The start of many letters to you.

Diya Camille,

This week has been unbelievably hard on me. You are now one month old. I signed the papers one month ago. I still want you with every fiber of my being, every single day. I’m sure that will never change. I miss you. I think about you constantly. I think about our late nights and early mornings together. I think about how special it was to just hold you on my chest and cuddle with you. I think about all your little noises. Your little squeak cry. (You never cried in the hospital. Just little squeaks. It was the best.) I loved to look at you while you were examining your surroundings. You took such care. It was truly beautiful to watch. I miss it so much. You already look so different from when you were mine in the hospital. You are so beautiful. You have such an affect on me. You calm me down and bring me comfort. Every time I see you whether it be through a picture of an actual visit you calm my nerves. You make me forget all my problems. It’s amazing, truly magical. I received a bunch of pictures from the hospital stay today. I also received a few from your newborn shoot. They bring so many emotions. Happiness. Sorrow. But most of all Love. I love you more than I will ever be able to express through words. I hope you grow up knowing this. You keep me going. You make me want to be a better person. I promise to work as hard as I can so that some day you’ll look back and be proud. Tomorrow I get to see you. You will be exactly five weeks old. I cannot wait to hold you in my arms as close as  I can. I am so thankful to your parents for allowing me to be apart of your life. I’m sorry I can’t be there every day and I’m sorry I wasn’t ready. I think about this everyday too. I wonder what it would be like if I had raised you, what it would have been like if I was ready. I always come to the same conclusion. You were never meant to be mine. It hurts so much and it will never change the fact that I want you and love you. But I know this was all meant to be. God does not make mistakes. I love you Diya, with all my heart. That will never change. You mean the world to me.

With love, Your Birth Mother,

Kirsten. 

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Diya’s letter.

I have taken all of my posts and fixed them. I put them together as a letter for Diya. I will probably be adding on to it as time goes on or just writing more.  It’s uber long….

Miss Diya Camille,

I wrote down absolutely everything I could remember about my pregnancy, your birth, the signing, and all of my feelings that I felt during these times. Please know this was the hardest decision of my life. I wanted you, but I knew I was not the best thing for you. I could never give you up, I could only give you more. I love you so much words can’t even describe it. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about you or look back on all the pictures I took at the hospital during those 72 hours that you were mine. You were the most beautiful baby I have ever seen. I know every mother says that but its true! You had a full head of dark brown hair, a perfectly shaped head, huge blue eyes, little lips, perfectly round cheeks, soft skin, and the cutest nose I’ve ever seen. Plus you were the perfect size! It truly was love at first sight for me. When I first found out I was pregnant with you I was so scared. My doctor nonchalantly gave me five numbers to call to set up an appointment to abort you. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I told her no and said I would never be seeing her again. She tried to convince me otherwise by telling me she had two abortions and that they were not a big deal. I wanted to cry.  I left and never spoke to that doctor again.

I knew from the beginning that you were not meant to be mine and as much as it hurt I needed to start finding help for adoption. I may have known that I needed to do adoption but that does not mean I didn’t want you. I wanted you so badly, in fact I spent quite a few nights bawling my eyes out questioning my choice. I was a mess while I was pregnant. I was depressed, I was anxious, and I was nervous all the time. I knew adoption would be the right thing for both of us in the end but it was the hardest conclusion I have ever come to. I hope you know how much I love you and how much your parents love you. I picked them because they were so much like your birth father and I.  Plus I had an overwhelming feeling of peace every time I looked at their profile on LDS Services. The first time I met them in person it just confirmed everything. I knew they were meant to be your parents. Not me. It was sad but happy at the same time. This whole story is. I am devastated that I could not have you but I am so happy for your parents. I love you so much and I hope you understand why I did this for you. You will have so many more opportunities, financial stability, a married mother and father, and a stable home environment. As I said before, I could never give you up, I could only give you more. I love you so much Diya.     

Your birth story.

