I had just recently switched my Android phone to an Iphone and had unfortunately lost several contacts. It was a Sunday evening and most nights at this hour look like this… me winding down on the couch (likely watching a Christmas movie as the Holidays approach) and Troy asleep since about 9pm on the couch next to me. I notice a missed call at 10:20 from a 920 area code and start thinking “hmm, that’s an Appleton area code, wonder why someone from there is calling so late?” I nudge Troy to wake up and help me remember how to check my voicemail on my new phone. He’s a tad resistant (and a bit irritated) that I’m disrupting him as he’s been sleeping for over an hour. I’m getting more persistent, “help me check my voicemail, I missed a call from a 920 number!”
I carefully listen to my messages and hear Margo, Luella’s biological aunt, explain that they just found out that Luella needed to come out by C Section very soon and that they were in the emergency room due to her birthmom’s blood pressure being sky-high (she had preeclampsia). I immediately call Margo and while dialing I tell Troy to start packing our stuff! I clearly remember him looking at me, still in a semi-sleep mode, asking “why? where are we going?” Nervously I say, “honey she’s going to be born any minute, they’re in the ER, Kelli’s having an emergency C-Section, we’re going to have to get to Appleton asap!!”
Margo and I talk, she explains that to keep both of them safe, they’re arranging surgery to begin at 11pm. Understandably, she had concern at this point and so did we! Not to mention, none of us knew how the “band” on Luellas back (detected during the ultrasounds) was going to complicate things…and no one expected her to come 4.5wks early.
I reassure Margo that we’ll get packed and leave right away. I stop for just a few split seconds to kneel down by Troy as tears fill my eyes. What a RUSH of emotions (excited, scared, anxious)! He comforts me, confidently, saying all will be OK. I said “but she’s only 4lbs,” and together say a brief prayer.
Next, we both jump up, pack 3-4 days worth of clothes…I run upstairs to the nursery where we had accumulated just a handful of outfits and I stuff them in our empty diaper bag and run down to finish getting the pups ready.
By 10:50 we’re in the car, ready to GO and our bloods pumping with a lot of adrenalan! We’re on our way to be with our daughter, who was being born AS WE DRIVE. SO surreal!
The car ride was rather quiet. We both were praying, thinking, and sure…if I’m honest, worrying. Our first experience with ALL of this and there were so many questions at this point. I also recall texting our families asking people to pray for God to guide the C-Section and keep our precious daughter and her birth-mama safe.
At 12:30AM we arrive at the Theda Clark NICU and start to wait and wait and wait…And although we didn’t really wait ALL that long, when you’re waiting to meet your very first daughter, (who will arrive by an ambulance transfer from the Appleton Medical Center where she was born), the wait seemed like FOREVER. After an hour passes, suddenly two nurses transporting our baby step off the elevator pushing this precious girl in her Isolette and greet the two of us saying… “here is your daughter!”
To our surprise her big eyes are wide open as she stares at us through the clear cover and we say “hi sweetie, we’re your mom and daddy…” WHAT A MOMENT, the love that was pouring out of both of us at that time was like nothing we’ve ever experienced. She was HERE, one month early, but she was here.
AND although all legalities and complications of her adoption weren’t even close to being resolved at this point… We knew…she was already OURS.