Monday, April 18, 2011

Leaving the hospital

It was finally time for Sammy to be discharged from the hospital! The pediatrician came in, checked him out and we were good to go. It was so exciting and nerve wrecking putting him into the car seat for the first time. We left the hospital and headed to the condo. We weren't sure how much longer we would be in Florida so we rented a condo instead of staying in a hotel the entire time.

"Signing" Day

We arrived at the hospital with lunch for BM & BF around noon. We sat in the waiting room until they were all finished with their legal consents and working with the lawyer. Then we see BM, BF, lawyer & social worker come out of the elevator. It was like a sigh of relief as they were all dressed up and had smiles on their faces. The lawyer came over to us and said "Congratulations!" We hugged BM & BF and told them how grateful we were to them. I could tell they were emotional but knew this was the right thing for everyone. They went outside to share some time alone and we went upstairs to see Sammy. On the way up the lawyer said, "he is all yours! Everything has been signed properly and you are now parents!" At that moment we all just lost it and started crying. It was very emotional hearing those words and knowing this journey is starting a new chapter. We went to the nursery and we were let in with no problems this time! We fed Sam and then met up again with the BM. She was very emotional this time and just wanted to make sure we keep in touch because our children are biological siblings and might need each other one day. We told her we definitely want to keep in touch. They honestly feel like family to us and I would love more than anything to have them in our lives in someway. BM got packed up and then left the hospital. It was very emotional seeing her go as it might be the last time we actually see her. We plan to keep in touch through letters and pictures but not actual visits. I have never felt so close to someone in such a short period of time. I truly will miss her and BF.

Sammy had one more night in the hospital so we spent the day in the nursery hanging out in our "closet" that they gave us. It was the circumcision room that was really a closet. It was quite amusing! We had such a great time spending the day with Sam. Mom & Glen finally got to feed him too! It was great having the nurses in the same area as we got to ask them lots of questions. I freaked out when Sam got the hiccups only to find out that they are normal, along with sneezing all the time!

Sam was not able to be circumcised in the hospital as Medicaid does not pay for it. So we had to find a doctor that accepted our insurance that would have time in the next few days to do the procedure. Our attorney found us a few pediatricians so we called and set up an appointment for the following day.

Monday, April 4, 2011

March 15, 2011

We got back to the nursery in time for Sam's next feeding. We were told to knock on the door and the nurses would let me in. I knocked on the door and the nurse on duty asked who I was. I told her and she said, "something happened last night, have you spoken to the BM yet?" My heart immediately dropped and I began to panic. Those words are not something that you say to a mother who has already lost a child. The thoughts racing through our minds were that something happened to Sam or that the BM had changed her mind. The nurse then said the hospital messed up and they shouldn't have issued me a band to have access into the nursery, even though the BM had wanted me to have it. They said that it could pressure the BM to place the baby for adoption and that it was not allowed in their hospital. Then the nurse cut the band off of me and said that the only way we could see Sam was if he was in the room with the BM. We left the nursery and I was in tears. How could this happen? How can our baby be in the nursery with no parent to care for him? He needed us.

We called our social worker and told her and she was aware of the situation and was trying to resolve it if possible. In the meantime, we had brought BM breakfast so we went to her room to see her. She had just woken up and was told in the middle of the night of what had happened. She was terribly upset that we weren't allowed to see him so she kindly had Sam brought into her room for us to care for him there. I was completely amazed at her generousity as she didn't have to do that and I can't imagine how hard that had to be for her to be with him in the room all day.

Sam was brought to the room and we fed him, held him and changed his diapers there for several hours. We then left the hospital fairly early that evening to have dinner and finally go to sleep. We had been up around 48 hours at this point with one hour of sleep.

On our way to dinner, the attorney called to see how things were going. She was thrilled about things but still said there is no garantees. She told us that she would be arriving early in the morning at the hospital to do the psychological evaluation on BM and have another attorney present for BM. She said that she would keep us updated by text and to not arrive to the hospital until after noon that next morning. We headed back to our hotel and slept like babies!

