Monday, September 17, 2012

December 2009: The Birth

As CJ got into her last 4 weeks of pregnancy, when doctor visits start happening once a week, the doctor started telling her she was already dilating and effacing, so he thought she was going to go into labor way before her due date. About Thanksgiving, he told her it could happen anytime. I didn't know how to feel! I was excited, but scared. I felt anticipation, but also dread. I couldn't wait to see my cute little granddaughter, but I was so scared for the adoption placement, and also for CJ and the delivery. CJ told me she was feeling a lot of the same feelings. There was a lot of conflict going on inside. My past fear and dread had now returned. We still knew that the adoption plan was right, and the couple was right. We were just scared for how we were going to feel placing the baby in their arms and walking away.

I am a teacher, and since the doctor was saying it could happen in second, I was worried that I might have to get a substitute at a moment's notice. I knew that I was going to be there with CJ from the moment she went into labor. Every day, from Thanksgiving on, I wrote a 4-day sub plan before I left work for the day, and left the plan on my desk, just in case. The next day I would be back at work, and I'd do it all over again at the end of that day. Sub plans are a pain in the you-know-where to write, but I wanted to be ready. I was basically CJ's labor coach and head cheerleader. I knew that CJ was going to take the whole 48 hours allowed after delivery, before placement. She wanted to be able to spend every possible second in the hospital with her baby before she let her go to The Awesomes. I was going to stay at the hospital with her for those 2 days after the birth. She wanted me there, and I definitely wanted to be there. 

Days went by, then weeks. CJ was in school, so she kept going to school every day, and telling her teachers that she might not be able to finish some of the classes before the end of the term, if she did go into labor early.  Christmas break got closer, and no baby yet. I woke up every day thinking: This could be the day. I walked around with a big knot in my stomach. I really wish the doctor wouldn't have told us that she would probably deliver early! It caused us so much more worry and stress.

Mr. and Mrs. Awesome were prepared to come early if they needed to, but they were planning to drive out and arrive on the 15th. We were surprised when the 15th came and the baby still hadn't arrived. Mine and CJ's Christmas break from school started that day, so she did get to finish her school term and take her final after all. Mr. and Mrs. Awesome arrived, and came to see CJ at our house. Mrs. Awesome had worked with pregnant women in her profession, and knew some pressure points she could press on CJ that might help her go into labor sooner. CJ was reluctant, but she finally let Mrs. Awesome do some pressure points on her. She had been having a little stronger and more frequent contractions for the last day or two, and the pressure point procedure made that a little worse, but still nothing significant. I had her walk around the house a little, but it didn't seem to get anything started. She had a harder time sleeping that night though.  

The next day CJ had plans to go lunch with her friend. I was home when CJ got home from her lunch. She said she was having some contractions, so I told her to walk around and maybe walk up and down the stairs a few times. She barely made it down the stairs one time, when her water broke! She wasn't sure that's what it was at first, but finally decided it was. We immediately called the doctor, then got in the car and headed for the hospital. It was finally happening! CJ didn't call Mr. and Mrs. Awesome until we saw a nurse who confirmed that her water had broken and told her they were going to admit her.  

They got her into a labor/delivery room and got her settled. My oldest daughter and my Hubby showed up soon after. The Awesomes came into the room a few times to talk to CJ while she was in labor. CJ had decided not to have them in the room for the delivery, so they came and went, and waited in the waiting room. The contractions were getting more painful, so they came in to give her her epidural. They had a hard time getting it in, and it really hurt her a lot. It was really hard for me to watch her be in so much pain. They finally got it in, but after a while they realized that the epidural wasn't working, so they would have to take it out and redo it. CJ started to cry, because it had hurt her so much to put it in the first time. Luckily the second time was easier because they let her lay down. Her pain was now managed, and besides some shivering, she was feeling pretty good. At one point a nurse came in to check her and said she was dilated to a 9, but she thought it would be another hour or so still. About a half hour later CJ was feeling more pressure, so the nurse came back to check and she was already fully dilated! It was time!  

The nurse told CJ to do a "practice push", but when she did, the baby's head crowned!  On the first push! They got out the equipment, and got her in position. They had to call the doctor to come, so here was the baby's head crowning and she had to sit there and NOT push! The doctor took way too long, and I started to worry about the baby being in the birth canal so long. Finally the doctor got there.  CJ only had to push about 5 or 6 more times, and our sweet baby girl was born. I got to cut the cord. The whole ordeal only lasted about 6 hours, total. It was a pretty easy labor and delivery! I was very relieved that it was. I had had many sleepless nights worrying about my CJ having a baby.

While CJ delivered the placenta, they put my screaming new granddaughter on her momma's belly. CJ was really freaked out by that. The baby was all gooey and slimy, and her head was all cone-shaped from being in the birth canal so long. Her screaming lips were huge, too. I kept telling CJ to reach out and touch her, but she wouldn't. She later said she thought she'd given birth to an alien baby! She did kinda looked like it. But she was still the most amazing thing I'd seen since my own kids were born. Actually she was even more amazing, because she came out of one my children! That was a hard thing for me to wrap my brain around, even though I had seen it happen.  It still is sometimes.

After they got her cleaned up, and wrapped in the special blanket we brought (one that CJ would keep) they brought her over for CJ to hold. This time she wasn't freaked out. It was such a beautiful moment. We all got to hold her and take pictures with her. It was a close, intimate time for our family to bond with this new life that had just been born. 

Finally, my hubby went out to get Mr. and Mrs. Awesome. When they came in, and took their new baby in their arms for the first time, it was a phenomenal moment to watch. I had tears in my eyes. The picture we took of them both gazing at her with so much love, solidified my knowledge that this was the right couple, and adoption was right for my granddaughter. I knew they would love her and take good care of her, forever and ever.  

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