Chapter 5 – It wasn’t Goodbye, more like See You Later.
I was in labor for twenty-six hours. Noah was born on August 1, 2011 at 1:51 AM. That day at the hospital was sort of a blur. I didn’t have an epidural, and I don’t really remember much of the day that Noah was in the process of greeting the world with his cuteness. But I guess if women remembered all that pain, we would all only have one baby.
When Noah was born it was like a wave of calm and happiness washed over me. I couldn’t stop smiling. He was so handsome. And Rachel and I had been worried he wouldn’t be cute--I can’t help but laugh at how silly that thought is now.
I spent those next couple of days in the hospital with Drew, who after seeing the miracle of birth finally realized how much he loved Noah too. Rachel and Ryan had a room down the hall, and Drew and I decided they should be with Noah at night. On the morning of August 2nd, we signed the papers relinquishing our rights as his official guardians. That was the easy part.
For those few days, so many people came to say hello to our own little superstar. We all couldn’t get enough of him. Really, no one could only stop by once. But on the night of August 2nd, Drew and I told everyone to leave and we spent the last hour we had Noah by ourselves. We held him together and cried with each other. He just laid there peacefully and slept. I have never been so happy and so devastated at the same time. I couldn’t help sobbing, and I never imagined it being that hard. When our hour was up, we asked for a little more time with our precious boy.
We packed all of his things with him in his little baby basket and walked him to Rachel and Ryan’s room. Drew put his arm around my shoulder as I wheeled his little cart. When we saw Rachel and Ryan, I couldn’t stop crying. This was it. This was the last chance for me to turn around and never look back, but I couldn’t do that. That whole day, Ryan and Rachel had looked so happy – they deserved a baby to love more than anyone I had ever met before. When I entered the room, Rachel smiled at me lovingly, and I just started to cry. I looked over at Drew and picked up tiny little Noah. I put my hand on his cheek and felt his soft skin in my palm. I took a deep breath and walked the two steps forward to Rachel and handed over their precious baby. The baby I knew they would give as much love, and more, as I would. For a couple minutes Rachel and I stood, embracing, with Noah in the middle of us. We didn’t need words. We just hugged and cried. Finally, I pulled away and gave him a kiss. Drew gave him one too.
That was as much as I could handle. I pulled Drew to my side, we said our good byes, and we left the room. We slowly trudged back to our hospital room. It seemed so empty. So dark. My eyes were flooding with tears and Drew grabbed me. We held each other for what seemed like forever. I was too scared to let go. It was done. It was done. It was done. He was gone. I couldn’t stop shaking and sobbing. I cried out in pain and Drew just held on tight. He was braver than me. Even though he was feeling the exact same way as me, he had to hold it together somewhat for both of us.
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