Friday, May 9th 2014. I hadn’t slept all week but the night before I think I may have gotten less than an hour. Judging by the hushed whispers I heard coming from the other room I would assume my parents didn’t get much sleep either. Everyone in the house was up and seated at my Grandma’s breakfast table by 7am. I walked over to the fridge where I had my surgical prep list hanging, took it down and sat at the table across from my dad. As my dad slowly ate his cereal I read and reread the paper so many times I thought I would have it memorized by the time we got to the hospital. Your caesarian is scheduled for May 9th 2014 at 10 am. Please arrive at the hospital two hours prior to this time, 8 am, to be prepped for surgery. No food or drink after midnight the night before. This includes gum and breath mints. Do not shave day of or the night before. Take a pre-op shower the night before and wash with (certain kind) soap. Do not wear any make up day of. Please remove any nail polish. You will not be allowed to take anything in, please have your hospital bag brought later by someone.  If you do not follow these instructions we will have to reschedule the surgery. I went over  the checklist so many times. I knew I had done everything correctly but I was still a little nervous. I started to anxiously look in my hospital bag and check off things in my mind. It felt like I was packing my room up in one bag and yet it felt so empty, like I was forgetting everything. Thankfully my Aunt Terrie arrived and I joined them at the table. To be honest I don’t really remember the conversations we were having. That part is a blur. All I remember is that I asked my dad for a blessing before I left. It was a beautiful blessing, as Fathers Blessings always are. There was not a dry eye in that room. My nerves were calmed and I felt ready. Which is a good thing because it was time to go. As we headed out the door my dad spotted a Quail on his rental car and we all stopped to admire him for a while. My mom actually got a picture of me to where it looks like the quail is standing on my pregnant belly. Finally my dad asked my mom to get pictures of him scaring it off. She did. The quail promptly pooped on the car and flew to the tree. My dad was a bit upset over the poop. But what did he think it would do?

We (my Aunt Terrie and I) arrived at the hospital right at 8 am. It was the longest car ride of my life. Even though the hospital is but 10 minutes from my house. There we met up with my cousin Shelly and her little boy Clark. I got checked in at the desk and received four hospital bracelets.  I was looking pretty styling. The nurse checked my vitals and weighed me. I came in at 125 lbs. The nurse then lead us to Triage which is the same place I was at after my rear ending. Clark was not allowed in Triage so this is where Shelly and I said goodbye to Clark and Terrie. The prep itself went by pretty fast. It only consisted of getting dressed in a gown, getting an IV, peeing in a cup, and getting hooked up to the monitors so they could check baby’s heart and my contractions. Everything was good to go and all we had to do now was wait for my Doctor to come in and talk with me, then the anesthesiologist would do the same. After that we could go to the OR and I would receive my Spinal to numb my lower half. It went a little backwards though. The anesthesiologist came in first and talked about how when I was getting my Spinal no one was allowed in the room. This included Shelly whose job that whole time had been to distract me from any and all needles. The spinal was the biggest and scariest needle of them all and I would have to face it alone. I was so nervous. When he left a nurse came in with a hair net for shelly and I and what they call a bunny suit for Shelly. The nurse stressed to Shelly to keep her clothes on underneath the bunny suit. Apparently, every once in a while someone takes off all of their clothes. Now this bunny suit is literally like a hair net for your body. A thin, white, see through body suit. We all had a good laugh about people getting naked under the bunny suit and walking into the OR like that.

Finally my doctor showed up and explained what was going to happen. I will get the spinal, they will do a couple tests to make sure I am completely numb, put up a sheet, bring in Shelly, and begin the procedure. Pretty straight forward right? Unfortunately, we were delayed because another woman had arrived in labor and needed an epidural. My surgery had been scheduled at 10 am. I did not get back into the OR to receive the spinal until 11:07 am.

When I was finally wheeled into the OR I was greeted by the Anesthesiologist and two nurses. The radio was on, I thought that was very comforting. They asked if it bothered me, I said, “Of course not! Please keep it on to distract me.” And we began to sterilize a spot on my back. after sterilization he told me he was about to give me two shots of lidocaine so I would be numb for the actual spinal. Let me tell you, lidocaine burns. Finally it was time for the actual spinal. He told me I would feel a warm sensation start where he was poking me and slowly move down my body all the way to my toes. It did just that. It was amazing how fast it worked. All of a sudden I could not move my legs if my life depended on it. If I scooted myself up on the table it felt as if my skin was pulling off of my body and being left behind. It was one of the strangest feelings in the world. just as they were pulling the sheet up to block my view Shelly was let in by a nurse. They began to administer the test to see if I was numb. Seeing that I was they started to sterilize my body for the surgery.

