My last article left off at my watching the progression of COVID-19 on television. It was hard to believe it was real. But the isolation I was living and having to rely on phone and video calls to see my younger children was evidence enough that this was actually happening.
As days turned into weeks, I knew the end of my journey was around the corner. Throughout my stay in the hospital, I had many calls and texts from BFI which I appreciated so much. I knew they would have been here with me if they could. One time, Carol came to my room stating she had documents for me to sign and told the staff she couldn’t just leave them. Not sure why they believed her, but I’m glad they did! I’m not sure how she pulled it off, but she also brought In-N-Out! Yum!
It was soon thereafter that I learned that Intended Dad wasn’t going to make it for the birth. I had a feeling that would happen, but I still had hope. He sent me an email apologizing for not being able to come. I tried to reassure him that it was fine, but truthfully, we were both sad and disappointed. But I had already decided early on that I would make the best of whatever came my way.
The idea of a C-Section was hard to imagine as all of my children were born naturally and quite easily. The unknown usually causes fear or anxiety so I was glad that Shannon, once again, talked me through it and calmed my nerves. The other concern I had was that they would only let me get to 34 weeks before doing the C-Section. I worried that he would not be ready, were his lungs developed enough, what hurdles will he have to overcome, will he be ok? Then I just prayed. At some point, you realize that it is not in your hands so I just gave it God.
To my surprise, Baby J was born weighing 5lbs! I couldn’t believe how big he was! And he required very little assistance. The medical staff couldn’t believe he was only 34 weeks gestation. I was fortunate to visit Baby J often in the NICU throughout his 3 week hospital stay.
Baby J was discharged to Carol and a foster family who were so gracious to Dad and to all of us. They sent pictures at least daily, but usually more often. I was able to see him grow so strong and remain in good health. When Dad was finally able to arrive in California, we all got together so I could finally see Dad and son united. I was so sad for him as he missed the first two months of his son’s life but to see him beaming as he held his son, there are no words to describe that moment.
I am glad to report that Dad and son are now home and are joined with Baby J’s mother and sister. I am still receiving pictures and the love I see between each person and Baby J is incredible. Clearly he is finally where he is meant to be.
Note from Carol: Annette, thank you so much for sharing your story with us and the world. Your journey took so many unexpected twists and turns and you handled them all with such grace. I am and will always be in awe of you and your beautiful family. XOXO