Sunday, April 13, 2014


Let's start with the end:

Introducing Audrey :)
4 lbs 3 oz
18 1/2 inches long
Born April 10, 2014
Placed with us April 12, 2014
Love of our lives

Now back to the beginning (warning:  it's a long post!  But this is my diary too, so I'm guessing I'll re-read for myself pretty often!)

Original due date:  April 21, 2014

April 7th (Monday):  H has her 38 week appointment.  She immediately texts me to say that she was dilated to a 2, and therefore birth was imminent.  I don't know a lot about being pregnant, but from what I've heard, you can stay dilated at that level for a looong time.  She predicts she will go into labor the next day.

April 8th (Tuesday):  H texts me in the morning to say she is actually in the hospital and having contractions.  She went in because she didn't feel the baby moving, and they hooked her up to all the machines.  She says we should probably start looking at flights.  Holy moly!  I immediately call T and he is somewhat skeptical.  They haven't actually admitted her yet.  We do look at flights and identify the best one as an 8pm out of Kansas City, so we'd need to leave town by 3:30-4 to make it.  We head out of work and start packing, all the while texting with H and having calls with the social worker.  H still hasn't been admitted, and the agency recommends you wait until that point before traveling.  H finally lets us know around 3:00 that the hospital sent her home.  She said she did go through early labor at home with her other pregnancies and expected to have the baby soon.

T and I waffled back and forth...we were supposed to wait for admittance, but she wanted us there for the delivery.  If she was in early labor, that usually lasted 8-12 hours and up to a couple days.  We (mostly me) decided that we could go down and work down there if needed.  We get on the road for KC.  Our flight was delayed and we ended up checking into our hotel in Florida at 2am on Wednesday.

April 9th (Wednesday):  We check in with H in the morning.  She tells us the contractions have slowed.  I'm starting to get a sick feeling in my stomach that she was in false labor and we completely made the wrong decision.  The last minute flight was expensive, and we couldn't justify staying down another two weeks in a hotel until her due date as well.  I was beyond stressed out.

We did meet up with H, P and their kids for frozen yogurt in the afternoon and a trip to a local park.  It was SO nice to re-connect after our visit in January (although we had plenty of emails in between).  I felt more at peace on our drive home, thinking that it was worth it just to have that nice private time with them without the craziness of labor.   I felt like God helped us get that connection with each other, and that's why everything happened the way it did.   H says she is definitely not in labor at that point.

T and I, with help of my parents' frequent flier miles, book a flight home on Friday morning.  We both planned to work from Florida on Thursday and take vacation on Friday.  We would then re-group over the weekend, and wait for actual labor (and admittance!) before going back down.  I secretly prayed and prayed that she would still go into labor on Thursday before we left.

April 10th (Thursday...spoiler in the first part of this blog on the importance of this day!!):  P texts me in the morning (although from H's phone, so we had a bit of comedy when he kept saying "she" and I thought he meant the baby).  They are back at the hospital.  H couldn't feel the baby moving again.  She thinks she'll be admitted this time.  I say we'll start getting ready, and T sighs given the ups and downs of the trip so far.  We still think this is a false start.   As we are getting ready, P texts to say the doctors are talking c-section and H & P are kind of freaking out.  I tell them we'll be there soon (hotel is about 20 min from hospital).  (I won't discuss H's health on here, but she had some common pregnancy afflictions that required the c-section)  As we are getting ready to leave, P texts pretty frantically wondering where we are.  They are taking her for a c-section NOW.  We manage to get there just in time, and watch the kids in the waiting room so that P can be with H during the c-section.  She has never had surgery before, and was very scared.

Baby girl was born at 10:24am.  P comes back out and we see a drive by of the baby on the way to the NICU.  The nurses ask us to follow them, and it is T and me, then P and the kids (H still in recovery).  This was one of the most awkward, unknown, fly by the seat of the pants part of the experience.  Only one person could go in with the baby once we got to the NICU (the others could watch through the window).  We all start looking at each other, and then P gestures to me.  Remember, the baby is NOT our baby yet at this point, so I was trying to be so cognizant of P's needs.  He did need to stay with the kids though.  Baby was sent to the NICU purely due to size, as she just met the cutoff to require a NICU stay.

The rest of the day was a total blur.  Their were two main goals the baby struggled with -- eating the proper amount & maintaining her temperature (as she had very little body fat). We were able to spend time with the baby, but we were still trying to be reminded that we had a LONG two days before anything was certain.  One thing was for certain -- she was so beautiful.  And so small.  We had a whole suitcase of newborn clothes that were way too big!

She wasn't taking food well that day, so they put her on in IV late Thursday night.

April 11th (Friday):  They didn't do feedings for the first part of Friday and just let her rest on the IV.  They did start trying to feed her, starting with small amounts, by late Friday.  The goal was to get her up to 20ml before she could get of the IV (20 ml is a little less than 1 oz).  She was able to get there by Saturday morning.

Friday was pretty difficult, because we spent so much time loving on the baby, but still uncertain about our future with her.  H had also decided that she did want to see her, and rightfully went down to NICU on her own and with P & kids to do so.  We were completely supportive of that (and it certainly wasn't our say anyway), but that "change of plan" did make me wonder if there would be others.  Friday was a very very long day.

