We were sitting in the waiting room, anxiously awaiting news of whether we’d be allowed into the C-section. I felt what I imagine an expectant father sitting in the waiting room in the 1950′s must have felt while his wife was back in Labor and Delivery giving birth to their child– nervous, helpless, and out of the loop.
About 2 minutes before S. was brought back to the OR, our caseworker came back with the news that S. really just wanted one support person there, and she’d rather not have us there. It might seem weird, but I was so happy that she was able to express her needs, and was happy to honor her decision. We also knew that there were only 2 hospital bands issued to each baby. Birthmothers get one band and they also get to decide who the other band goes to. S decided that the second band should go to her partner. This meant that we would not be able to stay at the hospital. While I was again thrilled that S felt empowered to make the best decision for her needs, I also knew this could really bum us out. We didn’t know exactly what to think or do, or whether this meant anything about our prospects for adoption.
It’s at a time like this that it REALLY helps to have an awesome caseworker. Ours aggressively reassured us and went into problem solving mode. She had great relationships with the nurses at our hospital, and began networking to see if she could get a 3rd hospital band for us. She also positioned us outside the OR so that we could potentially hear when the baby cried, and be the first people to see the baby on the way to the nursery. She set the tone for the rest of our experience.
At 9:58 am, we heard a hearty infant cry and we knew the baby was out and breathing. Shortly thereafter, the baby was rolled out of the OR and to the nursery. My very first thought on seeing the baby was “Wow! This baby needs some more stimulation!” (common after C-sections.) We still had not had a confirmation of the sex of the baby either, though I thought I heard rumblings of girl from those leaving the OR.
When birthfather was brought to the nursery, we were allowed to enter with him as long as we had his permission. We tried to give him some space to meet the baby and interact, but it quickly became 3 of us cooing over this brand new beautiful creature. Without intending to, I began doing a newborn exam and removed the diaper to reveal that the baby was definitely a girl!!! She perked up with regular newborn care.
I found myself letting my guard down and allowing myself a tiny bit of feeling for this beautiful baby girl. By the time I fed and bathed her, I was wrapped around her tiny little finger. It was so special to share that nursery time with Maisie’s birthfather, and observing how tender and loving he was towards her. He was so gracious to share those precious moments with us and we will be forever grateful to him! He gave Maisie a name of his own, and a card for the bassinet was made with that name. We decided that in order to respect his preference that we wouldn’t put a second card with our preferred name. We could bestow our preferred name as we got closer to discharge.
We all took turns letting various family members into the nursery to greet this new soul to the world. It was really touching to see the different emotional responses to this brand new family member who was going to go home with an unrelated family.
Then, miraculously and quietly, one of the nurses came up to me and slipped me an ID bracelet. She set it up so that we could stay overnight and have access to the nursery. What a gift! Later, our caseworker told us that she had received a definitive “no” on issuing a 3rd bracelet, so we were all thrilled that someone reversed that decision and allowed us time for deeper bonding.
We were allowed to go to our own room with the baby. It felt so weird to have permission to do that on our own without supervision. We had a couple blissful hours of quiet time, unaware of anything going on outside. It wasn’t until our caseworker came to see us that we knew there were growing family issues coming to a head in the other room that we would have to face…
Stay tuned for that part of the story in Part III!
Mrs. Jacks on Adoption part 11 of 151. Which Road Should We Take? by Mrs. Jacks
2. Baby steps by Mrs. Jacks
3. Doubts and dreams by Mrs. Jacks
4. Preparing Little Jacks by Mrs. Jacks
5. We’re not worthy! We’re not worthy! by Mrs. Jacks
6. Even more choices… and these are heavy! by Mrs. Jacks
7. Impressions by Mrs. Jacks
8. Creating an adoption profile by Mrs. Jacks
9. Openness in adoption: striking the right balance by Mrs. Jacks
10. The birth story, adoption-style by Mrs. Jacks
11. The birth story, adoption style Part II by Mrs. Jacks
12. The birth story, adoption-style Part III by Mrs. Jacks
13. Monthly birth parent updates by Mrs. Jacks
14. Where to begin? Maybe at the end… by Mrs. Jacks
15. Breastfeeding the adopted child by Mrs. Jacks