Thursday, April 27, 2006
It wasn't supposed to work this way! (Part 4)
I left off in Part 3 with awaiting the birth of Snuggle Bug.

Before continuing, I'd like to elaborate on something that I touched on in a previous entry. I mentioned that I was terrified that Giselle or Quinn would change their mind at some point before or right after the birth of their baby.

Logically we knew that, although they both seemed quite determined with the adoption plan for their baby, they would still have to re-make that decision again after he was born. Even though Quinn had terminated his parental rights before the baby was born (in this state the father can sign before, but not the mother), I knew that he still could change his mind after the baby was born and convince Giselle not to place.

Knowing all of this, we promised ourselves not to get crazy with buying stuff for the baby. It had nothing to do with spending money, it had everything to do with our feeble efforts not to become emotionally attached. There was one awkward conversation when Giselle asked us how we had decorated the nursery for Snuggle Bug and we admitted, "We thought it best not to do that until after his birth." We didn't want to offend her or seem unexcited about the baby, but we wanted to be honest in letting her know that we felt we didn't have the right to do this beforehand. My younger sister wanted to throw us a baby shower so that we'd be prepared before he was born. I asked her to wait and throw him a "Welcome" shower instead.

I explain all of this because I was reminded of it again, as the hour of Snuggle Bug's birth drew near. The time was upon us when Quinn and Giselle would have to re-make their decision about placing their baby for adoption.

Although Oronzo and I attempted to sleep around midnight, I wasn't very successful. I was too keyed up to sleep. While Oronzo was snoring away in a chair beside me, I was journaling to keep my sanity. I think I finally dozed off around 2:30 a.m. but woke up at 4:30 a.m. and began pacing the halls in the waiting room outside Giselle's room.

Shortly after 5:00 a.m., Giselle's mom (to be referred to as "Clara") came out to tell me that the nurse checked and Giselle was fully dilated to 10 cm and the baby was ready to come! They were frantically trying to get a doctor on the floor and two nurses began "suiting up" thinking they may have to deliver the baby. Luckily, the doctor arrived just in the nick of time!

Once I heard from Clara, I raced back to wake up Oronzo and he got his camera read. Quinn and Giselle's grandmother (to be referred to as "Ellen") were also waiting outside of Giselle's room. Quinn had passed on the opportunity to be Giselle's birthing coach during delivery, so her mom was in the room with her. Quinn and I anxiously paced the hall right outside Giselle's door.

At 6 a.m., we heard several tiny cries, as Snuggle Bug entered the world! Quinn and I looked at each other nervously. Suddenly, the door opened and a nurse placed a warm bundle into my arms and began ushering me quickly down the hall to the room they had set aside for us, explaining that we needed to hurry to keep the baby warm!

I walked quickly towards the room, as Oronzo frantically snapped pictures in front of me.

What were my first impressions? Shock! It all seemed to happen so quickly. 2 minutes after his birth, I was holding this tiny babe who was wrapped in a warm blanket. I looked down at this squirming package and all I could see was dark brown hair going every which way! I remember thinking, "He's so light!"

Ellen followed behind me and I vaguely remember seeing Quinn enter Giselle's room. These were quick impressions as I was being hustled along by the nurse and I was trying to concentrate on walking, fearing I would trip and drop the baby.

Once we got to our room, the nurse took Snuggle Bug from me and placed him in a clear bassinet, with a heat lamp hung above it to keep him warm. She un-wrapped him and began doing the APGAR (Activity, Pulse, Grimace, Appearance, and Respiration) tests on him. We later learned he scored a nine, signifying perfectly healthy responses.

At that point, he began to really wail (his cries sounded like a cat having his tail stepped on, but they weren't really very loud), especially as the nurse suctioned mucus out of his mouth and nose.

