Monday, July 23, 2012

Ooh Darling, 'Cause You'll Always Be My Baby (Volume Three)

Our "Please Pick Us" scrapbook
The hours between the unexpected phone call and the knock-at-the-door by FedEx seemed like an eternity. We had very little information about the case, and none of what we knew agreed with what he had initially wanted, but both of our gut reactions were the same – YES!  Even still, we spent many hours weighing the pros and cons.

Once the packet arrived, we absolutely devoured it.  The baby would be born to a nineteen year old birth mom who had two other (beautiful) children.  She’d had a fair amount of prenatal care and had made pretty good choices throughout her pregnancy.  She was in an on-again, off-again relationship with the birth father, and he was agreeable to the adoption as well.  The baby was due in early March.

The baby would be born with a pretty serious birth defect.

He would be born gastroschisis, meaning much of what should be on the inside was on the outside of the body.  Survival rate for babies born this way was between 80 and 90%, and the baby would require at least one major surgery, and likely 4-6 months of hospitalization after birth. 

That sounded absolutely terrifying to us, but we found comfort in a remarkable coincidence (or was it?).  Though this only occurs in about 1 in 10,000 births, Jay’s best friend, David, had been born with a similar condition, and we’d talked about it a lot over the years.  We knew that it was very correctible, and we reasoned that while some would-be parents would have been too scared to get on board with this, we felt confident enough to move ahead.  Even when we glanced at our “con” list, we both had the same reaction – 1) If we refused this case, how long until the next one came along?  2) If we say no to this baby, who will say yes?  And we both just knew, if someone else DID say yes, they would have OUR baby. 
with Uncle Dave (David was a pretty big
part of our miracle and we love him for it!)

We signed the contract that was included with our case file and mailed it to the agency.  Then we jumped, squealed, and started to share our news – David was first, followed by my friend, Carey, then our parents and extended family.  Most everyone shared in our joy – a few were skeptical because of the health concerns, but most were excited to see our dreams start to come true.

We immediately got to work getting ready for baby.  We were painting a nursery within days, and had bought all the essentials within the month.  I knew we had to prepare, but I was constantly pushing the thought out of my mind that something would fall through.

A month after our phone call, we found ourselves in San Antonio, meeting the birth parents.  We were the most nervous we’d ever been in our lives, but the meeting went well, and was much more comfortable than I’d expected.  We were able to attend a few doctor’s appointments with the birthmom (S), at the end of the pregnancy so that we could learn as much as we could about what would happen after the birth.

As the time drew closer for the baby to be born, we arranged for an apartment in San Antonio.  Jay and I planned to be there the day before the scheduled C-section (S had asked me to be in the room when the baby was born).  Jay planned to stay for the week of the birth, then go back and forth to Houston, where we lived, every few days, while I stayed in San Antonio until the baby was ready to come home. 

We arrived at the apartment the night before B-DAY, and we were indescribably excited.  We were to meet at the hospital labor and delivery area at 4:00 a.m.  We even arrived early so that Jay, armed with a video camera could record the hospital and waiting room before anyone else arrived – we wanted to be sensitive to everyone else involved, so we were fully prepared to fade into the background until needed.

But 4:00 o’clock came and went….

Then 5:00….

Then 6:00…

Then 7:00.

To be continued…

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