Monday, October 29, 2012

The Flip Side of the Hospital Coin

As dirty and run down as California Hospital was, where Olivia was born, the birthing center at Memorial Hospital in Belleview is a beautiful, modern facility with- guess what- REAL LIVE DOCTORS!

But let me start where I left off. The nursing staff at Memorial was expecting me, and even had a room ready for me. After getting the bm's groggy permission, they were able to allow the baby to sleep in my room with me. He is so good! (Yes, I know, Tanya, you are cursing me for having two perfect babies.) He rarely opens his eyes, but when he does- WATCH OUT LADIES! He is a handsome devil!

The only problem with him is, well, he's a boy. It's taken me many failed attempts (and many wet pairs of pants) to get his pee pee pointed in the right direction inside his diaper. Otherwise, the tinkle goes anywhere but where it's supposed to.

The next morning I woke up and the nurse told me that the birth father was at the hospital visiting the bm. This nurse was amazing- she was always looking out for me. She said that the bf was holding the baby the day before, and she was really worried because he and the bm were talking about how could they afford to raise the baby themselves. Was I worried?

The truth was, I wasn't. I don't know how to describe this feeling I had, but it was a peaceful, calm inner belief that everything was going to work out. I was all by myself with a newborn that was hopefully going to be my son soon, and my husband and daughter were sick at home, but I knew deep down that everything was going to be okay.

The bm told the nurse that she wanted me to come to her room to meet the birth father but it would probably be better to wait until her mother gets there to mediate. Awesome. Baby Daddy Drama!

I'll tell you a little bit about the bm's mother (let's call her the bgm). She is the mother of 6, including 2 adopted kids from her sister. She is the true matriarch of her family, and takes care of 6 grandchildren in her home every day. When the bm got pregnant the first time at age 17, she would not let her have an epidural during labor because she wanted her to remember the pain so she didn't get pregnant again. Thankfully that didn't work.

That afternoon I spent 3 hours in the bm's room with her, the bf, the bgm & bgf, the bm's son, and nephew. I had a heart to heart with the bf, who is 23. I explained to him that when I was 23, I was skiing every day and partying every night. I never would have been able to take responsibility for one child, much less two. I think the bottom line was he wanted me to know that this decision was hard for him. I told him I wouldn't have much respect for him if it wasn't.

At one point, as I was changing Jack's diaper, I noticed the bf looking over my shoulder.  "C'mon and jump right in."  I told him, hoping he'd want to help me out.  "Unh uh," he said.  Looking back, I realized he probably just wanted to check out his junk.

Illinois has a 72 hour waiting period for relinquishment. What this means is that birth mothers can't be asked to sign away their parental rights until 72 hours after the birth. If the birth father does not sign, and does not contest the adoption, after 30 days his parental rights are automatically terminated. This is what I was convinced would happen.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Chapter two- baby boy Schlichting.

Meet Jackson Gill Schlichting. Born October 25, 7lbs 10 oz 19 in. Gestation period: 5 weeks

Olivia had not been to day care in a week. Urine cultures (which are fun with a girl who's not potty trained), throat cultures, flu tests, blood tests, chest x-rays, and 4 visits to three different doctors gave us no info as to what was causing her fever of 101. A virus. Jeff got it too, and I have never seen him so sick.

Being the glass half full kind of gal, I look at the past week as an opportunity to wean my students from Mrs. Schlichting's care. While they got to experience instruction from a panoply of substitute math instructors, I got to catch up on episodes of Barney and read Goodnight Gorilla thirty-seven times.

So I guess it was a good thing that I had requested a sub through the often faulty and generally unreliable SAM automated Subfinder for Thursday morning. Come to think of it, I never checked to see if anyone picked up the job. Because by 7:00, my phone rang. It was our birth grandmother saying our birthmom had gone into labor, and they had just arrived at the hospital.

Book a flight. Repack into a carryon. Worry about Olivia. Worry about Jeff. Worry about Mimi worrying about me. Jump on a van. Get to the airport in plenty of time. Whew. Google viral meningitis. Fly to Memphis. Eat a barbecue sandwich the size of my head. Wait as my flight is delayed 45 minutes. Then another 30. Then another hour. Watch as they bring another aircraft from the hangar Call my friend Phyllis in st. Louis to tell her not to bother picking me up at the airport at midnight. Call jeff to ask him to rent me a car. Board the flight to St. Louis. Fly to St. Louis. Rent my car. Drive 45 minutes across the mighty mississippi into Belleville, Ill. to the hospital. Try to be coherent as I explain to the security guard who I am. Make it to the birthing center and there, behind the nurses' station is the most perfect baby boy I have ever seen.