The next thing I heard is Shelly saying, “Oh! I think that was your water they just broke.” I had no idea they had started so this freaked me out a little. Then I noticed a smell. It smelled like cigarettes. I asked Shelly what it was. I could tell she was a little nervous to answer my question. Finally she said something along the lines of, “well to help stop the bleeding they need to, um, cauterize things.” Lovely I thought to myself. All of a sudden I started to feel a tremendous amount of pressure in my right lung. It started to get a little harder to breathe. Just as quickly my neck and shoulders tensed up. It got so bad that I had to tell the Anesthesiologist that my upper body was in pain. He told me to just hold on a couple more minutes because they were almost done. In my mind what had happened was my brain started to freak out with not being able to feel the lower half of my body so it over compensated for my upper body which caused it to tense up to the extreme. What was it really? I have no idea. But it got so bad that the Anesthesiologist had to start massaging my neck pretty much to stop me from crying. My Doctor all of a sudden said, “Alright you are going to start feeling a lot of pressure, some tugging, and pulling.” He was right. It was a really weird feeling too. I can’t even describe it. The next thing I’m hearing is everyone in the room commenting, “Look at that hair”, “she has so much hair”, “oh my gosh!” I hear my doctor say, “Time!” A nurse answers, “11:31.” All the while everyone is commenting on the hair. Shelly leans over and tells me, “she has a lot of hair.” I don’t remember if I said this out loud but all I could ask was, “Just on her head right?” With all these comments you would think they had just pulled out a Chimp. A nurse then came up to me and showed me a bundle of blankets. I said, “I can’t see her.” She pulled down the blanket a bit and all I saw was a chin, lips, and the color purple. Your skin was a shade of purple. You didn’t really cry. You made a couple noises, but no crying. After about two seconds they whisked you away. I didn’t get to hold you. I didn’t really even get to see you. But I was still in pain from my neck so as they were putting in my sutures the Anesthesiologist began to give me a bunch of pain meds through my IV to help me relax. Boy did they work fast.

It felt like it took forever for them to suture, glue, and tape me up. When in reality it probably only took a couple minutes. The pain medication really slowed things down. I felt slow and heavy. My neck didn’t hurt any more but it seemed like time was dripping. Next thing I knew I was being wheeled past the nursery and the waiting room where my parents, my moms parents, Chelsea and Rajiv, and everyone else was. They all rushed over to the window to wave at me. A couple people took pictures. Gross. I didn’t even get look in the nursery. We went by too fast. They put me in a recovery room where they began to look me over and check my vitals again. I remember looking down at my legs, that still had no feeling, thinking that they were in one position (straight) but seeing they were in another (spread). No matter how long I looked they still felt they were straight when they were clearly not. It was awkward to say the least. I’m not sure how long I stayed in there. At least a couple hours. Shelly appeared by my side again. She had been able to follow the nurses into the nursery with you. We talked about so many things that I can’t quite remember. Pain medication makes me talk, a lot. I remember the nurses even joined in. The subject? Not sure. Just that everyone joined in.

Finally the nurse said I could be put into my room. And off we wheeled again! When we reached our room, 2507, they had to awkwardly half roll, half pick me up to put me on my bed. You know, the normal way to transfer people into beds at the hospital. Soon my parents were in the room, my Aunt, Shelly, and my grandparents. But no Chelsea and Rajiv or you. We all began to talk and that’s when I learned that you had  been taken to the NICU. You could breathe it was just that your oxygen levels weren’t quite where they wanted them to be and you had low blood sugar. So they were monitoring you. Chelsea and Rajiv were able to be in the nursery with you but they could not touch. Talking was fine and all but after an hour or so I started to get anxious and a bit snappy/grumpy. I still hadn’t held you. Let alone seen you! We sent Shelly out to see what was going on. She came back with the news that you would be able to come to the room soon.  

