Thursday, August 19, 2010

Counting Down the Days

I remember knitting for hours on end, day after day not knowing exactly where I was going with the yarn. My Grandmother gave me a pattern and each night she would check my progress looking for dropped stitches. If I made a mistake she would have me rip to that point then continue with the pattern. My tension of the yarn was not the same throughout the piece, which gave it a rippled effect, but I felt a sense of pride and accomplishment as I  learned this new skill. I think she was also teaching me a life lesson..Dropped stitches are not the end of the world, with a little work you can continue on.

I will always remember the night my water broke. We were watching TV, I needed to use the bathroom and It Happened..a gush of fluid.  Oh my goodness, now what was I supposed to do. When I went back to the living room my Grandmother asked me what was the matter. She could tell by the look on my face that something was wrong, when I told her she decided to take me to the hospital. We all piled into the car and away we went!

When we arrived at the hospital I was rushed into an examining room..Yes, my water had broke but I was not in labor..I had to stay at the hospital but they sent my grandparents home. There I was a sixteen year old girl, alone, not knowing what was going to happen next.  I do not know what time the labor started but when it did it was quite a shock! From here on end it is very fuzzy, I am sure they kept me drugged. I can remember the pain, calling out for my Mom, and then being taken to the delivery room. The doctor kept telling me to push..PUSH WHAT  my mind was screaming.

Suddenly,  I felt total relief and I heard a baby crying.  The nurse had my baby on a counter, or a table, to the left of me..the baby was crying, I was trying to see but all I saw was kicking legs! Then I had a glimpse  of a sweet little head. "Is she all right?" The doctor said she was fine and told me that I was not supposed to look at her.  That was it..No LOOKING, No HOLDING..NOTHING. I felt as though my heart was being ripped out of my body!

My mother was notified of the birth and she came to Show Low. She and my Grandmother visited me in the hospital..I know they saw my baby..they never said they did but I know in my heart. I was to stay in my room except for going down the hall to the bathroom. I felt so alone. I do not remember how long I stayed in the hospital but I do remember those first few days back home.

My days were OK..I tried to keep busy..but the nights were awful. I would try to sleep but I could not quit crying. I worried that my baby would not know why I had to give her up, that she would feel I did not love her. I ached that I could not hold her or kiss that sweet little head. I had many long, sleepless nights. I vividly recall looking at the stars through my bedroom window, crying to God to please let my baby know that I loved her! My Grandmother tried to assure me that the couple that adopted my baby were very nice and would give her the life she deserved.  At that time, I did not want to hear those words, I knew I could not take care of a baby but I did not want to hear about the adoptive parents. I WANTED MY BABY!

As time went by, and the hormones evened out, I knew Deanna was where she needed to be. I loved her but would not be able to care for her.  I did not have the maturity to care for a baby on my own and I had to trust everything my Grandmother told me about the adoptive parents.

The wisdom I have now is this: If a mother is going to give up her baby she needs to go to counseling before the birth. Everything was a secret, swept under the rugs, and then you are expected to step back into your old life, go back to school and play like nothing happened.

Back to the knitting. I completed the project before I returned to Phoenix. I had made a sweater for my mother. I left the knitted pieces behind for my Grandmother to stitch together, it was not perfect but my Grandparents were so proud of my effort. I could not believe it, me.. Shawn, had made a sweater!  I needed a sense of accomplishment at that time. When my Grandparents came for Christmas,they brought the sweater , wrapped and ready to give to my mother. She opened the present and seemed pleased but she never wore the sweater.


  1. My heart is full, I can't express my feelings right now! I you:)

  2. Thank you for the gift of my sister. She is a treasure to us. Having adopted our first daughter, I got to meet our birth mother and see first hand what placing a baby for adoption is like. I think it would be the hardest thing a mother could do. I have a special place in my heart for birth moms and am glad your story is having a happy ending. I wish I could be there to meet you, but will have to wait for another time. Take care!