 4 oz and 19 and a half inches of pure adorableness. I've always disliked kids and been so afraid of babies, but it was a different new kind of feeling. Like a euphoria. Maybe it was because I was tired, or hangry, or drugged up. But I fell so in love with that baby for the first time. I held her at arms length the whole pregnancy and now I couldn't help but fall in love with her. She had the most beautiful brown curious eyes and my lips. Amy stayed with me the first night and we couldn't sleep. I loved seeing how everyone fell in love with this tiny little new human.

We had 2 wonderful but hard days in the hospital. It was easy to be a single mom when the nurses take the baby to the nursery so you could sleep. I tried as hard as I could to stay awake as long as possible so I could soak up every moment as just "mom". But by the end of the day it really started to hit me that our time was running out and I would have to sign papers and leave empty handed. It was not a fond memory at all. I don't want to remember those times as times where I cried at the drop of a hat. The paperwork was so overwhelming and social workers didn't care if I felt overwhelmed and wanted time alone with Olivia and Amy. That's one of the few drawbacks of a private adoption. I had a stranger as a social worker that didn't know me or wasn't sensitive to me as a birth mom even though the hospital claimed to be birth mom advocates. The bad experiences are one of the reasons why I want to be so open about our story. They should know how to handle those situations and its so disappointing that they don't.

Amy and Brandon's lawyer said this is the first time he has seen an adoption be so loving and peaceful. Usually it wasn't such a good situation. But as I signed the 50 million papers and cried hysterically, I only thought of my promise I made to Olivia to place her in the arms of parents that could provide her the life that I couldn't. Absolutely HARDEST thing I've ever done and hope to never go through something so hard. There was no way I could smile or laugh. All I wanted to do was cry. I didn't know how I was going to move forward at that point. I had to but I didn't know where to start. I couldn't have changed my mind though. My parents would have supported me. It would have been just as hard as placing though. I know I would have had many break downs trying to care for a newborn on my own. And I didn't want to break Amy and Brandon's heart either. For 4 months we all prepared for the arrival of their daughter. I couldn't change my mind for my own selfish reasons. More than anything I wanted to but it wasn't the plan and purpose God had for me.

As I left the hospital a nurse told me that I was brave and that it was something she couldn't have ever done 10 years ago. And now that I've been through the fire I know adoption isn't for everyone. Its not everyone's plans like it was mine.

I was determined to move forward and heal so I could go back to work in 2 weeks. I gave myself 2 days to cry on the couch and talk myself out of all the negative and suicidal thoughts I had. I didn't know how to live without the baby I created. Spending 9 months with your body saying you are going to be a mom but your mind saying no is difficult. So I did what every other crazy stubborn person would do and took cruz to the dog park 2 days post partum. NOT the best idea but I was so determined to feel like me again. Cruz was and is my therapy. He was there to make me laugh when I felt sad and when I needed the tears to be wiped away. He was so cuddly. Almost like he knew I was feeling grief and pain. Those 2 weeks were so hard with no distractions. But I did some amazing things to really move forward in that time period. I registered for school again. That was the highlight of my maternity leave. Olivia for sure made me grow up and I started to see my priorities since having her. My future was going to start being a priority along with school and finally getting into my passion of....criminal justice and psychology with a possible minor in sociology. No idea where God will take me next but its time to stop living my life through forensic files. Whether its getting into forensics or counseling other women going through crisis pregnancies, well see where God wants me next.

But I will say for now, in the famous words of Sheryl Crow.....

"Everyday is a winding road."

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

God bless the broken road that lead me straight to you

Telling my family my "situation" was so scary and something Ill never forget. Coleton's face was priceless. My dad just hugged me as I bawled my eyes out. He told me that we were going to turn the mistake into a blessing and celebrate this time in my life. My dad was so very supportive and Ill forever be so grateful for that.

So within the few days I scheduled an appointment with the only adoption agency I ever talked to. It did not go as well as Id hoped. They told me that I wanted validation, that my parents wouldn't be grandparents, and that they probably couldn't find a couple willing to have a very open adoption. It was so disappointing. I decided I'd be ok with 4 visits a year. Christmas, birthdays, and a few visits in between. Because I wasn't "giving up" a child. Id hoped the adoptive parents would be an extension to our family. Despite our families disappointment I had hope with the agency and just prayed we could find the parents for my little jelly bean.

My boss had told my franchise owner what was going on and my future plans for the baby. To my surprise she told me that they knew of a couple looking to have an open adoption. I was skeptical at first because I was very green to adoption and the different types. I decided to call her anyway and seek out information on this couple. I have worked for my franchise owner for almost 8 years so I trusted her and have always admired the family life that she has maintained. Working for this couple has opened a lot of doors for me and shaped me to be the independent, hard working lady that I am.

She told me the couple lived an hour and a half away (huge plus), they had a 1 1/2 year old, wife worked part time at a vet office and husband was an engineer. They are a little older than me and have been married for a while. I really liked everything I heard about them. Initially I wanted the baby to be an only child so he/she would be spoiled but that wasn't going to be a deal breaker for me. If they could be great parents to one child I had no doubt they could love and care for two. Amy had emailed me within minutes and I'm not going to lie that kind of impressed me. I had plans to grill her like a detective because this was a serious process. So I called Amy when I got off of work and we clicked instantly. We both had similar childhoods and she was so easy to talk to. It felt like talking to an old friend. The best part was they were willing to have a very open adoption! I texted my best friend and told him before I even called him that I felt like I found her parents.

Shortly after we me It was very nerve wracking but luckily my dad and sister went with me too. Their opinion really mattered to me because we are going to combine our families. And that's exactly what happened.

Soon Amy and I were texting every single day. It was so awesome. They went to doctors appointments with me, shopped for the nursery, even did a gender reveal and maternity pictures. Those were things I wouldn't have done by myself at this time. We celebrated the heck out of the baby and really built a relationship. And that's something I thank God for all of the time. I wanted Olivia's future parents to be a part of my pregnancy because its something Amy couldn't experience. And because they agreed to have a very open adoption with me. Id be missing out on parenthood. But as we grew closer they suggested we have once a month visits. And family night. It was a dream come true!! Everything we all prayed for. And they made a crisis pregnancy a beautiful thing all because of this little girl.

Of course I still dealt with sadness and guilt. I felt it a lot. But because of my support system and faith, my feelings subsided. And I always stayed completely honest with Amy. I had a lot of doubt closer to my due date. I know it scared the crap out of her. Its not easy hearing that theres a chance you wont get a baby. Our relationship gave me strength. I couldn't break 3 hearts because of my love for Amy and Olivia. I knew no matter what I had to break my own heart so that Olivia could have everything I couldn't provide.

Private adoptions can be tricky. You don't really have the "middle man" controlling how often birth mom sees the child or receives pictures. But it has worked out way better for us. Amy could have promised the world and taken it all away when she received the baby. I knew she wouldn't because I had so much trust in her. I felt like a surrogate through the rest of my pregnancy. Despite what people said. Because I would be missing the joy of parenthood. God knew what he was doing when he placed Amy and Brandon in my life. His touch was in every detail.

"We should not be asking who this child belongs to, but who belongs to this child"