Tuesday, September 14, 2010

May 14, 2007: Placement

It's hard to start this. There are so many emotions tied to this day. So much happened that I don't know where to begin. Well I guess from the night before....

On Sunday night I stayed in the NICU as long as I could until I just about passed out from being so tired. I told the nurse that I needed the neonatologist to come to my room as soon as he got in. She told me that if I waited another 20 minutes he'd be here. So I waited to talk with him. I wanted to make sure that he and the nursing staff knew that tomorrow would be the last day that I had to spend with my child before I placed her into her mothers arms. I wanted to make sure they release her from the NICU before noon so that I could at least spend some alone time with her. The neonatologist told me he'd do everything he could but couldn't make any promises. In most cases the babies aren't allowed to leave the NICU unless they are leaving the hospital, but because of my "special" circumstance they would see what they could work out. I left the NICU that night feeling some what defeated. I didn't think I'd really get to spend the time with Ally like I wanted to. Now don't get me wrong the time that I had already spent with her was great but let me explain a few things...
  • The NICU is not at all private (and in our case Ally was next to a baby who at birth weighed 9 pounds and a set of lungs like a 2 year old! I can't remember his name but there were many times where he cried the ENTIRE time I was holding Ally)
  • The NICU is not at all comfortable! Sure they have soft chairs for you to sit on but lets be honest when your backside hurt as badly as mine did I could hardly sit for 30 minutes let alone sit and hold a baby.
  • The NICU staff, although I'm sure they tried not to be, was rather annoying. I think there was maybe one time where I held Ally that they didn't come up and check on her. I know they were doing their job but it got old!
So you see... although I'd spent probably a total of a day with her (combining all the time spread out through the days since she was born) none of that time was personal or intimate. I wanted, no more that I need that personal and intimate time with Ally in order feel like I had my "time" with her.

I woke up at 3 am to the phone ringing. At first I didn't understand what was going on, thanks in part to the heavenly pain meds that I was on. When I realized it was my phone I hurried and answered. It was the NICU letting me know that the Neonatologist had released Ally and I could come and get her at any point in time. I was thrilled! I couldn't believe that I was going to really spend time with my baby like I had planned. I hurried down to the NICU to get her. Wheeling her into my room was so comforting and peaceful. I had never spent a moment of time alone with my child. There had always been someone in the same room. I was finally getting the time that I needed with my baby.

One of the very first things I did with her was get her naked! I wanted to check out every inch of her. I wanted to remember everything about her. I wanted to remember her legs, her a hands, her hair (well what little hair she had), I wanted to look over every inch of her and ingrain it into my mind. Throughout the day me and Debbie had fun changing her clothes, feeding her, playing with her and just spending time with her.

As I think through how to describe the feelings I felt I've concluded that the only way to do so it to post LOTS of pictures (they will have subtitles). Hope you can feel what I felt for just a moment through these wonderful pictures (Lindsay Jane studios!)
My sweet baby girl. I can't begin to explain the joys that filled my soul holding her alone in my room knowing that even for must a moment she was mine.

My favorite thing was to hold Ally's little hands. So small and tiny and perfect!

You can see her angel kisses on here eyes. I asked the doctor about them. He said that until she was about 3 or 4 they would turn bright red when she got angry or cried. He told me "there must be someone up in heaven who wants this little girl to feel loved. Those are two very good Angel kisses."

Oh those hands... I just couldn't get enough of them! Lori and Barton actually made a 3D mold of Ally's hand for me. It is truly a treasure!

My middle brother Daniel and his wife Mary had three kids who I love dearly and I wanted them to be able to know Ally in some way. We limited the time that they spent with her (mostly the oldest, Madison, the two boys weren't old enough to understand.) so that they didn't get attached.

This is Mary holding Ally. Without Mary I don't know if I would have chosen the option of Adoption

From left to right: my brother Zach, just older than me. Daniel, the one with the kids. Daddy, he was a wreck that day....

Cater was more interested in her that we thought... he pointed out all her body parts and laughed when she started to squirm. P.S. you can see the ruffles on the butt of the outfit.. my favorite part! It came with a hat but it was HUGE on her!

Wyatt.... he was the life of the day. Kept everyone laughing. This is my joyous donut that I sat on, slept on, basically lived on for a few months... he thought it was AWESOME!

Madison... bless her heart loved my baby Ally with all her heart.

What did I say about Wyatt... Kept us all entertained! Still does too!

A mothers final prayer... As I sat on the edge of that bed I said a prayer with my baby. I prayed that she would grow up to be a strong willed, independent, determined woman. I prayed that she would always look up to her mother as an example. I prayed that she would always feel the love that I have for her. I prayed, well more threatened, that if she ever did anything I did she'd be in a whole load of trouble. And finally I prayed for the strength to do what I knew I must.

That was the longest four steps of my life. Holding my baby in my arms preparing to place her into the arms of her rightful mother. My heart was breaking more than I thought it ever could. I was hoping that something would change and I'd be the strong person I knew I could. But it was simply too hard. I could hardly stand the fact that I was walking away from what I knew I wanted most in life. But I knew, without a doubt, that she was going home.

As I hugged Lori I asked her if she would give Ally a kiss for me every night. She told me that she would and that I would have many chances to kiss her sweet face.

And then... I gave my daughter a final kiss. I loved her more than life itself. I was truly doing God's will in placing her for adoption. I knew at that moment that my life would never be the same.
I hugged Barton and let him know that he was the father of my daughters dreams. He was everything that I knew she needed. He hugged me and let me know that my daughter was the little girl of his dreams and he would do anything and everything to make her happy.
I didn't realize at first how hard placement would be for my parents. They too were making a huge sacrifice. They were walking away from a grandchild that they loved and cared for dearly. Their hearts were breaking not only to see the baby go but to see their baby hurting so much. I will always and forever be saddened by the fact that I hurt my parents so deeply.

As I walked out of that room my heart broke into a billion pieces. I had just walked away from my daughter. I fell to the ground and started shaking. I couldn't do it. I wanted more than anything to walk back into the room and just hold my baby. I said over and over... "I can't do this. This isn't fair! I can't give my baby away!" And then my mother in all her wisdom lifted my to my feet and told me. "It's done." It sounds harsh but I think at that moment she didn't know what else to say. She didn't know how to help her child who was hurting more than anyone in the entire world. As we walked to the elevator my heart broke again as I heard my sweet 6 year old niece ask, "Daddy, why doesn't KK want to keep her baby?" She didn't get it. She could see the hurt that I was feeling and she didn't get it. How could she get it. To see me in pain and see that I had walked away from a baby... It didn't make sense to her.

In the elevator I begged and pleaded with my savior to give me peace, to help me through this. I knew that without him there was no way I would be able to go on living. There is no way I would want to go on living. As I walked out of the hospital I was filled with the most overwhelming peace. The daughter that I had carried was no longer mine. Yes, I was her mother in a way that Lori never could be and Lori is her mother in a way I never would be. But together through our faith and through adoption we are mothers.


Brooke & Casey said...

Amazing Katelyn! I don't think you will ever realize how amazing you are for what you did for Ally! I cried the whole way through this one. It was hard to read through the tears. Love you girl!

Jessica said...

Ditto to Brookie's comment. One hundred fold.

Mike and Keralyn said...

You don't know me, but my husband and I adopted our little boy in July. We had waited 10 years to have a baby. Our birthmother, Katie, is and will always be an angel and a savior in our eyes. I have no doubt that those holding your little Ally now feel exactly the same way about you. Thank you so much for your strength, courage, and faith.