Tag Archives: Hospital

On Your Third Birthday

22 Jul
Photo by C

Super excited about your balloons this past weekend :) Photo by C

Dear Little Man,

Today is a very special day — today is your birthday! Three years ago around this time I was getting hooked up in the hospital room and you were making your presence very well known every four to five minutes. Now, three years later, I’m sitting in my sunny apartment, drinking coffee, writing you this letter and (thankfully) not in desperate need of an epidural.

This is the first birthday I haven’t physically spent with you. I was there when you turned one, and I was there for part of your last actual birthday, but this year your birthday fell on a Monday — so even though I spent this past weekend with you, it feels a little strange not seeing you on this momentous day. Luckily, J solved that strangeness this morning: when I woke up, she’d sent me a video of you asking for me this morning.

“I want Nay Nay,” you said. “I want Nay-Nay to come to Liam’s house.”

Now I know it’s your birthday, but that video was probably the best birthday present I could have ever gotten.

So, on your third birthday, I want you to know something you will eventually get tired of hearing because I have told you (and will continue to tell you) so often: I love you so very much, I couldn’t be prouder of you or happier to be your mom.  The day you were born was the happiest day of my life. Even with the physical pain that preceded your birth or the sadness that followed it when you were placed, that day — July 22, 2010 — was just our day. A day when I only thought of you, no “before” and no “after.” Just you and me and your birth.

When you finally emerged, I remember listening for your cry to know that you were alright and being so relieved when I heard it. When I first held you to my chest, I remember that I counted your fingers and toes to make sure you had ten of each, fascinated by how impossibly small they were. But mostly, I remember seeing you for the first time. I remember when they lifted you up and I finally got to look at you, finally got to see the Little Man I had only felt, only imagined.

It took my breath away.

I was stunned. You were real. You were a person. You existed and I was instantly enamored with you. I have never loved anything so immediately or so fully as I loved you in that moment. It was the kind of moment that writers and poets and literary moguls describe as the moment when time slows down and everything around you just fades away. Everything but that one person that you instantly know you’re in love with. It’s true. I don’t remember what the nurses were saying. I don’t remember what my parents were doing. I don’t remember any of the other noises or sights. I just remember you. I remember seeing you, hearing you and just being…in awe. I was in awe of you — there’s really no other way to describe it. I was in awe but more so, I was in love, and I knew it without really having to know it. It was that instantaneous. It was that pure.

And it’s only grown since then.

I love you more and more with every day, every word, every step, every picture, every video, every visit, every smile, every laugh, every touch, every look. This day three years ago was the most incredible day of my life. Bringing you into this world will forever be the best thing I’ve ever done, followed by placing with with The B’s — the beautiful family that is celebrating you today just as much as I am. They are the family that knows exactly what I mean when I say how completely my love for you overtook me, because the same thing happened to them the first time they saw you. And now, three years later, we’re family. And we play and talk and care and hug and love, tied together at the center that is you. Who knew one little (adorable) blonde boy could create an entire family?

So today we celebrate you. We celebrate your birth. We celebrate that indescribable love we’ve had for you since Day One. And I celebrate that moment at 5:41 PM when I finally got to lay eyes on my beautiful, incredible son. When I finally got to fall in love with the boy instead of just the kicks and the ultrasounds. When I finally got to meet you.

You are my everything, Liam Hudson. Happy Birthday Little Man <3

Seconds after I first laid eyes on you. And so it began... :)

Seconds after I first laid eyes on you. And so it began… :)

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The One with the Lucky Baby

19 Nov

Dear Little Man,

One of my favorite TV shows when I was growing up (and now) is called Friends. Recently I got my hands on the DVD seasons (it ended in 2004) and I’m re-watching them all. It’s a funny sitcom-type show about six friends (three boys, three girls) who go through all of their ups and downs together, but no matter what, they are always there for one another.

