Here's our story of that week:
It was May 29th (a Sunday) and my parents had come to visit for the weekend to help us prep for baby Locklear's, aka Miss L, arrival around May 12th. We woke up Sunday morning at about 8:30am and just started to get through the first round of coffee and morning routines before the phone rang (30 minutes later)......It was our BM!!
**Just a recap, we were nervous just 3 days prior because we couldn't get a hold of her and we were scared she had decided to not go through with the adoption**
We were THRILLED to see she was actually calling us!! Dan picked up the phone, I was in another room and on my way to listen in when Dan's voice changed and say "REALLY?!?" My heart jumped and 10 seconds later I yelled at him "Is she in LABOR?!?" Dan didn't answer me, he was trying to listen to what our BM had to say. As soon as he hung us, he said calmly "She's at the hospital, in labor, dilated to a 9." I screamed....ran to my parents yelling "SHE'S IN LABOR!! SHE'S IN LABOR!!!" My parents were so excited and tears of joy began to fall.....THEN panic/overwhelming feelings hit me.....What do I do first, pack, book our airfare, take a shower...what?!? My mom said calmly "You go take care of the airfare, a shower and pack yourselves, I will take care of packing the baby's stuff." God bless my mother!! Since she's been through this (3 times) she was able to focus Dan and I and get us going. Next thing we know, we are on a plane 4 hours later to Phoenix, AZ.
We arrived in AZ just 5 hours after our baby was born. We went straight to the hospital. We waited at the nurse's station for confirmation that our BM would like to see us....talk about a NERVOUS wait!! The nurse said that our BM would like to see us and took us to her room. We walked in and there we saw our BM holding the baby. I choked back my tears of joy and smiled and said "I'm so happy to finally meet you!!" Our BM was tired but seemed happy/nervous to meet us. We asked about her labor and delivery. It was went smoothly!! Then.....after a quiet moment in conversation, our BM said "Would you like to hold your baby?" Still choking back tears of joy, I said yes...nervously. And that was when we 1st held Miss L. After about 10 minutes in the BM's room we decided to leave her to rest and take the baby to a "family room" to bond.
**This is when we started photo documenting**
Dan and I took turns holding baby. We were so nervous/excited!! We were able to bond for a couple of hours before the nurse had to take her for testing. At that time the hospital social worker came to speak to us. She asked us if we had a place to stay, which we did not (we wanted to see what hotels were closest to the hospital). She gave us a list of suggested hotels within a 1/2 mile of the hospital. We then left the hospital and checked into the hotel.
Day 2 (Monday, May 2nd) in AZ:
We woke up, got ready, went to find a very quick breakfast then headed to the hospital. We went to the nursery to check up on the baby . We were greeted graciously by the nurse who knew our situation and loves adoption!! Luckily the hospital wasn't very busy with babies so we were able to have 1 whole section of the nursery to ourselves the entire time we spent at the hospital that week.
We were there a couple of hours when another nurse came in and said that the BM would like to say her good-byes to the baby and fed her one last time. We were slightly nervous but told the nurse to tell the BM to take as much time as she needed to say good-bye and that we would like to say good-bye to her as well when she was ready.
While the nurse wheeled Miss L away we left to the "family room" and called our attorneys. Yes that is plural!! We technically have 3 (one from our agency, one in Idaho to represent us and one in Arizona to represent the birth parents). We need to get our paper work started on the TPR (termination of parental rights). After our conference calls, a nurse came back in and told us that J (birthmom) was leaving and being discharged. We wanted to see her before she left.
We went to her room and she was freshly showered waiting on the bed with her stuff. I hugged her and started to tear up as I thanked her for making us a family and being so selfless!! I asked her if we could take a picture with her and J replied yes with hesitation....she was worried about what she looked like. So I told her that we can take a picture when she comes back in a couple of hours to sign the Medical POA to give us legal medical rights for Miss L.
While we waited for J to come back, we took Miss L to the family room and watching the new parent videos (a hospital requisite) and took turns holding and loving on her.
When J returned we went back to the nursery and took some pictures with all 4 of us!! It was so amazing!!! I'm so excited that we will have these photos to share with Miss L.
