Monday, April 28, 2008

"Brilliant Debut"

(April, 2001) -- The most popular song that spring is U2’s Beautiful Day. And the front page, top-of-the-fold headline in the Rocky Mountain News is “Brilliant Debut.” It may be referring to the Colorado Rockies’ season opener, but for us it will always be about our first child’s birth.

Crystal allows us to be in the delivery room with her. I get to “help” by holding a leg, and Rob does double-duty by videotaping and one other important thing.

I had never been present at a birth before, and I am so grateful to Crystal for allowing us witness this miracle. As the baby crowns, the first thing I see is a ridge on top of a head – which brings to mind a Klingon. Come to think of it, we don’t know much about the biological father. Could we love a baby with a ridge on its head?

It turns out that the ridge is just the umbilical cord, and within seconds we see that the baby is very teeny and well-formed and gooey and ohmygoodness – IT’S A GIRL!

At 2:45 am, Rob completes his second duty by cutting the cord. The nurses whisk the baby away to another table to assess her health. I am already proud because she earns 9 out of 10 on her first test, the Apgar. She cries, but not too much.

Rob and I are mesmerized by this baby girl (we can’t bring ourselves to call her our daughter yet), but we are also pulled to attend to Crystal. The doctors are cleaning her up from a fairly easy delivery. She insists we hold the baby first. After all, she says, we are the parents.

We invite my family back in to meet the baby, and we all coo over her. Crystal has picked the name Savannah, but she insists we choose the name. We christen her “Tessa.” Crystal is happy because a ‘T’ name goes with her son’s name, Tyler.

Crystal holds the baby, and she and her mom marvel at the small wonder, too. This is a very strange time for me, because I really don’t feel like a mom. I defer in many ways to Crystal, who seems light-years ahead of me in the Mom Department.

I begin to fear this entire arrangement is a huge mistake – how can I ever be a mom to this baby girl? How can I feel happiness when I know what is coming for Crystal?


(This entry, along with other posts about my daughter's coming home story, were edited and published in the May/June 2007 issue of Adoptive Families magazine.)


Becky said...

The hospital room experience was very different for me. Ty's birth mom was a teen with no baby experience. She was relieved we were there because she didn't want to take any responsibility (not in a bad way, she was just very tired and overwhelmed). I was glad we brought her flowers and a little gift because it was obvious she felt a little left out with everyone fussing over the baby. But it did feel weird "mothering" the baby with her in the room. I was hyper aware of her feelings and careful not to be too in her face with my emotions.

LIW (Lady In Waiting) said...

Your story is amazingly wonderful. I honestly didn't let myself believe that a birth mother would allow the adoptive parents at the child's birth (too much to hope for). It is so heartwarming to know that that IS possible!!!!

Keep the installments coming!