Now — following that description — it is a sweet show with some truly tender, genuine moments…but mostly it’s just really, really funny. It will probably be way outdated by the time you’re old enough to appreciate it (or old enough to be allowed to watch it) but I think you should check it out at some point. If you turn out to be anything like me, you’ll certainly relate to the humor :)

Now in the first season of Friends, there’s a weird dynamic between Ross (one of the main characters) and his ex-wife Carol. As it turns out, Carol’s romantic interests were not…how should I put this…male-oriented. However, before Carol discovered this, she and Ross created a baby boy. By the time the baby was born, Carol was with her new life partner, Susan.

But Susan and Ross didn’t get along so well, especially when it came to the baby. Ross was technically the father, but Susan wanted the baby to recognize her as a parent as well. She and Ross would argue all the time about who would get to see the baby more and hold the baby more and love the baby more. Finally, at the hospital on the day that the baby was born, Ross’s friend Phoebe was listening to Ross and Susan fight over this little guy, when Phoebe said this:

“When I was growing up, my dad left and my mother died and my stepfather went to jail, so I barely had enough pieces of parents to make one whole one. But here’s this little baby who has three whole parents who care about it so much, they’re fighting over who gets to love it the most, and it’s not even born yet. It’s the luckiest baby in the whole world.”

That quote had me riveted. Of course, years ago when I first saw this episode it didn’t mean much to me, but now that I’m older…and now that I have you…I have a new appreciation for what Phoebe said. While no one has ever fought over who gets to love you the most — I think The B’s and I (along with my family and friends) share that job incredibly well — I hope that one day, you feel like the luckiest kid in the world. The baby in Friends (who they ended up naming Ben, by the way) had the love of three parents. But you have four — two moms, two dads, not to mention four sets of grandparents, and I don’t even want to go into how many aunts, uncles and cousins you have.

But I can tell you right now that, just like Baby Ben, we were all madly in love with you before you were even born. And our love grows as you do…it just keeps getting bigger and bigger every single day.

 

Head Injuries and Good Texts

29 Aug

Do you remember that letter I wrote you about how fearless you are? I still admire your moxy, definitely. I love how tough you are. I like to think you get it from me, but I scream bloody murder every time I see a spider within five feet of me, so that might be giving myself a little too much credit.

But it seems as though your bravery gets you into situations like these:

One fall, three staples and two scared mommies later, and you’re acting like nothing happened. My brave little man, playing and napping and acting just like he didn’t fall onto the corner of the coffee table and cut his head open. Aww. J and I couldn’t be prouder of how tough you are. We also couldn’t be more terrified how many things you dive head first into (pun mostly intended). Okay, well maybe not terrified. But let’s just say when E’s mom  said, “He’s just like his dad,” I opted not to hear the stories of all the crazy things he did when he was little. I’d like to keep my blood pressure at a healthy level while I’m young.

I’m glad you’re okay. So, so, so, so, so, so, soooo glad. Beyond glad. Nothing bad is allowed to happen to you, ever. I just think you should be aware of that little caveat of your existence now.

On the plus side, I have also learned that J is highly adept at sending very comforting, reassuring “something bad happened but it’s all going to be alright so don’t freak out” texts. I mean, seriously. That’s an acquired skill right there.

The Adoption Papers

24 Jul

Two years ago today, I signed your adoption papers.

It was my last day in the hospital. You were born on a Thursday and I’d spent all day Friday with you, but Saturday, we had to go. My social worker from the adoption agency was there, along with the hospital social worker, the interim care mom, and Pop-Pop and Grandma M.

I’d seen the papers before —  my social worker had shown them to me in one of the many meetings I had with her before you were born. She wanted me to get acquainted with them, read them over, know where I would sign and what exactly I was signing. I hated those papers. It felt like signing a document that said, “Yes, sure, take my child away from me.” In the back of your mind and at the bottom of your heart you know that you’re doing it because it’s what’s best, but at the time, it just feels so wrong.

