On June 1st, 2010, the most beautiful baby girl entered this world. She weighed 6 lbs 11 oz and was 19 1/2 inches long. She has strawberry blond hair and adorable dimples when she smiles. This precious little girl is my daughter, Sophie. After a long 9 months of anxiously waiting, she arrived right on her due date. Which just goes to show that she's very special, seeing as only 2% of babies come on their due date;). Before I get into the emotional aspect of things I'll give a time line of how things went that day. I went in for an OBGYN appointment at 9:00 that morning. At approximately 11:30, my doctor came in and stripped my membranes. He said that I would feel some pain the rest of the day and then sent me off with a paper telling me to come in Thursday at 7:30 to be induced. Well, I instantly felt crampy and nasty and by noon I was experiencing my first major contractions. I got home by 12:15 and decided to stay home for a couple hours just to make sure I wasn't having false labor. By 2:30 we were out the door, on our way back to the hospital. By 4:30 they had my epidural in place and were wheeling me into a delivery room. Sophie was ready to come by 7:00 p.m. but they waited as long as they could so that her head was really low. She was delivered at 9:08 p.m.
The whole process went so unbelievably well and smoothly. I know it's a miracle and I have the prayers of many to thank for the safe arrival of my little girl. She came by the use of forceps and they hardly left a mark on her tiny little head. It was by far the most amazing, spiritual experience I've ever had. My mom and Rebecca were in the delivery room with me. Rebecca cut Sophie's umbilical cord and even kept the bloody shears! haha I told her she should frame them. Sophie cried when she came out, like babies should, but immediately calmed down once placed on top of my chest.
Ok, now for the hard part. I was in the hospital for three days. By noon on Friday, I was released. Once home, I was able to spend a few hours with Sophie before heading to the adoption placement. We took a nap, curled up on my parents bed, and then woke to bathe and get dressed. 5:00 p.m. was our scheduled time to meet at LDS Family Services and do placement. We arrived on time and while I was signing paper work, Sophie's birth father was in another room with Sophie and the Mathesons, saying his goodbyes. Once that was over, my parents, Sophie, and I met with the Mathesons in what they call the "group room". We exchanged gifts and spent some time together talking, exchanging memories. Then, I asked to have some alone time with Sophie. Everyone (meaning Troy, Rebecca, my mom and dad, and our case workers) left the room while I shared some final moments with Sophie. I talked to her, I prayed for strength, and I fed her a bottle. After about 20 minutes I was ready to go. I felt like I was dragging out the pain. So I called them back in and I handed Sophie to Rebecca, exchanged tight hugs, and left. And that was it. Sophie was gone.
I had spent the past 9 months preparing for that final moment. The moment when I'd literally have to say goodbye and relinquish my parental rights. Well, I can tell you that no amount of counseling could have prepared me for the real thing. It was the most heart breaking moment of my life. Living through that first night without Sophie was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. My arms literally ached to hold her in my arms. The memories of her sweet little face and her big beautiful eyes looking up at me caused me so much emotional pain that it actually became physical. I couldn't breathe and I couldn't function. I barely made it through that first night. I was screaming out prayers to just make it through with out going insane. It's only been two days now, and it's still extremely hard, but I can already feel Heavenly Father easing my pain. I know that the pain will never fully leave me, but I do know that it will fade to a point where I can start to live again. I'm sorry, I'm not censoring any of this because I'm trying to express how it REALLY felt/feels. I want my friends and family to know as much as they can, what I've experienced. This whole thing has been really hard for not only me, but my family as well. It's been an amazing, hard journey for all of us.
I want everyone to know how much the Mathesons mean to me. The adoption itself was/is extremely agonizing and painful, but the Mathesons have made it 100 times easier. They have opened their hearts and arms to me and my family. They text me pictures of Sophie every few hours just to reassure me that she's alive and safe. They allow me any kind of contact I need to fully heal from this experience, and not just me, but my family as well. They have become another branch to our family and because of that, I know that anyone who wants to, can meet little Sophie. She is a part of the Shumway/McCleskey family. The adoption doesn't change that. She's my little angel, my most precious gift. I have entrusted her to a family that can offer her more than I ever could. I've heard several other birth moms say that their adoptions were made easier because they felt like they were carrying some one else's baby. Well, I never felt like that. I have always felt like Sophie was my daughter, fully and completely, and that I was her mother. And THAT is why I had to make the choice. The choice that no one else could that would determine the quality of her future. As her mother, I had to choose what was best, since she lacked the ability to choose for herself. I know that I love Sophie with all my heart. I have never experienced this kind of love before now. It is incredible. And it is because I love her that I was able to let her go. I put her needs before my own, and though extremely painful and heart breaking, it was right. And I know I'll be blessed for it. I can't wait to create more and more memories with her throughout her life. I am so blessed to even have that choice. Thank you Troy and Rebecca. Thank you for taking such good care of her, and me.
After placement, my parents drove me straight to the pet store where I picked out a little female kitten to take home with me. Her purpose is to help fill the void Sophie left and to distract me from time to time when the pain is too much. I'll post pictures of her and Sophie. Oh, and the kitten's name is Hannah, after the woman in the bible who adopted her son out to the Lord.