Friday, April 23, 2010

Austin the Epic

It was almost 12 years ago that we (my husband and I) waited at Providence Hospital for our son to be born. His birthmother, a 16-year old girl, was in a dark room, with me and about five of her friends. She was receiving and answering calls until she was 9cm dilated. Weird.

I was in the room, while my husband sat in a waiting area, appropriately enough, reading science fiction. I ran in and out of the room to give him updates.

"Breathe!" a nurse instructed the birthmother.

"You!" she shouts back.

About six hours, and a muscle relaxant later, our birthmother produced Austin the Epic. He had a big head and skinny legs.

Knowing that I was to be the mother of this adopted baby, the nurse handed him to me, after weighing him and recording his ABCAR scores.

"Oh fuck!" I heard the birthmother whisper under her breath.
I moved swiftly to give her her son, but she wouldn't take him from me, so the nurse became the middleman, and sheepishly took Austin the Epic to the girl who just gave birth to him.

I left and started to cry. To say that this is not how I envisioned parenthood is an understatement; anger and sadness instead of happiness.

Eventually Austin the Epic would become our son, but not then. My husband and I were outsiders in the most important event to happen in our lives.

Three days after Austin was born, we were allowed to bring him home. His other mother wanted to have some time with him at the hospital before offering her goodbyes, and we granted her that request.

For the first year of Austin's life, I felt like I was babysitting him. I think I finally felt like his parent the first time he threw up on me. Now I know I'm his parent, because he's 12-years-old, and like any pre-teen, doesn't want to be seen with me.

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