The Pain of Labor

Before you read this entry, I need to share my heart here.   What I’m writing here was absolutely the most difficult moments of this journey, and possibly of my life. While I didn’t experience physical labor, I consider this part of our journey to be my own “labor.” This is our part of this story.  Keep in mind there is a whole other part to this story that I’ll never be able to share, because it’s not mine to share.  While my end was painful, I know that the other part was equally (if not more) painful.  Dax’s birth mom is a beautiful, strong, selfless woman. As a family,  we speak of her with kindness and love in all circumstances- including this one. 

Ryan and I made it to our room and figured Dax would be over with us shortly.   We were both exhausted and hadn’t slept in over 24 hours at this point.  Ryan very uncomfortably stretched out on the sofa in our room and I sat up in the bed.  I couldn’t sleep.  I couldn’t WAIT to see Dax again.  I sat there sending pictures and texts to our closest friends and family. 

Waiting….

Time passed, Ryan was sleeping and I was getting restless.  My mind started to race.  Had “S” changed her mind?  How would I ever recover if she changed her mind? Was something wrong? Did “S” experience complications?  Did Dax experience complications?  Was I over-reacting?  I was so tired.  Kandi had gone with “S”  and Dax, and I told myself that if something happened she would have let me know.  I waited awhile longer.  Ryan was still sleeping.  I was still texting my friends and family. 

Panic set in.   My mind was overwhelmed. I couldn’t chase away my fears so I decided to text Kandi just to check in.  I played it cool.  

“Just checking in to see how things are going! 🙂  Hope all is well!”

… nothing.

more waiting.

At this point 2-3 hours had passed. 

I finally heard back from Kandi and she told me that things were “ok” and to get some sleep.  I wasn’t buying it. My head was telling me that “S” had changed her mind and that we would be leaving the hospital without Dax.  I mean,  how could I blame her?  I couldn’t.   She carried this precious boy for 9 months.  She went to doctor appointments,  heard his heartbeat,  felt him moving inside of her.  She saw his beautiful face and experienced the pain of childbirth.  She held him and kissed him.  The simple fact that she chose to carry him instead of aborting him proved to me that she loved him.  I couldn’t blame her if she changed her mind.  I didn’t blame her.  I understood. I just knew that considering this as a possibility was breaking me. 

Ryan was still sleeping.  Thankfully I had been texting my sisters and 2 close friends about what was going on.  I think the four of them sensed my distress and kept me talking.  It was at that point that the tears just started to flow.  I couldn’t stop crying.  It was the ugly cry.  I literally felt my heart shattering inside of my chest.  I sat in the bed praying and crying and begging God for me to be able to be Dax’s mom because in my heart, he was already my son. 

  I’m  intentionally leaving out some details here out of respect for “S” and her privacy as well as our privacy as a family.  The next few hours brought a lot more tears, some conversations,  lots of prayer and after nearly 7 hours of waiting and wondering Dax was back in my arms.  I missed him more than I thought possible.  Having him back in my arms gave me such a peace.  We spent some time together and then “S” was released to go home.  When she left, my heart broke all over again. 

As a family we immediately decided to take some time and pray for “S” as she left.  We circled up and began to pray for her.   I looked down, and saw this:

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My heart melted because Dax had independently laced his tiny fingers together and looked as though he was praying right along with us for “S”.  

I felt selfish that I was so sad that I had missed out on those 7 precious hours.   I hadn’t really taken the time to truly consider her feelings and her experience at that moment.  My heart grieved for her and the sacrifice she was making by leaving Dax with Ryan and I.  I had missed out on 7 hours, but she only spent 7 hours with him.  Honestly, I have no idea what that time between her and Dax looked like.  I don’t know if I want to know what it looked like because I know it would crush me. 

With adoption, most people consider the joy of the adoptive family.   Let me tell you, there has been JOY in my heart.  But,  there is also a huge element of loss.  While I am celebrating the greatest moments of my life,  Dax’s birth mom is grieving a loss that I could never imagine. Our joy is a direct result of her pain.  I am so thankful for “S” and the gift she gave to us.  I’m so thankful that she chose the gift of life for Dax.  In hindsight, I am SO thankful that she was able to take that time and spend it with Dax.  I’m sure she had things she wanted to tell him and kisses she needed to give. That separation was painful for me, but the separation for her has to be a million times more painful. 

We still pray for her every day and will continue to do so. 

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Dax was with us and we still would be at the hospital for another night so we settled in to our room and took turns changing diapers and snuggling our boy.   I finally got a little bit of sleep and the next day it was time to be released.   

We knew we’d be spending the next week or two in Arkansas and would be driving a few hours for our stay.   There was also a 5 day window in which “S” could change her mind that was a constant voice in the back of our heads. 

To be continued….

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