Sunday, July 29, 2012
They say I'm not your mother But what do they know. What makes a mother? Is it the blood that runs through our veins? Surely our blood has crossed while you were nestled in the depths of my womb. So surely I am your mother. Is it the genetic link that we do not share? Science has shown that your genes now run through my veins. They are shared between us and us alone. So surely I am your mother. Is it love? For love is the reason I stayed. Love is the reason I ran. Love is the reason I fought. And love is what I still feel. Is it because I signed a paper that states you are no longer mine? I wonder at times why I did sign that paper. Then I remember the wonderful people that I signed that paper for. The people who want to love you and care for you in ways I don't know how to. That paper allowed you to have the best future I could possibly give you. So surely I am your mother. For a mother is not who is biologically 'yours' A mother is not only the one who's genetics make your own. A mother doesn't yearn merely for control, No, a mother is so much more. A mother holds you close and loves you with all her heart. A mother makes choices and sacrifices so that you can have everything. A mother loves, and hates; laughs and cries; rejoices and despairs; for everything that her child endures. And if that is a mother. Then surely, I am your mother. Weeks have passed, and yet I am still not sure that I am through the woods as far as my own feelings go. Most days I feel alright, as though I can continue with my day to day, taking care of the girls, acting as though I was not missing anything. But in the quiet of the night, things are very different. My heart is no longer complete; something pulls at me like a string on my finger, reminding me that there is something that I do not have. There are many nights that have been spent pacing the apartment, tears streaming down my face. I know my hormones are still out of whack, but not all of this can be attributed to postpartum emotions. People have said that I am in mourning, and I guess this is partially true. My daughter lays in a hospital room, with people surrounding her that she does not know; those that know nothing of our journey. The person who stays with her, night and day, is not me. I walk into her room, and the nurses ask who I am; I am a stranger. In some strange way I feel as though I'm abandoning her. I love Baby S dearly, and of course I want what is best for her. Through my entire pregnancy and the early days of her birth I have asserted that I believe that the best place for her is with her adoptive family. There are many reasons that I believe this to be so, and my opinion has not changed in that regard. Maybe it's just the postpartum hormones, but even though my head tells me I"m right, my heart is still aching with feelings of having abandoned my baby. These feelings are exacerbated by the facts that I have been unable to go to the hospital as much as I'd like, not being able to provide her with breastmilk, and the day quickly approaching where she is going to go to Boston and I will still be here. Part of me is jealous that others will be the ones who will get to experience her growing up. The first steps, first words, all those are going to be something that I will have to experience second-hand. All these things that I had prepared myself, at one time, to experience as her mother, now I must experience as an onlooker. And the worst thing of all; my own two children. Little girls who have become accustomed to going to the hospital to see this little baby. They remember me pregnant with her; they know she was in my belly. They have been by my side as I have taken care of her, and they have come to think of her as 'our baby'. I look at them, and I see how much they love her, and my heart breaks for them. I am not the only one who has gotten used to the idea of having this baby around. But long nights become busy days, the memories and the awkwardness will fade, and in time all of this will be just another story in the neverending saga of my life and the lives of my children. We will all be better for our experiences, and Baby S will be in the best position I could possibly have put her in. After all, that's what I've been working for all along.