After about 30 more minutes we heard the door open. A small cart was wheeled into the room by Chelsea and Rajiv. It was my baby. It was you! I’m not sure who handed you to me. All I could do was stare at you. This baby, you, had been inside me for the past nine months. Causing me pain, sorrow, and quite a few other things. But all I could see was this beautiful face. With a perfect nose. Small chin. Pursed lips. Perfectly proportioned cheeks. Soft skin. And a full head of dark brown hair. I was in love. It was a simple as that. Love. You were the most beautiful baby I had ever seen. And I of all people had made you. You had grown in me. All 6lbs 10oz and 19in of you. I was stunned. In fact I don’t even remember a lot of what I said or if I said anything at all. I do remember the compliments. And everyone wanting to hold you. We passed you around like a hot potato and pictures were taken. I got to feed you a bottle. It was the most amazing feeling to have you in my arms and my family surrounding me. Definitely something I can never and will never forget.

Friday evening I had my cousin Shelly stay the night with me. It was kind of last minute because to be honest I had never given much thought to who was going to stay with me. It had never crossed my mind that I should even have someone stay! My dad planned to take my mom to a fancy resort in honor of Mother’s Day so I asked Shelly if she could stay with me. She agreed to stay, even without having been prepared to stay the night. I swear she is secretly Wonder Woman or something! I am so blessed to have her in my life. That night we spent pretty much the whole night taking picture and laughing. It was like a girls night! We took a bunch of pictures and videos of you. You were such a good sport and so calm and awake throughout! It was fascinating to say the least. It’s such an experience just to watch a newborn. I personally believe that the veil hasn’t quite been lifted completely for them. Whether that’s true or not, they are so close to our Heavenly Father, you can feel it strongly. In the middle of the night I woke up in extreme pain. I saw that my IV was dry which was making my arm hurt. I also had attempted to turn over in my sleep causing my incision to hurt. I had to call in a nurse to flush my IV and she ended up having to give me morphine for the pain. Good thing it was in between your feeding times.

You woke up at around four that morning to eat. Then you just stayed awake. We snuggled and I watched you. Every move was beautiful. You would caress your face, stretch out as far as you could go, and examine what you could see of your surroundings with such care.   That was my whole morning. From four until around eight. I wouldn’t have had it any other way. It was perfect.

The nurses had told me I was allowed to shower all by myself that day. You have no idea how human that made me feel. When you have a baby someone is in there about every two hours checking on you, administering medicine, checking your vitals, even at all hours of the night! I mean its a good thing and it’s their job, plus I had the best nurses ever! But it’s hard. So being able to shower all by myself was huge. Shelly had to go back home that morning so I waited for my parents to arrive so I could shower. You know, just in case I keeled over in the shower and couldn’t reach the nurse button. At least I would have someone on the outside to be able to get a nurse. Lucky for me, That did not happen! I successfully showered on my own. As for getting dressed? Well let’s just say thank goodness my mom was there. We had a photographer coming that day and I was really excited. Your parents had hired her to be there so I could get some good pictures of you and me. I am so thankful to them for doing that. Getting ready for the pictures was exhausting. It took a lot out of me but I knew it would be worth it. The Session went perfectly. I even got to dress you up in all the onsies I had made you. You didn’t enjoy being dressed and undressed but as soon as someone picked you up or swaddled you, you would calm down. Oh how you loved to be swaddled! You were so good throughout the whole photography session, it was incredible.  I am so impressed with how good you was in the hospital! It was definitely a tender mercy.

After the pictures I had a few visitors. I got to see all of your family Diya. Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, It was wonderful! I just adore them all. They are the perfect family in my eyes. Your grandparents even came up to me and started talking and tearing up, which in return made me tear up. It was such a great feeling to have them all there. They are such amazing people and I am truly blessed to have found a forever home for you with them. My bishop and his wife even came to visit, of which I took full advantage of and asked for he and my dad to give me a blessing. I seriously believe I am doing so well because of the blessings. And not to mention all the prayers from everyone.

My thoughts keep returning to Sunday and Monday of last week. I probably think about those days more than the day you was born. I would assume that’s normal, being that Sunday was the day before I signed the papers that gave you a better life. Better and more opportunities. A financially stable home. A mom and a dad that are married, who love each other, who have been through so much these past years that there would be no way on earth they would ever take you for granted at any time in your life.