I stood there and watched everything the nurse was doing, soaking in every detail of Snuggle Bug. I counted that he had 10 fingers and 10 toes. His fingers were quite long. He had wide full lips that were very red. His body had a healthy pink color (no jaundice apparent). He had the most adorable little button nose. He had a full head of thick dark hair that was wild and sticky with slime from his birth. His skull was handsomely shaped (no cone head or lumps) and his face had delicate features with no apparent bruising. His little penis looked fine. The umbilical cord had already been clamped. He was breathtakingly beautiful and so very tiny!

After my inventory of Snuggle Bug, I peeled my eyes away to do a quick search for Oronzo. He was standing on the other side of the bassinet rapidly snapping pictures. Ellen was standing right beside me devouring the sight of the baby.

Just then, my cell phone rang! It startled me and I answered it without thinking. It was my older sister, checking to see what was going on. Before I could respond, she heard Snuggle Bug cry. She asked if that was him and I said, "Yes, we're in the room with him now. He was just born a few minutes ago and he's absolutely beautiful!" She started crying and then I started crying and laughing at the same time. I told her I had to go and she said she'd let the rest of my family know.

I watched as the nurse finished her cleaning of Snuggle Bug and then she began inking his feet and his hands to make prints. I was amazed at how many sets of foot prints she made on small cards, stamping ink on his tiny feet over and over again. She ended up giving us several copies and Giselle several copies to keep as souvenirs.

Next Snuggle Bug was whisked up and placed on a scale that had been previously wheeled in. He weighed in at a whopping 6 pounds, 11 ounces. We learned later that he was 19" long. He had stopped crying by the time he was being weighed. Pour little mite was just too exhausted by it all.

We got to spend two hours in that room with Snuggle Bug. During those first two hours of his existence, we got to hold him and try to feed him from a tiny preemie bottle. His poor tummy couldn't handle it yet and he puked all over Oronzo's shirt. Oronzo just beamed with joy! I picked up the camera and managed to snap several decent shots of Snuggle Bug with Oronzo.

Ellen stayed in the room with us for quite a bit. She never asked to touch or hold Snuggle Bug, but she watched him closely. Quinn came in briefly and got a good look at him as well. I went back with him to check on Giselle.

When I entered Giselle's room, she was sitting up in her bed and looked pretty good. I walked over and hugged her and told her that Snuggle Bug was perfect! I asked her if she wanted to see or hold him and she said, "No, thank you." I started crying again as I hugged her once more and she returned my hug with a strong squeeze. I asked her if there was anything that she needed and she said, "No. I'm fine. Honestly, that delivery was a lot less painful than I expected!" I told her I was going to get back to Snuggle Bug and that I'd check on her again. She told me that she'd asked to be moved to a room in the GYN Unit and she'd have someone let us know what her room number was when she found out. I left the room, looking back to see Quinn standing beside her, holding her hand, and Clara close by.

Not long after I returned to our room, Clara arrived and asked to hold Snuggle Bug. We willingly handed him over and gave her the rocking chair. "Do you want us to leave you alone?" I asked.

"No, you're fine," she replied absently, as she gazed down at Snuggle Bug and stroked his soft cheek. Oronzo asked if he could take some pictures of her with the baby and she said that'd be fine. Later, when I looked back at those pictures, I saw a portrait of a woman who had had a tough life and had a haunted look upon her face. I know she appreciated having those pictures of herself with her first grandchild.

Eventually, the nurse returned and told us she had to take Snuggle Bug into the interim nursery for further testing. We were all reluctant to let him go, but the nurse reminded me that I had a wristband and could be in the nursery with him. I followed her in and watched them prick his heel to do some blood work and then give him a bath.

I remember being shocked at how vigorously the nurse scrubbed at Snuggle Bug's head with a small with brush! I was afraid she was going to hurt him, but he didn't seem to mind the water or the scrubbing.

The nurse put a preemie diaper on his bottom, leaving the clamped umbilical cord sticking out, and then a little pink and blue stripped stocking cap was placed on his head. A hospital bracelet was placed around his tiny right leg. The nurse laid him in another clear bassinet, with a heat lamp above to keep him warm and he dozed off to sleep for his very first nap! Oronzo got some fantastic pictures through the nursery window as I stood and watched him sleep. He was so very precious.

