Sunday, March 1, 2009

My Story- Part One

My son was born June 30th, 2007 and I signed my parental rights away July 3rd, 2007. The adoption was finalized the very same day. I carried my son for eight months knowing I was going to parent him. I wanted him more than anything, but I had to put my feelings aside and really think about what was in best interest of my son. I have other personal reasons why I chose adoption, due to lack of support, harassment, and alienation from my son's biological father and his family. We were both very wrong for each other, but in the beginning it felt so right. We were both at the time in places in our lives that we just seemed to fit. There were so many red flags that I ignored that I should have paid attention to, but at the time I didn't care.

He had been in a horrible car accident our senior year and was in a coma for a month (TBI). When he came out of the hospital he just seemed so lost. He tried going back to the way he used to be; the partier. The doctor's had told him to stay away from alcohol and drugs so that his brain could heal and not worsen. Well, that didn't hold him back. However, when I was home for the summer we lived together and I got him to stop drinking and using far as I know.

To cut a long story short when I became pregnant he became emotionally and physically abusive. He cheated on me countless of times and treated me like I was lower than dirt, along with his mother. She banned me from coming to their home and supported my ex of not supporting me and talked horribly about me to others. They pressured me into adoption when in the beginning it wasn't an option. It went as far as them having her sister, his aunt, come to my house to talk me into putting my baby up for adoption. I had told my ex no countless of times. When he told me his aunt was coming up to my house I told him that if she was going to come to pressure me into adoption then she wasn't welcomed. That still didn't stop them and she came anyway.

I was so blind to all that abuse. I still wanted him to be a part of my life and my son's. I wanted a family and most importantly, for my son to have a father figure. So I kept him around, even after he deliberately rammed me into a wall and throwing me to the ground when I was four months pregnant. I watched him go down and down. He was losing weight and his mood swings were horrible. I knew he was back to using meth and coke. I finally then ended it. I was sick of the lying and the abuse. I was putting myself and my child in danger. I had to protect and take care of both of us. I didn't want them to be a part of his life or mine. They weren't good for him and I wanted what was best for my son. I had to protect him.

I was at the lowest point in my life. I was absolutely heart broken by all the abuse that was put upon me and my son. I moved back in with my parents (due to being put on bed rest) and still, I had never felt so alone. An old friend kept popping up in my head and I couldn't stop thinking about him. We had dated my freshman year and after we broke up we didn't speak to each other. He graduated a year before I did and went off to college. So, I decided to take action and I called him. It was/is the best phone call I have ever made in my life. We fell in love. After a month of talking on the phone every night (we averaged 6-9 hours a night) he drove six hours to where I was, picked me up, and we went camping for four days. I had the greatest time. I had never felt this happy before and it was an amazing feeling. I remember we were lying in our tent talking when my son decided to start playing. He began kicking and (trying his best) to move around in my belly. I then grabbed his hand and placed it over my stomach, his face lit up and he had the biggest smile on his face. I will never forget that moment. It was the best feeling in the world to know that my son was wanted by someone I loved.

I then confessed to everything that had happened in the past couple of months. I had told him how I wanted to keep my son away from them and how I didn't believe I could give my son everything he needed. To be quite honest, I was scared out of my mind. I didn't know how I was going to be able to make it and take care of him on my own. I knew my boyfriend wasn't ready to be a father and I didn't want to put that kind of pressure on him, we were only 19. I knew that my son would grow up in poverty. He'd go from daycare to daycare so that I could work and go to school. The thought of him going to his "father's" made me feel sick to my stomach. I knew it would affect his development and create separation anxiety which will turn into attachment issues later on. I didn't want that for him.

We both then talked about adoption, the subject I hated. He suggested seeing if my parents would adopt him. He knew how much I loved my son and how I wanted to be a part of his life. I knew I had to do something even if it meant putting him up for adoption. I didn't think my parents would agree to it, they were in their early 40's and were already talking about retirement; however they did have a three year old that I knew needed a sibling to grow up with. When I got home I proceeded to tell my mom what I was planning on doing. I could see tears well up in her eyes, she got really upset. I was so nervous to ask her but some how the words rolled right off my tongue. I don't remember quite what her answer was but I remember her saying she'd have to discuss it with my step-dad.

I remember after speaking with my mother I went and took a shower. I felt really confused about what I was doing but I knew it was the right thing to do. It was for the best and I then felt it was time to disconnect myself from my son, my Braden. After I got out of the bath my mom came into my room and told me that they would adopt my son. Even though she agreed to adopt my son, it felt as though my heart broke in two. That week I became so incredibly emotional. I would lash out on my family and cry like there was no tomorrow. I couldn't get myself to disconnect from my son. The next week at my doctor's appointment I heard my son's heartbeat, right then and there I punished myself for trying to disconnect from him. How in the world could I have even thought of doing that? I loved him so much. I called my ex and told him what I was doing. I told him I didn't want him around and that he wasn't welcomed to join in on the birth of our son. He got really upset, wished me the best of luck, and hung up. That was the last time we talked with each other.

