Monday, August 13, 2007

Childbirth education part II - **pg talk**

I started feeling better right before lunch. There is nothing like a feeling of physical health after I've felt sick. I chalked my body's behavior up to nerves and an excess of fiber and set out to face the rest of the day.

I can't remember now what we talked about right before lunch - oh, yes, relaxation techniques and pain management. "Hee hee hee hoo" and stuff like that, including a nice hand massage. "Wait," I thought, "What about my feet?" (Somewhere in my head I hear my husband saying, "Rub your own stinky, puffy feet," but he would never say that. Think it, maybe.)

There were 20 happy couples in our class, and there might have been one woman there by herself. This started me to thinking about K and how she might have felt in the hospital. Without going into too many details that are her story, because it's hers, she did have support at the hospital, hospital staff treated her like the mother, which she was, and she was the first and only to hold the baby in the first 24 hours.

But there her exclusive rights began to fade. What must she have been thinking as she watched the other moms with their babies? What must she have gone through every time she saw me standing there smiling at her and her baby? It was challenging for us at the hospital not knowing whether this would really be our baby, but I would have much rather been in our position.

Yesterday I used the word "relieved" to describe how it would feel in the hospital knowing that New Baby will be our forever baby. I don't think that was the right choice of words. I think a better word would be blessed. Perhaps we won't even compare the two situations at all, because they really don't compare. But the fact that a childbirth education class brought up all of these unexpected feelings indicates to me that they will come up again at the hospital.

Speaking of word choices, "guilt" wasn't the right word to describe how I feel about having a baby after infertility. So scratch that, but I'll have to come back to that topic tomorrow. It was a big day Saturday and I'm still processing.


Liz said...

I think K was probably thinking how lucky her baby would be to have you for parents. I can't imagine giving up my baby, and it was difficult no doubt, but she had set her mind on it long before and chosen you (what a great choice!). I just don't want you to be feeling "guilty" about taking her baby, because you didn't - she willingly gave him to you because she saw you as worthy. And God hand-picked you, too, to be E's parents. Of course, I can't put words in her mouth, nor can I truly understand her situation or yours. I have numerous friends who are struggling with infertility, numerous miscarriages, etc., and I always try to be supportive. It's hard because I have a healthy baby, but I have an inkling of their struggle because Nate was a high-risk pregnancy, so I had my share of fears. Anyway, sorry to ramble on and on, just some thoughts. Love you! Liz

Christine said...

As an adoptive mother, you can't not have those feelings. It's simply a part of the loss of adoption.

I'm four years in, and still think of J on a regular basis - her pain. Her pain will always exist. So, I keep working through my own feelings, knowing she's working through hers.

I personally, feel that I honor her when I allow myself to acknowledge her decision and how much it hurt ... continues to hurt.

When we were fostering, I was at the hospital one day awaiting on the placement of a newborn. The parents of the child were coming in to have some time with the baby before signing the relinquishment paperwork. Because of where I was standing, I was witness to these moments. I could hear nothing, because the door was closed, but I was able to see. I saw what that mother and father went through as they made those final strokes of a pen ... as they held their baby and wept ...

It was very unusual that I would have access to such a moment. I am glad for it.

I never, ever want to forget the pain. It is a part of what has built my family. It is a part of my daughter.