Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Hospital Discharge

Birth Story (Part 3)

On Monday morning Jesse and I woke up to the Doctor and nurse coming in to check Wren and do our discharge paperwork! The doctor was so nice and he said my name caught his eye because his late mothers name was Karla with a K which isn't very common! He congratulated us on the adoption and said Wren checked out healthy! We were all set to leave as soon as she hit the 48 hour mark at 10:29am so they could check her jaundice one more time. Since this was an adoption though we had to wait for our attorney to come and go over all the remaining paperwork before we could leave and she wasn't able to come until 1:00pm.  We had things to get in place though while we waited so once the doctor was finished we got up and dressed and packed our things.  I was so ready to get out of the hospital and didn't really feel well because I was lacking sleep majorly! Jesse usually did the coffee and breakfast run but I decided he could stay with Wren and I would go this morning. I went to Dunkin Donuts and got coffee and bagels.  The fresh air felt amazing since I hadn't been out of the hospital since we went in for the birth early Saturday morning.
About to start the day!!
When I got back I set to work figuring out a doctor and insurance for Wren.  I had to set up a pediatrician in Fort Myers that she could see during our wait to go home.  I found one that looked nice and called and set up an appointment.  I didn't have insurance stuff all set yet but they were really understanding and patient! I got copies of all the hospital summaries and discharge paperwork to take to this new doctor so they would know what's going on.  Then I tried to submit Wrens insurance online but it wouldn't let me since the effective date and her birthdate were different.  Effective date was supposed to be the day she was placed with us and rights were signed to us which was one day after her birthday. I called my insurance agency and they had me fill out a paper application which they had given me just in case.  Thankfully the hospital let me use their fax machine and send the completed form into the insurance agency for them to file!  The insurance agency wrote me a letter saying that Wrens insurance was pending since I would be going to the doctor and possibly not have her insurance set up yet.  Did I mention that I hate dealing with insurance?!? It did go pretty smooth though and I was so thankful I had my agent to help me get it all set up!

Once I got everything done we just waited around in our room for 1:00pm when the attorney and hospital social worker and nurse could all meet us and do the actual discharge and clip Wrens bands and let us leave!  I was so sick and felt terrible.  I really just wanted to get out of there so I could sleep on our way to Fort Myers.
Please just a little sleep!
Finally everyone was at the hospital although it was after 1:00pm by then.  We went over the last things we needed to sign for our attorney and had everyone make copies of all the paperwork for us.  Wrens bands were clipped and the attorney was going over the last of the stuff we needed to know or have copies of.  The nurse had left the room during this and said she would be right back to check Wrens car seat so we could leave!  Once we finished we sat and waited for her but she didn't come back.  We were all sick of waiting and our attorney needed to get back to her office so she could file our paperwork with the state ASAP! We talked a little and finally wandered into the hall.  I have no idea what the nurse was doing but our attorney finally went and told the other nurses that we all needed to get on the road if they could have her come check Wrens car seat so we could leave! I believe it was around 3:00pm by this time. We waited and waited and finally the nurse came from somewhere and said she was getting me a wheel chair so I could have the experience every other mom gets! It was so sweet of her but by that time I was getting so impatient and I didn't feel good so I just wanted to leave!! So we waited a little longer and she had a volunteer bring me a wheel chair and wheel me outside! I was just so thankful to finally get to leave! It was pretty crazy getting to take this little tiny baby on our own.  She was ours!
All set to leave!
Taking our little girl "home"
Treated like a mom!
Goodbye Hospital!
We left the hospital and got gas and food and hit the road to Fort Myers! It felt so good to finally be on our own but I am still amazed how quickly everything happened and that it only took 3 days from birth to discharge! I slept most of the drive and of course Jesse had to pull over at least once to check and make sure Wren was still breathing :) 

It felt so nice to get back to the condo especially since we had this sweet little bundle with us this time! We had one night on our own and then the next day we were picking my mom up at the airport! Wren slept so good! She would sleep 3-4 hours then eat and go right back to sleep! She was so content and didn't cry much except to tell us she was hungry! We couldn't have asked for a better baby :)

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Bittersweet...(part 2 of birth story)

Read Birth Story (Part 1) first!

