Right after I was moved up into the recovery room and was all settled in my bed, my sister, Jaala arrived! I was so excited for her to come and see baby Kinley! She gave me a hug and B-lined it to hold and cuddle Kinley! A few minutes later, my good friend Robert arrived from Utah. He drove all the way that night. It was so awesome to see all these people here that loved and supported me.
|Jaala fell in love with her the second she laid eyes on her!|
We all stayed up until about 4am and then I kicked everyone out so we could get some sleep! Jaala stayed with me during the nights. My mom and Charnae didn't want to leave, but we reassured them that they could come back first thing in the morning. Everyone left and we were finally able to get some shut eye. I kept waking up every 15 minutes to check and make sure that there was a baby still next to me- it all still seemed like a dream!
It felt like I had slept for hours when I woke up, but it had only been about an hour and a half! That weekend in the hospital, I learned what a true power nap was. I never wanted to sleep, so I found rest in 15 minute intervals. I woke up at about 7 to a wide awake little baby girl! I fed her, I changed her diaper, cuddled her, took so many pictures of her! I loved that little girl so much! It seriously felt like Christmas all weekend!
|I loved waking up to her!|
I called Toby and Nicole that morning and told them that I had reserved the morning for them to come meet their baby girl for the first time in person. They were so excited and so was I- well more nervous than excited. I didn't know what to think when they came. Was I going to feel over protective of Kinley? Was it going to be hard to see them hold her? Especially since I knew they were going to be taking her tomorrow! I was so nervous and I told Jaala that I might cry! She was nervous too so we hugged and just hoped for the best when they came.
It seemed like forever before they got there, but they walked in the room with the biggest smiles on their faces. I could tell they were truly happy! Nicole was holding Taylee and I could tell Taylee didn't really know what was going on- until she saw Kinley. Taylee's little eyes opened so wide and she had the biggest little grin any little girl could have- kind of like on Christmas morning! She was pretty much jumping out of Nicole's arms in excitement! We let Taylee sit on the bed next to us and touch her fingers and pet her hair! Taylee was so obsessed with her toes! She kept asking to take off her socks so she could see Kinley's little cute toes and feet! It was so cute and comforting to me to know that Taylee was so clearly excited about having a baby sister. I let Nicole hold Kinley and her face lit up! Kinley looked perfect in her arms! Same thing when Toby held her! They held her, took some pictures, and we all chatted a bit and then Toby and Nicole left until the next evening.
|Taylee seeing her little sister for the first time|
|Checking out her toes|
I had a TON of visitors that day. I think we counted about 40-50 people who came to see us in the hospital! I wanted visitors, but I told them I didn't want any heart-felt comments about the adoption like "you are doing a brave thing" "I know this is hard but..." "We are so proud of you" things like that. I wanted normal things you say to a new mom like "She is so cute" "she has your lips" "You did a good job" things like THAT! I wanted my days with Kinley to be happy and as normal as could be! Everyone was respectful of my simple request and that definitely helped!
I was amazed at how many people took time out of their lives to come see me and Kinley! I felt so loved! There was a nonstop flow of people from noon until about 11pm. So many ward members, previous young women leaders, high school friends, and other supporters came and brought gifts, flowers, cards, and most importantly their bright smiles! It made me feel so good and happy! I felt so proud of Kinley! We are both so loved and I am so grateful for that! I was so tired that day! I had slept about 2 hours tops since the night before I went into labor! I didn't want to sleep ever! My mom had to make me take a nap. She pried Kinley out of my arms and demanded I take a nap. I think she just wanted to hold Kinley longer (Sneaky mom). I decided to listen to her and forced myself to get some sleep. Every little whimper or sound Kinley made, I would sit strait up make sure everything was ok- my mom would roll her eyes and say "Everything is fine. I know how to take care of a baby". about 20 mins went by and I couldn't force myself to sleep anymore so I gave up on the whole nap thing.
|burping my little monkey|
|I loved playing with her|
|I love this picture. They love Kinley so much!|
|Uncle Westley. He looks so happy|
It was about 11pm by the time everyone was gone for the day and I was finally able to get some sleep. I am so grateful to Jaala for helping me while I was at the hospital and even when I got home from the hospital. She was like what a husband was supposed to do. She helped me to the bathroom, helped me clean myself, fix my dressings and nasty mess of a- how do I put this- world war 3 down there! (sorry for the visual) I really couldn't have done it without her. I was so helpless. when I needed to go to the bathroom, she helped me, when I was so terribly tired, she would take Kinley for a bit, When I needed food, she would order it for me, she was there to cry on her shoulder, we said little prayers together, shared little moments with Kinley. When Jaala had to go somewhere, Charnae would step in and take her spot! I really grew close to my sisters those 2 days. I always loved my big sisters, but I feel we turned a whole new page in our sisterly relationship. I was very grateful that they were able and willing to spend the nights and days with me in the hospital!
