I have been getting these questions a lot lately. “What was is like the day of the girls birth?” and “Did you get to be in the delivery room?”
I had no expectations about the hospital day. I had heard from many people that went through the adoption process that it was often rare to be there for the birth – either because of timing, or the birthmom wanted that time alone or with only family in the room. Which made sense to me. I am a stranger to this woman and this a very private and emotional moment in her life.
We had 10 days to get ready for twins when we were matched with our girls’ birthmom. Ten days to make plane reservations, maternity leave plans, raise $30,000, get the nursery ready, pick names (we only had boys names on our list), and find somewhere to stay while in Utah. So there was little time to think about what would happen after we actually GOT to Utah.
The night before our twins were born we met their birthmom for the first time. I will never forget the first time I saw her. She was beautiful and warm and we were both so nervous. We gave each other a big hug in the middle of the LongHorn Steakhouse’s parking lot and the first thing she said to me was how beautiful my eyes are (I have NEVER been told this before. In fact, I tell everyone my eye color is honey poop brown. It can’t get more boring than that).
As we ate, we got to know each other. Focusing on our lives and surprisingly not even talking much about the babies. I let her lead most of the conversation. And then I realized that we had no plan for tomorrow. She was scheduled for a c-section in the morning, and I had no idea what her expectations were. Would she want us there? Did she want time alone with the babies?
I took a breath and grabbed her hand and said, “Tomorrow is your day. If you want us there we are there. If you need your space and time with the girls, that is okay too.”
Without hesitation and almost cutting me off she replied,
“No, tomorrow is our day.”
I remember just nodding my head to say okay, because I couldn’t get a word out.
The next day came quickly. I remember there was an amazing sunrise. Josh and I drove to the hospital and when we got there, she was in such a good mood and visibly happy to see us.
Her c-section got pushed back so we had about an hour to get to know each other more. She showed us pictures of her previous ultrasounds, and caught us up on little moments over the past nine months that we had missed. She told us how she dreamed of being a writer, and the names she had picked for the girls. Justice and Jordan. She wanted her own nicknames for them and these names were perfect.
One of the social workers from the agency came in and warmly greeted us and gave a big hug to L. I can’t remember what she said exactly, but she alluded to only one person being allowed in the operating room because of space and hinted that she would be that person. L quickly cut her off and said, “No, I want Hannah there.”
Soon it was time. I held L’s hand as she received her epidural, and rubbed her head as the doctors began the c-section.
At some point, I looked down and told L that she was my hero.
“No, you are mine.”
Before the girls arrived Josh was able to join us as well. And then at 9:36 and 9:37 the most beautiful twin girls were born. Ezra was looking a little blue so they took her back to the NICU quickly, but then they brought a little round face baby with the daintiest features up to see me and L.
L quickly said “Oh, that’s definitely, Jordan” and I looked at that same little round head and thought to myself “Yes, that’s definitely Olive” – One baby, two special names. And two mamas who both love her welcoming her into this world.
I never realized what an unexpected gift this was. To be present with L. To hold her hand, and to welcome the girls into this world together.
The girls went to the NICU, Josh went with them and I went with L. With how quickly we had bonded, I did not want her to go back to an empty room alone.
So that day I was split between two rooms.
I spent the day running between each room. Soaking up the little time I had to get to know L, making sure she was comfortable and not alone, and getting to know these precious babies that would become my daughters. When I was with L, I was worried and missing the girls, and when I was with the girls I was wondering how L was doing.
I knew I would quickly feel a bond to the girls, but what I didn’t expect was the instant bond I would have with their birthmom. I am so grateful for these three stories that collided that day and that are now intimately connected. Birth mom. Adoptive parents. Beautiful Justice/Ezra and Jordan/Olive.