I noticed that his little identification card said, "Baby ****" using Giselle's last name. The nurse handed me a blank white index card and told me, "You can put his first name on it and decorate it with some holiday stickers, since Christmas is just around the corner."

As I finished taping the decorated card to Snuggle Bug's bassinet, Oronzo motioned for me to come out and I reluctantly stepped away to see what he wanted, then felt bad for excluding him by staying in the nursery for so long. Oronzo was hungry and wanted to grab a bite to eat in the cafeteria. I was at a loss as to how he could think of food, but I agreed to go. I told the nurse where we were going and she assured me they'd take good care of Snuggle Bug for us while we were gone.

Over breakfast, Oronzo and I talked in excited whispers about Snuggle Bug and how amazing he was. We were both head over heals in love with him! I let Oronzo know that I had seen Giselle briefly and he said he'd make a point to go see her as well. We talked about how grateful we were that the hospital staff was being kind to us and seemed to be treating Giselle and Quinn with respect.

I think I might have eaten some food, but I don't quite remember. I just remember being impatient to get back to Snuggle Bug. I hated missing even a minute of time with him.

When I arrived back at the nursery, I heard several babies crying. With utter amazement, I realized that I could tell which cry was coming from Snuggle Bug! I followed the sound to the opposite side of the nursery and discovered a nurse changing his diaper. He was not pleased! Without thinking, I leaned over this bassinet and, without touching him, said, "It's okay baby. Mama's here." I about fell on the floor in a puddle of gooey love when he instantly stopped crying and turned his head to look at me intently! He recognized my voice and was soothed by it! How could that be? Was it because of the time I'd spent with Giselle during her last few months of pregnancy (going to doctor's appointments with her, frequently having lunch with her and her family)? Or was it because of the CDs she'd asked for of our voices recorded reading children's stories that she played to her belly. I was flooded with overwhelming feelings of joy!

The instant the nurse was finished with him, I lifted him gently and cradled him close. I breathed deeply my fill of his sweet baby smell and softly ran my finger down his tiny nose and soft cheek. I touched his thick hair and found it to be as soft as a chick's down. I felt such a powerful connection to Snuggle Bug, one that I was helpless to fight. I prayed with every ounce of my being that we'd be allowed to raise this child and tears filled my eyes at the thought.

At some point, a nurse interrupted my bonding with Snuggle Bug to inform me that we had another room waiting for us on the maternity ward. She informed me that Snuggle Bug couldn't leave the interim nursery without being placed back in his bassinet so I reluctantly laid him back inside. I wheeled him out so that Oronzo and I could follow the nurse to our room.

Okay, that's all for now. Part 5 of our adoption journey will come soon.

To continue reading about our first adoption journey, see Part 5.

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6:51 AM

At 2:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was absolutely beautiful....brought tears to my eyes! And brought back precious memories of our dd's arrival into the world. Thanks for reminding me of that today:-)

At 7:35 PM, Blogger Overwhelmed! said...

Mayasmom- I must admit, just thinking back on these events as I write, sometimes brings tears to my eyes as well! It was stressful time, to say the least, but also so filled with a love that has only grown stronger!

At 4:19 PM, Blogger TsoAbbie said...

I was just about to step out to go to a play and thought I would catch up on reading your blog. I found myself fanning my eyes and trying not to cry. Such a touching story. It reminded me a lot of when my sweet nephew was born. I named him shutterbug..
I cant wait to read part 5!

At 6:47 PM, Blogger Faith said...

So beautiful! I need to go back and read the first ones. It is amazing ,isn't it? It was instant love for us and little man too.
Can't wait for the rest of the story!

At 6:58 PM, Blogger Faith said...

Oh no! I can't find part 1 and 2! where are they? help!!

