We are now at the point of meeting our tiny baby girl for the first time. After meeting with the birthparents and birth grandparents at Applebee's in San Antonio, we headed to the hospital. What an emotional ride!
We had just met Kelly and David (the birthparents) and Don and Shirley (David's parents) for a short time. David and Kelly were in their 40's, no previous children together, (children yes, but none together prior to Savannah), and
life looked like it had been very hard on them.
Don and Shirley were so loving and supportive of all of us. They seemed thrilled to meet us and that we were going to be Savannah's parents. David and Kelly were happy for us, yet grieving at the same time. It was very hard to be excited and gushing with joy as I saw Kelly's pain.
Yet I was terrilby excited to meet Savannah
When we got to the hospital, up to the NICU, we had a brief wait before they were going to sign the relinquishments in another room and we would meet Savannah. If I had known that was the last time I would see Kelly, I would have hugged her one more time. We didn't really say goodbye.
The birthfather, David, took us through the process of sanitizing before entering the NICU and then he introduced us to Savannah for the first time.
At two weeks
She was so small, but so strong.
David said goodbye to us and the nurse started giving us her status. I changed her diaper for the first time and that's when she lost her umbilical cord thingy. I was there for that. =)
My first question was, "When can I hold her?"
They explained that I could hold her for short periods of time but that they have to be sure she maintains her body temp, blah, blah, blah....I just said I wanted to hold her as often and as long as I could.
I also informed them that I would try to breastfeed so I was going to start "pumping." That was new to most of the nurses. An adoptive mom breastfeeding? Yeah.
I held her skin to skin as long as they would let me. Letting her get to know my heartbeat, my scent, my warmth.
God gave me a sweet bonus--We met her around 6:30 pm on Thursday, June 28th. We stayed with her about 3 hours and then returned early the next morning. I did not leave her side and held her as much as I was allowed that day.
Emily and Wesley came that day and they absolutely loved her. The first thing Emily asked when we told her she was about to meet her new baby sister was, “What color is she?!”
But here's the sweet thing, when I came back to her after dinner that Friday night, the nurses were attending to her in the open bed and I said something as I walked in. Savannah turned her head to my voice and moved her eyes to find me. She knew my voice from just the sweet hours that we had. The nurses were like, "Did you see that???" It was amazing.
Get this: There was some confusion about her actual due date. When Sara first called to tell me about her, she said Savannah was about 7 weeks early. Sometime between being chosen and getting to the hospital, we found out she was 11 weeks early.
Quite a difference for a preemie.
But the cool part about it was that as we thought back, we realized that Savannah was conceived at the same time we said YES to adoption the November before.
(things that make you go "hmmm")