|She loves her auntie Charnae|
|This picture is one of my favorites|
|Changing her diaper- I think I'm using my finger as a pacifier because she was crying|
|All of us! Kinley is a sad monkey again|
When Monday morning rolled around, I dreaded that day so much. I had been having the time of my life spending time and bonding with Kinley and knowing I would have to say goodbye to her that night, made me so anxious! I felt like time was going way too fast that day. Every time I looked at the clock I felt like it was jumping ahead by 15 minutes instead of seconds. I cherished every second I had that day. I requested that I had no visitors that day- just family. I wanted my time to bond and say my goodbyes to my baby girl. I held her, kissed her, changed her diapers, fed her, burped her. I didn't want anyone else to do it. I wanted her all to myself. It was my last day to be a mommy to my baby girl. I knew i was going to go through with everything, but I still didn't want 8pm to come around. I had lots of texts, emails, and face book messages from friends giving their sympathy and what not. I just ignored them because they were making me sad and I wanted my last day to be happy! I didn't want to feel sad until 8pm. That last day with Kinley is a day I will never forget. I couldn't stop staring at her beautiful eyes. She had the prettiest lips also. Actually- she is beautiful all over! I was so proud that I made such a cute baby! She was the only thing that was 100% mine! I took pride in the fact that she had my name apart of her and she had my last name, even though I know It is temporary, I still like to think of her as Kinley Gladden. I never wanted to leave her. She had to get a few tests done in the nursery and she had to leave the room, so I would go with her and hobble my way down to the room and sit and wait for the tests to be completed! I loved the way the nurses and doctors would smile and drool over her! It made me feel so special! In my head I was saying "yep- that's my daughter. I made her". It's the best feeling in the world to be her mommy.
|I made sure I took pictures of her little features I loved! I loved her big long feet!|
|And her little ears that were all folded from being in my tummy|
|I did a comparison and me and Kinley have the same lips and nose! I'm on the right and she is on the left|
|Whenever she was sad or sleeping, she would fold her legs up like this! We called them her puzzle legs|
|I went with her to get her hearing test done. She looks like a little DJ|
|Touching her hair while she sleeps|
|I think she looks like a little lady in this one! Look at those long fingers!|
|Burping her again|
A former bishop came to visit me that morning. His real job is a doctor at the hospital, so I thought maybe he came to do some tests for us to be discharged. I was so tired, I didn't even realize he was there just to visit, until about 5 minutes into him talking. It was so random, but very welcomed that he came! I always liked that guy! He asked me how I was, told me how cute Kinley was, asked me questions about what my plans were for later in life, he never once really said anything about the adoption other than he was proud of me! About halfway through his visit, tears started streaming down my face. I had forgotten that he had been called as the stake president a couple weeks before! I had totally forgotten! Wow! the Stake president took time out of his busy work schedule AND stake president schedule to come visit me! I really think it was inspired that he came! I felt so loved by my church and Heavenly Father that the stake president came to see me! I sure do love that man!
My brother in law Dayle had to go to work that afternoon, so he came and said his goodbyes that morning. He stayed for a few hours. He held Kinley, talked to her, kissed her, he even got her bottle ready so I could feed her. I have to add in that the night before, he almost puked making a bottle because he couldn't stand the smell of the baby formula- so it was cool to see him so willing to make one for her! He is going to be such a good dad! When the time came to say his goodbyes. once again we all had tears. He gave her the biggest hug and told her his goodbye. I hated that feeling. The tugging at the heart feeling as everyone said their goodbyes. I hated seeing everyone so sad and I dreaded having to say MY last goodbye. I just wanted time to stop so I didn't have to or I wished I could just fast forward through the whole placement and skip to a few weeks after. I didn't want to feel sad.
|That was Dayle the night before making a bottle haha|
|I think Brok and Dayle are changing her diaper! What good men!|
|I think he's in love!|
Unfortunately, that isn't an option in real life and I got a call from Chelsea, my case worker, saying that everything was set to go at 8pm to start signing papers. My dad texted me and asked if it would be ok if he was there when the paper signing and placing happened and of course I said yes. A couple weeks earlier, we ad gotten in kind of an argument because he didn't want to even come to hospital to see Kinley. I was very glad he had a changed mind and decided to spend pretty much all day there at the hospital with me. I was especially glad to have my daddy there when I did the hardest thing of my life. To my dismay- 8pm had finally come and it was time to get everything rolling.