Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Birth Center 3

On Monday, March 5th we had our third appointment at the Birth Center.  This time, our midwife was Sandy and true to Birth Center form, she was awesome.

It's one of those non-exciting appointments, but deserves mention nonetheless.  At 14 weeks, 2 days pregnant, there isn't much to cover.  The typical, "How are you feeling?" and "Do you have any questions or concerns?" sentiments were expressed.  Sandy had T lay back on the table and we got to hear Cupcake's heartbeat again. That sound always makes my heart soar.

Even more excitingly, she got us a request for an anatomy scan!  You see, the Birth Center doesn't do the detailed anatomy scans, they refer to their affiliate hospital (really close to them!) and let the perinatologists there do it.  So we actually do have a date set, but T has had a hard time getting in touch with the center to find out when we get to go.  I am so excited (SO EXCITED) to see our little baby for the first time, and learn if there is a little boy or a little girl growing in there.  Am I about to have a son?  Or a daughter?

When people would refer to our foster kids as my son and my daughter, I always inwardly flinched.  It's not that I didn't want those kids to be labeled that way, it's that in my heart I knew they weren't mine.  Not really my daughter.  Not really my son.  Particularly at the beginning of our relationship with the last set of kids we had, it was foreign and definitely weird.  But you know, towards the end of our nine months with them, they became my kids.  MY kids.  I did have a son once.  And I did have a daughter, once.

In my heart, they lived as our special little starfish children; kids who we loved and mothered and then left us.  The last day I ever picked them up from daycare, my little girl looked up as I came into her room and told everyone, "My mommy's here!"  Even now, now that they've been gone almost three months, that memory still brings stinging tears to my eyes and a stab of pain through my heart.  The day they left our lives will always be seared into my soul.  I vowed to myself to never lose another son or daughter, not if I could help it.

This son, or this daughter, is mine.  Mine in every way but the genetic way.  I can't fully express how very much it means to me that I'm going to get to know this person every day.  I've been here, every day and every night as this baby grows inside my wife.  The day he is born, I'll be there to kiss his face and tell him how much I adore him.  And the day after she's born, I'll be there to kiss her face and tell her how much I adore her.  Every. Single. Day.  This child will not have any question marks.  I'll never wonder if he's been to the doctor before, or if she's had strawberry shortcake before, or if he usually throws tantrums or if she usually is so stone-faced.  I'll already know all those things.  The concept of being so wholly present for my child... it renders me in awe.  I'm so thankful.  I'm so glad.

Little one, baby Cupcake, we are so excited you're with us.


  1. So excited about the scan! And reading your story has made me much more cautious about the idea of eventually fostering (I always wanted to do it later in life). I know the kids need the care, but I'm not sure I could be able to give them back when it was time to go.

    1. It's so hard to know what that experience is going to be, before it is. There are things you imagine will happen, things you're certain will happen, and things that happen that you could've never dreamed would.
      I don't think there is actually any way to be prepared. You can be more prepared by taking the classes and talking to foster and adoptive families, but nothing will tell you exactly what it'll mean for you, for your family, for those children.
      I do believe you have to be a certain amount of masochistic in order to sign up to love other people's kids like your own and then relinquish them back into the world, despite your own fears and misgivings.
      As T and I have told countless people, who all express the same concern about giving them back, all I can really say is that as long as it's not an adoptive placement, you KNOW going in that they aren't staying. In some ways, it makes things easier because you know there will be an end point. And in some ways, it makes things harder because you aren't ready for it when your learning-disabled, speech-delayed foster daughter refers to you as her mommy when she's never made that connection before.
      This has been long enough for a comment (! ha.), but I will say this: I would never take the last year and a half of our lives back and do it differently. I would choose to take those kids again and again.
      And someday, it's likely that we will foster again, and we very well may adopt.
      Perhaps we are simply not that bright, to volunteer our hearts for the breaking time after time.