We’re adopting which means I did not go through pregnancy this time around. I missed being pregnant, for the record. Being half-a-continent away from the baby I was already in love with was difficult. My biggest fear (other than the mother changing her mind) was that I wouldn’t make it to the hospital in time.
We made it to Virginia on Monday, 18 January and spent the week getting settled in. On Thursday, 21 January I got to have lunch with Kari. We enjoyed a leisurely meal at Panera, and then went to her house to visit for a while. Friday was the most relaxing day we’d had since we got here. We were snuggling inside because “Snowmageddon” was upon us, thanks to Winter Storm Jonas. We were fortunate to be in the spot in Virginia that was getting the least amount of snow. We got just enough snow to make snow cream… 2 tablespoons per person!
We spent the day hanging out. During lunch I relished the moment when everyone was playing contentedly so much that I snapped a picture.
When the snow built up enough Parker spent time playing out in it.
During rest time the bigs watched a movie, Parker went to his room to rest, Matt took a real nap, and I went upstairs to write this blog post about the emotions we’ve experienced going through the adoption process. As I was sitting there I had this feeling that I needed to shower and get ready but I kept pushing it out of my mind because I felt like I was getting my hopes up… that we were in for a wait.
I should have listened. At 2:42 p.m., while sitting there wrapped in the memories of the previous two months, I got a text that Mama was being sent from her doctor’s office to the hospital to be induced and I went into hyperdrive. I had to shower, pack, and still remember to call the people necessary (attorney, adoption agent, etc).
Matt dropped me off at the hospital at 3:47 p.m.. As I walked through the hallway of the bottom floor of the hospital I passed by the chapel. Knowing I had plenty of time I stopped in, took my way-too-heavy back-pack off, and took a deep breath. I cried. I wondered what was about to happen. I tried to still my heart. I could feel my face on fire and it wasn’t even hot in there.
We were pretty sure we were going to be in for a little wait, so Matt took the boys to a movie and then to the mall for dinner while I sat in the waiting room and finished writing the blog post on our adoption emotions.
An hour after I arrived Kari joined me and then Cassie arrived. We ate dinner downstairs in the cafeteria and then prayed in the chapel together before we returned to the waiting room.
At 8:10 we heard that Mama’s progress was 2.5 centimeters, 60% effaced, and the nurse could feel Anna’s head! PROGRESS!
My parents began a long drive from NC to VA in a massive snow storm. Here is one of the roads they had to travel:
We settled in for a long night and started off with a game of Skip-Bo. At about 9:15 a nurse came in and told me they had found a room for me and that we were free to spend our time waiting in privacy.
We promptly resumed our game. (Actually, because of the fear that someone was cheating we started a new round.)
At around 10:30 Cassie got the word that she was needed at home. Her husband was working all night and the sitter’s daughter had just gotten sick. We were all pretty devastated that she had to leave because she had spent almost three months caring for our birth mother and my daughter and she was about to miss the big moment. As soon as she left, Kari and I spent some good time in prayer for her. We prayed very specifically that Cassie would know that she was where she was supposed to be. We asked that God would comfort her and that she would know that He is with her and that he sees her heart and her service. I prayed that God would reward her soon for her sacrifices.
Both Kari and I respect Cassie so much and we really wanted to see God bless her..
After our prayer time Kari and I decided to go get something to eat downstairs. We had to break up the monotony and there was only one place open in the building. As we walked down the hallway of the main floor Kari and I were chatting and we spotted a lady walking toward us, drenched. As she got closer we recognized Cassie! She had left through the wrong door and then found herself locked out on the complete opposite side of the hospital. She had to walk around the entire hospital to re-enter… in the pouring rain!
She told me that had she not gotten locked out she would have been in her car on the way home but because of the locked-out-in-the-rain situation she was still at the hospital when she got the call that the sitter felt that everything was okay and that Cassie could stay all night after-all! We were so excited and we could barely believe it. We told her that we had JUST PRAYED for her and that we felt this was a direct and immediate answer to prayer!
1:19 am – Mama’s progress was 5.5 centimeters.
2:00 am – We started game of Hill Rummy in the cafeteria until we closed the place up…
3:30 am – Mama got an epidural and the doula came to visit us for a while during that process.
5:15 am – We were giddy and silly and sleepy. We played a slightly competitive and highly controversial game of Uno. Let’s just say it was two against one, and poor Kari lost… to ME!
5:36 am – Mama’s water broke. About this time I decided to call Matt and let him know that it was getting closer.
6:15 – Matt, the boys, Nana and Papa arrive.
6:30 – Mama prepares for delivery!
7:08 am – Anna was born but we didn’t hear about it for a little while.
7:42 am – The doula came into our room with details. I know she had pictures but I didn’t want to see them. I wanted my first sight of Anna to be in person. I did let her read the stats to me and even videoed her giving them. :)
I’m going to save the rest for another post though I think you should be rewarded for making it this far!
While we were in the hospital I ran across this meme on Facebook:
Again, I know I neither labored nor delivered Anna, and I didn’t have a nurse caring for me directly, but I did have two special people with me during the night waiting for Anna and I will never forget that time. I would have been quite lonely without them… and it was fitting that the two people with me were the two most directly responsible for bringing Anna into our family.
(And since I mentioned nurses, I want to give a great shoutout to the nurses at the Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. They were very generous and helpful given our situation, and even more important than the way they cared for me was the way they cared for the Mama. From what I understand they were very understanding and sensitive to her needs. Our attorney had told us prior to admission that this hospital is very adoption-friendly; friendly for both sides of the adoption, and I have to say that they were spot on. God bless the nurses who work in such a high-stress field.)
Stay tuned for the blog post about our first time meeting our sweet Anna!