I kept myself busy for the duration of my pregnancy. My boyfriend FINALLY moved back home form Pocatello and I spent most of my time with him. He'd come over in the afternoons before he'd go to work and then come over when he got off. It was the only time we'd get to see each other. He worked at an onion factory and oh my god that boy smelled so bad after he'd get off, but I didn't care. Sometimes we'd go off to a spot that overlooked the horizon while listening to Love Line on 100.3 The X and snacking on sour patch kids (one of my many cravings). Most of the time he'd coming over to my house and we'd put on the TV. I always ended up falling asleep with my head against his chest; I was so in love and still am to this day. He kept my mind off of things, but the adoption was always in the back of my head.
On June 29th, 2007 I could feel my contractions getting harder and harder. It was time. The drive to the hospital seemed endless and the pain felt numb. When I finally arrived at the hospital my contractions took full force. They got me in right away and started questioning me about my health, who would be in the delivery room with me, and about the father. Why didn't any of the nurses know my situation? I had filled out a form sent to me by my lawyer and I put done specifically what I wanted and nothing was given. I just wanted privacy. No, my son's biological father would not be here and no I don't want to discuss any of this! Why do they keep asking me all these questions and butting into my personal life and telling me theirs?! Can't they see that I'm in pain? Don't they know that this will be my final hours with Braden? Besides, I don't want to talk about my situation right now, let me enjoy the last time I'll have being his mother.

I finally settled in my labor and delivery room. They finished putting my IV in, after poking me seven times, so I could take a hot bath. It felt nice, but not hot enough. It relieved a lot of the pressure and made the contractions some what tolerant. I was finally able to relax some-what so I called my boyfriend.

"I'm here, they're keeping me."

That's all I really remember of the conversation. My contractions were getting stronger which made it hard to talk, so I told him I had to go and that I'd call him later.

Time went on and I was getting to the point to where the pain was so unbearable that I couldn't take it. It took an hour for the nurses to convince me that the epidural was ok and that it would not paralyze me. I was so paranoid and scared. As I agreed to go through with the epidural, the anesthesiologist was in my room in less than ten minutes, it felt like a second to me. As soon as it started to kick in a big relief came over me and I was as happy as could be! I hadn't felt this good in months! I was painless; I felt like super woman, except I couldn't walk and had someone emptying my bladder for me. I was so excited for this event to take place! I had fantasized about giving birth to my son and I couldn't wait to meet him, but I was terrified all at the same time. I really had no idea what laid ahead of me.

They told me to get some sleep and that I needed to save my energy for when it was going to be time to start pushing. In my mind I was laughing, how in the world can anyone sleep when they're in labor? I was way too excited! Sleeping was just nonsense to me! I relaxed however, but was overjoyed to the point to where I couldn't sleep.
The next thing I know I'm pushing. The pressure that you feel is so unbearable that you can't help but feel the need to push, but you can't in between a contraction, that was the hardest part. After an hour and ten minutes, at 8:12am, he was here. The feeling that took over me is so indescribable. It's like euphoria or in better terms, heaven. I was the first to hold him, I cried, and he just laid there in my arms without a sound. Our eyes locked and the love I felt I had never felt before. I then whispered softly, "I love you." It was as though we were in our own world. They then took him so that they could get him on antibiotics. I'm a Strep B carrier and allergic to penicillin so the antibiotic they gave me while I was in labor wasn't enough.

Braden was gone and I knew deep in my heart he would be gone forever. I couldn't bear to let him go and hung on to the thought of him; I wasn't ready to let go.

I had to wait awhile before I was sent up to my post partum room. Thinking back about it now, I don't remember a thing. I was in some state of shock and couldn't think straight. I seriously had no idea what was going on or my surroundings. It was as though I was sleeping and woke up in a strange place.

I had a couple of visitor's that day, friends of mine; I don't really remember any of them coming. The nurse finally brought my son to me later that morning. She quickly changed him and he started crying (more like screaming), I started balling and couldn't handle it. They let me hold him for awhile and I was completely mesmerized, he was amazing. I wanted to see his eyes, but he slept most of the time. My mom would bring him in and out most of the day, just for me. I think she sensed that I was having a difficult time and thought it would help seeing him. However, he spent most of the time with her.

My nurses were horrible and treated me like I was trash. I had to ask for ice at least four times before I was given any. My N.A. was the worst, she would talk about her personal life and what she thought about my decision I made over and over again. I remember her making comments that were not only insulting but completely inappropriate. I don't remember what was said, thank god. I didn't care about anything my nurses had to say, nor did I want to hear it. I just wanted some pain medication, a sleep aid, and some damn ice.
Night time came; I hadn't slept in forty hours. I couldn't sleep during the day, I just didn't feel right. The night shift came in and they were wonderful. My nurse was amazing and recognized how I was treated by the day shift nurses; my NA was wonderful, too. When I'd need something, they were there. They didn't once talk about my situation or asked. It was nice, I felt normal.