On August 10th Jesse and I woke up at the hospital to the sound of the nurses bringing our bundle of joy back into our room! We were still so exhausted as we hadn't gotten much sleep but our motivation to get up increased greatly because of a certain little girl! We had been told the day before that birthmom was going to be discharged at 1:00pm and then our lawyers and caseworkers would be in to have her sign rights and go over all the paperwork.  We hung out in our room awhile and then we decided to shower and get ready for this big day! Once we were showered we got a text from birthmom that she wanted us to bring Wren to her room so she could see her. We wheeled Wren over to her room and just hung out with her and her friend and we all talked while birthmom held her little girl and took pictures etc. After awhile Jesse decided to go get us all some iced coffee! While he was gone the hospital social worker brought in a little memory box for birthmom to take home and she put extra wrist bands from Wren, footprints, her baby hat, and other things to remember Wren by. She also said she would take whatever pictures birthmom wanted so she could put them in there also.  One really neat thing she gave us was a set of hearts each on a ribbon.  There was an outer heart and an inner heart.  Birthmom took the outer heart and Wren kept the inner heart to always remember birthmom and daughter. We were then told that lawyers were on their way and that Jesse and I would not be able to be in the room when birthmom signed papers etc. When Jesse got back we we drank our coffee and birthmoms sister, who was going to be her witness, showed up.  We all hung out and took lots of pictures and just talked.  
She gave us a little piece of her heart that day...
So Loved
After awhile the hospital photographer came in to take pictures for us.  It was a very amazing time.  Pictures were taken of sweet little Wren and then some of Jesse and Wren, me and Wren, birthmom and Wren, and pictures of all of us together! The photographer was only allowed to choose 8 for our package and she had a really tough time with it! It was a priceless opportunity to get to have someone take pictures of Wren with both her mommies and her daddy. She also got a picture with the two hearts laying on Wrens heart.  Moves me to tears it's so beautiful! After she finished the pictures she made up a little slide show for us.  As soon as it started I knew I would never last and began sobbing, then Jesse, then birthmom, and her friend and family and even the photographer.  It was a beautiful moment. So much love for one little girl and to think that God loves her even more! The photographer was amazing and she was so amazed at our openness and respect for birthmom and vice verse.  Birthmoms friend and sister had been talking about this blog and the photographer said she wanted the web address!  I gave it to her and once we were done with pictures she went and read through almost all of our journey.  She saw us in the halls and told us how amazing our journey has been and the example we have been to birthmom. The photographer was also a Christian.  God let us meet so many wonderful people on this journey!! After pictures were done we ordered a package for birthmom and a package for us.  The pictures will be a wonderful thing for Wren to get to look back on some day as she has questions about her birth family and her adoption.
Such a precious gift she gave.
Love from her daddy!
She fills our hearts to overflowing!
About that time the lawyers and case workers were showing up to sign rights.  We asked birthmom if she wanted us to leave Wren in the room for it or if she wanted us to take her and she said she wanted us to leave her.  She also told us that she would be leaving the hospital as soon as she was done so we said our goodbyes.  We hugged her and thanked her for the most precious miracle she was giving us. No words were enough and our hearts will forever be grateful to her.  We went back to our room to wait and after waiting a little bit we were told it would take an hour! We decided we really needed to eat even though eating was the last thing we wanted to do.  We left the hospital which was really hard because we had never left Wren since her birth except when she was in the nursery. We went to a nearby Burger King and tried to eat our food.  Really it just made us feel sicker and we quickly headed back to the hospital to wait until birthmom was done.  Sitting in the room waiting I really felt like throwing up.  I didn't think that birthmom wouldn't sign her rights but just the emotion of it and what she must be going through was too much and made me feel so sick.  After awhile which seemed like forever, birthmoms best friend came and knocked on our door.  She said birthmom was finished and was going to leave if we wanted to come get Wren. We walked to her room and she was finishing up the last little bit with the lawyers and holding her precious baby.  We watched as she hugged and kissed and loved on that little girl for the last time.  It tore me apart inside and I don't know if I have ever witnesses something more heartbreaking and selfless.  She gave her last kisses and laid Wren in her bassinet.  She gave us hugs and we once again thanked her for being so strong and for the wonderful gift she was giving us that we couldn't even give ourselves.  We were all crying.  Then we watched as she turned and walked away, trusting us with this beautiful little life and the real tears began to flow.  We looked at our daughter. There was so much pain and joy in a single moment I didn't know what to do.  Jesse and I were both crying as we wheeled Wren out of her birthmoms room to take her to ours.  The nurse that cleaned Wren up right after birth and had been watching the last two days take place, was standing in the hall.  She looked at us and asked if Wren was officially ours?!?  I said yes and began sobbing, as the nurse hugged me and cried with me. I can't explain what I felt in those moments but it was amazing and tragic.  I was a mother to the most precious baby that God had chosen for me but one mother was giving up the privilege for me to experience this. The nurses that had been with us throughout entire process were amazing and I think it touched them also to see such amazing selfless love.  Jesse and I cried and cried as we wheeled Wren back to our room and held her so in love with our long awaited daughter.

