This is sailor’s birth date. He was born today. L’s dates must have been off because he is 6 lbs. 8 ounces and 18 inches long.
We have yet to meet him.
Here’s how today went.
J took the day off work so I could have my first full day away from Bram since his birth ten months ago. My mom and I were going to a city north of us to go shopping for interview clothes for my big conference in January, and to have lunch with B’s Aunt Kippie. Just as we pulled into that city, L called to tell me she was having labor symptoms. I asked her to go to the hospital (she was a little resistant; I think she was in shock), and I called J to tell her. She started packing up everything she thought we might need for the four of us during a potentially long NICU stay (we thought the baby was only 32 weeks), and my mom and I changed directions and headed for L’s city (about 2 1/2 hours away).
My mom and I got here a few minutes after 2. J and B got here by 4:30.
Sailor was born at 2:01pm. Moments before I arrived. Maybe I was already in the hospital.
When I got there, I asked the first nurse I saw if he was born, and she said he was. I asked if he was okay, and she refused to answer. She didn’t say she couldn’t tell me, she just stared at me blankly. I was convinced he hadn’t made it. I thought he was so early. I begged her to tell me my son was alive. At least that one thing. She just stared. Then she yelled at me for calling him my son. She told me he may never be my son, and she couldn’t tell me if he was okay, and I could wait if I wanted to.
She then confided in the owner of our agency (not someone we’d worked with before) that he was doing well, and that he wasn’t even that pre-term. So at least we knew that. That was big.
I spent the next two hours with little information, in a room not one hundred feet from Sailor, who was alone in a bassinet. No skin-to-skin. No breastfeeding. No ability to comfort him. With B driving in with J, I had no ability to comfort either of my sons. It was the strongest sense of empty arms I’ve ever felt. I felt defeated. My mama-soul felt small.
A much nicer (wonderful) nurse came out to tell me that L just wanted some time to decide. To decide. Which, of course she should do. Of course she should know for sure. She should make the choice that’s right for her. We just didn’t know that hadn’t happened yet. Our social worker was (is?) the most sure of this placement she’s ever been. She still doesn’t doubt this. But L wanted us to leave, and she wouldn’t let us meet him first. Or see us herself. She wanted space. So we left. We met J and B on our way out, and the four of us (my mom, me, J, and Bram) left together.
We got some food (none of us except B had eaten since 7am), and checked into a hotel. Jax unloaded the seven million things she brought in case of a NICU stay. We did bedtime. B loved having his Bubbie to play with.
L texted us with his birth weight. She said she was just overwhelmed. Which: of course she is. She put a turkey out to thaw this morning. She was in an ambulance by 11:30. They told her they would admit her to try to stop her labor, and the baby was born an hour later, after one push. She really wanted an epidural. There wasn’t time. She wanted us there. We weren’t. She was alone. To my knowledge, she’s still alone. Alone with Sailor. Deciding.
So we wait.
Update (10pm): L just called us from the hospital to say that she’s ready for us to meet the baby. Unfortunately, because of a combination of hospital policies and Bram already being asleep in the hotel, only R is going to meet him tonight. I’m sad about not meeting him together, but so thrilled that it sounds like L is standing by her decision to place. Nothing will likely be certain (or official) until tomorrow (or even Friday), but I’m choosing to remain very optimistic that this new little baby is meant to join our family.