The Call

We got the call that BM was going into the early stages of labor on Monday, March 14th around 10:15am. Luckily Glen and I had packed our bags and placed them in the car the night before in hopes that the call might come! We left work and headed to the airport. We had already booked our flights for the following week so we hoped there was room on the next flight out that we could switch ours to. Once we arrived at the airport check-in we were told there were no flights available for the rest of the day. Of course, this was spring break week and everyone was going to Florida! We were devastated but put our names on the next flights stand-by list in hopes that there might just be two empty seats. We went through security, checked-in again and there was one seat that had opened up. Yippee, at least one of us might make it to see our son being born. My mom had arrived at the airport shortly after us and had called the airline earlier and had gotten a seat on that same flight. We had 2 seats now, so mom was going to give her seat to me so Glen & I could both go on the same flight. We went up to the check-in area once more to get the seats switched from her to me. The desk clerk said there was no more seats available so mom would have to fly out the next morning. After a few minutes of typing in his computer as they do, he said, "well, it is your lucky day - another seat has just come available." Mom and I immediately began to cry and the clerk probably thought we were nuts! We were all 3 on the next flight out and hopefully going to make it in time for the birth!!!! The flight which is about 2 hours 45 minutes seemed to take forever but we finally arrived in Florida around 5:30pm. Well, since we had flown stand-by our bags were on another flight that wasn't to arrive until 6:10pm. We decided to get our rental car and wait for the bags. The flight our bags were on was delayed about 20 minutes so we didn't wind up getting our bags until 6:30pm. We had just received a text from the social worker that the BM water had broke and she was getting the epidural. Still waiting for our bags, I am thinking.....we are going to miss it. Finally, our bags arrived except for my moms. They were on a completely different flight and wouldn't arrive until later that night. We worked it out with the airport that they would deliver moms bags to the hotel we were to stay at. Off to the hospital we went! We were greeted at the hospital by the social worker and her daughter. They had spent a good part of the day with BM & BF as they got checked into the hospital. We were taken to BM's room and had all kinds of emotions as we didn't know what to expect at this point. We were delighted to see BM & BF in the room doing fine. We had a great time catching up with them and talking about all the preparations we have made for Samuel's room since our last meeting. Around 10:00pm the nurse checked BM and she had only dialated to 2 so it was still going to be awhile. We left the room while BM & BF went to sleep. Glen, Mom & I would spent the next several hours in the hospital waiting room. Boy did we have an interesting experience! We saw many interesting "cases" of pregnant women/girls pass by as the night went on. The most interesting was a lady that was brought in on a stretcher by the EMT's. I guess she had waited too long and couldn't drive herself. I heard the EMT's say she had a ton of kids already at home. As she was wheeled through into the Labor & Delivery rooms we heard her scream like I have never heard before! She was too late to have an epidural, ouch!! They put her in her room, we heard screaming at the top of her lungs for about 10 minutes and then we heard a baby cry. She delivered a large child and we were glad it was over as was everyone else on that side of the hospital!

Around 2:00am BF came and got Glen and I as BM had progressed to a 10. We thought it was time but soon found we would wait another 2 hours before the arrival of Sam. We sat in the room with BM & BF those 2 hours and had more conversations about life, cars, favorite drinks, jobs, etc. It was a great time to really get to know them a little bit better. I am so thankful for those few hours. The nurse came in to check BM once again and had her do one push. One push was enough so they called for the doctor to come quick! Samuel was coming whether the doctor was there or not! Finally the doctor arrived, got everything set up and BM pushed 2 more times and out came Sam! He was huge! 8 lbs. 11 oz. and crying like he should have. It was such an overwhelming experience to be in the room and we are so grateful to the birthparents for allowing us the opportunity. It was time to cut the umbilical cord and earlier the BF had asked Glen if he would do it. So, Glen cut the umbilical cord as every other father has the opporutunity to do. They then had BM hold baby for a few minutes and then he was passed to us to hold. It was the most amazing moment of our lives. We were finally holding our child that we have waited so long for. He was absolutely perfect. The nurses then took him to clean him up, weigh and measure him. We were so thrilled! And BM made labor look so easy! She didn't even break a sweat and her make-up was all still in place.

We left the room as BM & BF were obviously tired and needed their rest. We followed Sam as he was wheeled into the nursery for the night. The BM had given me a wrist band so that I could go in and feed him as needed. I was lucky to get to be the first one to feed him around 6:00am. Boy was that a nerve wrecking experience. I was in the nursery as mom and Glen watched through the windows. They could tell I had no clue what to do! The nurses in the nursery that night were wonderful and helped me along with every step of the process. Once Sam was full he was swaddled up and went to sleep. We left to go check in to the hotel and get cleaned up. At this point, we had been up over 24 hours with no sleep.

We checked into the hotel, rested for about an hour, showered and went back to the nursery to feed Sam again.