Officially our little girl.
Eventually we regained our composure and the lawyer was then coming in to go over some paperwork with us and talk about Wren being discharged the next day and how that process would go. We had completed most of the forms and paperwork ahead of time so it was fairly easy to finish up what we could at the time for paperwork.  Then our lawyer left and said she would be back the next day to do discharge so we could leave the hospital! 

We were informed multiple times during our hospital stay that our adoption was not normal.  It had gone amazingly smooth and our relationship, openness, and trust between us and the birthmom was something they did not see very often.  I know God had His hand in this and I believe all the prayers whispered daily on our behalf made all the difference.  We are so thankful that we were able to build a relationship with the birth family and get to know them personally.  It created such a trust and appreciation for one another.  I truly cannot imagine what adoption would be like with out this personal relationship between us and birth family.

Another nurse that had been amazing for us came in to check Wren.  She asked how it felt not to have to share our daughter.  It was amazing to know she was ours forever.  There is always that twinge of pain though and there always will be knowing that our gain was the birthmoms loss.  She gave us a little piece of her heart and we never want to take that for granted. We are so thankful to be able to share with Wren as she grows just how much her birthmom and family loved her and how hard it was for them to place her in our arms.  I pray her selfless love will one day have a huge impact on Wrens life and she can recognize the beautiful gift her birthmom gave her. I could not have asked for a more smooth or beautiful adoption and we praise God for this precious gift.

The remainder of the evening we hung out and relaxed with our little girl.  It was so wonderful!!  We were excited to get to leave the hospital the next day.  We also couldn't believe how quickly this whole thing went.  Wren stayed in our room again that night.  She had been such a good baby even the nurses said she was beautiful and very calm and content! I struggled with even looking at her without crying.  She was so beautiful and so longed for.  
Our little blessing...
Feeding time.
I will post the discharge day in the next post as once again this is way to long!  

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Birth Story (part 1)

This is going to be a long post!  I will do my best to explain the emotions  and the feelings we had those two days we were in the hospital with birth family and little miss Wren but really I could never fully explain the joys and sorrows that were felt during those two days.  It was miraculous and wonderful as well as incredibly sad and painful but I am so thankful God chose us to go on this journey and I wouldn't change one thing about it!

