Wednesday, September 17, 2014

My Hospital Experience

When I was pregnant and going through my adoption plan the one thing that scared me the most was the hospital stay. First of all, I had never given birth before and I had no idea what to expect. I obviously knew it was going to be extremely painful but no matter how many videos you watch, classes you attend or personal stories you hear, you will never be prepared. I was also terrified, as most of you are, of what happens after the birth.

I had decided to let the adoptive parents in the room while I gave birth. This was an important moment for me, but I felt like it was also important for them. They had lost two babies at 21 weeks and so I knew that their experiences with birth were filled with trauma and so I wanted them to have this amazing birth experience with me. I know that this is not possible for every birth mother and I understand that some women want the moment to be private and I totally get it. I just loved the feeling of having everyone in the room who loved her and were going to love her forever, while she came into the world. 

 I had to be induced and for any woman who has been induced you will understand my pain. I had preeclampsia and my doctor said there was no way around the induction. The pain was extremely intense and and I convinced myself that I wasn’t progressing all night. Until about 1 am when I felt like I had to go to the bathroom. I went to the bathroom and felt like I had to push, but I just thought it was a bowel movement. I pushed and nothing happened and eventually that urge to push went away, so I went back into bed. The nurse came in and checked on me and all of a sudden I felt the oh so familiar urge to push, and when I told the nurse that I had to go try and make a bowel movement because I needed to push I remember her look of panic. It all went pretty quick after that and when she checked me I was at 9 ½ centimeters. They had checked me a two or three hours before and I was still only at a 4. It came quick and at 2:09 am my little girl came into the world.

It was a close one and my best friend and I still joke that she could have been a toilet baby, which honestly would have been the most terrifying thing I could imagine at that point. I can’t believe I ddidn'trecognize that urge to push from all of those videos I had seen. And of course after all the pain what they tell you is true, it was all worth it. I would go through it again and again just to bring that little girl in the world. And quite honestly once you see your baby, you would have died if it meant bringing that little baby into this world.

I got to spend the next two days with her in the hospital. If you feel as though you want to and are able to  I highly recommend caring for your child in the hospital. I had decided toward the end of my second trimester that I wanted to take care of her in the hospital but before then I wasn't sure because I was scared I would change my mind. I didn't think about the fact that if you want to change your mind you can. As a mother you have every right to change your mind and make the choice you believe is best for your child. Never let anyone talk you into signing the papers and don’t let anyone change your decision. This has to be up to you.

I decided to take care of her in the hospital because I wanted that time with her.  I knew I wasn't going to change my mind and so I wanted every minute with her that I could. The adoptive parents were there with me and the birth father for the first several hours.  They bought me jack in the box because it was 2 in the morning and I couldn’t remember the last time I ate. I was scared that when they held her I would feel jealousy and hate them for being there. You never know how you are going to feel.

When I saw the adoptive parents holding her, I felt so much love for all of them. They looked like a family that was finally complete. You could just see how much they already loved her, and it made my decision more clear. After two days I signed the paper work to release her into their custody and we were able to all walk out together. We got into our separate cars and I cried the whole way home. I was so lucky to have the birth father with me and my best friend. When I got home my family was there to make sure I was okay. That night I slept like I have never slept before.

If at all possible with your adoption plan I recommend setting up some kind of immediate post placement contact with the parents, if you feel you are able to handle it. I requested at the hospital that they message me when they arrived home and 2 days later after they took her to her first checkup, being able to have that peace of mind that she was okay, healthy and safe at home was a big relief.

 The hospital stay can seem extremely intimidating at first and it is one of the hardest things you will ever go through, but it is also beautiful. There were some of the best days of my life. I got to welcome my little girl into the world and let her know just how much i love her. The pictures i took during this time are something i treasure and look at often. You have options and choices and you have the right to decide what ever you want to when you are in the hospital. Don't let anyone coerce you into doing anything you don't want to. This is your time to make what ever decision you want.

How do you guys feel about your hospital exp[experience? Did it go smoothly or was it a little bumpy? Who was in the room? What would you recommend to girls about to go through this experience?

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