Thursday, June 23, 2011

Anxiously Waiting

At the end of our dinner with our birth mom and her parents, they asked us if we would like to come to her next ultrasound. I personally was so excited to go because the only ultrasounds I had ever had were for things having to do with our IVF procedures and I really wanted to see the other side of things not dealing with infertility. We were very taken aback that they even wanted to include us in that experience and it just showed us once again what nice people they were.

The day of the ultrasound I left work early and Eric skipped out on track practice to be there. It was really important to us that we be there to support the birth family because we knew that it was just as hard for them to be in this situation as it was for us. They too had been on a difficult journey to get to this point...a very different journey then us, but a difficult one no less.

The ultra sound went really well. It was fun to see our baby on the screen, but I teared up a bit just out of wanting it to be me on the table, not our birth mom. It was just one more thing that I wasn't going to be able to do. I wanted more than anything to be at an ultrasound because I was carrying our own child and I was surprised at the emotions that came up again being in those offices. I felt guilty having tears rolling down my face knowing that I should be really excited and happy that our birth family was even allowing us to be at the appointment with them.

At the end of the appointment, the birth family let us have the ultra sound pictures to keep. I felt bad taking them because it all still felt surreal and didn't quite feel like our baby yet. It was like taking something important away from them and I didn't want to do that at all! We did end up taking the pictures and now I am glad we did because we will have them forever and can share them in the future with our baby.

As we were talking and getting ready to leave, we decided that we wanted to tell them the name we had chosen. They told us at our initial meeting what the sex of the baby was, but we had decided to keep it a secret from our family and friends. We wanted to surprise them at the birth and wanted to have something to hang on to as our own until the baby was born. I remember telling our birth family the baby's name and seeing the smile on our birthmom's face made me know that we had chosen a good one! They really liked the name and that made us feel good. We felt like we were all on the same page and could continue to move forward with the process.

Sometime between the ultrasound and the birth, we again met for dinner. This time we met our birthmom's aunt and uncle. It was great to meet more of their family and know that she had such a support system behind her. Every time we were around them, I was reminded that she was only 17. I kept thinking about what I was doing when I was her age and I'm not sure I could have handled this type of situation as well as she was. She seemed to be doing really well, but I know that going to school each day and being around her friends while pregnant could not have been easy. I wanted to reassure her that everything would be okay and we would be there to support her, but we didn't know her that well yet and I didn't want to overstep our boundaries. I so wanted to just hug her tight and tell her how proud I was of her for the decision she was making. I did finally hug her at one point (can't remember when) and told her some of the things I had been wanting to say for a long time.

There was only about a month or so between the time that we met the family and when the baby was due. We had just enough time to finish our nursery and begin to gather the things we would need to have for the baby when we came home from the hospital. At first I thought we wouldn't have enough time to get ready, but now looking back, it was the perfect amount of time. I don't think I could have waited much longer, so it worked out well!

With a social worker from our agency, the birth family made a hospital plan. They were kind enough to include us on the plan and we would be able to have our own room and be notified by a nurse when she went into labor. When the due date got close, we started taking our phones to bed with us and I kept my phone out on my desk at school. I always had it on vibrate so that it wouldn't disrupt my classroom. It was SO hard to not look at it every second to see if we had a message!

Then one day I was just teaching and going about my everyday classroom business when for some reason I decided to look at my phone. It had buzzed but I didn't hear it because my kindergarteners were loud and busy working. I didn't recognize the number, but there was a message so I checked it. It was a nurse from the hospital calling to say that our birthmom had gone into labor and that we could come to the hospital now. The birth was not imminent, but we needed to come as soon as we could.

I quickly tried to get a hold of my husband at his school, but didn't get an answer on his cell phone. I left my class with another teacher and ran down to my principal's office to see who could cover my class. She said she would call over to my husband's school for me. She called and we finally got a hold of him after several minutes of waiting. My principal told me not to worry about my class and to go ahead and leave. I was shaking, shaking, shaking. Here was the moment we had been waiting for and I was scared out of my mind! I met my husband at home, we quick threw some things in a bag, and headed up to the hospital. We tried to hurry, but also didn't want to get a speeding ticket! It seemed like the longest drive ever. I just wanted to get there before our baby was born.

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