Saturday evening my mom stayed the night with me. I had overdone it being up and around all day and was in a lot of pain. I hadn’t even taken any pain medication since that morning when I had to get it injected into my IV. Since then they had taken my IV out. But because of the photographer, visitors, and taking care of you, I totally forgot. My sweet mother had to help me with everything. She helped me get in and out of bed, she helped me walk to the bathroom, she even had to help me with you by getting you out of the bed and handing you to me, making the bottles, swaddling you, everything. She stayed up all night for the most part to help me. In the middle of the night I had a nurse check on me about every hour and a half to two hours. Because I had been in so much pain they wanted to get me back on a schedule for pain medication so it wouldn’t happen again. I had the most amazing nurse at nights. This woman had worked in this field for thirty years. She genuinely cared. In fact that night when she made her first check on me she came in and immediately hugged me. “I have been waiting all night to get in here and see how you are doing.” That was the first thing she said! My mom loved her too. This nurse is such a sweet woman and you can tell how much she loves her job and truly cares. There were actually quite a few nurses like this. All of them really! I wrote them each thank you cards and visited them. That same night you had to go back to the nursery so they could do a couple tests and what not. Standard newborn tests. I had fed you a bottle at around 11:30pm or so and the nurse came in to get you at midnight. My mom and the nurse had suggested that I could leave you in there for the night so that I could rest up and heal some more from overdoing it that day. I agreed and away you went.

I woke up a couple hours later and saw that it was almost time to feed you again. Then I realized I didn’t want to rest up, I wanted you by my side to be able to spend as much time as I could with you. To feed you as many times as I could. And to hold you as close as possible. I woke up my mom and asked her if that was alright. She told me of course it was and that it was totally normal to have these feelings. She told me to call the nurse. I did. All the testing had been completed and the nurse said she would bring you right down. Sure enough about five minutes later I was reunited with you. I couldn’t believe it. It had been about two hours since I had last seen you but it seemed like an eternity. All I wanted at that moment was you. Nothing else mattered. I’m not sure if that’s hormones or just being a mom in general but it is one of the strongest feelings I have ever felt. It’s almost scary how powerful it is.

Again your last feeding of the night was a little after four in the morning. And again we stayed up and cuddled all morning. That day was Mother’s Day. I felt so blessed to have my mom there with me. When she woke up she turned to me and said, “Happy Mother’s Day” Here she had to spend her Mother’s Day weekend with me. I know how much it hurt her to see you  and know that I was doing adoption. We both knew it was the right thing for you but that didn’t make it any less hard. You were my parents first grandchild. And I was going to sign you away the next day. And my mother was having to go through this experience on Mother’s Day weekend. I have no words for how grateful I am to her for even being there. She helped me through so much. We really had a bonding experience that night she took care of me that I wouldn’t trade for the world. For some reason my mom and I had never really been close. But that night seeing all the sacrifices she had made and was making for me changed everything. She is an amazing woman and I am so glad we got to have that experience together. She is so strong and loving. A person that I look up to.

My dad came to pick up my mom for a Mother’s Day brunch at my Aunt’s house. I was left alone for a while with you. I was just thinking about how happy I was watching you. I was perfectly content in life with you on my chest. All of my problems were no longer in existence. That morning you had to get her hearing test. Your parents were there as well. You passed, you can hear perfectly. The pediatrician that had administered the test began to talk to your  parents about the test, what it was, your results and all that. Then he said something that truly frightened me. “She can go home today you know. She’s perfectly healthy. She could have gone home yesterday.” Of course this was exciting news for your parents. But I had another reaction. My heart sank and anxiety began to set in. Tears formed in my eyes and I had my first real moment in the hospital of questioning my choice. “Can I really do this? I love her so much. She is the most amazing thing that has ever happened to me. What if they take her away today? I can’t go home until Monday or Tuesday. Is my baby really going to leave this hospital without me?” I just about went into a panic. I think your parents saw this because they said they would give me the whole day to myself with you and they left. As soon as they left I picked you up again. Realizing that it was truly just me and you I held you close and began to cry. I probably cried for an hour straight until my nurse came in and checked on me. I can’t even imagine what she was thinking as she saw me alone in the room, holding you so tightly, crying over you. She made sure I was okay and talked to me until I calmed down. Then she had to leave to check on other people. I sat there and just admired you. I would try to fix your hair (it was always standing up) or caress your cheek, and my favorite, play with your chin which caused your mouth to open and make a cute little pop noise.

