full of gratefulness*
Boho boy, K and T during labor, canon 50D
boho boy and K during contractions, canon 50D
Boho Boy and I are full of gratefulness for so many gifts in our life (family, friends, blessings...) but what comes from the tip of our hearts down to the deepest parts these days is how very grateful we are to K and T for the precious precious gift they have so unselfishly given to us and to Tammy, our adoption consultant and dear friend, for bringing us all together. Tammy had a feeling deep in her heart, even though she knew we were not quite ready and feeling tender from the previous fall through. Thank you, Tammy...for following your heart and helping to guide us towards our son, Cedar.
The relationship between K, T, Boho boy and I has been a rare and beautiful one. So much laughter and special memories has been had during our times spent together. So many hilarious and fun and endearing stories to share with our son about his birth parents. Not only how much they loved him and sacrificed their love to give him a life they wanted for him but also how much they loved and respected us as his adoptive parents and their friends.
I wasn't sure how the days in the hospital would unfold. I wasn't sure how I would feel during the birth. If I would feel threatened or saddened that I couldn't experience this part of it. If I would feel helpless and clueless on how to support K. How Boho Boy would respond and support (or faint or not).
All those fears fell away as we were all directed to the birth room. A spacious and beautiful birthing room with hardwood floors and wooden sliding doors. Large windows showed a view of trees and hills. All of us giddy with anticipation. Boho Boy and T cracking jokes to keep K and me at ease. K rubbing and drawing strength from the beautiful "Brave" pendant that one of my best friend's Stacy made for her (she made K and I matching ones).
Then when the contractions came on hard and she dilated from 5 to 8 in just a few minutes, the room fell serious and focused. The nurses had been trying to find a vein but couldn't, so she was unable to get an epidural. The warm towels wrapped around her arms were there to help bring her veins to the surface, but it didn't work in time. Not what she had planned since she has been laboring for weeks and needed relief when the contractions came on strong. Suddenly, as we all became aware that she would not receive relief, I felt a rush of adrenaline, as did Boho Boy. We knew it would be intense and every muscle in our body prepared to hold K through it. Then we saw something take K over like a huge tidal wave as she arched her body and screamed that she needed to push. Nurses and her doctor rushed in and said this "was it" and that she could push. Boho boy and I wrapped our arms around K's back, held her hands and pushed and breathed along with her. Believe it or not, Cedar's head was fully out in 9 minutes. His shoulders wedged him in there and all we saw was a purple face but we focused on getting K through the intense pain. He was stuck. I felt this Momma Bear inside of me and the voice that came out of my throat was not mine. "Yes you can do this K, you can, you are brave, you're doing so amazing...we're here with you...come on..." and two more pushes and with help from the doctor maneuvering his shoulders, he was out. K fell back in one smushy lump of exhaustion with a big sigh. Boho Boy cut then cord and then we stood there staring at one another while I stroked K's hair, half laughing, half crying while they whisked a quiet Cedar away. He had spit out a bunch of meconium on his way out and they were concerned about his lungs being full, as well as his purple face. K said to me..."you're a mommy...go to your son". I was torn whether to stay with K to comfort her or to go to him and she helped me with the answer.
Boho Boy and I surrounded the nurses in the next room hovering over our new son. My heart was racing faster than I thought possible. I was trying my ultimate best to not worry and to trust he was alright and safe in their arms and then I heard another cry and I heard giggles. A nurse turned to me..."are you the adoptive parents? do you want to see him? we need his father to cut his cord again...". Mmmmm..."his father...". Those words melted every worry away.
Then when they cleaned and wrapped him up and put him in my arms, my tears surfaced and I looked down at his face and felt as though I had found a long lost friend of mine. Then watching Boho boy hold him for the first time was overwhelmingly joyful. I wasn't sure how I would feel seeing Cedar for the first time. I know that with adoption, it can take time to bond and sometimes it doesn't. As soon as I held him, I was madly in love (and relieved).
We then took him into the birthing room and handed Cedar to T while K was getting cleaned up. These were special moments of laughing and cooing and taking photos of Cedar and T. I loved watching T gaze into Cedar's eyes...having their own little man to man conversation. It was tender and soft and I was thrilled to capture it with the lens.
I walked over to K and gave her a long hug. I told her she was my hero. She told me that we were her heroes. We placed him in her arms. She was glowing.
I felt proud and overwhelmed and grateful and happier than I had ever thought possible. I was surrounded by three people that loved this little being more than life itself. We were all in a love bubble of Cedar celebration.
The next few days we shared him back and forth in the hospital rooms next door to one another. We slept with him the first night, they had him the second night.
I was amazed at how hard it was to be away from him. I felt like a part of my soul had been taken from me. As painful as it was, it brought me comfort to know that I already loved him like a mother. That he already felt like mine. It also gave me comfort to know that K and T had this time to love on him, get to know him and share all of their reasons for giving him a life they dreamed for him.
24 hours later, when K and T's attorney came into our room to tell us that they had signed the rights over to us earlier than they had to (they had 48 hours) and congratulate us, we were breathless. When she left the room, Boho Boy crawled into the hospital bed with me and we cried together.
How can I say into words how thankful I am on this Thanksgiving day? I don't think there is a need. I think we all feel how precious and rare and beautiful and life altering this story is...and I cannot believe it is my story. Our story. Cedar's story...
We are full of gratefulness.
Today we are breaking bread with K and T in our humble little hotel room. It is unspoken how we all feel. As we try to stay light and fun, down deep inside we know that there are things we want to say but can't...but it is all understood and respected. As K aches down deep in her heart, I struggle with how joyful I feel and how much I care for her and don't want her to hurt. I am reminded that we too have given K and T a gift and so it all comes full circle. Nothing needs to be said. There just needs to be a lot of hugging one another, laughter, sharing food and gazing at the little schmook all night.
Happy Thanksgiving to all...and thank you for sharing this sacred journey with us.