Contributed by Nikkole
Although my little man has turned one year old this past month, I cannot stop thinking about our few nights alone together when he was first born. The hospital which I gave birth at was one in which the baby stays in your room 24 hours a day—for you to fully be the care taker and to prepare for going home. Although he wouldn’t be going home with my fiancé and I, I loved that I could truly be his mommy and take care of him in the few nights we had together. The last night we spent in the hospital I stayed up the whole night with him…
Brandon had just gone to sleep and I had to get up to put the binky back in for Nicholas as he started to fuss. I looked at the clock and realized it was only about an hour until he had to eat again, so I might as well stay up and spend time with my baby boy.
So many emotions… Holding him, staring at him… just in awe of how beautiful he was and how the last few days had gone. How much we enjoyed taking care of him, holding him, feeding him, pictures of him… everything about him. In a few hours we would have to hand him over to his family… Yeah, we’d see him again, but the past few days it’s been all us and him.
He’d start to fuss, I’d gently rub his cheek and he’d go back to sleep… That’s an ouch. I know just what he needs to make him better. Soon? I will not be able to rub that beautiful cheek and feel his soft face. But seeing the cheek, I can’t help to kiss his little forehead. Again, ouch. The softness of his hair… that little head… that BEAUTIFUL little head. Soon? I will not be able to kiss that little head.
I was fine holding him… staring at him… I was even all smiles because of how perfect he was… but each time I touched his skin, his cheek, his forehead… TEARS! This day would be hard.
Wooo, food time—he knew it too, because as I put the binky in his mouth and he sucked on it, he made that weird face that looked sooo mad. He didn’t want the binky, he wanted the bottle!! Hehe, so cute. So I fed him. Ouch…. This may be the last time I get to feed him. My little boy… tears again. (By the way, after I fed him I washed out the formula and KEPT the bottle. Yeah, normally a person would throw it away, not me! I want the bottle I fed my little man out of!)
Then it was time to burp him. Wow, my favorite way of holding him is when he is laying on my chest/shoulder so burping time is AMAZING! Haha, the little man burped away and then turned his head so I could see it and laid back down to fall asleep. That beautiful head on my shoulder. His beautiful hand hanging off my arm and the other hand on my chest. That beautiful forehead and soft hair rubbing up against my cheek. Guess what? TEARS! I couldn’t help thinking this will be our last alone time—just he and I.
I spent the next few hours like this. I stared at that beautiful little boy as he slept quietly, fed him, changed his diaper, took as many pictures as I could without waking him and rocked him all night. As tired as I was, I knew I needed to spend this time with him. I’d miss this moment later on, and man did I cry thinking about what I now call “saying goodbye day.” As hard as the night was, it was perfect. Just Nicholas and I, spending our time together, alone.
It was hard to place my son, but we knew this was the right choice—and still believe it to be the right choice for us. We were not at a place in our lives which we were fully ready to care for a child—mentally, emotionally, physically or financially. We could have done it, sure. However we did not want to keep him from a life with better opportunities and a family that was fully ready to care for him and love him. Even from the first moment Nicholas was held by his new parents, you could see their love for him and just how great they would be as parents. Nicholas is a lucky man; he has two extended families that love him more than anything. I feel very lucky too; I am able to watch my son grow into an amazing little man, see the love of his family and still have a part in his life.