Monday, April 30, 2012
Alex's Adoptive Mom Shares on the Birth Story
I often wondered what it was like to witness Alex's birth from Kayla's perspective. I asked her to write about the birth story from the perspective of the Adoptive Mother. Here is her powerful and personally touching story:
"I laid in bed in a dark hotel room waiting for the alarm clock to signal it was time- time to go to the hospital, time to meet my daughter. The thought made me giddy and anxious at the same time. Was this really happening??
The events of the previous four years played in my mind, and I was reminded of the hope, pain, disappointment, joy, depression, and longing that had kept me on an emotional roller-coaster with no end in sight. But there I was at the end, and it was only the beginning.
Before I knew it, I was in a pre-op room dressed from head-to-toe in blue scrubs and holding the hand of the most beautiful pregnant woman I had ever seen. Just two months before, I met her for the first time feeling so blessed that she chose life for the baby girl growing inside her and chose us to be the parents. That day she told us that she knew she was “the vessel that God was using to carry the answer to someone else’s prayers.”
I will never forget those words. Ever.
The nurses wheeled her into the operating room and told me they would come get me when it was time. My husband and I held hands and prayed for a safe delivery, a healthy baby, and peace for our daughter’s birth mother.
A few minutes later, a young nurse with an excited grin appeared in the doorway and led me toward the operating room. We walked down the long, sterile hallway and tears welled up my eyes. Surreal.
Not all adoptive mothers are in the delivery room. Since Brittany was having a c-section, she was only allowed to have one person in the operating room with her. Her mother? Her best friend? No, she selflessly invited me to witness the birth of my daughter. Words cannot describe how grateful I will always be for that gift.
When we entered the brightly lit room, Brittany was on the operating table and all I could see was her beautiful belly. I quickly moved to the other side of the curtain where I found her face – calm and reassuring. I felt so guilty that her demeanor was reassuring me when I wanted nothing more than to make sure she was okay. I did the only thing I could possibly do to help bring her peace- I placed my head next to hers and whispered a prayer in her ear. I knew our Heavenly Father orchestrated every step of this journey, and I knew He was there with us now.
In keeping with the laid back vibe of the Florida Keys, the doctor and anesthesiologist made small talk and dished out clever jabs at each other, making the rest of us chuckle and wonder if they were focused enough on the task at hand.
After a few minutes, the nurse told me I could move to the foot of the bed to have a clear view of the first moment of my baby girl’s life. An intern had my camera, and I was armed with my cell phone camera – ready to capture the beauty and perfection of life. Briefly, the mood in the room changed, the small talk and jabs subsided, and my heart sank. The doctor asked for a vacuum and I prayed again.
Then she was here. There in front of me was a perfect, crying, pink, beautiful baby girl. Tears flowed and the love that I already had for her multiplied infinitely in my heart.
I wanted so badly to hold her, to kiss her nose, to snuggle her into the curve of my neck. But the nurses took over and began cleaning, suctioning, and checking every inch of her little body. I stuck my pointer finger out and let her wrap her tiny hand around it. I was smitten.
I turned around and saw Brittany with a tear rolling down her cheek. Was it joy? Was is sorrow? Was it fear? I went to her, held her head in my hands and repeated the same words I had said to her many times before: “thank you.” Those two words do not even come close to expressing the feeling in my heart. You say “thank you” to the cashier at the grocery store, you say “thank you” to your hair dresser when you leave the salon, you say “thank you” to a stranger who holds the door open. There should be something more significant to say to the woman who gave you the gift of motherhood- who, through the will of God, blessed you with a child. But all I could say was, “Thank you!”
The nurses finished cleaning and examining the baby, wrapped her up like a burrito, and took her to Brittany’s face. She said how beautiful she was and we exchanged smiles. Then the nurse put the baby into an incubator and got ready to head out of the OR.
I wanted to hold her. My heart was aching, I wanted to hold her so badly.
I followed as the nurse pushed the rolling incubator towards the door. My heart was overjoyed at what was before me, but breaking with what was behind. Brittany had cared for, talked to, and bonded with the child that grew in her womb. How did she feel laying on the operating table, cord cut, and physically separated from her baby for the first time in nine months? Lord, give her peace. Please Lord, please fill her heart with peace.
I put my hand on the incubator and headed toward the waiting room where a new father was waiting to meet his baby girl. After years or prayerful faith, we were finally a family of three."