I have always dreamt of having a family. When that reality became less likely, I had to grieve the idea of ever having children… of having our very own family. I embraced living life as two, with my wonderful husband. The mere fact that he was my knight, made it easier to accept. We were living a good life. We had found true love and while it was a tough pill to swallow that we weren’t going to get to share that love with children of our own, it was ok. I have always trusted that God had a plan for us, I just had to learn to surrender to that plan. So after many years of trying to control the outcome, I finally folded. I embraced what was, and stopped trying to control what would be. I learned to love what we already had instead of trying to ask for more.
So as I sit here looking at our beautiful son Jackson, I just smile and often times cry tears of joy. I think I cry more often now out of happiness than I ever did out of sorrow. It doesn’t take much…a thought, a look, an idea…and I lose it. My heart was already full, now it spills over. That’s where the tears come from, I cannot contain the joy. There is still some sadness in my heart. I do acknowledge that our new found joy is another families loss. Not loss in the sense of ever knowing him, but loss in the sense of grieving what could have been if she was able to parent him. I sense and feel what that must be like for them... I know it cannot be easy and so my heart aches for them.
On Monday December 9th, Halie was checked into the hospital to begin the induction process. Our son was scheduled to arrive on Tuesday December 10th. For those of you who know me, I am a numbers girl. The numbers 1201 have repeated themselves my entire life. While this is not an exact sequence match, I was thrilled to see he was being born on that day, 12.10.
Halie was zero percent dilated at her Dr appointment earlier that day, so she was admitted the evening around 8:00 pm before induction to begin the dilation process. It took her until 4:00 am to become 3 centimeters. We figured it was going to be a while. Except when the nurse checked her at 7:00am, she was already 10 cm! Frank had spent the night at home with the pups, and planned on coming up to the hospital that morning of induction. I spent the night along with Halie and her mom and the biological father. The hospital staff was amazing, they were kind enough to provide Frank and I with our own room, which allowed for privacy on both ends. I wanted Halie to be able to rest before and after birth. I wanted to breastfeed and needed privacy for that (I can write another blog on this, but short story is I successfully induced lactation in the months leading up to his birth and am currently breast feeding him). Halie was in support of it and encouraged me to do so, so she understood that meant that I would have to keep him with me most of the time after his birth in order to feed every 2 hours. Thankfully we had the privacy to do so, and the support needed. The lactation and nursery nurses all helped tremendously. They treated me as the mother although I didn’t physically have the baby. Halie was also treated wonderfully, the staff attended to her needs equally as well.
Around 7:00 am I had to let Frank know he needed to step it into gear after I went to the delivery room and Halie’s Ob/Gyn asked how far away Frank was, as calmly as she could…. me knowing exactly what that meant, she was going to be having the baby very soon. Libby, our little fairy godmother, had swung by that morning on her way to work, just to say hello when she got caught up in the excitement and ended up staying until after he arrived. How fitting it was to have her there, when she was the one who informed me of this possible adoption to begin with. God used her as one of his angels and he continued to put her in the perfect place at the perfect time. She was meant to be part of this fairy tale happy ending story from day one.
I was in the delivery room for the birth, along with Halie’s mother. We coached her through the hard labor and I witnessed the miraculous birth of our son. I felt so honored that Halie allowed me to be there through this entire process from beginning to very end. It was one of my wishes and she made it come true. To think that I was able to go to every single Dr appointment and sonogram with her, what a blessing. And the blessings just kept pouring down on us. Halie and I made a birth plan together and part of it included me cutting the umbilical cord and holding him first after he was delivered. Frank was not in the delivery room but came in as soon as she was cleaned up, he just made t there on time! He held him next. Then Halie and her mom both held him. That little boy was loved by so many already! Libby came to the room when Frank did and was allowed to hold him as well. This was the part of the story where all past disappointments and hurts were quickly erased by this little gift sitting before our eyes. It didn’t matter all the sudden that we had to wait 5 years to meet him.
Much of what happened from there forward felt like this crazy whirlwind. I lost all concept of time, my new reality was beginning yet my mind couldn’t even keep up with how quickly our lives had changed, one quick minute, @ 9:15 am and all the sudden, there was three . I sat there and cried in sheer joy, on so many occasions. As I was doing the push count for Halie, and I would look to see his head crowning, I would choke up and could barely count. As I stared at him lying in his hospital bassinet, I cried. But when it really hit me, was when I drove home from the hospital with him in the backseat, realizing that he was really coming home, that this precious little boy was really going to be ours in a few short hours.
Halie’s ob/gyn and Jacksons pediatrician both agreed to release them after 24 hrs of birth, but the adoption paperwork couldn’t legally be signed until 48hrs after birth based on state laws, so while he was released to go home with us, we still had to wait another 16 hrs for it to be official.
Halie stuck to the birth plan 100%, I never really doubted her, but I also had to protect myself and remind myself that it was a possibility. So I was prepared to mentally face whatever the end result was going to be. And either way, our lives were going to drastically change, so you can truly never be prepared for what was about to happen. You will always hear me brag about what a beautiful soul she has. She was so mature and consistent, not once changing her mind or steering away from the original plan. I am not sure I have ever met or will ever meet anyone quite like her.
At 9:30 am Thursday morning, I received a text from Halie’s mom, letting me know that the paperwork had been signed and the attorneys office was on their way to our house to have us finish signing. It was real, it was done, he was ours.
We had looked into adoption during our Infertility journey and had come to a decision point where we chose fertility treatments over adoption due to the high cost of both and only being able to choose one or the other. We took a gamble and while at the time, it appeared we had rolled the wrong dice, that simply wasn’t the case. I believe in my heart that the reason we didn’t get pregnant all this time was because Jackson was meant to be our son.
He is beautiful, he is perfect, he completes us, in every way. We were a lovely little family of two, and after many years of yearning, struggling, grieving and hurting, we are now a perfect family of three.