On Saturday August 9th we were sleeping at the condo in Fort Myers when we got a call at 2:00 am from the birthmom.  She said that her water broke and she was going to the hospital.  We asked her to keep us updated and we quickly showered and packed our stuff to head to her hometown which is about 3 or so hours from Fort Myers.  We were all ready to go by about 2:30 am and we hit the road not really knowing exactly how amazing the day would be.
On our way to the hospital!
We made it to the hospital at about 5:45 am and we went straight to labor and delivery.  Birthmom had just been given an epidural so we were so thankful we did not have to see her in pain.  She was dilated to a 4 and 80% effaced.  We had met birth moms grandma, mom, and best friend a few days before and they were all at the hospital to help her during labor and delivery of our precious baby!
Getting the room ready!
Me, Wren's Birthmom, and her mother.  All excited for baby to come!
We hung out in the delivery room waiting for contractions to get stronger. Jesse was a nervous wreck and spent most of the labor pacing the halls and walking outside the hospital!  The birth family thought he was so funny! After a few hours and not much progress the nurse had the doctor come in and he said to give birthmom some pitocin to help get the contractions going.  Birthmom was given pitocin around 10:00am and right away contractions started going like crazy and it was obvious baby was coming soon! Jesse and I were both excited and nervous knowing our long awaited little girl was minutes away from being born! The nurse started bringing in all the things for baby and turning on the warmer etc.  She came over to me and asked, since I was the mother, if I wanted to gown up and hold baby right against my skin right when she came out.  This is something birthmom wanted me to experience and I felt so honored to get to do something so special and bond with my little girl seconds after her arrival.  I slipped a gown on and minutes later birthmom was pushing and we watched as our little miracle was birthed into this world!! Jesse got to cut the cord just as the birthmom requested and then she was handed directly to me all pink, slimy, screaming, and perfect as could be!
Welcome to the World Wren Danielle!
After holding her awhile and after birth mom finished all the delivery stuff the nurses took Wren and weighed her and checked her all out.  I took pictures and watched amazed with what was really finally happening! As I looked back at birthmom she was crying and her mom was holding her. My heart hurt so bad for her.  I wanted to make everything better for her but I knew this was how it was supposed to be.  She did an amazing job during labor and delivery and we joke that she made it look easy! After Wren was weighed and put in a blanket they asked if we wanted to hold her again while they tended to birthmom.  I felt so guilty sitting there in front of birthmom who had just went through delivery and holding her sweet little girl while she held nothing.  I asked the nurse to ask birthmom what she wanted us to do if we should leave the room.  The nurse said birthmom wanted us to stay and hold the baby. She amazes me over and over again.  The nurse said it was helpful to birthmom to see us bonding with Wren knowing that we would love her and provide for her.  We stayed in the room awhile and Jesse held Wren also. After awhile birthmom decided she was stable enough and wanted to hold her sweet new baby.  It was heartbreaking to see her adore this little one knowing she was going to place her in our arms forever.  We had brought gifts for birthmom and we then gave them to her.  We got her a framed adoption quote about birth moms and I made her a blanket for her first daughter.  As she read the quote and looked at the gifts she cried and cried and we hugged her and thanked her for the amazing gift she was giving us. There was so much emotion in the room and things were happening so fast that as I look back it was really a blur.
Weighing in at 7lb 5.8oz
Meeting her daddy!
After awhile the nurses took Wren to the nursery to clean her up some and do tests etc.  We went with her and watched and then we decided to call our family and friends.  This took forever and we realized we know way too many people!! The nurses were wondering if we had big families because we were on the phone forever!! After calling everyone we stayed with Wren in a little room connected to the nursery while they waited for a room to be open for us to have to ourselves.  Once they had a room ready they let us take Wren and go relax in the room with her.  They were also getting birthmom ready to come to her own recovery room as well.
Not really enjoying her first bath.
As we sat in our room holding this little miracle I think we were both in shock.  The last however many hours had been a blur and unbelievable! Were we really sitting in a hospital room holding our long awaited little girl?? Really?? This was the first time since she was born that we were alone and had a chance to actually think about everything that had just taken place.  And the tears began to flow. I cried and cried and sobbed as I looked at this precious little girl that was going to be our daughter.  She was perfect and beautiful and I couldn't believe it was actually happening.  All the heartache of infertlity and the patience and paperwork for adoptions and so on was finally being paid off.  We had a little girl and she was perfect!  I cried and cried and wondered why anyone would think you couldn't love an adopted child as much as a biological child.  She wasn't my blood but she had my heart and I couldn't love anything more than I did her in that moment.  
Our world was changed in an instant...
Our perfect little blessing from God!
After awhile I finally regained my composure and the nurses were in to do vitals and all that on Wren.  Then birthmom had her family and friends beginning to show up to visit!  She had been put in another recovery room so we wheeled Wren to her room for all her family and friends to hold and see.  We have had such an open and constant relationship with birthmom through out the adoption that spending time with her during our hospital stay and meeting and talking to her family felt natural.  We were so thankful they all were able to meet Wren and there was more love in those two days than Wren will ever know what to do with! Throughout that day we would take Wren to birthmoms room whenever a family member would come or birthmom would want to hold her.  We would usually just hang out and talk with her or them.  Then when they were done we would go back to our room and feed Wren, change her diaper and relax.  We were so thankful to the hospital and nurses for giving us a room to ourselves and they even let us stay the night both nights!  We were also very thankful that birthmom allowed us to keep Wren in our room because legally she wasn't our child yet.  Birthmoms selfless love for Wren and even for us as she wanted us to experience everything a biological mother experiences still amazes me every time I think about it!
Wren and her Birthmom...selfless love
Throughout the day we got to meet so many people and one very special person, Wren's biological sister!
Wren and her biological sister!
She was so cute and we got pictures of her and Wren together! They may not grow up together but they will always be bio sisters and we were so thankful to get the opportunity to meet her! The last visitor came at midnight and we were beat.  Knowing that this was the last time any of these people would see this sweet little girl made us so willing to do whatever birthmom wanted. Birthmom was being discharged the next day and we wanted her to spend as much time with Wren as she wanted. Finally a little after midnight we took Wren and went back to our room for the night. We were beat and our emotions were all strung out.  So much joy and pain in one day and we knew the next would be even harder. We kept Wren in our room until about five in the morning when the nurse finally just told me she was taking her so we could get some sleep!  When you wait so long for something you never want it to go away so I was holding onto Wren for dear life even though I was so exhausted and really needed sleep!!  She kept Wren until about 8 am and she had to wake Jesse and I up when she brought her back to us!  

