Thursday, September 9, 2010

day two

We knew my brother (who lives in DC) arrived sometime in the middle of the night because Copper (Brandon and Sarah's Vizsla) was skittering around upstairs trying to run, jump, play and fetch to make up for lost time with him. They made eggs and hash browns while we finished up our cereal and discussed plans to meet them at the hospital later.

We decided to see Kelly first, and to our delight, Tony was there too. Kelly reminded us (again) that her epidural never kicked in and she was in a lot of pain (clicking her morphine button like the top of a ball-point pen). Tony was sitting comfortably on the guest bed, trying to assert how emotional he's been the last few days and how hard it's been for him to see Kelly this way (we found out later that Tony was having parties in Kelly's hotel room while she was in the hospital - the room we were paying for so she could get away from Amanda and Tony. Poetic.) They wanted us to know (again) that they both signed the consent forms to grant us complete access to the baby (we learned to thank them profusely for even the tiniest gesture, otherwise we'd hear about it later - that we were being incredibly rude and ungrateful). The critical consent forms couldn't be signed until Kelly was off the pain meds for at least 4 hours. We weren't going to rush her, but it was in our minds the whole time we spoke.

Around noon, I got a text that Brandon and Sarah were on their way, so we headed back down to the nursery to see our boy:

After lots of good snuggles (and the most wonderful moment of my life), Brandon and Sarah went to the pool for some beer and sunshine.

Ryan and I spent the rest of our time at the hospital answering phonecalls from our attorney and enduring emotional (heart-breaking) conversations with Kelly. Turns out, she was under investigation by child services – questioning whether she was fit to raise Sophie. She wanted to blame Mary for convincing her to talk to the social worker at the hospital, but she stopped herself from complaining too much and mumbled something about wanting to get out of the hospital as soon as possible. She didn't tell us any of this until Tony left the room to deal with Amanda (who was downstairs, demanding money for groceries) and she started to cry. It was super awkward and if I had a relationship with her where we hugged, I totally would have hugged her. But we don't. So I didn't.

After talking to our attorney, we also learned that Kelly was supposed to have filled out a birth certificate for Luke on Friday. She sent the woman away - telling her that "his parents" should fill that out, not her (and while it was a sweet gesture, it wasn't exactly accurate). We tried to explain that every adopted kid has two birth certificates. Luke will have one from the hospital, signed by his birth parents (where they can give him any name they want...Tony wanted to name him "Bishop"...totally not kidding). And then the courts will issue a second one on the day we finalize our adoption, saying that his name is Luke Adler Westhoff, and Ryan and I are his parents...a fact that makes me really happy). Our attorney needs the first birth certificate in order to get the paperwork started, so we were trying to explain to her, "if you see the birth certificate lady again, go ahead and fill it out". Since it was Labor Day weekend, we were pretty sure she wouldn't be around again until Tuesday. Suck.

We also tried to explain to Kelly that she had to be off of the pain meds for 4 solid hours before she could legally sign consent. In Georgia, both birthparents have 10 days to revoke consent from the day they sign, so we weren't trying to rush her, but (you know)...the sooner she got off pain meds, the sooner she could sign...and the sooner she could leave the hospital (which she was itching to do)...and the sooner we could get to that 10 day "hold your breath" window. According to the nurse who was unfortunately (awkwardly) present for this entire conversation, she didn't think Kelly would be off the pain meds anytime soon.

We found out later that Kelly was passing blood clots and in a pretty serious amount of pain during that entire conversation. Our attorney called her room directly (because Tony stole her cell phone) and learned that Kelly was going to be in the hospital for quite a while. Not sure if they were full-on transfusions, but Kelly was evidently given several units of blood over the next 24 hours. And it didn't matter how badly she wanted out of the hospital, she needed medical attention.

By 4:00, Ryan and I successfully navigated our way through the effed up streets of Marietta, Georgia to find a Babies R Us (thank you, iphone!). We wanted to buy a pack-n-play for Luke since we'd be spending about a week at Sarah's, waiting for ICPC to clear (the thing that allows us to take him across state lines) and we needed somewhere for him to sleep when we brought him "home" from the hospital. Ryan's parents and brother went together and bought us an on-line gift card to purchase whatever we needed (thank you Bev, Wayne and Chad!!!!) Finally, an employee identified us as "scared shitless new parents” and asked if we needed any help. We explained that we were adopting a baby – taking him back to Kansas at the end of the week, and in need of a place for him to sleep until we could conveniently pack it up and travel on an airplane.

“First of all, congratulations.”

“Thank you.” (huge, crazy grins)

“I would say, you should talk to Duff. He’s the voice you’re hearing right now in the next aisle. He’s about my height. Glasses. And he’s the expert on these things. I just transferred from the Charlotte store and there are some items over here I’ve never even seen before.” 

“Okay. That’s cool. We’ll talk to Duff. Thank you for your help.”

“No problem. Good luck.”

We decided that Babies R Us should just create a corner of the store called “New Parents” where you can buy one of every essential baby item. Because SERIOUSLY!!!!!  How many kinds of diapers and wipes and bottles and formula and car seats and blankets can there BE? We called Bev.

“Holy crap, Bev. We are overwhelmed.”

She listed a whole bunch of stuff we hadn’t thought about as we wandered the store – our eyes glazed over and our hearts just bursting.

“How cute would he look, wrapped up in these little blankets? Does he like dogs or bears? Does he even fit in these clothes? Where are the preemie outfits?”

With Duff's help, we successfully picked out the biggest, heaviest, most expensive pack-n-play in the entire store (Chicco is the best!). We picked out some preemie diapers (enough to get us through the week) and we picked out some wipes based on the fact that they were deemed "sensitive" - because our boy seemed like the kind of kid who might break out into a rash if we used the wrong wipes. We even started feeling proud of ourselves when we got to the formula section and identified the Similac (22 calorie) pre-mixed bottles they were feeding Luke in the hospital, but a brief conversation with my sister made me realize they don't sell the individually packaged rings and nipples we'd been using, so it wouldn't make any sense to buy the bottles if we couldn't buy the nipples. She also told us they'd probably send us home from the hospital with bags and bags of stuff to get us through the next several weeks, so don't buy too much of anything. We wandered around with our cart – the only people in the entire store without a baby in their cart, a baby in their belly, a registry in their hand, or enough grey hair to identify the proud grandparents of a baby coming to visit for Labor Day weekend.

Our loot:

We got home from Babies R Us and I watched Brandon and Ryan put the pack-n-play together in the living room. I couldn't help but smile at these two grown men, messing with bars and snaps and toggles to assemble this giant playpen for the tiniest new member of our family.

It was a family affair.


Sheelagh said...

It's so cute that Ryan has the silly "new dad" grin on his face in every picture!

Vanessa said...

I TOTALLY agree with you on the new parents store. When we were shopping for Mitchell I was longing for a store that just tested it all out and sold the best kind of one thing available. You have a newborn - no time to worry about travel systems and the beast that is the pack n' play.