I hadn’t let you out of my sight since you were born. From the moment I saw you, I never wanted to stop looking at you. You were perfect, this little miracle that I had somehow managed to create, and I was just in awe of you. We had visitors — Aunt S, Uncle J, even your Godmother’s mom stopped in to say hi. Looking back, it’s a miracle they got to hold you. I’m surprised I let you out of my arms even for a second. But out of my sight? Not a chance. If I only had a couple of days where you were 100% completely and truly mine, I was going to keep you with me the whole time. You are an excellent snuggle buddy, by the way.

But when it came time to sign papers and make everything official, I really refused to let you go. I held you the whole time, signing my name where I was supposed to, giving you kisses every spare second I could, mostly crying the whole time. I felt like I was just…letting you go, and it was the worst feeling in the whole world, only rivaled in intensity by the following few days during which I became a total recluse, cried all the time and probably scared the daylights out of The B’s by being totally incommunicado. But it all started with those papers, signed two years ago today. I’ll never forget it.

But the beauty behind all of that pain two years ago is that two days ago, I was busy playing with you. Over the weekend we devised a new game that you call “Rock:” it mostly just involved me rocking your stuffed animals in a glider while you laughed and watched from your crib (did I mention that you are easily entertained?). The beauty is that two years later, you know my name and we play games and we laugh together. The beauty is that I have an entirely new extended family that I love being a part of, a family brought together by your ever-wonderful existence. We’re all intertwined, forever a part of one another’s lives. I hated those papers at the time, but I will be forever thankful for what they brought me.

Especially because they brought me things like this:

Drinking out of the hose with you!

Just takin’ an outdoor shower ;)

With our families on your birthday tractor ride!

Yes, your hand was in that cow’s mouth…

…but you thought it was the coolest thing ever.
Photos by J

Bouncing Baby Boys for Everyone!

27 Feb

Your Aunt L, a very close friend of mine, had a baby yesterday. Unlike me, she and her husband waited until their baby was born to find out whether it was going to be a boy or a girl. Well I’m happy to report that she now has her own Little Man – it’s a boy! And you know what? They really like the name Liam.

I’m stopping by later today to visit her and her brand ” new and blue” bundle of joy. I’ve only been to the maternity ward in the hospital where you born once since I had you, when another one of my friends had a baby girl (we’ve already arranged your marriage to her FYI). It bring back a lot of memories, being there. And though occasionally tainted with the sadness of my separation from you, at least 98% of my hospital memories are good ones.

I was in labor with you for 11 hours. When I got to the hospital, they strapped a couple of monitors to me – one to monitor the contractions and another to monitor your heartbeat. I had them turn up the sound of your heartbeats and listening to them helped me breathe through my contractions.

I remember when you finally…um…came out, I listened for your cry because I knew it would mean you were alive and okay. When they lifted you up and I got to see you for the first time, my very first thought was actually about your chin. I thought to myself, “He has a cleft chin!” I know…it was definitely not what I imagined my first thought would be when I saw you. Luckily, it makes for a good story ;)

However, while marvelling over your cute cleft chin, I was overcome with this unbelievable awe. Obviously, I had know you were real. I had know you were going to be born and that when you were, you would be a baby. But other than your hair and eye color, I hadn’t really thought too much about what the rest of you would look like. And suddenly…there you were. This little being, smaller than any baby I had ever been around before. A little person that I had helped to create. Nothing has ever been more real to me than that moment. That was the moment I changed forever. I had always loved you – since the day I discovered you – but in seeing you, how much I loved you overwhelmed me. I never believed in love at first sight, but that moment couldn’t have been anything but.

The immediately gave you to me and I got to hold you for a little while, so the doctors could finish up. Looking back at the pictures, you were covered in some pretty weird stuff but I honestly don’t remember any of that. I just remember getting to hold you, feeling so relieved – partly because the labor was finally over and partly because you were finally here. They cleaned you up and weighed you (7lbs, 6oz, by the way) and then they gave you to me for skin-to-skin time. You were so warm and tiny! Those few minutes were the most peaceful ones of my life.