Then we got ready for another emotionally wearing day which I will put in my next post because this one is already way to long!  

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Wren Danielle!

Born not of our flesh but born in our hearts, you were longed for and wanted and loved from the start.

Welcome to the world Wren Danielle Zimmerman we have been waiting for you!

We are so excited to announce that our little one was born into this world on August 9th 2014 at 10:29 am, weighing 7lbs 6oz and 19 3/4 inches long.

We are amazed and in love.  She is our dream come true and we praise God that He has given us this precious gift of life through adoption!



Thursday, August 7, 2014

Hello Florida!

Jesse and I got another call from the birth mom on Saturday August 2nd around 11:00 pm.  She was on her way to the hospital feeling as though labor had started!  Our plan was to leave Monday morning so we were pretty well ready to go. We loaded all our stuff into our vehicle and hit the road!  We kept in contact with the birth mom as she arrived at the hospital and got into a room.  They took a test to see if her water broke and she told us results would be half an hour.  After she got the results the doctor would come in to see if she was dialated any.  We decided to just keep driving until we heard for her.  As we drove we tried to figure out the best plan and what we should do under different circumstances. Our friends had a cookout planned for Sunday evening and we really wanted to be there if this was false labor again! Also we hadn't been in church for awhile since we went to my cousins wedding last weekend so we really wanted to see everyone before we left.  We finally decided what we would do depending on what the birth mom told us.  We decided if she wasn't dilated any, like she wasn't on the Tuesday before, then we would turn around and go home and leave on Monday like we originally planned, if she was dilated some we would just keep driving so we would be in Florida sooner just in case, and lastly if the doctor decided to keep her and she really was in full labor, Jesse was going to drop me off in Memphis and I would catch the 6:00am flight to Orlando, rent a car and get to the hospital by noon and he would get there as soon as he could that evening! When the doctor finally saw birth mom he said she was dilated to a 2 but nothing was progressing so he was sending her home.  Well then we really didn't know what to do because she was dilated and we had said we would keep going but the doctor sent her home so we really didn't know how long it could or would be until she actually went into full labor.  We really wanted to go to church and to the cookout our friends planned but we finally decided we would be really upset if we did turn around for that and then birth mom went into labor and we missed he birth!

Sooo we kept on driving. We talked about stopping and getting a hotel sometime the next day but ultimately we just decided to drive straight through!! Let me tell you it is a LONG drive!  Jesse drove until 6am while I slept and then I drove till about 2pm while he slept and then he drove the rest of the way and we made it to our condo around 6pm I think.  We were beat!! We ate super and went to bed, praying that birth mom wouldn't go into labor before we got some decent sleep since we had not slept in a bed since Friday night! Thankfully we got a good nights sleep and it was amazing!!

We are so blessed that Ben and Carol Kafer let us use their condo in Fort Myers! I think it already feels somewhat like home as we have unpacked and stocked up groceries and cooked meals etc just like we do at home! We couldn't have asked for a better place and we are so so grateful they are allowing us to use it!

On Tuesday we went to the birth moms city and took her to her doctors appointment! Everything looked great and she even dilated to a 3! They also stripped her membranes so we decided to stay in a hotel there just in case anything happened within the next day or so! Birth moms hometown is a little over three hours away from the condo in Fort Meyers.  We stayed in the hotel for two days and after no progression we decided to head back to the condo today and just wait!! I am learning lots of patience throughout this adoption but it's definitely good for me!  When we got back to the condo which is now called "home" I actually really felt like I was "home". I did some laundry, cooked super, cleaned up the kitchen etc. Having this place to stay makes me really thankful we aren't stuck in a tiny hotel room for the time we are going to be here!

So now we are just waiting! Could be tonight could be tomorrow or it could be next week! We really have no idea but we are ready and excited! We are trying to enjoy the last few days or weeks we have just ourselves. It's hard though when we know a little one is about to be born into the world and we already love her sooo much!!

Thanks for all the prayers and support and we are so sorry for those who wanted to see us before we left but didn't get a chance! We know we have many people thinking of us and praying for us and the birth mom and it makes us feel so loved and thankful! We are so blessed!