**Also we were able to OFFICIALLY name her!! J decided to wait on putting a name on the birth certificate until she could talk to us and put the name we had chosen on the original certificate...again, the BM is truly AMAZING!!! We decided to name her OLIVIA LY!! Ly (pronounced Lee) is Dan's middle name and also Dan's mom's maiden name, it's Chinese. **
We left the hospital later that evening for the night and went to Target. We need to buy the essentials for tomorrow since Olivia was being discharged to us. LOL....you should have seen us in the baby aisle....oh man, we were hilarious I'm sure. We had no idea what diapers, wipes and formula to buy....we eventually figured it out and left with a cart load of baby stuff, including the car seat.
Day 3 (Tuesday, May 3rd) in AZ:
We got up and ready for the day pretty early and left for the hospital. (I'm so glad our hotel was so close to the hospital) We spend the morning in the nursery hanging out with Olivia (holding her, watching her sleep, feeding her and changing her). Around 11am the pediatric doctors started to make their rounds. Then after rounds they would come back and discharge Miss L to us. During rounds, Olivia was great and showed no signs or reasons not to be discharged. The doctors told us that they would be back soon to discharge.......well......soon turned out to be 4 hours later..... We finally got "home" and situated in the hotel for the night. Our first night went rather well for Olivia.....now Momma on the other hands was restless and kept checking on the baby every hour or so.
Day 4 (Wednesday, May 4th) in AZ:
Since we had no idea on how long it was going to take our ICPC (Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children) to be approve so we could leave AZ and head back home to Idaho, we decided to head to Tucson, AZ. My grandpa was so generous to have us use his winter home there. It was about a 2 hour drive and Miss L did well. It was nice to a home to settle in rather than a hotel. We had a beautiful view of the Catalina Mountains and the Ventana Golf course. We spent the rest of the day hanging out with Olivia....some much wanted bonding time.
Day 5 (Thursday, May 5th) in AZ:
After another newborn night, I got up with Olivia and let Dan sleep in. We are both extremely exhausted not only from having a newborn but also all the emotions we have been going through this week. Speaking of emotions, shortly after Dan got up he received a phone call. It was J's attorney. He told us that both birth parents signed their TPR!! YAY!! What a relief!! We both had a good feeling about the signing but you just can't help yourself and feel slightly nervous that they could change their minds. We were so relieved to be able to fly home the next day. We called AdoptHelp and they were surprised by how fast our ICPC came through....it usually takes over a week!! We booked our flight out that night!!
Day 6 (Friday, May 6th):
We got up and got to packing because our flight left out of Phoenix at 1:30 and we had to drive from Tucson, return the rental car and get through security with a newborn....EEKKKK!!
We arrived at the airport with plenty of time to check in and make our way to the gate with Olivia....or so we thought......
We got to the check-in counter and the lady at the counter admired Olivia then asked how old she was. I replied "5 days"...she replied with a shocked look "wow, did you call us ahead to verify she can fly?"....we were like WHAT?!? No...why would we, we had no clue....
Come to find out that the airline could not let us aboard without a doctor's permission due to the liability in case Olivia's lungs weren't matured enough for the pressurization of the airplane cabin. We were freaking out....then the airline's Customer Service Managers came out and talked to us to help us in any way possible (they were awesome!!). We called the hospital pediatrician and of course the office was close for lunch so we had to wait and miss our flight until we could get that doctor's note. FINALLY after 30 minutes we were able to talk to the doctor and he faxed a note over. The airline manager came running over when he got it and grabbed our things, told us to follow him and then ran to the ticket counter to check our bags and book our flight for the next flight (which was set to leave within the hour). We finally made on the flight and Olivia was awesome!! She slept the entire time...through security, through the terminal and the flights!!
Of course we were loved and adored by all on the flights with our new little bundle of joy!! We were luck enough to have a layover in Reno, where we had Dan's sister Beth come to the airport to meet her niece for the first time!! So amazing!! My parents drove over that day (a 4 hour drive) just to pick us up from the airport!! We enjoyed having them there and meeting Olivia for the first time.
Day 7 (Saturday, May 7th):
We spent the day with my parents and Olivia, since they were leaving that day to go back home.
**End of the week**
We are very blessed and oh so thankful for all that everyone has given us!! We couldn't be more pleased and appreciative!! THANK YOU!! Thank you!! THANK YOU!! Our hearts are filled with all the love and support!!
If you'd like to see the photo documentation of our week check it out the post labeled: Olivia's Birth Week!!