As was my custom during my pregnancy, I woke about midnight to have a snack and take another dose of nausea medication. I was happy to discover that the mini fridge didn't have an interior light so I could get my food without waking Mike or Amanda. I sat on towels in the bathroom eating my snack and thought about the dream I had been having before waking. I was living in a house with both the hospital social worker and our adoption worker. I was having a terrible time making toast and was worried what these ladies would think about my domestic skills. Obviously, I was worried that everyone thought I was a bad mom for not being at the hospital with my baby even though she wasn't technically our baby yet. I pushed those thoughts out of my head and went back to sleep.
I got up again at 6 am and went and had breakfast in the breakfast room. I brought some food back for Mike and Amanda and laid down for a while until they woke up. I want to get to the hospital as soon as possible and thought Mike could just drop me off and come back and hang out until check out time. He thought it was better to just pack everything up and leave together. We got to the hospital in the middle of Christiana's 9 am feeding. The nurse let me take over and I spent a couple of hours holding and caring for her. I was there when her doctor came and did his discharge exam. Before he was introduced to me, he asked the nurses if "BUFA Baby" was going home and if the adoptive parents had been to the hospital. He seemed genuinely happy to see that I was there and that she was going home. Then he told me that he had been adopted from that very hospital. I also took that time to write and note to her birth mom.
Around 11 am, I met up with Mike. He was having "fun" keeping Amanda entertained in the hospital. I had some lunch and we called the milk mama I had found through Milk Share. She lives about 45 min. north of Tampa so we got directions and drove up to meet her. At this point we came to realize what a blessing it was to have made it to the hospital on the first try. Getting out of Tampa, going the right direction on the right freeway would prove difficult the next two times we tried. Amanda took a nap and we got enough milk to supply us for the time we were in Florida. We ended up with only a small cooler of extra milk that we needed to bring home with us.
We got back to the hospital around 1:30 pm. Our adoption worker planned to meet us there around 2 pm to sign all the paperwork. I took lots of pictures, got Christiana dressed in her going home outfit and packed up all her things. We signed all of the papers in the family waiting room. Mike had spent some time there with Amanda but it was the first time I had been in the room. Our agency worker gave us a neat book about adoption, (a story about a chipmunk adopted by a family of squirrels) and a little Onsie that said, "Worth the wait." We gave her the card and gift for the birth mom. She told us that when we left the hospital the previous day she was just finally getting the birth mom loaded up to go home. She wanted to try to connect us just one last time but we didn't notice her and the birth mom still thought she didn't want to me us. After the paperwork was completed, Mike and Amanda went to pull the car up to the front and Annnsley and I went to check Christiana out of the nursery. A nurse wheeled Christiana down to the entrance in her bassinet. Of course, everyone along the way would peek in and coo over the cute little baby. Annsley took pictures of us all together in the car before we left. Amanda was still asking to hold the baby. She would have to wait a few more hours.
Like I mentioned before, getting back on the right freeway to get back to Orlando proved tricky. After a little back tracking, we were on our way. It had only taken us 2 hours to get to Tampa from the airport but that was during the middle of the day on Thursday. We did not account for the Friday night rush hour outside of Disney World. We were going to be staying with Mike's friend Dave and he tried to get us off the downtown freeway and onto the bypass freeway that would take us to his suburb. We got pretty lost but just kept heading in the general direction hoping we'd eventually find a road that we recognized on the map. Since it had been taking so long, Christiana woke up hungry. Thankfully, her milk mama had sent a small bottle of fresh milk so I could feed her that. We did finally end up pulling over and some one helped us find the best route to the correct highway.
We've visited Dave a couple of times in Florida so it was such a relief when we started to recognize our surroundings. We got to Dave's and unpacked the car. He needed to leave to go to a work function, so after he showed Mike how to use the remotes he left us to make ourselves at home. Dave had borrowed some toddler items from a friend including a pack-n-play for Amanda to sleep in. I set that up while Mike fed her dinner and then we put her to bed. Before going to bed, she had a chance to finally hold her new baby sister. She was so happy about that. I went to bed shortly after her. Mike was in entertainment heaven. Dave's a bachelor who works in the video game industry so Mike was not bored when we all went to sleep.
At the next feeding, I decided to try nursing Christiana with the Lact-Aid. I wasn't sure if I would nurse her because of the pregnancy but I felt good enough to try it. She latched on and nursed right away. That is such an amazing experience. Nursing my adopted daughters for the first time made it feel like they were really mine. Even if they were just nursing for comfort, it is such an intimate and bonding moment. When Mike saw me nursing, he said, "I thought your weren't going to try to nurse her." I didn't know what to say. "Well, I am, I guess." I know he was just worried about me get overwhelmed because he loves me like that.
Then I settled into the pattern of eating while the baby ate and sleeping when she slept. It was nice to be done traveling for a while. It had been a long couple of days.
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