Saturday, March 8, 2014

Worth the Wait

We found out at the end of January that we'd be meeting JT a few weeks early.  M started going for twice weekly NSTs around her 34th week and JT wasn't exactly cooperative for them.  Due to that as well as some health concerns, her doc ordered a level 2 ultrasound to be done at 36 weeks. Based on the results, it was suspected that JT was IUGR (intraunterine growth restriction). He was estimated to be 5 lb 7 oz and his tummy was measuring small as well. As a result of the IUGR and the fact that he was breech, M was scheduled for a c-section at 38 weeks.

I had already had the majority of JT's things packed and had slowly started to compile a list of things Shane, Mason and I would need. Once the c-section was scheduled though, I went into full on panic mode!! I started nesting like crazy and barely slept. The next 2 weeks went by in a blur and before we knew it, it was time to leave.

We left home on the 10th to be there in time for the delivery on the 13th. We were supposed to stay with Shane's sister but we were pretty tired by the time we got to the outskirts of Nashville. We decided to get a hotel room for the night and were going to try to meet Jen for breakfast in Chattanooga the following morning. While grabbing dinner, we discovered through a friend's post on Facebook that there was a nasty winter storm moving across the south right along the route we needed to travel.  We went to our room and checked out more info on the storm on  After staying in the hotel for only 3 hours, we decided we had better repack the truck and get back on the road again. We were afraid if we didn't leave by midnight, that we would never make it on time and would wind up stranded on the highway somewhere in the middle of the ice storm.  While Shane drove, I was continually monitoring the storm as well as our route. We managed to stay about 20 minutes ahead of it the entire way and once we got to FL we were in the clear. It's a good thing we followed our instincts because we likely wouldn't have made it out of GA otherwise!

We got to FL late in the afternoon on the evening of the 11th. M and I were texting back and forth as we finished up the drive. She had an ultrasound that afternoon at the hospital and found out that JT had finally decided to cooperate and flip. The c-section was canceled since he was no longer breech. There was some confusion as to whether or not the doctor planned to proceed with an induction or if M was going to be allowed to go to term.  She had another appointment scheduled for the morning of the 12th to finalize things for the 13th and she invited me to go with her.  We met M and A at the doctor's office the next morning which incidentally was the first time we got to meet A in person. Shane was wearing his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles shirt which was ironic because A had wanted to wear his that day also but hadn't been able to find it. We talked for a few minutes before A had to leave to go to work and M and I headed into for her appointment. We waited in the waiting room for a little over 2 hours before a nurse came to tell us that the doctor had been called away for an emergency delivery.  She said M could be seen later that afternoon if she was willing to come back so we went and got Shane and Mason and headed to lunch. We had to wait another hour or so when we got back to the doctor's office and then M had to do another NST and ultrasound.  After talking with 2 separate doctors, the plan was to proceed with an induction. By that time it was already after 4 and M had to report to the hospital at 8:30 that night to start the induction process.  We headed to the mall and met A and we all had dinner together before they headed to the hospital.  At about 9, M texted me and told me that if I wanted to I could come and spend the night there with her.  Shane dropped me off and A was gracious enough to allow me to wear the second hospital bracelet.  He went home that night and I slept on the lovely pull out couch that is a fixture in most labor and delivery rooms.

Around midnight they began the first phase of the induction process.  The next morning around 8 am the pitocin was started. They slowly increased the drip throughout the day. They would have increased it a bit faster but the doc was being pulled in a million different directions as there were multiple patients in labor and delivery that day. The monitor wasn't picking up M's contractions very well so they had to proceed slowly. The doc broke free long enough to break her water around 1 and then was off and running again. I felt so bad for M as the day progressed and her contractions got worse. She wasn't able to get an epidural until late afternoon because the anesthesiologist was just as busy as the doc. Once the epidural was done, they decided to place internal monitors to better track the contractions.  As soon as they were able to monitor the contractions better, they steadily increased the drip and things started moving pretty fast. 

