By: Chris Coyne
We had so much to do the moment we found out the babies had delivered. The most important thing was getting Jon’s mom to New Jersey. We had no idea how this would all play out but we both needed our moms in New Jersey for support. We broke into two groups. Jon ran to get the mini-van and my mom and I packed up everything so we could drive to New Jersey. He double parked the van in front of the Brooklyn apartment and we all ran all of the stuff down three flights of stairs and loaded the van. So much was running through all of our heads it was crazy. We were like mindless robots loading the car seats and a twin pack and play and all of the junk we had for ourselves and the girls.
The drive was tense. It was around noon by the time we crossed the bridge into Jersey. Traffic was heavy so we called the attorney and let him know the developments. He was not pleased the birthmother had not called us and instructed us to check into our hotel and he would get right back to us. We checked in and piled all the baby junk in one of the rooms. We did not unpack anything. We just sat there waiting for him to call us back. We waited and waited. Had we become fathers? What was going on? Did she change her mind?
He called us back after a very long hour. Our birthmother was not answering the phone in her hospital room. He said she could be resting or recovering from the birth but we should go down to the hospital and investigate. Our hotel was around the corner from the hospital where she delivered so there was not much time to build up courage. I was a bit out of my head and I forgot my i.d. but the security guy let us through. He gave us her room number and gave us guest badges and we took the elevator up to her floor.
I will never forget the look on her face when we walked into her hospital room. She was not expecting us. The girls were in their isolates wearing pink bows on their perfect little heads. The room was filled with the overpowering scent of newborn baby. She looked at us when we walked in the room and did not take her eyes off the girls until we left. She told us that her phone had broke and she could not call us. She had a really hard delivery and they did a c-section after hours of pushing. We asked her why she did not contact the attorney or anyone who could get us there and she could not answer. She was in so much pain it was obvious. She was standing and pacing around the room and she just kept saying she did not know. One of the girls started fussing and her husband walked into the room. He looked at us and offered the little girl to Jon. Jon looked at our birthmother and asked her what she wanted from us. Does she want us to parent? Does she want us to leave? What should we do?
She told us she needed to rest and she would get back to us later. She asked us to leave the room. We left the room. Outside the door I could feel my heart racing. I did not know what to do. I felt lost and I felt hurt. I was numb. Jon was in the same place. This was the moment we knew the girls were not ours. This was the moment that enters my mind when I think of the twins.
The next few days were filled with some really low lows. We were asked to pay for a paternity test; we did. We were asked to wait here and do this and that, and we did. These few days were dark and hard and unforgettable. We were grasping onto a thread of hope. We never had the girls growing in our bodies but they had grown into our hearts. We had an imagined future of raising two little girls and it was fading and leaving something really dark behind. We were in New Jersey for a week after the birthmother had delivered the twins. We needed an answer because the waiting was killing us. Our attorney advised us to hang in there and be strong but a person can only handle so much. We booked our flights back home.
The night before we left New Jersey we received a call from the birthmother’s husband. He asked us to come by because he thought we should all talk. We drove over to their place and what met us at the door was disturbing. Yelling, screaming, and furniture being kicked around inside. We turned back around to get into the car but her husband came out and called us in. We did not go in. He explained to us that she had decided to parent. We got back into the minivan and drove away.