About thirty minutes after my nurse checked on me the hospital case worker came in to check on me. She was the sweetest little old lady I’ve ever seen. She asked me how I was and I lost it. I began to cry all over again. I explained to her what your doctor had said and I told her how I felt. I wanted to be released with you. I wanted to be wheeled out with you but I wasn’t allowed to leave that day. I told her how guilty and selfish I felt wanting to keep you with me for just one more night but I had to. I needed you. I couldn’t stay in that hospital without you. She assured me that we would be released together and that the doctor should not have said that at all. She apologized and left. And there was more crying but this time it was tears of relief. Relief that I would have one more night with you. One more night where you were mine.

I had visitors to distract me soon after. And of course Shelly came again. This time she brought her kids with her. I love those kids. Our visit was fun and upbeat. Shelly is very good at putting my mind at ease. Then the hospital case worker came in again. She was checking up on me from that morning and apologized again and said a few other things. I broke down again. I cried in front of Shelly’s kids and husband. At first I was embarrassed. But looking back on it now I’m glad her kids saw that. All they had seen up until that point was I was pregnant, newborns are cute and fun to hold, and then I would be giving you away. It all probably looked way easier than it should have to them. That is, until I broke down in front of them. So I am glad they got to see that. Shortly after I had some other family come see me. I had asked everyone that day to keep visits very short. I mean no one knew I was there bawling my eyes out over you practically all day until now. But I still felt the need to have the visits short. I wanted to have as much time as possible with you.

My parents sent me a text letting me know they were on their way to say goodbye. They had a plane to catch back to Oklahoma. There were a bunch of highway closures that day so they had to leave earlier than expected. I thought I would have more time with them. But it ended up being I had a total of about five minutes with them. I was heartbroken. I didn’t want them to go. I at least wanted one more hour with them. It all felt so rushed. I sat by my dad and he held me in his arms. My mom and I cried. We all looked at you, who was laying, swaddled up, sleeping peacefully.      

In just a couple short minutes my parents were gone. I was devastated. I had no idea who was going to stay with me that night. I felt so alone. And my heart was breaking more and more realizing that tomorrow was the day. My 72 hours were up. I had to sign you away in a little over twelve hours. I sat on my bed and held you. I bawled my eyes out again. My Aunt Terrie sent me a message asking if I had any one staying with me, and offered to come down. She arrived about an hour later. I was so happy to see her. Unfortunately she had appointments she needed to get to in the morning and would be unable to stay for the signing and take me home. I slowly began to piece together that I would have no one to take me home. This scared me. I wanted to leave at the same time as you but I was out of people. My parents had gone home. Terrie had appointments that couldn’t be rescheduled. And everyone else was farther away and I felt I would be bothering them. All I knew was I needed it to be a family member. Time was running out as it grew later in the night.

All of a sudden, as if she knew, Shelly sent me a text asking if I had someone to be with me tomorrow and to take me home. I had to reply no of course. Shelly came to the rescue and said she would be there. I was seriously about to ask my caseworker to drive me home.

Really and truly the night went the same as all the others, I talked a lot and Terrie was constantly snapping pictures. It was wonderful! Soon you had to be taken back to the nursery for your last tests. I began to think about how everyone had held you for the past few days. how everyone had sniffed your head, as a lot of people do with newborns. I thought to myself,

‘She doesn’t feel like mine any more, She doesn’t smell the same, she smells like everyone else, and it makes me feel that she isn’t mine.” So me being crazy, I called the nursery at around midnight or so and asked if they could give you a bath. Because you still had your cord on the nurse told me they couldn’t give you a full on bath. I told her my odd situation and my feelings and she replied with, “I’ll see what I can do.”

I didn’t have much hope that they would do this for me. I should have never doubted any of these nurses. They all knew my situation and all wanted to help me out in any way they could. Sure enough when the nurse wheeled you in at around two in the morning, There you were, all clean, your hair unbelievably fluffy from being washed and dried. You was so beautiful I began to cry tears of joy. I thanked the nurse over and over again. You looked so much better and you didn’t smell like a hundred other people. You felt like you was mine again, untouched by any one else. And it felt perfect. I think I stayed up pretty much the whole night, just holding you. I knew it was my last night with you and I didn’t want to fall asleep. Eventually I started to nod off. So I pulled your bed as close to mine as possible and set you down in it. You were so close I could hear your every breath, every move, and that’s what I fell asleep to.