We did spend time with H&P in her hospital room, and chatted about lots of things.  T and I left to get pizza for dinner, and then brought back leftovers to H, who was alone at that point.  That was a nice time as well, for just the three of us to chat and share stories.  I truly love this woman.

April 12th (Saturday):  H texts me in the morning with a picture of the baby from the NICU before we arrived.  The text said "Hi mom".  I'm starting to feel more certain of the outcome at this point, but still cannot eat anything.

We spend time in the NICU in the morning and then go to lunch.  The agency tells us they expect H to sign the TPR (termination of parental rights) around lunch.  Before the social worker even arrives, H tells us she already signed all the papers she could and only needed to do the ones that needed to be notarized.  I told T I felt like we were a "loading" status screen that was stuck on the think it will finish, but you aren't completely sure it will crash.

We decided to go distract ourselves back in NICU, and H came down as the social worker was not there yet.  She and I sat in the NICU by ourselves, while she held the baby and told me all sorts of things that she would probably like, based on her siblings.  We both bawled.  The nurse came by to tell us that the social worker had called down, and H eventually left.  Eventually, the social worker texts us to tell us that she is ready for us.  It was kind of anticlimatic, but it was confirmed we were the baby's -- now AUDREY's - parents.  It was beautiful and sad all at the same time.

Audrey's birth family came down one more time to see her, as H was being discharged.  We stayed out of their way, but gave H the longest hug before she left the hospital for good.  We do plan to see them again while we are down in Florida, but haven't yet.

April 13th (Sunday):  Audrey is doing pretty well!  She ate wonderfully in the morning, but had a couple temp issues.  The NICU finally had a room open up, so we checked out of the hotel and are holed up with her in the hospital room now!  She's eating okay, temp is up, and we are hoping & praying she'll be discharged tomorrow.

I'll do another posts on emotions, but we are feeling a combination of absolute love, and sadness and guilt.  Adoption is a strange beast.  It makes families by subtracting from another.  Even though the decision was right for H & P, it wasn't easy, and they will grieve for a long time.

I found a quote that I think sums it up perfectly:  "A child born to another woman calls me mommy.  The magnitude of that tragedy & the depth of that privilege are not lost on me".

I am beyond privileged to be chosen to be Audrey's mother.  God guided H and I toward each other and we will be forever linked.

I will love Audrey with all of my being for the rest of her life.

Sunday, April 6, 2014


No baby yet.  Let's get that one out of the way :)  Due date is 2 weeks from tomorrow, so it truly could be anytime.  I have enough to do at work this week to prep for being gone, and H has family plans laster this week.  So we'll generally hope that nothing happens before then, although we'd survive, of course.

T and I were discussing, assuming this placement occurs, that we're not sure if we can adopt again.   Our relationship with H & P is just so good, beyond all of our expectations, and we realize that is not very repeatable.  Time will tell how an ongoing relationship will go, but I'm still surprised at how much we genuinely care for these two beyond the realities of how we met.

H mentioned in an email recently that they'll have some gifts for us when we are down there, but one may be difficult to travel with, so may need to be shipped.  She then said one gift was specifically for me -- for Mother's Day.  I am constantly floored by how thoughtful H is in this situation.  She is not religious (but appreciates we would raise a child as a Christian), but noted still believes some higher power brought us together.  I could not agree more.  You can read quite often that adoptive parents feel that God brought them their child.  The flip side of that, of course, is that God "made" a birth mother lose her child.  So, in reality, while I believe God permeates everything we do, I don't believe He is responsible for our infertility or H's undesired pregnancy.  However, He does help provide strength and guidance through difficult situations, and therefore I do wholeheartedly have faith that He meant for us to find each other.  We are insanely blessed, and thank Him EVERY DAY.  This relationship with H & P is one of the most beautiful things I have known.

While I hope it's nice to get updates such as above, I know what this readership really wants.  Pictures and lots of them.  Since I don't have any to share of baby girl yet (yes, she does have a name, but that is not being shared yet), here are some of the nursery!

A little southern exposure for this little one

I made the hot air balloon mobile!  We're going to paint the mirror frame an olive green, and I replaced all the knobs on the dresser with an eclectic combo from Anthropologie.  We'll move the chalkboard down to kiddo height at some point too.

I love our patterns and colors :)

T is really looking forward to lugging the car seat bag through the airport :)  And not sure if the moose will give up the chair eventually...

I love this little niche.  We have a loose "travel" theme to the nursery, so lots of map & globe driven items on this wall.  And a hint as to her name with the large "A" on the wall...

We are actually taking two other of the elephants to Florida with us to give to H's children she is parenting.  That way, they'll all have the same animal to snuggle at night.

Our Florida to Iowa map hangs above the chair.  I also painted a fun orange side table that is there now as well.

The current bedding.  The skirt is reversible, and I have other fun sheets too!

Our "Florida" corner by the window.

We are obviously so excited for her birth day to come!  Hopefully we'll have news soon!

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