In October 2006 my younger brother Kelly planned a family get together for Halloween. He and his wife Sandi love Halloween so we all bought tickets to take a “Haunted train ride” up the canyon. Mykel and I took the kids out the day before (it was a 3 hour trip) and we stayed the weekend with some of our friends. While I was there I got the call that Ruth was going to the hospital to have her baby.
I guess I was wrong when I said I didn’t have pictures of me with any of my children at the hospital. The day after Aubrey was born I visited Ruth at the hospital. We weren’t talking about placing the baby at that point (she had alluded to the possibility of placing her, but it wasn’t brought up during our visit). Ruth was married and we were all hoping that things would work out for her and that she would be able to raise her last daughter (she got her tubes tied with the last pregnancy).
When I pulled up to the hospital and found a parking spot my heart was beating out of my chest, I just never knew what to expect or what would happen. My good friend Andrea came with me to the hospital and I decided to take Ava as well (Mykel stayed home with the boys to tend, it was too hard for him to go). We stopped at the hospital gift shop and brought a few presents to give to Ruth and the new baby. Ava wanted Oreo’s and she made a huge mess in Ruth’s room with her cookies! I took my camera so I could get some pictures of Ava with her little sister. I had no idea if they would be able to have a relationship in the future and I wanted to have the pictures to show to Mykel and the boys.
Ava with Aubrey the day after she was born.
I was nervous to hold the baby (but I get nervous holding ANY baby, it is not an easy thing for me to do). Luckily my friend Andrea isn’t shy; she held the baby first and helped Ava hold her. She was so tiny and adorable, I took pictures of her tiny toes... it was unbelievable how she was such a perfect mix of Ruth and her husband! My feelings were mixed, I had been in this position several times before and it was always so painful.
I had so many questions going through my head…could this be my child at some point in the future? How much emotion do I show? Do I act indifferent so I don’t put any pressure on Ruth? How do I show support when I am secretly longing to have this little girl be a part of our family and grow up with her siblings?
We only stayed for about 20 minutes and right before we left I was able to hold Aubrey for the first time.
It would be eight months until I would hold her again.