Monday, May 03, 2010

the Natalie diaries - part 3: the birthday.

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2:45 a.m.

My phone rings. The caller ID says it's Georgia, so I quickly answer.

Me: Hello?
Georgia: Did I wake you up?? {at this point I realized it's actually Georgia's friend Jackie.}
Me: Well, yeah, but that's ok.
Jackie: We're having a c-section!
Me: What??
J: Yep, she's gonna have a c-section. They're taking her back now.
Me: NOW?! What happened?
J: She was having contractions, and her water broke, but she wasn't dilated so the baby was in distress. So she's got to have a c-section.
Me: Uhhh...{still waking up} ok, we'll be there in a little while!!

I got up, and of course the first thing on my mind was taking a shower. Really? A shower? Now? But I desperately needed it to clear my head. I took the fastest shower I've ever taken, got dressed, tried to pack a diaper bag with what I thought I needed for a few hours at the hospital, and Baron & I made our way to the hospital. When we got there, we were stopped by the front desk since it was after visiting hours, and at that point I realized that I didn't really know how to quickly explain why we were there, so of course it took me like 5 minutes to explain our situation. Then the lady made us sign the visitor log, and she made nametags for us...BLAH BLAH BLAH HURRY UP WE'RE HAVING A BABY!!!

We finally made it up to the maternity floor, and then we realized we didn't know where we were going. So we found a nurses' station {after about 5 minutes of wandering around}. The nurse showed us which waiting room to sit in so that we would see the baby coming out of the operating room on the way to the nursery. We sat. My stomach fluttered. The other visitors snored. A few visitors were WAY too loud for 3:30am. I laid down & tried to rest. Then, a nurse came through "the door" with an empty baby crib. "Are you with the Walker family?" she asked. "Yes," we answered. "Wait right here - I'll be right back," she said. Like we were going somewhere else?
{us in the waiting room at the hospital at about 3:30am}

A few minutes later, "the door" opened and out walked Jackie, dressed in scrubs, with the nurse, who wheeled a baby crib with the tiniest, most beautiful baby I've ever seen. She was like a tiny porcelain doll. My heart stopped beating. She was our daughter. I didn't cry like I thought I would, but I was breathless. It happened so fast, and all of a sudden, our daughter was born.

Jackie said that Georgia was fine. She said that the moment she laid eyes on Natalie in the operating room, she told Jackie that she knew she was making the right choice. How incredible is that? For a mother to give birth, and immediately be at peace with her decision to have someone else parent her child. It's an amazing decision that she made, and she was content with her choice.

We followed the nurse to the nursery, where we looked through the window as they weighed & measured her. We couldn't go in there just yet so we waited {impatiently} outside the nursery window. At this point, I was starting to feel the fatigue - it was about 5:00am and already I'd had the most exciting morning of my life. I went on a search for ice water, and came back to Baron to wait some more. We took pictures through the nursery window. We waited. We guessed about her length...and I was WAY off. {She looks much longer than she is!} And then we waited some more.

{our first view of Natalie through the nursery window - 5lbs, 13oz; 18.75 in.}

While we were waiting, Jackie came out & said that Georgia wanted to talk to me. I walked with her back to Georgia's recovery room, and we chatted for a few minutes. She reassured me again that she knew she was making the right decision. She wanted to be sure that I knew that. She looked like she was doing well after her surgery. We talked for a few minutes, and I went back to wait with Baron.

At some point while we were sitting outside the nursery window, we called our family. We didn't want to call in the middle of the night; that was pointless, so I think we waited until about 6:00, which was 5:00 their time. They {my mom & dad, and Baron's mom} were planning to leave at 7:00 that morning to travel up to South Carolina to spend the rest of the week with us after the birth of Natalie. Of course, they weren't expecting her to already have been born by the time they left. :)

Finally, a nurse told us she would be bathing Natalie soon & we could come in for the first bath. Soon after that, we got to go in the nursery to see our daughter. The nurse gave Natalie her first bath while we watched, videoing and taking pictures the whole time. Then she put her under the warming lamp to get warm before feeding her for the first time. She showed me how to feed her while under the lamp, and I fed my daughter for the first time! It was an incredible experience. this point, I had gotten so fatigued/hungry/overwhelmed/hot {under the warming lamp} that I started to feel faint. How embarassing. I had to stop feeding her to sit down because I felt so bad! The nurse actually left to get me some juice & crackers to help me out. At least I didn't pass out. :)

{Natalie's first bath}
{Natalie's first feeding}
Later, we took Natalie to the "bonding room" in the nursery - a room they have set aside for parents to privately bond with their baby. This was the first time Baron & I actually got to hold our daughter. It was a precious time for all of us!

{daddy holding Natalie in the bonding room}

Around 10:30, I decided I really needed to go back to the house & take a nap & shower. I hated to leave the hospital, but I decided that I felt so bad that I just couldn't enjoy my time there so I needed to refresh. We went back to the house, and we both took naps & showered. While we were there, our parents arrived, beginning the adventure of our week-long (plus) "vacation"!

{to be continued}


  1. Seems like yesterday. I still tear up a little when I read of your thoughts and emotions during those fast hours. It would be easy to dismiss G's kind gesture to call you in and assure you that she was at peace with her decision, but with all the conflicting input, she was doing a bold and loving thing. There is a world of difference in being "aware" of the adoption process and "living" the emotions that are involved.

  2. Awe! Laura, I enjoy reading about Natalie! It's good to know that Georgia was still okay with her decision--and that she wanted YOU to know that! She is an amazing woman for giving you and Baron the gift of Natalie!

  3. So I guess I'll just let that tear hang on my chin until the next post ;). So sweet. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful adventure.