Ashlyn’s Birth Story

birth adoption story
It is National Adoption Month and I am finally sharing Ashlyn’s birth story.
I never shared it before because of many reasons. One it was a very emotional and intense time when she was born. We were in California away from our son and getting to know our brand new baby. Two I felt like it was such a different experience compared to my births that I didn’t know how to explain it without giving too little or too much information. That probably doesn’t make sense but there is another person involved who must be respected. Ashlyn’s biological Mother is incredible and I always felt it was somewhat her story to tell in one way but obviously our side is also important. So here it is, over a year later…
When we were asked to adopt Ashlyn I didn’t know then how different and similar it would be compared to being pregnant and giving birth to my two biological children. First of all when we were asked about adopting her (before we knew she was even a girl) and we were all in it felt very much like finding out you are pregnant. It’s like you have this overwhelming excitement and can not wait to find out what you are having and who this little person will be. You become overly protective of this baby and pray they come into this world safe and healthy. The obvious differences were physical, we didn’t create her nor did we get to lay in bed each night next to one another with her in my belly. It was very strange being pregnant with Everly and expecting Ashlyn in another state. 
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Ok so back to the birth story. This birth story starts a week before she was even born.
Branden and I got on a plane on October 11th, super early and headed to California. We got there around 9:30am I believe and headed over to meet with Ashlyn’s bio Mom. We will call her L. 
When we met up with L we immediately hugged and touched each others bellies and told each other how good the other one looked pregnant. It was so surreal to finally get to be there and see her. We had lunch and talked about Ashlyn and our other kids. After that we headed over to her place and hung out for awhile. Not too much else happened until the following Tuesday and L and I went to her doctor appointment and talked about inducing the following Monday. He didn’t think she’d make it passed her due date which was Friday but had it scheduled just in case. 
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The next day our other friend came into town and we all went to lunch. Poor Branden had to deal with us and our obnoxious friendship and inside jokes (they have wraps here?!) but thankfully he survived. They went back to L’s house and Bran and I went back to our hotel and basically finished up some things with our home study and all that fun stuff. 
Thursday we all met for lunch and then Branden and I went to the hospital to meet with a social worker and toured the hospital. We wouldn’t get a hospital room (some adoptive parents do at other hospitals) but they had a nursery we could be in if we needed to be with the baby alone (some bio Moms don’t want to stay in the rooms with the infants, not the case for us). 
Later that night I was feeling super emotional. I was missing Ace like crazy, he had been sick and I was pregnant and hormonal. It was probably one of the most difficult nights I have had since my parents passed away. It was like I was having an emotional breakdown. Branden took me to a pier and we walked it and then went and picked up food and headed back to our hotel. I could not sleep that night of course.
At around 5:45 am L called me and said her water had broken but not to rush because she was going to get ready and then head to the hospital. I tried not to freak out but of course that wasn’t happening. Branden and I got ready and when we got in the elevator all I remember was saying “We are going to have a baby girl today!!!” It was the most insane feeling. 
We got to the hospital and L’s OB came in and broke her water since it was just kind of trickling out or something and after a bit she got an epidural. 
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We all hung out and watched Vanderpump rules because that’s how we roll. After a couple of hours Branden and I decided to go to the cafeteria to eat. Right before we finished I got a text from our friend about L being fully dilated and not to rush because they had to prep the room for her to push. All I saw was she was fully dilated and I immediately rushed to the elevators and text them I was coming. I then reread the text and had to chill out in the waiting room, ha! 
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They told us to come in the room and I immediately started getting emotional and tearing up. The amount of emotion that took over me was crazy. It was such an unexplainable feeling. I was feeling excited to see our daughter, absolutely devastated for my friend who was about to experience probably one of the hardest moments in her life and back and forth between those feelings. I grabbed our camera and asked if she cared if I took pictures and she said she was ok with it. Branden, myself, L and our friend were all ready for this little girl. This little girl who would bond us for life, was about to be born! 
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Her doctor and nurse were super casual about her pushing. They were having a conversation and would tell her to push and at one point L and I both were kind of like um should she push? Ashlyn was sunny side up so the doctor had to turn her and finally L was able to push her head out, the doctor turned her again (I swear I thought he was going to break her neck) so we could see her chubby little face and that moment I will never forget. I remember crying saying she is so cute. Those cheeks still kill me! After that I got to cut her umbilical cord. It’s not as easy as it looks! 

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After Ashlyn was out they placed her on L and cleaned her off. Another moment I truly don’t have words for. Seeing L and Ashlyn together was so bitter sweet. I will love that moment forever. I have it on video and when I watch it I cry. You can see how much love L has for her. This must be what Dad’s feel like when they see their wives with their babies for the first time. 
You can not appreciate this person enough, you can’t love that person enough, you can’t cherish that moment enough. 

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After cleaning her off and giving L her time they finally took her over to get weighed and cleaned off. I remember looking at her and just thinking she has the most perfect newborn face! She looked like she had teeth already because she had these big gums and her little gap already. I mean the cuteness of her was unreal. L’s nurse, who was seriously an angel, took Ashlyn’s feet prints and put them on her paper that monitored her heart beat and then put her prints on her side where Ashlyn would always kick L. 
After she was cleaned up Branden and I got to have alone time with her. 

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We all spent the day together in the room with our beautiful baby girl. Night time came and she got to stay with L and our friend while Branden and I went back to the hotel. Talk about guilt in leaving your baby but also feeling completely ok with it because she was with her first Mommy. I almost felt bad that I was so ok with leaving her there. I knew they needed that time though. The next day we all spent the day together again. Hanging out watching trash TV, hating on L’s social worker who was awful and of course snuggling with our perfect angel. Night time came again and Ashlyn spent the night with L and our friend again. The next day we would be bringing Ashlyn back with us and I was so nervous, excited, and sad. 

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We got to the hospital that morning and I couldn’t even take her from L. I didn’t want to separate them on their last moments together that day. I said hi to her and gave her a kiss then we all left L and Ashlyn to be together till the time came for us to leave with her. I don’t think I have ever hurt for anyone more in those moments. Watching L looking at Ashlyn broke my heart. 
We went down to the cafeteria and a few hours later got a call that our attorney and L’s social worker were there. We went up to the room and got L and Ashlyn ready to go. We headed down to a waiting room on the main floor and all sat together at a table as L signed her rights away. We also had to sign papers as well. Ashlyn was so peaceful and sweet in her carseat. 
Once it was done we all took pictures together. Branden and our friend got our cars and L and I sat with Ashlyn. It was such a weird moment. I didn’t want to take Ashlyn from her but then I wanted to just have her in my arms. 
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After we got her in the car and left I still couldn’t believe she was ours. This perfect little person, this person who is loved by so many was our baby girl. 
Later that night we got to FaceTime with Ace and Branden’s Mom so they could see Ashlyn. Ace was so excited to see his baby sister. It was so sweet.
We headed home after a few more days and Ace got to meet his baby sister! 

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