The Signing.

That morning I woke up and immediately held you in my arms. I kept looking at the clock. For every minute that passed by I got more anxious and more nauseated. For the signing I was not allowed to be on any kind of medication so I had to stop taking my pain medicine at five in the morning. It was just starting to wear off as my breakfast came. I was very distracted and couldn’t eat much. I just kept looking at the clock with you  in my arms. I didn’t want to let you go. Not yet. Finally I handed you to my Aunt Terrie so I could eat a few bites.

Just then there was a knock at my door. It was too early for my case worker to be there and Shelly was barely leaving her house. Your nurse appeared. The one that had been there for the delivery and had taken such good care of you this whole time. I was happy to see her. She was one of my favorite nurses. She said a quick hello and then said, “I did something naughty, promise you won’t tell on me?” “Of course!” I replied. She had her hands behind her back this whole time. She brought them around and I saw there was a plastic bag in her hands. “I saw this at the gift shop and I just had to get it for you.” She then took out a beautiful box. “It’s a music box, I thought it would be the perfect size to put her foot prints in and your hospital bracelets.” As she opened it a little tune began to play and tears streamed down my face. This woman who I barely knew had taken the time to think of me. She knew my situation, and she knew that today was the day. I jumped up and asked if I could hug her. Though, I’m sure I was already hugging her by the time I was able to ask. I cried in her arms for a good minute. All I could say was thank you over and over again. Just as quickly as she had entered she had to go back to her shift. I thanked her again as she walked out the door. I called my mom as soon as I sat down to tell her what had just happened. She and I cried on the phone together.

Shelly arrived shortly after and then Terrie had to leave. I began to get very anxious as I knew that I had about an hour and a half left with you. The time had been set for 11:31am. Exactly 72 hours after you had been born. I looked at the clock, it was now a little after ten. I felt as if time was going too fast. My stomach dropped and I felt as if I was going to throw up what little food I had eaten. I was so nervous. I had no idea what to expect. All I knew was my hold was getting tighter and tighter on you as 11 o’clock approached.  We tried to keep my mind off of things by packing and figuring out where everything should go. What should stay, what I should take for memories. We laughed a little as we were doing this. Thinking I would have so many baby things that I was taking home that the nurses might become suspicious of me stealing practically everything in the room having to do with you. Shelly began to load everything in the car. I did not want to have to come back to that room ever again after we signed the papers. Eleven o’clock came around. My heart started to pound faster. All I could do was hold you close. I felt so helpless. When Shelly came back from the last load to the car it was 11:20. About two minutes later my case worker showed up. “Are you ready?” he asked. I nodded, starting to shake with fear and anxiety. “Then I’m going to call the adoptive parents in if that’s okay with you.”  All I could muster was a small, “Yeah”

I sat in my chair with you, you were sound asleep. I had just given you a bottle about an hour ago. I heard footsteps and as I turned to look it was your parents. Your mother came up and hugged me as we both began to cry. “We love you so much” She said. “I know. I love you too” I replied between tears. As they took a seat on the couch next to me my case worker began to explain What was going to happen. We had gone through these papers before. My case worker explained that I needed to sign a total of three copies. It was like signing you over three times in a row. But they had to have three copies. I received one copy, the other went to your parents, and the final one to my case worker.

After he explained everything the actual signing began with my case worker asking me “Do you feel like you were pressured to make this choice?” I answered no, and that I knew it was the right thing for everyone. Then he handed over the first paper with a pen. “Sign and date at the bottom here” I looked at you as I began to sign. Tears poured down my face. They were the biggest tears I have ever cried. It felt like waterfalls against my cheeks. I signed page after page, the only thing getting me through was my mom’s voice saying how proud she was that I had made this choice. That Diya would have so much more. That I was making the parents dreams come true when they could not. I knew. I completely agreed. It was no longer a choice, it was something that I needed to do. Not only for you but for myself as well.

With every paper I signed I held you tighter and tighter. I finally took notice of this and eased my grip. I felt a little bad but we all had a little laugh through tears as I had mentioned what happened. After I signed each paper I would look down at your face and you would flash me a smile. It was probably gas in reality but I like to think you knew what was going on and after every signature you would smile as if to tell me, keep going, I love you, you can do this. A couple papers it was harder for me to sign because of all the tears. Everything was so blurry. But I kept going. Finally I had signed my last one. I held you in front of my face and kissed  you. There was so much love in that room anyone could have felt it. There was also peace. It was a wonderful comforting feeling testifying to me that this was the right thing to do.