Thursday, July 26, 2012
The day had arrived. What would forever be remembered in my mind as one of the top 10 worst days in my life. Worst part? Up until the morning of, I still didn't know it was going to happen. After getting confirmation from the IPs lawyer on Tuesday that they were signing the paperwork declaring a denial of interest in custody of Baby S, it was a matter of if the papers would arrive to MI in time for court at 10:30am. With all the shady dealings from the lawyer up until that point, I had serious doubts that it would happen, so I was completely in shock when on Wednesday morning I received an email stating that the paperwork had been received and the court proceedings could happen as scheduled. I was in complete shock, all of a sudden everything clicked into place and it all became very, very real. I was going to court to give up my rights to this child; the child that I had sacrificed everything for. I had to tell a judge that I wanted nothing to do with my sweet Baby S, when nothing could actually be further from the truth. I don't think I stopped crying for more than a few moments that entire day. Driving to the court house, in court, driving home, going to the hospital, and for many hours as I sat there holding Baby S and not wanting to let her go. I wanted to go back and tell that judge I had changed my mind so badly, but I couldn't. I felt like I was giving up. I felt like all that sacrifice meant nothing, because I wasn't fighting anymore. I was passing the 'problem' (it feels horrible to refer to her like that) along to someone else. I had gotten so accustomed to fighting for this child' being one of the few people advocating for her welfare, that relinquishing control tore at my heart. To do it, especially with the change in plans that had so suddenly occurred, was torture. I had been preparing myself to bring this baby home, even if only for a short time. That was what we had expected to happen upon initial discharge, which had now been postponed twice. I had already lost out on my week, even my last few days, of baby time, and I felt a bit cheated. I felt like the hospital was possibly keeping us there because of the legal issues; out of concern for the situation and not really concern for the baby. My head was spinning and my emotions were out of control. It took a few days, but I did finally remember all the reasons that I knew this was the best decision. When I got to the hospital after signing the papers in court, I spent the next few hours sitting with Baby S alone and crying to her to forgive me. She was very agitated, and I know that she could feel the tension, distress and upset that I carried and it upset her. I fought to regain my control for the sake of my daughter. MY daughter. As I calmed down I recounted all the reasons that the choice I had made was the best for all of us. Baby S's adoptive parents are wonderful, fabulous people, and I know that they understand the unique bond that she and I share. I have a very good trusting relationship with them and I truly believe that they will keep me aprised of her progress and important events. I will still get to be a part of her life, in whatever facet we are all comfortable with, and I feel as though I have gained a new extension of my family in them. They are much better equipped to handle all the special care she will require as she grows, and they are ready, willing, and able to do this. The one thing that gives me the most peace is knowing that as Baby S grows and develops, I will still be able to do the two things that I have promised her from the moment I decided to continue the pregnancy against the IPs wishes: I will always be there for you and I will never give up on you
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
As of today, when I visited in the hospital, Baby S has been moved back to the floor! Yay!!! We are all so happy that she is on her way back up the ladder. Yesterday was the PCTU, today is the Moderate Care Unit.. next will be the general care floor before she can go home!! With the move to MCU we have gained: A private room again :) Our old team of doctors and residents <3 and="" br="" her="" know="" love="" who=""> A renewed sense of hope that, yes, eventually we WILL leave the hospital! The team stopped by to say hi as soon as we got there and let us know that they missed us! So sweet! We love you guys!! 3>
Today is July 25th, 2012. Nobody will see this post today, but it is important that I post it nonetheless. Baby S is one month old today!
She is the fiery one. She is my Sweet S!
She is the fiery one. She is my Sweet S!
Friday, July 20, 2012
So to pick up where we left off: Friday- Cervadil induction scheduled. 11pm insertion, scheduled for 11am removal and start of Pitocin if necessary at 12pm. Saturday- induction cancelled. Sent home As stated in the previous post, I was determined to go into the hospital in labor on Sunday. So we spent Sunday doing all the things that are suggested to put a woman into labor. Lots of sex, nipple stimulation with my pump, walking, and I even ate some spicy salsa (eww btw). As a last resort I tried an enema, which did absolutely nothing but produce ONE really long good contraction. I was done. We went in to the hospital at 8:30, as instructed. Immediately upon getting into the hospital waiting room my contractions (which had subsided the entire time we were at home) picked up to their previous rate of 5-7 minutes apart. We were told that because of the cardiac situation and staffing concerns they would not be starting my induction process until midnight. I was contracting anyways, and there was nothing we could do about it, so we settled in and took our time setting up the room and getting ready for the night. We had the same ditzy nurse, but she was a little bit more prepared for us this time and had the tub room ready and knew not to ask me to change into the stupid hospital gown. And at midnight, true to their word, they started the pitocin! I wasn't chancing it with the cervadil again, I was going straight for the good stuff. I spent the first couple of hours in bed, watching a movie with Jeremy while hooked up to the monitors. I had brought my body markers and wrote the cue words of 'peace' 'release' 'love' and 'let go' on my arms and hands. When I felt like things were picking up a bit I asked for the nurse to go find the telemetry monitors so that I could get up and move around. I got a ball also and sat on that for a while while she looked for the wireless pieces for the monitors, and totally lost myself in the zone of labor.
