Being that my big belly and I have officially wobbled into the third trimester yesterday at 28 weeks, I have been consumed with preparation for the upcoming birth of my second child. What can I reuse from my first pregnancy? What was unnecessary? What do I need to replace? What would I do differently? and the largest looming question, “what if my bundle comes early?” Below guest author, Prima Dailey, tells her unique story on becoming a mother, not just early, but in 24 hours. It’s an inspiring story for any mom-to-be who is trying to “figure it all out” and realizing that you can’t. There’s beauty in trusting yourself, your maternal instincts and being mom in-the-moment. – Chelsea
Becoming Mom in 24 Hours by Prima Dailey
I’m a mother just like you. I snuggle, teach, play, bathe, dress my daughter, as well as, make dinner, do the laundry, grocery shop, prep next day meals and worry about EVERYTHING every day. Most likely UNLIKE you, I became a mother in 24 hours. Yes, you read that correctly: Twenty. Four. Hours. There was no “9 months to prepare”, just a teeny tiny window of one whole day when my husband and I became a family of three.
My husband and I started the adoption process in January 2015. After endless amounts of paperwork, three home study visits and a physical, we were approved to legally adopt in the United States! During that time, we were prepared for how the match process usually goes – A birth mother chooses an adoptive family at 7 or 8 months pregnant and the adoptive parents have a couple of months to prepare to bring their long awaited bundle of joy home. Again, that is usually how the process goes…
I’ll never forget the day we received “the call”. I was in a dressing room of a local retailer with my phone on the bench (ever since we were approved to adopt, I always had my phone within eyesight). Unbeknownst to me I did not get service in the dressing room and when I stepped out, I had a voicemail from an unknown number. For a fleeting moment, disappointment crept in because I knew it wasn’t our adoption agencies number (but I also thought that it could be for a job interview, as I was looking for a teaching job at that same time). However as I listened to the voicemail message, disappointment was quickly replaced by sheer bliss as I heard the words I had been waiting for.
We had been chosen!
The kicker, our daughter was already born. My husband and I had, mmmm, about an hour to make one of the most important decisions of our life – do we accept this situation and go get our child or pass? Within 15 minutes we were on our way to the adoption agency to move forward with the process and within two hours of “the call” we were meeting our beautiful two day old daughter.
We rushed to the hospital because I couldn’t bear the thought of our daughter (with whom we hadn’t met yet) all alone in a nursery incubator without a mother fawning all over her. My fears were washed away when we walked up to the receptionist desk and she was the star of the show. The nurses took very good care of her and I will be forever grateful to them for giving her love when we weren’t physically able to.
While I could have spent all night with her, we spent a few short hours feeding, changing and cuddling our girl and then set off to prepare for her homecoming the next day. If there are two things I’ve learned it’s that one, newborns need very little to thrive and two, you just make it work. From there, everything will fall into place.
After we left the hospital, we ran around town purchasing the basics (for the most part): a car seat, diapers, bottles/formula, onesies/hats, socks and a pack n’ play. Imagine the months of research one does before purchasing the right car seat and we had all of 15 minutes before the store closed to make our decision. Being OCD to the core and planning every step of my life, these were the things that gave me the most uncomfortable, uneasy feeling I’ve ever encountered. But you just make it work. When we got home, we did her laundry, cleaned the house, washed bottles, set up the pack n’ play, called the hospital to check on her (feeling the mommy guilt of not being there with her) and we got our last full night sleep for a while. I woke up the next day with a rush of emotions. I was excited, happy, beyond happy but I was also anxious, nervous and panicked. As I laid there, thoughts were swimming around in my head…This is not how I do things, I do not do well under pressure, everything needs to be meticulously planned out, how are we going to manage on 24 hours’ notice? Then as I was in mid-panic attack mode, I sat up and told myself, “you will just make it work”, and with that piece of advice, I was able to get out of bed and begin the day that would forever change my life.
We brought home our long awaited little bundle of joy that evening and for the first few months, our lives were a beautiful whirlwind. We just made it work, every little bit of it. From quickly learning that newborns don’t like sleeping flat on their backs in a pack n’ play, how life changing Velcro swaddles can be, how much you worry about everything, to most importantly, how much she has changed our lives for the better and through making it work, we don’t even remember what life was like before her.
I became a mother in 24 hours and I wouldn’t change a thing. This is our story and it has become who we are as a family. No time frame ever really prepares you for motherhood – 9 months, 2 months, 24 hours – and that is the greatest lesson I’ve learned. This is the best job in the world that you learn on the job, because you just make it work!
(Oh and I did get that teaching job two months later, mid-school year when my daughter was two months old, but I’ll save that for another post!) – PD
My name is Prima-Marie Dailey. I’m a mother to a beautiful girl through adoption, a wife to a handsome man through an office romance, an elementary school teacher through a career change, a coffee addict because of all of the above and like any mother/wife/teacher/coffee addict, I am everything else in between. I also love to cook, organize, read, golf, home decor and of course, some guilty pleasure TV. I’ve recently started a blog you can read here.