Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Whirlwind Week!

I keep using the word “whirlwind” to describe various aspects of our adoption journey. I wish I could be a little more creative, but a whirlwind is exactly what it has been like. This is especially true of the last week! I absolutely cannot believe the events that have taken place in the last seven days, which have included some of the hardest, most emotional and absolute happiest moments of my life all at once. I want to make sure and get baby K’s birth story down before my memories of that day fade, and also get up to speed on her first week of life. How has it been a week already?!

Last Saturday, Nate and I spent the day working on house work and grocery shopping. I was also working with a designer via text on some improvements that are coming soon to the blog, as well as chatting with a friend who is also a new mom. My phone was going off all day with requests for me to approve a certain detail of the blog or the exchange of parenting tips.

At about 3:30 that afternoon, a text came in from J – “I think my water just broke.” “Who was that from?” Nate asked, and when I told him what it said his face went blank. He then proceeded to start jogging in place (this must be his thing when something exciting happens) and said “a text, really? CALL HER!” We started getting a few things around and J did call me a couple minutes later. She said that her water officially did break because there was a lot of water, and that her dad was taking her to the hospital.

At that point we packed up the rest of the car and headed down to the hospital. We made it in record time, but on the way there J’s birth mother counselor did call to check in. She told us that the birth father would be at the hospital when we arrived (we had yet to meet him), and that J’s sister would possibly be there too. As we sped along I tried to stay calm about the extra people we weren’t expecting, and also about the arrival of our daughter. Nate and I just kept asking one another, “Can you believe it’s time?”

On our way to he hospital!
We arrived at the hospital while J was still in triage. I was able to go back while Nate stayed in the waiting room. She was in really good spirits, considering that she was in labor, and I was so happy to see her! Shortly after we got there, J’s room was ready and we moved to labor and delivery. At that point Nate was able to come back and the birth father had just gotten back from getting something to eat. We did our introductions and made small talk while we waited for things to progress.

It seemed to take forever for J to get to the point where it was time to push. She hung out at six centimeters dilated for quite a few hours. I remember thinking it would finally be time when the nurse came in to check at 2:30 Sunday morning. Unfortunately J was still only at six centimeters, and Nate and I were on about hour 19 of no sleep. The nurse’s shift was up at 7:00 am, and we were hoping for things to happen before then. It wasn’t looking promising. We could see other patient’s contractions on the same monitor as J’s, and she didn’t look to be in the intense stage of labor like they were.

But then… the nurse came back in at about 3:30 am to check things out. Suddenly it was go time! All of the lights came on, about 5 nurses rushed in, they got J’s legs in the stirrups, and asked her if she’d like to try and push. Originally we thought that Nate would need to leave the room and that J and I would be the only ones there during the delivery. Luckily we all got to stay! J started pushing and the nurse said “Whoa! Hold on…” but K was already out! She came so quickly, the doctor didn’t even make it to the room beforehand.

We feel so blessed to have been able to witness the birth of our daughter! We were able to start talking to and soothing her within seconds of her birth, and she loved holding our hands. Nate even got to cut the umbilical cord!

From there it really was all action. The nurses cleaned her up, weighed her, gave her some medicine in her eyes, let her warm up on her little warming table, gave her her first diaper and finally let us all hold her. It truly was such a special time.

Unfortunately, little miss K was breathing quite rapidly so she had to go spend a few hours in the nursery after we were moved from labor and delivery to recovery. At this point Nate and I wanted to give J her space to rest and process. There really wasn’t a spot for us at the hospital, so we stood outside the nursery for three hours and watched the nurses with our baby. We must have looked so pathetic, but honestly I didn’t want to miss anything!

