Our adoption journey PT 1
photo credit Allison Fowler
I woke up and looked at my clock. It was 3:30 am and my heart was beating out of my chest. I felt a swoosh of anxiety rush over my body. “What if it happens again? What if at my 20 week anatomy scan in 3 weeks the Doctor determines that my baby is dead?! I rolled out of bed and got on my knees and I prayed. I prayed that I would have peace in this pregnancy. I prayed that I would soon find my rhythm and make it through this pregnancy one day at a time. You see just a few short months prior I lost my baby boy Jack at 32 weeks gestation. As soon as I lost my sweet boy my world completely changed. What once seemed like the most incredible life became grim and negative. Everything seemed as though it was a little bit scarier. If I could lose a baby in the womb… what else could possibly happen to me? What could happen to my daughter? My husband. This loss put me in a state of panic and eventually perinatal depression.
For for the remainder of my third pregnancy I felt fear, anxiety, had trouble sleeping, and had panic attacks. The fear of losing another baby crippled me. We began trying to get pregnant 2 months after losing baby Jack. We just wanted to feel some hope on the horizon and we thought that another pregnancy would do just that! I mean, lightening never strikes the same place twice… or does it?
I spent every single day of my last pregnancy listening to the heart beat with my Doppler. I became obsessed with the Doppler and with Ultrasounds. We went about the pregnancy as if we never lost Jack months prior because we wanted to give this new baby everything he deserves!
On the day of my anatomy scan for Baby William (my last pregnancy) I felt enormous anxiety. At this point my physicians had suggested therapy and an antidepressant. I felt as though it was starting to kick in and I was starting to feel more in control of my anxiety. I laid down on the couch to have my daily doppler meeting with my baby. I put the doppler right on the spot that I normally find the heart beat. There was nothing. I moved the doppler around fiercely and frantically. Still nothing. I started to panic and within in minutes was on my knees crying. The anxiety flooded in. We had my anatomy scan in a few minutes so we would have confirmation, but I had a really good feeling that he was gone, just like I had with Jack. Mom’s intuition I guess!
“Anita I am so sorry, but William is gone.” The Doctor looked at me with tears in his eyes. He looked panicked, trying desperately to find out the answers and help me calm down. “Anita I am so sorry this happened to you. This should never happen to a Mother.” I looked at Eric and we were both sobbing. Eric leaned down and started to rub my hair as I cried out “NOOOOO, GOD PLEASE NOT AGAIN!!!” The entire floor of that office had to have heard me as I screamed and cried. “Anita we need to make a plan for delivery. What do you want to do?” I knew the drill already. Take the pill, lay in agony, deliver baby, hold said baby, and shrivel into a pit of darkness for several months. “Lets just get this over with.” I exclaimed. Eric and I got into the car and Eric drove directly to a gas station. He came out with a solemn look on his face. He got back in the car and handed me a pack of cigarettes and started the car. He knew exactly where my head was at. Some people grieve by laying around and crying, I grieve by sitting alone and smoking cigarettes, and NO I am not a smoker. I used to be, but I kicked it during one of my intense health make-overs!
Who gives a SHIT about health when two of your babies are gone. So I smoked and I cried and then proceeded to the hospital to deliver William. This would be the second still birth in 1 year. I laid lifeless on the bed and just sobbed. After 8 hours of contractions, I delivered William (I won’t go into gory details, but it was the most horrific thing I have ever witnessed.) As I started to compose myself after holding William I looked at Eric and I said “This is the year that we adopt, and I am pretty damn convinced we need to adopt a special needs child. We owe that honor to our Jack and William. We need to give all of this love we have mustered up in our bodies to someone who NEEDS IT. At first Eric was nervous about the idea, but as months progressed we got on the same page. It was time to find our baby boy.
To be continued.