We had a few failed placements as well, so I think I was as equally apprehensive as excited when our son (Keaton) was born. Keaton’s birth-mom is a wonderful woman, and I feel so fortunate that she invited me to room in with her and Keaton during their stay together in the hospital. I held and cared for Keaton, of course, but I found that I spent a lot time helping his birth-mom too. Getting the nurse when needed, snagging another pop from the patient fridge, delivering out-of -hospital food (well, my husband did most of the food runs). Even night duty was more about allowing her to sleep than my enjoying Keaton. I think a large part of me was still in shock and it felt safer to concentrate on Keaton’s birth-mom…..if she decided to parent then I could know that I had made her first few days a bit easier, and I might feel that I hadn’t fallen too hard for a baby I would not ultimately parent. I’m sure I was deluding myself, it would have hurt terribly.
I think the first time I really felt that Keaton was our son too was the night we took him home from the hospital (72 hours after birth). Like so many parents, we dressed him in a going home outfit in a state of awe and giddiness. We were now totally responsible for him! And we thought he was so perfect!