He was the most active of my three children in the womb, my 3rd child. His jabs and kicks and rolls were always making his presence there in my belly known. He was also the biggest baby of my three, born weighing 8 lbs 7 oz.
My doctor and I worried he'd be too early, his older sister came 3 weeks early when my water broke. So I was tested for preterm labor risk a few different times. He wasn't early, staying in there right up until the morning of his due date.
For 40 weeks I carried that child, longer than the 39 weeks of his brother and 37 weeks of his sister. He was a part of me; a very known and loved person before I ever saw him face-to-face.
He was born with the umbilical cord tightly wrapped around his neck. He was very blue and not breathing.
I knew my Ob. well, she delivered my other kids, she was always so calm and comforting. I'll never forget hearing her say to the nurses that day, "Somebody call Neo.! Somebody call Neo.!" Her voice was forceful and urgent, like I'd never heard before, as she worked on my boy, squeezing the oxygen bag attached to the face mask against his little mouth.
Neonatal intensive care came and took my baby away and my Ob. came to my side to check on me. All I wanted to know was, "Is my baby going to be okay?" As a mother herself, she understood, I'd be okay once I knew my baby was okay. So, she went to find out.
She returned a few minutes later and let me know that he was fine, crying and his color was coming back. They brought him back to me just a couple minutes later. Aside from looking a little "rough" for the 1st 24 hours with blue bruising around his mouth and nose, there were no lingering issues associated with my little guy's traumatic first few minutes of life. And actually the cord being wrapped around the baby's neck is a common occurrence, and wasn't really even medically significant.
But, I will never forget what it felt like to have carried a baby, loved a baby, bonded to a baby for 40 weeks and then have him suddenly gone. Thankfully it was only for a few minutes.
But for some mothers who give their babies up for adoption, if they decide not to see or hold the child, their baby is taken away right after birth and never returned.
I cannot imagine how empty those mothers must feel.
As we are in the process of adopting a child, I think often of birth mothers. I think in our society mothers who give their babies up for adoption are negatively stereotyped, but I know they are an example of amazing strength and selfless love.
Because in those moments after birth the choice to parent that baby has got to be much easier than the choice not to.
This post is part of the Moms' 30-Minute Blog Challenge.
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