JT was born at 6:56 pm weighing 6 lb 4 oz and measuring 20 in long.  I can't even begin to put into words the mix of emotions I was feeling as I witnessed the miracle of his birth.  I'm not 100% sure but I suspect that the cord might have been wrapped around his neck because he looked a little blue when he emerged.  The doc suctioned his nose and mouth and he began to cry. It was immediately obvious that the little munchkin had a good set of lungs!! The doc asked if anyone wanted to cut the cord and A immediately deferred to me. The doc handed him over to the nurse afterwards and she asked if anyone wanted to take pictures. I looked to M and A, but A was not about to leave M's side as the doc was still tending to her.  I felt like an outsider but I didn't want any of us to miss JT's first moments, no matter what the ultimate outcome was in a few days.  I snapped a few pics and quickly texted them to Shane as the nurse took JT to the warmer and began wiping him down, taking his measurements and his prints.  I took a few more pics and then just stood there in awe.  I kept looking from him to M and A and the look on A's face as he watched his son literally broke my heart.  The nurse then asked if anyone wanted to hold him and again A deferred to me saying, "Let his new Mommy hold him."

Getting to hold him for the first time when he was merely a few minutes old was simply amazing.  I texted Shane to tell him and his response was, "Must be nice." I told him to grab Mason and head to the hospital so he could meet JT. He got there about half an hour later and I went downstairs to wait with Mason while Shane went up to the room as kids under 10 weren't allowed in the patient rooms.

Not long afterwards, I was overcome with emotion. I couldn't control the tears so I took Mason into the bathroom and just stood there bawling my eyes out!  I was ecstatic that JT was finally here and beyond thrilled that our prayers had been answered for a safe delivery for both he and M.  I was also feeling extremely guilty that M & A weren't going to get to raise the miracle they had created together; that they had to experience a great loss in order for us to complete our family.  Shane had come back down while I was in the bathroom because they were moving M to the postpartum floor and had taken JT to the nursery to monitor him for a bit because he was grunting a lot.  He called me because he couldn't find me.  I told him that I was in the bathroom trying to collect myself.  He said that M & A had been worried about me. Apparently when JT was born, it was obvious that I was overwhelmed with emotion and feeling several different things at once. They told Shane that they weren't sure what I was going to do. The fact that they were worried about me is proof that they are remarkable people.

I was prepared to go back to the hotel with Shane and Mason that night, but once again A was generous beyond belief and allowed me to stay with M. They also gave me the other hospital bracelet for JT which meant I was the only other person allowed to care for him and be alone with him besides M.  JT stayed in the room with us for the most part except when they took him back to the nursery for a bath and to check his blood sugar before feedings. I took care of the majority of his feedings so M could sleep. She obviously needed it much more than I did! The next morning Shane and Mason came to get me and we spent a few hours at the hotel before going back to the hospital.  When we got back S (the adoption professional) was there visiting. I sent Shane up first and stayed in the cafeteria with Mason. A few minutes afterwards Shane texted me and told me to just bring Mason up, that S said it was okay because he was a sibling.  I took him up and he got to meet JT for the first time and hold him.  Seeing the two of them together took my breath away!! We spent several hours there and  then we left for the night. M would have been fine with me staying the night again but I wanted to give her time alone with JT.

The next morning we went back to the hospital bright and early as I had to be there by 10 for the discharge class. It was so bizarre being the only person in the room without a spouse as well as the only one without a baby.  Afterwards, we just hung out with M & A and waited for S to come so papers could be signed. She got there around 2 and Shane, Mason and I waited in the outer hallway while they signed. Once again I was feeling a mix of emotions. Adoption most definitely is NOT for the faint of heart!!

After everything was signed, M & A left the hospital as she had already been discharged. S had to go to the nursery and finish up some things there for JT and then we had to sign our portion of the papers.  One of the nurses had to carry JT outside the hospital and then give him to S who then handed him to us. We all thought it was kind of ridiculous but it was hospital policy.  S handed him to me and I put him in his car seat while Shane pulled the truck around. M & A had waited for us and she came over to give me a hug before leaving and we made arrangements to meet for lunch the next day. As we drove away from the hospital, I was overcome with joy. This little person that we'd waited years to finally meet was finally here and going home with us, even if it was to a hotel room.

There hasn't been a dull moment since then but I wouldn't trade it for the world. JT was more than worth the wait!!

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