Today I have something different for you, a special guest post from a blogging friend that I have gotten to know through this crazy online world (yes you absolutely can make some really amazing friends with people whom you have never met! Think of it as modern pen-pals.) 🙂
As I was thinking about what I wanted to share with you for this month’s Book Notes, I was coming up blank. This summer I have hardly read anything since being nauseous with morning sickness so I didn’t have any amazing book reviews to share or anything earth shattering that I have been thinking about in the book world.
I didn’t have anything to share, but I knew others did.
I want to introduce you to Jennifer. She is a wife, mother, writer and advocate for orphans, adoption and those who struggle with infertility. She has a story to share, one where she becomes completely vulnerable in telling the long, and sometimes, painful journey it can take to become a mother. This is her story…
I stared at the ceiling. It was impossible to get comfortable on the narrow vinyl couch adjacent to Allison’s hospital bed. The room was silent except for the occasional beep of hospital monitors and the strong, steady beat of my son’s heart. Thump, thump, thump, thump …
My Little Man was a wiggle worm and giving the nurses a run for their money. Every few minutes, they had to re-position the heart monitor. He was persistent and strong-willed, even in the womb.
I wondered if Allison was asleep. She was quiet, but I had a feeling she was watching the minutes slowly tick by on the clock over the TV. She had started chattering a mile a minute the moment we checked into the hospital and hadn’t stopped until around midnight, when I finally convinced her to turn off the lights and try to get some rest. “I know you’re nervous,” I said. “But tomorrow is going to be a long day.”
I lay in the dark, silently praying and begging God for everything to go as planned. I didn’t know how I could listen to that tiny heartbeat all night and not become that baby boy’s mommy. Allison had said she would miss being pregnant. Did that mean she was having second thoughts about placing the baby for adoption? What if she decided to keep him? What if John and I left the hospital without him?
The nurse had pulled me aside as Allison was getting settled into her hospital room. She needed to know what the game plan was for the delivery room. Who would be in the delivery room with Allison? Who would hold the baby first? Who would cut the umbilical cord?
I sat down beside Allison and asked her how she wanted the delivery to go.
“I want you to be in the room and to hold the baby first,” she said. “You can cut his umbilical cord, and then I would like to hold him for a minute.”
My heart stopped. Up until that point, she had shown no interest in holding the baby. I forced a smile to hide the worry that was beginning to show on my face and was definitely creeping into my heart. “Okay, I’ll let the nurses know,” I said.
I shuffled to get comfortable on my makeshift bed. I didn’t want to wake Allison, who was finally sleeping peacefully; her breathing was quiet and steady. But I was going to throw up. I was on the verge of tears, but I had to hold it together. Allison was already anxious. I was acting selfish in light of what she faced the following day.
I really wanted to talk to John, but I didn’t want to leave Allison. He was in a room down the hall, trying to get some sleep himself. One of us needed to sleep. He later told me that he had also spent the majority of the night pleading with God. Neither of us knew how we’d recover from the heartache if we had to leave the hospital without our son.
I drifted in and out of sleep, waking to the sound of the baby’s heartbeat every hour.
At 6:00 a.m., the doctor induced. The nurse warned us we were in for a long day, that it would probably be late afternoon or early evening before the baby was born.
John sat with Allison while I took a shower in our hospital room. As I stepped into the hallway, the emotion I had bottled up the previous night worked its way to the surface. I had barely stepped into our room when the floodgates opened. I couldn’t breathe and couldn’t stop crying. The knot in my stomach wouldn’t go away. I wanted my parents and sister to get there. I wasn’t prepared to walk away from this baby if Allison changed her mind. How could I already love him so much? I was a mess and needed to pull myself together. I had to stay strong for Allison.
I stood in the shower and let the hot water wash away every fear and doubt. I cried until I couldn’t shed another tear, and I prayed. I would focus on what I believed in my heart to be true: God had woven the lives of three unlikely people together because a baby boy needed a family. In the deepest crevices of my heart, I believed Allison would stick by her decision because she knew it was the best choice for her child.
I looked at my reflection in the mirror. I was about to be a mother.
***The following is an excerpt from Jennifer Jackson Linck’s book Bringing Home the Missing Linck: A Journey of Faith to Family
Jennifer Jackson Linck is the author of Bringing Home the Missing Linck: A Journey of Faith to Family and Trucks, Tantrums & Trusting Him: Confessions of a Boy Mom.
She blogs about faith, motherhood, and adoption at www.jenniferjacksonlinck.com. She hopes to offer a little encouragement to first-time moms who aren’t quiet sure what they’ve gotten themselves in to. Jennifer lives in Oklahoma with her husband, John, and their son Jackson.
Alright now it’s time to link up your book related posts. Just a few things that I ask of you are:
- Link up a post(s) about your reading goals, book reviews, or anything book or reading related.
- Please only link up the specific post URL, not your home page.
- Also please either add a text link back to this post or copy the button below and link back in your post.
- Be sure to visit at least one other link to share in the love of reading
This link up will be open until August 31, and for those of you who like to plan ahead, September’s Book Notes will be live on Monday September 1st.
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