We were supposed to meet two other SWs from the agency at the hospital, as well as C's birthmother at 10 am. It was a few minutes after 9 and we decided to drive over to get a parking spot in the shade if we could and eat some breakfast. The chicken from the night before (I wasn't hungry at all really!) and a couple of bananas we had snagged from T's kitchen. While waiting in the parking lot, I finally got in touch with a few more friends. One is a dear friend of many years and she had been praying so hard for us. I told her I was sorry to call so early... and she said no problem, she was getting ready for class (she's a professor), but when she saw that it was me, she picked up right away. I told her... she started crying as soon as I said... "we're sitting in a parking lot of a hospital right now... waiting to meet our son!" I asked for more prayers as we were meeting his birthmother and over the 10 day waiting period. It was one of the best phone calls I made, other than to family. She moved to the DC area literally the day after I got my first email from DH. We met for brunch the morning she left PA and I told her about him and even then she said I was excited about him. :)
After eating, DH and I made our way to the hospital entrance (we were still early) but wanted to make sure we weren't late... as we have a tendency to be! After waiting a few minutes - butterflies in my stomach don't even begin to describe it, I saw the two SW's come in... talking to C's birthmother. I got up... looked at her, and I already had tears in my eyes. She looked at me with tears as well and I just gave her a huge hug. I've mentioned before that she just whispered "thank you"... her words were ones of gratitude and love. I really can't explain the depth of emotion... even now. It still makes me tear up and I can still hear her voice. I honestly wondered how on earth she could be thanking me - when she was giving me the best gift I've ever been given, next to DH.
We walked upstairs.... she showed us a few photos on her phone that she had taken after he was born. She wanted to spend a bit more time with him on her own while we signed the paperwork. Unfortunately for her, C hadn't been circumcised yet, so she ended up joining us again shortly after she went back as the doctors took care of that. It did give us the opportunity to talk more though, and I am so grateful for that time. She was very easy to talk to and told us stories of growing up with her brothers and there were so many stories similar to those DH had told me about growing up with his 3 brothers. It was just very, very special.
Finally, around 11:30 or noon (I think), we were allowed back to meet C! All of us walked back to the nursery as they wheeled him out in his basinet. He was not particularly happy - and definitely very hungry! We went to a private room at the end of the hallway. C's birthmother prepared the bottle, picked him up and handed him to me.
First feeding - totally in love as soon as I saw him.
He opened his beautiful eyes and just stared at me as soon as I got that bottle in his mouth! He was very alert - more alert than I anticipated.
I just stared and stared. I could hardly believe I was looking at my SON!!!! I know we talked a little bit more, but I have no idea what we said! Shortly after I fed him, I handed him to DH to hold. What an amazing feeling... watching my husband become a father. There are just no words.
We talked a bit longer with the social worker, and finally C's birthmother had to leave. She commented that she felt so much better about her decision having met us. She held him one last time, and I could see the tears she was fighting. Again, I know C will be so blessed to know her decision was one of love. And I am more grateful than I ever thought I would be, that she wants to keep in touch.
Shortly after she left, we took some more photos as the text messages started pouring in from our families demanding to see him!
First family photo!
We needed to wait for a while to get all the papers ready for him to be discharged and we continued to talk to the SWs. A very sweet nurse came in with his discharge papers, a ton of supplies - including formula that he was currently eating - and lots of reading material on taking care of a newborn!
Then... it was time. We picked the Daddy loves me outfit for him to wear home... changed him and took this final photo of him in his little bassinet.
We put him in his carseat, and walked out with the SW's - they checked that we had him securely in the car, and we were off. And I wondered... is that it? Part of me couldn't believe that someone wasn't coming after us to stop us! We stopped at Panera to get a quick lunch. T stopped by to pick up his house key (he still brags that he was the first to get to see C!) and we headed home. C slept the entire way! Every time he started to make little noises and we started getting ready to stop somewhere, he fell back asleep. We drove the entire way home - I was on the phone for a lot of it talking to various family members and it wasn't until we were about to get off the highway, a mile or 2 from the house that he woke up. And he was definitely hungry. VERY hungry!! As we drove up to our house, I noticed that someone had balloons flying outside their door. As we got closer, I realized it was our house!!
Talking excitedly to someone in my family! I don't remember who now!
DH holding C.
As you can see, he went through many outfit changes that first day and night at home. :) Mom and Dad have gotten a little more proficient at changing diapers and attaching them well. Actually, that proficiency came with a little advice from my sister, the postpartum nurse... to "aim down." :-D
Our first few days at home with C were just incredible. That first night, C slept in his crib, with the door to his room open. He woke frequently, about every 1-2 hours, at which point, yes, his clothes were soaked and so were his diapers! A friend of a friend had donated a ton of baby boy clothes, and it was a good thing we had them - we couldn't have gotten through that first night without them!
Those first fews days were a whirlwind... trading off with DH so we could both get to daily mass, feeding, forgetting to eat ourselves, holding him, reading the Baby Book!!, calling our former pastor to ask him to celebrate C's baptism, visits from a few dear friends (they brought a boppy chair and a bassinet for us to borrow). It was so much nicer to have C in our room next to me. And a visit that first weekend from my parents and two sisters. I just tried to soak it all in. All the joy in the world was wrapped in my beautiful 6 pound bundle.
I still can't believe it's real... that he's really here. Thank you to all of you who have prayed for and continue to pray for DH & me. God has answered our prayers and we are blessed beyond words.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.
As high as the heavens are above the earth,
so are my ways above your ways and my thoughts above your thoughts.