At 9:00 PM, Blogger Overwhelmed! said...

tsoabbie- Good to see you back! Thanks for your kind words.

faith- If you look over at the right column, there's a section called Archives. Click on the April 2006 link and scroll way down to the bottom to find Parts 1 & 2. Blogger only shows 10 posts to be displayed at once and archives the previous ones, that's why you're not seeing my earlier posts. Do you have a blog that I can read about your little man? :)

At 6:39 PM, Blogger kpjara said...

The whole process just amazes me! That is so incredible that he knew your voice and it calmed him...what a gift that was!


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Name: Overwhelmed

My complete profile

It wasn't supposed to work this way...Parts 1 through 10

(the story of the private, domestic adoption of our son)

(Part 1)
(Part 2)
(Part 3)
(Part 4)
(Part 5)
(Part 6)
(Part 7)
(Part 8)
(Part 9)
(Part 10- Adoption Finalization)

Fostering isn't for the faint of heart!

(our journey to adopt again through foster-to-adopt, the good, the bad, & everything in between)

Adoption #2- considering the State
More Adoption #2 thoughts
Adoption #2- Back to considering the State
Adoption #2- The Paperwork (Round 1)
Adoption #2- The Paperwork (Round 2)
Family Foster Home Licensing Prep Checklist
Adoption #2- Long overdue update
PS-MAPP class homework assignment
Our preliminary home inspection went well!
Adoption #2: Licensing update
Adoption #2- Foster Facts
Adoption #2: I love it when things go my way!
Adoption #2- The home inspection
Adoption #2- We failed our home inspection!
Adoption #2- We passed the follow-up home inspection!
Adoption #2- Still waiting
Adoption #2- We're getting closer
Adoption #2- An update & a lead
Adoption #2- The lead that didn't pan out.
Adoption #2- We're licensed!
Adoption #2- We have a tiny baby here!
Adoption #2- Update on this precious little girl.
Adoption #2- Quick update on Baby Bug
Adoption #2- Baby Bug is staying longer!
Adoption #2- Baby Bug is growing!
Adoption #2- Overdue update on Baby Bug
Adoption #2- The latest on Baby Bug
Adoption #2- Shopping spree for Baby Bug
Being a Foster Parent Does Not Make Me A Saint
Adoption #2- Another Placement Call!
Adoption #2- Placement Meeting- UPDATED!
Adoption #2- We have Boo at our home!
Adoption #2- Meeting Boo
Adoption #2- I'm angry on Boo's behalf!
Adoption #2- A Birthday Party for Boo
Adjusting to three 3 and under!
Stressful moments in fostering.
Adoption #2- Update on our foster daughters
CPS Workers Jerking Our Chain!
It's getting much worse!
Fostering: Update on Baby Bug
Fostering: Update on Boo
The effects of fostering on Snuggle Bug
The time is drawing near to let go of Baby Bug.
Good conversation with Baby Bug's dad.
Boo has a Permanency hearing coming soon!
My heart is breaking!
Bittersweet news about Baby Bug.
Next Friday is going to be tough.
Packing up Baby Bug's belongings
It's done- Baby Bug is gone.
Working on finding peace, one day at a time.
Referral to the Early Intervention Program
Baby Bug update
Home Inspection for re-licensing
Parole granted for Boo's bio mom
Baby Bug is turning 1 year old soon.
Day 2 of Boo's permanency hearing
A prayer answered today!
Attending Baby Bug's 1st birthday party
Foster news
Good news for Boo's case
Boo's bio family visits
Termination Trial date set!
A new caseworker for Boo
I've been asked to testify in court.
Court hearing for "John Doe"
Contested termination trial begins tomorrow afternoon
Boo's adoption has been finalized!

It's a conspiracy, I tell ya!
Dwelling on Death and Divorce
Ah, the silence of a sleeping child. I think it's...
Ignorant jackass!
It wasn't supposed to work this way! (Part 3)
Easter Greetings!
It wasn't supposed to work this way! (Part 2)
Look what Snuggle Bug is addicted to...
To squeak or not to squeak, that is the question!
It wasn't supposed to work this way! (Part 1)

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