When K was finally able to leave the nursery, we got to spend some time feeding and bonding with her in a small lobby area right next to the nursery. During the rest of our stay, K spent time with all of us – J and birth dad had her for some of the time, we had her for some of the time and we all spent time together throughout the day. We ordered pizza for dinner Sunday and shared it with J and birth dad while watching football, and the hospital was awesome enough to let us use a room Sunday night. We were so thankful to get some rest and have some private time with K.
Our "area"

The next morning J came down to our room and spent some time with us. It was really nice to sense that the tension was fading, and just be able to chat with her like we have since our match. We had a photographer come and take a few newborn photos, which turned out really special. K had her hearing test done, the hospital social worker and pediatrician gave us a visit, and we were all ready for discharge! While we waited for some test results to be sent to the hospital from J’s OB, we also got a visit from J’s birth mother counselor who was there to give J a ride home – J was actually discharged about 3 hours before we were.

Saying our goodbyes to J and birth dad were emotional. They each gave baby K a kiss on the cheek, and I gave them both hugs. I made sure to hug J extra tight, and told her we would see her soon. She knows that whenever she is ready for her first visit to just let us know.

That afternoon around 3:30 we were finally cleared to go home! We put tiny miss K in her huge looking car seat and hit the road. We did have to stop to feed and change her, about an hour into the trip, but everything else went very smoothly. We changed her diaper when we got home and she went right to sleep in her new bassinet.
Ready to go home!
Nate’s brother and sister-in-law were sweet enough to drop off dinner at our house before we got home (the advantage of letting them keep a key to our house!) and we were able to eat dinner (we were starving) while the baby slept. We got the car unpacked and everything put away before we went to bed ourselves. We were exhausted, and I don’t think my bed has ever felt so good!

Miss K’s first week has been a pretty busy one! Of course we had lots of visitors on Tuesday! K got to meet most of her aunts and uncles on Nate’s side, as well as her grandma, great grandpa and cousins. We went to her first pediatrician visit on Wednesday and signed paperwork at the agency on Thursday.

Friday we had a newborn photo session with a friend of ours who is a very talented photographer. I feel so blessed to have had these photos taken! They turned out amazing, and they will be such a treasure to always have! After photos we stopped at Nate’s parent’s house so K could meet her grandpa, another aunt and cousin.

On Saturday my dad came down from Michigan for a visit, and my sister surprised us when she tagged along! Sunday we had friends over with their three month old twins and yesterday we had our first of six home visits from the agency. We thought that our life would calm down after welcoming K home, but we were mistaken yet again!

We are trying to learn K’s cues and adjust to her feeding schedule. She eats pretty consistently (about 2 or 2.5 ounces) every three hours, and usually sleeps (in her bouncer during the day and her bassinet by our bed at night) most of the time right now. A few times a day she wakes up for about an hour and a half, and she is so alert! We are amazed at how well she controls her head and neck already, and she really loves her play mat. We’ve done tummy time a few times, and she really doesn’t mind that at all either. She is a pretty mellow baby so far, and she smiles a lot! The only things she really doesn’t like are having a dirty diaper (which I totally understand!), having her diaper off, having her feet touched and being sponged down. I hope that when we are able to give her a real bath she will like it better!

This week we have slightly less going on. We’ll go to the attorney on Wednesday to start the legal paperwork for the adoption. And we’re expecting a visit from our close friends from Michigan!

I’m hoping to continue updating the blog regularly, but I’m already learning that it’s not as easy to write a post! We will see how things go as Nate and I adjust to life as a family of three!

Thank everyone so much for your congratulations, support and well wishes!


  1. What a precious little babe you have! She is a beauty! I hope that you are able to keep the blog updated from time to time once you all get into a routine!

  2. What a beautiful day! Readying this story brought tears to my eyes and hope to my heart. Congratulations on your little one, she is absolutely precious.

  3. How beautiful!
    You sure did have an exciting day, what a wonderful result and beginning to your new little angel.

  4. Oh my goodness, this post brought happy tears to my eyes! I love your daughter's birth story and think it's so special you and your husband were there for her birth. All the best in these first few weeks! It is such a special time! Congratulations and welcome Baby K!

  5. Congratulations on your beautiful baby! As a newly adoptive mom of a baby boy, born in October, it's nice to see someone else going through the same journey.