My case worker asked if I cared that he go ahead and have the adoptive couple sign everything that they needed to. I agreed. I wanted everything to be done in that hospital room so I could leave it all behind when I was wheeled out with you. They began to sign all of their papers with tears in their eyes too. Your mother commented, “You’re right it is really hard to see”. We laughed between our tears again. As soon as they finished with their papers we all looked around the room. Now what? We were all asking ourselves. You could see it in everyone’s eyes. My caseworker let us all know that we were good to go. We just had to be officially discharged from the hospital. So we called a nurse in. As we waited ,our tears dried.

The nurse came in shortly after and told us we would have to wait. We ended up having to wait for hours. I’m not kidding. To be honest those hours turned out to be a great blessing in my life. In those hours as we sat and talked. It was the biggest confirmation that I had chosen the correct family for you. I couldn’t have found a more loving, supportive and kind family. Those hours proved that time and time again. One of my favorite moments was when your mother was holding you, she had been commenting on your nails and how they needed to be cut. At that moment you accidently scratched your face. Your mother let out a small scream and exclaimed, “Oh! That was just tragic! That’s it the mittens are going on her hands! I need the mittens!” Shelly and I laughed so hard. I said, “This is why I know it’s you guys! This right here was a great example of why you two are just perfect for her.”   

Finally at around 4:30 I received my instructions for my care and healing at home. A few minutes after your parents received theirs for you. My nurse then went to retrieve my wheelchair. Your father went to pull around the car and cool it down. I sat down in the wheelchair and you were handed to me. I started to get nervous all over again as I realized this was it. You and I were going home. But not to the same home. I had a strange feeling of sadness but happiness at the same time. Of course I was sad that you were no longer my baby but I was, and am, truly happy for your parents! There was no one else in my mind that deserved this more than them. As we reached the driveway in front of the hospital we took a few pictures. Then I handed you to your mother so she could put you in the car seat. With you all strapped in I gave you a few last kisses. Then I turned to your mother. Tears formed in both of our eyes as we hugged each other. “Thank you so much” she said. I took a little while to reply partly because of the tears but partly because I felt replying “you’re welcome” just wasn’t enough. I finally settled on “You’re welcome” simply because I couldn’t think very well at that point. I added in an “I love you”  For some reason I could not stop hugging her. I finally let go to hug your father but went back to your mother again. I felt such a connection with her in those last minutes. It was so comforting.

Finally I let her go. Your mom got in the back with you and your dad closed all the doors. I clung to Shelly as if I was clinging to life itself. As I watched them start to pull away, I started to cry harder than I have ever cried in my life. Shelly wrapped her arms around me and began to cry too. Your dad actually had to stop and back up a little to get out because Shelly had parked right in front of them in the drive. We laughed at this for a moment and then went back to crying as they turned out of the drive and drove away. I cried for a long time. I cried in the driveway and I cried in the car. As my tears began to stop I remembered the small box your mother had given me in the hospital. She had told me to wait to open it. I opened it in the car. As soon as I removed the top lid I knew what it was. It was a necklace. The same necklace I had planned to get for your mother and I but this one was a different design. This one was all about you and long enough to be by my heart at all times. I began to cry again. Your mother and I were so connected during this whole process. It was and is a huge blessing.

That night was a really hard night for me. As was the rest of that week. And the rest of that month. I woke up every single time you had in the hospital. Midnight, Two, and Four. Sometimes I still wake up at these times and think of you. I miss you all the time. My heart aches for you. I just want to hold you close and snuggle with you. But I know that you are meant for your parents. I was not what you needed. You needed your parents, and they needed you. I want you to know you changed my life. You saved me from me. I wasn’t in the best relationship, I was sick spiritually, I was losing too much weight, everything was piling up on me. And then you came along. you helped me make the choices I needed to. To get out of my situation, to want to be a better person, to be healthier. You helped me do that. Thank you so much. I miss you so much, every second of the day and I love you with all my heart.  

Love always, Your birth mother,

Kirsten.