Over the next day and half we got visitors and flowers and your grandparents stole all the time they could with you. I think the only time we ever sat you down was to change your diaper. Other than that, you were in someone’s arms 24/7. I would have held your forever if I could have. Eventually I suppose I would have had to let you learn how to walk, but that was a ways off anyhow.

My favorite times were when you opened your eyes. You were a fantastic baby – you didn’t cry at all really. If you got upset or hungry or cold, you would make disgruntled noises but that was it. Otherwise, you slept most of the time. But on occasion you would wake up, open your eyes and look around a little. But mostly, you focused on me. I know babies can’t see much more than outlines when they’re first born – it’s most just shapes and fuzzy features – but you certainly stared at me. And even though I know you weren’t seeing me, I liked to pretend that you did. I liked to think that you were making mental imprint of me that you would never forget no matter where or how far away you went. Like maybe that was your way of telling me you loved me, too.

But today, I will revisit the hospital maternity ward. I will relive the wonderful few days I got to spend with you there. I will get to say hello to a new mother who will now know, without a doubt, what I’m talking about when I mention that instantaneous love I felt the first time I saw you. I don’t know what name they officially settled on yet, and in the end, new life is new life and it doesn’t truly matter – but it’s quite possible that the world has just gained another Liam :)

Lookin' at me lookin' at you :)

Flowers Can Make a World of Difference

17 Feb

When you were born, I was in the hospital from around 9:30 a.m. on a Thursday to 3 p.m that following Saturday. I didn’t sleep much over those couple of days, partially because hospital beds are monstrously uncomfortable, but also partially because I didn’t to waste any time with you. Your adoption was impossibly imminent at this point – I knew that when we left the hospital, I would be going one way and you would be going another. I think I’m one of the very few women in the world who wanted her postpartum hospital stay to last as long as possible. So during the very few times I did sleep, I slept snuggled up with you, as you can see in the above picture that Pop-Pop 3 took.

You had a lot of visitors in the hospital. My friends, my friends parents, even your Uncle J (one of my best guy friends) flew in from New Orleans to see you. Actually, Uncle J and I had lunch and movie plans on the day you were born, so someday when he starts joking around with you about “messing up his plans,” you’ll understand why. Pop-Pop 3 and Grandma M stayed in the birthing room with me, but the waiting room was mostly crammed with your many admirers, just waiting to meet you.

You and I got a lot of flowers, too. A couple bouquets from your many aunts (my friends), a couple bouquets from my real aunts and some from other family members. My favorite bouquet, however, came from The B’s. I got it in the hospital on Friday, the day after you were born. The hospital social worker had just been in to talk to me about adoption; the procedure, the papers, etc. I felt like I was going to burst into tears just thinking about all of it – after finally meeting you and getting to spend time with you, “giving you up” was starting to feel more and more impossible. I loved you. After only spending 12 hours with you, I didn’t know how to exist without you.

As I was thinking all of this, a nurse walked in to deliver some flowers to me. They were beautiful – I remember that the roses were orange, and I loved the color. They were from The B’s with a card that ended up making a whole world of difference.

The card read, “Looking forward to spending a life time with you. Love, E, J and Sports Man.”

The timing couldn’t have been more perfect, almost as if it was designed that way. Although I was still sad and still scared, I felt a sort of calm and peace settle around me. We took the flowers and the card home and put them in our living room and over the next several days – some of the hardest days – whenever I would doubt or worry, I would pass by the card and it would help me to remember that I had chosen the right family – that The B’s wanted to love me as much as they loved you. And you just couldn’t go wrong with people who had that much love to give.

Tomorrow, The B’s are bringing you to see me, and we will get to spend the weekend together. And the month following this one, I’ll probably drive down to your house. And over the summer when I’m gone (I have an internship in NYC), we’ll Skype and send pictures and videos and e-mails, and I’ll keep writing you letters.

It looks like they weren’t kidding. It’s going to be quite a life time together, huh?

The flowers and card I got from The B's

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