Sunday, April 19, 2009

How I Became a Mom - Part 5

So, there I was racing across town in a cab, trying to get someone on the phone to let the birth mom know I was on my way, but I didn’t know the last name of the social worker from Local Adoption Agency (LAA)! And of course, I didn’t know the birth mom’s name either. And my cell phone was dying! Bless the cab driver’s heart, he saw how frantic I was and handed over his cell phone for me to use.

Finally, I got to the hospital and the information desk eventually figured out who I was there to see and had the LAA social worker, Lori, meet me at the elevator. All the way up to the room, I was telling myself, “Now don’t be rude. Be sure and acknowledge the birth mom and ask her how she is feeling, don’t just make over the baby and ignore her.” So, I walked into the room and there in the hospital bed was a young African American woman holding a small beige baby. Lori introduced us and I asked the young woman how she was doing and she looked at me like I was nuts and said, “Don’t you want to hold your baby?” Why of course, I’m so glad you asked!

So for the next two hours or so, I sat there and visited with the birth mom, Ashley, and held the baby. I even got to change one of the baby’s poopy diapers (pee-u!). My mom and dad came up there to give me a ride home and Ashley graciously allowed them to come in the room and see and hold the baby as well. We took a bazillion photos, with Ashley’s permission.

It is traditional to bring the birth mom a small gift. I hadn’t really had time to pick up anything seeing as how I had known I would need one for only about 12 hours and I had spent most of that time traveling. But my mom came through for me and brought a dozen roses and a teddy bear for Ashley. At first, I thought the teddy bear was sort of a weird gift, but it gave her something to hold while we held the baby. Which she wanted us to do, but still I think her arms might have felt awful empty without that teddy to hold.

Lori had warned me that Ashley might come across as sullen but that it really was a mixture of shyness and grief. I found Ashley to be a very sweet, shy young lady with a beautiful smile, who was very proud of her baby but also seemed determined not to bond with her. I found it so interesting that when she would hold the baby, she would hold her out from her body, rather than snuggling her close.

After about 2 hours, I was sure that Ashley must be exhausted. I knew I was and I hadn’t even given birth 24 hours before like she had! Plus, I had a lot to do...we hadn’t had our home study yet, and it had to be completed before we could bring the baby home from the hospital. I had cleaning to do!

We said goodbye, and I asked Ashley whether she wanted me to have the nurses come get the baby so she could rest and she said no, she would rather keep the baby in the room with her. And I thought, Uh-oh.


Robin Thomas: A Nest With a View said...

I know you say you're not as sweet as you used to be, but that picture is very sweet!