I came across an awesome blog a few days ago. It's similar to my blog in that it's about a birthmother's journey, but the amazing thing is that this extraordinary 19-year-old woman has been blogging throughout her entire pregnancy and she just placed her baby in an adoption two weeks ago! All of her emotions are so fresh and so real. Reading her blog sort of makes me wish that I had thought to blog or even to just write privately about my experience during the pregnancy. I started blogging this past February because 1) I didn't want to ever forget what I had been through 2) I wanted to help others to understand open adoption by sharing our story and 3) I wanted Deanna to be able to read it someday knowing that Robbie and I made this decision because we loved her sooooo much. So check this girl's amazing blog....
Stefanie Jinelle's Journey
Reading Stefanie's blog really takes me for a trip down memory lane. Really! Just looking at her hospital pictures reminded me of how I felt in the hospital after little babe was born. Here's what happened during my experience at the hospital on July 11, 2005. I'm very apprehensive of needles, and since I chose to have an epidural, the nurse gave me drug to relax me before the epidural (an epidural is a numbing drug that is administered through a gigantic needle which is placed in the spine.) The relaxing drug gave me the giggles. I went from groaning in pain from the contractions to hysterically laughing and telling ghost stories. Don likes to remind me of this -- Don came into my hospital room as soon as we arrived at the hospital, and he asked how I was feeling. I was in ALOT of pain, and he could tell. About 30 minutes later, I received the relaxing drug, and as De and Don sat in the waiting room, they heard hysterical laughter coming from down the hallway. Don tiptoed around the corner and he heard the laughter get louder. The laughter was coming from my room. He poked his head in, and he asked Robbie and Mary Beth what had happened. Robbie told him that I received relaxing drug to prepare me for the epidural, and I proceeded to share a series of nonsensical jokes and ghost stories with Don, Robbie, MB and the rest of the hospital staff.
If you know anything about epidurals, they completely numb you from the waist down. Unfortunately, this meant that I couldn't really feel the "pushing" part of delivery. People always ask me, "did the labor hurt?" No, it really didn't at all! I couldn't feel a thing--which was the problem. Since I was numb, I couldn't really tell how hard I was pushing. I probably would have been better off without the epidural because the delivery would be much faster. More painful yes, but much faster too! Anyway, Dr. Anthony kept encouraging me to push harder. "I am!" I said, although I couldn't really tell. After 5 hours of labor, he looked at me with a stern look above his bifocal lenses and said, "if you do not push harder, I am going to get the suction machine." The whatttt?!?!?!?!? "Okay, okay! I'll try, I'll try!" I pleaded. And Deanna was born a few minutes later. Amazing what intimidation and scare tactics can do.
Don and De were behind a curtain in the delivery room, and the minute Deanna was born Dr. Anthony exclaimed, "happy anniversary of the slushie!" (It was 7/11, apparently the anniversary of the slushie was on July 11th.) We always thought that was a little strange. How did he know that? And why didn't he exclaim, "ten fingers and ten toes, it's a girl!" Then, immediately after the slushie comment, (keep in mind that Don and De were still behind the curtain) Robbie exclaimed, "what's wrong with her head?" Babies tend to have misshaped heads when they travel through the birth canal, and this concerned Robbie, who didn't know that her head would eventually go back to it's "normal" shape. All of these silly debacles make for some great delivery room tales.
The nurses at the hospital were so incredibly understanding of our situation. We far exceeded the maximum amount of visitors allowed per day, our family members seriously violated the hospital's visiting hours rule, and Robbie, De, and I all shared a hospital room together. All of these things were strictly frowned upon, but there were soooooooo many people who wanted to meet Deanna, and the nurses were especially sensitive to the adoption situation that was occurring. They sort of turned a blind eye to all of our violations. The only time that they actually tried to enforce the rules is when the Leonard girls brought a huge box of fudge sickles and things got out of hand.
Our hospital adventures, although incredibly difficult and emotionally tumultuous, are some of my favorite memories. Yes, I was heartbroken and so incredibly sad, but there are so many funny stories that came with that experience. And the fact that I'm able to remember them all and smile is a pretty good sign.