Monday, October 13, 2014

Part 7: Birth day...saying goodbye and a video of pictures!

The weeks that followed were hard for me physically. I had gained so much weight. By the time I hit week 38 I was weighing in at about 319 pounds. With all this extra, very unhealthy, weight came high blood pressure and pre-eclampsia. These conditions were not good for me or the baby. 

In one of my many conversations that week with Rebekah I told her that it was possible that on my next doctors appointment they would send me to the hospital for an induction. I wanted her and Ben to be prepared. It was really important to me for them to be there. 

Emotionally I was spent. The anxiety of the situation was more than I can handle. I am pretty sure that is why I gained so much weight and why my blood pressure spiked so high. I felt so bad for my kids. They were really upset about the whole situation. I knew what I was putting them through was horrible. How could I possibly make them say goodbye to their brother. They had watched him grow in my belly. They had felt him move and they had seen the pictures from the ultrasound. They knew he was real. I was so heartbroken for them…and for me.

 I wasn’t sure how I was going to handle the birth emotionally. I didn’t even know how I was going to handle giving him away. There were so many unknowns. Because of this I decided it was probably best to send my big kids to their dads house in Arizona for the summer and then I would be able to handle their emotions when they got back. I was barely hanging on. 

Just as predicted my doctors appointment came and my blood pressure was dangerously high. I was sent immediately to the hospital. On the way there I made the all important call to Rebekah and Ben that went something like this:

“Rebekah, you need to drive all night long. The baby is coming tomorrow.”

I can only imagine how hard that was for them. I believe they were in Texas visiting family and friends. The drive would be long and hard but I'm sure very worth it. 

Birth day!!

Almost all my family was there with me. I was so grateful. I didn’t want to be alone. I had no intentions of having a painful birth, the situation itself was painful enough, so I opted for an epidural as soon as they would allow me to. This also allowed for a very peaceful time for everyone to visit and talk. We very much enjoyed ourselves. Rebekah and Ben arrived around ten in the morning looking very tired. I knew they had driven all night long but I cried when Rebekah walked in the door. I wanted her to hold my hand. We had become very close. 

Hour after hour went by and the baby still had not come. At one point, because of my weight, my epidural came out from the shifting of my body. The contraction pain made me so sad and I cried. Graciously, the placed another one for me and I was comfortable again. 

Lunch time had come and gone and I knew everyone was hungry. I of course was not allowed to eat so I told everyone that I thought it was probably safe to go and eat. I was only about six centimeters and I sure we had several hours of waiting left. Rebekah and Ben agreed and left to go to the cafeteria to get some drinks and food. 

I laid there on my very uncomfortable bed and tried to relax. That did not last long. I started to feel some very uncomfortable pressure and had to call for the nurse. She came in and checked me and I had unexpectedly gone from 6 centimeters to 10 in less than one hour. 

“Everyone is gone.” I said to the nurse. “Can you please go find them.”

That part makes me laugh. I was certain everyone was going to miss it. Isn't that just the typical story??

Fortunately, my wonderful nurse was able to track Rebekah and Ben down. They ran into the room looking just as surprised as we all were. 

It was time to push!!

I have pushed out five babies in my lifetime…and none of them took longer than 30 minutes to show there sweet faces. Tyrus was no different. He came out in less than 20 minutes and cried loud and strong. The room was filled with joy and tears and amazement. He looked pale to me at first but he pinked up quickly. His hair was jet black and looked long and curly (later we would find out it was straight as a board and stood up like a Mohawk.) His eyes were dark…so dark they looked black.

They set him on my stomach. I looked at Rebekah and told her she could hold him first…she said to me “Rebekah, you need to hold him first. I have a lifetime with him.” It was a gift to me to get to hold him first, to get to look at him and touch him and check him out. He was beautiful!!!
When I felt comfortable, they took him and weighed him, and wrapped him in a hospital blanket. Everyone took turns holding him and marveling at how perfect he was. 

We spent 24 hours in the hospital. I let Ben and Rebekah have all the firsts. I wanted them to change his diaper first, dress him first, and have their first night with him. They had a room right beside mine. I could hear every time he cried and every time they got up to comfort him. I had four other children and I had experienced a lot of firsts in my life…this was their time and I enjoyed watching.

Leaving the hospital was harder than I imagined. I had just signed my parental rights away and now I had to walk out of the hospital alone. It was so weird to not have a baby with me, even though I just had one. I just kept telling myself as I got into the car…”you just have to get home…then you will be OK.” But it was not OK. Nothing was OK. I was not prepared for the emotional breakdown I would have for the next three days. I was very grateful I had decided to send away the kids for the summer. I could not handle my emotions and theirs too. The crying I did for the next three days was not the kind of crying I  had ever done before. It felt like someone was ripping my heart out. I cried and cried until I literally didn’t have tears coming out of my eyes any more. My mom was very worried about me. She wanted to help but there was literally nothing she could do for me. I told her “mom, I think I just have to be sad for awhile.”  Im sure it broke her heart to see her daughter in so much pain. 

Life didn’t seem the same. I felt like there was a piece of me missing. I didn’t know what to do.
Rebekah and Ben spent as much time as they could with me while they waited the three or four days required by law before they left the state with their new bundle of joy. I enjoyed the little time we had together. They were really enjoying parenting. A few times Rebekah asked me “Are you sure? Are you sure you want to give him to us?”  She was always thinking of me. I would always answer her with a “Yes, Im sure.” I knew I had made the right decision…but sometimes we have to make decisions that are not very easy and sometimes they are very painful. 

