Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Birth Story and More
I am finally able to post (I am at the computer in the lobby of the hotel). Chris put together this e-mail to go to our family and friends so I thought I'd just post it here as it is a detailed description of the birth and the mess that happended the next day. All is good now though. Samuel is home (in the hotel in Georgia) with us and we are working to get into a groove.
When we last left our heroes, they were preparing for the birth mom to have labor induced at 5 AM Sunday morning. They had picked up the birth mom, and brought her back to the vacation house they were renting, to minimize travel time in the wee morning hours....
Knowing the early hour we'd have to get moving to get to the hospital, all of us were in bed by 10 PM. Of course, none of us actually slept. Kelly & I tossed and turned, while our birth mom did likewise as well as made repeated trips to the bathroom. About 11:45, and one such trip, she called to Kelly from the hallway. Kel was at the door in a flash, and our birth mom uttered one word to vault us in to action: "Contractions."
We were rolling out of the driveway by 11:56, and through the miracle of modern automobile transportation known as "speeding", we arrived at the hospital just after 12:30 AM. Therein we stumbled upon the first sign of trouble: they had no record of our birth mom in their system. No evidence of an induction procedure at 5 AM.
Nevertheless, with contractions coming in the neighborhood of 3-5 minutes apart, and dropping, we were going to have a baby delivered there. We got through triage and in to a birthing suite. Birth mom was dilated to 9 cm, and, sadly, too far along for pain meds of any sort; it was going to be the old-fashioned way. During all of this, we'd encountered the second sign of trouble: no one on duty in the labor/
delivery section spoke Spanish. Our birth mom speaks *very* limited English. No one on the staff seemed to think that perhaps having someone available who spoke both languages would be helpful. Nevertheless, the circle of life pressed onward, so did we. The doctor, thankfully, did speak Spanish, which at least helped in his communication with the birth mom. She had a rough go of it, tiring quickly, but finally at 2:36 AM--I know, because I looked at the big clock on the wall--out came our little boy. (Third sign of trouble: the staff called time of birth at 2:40 AM. By 2:40 AM, he'd been wiped down by a medical assistant and given his first APGAR test.) Vitals: 8 pounds, 5 ounces, 20.5 inches in length. Ten fingers, ten toes, two
eyes, two ears, one squished little nose.
Birth mom had complications I won't go in to here for the sake of the squeamish, but it resulted in stitching and being carted off to the OR. We got to spend about 45 minutes with the new little one in our lives. As we neared the moment when they were going to take birth mom to the OR, we encountered the fourth sign of trouble: ID bands. Standard procedure is apparently to band the mother, band the baby, and then band one other individual determined by the mother. Through the previous talks we'd had with our birth mom, that other individual was supposed to be Kelly. We asked about this as they were banding birth mom and baby. We were told they had to ask her; only the only person who could do that had taken his leave of us, and our poor birth mom was rapidly falling in to incoherence out of sheer exhaustion. We
were assured by the staff that when we came back in the morning, they'd have an answer from the birth mom, etc.
So, with birth mom being carted off to the OR, and our boy being carted off to the nursery, we drove back to the rental house for a few hours of sleep.
(Some of you might be wondering why the ID bands are such a big deal. Nutshell: it's a security procedure to limit access to the baby outside of the nursery until the baby is discharged from the hospital.)
As I stated previously, my folks had driven over from Birmingham to stay with Davis while we took care of all of this, so we left them at the house while we went back to the hospital. Sign of trouble #5: we couldn't locate birth mom in the maternity ward. Turned out that she was shipped over to the regular hospital wing after her discharge from surgery recovery. We met with her, and in our limited language
experiences, found that she was doing well, and had gotten a lot more rest than we had over the past few hours.
We asked her about the ID bands, and she told us that she'd told some staffer that she wanted Kelly to have one. Only our birth mom had the 3d ID band *on her other wrist*. What we've deduced has happened is that because birth mom doesn't know our last name (and this is intentional), and the staffers she was dealing with this morning were not the ones she, and we, had dealt with during labor & delivery, no
one knew who "Kelly" was.
To wrap up what's rapidly becoming a long story, we didn't get to visit with our little guy outside the confines of the nursery. We were limited to looking at him through those big panes of glass. We were devastated, and not a little angry. Lots of she said-she said from the staffers, the language barrier, and necessary legal requirements to ensure the safety of the baby had coalesced to see that we would not
be holding our new little man this day.
The kicker: after speaking with our local adoption agency director, we were informed that, legally, the birth mom could appoint whomever she wanted to have that third band, and it didn't matter when that occurred, or if the birth mom was in possession of third band, as we'd found her. Of course, we didn't get this information until dinner time.
Oh, and did I mention that we had to vacate the rental house and move to new living quarters?
Yep, we took care of that, too. Kelly's company owns a Residence Inn in the Atlanta area, and we got a super-low corporate rate. So we packed up the minivan, then unpacked the minivan, and we're in the new digs, much closer to the hospital.
So what's the plan for tomorrow? Our agency director--who assured us she's *never* had this type of issue crop up at this particular hospital before, unlike other hospitals in the area--has left a detailed message for the maternity ward social worker we're going to meet in the morning. Hopefully we'll get all of this cleared up and we'll once again have our baby boy in our arms for a while.
We're guessing birth mom and baby will be discharged on Tuesday, and that's when she'll terminate parental rights, we'll sign the papers we have to sign, and Samuel Patrick--that's the name we're going with-- will be handed over to us.
Thanks for all of the prayers.