Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Baby E's birth story: Part III

It was approximately 9:40pm. Baby E was taken over to get checked out. R's mom immediately went over, so I felt compelled to stay with her; it just didn't seem right to abandon her just because the baby had finally been born. She was watching him and asking me questions I couldn't answer (because I was with her, not him), so after several minutes I asked her if it would be okay to go check on him and take some pictures. She nodded. He was screaming. I think he was cold, which, to this day, is the state of being he most hates. I went back and forth between him and R, letting her know what they were doing with him. I finally got to hold him, and was able to be the one to hand him to her, for her to hold for the first time. She stared and stared at him. I knew immediately that she loved this baby, this adorable, screaming little creature. Really, she didn't take her eyes off him the whole time we were in the hospital. It was intense. At times it felt like voyeurism, for us to be there.

Somewhere in the midst of all that I was texting people and letting them know E had been born (maybe you got one of those texts!). Also hubby came running back in to meet our new son. He couldn't get baby E out of my arms soon enough :) Baby E got his first bath (he was not a fan - again, I think because he got cold). He was having a hard time keeping his temperature up, so he had to stay under the warmer for a long time (an hour maybe?). We were talking with R and her mom as well as the nurses throughout this time. Finally, they determined that he was stable and ready to move. R told them I wanted to nurse baby E and that she was in full support of this. This was such a huge gift from her, because in order to nurse at the hospital I had to have her permission. Remember, at this time, baby E was hers in every sense. So, R went off to the mother-baby unit, and we went to the nursery to try to nurse for the first time.

That moment, when we were preparing to leave for the nursery, it was the first time she had to say goodbye to him. It was the first time they had been separated. It was intense. It was emotional. The excitement I felt about getting to nurse him was really overshadowed by the sadness I felt - it was obvious the grieving started for her, just a little, right then. She kissed him in his little bassinet and left the room. We were taken to the nursery, and found ourselves alone with baby E for the first time.

It was after 1am. I was super excited. Hubby was super exhausted. The nursing staff was wonderful and found/created a little private corner in the nursery for us. I strapped on the SNS for the first time in 4 years and tried, tried really hard to nurse. And baby E, well, he just slept. He was more than 4 hours old by that time, and he was just exhausted, much too tired to eat. We tried for about an hour. I realized hubby was tired, and though he was trying to be patient, his patience was running out. I finally, sadly, accepted that it wasn't going to happen that night and that we would try again the next day.

We had asked the nurses earlier if we would be able to stay there with baby E. Unfortunately, the floor was super busy and didn't even have enough rooms for all the mommas in labor - there was no way they could spare a room for us. So, we left the hospital, without our baby. It was one of the most exhausting days ever, and I didn't even give birth.

Today's lesson - what I learned from that day, well, one of the many things I learned from that day, was that adoption is still very unusual in our society. Even the professionals we expect to be familiar with it, and know how to respond, don't necessarily. The nurses and doctors were kind to us and most importantly to R (which unfortunately was not the case with the kid and his birthmom). However, they were clearly uncomfortable with the whole situation and because of it I think they tried to just completely avoid the whole topic. Which, really, is funny because hubby and I were quite literally the elephants in the middle of the room. What I've realized in the last couple of months is that the desire for normalization of adoption is one of the reasons why I do this blog. I don't know how we do that, other than talking about it. So, more "talking" will happen tomorrow as I blog some more.

1 comment:

Myra said...

love the story...I'm glad you've decided to share!