Waking up in the middle of the night with an intense urge to pee.
Feeling dumb because I couldn’t seem to hold it as I sleepily stumbled into the bathroom
Thinking my bladder must have magically expanded because the stream seemed to be never-ending.
Realizing it wasn’t my bladder, but that my water had broken.

Waking everyone up, getting things loaded into the van.
Driving to Fort Worth to the Osteopathic Medical Center of Texas with empty roads and bright flashing traffic lights.
Arriving at the wrong entrance and waddling hoping the towel would catch the drips, not wanting to inconvenience anyone.
Calling my caseworker – the time had arrived.

Laying on a hospital bed, and the troop of medical students coming to check out my show-and-tell.
A nurse with a tender and compassionate countenance.
Uncomfortable pain.
Physically, emotionally, and mentally.

Hours passing.
Drifting in and out of sleep.
Reflecting on the countless number of couples and families I considered.
Confident that I’ve chosen correctly.
Medical students attempting to be quiet but continuing to come in and review progress.
Feeling on display.
Constant beeps, and then alarms.
Students trying to help me roll over and feeling like a boulder.
Kelly Clarkson’s “A Moment Like This”
More alarms.
His heart rate was dropping.

The rush to an operating room.
Desperately wanting relief, but not wanting time to fast forward.
Feeling pinch and warmth of the epidural.
Feeling like my behemoth of a belly was being unzipped.
Feeling the pressure, of

being split and stretched open.
Feeling the separation.

9 pounds 14 ounces, 21.5 inches long
Full head of dark hair and soul-piercing eyes.
My tiny, little man
My tiny, little absolutely perfect man.
“The First Time, Ever I Saw Your Face” by Roberta Flack.

Time is running out.
Feeling exhausted but not wanting to miss a moment.
Heartbreaking, soul splitting, and tears flowing.
Feeling pressure to smile for photos because I know someday I will need them – for myself.
Two days of feeding, changing, bathing, swaddling, cuddling, singing, loving.
Never-ending loving.

They’ve arrived from their long drive to the hospital.
Their faces wearing both joy and anguish.
Introducing them to each other.
Seeing and feeling their love for him.

Our last night together.
Not wanting it to end, and for time to stop.
Holding him tightly.
Trying to memorize every all that he is and every second of our time together.
Feeding him, bathing him, covering him in baby lotion, dressing him, and brushing his hair.
The smell of baby lotion.
Singing to him.
His belly button.
Seeing my own moon-shaped eyes on his face.
His noises.

It’s time.
Putting on the only thing that fit. Wanting to feel pretty but knowing that it didn’t matter.
Puffy eyes, swollen face, absurd amounts of retained water making it all worse.
Swaddling him in the blanket my mother crocheted.
Holding him tightly.
Being rolled down to the hospital chapel.

Signing papers.
Witnesses signing papers.
Them arriving and then signing papers.

Holding him tightly.
My nose behind his ear.
His hair tickling my nose.
Inhaling as much of him as I can.
Filling my lungs with his scent until they cannot hold any more.
Begging my mind to remember forever, and never forget his scent.

Time has run out.
Looking into her swollen blue eye.
Knowing this is right, but also feeling intense anguish.
Giving her my heart wrapped in a blue crocheted blanket.

Sobbing for days.
Seeing newborn babies and sobbing.
Getting emailed photos, updates and sobbing again.

I'm glad that this photo was taken. It's after relinquishment as we're leaving the chapel and hospital.
17 years today.
I still remember.
His scent
His hair.

17 years and still feeling intense overwhelming anguish.
Updates are rare.
Still confident in my choice.
He is where he is supposed to be.
He is loved beyond measure.
My heart remains forever torn.

No comments: