It's always weird to me the things that stick in your head. I remember most of the night very vividly. I know what television shows were on. I remember the hospital room and exactly how it looked, and which room it was. I remember lying there awake and watching the woman in the hospital bed sleep. I know what she ate that night, what she drank, and what the nurse looked like.
I also can still feel the anticipation as the annoyed nurse reminded the woman in the bed that she wasn't even dilated an hour ago so she couldn't give her an epidural yet. And then the look of panic when the nurse checked her and had to report that she was ready to push, and would not be able to get an epidural.
Jason didn't understand what it meant when I called and gave him the stats and numbers. I felt bad for the first person who answered the phone at 4 in the morning when I dialed the wrong number. And a few hours later I cut the cord and looked at the beautiful being that had just made her debut.
Here she was our Abigail Tohelet. Born at 6:17 a.m. on Tuesday September 2, 2008. 6 pounds 7ounces and 18-1/2 inches long. And yes there was some chaos and a few days in the NICU, but our long awaited journey to parenting had officially begun. There was paperwork over the next few days, e-mails about what needed signed, and dates that things needed done. Things that people who have children biologically don't tend to think about.
It's interesting though because the story isn't just about us having a baby, or becoming parents. There is another person involved. And I have written before about the goodbye, but it is something that also so vividly sticks in my head. It was her birthday. We had given her a letter and a small present. She walked in the NICU to tell her daughter goodbye. We had no idea if we would ever see her again, or if our daughter would. The joy and pain of the goodbye were intermingled.
And two years later we are madly in love with this little being. I can think of nothing that God has entrusted to me that I am less deserving, or more thankful for. And as we celebrate the life of our little girl it is still a reminder of other things. Knowing that even though we now see her tummy mommy, and spend time with her, that today is still a hard day for her. And in two days when she's celebrating her birthday, she also will have the remembrance of what it was like to lovingly, and unselfishly, choose to walk out of the hospital without that little girl.
I have read adoption books that talk about how birthdays are sometimes hard for adopted children. I understand. Because I couldn't be more excited about celebrating our daughter's life. And yet there is still that intermingled feeling of pain because I love her tummy mommy as well, and know that this was not an easy thing for her.
So happy birthday beautiful daughter. I could think of nothing more wonderful than the joy of getting to be your mama.
And thank you kind tummy mommy. I can think of nothing more honoring, or humbling, than you choosing us to be her parents.
Forever grateful for our little bug,