She's here! Forgive me for waiting almost a month to write this post, but the last few weeks have been so crazy that I can't even wrap my head around it. Now that things have settled down a little, I'll write out the birth story of my precious babe: I was reaching the 40 week mark. This was something I had not expected, not by a long shot. I had been told by so many doctors that I would not make it to 40 weeks, that IVF babies came around 37 weeks, that heart babies tended to come early. There was no way I was going to make it to my due date of June 25th. No way. I had it in my head that she would be here before the 18th. On June 11th my mom and I joked that she would share a birthday with the baby. That I was 'forbidden' to have her on that day. It was ok though, I was convinced she was coming somewhere between the 14th and the 18th. I was severely disappointed when it was revealed to me that Jeremy and my father would not be able to come until the following week. They arrived on the 21st, and I was still not in labor. I'd had all of my 'final' tests, and since I was nearing my due date, all that was left were the weekly non-stress tests that they recommend for all heart babies. I was a little worried that I hadn't gone into labor yet, so I kept my appointment on June 22nd and we went in to see how the little punk was doing. She was very happy in her little world, sleeping through most of the test (except the end when she decided to wake up and make the machines happy finally) and I had a chat with the social worker and the geneticist about procedures, ongoing legal stuff, and my concerns with carrying much further into the future. I had been having contractions that were more intense than braxton hicks, but not very strong and about 20 minutes apart during the day that day, and I was finally starting to feel like maybe labor was coming. I had an appointment scheduled with the OB's office later that day, and after speaking with the on-call doctor it was decided that they would do a membrane sweep to try and get labor moving before I left that day. If that didn't work I was to report for induction at 7pm. The doctors were comfortable with my dates, labor was starting on it's own, and with the time restraints of having my family in town for a short period of time, we felt it was best to give the little lady a little 'push' to come into the world. After my appointment Jeremy, the kids, and I did some serious walking. We walked all over campus in an attempt to get things moving. I was having contractions, they were a bit more intense and as close as 10 minutes apart, but not very strong and not progressing. So, at 7pm we gathered our overnight bags and headed to the hospital. I was determined to give my body as much of a chance to pick things up on it's own, so I opted for an application of Cervadil before starting pitocin in the morning; hoping things would pick up on their own and we could avoid the full induction. However, getting into the hospital and ready took forever. Our nurse was a little bit ditzy (she really should have been blonde) and had to find us a room with a tub as I had requested, and was generally just very slow. The Cervadil went in at 11pm. Jeremy and I tried to relax. Watched a movie, tried to sleep. Contractions continued through the night, woke me up a few times, but I still managed to get some decent rest in between. In the morning I got up and they were still coming. Still not as strong as I'd expected, but 5-6 minutes apart. We walked the halls, sat on the ball, etc. And then it happened. Around 11am I buzzed the nurse to see when the Cervadil would be coming out. She came in and said they were just waiting for the doctors. So we waited. And waited.. And waited some more. Finally around 12:30 I just took it out myself. We waited until 2pm before anybody came into the room. When they came in, it was as a group, and there was no talk of pitocin, no planning, nothing. I was so ready to have the baby, and they completely shut me down. They had a cardiac baby who had been born the night before, and the weekend cardiac team was not ready for us. If at all possible they wanted to keep the baby from being born while the weekend staff was on, and wait for the normal weekday shift people to be back in-house. So the induction was off, and I was going home. They also refused to check and see if I'd dialated any further than the 2-3cm and 60% I'd been when I went in Friday night. I was devastated. Immediately my contractions slowed, and by the time we walked out of the hospital they were only coming every 15-20 minutes again. I cried the whole way home, and for a while afterwards. We'd been re-scheduled to come in Sunday night, and by the end of the day Saturday I was determined to go in there IN LABOR.