I would wake up every two hours and as a habit, touch my belly. A wave of sadness would come over me, he was gone. I snuck down to the nursery to see him. There were so many newborns in there and they all looked the same. Mine looked like Mr. Magoo but beautiful nonetheless; I could have spotted him a mile away. They'd let me hold him and rock him, I didn't want to leave. I finally went back to my room and fell asleep. I woke up bright and early the next morning and was told my lawyer would be in soon. A wave of emotions came over me and I couldn't stop crying. My mother right away acted as though it was just post partum depression. What she didn't know was that I knew when my lawyer would come I'd have to face the devil.
My nurse gave me a huge packet to fill out for the baby. I had to fill out his birth certificate and his social security stuff. I got really emotional doing this. For his name I was told I had to put Baby Boy Smith or what his name was going to be. I wanted to put his original name Braden Dean Smith (after both my grandfathers). To be honest, I don't even remember what I put.

Anyway, my doctor finally came in to check up on me and talked about discharge. He was going to have me stay an extra night because the baby had to, but I begged to be sent home early. I couldn't handle being there any longer. I felt like the walls were caving in on me and I was suffocating. Afterwards, my mother went behind my back to talk to my doctor about how emotional I was being and how she was concerned it was post partum depression. I knew it wasn't PPD; I wanted to scream at her. "Don't you understand? Two people died today."

My lawyer finally arrived and I met him out in the lobby with my parents. He asked them to leave once I arrived and sat me down to go over a few things. He was constantly asking me if this was the path I wanted to take. I repeatedly told him, "no it is not something I want to do; it is something I have to do." He went over with me what was going to be happen in court and handed me a couple of papers to sign allowing my parents to make medical decisions for my son. I signed away. Like I've said before, I don't remember much in detail.

I was finally able to leave. I just wanted to go home and be with my boyfriend. We both agreed that he would stay back home when I'd be in the hospital. I, for one, didn't want him to see me and he felt it wasn't his place to be there. That time was for me and Braden and I wanted it to be something special between us. When I got home I was so happy and relieved to see him! He's my other half.
We went to my room and I realized I was soaked in water (from the ice packs to help prevent my milk from coming in). I started crying.

"Anna, what's wrong?"

"My ice leaked water all over me again, it's just frustrating."

"Anna, that's not why you're crying," I stared at him. I knew he was right, but I wanted to believe I was crying because of the ice.

The next day I rode up with my step dad back to the hospital, I had to sign more papers allowing the hospital to discharge him. I was so out of it. I had accidentally slammed my little sister's fingers in the door and made her I cry. I started crying, I hated myself. We arrived at the hospital, thinking back I get an awful feeling in my stomach. It's a feeling I can't describe. We headed straight to my son's room, where my mom waited. I could tell she was in a bad mood by the way she was acting around me. We waited there for hours. My nurse finally came in and what do you know, started opening up her mouth again about the adoption and how wonderful and brave I am and yackity, yack, yack. Up to this point I was so sick of people praising me (still am), so just ignored it. She told us that we needed to go down to the nursery where we'd meet our lawyer. We headed down there and waited another hour. Finally he came and took me aside. He went over more documents with me and made sure this was what I "needed" to do. I nodded my head and signed away. Tears weld up in my eyes and I felt that lump in my throat. He then showed me the document that I would have to sign in court. I read the first page and completely lost it. I cried the hardest I had ever cried. My mom got down to my level and asked me if I was sure this was what I wanted and that there would be no hard feelings if I changed my mind. I looked up at her and told her, "I have to do this."

July 3rd, 2007 was the day my life would drastically change and it came too fast. I arrived at court with my stomach in knots. I couldn't comprehend what was happening. My lawyer took me aside and went over with me the questions he'd ask me in court and what my answers needed to be. He then left and went to speak with my parents. My mind went blank, I just kept saying to myself, "Don't break down in there Anna, don't you cry." They called us in there. We sat down and started proceeding. My lawyer asked me all sorts of questions regarding the birth father, the adoptive parents, my son, and why I chose adoption. I did really well up until I had to talk about my son and why I chose adoption. I then broke down crying. I remember the judge asking me, "Why are you crying? Is this because you are realizing this isn't what you want to do or is it because this is an emotional time for you?"
"This is just really emotional for me."

My lawyer looked back at me and asked me what _____________ meant (I can't remember the word)? My mind went blank and I replied, "I can't go back, I can't get him back." With that it was done. I remember taking a second to let it sink in what I was about to do and then signed away. My eyes were blurry from me sobbing. I was utterly a complete mess. I was later told the clerk had left and was replaced with another one as soon as I signed. Apparently she couldn't handle it and was crying herself.

They decided since my parents were there and that they had all their adoption documents filled and done that they were going to proceed and finalize the adoption. My parents became my son's mother and father that day.
A part of me died that day as well as Braden.

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