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.


14 thoughts on “11.21.12

  1. Speechless is the only word. I couldn’t have seen this and not written something, though. We wish we could sit with you through this wait, or fast forward through it, or do something or anything. Our energies and love, and most of all our hope, are focused in your direction.

  2. Oh, I had to read and reread this — what an unbelievable day. What a sea for a little Sailor. Best, best wishes to you all from a longtime reader.

  3. I’m in shock reading this. These words make my chest feel hollow and my heart ache simultaneously. I can’t imagine how you must feel right now. So much love heading your way.

  4. Also speechless. What simultaneous shock, fear, and exhilarating joy y’all must be experiencing. So many thoughts and prayers and love your family’s way!

  5. Oh whoa. Wrap your mama soul around him even if from a distance. Let him feel you near. Maybe it will help him navigate his way to you. I have a book called ‘Spirit babies’ on my sofa at home (I’m away for the night) and its lying there as I wanted to write to you about what it says about adoption. It talks of the the spirit of baby makes a contract with is mother to be create and born into this life and then a kind of continuation of that contract into a loving nurturing parent child relationship. With an adopted child they have two contracts, one with their birth mother, one with their chosen family. They are linked to both in different ways for different reasons. If Sailor is yours then he will be coming to you and will fulfill that contract. He will have already have chosen you. Maybe there’s just some sorting out and processing due to be done with his birth mother first. Anyway, I’m sure if write it better if I had the book, and I don’t know if it ‘fits’ for you, but I found some comfort in it in relation to waiting for our future child. It’s about karma and destiny I suppose.
    Sailors birth date in NZ would be 21.11.12 as we put the day before the month. What a special date. He’s a palindrome :-) Peace to you from NZ.

  6. I have tears in my eyes. I am SO happy that Sailor is here and healthy and just slightly less equally heartbroken that things didn’t go as planned with the birth. Still, I am hopeful (dare I say confident?) that he will be with you soon.

    Sending out thanks for this beautiful little soul and peace to your family.

    Please, please update us when you can.

  7. I am sending you every wish for strength, healing, and love today. We’re all there with you in spirit, even though we can’t be there physically.

  8. I’m so relieved Sailor is ok and not a preemie after all. Reading this account of your day is intense and I am so angry with that nurse and so heartbroken that you were not able to hold your baby and weren’t a part of his birth. But I feel so sure that he is yours and L just needs time. I’m sending strength and hope that this Thanksgiving brings your whole family together.

  9. Oh my goodness, what an intense and stressful day! I am so glad Sailor is healthy and full term. I am checking back often for updates and hoping so hard for good news for you. You are amazing mamas and will be amazing for Sailor if that’s what’s meant to be. Much love and happy Thanksgiving to your family.

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