Saying good bye was bittersweet. Rebekah said to me on the day she left “I feel so bad…it’s the happiest day of our lives, but it’s the saddest day of yours.” We hugged, and cried, and said our good byes and then….they were gone. 

I was left with an empty home. A body that was still recovering from just having a baby, and no baby to hold. I became very angry. I was so angry at Ron. He caused all this unhappiness and I was the one who carried the brunt of it. 

I had not spoke to Ron since the day I asked him to sign the papers. He knew the baby was born (I cant remember who told him) and he requested to see the baby before Rebekah and Ben left town. I was so angry that he got to see the baby. I know that sounds horrible but I just didn’t feel like he deserved to. Looking back now I am glad that he did get to hold Tyrus. No matter how horrible of a person I thought he was, Tyrus will have pictures of his birth dad holding him. That’s all that matters and Im glad now that Rebekah and Ben decided to meet with Ron before they left. 

Several months after the birth I was driving down the road listening to music with my windows down and I heard my name being called. I turned the music down and looked to my right. In a big black tow truck sat Ron looking at me. I cringed at the sight of him. He only said one sentence to me…he said,

“The baby is beautiful.”

I looked at him and I responded,

“I know,”

And I drove off hoping to never see him again…and five years later I haven’t. 

It took a long time for my heart to mend, but the good news is that God has restored my life. I dont always make decisions that are good for me but God seems to always pick me up and put me back in a safe place. There is a song that I used to listen to over and over again...its by Ray Boltz and its called "The anchor holds." The chorus goes like this:

The anchor holds
Though the ship is battered
The anchor holds
Though the sails are torn
I have fallen on my knees
as I face the raging sees
But the anchor holds
In spite of the storm

God has always been my "anchor," my steady guide through life.

Thank you for reading my story. Please enjoy this picture video Ive put together.
I title it “My adoption story in pictures!”
God bless!!!


smorrow said...

Beautiful story! We are adoptive parents and we love hearing amazing adoption stories. You are so brave to make the choice you made for your little boy. Thanks for sharing your story.

birthmothertalks said...

Beautifully written story! I can understand the pain you went thru. 23 years later and I can still remember how those emotions of going home without the baby tear you up.

Elizabeth McKinney said...

Thank you for sharing and God bless you!!

Rebekah said...

So many memories...Thank you for always loving us with such generosity.

glenda said...

I love your story & you chose amazing patents for Ty. May you all be blessed with much love, health & happiness.

Maya's Musings said...

Tears streaming. Thank you. What a beautiful, raw story. I have two amazing kids because of adoption, and I know there could not be a more selfless choice! May God bless you and fulfill your every desire.

Anonymous said...

Rebekah, I have been reading "the other Rebekah's" blog for at least a few years. Thank you so much for sharing your side of this beautiful adoption story and being so open and honest with people. Adoption is a beautiful thing but also does bring some pain and I think it is so important for people to be aware of all aspects of the adoption process, to know what it is really like for both the birth mom/parents and adoptive parent(s). One part I especially appreciated about your story was you sharing about your decision to find an adoptive family for Ty, even though you already had four children. I think the "common adoption scenario" people think of is a mother who is not currently parenting any children placing a child for adoption. I don't think as many people think about mothers who are already parenting children giving up a child for adoption. Kudos to you for sharing your story, even the hard parts. It is very evidence that you have a very kind, generous heart.

Leah said...

Thank you for sharing the raw and honest parts of adoption. What a beautiful story, and so beautifully told. I couldn't wait every day to read the next part. You are a wonderful writer. I can't imagine the pain this caused you, but I know you feel God's redemption on the other side of it all. So beautiful.

sammich said...

God Bless you and your beautiful story!! I have been reading both blogs since around the time Tyrus was born. We too are adoptive parents to a sweet little boy who is now 3.5 and we have an open adoption with his first momma too! What a blessing open adoption. I cried reading how you and the other Rebekah held each other and cried.. I felt the same way the day we brought our sweet Samuel home. It broke my heart to take him away from the one who gave him life. Our son's birthmom's stories and yours are very similar and we are thrilled to be a part of her and her other children's lives. Tyrus and my son will never know a life of anything but pure LOVE!! Thank you so much for sharing.. You are a hero!!

ABK said...

What a beautiful story. I have read the other Rebekah's blog for many, many years (back to their infertility journey) and it was a blessing to read your experiences as the birth mother. What a story, displaying the redemptive powers of God, on both sides of this story. It is apparent that sweet Tyrus was a gift from above that brought healing to both of his mothers. Your two families are a living example of love, compassion and kindness.

JoyBelle said...

I remember all of Rebekah's posts, from when you contacted them about adopting your son, his gender reveal and name reveal and of course this special day: his birth day. But this is the first time I got to hear your side and I am SO glad you shared, as hard as much of it was. I am constantly telling my husband about "the most beautiful open adoption story you've ever heard"!

I admit I cried when you spoke of how you cried for days after his birth. I can only imagine and my momma heart aches for you during that time.

Patricia Geary said...

I have only recently begun to follow Rebekah"s blog and happened upon (or was led by God?) to the links to your blog. Your story, the intimate thoughts and emotions so openly shared about your journey, caused my heart to both break and rejoice. As an adoptive mother of two boys through the foster care system in a state with closed adoptions, I have struggled finding in my heart and mind the "right" way to be in relationship with one of our son's birth mom. I am a Christian and have had a semi-open relationship with her due to the circumstances surrounding the fostering of her son before the adoption (and now the fostering of her baby girl). All that to say thank you, and Rebekah, for giving me a look into your experience, relationship, and adoption. Your families' joining to share Ty"s life together is a blessing and beautiful picture of God"s love and grace.